Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chicken Cranberry Waldorf Salad (recipe)

Tonight I made a Chicken Cranberry Waldorf Salad for dinner. It came out really good and was pretty easy to make. And it's healthy!

2 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks
1 cup of cranberries, chopped
1 cup of grapes, cut in half (I used seedless red grapes)
1 cup of celery, thinly sliced
1 red apple, chopped (I used a Pink Lady)
1/3 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar (I used the Ideal sugar blend)
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
8oz of low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used Stonyfield organic Oikos organic Greek  vanilla yogurt)

In a small bowl, blend the yogurt, cinnamon, and sugar. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and then blend in the yogurt mixture. I served this cold over a mixture of spring greens.

For dessert, I made Mock Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  This is NOT a healthy dessert recipe. But every now and then it won't hurt to have something fun.  I got the idea from Family Fun .  I thought it would be extra funny, because my husband HATES cheese. I'm ornery like that!

Pound cake  (I used an angel food cake loaf and it worked just fine)
White frosting
Yellow and Red food coloring

Slice the pound cake (or angel food cake loaf) into slices like bread. Toast them in the toaster oven. Then slice the toasted cake into triangles.(the angel food cake slices are very small so I skipped this step)  In a small bowl mix yellow and red food coloring into white frosting until it's the color of cheddar cheese. Spread the frosting on one slice of cake and then gently squish the top piece on to make the frosting ooze out the sides a little just like melted cheese.

I could have made my own frosting, but couldn't find organic coconut oil at our Walmart. So I just purchased a can of white frosting, which means I have a LOT of frosting left, since I didn't have to use much at all. Now I got to figure out what I'm going to do with it...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Neti Pot

    A few weeks ago I signed up on Facebook to receive a free sample SinuSense Neti Pot from Waterpik. It came in the mail yesterday, just in time, too.  I have horrible allergies, especially when I forget to take my allergy meds, and this weekend I was really feeling it. Although, I do feel better today, my sinuses were still a bit stuffy, so I decided to give it a try. I boiled water like it told me to and only put in half a packet of the saline mix, per a friend's suggestion, then let it cool to lukewarm. First, let me tell you, I HATE saline nose sprays. I also hate getting water in my nose, so I really wasn't sure how I would handle this. It wasn't THAT bad, but it wasn't pleasant either. I can't believe they recommend you do this on a daily regimen. Who does that? I do understand how it works, and it did help a lot, even though I couldn't do the whole thing.  I don't think I will do this regularly, but it's handy to keep in the medicine cabinet when I'm feeling congested. It's definitely a more natural option than medicine. I do give kudos to SinuSense for sending a GENEROUS free sample. Not only did I get a Neti Pot, but 60 saline packets along with it. It should last me quite some time.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap -update

     A few weeks ago, Brandon brought home a large bottle of the Dr. Bronner's magic soap in peppermint.  He knows that I am not fond of the tea tree scent and decided to surprise me.  It smells so wonderful!! I've used it in the shower and to wash my hair. It feels so clean and fresh. I definitely found my permanent body wash.  I still need to find a suitable conditioner to use with it. It cleans my hair well, but it's not as silky smooth as my favorite "toxic" shampoo and conditioner.

     I've blogged about the different uses before, but mentioned that I was afraid to use the tea tree soap to brush my teeth. However, I thought I'd give the peppermint a try.  I only needed a tiny amount.  The peppermint tasted good and it foamed up well, but the consistency isn't what I'm used to. It's the consistency of a thin liquid soap. It didn't taste soapy, but it did leave a strange taste afterward. I think I might play around with a few different toothpaste recipes until I find something I like. But you might like the Dr. Bronner's all on it's own.

