Good Days

I have picked up quite a few shifts at my new job and today I realized I am finally getting the hang of things!

At first, I was constantly behind and never even got a chance to eat! Today, however, was completely different! I ate breakfast, lunch, got done everything I needed to do, not only on time, but early! Plus I went to Zumba! It was a really good day today!

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Backing up a bit, I just had to share some pictures with you. On National Spaghetti Day, January 4th , I whipped up some gravy, with a side of steamed broccolini, onion, and roasted red pepper. It was a beautiful and delicious meal!

On my pay day, I took Barry out to breakfast and treated him to the “Ich Liebe Dich” Omlete! It was massive and tasty! I, of course, ordered my banana fosters coffee to pair. The omelet was stuffed with sausage, smoked cheddar, sauerkraut, onion, and bell pepper, topped with a dollop of guacamole, with a side of toasted sourdough, apple butter, and fruit. And “just because,” we ordered the Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge Pudding Cake! Talk about dense and rich, and we couldn’t get enough! It was quite the combination of ingredients to make our Friday breakfast!

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That Saturday, the family celebrated the Bar Mitzfah of Frank’s nephew. It was the first Jewish celebration I had attended actually in Temple. The cantor had a a fantastic voice. I wanted him to serenade me with Frank Sinatra music. Haha! The Rabii took me by surprise, as she was female! I did not know that females could be Rabbis. It was definitely a new experience, as I tried to sing the hymns and and follow along.

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Following the two hour ceremony, we drove about 10 minutes to the luncheon, that was more like an afternoon of food! It was like a 4 course meal! It began with appetizers of fried calamari, eggplant rollatini, and mozzarella rolls stuffed with prosciutto and roasted red peppers. the Eggplant was my favorite!

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This was followed by salad and penne a la vodka! I kept picking out the peas! It was delicious!

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The waitress took our orders. James, one of my brothers, and I could not decide between the chicken and the bass so we decided to split! I ordered the chicken piccatta with double veggies, and James got the Chilean Sea Bass. The bass was perfectly cooked and I loved the lemon of the piccata sauce!

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Dinner, as if that was not enough, was followed by an array of cookies, pastries, and the above cake, which was spectacular! I am not an icing girl, but I would have licked the cake clean! Despite a day filled with food, I was incredibley proud of my self control, portions sizes, and overall eating!

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Mozel Tov, Evan!

FYI: This is how excited I get for Zumba!

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Tools at Walmart and Shopping Fun

I wound up crashing on the couch last night, but I crashed hard. I guess I needed it. I woke up with a plan for my morning and I stuck with it. I offered dad a Red Velvet Cake Shake. “If I’m going to have a shake, I don’t think I’m in the mood for Red Velvet.” Well, whatchya want, pops? “Are you able to make a Banana Creme Pie?” OK, see you in 10!

Banana Creme Pie

  • 1-2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp SF FF Banana Cream pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp crushed graham crackers

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Dad said it was the best shake I’ve made him! Dad was double-fisting this morning with his shake and a mug of coffee.

Before I lost my motivation, I cut my conversation with dad short, suited up, and ventured into the beautiful breeze in Wilmington, this morning, and did a little refrain running for about 2 and 3/4 mile. My destination was to the ACME. They were having a big dollar sale on celery, mushrooms, and assorted produce, and wanted to stock up.

I took my sweet ole time in the store and found some interesting items. I was picture snapping machine:

Oh no! Which to choose? I was a good girl and maintained my self control.

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Interesting… convenient… but how spoiled are we that we need flat marshmallows?

Shut the front door! My jaw dropped!

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The tiny pepperoni! I had to laugh and just imagined myself giving those out to trick-or-treaters. The poptarts? Both my dad and Barry insisted on the purchase. I have not tried them yet. And the cookies? I’m waiting for an oreo surround by chocolate chip cookies… then I’ll faint into a cookie wonderland.

Speaking of cookies, I found this link that I thought was really interesting! It all makes sense, now! No wonder I love oreos!

