Pumpkin, meet Butter Cake

Hello!

I’ve missed you all sooooooo much!

45 hr of work+ nursing school = when the heck do I get to blog?

I have finished up another semester of working towards my BSN, and am on Winter Break. Alleluia! But despite that equation of little sleep, a girls still gotta eat, right? So no worries, my blog family. I’m still a cooking machine!

Last year, I brought bourbon-spiked sweet potato casserole to the table. This year, I’m still keeping it orange.

There is a bakery I grew up on in Philly called Stock’s Bakery. The sticky buns, danishes, and donuts are massive. Every Easter, Grandmom gets pound cake for everyone.

But… on special occasions, we get butter cake. Not like Betty Crocker butter cake… BUTTER CAKE!

How in the world can I make this decedent, guilty pleasure? I’ve asked the universe since I was a wee one.

When I was younger, Stock’s would sell out of butter by noon. If we remembered, we would call and reserve it. It is nothing fancy to look at:

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All Photo Credit: Stock’s Bakery Facebook

 

Off-white, cracked surface, in a shallow metal tin, wrapped in wax paper. The End.

Then you cut into it, and as you remove your knife from the pan, you watch this gooey, creamy filling mask the metal of the cutlery. This thin square you have just cut is melt-in-your-mouth heaven!

Oh my goodness, I think I’m drooling on my keyboard.. Oops!

Then, last year, on one of my Cooking Channel binders, I saw Bobby Deen make a lighter version of his Mama’s Gooey Butter Cake. Game on, Bobby, game on. After reviewing his recipe, I cut it back a bit more using applesauce, liquid egg substitute, and a reduced fat cream cheese. (I can’t believe cream cheese is the secret!) But then October hit.

It’s Pumpkin Season!!!

Then November rolled around, and suddenly, it’s Thanksgiving! The family has been in a funk over the past year, and getting even funkier, but with my own apartment, now, and a dad and an uncle so close to me, it was my turn to have my very first thanksgiving!

On the Menu:

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NOT sharing

 

  • Rosemary and apricot glazed turkey breast
  • Bourbon-Spiked Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Roasted Thyme and Lemon Veggies
  • Cranberry sauce made from scratch
  • The last of the beloved Grandmom Thanksgiving Stuffing from the freezer
  • Turkey gravy
  • Spinach Roll (A Wilmington institution, Serpe’s Bakery, caught fire last year and had to close. They reopened and we had to get a slice of tomato pie. While there, Dad mentioned how difficult it must be to make their spinach and pepperoni rolls. I accepted the challenge. I think he knew I would, that sneaky old man!)

But it isn’t quite Turkey Day without…

Turkey… duh..

No, dessert!

With pumpkin on the brain, the warming scent of cinnamon air that fills the season, and a partial (very large) can of pumpkin in the fridge, the gears began-a-turning…

When I made Bobby’s cake, the “crust” was much thicker than Stock’s. Ok, let’s cut that back. Flavor was there, but… Ok, let’s “Fall” this thing up!

 Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

10-16 slices

The Cake

  • ½ package of carrot cake or spice cake- cake mix
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp lemon juicepump
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, maybe pumpkin

The Gooey

  • 8oz fat free cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin, NOT pie filling
  • ¼ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp light buttery spread (like Blue Bonnet light, or Country Crock light)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup powdered/confectioners sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix all cake ingredients well. Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan or square pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat the filling ingredients, slowly incorporating the powdered sugar. Pour over the cake batter and smooth the surface.

Bake 30-35 minutes, and allow it to rest and cool.

 

Optional: Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Why? Just because.

Nutrition (1/16):

Calories: 100, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 2.2mg, Sodium: 192.6mg, Carbs: 19.8g, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugars: 12.8g, Protein: 3g

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It is a rich cake, so with a bit of whipped cream, 1/16 is quite guiltlessly satisfying. But be my guest to cut a bigger piece… You’ll want to! 

