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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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.

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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!