First’s Together

Talk about nervous eating!

So the food news is that I think u figured out why I get hungry at night. The bad news is that I have another mystery to figure out.

A girlfriend of mine suggested that I’m hungry at night because I work shift work. Since most of my shifts are at night, it could be throwing my body’s rhythm off.

Totally valid.

But I realized last night that on the days I sleep late, I eat more. One would think I’d eat less because I’m awake less hours, right?

Any ideas?

Moving on…

Yesterday, I experienced a few firsts:

  • Seafood in breakfast
  • Tony Luke’s
  • Hockey game

I slept in yesterday until a phone call woke me around 1130 am. I was still pretty hurt by the happenings with my mom from the night before and I think I slept to cope. Barry came over after his dentist appointment and I made brunch.

WP_004092Yesterday was National Fried Scallop Day. I wasn’t about to go hog wild with scallops but I remembered I had a small convenient frozen package of small bay scallops. After browning them in a skillet, I  combined it with crumbled turkey bacon and fat free cheese to create omelets for Barry and myself, while he made us some coffee.

While eating, I took the opportunity to apologize for how hard-headed I had been the night before. I  was terrible to him. I wouldn’t look at him or talk to him. He didn’t do anything wrong, I was just too caught up in my own head. In fact, Barry, and my girlfriend for high school, Maggie, really tried to make my day special. Barry had flowers delivered to the house, pink lilies, of course, and they were beautiful. They wound up being the center-piece on the table of my birthday dinner. And Maggie surprised the heck out of me! I had no clue she was coming over! To top it off, she got us tickets to see Demi Lovato in March!

WP_004121After a few odd and ends, Barry and I drove to Philly. We had time to kill and decided to grab dinner before heading to our destination. I suggested Tony Luke’s on Oregon Ave. Neither one of us had eaten there, but its a pretty popular joint. Its got a pretty decent-sized menu for a joint of its size. A few things caught our eye on the menu, but I begged Barry to get the Italian. I forgot to tell them no cheese, but delicious nonetheless, delicious. The Italian is a pork sandwich with spinach or broccoli rabe and provolone cheese. I, of course, opted for the rabe and asked for red peppers. While we were waiting for our sandwich, I grabbed hot sauce, sliced pickles, and cherry peppers for snacking! I love peppers, if you couldn’t figure that out by how often I eat them 🙂

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One of my favorite things at Pat’s and Geno’s is putting cherry peppers on my steaks, so I was rather pleased to see that Tony Luke’s had them. I must have been pretty hungry, because I had eaten three cherry peppers, straight up. And they were good! Barry and I shared the Italian and we can not wait to go back!

With full stomachs and firey mouths from the hot sauce and peppers, we headed off to our destination: The Wells Fargo Center!

Barry is a huge Flyers fan. I, on the other hand, barely know anything about hockey, but love sports! Barry took me to my first hockey game and I had an absolute blast! I was learning the lingo, yelling at the officials, and screaming, “Knock’em out!” I had an absolutely wonderful time at the game and I can’t wait to go back! We discussed this concept of returning to the stadium and I voted that we make a tradition of it! Tony Luke’s for dinner and then the hockey game! What a great birthday present and nice way to spend our 5 month anniversary!

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WP_004097“Look! They have a Sammy stand, hun!” I turned to see a concession stand called Melissa’s Farm to Fan, offering products like trail mix, Nutrigrain bars, black bean burgers, and apples. I had never seen that before in a sports complex, but I’m glad to see that the center is offering healthier alternatives.

I thought it was really neat how the soft pretzels were shaped, too! These are one of Barry’s weaknesses. My weakness? FroYo! Yes, froyo at a hockey game! I find it funny that I am always cold, I bought a cup of coffee, and I am bundled up, chowing down on a bowl of delicious frozen yogurt! As Barry and I circled the complex, smelling the wings and hot dogs in the air, I tried to figure out if ice cream was what I wanted, or if froyo was the way to go.  After some debating, I went with the frozen yogurt, because I love topping bars!!!!  I got a small squirt of all 6 flavors (chocolate, coffee, apple sorbet, salted caramel, vanilla, and cake batter),  from Gozen Yogurt, and topped  the bowl with cookie dough pieces, strawberries, and some mint chip pieces. Oh yeah!

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While I allowed Barry about 3 bites of this bowl, I watched the couple in front of us attack this bad boy! It looked spectacular! I could not believe how huge it was, but they tore it up!

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I also came to the conclusion that Phillies and Eagle’s fans go to Pat’s and Geno’s, while Flyer’s fans head to Tony Luke’s. The line of bright orange pretty much helped me come to this conclusion.

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After the game, I came home to finalize all of my paperwork for my job interview. While I was doing so, I had some serious nervous energy and ate. But the beauty of it was that I did not freak out and I did not purge. My one focus was on nailing my interview.

