Sunday, August 31, 2008

Making Knockoffs

Good morning!! Last night we were really in the mood for some good sandwiches. We popped into the store & picked up the necessary items; turkey, ham, lettuce,tomato and whole wheat rolls. I put mine in the toaster oven to melt the cheese and crisp the bread a bit. I added a special touch as well - a few slices if apple - I just love cheddar cheese with apple.

I made a salad to go along with my sammie; spinach, lettuce, apple, almonds and Maple Grove Farms dressing. So simple but so delicious! Dessert was some more gelato - this stuff rocks!!

For breakfast today I had the same things as yesterday, only I soaked the oat bran in a small amount of water overnight and drizzled almond butter over the top instead of sunflower seed butter. When I mixed the yogurt with the bran my mix became so creamy.

Ok, you know how much I love LARABARs especially the PB Cookie. I have turned my sweetie onto them as well. I have been buying him the Cashew Cookie flavor, that seems to be the only flavor he can eat because of his allergy to almonds & pistachios. Actually he could eat the PB flavor too, I have just been hogging them : ) So last night I decided to try and make my own knockoffs which was a variation of this recipe. I used the nuts that he can eat - pecans, walnuts, cashews and peanuts.
Here is my Cashew Bar - not bad. He hasn't eaten it yet but I will have him give me a review when he does.

I also made Peanut, Walnut & Coconut, Pecan, and Walnut Spice. I tried a little sliver of the Spice Bar and it is delicious.
To make these I started off by chopping pitted dates in the food processor until they were very sticky. I then chopped my nut of choice (7 grams worth) and kneaded them into a small amount of the date paste (about 4-5 dates). I rolled it into a log, placed it between some plastic wrap and using a cutting board for a flat surface, I applied pressure to the log in order to form a bar shape.
I decided for the last bar that I would try to chop the dates by hand. I put 5 dates onto my cutting board and chopped away. It worked great! I added some cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger to the dates and continued to form the paste. I then chopped in 7 grams of walnuts and continued with my technique. After the mass seemed to be well incorporated I did the same procedure as with the others to get my bar shape. My totally handmade knockoff was a success.
When I make more of these I am going to decrease the date paste and increase the nuts. I think that mine may be a bit sweet because of the amount of dates per bar. Definitely something that me & my family will enjoy and I had a ton of fun making them.
I hope you all enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In my Kitchen

I was back in the kitchen creating something different this afternoon. I have been looking at this monster of a sweet potato all week and wondering what I should do with it. Well, this afternoon I incorporated it into my latest recipe - Sweet Potato Frittata. After my 9 mile run this morning I was really craving some eggs but I didn't want just a plain old floppy looking job.
Here is what I came up with; shred 1 large sweet potato in the food processor then transfer to a 10 inch skillet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook the sweet potato until it is tender - takes less than 10 minutes (this recipe is a quickie). Turn the broiler on and let it start to preheat. In a large bowl whisk 4 whole eggs & 4 egg whites with 2 tablespoons water. I added 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp dries basil and fresh ground black pepper to the egg mixture - you can add whatever spices & herbs you like to eat with your eggs. Once the sweet potato is cooked, pour the egg mix into the skillet and evenly distribute in the pan; cook on medium heat. Place a cover onto the skillet, if your pan doesn't have a lid (mine didn't) then you can make one out of a piece of aluminum foil. Let the eggs set up for about 8 minutes, check often. Once the edges seem to be firm but the middle is still soft; sprinkle top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella & cheddar). Place the pan under your broiler for about 2 minutes; do not walk away, watch it closely as it will burn easily. Once the cheese is browned & bubbly remove. Transfer the frittata to a serving plate, slice and enjoy.

Mmmmm, this was so delicious! The sweet potato added just enough sweetness and the eggs were so soft and fluffy. My huz ate 2 slices, I'd say this is a winner.

I ate my slice with some Ezekiel bread that I spread with almond butter and Trader Joe's Organic Reduced Sugar Strawberry Preserves.

