Diet Iced Mocha Frappe Protein Breakfast Drink

Homemade Diet Mocha Frappe This recipe produces a creamy, delicious, DIET version of Paula Deen’s take on McDonald’s Iced Mocha Frappe.  This breakfast “coffee smoothie” will have 247 calories, 10 grams of sugar and a whopping 31 grams of protein!  (Compare that to the actual SMALL McDonald’s Mocha Frappe: 450 calories, 57 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein. Yikes!) Plus, once you make your ice cubes you’ll be able to whip one up in your own kitchen blender… no need to wait in the drive-through line!

Ingredients for the Mocha Ice Cubes:
4 cups brewed coffee, hot  (I used Gevalia Chocolate Mocha from WalMart.)
4 envelopes Cold Stone Creamery Smooth Cravings 70 CALORIE PACKS* hot chocolate mix (70 calories, 5 g. sugar, and 3 g. protein per envelope)
4 packets Equal
4 scoops vanilla flavored whey protein powder (I used Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein from WalMart. 140 calories, 2 g. sugar and 26 g. protein per scoop.)

Combine in in your blender and blend away! Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen divide the ice cubes into 4 equal portions and put in zip lock bags.  One bag of cubes will be needed to make one Mocha Frappe… so this recipe will make you 4 breakfast drinks.

1 bag of Mocha Ice Cubes
1/4 cup whole milk (37 calories, 3 g. sugar, 2 g. protein)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the frozen cubes in a blender. Add the milk and vanilla and puree until smooth.  (If the shake seems too thick add some water, a little at a time, till it comes to the right consistency.) YUM!!!  Who knew a coffee drink could be such a good-for-you part of your morning!?

*Make sure you pick up the Cold Stone Creamery’s Smooth Cravings that says “70 Calorie Packs” in a green stripe at the bottom of the box.  This hot chocolate, in my not-so-humble opinion, blows every sugar-free variety out of the water with a bazooka.


Super High-Fiber Cinnamon Walnut Swirl Breakfast Bread


Cinnamon Swirl Bread

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: This recipe has been adapted mostly from one found on by MN Nice… see the original recipe:

Looking for a way to add more healthy fiber to your family’s diet… in a way that your picky kids will actually eat?  Try this…

This recipe makes 2 loaves. If you cut each loaf into 10 slices, then each slice will have approx 8.5 grams of fiber, and only 10.7 grams of sugar (low enough that even I can enjoy a slice!). (Full nutrition info at the bottom of this article.)


1 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup White Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Butter
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast

1 Cup Hi-Maize (This stuff acts similar to flour but has 128 grams of fiber in a cup! You can get it here or here.)
1 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour (This bakes more like white flour but is high fiber. You can get it here.)
2 Cups White Bread Flour
2 Tbsp. Vital Wheat Gluten (This helps a high fiber loaf rise more like a white loaf, so it isn’t so dense. You can get it here.)
4 Tbsp. Flax Seed (This is optional, but it’s a good way to “sneak” extra fiber and Omega-3s into your kid’s diet.)
*** If you’re interested in trying to get extra protein into your kids as well, toss in two scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein powder.  I got mine at WalMart (Body Fortress Super Advanced).  It ramps up the protein per slice by almost 3 g.

1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Softened Butter – divided


2 large mixing bowls
1 smaller mixing bowl
2 9×5 inch loaf pans
cooking spray
plastic wrap


1. Warm milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Should be warm to the touch, but NOT HOT. (Warmth encourages the yeast to rise, HOT will kill them and your loaf won’t rise at all.)

2. In your largest bowl, mix sugar, salt and butter. Add warm milk, eggs and yeast. This is your “wet” bowl.

3. In another bowl, mix together hi-maize, white wheat flour, bread flour, vital gluten and flax seed. This is your “dry” bowl.

4. Add the dry bowl, cup by cup, into the wet bowl, mixing well each time till you get a dough ball. Remove dough to counter top and kneed for 10 minutes till smooth and elastic.

5. Mix the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a third bowl. (Don’t mix in the butter!)

6. Wash your largest bowl and spray it with cooking spray. Put the dough lump in and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours.

