Guest Blogger. Laura Virginia Underwood.

I am so excited to introduce this week's Guest Blogger Laura, because I have known her since she was in her mama's belly. Her mom, Jayne, and my mom were great friends (and still are) when I was in elementary school and her sister, Ellen, and I were the best of friends too. Ellen and I were almost like sisters (twins specifically, because we looked quite a bit alike and frequently told people we were twins) and since both of us just had brothers. So, when Laura was born I felt like she was my little sister too. Now Laura is going to be a senior in college at N.C. State, has her own blog (which is awesome and you should definitely check out), has a cute boyfriend, takes amazing pictures, loves Jesus passionately, has great taste in decorating, mason jars, and fashion, loves cheese and is a fantastic cook (you will see below!), has the best taste in music, and if we lived in the same town I think we would be fantastic friends. I just can't believe how fast time has gone by and how grown up she is and I love the beautiful woman she has become both on the inside and out.

Meet Virginia...
I like to think that growing up I thrived on the five main food groups. And, of course, by that I mean: grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, ranch dressing, and anything with chocolate in it. I once said to my mom, “My life is cheese!” At least we know where my priorities were. Many nights I sat at the dinner table long after everyone else was finished because I would NOT eat that salad in front of me. Lettuce made me gag and there was no way you could sneak me a tomato. Of course that meant I wasn’t getting dessert, and so… no chocolate. Life’s not fair. 
Then this strange thing happened. I went off to college and my tastes and preferences for foods started changing. People had told me that this might happen, but I was sure there was no way. Slowly I started trying new things and before I knew it I was eating crab cakes, making kale chips, ordering anything on a menu with the word “black bean” in it, buying every fruit I could get my hands on, shopping at Trader Joe’s, dreaming of asparagus, and getting dinner from the salad restaurant in the mall 3 times a week. Did you hear that? A salad restaurant!   
Now don’t get me wrong. I love a good grilled cheese. I still order a “Mac-a-roo n’ Cheese” off the Kid’s Menu at Outback. Not much beats a 6-pack of chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A. And as much as I try to resist, every time I have french fries with a meal, I just have to order a side of Ranch to go along with them. 
But I also have learned to love being healthy. It makes me feel so much better inside and out to be eating well and to be taking care of the body that my Creator gave me. I really just believe in a healthy balance. I think that it is so important to live a healthy and active lifestyle, but also to really enjoy the things that you love. Remember that “chocolate” food group? It is still a part of everyday life.   
Yesterday, I made what I am going to declare “The World’s Best Muffins.” They are a perfect example of my “Nutritionally Delicious” philosophy. They have some really nutritionally redemptive qualities, and they are to die for! It would be cruel to keep the recipe to myself. I recommend eating one fresh out of the oven with a glass of milk. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Makes approximately 24 muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon Flax Seed Meal
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 Bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
!/4 Bag Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin cups in muffin tins.
Mix sugar, applesauce, and egg until creamy and light yellow. Add bananas and vanilla. Add flour, flax meal, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Stir until smooth. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.


Melanie McCabe said...

I have loved watching Laura grow into the beautiful, sweet woman she is.(just like her Mother)

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