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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