Friday, August 30, 2013

Roasted Marshmallow Puffed Rice Treats

What is ooey, gooey, sticky, crispy and crunchy?  No idea?  I'll give you another hint.  It's fat free, and kinda healthy not horribly unhealthy, and {atleast for me} brings back childhood memories.  Still stumped?

It's Rice Crispy Treats!!

I've been getting tired of the healthy desserts I've been eating the past 6 weeks.  {Has it honestly been 6 weeks??!!??}  I've also been in a bit of a food funk.  So, in order to deal with both of these problems I HAD to treat myself.  I think we all deserve the occasional treat now and then, right?  Plus, when you are living a fat free life, treats cannot be easily bought at the store.  [Side note:  Fig Newton and Snackwells both make fat free cookies.]

Anyway, back to the dessert at hand.  As I have stated before {many times I believe} I love roasted marshmallows.  I randomly roast them in my oven as a quick treat for myself.  When I came across this recipe on Mallow and Co's website I knew I had to give them a try.  Plus, there are only 2 ingredients!  2!!!  Could they make it any easier for you??

I only made 1 change to the recipe.  Instead of using Rice Krispies (or any "Crispy Rice" cereal) I used a combination of puffed rice and puffed wheat cereal.

Roasted Marshmallow Cereal Treat
Adapted from Mallow & Co Toasted Marshmallow Rice Krispy Treats

2 cups Puffed Rice Cereal
2 cups Puffed Wheat Cereal
5 cups marshmallows (if you are using the big ones it's about 40 marshmallows)

  1. Cover a 9 x 9 inch pan in tin foil and grease with pan spray
  2. Preheat broiler
  3.  Put your cereal in a large mixing bowl, grease a spatula
  4. Lay out your marshmallows on a sheet pan and roast for about 1-3 minutes until they are brown (if you want to you can flip them to half way thorough to get both sides browned)
  5. When marshmallows are browned enough pour them into the mixing bowl with the puffed rice.  
  6. Mix together until everything is combined
  7. Pour into prepared pan and let sit until cool.

I actually cut these into 16 so that drops the totals to:
Calories: 92.625
Carbs: 21.975
Sugar: 15

I remember as a kid my mom used to make Rice Krispie treats all the time for us.  She used to mix in Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Krispies, and other fun cereals.  I'm going to have to try adding some fun stuff to mine next time. 

Do you make Rice Krispie Treats for your kids or yourself?    Do you make them plain or do you add fun things into them?  If so, what do you add?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Recipe Redux -- Food in A Jar

I really don't understand this jar craze.  When I saw that the Recipe Redux theme this month was Raising the Bar on Food in a Jar I was completely stumped.  I spent many hours scouring websites for a recipe inspiration, wracked my brain, and made the ugliest no bake pie in a jar.  After all this I was seriously about to give up and not participate this month.

All of a sudden I realized something.  There IS something that I make in a jar all the time.  Salad dressing!  So today I bring you, my fat free vinaigrette.  It's sweet, it's simple, it's got a bit of tang from the vinegar.  It's perfect to brighten up a salad and just add a bit of flavor and moisture. This salad dressing has only 25 calories for the whole recipe!

Did you know that most salad dressings have over 5 grams of sugar per serving?  And even fat free salad dressings have about 50 calories in 2 tablespoons.  I love my salads but, I am heavy handed with  my salad dressings.  This salad dressing is perfect.   

Fat Free Sugar Free Sweet and Tangy Dressing
Fat: 0 g
Sodium: 37.5 g
Carbs: 12.0 g

.25 cup rice vinegar
2 T sugar free apricot preserves
1 T sugar free maple syrup
1 T minced garlic

  1. Put all ingredients into a jar
  2. Shake to mix

Simple, right?  It pairs well with any salad.  I actually really like it with a spinach salad topped with tuna.  

Do you make your own salad dressing?  What kind do you make?


