Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Blender banana oat muffins: a keeper or epic fail?

I tried a new recipe today that sounded interesting and somewhat healthy. The title being: flourless banana blender muffins. I found it on Pinterest...which is my favorite place to spend my time lately. I am a pinning fool!

They were super easy to mix since the blender did all of the hard work. And there was definitely a minimal mess. Being able to dump all of the ingredients into the blender in no specific order made this recipe super simple. 

However, they need more sugar! I thought 1/4 cup of brown sugar was not going to be enough, but went with what the recipe called for anyway. I used 4 bananas instead of 2 and am glad I did. Next time, I will increase the brown sugar to 1 cup. The healthy factor just flew out the window! Even with the increase in sugar these little jems are still gluten free!

I also chose to add mini chocolate chips to the tops and on a few I added the chips and sweetened shredded coconut.

Flourless banana blender muffins (as seen on Pinterest)

2 cups oats
2 eggs
2 bananas 
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

Optional mix ins: 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 375*.
Greece muffin tins or line with cupcake liners.
Add ingredients into high powered blender. Pulse until smooth.
If using mix in  add them in and stir...do not pulse.
Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Store air tight. 

Stay tuned for my version of this recipe ;)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Have your cake and eat it too!

Have your cake and eat it too...such an old cliche. What is it with me and cliches lately? However, it makes a lot of sense. What is the sense of having cake if you cant eat it? There really isn't any sense is there? At that point, it's simply a tease. No one likes to be teased. At least I know I don't.

What does all of this mean anyway? I have no idea! I was just ranting, I guess. No, I wasn't. The truth is, this is how I have been feeling about life in general lately...nothing quite makes sense right now.

Something I have come to learn over the years is that it isn't always such a bad thing when life doesn't make sense. It means that changes are on the way. If you feel like you have one leg on one side of the fence and your other leg is dangling over the other side, it is time to make a choice. You have to either go back the way you came or take a leap of faith over to the other side.

For me, I wont go back. I always seem to choose to jump over to the other side...the side of the unknown. 

My baking business is going really well as is my writing career. Good news there! Now, I feel it is time to grow my life an another area. I have always been one to encourage health, exercise and fitness. I do however, feel that one should not completely deprive themselves from foods that they enjoy either. It is all a balance. Such is life...a balance. 

I am currently studying to become a certified personal trainer. I joke with my friends and say that I am going to generate a double sided business card...one side will be for Tastenc.com and on the flip side I will have my personal training information printed! Ha!Let me feed you junk then help you burn off the calories! You never know, it may work! 

How about this: homemade sugar cookies with cream cheese icing? Doesn't that sound amazing? Oh, then go for a 3 mile run!! 

Easy Sugar Cookies

This recipe was passed down to me from my friend Amy. It was passed down to her from her mother!

Amy's Sugar Cookies
2 1/4 C. sifted flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. shortening
1 C. sugar 

Cream Cheese Icing

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened..... CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE RECIPE

OK, OK...now I feel like I should post something healthy!

Here are some tips on staying properly hydrated! TIPS ON STAYING HYDRATED

Thursday, May 7, 2015

When life gives you lemons...pucker up!

Yeah, yeah, we all know the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"! It's cliche, but it holds truth. In my case, instead of lemonade, I would make lemon BARS!  lol

Sometimes I blog as a way to speak to myself...to help myself through situations that life brings my way. This is one of those times! Instead of dwelling on the bitter, lip puckering taste of a lemon (or in my case, someone I wish would leave me alone but won't) I shall dwell on the sweetness of lemon bars instead :)

Here is a simple lemon bar recipe:

Lemon Triangles
  • 2/3 cup Imperial spread, softened
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon peel
  • Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350*.

Line 9x13 baking dish with no-stick foil.

Click here to see how to make these delicious, lip smacking treats... 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Im back! Still baking...

It has been quite a while since I have checked in. I have been taking an online writing course AND I started up the Tastenc.com baking business again. The baby will be 1 this month and I am able to spend time in the kitchen baking once again.

