Category Archives: CHOCOLATE

Adventures in the kitchen

Happy hump day to you all!!  It is a very rainy, nasty Wednesday here in south Louisiana…..what else is new?

Oh the joys of living in the south!  As many of you know from yesterday’s post.  Thanks to all who responded, I really appreciate the help.  Of course today is my run day, which if the rain stops this afternoon it will be perfect because it has settled the pollen; however, the hubster has informed me it  is suppose to rain all day.  He is not my favorite person right now!

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So are you wondering what my kitchen adventures are?  Yeah me too!  Haha, the hubster as you know has to stay up at night so he can sleep during the day for nights he is working……yeah does that make sense, his schedule is so confusing.  One night he sleeps at night, the next he sets an alarm for 1-2 a.m., the next her works all night.  His schedule is confusing, it exhausts me to keep up with it!

Now I am confusing!  I go from kitchen adventures, to staying up at night, to a crazy schedule……maybe I am a little ADD today??  So anyway like I said he is up at night.  Doing what?

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Watching infomercials!  then he swears that we have to by the latest, greatest thing.  I normally just nod my head and ignore him.  I finally gave in just once.  Hopefully this was not a mistake.  So I ordered this new super wave cooker that is basically suppose to work like a convection oven.  We shall see…..

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It surely is neat looking while cooking!  We had the package delivered yesterday so I threw in cinnamon rolls this morn just to use it.  We are going to roast a chicken in the thing this eve so I will have a better review on it tomorrow.  This baby is suppose to cook all sorts of ways…….bake, roast, broil, steam, air fry, etc.  Oh and it is self cleaning…love!!  At least I hope I do!  You see we hate using the oven in spring/summer because the house gets so hot with it on….gotta love the south!  We did have a small oven on the counter, but let’s get real – you can’t really cook a whole lot in those things.  So I am hoping this little baby becomes my new best “kitchen friend”.  Oh and cook times are basically less than regular oven, and meat doesn’t have to be thawed to cook 🙂

Peas and Crayons

But let’s get to the really important stuff ok!  What I’ve been eating!  I have really concentrated on my healthy foods the past few days.  You see I put on about five pounds over the last two weeks.  I know some of it is water retention/bloat, but let’s be honest – alcohol, sweets, and eating out takes a toll very quickly!’

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I am back to my old reliable oats with nut butter and fruit in the mornings for breakfast.  It is a trusty combination that I always turn to.  So easy and portable if need be.

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Snacks have been lot’s of boiled eggs, lol!  Thanks Easter bunny.  I did grab some celery and hummus this weekend so I have been enjoying that as well….oh and my trusty old yogurt.  Which I still have a lot of the flavored ones so I am trying to use those up in order to go back to my plain sweetened with stevia.  I gotta get some sugar out of my diet!

Lunches are always some type of leftovers or salads.  This lunch day was quinoa with steamed veggies (which I forgot to photo….epic fail), always a great fav as well.  It is so easy to throw this together for a quick and healthy lunch! 

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Dinner last night was chosen by the boys.  They wanted manwich, which makes me cringe, but I have to give them what they like.  So what is a mom to do when her goal is to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into meals?  Turn to the trusty Mama Pea!  I purchased her new cook book via iBooks so I was all ready to try out something.  I made the boys their manwich with ground meat as asked for, and this little mama had sloppy Josephines!  Which is basically using lentils in the place of the ground meat. 

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Let’s not forget the side salad.  Tons of veggies stuffed into this dinner!  Oh and I picked up a bottle of white truffle oil over the holiday at TJ Maxx for five books.  So. YUMMY!!

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Now I have to be reasonable with having dessert.  After all we eat at like 5-5:30 so I am totally hungry again before bed.  My sweet tooth is crazy lately because of all the Easter foods I have had, but I want to be more conscious of my foods.  So I opted for sliced strawberries with dark chocolate dreams nut butter.  Less sugar than Easter candy, healthy nutrients, and served as a great dessert!  I love strawberry season 🙂

So now the goal is to stay on track with this eating even through the weekends.  With the exception of some wine Thursday night.  The girl’s always attend our local wine bar’s wine tasting twice a month….it’s our girl thing, so I will still participate in it.  I am trying to stick to more wine when drinking socially than beer since beer tends to really, really bloat me.  That and the fact that good wines are made without added sugar!  The way I see it is if it is okay for me to eat a bowl of grapes, then I should be able to drink a glass of wine, lol!!

