Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

I’ve struggled over the past year to write more blog post. The main reason is because I was training for my first fitness competition and the other is because I felt that I wasn’t being who I really am. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE trying new healthy recipes but I also love a ooey gooey brownie every now and then.

So in order for me to be true to who I am I will be sharing a sweet balance of healthy and not so healthy recipes because after all this blog is not about following a “diet”. So what better recipe to start with then a chocolate cake that is infused with red wine. After all red wine is heart healthy. 🙂

 

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

I have to say that this cake is AMAZING! Besides the fact that it has red wine in it, it’s a very moist cake. I saw this recipe in a cookbook that I was browsing while waiting to check out…they seem to get me every time. The magazine included that the recipe was from the blog Pretty Simple Sweet so I pulled up the blog and searched for the recipe and found it, which saved me about $9.99. I’m notorious for buying a magazine and only wanting to make a few recipes.

 

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

The picture shown on Shiran’s blog shows a chocolate ganache frosting but she mentions just dusting the cake with powdered sugar. I opted for the powdered sugar so that I could save a little on the calories from the topping. I did try it with whip topping as well just to add a little something extra with it and it was great both ways. I seriously could have eaten the entire cake but I’ll take it to work and share the calories. 😉

 

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

If after Thanksgiving you have a little extra red wine left over then I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. Shiran recommended using dark brown sugar to moisten the cake and give it more flavor.

You can REALLY taste and smell the red wine in the recipe so if you want more of a chocolate taste add more cocoa powder. Just a word of precaution, the red wine does not bake out so this might not be the recipe to share with your kiddos.

Otherwise ENJOY!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (210 g/7.4 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (75 g/2.7 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/227 g) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g/8.8 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) brown sugar (preferably dark)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) dry red wine

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350F/180C degrees. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in (or fold by hand) the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with the wine in 2 additions (starting and ending with the flour). Do not overmix.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted (mine was ready in 40 mins) into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then turn it out and let it cool completely. Dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Store cake at room temperature in airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cake can be frozen for up to 2 months.

 Adapted from: Pretty Simple Sweet

 

 

Bikini Competition Journey

First Time Bikini Competitor

Hey!! Its been way too long since I’ve created a blog post but that will change. My goal is to start posting on a regular basis and really grow this blog.  But on another note this post is to share a little about my journey to compete in my first fitness competition. Competing was not something I saw someone do one day and just decide I wanted to do it. Its been something that I’ve been wanting to do for over 4 years and I’m finally glad I buckled down and was disciplined enough to follow through with it.

It was a tough 9 months to end up on stage but it was well worth it. There were plenty of mornings where I had to get up at 5:30AM to train and then be right back at the gym at 11:45AM for a lunch workout and then right back at the gym at 5:30PM. See the reason I was in the gym so much is because I had let myself go. I let life, being a mom and stress take over and I used that as an excuse and I didn’t make the best choices when it came to food. I seem to make time to exercise but even that wasn’t on a consistent basis. So on December 18, 2013 when I decided to make the change this is where I started…

Bikini Competitor Before Pictures

Over the next few weeks I’ll share with you the things that I learned from competing and at the end I’ll share my decision on whether or not I’ll compete again.

XO Selena

Furry Logic – A Guide to Life’s Little Challenges [Book Review]

Furry Logic Reviewby: Jane Seabrook

I was sent a copy of Furry Logic, 10th Anniversary Edition by Jane Seabrook to review. When I selected this book to review, from looking at the outside, I thought it would be a great book for Amiyah and I to read together. After I received the book and began reading through the pages, I realized that this book is not necessarily for kids. Honestly I think adults would get more out of this than kids. Some of the humor the kids might not understand.

Furry Logic - Ditchingdiets.com

This book brings a sense of humor to life’s little challenges. I’d recommend keeping this book at work if you’re having one of those days and you just need to add a smile to your face. It’s not a book filled with only cat pictures. It has an array of animals throughout the book to paint the picture of handling life’s challenges.

