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Pumpkin Spice Granola

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I think this might be my first pumpkin recipe of the season.

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Try to contain your excitement.

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I know a lot of people say that they can’t eat yogurt without granola.  For me, it’s the other way around.  Of course I can eat a handful solo, but then what else do you do with it?  In fact, I was going to take a picture on top of the yogurt, but really the granola is what’s important here.

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I think I went overboard on the flaxseeds.  You can tell if you look really close.

Mix together the following:

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup flaxseeds

2 TB coconut

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

2 TB vegetable oil

1 tsp sea salt.

Spread it out on a baking sheet and bake at 325 for 15 minutes, give it a stir, and bake for 15 more.  I actually shut the oven off and left it in there until cooled.  Then mix in 1/3 cup of dried cranberries and 1/3 cup of dried cherries.  Then stock up on the yogurt.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.

Gone Bananas Chocolate Oatmeal

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Isn’t interesting how the most simple things are the most amazing?

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I highly recommend natural peanut butter.  CK suggested it, but I read right past it; so this one is my beloved honey roast Peter Pan.  The next three days (and into eternity) I used (and will use in futuro) the natural version.  I also used Ghiradelli Midnight Reverie.  I couldn’t resist the name.

Don’t forget the moderation:  one serving is half of a banana, one square of chocolate, two teaspoons of peanut butter, 3/4 teaspoon of brown sugar.  Oh, and 1/2 cup of oatmeal cooked to your liking.  The magic number is 335 calories!

In case my opinion isn’t clear:  this was a perfect fall breakfast that I will be repeating many times until next spring.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.

Sunday Summary

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Monday and Tuesday:  work and work.   I made some kale chips somewhere in there, but I didn’t take a picture and my recollection is blurry.

Wednesday:  more work.  It’s been one week of all CK recipes all the time.  I lost 4.7 pounds.

Thursday:  more work.  Also, things are pretty dull around here due to the whole calorie-counting thing.

Friday:   After my job I finally made it to the high to see the Dutch artists.  I’m glad I did it, but there was a little too much of a crowd for my liking.

Finally, Jake is here to eat.  I made Whole Go-To Roasted Chicken, from Cook Yourself Sexy.  There’s a lot going on inside there.

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Saturday:  Drink of the Week:  Rosemary Lemonade.  Perfectly refreshing for our evening by the fire pit.

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It may not look like much, but there’s vodka in there too.

Sunday:  I made Roasted Fig and Honey Chevre Flatbread.    I may have gone a little overboard on the balsamic glaze.  This is one of those times that it really pays to read the recipe ahead of time.  Roast the figs, make the glaze, caramelize the onions.  Time consuming, but worth it.

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I also met Marnie for coffee today.  I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.  I usually like to wait until October, but I’m only a little ahead of schedule and it was awesome.

Good Deed of the Week:  Walk Around Your Block and Pick Up Some Trash.  I guess I kind of cheated on this one.  My neighborhood is pretty small and very clean.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Macerated Fresh Peaches

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Over Homemade Muesli.

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I’m sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming with a special announcement:  This blog is going on a diet.

I really hate to use the word diet, because it implies deprivation and boring meals.  Au contraire.  I never go hungry.  In fact, I usually eat more on a diet.  Hello, snacking on fruit three times a day.    However, this means that unless the cookbook has calorie counts, it ain’t happening.  Depressing, I know.  That means good-bye Giada, Brian Boitano, and Joy the Baker, et al.  Never fear, these strict guidelines will only be adhered to until my vacation in November.

At the moment, though, I need constant vigilance.   Fortunately, I am already a fan of Candice Kumai.  This recipe is from her new book, Cook Yourself Sexy.   I couldn’t resist the menus and the fact that CK steers clear of processed ingredients and focuses on food with benefits.

Two things CK recommends we will not be doing:  giving up coffee and switching to almond milk.   I think the first needs no explanation.  As for the almond milk, I’ve got nothing against it.  I actually used to use soy milk on my cereal for years because it was only one WW point instead of two.  I just don’t feel the need.

Before you get started you should know that’ I’ve lost four pounds in four days.

On with the show.

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You’ve gotta love a recipe that you can make in a Ziploc bag.    And you’re welcome.  I took a picture of every layer of this mix and decided not to post them.   So you’ll allow me one more of the mix.  Thanks.

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The peaches are macerated in elderflower liqueur.  No complaints here.  But it did make me wonder if I could eat them at work and then drive home.

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Even though I am a fan of the fact that variety is the spice of life, for the next two months it’s going to be all CK all the time.  At least that’s the plan.

Full disclosure:  I bought a book called Cheese Obsession yesterday.   Yes, it’s filled with cheese recipes.   Stay tuned.

Eat Well and Savor.

Banana Doughnuts

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With Banana Frosting.  And they’re gluten-free.  Well, at least the flour was gluten-free.  I’m no expert in the field, though.

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This recipe is actually baked.   I need to use these pans more often.

