Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cinnamon Coffee Cake!

I am SO sorry I haven't written a new post in a few days. Holidays mean crazy busy and my mom has been baking up a storm. (and of course I wanted to help!) But can you believe its Christmas Eve 2011 already? Wow how time flies. I can still vividly remember December 26th last year, which in my opinion is the saddest day of the year, and thinking "364 days is SO long..." But now its practically here! And I still have a lot left to do. But I had time this morning and wanted to share with you all a recipe that I will be specially making for Christmas dinner tomorrow night :) Lately I've been on a huge cinnamon kick, and truly been appreciating how delicious it is. And what better than to put it with cake :) so here you go!
-2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (for an even sweeter taste? add more hehe)
- 1 1/4 cups milk. (for little to nonfat for the overall outcome I used nonfat milk)
- 2 tsp vanilla (or almond extract)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- chopped walnuts or pecans are optional
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a greased 13x9 baking dish.
-In a bowl, mix flour, white sugar, milk, vanilla (or almond extract), baking powder, pinch of salt, and the egg until just combined. (Don't over mix it!)
-pour into the prepared baking pan
- generously spread brown sugar & cinnamon on the top
- if desired, sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans over the top also
- drizzle the melted butter
- & bake for about 30 minutes!
serving size: 1 (116g)
servings per recipe: 10
calories: 291
total fat: 5g
sodium: 183
carb: 46g
protein: 4g
There you go readers, I hope me posting this today gives you some time if you want to make it for a family dinner! Compared to most "sinful" cinnamon rolls/cakes/cupcakes out there, this one isn't so bad for you. So I like to call it my sinless or guilt-free cinnamon roll :) Hope you all are having a fantastic holiday season so far, and I hope today and tomorrow is filled with laughter, love and pure family! I'll be posting again soon!
Rachel       Have a Merry Merry Christmas, and enjoy the last bit of 2011!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Benefits of Exercise & Water!

Hi readers! Finally Sunday, a good 'ole day of rest. But since it is the start of the new week, and holiday season is thriving, I wanted to post these encouragements sharing the benefits of exercise and water. (Those two tend to go hand in hand I suppose)
 Look at all those healthy benefits:) It doesn't mean you have to go 3 hours at the YMCA, or kill yourself with cardio, how about a nice walk? With a family member or man's best friend? Enjoy the break and go get some fresh air. I love going in the evenings, because I get to explore the Christmas lights around my neighborhood. (One of my Christmas traditions!) Exercise doesn't have to be a chore, be creative, and incorporate it into your daily life. Your body & health will thank you!
How adorable is this little photo above? Now I've always struggled with getting all my water that I need for one day. As some of you know, I'd much rather have my hazelnut cream coffee in the morning, and a diet coke with dinner. But this little chart is helping me realize why I'm always so tired by the time 5:00 in the evening rolls around. Not enough water Rachel, duh go figure. So my new thing that I have discovered is Crystal light packets, or Propel flavored packets. Only like 5 calories each, and I end up drinking aroun 16.9 ounces with one packet. So, not like 5 calories are anything to worry about anyways! So go for it, for the energy, health, and that little black dress :)
Look out for another recipe later!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reindeer Cupcakes!

Okay readers, the time has officially come....
For me to share all my Christmas recipes! I love this time of year, because recipes are everywhere, and there is always an excuse to whip up some sweets :) I thought I'd start out with these adorable reindeer cupcakes. Once I made them, I was in deep turmoil because I didn't want to ruin their pretty faces. But I divulged into Rudolph's nose before I could stop myself. So this recipe is SO easy. You can pretty much do it yourself just by looking at the photo! But let me share with all you what I did:
1. Go ahead and bake cupcakes of your choosing. It could be from a Betty Crocker box, or homemade. I just made simple homemade chocolate cupcakes, and made one vanilla for my little brother. 
2. Once those are done, frost with chocolate icing. 
3. Add pretzels for antlers, a Nilla Wafer for the face, white m&m's for the eyes. (or any type of white candy) And I added black icing for the pupils. For the nose I used a brown m&m, and for rudolph, I just put a red sour skittle:)
These are so adorably festive, and your family/kids will love them! I got invited to yet another gift exchange, so I'm thinking about bringing these as a hostess gift. Hope you enjoy! 

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Sweet Potato Biscuits!

