Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Molten Chocolate Nutella Pudding Cakes

I had a few friends over for dinner tonight. For dessert I decided to try out a new recipe I spotted in All You. This cake had rave reviews and was pretty easy to make. I posted a pic on Facebook and a lot of people asked for the recipe, so here it is...

Molten Chocolate-Nutella Pudding Cakes

  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • PREP TIME:
  • BAKE: 30 MINUTES
  • COST PER SERVING:$1.12
  • COURSE: Desserts
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons Nutella
Preparation
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mist 6 6-oz. ramekins with cooking spray. Place a roasting pan in oven; pour in 1/2 inch of hot water. In a bowl, whisk flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  • 2. Combine chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl; cook on high, stirring once or twice, until almost melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. (I only needed to microwave for 1 minute.)
  • 3. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt until pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Beat in melted chocolate mixture. Stir in flour mixture. Spoon half of batter into ramekins. Drop 1 Tbsp. of Nutella into center of each. Cover with remaining batter.
  • 4. Transfer ramekins to roasting pan. Bake until cakes have risen and are cracked on top, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cora Update


I know it's been a while since my last blog post. I went back to work last month. The transition has been good. It helps that I can work a day from home once a week. Cora is a happy little girl. She will be 4 months old next week. Can you believe that? Motherhood has been absolutely wonderful. I have been blessed with such a sweet baby that is full of smiles. She sleeps through the night (10-11 hours) and she has recently discovered "talking". She has been a chatterbox for the past few days. It's pretty funny, because she seems to have some important stuff to discuss... Here is a video of my little chatterbox...


video

I also decided to enter her in the Parents 2011 Cover Contest. I never thought I'd be one of those parents, but c'est la vi. Check out her album here.

I am so behind on my blog reading. I hope everyone is doing well.
Have a fab day!
~Hillary

Monday, March 28, 2011

Off To A Good Start


I completed week two of acupuncture and week one of Bodybugg and I am down 4.2 pounds overall. I try to get to the gym at least 2 times a week for cardio and in the for next couple of weeks, I'll add strength training. I've also cut down my sodium. Most of the food show above was made with salt free seasonings (unless I added a sprinkle of cheese). I really wanted to post a screen shot of my Bodybugg stats, but I'm having issues with it since I am using my husband's computer (mine is being repaired). Once I get my computer back, I'll post those up. As far as the acupuncture goes, I do think it's working. I've noticed a big difference in my appetite and I haven't had any late night snacking. I'm hoping to have another great week!

This past weekend we celebrated the upcoming wedding for my dear friends, Melissa and Larry. We had a Jamaican themed couples shower and everything turned out beautifully. We served jerk chicken, rice and beans cooked in coconut milk, plantains, Jamaican patties, fresh fruit, rum punch, and pineapple upside down cake. I made the pineapple tree with fresh fruit and the pineapple upside down cake. Our party favors were coconut cups. Most of our guests enjoyed their rum punch in their coconut cups :-)

Of course, I can't post without mentioning my little one...

Ready for Spring!
I found this cute dress at Costco!

Someone is hogging the bed :-)
Actually just a snooze while I got ready for the day.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy day!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Turning 38


Yes, this past week, I turned 38. Seriously, where does the time go? This year I decided to keep things low key. I went to brunch with a few close friends and went home and enjoyed my little chocolate and raspberry mousse.

I finally got my new Bodybugg to help me track my calories in and calories out. I've used the device before and got great results (40lbs lost). I decided to update my device and got the new SP version. Thanks to the bluetooth in this device, I can sync it
up with my iPhone and track my results as I go. On the old version I had to wait till I got to my computer (which was usually the end of the day). So I'm excited about using it. I'll post my daily log and results on my blog like I did before, but probably not as often since it's hard for me to blog sometimes.

Along with the Bodybugg system, I am adding a little acupuncture to help me with my late night snacking and stress eating. I've never done it before, but I was expecting to lay down while the doctor sticks a bunch of needles in me... Wrong! For weight loss, I wear 3 tiny needles stuck to a band-aid like piece in each ear for a week. You can barely see them. I go in every week to get them changed out. Here's a close-up of what they look like...
The pressure points are suppose to help me with stress, hunger, and to slightly speed up my metabolism. So far I've worn them for a week and I noticed that it does help my hunger. The jury is still out on the stress eating. I did stress eat once during the week, but that is less than the previous week. When I get stressed, I am suppose to tap on the little needles to stimulate them. I'm not sure if it really works of if it just distracts me and reminds me not to eat. At the end of the week, I was down 2.5 lbs. The entire acupuncture treatment lasts 10 - 12 weeks. I'll report my results when I get to the end. Let me know if you've tried this and what you thought!

