Tasty Tuesday: Microwave Cake

This is one of my all time FAVORITE Weight Watcher’s Recipes.  Yes, it is 105 calories and *5 WW SmartPoints BUT it is so much better than eating a box of cookies or a bag a chips.  My hubby even said it wasn’t bad when I topped it with some chocolate frosting!

This skinny 3-2-1 mug cake is a simple way to satisfy a craving for cake in minutes with just two ingredients, a mug and a microwave.  Add a little bit of whipped topping and a few pieces of chopped fruit for a yummy treat.

It is low in calories and naturally portion controlled for those of us in Weight Watchers who are tempted by an entire cake sitting on the counter.  Admit it, you shave just a little bit off each time you walk by, right?  I know I am not the only one.

STEP 1 – MAKE THE BASE

You’ll need a box of angel food cake mix (make sure it is the one step kind) and a box of another cake mix of your choice.  I love chocolate so I picked Devil’s food (gluten free). But you can use whatever flavor you like best.  Whisk together the cake mixes in a large clear bowl with a balloon whisk. Whisk the two dry mixes together until they are free of lumps and well combined. Now you have enough “321 cake mix” for about 31 little microwave mug cakes.  Store your 3-2-1 microwave cake mix in an airtight container (like a gallon zipper lock plastic bag). Be sure to label it with what it is and the instructions so you are ready the next time a cake craving strikes.

STEP 2 – MAKING A MUG CAKE

Gather your tools:  a 10 ounce mug, measuring spoons, nonstick cooking spray and your mix. Coat the mug with nonstick spray. Then add 3 level tablespoons of dry cake mix and 2 level tablespoons of water.  Stir together cake mix and water with a fork.  Stirring with a fork (acts like a little whisk) until the mixture is well combined. It is okay if it bubbles up.  Microwave your mug cake for approximately one (1) minute and voila – you have cake!

NOTE:  The actual time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave. My microwave is 900 watts and takes 60 seconds. If your microwave has higher wattage set your time for a little less.

I will admit, it is not the prettiest thing but it tastes yummy, especially when it is still warm. You can eat it right from the mug.

Or turn it out onto a plate and pretty it up with a dusting of powdered sugar and dollop of canned whipped topping.  You can even add a little bit of chocolate frosting while it is still warm and it will melt down the sides.

It is a great recipe for playing with different cake mix flavors, additions and/or accompaniments. If you are a Weight Watcher concerned about calories and/or tracking your points be sure to adjust accordingly.

You can use any flavor of cake mix you prefer: chocolate, white, yellow, lemon, spice, funfetti, spice, carrot, strawberry, etc.

Try adding 2 to 3 teaspoons of any of the following to the cake batter before cooking: miniature chocolate chips, finely chopped dried fruit, finely chopped nuts, sprinkles.  Top with a dollop of light whipped topping.

Make a Molten Cake by placing a small piece of chocolate in the middle of the cake before microwaving.

Unknown.jpegMake a Caramel Apple Cake by adding a little bit of chopped dried apple to the cake before microwaving and then after it’s baked top with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Make a Cranberry Orange Nut Cake into yellow or white 3-2-1 cake mix by stirring in chopped nuts, dried cranberries and orange zest before microwaving.

Top your favorite cake with fruit and whipped cream for a light and tasty “shortcake.”

Drizzle finished cake with chocolate or caramel sauce.

Let us know what you think…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Kale & Cheddar Egg Bakes

Thank you Hungry Girl for another awesome recipe…Repeat after us: “Kale is delicious. Kale is good for us. Kale tastes great with eggs and cheese.” Good! Now let’s eat.

1/4th of recipe (3 bakes): 183 calories, 9.5g total fat (5.5g sat fat), 566mg sodium, 8g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 2.5g sugars, 18g protein  SmartPoints® value 5*

Prep: 15 minutes     Cook: 30 minutes     MAKES 4 SERVING

Ingredients:

3 3/4 cups roughly chopped cauliflower or 2 3/4 cups cauliflower rice
1 cup finely chopped kale leaves
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
3/4 cup (about 6 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  • If starting with roughly chopped cauliflower, pulse in a blender until reduced to rice-sized pieces, working in batches as needed.
  • Place cauliflower rice and kale in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes.
  • Add all remaining ingredients. Stir to mix.
  • Evenly distribute mixture among the cups of the muffin pan. (Cups will be full.)
  • Bake until firm and cooked though, 23 – 25 minutes.

