web analytics

Heaven by the Microwave Light- Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

baking | cooking | family | food | recipes | weight loss 2 2 Comments

3-7-14 352

OMG y’all. I seriously think I may have just died and gone to Heaven.

No kidding.

And here’s why…

I  have just discovered mug cakes!


I know most of you are sitting there thinking, ‘Geez, Jenn- really? That mug cake sensation is almost yesterday’s news! Exactly what rock HAVE you been living under?’

So ok, maybe I misspoke mistyped. I have known about mug cakes long before now- but they were all ordinary, run of the mill, not gonna ring my bell mug cakes.

Until this one.

This mug cake, my friends, will bring you to your knees!
Because it’s not just any old mug cake y’all…

It’s 100%, grade A, certifiable, chocolate-y, peanut butter-y, marshmallow-y nirvana. Warm and gooey and perfectly portioned in an easy one-size-fits-all, grab and go package. Truly, truly proof that God loves me and wants me to be happy.
3-7-14 361

(cue the Hallelujah chorus!)
-

Now I’m not going to lie. This mug cake is not some low-cal answer to all your dieting dessert dreams.
It’s not terrible- but it ain’t great.

If made as written by the lovely Jessica on The Novice Chef, it comes in at a whopping 14 (delicious!) Points+ per mug cake!

YIKES!!

If this seems completely over the top for you (as it did for me), there are plenty of ways to tweak the recipe without altering it too terribly, in an effort to reduce the Points+ load.

Here’s what I did:

I changed the all-purpose flour to white whole wheat flour
It doesn’t change the Points+ a bit, but does make me feel a bit better about what’s going in my system. You can also use whole wheat flour- I was just too lazy to go pull it out of the pantry (I keep the white whole wheat on the counter). I debated about using coconut flour, and according to Weight Watchers, you can actually save 1 extra Points+ by doing so. But I’m still not quite comfortable with the extra liquid to flour ratio needed, so I decided to play it safe and go with what I know!

I used skim milk
In my world, milk is milk is milk. I use skim for everything unless whole milk is specifically needed for a recipe due to fat content. In this instance, it didn’t change the recipe a bit but did save me quite a bit on calories. Luckily, it’s also 0 Points+ on WW.

I used homemade unsweetened applesauce in place of vegetable oil
Weight Watchers views all oils as equally villainous. So wherever possible, I trade out for applesauce, Greek yogurt, even sour cream. Here, it still gave me the moisture and helped with the rise, but didn’t affect flavor or consistency in the slightest. And saved me 5 Points+ to boot!

And other things you can do:

You can trade out the sugar for Splenda
Up until recently I would have absolutely done this- would have saved me an easy 3 Points+ without even blinking. We were Splenda-aholics and used it in and for everything. However, it wasn’t until I started doing some research that I realized just how bad it was for us (but that’s a whole ‘nother post). Needless to say, I opted to keep the sugar and deal with the added Points+, but that’s your call.

Read More

3-7-14 361

OMG y’all. I seriously think I may have just died and gone to Heaven. No kidding. And here’s why… — I  have just discovered mug cakes! — I know most of you are sitting there thinking, ‘Geez, Jenn- really? That mug cake sensation is almost yesterday’s news! Exactly what rock HAVE you been living under?’ […]

Weigh-In Wednesday & a GIVEAWAY!!

Uncategorized 2 2 Comments

weigh-in-graphic1

Yes, Yes. I am aware that I am….once again… delayed in getting a post up on the blog. If you tuned in to my last few posts, you’ll most certainly understand why! I’m sure you’ve guessed, by now, that with all the crazy shenanigans and goings-on over the past few months, dieting and eating right were not exactly high on my and the Timster’s to-do lists. So much so, that both of us managed to gain back all the previously hard fought weight loss, plus tack on quite a bit of extra poundage. Blech!

