Its about time

Since it has been around a year since I have been on here, I thought it was well past time to get back in the game. ¬†ūüôā

What a way to start than with this:

The word you are looking for is…”ahhh…maaaaa…zing!”

This awesome creation by McCormick and Schmick’s graced my plate yesterday in all its splendor. ¬†It is huge! ¬†At least to me. ¬†The size of the picture doesn’t do it justice. ¬†It is truly a delicious piece of art filled with mousse and the raspberry sauce on the bottom is delicious! ¬†I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

We then made our way to see Allegiant…which sadly I would not recommend to anyone and everyone. ¬†My husband enjoyed it, but has not read the book. ¬†Very futuristic…almost to the sci-fy realm. ¬†I, being a HARD CORE Divergent fan, am not enjoying all the artistic liberties being put into the films. ¬†This last one is completely different than the book, changed, not just missing parts. ¬†However, it is entertaining.

That’s it for now! ¬†Figured I would start with a nice light, yummy post before delving into politics and such on my first blog back in action.

ūüėČ

Cherries, Goals, Joseph and Josh McDowell

My daughter recently had a birthday, and I was lacking in taking pictures of the food, so I will just tell you about it.

Her theme was cherries, so I decided to include cherries in every part of the dinner.  We had cherry coke and cherry koolaid to drink, cherry glazed pork roast and cherry coke bbq ribs for our main course, cherry applesauce and a tossed salad with dried cherries for sides, cherry muffins and cherry jello topped of the dinner off.  Dessert included  cherry pie cookies and a chocolate cake shaped as decorated as a cherry.  Cherry heads, cherry tootsie pops and cherry twizzlers garnished the table as well.

I had a lot of fun making these dishes, most of the recipes were new. ¬†And, she was excited that cherries touched everything! ¬†I think her love for cherries is waning slightly…probably just because we were inundated with them for awhile. ¬†ūüėČ

Anyone interested in the above recipes, shoot me a message! ¬†ūüôā

In other news…I know I have not done well with blogging every day as was my goal. ¬†Gallbladders and floods got in the way. ¬†BUT, I have to say that God is drawing me closer. ¬†Definitely giving me new questions to tackle and research, which means I am digging into His word more, which is always a good thing! ¬†I am by no means digging in as much as I could/should, but I am getting there…only because of Him. ¬†In my gallbladder craziness, both food and exercise went by the wayside, but it actually helped me get back to normal living. ¬†I found that overtraining leads to overeating for me, because the calories you burn can’t compete with the incredible hunger. ¬†So, I am mixing it up, doing different cardio and strength routines, not getting stuck in a rut and not getting crazy hungry. ¬†‘At first there was no difference, but I am happy to say that I am finally seeing some more definition in my body AND shed a couple pounds (just a couple, but I am ok with that for now). ¬†ūüėČ

I recently finished UnDaunted. ¬†It is a nonfiction book about Josh McDowell. ¬†Josh McDowell is the author of More Than a Carpenter. ¬†Josh learned to forgive the unforgivable, to trust the untrustable and to hope in something he didn’t quite believe all because of God. ¬†The writing may not be the greatest, but the story is amazing!

My husband and I began watching Seasons of Gray~A Modern Day Joseph Story.  WOW!  So good!  We have to finish it tonight but I can already recommend it.

That is my eclectic post for the day!

ūüôā

Festive Fun!

We recently hosted a Christmas party and had about 100 guests.  I LOVE this party!  It is a lot of prep, but I just love that so many families gather together.

Here are some fun desserts (you all know I enjoy making desserts!)

rice krispy trees

 

pumpkin cakes and cookies, chocolate covered oreos, peppermint white chocolate brownies, Happy Birthday Jesus cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cake and Letters

Here is the latest cake.  So funny, when I set it out, everyone thought it was just a bowl of Reeses Pieces.  I made my favorite chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and surrounded it with candy!  The idea is not mine, but it was really fun to make.

On another note, this morning while on the elliptical, I was watching Letters to God.  Highly recommend this movie!  Very touching.

No big news today, just a couple tidbits.  Enjoy your week!

(made for a going away party)

weekly update

My weight is back up…ugh! ¬†The roller coaster of this is craziness! ¬†I know part of it is eating…we had chocolate in the house this week…bad news. ¬†But I also think part of it is muscle, because my body fat percentage is still low…and I can see definition of muscle.

EITHER WAY, my goal jeans are crazy crazy tight right now, and whether I need to lose the fat or the muscle (likely a combo)…it needs to be done.

My plan of action is to do 30-45 minutes of cardio 6 days a week and 30-45 minutes of weights or other exercise 6 days a week.

I am also going to follow the Quick and Clean Diet book by Dari Alexander for the next 2 weeks.  I think it will help me stay on track with clean eating.  When I do well with clean eating, my body notices.

