Thursday, May 29, 2014

Weighty Thoughts. Rely on a Higher Power...even for this.

We all have those days when all our demons come out at once and want to unleash hell on our defenses. Some of us have week and months of those days.  It isn't just about food. It is about everything in life. There are voices that tell you that you will never succeed. They tell you what you failed at in the past. They tell you that you're not worthy of anything more than what you are.  I am here to tell you that the voices that tell you that you are "less than" are not the voices that want anything for you but misery. They want you to be miserable because they are miserable. They don't want you to ever reach your highest potential...because they never reached theirs.

Kiss me for saying this. Nobody ever got to a happy ending without going through hell first. If they did, there isn't much of a story to be told. Speaking from ongoing personal experience, listen to the people who believe in you. Listen to the people who see you as a fighter. You'll have bad days. We all have them. Allow yourself to feel pain, but don't let it take over your life. How? How do you not let it take over? When you're in pain how can you see out of it? 

 The only answer I've ever found worth sharing, is God. First rule of over-eaters anonymous: Thou shalt not fool thyself.  Food addiction is real. It is as real as alcohol addiction or drug addiction...but I don't need anything special to pick up a twinkie at the corner market (or 10...). Why is it okay to rely on God for help with a new job or to get us through a death in the family and not rely on Him for something deep and personal like addiction? Part of me says, "I can handle this. I don't need to bother Him about this trivial stuff."  The thing is...if it is a struggle, then it isn't trivial. It matters.  You matter. You and I both need to reach down into our guts and realize that though this addiction is big...God is bigger. I never have felt guilty turning to God for support or comfort. Is the battle going to be easy? Nope. Is it going to be worth it? Daggumit...Yes! Keep moving. Onward and upward darlings!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

196 Calorie Roasted Veggie Lean Turkey Chili

We started a 7 day clean eating challenge this week and one of my favorite recipes for making ahead is this chili. It is lean, full of veggies and it keeps my beautiful belly full for a long time.  Beautiful belly is, by the way, what I call this middle-section of mine. Or "Middle-Girth" for all you "Lord of the Rings" fans... After a couple months of belly dancing with my mom {No chance I'm ever dancing in public this way but...}, I figured out that this body and belly is not something I want to ever talk badly about. I've embraced my belly.  I'm not saying not to improve...I am saying to love your shape and enjoy the journey. If you hate your body, there's not a diet in the world that will cure it.  That is something you can take to the bank.  You can always be striving for good health, but self-hate is a disease that is only cured in the heart. Cure how you feel about yourself, and you'll have the power to win.  

That being said,  I eat this chili with a cup of chopped plum tomato and a cup of fine shredded cabbage and a drizzle of lime juice. Let me know what you think! Seriously. Veggies are amazing! So is your belly!
Chef Tess Roasted Veggie Lean Turkey Chili

List of Ingredients
2 cups black beans (canned okay, rinsed and drained without salt)
2 cup Celery, raw, diced
1/4 cup Onions, dehydrated flakes
6 oz Turkey Smoked Sausage, diced or crumbled
28 oz Tomato puree, without salt added
7 oz green chile peppers, diced, roasted  (canned okay)
1 cup Leeks, (bulb and lower leaf-portion), raw, sliced thin
3 oz Carrots, about 1 cup, shredded

3T chili powder, (hot or mild)

Instructions for PreparationPut all ingredients in a crock pot. Simmer 2-3 hours high. OR pressure cooker high 5 minutes. Natural release. Yield 11 cups prepared chili. 1 1/2 cup serving.

There you go!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our Next Free Challenge Group!

Challenge Starts Tuesday May 27th. Here’s what’s included:
  • - A flexible Meal plan based on Clean Eating / Whole food principles 
  • - Grocery List 
  • - Private Facebook Support Group 
  • - Videos teaching you the Clean Eating principles and tips for fitting it into a busy lifestyle 
  • - Free Coaching from Profession TV Chef and cookbook author Chef Tess Bakeresse with support from her fitness coach Star Diamond Coach Christina Wheeler 

What’s required of you:

  • - Follow the plan as best you can (menu will be given only to those who join the group).
  • - Have an open mind and be willing to try new things.
  • - Be positive & encouraging of others in the group.
  • - Make a quick daily check-in to the Facebook Group. 
  • - Share your results with Stephanie Petersen on facebook.

