Pin-tresting

Apples and cheese are a classic fondue pairing. So on Pintrest, it really doesn’t surprise me that there are so many apple-cheddar pies. Some put the cheese in the crust, others in the pie, and others on top. And it didn’t just stop at cheddar and pie. There was Brie, and gallettes, and hand pies, soups, and dips.

You all know my experimentality and how much I adore playing in the kitchen. Needless to say, Pintrest got my gears turning… Some food combos just taste odd together, like this grapefruit protein shake I made one time (not a good post, Pintrest)… But lets face it… bacon goes with EVERYTHING!

Apple-Cheddar-Bacon Pie

serves 8

  • 11 slices thin slice turkey bacon (2 slice for 35 calories)
  • 3 apples (enough to yield 4 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (about 2 1/2 in diameter), finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely choppedWP_008337
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp thyme, to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • salt and pepper, to top

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-in pie pan with nonstick cooking spray and weave 8 slices of turkey bacon. Line the last three slices of bacon around the walls of the pie pan to create the crust. I found that making a little tear in the middle of those three slices helps keep the bacon from rolling down the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 min.

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In the meantime, core and thinly slice the apples. Then, cut your slices in half and measure 4 cups. Combine the apples, celery, and onion in a large skillet on medium heat with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle with thyme, sage, garlic, Splendas, cinnamon, salt, pepper, vanilla, and lemon juice. Toss the mixture. Whisk the cornstarch with cold water until dissolved and pour over apple mix. Recover with the lid until bacon crust finishes baking.

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Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop 3/4 cup shredded cheddar. Set aside. Next, process the cereal until extremely fine. Add the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar to the processor, and blend until evenly distributed.

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Stir just the processed cheese into the apple mix, and transfer mix to the baked bacon, spreading the cheesy blend evenly over crust. Return to the 350 F oven for 15 minutes.

Lastly, add the unsweetened applesauce to the processor of cheese and Fiber One crumbs and blend until a crumble is created. Get messy, and use your hands to crumble on top of the warm pie. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and return to the oven for a final 25 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, while you make the optional sauce.

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What really is the icing on the pie is this sweetened thyme yogurt sauce!

Thyme Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Blend and dollop!

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Rather than sticking with the sweet/tart, salty feel, I wanted something a little more savory. I was really impressed that the bacon crust stayed perfectly together when the pie was sliced. I was  even more impressed by the the afterthought of dressing up some yogurt. Thank goodness for that afterthought, too, because it tied all the sweet and savory flavors if the pie together.

Nutrition: (1/8 of pie and 1/2 Tbsp sauce)

Calories:119, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 391mg, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 10g

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I would imagine that this could also be served with an over-easy egg, where the yolk would act as the yogurt sauce.

I’ve sort of rediscovered my love for apples recently so you may see another apple pie riff sooner that you think.

Everything is Better With Bacon

While mindless cruising the internet one night, Barry and I found a picture of a cinnamon roll with bacon in it… Yeah baby! I made these for breakfast the other day and served them with eggs to Barry and Dad. Dad, then took a baggie of them to work for a snack .

 

Sweet Bacon Rolls

makes 8WP_005831

  • 1 pkg Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 tsp granulated Splenda
  • 8 slices of Thin & Crispy Turkey Bacon (Butterball)

Preheat over to 350 F. Lay out a piece of plastic/saran wrap. Roll the crescent roll pieces out and pinch together the seems to create 1 large rectangle. Cover the dough with another piece of wrap and proceed to rollover it with a rolling pin or can, to make the dough seamless and to thin it out. Make sure you roll out the dough so a slice of bacon can perfectly lie across it. Remove the top plastic wrap.

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Combine the cinnamon, applesauce, and two Splenda blends. Brush the sweet paste over your rolled-out dough, to reach all the edges. Lay the bacon evenly spaced over the paste-covered dough. Begin to roll the dough up. I find the bottom layer of plastic wrap, really helps to evenly roll the dough. Slice the log into 8 pieces and arrange on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, and enjoy!

