Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

All my life, I've had an issue with declaring "favorites."
Favorite color, favorite food, favorite movie, favorite book...
It still stresses me out.
Do I have to pick just one?
(Call me indecisive.  ...Or would it be hesitant?  Uncertain?  Whatever.)

...except when I was about 6 years old, I had a favorite color (Pink, obviously.  But that's a given.)
After that, I was kind of a tom-boy, and I didn't have a favorite color, however, I knew that pink was definitely NOT my favorite color (I grew up with six brothers, what do you expect?).

My little sous-chef...  :)
Anyway, since the time of having pink at the top of my list, I can't remember having any other declared favorites.

Until I tried this cookie.

I've tried about a million chocolate chip cookie recipes in my young life, but have never really stuck with one,
until a few months ago when I tried this recipe.
I've stuck with it, 
craved it, 
baked it,
loved it,
devoured it,
and (hesitatingly), shared it.

Back to being indecisive, I can't quite put my finger on what keeps me going back...
Is it the caramelized, crispy edges?
The melted-chocolatey, gooey centers?
Or flecks of sea salt that surprise my taste buds in between all of that?


I'll go have another and get back to you on that...

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever
Yields 4 Dozen (48 cookies), easily halved 

1 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp smallish-medium coarse sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 360 degrees.  
Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar for about 3 minutes in a stand mixer; until fluffy.
Add eggs & vanilla.  Beat for 2 minutes.
Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and mix until well blended.
Mix in chocolate chips.
Drop by about 2-Tbsp size onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for about 12-14 minutes (it only takes about 10 in my oven), or until edges are just golden brown.  Remove from oven and keep cookies on the sheet for another 2 minutes.  Then transfer parchment paper (with cookies on it) to the counter and let cool 3 minutes...and indulge!

*Notes:  To prevent flat cookies, be sure that your baking powder and baking soda are not expired, and be sure to cream the butter and sugars for the full 3 minutes.


Kristin's Kitchen

I stepped out of the kitchen and
wrote something in my "About" tab.
Kitchens are about so much more than food--they're often a family hub where memories are created...
check out the About section to read some of my most delectable memories.
What are your favorite moments in the kitchen?


Non-Mushy Oatmeal

Please raise your hand if you (or someone you know) do not eat oatmeal because it's too...mushy??

Now put your hands down, 
because I have two remedies for you to get this healthy, comforting food into your diet:

1. Try steel-cut oats (for a very hearty/chewy texture)


2.  Try this recipe (below)

Why?  Because in this recipe, I use 1 part liquid to 1 part oats, where most of the time people use a 2:1 liquid to oats ratio.  It doesn't have to cook very long to soak up the liquid, leaving the oats less cooked, drier, and non-mushy!

My husband is far from picky (I sure am lucky!), however, traditional oatmeal isn't his favorite because of the mushy texture.  Once I started making it this way, his oatmeal heebie-jeebies went out the door!
(He'd still eat it before, but now he looks forward to it.)

My toddler happily eats this too--and I love using honey instead of sugar.
This is a cinnamon-raisin version, but feel free to switch up the fruit to your liking.

Non-Mushy Oatmeal
2 Adult servings + 1 toddler serving

2 cups water (or milk or combination--milk will make it creamier)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup (heaping) raisins
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
splash of milk, for serving (optional--I use almond milk)

In a medium saucepan, combine liquid, salt, and raisins and bring to a boil.  Stir in the oats and turn heat down to medium-low.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add honey, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Serve warm with a splash of milk, if desired.


Cinnamon Spelt Crackers

I try to stay away from store-bought crackers when I can, too.
(though I'm not as good with the latter...)

These turned out to be simple enough and totally delicious.
And guess what? In these cinnamon spelt crackers, 
you'll find answers to all of life's questions.

...well, mostly just the "What do I feed my kid for a snack today?" question.

...which can be one of life's most perplexing questions, if you ask me.
Anyway, my little guy loved this particular answer.  So did his daddy.

Take a bite and discover for yourself. :)

Cinnamon Spelt Crackers
Yield: About 40 1x2-in crackers

1 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat if you can't find spelt--I find mine in the bulk section)
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour (or more whole wheat flour)
1 Tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp raw sugar
5 Tbsp cold butter, cut into 8-10 cubes
scant 1/3 cup milk
(+ more flour for rolling out the dough)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a stand mixer, crush the oats with the paddle attachment at medium speed for 3-5 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, except the butter and milk, to the bowl and blend well.  Add butter cubes and mix on low speed until butter is mostly incorporated with some small chunks.  Keep mixer on low and drizzle the milk in.  Keep mixing for about 20 seconds until large chunks begin to form.  If it isn't clumping up well, add 1-2 Tbsp of milk.  If it sticks to the sides, add more spelt flour.

Remove the dough and form into a ball.  Divide it in half.  On a lightly floured surface, flatten each half into a rectangle and roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness (sprinkle flour on top of the dough if it sticks).

Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares (or you can use small cookie cutters).  Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet (they don't expand a lot so they can be placed close to each other) and bake for 10-12 minutes; until bottoms are golden brown.


Unreal Granola

I recently had my two youngest brothers sleep over at my house.
My toddler was in heaven.  He LOVES his uncles!
Turns out, my 15-yr-old brother was in heaven, too...at the breakfast table.

He helped himself to my big, glass jar of granola I proudly display on the counter,
gave it a cold splash of milk,
took a big teenage-boy-size bite...
and before I knew it, his eyes were bulging.

"Where did you buy this?!?" he asked.

"Umm, I made it."

"Are you serious?!"


"This is unrreeal."

And there you have it.
From the mouth of a 15-yr-old teenage boy.
Unreal Granola.

I make a double batch of this every time I make it (apparently, my husband and toddler are fans too).  Between this, oatmeal (or oatmeal), eggs, and sometimes pancakes, I rarely buy boxed cereal.

Unreal Granola
6-8 servings
Adapted from Perry's Plate

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
3 Tbsp brown sugar (I use 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp milled flaxseed
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp (heaping) salt
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried fruit (I use closer to 3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 300.
Combine dry ingredients (first 8 ingredients) in a large bowl, set aside.
 In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together honey and oil until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour over oat mixture and coat evenly. 
Spread out evenly on a baking sheet.
Bake about 35-40 minutes, or until golden, *stirring every 10 minutes so it bakes evenly.
Let cool and stir in dried fruit.

*This granola is delicious with milk or yogurt and/or fresh fruit!


Whole Wheat Pancakes, Healthified!

Tonight I was in need of a quick dinner, so I whipped up a batch of my

But this time I substituted a few ingredients:
honey for brown sugar,
almond milk for cow's milk,
coconut oil for canola oil.

Let me tell you, it was de-licious.  My husband, toddler, and I love them even more!

Meet healthier, tastier version of whole wheat yogurt pancakes...


Carrot & Nut Muffins

It's been a while.
I have a lot of excuses...
but instead of typing them up, I'll share something delectably healthy with you.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

...and Exhibit C:

Are we still friends?


Here's that recipe...

Carrot & Nut Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Slightly adapted from my mother

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp wheat germ
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch (or two) salt

2 large eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350.  Whisk together dry ingredients, then stir together wet ingredients and combine.  Spoon into greased muffin tin and bake 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.  Cool on wire rack.


Sauteed Green Beans with Feta

This is a great, healthy side dish prepared in just a few minutes. You don't even have to measure anything!
I love to use Costco's frozen petite whole green beans.

Just imagine...crisp-tender green beans with creamy feta on top...

Olive oil
Small onion, chopped (or 1/2 of a medium; I like to use red onions)
A few handfuls of fresh or frozen green beans
Salt & Pepper, to taste (I've also used different garlic/herb seasoning blends)
Feta cheese (small handful, depending on how many green beans you're using)

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Throw in chopped onion and cook until onions begin to soften.  Throw in green beans & saute until crisp-tender. Add in your favorite seasonings and crumble a small handful of feta cheese over beans; stir until melted (it only takes a few seconds). Remove from heat, place in a serving dish, and sprinkle a little extra feta cheese on top.


