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    Cheesecake Iced Pumpkin Cookies + Krusteaz Giveaway

    October 30th, 2017

    I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is almost here and that this year is almost over! Ok. I will not spoil it for anyone who is still enjoying 2017. If anything, I have been saddened by the erratic weather we have been having and how fall, my favorite season, has been virtually non-existent.

    Despite all that, life continues. Like pumpkin everything. Anyone else tired of it? I actually have been pacing myself because I want to be able to enjoy it by the time Thanksgiving roles around. In the last week, I have been able to bake a little for my family, neighbors and friends. Baking is one of my favorite past times but I have not been doing a lot because of time and well dietary restrictions.

    Even so, I have been able to use Krusteaz newest line of pumpkin spice mixes, including muffins, bread, and even cookies. If you are not familiar with the brand, they are known for their premium baking mixes, especially the pancake mixes.

    I have been taking advantage of making muffins for my little girls and even for my husband. Each recipe box requires either an egg or two, some water and an oil.

    Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Mixes

    I loved testing with the Krusteaz bread mix because I was able to sub the oil for fat free Greek yogurt and the eggs for flax seed meal and it worked perfectly! The muffins turned out nice and fluffy without the need for additional fat or calories.

    Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Muffin MIx

    This past week I baked two trays of pumpkin spice and white chocolate bars for college students in Haverford. I came to a realization that even though I might not eat the baked goods, I love doing it because it is therapeutic for me. I am still in the moving in stage so it is hard for me to be spending a ton of time in the kitchen just yet. These pumpkin spice mixes have been a life saver in so many ways.

    I used the Krusteaz bread mix and used my substitutions for my Cheesecake Iced Pumpkin Cookies . This is an easy recipe to bring to a potluck or even as a different dessert option for Thanksgiving. I used the Cookie mix and made a few substitutions and made a super easy cheesecake icing. Super easy and delicious.

    Enjoy the recipe over the next month while the pumpkin fever lasts!

    Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mixes

    Giveaway!

    Want to try the Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Mixes? Leave a comment below telling me what you are planning to make for Thanksgiving. I will announce a winner November 7th. Krusteaz will send winner a nice package of goodies.

    Cheesecake Iced Pumpkin Cookies- 5 smartpoints a cookie

    by Noelle Kelly

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 12 minutes

     

    Ingredients (2 dozen iced cookies)

      For Cookies

      • 1 box Krusteaz Bakery Style Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix
      • 1 egg
      • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted, softened
      • 1/3 cup Non fat Greek plain yogurt

      For Cheesecake Icing

      • 8 ounce Whipped Cream Cheese Spread
      • 4 ounces lite Whipped topping
      • 3 Tbsp pumpkin puree
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 tsp melted coconut oil
      • Sweetener of choice (options: 1-2 Tbsp honey, 1/2 Tbsp NuNaturals Nustevia syrup, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, etc)
      • Add mini chocolate chips to each cookie ( optional)

      Instructions

      For Cookies

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

      Add cookie mix to a medium mixing bowl. Add the egg, softened butter, and Greek Yogurt. Mix until blended. Knead with hands to combine extra well. Roll into 24 balls and flatten on cooking sheet.

      Bake for 12 minutes and let cool. Make Icing.

      For Cheesecake icing

      Mix all ingredients into a medium bowl well until blended. Dollop about 1-2 Tbsp on top of each cookie. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving or consume immediately. These can be refrigerated the night before serving.

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      Instant Pot Sugar Free BBQ Sauce for BBQ Pulled Chicken

      October 27th, 2017

      If you are following a sugar free lifestyle, this is a recipe for you. Do you know that there is practically sugar hidden in so many products especially in condiments? Ketchup and BBQ sauce are two condiments that we probably used the most in our home. Truthfully, they have been the hardest to kick because I had not come with an alternative.

      Since my husband likes a specific BBQ sauce line, I tried to really replicate as close as possible so that he did not feel deprived. He has been following my same clean eating lifestyle so it has been very encouraging. I was able to mix up all the ingredients in an Instant Pot to quickly end with a delicious recipe for BBQ Pulled Chicken.

