Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies

Fall went fast here. Everything went from summer green, to multicolored, to pretty bare stumps in just a few short weeks. 

But since it was my first time ever seeing Fall's glorious gift of colored leaves it was still beautiful! 

So now as I sit waiting for the snow (something I also have yet to experience) I decided to make cookies, and of course since it's October, they were going to be made with pumpkin! 


Adapted from The Baker Chick
Makes approx 3 doz.

1 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
1 cup white all purpose
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar 
1 cup pumpkin puree (not the pie mix but 100% natural!) 
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder,salt,cinnamon,nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl.

Mix, applesauce and white sugar first, then add in pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla. 
Slowly add wet mixture into dry and mix until well combined. 

Dollop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 min. 

Let cool on a cooling rack and then dig in. 

****I had some extra cream cheese frosting mixture from my homemade cinnamon rolls so I added some cinnamon to that and lightly topped the cookies for a little extra sweetness. ****



Sunday, October 28, 2012

No Yeast- Cinnamon Rolls

Funny story. 

It was my husband's birthday and I know his deep love for cinnamon rolls so I thought as a nice gesture I would wake up early and take the time to make them fresh on the day of his birthday.

Right after that thought things started rolling downhill.

First I realized homemade cinnamon rolls take a long time to bake from scratch and since I wake up at 5:30 am for work waking up at 3 didn't seem the best idea.

Second I noticed every recipe I found called for the use of a stand mixer. Now I love to cook and bake but I actually don't own one! Seriously. Don't get me started on why.

Alight, so things were not too dandy.....until I saw this awesome pre-add for Aldi's saying they were going to have a stand mixer for 29.99!!!!! (insert angles singing)
Okay, now this is nowhere near close to a Kitchen Aid but it was seriously an answer to my prayer. So the mixer went on sale the day before his birthday and it was purchased and set up and ready to be used.

The awesome continued as I was able to find a recipe that claimed 72 min homemade cinnamon rolls. This was a huge time saver and all it called for was triple yeast. No problem...

So I thought.

My husband's birthday rolls around, I wake up at 4:30 am (it was a sacrifice I did not mind making for my husband) start compiling all the ingredients (the blogger stated it was easier to have them all pre measured for times savings sake). However, by the time I reach into my cupboard for the yeast I was all too sure that we had plenty off since my husband just bought it, I only found one measly packet! Apparently it completely slipped my mind that my husband made bread and pizza crust recently which used a good amount of the yeast.


5 am rolls around... I feel like a failure....

until I remember pinning a No Yeast Recipe on pinterest months ago....BINGO!!!!!

(THANK YOU PINTEREST and Recipe Girl!!!!)

I scramble, find it, praise GOD and get started.

Now, having no yeast makes for a very sticky dough which was a pain in my tukus to roll and looked like rolled gloop when I put them in my pie pan. But, none the less I was determined, and with another prayer, I put them in the oven.

My resultt?

Ready by 6:15 and eaten with love.

Happy End.
*P.S. I will be making the yeast ones soon. Keep posted.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cups bread or all-purpose flour, + more for rolling
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature ( I used 8oz, we like it thick)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk or buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. ( I used a pie tin)
2. Prepare the filling: In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients with a fork until a crumbly mixture is formed.
3. Prepare the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use clean hands (or a pastry blender) to work the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the milk and the egg and stir to combine.
4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into roughly shaped large rectangle (about 1/4-inch thick). I had to use a LOT OF FLOUR TO ROLL THEM. but I think if you notice dough is too sticky just add more flour to make it workable.
Sprinkle the filling evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all the way around. Carefully roll up the rectangle (the dough will be soft, sticky).
 Use a sharp knife to cut 12 rolls for a muffin tin or 8 for a pie tin.
5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting: Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk/buttermilk in a medium bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine. Add a little more milk if you wish to have a thinner frosting. Spread the frosting on top of warm rolls or drizzle on top. Serve warm.


Have a funny yeast or non yeast story/catastrophe you'd like to share?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

French Bread Pizza


This recipe couldn't be any easier, but is my husband's go-to food at the fair,
so I thought I'd make it at home and of course healthier. Turned out amazing. 
Especially since my husband made the sauce.
 His sauces are delicious!

****This recipe's ingredient measurements  are truly based on what and how much you want. Add as little or as much as you want, substitute and add to your heart's content.****

1 loaf of French Bread (we used Italian it was bigger)
 Marinara Sauce (we used my husband's homemade)
2 handfuls of Turkey pepperoni
 2 cup mozzarella cheese
Handful of shredded spinach
2 tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees 
Foil a baking sheet
 Slice the bread in half and oil top of loaf edges and soft part 
 Bake for 5 min until loaf has lightly golden edges
Add marinara sauce to the loaf
Top with cheese 
then layer with pepperoni and shredded spinach

 Bake for 7-9 min until cheese is bubbly

Slice and Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

No Sweets Week: Update!