YOU MUST follow these steps to get a spot:

1) Send me a friend request: and ask to join the group. I can't add you unless we're friends.
2) Fill out a FREE membership form here: (The membership is free and it helps me keep better contact with everyone and is required in order to join).
Team Beachbody - TBBSignup

For extra accountability Invite any friends/family you think would be interested! 

I know you can do this!

There you go! Let me know if you want in on this! We have so much fun with these groups and it is a great way to kick-start your goals!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Friday, May 16, 2014

Weighty Thought...Where do you workout?

Short funny thought to keep us all remembering how many calories can be burned by laughing.


Always My Very best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Creamy Garlic Tomato Veggie Toast with Big Dill Green Bean Salad

Lunch is always a challenge for me. So is dinner. Who am I kidding...making time to eat real food is always a challenge when you're running like crazy. This is a quick and easy meal that is perfect for summer. Usually when I get home from the bakery, the last thing I want to do is cook...or bake.    I make this meal a lot, because it just takes a few minutes and it tastes awesome! Over half the fiber I need for the day is in this one meal as well as a low fat option for eating well! You'll love it!

Creamy Garlic Tomato Veggie Toast
2 slices reduced calorie whole grain bread, toasted
2T fat free cream cheese
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1/2 tsp Romantic Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh grated carrot
slices of fresh onion if desired
Directions: Toast your bread. Combine the cream cheese, garlic and Italian seasoning. Spread 1T of spread on each piece of toast.  Top with 1/4 cup fresh sliced tomato per slice of bread. Sprinkle with grated carrot. 

Big Dill Green Bean Salad
1 1/2 cup green beans, frozen, defrosted
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp Chef Tess Big Dill Seasoning
fresh cracked pepper

Mix all together. Serve with Toast. 

This Meal:

per serving
makes 1 servings
Amount per serving
Calories from fat28
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1.1g6%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 511mg21%
Carbohydrate 47.5g
Dietary Fiber 13.7g55%
Protein 16.3g
Percent values are based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Your daily values may differ.
Additional Information
9.9% of calories from Fat
67.1% from Carbohydrates
23% from Protein
This was made using Recipe Calc Software©

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

220 Calorie Awesome Alfredo with Veggies

In case you missed it on facebook, we're having another weight loss challenge group. Today is day 4 of a free 14 day challenge and then we'll go from there...but this is one of the recipes that I made today and it is just awesome! The stats are great too! 

This will make 4 servings {about 1 1/2 cups each}
220 calories, 8 g fat, 31g chol, 210g sodium, 26.8 carbs, 6 g fiber, 10 g protein.

 Ace ate the whole pan...minus my serving, and I didn't even argue. It is a much healthier choice than most of the Alfredo recipes I've seen.  The secret is adding the vegetables to replace part of the pasta, using low fat cream cheese as part of the sauce, and dancing while you cook. Boom-vaaaa-vaaa-booom! I use a lot of garlic, but that will really boost the flavor factor! 
Chef Tess' 220 Calorie Alfredo with Veggies
1 tablespoon butter {herb infused is awesome!} 
6 clove garlic, minced fine
 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 
1 cup low-fat (2%) milk 
2 tablespoons Neufchtel or low-fat cream cheese 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
4 oz (dry weight) fettuccine noodles or your favorite egg noodles (weight on this matters for calorie count)
8 oz green beans, fresh or frozen
1 cup carrots, julienne cut Freshly ground pepper

Directions: Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon,1 minute. Whisk in the milk
and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine, carrots and green beans cook until al dente, 8-10 to. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with Parmesan and pepper.
Yields 4 servings:
220 calories, 8 g fat, 31g chol, 210g sodium, 26.8 carbs, 6 g fiber, 10 g protein
Always My Very Best, 
Your Friend Chef Tess

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Replace Bad Habits. Smoothie of Glory!

