Tag Archives: Baking

What’s Happening In Your World?

I really enjoyed and appreciated reading the wonderful responses to my last post, and it made me reminisce about the days in which I hosted ‘Friend Makin’ Mondays.” I also like “Thoughtful Thursdays,” and I decided that it was okay to write in a similar style today.

I’d love to see your responses to these questions in the comments or on your own blog. If you decide to answer please let me know, so I can head over and read your responses.

Here’s what’s happening in my world:

  1. What’s the title of the last book you read? I just finished “The Great Gatsby,” and now I’m back to reading “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer and “LoveSmart” by Dr. Phil. (Uh, judge me if you will. I probably would, but one of my lovely and well-respected friends suggested it. I’m also reading through The Bible in its entirety this year. I’m about 76% through it so far, which feels awesome for a number of reasons.
  2. What is the last thing you cooked at home? I baked an acorn squash, but technically speaking, the last thing I cooked was the divinity fudge that I made last night. It was my first attempt since moving to New Orleans, and while it wasn’t pretty, it came out very well!

    Thankfully, I'm not really tempted to eat this stuff. There's too much sugar in it (even for me.)

    Thankfully, I’m not really tempted to eat this stuff. There’s too much sugar in it (even for me.)

  3. What is your favorite thing about Fall? I love all. things. pumpkin!!!!! There, I said it. #SorryNotSorry
  4. Share one thing that challenged you at some point over the last week. I applied for a job that would be an incredible fit, and writing the cover letter was a challenge. It’s always challenging for me to eloquently say, “Hey, I’m awesome! Pick me! Pick me!”
  5. List three hobbies that you actively pursue or want to pursue. I knit, sing and read often. I enjoy a lot of other things as well.
  6. Did you watch the Democratic debate on CNN last week? Yep. It was fun to see Bernie in action across from Hillary. Even though I’m not a part of his camp (because we have differing views on some major issues) I still think he’s awesome because he was so respectful and searched for common ground in our conversation.
  7. Which company do you use for car insurance? I switched to Geico earlier this year, and I’d love to know who you all use and whether or not you’re satisfied with your choice.
  8. Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Yes. I found matching sugar/gingerbread cookie pajamas for my nieces, and I’m also knitting a new items that I plan to give as gifts as well. Last night I watched my first Christmas movie of the season.
  9. Share three things about the last person you spoke to today. 1) His name is Chris 2) We met in 2007 when we both lived in New York, and now we both live in other states. 3) He made homemade gummy candies recently, which was adorable. Now I’m totally going to make them too!
  10. Do you remember your dreams? I do sometimes. I’ve had some vivid ones lately!

Opinions Please: Let Them Eat Cake, Or Lose Weight…?

What should I do?  I meet up with a dozen friends every Tuesday evening, and I always bring dessert.  It’s expected.  I mean, no one forces me to bring it, but I know it is appreciated and highly anticipated.  Let’s face it.  I make good desserts.

It’s no secret that I bake, and it brings me a lot of pleasure to see people enjoying things that I create.  Most of the people I see on Tuesday nights do not struggle with weight so eating a piece of cheesecake like the one I brought Tuesday isn’t a big deal to them like it is to me.

kenlie Italian cheesecake

I enjoy watching recipes come to life, but it’s hard to watch people enjoy what I make without enjoying it with them.  Making cheesecake was better than the cupcake trend because there was no tasting it prior to serving it, but I can’t eat (even a tiny piece of) this every week.  One a year? Maybe.

Food surrounds us, and we base a lot of activities around it.  It happened in New York, and it happens in New Orleans too (and everywhere else I go.)  I love food, and I love people so going out to dinner, eating at a friend’s place before we play games or lunch with friends just feels right to me.

I know folks who have lost incredible amounts of weight by not having a social life, but I am not prepared to sacrifice all of the things that matter to me.  Being a skinny hermit won’t make me happier than I would be losing weight slowly and consistently while enjoying my life too.

Maybe I’m just not willing to do what it takes to lose weight.  It’s hard knowing that at one point I could do both.  I went out, but I also lost weight.  I controlled my portions, and I ate one or two unhealthy meals a week instead of several a week.

It’s easier for me to avoid sweet snacks completely, but how should I deal with that fact that they’re expecting me to bring sweet treats? I don’t want to disappoint my friends or make them feel like I care about myself more than them, but I do know that I had to be pretty selfish to be successful before.  Is that that answer?

What would you do in my situation?  Would you stop bringing sweets?  Offer to bring an alternative?

A Guest Post About Cupcakes? Yes, Please…

Well, what can I say?  Spilling my guts in  yesterday’s post and your comments on that post led me to workout harder than I have in weeks, and brought the reason that I blog (now) front and center – support and accountability from people here who genuinely care about my well-being.  I appreciate that more than I could ever convey in words.  And it also spurred a big change that I’ll share more about tomorrow.

I need a little time to start practicing what I’m about to preach (to myself, anyway) so I’m thankful for this guest post by my pal, Alyssa from DoubeChinDiary.com!  If you know me at all then you know I love cupcakes (too much.)   And you may also know that I love featuring awesome bloggers on my own blog so this post is a win-win.

When Alyssa share the subject of her guest post with me, you can probably guess that I couldn’t wait to see the recipe.  Now here it is for all of us to try. I do have to mention that I do not drink sodas – diet or regular – ever.  I’m going to think about what I’m willing to do or what else could work for me, but that’s the beauty of trial and error.  I wonder if mine will be as pretty as hers!   Take a few minutes to check out the post, and say hi to Alyssa if you don’t know her.  She’s awesome so welcome her, okay?

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Hi everybody! I’m Alyssa from the Double Chin Diary. I’m on a quest to lose 50 pounds without losing my sense of humor, which is hard given my fondness of baking, movie theatre popcorn, and lying on the couch in my pajamas. I started reading Kenlie’s inspiring posts in 2011 and have even had the honor of meeting her in person! I’m thrilled to be here today.

 

As someone who’s perpetually on and off Weight Watchers or some other “plan”, I know there are times when you’d do something crazy for a cupcake – but you don’t, because a yummy, normal cupcake is at least 8 points, and if you’re like me, 8 points is like a MEAL! My grandmother used to follow Weight Watchers way back in the day, and she’s had this recipe in her toolkit for a long time. The best part is that it’s completely customizable, meaning you can use any type of cake mix or any flavor of diet soda. My ultimate favor combination is diet orange soda with sugar free orange jello because it’s like a creamsicle cake. I used lemon lime soda and jello this time, since I was making these for a St. Patrick’s Day Party and wanted to make something green. Oh yeah – and did I mention that they’re only FOUR POINTS EACH?!

 

Ingredients you need: (A measly four things! FOUR things!!! And you don’t even need to measure! This is easier than nuking a LeanCuisine – no peeling back the corner of the film here!)

 

For the cupcakes:

1 Box of Cake Mix, any flavor except “Butter Golden” or “Golden Butter”

1 Can of Diet Soda (12 ounces, any flavor)

 

For the topping:

1 Box of Sugar Free Jello Powder, any flavor (generic is fine)

1 Tub of Defrosted Light or Fat Free Cool Whip (generic is fine – I’m a frugalista, too!)

 

Steps to take:

 

1)      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Do a little booty dance, cuz you’re makin’ cupcakes!

2)      Dump the cupcake mix into a large bowl. Pour in the soda, slowly. Don’t panic – foaming is normal.

 

3)      Mix with a whisk until it’s mostly lump free.

4)      Pour the batter into a lined muffin pan. You want to fill the liner about ¾ full.

 

5)      Bake for 18 – 22 minutes, depending on your oven. My oven is snarky and likes to challenge me, so mine baked for 22 minutes and were still a little underdone.

6)      Test the cupcakes for doneness by touching them with your finger. The cupcake will be done when it springs back. Don’t worry if they’re a little sticky – the texture of these is slightly more moist and spongy than normal cake.

 

7)      Let the cupcakes cool.

8)      The next part is like MAGIC! If you’re like me and hate doing dishes, you’ll be happy to know you can do this next part in the tub the cool whip came in. Just take off the lid and dump the packet of jello powder into the tub. (If you want a milder taste, use ½ the packet. I like intense flavors so I use the whole thing.) Stir gently until all crystals are dissolved. The texture will be like normal cool whip at first, but in about 5 minutes, the gelatin will really thicken it up.

 

9)      Once the cool whip has thickened (it should look like the photo below) and your cupcakes are cool, use a butter knife or piping bag to ice two tablespoons of topping onto the cupcake.

 

10)  Voila! Rock on with your bad self. You just made 4 point cupcakes! (3 points if you don’t want topping!) Feel free to brag, and more importantly, share this recipe with your friends. (Or bring them to a party! This recipe makes 18 cupcakes!)