Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Favorite Desserts!

Even if you are on a diet, life carries on. Holiday's happen! I figure the best time to diet is between Easter and the 4th of July. However, I lost my weight from September to December. Don't be fouled! I indulged! I took the entire week of Thanksgiving off. I mean Cheesecake Factory with no restraint! (Fish Taco's and Peanut Butter Cheesecake!) I also thoroughly enjoyed Christmas! I think what got me through was that I hadn't been depriving myself of sweets so when the holiday came I indulged but I didn't go crazy! (Don't get me wrong I have my days!) One day I ate an entire bag of miniature Kit Kat bars (it was a bag of about 30!) In the spirit of not being deprived and miserable, here are some of my favorite dessert recipes!

Oreo Truffles!!


Delicious and so easy! I found that a slotted spoon was very helpful when coating the balls with chocolate!

Brownie Caramel Cheesecake (This is actually my picture from when I made it!)


This was amazing! I was very nervous but it turned out great! I could not find individually wrapped caramels so I used ice cream topping and it worked beautifully! One tip- Give it time to cool in the fridge before eating. It will make it taste more like cheesecake!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Cake


This recipe is awesome! You can use any kind of ice cream and any kind of cookie! Huge hit at parties!

Magic Peanut Butter Middles


O my goodness! Seriously the best cookie I have ever made! But I do have a weakness for peanut butter. So soft and flavorful! I little time consuming to make but so worth it! They also stay good forever. I had one batch for 2 weeks and they were just as soft on day 14 as they were fresh out of the oven!

The Perfect Sugar Cookie


I have searched far and wide for the perfect sugar cookie and this one comes closer than any other. I love making sugar cookies because you can make then into any shape you want but I have always thought they didn't taste as good as other cookies. The secret ingredient in this recipe is sour cream. This completely turned me off at first but it made the cookie so soft and yummy!



Divine! So simple and cheap as the recipe calls for 7 ingredients total (only 4 for the actual cookie!) most of which many of us would have in the cupboard! Caution- It is very hard to tell when these cookies are done cooking because they are brown! Better to take them out a little early and leave them on the hot pan for a few minutes than to burn them! Also this recipe can be made differently by using different cake mixes! I haven't tried but I'm dying to taste these made with confetti cake!

My Diet Details

So I mentioned that my trick was to cook everyday but that still leaves 2 meals unaccounted for! So this is what has worked for me... I try to eat under 500 calories before dinner.

I usually wake up too late in the day to eat breakfast so I go straight for lunch but if I do wake up early then I eat a 100 calorie breakfast bar or 2 slices of **toast (likely buttered and sprinkled with sugar, the real stuff!)

For lunch I have a ham sandwich, made with light mayo or miracle whip and 50 cal/ slice bread. I also give myself a snack. I really like individually wrapped snacks because it prevents me from eating the whole box of crackers. But they are soooo EXPENSIVE! My trick: the dollar store! they have cracker sticks with cheese (70 calories/ pack!), vanilla oreo-ish cookies (150 calories/ pack) and all kinds of other individually wrapped treats which all come in boxes of about 6 packs for just 1 dollar! It is awesome! If I didn't eat breakfast then I usually let myself have 2 treats at lunch. I also found weight watchers brand lemon cakes at the dollar store the other day! they are to die for and only 80 calories each!

As I've mentioned, I cook what Larry and I will eat! 2 servings is 8 oz. of meat (4 oz. each), 1/2 cup uncooked rice (1/4 cup each) and 4 oz. of pasta (2 oz. each). it is amazing how much food this actually is! But we get our one serving and that is it!

I just have to finish the day with something sweet! I really like sugar free fudgesicle (I never know how to spell that!) There is a brand that are 40 calories each and will sell a box of 20 for around 3 dollars. My new obsession, however, is a bit less economical... it's the Skinny Cow brand! You get about 6 treats for 4 bucks on a good day but I can't resist! They are worth it! My favorites are the caramel truffle bar and the Caramel ice cream cone. The Caramel truffle bar is only 100 calories. It is like a caramel flavored fudgesicle drizzled with chocolate! It's divine!! The caramel ice cream cone is 150 calories and worth every one!! It is vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce on top in a cone which is lined in chocolate. And just when you think your done, there is an inch of solid chocolate in the bottom of the cone!

WARNING!!: After this sweet treat, the kitchen must be closed!

TOTAL Calories/ Day: 1000-1300

My favorite's from Allrecipes.com

Ham and Chicken Casserole
This Ham and Chicken Casserole is better than I expected! It will definitely be made again in the Burns house!
Broccoli Chicken Divan

What an incredible way to get veggies. (covered in cheese that is!!) This recipe was really good! And very low in calories! Even Larry really liked it! I served this with rice but I think it is great on its own too!
Mexican Stroganoff

I won't lie... this was not my favorite meal. However, Larry really enjoyed this! Larry is a picky eater so it's kind of a big deal when he likes something!
Southwestern Beef Skillet

This was very good! I left out the green beans and corn because of Larry (of course!).

Chinese Chicken Fried Rice
This is a regular in our house! It is easy and delicious! It's all about the black pepper in this recipe! This is also a pretty low calorie recipe. Again, I leave the veggies on the side. I served this at a dinner party and everyone loved it!