Daniel was invited to a co-worker’s house at his new base, for which I was very thankful. I think he was super excited, too, because he baked three pies to take with him! Yeah, he bakes! Crazy, right?!

So after some good company, yummy food, a glass of wine, and a slice of Fall heaven, it was time to relax.

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The following day, I was back in the kitchen! I baked ALL day! I may or may not have raided the discount rack at the farmers market and bought like 20lb of apples….

You’d think after baking 2 apple pies, 3 batches of cookies, and about 10lb of apples worth of applesauce, I’d be exhausted, right?

I could not pass up the invitation to catch up with my friends at Tim and Tori’s house! I went to high school with both of them, and now they are engaged! Timmy was my first crush in high school and Tori is one of my bridesmaids.

I walked into Timmy and Tori’s house to see a kitchen of my high school crushes! Some of them I haven’t seen since high school graduation! It was like we never parted! Hugs and laughs the whole night! It was absolutely fantastic and just what I needed to break away from the stress, monotony, and isolation of being a working student.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, surrounded by love and laughs!

Golumpki Get Down

Did you know it is National Homemade Soup day? Did you know that my soups have been on point the past 2 months? Let’s post another… Shall we?

Golumpki Soup

inspired by Golumpki

serves 10

  • 14 cups cabbage (about 1 small to medium head, core removed
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 lb 99%lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can Campbells condensed tomato soup
  • 1 3/4 cup favorite jarred tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups beef broth, reduced fat or reduced sodium
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup

In a large soup pot, break up and brown the ground turkey. (No need to worry about draining, but there will hardly be anything to drain.) Add the cabbage, onion, s/p, and garlic to the pot, along with 1/2 cup water. Cover and steam the veg on low heat for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, give everything a good toss, and everything else to the pot. Cover again, and leave to simmer over low heat for 40 to 45 minutes.

Yup! It’s that easy!

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Nutrition (1/10 of recipe):

Calories:137, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 582mg, Carbs: 19g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 11g, Protein: 15g

So gazpacho weirds me out a bit, and, frankly, I’ve never had one I actually liked, but this stuff… yeah… I’ll eat that cold!

Newsfeed Gold

Most of the time, you’re scrolling down your facebook feed, repost animal videos or ‘liking’ a status, or bitching about that damn snow plow creating a 5 foot wall so you can’t get to you car…

(yeah, we got our first big snow storm)

Sometimes, you stumble upon an excellent Buzzfeed vid… But I owe this one to TipHero…

Turkey & Swiss Pinwheels with Dijon Poppy Glaze

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Inspired By TipHero

The Base:

  • 1 can refrigerated Pizza Dough
  • 1/2 lb deli smokeed turkey, thinly sliced
  • 10 slices fat free Swiss cheese

The Glaze:20160123_165258.jpg

  • 3 Tbsp light buttery spread
  • 1/2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP Dijonaisse
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. On a silicone mat or lightly floured cutting board, roll out your pizza dough until it’s about 12 x 18 inches.

Break your slices of cheese into quarters and evenly distribute on the dough. Then distribute the turkey.

Gently, but some-what tightly, roll up the dough. Cut the roll into eight equal slices and lay them in a baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the buttery spread, Splenda, worcestershire sauce, dijonaisse and poppy and chia seeds. Microwave 2- to 25 seconds. Stir until butter and sugar are completely melted. Spoon the glaze over the tops of the pinwheels. Bake for 25 minutes.

Bam, Baby!

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You’re Welcome.

Let’s make it a bit more lean by substituting turkey for ham, and add a bit of fiber but maintain the nuttiness but tossing some chia seeds in with the poppy seeds. We also were able to seriously cut back on the butter by using dijionaise.

The best part?

Of course the bubbly melted cheese! But, no! That;s just a bonus! The real shining star is this glaze! Oh my goodness! I want it on everything!!! Just sweet enough, just tangy enough!

