Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

•October 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Hi everyone! So, in honour of thanksgiving, I decided to make a pumpkin pie cheesecake, because I had leftover cream cheese to use and a can of pumpkin to use. I also found some pumpkin pie Oreos at the store which I decided to use as the crust. I think it turned out pretty well, but won’t know for sure until I try a piece (or a bite) tomorrow!
Here’s the recipe I came up with. 

Cheesecake:

  • 1 package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla (optional)

Pumpkin Pie filling:

  • 8oz pure pumpkin 
  • 5oz cream (I didn’t have any, so I used 2% milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup + 2tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp ginger
  • 1/8tsp nutmeg 
  • 1tsp vanilla (optional)

Crust:

  • 5 pumpkin pie Oreos, crushed in a food processor (filing and all)
  • Alternately, you can use 2tbsp melted butter and 12 nilla wafers 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F
  2. In one bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla (if using) until smooth. Set aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, cream (or milk) egg, brown sugar, spices and vanilla (if using) until blended. Set aside. 
  4. Crush up Oreos. In an 8 inch springform pan or pie pan, push crushed cookies to make a crust. (If using nilla wafers, melt butter and combined with nilla wafer crumbs) 
  5. Pour 3/4 of the pumpkin pie mix on the crust. Next, pour the cheesecake mix carefully on top. Finally, top with spoonfuls of remaining pumpkin pie mix. Swirl with a knife. 
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until set, and center jiggles slightly when moved. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Place in fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. 
  7. Serve with whipped cream of desired. 

That’s it! Nothing too hard, and it came out looking pretty delicious. My son wanted cheesecake and we had none, so this was my fix for tomorrow. Hopefully he will enjoy it. 

  
I’ll let you know how it turned out tomorrow! 

How was everyone’s thanksgiving? What delicious food did you have, and what desserts did you make? Please feel free to share in the comments. 

Tomorrow is gym day. Looking forward to a great workout! Have a great night everyone!
Love Bree

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Honey glazed turkey & sweet potatoes

•October 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Hey guys. 

I have a recipe here for you. Tried, tested, and delicious! Whipped this bad boy up, and let me tell you, it is tasty and filling! Here’s the recipe!
Ingredients:

  • 4oz turkey breast, boneless/skinless
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cleaned
  • 1 sweet potatoe, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1-1.5tbsp honey
  • 1tbsp soy sauce (I use a homemade soy free soy sauce due to diet restrictions)
  • 1tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup cooked basmati rice
  1. Start by cooking your rice. Wild rice takes approximately 45-50 minutes to cook. The measurements are 1/2 cup of rice and 2 cups of water (4 times the amount of water to rice) bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid on. For basmati rice, it takes approximately 20 minutes. 1/4 cup of rice and 1/2 a cup of water. (2 times the amount of water to rice.) bring to a boil, then simmer on low with the lid on. I make the rice first as it takes the longest. 
  2. Dice your onion, then cook on medium-low until soft. Add in your diced sweet potatoe and green beans. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes over medium/medium low, stirring every few minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, dice your turkey into chunks. Salt and pepper to your liking, then let sit in the sauce. The sauce is the honey, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. 
  4. Once sweet potatoes are almost soft, add in the turkey and sauce, and cook until turkey is fully cooked. 
  5. Serve over, or beside, your rice. 

That’s it! It’s really simple, not a lot of ingredients, but big on taste. 

  
This whole meal is about 550 calories. I like to have this on gym night, as it is packed with protein, veggies and good carbs. 

Give it a try and let me know in the comments how it turned out! 
Love Bree

I’m baaaaack!

•October 12, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Well, I’m back. I can’t promise that I will update a lot, but I can promise I’ll try and post some delicious meals with recipes to try! I’ll do my best to post some progress pictures when I remember. So let’s get to it!

