Another Day, Another Rodeo

Another food rodeo, that is! That's right -- the Muffin Chick is bringing you yet another exciting food rodeo, complete with vicarious foodie chills, thrills, and spills. Not only that, but this is a special birthday edition! In honor of my last year as in the mid-twenties demographic, behold the contents of my birthday belly.


I started out the day with an out-of-the-ordinary breakfast. Normally I eat yogurt with Kashi Go Lean! cereal, mixed frozen berries, a sliced banana, and some tea. On Thursday morning, however, I decided to shake things up a little. I had two Kashi blueberry waffles with sugar-free maple syrup. Pureed pumpkin with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top -- on of my favorite foods -- garnished the waffles. I also tried a recipe for grilled peaches, adapting it a little to make up some delicious skillet peaches. I could leave the cream cheese out next time, but the cinnamon and honey carmelized over the warm fruit tasted amazing! (Find my adapted recipe at the bottom of this post.) I also finished up some non-fat pistachio pudding for no other reason than a) the meal needed a little something more nutrition-wise, and b) the pudding had already been languishing in the fridge for close to a week. This meal was a yummy and special start to the day!


On the way to work, I swung by The Loose Caboose coffee stand for a twelve ounce nonfat double shot latte. Another treat-y item that gave me a boost of both calcium and energy. Upon arriving at work, I headed down to the teacher's lounge for the birthday treats that waited there. One of my lovely coworkers had brought a huge Costco sheet cake as well as the most delicious, melt-in-your mouth cantaloupe. I'm not a fan of cantaloupe under usual circumstances, but this melon was amazing! Green and purple grapes both made an appearance, as well as pineapple, bagels with cream cheese, a sour cream dip for the fruit, and trail mix. Since I'd already eaten breakfast, I stuck with the fruit and dip, and kept heading back for more melon throughout the day.


I also tried out a new brand of granola bar for my mid-morning snack, as recommended by Jeanna of Eat, Live Run: Pure Protein in chocolate deluxe flavor. Slightly higher in calories and fats than my favored LunaBar, nearly doubled protein content (twenty grams!) makes the exchange seem worthwhile to me. In terms of taste, however, the LunaBar wins out. This choclately bar was very dense, making my hyper aware that I was eating a whopping twenty grams of protein. However, as Jenna mentioned, it did morph into a fudgey taste and texture after a bite or two. Not bad at all, but I still prefer LunaBar's caramel nut brownie or chocolate peppermint flavors.


Lunch with Mr. Bento was another quietly special affair as some more of my favorite foods made an appearance. Breakfast for lunch was the order of the hour what with the "main course" being fat-free vanilla yogurt with frozen berries (blue- and marionberries, to be exact, which had defrosted by lunchtime) and Kashi Go Lean! cereal to sprinkle on top. I also had a salad of romaine, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, roasted beets, and guacamole, which is one of my all-time favorite dips. What could beat nachos topped with avocado, or a burrito garnished by guacamole? It made a great topper for my salad. Finally, I had more balsamic roasted beets all by the themselves, another favorite item that warmed up delectably in the microwave (but are also fantastic cold or at room temperature!).


After work, I shacked up in Break Espresso, one of my favored coffee haunts, with a sugar-free caramel Italian soda and my computer for a little blogging. Aren't I dedicated Muffin Chick to be able to get a post to you on my birthday? To tell the truth, I find blogging very soothing, especially when the smell of espresso is involved, so it was a very relaxing time.


About that time, my stomach started rumbling and grumbling. You know what that means -- birthday dinner time! I was craving sweet potato fries from my beloved Hob Nob restaurant, but unfortunately that cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch. However, the Iron Horse also serves sweet potato fries, so the Best Husband Ever and I headed there for dinner. He ordered a regular burger and fries while I got a black bean burger topped by extra melty swiss and (I think) cheddar jack and some sort of sauce that was somewhat reminiscent of buffalo chicken. My fries came with a side of spicy chipotle ketchup. I even -- gasp! -- had light honey-flavored beer. I hardly ever drink, so it kind of zonked me a little, but I do enjoy a cold beer with a burger and fries on occasion. The meal as a whole was pretty good, although it did not quite hit the spot like the Hob Nob always does.


What birthday is complete without cake? Mine, apparently, because instead of heading to a bakery the Best Husband Ever and I partook of Big Dipper ice cream. I had a waffle cone with one scoop of vanilla and Reese's and one of white mint Oreo, and he ate a sugar cone with two scoops of vanilla and Reese's. Despite the chill in the air, it was the perfect way to round up the evening! After driving up to the South HIlls to watch the sun set over the city, we then headed home where I had my nightly snack of fat-free cottage cheese with pineapple and dried papaya before snuggling into bed. A satisfying end to a satisfying day, to be sure.

And now, I'll leave you with your own sweet and satisfying finish: a recipe for skillet peaches! Try this as part of breakfast or as a healthy dessert. The recipe can easily be multiplied to make more peaches. And trust me -- you'll want to have second helpings!

Warm Skillet Peaches

1 peach, halved and pitted
1 T honey
2 tsp cinnamon
2 T cream cheese (don't use fat-free, though, or the texture will be funky, which was my mistake)

Cover a skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Once warmed, place the peach halves pit side down on the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Carefully flip the fruit over and spread the honey and cinnamon over the pit side of each half. Fill the nook where the pit used to be with the cream cheese. Return the fruit to the skillet and continue cooking for another 2 minutes, or until the honey begins to caramelize and blacken. Serve immediately as you like it -- as is, over vanilla yogurt, topped with cool-whip, or as a "bowl" for vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

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