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Friday, November 30, 2012

Cranberry Honey Butter

I found this recipe on the cooking channel website.  I was looking for something festive to have for Christmas morning, but not too heavy since we will have a big meal later that day.  This looks delicious and I am definitely going to make it.  Here is the link to the website in case you like this recipe and want to browse for others.


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce (homemade preferred)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Pinch salt


In a large bowl, combine the butter, cranberry sauce, honey, powdered sugar, orange zest and salt, and beat until light and fluffy. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. 

Refrigerate up to 2 weeks. For gifting, pair with homemade rolls, scones, muffins or cornbread. 

Killin it Today!

Burned 744 calories at the gym this morning! What!? I have never done that unless I did a workout AND zumba together. Of course, the computer DID raise my PI by 20 points this morning..lol Glad I went today. I had a 4 hour fight with myself about going and won! Some days it is very difficult to get up and go, especially when I am not feeling well, but the rewards after are endless.  Not only does it result in weight loss and muscle build, but when you are done, you feel a sense of self accomplishment that can never be achieved without hard work.  I hope this will motivate someone else who was gonna skip the gym today to GET UP AND GO!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

In anticipation for our upcoming holiday, I thought I would share a great hot cocoa recipe.  Cooking a big meal can be very time consuming, but this is not!  It will make a great end to a great day.  This recipe serves about 6 people and can easily be doubles or tripled, AND...you use the crock pot!  I love using the crock pot!  You just dump, stir, and wait!  This is not your average instant pack of cocoa.  This is rich, creamy, and hits the spot just right.  Unfortunately, the spot it seems to hit is our hips, lol, so try to stick to just one cup.

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (I prefer dark chocolate)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla 
  • your favorite toppings!!!!

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and whisk together.  Cook on low for 2 hours, whisking every once in awhile.  Pour into cup and top with favorite toppings.  That's it! So simple!!! Enjoy! And Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Brown Sugar & Ginger Ale Ham

My husband is always saying every time I make ham, "Your ham is so good, but not like my mom's ginger ale ham.".  Well, for ANY good wife, that sounds like a challenge!  So I set out to make my husband the "perfect ham".  Just pouring ginger ale over the ham didn't do the trick.  He liked it, and even said it was as good as his mom's, but that wasn't good enough!  So I added brown sugar (suggested by a friend) and..... WOW!  I do believe I surpassed his mother's ham!  SUCCESS!!!

  • 1 uncooked ham, bone-in or out
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • @ 2 cups brown sugar
  •   whole cloves (optional)

This part is optional, but ham has TONS of sodium in it.  To take some of that out, 24 hours before cooking it, poke wholes with a knife all over the ham.  Stick in a stock pot full of water, covering the ham.  Let it soak until ready to cook.  Rinse off and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 325.  Make sure to take one rack out of the oven, since that is one thing I ALWAYS forget to do! Put the ham face down in a roasting pan.  Pour one cup of ginger ale over the ham.  Then pat the whole ham with brown sugar.  Add a few cloves if desired.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil or roasting lid.  Cook for 20 min/pound.  Half way through, pour another cup of ginger ale over the ham and then CAREFULLY, it will be hot, pat again with brown sugar for extra sweetness (optional).  Recover, and let finish cooking.  Wait 5 minutes before carving.

Peanut Butter Blossoms! (Too Yummy for Words)

Peanut butter blossoms are one of my favorite cookies, and one of the first cookies my mom taught me how to make.  You can easily make these using refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough, but I suggest making them from scratch.  The ingredients are less harmful, and they just taste better!

  • 48 chocolate kisses (I used caramel filled ones)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  •  egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •   Additional granulated sugar


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. 

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. (I like to use salted butter and leave out adding the salt.  Less sodium, no change in flavor.)

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. 

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each 
cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. 
About 4 dozen cookies.

*******VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!******* When moving the cookies, be very gentle and no giggling.  The chocolate will look firm, but it is melted and will fall if giggled.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cold Tuna Macaroni Salad

This is always a simple recipe.  A lot of people would use this as a side dish, but I sometimes use it as a small supper, which is what I am doing tonight!  The picture is NOT mine, but my camera is not working, so I "borrowed" an online image that resembles mine. lol 

  • 12 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups kraft mayo with olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 12 ounces tuna
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill for at least an hour.  Serves 6-8

This is just a basic recipe.  My actual recipe is completely different.  Its kind of a secret, but I don't think I could share it if I wanted to.  I throw things in without measuring and do it all by taste.  I start with this recipe, but then leave out the peas, and add hot sauce, relish, a bit of sugar, and a couple other things.  Feel free to try it out, but I couldn't give you the measurements if I tried. lol

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Use Your Leftovers!!!! (Stuffing Casserole Recipe)

In this economy, we all have to try to find ways to stretch our budget, especially our grocery budget.  One way of doing that is making a whole other meal out of our leftovers.  Yesterday I shared my slow cooker recipe for a whole chicken.  Well, with there being only two of us we had plenty of chicken left.  A great way to stretch meat is....a casserole!  This recipe is very quick and very easy.  Its another one that you can make quite a few different ways.

