Fall Breakfast: Pumpkin Apple Oat Bake

I made this on a whim this morning. I planed to have Mr.Gaunt make Kodiak Cakes, but I had a couple of apples that I wanted to use, and anytime is a good time for pumpkin! I based it off this recipe, and followed it exactly except no Wheat Germ (what is that?), and no cranberries (as I’m not a huge fan of raisins or cranberries). It was really easy, it baked perfectly, and was one of the most delicious breakfast foods I’ve ever made. It’s also pretty healthy and very hearty. It makes 6 servings (at 6-7 weight watcher P+ each). I plan to try other fruits in baked oats this winter, its awesome.

 

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Busy, Sad, BLT

Yesterday we went out to eat with some friends, which turned in to too much money spent, too much food eaten, too much alcohol consumed. It was just too much.

I had the blues all day today. I know it stems from money and weight, and clothing not fitting, and thinking my hair is ugly. I’m also suddenly very busy with work and house chores, yard chores, small businesses, so I’m a little overwhelmed. It’s clock work though, every summer I take on too many projects and feel totally swamped with expectations.

No one buys paintings from us from Christmas through April. I begin to think no one ever will, but just like last year, Mothers Day signifies the start of our “painting season” and I had FOUR painting requests this weekend. I love doing paintings, I really do, but they take up a TON of time. Each painting takes me at least 6+ hours. I wouldn’t really say I make a descent hourly rate off them, but they do give me extra spending money. Last year I used almost all of our painting money for wedding stuff. This year I think I might sock it away to buy myself my dream camera for my birthday in September.

Needless to say I kept busy this afternoon in order to not feel sad. I worked in the morning with Mr. Gaunt, I did painting stuff in the afternoon, I took a nap in the yard in the sun and burnt my shins. I got coffee at 5pm, because I wanted to, and we ate steaks from the grill for dinner, with very bitter eggplant. We went for a long walk at sunset, and now I’m blogging, responding to emails, and hoping to watch some Vampire Diaries (my new guilty Netflix show!).

However I weighed myself today and felt sad, but I mowed the lawn and felt proud.

I did laundry and bought soap, and made lunches for work

Every day is not easy, or happy, or skinny (and yes, those three things are what make up a good day for me) some days are hard, and sad and fat. I also have had major jealousy pangs today. I’m jealous of everyone, their looks, their kids, their houses, their vacations, everything. I know it’s just a phase and that I’m just struggling with. I KNOW I have so much good stuff, and I’m making lots of good choices for my family, and I know what other people’s lives look like might not be reality. It’s that damn Facebook that always gets me!

This week I’m focusing on my health and my fitness, and my businesses, and my husband. Those are what’s important to me, and whats special, and whats good. The rest I will just have to let go, and not stress about.

I did have a nice mini-dinner party on Friday, and made Chicken Caesar wraps and this SKINNY BLT PASTA SALAD, that was pretty good. I thought I would share it, because it’s so easy, and it’s nice to change things up every now and then with a pasta salad. You should make it!

 

 

7 Layer Mediterranean Dip

I find it super annoying that everyone always brings a 7 layer dip to parties…always…like you could bet money on it. The overall concept of a 7 layer dip sounds pretty good, but usually its a disgusting mush ball of refried beans and sourcream…gag! I hate refried beans a lot, they might be my least favorite foods.  Anyway for the Superbowl I wanted to make a new modern (refried bean-less) 7 layer dip, show people that it could be really good and not disgusting. When searching FoodGawker I stumbled upon something even better!And so I present to you (in pictures) 7 Layer Mediterranean Dip:

(ingredients from this recipe) modified slightly

-1  tub of Hummus
-1 peeled and diced cucumbers
-3/4 cup shredded romaine lettuce
-1/2 diced red onions
-1 diced tomatoes
-1/2 cup diced kalamata olives (these are much cheaper if you buy them at a grocery store that has an olive bar)
-1 cup crumbled feta cheese

-Tzatsiki Sauce
-pita chips

And there you have it! We made ours in Tupperware (for easy travel) but it looks very cute in a glass Triffle dish so you can see all the layers!

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)!

Cauliflower Soup

Although the weather has yet to cooperate, tomorrow is October 1st, and that means ITS FALL!

Fall to me means:

-Pumpkins EVERYTHING! Lattes, scones, muffins, decorations, EVERYTHING!

-Scarves

-Soups

-Snuggles on the couch watching either A. When Harry Met Sally  B. Stepmom

-Crisp walks in the woods

-Halloween at all the thrift stores!

-Candy Corn and Carmel Apple Pops on my coffee table

-My two BFF’s Birthdays!

But this post is about soup, not fall, lets not get too excited now, it’s still in the 70’s this week (although there are signs of rain and 60’s ahead). And this soup was amazing!

Mr. Gaunt swears he hates Cauliflower, but in this household BEGGERS CANT BE CHOOSERS! You eat what I make you! No picky eaters! End of rant.

So I made Cauliflower Soup, and I made it so delicious that he ate it all up and loved it! He also had it for lunch two days in a row! Beat that picky eaters!

Ok the recipe (which I wont post on here because it’s the same thing) is from this blog CLICK HERE and I only made a few changes.

1. I hate cooked carrots, so buh-by. Instead I replaced the Carrots with a smaller head of Kale, which is the most amazing food on earth.

2. Right after the onions were sautéed I added diced Apple Chicken Sausage (that I get at Costco or Target)

3. I didn’t have any Parsley so I did Thyme and Basil. I also did a good shaking of Red Pepper Flakes (which belong in all soups)

4. I used Fat Free Milk and Sour Cream

5. I used 3 cups of Chicken stock and 4 cups of Vegan Beef Flavored Bullion Cube stock (because that’s what I had)

Other than that I followed it to a T! And it was Perfect! And could feed a family of four for two days, or a family of two for three days! Enjoy folks!

Oh and I kinda destroyed my lightbox and its getting dark so early these days so all my pictures suck. This weekend Mr. Gaunt and I will be building a new one for me.