Halloween is coming and y'all I love Halloween...you know why? Well, if you know anything about me, it's the candy!!! I love, love, love candy corn. Like eat bags of it all of September and October. And a Reese's pumpkin....o.m.g. just leave me alone with it because it requires 100% of my attention! You know you were a true trick-or-treater when you can remember suffering through that plastic mask with holes for the eyes, mouth, and nose with an elastic band on the back so your hair could get good and caught up in it.....and by the way, what genius put a little bitty horizontal line for your mouth when the whole point was to eat candy the whole night!?! And the costume was basically you, dressed in your regular clothes, with a plastic something (costume) wrapped and tied behind your back. Oh, good times.Read More
The holidays are coming and what better time to make sure that your pantry is stocked and you are ready to cook! I love the holidays and I so look forward to cooking for my family. What I don't like is getting my mind set on cooking something and not having everything I need to prepare it on hand. Or, in the middle of something, and not having what I need to prepare it. So, I have gathered a list of essentials that you should stock your pantry with you’ll be ready to get cooking!Read More
My youngest daughter plays softball every Thursday night in September and usually 3 games that either start at 5, 6, and 7 or 6, 7, and 8. Which means that we usually make it home around 9 or later. What's the point of your story Jennifer? The point is, that usually I pick up fast food for supper on those nights because I'm not home to fix anything. Well, this past Thursday, I actually got it together and had supper for us when we got home!Read More
Have you had sweet potato fries? I have had them several times in restaurants, but I have never made them myself. So, when Chad brought home some fresh sweet potatoes one night this week, I thought - perfect time to try it out! Now, when you order sweet potato fries at a restaurant, they are usually fried. I do not fry….I am no good at it, and it makes my house stink. My hair picks up any smell, anywhere. If I go in a gas station, I smell like fried food. If I go in a BBQ restaurant, I smell like BBQ. If I go into Subway, I smell like Subway bread the rest of the day….you get the idea. ANYWAY, have I told y’all I have a little bit of ADHD???Read More
I know you've heard about it....eating low-carb or some form of the keto/paleo diet! Well, eating low carb helps thousands of people lose weight everyday. If you decrease carbs in your daily meals, it can help you lose weight and help control your blood sugar. As a dietitian, people ask me all of the time what I think of "such and such" diet. My answer is always this:
You do what works for you. You do what you are comfortable living with and what you can continue to do for a long period of time. Lifestyle and habit changes are what is important to achieving goals. I, personally, could not follow a low-carb diet. I know that up front. So, I don't even try. This is not something that I could continue to do for a long time, because I have a sweet tooth that will not go away! But, some people don't LOVE sweets, or LIVE on bread and pasta. And, for those people, this may be the perfect plan. For those of you who are interested, I have a FREE Living Low-Carb e-book that goes over the general idea of a low-carb diet. It contains a sample meal plan and a valuable list of low-carb foods that you should shop for! If you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask me and I hope you learn a little something new from the book! 😃
It's that time of year again....football!! Y'all I can't tell you how much I love football season! I am an avid LSU fan and a pretty big Saints fan too. I went to LSU and the entire time I was there, we didn't have the best football team - ok, we didn't have a winning football team at all! But, I still got myself together and romped to that stadium with my friends and watched the Tigers play! Death Valley is like no other stadium in college football, and it is definitely an experience you will never forget. When I watch the LSU football games on TV, I really do get emotional when the band plays GEAUX TIGERS! It takes me straight back to those nights, 20 something years ago, when I sat and soaked up the LSU football game experience. Corny, I know, but all true.Read More
School is back up and running here in Louisiana! I wrote a post a few weeks ago about great ideas for your kids lunches so that they don't get bored and tired of the same old thing. Well, I had another thought about bento boxes. I mean, bento boxes are the coolest things ever. I think they make your lunch a little more appealing and are way more exciting looking than a bunch of bags. There are so many to choose from, these are some of my favorites:
1. These little bento boxes are affordable, colorful, and plentiful! There are 7 bento boxes in this pack and I love the bright colors. If you have more than one child to fix a lunch for, you could color coordinate for each kid everyday!
