Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Recipe Roundup!

Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays.  I love the decorations, the costumes, the trick-or-treating and of course the food :)  This post is dedicated to my top 5 favorite Halloween recipes.  Of course I could have done a lot more than 5, but only have time for 5 now.

5. Pizza Snake

4. Peanut Butter Pumpkins

3. Spiderweb Pancakes

2. Spider Taco Dip with Bat and Pumpkin Chips

1. Halloween Brownie Smores

As a bonus, a kid friendly nutritious Halloween snack that I made for my son to take to preschool for his Halloween party.  Anyone who knows me knows that my creativity is a so this was my shot at a bit of Halloween flair :)

Orange Jack-o-Laterns: 


22 navel oranges
22 Gummi worms
44 grapes (any color)
88 toothpicks

1. Place a toothpick through each grape and insert into oranges as eyes.
2. Place a toothpick through each end of a Gummi worm and insert into the orange as a smile.

Happy Halloween and Happy Eating! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Meal Planning Monday October 29, 2012

This week is going to be action packed with Halloween fun, so we may be eating a bit less healthy this week but I hope not!

Sidenote: I am using an image of one of this week's recipes (breakfast cookies) for this post because I am trying to come up with a new image for Meal Planning Monday.  

Monday: Whole Grain Pasta with Marinara Sauce

Tuesday: Catalina Chicken

Wednesday: Pizza Snake!

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Sunday: Crock Pot Ham

Dessert: Apple Cake (I plan to sub diet lemon lime pop for the butter and to sprinkle the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves before pouring the cake mix over the top.)

Breakfast: Breakfast Cookies

Kid Friendly Corner: Mummy Pizzas

Happy Halloween and Happy Eating! :)

Linked Up At:
No Ordinary Blog Hop

Friday, October 26, 2012

National Pumpkin Day!

Today is National Pumpkin Day!  Did anyone else know about this?  I didn't until I saw it on Facebook today, but once I knew I just had to write a post in honor of all thing pumpkin :)  Here are my top 10 favorite pumpkin recipes!

10. Pumpkin Puppy Chow

9.  Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

8. Pumpkin Magic Bars...these should be illegal! :)

7. Crustless Pumpkin Pie Bites (Weight Watchers friendly)

6. Pumpkin Coffee Creamer (I use 4 tablespoons pumpkin because I love it, but the recipe calls for 3)

5. Pumpkin French Toast Bake

4. Pumpkin Butter Sticky Buns

3. Pumpkin Spice Lattes (slow cooker)

2. Pumpkin Oat Cookies

1. Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins from Mommy's Kitchen

For an added bonus, here is how I make my own pumpkin puree in the slow cooker.  I just can not eat it out of a can anymore, it tastes SO much better fresh :)

Thanks for joining me in my pumpkin obsession haha!  Limiting this to 10 was not easy!  If you are interested in some of the many other pumpkin recipes I love that there just wasn't enough room to include, feel free to check out my Fall Recipes Pinterest board.

Happy National Pumpkin Day and Happy Eating! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Meal Planning Monday: October 22, 2012

Hope everyone had a great week!  Ours was a bit challenging with lack of sleep leading to not wanting to cook when I got home, so this week's meals are all slow cooker in the hopes of sticking to the plan!

Monday: Slow Cooker Garlic and Brown Sugar Chicken

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast (going to use pork chops because they are on sale this week)

Wednesday: Crock Pot Round Steak (may use a different type of steak depending on what I find on sale at the store today)

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Halloween Party!!!  Little A will be with his grandparents :) (Side Note: Look for a post full of Halloween recipes this week as I prep for one of my favorite holidays!)

Sunday: Leftovers and/or eating out

Desserts: Healthy Lemon Bars

Breakfasts: Breakfast Burritos (I plan to add some veggies to this to up the nutritional value - may also sub black beans for turkey sausage to keep protein and decrease cost.)

Kid Friendly Recipes: Pita Pizzas (whole wheat or gluten free pitas, low sugar sauce, turkey pepperoni)

Happy Eating! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free, low sugar, low fat)

So Little A has been asking to make chocolate chip cookies pretty much every day this week and I have been putting him off because I am trying to get back on track with Weight Watchers.  Today we went to the zoo and had a really great day and when he woke up from nap he asked again and I finally caved.  It may or may not have had something to do with my own chocolate craving today, but I'm not telling :)  The problem twas the guilt was still there over eating a full fat, full sugar cookie so I decided to try and make a healthy version.  I started with this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie .  Then I made a few modifications to cut the fat and processed sugar and ended up with this:


Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1. Grind oats in a coffee grinder (or food processor) to make oat flour and place in bowl.
2. Add in baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix.
3. Pour dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
4. Add in honey and applesauce and mix well.
5. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.  Since the fat and sugar in this recipe is low , you can add a few extra if you want :)
6. Bake at 375 for 6 minutes.  After baking, let stand on try for at least 5 minutes as the cookies will continue to bake. 

These were so delicious and definitely satisfied my cookie craving as well as Little A's.  The best part, they are only 1 WW points+ per cookie!

*I made these without nuts because I didn't have any in the house, but you could also add in 1/4c up your favorite type of chopped nut, dried fruit, or other mix in.*
*The cookies are a softer chocolate chip cookie, so if you are looking for crunchy texture, these are not going to satisfy your craving.*
*This is a small recipe recipe designed to satisfy a craving without a lot of cookies hanging around after.  You will only get 12-16 cookies from these measurements.*

Bonus Note:
**I recently stumbled upon a really useful recipe size converter that I thought I would share.  You should definitely check it out if you are ever in need of doubling or tripling, or in the case of cookies, quadrupling a recipe!

