January 31, 2012

Things I Shouldn't Eat...Like Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

It seems like every time I go to the grocery store, I need a sweet indulgence of some sort. Usually, I go with a white chocolate raspberry muffin...not a little tiny one either, mind you, the biggest one I can find.  Then, pretty much the minute I get home, I put it in the microwave for a few seconds so it's warm, melty and extra yummy...and then I eat the whole thing.  

Anyway, I started thinking that I should try to make my own version of this sweet treat, that way there would be more to love.  I don't really know if that was a good idea though, because they're so delicious and if I keep eating them there's going to be more of me to love too!

As I was making these, and later when I was stuffing them in my mouth, I decided that I really need to give up sugar...and bread...and Diet Cokes.  I think I'm really going to try.  I know it will be hard, but it would be worth it, right?  It would be like a cleanse of sorts.

I think a lot about food, too much probably.  Have you ever seen the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead?  I watched it on Netflix and found it to be quite interesting.  It's about a man who's overweight and suffering from an autoimmune disease.  When he can't get control of his health through conventional means he decides that for a few months he's only going to consume fruit and vegetables that he's juiced...a decision that transforms his life.

It's one of those things where after you see it, you tell yourself that that's what you're going to do too.  You're going to eat super healthy and it's going to be awesome!  I think I need to watch it again to pump myself up.  I don't know if I could drink only juice, but I sure could drink a lot of smoothies.

I wish I didn't love muffins so much.  At least, the raspberries are healthy, right?!  Well, if you're not quite ready to juice your food and cut everything yummy out of your life, here a recipe you might like.

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, melt the butter and then add the egg, milk, and vanilla.  Whisk them together and then add them to the dry mixture. Gently mix in the chocolate and the raspberries.  

I used paper cups in my muffin tin and filled each section 3/4 full.  Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20 to 23 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.  One little tip, I always have a problem with my muffins getting too brown on the bottom, but I found that if you put a cookie sheet under your pan that issue is solved.

Mmmm, enjoy!

Well, lovely people that's all for today.  Maybe I'll see you later this week.


January 26, 2012

My Blooming Heart

Hello.  Hello.  Hope you've had a good week.

Can you believe how quickly January is flying by?  I've been thinking about Valentine's Day and how it's just around the corner...that special time of year to give the people who mean so much to us a little extra lovin'.  I've already bought a few treats for my children.  I'm easily swayed by cute packaging so if I see something that calls out to me, I'm likely to get it.  Candy isn't always the answer though, is it?  No siree...flowers are a big part of the holiday too.

Of course, you know that a bundle of flowers always catches my eye, and I thought of a pretty Valentine's Day inspired craft, using beautiful blooms, that would be a nice gift for that special someone.

It's nothing too complicated.  See here?  It's a blooming heart...a heart-shaped candy tin turned into a vase of sorts...filled with something pretty instead of something fattening.

To make it, you first need to get a metal heart-shaped candy tin...make sure it's water-tight. I chose an M & M container that was rather small since I didn't want to buy a whole bunch of flowers. Eat the candy to make room for the flowers and for an extra burst of energy :)  Next, put a piece of wet floral foam inside the container and then just cut and stick your flowers into the foam.

While the outside of my container had a nice pattern on it, it didn't seem to work well with the flowers.  To get it more to my liking, I attached some double-sided scrapbooking tape to the outside of the tin and then covered it with a ribbon to finish the whole thing off.  That part was kind of a pain, but it came out pretty good.

And there you go, you're done!  Quick and easy...pretty too.  Throw a few pieces of candy in the mix and you're good as gold :)

Well people, that's that. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!


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January 20, 2012

Beauty, Bugs and Browsers

Hi everyone!

Wow, I can't believe it's Friday already, this week sure got away from me.  Both my daughter and I were sick with the flu bug this week...not fun, let me tell you.  I did lose four pounds from it though, so that made me feel a wee bit better...not much, but a little ;) 

I didn't get out much this week due to all of our illnesses and also because of the weather.  Ughh...it's so chilly!  Up until lately, we've been spoiled with unusually high temperatures, so our current weather is kind of a shock.  Yesterday, despite the alluring look of all the bright sunshine, it was ten below outside with about a minus thirty degree windchill when my son left for school.  The Mister drove him...I stayed in.

Luckily, I did manage to get out for a bit the day before.   Feeling like I needed a dose of some brightly-hued beauty, I picked up a bunch of flowers while out and about on a much needed trip to the grocery store.  I decided to combine them with a little of this and a little of that, take some photos and finally put together a post.

Besides having a keen eye for spying flowers, I'm always on the hunt for interesting little tidbits...some things old, some things new.  Since I've been doing more and more food photography, I have a new-found love for kitchen-related items, fabric always calls out my name too.  But what I really like, is when I find an item a little out of the ordinary, something that has a hint of charm and feels nice and natural too.

