Cookie Party

It has been a dark few days over here in the state of Connecticut, and all around the Country. The complete devastation of the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown has shaken the nation and has made my heart truly ache. Living so close to Newtown, and actually seeing people who may have been directly affected is heart wrenching. Although my boyfriend was not directly involved with the tragedy, his services as a first responder were called upon to help in the town and for him I am forever grateful and proud. Hearing such devastation makes it remarkably hard to get into the holiday spirit but I have found strength through family and friends to help put a smile in my heart if even for a moment. We must never forget all those affected, the children who are now beautiful angels, the teachers who are all heroes and the first responders who risk their lives every single day to protect others.

In light of the devastation, I did attend a cookie party this weekend. I must say, I felt utter guilt in feeling happiness when I know so many families are grieving and hurting, but found comfort in talking with friends and family. For the cookie party I decided to make 2 different types of cookies. Although, these are NOT diabetic friendly AT ALL – they are yummy, creative and super easy to make. I decided to put snowman faces on the truffle because frankly, I lack the skills of making the perfect truffle, so if it ends up looking like it’s a melting snowman head, you might as well decorate it to look like you actually meant it to 🙂 The second are a knock off version of the Girl Scout Thin Mints – I will share those in a separate post!

Melted Snowman Oreo Truffles
Melted Snowman_Oreo Truffles

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What You’ll Need:
1 (16 oz) package Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz) package of Cream Cheese (Room temperature)
1 package of white melting Chocolate (I used Wilton that I got at a craft store with a coupon)
1 tsp shortening

Ingredients for snowman face
– Orange and Black tubes of gel icing
Oreo_Ball_Step1-4
Directions
1. Crush entire package of Oreo cookies. I put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin as I don’t have a food processor.
2. Mix entire package of cream cheese (room temperature) with Oreo crumbs.
3. Melt entire bag of chocolate with 1 tsp shortening. (The shortening keeps the chocolate smooth, shiny and easier to work with) NEVER EVER add water to the melted chocolate 🙂
4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and dip in the chocolate
**TIP I found it much much easier to refridgerate the dough while in balls for a half hour or so before dipping into the melted chocolate.
5. Let cool in refriderator for about 15 minutes and decorate with gel.
6. DEVOUR – enjoy with a cold milk or hot cocoa and make sure to share some with Santa!!

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Give Thanks For Cupcakes

Holidays are always days of festivity, recreation, family, fun and a diabetic nightmare for myself. Being a type one diabetic it is very hard to hold back on the sweet treats spread over the entire table. It’s tough to LOVE to decorate cupcakes and bake knowing you cannot have any of it. I throughly enjoy watching people enjoy what I make and become impressed through my creations but have a great disapointment knowing that I cannot enjoy it the same way they can.

This year I decided to make 2 desserts for my family’s Thanksgiving. One being the cupcakes I love to make and the other being a special dessert for myself to enjoy. I’ll start with my Sugar and Fat Free Pumpkin Trifle and end with the sweet Thanksgiving cupcakes 🙂 

Diabetic Pumpkin Trifle:
I adapted the recipe from TasteOfHome.com but added my own diabettic twist to it.
As I mentioned this recipe is both fat free and sugar free (about 10 carbs per serving)

    • 1-1/4 cups water
    • 1 egg
    • 4 cups cold fat-free milk
    • 4 packages (1 ounce each) sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix
    • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice
    • 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed

For the gingerbread cake, I made my own cake from scratch using this recipe.  I substituted the sugar with splenda.

  • Bake cake usiging recipe in link above.
  • In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in pumpkin and spices until well blended.
  • In a trifle bowl or 3-1/2-qt. glass serving bowl, layer a fourth of the cake crumbs, half of the pumpkin mixture, a fourth of the cake crumbs and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers. Garnish with reserved cake crumbs. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. 

YUM  – So good, guilt free AND not a lot of insulin required for this one!

Now on to the non-diabetic friendly portion of Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving cupcakes!
My family loves Funfetti, so I just used the box as opposed to making them from scratch as I did in the previous recipe.  I baked 2 dozen cupcakes per the recipe on the box, let them cool then let the fun being.  My favorite has got to be the mashed potato cupcake:

This one is easy.  For the vanilla frosting that I created a “volcano” making the outsides of the cupcake taller and the middle dip in.  I just took a butter knife and dabbed the outside to create the thick consistency of the mashed potato.  I then filled the center with caramel sauce letting it drip down the side to look like gravy.  The “butter” is a yellow Starburst that I warmed up in the microwave for 5 seconds so I could press it down to create the butter look.

Here are a few pictures of the other Thanksgiving cupcakes I made using Pilsbury Chocolate and Vanilla frosting, Wilton Gel Dyes, red piping gel, Wilton Boxed Fondant and my hands to mold everything.

So in conclusion, yes it is hard to maintain and healthy lifestyle during the holidays but it IS do-able.  Do you do anything to maintain a healthy lifestyle during Thanksgiving, or do you use one of your “cheat” days?

Cheers!

-J

Eggcellent Quick Egg Muffins

When you are a commuter, sometimes your drive/train ride to work can be some what of a part-time job.  I used to take the Metro North train every day to work which meant a 2 hour door-to-door commute each way making the total trip 4 hours (a part-time job). I’ve cut my commute down to about an hour drive each way with traffic (mind you I only live 15 miles from the office)

I am also NOT a morning person, so anything to make my morning easier is key.  Being diabetic I can’t just grab a bagel and go, I need to eat something low carb and it is definitely hard to find in a breakfast food.  These Eggcellent breakfast cups are great to make ahead on the weekend, freeze, and microwave in the morning as a quick, easy, HEALTHY meal!

Here’s what you will need:
12 eggs (you could use just egg whites for a healthier option)
1/2 cup Low Fat milk
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
4oz Feta Cheese
1/2 cup Spinach, chopped
1 Tomato

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12 muffin tray with cooking spray.

Whisk the eggs and the milk in a large bowl.  Add the feta cheese, chopped spinach, cut up tomato and pepper and stir to combine.

Pour the egg mixture evenly into the muffin tin about 2/3 of the way full in each cup. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes.  Let cool in tray, remove from muffin tin and cool on cooling rack.

Freeze in ziplock baggies.  I heat my frozen egg muffins in the microwave for about 40-60seconds but time may vary.

What other food would you add to your egg muffins?  It may be good with avocado and turkey!

Enjoy!

-J

Low Carb Triple Chocolate Pie

A few weeks ago I attended an awesome Pampered Chef party.

The demonstrator for the party was the top seller in the world, and it definitely showed, she was amazing. At the end of the party she made a dessert with her own recipe that I couldn’t help but think I could remake it and do it low carb, diabetic friendly.

TRUST ME when I tell you that this dessert is AMAZING – it truly is. My boyfriend literally (no joke) licked the plate clean.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 packages JELL-O Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding
  • 4 cups Low-fat milk
  • 8oz Low Fat Creamcheese (Room Temperature)
  • 3/4 Cup Splenda
  • 1tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 16oz Cool Whip
  • 10oz Dark Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli)
    ***Dark Chocolate has less carbohydrates and less sugar than milk chocolate. This recipe is about 5 carbs per serving.
  • 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 roll of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (about 8 grams per serving)

TOTAL Carbohydrate – 18-20 grams per serving.

1) Take the entire roll of cookie dough and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Form the dough into a large circle (cookie).  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until the edges are brown.

2) In a small bowl beat together creamcheese, splenda and vanilla extract.  Spread over cookie.

3) Make the sugar-free chocolate pudding per directions on box using cold low-fat milk.  Let set in refrigerator.  Fold-in cool whip to the pudding.  Layer on top of the creamcheese layer.

4) Heat up 3/4 heavy cream in microwave until it starts to bubble.  Remove from microwave and pour the 10oz bag of bittersweet chocolate chips into the cream. Stir for about a minute to form the ganache.  The ganache should be a thick, creamy consistency. Pour ganache over the pudding/Cool Whip layer and let drip down the sides.

(Keep refrigerated)

5) DEVOUR and ENJOY!!!

Cheers – J