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Nutrition: (1 roll)

Calories: 123, Fat: 7.3g, Sat. Fat: 2.4g, Cholesterol: 7.1mg, Sodium: 310mg, Carbs: 12.3g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 4.1g, Protein: 2.5g

They were so buttery and tasty and went perfectly with eggs! I would most definitely suggest this for a bunch, a light on the go breakfast/snack, or to pair with eggs, like we did.

WP_005777There is just something so classic and addicting about the salty bacon and the sweetness from the applesauce and cinnamon.

We had one left that I left on the counter, before running a few errands. It mysteriously disappeared, but the wrapper magically appeared next to someone’s bed and a paw print was found at the scene of the crime…. Apparently Labs like these roll, too!

Brunch and Dinssert

Kicking It With Christ:

What a nice Sunday! It began with 8am mass with my mom! Whenever we go to mass together, we are peachy for the rest of the day and we are both in great moods. My dad told her she needs to go every Sunday! Hahah

I was a bit puzzled by today’s Gospel, but Father’s homily cleared it up. It was entertaining, amusing, and kept my attention all the way through, and it really made me examine my life. I knew from the time he started I wanted to share it with you. Even if you’re not Catholic or Christian, its a universal message we can all apply to our lives.

He made me laugh as he began to discuss the criteria for a good husband, wife, sister, etc. “I can’t just say I’m a good priest because I show up to mass on time.” What’s the universal criteria that makes us do good? Father is an ex-cop and he mentioned the rewards that are offered for information about a crime. As helpful as the tips are, why should we have to pay or bribe someone to do the right thing? The Gospel, in short, was not just about doing good or the right thing. These are simple and innate obligations that Christ, as well as the community, expects from you. Christ is constantly challenging us to take it a step further. Not to remain stagnant in our lives and morals. I loved the analogy Father used… “Don’t just be please with yourself because you refrained from punching that guy in the head. Take it a step further and remove that hatred from your heart.” Not only did this make me chuckle, but it really made me think about my everyday actions, the roles of daughter, sister, nurse, friend, etc. that I play in life.

Am I really taking things a step further? Or am I simply fulfilling my obligation? 

Following mass, I talked to Father, who was an absolute outlet and source of strength during my recovery. Our conversation was followed by a proud hug and congratulations when I told him that my 1 year anniversary of beginning recovery was quickly approaching!

Great Homily, Father Hurley! And thanks for everything!

Brunch, Baby:

I have been loving brunch on the weekends I do not work. I would love to start making a tradition of it! This morning was the perfect brunch food: a frittata. I mention in my last frittata post the beauty of these things: the ability to throw anything you want in them. Like, when you have left overs, and either don’t know what to do with them or don’t have enough for another meal… throw it in a frittata!

The broccoli rabe that I used in my Sicilian-Inspired Rabe was grown by my uncle’s neighbor and was already blanched for me. I had so much left over that I could only remember how delicious the last frittata was! Oh, and then theres that eggplant from the fish wraps from the other night. I got this!!!!

Eggplant Parm Frittata

serves 8

  • 11.75 oz eggplant, 1/4 in slicedWP_004142s
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli rabe
  • 1/3 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 4 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup flax milk, or milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp fat free shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 packet Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp dried chopped or minced garlic

Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and lay the eggplant slices over high heat and brown. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F. After you flip the eggplant and both sides have been browned, transfer the slices into a sprayed 9 in x 13 in pyrex. Layer the eggplant slices along the bottom, cutting and fitting the slices to fit the bottom of the pan. Respray the skillet, and add the cooked broccoli rabe, onions, and minced garlic. Cover with a lid, and heat on low.

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In the meantime, whisk the egg, egg substitute, milk, water, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Flip the broccoli rabe. Pour 1/4 cup of water over vegetables and cover, steaming over low heat. Measure out 1/4 cup mozzarella and finely chop, and add to the egg mix. Remove the broccoli rabe, onions, and garlic and transfer to cutting board. Roughly chop the vegetables into 1/2 in pieces or so. Add to egg bowl.