     I also used it diluted in my Hoover steam vac to clean the kitchen floor. It cleaned very well and made the house smell fresh.  I put a cap full in a cleaner bottle of water and gave it to the kids. They loved using it to clean in the kitchen and bathroom. It even did a great job on the mirrors. I think I found a way to get them to clean more often. When I used it to clean up a pet stain on the carpet, I was pleasantly surprised. It not only got up the stain but the smell, too.  This stuff is AWESOME!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers (recipe)

     Last night, B.J. (my 13 year old chef-in-the-making) helped me make stuffed bell peppers. I remember a few years ago the kids hated all bell peppers, but now they actually like them, raw or cooked. For this recipe we used the Red, Yellow, and Orange peppers, but you can use green.  I think they turned out very good and the hubby and kids loved them! 


·      6 bell peppers (any color), tops cut away and seeds removed (I used Red, Yellow, and Orange)
·     2 tablespoons coconut oil
·     1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
·     1/2 cup finely chopped bell peppers (I used the tops with the stem removed)
·     1 lb lean ground turkey
·     1 tablespoon minced garlic
·     1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
·      3/4 teaspoon salt
·     1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
·     Pinch red pepper flakes
·     2 cups cooked long grain brown rice (prepare this before anything else)
·     8 ounces can Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies with juices
·     Water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and chopped bell peppers and cook, stirring until soft, about 3 minutes. Add ground turkey, garlic, parsley, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook until the meat is browned, about 6 minutes. Add the rice and Rotel diced tomatoes with juices and stir well. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep. Stuff the bell peppers with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Diet update: Week 5

     On Monday, I celebrated my birthday by taking all the kids to CherryBerry after school.  They even had Birthday Cake flavored frozen yogurt.  I have to confess, I did add some not-so-good-for-me-but-oh-so-yummy toppings. =) I also must confess that I've eaten some other things this week that I really shouldn't have, and of course the scale shows it. Instead of losing weight this week, I have gained 1.5 lbs. Interestingly though, I have dropped 3 inches off my waistline since I started my diet. I personally don't see that big of a change in myself when I look in the mirror and I haven't lost enough weight to drop down a size in my clothes yet. My pants do fit a bit looser and shirts seem baggier on me though. I guess that's good.

    Another confession: I'm not very good at keeping an exercise regimen. It's not that I don't like my Wii Fit or my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, because I love them. A LOT! I do feel good after I have exercised and feel proud of myself for accomplishing something. I guess I'm too much of a procrastinator and before I know it, the day is over and I've not done what I should be doing. I'm full of excuses, but in my defense, I am usually very busy. Some of you know that I run a small Christian private school from my home and that takes up the majority of my day. By the end of the school day, I tend to feel exhausted. This week has been extra rough, because my kids had to go to another school to take their standardized testing and they had to be there at 8 am. On Tuesday I even volunteered for a few hours before I had to get Brandon to work. On Wednesday he had to be at work much earlier. I really felt like a taxi driver this week. We are used to starting school that early, but don't require as much time to get ready in the morning because they only have to walk out into the living room.  Our days this week began much earlier than normal and because I'm a night owl, I stay up way too late and get little sleep throughout the night. I could probably go to bed much earlier than I have been, but I find it difficult to fall asleep without my husband next to me, and he's still wide awake when I'm ready to conk.

   I did get some exercise in this week, though. On my birthday, we also stopped at Lowe's because my husband was shopping for a new lawn mower and we went through the garden area and picked out a few tomato plants for this year's organic garden project as well as some boxwoods to plant in the front yard.  On Tuesday, after I picked up the kids from the other school and had our lunch, we got started working in the front yard preparing a bed for the new bushes. I insisted on minimizing the possibility of weeds, so I dug up the grass and much of the dirt, which is mostly clay. B.J. did all the lifting as I dug and made a huge pile on the porch.  What a mess! After about an hour of digging, my friend down the street sent her 3 boys and their neighborhood friend over to help out.  I think they were so very excited to play in the dirt and thought it was amazing that much of it was clay. They diligently separated clay out of the dirt for about 2 hours, so I let them take some home with them. The girls mostly played in the sandbox while the boys and I worked until they gave up and went inside. To my surprise, they actually went inside and made glasses of ice water for all of us. It was really sweet. After 3 hours in the sun, even though it wasn't that hot out, I was burnt and sore from all the digging.

