September 30, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Y'all, I absolutely am in love with autumn. By far, it is my favorite season. I grew up in Nebraska, and there were wonderful orchards that I frequented every year with my family. I remember how excited my grandma would be about having her granddaughters with her - showing us off to her neighbors (hello, rural Nebraska!), buying my sister and me endless amounts of rock candy, honey sticks and warm apple pie. 

I miss my grandma terribly during these fall months. But instead of becoming sad, I use this time to celebrate all things fall-related in full force. It brings back all the happy memories I have of her. I decorate our apartment (just got some great new place mats!), eat apples like it's my job, bake with pumpkin and enjoy cider whenever possible.

Pretty new place mat!
I found this pumpkin muffin recipe online and made a few adjustments. The major one being the addition of chocolate. Because let's be honest: if my grandma were to make these muffins, she would have added chocolate. Why?

My grandpa loves chocolate. And love makes you do silly things sometimes.

Grandma Rogers' Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from: Pumpkin Wheat Honey Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used regular and white)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, or line with paper cups. 

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center, then ad the eggs, pumpkin, applesauce and honey into the center. 

Mix just until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into muffin cups so they are 2/3 full. 

Bake for 18-20 minutes (until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pushed). Cool in pan before removing.

September 29, 2010

Wine Wednesday: Good News

I'm making this post a quick one (mainly because I don't have any photos to share!). Although we're mostly settled into our new apartment here California (that's so fun to say!), I haven't uploaded pictures from my camera yet. P.S. Did I tell y'all that I got a new camera? It's super fun. More details to come on that.

For now, I have some rather exciting news to share. Remember when I wrote about Charles Shaw wine from Trader Joe's? Well, in Maryland it sold for $3.29 - even though its nickname is two-buck-chuck. I thought it was that price in every state.

Friends, there is a reason why I moved to California. And that is because Charles Shaw sells for $1.99 at the TJ's out here. 

Ok, so maybe that wasn't the real reason. Maybe it's because my husband is amazing and is attending graduate school out here. 

But what a fabulous perk! You can't even imagine how excited I was to find this out! :)

Happy Wine Wednesday, friends. You know I'll be celebrating with a little Shiraz tonight!

September 28, 2010

BBQ Tofu

I have mixed feelings about this post, and my choice to not post a picture. You see, I made BBQ Tofu last night. And it was actually pretty darn tasty.

But it didn't look tasty.

It didn't even look edible, if I'm being honest here.

And as much as I want to always be up-front with you, I just can't bring myself to post the picture of it. 

I understand that some of the best tasting recipes don't necessarily look the part. You'll just have to try this out yourself to see what I'm talking about! 

BBQ Tofu
Source: Ice Cream & Wine Original

1 block tofu, pressed and sliced into 6 pieces
2/3 cup BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place tofu slices on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip slices over and bake for another 15 minutes. 

Remove from the oven, and add a thin layer of BBQ sauce to the bottom of the pan. Position slices in sauce, and pour remaining sauce over them. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

September 27, 2010

Menu: 9/27-10/1

Happy Monday! Today I thought I would give you a glance at our menu for the week. I used to do this a few months ago, but for one reason or another, I stopped. I'm going to try and update our weekly menu on the blog every week - to both give you an idea of what recipes to expect and to see how simple it is to plan meals. 

I've gotten a few emails asking about meal planning - I'm going to work on a post regarding that subject. Meal planning is an easy way to save money and time. It's definitely one of my favorite things to do!

But for now, here's our menu for this week (you'll notice I'm a big fan of leftovers - hello, savings!).

Menu: 9/27-10/1

Monday: BBQ Tofu, sauteed zucchini, baked sweet potatoes
Tuesday: BBQ Tofu leftovers
Wednesday: Turkey Bean Soup
Thursday: Soup leftovers
Friday: Homemade Pizza (whole wheat crust, artichokes, black olives)

September 24, 2010

Tomato & Mozzarella Orzo Salad

I'm very excited to be writing my first post from California! The past couple of weeks have been absolutely hectic - planning a 3,000 mile move is very time consuming. I'm happy to report that we are so close to being officially moved in! Only a few more things need to find a place, and we're good to go. 

Before we left Washington D.C., we had a few friends over to see them one last time before heading West. I kept the menu rather simple - here it is:

Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Tomato & Mozzarella Orzo Salad
Cheese & Crackers
Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Brownies
Beer & Wine (like it needed to be said...) :)

Lucky for you, I'm sharing the orzo salad recipe today! It's SUPER simple, very fresh and completely delicious. I encourage you to try it out!

Tomato & Mozzarella Orzo Salad
Source: Lorie Cooks...Or Tries To

8 oz. uncooked orzo
4 oz. mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
6-8 basil leaves, julienned - I used dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice - I used about one full lemon
1 tsp salt
a few cranks of cracked black pepper

Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and allow to cool.

Mix up olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and basil in a small dish. Pour over cooled pasta and stir to coat. Fold in cheese and tomatoes. Serve cold. 

Yield: 4-6 servings

September 2, 2010

TJ's Winner Announced!

Thank you all so much for entering Ice Cream & Wine's first giveaway!

I loved learning about your favorite wine and ice cream - and even hearing from those vegan readers that indulge in fruit - loved it all!

Looks like I'm definitely going to have to try Relax Riesling - seems to be rather popular. Good news to those who are unfamiliar with it (like I was) can be found at Trader Joe's. Sweetness.

Ok, ok, I know you're really only reading to see if you won. 

I used to find a number between 1 and 49. Unfortunately, I have a very, VERY old computer and couldn't do a screen shot of the winning number. Trust me, though, it picked #19

Heather, author of the blog, Where's the Beach?

Heather, please send your address to icecreamandwine [at] gmail [dot] com to claim your prize!

Thank you again to all those that entered. I kind of liked hosting a giveaway, so believe me when I say I'll be doing another one soon! :)

September 1, 2010

Wine Wednesday: Favorites!

Hey there, winos! Happy September - autumn is just around the corner!

This Wine Wednesday is going to be short and sweet. And while my intention is not to gyp you out of a WW post, I'm just very excited about the Trader Joe's giveaway I'm hosting! 

If you click to this post and comment on it telling me your favorite wine, you will have entered my giveaway. Super easy, right?!

So far, Riesling is taking the lead for favorite wine among Ice Cream & Wine readers. Want to make sure your favorite is represented? Enter my giveaway!

Of course, it wouldn't be right if I didn't share my absolute favorite: Malbec. The best type of red wine that can be enjoyed - promise!

*You have until 11:59p.m. tonight to enter