Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn Hershey Kisses!

I am writing a blog dedicated to healthy why am I posting about Hershey's Kisses? Well, I have two answers: 1) We all have our vices! and 2) All things in moderation! I love the smells, tastes, and sights of Fall! I am not much of a candy person, so I have no trouble resisting the aisles of Halloween Candy. However, when the Candy Corn Kisses hit the shelves last year, I couldn't resist. When I saw them and their new friend, Pumpkin Spice Kisses, I knew I had to grab them both and start the Fall season!!!

The Candy Corn Kisses look like their namesake with stacked levels of yellow, orange, and white. They have a buttery sweet taste. They are somewhat reminiscent of candy corn, but I have to say they taste more like buttercream icing! I love them.

I didn't know what to expect when opening the Pumpkin Spice Kisses. I wasn't sure if there would be chocolate involved or not. Upon opening the wrapper, I discovered that they were a light orange color. They are much softer than any other Hershey Kiss I have had. You almost have to be careful not to smoosh them. I was a little hesitant about my first taste, but I was pleasantly surprised. My taste buds were intrigued by the creamy pumpkin spice flavor. The cinnamon, the nutmeg, the is all there in this creamy nugget of yumminess! It looks like it has a creamy center, but the taste is the same throughout. Hmmmm...the recipes that could be concocted with these kisses. I can definitely see them topping cookies and cupcakes. The Pumpkin Spice Kisses bag had a cheesecake recipe on the back.

I wonder what new flavors will come out at Christmas. I love their candy cane Kisses with the white chocolate and nonpareils. Maybe they will do Egg Nog or Gingerbread.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Birthday Weekend: Cake and Thai Food's not my birthday, but both my mom and my husband have birthdays this weekend. I am surrounded by Virgos. Above is the cake that I had a friend of mine make so that I could surprise my husband. He loved it and the moist, sweet, strawberry interior.

We celebrated my mom's birthday at Sawadika Thai Zone, which I visited a few weeks ago. I once again ordered my favorite Pad See Iew. It was delicious as always. I love the sticky chewiness of the flat rice noodles and the sweetness of the dark soy sauce. If anyone has a good recipe for making this at home, please share.

My mom had the Pad Woon Sen. She loves glass noodles and has become a pro at eating them with chopsticks. The dish was perfectly seasoned and full of tender vegetables.

The next picture is blurry, but my memory of this delicious black rice pudding is not. My mom and I had never had this delight before and it was heaven. When we first saw it, we were a little scared, but after the first taste, we were hooked. It was the perfect blend of dark glutinous rice and sweet coconut topped with a cherry. The whole time I was eating it, I was thinking that it would be wonderful for breakfast. I am going to have to track down the recipe for this one!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Healthy Breaded Chicken (Also in Gluten-Free)

My husband loves chicken strips from Popeye's, but I wanted to find him a breaded chicken option that was not full of grease and salt. I want him to enjoy his favorite foods, but I want him to stay healthy too. I discovered Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken at my local Whole Foods. I decided to try it out on my husband. I was especially excited because one large chicken breast has only 190 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. The ingredient list is short and includes: Chicken Breast Meat, Water, Salt, Unbleached Wheat Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice, Dried Yeast, Spices, and Paprika. Just 25-30 minutes in the oven and out came a delicious, juicy, tender breast of chicken. My husband hasn't had any Popeye's chicken strips since his first bite. Of course it doesn't taste like Popeye's, but it cures his craving. This chicken is great made as chicken parmesan, cut up in salads and pasta, tucked into a wrap, and dipped into a variety of sauces. Check out the website ( for more varieties including gluten free chicken breasts/nuggets/tenders, coconut chicken tenders, BBQ grilled chicken breasts, BBQ wings, and garlic parmesan flavored chicken breasts.

Foodie Support!

I started my blog a little over a month ago not knowing what to expect, let alone not knowing how to navigate around the blog world. I just wanted to thank you all for supporting me and reading my blog. I love getting your comments and reading your personal blogs. I am having the time of my life! I definitely have a new hobby. Please comment and let me know what I can do with my blog to continue to improve it and keep you coming back for more!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oatmeal With A Twist

My favorite food is oatmeal, and I eat it everyday! I will never get tired of it! I love to experiment with various mix-ins. The following are some yummy ideas that you can try. Adjust amounts of ingredients to your personal liking, and add your sweetener and or extra spices of choice if necessary. Most mix-ins should be added after cooking! I have tried some of the mix-ins and others are on my list to taste test. Do you have any other ideas for interesting mix-ins?