2. This bento box has 5 compartments! I love that. AND, a spoon and fork included with it! It is leakproof and easy for kids to open.
3. This is a two-pack of bento boxes, with 3 compartments, and also includes a spoon. It's durable and easy to open!
4. So this is the Cadillac of bento boxes! It is beautiful. Stainless steel, with 5 sections. But, this is money well spent if you are a serious lunch bringer....like use it everyday lunch bringer. Easy to clean and durable, this bento box will last you a long time!
Any of these boxes would be perfect to pack your lunch or your child's lunch, and they are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. AND, they are so cute! I have put together a little cheat sheet to help give you some ideas to put together a fabulous lunch, in your bento box for your child, or yourself, or your niece, or your hubby....you get the idea...:) Do you have a favorite bento box? I'd love to know which one it is!
Sign up here to get your free cheat sheet to fix the perfect bento box lunches every day!
I hope you have been enjoying my series on food allergies. It is so interesting to learn about these different allergies and how to deal with them. They are becoming more prevalent and everyone should have some idea of how to feed a child with these different allergies! You can find Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here. Today we will talk about a peanut allergy and soy allergy.
Soybeans provide a very high quality protein in your diet. If you have a soy allergy, you should avoid foods made with soy. There are many foods that contain soy, including baked goods. meat products, cereal, and chocolate. It is imperative to read food labels when trying to avoid soy. A soy allergy is most common in infants and children and they usually outgrow it by the time they reach adulthood.
Substitutes for Soy Oil: Soy oil can be substituted with any oil that doesn't contain soil. Canola oil, corn oil, and olive oil are good examples.
Substitutes for Soy Margarine: If you don't have a milk allergy, you can substitute soy margarine with real butter.
Substitutes for Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is usually used to add a salty component to recipes. You should choose a sauce that is salty in taste or you can use balsamic vinegar with salt added.
Substitutes for Teriyaki Sauce: You can use sweet and sour sauce as a substitute, or you can combine balsamic vinegar, orange juice, white or brown sugar, water, olive oil and pepper.
Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy
I know this may sound hard to believe, but a peanut is actually a legume, but the proteins are similar to the proteins in tree nuts. Tree nuts are walnuts, almonds, pecans and cashews.
The only way to be sure nuts are not in a food item is to read the ingredient list. Some common foods that contain nuts are:
Cookies and baked goods - the actual baked good may not contain nuts, but the product could have come in contact with nuts during processing or packing.
Candy- different candy can contain nuts as a hidden ingredient, or can come in contact with nuts during processing or packaging.
Ice Cream - this one is on the list mainly when you go to an ice cream shop. Scoops are sometimes used on several different types of ice cream, without washing them, therefore, contaminating the scoop if it touches nuts.
Sauces- many sauces are thickened with nuts or peanuts.
Substitutes for Peanuts: Peanuts can be substituted with seeds, beans and pretzels. Seeds are nut free and make a great replacement for nuts in granola bars, breads and "butters". Beans can be roasted and replace nuts in salads and vegetable dishes. Pretzels are a great substitute for nuts in pie crusts and coatings for chicken or pork chops.
So, as you can see, food allergies have become common, especially among children. If you have a child with a food allergy, or feed a child with a food allergy (like me at my job), it is important to stay educated and up to date on substitutions and precautions. It doesn't have to be stressful as long as you are always prepared. I hope this series was helpful and that you learned a little something you didn't know before!
Did you see my last post about children who have a milk allergy and/or egg allergy? I hope you got to read it. If not, you can read it here. Today, I'm going to touch on two more common food allergies. Wheat and corn.
A wheat allergy is one of the most common childhood food allergies,but it may affect adults as well. People with a wheat allergy has developed a specific antibody to a wheat protein, and sometimes more than one.
The best way to avoid an allergic reaction to wheat is to avoid it all together. Unfortunately, there is an extensive list of foods that contain wheat.
