Indulgent Weekend

After my solid nap and trip with dad to the grocery store, Frank called and offered to buy dinner. I seriously debated saying “no” but I can’t go wrong with steamed shrimp and vegetables. To help me out, dad and I split my Hot&Sour soup and my shrimp and vegetables. I ate the soup and steamed up some more veggies and saved the shrimp and vegetables for my night shift. After a nice dinner and some bill paying, I tiredly went to the couch to attempt a power nap before work. I did not get a power nap, but I got out a good cry. Last night’s episode of Glee had me balling my eyes out from the second it started. I think I cried even harder because, in all honesty, its been a pretty emotional week. I think Glee just provided me the outlet.

I can’t help but dwell on lacking a position as a nurse. I think I’m the only one I know that has not gotten hired, yet. I just don’t understand. Dad says its because I’m so used to exceeding at everything I put my mind to, that this is new concept to me. I guess he’s got a point. Since I’ve been dwelling, I can’t help but think I’ve not only let myself down, but my family… my grandparents, in particular.

I need to stop this self-pity crap! Let’s move onto the goods…

I always call work before arriving for an 11pm shift. The night shift nurses come on at 7pm and I like to see if anyone needs anything on my way in. My girlfriend, Natasha, a major support person throughout my recovery, asked if I would grab her a coffee. No prob! Easy peasy! I though I was clever, at home, before leaving as I brewed my coffee with SF french vanilla creamer and a splash of SF Pumpkin Pie syrup. Natasha is a genius! “A 16oz pumpkin coffee with Irish cream and 2 Splenda.” After I gave it a try, I felt defeated, but in a good way… This was sooooo good! My coffee had been out-done. I can’t wait to grab another!

WP_004169The weather continued to be dreary, rainy, dark, and terrible… all in time for my alternator to die! Frank was kind enough to take me to my dads at 10pm, and my dad was kind enough to lend me the truck to take to work. Thanks, guys!

Despite the miserable weather and hour-long Glee cry fest, with my adorable cuddle-buddy, I came to work in a great mood! In fact, my shift began with a fun size M&M and  a Dum Dum sucker. I was expecting to be on the floor tonight, but, alas, I would spend my final night shift of my four day span in my 1:1. My patient decided  that they wanted to stay up all night. Once your patient falls asleep on night shift, you kind of want to fall asleep, too; so I was kind of okay with that, and we began our 8 hours together with a game of Phase 10.  I made a solid point to remain standing and walking around, despite being in a single room. I took a bathroom run every 2 hours or so, refilled my water bottle frequently, and even read my book and charted while standing. I think having all the lights in the room on helped , too.

When I was relieved for my break, I went down to caf to scope out the goods. There wasn’t really much in the way of what I would consider “goods.” Nonetheless, I hit up the salad bar, grabbing an assortment of vegetables, like bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and beets. The snack machine also caught my eye with Smartfoods Cinnamon  Brown Sugar popped chips. 100  calories for the whole bag? I’ll give it a shot…

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They weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible, either. Instead, I completed my vegetables with a miso soup packet, and later snacked on some white cheddar popcorn. ( I guess it was a Smartfoods kind of shift). Oh yeah, there was a snack size snickers in there, too… Damn bag of chocolate. As Barry says, “Chocolate makes the world go round.” My reply, “Chocolate, too, makes my belly go round.”

It was quite a fiberful and satisfying meal and I, then, returned my patient’s room. When I’m in 1:1s, I notice my posture sucks, so I made a conscious effort to try to use my core muscles to both sit and stand tall. The result was a sore pack for most of my shift. I’m glad I was standing most of the night so I could continually twist and stretch to try to relieve some pain.

After a quick powernap at dad’s he drove me to Barry’s on his way to work. We have some errands to run to get ready for the weekend ahead of us.

This weekend is going to be a doozy and all this past week I’ve been preparing myself for it. In fact, next week will probably be part of the recovery process.

Tomorrow, one of my best friend from nursing school is getting married and I could not be more happy for her!

The following day is Vendemmia (which I’m thinking might be postponed due to this terrible weather Wilmington is having)!

Oddly enough, since I’ve been stressing about calories in preparation for these events, I’ve actually eaten close to 1000 calories everyday.  I really don’t know how I feel about that…

Today is National Sausage Pizza Day. Dad and I happened to find Al Fresco Chicken Sausage on sale at the store last week and I came up with the idea to combine the best of two pizzas…

Buffalo Sausage Pizza

The Crust:WP_004183

  • 1 md to lg head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp corn meal

The Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese Wedges, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, granulatedWP_004181
  • 1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix
  • 3 Tbsp OIKOS plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Al Fresco Buffalo-style  Chicken Sausage burgers
  • 4-5 tsp hot sauce, or tobasco/pepper sauce, divided, plus more for taste, if desired
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat crumbled blue cheese

Preheat the oven at 400 F. Steam the chopped cauliflower. Drain and transfer to the food processor and briefly pulse the cauliflower until it is riced. Combine the warm riced cauliflower with the shredded mozzarella, liquid egg, and spices. Sprinkle a heated pizza stone or pizza pan with the cornmeal and spread the cauliflower dough evenly over top to form the crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, add the onion to a small pan, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, and cover, remaining on a low heat, tossing occasionally. Sprinkle with pepper, to taste. In another small skillet, sprayed, add the patties. Break up the patties using two spatulas, and cook over medium heat just enough to begin browning. Drain the meat, and place in a bowl. Toss the slightly browned meat with 1 tsp hot sauce, and set aside.

Remove the set crust and reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Using a spatula, slide around the crust to ensure it is not sticking to the stone. In a small cup, stir the cheese wedges, garlic, ranch, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp hot sauce, and yogurt together, until smooth. Spread the mixture over the hot, baked crust, followed by the caramelized onions. Further chop the shredded mozzarella and top the pizza. Finally, add the seasoned ground chicken. Pour any remaining hot sauce from the bowl over the top and sprinkle with oregano.

Bake for 8 minutes, turn the pizza 180 degrees, top with crumbled blue cheese, and additional 2 tsp of hot sauce. Return to the oven for another 8 minutes, slice, and serve.

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Nutritional Facts: (1/8 pizza)

Calories: 104, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 621mg, Carbs: 8g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 12g

I served the pizza with a tray of celery sticks and baby carrots on the side. I made a quick dipping sauce using 1 LC Blue wedge, lots of hot sauce, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tsp ranch mix, some red pepper flakes, and 2 Tbsp of a light blue cheese dressing (like Walden Farms).

The night was completed with some marble cake our neighbor gave us. Oh my gosh, the frosting was amazing! Tempting! Fudgey! Decadent! Thats what kept us going back for nibbles.

I am completing the rest of the night with my mom and a movie!

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.

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

serves 4-8WP_003761

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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