Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cooking with Christy #1

If you have known me for any period of time you would know that I am in love with Lisa Lillian aka Hungry Girl.
I first fell in love with her when I randomly bought her cookbook at a Bed Bath & Beyond.  I made her pumpkin caramel cupcake/muffin and was like 'WHERE HAS SHE BEEN ALL MY LIFE?"  and then I tried her Lettuce Cups - they were 10 times better than PF Changs.   
Everything she makes is low fat/calorie - and almost everything I've made from her cookbooks has been amazing!

So needless to say when I heard she was coming out with yet another cookbook - you know I HAD to buy it!  I have been trying different recipes the last 2 weeks and I thought I would share one with you :)

from Hungry Girl's 300 under 300 by Lisa Lillian
"The invention of oatmeal parfaits was a stroke of genius. This pumpkin pie version will leave you speechless" 

Per serving (entire recipe=1 serving)
292 Calories
7.25g fat
542mg sodium,
51g carbs,
7g fiber
7.5g sugars
7g protein

**(I made 4 servings at one time - so the pictures will show MUCH more than one serving)**

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze milk
1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 no-calorie sweetener packets (I used sugar)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
dash of salt

1 - 60 calorie sugar free vanilla pudding snack
1 sheet (4 crackers) low-fat honey graham crackers, roughly crushed (I used cinnamon grahams - and they were yummy!)
Optional Topping: fat free reddi-wip


Combine all ingredients for oatmeal in a small nonstick pot on the stove.


Mix Well.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
Stir often to prevent burning:
Cook for 9 minutes, stirring often, until somewhat thick and creamy (it will thicken more upon chilling) Allow to cool slightly. (Think Cake Mix - not Oatmeal at this point)
 Transfer to a bowl,
and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 1/2 hours.

To Make the Parfait:
Stir oatmeal throughly until uniform in texture.
Spoon half of the oatmeal into a tall glass, (I put it in a zip-lock bag so I wouldn't get the glass messed up - same for the pudding)
and top with half of the pudding snack
 and half of the crushed graham crackers.
Repeat with remaining oatmeal, pudding and crushed cracker.  

Top with reddi-wip, if you like and dig in!

My notes:
This recipe was REALLY good, and I got my hubby to eat oatmeal ;)  Like I said above I used sugar instead of sweetener.   I also made 4 servings at once - and stuck it in the freezer for 2 hours to chill it - if you were planning on putting it in the fridge and making multiple servings plan for more "chill" time.  My husband would have liked a more flavorful oatmeal - so I'm thinking next time adding more cinnamon, maybe some nutmeg.  Over all - VERY YUMMY!

Does anyone elses cookbooks look like this when you are done with a recipe? All of mine do!
(this was also the recipe/shopping trip that got me thinking about making all these things home-made, like pudding, whip cream etc...) 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Out with the Pre-Made in with the Home-Made

I am always striving to make meals from scratch - which I always thought that from "scratch" meant throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl/pan and making it yourself instead of using a boxed item. This included a can of soup, or taco mix etc... I don't know why it took me SO long to realize that why you are making it at home - it's not really "From Scratch" know what I mean?  Now please don't take this as I don't EVER use boxed items - because if you looked in my pantry right now you'll find some - they are nice to have on hand when I don't have time or energy to do all the prep-work ;)

So I've been searching for recipes to make my own mixes instead of buying them pre-made. Here are a few that I've found:

Alton Brown's Hot Chocolate Mix: This is simply amazing - SOOO much better than the little packets you buy in the store! And very simple to make!  I did find it was actually too rich for me - so I use about 1/2 of the mix that he suggests.

Taco Seasoning: I haven't tried this one yet since I have a few packets still in my cupboard - but I'm excited about trying it!

Macaroni & Cheese: This is FABULOUS!! SOO yummy!  Much better than the boxed version! (next I'll need to start making my own pasta!)

