Our Lucky Food Week

This was our lucky week in terms of food.We polished off the four remaining nitrate-free hot dogs last night for dinner and even had money in the budget to walk to a local diner (our last remaining evening walk summer to-do spot) for a little treat. I used some vouchers at Tesco to purchase green laundry detergent and all-purpose cleaner (as well as a bottle of wine!), but when I got home I was sure I had at least £10 more lurking around somewhere.

Hmm, what did I buy this week with my food money? Some frozen yogurt and juice? That sure doesn’t add up to £50. But then I found the missing money – I had already stashed £20 in another part of my wallet for our usual dinner out tonight. Yeah! Which means, if I want, I can spend £12 at the farmer’s market on Saturday as long as I’m okay with not having a penny on Sunday. We still have salad greens and Italian sausages hanging around, so we should be okay, but even if I do spend most of that money on farm-fresh eggs and cheese, I’ll probably have at least a little something left over that’s always enough for a box of pasta or a can of beans — and, of course, the eggs!

So the first week, globally, has been a success. I think we lucked out a bit in the sense that I had all this extra lettuce, some leftover hot dogs and that huge pack of orzo, but I’ll take it. Perhaps I’m easing into this Mid-Year’s Resolution. Really, that is FINE with me!

Do you Like Cake Pops?

Cake Pops have gotten quite popular lately.

Are you in on the Cake Pop craze? If you aren’t, you probably don’t even know what they are.

Let me tell you!

I’m not sure if Bakerella is the “inventor” of the cake pop, but she sure made them famous. And my heart goes out to this woman right now because I know she’s had health problems for quite some time, kidney related, just like my nanny, and I believe they’re both in need of transplants…I can’t even imagine what that’s like. Taking a moment to thank God for all my health, happiness and blessings on this beautiful day.

But back to the cake pop! If you’ve been to your local Starbucks, you may have seen them recently sprout up in the pastry case. (I wonder, did they have to pay for the rights to use the term “cake pop”? Does Bakerella own the rights? So interesting, the cake wars. I love how cupcakes are so popular these days too…but I digress.) I, for one, think the cake pop is a great, ingenious creation — hello, how many calories are you saving by having a cake pop instead of a whole freaking SLICE of cake?! If you aren’t familiar and didn’t click on the link above, a cake pop is just what it sounds like — a little sucker-style piece of cake on a stick — round and ready to just bite off. You don’t suck on it, of course; you eat it, but it’s literally a one- to two-bite delicious little novelty that can seriously help your diet if you’re used to ordering a piece of marble loaf (ahem, hubby) or scone at a place like Starbucks and can wean yourself down to just a couple awesomely heavenly, delicious bites.

Dessert “shots” are popular at restaurants nowadays too, and I applaud the trend. Any way in which we can shave down our intake of sugary carbs is a positive step in the right direction, at least in my mind. If it wasn’t my son’s FIRST BIRTHDAY next Monday, I might just have to make it a cake pop party — but we gotta get the shot of him with cake and frosting all over his face, right?! So maybe next year. If I tempt him with enough cake pops leading up to the second birthday, maybe he’ll be satisfied with just a couple bites instead of another monstrous mess.

Try one today!

Apple Crisp Anyone?

Apple Crisp is a very nice dessert to have with your dinner.It’s just the husband and I for dinner and dessert tonight, so I need to be creative when cooking at times. I love cooking and baking, but let’s be honest, leftovers are only cute once, maybe twice after the initial bite. Large portions of dessert are challenging because, well, if sweets are left in this house, they will be consumed by me; and my waistline would start to resent that.

I’ve been scouring the net for single serving portions of desserts.  I’ve stumbled on some interesting ideas. Once, I found a single serving cake in a mug, but it turned out to be a complete failure. It was absolutely disgusting. I guess cake is designed to be made in all of its full serving glory.

Last week, while planning dinner, I decided that I needed a recipe to use up the last two granny smith apples that I had in the fridge. My husband loves apple crisp. In fact it’s his signature dessert and highly requested when we have folks over. But since it was just the two of us, I decided to try a recipe I found here and test it out. I made a few modifications, but in essence kept the same script. Here are the ingredients and what I did.

Ingredients for 2 Servings:

– 2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced  – I used Granny Smith

– 4 tablespoons brown sugar – not packed, loose tablespoons

– 4 tablespoons quick-cooking oats

– 2 tablespoons flour

– 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

– 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

– 2 tablespoons butter

Cooking Directions:

1. Peel apples and slice into cubes. Put in separate bowl and cover with 1 tsp of lemon juice and sprinkle ½ tsp of cinnamon.

2. Make sure butter is at room temp and soft, not melted. Combine with oats, brown sugar cinnamon and flour.

3. Transfer apples to ramekins and cover with oats mixture. Be sure to cover completely with mixture.

4. Bake at 375°F for about 15-20 minutes.

5. Turn broiler on for about 5 minutes until mixture is bubbly (OPTIONAL).

The baking time will depend on your oven. So be sure to watch it. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a proper picture, but trust me it was delicious! Honestly, the end result was delightful. The dessert was the perfect size for just the two of us and I’m sure this will definitely be a go-to dessert in the future!

If you need some ideas for the main course that will work well with this dessert, have a look at this recipe for balsamic chicken strips with tomato. I’m quite confident that the 2 dishes will work well together.