 

Here are a few of my favorites:

“Smile first thing in the morning. Get it over with.”

“If you can keep your head when all those around you are losing theirs –

it’s quite possible you haven’t grasped the situation.”

“Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.”

You need to pick up the book to get the full effect of the quotes listed above. This book is a very quick read and the illustrations to go along with each challenge are a perfect fit!Personally I think it would be great if these were included in a desk calendar or maybe screensavers for your computer.

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Until that happens you’ll just have to settle for the book. So go pick up a copy and I can guarantee you’ll be smiling and laughing from page one.

 

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More Info

Author Bio

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

As Seen On TV

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Finally, I purchased the Perfect Tortilla pan. I’ve been wanting to get it but wasn’t sure if I wanted to invest in it. I made a trip to Kroger and found it on sale along with the Natural Cut For Perfect Fries. Honestly, I really wanted the Perfect Fries cutter so that I could make sweet potato fries.

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Luckily, I only had to spend a few bucks to give them a try.

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I needed to make a burger recipe so I decided to give the Natural Cut Fries a try to go along with them. It had a warning over the blade stating that it was very sharp. Also, keep in mind sweet potatoes is one of the foods listed on the box. I put my sweet potato in the press and pushed down. Quickly I realized that it was going to take more then a light push…

I used every muscle in my upper body  to press the sweet potato fries through and…nada. Finally I put the press on the floor and used my ENTIRE body weight and….NADA. 🙁           I posted the above picture on Facebook and someone mentioned boiling the sweet potatoes before I used the press. It’s a little disappointing knowing that I have to do that before I’m able to make the fries but I’ll give it a try and see what happens.

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Next I moved on to an apple to see if it would go through and it easily went through. So if nothing else, I’ll use it to cut apples for Amiyah. It makes cutting them a little easier! 🙂

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After the disaster with the Natural Fries press I wasn’t too excited about trying the Perfect Tortilla pan. People posted on Facebook that, the tortilla pan worked great! Finally I decided to give it a try and I used it as a salad bowl. It was a SUCCESS!! I made a salad topped with salmon, strawberries, blueberries, pecans, feta and Zoe’s Kitchen salad dressing. YUM!! I really liked the crunch of the bowl. I’m excited to make other things with it.

Have you tried either of these? What was your experience with them?

XO Selena
“Let Go And Look Good”

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day

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Friday, July 12 2013 was “Cow Appreciation” Day at Chick-fil-A. I decided that Amiyah and I would dress up and join in on the festivities. She had been gone all week and returned Friday afternoon. When she came to the door I was dressed up in my cow outfit. At first she laughed and screamed jokingly. Then she looked a little hesitant to come in the house. She’s afraid of people dressed up in costumes (ie. the Chick-fil-A cow) and I think she thought someone else was dressed up behind me.

I told her I had her a costume and she got excited. I explained why we were dressing up and she got excited. We dressed and headed to enjoy our free meal. Amiyah got the chick nuggets meal and I got the Grilled Market Salad. It was AMAZING! The dressing packet was 230 calories so I only used a little bit.

IMG_20130713_093618I’ll definitely get this salad again. I loved combination of all the fruit. I’ll have to make my own version at home as well. I wish the salad dressing was a little healthier but I guess less is more! 🙂

Here are a few more pics…

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I made these white tights with patches but the Velcro kept falling off. I used a hot glue gun for the t-shirt but didn’t want to use it for the tights. We went with our black leggings.

000175We had a blast doing this and making these silly memories. I can wait until next year to do it again!

XO Selena
“Let Go And Look Good”

Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection Member

photo-4If you’ve noticed lately, I’ve been posting a few recipes from Cooking Light. As you can see from the picture above, I am one of the members of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.

I was excited when I was asked to be a member of their community. They have great recipes and not to mention they are good for you. For me it was a great opportunity to share even more amazing recipes with you.