EDIT:  I made these again and wanted to double the recipe but was short on oats.  I used 1.5c whole wheat flour and 1.5c and they were even better!!

Linked up:
This post is linked up on Sunday School at Butter Believer

Friday, October 19, 2012

Slow Cooker Top 10!

So I've had several requests over the past few weeks from readers for a Top 10 type post of my favorite recipes.  Since I have SO MANY favorite recipes I decided to break it down by category and start with my most beloved type of recipe: Crock Pot!

10. Hawaiian Chicken

9. Beef Tacos

8. Mississippi Roast

7. Potato Soup

6. Cranberry Maple Oats

5. Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin

4. Apple Pie Breakfast

3. Cranberry Ribs (I omit the onion and vinegar)

2. Catalina Chicken

1. Chicken Tacos

Whew!  That was harder than I thought it was going to be!  If you read my blog at all, you have probably figured out that I am quite the fan of my Crock Pot and have made so many different things in it I almost couldn't choose...I guess that means there just may be another Crock Pot Top 10 in our future :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Meal Planning Monday October 15, 2012

Here is this week's meal plan, hope you enjoy!

Monday: Italian Turkey Sausage in the Slow Cooker (got a manager's special at Jewel this week so the package was only $3!)

Tuesday: Crock Pot Chicken Casserole (going to use 98% fat free soup, reduced fat cheddar cheese and 1/4c Smart Balance spread to reduce the fat)

Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos (this one repeats a lot in our meal plans because it is a favorite!)

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Eating out!

Sunday: Lemon Dill Salmon

Dessert: Weight Watchers Berry Cobbler (using yellow cake, mixed berries and diet cheery 7 Up)

Breakfasts: Whole Wheat Pancakes from SkinnyTaste

Kid Friendly Corner: Mini Banana Pancake Muffins from Once-a-Month Mom(minus the syrup in the recipe) served with blackberries from Jewel that were on sale 4 for $10!

Happy Eating! :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meal Planning Monday October 8, 2012

This week's menu is full of cold weather favorites for me because I am just not ready for fall yet!  The menu also has a lot of chicken in it because our local Jewel has all Perdue and Jewel brand chicken breasts, tenders and thighs buy 1 get 1 free so I went a little crazy :)

Monday: Forget About it Chicken  (I plan to make this in my slow cooker and use brown rice)

Tuesday: Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders and corn on the cob (another great sale at Jewel, .25 and ear!)

Wednesday: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches :)

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers for lunch before a family party that evening

Sunday: Slow Cooker Roast Beef 

Breakfast: Muffin Tin Omelets

Kid Friendly Corner: Lightened Up Mac and Cheese

Dessert:  Pumpkin Oat Cookies (low sugar, low fat)

Happy Eating! :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pumpkin Oat Cookies (Low Sugar, Low Fat)

Meet the inspiration for today's post:

In August I was lucky enough to win this beauty from Rachel Cooks through a giveaway she ran on her blog.  Since then I have been obsessed with using it!  Combine that with my current pumpkin fixation and you get cookies!! :)

Earlier today I was browsing my addiction, massive time suck, favorite place on the internet Pinterest looking for a good, healthy pumpkin cookie recipe and could not find anything that spoke to me.  So instead I decided to try my own.

You start with placing all your wet ingredients (pumpkin, honey, almond extract, egg) in a bowl and mixing well.

Then you mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl (oats, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt, baking powder, baking soda.)

Then place the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, followed by gradually adding the dry ingredients and mixing until you get something that looks like this.

Now I know it doesn't look like much right now, but trust me it tastes delicious!!

At this point you get to have a little fun, it's time for the mix ins!  I used 1/4c chopped pecans and 1/4c shredded unsweetened coconut, but you can use just about anything.  Some things I plan to try in the future are dried cranberries, raisin, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and almonds...that's all I can come up with right now :)

Next my little helper and I used our cookie scoop to place balls of dough on the baking sheet.  One thing to note at this point is that since there is no butter or oil in the cookies they will not spread when baking.  What means is they will come out of the oven looking exactly the same as the do going in, so if you want a flat cookie you need to flatten them a bit with a spoon before you bake them.

Then you bake and enjoy!  These smelled so good my sous chef was eating them hot off the baking sheet (he wears the shades to keep his star status in check haha)

I am having a hard time not eating them all myself!

Hope you like them as much as we do!  Happy Eating! :)

Pumpkin Oat Cookies (low fat, low sugar)

2c oats
1c white whole wheat flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
.5tsp ground cloves
.5tsp ground ginger
.5tsp ground nutmeg
.5tsp salt

2c pumpkin puree (I used fresh, but canned will work just don't use pumpkin pie mix)
.25c honey
1 egg
1tsp almond extract

Mix-ins: .25c chopped pecans, .25c shredded unsweetened coconut. other mix-ins of your choice

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the first 9 ingredients in a bowl.
Mix the next 4 ingredients in a separate bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Gradually add in the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer while mixing on low speed.
Once thoroughly mixed, add you mix-ins.  Then mix on low speed for an additional 30 seconds.
Scoop the dough onto a baking sheet (flatten the dough if you want flat cookies, it won't spread while baking!)
Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Makes ~24 cookies.

*Notes: These cookies are soft and chewy, not crunchy.  Because there is not butter or oil they will not get crispy no matter how long you bake them.  If you want a crunchy cookie you can try cutting out .5c of pumpkin and adding in .5c of a fat such as coconut oil or butter to add a bit of crunch to the cookie.

Linked up at: The Finer Things in Life
                   Make Ahead Meals for Mom  
                   Crazy Sweet Tuesdays with Crazy for Crust

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