Thursday, January 31, 2013

Foodie Penpals: January 2013

The Lean Green Bean

I saw this foodie penpal thing last year but I felt so overwhelmed with life in general I never signed up. This year I decided to give it a go and I'm so glad I did! It's amazing how just a package in the mail can make my day.

Jan 2013 Foodbox

This month I received goodies from Bethany.

My box included:

2 boxes of Nips
1 Bag of Pop Chips
1 box of Tea
1 energy drink
1 box of Nature Made Granola Bars
1 3pk of portable Jiff Peanut Butter

The nips are pretty much gone.  My hubby helped me gobble those up!  The Pop Chips were fantastic.  I'll be buying me some more soon.  For some reason I'd never tried them before.  Maybe because I knew if I did I'd be addicted to them?  The rest is in my snack drawer for emergency, I'm starving feed me now moments.  Which happens a lot.  Unfortunately.  At least peanut butter and crunchy granola bars are better than the crap in vending machine at work!

Thank you so much Bethany!  I really enjoyed your package=)

Interested in becoming a Foodie Pen-pal?  Then check out this info from Lindsey from The Lean Green Bean:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions. 
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!  
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination! 
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!) 
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.  
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.  

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE ( to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.  

You must submit your information by February 4th as pairings will be emailed on February 5th!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gooey Lemon Peppermint Chip Cookies

Gooey Lemon Peppermint Chip Cookies

I think the best part of Christmas is Christmas Clearance.  I stock up on a lot of baking supplies right after Christmas due to the oh so very low prices.  I usually end up buying seasonal flavors like pumpkin, peppermint, cocoa, etc.  I like to stock up on my favorite seasonal candies too, especially my all time favorite Terry's Chocolate Oranges.

Gooey Lemon Peppermint Chip Cookies
Not pictured: 1 egg, vanilla extract, and peppermint chips
This year I didn't find any chocolate oranges on clearance.  Bummer!  Someone must have beat me to 'em! I did invest in a few packages of Andes Peppermint Chips though.  This year was the first year I have ever seen them and only at the Walmart.  I can usually find the Andes Creme de Menthe chips year round though.

Gooey Lemon Peppermint Chip Cookies

I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest that has been making the rounds:

I figured if sucking on a lemon through a peppermint straw is tasty then lemon cookies with peppermint chips have to be mighty tasty too!  Glad I was right.  These cookies are so yummy!

I used a gooey butter cookie recipe as the cookie base by swapping out yellow cake mix with lemon cake mix.  Gooey butter cookies and cake are my favorite and lemon my all time favorite cake flavor.  Peppermint is not usually my thing but they added a cooling effect to these cookies that reminded me of lemon cooler cookies.

Gooey Lemon Peppermint Chip Cookies

The cookie dough does need to chill out in the fridge for a bit before dishing out and rolling in the powdered sugar.  As the name implies they are very gooey to work with.  Other than that these cookies are easy to make and addictive.  Enjoy!

Gooey Lemon Peppermint Chip Cookies

Gooey Butter Peppermint Chip Cookies

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened  
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix  
5 oz. (half a bag) Andes Peppermint Baking Chips
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add cake mix, and stir until well blended. Stir in Peppermint Chips. Refridgerate dough in covered container for one hour.

After chilling dough, Roll dough into 1inch balls and roll the balls in the confectioners' sugar. Place 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. 

Bake for 10 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's a Major Award! I Won It!


Well, okay, it's not a MAJOR award but it makes me feel special.  It certainly isn't every day that you get to win something from a random drawing.


I won this sweet set of ceramic measuring cups and spoons from Chris over at Food Thoughts of a Chef Wannabe.  It also came with a bonus fridge list pad and a pretty card from Chris.  My favorite part of this whole package though?  The wrapping paper!  Isn't it gorgeous?


I can't wait to use my new measuring devices.  I have a couple sets of mismatched stuff that I use now.  They work but they aren't pretty.


These will look so pretty on the counter top or as props in my foodie photos.  I'm also a list-a-holic so that pretty notepad will get used a lot!

Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway.  I'm so happy I won!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rarity's Cutie Mark Cakes


Once again I was inspired by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to create these little cakes.  I haven't seen much of Rarity this season and I'm disappointed that Season 3 will be a short one.  I really enjoy watching Ponies with my husband.  He is such a Brony!


Rarity's cakes are in the shape of diamonds, just like her cutie mark!  They are little too, like tea cakes.  rarity strikes me as the English Tea type and these would be perfect for a Tea Party.


I didn't have a diamond shaped cookie cutter so I bent my square one into the shape I needed.  These ones are Wilton brand and bent easily into my desired shape and back again.


For the cake, I just used a box of white cake mix I had on hand.  I baked the cake in a parchment lined jellyroll pan.  My cake only took 10 minutes to bake because it was so thin.  After they cooled I cut out my diamonds.


For my filling I tinted some store bought buttercream with get food coloring.  I think I was able to match Rarity's hair color pretty well.  What do you think?  I love Rarity's hair.  I want purple hair!


I layered two cakes per a diamond using my tinted icing as the filling. 


I then used this recipe for quick pour fondant tinted cutie mark blue, cover your mini cakes.  It took two coats to completely cover my cakes.


I then took a blue candy melts pen and drew on the pattern seen on each of Rarity's diamonds.  I had a really shaky hand so they didn't come out as pretty as I wanted them to.


These cakes taste so yummy! kind of like those Little Debbie cakes you can buy at the grocery store, Zebra Cakes I think they're called. The chocolate outline popped off a bit when I cut one open to show ya'll the middle. It was tasty;)

Rarity's Cutie Mark Cakes

1 box white (vanilla) cake mix and the ingredients to make the cake per box directions
1 can vanilla frosting tinted purple
1 recipe Quick Pour Fondant tinted light blue

1. Prepare cake per directions on cake mix box.  Pour prepared cake mix in parchment lined jellyroll pan.  Spread batter into even layer usuing offset spatula.  Bake cake at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove cake from oven and let cool completly.

2. Used a 2inch diamond shaped cookie cutter (or a square bent into diamond shape) to cut out cake shapes.

3.  Ice top of one cake and top with a second cake.  After layering all cakes, place on a wire rack in a cookie sheet.

4.  Cover all cakes with the Quick Pour Fondant using a glass measuring cup.  Let set.  If needed cover cakes with second coating of fondant. Fondant caught in cookie sheet can be reused.  Just  scrape up excess fondant and reheat/melt.

6.  After all cakes are set, use a chocolate melts pen to draw on details.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bzzagent Review: Stella Artois

Hello readers, Mr. Penguin aka The Husband here.  Today, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite things; beer.  Yes, beer.  Stella Artois beer, to be precise.  My wife was offered an opportunity via to review the Stella Artois 9 Step Belgian Pouring Ritual and received a Stella Artois Chalice to use. Since she isn't much of a beer drinker, I nobly volunteered for the duty.  

Now, I'd never had Stella before, so I was looking forward to trying something new.  I'm normally into darker beers such as Guinness, which Stella definitely is not.  It's a lager beer, lighter than I usually like, but hey, it's beer!  I was also supposed to test whether their fancy-pants 'chalice' really has any effect on the flavor of the product.

The chalice itself is actually quite pretty, it's a crystal goblet-type glass, with a gold-edged rim and a fancy carving on the stem that supposedly helps leach body heat away from the glass itself, allowing the beer to stay cold longer.  I have no idea if that works or not, but it looks cool.  

Stella Artois

The first thing I did was to open a bottle and drink it straight, no fancy glassware or other accoutrements, just to get a feel for the flavor.  The first thing I noticed was a decidedly odd smell; not unpleasant or skunky, mind you, just different.  The beer itself was pretty good, not my usual style but certainly drinkable.  Nothing really to set it apart from other similar pale lagers such as Heiniken.  

