Description Welcome

I've always been an experimentalist in the kitchen. Just ask my Mom. I loved to invent new recipes when I was younger. Though I flopped a lot I never lost that drive to tinker with flavors and food whilst creating my own signature versions. Now, I've added experience, photography and the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle to my repertoire and I'm excited to bring you my brand new adventures!Since I don't believe in sacrificing my taste buds for the sake of health here is where you're going to find the recipes I've scoured for (and more than likely tweaked) to be successes in that brutal criteria. I guarantee vibrant flavor and textures that will make you happy that you switched to REAL food.So please come on in! Grab a spoon and a mug before you cozy in at my kitchen table. We'll chat awhile about health and life and all the things we love while I serve you up some of my favorites!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

When Healthy Feels Hard

Do you know that feeling when you gain a few pounds and inches back as you find yourself yet again spending 30 minutes rifling through your closet trying to find an outfit that hides you and that you feel good in.
But you can never quite shake the insecurity.
You look in the mirror and see the old you resurfacing. The old ugly feelings are back too.

I know these feelings.
This has been me the past week or so.

To be brutally honest, I've been allowing myself too much leniency. Thinking that it's easier to go off plan than to make/take my own, more often than not. Feeling like it's way too much work to do my own thing in a roomful, houseful or people who are eating whatever they want.


The Lord is teaching me that I need to focused and faithful, even when it costs.
For truly, whatever is worth having comes at a cost.

Honestly, it is harder to plan a separate menu or eat healthy choices when everyone around you has no thought of health and seem to be enjoying themselves immensely.
 When I feel that it's too much for me, I just need some perspective.
I need to remember that THM (or any healthy diet) is NOT a burden.
It truly brings joy and health if I allow it to, and by His grace I can pay the cost which is honestly a redemption price.
Redemption from unhealthy, mindless emptiness to being a healthy, joy-filled vessel of the Lord.

The choice to be healthy is exactly that, my choice. It will not be an easy stroll through the park, it will cost, some days more than others. But that cost is worth it!

The lack of self-control, a take-the-easy-way-out or a poor-little-me attitudes are not appropriate for a Child of the King.

My goal is off. That is part of the problem.

If my goal is the lose weight, get skinny and therefore feel great about myself through THM that is,
first of all, abusing the knowledge given by the authors of Trim Healthy Mama and secondly, setting me up for unrealistic expectations and long term failure.

However, if my goal is to be a healthy so I can better serve God and those He places around me, finding my worth and value in Him and who He's made me. Using the book to help me be healthy and fit for His Kingdom and to be the best I can be now and hopefully someday the best Wife and Mother too.

This is a goal worth fighting for, and suddenly, this becomes an act of service to my King.
This is a privilege now and I'm not just focused on the prize.
The joy is now in the journey instead of the skinny.
 The journey now becomes more meaningful and less superficial.

I've been focusing on the wrong things.
It happens and I'm just being real ladies, I've struggled with it. Trim Healthy Mama is not just a get skinny quick plan. While it does help you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, I've been on plan almost a year and the newness does wear off.
This is where the rubber meets the road and you find out why you're really on this path. If your motives are cosmetic only, you can easily find yourself getting discouraged. But if you have a deeper goal, a higher purpose, that is what will keep you focused and moving forward when temptations and derailing moments hit you out of nowhere. Because while there are lots of tantalizing THM recipes out there, sometimes Doritos and Milky Ways call your name. ;) Just being real!
The worth you assign to your health and the reasons behind it are what really drive you or stall you when it gets hard.

Being healthy is worth it my friends.
So I'm heading in 2015 with this view in mind. It's no longer an inconvenience for me. Although I'm sure some days will hold more preparation and work that others, but the reason behind it drives me forward.

I want to be healthy. Not just skinny.

I want to be strong, emotionally, mentally, Spiritually, physically. Not just ripped or have a 6-pack (and that feels super un-realistic anyhow..heehee. Especially since I'm not an exercise lover.)

I want to be committed whether I see the results or not. I don't want to be in it only for what I get out of it. I want to be in it because I know it's the right thing for me and my body and trust that the results will come eventually as I work hard and stay focused.

