Monthly Archives: May 2011

Low Cal Blondies


This dreary and dark weather is really messing with my food photos.


Once I learned that natural light was the best way to photograph food, I quit using flash for good!  I even quit baking at night and started baking in the morning so by the time I got finished, I could use the natural light from my kitchen window to photograph the finished product.

But that’s changed lately.  It’s been cloudy for a couple of weeks now and I can’t seem to get a good picture.

Which is where a light box comes in handy!

No need to buy one.  I’ll show you how to make one!!

Homemade Light Box

You’ll need:
1 big box
some tissue paper or other semi-transparent paper
scissors

Cut out the centers of the sides of the box.  Leave one side, though!
It will look like this.
 Fill the sides of your cut out box with paper.
You’ll need more lights than this, but this is the gist.
Simple!!!!!
After all of that hard work, you’ll probably need some blondies. 😉

I took this from Katie.  They have beans in them, but I trusted Katie’s judgement and made them anyway.  I’m impressed!!  I wasn’t expecting them to be that good.  I took mine out a little early so they were gooey and delicious!  If you’re looking for a low-cal treat, these are the ones you should make.  My only complaint is that the flax seeds made them a little grainy, so next time I might sub in flour instead.  



Low Cal Blondies
For this delicious recipe, click here: Choc. Covered Katie

Advertisements

Low Cal Blondies


This dreary and dark weather is really messing with my food photos.


Once I learned that natural light was the best way to photograph food, I quit using flash for good!  I even quit baking at night and started baking in the morning so by the time I got finished, I could use the natural light from my kitchen window to photograph the finished product.

But that’s changed lately.  It’s been cloudy for a couple of weeks now and I can’t seem to get a good picture.

Which is where a light box comes in handy!

No need to buy one.  I’ll show you how to make one!!

Homemade Light Box

You’ll need:
1 big box
some tissue paper or other semi-transparent paper
scissors

Cut out the centers of the sides of the box.  Leave one side, though!
It will look like this.
 Fill the sides of your cut out box with paper.
You’ll need more lights than this, but this is the gist.
Simple!!!!!
After all of that hard work, you’ll probably need some blondies. 😉

I took this from Katie.  They have beans in them, but I trusted Katie’s judgement and made them anyway.  I’m impressed!!  I wasn’t expecting them to be that good.  I took mine out a little early so they were gooey and delicious!  If you’re looking for a low-cal treat, these are the ones you should make.  My only complaint is that the flax seeds made them a little grainy, so next time I might sub in flour instead.  



Low Cal Blondies
For this delicious recipe, click here: Choc. Covered Katie

Fruity Banana Smoothie? Sorbet? Ice Cream?

Sometimes you just have to stop and relax.

It’s harder to do than you think.  Most of us are constantly on the go and never have any down time.

Think about the last time that you just sat down for 20 minutes doing absolutely nothing but relaxing.

Was it a long time ago?

If so, I’d advise you to do some relaxing.  Just sit down for 20 minutes and maybe even meditate.  Meditating isn’t some weird thing freaks do, I promise.  I do it all the time (not that that proves anything.)  Meditating is just controlling your breaths and releasing all thoughts.  It’s been proven to reduce Cortisol levels and Cortisol is what (apparently) causes stress and mindless eating.  So, there you have it.  Take some time for yourself just to relax.  You deserve it!

And before you head off to relax, make a banana mango smoothie.  Check out the title… I wasn’t quite sure what to call it because I couldn’t decide if it’s a smoothie, sorbet, or ice cream.  It’s just like the “1 ingredient banana ice cream” except it’s got 3 ingredients… so does that make it a smoothie?  Or a sorbet since one of the other ingredients is frozen fruit?!  Don’t ask me; I’m obviously confused!  Whatever it is, it’s so simple, delicious, and healthy.  I’ve made one almost every day for the past two weeks.  And if you make it, please tell me what you’d call it.  🙂

Fruity Mango Smoothie/Sorbet/Ice Cream


1 frozen banana, chopped up
½ large frozen mango, chopped up (or fruit of choice)
¼ cup yogurt

1.  Chop your banana and mango.
2.  Put in freezer a couple of hours or until frozen.
3.  Blend all ingredients in a food processor.
4.  Enjoy!

I also made one with about a cup of frozen strawberries.  Delicious!

Fruity Banana Smoothie? Sorbet? Ice Cream?

Sometimes you just have to stop and relax.

It’s harder to do than you think.  Most of us are constantly on the go and never have any down time.

Think about the last time that you just sat down for 20 minutes doing absolutely nothing but relaxing.

Was it a long time ago?

