Saturday, May 31, 2008

Magnifique

You guys have to see the video my pal Tara and her seriously talented helpers made of them making my Almost No Bake Cheesecake Bites.



Thank you Tara.

This totally made my day and OMG!?! how AWESOME they look!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Almost No Bake Cheesecake Bites

So I talk about my Sicilian side a lot but I am 1/2 Brit. My Mum was born in England. She's actually still a British citizen despite living in the US longer than England (it does get her out of jury duty.) Both my sister and brother were born in England too. I'm the only natural born American in my family. Born and raised in New York, baby.

I think my Sicilian side supersedes my British side but there are some decidedly British things I heart... Jane Austen, BBC television, gardening, antiques, and tea parties with dainty pastries like these...


Shelly's Almost No Bake Cheesecake Bites

Almond Crust

3/4 cup Almond Meal or Flour*, ground (you can grind your own)
1 1/2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)

Grease and line a 12 cup mini muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside. Mix almond meal, protein powder, melted butter and Torani Sugar Free Syrup together.


Press mixture firmly and evenly mini muffin papers (about 3/4 full.) Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool before adding the filling.


Lemon Filling

1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Tablespoon SF Lemon Pudding mix, dry
2 teaspoons Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used Vanilla)
zest of 1/2 a Lemon


Mix filling ingredients together and spoon onto cooled crusts. Top if desired.


Toppings ideas:

Grated Lemon Zest, Toasted Unsweetened Coconut, Half a Strawberry, a Cherry, Mandarin Orange Segments, Blueberries or other berries, Pineapple Chunks, SF Chocolate Shavings.

You know I rarely put nutrition (nut) info on my recipes because 1.) I'm not a nut (well that kind at least) and 2.) Ingredients stats will vary dramatically (part skim versus whole milk, full fat cream cheese versus reduced fat - you can certainly cut the fat a bit by subbing neufatchel for full fat cream cheese and using part skim ricotta. I like the real deal full fat good stuff and would rather just eat less.) Using my full fat ingredients plugged into fitday.com: They work out to around 100 cal. a piece, 7 grams of protein, 3 carbs, 9 fat grams (but mostly from the nut crust so good fats). These would be a perfect weight loss surgery friendly dessert on my plan.

*FYI: Almond meal and flour are both just ground up almonds. Almond flour is most often made with blanched almonds (no skin), whereas almond meal can be made either with whole or blanched almonds. The consistency is more like corn meal than wheat flour. I find that for the most part they can be used interchangeably. I mostly make my own by whizzing raw almonds (skin on) in my mini food processor but this time I had a bag of Almond Meal and used that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

And the winner is...

Drumroll...

Kydebb

The random number generator has decided that you are the winner of the first ever The World According to Eggface giveaway! As soon you email me your address, I’ll be sending you your groovy box of protein bars. If I don't hear back from you (with a shipping address) by Saturday, May 31st I'll chose another winner.

The list of the bars for those who wanted to know:

2 ISS Oh Yeah Vanilla Peanut Butter Creme Protein Wafers
1 ISS Oh Yeah Chocolate Mint Protein Wafers
1 ISS Oh Yeah Peanut Butter & Caramel Bar
1 Zone Perfect Orange Cranberry
1 Zone Perfect Strawberry Yogurt
1 Zone Perfect Fudge Graham
2 Comfort Bar Italian Chocolate Orange Almond
2 Comfort Bar Italian Chocolate Vanilla Almond
1 Comfort Bar White Chocolate Cherry Chip

Thanks for entering everyone. This was fun. I'll do another giveaway again soon.

Where I've been...

For those of you who were wondering where I've been...

I have been... RIGHT HERE! Gosh I wish I could have told you on a vacation in Italy with my dream man sadly I was RIGHT HERE ALL THE TIME...

Due to an influx of comments the other day Blogger's little Spam Net scooped me up and I was temporarily frozen out (could not publish an entry) until my blog was confirmed (by a human blogger employee) that it was not a SPAM BLOG. Apparently they don't filter for how long you've had a blog (ummm 2 years do you think suddenly it would be SPAM and isn't the idea to gain readership HELLO MCFLY!) Anyway... this process took 4 days. Very FRUSTRATING! Sorry it took so long.

I've been cooking though and will be posting the yummy food porn and recipes soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bubbly & golden

From 103 degrees last week to 60's cloudy/rainy this week = comfort food casserole time. I was needing some baked until bubbly and golden yumminess. This totally fit the bill.

I was actually planning on making a different Eggface casserole and realized I was out of a few things so this one was born and I think it might be my favorite.