Finally tired of being so overweight that getting out of bed made me breathless (not kidding!), I decided that it was time to jump back on the eating right bandwagon and start fighting the good fight all over again. I was mortified when I first stepped on the scale this morning to get a starting weight- 387.4.

My GOD! Where in the name of all that is holy did that number come from?!?! I’ll tell you where it came from… it came from stress over a rough living situation, poorly behaved children (sometimes) and more month than money, more often than not.

As I stood on that scale feeling defeated before I ever even began, I realized I could let that number define me or I could let it motivate me. For the first time in my life, motivation won out.

I’m 34 and I’ve been overweight most of my life. I allowed 4 pregnancies to be an excuse to eat what I wanted (and boy did I!) and I never bothered to lose the weight in between any of those babies. Working in childcare and eating ‘school lunches’ (we all know how healthy THOSE are!) didn’t help; and then my dependance on quick and easy fast/convenience type food just rounded it all out.

Before I knew it, I was (and still am) hovering not on the edge of glory- but on the edge of heart disease, diabetes, and as scary as it sounds to say it…. probably death. So although I’ve started this journey so many times in my head, this time it just HAS to stick.

I can’t lie… I’ve only been on it 2 days and I’ve already been tempted to throw in the towel.

I know some of you out there (the skinny ones who’ve never dealt with weight or the ones who got thin and forgot what this feels like) are probably rolling your eyes and thinking ‘just get a grip!’ But it’s just like alcoholism or a narcotics addiction- food to me is truly an addiction. And when I’m stressed or sad or happy or lonely or overwhelmed (which I’ve been all of lately), I eat. Food is my solace.

Take last night for example, when dinner (which should have been SO SIMPLE) went wrong every which way to Sunday. All I wanted to do was run up to McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts and swallow my sorrows. (I mean, how hard is it to roast chicken and potatoes for cryin’ out loud!! It was so bad, I didn’t even bother taking a picture, y’all!)

But I stuck it out, and it may have taken us an hour to get through dinner because we had to keep microwavin’ that dang chicken (ack!), but dammit! I was in it for the long haul!

Because McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts was NOT the answer- the dinner I made was healthy and fresh and tasty…. and just not cooked all the way through! So we were still fighting the good fight at 10:00, but by George we did it! And everyone went to bed satisfied and grateful for a meal that was good and good for them. And best of all, I didn’t give in to the overwhelming stress. I fought it off… and I won.

Jenn-1   Stress Monster- 0

Now, enough talk about a dinner that went wrong and let’s discuss one that went right! Night before last, we had a delicious Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon over Wild Rice with Feta Sprinkled Asparagus.

Sounds delish, right?!
Guess what?
Looks even better!

3-7-14 336

This dinner was so simple to make and everybody raved about how tasty it was. I always love a sweet touch to my salmon but this was tempered with the bite of a stone ground mustard, a dash of basil, and some finely diced garlic. So it was a wonderful mixture of flavors on the tongue, all glazed on the richness of salmon (my favorite fish!)

The asparagus was as quick and simple as it gets. Some quick spritzes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast those babies til they are super hot and even have a few charred spots. When they come out, sprinkle them liberally with feta. Scrumptious!

Lastly, the rice was an easy wild rice blend I get from Amazon on the Subscribe & Save program. I have always hated cooking rice, because it would always turn out to be a sticky, gummy mess- yet somehow my husband would always manage to make the world’s most perfect rice! What gives?!

