Monday, July 26, 2010

Cheesecake Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

Food for Laughter: Cheesecake Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

Thanks to this great post...I may have found a new favorite recipe!!!


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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Stuff!

This summer has been very busy and fun!
We moved into our home, and celebrated our birthdays! Its only been a month and the renovations are moving along just perfectly. Every day I am thankful for all we have.

Just thought I would share a glimpse of things we have been up to!

This was Spa day with my sister and Mama on my birthday! We got seaweed mud masks on our bodies and relaxed for the day! It was awesome!!

Ronnie getting ready to skydive! Feeling great!

Skydiving!!!



Happy 30th Rockn Ronnie!!
Thanks Michelle and the Kids!


Kim and I celebrating our birthdays!!




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Healthy Zucchini Bread

I have the best neighbor!  I have been getting fresh vegetables put on my patio from our rear neighbor! I got the largest zucchini ever, and thought I must make a fabulous bread. I never made zucchini bread before, so I looked up a few recipes and found this one.

Wow, this was awesome! I mean truly wicked!! I sub'd a bit....but that is typical for me!
You have to try this out, its worth the effort.

I brought over a loaf for my neighbor and he was floored! It felt to give something back. I love the boomerang effect of doing a good thing.

I found this recipe....thanks!!!

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/my-special-zucchini-bread-recipe-recipe.html

My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe



My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe

A time-saving tip: if you have a food processor with the grating attachment, use it to shred the zucchini. It will perfectly shred three zucchini in about five seconds. On the flour front, this recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, it lends a nice, tender crumb to the zucchini bread - feel free to swap in unbleached all-purpose flour if it is more convenient or happens to be your flour of choice. Also, this recipe calls for curry powder, I also did a delicious version with a Raz el Hanout spice blend from one of my favorite local spice blend producers, highly recommended! Just swap in 1 tablespoon of the Raz el Hanout in place of the curry powder.
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a few to sprinkle on top ( I sub'd with pecans and hulled pumpkin seeds) 
1/3 cup poppy seeds (optional)
zest of two lemons (optional)
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (I used earth balance)
1 cup sugar ( I sub'd with 1/2 cup of agave nectar)
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on, squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using  (I used 2 cups of grated zucchini and added 1 cup of grated carrots)
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour) (I sub'd with Spelt flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)
Special equipment: two 1 pound loaf pans (5 x 9 inches)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter the two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment "handles" and lift the zucchini bread right out.
In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.
In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).
In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.
By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalized ginger mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.
Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf. Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack. I like to under bake my zucchini bread ever so slightly to ensure it stays moist. Keep in mind it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling - if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.
Makes 2 loaves.



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Monday, July 12, 2010

Stinky Sweaty Gym Clothes

So after trying to mask my stinky gym clothes with scented laundry detergents and fabric softners I wondered why they still have that 'sweat' smell in them. I know I drench myself with sweat...but seriously, I  want a fresh outfit for the gym!

I just learned that by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your regular laundry load with your detergent will dramatically affect the performance! Its true!!


You have to try this!

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Many uses for Mayonnaise!!



I am all about trying new things....and this seems harmless. To be honest Mayo is not a standard item in my kitchen, so when I cam home tonight with a jar of natural organic mayonnaise, Ronnie got excited to think I was making his favorite egg salad sandwiches. Sorry to disappoint...but this is for my face and hair...The look on him was priceless!!!

Condition your hair

Hold the mayo... and massage it into your hair and scalp just as you would any fine conditioner! Cover your head with a shower cap, wait several minutes, and shampoo. The mayonnaise will moisturize your hair and give it a lustrous sheen.

Give yourself a facial


Why waste money on expensive creams when you can treat yourself to a soothing facial with whole-egg mayonnaise from your own refrigerator? Gently spread the mayonnaise over your face and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Then wipe it off and rinse with cool water. Your face will feel clean and smooth.


Strengthen your fingernails
To add some oomph to your fingernails, just plunge them into a bowl of mayonnaise every so often. Keep them bathed in the mayo for about 5 minutes and then wash with warm water.


Relieve sunburn pain
Did someone forget to put on sunscreen? To treat dry, sunburned skin, slather mayonnaise liberally over the affected area. The mayonnaise will relieve the pain and moisturize the skin.


Remove dead skin
Soften and remove dead skin from elbows and feet. Rub mayonnaise over the dry, rough tissue, leave it on for 10 minutes, and wipe it away with a damp cloth.


Safe way to kill head lice
Many dermatologists now recommend using mayonnaise to kill and remove head lice from kids instead of toxic prescription drugs and over-the-counter preparations. What's more, lice are becoming more resistant to such chemical treatments. To treat head lice with mayonnaise, massage a liberal amount of mayonnaise into the hair and scalp before bedtime. Cover with a shower cap to maximize the effect. Shampoo in the morning and then use a fine-tooth comb to remove any remaining lice and nits. To completely eradicate the infestation, repeat the treatment in 7-10 days.


Make plant leaves shiny
Professional florists use this trick to keep houseplant leaves shiny and clean. You can do the same thing at home. Just rub a little mayonnaise on the leaves with a paper towel, and they will stay bright and shiny for weeks and even months at a time.


Remove crayon marks
Did the kids leave crayon marks on your wood furniture? Here's a simple way to remove them that requires hardly any elbow grease: Simply rub some mayonnaise on the crayon marks and let it soak in for several minutes. Then wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth.