    Brandon worked the early shift on Wednesday and after I picked him up from work we went back to Lowe's to purchase the lawnmower he had decided on, as well as some top soil and edging for my garden bed. When we got home, we put together the mower and he mowed the front lawn while put down the top soil, a fabric weed block liner, and dug holes to plant my bushes. By that time it was already dark out, so Brandon helped me with the edging and finishing it off with the mulch.  It's amazing what 5 little bushes can do for curb appeal.  Someday they will grow into a nice hedge. I still plan to do some more to the garden bed, but was so thankful to get that finished in time for my party the next day.

   Thursday evening I played hostess for a Lilla Rose party. My good friend, Kim, just started selling these beautiful hair pretties and I thought I'd help her out by having a party. Why not? I'll even get free product out of the deal. Several of my friends showed up and brought their beautiful daughters with them. I think the girls had so much fun trying out hair styles with her hair clips and hair sticks and I had fun playing with their hair. The party turned out really well, and I'll probably post some pics of my daughter and I with our new hair pretties when we get them.

    Friday evening our church put on a ladies event called Romance, and we had Lisa Young as our guest speaker. The message was awesome and I'm so grateful to my friend, Valerie, for picking me up and taking me home so I wouldn't miss out on all the fun, and to Kim for offering to watch my kids, so I wouldn't have to leave them home alone.

     As you can see, I've been busy EVERY day this week. So maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself for not exercising. I just wish I had remembered to take my allergy meds each night before bed, because this morning my allergies really kicked my butt. Today, I sat around in my P.J.'s all day with a stuffy nose, sinus headache, sore throat and feeling a little sorry for myself. I don't feel like I've accomplished much, but I did manage to do some extensive research online for a Christian art program that I want to use in my school next school  year. I hope they will be at the OCHEC convention later this month. Oh, and I did manage to get this blog posted. =)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup & Grilled Provolone Sandwiches

   B.J. (my 13 yr old son) and I made homemade tomato basil soup and grilled provolone sandwiches for dinner tonight. I found this recipe online (I can't remember where) and had to try it. I'm so glad we did.


·    3 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
·    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
·    1 tablespoon kosher salt
·    1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
·     2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
·    6 garlic cloves, minced
·    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
·    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
·    1 (28-ounce) canned tomatoes, with their juice
·     4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
·     1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
·     1 quart chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. 

     The original recipe suggests passing it through a food mill on the coarsest setting, however, I do not have a food mill, so I just crushed the big chunks of tomatoes with my slotted spoon as I stirred. I like a chunkier soup anyway. =)
     For the sandwiches, I used a store bought potato bread. The ingredient list was a mile long, but I didn't have time to bake my own bread in the machine tonight.  I'll find some good bread recipes to share another time.  I used a low fat provolone cheese and instead of buttering my bread, I used coconut oil and the sandwiches were DELICIOUS! 
What would I do different?
     I will probably use water instead of the chicken stock (lots of sodium) in the soup and/or leave out the kosher salt as well. It did taste a bit salty for me. I don't care much for salt. Other than that, this soup really hit the spot! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Almond Meal Pancakes

I made pancakes and scrambled eggs for dinner tonight. I would have made some turkey bacon also, but didn't realize we were out until I had already started. I thought the pancakes were pretty good/filling, but they were dense and my hubby didn't care for the texture. Almond flour/meal is basically finely ground almonds and has a nutty flavor and slightly gritty texture. Here's the recipe if you want to try it yourself.

1 cup of almond flour/meal
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk (regular milk or water will do)
2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. ideal sugar substitute (or any sweetener)

I just mixed all of the ingredients and cooked them on my George Foreman grill with the pancake grill plates on medium heat for about 5 minutes. You could cook these in a non-stick pan with a little oil. I didn't have much luck with them in my stainless steel pan so I switched to the George Foreman since it has non-stick coating on the grill plates.  They do not bubble like regular pancakes, just flip them when they are brown on the bottom. I served them with a Tbsp. of local honey drizzled on top.