Mom has a mild obsession with Pillsbury Buttery biscuits and she had two dough patties left that didn’t fit on her baking sheet. I wound up making her mini versions using her black forest ham. “I want your cheese,” she says. Usually when she refers to MY food, shes being sarcastic, but this time she wasn’t. “It’s fat free Swiss,” I replied. “What? Really! I don’t even like Swiss.” So there ya go, folks, trick your parents to better their health and expand their palate…

Turkey Day Salad

20151201_193803[1]Last year, I watched leftover sweet potato casserole not only be transformed into sweet and tart pancakes, but also be devoured in record timing! In the spirit of repurposing leftovers, and Thanksgiving having just pasted, I wanted to make Turkey salad. Okay, dad REALLY wanted me to make turkey salad.While he envisioned classic turkey mayo celery, onion, I wanted something new.

 

Turkey Day Leftover Pesto Salad

inspired by A Communal Table

makes 4-6 servings

  • 1 cup kale greens
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 stalk large (11″-12″ long), Celery, raw
  • 0.75 oz fresh basil (about one store bought package from the produce department)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground sage
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat grated parm-style topping
  • 1 Tbsp blue bonnet light, melted
  • 2 tbsp Jellied Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Light Mayo
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp plain Greek nonfat Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Reduced Sugar Craisins, divided
  • 14 oz chopped cooked leftover Turkey, approximately 4 loosely packed cups
  • 2 tbsp Sweet frozen corn, defrosted, or leftovers from the BIG dinner

20151201_185916-1[1]In a food processor, blend kale through grated parm, while drizzling in the melted butter spread. One all ingredients have been broken and combined, add cranberry sauce through yogurt, and only 1 Tbsp of craisins. Pulse to combine.

Stir the kale pesto into chopped turkey, as well as the remaining tablespoon of craisins and the corn.

Nutrition (1/4 of recipe):

Calories:217, Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 224mg, Carbs: 14g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 22g

This is actually the first pesto I’ve ever made, and I am pretty darn proud! The kale was a last minute concept when I went to the market for basil and saw a display of huge bags of kale on manager’s special.

This has just the right amounts of sweet, tart, and  savory. I’m sure you could add more cranberry sauce to make it sweeter. I like how all of it blended to nicely, and hid the tang of the Greek yogurt, so much so that the mother of anti-yogurt campaign, my mom (and no, that is not a real campaign) couldn’t tell it was present. I think even adding more corn would had more of a juicy pop to the salad, as well.

The first taste of this, other than the spoon, was placing 1/4 of the recipe in a warm tortilla and toasting its sides in a pan. Dad and I cheers-ed, as we split this warmed wrap. We devoured our halves, which was quickly followed by a panini style sandwich.

Side note: Back in the day, when my parents had just been married, they got a sandwich maker, which is like a waffle iron, but for sandwiches. I claimed this in their divorce.

I spread amount 3/4 tsp of light buttery spread to the inside sides of light multigrain bread, spread the turkey salad, and sealed it in the sandwich maker until bread was golden brown. (If you don’t have a sandwich maker, just make it like a grilled cheese.)

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Eat with a fork, in between bread, in a wrap. Eat it cold, warm, or hot.

          Moral of the story… Just eat it.

                              Warning of the story? You might not be able to stop.

T N T

T N T

Turkeys and Traditions

I love the Holidays! As soon as Thanksgiving hits, I am in full holiday swing!

To me “The Holiday Season” is so much more than the major blow out sales! Lets think about it… When you think of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, what do you think of? The first thing that comes to mind, besides the Christmas music, obviously, are the traditions that go along with each of those events.

Growing up, these three were filled with family! My mom is one of five, and, dad, one of four. My parents are the only ones in either if their sibling groups to have only one child, so needless to say, holidays can get crowded.

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A day for stretchy pants!

Our Thanksgiving tradition requires heading to Philly. Over the years, my cousins have gotten married and have kids of theirs own, starting their own traditions. My earliest memory of our Thanksgiving dinner head count is somewhere in the mid 20s. Can you imagine three folding tables end to end from the front door to the kitchen in a row home living room??? Over the years, our head count has dwindled to somewhere in the mid-teens.

