Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sugar free chocolate chip cookies recipe



Have you ever went to the store and picked up sugar-free desserts then got them home and they tasted like cardboard? I know I have!

I set out on a quest to make my own sugar-free desserts that actually taste good and are easy to make. Here is a great recipe for sugar-free chocolate chip cookies. Even my 6-year-old grandson loves them!


1 bag Hershey sugar-free chocolate chips

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup ( 2 sticks) softened unsalted butter

1/3 cup Splenda or truvia granulated sugar ( can add a bit more if you like them sweeter)

1/3 cup truvia or splenda brown sugar blend

2 tsp vanilla

My niece is my baking partner

My niece is my baking partner


Preheat oven to 375

stir together everything except the butter and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. This batter takes longer to mix and will not be as smooth as regular cookie dough.  Blend in the butter and mix well. I recommend using a stand mixer if possible. Add in the chocolate chips and mix them in by hand.

PLace on a sprayed cookie sheet in spoonfuls.  Remember since these cookies are sugar-free they will not spread out and bake flat like other cookie doughs. however you place them on the pan is just about how they will bake.

Bake for 7-9 minutes or until browned. They cook faster than other doughs so keep an eye on them.

Let cool.   Also with these cookies they are a bit crumbly due to the lack of sugar but they are delish!!


bagged up for freshness

bagged up for freshness

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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


almost sugar free and super skinny strawberry banana bread and Lemon Blueberry Banana Bread


I love to cook and bake but sometimes I need to whip something up quickly. Since having my bariatric surgery I have gone as close to sugar-free as I can and since I am a sweet lover, it is necessary to find or invent recipes that I can make at least almost sugar-free. This recipe for  strawberry banana bread is soooooo easy!!  I promise this will go as quick in your house as it does in mine. This recipe makes 2 loaves and I usually keep one and give one away. Even the sugar-free skeptics love this one!! A man at my daughters work told her that there is no way you can a make bread like this that’s sugar-free and tastes good, so I sent one to work with her and I got an email from him apologizing for his words and wanting more 🙂

This is one of my favorites!!

Almost Sugar Free & Super Skinny Strawberry Banana Bread ( also super easy)


1 box Pillsbury sugar-free yellow cake mix

3 ripe bananas mashed

1 pint strawberries, diced

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp splenda brown sugar blend

1 tsp skim milk

2 loaf pans



Mash the bananas thoroughly

dice strawberries and reserve a 1/2 cup



In a large mixing bowl pour int the box of cake mix

add 2 eggs, the bananas, vanilla, splenda, and milk and mix well. It will be lumpier and thicker than normal bread or cake mix.

add the strawberries, set aside 1/2 cup for later

mix well

Preheat oven to 350

pour 1/2 of the mix into each loaf pan

add the reserved strawberries to the top of the dough and push them down into the mix with the back of a spoon.

bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork comes out clean.

You can substitute any berry in this recipe. My next one will be blueberry!



Now since I am a bariatric patient I cut each loaf into 14 thin slices and the nutritional info is for this portion size.

Nutritional info

calories  66

fat  1.5g

carbs 16

fiber .8g

sugar 1.8g

protein 1.4g



Here is the pictures of the Lemon Blueberry Version. You only need to use blueberries instead of strawberries, add the juice of 1/ 2 lemon plus the zest from that half of lemon.  Mix and bake all the same as above.


Mash the bananas very well




fill half the loaf pan





Gather ingredients




mix in the blueberries


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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


Olde Westport Spice and Trading Company

I was recently introduced to Olde Westport Spice and Trading Company and I am so glad that I was. I received some products that are truly amazing and lend so much flavor to my cooking that I believe I am hooked. I received the Chili Verde, Chili, Enchilada Soup, Garlic and Mesquite spices to give a try in my kitchen. Now I know some would say that all spices are the same but I am here to tell you that they are NOT!. I love to cook and I do so very often and my spice cabinet looks like a half off sale at any grocery store. I have tried just about every spice there is and I can definitely say these are unique. 10987396_10206340508261782_7061000825985570886_n