So the next step was to try out the chalice.  I poured my second beer according to the directions (yes, they give you directions on how to pour an ideal glass, to balance the head or some such jazz).  Now, I'll admit, I never had much use for the idea that the shape of a glass could have a profound impact on the flavor of a beverage, be it beer, wine, or anything else.  Imagine my surprise, then, when my first sip from the chalice actually tasted noticeably different!  Using the chalice definitely focused the aroma, just as the advertisements claimed. and since a significant portion of 'taste' is actually smell, it made for a noticeable improvement in the flavor.

Stella Artois

My final judgement is that Stella Artois is a perfectly acceptable light lager, if you're into that style of beer. It's a bit pricier than most of its competitors, by about a dollar or so per six-pack, but not tremendously so. Personally, I don't think I'll be drinking it again, though. It's not that it's bad, it's just not my style. I'm definitely a convert to the idea of specialized glassware now; the chalice seems to do everything they claim it will, and it looks very attractive as well. Try it for yourself, and see what you think!

Disclosure:  I am a BzzAgent and received these products from for review at no cost to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my open and unbiased review. All opinions are mine.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Porkchops & Resolutions

Porkchops (2)

I can't believe that 2012 has come and gone!  I feel like I just got used to writing out the date and now I have to remember that it's 2013.  I've already had to redo so many documents this year because I just can't believe that it's 2013 already and my hand and brain refuse to cooperate to write the correct year.

This year I've committed to actually writing my 2013 goals down.  In the past I've mentally kept a list but by month 2 I've usually forgotten what I want to achieve!  I'm not sure why I have never written them down in the past.  Maybe because if it isn't on paper (or blog) I feel that I don't have to hold myself accountable?  Probably!  So this year...

1.  I will work out for at least 30 minutes 6 days a week.  I bought a gym membership 2 years ago for a reason.  Use it! {Last week I made it to the gym 6xs, taking Sunday off, hope  I can keep this streak up!}

2. Get organized!  I used to be very Twilight Sparkle and keep very organized and together.  I loved to make lists and everything had it's place.  Now that I am taking anti anxiety meds I just don't keep up with my organization habits anymore.  Not a "side affect" I like.  I live in a little apartment and things get messy quickly if not put up right away!

3.  Curb the retail therapy habit.  I love to shop.  For anything.  I will happily shop for cleaning supplies!  It makes me happy for some weird reason.  What doesn't make me dwindling bank account.  I have plenty of hobbies that do not require spending money and buying things only makes me happy for a brief period of time.  

4.  Speaking of hobbies...get these projects done:  the wedding card scrapbook, chapstick holder sewing project, the pajama pant sewing project, the tissue holder sewing project, and the barely started painting.  I'm the Queen of Unfinished Projects!

5.  Stop eating when I'm not hungry.  Go get a drink of water, go play some Nintendo, read a book, go for a walk, finish one of the projects listed above.  Do anything!  Just put down the loaf of bread, bag of chips {insert carb of choice} and walk away.  Alos, your not a dog.  Don't reward yourself like one!

6.  Kiss the hubby more often.  (Hey I had to have at least one easily achievable goal!)

7.  Journal more often.  I love keeping a journal/diary but haven't written in mine for the past year.  It really helps me get to sleep faster and allows me to reflect on my day.  It's also handy for remembering dates of when jobs begin/end or other important life events=)

8.  Network more.  I read a lot of blogs but I don't comment often or engage in conversation.  There are so many wonderful bloggers out there and it isn't hard to leave a comment telling them so.  

9.  Learn how to take better food photography.  I think it's getting better but still needs work.  I'll have to see if I can find some library books on the subject.

10.  Learn to love myself and accept compliments with grace.  I really can't even look at my reflection in the mirror sometimes despite my husband saying I'm gorgeous.  In other words, who cares what other people think.  Do what makes you happy!

Phew!  Glad that's done!  I'm really motivated to keep these promises to myself.  

Porkchops (4)

With that in mind I wanted to share my favorite recipe for pork chops from Cooking Light. It is a lighter version of the traditional fried and breaded pork chop with country gravy.  

These pork chops are pan fried sans the carb-a-licious breading and the gravy is made with 1% milk and in the past I have substituted skim if I have it on hand.  The gravy isn't as thick and rich when using skim milk but my waist line thanks me!  

