Blueberry Muffin Granola (PLUS: How-To DIY Custom Granola)

There are very few breakfast foods I love more in this world than the blueberry muffin.

Whether it’s fresh out of the oven or one of those generic ones you get in plastic wrap at the corner store, there’s just something about a blueberry muffin that is so satisfying. Not a chocolate muffin, not a poppyseed muffin, and definitely not a CORN muffin (Pointless. WHY? Just eat some cornbread). I don’t know if it’s the buttery flavor, the sweet blueberries, or the temporary carb-induced euphoria, but whatever it is, I loooove it.

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Strawberry, Feta, and Lentil Salad

For someone who HATES germs and carries two hand sanitizers around at all times, my home cleaning habits are not quite as predictable.

I don’t make my bed every day. In fact, I make it almost never. I clean my room whenever it suddenly hurts my soul to walk inside of it, which could be at any moment, and at any degree of messiness. Last week, I managed to wait a few days until about 33% of my floor was visible to cave. But today, I walked in at 9:30 PM super exhausted and almost lost it, even though my room wasn’t really that bad… There was a tiny stack of clean laundry that needed to be put away, a few shirts lying around that were rejects from this morning, an opened package from Amazon on my bed, and an empty coffee cup/bag of trail mix next to my stand from when I tried to stay awake while practicing at 4 PM. I would call this a pretty standard Sarah mess. But it all just REALLY NEEDED to go, and it needed to go RIGHT AWAY.

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PB&J Donuts

Donuts are my kryptonite. There are very few things in this world that make me forget that I have self control, and donuts are pretty much all of them.

I usually avoid them for this reason, but while on Spring break earlier this month visiting my cousins in North Carolina, I decided to treat myself to a toasted amaretto donut. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. And in those few, all-too-short minutes of edible bliss, I fell head-over-heels. Of course, the honeymoon was short lived, because I came sugar-crashing back to reality almost instantly. But it was worth it.

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Gooey Cookie Pie for One (Vegan!)

I have a confession to make… I’m boycotting Valentine’s Day. *cue dramatic gasp*

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may even recall last Valentine’s Day, when I officially dubbed February 14th  “Violin-tine’s Day.”  (Note to self: Totally making that more of a thing again this year.)

 

 

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Sarah, you’re just a crotchety ol’ Scrooge because you’re single on Valentine’s Day. Well, OK, that last part might -technically- be true. In reality though, I’m actually a huge romantic. I’m a total sucker for the cheesiest things! Eating my food and telling me I’m pretty usually does the trick too, though. I’m not difficult to please. (Edit: I can actually be pretty difficult to please. Maybe that’s why I’m single on Valentine’s Day…)

 

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For me though, true romance is unconditional, and there’s something about having a holiday specifically for it that just feels forced. You know wha’m sayin’? I truly believe that showing someone else how much you care should be an all-the-time thing, and needs no occasion. Regardless of how you show it, every day should be like Valentine’s day.

 

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Not to mention, the holiday does kind of put a lot of undue pressure on single folk. I have friends who really dread Valentine’s Day, and THAT makes me sad more than anything. I also get it, because I used to feel the same way.

So that’s why I say, celebrate self-love this Valentine’s Day! Regardless of who you choose to date, marry, etc., only you get to spend your whole life with you. Just like only you get to eat this cookie pie.

 

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Aaaand so, that was my long winded way of explaining why I made you a recipe for one. And it is a reallllly good one. This is the gooiest cookie pie ever, and you’ll never know it’s egg and dairy free.

So I say, make and eat a whole freakin’ cookie pie by yourself this Valentine’s Day (or, any day). Then top it with some dairy-free ice cream, because why the heck not. This cookie pie will be there waiting just for you, because you deserve it. Also, because it’s vegan (and gluten free), that pretty much means it’s healthy by default. Right? Usually wrong. But today, right.

 

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And if you are planning to spend your Valentine’s Day with someone special, you could just as easily double the recipe. Why split a dessert when you can each have your own? Everybody’s happy, and nobody has to fight over who gets to eat what part or who gets the last bite. See? I’m saving relationships everywhere.

