Lowfat Kumquat Brownies

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

In my house, we love fruit. And in my baking, I love to sneak it into my goodies. And the family always loves it! You can never go wrong with hidden vitamins in pastries and baked goods! I realize I’m shouting, but this is exciting!

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

My favorite substitution is applesauce in cake mix.

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky SharkQW

But we’ve had an abundance of kumquats at our house this season. So crazy me decided to throw those into some baked goods too! Brownies in particular.

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

And after pureeing these sweetly bitter citrus fruits into pulp, I discovered they were a perfect consistency to use as an applesauce substitute for the oil in my brownie mix!

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

My husband said these were the best brownies he’s tasted. Something about combining citrus and chocolate is just perfect. And they were so moist with a deliciously fudgy consistency.

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Okay, so I threw away the package to this brownie mix and I have no idea what the ingredients were or the bake time, but just follow along the package directions of your brownie mix of choice (we used Betty Crocker), skip the oil and add 1 cup of pureed kumquats (seeds removed) instead. You’ll still use the eggs and water that is called for on the package. Follow the baking directions as noted and viola!

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

That’s really all there is to these citrus spiked brownies. And a generous dusting of powdered sugar, of course!

What is your favorite fruit to throw into your baked goods?

You may also enjoy Vegan Carrot Raisin Cookies

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

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I find myself on the breakfast fence often. Do I want to hop over the sweet or savory side of the fence? I mean, one can never really go wrong with savory. Like Pumpkin Spinach Quiche or Sun Dried Tomato French Toast Sandwich.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

But some days those sweet taste buds on the tip of my tongue (or all over if you want to argue with scientific myths), tell me they want something ooey, gooey and full of sticky sweetness. On those days I turn to Spiced and Iced Pumpkin Monkey Bread or these No Rise Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls. This guilty breakfast was inspired by Lori Lange from Recipe Girl. But of course, I had to add caramel to this delight! And the fact that I smothered it in Caramel Cream Cheese Icing only added more to the guilt.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Would you like to feel a little naughty in the kitchen this morning? Join me in following these simple steps. And the best part is-you don’t have to wait around for your dough to rise.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:
Apple Filling
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
1 Tb butter
1 Tb granulated white sugar
1 Tb brown sugar

Caramel Cinnamon Filling
4 Tb butter, very soft
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tb Smuckers Fat Free Caramel Topping

Cinnamon Roll Dough
2 cups Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour, plus 1/2 cup for kneading
2 Tb granulated white sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tb butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup Daisy Light Sour Cream
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg

Caramel Cream Cheese Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tb cream cheese
3 Tb butter
1 Tb Smuckers Fat Free Caramel Topping

First chop up two peeled apples and mix them with the butter and sugars in a medium skillet….

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Blessings Beyond the Pink Line

Life is raw. Life is bold.

Life is scary. Life is miraculous.

Life is empty. Life is full.

Life is…full of blessings.

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I’ll never forget that day two years ago, sitting with my husband in the oncology department waiting for the dreaded words from the doctor, “You have cancer.” Holding his hand and talking it out, knowing God is watching over us and whatever path He is taking us on has a purpose. “It’s cancer, a rare form. It’s called Subcutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma, a cancer of the skin…and it’s treatable.” Those words, those very words, I never knew would lead us down the path that takes us to today and the blessings of the life we are continuing to build.

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Within that same month of March 2012, we also got hit with some more news. I remember driving to my sons’ after school care at the YMCA, on my way to pick up my 5 year-old Jesse from yet another “incident”, this time his impulsive behavior going just too far and being officially expelled from daycare.

Since October of 2011 Jesse had been diagnosed with ADHD, after being sent to the principal’s office in Kindergarten 3 times in the first week of school. He had been started on ADHD medicine shorty after that, because his focus and impulsive behaviors needed to be put in check. A few months went by and he still continued to struggle. Math was just a bunch of jumbled numbers, words made no sense, and sitting in a classroom was like sitting in a crowded hall with music blaring.

