Monday, February 28, 2011

Four Letter Word

                                                                                    Photo via Google Images

It's a four letter word. 

It stirs up all kinds of emotions. 
Every time I mention I want to start one I get a plethora of different responses.

"You don't need to diet. Just exercise."

"Diets aren't very healthy."

"In the end, you're going to eat what you want. Dieting actually makes you eat more."

And my all time favorite
"You don't need to diet, look at you! Compared to me you're a stick!"

True, compared to some I am small. However, right now I am anything but a stick. Unless you count my legs. They are stick like. But the rest of me is not. And while I appreciate all the advice it is really time to start watching my weight.

Now if you are an avid DYKTMP reader you might be saying to yourself "HYPOCRITE! You told us Food = Fat = Love <3, remember? You wrote an entire post about how you had accepted the weight gain and found it to be a sign of love."

And you know what, YOU ARE CORRECT...kinda.

I accepted the fact that I had gained back most of the weight I lost being starved by my host family. I was happy at home, surrounded by my family eating and loving their company. 

But it is beyond that now. I got lazy. I let myself go farther than putting on a few pounds. I let it get unhealthy. And that's not love.

So I've brought that four letter word back into my vocabulary and you know what, I'm bringing it here. 

For the month of March (my birthday month!) I am going to bring you healthy AND satisfying muffinized diet food. Some recipes will come from me and others from experts in the matter of healthy weight loss.

 Okay so here it is, the before photo. If I put this out there, it will motivate me to change it and give you all a fabulous after photo. It's going be a great incentive.

Pounds: 160; Days per week exercising: 0; Jeans I can fit into: 0
Okay now you might now be saying to yourself, I see what you did there. You put a not so chubby picture of yourself so people would compliment you and say "Oh now you don't look fat here!" NOT TRUE! This is me at 160lb. Those are not my arms. And under that apron lies a skirt because I can't fit into any of my jeans. It's actually kind of a perfect photo. I'm in the kitchen, making muffin pan potatoes, with my dad, in my family kitchen.

There will be more times like in this photo. I will still cook with cheese and the occasional sweet treat. But I am gonna try my best to bring all sorts of healthy options to table. Whether you choice to eat is up to you!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

My New Popover Pan!

I got a popover pan at Ikea!
For making popovers, of course.

I've never made a popover before but I figured it was right up my alley. 
I mean Food + Cup = Me! hehe

So here it is, a popover recipe to go with my popover pan.

Go out and get you one so you can try this recipe too.
(You can make these in muffin pans of course.)

Easy Popovers

1  cup  all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1  cup  1% low-fat milk
2  large eggs
1  tablespoon  butter, melted
Cooking spray
1  teaspoon  vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt, stirring with a whisk. Combine milk and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended; let stand 30 minutes. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in butter.

2. Coat 9 popover cups with cooking spray; brush oil evenly among cups to coat. Place popover cups in a 375° oven for 5 minutes. Divide the batter evenly among prepared popover cups. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.

3. Cover in butter and try not to eat 6 at once. I dare ya.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I Wanna be in Mexico Cupcakes

It's been so crumby outside.
I know I'm not stuck in miles and miles of snow like some of you out there but rain in Southern California is pretty big news. Everyone panics, the news starts to cover flooded streets, and the freeway becomes a parking lot. Its a disaster.

Oh man, I need a vacation. 

My new blog friend Hailey from Naked Cupcakes just posted pictures from her honeymoon

My long time friend Annie is leaving on a week long ALL INCLUSIVE resort vacation on Monday. 

My coworker is going on a cruise.

And my friend Betty is going off for a couple days for work.

How come everyone is going to Mexico!? I wanna go to Mexico...*pouty face*

So this recipe is for all of you in the snow and rain who want to be in Mexico right now... on a beach, wearing shades, sipping mai tais. 

"I said no salt! No salt on my Mai Tai!"

I Wanna be in Mexico Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix
Blue food coloring
Cupcake pan with liners
Small Swedish fish (2 per cupcake)
Vanilla frosting
Graham crackers or shortbread cookies
Small ziplock bag
Blue sugar crystals
Fruit Stripe gum (1 stick per cupcake)
Gumballs (1 per cupcake)
Small drink umbrellas (1 per cupcake, available at party stores)

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the cupcake directions. Add blue food coloring, drop by drop, until the batter is the desired shade of ocean water. Put liners in the cupcake pan and fill each cup two-thirds full with batter. Submerge 2 Swedish fish in each cup. Bake as directed and let the cupcakes cool.

2. Scoop half of the frosting into a bowl and add blue food coloring until the color matches the batter. Frost half of each cupcake blue (making waves if you like) and the remaining half white.

3. Crush graham crackers in the sealed ziplock bag and spread them over the white side of the cupcake to resemble sand. Spread blue sugar crystals onto the blue side of the cupcake.

4. Bend a third of a stick of Fruit Stripe gum to look like a beach chair and position it.

5. Add a gumball (as a beach ball) and an umbrella to finish your beach scene. (Depending on your container, you may want to leave the umbrellas off until you get to the beach.)

6. Go to Mexico :0)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Churro Cupcakes

 I have been on a fancy cupcake kick lately. Making cupcakes that taste like something else. Margarita cupcakes, Root Beer Float cupcakes, and now CHURROS!

The funny part is I try to get rid of the cupcakes the moment I make them haha
I don't want them anywhere near me or my gut!

I usually taste one to make sure they aren't poisonous and then I hand them off to my boyfriend as quick as possible. I found that he has a client that REALLY enjoyed the Margarita cupcakes and told me anytime I wanted to hand off some cupcakes they'd take them. 

Well that was all I needed. If someone likes what I make I will make it for them as many times as they'd like. It just brings me so much joy!
Now like most cupcake batches you make, you can usually get 24 regular sized cupcakes out of them. So with Super Bowl on the horizon I made 24 minis and 12 regular size cupcakes.

Okay enough small talk, bring on the cupcakes!

Churro Cupcakes w/ Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting and Buñuelos
Inspired by Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook from The Motherload and All Things Cupcakes

1 package plain white cake mix or yellow cake mix
1 cup whole milk (I used skim milk and it still tasted delicious)
1 stick of butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Buñuelos aka Sugar Cinnamon Fried Tortillas:
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 10" flour tortilla

1. Preheat oven to 350f. Grease your muffin pan or add liners.

2. Combine cake mix, milk, butter, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in your mixer. Mix for 3 minutes. Pour your mix into the cupcake pan and bake for about Pour into pans and bake for 27-29 minutes (for cake) or 22-25 minutes (for cupcakes). Allow the cakes to cool completely.

3. Next, warm the tortillas in the microwave. Cut the tortilla into strips, about 1/4-inch thick to 1-inches long. Separate the strips and fry in hot oil until golden brown.

4. Place fried tortilla on paper towels to drain. Coat with Sugar-Cinnamon mixture (mix a 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon).

5. And SHARE! 

Hope the recipe was worth the wait. If you make them, I'd love to see how they turned out!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pull-Apart Pizza Bread

Every so often I go searching around the internet for fun ideas that I can "muffinize." Yes, I said "muffinize." It's my new word. COPYRIGHT! hehe

When I came across today's recipe in my Super Bowl snack search I found myself torn. While this recipe would be perfect in the muffin pan it looked so cool the way it was meant to be prepared. 

As you can see, I went with the recipe as it was. Honestly, I don't think it would have mattered. It was frickin' tasty!

Pull-Apart Pizza Bread
Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

1 can of Pillsbury Pizza Dough
Whole block of mozzarella cheese, cubed (about 32 pieces) 
OR string cheese cut into pieces (Smart right? hehe)
mini salad pepperoni

For topping:
Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400f. Unroll the dough out on a cutting board.
2. Start by cutting the dough in half, then quarters, then it continuing cutting those quarters into quarters. At this point you should have 16 squares.

3. On each of those squares, place 2 or 3 small pieces of mozzarella and a couple tiny pepperonis. No exact science here.

4. Separate each piece and pull the corners around the filling. 

5. Place each ball of pizza doughy goodness seam side down.

6. Lightly brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Serve with warm pasta sauce... yuummmm.

7. And there you have it. These things went fast. Mostly cause I ate them all. Haha 

 Tomorrow, those long awaited Churro cupcakes. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Famous Super Bowl Spinach Dip

So as one of my readers, Shannon, so nicely pointed out yesterday I had 5 pictures of Super Bowl food and only offered to give up two recipes. It seemed sorta silly as I didn't bother to say which two they were going to be. SILLY ME!

We'll I still can't give you all 5 haha! No, they aren't some big secret recipes... I just didn't make them all. Haha
Haha My friend Betty and I split the food duties. She made the wings and the little smokies. I took care of the rest. 

But because I slipped up and because I'm in such a good mood today I am going to give you all three of the recipes I made.

Now I wasn't going to give up my famous Super Bowl Spinach Dip recipe, not sure why I wanted to keep it secret but I did. But I figured you all deserve my very best. And boy is that dip THE BEST! It has been devoured at every Super Bowl party I've brought it to and requested the next time around!

So here you have it...

