Black Sheep Dancing

Why be like everyone else when you can be yourself?


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Apple Pie Muffins? Yes, please!

So, it’s been a while since I’ve experienced cold this early in the year. Having moved from Florida, we don’t get this cold until December. It was FREEZING! However, it also makes you want to break out your warm fuzzy sweaters, make some hot chocolate and bake something with fall flavors in it.

To start off the super cold weather I got my favorite fall treat – a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks! Seriously, this is how I know fall has arrived.

Starbucks

Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte

And to go with my latte, I needed a nice fall goodie. I had some apples to use up and then I found the Apple Pie Muffins! Oh, can you say my goodness??? TOTALLY awesome.

Apple Pie Muffins

Apple Pie Muffins

We also went to the Oktoberfest yesterday, but I’m too pooped to write anymore, so alas, I’ll have to cover that later. Until then, enjoy!

Apple Pie Muffins from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups diced apples
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the egg, buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar until sugar has dissolved. Pour into the flour mixture and sprinkle the diced apple into the bowl as well. Stir just until everything is blended. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cups to the top.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour and cinnamon. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of melted butter while tossing with a fork until well blended. Sprinkle this over the tops of the muffins.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.

The only changes I made to the recipe is that I used regular milk (didn’t have buttermilk or lemon juice), garnished with the extra apple, and I added extra cinnamon to the batter because I love cinnamon. They turned out totally awesome!


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Mommy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow

Does anyone else love that song? We belted it out the whole day before in exciting anticipation of our Columbus Zoo visit. Zoos are great because they offer a full day of entertainment and allow visitors to see animals and hopefully people will take that knowledge to lessen their impact on the earth. I know we learned a whole lot while there! (And the kiddo ran himself silly and slept like a log!)

It was an awesome day to be outside and the animals seemed just excited for a lovely day. Can’t wait until our next visit!

And just in case you don’t know the song


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Metro Parks and Muffins

It was another lovely weekend in Cap City. We decided to forgo the couple of festivals this weekend and have a more laid back time. Saturday was started off like most weekends – with a big cup of coffee. And not just any coffee, whole bean coffee from Stauf’s. I’ll admit it, I’m a coffee snob.

Coffee from Stauf's

After that it was a fun day at Sharon Woods Metro Park. We are slowly working our way through all the parks, which has been a lot of fun. Sharon Woods was no exception. The trails were very pretty and the playground equipment was great.

Watching Geese

Best of all it was close to shopping, so we got a little retail therapy in on the way home. The munchkin got his Halloween costume and has not taken it off since. He put it on as soon as we got home, slept in it, wore it today, and is still in it. Hopefully, I can peel it off before school tomorrow.When someone commented how he looked like Batman he replied, “I’m not dressed LIKE Batman, I AM Batman.”

Sunday I was itching to bake again. I made up a vegetarian breakfast bake. Yum!

Breakfast bake

Good Morning Grandview Breakfast Bake

Good Morning Grandview Breakfast Bake:

Ingredients:

1 cup tater tots
5 eggs
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 bag veggie ground beef crumbules (I used Boca)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese
salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 pan and cover bottom with a single layer of tater tots and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, wisk eggs as set aside.
  3. In a skillet on medium heat the oil and then cook the garlic until slightly brown. Add in onion and burger crumbles until well heated.
  4. Add onion mixture to eggs. Stir in shredded cheese and season to taste. Carefully spread in 9×9 pan on top of layer of tater tots.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until eggs are cooked and top is slightly browned. Garnish as desired.

And because I can’t go a week without baking some sort of muffin, I found the Empire State Muffins on my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes.

Empire State Muffins

Empire State Muffins:

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded tart apples
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine apples and sugar. Gently fold in cranberries, carrots and nuts. Combine dry ingredients; add to mixing bowl. Mix well to moisten dry ingredients. Combine eggs and oil; stir into apple mixture. Fill 18 greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from tins.

I followed the recipe exactly except I used dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen since that is what I had on hand. They were very moist and I love that the munchkin is eating some veggies!


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Sea Beans?

So, every Tuesday we head on down to the North Market. I love it. Small businesses all in one place cooking all kinds of yummy things – what’s not to love? My son loves it because of the fish market, and the people at every booth are more than accommodating to his many, many questions on food.Why are the fish flat? Why are the fish in ice? Do they like popcorn?

Anyways, we head down to pick up our medium sized bag from the Greener Grocer. The concept is that every week you get a yummy bag full of goodies, mostly organic and almost always locally grown. The fun part is you don’t know what you’ll get, so it’s like a food puzzle, trying to figure out how to use all the ingredients. If I were walking in a grocery store, would I ever pick up collard greens? Probably not, but I now know how to cook them thanks to the Greener Grocer.

Case in point, this week’s gem: Sea Beans. What the heck are sea beans? Well, this, my friend, are what sea beans look like.

Samphire

Sea Beans

What am I going to do with these? Well, luckily GG also provides recipes each week in my inbox giving me helpful tips on how to cook the ingredients I got in my bag. I’ll let you know how it goes.

And, because I love to bake, I also added some snickerdoodles to my evening.

Snickerdoodle balls to be baked

Snickerdoodle balls to be baked

Who knew snickerdoodles were such a pain in the butt to make? Rolling all those balls and then dipping them in cinnamon sugar – a lot of work. Next time I am sticking with chocolate chip. Buuut, they did turn out yummy!

The finished cookies!

The finished cookies!


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Festivals and Food, Oh my!

I love this time of year. It seems there is a festival of some sort every weekend, and Labor Day was no exception. As the last few days of summer, everyone wants to go out with a bang. The problem is – which to choose?

We ended up going to Greek Festival, since it also coincided with the Gallery Hop and was right by Goodale Park. We made a whole day of it!

Our first stop was Goodale. The park has lots to offer with a pond, tennis courts, and two playgrounds, in addition to ample walking space. With my 4-year old in tow, it was a must stop to the playground to let him run around.

Playing at Goodale Park

Playing at the playground at Goodale Park

From there it was just a short jaunt to the Greek Festival. Now, I had never been to this one, but I have yet to go to a Greek Festival I did not enjoy, and this was no exception. It costs $5 to get in, but save your ticket because it gets you in all weekend. (Hmmmm…I guess I’ll have to go back!). Inside there is live music, traditional dancing, shopping, and of course food! Oh, how I love spanakopita and tyropita! While it was busy, lines moved fast, so there was never a long wait for anything. We of course had to have some yummy pastries to top it all off.

Traditional Greek Pastries

Traditional Greek pastries. Clockwise: Kourambiethes, Koulourakia, Kataifi, Macaroon (I don't think that one is traditional)

Aren’t they just gorgeous? I’m not usually one for cookies, but how can you say no to that? The best was the Kataifi. It looked like shredded wheat, but had this delicious pie filling like center and gooey the whole way through. So good!

Greek Dancing

Traditional Greek Dancing

After watching some dancing we headed on up High Street to the Gallery Hop. It is always a great time.

Break Dancing on High

Break Dancing on High

We walked up and down High Street for a little while, stopping in stores and viewing the artists and characters along the way. I must say, the break dancers were my favorite!

Seeing as we have two more days, I may see you back at the Greek Festival! Look for me over by the spanakopita!