Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I'm trying to get back on my regular check-ins, regardless of whether my news is good or bad. :P This week has been pretty good. My clothes are slip sliding around ( getting loose ) and I feel stronger, though my weight has been fluctuating ( down 2 pounds yesterday, up the same today). I should work (again!) on my water intake. I'm planning on staying cool (on program) over Halloween. That's my goal anyway! Hopefully, my dh will let me be the one to take the girls around the neighbourhood so I'm moving a little and NOT indoors surrounded with a lot of sweet smelling chocolate. ;)
We were invited out to a pumpkin carving party tomorrow ( yeah! ), so we started our planned Halloween cupcakes and cookies tonight. The ones pictured above are from a recipe from the Cooking Light site. They're Classic Iced Sugar Cookies- obviously not iced yet! My children definitely want me to wait for them for the icing part (and they had to go to bed), so we'll finish them tomorrow- a long with the million other Halloween tasks I have for tomorrow. har.
We tried a couple un-iced and declared them very tasty. (I just had one with my herbal tea and I just heard dh sneaking another). They are a little nit picky in the making. After reading the reviews (and another iced sugar cookie recipe), I cut down the prep time by (a) using a freezer bag instead of the plastic wrap (b) putting them in the freezer, instead of the fridge (since I was trying to get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour and (c) cut down on the baking time (I did 7 mins as suggested by most reviewers).
The freezer bag seemed to work pretty well. It was probably more of a struggle getting them out of the bag rather than peeling off plastic wrap, but it worked ok and I just ran the rolling pin over any torn edges before we had at the dough with our funky, spooky Halloween cookie cutters.
Hope everyone has a happy and sane ( in terms of eating ) Halloween! :)
Monday, October 27, 2008
How better to celebrate Monday than with a delicious Godiva Brownie Sundae from a new cookbook that I found at our public library? It's from The Most Decadent Diet Ever! by Devin Alexander (author of The Biggest Loser Cookbook) and it really is very decadent and delicious for 4 points- if you are a point counting kind of person.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
(( ok. The above post was saved from yesterday. I was having camera battery issues and then company ( my sister and child ) came. ))
The pumpkin muffins pictured above are from my Cooking Light Complete recipe book ( but you can get the recipe here ). I really enjoyed them (as did my children, company and dh ). I actually made them twice this weekend (Saturday AND Sunday morning). I still had a can of pumpkin left over from last weekend and there was enough in one to do this recipe twice ( possibly 3 times ). This morning when I made them, I realized that I didn't have the sour cream, so I replaced it with non-fat yogurt, which worked out just as well. I love the sugar blend crust on the top of these and the pumpkin flavour, of course.
Hope everyone is doing well! I will have to catch up on my blog reading tonight. We're off to a rainy visit to the pumpkin patch and my eight year old is really anxious to get going.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The recipe was Roadhouse Steaks with Ancho Chile Rub. I was checking out the Cooking Light site on Saturday and I noticed a link to the recipe under a suggestion for Saturday night supper- which I'm guessing is a weekly site feature. It looked so delicious with the spoonful of mashed potatoes next to it ( I made those, too), that I thought I'd try it.
We all enjoyed it, though it's QUITE spicy. I cut back on the spice for my tots. I couldn't find the ancho chile, so I just used regular chili powder. My steaks were a kazillion bucks, by the way, but they cut "like butter." Quite delish. I should mention that we never have steak or red meat often, for that matter, but my children just recently discovered that they like steak since it's on the kid's menu at Jack Astor's- which we've been to a couple of times recently with the birthdays (and we've continued going to even though I car was burgled there during one of the last times. (but that's another story)
The mash potatoes were really good, too, and something else we rarely have. The recipe was actually for Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, but when I was making them I realized the rest of the dinner was almost ready and the garlic needs to be in the oven for an hour- so I skipped the garlic. dh has been complaining about garlic a lot lately. (Yes, the man is often painful to cook for. )
In exercise news, I've been going to boot camp and having really good workouts AND I started my step class at school today (for female students and teachers). So I'm really proud of myself today because it meant that I actually worked out twice. Can I get a "woo hoo?"
Monday, October 13, 2008
In spite of my Cooking Light cake looking horrible in this picture, I'm sharing a pic of it ( with my sister opening her bday present from us in the background ) and in spite of going up 2 pounds in one meal ( a very tasty meal- my sister and her dh are gourmet chefs :) ), I'm still checking in.
Anyway, in defence of the cake, it tasted really good. The frosting is really tasty: light cream cheese, icing sugar and fresh oj, but it made the cake super slide-y. I put it in a too large tote- the flip side of the cupcake base, so on our trip to Toronto, it slid all OVER the place. Now, if I'd read the cake reviews, I would have been better prepared for the top sliding off and cut back on the icing a bit AND if I was wise and talented like my sister or mother, I would have thought of spearing it with toothpicks before the car, but I didn't. Also, I should have been LESS lazy at 1 a.m. and actually chopped my pecan pieces. It would have made for a more attractive topping (though it tasted good). I also used more that called for- again lazy measuring and not wanting to put the nuts back through the tiny hole I cut in the bag to preserve freshness- ergo the nutty look to the cake, in more ways that one.