I used the Olde Westport Spice and Trading Company Garlic Shake on my petite butterfly steaks just last night. I marinated them in olive oil and Italian seasonings for 4 hours in the fridge. I then placed them in a glass baking dish and added the garlic spice. I covered them with aluminum foil and baked low and slow: 250 degrees for about 4 hours. I took them out of the oven and turned them so both sides could soak up the flavorful juices and they fell apart on my fork they were so tender. I placed one in my plate and cut off a bite that melted like butter in my mouth. The flavor was bold and inviting and added a whole new level to my dinner.   11006449_10206340506261732_1276925658357287901_n


The entire family was shocked at how tender the meat was and how much flavor it packed. It’s hard to please an entire family at the same time but this one delivered for everyone. I am known as a pretty good cook in my family and although I have never had formal training, I read everything culinary related that I can get my hands on. This hidden secret needs to be shouted from the rooftops. A product that can add this level of flavor and satisfaction is a keeper in this cook’s kitchen! You can even add it to sour cream for an amazing dip or use it as a rub!

The Mesquite Grill spice is just as flavorful and packs a nice smoky punch and I cannot wait until warm weather to try this one on the grill! I used it over chicken breasts that were marinated in Italian dressing and it was another big hit. I have used other mesquite spices int he past and most of them were either lacking in flavor or had an over-powering flavor that left you tasting nothing but the spice. Olde Westport mesquite offers great flavor and texture that allows your meat to be enhanced not over-powered.  I cannot wait to try the rest of the spices as I know they will rev up my dishes as well.


Online specialty Food Company stands the test of time – Spice Company creates custom spice blends, seasonings and dry soups. Olde Westport Spice & Trading Company is a 33-year-old spice manufacturer that is still going strong. This online company operates a small plant in Goodland, Kansas, and knows a thing or two about spices, seasonings and soups. This family owned and operated company was originally founded in the Kansas City area and has stayed true to its mission of making custom spice blends for main meal dishes and appetizers as well as nearly 20 varieties of dry soups. The products are available online at; at food-related craft and trade shows throughout the Midwest; and at gift and gourmet food shops. Olde Westport’s spice blends and seasonings include Italian, Cajun, Taco, Fajita, Chili, Jalapeno, Beef Sauce, Salsa, Garlic and many more. All of the products use quality ingredients for a balanced flavor that compliments meats, pastas and vegetables. The company also invented dry soup mixes that are simple and easy to make including Antonio’s Minestrone, Country-Style Creamy Potato, Chipotle Black Bean, Creamy Broccoli and Cheese, Kansas City Steak & Ale, Gold Coast Garlic Pasta Alfredo, Mesa Flats Chicken Enchilada, New Orleans Red Bean & Rice, Southwestern Tortilla, White Chili Soup and more. Olde Westport Spice and Trading Co. is owned and operated by Bill and Judy Petersen, who along with their daughter, Ann Myers, also own and run a restaurant (Westport Grill) in Goodland featuring the products. Bill first custom created all of the spices and seasonings in the kitchen of his home. Today the company has a manufacturing facility where Bill still researches and develops new recipes and dishes for future products. For more information or to place an order, please visit or call 1-800-537-6470.

CHAMPIONSHIP CHILI SPICE BLEND – This championship spice has helped chili creators win 12 state and national championships throughout the years and all over the US! But what is most important to us about our Olde Westport Chili Spice Blend is that our customers love to use it in their chili whether it’s for a national championship cook-off challenge or simply for their own family in their cozy kitchen on a cold winter’s night. We’ve heard from countless customers that our attention to detail and quality is what makes this chili spice blend stand out above the competitors. We know you might put beans in your chili or maybe you add apples and sausage or perhaps you have a special recipe that is top-secret but starts with thick-cut bacon… however you concoct your chili we hope you’ll try our chili spice blend.

GOLD COAST GARLIC SHAKE – Gold Coast Garlic Shake spice blend is truly one of those special blends of garlic, herbs and spices that our customers use in sour cream dips, sprinkle over steamed vegetables, fresh vegetables from your garden, garlic mashed potatoes or steak on the grill. There are more than 50 recipes in the Olde Westport Gold Coast Garlic Cookbook that will give you lots of ideas for quick simple meals with that high-end restaurant flavor. A garlic experience you will never forget. Check out the Olde Westport web site for a few recipes and placing orders.


