Saturday, November 30, 2013

Friendly Beasts

When our 20 year old son Chris learned he had to work Wednesday-Saturday the week of Thanksgiving, he asked me if we could go somewhere Monday and Tuesday.  Chris is a WVU student and they have a weeks' break from classes, but his part-time job in retail called.  Of course, I'd love to take an overnight jaunt.

We decided on Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia, only 75 miles from home and a perfect holiday getaway with beautiful light displays and festivity through the entire park.  To our delight, it snowed the night we stayed just the right amount to make for winter wonderland scenery yet safe road travel!

Chris treated me by driving throughout the park and stopping where I could take pictures.  The stable animals were beautiful and so friendly.  They reminded me of the Christmas carol, "The Friendly Beasts" which describe the animals surrounding Jesus the day he was born.

  "Jesus our brother, kind and good was humbly born in a stable rude,
The friendly beasts around him stood, Jesus our brother kind and good."

Today is Small Business Saturday and I would like to recognize Mom's Memories scrapbooking store in Wheeling where I purchased the papers and note card on Tuesday as we left Wheeling.  Local scrapbook stores are few and far between near my West Virginia home.  The owner and associates are the best. Thanks to them for supporting the local economy and a creative outlet!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Day

This Thanksgiving, our son Chris provided the turkey after winning a voucher from the department store where he works part-time.  Even though he has to work 12 hours this evening, Chris was able to join us for our meal and a trip to Starbucks for coffee.

Greg and Michelle will be here for New Years and feasted with their neighbors in Minneapolis.  I think I'd like the Bourbon Applesauce she made. . . 

Even though I'm a foodie, I try new recipes all the time.  My Turkey and Stuffing today was based on a recipe in this months Food Network magazine.

In my version of Fig Glazed Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing, I skipped the butter, oil, eggs and cream.  (Believe me, it was still delicious!)

I decided to serve the stuffing in this winter squash, which Bob had to get out his hammer to cut the top off, so I decided I'd better bake it a little prior to scooping out the filling:
I saved the squash to maybe try a soup this weekend!

Chris bought a turkey breast, so I have lots of great leftovers to make sandwiches!

Here's our bar:
The quick pan rolls were delicious.  I rolled the dough balls in wheat germ, ground almonds, poppy and sesame seeds.  The flour is whole wheat pastry flour from Frankford Farms in Saxonburg Pa.  The recipe from Fleischmanns.  
Crafters will appreciate that this neat ceramic loaf pan was purchased from Michaels for 50 cents in their Thanksgiving sale!

My Cranberry Chutney is a recipe I make year after year:
Recipe for 5 cups: Bring to boil 12 oz. fresh cranberries, 1 cup sugar (can sub some Splenda) and 3/4 cup water. Stir frequently. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup orange juice, 3/4 cup raisins, 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, 3/4 cup diced celery, 1 apple, diced. Refrigerate.

I think of my friends who make great pie crust, as I "press" this one into the pan:
This crunchy pie crust has almonds and oats.  Recipe: (Crust) 1 cup oats, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup ground almonds, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. water. (Mix in food processor. Press into pie pan and bake at 425 for 8 minutes.) (Filling) 1 cup pumpkin, 2/3 cup evaporated skim milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 4 tsp. vanilla. (Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, until knife inserted into center of the pie comes out almost clean.)

I was so glad my sister Amy and her family stopped on their trip from Cleveland to Maryland last night.  I thought 8 year old Cale would enjoy this Veggie (Turkey) tray:

These "perfect" meatballs are another recipe I make over and over:  Makes 17: 1# Lean Ground Beef, 1/4 cup Wheat Germ, 1/3 cup Skim Milk, 1 Egg, 2 Tbsp. Diced Onions, 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder, 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning, 1/4 tsp. Mrs. Dash. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until center is 165 degrees. Each meatball measures 2 Tbsp. prior to cooking.
Thank you for giving me and outlet for my creations.  I'm a lucky girl, I know!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Life's Flavor

The quote is from Hershel "Woody" Williams, West Virginia's only living Medal of Honor Winner.  He included this in a card to my Dad on his 90th birthday.  Woody and Dad were both Marines at Iwo Jima, where Dad received a Purple Heart. 

Dad is shown here a few weeks ago, adjusting his new headset to help him hear.  At 91 years old, he keeps going, hoping to taste life as long as he can.

November, 2013


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feeding America Challenge

I accepted the challenge from Feeding America to eat on $4.50 per day.  I made the 3 day pledge, starting Sunday.  As a registered dietitian in retail, I plan meals for a living and have to stay within a budget. . . so I planned and cost my recipes, made my grocery list and shopped for the best prices. Here's what I ate:

Day 1: Sunday
Breakfast with Egg Omelet, Broccoli Slaw, 
Homemade Wheat Bread, Banana and Skim Milk.
Lunch with Chickpea Hummus, Whole Grain Cornbread Muffin,
Carrots Sticks, Homemade Applesauce and Skim Milk.
I added Sunflowers Seeds I'd planned for my snack to the
Hummus.  My Whole Grain Cornbread Muffins were awesome.
(That's a close up in my cover photo).
Dinner with Tomato Tilapia, Steamed Cabbage, Clementine
Orange, Homemade Wheat Bread and Skim Milk.

