Monday, October 28, 2013

Chocolate Pear Loaf

When I saw this decadent cake in this month's Better Homes and Gardens,  I knew I had to try it.  In typical Cindy fashion. I adjusted the recipe to make it nutrient rich and in a smaller quantity.  The original recipe has 350 calories per portion;  mine has less than 200.  Here's my version:

Peel and core from the bottom 2 fresh pears.  Leave the stem intact.  (That's the hardest part).  Sprinkle with 2 tsp. lemon juice.  Bring to a boil: 2 cups of water, 3 Tbsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.   Add pears.  Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Drain and cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 8 X 4 inch loaf pan with Pam.

Beat 1 egg and 1/3 cup brown sugar.

Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Mix 2/3 cup whole flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup Dark Unsweetened Cocoa 
2/3 tsp. baking powder
2/3 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 tsp. baking soda
 Add to batter, stirring only until mixed.

Roll pears in 2 tsp. whole wheat flour, 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.

Place pears in loaf pan with stem over the side..  Add batter.

 Bake 45 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan to finish cooling.

Slice in 8 pieces.

Nutrients per serving:  180 Calories, 4 grams Protein, 33 grams Carbohydrate, 5 grams of Fat and 138 mg. Sodium.   With 4 grams Fiber and less than 10 grams of added sugar, this is a guilt free dessert!

Now to try the Citrus Upside Down Cake, another eye catching dessert in the November issue.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Phoenicia Downtown Houston quicly became our destination for meals, salad bar and baked goods.  The 15- foot conveyor belt that transported fresh baked pita bread from the mezzanine bakery to the customers on the ground floor was the highlight.  Employees loved to tell their story, including the man who cut and shared the pear cactus after I asked about them.  October 2013

I got these Bon Appetit stamps at the CKC Convention this summer.  They were in a bin without a name but I still loved them:

I'm a foodie so I have a few different "cutlery" embellishments.  I loved these from 7 Gypsies:

Enjoy your weekend.  We were out of town last weekend, so I'm happy to venture to our own downtown Morgantown for Farmer's Market and New Day Bakery!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Southern Hospitality

This year's Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' conference was in Houston Texas and Bob went along!  The days and nights were full.  We were treated to Southern Hospitality most places we journeyed.

I always wanted to take one of the tourist buggy rides.  Bob asks how much just as I was about to do the same.  As we rode through the streets of downtown Houston people were smiling at us.  It was a special time.

I combined Halloween and Valentine paper for the frame and added Halloween washi tape.  Bob says the buggy in the paper is actually a Hearst but I'll pretend I didn't know that!

I used the Maya Road Kraft Journaling cards as background decor, and inked a design on the white Basic Grey alphas.

Now, what to scrap next?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cakes

The original recipe for these luscious cakes was very rich, so I modified and analyzed prior to testing.  My version has 245 calories, 3 grams of fiber and high quality protein (the equivalent of 1 egg).  

Recipe for 4 cakes:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray.

4 Eggs, separated

3 oz. Bittersweet Dark Chocolate
1 oz. Natural Peanut Butter
Combine chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave-safe container.  Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring until melted.  Whisk in egg yolks.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
2 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
Add sugar.

Mix half of egg whites into chocolate mixture, then fold in remaining whites.  Divide mixture among ramekins.

Bake until cakes pull away from sides, approximately 35 minutes.  

Garnish each with 1 tsp. almond slivers and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Inspired by a recipe in Parade Magazine's Dash Recipe.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Our son Chris, a WVU student, had a 4-day break so on Sunday he and I went to nearby Ohiopyle State Park.  The weather was warm and it was a simply beautiful day.

When I asked a young mother who was taking pictures of an older gentleman and her son if she wanted me to take a picture with her in it, she didn't but then offered to take one of us.  It's so nice to get a picture with my boy!

 After cutting out and adhering the sun stamp, I doodled rays and added paint splatters to the background cardstock.

My desktop computer died last week, so I have been installing printer, scanning and stitching software and drives to my lap top.  I'm real proud of myself for being able to figure this out!  Downloading digital elements is different too.  

We're off to Houston Friday for a professional convention.  While I doubt they have fall color there. . . I'm sure there will be many scenes and memories to capture!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


This is my niece Kaity. I have 6 nephews, 2 sons......she is the only female in that generation. And she is adorable!

I now have a lovely daughter in law, a step-niece, and my older nephews have perfect partners.   While I love my boys, I love the girls in the family too!

Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Digi elements from Jessica Sprague.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Harvest Chicken with Olives, Grapes & Rosemary

Inspired by a recipe in Dash Recipes , I cooked this in the crock pot on low while we went to the theater!  I sprinkled a little brown sugar on the chicken breast, add kalamata olives, purple grapes, a green onion, fennel and rosemary.  It was delicious!

Served with brown rice and green beans.  I added a little sesame oil to the water to cook the rice.  The Green Beans are Del Monte canned without salt.  Served with a glass of skim milk and 7 Grain Bread from New Day Bakery with Benecol margarine.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cranberry Apple Cake for Dinner!

