Peak Performers

No new recipes this week, and no new cakes (took the week off!!). So, what to post….

 

One thing I’ve wanted to do for a WHILE is post about the blog’s “peak performers” as we call them at work. The posts that have been getting the most attention. And then share one recipe that is my current favorite.

It still baffles me that my posts have gotten SO MUCH attention!! Now, I’m not complaining at all.  Matter-of-fact, I’m humbled that a tiny blog from Texas can get so many views. Next stop, my own tv show on Food Network and a cookbook!!

Ha! Totally joking. That’s quite the long shot. But hey, it’s worked for some people before.  My eyes will forever be on the spotlight.  Suppose I’ll have to get better about coming up with new recipes and cakes …and taking time to post more often…before that will ever happen.

Alas, for now I’ll share some of the recipes that have been the talk of the town internet.

**Disclaimer: Pretty please with a cheery on top. Please share links to your favorite recipes from this site.  There have been a ton of fakers lately claiming these recipes are theirs.  Which isn’t cool, yo. Thanks!**

  1. Banana Pudding Cake
    Alright, so this is definitely the star of the site. I’ll be posting an updated post with pictures and step by step instructions. The thing that I like the most about this cake is that it’s a showstopper without spending a ton of time on decorating. Also love it since it was a cake created specifically for my grandpa and dad for their birthdays!IMG_0968
  2. Granny’s Peanut Butter Fudge
    One of my favorite recipes. Period. My grandma Trula (aka Granny) used to make this for the family all the time.  Every holiday, party, and sometimes on a random day whenever we wanted something sweet. She was an amazing woman and I miss her dearly. But am happy to have a replica of her recipe so we can still make her PB fudge on holidays. IMG_0529
  3. Granny’s Peach Cobbler
    Another Granny Trula classic!! This isn’t your typical cobbler.  This is more like a cake cobbler since the breading portion isn’t just a thin layer on top.  But I love it that way. I usually like the cobbler portion better than the fruit portion anyways. Yes, I’m the girl who takes a little more than her serving of “crust” and leaves behind a lot of fruit. No shame in my game!
  4. Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Yum!! Chewy cookies are better than crispy ones any day.  There’s also a lighter version!
  5. Banana Pudding
    A favorite from my mom’s side of our family.  We have this at every holiday. (Apparently we like desserts on holidays…) This isn’t your typical southern banana pudding. It’s better!! Why? because we use shortbread cookies instead of ‘nilla wafers most of the time, there’s cream cheese in it, and all of the banana flavor comes from the bananas in it. The pudding itself is vanilla flavored.  I do NOT like “banana pudding” that is banana flavored pudding with some sliced bananas thrown in.  That’s not banana pudding. Southerners do it right!

So there you have it, the top recipes on the blog.  Aka~ the Popular Group as they would’ve been known in high school terminology.  And while I love these recipes (they are family favorites after all), I also love the misfits.  My favorite recipe right now?

Well I have two:

  1. Pumpkin spice muffins – of course! Fall is almost here!!
    I love pumpkin bread at Starbucks (well, really, I love everything from Starbucks…I’m a gold member there.) but holy calorie-laden sweet bread, people!! So I prefer this recipe.  A little more healthful, a lot more homemade, and it makes my house smell amazing.
    Nutrition info for these:  168 Calories, 7.5g fat (1.3g Sat fat), 24g carbs, 13g sugar, 1.3g fiber, and 3g protein
    Nutrition per slice of Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffin: 420 Calories, 13g fat (4.5g sat fat), 71g carbs, 47g sugar, 2g fiber, 6g proteinApple Butter Pancakes
  2. Apple butter pancakes – another fall fave
    Pancakes = delicious, apple butter = AWESOME. So put them together and you have greatness. Plain and simple.

Hope you enjoy some of the top performing posts!

Which one is your favorite??

Pumpkin Spice Muffins, Revisited

Little Bit Sweet now has 100 followers!!!!! Yay!

Thank you to every single reader!  I hope that you are enjoying the posts.

To those that haven’t followed…whatcha waiting for?!  Super cool site, recipes, nutrition tips from time to time, and more. I’m really trying to expand my audience. Can you tell?

*cough* May also wish to like Little Bit Sweet on facebook! *cough*

Ok enough of the shameless plugs…

Today, I’m revisiting a recipe that was posted last fall.  This time, it’s revamped and even better! There’s a little less sugar (couldn’t tell a difference), a little vanilla extract to still add sweetness, and 1/2 of the flour is now whole wheat.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Slightly modified from this recipe on Instructables.com

Makes 12 muffins

  • 5oz canned pure pumpkin
  • 4 Tbsp liquid egg whites (like the kind from Egg Beaters)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • Cream cheese swirl:  1/4 cup Neufchatel cheese + 1 tsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with liners.