Sunday, August 18, 2013

1 Month Down

This week was alot better than last week.  I paid attention to portion sizes and calories 90% of the time.  I only made it to the gym once though but, this week is the last time it will happen.  School starts tomorrow for the girls.  I'm a bit upset because Sunny's dance class got changed so I will have to stop going to hot yoga on Saturday mornings.  Hopefully Friday morning stretch classes will be enough to keep me from being sore.  If they aren't I will just have to find a way to fit yoga in during the week.

The numbers are moving in the proper direction.  My weight is a bit low but I'm hoping over the next few weeks the fat will be replaced with muscle so my weight will go up. 

Weight -- 114.2
Waist --26.25
Thigh --18
Butt --33.75

Changes from Week 2
Weight: -3.2
Waist: -0.5
Arms:  No measurement
Thigh: -1.0
Hips:  No change

I don't really have any goals besides hitting the gym 4-5 days a week.  Getting to the gym this week should be easy.  It's next week I'm worried about since I start school on Monday.  Oh well, we will cross that bridge when we get to it.  

This week is going to be very eventful here on the blog.  I have a bunch of stuff planned.  If you haven't yet, check out my post from Friday and enter the giveaway!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Avocado Flatbreads featuring California Avocados

I love summer.  I love the warm hot sun, the extra long days, the seasonal produce, everything!  If I had it my way the 90+ degree temperatures would stay year round.  Ken loves the fact that summer is grilling season.  He normally grills 2-3 days a week in the summer.  The weather this year has been a bit gloomy and bleak so he hasn't grilled as much.  Since he has Mondays off I got him to grill for us. 

He always enjoys helping me develop new recipes.  When I told him that the ingredient for the recipe contest was avocados he jumped at the chance to help me figure something out.  

California avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit which contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, per one oz. serving (1/5th of a medium avocado). 
With their flavor, texture, nutritional value and culinary versatility, California avocados can be used across all day from breakfast to lunch to dinner, in snacks and desserts.
Naturally cholesterol-free, California avocados are a creamy and nutritious alternative to saturated fat laden spreads, toppings and dips.  

And just so you know, I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

The latest restaurant fad seems to be flatbreads.  So, he came up with a flatbread topped with avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.  He could't think of a catchy name for it so we decided that we'd name this flatbread after its creator.  So, we lovingly named it "The Kennedy!"

Ken and the girls devoured this super quick.  They raved about it.  Hopefully y'all like it as much as they did!  

The Kennedy


1 ball of Pizza dough 
1/2 cup fat free ranch dressing
a few handfuls of raw spinach
1 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup tomato, diced (about 1 tomato)
1 T minced garlic
1 large ripe avocado, diced
1/2 cup vegan chicken (we used the Quorn brand chick'n tenders)
2-4 T fat free lemon dill sauce
1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese

Fake Chicken Directions
  1. Toss chick'n and lemon dill sauce together in a small bowl and microwave for approximately 1 minute until chick'n is thawed.  
  2. Drain sauce.


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Roast mushrooms, onions and garlic on a greased cookie sheet for 15-25 minutes until soft and brown
  2. Brush flatbreads with ranch dressing
  3. Layer ingredients in this order:  spinach, mushroom-onion mixture, fake chicken, avocado, cheese
  4. Grill for 5-8 minutes until the cheese is melt-y and gooey

Nutritional Information
Calories             329.6
Total Fat            7.4g
Sat Fat               1.0g
Poly Fat             1.0 g
Mono Fat            4.3 g
Cholesterol         0.0 g 
Sodium            444.7 g
Potassium         466.0 g
Carbs                 58.1 g
Fiber                   6.5 g
Sugar                   5.6 g
Protein                 7.3 g

Vitamin A               2.7%   
Vitamin B-12           0.1%
Vitamin B-6            10.0%
Vitamin C               11.1%
Vitamin D                 4.2%
Vitamin E                 3.5%
Calcium                    1.8%
Copper                   11.6%
Folate                     24.1%
Iron                         10.2%
Magnesium                 7.1%
Manganese                21.6%
Niacin                      17.2%
Panthothenic Acid     12.1%
Phosphorus               10.1%
Riboflavin                 16.9%
Selenium                   26.0%
Thiamin                     18.6%
Zinc                            5.2%

The fake chicken adds about 10 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 49 grams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and 1.25 grams of protein (it wouldn't let me add it into the calculator)


Friday, August 16, 2013

What Says Summer Better Than Tomatoes (and a giveaway)?