Here are a few:
many baked products, including cookies, cakes, donuts, muffins, crackers, pretzels, waffles, and bread
many breakfast cereals
coffee substitutes and instant chocolate drink mixes
sauces, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, gravies, and condiments, such as ketchup
couscous, pasta, and noodles that are made with wheat or semolina
ice cream and ice cream cones
processed meats, such as hotdogs
meat, crab or shrimp substitutes
Barley, oats, and rye also contain some of the proteins contained in wheat. A person with a wheat allergy may be allergic not just to wheat, but to rye, oats, and barley too.
One of the most important things that you can do is to check food labels. If wheat is in a certain food, it should be listed on the label of that food, and should be avoided if you have a wheat allergy.
There are some substitutes that you can get and they come in the form of "gluten free". Grocery stores now tend to have a large selection of gluten-free products. These can include, cereal, chips, breaded meats, pizzas, baking mixes and many more.
Corn is a much less common food allergy than most of the others.
If you have a corn allergy, you should avoid corn as much as you can. It is in foods that you would expect, like corn oil and corn muffins, but it's also in foods that may not look so obvious. For example, it can be found in deli meat, jam, bread, salad dressing, cereal, and canned fruits. Before eating something, it is important to read the food label.
Substitutes for Corn Oil: You can substitute with another safe oil such as canola oil, soybean oil, or grapeseed oil.
Substitutes for Baking Powder: (For each teaspoon of baking powder):
1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Substitutes for Corn Starch: 1 1/2 tsp arrowroot starch, 1 Tbsp wheat starch, 1 1/2 tsp tapioca starch, 1 1/2 tsp potato starch, 2 tsp quick cooking tapioca, 1 tsp xanthin gum
Substitutes for Corn Syrup: you can substitute 1 cup of corn syrup with 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water
Substitutes for Powdered Sugar: Most commercially prepared powdered sugar contains cornstarch, but they do make powdered sugar that does not contain cornstarch. It is imperative that you read food labels.
Substitutes for Vanilla Extract: Corn-free vanilla extract is available in stores.
So, as you can see, even though having these food allergies can sometimes be complicated, luckily there are some substitutions that you can use to make cooking a little less stressful!
In my last post, I wrote briefly about the common food allergies that children have. Over the next few posts, I'll go a little more in depth about each one and try to give you some helpful tips to substitute for these foods! Today, I am going to be talking about a milk allergy and an egg allergy. Please remember, always listen to your doctor and follow his instructions!
A milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children. Milk provides a good source of many essential nutrients for bone strength and growth. These nutrients are especially important during a child's growing periods. These nutrients include: protein, calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin A, riboflavin, and phosphorus. If your child has a milk allergy, these nutrients need to be replaced by eating other foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and legumes.
In some cases, you may be able to use milk alternatives. If your child is over one year old, you can substitute soy milk, almond milk, or even lactose-free milk. Be sure to read the labels of these substitutes to make sure that they are fortified. For example, there should be 8 grams of protein per 8 ounces of milk to match the protein you would get with regular milk.
Here are some examples of substitutes and how you could use them:
Soy Milk- Can be substituted for cow's milk in all baking needs, over cereal, for pancakes and waffles, in smoothies, or straight from the glass. The unsweetened variety works well in savory dishes. Soy milk does have a more distinct flavor, so it may not work as well in sauces.
Rice Milk- Rice milk has a natural sweetness that is perfect for desserts and baked goods. Its texture is also great in cream sauces and cream soups. It is not as tasty in savory dishes.
Oat Milk- Oat milk has been reported to be good in sweet and savory dishes. In addition to drinking it from the glass, it is recommended for smoothies, baked goods, cream soups and sauces, and mashed potatoes.
Substituting for Buttermilk- you can make your own buttermilk substitute by mixing one tablespoon vinegar plus 1 cup milk alternative (soy, rice, oat, almond milk).
Substituting for Cream (light or heavy)-
Light - canned light coconut milk, soy creamer, almond-based creamers
Heavy - canned full-fat coconut milk
Most children with egg allergy must avoid eggs in all forms unless their doctor has advised them otherwise. The part of the egg that is responsible for allergic reactions is the egg white, and it is very difficult to completely separate the white from the yolk without the yolk containing some traces of the egg white protein. Eggs are a great source of protein, but you can get enough protein from other food sources such as meat, poultry, milk and beans.
