Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sugar Free Instant Cocoa Mix

For my gastric bypass peeps!

Nestle used to sell (at least at the Military Commissary) a sugar free/reduced calorie hot cocoa mix in a very convenient canister.  Maybe they still do somewhere but no longer at the commissary.  So I bought the packets instead but when a chocolate craving hits, those 35 calorie cups of bliss make a good safety net and I can burn through a box pretty fast.  Time to make a replacement.

A quick Google Search turned up the recipe I used to make for my kids back in the day using powdered milk and Nesquik powder.  So with some alterations, I made my own sugar free version!  Here's a link to the recipe I used for a starting point: One Good Thing By Jillee Hot Cocoa Mix

Mine won't suit everybody--if you hate the taste of artificial sweeteners, move along.  This just came out to a very close and satisfying batch for me so I'm happy to share it with you.  I can't tell you if this will be the same 35 calorie serving but it doesn't make me dump so it can't be that high in sugar alcohols or fats from the powdered creamer.  And if this keeps me from going out and buying Hershey Kisses, that's just fine.

(Here is where the photo goes but Blogger won't let me paste in the picture from Photobucket.  They don't play nice together?)  You can visit there this way   http://s1104.photobucket.com/user/geminidream62/media/1011036.jpg.html

Sugar Free Instant Cocoa Mix

1- 16 oz container Sugar Free Nesquik
4 cups Carnation instant dry milk
1 1/2 canisters (10.2 oz) Nestle sugar free Creamy Chocolate Coffee Mate
2 cups Splenda for baking
1 cup Nestle cocoa powder (the kind for baking)
Sugar Free Peeps (optional)

In a very large bowl or pan, combine all ingredients and slowly whisk together to remove any lumps.  Store in an airtight container.  For a mug of cocoa add 2- 1/8 cup scoops into a mug, add boiling water and stir.  For optional fun float a sugar free Peep and enjoy the frothy goodness while the Peep enjoys the chocolate hot tub.

PS--If you can find other brands of the same type products go ahead and substitute (and if they're cheaper tell me about it too!) but otherwise you may not have a very tasty product.  And of course if you like a different sweetener or none at all that's your business.  A wicked sweet tooth got me to where I was needing gastric bypass surgery and the doctor didn't fix that so I still have to watch out for lower calorie ways to keep THAT beast under control.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Vitamix Creamy Vegetable Soup

Yumminess in the Vitamix today!  Hubs is away for his annual fishing weekend so I can cook/not cook as I see fit.  Since I've been home wasting time nursing a spasming back not cooking seemed a better option.  However, something warm and comforting for my tummy was also a concern.  Last night before turning in I raided the fridge for veggies, sliced, diced and set the crock pot on 'keep warm'.  Why not low?  My crock pot is a typical modern one and cooks way too hot!

I will freely admit to finding this nameless soup image on the internet and if the author is upset, I will of course take it down but it is representative of just how my own soup looked.  No real recipe per se but it is worth sharing and saving so I can make it again.  And being a non-recipe of course it can be adjusted to whatever suits your taste.  In the end, it is a bit too heavy in celery flavour but that's ok.

Into the crock pot:
4 celery sticks, chopped in 1" pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 very large red bell pepper, cleaned out and cubed
3 baking potatoes just beginning to sprout and heavily peeled then diced
1 lemon, quartered  (I really wanted the vitamin c in the broth as well a a zest and then took the lemon pieces out half way through cooking so it wouldn't be too much)

I covered the veggies with water and simmered from bedtime yesterday till breakfast today, then turned the crock to low.  This afternoon I added one cilantro broth cube and one chicken broth cube, 1/2 cup marsala and about 1 cup of fat-free half and half.  This went into the Vitamix in batches then I returned it to the crockpot when all was smooth.  It needed seasoning so it got basil, salt, pepper and about 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.

Yumm!   Tomorrow I may add some protein to it to make it heartier but really just like it light the way it is.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mentalpause

Wow, how life turns on a dime.

A few months ago I was home recuperating from shoulder surgery.  Fast-forward to being back at work, not healing as well as I'd hoped and facing a second surgery.  Ok.  Sprinkle in a little extra stress because my job is retail-based and the economy is tanking these days.  Fair enough...just roll with the changes.  Extra duties, different hours and new stresses.  That would be manageable if not for Mother. Flippin'. Nature.  She decided that now, right now, of all times is when to hit me with MENOPAUSE.  dun-dun-dun......

No easing into it, just full on.  Night sweats (every half hour), hot flashes (ditto), mood swings, anxiety like nobody's business.

Just about every room I occupy now has a fan.  I've donated bags and bags of sweaters and 'hot' clothing and live in things that can be stripped off as fast as possible.  With the exception of my work uniform which is mind-blowingly hot polyester.  The man who coined the phrase 'performance fabric' to give polyester a better image should burn in hell.  Or at least be forced to wear it as punishment against humanity.

Yup this is all-out whining.  Far better women than I have breezed through menopause so it ain't gonna kill me but I sure do complain about it a lot now.

 My poor husband.