Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lemon Blossoms and Is It Really Better Than Sex? Cake

I was laughing as I saw my last few posts today. A little hypocritical don't cha think? HA
It goes fitness/working out, desserts, fitness/working out, desserts, anyone else see the problem with the pattern? But that is my life right now, so why break the trend?

Last weekend I made TWO desserts because my mom needed one for a get together the following week and I didn't want to give her a dessert I hadn't tried before, so we used Sunday night as our taster night. I highly preferred one over the other, but again, I am not a great one to rate desserts, I just like to make them. Gosh- I am sounding weirder and weirder the more I write. Well on to the good stuff.

First up, Lemon Blossoms from my girl Paula Deen. Paula just knows how to make a good, not even a little bit healthy for you food of any kind. We share a love for butter. Butter makes everything better. Since these are chocolate free I can honestly say I really did enjoy them. I considered making full size cupcakes, but in the end went for the minis and I am so glad I did. Bite size is good because I don't feel ask guilty popping 6 into my mouth when I can do it in one bite. I think it would be a bit more socially awkward to be eating the same amount in full size. That's like what... 3 cupcakes regular size. Yup, something about 6 minis just seems more doable. Correction, 6 minis are do-able, I can confirm that from experience.

Just to keep in line with the fresh summer theme I grabbed another one of Ms. Deen's desserts. I went full cake on this one, no bite size fun for me. The name cracks me up because I can just see her saying it on her TV show in her long southern drawl that she does so perfectly. Is it really better than sex? cake was super simple to make and looked pretty too. We renamed it 'Is it really better than other cakes? cake, but still had all the same good stuff in it. The family really liked this one too. Personally it wasn't my favorite flavor combo, but I liked how light it was.

By the end of the night everyone was full and happy. But the dessert picked for my parents event the next night was the lemon blossoms. Either way, they both were great summer night desserts. Two thumbs up for Paula Deen!

Lemon Blossoms

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen


  • 18 1/2-ounce package yellow cake mix
  • 3 1/2-ounce package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray miniature muffin tins with vegetable oil cooking spray. Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour a small amount of batter, filling each muffin tin half way. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel

To make the glaze, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water. Mix with a spoon until smooth.

With fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they're still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. Let the glaze set thoroughly, about 1 hour, before storing in containers with tight-fitting lids.

Is It Really Better Than Sex? Cake

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box French vanilla pudding, plus ingredients to prepare
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup flaked, sweetened toasted coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare yellow cake mix as directed using a greased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. While cake is baking, combine the pineapple and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Remove cake from oven and using a fork, pierce holes into cake. Pour pineapple mixture over hot cake and set aside.

Prepare pudding according to package directions. Spread pudding over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Whip heavy cream and remaining sugar until stiff. Cover top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle toasted coconut on top.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Putting My Rocks In First

Have you ever heard the story about the professor who gave his class a lesson about priority using a jar, rocks, gravel, sand and water? It is one of my favorite examples of how to best get done what you need to during the day. I have used it many time for lessons at church and in other teaching opportunities I have had over the years. If you haven't heard it you can read about it here.

I have been rearranging my rocks lately as school has started for my boys and I have added some goals to my life that I want to work on. Some of you might have heard about Eric's huge life change lately as he lost 75 pounds over the last year. He did it by exercise and diet. He really got into running, became super committed and completed his first half marathon last spring. He was prepared to run his second race this summer but tore his hamstring playing baseball the week before the race. It has taken several months for it to heal, but he feels strong enough once more and is back out hitting the pavement pepping for his next race in October. My husband has been very inspiring to me as I have watched his journey. He loves what he is doing and it is so fun to see his success and results!

So as the goals started to be put down on paper for myself this fall naturally my mind turned to Eric and his running. As I previously mentioned I am trying this workout program Insanity (which has been fun, but I totally flaked last week.) but there is something about running that I love so much. But with Eric running at night, and our work outs together, plus this little part of my life about being a mother to 4 there just isn't time to squeeze running into my day. Then there is the nagging thought that I could always go in the morning. I have successfully tuned that voice out for a while now, but reality has hit and if this is something I want to do, it must be done in the morning. There is just one little problem with that.... IT IS SO EARLY!!

