Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Frozen Yogurt!!!

I tore the following recipe out of the most recent issue of "Cooking Light" magazine.  It's really tasty, and has much less fat and fewer calories than ice cream!!!

No-Cook Fro-Yo

Combine 2 cups 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt and 3 tablespoons honey in a bowl.  Scrape seeds from half a vanilla bean (I used 2 teaspoons vanilla extract); add seeds to yogurt mixture.  

Pour mixture into a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag.  Lay bag flat, spreading mixture into an even layer and pressing to eliminate air pockets.  Seal tightly; lay flat in freezer.  

Freeze 2 to 3 hours or until almost firm.  Break mixture into small pieces, and place in the bowl of a food processor (I placed pieces in a bowl and used a hand mixer); add 2 tablespoons Half-and-Half.  

Process until very smooth.  Pour mixture into an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan; cover surface with plastic wrap.  Freeze 1 to 2 hours or until firm but scoopable.  Serve immediately.   

Serves 4 (serving size 1/2 cup).

133 calories
3 grams fat
10 grams protein

The first batch I made was raspberry/rhubarb (I folded in 1 cup of raspberries and 1 cup of frozen rhubarb).

The second batch was raspberry ripple (I folded in 1 cup raspberry preserves, thinned with a little water, and 1 cup fresh raspberries).

The next batch is going to be blueberry lemon (I'm going to fold in 1 cup blueberry preserves with lemon, thinned with a little water, and 1 cup fresh blueberries).

Here's hoping YOU found a healthy alternative to something YOU love too!!!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Amy's Wedding!!!

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of traveling to Sheboygan, Wisconsin to participate in the wedding of my dear friend Amy, and her fiance Daniel.  It was a SUPER fun weekend, and, as usual, we packed a TON of stuff into a very short time!

It started with the LONG drive from the cities early Thursday morning.  My sister and her family and Duane and I "caravan-ed" across Wisconsin, stopping for lunch in Mauston (go Roman Castle Restaurant)!

After getting separated by "questionable" directions, Duane and I arrived in Sheboygan about an hour ahead of Robin and crew (they actually stopped at an antique mall, or would have beaten us there).  We arrived at the Sheboygan Americinn to find that there was a mixup with our confirmed reservations.  Funny story...the bride and her sister had come to check on their mom's room reservation earlier that afternoon, and, upon hearing that there were THREE rooms reserved, cancelled two of them...not realizing they were the rooms for Robin and her family, and Duane and me.

Luckily, there were still rooms available, and we were even able to get the "wedding rate" on them.  Except for the added annoyance that the hotel ended up reserving the rooms for us for only ONE NIGHT, we were able to get that fixed too, and the rest of our time there was EXCELLENT.  Oy!!!

Amy met us at the hotel soon after Robin, Davey, and the girls arrived, and we chatted for awhile.  We also finally got to meet the groom!  Robin and the girls had met him at the bridal shower in May, but Davey, Duane, and I hadn't.  It's ODD to go to a wedding for a good friend, and NOT know the groom at all.  Daniel, however, was delightful (he HAD TO BE for Amy to get engaged to him), and we had a great time getting to know him over dinner at Cucina.

I had to DASH right after dinner to rehearse the music for the wedding.  I met the pianist (literally) at the church, and also met the drummer and guitar player who would be accompanying me.  They were great!  I'd never heard either of the songs that Amy and Daniel picked, but ended up really liking them!  Here are Youtube versions of each...

"Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts...

"Never Alone" by Matt Redman

Rehearsal went well, and after about an hour of working through the arrangements, I dashed out to meet Robin and family and Duane at Kohler-Andrae State Park for a little beach and lake time at sunset.  Due to bad directions (a theme for much of the early part of the weekend), and a wrong turn, I missed the sunset, and by the time I found them along the beach, they were ready to leave.
Even so, I DID get to walk on the sand and look at the water for approximately 17 minutes!

A long first day, but it was GREAT to see Amy again, to meet Daniel, to eat at Cucina, shop the shops of Kohler (before dinner), and spend time with my family!

On Friday, Robin and family had to be at the church early to get things ready for the wedding.  Duane and I weren't on "the schedule" until 1:00, so had the morning to look around Sheboygan.  I've been there several times, but this was Duane's first trip, so it was fun to show him the sights.  We started with a "grocery store tour" of the city (don't judge...we like grocery stores...), with stops at the Piggly Wiggly (where I found my DIFFICULT TO FIND favorite coffee for a really good price)...

...and Pick N Save (where I found MORE of my DIFFICULT TO FIND favorite coffee)...

...then went to the pier.  We walked out to the lighthouse, walked along the waterfront, crossed over to the Blue Harbor Resort grounds, then had lunch at the Duke of Devon Pub.

The afternoon was spent getting the church and fellowship hall ready for the wedding and reception.  It took a LONG TIME, but the place looks AMAZING when we were finished.  Lots of "creative types", and some really good planing by my sister and a couple of Amy's friends!  Bravo!!!

The rehearsal took place Friday night.  It went well.  I really liked the pastor.  She was very calm, and funny, and make everyone feel comfortable.

After rehearsal we all went to El Camino Mexican Restaurant for dinner.  It was very tasty, and it was fun to get to know members of the wedding party and Amy's and Daniel's families a little better.

Saturday came BRIGHT AND EARLY, and the wedding was beautiful.  It went off without a hitch, and I didn't choke on ANY of the notes in my songs (it's DIFFICULT to crank out "high F's" during a morning wedding, and OF COURSE I a GIANT hairball formed in my throat just before the ceremony...ugh!).  Amy looked FABULOUS, and it was so great to see her so happy!  The church was PACKED, and it was equally wonderful to see how much everyone there loved Amy and Daniel!

After the wedding, and the whole "what goes up must come down" cleaning/putting away session, we went back to the hotel to change, and, not being the types to just "sit around", drove to Manotowac to explore a couple of antique malls.  I've never been in an antique place so STUFFED with was a little claustrophobic!  We were EXHAUSTED, but managed to work our way through them both.

We then headed back to Sheboygan, had really good pizza at Il Ritrovo Pizza...

...then headed back to the Blue Harbor Resort grounds to find a good spot to watch the fireworks for the 4th of July.  We found a suitable place to sit, and REALLY enjoyed the wonderful display!  They do fireworks RIGHT in Sheboygan!!!

Sunday, Duane and I took one last walk out to the lighthouse...

...then met Robin and Dave and the girls at The Black Pig for brunch.  I had an AMAZING spicy eggs benedict with prosciutto...TASTY!!!!

After brunch, we said goodbye to Sheboygan, and headed back to the cities.

Except for that final journey, filled with traffic jams (due to accidents), and more traffic jams (due to...whatever), and alternate routes through the back roads of Wisconsin, it was a lovely weekend.   Even the AWFULNESS of that, however, can't take away the FUN and HAPPINESS of a REALLY GREAT trip!!!!

Here's hoping YOU were able to celebrate something wonderful recently too!!!