There isn't much seasoning to this dish so I usually like to throw in a little sage and use seasoning salt in lieu of the poultry seasoning.  I think the sage smells so wonderful as it is cooking and just tastes wonderful.

I always serve my chops with rice and plenty of healthy veggies.  Mashed potatoes would be yummy too!

Porkchops (3)

Pork Chops with Country Gravy
slightly adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt, divided
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1 inch thick)
1 teaspoon butter
1 1/3 cups 1% low-fat milk 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt evenly over both sides of pork. Add 1 teaspoon butter to pan, stirring until butter is melted. Add the pork to pan, and cook pork for 3 minutes on each side. Remove pork from pan, and keep warm.

Combine low-fat milk and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add the milk mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, sage, and black pepper. Return pork to pan. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer for 7 minutes or until gravy is thick and pork is done.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bzzagent Review: Covergirl Blastflipstick & Giveaway

I've always liked Covergirl products.  My favorite product is their Clean Liquid Makeup and powder.  I think I've used them since the 9th grade!  I'll try new products occasionally but I always go back. They just work and I love the smell!

Covergirl Lipstick Review

So it's no surprise that I immediately jumped at the chance to join this Bzz Campaign.  I'm more of a lip gloss kind of girl but only because it shimmers and is more sheer but mostly because it's easier to reapply without a mirror!  I also have a tendency to lose my lip color.  A lot. That gets expensive!

Covergirl Lipstick Review
Covergirl can't help me with my inability to hang on to my lip color but they can provide a customizable lip color.  Covergirl blasflipstick is  like getting multiple products in one.  Each lipstick is a creamy color on one end and a shimmery color on the other.  They can be worn separately or can be combined to create a unique look all your own.  

Covergirl Lipstick Review
I love this product!  It smells good, feels great and looks awesome.  I got many compliments when I wore my blasflipstick to work.  I was given 3 different colors to try out.  I really liked Stunner but I think it looks too orange-y on me.  Vixen matched my skin tone more. I gave my friend Kimberly the Minx colors to try out.  Doesn't the color look great on her?  I think so!

Covergirl Lipstick Review
These colors also last awhile and do not have to be reapplied constantly. It isn't kiss-proof though.  I tested it out on my husband.  He looked silly with lipstick on his lips, lol!  Despite that, I'd still recommend it. You can Purchase Covergirl blastflipstick for a SRP $8.49 at most major retailers. There are 13 color duos available, so lots of color fun to be had. Check them out at   
GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Contest will run from today till January 15 11:59 pm EST. To enter, fill in the “easy entry” in the rafflecopter widget below. Then get your “like” on to earn additional entries. Please note, I will be verifying the winner has completed their entries. Open to US and Canada addresses only.  Winners will have 48 hours to claim their prize, so be sure to check back on the 16th to see if you my lucky winner!

Disclosure:  I am a BzzAgent and received these products from for review at no cost to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my open and unbiased review. All opinions are mine.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

 Dietetic Sinners has been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Katie from 

Thanks Katie for the nomination!

According to Katie:

The Liebster Blog Award is an award given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers, most of whom have less than 200 followers (or have been blogging for less than 6 months). It is to show newer bloggers that they are appreciated, and to help spread the word about new blogs. It was created to promote appreciation and recognition among the blog world. Liebster translates to “dearest” (or favorite/best) in German. It is also known as the Love Blog Award.

The Rules:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 new blogs you love and link them in your post.
5. Please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you!

So here are 11 random things about me:

1. I always say I'm from the midwest but have been all over due to my Dad being in the Airforce.  I've lived in Germany, New Mexico, Texas, Illinois, & Florida.
2. I am completely deaf in my left ear. *very annoying*
3. I paint and sew in my free time.
4. My favorite season is fall.

5. My husband lived a few blocks from me but we didn't meet until we both joined an online dating site!
6. I work at a courthouse as a domestic violence advocate.

