Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cupcakes how I love thee

The other day I made cupcakes to bring to a bridesmaid get together for my friend Shannon. I decided to try something new and whilst looking through one of my many cupcake cook books my hubbsters made a comment that the last banana was over ripe for his liking.

If that banana is too ripe to just eat, then surely its perfect to freeze for banana bread. Then I thought about the 10 other frozen bananas I have waiting for purpose. Lightbulb! Surely BANANA CUPCAKES would be a delicious new recipe to try.

I looked up a recipe online and found one by the Queen herself, Martha Stewart and had a honey cinnamon buttercream. I thought that sounded all kinds of awesome and so,

Banana Cupcakes With Honey Cinnamon Frosting

Makes 12

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 for garnish (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake, if desired.

Honey Cinnamon Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners' sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes

The icing was a keeper. The cupcakes looked good, I had a miniscule bite from hubbie's. Reviews were great- 9pts a cupcake!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fat Friday- a small but significant weigh in

Well its fat friday- also known as weigh in day. Today's weigh in concluded the first month of the diet. This week was AWFUL and TASTY. I'll start with my Weigh in.

Week 1- 2.6 lbs
Week 2- 1.0 lbs
Week 3- 2.4 lbs
Week 4- 0.2 lbs
Total Loss in first month- 6.2lbs

Now, I could complain that I only lost 0.2 lbs. However if you look at the physical size 0.2 takes it is the size of a box of Irish Spring soap. Did I feel disappointed I didn't lose a larger number? Yes. Am I discouraged? No.

My week was jam packed with family and work functions. 4 days in a row where I had zero control over my dinner.

Saturday- My brother in law makes dinner for a family birthday party. Ravioli and sausage lasagna, extra cheese. Garlic bread, and caesar salad with croutons and bacon. Plus cake.

Sunday- Hubby had a work function at a local Italian restaurant. This was mainly my fault but there is a reason we have bonus points. I had 2 glasses of wine. I only needed 1. I had 2 cups of coffee and nutella icecream. I just needed one coffee, no dessert. I could have ordered wood fired pizza or hand tossed pasta. But I didn't. I ordered Blackened tilapia with Potatos and Veggies. Delicious. But the veggies were smothered in a butter sauce. I enjoyed my night, but felt like I cut it close and did eat too much.

Monday- Family day get together with the grandparents and my parents and sister's fam. My Nonna made home made Gnocchi. Which I haven't had in forever. It was amazing, as always. Luckily for me my nonna still made lots of veggies and chicken, and rabbit. I didn't eat the rabbit. eek.

Tuesday- now, this is the greatest accomplishment for me in a long time! I made banana cupcakes with honey cinnamon buttercream. I had a wee taste of the icing, and i took what can barely be considered a bite from my hubbies serving, to make sure they were good. I took them to a bridesmaids get together. I didn't have one. NOT ONE. I wish I had but im already over it. It's been a long time since I was able to walk away from a pastry. The food that was available to me was pita chips, doritos, and lots and lots of pre fried Asian potstickers. Spring rolls, dumplings, etc. All yummy. And I did eat them but it was really very hard to guess the amount of points and what was available online seemed way too low in point value. From now on, I'm going to make a point out of being the person who brings a veggie plate- or at least asks the hostess if someone is bringing one.

Seeing as I had such a giant week of food, it goes without saying that I ran out of my bonus points pretty early. I did get through the week ok. Looking back on the week I realize that I didn't drink water really at all, the whole week. So not good. I can't say I have ever been very good at water consumption or even liquid consumption my whole life. I'm working on it. Today I have had 3 cups water, a tea and a coke zero. It's a start. So im not shocked I only lost 0.2lbs and ruined my average of 2 lbs a week. I'm just glad I lost something as opposed to nothing, and didn't gain. I think a gain this early in the gain would hinder my confidence and send me into one of my messy eat everything in site cause im upset spirals. But This week i'm gonna rock it. MMM HMM.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Damn you blogger

I've been trying to blog all week and no photos will upload. Frankly, this is far from cool. I had 3 different blogs to put up and am fully unimpressed. Growl.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fat Friday Week 3

Thanks blogger for taking a day to work properly enough to post pictures. Fat Friday post is being posted on salvation saturday instead ;)

I just had my 3rd week weigh in. As previously stated im going to be posting my weight loss on said weigh in days and maybe talk to myself about it ;)

Today was an awesome weigh in. I lost
2.4lbs and surpassed my first 5lbs, for a total of 6lbs in 3 weeks. Since my baby gain I have lost 12lbs.