Almond Sheet Cake with Butter Frosting

Presenting:  Almond and Butter...
in bringing you a
delightfully sweet,
finger lickin'--
yet sophisticated--
absolutely scrumptious

 Perfect for all those baby showers, bridal showers, luncheons, 
even wedding receptions--yes, my mother made an innumerable amount of these (among plenty of other treats!) for my wedding reception and people are still talking about it (almost 4 years later).

The soft, moist almond cake topped with delectable butter frosting & crunchy almonds is, well, irresistible (I'd like to see anyone walk by a piece on the counter and not take a bite...).
The cake will even freeze perfectly for up to three months (see below for freezing instructions)!

...Umm, did I mention this is amazingly delectable?  Try it.

Almond Sheet Cake with Butter Frosting
From my mother
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

1 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp almond extract
sliced almonds, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour a 15 x 11 jelly roll pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine butter and water--bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
Stir in sour cream, beaten eggs, and almond extract.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Spread warm (not hot) cake with butter frosting (recipe below).  Sprinkle with sliced almonds.  Cut into squares and serve.

*Notes:  I don't make the frosting until I'm ready to frost the cake (it will start to harden if it sits).  I also sprinkle the almonds on top while the frosting is still warm so they'll stay in place.

Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk (the higher the fat content, the richer it will taste)
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups powdered sugar

In medium saucepan, combine butter and milk.  Bring to a soft boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat as soon as it boils.  Whisk in almond extract, then gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.  Frost warm almond cake.

*To Freeze:  Wrap cooled, un-frosted cake (still in the pan) in two layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil.  Will keep for up to 3 months!  Allow to thaw and frost before serving.


Fresh Cranberry Sauce

I love how spring gives me that new beginning/fresh start feeling!
Among my efforts to spring-clean around the house, I'm also going through my computer and deleting any unneeded items.
Happily, I came upon these pictures of the cranberry sauce I made for Thanksgiving last year...

It was delicious and went perfectly with our stuffing and turkey.
So I thought I'd post it before I forgot again--better late than never!
I love cooking the fresh cranberries and listening to them "pop" on the stove.

(Note:  This was taken near the beginning; it looks mushier when it's done cooking)
(Not sure where the recipe came from...one of those I wrote down years ago without a source.)
*Can be made two days ahead and stored in refrigerator*

New Cranberry Sauce
Makes 12 servings (1/4-cup each)
Source Unknown

1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries
1 cup 100% pomegranate or cranberry juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 medium apple (or persimmon), peeled/cored and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
rosemary sprig

In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until onions begin to soften.  Add cranberries, pomegranate juice, sugar, and ginger.  Bring to boil; then reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 16-17 minutes, or until mixture is just thickened.  Remove from heat.  Stir in apple.  May serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled (cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours).  Top sauce with a rosemary sprig.  


Barley and Wild Rice Pilaf

I failed when I made this...

but only because I neglected to grab a picture of it before it was DEVOURED.  Ha.
Everything else about this recipe is an epic win.

Just imagine a nutty bite of chewy wild rice with barley
among wholesome and colorful bits of vegetables.

It's invigorating, I tell you.

This will be my side-dish-contribution to barbeques this summer!

*Note:  feel free to switch up the vegetables using whatever you have on hand

Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf
From my mother
Serves 8

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice (rinsed, if needed)
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
2 large bell peppers, chopped (red and yellow make it colorful)
4 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped (I like baby portobello)
1 cup peas (thawed if frozen)
1 cup shredded carrot
2 tsp dried oregano (or 2 Tbsp fresh, added at end)
salt, pepper, & garlic powder, to taste

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until tender (8-10 minutes).  Add barley, rice, and garlic.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.
Stir in broth.  Turn up heat and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 1 hour or until barley and rice are tender.
Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bell peppers, mushrooms, peas, carrot, and oregano.  Cook and stir 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  
Combine vegetable mixture with rice mixture; season with salt/pepper/garlic powder.  May serve warm or cold!


