Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Victories of 2013

The scale was basically not a big part of 2013.  After a while I just accepted that maintaining was going to be the theme of the year.  This means that our victories were of the non scale variety this year and I'm okay with that.  Instead of focusing on the things that I didn't do well on this year, I'm going to try to focus on the things I did right this year or the things I got to do as a result of previous year's hard work.

I think of where I was a year ago with my Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and leg muscle issues.  We had to cancel New Years Eve in Chicago because walking was just not possible.  I've come to realize that the muscle issue will always be something I have to manage but I'm thankful that I had a good chiropractor to show me proper exercises, massage techniques and such to help me.  (Things I've slacked on over the past two weeks and I need to get back to asap so I don't backslide into pain)  I'm not happy I have to deal with this but I know this is something that will require constant dedication on my part.  I'm hoping as I lose more weight the pressure off my legs will make things a little better.

Our trip to Kauai was a realization of over a decade's worth of dreams and seeing other people live the vacation we always wished we could.  Even though I trained for stand up paddle as best as I could, nothing could prepare me for the real thing.


Even though it wasn't necessarily my favorite activity, I was proud of myself for doing it.  I had a LOT of mental obstacles to get through in addition to the physical ones.  It's something I never thought I'd do but I didn't even think twice when it was time to do it.  That is a feeling I hope I continue to take with me in future adventures.

When we were done with stand up paddle, it was time to move on to kayaking.  I mean literally.  We were done stand up paddling and I surprised the Mr with a kayaking excursion. I was so looking forward to this because I can't count how many times I would see kayakers on the Hanalei River as we were driving over the bridge or down the main drag and wonder if that would ever be me.  This year, it was...


I never thought I'd get a picture of me in a kayak with Bali Hai in the background but I'm so proud that this year I could...even if it was taken through a crappy camera dry bag.  Thankfully I got a better bag for Christmas for the next kayaking adventure.

The other dream we made come true on Kauai was walking their Visitors Industry Charity 5K.  This is a walk we always heard about every time we were in Hawaii because it's on all of the islands.  We always said we wanted to do it someday and we went down for last minute registration the morning of the race.


I don't know if we were more excited about walking the walk or the fact that a "normal" sized race shirt (XL) fit us!  I was in a lot of pain for it but the pride won out over the pain.  Not that I ever had a 5K on my fitness bucket list but I can cross it off anyway.

For the first time, we actually broke out the exercise bands we took with us on vacation and did some homemade tabata style workouts while on Kauai.


We hoped to do this when we went to Traverse City but we didn't but we did walk 38 miles while we were there and I consider that a victory even if neither commitment to exercise on vacation kept the pounds at bay.

Speaking of which, even with as disastrous as our holidays were on the food front, one thing we never wavered on was the exercise.  We exercised 6 days a week and yes, even on Christmas day.  Don't get me wrong, there were days we didn't feel like it but it was never an option to skip and I'm thankful we didn't.

While I would've loved for this recap to contain a little more than just our Kauai victories, this year is wide open for new opportunities.  It's just up to us to seize them.

Name three things you are proud of this year on the fitness front.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

This is your doughness level

The last few days of the year.  How did that happen?

More importantly, what the hell happened to me this month?  We'll get to that.

I had my friend over Friday for brunch, we exchanged our gifts and gabbed.  It was nice to see her even if it was a relatively short visit for us.  Saturday was a day of returns/exchanges.  The Mr got 2 pairs of the same yoga socks since my one grandma never got back to me that she bought those as an extra.  So we took them back to the sporting goods store and put the refund toward the second 40 lb weight the Mr needed to complete the first half of the set he got from my mom.  I took back a cute gift I got that I probably wouldn't use and ended up getting a new cookie sheet I needed, 3 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper and some cookie boxes for next year.  We headed to World Market and I used my $10 off coupon.  I got this great lilac hand cream, 4 treat bag patterns for my friend's cookies next year (I lamented I had to use Ziploc bags instead of festive ones this year) and two tea towels I plan to make into lumbar pillows for the bed.  At $4 per towel and polyfil, I already had that'll save me about $40 from what I'd pay for something similar at Pottery Barn...and y'all know how I love the Pottery Barn.  I tried to exchange the two tops I got from Old Navy that are just cut weird but I couldn't find them in the store.  I guess I'll just have to keep them and hope I'll eventually get down into them.  We did fit in one final Christmas event last night.  We went to a light show at a park and while you'd think with it being a Sunday and after Christmas that less people would be there, it sure felt like half the city was there.  It was nice to stroll the place for two hours and take in the holiday cheer for the last time this year.  As we watched a light show, we both teared up a bit (okay fine, I cried) just thinking of the season coming to an end.  Speaking of the season...

