Planes Fire & Rescue comes out next month as a follow-up to last year’s Planes. I thought the first one was really cute, so I’m sure this will be a fun one. To get you excited for the sequel, here is a fun, free printable that includes Planes-themed crafts, games, and recipes! Just click the image above to download the PDF.
I’m a big fan of scrambled eggs, because they’re quick, easy, and versatile. Over the weekend, I decided to whip a scramble using a carton of liquid egg whites that Jai had picked up. I usually add in a few “Extras” – whatever I have around – and since a jar of Dei Fratelli pasta sauce had shown up on my doorstep, I decided to add in a cup of that along with some carrots and seasonings!
Egg White Scramble
Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt over medium heat. While the pan warms up, peel, wash and chop the carrots, adding to the pan. Cover carrots with salt and seasoning as desired, and cook until browned. Add the pasta sauce, stir, then pour egg whites on top. Scramble the mixture until cooked thoroughly – you may wish to turn the heat up a notch after adding the eggs. Serve and enjoy!
Yield: 2 servings – 166 calories per serving.
The serving size for this assumes that it is being prepared as a side dish for two people. The calorie count doesn’t include the salt or seasoning, as I just put a dash in and wasn’t sure how to measure caloric count for a trace amount of seasoning. These could easily be omitted, however. With the carrots, sauce and coconut oil, this scramble had quite a sweet flavor to it!
This dish would be great for using up leftover pasta sauce after making spaghetti – in fact, this dish is a great way to use up all kinds of leftovers. The more veggies you add, the more you could bulk this up as a dish without adding a lot of calories.
“Pin it to Win it” Contest: If you’re looking for more tomato sauce recipes and want a chance at winning prizes from Dei Fratelli, then click here to check out their Pinterest contest running through May 31st.
Last year, I shared a recipe for Cocoa Coffee using Truvia Baking Blend. Now that we’re transitioning off Nutrisystem, I’ll be doing more baking again, so I was interested to try the Baking Blend in a muffin recipe as another way to streamline calories. I’ve spent the last week mulling over ideas for possible dessert/snack items I could bake ahead and freeze using what I have on hand. I liked the idea of a muffin, as it’s an easy, portable item good for brown bag lunches. I decided to modify a recipe I found on AllRecipes to better fit my dietary needs and what ingredients I had, and came up with these oatmeal-banana muffins:
Oatmeal Banana Muffins
Recipe adapted from “Easy Oatmeal Muffins” on AllRecipes.com
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup milk
1 cup all purpose flour
2 TBSP Truvia Baking Blend
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine oats and milk in a bowl and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Then add all remaining ingredients and blend together with a hand mixer until combined. Using a muffin pan with 12 liners, pour batter into each liner until it is two-thirds full. Place the pan into the oven and bake for around 30 minutes or until done.
Yield: 12 small muffins – 93 calories each
This was quite a simple recipe. I made two batches this afternoon – the first one was cooked at 425 degrees per the recipe I was adapting, but the muffins got a little overdone. Baking at 325 worked better, however both times the muffins really stuck to the liners. This seems to be an issue I have with muffins – maybe because of the moist ingredients? Or perhaps I should be greasing the paper liners? If you have any suggestions I’m all ears!
Despite that issue, they taste really yummy! I couldn’t taste a discrenable difference using the Truvia versus normal sugar – I find that sugar substitutes usually work quite well in baked goods, and they sure save a lot of calories. I determined that each muffin should be around 93 calories based on the ingredients; some items in my kitchen weren’t labeled with caloric information, so I did a lot of Googling to get an idea of the caloric content. I think these will be a great pre-portioned snack for us…assuming that they last long enough to make it in our lunch pails.