7. Punch down dough and let it rest 10 minutes.

8. Divide the dough ball in half and roll each ball into a rectangle about 9×14 inches. Spread 1 Tbsp. soft butter on top of each dough rectangle and evenly sprinkle each with the brown sugar walnut mixture. Roll up each rectangle starting from the short end and pinch the seam closed. (If you want your loaf to look like mine, then roll both ends of the rectangle toward the middle… where the rolls meet in the middle the loaf will split… and I kinda think it looks pretty like that.)

9. Grease 2 9×5 inch loaf pans. Fit the rolled loaves into the loaf pans. Cover and let rise till nearly doubled (30 minutes).

10. Preheat oven to 350.

11. Bake loaves in preheated oven till lightly golden-brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped (about 30 mintues). If loaves brown too quickly, lightly cover with foil for the last 10 minutes. Let bread cool 10 minutes then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.

NUTRITION INFO FOR ONE SLICE(as prepared above in 2 loaves, each cut into 10 slices):

Calories 198.5
Total Fat 6.6 g (Saturated Fat 2.3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g)
Cholesterol 36.2 mg
Sodium 158.6 mg
Potassium 102.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27.0 g (Dietary Fiber 8.5 g, Sugars 10.7 g)
Protein 8 g (10.6 g if you add the suggested 2 scoops of vanilla whey protein powder)

NOTE ABOUT FREEZING DOUGH: If you want to freeze dough to make fresh loaves later, do so by doubling the yeast in the recipe, and then replace step 9 with the following: Line 2 9×5 inch loaf pans with plastic wrap and spray the plastic wrap well with cooking spray. Fit the rolled loaves into the loaf pans with seam sides down. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, place in the freezer. Once frozen, you can remove the loaves from the pan to a freezer bag, but do not take off plastic wrap.  When you’re ready to make a loaf, thaw the dough, still in the plastic wrap, in the refrigerator overnight.  Then remove dough from plastic wrap and place in greased loaf pan seam side down. Allow to rise in a warm place for approx double the normal rise time (perhaps even 1 to 1.5 hours). Then cook as recommended in the final steps above. ***NOTE*** The one time I did this, I didn’t have spectacular luck getting the bread to rise.  However, I later found out that the yeast I had used was DEAD… um, so that could have had something to do with it.  😛


2 1/2 Cups Warm Water
1 Tbs. Active Dry Yeast
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1 Tbs. Salt
8 Cups Unbleached Bread Flour

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Beat in honey, oil, salt and TWO eggs (not all 3!).

Add flour one cup at a time, mixing after every addition graduating to kneeding with hands as dough thickens. Kneed until smooth and elastic and no longer sitcky, adding flour as needed.

Spray a big bowl with cooking spray and place the lump of dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Let rise till doubled (about 1 1/2 hours) in a warm place.

Punch down dough. Divide in half and kneed for 5 minutes each. Then divide each half into 3 pieces. Roll into ropes about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Braid the strands. (Makes two braids.)

Grease two cookie sheets. Place braided rings on them and let rise again for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat remaining egg and brush generously over loaves.

Bake 40 minutes.

Cool 1 hour before slicing.
(Good luck on waiting a whole hour…)

Bacon, I love you.

Why does bacon make you feel so good? Because it’s practically a vitamin full of all those wonderful mood balancing B vitamins we all need–especially in the dark of winter!

“From bacon, we receive: 65% of our Recommended Daily Intake of Thiamin (Vitamin B1) as well as 47% of our Niacin (Vitamin B3), 38% of our Vitamin B12, 36% of our Zinc, 24% of our Vitamin B6, 22% of our Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 22% of our Phosphorus, 10% of our Pantothenate, 10% of our Magnesium, 9% of our Iron and the Protein to fat balance in bacon is actually 4 to 1, which is one of the highest protein to fat balances found in any meat, fish or fowl found on Earth.”

Plus, bacon just makes your brain work better.  I’ve often thought this on a Saturday morning while sipping a cup of joe and munching a crispy, delicious slice.

“Bacon is chock full of a very important nutrient called ‘choline,’ which helps increase our intelligence and memory, from conception to Senior Status, and has been shown in University studies to help fight off the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and other chronic mental impairments.”

Bacon is good for your heart… and by that, I don’t mean your soul, I mean the organ pumping blood through your body.  Surprised?