 

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Gooey Cookie Pie for One (Vegan)
Serves 1
Because you deserve a dessert all to yourself.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup oat flour
  2. 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  3. 2 Tbs. dairy free chocolate chips
  4. 1 Tbs. chopped pecans
  5. 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  6. 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  7. 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 Tbs. melted coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Combine flour, salt, pecans, and chocolate chips in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut oil.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into flour mixture.
  5. Grease a wide, shallow ramekin. Pour batter into ramekin and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until set in the center.
  6. Serve with a small scoop of dairy-free ice cream of your choice, if desired. (And trust me... You desire.)
The Hungry Musician http://thehungrymusician.com/

Mini Spinach & Artichoke Mac and Cheeses

“I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time.”

 

They say it’s football season, but I don’t watch football. I’d rather cook game-day food for you while YOU watch football. 

 

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I’ve been going to Superbowl parties for years, and have never been in the room where the game is on for any time period exceeding five minutes. I’d need three hands to count the number of times I’ve had football explained to me, and it’s just never going to happen. Thus, my job is to wander aimlessly between the dining room and the kitchen, sampling the waves of various bite-size things that come out of the oven. You know, for quality control. 

 

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Usually, the standard fare for Superbowl parties includes bite-sized treats like wings, mini hot dogs, mini meatballs, mini quiches, mini pizzas, etc. Another big thing is dips, and one of my all-time favorites is spinach artichoke. So I combined all these concepts into a super creamy mac and cheese, and then baked them in adorable little paper baking cups I found at Michael’s, which may in fact be my newest obsession (see above).

 

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Did I mention that it also contains two kinds of cheddar cheese? Cabot Creamery was kind enough to send the Recipe Reduxers (count ’em) SEVEN different kinds of cheese this month. You can imagine my heaven. I am a huge Cabot fan, because not only is the cheese amazing, but they’re owned by family farmers and give all of their profits back to the 1200 farms that provide the dairy for their products. Just when I thought I couldn’t love cheese any more.

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So, I used two cheddars for this recipe: Cabot’s Seriously Sharp and Alpine Cheddars. I’ve always loved the Seriously Sharp, and buy it regularly to keep on hand for snacking. It is SO good that once, I bought the cracker cuts to try and make my portion-controlling easier. The opposite effect occurred, so I (begrudgingly) went back to buying the block. 😛

The Alpine, which I’d never had, was SUPER nutty and delicious, and I totally associated it with cheesy spinach artichoke dip. I also threw some Cabot greek yogurt into the mix, which upped the creaminess by about 200%. SO good.

 

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I’ll just leave all of this here. Go forth and be cheesy.

 

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Mini Spinach & Artichoke Mac and Cheeses
Serves 12
Perfectly portioned servings of creamy mac and cheese for your next party!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 paper baking cups (available in crafts stores)
  2. 1 lb. whole wheat elbow macaroni pasta
  3. 5 large canned artichoke hearts, chopped
  4. 1 package frozen spinach (8-10 oz.), thawed, squeezed thoroughly, and chopped
  5. 4 oz. (1/2 block) Cabot Alpine cheddar, grated
  6. 4 oz. (1/2 block) Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar, grated
  7. 1/2 cup Cabot Greek-style yogurt
  8. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  9. Salt and pepper, to taste
Topping
  1. 1/2 cup unseasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  2. 1 tbs. olive oil
  3. 1 tbs. Cabot Alpine cheddar, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Put pasta into a pot and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil to the water. Bring water to boil. Shortly after coming to a boil, the pasta should be cooked. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.
  3. Return the reserved pasta water to the macaroni. Add cheese and mix until melted.
  4. Add yogurt and garlic powder, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Fill each baking cup with a generous portion of macaroni.
  6. Combine topping ingredients and mix until oil is evenly distributed.
  7. Sprinkle topping evenly over the individual mac and cheeses.
  8. Bake until topping is golden, about 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. Depending on the size of your baking cups, this recipe may yield up to 16 servings.
The Hungry Musician http://thehungrymusician.com/