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Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


Neutrogena Long Wear Eyeshadow

I love finding new makeup that makes my life easier. Neutrogena Long Wear Eyeshadow with built-in primer allows me to use one less step in doing my makeup each day. The colors are bright and beautiful and they look amazing. I love that they have a guide on the back that tells you just where to put each shade.

The color lasted all day long and I didn’t have to worry about smudges or having to reapply because the color faded away.I also did not have to worry about creasing! YAY!  I received so many compliments from this eyeshadow and I love that!  I have been a fan of Neutrogena products for years and now have one more to add to my must have list!

If you are looking for a new go-to shadow,make sure you check this one out!!




“I’m a member of the Crowdtap Neutrogena® rewards program, and Neutrogena® sent me a sample of its Long Wear Eye Shadow to review.”

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Posted by on January 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


HP EcoFFICIENT Printer Paper Review

Being a Coupon Diva isn’t easy. There is scouring the paper and internet for coupons and deals, printing out those coupons, cutting and filing them and so much more. It really is tiring but in this world it is a necessity so I do what I have to do. Even the paper and ink becomes expensive if you don’t get sales and deals. Luckily I found Shoplet where I can find amazing deals on everything I need to be an industrious and frugal coupon shopper. I was recently given the opportunity to try HP EcoFFICIENT Printer Paper and I have to say I did not realize there was really any difference in paper but there definitely is. This printer paper is 20% lighter than standard printer paper which was evident when I took it out of the box that barely weighed anything. I thought there may have been a mistake because no box could be this light that was carrying a ream of copy paper but as I opened it I was amazed that yes indeed, it contained the paper.

Usually when I buy copy paper at a box store it is heavy and bulky to lug around and ends up making my arms tired and sore but that will never happen with the HP EcoFFICIENT paper. It is suitable for printing everything and anything you need to print including coupons, documents or even crafting needs. This paper is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council which assures that the forest that are used to make these papers are managed responsibly. Now I am definitely not as green as I should be but I love that they are acting responsibly with our resources.

This paper has a brightness score of 92 and Whiteness score of 155 and with the lighter, thinner paper you can load up to 125 more sheets in your printer tray which saves on reloading.  It states that it is for use with printers designed for lightweight use but I have a HP Deskjet 1000 and it works amazingly well in it. With the lighter weight paper it also takes up less storage and file room allowing for easier access. Another plus with this lighter paper is that it also saves on postage and let’s face it, with the price of postage these days this is a major plus.



With Shoplet you can get this paper in a carton for just $39.99 with free 2 day shipping. The carton includes 8 packs of 625 sheets each for a total of 5000 sheets of amazing copy paper.

Shoplet is the place to go for all of your office supply needs. I have found that their prices beat just about any others I have found. They have a huge variety of products to choose from. I love their prices on Ink Cartridges as well as they can get so expensive and I know I use a lot of ink printing my coupons.   Whether you need supplies for your home office or for your job, you can find everything you need on Shoplet.  You can also follow Shoplet on Pinterest , Facebook , Twitter and on Instagram  where you can keep up to date on their products and promotions. Remember Shoplet also has a price match guarantee that will give you 110% back if you find a lower price online. And make sure you sign up for emails to be the first to know about specials!

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Posted by on January 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


Zim’s Max Freeze For Feet Pain Relief Spray Review

In my forty-four years on this amazing Earth I have held many jobs. Most of them were jobs that I was constantly on my feet for hours on end. I would buy very expensive shoes that were supposed to alleviate the stress but they never really worked. At the end of every day my feet were killing me. I tried every cream, gel and spray on the market and some of them may have helped for a short duration but I never got long-term relief. I soaked my feet in different concoctions, wore gel inserts in my shoes and so much more but the pain in my feet, arches and ankles continued.

Eighteen months ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and over the last year it has become severe. I have pain in every joint in my body and most days it is a chore to even get out of bed. I ache all day and night and the medications the doctors prescribe do not seem to help either. Again I have used so many product that are supposed to help with the pain that just do not deliver. I have become so desperate for pain relief that I have scoured the internet researching how to make my own pain relief cream. I figure I can’t do any worse than those products I have already tried with no relief.