As an unknown blogger there are a few things that make me happy.  

  1. People leaving comments on my posts
  2. The idea that companies will send me things to try.
Well, number 1 has happened a handful of times.  And a few weeks ago number 2 happened!  I got an email from Christi at Red Gold Tomatoes.  She sent 6 different varieties of tomatoes, a couple cool tomato aprons, and a bottle of jalapeno ketchup for me and the family to try.  

All the yummy samples Red Gold sent me

Red Gold has been around since 1942.  They have focused on growing local in the Midwest, where true seasons positively impact the flavor of tomatoes. The Midwest, while it's cold in the winter, has the perfect growing season for tomatoes, perfect angle of the sun, perfect temps -- and even the winter is good for tomatoes, as it breaks up the soil for tiny root systems.

Links to Red Gold's webpage and Facebook are located at the end of the post.  Plus, Red Gold is running a contest until August 23rd.  Go to their Facebook page and register to win a Big Green Egg and a bunch of other prizes!

Not only do these tomatoes taste great there are also some added benefits of using canned tomatoes. Canned tomatoes have more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.  The cooking process causes more lycopene to be released and makes it easier for our bodies to use.  What is lycopene?  Lycopene is an antioxidant.  It reduces our cancer and cardiovascular disease risk. 

Since my parents were in town I decided to make burgers.  Plus, tomatoes are an essential part of summer. Everyone loves burgers and they went wild over these. Moist and juicy, filled with flavor, simple yet awesome. 

Tomato Burgers
Serves 4

1 lb ground beef
1 can Red Gold Tomatoes, drained
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

  1. In a bowl combine all the ingredients
  2. Form into patties
  3. Grill until done

The second recipe I did with the tomatoes is what I call Triple S Salsa {the first two S's are for Super Simple}  I served this with some homemade tortilla chips.  Then we realized that it would be great warm so, I mixed it in with some rice.  Voila!  A second meal to make with your leftovers!!  Double duty foods, I love them.

Triple S Salsa
Serves 8
Calories:  82
Fat:  0.6g
Carbs:  18.1g
Protein:  4.2g


1 can Red Gold Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro
1.25 cup corn kernels
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, diced

  1. Mix ingredients together
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour so the flavors can deepen
  3. Serve with tortilla chips

And what's a better way to start a weekend but with a giveaway???  The Red Gold has generously given me a gift pack to give away to one lucky reader!  The gift pack will include a sample of Red Pack goodies (ketchup, Red Gold w/Green Chilies, Red Gold Lime Juice & Cilantro), as well as coupons and recipes for a Spicy Tomato Burger and Caribbean Chicken Burger.  

 Enter using the form below between now and September 1st.  

Red Gold Website
Red Gold on Facebook 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

High Tide's at Snack Jack's Restaurant Review

Friday was my parent's 35th anniversary.  Unfortunately Ken works all day every Friday so we decided to treat them to an early anniversary dinner.  

There's a little restaurant in Flagler Beach, High Tides at Snack Jack.  Ken and I have passed it a million times going to Daytona.  Every time we passed we would say to each other "I really want to try that place!"  But we never got a chance to go. 

We are so happy that we went there.  I think this will become our new go-to restaurant.  It's located right on the beach.  The walls of the restaurants are covered with funny posters.  My favorite was the one that said "Children Left Unattended Will Be Sold As Chum."  Most restaurants are a bit chilly but, High Tides uses ceiling fans and ocean breezes to naturally cool the restaurant.  You can choose whether you want to sit out on one of the 3 decks or inside.  What fun is sitting inside when you have a gorgeous view, beautiful day and a great breeze?  So, we sat outside and listened to the surf while we ate.  The menu is mostly seafood but, they have a couple not seafood items like beef burgers, a veggie burger and hot dogs.  

Everyone at the table was VERY pleased with what they ordered.  Here's a rundown of what everyone ordered: 

Sirr:  Clam chowder and shrimp scampi over linguine -- everyone claimed the chowder was excellent.  Chunks of potatoes, a lot of garlic (but not too much) and he said the linguine was good too.

Kaylee:  The Boogie Burger -- It was gone within a few minutes of it hitting the table.

Gramma:  Fried shrimp, onion rings and hush puppies --  I wish I had gotten a picture of the rings.  They were HUUUGE and gorgeous.  The shrimp were actually a really good size and Gramma said the hush puppies were excellent.

Sunny:  Kid's hot dog --  They use bun length, really thick hot dogs.  It was a great value.  

Mo:  Chicken wings in a honey barbecue sauce --  You get a dozen wings for $10 and 2 dozen for $18.  Most places only give you 6-10. 

Ken:  Raw oysters and steamed shrimp -- Ken always orders the oysters when he goes to a seafood restaurant.  If he doesn't like the oysters he doesn't review them well.  After eating the oysters at High Tides he decided that we needed to make this place a regular restaurant of ours.  

Me:  steamed shrimp, crab legs, and a side of steamed vegetables.   Everything was cooked perfectly and there was no fat related pain.  {I say fat related because I ate broccoli and cauliflower which causes pain due to gas}  I know that alot of times when you order crab legs at restaurants they have a tendency to be waterlogged.  Not these, they were just yummy, sweet crab meat. The shrimp was seasoned like Goldilocks, not too much not too little.  Ken and I liked the seasoning so much we bought a bottle to bring home.  

We spent about $20 a person.  But, Sirr and Ken both ordered a few beers.  The only thing that threw us off a bit was that it is a cash only restaurant.  But, they do have an ATM there.  

Whenever we go to a restaurant we let them know about my "medical condition" and the fact that I can't have any butter, oil or fat.  When we told our waitress about me she said that there was another waitress there who was dealing with gallbladder issues too!  She ended up coming out and we gave her some advice on dealing with the pain and what to eat.  It really felt good to make someone else's gallbladder journey a little easier and to know that other people are having as hard of a time dealing with it as I did.  Even after almost 2 years I still occasionally get depressed that I'm not "normal" and that I can't eat the same foods as everyone else.  But it also made me think that maybe I should start a support group for other gallbladder sufferers in the area.

So, if you are looking for a fun, funky little restaurant with AMAZING staff and great food, check out High Tides.  You will definitely make this a regular restaurant.   

Do you have a local favorite?  Why is it your favorite?  Tell me about it!

Website:  High Tides and Snack Jack



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week 3 update

UGH!  That is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this week's update.  Even though I only let y''all in on my numbers every 2 weeks I actually weigh myself daily.  Somehow I always do something to screw up my numbers right before the end of the week.  This week I know it was the Chinese food that I had a few days ago.  My body loves to hold onto sodium!

But, in my waistline's defense I haven't had more than a couple hours of exercise all week.  A few walks on the beach, stretch class and hot yoga.  My parents are leaving next week and Kaylee has the week off of swim team so, I should be able to get back on track.  {Fingers crossed}

Goal Checklist for Week 3

  • Portion control -- I did better this week than I did last week
  • Exercise 30+ minutes a day -- I reached this goal only 4 days this week. 
  • Measure/weigh all foods -- Breakfast and lunch, yes.  Dinner, not really.
  • Ditch Dessert -- I didn't ditch it but, I made a healthy dessert.  144 calories, no added sugar and no fat.  So, I kind of reached it.
  • No more soda --This one makes me laugh.  I cam nowhere near reaching this goal!
Next week is weigh-in week.  And next week I'm meeting with my photographer!  Time is ticking by way too quick.  I'm still posting my meals on Instagram and now they are also being posted to my Facebook page.   So follow me and "like" me!  This is going to be a big week on the blog.  A bunch of recipes and a give-away!  My first one, I'm really excited!   