Have a great Wednesday, and do not forget to head over to Jenn’s to check out all the other WIAW posts out there!

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Filed under Breakfast, CHOCOLATE, DESSERT, DINNER, Fruit, lunch, snacks, WIAW

Glad that’s over!

So I am hoping that everyone’s Valentine’s day was a super one 🙂

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Mine was awesome with too many treats…let’s just pretend that this day of sweet binging didn’t happen – after all calories and such do not count on holidays right?

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I started my day off with cornmeal pancakes topped with laughing cow strawberry cream cheese wedge & strawberry preserves.  After all we must have a little pink action on love day.  This was a great breakfast that lasted a while, and I was thinking this will be a good day…..

Then our supervisor showed up to do a formal evaluation on us (myself & my partner therapist on campus).  This lead to too many chocolate chips being popped into our mouths!  You see we had planned a cute little treat for our babies yesterday.  We gave them a graham cracker square (just 1), let them put pink icing on it, then top with a few  chocolate chips.  I would have been fine with not having any until I noticed the partner purchased Ghirardelli chocolate chips!!  Who can resist that.  Of course with them being in front of you on a table it seems you are constantly popping a couple into your mouth.

Then we had cake in the lounge in the afternoon for one of our custodians that is leaving us.  I wasn’t going to get a slice, until she insisted that I have some of her cake because she didn’t want to have to take so much of it home.  So I had a small piece.  At this point I was feeling pretty darn yucky.

But I promised the boys some frozen yogurt for their v-day treat.  We went to the knew for-yo shop that is literally with a couple miles from my house…..boy am I in trouble.  I don’t have a photo to show of it since I left my phone at home :(, but I had a little red velvet & a little white chocolate raspberry with blueberries, strawberries, and cheese cake squares on top.

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Then the fun began!  I had to get ready for the hubster’s v-day dinner!  He works 12 hour shifts with his new job so we had a very late dinner for us.  I normally would have eaten already since I can’t stand to eat then immediately go to bed, but it was a special night so I waited for him.

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We started with a small salad that was made with spinach, beets, cucumber, celery, and trail mix on top.  Topped with a orange marmalade-Dijon vinaigrette.

I absolutely loved this salad!  The trail mix is Archer Farm’s sunny cranberry trail mix (so good), and the dressing is a tablespoon of dijon, tablespoon olive oil, tablespoon of balsamic, add in orange marmalade until reach desired sweetness level.

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Next was our main dish, one of the hubster’s favs – blackened shrimp-pesto pasta!  He loves anything with shrimp and anything with pesto for that fact, so I knew this dish would be perfect!  I also served a slice of garlic bread with his meal, while I opted for a few triscuit crackers for my meal.

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A little vino with dinner is necessary on the day of love 🙂

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Next up was dessert.  As you can imagine I wasn’t too enthused about this after a day of sweets, but I wanted to have one for the meal since it was a special occasion.  For this I decided to go with a more mellow dessert as opposed to a super sweet one.  I used a box of devil’s food cake mix.  In the mix I subbed milk for the water, cut the oil in half and added an extra egg.  This made is very fluffy and soft 🙂  I stirred in about 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips into the batter, then poured it on a jelly roll pan and baked it at 325* until toothpick came out clean.  I cut the cake into squares, topped with whipped cream, and a cherry 🙂

The hubster loved this dessert.  You see he isn’t one for super sweet stuff any way, and he is more of a cobbler type person than cake.  But he did love this cake since it was just sweet enough, and I didn’t use an icing. 

It was the perfect Valentine’s day meal!!  I loved having this time with him (kiddos were already in bed), and in my opinion it was the perfect candle light dinner served at our very own table, eaten in our pj’s!

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Mardi Gras – WIAW

Hello my wonderful friends!  How is your week so far?  Well for me it is fab at this point since this is my first day at work this week 🙂

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I mean a little drizzly rain/shower can’t stop us!  We are true Louisianans 🙂

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Oh year Mardi Gras was going down, and we went all out for Fat Tuesday!!