I was so excited to find fresh cranberries at the Grantsville (Md.) Fruit Market Saturday.  This recipe was inspired by one on the Eating Well Facebook page.  Mine's made with a smaller 7 1/2 inch springform pan. (Serves 8)

1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/4 cup peeled, chopped Apples (2 medium)
1/3 cup Cran-Grape Juice
1 1/4 cups raw Cranberries
Wash, then chop cranberries in a food processor.  Mix all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then simmer for 10 minutes.  Cool and spread in the bottom of the springform pan (sprayed with Pam).

1 Egg
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
Beat in mixer on medium speed.  Add:
2 1/2 Tbsp. Benecol Margarine
2/3 tsp. Lemon Peel
2/3 cup Skim Milk
1 2/3 tsp. Vanilla
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Mix.  Stir in:
3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
Spread batter over the fruit mixture.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Cool on rack for 20 minutes before releasing sides of pan.  Cut in 8 pieces for service.

Per Serving:  
201 Calories
3.7 grams Protein
31.7 grams Carbohydrate
7 grams Fat
151 mg Sodium
1.7 grams Dietary Fiber
 A good source of Vitamin C!

My meal included Tilapia, Cole Slaw and Fresh Peas.  The peas were purchased from the hospital's Farmers Market, the last of the season!  While I'm well aware of the benefits of purchasing local, I am sorry to admit this little serving of peas cost me $1.50, not practical for my budget!  My meal was complete with a glass of Skim Milk.  Delicious!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Preston Color

In 10 days we are traveling to Houston when I will attend a professional convention.  We will miss the peak of fall color here in West Virginia.  So we went to a neighboring county on Saturday to search for pretty fall colors.

Journaling:  "On the first Saturday in October, we drove to higher ground--Terra Alta--to see fall color.  2013"

The leaves are real-I picked them up from the parking lot when I was leaving work yesterday-they are gorgeous ornamental pear tree leaves and almost feel like silk:
 I have used these leaves many a time for displays at work. . . why not on a page?

The design on this page was inspired by a layout on by Coletteb8's "She Loves Christmas Presents".

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Prettiest Sight of All

My parents live in Maryland, a 1-3/4 hour drive from my home in West Virginia.  When the weather is good, I visit every other Sunday for breakfast when my Sister Terry joins us.  Dad fixes pancakes;  I take them a 2-week supply of nutritional drinks.

Before I leave, I encourage Mom and Dad to walk outside and sit on the bench my brother Jim got for them.  This past Sunday, I sat down in the middle.

The drive through Deep Creek Maryland was gorgeous.  The fall colors were nearly at peak.  Nothing was as pretty as seeing Mom and Dad with smiles on their faces.

September 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

WVU Healthcare Expo

My hand is healing, the wrap has come off.  The stitches still have another week before removal.  I can't get it wet and I certainly am challenged without my right thumb.  But I've been busy finishing my display and handouts for this Friday's Health Fair.  Every year I promote our Healthy Cafe by offering recipes and more in a Mall exhibit.  This year the hospital billed me as "Not to Be Missed--Learn to plan healthy, balanced meals."

Here are a few of the photos and recipes I have not posted on my blog:

 Muffin Tin Tacos

Microwave corn tortillas for 10 seconds before shaping inside a muffin tin.
Add layers (1 ½ Tbsp. each): 
Cooked Quinoa or Rice
Cooked Northern Beans (no added salt)
Lean Browned Ground Beef
Cheddar Cheese
Homemade salsa (diced tomatoes, peppers, garlic and cilantro)

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Inspired by recipes in the Muffin Tin Cookbook.

Eggplant Mozzarella & Meatballs

Meatballs (17 small meatballs)
1# 90-93% Lean Ground Beef, Raw
¼ cup Wheat Germ
1/3 cup Skim Milk
1 Egg, Raw
2 Tbsp. Onions, diced
¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
¼ tsp. Italian Seasoning
¼ tsp. Mrs. Dash
Mix thoroughly and portion into balls.  Freeze some for later use.

Eggplant Mozzarella & Meatballs (Serves 2)

1 small eggplant peeled and sliced thin. 
Place in baking dish with
5 oz. tomato sauce
Turn eggplant slices to coat with sauce.
Place 1 meatball on top of each slice of eggplant. 
Top with mozzarella cheese.
2 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, part-skim
Bake at 375 degrees approximately 20 minutes or until center of meatball is 165 degrees. 
Recipe inspired by Laura’s Lean Beef.
1 serving is 3 pieces

 Plantain Chips & Salsa

After visiting Puerto Rico, my colleague challenged me to device a healthier version of a fun snack that wasn't fried.  Here's my version:

Peel and slice thinly 1 plantain.  Toss in a cinnamon-sugar mixture and baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve with tropical fruit salsa which includes a fresh diced tomato, diced green pepper, diced celery, garlic and diced canned tropical fruit.

The picture of me is from last year.  My exhibit is in the Food Court where I get lots of traffic.  I'll have some 3000 recipes to distribute and 1000 bananas.  Since I'm there 12 hours, I'll have plenty of time to do that which I enjoy.