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Get ready for St. Patrick’s day with these 2 Smartpoint Shamrock muffins for this week’s #FlashbackFriday.

Happy St. Paddy’s day all!  We have had a pretty “green” day so far that started off with these cute low point Shamrock Lime Mini Muffins I made just for this mornings St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.  This recipe is very similar to those tasty and tart Lemon Cranberry Mini Muffins I made a while back.

I pondered how I was going to make these mini muffins green ~ should I maybe add spinach or zucchini, use green sugar or add food coloring?  When I mentioned spinach, The Husband couldn’t say no fast enough.  I tried explaining how you can’t really taste it in “green smoothies” but he wasn’t buying it.

In the ended, I went with using limes instead of lemons and adding a little “green” food coloring green sugar crystals to make them Shamrock like.  I totally would’ve used Shamrock sprinkles if I could’ve found them, but, alas I did not so we will pretend they are Shamrock Like lol.



  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup green sugar
  • 2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1 1/3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice (about 2...

Hi all! I am sorry for missing you all yesterday. I knew this week would be busy, I just did not know how busy (in a good way!) until now. I am back today recapping my last two days. I’ve had some successes, some things I could’ve done better and a few things I’ve learned about myself….so let’s jump in!

I kicked off “training” week meeting several of our leaders from around the world and was presented with some fun goodies along with my training books. I seriously love gadgets so this made me so happy (it might’ve been all the espresso I’ve been consuming too.)I did manage to get up at 5am to get my C25K 5.1 on. I was tired but knew it would start the day off right.

I had a substantial brrabreak  to resist the one we would have for our training. 2 eggs scrambled with a Trader Joe’s hashbrown patty “fried” in 1 tsp avocado oil (5 sp).I snacked on two cuties and some real deal cheese at break feeling proud I resisted the pound cake. (4 sp). Although I  maybe should’ve eaten my zero point snacks.

We had a taco bar at lunch and I loved the conversation around this from my coworkers.

2 chicken tacos with a few chips salsa,...

Hi all! How was your weekend? This weekend was super busy but also very productive. I not only managed to clean out my closet to make room for some new clothes, but, I pulled out my “smaller” sizes bin. I almost just decided to donate them thinking they won’t fit….but they did! I honestly have not wore the pants for at least 6+ years and I don’t care that The Husband teased me about the shirts being from the 90’s. They fit and that is all that matters!

I think it also might just be a lucky weekend as I scored two new cookbooks at the Sacramento antique faire today for $6 each.Post faire, I got both of these at Sam’s Club 30% off. Yes, I’m still on my ground beef  addiction so now I’m fulfilling it with a cookbook.Before heading out of town this morning, I got a tall nonfat cappuccino with caramel on top (2 sp).Then split a ham, egg & pico de gallo breakfast burrito with The Husband at the faire (4 sp). It doesn’t look pretty but it was pretty tasty.

Hi all! Today’s successes included:

  • Not only getting my C25K5.3 on before work, but, it meant jogging 20 minutes straight without stopping.
  • Getting Senorita bread for the office and keeping myself in check.
  • Making a 5 WWFreestyle Smartpoint BLTA that totally stays with you!

I was rushing out the door this morning so I only managed wrapping up a Healthy Eggroll Togo. (3 sp)I managed going all week without a Starbucks so today was my reward lol.

Grande iced Nonfat Latte with caramel on top (3 sp).I actually packed my lunch this AM and ended up having to give it up for a working lunch. Ok, it did not take much to convince me when I found out we were having lunch at Jack’s Urban Eats.

Chinese Chicken Salad with the dressing on the side (4 sp).I brought everyone in the office senoritas today to thank them for all they have done to welcome me. I managed to resist all morning then had 2 x 2 for dessert. Buttery, sweet rolls that literally melt in your mouth (11 sp).Ironically I still got hungry...

Happy Friday Eve all! Although I have officially survived my first week working, I still cannot wait for the weekend. It has been such a fun week learning and meeting with everyone. I traded in this mornings workout for a lunchtime walk as I had to be at the office early for meetings.

Before heading out, I had a healthy Eggroll with 1/2 an orange for 3 Smartpoints.Mid morning snacks – banana and 2 Tbsp pistachios (2 sp).My lunch was literally  a grab and go lunch as I was rushing to get out the door.

