2014 Year in Review

Another banner year on ye’olde food blog! Thank you so much for stopping by and viewing these darn MUFFINS!!! The Power Muffin reigns supreme yet again with a massive following! With 270,000 views this year, I could not be more thrilled! I take no sponsors, I do it for the fun. I cut back on recipes in the latter half of the year due to work changes and frankly: I want to put the time and effort into quality recipes for you. New responsibilities didn’t lend themselves to more time to cook but less. I’m hoping to balance it back out in 2015. I also started stitch fix this year and LOVE the service, highlighting my boxes each month.
2014 in Review {Domesticated Academic}

Want the recipe for these fabulous muffins?

Power muffins | Domesticated Academic

You’ll need:

makes 12 regular muffins (depending how full you pack your muffin tin)

  • no-stick cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats–quick or regular oats, plain
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces honey nonfat greek yogurt or 1 1/2 cups (Chobani)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray or liners.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a second bowl.
  5. Fold yogurt mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in blueberries.
  7. Spoon into muffin tins.
  8. Bake until top is golden and springs back when you gently touch it, 20-25 minutes.

Pinterest, foodvee, and a host of other sites pumped out my work to the ether. Thank you for a great year! 2014 in Review {Domesticated Academic}

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A Bloggerific Year

Year in Review | Domesticated Academic

The blog had a great year and I cannot say THANK YOU enough. With about a half a million views this year, I am grateful, humbled, and I have to say: hungry!!!! As I review the recipes from the year and am working on some new recipes for the next few weeks, my stomach is still thinking about the next meal!

I made some changes the second half of the year. I cut down on my posts the second half of the year and put more time into them. Quality over quantity. I also started being more mindful about my photos and they’re always a work in progress. I built a photo box and have been using or trying to photograph in more optimal light.

The Power Muffins were the most popular and all the posts were pinned, facebooked, tweeted, etc… with gusto. As we all usher in a new year, WHAT RECIPES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE? Maybe I’ll say “challenge accepted” this year to some of the requests as long as I can afford the ingredients!

Happy New Year!

Power muffins | Domesticated Academic

Power Muffin anyone?

Two Ingredient Lemon Bars | Domesticated Academic

Two Ingredient Lemon Bars

Nutella Cookies | Domesticated Academic

Three Ingredient Nutella Cookies

Healthy Alfredo Sauce | Domesticated Academic

Healthy Alfredo Sauce

5 Ingredient Pumpkin Bars | Domesticated Academic

5 Ingredient Pumpkin Bars

PB Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

PB Oatmeal Cookies | Domesticated Academic
You’ll love these because they’re simple to put together, require almost no effort, and if you’re a fan of peanut butter, let’s just say HELLO to your new best friend! These are moist, dense, packed with good whole oats and peanut butter, and inherently will leave you feeling less guilty about shoving a few into your piehole. I baked up a batch of these bad boys for a weekend cook out and the plate was almost clean following burger, dogs, salads, deviled eggs, etc…there’s always room for ONE COOKIE!!
I put in the recipe to NOT use natural peanut butter because it’s too oily for these. While it may violate some of your personal beliefs on food and nutrition, you might have to let it slide on this one–you can use the natural pb if you’d like, but don’t say I didn’t warn you……I am trying to cut back on some of the butter in my cookies and while I would be remiss if I didn’t say that butter is truly one of my favorite food groups, sometimes, even I need the gentle reminder that I can still have some sweets without a lb. of butter. Although, if you try to take butter away during sweet corn season, I might actually chase you down for some!
PB Oatmeal Cookies | Domesticated Academic
When I saw this recipe, I was skeptical. No flour? No fat outside of peanut butter? I was more intrigued to make these than anything and like a moth to a flame, I just couldn’t hold back. In my own defense, I did wait a couple of weeks because life has been busy and I’ll be honest here and say one thing: I don’t always have time to cook/bake intricate things or in this case: anything at all. Two colons in one sentence, probably also violating APA code….**sigh**
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (not natural)
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In small bowl mix together the oats and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, then gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Roll cookies into 2 inch dough balls and place onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart, then BARELY flatten the top of the cookie with your hand. The dough should be pretty sticky so if you find this method annoying, simply use a cookie scoop to drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet. The cookies may not be as round in shape and perhaps a bit thicker, but that’s okay, they will still be delicious.
  5. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes and remove when edges barely begin to turn a golden brown. The cookies may look a little underdone, but they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Makes 16-20 cookies.