I want to do this. And while I would love for it to happen with no effort that is not reality. To expect results without working for them is crazy, yet it is what we are all looking for.

I want to go into 2015 committed albeit not perfect.

I want to overcome laziness and instead build character along with my healthy lifestyle.

Trim Healthy Mama is more than a diet. It's a commitment. A way of life. A journey to health, wholeness and well-being. And I'm on board 100%!

Happy New Year friends!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Now tell me Mama...who needs Starbucks PSL when you can have a Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie that looks THIS AMAZING and still keep your trim waistline & the money in your wallet!?!
Not us!
One of the many blessings of THM is that it gives us so many options to find healthy indulgences and not feel like we're missing out on the good stuff.
While I found this recipe a several weeks ago on Facebook, handiwork of a fellow THMer, Michelle Troyer, I decided that since today is National Pumpkin Day, (woot woot), that now would be the perfect time to showcase it.
With my fondness of pumpkin pie and my
cooking attitude
I decided to give it a go.. I think some women might have even dubbed her saintly after trying her recipe.  :) It's truly like pumpkin pie. Not kidding!  
Plus, you can whip it up at home in a jiffy without ever having to get our your yoga pajama pants.
                                           Mamas rejoice!
While I have added a few small tweaks of my own to suit my tastebuds the original recipe concoction is still hers. I have Michelle's permission to share it here with you, and yes you should be very excited!
There are so many numerous benefits to eating pumpkin! You can find 8 amazing reasons to include it in Mama's diet (in case these pictures aren't enough to convince you to make this right. now!) in this informative article. It even suggests that pumpkin is helpful in prevent wrinkles.
Sipping deliciousness AND fighting wrinkles! Yes! Yes, please!
This is sounding better all the time, eh?  :)
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Trim Healthy Mama - (Satisfying) S
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
3-4 TBSP heavy cream
1/2-1 scoop vanilla protein powder**
1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée***
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
big pinch cloves
good dash of salt
pinch gluccie
1 teaspoon Sweet Blend  or 2-3 teaspoons Truvia
Stevia to taste if needed
10-15 ice cubes depending on how thick you want it
Put everything in blender, blend for a minute, taste. See if it needs more sweetness or more spices to get it just the way you like it. Let sit for a minute, then blend again until it's the consistency you like. Top with full fat Reddi Whip or real whipped cream if desired.
If you really want to fancy it up like in the pictures, dust the top with a little more spices. I used pumpkin pie spice but cinnamon would also be decadent!
This fills a quart jar and you can even eat the whole thing yourself, but if you want to share and have 2 servings, a pint each, I say, share the love!
*If you do not have unsweetened vanilla almond milk on hand just use regular and add a splash of pure vanilla extract to the blender.
** I use 1/2 scoop vanilla Jay Robb protein powder because a whole scoop made it taste more like a protein smoothie than pie, which I didn't like as well. So with the 1/2 scoop I keep it as a snack or dessert.
*** Watch the carb content on the back of your pumpkin can. Some pumpkins have more carbs than others if they claim to be 100% pure. Remember to take the carbs then subtract fiber and that is what you count. So if you wanted to have eggs or another side with it for breakfast for instance just watch your total carb count to make sure that you don't go over your 10grams limit for a good S meal.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Oatmeal Cups

Personally, I like oatmeal but I'm not a love it, gotta-have-it oatmeal girl. Never have been. I'm not into the mess of making oatmeal every morning either. It usually almost runs over for me or stick terribly on the bottom. And you probably guessed that I don't soak it either. Sorry Serene! I never seem to think about it.
Being a THM single and the only THMer in the house I am always trying to find recipe that will
work for all of us and still being yummy and on plan. I found some inspiration on Pinterest but I knew I would need to tweak it to fit THM plan. Well, I always like a culinary challenge. That is if I feel pretty confidant to achieve what I am setting out for. After a few runs with this recipe and a couple other tasters besides myself and my Mom, I think we've finally got it.

    The beauty of this recipe is that....okay there are several really beautiful things about this recipe honestly. There are no bubbling over pots and scrubbing the stove. They can be made up dozens in advance so they are so easy to pull out and reheat in a hurry.
Good for hubbies who are rushing out the door in the morning. Or for kiddos who need something quick before school in the morning. A fast snack too.  Or for Mommas who need to not think about breakfast for once. Just thaw and eat.

