Monday, February 16, 2009

Wow, 100th post today! Giveaway, too!

Wow, I can't believe it- my 100th post. I look back to my first one and just laugh. I had no direction and just a stock blogger template. Now, a custom blog design, and everything I see has the potential to be a post, so I snap pictures of everything these days.

I am also amazed, no, stunned, that I actually lost 4 lbs this past week! There is truth to diet AND exercise, and it seems when you find the right plan of action, it doesn't feel like diet and exercise. It just feels good. I have energy. I'm not hungry. I eat at least 1000 less calories a day than what I was prior to beginning my journey, but now, eating the right foods, feel like I am cheating every day. This feels good.

I've relied a great deal on the recipes from the Hungry Girl cookbook. It is not gourmet by any means. It is, however, simple everyday fare that leaves you content, and not feeling like you have been gypped- you know- when you buy a box where the dessert looks like this
and what you really end up with is this

That is just wrong. Purely sale-intended evil in a box.

Hungry Girl, however, delivers. When you see a photo in the book that looks like this:

You can feel confident that yours will look like this:

and this:

and this:

At only 108 calories and 2g of fat per cupcake, that's pretty sweet (pun intended).

Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes

  • 2 cups moist-style yellow cake mix (1/2 of an 18.25-ounce box)
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for topping

  • 3 cubes (about 1 ounce) chewy caramel
  • 2 teaspoons light vanilla soymilk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in a mixing bowl with 1/3 cup of water. Whip with a whisk or fork for 2 minutes until well blended.

Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with baking cups. Evenly spoon batter into muffin cups.

Place pan in the oven and cook for about 12 minutes (until cupcakes have puffed up but still appear a little gooey on top- I actually cooked mine for 20 minutes).

Once cupcakes are cool enough to handle, arrange them closely on a plate so that the edges are touching. Place caramel and soymilk in a tall microwave-safe glass or dish (mixture will bubble and rise when heated).

Microwave at medium power for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir mixture vigorously until smooth and thoroughly blended. (Return to microwave for 30 seconds at medium heat if caramel has not fully melted.) Immediately drizzle caramel sauce over cupcakes.

** Be VERY careful with caramel topping in microwave- I burned my first batch! I'd do 30 second increments until thin and pourable!


Oh yeah, I forgot, there is a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive their very own HungryGirl cookbook!

Just leave a comment with your favorite diet tip or trick. Remember to LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS! You have until Wednesday, the 18th of February, 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, to win! Good Luck!

Winners will be chosen using Random Integer Generator

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Nieman Family said...

I love your blog. The cupcakes/muffins look wonderful. As for a diet tip...I am over weight and like to eat waaaaaaaaaay to much. So obviously any tip I would have doesn't work. The only thing I know would be to quit eating. :) But would love to learn and loose about 40 pounds.

Laurie said...

I know I need to lose weight but just haven't done it! The only thing I can think of is to quit making good tasting food, just don't think my kids would appreciate that much! So...I portion the meals & we try to eat at least 1 veggie with our meal & drink water. I have also cut down the dessert days! It came to where the kids were asking what was for dessert instead of what was for dinner! LOL We do desserts on Sundays & Mondays (our family night) It has helped in the no weight gaining area!My

Valerie said...

Yum! With my diet I have just been counting calories. I have calculated that if I consume 1500 calories a day I should lose about 5-10 pounds each month.

I say your comment on my blog. I can't see what your talking about with the HTML coding. Can you please let me know what I should do to fix the problems my visitors see. Yikes! I am new at all of this blog design and HTML encoding stuff :)

Valerie said...

saw not say, I can spell sometimes :)

Gis said...

i am entering this!!

Lisa said...

Hi there! This is my first time posting to a blog, I had to email Janet to get better directions, how sad! I LOVE the blog, great pictures, my 14 year old thinks so too! She LOVES to cook and bake and is ready to fix some of the things pictured here. I'm one of those people most people hate...I don't have to diet, sorry! My general motto is all things in moderation and healthy exercise. I do like to eat healthy and was raised that way and try to teach my three kids the same thing. If this great cookbook comes my way I plan on sending it to my Mom. She just signed up for Weight Watchers about a month ago. She is flat on her back with a knee injury and could use a little pick-me-up-surprise right about now. Between boredom and hunger, winter days on the sofa can get pretty long!

Anonymous said...

Hey Janet, I know you're working very hard to lose your 40 lbs. I was so focused when I set out to lose mine - and I was glad I did it but being on the back side of working out everyday I would just say its important to find a balance - up to one hour a day of exercise is good and eating a health balanced diet is the best way. If you completely deprive yourself of the things you love you will always be thinking about "when" you get to eat that. Allow yourself (in moderation) the things you enjoy - enjoy life and family! The hard body only lasts as long as you put all that effort into it each day. You are already beautiful inside and out - get rid of the few extra pounds so your heart will be healthy and then find a consistent way of doing what you're doing now! Love you, Gail Skeens

Donna-FFW said...

Conrats on your 100th post. My favorite diet tip is lots and lots of water. It does so fill you up, and really helps with the eating issue.

Kristen said...

Congrats on your 100th post. Those cupcakes look incredible!
I love your blog design as well. Very professional :)

Kristen said...

Oops - forgot my diet tip. Delete one comment or the other so I don't mess up the drawing.
This is a strange one, but I eat mindlessly when I cook, so to stop that I started chewing sugar free gum when I am baking and cooking. Keeps me from nibbling on calories I don't count!

RecipeGirl said...

Hey there! Happy to find another one who is on a healthy eating venture. Congrats on the weight loss so far. I'm enjoying my exercise too. The more you routinely do it, the more you crave it.

I haven't picked up this cookbook yet, so this is a good giveaway! My tip would have to be to drink tea when you feel like having a snack. I drink tea w/ splenda and a splash of milk. It's just the right amount of sweetness that I'm craving, and I sometimes accompany that w/ a bag of 100 calorie microwave popped kettle corn.

Congrats on your 100th post!

Spot said...

100th post! Whoo hoo!!! Okay, I see these two mistakes happen all too often 1) you NEED to eat often and 2) it's okay to fall off the wagon, just get back on...even the fittest people have indulgent slip-ups!

Julie said...

Your cupcakes look awesome...the smart ones looks like it has a fingernail on top of it ;P
I have that cookbook too. I've only made one thing out of it so far...the ooey chocolate cherry cupcakes. They were pretty good.