The Best Breakfast Sandwich

Since it was requested, I thought I’d throw together a quick little post for my current favorite breakfast sandwich. I wanted to name these “Canadian English American McMuffins” since they contain English muffins, American cheese, and Canadian bacon. I decided that was too many words and probably only funny to me. Instead I give you “The Best Breakfast Sandwich” which is actually the same amount of words but easier to say/type. Whatevs. Enjoy!

The Best Breakfast Sandwich

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package of cranberry english muffins (or any flavor, but while they are still in season I highly recommend cranberry!)
  • 1 package of Canadian bacon
  • 6 slices of white american cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • green onions
  • seasonings of choice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to the low broiler setting. Spray a jumbo muffin tin with cooking spray. You can use regular too, I did the first time, but jumbo makes the perfect size. The regular size makes them a little smaller and not as evenly dispersed across the bread. Sprinkle green onions in the bottom of each cup (mine has 6 cups exactly). Crack an egg in each cup. Sprinkle to taste (just a dash of each) with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic or whatever seasonings you like. Bake eggs until whites are set, they don’t jiggle in the cups, and yolk is still a little runny (or to whatever stage you like your eggs yolks). Watch closely and I stress LOW broiler. I did high first time and high broiler can go from almost ready to crispy quickly.

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While eggs are cooking slice your english muffins in half and toast them. Layer 2 slices of Canadian bacon and 1 piece of cheese on the toasted halves. Fold the corners of the cheese in to keep all the melty goodness in. When eggs are finished, run a knife along the edge to pop them out and layer an egg for each sandwich too. Wrap in a paper towel and then in plastic wrap. When it’s time to eat, remove plastic wrap and heat for 35 -45 seconds.

The Green Smoothie

If I told you that I have several (16 to be exact) posts saved in my drafts folder with titles and pictures already edited with pretty words on them that are only lacking a few words here and there to be post-ready, would you scold me? (Editor’s note: If I had an editor, or was an editor, he or she would probably add some extra commas in that really long sentence you just read. But alas, no editors here.)

Editor’s notes aside, I should be scolded! And not for my lack of comma usage. Words are the easiest part and I need to get some dang words added to those drafts. One day. One day, or not, but hopefully one day, I’ll easily be able to make time to blog regularly again. But until then, I’ll randomly happen upon a draft every few months and throw a little something out in the blogosphere. Or I’ll type a bunch of spastic thoughts in my iPhone Notes and post it (like I’ve done quite a few times amidst the most “recent” blog posts).

Now I will stop speaking so I can share something that almost seems extinct around this space lately… A RECIPE! This smoothie is a regular staple for me, but super on my mind right now because I did a self-imposed made up burger detox last week. I went to Boston the week before for a work conference and had FOUR burgers. I was only there for 5 days y’all. I needed a healthy eating/living restart anyway. So I’m did smoothies for breakfast (a berry detox smoothie I might post sometime soon) and smoothies for lunch (this green smoothie). This week I’m back to just this smoothie for breakfast and healthy packed by me lunches. (I also must confess that I ate two burgers last weekend immediately following the burger detox that ended Friday. And they were delicious!)

I’m going to post the “base” recipe, but depending on your needs you can add extra things to it. And let me tell you, don’t be scared of the green! This smoothie literally tastes like a peanut banana smoothie. My friend Lindsey introduced me to a version of this and I’ve been hooked since. The spinach is tasteless in this and just adds extra needed nutrients! Lately I’ve been adding protein powder (just basic vanilla whey protein). I started working out again and noticed I wasn’t meeting the protein goals My Fitness Pal sets for me. I looked back at old logs and notice I rarely meet my protein goals! So I decided it was time to supplement. I add two scoops for an extra 90 calories and 15 extra grams of protein (I use this one). Previously I added a tablespoon of chia seeds. So like I said, depending on your needs you can tweak this how ever you need to!

THE Green Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: less than 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Calories: 260 for 1 serving (via MyFitnessPal)

INGREDIENTS (IN ORDER OF USAGE):

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons PB2 (note, if you use real peanut butter the calorie count will go up)
  • 2 handfuls of raw spinach

DIRECTIONS:

Easy! Add all ingredients randomly or in listed order and blend. For my cheap Black Friday deal way less fancy than the fancy blenders kind of blender, I’ve found this order of ingredients blends the best. Putting the banana on bottom followed by the liquids and remaining ingredients seems helps it get going and blended smoothly. This makes a large serving, about 30 ounces. I drink the whole thing and just that (with protein powder added like I said previously, which is a total of 350 calories) for breakfast (or lunch if a detox week). If you need to not just drink your breakfast, you could split this with your housemates.

