Fun With Fiber

I have been having way too fun with fiber! It began a few weeks ago with making some bran muffins. Then, this beautiful pear from my Harry and David package was staring at me and I decided to make Pear Spice Muffins! Fan-Tastic!

Pear Spice Bran MuffinsWP_005155

makes 8

  • 1 (7oz) box Hodgson Mills Bran Muffin Mix
  • 1 large very ripe pear
  • 1/2 cup flax milk
  • 3/4 Tbsp light buttery spread
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350F. Chop the pear into bite-size pieces. Combine all ingredients and half the chopped pear. Once thoroughly mixed, fold in the remaining pear and divided amongst 8 cupcake tins, lined with cupcake paper. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!

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Nutrition: per muffin (1/8 recipe)

Calories: 128, Fat: 1.6g, Sat. Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 178mg, Carbs: 26.2g, Fiber: 3.4g, Sugar: 8.2g, Protein: 3.9g

Dad and I adored the end result! He kept taking them to work for an on-the-go breakfast. I warmed one up at work and spread a little PB on top and the spread melted and it was fantastic!

??????????????Last night, after making two batches on Blueberry scones, I really went into baking mode! I zested 1 lemon, with the zester dad got me for Christmas, and combined it with powdered sugar, and enough warm milk to make a glaze. Wow! Genius! I love lemon and blueberry!

A few days ago, I began to make my own crackers… yes…. crackers… and dad? He loved them! “I need to put these away before I eat the whole bag!” he said.

The first time I made these, I used ground flax. This last batch, I used milled bran.

Fiberful Crackers

make 48 per batch

  • 1 cup ground flax (meal)
  • OR
  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp milled bran
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat grated Parm
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat grated Parm
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ½ tsp basil
  • 1 ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 ½ tsp
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp flour of choice

Preheat over to 350 F. Mix all ingredients together and spread into a thin rectangle on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and slide a sharp knife over the sheet of fiber to cut 8 strips across and 6 horizontally (Sorry, guys, I’m pretty bad at dimensions). Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. By this time, the squares are formed enough to be broken. Break up the sheet into 48 separate crackers and return to the oven for a final crisp (5-8 minutes)!

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I’m seriously hooked! They go with everything! Salsa, peanut butter (of course), fresh fruit… I even crisped these up more and broke them into my salad as croutons!

Well, being on this bran kick, and in quite a baking mood, I went with the flow and after 2 batches on scones and a batch of crackers, I made another batch of bran muffins. This time with apples (and apple butter)!

Double the Apple Bran MuffinsWP_005254

makes 8

  • 1 (7oz) box Hodgson Mills Bran Muffin Mix
  • 1/2 cup apples, skin on, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp apple butter
  • 1/2 cup flax milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp reduced sugar Craisins, chopped

Preheat over to 350 F. Combine all ingredients! Divide amongst 8 cupcake tins, lined with cupcake wrappers. Bake for 15 minutes. Dig in!

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Nutrition: per muffin (1/8 recipe)

Calories: 118, Fat: 0.9g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 169mg, Carbs: 24.8g, Fiber: 2.1g, Sugars: 7.9g, Protein: 3.8g

Can you guy what dad’s breakfast was, this morning?

Fiber is freakishly filling, fun, fiberful, fit, and makes you feel fabulous!

Talk about a recipe overload!

PS. The muffins freeze really well!

Last Saturday

This is not only the last Saturday o f December, nor is it only the last Saturday of 2013, but it is also the last free Saturday that my dad has. The last few weekends, dad has not had to work, so last night, after work, I went to his house to to advantage of this “last Saturday” morning.

We stayed up late last night, surrounded by home-baked cookies (yum). Upon rising and shining this morning, I discovered some Harry & David pears in the refrigerator quickly ripening. Dad mentioned pancakes in conversation, last night, and I whipped up some breakfast.

He was rather skeptical of the idea, but quite pleased with the results.

