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The SkinnKnee on My Life & Fun with Pumpkin

26 Oct

Let me start off by saying, it has been wayyyyyy to long since I have posted and I must admit that a little thing called life got in the way…. in a good way! Over the last month I have been working like crazy to start my own company. So you can see why this blog took a back burner for a little bit. I decided to combine my love for weddings and events and branding businesses with my passion for design, to start a custom design studio specializing in wedding, event and business branding and custom stationary. The Bee’s Knees Custom Design is born, it just needs to mature a little, so I apologize in advance if my next post takes even longer. I am so excited about this new venture and it has been a trying, but exhilarating journey so far. The website should be up soon, fingers crossed, and I have a Facebook and twitter already so feel free to connect with me 🙂

Bees knees custom design

I will be sure to keep you updated on my newest venture and will have a detailed post in the future, but for now I know you all are anxious to know about how to have a little more fun with Pumpkin! Well it finally feels like Fall here in Texas and being a northern-native I could not be happier! I thought I would embrace the pumpkin season with a few tricks on how to use Pumpkin Spice Flavored Creamer, as I have found it is not just for coffee! When I first found this little gem at the grocery store I was so excited, but my husband and I can never finish a whole bottle of creamer (considering I prefer my coffee black) so I decided to get creative and come up with a few fun uses for it and so far they have all been delicious!

Fun with Pumpkin Spice Flavored Creamer

1. Oatmeal

Add it in with the water or milk you put in your dry oatmeal and microwave as usual. The creamer adds a delicious, little hint of Pumpkin Spice to your breakfast!

2. Ice Cream

Mix it into ice cream to give the ordinary vanilla bean a pumpkiny, fall, homemade flavor! Or add some milk and make a milkshake!

3. Yogurt

Mix a little (not too much or it will become watery) in with your vanilla yogurt to give it a pumpkin spice flavor! Not recommended with Greek yogurts.

4. Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Substitute a few tablespoons of milk for this Pumpkin Spice creamer and take your mashed sweet potatoes to a whole new level!

5. Baking

Substitute it for a few tablespoons of milk or oil to add a Pumpkin Spice flavor to muffins, cakes, cookies, you name it and you can give it the flavor of pumpkin!

A recent recipe featured on Dr. Oz was to take a box of Betty Crocker or any yellow, while cake mix and substitute all of the oil, milk etc. for 1 container of Chobani plain or vanilla greek yogurt. Add a few tablespoons of this pumpkin spice creamer to the mix and you have an instant pumpkin dessert!

6. Pumpkin Spice Glaze

We all know (or your will now) how to make a sugar glaze: heat water to a boil and stir in confectioners sugar until you get a glaze-like texture, well why not add a little pumpkin creamer during the stirring…and you have an instant pumpkin glaze!

I just keep finding more uses for this creamer and it doesn’t stop at pumpkin, if you have a favorite creamer flavor feel free to do all of the above with it! Its a great way to get a lot of great recipes out of one product. Have any other ideas on how to use it? I would love to hear them!

Happy Pumpkin Cooking!


The SkinnKnee on Diet Soda

28 Sep

Diet Coke is was one of my favorite non-alcoholic beverages. I always knew it wasn’t the best for me (even though it does call itself “diet”), but I loved having it with lunch or a mid-day pick me up at work. I knew I had to kick my diet soda habit and I finally did after reading an article my husband forwarded me on Yahoo Health. You might just be surprised how bad it really is for you.

diet soda addict

1. Diet soda might be bad for your kidneys. “In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day.”

2. “According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease.”

3. Diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight after all. “A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, and you crave more.”

4. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster,according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. That’s because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.” – I can’t totally say I gave it up for this reason 🙂

5. Diet sodas contain preservatives that regular sodas don’t. The preservatives sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate are in nearly all diet sodas. These preservatives have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it. They also can cause hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions as well as mild irritation to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

6. “With a pH of 3.2, diet soda is very acidic. (As a point of reference, the pH of battery acid is 1. Water is 7.) The acid is what readily dissolves enamel, and just because a soda is diet doesn’t make it acid-light. Adults who drink three or more sodas a day have worse dental health.”

7. “Diet or not, soft drink cans are coated with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol. A (BPA), which has been linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems. That’s a lot of risktaking for one can of soda.