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No while my morning started with a healthy breakfast of brown rice w/ milk and laughing cow cheese wedge – lunch was totally not of the healthy variety!  We treated the boys to Steak N Shake after the parade.  They love to eat their, and if I am honest so do I!

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I mean who doesn’t love to eat in a swanky diner where you can wear paper hats?

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And get your very own swanky cardboard car!  This is the kid in me kid heaven I tell ya!

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Carolina slaw dog for mom w/ chili and shoe string fries, a nice glass of cold iced tea (unsweetened)….in my defense their franks are all beef and there is a little veggie action going on with the cole slaw, hehe!

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Have you ever been to a Steak N Shake?  I tell you those shakes are massive!  I am talking 1950’s share with your sweet heart style 🙂

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Luckily I had the will power to stop there because the above photos were just about to get me into trouble!  After lunch we did a little shopping in town.  Oh and we had to get the hubster a new phone line on my plan.  Remember the thing we were celebrating a few weeks ago that I couldn’t really go into detail about?  Well now I can tell all…..

The hubster started a new job this week!!  It is a little bitter sweet.  I mean the new job is a great opportunity with good benefits, retirement, more time off, etc, but we will all miss his old job.  His boss was so wonderful to us!  Now he is working shift work at 12 hour shifts with the whole work 3, off 2, work 2, off 3 schedule – hence the more time off.  The only down fall is that he will be on night shift, but this was necessary in order to get the salary that we are use to him making (they get paid more for nights).  He also has opportunities for growth, raises, quarterly bonuses, etc.  His cell was a company line so we had to add him to my plan….it just gave me an excuse to drag him out shopping.  Where I scored a new 6 quart crock pot w/ locking lid for 25$$$

Then it was home to cook dinner.  I decided to add some veggies into this meal for sure after the lovely lunch we had…

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A nice glass of cucumber water, everything is better in a wine glass right?  This reminds me I forgot to make my pitcher of nectarine water to put in fridge this morn 😦

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Grilled pork chop (only ate 1/2), brown rice w/ red beans (1/4 cup), spinach salad, and kale chips.  I know it sounds like a ton of food but very small portions!

Then after dinner I enjoyed a nice slice of blueberry cream cheese king cake.  And yes, I stuffed that thing in my mouth so fast that a picture was not happening. 

Sadly this only kicked off my massive sweet tooth which lead me to dip into a tiny scoop of the hubster’s ice cream, and then a palm full of my favorite dark chocolate espresso trail mix 😦

This people is why I try my best to avoid all super sweet desserts.  Had I opted for just the trail mix I would have been fine.  You give me a super sweet dessert, and I want chocolate the rest of the night!  Must come up with something for Valentine’s that is not so tempting 🙂

Peas and Crayons

Happy Wednesday guys.  Don’t forget to head over to Jenn’s blog and check out what everyone is eating lately – it is great inspiration.  Oh and Jenn, please forgive my lack of veggies this week – it was carnival 🙂

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Filed under Breakfast, CHOCOLATE, DESSERT, DINNER, favorites, lunch, Uncategorized, WIAW

slumpin & slippin

I have been in a food funk lately.  I have been slumpin and slippin all over the place with my eats lately.  I am starting my day off great with a healthy breakfast, packing a sensible lunch, then…………………

CHOCOLATE HAPPENS!

It’s everywhere, on every corner, in my face all the time!  And you guys know how I am about chocolate, especially the dark variety.

So last night I broke out the eat clean diet book in an attempt to give me some sanity in this insane foodie season.  Which I am so happy I did that.  Considering that I started my morning with this……

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Yep a lovely instagram pic of my fabulous green monsta!  Made with 2% milk (must invest in almond milk for smoothies), frozen banana, frozen spinach, instant coffee granules, and a few tiny drops of stevia.  All blended to perfection 🙂

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I have enjoyed a few nice salads this week.  But still that chocolate is finding it’s way into my mouth.  I can’t help it I have a weakness!

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Some apples and pecan butter for snacks.  But still that chocolate is finding it’s way into my mouth.  I can’t help it I have a weakness!

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Very sensible dinners of meats and veggies.  Or lasagna made with gluten free pasta.  But still that chocolate is finding it’s way into my mouth.  I can’t help it I have a weakness!