Oreos and Cocaine

Frank picked me up at the store and we hit Walmart for a few final items. When walking out of the store, I could not believe my eyes! Not about food, but about the complete tool that was parked next to us. Who the heck makes these stickers, let alone has the audacity to put them on their car. Unexceptable in my book!

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Tools at Walmart: I’m going to guess you graduated the bottom of your high school class, spend most of your time looking at yourself, work at McD, have the IQ of that pile of dog waste on the lawn, and probably aren’t the the prettiest sight, yourself…

Okay, off my pedestal. Despite this butthead, I was still in a great mood. I decided to switch up my post-jog routine. Instead of a shake, I remembered Julie’s protein pancakes and made the following:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein PancakesWP_004336

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2

Blend in food processor until smooth.

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I topped mine with SF Strawberry preserves and loved every bite!

My day continued to be great when Barry called and asked if I wanted to meet up with his mom and sister. Katie is pregnant and was maternity shopping. As she was trying on mommy-to-be jeans, I wandered around the maternity. First, I through a shirt at her. Its Eagles… what did you expect? Next, a small selection of Luna bars caught my eye. As my eyes traveled along the shelving, another variety of bars caught my attention: Belly Bar Boost. First of all, how cute is that name? With my protein bar impulse, I wanted to grab one, but I have no need for it! (You hear that dad? I don’t need it!) Anyway, still full of curiosity, I checked them out and couldn’t help but smile at the names of the flavors: Baby Needs Chocolate, Lemon Lovey, S’More to Love, and Berry Nutty Cravings. I think its awesome that these pre-natal nutrition bars were made for the mommy-on-the-go!

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Then, Mrs. Preggers, as Barry calls his sister, began with the cravings… “I want froyo. Let’s get frozen yogurt.”

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You can tell who’s bowl each belongs to.

To end this day, Barry and I headed back to my place and caught up on some episodes of Chicago Fire. Thank you, OnDemand. Since my dinner was left-over from the night before, I heated up my spaghetti and microwaved a frozen meal for Barry. Both were yummy. What a great way to start my weekend!

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After tomorrow’s planned event, I hope theres a post for you tomorrow night.

Veggies and Vitamins

Wednesday

Since I could not squeeze in my cat nap, I took my (lack of) energy into the kitchen, along with my laptop, and channeled my racing mind into something constructive. I spent about 45 minutes sending out resumes before whipping up a fiberful and filling shake bowl, that kept me full for countless hours! It was just what I needed to power my 12 hour night shift.

Carrot Cake Protein Shake

(adapted from CCK’s Milkshake)WP_004311

  • 3 oz carrot, chopped and steamed
  • 1 frozen, very ripe banana (if not very ripe, use the frozen banana trick)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • slightest pinch of salt
  • 1-2 packets Splenda, added sweetness, if desired
  • water, or milk (for richer taste)
  • ice
  • guar and xanthum (optional)

I was going to top the bowl with raisins and chopped walnuts. Sound delicious, right? Instead, I crumbled a quarter of a Cinnamon Raisin Gnu bar (Gnu makes a carrot cake bar, but I’m not a real fan of it). The bowl serious hit the spot and I wasn’t hungry for almost 8 hours!

Hard At Work

Hard At Work

My shift began a little rocky. Not because I had a tough assignment, just because I was still in a funk, dwelling over the missed job.  After getting my head back on straight, the night went great.

I brought the last piece of Eggplant Parm Frittata and topped it with Chipotle salsa. I brought a bundle of celery  sticks for snacking, and loaded up on raw veggies from the caf. I even had a bite of a butterfinger cake one of the nurse made. (Come on… did you really expect me to pass up anything with the word “butterfinger” in it?) But it only added to my  pride when I was one little sliver and done for the night! It was just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth and to say I had some!

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Later in the night, I required something… I wasn’t hungry, but I couldn’t stop thinking about eating something. Rather than hitting up that cake in the fridge, I grabbed a dum dum sucker from the basket and few Teddy Grahams, and was completely unphased!

