Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sweet Sundays: Toffee Pumpkin Pie Bars


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My newest obsession is finding great desserts for less than 200 calories per serving.  I don’t want to feel guilty about the food that I have been filling my face with so I have been on the hunt.  I want to have something in my refrigerator or pantry that I can grab and say to myself. “ This isn’t that bad for me and I have counted it into my calories for the day.” 

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I found this recipe for Toffee Pumpkin Pie Bars in the Better Homes and Gardens “Ultimate Low Calorie Cook Book”.  I love, love, love this cookbook.  It is easy to use, and the pages are starting to get crinkled.  I have used this cookbook 4 times already, just in the past two weeks and I am not ready to stop now.  I did substitute cinnamon grahams for gingersnap cookies in the crust. I think any crust would work with these.  Please enjoy these delicious treats and have a sweet Sunday!

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Toffee Pumpkin Pie Bars

Makes 32 bars


Calories: 145

Fat:  8 grams (4 saturated)

Carbohydrates: 17 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Protein:  2 grams


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf


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Why would anyone call a meat loaf old-fashioned?  A meat loaf that is delicious and tasty should never be called old-fashioned!  I wouldn’t necessarily call chic or haute-couture, but never old-fashioned. 

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Alright, so I got another cookbook.  What can I say, I am a sucker for a deal.  I found a 3-in-1 Favorite Brand Name cookbook in the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble.  Who could pass up a cookbook for $9.99.  I was drawn to this cookbook because it has all the nutrition information listed for the recipes and the book is separated into three sections.  Chapter one is snacks all under 100 calories.  Chapter two is all desserts under 200 calories, and chapter three is all entrees under 300 calories.  I have found it very comforting to have cookbooks with easy snack and dinner ideas under 300 calories.  The cookbook is coil-bound so the book stays open when the pages are turned.  There is also a picture of each recipe and that is really handy. 

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So I found the recipe “Old-Fashioned Meat loaf”.  I love meat loaf and any way to make it healthier is fine by me.  My favorite way to eat it is cold the next day on a sandwich.  Ok, so anything cold the next day on two slices of bread is fantastic.  The recipe calls for oatmeal and egg whites for a binder.  The recipe also called for extra-lean ground beef, but you could substitute ground turkey if you wanted to.  I must say it was really delicious.  Isabelle gave it 7 out of 5 stars.  She thought it was that good.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any leftovers. 


Serves 6

Calories: 263

Fat: 7 grams (3 sat)

Carbohydrates: 18grams

Fiber: 4 grams

Protein: 28 grams


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sweet Sunday: Apples and Peanut Butter Crisp

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The smell of peanut butter is the smell of heaven.  Especially when you have been dieting.  Err, I mean making a “life change”.  The smell of this weeks recipes have definitely played with the olfactory senses.  Warm and inviting, sweet and tempting, would all be words I would use to describe Apple and Peanut Butter Crisp.
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This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens “Ultimate Low Calorie Book”.  This is the third recipe from this book and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.  If you are interested in the other two recipes please see the links below.  Apple and Peanut Butter Crisp is a good way to get the deliciousness of peanut butter without totally giving up your resolutions.  It was a little hard to get a solid piece out of the pan, but that didn’t stop us.  There were no leftovers.   Please give these recipes a try.  I absolutely love them and I hope you will too!
Serves 8
Calories per serving: 174
Fat grams: 6 (1 sat fat)
Carbohydrate grams:  28
Fiber: 4 grams
Protein: 4 grams

You might also like:
beef and chipotle burritos
bittersweet chocolate cake

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Slow Cooked Tuesday: Beef and Chipotle Burritos

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My house smelled amazing when I came home from work on Tuesday.  I opened the back door and between the dog barking and the kids clamoring to get in the house, a warm succulent aroma poured out.  All at once a silence came as we took in the smell that had engulfed us.  Comfort and joy and roasted meat all mixed together.  We couldn’t get into the house fast enough.  “When can we eat?!  When can we eat?!” was what I heard for the next 20 minutes.  I can admit that I was screaming that inside my head as well.

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Beef and Chipotle Burritos is a beautiful amalgamation of slow cooked top round steak, sweet onions and tomatoes.  I found the recipe in the newest cookbook in my family, the Better Homes and Gardens “Ultimate Low-Calorie Book”.  (please check out the previous post of Bittersweet Chocolate cake)  This cookbook is amazing.  If you are counting your calories like I am, it will fit perfectly into your cookbook library too!