1 Svg Earthbound Farms Organic BBQ chicken salad topped with 2 oz buffalo chicken (5 sp).Plus a Jarlsberg Mini cheese & 2 mandarins (2 sp).I had resolved myself to the fact my walking was going to be lapping our buildings. Imagine my surprise when I saw this trail that people were walking and biking along.As if that wasn’t awesome enough, my coworkers told me it’s just...

Are you all ready to make homemade chicken apple sausage? Ok, I know it’s intimidating, but, what if I told you that you can make ZERO point chicken apple sausage?! Now that definitely makes this recipe worth trying out and is one of the things I absolutely love about the Weight Watchers Freestyle plan.

All you need to do is take 99% lean ground chicken or turkey breast. Add in a little spice and something nice (you know I couldn’t resist saying that!)

To make this easy chicken apple sausage recipe, take ground chicken breast, add a sweet or tart apple, onion, garlic with a little spice and fresh herbs. That’s it! You can totally impress your friends with your fancy sausage making skills.



  • 1 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 lb 99% lean ground chicken
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 small apple or pear, seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano or fennel seed
  • 1 tsp. sea salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper


1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients.  Form into 16 meatballs.

2.  Add 1/2 Tbsp of the canola oil to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Flatten 8 of the meatballs forming them into patties and add them to the skillet.

3.  Cook the sausage patties for...

Happy Monday all! I actually woke up this morning before my 5 am alarm. It definitely made it a little easier to hop onto the treadmill to knock out C25K 5.1. This week my intervals switch to 5 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking. Tough, but, I did it.

Post workout break 2 full size Crustless Kale Quiche Muffins and strawberries (5 sp).My morning flew by and before I knew it, it was lunchtime.

3 oz BBQ pork (3 sp) with 3/4 cup Veggie Lo Mein (4 sp).Paired with a Jarlsberg Mini Swiss cheese (2 sp) and 2 mandarins.4 hours later I snacked on a hard boiled  egg and banana so I wouldn’t devour everything when I walked in the door.

Dinner tonight was awesome – as in, I am totally making these Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Crema again. Everything comes together in about 30 minutes.

Toss together the carrots, cabbage & green onion with 1 Tbsp rice vinegar with a little salt & pepper. Set aside.Create a ”fancy” avocado crema by combining 1 avocado, 1/4 cup 0% greek yogurt,...

Hi all! How was your weekend? Our weekend was good, but, busy in a way that I feel like right now is the first time I’ve sat down all weekend. Great for my steps, I guess. I kicked off the weekend with my Weight Watchers meeting. I  gained .8 lbs this week. At first, I thought I should try the other scale, but, honestly, after reflecting, I think I earned that. My workouts were great, but, my food choices could’ve been better. I had a lot of successes in my week so I am focusing on that over the number on the scale. I am using that for motivation this week.

Saturday’s highlight was meeting my friend for Pho! We shared fresh shrimp spring rolls, fried shrimp and medium bowls of chicken, shrimp & noodles. It was so good and definitely hit the spot but I only finished half my noodles.After, we decided to walk and talk to get in our steps until the rain came along.

Double rainbow picture taken by my friend – beautiful!This morning, The Husband had us up way to early to head to the Alameda Antique Fair.

My tall nonfat cappuccino with caramel on top for the road (2 sp).

Happy Friday all! There is something to be said about having your first week back to work be a two day week. I have had such a fun filled two days. I knew the company I work for is cool, but, honestly I did not know how cool until now.

Did you know today it’s National Employee Appreciation Day?! I didn’t either until we got a very nice email followed up with a group meeting, speech from our global CEO complete with personal handshakes and food with words on it.

I am going to be in so much trouble as we have an espresso machine…my beverage choice with my Krispy Kreme donut holes (two for 3 sp).I have been spoiled with gifts from everyone at the company too. A backpack, laptop carrying case, business card holder, pen, leather journal and this coffee cup from my boss.?They truly do so much to appreciate their employees. I am doing a scavenger hunt to get $ off my monthly benefits and I am totally joining the step challenge this summer where you compete for prizes.

My favorite places in the office so far are the “rooms” our communications department designed – each with a specific meaning to the company.

