Recipe: No-bake Breakfast Cookies

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I recently made the following no-bake breakfast cookies, but I had to substitute honey with Log Cabin Syrup and flaked cereal with Cheerios. They turned out awesome (my serving size ended up being eight).

Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey (or light corn syrup)
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk (instant)
1/2 cup raisins (or chopped dates)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 cups flaked cereal (coarsely crushed)

Directions:

  1. Heat honey and peanut butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until blended.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in dry milk.
  3. Fold in cereal and raisins. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto waxed paper to form mounds.
  4. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Store in refrigerator.

Nutritional values per serving (makes about 12 servings): 160 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 26 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 110 mg sodium.

Originally posted by Montana State University Extension, Nutrition Education Programs via What's Cooking, USDA Mixing Bowl


Recipe - Healthy Corn Dogs

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A while back (just after Christmas) Carson and I made our own version of the following corn dog recipe from the Skinny Fork called "Baked Whole Wheat Corn Dogs.".

We basically kept the main parts of the recipe but didn't do the following:

  • No Brown Sugar
  • No Paprika
  • No Cayenne
  • No Chili Powder
  • No Poppy Seeds

We also did half the recipe getting 6 turkey corn dogs and not the 10-12 turkey corn dogs if you follow the recipe.

They turned out great, but they did need a good helping of either ketchup or mustard depending on your taste.  Making them very plain and then seeing what we could do with them in the future was our plan.  

I think adding the spices/flavors would be good for anyone without picky kids. I also think these would be great with Hebrew National hot dogs or a pre-cooked sausage.

By the way, the picture above was the 2nd picture.  Here is the 1st picture with an expert photo bomb from Conrad --

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Recipe - Steve's Veggie Pancakes

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There was a recent Zucchini Pancakes recipe in the Union Tribune.  I thought it sounded good, but I figured I might be able to make it simpler with more basic ingredients.

So I got the following: 1 yellow squash, 1 Italian squash, 1 yellow onion, 1 sweet potato, and 1 jalapeno.  I then grated them all into a big bowl and mixed them all together (aka the 'veggie mix'). 

Then I scooped 3 cups of the veggie mix into another mixing bowl, added 1 egg, and a half-cup of Italian bread crumbs.

I then cooked these in a skillet (high heat) until golden brown on both sides using standard canola oil.  This made about 7 pancakes and they turned out great. 

I then took what was left over in the grated bowl (~3 cups) and made another batch.  I cooked these using Kirkland Canola Oil Cooking Spray.  I think these actually turned out better and probably slightly more healthier.

I think the Jalapeno is the key special ingredient that added the majority of the flavor that the original recipe had by adding several spices.  I'm sure you could tweak the flavor based on what your tastes are - garlic, salt & pepper, more onion, etc.


Making Coffee Better - Some Recommendations ...

Back in late 2007, Kevin Devin and I traded some emails and resources related to coffee storage recommendations and I summarized them in this blog post.

Now a recent article was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune written by Jennifer Goodwin entitled "How do I brew a great cup of coffee?"

The article is worth a read if you have the time, but here is my main next step for getting the best cup of coffee -- "brew between 175 to 190 degrees" with the brew time between "3.5 to 4.5 minutes."

The recommendations to do this include (links to Amazon):

I think I'm going to start with the French Press option and see what difference I can notice.


Tracking What You Eat - Lose What You Want

In the blog world, there have been a lot of posts recently from folks like Jason Calacanis on their weight loss successes and recommendations.

I have some similar experience that I'd like to share. Even with all the exercise I do, I still have to monitor my overall calorie intake and expenditures if I want to maintain what I consider a healthy weight. 

The idea I've been following to maintain my weight is by taking in no more calories in a week then I use up. 

In this system, if you want to loose weight then you must have a deficit of calories.  The higher the deficit the more weight one can lose.  It is my experience that you can achieve deficits by eating healthy portions of the right types of food and exercise.

The tool I have been using to do this is Diet Organizer for Windows.   It helps with tracking meals, the calorie counts, statistics, and logging.  The interface is pretty straight forward and simple, but it does have some great power features like creating template meals or reoccurring food choices.  The data entry process  has been streamlined as much as possible to make it fast and easy.