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Here are some notes on the recipe.  I substituted small white flour tortilla for the whole wheat one listed below.  Small changes are easier to handle in my family,  I had a low carb high fiber tortilla that was only 90 calories and it was bigger around so it looked like I was eating more.  Just a note:  make sure the juice is drained from the meat before you scoop it into your tortilla, or you will end up with a puddle on your plate.
Please enjoy and I hope you house smells as fantastic as mine.
Serves 8 with 1/2 cup serving of meat and 3 tablespoons serving of  vegetables

Calories:  361  (309) with low carb tortilla
Fat: 11 grams (4 saturated)
Carbohydrates:  22 grams
Fiber: 12 grams
Protein:  40 grams

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sweet Sundays: Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Walnut Drizzle


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There is nothing sweeter than a Sunday.  Especially a healthy one.  I have made a New Year’s resolution.  I will finally lose all of the pounds that I have gained and lost and gained and lost over the last 14 years.  I want to call it baby weight that I never lost, but my baby is now 6, and I don’t think that counts.  I know what you are thinking, if I would stop eating chocolate cake I’d probably lose those pounds.  You are right I would.  But this chocolate cake is like no other chocolate cake on earth.  This chocolate cake weighs in at 110 calories a slice.  Read that sentence again.  Yep that’s not a typo.  110 calories a slice!!!!!  Are you interested in how you can make this magical cake?  Well, read on my friend!

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So it started with a new cookbook.  I had to get a new cookbook to put on my new bookshelf.  I found the Better Homes and Gardens “the ultimate low-calorie book”.  This cookbook is amazing!  It has over 400 recipes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snunch, dinner, snacks and dessert!  Snunch is the meal between dinner and lunch.  There is a beautiful picture of each recipe and I have already marked at least 20 recipes that I want to make.  It is a soft cover book and it’s on the smaller side so I can sneak it in my purse.  All the recipes have the nutritional information listed so I can easily figure out Alex’s insulin dosage and the calorie count for me. 

You guys have to try this recipe!  It is delicious!  My family ranked it 4 out of 5 stars.  It really satisfies the chocolate craving and if you are really ravenous you probably could have two pieces.  Just a note on the topping.  I took a few tablespoons of homemade cranberry walnut jam and melted it in the microwave to give the cake some color.  You could add whipped cream or fresh berries if you’d like!

Thanks for coming back and enjoy!

Serves 12

Calories: 110 per slice

Carbohydrates: 24 grams per slice

Fat: 5 grams (3grams saturated)

Fiber: 2 grams

Protein: 4 grams



Saturday, January 14, 2012

So What Happened the Rest of the Year?

The Thanksgiving Bird
The Thanksgiving Bird
The easiest answer I can give you?  I got lost? I couldn’t find the time?  The dog ate my computer?  No, there shouldn’t be any excuses.  I just didn’t blog.  I made a few recipes, took a few pictures and that was it.  So here we are in the new year.  I am asking for a fresh start and want to give you all thanks for following me the last two years.  The year to come will be even better than this last one.  Watch for changes to the look of the blog.  I would like to do something more upbeat and colorful and exciting!  Something that says more about me and who I am. 
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Christmas by Candlelight table.
So Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went. Look at the home my cookbooks have!  You will see the picture of my bookshelf below.  Greatest gift ever.  My daddy made my bookshelf and now all of my books can be together.  I must say, the books love it.  Unfortunately my daddy needs to build me another one all ready.  From my mother I received a Panini press.  I have used it everyday. Look for future recipes from it. Let’s just say it was a fantastic season.
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The new bookshelf!
So after Thanksgiving, I found I had literally a ton of mashed potatoes on my hands.  I found a really great recipe from Pillsbury’s newest publication “Simple & Sensational Holiday Recipes”.  The book has pullout cards so they can be filed in an organized recipe box.  I keep them in book form, because, alas I don’t have an organized recipe box.  I have a recipe box, but it is not organized.  I was looking for something on which to eat my famous after Thanksgiving sandwich.  I found myself without rolls.  Lots of mashed potatoes but no rolls.   My step mom makes really great yeast rolls but they look so complicated.  I found Simple Yeast Rolls, and they were simple and delicious! 

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The key to these rolls are the mashed potatoes.  If you find yourself making some for dinner, make extra so you can make these rolls anytime you need to.  Oh and here is the secret for my famous after Thanksgiving sandwich.  Bread and butter pickles, dark meat turkey, stuffing and butter.  Not the healthiest, but I only get them once a year. 

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Happy New Year!  Stay tuned for more!