Shellac! I thought shellac was just for your average home project, now they are putting it on your nails. I went to go get a mani/pedi with my mother in law and the manicurist was telling me about the shellac gel they are now using. It's not suppose to harm my natural nails and the polish is suppose to last for 2 weeks without chipping. Since I am constantly washing bottle, dishes, and doing all the other household choses, I decided 2 weeks of a chip-free manicure may be worth it. It was! My nails were just as glossy and chip-free on day 14 as it was on day 1 and I even peeled 5 lbs of crawfish. The only thing you saw were the new nail growth below the polish. I took a pic of my day 14 so you can see it. I didn't think to take a day 1 pic of my first shellac manicure, so I took a pic of the day 1 of my 2nd shellac manicure. That's why you'll see 2 different colors on the pic.
The pros: high shine, lasts for 2 weeks, no chipping, completely dry when you leave the nail salon, great if you need your mani to last through a vacation
The cons: removal of the polish requires you to soak in nail polish remover for 10 minutes, longer process since you have to throughly dry after each coat

Of course I have to mention my little sweet pea. She got a beautiful hand knitted dress and bonnet from a good friend of mine. I can't believe she made this! Thank you Pat for the lovely dress. It's such a wonderful keepsake.


For Rachel!
Here is a little collage of my fav pics of Cora over the past 2 months.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy day. I'll try to post up daily logs and results often.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Me vs. The Pregnancy (and post pregnancy) Pounds

Cora at 6 weeks


It's been about 7 weeks since I had the baby and my its been a heck of a 7 weeks! After I gave birth to Cora, my body kind of freaked out on me. I had the horrible pregnancy rash called PUPPS that attacked most of my body. I had shingles. The icing on the cake was when I fell down a flight of icy stairs. My body was a wreck! Thank goodness, I still had my easy-going demeanor or I could have had one heck of a postpartum depression. So finally all of those ailments are behind me and now it's time to do some serious battle with the pregnancy pounds. During my pregnancy I gained 32 pounds. After I gave birth, I dropped about 20 of those pounds in 2 weeks! I figured I'd be back on track in no time and even packed away most of my maternity clothes... Well after a lot of late night feedings and sometimes the stress of keeping up with the baby, the house, and my health, I find myself doing some stress eating. I am back to gaining weight, but this time I don't have a baby in me. I'm having to unpack some of those maternity clothes. Yikes! Well enough is enough. I decided it's time to get back to the gym, watch my calories, and reactivate the Bodybugg. I hate being in clothing limbo (too big to get back into most of my normal clothes, but to small to really fit the maternity clothes). So let the battle begin! Tomorrow will be my first day back in the gym. I'll post my progress as I go along.

Wish me luck!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

And Baby Makes Three...

On Wednesday, January 19
Will and I welcomed our little bundle of joy....


Meeting the little one for the first time (yes, she was so alert!)...
It was love at first sight!


Our first night home.
Daddy bonding with his little girl :-)

One week old :-)

In the blink of an eye, our lives have changed, but we couldn't be happier!
Thank you for all the well wishes I have received.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Elephant In The Room


Last summer I watched Bethany Getting Married on Bravo. She was putting her nursery together and came across the adorable stuffed elephant. I totally fell in love with the elephant and decided that I needed one for my baby's room. After a little research on the elephant, my dreams were shattered when I found out that they cost $130 for one stuffed elephant! They also had a mini for $50. Seriously??? I mean they are cute and all, but $130?!?! I decided I needed a backup plan. I'll make my own if I have to! I did more research and found the perfect pattern from Retro Mama for a fab price of $8. I really love how my elephants turned out. So that's what inspired the elephant baby room. I know it's not the pink dolled up room some people expected me to have, but I love the earth tone I chose for her room.

I framed the sign-in sheet and a few of the cute elephant decorations created by my friends for my baby shower.

I found this great wall decal from Byrdie Graphics on Etsy. I love how this looks on the wall!
The crib sheet and crib skirt are Sprout from Serena & Lily and the Breathable Bumper is from Target.
My insomnia has gotten worse, so I sew in the middle of the night... Here are pics of the cute burp cloths I sewed for our little one.

Thanks for stopping by the blog! Time for me to catch some make-up zzzzz's. I hope everyone has a fab week!

~Hillary

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Baby Love


A few months ago, I asked my dear friend, Karen (a fab photographer), if she would do a maternity photo session for me. I really wanted to document this incredible time in my life and I knew she would do a beautiful job. As the days got closer to the photo session, I just didn't feel pretty. I was 34 weeks pregnant and I felt huge, clumsy, and frumpy. The thought of having my photo taken was just not appealing. Days before the shoot, Karen called to confirm the time and date of the session and I actually tried to cancel on her. I just wasn't feeling it. Thank goodness she knows me. She knew I would regret not doing these photos....and she was right. We kept the shoot simple. We went to a community garden right around the corner from my house and one outfit. I love how these turned out. Thank you Karen!
My maternity wear of the shoot:
  • Purple tank - Liz Lange for Target
  • Striped purple cropped jacket - Liz Lange for Target
  • Maternity Jean - JCP
  • (not pictured) Dr Scholl's gray flats (a great pair of shoes!) - DSW


Since this post is on my baby love, I decided to post this little video I shot of the baby moving the iPhone. Will always likes to feel the baby move, but of course almost every time he puts his hand on my tummy, she stops moving. I started putting an object on my belly so he can see her move.

video

Only 3 weeks to go! Overall, it's been a good pregnancy. Blood pressure is normal and I have gained a total of 33 lbs so far. I am hoping to make to the end under 40 lbs. I also plan on working till delivery day. I think my boss and co-workers are a little nervous about that, but I feel good and don't see a reason to stay home (other than to clean). I hope to blog again before the baby is born, but if you don't hear from me, you will once the little one makes her debut.

Have a happy, healthy, and fabulous day!
Hillary