Whisk together pumpkin, egg whites, canola oil, water, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

Add flour mixture into wet ingredients in 2 additions. Mixing just until combined.

Fill muffin liners 3/4 full.

Slightly warm neufchatel cheese in the microwave, until it’s a little runny. Stir in sugar.

Add a small amount of mixture to top of each filled muffin tin.

Using a toothpick, slightly swirl cheese mixture into muffin batter.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

You can make them mini muffins, too!

These are really good with coffee or tea.  Just fyi 🙂

Wake Up!: Skinny Pumpkin Pancakes

It’s almost fall!  Though it’s still 95 degrees here…

And since it’s almost fall, pumpkin flavored things are everywhere!!  Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee creamers, the list goes on and on.  I happen to love the flavor of pumpkin and it can add a nutritional punch to things if done the right way.

Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and excellent source of vitamin A. Most importantly, it’s so yummy!

I figured it was time to put on my pumpkin thinking cap and get to work on a few fall recipes starring this wonderful ingredient.  Since it was breakfast time, I thought Pumpkin Pancakes!!  But wanted them to have a healthy spin.

 

Skinny pancakes have been featured on this site before.  (Click here for that!)  Now they’re getting a fall makeover.

But, *sigh* it’s time to come clean.  I use pancake mixes instead of making pancakes from scratch.  I know, I know, I should make them from scratch because they’re “so easy” blah blah blah.  But when you aren’t a morning person and haven’t had your coffee, the last thing you want to do is measure ingredients.  Lazy?  Yes, thank you. 🙂

 

So when I set out to create this recipe, I had NO idea how to get the right dry to wet ingredient ratio.  It took a couple of trials, but I love the result.  And it’s a “throw it in the blender” recipe, which is fantastic.

These are still quite dense and a little creamy in the middle.  But it reminds me of a mix between a pancake and a pumpkin pie, which I figure is a wonderful thing.  So good!!!  Definitely a new favorite for fall mornings.

Skinny Pumpkin Pancakes

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp canned pure pumpkin (NOT canned pumpkin pie mix!!)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp (dash) ground clove
  • 1/16 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 packet Truvia or sweetener of choice
  • Pinch salt

Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until well combined.

Lightly spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat until water sizzles when sprinkled onto the skillet.

Drop 1/3 of batter onto skillet and spread a bit until the pancake is 3-4 inches in diameter.  Repeat for two more pancakes.

Flip when pancakes appear dry around the edges (couple of minutes per side). Flip and cook on the other side.

Estimated nutrition information (using Truvia as sweetener and excluding pinch of salt):  216 Calories, 2.8g Fat, 0.4g Saturated fat, 193mg Sodium, 111mg Potassium, 37g Carbohydrates, 7g Fiber, 2.8g Sugar, 12.8g Protein
Plus:  113% DV Vitamin A, 13.5% DV Iron!!IMG_1579

Optional toppings:  2 Tbsp powdered sugar mixed with 1 tsp milk   OR  Sugar-free maple syrup  OR Drizzle of honey

Question of the day:  What is your favorite pumpkin flavored creation?

Co-Op Experience, Revisited

A while back, I posted about my experience with Bountiful Baskets. It’s a fruit and vegetable co-op where I get lots of fresh fruits and veggies for not a ton of cash.

Here’s an update:  I still love it!!!

Despite the fact that I have to wake up early on a Saturday to pick up my basket (my site’s pick-up time is 7:30am), I love the entire experience.  The people at my site are super friendly and there is something about getting a ton of fresh produce that just makes me smile.  Yes, I’m a foodie.

Basket pick-up bright and early!

This week’s basket:

Soon, I’ll be posting about healthy eating on a budget, and this co-op will DEFINITELY be part of the post.  It’s such a great deal!! Here’s what I got for $15:

  • Baby carrots
  • 2 bundles green onion
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 5 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 Avocadoes
  • 3 Mangoes
  • Red grapes
  • 1 Pineapple
  • 7 Bananas
  • 9 Plums

And here’s the first meal I made with some of the basket:

Spinach and cheese tofu scramble (You can use eggs instead). Yum!

Such a yummy breakfast!!

Check back soon for “Healthy Eating on a Budget”!

Wake Up!: Peach Crisp Oatmeal

It’s about that time, folks.  Time for another yummy breakfast recipe!

And this time, I’m combining one of my favorite breakfasts (oatmeal) with a favorite dessert.  Peach crisp!

Goooood morning!! 🙂

This week, Bountiful Baskets included lots of peaches and plums, so now it’s time to figure out how in the world I’m going to use them.  Along with a little watermelon, pineapple, bananas, mangoes, grapes……  You might be seeing more fruit recipes on here soon.

