Sunday, July 28, 2013

Choco-holic? Why yes, I am...

We hosted dinner last night for several friends. It was pretty dang good, if I say so myself. I made a yummy asiago cheese dip served with bread and crackers, and put out hummus and brie for appetizers. Dinner included a hearty kale salad, fruit, grilled chicken and skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, corn on the cob and key lime pie and delicious s'mores brownies for dessert. While the brownies and asiago dip weren't particularly low in calories, the rest of the meal was pretty healthy - all things considered. Well, if you don't factor in all the beer and wine folks drank.

To make up for the big meal, we took the dog for a seven mile hike today. Felt good to sweat out all those calories. However, on the way home, we stopped and grabbed Gator-ade and Nesquick - Rob loves him some chocolate milk every once in awhile. Fortunately, Nesquick has a 100-calorie, sugar-free version so I could have a little chocolate myself without the guilt. It was a nice way to celebrate National Milk Chocolate Day today!

By the way, currently trying to come up with a low-cal version of that amazing s'mores brownie recipe. But until then, grab a box of reduced-fat graham crackers, sugar-free chocolate syrup and fat-free whipped cream - freeze for a few minutes and enjoy a delicious, light snack.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Fireworks and Fun in the Sun

Anybody ready for a long holiday weekend? For those of you going back to work on Friday, I'm sorry...while you're hunched over your office keyboard, I'll be baking in the sun with my toes in the sand, preferably with a cold beverage in hand. Yes, we're taking some much-needed vacation time and spending four days in St. Augustine Beach. And boy, oh boy, am I stoked! 

We're packing up the dog and hitting the road bright and early to meet friends at a sweet rental house on the beach. Tonight? We hit the fireworks display. Tomorrow, nothing but beach and grill time. 

I'm also planning out my menu for the weekend. As many of you know, the Fourth of July is often a high-calorie extravaganza thanks to all those cook-outs and parties. Fortunately, there are ways to get through the holiday without major weight gain. For example, I'll be hitting the store on the way down to pick up some low-calorie snack options including fruit, raw veggies and hummus. I've also got a list of low-cal, sucralose-sweetened cocktail recipes that I plan to whip up. The drinks (see recipe below, for an example) will be the perfect treat on a humid day by the water. Have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July weekend! 

Black Cherry Mamba Mojito
3/4 cup diet lemon-lime soda
1 shot (1 1/2 oz.) light rum
1/8 tsp. Kool-Aid Black Cherry Unsweetened Soft Drink Mix
12 mint leaves
4 dark sweet cherries (fresh and pitted or thawed from frozen)
1/4 lime, cut into slices
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (we like Splenda!)
5 - 8 ice cubes
* Ditch the rum and add water instead. Your alcohol-free fruity mojito will have 25 calories, 0g fat, 6g carbs and 0.5g fiber.

 Remove seeds from lime slices. Then muddle the mint, lime and cherries in a glass. Add the soda, rum, Kool-Aid, and sweetener. Stir well. Add ice and enjoy!