Lilo & Stitch fans may recognize this scene:


About a week ago, I made a picture of my own...


I have never felt more sick in my life.  (I take that back, I feel close to the way I felt after eating Kauai in May.)  I suspect if you were to wring me out, it'd be like wringing a refrigerated cookie dough log.  We could NOT stop shoveling in the sweets and I'm pretty sure that when you don't need to shave your legs because of how bloated you are, it's the first step to admitting you have a problem.  I don't know if the stress of my grandma's situation got to me or if I just used the excuse of it being the holidays to dive in head first.  The water has been low, the pipes-clogged, the fingers-bloated, the jeans-tight, the face- puffy and the even my underwear fits weird.  So...sorry all of you people who are stumbling upon my blog for the first time looking for inspiration.  I'm probably a good 25 lbs of sodium and dough gain right now and feel like my teeth are going to fall out from sugar rot.

How motivating!

I've also been having nightmares in the same unresolved genre the past 3 nights (I'm actually writing this at 5am because I couldn't sleep after this one) and I know that my aptitude for nightmares goes up when I go to bed full.  So that's always fun.

Here's where I'm supposed to go all health blogger on you with two days left in the year with my promises of what I'm going to do to reverse all of this damage.  I'm not going to give you a list of resolutions.  I loathe resolutions and I might as well say "here's a list of shit I have no intention of doing this year" because that's just how it is for me when declare something.  When I say "I'm going to lose X pounds by X date because on paper, this is totally doable" my fat cells have a covert meeting saying "okay, we're going to make sure she gets about 2/3 of the way to her goal and then stall out."

I know what I need to do.

I know what's going to happen if I don't.

Whether I choose to fail or succeed is all in my hands right now.  I don't need a pep talk or anything because while I appreciate the support, it's not about needing a virtual butt kick.

I've got some thinking to do.

Was I the only one to let things get seriously out of hand?  I sure feel like it.

(This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you choose to buy through it, I will get a nominal kickback to help keep the blog chuggin')
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Review: Leslie Sansone's Walk It Off in 30 Days

I know I've mentioned it before but I don't know why when you've lost 200+ lbs and have workouts on your wishlist that people will still NOT buy them for you!  I think it's pretty clear we use them.  It's like people buy you what THEY would want off of your wishlist or something.  Anyone else go through this?  

Just me?  

Okay.

Thankfully the Mr came through and got me this item that was on my wishlist.  


I'll say that it kind of irritates me though that he has to be the one to buy it because it's like if WE were going to buy it, we could've just bought it any ol' time and not have to wait for Christmas.  Sorry, I'm ranting again.

Anyhoo, I saw a clip of Leslie Sansone: Walk It Off in 30 Days and I knew I wanted to add it to the collection.  It looked like a good new mix and little more intense than some of her earlier stuff that we own.  A friend of mine got it when I put it on my wishlist and she said she really liked it so I was excited to try it out.

It's set up like a 30 day program.  You do the "Burn" workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday and do the "Firm" workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays.  Both workouts are 30 minutes a piece.

I got it Christmas morning and by late Christmas morning we were doing the "Burn" workout because we were short on time and it was only 30 minutes long.  Yes, please.  Right away I had to chuckle because I noticed they had the same option for her that they have for Tony Horton on his videos which is to basically mute them and only have music and cues.  Leslie is a very peppy gal and I'll admit when I first got Walk Away the Pounds, I had to mute her and put on some music to tolerate the workout.  Since then, she's grown on me a bit and I don't need to mute her anymore but it's good to know there's the option for those who have skipped the workouts in the past.