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Ensure the pyrex side are well sprayed with non-stick spray, and pour the contents of the egg bowl in the dish. Finely chop the remaining 2 Tbsp mozzarella, and sprinkle over top casserole. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.  While baking, combine the pizza sauce with Splenda.

After the 30 minutes, turn the casserole 180 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, evenly spread the frittata with the sweetened sauce, then Parmesan. Lastly, sprinkle the top with garlic spice according to your taste. (We love garlic!) Return to the oven for a final 15 minutes.

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Slice the frittata into 8 slices and serve!

Nutrition: per 1/8 of dish

Calories: 126, Fat: 1.2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 25.9mg, Sodium: 430.5mg, Carbs: 8.6g, Fiber: 2.6g, Sugar: 4.6g, Protein: 18.3g

WP_004138Scrapple, by far, is in no way a healthy choice, even if one DOES eat the leaner cuts of beef scrapple. It is, however, a Bundo favorite! I sliced up a loaf of bacon scrapple (not impressive, by the way) for the crew, and we said Grace and dug into a delicious brunch! Argument free!

We were all stuffed until dinner! My dad raved about the frittata and couldn’t believe the creation and the taste, and how full he was even at dinner time. But I’m not surprised with almost 20g of protein per serving! Mom, dad, and I watched the Eagles/ Giants game, as we did some laundry (and blogging).

A quickie trip to the tanning salon (I have a wedding coming up and I’m a bit pastey), and I was inspired. I had “Brunch,” but pumpkin spice froyo is out… Dinner? Dessert? Dessert for dinner? Dinssert, it is!

Hey, Boo! Froyo at 5? “It’s a date!”

A quick text later, and we met up with one of my nursing school girlfriends! Yummy in our tummies! She text us awhile back asking for a froyo dinner dinner date and we had to decline since Barry and I were both working. I loved that I was able to return the favor, and that she, Aaron, and her kids could join us! My main agenda for the spur-of-the-moment dinner date was to attack the pumpkin spice soft serve! I repeated my mode of attack as I did at the Flyers game and grabbed a splash of each. And an extra splash of pumpkin. Next, come my favorite part! Topping! Mango, raspberries, strawberries, almond slices, toasted coconut, and an oreo all found their way to my bowl! Barry enjoyed his double-size PB and chocolate fix ,as usual.WP_004148WP_004149

So we had dinner. Whats next? Oh yeah! Ice cream for dessert! a scoop of Edy’s Slow Churned Salted Caramel and a decaf french vanilla coffee went down the hatch as we watch the FLyers pull out another loss. But guess what? My eating was controlled, I felt when I was full, and I felt no guilt!

I must say… good weekend!

I’d Rather Go Green than Be Blue

After a wonderful birthday party, last night, Barry and I came home. While he mowed the lawn, I unloaded some bags and really got in the mood for something. I’ve said it before… Trail mix can be mighty dangerous! I grabbed a handful of mix and a  big spoonful of Edy’s slow Churned to satisfy this sweet crunch tooth. Unfortunately, I kept nibbling on the trail mix (I love the nuts and raisins so much). It wasn’t like a binge, and it wasn’t like a I couldn’t use calories. If it weren’t for the trail mix I would not have gone over 600 calories, today. This did not stop my guilt and after walking outside to vent to Barry, I went to the bathroom for a small purge. Stupid, I know, and unnecessary.

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After and interesting attempt at making some not very attractive, homemade Blueberry PopTarts (I’m sure we’ll get it next time! ), and splitting a banana, Barry and I headed back off to bed, as we both have night shift tonight.

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It was a pretty scatter-brained afternoon for me. I forgot my phone at Barry’s and, of course, when I got back to the house, I couldn’t remember the security code, so the alarm went off! On my way home, I began an anxiety attack. I arrived home just in time for Frank to help talk me down. “I can’t eat! I can’t eat!” I kept yelling between hyperventilations.

I did what I do best and cooked. Well, its not so much cooking, as assembling, and playing with measurements, but however you look at it, I made a pretty mean broccoli salad.

