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Fruity Lemon Cheesecake Cookie Cups

More red, white and blue happiness for your Fourth of July celebrations!

Fruity Lemon Cheesecake Cookie Cups - Bakerlady

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Fruity Lemon Cheesecake Cookie Cups

Do any of you use Safeway’s “Just-for-U” program/app? I always forget about it until I’m mostly done with my shopping. Then I’m standing in the aisle, trying to get service on my phone so I can check if anything I’m already purchasing has a coupon. Occasionally, instead of a coupon, I find a freebie. “Mini-birthday party…aisle 5.” I know the purpose of these giveaways is to get you hooked on some new product, but I don’t care. Free stuff is free stuff. I’ve had a bag of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix hanging out in my pantry thanks to Just-for-U and figured I’d bake up some delightful mouthfuls of deliciousness with it. These fruity lemon cheesecake cookie cups are sweet and creamy with a little cookie crunch. Yum. Yum.

Fruity Lemon Cheesecake Cookie Cups - Bakerlady

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Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

I was trying to sort thru some old photos on my computer today when I came across a few I didn’t even remember taking. Also, about 20,000 pictures of my kids. Wow. It’s a wonder they aren’t blind from all the flash bulbs going off in their faces. I apparently took pictures of food well before I decided to start a blog as there were a random recipe photos sprinkled throughout the birthday parties, first days of school and family holiday get-togethers. It’s no wonder. The food at events has always been almost as important to me as the people. Almost. I made this fruit salsa when I hosted a baby-shower for my sister-in-law. I remember it was awesome. And that in the midst of all the other deliciousness I made that day, the salsa and chips disappeared the fastest. Maybe because the day Anna chose for her party ended up being about 100°. Which might not be unreasonably hot in your neck-of-the-woods, but Seattleites are sure they’ve gone to Hades when it’s that warm outside. This salsa is bursting with cool-off fruity goodness. Paired with the sweet crunchy cinnamon chips, it is incredible.
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Quick Cobbler

First of all. I’m back! I was pounded with the cold/flu season and was basically non-functioning for about 6 weeks. Last week I emerged from my bed to find that the world had changed in my absence. None of my kid’s clothes fit, I couldn’t get shoes on their feet because they too had grown – and I don’t even want to talk about the mountains of laundry. After digging out all last week, I finally feel myself again and am ready to bake! Woo-hoo! Sorry for the total void these past few weeks. It was no fun to be sick that long…and I’m pretty much the worst most pathetic sick person on the planet. It’s true, you can ask my husband.

I had my parents over for dinner last night and threw together this quick and easy cobbler for dessert. If you like biscuit toppings for your cobblers, this isn’t the one for you. It’s more of a cakey cobbler. The prep time is literally about 5 minutes. The batter bakes up around the fruit and the sweet smell will fill your house. You can use any combination of fruit. I used raspberries and peaches. Yuuuumy! [Read more…]

Spiced Cranberry Compote

So, compote is a pretty fancy term for fruit in a sugar syrup. In this case, it reminds me very much of the most awesome cranberry sauce you’ve ever had. Spiced and fragrant instead of just the blah dash of color on the corner of your Thanksgiving plate. Delicious with “Colleen”, my Pumpkin Eggnog Bread Pudding. The post for the bread pudding has a photo of the compote along side it.

Spiced Cranberry Compote

1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, orange juice and zest. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium. Let cook until cranberries are popped and mixture is a nice compote consistency, about 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

The compote can be made ahead, refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days. Remove 1 hour before serving; serve at room temperature.

Copyright 2010 by Kathy Casey Food Studios(r)

Cabbage Soup Diet – Recap

Ah, the wedding is over and it was a great party. Wonderful celebration with family and friends. The bride was GORGEOUS! And I fit into my dress perfectly!

Day 6

Beef and Veggies day. As much beef (or chicken) and vegetables as you want along with the soup.

I was down 12 pounds the morning of day 6. Which was more than I wanted to lose, and (I think) an absurd amount of weight to lose in only 6 days. So, instead of following the diet plan, I had a huge container of chopped up fruit that I snacked on all morning, had a bowl of soup for lunch (which was the last bowl of my batch) and went to dinner and ate pollo asada, beans, chips and some grilled veggies for dinner. I didn’t drink, while out with the gals because I knew I’d be doing that the next day at the wedding, and drinking basically makes my self-control with food go out the window.

