Friday, April 20, 2012

Tie-Dye Fruity Cupcakes

This year for Easter, I decided that I wanted to make some kind of dessert, but I didn't want to do something huge and difficult, but I wanted it to look "springy".That's when I came across these cute little cupcakes. They were yummy looking, and they didn't seem too hard to make. I was a little bit curious as to how they would taste.

  • 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 1/4 cup dry lemon Jell-o (about half a package)
  • 1/4 cup dry lime Jell-o
  • 1/4 cup dry strawberry Jell-o
  • 1 container (16 oz) ready to spread vanilla frosting

  • Prepare cake batter as directed on package; divide evenly into 3 bowls. 
  • Stir different flavor dry gelatin mix into batter in each bowl. Alternately spoon batters into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, adding about 2 Tbsp. of each batter to each cup. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool completely.
  • Frost cupcakes with frosting.

Do you know how hard it is to cut a cupcake
to make it look pretty?

My Take

These turned out even better than I expected. The flavors went really well together, although the lime seemed to overwhelm the other flavors. I put whipped vanilla frosting on top and dyed some coconut flakes green to make it look like grass. Yay for simple decorations!

I will definitely make these again in the future. I'm kind of curious to try other flavors, such as a triple berry with strawberry, rapsberry, and that blue one.  One other variation they say to do is to top the cupcakes with Cool Whip and sprinkle the remaining Jell-o. I'm going to have to try that one sometime as well.

So, lemme know if you try this, or if you try it with other flavors. Feel free to leave a comment! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

All About Cross Stitching

As of late, I've been having this huge urge to cross stitch. I love cross stitching. I learned it from my mom when I was just a kid, and now it's a stress reliever (and sometimes a stress creator!). Some of you may recall that I had another blog called "Shiloh's Stitches" in which I talked about the various projects I was working on. Well, today I would like to show you what my current cross stitching project is. It's called "The Mighty Samurai" and it's Dimensions kit #3881

The finished product
I started it back in either November or December of last year and after I left work in mid-January, I pretty much worked on it all day, every day. So, before Lucy was born, I got a lot of it done. The picture below is what I've gotten done as of Sunday. I did some more yesterday, so it's not totally current, but close enough to give you an idea of close I'm getting.

The yellow stain you see on the bottom is from me accidentally setting the project down on an open highlighter. Ugh...I'm hoping that most of it will come out when I wash it, but I guess we'll see.

The plan is that when I'm all finished with this, I'll frame it and put it up in our bedroom which has an Asian theme. Whenever I get done with my two Geisha girls, he'll go inbetween them. He's such a ladies man. It must be the peacock by his side. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Getting Into Shape

Since it has been over 6 weeks since I had Lucy, I got the go-ahead from my doctor to pretty much do anything (yay!). So, with that in mind, I'm going to try my darned hardest to get into shape. I'm not going to say "get back into shape" 'cause, well, honestly, I haven't been in shape since I was a kid. Unless you count round. Round is a shape, right?

Moving on from horrible jokes....

I would love to lose 60 pounds. I understand that is going to take a long time. For me, it's not a matter of looking pretty or being able to fit in certain clothes. Those are nice, but I have to do this for my health. I am at severely high risk for diabetes and heart disease (both run in my family. Yay...?) Technically, I'm obese. I know I don't look it. I hide my fat well. But it's true.

So, the time has come for me to shed all this excess baggage and start down a healthier road. It's going to be hard as Dylan and I have such different needs regarding food. He needs a high-calorie, high-protein diet because of his manual labor job. I, on the other hand, do not need all those calories.

This is going to be difficult. Dylan and I love pizza. We have it at least once a week in some form or fashion. But I must resist (Dyl actually made a frozen pizza last night and I'm sure there are leftovers....) I must be strong. I must stand my ground, and fight against the calories which come my way.

I threw myself under the food bus by making brownies last night. Baaaaad move....

An online tool which I'm hoping will help me is called the Super Tracker. It's actually put out by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Not only does it show you how many portions a day, but I can track my food intake and my physical activities. It also gives me a personalized plan showing me how many calories a day I'm suppose to eat, taking into account me trying to lose weight as well as the fact that I'm breastfeeding. It's really nice, and I'm hoping that by having to track everything, it'll keep me accountable.

Yesterday was my first day of tracking everything. It was a so-so day. I learned that I eat a ton of empty calories and I barely eat any dairy. I also went over my limit of sodium as well. Not good. Today I'm hoping to get a bit better.

Sidenote: Soda is definitely out. Drank a can of root beer yesterday. Had 152 calories in the whole thing. Empty calories? 150. Eww.....

So, in addition to the recipes and random stuff about babies I put up from time to time, I also am going to share my weight loss journey with you. If you, too, are wanting to lose weight, I invite you to join me in this life-changing experience. I'm not planning to go on a "diet". Rather, I'm wanting to have a life change; change the way I view food.

So let's share our ups and downs. Share tips and ways you've found to combat the evil fat monster. As Red once said, "Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork

So there's this popular idea of making BBQ Pulled Pork with root beer that's been floating around the Internet recently. I loved pulled pork and I love root beer and I could see how the combo could work, so I decided that this was something I would have to try. Dylan also loves pulled pork, so I wanted to see if I could make one of his favorite BBQ recipes at home. It turned out great! But, lemme give you the recipe and then I can rave about how good it was.

  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

My Take

The smell of it while it was cooking was a bit....weird, so at first I was really worried if it was going to turn out right. I've never made pulled pork before, so this was all new to me. But it turned out fabulous! I did change the recipe a little bit.

First, before I put the tenderloin in the slow cooker, I rubbed it with a little bit of salt, pepper, and garlic salt, just to add a bit of flavor to it. Then, I poked a few holes in it with a fork, just to make sure the juices could get in there and do their magic.

Then I cooked it for 5 hours, took it out and drained the root beer. I proceeded to shred the pork, mix it in with some BBQ sauce (didn't use a whole bottle, just did it by sight) and then cooked it for another hour, to get the sauce nice and absorbed into the meat.

Now, if I had to do it over again, I think I might use a different cut of meat, like a shoulder cut, as it would give me more meat for cheaper. Also, I used Famous Dave's BBQ sauce, but I think next time, since I cooked it with root beer, I might have to try it with the A&W BBQ sauce, just to keep the root beer flavor more intact.

This was totally a winner in my house, and it was very easy to make, so I'm totally going to have to make this again.

Lemme know if you try it and how it turned out for you! I love to hear from you, my loyal readers. Also, let me know if there's something you've heard me talk about that you would want the recipe for. I tend to do my posts around food that I've cooked in the past week or so.

Anywho, that's all I have for now. Dunno what'll be up next. We'll just have to see. :)