I am a night person and have been FOR-EV-ER. Like seriously, stay up all night and get all my stuff done then. Morning runs would require me to wake up at 5 am so I could go and be back before Eric left for work. I have to say I am a little motivated because I know if I did this I could expand my work out clothing wardrobe, which would be cute and fun, but can I function on one hour less of sleep than I already have? It is a thin line....

I found this article online of ways to help that can't get up in the morning problem written by Jeff Galloway encouraging some new techniques to get moving in the morning.

Even though the best time for running during hot weather is in the early morning, many runners are unable to overcome the gravity of the bed. But you can overcome this by using the following rehearsal drill that you should do over and over the afternoon and evening before your runs. This will shift your mental control from your subconscious (which wants to stay in bed) to the executive brain which can get you focused and into the action.'

Try these:

State your desired outcome.To be awake and fully engaged in the run, from the start. This starts the process of shifting mental control into the frontal lobe, the executive brain.

Detail the challenge.Desire to lie in bed, no desire to exert yourself so early. The stress of the alarm clock and having to think about what to do next when the brain isn’t working very fast.

Break up the challenge. Break it up into a series of actions which lead you through the mental barriers, which is challenging to the subconscious reflex brain. Your conscious focus is on the next step in the chain, not the run.

Get ready to run. The night before, lay out your running clothes and shoes (often near the coffee machine), so that you don’t have to think about anything.Set your alarm. As you are laying in bed the night before, say to yourself over and over: “Alarm off, feet on the floor, to the kitchen.”

Visualize each action. As you repeat your mantra the night before of how to get moving, visualize doing each action without thinking. By repeating it, you lull yourself to sleep. You have also been programming yourself to take action the next morning.

Alarm goes off. You shut it off, put feet on the floor and head to the kitchen—all without thinking—because you programmed the conscious brain to take control.
Don’t think. Act. Put on one piece of clothing at a time, sipping coffee (or tea, diet cola, etc.), never thinking about exercise.

Check the weather.With coffee cup in hand, clothes on, you stick your head out the door to see what the weather is like.

Final rehearsal. Driving to the workout or race, sipping your beverage, you rehearse seeing friends, feeling the positive energy of an event, easing into the workout/race, feeling good about your exertion. Or, you walk to the edge of your property, put the coffee cup down and cross the street. You're on your way. The endorphins are kicking in. The positive peptides are rising, you feel good, you want to continue.

Principle of motivational physics: A body on the bed wants to stay on the bed. But once a body is in motion, it wants to stay in motion.

So lets see if maybe tomorrow I can put my first rock into my jar and have it be running.... who knows how the rest of the day will turn out if I do!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

I am kind of laughing looking back at my last two posts. I started the perfect bite posts with that yummy snickerdoodle cupcake recipe, and followed up that post about me and working out. Is anyone else seeing the problem here? HA
Everything in moderation right?

And to help cement in my goal for "being health" even more, (because those first cupcakes were not helping AT ALL) I did make another batch of chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes the next day for the boys and gave most of the snickerdoodle ones away to friends so I would stop consuming them! And as I have said before chocolate is not so good according to me so those little treats didn't even get my attention once. I did use the left over cream cheese frosting which I might have had to help taste test a few times as I put them on the chocolate, but I was just making sure it had held up well in the fridge for the few days. It did, very well by the way.

But moving on moving on.... for dessert this weekend I was running very low on ingredients
around the house so I had to find something using the basics but still good because we were headed to a friends house for the night.

I found this no bake peanut butter pie which looked good plus I had everything I needed for it so it was the winner.

It was super simple, which is always a plus in my book. I had to put together a gram cracker crust but those are a snap to crush add butter and sugar and bake for a quick sec. Then I threw together all the pie ingredients, plopped it on top of the crust and into the freezer it went. I put some finely shredded chocolate chips on top because it needed a little oomph but after I thought of all the AMAZING things I could have added to the top like candy bars, caramel, oreos, peanut butter cups... really anything or a mix of them.

We ended up forgetting about the dessert the first night while we were chatting with friends, but I had made a second one and had that the next night with my family. It was the perfect treat as we ate it outside as the sunset on a lovely summer day. The taste was rich and creamy and the chill of the peanut butter was a fun surprise when eating a pie.

This is definitely a repeat recipe. Try it out and let me know what you think.


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts


  1. Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
  2. Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.
*** Dress up your pie and add whatever yummy, crunchy, sugary, salty, gooey topping your heart desires!****