Shelly's Italian Chicken & Squash Bake

1 cup Chicken, boneless, skinless breasts diced 1" cubes
1 Yellow Onion, diced
3 green Onions, diced
4-5 fresh Mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
3-4 Yellow Squash, sliced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1 - 15 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 - 10 3/4 oz. can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup Shredded Italian 4 Cheese Blend (divided use)
Oil/butter for sauteing

Saute chicken till golden. Set aside. Saute onions and mushrooms till golden. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add zucchini, turn to low heat and cover for 5 minutes. Stirring once or twice. Add soup, tomatoes, seasonings, 1/4 cup of the cheese and chicken and stir to combine.


Pour into a Pyrex casserole dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and golden.



Went to the Farmer's Market this morning. Despite the dark clouds and the threat of rain I must go support my local farmers and get my weekly stash of goodies. Bought more strawberries, blueberries, cherries (I'm on a fruit salad with pineapple cottage cheese kick), yellow squash, zucchini, red, yellow & green onions, garlic, Mum's Austrian Fruit Bread, corn on the cob (gonna BBQ it this weekend) and red pears... that's it I think.

After the FM I went to Winco to buy more Ricotta because those red pears must become those yummy Roasted Pears with sweetened Ricotta and Caramel I made last week. I seriously can't go on my blog without looking at that particular food porn longingly. Have you made them yet? Do it. Soooooo good.

Speaking of the blog. The contest is really taking off. Lots of entries but be sure (especially if you log in anonymously) to put your name or location or something in your comment. I have about three no names :(

Highlights of the day:

* Mmmmm I heart casseroles.

* People (and dog) watching at Starbuck's this morning... the cutest little girl with a leopard print jacket and little Ugg boots, a gorgeous Siberian Husky, a hottie buying coffee for his wife (errr men in my town are all married ;) I seriously must move)

* I finally cleaned out my purse. I had over $16 in coins at the bottom of it. No wonder my neck hurts.

Oh here's a pretty cool FYI: Did you know some of those Coinstar coin counting machines in supermarkets will give you Starbuck's cards (or reload an existing card.) Every few weeks I dump all my change in and reload my Bux card. There's no coin counting fee if you do the gift card thing and you can get Starbucks, Itunes, Amazon, AMC theaters, a bunch of other places. Here's the 411 on it.

and don't forget to register your Starbuck's card... my Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte with no whippage went down 70 cents. Here's the 411 on that.

Listening to: David Cook "Hungry like the Wolf" (another hottie)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Protein Bar Giveaway

I'm excited to announce my first ever giveaway on The World According to Eggface. I've assembled a dozen protein bars including some of my very favorites. If you'd like a chance to win these yummy weight loss surgery friendly treats...


Here's what you need to do:

Just leave a comment on this blog posting by Monday, May 26th, 12 midnight PST and on Tuesday morning I'll draw a name using a random number generator and announce the winner.

Disclaimers: this contest is open to anyone in the 48 contiguous states ('cause I am too cheap to mail elsewhere)

One entry per person.

*Please be sure to check back next week to see if you are the winner. If I don't hear back from you (with a shipping address) by Saturday, May 31st I'll choose another winner.

Good Luck!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Grey's Anatomy 2 hour season finale

is tonight! I'm so excited. They better not disappoint me. Meredith & Derek "McDreamy" better be getting back together dammit. I have faithfully watched that show even when they totally almost ruined it last season (the 3 week near drowning torture, Izzy & George as a couple ewww like brother and sister) but I stuck by it. I deserve a happy ending ;)

Going to having a little Cheese Party while I watch. Cheese because lets face it Grey's is cheesy but I heart it anyway. I went to Whole Foods in La Jolla yesterday and bought oodles of cheese because I'm a cheese-o-holic and they had a few even I had never tried. I also made a killer Chicken Salad to go with.


Shelly's Chutney Chicken Salad

1 1/2 cups Cooked Chicken, cubed
1 Tablespoon Chutney (I used Cranberry Apple)
1 stalk Celery, chopped
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Fage Greek Yogurt
1 Green Onion, diced
dash of Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Dried Cranberries (or Golden Raisins or Chopped Dried Apricots)
1/4 cup Pecans, chopped

Mix everything together but add the nuts just before serving. Can be served just as it is (that's what I'm doing tonight), as a wrap in a lettuce leaf or Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortilla, on top of a salad, or in a tomato or avocado half.

Off to watch Grey's... don't call unless your bleeding ;)

Woot, Woot, my David won!

I'm a happy girl. So glad he won.

