Taste Test Tuesday: Enjoy Life Muffin Mix

After snagging a few of the new Enjoy Life mixes, I couldn’t wait to try them! Sunday morning seemed like the best time to bake muffins because who doesn’t love lazy Sunday mornings? (I just love night church!) I decided to mix in about 3/4 cup of frozen blueberries because I love blueberries in pretty much anything. The directions were super simple – add water and oil to the mix, stir in any mix-ins and bake!

Enjoy Life muffin mix - 1

I had to bake them the full length of time because I added in quite a bit of extra moisture with the blueberries, but they were worth the wait!

Enjoy Life muffin mix - 2

These muffins were AMAZING! They were soft, flavorful, and great with a nice smear of Earth Balance. Any leftovers stay best in the fridge, and they don’t lose any of their flavor or texture. I love being able to make muffins from scratch, but this mix is great to have on hand. You could get really creative with flavors and mix-ins! If you have the chance to try this mix, I’d highly recommend it!

Advertisements

Weekend Fun

After having various members of our family here to visit over the past month, Nick and I are finally back into a regular routine. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to have people stay with us, but it’s also nice when it goes back to normal life, too! (as boring as that may be 😉 ) This past weekend, Nick and I didn’t have a single thing on the calendar, so the weekend was free to explore and have fun!

Saturday morning we left shortly before 9, and headed off towards Rockville, MD. I had done a search online to find the elusive pumpkin Dandies, and my search showed that Dawson’s Market in Rockville had them in stock. (the finder also said that a store in Leesburg had them, but they didn’t, so I wasn’t holding out much hope) While they didn’t have pumpkin Dandies (sob!), they did have a bunch of other great things, so I grabbed a couple of the Enjoy Life mixes that I’ve seen floating around on social media, and online. I snagged the pizza crust, brownie mix, and muffin mix. Those were the 3 that they had, and I’m excited to try them all! Since we were so close, we decided to swing by Roots Market in Olney, MD because that place is a vegan heaven! They have sooooo many great vegan options! And! THEY HAD PUMPKIN DANDIES! And gluten free earth balance mac & cheese! Woo hoo! We had just been there a couple of weeks previous (while on our way to BWI to pick up my bro-in-law from the airport) and they hadn’t had either item. So, of course, we had to stop by a new Whole Foods on our way home! They didn’t have anything we can’t get here at home, save for a bag of vegan, locally made, dog treats! It was a day to get a treat for everyone!

Here a just a few of the goodies we scored!
Haul of goodies!

Yesterday ended up being a beautiful day and so we took off to Alexandria for Doggy Trick or Treating! I know, I know. We totally THOSE people. But you know what? We don’t care! It was so much fun! We stopped at The Dog Park for our goodie bag and map of stores that were giving out treats for Halloween. While we didn’t have a costume for Olive, she did wear a festive space bandana (from her BarkBox) that got a lot of positive comments.
Space Pup

We walked around for over 2 hours gathering treats from over 25 businesses in Alexandria. Olive met tons of dog friends, got loads of pets, and came home with a bag chock full of treats! Oh, and Nick and I had a lot of fun, too. Before heading back to the car we stopped for a family picture. I’m pretty sure Olive’s face says it all. She was worn out!
Awkward Family Photo

It didn’t take long for her to relax in the car on the way home, either. Isn’t she the cutest?! Oh, and if you notice that funny scar on her leg, that’s from her stitches she had to get a few weeks ago. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time with a playful pup at the dog park. She’s all healed up now, though, and even when she had the stitches, she didn’t let anything stop her from having fun!
Worn out pup

It was a fun weekend! We ended last night with a great night at church, homemade mac & cheese, and “Homeland”. Couldn’t ask for better!

How was your weekend?

2-ingredient Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream (vegan & gluten free)

I’m sure that you’ve seen this recipe floating around Pinterest or the internet. It’s one of those recipes that I know works and tastes amazing, but I always forget to make them! It’s pumpkin season and so I want to make PUMPKIN ALL THE THINGS!

This is seriously THE easiest cupcake (or muffin if you’re into skipping the frosting – crazy!) EVER. They are incredibly moist, rich and decadent. I added mini chips into the batter as well because Nick always likes a little texture and the chocolate chips do just the trick! The buttercream takes them to the next level by adding an extra hit of sweet, but with an espresso kick.

YUM.

This was my first time using a King Arthur Flour gluten free mix. I was super impressed! Great flavor, texture, and none of that “gluten free” flavor. I’d definitely use it again.

2-ingredient cupcakes with espresso buttercream (vegan & gluten free)

2-ingredient cupcakes:
1 box chocolate cake mix (one that makes 24 cupcakes)
1 – 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup vegan mini chocolate chips, optional (I used Enjoy Life)

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake trays with liners and set aside. By hand, or with a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the cake mix and pumpkin puree until well blended. Once everything is well combined, fold in mini chips, if using. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop into prepared liners. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top should set, and spring back when touched. I got 18 cupcakes.

Espresso Buttercream:
(recipe from Chloe’s Italian Kitchen)
1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 T instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 T water

Beat the shortening until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Add 1 T of of espresso liquid at a time, as needed, and until your frosting reaches the desired consistency and espresso flavor. Beat for 2 minutes; until light and fluffy.

2-ingredient cupcakes with espresso buttercream (vegan & gluten free)

Enjoy!

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones (vegan & refined sugar free*)

I love me some scones, y’all! I like when they have a soft, chewy texture. I’m not as big of a fan of the drier, crumblier ones. While those have their place – great with coffee and tea! – I just prefer something you can eat on the go and not worry about it crumbling all over the place! These scones are DELICIOUS! I know I say that about everything, but seriously, these are, too. They are perfectly chocolately, with small pieces of banana. And they’re refined sugar free! How awesome is that? *I mean, I suppose there is refined sugar in the chocolate chips, but I didn’t make those with my own hands. 😉 I hope you try these scones out! You won’t be sad you did. However, beware! You might just eat two. Or three.

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
2 small bananas, cut in half lengthwise and then diced
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup almond milk (I used Califia Toasted Coconut Almond Milk)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder. Add melted coconut oil and mix with a fork (or your hands) until the oil and the flour mixture are well combined. Add chocolate chips and diced banana and mix to coat. In a measuring cup, whisk together agave nectar, almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Add to dry mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined and no dry flour remains. Using a large cookie scoop (think ice cream scoop size), scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down slightly and bake for 12 minutes, or until just golden brown. I got 10 scones.

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Enjoy!