Now that you have the SkinnKnee on Diet Soda try mixing it up with a few of my favorite new beverages!

fruit waters

– Water or Sparkling water infused with: fresh lemon, lime squeezed, fresh cut cucumber (Spa water :)), grapefruit slices, chunked pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, mint and much more!

– Water infused with frozen fresh fruit (Dole Mixed Frozen Fruit is perfect for this!) I like to add mint too!

– Unsweetened Iced Tea or Green Tea

Happy sipping loves!

SkinnKnee Buffalo Chicken Dip

11 Sep

Football season is here, and ladies you know what that means on Sundays lots of beer, sweaty men, junk food and big screen TVs ruling your household. You already have to sacrifice your Sunday TV show (I myself am obsessed with E!’s Married to Jonas), but you don’t have to sacrifice your waistline! This “SkinnKnee” Buffalo Chicken Dip is a delicious game day appetizer that is so tasty your men will never know that its actually healthy…so shhhh! Game On!

skinnknee buffalo chicken dip

Serves about 8

What you need:

1 13oz. can of Premium Chunk Chicken Breast

1/2 cup of Fat Free or Light Sour Cream

1/2 8oz. Block of Fat Free or 1/3rd Fat Cream Cheese

4 Laughing Cow Cheese Triangles

1 cup Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Thick Sauce

Pinch of Pepper

Pinch of Salt

What you do:

Mix all ingredients together in medium size pyrex or oven safe casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until sides start to get brown.

how to make healthy buffalo chicken dipServe with Reduced Fat Wheat Thins, celery sticks, multicolored peppers or carrots!

Download the recipe card here!

Enjoy you SkinnKnee betch (oh and you big, sweaty football men too! ;))

healthy buffalo chicken dip

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt: A Culinary Canvas

24 Aug
vanilla frozen yogurt

Edy’s makes our favorite Vanilla!

I don’t know about you, but in our house dessert is a must have after every meal, even if its just one M & M, we just have to have a little something sweet to seal the deal meal. One of our favorite desserts is a healthier version of ice cream, frozen yogurt! Some of you might cringe at the word dessert, but frozen yogurt is a healthy option to satisfy your sweet tooth. Frozen yogurt offers benefits and can be part of a well-balanced diet. Most frozen yogurts are fat free, are full of active culture probiotics (some which help maintain a healthy digestive tract) and are packed with much-needed calcium! What’s not to LOVE?!

Lots of times after dinner my hubby and I would hop in the car and make the trip to a frozen yogurt bar like Yumilicious and Pinkberry (two of our favorites!); however, we just got tired of driving and started buying our own frozen yogurt at the grocery store. This is when we discovered that Vanilla Frozen Yogurt is what I like to call, “a culinary canvas!” It is delicious on its own but 10x more delicious with an endless amount of toppings and added flavors that we already have in the pantry! I have listed a few of our amazing combos below! So get creative with your food and go on have your dessert and eat it too 🙂

Our Vanilla Frozen Yogurt Faves!

1. Mint ChocHomemade mint chocolate chip frozen yogurtolate Chip Yogurt – mix in a little mint extract and add some chocolate chips 🙂 and walah you have a new flavor to savor! P.S. You can always add green food coloring if (like me) it freaks you out to eat white mint chocolate chip ice cream.

2. Frozen Cereal Bowl – add your favorite cereals, we love Captain Crunch, its like eating your morning breakfast as a frozen treat!

3. Get Nutty – add some mixed nuts, almonds or even a scoop of peanut butter for a healthy punch of flavor.frozen yogurt toppings

4. Milk and Cookies – crush up some of your favorite cookies and add a splash of milk for more of a milkshake consistency (this is my hubby’s fav).

5. Fun with Fruit – any fruit you have in the fridge or freezer goes great with vanilla frozen yogurt (we always have Frozen Dole Mixed Fruit from Sam’s Club on hand), throw in some granola for another healthy addition!

6. Hot Chocolate Mix…wait what?! – stir in some powdered hot chocolate mix to yogurt to give it a chocolatey flavor, what girl doesn’t LOVE chocolate!?

7. Power Hour – make a protein milkshake! mix protein powder with milk water (use water instead of milk to cut calories without cutting taste, you will be surprised how good it is) and blend with frozen yogurt.

Now that you know our favorite toppings, what do you use to take your Vanilla frozen yogurt from drab to fab?!

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