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102

15 May

Apparently I hit 100 posts yesterday and didn’t even notice.
I wish I had made some kind of fanfare, but I’m not really a fanfare kind of gal. I don’t like birthday cakes because of the singing, I can’t take compliments very well, and I panic when I’m the center of attention.

I’m growing as I’m shrinking, or at least trying to, so happy freaking 100th to me.
It’s a learning process, people!

Now onto the food!
Today was the first day of easing back into ‘normal’ life after a week off and also having my mom in town, so we were kind of all over the place. Thanks to Mom, I got to start off my day with an amazing, fresh Montreal pumpernickel bagel, half spread with Smart Balance with Flax and half spread with the greatest butter known to man, a.k.a almond butter. I’m absolutely addicted to the stuff, and so far, MaraNatha Natural is my drug of choice.

Went to the gym and did an awesome workout. It just felt nice to be back, youknowwhatimean? I never thought I’d say this, but man, not working out was killing me, along with Mr. Sickey. I can’t imagine how I never got into the gym before. Well, no, that’s a lie, I do know – I never wanted to get into the gym before. Amazing what just a few months can do, huh?

I was pretty hungry after the gym but was running off to an almost-forgotten doctor’s appointment, so I grabbed some almonds to tide me over for 55 calories. By the time we were done, Mom and I were in the mood for food! With the beautiful weather we’ve been having, fresh seafood seemed like the perfect choice so we headed over to Jewel City, a local gem.

I grabbed a few of Mom’s fried pickle chips and a clam strip. Fried food is definitely not the healthiest option, but it was nice to have to munch on – you’ve got to try a fried pickle once in your life!

I decided to live on the edge, so I got the daily special – SHARK! It was pretty darn good, perfectly grilled and really meaty. One of my favorite things about Jewel City is that they don’t add any animal products or grease to their vegetable sides, making them healthier and just as tasty! I had the fish (aside from a bite to the mom), a hush puppy, the collard greens and half of the potato salad, along with the juice from the lemon. Super satisfying, the entire meal comes in at about 583 calories.

For dinner, we were invited to the park for a grilled picnic by the show‘s staff. I was a little worried about what we’d be eating, but I shouldn’t have been! It was really nice to have so much fresh food available, and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

My plate, with jerk grilled chicken, a couple of whole wheat pita wedges, cilantro hummus, tabbouleh, fresh pineapple salsa, cucumber and red onion salad and grilled asparagus, zucchini, squash and red peppers. I wasn’t a fan of the tabbouleh or cucumber salad, but I ate everything else, aside from a small piece of chicken to Mom. It’s so much fun being able to share meat with her!

I also had dessert:
A little piece of angel food cake with fresh strawberries and (I’m assuming) Cool Whip. This wasn’t more than 3 or 4 bites, but it was the perfect size, and was so summery. Including dessert, dinner clocked in at about 452 calories.

That means the grand total for the day is 1358. I have a little wiggle room left, but since I’m not hungry, I won’t use it! I’m glad I avoided the healthy food trap – like so many others, I tend to overeat on ‘healthy’ foods. The healthier it is, the worse I get. I’m really proud of dinner especially; no bites off anyone’s plate, no nibbles on the side, and no seconds!

Do you fall into the trap? How do you deal with buffet-style meals?

P.S. check out Junghwa’s giveaway!

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WB Goodie Exchange, Part 2

28 Dec

Now onto what I sent to Julie!

I decided to send her an assortment of goodies that were each quite different from the others. Since her only request was No Fruitcake, I figured she and her husband were quite easy to please. I decided I’d send three of our family favourites that get gobbled up really quickly: Spice Cake Truffles, Banana Bread Biscotti and Walnut Wafers. Simple and easy to prepare (although a little time consuming), they all keep really well and would hold up in shipping. I also included some of our favourite Hickory Farms’ Melt-Away-Mints and a winter themed stationary set, which I hope she enjoys.

I got these goodie containers from Oriental Trading
they also come with covers for Halloween for dual usage.

spice cake truffles and Hickory Farms’ Melt-Away-Mints –
I love how festive they look together!


Spice Cake Truffles
adapted from a Bakerella recipe
makes between 35 and 50, depending on size of truffles rolled

  • 1 box of spice cake mix, prepared and baked as directed in a 9×13 pan and completely cooled
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting (I use between 1/2 and 3/4 of the can)
  • 2 packages of white chocolate bark (about 12 oz. worth)
  • wax or parchment paper
  1. Crumble cake in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly with frosting, starting with 1/2 the can and adding more as necessary – you want the mixture to easily form into a ball, but not be overly moist, mushy or sticky.
  3. Roll into quarter-sized balls and lay on a cookie sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper). Chill for several hours in the fridge, or for 30 minutes in the freezer.
  4. When cake balls are thoroughly chilled, remove from fridge/freezer, and melt bark as per package directions.
  5. Rolls balls in chocolate (use a spoon to dip and roll, tapping off the excess), and place on another sheet of parchment paper until firm (I firm mine up in the fridge).

left: banana bread biscotti
right: walnut wafers

Walnut Wafers
adapted from What Did You Eat?

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, shelled and chopped
  1. Line one regular loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans with plastic wrap (a regular loaf pan will give you quite large and fewer cookies, whereas a mini will give you more and small cookies).
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat the sugar and butter together with a mixer for about 4 minutes.
  3. Reduce speed, and add in the eggs and beat until creamy. Add in the flour in 3 additions.
  4. Press dough into the pan(s), and wrap well with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 2 hours, or as long as a month.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from the pan, and allow to soften slightly. Cut as many 1/8 inch slices as you can fit in your pan (about 8). Cover the remaining dough, and put back in the freezer until you’re ready to slice and bake more cookies.
  6. Place slices on a non-stick baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle each slice with walnuts, and bake until dark brown (about 8-10 minutes). Once finished, allow to fully cool on a wire rack.

Banana Bread Biscotti
adapted from Picky Palate

makes about 25 biscotti

  • 3/4 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bananas, egg, brown Splenda and vanilla in a large bowl; mix until combined.
  3. Place flour, white Splenda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cinnamon chips into a large bowl; mix to combine.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined.
  5. Divide dough into two even parts and place onto a lined baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Dust your hands with flour, and form each into 7 inch logs, about 2 inches wide.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, and remove from the oven. Reduce heat to 250 and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice biscotti into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal.
  7. Bake slices for an additional 25-35 minutes, or until crisped .

And just for fun…

the other half batch of the Spice Cake Truffles, ready to hit my stepmother-in-law’s birthday party – don’t you just love the sprinkles?

I’m sending the biscotti and wafers over to Joelen for this month’s Tasty Tools: Baking Sheet Pans!