Week 1- 2.6 lbs
Week 2- 1.0 lbs
Week 3- 2.4

TOTAL 6.0lbs

I'm really happy with the results, considering it was a very big week with Valentines day and eating more chocolate than I should. Thanks Christmas, my chocolate stock is still charged. *shame face*

It's important to remind myself that just because I lost a significant amount of weight the same week I felt like I overate, I can't continue to eat too much junk. That's a pitfall for me and its something im trying to work out and teach myself to use as a treat only.

I have been concentrating on making different meals at dinner as much as possible, and I have cut pasta down from 2x+ a week to once every 2 weeks. That wasn't as hard as I originally worried it would be. Then again, I haven't been to NONNA's house for Sunday dinner in a couple weeks either. Shame Shame. My favourite daily snacks right now are

Rice Crackers
Dark Chocolate

It's not uncommon to lose interest in a diet when you have the same meals over and over. I have been eating essentially the same lunch every day, and I change it up once or twice a week. But I'm pretty contented on that front. Breakfast is the hardest part of the day for me because I don't really care for it, and tend to find alot less variety. Thereore, I tend to bomb at breakfast. But im trying my hardest!

Recently I made a feta and turkey omelette with Sundried tomato vinaigrette inside- and treated myself to some toast and jam. I make sure to get my fruit in the morning!

At lunch my go to thing is what I call a "Yummy plate". It's a mix of raw veggies, dips and spreads, crackers, cheese, and sometimes fruit. Its all the same things, but always different...yeah... On days when i'm not really into it or want to leave it as a snack, I make something I haven't had in a while. I also try to make the plate look fun.

Changing it up with some Roasted Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese with Veggies. Or a Greek chicken Salad.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines BBQ

Valentines day! Chocolate! Candy! Dinner out! Oh Goodness what will this do to my diet?

For our valentines day I specifically asked for NO CHOCOLATE AND CANDY. That was hard. Because frankly, while Candy hurts my teeth and was an ok pass up chocolate is one of my favourite things on the planet. But seeing as how we're trying very hard to turn a healthy leaf I opted to let the chocolate go. Besides, I have a bag of chocolate in my pantry from Christmas still. ;)

While weening off my chocoholism i'm only human and still want to enjoy my time with the hubsters. That said, we decided to go out for KOREAN BBQ! For anyone (of all 4 of you who read this) that have never been to Korean BBQ, let me break it down for you.

Table + BBQ GRILL = BBQ GRILL TABLE. You order all you can eat, and order individual items you like to eat. Its sushi rolls, kimchi, radish, tofu, salad, miso soup, and all kinds of meat, seafood and veggies. Short ribs, chicken, sliced beef, salmon or bass filet, shrimp, pork, calamari, pineapple, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini the list goes on!

Most items are served to you raw- thats right, raw. Now before you start rambling on about "When I go out to pay for dinner im not going out to cook it myself" relax a little, have some fun!

You place the meat and veggies on the grill and flip it and cook it as you like. Everything is cut considerably thin so it cooks fast. With the exception of the fish flet which is a full filet and takes longer. But not by much. This way, you are not stuffing your face all at once. You are talking time, eating slower, and most importantly; making dinner time last and conversing with your company.

I had my first taste of Plum Wine and it is a wild new favourite. I'll probably get it everytime I eat Sushi or Korean or Thai!

The best part of this whole delicious experience is the points value. The veggies and Fruit? Zero. The radish? Zero. The salad? 1 pt. The wine? 6 pts. The beef, short ribs, Chicken and Fish? Basically 1-3 pts a piece. My dinner was awesomesauce. The downside is that I definitely go way over on my meat intake for the day but alas. It's a treat night out for a reason. We also had greentea ice cream. So good. mmm.