So as you can see we have a pattern here.  Which requires some quick intervention.  Don’t you love how you eat so great for weeks, then one day full of Christmas treats can thrown you into a tailspin with your sweet tooth?  I hate when that happens!

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I have also figured out that beans are by no means my friend!  I mean we all know that they cause a little, ahmm….gassiness, but I truly am to the point of not tolerating them.  I have been sporadically adding things back into my diet that was omitted with the paleo plan to see how my body responds to them.  Yeah I has a bean/veggie burger the other night with my salad.  It didn’t go so well.  It has chickpeas and black beans in it.  Along with some quinoa and veggies.  My tummy didn’t like it 😦

So I will totally try to skip on those from here on out.  Stomach pain is not something I want to deal with, so I would rather just not eat it.  Guess that whole eat for your body stuff is doing some good.   I plan to write a post on my experience and thoughts about the paleo diet, how it has affected me, etc.  in the near future.  I have had several people ask me about my insight on this diet.  I really have enjoyed it for the most part, so yes it is something I would recommend, but more on that later 🙂

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Confessions……

I suck as a blogger lately!  No really I do!  I have to confess to that.

Between work, kids, hubby I am sure that I am sucking at many things lately.  Now you may ask exactly why do I feel this way?

Because I haven’t pulled my camera out of it’s bag in weeks.  I haven’t photographed any pictures with it.  All photos from the past two months or so have basically been iphone photos!

Now while my phone does take nice pictures, it doesn’t hold a candle to the rebel.  Oh and I haven’t cared one iota what they look like.  A nice background?  A nice prop?  Nah not needed.  Just snap a pic and use it!

Then there is the sporadic posting.  Like this week, which in my defense has been CA-RA-ZY!! 

I promised a recipe post for yesterday.  Then an all day meeting was scheduled which means I didn’t post.  I am surely glad no one was depending on that for their life.  Because if they were then I would be responsible for the funeral bill!!

But no matter I am here today to confess my downfalls.  To attempt right my wrongs.  To give you a post, a recipe, and a taste of fasion 🙂

So enjoy this one, who knows when the next one will pop up!

I was so super excited Wednesday about a few things that I wanted to share with you yesterday.  If you follow me on instagram then you already know some of the excitement, but for those of you that do not I will fill you in!

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I ran my first 4 mile run without any walking breaks!  Now to many this may not be a big deal, but for me it was  a PR 🙂  Oh and the weather is perfect which is why I do not look the least bit sweaty!

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I found this little gem a my local farmer’s market.  So you say what is so exciting about fig preserves.  Well take a closer look……

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Yep, sweetened with juice!  The farmer’s market now has an entire collection of no sugar added jams.  I was so excited to find this, figs are my fav!!  Their collection includes apple butter, blueberry preserves, strawberry preserves, cherry preserves, apricot preserves, and apple!!  Nice collection if I say so myself!

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Of course this means that I has to enjoy it with breakfast the next morning.  Now for another very exciting discovery.  Gluten free, micorwaved “english muffin”!  I found this on  Carrots and Cake the other day, and was so excited to see it!  Oh and it is also paleo 🙂

Finally “bread” is back in my life!!  I have eaten this exact breakfast for two days in a row!

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In other happy news I have found a way to use my gluten free all purpose that isn’t so gross anymore.  I used it this past week as breading for my “fried” foods.  The hubster is in hunting season full swing which means lots o venison for me 🙂  He requested fried backstrap the other night.  So I obliged.  I cooked his the usual way, but for mine I used my gluten free all purpose, and I “fried” it in a couple tablespoons of coconut oil for a healthier version.  It was so good, I couldn’t really tell a difference between the two!  I also picked up a plantain to try it.  I basically sliced it and cooked in a little coconut oil.  I am not sure if this is the appropriate way to cook them, but they were very bland to me.  I didn’t care for it at all so if any of you have other recipes/ways to cook them please share!

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Today is dessert day at work.  We have a theme for every Friday from here til the holiday break, and today was desserts!  Of course part of me wanted to bring something healthy to share, but the old me had to have my fav.  Chocolate cherry cake with old fashioned fudge icing!  Holy sugar heaven!!

