Tomato Pie

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RIP Bullet

Today began in mourning. The catch on the MagicBullet cracked right in half!

WP_002860Luckily, I had a spare in the cupboard to make shakes! I made Frank and dad a Black and Muddy shake using soy nut butter and peanut butter, while I went with an Irish Creme shake, using my Da Vinci sugar free Irish Creme syrup and Cafe Latte Herbalife powder.

After shakes, Barry came over for a shooting date! He had some work done on his rifle and it was time to test it out!

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I think my aim is getting better… well… I hope it is, any way  😛

We stopped at the Dairy Palace on our way back to fix Barry’s craving for a blueberry shake. I enjoyed a Dannon Light & Fit Greek Pineapple yogurt with chia seeds back at the house.

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When we got back home, I prepared some food and realized I didn’t want it anymore… so I gave it to Frank for dinner. Instead, I wanted something to hold me over…

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Yes, its Gerber. These things are 70 calories, and I topped it with chunky marinara sauce. Its perfect enough for when I’m not really feeling up to a full meal!

Zumba came to the rescue, yet again, tonight. I LOVE ZUMBA!

In other news, I thought I’d share my Tomato Pie with you today. The key, is the sauce. A mildly sweet and garlic-filled sauce on a firm, crispy soft crust!

Easy Tomato Pie

2 tubes Pillsbury Pizza crust (I like the thin crust and the Artisan whole grain)

garlic powder, dusting

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1 can crushed tomatoes in puree

3 Splenda packets

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp basil

1/2 tsp oregano, plus more

crush red pepper flakes, optional

Heat a pot to medium heat and add the minced garlic. Once the garlic has heated for about 30 seconds, pour the tomatoes in the pot a stir. Follow, by adding Splenda and herbs. Continue to prepare the crust, while stirring sauce occassionally.

Preheat oven according to package directions. Spray baking pan with non stick cooking spray and roll out dough. Use fingertips to finger and press the dough to the edges to create a small crust. Dust the dough with garlic powder and bake for 8 minutes.

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Remove from oven and pour about 1 cup of sauce (gravy, as its called in these parts) in the center of the dough. Spread the sauce evenly over the dough, sprinkle with additional oregano, and red pepper flakes for a kick. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or more until crust is crisp, but soft.

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Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy! Mangia!

*Remember: if you’re using fresh herbs, as opposed to dried, its 1 Tbsp fresh= 1 tsp dried.

Long Awaited

I’ve been working for 4 years, each year increasingly harder. I’ve battled eating disorders, lost and rekindled relationships,  traveled the country with Phi Theta Kappa, started this blog, and so much more! On May 22, 2013, all my hard work payed off and I graduated with my Nursing degree. Now comes the time to celebrate! The days leading up to the party were filled with excitement and a list of things to do! I have been cooking, cleaning , and preparing for 3 days straight! It all paid off! The food, the people, the environment… everything was a success!

I had a vision on my party, the OCD was kicking in, and it worked out just the way I wanted it to! Friends and family surprised me and brought deviled  and pickled eggs, cookies,  huge tray of broccoli rabe, and my grandma’s  yummy coleslaw to the party. I, on the other had, was a cooking machine! I laid out veggie platter with non-fat onion dip, POPCORNERs (delicious) and fat free pretzels with homemade black bean and corn salsa (recipe to come), and homemade honey mustard dip (always a hit at the Bundo parties). I also prepared two trays of tomato pie, Hungry-Girl’s I Can’t Believe Its Not Potato Salad (crazy good), my moms seafood macaroni salad (recipe to come), a simple garden salad, and a big fruit salad!

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I was even surprised by how much my brothers helped out, too! Dom was cleaning the house and preparing the yard, and James made lime seasoned tortilla chips for the salsa I had made.

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The day before the party, dad and came over, and together, we made some incredible food! Dad grilled 20 lbs of sausage on the grill, while I sliced up endless onions, peppers, and mushrooms, and minced a ton of garlic! I love cooking with color! As the sausage settled, I cubed up chicken breast, seasoned it, and seared it.

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The end results were 3 trays of Sausage, Peppers, and Onions, and 2 trays of Chicken Spezzato! All of it went!

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My Aunt Dona contributed her famous deviled eggs, grandma, her coleslaw, Aunt Chrissy, a small lunch meat platter, Penny, Spicy Thai Noodles, and Uncle Eddie, his famous Lemon Ricotta Cookies. Gwyn, a woman I used to work with at my old job, brought pickled eggs (the only pickled eggs I’ll eat) and 5 bottles of Spumante! She said she wanted something for everyone to toast with!