Disappointments

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan. In cooking, I say go with the flow, but in life,  its not always so easy.

When people celebrate birthdays, others go out of their way to make that persons day special. I tried to be my own special person this year.

I was happy with my gnocchi and my Sicilian rabe, even my troubling and manicly-baked cookies were pleasing. None of this mattered to me when my mom fell threw on traditions, wouldn’t sit with us at dinner and nit-picked through the food I had spent the previous week preparing.

I wanted to enjoy my birthday. I really did. I left the dinner table and went to my room to be alone, but it still didn’t help. I was frustrated. I was hurt. It doesn’t matter what I do, she always needs to pick it apart.

No one else picks apart my food. I turned into the bad guy, last night. I couldn’t deal with her anymore. I had had enough! First, she was late coming home, which messed up our plans. Then, she broke our family tradition of getting ballons, which broke my heart. She picked apart my salad I had made and then the gnocchi and that was it!

I was done with her, the dinner, the attitude, everything! It was the straw that broke the  camels back.

I ended my birthday, laying in bed with a bowl of ice cream and birthday cookies, singing myself “Happy Birthday.”

Yay birthdays!

Patient Birthdays

Saturday

Today, a very dear patient of mine celebrated their birthday with us at the hospital. Unfortunately, I have celebrated many patient birthdays in the hospital. At least, they are surrounded by people who love them!

This evening, my patient had loads of cupcakes that their family had brought in. I couldn’t leave the room without grabbing one. I decided to ask Amy if she would split them with me.

This is always a trouble, when patients and families give you food. You hate to say, “no,” so you take it. Even when you do say, “no,” they continue to insist, and you take it anyway. My eating had been great all day so I felt little,but some, guilt about splitting cupcakes with my one of my girlfriends for a patient who means so much to me.

It was a nice sweet treat that worried me about spiraling into a cupcake frenzy. Both were vanilla cupcakes, one from a bakery around their home, with cream cheese frosting, and the other, a homemade one with cookies n’ cream icing. With my love of oreos, I snagged the cookies n’ cream cupcake and called dibs on the mini oreo topping it! Yum!

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Backing up bit, breakfast was a smoothie bowl. Today is National Strawberry Cream. I feel like its kind of an incompletely titled holiday but nonetheless:

Strawberry Cream Protein Smoothie

  • 1 strawberry yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • frozen strawberries
  • guar and xnathum
  • water
  • ice

I topped mine with Special K Protein cereal for crunch, at first. But then, I realized that freeze-dried strawberries were an awesome topping, too!

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Dinner was a bowl of soup, topped with salsa, and a side of celery sticks for snacking. The meal was paired with half an oreo cupcake!

I’m usually not a fan of clerking, but tonight was great because we had tons of discharges and I kept busy for majority of the night!

Sunday

With another shift of work ahead of me, I enjoyed  a yummy coffee protein bowl in honor of National Coffee Day! I actually was a coffee fiend, ironically, all day!

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The shake was a blend of Cafe Latte mix, spinach, fresh raspberries, CPB2, and SF raspberry and Kahlua syrups. To top it off, I crumbled a quarter of a Gnu Espresso Chip bar (I’m so bummed this flavor is discontinued). I love having that ability to chew, not just drink my shakes. Plus, it makes the shake so much more filling and is also a combo of chocolate and coffee.

I grabbed a cup of coffee before work, and headed off to my unit. It was another great night on the unit. It was another night of filling (Not So) soup and celery sticks. With this experimentality of mine, I tried adding a little honey mustard and BBQ sauce from the caf. It actually gave the soup a really nice flavor- almost a southwestern inspiration.

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Right before dinner, I was surprised how bad I wanted another cup of coffee. Its amazing how tastes change as you age. I was never a coffee drinker until high school- hot tea was always my thing. The only time I would drink coffee was to feel like my dad. Now, I actually am a coffee addict!

I can still remember my parents ordering a cheesesteak with friend onions, and sitting there trying to pick out all the little slivers with my fingers. Or picking off the onions and peppers off a sausage sandwich. Or Thursday Wing nights, when dad would bring home hot wings, I would wash off the sauce before eating them. Now, it seems like every day is started with a cup of the good stuff, almost every meal had peppers or onions, and hot sauce is always my go-to condiment!

They say our bodies change about every 7 years… maybe thats the reason our taste buds change, too!

WP_004058Speaking of changing tastes, I never thought I’d enjoy Cajun Trail Mix. I mean. everyone loves trail mix, but Deb, one of our nurses, brought this bag of trail mix in. I was getting hungry and gave it a try. Those butter roasted peanuts make it! That salty, sweet and crunchy combination of all the ingredients makes this stuff hard to resist!