#Flashback Friday with these WWFreestyle Zer Point Slow Cooker Beans. Ever since our Day Trip to Savannah, Georgia to visit Mrs. Wilkes, The Husband and I have wanted to recreate some of the delicious Southern Foods we fell in LOVE with there.  The first thing we decided to try was her creamy, smoky, black eyed peas.  I am sure it was the bacon and the bacon grease that made her Black Eyed Peas amazing.  I decided to “healthify” the Black Eyed Peas I was making by using a smoked ham hock and letting them slow cook all day long to absorb that sweet, hickory bacon flavor.

I thought about adding in some bacon as the end for a finishing touch, but, when it came down to it, the Black Eyed Peas had so much flavor, you didn’t need it.  I know, I am surprised I actually passed up on adding bacon to something too LOL.

These beans make the perfect Southern Side Dish next to Healthy “Fried” Chicken or make them a meal and  serve them up with steamed Collard greens.



  • 1 lb black eyed peas
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 ham hock or shank
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • Season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce


1. ...

Hi all! I am so excited to finally be able to share with you all my new adventures in “Bean Counting“. I am officially starting my new job tomorrow at a truly awesome company that aligns so much with my personal passion.

They are the second largest producer of vegetable seeds in the world and the subsidiary I am working at focuses on the research side. I love that they are passionate about  sustainability, feeding the world population and that the Farmers participate at every level (think co-op). I can’t wait even though I am a little sad my 4 month break is over.

I made sure to soak up the sunshine and my last weekday Tower Hike yesterday.These baby cows were so cute & curious.View from the top.Followed up with a delicious Thai  Lunch at Buddha Thai.Today I got prepared like going back to school with new shoes, pens, pencils, lunchbox and water bottle

I can admit that I often eat based on what I am craving. I think Asian food tops my list of all time favorite foods that I crave with a simple, fresh stirfry being at the top. What’s not to love about a dish that is not only low in Weight Watcher points, but it hits all the sweet, salty, spicy and saucy. Add zero point shrimp and I am all over it!

This recipe is my lightened up version of Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce. I’ve bulked it up with fresh asparagus, mushrooms then tossed it all in this sweet, spicy garlicky black bean sauce.


  • 1/2 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch, divided
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 lb asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. Wash and prepare all produce. Toss shrimp with 1 tsp corn starch, salt and black pepper. Set aside. Whisk together broth through Sriracha with remaining 2 tsp corn starch, set aside.
  2. Heat a work or large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add sesame oil and shrimp cooking 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, cook 1 minute longer or until the shrimp are pink.
  3. Add the vegetables...

Thank you all for participating in my Breakfast Night giveaway and sharing all the ways you BFD. I definitely have a few new ideas to try out.  I am also looking forward to continuing the Krusteaz Baking Mix baking fun.

The lucky winner drawn using is…

#5 Kathy H says

Shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Thank you for the opportunity.

Congrats Kathy H! Please email your full name and mailing address to me at danicasdaily at so I can get your prize sent out to you.

For everyone else, be sure to click here to save some “dough” and claim your coupon.

I’ll be back in a few with my Shrimp & Asparagus with Black Bean Sauce recipe.

Hi all! I am feeling pretty good about all that I accomplished today. I started off with my C25K 4.1 jog/walk followed up with 32 minutes of Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution. Both workouts were tough but they are starting to feel easier as in, I can make it through it without being so out of breath and willing it over lol.

Post workout breakfast – Two zero point chicken apple sausages, a hard fried egg and berries – all for zero WW Freestyle Smartpoints.Don’t worry, I still managed to spend 2 SmartPoints on my mid morning snack – Tall Nonfat cappuccino with caramel on the top.After a bunch of computer work, I whipped up a quick lunch before heading out to shop for a couple new outfits. I am so excited that I had to buy smaller sizes.

1/3 Taylor Farms Chopped Garden Vegetable Salad topped with 2 oz Buffalo chicken and a few homemade croutons (6 sp).I created a new, delicious 4 SmartPoints Banana Berry Muffin recipe this afternoon. They turned out delicious. I promise I’ll be posting the recipe soon!

My snack was one of these muffins  with a banana and 1/2 an orange.

Hi all! How was your weekend? Our weekend was fun. I  lost 1.8 lbs at weigh in after a pretty tough week. We road tripped on Saturday, we saw the movie Game Night and I had fun with a few new recipes in the kitchen.