12 million votes more than the whipper snapper. I know I gave him at least 50... Here's to unlimited text messages.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let me take you down...

I go to the Farmer's Market every weekend to get my supply of fresh fruit and veggies and I can never pass up red, ripe strawberries. Those juicy little suckers call to me... despite my Mum often whispering in my ear "yooooou knooooow you still have 2 baskets uneaten."

So here's what I do when I have an over abundance...

Shelly's Sugar Free Strawberry Topping

1 1/2 cups fresh Strawberries, chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I use Vanilla)

Cook berries over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Mashing to desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add Syrup.

Pour into sterile jam jar (boil for 15 minutes to sterilize). Keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks or if you want to have it longer just can it.


This makes a great topping for "ricottage" or cottage cheese pancakes, cottage cheese, Fage Greek yogurt, it's excellent on top of my Strawberry Ricotta Custard or a sauce for fruit salad or dipping grilled fruit kabobs.

;) It also makes a great Strawberry Margarita

Shelly's Strawberry Margarita

2 cups Ice
1/2 cup Shelly's Sugar Free Strawberry Topping
1 cup Tequila (the good stuff - my choice: Patron Silver)
1 Lime, juiced
Splash of Orange Juice

Blend in blender till smooth.


Cyber no value bonus points for the first person to sing the rest of the title of this blog entry.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crock Pot Carne Asada and Leftovers

Dinner last week...


Shelly's Crock Pot Carne Asada

1 1/2 lbs. Pre-Marinated Carne Asada (I used Trader Joe's but most meat departments carry)
1 cup Salsa
1 Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, sliced
1 cup Bell Peppers, sliced (I used combo red, yellow, green)
1/2 cup Black Beans, drained
1/2 cup Corn (I used canned Mexicorn)

Toppings:

Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
Sour Cream
Avocado

Saute meat till browned on high heat. I put it on the grill (stovetop, electric or outdoor) for a few minutes till slightly browned. Remove and place in crock pot. Saute onions till golden. Add garlic cook 1 minute more. Pour into crock pot. Add salsa, peppers, beans, and corn. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Top with Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese, Sour Cream, and/or Avocado.

Lunch today...

I tossed the leftovers in the freezer till today when I defrosted them and made this killer soup with just a few additions...


Shelly's Carne Asada Soup

Just under 2 cups of leftover cooked Crock Pot Carne Asada, defrosted
3 cups Chicken Broth
1 can (14.5 oz.) Diced Tomatoes, with juice (I used S&W brand)
1 can (15 oz.) Pinquitos Beans, drained
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 small Zucchinis, sliced

Toppings:

Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
Greek Yogurt (or Sour Cream)
Avocado

Dump everything in a pot and simmer (covered) for 30 minutes on low. Top with Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese, Yogurt and/or Avocado.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Caramel Apple Oat Bars and Revelations

This weekend was hotter than hell. Triple digits in August I'm OK with. Triple digits in May... umm not so much. I tried not to turn on the oven too much this weekend but you know I had to experiment a little. I baked a batch of Caramel Apple Oat Bars. My Blueberry Oat Bars from the other day were so good I decided to mess around and make another version.

OMG! Yum!

My house smelled like a trip to Julian.


Shelly's Caramel Apple Oat Bars

1/4 cup Raw Almonds, ground
1/2 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
1/4 cup Soy Flour (7 g. of protein per 1/4 cup)
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Caramel)
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
dash of Salt
1/3 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans & Walnuts)
1/3 cup Dried Fruit (I used Raisins and Unsweetened Dried Cranberries)
1/4 cup No Sugar Added Apple Butter
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Caramel Sauce (I used Smucker's)

Preheat oven to 350. In a mini food processor whiz almonds, 1/4 cup of the oats, soy flour, 1 scoop of the protein powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt till fine. *Add Torani syrup and whiz again. In a separate dish beat egg, vanilla and almond butter together. Combine both. Add additional scoop of protein, the other 1/4 cup of oats, nuts, and fruit* (*note I used a few more raisins than the blueberry bars to make up for no chocolate.) Spread 3/4 of the oatmeal batter into a parchment paper lined Pyrex dish (8x7).


Spread apple butter over oat base. Drizzle caramel over apple butter and swirl with a spoon. Drop plops of the remaining oatmeal batter on top of apple butter and caramel filling. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. I put them in the fridge. I think they taste best cold and are easier to cut into bars.


Let's see what stuff do I have to share...

A friend online was going through some stuff and I wrote a response to him that helped me put some things I've been feeling into perspective. Thought I'd share:

I'm asking a lot of those questions too. I hope it helps to know you aren't the only one.