So, I started out on September 21st, 2015 on my new venture. I didn’t plan to start on any specific day, I just woke up, looked in the mirror and said “yeah, this isn’t going to work for me anymore” and decided to eat healthy and go back to the gym. The first day back was, well, painful. It was hard, my body hurt, and I looked and the mirror and said “why am I putting myself through this?” Then I remembered, the first week back is the hardest. If I could just push through that, I could keep going with a little more ease. 

Well, I made it through my first week. I’ve now been pushing on for 3 full weeks and have made great improvement. I start out every workout with 20 minutes on the elliptical. It’s my favourite way to start and get my heart rate up. I follow that with some weight machines, each focusing on different muscles. While a lot of people like to train just their legs one day, then arms the next, then their back, etc, I prefer to work all of them. I also started out doing 30 squats and 50 crunches. I am now doing 50 squats and 100 crunches at the end of each workout. 

I’ve noticeably lost weight in my stomach, and a bit in my hips. I haven’t been taking measurements because I don’t want to focus on it so much. I just want to be the best me I can be, and that includes not focusing on those numbers so much. I want to be strong, healthy, and comfortable in my own skin, regardless of what size my clothes are. 

While I don’t have a goal “size” I do have realistic goals for myself. I would love to get back down to 140lbs. I was that weight back in 2010, and I was working hard on eating healthy and exercising. I know I can get there again with persistence and routine. 

Here’s my progress so far.  

 
I’m proud of how far I’ve come in a few short weeks, and I’m looking forward to the changes I’ll make in the upcomimg weeks. Stay tuned for more posts. For now, I’ll work towards those next 1.2lbs to get to my first 10lbs gone. 

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave me any encouraging comments! I can always use the support!
Love Bree

Cranberry Bliss Bars

•October 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Cranberry bliss bars

1/3 cup butter, room temperature 

1/3 cup brown sugar

1⁄3 cup granulated sugar 

1 large eggs 

2/3 teaspoons orange extract or vanilla extract 

2/3 cups flour 

1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder 

1/3 teaspoon ground ginger 

1/4 cup craisins (dried cranberries) 

1/4 cup white chocolate chips 

 

FROSTING: 

1 ounces cream cheese, softened 

2/3 tablespoons butter, softened 

1 cups confectioners’ sugar 

1/3 teaspoon orange extract (or vanilla) 
Drizzle

1/4-1/3 cup white chocolate chips, melted

2tbsp craisons, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 for a glass or dark pan). Prepare a 10×15 by lining it with parchment paper or use a non-stick spray.

BARS: With an electric mixer, beat together softened butter and sugars 3-5 minutes until light; gently blend in eggs and orange extract (don’t overbeat eggs). Add the flour, baking powder, and ginger and beat briefly. Add the cranberries and chips, stirring just until incorporated.

Spread thick batter in prepared 10×15 pan. Bake 350 for 20-24 minutes until light brown AT EDGES and a skewer tests clean. Don’t overbake or your bars will be dry. Let it cool completely. NOTE: If you use a 9×13 pan, the bars will be thicker and will take 26-28 minutes.

FROSTING: Blend cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add orange extract and confectioners sugar and beat until frosting is fluffy and spreadable (adding 1 t. milk if needed). Spread evenly over COOLED bars.

GARNISH: Use a zester to remove rind from an orange; sprinkle zest over frosted bars. Chop 1/3 cup Craisins coarsely; sprinkle over frosted bars.

DRIZZLE: Mix white chocolate and oil in a glass measuring cup. Microwave 1 minute; stirring every 15 seconds until melted. Use a fork or whisk to drizzle the white chocolate diagonally across the bars.

Allow one hour for the white chocolate to set before cutting. **To make signature Starbuck triangles, cut into 20 large squares (5 cuts by 4 cuts with the knife). Then cut each square in half diagonally to create triangles.

  

It’s just that easy!

Homemade Hamburger Helper Lasagna!

•July 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Hey everyone!