If so, I’d advise you to do some relaxing.  Just sit down for 20 minutes and maybe even meditate.  Meditating isn’t some weird thing freaks do, I promise.  I do it all the time (not that that proves anything.)  Meditating is just controlling your breaths and releasing all thoughts.  It’s been proven to reduce Cortisol levels and Cortisol is what (apparently) causes stress and mindless eating.  So, there you have it.  Take some time for yourself just to relax.  You deserve it!

And before you head off to relax, make a banana mango smoothie.  Check out the title… I wasn’t quite sure what to call it because I couldn’t decide if it’s a smoothie, sorbet, or ice cream.  It’s just like the “1 ingredient banana ice cream” except it’s got 3 ingredients… so does that make it a smoothie?  Or a sorbet since one of the other ingredients is frozen fruit?!  Don’t ask me; I’m obviously confused!  Whatever it is, it’s so simple, delicious, and healthy.  I’ve made one almost every day for the past two weeks.  And if you make it, please tell me what you’d call it.  🙂

Fruity Mango Smoothie/Sorbet/Ice Cream


1 frozen banana, chopped up
1/2 large frozen mango, chopped up (or fruit of choice)
1/4 cup yogurt

1.  Chop your banana and mango.
2.  Put in freezer a couple of hours or until frozen.
3.  Blend all ingredients in a food processor.
4.  Enjoy!

I also made one with about a cup of frozen strawberries.  Delicious!

Joplin, MO Tornado

I am completely in shock about the Joplin, MO tornado.  I’ve grown up in a tiny town very close to Joplin my entire life and it was always the “go-to” place when someone wanted to shop, eat, or do anything entertaining.
  
If you haven’t heard about it yet, there was an EF-4 tornado that hit Joplin on Sunday (May 22nd).  70 percent of the town is completely gone. It was the nations deadliest tornado in 65 years and at this point, the death toll is 117.  

That being said, I am so thankful to tell you that all of my loved ones are okay, but I’m so sorry I can’t say that about all of the people of Joplin.

Me, Brenna, Tamara

I had a very close friend, Brenna, (who was already scared of storms to begin with) that had to endure the terrible tornado.  She lost everything she owns.  Everything.  And then had to spend 4 hours searching for her mom and brothers because they were missing and the place they were staying was completely leveled.  Can you imagine?  It brings me to tears just writing this because I can’t imagine.  It’s a miracle that they survived and I thank God for it.  They did come out with injuries, though.  Please, please pray for her family.  Here’s an excerpt from an interview she did:

“Brenna took cover from the tornado in the laundry room of her second floor apartment with a boyfriend.
Everything was being torn apart around us,” Burzinski said. “It was terrifying. We were sure we were going to die.”
Burzinski said she later saw bodies being pulled from her apartment building.
“I don’t know how we lived,” she said. “I don’t know how any of us lived.”
She dreads that next dark sky.
“I’ll be scared that every storm will be a tornado,” she said.

My sister was also in the Target at Joplin when it happened and she said it was absolutely terrible.  I hadn’t heard anything about the tornado until I got this text from my sister:

Start praying.  Covered with clothes and pillows.  Crying People.  Tornado Coming.  In target at back of store.  No electricity.  In Joplin. Tried to help a guy on fire. 

It just makes me sick to think about.  My heart and prayers goes out to those who are struggling right now.

I’m telling you guys because the blogging community is so strong and I know when I ever need any help, this is where I go.  You guys are awesome.  If you would like to donate, go to the Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery Facebook page to find out ways how.

Joplin, MO Tornado

I am completely in shock about the Joplin, MO tornado.  I’ve grown up in a tiny town very close to Joplin my entire life and it was always the “go-to” place when someone wanted to shop, eat, or do anything entertaining.
  
If you haven’t heard about it yet, there was an EF-4 tornado that hit Joplin on Sunday (May 22nd).  70 percent of the town is completely gone. It was the nations deadliest tornado in 65 years and at this point, the death toll is 117.  

That being said, I am so thankful to tell you that all of my loved ones are okay, but I’m so sorry I can’t say that about all of the people of Joplin.

Me, Brenna, Tamara

I had a very close friend, Brenna, (who was already scared of storms to begin with) that had to endure the terrible tornado.  She lost everything she owns.  Everything.  And then had to spend 4 hours searching for her mom and brothers because they were missing and the place they were staying was completely leveled.  Can you imagine?  It brings me to tears just writing this because I can’t imagine.  It’s a miracle that they survived and I thank God for it.  They did come out with injuries, though.  Please, please pray for her family.  Here’s an excerpt from an interview she did:

“Brenna took cover from the tornado in the laundry room of her second floor apartment with a boyfriend.
Everything was being torn apart around us,” Burzinski said. “It was terrifying. We were sure we were going to die.”
Burzinski said she later saw bodies being pulled from her apartment building.
“I don’t know how we lived,” she said. “I don’t know how any of us lived.”
She dreads that next dark sky.
“I’ll be scared that every storm will be a tornado,” she said.