Sometimes I feel like I'm living someone else's life. It's like I'm borrowing this skinny chick costume and I keep anxiously looking at the clock because at midnight I'm going to turn back into me.

Sometimes I feel sad/pissed/disappointed because not everything was "fixed" when I lost the weight.

Sometimes I walk into a room confident and feeling like I can take on the world and other days I'm looking around the room to see if I'm the fattest again.

The emotional part of this journey is the hardest by far... changing the way I eat, exercising, the lifestyle changes were the easy part (for me at least) it's the "head stuff" that is hard.

I guess it will take time to connect to these new "people" we have become and then maybe the lost/alone feelings will subside.

I do know this. I think/angsty dwell/worry about the future too much and I'm missing a lot of moments because of that. It's time to enjoy the little things and hopefully soon our minds will catch up to the body.

So on to one of the moments I've decided to try and concentrate on...

Last night was fun my Mum and I had a Mini Cheese Tasting Party. A yummy little spread made up of all weight loss surgery friendly snacks:


Cubes of several different cheeses - Bel Paese, San Andreas, Jalapeno Jack, Muenster, Parmesan Reggiano
Pepperoni
Kalamata and Sicilian Olives
Pesto Peanuts and Macadamias
White Cheddar Crunchy Cheese
Strawberries
Cucumber (these work great instead of crackers for the spreadable cheeses)

and a glass of wine sitting under my electric stars.

Drinking post-op is interesting. Word of warning. We get drunk fast. I mean super fast... like 2 sips fast. So be safe. I rarely drink probably once a month if that because it's always hard for me to justify the empty calories but you know the cheese tasting party just screamed for some vino.

Highlights of the weekend:

* Our little party above. Lots of laughs.

* I've received a ton of great comments and emails re: my perfect man blog that have renewed my faith that he exists and will one day cross my path. In fact he might have already who knows?

* I ran into my secretary (administrative assistant to be politically correct... whatever) from my last job who hasn't seen me in forever and she was as my Mum would say, "gobsmacked." Love it.

Moments.

Listening to: Oasis "Stop crying your heart out"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Life is short. Eat dessert first.


Shelly's Roasted Pears with sweetened Ricotta and Caramel

2 Pears, crisp yet ripe (I used Red Anjous)
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/8 cup Pecans, chopped
1/8 cup Steel Cut Oats
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
dash Cinnamon

Topping: Ricotta Cheese, Sugar Free Vanilla Torani Syrup, SF Caramel Sauce

Cut each pear in half and scoop out the core with a knife or melon baller. I didn't peel the pears but you certainly could. Place in a Pyrex baking dish. Mix almond butter, butter, nuts and oats together and drop a spoonful in the hollow of each pear half. Drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon. Roast in the oven, uncovered, at 350 for about 30 minutes or until tender and easily pierced with a knife. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


Top with a little sweetened Ricotta. Just a capful or so of Sugar Free Torani Syrup in a dollop of Ricotta tastes like cannoli filling and is perfect topping and you get a protein bonus. Then drizzle with teaspoon of SF Caramel Sauce (I like Smucker's) nuked for 20 seconds till warm.


This dessert is orgasmic. I'm talking legs trembling and toes curling good ;) OK maybe that's going a little far but seriously you must make it. It's super easy but special enough for company. They will never realize they are eating a weight loss surgery friendly dessert. These are soooo good that despite it being 103 degrees today (yes, you read that right) I am turning on the oven to make them again. It is 85 degrees already (it's 10 AM) so think of me melting at about 3 PM PST.

I just got back from the Farmer's Market. I bought 4 red pears, a ton of baby yellow squash, strawberries (I've been mashing them in my water. I hate plain H20) and more of those killer blueberries I made the oat bars with. I thought maybe some blueberry "ricottage" pancakes would be nice this week.

We had coffee at Starbuck's and saw the cutest French Bulldog puppy. I'm not a dog person but I love those. I want one with a spiky collar. Rose would not be happy. We sat and people watched for a bit but it was already too hot in the sun so we stopped in Baron's to get a few things. The have mini picnic size wedges of cheese in the cheese section. Perfect for us post ops. I bought 4 different types so we are going to have a little cheese tasting party manana. I might splurge and have a glass of vino. It's always hard to justify 100 calories of a liquid that contains no protein but eh like I said life is short.

Highlights of the Day:

* Right now sitting in the cool (not for long) house rockin' out to my Ipod.

* I just made a yummy breakfast... leftover Sausage Stuffed Zucchini and Scrambled Egg.