      One of the things I enjoy doing on busy weekdays is to make really quick meals. The kids seem the neediest during meal prep time, so I have been really enjoying my Instant Pot a lot more lately. I quickly add all my ingredients or I can sauté first and then cook my recipe and it be ready within 30 minutes.

      As far as making my meals sugar-free, it has been definitely exciting to play around with spices and ingredients. Steviva brand is one of the newest sugar free brands on the market and are available on Amazon. They have blends that include agave nectar mixed with stevia for those that just need a little more sweetness, or there is the erythritol called Erysweet.

      For my BBQ sauce, I used their other product called Fructevia that consists of crystalline fructose, inulin and stevia. I really has a nice flavor to it without any aftertaste. I added all my ingredients for my BBQ sauce inside the Instant Pot starting with a small diced onion and I set the pot to the sauté mode. I cooked the onions and added garlic and finally added the rest of the spices along with my tomato paste, water, and sweeteners. Once that simmered in the pot, I turned it off and added 22-24 ounces of chicken breast and set on the chicken mode.

      Since I used a lot more chicken I increased my cooking mode on the manual setting from 12 minutes to 25 minutes to make sure that internal temperature for chicken would be appropriate. Sure enough, when the timer went off, I let there be a 5 minutes natural release before releasing completely. I used two forks to shred chicken and I was ready to serve.

      Note: I did make this recipe several times. If you want to make the BBQ sauce by itself, double the recipe for a larger quantity and follow instructions in recipe. Seal in a mason jar and refrigerate. It is good for 15 days.

      Instant Pot Sugar Free BBQ Pulled Chicken

      by Noelle Kelly

      Prep Time: 5 minutes

      Cook Time: 35 minutes

      Keywords: cook Pressure Cook entree lunch gluten-free low-carb sugar-free soy-free chicken American summer spring fall winter

       

      Ingredients (4 cups of shredded chicken)

        For Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

        • (Double Recipe if just making the sauce)
        • 2/3 cup tomato paste
        • 1 1/3 cup water
        • 6 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
        • 1 small onion, grated
        • 4 garlic cloves, minced
        • 1 teaspoon onion powder
        • 3 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
        • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
        • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
        • 1 teaspoon chili powder
        • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
        • 1/4 cup Nectevia
        • 2 Tbsp Fructevia

        Chicken

        • 22-24 ounces of chicken breasts
        • plus an Instant Pot

        Instructions

        For Sugar Free BBQ Chicken

        Add 2 tsp olive oil to pot and hit sauté mode. Add grated onions and minced garlic and sauté until caramelized (about 7 minutes). Add the water, tomato paste and the rest if the ingredients and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken breasts and seal Instant Pot with lid. Turn off sauté mode and use manual mode to add 25 minutes cooking time. Allow to natural release for 5 minutes then completely release. Use 2 forks to shred chicken and allow chicken to rest in sauce for a good 10 minutes before serving.

        Add to baked potatoes, nachos, salads, and more.

        To make JUST BBQ sauce

        If you want to make the BBQ sauce by itself, double the recipe for a larger quantity. Seal the Instant Pot and cook for 12 minutes and naturally release so that flavors come together. Cool and seal in a mason jar and refrigerate. It is good for 15 days.

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        Spicy Snack Hour | Tapatío Tuna and Guacamole Rice Cake Stacks

        October 20th, 2017

        The last few weeks have been a blur because packing up a home and unpacking into a new home is no joke. My steady healthy eating habits have kept steady up until the week we had to have everything packed. Two weeks later, now that most of everything is set in place in my kitchen, I can get back to eating the way I enjoy. Lunch is the most trying time of the day so I usually enjoy a heartier snack while the kids are down for a rest. There is only enough time to prepare something for 3 hungry toddlers before they are done and mommy needs to get going with the rest of the day.

        Snack Hour with StarKist Tuna

        One of my favorite quick protein choices that you will find in my pantry is tuna. I recently discovered StarKist Tuna Creations BOLD which are available in 6 varieties, including Thai Chili Style, Jalapeño, Hot Buffalo Style, Tapatío, Sriracha and even one with Rice & Beans in Hot Sauce. If you like a bite in your foods, these ready-to-eat options will spice up your snack hour.

