Friday, February 28, 2014

Cinnamon Butterscotch Cookies

I am capping off my healthy month with a cookie recipe. YEAHHHH.  They do exist. I have not gone completely off the deep end. I have still been baking, my Sweets business is moving along. I was very fortunate to be very busy the week of Valentine's day. By the end of the week, I was a dead girl. I was totally burnt toast.

As we all know, I still love my cookies. This cookie carries with it, a combination of two of my favorite flavors. Cinnamon and Butterscotch. The Cinnamon reminds me of Cinnadoodles and the Butterscotch of Blondies. This cookies throws them together for an absolute heaven.

Cinnamon Butterscotch Cookies
adapted from
1 cup (2 sticks) butter,  softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Cinnamon Chips
1 cup Butterscotch Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside

In a large bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars for 2-3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Mix until incorporated. DO not over mix. Stir in cinnamon and butterscotch chips. The dough is very thick. It will take some muscle.

Scoop dough into cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake for 9-11 minutes. The edges should just be turning barely brown. Remove from oven, let cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to rack. EAT up.

And I wonder why I never lose any weight
I could really eat all of these.

Basic dough with loads of flavors
This shows you how thick this dough was.

Will you be my Valentine. .. that was SO 2 weeks ago.

Down in front. They were delicious on this tray.

DO not worry, I have created a new brownie cheesecake bar
and made some other new cookies. Do not fret.. Sweets still exist!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Green Cleanse - 4

If I was a betting person, you are probably saying to yourself, "how many Green drinks can she make." I went on and on about trying them, and now I drink one everyday. I cannot even begin to figure me out. Definitely obsessive and a creature of habit. I like drinking them. They are fresh and so good for your body.

This green cleanse has a pear in it. Pears are inexpensive right know, so why not. They are one of my favorites. Fruits are a long list of favorites. I still went basic with a green apple, lime, spinach and mint. The pear just added another under tone of flavor.

Green Cleanse - 4 
adapted by ME

1 cup water
1 pear,  cored and cut up
1 green apple, cored and cut up
1 cup spinach
1/2 fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh mint
1- 1 1/2 cups of ICE


Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed, blend until smooth. Drink up Buttercup.

There is a lime in this drink. 
I added it after I took the photo. 
This is what happens when you are making drinks before you go to work. 

I am really liking how the tartness of the green apple adds to the flavor

This Pear was perfect. Kind of ugly, but then it is ripe

This smoothie made two drinks. Running late today, but on time tomorrow.
What, who am I kidding, still running late tomorrow...

The intense green on another COLD, Winter day in the Chicagoland area

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are just not for Thanksgiving and Christmas anymore. Of course, we are skipping the marshmallows, butter and brown sugar.. I know... a heavy sigh from the crowd. My Mother has made healthy sweet potatoes forever. When she would make them at Thanksgiving and Christmas, her and my husband were the only ones who would eat them. They would proudly proclaim how good they were and eat them all. Everyone else would smile and think they were crazy......

In January when we started our program, I had read so much on HOW great sweet potatoes were for you. I sighed and wonder... could I actually eat these. Well, I sniff around the Internet and found loads of recipes. WOW... could it be, I did not know what I was missing. So I went to work.

Just so you know.... February is National Sweet Potato Month. Go on, there are still a few days left. Give them a whirl..

Naked and baked. Waiting to be covered up.

This is what these bad boys look like after being in the oven.
They are not beauty queens. 
The skin is good for you, but we choose to remove them.

Today, there are NO actually recipes. Instead of using rice, pasta, bread, tortilla shells, USE the Sweet Potato for your base. Take what you do at home and Amp it up with a Potato.

I will bake my potato first. Sometimes even the night before. It takes between an hour to 1 1/2 hours for the potato to bake completely. If I am making them the night before, once baked I let them cool and then place in the frig. The next day, I microwave them for about 2 minutes. YOU want them heated through.