* Doing as little as possible... 103!?!

Listening to: Ned's Atomic Dustbin "Grey Cell Green"

Friday, May 16, 2008

The List.

Qualities of Eggface's Perfect Man

* Fiercely loyal
* Sense of humor/fun
* Passionate (needs to keep up with this Sicilian chick)
* Honest
* A good conversationalist/intelligent
* Romantic (The little things: holds the door open, gives hugs, says "I love you" first)
* Supportive
* Loves music (Make that good music because seriously if you are President of the Sanjaya Malakar fan club don't even read my blog)
* Loves animals
* Loves my cooking (It's total deal breaker if you don't eat garlic or onions or something freaky like that)
* Wants to hang out and just be with me
* Loves the beach/outdoorsy
* Has a heart (kind, empathetic, warm, concerned about others)
* An even temper (To make up for me not having one. This is not entirely under my control I refer back to being Sicilian)
* Good with finances (I wad my money at the bottom of my purse and scarily rarely think of the future)
* Devilishly handsome and well endowed (Hey a girl can dream)

** Oh and big bonus points if you can do stuff... man stuff I hate to do but currently must do because of my single status like mow lawns, kill bugs, hang pictures and fix things.

I read this list and wonder if it's even feasible to find someone even close. 36 years and haven't found him yet. Am I setting the bar too high? Do I need a reality check?

It's OK be honest. I can take it.

I think of that line in Sleepless in Seattle... "You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie."

We're friends you can tell me, "Michelle, no one will ever pull a John Cusack and stand with a boom box over his head at your bedroom window."


Actually that boom box looked really heavy and dropping that on your head could cause serious injuries. OK, I guess I wouldn't want someone to do that... for the whole song ;)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Time Flies.


The World According to Eggface is 2 years old this month.

That’s like 32 in blog years ;)

To my awesome family, "real world" friends, and "cyber" pals,

Thanks for reading my ramblings, cooking my recipes, and hanging out with me on this crazy rollercoaster ride called my life.

~Shelly

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Southwestern Bites

Vegetarian but still oodles of protein (cheese, eggs, beans.) I served these bites with a bowl of my Black Bean Soup. Which isn't entirely vegetarian (chicken broth) but could be (use veggie stock instead.)

Shelly's Southwestern Bites

1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Corn, drained (I used canned Mexi-Corn)
1/4 cup Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Jalapeno Jack Cheese, shredded
1 Tablespoon fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup diced Tomatoes, drained (I used S&W canned)
5 Eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Saute onions till golden. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add corn and beans and turn off heat. Set aside to cool.


Mix all ingredients together. Be sure veggies have cooled slightly before adding eggs.


Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Makes 24.


These would be a great alternative for corn bread with a bowl of chili.

Looking for a different taste use the Eggface Search Engine under my before and after picture <--- Keyword: Bites and the other 45 versions I've made of these little suckers will come up LOL well not quite 45 but close ;)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blueberry Oat Bars

Took my Oatmeal Raisin Cookie batter and turned it into an awesome Blueberry Oat Bar. My Mum will occasionally eat something very similar to this at Starbuck's. Of course my version has no white flour or added sugar and well the one at Starbuck's I am sure has tons of both. These rock! Soooo yummy.

Shelly's Blueberry Oat Bars

1/4 cup Raw Almonds, ground
1/2 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
1/4 cup Soy Flour (7 g. of protein per 1/4 cup)
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used Caramel)
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
dash of Salt
1/3 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans & Walnuts)
1/4 cup Dried Fruit (I used Raisins and Unsweetened Dried Cranberries)
10 Sugar Free Chocolate Baking Discs (or 4 miniature bars), chopped

Preheat oven to 350. In a mini food processor whiz almonds, 1/4 cup of the oats, soy flour, 1 scoop of the protein powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt till fine. *Add Torani syrup and whiz again. In a separate dish beat egg and almond butter together. Combine both. Add additional scoop of protein, the other 1/4 cup of oats, nuts, fruit and chocolate pieces. Spread 3/4 of the oatmeal batter into a parchment paper lined Pyrex dish (8x7).


Spread with blueberry filling over oat base. Drop plops of the remaining oatmeal batter on top of blueberries. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into bars.


Blueberry Filling

1 cup Fresh Blueberries
1 teaspoon Water
2 teaspoons Corn Starch
2 teaspoons Sugar Free Vanilla Torani Syrup

Heat blueberries and water on low till blueberries begin to burst. You can help them along by smooshing (is that a word?) them. Mix Torani and corn starch together and set aside. When the are all smooshed and warm add the Torani/starch mixture. Stir for 30 seconds and remove from heat.