Getting home, and having worked on the floor for my shift, I was surprised by how hungry I was. I actually would up eating a whole head of romaine lettuce! (I’m like a rabbit.) Some fabulous Rainbow Goldfish joined the party, too.

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I can feel the wave of exhaustion rushing over me and I am hoping to have a relatively early start tomorrow. With that, I say goodnight!

(Not So) Split Pea Soup

This morning was another late morning. Even though I rolled out of bed in my footie pajamas, it didn’t deter me from making a cheeseburger inspired breakfast and began today’s recipe. I tried to think of all the things I love on a burger that I could incorporate into eggs. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t figure out how to use pickles. None the less, I used my egg form to create the pattie shape. I threw in two tablespoons of Morning Star soy crumbles for the beef, chopped onion, spinach for the lettuce, and mushrooms. After the bottom formed, I added some water to the surrounding pan and  covered it to steam the eggs through. I finished off the egg with some shredded fat free cheddar cheese and drizzle of ketchup. Mission accomplished! Oh yeah, it;s National Cheeseburger Day…

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It was another day with minimal motivation, and minimal appetite. I eventually ate a big bowl of watermelon, followed by rice cake smeared with smashed raspberries. Have you ever looked at mashed raspberries. They’re beautiful!

I finally found a little motivation. I set small goals, like vacuum the living room and do 25 push-ups, vacuum the kitchen and do 25 crunches. I tried to tidy up the house and clean up so that when mom got home from work, she would be surprised to see a clean house and big pot of soup for her birthday.

When mom called to tell me she had to work late, my motivation went out the door and I had to think of something to eat to hold me over until we could enjoy her birthday dinner together. The winner was to finish the head of romaine lettuce and top it with salsa (you know I’m a salsa freak).

Yesterday, Barry brought me one of my favorite candies and I am so incredibly proud of myself! I used to not be able to control myself around a bog of Peanut M&Ms. I had 6 yesterday. Not even at one sitting, but throughout the night! I was so incredibly proud of my self control! This means I’m on the right track!

By the time mom got home, the carpets were vacuumed and shampooed, the stove, toaster over, and refrigerator were scrubbed cleaned, the kitchen floor as swept, and the counters were cleaned. I love that the first thing she said as she walked in the house was, “Who cleaned the glass door? I can see through it!”

WP_003933Split Pea Soup kind of has a bad rap. My mom and I love the stuff! Linda Blair, on the other hand, has probably been scarred for life. Others, I think, just like scrapple, simply are turned off by its appearance or concept.

My mommom is pretty well-known for her Split Pea Soup, so I gave it a whirl. Its also a great way to utilize that left over bone from Easter’s spiral ham! (By the way, this is a 2-day prep soup).

As hard as I tried, I just felt like a failure at this soup, but with a few alterations, mom and I filled up on two bowls each of this stuff!

Split Pea Soup

WP_003935makes 16 servings

  • 2 lbs dry, bagged peas
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely shopped
  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 oz ham, or low sodium lunch meat ham
  • 1/2 cup Brummel and Brown, or another light spread
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • fat free shredded mozzarella cheese (optional) topping

WP_003946 WP_003949Soak the dried peas in 4 gallons of water over night. The next day, skim any residue off the top. Add the bay leaf, onion, and ham bone and cook on low. Begin by stirring occasionally and skimming residue, fat, and pea skins off the top. As the peas continue to cook, stir more frequently, and continue to skim. Alternate 20 minutes of boiling with 45 minutes of low heat for the next 6 hours.

Use the back of a spoon to check how cooked the peas are. If the peas mash easily against the side of the pot, add the carrots and continue to cook on low. When all of the peas begin to break down, remove the ham bone. If there is any meat on the ham bone, feel free to pull off the bone. If using lunch meat, dice the honey ham and briefly toss in a skillet to brown the edges. Set the ham aside. Remove the bay leaf and add the salt and pepper.

My grandmother stressed to me the importance of waiting until the very end to season the soup, and I don’t argue with this matriarch!

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Grandmom mashes the entire pot by hand. I am not so patient, and used one of those new-fangled food processors to speed the process along. Using a slotted spoon, spoon 2 cups of peas to 1/2 cup broth in a food processor and whirl away. Set this aside and continue this process with the rest of the peas. Once the peas have been blended, add them back to the broth, along with the ham. Bring to a boil and continue to boil with a partially covered pot for about 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat reserve 4 cups of broth. Carefully pour out the soup into a large colander. Quickly transfer the strained vegetables into a large bowl, and stir in the garlic powder and buttery spread. Next, stir in the reserved broth.

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WP_003955Serve it up and sprinkle with a little shredded mozzarella, if you’d like.

The rest of the night was spent with my mama. I made her our all-time favorite drink: a  Amaretto Di Saronno and gingerale with maraschino cherries. Mom went to the store and come home with movie theatre boxes of candy. Oh man! I was digging the Red Hots! I forgot how darn good those were! And, of course, two Butterfinger Bites were had. While mom drank her drink, I threw a scoop of Vanilla Maple Arctic Zero in with a diet root beer for a simple float.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Hectic Weekend

Saturday

Last night ended with a handful of grapes and a bunch of pretzel sticks with Honey Mustard Dip. I was able to get close to 900 calories in yesterday! It was because I listened intently to my body. I ate when I was hungry, and stopped when I felt full (although I could have ate that whole darn birthday pie, myself). After I reviewed what I ate for the day, I was happy with it. I didn’t eat too much of one thing, and I didn’t eat too little, but that damn number is still hauntingly and dauntingly eating away at me.

I thought about why I could be getting so paranoid. A few things came to mind:

  • Vendemmia (a big wine and food festival coming up)
  • my girlfriend’s wedding
  • Halloween candy
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas cookies

I need to be able to take these events like any other person. Just listen to myself. I know this eating disorder is something I will live with the rest of my life, but as long as there are more good days than bad, and supportive people to help get me through them, I can live with it.

Today is National Eat a Hoagie Day. Although it technically wasn’t a hoagie, I made a breakfast sandwich that was pretty tasty of eggs, Canadian bacon, hot sauce and cheddar on toast.

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A little bit later, to hold me over until work, was a bowl of Greek yogurt I i splashed some sugar free pumpkin pie spice syrup into and topped with sunflower seeds for a nutty taste. And it really did the trick!

WP_003916I couldn’t quite wait for dinner but needed something in my belly. My assignment was a bit wacky and out of the ordinary, tonight, so I decided to take advantage of a short break and enjoy a tart granny smith apple. About two hours later, I had my actual dinner.

Dinner tonight was a spinach salad topped with half a Lean Cuisine Greek-style Chicken Salad Creation (minus the croutons).

WP_003917I really liked the cucumber dill dressing that came with it! Ever since I started making dill salads I’ve started to develop a taste for the herb.

I was proud of myself. When I arrived at work, there was a bowl filled with Reese cup miniatures. I went the while shift ignoring them. 7 pm hit like a tornado and I was non stop! . When I finally got to sit down and breath, o decided a salty sweep piece of chocolate was well deserved.

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Sunday

After work, last night, dad wanted me to come over and I was surprised by how hungry I was when I left work. I went to dads house and we stayed up late snacking on veggies and salsa. We even ate half a jar of roasted red peppers! They are so tasty, plain or on a saltine. (Please excuse dad’s pile of mail… its a bachelor pad,,, what do you expect?)I even took a bite of a hoagie, and actual hoagie! It was delicious! I had the calories to spare, and I had a great time!

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The temperature seriously dropped, last night. I know I didn’t need to, but I totally put on the footie pajamas! Yes, I am an adult and adore footie pajamas!! Even my dad says how solidly I sleep when I’m in them. I love this picture dad snapped of me. Red handed with a bell pepper and a jar of salsa in my sock monkey footies! We stayed up, I don’t even know until what time, watching Monk. It used to be our Friday thing before I got sick, so I really enjoyed having that with my dad, again. Its another reminded how important my recovery is.

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The next thing I knew, it was noon, today, and my dad was waking me up. I went back to my mom’s house to grab my medication, and try to keep busy before work. I first made my Key Lime Pie protein smoothie bowl, that I’ve been craving. Instead of the usually flax or crumbled graham topping, I topped it with flax and Fiber One cereal. It was so delicious, especially paired with a coffee. I recently got a new shipment of sugar free syrups flavors and I’ve been trying them out. Today’s first mug of coffee was flavored with Pumpkin Pie Spice SF syrup, and Eggnog SF syrup. Wow!

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I ran out to the oriental market to pick up a few necessities and returned home a bit manic about eating last night at dads. I worked with my best outlet and cooked. Its not really “cooking” but I made my girlfriend a batch of the Sammy San Seaweed Salad.  I can’t wait for her to taste it! I made a final cup of joe for a pick me up before work, flavored with another new flavor, English Toffee SF syrup. I’m glad I went with a second cup of coffee, today, because work had plans to keep me busy.

WP_003923I arrived at work to a birthday cake, which I ignored the entire shift! Not like I would have had time to eat any. I barely had time to chart, let alone eat my dinner. A few animal crackers helped to finish through the night, but I could not believe how busy it was! Weekends at the hospital are usually slow! SSSSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW! Its typically filled with discharges and few admissions, and a lot of coworker banter. This weekend, I was lucky if I could grab a drink or go to the bathroom. Even the nurses were feeling the heat!

I was actually kind of relieved when I had to sit 1:1 at 2030. I was finally able to chart, grab a drink, and just breath.

