Friday Five: Now we’re cookin’ with gas (and Spam)!

Happy Friday, everyone, and BOY, have I got a busy day ahead of me! I’m doing a LOT of cooking for two big events this weekend. First, tomorrow (Saturday), Mr. 50by60’s side of the family will be getting together to celebrate a bunch of birthdays.

I should explain that Mr. 50by60 is one of SEVEN brothers!

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So naturally, his mom feels it’s over her pay grade to remember all their birthdays. She likes to just get ’em all over with at once, and I can’t say I blame her! Anyway, MY mom gave me her patented recipe for “Spam loaf,” so that’ll be my contribution to the mix, sort of from one mother-in-law to another.

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Second, we’ve got ANOTHER big church potluck on Sunday! And those of you who know me and/or who’ve read this blog before know that means only one thing:

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So here ya go, for this week’s Friday Five: four recipes I’m gonna make today, plus one variation you might want to try – enjoy!

  1. Mom’s Spam Loaf!
    spam.png
  2. Aunt Chrissy’s Key Lime Pie! It’s the best, trust me!!
    mmm key.jpg
  3. And you might want to try this little variation on #2: Orange Pie. I made it a couple of years ago and it turned out pretty good. Basically, it’s EXACTLY the same recipe as my Key Lime Pie, except you MUST add sugar, like maybe half a cup per pie. Also, taste the mixture before you bake it, ’cause fresh unsweetened oranges are almost as tart as lemons, in case you hadn’t noticed.
    orange
  4. Key Lime Pie (low calorie)
    I’ve actually seen a few different versions of this, but the main difference seems to be that different sites recommend specific brands for the pie crust, the yogurt, or the gelatin. However, the BASIC recipe is the same. This Weight Watchers version from geniuskitchen.com is as simple as it gets:

  5. Aunt Chrissy’s Parmesan Crisps — mmm good!
    parmesan.jpgmmm

And there you go, five more or less great recipes you can try — and save!

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Let me know if you make any of these yourself, and send me a picture — I’ll put it in a future post!

Thanks, everyone! Hope YOUR weekend has some family, food, and/or fun! See you Monday for the post-potluck weigh-in!

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Friday Five: 4 Food Ideas for your Hotel Fridge, and One to Avoid

Hey, everyone – this’ll be my first Friday Five written entirely on my smartphone, with my travel-weary thumbs, so yay for me! I assume you’ll forgive the occasional, inevitable tpyo.

Anyhoo, if you do any travelling, and you’re counting calories, you might want to stock up on these. Each has less than 100 calories, and are really good for when you don’t feel like putting $5 worth of change in the hotel vending machine for some salty chips that have 400 calories per bag and aren’t good for you anyway.

1. Buddig Deli Slices – prepackaged turkey, beef, ham, or chicken. 9 slices per package, 90 calories per bag. Sure, they’re frowned on by health & wellness gurus, but since I’m not one of those, who cares?

2. String cheese. Lots of different brands to choose from here, some better than others. My personal fave is Frigos Light CheeseHeads. They’re only 50 calories each, and they’re super stringy, which makes them load of fun to nosh on while reading a good book by the pool.

3. Next in line is good ol’ reliable Yoplait Light Yogurt. There are lots of good flavors to choose from, and grocery stores often give great discounts if you buy in bulk. My personal fave flavors are Cherry, Vanilla, and Key Lime, mmm! Nice for breakfast in the room when you don’t feel like trudging down to the flimsy hotel continental breakfast.

4. Diet soda. Oh yeah, it’s bad for you. Pure poison. Dieters beware, am I right? Well, tough turkeys. I know I’m going to want some at some point, and again, why pay extra at the vending machine which doesn’t even work half the time? Buy your own and savor the illicit fizz.

5. Here’s one thing I DON’T recommend you stock up on, or at least don’t buy more than one: frozen dinners, like this:

Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice to keep a few on hand just in case you don’t feel like leaving the room at all? (Because who doesn’t love staying in hotel rooms for days on end, right?) Here’s the problem: where do you PUT ’em? Check out the fridge in my room:

Notice anything missing? Yeah, that’s right: no freezer compartment. And the thing is, I’ve stayed at this particular hotel about a thousand million times over the last 20 years, and you just can’t predict whether a fridge will have a freezer or not. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. It’s the luck of the draw.

And even when they do, it’s just that tiny little shelfie thing that you can’t fit more than one  frozen dinner into, and don’t even think about trying to shove any ice cream in there too. 

Let’s face it: Hotel fridges kinda suck. So take my advice, and stick to the little refrigerator-type snacks. They’ll keep better, and they’re better for you.

And the whole experience will just make you that much happier to get home, so it’s all good.

How about you? What are some of your favorite – or not-so-favorite – road foods?

(And today’s unused pingback is: Orange!)

Friday Five – Let the Holiday Food Fest(s) Begin!

  1. Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you’re looking forward to a perfectly scintillating First Weekend of October! At my little church, we’re looking forward to our annual Parish Family Festival, which basically means FOOD FOOD FOOD! Yours truly will be baking not one, not two, but THREE of her fantabulous Key Lime pies tomorrow, and they will NOT be “low calorie” or “healthy” – they will be DELICIOUS!!

    key lime

  2. And of course, that means it’s the start of the dreaded Holiday Food Season! As us dieters are only too well aware, there’s a HUGE wave of food temptations heading our way over the next three months.

    All Hallows Eve isn’t as big an issue for me as it used to be, thanks to a brainstorm I had a few years ago (when buying candy for trick or treaters, ONLY buy candy you absolutely HATE, so you won’t be tempted to scarf it all down yourself).

    Thanksgiving is a little more problematic due to the turkey, dressing, and of course, GRAVY (my ancient nemesis!) flowing like a river through the whole works.

    Then, of course, there’s the Birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ*, which translates into all sorts of delectable sweeties, for days and days and days and…

    holidays.jpg

    It’ll be tough, but hang in there – we’ll get through it together!

    (By the way, I know some of you may celebrate some other holidays – Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, etc. – and that’s fine! This isn’t a religious blog. But I’m all about the Christmas stuff, so you’ll just have to put up with it. Sorry! Anyway, I understand from informed sources that those holidays have their own sets of food issues as well. Dieting is an ecumenical issue!)

  3. Is anyone else watching Seth MacFarlane’s witty sci-fi series, “The Orville”? Last night’s episode featured one of the alien characters, in a fit of depression, sitting in front of the TV watching “The Sound of Music” while scarfing down a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream, which he’d obtained by asking the computer what people did when they were depressed. How about you? What’s your comfort food? Maybe in future posts, we’ll explore some lower-calorie options for those days when you just… can’t…

    orville

  4. Man, it’s hard to come up with five things, first thing in the morning. Of course, I haven’t had my coffee yet. I did get up early to let the cats out, let the cats back in, feed the cats, give the cats their morning treats, clean out the cats’ litter boxes, cats cats cats cats cats…

    cat food bowl

  5. Don’t tell anyone, but there aren’t any actual “Key Limes” in my Key Lime pie. They’re just plain ol’ limes. That’s because I zest them myself, and regular-size limes are a LOT easier to scrape than those tiny itsy bitsy ones. Yet I still call it “Key Lime Pie.” What’s wrong with me?

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