I have used this twice over the last couple of years to lose 10-15 pounds.  The most recent time was last spring when my weight went up to 189.  I was able to get down to 176 in less than 10 weeks eating healthy foods in quantities that made better sense. 

Since then I've been using it periodically to track a week at a time to make sure I am still in the approximately zero calorie gain after a week. I have been within plus or minus 3 pounds of 176 since mid-summer so it does help in re-syncing with good eating habits if you follow your overall calorie intake and expenditure.

One clarification, I really only used this tool to focus on overall calories and trying to maintain the recommendation weight/calorie balance  from Diet Organizer based on my body size and age.  You can also dig in deeper with the software to measure types of fats, sugars, and other items.  Each person is different, but I think this tool is flexible enough to support many different types of scenarios.

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or other suggestions.


Coffee Bean Storage Suggestions

Kevin Devin and I have been trading emails on coffee bean (whole or ground) storage options since we are both purchasing some beans from Kevin's brother who lives in Alaska and works at roaster Cafe Del Mundo.

Kevin found this recommendation, which I have summarized to:

  1. Store beans (whole or ground) in an air tight container
  2. Store the air tight container in a cool place like a pantry with no direct sunlight on the container. If pantry gets warm, then use a refrigerator but not a freezer.
  3. The sooner you go from bean to grounds to brewing the better.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Other opinions?


Christmas Party Invite

If you happen to be in the San Diego area on Saturday, December 22, 2007 and are interesting in coming to our annual Christmas Party from 4 p.m. until whenever, then please drop me an email or private message on Twitter.

Kids are totally welcome, and there will be a pony available for the kids to ride from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Jersey Boys San Diego Ticket & Dining Deal

There is a special deal for folks who are interested in attending Jersey Boys* when it comes to San Diego from Oct. 19 - Nov. 11, 2007:

San Diego Cohn Restaurants' Jersey Boys Ticket & Dining Deal!

This is a deal that I was able to get permission for the Jersey Boys Podcast to promote. This is not a paid advertisement.  It is just one fan helping others get a good deal, and see one of the best musicals I've ever seen.

In semi-related news, Frankie Valli discusses his new album "Romancing the 60's" on the Jersey Boys Podcast #049.

* Authentic, Profane,  Jersey Vocabulary is used in this production.


List Of Sites For Food & Dinning Out Reviews

The following is a list of food & dinning out review sites from an article in the Wall Street Journal published on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007:

The other interesting thing from this article was that restaurants are now giving away meals to bloggers in the hopes of a good review. 

So far according to the article it appears to be paying off with good rankings but bloggers that aren't transparent are playing with fire.


Wild Idea Gets Some Traction: 'Personal Movie Place'

A while back on one of my runs I had this 'wild' idea that centered around a geographical social networking site that linked movie buffs to each other by enabling them to come together and watch movies that they were very passionate about in a high-end but personal cinema environment.

One of the high-level use cases was:

Sandra goes online to mypersonalmovieplace.com and signs up to "host" her favorite movie "Blade Runner" on Friday night at 8 p.m.  Other fans of "Blade Runner" in her area would be notified and then they could reserve their spots in the 10-20 seat mini-theater.  Once some minimum is met, the room is reserved, and confirmations are sent out.

This movie establishment could have 10-20 of these mini theaters in standard footprint.  The scheduling and collaboration software would be the core glue to bring it all together.  I by no means think something like this is easy to do, the legal issues are probably enough to make most people go crazy.  But when I talk to folks about it, I always get a generally favorable response.

Well ... this idea has some traction no thanks to me.  Mark Cuban and his excellent team at Landmark Theatres is doing something similar at their $20 million multiplex in West LA near Beverly Hills.

They call their rooms - Living Rooms - where a few dozen people can watch a movie in their own personal screen room with access to bar, food, concierge services, and other treats.  The tickets per seat are $11.  There are also plans for slightly bigger rooms like for 60 people that would rent out for $1500 a show.

There is no indication that you can order up the movie of your choice, but I'm sure that is something that would be doable.

The source of the information for Mark Cuban's effort was from an article in the Union-Tribune published on July 22, 2007.

If you like this idea, please feel free to use it (it is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License).  You do have to compete with the likes of Mark Cuban.  Good luck with that.