They are perfectly portioned and I take a couple hours to make dozens and then freeze them one afternoon. To me the prep time is worth it when I don't have to constantly be making dishes all time. As well my previously stated sentiments. Also they are an E breakfast. Now I don't mind my E meals but I am so often lured by all those indulgent S meals. So I love the idea of these tasty little gems helping me keep my waistline trim and my metabolism revved up. Mamas rejoice!
 Of course, you can customize this recipe to your own favorite flavors. I personally, am a very traditional maple & brown sugar gal. So that's what I went for here, with a hint of cinnamon. Sometimes these can get dry so I warm them in the microwave and then drizzle with homemade sugar free maple syrup.
p.s. you will also need this recipe to make the cups.

*My Maple Syrup Almost Recipe*
Trim Healthy Mama: FP

3 1/2 cups tap water
1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons Watkins Maple flavoring (to taste) 
3/4 Teaspoon Stevia powder or to taste (This is the one I use and love)
2 Tablespoons Erythritol or Truvia or to taste
Dash or 2 of salt (about 1/8th of a teaspoon)

Boil those ingredients and taste test as you go til you get the right sweetness and enough maple flavor for your liking. Taste and add. Taste and add. Too much flavoring will make it taste like alcohol and too much Stevia will make it taste bitter. This is the combination that pleases my taste buds.

Okay, so once you've got a flavor you like, add just a sprinkle some Gluccomannan powder. Probably about 1/8 teaspoon. Whisk vigorously. It will still look like water. That's okay. Pour into jars or whatever container you are using once it comes to room temperature and refrigerate. Once it has completely cooled in fridge, it should thicken just slightly but still be able to drizzle. If it's too thick just add a little more water to thin. No big deal.
This will keep in the refrigerator about 3 weeks. If it starts smelling sour when you open it, it's sat too long. Make new.


Back to the amazing oatmeal cup recipe now though.
So are you ready for this. No pre-cooking oats. No hot water packets and 2 hour later rumbly tummies in the mornings. Happy Hubby, kiddos, and mamas! Or college students. Or Nannies. The options are endless.

THM Baked Oatmeal Cups: E
3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup maple "syrup" (recipe above)
12 packets of Stevia powder* (I use this plan approved Stevia)
20 packets (5 TBSP.) Truvia, homemade or name brand
1 teaspoon Watkins maple extract
1 cup liquid egg whites
1 - 1/2 cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 TBSP. cinnamon
(not a typo you need that much to help flavor the oats)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 scoops Jay Robb Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1/4 cup golden flax meal
3 TBSP. baking powder
5 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Mix all ingredients in order given in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly to incorporate spices evenly. Scoop into muffin tins lined with paper muffin liners -optional to spray them with non-stick spray, not a have-to but helps with easy release so you don't waste any. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill each muffin tin. I usually mound mine slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then package in Ziploc plastic freezer bags. When ready to use just pull out the amount you need and microwave them til slightly warmed  or if you prefer to think ahead just leave them in the fridge overnight. Serve with either some of my THM maple syrup or a tall glass of almond milk or a steaming mug of coffee or tea. These are an E breakfast though, so just remember to watch that fat content!

This recipes makes 24 muffin cups.

Disclaimer *12 packests = 4 tsp. of powder however I cannot guarantee that amount for the recipe aside from the stated brand I use because Stevia varies so much from brand to brand and batch to batch. I buy a bulk stevia powder also and if I used 4 tsp. of that I would never even be able to eat it because it's very strong. The packets contain a fiber in them. So if you want to try the loose stevia powder you have in your cupboard I would recommend starting with 1 teaspoon and taste testing to build from there.

My Calculations for Nutritional Information:

Per Oatmeal Cup:

Calories: 57.3
Fat:       1.8 grams
Protein:   5.7 grams
Carbs:    14

Disclaimer: I do not get any financial kickback for linking to my favorite products. I am just sharing these with you because these are the brands I love and use on a daily basis.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Apple Donut Muffins

Everything apple.
Those sugar and cinnamon covered donut holes. Sticky, gooey and oh so good, let me lick the tips of my fingers, I want every crumb!

