Sunday, January 6, 2013

Resolution Check-In & Recipes

Just shy of a week in and I am still committed (sort of) to my New Year's Resolutions.
  1. Calorie counting both in and out is going pretty well. I am down about 4 lbs since Tuesday but I am not getting all that excited because that is basically the same 4 lbs I gain/lose every time I start/stop tracking my calories. Once I get to 10-20 lbs down, I will be pretty jazzed.
  2. I haven't started adding in exercise unless you count taking Ella swimming. I can't say I failed in this area, I am just delayed. Monday (tomorrow) I will workout with the office crew at 5:00. (I swear Danielle.)
  3. Cooking more/Eating out less: I managed to pack all of my breakfasts and 2 of my 3 lunches. I mean come on, it was Friday. I think once a week is what I am going to allow myself. And we ate in all weekend (so far).
Actually, I did a huge shopping trip yesterday. Ran into Drew Lache again at Sam's (We really need to stop meeting each other like this.) But my kitchen is now totally armed with all kinds of stuff, plus Pinterest has tempted me with ideas, so I played this weekend and I thought I would share some of my latest discoveries.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

If you have been on Pinterest, you might have seen (or even pinned) the making cinnamon rolls on a waffle iron. I did. We tried it and I was terribly disappointed. It is a classic example of just because you can, doesn't mean you should. I prefer a soft, gooey cinnamon roll and baking them in a waffle iron (or at least my Belgian one) made them hard and even a bit crunchy.

But I happened to have a box of Krusteaz Crumb Cake. I was thinking about making some cinnamon muffins with it for breakfast and then wondered what it would be like in the waffle iron. But I was afraid it would stick and be a royal pain to clean so I thought I would try pancakes instead.

Thus was born my Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

I imagine you could use any Cinnamon Bread mix, but I had this one on hand. I mixed the batter like the box said with 1 egg and 2/3 cup of water but the batter was a little thick so I added about another 1/3. Then I added in the cinnamon/sugar packet right into the batter and stirred.

I had my griddle at 325-350˚, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and dropped the batter on the hot griddle just like any pancake. I will say these are a bit harder to flip so you want to make sure the edge has a nice firmness to it, quickly slide the spatula under the pan cake and give a quick flip.


These are so good you really don't need any syrup on them. Ella eats them like a cookie and it is less sticky that way. I made them at work in between the holidays and several of my co-workers said they were the best pancakes they had ever eaten. I really thought about keeping this secret to myself, but it is almost too good not to share. I have learned so much from Pinterest, this is my paying it forward contribution.

Skinny Vanilla Mocha Frappe

I saw this on Pinterest and wanted to give it a try. I am the only coffee drinker in my house and am always tossing a cup or two down the drain so I figured freezing it and blending it up with some milk was worth the effort. Typically my blender is buried in my cabinets but I also made the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (which I hope to post tomorrow) so it was out and assembled.

Here was the original pin. I tried it just like this, but then I tweaked it to my love of sweet and chocolate things.

For my version I froze about 3 cups of strongly brewed coffee. I will likely buy some ice cube trays to do this again in, but this time I had a GladWare container but then I had to dump the frozen coffee block into a plastic bag and slam it a few times on my concrete front porch to break it up for the blender.

Blend coffee cubes, 1 c milk, 3 tsp vanilla extract, 3 tsp unsweetened dark chocolate powder and 6 (I think) packets of Sweet-n-Low. Blend until smooth.

At Starbucks I go sans-the whip, but since these are essentially guilt-free, I topped mine with a little.

This made a blender full so I have about 2/3's of it back in the freezer but if I had company, I am sure it would be gone. 

So good.

The only downside is that now my hands are cold.


 

Mr. Potato Head Snow Man

We live in an area where we typically get more ice than snow but it never fails, every once in a while one of my girls wants to build a snowman and I am scrambling around the house trying to find embellishments. I think they had a kit and I wish I had bought one, but I didn't. Instead we have found that Mr. Potato Head is a great back up.

This one uses eyes, ears and tongue of a Potato Head. The nose is a cap off of Pam Cooking Spray from our recycling bin.



Anna made this guy years ago. He was about 4 inches tall but the first time we discovered how Mr. Potato Head can come in handy.




 


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