Maple Ham and Cheddar Pinwheels

I recently was asked to bring something to a potluck lunch. Since I still can’t bake in our oven at home, I knew I had to make something I could bake in the office kitchen. Something quick I could prep the night before. So I spent about an hour looking through Pinterest until I came across pinwheels. Most were spinach, but I saw one with lunchmeat ham and cheddar.

I can do better, I thought. So, I bought a ham steak and went to work.


One cup of water, one tablespoon of brown sugar, one tablespoon of white sugar, and half a pound of diced ham steak into a pan and we got ourselves the makings of good food. Not to forget the two tablespoons of maple syrup I dropped into the mix as well. As the kitchen filled with the glorious scent of maple, I rolled out the crescent roll dough and smothered it with shredded cheddar cheese.

Ham mixture all boiled down until it was sticky, then I put that on top of the cheese. 


Nom, nom, nom. If the dough wasn’t raw, I would have ate it just like that.

Rolled up the mixture the long way, wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it stay in the fridge overnight.

The next day I cut it up into one-and-a-half slices, placed them on a baking sheet, and then baked them at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes. Basically until they were golden brown and cooked through. So good. I should have made more.



Livin’ the Life


I truly am blessed to have the people I have in my life. Not only are they kind and amazing people, they think of me when they are going out for the day. Yup, that includes boat rides on a sunny Sunday afternoon.


Yeah, you see that picture of the sailboat? That was taken from the boat. Gotta love it. I’m so grateful to get opportunities like this, especially knowing there are people who will live their whole lives never seeing the ocean, feeling the salty water on their skin, or have the chance to ride along the water.

I ended the day sunburned, yes. But it’s ok.

We even enjoyed lunch while docked up at Newburyport and could watch the people on land staring back at us. A few kids waved, others I could see climbing the trees in the park. One of the snacks we dined on was apples and yogurt dip. Delicious, light, and perfect on a hot day.


All we did to make the dip was gather up some Faye Total 0% Greek Yogurt, honey, and Reese’s peanut butter chips. Mix about three tablespoons of honey into the yogurt and a quarter cup of chips. Mix. If you feel it needs more chips or honey, go ahead and add it in. There is no wrong way to make this. It’s all about what tastes good to you! And it’s portable, so it’s perfect for a boat ride. Yum!

Salads, Can’t Live Without Them


Some people might think I’m crazy for overhauling my eating habits.

Condiment smeared, cheese covered sandwich for lunch? No, I’d rather have a salad.

Chicken carbonara with extra bacon? No, salad.

Ice cream sundae? No, I’d rather … wait, I’m not that crazy!

To be honest, I have started saying no to carb-filled food. Instead of two tacos, I’ll have one taco and then put what I would have stuffed in a second shell on the side. The bread I buy now gets checked for calories and fiber before I purchase it. Who would have thought I’d ever be this finicky.

When I was college I used to make huge batches of rice in this gnarly old rice cooker we found at the campus swap meet. It was kinda dingy and needed to be put down, but I couldn’t help myself. It was expected that one day my roomies would come home to a pile of rice on the floor, the ever mounting idea that I would turn into what I was eating.

I didn’t turn into rice. My waistline just ballooned.

So now, when I think of rice, bread, tortilla shells, and anything that could possibly alter my caloric intake for the day, I monitor my other meals. Like lunch the other day, stopped at the supermarket, bought a few ounces of peppered flank steak, a Roma tomato, cucumber, and fresh salad mix. Cooked up the steak on the office stove, diced up those tomatoes very fine (same with the cucumber) and topped it a light splash of Ken’s Light Peppercorn and Parmesan dressing.

Delicious, carb-free, and I could eat that for days!

Ham and Spuds


When I was little, I remember making ham steaks with maple syrup. It sweetened up the meat and was perfect with eggs at breakfast. Add pancakes and you’re basically set for a food comma. Now that I’m older (and watching what I eat), I’d love to have ham smothered in maple syrup, but I know better. So I did the next best thing, I cut out the syrup (ok, maybe that wasn’t the best part) and bought a ham steak… and a potato… and tossed in some butter. Hmmm the butter may be just as bad as the syrup…


Might have ended up with something completely different than those maple syrup ham steaks with eggs, but it’s keeping me thinking that maybe I’ll reevaluate that in the near future.

