Monday, July 19, 2010

Betty Crocker meets Home & Garden

This weekend flew by so fast, I didn't even have time to post anything.  So you're probably thinking I had some awesome weekend and getting ready to post some really fun stuff.  But that would be wrong.  I didn't do anything amazing.  Just family stuff.  But, when you have 3 kids, life is busy.  Saturday was spent in Chapel Hill visiting my parents with my sister.  As mentioned in a previous post, my Dad is recovering from a bone marrow transplant.  He was diagnosed with Leukemia this past October.  I could talk/write for hours about transplants and leukemia, etc., but I'll spare you the gory details.  Today anyway!  see for info on becoming a bone marrow donor!

There was lots of cooking/baking going on this weekend.  and I'm all about some food, so let me share!  First, I made the hubs a sugar free cheesecake (again).  He has quite the sweet tooth.  I've already posted about that here and here.  But doesn't it look yummy!?  This one is with a regular graham cracker crust, but it is MO'BETTA with the nut crust in the earlier posts.

My little man helped me make the cheesecake!  He tasted it frequently (before adding the eggs).

I also made an Apple Spice Snack Cake to take to mom and dad.  My dad likes spice cake and this one was super simple.  However, I forgot to take a picture! 

And look what my children made for me....
Doesn't that 
They had a little trouble melting chocolate - but of course, I ate it!  It was sweet that they wanted to make mommy a treat.

Sunday was spent hangin' with the kiddies and working in the garden.  The grass was trying to take over my garden (and winning).  Also the sunflowers and some of the cucumber plants needed to be pulled up.  Needless to say, I am sore from using the tiller and pulling grass.  But the garden looks sooo much better.  And maybe it will help get rid of some of these stupid bugs!!  Not to mention it had to be a good workout.  Now, the only things I have producing in the garden are carrots, peppers (green, banana, jalapeno), basil, green beans, and the tomatoes are trying to do a little something, but they aren't doing much.  AND we have a watermelon :)  My girls go out and check the melon everyday, they can't wait to pick it!  At this point, it will be a while.  Thankfully we've had a little rain over the last couple of days, so that should help a bunch.
All I can say is....I'm that's awesome!

After working in the garden, I made chicken and pastry (sort of).  I used Anne's Whole Wheat Pastry.
They were  pretty good (not as good as my mother-in-law's homemade pastry) but much healthier since they were whole wheat.  I didn't get a good, thick broth, so I have got to learn the secret to that (I used cornstarch, but it didn't help much).  I guess my MIL uses a lot of flour.  One of my favorite time savers is....if you don't know about this you will love me for can take FROZEN chicken (I've only done this with boneless, skinless breasts) and stick them in the crock pot and forget about it!!!  Just leave the chicken to cook on high (2 lbs cooks in about 6 hours or less, but I just leave it in the crock pot until I need it) and at the end of the day, you have really tasty chicken that you can shred (it just falls apart) and use in so many different recipes.  Since it cooks in it's own juices, it stays moist and has a really good flavor.  I love it b/c I don't have to thaw anything or think too far in advance about what's for dinner, or watch the pot boil!  Anyway, made the pastry and my daughter made drop biscuits (from Heart Healthy Bisquick) all by herself - it's super simple, but she was proud!  I also cooked my fresh snaps a different way.  I boiled them for a few minutes, then added them to a pan with a little olive oil and garlic.  Sauteed them a bit and added a crumbled slice of turkey bacon.  Then topped it with some Parmesan cheese!  Leave it to me to take a really healthy dish and add fat! 

After dinner the girls wanted to make a dessert.  In looking through my recipes I came across No Bake Chocolate Cookies!!  I have been wanting to make something substituting almond butter for the peanut butter, so this was my chance.  AND I didn't have to turn the oven back on.  The original recipe is from, but I made several changes.

Ingredients -
2 cups 1&1/3 cups white sugar
1/2 cup (skim) milk
1/2 cup 1/4 cup margarine (I used Smart Balance 50/50)
3 cups rolled oats (I used 2 cups quick cooking oats and 1 cup Thick and Rough - that's actually the name! Scary!)
1 t. vanilla extract
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup flaked coconut almond butter (I used MaraNatha)

I then followed the cooking directions as listed in the original recipe.  They are so GOOD!!  The almond butter has a milder flavor in these than I remember the peanut butter having, but it's been many years since I've eaten them.  They also have a good, rich chocolate flavor, and I love the hearty texture from the oats.  My girls and I enjoyed them, but my little Terrible Two doesn't get any :(  Can't have almonds.  Maybe next time I'll try them with Sunflower Butter. (or you can omit the nut butters all together.  the original recipe calls for coconut instead). 

So that was my weekend.  I'm sore from gardening...and I have to get back to my PLAN.  I don't know how many miles I have to do today, but I'm sure it's more than I'd like!  I did workout Saturday evening - 3 miles (the minimum!), but I accidentally deleted the picture.  Really. I did do it.  It was about 9:00pm, and I was already tired, so it sucked.  Note to self - workout early in the day.  I also got new tennis shoes (yay!), but wore them immediately to do my walk/run and got a big blister (boo!)  I know, you're thinking what a dumb@$$.  I should have broke them in a little before exercising in them.  What ev' - too late now!!

Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Anyone make any Beer Margaritas?!  I never got around to it...maybe next weekend!  Or hell, maybe in the next few days depending on how the week never know when you may need a drinkipoo (or two)!  Holla -


  1. I wish I had a garden in my yard, our neighborhood association doesn't allow vegetable gardens, but the tomatoes especially are so good.

    All the best to your father. It's hard seeing someone you love going through a health crisis.

  2. I like all the food you posted. BUT, I really really really am craving cheesecake now! Ugh! I love cheesecake!

  3. I know you said initially you're weekend wasn't that intense...but you did some serious amounts of cooking and had some serious family time! All of it looks delicious. Cheesecake...mmm.



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