In my research I came across a product called Zim’s Max Freeze for Feet Pain Relief Spray. I was blessed to be able to try this product and to be honest, I really didn’t have high hopes since every other product I have tried has failed to help. What caught my attention with Zim’s is they make only naturally based products. You won’t find any harsh chemicals in their products and that is a huge plus for me.

It’s been a few years since I had to work constantly on my feet but the effects of all the punishment my feet have taken is probably going to be with me for life and my feet ache daily. It’s the kind of ache that isn’t full-blown pain but just enough to let you know it is constantly there. I sprayed the Zim’s Max Freeze on my feet and then put on a comfy pair of socks. Within just minutes I felt the minty, tingling effects of the spray. It felt amazing!!  It really does take the pain away. My feet feel better than they have in twenty years but in the back of my mind I kept thinking “this won’t last very long” but I was so wrong. Thirty minutes later my feet still felt great. After 2 hours I still had relief and I cannot tell you how happy that made me. I have finally found a product that not only helps with the pain but is long-lasting. At hour three I did reapply the spray but 3 hours of relief is more than I have gotten from any other product I have tried.

I know that the product is a Foot Spray but I figured if it worked on my feet maybe it would help with the fibromyalgia pain. I sprayed some on my elbow and wrist that were hurting so badly that I was sitting in a chair with a heating pack on them and close to tears. Again, after just a couple of minutes, I could feel the spray working. Now my fibro pain is so bad that it did not take all of it away but it did dull the pain enough to make it bearable and to keep my sanity. Any relief is a welcome reprieve for me. YAY!

PicMonkey Collage

Zim’s started over 60 years ago and has 25 naturally based products that range from pain relief to skin care. These products are made in the US in a small town in Ohio. Zim’s Max Freeze products include ingredients such as Certified Organic llex, Certified organic Arnica and aloe and contain no parabens,synthetic fragrance, sulfates, paraffins,DEA, petroleum or mineral oil.  I feel good using a product that does not add harsh chemicals and fragrances to a product I am putting on my delicate skin.

Zims offer products for everyone:

  • Max Freeze pain relief products
  • Skin care products
  • Advanced Vapor rub
  • Body lotions
  • Spa packs
  • Lip care products
  • First aid products
  • Diabetic lotion
  • Adult care products
  • Gift sets

All of these products are naturally based.

Whether you suffer from dry, cracked skin, chapped lips, or even a cold, Zim’s has a product for you!  Do you care for an elderly parent or grandparent? Zim’s offers products such as rash and odor spray, lap bibs and underpads. You can purchase Zim’s products online or at a store near you. You can find a list of retailers on their website.



Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters: More than a Snack

I absolutely love dark chocolate! It is so much better for you than any other kind. It actually contains antioxidants and Doctors seem to agree it is even good for the heart! All I know is that it tastes lip-smacking good! It is rich and flavorful and I can’t get enough! Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters are the perfect snack for me. Dark Chocolate wrapped around berries and crispy multigrains, Yummmmm! Brookside is a division of Hershey so you know it’s good!

It’ a chocolate-berry party in your mouth! They are perfect to pair with other favorites as well. I paired mine with strawberry yogurt and it is absolutely delish! Pair it with your favorite beverage as well, wine is the perfect pairing for these gems! They offer exotic flavors such as Acai berry, which is one of my favorites and by itself is a super food packed with vitamins and antioxidants.You will also find Goji berry, blueberry and pomegranate. At 190 calories for 22 pieces it makes an amazing snack choice. It has 2 grams of protein and let’s face it, most of us do not get enough protein during the day.

I love these flavor of Brookside it just melts in your mouth! The crunch of the multigrains mixed with the berry flavor and sweet, dark chocolate is amazing and definitely something to be savored! My hubby, who is not a fan of dark chocolate like I am, loved them. He said the mixture of flavors was phenomenal and he could polish off the entire bag!

If you want a more sophisticated snack then look for farther than Brookside! You can find them on Facebook and on Twitter where you can keep up to date on all of their products and promotions.



I received a free sample for review as a member of #Crowdtap. My opinions are my own.

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Posted by on January 10, 2015 in Uncategorized