September 13

Some pretty interesting things happened on this day in history:

1224 – Francis of Assisi is afflicted with stigmata.

1503 – Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David.

1788 – NY City becomes 1st capital of US

1948 – Margaret Chase Smith (R-Me) elected senator, 1st woman to serve in both houses of Congress

1963 – “Outer Limits” premieres on ABC TV

1965 – Beatles release “Yesterday”

1974 – Phillies set NL record, using 27 players in a game, St Louis uses 24, tying record of 51. Phils win 7-3 in 17

To make today even cooler… Its not just September 13th… And its not just National Peanut Day… Its Friday, September 13th!

Do you know what else happened?

1960– My daddy was born!

I follow a law in my head that I call “Experi-mentality.” Its another word I made up. I like to do that… Remember “Crock-Pot-It?”

Experimentality: ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt, men-ˈta-lə-tē

experiment: an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law

mentality: a particular way of thinking

experimentality: the operation of thinking up procedures to be carried out to discover an unknown outcome

Sound pretty scientific, huh?

WP_003882With all of these things falling on one day, all of our shakes followed a theme. We’ll start with the birthday boy and his Birthday Cake Shake:

  • 2 scoops cookie n cream shake mix (1 scoop vanilla and 1 scoop chocolate will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp jimmies/ sprinkles, more for garnish
  • water
  • ice

WP_003885I created a Black Cat Shake for Franks:

  • 1 scoop chocolate shake
  • 1 scoop cafe latte shake
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • Black berries (mixed berries will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free licorice syrup
  • water
  • ice

I was expecting Franks shake to be much dark, but it turned out reminding me of  the color of red velvet ice cream. For myself, I call it a Mexican Jumping Bean. There were no peanuts to be found in the house, but of peanut butter, there is plenty…

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I got myself to eat some chips and salsa last night and with the pb being in reach, I’m  always one to experiment. What a combo! I would have never thought salsa and peanut butter would pair! It could be because I’m PMS-ing, but it worked for me. Frank tried it and WP_003886immediately said “No way…” I guess its a love it or hate it shake…  It reminded me of chili chocolate. So heres the Mexican Jumping Bean Shake:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate shake mix
  •  3 Tbsp mild salsa
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • the slightest pinch of cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way)
  • water
  • ice
  • xanthum and/or guar (optional)

I kept busy for the entire day! I even ate! I made a seaweed salad for the first time, to surprise dad with one of his favorite foods. It turned out great! I spent most of my day cleaning the carpets, however.

WP_003889Frank began to whip up a seafood gravy, and its always delicious! But I haven’t eaten it since he used sooooo much olive oil! With his weight loss goals, he has been cutting back on a lot of fattening ingredients in his cooking. Frank said it could be dads birthday dinner. I pulled out the last box of Paul Sorvino’s spaghetti. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. I figured dad’s birthday would suffice. I wanted to to be able to eat dinner with my dad, so I sucked it up, cooked up a bag of Spaghetti Tofu Shiratki noodles, and topped it with a bit of seafood sauce. Frank was happy that I ate his cooking. He knows I enjoy it. Dad’s plate looked like a tour around the world. I had prepared the seaweed salad for him earlier in the day, and Frank made the pasta. I finished his meal off with a birthday drink of Diet Rum and Coke.

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up, I’ve always been a daddy’s girl! Pretty much every childhood memory involves my dad. My first memory of music is my dad popping in the cassette to Locomotion in the stereo, and us dancing around the living room. Music has always been one thing that always has tied us together…

If you couldn’t tell by our matching tattoos… Haha

No matter the song, no matter the situation, my dad would always come up with a song, or a spoof off a song with my name in it. One song he still sings is “Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie… I kiss Sammy Bundo’s eye!” Its silly, I know, but it works.

In honor of the birthday boy and in honor of our daddy-daughter bond over music, I created a special birthday surprise for him:

Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie

serves 8

The Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) low fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown
  • 3 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ground flax, optionalWP_003901

The Apple Peach Pie:

  • 2-3 Fuji apples (enough to yield 2 cups once sliced)
  • 2 4oz NSA peach snack cups, like Del Monte (do not drain)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

The Pumpkin Pie:

  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine butter with 2 Tbsp water. Microwave until just melted. In a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One and graham crackers to a breadcrumb-like consistency, along with the Splenda. Once its ground, pour the melted butter and blend well.

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Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute crust mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust. Press it into the edges and up along the sides of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple and peach filling. Peel, core, and thinly slice apples to produce 2 cups full. In a large nonstick pot on the stove, combine all ingredients for the filling except apples and peaches.  Add 1/3 cup water and mix until ingredients have dissolved. Bring to medium-high heat stirring frequently. Add apples and stir. After about 5 minutes, empty the peach cups, undrained, in the pan and stir. Lower the heat to medium low and stir occasionally until sauce thickens for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and  set aside, while making the pumpkin filling. Combine all the pumpkin filling ingredients and set aside.

