Monday, May 16, 2011

Progress and some sweet challenges

Losin' it
I promised you an update on my weight loss today, so here I am.  First, let me explain that I’m not doing anything with a plan, because I really kinda suck at that.  :)  
Well, I did follow South Beach after I had Li’l T, and I lost a TON, but that was in combination with breastfeeding.  It’s hard to say whether it would’ve been as successful with my normal metabolism.  Also, I had to stay in Stage 1 pretty much forever, because any carbs just sent me into a tailspin.  Unfortunately, I gained back what I had lost over the past 4 years, and so I had to start over.
And I did... one week ago.  First I looked at various websites, because I’m just not the “joiner” type.  I can’t imagine going to meetings, or talking to a coach.  I know myself well enough to understand that I wouldn’t follow through, so I skipped that whole avenue.

What I DID do, was find an online Calorie Calculator, which is really a basic tool to figure out how many calories you should consume each day to meet you weight loss goal.  I’m embarrassed to say I can’t find the exact page I used for this, but there are so many that you’ll be able to find one you like.  As I searched today, I punched in the exact numbers in to at least 5 different sites, and ALL of them are giving me a higher number of calories a day to keep losing (around 1500).  I hope to lose about 2 pounds a week, realistically.  My original site gave me 1265.  Per day.  Ouch!  But I did it!  And...
Not me... but that IS 5 lbs of fat in her belt.  NASTY!
That was 5 pounds ago!  Yep, I’m down a little over 5 pounds already, which is enough to inspire me to keep going, although I’m setting my calorie goal a bit higher for the coming week (maybe 1350?).  I use a really simple free program from Google

that resets daily, and I can add my own items when I need to.  It’s a way to keep myself honest, without joining anything.  Ha!
Now, about my challenges this week.  There was a Spring Carnival at the kids’ school on Friday.  And, way before I hit rock bottom regarding the size of my arse, I volunteered to bake some things for the Cake Walk.  I love to bake!  I love sweets!  What could go wrong?  Well, baking and not being able to lick the beaters.  Or “taste test” the scrumptious buttercream or (OMG!) Peanut Butter Frosting.  It was tough.  REALLY tough.  But I made it through.  AND I’m going to share some recipes with you, because life without treats is just wrong.  Right?

Just a few to choose from...  :)
This cake recipe was passed down to me through my Mom.  I just found out it was originally called WWII Cake, because the mayo was a substitution for eggs and oil that were so closely rationed that cake had become a precious commodity.  We just call it Mayonnaise Cake, which sounds so wrong, but tastes so right!
Mayonnaise Cake

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup Miracle Whip light
1 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Add all ingredients as listed. Beat until well mixed. Bake in greased 9x13 pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan.  Do not overbake.   
For layer cakes, multiply ingredients by 1.5.  You can also substitute coffee for the water for an even deeper flavor.  Coffee right IN the cake... AWESOME!
I have always loved this cake with a simple buttercream frosting, or simple whipped cream on a slice of cake still warm.  Chocolate frosting seems to detract from my enjoyment of the richness of the cake.  Just my opinion!
I wanted to do something awesome for the Cake Walk, though, so I made Peanut butter frosting.  I’ve never made it before, and that’s probably a good thing, or I’d be totally obese.  OMG, it is so good!  If Reese’s peanut butter cups are a weakness of yours, this frosting, on THAT cake, is gonna rock your world.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup real butter
1 cup creamy Jif peanut butter
3 cups confectioners' sugar
milk as needed

In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in 1/2 of the confectioner's sugar. Use milk to bring the mixture back to creamy. Beat in the remaining confectioners' sugar. If necessary, add a little more milk until the frosting reaches a good spreading consistency. Makes enough to frost one 2 layer 9 inch cake or one 9x13 inch cake.
I modified this recipe from one by Suzanne Stull at

Garnish with Reese's Pieces, and...


Try them, and let me know what you think.  Separately OR together, these are life-changingly yummy.  (OK, not really.  But they are bee-lish-us!)

Tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I'll give you recipes for the reverse... peanut butter cake with a deep chocolate frosting.  See why I'm struggling???  :}



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