Archives for July 2013

Low-Calorie Apple Cinnamon Muffins


image Apple Cinnamon Muffins



image Apple Cinnamon MuffinsThe large quantity of apples in this Apple Cinnamon Muffins recipe results in a moist, fruit-filled muffin!

This is one of my favorite low-calorie muffin recipes.  Apples are more of a fall thing, but the weather in Michigan has been pretty fall-like this week, so I decided to make a batch of these muffins.  They make a good low-calorie and filling snack.  I especially enjoy one with a cup of tea!

Low- Calorie Apple Cinnamon Muffins

1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened

1/2 cup milk fat-free

1/2 cup yogurt, fat-free plain

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 cups apples (Granny Smith, or any apple of your choice peeled, finely cubed)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degreees and prepare a muffin pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl mix together applesauce, milk, yogurt, egg whites and vanilla.  Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir to combine.  Sprinkle flour over batter and fold together delicately, making sure to not overmix.  Fold in apples.

3. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups.  Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serves: 12

Calories: 121

Fat: 0 g

Sodium: 187 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 26 g

Dietary Fiber: 3 g

Protein: 5 g

Sugars: 10 g

I slightly adapted the original recipe which came from Joy’s LIFE Diet by Joy Bauer.  I usually use whatever apples I have on hand but Granny Smith do offer a delicious tart flavor.  Instead of fat-free yogurt, I use low-fat vanilla yogurt because that is usually what I have on hand.  Also, the original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp of nutmeg which I don’t personally care for but you could add that.  The recipe also recommended using sprayed baking cups but the first time I tried that the muffins got stuck in the paper cups and were really hard to get out.

The best part about these muffins is how well they freeze.  I doubled the batch I made yesterday and put them in the freezer.  They can be frozen for up to two months.  For best results, freeze immediately after baking and cooling to room temperature.  To defrost, just pop one in the microwave or if you remember to take one out in the morning it will be thawed in time for your afternoon snack!

Here is to a happy, healthy day!



Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper-Rosemary Sauce

_DSC0597 Chicken

Serves 4

Prep time under 20 minutes

1 (7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained (not oil packed) (I also rinsed them)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

4 (5 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons black pepper

1. To make sauce, combine roasted peppers, vinegar, garlic and 1/4 tsp of salt in blender or food processor and puree. Scrape mixture into small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons rosemary, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve with sauce

Per serving: 4 ounces chicken breast and 2 TBS sauce

198 Cal.

6 g. total fat

1 g Sat Fat

0 g trans fat

78 mg cholesterol

634 mg. sodium

3 g. carb

2 g sugar

0 g fiber

29 g protein

26 mg calcium

5 WW+ points.

Serve with fresh green beans and enjoy!!

_DSC0601 - Copy Chicken

This is from the Weight Watcher Cookbook Power Foods. The original recipe called for fresh basil. I only had fresh rosemary so I used that and it was wonderful. I also only had chicken tenderloins. Because they are only 2 points for 4 ounces of the tenderloins, when you use those the points plus value would be a little less. It was really good and nice not to be eating plain old chicken! The green beans were fresh picked from my garden this morning, so that was exciting!!




Movie Monday

Movie theater

Today I decided to post something on the lighter side!!! I love movies! I love movies in movie theaters though!! I rarely watch a movie at home. There is nothing better than a movie at the theater with fresh hot buttered popcorn!!! Maybe that is because my first job was at the old Sandusky Movie Theater owned and operated by Stan and Betty Fetting. My best friend was dating their son and I think she got us all jobs there! We were all Betty’s kids. It was really hard to think of that as a “job”…I mean as a high school student, the movie theater was the place to be and as candy counter girls we had ring side seats to everyone who came in!! I also love the drive in. My parents took us to the Hi Way drive in as kids, I took my kids and now I take my grandkids. It is one of our favorite summer things to do ….and it is only about 8 miles from my house.

So this brings me to my favorite movies. I have a lot of movies that I really like, but there are two movies that I really love, although I can’t really tell you why. The first one is Dance’s With Wolves with Kevin Costner. My very favorite scene was at the end…the Indian “Wind in His Hair” shouts out to Kevin Costner, “Dances with Wolves! I am Wind in his Hair. Can’t you see I am your friend. I will always be your friend.” A very strong resistance toward Dunbar in the beginning. And such a strong friendship in the end. I just loved that part. Now my second favorite movie is the Sound of Music. My kids will groan at this and will groan every time I made them watch it, but I still love it. My favorite part of that movie was when the Captain joined Maria in singing Edelweiss!! I just loved it.

So…do any of you have any favorite movies and/or scenes. Please feel free to share with us. I am always looking for a new movie to watch or add to my list even if I have to rent it or watch it through Netflix. Yes, I love to go to the movie theater or drive in, but that doesn’t mean I don’t watch a movie on tv now and then!! So please share with us your favorites!!



Not Too Big for God

DSCN0963 too big

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Do you have a problem you are struggling with right now?  If so, I encourage you to take it to God in prayer.  Give whatever is worrying you or keeping you awake at night over to Him and as the verse above promises, you will find peace.  No problem or worry is too big for God, He can handle anything!

I tend to be a worrier, but I find when I take my concerns to God, they somehow seem smaller and more manageable and I can find peace, despite what might be going on in my life.  Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, I pray and it allows me to relax, let go of my worries and drift back to sleep.  It seems like such a simple insomnia solution, but it is a very powerful one!

How about you?  Do you have a favorite verse?  If you have one that helps you, please share it in the comments.




Beach Boy Prayer

pray-before-eating prayer

One thing the Mister and I have always done as a family is pray before our meals.  We don’t have a “set” prayer we use, we usually thank God for our food and then include anything else that might relate to that particular day, such as people we know that need prayer or we give thanks for other blessings in our lives.  The girls will also take a turn and are actually quite good at spontaneous praying.  This is one tradition I never want to get too busy to take time  for.  Slowing down and and spending a couple of minutes to thank God for our food and to bring any concerns or thanks we have before Him helps us all put our focus where it needs to be.  We can be in the worst mood and this one small act helps re-center our family.

We have also decided to pray when we eat at restaurants.  At first it felt a little uncomfortable or self-conscious (It puzzles me why I had these feelings at first-praying and giving thanks to God is something I do every day, so why the hesitation in public?), but it was fine after the first few times and now it is just something we do.

Below is a video of Little One singing a prayer Jules taught her.  She learned this prayer from a special family friend, Pastor Don who called it The Beach Boy Prayer and it is a really fun way to pray.

Here are the words:

Bless this food,

Lord you’re so good,

We seek your presence at this table Lord,

We know you’re able,

Bless this food, Amen, Ah, Ah, Amen!

How about you?  Do you have any favorite mealtime prayers?  We would love to hear what they are!  Also, if praying before meals is not something you usually do, I challenge you to give it a try for just a week (even if just silently to yourself) and see if it doesn’t improve your day!




Give Your Worries to God

This past Sunday in church we sang a song that I hadn’t sang in a  long time. It is called “The Cares Song.” The words go like this:

I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet
And anytime, that I don’t know
What to do
I will cast all my cares upon You

How many times do we just feel burdened down with the tasks of life and think we have to carry it all by ourselves. I think it so important to just remember that is what God is there for…to lay our burdens down.

Here is a rendition I found I YouTube. Listen, absorb the words, feel the healing and let go of your cares.