That's what these Apple Pie Muffins remind me of. A trip to the Orchard bakery, fall smells and crowds all around gathered in sweaters. The staff is rushing. It's busy season. Yeasty dough and baking sweets hangs heavy in the air.
Fall is my favorite season. Maybe it's yours too. I could give a list a mile long about everything I love about Autumn, but biting into a crisp apple, fresh, solid, and freshly made cinnamon and sugar donuts are just the tip of the sweet life. This recipe combines both of those skillfully and oh-so-tastily.

I am a sucker for food pictures. I often decided if I'm going to make a recipe just by the picture that represents it. I saw the picture for this recipe on Pinterest and instantly thought,  "DONUTS! I've got to try this!"
Am I glad I followed that instinct? You betcha! They didn't disappoint! These have been a hit with everyone who tries them and they are so easy to whip up! Also a great, quick, on-the-go breakfast for Trim Healthy Mamas who are off and running when feet touch the ground.
I made a whole batch of these (18) and frozen at least a dozen since there are just 2 of us who eat them, and they did well although they got a tad dried out and the sugary topping melted a bit, but still yummy!
A serving size for us THMamas or singles is 1-2. They fall into E category because of the apples and oats. Oat flour is inexpensive and so versatile, a great staple for E meals. And if you don't want to buy oat flour you can make it by grinding up Old Fashioned oats in a high powered blender til it's powdery. Easy peasy.
Okay, enough about my drooling over this recipe. 
Apple Donut Muffins
 2 cups oat flour (or rolled oats ground into flour)
2/3 cups Truvia (not the Baking Blend! It contains sugar)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups of apples, peeled and diced
1/2 cup egg whites (carton or fresh)
3/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil melted
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional Sugar & Cinnamon topping:
1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil melted
2 Tbsp. Truvia
1/2 tsp.cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 18 muffins cups with paper liners and then spray them with nonstick spray. Mix together dry ingredients. Peel and dice your apples then coat them in your flour mixture. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients of yogurt, melted butter, applesauce and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined. Divide evenly among your muffin cups. Bake for 15-18 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a bit of crumb.
Optional Topping: Melt the butter or coconut oil in a small bowl. Mix together Truvia & cinnamon in another small bowl. Brush a bit of butter on each muffin then sprinkle with cinnamon "sugar" topping. Let cool slightly then devour! :)
This is an E meal or snack: serving size is 2 muffins
Happy Baking!
You might even want to light a fall scented candle for the full experience.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Can I Snicker Now?

I am a self declared Foodie who is aspiring to be a decent food photographer. I am also a chocolate lover, a Trim Healthy Single, and I talk A LOT! :)  
I have been on my THM journey since January and I have fallen head over heels for it. I mean, you can eat a Snickers shake for dinner people! What's not to love? Trim Healthy Mama has given me so much freedom. I don't have to count calories or even feel pressured to exercise an hour every day.

Along my journey I have found some recipes likes this one (Snicker's Shake) that continue to prove to me that healthy can be delicious and decadent!
I added real peanut butter to mine and a good 'Glump' of organic heavy cream to make it a Satifying S and it is mighty rich my friend! I added a little more cocoa than it called for because I like it extra chocolately and dark. I added 1 teaspoon of caramel extract because I have Watson brand easily found at Walmart but I could've added more because mine tasted more like a Reeses than a Snickers. Hey, I'm not complaining! I like peanut butter cups quite well too, thank you very much!

I've been holding off trying this combination in a shake because I feared it would taste so far from the real deal that my hopes would be dashed on the sharp edges of the rocks of the realistic. I finally decided to take the plunge tonight, come what may. Goodness! Wasn't I surprised when this did NOT taste like a healthy smoothie but instead like a true dessert that could kick any candy bar craving!
If you've had reservations about trying chocolate in your smoothies and are feeling the need to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth and the Skinny chocolate isn't cutting it, please take the 5 mins. and give this a try!
Wait, do you hear that sound? Yes, I'm snickering.... because who knew healthy could be so amazing!