Well I made it through....
I will admit it did get hard on the weekend due to my husband and I's date night, dinner with friends who made an awesome chocolate chip rice crispy and ice cream dessert (right?), homemade cookies etc., etc. BUT I did it. Come monday I felt wonderful and guess what?

- 2 lbs! AGAIN

Man I am telling you it does something. :)

So my friends who wish to have health boost give the no sugar for a week trial a try and let me know how it works out for you!

Happy Healthy Living Friends.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Greek Yogurt Chicken Parm Bake

Are you ready for this? 

5 min prep dinner!!!! 


I know, I know you  I'll give you some time to collect yourself

. . . . . . . . . . . . 


Now, this is an awesome, very healthy, melt-in-your-mouth, chicken dinner that everyone will love. (my husband sure does!)

Apparently the original recipe uses mayo, but I found this amazing recipe from Life of Meg, which substitutes the flubber for greek yogurt!

One can never go wrong with greek yogurt  
(my new food obsession!) 


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded or crumbled
  • 1 tsp garlic powder*
  • 1/2 tsp salt*
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
               * I have just used 1 tsp garlic salt instead of garlic powder and salt before.
Directions: the 5 min part

Preheat Oven 375

Line a baking sheet with foil (TRUST ME, DO THIS and you'll thank me later when your not trying to scrub of cooked cheese on a pan...we've all been there) and spray with cooking spray. ( I used my misto!)

Mix greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Pat dry chicken and coat in yogurt mixture (both sides). 

Lay on baking sheet. 

Bake for 45-50 min until golden brown spots appear on chicken.
TIP: Around 40-45 min carefully dump juices that have accumulated in the pan--this will help reduce burning
TIP: Turning oven to broil for 1-2 min (AFTER DUMPING JUICES) will help create those savory
brown spots. Be careful to watch everything on BROIL so it doesn't burn.

Pair with some delicious veggies.


Nutritional Information: the really awesome part
serving 1 baked chicken 
215 cal*3 carbs*4 sat fat*23g protein*2 g fiber

Monday, October 15, 2012

No Sweets Week

This is my second attempt at no sweets for
 one whole week. 

This is not just no candy or dessert (which I normally help myself to every night...don't worry it's within my calorie count) this is a "no food that doesn't have natural sugar built in it" week. 


 You have to constantly read labels and think outside the box but....


The last time I did no sweets week it was the week of  
Valentine's Day
Talk about temptation week.
 Cookies, cupcakes, and chocolates galore were being thrown at me from every angle.
 But you know what....
I used self discipline, said no thank you, and by the end of the week I was 2lbs lighter!!!!

After that I was sold. 
I figure it must have been just enough of a change to kick my plateau in the bottom, 
change my digestive system and get the ball rolling on my final steps towards my weight goal  
(which I reached a month later!!! 133lbs from 180lbs) 

So why do it again? 
Well, since being married I picked up a few of those pounds, 
seriously not in a bad way,
 but I did find myself giving into the sweets a little too much. 
So No Sweets Week it is!

Also, I found last time that by not having sugar for a week I didn't crave it as much afterward.
(I'm not giving up sweets for ever, trust me!)

So give it a try and let me know your results. 

As ALWAYS, you know your body; you know your limits, so please be healthy about making a change in your diet. See your doctor if you have major medical concerns. 

Your Beautiful, Strong, and AWESOME.

Happy Healthy Living  My Friends,


Roasted Chickpeas

Sometimes we just need a little crunch in our life. 

Don't go for the chips.
 Go for the Chickpeas. 
Your body will thank you later. 

They can be made sweet, spicy, salty...pretty much anyway that you can concoct in your mind and toss in a bowl with them you can have. 

So make em'!

  • 1 can Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Rinse Chickpeas in a colander, and then dry VERY WELL. (they will turn mushy if not)
Mix spices and olive oil in a small bowl. 
Add chickpeas into mixture and toss well. 
Lay on a baking sheet and place in oven. bake for 30 min or until crunchy. After the first 20 min or so shake pan to make sure they don't burn. Repeat as you see fit. 
ENJOY your very healthy protein enriched snack!

Nutrition Information:
 Makes about 5 severing. Serving size 1/4 cup.
100 cal* 14 carb* 0 sat fat* 4g protein* 4 fiber

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Savory Chicken Tacos (Spicy!)