Fruit Snacks : Can I tell you I'm addicted to fruit snacks - 100% addicted. I LOVE them. But I know they aren't the best thing for me - so I went searching for a recipe and low and behold they look SO simple to make! I'm excited to try these at some point!

Crackers: Here is a basic cracker recipe - I haven't tried it yet. I've heard good and bad things about making your own crackers so I'm a little scared ;)

Cream of Chicken Soup: Another recipe I haven't tried yet. I am wondering if I were to make a HUGE batch of this - do you think I could can it, and use as needed?

Condensed Cream of ________ Soups: I am so excited to try this recipe - because I have been trying to get away from buying canned soups - the sodium content is SO high - plus I know EXACTLY what I'm putting in the soup!

Yogurt & Pudding: I Never even THOUGHT to make these by myself - crazy, they both look pretty easy!

Ranch Dressing : This one will be a hard switch since my husband and I ADORE Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing - anyone have a recipe that tastes the same as Hidden Valley?

Mustard, Ketchup & Mayonnaise (I wonder if I could exchange the safflower oil for coconut oil in the mayo??) 

Hamburger or Hot dog buns - anyone have a recipe that is light & fluffy like the store bought ones?

Evaporated Milk  & Sweetend Condensed milk : - I didn't know I COULD make my own!

I know I could go on and on with this list - but I'll stop here. I'd love to hear what types of things you have stopped buying pre-made! Please share your recipes!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Ok I feel horrible - I was supposed to announce the giveaway winner yesterday and well after a long weekend where I worked an expo for my Pampered Chef business, then church and going to see Beauty & the Beast on Sunday night (which was wonderful by the way!) and then on Monday I had a surprise root canal - not the best type of Surprise - that's for sure!  I totally forgot :(

But don't fret - I"m here now to announce the winner - by random drawing out of a bowl the winner is:

STEPHANIE B from "Happily Ever After"!! So email me your mailing address and I'll be mailing you all those fabulous Pampered Chef products!!!

Thanks to everyone who participated - I hope to do many more giveaways in the future!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Look What I got in the mail!!

GIVEAWAY Information here!!

A few weeks ago while reading a blog that I follow I fell in LOVE with the wreath that Summer posted. While there are directions on the blog on HOW to make the wreath - I just KNOW that mine would turn out hideous! So I hummed and hawed and got some birthday money and bought myself this lovely wreath from Sugar Money and YESTERDAY it arrived YAY!!! I took pictures so you can see my excitement and my new lovely wreath!

Of course I had to use my handy dandy i-slice to open my box (seriously this might be my favorite Pampered Chef product - at $3.75 EVERYONE can afford it ;) )
 Getting excited as I start to see it!!!
 The sweet note from the maker of the wreath:
 Isn't it lovely???
I Love the bird sitting on top of the flowers :) 
 Yes, I didn't consider the color of the front door when buying the wreath - but I'm still in love with it!

 Sadly - it won't be on my front door until after Easter - since I have this little cutie hanging there right now ;)

What's hanging on your front door?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What I'm reading

GIVEAWAY Information HERE!!

When I was a little girl I used to read ALL.THE.TIME - I would easily read an entire book in a day or less. But then I went to college, and reading became "homework" and not for "fun" anymore. And after college I read maybe 15 books. I just stopped reading - and I think that having a TV of my own - and actual channels to watch - got in the way of my imagination going wild in the pages of a book :)

THEN 9 years after I started college:

I joined a book club.  I wasn't really sure what to expect - but I thought I would give it a try :) And I fell in love with reading all over again. In 2009 I read 20 books and listened to 3 audio books. In 2010 I read 37 books and listened to 12 audio books. I have been keeping a list of all the books I'm reading - just because I like lists and its nice to keep track of what I'm doing - makes me feel better about myself ;) LOL  This year I have read 5 books (I'm so behind!) and am currently in the middle of several books - something I usually don't do.

A few of my "favorites" off of my "list":
Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt - by Beth Hoffman
Redeeming Love - by Francine Rivers
A Woman's Place - by Lynn Austin
The Help - by Kathryn Stockett
Eve's Daughters - Lynn Austin
Her Mother's Hope - by Francine Rivers
Her Daughters Dream - by Francine Rivers (the second book in the series)

So here is my current reading list - yes, I'm actively reading ALL of these :

1. Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin. I've actually been trying to finish this book for over 9 months. I read the first 3 in the series and flew through them. This one has been harder to read. Honestly I can't "recommend" these books - they were just ok.

2. Walking In the Will of God by Steve McVey - I started this book back in Nov 2010 and i just couldn't get into it - even though I was leading a BRAND NEW book club/meeting with some new friends - I later found out that I NEEDED to be reading it at a later time in my life - like moving to another state less than a year after you had just done the moving process.  It is a great book - I highly recommend it.

3. A Patient's Guide to PCOS by Walter Futterweit MD with George Ryan. - I was diagnosed with PCOS last fall. I was pretty sure I had it before then - it runs in my family.  So I'm trying to study up on it and see what I can do to help control the issue. I JUST started this book so I can't say yay or nay about it yet :)

4. Intimate Issues 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pinuts - This book was recommended to me from Mark Driscoll when hubby & I were watching "The Peasant Princess" (AMAZING for ANY married couple - a MUST for everyone!)  I haven't gotten into it too much yet - just the first few chapters.  I think I really want to do this more as a devotional type book - it has questions at the end of each chapter - but so far its good.

5. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah - this book was recommended to me by a friend that I went to church with when I was in Jr. High (Hi Beth!!) So far it's been pretty good - the story kinda "sucks" you into it. If you are easily offended by language this book might not be for you.

6. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown - My hubby and I went to the Library on Saturday to get a card and I saw this book on their "new books cart" and I thought - yes, that is a book I need to read. The tag line reads "See, we love each other, we just don't happen to like each other very much" (now this isn't the case for me - because right now amazingly enough, my sisters - Amanda, Heather & Leslie- and I are getting along! lol!) But I could relate - and lets be honest all sisters have a love/hate relationship at SOME POINT in their lives ;)  I started this book on Sunday while lying in a hammock outside on a GORGEOUS day :) I think it's going to be a hard book to read - especially if the mother's health keeps going downhill - but over all it's been pretty good so far.

What books are you reading right now? Anything I should check out?

Monday, April 4, 2011


Here is the first of many (I hope!) giveaways!

Unless you don't know me - you know that I am a Pamered Chef Consultant - and that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job! I get to sell some amazing kitchenware, and basically party for a living! (shhh...don't tell my husband!) So as a little shameless plug for my business I'm going to be giving away some fabulous Pampered Chef items!

Items shown above will be given away: 2 Help Whip Cancer shopping bags (you can't buy these anymore!), 1 easy opener, 2 (different) Season's best cookbooks and 1 Raspberry Habanaro Sauce (SO YUMMY!) 

DIRECTIONS TO ENTER: One entry for each of the following

1. Follow this blog  (Click either of the links to the left!)  - leave a comment saying that you did so
2. Go and like my Facebook Pampered Chef Site (as soon as I get 250 "likes" I'll be giving away our brand new food processor!!) - leave a comment saying that you did so
3. Invite your friends to like my Facebook Pampered Chef site (link above) 
4. Say something about this on YOUR blog or Facebook wall - come back and leave me a comment with the link so I can go look at it! 
5. Leave another comment below - compliments are always nice ;) LOL JUST KIDDING! (but not about the leaving a comment part)
6. Have a friend do all of the above - and then have your friend come back here and leave a comment with your name in it (You get an entry and your friend gets an entry!) 


Contest ends Next Monday April 11th at NOON - many will enter only ONE will win ;) 

Now go and Share people! LOL!