The setting is a large set with about 10-15 other people of all ages, gender and sizes and Leslie is all dolled up. The Burn workout is some of her standard moves like walking, sidesteps, kickbacks and kicks.  There are also some cha cha's and skaters thrown in for good measure.  There is light hand weight work for the upper body as well.  They use one to two pound hand weights but we used eight and ten pound dumbbells.  It was pretty non-stop and she let's you know when the halfway point is and there is a countdown for the last 10 minutes.  I think the last six minutes are spent slowing down and stretching more than I like.  So I used those six minutes to keep my heart rate up and then stretched a little afterward.  If I'm only doing a 30 minute workout, I want the whole 30 minutes to be full of cardio.  I burned 515 calories which wasn't a huge burn but you figure if I did my usual 50 minutes, that would've been about 870 calories and I consider that a good burn.

Yesterday we were going to just do a kind of mindless free weights session because I had no capacity to think by the time we got down there.  We decided to do the Firm workout and man was it challenging!  Part of that was due to the fact that we used heavier weights.  She had some pretty light weights and started with several sets of lunges.  Most people have you use heavy weights when doing squats to add resistance so I went with 20's and the Mr did 25's.  There were several variations of squats with wide stance, narrow stance and side squats.  We stuck with the heavy ones for rows and tricep kickbacks.  We had to lower down five pounds each for flies but used the heavy weights for most of the workout.  The last ten minutes are spent doing some floor exercises like flies, presses and then on to some ab exercises.  She does get a little confusing when she tells you to do curls when she means crunches.  But all in all, it was a great workout that was fast paced and went by quickly.  I don't suggest you do heavier weights especially if you're just starting out with the workout but it's nice to be able to have a good 500 calorie burn for a 30 minute strength session for us.

I know this is stupid but it needs to be mentioned.  There's this huge spot on the floor in the back left and we joked that someone spilled water on the floor.  But it never dried up as the workout went on.  It doesn't look like a logo or a picture and they get just close enough to it to taunt you and then back away from it.  If you're weirdos like us, you'll likely spend some of the time wondering what the hell it is.  You'd have to see it to know what I mean.  If you're easily distracted like us, it might be a fun game to play like guessing pictures in the clouds.

Would I recommend Leslie Sansone: Walk It Off in 30 Days?  Yes.  I think if you need a quicker workout that hits all of the major points like cardio and strength this could be a good one.  I don't know that it's for true beginners but if you've done Walk Away the Pounds in the past, this is a nice little step up in variety.  There are a few points where she runs a little to get the heart rate up and jumps around pumping her fist (I couldn't make that up if I tried) so if you aren't into the whole higher impact thing, you can certainly just walk or modify to your abilities.

Did you get any new workouts lately?

This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you choose to buy through it I will get a nominal kickback to keep this blog runnin' like a well oiled machine.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Til the Season Comes Around Again

Well, it's over.  :-(

I am having trouble finding the words to even describe it.  We spent Christmas Eve pretty much as I said we would.  I felt like I worked myself like a dog up until the very last minute.  I won't do that next year.  It made the few days leading up to Christmas completely draining and it was hard to want to do much more than curl up and let it all pass.  But I knew that wasn't an option and I didn't want to anyway.  I just felt like I needed an extra day or two.  This was especially true when the spice cake I always bake for Christmas day decided it was going to stick to the pan and break in two.  There was no salvaging it in cake form and I'll be damned if I was baking one more friggin' thing.  So I was forced to make cake balls.  Do you know how NOT FUN that is to do when you're already at the end of your patience rope?  I made up new curse words.

Dirty ones.

Ones that would make sailors blush.

Then like some sadist, I decided to make Frosty Hats which aren't hard but cripes man, did I really need to serve another dessert the family would think was wicked awesome and give me that look that says "make these every year!"  (They loved them, of course.  I made it VERY clear never to expect cake balls again and Frosty Hats were a maybe but only if there was time.)