Here's something that has been helping me a ton! First of all, no guilt. I just have stopped doing things that make my conscience go crazy when it comes to food. For instance, I love diet soda, but I don't like the way I feel after having it for breakfast instead of...breakfast.  So, I've replaced that bad habit with something awesome. This smoothie tastes like a strawberry vanilla chocolate ice cream. Adding chia seed and vanilla to the already super-remarkable shakeology (available Here) gives me what I need to keep going for hours! 

There you go! Keep rocking this! 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Weight Loss Tip: Use Green Beans Instead of Noodles!

Here's an idea that works to keep me feeling full and eating a lot more fiber. I use green beans instead of noodles when I have homemade pasta sauce.  Tonight we made a really simple sauce with lean turkey sausage, lots of onion, carrot, stewed tomato and fresh herbs. Bonus...having this succulent sauce over green beans. I always crave great sauce and aren't the noodles just a lot more calories? For people going gluten-free or grain free, this is a really simple way to get a filling meal and still kick it up with the flavor!

Simple tip of the day. There you go!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

6 Grain Salad with Peaches

Summer vacation starts in 2 weeks for my kids ( insert strained grin from Chef Tess).  I don't know about you, but I'm seriously not ready! I always think I'm okay and then I realize that my kids will be here eating all day! All. Day. I have a teenage boy (yes, I know I look too young to have teenager...thank you) and a second boy right on his heels and I really want this summer to be one full of happy healthy choices.  Now, it is easy to just load the cupboards with bags of chips and junk.  Being a responsible parent is overrated ...totally amazing!  We started a 14 day weight loss challenge here  at my house this week.  One, because mom needs to stay motivated. Two, because my boys need me to stay motivated. Three, because there's something about having my family on board with eating right that is incredibly awesome and motivating!  How many times did I mention motivation? My kids have been my best motivator for years! 
Summer is about getting out and getting active!  Part of that has been getting out in the evening for family walks and getting up early for some aerobics.   Don't worry. I'm not a Drill Sargent-mom. We just keep it fun. Basketball always seems to be a winner. Do what you love.  Love it the ultimate motivation darlings!  The other part of good health is eating right. We're having a lot of healthy salad including whole grain, lean protein and as a chef, there has to be a lot of flavor!  I've been keeping this 6 grain chicken salad on hand and mixing up the flavors depending on the mood I'm in.  

 The benefit of all the  whole grain is that it will help regulate blood sugar levels (especially if cooked whole), is cholesterol free, and is great for the heart.  Lean protein helps with weight loss and I use breast meat chicken because I love the low fat, low sodium, simple, and delicious texture it adds to any meal.  This salad can be made using any of these whole grains including wheat, rye, barley, oat groats, quinoa, Kamut, and brown rice.  

* 6 Grain Whole blend  is what I use for this recipe most often. It is available in most of the Honeyville retail locations. It contains equal parts hard red wheat, white wheat, oat groats, barley, rye and triticale.  You can use any combination of those whole unrolled grains or one grain by itself, as long as it is equal to the 1 1/2 cups of uncooked grain. The cooked amount of grain will be 5 cups.

Chef Tess 6 Grain Salad
1 cup cooked diced lean white meat chicken breast 
1 1/2 cup 6 grain whole blend* (or any Whole Grain such as Wheat,RyeBarley, or Oat Groats)
1/2 cup Hazelnuts, toasted and chopped ( your choice)
1 cup chopped fresh peaches
2 ounces goat cheese**, feta cheese, or reduced fat cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Vegetable Stock
1T cornstarch
2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2T Lemon Juice
1T Chef Tess Seasoning (of your choice)
1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
Sea Salt to taste
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1 clove fresh pressed Garlic

Salad greens for serving.

 To cook the grain, I place it in my pressure cooker with 6 cups of water and cook on high 25 minutes, natural release. If you want a full tutorial on cooking grain in a pressure cooker, see: Pressure Cooking 101.  The grain can also be simmered in a covered pot on the stove for approximately 90 minutes over low heat. Drain the grain well. It should make about 5 cups.