What I would do differently:

I think if I were to try these again, I may only use half the almond flour and use an all purpose flour for the rest. I would probably add some vanilla extract as well... and maybe some chocolate chips... Did I mention that I'm STILL craving chocolate?

Spring Break and Diet Update:week 4

     This past week was our Spring Break from school and Brandon was off work also. We had originally planned to go somewhere for a REAL vacation, like Branson.  It's not very far and is a fairly inexpensive vacation if we plan it in advance. I don't know when the last time we had a real vacation as a family. It must have been when Bailey was still a baby. The last time we went out of town and stayed overnight somewhere was when I was going through training for my school in Texas. Unfortunately, this past week, Brandon's allergies turned into a full blown sinus infection.  So we just chilled out at home all week.  We did manage to take the kids out on Friday to see a movie and out to eat at Hideaway Pizza.  Bailey also got to go to a friend's birthday party at a skating rink on Saturday. I worked in nursery A at church with the newborns for the past two Saturdays. I love those itty bitty babies! Other than that, we've just played on our computers and watched Stargate Atlantis on Netflix until the wee hours of the morning. Our schedule has completely flipped. I feel like this has been the most unproductive week EVER, but at least I have caught up on  much needed sleep.Well I guess I can't say it was totally unproductive this week.  I did manage to shampoo the livingroom/classroom carpet, but only because the dog had an accident in there. UGH! I figured if I was going to spot clean, I might as well do the whole room. The next time I'm off of school is the first two weeks of August. Hopefully Brandon can take one of those weeks for vacation and we can actually go do something. We just can't tell the kids, though, so they won't be disappointed if something comes up.

    I lost another 2 lbs over Spring Break which brings me to a total of 7 lbs in the past 4 weeks.  I really don't notice any difference other than my pants fitting slightly loose. I really didn't do much exercising over spring break other than the two hours of walking around the mall with Bailey on Thursday.  I never did find what I was looking for and end up ordering something online. I haven't tried any new recipes yet, but I have had time to find some online.  When I get a chance to try them, I will post them for you.

   Tomorrow, I will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of my 29th Birthday. I love how this works. I will NEVER be 30. =) School also starts back up tomorrow and we have music and art class, but I think I may try to take the kids to CherryBerry after lunch. So that pretty much means we won't be at school for most of the day.  The rest of the week my kids will be taking standardized testing at another school. Tuesday I plan to volunteer until I have to take Brandon to work. I will have to get the kids up much earlier than usual since I have to take them somewhere else for school. This is going to be interesting since we've allowed them to stay up until 4 am and sleep in until noon during Spring Break. I hope I can get them to bed at a decent hour tonight.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hair Sticks

    I have a LOT of hair.  It is very fine, but I have so much of it.  I've been growing it out for years now, hoping that at some point it will grow down to my tush, but have struggled with getting regular trims/cuts to keep the damaged ends off.  I hate to use blow dryers, straighteners, curling irons, etc. so that I don't damage it.  I don't put it up very often because most clips can't hold all of my hair or they get caught in my hair and it hurts to take them out, not to mention the damage they do. So when my friend told me about Lilla Rose, I was curious.  Since summer is coming, I wanted to see if her hair clips could really hold my hair without hurting or damaging it.  I went to her Grand Opening Party yesterday and another guest put my hair up in the hair sticks.  I could not believe how well they held. I had them in for a LONG time and almost forgot they were there when it was time for me to leave. They were easy to remove and didn't cause any damage. Their products are of high quality and reasonably priced. I'm totally sold!  

Here's a pic of me with the hair sticks.  Aren't they so pretty?

     I also brought my daughter and plan to get her some of their hair clips also.  She has super fine hair that is thin, and she's really rough on it.  I think she would let me put the clips in and since they are so comfortable, she won't be tempted to pull them out throughout the day.  She's already looking through the catalog, but with so many designs and styles to choose from, that will be the hardest part.

     I'm having a Lilla Rose party on March 24th at 6:30 pm. If you cannot make it to the party, but would like to order something, please Kim Buesing's website by clicking here.

Diet update: Week 3

     This past week I only lost 1 lb, that comes out to 5 lbs total since I started my diet 3 weeks ago. I think part of my problem is that I skipped breakfast and snacks most of the week and hardly exercised. I've had rough mornings with my allergies and have been exhausted most days. I also haven't taken my vitamins regularly this past week either, nor my allergy medicine. 

     On Friday, I picked up some ice cream at the store.  I haven't had chocolate in over 3 weeks and I figured it wouldn't kill me to indulge a little.  Did you know that those little ice cream tubs have 4 servings in them? Who eats just a half a cup of ice cream? I think I may need to find a different chocolate indulgence, something healthier... any ideas?

     I will try much harder this week, even though we are on Spring Break. However, I do plan another "cheat" day on my Birthday next week on Monday, and I am sure looking forward to it! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Soap Nuts - 100% natural detergent

     My beautiful cousin, Ashli, was kind enough to send me a generous sample of soap nuts from her recent order on Amazon from NaturOli.  I first learned about soap nuts some time last year and have been intrigued ever since, but I wanted to try them before I buy them.

     For those of you who have never heard of soap nuts, they are the dried shells from the soap berry. The soap berry grows on the Sapindus trees native to Napal and India and contain saponin, a 100% natural alternative to chemical laundry detergent and cleansers.  Soap nuts have been used for centuries around the world for laundry detergent, personal hygiene, and household cleaners.  There is already plenty of information out there about soap nuts, how to use them, and recipes for making your own cleaning products all over the internet. I encourage you to check them out.

     Along with the soap nuts, Ashli sent me a small muslin pouch for use in the laundry.  I just put about 5 soap nuts in the pouch and tossed it in the washer with a load of my laundry.  I must mention that when I opened the bag, they did smell kind of funny. It wasn't a horrible scent, but it wasn't pleasant either. I'm very happy to say that my laundry came out clean, soft, and scent free.  I didn't even have to use fabric softener.  The neat thing is that I can reuse them for about 4-7 loads before I need to replace them.  When they are no longer reusable I can just add them to my garden compost. You can't get more natural than that!

Thanks again, Ashli! You're the best!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


     Everyone in the house likes popcorn, and it's allowed on the SBD, but I'm not fond of the ingredients in prepackaged popcorn.  I decided to make my own and bought plain popcorn kernels.  I really wanted to get organic popcorn, but they didn't have any at the local Reasor's, and I didn't feel like taking a 45 minute drive to the nearest Whole Foods market.  I wish they had one in Broken Arrow. Anyway, I put 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in a small bowl and mixed in 1 tsp of melted coconut oil, then put it into a brown paper lunch sack.  I folded the top of the bag over two times and stuck it in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes. Stay by the microwave and take it out once there is about two-three seconds between pops. You could add a little salt, melted butter, or even melted coconut oil to taste.  I like it plain, though, and it is much healthier than store bought popcorn. Happy popping!

Diet update: Week 2

     It's been two weeks since I started my diet, which means that Phase 1 is over and I'm starting Phase 2. Since I get to add more variety into my diet on Phase 2, I plan to try some new recipes and will post any that I feel are blog worthy. 

     In the past few weeks, I have lost a total of 4 lbs, actually 6 lbs lost, but I had gained 2 lbs on my cheat day, and can see small differences in my measurements already.  The last time I did the South Beach Diet, I had lost 8 lbs in the first two weeks, so I'm a bit disappointed this time.  I really was hoping for more, but I guess if I keep up at this pace, about 2 lbs a week,  I should be at my goal weight by early July.

    My wedding band was already fitting very loosely before I started the diet, however, over the past few weeks I had to stop wearing it because it would literally fall off.  Yesterday I took it to Brandon's work and he put a metal sizer on it.  I'm so glad I can wear it again!  Once I reach my goal weight, I'll have him resize the actual ring to fit. My clothes are also fitting looser, but not enough to go out and buy new ones just yet.