We got ready for my mom to come over and we were done just in time for the festivities to begin after a long day already.  I made up our appetizer spread and we enjoyed picking the things we wanted and gabbing at the table.  We opened presents and mom seemed to like everything we got her.  One of those things was a 1966 edition of Tiddly Winks she had as a kid.



We must've played that for at least an hour.  It was really fun, I forgot how much I loved playing that.  I'll have to see if I can find us a box from our childhood as well.  I got a lot of new tops from Old Navy that, as I look at my sodium bloated, doughy gut-line tell me with some hard work I *might* be able to fit into them by spring.  I got a Cuisinart personal blender system to replace our waning Magic Bullet.  It's been good to us but it's time and I'm glad it wasn't money out of my pocket.  That's what wish lists are for!  ;-)

It was also a time to be updated on what else dementia is stealing from my grandma and while I held it together in front of my mom and the Mr, inside I was dying a little.  As I looked at the lights of our tree, all I could think of was her and her teaching me that tinsel was to put on tree branches one strand at a time for a beautiful, uniform look.  I do two to four strands at a time just to speed things along but never without thinking of her.  Or remembering the special spot on her tree for her ornament with her name written in glitter like it hung on her parents Christmas tree.  I looked over at the gumdrop tree of hers that they gave me last year and wondered how it all was coming down to memories, as life often does the older we get.  Memories, she no longer has.  Ones I have to keep alive for her.  The Mr and I snuggled on the couch and took a little nap in lieu of heading upstairs.  Because going to bed would mean the night would be shortened and I wanted it to last just a little bit longer, even if I was asleep for it.  When we went upstairs at 12:15am, I managed to find a yule log on TV and the Mr laughed when he saw it.

"You always find the yule log," he said.

I do.

Note yule log

When we woke up that morning to the last of the previous day's dusting on the ground still hanging on, we said the phrase we say every year from Home Alone 2..."it's Christmas mornin' man."  As the Mr went to the bathroom before heading down, I readied his take under the tree with a special gift tucked in our angel pup's stocking.  (Yes, we still hang it.)  I plugged in the trees, started our Christmas music and he brought down my gifts.  We opened our stockings and presents.  The good thing about shopping so early is everything is a surprise all over again even if you knew a few of the things you might be getting.  I asked him what was in our dog's stocking and he opened up a box wrapped in Santa paper with a jingle bell tag from Santa.  It was the 1979 Lamborghini Countach model he spotted at an antique mall a few weeks ago.



Santa must've remembered!  It was good to see him smile like a child for that minute when his knee wiggled back and forth, his tell tale sign that he's pleased.  (Kind of like he's doing now playing his new zombie video game.  Lucky me to get this black death to listen to Christmas night.)

I got a new Leslie Sansone workout video (yes Shannon, that one!  Finally!) and we did it before it was time to go.  I will do the other workout and do a formal review but when you're pressed for time, it was a good burn at 515 cals for 30 minutes.  Then it was time to rush around wondering where the hell the morning went and grab everything to head over to my aunt's place.  My grandparents were there and she was having a good day.  She was conversational (for her, these days) and even a little sassy.  What a gift from God.  We cherish those days more than ever before.  She had on a little blinky necklace her friend got her and I was glad to hear that she stopped by.  They were such good friends before and I don't know that since this happened she's been by much.  Funny how that happens.  Her meds have given her quite the appetite and she is SO funny to watch now.  I made my cheeseball and the Mr went to get some and grandpa asked if she wanted some and she said yes so the Mr made her five crackers on a plate.  When my other aunt got there and brought pumpkin pie, Grandma said "I want THAT!" and her eyes lit up.  My aunt (the host) said "for dessert?" and she looked at her like "hand it over, woman."  She said "now."  We all laughed and she said, "how about I save this piece back for dessert?" and she agreed.  When we went in to eat and my uncle was fixing her plate, he asked which meat she wanted, ham or beef roast.  I walked in behind her and to egg her on, I said "or both?" and she smiled and said "BOTH!"  We all cracked up as my aunt cringed a little.  Hey, life is uncertain...eat both Grandma...we don't mind.

