Weight Watchers – Pros and Cons

Obviously, I decided to take a break from blogging. That break turned into an extended hiatus! So what have I been doing all this time? Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you know the answer to that – I’ve been “up in the gym, workin’ on my fitness” (queue Fergie) and following Weight Watchers to lose the extra fluff that tends to creep up, especially after age 40! I am also working as a school nurse, as a sub…so my hours are sporadic – which I like.

Since I follow so many other Weight Watchers on Instagram, I thought it might be a good idea to share my experience here on the blog. I would also like to do posts on tips & tricks for keeping points low, etc. But first, why am I even doing Weight Watchers? (and no, this is not a sponsored post.)

I started doing Weight Watchers because I felt fat. I started back in March 2016. I had put on extra weight and even though I wasn’t hugely overweight, I was definitely over my comfort level, my clothes didn’t fit, and I just plain didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. Therefore, I made up my mind to do something about it. *And that is THE BIGGEST STEP in weight loss (or anything for that matter), you have to make up your mind to make a change. You have to be determined to see it through. You have to put in the work. There are no shortcuts.

Since I had done Weight Watchers in the past, I knew it was a program that worked for me. I also knew that I should have a little bit easier time this go round because I have my hypothyroidism under control…which I didn’t before (and still managed to lose weight, albeit slowly)

I am not a meetings person, so I opted to do the program strictly online. This works for me, others may enjoy the interaction & support system you get in going to the meetings. So, on to my pros and cons –

PROS

(1) Easy to use app that is downloaded on my phone. It tells how many points you have for the day, it has a barcode scanner to see how many points are in packaged foods, it has an extensive list of foods & points available to look up if it doesn’t have a barcode, many restaurants are listed, and it tracks activity points.

(2) The WW app links up to my Garmin so my exercise/steps can automatically be configured to activity points. (You get points for activity & those points can be “traded in” for food. So, the more active you are, the more you can eat, and still lose weight. And let’s face it, if you are looking into Weight Watchers, it’s because you like to eat.) *hand raised* I love food. Hence, the food blog.

(3) It’s much easier to track with Weight Watchers than to calorie count (with programs like My Fitness Pal) because when counting calories, everything you put into your mouth needs to be tracked. With WW, I automatically know that all fresh fruits and vegetables are zero points (unless they are juiced or being put into a drink/smoothie). For example, if I eat a salad, I know that I only have to track things other than veggies – like cheese, meat, dressing, etc. If I were tracking calories, I would have to enter the lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, etc. I think it is also a mental thing of “I’m hungry and if I eat this apple/orange it won’t cost me any points” leading me to eat more fruits & veggies and make healthier choices.

*There are other “perks” to the app, like online recipes, a community to connect with others, and other resources that I do not utilize.

CONS

(1) It cost money. That is what kept me from joining a long time ago. It seemed silly to me to pay money to track what I ate, when I knew it could be done for free. I have actually used My Fitness Pal, and it works well, and it’s free. But as stated above, it’s just not as easy for me. What can I say…I’m a lazy tracker. It basically comes down to about $20 a month. However, I’ve decided that losing weight was well worth that. I always catch the promos too, so I’ve never had to pay a joining fee.

(2) Not everything is in the app. This isn’t really a big deal, but if you make a recipe from scratch, you have to add everything into the recipe builder and then it will tell you how many points per serving. Or if you go to a restaurant that isn’t in the app, you have to use your best judgment on points based on what you’re ordering. As I said, this isn’t a big deal really, it’s just time consuming to add everything for a recipe, but I don’t see any other way to do it.

So…how much weight have I lost? I lost almost 30 lbs! I started March 3, 2016 at 150 lbs. (I’m 5’2″). On August 19th, I reached my goal weight of 125 lbs. When I stopped tracking with WW on 10/7/16, I was at 122.4. Anddddd……then the holidays happened. And I ate all the cookies and drank all the egg nog. I rejoined WW on 1/2/17 at 132 lbs. Today I am 127 lbs. I could be less if I would eat sensible on the weekends, but I basically splurge all weekend. So it’s 2 steps forward and one step back. However, I’m basically happy maintaining at this point. The moral to this story is – you have to maintain calories in vs calories out, because fat cells have an excellent memory & it’s SO much easier to gain than it is to lose! It truly does have to be a lifestyle change or it will be a constant yo-yo. I know people like to see awesome transformation/before and after pics, but I don’t really have any. When I felt fat, pics got deleted! And a loss of 25 lbs isn’t nearly as dramatic as a 50 or 100 lb loss…but it’s all doable! I firmly believe that if you follow the program, it WILL work. Follow just about any program, and it will work…but is it sustainable? That’s the key. It must be something you can live with. Weight Watchers makes me much more conscious of my choices.

