Monday, February 28, 2011

My New Secret Ingredient: Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup!!

I haven't bought chocolate syrup in years because if I have it, I'll use it.  Luckily, my husband decided he wanted to start drinking chocolate milk as a post work out drink, so I gave in and got it after reading that it really is tauted as truly efficient.  Boy was I happy when I compared the regular and the sugar free and found that the sugar free only had 16 CALORIES!!  That meant that I could use it too and not feel bad (or at least not as bad ;)

My first thought was to use it in my new brownie recipe I got.  You are honestly not going to believe the ingredients:

And yes, those black beans are meant to be there!!  Theyare a substitute for flour!


-1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
-3 eggs [always use egg whites or egg substitute]
-3 tablespoons vegetable oil [You can sub applesauce and prunes to accentuate the chocolate flavor and also lessen the calories]
-1/4 cup cocoa powder [Unsweetened-dark is the best choice]

-1 pinch salt [Sea Salt]
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract [you could even play with this and try almond or coconut extract]

-3/4 cup white sugar [Don't use regular sugar!! Use splenda or sucralose.  They are safe for use and add NO CALORIES]

-1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional) [I used hazlenut and it gave the brownies a great hazlenut flavor]



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
2. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Now they aren't going to taste exactly like traditional brownies, but they have a wonderfully fudgy texture and you will forget all about the difference when you realize your saving around 200 calories per brownie!!!
This recipe is 126 calories per serving, but if you use my [suggestions], then it could be as low as 50 calories PER SERVING! YAY!  Not to mention, you are also getting protein and fiber from the black beans.  Low Cal and healthy?...I'll have two please!!

I have also been using it on my soy milk icecream, putting a tidge in my All Bran, which makes it taste like cocoa pebbles (I'm serious) and my favorite was adding it to my pancakes!  By using sugar free syrup and sugar free chocolate syrup instead of regular syrup and chocolate chips, I saved 250 CALORIES!! (and that's a minimum, since most people eat a stack of pancakes, filled with chocolate chips and doused in full-cal syrup)

It's ok to indulge if you do it my way ;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Exactly ONE MONTH until SPRING!!

On a whim, I decided to look up the first actual day of spring and wouldn't you know that it is exactly ONE MONTH from today!!  

I really can’t complain all that much about winter, since our weather here is much better than I thought it would be, but it is still a little chilly and I never know when a freak storm may show up…there doesn’t seem to be rhyme or reason to it sometimes.  Plus it’s just that mindset that comes along with the spring season that I am awaiting.  Banishing the winter clothing, while breaking out the warm weather wear, spring cleaning, rejuvenated plants, vibrant flowers and greenery, Easter (more like Easter candy ;) and renewed love and energy.

I am truly looking forward to our first spring and summer here in The Springs.  We’ve already had an amazing time this winter and they say it’s EVEN BETTER in the summer!  There will be lots of hiking, biking, many picnics, much exploring, maybe some camping and hopefully rafting!  Just maybe…I’ll try the incline that I have heard so much about…but I’m not making in promises ;)

Source: via Lindsey on Pinterest

This doesn't even do the incline justice....I'm scurred!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I am VERY ANXIOUSLY waiting for my Avacado and Ginger Vichyssoise to CHILL!!  To kill time, I will go ahead and post the recipe. 
Inspiration:  I have been using avacados and fresh ginger in my smoothies lately and had some extra, so I googled recipes and stumbled on this lil' gem.  It sounded interesting enough and I had most of the ingredients, so I ran with it. 

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and grated (approx 3 heaping tablespoons)
1 large avocado, peeled and mashed
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup light cream
1 scallion, finely chopped

Melt the butter in a saute pan. Cook the onions and grated ginger (be very generous with the ginger) for about 2 minutes. Add the mashed avacado and chicken stock. Mix all ingredients thoroughly, using a wire whisk to eliminate lumps. Simmer slowly for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, and cream. Stir and chill soup for at least an hour. Chill bowls before serving. Garnish each bowl with scallions.

Yield: 6 servings

OK-I've GOT to go cuz it's READY!!

*Back to Review*
It was soooo easy and very yummy!!  I didn't have chicken stock, so I used a powdered chicken broth that you add water to and threw in some carrots, fennel seeds, garlic, pepper and celery to make it more complex.  I also didn't have scallions, so I added some cilantro while the soup was simmering, and used fat free non-dairy milk instead of cream.  I never actually stick to a recipe, but somehow it all works out ;)  I had some awesome jalapeno cornbread crackers and they went PHENOMENALLY well...tomorrow I might try to add some coconut extract or coconut milk and see how that tastes.  I have a feeling it's going to be heavenly!