Clean piano keys
If the keys to your piano are starting to yellow, just tickle the ivories with a little mayonnaise applied with a soft cloth. Wait a few minutes, wipe with a damp cloth, and buff. The piano keys will look like new.


Remove bumper stickers
Time to get rid of that Nixon for President bumper sticker on your car? Instead of attacking it with a razor and risk scratching the bumper, rub some mayonnaise over the entire sticker. Let it sit for several minutes and wipe it off. The mayonnaise will dissolve the glue.


Get tar off your car
To get road tar or pine sap off your car with ease, slather some mayonnaise over the affected area, let it sit for several minutes, and wipe it away with a clean, soft rag.



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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fresh Mango Salsa | Clean Eating Club - Eating Clean for Health & Weight Loss

Thanks to the Clean Eating Club...I just found my new favorite Salsa. I love the fresh taste and the fact that its just so good for me!!




Fresh Mango Salsa

This Fresh Mango Salsa is great with any type of meat – lean beef, chicken, fish or pork, it adds a ton of flavor. I’ve also tried it with crab and it tastes great! It can also be eaten just as a side dish. If needed, this Mango Salsa can be made ahead of time, covered and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of hours as well. Be sure to use an airtight container.
Enjoy!
Ingredients:
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced into medium-sized chunks
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into medium-sized chunks
  • 1/2 of a red onion, diced
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped coarsely
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and ground pepper
Directions:
In a medium bowl, toss all ingredients together – mango, cucumber, onion, basil, and lime juice. Season with sea salt and ground pepper to liking.
Nutritional Info:
4 servings
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 106 | Fat: 7 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Potassium: 177 mg | Carbs: 12 g | Protein: 1 g
Fresh Mango Salsa | Clean Eating Club - Eating Clean for Health & Weight Loss

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Monday, July 5, 2010

I am OFF the cooler diet!

Maybe its the word diet....but I am just over the half way point in my day, and I have been obsessing about food all day...what I am going to eat...when....etc.

I baked some Turkey Scaloppine  and...well this is where I am border line vegetarian. I couldnt get down even a bite!!

Ok, all the stress of thinking about this, made me dip into chocolate frozen yogurt!!! I cheated already!! OMG!

Then I called Ronnie to confirm that I dont need to go on this strict diet, and he reminded me that I am fit, healthy and only had a cheat meal yesterday.

Continue on my healthy eat clean eating, just avoid the intense COOLER! Phew! I am happy again!!!

Not sure if its just me, but I guess I am not up for this challenge right now.

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DAY 1-Breakfast: Its time for ....Cooler 1 (Eat Clean Diet)

After eating way to much birthday cake, lasagna, and pizza yesterday....I decided it was time to challenge myself with a strict Cooler 1 Diet for 1 full week! 
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Cooler 1 Diet is in the Eat Clean Diet book by Tosca Reno. Its very specific and I dont eat alot of meat so I have to tweak it slightly....as long as I stick to the balancing of complex carbs and protein and eating 5 meals, I am golden!!


This is strict...and I can do it. I will post daily my food to keep me on track. If you have any advice or tips....please share, this might be a long week!!!


5:00AM WORKOUT


20 MIN-Cardio Blast on Eliptical Trainer, Level 16


60 MIN- Circuit Training, Full Body, Maximum intensity, skipping in between sets to keep my heart rate up


10 MIN- Abs and Lower Back


7:00AM 
MEAL 1 (MORNING START):






  • DRINK: Green Tea and a large bottle of water
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  • LEAN PROTEIN: 5 scrambled Egg Whites
  • OTHER ITEMS: with 2 Tablespoons of Organic Salsa
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  • COMPLEX CARB: 1/4 cup of Oatmeal 
  • SUPPLEMENT: with 1 Tablespoon of Organic Sprouted Flax seed,1 Tablespoon of Wheat Germ, 
  • OTHER ITEMS: Dash of Cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon of Agave Nectar and a splash of Almond Milk
***This was perfect!!! I am perfectly content and feel really good after eating this. Portion is key...and after my hard workout, this was what my body needed to replenish.



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Thursday, July 1, 2010

HAPPY CANADA DAY....ITS A Beach Day!


Ahhh...the summer weather is here and nothing like heading down to the cottage in Sherkston to enjoy a beach day!!  For some reason when we are at the beach, time stops. I just enjoy the sounds of the beach, the hot sun and of course a few refreshments to wash it all down!! :)

Just dont forget to put on your sunblock! I put my SPF 40 on...while Ronnie, well....he missed a few spots, and payed for it later!

Ok, how to pack your beach cooler the EAT CLEAN WAY??


  1. FRUIT SALAD: Well, I chopped up watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, strawberries, oranges, grapes and blueberries and put it in a large thermos. Added 100% Orange juice and Soda water for some fizz. Kept us well hydrated and was a sweet snack too!!
  2. VEGGIE SNACK:I also packed some raw veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery) to dip into some hummus.
  3. WATER: Lots of Water!! This is key to hydrate your body.
  4. SANDWICH: Natural Peanut Butter smothered on 2 pieces of Ezekiel Bread. I also added a small amount of Agave Nectar for my crazy sweet tooth!!
***NOTE: Try to avoid anything salty, as the sodium will dehydrate your body


 Ahhhhh.....
Even our little Harley enjoys this beach!!

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