        StarKist Tuna Creations BOLD offer delicious & nutritious meal solutions to fit your busy lifestyle and add an extra kick of flavor —each is a good source of lean protein and 110 calories or less to keep you fueled. Fire up your taste buds and get ready for a BOLD hit of flavor.  StarKist has partnered with Tapatío and added their hot sauce and a touch of lime juice to their classic chunk light tuna.  This perfect blend is ready to enjoy on corn chips, on a salad, in a taco or straight out of the pouch.

        I grabbed my molcajete ( a stone mortar and pestle) and made some quick guacamole. I added the guacamole to some hearty multigrain rice cakes and added half a packet on top of the guacamole for two servings. Depending on the day and whether I had lunch, I would eat two rice cakes for my snack. So satisfying and a perfect combination of cool and spicy. Yummy food makes a happy mother.

        Oh, and if your husband is home, this is a winner for the father who forgets to eat. Thumbs up.

        Tapatío Tuna and Guacamole Rice Cake Stacks

        by Noelle Kelly

        Prep Time: 10 minutes

         

        Ingredients (4 servings)

          For the Guacamole

          • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
          • 4 Tablespoons red onion, diced
          • 1/4 cup tomato, diced
          • 4 Tablespoons shredded carrots ( prepackaged)
          • 1 lemon, juiced
          • salt and pepper to taste

          Additional ingredients

          • 2 pouches of StarKist Tuna Creations BOLD Tapatio
          • green olives for garnish
          • 4 multigrain rice cakes

          Instructions

          For the Guacamole

          Add the avocado to a stone mortar and pestle or bowl, and mash with pestle or fork. Mix in the diced onions, tomatoes, carrots, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

          Assembly

          Divide the guacamole between 4 rice cakes. Open two StarKist tuna pouches and divide each pouch between 2 rice cakes. Garnish with tomato and green olives. This can serve 2 people with 2 rice cake stacks or 4 people.

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          The pouches are single-serve and require no can opener and no draining, making it easy to add a BOLD protein to your favorite salads, meals and snacks…or you can just grab a fork and eat straight from the pouch wherever you are—just Tear. Eat. And Go! Visit http://starkist.com/ and follow @StarKistCharlie on Instagram and Twitter.

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          Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Smoothie + Giveaway

          September 27th, 2017

          I have partnered with Sunwarrior and NuNaturals to bring you this recipe & giveaway to you! This Pumpkin Chocolate Protein Smoothie is a great boost of protein for any morning, snack or dessert option. It is free of processed sugars, gluten-free, vegan, and raw. Affiliate links included to help support this website.

          Protein: What Powers my every day

          Protein. Protein. Protein. It is what I have been living by every time I go to the kitchen. I make sure that every meal and snack have some sort of protein so that my sugar level will be leveled. I have chatted in previous posts that finding out the right eating lifestyle to bring balance to my hypoglycemia has given me life. Gone are the days of just eating 2-3 meals a day. Now I eat 5 small meals a day and by God’s grace, I have lost 53 pounds.

          While I would love to focus and speak to just mothers, everyone in general lives much busier lives than ever before. Planning meals and snacks ahead of time just does not happen for everyone. Convenience and fast food places continue to grow and be in high demand. But when do we realize that eating requires us to be mindful?

          Truthfully, I am someone who loves quick and convenient especially with 3 toddlers. It is easier for me to jump to the drive thru lane of our favorite Chick-fil-a and grab meals for my kids and even for myself. But how many times can I do that before boredom and bad habits slip in?

          Busier lifestyles and On-the-go

          I have made it a habit to always have a protein smoothie with me because sometimes I do not know how long I will be at different times of the day. Sometimes I only have time to make meals for my husband and kids. A quick protein smoothie gets me the protein and energy I need until I get my next meal. I have even learned the hard way.