Plus a salad, nothing too fancy about that - I just wanted some greens.

My lunch was really late today and I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast - after my run I was not hungry (kind of surprising, breakfast wasn't that large). So I ended my lunch with a LUNA Bar - sweet and satisfying.

I hope everyone is having a great day. See you later.

Cloudy Skies

It is kind of looking like a crummy day :( At least we get an extra one this weekend. Even though it is a tad on the damp side I am planning on running this morning. I checked the weather and I should not get soaked - I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
My breakfast is (I am eating while I post), a creamy bowl of TJ's non-fat plain yogurt, oat bran, TJ's High Fiber O's and a drizzle of Sunflower seed butter.

I am really not sure what we are doing today, like I said, not looking to pretty out there this morning. I think tomorrow is supposed to be a much better day. I will be back at some point later today. Enjoy the day, whatever plans you have I hope they are wonderful!!

Question of the day:

I just bought an 8oz. package of tempeh at Trader Joe's and I am looking for a yummy way to eat it. SO, Does anyone have a good recipe or any suggestions on how I should prepare it?


Friday, August 29, 2008

Movie with my Sweetie

I am going to have to make this a quickie because my huz & I are going on a date - to the big over sized chair in our living room. We rented Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End and we are gettin' cozy tonight.
So the food went like this; during the afternoon I had a snack which consisted of a few Kashi crackers, 1/2 cup TJ's plain non-fat yogurt & a banana.

This evening I made a simple dinner but delicious. I had 1 egg & 1 egg white with melted cheddar cheese on a piece of whole wheat bread. On the other slice of bread was almond butter and on the side I had slices of tomato and apple.

AND this is what I will be dishing out for our movie this fine evening. Something new to try - I will let you know what I think tomorrow.

Enjoy your evening - I have to run and put my little hedgehog to bed, he requested mommy so I couldn't say no.
See you tomorrow.

Thin & Crispy

I did some more experimenting in the kitchen this afternoon. I made some very thin and crispy veggie patties. They look more like pancakes today, probably because I used less flour & omitted the oat bran. Today's recipe was 1 cup summer squash & 1/2 cup white kidney beans blended in the food processor until thoroughly chopped. I transfered that to a bowl and added 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry four, about a tablespoon wheat bran, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp Chinese 5 spice, 1/4 tsp hot sauce, 1/2 tsp dried basil and fresh ground pepper. I scooped out 3 equal portions onto a Silpat lined baking sheet and baked for 30 minutes at 350. At the halfway point I did end up flipping. I really liked their flavor and the crispy texture was quite yummy. I think that yesterdays patties were a bit more filling so I might make a few adjustments yet again when making these.
I also had a mini whole wheat pita with TJ's Sunflower seed butter, mmmmmm!!!

Of course I made a nice salad with shredded cabbage & carrots, tofu, a crumbled Kashi Chewy granola bar and Maple Grove Farms dressing.

It is so beautiful outside today. I hope we can venture out and enjoy. See you all later.

Three Blender

Good morning!!! Since I love the taste and texture of overnight oat bran, I made sure to prep a bowl before bed last night. Today I made a triple blender; the soaked oats (this time I had the bran soaking in 1 cup TJ non-fat plain yogurt), 1 Weetabix biscuit, TJ's High Fiber O's and a drizzle of almond butter. It was extra thick and gooey!!!

My honey bunny is staying home!!!! Daddy & D are watching Power Rangers together as I type away - they are way too cute. We all might go to the gym but if not I am definitely getting my run in this morning; I want the afternoon and tonight to be family time. I have the best guys!!!
I hope that you all have an awesome weekend; what are you all up to?

Question of the day:
When you are grocery shopping, how often do you look at the nutrition data & ingredients before purchasing a new product?

I look at EVERY label; I need to know what's in it because of my skin plus I do not buy anything with HFCS (except D's yogurt, he will ONLY eat Yoplait Vanilla & Lime) and it is surprising how many products contain HFCS. I stopped buying a lot of things which really cut down on my grocery bill and my guys haven't even complained.