Waffle Cone Sundae: Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite ice cream and crushed waffle cone
Banana Pudding: Mix in mashed bananas and crushed nilla wafers
Smores: Mix in crushed graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate chips
Jelly Donut: Mix in jelly flavor of choice with powdered sugar sprinkled on top
Eggnog: Prepare with eggnog or soy version of eggnog instead of milk
Creme Brulee: Mix in Jello Pudding Creme Brulee flavored Rice Pudding
Pudding Snack: Mix in your favorite flavor of Jello Pudding Snack
Birthday Party: Mix in your favorite sprinkles
Sinful Birthday Party: Mix in Sprinkles and a spoonful of your favorite icing
Clif z-bar: Mix in chunks of your favorite clif z-bar (Honey Graham works best)
Creamy Delight: Mix in your favorite flavor coffee creamer (the holiday flavors rock!)
German Chocolate Cake: Mix in chocolate chips, coconut, and a little caramel
Gingersnap: Mix in crushed up gingersnap cookies
Cookies and Cream: Mix in crushed Oreos

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Don't Forget: Submit Your Recipes to win Free PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter!

Keep those recipes coming!!! Contest ends on Saturday!! The winner gets a free jar of PB2 powdered peanut butter. See details here:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Soy Sauce Substitute With Health Benefits!

I have been using Bragg Liquid Aminos lately to flavor my vegetables and Chinese dishes. They can be used on a variety of foods or in various recipes including dressings and gravies. The Liquid Aminos are made from NON-GMO soybeans and purified water. The best part is that they contain 16 amino acids. They are not fermented, do not contain preservatives or colorings, and are totally gluten free. There is no added salt, but they have the nice salty flavor like soy and tamari sauces. I highly recommend giving these a try. Check out some recipes with the Amino Acids and get a free sample here:

Monday, August 25, 2008

What Number Water Are You?

My husband and I have been reading about ph balance and how important it is to your health. The foods we eat influence the alkalinity and acidity of our bodies. Due to the amount of highly processed foods available, many people's bodies are in a highly acidic state. High acidity can produce an internal environment that is conducive to immune deficiency and disease. Many of the articles I have read say that mild acidity can cause hormone issues, weight gain, cardiovascular problems, low energy, slow digestion, bladder and kidney problems, and more. My husband and I are on a mission to try to maintain a healthy ph balance by making sure to include more vegetables and fruits in our diets. We also have been drinking Crazy Water, which comes in four different levels. Number 4 is the most alkaline and contains the most minerals. Personally, I haven't been drinking much water because it is boring to me. However, I love these waters because they are smooth and thirst quenching. I also notice that if I drink number 4 when my stomach is acting up or I feel extremely tired, it helps me feel better. There are probably several companies that sell similar alkaline waters, but this is the one my local Whole Foods carries. For number is 3. My husband is half 3 and half 4. What is your number?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Healthier Way to Sweeten and Flavor Drinks and Food!
In my quest to eliminate artificial sugars from my diet, I tried the agave nectar and really enjoyed the flavor it added to my oatmeal, coffee, and recipes. However, I really wanted to find a no calorie sweetener. I found my answer on the shelf of one of my local grocery stores...Sweet Leaf Stevia Clear. This no calorie sweetener comes in a medicine dropper bottle and you can get regular stevia or choose from a variety of flavors including vanilla cream, cinnamon, english toffee, chocolate raspberry, and peppermint. I tried powdered/granule stevia in the past and did not like it, so I was hesitant when I first used the drops. The first bottle I bought was the english toffee flavor. I added it to my coffee and within one sip I was in toffee heaven. How could a few drops of liquid make coffee taste so creamy and delicious? That was Friday. Since then I have purchased the vanilla creme flavor, which was equally as yummy! I have tried them both in oatmeal and I can't rave enough!!! My mom tried the english toffee in her Dunkin Donut's coffee this morning, and she had to have a second cup she loved it so much. I will definitely have to try the other flavors. Hhmmm...maybe peanut butter oatmeal with the grape flavor!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Win A Jar of PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter!!!!

There has been a lot of interest in the powdered peanut butter that I posted about a couple of weeks ago. See here: I am giving away a free jar of the PB2 Peanut Butter to the person who sends me the most creative recipe using peanut butter. Pictures are a plus!!!! Send all entries to You have until next Saturday at midnight. The winner will be announced on Sunday, August 31. Now...go start getting creative with that peanut butter!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Toss It In Turkey Lasagna

No measuring cups or spoons used this time. I just tossed in a little of this and a little of that. It turned out pretty good!! The ingredients included cooked ground turkey, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, mozarella cheese, spinach, Italian seasoning, and oven ready lasagna noodles. I just started with a little tomato sauce with Italian seasoning on the bottom of the pan. Then I put some lasagna noodles on top. Next came a mixture of all the other ingredients. Repeat the layers and top off with lasgana noodles, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Search of Almond Joy!