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Carefully transfer the apple and peach filling into the cooled pie crust and evenly spread. Top with the pumpkin mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 425 F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F, rotate the pie 180 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees, again, and finish baking for a final 15 minutes, until the center has just set. Remove the oven and allow to cool.

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Slice and top with whipped cream and pecans (optional).

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Nutrition: (1/8 of recipe)

Calories: 165, Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 259 mg, Carbs: 33.3g, Fiber: 5.1g, Sugars: 17.8g, Protein: 3.8g

WP_003902My kitchen smelled amazing! It took everything out of me not to cut into this baby! “Can’t we sing happy birthday, today, dad???” I said yesterday.

We apparently didn’t have a number 3 candle! But we all loved this pie! It was mildly sweet, the flavors went well, it was light, and the crust was crisp….

We finished this wonderful day with playing Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, doing a birthday jig, and watching the new Star Trek movie on DVD!

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I loved  seeing dads face as I ate my dinner, and hearing him talk about how happy he was to see me in such a good mood! I am so blessed to be one of those lucky girls in the world that gets to be so close to her dad.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Cleaning Out My Addiction

I was able to squeeze in about 4 hour of sleep before being woken up by some family quarreling outside my bedroom door. I was pretty nervous that this shift was going to be a long one. I wasn’t sure what today would have in store for me either. If you recall, the last night shift I worked went great and went to hell when I got home.

Some days coffee really hits the spot. Before heading off for night shift last night, I brewed a mug of Chocolate Cherry coffee and added a splash of sugar free Kahlua flavored syrup. Delicious!

I arrived at work to find that I was, again, on a 1:1. Okay, this is looking a lot like last Friday night…

After reading a few chapters of a book I brought, it was lunch time. A nice filling helping of Bundo Broccoli Salad, with slices of apples and cucumbers and PB on the side. I was very full at the end of this meal and prayed that this recognition of fullness would last for the remainder of my shift. And it did! It was a water-filled, fiberful meal!

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I was freezing upon returning to my 1:1 and was so thankful for the hot green tea I had just brewed! I’ve noticed a mildly sore throat the WP_003867last two days, and I’m positive its from the Fall allergies and crazy weather fluctuations. I’ve been trying to stay proactive in the fight buy drinking hot green tea. I managed to get a few chapter read, however, and finalize a project I’ve been working on.

I had a sense that today, too, would be a long one. After getting done work at 7am, I wanted to attend a forum at 730, since it had to do with a large number of my patient population on my unit. My plan was to go home afterwards and whip up a shake.

WP_003869I have been wanting to make a Key Lime smoothie for a while now, but I wasn’t about to pass up National Chocolate Milkshake Day! On my way out of my meeting, I saw someone had brought in a huge bag of Halloween candy… Snickers of all things! I was so proud of myself for ignoring it, but when I arrived home, I attempted a Snickers shake for breakfast. It definitely did not taste like a snickers, but it was very filling and I went with it. In fact, I came back to finish it while working on dad’s birthday surprise. I wound up adding it my mug a coffee to create a mocha latte of sorts. Frank had requested a Pina Colada shake, and I have to say, it was one of the best I’ve made. But, alas, it still was NOT bedtime! It was bake time. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a recipe for dad’s birthday. Today was the day I finally got to put my creative juice into fruition. I was praying for success and thats what I got! Thank you, God! The house smelled heavenly an I got to use one of my favorite fall ingredient!

WP_003870Around 1pm, I snacked on some dry cereal and sparkling water. Something did not sit right and I actually got sick! I’m always keeping it interesting, aren’t I?

Since I had time at work, I decide to go through my phone. I had so many  favorites that I had created when I was in the height of my illness. I went through, deleting so many things. Why did I save that? I’m never going to cook that. Oh that sound good! I did the same thing when I got home and began weeding through my recipe binders, throwing out useless recipes and things I knew would never be made. I was hoping this might help refocus some of my attention and inspire some healthy meals to come.

Sweet 16

Today is a most wonderful day for this family! Beauty is 16, today! Can you believe it? My beautiful beagle is sixteen years old!

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When I was turning 6, my uncle worked for a company that tested on animals. He rescued his dog and for my 6th birthday, grabbed me her half sister: The most beautiful pup I’ve ever seen! I got her when she was just 6 weeks old and I feel so blessed to have 16 years with her, now!  It seems surreal! We weren’t sure if she was going to make it to her 16th birthday with the health problems she was having earlier this year, but we were all wrong!

This was a big day in our house and I was prepared to celebrate!