I highly suggest Korean Barbeque for a night out, a new experience and delicious food.

Friday, February 11, 2011

WW week 2

Since switching from online to monthly pass with weight watchers, i had to restart my loss chart. That sucks, because it would say i've lost over 10lbs. But hey! i've decided to do "fat fridays' where i blog this weeks weigh-in results. Granted im into week three but its never too late to start!

Week 1- 2.6 lbs
Week 2- 1.0 lbs
Total loss- 3.6 lbs

I was off to a great new-start and have been really good about eating all my fruits and veggies. I havent worked out much but I do alot of baby wrangling ;) I need to work on my water, whivh is showing some progress. I managed to cut my coffee down from 2-3 a day to just 1 or sometimes 0 a day. I'm also obsessed with rice crackers, hummus and kraft Asian Sesame Dressing as a veggie dip.

Keeping it short tonight- straight into recipe talk.

I've been watching Kitchen Boss everyday since it premiered. Is Buddy Valastro chef like? no. Is he enjoyable to watch? yes. Does he make lots of familiar and comforting Italian family recipes? Very yes. However, he uses an unappologetic amount of oil and frying is a big theme. But there are still loads of simple, hearty and moderatly healthy dishes.

Recently he made Pasta lenticchie. It looked great and it made me crave it as my mom and nonna make it too. It was also pleasingly low on the pointsplus totem pole. Pasta Lenticchi is a Lentil and pasta soup.



2 slices extra-thick cut bacon, cut into dice (I left this out as i didn't have any)
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
2 plump cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup brown lentils
1 14.5 ounce can plum tomatoes with their juice, cut or torn into pieces
5 cups water
Chunk of parmesan rind (optional)
1 cup cooked al dente, drained and rinsed ditalini or other small pasta shape
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For serving:
Best-quality fruity olive oil
Grated parmesan
Coarse grindings black pepper


Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and stir to coat in the oil. Allow to cook until softened, translucent and some fat is rendered.

Add the onions, celery and carrots, stir to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Tip in the lentils and stir to coat.

Add the tomatoes, their juices, the water, a pinch of salt and optional parmesan rind. Bring soup up to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just about fully tender, 20-30 minutes. Add the ditalini and cook an additional ten minutes until the pasta is cooked to taste. Correct seasoning with salt.

Serve in bowls with a drizzle of good olive oil, grated parmesan and black pepper.

*On the show he cooked his pasta separately and then just poured them in after draining- thats the way i did it although it was the first time i did it this way. My whole life it has been done the way the instructions say- cook the pasta right in the soup!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Veggies Undercover

my son is still very little and only at the beginnings of learning to eat- so far he eats everything we give him and we keep our fingers crossed that he will continue to be such an easy eater. Whether he eats everything he is given or puts up a fight we still want to encourage a healthy eating lifestyle. Are we good at this ourselves? No...not really. But we are learning one day at a time. I feed him 100X better than I feed myself, so i find much comfort in the fact that he eats so well and in a wide range.

My sister and I have both recieved both Jessica Seinfeld cookbooks the past two christmases and have been making the recipe's in it. Jessica focuses on quick and healthy recipes that are kid friendly and make use of vegetable puree. We make these recipes so that we get more veggies for our adult selves, get used to using the purees and hell, it's yummy.

Recently I made the Chicken Enchilladas from Double Delicious. They were really great!


Nonstick Cooking Spray
1 tbsp olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breast cubed (3/4lb)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sweet potato puree OR carrot puree
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar or past skim mozzarella

6 (9 inch) whole grain or whole wheat flour tortillas
1/2 cup spinach puree
1/2 cup tomato salsa

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9x12 " baking dish with cooking spray. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder and pepper. Cook the chicken 4-6 minutes. Stirring occasionally until it is cooked through and no longer pink in the centre. Off the heat, mix the sweet potato puree, sour cream and half of the cheese into the skillet.

Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam-side down in the prepared dish. Dot the tops of the enchiladas with the spinach puree. Spoon the salsa ocer the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the cheese melts and filling is hot- 35-40 minutes.