Thursday, September 24, 2009

Isn't that Splenda?

Sorry folks, but this post will be short and sweet. I just wanted to talk briefly about cakes. For starters, I went to a wedding over the weekend (I do believe it was my sixth of the summer!) and not only did they have a candy buffet stuffed with sweet treats like Nerds, Smarties and Fun Dip, but they also had possibly the best wedding cake I have ever tasted. It was German Chocolate and was to die for, darling! I'm not lying. Now, here's another little tidbit...today's my birthday! That's right, y'all, I'm officially the big 3-2. While there is nothing too exciting about this particular year, I'm very grateful for the awesome Carrot Cake I got to snarf down at work today. Somebody must have mentioned that Carrot Cake is my very favorite kind!

For all of my sugar-free followers, though, here are Splenda sweetened versions of both of these pastries to help decrease the calories. Check it out.

Diabetic German Chocolate Cake

Double Layer Carrot Cake

More Splenda recipes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rain, rain, go away

What a dark and gloomy day! I don't know what it's like in your city, but Atlanta has been all sorts of rainy lately. And according to the 10-day forecast, we're going to have stormy weather for quite some time. Boo! Weather like this always bums me out…unless I have the ability to go home and curl up on my sofa with a good book and some hot cocoa. I guess I did have a bit of a sweet treat today, though. I made myself a sugar-free Caramel Latte this morning. Jealous? It's totally easy to make - check it out!

Ingredients:
2 packets SPLENDA® Flavors for Coffee, Caramel
1/4 cup brewed espresso
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup reduced fat milk

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients together in a microwaveable bowl or mug. Heat in a microwave 30 to 40 seconds or to desired temperature.
2. Blend in blender 15 to 20 seconds to create a frothy drink, if desired. Pour into serving cup and serve immediately.

Although I'm not liking the overcast skies, I guess the weather does match my mood this week. Like many in my age bracket, I've been pretty blue following the news of Patrick Swayze's death. And that sadness only grew this morning, when I discovered that Mary Travers had also passed away. And so the Summer of 2009 claims two more victims. To add to the chorus of grievers, I'll never forget the first time I watched Patrick Swayze on the screen...I was about 9 years old and saw Dirty Dancing at a friend's slumber party. I think we were all a little bit in love with "Johnny Castle" that year. And that adoration grew over the years, thanks to awesome movies like The Outsiders, Ghost, Point Break, Donnie Darko and the cheese-fest that is Road House. As for Mary - of Peter, Paul and Mary fame - the 72-year-old passed away last night after a five-year battle with leukemia. PP&M played a crucial role in helping the folk-music scene become a mass popular movement in the early 1960s. I'll never forget Mary's beautiful, expressive vocals on such classics as "If I Had A Hammer," "Blowing in the Wind," and "Puff the Magic Dragon."
I'd like to think that Mary is up there with Patrick right now, singing while he dances. RIP.



Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Someone asked me today if I remembered where I was when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. I don't think that's a moment I'd ever forget...I was living in Chicago at the time, and had just started to get ready for work, when I heard the news. I spent the next 30 minutes glued to the TV, watching in stunned silence as the smoke billowed out of the two towers before the collapse. And like many others, I spent part of my afternoon trying to track down friends in the New York and D.C. areas. I was fortunate, though. I didn't lose any loved ones in the attack. So I can't even begin to imagine the pain the victims' families continue to endure when they remember the events of that fateful day. As for me, I feel that if 9/11 taught us anything, it's that life can be snatched away from you in the blink of an eye. So whether or not Sept. 11 had a direct impact on your life, today is a good day to reach out to friends and family and tell them how much you care. After all, you never know what tomorrow may bring.

By the way, I never thought the most touching and tasteful 9/11 tribute would involve Budweiser. So for those that haven't seen this ad - which ran during the 2002 Super Bowl - prepare to pull out the box of tissue. It's powerful stuff.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Stealing Home

"There's nothing wrong with this team that more pitching, more fielding and more hitting couldn't help." Former Cub Bill Buckner

Guess where I'll be this time tomorrow? WRIGLEY FIELD! Don't hate because you know you're just jealous! It's true, though, I fly back to Chicago tonight for yet another wedding weekend. And although the Cubbies continue their descent into total suckitude, Wrigley still remains one of the best venues to watch a game. So I look forward to chowing down on a ballpark hot dog and cheering on my Lovable Losers with a $10 cup of Old Style (that is the going rate these days, correct?). In addition to scoring Cubs tix, we'll be eating our way around town this weekend. So far, we've got Argentinian steak, Polish and Greek food, deep dish pizza and Filipino cuisine on tap. And if we're lucky - and have any stomach space left - we'll also squeeze in some Indian and Middle Eastern food.
But for those of you not fortunate enough to enjoy some awesome ethnic cuisine or comford food in the Windy City this weekend, here are a few low calorie recipe variations to test out from the friendly confines of your home.

Veggie Supreme Pizza on a Stick

Cheesy Dog Tortilla Rollups

Low-Fat, Reduced-Calorie Baklava

Finally, to end things on the ultimate high note, here are a few popular Cubbies jokes. After all, despite a century of pain, you have to keep a sense of humor about it all. So if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?

Announcement: Will the lady who left her nine kids at Wrigley Field please pick them up? They're beating the Cubs in the bottom of the seventh.

Well, at least the Chicago Cubs are trying. They installed a new pitching machine the other day. Unfortunately it beat them 4-1.

Does anyone know what they call winning teams in Chicago?
Visitors.

What do you call a Cubs player with a World Series ring?
A thief.

And here is a more than 20-year-old clip of infamous "Cub Fan, Bud Man" - aka Mr. Harry Caray - singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Alright! Lemme hear ya! Ah-One! Ah-Two! Ah-Three!