Keep lunch interesting, part I


I get bored sometimes and need some motivation and inspiration. Lunches are often where this boredom shows. The same thing everyday, or I don’t pack them because the thought makes me want to cry. This week I managed to get lunches made everyday with only one hiccup- yesterday’s muffins. They may have been (probably were) put away stale… Oops.
On Monday while Carver and I were brainstorming meals for the week he came up with two good lunch options. One we used this week and the other will be next weeks- turkey sandwiches and couscous salad.
For the turkey sandwiches I knew we had to spruce them up a bit to keep healthy and interesting. To do this here’s what I used-
1. Light whole wheat bread
2. I substituted guacamole for the mayo/mustard- this avoids the greasy taste and added some healthy omega oils
3. Spinach and tomatoes for added vitamins and minerals
4. Lean deli turkey- go with Boar’s Head or another ‘heart healthy’ option. Look for the American Heart Association’s heart stamp of approval

Assemble and Enjoy!

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and the knot was tied


Well we did it – got hitched. Tied the knot. Pick your cliche term. It was a fabulous weekend and we are EXHAUSTED. The weather was perfect, the company sublime, and the food delicious. I don’t feel I can do our wedding justice in one post so I will spread it out and start with just a few snippits.

Anyways I have thank you cards to get started on… my goal is to have them all mailed by next Saturday. This should keep me busy, along with the joys of being a newlywed and a new dog owner. Yes, that’s right people. The dog is staying. His name is Cody, and he is 4 months old. True to form he loves shoes and toys and treats. Oh and walks and being on the furniture. What a rough life dogs lead!

Please stay tuned for more photos of the wedding and information on the menus and planning and for some exciting changes coming at Feeding Bliss and in the Bliss household.
P.S. Check out this awesome tomato!! Yep we grew that!

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not always as planned


Saturday I had this great idea to make these mini pizzas. It didn’t work the way I wanted and was totally discouraged. I’m going to share what I did anyways, just to show you dinner doesn’t always have to follow your plan for it to be balanced and delicious.

Here’s where I went wrong: I didn’t look up the recipe. Because I didn’t look it up, my measurements were off. I used 2 pounds of dough, with the intention of freezing at least half of my yield for the week after the wedding. I knew I wouldn’t be up for cooking the first couple days we were home – actually I probably won’t be up for grocery shopping, the cooking is easy. I have the hardest time with pizza dough. I canNOT get it to stretch out and form a nice thin crust. Never have been. I have found ways to make it work like par baking the crust so it doesn’t rise so much and won’t be gooey after we add toppings. So Saturday I knew the general idea of the recipe, put dough in muffin pans, top with goodies and bake. But my normal issue arose and I couldn’t get them flat. So I decided to just cut up the dough in 14 standard muffins and 10 mini muffins. I poked them with a fork so they wouldn’t puff too much and baked them for 10 minutes at 350. Meanwhile I chopped up some turkey meatballs. When the muffins were nearly finished (still a little doughy in the middle) I put them on a rack to cool.

Then a few hours later when it was time for dinner I preheat the oven to 350 and sliced the pizza dough muffins in half like a hamburger. Next was the assembly line. The muffin halves were lined up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Each half got a dollop of tomato sauce, a sprinkling of meatball and then fresh grated parmesan and pecorino. They went back in the oven for 10 minutes until crispy and warmed through. We served it with a large salad. Not as intended, but still delicious.

We have the muffins left over and so when I am ready to use again I will defrost the night before then when it’s time for dinner I can get these guys ready in about 15 minutes.

Oh and we have a dog now… Unless his owner claims him before the wedding.
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Coming and going


So there I was huddled in my closet staring at my clothing, wishing I didn’t have people coming over- wishing I could put on pajamas and go to bed. Or maybe, if I was feeling adventurous, watch some reruns on the couch.
But we had plans. People were coming over. Dinner had to be made. So I did what any other woman would- try on 5 different outfits, hate all of them and put the first one back on. I faked a happy face and turned my mood around.
Easter dinner was tasty- roast pork, risotto primavera and pudding with berries for dessert.
Since then I’ve managed to get a cold and last night a dog showed up at the house. A puppy that has somehow gotten separated from his family. He’s very handsome but he is a puppy (read: not potty trained and he wants to put everything in his mouth). I made him breakfast this morning, scrambled eggs and American cheese, which he devoured. My breakfast was a nonfat latte and a banana. I’m taking my car in for routine maintenance because we need to make it to Las Vegas safe and sound. Also on the agenda for the day is cleaning and cooking and shopping. Oh and packing.

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a cruel April Fool’s Day


What do you do when all of your dreams come true? You sit back, appreciate it and think of what comes next. I think you do the same when your dreams don’t come true, when you are at a loss for words. You give thanks for what good things you still have and you reassess. And then, if you’re me, you bake cookies. I made muffins this morning in anticipation of the impending decision, and managed to screw up my own recipe. The muffins are hideous and a little moist but they are still a muffin thank goodness. Though I do have 24 ‘not quite’ muffins and more batter in the fridge to deal with now. The cookies however, I started yesterday before my nerves got unruly. I knew I would need something in the oven when I learned of my fate – good or bad. And something idiot proof… think scoop & bake. Easy.

My future husband  is a cynic while I am superstitious, he’s not so sure about religion and all while I’m pretty spiritual. Our difference here comes into play during situations like this.  He says try again, just keep pushing whilst I try to figure out the bigger picture and the message within it all. Who’s right? Not a clue. I can’t tell if it’s some higher power telling me that maybe I should reassess my goals or if it’s my hurt pride that doesn’t want to be rejected again. Maybe a bit of both? Only time will tell.

Here’s what I know I am: a wife (close enough), a daughter, a sister, a friend, a two-time internship/grad school reject…. ouch.

What do you make for your first meal after such a heartbreak? Scallops. With brown rice, a touch of bacon, and some green beans. You stay on plan because now isn’t the time to completely jump ship. Now is the time to zero in on priorities. Now is the time to really take care of yourself and what says taking care of yourself better than a healthy dinner with a dose of bacon with a chocolate chip cookie chaser? Not much.

Heart-Break Scallops

  • 10 ounces scallops
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon, quartered
  • Chicken stock
  • Salt, Pepper
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon according to package instructions. Once browned remove to plate with paper towel to drain.
  2. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until tender and opaque, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Meanwhile, steam green beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes in the microwave.
  4. Remove scallops from pan and let rest with bacon.
  5. Deglaze pan with a splash (about 3 tablespoons) of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Be sure to scrape the browned bits up and let the sauce thicken.
  6. Add scallops, green beans, bacon and tomatoes to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes ensuring all ingredients are coated by the sauce.
  7. Serve over brown rice.

Lumpy Path Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  1. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients – salt, baking powder, flours, chocolate, oats and coconut; set aside.
  2. Cream butter, applesauce and sugars together on medium speed of electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until light, fluffy and well-combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the wet in thirds until just combined.
  4. Let the ingredients marry – allow the mix to chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  5. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper and spraying with non-stick spray.
  6. Bake 16-18 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through cook-time.

In the dark with my cold banana


I find myself eating in the near-dark this morning, going over the long list of projects I could spend the day doing. And then I realized it was a work day and thus I would spend the day working on other people’s projects, not my own. Well maybe since I am up and heading to work so early, I will be able to sneak in some personal projects this afternoon. Maybe more time organizing the office? And writing up a fabulous recipe to share? Hopefully purchasing the last bit of clothing for the wedding weekend.
I am also reflecting on my perceived failures over the past months. I knew I’d be busy so I did my research. Tried to find the best method to keep me sane and productive. I have felt like I failure on this subject for quite some time. Today, in the dark with my breakfast, I no longer believe I failed. I think I didn’t personalize the methods to fit my needs and our needs as a couple. Now I will create something, based on what I have learned from the experts, and make something that works for us and doesn’t make me feel crummy. I can do this.
Breakfast was nearly a home run. A slixe of toast with just a bit of butter, almond butter and honey. A cup of coffee and water to wash it down. And a banana on the side. Oh yah, about the banana… It was cold and not awesome. 😦 I put them in the fridge to keep them from ripening beyond the point that I like them. Lesson learned- take the banana out of the fridge the night before you want to eat it.

In three weeks Carver and I will be leaving for our wedding. It’s boot camp time. Drink your water, two a day exercises, getting to sleep on time, and getting $h!+ done. And of course eat deliciously healthy food.

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Lemons to spare


A few days ago our friends brought us gigantic lemons from their trees. Softball-sized lemons. So many lemons I couldn’t decide how to use them all. Tonight I managed to use three of them between dinner and dessert and we loved every bit of them.
For dinner I made chicken with capers and green beans. It was delicious and I have leftovers for one dinner maybe when Carver is out bowling. The perfect chicken cutlet, a dash of sauce and about a cup of green beans. Easy.
For dessert I decided a simple lemon cookie would be nice. I had never made lemon cookies before but I knew what I wanted. I wanted a sugar cookie that was not super buttery or sweet. I worked it by adding lemon zest, lemon juice, ricotta cheese, applesauce and whole wheat flour. Tomorrow I will share the what and the how of these little treats.
Carver urged me to bake up a few for QA. He is so thoughtful; didn’t want me to waste my time writing about them if they were no good. Nice try honey- I know you just wanted warm cookies before bed.
Anyways tomorrow we are trying out a newish lunch concept for the blog. It’s going to last the next four days. Then who knows maybe I will win him over with the ploughman’s lunch. A healthy take on it anyways.
Have a good night all. See you in the morning

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