Cooking notes: If you've made the cookies before you'll note I took the vanilla extract out of the cookie batter because I used SF Vanilla Torani in the blueberries and I didn't want to overpower the vanilla flavor and the cooking temperature and time is different. Also when making the oatmeal batter *be sure to add the Torani syrup to the dry ingredients.


Speaking of Mum we had a nice Mother's Day at the beach. We walked for miles and miles. We came home and I crashed but she was still going strong. How's that work?!? I bought her some flowers at the Farmer's Market and her usual goodies Austrian Fruit Bread and Scones. She is a carb-o-holic and loves her pastries but she thankfully has the metabolism of a 14 year old boy (I did not inherit this.) We hung out at our favorite people watching Starbuck's. I still owe her a seafood dinner. We were planning on going on Sunday but she decided we'd do it another day.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bacon Cheeseburger Bites

Something for when you are craving a drive-thru run for a Bacon Double Cheeseburger (that would be Doo-bell Chez-bear-gare if you're in France.) They seriously taste like the real deal.


Shelly's Bacon Cheeseburger Bites

1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
2 Green Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
5 Eggs
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Bruschetta Sauce, drained (I used Trader Joe's but Contadina or Buitoni make one too)
a few twists of Black Pepper
1/2 cup Crumbled Browned Ground Beef
4 slices Cooked Bacon, crumbled

Cook bacon and crumble. Set aside. Brown ground beef, drain any fats. Set aside. Saute onions till golden. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Mix all ingredients together. Be sure meat & onions have cooled slightly before adding eggs. Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Makes 24.

These are a perfect weight loss surgery friendly appetizer or on-the-go breakfast. I served them for dinner with a version of my Italian Bean Salad (I added some leftover grilled zucchini) but they would be especially burger joint-ish served with a Green Salad with Thousand Island Dressing.

It's also a very kid friendly meal. These beat the Unhappy Meal hands down.

They heat up very well. I keep them in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in the toaster oven or regular oven. They freeze well just defrost in the fridge then heat up. They won't be around that long though trust me.





Other Eggface "Bites" (yeah I'm a little obsessive LOL):

Shelly's Beef Fiesta Bites
Shelly's Italian Crab Bites
Shelly's Breakfast Bites
Shelly's Pizza Bites
Shelly's Bacon & Swiss Bites
Shelly's Stuffed Pizza Bites
Shelly's Spamtastic Bites with Tropical Dipping Sauce


Shelly's Spinach & Feta Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Artichoke Florentine Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Zucchini Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Mushroom Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Bruschetta Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Southwest Bites (vegetarian)

Kid approved.

Fellow blogger pal Donna and her little cutie Cassie made my Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies and well hey you couldn't ask for a better review than this...



and TY for the shout out Melting Mama.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Who needs pasta? Pasta-less Manicotti

Seriously who needs pasta??? With this you get the same flavor, it's healthier, and you aren't left with that I just ate a half a house feeling you get from the useless white carbs of pasta.


Shelly's Zucchini Roll-ups (aka Pasta-less Manicotti)

5-6 Medium Zucchini or Summer Squash, sliced thin lengthwise
4 oz. Whipped Cream Cheese
4 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
12 oz. Tomato Sauce (I used jarred Rao's Tomato Basil)
1/2 cup Shredded Italian Cheese (I used Parmesan & Mozzarella Blend)
Olive Oil

Grill the zucchini on the BBQ (or Foreman Grill) till bendy and tender. Cover and let sit till cool enough to handle.


Mix cream cheese and ricotta cheese together with seasonings. Pour about 1/2 of the sauce into the bottom of a Pyrex casserole dish. Spread each piece of zucchini with a tablespoon or so of filling. Roll them up like a pinwheel. Place on sauce base.


Spoon remaining sauce on each assembled zucchini roll and top with shredded cheese.


Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (covered with foil.) Remove foil for last 10 minutes of cooking.


This dish is for my OH pal Susan C. who had something similar to it at a restaurant and inspired me to come up with this dish. I hope you enjoy my rendition.

More Eggface Pasta-less Alternatives:

Shelly's Grilled Veggie Lasagna
Shelly's Pesto Chicken and Veggies
Shelly's Chicken Cacciatore with Beans

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Shelly's Test (and retest) Kitchen

I was jonesing for a chewy, chunky oatmeal raisin cookie the other day. It's taken a few batches but I really like this version.