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The instructions say to fill them three-quarters full.  Of course I disobeyed.   Why does the recipe make so much if you don’t need it?

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Don’t panic.

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I’m sure you can find someone to eat the holes.

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One other thing:  I suspect that the fact that these aren’t fried might be negated by the fact that there’s shortening in the frosting.

Eat Well and Savor.

Braised Chuck Roast

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I am a firm believer in celebrating your birthday for a whole weekend or sometimes even a week.  In fact, I had a friend wish me a happy birthmonth yesterday.  What’s this got to do with chuck roast, you say?  One of my favorite dishes that my mom used to make was a chuck roast with brown potatoes; so I decided I needed to treat myself for my birthday.  Of course this version was in the crock pot and my mom’s was one of those electric skillet masterpieces, but close enough.

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You’ll never guess what the secret ingredient is; so I’m just going to come right out and tell you:  gingersnaps.

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Give six of these a spin in the food processor and then toss them in the crock pot.

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Add eight ounces of baby carrots.

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Two stalks of celery.

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One onion.

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And then the good stuff:  one cup of dry red wine, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and then 1/4 cup of raisins.  Don’t forget the S&P.  If my mom knew about the gingersnaps she would disapprove.  If she knew about the raisins I’m pretty sure she would just refuse to eat it.

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Add a two-pound boneless chuck roast and turn on the crock pot.  Six hours on high did the trick for me.

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This was around the three-hour mark.  Man, did it smell good.

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My mom’s version didn’t really have a sauce.  I’m not ashamed to say that I used to douse it ketchup.

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I just had to add some little boiled potatoes.

And here’s the best news:  it comes in under 400 calories, without the potatoes.

Eat Well and Savor.

Sunday Summary

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Monday:  Another day in paradise.  I mean another day off from work.  And this time I got out of Phoebe’s dermatologist appointment for under 100 bucks.  That’s a win, for sure.

I made Easy-Street Oven Fried Okra from The Complete Southern Cookbook.  I had some asparagus hanging around; so I threw it in there too.

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Tuesday:  I spent the afternoon in Magistrate Court.  I hope you never have to utter that sentence.

The doctor said Phoebe can go back to her homemade diet.  I was a little reticent at first; it’s so much easier to scoop out some kibble.  But since I try to stay away from processed food for myself I suppose that’s the least I can do for her.  So, once again, I am the crazy-lady-that-cooks-for-her-dog.

She can’t have much variety because we’re in the testing phase of her alleged food allergies.  I opted for Beef and Bulgur from the Feed Your Best Friend Better book.

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Zuchinni, a can of diced tomato, and half a leftover orange pepper that I probably wouldn’t have used anyway.

Wednesday:  I love my job.  I had to make two trips to Buckhead for two no-shows.  I love my job.

I treated myself to a trip to the Ballard Design store.  Well, I guess the real treat was this new mat.

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Let’s call it an early birthday present.

Thursday:  Look what came in the mail today.

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My mom sent me her old canning books.  This one is from 1977.

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And this one is from 1974.  Notice the $1.00 price tag.

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This is the back cover.  This one made me smile.  I guess my mom didn’t follow this.  My parents got divorced in the ’80s.

Friday:  We had Malted Chocolate Milkshakes from Cooking Light’s Crave! for dessert.  When I was growing up we used to have popcorn and milkshakes every Friday night while watching Dukes of Hazzard.  Those were the days.

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Saturday:  I didn’t do any work today and we didn’t run any errands.  We did go for a nice long walk along the Chattahoochee.  We saw a warning sign for alligators.  I’m glad we didn’t run in to one.  I don’t think Phoebe would have handled it well.

Drink of the Week:  Strawberry Daiquiri.  Thanks to my hard work with the Strawberry-Watermelon Rum.

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We had Chicken Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce for dinner.  Again, thanks to my hard work with the Basil-Pecan Freezer Pesto from Southern Living’s Little Jars, Big Flavors.

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Sunday:  Do you know what today is?  It’s my birthday!

We went to brunch at Canoe.  I had the Fried Green Eggs Benedict.  Delish.  I took a picture for you, but for some reason I can’t get it off of my phone at the moment.

I made Double Chocolate-Oatmeal Bars from Woman’s Day, circa September 2003.

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My mom used to make M&M cookies for me to take to school for my birthday; so this seemed like a good choice.

This was a low-key year for me.  At the moment we are watching Gone With the Wind.  It’s always been a favorite of mine.  I read the book for the first time last year and bought the DVD too.

If it weren’t for the new patio install I would be in Ireland right now.  My cousin tried to make me feel better by saying that the patio will last longer than the vacation memories.  Of course she’s right, but of course I had to mention this year’s excessive rainfall.  Next year:  Hawaii.

Good Deed of the Week:  Add money to an expired meter.  I’m just a few weeks out and I’ve had my first fail.  In my defense, there aren’t a lot of meters in Atlanta, at least not where I park.

Eat Well and Savor.