Cupcakes and Sunshine: June 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Midnight Snacks: Pineapple Zucchini Muffins


Since getting back from Hawaii, I would say that I'm still in jetlag mode. I've been staying up until 2-3:00AM in the morning and waking up around 11PM in the afternoon. But I'm not complaining. This is the first time in my life that I've ever been able to sleep in so late!

Growing up, I would close my eyes and hope that I could sleep-in until 10-11 O'clock like all of my cousins and friends. But I've just always been an early riser. 7-8AM is more like my normal rise time. I'm fighting the fact that I need to get back on my normal sleep schedule and sticking with the jetlag schedule instead this time.



The only problem with staying up so late? I'm STARVING around midnight. So tonight, I decided to whip up some pineapple zucchini muffins as a midnight snack. Pineapple...because I'm still pretending I'm back in Hawaii. And zucchini...because my sweet cousin brought over at least 10 pounds of it fresh from the garden.





This recipe is lighter than most but still yields a delicious, moist muffin. If you would like healthier muffins, you can substitute half of the flour for whole wheat flour instead.


And getyaself some snazzy cheetah cupcake wrappers. I mean if you are staying up late enough for a midnight snack, you might as well have some party wrappers!

Ingredients:
3 cups flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt.
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup butter
1/2 mashed banana
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini squeezed to let water out
4 pineapple rings shredded/crushed (I shredded mine with the zucchini in the food processor) 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all dry ingredients together. Slowly stir in all wet ingredients adding squeezed zucchini last. (make sure the water is squeezed out or else your muffins will be chewy)
3. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

Perfect for midnight snacking and breakfast in the morning as well!


My Favorite Virgin Piña Coladas & Lava Flows


Y'all, I'm having Hawaii withdrawals to the max. I shopped at Old Navy yesterday (HELLO huge sales!) and purchased pineapple socks, a pineapple tank, and an "aloha" cami on the whim. I think I'm needing to make another trip to the Dole plantation.



I've been snacking on milk chocolate macadamia nuts (um...my FAVORITE new addiction), watching Hawaii Life on HGTV, and sitting poolside pretending I'm back on the beach.




I have decided to give into the Hawaii withdrawal symptoms by continuing to purchase some tropical ingredients to make Virgin Piña Coladas or Lava Flows (Piña Coladas+Strawberry). While on the beach, we had them almost every.single.day.




They are so refreshing, delicious, easy, and fruity...so they're health food. Or something like that. They taste like summer. I added some 2% Chobani Pineapple Greek yogurt and a banana for some extra protein & fiber.


And if you have polkadot straws, they are even better! believe me on this one.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup Chobani 2% pineapple Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Dole canned pineapple rings
1/2 frozen banana
3 Tbs. sweetened coconut
2 Tbs. brown sugar
handful of ice

1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
2. For Lava Flows, reserve 1/4 cup of smoothie, add handful of strawberries and blend. Pour over Piña Colada and enjoy!



Friday, June 20, 2014

Things I've learned in Hawaii...


1. If something says "lilikoi"...AKA "passion fruit"... buy it. Just buy it. We've purchased and/or sampled lilikoi butter, lilikoi tea, lilikoi soap, lilikoi lotion, lilikoi juice, lilikoi cheesecake. it's wonderful. WHERE HAS PASSION FRUIT BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE, DANG IT!?!


2. Hawaiian Farmer's Markets are THE best. Ever. We visited the Halei'wa farmer's market on the North Shore this evening after spending the day sunning... and it had everything you can imagine! Local fruits, baked goods, jellies, jams, farm fresh burgers, homemade crepes, juices. It. was. wonderful.




3. I didn't realize how much I looove all things pineapple/coconut until visiting Hawaii.


4. I've learned to like running! I'm very, VERY excited about this one. Before visiting Hawaii, I was not confident about my running skills at all. We've been running 2-4 miles each day in the morning or evening and the runs have been so, so beautiful! Check out my morning run view...


UNBELIEVABLE, right?! 

5. Sometimes, you just gotta get the Huli Huli chicken from a food truck. At first, I was super nervous about this one. I'm not a big fan of seeing my chicken and everyone else's rotisser-izing right in front of my eyes. But this was one of THE BEST meals I've ever had in my life. Huli Huli chicken+rice+pineapple coleslaw...Hawaiian HEAVEN.


6. Uahi Island Grill has a FABULOUS Kalua Pork 'n Kale plate. And I hear that Guy Fieri from Food Network has visited here. SO delicious. (and we got lilikoi cheesecake for dessert afterwards. Obviously!)

 I highly dislike iphone pictures of food, but this meal was too good not to photograph. (and I had accidentally left my camera in the car. Oopsies!) 


7. "Ohana" means family. And I have absolutely LOVED spending time with Kelsie and her family in Hawaii!












Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hawaiian Adventures!

Still pinching myself! I can't believe I have been able to wake up in Hawaii for the past couple of days. Every single day has been a fun adventure and I'm loving every minute of it!



Hiking to the top of Diamond Head Monument... (check out my alfalfa hair)


Moonlight kayaking in shark infested waters...(we survived!)


Dole Whips at the Dole Plantation...(give me ALL the pineapple)


Our first Luau...


Flame throwers.


Hula dancers.


and SO many beautiful sunsets!



Hawaii is a dream!



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sunsets and Selfies


Happy, Happy humpday! (Or I think today is humpday? Who knows! I'm on island time) We're still getting up around 5:30-6:30ish each morning thanks to lingering jet lag, but I'm not complaining. Waking up to sunshine and the Hawaiian breeze isn't too bad, ya know?

We headed out to Honolulu yesterday afternoon and did some sunning on the beach while we watched the surfers catch waves and the adrenaline junkies jump off cliffs. We then walked around the city and stopped by the Tiki Bar and Grill for some live Hawaiian music (including a ukelele ensemble of Somewhere Over the Rainbow) overlooking the water and a side of Pina Coladas and palm trees. (ahhhhh...)




I'm still pinching myself and thinking...am I really here right now?! 




After a couple beach selfies, we walked back down to the shore to see the sunset. Lots of ooooohhhs and aaaaahs were initiated.






I've been loving this little bit of paradise! I'm thinking about opening my own little malasada shop by the water and staying here forever. It's possible, right?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We've MADE IT TO HAWAII!

Well, hello hello hello!

We have officially made it to Hawaii! One of my bestfriends- Kelsie- has moved to Hawaii for the summer and it has been such a blessing to stay with her and her family for a couple weeks on the island! After a 10 hour flight across the ocean (with lots of movies, plane pretzels, and a little bit of snoozing) we were greeted by Mr. Chris, Kelsie's dad, with Leis (!!!) and hopped in the car to the commissary for groceries.


But of course, before stepping into the store, Mr. Chris told us we HAD to try malasadas from Leonard's food truck right outside. I did not object. Malasadas are fried Portuguese donuts...aka sugarcoated puffs of heavenly amazingness...



Y'all, they were perfect.


Then we headed out for dinner at Sam Choy's and watched the Hawaiian sunset after Mr. Chris gave us a tour of the island.




it is absolutely beautiful here! and we saw our first Hawaiian rainbow as well.


I really love that it rains here for just a few minutes and then clears up to beautiful, sunshiny skies. Mr. Chris is letting us in on all of the Hawaiian lingo so we can pretend that we're locals ;) and it's been great waking up to Hawaiian bird songs each morning (at 5AM...yep, the jet lag is real y'all.) Loving every minute of it. More Hawaiian posts to come!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Always a Celebration


You know what's super great about living in a house with six of your bestfriends? There is ALWAYS a reason to celebrate! Happy, happy birthday Jenny! I hope your day was every bit as wonderful as you are!


I hope your 20th year is full of happiness, cheer, and sunshine!


We had so much fun celebrating you and your birthday at The Last Resort in Athens...


(order the Chicken Praline.)


and dancing to Beyonce and Katy Perry all the day long.

...and being there to watch you blow out 20 birthday candles!



And trying out Sally's Baking Addiction's recipe for Cookies 'N Cream Cheesecake. (HOLY COW Y'ALL. BEST Cheesecake EVER.)



Living with in a house of seven isn't too bad. :)  LOVE YOU BUNCHES JENNY!




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