Spiced White Pear Pancakes

makes 8 pancakesWP_005124

  • 1 medium pear, ripe, divided
  • 1 1/2 servings complete pancake mix
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp white chocolate chips

Slice the pear in half. With one half, finely chop the pear, with the skin, and add to pancake mix. Add the vanilla, Splenda, and spice to the mix, and mash with a fork. Chop the white chocolate chips and stir into the batter.  Slowly incorporate desired amount of water, mashing with a fork, all the while.

Spray a skillet with non-stick spray. Over medium heat, dollop 2 Tbsp batter, at a time. Thinly slice the other half pear into bite size pieces and top each  batter mound with some pear. Once edges begin to brown and batter bubbles, flip the pancake.

Serve it up!

I loved how moist the pancakes were from the pear! And the occasional bite of chunked pear added another dimension! Dad even mentioned how much he enjoyed the note of the pumpkin pie spice.

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Scrapple and a mug off coffee topped off this meal!

Have a great Saturday!

Manic Mind

Last night was finished off with a Lil’ Drum so I could get my ice cream fix.

Today, is National Apple Dumpling Day. In honor of such a decant sounding dessert, I attempted to make a decadent shake bowl . And it worked! BooYah!

Apple Dumpling Shake BowlWP_003930

  • 1/2 an apple, chopped (frozen preferably)
  • 1/4 cup frozen cranberries (microwaved for 30 seconds)
  • 1 tsp sugar free fat free vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp guar gum
  • 3/8 tsp xanthum
  • water
  • ice

I topped it with some Fiber One bran cereal for crunch!

My belly has been bothering me all day! and my appetite has been minimal. I did manage to do some snacking on a rice cake and roasted red peppers.

I became a bit manic early this afternoon and began to use up the last of the green beans from yesterday’s discount snack attack! I tried my hand at Hungry Girl’s Oat-Standing Veggie Patties. They weren’t quite to my liking, so I ampted up the flavor with scallions, teriyaki sauce, ginger, and garlic. Once I formed the burgers, I kept them in the fridge until I was ready to eat.

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I finished up the last of some miscellaneous veggies from the refrigerator: bok choy, bamboo shoots, baby carrots, scallions, bell peppers, and broccoli slaw. After my first batch of veggies, I made another since it was just so good! All of the stir-fried vegetables were cooked in teriyaki sauce, kung pao sauce, and chili garlic sauce  for a kick!

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WP_003942I finished off the night with a bowl of Vanilla Maple Arctic Zero sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice and SF DaVinci pumpkin pie spice syrup. I finished the bowl with some praline pieces!

My stomach started to feel much better as the night went on. As much as I wanted to head to Zumba, tonight, I just couldn’t get there. I think I’m in a workout rut. I haven’t felt like doing much besides cooking and working.

I can’t dwell on my lack of exercise, but I can capitalize on what I can do, like clean up my cluttered bed room, and I’ve been creating variations of today’s veggie patties all day! There are just soooo many possibilities!

I’ve also been thoroughly enjoying the last few days with my mom. I’ve noticed a huge correlation between my mental health and eating habits and my relationship with my mom. Did you ever realize that when things between my mom and me are rough, my eating habits get totally out of whack?

Anyway, tomorrow is mom’s birthday and I have a special birthday treat for her. The recipe I am making takes two days to make. The first day is a pour and forget it day, but the second day requires a bit of attention. This recipe is a coveted one in the Higgin’s household. Its one of those recipes that my grandmother makes once every few years, and the family stocks up and freezes it to have. Here’s where I might lose you: Split Pea Soup.

I’ve never made it before, but I’m a big fan and I’m praying I can do it some justice.

Kung Pao Carmela

WP_003924I finished a small jar of roasted red peppers, left over from the Eggplant Parm, that I ate on a rice cake. I just loved roasted reds! I have to get another jar! With this pepper idea in my head, I grabbed a baggie of sliced bell peppers from the fridge, threw them in a pan with garlic and ate them with salsa. The smell woke Frank up. “Are you cooking steak?” No, peppers!

Veggies are fantastic! Its hard to feel guilty about eating tons of veggies, yet somehow I manage to do it….

I avoided the cake at work, worked my but off, and heck, I love peppers! Plus, I’m held over until my next meal which won’t be for at least 12 hours.

Today, I woke up early after a late night, for an 0845 appointment and then it was off to Reading! Barry was back from drill ( I haven’t seen him in a few days) and we decided to take today to visit his grandmother. She is such a sweetheart! We made some travel mugs full of coffee, and inspired by Dunkin, used our new White Chocolate and Pumpkin Pie Spice SF syrups.

The weather was a bit off today… sort of overcast, kind of sunny, definitely breezy, and some rain in the occasional spots. I really don’t think mother nature knew what she was feeling, today.

WP_003925On our way up, we stopped at a light and I had to take a picture of this road sign. Ummmm… Gesundheit?!? It was like some one sneezed when they tried to name this road. I just thought it was humorous!

After visiting with his grandmother, we headed back to Delaware. We were both tired. Not even our coffees were doing the trick. By the time we arrived home, neither one of us had eaten anything. It was 3pm and I was unsure if I should eat of wait until dinner. I need to eat, it was my stomach was telling me. Just wait is what the rest of me was saying. I listened to my stomach. Since I planned on cooking Chinese food to dinner, V__6C11Barry and I hit our local take out. I ordered a pint of hot and sour soup and an order of steamed dumplings. The hot and sour soup is a favorite, as you know, and Frank loves the dumplings. As much as I love dumplings, I love the dipping sauce even more! I had a cup of soup and two dumplings, and I was stuffed! I was pretty shocked by how full I was, actually, so I was glad that dad didn’t arrive for dinner until about 530. Barry must have been starving as he downed his order of sweet and sour chicken.

Time to get a little serious…

Today is the 5 year anniversary of my Nonna passing away. I can’t believe its been 5 years already. I remember the entire day so clearly. I just can’t believe its been 5 years. In honor of mommom, I made her favorite Chinese food. On the rare occasion that she would order out, she would only get one 1 dish: “The one with the peanuts.” As much as I love Chinese food, I have never had Kung Pao Chicken, so seasoning this was a bit tricky for me, but it turned out great! It is definitely one I will make again. I whipped up a side of brown ginger rice, that I seasoned with garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I had found a 2lb bag of green beans on the produce discount rack for 86 cents!!! Sweet! I cut a bunch of those up and threw them in the rice.

While I was cooking, dad and I were reminiscing about mommom. Every holiday that we have family gatherings, we watch two videos. The first is when she was attempting to speak Italian. We had been trying for so long to nail a take. Each time, she would forget what she was supposed to say, or mess something up, but this time was a beaut! She just stopped and we all started cracking up! Its hard to hear the voice, but just turn the sound up. I love hearing her laugh at the end of the video because its so damn hearty! It was so genuine! Dad cracks up every time we watch it. He turns into a little kid, rocking back and forth with laughter, breathing just enough to squeeze out the words, “Play it  again!”

WP_003927I call it Kung Pao Carmela because Carmela is my Nonna’s name. I based my recipe very closely to Hungry-girl’s recipe. I must say that my dish looked much more appetizing than hers.  Follow the Hungry-girl recipe except for the following alterations, and you have

Kung Pao Carmela:

  • substitute 1 tsp. red chili sauce with 1 Tbsp Spicy Hot Kung Pao sauce, and add 1/2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce.
  • add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes to the stir fry
  • substitute equal parts of sliced bamboo shoots for the water chestnuts

I served the meal in some left over take- out containers for some authenticity, along with the steamed dumplings.

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We spent the next hour talking about mommom with my mom and snacking on the bag of discount green beans. I think between the two of us, we had to have finished off 3/4 of  lb. They were so crisp and fresh. I was so full but just couldn’t stop crunching away. I didn’t really mind though, since I hadn’t eaten all day. We showed mom a video of mommom from her last Christmas. We had gotten my little cousin some guitar game and she was having so much fun fooling around with this thing! My uncle’s commentary is hilarious and I love hearing her laughing, seeing her smile and having a good time, and hearing her voice. My favorite parts of all is when you hear her talk. At one point, she says, “I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing it!” And I love the end when she says, “I can play!”

Thanks for letting me share my memories with you! I miss you and love you, mommom!

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.