Eggs usually are either acting as a binder or a leavening agent when used in baked goods, and sometimes act as both. If a recipe calls for 3 or more eggs, egg substitutes are usually not recommended because the texture and consistency do not turn out right. When talking about egg substitutes and egg replacements, egg substitutes are made more for people who are watching their cholesterol. They are usually in the dairy section of the store and contain eggs. They are unsafe for people with an egg allergy. Egg replacements can be found in health food stores (usually marketed under the names Egg Replacer and Ener-G) and are generally safe to use if you have an egg allergy. Make sure to always read the food label on any product.
Here is substitute for using egg as a binding agent (this is for 1 egg):
1/2 of a medium banana, mashed
1/4 cup applesauce (or other pureed fruit)
3 1/2 tablespoons of gelatin mixture (mix 1 cup boiling water and 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin and then use 3 1/2 tablespoons of that mixture
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed combined with warm water and let stand for 1 minute before using
Here is a substitute for using egg as a leavening agent:
You can try an egg replacement (as mentioned above) OR
1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon baking powder per egg
These are just two of a list of very common allergies among children today. Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Food Allergy Series. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.
My own children do not have food allergies, but my husband is deathly allergic to wasps (and when I say deathly I don't mean "deathly as in it irritates him, I mean 2 minutes after stung, pass out, epinephrine, helicopter, ER visit, $20,000 deathly!) Oh, and the doctor always likes to remind us, he could die....aren't you all glad I shared that! On to what I was supposed to originally be talking about...
As a dietitian in the school system, food allergies have become one of my biggest jobs. I have been in my current position for 4 years and each year, the number of children with food allergies continues to skyrocket. And it's scary. We want to make sure that our children are safe no matter where they are, and that includes eating meals in the lunchroom, the classroom, and field trips. So, I do a lot of running around looking for substitutions for foods that these children cannot have, and it has taught me a lot! I will be doing a Food Allergy series over the next few days and will go through each individual food allergy, what it entails, and some ideas of foods to eat instead. I'm not a doctor, so I'm not going into the medical side of this, so please always listen to what your doctor recommends!
When I was younger and in school, I rarely heard of a food allergy. Sometimes milk, maybe eggs, very few peanuts. Well, now along with milk and eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and peanuts are among some of the most common foods that cause allergies.
What is a Food Allergy?
With a food allergy, the body reacts as though that particular food product is harmful. As a result, the body's immune system creates antibodies to fight the food allergen, the substance in the food that triggers the allergy.
The next time a person comes in contact with that food by touching or eating it or inhaling its particles, the body releases chemicals, including one called histamine, to "protect" itself. These chemicals trigger allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or cardiovascular system. These symptoms might include a runny nose; an itchy skin rash; a tingling in the tongue, lips, or throat; swelling; abdominal pain; or wheezing.
Now food allergies and food intolerance are not the same, but people often confuse them because they have similar symptoms. The symptoms of food intolerance can include burping, indigestion, gas, loose stools, headaches, nervousness, or a feeling of being "flushed." But food intolerance:
doesn't involve the immune system
can be caused by a person's inability to digest certain substances, such as lactose
can be unpleasant but is rarely dangerous
Think lactose intolerance - you drink it, it doesn't agree with you, but it isn't going to send you to the hospital...just the bathroom!
According to the Food Allergy Research and Education network (FARE), 1 in every 13 children in the United States under age 18 have food allergies. They are less common in adults but, overall, food allergies affect nearly 15 million people in the United States.
What are Common Food Allergens?
A child could be allergic to any food, but these eight common allergens account for 90% of all reactions in kids:
tree nuts (such as walnuts and cashews)
shellfish (such as shrimp)
In general, most kids with food allergies outgrow them. Research shows that of those who are allergic to milk, about 80% will eventually outgrow the allergy. About two-thirds with allergies to eggs and about 80% with a wheat or soy allergy will outgrow those by the time they're 5 years old. But, my experience in the school system is telling me something completely different. They may be outgrowing them, but they continue to stay on these special diets because they are either used to eating those foods, or they are scared that they may have a reaction again.