 

Despite the change of numbers, the menu remains unchanged. Each year we can expect to have mashed potatoes, succotash, sweet peas, both a ham and a turkey, cole slaw, stuffing, and giblet gravy, sticks of butter scattered throughout the table, and loaves of rye and black breads, and a basket of snowflake rolls! (My family doesn’t cook for the waist line.) And we always look forward to the most dense cheesecake you will ever eat.

Its funny that there are people who can’t stand the ends of breads, but to our family, its gold! My aunt/godmother and I usually sit next to each other and its a fight to the death for the butts of not just the black bread, but the ham! A fork belonging to each of us, sword fighting for the crisp glazed end!

Some of the nostalgia behind our meals, is that we do it our way! I remember the first time I ordered succotash at a restaurant and was completely confused as to what was delivered to me. We use sweet cream-style corn, rather than whole kernal corn, and you will not be sorry if you give this a try! Not a damn thing needs to be added to this corn and lima bean mix. Sweet and savory, wet and filling, and so much more.

Grandmom makes the stuffing the Tuesday before thanksgiving, and boy she means business! She has made it this way for so long that she doesn’t even know measurements. (Just imagine how hard it was for me to try to figure out the recipe, as her units of measurements are her palm and ziplock bags!) 

After she combines the hodgepodge of stuffing ingredients, she divides it amount countless aluminium loaf pans, then bakes them off. She makes loaves and loaves of stuffing. Not just for dinner, but then she wraps up the ten extra loaves, untouched by turkey day, and each family member gets a loaf to take home, which we slice up and freeze to eat throughout the year.

And I don’t know how many times I have tried to make her giblet gravy. I remember the first year I learned what it actually was. “I’m eating turkey neck?!” I exclaimed at the dinner table.

We all grow up looking forward to our grandma’s “something.” Like my grandma’s cole slaw isn’t your typical creamy slaw and she uses a secret ingredient that she confided in me a few years ago. (Sorry folks, a family secret is a family secret.)

Oh man! And that stuffing! The next morning, we slice it up, brown both sides and top it with cheese and an egg, over easy. Tradition baby! 

Compliments of Mom: There are two factors that contribute to our juicy turkey. The first, is the container in which we cook it. I’m not referring to the roasting pan. I place my turkey in a turkey-sized oven bag. Sprinkle a little flour in the turkey bag, shake it around, then slide in your turkey and tie up the bag. Here’s where I might lose you. The second trick is to bake your turkey upside down. That’s right, breast down. Don’t worry about that little popper in the turkey breast. Bake it upside down. All the juices that fall to the bottom, are now falling into the white meat to soak and infuse. And that little bit of flour that is added to the turkey bag coats the turkey and helps brown up the skin. (After much thought, as much as crispy skin appeals to me on such an indulgent holiday, I side with the juicy white meat.)

Grandmom was pretty darn sick in the hospital a few months ago. She still isn’t quite feeling up to par, and I can’t blame her. Since we live in a different state, mommom is going to my aunt’s house, so I will be hosting T-Day at home in Wilmington for anyone complacent on this holiday.

On our menu:

  • Turkey (duh!)20151126_161521
  • Succotash (creamy!)
  • Green Bean Almondine
  • Stuffing (Unfortunately, not mommoms)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Bourbon-Swirled Spiced Casserole
  • Baked Bananas with a Spiced Cream

I can’t just leave you all without a little recipe.

Baked Bananas with Spiced Cream

  • bananas, medium
  • egg roll wrappers
  • cinnamom
  • fat free cool whip
  • pumpkin pie spice

Cut medium bananas in half. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over an egg rolls wrapper and wrap up a half of a banana in each. Lay your wrapped bananas on a sprayed sheet of parchment paper, seam side down. Bake at 350 F for about 15 min, turning half way through.