Read More

weigh-in-graphic1

Yes, Yes. I am aware that I am….once again… delayed in getting a post up on the blog. If you tuned in to my last few posts, you’ll most certainly understand why! I’m sure you’ve guessed, by now, that with all the crazy shenanigans and goings-on over the past few months, dieting and eating right […]

New Year’s Resolutions (and Making Them Stick!)

family | linky parties | self-help 0 No Comments

chinese-year-horse www.storynory.com

How hilariously ironic is it that it’s almost March and I’m JUST now getting around to writing a post about New Year’s resolutions?! I’ve had this post on my mind since before the start of the year,but with all that has been going on (which you read about here), I just didn’t have the time. I hoped I would be able to get it to you in time for the lunar new year (Chinese New Year- Jan. 31), but alas, I am late there as well! It seems that procrastination strikes wherever I go! Nevertheless! I am determined to bring this information to you, because I feel it would be as relevant on August 1 as it is on January 1. Moving on… ;)
—–

I know a lot of people tend to pish-posh New Year’s resolutions- considering them a colossal waste of time or something made in the spirit of the season and then easily forgotten. I, on the other hand, have always looked to my New Year’s resolutions as guideposts of sorts.  Lofty goals I want to accomplish in (insert year here), and even if I stumble and fall along the way, those resolutions are there to get me more-or-less back on track towards achieving them. Sometimes I succeed, more often than not I fail, but I always make it a priority to make my New Year’s resolutions.
—–

The resolutions I have made in the past, though, I must admit weren’t always the most stellar. Some weren’t well thought out; others were just completely unachievable… you get the picture. So, I hobbled along doing the best I could… until the day I stumbled upon Katie Weber at Red Lotus Letter. You see, I’ve always had a huge interest in Feng Shui and how lining up your life with the energies of the universe can make a big difference in the fortunes (or misfortunes) you experience thereafter. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t put put feng shui above the blessings God can bring into my life- I use it in conjunction with them. Like a one-two punch!)

Anyway, Katie, just happens to be a feng shui expert and writes one of the most popular feng shui blogs on the internet. Not only that, but she has some killer advice for New Year’s resolutions! She refers to it as ‘Setting Your Intention with Feng Shui’ and I think that’s a really neat perspective in which to view it. I’m not making a ‘resolution‘ to change; I’m setting an ‘intention‘ to change- I like it! She says that when you set goals, keeping them in your head is all well and good, but writing them down gives them purpose… breathes life into them.

As she puts it, ‘…they become more tangible, more real.
There is magic in writing.’

Katie says writing down our intentions (i.e. resolutions) requires an act, a commitment. The Universe sees this commitment and sets the wheels in motion to help us achieve our goals. A sort of ‘God helps those who help themselves’ kind of thing. BUT… there is a caveat.

As she puts it, ‘…the Universe helps us when we make efforts on our own behalf. When we decide not to take action and write down our goals or our wishes, we delay or postpone our commitment. This tells the Universe we’re not really serious.’

That’s why it really IS important to make resolutions/intentions, write them down, and allow God and the Universe to help you achieve them! If you set yourself up for success, then you’re bound to succeed!
If you believe it, you can achieve it!

Katie includes several worksheets in her Intentions Plan to help you get started. The first one, which really helped open my eyes, was My Financial Mastery Plan. It breaks down as follows:

  • 3 ways I can MAKE more money
  • 3 ways I can SAVE more money
  • 3 ways I WASTE money
  • 3 ways I can take CONTROL of my money in 2014

Seeing as how I’m a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom, this one was hard for me as I don’t MAKE any money but I do SPEND (waste?) the majority of it (I handle all bills/shopping, etc.). I do have some small ideas for bringing in bits of revenue here and there to help the family this year, so I did add that, and I definitely have ideas for saving (get back to couponing), limiting waste (no more dining out), and taking control (can anyone say budget book?). So this worksheet was successful all the way around!

The next worksheet is My Personal Goals for 2014. She gives you 10 spaces (you don’t have to use all of them) and even leaves lines for you to explain them if brevity is not your strong suit (it’s not mine!). Here were some of my goals (in no certain order): Read More

chinese-year-horse

How hilariously ironic is it that it’s almost March and I’m JUST now getting around to writing a post about New Year’s resolutions?! I’ve had this post on my mind since before the start of the year,but with all that has been going on (which you read about here), I just didn’t have the time. […]