Monday, January 28, 2019

Chili Dog Bake

Hey y'all are you ready for the snow? Serious snow fall is happening up North and is expected to grace us way down here in GA with it's presence tomorrow. Whooo boy! I am so NOT excited about that let me tell ya.
Five years ago Atlanta was shut down, the entire interstate 75, 85, 285 and 20! All frozen solid, thousands of cars and trucks stranded. 
Thankfully they are not calling for that tomorrow but just to be safe, I already bought my bread and milk. bahahahaa
WHY do we buy bread and milk? Is it so we can make french toast when the power goes out? I'm being silly of course, but honestly, why?
LOOK at those chili dogs will ya?!!! OMG they were so freaking good and I know what you're thinking. WHY is she fixing chili dogs and HOW can they fit into a #WW lifestyle. Well, let me tell ya. You have to be smart about it.
Here's a few tricks. Look for the lowest point hot dog you can find. Uncured, all beef, no nitrates, sugar or corn syrup added. They are out there, but you have to look. I found mine at Aldi. (this is not a paid advertisement for Aldi but I do love that store!)
Instead of hot dog buns I used the wonderful #twoingredientdough and wrapped it around the dogs after I gave them a quick cook in my skillet, this helped to cook out any fat so the dough would not get soggy.
I also made my own chili. I used leftovers, a left over turkey burger and some leftover taco meat (that I used turkey meat in as well, shhh hubby doesn't know that) spices, some mustard and sugar free ketchup. BAM chili

I purchased this little mini loaf pans at a discount store, 5 pans for $1.50. This way the only dishes I had to clean up were from the dough and chili. That helped make this meal even better.
Now let me tell ya this, my husband and son went totally gaga over this. With each bite there was some comment about how great it was or what we could add to it next time.

1 package of all beef uncured nitrate free hot dogs
two ingredient dough, rolled out and cut into strips
chili (make your own or use your  favorite store brand)
cheese, shredded cheddar (I used a low fat version)
sliced pickled jalapenos
green onions diced up for garnish (optional)

Cook the hot dogs to help remove any excess oil/fat. Drain and allow to cool. Make the two ingredient dough (recipe HERE) roll it out and cut into strips. Wrap around the hot dogs. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Place the baked wrapped dogs in the tin. Cover with chili, cheese, sliced jalapenos a sprinkle more cheese and top with green onions.
Bake until the cheese is melted and all ingredients have heated through, about 15 minutes.
Be careful it's hot, but dang it is good!

ENJOY

Monday, January 21, 2019

Simple Bagels

Some of you know and some don't, but in November last year I started on my healthy plan...#WW formerly known as #weightwatchers. I have lost weight, gained weight and repeated it many times over the last ten years but due to the health scare last August, it was time for a permanent change. A new lifestyle and one that is healthy not a fad. I did keto for a while and it really did a number on my kidneys. I know, I know. No one wants to hear that but my doctor INSISTED that I stop and never do it again.
Doing #WW has been a lot easier than I thought. There are over 200 zero point foods which is great. I am able to work my health requirements around the ww suggestions. I love the app it has articles each week, a connect area which is like FB for WW and a fitness tracker. Plus a lot of other wonderful tools.
There are a few things I like that are big no-no's from the dr. Potatoes, chocolate, spinach and all nuts, beans, legumes. Oh yes and cooked tomatoes. Dang! That just put a HUGE damper on what I use to cook with. No tomatoes??? Do you have any idea how many times a week we ate tomatoes? Well, I didn't until I could no longer use them. Then it was like...oh shoot now what?
Wheat. That's another no no. I was used to eating 'healthy' wheat bread or multi-grain or honey wheat. Yep you guessed it. No more. I have found alternatives that I can live with.
Now breakfast. Bagels were a big thing. At least two or three times a week I'd eat a bagel. Well, following my #WWFreestyle program, bagels are BIG points. I only get 23 a day and I was not burning them up on a bagel each morning. So I looked for an alternative.
I'm not sure who to give credit on this recipe to. Because... I've seen it everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, WW app, online, blogs, and the list goes on. Whoever came up with it is a genius and I love you forever!