In a medium bowl, combine the salad dressing ingredients. I'm fond of the French Provencal Essential Seasoning, Big Dill Seasoning, Greek Olympian Seasoning, and Romantic Italian Seasoning here.Here.   
The use of cornstarch and vegetable stock greatly reduces the amount of oil normally used in a vinaigrette, giving my salad dressing the thickness and body that I love.  Heat the vegetable stock and cornstarch together on the stove until thick, about 5 minutes in a pot. Whisk well.  Whisk all the ingredients together well and drizzle over your grains. 

Add the chicken, nuts, cheese and fruit. 

**Goat cheese is what I use for the nutritional information I'll give you today.  If you use a higher fat cheese, then the calories and fat will go up.

All I know is that this recipe makes 8 cups of hearty, filling, and delicious salad! 
Each one cup serving will give you:  212 calories, 8 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber, 29 low impact carbohydrates, and 13 grams of protein! Serve this on a bed of salad greens and you have a hearty, filling and healthy meal!

There you go my darlings! A delicious, filling, and versatile salad for the best summer ever! Stay cool. Don't watch too much TV...and relish every single day you have with those you love! Onward and upward we go!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Emotional Eating and White Bean Dip with Toasted Pita Chips

I've been too quiet here.  You usually know that means I'm going through something I can't really talk about until it is over.  Major changes have been afoot in my life and my job. Not that I can really go into much detail on the inter-web...but things with my work are drastically different. It was one of those changes due to this economy that the boss said, "We love you. You have an unblemished record.  This isn't your fault. We wish we had 100 people just like you..." and then they still let me go. I was told it wasn't personal. It was business.  But it felt personal to me. I couldn't help but beat myself up.  Cry. Cry. Weep.  Scream...I've been going through all the steps of grief and I've finally come to the one where I feel like I'm able to at least understand that it could be for the best.  It isn't a secret that major changes can trigger post-traumatic stress. I'm the bread-winner for my family. Believe me when I say, I'm feeling the stress.

  I feel like a part of me died this week.  I loved that job. I have spent years becoming an expert in my field.  I'd be an idiot to expect myself to just blow through this experience without feeling anything.  So why would I try to stuff the feelings I have?  Going through the actual feelings and letting them take a natural course is a lot like vomiting.  It feels awful when you're guts are wrenching...but when it is over the junk is out of your system.  

I've never been very good at dealing with grief.   Stuffing my emotions comes very naturally. Top that with being a self-proclaimed perfectionist and extremely hard on myself and I'm a great candidate for being an addict.  I never allow myself to "fall apart".   I'd rather be numb than feel pain.   Sugar makes me numb.   If I wasn't a card-carrying Mormon, I'd probably be an alcoholic.  Food is the only thing in our code of health that doesn't keep us from attending our highest worship...but how often have I let it keep me away from true comfort that God offers me?  

I've been told that food is one of the hardest addictions to break, mainly because it is so readily available.  You don't need ID or a special note from your doctor ,or need to meet a shady-character in a back alley to get Twinkies...unless you're at Fat Camp. Food addicts wear their addiction every single day.  It won't go away easily.   It wasn't until I started really looking at my addiction to food that I realized how much I really did lack in spiritual maturity. I needed to rely on my God so much more than the false idol I had created in the form of a brownie.  Do I always turn to Him? Nope. However, I am getting better.

So how have I done this week on my weight loss goals?   It was one of those major changes that in the past would have driven my addicted-to-food self over to a pan (or three) of brownies.  I wasn't even close to perfect.  I admit I've let myself slip a bit over the last couple of days. But, today I caught myself.  I had some bean dip and whole grain pita chips. I got off the couch and exercised instead of watching all the Net-Flix episodes of Dr. Who.  Do I expect myself to be perfect? Heck no.  Do I expect myself to keep trying. Daggumit! Yes!!

We'll be fine. We'll be more than fine! 
  I got some severance pay. I have a few weeks to catch my breath, focus, and regroup. A day after the fateful meeting with my boss, I was offered a radio-show co-host position by Jan D'Atri. I'll still be doing TV segments. I still have books being published. I have things going...but...Nothing is certain.  Guess what?!! Welcome to LIFE!  Fear of the unknown is lame.  Lame.  Boring.  I have not even really allowed myself to be focused on the doubt because that is pointless. It is wasted energy.  Worry is the lowest form of negative thinking. Seriously. Why think about the worst thing that could happen and re-play that in the mind over and over? It takes just as much energy to focus on the best-case-scenario and making that happen.   I have been focusing on the amazing things ahead...and getting excited.