Good morning everyone!
Last night I saw the recent movie New Years Eve with some friends. And I can honestly say it was one of the best movies i've seen in a long time! I loved it, and didn't mind seeing Josh Duhamel in a tux the whole time :) But anyways, back to the biscuits. I wanted to post a recipe that wasn't necessarily a dessert. (But obviously I still chose something with the word 'sweet' in it) I love sweet potatoes, and when I discovered the recipe from the Paula Deen herself, I knew I had to try it out. They are fluffy and delicious, and I passed the recipe off to my mom, who will be making these with Christmas dinner! So here you go:

- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter softened
- 2-4 tbsp milk (amount depends on how moist the potatoes are already)
1.To cook sweet potatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender (20-25 minutes) Drain & mash. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, mix sweet potatoes, and butter. Add flour mix to the butter mix, and combine to make soft dough. And milk in, a tbsp at a time to the mixture, and continue to cut in. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead very gently until dough comes together. (about 5-6 times) Shape into a disk, and pat to an even 1 inch thickness. With a floured 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits & place on the prepared sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter. (optional)
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden! 
Hope you love this recipe guys, super delish! Let me know what you think in the comments below :) Look out for another post today! And subscribe by email or follow me for updated posts.
Christmas countdown...8 days!!!
Thankful for all you readers~

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes!

Hi everyone!
Ahhh, my first morning of Christmas break. Do you know how good it feels to sleep in, no horrible alarm clocks, no morning rush? I wake up to the sound of my parents laughter, and walk out of my room to my mom handing me my favorite hazelnut cream coffee. And I look over to my dad, and he is making what you see above. Coffee forgotten, I think I stared in awe at these pancakes for a solid 7 minutes. Nothing can describe that heavenly smell. (I think I just described it though..didn't I?..) Anyways, this photo isn't mine, but if you follow the recipe it should look just like it! The berries are optional, I ate mine without. The biggest miracle of all though? It tasted just like the muffin. I know, it blew my mind too. Nothing like quiet, happy mornings when your dad helps you flip the perfect pancake. (although even since I was little, I could never flip mine as well as he could.) So here is the awesome recipe to these pancakes, and I hope they bring you as many memories as they did to me!

-2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds
- zest of 4 lemons
-2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 2 tbsp butter, melted

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, & salt in a large bowl. 
In another bowl, add the buttermilk, eggs, butter, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Add the wet mix to the dry mix. Stir all ingredients until they are just combined. Don't worry if the batter is lumpy, you don't want to over mix it! 
2. Heat skillet, pan, or griddle to medium/high heat, and brush it with a bit of butter. Pour about 1/3 of the batter into the skillet, and wait until pancake bottom is a deep golden brown before flipping over with a spatula. Cook until the other side is golden and cooked through. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
*Healthy optional tip* I know i've posted this before on another pancake recipe, but ill say it again! Wanna save yourself some sugary calories at breakfast? Don't dump endless amounts of syrup on your pancakes. It seeps into the pancake, making it look like you need to keep adding more, although you actually already have plenty. What I do is, I pour some syrup into a little side dish/bowl, and dip my pancake in it with a fork. I get the same (if not better taste) without a syrupy drenched pancake! Hope this helped :)*

Hope you enjoy guys, I'm finding tons of fun, festive, holiday recipes that I can't wait to try out/personalize and show you! Perfect for parties or just family gatherings :)
And the Christmas countdown begins...9 DAYS!!
Look out for my next post~

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eggnog Spice Muffins!

Hey Readers, 
I just want to let out a celebratory shout and proclaim: I AM DONE WITH MIDTERMS!!!
sorry, just had to get that one out of my system. So, to celebrate a 3 week holiday of pure relaxation and holiday cheer, I decided to bake. Because I love to bake. A lot. So here is to eggnog everyone, a delicious drink that makes you think of Christmas. And muffins are just delicious as well, so that just makes everything better. And along with this recipe I will be posting nutritional info, just so people who want to stay on track, know what they're putting in their system.
*disclaimer* I don't do this for every recipe, because I don't believe in worrying about calories. Your body knows what its doing, and it is always best to feed those cravings. The less we deny them, the more we want them! But at least for a muffin, these are pretty healthy!
Here's the recipe :)

- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/ 2 cup splenda sugar blend (or just 1 cup sugar)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (I REALLY want to try this muffin recipe out using cinnamon instead, anyone have the guts to try it before I do and see how it tastes? Let me know!)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup eggnog
- 1/2 cup light butter, melted & cooled
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Nutmeg topping Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 8 tsp splenda sugar blend (or 1/3 cup sugar)
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp light butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 2 muffin tins, or line with paper bake cups & set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine eggnog, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Add the egg mix to the flour mix, and stir until just moistened. (Batter should be lumpy) Then spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups. Fill each until a little over 2/3 full. sprinkle nutmeg mixture over the top of batter in the cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden. Also, test to see if a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. cool on wire racks for 5 minutes, and then remove from the cups. Serve & enjoy :)

nutrition info:
servings: 24 muffins
serving size: 1 muffin
calories: 240
fat: 4g
carb: 33g
fiber: 1g
protein: 5g
old points: 5.3
points+: 6

*disclaimer #2* I got the photo of of, because me and my friends devoured these before I could snap a decent photo! But the recipe originates from :)
Have an awesome thursday evening ya'll, another post coming soon!

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okay readers, I have a page on tumblr, and I have a pinterest. And lately I've been searching around looking for fitness tips and healthy encouragements for my fellow bloggers. But all I really came across was a bunch of photos of women in spandex and sports bras, either scary skinny, or almost unrealistically ripped. And the captions for most of these photos was "thinspo." So I did some more research, and apparently thats the name given to a photo or person who motivates/inspires you to get skinnier or lose a lot of weight. Which I do believe being motivated and inspired is important to keep you going on your weight loss journey..but will comparing yourself to those woman really make your mental thinking healthier? Probably not. Those women in the photos most likely, (or maybe I should say definitely) have a different body type than you do. You may look different at 135 llbs than the next person. And you know what? that is okay.  You could be toned, fit, and confident at 140 or 160 llbs, and look 120 or 130! Everyone is different. So don't you dare go compare yourself to someone, because you're usually comparing your weaknesses to their strengths. And when you do that, you're always gonna lose the comparison. You have 1 life, & only 1 body. Treat it with respect. So yes, I'm going to still post helpful workout ideas to help you guys along on your journey. But im also going to be posting delicious recipes so you can just live your life. The way you're supposed to, free and confident. The way you were created to be! 
more to come...

*here is my tumblr if you want to follow me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cranberry Orange Bread!

Hey everyone, I was in desperate need of a break from studying for my midterms, so I decided to share this incredible recipe I discovered on Pinterest! (If you didn't read my last post or two, I'm pretty much obsessed.) Anyways, this bread actually has health benefits because I used Chobani yogurt in it! I have a pancake recipe that I posted a lot earlier also using Chobani. So go check it out, those are delicious :)
so without further ado, here ya go!

-2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 3/4 cup (6 oz) chobani plain yogurt (the recipe calls for the 2% yogurt, but I used just nonfat and it tasted delicious)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup of orange juice (also add some orange zest, 1 t)
- 1 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1 1/2 cup walnuts lightly toasted & chopped coarsely. (nuts are optional, as well as what kind. Im telling you what I used in the recipe so the nutritional facts line up :)

preheat oven to 350 degrees. spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients- set aside. 
In a large bowl, mix together chobani & sugar. Then add the egg and combine. Stir in orange juice, and once that is done, combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture. carefully fold in orange zest, cranberries, and optional nuts. Then pour in the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully insert pan to remove & finish cooling on the rack. 
*wrap in plastic foil after done indulging, and its SO delicious the next day!*

Nutritional information:
calories: 160
fat: 3.5g
sodium: 230g
carb: 31g
sugar: 15g
protein: 5g

Hope you enjoy everyone! let me know if you want me to post more desserts that have healthier benefits, while still tasting delish. I love searching for them:) Wish me luck on my midterms, I have English and Chemistry tomorrow.
look out for more posts to come~

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Orange French Toast!