I am in search of my own Almond Joy!!! I want to start using almond butter, but I am not sure what brand to buy. It appears to be fairly expensive, so I don't want to spend the money and then not like it. Which almond butters do you like and buy?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Think Green Chocolate Chip Bar

If you have never tried any of the thinkProducts, you are missing out on some yummy nutrition. The thinkGreen chocolate chip bar was my first experience with this brand, and I had trouble not eating one every day. They have over a tablespoon of greens in them, and they are gluten free. The best part is that they don't have a fake chocolate taste that some other bars have. They truly are a chewy chocolate treat with plenty of chocolate chips to please the palate. These bars pack in 7 grams of protein and tons of antioxidants!!! I also highly recommend the thinkThin Peanut Caramel Protein Bar and the thinkThin Creamy Peanut Butter Protein Bar. They both taste like candy bars and pack in 20 grams of protein. Check out the thinkProducts variety of delicious vitamin packed products here:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Easy Cajun Stew

This is one of my favorite stews to make and eat. It is SO easy! I just mix together the following: 1 cup chicken broth, 1 can cajun flavored stewed tomatoes (chop up tomatoes slightly), and a little over a half a bag of gumbo veggies. I heat it all up in a saucepan until the veggies are tender. I then add some shrimp (minis in this picture) and let it continue to cook until the shrimp appears done. This stew tastes great served with cornbread. The leftovers taste delicious over grits or polenta!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Easy Lowfat Tiramisu

This recipe was fun and easy to make. It is very creamy and full of coffee soaked ladyfinger deliciousness! The best part is that is gentle on the waistline! I found the recipe at See the site for nutritional data.

2 pkg. (3 oz. each) ladyfingers, split, divided
2 Tbsp. MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Fat Free Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Arrange 1 package of the ladyfingers on bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish.
Dissolve combined coffee granules and 1 Tbsp. sugar in boiling water.
Brush 1/2 cup of the coffee mixture onto ladyfingers in dish.
Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy.
Add 1/2 cup sugar; mix well. Stir in whipped topping.
Spread half of the cream cheese mixture over ladyfingers in dish; top with remaining ladyfingers. Brush with remaining coffee mixture; cover with remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Homemade Raisin Mighty Muffin

These turned out delicious. I am going to continue to experiment with the recipe. The only changes I made from the original recipe that I posted a few posts back are I substituted vanilla agave nectar for the honey, vanilla hemp milk for the milk, and I omitted the walnuts. This is my new favorite recipe!!!

It Is New, It Is Exciting, It Is Almost Gone

I have been using agave nectar in my recent quest to reduce the amount of artificial sugars in my diet. I have been adding it to my oatmeal, but I just have not been able to use it in my coffee and tea yet. I was so excited to happen upon this sweet surprise....vanilla agave nectar. I have fallen in love with this stuff. I mix it in my drinks, the mighty muffin recipe, and oatmeal. It must be good, because I am almost out. A little bit of the nectar = a lot of flavor and sweetness!!!! Madhave also has other flavors in it's new line of nectars including hazelnut, cappucino, irish creme, and amaretto.

Check the flavors out here:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yoda Says: "Eat Cake I Will"

I am very proud of my sister!! She started a cake business called "Hugs, Kisses, and Cakes." This is her latest cake creation she made for her husband's birthday! It turned out awesome! Too bad her family lives in Jacksonville, cake for me!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vegan, Gluten Free, and Full of Dark Chocolate Richness
I have seen Nana's Cookies several times in stores, but for some reason have not tried them. Over the weekend, I found single packs of the cookies and decided it was time. I chose the No Gluten Chocolate Crunch Cookie. I only had half, because it was so big. Can you believe the picture above is half the cookie? I was worried about how it would taste because sometimes gluten free products taste a little off, but this one won me over in one bite. It was soft and chewy...somewhere between a brownie and a cake texture. It also had small rice crisps in it for a little added crunch. So many chocolate thoughts came to me while enjoying this treat. First it tasted like chocolate cake, then it kind of tasted like a brownie with frosting...oh no wait, when I bit into one of the crisps, it reminded me of nestle crunch. I will definitely purchase more of these and try more of the cookies in the Nana's line of products!!!! They are vegan and have no refined sugar!!! Nana's cookies has choices for everyone including: gluten free cookies, wheat free cookies, and omega cookies.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Powdered Peanut Butter!!!