My Aunt Cathy, and godmother, the baker in the family, asked what type of cake I wanted. I love her carrot cake and her cream cheese frosting, but not everyone likes carrot cake. So what did she do? She made cake pops! Not like that ball of batter on a stick… These were like push pops! She arrived early for the party, and we assembles small cupcakes sandwiched with frosting and berries and jimmies (or sprinkles, as many call it). Chocolate, vanilla, carrot cake, strawberry! Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries! She went all out! They were delicious and the perfect size to touch that sweet tooth! She is crazy talented! (If you’re in the area and want her contact info, message me or leave a comment).

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My dad said a toast, thanking everyone for coming, for their support throughout all my highs and lows, and how proud he was of my accomplishments! Gwyn surprised ma n jumped up, stating she wanted to make a toast, as well. Her toast was more of a blessing, to have God guide me through my nursing practice to care for his children. It really meant a lot to  me!

The house was decorated with the typical graduation gear, as well as various shades of green, my school color, and a couple pictures from the past year.

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Drinks included various beers, water, sodas, and the occasional margarita. What really made me laugh was my grandma. She got pretty tipsy on the Spumante and was saying the funniest things! I had to help her to the car when she left! I was cracking up at some of the things! She also insisted that Barry ask me to marry him at the party! She apologized for being so wobbly as she walked explaining she had to take her meds differently today since she was going for blood work in the morning. She then explained she was going to get a mammogram done, exclaiming, “They want to play with the ol’ tits!” She and I stopped dead in our tracks, and just laughed! Shes a trip sometimes! When I called her this morning, she told me how much she loved the sparkling wine. She was in luck that I had 2 bottles left. I’m going to bring her one up on Friday.

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It was an amazing day, filled with special family and friend. My Uncle Eddie invited Harry, one of his friends from grade school, who I love! Hes a hoot. In fact, I go to his birthday party every year, and when we have reunions for our grade school, we jitterbug! I was shocked when he came. Another special guest was Mrs. Miller. Iv’e kept in contact with this woman for about 16 years. Why so long? Because she was my kindergarten teacher.

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The evening ended with a the neighbors and us socializing on the porch, sharing in stories and laughs.

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It was raining most of the day… but the porch and house sufficed. A lot of work went into this party, but it was most definitely worth it!

Morning Surprises!

Today is the first day in a few that I haven’t gotten sick and still felt comfortable with my eating. Yesterday, after my trip to Philly to bury a copy of my diploma to my grandfather, I kind of had some issues. I always swing by Wholefoods on my way home, and the bakery is to die for. Down the hatch some cookies went and, bam, here came the break down!

I received some bad news late last night of the passing of a family friend. It was so sudden! I just saw him a few weeks ago and he said, “I’ll see you on the 22nd at the graduation party!” RIP. You’ll be missed.

This upset my stomach and I attempted some crackers to settle it. No luck. I fell asleep curled in a ball feeling miserable.

This morning, although my stomach was slightly uncomfortable, I proceeded to make a shake. Frank knows I love making shakes, so he always ask me to make his. This not only boosts my self esteem, somehow, but also helps me cope.

When I’m stressed, I cook. I’ll expand more on that in a second.

Frank got a shake that did not look super attractive, but was yummy and full of vitamins: Mixed berries, banana, spinach, and chocolate protein mix.

A month or so ago, I decided to dip my strawberries in OIKOS Toasted Coconut Greek yogurt to make a strawberry colada of sorts. It was a success. The other day, I found Dannon Light and Fit Greek Toasted Coconut and imediatly snatched it up! I threw that with some strawberries in the Magic Bullet, along with xanthum, spinach, ice and water to create smoothie bowl. The bowl was topped with chia seeds, and paired with a cup o’ joe!

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It was a dreary day here, but I did not want to waste the day. Frank, James, and I decided to run so errands to pick up some things for the graduation party. While we were out, we treated ourselves to Serpes. They were just pulling out tomato pie out of the ovens! And of course, I needed to grab one of my favorite cookies from them. Its like a shortbread thumbprint with a dollop of peanut butter. The cookie is covered in a thin layer of chocolate and finished with shaved almonds! Heavenly! I’m determined to make a healthy version of this delicious cookie!

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While out shopping, I picked up some ingredients, went to the kitchen and made my own tomato pie! MMMMM! It was a winner! This is definitely something I will be making for my grad party as an appetizer. I was really surprised how good the sauce turned out!

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With some left over dough and sauce, I opted to make some garlic knots!

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You would think with all this baking, I would have had a bad eating day. NOPE! In fact, for dinner, I roasted some brussel sprouts, and covered it in  mushrooms and Trader Joe’s Creamy Corn and Red Pepper Chowder! Delicious!

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I couldn’t believe how slow it felt time was moving today. Luckily I was able to keep semi busy.

Oh, and I forgot the surprise of the day!

Frank woke me up around 8 this morning. “Sammy! Samantha, theres flowers at the door.” I stumbled, confused, out of bed to see what he meant. A man was on the porch with a vase of pink roses and lillies! Barry is away at camp, still, and surprised me with these beautiful flowers! I was shocked! A great way to start my day!

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