I am trying to get D off the Yoplait, so yesterday I bought a TJ's Vanilla and mixed in a little honey. He ate it but there was a little complaining. I told him that the other yogurt has HFCS in it and that it is bad for him. I let him know that I was going to stop buying it so that he only puts healthy things in his body. I think my next experiment will be maple syrup.

See you all later!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Replenished

D & I made our trip to Trader Joe's this afternoon and replenished our food supply. I found a PB Cookie Larabar which I had for my afternoon snack. I am in love with this flavor!!

D had Trader Joe's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies - it's one of their 100 cal. pack jobbies.

I saw these freeze dried strawberries and could not resist buying them. They are really yummy!!

I topped my dinner of TJ's plain non-fat yogurt, TJ's High Fiber O's with a drizzle of almond butter (yes, I bought TJ's AB today -it was only 5 bucks!!! At WF it is 10.) and some of the strawberries.
I also had a mini whole wheat pita with melted cheese and sliced tomato but for some reason my camera decided to do away with that shot. I swear I took a snap of it but when I downloaded the pics to my computer it was gone and by then the food was in my tummy.

For dessert I had a Trader Joe's frozen fruit bar - it is like a really fruity Popsicle but not all corn syrupy. I bought the Caribbean Fruit Floes flavor - perfect sweet frosty treat.

So my honey is home - I picked him up from Logan tonight. He has been gone all week and this is actually the 2nd time traveling this month. Last time he was gone the whole week before my b-day. I didn't mention it before, so as to not announce to the world that I was here all by my lonesome. You never know these days. D was so happy to see his daddy, they are such good chums. He was up way later than I like because he wanted to play with his buddy - lets hope the crabby monster doesn't pay me a visit tomorrow. Charlie might stay home tomorrow - I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I really missed him. Plus that would give us 4 days together :) I think it is time to call it a night. See you all in the morning. Goodnight!

Homemade Veggie Patties

This afternoon I was feeling oh so "Martha Stewart" and decided to invent my own veggie patties. I still have tons of summer squash & purple beans that desperately need to be eaten. I whipped out the old trusty food processor and tossed in 1/2 cup chic peas, 1 cup sliced summer squash and a big old handful of beans. I blended it all until it looked kind of pasty. I transfered this goop to a bowl and added 2 tablespoons Whole Wheat Pastry flour, 1 tablespoon oat bran, 1 tsp JalapeƱo mustard (you can use any flav. you like), some dried basil, fresh ground pepper and an egg white. I stirred it all together until it was well combined. Then I scooped out 4 equal size patties onto a Silpat lined baking sheet. You can not form these with your hands - way too moist - my method worked just fine. I baked them at 425 for 30 minutes. At the half way point I turned them over because they seemed to be getting pretty brown on the bottoms. Thankfully they flipped very easily - I was afraid they would fall apart.


You can see how nice and crispy the outside got but they are very moist and tender on the inside. I would have to say a sure winner!! I am so glad that I did a little experimenting today because I am so gonna make these babies more often and I am going to play around with FLAVA!!!

I also had a Thomas English muffin with Sunflower seed butter and ....

some shredded cabbage & carrots tossed with tofu and Maple Grove Farms dressing.

I am dragging the little guy out to the store - time to restock my fridge with some yummy goodies. I am thinking about making a trip to Trader Joe's - it's only about a half hour away. I will let you know if I find anything cool. See you later. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Overnight Maple Oats, mmmmmm!!!

I made myself a bowl of overnight oats this morning using a packet of Kashi Heart to Heart Golden Brown Maple. Before I slipped into dreamland last night I mixed 1 packet with 1/4 cup water and let it soak in the fridge all night. The oats were nice and saturated this morning when I was making my "slop". Yeah I know, not too appetizing and sorry the picture doesn't do it any justice either but it tasted DELICIOUS. I usually prefer oat bran over oatmeal when making my chilled concoctions because the oats can be a little too chewy for my taste. Well that was not the case at all today - this was perfect. In my bowl along with the oatmeal was plain yogurt - I had less than a cup left :( , Weetabix and a little plop of Sunflower seed butter for good measure.