How to Cook Tofu

Today is unique.
February 29th won't come again for four whole years, 
so I thought I should post something unique today...
like how to cook tofu!

Tofu Vegetable Stir-Fry

Tofu used to give me the heebie-jeebies (kinda like shrimp).  Just hearing the word raised my eyebrows.
I think the first time I tried tofu was at PF Chang's...in their coconut curry vegetable dish (amazing!),
and I knew I had been missing out.

Made from soybeans, tofu is low-fat, high protein, vegetarian, versatile (soft or firm; can be used in sweet & savory dishes), and has a subtle flavor (will pretty much take on whatever flavor you want it to).

So here's how I cook tofu--specifically for stir-fry--
and it's super easy and only takes 15 minutes!

1 package 14-oz extra firm tofu
heat-safe oil for sauteing
garlic powder for flavor
sauce for stir-fry

We really like Nasoya's organic extra firm tofu for this (I find it at Costco).

(I did use this before the expiration date, by the way...)

Open the package and drain the liquid.  Wrap the tofu block in paper towels or a dish towel, place on a cutting board, and gently pat/squeeze out the water (you want the tofu dry in order to absorb flavor/sauce).

Cut into bite-sized cubes.

(After cutting you may want to dab up some more water.)

Drizzle heat-safe oil (I like grapeseed) into a medium-sized pan over medium heat and add tofu pieces.  
Stir the tofu around with a spatula to coat with oil.
At this point, I like to add a good sprinkle of garlic powder for some flavor.

(About halfway done)
 After a few minutes, turn pieces over, using a spatula, to cook the other sides.
Continue sauteing and stirring/turning until all (or most of) the sides are lightly browned.

After about 15 minutes, the tofu should be browned like this.

When the tofu is done cooking, pour in just enough stir-fry sauce to coat the pieces, let them absorb the sauce for a minute or so, and then add tofu to the cooked vegetables for the stir-fry.

Serve warm over brown rice.  Super easy, right?
How do you cook tofu?
If you've never cooked it, try it and let me know what you think!

Goodbye, February 29th...see you in four years!


Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

This sweet and tangy,
protein and antioxidant-packed
side dish 
is the perfect pick-me-up in the middle of winter!

I made a batch for the sole purpose of having "grab-ready" in the fridge for a quick, healthy snack.

I even eat it right out of the bowl...(please tell me you do this too!).

And my one-year-old loved it too!

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
From my mother-in-law
Makes about 6 servings

1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries (or raisins--white raisins are yummy too!)
1 diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup olive oil
4 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander*
1/4 tsp salt

Combine first five ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together.  Pour dressing over salad and stir well.  Chill for a few hours before eating.  Enjoy!

*If you don't have ground coriander, don't stress.  It'll taste great without it too!


No-Shortening Buttercream Frosting

Here's the buttercream frosting recipe I used on my Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies.

I don't usually like frosting, but this is my new favorite, 
and I LOVE that it doesn't use shortening--it's practically healthy...(ha).

Shortening-Free Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt (literally--just taste & add more if needed)
6 Tbsp heavy cream*
Food coloring & sprinkles, optional

Cream together butter and vanilla.  Slowly beat in powdered sugar and salt.  When becomes smooth & creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 Tbsp at a time.  Finally, beat at medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes; until light and fluffy.  Add food coloring if desired.

*You can use 1/2 and 1/2 or milk if you don't have any, although cream tastes wonderful!

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies

I usually opt for chewy, fudgy, & rich-chocolatey
soft, light, fluffy, and sweet.

Until Valentine's Day comes...there's something about it that makes me abandon everything I stand for the rest of the year when it comes to sweets.
So I indulge in sweet & fluffy things,
like sugar cookies.

I have a sugar cookie recipe I use at Christmas, which yields a thinner, crispier cookie.  It's delicious and tastes like my childhood.
But I tried this soft one this year for Valentine's,
what can I say?

I'm in love.

Try 'em and let me know what you think.  :)
Happy Valentine's Day!

