Friday, January 28, 2011

Banana-Bo-Bana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing

I hosted an appetizer-themed Ladies Game Night for some co-workers last week. So fun! I wanted to make something sweet and I KNEW I had to make some cupcakes when my friend Jenna gave me this darling cupcake stand last weekend as a belated Christmas present. :)

I'm also obsessed with this adorable cakestand my mom gifted me with last year!

I decided on banana cupcakes when I had some bananas that were the perfect ripeness for baking and I was not making anymore trips to the store! ha I just invented my own recipe (basically the same as my banana muffin/bread recipe- See the love marks?)

, but I got so many compliments on these little cuppies! Speaking of cuppies, remember these darling little cupcake liners I found in my stocking? I just love them!

The peanut butter icing is SO yummy. It just adds that extra-something when combined with the banana bottom. Warning! You will probably have a little icing leftover, and you will want to pipe it directly into your mouth...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lightened-Up Taco Bell Burrito (without the Drive-Thru!)

I shamelessly love Taco Bell's bean burritos. They are delicious. They are cheap. They are goooooood. I often crave them when I need a quick bite and I've now gotten the bf addicted as well! :) I was stuck at home one night making some cupcakes for a party the next day, and I was craving one of these babies. I realized I had pretty much everything I needed to make these at home- let the drool fest begin!

I used canned refried black beans, but you could make your own refried beans if you wanted to. The only thing I didn't have was some enchilada sauce, but I thought it was still yummy without. I always order my burrito with sour cream and without onions, but make yours to your own taste! I thought this was so yummy that I brought the other half of the ingredients to work the next day and heated up for my lunch. So easy! :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Easy Chinese Chicken Salad

I really like salads. However, some salads just don't pack enough flavor and textures. This salad is REALLY tasty though. It really fills you up too! The bf only manged to mumble "GOOD" while helping himself to seconds and asking for leftovers for lunch the next day. :) Why is it so hard for boys to admit they like salads too?

My mom used to make this salad A LOT. It's super easy and quick- perfect for a week night and it will easily feed 4 people. I took the liberty of adding a few more ingredients from her original recipe. If you have some other vegetables on hand that you'd like to add, go ahead and add those too! A friend pointed out that this would also be yummy with a light store-bought sesame-ginger dressing, if the dressing recipe on here has too much sugar for you. I always find that a little dressing goes a long way though, and I only use a tiny bit at a time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I. Need. More. Sprinklesssss

So I went to Houston last weekend to visit some of my favorite friends. It just so happened that I found out that Sprinkles had recently opened a new cupcake shop there. I NEEDED to go. It was calling to me! So we stopped by on a rainy Saturday afternoon, waited in line, drooled over these...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Belated Christmas Photos

...I know I have no excuses. I'm just going to say I have photos from our Christmas in New Orleans on at least 3 different memory cards/cameras! Here are a few for your viewing pleasure. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a tiny bit in love with my parents' puppy, Jackson. He is a miniature schnauzer, for those who are wondering. :)

Jackson's Christmas sweater- he received many compliments!

Audubon Park on Christmas Eve

Actually, New Years Day Eve Dinner in Austin

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying you SHOULD make these this weekend, especially if they may or may not interfere with your new years resolutions, but I'm not going to stop you! I made these over Thanksgiving, so don't you worry about me ruining my healthy eating habits or anything- although its very sweet of you.
You know how when you're walking through the airport or mall and that ooey gooey Cinnabon smell makes you stop in your tracks and wish you could have one (even though you know you really shouldn't)? Well, now I'm bringing that feeling to you in your own home! (insert clapping) OK. I know these are not exactly the healthiest choice for breakfast, but I firmly believe its OK to treat yourself (or at least your guests) on special occasions/holidays! These are SO yummy and actually the first recipe I ever made using yeast! If I can do it- so can you! And you really don't even need a mixer... if you have really strong arms...  :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls!

THESE ARE AMAZING. I just had to get it out as fast as I could. They are seriously the best things ever! Joy the Baker was NOT lying. :) I'm warning you though, once you make these, you will never be able to get them out of your head. They'll be invading your thoughts from the freezer....

I made these a while ago. I needed something sweet like 5 minutes before I even found this recipe.  I did not have time to wait for anything to bake, and I did not have time to make them into perfect shapes. That also meant I did not have any time to waste taking photos- sorry. The cookie dough was whipped up in like 5 minutes, and um, maybe I did not even freeze all of it...  Although, I have to say it is MUCH better frozen, now that I'm enjoying the fruits of my labor a couple weeks later. I did not dip mine in melted chocolate like Joy did, but I'm sure that would be extra amazing. I'm just happy with the dough balls though.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What do you think...