These can be frozen and heated up for a quick easy breakfast or even a snack on the go. Who’s ready to pack a yummy breakfast or even a “breakfast for lunch” meal?  Check out one of the new Fall prints for the Going Places Thermal.  You can personalize it with your name or one of many icons…Why you’ll love “The Going Places Thermal” – it  has a spacious compartment for lunch or snacks as well as a water-resistant thermal lining. The crossbody strap is ideal for taking snacks on the go for long walks, hikes, or any time when you just need your hands to be free to carry other items. A zip-around closure keeps contents sealed and protected, while an interior mesh pocket and exterior flat pocket provide extra storage spaces for other items like cell phones or keys. Holds up to 10 lbs.! Key features:

  • Polyester
  • Water-resistant thermal lining
  • Zip-around Closure
  • Interior mesh pocket
  • Exterior flat pocket
  • Crossbody strap
  • Keeps contents cool or warm for up to 1.25 hours
  • Holds up to 10 lbs.
  • Monogramming and personalization options available
  • 8”H x 9”L x 5.5”D

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Simple Tips For Your Kitchen

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Is storage space a a premium in your kitchen?  Do you dread cleaning the kitchen?  We have a small kitchen so I try to make use of every nook and cranny.   I would LOVE to remodel the kitchen but considering we aren’t planning on staying here forever, that is unlikely.

 

1. Use Magnets:  Are you using your cabinet doors as a clever way to give yourself additional storage? How about organizing your spices by using magnets. They are also great for storing knives so that you don’t have to use a knife block… just make sure you use a strong enough magnet to keep the knives in place.

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2. Labeling System:  Labels are a great way to help you organize your kitchen. It takes the guesswork out of where to put things when others want to help.

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3. Add Storage By Hacking “Unopenable” Drawers:  We all have those “fronts”, right?  They look like a drawer but don’t have a handle.  What if you could make use of those un-openable drawers that are beneath your sink

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4. Store Lids With A Curtain Rod:  A very simple solution that helps you organize your pot lids.

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5. Use A Tension Rod To Hang Cleaning Products.  A tension rod can be a great way for storing and organizing spray bottles so that you have additional space in an otherwise cramped under-sink cabinet.

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6. Clean Your Blender Quickly.  Do you love smoothies but hate cleaning the blender?  Do you use your blender to chop up the garlic?  Here is a quick cleaning tip: pour warm water in it with a tiny bit of dish soap. Put the lid on the blender and turn it on. Now it’s all clean! Just be sure to give it a quick rinse after to get rid of the soap residue.

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7. Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances With Flour.  Tired of chemical in your cleaning products?  Here is a tip from Mother Nature Network. Just apply some dry flour onto a microfiber cloth and buff it into your stainless steel appliance, sink or counter. Then rinse it off and the surface should shine like new.

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8. Clean Your Microwave.  I don’t know about you but my hubby seems to get food to overflow and explode in the microwave all of the time.  I am forever trying to clean it up and get rid of the smells.  Here is a really simple tip: Put a wet sponge inside your microwave and then spraying the inside with a mixture of water and lemon essential oils. Microwave the sponge for two minutes, let it cool, and then use it to wipe up the leftover mess.

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9. Clean Your Silverware And Knives With Rust Spots Using Lemon Juice. Eventually, stainless steel silverware and cooking knives can get spotty with rust, especially if you wash them in the dishwasher.  Take your rusted silverware or cooking knives and soak them in a glass of lemon juice for a couple of minutes. The rust will loosen up, making it easy to scrub away… make sure to hand dry it afterwards!

What are some of YOUR best tips for keeping your kitchen clean and organized?  Share them with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!