Update:  Click here for the shortening-free frosting I used for these cookies!

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen cookies

6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups white sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream

In large bowl, whisk together flour, soda, powder, and salt; set aside.

Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar at medium speed for a couple minutes, until light & fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add in vanilla and sour cream at low speed until incorporated.

Add in dry ingredients and beat in a low speed until just combined (dough will be sticky).  Divide dough in two and flatten into rectangles (about 1 1/2 inches thick) and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight, or at least a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 425 and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a floured countertop and with a floured rolling pin, roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut out cookies with desired cookie cutters, place on baking sheets, and bake for about 7 minutes--take the cookies out when they are barely golden around edges.  Transfer cookies to a cooling rack immediately and let cool before frosting.  May store in an air-tight container.  Enjoy!

**Click here for the shortening-free buttercream frosting I used!


Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

I tend to talk about the weather a lot on here.

But it seems to me that weather and food go hand-in-hand...don't you think?
Fresh lemonade = summer, 
warm applesauce = fall, 
hearty soup = winter, 
carrot cake = spring,
homemade bread = cold, rainy days,
and fresh, raw vegetables = hot, dry days.

Anyway, the weather's been a lot milder since my last post,
when I complained about informed you of the icy cold temperatures over here.

Although the temps have been milder, there's been a whole lot of grey outside.
So if you're experiencing some drab days too, you should make these.

Nothing like a fresh, warm muffin with soft bits of apple to cheer you up!

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes 12 large muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark), packed + more for sprinkling
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I like big chunks!)

Preheat oven to 450.  Grease 12 muffin cups, or fill with cupcake liners.

Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and add sugars; beat until fluffy.  Mix in egg and yogurt.  Stir in dry ingredients until just combined and gently fold in apple chunks.

Divide batter evenly between muffin cups and sprinkle brown sugar on top (about 1/4 cup or less).  Bake for 10 minutes, turn oven down to 400, and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes; until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling.


Strawberry Almond Yogurt Muffins

Winter officially came.
Last week I stepped outside to do my laundry-
(yes, I have to walk outside to access a washing machine...
yes, even in the winter...
yes, we are grad students...
no, I'm not complaining. :)
I was a little shocked,
to say the least.

Come to find out, weather.com said it was -27 or something with wind chill.
And whaddya know it was also the day I HAD to do laundry AND get to the grocery store
due to the fact that we just arrived back in town the night before.
It was a colder than cold,
Poor baby boy didn't like it very much.

Needless to say, we have come to appreciate warm things around here.
Warm apartment, warm coats, warm mittens, hats, car, bed, etc.

And warm food, course.

Take muffins, for example.
Say...strawberry almond yogurt muffins?

Yes, please.
Take one look and you'll already feel cozier inside.

Baby boy gave these his stamp of approval!

Strawberry Almond Yogurt Muffins
Inspired by Penzey's Spices Catalog
Make 12 muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar*
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

1 cup chopped strawberries

Heat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cups. 
Combine flours, soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk together.
In a stand mixer, cream together butter and white sugar until fluffy.  Beat in brown sugar, eggs, almond and vanilla extracts, and yogurt.
Add dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.  Gently fold in strawberries.
Divide batter between muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
*Next time I might try decreasing the sugar; they were plenty flavorful with the strawberries and almond extract.


Vegetarian Taco Soup

The holidays were wonderful...including, of course, all the holiday food!

Yes, all the

And now begins the meat and sugar de-tox.
For me, at least.  
Maybe (hopefully) you were more self-controlled than I was this year.

Either way, you'll love this soup.
It's simple and meatless, yet satisfying.
Sooo simple.
Your feet will thank you--you won't be standing in the kitchen for hours on end.  :)

Vegetarian Taco Soup
Adapted from my mom
4-6 servings

olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 Tbsp (one packet) taco seasoning (I recommend this homemade version!)
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can corn, undrained

Saute onion in olive oil until tender.  Add taco seasoning, stir for 30 seconds, then add rest of ingredients.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream (or plain yogurt), cheese, and avocado.
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