My Love Affair with Denny’s

For those who don’t know me very well, I have a bit of an obsession with Denny’s. Yes the restaurant. Me and Denny’s go waaaaaaaay back, for real, I was practically born in a Denny’s, actually if I’m not mistaken my mom’s water may have broken with my brother at a Denny’s. My parents even met at a Denny’s. For all I know I could have been conceived in a car parked outside a Denny’s….ha…sorry mom.

Anyways like I said, me and Denny’s go way back. Both my parents worked at Denny’s for a LONG time when they were young and first married. My mom stopped working there in like…hmmm…89 I think, but we still often frequented the restaurant. When we were little we would have those little cardboard boxes of cereal at the counter for breakfast. My brother collected those “Grand Slam holographic Baseball Cards” that Denny’s gave out. My dad even smuggled him the collector binders…lol…I wonder if he still has them?

My dad himself is a professional Coffee Camper, and has gone back and forth for many years frequenting the coffee counter or bar at a Denny’s.  As teenagers we loved to spend late nights drinking coffee and eating greasy fried food at Denny’s. We even went to Denny’s before my first Homecoming Dance, and on Halloween when Kelli barfed in the bushes. We use to be awful tippers and leave sticks of gum and change in the shape of a heart for our waiters…sigh…memories.

We have spent numerous Christmas mornings having breakfast at Denny’s, and I every time I go home I have coffee with my dad at Denny’s.

The morning I left Washington to move to Colorado my mom and sister and I all had breakfast at Denny’s. When I arrived in Boise Idaho, I stopped and had dinner at Denny’s, and when I stopped in Utah, I ate a Denny’s too. When I first moved to Boulder and had nothing to do, I would sit for hours by myself at Denny’s and call my friends and family back home. Denny’s were like a little piece of home when I was so far away. I love it.

So you can see, me and Denny’s have kind of a thing. We are like family, which is why TODAY when I went to a Denny’s for pancakes (that I was craving) I was practically brought to tears by what I saw…

Whats that you say Denny’s? You now offer me:

-WHEAT PANCAKES

-SUGAR FREE SYRUP

-FRUIT BOWL

-TURKEY BACON

-CHICKEN SAUSAGE

substitutions at NO EXTRA COST!

Holy grail! It makes me beam with joy! Today I had 2 Wheat Blueberry Pancakes with Turkey Bacon, 2 scrambled eggs, and a side of fruit. It was AMAZING! And how stinking cool that they not only offering these items, but they are promoting them on their table place mat! I just think if all restaurants would follow in Denny’s footsteps, people would find it way easier to eat out healthier.

BRAVO DENNYS! You have kept me as a customer (not that I had any plans on leaving you)!

FALL FOOD: pumpkin scones

I made these at the beginning of September and am just now getting around to posting them. I actually made two batches of these they were so good!  I enjoy scones way more as an adult, as a child I found them dry and bland. Even still sometimes they are. These however are much more cake like, a little soft, the recipe describes them as more like Starbucks Scones.

The recipe is from this website and goes as follows:

Combine in a large bowl:
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
7 tbsps granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼tsp ground cloves

Cut in:
6 tbsps cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks

In a separate, small bowl whisk together:
½ cup cooked pumpkin (I used the stuff that I went crazy and bought 50 million cans of last Thanksgiving. I don’t KNOW why!)
3 tbsp half & half (I just used 1 tbsp heavy cream to 2 tbsps 1% milk, because that’s what I had.  I imagine whole milk would work okay, too.)
1 large egg

Combine wet ingredients with dry, being careful not to overwork the dough. This is tricky because they really don’t want to combine. I used a cutting motion with the side of my plastic spatula that is probably so not approved by the Culinary Institute of America but screw them, because these are the bomb anyway.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, pat to 1 inch thick and cut in the shape of your choice. Bake at 425˚ for 16 – 17 minutes. When done, remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

I iced them first with confectioners sugar blended to a thick glaze with cream and milk. No exact measurements, just mess with it till you get the consistency right. Not to thin, though! Then, when that had hardened up a little, I mixed even MORE confectioners sugar with the spices in the scones to an ever THICKER consistency, and drizzled it over the top. It looks like a lot of icing, but honestly it’s…

a lot of icing. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. Happily, that’s one component you can leave out or adjust to your liking.