Amy's Famous Super Bowl Spinach Dip
Recipe adapted from Knorr, with my own little twists!

1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup cream cheese, room tempature
1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped 
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 small can chopped green chiles
1 tbs Tapatio hot sauce

Combine all the ingredients! Mix and put it in the fridge for atleast an hour, better if it was 3!

Haha I know, I know I said it was super special, but I didn't say it was hard! The recipes come from the back of the Knorr Vegetable packet. I am not a fan of mayo so I substitute cream cheese. I also like to add green chiles and hot sauce for an added kick.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more Super Bowl recipes!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Bowl XLV

What an exciting game this weekend!
Well for me and the other Green Bay fans it was.
For the Steeler fans, maybe it was less than amazing.

But whether you're a football fan or not, doesn't really matter. Superbowl Sunday has become more about the food and commercials than the football, right?

Except the commercials weren't very exciting this year. 
And while I normally like the Black Eyed Peas, the singing during the half time show was a little intense and off putting. 
And god bless her but Christina Aguilera mixed up some of the words to the National Anthem. Not an epic fail but people are talking about it and she feels bad.
So really we may want to ignore everything that happened on T.V. and just focus on the food. Atleast that part was AWESOME, wasn't?

So without further ado, here is what we served:

My Famous Super Bowl Spinach Dip

Little Smokies in BBQ sauce

Buffalo Wings

Pizza Pull-Apart Bread
and Churro Cupcakes!

Stay tuned tomorrow for both the recipes!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sweet Amanda in San Diego

It's taken me a long time to post this, not sure why really, but it's finally here. 
*Note: All of the photos were taken by Amanda, as you can probably tell. She takes the most amazing photos! Except for the dodgy ones, like the one above and below. Those are courtesy of yours truly, Camera Noob! If you wanna take a look at Amanda's post about the day, and see her great photos for yourself here it is!
Remember when I met Amanda and Jenny at Disneyland? Well a couple weeks ago Amanda was back in SoCal and I had the pleasure of showing her around the fair city of San Diego. Though it was more like her showing me around! This girl had everything down. She knew exactly where to go. I love that! 

We started the day with breakfast at The Cottage. It is the most adorable little breakfast spot in La Jolla. We both had the benedict.
She had the California Benedict with Avocado and Turkey... very California. 

And I had the polenta benedict with bacon, tomato, arugula and a roasted tomato hollandaise... very me! Bring on the crispy bacon! Both were INCREDIBLE! And fun to look at too! I certainly will be back very soon.

After breakfast we headed over to Seaport Village. I spent the entire day in awe of the places in SD I have yet to explore, like Seaport Village.  We spent some time walking around, making sure we hit every store. She methodical like that. Dig it! 

She snapped this gorgeous photo of the water. You can't make this stuff up. It was actually that beautiful that day. I mean those pinks and purples! Get outta here!

By this time we decided we were hungry once again. Of course. So we drove on down to Old Town San Diego. Amanda was very excited to try Old Town Mexican Cafe. She mentioned fresh made tortillas and I was sold.

Again we both had the same thing, with a slight variation. Two quesadillas, adovada for Amanda and chicken for me.

Then of course we couldn't leave without trying the tortillas plain. With butter. YUM-O!

Everything about this tortillas making looked so good and authentic. Another place I was definitely be back soon.

After that, if we weren't already stuffed enough, we decided to get cupcakes. Babycakes Cupcakes to be exact. For all of you who know Amanda, you can't get away without one cupcake stop (or maybe 2 or 3)! The guy at the register, having encountered Amanda the day before, assumed she was a regular and starting asking her all sorts of questions. It was very funny.

Amanda had the funfetti cupcake with buttercream.

 And I had the signature marble cupcake with cream cheese frosting. 
(The lighting on this picture is awesome... guess who snapped it? I need lessons!)

There it is! The Babycake. It was a little gigantic for my taste but still delicious.

By this point, with so much fun in our system you'd think we'd be tired. BUT NO! Off we went on yet another adventure.

Next stop, Coronado Island. Home of the famous Hotel del Coronado.

Get a load of this place. The colors. I can't even describe how beautiful they were. This picture does a great job of showing you though. 

The sunset was so amazing!
I challenge you to find a better in the U.S.

AMANDA! These photos! SO GORGEOUS! I might officially steal this for wall art!

And then there's me in front of the sunset. I tried and tried to get a good one of Amanda but alas... no skills.

The entire day was amazing. Amanda is such a nice person (you are!) and so fun to be around. I'll have to work on my camera skills for the next trip. But anytime you wanna come back Amanda, I'm ready for ya!
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