Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - Yum!

This is a recipe I found on the internet years ago...I'm not even sure where it's from.  It was a recipe for a cookie mix in a jar that you could give as a gift.  I can't even remember if I ever gave it as a gift...hmm.  I morphed it into a full recipe and it is one of my hubby's favorite treats.  And, it's not half bad for you, if you don't count all that butter.  After all, it does have whole grain in it (whole wheat flour and oats).

I didn't take any pics until the dough was mixed.  Sorry!  I must get better at remembering to take pics when I start the recipe, not half way through.  Today, I did manage to get flour on my camera though, go figure.  (It was from a different recipe.  I'll post that tomorrow if it is worthy of sharing.  It's a new recipe.)  I'm surprised I haven't slopped on it sooner as I can tell you with complete confidence, I am a very messy cook/baker!

These are soooo gooood!   The cinnamon gives them the greatest flavor.  Let's get to it!

1 ½ cup butter (3 sticks)
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose flour & 1 ½ cup wheat flour) - and yes you read that right...if you're using all white flour, use only 2 cups.  If it's a mix of white and wheat, use 2 1/2 cups total)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 bag choc chips
4 ½ cups oatmeal (I used steel cut oats)

In bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon.  Add oatmeal, mix thoroughly.  Set aside.  In separate large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Gradually add dry mixture to wet mixture. Stir and mix well. Add choc chips.

I used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.  I like Hungarian Stone Ground Style Whole Wheat Flour.  It's a high altitude flour and works well for us here--where we're at a high altitude!  Sorry, couldn't resist.  Do you see that cookie scoop?

This is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.  It's a small ice cream/cookie scoop.  If you don't have one, get one.  Now.  They make scooping cookie dough so easy, and your cookies turn out all the same size!  You can get one most places where kitchen gadgets are sold.  Get a metal one, they work far better than the original plastic one I bought.  I've had mine for quite a few years, but don't know what I did without it.

Drop by rounded scoops onto parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes.

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Makes 5 dozen cookies 
Bon Appetit!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles

This is one of my favorite recipes (as my family can attest to--I make it quite often!  I tend to eat the leftovers for breakfast...and lunch...and my afternoon snack!)  It's easy and full of flavor.  I adapted this recipe from Two's Company, a Weight Watcher magazine cookbook.  It was originally a beef stir-fry with portions for 2 people.  I adjusted the amount and morphed it to chicken!

3 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
3 tbls sesame/olive or canola oil
1 cup green onions, sliced
2– 1 lb packages cole slaw (regular or broccoli slaw) I usually use one of each
4 pkgs chicken ramen noodles
2 cups water
Soy sauce


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and green onions; stir-fry until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken mixture from skillet; keep warm.

Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add slaw; stir-fry 1 minute (cabbage slaw) or 4-5 minutes (broccoli slaw). Remove slaw from skillet; add to chicken, keep warm.

Remove noodles from packages. Add water and seasoning packages to skillet; bring to a boil. Break noodles in half; add noodles to water mixture. Cook noodles 4-5 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.

Stir in chicken/cole slaw mixture. Optional: Add almonds for extra crunch.  Serve warm with soy sauce.  Also very good served cold.

Makes 10 servings


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I wanted to share some of the recent cookies that Haley and I made.  Haley has a new babysitting gig for a neighbor and the little girl, Kayla, turned three this past weekend.  We found it fitting to make her some cookies for her birthday.

This is the same recipe we used to make our holiday cookies.  You can get the recipe here.


Kayla loved her cookies!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

Flavorfully seasoned fish combined with a lime-cilantro crema sauce make these fish tacos a favorite at our house. Makes 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)


• 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
• 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
• 2 teaspoon grated lime rind
• 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 garlic cloves, minced

Mix ingredients together, set aside.

FISH:  I used what I had in the freezer:  Shrimp, 3 Tilapia fillets and 2 Salmon fillets.


Tilapia - I did use 2 tsp of olive oil on the Tilapia
(had to get my WW servings in for the day)

Salmon fillets

• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 1/2 pounds fillets (tilapia, red snapper, salmon - whatever you prefer -
   I even use shrimp and sprinkle with the seasoning)
• Cooking spray
• 8 (6-inch) or 4 (8-inch) tortillas (corn, white or whole wheat-
   whatever your preference)
• 2 cups shredded cabbage or shredded cole slaw mix

Fish Preparation - your choice of baking or pan method

Baking Method
Preheat oven to 425°.  Combine spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, red pepper, salt and garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for about 9-10 minutes until fish is flaky.

Note:  Instead of mixing the spices, I sometimes will use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning--okay most of the time.  We love this stuff and put it on everything...and I mean EVERYTHING from eggs, vegetables, rice and pasta to all types of meat.  It adds great flavor without too much spice, just a little bite.

Pan Method
Place fish in a skillet and sprinkle with seasoning and a splash of lime or lemon juice. (I use the juice instead of oil). Saute fish on low, until fish is flaky.

Once fish is cooked, place in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas (3 oz per); top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1-2 tablespoon crema sauce.



Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hiking Flatirons

Earlier today Jim and I hiked the Flatirons in Boulder.  The last time I attempted to hike these trails was last May, before I lost the nearly 30 lbs (the 12 I lost last summer and the 17 I've lost on WW) that my body no longer has to carry (thankfully).  Talk about night and day!  My knees no longer ache, and I made it much farther this time.  As a matter of fact, the only reason we turned around when we did was because up toward the switchbacks the trail was steeper and covered with icy, slushy snow.  No need for either of us to injure ourselves.

It was in the mid 40s when we headed up the was a perfect day for hiking!

Flatiron Trailhead

Too hot. Have to ditch the fleece.


We headed toward the 1st Flatiron

Boulder field

Snow-packed trail

My Sweetie!


It was a very good day!


Photo Collages

This past week I happened on a blog post about using Picasa to make easy collages for the header on your blog.  I've used Picasa for about a year.  It's a free Google download and is similar to Flickr and Photobucket.  I used it mainly as a way to share my photos online with others.  It was really handy this past XC season...I think I took over 1200 pictures and shared them all with the other XC parents.

After reading the blog post, I thought I would delve into Picasa and see what I can do with it.  (Although I do have a collage as my new blog header, I didn't do it in Picasa, I used Photoshop Elements.) Surprisingly, creating a collage was extremely easy.  There are different layouts you can choose from...I liked the square boxes...speaks to my sense of symmetry.  Hmm, who knew.  I'll have to see what else I can do with Picasa.

I thought I would share what I created.  Note the bottom two are a series of old photos I scanned--they are not as clear as the digital photos.  :)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Weight Loss Journey – Month 3

I made it through the holidays! WOOHOO!  I’m pleased to announce I lost weight every week, although the amount really dropped off from the previous two months. I’m okay with that. I enjoyed the holidays and didn’t feel deprived. The girls and I did a lot of holiday baking…cookies, fudge, truffles and dipped pretzels. See the recipes here, here and here. I ate a few of the treats we made, but I planned for them and counted everything I ate, including the two days I was completely out of control, but I blame my monthly hormones (sorry guys, but it’s a fact of life). And by ‘out of control’ I mean I ate 12 points worth of fudge one day and 9 on another. I’m not a chocolate eater—I’ve always preferred salty to sweet…chips, bread, crackers—except for a couple of days each month when I crave it. And as quickly as the craving comes, it’s gone. Needless to say, on those so-not-worth-it fudge crazy days, I was hungry by the end of the day and used a lot of my weekly points to avoid a total binge. I typically only use a few of my weekly points each week.

My goal over the holidays had been to stay the course, but not deprive myself, nor go off program. I feel pretty good about the month overall (not counting the two-day fudge incident).

Time for this month's results...

Month 1 -8.4 lbs
Month 2 -6.6 lbs
Month 3 -2.0 lbs

Month 3 Details Weekly Total

Week 9       -0.6 lbs   -15.6 lbs
Week 10     -0.2 lbs   -15.8 lbs  *Christmas
Week 11     -0.8 lbs   -16.6 lbs  *New Year
Week 12     -0.4 lbs   -17.0 lbs

Foods that got me through— Fiber One Bars (again) 2 points per bar. I always have a couple of these in my purse. I would say fudge, as there were two days over the holidays when I ate half my points in fudge—not good!  Fresh veggies, I get the broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix from Sam's Club.  Good for munching, throwing on salads and steaming.

What's working for me—tracking and measuring everything I eat. It really helps me understand the appropriate portion size and count it appropriately.  Even though I ate the fudge, I tracked every point I ate. 

Goals for Month 4:  I’m listing the same one’s I included last month since I was not as disciplined during Month 3. 1) Increase my activity on days I don't have H20 aerobics 2) Ensure I get my 5 veg/fruits per day 3) This is a new one…NO FUDGE! Shouldn’t be hard, it’s all gone!

And with that, I’ll leave you with this…

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. –Denis Waitley


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


This post is just because.  Just because I love my girls so so much!  Eden left for MN yesterday and Haley heads back to school tomorrow.  Winter break is over...and the new year is off to a great start, albeit cold one!

It's a good life...a very good life!


Sunday, January 3, 2010


New Year's Eve was spent at our house, hanging out and playing games. It was a fun time and a great way to ring in the New Year.

Jim, Paul, Haley, Eden, Megan, Greg and John

Eden and Megan

Greg & John

Scrabble!  Haley, Paul, Greg, Eden, John, Megan

Haley, the scorekeeper.

Eden:  I have no more words.

Paul:  Ah ha!  I see my next move!

Greg getting in a little nap (New Years Day!)

To you and yours, I hope your New Year is off to a GREAT start.