P.S. My biggest tip with any recipe is to taste, taste, taste as you go! I stop my blender at least 3 times per smoothie to check and adjust. It makes a BIG difference in the finished product.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Crunchy Coconut Granola

            I had high hopes for this granola.
 Maybe it's ridiculous to want a oats based granola that has tons of flavor, crunch, and tastes moist and full of fat without truly being so.
It smelled amazingly coconutish.
It had the basis of all the right ingredients and a glowing overview from the recipe creator.
How crestfallen I was when it turned out not to meet my expectations. For one thing it wasn't sweet enough for me, I would probably double the Stevia powder amount. And it was a bit too dry and loose for me, not enough clumps even though I added extra egg whites when I got suspicious about it not holding any shape in the mixing bowl. I think the extra whites steamed it more so than browned it though. I'm not sure if I tried a sticky erythritol syrup if that would help hold it all together? I like this recipe's flavors ( I added coconut and almond extract to mine) and concept, so I would like to try to tweak it to my vision of a perfect E go-to-granola.
 While I'm still searching for (or recreating) that perfect recipe at least, for now, I have a baggie of granola to scratch that itch I sometimes get. If you're feeling adventurous give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! This is an E style granola which is really nice to throw a handful on your morning bowl of yogurt of layer it up for a parfait for a little more fancy effect.

Lemon Curd Makes Me Oh So Happy!

I am a hunter. I hunt down beauty, taste, textures. I grab my Cannon and zoom in close, figure out the angle. Focus in on the dripping, the steaming, the bubbling. Hunt down the colors. Oh, but my camera is not the only weapon I use to catch the wild and elusive beauty in a moment. The tongue is a great tool, as are the eyes. The vibrant colors, the silky textures, the tangy bite at the end. Those deep and rich notes marrying with acidic and explosive. Indeed, I enjoy the hunt.
I enjoy creating. That part of me that God designed in His Image. If creating these edible art forms gives me such pleasure, how much pleasure did (does) God take in all of His creations. And He never has flops!

Ever since I started THM I have been finding so many recipes to explore and create; to design with my own personal fingerprints. I am honored to share with you today some of my latest adventures

You've already been previewing pictures of Sugar Free Lemon Curd, and while I do admit to touching up the pictures some to make them jump off the page a little more, it truly was a beautiful yellow color, akin to sunshine in a jar.

We buy farm fresh eggs from a neighbor and the yolks are a beautiful deep golden, almost ochre. Just one of the reasons I love living in the country. Can I share with you one of my dream ambitions? Okay, lean in a little closer. ...... I really, (no I mean like seriously) want to keep a flock of my OWN chickens one day. There is something about hearing the clucking, the downy feathers fluffed up in the breeze, gathering the eggs, still warm, into cupped hands.
Ah, but I digress. Whether you have your own homegrown eggs or buy them from the store, you'll need plenty of Omega rich yolks. The color of your yolks will determine the color of the finished product.
Just in case you need another enticement to make this delightful dessert, it has a superb tart and refreshing flavor. Perfect to savor as you sit on the front porch listening to the birds chatter excitedly about the new life bursting forth all about, a mild Spring breeze blowing through your hair. Perfection. Yes, almost.
This recipe can be whipped up in a snap and is a great way to use up any leftover egg yolks you have when only whites are required. Or if you don't want to wait to accumulate some yolks, just separate the eggs and keep the whites in the fridge for a recipe that calls for only whites. Easy and saves time later on.

Well, I guess it's time to confess. About my flop that is. I love lemon. Have you come to that conclusion yet? I really enjoy sweet and decadent desserts but I have always been a fan for changing it up with a bite of tart here and there. Lemon is my favorite way to get that tart fix. So not long ago I thought I would tweak a Lemon Bar recipe. Let's say the results were edible but less successful that I had hoped. We wouldn't be trying that again. The crust was magnificent, the filling...oh you mean, there is supposed to be a silky layer over the shortbread? Ah yes! Somehow I ended up with a skin dotted with un-dissolved xantham gum, then a runny yellow substance much like an egg yolk texture and delightfully tart and lemony almond crust with a major crumbling issue. This recipe couldn't be the best there was! Yet, out of that flop I found a great crust recipe or shortbread cookie, whatever use you needed at the time.

