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Friday, September 26, 2014

Blueberry Pancakes a la Emily Bites

You may know that I have been trying to watch what I eat and lose a few pounds. After exhausting most of the recipes offered on Weight Watchers, I started looking at other sites. I found one that I really like called 
"Emily Bites. Lightened Up Comfort Food"

She featured this Blueberry Pancake recipe that looked so easy and delicious (AND WW approved!) that I had to try it.  The secret is starting out with some blueberry yogurt!
Here's the recipe:



  • 1 (5.3 oz) container nonfat Blueberry Greek Yogurt (I used Dannon Light & Fit)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour (my preference, you can use all-purpose or wheat if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries

I started with 5 pounces of "Noosa" yogurt that had blueberries already mixed in. 
(How's THAT for a shortcut?!!) You can use any variety of Blueberry yogurt you wish- or plain yogurt and fresh blueberries or Greek yogurt and frozen blueberries. It's the possibilities make this recipe so easy!

Mix with a tablespoon of honey and and 1 large egg.
Then, mix in 1/2 cup of Whole Wheat flour (I use Whole Wheat Pastry flour as it's lighter-- You could also use all purpose flour if you want)
and a teaspoon of baking soda. 

THAT's IT!  

 Then bake like you would regular pancakes and you have a light, fruity, Weigh Watchers approved (Just don't eat many…..) breakfast that the whole family will love.
You could add fresh blueberries on top if you have some on hand. 

Even the Tot enjoyed these! The recipe made about 6 small pancakes. I saved two for the next morning's breakfast and they were still tangy and light. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Adventures in Disney!

Carrot Cake for my Dad.

 My Dad's 73rd birthday was coming up. My parents belong to a camping club and my sister suggested we go surprise them on Saturday night at the potluck. Mom mentioned wanting to make Dad a Carrot Cake for his birthday, but because they were going up on Thursday she was afraid it wouldn't last. I decided to take this as a challenge and make a Carrot Cake from scratch!
My plan was to buy the frosting (I had never found a suitable homemade frosting recipe) but THIS one had a good looking recipe included so I gave it a go. BOY is it good.

If you do nothing-KEEP THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING RECIPE! You can use it for all your cake, cupcake, etc. baking!

LilyBelle could not wait to eat that cake!!! 

Start with carrots! I went ahead and shredded the 3 cups of carrots first and set it aside.
Looking over the recipe, I realized that Carrot Cake is similar to Banana Bread or Zucchini bread. It's a basic cake recipe with a vegetable thrown in that in the baking becomes sweet.

Mix the wet ingredients:

4 eggs
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Dry ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Mix together the wet and dry

Add the 3 cups of carrots and 1 cup of chopped pecans.

See how EASY that was??

I decided to make a layered cake. So pour 1/2 into each Springform pan.
Bake 40 to 45 mins in oven 350 degrees


Now for the frosting-
(THIS is the recipe you need to keep!!!)

1/2 cup butter softened
8 oz Cream Cheese softened
4 cups of confectioners sugar (Powdered sugar)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Beat in mixer until smooth and creamy.
TA DA! Cream Cheese frosting! Good enough to rival anything in a can AND no lard!!

You could add color for decoration! I'll never buy frosting from a can again!

Place one cake on plate. Trim around to make it flat. (the kids do NOT mind eating the trimmings! lol)

I had my husband do the frosting. He has a better handle on this than I do. I always manage to tear the cake.  We decided to frost like the recipe photo-in between and on top.
Next time, I will suggest less frosting for the layers and go for an all over frost.

Sprinkle with Pecans!

My father and many campers reported that the cake was VERY good. In fact, my parents only had a few pieces left over to enjoy for themselves. 
Another dessert the pleases all!!  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Veggie Burger with "Pickled" Onions!!

When I first saw this recipe for Pickled Onions on Weight Watchers, I had my reservations. But I love Cilantro and the fresh brightness of Limes sounded intriguing so I gave it a go.  WOW is it delicious!!

Cut some slices of red onion.

Squeeze the juice of two fresh limes into a bowl. Add onions.

Cut up fresh Cilantro and add in. Set aside to marinade for at least 45 minutes.

This KILLER sandwich is a Trader Joe's Veggie Burger (the best one I have found outside of Northstar Cafe!!)  Add some Hummus and then top with the pickled onions. 

Weight Watchers Plum Yogurt Parfait

So yep. The search for delicious Weight Watchers foods continues. Today I made this delictable treat! Plum Yogurt Parfaits.
I can't give you the link because I'm assuming you have to be a member to see their recipes so I will make sure to include all the steps.

Cut up two fresh, firm plums. Place in skillet with a tablespoon of honey and a sprinkle of Cinnamon.  Cook, stirring frequently until the plums soften. The recipe says about 3 minutes but I found mine took more like 8 to get them to my desired softness.

Use a Microplane to zest a lemon. (about 1/4 teaspoon)

Place plums in a bowl and top with lemon zest. 
The recipe says to put in fridge for about a 1/2 hour till chilled but I liked mine warm so I only waited about 15 minutes.

Scoop a cup and 1/2 of Greek non-fat yogurt into a dish. Top with the plum mix and add either slivered, whole or chopped almonds.

Makes 4 servings. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Easy Do it Yourself Soup

I'm following Weight Watchers online. I started out eating just fruits and veggies. 
that idea did NOT sustain me. I discovered early on though-a warm, hearty soup really helps keep me full. 
This is an easy soup I can throw together and eat throughout the day.

Sautee yellow onion in a LITTLE bit of butter. 

Add in Chicken Broth. I usually look for "Fat Free" option but chicken broth is inherently fine for a diet! It's chicken flavored water. Totally WW approved!

Chop up a peeled carrot and some Cilantro. (Or parsley if you prefer)

I had a roaster chicken because I made Chicken nachos for my family. (I was good-I had soup) 
(yet ANOTHER use for one of those roaster chickens!!)

Make some Quinoa or Cous Cous or rice. I'm not thrilled with WW's "points" for all these things. They count all as 5 points. I think that's a lot for a healthier option such as Quinoa or Cous cous!  I make some and sprinkle a little into soup or on a salad-but just a little.

Heat till carrots (or whatever vegetable you added) is soft. Light and easy. Hardest part is chopping up veggies! Enjoy!
What's your favorite simple soup recipe?

Marbled Banana Chocolate Bundt Cake

My family was coming over for Labor Day so I looked around for a dessert to make. I was reading a book written by my friend and she talked about a Banana cake her friend's Mother used to make and how much she loved it. It inspired me to make a Banana cake but Lily wanted a Bundt cake-so I found this recipe to combine the two: Marbled Banana Chocolate Bundt Cake

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

I like using Aluminum free baking powder. You don't need aluminum!

Wet ingredients: 
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, (on a mixer) cream together butter and sugar until light.

Beat in the eggs one by one, waiting until each has been incorporated to add the next. 

Beat in vanilla extract and mashed bananas.


1/4 cup of Cocoa powder sifted.
Pull 1 cup and 1/2 of the batter and mix with the Cocoa Powder

Fill a greased Bundt pan with 1/3 of the plain batter, then add the cocoa batter. 

Finish off with the rest of the plain batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Turn over Bundt pan and put on a plate. Sift powdered sugar on top.

Great piece with lots of the chocolate center!

The cake was a hit with my family though I felt it tasted very similar to Banana Bread.  It WAS yummy and I shared the rest of it with coworkers later that evening. I'm going to keep searching for the perfect Bundt cake recipe. What is your favorite Bundt cake?