We decided to take family pictures of each branch of the family tree and I pulled Grandma and Grandpa in on ours because I couldn't help but wonder if this picture would look different next year.  Would she still be here?  Would he?  Dementia takes just as much toll on the caregiver and when that caregiver is a stubborn, proud man in his 80's that relied on her to do everything, it's not the best situation.  I had to leave the room when we were done, I was tearing up and had to just distance myself a little while everyone else took their pics.  We got some nice gifts that our parents all helped pick out from our wish lists and we stayed until the conversation well ran dry.  (Note to self:  bring board games or something next year.)

We stopped by my mom's house so the Mr could take in her presents and this song came on the playlist and I lost it.  I bawled halfway home.

Today, I'm going to relax a bit before we have to clean up the gift bombs that went off in here over the past few days before I entertain for the last time for the season tomorrow.

Every year I say I'm doing it different next year and I rarely do.  I need to refer to this post to remind myself of how much self imposed stress I put on myself as it gets closer and make a real effort to not repeat it.  But we'll see how it goes because it's a nice thought til the season comes around again.

How was your holiday?

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!



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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Scenes from the busiest day yet

Put a fork in me.  I'm done.

I'm going to have to plan much better for next year because doing all of this baking on our dating anniversary really kind of took away from it, so I apologize to you, Mr.  But we did get to do our favorite thing that has been a tradition every year...decorate cut out cookies.

Ready for action

Ready to be put away in containers.

The ones I iced for tonight's get together with my mom.

Made a new recipe for cinnamon rolls from a 1933 cookbook.  Fingers crossed they don't suck for Christmas morning for us and my mom.  (The ones with nutmeg on top are egg nog frosting) 
I love these flowers I grabbed at Trader Joe's.  I mixed 2 bouquets.  One white mix with greens and then I grabbed some red tulips to mix in.  I put them in a mason jar vase.  I love flowers!

I want to wish you all a Happy Christmas Eve!  This is it!  For me, this is the day of the year I love and tomorrow night, I'll probably be in a heap in the corner crying because it's all over.  But until then, enjoy the holiday and the moments that make the day special.  We have an appetizer spread with my mom, open presents, listen to childhood Christmas music, maybe we nap depending on the food coma and if the lights are out with the tree lit.  She'll leave around 10ish and the Mr and I will snuggle on the couch asking where the hell the month went and trance out in the tree lights until it's time for bed.  I'll leave a cookie for Santa (shut up) and when we wake we'll utter the same thing we've uttered from our favorite Christmas movie, Home Alone 2..."it's Christmas mornin', man."

Make a promise to yourself to take 5 minutes to plug in the tree and enjoy the lights, light your favorite candle, enjoy a cup of cocoa or snuggle with your sweetie.  You deserve it!

Merry Christmas Eve!

What are you doing tonight?

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Twitching, doughy heap

I am exhausted.

Like...seriously.

Was I the only person whose kitchen looked like this at a few points this weekend?


It was?

Oh...that was embarrassing.

Yeah, all of that cookie dough that I froze and labeled?  It was scoop and bake day and somehow I still had other doughs to make and frostings and stuff.  I did half the doughs for my friend who lives alone and his only love in life other than vinyl records is homemade Christmas cookies, so I oblige.  To watch him smell the entire tin like he's smelling the sweet scent of a long, lost lover is worth all of the time put into it.

Then remember how I said you could use it as a means to appease last minute drop overs for the holidays?  Well, apparently the mother in law couldn't get enough of us and decided she was going to drop over on our busiest weekend of the month and then get that slight dig in about how we don't have to answer the door while she drops something off if we just want to hide.  Yeah, because we have no life.


*Insert HEAVY eye roll here*

Despite the slight detection of 'tude, I decided that because I knew she wasn't likely baking again this year that I needed to provide a bazillion cookies for her that I really had no time to bake.  Because it's also not my style to just slap it on a plate and put it in a ziploc bag, I did this...