Favorite Breakfast? Definitely. So I was looking at different recipes for french toast, and I came across this cute little photo on Please go check this website out, I admit I am mildly obsessed! They are known for all these creative recipes, and you just click on the photo, and it leads you to the blog/website/tumblr where the recipe is! I know, mind blown. But anyways, the font is a tad small on this adorable photo, so i'll post it below :)

1. mix half a glass of soy milk & half a glass of orange juice
2. mix in 2 spoonfuls of powdered sugar, and 1 spoonful of cinnamon
3. melt a spoonful of margarine in a pan. (I used I can't believe its not butter instead)
4. slice any bread you prefer, and dip both in juice mixture
5. cook in pan until nice and brown
6. serve with your favorite syrup & some powdered sugar.
*healthy tip* if you pour some syrup into a side bowl instead of drowning your toast in it, you will save yourself so many calories and sugar! Just get a piece of toast on your fork & just dip it in. Syrup sinks into the bread when you pour it on, so you can end up getting tons of sugar and calories you don't need.
I used whole wheat bread also, and I felt awesome about enjoying a savoring breakfast, knowing I was putting healthier options into my body at the same time! Hope you enjoy this, perfect breakfast treat:)

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The 100 workout!

Okay guys, this workout is a lot more challenging than the ones that i've been posting. But if you can survive this, you are a champ! & you should be so proud of yourself afterwards.  Sometimes if im low on time, I'll skip the ten minute run and save it for when I have time to do it, or go on the ellyptical. (is that how it is spelled?) :) anyways, I still feel pretty darn good about myself if I get through 1-9. Check out some of my earlier exercise posts if you want to start smaller & then work yourself up to this. Remember to drink lots of water, and stretch before/afterwards.  Look out for another blog post this evening!
have an awesome rest of your Sunday-

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cake Batter Pudding Cookies!

Oh my gosh...deliciousness. I tried these out the other day, holy moly these are a winning treat! Never fear, everything in moderation my friends. And by that I mean...
a good exercise post will be posted later :) Lets get started!

-1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cups) butter. (if you have a healthier option of butter you like, go for it!)
-3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3/4 cup yellow cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/4 cups flour (I was wondering if the outcome would be any different if I used a whole wheat flour..I'll have to try it out! there definitely would be health benefits)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- sprinkles :)
* for the pudding mix: It is just the powdered pudding mix in the packet that you use*

preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir salt, flour, baking soda, & set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter & sugar together. Add in pudding package & cake mix and beat until well blended. Add eggs, vanilla, and beat until well smooth. Add the flour mixture in slowly, until well mixed in. Then mix in the sprinkles!
Roll into 1 inch balls & place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes & enjoy!

Im hosting a Christmas party tonight, and I'm thinking on making these, or those pinwheel cookies I posted the recipe for earlier. Im hoping they'll be a huge hit! with all the baking, organizing, and exams to study for, I am a total mess today! Hope you all enjoy the love and laughter that comes with the Christmas season, I'll be posting again soon :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Weight loss Tips!

Okay guys, sorry about not posting for a couple days! Midterms are coming up next I've been a little busy preparing for them. But not to fear, I have a new series that I am going to be adding to this blog. ........wait for it......dramatic pause.......apprehension rising.....weight loss tips! the whole drama thing probably wasn't super necessary, but at least I now have your attention. I'll be randomly posting little tips and encouragements to help you on your weight loss journey. And that is what weight loss is! a journey. And that is what leads us to our first tip...which is to Set Goals:

Losing 50 pounds by Valentines day is hardly a small goal.  & Just the thought may kill your motivation to even get started! So start small. 1 pound. 3 pounds. success. Look at you, you're already getting somewhere! And being proud of yourself for each little achievement will push you to keep going. Instead of jumping into a 5k, or working yourself to death by spending 2 hours at the gym, give yourself 10-15 minutes in the morning. Don't you dare groan at the thought of working out. Any small amount of exercise is better than nothing! And slowly by slowly you will  get stronger, and be able to workout longer. I will be posting more helpful workout routines to go along with this new series, workouts you can do in your house before work, school, or just daily life. Feel free to look back on some of my earlier posts, I have some workouts posted already! And remember: It doesn't matter how fast you're going, because you're still lapping everyone else sitting on the couch.  Good luck! Keep me updated in the comments on how you are doing. 
have an awesome weekend everyone :)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