Reading the teacher’s evaluation, that something still “was not right” about Jesse, had both Johnny and I in denial. But we knew, from the pit our hearts, that something was in fact wrong. “Jesse just sits and rocks back and forth.” “Jesse doesn’t focus; he just looks off as if he daydreaming.” “Jesse doesn’t play with the other kids; he just shows them HIS things, and they look at him funny.”

“Jesse has Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Those were the doctor’s words after having Jesse evaluated after concern from the school, and questions in our minds. Had his Kindergarten teacher not been his first advocate, we may have struggled endlessly with him.

March 2012, the month that changed our lives. That day, driving to my sons’ after school care at the YMCA, God told my childhood friend Stacy to call me. She needs you, He told her. The same moment I was picking up Jesse from daycare for the last time. The waterworks came out and I cried to my friend until I was spent. My husband has cancer. My baby has ADHD and now may possibly have autism. How can I keep my family together when I can’t keep myself together?

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Because the entire time, God had our back. And we were facing this new trial for a reason. We went on to have Jesse tested further, throughout the next year he went through testings and state program evaluations. We found a new church and fell in love. We found daycares accepting of autistic children. We found our old private Christian school for preschool and 4th grade for our other boys. We found Him again. God was always working in our lives.

My husband went through 3 and then 6 month treatments of local steroid injections. Each time his CTs coming up clear, his blood work free of cancer.

And Jesse continued on trial runs of ADHD medication, Special Day Classes and Summer School and my husband and I always being his advocate. He improved immensely in school. His grades picked up. He was READING! He was getting the help he needed with the public school system.

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And through this all, I wanted another baby. We had our 8 year-old, our 6 year-old and our 2 year-old. My husband was scared. Scared he would pass his cancer on to the child. Scared the next child would be born with autism. Scared I would have a hard pregnancy, as our last son was born 5 1/2 weeks premature due to a water leak.

In my heart I felt it was still there, but in respect for my husband, I let it go.

I continued to live each day strong, being there for my family and my babies. Working full time, exercising for health, squeezing in doctor appointments, going to my husband’s doctor appointments, holding his hand with each one.

And we continued seeking support for our autistic son. And just as we began the process for ABA therapy for Jesse, just before Christmas of 2013, my husband found a lump…

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Will You Be My Valentine? Guilt Free Red Velvet Cupcakes and a Giveaway

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Valentine’s Day is all about sweets and sweethearts. Candies in cards for your kids, candies in boxes for your honey, candies at work just because (just me?), special Valentine’s breakfasts (like this one by Chris Freytag). And cupcakes for your children’s class parties.

Guilt Free Red Velvet Cupcakes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

I made these Red Velvet Cupcakes with inspiration from Chris Freytag’s Choose This! Cookbook and her Yes You Can Cupcakes. My family fell in love. I had red velvet cupcake crumbs for days on my kitchen table, kitchen floor and all of the kitchen chairs. These are that moist! And you wouldn’t guess they were only 120 calories and have just 3 grams of fat.

Guilt Free Red Velvet Cupcakes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

I even brought some extra to my workplace after baking for my son’s homeschool Valentine party. They were impressed at how low calorie these were (and cute too!). I love how the top of these resembles a donut-a little twist I added for holiday flair. In fact, I love it so much I think…

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Rosemary Lemon Chicken Burgers with Cranberry Sauce and Garlic Aioli

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Rosemary Lemon Chicken Burgers with Cranberry Sauce and Garlic Aioli-my that’s a mouthful. Actually this burger is a mouthful. Literally exploding with a feast of flavor combinations that will please your palette.

In my midst of cravings of citrus I just had to find a creative way to add it to my burger. And that I did. These juicy chicken patties filled with tangy lemon and woody rosemary were devoured quickly my entire clan. Topped with a flavorful garlic and lemon aioli-just a fancy way of saying mayonnaise spread-and tartly sweet cranberry sauce, this burger was a feast to enjoy.

Rosemary Lemon Chicken Burgers with Cranberry Sauce and Garlic Aioli | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Care to try it yourself? Get cooking cuz these couldn’t be simpler.
For the simplest, most flavorful burger that takes like a complete chicken dinner, follow these easy directions.