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I am having a fabulous soup for lunch today.  I had it for dinner the past two nights.  It was perfect to warm  me up after my 4 miler in chilly weather.  Which by the way my knees were bothering me so I am thinking it is time for new running shoes!  Also for those seasoned runners out there please give me tips.  How much do you stretch before a run, after a run, what stretches do you do, how do you warm up???  You know those types of things!

Fiesta chicken & vegetable soup

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • bell pepper of choice, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cipotle powder
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons (the kind in your silverware drawer not measuring spoons) of tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 4-5 diced chicken breasts
  1. heat the oil in soup pot on medium heat, add onion and bell pepper saute for about 5-6 minutes
  2. add garlic and seasoning to veggies, stir to coat
  3. add tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth – bring to boil
  4. add in cabbage and peas (or any veggies of choice this is what I had on hand) and chicken
  5. Simmer on low for about an hour, until all veggies and chicken is cooked.
  6. Serve with toppings of choice such as avocados, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, etc.

The idea of the soup came to me while talking to a friend about taco soup.  You see taco soup is a favorite of mine but beans are not my friend.  It is one of those foods that I have determined my body does not like.  I mean it goes beyond just the normal gas issues one has with  beans so we avoid those.  Also corn/beans are not allowed on the paleo diet.  So I decided to replace the beans/corn with other veggies, add chicken, and call it by a different name.  Similar to taco soup and takes care of that craving. 

So that about sums up my week in one long post!  Hopefully I can balance out posting next week.  I need to get back into the habit of drafting my posts on the weekends so all I have to do is touch them up and publish each morn.  I also have been contemplating a vlog lately.  I really enjoy watching you tube videos.  I have toyed around with the idea of doing one for the blog and starting a channel for all things that I love.  Some makeup videos, some fashion, and some cooking.  So tell me how you feel about that idea?  Do you enjoy you tube videos?  Is this something you would like to see on the blog, or would you rather read about the happenings on Helen, Naturally?  All input is welcome!

Have a super wonderful weekend!

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Filed under baking, beauty, Breakfast, CHOCOLATE, DESSERT, DINNER, favorites, lunch, Uncategorized

the boredom of a hurricane

Yep, we are still “riding out the storm”.  It is like never ending.  That darn thing decided to just stall over southern Louisiana, for like 10 hours…..

So in an attempt to not go insane I am playing on the web, cooking some food while we have electricity, arguing with the hubster, eating to much, drinking a beer….which will probably turn into multiple beers, and arguing with people through facebook.

Yep you could say this hurricane sucks!  But in honor of my lovely little site that isn’t getting much love lately I decided to give you some insight into some of my fav recipes located under the recipe page 🙂

  • pear and mozzarella french toast
  • soft serve stuffed crepes
  • berry and peach breakfast pizza
  • almond joy oatmeal
  • pretty n pink oats
  • rootbeer float overnight oats
  • pancake and pear stacks
  • gingerbread pancakes
  • elvis waffles
  • lemon ricotta pancakes w/ blueberry sauce
  • gingerbread
  • granola, naturally
  • no bake chocolate oat bites
  • cowboy cookies
  • hello dollies
  • apple dumplings
  • butternut squash and goat cheese pasta
  • sweet & spicy tofu
  • spinach and artichoke pasta
  • curry chicken salad
  • BBB chili
  • okra fries
  • oven roasted corn
  • slow cooker bacon baked beans

So there you go, just a few of the things I love!  We are having the chili today, I have it on the stove now.  So go on over and check out the recipe page.  I am planning to add some new items to it soon, but sometimes it is good to revisit the old ones.

If you will excuse me I have to go drown myself in my sorrows now.  Which isn’t too hard since I am in the middle of a hurricane!!  Hopefully things will not get too bad, it is still south of my town so we are only getting the outer bands right now; however, if it continues on it’s track it will be right on top of my little town late today 😦

I expect to lose power eventually, until then I am soaking it all in.  Please continue to pray for us, lots of flooding and damage in my state.  Many people have had to be rescued off their roofs already. 

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The Keeter Center

Ever heard of this place?  No!  Well I had no clue it existed either.  That is until one afternoon lounging around the lodge pool talking to a guest that visits often.  The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks!

I feel in love with this campus immediately upon driving up!  It is a very beautiful place, perfect for an anniversary trip.  Oh and just wait until you hear about this place!