More oat, cookie, wonderous bites of fun….

Oatmeal Fudge Bars | Domesticated Academic

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Domesticated Academic

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Domesticated Academic
These cookies are chewy, soft, a little tangy, and a little sweet. You’ll love them because they come together in no time and the play of the craisins and chocolate chips are a great balance for anyone. These cookies are soft, chewy, and the oats give a really nice texture to them. I found the original recipe on pinterest, but decided that crisco was not an ingredient I was going to be buying for one batch of cookies. I DID have non-fat CHOBANI in my fridge so I subbed out half the butter for nonfat greek yogurt. Then I threw in some chocolate chips. I negated any kind of healthy benefit possible. I’m not sorry 🙂 Craisins were on sale a few weeks ago, so I picked up a few packages on a whim, not knowing they were going to reappear in these cookies. The nice food manufacturers who are trying to addict us, make us fat, and kill us are also kind enough to sell several types of dried fruits now, so you can have a lot of fun with this recipe.
Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Domesticated Academic
This is more of a wet batter when you mix them, so don’t be worried, just allow ample space for them on the cookie sheet. Oh, and make sure you eat them ALL. I wouldn’t want you to waste any of these delicious cookies….. 😉
You’ll need:
makes about 3 dozen
15 min. prep + cooking time
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, room temp.
  • ½ cup non-fat plain greek yogurt (chobani anyone?)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2½ cups old fashioned oats
  • 1½ cup dried cranberries (I used craisins, 5 oz. bag)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a standing mixer, cream butter, greek yogurt and sugars.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  5. Slowly stir in flour mixture to cream mixture.
  6. Stir in oats, chips, & cranberries.
  7. Shape cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.

Greek Yogurt Cookies | Domesticated Academic

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies | Domesticated Academic

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies | Domesticated Academic

Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

Whole Grain Breakfast Bars

Healthy Breakfast Bars | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this recipe because it’s breakfast and dessert but without any oil in it! It comes together in a snap for easy cooking and keeps well all week for you to grab and go on your way out the door. You can double this up to make a 9×13 pan for everyone to enjoy. I kept it all ‘whole’ grain using only whole wheat flour and whole oats and oat flour. If you don’t have oat flour on hand, just pulse your whole oats in the food processor, blender, or whatever you have to get oat flour. You’ll want a coarse grind on the oat flour. No oil or other fats make these relatively healthy compared to some of the pre-packaged stuff on the shelves and by tossing in a few sweet dried fruits or chips, you’ll get a treat as well.

Healthy Breakfast Bars | Domesticated Academic

I eat a lot of egg whites, wheat toast, and coffee for breakfast. It’s fast, healthy, and I can hard boil a dozen eggs on Sunday so they’ll be ready for me during the work week. But sometimes, I just get sick of them. On weekends, I generally make other delicious things and during the week I’ll make quick egg sandwiches, but generally it’s egg whites. My whole breakfast is only 4 points, leaving me enough points for the day. I like to eat more in the evenings, so I try to leave a few points for a hearty evening meal.

You’ll need:

10 min. prep + cook time

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can take whole oats and pulse them until they break up–about 30 seconds)
  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (omit if you don’t have any)
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal (omit if you don’t have any)
  • 1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup raisins, craisins, or golden raising (any kind of dried fruit will do)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nut of choice (I had some hazelnuts on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • handful of chocolate chips or white chips (optional)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray 8×8 or 9×9 pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spread in pan.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Bars will look ‘dry’ on top when they’re done.
  6. Remove.
  7. Cool.
  8. Cut into squares for easy serving.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Oatmeal, chocolate, butter….amazing combinations that were designed by people who like to eat as much as I do….there’s an amazing bakery in my town, Bollo’s, and I adore their oatmeal fudge bars.  It also helps that one is the size of your face for only about $3–considering the amount of butter alone plus labor, one is well worth the splurge. I won’t even lie and try to tell you these are remotely healthy, but they are freakin’ delicious!