“While people over the years have mistakenly made jokes about bacon being a leading contributor to heart disease, actually there are in fact, several studies that show that the Omega-3 Fatty Acids and ‘choline’ found in bacon can actually protect the heart from developing detrimental problems, as well as actually help HEAL such anomalies, after they have occurred! Unlike the Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplements derived from fish sources, the one’s that come from bacon aren’t chock fully of poisonous mercury, like most of the popular fish oil versions are. So bacon Omega-3 can not only help prevent heart disease, as well as lower your cholesterol, reduce inflammation and improve circulation, but also help you to avoid mercury and other toxic poisons being regularly spewed in our planet’s oceans.”

Worried about Nitrates?  Awww phooey!  Did you know that spinach and bacon have about the same amount of nitrates and nitrites… and between the two of them, my tastebuds prefer bacon. Besides, haven’t you heard…

“…what most pro -veggie, chicken and fish nutritionists fail to tell you is that you can easily avoid nitrates and nitrites by simply (A) not burning / charring / over cooking your bacon or by (B) Baking your bacon in the oven.”

And where — you may ask — did I get most of this wonderful information?  Why, from the completely un-bias online publication, “Bacon Today.”

There.  I think that settles it.



Potato Soup

I found a recipe, about a year ago, for the absolute best potato soup you ever put in your mouth!  This stuff is amazingly delicious!!!  You make this once and you’re never going to be able to bring yourself to try another potato soup recipe for fear that it won’t be as good as this one.  In other words — I like it. It started when I had some extra baked potatoes and was trying to figure out something to do with them.  I did a little internet search and found this recipe.

potato soup

Baked Potato Soup

  • 4 strips of bacon (diced) (I usually use kitchen shears to cut the bacon right into the pot.)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I use the pre-minced garlic in the squeeze bottle.)
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 1/2 Cups chicken broth
  • 4 large baked potatoes, cubed
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce (If you’re a wimp about spicy foods, do this anyway.  It does not make the soup spicy or hot, it deepens all the flavors. Trust me.)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish) (I accidentally left it off when I took the picture.  Phooey!)
  • minced fresh parsley (for garnish) (I often use dried parsley instead, as I did in the picture above.)

1. Put bacon in the pot you will use for your soup. Cook it till crispy.  Take out the bacon and set aside, leaving the bacon drippings* in the pan.

2. Add the onions and garlic to the bacon drippings and cook till tender.

3. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper.

4. Gradually add chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.

5. Add cubed potatoes and turn heat down.  Add cream and Tabasco sauce.  DO NOT BOIL AGAIN… just heat.

6. Serve with cheese, crispy bacon and fresh parsley for garnish.

7. Let your tongue slap your brains out because this is so AMAZINGLY good!

* “Bacon drippings” is a nicer way to say “bacon fat” or “bacon grease.” If you’re worried about bacon drippings giving you a heart attack, or whatever, then get rid of it and put in some kind of oil that you feel comfortable with.  As for me, the layers of flavor in this soup depend on the sheer deliciousness of BACON, so I’m leavin’ it in! Besides, “Bacon Today” posted an article citing the “Top 10 Reasons Bacon Fat is Actually Healthy For You.” And I’m sure we can all agree that they are not bias at all.


Unfortunately, this morning as I’m posting this, I am not able to find and credit the original recipe I found on the internet a couple of years ago.  The closest one I found used potato flakes instead of pre-baked potato cubes.  So… If you ever find the original recipe, I am more than happy to give it a link!  Just let me know.

Menu Planning – Meals Kids Will Actually Eat

Found this WONDERFUL set of blog posts on how to plan meals that your kids will actually eat. (Boy o boy do I need this!) It even includes a few little tips on transitioning your kids who will only eat junk food to eating real meals… she calls it “The Chicken Nugget Overhaul.” HA!

I’m printing these out for fear that these wonderful posts might disappear into cyberspace… but I have to say I am really grateful to have found them!!! 🙂

Meal Ideas That Kids Will Eat… Our Monday Menu Plan

Meal Ideas That Kids Will Eat… Our Tuesday Menu Plan

Meal Ideas That Kids Will Eat… Our Wednesday Menu Plan

Meal Ideas That Kids Will Eat… Our Thursday Menu Plan

Meal Ideas That Kids Will Eat… Our Friday Menu Plan