Friday, November 8, 2013

1 can of pumpkin + 1 box of choco cake mix = tons of delicousness!

My husband was recently diagnosed with Diabetes.  He's doing great with the changes that he's had to make in his diet!  Fortunately, we eat healthy meals so I haven't had to change our meal planning at all.  His downfall was snacking and sugary beverages.  He's eliminated the beverages, limited the snacking and is now doing great.

I've been trying to find some snacks and desserts that fit into his new restrictions.  Especially with the holidays coming, I don't want him to feel that he can't partake of anything.  I remembered a simple recipe that my Aunt Betty gave me some years ago.  Only 2 ingredients, but oh does it taste rich!

Take one can of pumpkin...not pumpkin pie filling, just pumpkin, and mix in one chocolate cake mix...
When you mix this together, you will think that you need to add egg, or water or something!  Resist.  Just keep mixing until you have incorporated all the pumpkin into the cake mix.  It will be stiff.  That's okay.  Now, fill your muffin cups...

Pop them in the oven and bake according to the box directions.  For mine, the box said to bake for 19-23 minutes at 350 degrees.  I set the timer for 20 minutes and checked them by inserting a tooth pick.  They weren't quite done so I added another 4 minutes to the timer.  Perfection!

My can of pumpkin had 38.5 grams of carbs, and my cake mix had 340 for a total of 378.5.  I made 12 muffins, so each muffin has 31.5 carbs.  For my husbands diabetic diet, he can have up to 60 carbs per meal, and he can have a 15 carb snack each morning, afternoon and evening.  While this muffin is higher in carbs than a normal snack, he could have it in evening if he has a lower carb meal.  This is also a great midmorning snack as his breakfast is always far less than 60 carbs.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Recycled Home

I'm trying to fall back in love with my home.  Sometime, I only see what I wish were different about it (new flooring in the living room, adding dark stained butcher block counters in the kitchen, etc) instead of seeing how our home reflects our primary values.

So, here's my home and why I love it!

We live in a small, 3 bedroom ranch.  This style and floor plan are pretty common in the midwest.  I share my home with my husband, stepson, daughter and cat.  We have a living room, kitchen with eat in area, bathroom and 3 bedrooms on the main floor.  Our basement is partially finished with a large family room and an area that we've made into a bedroom for The Boy.

This is our living room.  The best part of it is the fireplace.  I love the smell of the wood burning!  The old wooden trunk was purchased at an antique barn when we lived in New Hampshire.  I recently purchased the leather sofas off craigslist.  I gained $50 when I bought them...I sold the old sofa for $250 and bought these for $200. This room is cozy (read small!) but I'm trying to be okay with that.

Next up...the kitchen
 Last year, we had the barstools, table and chairs refinished by a local woman.  The stools were purchased from the Habitat Restore and Target.  They were just blonde wood.  The table was a pedestal table set that we purchased from, you guessed it, Craigslist. 

I think we paid more to have it refinished than we did for the actual tables and chairs.  But it was worth it.  This kitchen/eating area is pretty small, and I think that having the tables and chairs "mimic" the antiqued finish on the cabinet helps to make the space feel more open. 

I like calming effect that the color palette has, however, in looking at these pictures, I think I need a few more pops of color!  I love the hits of orange from the print in the dining area and from the cookbook.  I think I need to extend those pops of orange to the corner near the stove.

 Our basement has a huge finished area.  When we moved here 5 years ago, The Boy wanted a basement bedroom, so we sectioned off a portion of this space for his room.  Somehow over the years, this whole area became his Bachelor Pad!  It was kind of nice to be The Place that his friends chose as their hang out.  We had many a weekend movie night down here.

Now that The Boy is off at college, we are reclaiming this as family space again.  It's a great place for watching our beloved Illini play football and basketball.  We like to lounge down here and watch netflix.  And The Tween recently said that she would like to take on the tradition of Movie Night with her friends.  I believe a Dr Who marathon is in the works.

So that's my recycled, recovered, craigslist home.  It's smaller than what I sometime wish for, but I'm gonna hold on to this thought, "May our home always be too small to hold all our friends."

Are you in love with your less-than-perfect home?