Bagels, using two ingredients. I know, you're thinking NO WAY these can be good, and they are not good. They are great. I made the #twoingredientdough and used it for garlic cheesy bread the first time. Then a pizza, then calzones and lastly I made bagels. OMG the bagels were the best because I used better more specific ingredients. I had made each aforementioned items and then read some more, did more testing and find that you MUST use a good quality self rising flour and you MUST use Fage 0% nonfat Greek Yogurt, it will turn out with any other but no where near as good. The dough will be sticky, hard and not cooperate when it comes to kneading and rolling. Using these two key ingredients however the dough comes together quickly and is not sticky, rolls out beautifully and makes lovely pizza crust and bagels.
 I need to work on making them uniform in size but gosh dog it they were tasty and you can bet I will be making these weekly or bi-weekly to keep on hand. I stored them in a zip top gallon size baggie in the fridge. They might do fine on the counter in the bag, but I thought just in case, ya know. I take one out, slice it in half, pop it in the toaster and BAM bagel!! PLUS the best part is because my dough made so many they are 1 point each. Yep just 1 point. Now that I can do with ease.
Two Ingredient Dough (not my recipe and I'm not sure who the original person was)
2 cups Pillsbury Self Rising flour
2 cups Fage 0% Non Fat Greek Yogurt, plain no flavor
Mix the two in a bowl with a wooden spoon or your hands, the dough will quickly form a ball. Drop on the counter with a dab of flour and knead , cut the ball in half then cut each half into 8 even pieces. Roll into a snake like shape and pinch the ends together forming a circle. Place on parchment paper, a silicon baking mat or sprayed baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. You can sprinkle them with sea salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds or whatever you prefer. I like mine plain. To me they taste better the second day, after having set in the fridge overnight, slice, toast and smear with a little pad of butter or cream cheese.

Enjoy!!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Zucchini Corn Bacon Fritters and Jan 2019 FOTW

HEY HEY HEY you found me! Happy New Year, yes yes I know. It's already the eighteenth but it's still the first month of the new year. How many times have you written or typed 2018?

Welcome to the first edition of Fly On The Wall for 2019. WOW, remember the Prince song 1999? Of course you do, I mean who can forget anything that man sang...whew HOT baby! Okay before my mind runs amuck let's talk about 1999. It was TWENTY years ago! WHAT 2 0, two zero, ten two times, five four times, holy smokes Bat Man where has the time gone?

Any who... let's progress on shall we. How about a great side dish? A simple but delicious dish that still keeps me in my healthy/WW goal for the day. Oh yes but before I forget, this is Fly On The Wall. So you'll see blurbs about my day, conversations, and photos of things that have been happening since our last post of fly stuff. AND at the end of the post you'll find links to the other bloggers post as well. Buzz over and see what they've been up to.

Zucchini Corn Bacon Fritters (I know you read bacon and thought how can this be healthy, everything in moderation)
This photo is the first batch, no bacon in case you're wondering.

1 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed this removes the excess water and helps the patties stick,otherwise they are too wet
1 small yellow squash, same as the zucchini
green onion, 2 diced both white and green parts
1 medium carrot, same as zucchini
1/2 cup mixed white/yellow corn, I used frozen and thawed it out and drained
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh and grated
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Mix all the ingredients together and cook in a non stick skillet until each side is golden brown. I forgot to put the bacon in the first  batch and then forgot to take a photo of the second batch. LOL yep, they were delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed them. The mixture made 9 patties approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter. You could make them smaller or bigger, add two zucchini instead of one zucchini and a squash. It's entirely up to you. Be sure to mix the ingredients well and I let mine sit for about five minutes, it makes it all sticky and it holds together better. Be sure to pat them out and not make them thick, otherwise it will be gooey in the middle.

I was in the park walking one morning last week and as I rounded the 25 feet tall tree, that had been used for Christmas, I was busy, singing to myself and BOO this stupid little squirrel scared me. I wasn't expecting to see him. You can't tell from the photo but he is about 12 inches high and was tied to the end of a branch. I'm sure some teenager put it there, laughed at myself for jumping. Maybe he's there to keep the real ones out of the Christmas ornaments. Who knows.

