Healthy Sugar Cookie Protein Dip Recipe + Food Tips

Hello there! Are you frantically running around trying to get everything ready for Thanksgiving or are you all set / not celebrating? Whatever the case, I have a couple healthy things to share.

Since I’m in the “frantically running around” department, today’s post comes directly from my old healthy foodie blog, Just Add Cayenne, with the help of my good friends Copy and Paste. Seriously, I’m even keeping my pre-parenthood talk as well as carrying over the same font from the original posts. Hey, these are my blogs, so why not?

This is from two posts, here’s the original for the squash dip recipe, and the original for my healthy food tips.

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Yeah, I know, plenty of you probably have to work today, the eve of Thanksgiving, but I’m complaining on behalf of all of us. Couldn’t you use the day before to prep food do a little extra exercise to prepare for tomorrow’s feast, and just be away from school or work? I’ll go ahead and answer for all of us again….YES!

I’ve seen so many healthy Thanksgiving feast recipes that I want to try but have no time before going to our family gathering. Most of the food is stuff I can’t (gluten reasons) or won’t (health/picky reasons) eat, and I like to bring things I know I will enjoy.
See? I’m ready for the pumpkin famine! Or maybe I just use it a lot.

Confession – I brought roasted brussels sprouts and mushrooms one year knowing that just one other person and myself would eat them. Sorry, but I don’t want premade mixes cooked from a box or food with poor ingredients for Thanksgiving….or ever for that matter!

So I prefer to make my own gluten free, non store bought bread (maybe just a personal Microwave Chocolate Protein Cake) and side dishes. I think I only end up eating an undressed salad and the turkey at most gatherings. Anyone else run into this issue? I don’t mean to complain (even though I am), or tell others what to eat, but I just want to have what I prefer and enjoy.

Not a bad “personal” Thanksgiving treat if you ask me!
If there was no work today, I’d be cooking all sorts of things I’ve wanted to try. Lately, sweet potato, pumpkin, and banana are all ingredients sticking out to me. And of course peanut butter would be in one or all of the creations. Maybe a spin on a no-cook pumpkin banana peanut butter pie? Hmmm, I’ll keep brainstorming and maybe have something to post on for the Christmas feast!
But really, a peanut butter pumpkin pie sounds pretty darn good any time. I have been using unflavored gelatin to make some easy and tasty dips lately, and suggest you try. Still need to get the recipe down before I post it, but here’s another quick, easy, and healthy dip for you to try in the meantime.

Delicata squash is my number one favorite squash (you can use any kind you’d like), and making it into a puree is simply delightful! Have you seen or tried Celestial Seasoning’s Sugar-Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea? It’s a good, caffeine free tea to drink, but throw it in with squash puree, vanilla protein powder, and a little stevia and you will be on Cloud 18. That’s Cloud 9…..squared; because it’s that good.

Delicata Sugar Cookie Protein Dip
(Sugar and Gluten Free)

2 medium delicata squashes, microwave steamed or roasted until the skin is soft
2 big scoops stevia sweetened vanilla protein powder; I used Vitol Vanilla Egg White Protein
1 T natural peanut butter
2 Celestial Seasoning’s Sugar-Cookie Sleigh Ride Teabags
Liquid or powder stevia to taste
1t pure vanilla extract

Once you have your cooked squash (I microwave steam mine), remove any really hard parts like the stem and throw everything else in a food processor. Yes, include the skin, it’s soft.
Add the rest of the ingredients (just cut the teabags and dump the contents) and process until really smooth. I let my processor run for 2 – 3 minutes. Let chill for the flavors to “intensify” and help everything firm up.
I love having a giant bowl of this to go to when my sweet tooth hits, which is every night. This recipe is very versatile and you can sub your favorite ingredients as you see fit. I think coconut flour or cocoa powder would make for some extremely delicious versions. Try it, eat it, enjoy!