I happened to be making cheesecakes on this same marvelous baking day and had some extra almond shortbread mixture left over so I baked it into bars. I thought it might go well with my lemon curd. Oh boy! While the lemon curd is much more rich than a normal lemon bar filling the textures and flavors were almost exactly what I wanted.

You can find the recipe to these delicious crumb beauties here:

I did note when I was making them that using store bought almond flour yields the best results. If you want to use your own almond flour (I experimented with [image that!] homemade ground almonds into flour and it is much more oily in my experience) I would cut down quite a bit on the butter but that's where this recipe becomes your own playground! :)  Also, I made these once with the lemon zest and I liked that the best for sure for the pure and pungent flavor, but lemon extract maybe substituted if need be.
You really need to try both of these recipes. Either together or separately. Honestly, they don't take long. Whip them up during nap time and eat them for dessert that night. Or better yet set your daughter to it! :)  Prepare yourself for the adventure of beauty and yummy. Your senses are in for a wild ride! Enjoy!

If only there were smell-a-vision.....

Another recipe I've recently enjoyed getting acquainted with is
 Cinnamon Roasted Almonds.

Now don't fly off your rocker rushing to the pantry thinking these are the kind that you cannot resist buying at the mall because the tantalizing smell follows you everywhere. The first bite you taste, warm and comforting, sweet and spicy cinnamon. Yeah, I don't  have that secret recipe for you today. However, I present to you this deliciously tantalizing and dare I say, slenderizing, version. Now you can feel good about eating a whole handful without undoing your budget or your slim waistline (or waistline in progress, don't worry ladies I'm right there with ya!). Plus, you can make them at home right now, today, in your pajamas. Go ahead! I'm not judging. The comfort of home, the comfort of food, they just go together in the most wonderful ways!
 This recipe makes quite a few single servings (I try to keep my serving size to about 16 almonds because it's really easy to overdo on portion sizes with something so yummy!) so I divided the batch up into 2 Ziploc quart bags and froze half for later. This ensured they stayed super fresh and yummy without that dreary stale taste. Of course, if you have several in your family who like almonds, these will be gone in a flash! They are great for a quick on the go snack or even for a little sweet after dinner satisfaction. For you THMers I even used them for the Cheesecake Berry Crunch recipe in the book (previously I used raw almonds) and I love it even more! Who knew that was possible!  ;)

 If you aren't following any diet restrictions feel free to try it with normal granulated sugar. However, if you are doing a THM lifestyle like I am you can super easily swap out the white sugar for granulated erythritol or Truvia 1:1.  Also, I found that real egg whites whip up best for this recipe, the carton whites generally stay pretty liquidy and don't whip up even if you do add some cream of tartar to them. I used a mixture for this recipe because I was short on time but I wish I had taken the few extra minutes to separate some fresh whites. The more foam you have the more cinnamon/sweetener mixture sticks, and who doesn't want more sweet & spicy in their lives right!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cup Full Of Cheesecake

Smooth. Creamy. Dreamy.
Drippy and Decadent.  Tart and Tangy.

This smoothie is like dessert for breakfast.
I'm not kidding!
You need to try it.
Like today!
With 26grams of protein and all the flavor of New York cheesecake with berry drizzle, this one is going to become a staple in my house.
Here is my version of this original recipe
cheesecake berry smoothie
             - S


1/2 cup cottage cheese

1 cup  unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons heavy cream or half & half

splash of vanilla extract

lemon juice to taste (I used about a Tablespoon)

1/2 scoop Jay rob strawberry protein powder

1 pkt. pure stevia powder & 1 pkt. Truvia

1/2 teaspoon xantham gum

2 tablespoons light cream cheese

1 cup frozen berries (I mixed strawberries and raspberries)

ice (5-10 ice cubes)


Layer ingredients in order written into a good blender.

We own a ninja and I highly recommend it! The blades all the way up make all the difference in blending in frozen ingredients.
Blend until smooth and creamy.

taste and make any adjustments to your liking. pour into a quart jar and top with optional whipped cream and a frozen berry. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Creative in the Kitchen: Molasses Spice Cookies

As you know, I'm a foodie photographer. :)  I love to capture the textures and beauty of real food in the making. I love food. At every stage. I lick spoons. I use my fingers. I love swirls and drips ....

and granules glistening in afternoon sunlight.....