Version 1: Edible but not enough moisture.
Version 2: Edible but too much moisture.
Version 3: Very good but needs a slight cooking time & temperature adjustment.
Version 4: I'm a happy camper but not 100% blogworthy yet.
Version 5: Mmmm. Oh yeah. I heart these.

Anyone want to come over and eat a bunch of cookies with me?

My sister Sandra (post op RNY 4 years) and her BF David (non-op major baked goods lover) loved them and totally could not believe they had no white flour and no added sugar.

Speaking of my sis... she came over this weekend and we never picked up the camera. Sorry guys. It was a little overcast for the beach so we ended up eating outside on the patio (Stuffed Pizza Bites, Italian Bean Salad, the ultimate Fruit Salad with my Farmer's Market booty and these Protein Cookies), BSing and doing a fashion show... my sis inherited three huge bags of stuff that didn't fit me. Warning to new post-ops when you start losing weight don't buy a lot of clothing. Well at least my sister scored a new summer wardrobe and I have more room in my closet.


Shelly's Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies

1/4 cup Raw Almonds, ground
1/2 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
1/4 cup Soy Flour (7 g. of protein per 1/4 cup)
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used Caramel)
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
dash of Salt
1/3 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans & Walnuts)
1/4 cup Dried Fruit (I used Raisins and Unsweetened Dried Cranberries)
10 Sugar Free Chocolate Baking Discs (or 4 miniature bars), chopped

Preheat oven to 325. In a mini food processor whiz almonds, 1/4 cup of the oats, soy flour, 1 scoop of the protein powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt till fine. Add Torani syrup and whiz again*. In a separate dish beat egg, almond butter and vanilla together. Combine both. Add additional scoop of protein, the other 1/4 cup of oats, nuts, fruit and chocolate pieces.


Scoop with a small ice cream scoop onto a parchment paper lined baking tray. Pat down slightly.


Bake at 325 for 9 minutes exactly. They will look light on the top but trust me they are done. Soy flour browns quickly. Remove from tray immediately and cool on a wire rack. Makes 16. *Be sure to add the Torani syrup to the dry ingredients.




If you don't like raisins: do all cranberries or diced dried fruit instead.
If you don't like nuts: you are SOL (shit out of luck) with this one.

These have been a yummy breakfast the past few days. Great to toss in a Ziploc and go.

I rarely give nutrition info because frankly I'm not a Nut (at least that kind of nut) and brands, ingredients, portion size will vary changing the tally greatly but here's the stats based on the products I used: 83 calories a piece, 5g. fat, 5g. carbs, 5g. protein seems only fitting it took 5 batches to get it right ;) Want to calculate your version (or any other recipe): go to fitday.com, type in the individual ingredients and divide the totals by the # of servings you get from the recipe.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

If you like Pina Coladas...

And getting caught in the rain. Sorry I couldn't resist.

Remember my Coconut Cream Pie Pudding from week or so ago? Well I gilded the lily a bit.

OMG!?! This is sooooo good. A weight loss surgery friendly easy summer dessert that tastes exactly like a pina colada.

All I need now is the paper parasol... and the exotic locale... and the cabana boy.


Shelly's Pina Colada Pudding

1 Vanilla Sugar Free Pudding Cup
1 teaspoon Sugar Free Coconut Torani Syrup
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Coconut, toasted
1/4 cup Pineapple, drained crushed (I used fresh diced fine)
1 teaspoon Malibu Rum or Davinci SF Malibu Rum Syrup
1 Maraschino Cherry

Toast unsweetened coconut (available at health food stores, organic markets or online) on a cookie sheet in a 350 oven for a few minutes till golden stirring every minute or so. Set aside to cool. Store cooled, extra coconut in a Tupperware. Unsweetened coconut tastes so much better and waaaaay more coco-nutty then that sweetened shredded stuff we are used to.

Mix SF syrup and toasted coconut into pudding cup. Empty into a glass parfait dish. Mix pineapple and rum together. I used the real deal but Davinci makes a Sugar Free Malibu Rum flavored syrup. Spoon the rum macerated pineapple on top of pudding. Sprinkle with additional toasted coconut and top with a maraschino cherry.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

My Cinco de Mayo menu tonight consists of Crock Pot Carnitas topped with Guacamole & Cheese, Calabacitas


and this sweet finish...