          So it’s back to being on my eating habits because my tummy is totally feeling the weekend eating. Not only was it fun but I’m sure happy I took my @rainbowlight digestive enzymes with me. When you go to a trade show with tons of samples it totally messed with your tummy even if they are healthy and small bites. . Starting back with my healthy protein shakes. My body did get tired with the late evenings and the walking I did but the walking sure felt good! I’ll be sharing a giveaway of my favorite products soon so be on the lookout! . . Also sharing a fabulous deal on Groupon! If you want to try online or meetings at @weightwatchers there’s a 65% discount. Click on link on profile. Ends Nov 9th. (Aff) . bit.ly/2hdLlzl . . . . . . . #cleanse #detox #protein #proteinshake #Sunwarrior #vegan #health #healthy #herbs #greens #shake #eeeeeeats #food #reclaimingmybody #ww #wwsisterhood #wwmoms #ww #deal #groupon #wwmeetings #wwonline #losingweight #weightlossjourney #eatclean #cleaneatinglifestyle #lifestyle #motherhood #motherhoodthroughinstagram

          A post shared by Noelle/Food&Lifestyle Blogger (@singerinkitchen) on

          Weigh-in days at Weight Watchers are Wednesday mornings for me. My husband has usually prepped a meal for me to take to consume after I weigh in but it has been 9a30am and I have already been awake 2-3 hours. I have had the worst days on Wednesdays simply because I crash and burn by the time I have my meal. My whole schedule gets off and I am not a happy mom.

          I started 2 weeks ago having a smoothie even before my weigh-in and it has done WONDERS!!! Not only has it made me more regular in the mornings BEFORE I weigh-in, but I am a happy, sugar-stabilized person. Who knew? This is totally about getting to know yourself.

          Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

          Protein Smoothies and Where to Start

          If this is you, consider adding a protein smoothie for breakfast while you get your kids ready. Have one 3 hours before dinner, so that dinner preparation will not be so stressful with kids. Or even on the way home from work, lunch feels so far away and you want to grab a bite to eat at a fast food place. Take your smoothie with you!!

          Here is what I stick to for my base:

           

          1 cup unsweetened almond milk

           

          1 scoop Sunwarrior Warrior Raw Blend (various flavors)

           

          1 scoop greens ( I alternate between Amazing Grass & Innate Women’s Greens

           

          1/2 cup frozen berries ( the least amount of sugar)

           

          Ice

           

          Nunaturals NoStevia powder (optional)

           

          Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

          by Noelle Kelly

           

          Prep Time: 5 minutes

          4 Weight Watchers Smartpoints a serving

          Ingredients (1 smoothie)

          • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
          • 4 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
          • 1 Tablespoon NuNaturals Cocoa powder
          • 1/2 teaspoon NuNaturals Nustevia Pumpkin Spice Syrup
          • 1 teaspoon NuNaturals Nustevia cocoa syrup
          • 1 scoop Sunwarrior Warrior Chocolate Protein Powder
          • 1 scoop greens
          • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice seasoning
          • 1/4 cup water
          • 4-5 ice cubes
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          NuNaturals Discount + Sunwarrior & NuNaturals Giveaway

          I have been using NuNaturals for more than a year. Their products have been a great substitute for sugar especially since everything they make is mostly stevia-based. They also make products that are blends of stevia and erythritol, and they also offer other sugar free alternatives for those seeking to be free from processed sugar in their eating lifestyles.

          Sunwarrior is another brand I have enjoyed getting to know. I have tried many protein powders and their Warrior Blend is one of my favorite so far. They have a blend of amino acids and their powders are vegan and raw. I really do not endorse something I am not really familiar with but these two brands have been a huge help in my clean eating lifestyle and I hope to help you see if they can become part of yours!

          Have you been trying to look for a protein powder? Two people have a chance to win a tub of Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend. FOUR people will also win the following from NuNaturals:

          •  One bottle of the NEW SUGAR-FREE GINGER SYRUP
          • One bottle of the NEW SUGAR-FREE COCOA SYRUP
          • One bottle of the NEW VANILLA SYRUP
          • PLUS a 50 pkt. box of our NuStevia NO-CARBS Stevia Packets.
          • In addition, each of the 4 winners will also receive a FREE BONUS  item.
          • The total retail value of each package is $ 70.00.

          NuNaturals GIVEAWAY is open WORLDWIDE and Sunwarrior is open to US readers only. Winners will be chosen through Instagram and this blog post.

          Can’t wait to try their NEW Pumpkin Spice Syrup and Chai Spice Syrups???

