Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Naughty Treats for a Super Day

Okay, I've been threatening for a while now to post my current fav treats here on HWHL. And now I have, only in the style of "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond. See, I was just going to take 30 min and post everything here, but I thought, "Hey, I've been meaning to kickstart my recipe/cooking blog (Becky's Kitchen Creations), so let's post all the recipes there today." Five hours later, I finally got it done. The annoying thing is that I was supposed to be posting Valentine's Day stamp sets in my eBay store today. Shame, shame! I'm so broke, what was I thinking?! I got a feeling I'll be pulling an all-nighter, if my 39-year-old body can handle it. But at least you get to benefit, right? It wasn't a totally useless pursuit... p.s. this is where you say, "Yes, Becky, that was awesome of you! Thank you!" I'm just saying.

Here are the pics and links to the recipes:

Indoor S'Mores a.k.a. Crack

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Strawberry Rice Crispie Treats

And this one isn't naughty, it's actually very good, but I thought you might like to see my props to Audrey:
Sweet Potato Chicken Curry - Yes, I posted Audrey's awesome recipe, with links back to HWHL and her original post. It's such a good recipe, I had to share!

What's the "Super" reference in the title? Why, Superbowl Sunday, of course! I'll be having a grand day of indulgence tomorrow. None of us in our house are particularly big sports fans, and honestly we hardly watch the Superbowl while it's on, but it's just one of those days in the year that we all like use a thin excuse to pig out on high-calorie naughty treats. Not very HWHL of us, but what can I say, it's gonna happen, so it might as well be food that tastes good.

P.S. I'll post this recipe on my recipe blog tomorrow, with pics, but this is one I'll be eating like crazy, too:

Spinach Artichoke Dip (a Pampered Chef recipe)

2 jars (6 oz each) marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup sour cream (I plan on using light or fat free)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Miracle Whip Light)
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, then place in a small baking dish, about 8x8. Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve with crackers or small crispy bread slices.

Stone Soup

My super food day was perfectly timed. Yesterday was the day and I did honestly feel good throughout most of it. I have to say that quinoa, the ancient grandmother of grains, is an acquired taste and I haven't yet acquired it. I cooked the quinoa in chicken broth, then mixed it with black beans. It just didn't have enough taste. I'm thinking it might provide an interesting texture in a mostly green salad.

I picked yesterday as my superfood day because I knew I would be homeless in the wintery cold temperatures for a good long stretch with a bunch of warm-hearted teens (who actually camped outside in boxes and tarps all night long to raise money for the homeless plight in Cleveland.) I thought "Those super foods will help my body fight the cold." And they did! However, I did finally succumb to my children's cold at 10 p.m. after five hours outside. Even after sampling a steaming hot cup of vegetable Stone Soup, my body called it quits and, after driving home, I took a long, hot oatmeal bath before crashing into my own warm comfy bed.

Honestly, I don't know how the homeless do it. There's so much that I take for granted most days, not realizing fully what an incredible blessing it is to have a warm cushy bed, my own spacious bedroom and well-built home, to have so many food choices and to be able to throw together a superfood day at whim.

Holy Cow

Saw this today and thought I would share it with all of you.

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways totally worn out, and shouting..."Holy Cow, what a ride!"

It's good to work hard at being strong and healthy. At the same time, we must be realistic about our goals. I think it's very important that at the end of our lives we can say we've enjoyed the ride. We shouldn't let the imperfections of our bodies keep us from doing so.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Is it really good??

The ultimate "Power Food" 
Date Balls ( a Larabar knockoff but BETTER!)
They may look a little scary but as my daughters friends say,
"Your mom's yucky food... is so good!"

Before trying this at home I HIGHLY recommend using a VERY good blender.
With that said, I thought pictures would help with this SUPER EASY recipe:

1 cup walnuts or almonds (or ANY kind)
I like to chop them up in the blender first...
1 1/3 cup dates or more if you want a sweeter taste... remove ALL pits or it might get a little dangerous :)
You can chop them up before adding if you want. (it might be a little easier on the blender)
 Put the dates in the blender with the nuts and add 1tsp vanilla and 3-4 TBS cocoa
 Blend it all together!

Roll into balls or any shape you like. They store for a week in the fridge or you can also freeze them.

I LOVE crumbling mine up and putting it in greek yogurt. mmm....