I have decided to do weekly specials for Tastenc. I post them on Facebook and send an email out to my client list each week. Customers can order from the options I post. This is what I have always wanted to do. It is too difficult to take orders for different things on different days of the week. This way, it is just like a store front. We meet at a designated location, once a week and I can stock up on only the supplies needed to make the specials each week. 

My husband continues to encourage me to start a bakery here in Raleigh, NC. I have given it a lot of thought and even purchased a book about how to go about doing so. I have to admit, it is a little scary. I do not want to fail.
However, my husband asked me this last night, "Babe, when have you ever failed at anything you put your mind to?" I had to answer honestly. I can not remember failing at something I put my mind to and my heart into. This just may be an option in the near future!
I will have to adjust all of my recipes to be able to bake up larger quantities AND would need to come up with a few new recipes as well. Every bakery needs cupcakes, right???

I am in the process of developing a couple of gluten free and dairy free options for those who need them. Of course, I will have to taste them and be SURE they taste just as good as the standard options :) 

I am looking for several more weekly orders. I would like to find companies and organizations that will have a standard order with me every week. 

I promise to keep you updated on Tastenc and any future bakery plans! 

Happy Baking! 

Here is a super easy recipe to make banana bread at home!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Setting reasonable goals for the new year

Resolutions. What an ugly word! How about, goals? Goals. That sounds so much better!

Every year people say they are setting, "New Years Resolutions". These said resolutions normally last a few weeks or maybe months. Now, for some they last all year through. But, if that is the case for you, you are truly a rare breed!

Instead of setting resolutions for myself, I choose to set goals. I wrote an article around this time last year that explains the difference between the two. Here, take a look: Resolutions vs. Goals 
I wrote it in the context of writing a book, but used other ideas to get the point across. 

If you are a writer or want to be one, take a look at my writing channel...it will help you on your way!

This channel will guide you from the very beginning stages of idea forming right on through to how to write with clarity to how to form your characters. 

You can also apply to write for Examiner.com! They are always excepting applications and hiring new writers for many different subjects. Check it out and apply! When you do, put me down as a referral...it may help you get hired! Deanna Martinez-Bey 
Click here to apply: Write for us

Writing may not be your thing...your gift so to speak. Whatever your gift may be, set goals in order to achieve it...reasonable goals. You can do it! 2015 is your year! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Strawberry Santa's: A healthy Christmas treat!

Driscoll's has created the cutest, most creative way to have a healthy snack this Christmas!

Check out these Strawberry Santa's! 

The take about 30 minutes to make and are perfect to make with your children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

They also make a great treat to take to your neighbors. Pop one per person in the family onto a little paper plate and go deliver them with a smile. 

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
12 large, flat chocolate cookies such as Famous Chocolate Wafers
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
12 large Driscoll's Strawberries, hulled

Happy Santa making! 

Check out Driscoll's recipe page for more incredible recipe creations! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Make 4 cookie recipes from 1 original recipe

Russian tea cakes...yum!

These cookies are so easy to make! If you bring your margarine to room temperature, you don't even need a mixer...just a big bowl and your hands! 

Better yet...a big bowl and your kids hands! They like getting dirty :) 

Start out by making these...Regular Russian Tea cakes

It may take you about 2 hours to make all 4 variations. Baking with family or friends will help the time fly by! 

These cookies make great gifts from the kitchen! Package them up wrapped inside of a coffee mug or pretty container. Another great cookie gift idea is to package them up for teachers! Using little, decorative, plastic gift bags work really well...them stay in one piece as your child transports them to school! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Getting children into the Holidays!

It just would not be the Holidays without recipes and ideas from me and Betty Crocker!

Let's have a family Christmas this year and get our children into all of the festivities! 

Check out this link with all kinds of cookie recipes and cookie decorating ideas from Betty herself! Kids Christmas Cookie Corner

Here are some ideas from the one and only, Me!