I followed this recipe to make Outback Steakhouses Tangy Tomato Dressing. These folks really are genius as this dressing tastes so close to the real deal. It’s delicious and so easy to make!Next, I worked on the croutons. I knew they were not exactly healthy, but, wow, 1 lb if butter!?! I couldn’t convince myself to use 1 lb of butter.

Following this recipe, I made a healthier version of Outback Steakhouses croutons. I used the remaining half loaf of The Husband’s butter bread and toasted it. I then took 1/4 cup of butter with 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning. Mixed, toasted and made this entire bowl of croutons.

These croutons are too good! As in, I could sit here with this bowl and call it a meal. I may have had like 1 or 5 to test them out lol.All together, I met The Husband’s challenge, he loved it and I had fun making it. I did use 2% extra sharp cheddar to...

Happy Friday all! Today was such a productive day and I am feeling good about all that I accomplished. It is my last Friday I’ll have for doing my chores before I have to switch back to Saturdays….but more on that next week!

Before heading out the door, I had 2 Krusteaz Protein Pancakes (4 sp) topped with 1/2 Tbsp Land O Lakes Whipped Butter (1 sp) & 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (3 sp) with berries on the side.Here is what I accomplished in 4.5 hours this morning:

  • Took The Husband a Starbucks – patted myself on the back for resisting getting one for me.
  • Planned our meals for the week, then, stocked up at Trader Joe’s and our local grocery store.
  • Picked up a few things at Target and Sam’s Club.
  • Finished all our laundry.

I was starving by the time I got to Sam’s Club and had a brief thought of, ohh samples. But, they only had cuties and carrots with dip so I passed. I think it’s kinda funny as these would’ve been “good” samples to have but that’s actually the reason I passed them up lol. If it was a chip or potstickers, well….

As soon as I got in the car, I busted open the cheese and estimated a heaping Tbsp of pistachios (4 sp). 

Hi all! I’ve partnered with Krusteaz as part of National Hot Breakfast month to host this fun giveaway plus give you all a few ideas and a new recipe for your next Breakfast for Dinner night.

I decided to branch out from our breakfast fare to make these delicious Turkey, Bacon & Cheddar Breakfast Pancake Paninis. Truth be told, I really wanted to see if I could use my waffle iron as a panini press. The cool part is that it worked well!

As you all know, bacon might be my favorite breakfast item to pair with pancakes. I powered up these sandwiches with zero point turkey and a little melty cheddar. The spicy mustard and apple add another layer of sweet, spicy crunch making this one satisfying sandwich.

These sandwiches are so fun to make. Feel free to get creative with your panini adding Zero Point Sausage, Ham, Eggs, herbs, jam, hot sauce or any of your favorite sandwich toppers.


  • 1 cup Krusteaz Complete Protein Buttermilk Pancake mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 oz Turkey breast
  • 3 slices Sargento RF Cheddar slices
  • 3 pieces Trader Joe’s Bacon, cooked
  • 1 Apple, cored and think sliced
  • 2 Tbsp spicy mustard
  • 1 Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise


  1. To make the pancakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together pancake mix and water. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray and use a 1/4 cup...

Happy Wednesday all! Our day trip today to Angel Island has been one hike I’ve been looking forward to for months. We were originally going to rent bikes and bike around the island. However, after a little bit of research and reading this article, we decided that taking the 5.5 mile trek around the island was worth it.

I cannot describe to you all how amazing Angel Island is and the pictures do not do the 360 degree views of San Francisco justice.

Here are a few tips we followed that made today awesome:

  • Use ParkWhiz to find parking near Pier 41. It’s actually super cool to find parking anywhere and if you download the app, you get a discount on your first booking. We parked at the Hotel Zephyr for $5 all day in SF – unheard of!
  • Book your ferry tickets online the night before then pick them up at the pier. It’s currently $9.75 each way which includes the park fees.
  • Check out Blazing Saddles if you want to rent bikes, it’s cheaper than renting them on the island and you can pick them up at Pier 41.
  • Pack your lunch, drinks and snacks as the cafe is only open May – October.

We sat on the third level of the ferry to take in all the views of San Fran as we sailed away. The trip their is 30 minutes and the trip back is an hour as there are additional stops in Tiburon and Sausalito.