As you can see, it passes the KID test. (not Emily, but she doesn't count!)
 The possibilities are ENDLESS! We have made some that taste just like cookie yummy!
You can look on this website for lot's of recipes.  Larabar knockoffs The recipe above are from a link called "fudge babies"

Dates are very good for you! They are loaded with good stuff... and calories; YET, they are considered a "diet" food because they are so satisfying. They are a great recovery from hard workouts too!
If you try them, let me know what you think, don't be surprised if it becomes a staple at your house too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Hazards of Being a Healthy Wife

So, I was shopping for my Super Food day (tomorrow) and I thought to myself "Self, you should buy some kiwi anyway and slice it up for your kiddos. Just because you've reacted poorly to it, doesn't mean they can't sample that super foody goodness." Two kiwi in the cart, a few hours later, I've peeled and quarter-inch sliced them, arranged the slices in clover leafs and moved on to the meat, potatoes and veggie.

A half an hour later, my face explodes. Specifically, my left eye swells shut with small hives all around the tear ducts and my nose becomes inconsolably itchy, to the point where even the Puffs and Vaseline can do no good. My whole face is now super red; the kids don't want to even try the kiwi (gee, wonder why?) and I'm due at a play in an hour. So now I know. I can't even touch the stuff.

Let's go back a bit. Kiwi and anaphalic reactions, aside. Let's go back one day. About the same time of day. I was diligently working on my 30 point goal: cleaning and re-organizing our house's Franken-basement. {When we remodeled, they removed all the drop ceiling panels, added many new wires and pipes, then never sewed things back up.} One particular cut wire was sticking out into the room that I was reorganizing. It' bugged me, so, you know where this is leading, right? I went to cut it {thinking already been cut=safe} and it was live. Big ZAP!!! Thankfully, not affecting me at all. But very scary. Internet down for a day and half.

I hope I'm done living dangerously. And kiwi is a super EVIL food (if you are allergic to it.)


I am not sure how it happened or exactly when it started, but the tops of my feet just above where the toes join with the foot have been a little sore the last few days. I didn't realize how sore until today at dance. I could not do much jumping without it hurting my feet. Anyone ever had similar pain? Any suggestions on how to allow them to heal (aside from staying off them entirely)? I would welcome any suggestions you have. Thanks.

Anything for a couple extra points...

I'm desperate for points. I ate my calorie range (1800) in chocolate alone tonight (while I watched The Biggest Loser on the internet, no less) and I haven't exercised all week (the temperature has been in the single digits in the day and -30 at night, and I've had sick kids all week). So I'm posting this.

I hope it gives you a good laugh.

Amelia wanted to make a movie with Lily's little camera. "Pretend you made movies. You have to dress up. Here, wear your boots. Yeah, and that green jacket." The rest was just me workin' it for the camera. SOOKIE! 1-25-11

Two things: I need to wear longer shirts to cover up my gut. And I REALLY need to do some running to get some sort of definition back into my backside. I have total pancake booty.

P.S. Did you know that Justin on the Biggest Loser is from Cokeville?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Ummm... delicate topic. FYI on the Spinach Smoothie. Starting with my 4th pregnancy and really solidified (terrible pun) with my 5th, I had major constipation issues that never went away. I'll stop right there, no gory details. But I tell you what! That spinach smoothie has fixed things! I can't think of anything else I have been doing differently, that I could attribute my new regularity to. So, all hail the Spinach Smoothie!

P.S. Stopping eating by 6 or 7 is proving to be my Mt. Everest. Last night I totally binged simply because my teenage daughter and I had a "moment" together watching a chick-flick. So I blew my calories yesterday. Then, today, I was the Baking Queen for some reason. I was good and didn't blow all my calories, but all the baking delayed dinner, and I didn't stop eating until nearly 9pm. Aaargh!! I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the 30-point thing, because if it's every-day-has-to-be-perfect, then I totally blew it already. Maybe 2 points for each day I stop eating by 7pm? Any thoughts?

Crockpot Chicken Curry

There are certain days that give me no time to make a proper dinner. I leave the minute the bus arrives home from school and don't return until 6pm. This is especially tough because there is still homework to do and I really like the boys to be in bed around 7:30. I've been search of crock pot recipes that may be healthier than versions of things I've made in the past. I came across this one when I was visiting my friend Jodie in Florida over Thanksgiving. I made it this past week and it was a huge hit with myself and hubby.

Now for the kids, Sam loved the chicken, Jonah liked the sweet potatoes. I think this will change in time when Sam gets past not liking vegetables and Jonah moves past the "I don't like Chicken" phase. In my house when I make a meal that isn't constituted a "kid" meal they have to try it, at minimum one bite. This may seem cruel but everyone's taste buds change, including your own. More often than not it's met with a "I don't like it" followed by a smile. I'm not saying this will always happen but don't assuming a picky child will always be picky about everything. Don't ever give up. I didn't like eggs or tomatoes until my 20's.

