Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Slim & Scrumptious

I consider myself a pretty good cook.  But I am not good at creating my own concoctions.   Give me a recipe to start from and I can usually turn out something great.  
This is my new favorite cookbook.  Really good food, simple to make with simple ingredients, and family friendly.  Best of all, lower in calories.  I am very happy with this purchase.  I've made everything you see on the front cover except the drink.  Delicious!!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ivory Wedding Cake

I made this wedding cake this summer for Brooklyn.  These flowers were a challenge. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jungle Theme Cake

This is a cake I did for a jungle themed party.  They provided the animals later at the party.  I love the bow and palm trees!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Favorite Costco Finds

Today I found a few products I hadn't seen before and I am a big fan.  Here's why: FIBER!
It's so hard to find good snacks for my kids lunches that have any fiber in them.  When there is an absence of fiber, it's as if they are eating straight sugar - at least that's what the body thinks.  I am a big skeptic of "organic chips and crackers" because most of the time they are lacking in fiber and really aren't any good for your body.
 These hummus popped chips are yummy, have natural ingredients (no partially hydrogenated oil, etc.) and actually have Fiber in them!  Yeah!
These Pomegranate Pistachios with Almonds, Cherries, and Black pepper - WOW!  I love them!!  Simple, natural ingredients (I actually understand what each ingredient is),  low sugar, and best of all, a good source of fiber!  Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our Alaska Vacation

Jeff and I took an Alaskan cruise this summer.  It was such a nice break to get out of the heat!  But can I just tell you, I have never been colder in my whole life.  You will notice that I am wearing the same thing in almost every picture, but thats because it was unseasonable colder than normal and I wore every layer I had, EVERYDAY!!!

Here we are with our good friends, Becky and Wayne getting ready to leave the port.

They are my favorite traveling friends.  So fun, and so easy going!  Wayne has the travel books memorized and makes our trips so incredible!

First port of call in Ketchikan.  I was sooooo cold!!!  

It was such a beautiful place!  

The highlight of Ketchikan was the float plane ride we took through the mountains and landed on a secluded lake.  I can't even describe how incredible and beautiful it was.

Icy Straits was exactly that - ICY (BRRRRRR)!!!  The only thing good about that place was the warm crab and hot chocolate.  Seriously to cold to enjoy.

Okay, It was beautiful too.

The best part of the entire trip was the float plane we took out of Juneau to the Taku Lodge.  Can I just tell you, if you ever take an Alaskan Cruise this is a MUST!

You land in such an amazing spot right in front of a glacier. The lodge is so quaint and cute.  The bear warnings were no joke - they were everywhere!!

The food was so FANTASTIC!!!  Really, it was worth the whole trip just for that meal alone!!
Fresh caught salmon, homemade biscuits, steamed fruit, coleslaw, homemade baked beans.  And the cookies!  Oh I am getting hungry..... (I am pretty sure I gained a few lb's at this one meal alone).

The whole time this bear was sitting in the tree, drooling over our fresh cooked salmon.  Poor fella.

This was the coldest part of the cruise by far.  But what a spectacular view of this glacier!

At this point I didn't care what I looked like - I just wanted to make sure my face didn't freeze off.

After the cruise was over, we spent the day up at the Alyeska Ski Resort.  I wish I had more pictures of this place.  Incredible and so beautiful.  

It was such an incredible trip and I am so grateful to my wonderful in-laws for making this possible.   Thanks again, Dan and Connie!  We love you guys!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Talent in the mountains!

Family camp talent show. My favorite night. Still laughing!!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rustic Wedding Cake

This has to be one of my all time favorite cakes.  Not to mention this reception was the bomb!  I love a little rustic, and I love the outdoors.  Perfect combination at this wedding reception.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

White Roses Wedding Cake with Owls

This was my cousin Mandi's wedding Cake.  I loved the roses (all made out of fondant).  It really was such a pretty cake.  She wanted bride and groom owls on top.  I think they turned out pretty cute!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Katelin's Wedding Cake

I love the flags on this cake.  Bummer the picture has a Nilla Wafer box behind it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cheerleading Cake

Desert Ridge High School Cheerleading cake.  Fun cake to make!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

British Flag Cookies

Webelos Cake

It was that time of year again - Blue and Gold Banquet for cub scouts.
The last one as my child will not be a cub scout much longer.  Here's the cake we did.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Toe Shoe Vibram Cake