Our day began with… uh, oh… where are the eggs? We opened the fridge and had to run out to the store so we could have our omelets this morning. My girlfriend Maggie was here so I made breakfast for the three of us, plus a sandwich for dad for work.

I browned up some turkey sausage links while I cooked Barry a jalapeno and spicy cheese egg, which I served with the sausage on toast. HE was ballsy enough to try out new ghost pepper hot sauce on the sandwich, too! For Maggie and myself, I used the the liquid egg substitute, salsa, spinach, and chopped turkey sausage with fat free cheese. She enjoyed hers with ketchup, and I with hot sauce. My breakfast was completed with a mug of coffee, while Barry’s ending with a glass of milk to cut some of the fiery hot sauce.

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After assembling a shopping list, and dropping off dad’s breakfast sandwich at his work, we ran our errands and arrived to see the birthday girl! She was sleeping, of course, but her loud mommy woke her with balloons and kisses!

By far, Beauty’s favorite treat is peanut butter! Duh! Isn’t it every ones? Every year, we typically get a coffee cake or sticky bun to celebrate, but this year, I made a peanut butter creme pie, compliments of Hungry Girl. It was delish! We all were in PB heaven.

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While this was firming up in the freezer, the birthday girl got to lick the spoon… and the bowl, while her mommy made dinner.

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Today, also happens to by National Cheese Pizza Day. I had left my scale at Barry’s and made this without weighing a simple thing, only measuring spoons, same with the salads that accompanied dinner and the PB Creme pie. This was a big step for me. So much so that I needed to take a walk while it was baking…

The pizza was one of the best I’ve made yet! The humans loved it and went back for seconds. The canine of the house was treated to a special meal, as well. I found in a health magazine a while back a recipe for heart healthy food patties for dogs. Both meals were cooking.

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WP_003760Salmon Patties for Pups

makes 8 cakes

  • 1 14.75 can salmon
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs, or panko
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine the first three ingredients and form 8 patties. In a hot skillet, drizzle with half the olive oil and brown one side. Drizzle the remaining oil and flip patties until the other side is browned and patties are warmed through.

These can be frozen and refrigerated.

She, too, wanted seconds! Its her birthday, so, of course, she got them!

Cheese Pizza

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The Crust:

  • 1 medium to large cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup shredded fat free mozzarella, further chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornmeal

The Topping:

  • 1/4 cup fat free ricotta
  • basil, to taste
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp pizza sauce
  • 1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella
  • granulated garlic, to taste

Steam the cauliflower with 1/3 cup water in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap. Microwave about 9 minutes. Carefully transfer the steamed cauli into a food processor and blend until the cauliflower is a rice consistency. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of “riced” cauliflower. Mix that with egg, cheese and spices. The mixture will form a dough like consistency. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the hot pizza stone or pizza pan. Spread the dough on a hot pizza stone and bake for about 20 min at 400 F.

Check, using a spatula, that the crust is not sticking to the pan/stone. Allow the crust to slightly cool while you lower the temperature of the over to 350 F. Once slightly cooled, top the crust with an even spread of ricotta, and sprinkle that with basil. Next, spread the pizza sauce, and, finally, the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle the granulated garlic over the top and bake at 350 F for about 8 minutes.

Slice and serve.

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After our pizza and salads, we digested while Beauty took her full belly to Nap Time Land.

We eventually got the pup up, lit the candles, sang Happy Birthday, and dug in! She was so cute as she kept trying to lick the pan. This picture looks like she is trying to blow out the candles!

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She seriously loved her pie! We could not top watching how much she enjoyed it!

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Happy Birthday, Babygirl!

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Ciro is 5!

My morning started out the way I love to start my Sundays: with Church! Today, was special, though, because Barry went with me! It means a lot to me to be able to share something so personal, like my faith and Church family, with him.

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WP_003666After mass, Barry and I came home, after a brief stop at my uncles, for a little breakfast. I was heading to a party in a few hours, but was definitely hungry. I made an egg with spinach and salsa to hold me over, and a veggie omelet for the boyfriend.

After parting, I drove to celebrate Frank’s nephew’s 5th birthday! I love Frank’s family! Plus, Cal’s family, his niece, is Filipino and make yummy food! There is always a nice spread. On the menu this year was lamb and feta sliders with tzatziki, grilled chicken and bratz, mei fun noodles, veggies, fruit salad, cookies, blueberry cobbler, hummus, barley salad, pork lumpia, seasoned potatoes and more!

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I made sure to fill up on loads of celery and fruit!  I was feeling pleased with myself.

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Cal really outdid herself on the desserts. Everything was Angry Birds themed for Ciro. Cal baked carrot cake cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, and the most delicious Angel Food Cake I have EVER eaten! I typically despise Angel Food Cake, but Cal’s was airy, light, and delicious! I, of coursed, begged for the recipe! Frank and I split the carrot cake cupcake and a small slice of Angel.