And as always, I know that keeping my inside clean, as in spiritually, kindness, bettering myself as a person, is far more important than the vanity of the outside, so I have been trying to be better about longer devotional times, more genuine prayers and have been reading a bunch of awesome books that I will post about when I am finished.  I have about 10 going right now, a page at a time, so it will be awhile before they make it to the book review page, but we will get there.

Anyone who wants to can join me…we can keep each other accountable.

Speaking of sugar…

So the last 2 days with making and eating my mom’s birthday desserts were not fun in terms of sugar…sugar makes my body feel horrible and also makes me gain weight at insane speed. ¬†It was fun, however, to eat the yummy treats…here they are:

Banana Split Cheesecake complete with homemade chocolate and strawberry sauces:

  • Crust:
  • 1 cup¬†packaged chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Oreo)
  • 2 tablespoons¬†sugar
  • 1 tablespoon¬†butter or stick margarine, melted
  • Cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 3¬†(8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1¬†(8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1¬†(8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups¬†sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups¬†mashed ripe banana
  • 3 tablespoons¬†all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons¬†vanilla extract
  • 4¬†large eggs
  • Toppings:
  • 1/3 cup¬†canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1/3 cup¬†strawberry sundae syrup
  • 1/3 cup¬†chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 cup¬†chopped pecans, toasted
  • 16¬†maraschino cherries, drained

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325¬į.
  2. To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. To prepare filling, beat cheeses and sour cream at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, banana, flour, and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat well after each addition.
  4. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325¬į for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Cheesecake is done when the center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon pineapple, 1 teaspoon strawberry syrup, 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup, 3/4 teaspoon pecans, and 1 cherry.

picture is without pecans, I added them right before serving:

 

 

Black Forest Cake

(This was the first time I made black forest cake and it was fun! :))

Ingredients

  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose¬†flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon¬†baking¬†soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups¬†heavy¬†whipping¬†cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch, round, cake pans; cover bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.
  4. Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool before using.
  5. Combine whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. With long serrated knife, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Tear one split layer into crumbs; set aside. Reserve 1 1/2 cups Frosting for decorating cake; set aside. Gently brush loose crumbs off top and side of each cake layer with pasty brush or hands. To assemble, place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting; top with 3/4 cup cherry topping. Top with second cake layer; repeat layers of frosting and cherry topping. Top with third cake layer. Frost side of cake. Pat reserved crumbs onto frosting on side of cake. Spoon reserved frosting into pastry bag fitted with star decorator tip. Pipe around top and bottom edges of cake. Spoon remaining cherry topping onto top of cake.

 

day 27

AM workout: weights…back, biceps, triceps

Food/calories: day 2 of limited sugar, calories near 1800

Water: water intake has been great with the elimination of diet drinks

PM workout: Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs

It is amazing how quickly a body can change. ¬†I have always had a 6 pack, well for as long as I remember thinking about it, of course aside from being pregnant, and not necessarily rock hard, but there. ¬†Anyway, enough of the run on sentence. ¬†Many times I have to work really hard to see my six pack…sucking in just so. ¬†But after just 1 day of limited sugar it is far more noticeable. ¬†I love that it is coming out of hiding. ¬†I truly truly truly know that it really matters little if I have a six pack or not. ¬†I truly truly truly know my inner being is more important. ¬†But it is kind of fun to see it come out of hiding. ¬†ūüėČ

Oh I also was unable to eat my salsa yesterday because there is sugar in it…really? ¬†ugh! ¬†My homemade salsa does not, so I may have to make some more soon. ¬†And…because I want to be less and less dependent on sugar, I am going to avoid buying dark chocolate at the grocery store next time…way too tempting. ¬†The little sugar in the cottage cheese and greek yogurt is more than enough.

Macaroons

So tomorrow we are celebrating Mother’s Day early with my family. ¬†It will be an interesting day…first the half marathon, then a Mother’s gathering and then, sadly, we have to go to a funeral home after. ¬†Kind of a crazy mix of events.

My mom, who is amazing, is hosting. ¬†We debate over this every year, because she is my mom and I don’t want her to do any work. ¬†However, since we are doing it a week early and it is the day of the race, I couldn’t debate it too much this year.

So…I forced her to let me be in charge of dessert. ¬†I can keep dessert safe in the car while I run. ¬†I opted to do a bite size dessert platter with mini brownies, mini angel food cupcakes with almond frosting, biscotti, mini chocolate chip pies, chocolate cookie type doughnut type deliciousness and macaroons. ¬†The macaroons my husband and I had out around Christmas time and today they taste exactly … exactly… exactly like they did there. ¬†I hope they do tomorrow as well. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Anyway, thought I would share the recipe…it is a great one.

http://old.post-gazette.com/food/19991209eggwhites2a.asp

Enjoy!

ps…I am also getting an ice cream cake on the way…yummmmmmy!