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It Snowed, I Baked! Oatmeal-Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Snowed, I Baked! Oatmeal-Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies!

We had snow today and since I had a bit of time this afternoon – I baked a small batch of Oatmeal-Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How did I choose this recipe? I wanted to make cookies that were healthier than I usually would make. Oatmeal raisin sounded good.
Chocolate chip wouldn’t be bad either. I knew I had dried cranberries in my cupboard.

So off to the internet I went searching for a recipe that would fit my criteria.

I used a new-to-me website that I found out about from my newest Spark Friend “PETUNIAPIG” called Projectfoodie.com.

Check it out sometime too if this is new to you. You can search for recipes from magazines, newspapers, tv & cookbooks. It’s pretty cool – if you’re a “Foodie” like me!

Here’s the recipe I settled on for today.

It comes from Cooking Light, November 2006.

It’s a little sweet treat to have once in a while. Not terrible calorie wise and it is made with whole wheat flour and oats; a little REAL butter & sour cream; dried cranberries and semisweet chocolate chips.
It says it makes 27 servings of 2 cookies per serving (54 cookies).

* NOTE: I ended up with 42 cookies – so my cookies are a bit larger and contain more calories, etc. than listed below.

{I have used the Recipe Calculator here on Spark People, but I haven’t shared the recipe in the data base. It you’d like me to, let me know. My calculation is for 42 servings of 1 cookie per servings and that is equal to 80.6 calories per cookie.}

Enjoy!

Oatmeal-Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
• 1 cup whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
• 3/4 cup regular oats
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 large egg whites
• 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Place sugar, butter, and sour cream in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add vanilla and egg whites; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in cranberries and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until edges of cookies are browned. Cool on pan 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.

Yield: 27 servings (serving size: 2 cookies)

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 128 (23% from fat)
Fat: 3.3g (sat 1.8g, mono 0.8g,poly 0.3g)
Protein: 1.8g
Carbohydrate: 24.2g
Fiber: 1g
Cholesterol: 6mg
Iron: 0.8mg
Sodium: 114mg
Calcium: 21mg

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOCDIRECTOR 12/21/2012 10:46PM

    Gonna try this recipe tomorrow. Need something healthy to round out my cookie exchange selection.

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THINRONNA 10/29/2010 6:26AM

    They sound really really good! The kids are home today so I'm going to bake something this afternoon. If only we had dried cranberries here! I love reading all about your cooking and baking Maria! emoticon

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COOKWITHME65 10/28/2010 11:46AM

    I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but never thought of adding the cranberries. Good idea. Thanks for the web site link. I will have to check it out. emoticon

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EMAVERICK 10/27/2010 10:22PM

    sounds yummy! Great way to search for a recipe too :)

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PETUNIAPIG 10/27/2010 8:28PM

    YUM!! I'm so glad you like the site - it's one of my faves!
emoticon

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REEDSKI 10/27/2010 7:14PM

    They sound absolutely delicious! Yum.
I found a recipe for Healthy Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Snack Balls on SparkRecipes. I think I might try them but leave out the cloves. I really do not like cloves.

Now, I am going to print out this recipe. The combination of cranberries and chocolate sounds divine. And who doesn't like a cookie recipe with sour cream!!! I always wondered if you could substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream.

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MRSBENNETT2 10/27/2010 7:06PM

    Yum! Looks good! I've made oatmeal/cranberry/white chocolate cookies before, and I bet regular chocolate would be really tasty!



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ONEGREATCAT 10/27/2010 6:35PM

    Okay, I'm not crazy about the snow. But the recipe sounds absolutely delicious!!! Since Michael (my cat) doesn't like cookies, if I made these, I'd wind up eating all of them by myself. I know...I know...you can freeze them! But who in "their right mind...". Never mind...not going there.

KEEP SPARKING AND SHARING RECIPES!
emoticon

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ROSEWCI 10/27/2010 6:26PM

    Maria, these sound yummy! Oatmeal cookies are a perfect "comfort food" for me! These seem to also be a "soft" cookie...which are my favorites!

emoticon Yummy!

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Could it be True? My Best Work-Out Yet?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Could it be True? My Best Work-Out Yet?

I think I just had my best work-out. Really! 3 Big Miles in 45 minutes!
It’s the one I have been doing for several weeks now: Leslie Sansone’s Walk Slim – 3 Fast Miles!

I usually exercise in the morning, but for numerous reasons today I didn’t get to it until late this afternoon.

That might be the secret why this session went so well!