Bundo Broccoli Salad

makes 4 large servings

  • 2 boxes 45 calorie raisins, by SunMaid (or 90 calories of raisins)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup OIKOs plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Hellmans light mayo
  • 2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp real bacon crumbles, like Oscar Mayer
  • 12 oz bag fresh brocolli florets
  • 1.5 oz broccoli slaw

Chop raisins, shredded cheddar, and onions. Combine with yogurt, mayo, Splenda, vinegar, pepper, sunflower seeds, and bacon. Pour over top broccoli and slaw and thoroughly mix.  Add pepper to taste, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition:

Calories: 148, Fat: 6.7g, Sat. Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 4.1mg, Sodium: 282mg, Carbs: 14.8g, Fiber: 3.6g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 8.1g

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After a quick taste test, my nerves were calmed a bit and made the decision that I needed to eat. I whipped up a Sam-Rock Shake, for something low-cal and filling. Its going to be a rather green night, but I’d rather go green with health than blue with depression. To top off the night, I spilled a mug of hot tea on myself. Just great!

Before leaving work and before my mom’s boyfriend, if that what you’d call him, came over, I told her we needed to talk! She’s been acting like nothing ever happend. You know we’re not okay, right? She has been trying to make plans with me, but I’m just waiting for her to back out at the last minute. Don’t think because we spend a few hours together tomorrow that nothing happened this week. She kept responding with “I know… I understand…” No! You don’t understand! You have never had to experience with your mother what I have with you, It hurts and its NOT okay!

We ended the conversation on a good note and I pray it didn’t just go in one ear and out of the other. We supposedly have plans for tomorrow…

Is That For Real?

Last night, Barry and I went shopping for some patio furniture. I told I’m we could only get the table if I was allowed to put it together! Being handy gives me some feeling of accomplishment.  I get really proud when I can put things together. So after a lovely table was assembled, I learned that Blueberry Craisins, besides be addicting, are really good in yogurt!

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Moving on…

With internet and Photoshop and the ever evolving technology, its hard to figure out what’s real and what’s just a joke.

I mean, think about it… How many times has Morgan Freeman died or McDonald’s twitter account been hacked?

I saw this breakfast sandwich and thought it was a spoof on Paula Deen, in the midst of her recent dealings in the court. Needless to say, when I walked into Dunkin, I couldn’t believe they actually had a bacon and egg sandwiched between a glazed donut! (Paula is famous for her burger between two Krispy Kremes).

Barry and I have been talking about this sandwich for days, now, and he finally gave into temptation this morning on our way to the shore.

Barry didn’t think the flavors meshed, so naturally I had to try it. I promptly corrected his blasphemy. The saltiness from the bacon and sweetness from the glaze… I held the sandwich for a hot second and was still tasting glaze on my fingers 30 minutes later! That glaze gets everywhere!

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While Barry was driving, I searched this breakfast sandwich, only to find some other interesting food combinations all of the world.

Some items that I found interesting and dangerously tempting to try:

Gross Foods -- In and Out 100 by 100 Burger19 Outrageous Fast Food Items

  • We have a local farm that makes bacon ice cream. I’ve had it and its not super impressive, but you still can’t take away how decadent bacon, ice cream, fudge, and caramel sound together!
  • The Carl’s Jr. Breakfast Sandwich sounds right up my alley. I won’t lie to you… whenever I get BK breakfast, which isn’t very often, I always put my tots on the sandwich! Carb on Carb!
  • Hardee’s Monster Biscuit is like a breakfast meat-lovers paradise! The only thing missing is scrapple!
  • 100×100 Burger is so unrealistic! Who thinks of this? I just want to point out that the only person that might be able to eat this whole thing is Joey Chestnut, and I would want an EMT on standby to revive him after his cheese induced heart attack. (by the way… 1 slice of cheese is around 80 calories… thats 8000 calories of cheese, alone!)

Extreme Eats

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Yeah, that says “Fried Butter!” Yay, Seaside!