My sister was also in the Target at Joplin when it happened and she said it was absolutely terrible.  I hadn’t heard anything about the tornado until I got this text from my sister:

Start praying.  Covered with clothes and pillows.  Crying People.  Tornado Coming.  In target at back of store.  No electricity.  In Joplin. Tried to help a guy on fire. 

It just makes me sick to think about.  My heart and prayers goes out to those who are struggling right now.

I’m telling you guys because the blogging community is so strong and I know when I ever need any help, this is where I go.  You guys are awesome.  If you would like to donate, go to the Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery Facebook page to find out ways how.

Guest Post: Versatile Oats

Thanks so much to Jenny for doing this blog post for me!  She’s wonderful and has a great blog so be sure to check her out!  I don’t know what I’d do without my wonderful blogging friends.  Xoxo! 🙂 

——————————————–

Hey everyone I’m Jenny and I blog over at Fit Girl Foodie. Just wanted to start off saying a great big thanks to Katie for letting me do a guest post on her blog while she’s away Smile. If anyone has some serious baking skills it’s her.

I’m not going to lie, when Katie asked me to do a guest post I had no idea what I was going to write. I’m not a baker nor have I made anything blog worthy. But if there’s one thing I’m good at is making some serious morning oats.

I was a cereal junkie all my life and no not eating Kashi and Puffins. I ate Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisp, Captain Crunch and the likes. My first oatmeal experience was good but not mind boggling.

My rookie days

I don’t know about you but not exactly pretty now is it?
Fast forward a few months and we have this
Pumpkin Pie Oats
Now we’re on to something Winking smile
Bananas more your taste?
Topped with more banana, peanuts, granola, and cinnamon raisin pb
http://fitgirlfoodie.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/photo-3.jpg
What about banana and chocolate?

Topped with chia seeds, peanuts, graham crackers, chocolate morsels and a spoonful of cinnamon raisin pb

Or with Jam?

The options are virtually limitless
Who says oatmeal has to be boring? Winking smile

Guest Post: Versatile Oats

Thanks so much to Jenny for doing this blog post for me!  She’s wonderful and has a great blog so be sure to check her out!  I don’t know what I’d do without my wonderful blogging friends.  Xoxo! 🙂 

——————————————–

Hey everyone I’m Jenny and I blog over at Fit Girl Foodie. Just wanted to start off saying a great big thanks to Katie for letting me do a guest post on her blog while she’s away Smile. If anyone has some serious baking skills it’s her.

I’m not going to lie, when Katie asked me to do a guest post I had no idea what I was going to write. I’m not a baker nor have I made anything blog worthy. But if there’s one thing I’m good at is making some serious morning oats.

I was a cereal junkie all my life and no not eating Kashi and Puffins. I ate Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisp, Captain Crunch and the likes. My first oatmeal experience was good but not mind boggling.

My rookie days

I don’t know about you but not exactly pretty now is it?
Fast forward a few months and we have this
Pumpkin Pie Oats
Now we’re on to something Winking smile
Bananas more your taste?
Topped with more banana, peanuts, granola, and cinnamon raisin pb
http://fitgirlfoodie.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/photo-3.jpg
What about banana and chocolate?

Topped with chia seeds, peanuts, graham crackers, chocolate morsels and a spoonful of cinnamon raisin pb

Or with Jam?

The options are virtually limitless
Who says oatmeal has to be boring? Winking smile

Guest Post: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Oat Muffins (with Peanut Butter Surprise!)

First of all, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to beautiful Alaina for doing this post for me while I’m out of town.  She’s such a sweetheart and I love reading her blog.  If you haven’t read it yet, please do, I guarantee she’ll brighten your day. 🙂
—————————————–
Hi friends of Katie! I’m Alaina Rose and I blog over at Sweetness Of Life.
 