WP_004317On my drive home, all I wanted was stewed tomatoes. I know it sounds odd, but I could just burst waiting to get my hands on that can! Upon arriving home, there were no cans of stewed tomatoes. I could have sworn I had a can! Diced? NO! Crushed? No. Fire Roasted? Gah! Where are my stewed tomatoes? Alas, I pulled a pepper out of the refrigerator and bit into it like an apple, in disappointment and defeat. I went with the flow and here I am. I just finished my shift up and am blogging away, dipping bell pepper and romaine into one of my favorite brands of sauce, Rising Moon Organics!

Hopefully, looking at a computer screen will tire me out so I can catch some Zs before tonight’s shift!

Thursday

With the success of yesterday’s Carrot Cake shake, I decided to make it for dad, today! After his first swing he said, “Hey, thats pretty good!” Following another gulp, “Cinnamon… mmmm… and I can’t taste the carrots! ” Dad doesn’t like cooked carrots… at all… same as beets… so I love when I get those veggies and vitamins in him! Later, I received a text from dad, “Damn good shake.” I think he liked it!

I had a few beets left in the fridge and definitely wanted to utilize them before they started to go bad.

Beet Berry Burst ShakeWP_004321

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein shake
  • 1/2 beet, peeled, chopped, and steamed
  • frozen mixed berries and fruit
  • 1/2 tsp SF orange jello powder
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • cinnamon

I wasn’t hungry but, then again, I haven’t been hungry for two days, now. I needed to eat just to try to maintain normalcy. I topped it with pretzel sticks, shredded coconut… I was so indecisive. I wound up topping it with PB2, goldfish… I just couldn’t make up my mind. Probably because I wasn’t really hungry.

I got two call backs, today, for jobs. Guess what? I didn’t qualify because I don’t have experience! It so frustrating! I was getting really down on myself. I tried to channel my feelings into a brisk walk. When I arrived at Wawa, I grabbed a coffee

Since the jar of sauce was open, and today being National Pasta Day, I drained a bag of Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti, chopped up a bunch of spinach, and topped the lot with Garlic and Chantrelle Mushroom Pasta Sauce, and bit of Chipotle salsa for a bite! However, my body had other plans. My stomach started bothering me and I felt so out of it. Well, my dinner turned into rice cakes and crackers. I guess I have dinner for tomorrow.

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September 13

Some pretty interesting things happened on this day in history:

1224 – Francis of Assisi is afflicted with stigmata.

1503 – Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David.

1788 – NY City becomes 1st capital of US

1948 – Margaret Chase Smith (R-Me) elected senator, 1st woman to serve in both houses of Congress

1963 – “Outer Limits” premieres on ABC TV

1965 – Beatles release “Yesterday”

1974 – Phillies set NL record, using 27 players in a game, St Louis uses 24, tying record of 51. Phils win 7-3 in 17

To make today even cooler… Its not just September 13th… And its not just National Peanut Day… Its Friday, September 13th!

Do you know what else happened?

1960– My daddy was born!

I follow a law in my head that I call “Experi-mentality.” Its another word I made up. I like to do that… Remember “Crock-Pot-It?”

Experimentality: ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt, men-ˈta-lə-tē

experiment: an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law

mentality: a particular way of thinking

experimentality: the operation of thinking up procedures to be carried out to discover an unknown outcome

Sound pretty scientific, huh?

WP_003882With all of these things falling on one day, all of our shakes followed a theme. We’ll start with the birthday boy and his Birthday Cake Shake:

  • 2 scoops cookie n cream shake mix (1 scoop vanilla and 1 scoop chocolate will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp jimmies/ sprinkles, more for garnish
  • water
  • ice

WP_003885I created a Black Cat Shake for Franks:

  • 1 scoop chocolate shake
  • 1 scoop cafe latte shake
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • Black berries (mixed berries will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free licorice syrup
  • water
  • ice

I was expecting Franks shake to be much dark, but it turned out reminding me of  the color of red velvet ice cream. For myself, I call it a Mexican Jumping Bean. There were no peanuts to be found in the house, but of peanut butter, there is plenty…

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I got myself to eat some chips and salsa last night and with the pb being in reach, I’m  always one to experiment. What a combo! I would have never thought salsa and peanut butter would pair! It could be because I’m PMS-ing, but it worked for me. Frank tried it and WP_003886immediately said “No way…” I guess its a love it or hate it shake…  It reminded me of chili chocolate. So heres the Mexican Jumping Bean Shake:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate shake mix
  •  3 Tbsp mild salsa
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • the slightest pinch of cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way)
  • water
  • ice
  • xanthum and/or guar (optional)

I kept busy for the entire day! I even ate! I made a seaweed salad for the first time, to surprise dad with one of his favorite foods. It turned out great! I spent most of my day cleaning the carpets, however.