How was your week?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

2 Weeks Down

This week has been horrible on my numbers!  My parents came into town on Tuesday.  Kaylee also started swim practice this week.  Her practice is on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 8 A.M.    I was lazy and came home instead of hitting the gym afterwards.  Luckily after next week she'll have a week off of practice and I can start going to the gym in the morning.   If nothing else, the girls start school on the 19th so I will have time before class to hit the gym. 

Wednesday -- 30 minutes of pool time with the girls
Thursday -- 1.5 mile walk and some stairwork
Friday -- Yoga + 3 hours of back to school shopping

Saturday -- 4 hours of back to school shopping

I ate clean the whole week.  My portions were just larger than they should have been.  I didn't measure as well as I should have.  Friday I gorged myself on watermelon, Saturday and Wednesday Sirr took us out for frozen yogurt. 

And now for the numbers....

Weight:  117.4
Waist:  26.75
Thigh:  19
Hips:  33.75

Changes from Week 1 
Weight:  + 0.6

Waist:  - 0.25
Thigh:  + 0.75 
Hips:  - 0.25

As you can see my numbers are kind of all over the board on going up vs going down. This week wasn't good, not at all.  Am I disappointed by it?  Yes.  Am I going to beat myself up about it?  Nope.  It's only week 2.  I have 10 more weeks to turn things around.  That's 2 1/2 months.  I know what I have to do to reach my goals and I'm going to do it. 

Goals for Week 3
  • Portion control -- During Week 2 I was having seconds and thirds of things that I knew I probably shouldn't
  • Exercise 30+ minutes a day -- This could be a trip to the gym, a walk, or taking the kids to the pool.
  • Measure/weigh all foods -- Eyeballing isn't good enough
  • Ditch Dessert -- I ate frozen yogurt 2 times during Week 2....'nuff said 
  • No more soda -- This one is self explanatory

Remember to follow my meals on Instagram!!  @K8eRaymond

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hot and {Semi} Healthy

Hello August, how the heck did you get here so fast?  I can't believe that the summer is almost over.  The girls go back to school in 2.5 weeks and I start school at the end of August.  I feel like every summer starts off slow and then WAM! it's over.

For the past week and a half I've been eating as clean and healthy as possible.  I've had a bit of a set back this week (which I'll talk about in my weigh-in post on Sunday) but, for the most part I've been going strong.  I also have an inner fat girl that demands dessert.  Healthy and dessert can be found in the same sentence.  I do it often.

If you have been watching my Instagram photos I've posted dessert nightly.  When I'm trying to be healthy I drink a lot of coffee as dessert.  I love coffee.  To me, it's a treat though.  I'm a cream and sugar with a hint of coffee girl so, it used to be a really big diet killer for me.  My new thing?  Flavored coffee.  In my cabinet right now I have 3 or 4 different flavors.  My current favorite though? Archer Farms S'more flavored coffee. It's got a hint of chocolate and a creamy taste.  Pure bliss.    

This is my favorite way of treating myself to coffee.  

Dessert Coffee
Serves 1
Calories: 166
Fat: 0.4g
Carbs:  37.2g
Sugar:  29.4g
Protein:  3.7g

1 cup of coffee (warm or iced)
.25 cup skim milk
Sugar substitute to taste
1 T chocolate syrup
1/4 cup miniature marshmallows

  1. Stir first 4 ingredients together
  2. Top with marshmallows?
Are you a morning, nite or anytime coffee person?  Do you have any special coffee recipes?  If you do share it with us!!