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter....I have been looking for this product in stores for months. It magically appeared on the shelf of one of the local health food stores, and I did not hesitate to buy it. It is lower in calories than peanut butter but tastes just as wonderful. So far, I have not actually added water to it and used it as traditional peanut butter. I have only added it to my oatmeal. It makes the oatmeal so creamy and gives it just the right amount of salty and sweet peanut butter taste. Consequently, I have had peanut butter oatmeal every day this week. One day, I also mixed in pureed bananas...DELICIOUS! I have so many plans for using PB2....add to mighty muffin recipes, add to brownie recipes, add to protein shakes, add to hot chocolate, add to pancake recipes, mix with pudding, mix with apple butter....anybody else have more ideas!!!! The website also has many recipes. Below is the nutritional info and website link.

Nutrition Facts: (6.5 oz./184g)

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, salt, and sugar

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons (12 grams)
Servings Per Container: 16

Amount Per Serving:
Calories 53.2
Calories from Fat 16.8
Total Fat 1.87 g

Sodium 77.6mg
Total Carbohydrate 3.4g
Sugars 1.66g
Protein 5.65g

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

SaWaDiKa Thai Zone

Last night, my dad and I were going to eat at Rockfish to celebrate his birthday, but at the last minute he called me and asked if I wanted to try a new Thai restaurant. Well, since my goal is to try Pad Se Iew at every Thai restaurant in the Metroplex, I had no problem saying "YES"! We went to a SaWaDiKa Thai Zone (, which has come highly recomended. The storefront restaurant was very cozy and authentic thai aromas filled the air. I ordered my traditional Pad Se Iew with extra veggies and light oil. The soy sauce drenched flat rice noodles were soft and chewy, just they way I love them. The veggies included mushrooms, carrots, baby bok choy, baby corn, broccoli, and napa cabbage. They were all the perfect texture...not too soft and not too crispy. All the dishes looked fresh and delicious. I will definitely return to this Thai restaurant again. I did not plan on trying a new place, so I did not take my camera. A picture of the leftovers will have to do.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mighty Muffin Recipe Update

I made the Mighty Muffins recipe I posted a couple days ago, and I loved it!!! Here is the recipe if you missed it: I just wanted to update the recipe a little bit. I was in the store that carries the actual cookbook written by Dee who created the muffins. The recipe is the same, but it says to cook the muffins for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, and then decrease the temperature to 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. The recipe book also detailed a pumpkin variation in which you substitute pumpkin for the applesauce. Happy muffin baking!!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

"The Gas Pump Ate My Paycheck" Stew

I have been craving a tomato based stew for several days, but didn't want to make a complex recipe or go to the grocery store. I decided to use what I had in my pantry and freezer. I ended up cooking a delicious stew that is very inexpensive to make. It was full of color and texture and hopefully plenty of vitamins. The veggies in my stew were corn, onions, peppers, carrots, green beans, okra, lima beans, potatoes, and tomatoes. You could use any bag of frozen veggies. Just add all the ingredients together and cook in a saucepan until veggies are nice and tender.

Ingredient List:

1 can salt free diced tomatoes (use any flavor)

1/2 bag frozen mixed veggies

2 tbsp Annie's Natural Ketchup

McCormick Italian seasoning to taste


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Shopping

I met my mom at Barnes and Noble today, and we both tried new green teas over ice. My mom had the Bangkok flavor which had hints of coconut, ginger, and lemongrass. I had the Cherry Blossom which had slight notes of cherry flavor in every sip. These teas were definitely refreshing on a 104 degree day.

As we sat and drank our tea, I pulled out a new product that I just bought...Barbara's Wheat Free Oatmeal Snackimals. Upon reaching in the bag, I felt like a kid again as I tried to choose which animal I wanted to eat. My mom and I loved these crispy oatmeal treats. They are organic and full of all natural ingredients. I will definitely have these again. They would taste yummy sprinkled on top of oatmeal or yogurt.

My mom and I spent the rest of the afternoon shopping around the mall, but the best part of the day was when my mom bought me this awesome gift........I am so excited.

