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!

Strawberries and Mango

I wanted to make today a mildly productive day, and it was. It began with two super yummy shakes!

When I got down to some random frozen fruit, I diced it all up and made one big frozen fruit salad, containing bananas, apples, and assorted berries. This, combined with chocolate protein mix, made and incredibly delicious and creamy shake for Frank. Since I love froyo, oh, so much, and am constantly topping my sugar free strawberry with chunks of mango, I took the cue.

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/3 cup halved, frozen strawberriesWP_002900

2/3 cup cubed, frozen mango

1 Tbsp Torani sugar free coconut syrup

Wowzah! That was a tropical dream!

After my shake and a cup of coffee, I grabbed Beauty and pampered her! She got her nails trimmed and a nice bath! It always amazes me how much a dog can shed! Nonetheless, she got a little pep in her step and went to show off how clean and fluffy she was to Bunny.

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I think that little pep tired this old gal out… nap time for Beauty!!!

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Following her bath, I checked on my discounted pears I had picked up. Perfect consistency for my Bakeri-inspired coffee cake! I’ve cooked for Barry, but never baked for him. I made a slight alteration to the recipe. Rather than layering the thinly sliced apple, I finely diced it and incorporated it into the batter. I then layered the pears, since they cook down a lot easier.

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I did have some pears left over, so I did the same and tossed them into the last layer of batter. I feel like the cake was so much moister this time around, since the juices from the apples were evenly distributed.

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Barry stopped by after work and I gave him some. It must have been good because he didn’t have any left by the end of the night and told me it was “delicious” and that I should feel free to make it anytime.

I did not have much an appetite today… but Frank wanted to take me out for dinner… for sushi… Dilemma. I compromised. We ordered a large hot and sour soup (always with added hot sauce) and a large shrimp with steamed vegetables, with garlic sauce. Much healthier and portion controlled than going to a sushi buffet.

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I love this stuff! I could eat it all day! Its just so refreshing, and I’ve really gotten Frank hooked on the stuff, too!

To finish off my night, a little Zumba! I mentioned last week that the instructor invited me to help lead the class. I did it for the first time, today! It was funny, at first, because I had to remember I needed to be the mirror image of what I usually do. It took a few seconds, but it finally got it. Dancing really gets me going and I think the instructor could tell how much fun I was having. Plus, it makes me go harder knowing that people are watching me, and that if I’m having a good time, they will, too!

After showering off my Zumba stank, and folding some laundry, and posting this post, of course, I will spending the rest of the night in bed sending out resumes.

Pinning

Two nights ago, when I left work, I started feeling really weird. As I walked out to my car, my body started feeling like it did when I was sick. I felt weak and tired, like I had no strength. I think it scared me into eating when I got home. Although it was 11pm, and I do not like to eat that late, it made me nervous.

The next morning, feeling some guilt about eating so late, I wanted to started the day off right with a long overdue smoothie bowl. We have tons of apples in the house and I really had a hankering for a cheesecake shake. I decided to make a Apple Crumb Cheesecake Shake (with spinach, of course, for some added vitamins).

Apple Crumb Cheesecake Smoothie BowlWP_002358

half a diced apple

1 sheet of reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

handful of spinach

1/8 tsp guar gum

1/4 tsp xanthum

water

ice

This was pretty good, but a few hours later I really wanted granola. Sticking with the creamy theme, I enjoyed a Yoplait Light Banana Cream yogurt with a Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax granola bar. Perfectly satisfying. My favorite way to do this lunch though, is with the Nature Valley Peanut Butter granola bar! Peanut butter and banana! Can this combo ever be wrong? I don’t think so.

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Last night was the graduating class’ pinning ceremony. The pinning ceremony is like a right of passage for nursing students. We are presented with a pin and a candle. The candle symbolizes Florence Nightingale’s travels during the Crimean War caring for the injured  She was known as “The Lady with the Lamp.” After receiving our pins and carrying our torches, we, as new graduate nurses, recite the Nightingale Pledge.

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The lovely evening would not have been complete without a fist fight. Yeah! A fist fight! As we were walking through the courtyard, I heard arguing. I looked back and watched some guest punch one of the nursing students! What the heck!?

After we grabbed security, we left and went to the DAP (Delaware Association of Police), kind of like a VFW, but for cops. (Dad and I are both members of the club). I like to opt for the lowest calorie drink, so I ordered a Diet Sierra Mist with Citron Vodka. The bar tender went a little heavy handed on the vodka and I was feeling good after that one drink.

Not having ate in over 8 hours, probably contributed to the immense tipsiness and hunger that ensued following the drink. Frank said he would treat to Chinese food so I ordered my favorite: Steamed Shrimp and Vegetable, with a side of garlic sauce. I must have been really hungry because I NEVER eat the rice. But I ate that whole darn platter. And I was feeling the full tummy when I went to sleep last night. Oh boy, was I stuffed!

I slept in a little later today, which was a nice change. I have work at 3pm today. I decided to go with another smoothie bowl this morning for two reasons: 1) its incredibly filling and should last me until dinner time, and 2) its National Cherry Cobbler Day!

Cherry Cobbler Protein ShakeWP_002370

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Drink Mix by Herbalife

1/2 Tbsp sugar free Vanilla pudding mix

1/4 tsp sugar free Cherry Jello mix

about 5 frozen cherries

1/2 sheet of reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers

1/4 tsp xanthum

1/8 guar gum

a handful of spinach (optional)

water

ice

I guess this shake looked pretty appealing because Frank asked me to make him one, too!