Day 2: Monday
My High Protein Breakfast.  (I eat this every weekday).
Oatmeal, Flaxmeal, Wheat Germ, Greek Yogurt,
Skim Milk and Homemade Applesauce.

I packed my lunch and made the Festive Black Bean
Chili we feature at work.  It was awesome! Whole Grain
Cornbread, Clementine Orange and Skim Milk was
filling, so I saved my Graham Cracker and Natural
Peanut Butter for later.

My favorite snack:  Hot Air Popcorn.  1/4 cup kernels 
makes this hefty serving, at only 13 cents.  Low in
calories and sodium and whole grain!

Dinner included 2 Muffin Tin Tacos made with Corn
Tortillas (super cheap), Seasoned Ground Beef,
Quinoa, Cheddar, Northern Beans and homemade
Salsa.  Grapes and Skim Milk completed the meal.

Day 3:  Tuesday
My daily High Protein Oatmeal with Homemade Applesauce.

Lunch was Pumpkin Lentil Soup, Cornbread Muffin,
Apple, Skim Milk and Peanut Butter on Graham.

I was later getting home today but still enjoyed
my snack of Hot Air Popcorn.

Dinner was Harvest Chicken with Grapes, Olives
and Rosemary over Brown Rice, Green Beans,
Homemade Wheat Bread and Skim Milk.

Living within this budget was challenging, but I knew I could do because:
1) We don't eat large portions of meat.  1-4 oz. (raw weight) portion of chicken is enough for the two of us.
2) I eat very few processed foods.
3) I take the time to peel, cut and prepare my meals at home.

What was hard:
1) You can't do it if you eat out.  Even in the Healthy Cafe that I manage, where we don't have much overhead and barely break even, I still have to pay for my staff to make it (the labor).  I had to make and pack my lunch using the same recipes we make at work.
2)  I could only drink 3 cups of coffee a day (my only vice) and had to shop around for the best price in coffee beans.
3) No wine.  No bottled water.
4) No eating while preparing food.
5) No extras, like juice with medicine.
6) While I carefully planned my produce, I ate less than what I would have on other days.

Most importantly, I appreciate that many of my own staff at work cannot afford to eat an entire meal in the same cafeteria where they work.  A nice lunch with beverage costs an average of $5. Who's going to pay for it?

How are we ever going to pay for it? 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Reflections of the Lair Plaza

The picture of our reflection in the Lair's windows is from 2013, the picture with the kids from 1993.  It's the same plaza Chris and friends took pre-prom pictures two springs ago.  Greg and Michelle posed for prom pictures here 10 years ago, and played vampire games here some 5 years ago.  Bob and I walked here in our courting days 40 years ago.  My friend Linda and I posed here when we were in high school and spent a weekend in the adjourning dorm with my sister Terry.  Four decades of memories, all good, from the Mountainlair plaza.

The Mountainlair is the student union at West Virginia University, here in Morgantown.

I used many layers of pretty Bo-Bunny papers,

The beautiful Scrapmatts Chipboard was a gift from Renneabouguet.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 15, 2013


It was a beautiful fall Saturday when we went to Cheat Lake Park, then to Yum Yum's in Uniontown where we shared a Greek Salad and bagel.  A typical Saturday-we shared house cleaning, lunch and an unforgettable place in time.  That's what love is all about.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fun with Seasonal Recipes

Bob comes home for dinner between assignments. I don't know when that is until he calls and lets me know. I put together this meal in less than 30 minutes. "Curried Salmon with Tomatoes and Dried Plums". . . and that included defrosting the salmon. Since this skillet served 2, the nutritional information in the original recipe can be cut in 1/2.  The recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens.

Preparing attractive, nutritious meals is another outlet for creating and inspiration is all around.  I always find several recipes to test from Food Network Magazine
These Salmon Apple Burgers were delicious.  Mine's made with homemade applesauce:
4 oz. Salmon, raw weight
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tbsp. Wheat Germ
2 Tbsp. Onions
1/3 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
1 tsp. Curry Powder
2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
Combine the applesauce, curry powder, diced onions and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and heat until liquid evaporates.  Pulse salmon in a food processor with egg yolk and wheat germ.  Add applesauce mixture.  Form into 2 patties.  Heat in small skillet sprayed with Pam until mixture reaches 155 degrees F, turning once.  
Nutrition Information without bread: 
194 Calories, 15 grams Protein, 10 grams Fat, 46 mg Sodium and 2 grams of fiber. 
We ate ours on 1 slice Seven Grain Bread.