That is a large, leftover oatmeal container with the plastic snap on lid.  Perfect for cookie giving though not necessarily with the Quaker dude on the front.  So I grabbed my antique songbook and ripped out two pages and washi taped them to the container and tied a bow around it.  The lid was plain so I double sided taped (like how I made that a verb?) some scrapbooking paper to it, grabbed my 2 1/2" scalloped punch and made a quick tag and slapped a bow on it.  I scooped and baked 4 of each kind of cookies I had and filled them to the brim...all within 30 minutes.

Yeah...I'm that good.

I was left in charge of a dessert for a gathering with my grandma (not that one) so I made this...


A yule log.  I got the pan from Sur La Table during a late Christmas clearance the year before last and I made one last year with ganache on top but it was kind of thin and I didn't care for the way it turned out even though it tasted wonderful.  This year I melted down some fudge frosting and drizzled it over the top.  It was quite the feat to get it back on the cake carrier but it worked.

What's inside, you ask?


Homemade peanut butter buttercream.

It's totally fat free.

In a parallel universe.

We had a nice time at the gathering and my grandma went TOTALLY overboard!  I got a steam vac to replace the one that died, Father of the Bride 1 and 2 BluRay special edition and toeless yoga socks.  The Mr got 2 shirts, yoga socks and a CD he wanted.  There was much to discuss when we left.  You know how it is.

"I can't believe so and so said that!"
"What was up their butt tonight?"
"Why can't children keep it to a dull roar?"

Etc.

Then when we got home, I had to bake OUR cookies and by that time I just felt like I wanted to yak and when I did it would probably be the Pillsbury dough boy that shot out.  If I didn't have diabetes before today, I probably do now.

It's pretty bad when you crave vegetables.  Your body is saying "could you dial down the sugar inflammation, please?"

Today is the Mr and I's dating anniversary.  Twenty two of the best years of his life!  HA!

I love you, pookie wookie!

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, December 20, 2013

The Famous Cheeseball

How about a savory one today?

In my family, this recipe is known simply as Anele's Famous Cheeseball.  Others have tried and they've not followed my recipe and then wondered why it didn't taste as good.  I can tell them why over and over and they still refuse to buy all of the ingredients for some reason.  

Lucky for you, you can grab all of the ingredients, dump them in a bowl, stir and let the raves come in for...


Now, you'll have to excuse me because I didn't take pics of the process because I wasn't planning on posting this but I know you guys are smart and can follow directions.  ;-)

Here's what you'll need for a gathering of about 15 people with a little leftover if people don't snarf it all down in gluttony.

4 8 ounce blocks of Neufchatel (33% less fat) cream cheese, softened
1 packet Hidden Valley ORIGINAL Ranch powder  (DON'T get the dip packet, it's gross)
2 bunches scallions, diced
3 packages thin pressed beef, diced into squares (ie: Carl Buddig in the packaged lunchmeat section.  Should be SUPER cheap pricewise like two for $1 or $.70 if not on sale, not a deli style lunchmeat)
1 box of your favorite crackers, I use Ritz

This recipe is best made the night before so all of the flavors can marinate overnight.

In a large bowl combine the softened cream cheese, Hidden Valley Ranch powder, two bunches of diced scallions (everything but the roots.  This is important, this is the ingredient my family always skips then wonders why it doesn't taste the same!) and three packages of cubed thin pressed beef.

Mix until it's all combined making sure you don't have any "bare" spots with the ingredients.  If you're making it the night before, cover with foil and refrigerate until you need it the next day.

Transfer the mixture to a platter and shape into a ball.  Just before serving, circle the cheeseball with crackers, put a cute little knife in the ball and let everyone go to town.

After you taste test for quality assurance, of course.


Nutritional Information per 2 tbsp of dip only:  Calories 91  Total Fat 7g  Sat Fat 4g  Mono Fat 2g  Cholesterol 25mg  Sodium 258mg  Potassium 84mg  Total Carbs 3g  Fiber 1g  Sugars 1g  Protein 4g

Want another use for this?  Spread it all over a tortilla, roll it up, cut it in 1 1/2" slices and make cream cheese pinwheels.  They're pretty flippin' good as well!