So in the end, I heated the potato in the microwave for 5 minutes (or until it was soft enough to break it down with a fork). In a saucepan heated one tablespoon of butter with 2 ounces of diced ham steak. Added a dash of ground black pepper and a dash of garlic salt and cook until ham is browned. Fold into mashed red potato and enjoy. Might want to add a half a tablespoon of butter if it’s dry.


Buffalo Chicken Meatballs


I think my roommate is in love with me. Let me back up, it was momentary love. And it might have just been the fact that he was actually in love with the smell of Frank’s Red Hot wafting out of the kitchen and into the hallway. I totally respect a Frank’s Red Hot love.

You see, a few weeks ago I tried to make Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, but failed miserably when I used cayenne instead of hot sauce. Yeah, you can’t just substitute hot sauce out, it’s integral.  Anyway, I thought I’d give it another go. This time going right for the jugular. I caved and went to the store to buy Frank’s (my favorite hot sauce and go to condiment). What happened after is a secret between me and you, my blogger buddies. You see, I needed someone there to stop me. Someone to say, “no, don’t eat that.” Because they didn’t make it through the night. I actually ate the entire batch in one sitting (with the exception of one my roommate ate). Sickening, I know. But I’ll be honest, they were delicious.

If you’d like to fall down the tragic path I did, please follow my lead:

1 pound of ground chicken
1/4 cup of Frank’s Red Hot sauce
1/4 cup of pre-cooked couscous
1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Cooking spray

Heat a skillet on medium heat. While that is getting warm, mix chicken, hot sauce, couscous, and cheddar cheese together in a bowl until everything is evenly mixed together.

Spray pan with cooking spray. Roll meat mixture into one-inch balls. Place balls in pan and cook through. That’s about 4 minutes a side, rotating them until the outsides are brown and the insides are cooked. Be aware, though, if you over stuff your pan, your chicken won’t brown because there will be too much moisture in the pan.


Tomato and Spinach Scramble


Full of vitamins, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and keeping my pant size tiny. Hello, spinach.

I’m learning to love this green leafy vegetable. No, I’m not eating a plateful of cooked spinach for dinner. Although, that did happen once when I was living in France. Host mom invited me to eat lunch with the family one day (they only were required to feed me breakfast and dinner) and when I said yes, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Turns out a plateful of spinach apparently looks appetizing to some people. She did offer up some cheese for me to sprinkle on top, but that didn’t put a dent into the overwhelming amount of greens I had eaten.

Anyway, on a more modern note, I started tossing it into my breakfast. A little olive oil heated in the pan, then tossed in some diced tomato and spinach. Cooked it up, added some garlic powder and let it saute for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to break down. Add in two eggs, scramble and cook until eggs are done.

Quick, easy breakfast. And not too much spinach.


300 Plus Miles And Avocado To Go

It’s been a few months since I really sat down and added up how many miles I’ve run this year. I keep a calendar in my room. Every day I write down how many miles I ran that day, even if it’s nothing. My goal, to remind everyone, is to run 365 miles in 2013. That’s a mile a day, which I think is a reasonable goal. It gives me time to take days off and other days to kick it into gear.

So back to the point. I sat down and added up how many miles I’ve run so far. I completely shocked myself. I’ve run 302 miles and there is still four months left! Totally doable, especially when I have two more 5Ks to go. Incredible, since a year ago I would never have been able run on a regular basis. So excited!

Seeing that has kept me on track with my healthy living goal. Meaning for lunch yesterday I made myself a 550 calorie lunch that packed a ton of vitamins, protein, healthy fats, and a bit of carbs. It may seem like a lot, but when you take into account how full it kept me, I’m not complaining. Also, came in under $5 and left me with half a tomato and 2/3 of an avocado.


Cut the bagel in half, topped each half with even amounts of turkey, then topped one half with sliced tomato, the other half with sliced avocado. A little mozzarella, into the broiler and you’ve got yourself a very filling sandwich. Delicious: