I remember the days I could eat pretty much what ever I wanted and not gain weight, well those days are long gone. I am now over 50 and have gone thru menopause, which means that extra weight hangs on me like a toddler that is afraid of Santa Claus.
Part of it is my fault for 2016, I didn't eat that well and slacked off on exercising. Plus, we ate out often and every time we went by a Quick Trip I got a Cappuccino. Not only was this not healthy it isn't being money wise.
My husband and myself challenged ourselves to eat a healthy diet, lose some weight and save money during 2017. We are going from January 1st to February 14th, without eating out, eating ice cream, chips, candy and my favorite, a Cappuccino from Quick Trip. After, Valentine's Day we will eat out and buy a Cappuccino and then set another goal, probably April Fool's Day. This isn't easy when we both have a sweet tooth and I love to bake!
To help us with our goals purchased a used Elliptical, it takes up a lot of room but, I am determined to get on it at least 4-5 times a week. The good thing about this machine is, I can do it no matter the weather. I love to walk outside but, so many days the weather doesn't cooperate.
Keep moving is key when you are over 50 and the elliptical is easy on your joints, not my lungs or my thighs, both of those burn like fire!
I have been slowly learning more about Linda Melone and researching her site http://lindamelone.com/ I follow her on Facebook and have listened to a couple of her Web Cam posts. Any motivation helps.
Another goal is to unclutter and organize our home, we plan on moving in 3 years and I want to have Less to Move.
All of this goes with our theme of Less is More. I will share more on what and how I am accomplishing my goals.
What are your goals for 2017?
Our youngest child just graduated college. To celebrate the moment and the transition into our new role as parents, my husband and myself came up with this cocktail. We really aren't frequent drinkers but, we felt this accomplishment needed a celebration and recognition.
There is a lot of meaning going into this drink, as you can see it is colorful. The rim is dipped in salt or sugar, representing the tears you have during the years as a parent and a child. The red maraschino cherries represent the heart that we put into parenting. The green lime represents the money we have invested in our children. The orange and orange juice represents the color of Oklahoma State University, the college that all three of our children have a degree.
The Empty Nester Recipe:
Use a 2 cup glass, rub lime juice on lip and dip in salt or sugar. Put a couple of hands full of crushed ice in glass. Set Aside.
1 Tblsp Grenedine
2 Tblsp frozen orange juice, slightly thawed and right from the can
1 Tblsp Simple Syrup
2 oz Rum
Using a pint size canning jar (one with measurements on the side) Place first 4 ingredients in jar and shake until the orange juice has dissolved.
Add 7UP to 2 cup mark. Pour into your glass, garnish and enjoy!
Blog Parties: Made by You Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Full Plate Thursday,
Foodie Friday and Everything Else, Weekend Potluck, Thoughts of Home on Thursday,
It's time for a giveaway!
Let us help make your holiday meals extra special with our tried & true recipes, AND a $20 Sprouts gift card!! Perfect for any last minute items you need for Christmas dinner!
This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Sprouts, or any other company. Only open to US citizens/mailing addresses.
All three of us have enjoyed watching The Gilmore Girls TV Show, and are delighted that they are having a reunion! On November 25th, Netflix is debuting FOUR movie length episodes! Can you feel our excitment?!? If you are a fan of the show you have missed Rory, Lane, Emily, Luke and of course Sookie since the series ended.
So, in honor of the return we have planned a Gilmore worthy menu for your watch party-- so make our recipes, invite some friends over and enjoy the show!
First recipe is Casserole Gal Rhonda & her Snowball treats!
Lorelai loves snow and can even smell it coming. This cookie is shaped and looks like a snowball, it is a recipe my Mom made every Christmas growing up. They are delicate like a snowball, with a gentle roll in powder sugar.
7/8 cup softened butter
4 Tb powdered sugar plus 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Cups flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp water
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Mix butter, 4 Tb powdered sugar, flour. Add vanilla and water, mix well. Add pecans; mix. Dough will be crumbly. Roll in balls the size of walnuts, place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool completely and roll in powdered sugar.
Next is Casserole Gal Rachel with a perfect Gilmore inspired beverage!