Eating Healthy = Free Books

Check out this link: If you buy $10 worth of participating Hain Celestial products, you get a $5 gift card to Barnes and Noble. If you spend $20, you get a $10 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. I have been wanting the Veganomicon book for quite some time I think I will use this offer to get a gift card to put toward my purchase. I love many of the Hain Celestial products, especially their Healthy Valley Rice Crunch-ems (

Friday, August 8, 2008

Quinoa Flakes a Breakfast Alternative

I am very excited about the new product I tried today. I have been wanting to try Quinoa for a long time because it is gluten-free. When I looked this product up on the internet, I discovered that Quinoa has many other health benefits including:

It is low glycemic (35)

It is alkaline in nature

It is high in iron

It is a balanced amino acid source

I found these Quinoa flakes at Whole Foods, and was anxious to try an oatmeal alternative. I mixed 1/3 cup dry flakes with 2 T sweet potato puree, 1 T vanilla whey protein, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, sweetener, and 1 cup water. The result was a bowl of smooth hot cereal that tasted like sweet potato pie. I will definitely be eating more Quinoa flakes in the future. Here is the link to the website of the company that makes Quinoa flakes:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Guess What I Found?

I found the recipe for the Mighty Muffins I posted about a couple of days ago. It was on I can't wait to try some new variations. I think I will try pumpkin raisin first and then banana nut. Anybody else have some yummy suggestions? I am so excited about being able to make my favorite healthy muffins and not needing to go to the store to buy them!!!!
Dee's Mighty Muffins
from OH Magazine

2 c. raw oat bran
2 1/8 t. baking powder
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1 c milk
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 t vanilla
1/2 c raisins, walnuts and honey
Preheat oven to 400. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet to dry and mix. Add rest of ingredients and stir. Bake for 10 min. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 10 more minutes.
makes about 1 dozen

Just Add.....


Well....the ingredient I needed to add to the carrot cake oatmeal I made the other day was pumpkin pie spice. It made it taste just as spicy and sweet as the cake. Raisins and walnuts might be the next addition, but I love it just how it is now!!! Plus, with the vanilla protein powder, I get a protein burst in the morning!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Calling All Frosting Lovers!

Frosting Shots!!! Ever heard of these? If the frosting is your favorite part of the cake or you can't keep your finger out the frosting bowl, then these are for you. What flavor would you choose? Check out this article:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Smores in a Mug

I love flavored coffees, especially ones that taste like my favorite desserts. Gloria Jean's flavor of the month is Smores. What could be better than a warm mug of coffee flavored with chocolate, marshmallows, and graham cracker? The thought of it makes me want to go camping! You can find out more about the coffee here:

Carrots In My Oatmeal?!?!


On the way to work this morning, I was craving a change to my morning oatmeal. Several years ago, Kroger had a carrot cake brand of instant oatmeal that was delicious. I decided that was the taste I wanted, but how would I create it? I came up with adding either carrot juice or carrot baby food. I decided to try the baby food this time. I bought a small jar of Earth's Best carrots and headed to work. I mixed half the small jar in with my oats, cinnamon, vanilla whey powder, and sweetener. To my surprise, it was delicious, but now I am on a mission to improve the recipe, and I have several ideas. Stay tuned this week as I tweak my Carrot Cake Oatmeal.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mighty Muffins!

These muffins are delicious, moist, and sweet. The best part is that they are flourless (made with oatbran) and have no perservatives, oils, refined sugar, or cholesterol. They come in three flavors: Walnut Raisin, Blueberry, and Apple Cinnamon. Unlike other lowfat muffins, these tasty treats are substantial and you don't feel cheated!!!! Warmed up and paired with a cup of coffee or tea, these treats always satisfy my urge for a pastry!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

More Hemp Tasting

This morning I tried the Vanilla Hemp milk. I planned on putting it in my tea, but I taste tested it first. I was pleasantly surprised. It had a nice smooth vanilla nutty taste. I let my tea brew and then I poured it in. I went to grab a spoon to mix it, and when I returned, it appeared as if the milk had separated. Maybe the heat caused it to break down, but there were white flecks floating around...even after stirring. I will definitely use the milk as a drink and over cold cereal, but not in hot drinks. I will stick to my rice milk.

What milk substitutes/brands so you all use and like?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Rainy morning and Tea

I am loving every minute of the storm outside and my tea in my favorite dragonfly mug. I get to head to work later this morning, so I am just going to relax and read my favorite blogs. I am drinking one of my new tea finds. It is called Tulsi tea. It is an herbal tea that is known for it's stress relieving and energizing powers. Most are decaf, but I think they have some fully caffienated. My favorites are Chai Masala and Vanilla Cream. Sometimes I have them alone or I mix them. I add a little rice milk for creaminess.

I also tried Hemp protein in my oatmeal this morning. Veggiegirl got me interested in the product. I got the plain flavor, but I am interested to try the vanilla spice for my oatmeal and for my shakes. It added a nice nutty flavor to my oatmeal and combined well with the cinnamon. I think next time I will add it before cooking because I think it may blend better into the oatmeal that way. I think I may want to try some Hemp Milk!
Question for everbody:
What is your favorite tea or coffee flavor?