Getting Back on Track

No more procrastinating. I have to get back on track and get out of this funky mood I've been in for four months. I've been really busy and yet I feel like I haven't done anything constructive. You ever get in one of those moods where you are just mad or dislike everything? Food doesn't taste good, clothes don't feel good, bad hair days, bad face days, ya just want to crawl under and rock and sleep all day days. My two forms of entertainment lately have either been eating or sleeping. I'm one of those "emotional eaters". I get my feelings hurt....I eat. I get upset.....I eat. A celebration or a happy occassion......We EAT!!! Ugh!!! I spent the first five months of this year sweating and working my butt off and watching what I eat to loose 15 pounds. It only took two and a half to gain it all back!!! It's September 1st and I am making a vow that starting tomorrow I am going to get back on track and stay on track through the end of the year. Back to exercising, back to working out, back to eating healthy!!!! No more procrastinating! No more excuses! (although I did have some pretty good ones) Cracked my elbow, chipped my thumb, had my heart broken, and broke my toe. All of which were excuses to pig out or not work out.

Fortunately, most of those have healed and life will go on. I just need to stay focused and make healthy choices for myself, physically and emotionally. Now, check out this new cake recipe!!! Ha Ha!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Turtle Cake - August Sugar Block of the Month Club

1 tub (8 ounces) Cool Whip, do not thaw, divided
1 package devil's food cake mix
1 package (3.9 ounce) Jello Chocolate Instant Pudding
38 Kraft caramels
4 1/2 tsp water
6 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
5 ounces Baker's Semi Sweet Chocolate, divided
16 Vanilla Wafer
16 pecan halves

Spoon half the Cool Whip into bowl; refrigerate to thaw.  Return remaining Cool Whip to freezer.  Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 2, 9 inch round layers, adding dry pudding mix to cake mix before mixing with liquid ingredients.  Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes; invert onto wire racks.  Remove pans and cool cakes completely.
Meanwhile, microwave caramels and water in bowl on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Cool slightly.  Beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy.  Add caramel sauce; mix well.  Blend in thawed Cool Whip.  Place 1 cake layer on plate; spread with half the cream cheese mixture.  Cover with second cake layer; frost top with remaining cream cheese mixture.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Microwave frozen Cool Whip and 3 ounces chocolate in bowl for 3 minutes or until well blended, stirring after each minute.  Cool 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt remaining chocolate pieces as directed on package.  Dip half of each wafer in chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.  Top with nuts.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Spread Cool Whip mixture onto top of cake.  Garnish with wafers.  Keep refrigerated. 

This cake had a lot of step in it to make but it was pretty easy and looked very impressive when it was all said and done.  It had a good flavor although I don't care for cold cakes and because of all the Cool Whip, you have to keep it cool so it won't melt on you.  I made this for my Aggie's 26th birthday!  Where did the time go?

Here is the August Sugar Block of the month block.  I didn't make the real recipe that came with the block for this month.  It was a grilled banana.  It was just a sliced open banana with chocolate pieces added to it and wrapped in foil then grilled on the BBQ grill.  No Thank You!!!  So since I was making a birthday cake I decided to use the Turtle Cake recipe instead!  The quilt block is called Around The Campfire. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Berry Cobbler - July Sugar Block of the Month Club

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar plus a bit more for sprinkling
4 tbsp cornstarch
8 cups (3 pints) raspberries or blackberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.  Cut in the one stick of butter  (pieces) with a pastry cutter or a fork until flour and butter mixture looks crumbly.  Slowly pour in the cream and stir together with a wooden spoon until all is combined.  Shape dough into nine individual balls, slightly flattened.

Wisk together cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.  Pour berries in a large bowl and add the sugar mixture, stirring to coat the berries well.  Pour berries in a baking dish.  Top with the nine dough balls.  Brush some of the remaining cream over the dough balls and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

This was easy and delicious!!!  Loved it!  I used frozen blackberries and it came out perfect.  There is not much sugar but it was perfectly sweet!

Here is my block of the month, it's called Lime Sherbet.  (see the cones?!)

S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches - June Block of the Month Club

1 box regular graham crackers
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 bag large marshmallows
vanilla ice cream

Let ice cream set out for 15 minutes to soften, spread it into a rectangular cake pan.  (use 1 carton in a 9x9 pan)  Smooth out the ice cream then place back in the freezer to allow to harden.

Microwave your chocolate chips then stir in cream to create a thick chocolate sauce.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread out your marshmallows on it (1 per sandwich) and broil in the oven 2 or 3 minutes until golden brown.

Assemble your sandwiches by cutting a square of ice cream the size of half a graham cracker, then add a marshmallow, then a spoonful of chocolate sauce to help the top graham cracker stick on.  Serve immediately or place back in freezer for later.

Confession....I did not make this recipe this time.  I am not a huge fan of Smores and I really don't care for ice cream.  I'm sure these are delish but I'll let you be the judge. And here is my block for June, it's called "Home Sweet Home"  (see the houses?!!)

Toffee Trifle - May Block of the Month Club

1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix and all ingredients needed to bake the cake
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding
2 8oz tubs Cool Whip
1 cup toffee candy, chopped

Bake the cake mix into 2 9-inch rounds.  Remove from pans and allow to cool.  Mix chocolate pudding as directed on box.

Place one of the cake layers, cut into cubes, in the bottom of a clear trifle bowl.  Add a layer of half of the pudding, followed by 1 tub of Cool Whip and a layer of toffee candy.  Repeat with all 4 layers.  Chill before serving.

This dessert was very easy to make and would be great to take to a pot luck.  Chocolate lovers will thank you for it.  It makes a lot and is best if you eat it all on the first day.  No, not you by yourself, I mean serve it all on the same day!  It's not as good the next day because the cake gets a little soggy.  But if you think you can polish it off yourself, I won't tell anyone!

Here is my May Block.  It's called Signed, Sealed, Delivered.  (see the envelopes?!)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cugino's Chili Fixins' Mix - Eating From the Pantry/Freezer

1 package of Cugino's Chili Fixin's Mix (bought at Wal-Mart)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can chili beans
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups water
1-2 lb ground beef
(I had all of this on hand!)

Just follow the directions on the package.  So easy!                                                      It is good for 'quick' chili.  I've made others I like better but for a quick meal this one will do.

Eating From The Pantry/Freezer

Well folks, we are going to try something new for awhile.  The other day I cleaned out my refrigerator, pantry and freezer.  I filled up four trash bags full of trash!  Expired condiments, freezer burned meats, science projects, etc.  I had some limes in my fridge that were a whole different shade of green than the one they are suppose to be!  Yuck!  Anyway, it made me ashamed at ourselves for being so wasteful with food and the money we spent on it!!!  So here is what I decided, after seeing all of the canned goods, condiments,
sauces, frozen vegetables and meat that I have stocked up on, we are going to eat out of the pantry and freezer until we run out.  I may have to get creative but by goodness we are going to use up what we have before we buy more.  Which brings me to our first recipe.....

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken
4-6 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (can be frozen)
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix bbq sauce with all ingredients listed under it.  Place chicken in crockpot, pour sauce over chicken and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

This chicken looked and smelled great and was falling off the bone when I took it out to serve.  It was kind of dry for some reason.  It was better when you drizzled the sauce over it.  It made a lot of juices so I was kind of disappointed that the sauce didn't stick to it more and have more of a roasted flavor.  It was still pretty good, I think next time I will start watching it after 4 hours and maybe drain off some of the liquid.  I got this recipe off of Pinterest which I have become obsessed with "surfing" on for my own entertainment.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread - April Sugar Block of the Month Club

1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 medium size mashed bananas

Mix first 6 ingredients together then add,
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients well then pour into greased and floured loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Makes 2 loaves

This was a very easy recipe to make.  I don't usually make banana nut bread very often because the recipe that I normally use as several steps and it just frankly takes way to long to prepare.  I'm all about quick and easy.  Recipes....I'm talking recipes here!!! LOL

I like the chocolate chips in the banana nut bread.  I've never had it that way and the chocolate just helped make a good bread even better.  If you use dark chocolate chips, along with the bananas and nuts, why I think we can just call this a "healthy" bread.  We'll just pretend that the sugar doesn't count!  It's yummy....try this one, you'll like it!!!

And here is my April quilt block.  I waited until the last day of April to make it because it involved paper piecing and I am not a fan!!!  It was actually pretty easy compared to one I've done before.  It only took me 3 1/2 hours to do, LOL!  I think it turned out okay.  It's called Sunny Day.