Sunday, November 17, 2013

This week's menu... 11/18/13-11/24/13...

So, last week's menu didn't go quite as planned...  While the recipes were fantastic,  I got bored eating the same meals so often.  If you look at the action plan, you'll see what I mean - lots of eating the same soup for dinner, then lunch, then dinner two nights later...  I just couldn't do it.  Maybe I'll try again after the holidays.

On a different note:  I'm officially down 25 lbs. since January!  Yay!

...and now for today's business...
...this week's menu...

Monday, November 11, 2013

This week's menu... 11/11/13-11/17/13...

So, I'm doing things a little differently this week...  My friend, Nikki, recently sent me a message saying that she wanted to do this:'s action plan

Well, my weight-loss could use a kick in the butt, that's for sure.  To be honest, I've hit a BIG plateau and haven't really been motivated lately (thank goodness I haven't gained anything, but I haven't been losing the weight I'd like to either).  I figure that a little motivation from my friend and from Martha Stewart won't hurt.

Because I'm a mother and a wife, I'm planning my meals *around* Whole Living's action plan, I'm most likely not going to follow it exactly (this time, at least).  I'll be adding in extra proteins and making minor changes to keep my husband and kids happy and full.

(we'll be sharing more about this on Create! Don't Consume! as we go)

So, here it is...

...this week's menu...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I recently saw a recipe for pumpkin spice cake cookies on Pinterest...  around the same time, I saw a recipe for a DIY spice cake mix.  Well, of course my brain put the two together -- and added chocolate chips.  

The results were amazing.  

The original recipe for the spice cake mix came from (she has instructions for making an actual cake with the mix, but that's not what we're doing today)...  I followed her recipe pretty closely, except that I replaced the vegetable shortening with hard coconut oil.  I couldn't tell you if it made a difference in flavor or not since it was my first time using this recipe.

Anyway, onto the cookies!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cookies

(full recipe  ----------  ingredient  ----------  half recipe)
about 60  ----------  yield  ----------  about 30

2 1/3 cups  ----------  all-purpose flour  ----------  1 1/4 cups

1/3 cup  ----------  nonfat dry milk  ----------  3 Tbsp
3 tsp  ----------  baking powder  ----------  1 1/2 tsp
3/4  ----------  tsp salt  ----------  3/8 tsp
1 1/2 cups  ----------  white sugar  ----------  3/4 cup
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp  ----------  solid coconut oil  ----------  1/4 cup, plus 1/2 Tbsp
1 tsp  ----------  cinnamon  ----------  1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp  ----------  ground cloves  ----------  1/8 tsp
1/4 tsp  ----------  ground allspice  ----------  1/8 tsp
(you can stop here if you just want the cake mix)
**note: you could just use one (for half) or two (for the full recipe) boxes of store-bought cake mix,
but where's the fun in that?**

29 oz. can (or 2 2/3 cups)  -------  pureed pumpkin  -------  15 oz. can (1 1/3 cups)

11.5-12 oz. bag  ----------  milk chocolate chips  ----------  1/2 11.5-12 oz. bag
(optional, or substitute with dairy free chips to make them vegan)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine cake mix ingredients until the oil is well incorporated.

Stir in the pumpkin, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop cookies using a tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets, leaving about 1" to 1 1/2" between cookies.

Bake for about 20 minutes (rotating the pan halfway through), or until cookies are set and just starting to brown on the bottom.


I packaged them in parchment so the kids can take them to school!
Needless to say, they were a little excited this morning.

Let me know if you try these!
What else would you mix-in to them?

Monday, November 4, 2013

This week's menu... 11/4/13-11/10/13...

When I started my menu planning for the week, I was interrupted and set the planner down on the kitchen counter.... which point, my husband decided to help with the planning...

...this week's *real* menu...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Quick Tip: natural rust inhibitor

After sharing my recent post about rust removal, a friend who works with metal informed me that, while lemon juice and salt might have removed the rust from my cheese graters they would also expose the metal and make it rust again and faster.  He suggested that I oil them to add some protection.

Between my friend and Google, I found that it's best to use food safe oils in the kitchen (for what should be obvious reasons).

So, here's what I did:

I laid out a towel over my workspace
and gathered my materials
(food safe oil [I used olive], a washcloth and the stuff i'm trying to protect)...

...I put a few drops of olive oil onto the washcloth...

...I dripped oil right onto the smaller hard-to-get-into areas...

...and buffed it in...

...then I wiped off the excess oil with a clean cotton cloth...

So shiny!

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve to get rid of/prevent rust?
Comment and share your knowledge if you do!

Friday, November 1, 2013

...and the winner of my giveaway is...

...Amy Kuhr!

Congratulations, Amy!  I'll be in touch with you soon!

I hope you enjoy using these items in your home!