I always love trying new, easy dinners, so when Tandoor Chef offered to send me coupons good for a few free meals, I naturally said yes. How could Super Coupon Girl turn such an offer down, after all? Tandoor Chef make delicious-looking frozen meals from Chicken Curry to Lamb Vindaloo along with yummy appetizers and even breads. Everything looks super yummy, and since their store locator listed my local Fred Meyer location as a retailer, I sent Jai to the store to pick up some food. Sadly, we soon discovered that our Fred Meyer doesn’t actually carry Tandoor Chef products at the moment! (I’m sure anyone who lives in a smaller town can relate to this – it can be hard to find products sometimes!) Luckily, the coupons have a longer expiration date so I’ll save them for my next coupon road trip. But until then, I’m not entirely out of luck – Tandoor Chef also shared some delicious recipes with me for Curry Cheese Balls, Palak Paneer and more. The recipes are in a PDF file which you can click here to download, print out and try!
Breakfast would not be breakfast without coffee. My morning does not start, in my mind, until the coffee hits my cup! And like a wine sommelier, our friends over at Eight O’ Clock coffee have suggestions on which coffees to pair with each of your favorite meals. They recently sent me a complimentary bag of their Dark Italian Roast, which they told me is a great match for things like pancakes and waffles, since the deep flavor balances out all the sweetness. This makes a lot of sense, and now that I think about it, it does seem like the coffee I order with breakfasts at restaurants is usually strong – through I don’t know if this is because they have a coffee sommelier, or because it’s just cheaper to brew. I’ve been drinking the Dark Italian Roast all week, and I love it. Although I tend to be more of a “Flavored coffee” kind of girl, I love roasts like this because it’s strong, but smooth. The only reason I tend to stay away from really dark roasts is because they can sometimes be way too bitter. Not Eight O’ Clock Coffee though! And you better believe it went great with my Nutrisystem waffles!
They also shared tips on which roasts go best with other standard breakfast fare:
Oatmeal: Try a French Vanilla or Hazelnut brew on the side. You can also do a half and half mix of each to make a Hazelnut-Vanilla blend whose sweetness should compliment the less-sweet oatmeal.
Meat lover’s breakfast: Whether you’re noshing on sausage and eggs or a bacon biscuit, try a medium roast like Eight O Clock Coffee’s “Original” roast. You can even use some of the coffee in your pot to make a gravy for ham – click here for Paula Deen’s recipe!
What’s your favorite coffee/breakfast combo?
A little-known fact about Jai is that he is a distant relative of people who created Gorton’s fishsticks. Jai’s great-great grandmother was a member of the Gorton family; and her husband, Jai’s great-great grandfather, was a relative of Kaiser Willhelm, so they have quite the interesting family tree!
But I didn’t receive this cool Gorton’s spatula because I’m marrying into the family. No, I actually received this because I’m part of The Gorton’s Crew, a review panel for bloggers! They sent me a fun pack of kitchen items as well as coupons for Gorton’s products. We picked up a few bags of Fish Sandwich Fillets and I set about creating a salad:
Fish Fillet Salad
1 Gorton’s Fish Sandwich Fillet
1 head Iceberg lettuce
Balsamic salad dressing
Preparation: Chop lettuce and mix in a large bowl with carrots and onion to taste. Cook fish fillet according to directions, cut into slices and place on top of salad. Cover with dressing and serve.
This made for a tasty little salad, and the fillets were an easy snack to serve when I had company over helping me paint this week. Each fillet clocks in at 150 calories, and will soon be included in Gorton’s 20 at 200 line, a collection of products under 200 calories.
As part of our efforts to take care of ourselves and meet our fitness goals, Jai and I are continually trying new ways to increase our vegetable intake. Because our schedules are so exhausting, I’ve found that little things really make the difference when it comes to setting yourself up for success. Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken to making a big bowl of salad on Sunday, which Jai and I then portion out and eat with our dinners over the coming week. This helps so much at the end of an extremely long day at work and the gym!
Another helpful way to inspire veggie consumption is to mix it up and try new things, so I’m always thinking about what new additions I can toss into my next salad to make it extra tasty. Last week, I received a box of samples from Dei Fratelli, including a can of their diced tomatoes. Since canned tomatoes are a recommended grocery addition on our diet plan, this was a no-brainer for my next salad!