For those needing a visual, the pressed beef should look like this:

Source

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Snickerdoodle Truffles

I thought I'd give y'all a break from chocolate today.

Just today.

I was grabbing some ingredients for another recipe and I saw this box of mini Nilla wafers that I bought for an accent to a game day recipe.  I literally used 14 of them and had almost a full box on hand and knew I was probably going to end up throwing them out.  Uh no...I'm not having it especially when the Mr's co-workers are whining about no treats from me this year.  So I turned potential trash into easy peasy treasure.




Here's what you'll need:

A box of Nilla Wafers (mini or otherwise)
2 tsp cinnamon (divided)
1/4 cup Almond or other shelf stable milk
1/4 cup (or less) sugar  (granulated or sparking)


Add your wafers to a food processor or blender.


Add 1 tsp of cinnamon.


Pulse until they are crumbs.


Add 1/4 cup of almond milk to the crumbs.


Give 'em a whirl until the dough pulls from the sides.


Check the consistency by squishing it in your hand to make sure it sticks together and won't crumble apart when rolled.


Ready your cinnamon sugar by putting the sugar and remaining cinnamon in a bowl and stirring until combined.


Grab a small cookie scoop to keep portions in control.


Squish the dough in your hand, bringing out the moisture in the dough, and roll it into a ball.


Plop them into the cinnamon sugar to coat and repeat.


Serve on a pretty plate and watch them disappear!  Little bites of classic cookie heaven in a truffle!




Nutritional Info:  Calories 89  Fat 3g  Sat Fat 1g  Poly Fat 1g  Mono Fat 1g  Chol 3mg  Sodium 66mg  Potassium  19mg  Total Carbs 15g  Sugars 9g  Protein 1g

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Marshmallow Pops

We're on day 3 of super simple holiday treats to throw together last minute.  These are insanely easy, delicious and addictive.





You'll need the following:

Chocolate chips
Full Sized Marshmallows
Sprinkles
Lollipop sticks

Like I told you with the Frosty Hats, I save back any extra dipping chocolate I might have from making other treats for something just like this.


I went to World Market and snagged some cute lollipop sticks.  You don't have to get Christmas specific ones, you can certainly grab some white ones that are available all year.


Insert the stick into the middle of the mallow.


Heat up the chocolate until melted and smooth.  Dip the marshmallow into the chocolate almost all the way but leaving the bottom open.  Tap the excess off.


While the chocolate is still wet, shake on some of your favorite sprinkles.


Use a piece of floral block or a glass to keep the marshmallows upright and let them harden in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Transfer to a mason jar with pretty shreds or confetti inside.


Dig in!  :-)


The Mr wasn't chomping at the bit over this one but when he tasted it, he was pleasantly surprised and liked them.  (I think it was the dark chocolate!)

50-75 calories per pop depending on the amount of chocolate you use.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Frosty Hats

This one is so easy and so yummy that people will think you worked on them all day but you don't have to tell them you didn't.



You'll need some kind of round cookie.  (I used candy cane Joe Joe's)  Full size marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Three ingredients!  (Four if you use sprinkles)

I made a batch of buckeyes when a friend came over to visit and when I make them, I always have some dipping chocolate left over.  So I squirrel it away in the freezer for the occasion that I may need it.  This is one of them.



Warm up the chocolate until melted and smooth.  Grab a cookie and dunk it in the chocolate to coat and place it "wet" side up so it'll act as your glue.


(If you don't want to dip the cookies, you could certainly cheat and buy fudge covered Oreos.  I won't tell!  Just know the chocolates likely won't match up)

Grab a marshmallow and dunk it in covering the whole thing.



Set it on top of the cookie and drizzle a little chocolate on top to fill in any white that may be showing.



If you want to get all crafty, grab some snowflake sprinkles and make a little headband or shake on some sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet.



BOOM!

Done!

You just have to put them in the fridge to set for 10 minutes or so then set them out on a plate for all to enjoy!



The Mr doesn't even care for marshmallows and he LOVED these!

Approximate calories per hat is 150-175 depending on how much chocolate you use.  Dark chocolate looks and tastes best.

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