If you like a warm and healthy breakfast that tastes like dessert, you’ll LOVE this!  Perfect for weekend brunch, breakfast for guests, or any day.  And your house will smell AMAZING when it bakes. Not as crispy as peach crisp, but has the same flavor.

Perfect for brunch….along with coffee.

Fun story:  Growing up, my grandma (mom’s side…”granny” that I’ve mentioned before is my dad’s mom) always had a ton of peaches every season.  They had a few peach trees in their yard, and these trees meant business.  I can’t tell you how much I learned about when peaches are ready to pick, how to salvage ones the birds claimed, and the proper way to peel and freeze the peaches so you’d have them year round.  Seriously, their freezer turned into a peach storage unit.  And I cherish the time I spent helping my grandma peel and slice them.  I might have mangled many, but she always thanked me for my help.

Peach Crisp Oatmeal

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 small peach, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 Tbsp flour (all purpose, whole wheat, or GF flour)
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1 packet Truvia
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a loaf pan (or similar sized pan) with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for the diced peach.  Mix well, ensuring ingredients are well combined.

Add peaches and mix well.

Pour into baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.

If you’d like, top with a little nonfat milk to make it even more delicious. 🙂

Estimated nutrition information (not including nonfat milk garnish): 206 Calories, 3.1g Fat, 0.4g Saturated fat, 299mg Sodium, 283mg Potassium, 46g Carbohydrates, 6g Fiber, 15g Sugar, 5.1g Protein

This also has 53.8% DV Vitamin C and 11.4% DV Iron.  Yay!

Remember, fruit has natural sugar (fructose) so the sugar that you see in this recipe’s nutrition info is from the fruit’s sugar.

And this recipe is very filling…a definite must for me.  I am not a fan of breakfasts that leave you hungry mid morning.

 

Now, back to figuring out how in the heck to use the rest of this fruit…..

4th of July Recipe Round-up

I LOVE July!  Mostly because it’s my birthday month….(happy birthday to my fellow July babies!)

…but also because there are so many fun events!  Including July 4th.

Are you hosting a BBQ?  Having a party?  Going to a party and need to bring something to contribute?

Have no fear!  This post will save the day!  Think of this as your summer recipe hub if you would.
I’ve rounded up a couple of breakfast recipes, sweet recipes and savory recipes that I hope will help make your Independence Day special.

Breakfast:

Apple Butter PancakesPineapple upside down oatmeal

Apple Butter Pancakes 

Pineapple Upside Down Oatmeal~  One of my favorites, by far!!

Savory:

Baked Zucchini ChipsLi'l Bit Savory:  Italian Green Beans

Zucchini Chips~ Toss those potato chips!! These are flavorful and healthier.

Italian Green Beans~  a great side dish that everyone is sure to love!

Sweets:

There are more of these…duhh, you ARE on “Little Bit Sweet”! 🙂

Banana PuddingSimple 'N Sweet Coconut MacaroonsCoconut Cream PieIMG_1078Classic Peach Cobbler

Banana Pudding~ a family favorite for any occasion!

Coconut MacaroonsVery easy to make.

Coconut Cream Pie~  My dad’s favorite.

Lightened up Apple Turnovers~  An American classic, made a little lighter.

Peach Cobbler~ One of my granny’s recipes.

What is your favorite activity on July 4th?

Have a safe holiday!!

Recipe review: Skinny Pancakes

There are a few foods that I rarely ever eat. (Notice, I did NOT say “never”)

I rarely ever only have pancakes for breakfast. I love pancakes, don’t get me wrong. But they’re usually all carbs with no fiber and protein, leaving me hungry way before lunch time.

So when I found a recipe on Pinterest for “skinny” pancakes that would be healthful and filling, I was intrigued.

Yum!!

Ok, so I ALWAYS refer back to a recipe I’m writing about if I’m not the original author. However, I can’t find the origin of the pin that contains this recipe. So I’m sharing it here. Kudos go to the original author. 🙂

Here’s the recipe and instructions, then my review below:

Skinny Pancakes

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup oats (instant or old fashioned oats)
  • 1/2 very ripe banana (about 3″)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Tiny pinch of salt (I added this to the recipe)

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high about 20 seconds.

Cook on hot griddle that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Estimated nutrition information (entire recipe): 237 Calories, 3.2g Fat, 0.6g Saturated fat, 220mg Potassium, 307mg Sodium, 39g Carbohydrates, 5.5g Fiber, 7.5g Sugars, 11.5g Protein

Now my review:

They were good! Much more dense than regular pancakes. These are not IHOP’s fluffy short stack. But if you’re wanting pancakes that are a bit more filling and nutritious, these may be for you. Try them out and tell me what you think!

Final verdict: I would make them again. Although they’re not a dead ringer for my favorite flapjacks.