Mexican flair with Ground beef, Refried Black Beans, onions and tortilla chips

Roti Chicken sauteed, red onions and barbecue sauce
A perfect combination for a sweet potato

 Barbecue Chicken with Red onions and mixed cheeses over a Sweet potato

Ground Chicken with Red peppers and Pesto

Ground beef, salsa, cilantro, black beans and limes

Ground beef and taco fixings over a sweet potato

Ground Turkey using an Italian flare w/ Parmesan Cheese on top

Making Ground beef chili, and serving it over a sweet potato

Which one was our favorite. ALL of them. 
According to Weight Watchers, a Sweet Potato is 4 points.
They are very filling and loaded with SO many healthy benefits. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chocolate Fabulous Smoothie

I am still working on my green cleanse smoothies. My skin is breaking out, but I feel I am ridding myself of toxins. I have lost two pounds, but that is a combination of many  factors. But the biggest surprise is that I like them. They always taste fresh.

This smoothie was part of a treat at lunch. A clean healthy drink treat. Is there anything wrong with that??? My Husband thought it tasted fantastic. He has totally gotten past the weird colors. They are NO reflection on what the drink will taste like.

If you have never tasted Chia seeds, I recommend them. They are loaded with benefits to healthy eating. They also thicken this smoothie. If you do not want to use Protein powder, that would just fine. Greek yogurt has protein in it. Using the unsweetened chocolate powder, really sent this drink to a new level. That I would not skip. If you did not have strawberries, I would use raspberries. I always seem to have more strawberries on hand.

This was one of my favorite smoothies.
Funny shade of green - brown

Chocolate Fabulous Smoothie
designed by ME

1 cup Almond Milk
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 scoop Chocolate Protein powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
10-15 Strawberries, tops cut off
1 cup fresh Spinach
4-6 Dates, pitted

There are a lot of ingredients, but this smoothie tasted AMAZING

Place Almond Milk in the blender. Add Chia Seeds to Milk. Let sit for 5 minutes. (AT Least) Place the remaining ingredients in the blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth. ADD Ice to make frozen.

This is a load of Strawberries. I wanted to finish my container.
It did give it a more intense flavor. Up to YOU on how many you add

A very full Vitamix. This smoothie made 3 drinks.
Perfect for my Husband the next day

There is Love in drinking healthy smoothies together
The Dates added a natural sweetness to this drink

I always love my bursting bubbles on top. 
This drink was thick, but not heavy.
It was perfect compliment to our salads.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Green Cleanse -3

Hmmm, what to do. When did I run out of green apples and not tell anyone. WAIT, that would be Me..  and I remember nothing unless it is written down. So, I stood with the refrigerator door open, contemplating what to make. Grab the spinach, found a lime and what else. Open the freezer, there was a bag of frozen pineapple I had cut up. I am finding bargain fruits and vegetables and freezing them for a later day. Perfect. Since I am a coconut lover, I wanted something a bit tropical without a bunch of calories.

Look at this drink. 
Green, Clean and Looking like a Shake
Not some watery drink for me.

There are tons of Green Cleanse combinations. I can go on forever. (Hopefully, I will also feature other recipes.) I have made some new cookies and bars for trays. The new recipes have been hits and not totallty healthy....

Green Cleanse - 3
adapted by ME

1 cup Water
1/2 - 1 cup Frozen Pineapple
1-2 cups Fresh Spinach
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1/2 cup shredded Coconut

Add all ingredients into a blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth

I was to unsure about this Drink. Try things People. 
Live outside of a box. There is always a bomb once in awhile.
I went out on a limb and made a delicious drink

This made a Very large one drink. Could also be 2 average drinks

Rich, Thick and Smooth. 
Keep it Clean Folks, Keep it Clean

Friday, February 21, 2014

Green Cleanse Mojito

Happy Friday Kids.... Weee hooo. I am ALWAYS glad it is Friday.
I am not going out dancing tonight or staying out until 3:00. Oh good Lord. I would be a waste product tomorrow. I have yoga, and appointment and a lunch date for tomorrow before 12. No hard core partying tonight. Besides, I am lame. I would need two days to heal from one night. It does stink sometimes about getting old.