Have fun with your kids! They will remember it for the rest of their lives! I have been baking with my son since he was just a little guy...now I have a baby daughter and can not wait to bake with her! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas baking and money saving tips

My hope is that you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I think it is safe to say that we can start focusing on Christmas now!

The month of December is a great time to try new recipes. It allows us to spend time together with our family and friends in the kitchen. It also gives us an excuse to bake up new desserts...allowing us to say that we are practicing for Christmas! 

I love fudge! If you want to make easy fudge for the Holidays this year, check out this article on Christmas fudge recipes. 

How about the simplest of candy recipes.... Christmas candy bark

Both of these chocolaty treats are perfect to serve to your guests or give as gifts!

Ever consider giving a gift in a pan? Check out this article on this heart felt, yet economical gift idea: Gifts in a pan 

Here are some ideas on making your Christmas special without spending a fortune! 

Stay connected with A Baking Blog: Tastenc.com on Facebook for more Christmas baking, cooking and money saving ideas! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thanksgiving treat recipes

As Turkey Day approaches, I know I am always on the lookout for new and easy dessert recipes to make for my family. This is why I have decided on the topic of this blog post!

Hopefully, you will find something listed here that you want to try out for the big feast day this year. My goal is to post recipes that are just a little outside of the Thanksgiving box! 
Just click on the name of the recipe and the link will take you directly to it! 

For hundreds of recipes on Facebook, click here

Monday, November 10, 2014

Best of...sweet spots in Raleigh NC

Two of my favorite sweet treats are cupcakes and donuts! So, you better believe I can guide you to some of the best spots in town for both.

I have recently been hired to write about events in the Raleigh area and I have been enjoying writing about all the places I have been to and love!

If you are looking for a good cupcake in the Raleigh area, be sure to check out the top 3 places I recommend...

Donuts and coffee...oh my! Looking for both in Raleigh? Here you go...

The Holidays are coming so you may want to get tasting now! What a treat a box of cupcakes or donuts will be for the Holidays this year! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Oprah's chai tea at Starbucks

Orpah's Chai Tea Latte by Teavana (picture taken from Starbucks)

Have you been into Starbucks lately? For someone like me who drinks coffee daily, that is a silly question. They are offering a new kind of chai latte in the name of Oprah! Starbucks has always offered a chai tea latte of sorts, but now that Oprah's name is attached to it, I bet they are selling left and right, making the duo a ton of money!

I have written a piece on where to find a good chai latte in Raleigh, NC and within this article I talk about Oprah's amazing chai latte and provide a link for you to see what is in it and the nutritional info behind it.

If you live in Raleigh, or even if you don't, here is my take on a few of the best places to get coffee:

Here are a few of my latest pieces on coffee:

Happy sipping! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The best recipe pages on Facebook

Are you looking for some really great recipe pages to follow on Facebook? I have quite a list for you!

As the Holidays approach, more of us are looking to try new recipes for our family and friends. Now is a great time to try out the recipes to determine if you want to make them for the Holidays!

Here is a list of Facebook pages for you to like or join to get your hands on new recipes:

Enjoy experimenting with all of your new found recipes! 

When you find recipes you like online, try these recipe saving tips:

  1. print the recipe
  2. save the recipe in a recipe file on your computer
  3. pin the recipe for later
  4. save the website on your toolbar
  5. take a snapshot of the recipe with your phone or tablet to have for later
By testing recipes now it will enable you to enjoy more of the Holidays later :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One Bowl Peanut Butter Cookies

If you are looking for a simple, gluten free, rich and creamy cookie recipe, search no further! These peanut butter cookies only have 4 ingredients, are super simple to make and can easily be made organic if you purchase organic ingredients!

They are ideal for an after school treat, Holidays and parties. One batch makes about 12 cookies. You can add a chocolate chip to the top of each cookie prior to baking if you would like to, but these cookies are so filling and rich, you definitely do not NEED to! 

Click here for the complete recipe: One bowl peanut butter cookies

Cookies on prepared sheet before baking.

Delicious cookie after baking! 

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