                                                                      I love crackles...

and crumbs......

and molasses cookies....
I used to go down the cookie aisle in the supermarket and just melt when I looked at the box of those flower shaped, sweet and subtly spicy Archway Molasses cookies. For a girl, an old fashioned cookie like that wasn't supposed to be on your mind. You were supposed to be running to the Oreo's or iced Animal Crackers, if you were conservative. Not me. Those brown, sugar-coated, boxed up little goodies are what caught my fancy.
 A few weeks ago when I ran across this recipe that is THM friendly, I just knew it was time to try and see if I couldn't make my childhood sighs of delight come alive again.  However, I must warn you that this recipe turned out a bit too spicy for my liking and they aren't soft and gooey like Archway's. I also noted that they tended to be more of a crumb and shortbread texture than ones made with regular all purpose flour, though they still tasted mighty good. My Mom loves them (she say they are even better frozen!) and even our dog who has tasted tiny snippets is a fan. :)  When I make them again I will be careful not to over bake (read: take them out while still looking a little undercooked) and perhaps add a little more butter to the recipe and cut down on the spices. (Note: I used Homemade Truvia Brown Sugar for recipe and I rolled them in just straight Truvia granules right out of the packet or jar.)
Yet, overall, this recipe creates a beautiful and yummy cookie, perfectly suited for a cup of coffee and a brisk day. The complexity of the spices with the robust molasses are a perfect compliment for a chilly spring wind-in-your-face kind of day, or an old fashioned tea time.

Creative In The Kitchen: Waffles

As you know, I'm a foodie photographer. :)  I love to capture the textures and beauty of real food in the making. I love food. At every stage. I lick spoons. I use my fingers. I love swirls and drips.

I am excited to share with you today the latest recipes I've been experimenting with in the kitchen.

About 12 weeks ago I started my journey on the THM lifestyle. It has been a marvelous journey towards being completely whole and healthy in weight and food. Balance over all. Over the next few months, I will post more about my journey but, for now, I've had a lot of fun getting creative in the kitchen with healthy recipes that satisfy those nagging cravings for the full flavored foods we all love.

 Recently, I've been sick of chocolate and was ready for a bright spring change, like Lemon Bars and Spice Cookies. Of course, let's start with a breakfast of comforting waffles to get the juices flowing. :)

I've been looking for a healthy waffle recipe for quite some time. I'm not a huge pancake person but I love waffles. The crunch and all those little pockets that hold syrup and butter. Oh goodness. Yes, I'm waffles all the way!
I ran across this recipe from Pinterest. Which, if I haven't mentioned yet, is one of my favorite place to get stocked up on inspiration. If you are a fellow THMer than you know that finding an S recipe was an essential for me. I want my waffles slathered in butter and who wants to forgo the coffee with half and half. Or a mock Starbucks Frap like I experimented with this morning. {So good! Recipe later. :) }  Because of the almond flour this is definitely in S(satisfied) territory and it's also great for anyone gluten free because there is no grain involved.
Almond Flour Yogurt Waffles - S

1 1/3 C.  Almond flour
2 Tbsp erythritol (I used just under that of Truvia)
2 Tbsp Ground Flax Meal
1 Tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Baking soda
1/2 Tsp Xanthan gum
1/4 Tsp Salt
4 large Eggs
6 oz. Plain greek yogurt (I use 0% Greek)
3 Tbsp. melted butter, cooled
1/4cup almond milk
Originally, the recipe called for protein powder, but I don't always like the taste of that in everything. I can get my morning protein from turkey bacon with my waffles so I decided to leave it out the first time I made them. However, I noticed they tended to be flimsier than I liked for a hearty morning waffle. So the next time I made them I subbed flax for the protein powder and I was so happy with the results!
I give all credit to Miss Renee for this fabulous find that has revolutionized weekend breakfasts for me. You can find the original recipe and the rest of the directions over at Live. Love. Dream.
They even made it into my #1,000 Gifts Blessing Journal!