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We only get to see the family a few times a year, so I love catching up with everyone and being interrogated about the whereabouts of Barry! That was my fault :/ I didn’t know I could bring him. Haha!

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WP_003688After meeting up with Barry and providing him with party delicousness, I was so hungry! But why? I had drank a bottle of water, and decided to try some fiberful steamed broccoli with garlic powder to curb whatever I was feeling. Despite finishing another bottle of water, I still felt hungry. I snacked on some of my moms trail mix, making sure to stay within a serving size, which is so difficult with trail mix!

I began to fell anxiety, so I called dad. He has helped ease my mind enough where I can now fall asleep!

Good night blogworld!

Back on Track

My last post was a bit all over the place. It was very manic-depressive. I’m sorry about that… like I said, “PMS… What a bitch!” Darn mood swings…

Set backs happen. How will I deal with it?

Listening to my body cues

“Theres scrapple in the fridge,” dad said to me as he left for work. I spent the night at dad house, last night, to complete our awesome DDDD (Daddy-Daughter Date Day). I wasn’t sure if I was hungry this morning, so I made a big cup of coffee to see if I was actually hungry or just thirsty. My large mug did a great job of curbing my appetite! I enjoyed the french vanilla coffee, while catching up on Spice Goddess. I love that show! Bal is really pleasant and bubbly and passionate about her native spices and traditions! Plus, I’ve really been interested in Indian cooking techniques, foods, and spices, and found a few things she made that I can’t wait to try my hands at!

Resuming my normal meals

Following the show and ignoring my inner scrapple-lover, I headed back to my mom’s house, where I enjoyed a refreshing Banana Cream Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt Blend, sprinkled with 1/2 tsp Chocolate PB2, and about 6 broken fat free pretzel sticks. I enjoyed the sweet and salty crunch that my PMS craves, and loved that it was filling and healthy.

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For a mid-day snack, a 90 calorie Fiber One Lemon bar did the trick, as did a mug of peppermint tea.

WP_003195Today it National Hot Dog Day! I’m a little excited about this because I’ve really been wanting hot dogs and baked beans! Ironically, I had planned on taking this as a meal to work tomorrow night, but no sense in denying this “holiday”! I pulled out a Hebrew National 97% fat free frank and a small can of fat free baked beans and ate mine in a bowl topped with chopped onion.

WP_003202Frank wanted it sandwich-style.

Go to Zumba

Following dinner, I had a bit of unsweetened applesauce and met my girlfriend, Maggie, at Zumba. I did not attend Zumba at all last week, and it makes me feel lost. I need it in my life. I also enjoy leading Zumba, as I did a few dances tonight. I love to look at their faces and I love knowing that my enthusiasm can power them through a workout, too!

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It was one humid hour, tonight! The AC is broke! We were drenched in sweat after the first dance. We looked like steamed lobsters by the end of the class. But, boy, were we feeling great!

Surround myself with positivety

Why else is today special? Not just because its National Hot Dog Day… Not just because its National Vanilla Ice Cream Day…. But because its Frank’s 56th Birthday! Before I left for Zumba, I whipped up a cake mug for him! Yay, Hungry-girl, for teaching me about cake mugs! I made a Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cake mug (recipe below).

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Zumba releases endorphins, which makes me happy. As does being with my friends. After sweating it out, I met Barry to do a little grocery shopping for the house, took a shower, and am currently in the midst of attempting some sleep. Surround yourself with positive people, places, events, and you’ll be positive too! Things just start to fall into place.

I typically do not eat after Zumba, but PMS was rearing its head. The entire trip to ShopRite I was thinking about peanut M&Ms. I resisted. We swung by 7 Eleven on the way home to down another bottle of water and while I was there, a light bulb went off! Special K Chocolatey Pretzel cereal bar! 90 calories, salty, sweet, crunchy…. Perfect!

Raspberry Chip Cake Mug

3 Tbsp yellow moist cake mix

1 Tbsp liquid egg substitute

1 1/2 Tbsp water

1/2 Tbsp Nestle mini semi-sweet morsels, or semi-sweet morsels, chopped

5 raspberries, sliced in half

2 Tbsp fat free Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 tsp sugar free, fat free Chocolate pudding mix

Combine everything except cool whip and pudding mix, and mix well. Spray mug or ramekin with nonstick cooking spray and pour cake mix in. Microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds, or so*. Allow mug to cool, as it will be hot! Meanwhile, combine cool whip and pudding mix. Spread over cooled cake mug and enjoy!

*Microwaving chocolate chips is tricky business, as they tend to burn.

Calories: 179,  Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 1.9g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 270mg, Carbs: 35.2g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 18.9g, Protein: 3g

Idea: White Chocolate Chips, instead!

Happy Birthday, Frank!

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