209 Calorie Pancakes

7 Apr

Don’t those just look scrumptious? I think they do, And they are, if that matters to anyone at all. These are a new favorite of mine for breakfast. It makes 3-5 pancakes (depending on how you pour) that are about five inches in diameter. The calorie total for just the pancakes is 209. When I added syrup and the strawberries it was only 271 calories total. An excellent number considering how good these are and how filling. 16 grams of protein, too! (From the eggs.)

Ingredients:

  • 2oz of 1/3 Fat Cream Cheese (or whatever you prefer)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar (or truvia/splenda/etc.)

 

Directions:

  • Get a non-stick pan hot and ready to go!
  • Blend together all of the ingredients. I actually used a blender for this- I found it to be easiest.
  • Pour onto the pan in small amounts. It will create a very thin pancake- much like a crêpe.
  • Cook as you would a regular pancake. Flip it when the bottom is brown. Then cook the other side.
  • Top with topping of your choice! For syrup, I like to put it in a small condiment dish and dip it, I use less syrup that way. Though I definitely suggest fruit. Strawberries are great. You can roll the pancake around a strawberry slice and it’s heavenly.

Baked Italian Kale Chips

30 Mar

So I have heard tons of people raving about how awesome Kale chips are. I know that a lot of my friends really like Kale and I’ve just never tried it. Before I went on my diet, I just didn’t eat a lot of fresh vegetables or fruits. But I’ve been working hard to branch out and to try new things- because you just never know when you might find something that you love!

That being said- I wouldn’t say that I love these chips. They’re good, for sure- but not as awesome as real potato chips. The more you eat, the better they taste. But I think that’s because I’m not familiar with the taste of kale and wasn’t really sure exactly what was going to come out when I made them. I think I expected a different taste. I’m going to try this over again with spinach leaves. Because I know I love spinach leaves.

At any rate- they’re low calorie. 105 calories for two cups of leaves plus what they are tossed in. I definitely suggest that anyone who is on a diet or who is trying to find alternative snacks give it a try. You might love it. I think I’ll learn to love them after I eat them more often.

You need a bunch of kale and some Italian dressing. I use Kraft Light Zesty Italian Dressing because it’s only 25 calories for two tablespoons of dressing. Pull the leaves off of the stems of the kale- I used about half the bunch. It is roughly two cups of leaves. Make sure they’re bite sized if you yank bigger leaves. Pour two-three tablespoons of the dressing in a bowl. Toss the leaves for an even coat. Bake at 300 degrees for about 15-20 minutes- or until the leaves are dry and crispy. Then devour!

Operation Sexy Update: Inches Lost

21 Feb

I’ve been on my weight loss journey now for just one week short of two months. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve already fallen off track once- for about two and a half weeks- while I had a cold and just got generally discouraged. But I got back on the horse, found out I had actually lost a half pound during this time, and kept on trucking.

Friday I hit 213lbs, meaning I had lost 10 pounds total. I was over the moon ecstatic about it! That first ten pounds means a lot to me, and even though it took me a long time to get it, I feel like I genuinely earned it. I’ve been losing weight doing it the old fashioned way. Counting calories in versus calories out. Going to the gym three to five times a week. Trying to make healthier choices in my lifestyle. Increasing my water intake. It’s not hard- but it’s long and it is tedious. It’s also been a huge help to have the aid of My Fitness Pal. Myself and a lot of my friends use it. (My username is MissBethea.)

On top of having lost ten pounds, I’ve also been losing inches! I took my first measurements on January 11, 2012. About two weeks into my weight loss.

Starting Figures
Waist: 44 Inches
Hips: 47 inches
Bust: 49.5

Current Figures
Waist: 42.5 Inches (loss of 1.5 inches)
Hips: 46 inches (loss of 1 inch)
Bust: 47.75 (loss of 1.75 inches)

I started doing Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred last week, too. I took Saturday and Sunday off, and today I started with Day 6. I took my measurements for this on Day 1 as well. I’ve already begun losing inches (even partial ones) in less than one week of doing this workout. (Which kicks my ass every time.)

30 Day Shred Losses
Waist: .5 inch
Hips: 0 inch
Bust: .25 inch
Waist @ Navel: 1 inch
Thigh: .5 inch

That is so insane! To think, one week of a work out has already made that much of a progress! It’s only been a 1lb loss since I started- but even so, one pound in a week is significant, especially considering that even though I’m not losing tons of pounds my measurements are obviously decreasing. (Except my hips! Oh well.)

Essentially- stay positive ladies and gents who are working out for your New Year’s Resolution. Because if you stay positive and work hard- you will see results. Only a loss of 5 pounds has already seen a total loss of 5.75 inches. (My starting weight was 223lbs, the day I took my first measurements I weighed 218lbs.)

Operation Sexy Update

20 Jan

As per usual I have been a busy bee. This week has been especially long and draining. But I wanted to drop in an update on my weight-loss progress since the new year. In the last three weeks I have lost about 6 to 7 pounds, which is really great. That’s about 2lbs a week, and is exactly the goal I have been shooting for.

But there are victories that have nothing to do with the scale. Like feeling better. Having more energy. Not needing to snack all of the time. Going to department stores, trying on cute dresses, and finding that they look good on you and that you can already see a difference in your body in roughly a month. Yeah, that last one definitely pertains to the picture on the left.

Sure, the dress is still a size 18. But that’s okay. Because it looks good on me. I would go so far as to say it looks great. (Yes, I know the Skeletoes kind of ruin the effect, but those are my favorite shoes!) I put it on and I looked in the mirror and I smiled. That is so ridiculously unusual!