Moving On! 
 Somehow I still have to find reasons to eat healthy.  So I found my  Taking care of myself is not being selfish. I have to get past that mentality. Before I ever came to a mortal body, I was me.  When this life is over and this spirit leaves this frame, I'll still be me.  Everything that happens in the time between birth and death is just experience for me to feel and learn. This is the time for me to become my best me.  No matter what!  With all the labels I need to fill (mom, wife, friend, chef...) in the end it will be what I did to improve this spirit that I will take with me.  Did I face my fear?  Did I take God's hand and walk through fire?!  Did I trust?!  

Truth.  I've always been, and I'll still need to be, a champion-warrior-princess.  Thank you Lord. Thank you for reminding me of who I am.

 Eye of the tiger music playing in the background...Guess who's making more bean dip?

Chef Tess Italian White Bean Dip 

with Toasted Pita Chips
2 cups cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup loose packed basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

6 pitas
1 tsp Chef Tess Romantic Italian Seasoning

Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, stock, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl. Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle with chef Tess Romantic Italian Seasoning. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color. Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree. 

Always My Very Best,
Chef Tess

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

4 Ingredient Almond Milk

It is really hard to milk an almond. My fingers are way too big. 

  I have to share homemade almond milk.  I use it in my protein shakes for creamy texture and I love it in a lot of my recipes. We've had some great success with making almond milk from natural blanched almond flour here at our house! It is one of those simple recipes I've made for a long time and wondered why I haven't shared it. So today I thought I'd share how I do it!  I use my favorite Almond Flour because it is all natural and easy to use for baking and also for almond milk! I use it a lot.  This recipe says 4 ingredient, but the last two ingredients are optional.  I use the stevia to add a hint of natural sweetness to the milk and I use the xanthan gum to add some emulsification assistance to keep the milk from separating when it is chilled.  If you don't want to use it, you can omit it. 
 My Chef Tess 4 Ingredient Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup Almond Flour (about 80 g)
4 cups very hot water
15-20 drops stevia (optional)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

Vitamix Directions: Combine almond flour and 2 cups of the very hot (closer to boiling) water in a blender.  This helps release the fat in the flour and helps with the emulsion.  Allow to sit 5 minutes.  Note:  I use my Vitamix Professional because I know it will really blitz the emulsion.  The engine on that thing is amazing.  After the 5 minute sitting time, cover tightly  blend on the liquefy setting for 30-40 seconds until bright white and smooth like milk. Turn off the blender and add the remaining water.  Mix a second or two more. 

If you don't have a vitamix or stronger blender, I highly recommend the use of a little xanthan gum to help with the emulsification process. It is gluten-free. Follow the blender directions above, blending 2-3 minutes for best smoothness. 

Transfer to a quart sized jar and place in the fridge. Chill 2-3 hours.  
Use in any recipe that calls for milk.

Nutritional information:
serving size, 1/2 cup prepared. 57 calories. 5 g fat, 2 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 1 g fiber, 

There you go! Onward and upward my darlings!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Skillet Stewed Zucchini and Ravioli Eggs

So, I had one of those trips to the doctor that I hate. You know the ones where the doctor looks at you, looks at your chart, and gives that sigh of, "well, you've done better in the past." 
First, I know she didn't mean it that way. {Inserting the benefit of the doubt here} She probably had a long day and here I was, the chubby cute girl,coming in to get a check-up when she'd been dealing with wheezing golden folks from out of town all day. Literally looking at her, I realized that I had put off coming in to see her because I was a bit afraid of "that look." 
I'm a perfectionist. I'm perfect at being a perfectionist.
 If I mess up, I freakin' beat myself up forever about it. I didn't want to feel like I had done anything less than my personal best.  I also didn't want to admit that again, I needed the accountability of getting weighed every few weeks by total strangers to keep me on track.  
Guess what?  Since August, I've gained back about 12 lbs. I have no excuses for why that may be.   Except that apparently losing weight is not like losing your virginity and this will be a battle I will have to keep fighting for the rest of my life. 
Though I do realize at some level that the scale doesn't really reflect anything about me but my gravity, today I really allowed myself to get a little crazy about it.  I got in the car after the doctor's office and I bawled like a baby.  Then...I said to myself, "Suck it up sister!" 
I went home and made this healthy zucchini skillet dinner.  I hit the exercise bike for 45 minutes...and I said, "I'm getting back to the blog!" Why blog? Because when I blog, I feel like I'm accountable to the whole stinkin' awesome world! I may or may not have anyone who actually reads this...but to me, it makes me remember why I'm doing this! Plus...there's joy in the journey when the folks you love share it. There's accountability to myself when I write it down. 