4 boneless chicken breast
1 small onion, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2/3 c. orange juice
1 minced garlic clove (I used 2)
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 tsp. curry powder

4 TBLS cornstarch
2 TBLS cold water

Place chicken in slow cooker and cover with onions and sweet potatoes. Combine OJ, garlic, chicken bullion, salt, pepper, and curry powder. Pour over veggies. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Remove chicken and veggies and keep warm. Turn cooker to high and add corn starch dissolved in cold water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Serve chicken and veggies over brown rice and pour "gravy" over the top.

sliced green onions
shredded coconut
chopped peanuts
white raisins

NOTE: if you don't have a lot of juice left in the bottom cut the corn starch mixture in half.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Super foods

I just love the super food lists that pop up in magazines and on the internet. I always peruse them and nod in agreement with those items I've already got built into my regular grocery routine, then ponder the possibilities of the more exotic or, to me, unusual ones. To mix things up a little in my day-to-day routine, I've decided I'm going to have a super food day some time this week just to see how it will make me feel. {Will I feel super after eating all 10 in one day, I wonder?}

I'm choosing to use the super food list found here on Web M.D.. But there are lots of good ones out there including one from Oprah here and another Aussie list here that mentions the research study explaining why each item was chosen.

But the one I'll be using has the following ten:

1. low fat or fat free yogurt
2. eggs
3. nuts
4. kiwis {no can do, I'm allergic, will replace with grapefruit}
5. quinoa
6. beans
7. salmon
8. broccoli
9. sweet potatoes
10. berries

If you're feeling like being fashionably kooky with me, find yourself a top ten list, make a quick stop at the grocery store and let me know how it goes.

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations Jill You've Won Another Challenge!

Everyone did well this round. It was really close. Just think, just improving in one more area and you may be the winner next round!

Keep up the good work. I know it's not always easy but your family, friends and you will start to notice your hard work.

Monday, January 31, 2011

My Goal

Okay, lately the health-centered articles have been popping out at me at the grocery store checkout. It's late a night, and I'm too tired to do a big post about them (I'll save that for a few days later), but the bottom line is that they got me thinking more about eating strategies. The two camps seem to be 1)eat this type of food and eat all you want and 2)eat less calories by making them healthy-nutrient packed calories. Strictly speaking, we all know that the bottom line is this:

Weight loss = more calories burned than consumed. Period.

Every other fad or diet, tip or technique, is simply about managing hunger and meeting the nutritional needs of your body.

That being said, I have to say that one thing I've really noticed lately, something that clicks for me even though I've known it all along, is that my body handles calories differently during the day than it does at night. After 5 or 6 at night, my body just starts to shut down, and if I haven't eaten nearly all my calories for the day by then and I put a lot of calories in my stomach after 5 or 6, then the scales are not kind to me. I just can't get that weight to drop off. This past session, and others, I really noticed when I ate my calories early in the day, versus late at night. That's when I dropped weight.

So, my challenge for myself this session is to quit eating by 7pm each night. Man, that's going to be rough, because some nights I hardly get dinner ready by then. But then, that's what I should be working on: adjusting my routine and schedule so that dinner is ready by 5 or 5:30. If I were done eating by 6 each night, I think the pounds would finally start dropping again.

One ounce

Hi Ladies!

Oh, this is the Valentines Day Challenge! Our last chance to look and feel even more beautiful before the romance of the 14th. I'm starting to plan the romance today and part of it involves a red hot new outfit. Hope you're able to do something special with your sweetheart!

Now onto my new treasure. Look what I found in my basement today: A food scale! Silly me; it's been there for two years, but it was a gift to my husband and intended to help him make German family Christmas cookie recipes. So in my mind I had filed it away in the categories: "not really mine" and "for baking." Interesting how the brain can play tricks on you.

So here's a little food fun. Each of these pictures shows one ounce of the given food: wild rice, chocolate chips, lettuce, shaved ham, and grated cheddar cheese. I was shocked to find out how little an ounce actually is. Shocked, I tell you! Only 1/4 cup of rice, 56 chocolate chips, 4 lettuce leaves, 2 and 3/4 slices of ham and 1/4 cup of cheese.

This challenge is going to be a real eye opener for me with this scale in tow.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

And the bracelet goes to...

My 10 year old picked the bracelet winner this morning. He felt the awesome power of his responsibility. And the winner is: Cammy! Yeah Cammy! And, if my math is correct, you posted thrice this go round. The hat karma was working in your favor!

I'll get your address from Audrey.

Happy Sabbath Day and day of rest and treats, ladies!


Please Please try to post your points today!!! We start another challenge tomorrow and I want to get the winner up ASAP!!!

Thanks for all the awesome posting this past week! You all put a big smile on my face and joy in my heart!


I'm angry at my college friend, Shannon, for leaving her chocolate cake at my house!!  It's 11:15pm on Saturday, if I wait 45 minutes, I can eat it!  (Just kidding, I'll wait and have it for breakfast tomorrow!)
: D