Lazy, Sleepy, Relaxing, Beautiful Saturday...

I have been working far too much lately to get my mind off Will being gone for training.  Thank goodness we had that little trip last weekend, but even that took a lot out of me.  Since then, I have worked, had to travel to Denver (all by myself), been organizing the house and baking for/attending Birthday parties. All of that is exactly why I refuse to get out of my pj's or leave the house today!  I am on strike from the world ;)

Thus far this morning, I was awakened by a phone call from Will (which was much needed), made some extra yummy coffee, ate leftover Benihana's fried rice (super yum) and watched Julie and Julia.  It has been the best start to my morning.  Since Will hasn't been getting the best reception we have pretty much been incommunicado.  That has made the distance even harder, but it also makes the conversations we do have, that much more special.  I'm so used to relying on his ear, that when I can't talk to him I don't know who to talk to...I can talk to my best friend, which is in some ways better, but in others...just not the same.  Luckily, he was a wonderful listener this morning <3

Other than that, Netflix and blogging will be my companions today.  I just finished Julie and Julia (cute) and now i'm on to Serious Moonlight with Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton.  Since I am not good at watching t.v. without doing something (A.D.D.), I am engaging my hands with this post.  I did have to watch the end of the first movie three times because I kept forgetting to pay attention, but that is to be expected, I guess.  By the way, Meg Ryan just kidnapped her husband in this movie because he tried to leave her for another woman. I think this one's gonna be a good one.  Maybe I should try to pay attention...I guess I'll just leave you with some photos from last weekend!

Reunited with my BFF!!!

Reunited with my BESTIE <3


it doesn't get any better...
Her first time! She did awesome ;)

the condo :&gt;

And last, but most certainly not least,
The condo where we stayed!

It's always a good time in Aspen. Wanna go?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Unfortunately, I am alone on V-Day...Whomp, Whomp.
The good news is that this is only physically, since my husband is always in my heart <3  Weiser is also keeping me company and I had a blast with the girls at work eating cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries, passing out Valentine's and enjoying the spirit of the day.

Will and I had thought about celebrating before he left, but decided that we've had plenty of celebrations lately and it might be nice to space them out by saving this one until his return.  What's funny is that we both somewhat ignored this promise of saving the holiday.  I hid a card and candy in his rucksack and he had flowers delivered to me in a gorgeous vase.  Great minds think alike, I guess ;)
Now I'm looking forward to our real celebration EVEN MORE!!! I miss him so....

Happy Valentine's Day, my dears!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A MUCH NEEDED weekend Vacay!

I am ecstatic to be flying up to Aspen for the weekend!!!
But that's not even the best part ;) I will be reunited with two of my faves, neither of which I have seen for five months!
I should be asleep right now, but I still haven't finished packing and am wired, so that brings me here.  I'll just share a few photos from my last trip to Aspen...which was EPIC!  


i only snowboard when it's warm enough to only wear ur tshirt

We walked into the bar 39 degrees at 430 to our vip section poppin bottles at 4:30 pm...this is when i knew the trip was goin to b insane




you have never met a group of 12 girls that got along for a week straight..i didn't think it was possible..till now

Everyone have a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Drinking Away My Sorrows....With Chai Tea ;)

The Hubby is officially gone for three weeks.  The house feels empty, the dog is wandering around wondering where his pops is, I don't have anyone to cook for and even worse....
I'm gonna have to wash my own dishes!!!

I spent this first day alone grocery shopping for food for one, watching movies, cleaning (not really) and reading.  Whilst reading I stumbled upon an awesome recipe for home made Chai Tea.  This, I decided, was going to be my project for the evening.

10-15 whole cloves
1 tbsp fennel seeds
5-6 slivers of fresh ginger
1/2 tbsp black peppercorn
1 dried bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
6 cups water
2 tbsp black tea (4 tea bags)
4 tbs brown sugar *
1 1/2 cup 1% milk*
*I used splenda in place of brown sugar and fat free milk instead to save 50+ calories per serving

Pour water in medium saucepan.  Add cloves, fennel, ginger, peppercorn, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 7-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the tea bags.  After 5 minutes of steep time, strain and return to the pan.  Stir in milk, sugar and simmer till it's hot all the way through, pour in a nice mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick! 
This makes 4 servings.  The original recipe is 95 calories per serving and a whopping 18 grams of sugar, but if you do it my way it's approx 45 calories and NO grams of sugar.  For those of you that think Splenda is bad, think again.  It's actually THE BEST option out of the artificial sweeteners and thus far has not produced negative side effects.

Needless to say, this made my evening a little more bearable and warmed me from the inside out....Just wait till you taste it for yourself.


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