This is the best I could come up with for now. It feels so weird posting these too. My girls are constantly taking selfies & on Snapchat…it’s amazing the difference in the times! Kids today are so narcissistic…says the mom who posts flexing bicep pics on Instagram. hahaha

Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin {Crock-Pot}

Glaze makes everything better. Am I right? Brown sugar and balsamic vinegar reduce down to make a glaze that I want to pour on everything. I may have licked that spoon a couple of times too. With the pork loin prepared in the Crock Pot, it makes dinner super easy.

Balsamic Glaze

Please excuse the glare from my lovely fluorescent kitchen lighting. Gotta love a 1980’s kitchen. Yes, that’s sarcasm. And a post for another day. Actually, home renovation is (just) one of the reason’s I haven’t been blogging of late. We have slowly been doing some work on our house. We’ve had our windows replaced, we did some painting (a work in process) & have a couple more projects in the works.

Glazed Pork Lion

One of the other things keeping me from blogging is my kids’ schedules! They are crazy with spring sports! As much as I love them to participate, having 3 kids to get to three different practices has been running me ragged. Which is why I am so happy to have another crock pot recipe to add to my arsenal. I LOVE the convenience of a slow cooker!

Pork Loin w Balsamic Glaze

I let my pork loin cook in the crock pot during the day, then made up my glaze and added once the meat was finished cooking. I’ve seen other recipes do it different ways, but I like this method, because you get that nice thick glaze covering the pork.

Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin {Crock-Pot}

Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin {Crock-Pot}

Ingredients

  • 1 (2) lb boneless pork loin
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 c water
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast.
  2. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. When roast is almost done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens.
  5. Carefully remove pork loin from slow cooker and place on foil lined baking pan.
  6. Cover roast with glaze and place under broiler for a couple of minutes.
  7. Serve roast with the remaining glaze. (it's so good you will want to drizzle it on everything!)
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Recipe source: Just a Pinch

I’ve seen recipes using pork loin and pork tenderloin. Yes, they can be used interchangeably, but keep in mind that the tenderloin is more lean and will dry out quicker, so you may need to adjust your cook time. I also think pork turns out better cooked on low in the crockpot, as opposed to high.

What’s cooking at your house? Any home renovations going on? Talk about time consuming and costly! I’d love for the Property Brothers or some HGTV peeps come along and do it all for me! In the meantime, I will be looking for more things to glaze.

Also, if your family is suffering from seasonal allergies like mine, check out yesterday’s post for a giveaway of Pfizer Pediatric products!

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife, Life with Lorelai (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Pfizer Pediatric Products Review & Giveaway

The Pfizer Pediatric Platform products, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

I’m baaa-ack! I wanted to make sure to share with everyone this review of Pfizer Pediatric products and offer a giveaway to get you and your family through allergy & cold/flu season.

Pfizer Products

Yes, it’s that lovely time of year when allergy season overlaps with cold & flu season, reeking havoc on homes and school absenteeism everywhere. Yes, I am speaking from experience.

Health report from Weather Channel_Fotor

My son has a lot of allergies, along with asthma, so I often check the pollen levels in my area. The above picture comes from my Weather Channel app, and it’s updated daily. As you can see, the other day pollen was very high, and also cold & flu is still widespread. My son’s pediatrician said that due to the crazy weather, mild winter, etc. that we have been experiencing in our area, they are seeing an overlap in allergy symptoms and cold/flu. Fun times, I tell ya. The increasing pollen caused my son to have a flare up of nasal allergies, which resulted in an ear infection, along with an asthma flare-up.

Pfizer at Target

Thankfully, I have a well stocked medicine cabinet to help when symptoms occur. Children’s Advil®,(which is ibuprofen) is my go-to for fever & pain. I definitely like to keep it on hand for those middle of the night earaches (and my son also gets migraines, so I use it for that as well. I know…poor kid!) There’s also Infants’ Advil® White Grape,  that comes with a syringe for easy dosing for children 6-23 months. My oldest daughter just had to use the Children’s Robitussin® Cough & Chest Congestion this week for her cough & chest congestion. The daytime formula does not cause drowsiness, so she could take it before school, and even though she’s 15, let’s face it, children’s products taste better! (It’s for everyone age 6 and older) The above shown value pack comes with a daytime & nighttime formula. We haven’t had to use the Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough yet, but I am definitely keeping it handy. When you have 3 kids, you never know what is going to pop up…and usually spread through the house!

So if Sick just got real.™ (check out their Facebook page too) at your house, go to Target or Target.com for your pediatric products. 

Giveaway

On to the giveaway! Since I want you to be fully prepared for whatever comes your way this allergy/cold/flu season, Pfizer will send one Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader a prize pack with the above Pfizer Pediatric Products. All you need to do is complete one or more of the following from the Rafflecopter form (delivery to US residents only).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Slow-Cooker Hamburger Soup

There is something comforting about a nice, hot bowl of soup. Even better when it requires little prep time and can be ready & waiting for you at dinner. This hamburger soup is very hearty, and my version is pretty low carb (so my diabetic hubby can have a huge bowl – this is his favorite soup!) but feel free to add potatoes, corn, carrots, anything you like.

Crock Pot Hamburger Soup

The nice thing about this recipe is that you can use pre-cooked ground beef for a “hands off” meal, or you can add the hamburger raw, allowing it to cook in the broth, but you have to be available to stir and break up the beef as it cooks. You also need to use very lean ground beef for this method, or you will have greasy soup! I’ve made that mistake, so I’ve learned to start writing the fat content on my ground beef if I am freezing it raw. However, I prefer to cook large quantities of ground beef in the crock pot, then freeze in 2 pound portions so it’s ready for recipes like this.

Hamburger Soup

Slow-Cooker Hamburger Soup

Slow-Cooker Hamburger Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef*
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained (I like to use Delmonte Diced Tomatoes w/Green Peppers & Onions)
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) green beans (I drain one, and use the liquid from the other, depends on the amount of broth you like)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon crushed bay leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme (optional)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • *pre-cooked or raw. If adding raw beef, soup will need to be stirred & beef broken up as it cooks.

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to slow-cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Stir before serving, add additional salt & pepper as needed.
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I sometimes add carrots, but as stated earlier, feel free to add any veggies you like. It’s also good with rice. I usually have Cornbread Muffins or Copycat King’s Hawaiian Bread with it, because the kids and I still love our carbs! (This can also be made on the stove top, but it’s just so easy to let it simmer in the crock-pot all day!)
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife, Life with Lorelai (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Baked Sesame Chicken

My New Year’s Resolution was to publish a blog post at least 3 days a week. FAIL. But hey, I’m here today & I have a pretty easy dinner to share. If you know me through the blog or in real life, you know that I have three kids that keep me running constantly from one end of the county to the other with all their extracurriculars. Who has time to plan & execute elaborate meals? Not me. However, I still want to cook decent meals for my family, so quick & easy is where it’s at. Who’s with me?

Baked Sesame Chicken

I love Asian inspired food, as does my oldest daughter. I like making it at home because I can make it so much healthier than take-out. Plus, we have one local Chinese place…and it wasn’t very good the one time I’ve been. This Baked Sesame Chicken is fairly simple to make, just takes a few ingredients, and is baked instead of fried – which makes this a healthier (and less messy…I hate frying) option.

Baked Sesame Chicken

Baked Sesame Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (this was 8 thighs for me)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the ginger, garlic, soy, water, oil and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer.
  4. Place chicken in a baking dish and pour sauce over chicken.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, turn chicken, then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken has cooked through.
  6. *OPTIONAL: once chicken is done, you can baste with sauce and broil for a few minutes to give it a darker color and help caramelize the sauce. You can also thicken the sauce by adding cornstarch per directions on box and heating in a sauce pan.
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Recipe adapted from Friday is Cake Night

Even though I would have liked a nice thick sauce to add at the end, I didn’t want to use the sauce that the chicken cooked in because it contains so much chicken fat (thighs are fatty), but it is certainly an option (just thicken with cornstarch). I think next time I may reserve some of the sauce, thicken it, and baste it on, under the broiler at the very end. That would give it a sticky sauce, kind of like my Slow Cooked Sticky Chicken. The chicken has a good flavor & is good with rice or sesame noodles. We also had egg rolls, which I normally make from scratch, but these were super convenient!

What’s your favorite Chinese food? I want to try some other dishes at home. This Bourbon Chicken is one of my favorites!

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife, Life with Lorelai (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Meat Lover’s Pizza Dip

So, I heard there’s a big football game coming up pretty soon. And y’all know me, any excuse to make & eat party food. This pizza dip would be great for a Super Bowl party (or any party), for after school snacking, or you can go crazy and eat it for dinner (which is exactly what my husband did one night recently.) It can be a low-carb alternative to traditional pizza, depending on what you eat it with.

Meat Lovers Pizza Dip

You can also add whatever pizza toppings you like. I made this a ‘Meat Lover’s’ version, full of (turkey) pepperoni, seasoned ground beef, and bacon. Sausage and Canadian Bacon would have been good too.

Meatza Pizza Dip

This is a cheesy, creamy dip, that is good with tortilla chips, corn chips, pita chips, toasted French bread, bread sticks, and the list goes on. I wasn’t a big fan of the pretzels used in the above pic however. They turned a little soft & I didn’t like the texture. Of course, the dip is also good eaten with a spoon!

Pizza Dip

Meat Lover's Pizza Dip

Meat Lover's Pizza Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • 1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce, (or homemade)
  • 1/4-1/2 pound lean ground beef, cooked & crumbled (I added oregano, garlic powder & onion flakes while cooking)
  • Pepperoni (desired amount; turkey pepperoni is less fat/grease); divided
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Bacon pieces (desired amount)
  • Chips/bread/etc for dipping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, and garlic salt in a medium sized bowl until blended.
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into a 9 inch pie pan.
  4. Top cream cheese with pizza sauce.
  5. Sprinkle ground beef and a few pepperonis on top of sauce.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  7. Remove from oven and top with cheeses, additional pepperoni, and bacon pieces.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and pepperonis are beginning to crisp and brown.
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Recipe adapted from Belle of the Kitchen and my Pizza Casserole

As you can see, the amounts and ingredients are very versatile. Anything you like on pizza will probably work well in this dip. Feel free to add more or less meat, cheese, and spices.

Will you be watching the Super Bowl? Thought about what food you will be serving? That is the most important part, right?
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Truffle Fries

Truffle fries. WHERE have you been all my life?! I’m forty…something…and have just recently tried them. And I owe it all to Lay’s potato chips. Seriously! You know how they’ve chosen ideas from people and made limited quantities of that flavor chip…then people vote on their favorites and it gets added to the potato chip line? Well, you may or may not know that one of the flavors was West Coast Truffle Fries and I decided to try them. Honestly, I wasn’t all that impressed with the chip. However, it got me curious about the elusive truffle oil (ordinarily I avoid all things mushroom related) but decided this needed to go on my Foodie Bucket List. Do you have one? I know some of you do…I’m lookin’ at you Coastie Kitchen!

Truffle Fries

I’ve made these a couple of times, and somehow, this is my only picture. (I lost a bunch of pics when my previous computer died.) The picture looks better on InstagramI’m sure these are not restaurant quality truffle fries, nor do I have expensive truffle oil (mine is a blend that I got from TJ Maxx), but…it’s SO GOOD! I plan on making more this week!

Truffle Fries

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds russet potatoes, skins on (about 3 large or 5 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2-1 teaspoon of dried)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut potatoes into wedges (begin by cutting potatoes in half, the long way - continuing cutting into equal size wedges. You should get 6-12 depending on the size of the potato)
  3. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with the olive oil and one tablespoon of the truffle oil. Add salt and pepper, gently toss again.
  4. Lay wedges on a sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on wedge thickness).
  5. Turn wedges over and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until nicely browned and cooked through.
  6. Once done, place hot wedges back in large bowl and toss with remaining tablespoon of truffle oil, parsley and parmesan cheese.
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Recipe adapted from A Family Feast

Even though I will not eat mushrooms (truffles are a type of rare mushroom for those of you wondering why I keep referring to mushrooms), I am all about some truffle oil now!

Have you tried these before? Are you Team Mushroom?
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Vanilla Pound Cake with Cinnamon-Vanilla Cream Glaze

I know it’s taboo to post sugar the first week of the new year, with everyone on the diet train and all, but since it’s the SECOND week in January…I think we all deserve a treat for making it this far. Am I right, or am I right?! First, I have to admit that I’m am so not a vanilla person. I will choose chocolate every time. Or maybe lemon. But never vanilla. However, my daughter had a friend over recently and it was the little girl’s birthday. Me, being the awesome mom that I am (so says I), offered to bake a cake. The girl requested vanilla. I was like “huh?” She said she didn’t like chocolate. So I made her leave. Just kidding…but seriously?

Vanilla Cake with Glaze

Well, I may just be a vanilla convert. I never knew the quality of the vanilla would make such a difference. I mean, you usually only add a teaspoon or so to baked goods, so what’s the big deal right?

Nielsen Massey Mexican Vanilla

It makes a difference. Trust me! I was sent some Nielson-Massey Mexican Vanilla to sample and used it in this cake…it was so good! Granted, the predominant flavor of this cake, is in fact, vanilla. So it would make sense that a good quality extract would up the yumminess factor.

vanilla pound cake without glaze

The cake itself is lighter than a traditional pound cake, but still nicely dense. It has a good flavor and would be excellent with a chocolate ganache, lemon glaze, or pretty much anything you want to top it with. It’s even good plain!

Vanilla Pound Cake Pin

I decided I would go all-out vanilla, and added vanilla cream glaze, with a little cinnamon.

Vanilla Pound Cake with Cinnamon-Vanilla Cream Glaze

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (I used 2 T. vinegar, plus enough milk to make 1 1/3 cups; let sit for 5-10 mins.)
  • *GLAZE:
  • 1-2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
  • Enough cream (heavy cream or half and half; milk can also be used) to reach desired consistency. Start with a tablespoon and add teaspoons as needed. If it thins too much, add more powdered sugar.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium size bowl.
  3. Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla together in a mixing bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/2 the buttermilk to mixing bowl, stirring until incorporated. Add another 1/3 of flour & remaining buttermilk, stir. Add remaining flour. Stir until combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan to finish cooly.
  9. Allow to cool before glazing.
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Recipe Source: Cooking Light

So what are you…a chocolate or vanilla person? Or lemon, or strawberry….we can still be friends.

I was provided a sample of the Nielsen Massey vanilla mentioned in the post but was not compensated nor obligated to right about them. All thoughts expressed are my own. 

This Vanilla Pound Cake was featured at the Moonlight & Mason Jars Party, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, and chosen as a host favorite at Daily Dish Magazine!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage  Daily Dish Magazine

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Pocket Change GourmetNaptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

For those of you watching your carb intake, cauliflower can be used as a decent substitute for potatoes in some dishes. I say ‘decent’ because I don’t really like cauliflower but have been successful (and sometimes not so successful) in using it in the place of potatoes for a low carb side dish and my favorite way to eat it….as pizza crust!

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

For Thanksgiving, I knew my low-carbing, diabetic husband would have a lack of options for sides, since he would not be eating the awesome stuffing, or the potatoes. (I think we had rice too!) So I made this cauliflower casserole and included lots of cheese-y goodness, and bacon. Because we know bacon makes everything mo’betta.

Cauliflower Casserole

Did it taste like a loaded baked potato? No. It tasted like cooked cauliflower with cheese and bacon. However, it wasn’t bad for us non-cauliflower people and it was down right tasty to those who like it (aka my mom. The only one out of the 10 of us.) But, it gave my husband a low carb option, so my job was done.

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, boiled until soft*
  • 6 ounces Colby & Monterey Cheese Blend
  • 4 ounces Gouda (plus extra for topping)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 Tablespoons (or approx 1 1/2 ounces) chopped bacon (I used Oscar Mayer Selects Real Bacon Bits, no nitrates/ites added) Plus extra for topping, if desired.
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoons onion or garlic powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • *I boiled my cauliflower in chicken broth for extra flavor

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add cooked, drained cauliflower to large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is achieved (I left small chunks.)
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl, except for cheese and bacon that you will be topping the casserole with. Stir to combine. Add salt & pepper if desired.
  4. Place in a greased casserole dish (8 x 8, 9 x 9 or 2 quart), top with additional cheese and bacon. (I think French Fried Onions would be a good addition to.)
  5. Cover with foil and bake approximately 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake and additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.
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http://makinitmobetta.com/loaded-cauliflower-casserole/

Thanksgiving plate

This. This is how you do Thanksgiving. And this (in conjunction with cookies, fudge and egg nog) is why I need to be at the gym right now.

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife