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.

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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Middle Names

The Highs and Lows, The Hots and Colds

With everything going on at home, I went back to my dads place after work, last night. On my way, dad called and asked for me to pick up Chinese. I agreed on the condition that he deseed a cucumber for me while I picked it up the food. I ordered the steamed veggies with chicken and a soup. Dad really loved the mix that I threw together for him, so much that we pulled out broccolini from the freezer and steamed them up. I was really proud of myself. I can’t feel bad about eating steamed vegetables. I was at my calories for the day. Okay, the fortune cookie out me over. Haha! To end on a sweet note, I made a mug of Diet Swiss Miss. Because I love you, readers so much, I’ll tell you my secret for irresistible hot chocolate… Cinnamon and vanilla extract.

With my belly full of veggie, not jelly, I ended the night with some daddy- daughter Monk time, as in we yawn and belch and attempt to watch the end of the episode.

The thing about eating disorders, depression, and just over female-ism is that you become almost plagued by highs and lows. I had a great night but as the night went on, anxiety  started to creep up.  I ignored it and fell asleep.

This morning, it wasn’t so easy to shun away. Sundays at dads usually begin with a nice omelet, meat, and coffee, but since I’ve had some late night splurges these last few days… Way to pray on my late night weakness, dad! (just kidding)

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It began with a toasted morning glory scone that I made a few month back ( they freeze pretty well) and a Dannon Light &Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla Greek yogurt Blend, and a mug of mocha.I love how the sweet coconut and carrots and earthy flax and figs in my scone played off the sweet and tart yogurt. The day began as normal for dad with scrapple, egg, and cheese sandwich, and a mug of coffee. The sandwich must have been pretty darn good because by the time I had toasted my scone and came to eat it, half of dad’s sandwich was already in his tummy. This was the only pic I was able to snap of it! Haha!

(Want to make a simple mocha? 1 packet of Diet Swiss Miss, stirred into a mug of hot coffee and 1 Splenda packet!)

I spent my morning at his place… but the pressure in my chest wasn’t going away. Before I left for work, I tried to be good, so I put a little PB on a slice of light rye. Stop freaking, Sammy! I headed off to work, knowing that what I packed for tonight was great, and praying no one was bringing in any treats!

WP_003322After finishing a bunch of work, my belly started to growl.  I switched it up a bit, tonight, with sugar free vanilla pudding, instead of chocolate, with grahams! (I know… I’m a rebel!) It hit the spot and held me over for the new few hours, while I was busy at work. Eventually, Claire pulled me out of busy work to head down to the caf. I grabbed some condiments for dinner, a diet iced tea, and a decaf coffee, and headed back to my unit to finally enjoy my Amy ‘s Tofu Scramble Pocket for dinner!

WP_003323Since I have never had this before, I had no idea how it would take. While in the microwave, I sprinkled it with chili powder. (My history with tofu scrambles is that hot sauce and chili powder are necessary). A scoop of salsa? Hot sauce? Ketchup? Sweet and Sour Sauce? What is a girl to do? Try them all, duh!

I was surprised that I did not care for the hot sauce with this pocket, but the ketchup, the sweet and sour, and the salsa all were decent pairings. I really enjoyed this pocket and was surprised by how much I actually did like it! In fact, I told dad that I’m picking up another one when we go to Wholefoods, tomorrow!

I finished my late shift with a positive attitude, happy with my eating for the day. I headed to 7-11 to grab myself a sugar free Key Lime Creme Slurpee! Ya know, ironically, despite my love of all things Key Lime flavored, I’ve never actually had Key Lime Pie!

WP_003324I do believe I will have to make a Bundo Key Lime Pie… what do you think?

My Sunday is winding down now, even though its technically Monday morning, now. As I am laying in bed, finishing this post, I wanted something sweet and crunchy. I remembered that on my grocery store trips, yesterday, I found these awesome 110 calorie drumsticks called Lil’ Drums! Theres a bunch of different flavors, but I got the Cinnamunch: vanilla ice cream with a touch of caramel and cinnamon, a small sprinkling of pralines and caramel drizzle. It was awesome and the perfect size! No guilt, just a crunchy cone, and sweet treat! It even had the chocolate plug at the bottom of the cone! Awesome!

Want to talk about hot and cold? Now I’m drinking a mug of decaf hot green tea to relax. Either way, today started a little rocky, emotionally, and is ending well!

Middle Names

The other day, I got into a conversation with a woman in the caf about names. “I have a Samantha at home, too,” she says to me, “but you go by Sammy?” I replied jokingly, “Yeah, except when im in trouble, then my mom yells, ‘Samantha Marie’!” “Thats her name, too,” she said!

What a coincidinck! It got me thinking about names. Every year, they, I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but they release the baby names of the year. I know a lot of the older names or new aged names have been popular the last few like Aiden and Emma. But what about middle names? Growing up, I knew many girls with the middle name, Marie, and at work last night, the nurses and I were talking. A lot of them have Marie as their middle names, too!

Samantha Marie, Kimberly Marie, Kristina Marie, Jillian Marie, Claire Marie…

I got curious and according to ChaCha, the most common female middle name is Marie, and the male is Alan. I wasn’t to surprised by Marie, but Alan kind of threw me for a loop. I was expecting Matthew or Joseph, but not Alan!

What’s your middle name?