Quick & Tasty Salad For The Exhausted
1 head of iceberg lettuce
14 oz can of Dei Fratelli diced tomatoes
Preparation: Chop head of lettuce and cucumber into a large bowl. Peel & chop carrots, toss into bowl with other ingredients. Open can of tomatoes, draining if desired, and pour on top of salad. Cover and store in fridge. Serve with your favorite salad dressing.
Also in the box of samples was a jar of Dei Fratelli’s Arrabbiata pasta sauce. Since most of the food I eat is pre-prepared as part of my diet plan, I wouldn’t be getting an opportunity to use this anytime soon, so I gave it to my grandma to enjoy. She’s used to preparing all her sauce from scratch, so she thought it was great when I gave her this since it would save her time cooking. She told me she was looking forward to using it, saying, “Did you look at these ingredients? It looks so good!” Having convenient ingredients on hand really makes life easier – for both me, and for grandma!
Last Sunday, we invited our good friend Jeff over for dinner to celebrate his birthday. Jeff has been a very good friend of the family for close to two decades, so I thought it would be fun to do something special for this year’s dinner instead of the usual PBR and pork rinds. With a little help from my new favorite iced coffee, I created a delicious iced coffee cocktail and also tried my hand at cake pops for the very first time! You can click on any image in this post to view it full-size.
First, let’s talk about the beverages. I had recently made a trip to Walmart to pick up a few cartons of International Delight Light Iced Coffee, and I felt inspired to do a little mixology and create a delicious cocktail to serve at the party:
Creamy Coffee Cocktail Recipe
1 oz Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka
1 oz Irish Cream
2 oz International Delight Light Mocha Iced Coffee
Preparation: Place ice into a cocktail shaker and add the vodka, Irish cream, and International Delight Light Iced Coffee. Shake, pour into glass, and top with whipped cream and sprinkles as desired. Serves one.
These iced coffee cocktails are so yummy (If I do say so myself)! If you’re not a big fan of the way alcohol tastes, this is a great one to try. It’s very smooth drinking! The Light Iced Coffee has less sugar and 1/3 less calories than the regular International Delight Iced Coffee, clocking in at 100 calories per cup. The diet plan that Jai and I are following is all about moderation, so indulging every once in a while is acceptable – in fact, for me, it keeps me on track since I’m continuing to live life and not trying to lose weight in a vacuum. I wouldn’t even have noticed that this had less calories if the carton didn’t say so, because it’s so full of flavor!
Everyone knows that ordering iced coffee from a shop can get expensive – and this seems like a good time to point out that using it as a mixer for party drinks saves even MORE money since you’re not throwing money away at a bar! The last time I ordered a cocktail at a bar it was around $6 – I can buy two cartons of ID with that and use it to make many drinks for a party! So not only do we save money by staying home and save calories by not getting the full-fat coffee cocktails from a bar – we have more fun too, because we can relax and watch TV instead of shouting at each other over loud music!
Psst! You can save even MORE money by clicking here to print off a coupon good for .55 cents off your next half gallon of ID Light Iced Coffee!
Coffee & Cream Mocktail Recipe
1 oz vanilla syrup
2 oz International Delight Light Vanilla Iced Coffee
1 oz lemon-lime soda
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
Preparation: In a cocktail shaker, mix ice cream, soda, Iced Coffee and syrup. Shake vigorously and strain over an ice-filled glass. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles to taste. Serves one.
Any time I host a gathering where I’ll be serving alcohol, I make sure there is either a designated driver available or that my guest room is ready for guests to stay the night. Jai isn’t too big on the taste of alcohol, so he often chooses to skip drinking at parties, as he did this last weekend. Since he was the designated driver and giving our friend a ride home after the party was over, I thought it would be nice to make a special “Mocktail” just for him! I created this to mimic the cocktail that Jeff and I were drinking – originally, I had wanted to use hazelnut syrup as I thought it would work best with the ice cream to imitate the Irish cream, however I wasn’t able to get any so I used vanilla instead. This actually worked really well with the Vanilla Light Iced Coffee. This “Virgin cocktail” is oh-so-good – it reminds me a little of a root beer float!