Other food allergies are harder to outgrow. Only about 20% of people with allergies to peanuts and about 10% of those allergic to tree nuts outgrow the allergies. Fish and shellfish allergies usually develop later in life and are even more rarely outgrown.
What Kind of Reactions Can You Have From a Food Allergy?
Food allergy reactions can vary from person to person. Some can be very mild and only involve one part of the body, like hives on the skin. Others can be more severe and involve more than one part of the body. Reactions can happen within a few minutes or up to a few hours after contact with the food.
Food allergy reactions can affect any of the four following areas of the body:
skin: itchy red bumps (hives); eczema; redness and swelling of the face or extremities; itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, or mouth (skin reactions are the most common type of reaction)
gastrointestinal tract: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
respiratory tract: runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath
cardiovascular system: lightheadedness or fainting
A serious allergic reaction with widespread effects on the body is known as anaphylaxis. This sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction involves two or more of the body areas listed above. There also can be swelling of the airway, serious difficulty with breathing, a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and in some cases, even death (enter Chad Coburn and a wasp).
How are food allergies diagnosed?
This is the part where you see your doctor. If you think that your child has a food allergy, you should make an appointment with an allergist. The allergist will do test to determine if and what your child is allergic to and then make a treatment plan from there.
How Do You Treat a Food Allergy?
No medication can cure food allergies, so treatment usually means avoiding the allergen and all the foods that contain it.
You'll need to read food labels so that you can avoid the allergen. A new food labeling law, passed in 2006, states that the makers of packaged foods are required to clearly state, in or near the ingredient lists, whether the product contains milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soy. Often times this is listed at the end of the ingredients list and is sometimes in bold print.
Although there's no cure for food allergies, medications can treat both minor and severe symptoms. Antihistamines might be used to treat symptoms such as hives, runny nose, or abdominal pain associated with an allergic reaction.
Epinephrine is sometimes used to treat severe allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis. This would be prescribed by your doctor and you and all of your child's caregivers would need to be trained on how to administer it.
I know this is a lot of information, but it is common, and so important. As I continue in my career, I find that these children don't have just one of these food allergies, but multiple allergies. Milk and soy, or wheat and milk. It is very difficult to know what you can and cannot feed your child and over the next few days I am going to try to help lift some of that burden and give you some tips! And if you ever have any questions, always feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com.
*And, I must say again, I am not a doctor, so please always follow your physicians orders.
Well, I know we are so close to school starting (ensue screaming and crying)! And what is on everyone's mind is back to school EVERYTHING! Shopping for uniforms or outfits, shoes, backpacks, school supplies and LUNCH! Packing the dreaded lunch box, or bento box!. Sometimes we get stuck in the same old rut, packing the same thing for our kids everyday because we are just fresh out of ideas.
Well, Jennifer to the rescue! I have rounded up quite a few lunch ideas that are quick, easy, and affordable (gasp)! Yep, I am going to help you get ready for back to school lunch packing and organization and all you have to do is read what I've gathered for you below, AND there is even a nice little printable at the end that you will love! I promise, I wouldn't steer you wrong.
Whew, wasn't that awesome? Literally, so many fabulous ideas and you didn't have to think of them! Take some of these ideas and mark that task off of your list for getting ready to go back to school. Take these ideas and your kids will wonder if an alien stole their mom! :)
Happy lunch packing,
Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).
Back to school time again! I have mixed emotions about back to school. When I was a child, I was so excited to start school with my new clothes, new shoes and new Trapper Keeper! (I'm just dating myself a little bit!). But, as a parent, I am kind of sad when school starts again. I love the relaxed feeling of Summer. No homework, no bedtime, no wake up time. No after school activities or carpool. Hmmm, I'm just going to think on that for a few minutes and enjoy the thought of Summer. Ok, but for real, inevitably school starts again and you know what we have? Hungry kids! My kids used to come in from school ravenous. Like "get out of my way or I'll eat you" hungry! So, I've put together some after school snack ideas to help you get ready for hungry kids and get them fueled up to get that homework done, or soccer practice, or just fill their bellies. Here is a list of 20 ideas that are quick, easy and healthy. For a few of them I researched the healthiest versions of these snacks and am sharing them with you!