I do HIGHLY recommend this cake though- and it is perfect for people who don't want pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. It's called Pumpkin Pie Cake and it's moist and delicious. We had a guest who didn't like pumpkin pie, but really enjoyed this cake. Actually, everyone who had it liked it a lot and that was after pumpkin pie and cupcakes. ( I didn't have the cupcakes. NSV? har. ) Any Americans wanting a dessert idea for your upcoming Thanksgiving, definitely try this cake. You won't regret it- especially if you spear it with a large toothpick while travelling. ;)
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Monday everyone!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I haven't posted in a few days because, in part, I've still been kind of sick. In other parts, it's been the rush for visitors, Thanksgiving, more family birthdays and upcoming work events...and so here I am posting LATE my time, in the middle of making a Cooking Light pumpkin cake for tomorrow ( it's not cooling on the wire rack too quickly, so I'm standing by for the icing part ), but I'm posting. ( Better late than never? )
Today I made a delicious Cooking Light salad for supper- well, I really liked it anyway. lol. I've already spoken of my love for chipotle(s)? That love has not diminished. This was a strictly from the internet recipe- as in I didn't have the original magazine or cookbook version like usual. The recipe Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad was pretty easy to whip together and is very generous in serving size. It implies it's four servings, but it makes a ton. (dh didn't have a lot though- the picky man doesn't really enjoy salads with beans or (shocker) chipotle that much, so his serving was smallish. I made him take some and he claims to have liked it, though he didn't have seconds and tucked into tortilla chips and salsa instead. :P
Anywhoooo, I loved it, as did mil and my visiting mother, (though my mom didn't like the cilantro in it- not everyone's favourite as I think I've discussed here before as a topic. It's a strong little herb. I like it in some things. I actually enjoyed it in this salad. You chop it in the dressing, btw. If you don't enjoy cilantro, skip that part.)
I'm trying to work beans into my diet a little more, so this was a tiny step forward, too.
Ok! off to check my cooling cake. Have a nice Thanksgiving tomorrow for those celebrating. I'm not going to worry too much about my points, BUT I'm going to try for reasonable portion sizes. Wish me luck, please. :)
p.s. I got my new bowl on super-sale at Homesense. It makes me happy just to look at it AND adds no extra calories!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I snapped this picture on Sunday during our walk through the conservation area. I really have no excuse (well, I have plenty, but I SHOULDN'T have excuses ) about exercising. We are super close to beautiful trails and what is better and more beautiful than a walk or light jog through conservation area? OR I could ride my still new bike! But I digress. I'm aiming to get outside to exercise a little over the next month. I hope to keep up a family hike at least once a week, too.
My weight levelled off (thus far) at a 3 pound loss for the week, so I'll take that and hopefully keep on track through Thanksgiving weekend. We're bringing the pumpkin pie (to my sister's ), so I HOPE to make a Cooking Light one to take along with the decadent one from our local bakery. Hope everyone does well through turkey eating this weekend- well, the Canadians anyway!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I finally cracked open my panko crumbs that I bought weeks back and made Panko-Crusted Pork Chops with Creamy Herb Dressing from the new Cooking Light. I really liked it. The panko makes the dish really crispy, eh? In this recipe, you brown the panko-crusted pork in a non-stick frying pan and then you bake it. The side dressing pictured above looks more than a little sad, but it was quite tasty with it. ( I find I'm usually rushing by the sauce preparation time, and my side sauce never, EVER looks as pretty as the one in the magazine picture. er well. lol. No food modelling here!) The whole dish will cost you 6 points.
sidenote change: The recipe is supposed to cover 2 chops, but I actually did 4- one for each family member. I gave the last chop- with the least coating, to my dd who likes everything plain and calls breadcrumbs and such "sand." Anyway, it seemed to be enough to cover 4 chops reasonably well.
Also pictured here is a new find from Costco- Uptime dumplings! They're available for a short time and are selling like hot cakes apparently (said the lady at the Uptime Dumpling Costco stand anyway). You get 5 dumplings in each serving. The ones I tried were 2 points for the Pork, Bokchoi and Shrimp ones and 3 points for the Chicken and Cabbage ones. The sauce isn't pictured on my plate here, but they sell that too. It's also pretty reasonable point wise. The dumplings are quite delicious. :)
My crazy looking squash in the picture has Splenda brown sugar (also from Costco). It tasted like the real thing, too.
In exercise news, we went for a nice long walk in the conservation area trails today. It was so nice out and beautiful. I want to make family hikes more of a regular thing...with less whining. We took a loop that took us an hour up and down hills, so I was quite proud of my family- in spite of the minor complaining.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
So, my two week goal of getting back to summer weight has happened in 3 days instead. I'm actually a pound lighter than my lowest summer weight. Will it stick till wi? have the Cooking Light cupcakes crumbled? Stay tuned!
p.s. I'm going to try to make something from the new Cooking Light tonight if I can muster it. I'll share the results later.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I'm pledging to do a little something, something every day this week to burn off the last of the end of summer weight gain. I THINK I can do it over the next 2 weeks.
*sigh* Crazy how easy it is to go in the opposite direction of weight loss, eh? The summer feels a million years ago, but the extra weight is still here. ( Can't taste the poutine, but still can feel it. lol. )
Happy Hump day everyone! Now go to your basement and dance! ;)