Rachel’s Baby Shower


Sunday my sister, a few pals, and I hosted a baby shower for our girlfriend Rachel!
We are all anxiously awaiting meeting her baby girl Christmas Eve.

we had a great spread of yummy food and lots of pink decor

I wanted to try my hand at making and decorating cupcakes. With a little help from my mom, they turned out beautiful.
Lemon Cream Cupcakes
Ingredients:
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar – I used about 1/4 cup less
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – I used 1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream – I used lite sour cream, I am guessing you could use plain yogurt too
FROSTING:
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice – I would omit and just use vanilla and a little almond flavoring for a richer and less lemony flavor
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel – I did not have any left so omitted
1 tablespoon milk
the frosting was a bit runny so my mom came to the rescue and added about a 1/4 c lite sour cream and a bit more powdered sugar
Instructions:
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and milk; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes.
I also made a new Pumpkin Bread recipe that turned out delicious.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread
Ingredients:
you will see my ingredient changes on the side
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – I used whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice – I omitted and used a little more of the other spices
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups white sugar – can use about half to 1/3 of this amount
1 cup canola oil – used half unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree (1 can)
2/3 cup water
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two loaf pans.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend sugar, oil and eggs. Stir in pumpkin. Slowly blend the flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. While blending the mixture add water incrementally. Pour the batter into two prepared loaf pans.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 90 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans.

Erica Lea (Rachel’s sister-in-law) provided these other scrumptious dishes
Cinnamon Baked French Toast
Ingredients:
on the side are options for those who would like to “healthify” it
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread – opt for a whole wheat version
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk – opt for 1% or skim
½ cups Whipping (heavy) Cream – try lite cream, fat free half and half, buttermilk or mixing 1/2 T flour with 1/2 C milk
¾ cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
Topping
½ cups All-purpose Flour – whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
½ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar – loosely packed
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces – could try to use slightly less, although does make a perfect topping
Instructions:
Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and
evenly distribute in the pan.
Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and but into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. (If you’re using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture.) Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.

Muffin Melts

crunchy and creamy in one bite

Ingredients:
on the side are option for those who would like to “healthify” it
12 whole Hard-boiled Eggs, Peeled And Chopped
2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese – opt for 2%
1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise – opt for lite or half plain yogurt
12 slices Bacon, Fried And Crumbled – try turkey bacon
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
6 whole English Muffins Split – use whole wheat English Muffins
Instructions:
Combine eggs with all other ingredients. Fold together gently. Cover and store in the fridge overnight.
Spread on English muffin halves, then broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (Don’t set them too close to the heating element. So good!

and of course….the lady of the hour….
Rachel!

showing off the belly bumps….
Rachel at 33 weeks
Me at 25 weeks

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

The Egg McMuffin….Healthified

I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy thing or what, but I can’t get enough cheese! J didn’t help the situation when he brought back some delectable Wisconsin cheese after a salmon fishing trip.
We’ve got squeaky cheese curds on the left, 2 year aged cheddar, and Apple Jack (blend of mozzarella and something else yummy)
I LOVE cheese and fruit platters. I mean the apple with the aged cheddar is like peanut butter & jelly….a match made in heaven.
The only thing missing in this picture….a nice glass of wine 🙁

I incorporated one slice of the aged cheddar and one slice of the apple jack into the Egg McMuffins, but you could use laughing cow for a lower calorie option.

Egg McMuffinHealthified
modified from Clean Eating Magazine
Ingredients:
White vinegar, as needed
1 large omega 3 egg
olive oil spray
1 C spinach
1 whole-wheat English muffin
2 thin slices cheese or 1 Laughing Cow wedge
1 slice tomato or 1 T salsa
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tsp hot sauce like cholula
Instructions:
This was my first time making poached eggs! Bring a large, deep sauce pan with at least 5 cups water to a boil. Add about 1 tsp vinegar for every cup of water. (Taste to make sure vinegar is barely noticeable). Lower heat to a slow simmer. Carefully crack egg into a teacup or ladle. Lower teacup pr ladle into water and pout egg out as gently as possible to not break yolk. Egg white will coagulate in water and turn white. Cook until white is formed and set and yolk beings to thicken but is not hard, 3-4 minutes. Remove egg with slotted spoon or strainer; set aside.
NOTE: to have a more fully cooked poached egg as J likes and I have to have right now…..let cook for about 6-8 minutes. Gently lift egg out of water and lightly press yolk (without breaking) to see if it has solidified. Toast English muffin in toaster.

To assemble, melt or spread cheese on base slice of muffin, add spinach leaves, top with salsa or fresh tomato slice. Top with poached egg, sea salt and pepper, a splash of hot sauce and the toasted top.

Enjoy!
Nutrition: calories about 243, fat 8.5g, protein 14g, carbs 31 g, fiber 5.5g


Your kids aren’t the only ones that get to go back to school….
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Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
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