How to Make Birthday Sprinkle Ice Cubes
To turn these into extra-special b-day cocktails, I made birthday cake sprinkles! It’s a very simple and fun way to jazz up any drink. Simply add a few sprinkles to the bottoms of your ice cube tray, then add water as normal and freeze.
And hey presto! You have fun birthday ice cubes.
More Birthday Fun: Carrot Cake Pops With a Coffee Glaze
It wouldn’t be a birthday without cake, and it’s tradition for me to bake a carrot cake on Jeff’s birthday since that’s his very favorite. This year, I decided to have some fun with it and make cake pops in addition to the regular cake. I started off by baking a carrot cake from scratch using a recipe in one of my vintage 1960s cookbooks. I baked the cake in a 9 x 12 pan, and once it was done, I cut it in half, crumbling one half in a bowl and putting the other half aside. Using this tutorial from Divas Can Cook as my guide, I added two spoonfuls of cream cheese frosting and mixed it with the cake, using an ice cream scooper to mold the final product and form cake balls on a tray. I then dipped lollipop sticks in white chocolate and inserted them in the center of each cake ball, refrigerating for 20 minutes.
I then melted a larger quantity of white chocolate with a splash of International Delight Light Iced Coffee, with the goal of creating a coffee-infused candy coating on my cake pops. After experimenting with several bowls of candy infused with coffee in the microwave, I ended up with a very thin coffee-chocolate glaze, which I ended up drizzling over the cake pops instead of dipping, adding sprinkles on top to tie in with my theme. It was tasty, but the cake pops themselves were very crumbly so they fell apart pretty quickly! I made the mistake of not adding very much frosting to the initial cake mixture, as it was a very moist cake and I feared from what I had read that too much frosting would be gross. It ended up not having enough frosting to really bind it together, as the cake pops fell apart any time I tried to dip them, even just in regular chocolate without anything added. They tasted good…they just didn’t look very pretty. Still, I ended up with a few cute cake pops using the coffee-chocolate drizzle mixture, which I stuck in a vase with a bouquet of flowers and accents to make a pretty centerpiece:
After my first-time foray into cake pops was complete, I frosted the other half of the cake with the rest of the cream cheese frosting, which I tinted purple and topped with these really fun curly candles. Jeff is an artist, so I wanted to whole tablescape to reflect his fun personality!
In addition to the cake, I also set out a spread of sandwiches and salad for dinner. We laughed, ate, and watched some funny TV shows – all in all, it was a great evening!
For more on International Delight Light Iced Coffee, click here to visit them on Facebook!
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and WhiteWave #CBias #SocialFabric #LightIcedCoffee
I have another decadent dessert coffee drink recipe to share with you, courtesy of Eight O’Clock Coffee! This one is just in time for serving with your Valentine’s Day candies:
1 rounded tbsp Eight O’Clock Coffee Original or Colombian Coffee per 6 oz cup (for brewing) OR
1 Eight O’Clock Coffee Original or Colombian Keurig® K-cup pack
2 chocolate covered cherry candies (such as Cella’s)
Whipped cream and maraschino cherry (optional)
Place the chocolate covered cherry candies at the bottom of the mug. Pour freshly brewed coffee from pot over candies, or, if using a Keurig® brewer, brew coffee over candies, and stir until chocolate has melted. Cream or milk is optional as this gets sweet and creamy all on its own. Top with whipped cream and a cherry for an added touch.
Eight O’Clock Colombian Coffee pairs very nicely with cherries – I received a complimentary bag along with this recipe so that I could prepare my own delicious drinks, and I opted to serve it with cream and sugar during my cupcake party last week. It was delicious with my cherry cupcakes! I’ve ordered big bags of this blend on Amazon in the past, because it’s often on sale for a good price, and I like how the flavor is rich but not so strong as to be overpowering – I like my coffee smooth, after all! I finished this latest bag in record time, and not just because I served it at a party; I just enjoy a lot of coffee myself!
For more yummy recipes, check out the Eight O’Clock Coffee Facebook page!