Been on a kick lately and wanted hamburger helper, but couldn’t have it due to my soy allergy (will post an update soon) so I browsed around and found some recipes, and decided to mix up my own. It turned out really well, so I wanted to share my recipe with you!

Homemade Hamburger Helper Lasagna!
Ingredients:
1lb ground beef, cooked and drained 

2 cups hot water

1/2 cup milk 

2 cups lasagna noodles (I use mini lasagna noodles, as I like the taste of them, but can also crush up regular lasagna noodles or use egg noodles)

1 cup strained tomatoes (they come in a glass jar, no seeds or skin)
Sauce mix

1-1.5 tablespoons corn starch

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary)

1 teaspoon onion powder (I use shallot salt as I don’t have onion powder 

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt (I didn’t use as I used shallot salt)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon Parmesan/Romano cheese, grated

2 teaspoons instant beef broth powder
Topping:

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (or more, your preference!)
Directions:

Cook meat, then drain. Add 2 cups hot water and 1/2 milk and bring to a boil. Add pasta and tomatoes, then add sauce mix. Cover and cook on low for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until noodles and tender. 

Once done cooking, stir in cheese. 

Serve topped with extra shredded cheese and Parmesan, if preferred. 

  
It really isn’t much effort, but tastes delicious! Lower sodium than the original, and best of all, no soy! 

You can even try different variations. 

Not in the mood for tomatoes? why not try making lasagna Alfredo instead? Replace the tomatoes with 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and add 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Replace the ground beef with ground chicken, and throw in some veggies (such as broccoli) omit the beef stock, onion and garlic powder, and add in some fresh ground black pepper instead. 
Tamper with it, and show me what you come up with in the comments! Let me know if you try it, and how yours turned out. Is there anything you changed or added to the recipe?

Thanks for reading! 
Love Bree 

My healthy dinner

•August 8, 2014 • 2 Comments

Hello all!

So I just wanted to rant and rave about a delicious meal I made for myself!

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I had the top of one stalk of broccoli, steamed for 5 minutes (I like them still slightly firm) one red potatoe, baked (it’s about 150-160g pre-cooked) with 2tsp of butter, and 2 spinach and asiago chicken sausage! The sausages are made by Artisan Fresh, and were purchased at Sam’s Club. They are pre-cooked sausages, which makes preparing dinner easy when you are limited for time. Each sausage is 140 calories, 7g of fat, 2g of carbs, and 16g of protein. My entire meal was 485 calories total.
I highly recommend picking some of these up on your next trip to sam’s club! I’m definitely going to pick up some other flavours next time I am over.

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Check them out and let me know what you think!

Love Bree

getting there

•August 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

hey guy. figured i’d post a quick little update since i haven’t in a little bit.

the past week has been interesting. we had my ferret, max, home with us for the week. he had been living at my mom’s house while we are trying to sell the house, and were visiting him almost everyday. i missed having him at home, so we brought home the small cage and brought him home for the week to spend some time with us. Sadly, yesterday was his last day with us, as he was having some seizures, and they were getting fairly bad. the one was him screaming very loudly. he ended up biting me by accident, but i didn’t care. so, we ended up at the emergency vet and let him go. he had stopped eating and you could see the look in his eyes telling us that it was okay. i’m missing him, along with my other ferret, buddy, a lot today. that’s just the way life goes sometimes. we have to say goodbye, even if we aren’t ready, but we do it because we know it’s the right thing to do. i know that with time, i will feel better, but for right now, i’m just going to allow myself to be sad about it.

here’s a picture of both my sweet boys. max is the brunette, and buddy is the blonde.

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in other news, i’ve been progressing along very well. i’m down 13.6lb so far. it’s been almost 2 months. i’ve been working really hard (but still enjoying some cheat meals here and there) i even got my new gym shoes in and i love them! so comfortable!

planning to go to the gym tonight as well. i feel like it might help me calm down and cheer me up a bit. only time will tell.

hope everyone had a great day today, and if you didn’t, don’t worry because tomorrow is a new day.

love bree