Breakfast Fruit Parfaits

You know my breakfast story. Before the getting healthy journey, I was really bad at eating breakfast! I usually woke up with just enough time (sometimes not) to get ready and run out the door, always skipping breakfast. You know my speech and the speech of every person who eats healthy or TRIES to eat healthy, breakfast is important! Statistically, people who eat breakfast lose more weight and make healthier food choices for the rest of the day.

Allow me to confess though, I still haven’t gotten any better at the making time to sit down and eat breakfast part. I still get up with barely just enough time to get ready. And I used the phrase “get ready” very loosely  My version of getting ready usually involves second day hair in a bun or wet hair in a bun. I’ve gotten a little better at showering at night since boot camp, but buns happen often. So for me, breakfast has to be quick! Unfortunately quick isn’t always healthy! Quick is poptarts or things with too much sugar. The solution? Make ahead things! You know I love make ahead breakfast things! I love make ahead Breakfast Burritos. I’ve made make ahead egg mcmuffin sandwiches. There have been Banana Pancake Muffins. So many batches of Crustless Breakfast Quiche. And oh, the overnight oats! Over Night Oats 1. Overnight Oats 2. Making things ahead the weekend before is the way to go for me! And thus Breakfast Fruit Parfaits were inspired!

This recipe makes eight pint jar sized parfaits. They keep pretty fresh for 5 days, but I used mine even into the next week. They had a little more liquid from the fruit, but I just added in some granola and they tasted fine. The expiration dates for the yogurt and cottage cheese was much later.

Ingredients:

  • 32 ounce container of lowfat or nonfat vanilla yogurt (can use Greek or regular)
  • 32 ounce container of fat free cottage cheese
  • fruit of choice (I used 2 cans of mandarin oranges, 2 cans of sliced peaches, 2 cans of sliced pears, and frozen raspberries, thawed. All the canned fruits were in Splenda, not syrup)
  • slivered almonds, optional
  • low fat granola, optional

Directions: 

I made two of each flavor. I split the raspberries evenly and used one can of fruit per each parfait. Dice peaches and pears into smaller pieces. Layer 1/4 cup of yogurt on the bottom of each mason jar. Add 1/4 cup cottage cheese, smooth down slightly. Add 1/2 – 3/4 of the fruit per parfait in. Add another 1/4 cup of cottage cheese then another 1/4 cup of yogurt. Top with remaining fruit per parfait. Refrigerate, grab, and go! Top with optional slivered almonds or low fat granola right before eating.  

Layered, healthy, filling, hearty, refreshing and yummy! I didn’t get tired of these the entire eight days that I had one!


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Chai Banana Bread Muffins

I love chai. I love it so so much. I call it Christmas in a cup. I love it hot. I love it iced. I love it blended. I love it mixed with pumpkin spice. I LOVE IT! When I saw a Chai Banana Bread recipe, I instantly added it to my list of things to make. However… I’m calling mine Chai Inspired. The original recipe calls for cardamom, which is a chai ingredient, but dang it that stuff is expensive! My bananas were getting too brown before I could justify buying cardamon, so I improvised and they still taste spicy and yummy! I pretty much used her recipe but did a few healthy substitutes using yogurt butter, applesauce and whole wheat flour. I also made have jumbo muffins to break in my jumbo tin I hadn’t used yet and half regular sized. I enjoyed these for breakfast, snack and dessert all week. Or for three days because I ate them too quickly.

Chai Inspired Banana Bread Muffins

Original Recipe from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana, 3-4
  • 1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt – I used vanilla but you could use plain too, or regular nonfat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons Brummel and Brown yogurt butter
  • 1/2 cup egg beaters (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (or whole wheat white flour or all purpose flour, I like whole wheat because of the nuttiness it adds and it’s a power food on WW)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add banana, yogurt, apple sauce, butter and egg beaters to a mixing bowl and  beat until blended. I used, as always, my stand mixer. Add brown sugar and white sugar and beat on medium until just blended. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg together. Add dry mixture a little bit at a time to the banana mixture and beat until just combined. Don’t over mix! Pour into lined muffin tins and bake for 45-60 minutes, checking often to see if a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before frosting.

For icing, beat butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until smooth. Add vanilla extract and beat. With mixer on low add the powdered sugar a little at a time until thick enough to spread. Top muffins with icing and enjoy! I also froze a few of mine because I was going out of town and they defrosted well too! 