All of my kitties, not just Ms. Lily, love boxes. We bought them perfectly good comfy beds for Christmas and WHERE does she sleep? In a box that I tossed on the floor to throw out. Now I can't. Well, I could but she looks so comfy.

"Since supper is a big heavy meal and in two hours. Would anyone be interested in dessert?" I already knew the answer would be yes but had to ask.
Jesse. "So you’re fixing dessert now?"
Me. "Are you interested?"
Jesse. "So again. You’re fixing dessert now?"

Hubby trying a new hot sauce.
"Oh good flavor but not hot."
Picks up fork.
"OH DAMN there’s the heat!!"


Beau, my writing helper, or at least he thinks so.

Top Left my new necklace, a Christmas gift from hubby
Top Right, Sugar, he will sleep on anything.
Middle Left, the new coffee maker I NEED, yes need.
Middle Right, yes I did it, I did the dreaded thing. I joined the gym.,
Bottom Left, a hawk, WAY up in the tree.
Bottom Right, a doe who wandered up to our apartment. She was really big.

My office chair was in desperate need of repair, so my hubby, who does upholstery on the weekends, redid my chair. I picked out the fabric and he said "are you sure?" I said YES! I love it. 

Is it just me or do you wander around the grocery store looking for something new to try, or something odd, you say "HEY LOOK AT THIS". No? Just me? Oh well...here's what I found recently

And another one...okay, no sugar- fine, jalapeno-fine, sriracha-fine, but SLIME? A throwback to the Nickelodeon days I guess.

On one of our weekend day trips we found this great old fashioned candy and soda shop. My son loved it, here are some of the interesting sodas we found. Some he bought, some not.
Be sure to visit Karen and Carol.
Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:
Baking In A Tornado                  https://www.BakingInATornado.com
Never Ever Give Up Hope            https://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sugar Free Pear Bundt with Vanilla Whipped Cream : New Year BWF

Happy New Year!! And welcome to the first edition of Blog With Friends for 2019! If you were around last year you are familiar with this monthly post, however, if you are new then let me give you a little back information about what is going on here.

Blog With Friends is a monthly collaborative post started by Karen over at Baking In A Tornado. Each month, those who want to take part, discuss a theme, once one is decided upon or more often than not, several great ideas are suggested. Then we put it to a vote and majority wins. We normally do this a month out, that way every one has time to decide exactly how they will interpret the theme for their blog. Some of us are writers, food bloggers, crafters, DIY and some are a little of everything rolled into one great big ball of wonderful. We have a set time and day, usually the second Monday of the month at 10 a.m. EST. Each person will post and we are all linked together, this way there is more exposure, because we don't have the same demographics, we don't have the same readers. So you get exposed to blogs that you might not read otherwise but find you enjoy. So that's it. Simple right? Not always. LOL

This month, being January and the new year, of course, shocker our theme is: New Year. This can mean many things to many people.
For some it is a time of renewing, mind, body and spirit. Others it is a time of resolutions that hopefully last longer than it takes you to read this post. Sorry but it's true. For me, New Year is a time to reflect on the past year. What was great? What wasn't. Where do I need to make changes?

For me, New Year started in November, well actually even future back. If you are new, or maybe you missed it, I was out of commission last year for some time. I won't beat around the bush, I almost died, I was in ICU and very bad off some quite some time. Upon my doctor's insistence and my wanting to be healthy and live, I had to make some drastic changes and quick. Mainly my diet and lack of exercise.
So...fast forward to the holidays, where I am known for making goodies, sweets, cakes galore and enjoying every single one of them.
Not this year. This year I had to come up with a plan that would not derail me from my new WOL way of life, not a diet. A new way of living, a healthy way of living, a no more chocolate (way of living)...can we have a moment of silence?
.
.
.
.
No more ... well the list is too long and depressing. Let's just say, I have a new fondness for chicken, salad and the gym. Yes, I said the dirty three letter word G Y M. 
I heard you groan.