This has been one of the craziest weather weeks in forever. Started the week out freezing cold, Monday 7-9 inches of snow. Wednesday night into Thursday we had rain, thunder and lightening. Yesterday the fog was like soup. Today, the sun is shining and it is 29..... WHERE is Spring. I am looking for it. I just want to see buds popping through the ground. It has been forever. I have not ran outside since mid December. I do not remember that every happening

So today is my fifth day in a row of green cleanse smoothies. I am not seeing any mental clarity, no weight loss, but I feel I am ridding my body of toxins. This drink is all about Friday. I like this drink because it is bursting with a couple of different flavors. My Husband really thought I should add Rum. Maybe over the weekend.

This was a rocket of bursting flavors popping in your Mouth

Green Cleanse Mojito
adapted by ME
1 cup Water
1 green Apple, cored and cut into pieces
1 small handful of fresh Mint
1/2 Lime juice
1 or 2 squirts Agave Nectar
1 cup Ice

Put all ingredients in the blender in the order listed above, blend until smooth. Drink or Chill for later.

This is SO easy. I wonder why more people are not drinking these.

This was only 1 Drink.

I always love this intense green color. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chocolate Almond Smoothie

This is for my Husband. He is my taste tester. Yet allowed to comment, is not allowed to be critical. HUGE fine line. He usually crosses over, but most of the time he is right. He likes Green Cleanse, but wants more to his drink. He is a meat kind of guy. He is NOT on board with meatless Mondays. Good Lord.... I am working on it. He will eat his coucous and quinoa, but not meatless.

This smoothie is just about him, with a whole lot of Shayla involved. Not high in calories or fat and loaded with nutrients and proteins. It has a simple chocolate taste, with just the right flavors. This is pretty much my Husband. Not to fancy, but everything needs to look good together. I am his complicated fancy.

This was my glass. I had to make sure it was Perfect.

Chocolate Almond Smoothie
adapted by ME 
1 cup Almond Milk
1/2 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
1 frozen banana, peeled
1/2 Avocado
1/3 - 1/2 raw almonds

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed above. Blend until smooth. Drink up

I used Chocolate Protein Powder. Vanilla would have worked,
but since I have both. Why Not.

Frozen bananas and Raw Almonds

This reminded me of a Chocolate Milkshake.
Look at the swirls in the glass. 
Tasted Yummy also.
Husband Approved

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

GREEN Cleanse Smoothie - 2

As you can tell with this blog, I can be a bit obsessive. When will she write about Cookies and Bars again. I have always had this problem. My OCD issues have lessened somewhat as I have gotten older. When my Dad died, I learned that somethings in life just do not matter. Obsessing about things and issues were not going to change things. He was gone and my life had changed. I will still pick things apart, and worry to much, but lots of "issues" have dropped off.

If you have not read a single post in the past month in a half, I received a VITAMIX for Christmas. My friend Mary is the best person to have as a friend. She is the kindest soul I know. Mary is WAY nicer than I ever deserve. I am grateful to have her as a friend. Besides.... she gave me a VITAMIX for Christmas and my Birthday. I would have been grateful to have her old unused one.... Just saying. I LOVE Mary.

Since I have written countless blogs about SMOOTHIES and SMOOTHIE Nation, here is another ONE.
I like the freshness of the green cleanse. I love Almond and Coconut Milk, but the lightness of a green smoothie is something totally different. Almond and Coconut Milk smoothies serve many purposes. My Husband would have never tried Almond milk if I did not put it into a smoothie. I have not baled on them, but Green Cleanse makes me think of Spring and Summer. We have had winter forever this year. I am tired of snow and cold weather clothing. I want to sweat and wear flip flops again.