The college is a small, Christian school located in Hollilster, Missouri.  Just a few miles outside of Branson.  The college has many great study options, beautiful grounds, and student centered.  In fact the students do not actually “pay” tuition.  Oh no, they work for their tuition.  The campus has gardens, cattle, a mill, restaurant, a bakery, lodging, etc.  The student’s work 18 hours per week, with one 40 hour work week per semester to cover tuition costs.  All graduates receive a degree debt free!!

No if that is not enough to sell you on the place this should.  Everything is fresh and local.  The students use ingredients in the restaurant, bakery, and canning items that are grown/produced on campus.  Even the meats served are raised on site.

Introducing Dobyn’s Dining Room

Whether it’s a casual lunch, intimate dinner for two or an elegant private dinner party for sixty, our culinary staff of students at Dobyns Dining Room offer something for every taste. Also, your Branson dining experience will be enhanced by student entertainment on Thursday through Saturday evenings from the wide range of musical talent on our campus. For the sweet tooth anytime of the day, our bakery will satisfy any desire with pastries, desserts, homemade ice cream, and a variety of coffee and fruit drinks.

Students Work with the Freshest Ingredients

For over 100 years, work and agriculture, as well as education, have been important at College of the Ozarks. From its humble farm beginnings and early canning operations to today’s student-run farms and student-produced smoked hams and other foods, “Hard Work U,” as the College is known, continues to serve the Ozarks in many ways.
Keeping with tradition, Dobyns serves only the finest, freshest ingredients available, many of which are grown locally. Our tomatoes, green beans, and some other vegetables are grown in campus gardens in season, by students.
Every part of your Dobyns dining experience includes work done by students.

 

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This dinner was fabulous, the best dining experience ever!  I must say I am totally convinced that it is due to the fact that all things are local and fresh.  I mean that makes anything better!!

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appetizer:  fried green tomatoes drizzled with a little pepper jelly and salsa

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Now while I try to pass on the bread basket at most places I couldn’t resist a taste of this one.  After all the bread was fresh baked with natural ingredients 🙂  We enjoyed a whole wheat roll (actually I had half) and a little biscuit type bread with cranberries and apple butter.  The best apple butter ever!!!  It has spiced included in the apple butter such as cloves/nutmeg.  I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly what was used, but I totally purchased a jar of the stuff to bring home!

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entree:  grilled prime rib with au jus and horseradish on the side, baked potato, and fresh from the garden broccoli. 

So those of you that know me should know that broccoli is my favorite vegetable so I was so excited when I discovered it was the vegetable of the day.  Now this plate was the special for the night, not ordered off of the menu.  The menu is phenomenal, you can pull it up online through the link above to see what they offer.  Both the hubster and I ordered the special.

Now we weren’t planning on ordering a dessert due to the fact that we had reserved that treat for out anniversary dinner.  However, we were so wishing that we had opted to eat here the night before for our actual anniversary, and the dessert display looked to darn good that we declared this our anniversary meal!!

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dessert:  peaches and cream bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream, fresh whipped cream, and a little design of chocolate ganache.

To die for!!  Now to end our fab meal we were gifted with some lovely hand made mints that were so good.  They literally melted in your mouth!

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Now of course we were thinking this was the end of our night.  We had closed out our bill, filled out the comment card, and were waiting in line to pay for my jar of apple butter when…..

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The waiter over heard us talking about our anniversary.  He informed us that the restaurant has a special dessert that is gifted to couples celebrating their anniversaries.  He insisted that he allow him to gift us with our anniversary dessert.  Which was placed in a to go container for us to take with us and enjoy later…

anniversary dessert #3:  flourless chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream, a drizzle of raspberry syrup, and a drizzle of white chocolate.

I highly recommend to you all to pay a visit to The Keeter Center if you are ever in the Branson area! 

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Give them the glory

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Now that summer times is here we have a lot of late mornings.   Because you know we sleep in and take advantage of being lazy!

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Which means that we also indulge in quick breakfasts because…well because we are busy being lazy!

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I have really been enjoying overnight oats for the past several weeks.  There is nothing like waking up to breakfast already made for you.  Not to mention when you live in Louisiana where the temps are super high you do not even want to think about turning on a stove.  I have been enjoying these little gems with an assortment of yogurts and fruits.