I love worn woods...things with texture.  Mmm, yumminess.  If I remember correctly, I think I scavenged these wooden spools from Mom's house along with some vintage clothespins.  Weird little things like that make me so happy.  I especially think they look so pretty paired with a few beautiful blooms.  I could spend ridiculous amounts of time rearranging it all and enjoy every minute of it.

Speaking of rearranging, there are a few little projects I'm hoping to get done around the house soon so that maybe I can have a decorating post for a change.  Hopefully, I can work on one of them this weekend...fingers crossed. 

Oh, one last thing.  If you are still having problems leaving blog comments, I've noticed two things...it seems to randomly happen on blogs where the comments are embedded under the post and also the browser you use appears to make a difference.  I downloaded Google Chrome and now all is well.  It only took a few minutes and I can still use Internet Explorer whenever I like too.  Maybe that will help some of you that are having the same problems that I was.

Well, my friends, have a great weekend!


January 12, 2012

Light and Simple

Hello, hello.  Happy Thursday friends!

Well, I can see from the comments on my last post that I'm not the only one who had a little too much to eat over the holidays...hmmm?   There seems to be an epidemic of tight pants going on right now!  Mine still look like they're painted on my body, but I'm doing my best to overcome that sad situation by getting back to healthier eating habits.

Gone are all the cookies, candy and goodies and in their place are more fresh fruits and veggies.  I've been eating lots and lots of salads lately.  The one I make most often only has a few items and doesn't require too much preparation...it's sooo simple and yummy. 

Here are the ingredients, if you want to make it too.  Oh wait, let's see, I have to give it a name..how about Simple Spring Salad?  Oh yes, that sounds good.  Here ya go...

Simple Spring Salad
  • Mixed greens such as romaine, arugula and spinach
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • Dried cranberries such as Craisins
  • Caramelized walnuts
  • Pink Lady or Granny Smith apple slices, if desired 

For a little more flavor, I usually use a very small amount of store-bought raspberry vinaigrette or raspberry walnut dressing.  I'm not a big fan of dressing because I don't like it to overpower the salad, plus salad dressing, for the most part, has lots of calories.

When I go out to eat, I always ask for the dressing on the side and then I just dip my fork into it before gathering up each biteful of lettuce.  Good thinkin' huh?  There, that's my low calorie tip of the day. 

Of course, carb-lover that I am, I still need to have a bit of bread.  As much as I want to, I try to refrain from scarfing down the whole loaf...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Bread is really a weakness of mine.

So, how about all of you?  Have you change your ways now that the holidays are over?  I really need to be better about my exercising.  My son got one of the wii Just Dance videos for Christmas and we've all had a lot of fun doing that.  Whew!  That thing seems like it really gets the calories burning, but wow is it fun!  I especially love watching my kids do their dance moves.  It's so cute and kind of funny...lol.

Hope you have a nice weekend!  Chat later :)


By the way, I'm having a problem when I visit some people and want to leave a comment, the page freezes up and the comment form isn't there.  Is anyone else experiencing this?

January 06, 2012

A Fresh Start

Hello.  Happy 2012 to you!  I hope your year is going well.  So far, so good here.  I always love the beginning of a new year.  It's a season of possibilities...not knowing what will unfold in the next twelve months and feeling like it's a fresh start.

I didn't chose any special words to reflect on or guide me throughout the year, nor am I making any resolutions...the list would be far too long.  I just want to focus on being happy and having God take control of my life instead of trying to map out the future myself.

It's been so wonderful here weather-wise, that I've kind of tricked myself into thinking that Spring is right around the corner.  I'm sure mother nature has other plans though.  I thought I'd bring a little of that Springtime feeling into the house by planting some paperwhite, grape hyacinth and crocus bulbs.  I've forced paperwhites before, but have never tried the others so hopefully they'll be as easy...I'll keep you posted.

Now that the holidays are over and a new season is upon us, I've decided it's time to focus my attention on something that's really starting to annoy me...the tightness of my pants.  Oh my, it's scary people.  I can hardly get my fattest pants on and it's getting to the point where I'm going to have to wear my sweatpants out in public...or some maternity pants.  Just kidding about that last one there.  That definitely won't be happening, it's bad enough wearing them when you're actually pregnant.  Ugh...I couldn't stand those things.

Anyway, I've been eating much better this week...lots of salads and such.  It feels nice to be back to normal.  I cut up all my pomegranates yesterday and put the seeds in the freezer for smoothies.  What a mess that was!  Anyway, maybe I'll have some healthy recipes to share next time.

Hope you have a great weekend!