Hummus and pita chips
Fruit (cut-up, whole, or canned) - apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, pineapple, peaches, strawberries
Jell-O with or without whipped topping
Applesauce - Musselman's Natural Unsweetened Applesauce was found to be one of the most nutritious. People loved it for its tang, texture and great taste.
Pudding with or without whipped topping
Granola bars - Annie's Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars contain organic cinnamon and raisins with no preservatives, colors or gluten.
Cereal with low-fat or skim milk
Cheese and crackers
Vegetables with ranch dressing - cucumbers, carrots, celery, etc.
Microwave popcorn - Newman's Own Organics Pop's Corn Light Butter is organic and low in fat!
Hard boiled eggs
Grilled cheese sandwich
Fruit Snacks - Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks have been chosen as most nutritious; they are made with real fruit juice and no artificial flavors, colors or ingredients.
Peanut butter on ANYTHING!!
Raisins - Amazin' Raisins - 100% dried fruit with no added sugar. Their facility is free of top allergens like egg, wheat, peanut, tree nut, soy, milk, fish and shellfish. I can personally say that these are fantastic. They count as a 1/2 cup fruit and they taste delicious!
So these are just 20 of so many options for healthy after school snacks. And, most of these are so easy and don't require appliances, that your child can get them for themselves - which in my book is a win, win! Any tried and true snacks you live by? I'd love to know!
So, I have another chicken recipe for you and it is DELICIOUS!! Another quick and easy recipe that you can use your boneless, skinless chicken breasts with, or any meat for that matter. My family loves it and it's even better the next day. We ate it for supper one night, and then again for lunch the next day and O.M.G., the fettuccine had time to sit in that butter and garlic all night long and it was heaven! So go ahead, try it and I promise that you will love it too!
I took boneless, skinless chicken breasts and washed them and seasoned them up with salt and pepper.
Then I started my butter and garlic sauce that only took literally about two minutes. Melt the butter, heat the garlic and add the brown sugar.
I mean, ok I'm done. I could just get some bread and be done with this whole thing!! Anyway, back to the actual recipe, take this sauce and pour it over your already seasoned chicken. Make sure cover every piece. I literally took a spoon and spooned it over each piece to make sure they all got some of that sauce on them and weren't left out.
Look at that garlic on top of that chicken, and all of that sauce in the bottom of the pan. Ok, anyway, doesn't take much to distract me! Put the chicken in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on how much you have in there - my pan was pretty full). While this bakes, I started cooking my fettuccine....and suffered through the amazing smell.....but! Alas, it didn't take long before this chicken was cooked!!
And check out these pans….they are Copper Chef and I love them!!! I had seen all the hoop la about how they are non-stick….well they are non-stick. They are what they advertise!
How pretty is that? I mean baked chicken goodness, with that garlic and butter. It's really a shame you can't smell through your computer! Anyway, to the finale! Y'all, look how pretty this is! Like too pretty to eat but NOT to pretty to eat! My family loved it, I used 3 pots and pans and it was even better the next day. Win/win in my book! Please try this and let me know what you think!
Y'all, these are some of the best cookies ever and so simple to make, it should be a crime! Literally, 5 ingredients. And, I whipped these suckers out in no time. They don't last long around here either. Even better, you make them with a cake mix! Score! So, if you are looking for a delicious, easy and quick dessert...keep reading!
EASY LEMON COOKIES
Makes: 3 dozen cookies
- 1 (18.25 oz) package lemon cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon extract until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar until they are lightly covered. Once they are covered, put them on an uncreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 6-7 minutes in a preheated oven. The bottoms may be a little brown and the insides should be chewy.
Voila! That is it. Literally, didn't even need a mixer. In this picture you can see that I made my cookies a little bigger and it made 1 dozen, so you can gauge how big you like them. I usually make them smaller and they are a little flatter, and I think I like them better that way! Bottom line, doesn't matter the size of the cookie, they are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
P.S. You can also do this with a strawberry cake mix and they are delicious and pretty too!