WP_003889Frank began to whip up a seafood gravy, and its always delicious! But I haven’t eaten it since he used sooooo much olive oil! With his weight loss goals, he has been cutting back on a lot of fattening ingredients in his cooking. Frank said it could be dads birthday dinner. I pulled out the last box of Paul Sorvino’s spaghetti. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. I figured dad’s birthday would suffice. I wanted to to be able to eat dinner with my dad, so I sucked it up, cooked up a bag of Spaghetti Tofu Shiratki noodles, and topped it with a bit of seafood sauce. Frank was happy that I ate his cooking. He knows I enjoy it. Dad’s plate looked like a tour around the world. I had prepared the seaweed salad for him earlier in the day, and Frank made the pasta. I finished his meal off with a birthday drink of Diet Rum and Coke.

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up, I’ve always been a daddy’s girl! Pretty much every childhood memory involves my dad. My first memory of music is my dad popping in the cassette to Locomotion in the stereo, and us dancing around the living room. Music has always been one thing that always has tied us together…

If you couldn’t tell by our matching tattoos… Haha

No matter the song, no matter the situation, my dad would always come up with a song, or a spoof off a song with my name in it. One song he still sings is “Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie… I kiss Sammy Bundo’s eye!” Its silly, I know, but it works.

In honor of the birthday boy and in honor of our daddy-daughter bond over music, I created a special birthday surprise for him:

Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie

serves 8

The Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) low fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown
  • 3 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ground flax, optionalWP_003901

The Apple Peach Pie:

  • 2-3 Fuji apples (enough to yield 2 cups once sliced)
  • 2 4oz NSA peach snack cups, like Del Monte (do not drain)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

The Pumpkin Pie:

  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine butter with 2 Tbsp water. Microwave until just melted. In a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One and graham crackers to a breadcrumb-like consistency, along with the Splenda. Once its ground, pour the melted butter and blend well.

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Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute crust mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust. Press it into the edges and up along the sides of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple and peach filling. Peel, core, and thinly slice apples to produce 2 cups full. In a large nonstick pot on the stove, combine all ingredients for the filling except apples and peaches.  Add 1/3 cup water and mix until ingredients have dissolved. Bring to medium-high heat stirring frequently. Add apples and stir. After about 5 minutes, empty the peach cups, undrained, in the pan and stir. Lower the heat to medium low and stir occasionally until sauce thickens for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and  set aside, while making the pumpkin filling. Combine all the pumpkin filling ingredients and set aside.

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Carefully transfer the apple and peach filling into the cooled pie crust and evenly spread. Top with the pumpkin mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 425 F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F, rotate the pie 180 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees, again, and finish baking for a final 15 minutes, until the center has just set. Remove the oven and allow to cool.

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Slice and top with whipped cream and pecans (optional).

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Nutrition: (1/8 of recipe)

Calories: 165, Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 259 mg, Carbs: 33.3g, Fiber: 5.1g, Sugars: 17.8g, Protein: 3.8g

WP_003902My kitchen smelled amazing! It took everything out of me not to cut into this baby! “Can’t we sing happy birthday, today, dad???” I said yesterday.

We apparently didn’t have a number 3 candle! But we all loved this pie! It was mildly sweet, the flavors went well, it was light, and the crust was crisp….

We finished this wonderful day with playing Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, doing a birthday jig, and watching the new Star Trek movie on DVD!

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I loved  seeing dads face as I ate my dinner, and hearing him talk about how happy he was to see me in such a good mood! I am so blessed to be one of those lucky girls in the world that gets to be so close to her dad.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!