7. I collect purple rabbits.  And snails.  I love snails!
8. My favorite color is purple but I love to decorate with oranges and browns too (fall colors!).
9. I love going to office supply stores.  I can spend a good hour or so just looking at all the pens and organizers or smelling new crayons and #2 pencils.
10. I'm an avid fantasy book reader.  My favorite authors: Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffery.

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

And here are the questions my nominator asked me to answer: 

1. When and why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in college when Myspace was all the rage.  I was bored and needed something to do besides eat.  My blog back then was supposed to document my life and weight loss journey.  I seem to have gotten lost somewhere, lol!

2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At one point I wanted to be a doctor.  A pediatrician specifically.  Then I got really interested in archeology and wanted to be an Egyptologist. Instead I went to college and enrolled in criminal justice classes.  I planned on joining the FBI but I forgot I was deaf in one ear.  Poo!

3. What is your favorite holiday?

Halloween!  The one time of the year that it's completely acceptable to wear a costume and pretend to be someone else (outside of ComicCon etc).  Also, candy.  Lots and lots of candy.

4. Do you work outside of the home or are you a stay at home mom?

I work outside of the home.  I don't take care of any one but my hubby and he works too!   When we have children he plans on being the house husband.

5. If you could meet a famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

Ree Drummond.  She's my favorite bloggess.  I love reading her blog and watching her show on Food Network.

6.  How old were you when you went on your first date?

16?  Can't really remember.  It might have been more like 17 or 18.  I was a senior in High School and his name was Andy.  He was older than me and didn't go to high school anymore.

7. What is your favorite book?

Arrows of the Queen (Trilogy) by Mercedes Lackey.  I just relate to the main character too much!  My husband reminds me of her eventual love too.  He is not only fetching but he 'fetches' too.  *evil laughter*

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

8. What is your favorite song and why?

The Dream Within by Lara Fabian from the Final Fantasy Spirits Within Soundtrack.  Because it gives me goosebumps.  Every. Time. I. Hear. It.

9. Do you have a blogging schedule or do you blog when you feel like it?

I blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays with an occasional random post thrown in for good measure.

10. Are you a city girl or a country girl?

Um, in between?  I don't like being all crowded into a subdivision or an apartment with no way to plant anything but I certainly couldn't live in the deep country in the middle of nothing!

11. What do you love most about your family?

That they make me laugh and they are wonderful=)  

11 questions for the nominees to answer please:

  1. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  2. What is the best thing you have ever eaten?
  3. What was your favorite subject in school?
  4. Where did your blog name come from?
  5. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
  6. Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube or roll it?
  7. What animal are you most like?  why?
  8. On a scale of one to ten, how well do you sing?
  9. Have you ever met someone famous?  If so who was it?
  10. What's your favorite ice cream brand and flavor?
  11. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
And here are the 11 blogs that I nominate:

Unintended Housewife

Scissors and Spoons

A Finn in the Kitchen

Hello, Whimsy

Treats & Trinkets

Darkroom and Dearly

Food Thoughts of a Chef Wannabe

The Oatmeal Artist

Rainbows & Honeysuckle

Happy Pretty Blog

Little foal.

Note to nominees: Please leave me a comment with your Liebster post, so I can check it out! Also, please leave a link back to this post on your blog please.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Top 12 Posts of 2012


Happy New Year!  This year has just flown by and I'm pretty sure the new year will too sadly.  Apparently that happens as you get older according to my parents or if your having too much fun.  I really hope it's because I'm having too much fun but it's more likely because I keep myself pretty busy between work, this blog and my many half finished projects.

My readership has gotten better.  I certainly get a lot more hits and I love me some comment love!  This years top 12 *drumroll please* are:

Candycane Cookies (1)

Ladybug Cake Pops (3)

Olympic Cake Pops1

Olympic pops (46)a



#1 is also my most pinned recipe/post.  That pizza is just so very yummy!  I hope everyone who has view the recipe and/or pinned has had the opportunity to make it and share it with their friends and family.  It's requested often in my kitchen!

This past year has been a great one on my blog and I hope to continue to bring you yummy food, reviews and my life adventures...

Goodbye 2012 and Hello 2013!