July Blog-A-Day #22: Puppy Surgery, Scripture and Comfort Food

This morning Zoey and I went on a walk, but it wasn’t just any walk.

Do you see the look of concern on that face?

It was Zoey’s last walk before her womanhood was taken away from her. That’s right. This morning, Zoey underwent surgery to be spayed, as well as have another minor procedure done to prevent “stomach flipping” issues that are common in Great Danes and other large bread dogs. 
Greg took the baby girl to the vet while I got ready for work and ate my breakfast. I was so excited to tear into yesterday’s mail this morning because my prints from Sacred Made Shop finally arrived. My semi-new friend Becca and one of her friends run the shop featuring scripture prints that are are gorgeously designed. Check it out!!

The highlight of my breakfast was a thick spread of mashed avocado on top of crispy whole wheat toast. A single scrambled egg added an extra kick of protein. 

Then it was time for work. Work, work, work. I spent much of the day wondering how Zoey was doing, what she was thinking about, and how cute she probably was. I arrived home at the end of the work day to this adorable face…

She was so out of it then, but slowly getting her energy back and hasn’t wasted a second chewing apart a new toy I got her in anticipation of this rough day. 
Even though I didn’t have surgery, I felt the need for comfort food. BFD was calling my name.

I used Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pancake Mix to make a short stack for myself. I filled the cakes with sliced banana, then topped it off with leftover blueberry filling (from this cheesecake), and some whipped cream for good measure. 
Perfection.
Here’s to hoping Zoey stops whining tonight and we can all get some much needed rest!!
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July Blog-A-Day #21: DI Yogurt and Blueberry Cheesecake

Oh no! I’ve gotten behind on this blog-a-day thing. Whoops! It’s only one day though, so hopefully I can make up for it before this month is said and done. 
I’m just popping in tonight to highlight two delicious parts of my weekend.
1. DI Yogurt.
FINALLY! A frozen yogurt place opened on Daniel Island last week and I could hardly wait to get there. It did not disappoint. Better than Menchie’s?? Better than Di’lishi?? 
…You didn’t hear it from me.
I first went on Saturday night and filled my cup with some cake batter, dark chocolate and plain old vanilla. Then topped it with walnuts, peanut butter cups, whipped cream and sprinkles. While out for a bike ride on Sunday evening, I talked Greg into stopping for a cold treat. I am thrilled to have the fro yo right next to home, but I can see it becoming dangerous as well.
The yogurt was soooooooo creamy. Many of the toppings were comparable to the other fro yo joints around, but I noticed some of the fruit may have been sitting out a bit too long and they didn’t have chunky Oreo pieces that I usually like. Instead, the cookies were finely ground. The yogurt itself made up for it though. I will definitely be a regular.
2. Blueberry Cheesecake Pie
Since the fro yo stop on our bike ride was technically only a “snack,” I needed something for dessert later that night after dinner. I baked Bridget’s Blueberry Cheesecake Pie, which became the perfect ending to my weekend. 
It was my co-worker’s birthday today so I knew I wanted to bring the cheesecake into the office to share with her. It was a good thing I had that excuse, otherwise Greg and I easily would have eaten the entire thing this week. 
What was the tastiest thing you ate this weekend?

Vanilla Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

That football game last night. 
Yeah.
You’re either really happy or…well, let’s just not go there.
Then again, I bet some of you couldn’t care less. Am I right or am I right?
Whether you’re celebrating the win, trying to forget the loss, or don’t even know who the heck played in the game (you might be saying, “Wait – what game and why are you still talking about it?? All I know is that The Bachelor was on last night.”)
…we all have one thing in common.

You have to eat breakfast! Okay, so you don’t have to. But you really should. So can I make a recommendation? Baked oatmeal. 
Ever since I made Apple Walnut Baked Oatmeal, I have been trying new variations like crazy. I just can’t get enough of it.  The possibilities really are endless. And this is only the beginning. You just wait to see what else I have in store. 

Vanilla Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
(Inspired by Apple Walnut Baked Oatmeal and Peanut Butter Fingers)

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.
3. In a seperate small bowl, whisk applesauce, almond milk and vanilla.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Fold in blueberries (don’t be afraid to smash some while you’re mixing!).
5. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake 18-20 minutes. Top of loaf will be golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in pan about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

~About 420 calories in the ENTIRE loaf!!~
…210 per serving…

Blueberry Yogurt Cake Doughnuts

You may recall a few weeks ago when I went to a blogger breakfast with a rep from Chobani. Lindsay was so kind to send me some of my favorite flavor afterwards- 0% Blueberry!
Although the Greek yogurt is wonderful enough on its own for breakfast, as a side with lunch, or a mid-morning snack, I have seen countless recipes using the yogurt and wanted to put one to the test. 