Everybody knows how much Lorelai and Rory (especially Lorelai) love coffee. So I made Coffee Punch for Two. Although honestly, these are definitely Gilmore Girl sized portions of coffee. This recipe can be customized to however you want it, you can make the coffee as strong as you want, add as much ice cream as you want, add flavored syrup, whatever! I think this would definitely be a recipe that Lorelai and Rory would love!
20 oz strong coffee
1/2 cup milk
1 cup plus extra chocolate ice cream
1 cup plus extra vanilla ice cream
Once the coffee is brewed, pour it into a large pitcher and put it in the refrigerator. Once it is completely cold (this may take several hours), mix in the milk, then 1 cup each of both ice creams. You can add more or less of the ice cream. Let the coffee and ice cream mixture sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, drizzle a little chocolate syrup inside of two cups. Once the ice cream in the punch is good and melty, give it a stir and fill the cups about 3/4 of the way full. Top them off with more ice cream and chocolate syrup.
Our last recipe is from Casserole Gal Kristen - an anytime treat!
The Gilmore Girls love their pop tarts! And in true GG fashion, you can eat this pie morning, noon or night. With large cups of coffee, of course....
Pop Tart Pie
1 lb strawberries, rough chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 Tb cornstarch
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
First, start your filling - simmer the first 3 ingredients till strawberries are soft. Carefully spoon out 1/4 cup of the liquid and whisk in the cornstarch. Once all lumps are made smooth, pour the slurry back into your pot of strawberries. Simmer for just a few more minutes until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and cool completely before using in pie.
Next, make your crust! Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut butter into chunks and toss into the flour mixture. Using your hands, crumble the butter into pea sized pieces. Add cold water, 1 Tb at a time, mixing with your hands until crust comes together to form a soft ball.
I used a small Rachael Ray casserole dish, but you can use a pie pan, brownie pan, really any smaller shallow dish you want! Roll out dough and place in desired dish - press into the bottom and up the sides, at least two inches. Your sides need to be high enough to fold over the top later. Pour in cool filling and spread evenly. Roll remaining dough and cut to fit the top of the pie (I literally placed my casserole dish on top of my dough and cut around the base.). Carefully place on top of filling and fold over pie sides, pressing very carefully to seal the edges. Brush with the tiniest bit of water to heal seal edges if needed.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, then brush top with 1 egg white and back another 10 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
Let pie cool completely before icing. I used a simple powdered sugar based frosting - 1/4 cup pwd sugar & 2-3 Tb milk - to drizzle over the top before adding my pearl sprinkles.
Slice and Serve! This is delicious with whipped cream or ice cream. Or both. It can be made the day before too!
Thank you followers! We hope you enjoyed our party planning post - please share if you try our recipes, love Gilmore Girls & have your own watch party!!
For a main course make Casserole Kristen's Chicken and Dumpling Casserole. It was inspired from a Gilmore Girls episode.
I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week! I am definitely excited for the holidays. And with all the traveling that happens around the holidays, these Pecan Pie Bars are perfect. They taste delicious and travel really well. My husband had to travel a few hours for a family get together a while back and I made these for him to take. After they were baked and cooled, I cut them into bars and put them into aluminum pans with lids. He said they traveled well and everybody loved them!
Recipe (slightly modified from Rock Recipes)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into big chunks
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tblsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups halved pecans
Put 1 3/4 cups flour, sugar and butter in food processor. Process until it looks similar to cornmeal.
Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Line dish with foil or parchment paper and spray again. Pour flour mixture into prepared pan and press down. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
While the crust is baking, mix together the filling. Whisk together the brown sugar, 1/3 cup plus 1 Tblsp flour, eggs, salt and corn syrup. Let the mixture sit while the crust finishes baking, at least 5 minutes. Roughly chop the pecans.
As soon as the crust comes out of the oven, stir the pecans into the corn syrup mixture and then pour over the crust while it is still hot. Bake at 325 degrees until it is no longer jiggly and it is lightly browned on top. This took 40 minutes for me.