This site is a savior! It does everything! You can subscribe for free. Here are some of the things that this site does:

1) Let's you save recipes to your recipe box
2) Let's you change the portion size (and does all the math for you!)
3) Makes you a grocery list
4) Let's you read others reviews of recipes for tips

It's awesome! I am going to post some of the great recipes I have found there very soon!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tips for the Grocery Store

Tricks at the Grocery Store

1) The most expensive products at the store are placed at eye level. If your looking for the least expensive cheddar cracker but can only see cheese-its, try looking on the bottom or top shelf. Also, when you see a deal at the end of an isle, don't get it there! There could be a better deals if you walk down the actual isle! Another trick the sore will use is 10 for 10. Before you buy 10, make sure that the deal is only valid if you buy 10. If they are all $1 each, then maybe you only want to buy 5.

2) When beef or chicken are under $2 a pound, buy 5 pounds. When you get home, package them in bundles with the appropriate serving size. (i.e. if cooking for 2, make bundles 8 oz. (4 oz./ person) cooking for 4, make bundles of 16 oz.)

3) If your grocery store requires a club card to get the deals, sign up for it! It's amazing how much you save!

4) Going along with that, look at the weekly ads. They will give you a heads up and sometimes will have valuable coupons. For example if you have to have soda, like myself never buy a 2 liter for more than a dollar. Grocery stores will run deals like buy 5 or more for .99 each. So buy 5! It sure beats buying 3 for 1.89 each!

5) Plan ahead! I choose which meals I am going to prepare 2 weeks out. I make a list of all the necessary ingredients and then cross off the one's I already have. Also, when choosing meals to make, look at what ingredients you have which must be used. For example if you have hot dog buns which are almost to or are a few days after their freshness date, plan to make sloppy joe's using those buns.

Recipe #4: Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a Pumpkin


½ lb. 10% fat hamburger meat (beef) (240 cal/serving)

2 Tablespoons soy sauce (10 cal/serving)

1 Tablespoon brown sugar (15 cal/ serving)

1 ½ Teaspoons butter (20 cal/ serving)

2/3 cup uncooked white rice (200 calories/serving)

½ can cream of mushroom soup (65 cal/serving)

½ (4oz.) can mushrooms (drained), optional

¾ cup chopped celery, optional

½ cup chopped onion, optional

Cook rice. Sauté the celery and onion. Brown the meat, then add to vegetables and remaining ingredients in a glass baking dish or bowl. Option: Place in a hollowed pumpkin or just place in a casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 3 hours (if in pumpkin, cook until pumpkin is tender.) This recipe only takes about 45 minutes to bake if not in a pumpkin. I never do the vegetables because Larry doesn’t like then and it makes it easier. I serve it with corn bread.

Total calories per serving: 550

Recipe #3: Grandma Lloydine's Meatloaf

Grandma Lloydine’s Meat Loaf

1/3 egg (beaten) (15 cal/serving)
½ lb. 10% fat hamburger meat (beef) (240 cal/ 4oz. serving)
½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup oatmeal (50 cal/serving)
A dash of pepper
1/3 cup milk (15 cal/serving)

2 T +2 t Ketchup (15 cal/ T serving)
1 T +1 t brown sugar(25 cal/ serving)
2 medium (173 grams each) Baked Potatoes (160 calories each)

Mix all ingredients together and put into bread pan. Bake 1½ hours at 350 degrees. After it has cooked for ½ hour, top with the ketchup mixture. **Cooking time may be less because it is a third of the original recipe.

Total Calories per serving: 520

Recipe #2: Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole


8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (120 Calories/ 4 oz. serving)

2/3 cup uncooked white rice (200 calories/ 1/3 cup serving)

½ can cream of chicken soup (65 calories/ serving)

1 cup water

½ envelope onion soup mix

Mix together all ingredients (except the onion soup mix) in a 9x13 baking dish. Arrange the chicken pieces in the mixture so they are partially covered. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the top. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 2 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with steamed veggies or salad.

Total Calories per serving: 385

How To Use the Recipes

Each of the meals have been cut in size to be adequate for just 2 people. Each ingredient in the meals section should be carefully measured or weighed on a food scale. As soon as I buy my meat and chicken, I package them in 8 oz. bundles using freezer paper and stick them in the freezer. I usually buy about 4 lbs. of each at a time. This is enough for 8 bundles of each, that’s 16 meals! You should try to spend no more that $2/lb. The chicken won’t be trimmed at this price so I come home and trim of the fat and gross looking stuff. It is almost worth it to just spend the extra money to buy the trimmed chicken. I try to move the meat/chicken to the fridge to thaw a day or 2 before use but if that doesn’t get done you can thaw it in the microwave but make sure you cook immediately. Meat and chicken should not be thawed on the counter.

Next to the ingredient I listed the amount of calories per individual serving. Therefore, if you get a product that has less or more calories or you want to use less or more of that ingredient, you can change the total calorie count on your own without having to refigure all the ingredients. The total calories per serving are simply the total calories for the entire meal divided by 2. I do not take the time to measure the food in half after it is all cooked. I just do my best to split it in half. A lot of these recipes will call for ½ cans of products. It takes a bit of planning but if you take the time, you won’t need to waste the other half. Just throw it in the fridge and use it sometime in the next week. Cream of mushroom or chicken soup can also be frozen if you won’t be using them for a while.

Recipe #1: BBQ Chicken

Bar-B-Q Chicken


8 oz. skinless chicken breasts (120 Calories/ 4 oz. serving)

1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (160 Calories/ ½ cup serving)

2 medium (173 grams each) Baked Potatoes (160 calories each)


Place chicken in a baking dish. Pour BBQ sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until chicken is cooked through.

** I like to cook it on low in the crock pot all day (about 5 hours) and come home and put it on hamburger or hotdog buns (110 calories each). This makes a quick and easy meal!

Total Calories per serving with baked potato: 440

Total Calories per serving with 2 buns: 500