Meanwhile, blend room temperature cool whip and pumpkin pie spice. I mix 1/4 tsp spice to each cup of cool whip. Serve each wrapped, warm, caramelized, almost melted banana with a dollop if spiced whip.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your day be filled with love!

 

 

 

Welcoming Fall

Last night, I noticed something. Most of my calories are eaten after 5pm, but I can’t quite figure out why. Am I hungry? Am I anxious or nervous? Am I bored? I’m not quite sure. For instance, despite my delicious veggies, and a bowl of grapes, I found myself snacking on goldfish. Not that I ate anything terrible for me, but just the point. Why do I eat more at night?

Speaking of snacking… I have got to tell you about this new cereal I bought yesterday. It was super on sale and it took serious self control to not just sit on the couch with my hand in the box. Apparently, Raisin Bran has two new styles out: Omega 3 with Flaxseed, and Cinnamon Almond. The serving size was bigger in the Cinnamon Almond and I, technically, bought it for dad. Well, it didn’t make to dad’s house, yet. Heck, its lucky it made it home from the store. It was like Special K Vanilla Almond and Raisin Bran Crunch combined into a magical cereal!

I ended my night and began my morning trying to decide between a bowl of the new cereal or a shake for breakfast. I opted for the shake to ring in the first day of Fall.

WP_004011Before my shake, I threw a turnkey into the oven. After last weeks turkey sandwich-made-salad, and dad relentless requests, I threw a whole turkey into the oven. My secrets to a juicy, tender, and evenly cooked turkey? Use a turkey bag and bake the turkey up-side-down (as in breast facing the bottom of the pan). Another turkey trick is to always keep empty jars on hand. Don’t throw out those old salsa jars. Keep them for easy disposal of grease. It never ceases to amaze me how much fat comes off a turkey, even when I remove excess fat before baking!

Breakfast was a pumpkin pie shake! It was so yummy, and, surprisingly, the banana makes it. I made one for Frank and my dad! Thanks for the recipe, Julie. I followed it up with a Caramel Vanilla Cream K cup, spiked with SF white chocolate syrup.

WP_004003After breakfast and some bill paying, I welcomed the new season once more with a zip up and my  boots! Boot season is among us, people! I’m not a particular fan of cold weather, but I love boots! Frank and I headed out for a few errands, and I got two more things to welcome the sudden change of temperature: 2 new sport bras and a pair of fitted long workout pants!WP_004013

Arriving home was splendid! The smell of the roasting turkey hit us like a wall as we opened the door. Frank and I made ourselves some lunch and basked in the turkey aroma! I made a bowl of broccoli soup, topped with goldfish, and Frank heated up a Healthy Choice frozen meal.

WP_004007To kill some time, I prepared the ingredients for my dinner and future lunches. Cranberry sauce is not that popular of an item in this house, so when I do open a can, I freeze whats left, by the tablespoon. I took out 2 Tbsp of the jellied cranberry sauce out of the freezer and, when defrosted, mixed it with 1 Tbsp light mayo. As the flavors blended, I chopped up celery and scallions, and mixed it with mayo, black pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. All that was left was for the turkey to finish!

It finished just in time for dad to come over! Baked to perfection! The best part about being the one who cleans the turkey, is being the taste tester! After I cleaned and divided the turkey, I put some aside for dad, some aside for chili, and some in the celery, scallion, and mayo mix from earlier. Following dad’s departure, I chopped a bunch of iceberg lettuce, tore up turkey, and tore apart 1/2 slice of wheat bread. I drizzled half of my cranberry/mayo mix over top and dug in! Oh my gosh it was just like a Bobbie!

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Something came over me. I went into a frenzy! I ate a cucumber and grapes to chill out. I just had to get out of the house, before I ate any more. I had called dad to see how he was feeling (his knee had been bothering him), and told him about my salad. He exclaimed how awesome it sounded and I offered to come over and make one for him. I think he liked that idea.