Hello and welcome to WIAW in December! I saw another blogger mention how the first Home Alone movie is now 22 years old!  That hit me like a semi-hard brick.  Only semi-hard because I’m already a little aware of the aging process.  Anyway, who else is in awe at how time flies?
Sooo, I have little time to write today, so I want to share some of my past blog posts on Healthy Food Tips and Ideas.  As far as what I ate, it’s been nothing different from past weeks, so please forgive me for not posting.
Healthy Travel Tips – This is good info for those that are traveling for the holidays
Easy and Healthy Food Swaps – This was around Easter, but applies year round
How to Survive Vacation as a Health Food Fanatic – A follow up from my other vacation post; this lists things I ate while on vacation
Veggies Don’t Need Ranch Dressing! – The title says it all; just my views on Hidden Valley’s “healthy” advertising
5 Healthy Ways to Add Protein to Salad – This was a summertime post, but again, salads are great all year!
What’s the Next Fad Diet and Why? – In sum, fad diets are pointless, dumb, and, well….fads
Top 5 Healthy and Tasty Dip Substitutions – My favorite savory dips; good for any dip lover!
Pumped Up Protein Staples – A list of my favorite protein dips and baked items with a link to all of my recipes at the end. Trust me, making these are worth your while!
How well are you managing time for the holidays?  I’m already not a fan of going out to eat, but with social gatherings and whatnot, I’m not going to escape it.  Speaking of, I’m heading out for dinner at a nice seafood place with co-workers.  As a fan of seafood, I’ll get over my dislike of going out if there’s fresh crab on my plate!
Hope you all have a great week and get any shopping done soon; it’s only getting crazier!!

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There’s no post for Thanksgiving, and I’m not sure when the next one will come around, but hope you find value in the healthy food tip links and get to give the recipe a try. I’ve made it for Avery and she asks for more before finishing the first bite. Speaking of, she’s finally getting over her sickness and should be back to her old crazy toddler self just in time for our little family Thanksgiving gathering.

For more healthy recipes, check out the tab on the top appropriately named, *gasp* Healthy Recipes.

Do you plan on trying the recipe?

Were the links to my healthy food tips/thoughts of any help to you?

How Many Turkeys Are Eaten on Thanksgiving?

The following Thanksgiving fun facts are brought to you by the National Turkey Federation where you can more info about Turkeys (if the name doesn’t make it obvious) year round.

Avery is still battling a vicious cold/sinus infection and it breaks our hearts to see her so miserable with those swollen eyes and solemn mood. By nighttime, it’s as if we gave her a sedative while reading a book before bed. Last night she was out before I turned off the light for her and Going Mom who always sings to her before putting her in the crib.

Lots of love, green smoothies, and hugs with her blankie and Lamby are going on here. Hopefully these work synergistically to do the trick!


To start, here’s what the NTF has to report about the number of Turkeys consumed on Thanksgiving…

In 2013, more than 240.0 million turkeys were raised. More than 200 million were consumed in the United States. We estimate that 46 million of those turkeys were eaten at Thanksgiving, 22 million at Christmas and 19 million at Easter.

Nearly 88 percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey at Thanksgiving. The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 16 pounds, meaning that approximately 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the United States during Thanksgiving in 2012.

Yeah, 46 million, that’s a lot of bird! I’ll happily enjoy one of those 46 million in the form of an organic, free-range gobbler with our family on Thursday.

Another interesting tidbit….

Benjamin Franklin, who proposed the turkey as the official United States’ bird, was dismayed when the bald eagle was chosen over the turkey. Franklin wrote to his daughter, referring to the eagle’s “bad moral character,” saying, “I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country! The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.”

Sooooo, we could be eating bald eagle for Thanksgiving instead? Hmmm, that would take a lot more bird!