Now that the weather is SLOWLY creeping out of the 80’s and 90s’ (don’t EVEN get me started on how pissed off I am at Colorado for ruining my LAST fall here! No one wants 96 degree weather in September!) I plan to do more fall baking! I even bought Rachel Ray’s magazine that has so many yummy fall recipes in it! I’m also craving chili like you wouldn’t believe! As soon as it’s a nice 65 degrees I will be having Mr. Gaunt crock-pot some!

Vegan Apple Banana Mini Muffins

My friend Jenny made these for Liam to have in the morning for breakfast. She joked that she made mini ones to be baby size, but Liam just eats 4 or 5 of them. There still extra cute in mini form, I chose to make mini just to reduce my portion size.

About a week ago I broke down and bought Organic Unbleached Flour instead of my usual Whole Wheat Flour. As much as I LOVE WW Flour, it’s not the best for baking, and I really like to bake. When Jenny gave this recipe to me it wasnt Vegan. The recipe called for 2 eggs, which I substituted for 2 overly ripe bananas, works perfect! Also I switched the regular butter to Earth Balance Vegan Butter. Lastly it calls for chunky Applesauce, but I only had smooth, so I diced up a small apple and threw that in with it.

They turned out amazing! So moist and yummy! Perfect for breakfast and a mid day snack, they don’t need butter or anything. I will be making these often. Jenny freezes them and throws them in the microwave for breakfast, seems like a pretty good idea.

VEGAN APPLE BANANA MINI MUFFINS:

Ingredients

6 Tablespoons Vegan Butter Melted

1.5 Cups Organic Unbleached Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt

2 Very Ripe Bananas

2/3 C Brown Sugar

1 Cup Organic Unsweetened Applesauce

1 Small Apple

Directions

Preheat oven to 375

Spray mini (or big) muffin pan with PAM

Melt Butter in large bowl

Add Bananas, Applesauce, Diced Apples and mix well

In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients.

Combine Dry ingredients with Apple mixture, stir well.

Fill muffin tray 3/4 full

Bake for 20 minutes.

These would also be good with some walnuts in them too!

In other fun news I will be ordering a Cherry Pitter and a Food Dehydrator tomorrow! I also got the latest issue of Clean Eating Magazine and it is FULL of amazing summer recipes I need to try, including Roasted Cherries that will be so much easier to make with my cherry pitter.

My food diet has been going amazingly well, I am down 4.5lbs since Monday morning! Crazy! I did however cheat tonight, a good friend of Mr. Gaunt’s is moving tomorrow to Arizona and wanted to take us out to dinner. I picked going to Merels one of our favorite restaurants, because I knew they had some good vegetarian options. I ended up getting a Veggie burger with a fruit cup side, plus a basket of yam chips and guac for the table. I limited myself to only a few chips and just half my burger, plus FOUR giant glasses of water to make me too full to keep eating. Still feeling a little guilty I made sure I went straight to the pool when we got home. Usually I swim 20 laps and then do another 1/2  hour of water aerobics. Tonight I stepped it up and did FORTY LAPS! Wowza! It felt amazing. I have now done 5 consecutive days of lap swimming, go me!

Breakfast Foods A-Go-Go

I Just wanted to share some of the things I eat for Breakfast incase you are feeling un-inspired. I LOVE all greasy cheesy meaty breakfast foods, and I definitely thought it would be one of the hardest things to change. I’m proud to say I havent skipped breakfast in over 6 months, which is amazing seeing as I didn’t eat breakfast all through High School. Now a days I will pretty much faint from starvation if I don’t eat in the mornings. I even take a bag of “Crunchy Breakfast Mix” (Cereal, raw almonds, and Chocolate Chips) to work with me and snack on it all morning. On the weekends we splurge and often make Vegan French Toast or eggs. Heres a few yummy breakfast pics from the last 6 months. I’d love to hear your favorite breakfast foods too!:

