Christmas Baking from Other Blogs

I could scour the internet a l l d a y l o n g just looking at all the beautiful, tastey creations some people make! Yum!

I went pursuing and made a list of some I’d like to try this Christmas season. We’ll see how it goes!

Gingerbread Pancakes – Dashing Dish


The Neely’s Gingerbread Cookies (Piggies)

Hungry Girl’s Peppermint Fudge

Candy Cane Biscotti – Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

No Bake Gingersnap Snowballs – Sweet Treats & More

Homemade Peppermint Oreos – The Girl Who Ate Everything

Healthy Pumpkin Spiced Cookies – The Whole Living Blog

No Bake Double Chocolate and Prune Energy Bars – Eat Good 4 Life (I’ll sub dates for those pesky prunes!)

Layered Peanut Butter Bars – Betty Crocker




I have successfully given up soda since Dec 31.

I gave up candy for lent.

I often can choose healthier versions of foods and am just fine.

I can eat healthy all day long, making wise food choices.

But then, I get a chocolate craving. And, as I’m sure you’d agree, there is nothing that substitutes well for chocolate. If I want chocolate, I want chocolate. I can’t even think of an appropriate substitute!

I’ve tried low calorie treats to sooth the craving (pudding, 100 cal packs, etc.), but once I get started, I just can’t stop [I just can’t get enough, boy I think about it every night and day… Thank you B.E.P.]…

It is one frustrating journey.

So, to practice self-control, I’m giving up chocolate for one week. Just a week. I can do it, right?!? Yikes.

No hot chocolate (a favorite). No pudding with animal crackers. No chocolate chips with cool whip and graham crackers. No chocolate chip pancakes or cookies. No black bean brownies. No chocolate covered pretzels. No chocolate bars. And finally, unfortunately NO M&Ms. Boo hoo (who? how do you spell that phrase, ha.). Waaaah. Woe is me. Suck.

It’ll be a great journey… right?

On a better, more exciting note… I had a fantastic Independence Day weekend. It was full of concerts, new people, old friends, camping, baseball, a broken fibula, and good food like this:

campfire-cooked corn, sweet potatoes, zucchini, red/yellow/green peppers

Oh, sweet summertime.

Oh. And just a suggestion – on 12 July, buy Blake Shelton’s new album. I’ve been listening to it all day and am a big fan. Then again, anything he does I’m a fan of…


This morning, I woke up feeling tired. I hate when that happens!

In my state of tiredness, I got up and ate a bowl of Puffins cereal. If you’ve never tried Puffins, you should. End of story. I mix the Original and Cinnamon, but I’d love to try the others, I just haven’t seen them in stores.

Anywho. I ate the cereal and got on bed to read some blogs like ChocolateCoveredKatie and of course, my favorite, Yes, I want cake. All the while I was thinking about the brownies sitting in the kitchen. Guys, these aren’t just any brownies. These are protein-packed healthy brownies! YUM! I then started thinking about M & Ms (my favorite candy, in case you weren’t aware) and the chocolate covered pretzels (another favorite) that I had made a few days ago. Can we say chocolate?

So, I kept pushing the craving away.

And then. You know… I gave in.

I ate some brownies, which I felt okay about since they’re pretty healthy and full of protein. Then I ate M & Ms and pretzels. No excuse or getting away with those! Ha.

But then I went to the gym and regretted it all. Today, I just wanted to lift for awhile, nothing more, and thank goodness. I was exhausted and felt crappy. I know I should eat well for health, but I’m beginning to realize I need to eat well for my workouts, too. I used to eat candy almost always before I ran, and felt fine. But that’s changing.

Despite my failure in the morning, you should try the brownies. Don’t hate until you try them, ok?

Black Bean Brownies! [Original recipe from Squirrel Bakes]

  • 1 15 oz can Black Beans, rinsed and dried
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 T egg whites (I use the Egg Beaters kind, you can use 2 regular egg whites or 2 more eggs, if you wish!)
  • 2 T applesauce (or extra virgin olive oil or canola oil)
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c sugar substitute ( I used a little less than this, but didn’t measure)
  • 3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T almond butter (you can use peanut butter too! I used 1 T almond butter and 1 T peanut butter chips – I’m trying to get rid of them!!)
  • optional: 2 T dark chocolate chips,

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Once you have rinsed and drained the beans, blend them up in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Poor into the pan and sprinkle the top with any of the optional ingredients. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool.

I prefer eating these once they’ve been in the refrigerator for a little while, but they’re good room temp., too! I do recommend not eating them right out of the oven. They are a softer brownie and especially soft right out of the oven!