I have been getting some questions about the Sunflower seed butter lately and I have not posted the brand that I like so here it is. My huz prefers the SunButter brand; both are good, I think this one is much better. I buy it at Whole Foods for about $5. I actually bought it once and then they didn't restock it for months. One day my huz found it again & they have been keeping it on the self consistently. If you want to try it but are unable to locate a jar I can always send some out to you, let me know, this stuff is worth a try.

Well it is just about time to get my tush in gear and start the day. We are gym bound again this morning and then I am probably going to have to pick up a few items at the grocery store. My fridge is soooo bare and mommy needs some yogurt. I hope that you have a wonderful day, tomorrow is Friday!!! Do you all have a nice long weekend? I don't :) - I never get holidays off or weekends for that matter AND I can't call in sick!!!

Question of the day:
Do you have a favorite scent?

I love Patchouli - it reminds me of my mommy. I also love the smell of maple syrup; it totally takes me back to being a kid. I think that is why I enjoyed my breakfast so much today. AND the smell of fresh baked bread wafting through my house is the best too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Individual Pizzas

Our pizza night went very well. We all had individual pizzas and I really enjoyed mine. D had a plain cheese although he was hoping for pickles - I couldn't go there. I topped mine with fresh tomatoes, summer squash, mozzarella cheese & a tablespoon of a 3 cheese blend (asiago, fontina, parmesan), dried rosemary & basil and red pepper flakes. The crust was so chewy and delicious - I love homemade pizza. I think we need to do this more often.

The pizza dough is a recipe from a restaurant in Providence called Al Forno. My stepmother has their cookbook so she shared the recipe with me. They grill their pizzas at the restaurant and it is one of the most amazing crusts I have ever had. When I say thin I mean paper thin!!!
I divided this dough into 4 portions before rolling out as thin as I cold get it.

The dough is very easy to work with which is why I like it so much. Here is the recipe if you would like to try it out.

1 envelope (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
pinch sugar
2 1/4 tsp Kosher salt (I reduced mine to 1 tsp and it still came out well)
1/4 cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour (my dough took more like 2 to 2 1/4 cups)
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the sugar.
2. After 5 minutes stir in the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, salt and oil.
3. Gradually add the white flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough has formed.
4. Place the dough on a floured board, and knead it for several minutes, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking.
5. When the dough in smooth and shiny, transfer it to a bowl that has been brushed with olive oil. To prevent a skin from forming, brush to thop of dough with additional oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, away from drafts, until double in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 6. Punch down the dough and knead once more. Let the dough rise again for 40 minutes.
7. Punch down the dough. If it is sticky knead in a it more flour.
I did not oil my bowl, I used nonstick spray and I turned the dough around in it a few times. My dough did not stick to the bowl at all. If any of you give it a try, please let me know how yours turns out.

For dessert I had a bowl of Lemon Sorbetto - I am really digging this stuff.

This afternoon my snack was a Chobani (plain), a banana and almonds.

After my sissy left I tossed Sonic into the shower - he was in desperate need of a cleaning. The poor guy was so tired tonight - I thought he was going to fall asleep during story time. He likes when I lay with him for a few minutes and he was actually asleep when I left.
I am going to catch up on my blog reading then hit the hay myself. I hope you all enjoyed the day. See you tomorrow!

Quickie

Hey all, just a quickie so I can get back to visiting with my sis.
Lunch was a salad; shredded cabbage & carrots, tofu, summer squash, an apple, Kashi granola bar and Maple Grove Farms dressing.

Also a Thomas English muffin with Sunflower seed butter and Smucker's Low Sugar Red Raspberry Preserves.

Sorry so short, time to get back to my company.

Ready Set Go!

Today is going to be another one of mommy's crazy days. My sis & Rocco are coming over again today - yea!! But for some reason the days speed by when we are hanging out with them - a good & bad thing, I guess, at least D is not bored. I made a pizza dough yesterday - it is looking nice and puffy in my fridge - just waiting to be made into pizza. I will give you all the recipe details tonight. The 4 of us are going to make pizza tonight for dinner - should be fun, hopefully not toooo messy.
My soaked oat bran didn't let me down this morning, again another winner. I mixed the usual yogurt, bran, Weetabix and a dollop of Sunflower seed butter - MMMMM!!!!

I'm off to the gym, I'm kind of in the mood for a nice long run again today. Enjoy the day, see you all later.

Question of the day:
Since tonight is pizza night, What is your favorite pizza topping/toppings?

I love veggies : ) of course. I will probably use up some squash tonight but I really love mushrooms, broccoli, red peppers and black olives.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grilled Chicken

Dinner at my Aunt's house tonight was so nice. I got to visit with my 2 cousins, my Uncle, my Aunt, Sissy (her name is actually Brande), Rocco, my brother-in-law and my cousin's boyfriend.
My Uncle made really yummy grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts - I have missed this all summer because our grill is broken. We did try to fix it but the part we bought didn't fit and we are having a hard time finding the part that does. Anyway back to dinner; I also had a salad dressed with fat free italian dressing. I went back for seconds on the salad; this was a pretty lite dinner. I really enjoy being with my family.

For "dessert" I had a nectarine - it was super duper juicy!!

My little hedgehog is all tucked in and probably off in lala land by now. I am pretty pooped myself - another crazy day for mommy. I am actually thinking about going to bed early, I have been staying up way too late the past few days and I think it is catching up with me. Before I turn in I am going to prep myself another bowl of soaked oat bran, mmmmm something to look forward to in the AM.
I hope that you all had a lovely Tuesday, goodnight.

Enjoying the Fresh Air

Sorry this afternoon I'm so late but we got lucky and my sissy & Rocco came to visit. We took the boys to play at the playground with another friend of ours - they had a blast.
Lunch today was my usual monster salad which included shredded cabbage & carrots, tofu, chic peas, a Kashi Chewy Trail Mix granola bar (awesome addition) and Maple Grove Farms dressing.

I also toasted an english muffin and topped it with Sunflower seed butter.

This afternoon's snack is Chobani, an apple, fresh tomatoes (from sis's garden) and some Kashi Crackers.
The 4 of us are heading to my Aunt's house for dinner tonight, I will try to take some pics. This will be the first time eating at a family member's house since blogging - I'm sure that I will get some looks. I will see you later tonight. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Soaked Bran

Last night I put some oat bran in a bowl then covered it with a small amount of water; just enough to dampen the bran. I let that mixture sit in the fridge to soak up all the moisture, I was planning to use it for a nice hearty breakfast in the AM. I must have added the perfect amount of water because all of it was absorbed (I tried this before and it was still watery in the morning so I ended up cooking the oat bran). I added plain yogurt, a banana and Weetabix to the soaked bran. My concoction this morning was so creamy and delicious. I just love a good breakfast, it really starts my day on a good note.

Sonic had his usual waffles and vitamins, of course, can't forget those vitamins. He really wanted a pickle but I just could not imagine a pickle & waffles in his little tummy, yuck!! He asked me if they can put pickles on pizza - hmmmm not my first choice, but yes they CAN. I think he might be looking for a pickle pizza in the near future. I might just have to whip up some pizza dough so he can create his own masterpiece. I would definitely share the results with you guys. Maybe a video is in order, what do you think?
We are off to the gym this morning - Sonic will be happy to play with his buddies.

Question of the day:

If you could take a trip anywhere, where would you go?