Let the bars cool to room temperature. Then place the bars in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to cut them into bars, carefully pull them out of the pan by lifting up the foil. Place the bars on a cutting board and cut into squares. Check that there is no foil stuck to the bottom of the bars before serving.
A few years ago Casserole Gals Rhonda and Kristen had a testing of Dipping Apples. We tried several different types of apples, candy, chocolate and caramel. We had a blast and our family enjoyed our experiments.
We used Gala, Braeburn, Honey Crisp, and Fugi apples.
How good does this look? We melted caramel, dipped the apple, stuck as many mini marshmallow to it as we could and drizzled it with milk chocolate.
We used crushed graham crackers after we dipped the apple in melted caramel, drizzled it with melted milk chocolate and add a gummy worm on top.
Crushed M & M's make this caramel dipped apple colorful and a very enjoyable treat.
If you love pecans you will love this one. Melted caramel, rough chopped pecans and melted milk chocolate.
We even experimented with white chocolate, sugar crystals and sprinkles. You can make them gluten free and easily be careful of any other allergies.
We used treat bags and ribbon to decorate our apples. These would make a very welcomed treat for your guests for the holidays, a birthday party or teacher gifts! This is a great project for older kids.
Let your imagination go, try different candies, maybe chopped candy bars, more than one flavor of melted chocolate, different colored cellophane, bows, ribbon, have fun!
The holiday season is coming and everything gets busy. We have several casseroles that can be made a day ahead or can be made and frozen. So after a full day of shopping, decorating, wrapping etc. warm up one of these casseroles and enjoy a home made meal.
Spaghetti Casserole has been a family favorite for several years. Prepare a simple salad and you have a wonderful meal.
Chicken and Dumpling Casserole, comfort food at it's best. Dish up a bowl and enjoy a warm meal on a chilly evening.
Chicken Enchiladas this is a recipe from Casserole Gal Rachel and she makes it every time Casserole Gal Rhonda visits, because it is one of her favorite meals. Something different from the turkey and ham meals we prepare for the holidays.
Lighter Lasagna is a great casserole to prepare during the holidays. It is a meal you don't have to fill guilty about.
Alfredo Chicken Pasta Casserole gives you a few vegetables and a great taste.
Don't forget about dessert! Finish your meal with a lucious Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake!
We hope you enjoy our casseroles and have a glorious holiday season!
This is a family favorite and it is on our table several times a year. It can be made a day before but, you better disguise it or people will be sneaking bites!
1 stick margarine
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans plus 3-4 Tblsp for topping
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large tub Cool Whip
1 large box instant chocolate pudding
Preheat oven 375 degrees
1st Layer: Put margarine in 9 x 13 casserole dish and place in oven to melt. It will only take a few minutes. Carefully add flour and 1/2 cup pecans. Mix and pat down evenly in dish bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool completely.
2nd Layer: Cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 cup Cool Whip. Spread on top of 1st Layer and refrigerate.
3rd Layer: Mix pudding according to pie recipe on box. Pour over 2nd Layer and refrigerate until, set.
4th Layer: Generously cover 3rd layer with Cool Whip and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
Don't these look scumptous Baked Meatball Sandwiches from Casserole Gal Kristen
I have been seeing a lot of black bean brownie recipes around the internet and I finally gave them a try! The flavor of these are really good, although the texture was still very bean-like. I think the next time I make these Black Bean Brownies, I will add chopped pecans and chocolate chips. I did find that these were best warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave and topped with chocolate ice cream and chocolate chips.
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter
Put everything in food processor and process until smooth. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Pour brownie batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
To celebrate the beginning of "Fall" we are having a Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive two handmade, original tea-towels and a set of pumpkin salt and pepper shakers. The salt and pepper shakers will look adorable on your Fall table and who doesn't love new tea-towels, especially when they are decorated for the season.
We will be sharing this with these Blog Parties:
Foodie Friday and Everything Else, Made by You Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Welcome Home Wednesday
Cooking everything in casserole dishes!
With busy lives & sometimes quick meals, we mom & daughters team are always looking for healthy, tasty & convenient dishes to serve our family. So, please join us as we share everything from appetizers to main dishes & desserts!