Skillet Stewed Zucchini with Ravioli Eggs

26 oz stewed diced tomatoes
1T butter or olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced (4 cups)
1/2 cup minced onion
2T minced garlic
4 eggs
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 12 inch covered deep skillet, saute the zucchini, onions and garlic in butter until the onions are clear, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer  over medium high heat for about 5 minutes more.
Push the zucchini to the side of the pan and crack the eggs into the center with the tomato sauce.
Sprinkle with basil (and cheese if desired)
Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 12 minutes, until eggs are set.

Serves 4.

Stewed Zucchini Ravioli Eggs

Serving Size, 1/4 recipe:
Calories: 150, Fat 6 g, Carb 7 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 6

There you go my darlings! I'm back!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Black forest Almond flour Brownie-Bite Cookies

A weight loss challenge and I'm sharing a cookie recipe?!! 

Yup. That's because these are healthy and low calorie! In fact, each cookie only carries 73 calories, 2 net carbs, and 5 grams of heart-healthy fat from almond flour! You can't go wrong with that. Did I also mention they are sugar-free and gluten-free? can they taste like a black forest brownie and still be good for me? I'm not asking. I'm just eating. Two cookies for a snack and I'm good to go for the rest of the afternoon.  Happy. Giddy happy! Dancing around the test-kitchen happy! Does dancing around the test kitchen count as cardio? Pump up the Broadway show tunes...because I'm making it count! Bwhahahaa! Now there's a visual...I'd just as soon not show you...

On the other hand, here are some cookies I think you'd like to see. 

 My friends at North Bay Trading sent me some gorgeous Freeze Dried Organic Cherries to try out and I have to tell you I've been addicted! Adding these to the cookies have been pivotal.  I love cherries anyway, but these have been so cool! I love the crunch, the tartness and the absents of guilt associated with eating these! 
 Nutritionally, they are as close to picking cherries right off the tree as I can get. Calorie wise, they are low and I don't feel guilty. Did I mention the guilt again? you go. Look for yourself.
 Have you ever met my favorite Almond Flour? On this one I'm brand specific for a reason. This is the finest milled almond flour I can find and it has remarkable texture in baked good. I didn't want almond meal. I wanted a flour that would bake remarkably well. Thank you Honeyville! To find out how I'm connected to Honeyville, go here.

I've done a lot of tips and techniques on baking with Almond flour Here

At any rate, here's the recipe for the cookies. I think you'll really enjoy them. I know we do!

Black forest Almond flour Brownie-Bite Cookies 
2 cups Almond Flour 
1/4 cup  organic coconut flour
1/2 cup Granular Erythritol (natural sugar-free calorie free sweetener)
1/4 cup egg white powder*
zest of one orange
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup Freeze Dried Organic Cherries

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. Dough will be stiff.  Divide into 20 cookies and roll into balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart, smashing lightly.  Bake 350 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool on the sheet, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
*Note: If you do not have egg white powder, you can use 1/2 cup of egg whites and omit the water.

Nutritional information: Yield 20 cookies.  Each cookie contains 73 calories, 5 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 2 g fiber (2 net carbohydrate).

There you go darlings! Let's rock the weight loss and healthy whole food eating! Ya know, it isn't about losing weight so much as it is about making sure I take care of this body that God gave me. It is a gift to be alive. I'm treating it that way. 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess