Welcoming Fall

Last night, I noticed something. Most of my calories are eaten after 5pm, but I can’t quite figure out why. Am I hungry? Am I anxious or nervous? Am I bored? I’m not quite sure. For instance, despite my delicious veggies, and a bowl of grapes, I found myself snacking on goldfish. Not that I ate anything terrible for me, but just the point. Why do I eat more at night?

Speaking of snacking… I have got to tell you about this new cereal I bought yesterday. It was super on sale and it took serious self control to not just sit on the couch with my hand in the box. Apparently, Raisin Bran has two new styles out: Omega 3 with Flaxseed, and Cinnamon Almond. The serving size was bigger in the Cinnamon Almond and I, technically, bought it for dad. Well, it didn’t make to dad’s house, yet. Heck, its lucky it made it home from the store. It was like Special K Vanilla Almond and Raisin Bran Crunch combined into a magical cereal!

I ended my night and began my morning trying to decide between a bowl of the new cereal or a shake for breakfast. I opted for the shake to ring in the first day of Fall.

WP_004011Before my shake, I threw a turnkey into the oven. After last weeks turkey sandwich-made-salad, and dad relentless requests, I threw a whole turkey into the oven. My secrets to a juicy, tender, and evenly cooked turkey? Use a turkey bag and bake the turkey up-side-down (as in breast facing the bottom of the pan). Another turkey trick is to always keep empty jars on hand. Don’t throw out those old salsa jars. Keep them for easy disposal of grease. It never ceases to amaze me how much fat comes off a turkey, even when I remove excess fat before baking!

Breakfast was a pumpkin pie shake! It was so yummy, and, surprisingly, the banana makes it. I made one for Frank and my dad! Thanks for the recipe, Julie. I followed it up with a Caramel Vanilla Cream K cup, spiked with SF white chocolate syrup.

WP_004003After breakfast and some bill paying, I welcomed the new season once more with a zip up and my  boots! Boot season is among us, people! I’m not a particular fan of cold weather, but I love boots! Frank and I headed out for a few errands, and I got two more things to welcome the sudden change of temperature: 2 new sport bras and a pair of fitted long workout pants!WP_004013

Arriving home was splendid! The smell of the roasting turkey hit us like a wall as we opened the door. Frank and I made ourselves some lunch and basked in the turkey aroma! I made a bowl of broccoli soup, topped with goldfish, and Frank heated up a Healthy Choice frozen meal.

WP_004007To kill some time, I prepared the ingredients for my dinner and future lunches. Cranberry sauce is not that popular of an item in this house, so when I do open a can, I freeze whats left, by the tablespoon. I took out 2 Tbsp of the jellied cranberry sauce out of the freezer and, when defrosted, mixed it with 1 Tbsp light mayo. As the flavors blended, I chopped up celery and scallions, and mixed it with mayo, black pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. All that was left was for the turkey to finish!

It finished just in time for dad to come over! Baked to perfection! The best part about being the one who cleans the turkey, is being the taste tester! After I cleaned and divided the turkey, I put some aside for dad, some aside for chili, and some in the celery, scallion, and mayo mix from earlier. Following dad’s departure, I chopped a bunch of iceberg lettuce, tore up turkey, and tore apart 1/2 slice of wheat bread. I drizzled half of my cranberry/mayo mix over top and dug in! Oh my gosh it was just like a Bobbie!

WP_004008

Something came over me. I went into a frenzy! I ate a cucumber and grapes to chill out. I just had to get out of the house, before I ate any more. I had called dad to see how he was feeling (his knee had been bothering him), and told him about my salad. He exclaimed how awesome it sounded and I offered to come over and make one for him. I think he liked that idea.

WP_004009

WP_004012I was beginning to feel to turkey’s tryptophan kicking in and debated not going to Zumba. After feeling so manic, I needed to go! I arrived at Zumba decked out in my new gear, ready to go. Wouldn’t you know the sound system was acting up! Come one, universe, really?! After talking, standing around, goofing off, and making phone calls, we were finally patched, and Alex, the instructor, lead half a class and gave us all a free class. Yay! I came home, feeling a bit better, and went to town on some cucumber and salsa to get my crunch and nervous energy out of my system.

After a shower, a few phone calls, and the season premier of “How I Met Your Mother,” I am ready for some chill time.

Dangerous Cream Cheese

I slept. Boy, did I sleep! I fell asleep on the couch, like mid-conversation with my mom. Talk about a food coma.

I never plugged my cell in and it died, and therefore, no alarm for Sammy. I stirred a bit when I heard mom in the living room and asked her what time it was. “Ten of 11,” she said. What? I need to make breakfast! Dad’s coming over! “I called and told him you were sleeping.” Just as I reached for the phone to tell dad to come over, he was calling me! ESP! Yup, I’m up! I making pancakes! Get over here! 

I just have to say it. I was a culinary queen, today!

I prepped part of the pancakes last night before crashing. The pancakes were a hit and no one knew that there was a secret ingredient. This week hosts National Pancake Day, so I’ll share today’s beautiful pancakes with you then! Since today happens to be National White Chocolate Day, I added some white chocolate chips to a little less than half of the pancakes for Frank, my dad, and my little brother, Dom. Everyone enjoyed breakfast, even my picky mother! We all had our own cups of coffee, and since no white chocolate was in my pancakes, I made sure a little SF white chocolate syrup made it into my coffee mug.

WP_003991

I was inspired, while cooking pancakes, this morning. I kept thinking about that yummy Panera Honey Walnut Cream Cheese! I kept thinking how good it would taste on blueberry pancakes. I had half an 8oz container of fat free cream cheese in the fridge and went from there.

Advisory: This is the most dangerous and ridiculously delicious cream cheese you will ever eat.

Healthy Panera Sweet Walnut Cream Cheese

makes 16 Tablespoons

  • 1 8oz container non fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp diced walnuts

Combine all ingredients together until smooth and enjoy!

WP_003992

Needless to say, I topped my pancakes with my cream cheese!

I asked my mom to test it, since she loves the original stuff. “If I didn’t know better, I would swear it was directly from Panera.” “That’s damn good,” dad said at the dining room table. “Frank, try this!” Its always a pleasure to here compliments like that!

Following breakfast, my godfather and cousin swung by for a quick visit and then dad and I were off to the park. We decided to take the pup with us for a little fresh air. It was brief but an absolute fun filled morning with my dad, shooting hoops. I love getting Beauty out in the fresh air! She always crashes when we get home, but when shes out, she really enjoys herself. And I got some great pictures of her today! I think dad just liked our trip to the park because he beat me in a game of Horse- only by ONE, though!

WP_003995WP_003993 ???????????????!

Frank and I ran some errands today, and by the time we got home, we were both chomping on the grapes in the car. Neither of had eaten since brunch, and with the sun dried tomato wraps I just bought, a felt a wrap was the way to go. Frank said he had some chicken breast and then we decided to add some shrimp. Oh man! Frank, mom, Dom, and myself loved these wraps. I through the sliced chicken breast and shrimp, about 4 1/2 oz of each, in to a skillet and then topped it with the following and covered it, only tossing it a few times:

  • WP_0039971 1/2 oz broccoli slaw
  • 3 oz spinach,
  • 1 oz sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp oregano

After dividing the mixture among 3 wraps, I topped each with a little fat free shredded cheddar, 1 oz a roasted red peppers (each wrap), and a leaf of ice berg lettuce. I served them with sliced cucumbers for a side dish. Frank kept saying how much he enjoyed it, and he could have eaten another.

WP_003998WP_003999 WP_004000

WP_004002I must also admit that I created a monster, this morning. I went with an after dinner snack of celery and cucumbers. I always heard how celery and cream cheese went so well together. Well, I have never enjoyed this combo, but having made my Healthy Panera copy-cat, I get the combo another try.

THIS STUFF MUST GO ON EVERYTHING!

Its a winner!

Ahoy, Foodies!

Today is National Butterscotch Pudding Day, so lets begin our Thursday with a little, shall we Mateys?

Sammy, what’s wrong with you? Why are you talking like that? Oh, because its also National Talk Like A Pirate Day. To avoid the scurvy, let add a little Vitamin C into our meals, today, too!

WP_003957Cinnabon Protein Bowl

  • 2 scoops cookies n cream protein (1 and 1 of chocolate and vanilla will do)
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter buds
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free butterscotch pudding
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp xanthum
  • water
  • ice

WP_003956My vitamin C came in the form of spinach, if you couldn’t tell by the green colored bowl. Oh, and I topped it with ground flax! I experimented with making this into a smoothie by substituting 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt for the vanilla shake mix and 1 tsp cocoa powder. I prefer the shake version better, but not bed.

Frank’s Ascorbic Acid was made with a ton of cantaloupe and half a banana.

I grabbed a shower, hoping that it would get me out of this lazy funk I’ve been. I felt like I was falling asleep in the shower, but after a good facial scrub, smoothie bowl, and a cup of caramel coffee, I felt a little more like myself. I threw on my sneakers and iPod and took a 2 mile walk. My fitness goal was not to go full on running, but rather work on form. It so easy to lean forward when power walking. Instead, I focused on keeping my shoulders back, and my abdominals tight. After a few blocks, you can really feel the muscles on your stomach, obliques, and shoulder muscles!

I felt even better coming home to a bottle of water and having enjoyed a brisk walk on a beautiful day!

WP_003958I made sure to set aside a solid hour and a half to send our resumes! But after that, I actually felt hungry! I had discussed the possibility of making seafood for dinner, with my dad, and he had put in the idea of a tuna melt. Simple! I mixed together a rather delicious tuna salad!

  • 1 can solid white albacore
  • 2 Tbsp light mayo
  • 1 oz roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 3 large black olives, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp reduced fat grated Parmesean
  • black pepper, taste

I ate mine just microwaved, and I made Frank a tuna melt! Not only was it tasty, but its colorful! Spectacular!

WP_003960 WP_003961

After Frank and I ran a few errands, and a little tidying up was done, I got a hold of mom to see what her plans were for the night. I’m really in the mood for Saladworks, I said. “Do you want a turkey sandwich?” No, because then I’ll wind up eating it. “Well, I’m going to get one anyway. You can just eat the turkey.”

Thanks, mom! But it worked out really well! I ate half a Luna Carrot Cake bar to hold me over until dinner, and when it was time, I offered to pick it up. I power walked another half mile, and was pretty stoked that I ran the last block uphill! I ordered a turkey sandwich with extras pickles and onions, American cheese, lettuce, on rye bread, with sweet peppers on the side. Mom typically orders extra mayo. No way, woman! You can add your own mayo!

I took this….

WP_003963

And transformed it into this….

WP_003964 WP_003966

A delicious salad over spinach! And Beauty got the treat of rye bread and a slice of cheese.

WP_003967This was so good, that I made another small salad! Every time mom and I get a hoagie from Degnar’s Deli, we get into onion mode. They have the best onions! They are perfectly sliced, crisp, strong and mom and I always wind up slicing onions as a snack. To the second salad, went a whole cucumber, two sweetened gerkins, and a bunch of onion, all topped with salsa! Sooooo good! I thought the combination of pickles in my salad was odd until dad reminded me that they technically are the same thing… duh, Sammy.

This meal put me in quite a veggie mood, and I snacked on celery and sugar snap peas with salsa until mom and I met up with dad and Barry for the Eagles/Chiefs game.

????????! WP_003969 WP_003970 ???????n

I stuck with my pirate theme and got Captain and Diet Pepsi. Barry got a little intoxicated! But on the bright side, I got to drive his car. (It’s a stick shift, and hes been teaching me.) But I drove home and didn’t stall! Woo Hoo! And Melissa, my favorite bartender made bacon mac n’ cheese, which was good sober-up food. She also let me play around with two new Pinnacle vodkas on the shelf. The first was Caramel Apple, but the one that grabbed my eye was the Pumpkin Pie! Yes, Pumpkin Pie vodka! We started thinking about things that you could drink it with. I suggested Rum Chata and it worked beautifully! Like a pumpkin egg nog!  Melissa, then, added a few drops of Bailey’s. It cut some of the alcohol bite, and I would have poured that shot right into a cup of coffee! MMMM!

WP_003973 WP_003975

A Side Note:

Teresa mentioned to me that I used pigeon peas to make yesterday’s Split Pea Soup. I forgot to address why. Thanks, Teresa!

I grabbed the wrong bag of peas from the farmer’s market, but did not realize it until they had already been soaking overnight. I watch shows like Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and Iron Chef because I believe a great chef goes with the punches. I always challenge myself when I watch the shows to try to come up with what I would do if I was on the show. Therefore, once I realized my mistake, I rolled with it, and made it work!

Sammy San

There are two things I take very seriously when I enter an Asian restaurant: the Hot & Sour Soup and the Seaweed Salad. I have had soup with absolutely NO flavor. I’ve had salad that tastes like room temperature salted seaweed. Unacceptable!

I am pleased to bring you Sammy Seaweed Salad!

Sammy Seaweed Salad

serves 4

  • 1 1/4 oz dried seaweedWP_003888
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger grated, or paste
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 oz carrots, or 2-3 large baby carrots
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, more for garnish

Soak seaweed in warm water while preparing the rest of the ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk together vinegar through Splenda. Drain the seaweed, and add fresh warm water. Prepare the vegetables. Chop 1 large scallion stalk. Using a vegetable peeler, create strips of cucumber and carrots to produce about 1/2 cup of loosely packed short cucumbers strips and 1/2 cup loosely packed carrot strips. Drain the seaweed once more and rinse. Take scissors and snip through the green bunch to produce some smaller pieces. Squeeze the excess liquid out of the seaweed (it gets slimy) and transfer to the sauce bowl. Toss the contents together. Add the vegetables and sesame seeds, toss and refrigerate. Once chilled, serve, and garnish with additional sesame seeds, cucumber, and carrots strips.

WP_003887

Nutrition: 1/4 recipe

Calories: 63, Fat: 3.7g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 832mg, Carbs: 6.6g, Fiber: 5.8g, Sugar: 0.7g, Protein: 0.2g

For those of you who are skeptical about eating seaweed, here are some interesting benefits of the salt water plant:

Seaweed contains vitamins A and C, and is also a source of calcium, which is one of the reasons some red seaweed supplements are included as part of some treatment plans for osteoarthritis

I also learned that you don’t have to be Japanese to make a kickin’ seaweed salad!

Its mild and sweet, refreshing, and crisp, and I could have eaten the whole damn bowl! I actually ate about half of it!

And for Dinner, I’m Making Falafel

Every time I say “falafel,” I think of Donkey from Shrek… “And in the morning, I’m making waffles!”

Waffle… -lafel… you get my connection?

After dad’s experience with Falafel at Moaz, hes been insistant on eating it for a Lenten Friday night dinner. Even at the store, he wants to buy it! I talked him into letting me try to make if from scratch!

Last night, I used the Hungry Girl recipe for it and made the dip that goes with it. Dad ate his pita-style while I deconstructed mine into a spinach salad! I was iffy about the dill dip for a few reasons: A) dill can be a really strong flvor that tends to overwhelm my palate, and B) iI’m not a huge fan of plain yogurt. Let me just start by saying how simple this recipe was and how shocked I was that this dip was perfection! After combining the ingredients for the dip, and sampling it, I actually verbally exclaimed, “Oh wow! Oh yeah! mmm…” My mom, who can’t stand yogurt of any kind actually ate this dip too! I think it had a lot to do with cuccumber. It really mellowed out the greek yogurt’s natural tang. This stuff is officially a Bundo house staple! I’m thinking it would be a great sub for mayo on a sandwich!

Any way… back to falafel.. I followed everything in the recipe, with a few minor adjustments:WP_001613

  • 1/4 tsp and both paprika and black pepper for the falafel mix
  • half a peeled and deseeded large cucumber for the dip
  • I also did not have fresh herb, so I used dry herbs

* Just a note: If you do not have fresh herbs, you can use 1/3 the amount of dried herbs. For every 1Tbsp of fresh herbs, use 1 tsp of the dried stuff.

WP_001614

all mashed up

WP_001615

all rolled out

WP_001617

all baked

To semi mirror the variety  of toppings that Moaz has, we mixed the dill cucumber yogurt dip with some bagged shredded coleslaw  vegetables, and I sliced some red pepper and roasted them! The slaw gave it a nice crunch and the red peppers were warm and sweet!

WP_001618

While the falafel baked, I cut up this monsterouly large pineapple!  Great dessert!

WP_001608

If you enjoy chickpeas, check out these other chickpea recipes: Chicken Garam Masala and Chickpea based bars.

WP_001619

Dad’s pita

WP_001621

Sammy’s Salad

After dinner, I met up with some people from work at the bowling alley, and took dad as my date. When I was younger, and it was still affordable, dad and I went bowling every Friday night. Bowling with such good company was a lot of fun! We did a unit shot of Pucker’s Sour Apple, and majority of the group indulged in Miller Lite.

WP_001628 WP_001630

After a few round of enjoyable, yet completely terrible bowling, Dad and I headed out to a social club he belongs to. There I drank a glass of merlot and woah did that hit me quick! I felt like I was a freshman in college, again… not being able to hold my alcohol! I get silly and giggly when I drink, and last night was no different. He was alot of fun though, spending a nice night out with my dad!

?????d ????????????? WP_001633 WP_001636

When I got home (dad drove) I was craving the pizza my mom ordered.one of the bad things about drinking is the loss of  inhibition, causing us to make poor decisions, including food ones. I have to say though, I ate a slice of pizza and a 100 cal bag of popcorn, with nutella. I could have done worse!

This morning, I was not too hungry (since my tipsy tummy fill last night), but after a little tidying up and a cup of hot tea, I decided to try another new yogurt. I get really excited about trying new things. Thats how you know I have a passion for food. Anyway, I found Fage Passion Fruit Clementine yogurt and the combination really intrigued me! The fruit puree was tart and taste and sweet and exotic. I sprinkled some chia on top and  really enjoyed it!

WP_001637

The last couples days, I’ve been in a funk and extrememly tired. Today, I was finally able to get myself sort-of moving. I completed on of my favorite circuits, Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout. Although, it doesn’t sound like much, it helped make me feel like I did something. My girlfriend reminded me to be proud of my workouts. No matter what I did, its better than doing nothing. This, my friends, is called looking at the glass half full.

After this short spurt, I cut into a fuji apple. This baby was perfectly ripe! Mmmm so crisp! And a teaspoon of raw almond butter was a nice touch! (I finished this apple when I got home from work!)

WP_001639I am working for a girl tonight, since she covered my shift last weekend when I was in the Vagina Monolgues. I brought Pacific Food’s Hearty Corn Chowder, and ate this with saltines. While here, I also snacked on some dangerously delicious decedent trail mix! I recognized my fullness and went back to work! (I don’t think I’d recommend this soup.)WP_001640

I am sitting with a patient tonight. This patient ran out of the room and I ran after! I had no idea I could run that fast. Another nurse ran down the other side of the hallway! It was great team work and an unexpected way to break up the night.

Speaking of teamwork, I have never experienced such great teamwork than I have tonight! Six of us in a room! All working together to accomplish a task! Beautiful!

I’m heading to bed with a full tummy! Good night!

WP_001634