Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Who Are You??

At some point over the past month visitor number 1,000,000 crossed over the threshold of this little blog of mine. Who are you??? I want to kiss you flat on the lips and thank you for making me feel so special.

Had I bothered to check my stats more frequently, I might have been able to at least pinpoint the exact date if not the time of this monumental occasion. And if I'd known you were coming, Mr. or Ms. 1,000,000, I'd have baked you a cake:

Or at least set out a plate of these cookies for you to enjoy during your visit:

At the very, very minimum, I could have at least held a giveaway for this Dove chocolate Easter bunny, which quite frankly is a moot point since it barely even made it out of the grocery bag before it hit my mouth. (At least I'm honest and I have sincere thoughts of love for you all, even though I'm filled with greed and selfishness.)

Thanks to all of you for stopping by so often during the last (almost) four years. Together, we've managed to raise nearly $1,000.00 for Gleaner's Food Bank. YEAH FOR US!

Please keep coming back. I may actually start to cook again.

love you lots...xoxox

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

He's TWO!!

I'm a little belated in this post, but here's a great big HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY TO GAVIN!

I wonder if his parents have checked how much the monthly insurance premiums are going to be for a 2-year-old male driving a red sports car. (He can't even qualify for the good student discount yet!)

He's definitely all about CARS. Every toy and clothing item was from the CARS movie and of course his birthday cake had a car theme also.

Lovely little family, eh? Oh how much I love them. And how blessed am I?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Muffins

Today I celebrated My-day Friday. For those of you who are not savvy to this little party of mine, fear not. It is new to me as well. I have been working so very diligently at losing weight that I promised myself if today was a good doctor's scale day, I'd get to eat any and all chocolate that I wanted to eat. Just for today. It's like Thirsty Thursday, except with chocolate instead of vodka.

It turns out that alcohol does indeed put on unwanted weight as well as possibly cause breast cancer. Of course, 35 years of smoking didn't do me any favors, and I'm fairly sure that running behind the mosquito-spraying truck all those times in my childhood couldn't have helped the cause either. Hey, I have NEVER claimed to be the smartest blonde on the bottle, have I?

We'll never know for certain what caused my breast cancer, but for now I've given up all alcohol. Toasting and getting toasted with tee many martoonies have been replaced by a hot and heavy romance with dark chocolate. I looked forward to today with an incredible passion. I may have even gotten so excited last night that I experienced a bit of premature choculation with a handful of chocolate chips, (it happens, I'm told) but I knew that they wouldn't show up on the scales today, and they didn't.

Six pounds lost. Suck on that Smirnoff! On with My-day Friday!!

Russell Stover, Kelly Rippa and I did a threeway today in the lazy boy with my computer and some frenzied slots playing on Facebook. I even enjoyed a few games of Bingo once the afterglow wore off.

Kelly could have cleaned herself up a bit better after the choco-fest, but life goes on, and once I read about all her "quirky" little marriage and weight secrets, I'll pass them along to y'all. OK?

For now, you'll have to settle for these delicious double chocolate oatmeal banana muffins. Decadent and good for you too!!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Muffins (makes two dozen)

1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I used Coach's Oats)
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line cupcake pans with paper liners and spray liners with cooking spray.

In a large heat proof bowl, combine the oats and boiling water. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the sour cream, milk, oil, bananas, eggs and vanilla into the oats mixture.

In a separate bowl whisk together the brown sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Combine well, but do not over mix.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Fill cupcake liners a little over 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 21-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes in pan before removing muffins to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day! (Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Pie)

I can't believe that Hallmark hasn't yet capitalized on this memorable day. I'm guessing they'd sell at least 3.14 cards. And yes, I'd probably be one of the buyers.

In honor of Pi Day, I'll leave you with my favorite pie recipe. (because Hallmark didn't care enough about you to send you the very best)

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Pie (from the Nestle website)

2 cups (about 22) finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Oreos)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanuts, coarsely chopped, divided
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chill mixing bowl and whisk.

Combine the cookie crumbs, 2 TBSPS of the sugar and the melted butter in a medium bowl. Press onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Heat 3/4 cup of the cream just to a boil. Remove from heat. Add 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of the peanuts. Stir until chocolate is melted. Spread chocolate mixture over bottom and up sides of pie shell. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.

Beat 1 cup of the cream in chilled mixer bowl to stiff peaks, adding vanilla extract one tablespoon at a time.

Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar in large mixer bowl for 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Gradually beat in peanut butter. Fold in whipped cream mixture. Spoon mixture into pie shell.

Combine remaining chocolate chips and remaining cream in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; knead. Microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut small hole in corner of bag; squeeze to drizzle over pie. Sprinkle with remaining peanuts. Freeze for 1 hour or until chocolate is set. Cover.

Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Laughcrying, New Aerobic Activity!

I've recently discovered a new physical and emotional outlet that I previously did not know existed. It's called the "laughcry" and it's different than what I'm thinking you're thinking that I'm thinking. (Hang with me and I'll pull it all together for you, I promise.)

I think I'm normal in that I cry when I'm sad; most people do. There are also times that I cry when I'm happy: weddings, newborn babies, when I'm eating French chocolate mints, etc. I'm even the queen of crying when I'm laughing, tears flowing freely down my cheeks while I'm rolling around on the floor, enjoying a real gut-busting funny.

However, until this little guy entered my life, I'd never experienced the laughcry in such a passionate and emotional manner.

When I saw this photo on my son's Facebook page last Sunday morning, I laughcried for at least an hour, fully emotional with love, humor and all that God has blessed me with since my grandson was born. It's so difficult for me to explain how thankful I am to have the wonderful children I have and how proud I am of them all. But those who produce offspring in my name are to be cherished and shall be called my favorites. (I think that's straight from the Bible folks.) So let's be getting on it Kellen and Molly, iff'n you want to be my favorites (in the biblical sense, of course.)

Laughcrying is aerobic. It is an intense calorie burner for me. Especially if I view this picture every hour.

I may reach my goal weight by midnight.