Me, I would love to go to Capri, Italy. I saw Giada visit there on one of her shows and it looked breathtaking. I will get there some day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Must try Wheat Berries

So this morning I made some wheat berries and let them chill in the fridge all day. This afternoon I mixed a Chobani vanilla with the wheat berries - the best chewy goodness I have ever had. I expected the wheat berries texture to be like brown rice but it was much firmer. If you have not tried wheat berries you are missing out - give them a try!!

For dinner I made an omlette with 1 whole egg & 2 egg whites, summer squash, shredded cabbage & carrots, mozzarella cheese and a few dashes of Frank's. On the side I had an english muffin topped with Sunflower seed butter & a banana. Mmmmm sunbutter & banana is so yummy!!!

For dessert I had a small bowl of Lemon Sorbetto. If you shop at Stop & Shop definitely treat yourself to a container of this deliciousness.

That is all peeps, time to relax. I am hoping to start my Turbo manual tonight - that is if I have any concentration left. See you in the AM.

Getting My Veggies

I guess you can say that I am not one of those people who has a hard time getting her daily recommended serving of veggies. I probably met my needs with just this salad alone, but that does not mean I will not have more for dinner : ) I am sure you can tell that I love fresh fruit & veggies, the more the merrier!!
In my salad today was shredded cabbage, carrots, spinach, a small nectarine, summer squash, tofu, chic peas, almonds and Maple Grove Farms dressing.

I toasted a Thomas' English muffin which I left plain, to eat with my salad.
Then I wasn't completely satisfied so I ate an oh so sweet apple. Sorry no pic. - it was round and red : )

I have to run to the store to get a couple items we need around here. Then D and I will probably play for the afternoon. My little man actually ate a whole nectarine with his lunch today. Of course the buttered cinnamon sugar bread was not the healthiest lunch but at least I got something other than yogurt into his tummy. I'm off till this evening; enjoy the rest of your day.

What is your Favorite?

Yes it was back to my favorite breakfast this fine Monday morning. I mixed up a cool & creamy bowl of yogurt, oat bran and Weetabix. Then topped it off with a dollop of Sunflower seed butter. Mmm, mmm, mmm good!

Sonic & I are heading out to the gym in a few. The rest of the day kind of depends on the weather - I heard it was supposed to rain. One of the days this week I would like to clean my house - give it a DEEP clean. I really clean every day but I want to get more than the surface areas.
I am going to start a question of the day, I think it will be cool to see how many people answer.
Today's is an easy one; What is your favorite breakfast? You all know mine!!!

Enjoy your day. I will see you back here in the afternoon.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Baked Squash

I still have oodles of squash in my fridge so I decided to cook dinner after all. I sliced some summer squash, covered each slice with 1/4 cup of Enrico's Pizza Sauce then baked it in a 400 degree oven till fork tender. Once I pulled it out of the oven I topped it with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. It was so good; some of the squash pieces were still a little firm - just the way I like it.

I also toasted a Thomas' English muffin and topped it with a tablespoon of Sunflower seed butter.

I did get my yogurt fix with a Chobani vanilla which I ate with a Kashi chewy granola bar for "dessert".

I must say this weekend was great. We had lots of fun and the weather was awesome. So that's a wrap see you in the AM. Good night.

Luscious Lemon

I desperately needed to make a run to the grocery store today. I left D & daddy home and I buzzed through the place lickity split. I saw Tina's post on S&S Lemon Sorbetto & I have been wanting to try it so I bought some while I was there. Of course when I got home it was snack time and I just HAD to try it. It is so creamy even though it is dairy free. It gave me this "summer time" sensation. Absolutely delicious!! I also had a banana but not mixed with the Sorbetto.


Lunch today was one of my famous salad. I threw in spinach, cabbage, carrots, summer squash & zucchini, tofu and Annie's Natural Lite Honey Mustard dressing.

I also toasted 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread. On one slice I melted mozzarella cheese - I swear that is not marshmallow fluff (that would have been yummy) and the other slice had Sunflower seed butter on it.
Look what I found when I returned from the store. I guess Sonic pooped out while trying to put that puzzle together.
Time to get dinner made, I really want yogurt - that might just be what I have.