10 Healthy Under 10 Minutes!

Before I post the recipes Im gonna give you the promised beneficial facts of eating breakfast. This will most likely be a long blogpost, so stay with me here. The most important rule about breakfast is...EAT IT. 
I know you can hear me. eat breakfast. it is important for a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully the font change catches your attention..because I never want you to forget that most important part! Now, lets get to facts.
1. healthy eating habits: People who eat breakfast consume less fat and cholesterol, and more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than people who skip out. 
2. Weight management: The National Weight Control Registry reported that people who eat breakfast have an easier time managing their weight than those who don't.
3. More energy: Breakfast provides your body with plenty of nutrients that you need to stay up to speed for several hours.
4. Fitness: It is believed that people who eat breakfast have more energy & participation in physical activity than people who don't eat it.
5. Focus: American Dietic Association states that eating a good breakfast helps a persons ability to focus throughout the day.
6. Memory: Breakfast Improves memory & learning abilities.
7. Better Mood: If you skip out on Breakfast, it could result in you being tired and impatient. Having a healthy breakfast can improve your mood. Just take 10 minutes out of your morning to fill your stomach.
8. Be a Role Model: You don't want your kids to not eat breakfast just because you don't. so set a good example, because their little eyes are always watching what you do! And you'll need the energy to look after them all day :)

okay, there are some facts, lets get on to those 10 examples of good breakfasts!
1. slow cooking oats with kiwi, mango, banana, green grapes, and honey. 

2. Organic flax waffles with warm peanut butter, banana slices, and chopped walnuts. (I like almonds as well. )
3. sesame ezekiel toast, (or any bread you prefer! i love rye bread for this) with reduced fat cottage cheese (I used laughing cow cheese, and spread it all over) tomato slices, and parsley garnish. 
4. Tofu scramble with red peppers, zuchini, onions, and mushrooms. (& obviously, tofu :)

5. A classic! PB&J on an english muffin. (or toast or a mini whole wheat bagel)
6. Breakfast Bruschetta: french baguette with scrambled eggs, thin layer of reduced fat cream cheese, diced cherry and tomatoes, & fresh parsley. (For an even healthier option, I prefer using only egg whites)
7. Mini whole wheat waffles with any fruit you like on top. (mango in the picture) Add some honey and powdered sugar. Am I the only one whose mouth is totally watering?
8. whole wheat toast with scrambled eggs, (again, you could use egg whites) fresh spinach, and provalone cheese. (again, use any cheese you'd like.) I also love adding marinara sauce!
9. Fruit Bruschetta: original chocolate cherry bread, (found at Whole Foods) topped with honey roasted peanut butter, fresh cantaloupe, (my favorite fruit!) strawberries, honey, and powdered sugar.
10. whole wheat toast with 2 hard boiled eggs, and half a grape fruit. Fun Fact: grapefruits are spectacular for your metabolism, because they burn calories while digesting! 

okay everyone, hope this is super helpful for all of you. I know this was a super long post, but worth it! you have so many healthy, delicious, easy to make,  breakfast options, you'll never have an excuse to skip breakfast anymore! If you are rushing out the door, I recommend either number 5, 7, or 10 :)
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar. (although I mix those up way too often!)
Have a good saturday evening guys, more to come!

*disclaimer* other than the recipes personalized, I received the pictures, facts, and basic recipes from a website named :) 

Christmas Colorful Swirl Cookies!

T'is the season! I was in the holiday spirit, so I decided to whip up this recipe that I found on a fellow bloggers website. I believe its called. Go check it out! Anyways, I threw on my favorite apron, turned on Michael Buble's new Christmas CD and went to work :)

-2 cups flour (Plus maybe a few extra tbsp) The recipe called for actual cake flour, but I used all purpose four instead)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup unsifted powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (cut in chunks) if you have a more health conscious butter that you prefer, use that if you want :)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp food coloring of your choice. (By the photo you can see I went for red, but the woman on the website went green. ) 
- 1/2 any desired extra extracts
-1 1/2 cup holiday sprinkles! (favorite)