Some mornings I work out before breakfast – without any new fuel. I can definitely tell the difference – I don’t seem to have the energy to push myself.
And some mornings I eat breakfast first and then work out; it’s a much more productive workout.

I NEED to eat before I work out if I want to get a good work out.
The old – “You wouldn’t get into a car with a quarter tank of gas and expect it to travel 300 miles without needing to refuel, would you?” – Why would I expect my body to be able to work out without any food in the morning? Breakfast is “Break the Fast!”

Probably the biggest difference I noticed today was: My joints and body had been up and moving for many hours before I exercised.
I was all loosened up; I could move. Lubricated joints and warm muscles are ready to work hard!

And I could push myself.

For the first time ever, I know I was keeping up with Leslie’s veteran walkers.

And it felt so good.

Did I mention that Leslie makes me sweat!
I didn’t realize that my upper arms could sweat until I started using Leslies’s DVD’s.

Yah, like Leslie always says: “I Feel Good!”



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REEDSKI 10/27/2010 7:20PM

    Leslie makes me sweat, too. I know I work out harder with her than when I walk outside.

I did the 3 mile Walk Your Belly Flat with bicycles Mon. night and the 4 mile super challenge (not as hard as the 4 mile Walk Slim) last night. I haven't decided what I'm going to do when I get home.

Your blog helps me feel excited about doing my Leslie Sansone DVD workouts!!!!

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THINRONNA 10/27/2010 3:02PM

    I have to eat too before exercising. Even before a run in the morning. Nice job on your work out! Doesn't it feel good to have a great work out? It makes the whole rest of the day better! emoticon

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CARRENK 10/26/2010 10:06PM

    Way to go, Maria!

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ROSEWCI 10/26/2010 7:41PM

    emoticon Great job Maria! Lovin' that Leslie!!!

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PRETTYLILHEFFER 10/26/2010 6:53PM

    Your blogs are always so positive! I love reading them any time of the day just for some inspiration! Keep it up up UP!!

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MRSBENNETT2 10/26/2010 6:49PM

    Good for you! Mornings are my best times to work out. Afternoons bring an energy lag. Funny how we're all different!
Just for the record, I hate when my knees sweat. emoticon

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***Now We're Cooking...Pumpkin Chili***

Monday, October 25, 2010

Last week I was searching for a Pumpkin Soup recipe to make.
I kept running into Pumpkin Chili recipes. The pumpkin in a chili recipe sounded intriguing. After reading recipe after recipe, I decided to combine several recipes and use one of my favorite 'regular' chili recipes as a base.

The results?
You really could not taste the pumpkin, like you think you might.
It added a nice thicker consistency to the chili.
It was very flavorful, but not over powering.

I will be making this recipe again!

It was excellent the next day!

(My husband even used it as a hot dog topping one day.)

You could use any type of ground meat - again, I use beef because we produce our own.

You could lower the sodium content by using the reduced sodium broth - again, you could choose what kind of broth you want to use.

I think you could even make this recipe meatless and use vegetable broth in it.

Here's my version, Enjoy!


Maria’s Pumpkin Chili
(Makes 10-12 servings)

(Will need a large soup pot for this recipe.)


1-1/2 lb. extra lean ground beef (or your favorite ground meat, could use less meat, if you choose)
1 medium onion, diced
1 T minced garlic
1 T ground cumin
1-1/2 T chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T cocoa powder
2 T brown sugar
4 oz. chopped green chili peppers
4 cups beef stock/broth – (can use reduced sodium broth)
1 can (15 oz. can) red kidney beans, rinsed with cold water
2 cans (15 oz. cans) black beans, rinsed with cold water
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz. can, not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 large can petite diced tomatoes with juice (28 oz. can)
Salt and pepper to taste if desired
grated cheese for serving if desired
sour cream for serving if desired

Brown the ground beef with the chopped onions, cook until onions are somewhat soft.

Add the chili peppers, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cocoa powder & brown sugar.

Stir in diced tomatoes, beef stock and pumpkin.

Add the rinsed kidney and black beans.

Heat to almost boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.


* Note: I have entered it in the Spark People Recipe section of this site - if you are interested in the Nutrition Information.





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 10/27/2010 2:58PM

    It sounds really good! I'll bet I could make it with mashed sweet potato instead of the pumpkin since we don't get that here.

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PAROO1 10/25/2010 9:20PM

    Ooh, this sounds tasty! Thanks for sharing.

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ROSEWCI 10/25/2010 9:14PM

    Lovin' the emoticon! Full of nutrients & good stuff! Sounds yummy!