Now back to the food. I love food. I'm a foodie, a cook, a food blogger, I can talk about food, read about food, cook food, eat food, smell food. Okay, you get the point. BUT I needed to find a better menu (but still one that was enjoyable) for myself and that meant no dessert.
WHAT??? HOW can you enjoy the holiday without dessert??? Well, for me, I can't. That meant finding a new dessert. Something that fell into the "yes" list of things I could enjoy. LOL a lot harder than you can imagine.

I scoured the internet. I read articles, blogs, magazines but where did I find what I was looking fore? On Instagram! yes, Instagram. I saw a cake and it looked fantastic. I followed the link back a few times to find the owner of said cake. I found her blog, read it, looked at the recipe and thought YES I can have this!! I was overjoyed.
It turned out beautifully. It tasted delicious. Moist, light and not overly sweet, how could it? There's no sugar. Yes, you read that right. No sugar.
The original recipe can be found on thepounddropper.com I made a few adjustments for me, due to the fact that I can not have Stevia.

No guilt, no sugar, no regrets, enjoy a slice
I made homemade whipped cream with vanilla to top it, but did I stop there? No way. I drizzled on sugar free caramel sauce and a few crushed pistachios. Shhh don't tell. I'm not supposed to eat nuts. It was only four. I promise because my husband ate the bag full. Thank you honey. seriously, thank you.

Here ya go...

Ingredients
1 - 15 oz can of no sugar added sliced pears, drain the juice and set aside, chop the pears
2 egg whites
1  - 16 oz Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake Mix (yes there is such a thing, I didn't know it either!)
1 large egg
2 tsp sugar substitute, whatever you prefer (I used Monk fruit)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP brown sugar substitute, again whatever you prefer
*Note...you could use regular full sugar ingredients if you wanted to
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Drain the pears and chop. In a large bowl pour your cake mix, pour in the pear juice, egg whites and egg. Beat on low until everything is combined. About 90 seconds. Give or take.
Stir in your cinnamon, sweetener and pears.
Be sure to grease or spray your bundt pan pan.
Pour the batter into the pan, place in the center of your oven and bake for 35 minutes. Be sure to check it. TPD said 30-35 but in my oven it was not ready at 30 or 35. At 35 minutes it was close so I turned the oven off and left it 5 more minutes. Then I removed the cake and sat it on a cooling rack. My bundt pan is also spring form, so I released the side. After a few minutes I inverted, flipped the cake, onto the cooking rack and let it set.
When I was ready to serve the cake, I poured 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream into my little blender, a TBSP of vanilla and one little packet of sweetener. Whipped it and served on top of the cake with caramel drizzle and a few crushed pistachios.
WOW it was FANtastic and no one knew it was sugar free. AFTER the guys had all eaten theirs I told them it was sugar free.
My husband who is a big fan of my baking said that this rivaled any cake I had every done. 
I said ANY? He was emphatic and said YES ANY. Moist, texture, flavor, light and fluffy...he just couldn't say enough about the cake.
THAT thrilled me. Because let's be honest. I have good reason to follow my doctors orders. I want to live and do so well. BUT I need support. I need to feel like I'm not in this alone. So knowing that I could make a dessert to keep the guys happy and not risk my health doing so was a MAJOR deal for me.
Well, I've done it. I've chattered on and on.

I do hope you will try the cake and that you enjoy it as much as we did. Now below you'll find the links to the other bloggers and pictures of what they have created for this month's BWF.
See ya next month! Well, I hope you'll be back before then...


Karen
Minette

Jules

Lydia

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Pesto Stuffed Chicken with Creamy Parmesan Topping

This is a new favorite, very simple to prepare and delicious.
You might flip when I tell you how simple this is.

3 large chicken breast, boneless skinless
3-6 tsp pesto (I bought mine at Aldi)
1/4 cup Dukes Mayo
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Slice the breast on the side, put not slicing it completely, butterfly slice. Smear 1-2 tsp of pesto inside. Place in a non stick skillet with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Mix the mayo and parm, smear on top of the breast. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, uncovered. Done!
Told you it was simple. 

My husband said, "this is really good. What's on top" I said you won't believe me. He said, "well tell me anyway". When I told him what I did, he said "well that was simple enough, it's a keeper". That's how I know it's good. When he says "it's a keeper". We do just that.