Shelly's Banana Quesadillas

1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 oz. Cream Cheese. softened
1 Tablespoon SF Torani Syrup (I used SF Caramel)
1 ripe Banana, mashed
dash of cinnamon
2 Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortillas
1 teaspoon Butter (or non-stick spray)
2 Tablespoons SF Caramel sauce, warmed (I used Smucker's)

In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cheeses until smooth. Add the syrup, banana, and a dash of cinnamon and continue to beat until smooth. Spread the filling over half of each tortilla. Fold the other half over the filling and press slightly. Refrigerate until the filling sets, about 15 minutes. Spread butter on each quesadilla (or spray pan with non stick oil spray) and grill until golden. Nuke the caramel sauce for 25 seconds. Drizzle the warm caramel over each quesadilla. Makes 2.

This filling is great to eat as is but it takes on a whole new life warmed. It's like stuffed french toast meets crepe meets flan.


FYI: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day (that's September 16th) it actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla, a victory over the French. They don't really celebrate it in Mexico. Americans have made it a celebration of Mexican culture and food (and cerveza.)

I owe my life to Mexico (awesome Mexican doctors, nurses, and hospitals) so any chance I get to celebrate that country and it's people I will. I so need a vacation in Mexico that does not involve stitches and drains.

Here's a little known fact about me: one of my dreams is to go to the Mariachi festival held each year in Guadalajara. I love Mariachi. Anyone want to join me?. The first round of tequila shots are on me.

More Eggface Mexican favorites:

Shelly's Beef Fiesta Bites
Shelly's Mexican Lasagna
Shelly's Chili Relleno Casserole with Chicken
Taco Salad

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Typical Saturday in the 'hood

Well it's Saturday so as usual I went to the Farmer's Market. I did buy a little more than usual because my sister Sandra and her BF David are in town and coming over manana.

My sis is a weight loss surgery post-op too. She and my niece Melissa (her daughter) were actually my guinea pigs and had RNY 2 years before I did. They are both about 4 years post-op now. When I saw all went relatively well for them (my niece had some issues with puking and a hernia repair) I decided I'd get my chitlins rearranged too ;). My sister is 16 years older than me. Melissa and I are only 3 years apart.

Funny story...

When I was 3 years old and my sister was pregnant with my niece. Family and friends started calling me "Aunt Shelly." They would come up to me and say things like, "Aren't you excited to be an Aunt?" and "You know you are going to be an Aunt soon." Finally one day I had enough. I burst into tears, flopped down on the floor and screamed, "I don't want to be an Aunt!!! I want to be a ladybug."

This explains a lot huh? LOL ;)

I bought some beautiful fruit at the FM today. I'm making a huge fruit salad tomorrow for dessert. I picked up strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates, a seedless watermelon and when I went to Trader Joes's I bought a Maui Gold pineapple.

Our plans are still up in the air. If it's a really nice day we'll go picnic at the beach so the menu will be Italian Bean Salad, Various Antipasto items (cold cuts, cheeses, olives, pickles), Fruit Salad, Italian Cracker Jack, and some Protein Cookies (I'll be posting the recipe for these soon). If we stay home... instead of the Antipasto I'll make a batch of my Stuffed Pizza Bites.

Sandra hasn't seen me in a few sizes or post plastics so it should be fun. She had a tummy tuck and breast lift and I haven't seen that. We're the Franken Barbie sisters. I'll be sure to take pics.

So after the FM, Trader Joe's, Starbuck's and a few other stops I spent the rest of today working on projects and made this yummy dish for lunch...


Shelly's Stuffed Zucchini (Zucchini Ripieni)

3 medium Zucchini (8" or so), makes 6 halves
1/2 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
2-3 Green Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Italian Sausage Links, removed from casing
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons additional grated Parmesan
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons Wheat Germ

1 teaspoon Salt for boiling
Water

Bring water to a boil. Cut the stem end off the zucchini. Simmer the zucchini in salted water (enough to cover) for 7 minutes. Saute onions till golden. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove sausage* from casings, crumble and brown. Set aside to cool. Beat egg and mix in parmesan, wheat germ, cooled sausage and veggies. Using tongs, gently transfer the squash to a cutting board. Cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the flesh. Chop the flesh and add it to the bowl with the other ingredients. Fill the empty zucchini shells with the mixture. Sprinkle with the additional parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden.

*You can also use ground beef or turkey but if you do throw in some seasonings like fennel, basil, oregano, parsley.

This was a great light lunch. I had it on it's own but you could add a nice green salad. I'm going to have leftovers tomorrow for breakfast with scrambled egg.


Highlights of the day:

* Standing in the Farmer's Market parking lot eating unwashed strawberries with the sunshine of this awesome 80 degree Spring day warming my back.

* My kitty Rose gives the above dish 2 paws up... she liked everything but the zucchini.

* Interesting people and dog watching while sitting outside Starbuck's.

Listening to: Jack Johnson "Better Together"