      Eating these chicken Tacos, aka Fajitas without the peppers, exposes your palate to unbelievable amounts of explosive flavors.

      The aroma, while cooking, will be so tempting you'll have to restrain yourself to not pick the chicken straight out of the pan and eat it. 

      I encourage you to perform self discipline and place the chicken in a warm homemade tortilla topped with any extra toppings that suit your taste buds, sit down at a table and then take a savory bite and enjoy a moment of foodie euphoria.

Did I mention it's super easy to to make. Oh yes. It is. 

  • 2 chicken breasts, fat cut off
  •  1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 generous tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 " " tsp cumin
  • 1/2 " " tsp oregano
  • 1/2 " " tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp minced onion flakes
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided

Slice chicken breast into 2 1/2-3 inch pieces.

Add all the spices and 1 of the tbs of olive oil to a freezer ziplock bag.

Add chicken pieces and shake/mix till well combined. Let sit.


Heat the other 1tbs of olive oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add seasoned chicken.

Cook till chicken is no longer pink. 5-7ish min.

Enjoy in a warm tortilla topped with other delectable ingredients of your choice. 

*You can easily make them fajitas by adding in 1 cup sliced bell peppers of your choice. 
*You can easily double the batch to allow others to experience the magic of this recipe.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness (Never Lose Hope)

Breast Cancer Awareness

It's October and everything is turning pink. Literally; Out here in the city of fountains they have dyed the water pink to help raise awareness. It's a wonderful effort and I am thankful there is a full month dedicated to it, but I am a strong believer in it always being any type of cancer month.

My mother was a victim of  breast cancer, as well as thyroid, and uterine cancer but I am very very blessed to be able to say she was able to have ALL of it removed without a lick of chemo and is living healthy as a survivor.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for thousands of other victims and their families as there is still no cure for the cancer. So I'm writing this post to allow space to grieve,  a space to share memories, a space to unite those who share this burden, and a space to reach out and teach those who are unaware of cancers deadly trace. 

I encourage ALL WOMAN, not matter what age to perform self checks and of course make those mammogram appointment no matter how uncomfortable. 

Here are some links that may be helpful for tips, advise, self check guide and much more. 
"Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures."
Find info, explanations, and guides to help keep you prepared and healthy. 
A site that helps understand diagnosis, guides to preventions, and promote awarenessss.
Information and Resources for Cancer 

Feel free to respond to any of the above. 
Many Blessings, 


Monday, October 8, 2012

Healthy Carrot Cake (with Homemade Frosting!)

I made this for my brother's birthday. He didn't know it was healthy until after he took a huge bite, grinned with a mouth full of cake, mumbled out "this is delicious!", and dove in to take another bite when I announced it. 
Everyone was pretty impressed. 

So make it, and enjoy every last bite!
Homemade Healthy Carrot Cake:
  • 2 cup flour 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (Note: Use big carrots and grate on small part of cheese grater)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven 350
Mix dry ingredients together and wet (wet includes carrot shreds), then blend together; slowly mixing them till fully combined.
Pour in two 8inch pans or one 13x9. 
Bake 35 min for 8 inc, 40-45 in 13x9 or until no longer wet in center.
Cheesecake Flavor Frosting:
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter (you can't really get around this, you need the fat to create the whipped texture)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Powdered sugar
Mix together and add in 1/4 cup of powdered sugar at a time until desired texture is reached.


Nutrition Information
Serving 15 slices
175 Cal * 9g Fat  *  1 Sat Fat  *  22 carbs *  9 sugar  * 250 sodium

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Apple Sauce Bread

This was an experiment bread that turned out wonderful! 

I had half of a jar of applesauce (about 4 cups of apple sauce!) and it needed to go soon (it molds so fast!)

SO I pulled from a concoction of  bread recipes  to make this spice-full, perfect for fall, Apple Sauce Bread.

Feel free to adapt/add what you want to make it yours!

  • 2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup White Flour
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tbs nutmeg
  • 1 tsp all spice, ground
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cup all natural apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar + 1tbs, divided
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1tbs ground flaxseed + 3tbs water
  • 1/2 cup of raisins


Mix flaxseed and water in a small dish and set a side for 3-5 min. (allows it to get gummy)

Mix flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder  in a large bowl

Mix apple sauce, brown and white sugar, flaxseed mix, nutmeg, and all spice in a smaller bowl

Blend wet ingredients into dry and stir until well combined. Then gently fold in raisins. 

Pour mix in a 9x5 Pan

Sprinkle 1 tbs brown sugar on top

Bake 50-60 min or until knife comes out clean. 


Let cool for 20 min and then serve.


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