Mini Whole Wheat Waffles and Maple Syrup

Kashi Cereal with Yogurt and Strawberries

Crepes with Yogurt, Honey and Blueberries

Soy Strawberry Smoothie

Vegan French Toast with Blueberries and Morning Star Sausage

2 Egg White and 1 Egg Yolk on a Sandwich Thin

Organic Peanut Butter Cereal with Almond Milk

Fruit Salad

Weight Watchers Eggs Benedict

Grapefruit with Stevia

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs with Turkey Bacon and Sandwich Thin

Multi Grain Cherrios with Bananas

Veggie and Turkey Sausage Scramble over Sweet Potato Fries

Tips On Eating: BREAKFAST

First off I need to remind y’all that I am not a: DOCTOR, NUTRITIONIST, or anyone that really knows anything.

Ok now that thats out of the way, I wanted to share a few things on what, how, and when I eat to lose weight. First off I can not praise Weight Watchers enough for teaching me most of what I know (and yes the meetings ARE worth it) and helping get to a place where I could work nutrition around my own life. If you need a helping hand I really recommend joining WW. The other thing I give HUGE praise to is the never-ending world of weight loss blogs out there! Search around, use them, read them, love them!

So Im going to do a number of these “Tips on Eating” posts this week. Please Please Please leave comments on things you find work for you! We are a community so help each other out!

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First Im going to start with eating in the AM:

Eating in the morning is probably the most important meal (yeah Im sure you have heard this, just get it through your head and STOP skipping breakfast!) I know everyone is in a rush, but that is no excuse because there are tons of things you can just grab and go. There are plenty of days when Im in a mad rush to get to work, but the truth is I would rather be 10 minutes late than skip breakfast! There are also plenty of mornings where I would rather do pretty much anything other than eat, it makes me wanna gag, so you know what I do…I GAG it down! No excuse.

They say youre suppose to eat both Fiber and protein within 20 minutes of waking up. This is the only thing I have that keeps me “regular” and I dont screw with it. So now that we have talked about when and how I eat in the morning, Im gonna make a list of what (click on each link for more info):

NO-COOK (grab and go) FOODS:

-(Cold or Hot) Fiber One Poptarts PROTEIN: 4     FIBER: 5

Fiber One Bars PROTEIN: 2     FIBER: 9

Large Plum PROTEIN: 1     FIBER: 2

-Banana PROTEIN: 2     FIBER: 6

I usually combine two of thees items. The more (healthy) food the better in the AM!

 

QUICK COOK FOODS:

Quaker Fruit and Cream Instant Oatmeal PROTEIN: 2.8     FIBER: 2.1

Fiber One Cereal with Fat Free Milk (one cup each)       PROTEIN: 12    FIBER: 28

One Egg and One Egg White With Sandwich Thin PROTEIN: 16    FIBER: 5

-Two Frozen Kashi Waffles with Peanut Butter PROTEIN: 16    FIBER: 8

 

WEEKEND COOK FOODS (sorry too complex for me to calculate nutrition facts right now):

– Vegan French Toast with Morningstar Sausage Patties

Weight Watchers Breakfast Sandwiches

-Weight Watchers Omelette

Anyways there are a lot more options, but these are the ones I stick to. I pretty much eat a Fiber One bar every morning no matter what. I also keep at least one type of fresh fruit in the house and eat that every day. I also eat things I like, like I know there are better oatmeals than the fruit and cream, but its the one I like and the one I will eat so I buy that. Otherwise it will just sit in drawer and get stale. Be ok with eating what you like even if its not the #1 healthiest option!

Ok now its time to share….

Were Back!

Two things that had left my life are now back! And I am happy to say that because of these two items I am down 3 lbs from saturday! Lets hope that brings me at least a 2lb loss at my weigh in this Saturday morning!

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This is two eggs (but only one yolk per all of your great comments) on (what could be the best thing ever) an Oroweat Sandwich Thin! These are sooo delish! They almost taste like white bread, but they are packed full of goodness. They have been on the East Coast only for a while, but now they are on the west coast too! Go get some, you wont be sorry!

With Gillian in my head, how can I not workout?

With Jillian in my head, how can I not workout?

Also in my BL high I hit up the real gym last night! I had given this u after I got my Wii Fit, but have decide in order to kick my ass into high gear that I will be going every night to the gym!