Saturday, May 24, 2014

THE BEST PEANUT BUTTER SHEET CAKE



So, as you know, I've been on a journey towards a healthier me.  That means I am staying away from processed foods as much as possible and limiting my sugar intake.  That being said, every once in awhile, a girl just needs a little cake.  Am I right?






So, a few years ago, one of my favorite cousins, Jamie, brought this cake to my mom's for 4th of July.  I fell in love instantly!!!  It's so rich and moist and wonderful and peanut buttery.  YUM!  Anyway, I made it a few months later for a work function and everybody wanted the recipe.  In fact, one of our 5th grade teacher has requested it for her birthday the last two years.  I love being able to have one piece of my favorite cake and then sharing the rest!  BEST CAKE EVER!!!


So, here's the recipe:




PEANUT BUTTER SHEET CAKE


Ingredients


  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 stick Butter
  • ½ cups Peanut Butter
  • 6 teaspoons Milk
  • 1 pound Powdered Sugar
     
    Preparation
    In a large bowl, mix together sugar, baking soda, flour and salt. Set aside.
    Combine butter, water and peanut butter in saucepan and bring to boil. Pour over flour mixture.
    Add milk, vanilla and eggs. Mix.
    Pour in large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Bake at 400F degrees for 20 minutes.
    Frosting:
    Bring butter, peanut butter and milk to boil in saucepan. Add one pound of powdered sugar. Pour warmed frosting over cooled cake.
  • So, just for the record, I do 1 and 1/2 recipes of the icing.  




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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Healthier Banana Oatmeal Muffins




So, my little girl is obsessed with muffins.  She loves the boxed kind from the grocery store and would eat them constantly if I would let her.  I don't let her.  Therefore, we have a little tug of war going on constantly.  You see, about 11 months ago, I adopted a new healthy lifestyle.  I've lost 25 pounds and am very enthusiastic about trying to eat healthy, but it is a battle to get my kids on board with the healthy lifestyle.  So, I decided to try to make some healthier muffins.  This is my own recipe and to tell the truth, I'm surprised by how well they turned out.  Not bad for a first try if I do say so myself.  Even my daughter loved them.  So, here ya go!


HEALTHIER BANANA OAT MUFFINS


Ingredients:


1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. honey
1 egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 whole wheat flour
*1/3 cup ground whole oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
Optional:  walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, blueberries

*  I put whole oats in my shake blender and blended until ground.  After they are blended, measure out 1/3 cup. 


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.  Stir together sugar, honey, egg and banana.  In separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground oats, salt and soda.  Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients stirring gently until incorporated.  Pour batter into muffin tins - about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.  Enjoy!!




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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BAKED CINNAMON SUGAR PUMPKIN DOUGHNUT BITES!!!


Well, Thanksgiving is almost here and I have surrounded myself with all things pumpkin.  I love me some pumpkin!!!  I found several recipes for Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins, but some called for crazy ingredients that I would never be able to find at your normal grocery store.  Others were full of shortening and stuff I knew I didn't want to put into my body -  I've lost 25 pounds now, so I am more cautious about the ingredients I use.  So, I combined a few recipes, made a few adjustments of my own and this is what I came up with. 


CINNAMON SUGAR PUMPKIN DOUGHNUT BITES

 

INGREDIENTS:

 1 Cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 Cup Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1 Large egg
1 Teaspoon vanilla
3/4 Cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 Cup milk (I used skim)


COATING:
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin puree and milk until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Spray a 24 cup mini muffin tin with non-stick spray and scoop 1 oz. of batter into each cup.  I used a 1 oz. scoop for even distribution.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the donuts are baking, prepare one bowl with the melted butter and a Ziploc bag of the cinnamon sugar mixture.   Remove the donuts from the oven and allow to cool just enough to handle.  I used a pastry brush to brush the donuts with butter and then drop in the bag of cinnamon and sugar and give a good shake.  Take them out and let them cool completely.  Try not to eat all of them. 
 

P.S.  I am thankful for Jesus, my Hubby and 4 sweet kiddos, the best parents and family ever, Beachbody (which has helped me lose 25 pounds and 23.5 inches) AND two jobs (school and Beachbody) that I absolutely love.

What are you thankful for?  I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving with your families!!



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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mama Needs a New Pair of Boots


So, last year I did this post all about my mid-life style crisis and my love of boots.  Shortly after I did that post, I asked Hubby if he would get my some cowboy boots if I lost twenty pounds.  Of course, being a country boy at heart, he said yes.  I am quite sure he thought he was in no danger of having to buy me said boots.  Anyway, this is the pair of boots I originally picked out.

Cute, right?  These are Ariat boots. 