P.S.S. I like to use these silicone baking mats, they keep your trays nice and pretty and you don’t have to use any cooking oil!
Ahhh, the "Freshman 15'...I remember hearing about it before I went off to college and thinking "oh, no, not me:)". Well, I was right, I didn't gain 15 pounds, I gained FORTY!!! Yes, I said 40. I wish I was playing a mean, cruel joke on you, but it is the truth. How? You ask? That's a great question. I am going to narrow it down to lots of junk food, lots of fast food, no sleep, and beer. And probably a little more beer. They don't call it "beer belly" for nothing! This was the beginning of my constant up and down weight loss and yo-yo dieting. This is part of what made me become a Registered Dietitian. Because I loved to eat!
Studies show that students, on average, gain 3-10 pounds during their first year of college. (Well, I BLEW that statistic right out of the water!) There are so many factors that affect this and so many changes going on in an 18 year old freshman's life. Some of them may have anxiety, sadness, homesickness, and stress. And, some of them deal with some or all of those emotions by eating. They are on their own to eat whatever they want. They have free reign at a dining hall that, now a days, is like a Ryan's buffet, EVERYDAY! They also tend to snack late at night to help them fuel up for all night study sessions. And then, there's the alcohol and the no sleep. All of these things combined can put a few pounds on you.
Most everything you read about maintaining your weight says: eat a balanced diet, participate in regular exercise, and get plenty of rest. Well, that is not really even an option for college students sometimes. So, let me break it down for you.
Choose a variety of nutritious foods. Just like I said about the dining hall being a buffet, they also have some healthy options. Look for the whole fruits, whole grain cereal bars and yogurt.
Try to limit soft drinks. Soft drinks are nothing but empty calories. They provide you with no nutritional benefit. Only calories, that add up in your daily caloric intake. If you like the carbonation, like I do, try these flavored waters….they are AMAZING!…..AND affordable!
Keep healthy snacks on hand. Keep convenient and nutritious snacks around. These are especially helpful when you are in between classes or studying at the library and need some "brain food".
Avoid distracted eating. What the heck is that you say? Try not to eat when you are super stressed or watching tv.
Eat slowly and be aware of what you are eating. This kind of goes with the last one I wrote...when you are eating, eat. Really think about, are you are full or still hungry? Are you eating just to clean your plate?
Try not to overdo the fast food. It is easier to pick up fast food sometimes, but it is definitely worse for you. Fast food is generally very high in calories, fat and sodium. If you do hit the fast food joint, try to choose the better for you options, like a grilled chicken sandwich, side salad or yogurt.
Avoid snacking between meals and very late at night. All of these little "snacks" add up and sometimes you could be eating as many as 3000 calories a day. Can you say "pizza anyone"?
Drink water. Your body needs water. All of the time. It's not a weight loss agent, but it does aid in metabolism and helps your body process calories. So, if you are dehydrated, your body doesn't process as many calories, and those calories stay right on your hips....well, maybe not your hips, could be your belly or your rear end, but they stay on you! I love this water bottle that will not spill and will keep your water cold all day!
Get enough exercise. You can get "formal exercise" at a gym or by joining an intramural team of some sort. Or, if you don't like exercising all that much, you can burn calories walking all over campus. Walk to class, the bookstore and the library. Walk as many places as you can.
Limit alcohol. Alcohol is simply empty calories that do nothing but add weight to your body and encourage you to make some stupid decisions sometimes. It also has a tendency to make you want to eat...Rally's cheeseburgers at 3 a.m. - refer back to #7 😃
And, I know I said 10, but I have one more thing to say:
Try to get adequate sleep. (Bwahahahah-laughing hysterically like Count Dracula would!) Not happening. Not when you are in college....but, at least try to keep it consistent. Try not to stay up all night one night and then sleep the whole next day. Your body gets in a rhythm and sleep is directly associated with your metabolism. Moral of the story, try to get some shut eye.
So, in addition to everything else you have to do your first year of college (make good grades, go to work, call home regularly), now you have to try to eat right! But trust me, and take it from me, it's much easier to maintain your weight than try to lose 40 pounds later!