In last month's Food Network Magazine was a booklet insert titled 50 Canned Pumpkin Recipes.  Here's my version of the Twice Baked Potato:
1/2 large Baked Potato
1/3 cup Pumpkin
3 Tbsp. Greek Yogurt, plain nonfat
Dash Nutmeg
Scoop out flesh of potato, mixing with pumpkin, Greek yogurt and a dash of nutmeg.  Spoon flesh back onto potato skin. (I cut into 1/4 potato wedges)
1/2 ounce Cheddar Cheese, grated
Mrs. Dash Seasoning
Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash and grated Cheddar.  Bake approximately 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information per 1/4 potato:
97 Calories, 4 grams Protein, 16 grams Carbohydrate, 2 grams Fat, 47 mg Sodium and 2 grams Fiber 

Finally, a dessert recipe from a favorite organization, Oldways Foods :  Spiced Walnut Brownies.
The original recipe calls for dates.  I substituted dried figs.  Nutrition Information per piece:
118 Calories, 4 grams Protein, 13 grams Carbohydrate, 7 grams Fat, 67 mg Sodium and 3 grams Fiber.  I put 1/2 of these in the freezer and the other 1/2 in the refrigerator.  1 piece makes a very filling and nutrition dessert.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


When our 20 year old son Chris told me he was going to be Fred Flintstone for Halloween, I reminded him he was Bamm-Bamm when he was only 1 1/2!  His brother Greg was Fred then. . . but that costume would not have fit Chris today!

Chris and friends got together at Chris' apartment the weekend after Halloween and each dressed as a different Flintstone character.  Some of the costumes were very cleverly handmade.  Pictured are Chris, Sarah, Alex & Bryan with Ashlee & Carol as they party down in Bedrock.  

I loved the "bone" picture hangers I made using Vecter clip art:
My heart still melts when I see little Chris here in 1994:

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Every other weekend, I visit my Mom and Dad at their Maryland home.  Each visit, I take pictures and the next visit, I take a new layout to post on her revolving display on top of the TV.  This is the page I'll take Sunday, with pictures from the previous visit.

Monday is Veterans Day.  When I looked at the definition of Veterans, the dictionary reads "old and experienced".  At age 88 and 91, I'd say Mom and Dad fit the term.  My Dad is a Veteran of World War II, when my Mom built airplanes for service.  The barn in the picture is not as old (only 1/2 a century) and sits in their back yard field where we raised ponies as kids.

Have a good evening and "Happy Friday"!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Baking Bad

When an old friend titled my food posts "Baking Bad", I knew I had to do something with that.

You see, baking-Cindy style-means good and healthy.  I substitute healthy ingredients in all my recipes and make them lean and nutrient rich.  As a registered dietitian, I do that for a living and have done so for almost 40 years.

I modeled my title work and photo montage after the TV show (Breaking Bad) ads.  This is a hybrid layout, with digital filters, frames and clip art and traditional papers and alphas.

Photos across the top of the page are recipes I modified and tested at home.  Recipes and nutrition analysis can be found here:
Flourless Peanut Chocolate Cakes 
Apple Cheddar Pie Singles 
Cranberry Apple Cake 
Chocolate Pear Loaf 

Here's where it all began. . . a photo of me featured in the WVU Student Newspaper baking bread-in 1976.  Photo by Wayne Scarberry, the same friend who nicknamed my latest recipes, "Baking Bad".

Finally, the modified recipe for Citrus Upside Down Cake, the one I'm holding in the layout photo.  ( Serves 7)

Spray a 7 1/2 inch Springform Pan with Pam.

Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. Benecol margarine & 2 Tbsp. water.  Spread evenly over pan.  

Slice 3 peeled clementine oranges thinly and arrange over sugar mixture in pan.  Set aside.

Beat 2 eggs and 1/3 cup granulated sugar.  Add 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce.

Mix together 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. cardamom, 2/3 cup all purpose flour and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour.

Add alternately to egg mixture with 1/2 cup skim milk, mixing just until blended.

Pour over orange mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes.  Cool in pan 25 minutes.

Per serving:  183 Calories, 5 grams Protein, 33 grams Carbohydrate, 4 grams Fat, 174 mg Sodium, 1.6 grams Fiber and 26% Vitamin C.  14 Grams of added Sugar.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Exploring Houston

Another layout from FNCE 2013 (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo)

The Holiday Inn Express was only two blocks from the Expo, so every break I had, I'd meet Bob to tour downtown Houston.  Across from the Convention Center was Discovery Green with sculptures, greenery, a pond, fountains and weekend activities.  We walked by City Hall, the Public Library and onto Sam Houston Park, where historical homes had been relocated.  One day while I was in educational sessions, Bob went out with only his macro lens to study details.  2013

I had one piece of the beautiful Webster's Paper map paper.  For the background, I scanned the one sheet, then reduced the opacity to 60%.  I printed both pages on cardstock.  For page 2, I "flipped the page horizontally" so that it lined up in the center:

I added 3 wooden embellishments from Momenta:
 Have a great weekend. . . we gain an hour sleep Sunday!