The chocolate and the condensed milk make a really beautiful chocolate ganache that firms up but doesn’t get hard once these are baked and I think you’ll enjoy the chewy texture of the oatmeal layer.  All in all, these might be one of my favorite oatmeal recipes, not withstanding the fact that there’s two cups of chocolate chips on top of these suckers 🙂 They are really rich tasting so use caution: have a glass of milk on hand and support America’s Dairy Farmers!! 🙂

You’ll need:

For the oatmeal layer:

  • 2½ C all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 C. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 C. light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 3 C. old-fashioned whole oats

For the chocolate layer:

  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 T. butter
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line the a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil (preferably nonstick) that overlaps the edges, and grease with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the oatmeal cookie layer:  Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl and whisk to blend.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium-high speed until it is soft and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add the brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients you set aside just until incorporated.  Mix in the oats on low or with a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Reserve 1½ cups of the mixture.  Place the remaining dough in the prepared pan and press over the bottom of the pan in an even layer.

Make the chocolate layer: combine the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter and salt in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 15 second increments, stirring after each, until mixture is smooth.  Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the warm chocolate mixture over the oatmeal cookie layer and spread evenly with an offset spatula.  (Tip: Spray one side of spatula with nonstick cooking spray to spread more easily, if desired)  Crumble the remaining oatmeal cookie mixture and scatter evenly over the top of the chocolate.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the chocolate layer is starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Lift foil out of pan, and cut into bars as desired. (I would recommend cutting them fairly small, as they are pretty rich).

Not Too Sweet Coconut Cookies

I needed some dessert for a going away dinner for a good friend.  This guy and I went through our graduate program together and he is moving on.  We used to spend hours working on countless credits of statistics homework together, drowning our grad school sorrows at 5 p.m. on Friday’s, and working through grad school together.  He is a great man–he spent the first 30 years of his career at a major poultry company and was pretty high up in the leadership rank when he decided to retire, got bored after two months, and was accepted to the same PhD program.  He is a truly remarkable man and more importantly, a great friend. Never in either of our lives did we expect to form such a great friendship, but here we are, saying goodbye over four years after we first met.

He was in the process of packing up his house, so we wanted a quick and easy meal.  We opted for a store bought rotisserie chicken and I brought some side dishes and these cookies. It was a delightful dinner with PIC and my friend. I did not want to go to the grocery store for no particular reason and instead chose to utilize what I had in my cupboards for baking. Why?  I seem to have this terrible habit of stockpiling things and not using them.  In an attempt to cut down on that, I have tried to only buy things I will use immediately or in the near future and not just keep things around.  I don’t always succeed and am guilty of stocking up on CVS items (in particular) but I am doing much better in the grocery area.  Who needs 10 cans of tomatoes for sauce when there’s only two of us in the house??? 🙂 Not a cake mix or brownie mix to be found, I stumbled on an old recipe of my Mema’s and once again, it didn’t let me down.:)

I like these cookies because they’re not super sweet.  The coconut (or whatever you would want to add) shines through instead of a super sweet batter.  If sweet batter is what you want, add one cup of white sugar into the recipe.  I’ve made a few modifications to the original, mostly in the interest of the coconut, but the basic recipe is true to form. I switched out some of the butter for nonfat greek yogurt, a true favorite of mine if you’ve been following this blog for longer than a day.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 c. soft butter
  • 1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 TBS. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. oats-quick or whole, not steel cut
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. shredded coconut + more for rolling cookies
  • (chocolate chips, heath bar pieces, reese’s pieces, nuts, etc…. the options are endless)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream the softened butter, greek yogurt, brown sugar, vanilla, and milk together in a large bowl.
  3. Add the egg and blend in.
  4. Add flour, salt, and baking soda, blending well.
  5. Add the oats in last, beating or folding.  The batter will be pretty stiff.
  6. Fold in coconut.
  7. Put some extra coconut in a shallow dish or plate.
  8. Form 1 inch balls and roll in coconut.
  9. Place on baking sheets.
  10. Bake for 8-13 minutes or until the cookie is done and the coconut browns up on the tips.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen depending on the size of your cookies.