     I haven't exercised as much as I should this past week.  I tried the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD once with the kids.  It was a great workout.  I need to build up my stamina though, since it was kind of difficult even for the level one exercises. I should also keep my inhaler nearby when working out with Jillian. She really kicks your butt! I've also walked with the kids after lunch in the neighborhood. My kids did pretty good, but the 6 yr old complained a lot and was getting worn out pretty fast.  I probably could have gone twice as far, but my hip was giving me trouble again. They did enjoy the walk, though, so we may do it more often as long as the weather is nice. Spring is my favorite season, and I look forward to nice days.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Diet "Cheat Day"

     Yesterday was Brandon's 37th birthday, so I had to allow myself one day to cheat on my diet.  The kids and I made cupcakes for his birthday from scratch using healthy ingredients, instead of a box mix.  I really had a tough time the past few weeks craving sweets so I was truly looking forward to this, however I don't think they came out as good as I expected. I am probably my own worst critic when it comes to things I make, but everyone else thought they were good.  So here's the recipe:

Chocolate Cake:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut milk
9 eggs
1 1/2 cups Stevia blend ( I used Ideal sugar substitute for baking)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I did not include this)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sifted coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat.  Add cocoa powder and coconut milk and mix together. Remove from heat and set aside. In a bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir in cocoa mixture. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. I made about 18 cupcakes with this recipe and baked them for about 25 ish minutes. I actually forgot to set the timer, but did manage to get them out at just the right time. Cool and cover with frosting of your choice. 


1 package of sugar -free instant pudding mix (I used an organic pudding mix that you cook, I recommend that you do this the night before if you go this route)
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
1 8 oz package of fat free cream cheese
1 container of lite frozen whipped topping, thawed (I made my whipped cream from scratch)

In a medium bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk. Mix well and let stand until thickened. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add pudding and mix well. Finally, fold in whipped topping. 

Whipped cream:

1 cup of whipping cream
2 tablespoons of Ideal Confectionery sugar substitute 
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Put whipping cream, two tablespoons of sugar and vanilla in a chilled mixing bowl. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Taste and adjust vanilla and sugar if desired. 

After I frosted the cupcakes I topped them with toasted raw coconut flakes.  Raw coconut flakes are unsweetened.  To toast them I spread them in a single layer and put them in the already warmed oven, from baking the cupcakes, for about 5 minutes. 

     The cupcakes came out very dense, which is expected of coconut flour, but I felt they didn't have enough chocolate flavor. Next time I think I'll add some chocolate chips or better quality cocoa powder. I just used what I had on hand.  The frosting came out very light flavored as well and much more the consistency of melted whipped cream.  It didn't seem like a frosting at all, but would probably taste wonderful with a jello or pudding trifle. I think I'll play around with these recipes some until I get a more desired result.  I don't feel entirely too bad about the cupcakes, at least they were "healthier" than the alternative.

    We also went out to see Tron at the theater and then out to eat at Lone Star Steakhouse.  Brandon has been dying for a steak for quite some time now. Poor thing, I've been depriving him of red meat for way too long. We usually eat chicken or ground turkey. I really didn't feel like salad so I ordered the chicken tortilla soup, which was very good. I also ordered the spinach and artichoke dip and chips to split with the kids.  It was SOOOO good. Of course, I had two yummy rolls as well and two glasses of lemonade. I haven't the slightest idea about the nutritional facts, but it was my "cheat" day after all. Unfortunately, when I weighed myself this morning I also gained 2 lbs.... UGH!!!

    The rest of the week went well. When I went shopping for cupcake ingredients I also bought groceries for next week.  On Sunday I start Phase 2 and I get to eat fruits again. Yay! I've planned out my menu for the entire week which will have much more variety than the past two weeks. I even cut up all the fresh fruits and made a fruit salad, then divided it up into individual servings and put them in the freezer. Hopefully it won't take long for me to lose these extra 2 lbs I put on yesterday and I can get back on track.