Well, since I am down 20 pounds, I told Hubby he had to pay up, but it might have to wait until Christmas.  So, I decided I needed to try some boots on and see which style I liked on me.  I've never had cowboy boots before and I had no idea if they would even be comfortable.  I mean, I am willing to suffer for cute boots, but I do have to be able to walk, ya know?  So, Hubby and I stopped by Tractor Supply the other morning and since they have boots, I decided to try on a few pairs. 

Justin Boots

Swoon!  I love the color of the leather!!  So gorgeous and they would go with EVERYTHING!  I love them with jeans and dresses and skirts. 





Sigh.  Anyway, I tried them on and looked in the mirror and immediately loved them.  So cute.....from the front.  When I spun around and looked at the back view......not so cute.  I mean, I've lost 20 pounds and two sizes, but my calves looked like a busted can of biscuits spilling out over the back of the boots.  Yikes!  Seriously?  So not cute!  So, do y'all have any experience with cowboy boots?  I know they come in wide widths, but is that just the boots or is the shaft part wider too for those of us with linebacker calves?  Anybody know? 





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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Weight Loss Journey



I am a 42 year old (Gosh, that physically hurts to say/type out loud) follower of Christ. When I met my husband (three kids ago), we were both in pretty good shape.  I was active, worked out and we both played volleyball several times a week. I continued to work out and stay active until we got engaged.  Then, happiness set in.  You know how it is, right?  You fall head over heels in love and all you want to do is spend time together.  I found this amazing wonderful guy and he could cook y’all.  For our first date, he made Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.  People, it was the best thing I ever put in my mouth.  GRACIOUS!  Then there was the homemade Chicken ‘N Dumplings his Nannie taught him to make. The weight was coming quicker than a freight train.  By the time I went for my final wedding dress fitting, I had gained five pounds and they had to let my dress out.  UGH! 
Three months after the wedding, I got pregnant.  We were overjoyed when our son was born via c-section (my second, by the way).  We were so….fat and happy.  Two years later,we had another little boy blessing (3rd c-section) and two years later another blessing, a girl this time (4th c-section).  This time, my doctor tied my tubes.  He was afraid my uterus would literally explode or fall out of my body all together. So, there I was, a stay at home mom with four little ones.  I was overweight and exhausted.  I felt bad about myself and had zero self-confidence.  So, I took my birthday $ and went straight to a doctor that I knew would write me a prescription for weight loss meds.  He did.  I joined a gym, took my speed and lost weight, but it didn’t last long.  You see, the gym I belonged to, decided they would no longer provide childcare.  I didn’t have a babysitter that I could hire just so I could go to the gym. So, I gained it all back. 

Fast forward six years and Hubby and I were back where we started.  Fat and happy.  Let me clarify, happy together, but not happy with ourselves.  In fact, I was miserable.  I got a part-time job when my youngest started school.  I thought it would help me keep busy so I wouldn’t gain weight……it didn’t (probably the huge bag of Kit Kats I kept in my desk drawer – did I mention I’m a chocoholic?).  By last Christmas, I weighed as much as I did when I brought my youngest home from the hospital.  OH MY GRACIOUS! 

 For a few months, my sister-in-law had been talking about how she wanted to try Shakeology.  I kind of blew it off.  You see, I had tried MANY “diet protein meal replacement shakes” before. FAILURE!  They didn’t taste good.  I was always starving.  And did it really do any good to put a Reese’s Cup in my shake to make it taste good, as directed by the “recipes” that came with the shakes?  Um, NO!  I lost ZERO weight and I was starving, tired and miserable to be around.  Being hungry makes me really cranky!

So, my sister-in-law had been on the shakes and doing Insanity for 30 days.  All she talked about was these shakes and her workout….all the time.  She wasn’t pushy about it but she raved about how good they were.  So, when she posted her before and after pic on Facebook, this is what went through my head, “Well, GREAT!  I’m used to being the fat sister-in-law, but now she’s not only skinnier, she’s stronger too!  This sucks! Looks at her bicep!  I hate being the Haus of the family”.  So, when Hubby asked if I’d seen her pics I said, “Yes, I’m thinking of ordering”.  The rest, as they say, is history. 

 We’ve been on Shakeology for three months.  I never thought I could love a shake so much.  It has a full days serving of veggies and fruits (not sure if I mentioned my extreme hatred for veggies).  It’s all natural and contains no chemicals (my son has autism so that is a big deal for me).  It contains natural anti-inflammatories (did I mention my bad knees) and the best part…….it TOTALLY curbs my cravings for junk food.  I haven’t had one piece of chocolate since I started Shakeology.  I haven’t even WANTED chocolate or pastries. That in itself is amazing. 

 We both did the Insanity workout.  We LOVE ShaunT and we’ve had amazing results.  We are so glad not to have to worry about getting a sitter and going to the gym. We can do it in the living room.  We are now doing Shaun T’s new workout, Focus T25, which is 25 minutes a day, which is great since I am working now.  We are very excited about it. 