           
          Go to NuNaturals website and get a special discount!!! When they get to our checkout page they should enter the DISCOUNT CODE of  :  BLG1217  and they will receive a 15% DISCOUNT on their entire order. ( NOT to be combined with any other discounts. ) This discount remains EFFECTIVE UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2017. Online ordering customers may also receive FREE SHIPPING to the CONTINENTAL U.S. on all orders exceeding $ 39.00 after discounts.
           

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          Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar

          September 25th, 2017

           

          This is a recipe created for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. I was sent product to test and create one-of-a-kind recipes. I hope you enjoy this Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar.

          This weekend I anticipated the weather doing what it was supposed to do. Fall, where art thou? Summer has instead continued to linger and for now we have been enjoying the rays and getting a little more sunburn. Even so, I continue to create the fall recipes.

          Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar -hero

          I have a love / hate relationship with pumpkin. The more I play around with pureed pumpkin, the more I seem to enjoy its versatility. My husband is on to me though. He can smell the spices and he knows I am up to something. Pumpkin pie is on hold until November but the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and baked goods are calling my name.

          Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar 9

          It has been a while since I shared a cocktail with you. In reality I have not been really drinking since starting my clean eating lifestyle. I actually enjoyed more wine than I am used last weekend when I attended Expo East in Baltimore. I actually prefer beer most these days, but then again, I miss my gin and tonics.

          Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar

          Everyone knows that many cocktails require simple syrups and sweeteners which means more calories. Steviva has a product called Nectevia which is a blend of agave nectar with stevia and is 1/4 of the calories, carbs, and sugars than regular table sugar and agave. For every 1/2 teaspoon there are only 2 calories and 1 gram of carbs. 1 teaspoon of Nectevia equals 4 teaspoons of regular blue agave nectar.

          Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar 3

          I made a spiced mulled cider with apple juice, orange juice, water, pumpkin puree and spices and added Nectevia along with vanilla extract and chilled. When I was ready to serve I prepared two cocktails, a fall version of a typical bourbon sidecar, and added triple sec and bourbon. I then topped off each tumbler with apple cider flavored sparkling water.

          Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar 7

          If you are having friends over, this is a cocktail to prepare. Move over mulled wine or spiced cider and bring in the punch. I enjoyed the bourbon in this drink because it made it warm despite it being chilled. It was comforting with all the flavors mixed.

          I created a spiced sugar to rim each glass using Steviva’s Erysweet which is a erythritol and a 1:1 replacement for table sugar. I added some pumpkin spice and mixed in the Erysweet and voila. Each drink was ready to consume.

          Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar 2

          Having trouble cutting back on sugar? Nectevia is definitely a product to try if you are having a hard trouble enjoying stevia on its own. A little goes a long way. While I do not use it for everything, I have been replacing the occasional treat with Nectevia because it is sweet.

          Want to try these products? Use the code THANKYOU to save 20% when you checkout at the Steviva store.

          Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Sidecar

          by Noelle Kelly

          Prep Time: 10

          Cook Time: 10

           

           

          Ingredients (2 cocktails) – 12 Smartpoints per glass

            For Spiced Cocktail Base

            • 1/2 cup apple juice
            • 1/2 cup orange juice
            • 3 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
            • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
            • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            • 3 teaspoons Nectevia
            • 1/2 cup water

            For EACH Cocktail

            • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
            • 1 ounce triple sec
            • 1 orange peel
            • apple cider flavored sparkling water

            For Sugar Rimmed Glass

            • 1 Tbsp Erysweet
            • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

            Instructions

            For Cocktail Base

            Add all ingredients to a small pot and boil for 5 minutes. Let the juices cool and refrigerate until ready to use. If using the same day, just make sure the mix is cooled.

            Cocktail Assembly

            Mix the rimmed sugar with spice. Use an orange slice to moisten the edge of each tumbler and dip the glass into the sugar. Repeat with second glass.

            Add 1/2 cup of the cocktail base to each glass. Add 2 ounces of bourbon whiskey and 1 ounce of triple sec to each tumbler. Add 2-3 ice cubes and top off with apple cider flavored sparkling water.

            Garnish each tumbler with an orange twist.

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