Breakfast · Snack · Sweet Treats · Under 200 calories

Soft Baked Brown Sugar Oatmeal Squares

Hi Friends.

Have you reached panic mode about Christmas being next week? ‘Cause I have! Holy moly I have so much to do it’s not funny… I decided to make a lot of my gifts this year because A.) I am a broke intern B.) I am pretty crafty and C.) it’s fun. Well, I am starting to regret that decision a little bit as I have TONS of work left to do. If ya’ need me… I’ll be bonding with my sewing machine for hours on end…

Okay, no more talk of the Holiday’s… Stressin’ me out, man.

Let’s discuss a happier topic, quite possibly one of my favorite things: Costco (am I a foodie or what….) Particularly when my parents go without me and bring home lots of yummy, surprise goodies. It’s like Christmas! (Okay, from NOW on… no more)

One of my favorite snacks are the Quaker soft-baked oatmeal squares.

Yum! But what’s a girl to do when there are none in the house and Costco is just way too far away? Make your own.. that’s what. And I will tell you JUST how to do it.. Ready?


[gmc_recipe 2328]


Nutrition info per bar (1/12th recipe)

nutrition info per 12

They have less fat, the same amount of sugar and less sodium.

Gobble these bad boys up for a snack or as you’re running out the door in the morning.

Want to see another copy-cat recipe? Feel free to make a suggestion



Misc. · Recipe Makover

Healthy Holiday Baking

Tis the season!

No, I am not taking about Christmas… I am talking about Baking Season. This time of year it seems like all anyone is ever doing is baking. Myself included. And what comes along with baking lots of yummy, sweet treats? Eating lots of yummy, sweet treats. Guilty as charged!

Now, there is nothing wrong with indulging in a slice of full-fat, high-sugar goodness now and again. The problem comes when you do it on a continual basis…which lots of us tend to do this time of year, whether we choose to believe it or not! “Oh, did I just eat half of that pie? Nah, couldn’t have been me….”

Here are some simple tips you can use in the kitchen to help cut the fat, calories, sugar, etc. from your dishes, while still keeping the taste and texture up to standards.

Does this mean that I can still eat half the pie since it’s healthier? I won’t tell if you wont…. proceed at your own risk.

Butter: Use ¼ of what the recipe calls for, and ½ of the amount in non-fat plain greek yogurt (Example: if it calls for ½ cup butter, use ¼ cup greek yogurt and 2 tbsp butter)

Oil: Give applesauce a try as a substitute. It measures at a 1:1 ratio quite nicely.

Frosting: Whip it! The volume will increase, leading to using and consuming less.

Eggs: Use 2 egg whites in place of 1 egg. I find that this works best if you still use a whole egg, for instance, if the recipe calls for 2 eggs, still use 1 whole egg and replace egg whites for only one of them.

Serving Size: Simply scale down the serving size. Make cookies smaller or cut a dish into more pieces than the recipe says. Many times at holiday gatherings we just want to try a little bit of everything, no need to have a whole serving of each. Food-coma no more!

Flour: Swap bleached, all-purpose flour for white whole wheat flour. Your guests won’t be able to notice a difference. Expect maybe they’ll feel fuller due to the higher fiber content.

Crust: dare I say it… Skip the crust! When it comes to pies and quiches, the filling is what it’s all about. Skip the extra calories by ditching the crust.

Have you ever tried one of these simple swaps? What was your experience with it? As always, feedback is encouraged =]

Happy Holidays everyone!

Breads & Muffins · Under 200 calories

Cinnamon Roll Bread

Good news friends! This girl has broken out of her cooking rut. *insert HUGE sigh of relief here.* Finally! After multiple failed recipes, I finally made one I am proud of. Like I have mentioned before, I won’t post recipes I don’t love or anything that doesn’t turn out to perfection. This one definitely has the Colleen seal of approval.

No oil, no shortening, next to no butter, about 1/2 the sugar of others, only 1 egg, whole wheat… the list of good things about this recipe goes on and on. And it tastes delishhh. Seriously, it was gone in about 24 hours… Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be proud of that considering there are 3 people in my household… Is there a Sweet Tooth gene? I am convinced there is….

Here it is folks.. Cinnamon Roll Bread!


[gmc_recipe 2300]


This loaf of bread is pretty giant. My eyes were the size of saucers when I opened the oven about 45 minutes in and saw how large it was. That being said, the serving sizes ain’t wimpy! No one wants a slice of bread the size of a crumb, let’s be real.

Nutrition info per 1/16th recipe


per sixteen

Have guests coming over for the holidays? This would be perfect to have to nibble on in the morning. It’ll fill you up and not fill you out. That’s dinners job!

Entree · Fiber · Uncategorized · Under 200 calories · Vegan

Fruit & Nut Sticky Rice


The number of hours I spent interning and working this week. And that is considered a light week! Whew. It doesn’t sound crazy until I do the math… Thankfully I actually really enjoy both my internship and my job, which happen to be at the same place. Maybe I should just live at the hospital? Hey, I’d save money on gas! Okay.. maybe not the greatest idea….