This past week I have only been to the gym three times- maybe four. It was hell. I missed going. I felt fat. I felt unproductive. I felt like I was ruining a great habit and a good thing for myself. I intend to go tomorrow and pick back up going- like I said, it was a long and draining week and sometimes you just need some “me” time and time to hang out with your girlfriends and not worry about whether or not you’ve lost that extra half pound that you are so desperately trying to lose. I needed the break, and I feel better for it.

It’s not hard, really, to watch what you eat and go to the gym. It just takes some willpower and being able to power through “I don’t feel like it” days- which is willpower I lack sometimes.

But I definitely urge anyone and everyone out there trying to lose weight who needs some extra accountability (and loves social networking) to try out My Fitness Pal. You can set your own goals, track your food, and the app for iPods is even available offline to use. And the android app is awesome. And the actual website has message boards and status updates and friend requests- like Facebook for dieters.

My food diary is public, and my account is found as MissBethea. Click here to view my profile and click here to check out my food diary. You can do it. If I can do it- anybody can!

Butterscotch Carrot Cake Cupcakes

18 Jan

Butterscotch Carrot Cake Cupcakes

A change of pace for the readers! For Christmas I did some baking- it was the first year I had ever made something to take to the whole family. I am a huge fan of Carrot Cake, and decided to make some homemade carrot cake cupcakes. They turned out so ridiculously amazing! Both sides of the family loved them, and it was the very first time I have ever gotten homemade icing to turn out the right texture, consistency, and flavor. I even got to finally use my piping bag for the cupcakes. (I’m not so great at it, but all things come with time, right?)

The recipe is one which I have used before- featured on an old blog of mine, The Bakers Laboratory. I knew the cake was delicious when I made it, so I decided to go ahead and do it again- and just change the icing and bake it in cupcake tins instead of in a loaf pan. You should definitely give this recipe a try! Because it’s totally worth it and definitely the most delicious carrot cake I have ever had in my entire life.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together.
  3. Add eggs one at a time.
  4. Mix the butter/sugar/eggs until well combined.
  5. Mix together the carrots, spices, flour, and baking powder.
  6. Add the carrots/spices/flour/baking powder to the butter/eggs/sugar, slowly adding milk as you go.
  7. When all other ingredients are mixed, fold in the butterscotch chips.
  8. Spoon the batter into paper lined cupcake/muffin tins.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. (I know cupcakes generally only bake about 15 minutes, but these will take at least half an hour.)
  10. Remove from the tins and set on cooling rack.
  11. Re-paper your tins, and begin again!
  12. Should make around 1.5 dozen cupcakes for one batch.

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tablespoon of milk
  • some butterscotch chips

Frosting Directions:

  1. Cream butter and cheese together until well blended
  2. Add confectioners/powdered sugar slowly.
  3. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Beat on high for about two-three minutes, or until the frosting is thick.
  5. Taste the icing- if it needs more or less of something, add it!
  6. Mix in the tablespoon of milk.
  7. Frost cupcakes either with a knife or pack into piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes!
  8. After the cupcakes are frosted, put about 1/4 of a cup of butterscotch chips into a microwave safe bowl along with a splash of milk.
  9. Microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir. Continue to microwave/stir/add splashes of milk until the butterscotch is a thick liquid.
  10. Drizzle across tops of iced cupcakes with a spoon.

Striped Snake

11 Jan

Striped Snake for Dominique

So here is another of my Christmas projects! I made a striped snake for my friend Dominique. (She writes a couple of wordpress blogs, including: Screaming At The World, and The RPG Lady.) I asked her what she wanted, and she told me that she wanted a snake. I searched through a lot of patterns on Ravelry. It took a while to find one that I really liked- and I chose it because I adored the shape of the snake’s head. I settled on Striped Snake by Sarah Ann Thompson. I thought it was a lovely pattern and I knew I could the bright, obnoxious colors my friend and I both adored.

I used acrylic yarn- because I am poor and because I actually really like knitting with it. Standard Red Heart super savers. I didn’t edit the pattern on this one at all. Which is unusual. I typically change little things here or there to suit my personal knitting preferences and styles. But this pattern was just so lovely, perfect, and written in an incredibly easy to follow way. The only advice I really have is to be sure you carry your yarn over when you witch colors to make it more seamless and avoid any “gaps”. But that’s common sense for most people who knit a lot. The only other thing I did differently was needle size. I love size 6 DPNs for stuffed animals- and that’s what I use, almost exclusively. I also made him shorter than the pattern suggested, but he looks great.

More photos after the cut!
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Cthulhu Plushy

3 Jan

Another Christmas project I can finally post is the Cthulhu plushy which I knitted for Bob. I finished this ages ago- and I was so proud of it- but didn’t want to post it to ruin the surprise.

I used a pattern for his head. I used the Nautie pattern by Beth Skwarecki. I made a small edit. Instead of knitting two parts for the head- I simply kept going, making one solid head out of a single color. That way no parts were stitched together. Other than that, I followed the pattern. It’s a lot easier than it looks, thankfully. The I-Cord was a pain because I had never done it before and it took a while to get the hang of doing it. Because you have to knit a few rows for it to actually look likea cord.

Other than the head, this wasn’t simple. I kind of… made up the rest as I went. I didn’t write down a pattern for it (sorry about that!) because I didn’t intend to want to share it at that point. For the body I simply knitted something roughly peanut shaped.The arms and legs were simple stuffed tubes that I stitched to the body.

The wings I knitted flat. I would increase and decrease the number of stitches on a row to get the zig zagged edges of wings. Getting them to stand straight up was a little difficult- but easy to fix. I knitted I-Cord long enough to attach to the edges of the wings, and then stuffed a pipe cleaner down into the cords. Then I stitched them to the wings. And then they stood out straight!

I really love how this little guy turned out! Progress photos after the cut!

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