  • 2 cups chopped leftover chicken
  • 2 -3 cups fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice(I used broccoli this time)
  • 1 can (10 oz) fat free and low sodium cream of chicken
  • 1/3 cup fat free light sour cream
  • 1 box turkey stuffing...or...make your own!

Preheat oven to 400.  In a small bowl, add 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water to the box of  stuffing.  Let it set for a few minutes while the water absorbs.  Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish. (My dish was 11x7 but you can use a 13x9) Spread stuffing evenly over mixture.  Bake for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!

With using the chicken in a casserole, I have enough chicken for ANOTHER meal, which I will probably do a stir fry or something.  Plus, the casserole itself will last us 2 nights, so I paid a little more than $5 for the chicken, and have used it for 4 nights!  I know some people wouldn't want to eat chicken 4 nights in a row, but be creative!  Besides the casserole 2 nights in a row, not a single recipe was like the other.  It will be worth it in the long run.  For my husband and I, most weeks I am able to spend $30 a week on groceries.  It is do-able!

*All ingredients, not including chicken, you can buy for a total of under $5.  If your budget calls for buying canned veggies, make sure you rinse those off a few times to get out as much sodium as possible.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Slow Cooked Caribbean Chicken

Using a crock pot is very simple, convenient, and if you are just learning to cook, a great way to start.

This turned out so delicious!  It is really a generic recipe.  What I mean by that is you can take a whole chicken and add any marinade to it.  Wash the chicken as usual and pull out the insides.  No need to add water, pour 1/2 a cup of the marinade into the bottom of the crock pot.  Put the chicken in.  Pour the rest over the chicken rubbing it in.  Cover at cook on low for 4 hours and then turn it on high for 2 more hours.  I know a lot of people cook for EITHER on low for 8 or high for 4, but I find it to be juicier this way.

DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF WHILE COOKING!  People get curious when slow cooking, but by lifting the lid, you let out all the steam.  If you absolutely have to lift the lid, add another 20 minutes to the cook time for each time it is lifted.  There is really no need to lift it though unless it is a creamy soup and the sides are sticking.  A little trick to seeing through the lid is to keep the lid down, but just twist it in a circle.  The moisture will fall off the lid and see can see how it is cooking.  If you have an oval crock pot, like mine, just shake the lid a bit and you can see in.

When it comes to marinades, be careful when using a pre-made one.  There is tons of sodium in most pre-made marinades and sauces.  I recommend always making your own.  You can control the calorie and sodium intake by making your own.  Yes, it is more expensive, but eating right and healthier always is more expensive.  I "cheated" tonight and used KC Masterpiece Caribbean Jerk Sauce.  I only used it because its all I had, I prefer making my own.

I hope this has not just provided you with a yummy recipe that you can use a million ways, but i hope that it has helped someone to learn how to use a slow cooker and maybe start cooking! Enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Garlic Tilapia

Tonight I made garlic tilapia.  I am trying to eat more fish and it is quite a challenge for me.  I am NOT a fish person!  But it is good for me, good for my diet, and I dont want to eat as much of it...lol.  I went very simple with this one.  It is simply a nice fresh piece of tilapia, seasoned with Mrs. Dash.  To lower my sodium intake I have been using Mrs. Dash.  The only one that I really like is the garlic version.  It gives it a great flavor without all of the sodium or added calories.  There is no breading on it so you can have carbs elsewhere.   I fixed with it a beef rice and in preparation for the upcoming holidays, green bean casserole.  For the fish I cooked it at 400 for 30 minutes and it was cooked beautifully!

Pray for me in my weight struggle.  It is an everyday fight to eat right and exercise.  Ive been having motivation problems in the exercise department.  I seem to always find an excuse.  I dont want to give myself excuses and I am my own worst enemy.  Please help with some motivation.  I try to motivate as much as possible because thats what we have each other for.  One day I am sure you will get some in return. :) 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Back to Blogging!

I FINALLY got my desktop back up and running!  It will be soooo much easier for me now to work and post on my blog.  Trying a fish recipe tonight so will post a new recipe tomorrow!  Dont forget to check out my new goals, completed goals, and take my latest blog poll!  Looking forward to posting new pictures and recipes!!!!!