When Katie first contacted me about doing a guest post I was thinking, what?! Really? Are you sure? I’m a new blogger. I have NO idea what I’m doing! But, Katie assured me that she loves my blog and that’s why she asked me to do a guest post. So, here I am! I’m honored and excited to be here while Katie’s gone. Thanks so much Katie!
One thing I’ve learned during the short time I’ve been blogging is that the blogging community is so incredibly welcoming and friendly! There is an endless flow of inspiration, encouragement and support that is shared, and it’s beautiful to be a part of. I’ve met some amazing people that I now consider friends even though we’ve never actually physically met. I’ve also learned a lot about myself through blogging. It has given me the opportunity for reflection and has become a wonderful creative outlet for expressing myself and sharing. I feel that we ALL have gifts that can be used to inspire each other. Blogging is such a wonderful way to share those gifts and to connect and learn from yourself and others through the process. I encourage everyone to start a blog!
Even though I’ve been passionate about cooking and baking for years, it has reached a new level since I started blogging! Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite muffin recipes. It’s actually one of the first recipes I posted on my blog! They are gluten-free, somewhat healthy, delicious and contain a lot of my favorite ingredients: coconut, pumpkin, peanut butter, oats and chocolate! I hope you like them!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Oat Muffins (with Peanut Butter Surprise!)

Ingredients:
·      1 ¼ cup Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix (I’m sure you could try any other gluten-free baking mix, but this one is my fave!)
·      ½ cup gluten-free oats
·      1 cup canned pumpkin
·      ¼ cup coconut oil
·      1/3 cup coconut milk (You can also use almond milk or soy milk. Whatever you like!)
·      1/3 cup maple syrup
·      1 tsp vanilla extract
·      1 tbsp cinnamon 
·      1/3 cup chocolate chips
·      PEANUT BUTTER!
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the pumpkin, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, coconut milk and maple syrup. In another bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Then pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix together. Lightly oil your muffin tins or you can use muffin tin liners. Fill up the muffin tins or liners about halfway full. THEN, (this is the fun part!) put a dollop of peanut butter on top of the batter. Then put additional batter on top. Pop in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This recipe makes 8 muffins.

I really hope you try these and that you love them! Thank you so much for having me! If you like what you see, please feel free to stop by my blog Sweetness Of Life and take a look around! And please don’t hesitate to comment. Comments from readers truly make my day!
Thank you again and have a beautiful day! 

Guest Post: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Oat Muffins (with Peanut Butter Surprise!)

First of all, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to beautiful Alaina for doing this post for me while I’m out of town.  She’s such a sweetheart and I love reading her blog.  If you haven’t read it yet, please do, I guarantee she’ll brighten your day. 🙂
—————————————–
Hi friends of Katie! I’m Alaina Rose and I blog over at Sweetness Of Life.
 
When Katie first contacted me about doing a guest post I was thinking, what?! Really? Are you sure? I’m a new blogger. I have NO idea what I’m doing! But, Katie assured me that she loves my blog and that’s why she asked me to do a guest post. So, here I am! I’m honored and excited to be here while Katie’s gone. Thanks so much Katie!
One thing I’ve learned during the short time I’ve been blogging is that the blogging community is so incredibly welcoming and friendly! There is an endless flow of inspiration, encouragement and support that is shared, and it’s beautiful to be a part of. I’ve met some amazing people that I now consider friends even though we’ve never actually physically met. I’ve also learned a lot about myself through blogging. It has given me the opportunity for reflection and has become a wonderful creative outlet for expressing myself and sharing. I feel that we ALL have gifts that can be used to inspire each other. Blogging is such a wonderful way to share those gifts and to connect and learn from yourself and others through the process. I encourage everyone to start a blog!
Even though I’ve been passionate about cooking and baking for years, it has reached a new level since I started blogging! Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite muffin recipes. It’s actually one of the first recipes I posted on my blog! They are gluten-free, somewhat healthy, delicious and contain a lot of my favorite ingredients: coconut, pumpkin, peanut butter, oats and chocolate! I hope you like them!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Oat Muffins (with Peanut Butter Surprise!)

Ingredients:
·      1 1/4 cup Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix (I’m sure you could try any other gluten-free baking mix, but this one is my fave!)
·      1/2 cup gluten-free oats
·      1 cup canned pumpkin
·      1/4 cup coconut oil
·      1/3 cup coconut milk (You can also use almond milk or soy milk. Whatever you like!)
·      1/3 cup maple syrup
·      1 tsp vanilla extract
·      1 tbsp cinnamon 
·      1/3 cup chocolate chips
·      PEANUT BUTTER!
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the pumpkin, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, coconut milk and maple syrup. In another bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Then pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix together. Lightly oil your muffin tins or you can use muffin tin liners. Fill up the muffin tins or liners about halfway full. THEN, (this is the fun part!) put a dollop of peanut butter on top of the batter. Then put additional batter on top. Pop in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This recipe makes 8 muffins.

I really hope you try these and that you love them! Thank you so much for having me! If you like what you see, please feel free to stop by my blog Sweetness Of Life and take a look around! And please don’t hesitate to comment. Comments from readers truly make my day!
Thank you again and have a beautiful day!