1. In a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars with paddle on medium until well blended.2. Add butter in, gradually, and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract. At this point, your dough will form a ball on your paddle.3. Remove all your dough and divide into two equal parts. Return one portion back in to the mixer and add the food coloring and any extra extracts. I used Wilton gel food coloring in leaf green and vanilla extract for this batch. You could coordinate your colors and flavors, for example green food coloring matched with a mint extract or yellow with a lemon extract, etc. Also, if you are using liquid food coloring, you will need to add a few tbsp of flour to keep the dough from becoming too wet. Mix until the color is spread out evenly.
4. Roll out each portions of your dough, between two sheets a wax paper until is reaches about 11 x 9 inches and is 1/4 inch thick. Slide both unto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
5. When firm, remove the top sheets of wax paper from both. Brush the uncolored vanilla dough lightly with water using a pastry brush. Then flip the colored dough onto the vanilla uncolored dough so they are stacked atop each other and even. Press the edges lightly with your fingertips to seal them together. Using a small pairing knife, trim the edges of the dough to make straight, even lines.6. Pour out sprinkles onto a large platter and set aside. Be sure your dough is still cold, but flexible. Once it's ready, begin rolling the long side of dough into a swirl, jelly-roll style. Now, don't get nervous if the outer layer of uncolored dough tears a bit. It's no problem, just pinch and pat those tears and voila, then just keep rolling.
7. Now gently lift your dough log onto the sprinkles and roll away. Cover the log completely with your sprinkles. Wrap the colorfully decorated log in plastic wrap twice. Depending on when you want to bake the cookies, either place the wrapped dough into refrigerator for about 3-4 hours or you can put it the freezer and keep it there for up to 2 months. (If freezing, give yourself time for the dough to defrost in the fridge overnight before cutting.)
8. Slice your dough into 1/4-1/8 inch slices and bake on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move them to a cookie rack to finish cooling. Enjoy your whimsical Christmas cookies :) 

they look kinda like pinwheels! Hope you enjoy these lots over the holidays, perfect for cookie exchanges. Im almost positive my mom has been invited to like 5 already! hahaha look out for more posts to come :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups!

can you say.. PERFECT BREAKFAST? How delicious, such a balanced breakfast in one little cup. Of course to receive proper nutritional value, I'd recommend around 2-3 of these guys. But these are perfect if you are feeling a little creative in the kitchen, and want to spice up your breakfast. Here's the recipe!
p.s. I have a blog post in progress about all the benefits of eating breakfast, and tons of recipes included!

-3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted.
-8 slices whole wheat sandwhich bread. (any brand you like)
- 6 slices of bacon (for a healthier option I prefer turkey bacon)
- 6 large eggs
- salt & grounded pepper
*optional mix-ins* Sausage, turkey bacon, peppers, & even veggies! like spinach, or whatever your preference is :) 

1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter 6 standard muffin cups, & with a rolling pin, flatten bread slices slightly. With a 4 1/4 inch cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds. cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup. Its okay if they are overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to the edge of the cup. Use extra bread to patch any gaps, then brush bread with any leftover butter. 
2.   In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat setting until almost crisp. (about 4 minutes, flipping once) they'll continue to cook in the oven. Lay one bacon slice in each bread cup and crack an egg over each. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg whites are just set, about 20-25 minutes. Run a small knife around cups to loosen toast. Serve right away! (definitely better warm!)

Enjoy everyone, hope you love it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Southern Style: Cold & Creamy Banana Pudding!

Okay guys, confession time. I am officially addicted to vanilla wafers. I've always loved them as a kid, but upon discovering this new recipe...I think I had to come out and admit it. Now I didn't actually take this picture...I got this one off the internet when seeing different variations of the recipe. I don't think I could capture a glamorous photo of the pudding before I devoured it anyway! But if you follow the directions, and buy a snazzy bowl like the one in the photo, yours should hopefully look similar!

-1 (14 ounce) can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. (I was wondering, could you try it with just nonfat if you wanted a slightly healthier version? could that work?)
-1 1/2 cups cold water
-1 (3.5 ounce) package instant pudding & pie filling
-2 cups (one pint) whipped cream. (just copying down the variation of the recipe, try finding a low in fat, or completely nonfat whipped cream for a healthier option)
-36 vanilla wafers
- 3 medium sized bananas sliced, and dipped in lemon juice to keep freshness.

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk & water. Add pudding mix, and then beat until well blended. Let it chill for 5 minutes in the fridge, and then fold in whipped topping. (do so slowly, and as few times as possible, to keep the thickness.) spoon 1 cup pudding mix into 2 1/2 quart glass serving bowl. (ahem..the snazzy one:) top with 1/3 each of wafers, bananas and pudding. Garnish as desired! 
chill thoroughly, and refrigerate leftovers. 