If you haven’t tried overnight oats yet, then you need to.  Like pronto!!  So tell me if you do enjoy this wonderful dish for breakfast, lunch, snack, or even dinner please share your favorite variety 🙂

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A Delicious All-Natural Cookie Recipe

My quest to live more healthy and naturally began when I finally came to terms with my lactose intolerance. The only problem? I absolutely love dessert and tend to make a batch of cookies at least on a weekly basis. I needed a chocolate chip cookie recipe that was healthier and sans dairy. I tried many chocolate chip recipes that fit the bill. Most were hard as rocks and bland.
Then, I found this recipe at SuperVegan and the magic of the flax egg. I’m not vegan by any stretch, but I like to go sans animal products from time to time, and I love the chewy softness of these cookies. This recipe has less cholesterol and calories than regular cookies, plus the healthfulness of flax. In fact, I love this recipe so much it has inspired me to look into <GuidetoOnlineSchools.com.

hy earning a degree in the baking & pastry arts .

Dry Ingredients

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup (white) vegan sugar
1/2 cup of soy butter
2 tbsp of ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp of warm water (allow to sit for two minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Sift all the dry ingredients together, minus chocolate chips. I don’t have a sifter, so I just used a mesh colander I had lying around.
Mix together wet stuff together by hand. You may be making faces at the ground flax in the recipe wondering what it’s all about, or even how to grind up your flax seeds. I would recommend a coffee grinder, which most people have on hand. When mixed with warm water, the flax becomes an emulsifier, just like an egg.
After you’ve mixed in the flax egg and the other wet ingredients, start mixing in your dry stuff. Add chocolate chips.
Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. Don’t over bake! This will make the cookies hard and crunchy, not chewy. For more information on pastry basics, check out www.pastryschools.net/.

Source
Harvard University: School of Public Health (2012)

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Filed under baking, CHOCOLATE, Uncategorized

I made a cake

The Best Cake Ever!

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Yes, that one.  You know the one full of sugar, butter, yummy “not so good for you” goodness.  Now I can’t stop eating a piece here or there.  Thankfully I was smart to make it in a large pan so it is a relatively flat cake.  Just as thankfully I cut it into small pieces so as not to over do it.  In the words of Ari – I am a sweets whore!

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I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for the cake.  You can get her recipe from the blog.  I actually wanted to compare this recipe with my own passed down from my grandmother.  The only true difference between the two is that she uses butter only in the recipes, while my recipe uses shortening in them.  This is my dad’s favorite cake, which is why I made it for Easter.  It is for him 🙂

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If you have followed me for a while then you may remember that I posted about his 50th b-day last year, which this cake was served.  If you didn’t read back then you can read about the post here, which also has the recipe!

How similar are they?  Well they taste exactly the same.  The only difference is that my recipe is cooked a little longer which “hardens” on the cake like a layer of fudge.  The Pioneer Woman’s icing stays a little softer like a true cake icing.  Either way both are equally delicious!

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I was so stoked to get this pan!  I found a lovely culinary store right here in my town (actually on the other side of town where I rarely travel) which sells to the public as well as restaurants.  Yay!!  I can get commercial items 🙂

So I purchased a 13×18 (5.96) pan and a 16x 22  (8.00)pan.  I mean check out those prices!  I was just about to order one online since it is impossible to find the sized in a store when I remembered this little gem of a store.  Boy am I glad I did.  Online the pan would have cost me right at 20 bucks.  I mean that is like a 14 dollar savings!! 

I am so in love with that store now.  I totally have made a request for a gift certificate for mother’s day.  They have amazing prices on their items, and since it is a commercial kitchen store they are great quality 🙂

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We also had a little picture action yesterday as well:)

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We were just playing around with the camera, and I thought it would be fun to do some train track shots.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get to the spot I wanted yesterday which is shaded with lots of oaks lining the tracks.  Of course I am not one to give up easily so we snapped a few shots saving our photo session for another day. 

I love those little guys 🙂

So what is the one thing you are looking forward to for Easter?

Is there a particular recipe/food that you serves for the holiday?

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Filed under baking, CHOCOLATE, DESSERT, family, favorites, Uncategorized