This drink came to me before I worked out this morning. It needed to be quick and taste great. I hit both of these criteria's today.  Give it a try, it is delicious.

Green Cleanse Smoothie - 2
adapted by ME
1 cup Orange Juice
1 Green Apple, cored and chopped
1 piece Fresh Ginger, thumb nail size
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
1-2 cups Fresh Spinach

Place everything in your blender in the order of recipe. Blend until smooth. Drink away

5 ingredients. Quick and Easy

I was close to 2 cups of Spinach. 
I am going to try Romaine next time.

I could not believe how exact the color was. 
From the apple into your body. Perfect. 
THANKS Mary.... You are an amazing Friend.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

GREEN Cleanse Smoothie

I finally did it. I went GREEN, and I loved it. Why do I procrastinate? This drink was fantastic. So full of flavors and goodness. My Husband thought it tasted "OK". He is still opting for a chocolate, nutty, fruity kind of drink. His drinks have also gotten healthier. It is funny how this had evolved in just a month in a half.  

Every year at the 15th of January, we start a major exercise - diet program. 1 month into the program, my Husband has lost 7 pounds. SHAYLA  - ZERO.  Down 2 pounds, Up 1 pound, Down 6 ounces, Up 1 pound. I have lost some inches, ("very Happy") but no weight. My flexibility has improved, and also my ability to jump higher and do more push ups. SO.... there are some changes that are working.

On Sunday, I found a couple of recipes for Green Cleanse. They were all almost the same. To the refrigerator I went. Pulled out my necessary ingredients and went from there. 

Do you see this beautiful color of GOODNESS

Smokey was my Supervisor. 
Actually she just wanted to look out the window and I was there in HER way

Green Cleanse Smoothie
adapted by ME
1-2 cups water
1 green apple, cored & cut into pieces
1 cucumber, peeled, cored & cut into pieces
1 lemon, juiced
1 stalk celery, cleaned, cut into chucks
1 piece fresh ginger, thumb nail size
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
2 handfuls fresh spinach

Place all ingredients in the blender, in the order listed. Blend until smooth

ADD ICE if you want a frothier consistency.

I do not know why I thought this was so difficult. 
These are all basic items, I have in the frig.

Tart Green Apples and Fresh Ginger.
Both bursting with flavors

There was part of an apple slice missing. 
Someone wanted to taste the Apple

Fresh Spinach and Lemons. I was ready to make a salad

That is one full Vitamix

I am drinking one of these a day. I will try to drink two a day.
The nutritional benefits are HUGE. 
It will also clean the junk out of my body.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Spinach Fruit Smoothie

I am almost Green. I know, I know, I really need to conquer this. Have I told anyone that I LOVE my VITAMIX. My friend Mary is just such a wonderful person. LOVE her dearly. She is radiating with love and happiness. And her styling is always spark tacular. That may not be a word, but if you know her, you know that I am correct. Mary is "the Life of the Party" in a great way. One of these days, I am going to give Mary a Vitamix class. She has not used hers yet........

This "Green" Smoothie was just delicious. The large amount of fruit gave it such a wonderful flavor. The spinach added so many vitamins and nutrients and such a lovely color. It was perfect for another cold snowy winter day. One of these days, it will be so nice and I will be forever OUTSIDE.  With all the crappy weather we have had, I have completed loads of Spring cleaning chores. That is a good thing, but just ridiculous way to spend a weekend.

Is that not a BEAUTY Queen.

Spinach Fruit Smoothie
made by ME
1 cup Almond Milk
6 oz greek Yogurt
2 frozen Bananas
5-6 strawberries (can be frozen)
1/2 mango (can be frozen)
1-2 cups fresh Spinach

Place all ingredients in a high power blender and blend away. You can add ice if you want.

Basic ingredients you find in the Refrigerator

dripping with Delicious Flavors

I was totally digging the bubbles on top.
My own amusement