We currently have a Challenge Group going on our Facebook page.  It is a group of people who are there to encourage each other, share recipes, be accountable for workouts, etc.  We have had tremendous results with people in Challenge Groups. 
 
I still have a long way to go, but this is my progress so far.  I am down 16 pounds and 16 inches so far in just 2 and a half months.
If you are interested in losing weight, getting healthy and getting fit, feel free to contact me.  My fitness page is:  www.facebook.com/TNTFit4Life and my website is:  www.beachbodycoach.com/TanyaMichelle 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Best Salsa EVAH


I have had a 20 year obsession with salsa.  I love it, which is kind of weird because I hate tomatoes unless they're cooked.  Anyway, I remember when my sister was having her first boy/girl party - I am pretty sure it was her 12th or 13th birthday.  I insisted that I could make salsa for the party.  My mom bought a bunch of tomatoes and onions, etc. and I mixed and tested and mixed and tested, etc.  Of course, this was before the internet so I was just winging it.  Let me tell you....it was awful!  She never let me try to make it again, which was probably a good thing. 

Anyway, back to salsa.  So, just because I have adopted a new healthy lifestyle does NOT mean that I don't occasionally splurge on the good stuff.  Salsa is all veggies, right?  It's made of the good stuff.  It's the stuff you eat it WITH that isn't always so healthy.  BUT, I love it on Chicken Fajitas so that's the way I eat it most of the time.  YUM! 

We have several teachers at work with great salsa recipes, but this one is THE BEST I have ever eaten.  My friend Brenda at work gave me the recipe and now I'm sharing it with you.  I LOVE it!

Best Salsa EVAH!

28 oz. diced tomato
15 oz. diced tomato w/ sweet onion (Locally, I get it at Harp's)
1 can Mexican Rotel (w/lime and cilantro)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 fresh jalepeno
about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and lime juice to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend.  It is better if you blend and then refrigerate for at least an hour.  So good!  It will keep about a week in the fridge, or so I've heard.  Mine never lasts that long. 



That was so easy, right?  Hope y'all love it as much as I do!



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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Vacation

Hey y'all!  Long time no post, huh?  It's been a crazy summer around here.  I can't believe it's flown by so fast.  I had such big plans for the summer and didn't get most of it done.  Time flies when you're having fun, I guess. 

So, we went on vacation a few weeks ago, which was awesome.  We went with my parents, sister and her kiddos and my brother on vacation to Orange Beach, Alabama.  Our condo was right on the beach and was AMAZING!  It was bigger than my house.  I thought I took pictures of the inside, but I guess I didn't.  Here is the view from our balcony.


This is what L did part of the week:


The rest of the week he stayed in the condo and sucked down Dr. Pepper, fussed, and hit and bit whichever one of us was watching him at the time.  Suffice it to say we had a hard week with him.  Autistic kids do NOT do well when you take them away from their familiar places and routine. 

Since Hubby and I couldn't go out to eat with everyone else, because of L, my family decided to stay home one night and let Todd and I go out on a date.  We ate at a place called Shipp's Harbour Grill.  It was amazing!  It was right on the bay and you could watch the boats coming in and out, there was live music and it was wonderful and peaceful!!  So thankful for that night.  We don't get many dates these days. 


E had a great time playing on the beach and in the water.  She had a great time boogie boarding with her Granddad. 

video


Catherine and I boogie boarded quite a bit too.  What a workout!  Gracious my legs were tired.

C in her Mr. Magoo goggles.  Do y'all remember Mr. Magoo?  Need a visual reminder?



Anyway, the last full day we were at the beach, C was out in the water with her goggles and looking at the fish.  My niece started screaming "SHARK!"  We had watched the dolphins every mornings from the balcony so I thought for sure that was what she was seeing.  I looked up and saw the fin.  It wasn't moving up and down like dolphin fins do.  It was staying above the water constantly and it was way too close to C, out in the water.  I waved my arms, called her name and screamed for her to get out of the water.  Finally she heard me and slowly waded out of the water.  She was maybe chest deep?  The shark kept swimming down the beach as people scrambled out of the water like ants running from the sun beaming through a magnifying glass.  We were talking to the other people on the beach and found out that the beach had already been cleared earlier in the day because two sharks had been spotted swimming there.  We missed all of that excitement.  The rest of the family had gone to lunch and I'm sure L was being too loud for us to hear the sirens on the beach.  SCARY moments on the beach! 

I hate I didn't take more pictures.  My sister had some really cute ones on her phone but mine didn't turn out so hot for some reason.  I think I only had on picture of J that turned out and it is pretty far away.  I am really glad he missed the shark incident.  He talked for MONTHS about being afraid we would get attacked by sharks on vacation. 

A few hours before we left, C and my niece K, decided that they wanted to parasail.  Granddad and my sister took them while we packed up.  They had such a good time.



Overall, it was a great vacation with my family, despite L's bad behavior.  So, we thought we'd thank my mom and dad for the great vacation.







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