Rosemary Lemon Chicken Burgers with Cranberry Sauce and Garlic Aioli
Ingredients:
1 3/4 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup Best Foods Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1/4 cup ground flax
Juice of half lemon
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp rosemary
3/4 tsp thyme

1/2 cup Best Foods Olive Oil Mayonnaise
Juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove, pressed

1 can cranberry sauce with whole berries

Combine the ground chicken and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined….

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Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing

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At some point in the past month I became sucked into a matrimony with citrus fruits. And basically all things bursting with flavor and herbed freshness. One evening in my search for a shrimp and white bean concoction, I came across this simple recipe by Cooking Light. This salad looked over the top delicious! But of course, I added some of my own flair and zing to the shrimp mixture itself.

Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

As leftovers, this was every bit as amazing as the first time.

Such a perfect lunch the very next day…(just store and reheat the shrimp mixture separately.)

Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

And this takes just about 20 minutes to throw together on a busy day.

And I bet you may just have some of most of these ingredients. Don’t like shrimp? Use chicken! Don’t want spinach? Use endive or extra romaine!

Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing

Ingredients:
5 Tb Best Foods Olive Oil Mayonnaise
4 Tb Daisy Light Sour Cream
Juice of half lemon
1 tsp dill weed
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper

1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tb canola oil
3 gloves garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Juice of half lemon

8 cups Spinach
1 cup carrots, julienned
12 leaves romaine lettuce
1 avocado, sliced
4 lemon wedges

All you do is throw a few things together, cook a little bit, stir a bit of this and squeeze a bit of that…and you have a flavorful, tangy, crisp fresh salad full of lean protein and Vitamin C.

Can’t beat that!

First mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside.

Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Saute the garlic in the oil for a minute, then add the shrimp and seasonings. Add the beans and lemon juice and heat through until slightly thickened.

Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Remove from heat and set aside.

Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Plate the lettuce, spinach and carrots and avocado slices onto 4 serving plates. Drizzle with dressing and top with shrimp and white bean mixture. Garnish with a lemon wedge for squeezing, of course.

That’s all there is to it!

Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Recipe derived from Cooking Light

Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 694 calories

Fat 21 g

Carbs 87 g

Protein 46 g

4


Tangy Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Dill Dressing

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®:

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Dressing

  • 5 Tb Best Foods Olive Oil Mayonnaise
  • 4 Tb Daisy Light Sour Cream
  • Juice of half lemon
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • For the Shrimp and Bean Mixture

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tb canola oil
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Juice of half lemon
  • For the Salad

  • 8 cups Spinach
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 12 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. Combine the dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and garlic. Cook for one minute.
  3. Add the shrimp and seasonings and cook until shrimp is pink.
  4. Add the beans and lemon juice and heat through until slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Divide salad ingredients among 4 plates.
  6. Drizzle with dressing and top with shrimp and bean mixture.
  7. Garnish with a lemon wedge for squeezing. Serve immediately.

Game Day Appetizers

Game Day Appetizers | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

This Super Bowl Sunday, I’ll have to be honest, I have absolutely nothing planned except a bit of shopping and then going over homeschool studies with my 9 year old, while yes, watching the big game. I haven’t thought much about any snacks. Just dinner. I do plan to make some juicy grilled steaks tonight.

But perhaps you want to fill the coffee table buffet with plenty of grub, so here are some ideas for today.

Game Day Appetizers | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

And did you hear we are due for another 6 weeks of Winter? Phil saw his shadow today. Good ol’ Groundhog Day.

So here are today Superbowl Sunday suggestions:

I have a few good for you appetizers…

Baba Ganoush (Classic Eggplant Dip)

Baked Taro Chips

Puffed Spinach Poppers with Cheese

Lowfat Caramel Cheesecake Dip for Apples, Fruit and Crackers

And a few that are extremely full of flavor…

Buffalo Hot Wing Popcorn

Hot Cheesy Spinach Dip with Bacon

Game Day Buffalo Fried Chicken Livers

Turkey Bruschetta Sliders

Whole Wheat Deep Fried Artichokes with Tarragon Dipping Sauce

Inside Out Jalapeno Poppers

Have an eventful Superbowl Sunday!

And don’t forget to comment below what your favorite Superbowl commercial was!