Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dark Chocolate and Orange Muffins....#Recipesfromtheheart

"Today's event is being hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita's Cocina. They teamed up with their blogger friends to help raise awareness and support for Cancer and Hospice today in memory of Kim's dad. We encourage everyone to read the posts and share their own experiences with cancer. We also would like to encourage everyone to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society and also to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. Hospice was a key element during Kim's father's battle with cancer. They made it possible for Kim to care for him at home. So please show your support and donate if you can. You can also contact your local Hospice and donate directly to them if you wish. A little goes a long way!"

Cancer awareness is a subject near and dear to my heart, as well. My mother passed away from complications of cancer (she had both ovarian and colon cancer) when I was just twenty years old. Last year, I lost both my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law to breast cancer. Since my mother-in-law's mother also had breast cancer, there are three generations of women in my husband's family that suffered from it, making me fear for my daughter. Cancer in our family isn't limited to females though, as my father-in-law succumbed to lung cancer soon after my husband and I were married.

When you read Kim's story of her and her father's journey through cancer, you will be heartbroken. Cancer not only robs it's victims of their health, it also robs the victim's entire family...of their sense of well-being, for lack of a better word. It is tough, tough, tough to care for an ailing human being, but when that person is a parent or other family member it is so draining. I thank my sister for being there for my mother through the very end. I was in college and barely aware of all she went through. My time came many, many years later when I cared for my mother-in-law.

My mom in the kitchen...I love to remember her this way.

I pondered for a while over what kind of recipe I should share for a cancer awareness post. Should it be healthy? Should it be something a cancer patient could eat? In the end, I decided that it might be too difficult to decide what a good food for a cancer patient is...there are way too many variables. Let's concentrate instead on the caregivers or the family members that are involved with caring for someone with cancer. For sure they could always use a pick me up, no? So, I decided that a treat was in order. These muffins, full of dark chocolate and fresh orange flavor, may not be health food but they sure are tasty and will be a welcome treat for anyone.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Muffins
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3.5-4 oz. premium dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.; line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

2. In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon of the orange zest with 1/4 cup of the sugar; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar together. Stir in the chopped chocolate; set aside.

4. Add the buttermilk, the egg and the orange juice to a large, microwave safe measuring cup. Use a fork to blend the mixture. Microwave for about 30 seconds, or just until the mixture is at room temperature; stir in the melted coconut oil, the vanilla, and the remaining orange zest.

5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir with a rubber spatula until just blended. 

6. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups. Sprinkle the orange-sugar over the tops of the muffins. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Two of these bars of chocolate from Trader Joe's were perfect....

Please check out the stories of all of the #recipesfromtheheart bloggers. You are sure to be inspired:

Chili Verde by Juanita's Cocina
S'Mores Brownies in Jars by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Dark Chocolate and Orange Muffins by The Dutch Baker's Daughter
Boston Cream Pie by Pass The Sushi
My Fathers Day Recipe Round Up by Curry and Comfort
Tropical Smoothie by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
Mini Gugelhupf by Masala Herb
Spicy Beef Sliders by Katie's Cucina
Thai Red Curry Soup by Damn Delicious
Suman (Sweet Rice and Banana Leaves) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Fresh Vegetable Salad by White Lights on Wednesday
Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Sundae by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Honey Beer Bread by Hungry Couple
Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Pancakes by The Spiffy Cookie
Cookies and Cream Brownies by Cooking in Stilettos
Blueberry Lemon Cake by Roxana's Home Baking
Angel Cake by Ninja Baking

Now, to add a little excitement to our cancer awareness post, look at what KichenAidCanada has agreed to give to one of our readers (!):

"Enter for your chance to Win an Artisan® Series KitchenAid®  Stand Mixer in the color of your choice (there are 26 to choose from) as well as an Ice Cream Maker Attachment. A sweet choice for all,  this creative attachment features the largest ice cream bowl capacity in the industry. Prepare 2 quarts of ice cream, sorbet, gelato or other frozen desserts. We're pleased to announce the giveaway is open to Canadian residents, as well as U.S. Residents. Winner will be chosen and announced during the pinchatlive event, described below. Winner will also be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond another winner will be chosen. 1 Stand Mixer and 1 Ice Cream Attachment are being given away as a group, not 1 per blog just to be clear for our readers. 

There are bonus prizes for the pinchatlive event. We are giving away 1 Vanilla Infused Gift Box Set, 1 Lemon Infused Gift Box Set and a $30 Amazon Gift Card.  In order to participate in this event follow the Pinterest Board #recipesfromtheheart. Hop on the Pinterest board on June 22 at 2 pm Est to follow along. We'll ask questions and those who comment are entered to win the bonus prizes. There will be a G+ Hangout on Air during the event as well. Winners of the pinchatlive event must be Canadian or U.S. residents.
Visit and click on the “More than a Mixer” tab to explore all 12 attachments available for the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer."

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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