My daughter Allison wanted to do an AMAZING RACE birthday party. She wanted a fun cake to go with the theme.  Her friends and I thought this cake would be very appropriate for Allison.  (Especially if you know her - she is a wacky doodle)  The perfectionist in me doesn't like that I didn't take the time to make things to scale, but I was pressed for time and it turned out good enough in a pinch.  It was tasty too - Coconut cake with coconut cream cheese!  Yum!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stuffed Chiles

My family really liked this and I liked it because it was meat free and fairly easy to make.
I had never roasted and peeled poblano chilies before but it was really easy.  The trick is to broil them until  the skin is really blistered up and blackened.
Stuffed Chiles
(Recipe from Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Cookbook)
  • 6 Medium poblano chiles
  • One 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese ( I use rice shreds for dairy free or cheddar)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup eggs blended with a fork
  • 1 1/2 cup milk or milk substitute (I use almond milk)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (even less if you don't like any heat - but we love the heat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salsa (Herdez is my favorite)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roast chiles under broiler until blistered on both sides.  Place in plastic bag 5 to 10 minutes.  Peel skin off.  Slice open one side and remove seeds and stems.  Place flat in casserole dish.  Layer beans over chilies with 1 1/4 cups cheese and onion.  Fold chiles in half over beans.  Mix egg with milk, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and garlic.  Pour over chiles.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake until set, 30 to 40 minutes.  Serve with salsa.  (Just feeds my family of 5 with no leftovers).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I am always on the lookout for recipes with made with whole grains, no sugar, and taste good!
Houston, we have lift off!!!
These are dang good, but there is a secret - you have to use raw honey for these to come out fantastic.  Plain old honey, works, but then these cookies are just okay.  I buy my raw honey at Sprouts, or at local farmers markets.  My husband ate so many of these and my son couldn't believe they were whole wheat!
I loved that they didn't have sugar.  Enjoy!
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Recipe from The Feel Good Cookbook)
Beat very well:
  • 2/3 cup butter (organic, pasture based is best)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey

  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg

Add and gently mix in:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Add then stir:
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
Form into balls on cookies sheet and bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Creamy Potato Broccoli Chowder

This was another meat free dinner I served last night.  Pretty good.  My 13 year old (and very picky eater) ate 3 bowls.  My husband gave me permission to add it to the dinner rotation.  The best part - it's very inexpensive and simple to make!  I should have doubled this for my family of 5.
Creamy Potato Broccoli Chowder
(Recipe from My Feel Good Foods Cookbook)

8 peeled or unpeeled red potatoes (I peeled mine due to my picky eater.  Makes a creamier soup.  If it was just me, I would have left the peels on).
3 Stalks Celery, diced
1 onion, quartered
2 stalks broccoli, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon salt  (or more to your liking)
1/2 cup healthy mayo (I used Veganaise brand that I buy from sprouts.  I have never used regular mayo - not as good for you)

In a large pot, cover vegetables with water.  Boil uncovered until tender (about 20 minutes or so).  Transfer mixture into blender with a large measuring cup and puree all the ingredients.  ( I did mine in batches.)  Blend the Veganaise and salt in with the potato, broccoli puree.  Warm and serve.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Favorite Meal - Beans, Rice, and Veggies

I have been trying hard to "eat meat sparingly" lately.  For me, I am trying to only cook meat for my family once a week, (typically for Sunday family dinner).  That means I need to have good, healthy, filling, quick meals for my family who is always on the go.   This has become our very favorite dinner, and everyone loves it - even my son who doesn't like beans and rice.  They chow this down.  I make a lot and store the leftovers in the fridge so they can throw a bowl together quick if they need to.

Beans and Rice 
Easily serves my family of 5
(from the Engine 2 Diet Cookbook)
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 1 to 11⁄2 cups chicken stock, vegetable broth, or water 
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos, Tamari, or Soy Sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 to 3 tomatoes, chopped 
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped 
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained 
  • 1 cup corn, fresh, frozen, or canned 
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped 
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped (key ingredient I think)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced 
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice 
  • Salsa or tamari to taste (I like it without, I just make sure I have lot's of juice from the beans - great flavor!)

Heat the beans with water or stock, Bragg’s, and chili powder. Place the chopped vegetables and cilantro in individual bowls. To serve, place several big spoonfuls of brown rice onto large plates and ladle beans on top. Add generous handfuls of chopped vegetables, cilantro, and avocado on top of the beans. Add salsa or tamari to taste.