Anywho, it’s just been the usual hustle and bustle that is the life of Grandma Colleen.  Thanks to a supportive family and an amazing boyfriend, I am getting by just fine. I have no idea how Joseph deals with my by choice. No complaints though, he’s a trooper. (who brought me cupcakes during my lunch break)

Lately I’ve been having days where I will get home from work and starting cooking before I even get my coat off. I will be thinking of recipes in my head all day long and by the time I get home I just HAVE to get making them. It’s an addiction. One of the girls at work says I need to go to bakers anonymous. It’s just so stress relieving and the end product is pretty yummy… usually… Let’s not talk about the wheat pie crust I tried to make the other day.. I’ve done it a few times before, but have no idea what I did wrong! It was a dry, chalky mess… I am pretending that never happened… and you should too.

This recipe was created on one of those addiction-driven days. I wanted to make something quick with ingredients that we had in the house (trip to the store? No thank you.) Serve it as a side dish or mix in your choice of protein to give it a little more bulk to be a main dish. The choice is yours.



[gmc_recipe 2275]

Nutrition Info per 1/8th recipe, about ½ cup serving

info for 8 half cup servings



Go Green. Go White. Go State!!!!!


Entree · Poultry · Under 400 calories · Vegetable

Apple & Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

This week is supposed to be peak time for the leaf colors in Grand Rapids. Even though I am not a big fall person, I must admit, the colors are gorgeous. 

I got to see them VERY well today, that’s for sure. I had to go to East Lansing for my internship program and I drove myself and my friend, Lauren. Well… We got a little too chatty on the way home and I kinda totally missed an exit.. a very important, not-so-easy to un-do one… So, we took a VERY circular detour to get back on track. Oopsie… 

I hate driving!

On the upside of things, we had a heck of a time. I haven’t laughed that hard in quite a while! Is it bad that I am counting it as my core workout for the day? No shame.

Anywho, I apologize for the lack of posts. Internship-itis! But this one is worth the wait, promise. And I’ll try to do better!


I made this for Jojo and my sister. It tastes like fall. There is nothing better than a good squash recipe this time of year!


[gmc_recipe 2252]

Nutrition Info per 1/2 squash


Breads & Muffins · Snack · Sweet Treats · Uncategorized · Under 200 calories

Blueberry-Lemon Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze

If there is one thing that I know it is that it is HARD to please people. Like, really hard. Be it with your friends, family or in your career, it’s nearly impossible.

You’re probably thinking “Wow, ColleenTry not to kill my good mood, will ya?” But hold the phone! Before you go jumping to conclusions let me explain myself. So yeah, pleasing everyone is really difficult. BUT. (here comes the good news) I have found something that does the job… or at least comes PRETTY darn close.


Blueberry and lemon are a refreshing combination. Banana bread is a solid, reliable treat. Cream cheese adds decadence and indulgence. So I ask you one question… Why not combine all of these wonderful things? What would be ‘No reason at all.’ For $100.

[gmc_recipe 2126]


Nutrition information per 1/14th recipe

Per 14 slices

Go ahead. Give this recipe a try and pass it around. The flavor combinations won’t disappoint the eaters!

Entree · Poultry · Protein · Uncategorized · Under 300 calories

Grilled Chicken With Blueberry-Basil Salsa

Hi friends,

I finally ran out of blueberries, such a sad day it was. But no worries, I went picking again yesterday =] This time we headed out toward the lake shore. My goodness does that make a difference! I love the local orchard because it is so convenient and it has always kind of been my little escape from the city (sentimental value) but the berries are just giant and gushing when they are grown further out. We were headed out that way to go see a Beatles Tribute Concert at the Grand Haven, MI Coastguard Festival. Okay, laugh all you want about how I sound like a 60 year old woman… but it was really cool! Here is who we saw: Preeeetty cool. (ha.ha.)

Back to food.

What caused me to run out of blueberries (okay maybe not the cause…that was my snacking… but what used them up) was this delicious dinner dish: Grilled chicken with blueberry-basil salsa(Adapted from good ol’ Martha Stewart). My favorite part of this recipe- besides the blueberry goodness- was that it was SO quick to make! I was done in about 30 minutes. Can’t beat that!



Hey, Rachel Ray? You can go ahead and use this in your next “30 Minute Meals” book. It’s alright 😉


[gmc_recipe 2103]

Nutrition info per 1/4th recipe

Nutrition info per one fourth

I also grilled up some kale (which is what the chicken is sitting on) for a little extra veggie-ness.

Since I have more blueberries, guess what? You guys have more blueberry recipes to look forward to! If you don’t like blueberries… well… I can’t help you there. Just kidding! But that’s seriously unfortunate.

Have a fantastical Friday and an even better weekend. It’s AugustToodles!

Oh! PS!! We put my childhood dog down about 2 years ago. He was a 120lb loveable yellow lab named Arby. (my sister ran over a smashed Arby’s cup while we were thinking of names and that’s how it came to be…) Anywho, today was his birthday. He would have been 14. Happy Birthday to my “little brother”!