Thursday, November 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, Guest Duo Bakers and a Giveaway!


I don't win things very often.  Try as I might that lotto ticket has never had more than 2 matching numbers and someone else is living in my dream house in French Polynesia.  I did however hit the right number in Jean's, Lemons and Anchovies, recent CSN Store giveaway for a $50 gift card!
Our Giveaway
(giveaway is closed) 
As thrilled as I was to win Jean's giveaway, I'm even more thrilled to announce that the CSN stores have offered a $45 giftcard for us to give away!  With easy online access and thousands of items to choose form, the CSN Stores is a perfect place to get a head start on your holiday gift shopping without having to leave the comforts of your own home.  Have guests coming in town for the holidays?  You can easily spruce up your guest rooms with new upholstered headboards.  Need a new mixer?  The CSN Stores have it!  Or how about treating yourself to a new Nespresso Coffee and Espresso Machine?

Molly & Liv's giveaway rules:
  • You must be from the United States or Canada (actually that's CSN's rule)
  • To enter the giveaway we are not asking for anything other than a comment letting us know what activity helps you to Liv Life in a better way!
  • The contest will close as of noon, Pacific Standard Time, Sunday, November 21, 2010.
  • Liv and Molly will work an elaborate math equation to generate a winning number
  • We will then send your contact information to Jamie at CSN and he will send you a $45 giftcard!
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My winning gift card in hand, I immediately hit the CSN stores (online, in my pj's!) and found the perfect Cuisinart hand mixer, and I was thrilled that the stores even offered free shipping on this item!  I already have a stand mixer, but sometimes it's just too bulky to take out for a smaller job.  On these smaller occasions I turn to my whisk collection.  They work perfectly for mixing eggs for French toast to making Meringues and Angel Food Cakes.  However, Liv usually rolls her eyes as we begin a big project, but I keep telling her that this is how we keep our arms in shape and really, how do you think they did it 100 years ago?  Even still, a hand mixer is a plus to any kitchen, and this one is a true pleasure to work with.  I will just have to hit the gym to work those arms...

With our new hand mixer ready to go, Liv and her friend Molly decided to put together a healthy snack.  As dancers, they know the importance of getting the proper nutrients into their bodies to keep up stamina, build muscles and to stay healthy during their intense competition dance season.  Still, they were wanting a treat, so we found something in the middle.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins have been a neighborhood favorite for nearly 10 years.  The little mini muffins have made appearances at birthday parties, Girl Scout meetings and sleepovers.  Gobbled up in minutes, the kids have no idea that these special treats are actually Mom approved!
Liv and Molly are ready to hit the stage!
Made with whole wheat flour, a few tablespoons of ground flax meal and packed with bananas, these popular muffins give much needed fiber as well as potassium and other important vitamins and minerals.  Combined with protein-rich peanut butter, the bananas and their "healthy sugars" give the dancers a lasting energy boost to get them through their rehearsals.  Dark chocolate chips are added, first, because they taste good, second, because they lend a dose of healthy antioxidants to the mix.  Vanilla flavored Almond Milk is used to make these dairy free for Liv's lactose intolerant brother - regular milk or any milk alternative are also options.

Here are some baking tips from our Guest Baker Duo:

Make sure to have all ingredients and equipment ready, and don't forget to preheat your oven!
Don't throw away those yucky, brown bananas!  They are super sweet and flavorful.



Make sure to measure carefully...
Don't put the mixer on too high when you start or you will splatter your friend!
Try not to overfill the muffin cups
Remember to have fun!  But don't let your mom catch you throwing flour...
That's it!  Thanks for participating.  Liv, Molly and I are looking forward to your comments!



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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins
recipe by Kim Kelly - Liv Life

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbs ground flax meal or wheat germ
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup milk (or milk alternative - we have used soy, rice and almond successfully)
1/4 cup water (add a Tablespoon or two more if mixture is too dry)
3/4 cup peanut butter 
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup dark chocolate chips (mini chips work great too)

Preheat oven to 350º.  Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.  The batch makes about 40 mini muffins.

In a large bowl stir together the flour, flax meal, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl mix the milk and water with the sugars, banana, peanut butter, vanilla and egg.

Add the chocolate chips to the dry ingredients and stir to evenly distribute.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined, making sure not to over-mix.

Spoon the batter into the mini muffin tins and bake for 13-16 minutes, or until muffins are lightly browned.  Alternatively, bake into mini loaves at the same temperature.  Begin checking for doneness at about 30 minutes... baking time will vary depending on the size of your mini loaf pans.

Remove to a wire rack and cool.  Enjoy!


76 comments:

  1. Peanut butter, banana and chocolate go together so well! Nice job by your guest bakers...too cute :)

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  2. Cute, cute post. Love your guest bakers!
    It might sound cliche, but running helps me "liv" life in a better way. I've only recently become a runner and I love it, AND it makes me healthier. What could be better?

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  3. omg how fun this must have been the picture paints a thousand words for sure, the next generation of bakers, its so refreshing to see this next generation for sure taking interest! I love this post....CSN is a favorite of mine, I need so many things with my new kitchen! love this giveaway! The muffins are perfect in color great job here!

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  4. What an adorable picture covered in flour...that's pretty much how I look when I bake, except sometimes I'm covered in batter instead of flour :lol:! What helps me live life better? My collection of bubble baths...after a busy day at work or in the kitchen, I love nothing better than a nice hot bath full of good-smelling bubbles!

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  5. Adorable pics, can I just say how impressed I am that they are touching the ripe bananas!! My girls are completely grossed out by them, until they are baked into a delicious bread! lol My fav way to Liv life better is definitely cooking and baking with my girls, I love the different convo's we have together!

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  6. The only thing sweeter than those muffins are your guest bakers!!! You should have them on again soon! Thanks for a great post!

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  7. What a fun time they had making muffins! Thanks for sharing such cute pictures. The muffins turned out looking mighty tasty, too.

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  8. Peanut butter + chocolate chips + bananas = yummy explosion in my mouth!! YUMM.

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  9. Congrats on winning the giveaway! Baking definitely helps me liv life better...its my ultimate stress relief! Oh, and also a glass of wine helps too :)

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  10. I liv life in a better way by making vegan bakes when I'm out of milk, butter, and eggs. Wink, wink!

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  11. These sound pretty good...ok VERY good and I think I need to try this to see if I can get some picky eaters that come visit to eat without a fuss!

    At the sake of sounding cheesy I have to say cooking helps me liv life in a better way. Not only do we do it as a family which does bring us closer, but knowing what is in our food is excellent education for us all. In fact, we've been eating so much better than even this same time last year that we are not able to handle the candy that we used to eat around this time! WOOHOO! Homemade sugary goodness is better anyway...and we get to lick the spoons. :)

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  12. I liv a better life by volunteering at a local animal shelter. I love helping out my 4 legged friends!
    marloweopat at gmail dot com

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  13. Cooking helps me liv life better. It's therapeutic. Great post and cute kitchen helpers. The muffins sound delish!

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  14. My kids help me liv life better because they remind you what it is I
    in life that is truly important.

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  15. Love the pictures of the kids - looks like that 'free' mixer is a hit! Thanks for sharing the recipie.

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  16. Being in the moment makes me live a better life.
    Whether it be cooking for family/friends or just taking my dog for a long walk, regardless of the weather; enjoying "that" moment.

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  17. I love practicing pilates. And your muffins look Delicious

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  18. Nice muffins, and love all the pictures.

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  19. I love to cook and teach, but right now my favorite thing to do is stay home with my daughter! I certainly look forward to the day when we can cook and learn together. :)

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  20. That's a memory those girls are gonna keep! My kids help me live my life better! I can't imagine what life would be like without them and I'm glad I don't have to!

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  21. I absolutely love baking with my sisters and friends. It's a memory we share and have fun talking while we bake. Life is good.