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WP_004012I was beginning to feel to turkey’s tryptophan kicking in and debated not going to Zumba. After feeling so manic, I needed to go! I arrived at Zumba decked out in my new gear, ready to go. Wouldn’t you know the sound system was acting up! Come one, universe, really?! After talking, standing around, goofing off, and making phone calls, we were finally patched, and Alex, the instructor, lead half a class and gave us all a free class. Yay! I came home, feeling a bit better, and went to town on some cucumber and salsa to get my crunch and nervous energy out of my system.

After a shower, a few phone calls, and the season premier of “How I Met Your Mother,” I am ready for some chill time.

Mad Cow

I arrived at work, last night, and was somehow relieved to be in a 1:1. I wouldn’t be tempted to nibble. I spent the next 8 hours watching movies and reading up a storm! My friend from high school was always a writer. He recently sent me a copy of his pilot for a miniseries he wrote to proof. He and I both were in theatre. I was honored to finally read his work  and took advantage of this night shift to read it. It was fantastic! His descriptions were so vivid, it was like I was watching it! I was disappointed when it ended when the pilot ended. Wheres the rest? I kept thinking, scrolling with the mouse as if I had misplaced the page on the screen. Don’t leave me hanging!

Around 2 am, I took a brief break and enjoyed the broccoli salad I had made. It was better now than it was before! It was so filling, too, that only around 5am did I start to get a bit hungry. I curbed this with two saltines and, sticking with my green theme of the night, a reduced-sodium miso soup. I love these packets! Only 25 calories and I’m content!

WP_003790It was a great shift and I felt great when I left. I then met dad at my mechanics to drop off my car. By the time we got home, I was starving. I had bought dad Dunkin to begin his day of work. I got home and wanted a breakfast sandwich. Alas, I could not bring myself to do it and I really wanted breakfast meat. I was still pleased with the end a result. I made the messiest and ugliest lean beef scrapple, swiss, and spinach omelet over half a toasted english muffin. With hot sauce, of course.

To make my day even better, I was full and spent it with my mom. We drove out to Cowtown, New Jersey and then to the Farmers Market. Unfortunately, I was surrounded by the smells of indulgence! I called this the Cowtown Devil: Its a pretzel  braid, sliced lengthwise stuffed with cheesesteak! The smell wafts around the market. Its almost impossible to resist!

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Also an irresistible treat to look forward to at Cowtown is this lemonade. Lots of places serve fresh squeezed lemonade, but Duke’s is where its at!

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I couldn’t bring myself to get either one of these treats but mom did buy me a huge container of raspberries from one of the produce stands, which helped curb my appetite.

Following the Cowtown experience, we decided to go to the Farmer’s Market. While I was there, I couldn’t bring myself to eat a thing. Not a simple thing! I did, however, find a surprise in one of the candy stores. I always get a sugar free cordial cherry, but, today, I found sugar free Chick-o-sticks! Sometimes I can’t decide if I like these of Butterfinger bites better… To make this even better, they’re bite sized! I grabbed three! Oh my! Only 17 calories each! I can live with this! I did eat one!

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That was last thing I ate until close to 7pm. Mom had once again oWP_003795rdered hoagies. I guess the fresh turkey was too much for my deprived WP_003794body to resist and ended up eating out the turkey meat from the hoagie. It was heavenly! I followed this with a box of vegetables. And then, sliced up a whole bell pepper and steamed that, as well. I was starving, but did not know it until I ate.

 

Almost immediately following the last bite, I went into a full-blown anxiety attack! I cried on the couch with Frank on one side and mom on the other. I squeezed their hands as I cried and talked myself out of purging…

Is Mad Cow disease airborne? Something set me off!

Meatloaf Mania

This morning began with a girl jumping on top of me, tickling me and asking me out for breakfast. After some coaxing, Maggie, her boyfriend, Barry and I headed off to Denny’s. I haven’t been to a Denny’s in probably 10 years so I looked up the menu on the drive. The most amazing pancake breakfast off the Fit Fare menu caught my eye, leaving me craving this meal: Banana Pecan Pancake Breakfast!

