Monday, March 23, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Did you know that the average American consumes more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day? That’s more than TRIPLE the recommended amount for women and more than DOUBLE the recommended amount for men!

It's even more shocking when you realize how many calories come with all of that added sugar. Through the Sweet Swaps Initiative, Splenda is trying out creative ways to swap full sugar for Splenda Sweetener Products in order to save calories.

By swapping one cup of sugar with one cup of Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, you can save more than 600 calories! That's what I did with this Apple Cinnamon Bread. I cut this in 9 portions and saved like 65 calories per slice.  Plus I cut the oil by using half applesauce. What I didn't cut was flavor.  This was an awesome cake. 

Splenda is trying to spread the word about their calorie saving products and they have some amazing recipes on their site. So visit for some inspiration!  

Get some more Splenda inspiration and have fun at a twitter party on March 31st at 1 p.m. ET. Follow #SweetSwaps to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Vite:

Apple Cinnamon Bread with Splenda Recipe
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. all spice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup granulated Splenda
2 cups chopped apples, I kept the skins on and used Fuji
1 tbsp. Splenda brown sugar blend
1 tbsp. granulated Splenda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 8 glass pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, all spice, and cloves. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add in oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Next, add the Splenda and mix until well combined.
4. Add in the flour mixture and mix until flour is barely combined. Gently fold in the apple chunks. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. In a small bowl, mix together Splenda brown sugar blend, Splenda, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter in the loaf pan. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until loaf is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Slice and serve. Makes 9 portions. 

Disclosure: This post is part of the SPLENDA® Brand Sweet Life Blogger Program by McNeil NutriBonals, LLC and The Motherhood, who sent me products and compensated me for my time.
Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins with Streusel Topping

My kids love waking up to the smell of muffins.  Well, who doesn't?   They were excited this morning when they woke up and these super tasty, awesome muffins were just coming out of the oven. 

I have the privilege this month of making a second recipe for The Secret Recipe Club. I LOVE Amy's blog The Savvy Kitchen and knew I would have no trouble finding something to make. In fact, I have her Kung Pao Zucchini Noodles on the menu for next week!

The muffins were a hit!  They tasted fantastic!  There is just something about streusel topping that is always a hit.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins with Streusel Topping Recipe

Adapted from The Savvy Kitchen
For streusel topping:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
For batter:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 tbsp.) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) light sour cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin tin with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.
Prepare the streusel topping by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, using a fork to cut the butter evenly into the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat the butter, oil and 1 cup sugar on medium speed until well mixed. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.
Reduce mixer speed to low, and then gradually beat in the flour mixture.
Layer the batter and streusel in the prepared muffin tin by spooning a portion of the batter, then a sprinkle of streusel, topped by another portion of batter and a final sprinkle of streusel on top.
Bake muffins for about 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove muffins from oven and let cool in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Spinach Bean Dip/Spread

I read a lot of food blogs and I think some of my favorite posts are the Game Day foods. I love snack foods, appetizers and dips.  I really, really love dips. 

I loved looking through Rachel's blog and her amazing recipes. I printed several recipes but finally decided on this amazing Spinach Bean Dip for The Secret Recipe Club.  First I loved the color. Who wouldn't want to eat a bright green dip, huh? 

So if you check out Rachel's blog, The Avid Appetite, she has a ton of awesome recipes.  She also posted on her Game Day post about a dip with fruit salsa and a bit of sour cream mixed.  We both agree that pineapple peach salsa is the best!  Can't wait to try this dip! Clearly she loves dips as much as me as she had several others;  Spinach Artichoke Dip, Pizza Dip, Greek Layer Dip, oh the list goes on. 

This Spinach Dip is super easy. Rachel used frozen spinach while I used fresh. Both would be fine. I just happened to have a bag in the fridge. LOVE the balsamic vinegar in this, I might have added a tweak more.  I made homemade whole wheat tortilla chips. I just cut some whole wheat tortillas, sprayed them lightly with cooking spray and added salt and garlic powder to them.  Baked them for about 12 minutes and they were perfect with this dip. 

There seemed to be some discussion between Rachel and her husband as to whether this is a dip or a spread.  Well, I'd have to agree with both of them. I used it both ways.  I ate it as a dip with my chips. The next day I spread it on bread and added cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and lettuce and it was a fantastic sandwich.  However you use it, just make it. It's awesome. 

Spinach Bean Dip/Spread Recipe
Adapted from The Avid Appetite 

1 tbsp. olive oil
6 - 8 oz. fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine everything in a food processor and blend until smooth. You might need a tablespoon or two of water for consistency. 

The original recipe called to cook the spinach and garlic first, I chose to keep it raw and not cook it.

 Rachel likes to add some goat cheese to the mixture as well. I wanted to keep it vegan so I left the goat cheese out. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

Buffalo sauce is amazing and it can go in just about anything. This time it went in enchiladas.  This is one of the most easiest recipes to make.  Chuck the chicken in the slow cooker and then they come together really quickly when the chicken is cooked. 

I made two pans of these and stuck one in the freezer.  These were cheesy, just a little spicy and super delicious. 

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

  • 1 cup hot sauce (I like Franks)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 + ½ pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 + ½ cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
  • whole wheat tortillas

  1. In a slow cooker mix the hot sauce, butter, garlic powder and black pepper together. Season the chicken with salt and add it to the crock pot. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6 - 8 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and add the broth. Bring it to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the cornstarch into the half & half until dissolved and then slowly whisk it into the sauce. Cook 2 - 3 more minutes, whisking often. Remove from heat.
  4. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to a bowl with the corn, ½ cup of the cheese and about ½ cup of the sauce. Mix it together and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cover the bottom with sauce.
  6. Warm the tortillas in the microwave.  Add about ⅓ cup of the filling to each one and roll it up. Line them up in the casserole dish.
  7. Pour the rest of the sauce over them and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake 25 minutes.
  8. Serve on a bed of lettuce with a sprinkle of blue cheese, sour cream, green onions and any other toppings you like.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken and Stuffing Pot Pie in the Slow Cooker

This is a wonderful combination of ordinary ingredients thrown into a crock pot together to create an amazing meal. It is almost like a stew or a pot pie. I know I ate way too much of it.  It was that good. 

This is totally versatile too.  Feel free to use sweet potatoes or other veggies.  Different flavored gravy and stuffing would change it up too.  How ever you make it, it's a fantastic meal.

Chicken and Stuffing Pot Pie in the Slow Cooker Recipe

2  - 2 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts or thighs
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 - 3 carrots, sliced
4 - 6 medium red potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 jar (12 oz) chicken gravy
12 oz. frozen green beans, thawed
6 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 package (14 oz.) herb seasoned stuffing cubes.   (I used more than that)

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place chicken in slow cooker. Top with bacon, carrots, potatoes, Italian seasoning and gravy.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Gently stir thawed green beans into chicken mixture. In a bowl, mix melted butter and stuffing.  Spoon over chicken mixture.  Increase heat to high and cook for another 15 minutes or so.