Hope you love it..more to come!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Walk it Out!

WALKING. Almost a sigh of relief compared to running. Maybe I'm just speaking for myself when I say that, but that doesn't ruin the fact that it is an excellent form of exercise. I mean look at all the things you benefit from when choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking farther away from the grocery so you walk farther. Simple stuff really, that you probably don't even think about. But look how you are really moving toward your goal of true health! You strengthen your muscles, improves balance, boosts endorphins for stress relief...(I know some people are listening now!) And get this, it burns more fat than jogging! NO WAY! So I honestly think this is a great way to take a break, release stress, and ignore the world for a little while.

I challenge you all to 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. or if your schedule is too hectic, to the math to see how many minutes that is..(150 for people who don't wanna think about it) and work it around your schedule. maybe its 15 one day, or 5 the other. It doesn't matter, but get it done!
earbuds in, running shoes on, shut out the world.

*you are only ONE exercise away from a good mood!*

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies!

hey everyone! I have been obsessed with finding sweet treats on Pinterest lately, and came across this one. Never would've put all these ingredients together, and I can't believe how good it all turned out. And plus, im a huge sucker for anything white chocolate, so that was definitely my downfall. Hehehe. So since you won't be able to stop with just one of these lovely krispies, i'll be posting an exercise idea later so you can enjoy these guilt free! (Everything in moderation of course.) Hope you love these as much as I do!

2 cups rice krispies cereal
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups mini marshmellows
1 cup peanut butter
2  12 oz. packages of white chocolate chips. (OH MY YUM.)

In a large bowl, combine cereal, peanuts, and marshmallows. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate on high for 1 minute & then in 30 second intervals until fully melted. (stir in between intervals) Then stir chocolate into cereal mixture. Let it set until firm, or if you are in a hurry, set it in the fridge or freezer. store in an airtight container. 

*switch it up!* you could use regular chocolate chips to cover it, or even maybe the butterscotch chips that are also super delicious :)

Hope you've had a great day y'all!
post in the comments how you like it, or how you maybe personalized the recipe :)


Perfect Pancakes!

 Good morning guys! I thought i'd introduce you to this delicious & healthy recipe. This could work great for breakfast, or as my personal favorite, breakfast for dinner! The reason these babies are so good for you, is that we use vanilla Chobani yogurt.
This is a picture of what you'll see in stores, except we obviously don't use raspberry yogurt for our pancakes, but when grocery shopping you'll wanna grab the one that says vanilla. These pancakes are super yummy, despite the fact that they are health conscious. So here is how to make them!

- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup vanilla chobani greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk. (really, any milk you use at your house will be fine:)
-vegetable oil cooking spray
-whatever syrup you love
*optional mix-ins* I absolutely LOVE adding in some cinnamon, and you could add bananas too!

mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk egg, chobani, & milk all together. Pour wet mix into dry, and whisk until smooth. Heat skillet over medium/high heat, and spray with cooking spray.
for each pancake, scoop 1/4 cake batter onto the skillet. Flip when bubbles appear at the top, and cook until golden brown. (about 1 minute)

you can make the pancakes whatever size you want, Im just saying 1/4 so you can follow the nutrition information im providing:)

nutrition information: (per pancake)
75 calories
1g of fat
13g carb
protein 4g
sugars 2g
sodium 229g
Have a blessed day you guys, more posts are coming! Hope you enjoy these, they are an excellent way to get your healthy day started.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simple Weekly Workouts

Hey everyone, hope you all have had an awesome week sofar! I saw this on Pinterest when I was on earlier, and thought this was another simple alternative than going to the gym. When looking through it, you will see that everything it recommends that you do is quite simple, and requires almost zero time! For extra workout, do it twice a day if you can. so really, you're only getting 6 days, and can choose to take sunday off. blessing :)
good luck on your journey, remember: It never gets easier, you just get better!

look out for more posts coming today, I've got plenty of recipes up my sleeve!