“Glazed pecans cooked into two hearty wheat pancakes and topped with fresh banana slices. Served with two scrambled egg whites, two strips of turkey bacon and a side of warm syrup. Fit Fare® Lean: Under 15g of fat. Fit Fare® Fiber: Over 8g of fiber.”

What a surprise when I clicked the nutritional facts and found this so-called “fit” menu item was 750 calories! 750 calories is NOT fit, Denny’s!  I knew it was too good to be true! But at least I can make them at home 😀

In the end, after endless time spent weighing my options, I decided on the Fit Fare Omelette, minus the cheese.

“Egg white omelette with spinach, mushrooms, freshly made pico de gallo and shredded Cheddar cheese. Served with two slices of turkey bacon and seasonal fruit as your side choices. Fit Fare® Light: Under 550 calories. Fit Fare® Protein: Over 20g of protein.”

Barry made his own pancakes, Blueberry banana, with a side of eggs, hash browns, and bacon.

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Marie’s Meatloaf. How can I describe mom’s meatloaf?

More More More! Give me! I’ll fight you for it! Get back! I’ve got a fork and I’m not afraid to use it! 

Yeah, something like that…

My mom makes the best meatloaf I have ever had (mmmm, especially the butts, of the ends, of the loaf), so the last time she made it, I plugged it into MyFitnessPal… full fat block cheddar cheese, 85/15 beef, bread crumbs…

Needless to say, I needed to try my hand at it. I’ve recreated mom’s loaf using extra lean beef and it still rocked. Sunday, I recreated it using a ground poultry blend, fat free cheese and Fiber One cereal bread crumbs.

The magical thing about meatloaf is that the possibilities are endless! In the past, I’ve thrown in vegetables, sauces, meats… literally, anything my kitchen had…

The cool thing about my mom’s meatloaf: no condiments required. All the flavor is in the loaf!

Basic Bundo Poultry Loaf

serves 8

  • 1 lb 98% fat free ground chicken
  • 1 lb 93 % fat free ground turkey
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp onion soup mix
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Shake n Bake BBQ glaze, powder
  • 2 Tbsp Fiber One Original bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 325 . Using a Magic Bullet, or other processor, grind the cereal until fine. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Shape loaf.

Either store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, or bake.

To bake, wrap in foil, and puncture holes at the bottom to allow for fat drainage. Bake for 1 hour. Carefully open the foil and expose the loaf and return to the over to bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Nutrition per 4oz serving:

Calories: 172, Fat: 5.6g, Sat. Fat: 1.2g, Cholesterol: 78.1mg, Sodium: 412.2mg, Carbs: 5.7g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 1.9g Protein: 24.5g

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The Basics

Mustard Crusted Bundo Poultry Loaf

serves 8

  • 1 lb 98% fat free ground chicken
  • 1 lb 93 % fat free ground turkey
  • 3 Tbsp onion soup mix
  • 2 Tbsp Fiber One Original bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Bundo Honey Mustard Sauce, separated, plus more, if wanted
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Using a Magic Bullet, or other processor, grind the cereal until fine. Combine all ingredients, and only 1 Tbsp honey mustard, in a bowl. Shape loaf. Once shaped, brush 2 Tbsp honey mustard sauce over all sides of the loaf. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze, with a wrapping of foil, until ready to bake.

To bake, wrap in foil, and puncture holes at the bottom to allow for fat drainage. Bake for 1 hour. Carefully open the foil and expose the loaf. Brush the last 1 Tbsp pf honey mustard and return to the over to bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until golden brown, at 360 F.

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Something to remember: ground turkey, and especially ground chicken, will not brown like ground beef!

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Nutrition per 4oz serving:

Calories: 177, Fat: 5.6g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 25mg, Carbs: 4.5g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugars: 2.8g

After slicing up the meatloaf, I decided to brown the sides of the slices in a pan and a brush more of honey mustard! I just love that sweet and spicy mustard!