Day 7 – Wedding Day

I knew I was not going to follow the cabbage soup diet plan on this day. I didn’t even try. Was down exactly my goal of 10 pounds in the morning (actually, 10 1/2) when I weighed myself before our 7:30am hair and makeup appointment. The day was filled with wedding festivities. Photos, dresses, makeup, hairspray, high heels, music, dancing, food (the reception food was AH-MAZING), drinks and more dancing. It was a great day.

Recap

So, here are my thoughts on the whole cabbage soup diet thing. It works. You follow the eating plan (which I did…to the letter) and you WILL lose weight. I started at 147.8 pounds. By the morning of the 6th day I was down to 135.7. I have no idea what I would have lost the last two days if I’d continued on the plan. As it is, after a wedding day and night of frivolity (aka: drinking), dancing, and eating (including wedding cake at 11pm and a McDonalds stop on the way home), I was still down over 9 pounds.

However, this diet is not a long-term solution at all. I was so happy to eat real food yesterday. I overindulged.  In just about everything. Today, I’m having huge cravings for all my favorite “bad foods” and it’s taking lot of self-control not to continue pigging out. I can totally see how this diet might actually be counter productive in the long run since after a week of fruit and veggies along with cabbage soup, absolutely every single other food sounds like 5 star cuisine. I want to eat cheese and bread by the bucketful today. Instead, I went to the gym this morning and am eating a healthy, well-balanced lunch (the best sandwich ever!) and dinner. My toe is totally healed so it’s back to my normal routine of weight maintenance – working out (hard) and eating right. Another drawback of this diet is that after dropping so much weight so fast, doing it the right way is going to seem even harder than it was before.  Switching back to maintaining my weight or maybe losing a pound or so is going to seem so lame coming off dropping 10 pounds in a week. I will say though. My lunch today was the best, most amazing turkey sandwich I’ve ever had.

 

"Real" Food - Turkey Sanny, Raspberries/Apple, Pretzels

 

I can’t say that I would recommend this diet really. You absolutely should not workout at all when doing it and probably should take a multivitamin while on it as well. I actually tried to do a vitamin the first day, but there was so little food in my stomach that the vitamin hit it like a piece of lead and it made me feel nauseated. I’m sure that’s not a good sign. I do see why people get so excited about this diet though. I felt incredibly skinny yesterday. I felt great and there’s no other way I can think of – not even with workouts and a low-calorie eating plan – I could have lost 12 pounds in 6 days.  I’ll have to wait a few days of normal eating and workouts to see how much of the weight I put back on as my muscle mass builds back up. Then I’ll know if this is a good plan for “jump starting” a diet/exercise regime, or if it truly is only useful to lose weight quickly for a specific event…expecting to put the pounds back on as soon as you’re done with your cabbage soup.

Cabbage Soup Diet – Day 3

Day Three
Mix one and two: Incorporate the essentials found in the 1st and 2nd day, dropping the baked potato. Eat as much fruits and vegetables that you want to on this day together with your cabbage soup.

Hooray!! Fruit! First thing this morning I had a giant bowl filled with delicious berries of all kinds. Then I plowed thru half a cantaloupe. It was awesome. I was so craving the sweets — managing to get thru yesterday without anything sugary at all was pretty torturous.

Had a snack of an orange and some more cantaloupe. Lunchtime, I grilled up some zucchini with some salt and pepper and added it to a bowl of cabbage soup. I took the suggestion of a friend and added some fresh basil. It worked wonders! I think I enjoyed lunch’s bowl of soup more than I have any of them. Which is great because last night’s dinner bowl I had to choke down.

Additional Snacks: Bowl of pineapple, kiwi, strawberries and blueberries. Bag of carrots. More cantaloupe (it was soooo good…I couldn’t stop eating it).

Enjoyed dinner of another bowl of soup, with the basil and zucchini again. It was really good. Not sure what it is about the basil that makes it so much easier to eat, but I’m diggin it big time.

Bible study tonight while my Maddie girl was at Cubbies (Awanas for little kids) – had some apple slices while hanging with my gals.

Tomorrow is bananas and skim milk – not sure how that’s gonna play out. Thankfully, bananas are a perfect on-the-go food, because I have MOPS, preschool and a wedding rehearsal tomorrow. Totally motivated to stick with it though, as of this morning I’m down almost 8 pounds. Two days and that much weight lost — no wonder people like this plan. I keep having to remind myself that I’m going to gain it all back once I start eating normally again.

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