It had been awhile since I used my doughnut pan. Shameful of me, I know. I dusted it off and in no time it was filled with batter and stuck in the oven. 
The doughnuts’ color wasn’t the most appealing, I will admit. But with only about 115 calories each for a doughnut, I’ll take it! The oatmeal gives them texture, while the yogurt brings moistness and, of course, the blueberry flavor. Rather than eating them for breakfast, I have found to enjoy them even more as a snack throughout the day. 
I have already Pinned several other recipes using the yogurt and am looking forward to the next one. Pancakes? Muffins? Fruit dips? So many options! But first I have to get through these doughnuts…

Wait…where’d they go?

Blueberry Yogurt Cake Doughnuts
(Adapted from Everyday’s a Hollyday)

Makes about 12 doughnuts

Ingredients:
For the doughnuts-
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1-6 ounce container blueberry greek yogurt

For the glaze-
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-1 1/2 tablespoons almond milk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat doughnut pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.
3. In a separate smaller bowl, add wet ingredients (milk, applesauce, ricotta and yogurt). Whisk to combine.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined.
5. Pour batter evenly into doughnut pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, prepare glaze by stirring together powdered sugar and milk.
7. When doughnuts are finished baking, remove from heat and transfer from pan to cooling rack to cool. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before dipping top-side down into glaze.
8. Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

I am so happy to say that my baking game is back. After a bit of a drought over the holidays with all of the traveling, I am back in my element and looooooving it. 
Plus, I had all of these new fun toys!
Cupcake apron, cupcake oven mits and the cutest new measuring spoons. Not to mention the shiny white Kitchen Aid just waiting to be played with (does anyone know how HEAVY those are, by the way? OMG I had no idea). 
Last week I bought blueberries. But these were just just any blueberries. They were probably the best blueberries I have ever tasted. When I started browsing my recipe collection for something to bake, I knew I wanted to incorporate these. 
Annie’s Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins sounded perfect!
Thankfully I only made half of a batch or else I would have eaten all 12 in one sitting. 
I love baked goods with oatmeal, because it adds so much texture. And like I said, these were the best blueberries ever. Baking them only made them plumper and juicier.

Top them with a little butter if you want, and I admit butter never really hurts the flavor, but they really don’t even need it. If you’re looking for a healthier muffin, skip the butter and you won’t miss a thing. The whole wheat flour, oats and berries make this one guilt-free treat.
Find the recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins on Annie’s Eats here. The only change I made was using skim milk instead of buttermilk, because that was all I had on hand. 

Blueberry Muffin

That’s right. I didn’t leave off an “s” in the title. Just one single blueberry muffin for me. 
This isn’t the first “dessert for one (or two)” recipe I have made and it won’t be my last. I know this isn’t necessarily dessert, but more of a breakfast food. Last night for me, it was dessert. Recipes that make just enough for only a few servings are too convenient and an easy way to make sure you don’t end up eating an entire batch of something…like these, for example.
I have the next couple of days to myself, as Greg is visiting a friend in the swamps of Louisiana. He’s probably going to come back with some alligator boots or something ridiculous. Ok, probably not. At least I hope not. And he is not actually in the swamps. Thank goodness.
I am not completely alone though. I made myself a fluffy muffin for some company while I watched a chick flick last night. 
I am such. a. loser. I know. But I’m okay with that. Because this muffin is my new best friend. I almost lost my patience while it was baking and just pulled out the container of icing in the fridge. No, I DID take out the icing. Instant gratification at its finest. Somehow I stuck it out and waited for the muffin to finish baking though. Somehow as in I had a spoonful or two of icing while I waited. Patiently

My only problem with the muffin is that it could have been two or three times bigger. Better for the hips though, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blueberries are a super food therefore this is a super muffin. No matter how big. 

Next time I will at least double the recipe when I need make a single muffin. Because this so-called friend of mine didn’t stick around very long. Looks like I need a new friend…
Blueberry Muffin 
Makes 1 muffin
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
Dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons blueberries
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 330 degrees. In a standard size muffin tin, place paper liner in one well. Fill the remaining wells half way with water to allow for even cooking.
2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add blueberries and gently stir until just incorporated.
3. Bake muffin for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool on cooling rack for about 5 minutes before serving. 
*Note: These are the original proportions of ingredients for a standard size muffin. This does not reflect my wish to double the recipe in the future 😉