  • Um, mac and cheese buns… with mac and cheese… and bacon… and more cheese…. and mayo… Zombie Burger has really done  it!
  • Speaking of Mac and Cheese… the mac and cheese pizza is tasteless from CiCis. I had it when the the company first opened and    was not impressed with anything from the menu.
  • After seeing everything that you can fry at the stand in Seaside, I’m not impressed with the KitKat Pops from the Pizza Hut in the Middle East.

7231366738286_45725Over the Top Fast Food Creations:

  • (Slide 2) The ‘Merica Burger just looks like a heart attack.
  • (Slide 5) A Sloppy Joe on a Krispy Kreme! I dig sloppy joes because they are, well, sloppy… I can only imagine the pairing of    sweet donut to the tangy sauce…
  • (Slide 9) Sonic’s PB and Bacon Shake= Instant obesity. Check out the sugar content! 82g of sugar and 79g of fat!
  • (Slide 16) BK Japan puts pumpkin on some buns with a nut sauce. The concept sounds delicious in spite of the pumpkin being      fried, but, hey, maybe this will be the next BeWell make over!
  • (Slide 23) When I was a kid, stuffed crust pizza was my jam. Now, Pizza Hut UK has a hot dog stuffed crust. After looking up the    nutritional facts, I may have to dabble in a homemade version, because the concept just sounds too good!

Barry shared this with me. I’ve heard of the Tur-Duck-en, but this is a whole new level of crazy!

So much for this being a healthy living blog…

Tempted by Tempeh

This morning, since it was Barry’s first morning back, it was a blueberry pancake morning. The special guest star? Bar Harbor Wild Blueberry Preserves!

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I was pretty excited when I find these easy to make complete Easy Packs by Hungry Jack. Its the perfect size for a few people and they had Blueberry Wheat! Even better. Not having blueberries in the house, I warmed up a few tablespoons of the preserves and drizzled the newly formed syrup over the poured batter. Aside from the last three pancakes getting a little toasty, they were a hit. Barry, being the blueberry king that he is, doused his plate with blueberry syrup, as well. To finish the meal with some protein, eggs. Over easy for me and medium for him.

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We kicked off his first day back with a date at the shooting range, followed by a ton of errands! I introduced Barry to Wholefoods today! I love when I take people there for the first time. Its like they are little kids! Barry fell in love with bakery, as most people do. He wanted to buy one of everything! He left with a brownie cheesecake muffin and a cookies n cream cupcake. I was a good girl. We all know how I get around sweets…

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Its so funny! He’s already planning our next trip to Wholefoods, including having lunch there. He was in love the meats department. I don’t think he believed me when I told him how beautiful the meats were. He would up spending a few bucks on meats, as well.

After continuing with errands, we headed home. I read in a magazine that the calcium in frozen yogurt helps relieve cramps. Best excuse ever to take your boyfriend out for froyo!

Barry definitely has a sweet tooth for similar tastes as myself… Chocolate and peanut butter. He opted for the cheesecake froyo at Yogurt City topped with chocolate, caramel, Reese cups, chocolate jimmies, blueberries and bananas. I went with the no sugar added strawberry yogurt topped with kiwi, mango, strawberries, and sliced almonds! I do believe I am developing quite a skill for froyo perfection!

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We headed back to the house after about 5 hours of being out while at Wholefoods, we picked up a tempeh that I have never seen before: Fakin Bacon smoky tempeh by Lightlife. While cooking it, the kitchen actually did begin to smell like bacon. I also roasted some bell peppers, sliced baby carrots, onion, tomato, and cauliflower seasoned with garlic and basil. Topping a bed of spinach, I think this was the healthiest meal Barry had had in a long time! Plus, he had never had tempeh before. ( We all know I’m addicted to the stuff.) I always enjoy a roasted veggie and tempeh salad drizzled with BBQ sauce, and today was no different. Also, while at Wholefoods, we picked up Annie’s Organic Hot Chipotle BBQ sauce, since we both have a love for sweet and spicy. It had much more of a kick than either one of us expected, and our lips were tingling a good while after eating our salads. I can’t wait to BBQ some chicken breast with this stuff!

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We wrapped up our evening with oreos and PB, and some hockey. It was a nice day spent with the boyfriend. Tomorrow… road trip.