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  22. a combination of baking and the generous use of peanut butter help me liv a better way

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  23. Love the pictures! Making sure I get enough sleep helps me live life and also getting enough cuddles with my sweet husband!

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  24. What great photos of the girls...the future bakers! Also love the costumes and all the photos. They are all so cute, smiling, and happy.
    Priceless photos, and yummy muffins...thanks for sharing a precious part of your life!

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  25. Taking my dog on a walk helps me "liv" a better life. Going to the dog park always makes me smile!

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  26. Great giveaway. I know it sounds hokey, but volunteering makes my life better.

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  27. Trying to cook low fat, low sodium for my husband and I, helps me liv life in a better way, as well as working out and baking. (A dichotomy, I know, but baking is my escape, and frees my mind.)

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  28. Cooking with friends is the best way to live life! Some of mine are on their way over now to have a dumpling making party! Thanks for the recipe :)

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  29. Your little bakers are so sweet, love the pictures and love the recipe.
    It may sound weird but chocolate and soup make me "liv" better

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  30. Honestly, a good run helps me 'liv'life better.

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  31. What helps me "liv" life better?? Spending time with my friends and family... and cooking! :)

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  32. Sounds like a delicious recipe. Cute pics!

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  33. When I started to read this blog post I immediately started laughing! I never never never win anything, At the foodbuzz festival I was actually telling a fellow blogger how I never won a giveaway (I was jealous because I remember she won a great pie pan!) I'm still leaving a comment because this post was too much fun and I almost feel that I "know" Liv by now (she looks so adorable). What makes me Liv life in a better way? Definitely making yeast goodies. Every time I make a dough and I knead I feel all the pressure of life is gone and I'm relaxed and with a new smile on my face :)

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  34. Lov the post and the muffins too. Great job young ladies. Baking cookies helps me liv life in a better way. It's a great strss reliever, and calms and soothes me, that simple act of forming the cookies and laying them out on the plate.

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  35. I do love cooking for and with my family! I also like playing games with them.
    fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

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  36. Hey, congrats on your CSN win!! I was thrilled to win my first giveaway as well. It was a magical experience that put a lot of blog giveaway sites on my toolbar =)

    The actitivty that helps me to Liv a better life is exercise!! And of course cooking!!

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  37. Coffee! I can be a grump in the morning (can we all) and it helps me go from grouch to productive in only 5 minutes.

    I'm a better person with coffee.

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  38. Caffeine. Caffeine enables me to "liv" at all most days!

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  39. a long run every morning!
    runningcarmie at gmail dot com

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  40. These muffins look AMAZING! I am probably going to make them tomorrow!

    Running is my drug of choice-- exercise endorphins = amazing.

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  41. Aww they look like they had so much fun baking! :) For me, it's all about my morning walk! :)

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

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  42. I just found this blog recently from tastespotting and I must say everything looks delicious... the photos are gorgeous as well!
    I find that there's nothing like taking my dog to the park to play fetch to help me live life better - he gets SOO excited over just the prospect of heading out to the park, it really reminds me that it's the little things that matter the most!
    Thanks for the recipe!

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  43. I love your recipes.. I also really like your guest post.. Everything is so helpful on your blog!!

    cher_theblondeprincess@hotmail.com

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  44. Ok, so I waited until after I was sure the contest was over to write because I just want to tell you that the girls are adorable. What an incredibly sweet post. It's a keeper.

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  45. The girls look like they had a lot of fun!
    One activity that helps me live life in a better way, is learning to be a great cook. I'm running my own house now, learning how to cook from scratch and greatly enjoying it. I know its improving our lives because the food is natural and healthier!

    aigcanada7 at hotmail dot com

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  46. I love to take care of my goats. They keep me moving and they make me laugh.
    thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

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  47. Writing helps me live life in a better way
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  48. Having a pet helps me liv life in a better way :)

    bingoamamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

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  49. OMG This was so cute!!!! Will definitely give these a try!!!

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  50. Taking a break and doing something fun with the family helps us to live life in a better way. Our schedules are beyond busy, so a much needed family break is always beneficial.

    Can't wait to try this recipe, yum

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  51. They look like they are having so much fun! I try to Liv life in the moment by making mundane chores more fun for the kids and I. Racing to pick up toys, dancing while we mop, singing while we fold laundry.
    ape2016(at)aol(dot)com

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  52. making sure to spend family time makes life better

    fridaymoon429@yahoo.com

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  53. Doing anything with my kids and husband just makes me happy - I especially enjoy cooking with my kids! Great photos!

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  54. My liv better moment is when I workout. It makes me feel like I accomplished something for the day and I feel great about myself afterwards.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

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  55. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies help me "liv" better! tracietrump@yahoo.com

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  56. Love the recipe and pics...banana chocolate chip muffins are a favorite in our house!
    Making sure I exercise for at least 20 minutes a day makes me feel like I am "liv"ing better!
    onepilgrim86[at]yahoo.com

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  57. Yummy! Cooking and baking for the holidays helps me liv better. It makes me feel good to have homemade goodies on hand.
    chelsreb(at)aol(dot)com

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  58. Liv Life better for me is being outside all I can, with the family.
    supergrand2009@yahoo.com

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  59. I take lots of naps and eat chocolate! scg00387 at yahoo dot com

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  60. I like to spend as much time as possible with my family!
    chrissatko7@gmail.com

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  61. I like to spend time in the kitchen with my family...cooking and baking and talking and laughing together. Doesn't get much better than that!

    wowknk at gmail dot com

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  62. Hi, reading to my daughter every night helps me Liv Life in a better way! Thanks so much for the giveaway!
    maddiemb (at) comcast (dot) net

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  63. Eating a balanced diet and exercise helps me Liv a Better Life!

    gina.m.maddox@gmail.com

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  64. I decided to be come an aerobics instructor because my work ethic is much better than my "go to the gym everyday" ethic. This has definately helped me to live better!
    polsen11atcomcastdotnet

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  65. Looks like they had fun! I love spending time with my husband and daughter..it helps me liv life better.
    tcgirl11(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  66. God and my kids help me liv a better life :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    crunchybeachmama at gmail dot com

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  67. I LOVE to cook and LOVE to cook for my family. I believe that what you do with all your heart n soul is done with Lots of Love and should be shared with the ones you LOVE!!! That's how I LIVE LIFE to it's fullest.
    heartnsoulcooking[at]gmail[dot]com

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  68. Every two weeks, unless one of us can't make it, I meet with two Christian friends. Together we chat, pray, and read a book about Christian living together. These meetings sustain me, encourage me, and challenge me...and help me to live life better!

    Another thing this organizationally challenged (ie messy) mom of three clutter causing boys is a little something called the BLITZ which is helping me get everyone involved in cleaning (and helping me stick to it more too. Here's where I learned about it:

    http://ourmothersdaughters.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Reasonably%20Clean%20House

    If you have kids and have trouble keeping up with the clutter this is THE article to read. First article I've read about cleaning that didn't make me feel insulted or hopeless, but actually did some good!

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  69. Lately, my Active 2 workout game for PS3 has been helping me live life better. I've been sore but it's worth it!

    P.S. love the pics of the girls :)

    jennyjoz24 (at) hotmail.com

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  70. Baking helps me live life better (although the result doesn't necessarily add to my life span!)--I find it both relaxing to do and rewarding to look at and enjoy the finished product.

    eemoody77 at gmail dot com

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  71. I love planning and making my meals in a frugal way. It gives me satisfaction that I've saved and am helping my family ....Tiffypoot @ (aol.com)

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  72. I try to spend more time with my kids doing the little things.

    bethwillis01@gmail.com

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  73. AWESOME recipe, I love the healthy aspect of these and the flavor is amazing - can't wait to see my co-workers reaction tomorrow when we enjoy 'em (I'll re-blog and link back soon)

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