We all think Turkey is to blame for our need for a nap after the big meal, but…

Many people report drowsiness after eating Thanksgiving dinner. While turkey often receives the blame, recent studies suggest that carbohydrate-rich meals may cause sleepiness by increasing the number of tryptophans in the brain. Yet, the unusually large, multi-coursed, carbohydrate-rich meal most people eat on Thanksgiving is more likely the cause.

Maybe try a few grain-free options in place of the high carb food. It’s more filling and typically has much more to offer nutritionally.

Compare the White and Dark Meat

  • White meat is generally preferred in the United States while other countries choose the dark meat.

  • A turkey typically has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.

  • The two types of meat differ nutritionally. White meat has fewer calories and less fat than dark meat.

  • The rich flavor of dark meat is especially valued in soup and stew recipes. Dark meat holds up well in rich marinades and is a perfect choice for grilling and barbecuing.

I like both white and dark. My favorite is white mixed with tart cranberry sauce since it tends to be more dry; the dark I can eat alone.

A few more facts….

Only tom turkeys gobble.

Hen turkeys make a clicking noise.

Domesticated turkeys cannot fly.

Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour and can run 20 miles per hour.

June is National Turkey Lovers’ Month!

Of course there’s much more out there, but I thought it would be best to stick with one source and share some of what they had. And what better source than the National Turkey Federation? Check out their handy link with tons of info on how to buy, store, prep, and eat your turkey.

Okay, back to lots of love with the help of Lamby and blankie….squeeze!


Such a sweet girl.

The Federation’s goal is to increase the current average weight of 16 pounds to 20 pounds by the year 2020.

What do you think, can it be done?

Will help or hamper their goal?

Monthly Memories Recap: Her First 2 Years

Now that we’re past the 2 year mark, I will be changing my usual Monthly Memories posts going forward. Still not dead set on how I’ll go about it, but I figured it would be good to put all of the past memory posts together.

This weekend flew by (as usual) and our one plan to go out to take family photos got nixed from a bad cold / possibly turned sinus infection. Her eyes keep getting crusty and looked so swollen all of Sunday. I think this pic pretty much sums up how she feels…


Poor girl, lucky she has an awesome Mommy who stuck by her side and gave her lots of love all day. She still gave it what she could and remained playful part of the day, and even enjoyed watching some “crazy football” as she is currently repeating a lot. That, and “blue plate tonight.”

Pretty low key weekend, as we prefer, minus the sick kid, so nothing else new to share. Hopefully I’ll be able to report our girl is fully recovered before Thanksgiving rolls around. Until then, on with the compilation of Monthly Memories.

Since there’s no memories post for the first 4 months, I’ll  just share pics to see her progression from the start. Then, from 5 months, my first Memories from my Xth Month Since Going Dad post, we’ll go all the way to 24 months.



1 Month

1 Month

2 Months

2 Months

3 Months

3 Months

4 Months

Avery and Mommy with our fat cat photo bombing
Avery and Mommy with our fat cat photo bombing

5 Months


6 Months

DSC_0954 (Medium)

7 Months


8 Months

Practicing how to taste test on the spoon.
Practicing how to taste test on the spoon.

9 Months

Flashy Four

10 Months


11 Months


12 Months

Our happy little girl.

13 Months

Squishy? Squish THIS!!!

14 Months

bath time, baby, funny, cute

15 Months

toddler, kids, parenting, funny, humor

16 Months

Avery Uneasy in Snow

17 Months


18 Months


19 Months


20 Months


21 Months


22 Months

my sunday photo, #MySundayPhoto, toddlers, parenting

23 Months

What should I help with next, Dad?

24 Months

Avery at Play Kitchen

Wow, if you actually went through them all, thank you, for one, and I bet you’re a close friend/relative. Or just love seeing our precious girl, in which case I don’t blame you. 🙂

Now, if you’ll please excuse me, Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and I’ll be busy working on the few dishes we’re having at our tradition-in-the-making gathering. Hopefully with a healthy toddler tagging along as my official taste-tester.

Have a wonderful Monday!