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Kraft Cool Whip. #CoolWhipFrosting #cbias #SocialFabric
Earlier in the week, I showed you photos of my new office, which we just finished renovating. 2013 marks ten years since we started renovating this house (!!), and in a few months we’ll have most of our major projects wrapped up. It feels so good complete these projects – having a proper office for my business has been in the cards for so long and got really delayed by my knee injury.
Now that I’ve closed this chapter, I wanted to celebrate and show off my pretty new room to everyone, so I decided to throw an “Open house” and invite friends and family over to check out our handiwork. For refreshments, I decided to serve cupcakes, since I’m famous for making them and thought it would go smashingly with afternoon coffee! And since I painted the room turquoise and pink, I’m clearly not afraid of color, so I thought it would be really fun to decorate the cupcakes to match my new room! I decided to make turquoise cupcakes to match the wall, and pink cupcakes to match the trim. To make the flavor match the color, I planned on making the cupcakes mint and cherry flavored, respectively. So I headed up to Walmart to pick up all the baking supplies for my project – for a full recap of my shopping trip and what I bought, click here to view my Google+ album.
For the first batch of cupcakes, I made Silver White Cake using a recipe from my favorite vintage 1969 cookbook. I added 1 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract to the original recipe and added blue food coloring with a dash of green to match the turquoise walls in my office. As you can see here, I mixed the cake next to the wall for color comparison!
Next, I popped open a tub of Cool Whip Frosting and added the food coloring to match the cupcakes. This was my first time trying this frosting, and it has a really nice, soft consistency for easy spreading. I usually make my frosting from scratch too so it’s really nice to save a step and just open a tub! Easy peasy!
For the cherry cupcakes, I made this Cake Boss Sponge Cake recipe. I was looking for a sponge cake that didn’t call for a lot of ingredients, and this one fit the bill. It turned out really nice – I substituted margarine for butter, and added red food coloring this time to match the pink trim in my office. I also poured off the syrup from a jar of Maraschino cherries, an old trick I’ve used to add flavor to cakes before. I poured out about 1/3 of the syrup in the jar because I wanted to make sure it had a nice flavor, but I think next time I might use a little less just because it does thin out the batter. The recipe didn’t advise how long to bake it for when making cupcakes, so I just guessed around 20 minutes – I can’t tell you the exact amount of time because I forgot to hit the button on my timer, doh! So, I just took them out when they were done.
Speaking of batter, here’s a little trick for spooning out runny cupcake batter: Try an ice cream scooper! It was still messy, but it was easier than using a spoon.
After the cherry cupcakes finished baking, I opened a second tub of Cool Whip Frosting, added food coloring until I got a nice pink shade, and decorated the cupcakes with the frosting and a cherry on top. Yum!
Once all the cupcakes were baked and decorated, it was party time! I set out a card table in the office with coffee, tea, and a platter of cupcakes. I also put cupcakes on the shelves and windowsills to match the paint – it looked so fun, like a candy shop!
Here I am, ready to serve cupcakes to my guests!
Between the way I swirled the frosting on the cupcakes and the color, they looked just like the texturing on the walls behind them! In fact, when the party was over and I was packing up the leftover cupcakes, I almost missed a few on the shelves because they blended in so well…ha!
My grandma and aunt Kim stopped by to check out the new room, and they were impressed with the decorating that I did in the room and cupcakes! Both the cake recipes tasted good with the flavor additions I made – both Jai and Kim said they were “The best cupcakes ever” at different times! My aunt also asked me where to find the Cool Whip Frosting because she liked it so well that she wanted to pick up some to use herself. We all liked the fact that the frosting was fluffy and had a nice flavor without being sickly sweet, like a lot of frostings are.
One of my friends missed the cupcake party because she was at school, but she was coming over for a movie later that night, so I decided to leave the cupcakes in the office so she could enjoy some when she got here. She enjoyed the cupcakes too, and I got this great photo of her using the cupcakes as goggles!
To learn more about Cool Whip Frosting, click here to visit them on Facebook! You can also print off a coupon for 75 cents off by clicking on the widget below. This saved me some cash when I was making my cupcakes!
Coupon printing help resource. MAC users, please use browser other than Chrome.