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COOKWITHME65 10/25/2010 7:28PM

    Sounds good. Never cooked with pumpkin before. Also love the cocoa in it. I've used that in several mexican recipes and it adds an unique flavor. Another good one Maria! emoticon

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REEDSKI 10/25/2010 7:01PM

    I've never been a big pumpkin eater but since I've been eating more squash I have been thinking of ways to eat pumpkin so I think I'll try this. I get something in my head and it won't let go. Last year it was quiche.

I'll just have to be sure to get the pumpkin puree and not the pumpkin pie filling!

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GATORJOY 10/25/2010 5:51PM

    Sounds good! I have had the pumpkin soup before too and found it delicious. emoticon

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Glazed Mini Carrots Recipe - 320% of your daily value of Vitamin A

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I made these Glazed Mini Carrots to go along with herb roasted turkey, steamed green beans and whipped potatoes. They were so good and healthy too. A serving contains only 74 calories and supplied 320% of your daily value of Vitamin A!

Glazed Mini Carrots

(From EatingWell)

Ingredients:

3 cups mini carrots, (1 pound)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I used orange juice)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation:
Combine carrots, water, honey, butter and salt in a large skillet.

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Uncover and cook, stirring often, until the liquid is a syrupy glaze, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in lemon juice and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Nutrition:
Per serving: 74 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 5 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 236 mg sodium; 287 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (320% daily value), Vitamin C (23% dv).

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 10/27/2010 2:50PM

    I can just imagine how these taste! Yum. I should try them I bet my kids would love them too! Thank you for sharing this recipe. emoticon

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EMAVERICK 10/25/2010 9:57PM

    looks yummy! Maybe then my son would eat cooked carrots
emoticon

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BIGMAMAT 10/25/2010 7:04AM

    Sounds delicious! yummmmmm. Thanks for sharing!

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COOKWITHME65 10/25/2010 5:03AM

    Sounds good Maria. I made carrots today also. A barefoot Contessa recipe roasting them.

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PETUNIAPIG 10/24/2010 10:37PM

    I was looking for recipe to go with the roast chicken I'm planning for this week. I'll give it a try - Thanks!!

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PAMNANGEL 10/24/2010 10:34PM

    I love glazed carrots. I do a different version though. I just cook the carrots until tender, drain them and add a little margarine, a spoonful of brown sugar and some cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum!

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MOTTAMAMALOU 10/24/2010 8:38PM

    with the turkey recipe i found on sparks and now your carrot recipe, i'm almost ready for thanksgiving. thanks.
emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/24/2010 8:39:33 PM

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AMAS92568 10/24/2010 8:33PM

    This sounds really good. Might try it at Thanksgiving!

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ROSEWCI 10/24/2010 8:20PM

    Yummy!

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A List of my Favorite Herbs…to Enhance Flavor!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A List of my Favorite Herbs…to Enhance Flavor!

Here is a list of my favorite herbs to enhance the flavor of the dishes I cook.

I am using and experimenting with more herbs these days to flavor the dishes I cook.

I am especially using them in vegetable dishes.

I find I am eating & enjoying more vegetables this way.

I like to add a little dill to my steamed green beans & it adds such a unique flavor to the Hungarian Mushroom Soup I like to make.

Honey glazed carrots are good with a bit of fresh parsley.

I use cumin in my chili and other Mexican dishes.

Now, I almost always use rosemary when I roast potatoes and other root vegetables – it was a flavor I had to get used to.

I shall continue to try these and other herbs and spices to enhance my dishes without adding additional calories.

It fits right in with one of my goals: “To eat less and enjoy it more.”

I also read that herbs & spices have disease fighting antioxidants. Another good reason to use them!

What are some of your favorite herbs (and/or spices) to use in your cooking?

* Note: Did you know? One teaspoon of dried herbs is equal to approximately one tablespoon of fresh herbs.

Basil
Flavor: Sweet & subtle with a clove-like aroma
Use to enhance: Tomato & pasta dishes, pesto, vegetable soups, eggs, poultry, fish, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, beans & peas

Chives
Flavor: Hint of onion
Use to enhance: Eggs, fish, vegetables, chicken, sauces, cottage cheese, potatoes & herb butters

Cilantro
Flavor: Sharp & tangy with a peppery taste
Use to enhance: Salsas, avocados, Mexican & Oriental dishes, peas, lentil or chicken soup, tomatoes, spinach, & egg salad

Cumin
Flavor: Earthy & nutty flavor
Use to enhance: Vegetables, poultry, fish, beans & Mexican dishes

Dill
Flavor: Slightly sharp, yet sweet
Use to enhance: Seafood, potatoes, eggs, chicken, lamb, pork, herb butters, peas, green beans, carrots & cabbage

Italian Parsley
Flavor: Slightly stronger flavor than regular parsley
Use to enhance: Soups, stews & pasta sauces

Marjoram
Flavor: Mild oregano flavor, sweeter & slightly minty
Use to enhance: Pork, lamb, poultry, fish, beef, veal, eggs, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, peas, broccoli, potatoes & asparagus

Oregano
Flavor: Pungent & spicy, similar to marjoram, but stronger
Use to enhance: Poultry, lamb, pork, pizza, pasta, bean soups, Italian & Greek dishes, eggplant, zucchini, broccoli & lentils

Rosemary
Flavor: Bold, pine-like taste
Use to enhance: Lamb, poultry, pork, fish, herb breads, potatoes, peas, green beans, spinach, mushrooms & cauliflower

Sage
Flavor: Aromatic & woodsy with a hint of eucalyptus
Use to enhance: Poultry, pork, veal, lamb, game, stuffings, cheese, potatoes, onions, tomatoes & eggplant

Tarragon
Flavor: Sweet & savory with a hint of licorice
Use to enhance: Poultry, seafood, beef, eggs, veal herb butters, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, & mayonnaise based dressings

Thyme
Flavor: Spicy, slightly sweet
Use to enhance: Braised meats, soups, stews, seafood, poultry, game birds, egg dishes, corn, tomatoes, green beans, peas & carrots



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBELBLITZ 5/22/2011 11:34PM

    I use lots of spices when I cook too. I tried a new one for me. I put fresh cilantra in my rice today as it cooked. It was great with the veggie fahitas and black beans.

Cheryl

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THINRONNA 10/27/2010 2:48PM

    I love herbs too...among other things I use ...
basil with cream, berries and tropical fruits
cilantro with pineapple
rosemary with oranges, apples and chocolate
sage in shortbread and apples
tarragon with stone fruits and pears
thyme with raspberries
lavender with lemon and blueberries
lemon verbena in creme brulee
lemongrass in a clear broth of a summer berry fruit soup
lemon balm with fruit salads

Thank you for provoking all of these thoughts in my head!

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REEDSKI 10/24/2010 10:59AM

    When I read down the list of blog titles I always pick yours for the title before I see who wrote it!

I'll remember that 1 tsp. dried = 1 tbs. fresh.

All of the herbs you mentioned above have healthy qualities.

I have learned about using herbs in 2 books.
The book Healing Foods by James A. Duke. It is full of proven remedies to treat and prevent health concerns. All of your herbs are in his book!

The other is the Fat Flush Plan by Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D.
She recommends using a variety of herbs.

Herbs with diuretic qualities: parsley, cilantro (love it), fennel, anise, and apple cider vinegar.
Metabolism-boosting and diuretic herbs and spices: dry mustard, cayenne, garlic, apple cider vinegar, ginger
For liver-supporting and fat-metabolizing: garlic and onion encourage bile secretion and aid liver function. Gingerroot boosts metabolism, helps reduce toxin build up in fat cells, and supports bile flow.
Tumeric is the highest known source of betacarotene, a powerful antioxidant that protects liver from free radicals.
To assist digestion: dill, garlic, anise, and fennel
To improve insulin and glucose levels: cinnamon, cloves (I don't like cloves),
bay leaves, and coriander.
protect against disease: cumin and tumeric.
Cayenne, dried mustard, and ginger also powerful anti-inflammatories.




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ROSEWCI 10/24/2010 4:26AM

    LOVE the herbs! Last week, I made a pizza w/Naan bread...& I put fresh basil w/tomatoes, mushrooms, & fresh mozzarella cheese on a thin layer of pizza sauce. It was to die for! And the basil just was bursting w/flavor!

They certainly do make food taste yummy! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/24/2010 11:24:54 AM

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LILLYPILLY24 10/24/2010 3:16AM

    Thanks for this great blog - it really does show the lifestyle change as we appreciate various, natural flavours more, rather than just loads of salt etc. Good for you!



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KITTYF54 10/23/2010 6:01PM

    thanks, I'll be saving THIS information. I love herbs. Kitty

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EMAVERICK 10/23/2010 5:58PM

    I always use rosemary with roast lamb. Luckily people grow it in their gardens around here as an ornamental (even around businesses), so I can go next door anytime and get a bit.

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