Take a few minutes and check out all of the members of the Cooking Light Community. I’m sure you’ll find other great recipes!

XO Selena
“Let Go And Look Good”

New Nikon Camera

I have a new “toy”! I bought a Nikon camera on Black Friday…the good news is I didn’t have to camp outside or wake up at 5AM to get it. We actually didn’t get out of the bed until 10AM! Yes we were pooped from the night before and we needed that rest. I bought the camera from Best Buy. They had it online as well so if they didn’t have it in store, I had a back up plan! 🙂

I’ve been snapping away  & playing with the editing features ever since…I think Amiyah and the dogs are a little sick of me…

Amiyah & Pierre

I asked her to make a scary face…lol!

Amiyah and her new dog purse…Fefe!

So did you partake in the chaos of Black Friday? Did you get what you wanted?

XO Selena

“Let Go And Look Good”

First Day of School

My little stinker started her first day of kindergarten last Thursday. She has been looking forward to going back to school for weeks and was excited on Thursday morning. No tears were shed from her or me. I’m just thrilled that she’s loves school and I hope she continues to love it!

Friday is the only day that can wear whatever they choose. My little fashionista gets to show off her FUNKY style. It’s sad when a 5 year old has a better since of style then you do. I’m not afraid to admit it and I encourage her to express herself. She is unique and I won’t don’t want her to fit in a certain box. I admire her and wish I had her spunk!

I’m looking forward to this year with here. I can recall my elementary school days. One of my Kindergarten teachers was Mrs.Brigg’s. I still see her out and about. My family kept in contact with her. One of the things I remember about Elementary school was the school wide Halloween Party.
Do you recall your elementary days? Do you have a favorite moment?

This entry was posted in FUN.

Great Wolf Lodge Weekend

The family and I went to Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC this past week. The last time we went Amiyah was 2 going on 3 years old. She doesn’t remember the trip and now that she’s 5 going on 6 I thought it was the perfect age.

We arrived Friday around 1PM and checked in and changed and then heated to the slides. The good thing about her being 5 is that she was able to get on all the slides except 1. Which was the Tornado and I am GLAD she couldn’t because that scared me a little! 🙂

On the other hand my niece was a trooper. She got on every slide and had a BLAST! There were a few times she went on her own. Super proud of her and her fearlessness.

For dinner we went to my favorite restaurant T.G.I. Friday’s. I had there Strawberry Fields Salad w/Grilled Chicken. It had a balsamic dressing and it was really good. I took off the parmesan cheese…it was a little too much! I love the berry salads in the summer.

Of course my trip to T.G.I.Friday’s wouldn’t be complete without the YUMMY, 1000 calorie Brownie Obsession. The reason I know it’s about 1000 calories because it’s in my Eat This, Not That Book. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the Not That options…lol. 😉

Of course I had to wake up at 6AM and get in a 45 minute workout. I probably didn’t burn 1000 calories but I didn’t use me being on vacation as an excuse to sleep in and not workout.

After my workout, I showered and went to breakfast. I had a veggie egg white omelet and lots of fruit. I wanted to make sure I kept it super clean after my splurge the night before. Those french toast sticks sure did look yummy on the buffet but the key is to not over do it. Have a treat every now and then but then get back on track.

Overall we had a BLAST!! After breakfast Saturday, we changed and started the fun all over again! We did make a brief stop to Concord Mills Outlet Mall before we headed home.

QOD: What is your favorite thing to eat when you splurge?

Throwback Thursday Video!

Here is a video of Amiyah’s workout debut. We did this video back in September ’09 and she was 2 years old. I think its great to look back on old pictures and videos to see how far you’ve come. Sometimes it takes looking back to appreciate where you are now. As I continue my journey I’m learning to celebrate the small victories and be grateful for where I am now.

What about you? What are you proud of yourself for accomplishing thus far?

XO Selena

“Let Go And Look Good”

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