Magical Fruits

Hi Everyone! I wanted to get this post out before I left the house, so here are some reasons to eat fruit. Who knew that these little guys could totally boost your health, and make weightloss so much easier? Most of your daily calorie and carbs should come from either fruit or vegetables. since they are the natural sugars, plus with tons of healthy vitamins! I mean just look at the apple for instance. I guess the "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" really does come into play here! I love oranges, and I've heard several times that they're known for clearing up skin and helping eyesight. I've never had a kiwi, ill have to try that sometime......okay sorry, sidetracked:) The first photo is an excellent example of a good breakfast or snack, or any meal really! I love it, all the different flavors combined into one healthy dish is sooo good. and good for you! Having this first in the morning before your workout will speed up your metabolism throughout the day.
your journey may never get easy or easier, but don't give up! health is so worth it!
look out for more posts to come..

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lowfat Oatmeal Spice Cookies!

Hi guys! Okay, anything with pumpkin, or spice instantly reminds me of the holidays. I love it. I came across this recipe online and fell in love with it! These little cookies are super delicious, and quite irresistible. No worries, its good that they aren't actually too bad for you! love it when that happens :)
here's the recipe!

1 cup pumpkin (warning: NOT pumpkin pie filling. Actual cup of Pumpkin. I could only find it at thats definitely the place to look!)
- 1 egg & 1 egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup white wheat flour (could use all purpose if preferred)
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
*optional mix-ins* 1 cup pecans, walnuts, raisins, or chocolate chips :)

preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, *optional mix-ins,* baking soda, and spices. whew! Then, combine wet & dry ingredients until just moistened. The mix is fairly dry, and it works best to finish combining everything by hand to get everything fully mixed. Drop onto baking sheets by spoonfuls about 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
(cookies don't really spread while baking, so they'll come out the same size and shape as were put in)
*add a special glaze of your choice for an even sweeter treat. But if you're aiming for the most health conscious option, I'd do without!*

Hope you fall in love with this recipe like I did, Its definitely one to do often! Look out for more blog posts to come....
EXERCISE. you think i'm just gonna post all these delicious recipes, and let you just glue those to your thigh? no way, im here to help you guys all over the board. These are basic exercises that could be done at home, because most of us really have to work time in our schedule for the YMCA. (and thats not forgetting the fact that most people dread the thought of it) so here's an interesting idea....stay in your own home! who would've thought? anyways, so this is a simple 3 workout exercise that has examples on how to work your arms, legs, and abdomen. you'll thank me soon, all though after a few too many twisting crunches you may not like me so much. But you're new rockin' body will! :) hope everyone has an awesome day today, more healthy recipes and advice to come!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

PORTION SIZES, ladies and gentlemen. Now, everything in moderation is considered healthy. But for a standard meal, having an idea of what, and how much to eat, is helpful. Portion sizes are just a way for people to know a healthy amount of food to put on their plate. Now if you’re still hungry after eating whatever portion amount, than by all means, listen to your body. Here, let me say that again in case you weren’t listening the first time. Ahem… LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. That people, is the key to healthy living. when you’re tired, you sleep. (hopefully) when you know people are avoiding you because of your breath, you brush your teeth. Its common sense really, and the same should apply to your eating habits. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. It is scientifically proven that people who listen to those signs remain at their desired weight within a pound. If you just lost 40 pounds and are worried about maintenance..don’t feel like you have to run for 2 hours at the Y every. Single. Agonizing. Day. Just listen to what you’re body is telling you.
sleep well, eat right, exercise. you'll be content and wake up/ go to bed a much happier and healthier person. 

Snickerdoodle Blondies!

As a little girl growing up, I was never a huge fan of chocolate. I know what you're thinking..(are you even a girl?!) Im not too fantastic at anatomy, but I can guarantee that I am! But it has grown on me as the years go by, and I came across this blog, (I believe it is called Chocolate Covered Katie) who showed me this recipe. And best of all, this recipe is extremely health conscious. Can I get an Amen?
So without further ado, here is the recipe to creating these delicious blondies:

-1 1/2 cup chickpeas ..drained and rinsed (or you could sub any white bean for these)
-3 T nut butter
-3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 table salt 
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 T unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 ground flax (or flour :)
- 2 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all the ingredients until smooth, and scoop into a greased (or tinfoil lined) 8x8 pan. bake for 35-40 minutes. You want the blondies to look a little under cooked when you take them out, because they will firm up as they cool. 

nutrition info: I got this info from Katie's blog, so I'm taking her word for it! It does sound accurate. 
for 3 blondies:
calories: 74
fat: 2g
sugar: 6g
protein: 2g