So, it was 5:00 on a Thursday night and I had NOTHING planned to cook - (let the gasps begin!). Anyway, I literally knew I had chicken breasts and that was it. So what to do? I did what any good cook/mom would do and hopped on Pinterest! I searched for quick chicken dinners and you know my feed lit up. But, I was skimming for recipes that looked like they had any of the ingredients that I had on hand...and BINGO! Found a hit.
It looked like a winner. I had chicken and rice, and as I hunted my pantry, I realized I had everything else I would need to make it, and got to work. The original recipe calls for dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (which I did not have) and a rotisserie chicken (which I did not have). I did have a packet of dry Italian dressing and some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. My one concern is that my family doesn't really LOVE a casserole. I mean, sometimes they will eat it and suffer through it, but a casserole more than once every two weeks is pushing it. This is my fault, I spoiled them this way. The dietitian in me started cooking for them with my studies in my mind. A protein, 2 starches, a vegetable, a fruit...like I thought had to have all of these components for every meal! And I won't even get into making sure the plate wasn't monochromatic and everything look the same (if you think I am certifiably crazy-I may agree with you)! ADHD alert (geez I can get off topic easily) this is why they are spoiled! Fast forward 23 years and I wish I had made a casserole 4 x a week! They wouldn't know any different. As it is, eating at home is like eating at Picadilly cafeteria-serve you?
But to end this long-winded, no point story, they loved it! Like loved it enough to pack it for their lunches the next day. That is always a sign of a real win for me. If they will eat it for supper AND bring it for lunch the next day - it's a keeper. So, without further adieu, "cracked out" chicken and rice bake. Here is the link for the original recipe and the recipe for the way I made it (with the substituted ingredients) is below.
Oh, and anything named "cracked out" has got to make you want to try it! Here is the link to the original post.
Shortcut Chicken and Rice Bake
Makes: 12 Servings
- 2 cups white rice
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
- 1 can (10-3/4 ounce) Cream of Chicken Soup
- 8-oz sour cream
- 1/2 (1-oz) package dry Italian Dressing Mix
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside
- Cook rice in microwave rice cooker (18 minutes) or in traditional rice cooker
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, chicken soup, sour cream, Italian dressing mix, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, bacon, chicken broth and cooked rice. Spread into prepared pan.
- Bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly
- Spread remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top of casserole and bake for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted.
I promise you that you will love how quick and easy this recipe is and your family will love how it tastes!
Who's going to the beach?? Have you ever gone on a beach vacation only to find that you have forgotten so many things you wonder if you even KNEW you were going to the beach? I have, and then I have to go to the nearest discount store and spend triple the money on most things I already have at home.Read More
Have a July 4th party this week? Well, I have the perfect appetizer for you! Quick and easy...bean dip. BEAN DIP??? you say? Yes, I know, ugh I don't like bean dip, but I LOVE this! And, everyone I've made it for has loved it! And when I tell you how easy it is to make? You're going to love it too! LIterally, 3 ingredients! So, here goes, and you can thank me later! :)
2. One or two tablespoons of mayonnaise - don't judge me - you haven't tried it!
3. One tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (don't doubt me here)!
4. Mix it all together and enjoy! (I told you super super simple)!
Now, look, I know, this does NOT look appetizing. I could have downloaded one of those beautiful stock photos that make it look like it should be served at a fancy dinner, but those of you who know me, know that's not me! This is bean dip, brown, mushy and yummy! You could serve it with any chip or cracker, and even use it in recipes when you would normally use bean dip. I like to serve it with Frito's, and there. is. never. one. drop. left! Please, let me know if you end up trying it and let me know how much you like it!
Here is the recipe:
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Combine and enjoy!
Service with Frito's or any chip or cracker that you like!
2 years ago I was in my own little world of sorrow. My oldest child, Katelyn, had just graduated high school, and was leaving the nest in August. I just wanted time to stand still. Just a few more family dinners, a few more shopping trips and a few more late night talks. Maybe I thought if I didn't get anything ready for her to go, she wouldn't go? Well, while I was in la-la land, thank goodness my sister, her Aunt Tracy was in operating “Cover my sister’s back!”Read More