After steaming up some broccoli and topping that with garlic, I threw another surprise on the kitchen table! People were raving about how yummy the garlic mashed potatoes were, which I topped with fat free cheddar an some real bacon crumbles! My dad couldn’t believe it when I told him it was cauliflower!

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Garlic Mashed Cauli

With the leftovers, I packed up dinner for when mom gets home from work, and since Barry is working night shift, I made a meal for him. I also made dad a meatloaf sandwich for lunch tomorrow with Bundo Honey Mustard Sauce and BBQ sauce! Can you say, “drool-worthy?”

I just thought about how good these loaves would be with a fat free Monterrey or Pepper Jack…

MMMMM….. See meatloaf is magical! You can dream it into anything!

White Turkey Chili Crock Pot: Recipe #2

The past two days, I’ve slept till almost noon! I don’t know why I’ve been so sleepy!
I woke up still in a slight funk, but not as funky as yesterday. To get the ball rolling, I made a smoothie bowl, a little trick Julie taught me! The magic bullet was stuffed with the following:

2 oz frozen diced apples
1 (6oz) container Chobani Fat Free Apple Cinnamon Greek yogurt
1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix
a handful of kale
1 tsp ground flax
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
sprinkled with some apple pie spice

Voila! A yummy apple cinnamon supper smoothie bowl and a bottle of green tea!
(please excuse the messy coffee table)

While checking my email the other day, I came across a link to this recipe. I figured, “Why not crock-pot-it?” Yes, I invented a new verb:

Crock-Pot-It: ˈkräk-ˌpät-‘it
crock pot: used for an electric cooking pot
it: expresses a condition or action without reference to an agent
crock-pot-it: an action in an electric cooking pot

See how that worked?  Tehehe   🙂

I’ve never had white chili before so this was an experiment, as well. It happened to work out that my mom had cooked a turkey and was pawning off some meat onto me… I didn’t argue.. lol

I prepare everything the night before and in the morning added the broth and turned that baby to low. Since it has been so overcast, chilly, and rainy, I figured chili would be an appropriate warm-me-up.
                                    
I, of course, made some Sammy-Tweeks. Such as using 1 (4oz) can of fired roasted diced green chilies and 1 (4oz) can of chopped green chilies. Oh, and I used a can of low sodium cannellini beans, instead of dry beans. I also decided to add 2/3 cup of frozen white sweet corn for some much needed sweetness and consistency.

                            

Since I woke up late, I started the crock pot around noon and ate around six. I prepared everything in the pot before I went to sleep last night and added the stock when I turned on the heat, so the beans wouldn’t fall apart. When I got home from class today, the house smelled so good from the cumin, clove, and peppers! The “chili” was more like a turkey soup, though. Either way, it made my belly warm on this chilly day and helped make my sick dad feel a bit better 🙂

Please enjoy the following:

White Turkey Chili
makes 6 servings

  • 1 can reduced sodium cannelini beans
  • 3 cups turkey stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion (about 5oz), chopped (divided)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stem and most seeds removed, chopped (about 1oz)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped  fire-roasted green chilies
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey (about 8oz)
  • 2/3 cup frozen white sweet corn
Combine beans, turkey, garlic and half the onions in a crock pot.
Spray a skillet with some non-stick cooking spray and cook chopped jalapeno and remaining onions. Add green chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture in the crock pot.
Cook on low for how many hours you’d like. Add the corn 30 minutes before serving.
The original recipe recommends different garnishes for this. My mom and I topped ours with fat free shredded mozzarella and some crumbled saltines. My dad used an Artisian cheese blend on his, along with some wheat saltines.
I had a some leftovers, too!
After plugging all of this into MyFitnessPal, I was super impressed by its stats:
for 1/6 of the recipe
Calories: 129
Total fat: 0.2g
Sat. Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Carbs: 15.9g
Fiber: 4.2g
Sugar: 2.4g
Protein: 13.6g