 ...of my new look? I'm trying to spruce things up a bit to look more clean and sophisticated. If you have any suggestions- please let me know! :)

Jackson and his big sister

I know this is irrelevant, but this post needed a picture! :)

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

I love shrimp! I don't know why its taken me so long to get into trying shrimp recipes. Shrimp has a lot of protein, is low in calories and cooks super quickly! I knew it was meant to be when shelled and de-veined shrimp was on sale at the grocery store. However, I do not think its much trouble to de-vein a shrimp. I talk more about de-veining here.

This recipe is from Skinny Taste, and I love it! I can't offer anyone else's opinion because I just made 1 portion for myself, but I think you will like it too! :) If you want to be uber healthy, serve with a salad. I made some Basmati rice and it was delish!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Whole New World

I've just discovered the world of adorable camera bags. Since I got this beautiful Canon Rebel T2i from my sweet bf for Christmas, I'm dying to "Accessorize" it. Oh yea, and learn how to use it too! :) haha

My new baby

Who knew there were so many cute camera bags? Granted, I do not have any extra fancy lenses or anything to fill them up yet, but I figure it will grow with me, right? So glad you agree! :)

These are a few of my favorites. What do you think?

Missy- Gray from Jo Totes
Kelly Moore Classic Bag- Rich Fuchsia

Ketti bags- currently sold out  :(

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Monday, January 10, 2011

The Plan Stan

OK. So its time for me to make a change! The bf and I have set some goals for ourselves in terms of living a more healthy lifestyle and getting back into shape- an original idea no one else has- right? :)

I LOVE baking, but baking does not love my tummy. Even though I still work out a couple times a week, its just not cutting it. Meet my new best friends:
  • Skinny Taste- delicious AND healthy recipes (bonus- they are WW friendly)
  • Jillian Michaels - my "personal TV" trainer! haha
Jillian and I have a love-hate relationship. She is tough! She kicks my booty! However, I need this. I LOVE her 30 day shred video and have just ordered the Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism video. I'm also thinking of trying the Julianne Houghe's Cardio Ballroom video. Have you tried it?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chocolate Banana Smoothie- Oh My!

This treat tastes way too decadent to be good for me! :) After I discovered the joy of banana smoothies, I was craving something sweet for dessert. I made a few alterations to that recipe and came up with this wonderful dessert smoothie that tastes like a rich milkshake! It would also be delicious with some strawberries if you have those on hand.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

WHOOPIE! Yay! I've been waiting for the right occasion to make some of this little pies of goodness. I'm SORRY it has taken me so long to write this post, but I've been a little swamped with the holidays, etc. You understand don't you? OK good! So these were from my Christmas potluck at work, but don't think that they're just a holiday food. They would be YUMMY anytime of the year!!

After some digging around online and review-reading, I came across this recipe at Susi's Kochen. Let me tell you that I was a little daunted at first since I got home from dinner with my friend J around 10pm and I needed to make these babies super fast before I fell asleep in a bowl of cream-cheese icing... I was SO RELIVED to find how EASY and QUICK these were to make. These little cakes really bake and cool very quickly, and I was in bed before I knew it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Banana Smoothie Win!

Maybe you remember my smoothie fail? Well, I finally got up the courage (i.e. craving) to try my new blender again after browsing through some delicious and healthy smoothie recipes at Skinny Taste. I started with this banana smoothie (I halved the recipe) - super easy and tasted like a banana milkshake! They're great for making a quick breakfast on the go. :)

I gave some to the bf and he drank it down, FAST! He didn't even know it was "Healthified!" :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh! Ah! New Christmas Gadgets to Admire!

Well I guess you can say that I was on Santa's "Nice" list this year! Check out some of the yummy kitchen goodies that were under my tree (and in my stocking) this Christmas...

I can't wait to get cookin', but where to begin?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

I used to always want to go out to brunch on the weekend mornings, but now I always have a recipe I want to try-especially pancake recipes! Yumm.

I had some organic blueberries hibernating in the freezer that were begging to be used so I dug up this recipe from Todd. No runny pancakes in sight- just fluffy, bundles of goodness filled with juicy berries!

This was the perfect excuse for a lazy, New Years day breakfast! :)

*UPDATE* The bf requested these for a second day in a row- BIG HIT!!

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