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Pumpkiny Overnight Oats

According to the dictionary, pumpkiny is not a word. However, for the glorious return of the awaited Pumpkin Spice Latte, also know as PSL, Starbucks used this word to describe the glorious goodness of the beverage. It was right there on my local Starbucks door in cute sticker art form. I trust Starbucks and their ability to make something a trend. Therefore, I shall adopt pumpkiny as a legit word despite the red squiggly line that tells me it isn’t (and dictionary.com). What does that red squiggly line know anyway?! It always underlines my name. (No offense red squiggly line, I do love and appreciate how you correct my typos.)

Moving on… I don’t have to tell you again how much I love pumpkin things. I probably also don’t have to tell you again how much I love Overnight Oats. We’ve definitely discussed the heck out of pumpkin, and I know I’ve discussed Overnight Oats a bit too. BUT… PUMPKIN OVERNIGHT OATS?! Yep. I’m even more in love. I went a little crazy and came up with four pumpkin versions of this easy make ahead breakfast.

I used my base recipe for each of these concoctions. 1/2 cup oats (non quick cooking), 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt (greek or regular). I bought the 32 ounce container of Dannon Light and Fit from Sam’s this time. It was super cheap for the big container, and I think I liked it a little better than the vanilla greek non fat yogurt.

Base Recipe: 

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (NOT the instant kind)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup non fat vanilla yogurt

Directions: 

Pour yogurt, oats and milk in a pint sized mason jar. Shake it until all ingredients are combined. At this point your jar will be about 3/4ths full.
Add pumpkin combo ingredients (listed below) of choice and stir until combined. Refrigerate overnight. They keep for 4 days.

Each base recipe is 7 points on Weight Watchers. Account for extra points for the different pumpkiny combinations. 

Pumpkin Pie Oats

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of Skinny Pumpkin Fluff (1 package sugar free vanilla pudding, 2 – 8 oz containters of fat free coolwhip, 1 can of pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice – I make this OFTEN to dip apples in. You won’t regret making this to have on hand for healthy snacks.)

Pumpkin Coconut Oats

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons Homemade Marshmallow Cream (I had homemade on hand that I used for S’mores Dip last week. I never have and probably wouldn’t use normal jarred marshmallow fluff, but I just really liked the idea of marshmallow cream (egg whites, corn syrup, powdered sugar) and coconut, like a coconut cake! But you could also sub 2 tablespoons of sugar or Splenda.)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons sweetened coconut flakes 

Pumpkin Pecan Oats

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Chocolate Pumpkin Oats

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder


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Overnight Oats

You know how I have all those weird seasonal food aversions? No soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, or hot coffee unless it’s cold out. No watermelon, or any melons for that matter, unless it’s hot out. I also kind of feel this way about oatmeal. I LOVE a bowl of warm cozy oatmeal in the fall and winter, but I’m not a huge fan in the summer. 
I kept seeing cold overnight oatmeal on Pinterest. I didn’t buy into it at first because I thought the texture might be weird and most recipes called for chia seeds, which freaked me out a little. Chia pets. Chair seeds. They are the same things. I’m not a picky eater, but that made me hesitant. Since then I’ve discovered it’s normal and okay to eat chia seeds. I’m not scared of them, but still haven’t tried them. Apparently they are really good for pregnant women. One day when/if I get pregnant, I’ll add chia seeds to my oats. For now I’ll save my self a trip to a health food store. 
All that to say, try these! You don’t have to have the fancy chia seeds. My pregnant friend made them first (with chia seeds) and highly recommended them to me. We have similar food likes, so I trusted her recommendation. I’m in love! I got obsessed and game up with EIGHT flavor combinations. I’m gonna work on a pumpkin version next week. This is one thing that will not be a seasonal food. I love them for summer to take the place of hot oatmeal, but I love them so much I will definitely eat them year round. 

Base Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (NOT the instant kind)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup non fat Greek vanilla yogurt

Directions: 

Pour yogurt, oats and milk in a pint sized mason jar. Shake it until all ingredients are combined. At this point your jar will be about 3/4ths full. 

Add your toppings of choice, and shake until mixed. You may have to shake a little extra for some toppings. If it’s not combining well, stir in the toppings to combine all ingredients. 

Refrigerate overnight. I made four at once and they were good up to 4 days. I don’t think I’d go more than 4 or 5 days because fruit and non-fat yogurt can produce excess water.

For pretty presentation you can save out tiny bits of your toppings to garnish the tops. 

Each base recipe is 7 points on Weight Watchers. Extra points for different topping combinations are listed below. 

Peach Melba

  • 2 small nectarines (or peaches) diced
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam

Add 2 points for jam.

Peaches and Cream

  • 2 small nectarines (or peaches) diced
  • dash of cinnamon
  • drizzle of honey

Add 1 point for honey.

Strawberry Banana

  • 1 medium banana, diced (I sliced it, halved the slices, then quartered the slices)
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam

Add 2 points for jam.

Banana Nutella

  • 1 medium banana, diced (I sliced it, halved the sliced, then quartered the slices)
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella (one really is enough, Nutella is SWEET)

Add 3 points for Nutella.

Banana Peanut Butter

  • 1 medium banana, diced  (I sliced it, halved the sliced, then quartered the slices)
  • 1 tablespoon reduced calorie peanut butter (2 if you like more)
  • drizzle of honey

Add 2 points for 1 tablespoon of peanut butter + 1/2 teaspoon of honey.

Banana Chocolate (for those who like chocolate, but not Nutella)

  • 1 medium banana, diced  (I sliced it, halved the sliced, then quartered the slices)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 packet of Splenda

No extra points! 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder is zero. According to recipe builder you’d count the points for bananas in recipes, but I say if they’re free as a snack they are free as a topping!

Banana Nut

  • 1 medium banana, diced  (I sliced it, halved the sliced, then quartered the slices)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
Add 2 points for honey and how every many points for the nuts you choose. 

Apple and Cinnamon

  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Parkay spray butter
Saute diced apple with a little Parkay spray butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar until they loose a tiny bit of their crispness. Add 1 point for brown sugar.

Stir into base recipe. Shake to combine completely. 


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Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

We all deal with stress differently. Some people sleep. Some exercise. Some avoid. You’ve heard of stress eating right? Well I stress bake. Stress baking is almost as bad for you as stress eating when no RAs are around to feed your baking projects to! Remember that time I ate four blueberry cinnamon rolls for dinner and just that? Oops. I’m gonna need to move back into my apartment soon and have access to my craft box for other means of stress relief!

But seriously, if anything stuck with me from counseling it was the bit about doing mastery and pleasure activities in times of overwhelming sadness or anxiety. Translation… doing things you know you can master, finish and accomplish well and things that bring your soul pleasure. Knowing this is going to help me make it through the difficult times that lie ahead with my dad’s health. Baking definitely meets both of those needs for me. I wish you could have seen my face when I opened the oven to the beautiful creation above. On second thought… I’m kind of glad you couldn’t see me. I’m certain I looked like a super dork. But I was ecstatic! I had been crying for hours, got up, baked, and pulled that out of the oven! I was so happy and proud of my creation. I think I may have even bounced on my heels a little.

I’m claiming this recipe as my own because it really was mostly me. The cinnamon roll recipe was from food.com, but I altered it to be a healthier version using egg beaters, heart healthy mix, and low calorie butter. The blueberry part was inspired by recipes I’ve seen but my combination of ingredients. The glaze was thrown together by me.

Ingredients

Blueberry Filling:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • Additional 1/2 cup of blueberries

Cinnamon Rolls: 

  • 2 1/2 cups Heart Healthy Bisquick
  • 1/3 cup of skim milk
  • 1/4 cup Egg Beaters (or 1 large egg)
  • 2 tablespoons Brummel and Brown yogurt butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons reduced calorie whipped cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • splash of milk
  • Directions 

    Dough: 

    Preheat oven to 375. Mix baking mix, milk, and egg until a soft dough forms, I used my stand mixer dough hook for the first time! Place dough ball onto lightly floured parchment paper or a lightly floured clean surface. I’m OCD about germs so I always use parchment or wax paper to do dough work. Gently kneed the dough until mostly smooth. Roll dough into a 8 x 10 (ish) rectangle. If your dough is looking more round and not square enough, fold in the ends and keep rolling. Combine cinnamon and the 1/4 cup of sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture over buttered dough.

    Filling: 

    Combine 1 cup blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Cook on medium low heat until blueberries start to burst. I used a potato smasher to break mine down a bit more and thicken the sauce. When the sauce is a good consistency remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Spread the blueberry sauce on top of the cinnamon and butter topped dough. Sprinkle additional 1/2 cup of blueberries.

    Baking:  

    Roll up tightly starting with the long side. Pinch the edges of the dough closed. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut 3/4 to 1 inch slits going almost through the bottom using a sharp knife. Don’t go all the way to the bottom! It should make 8 rolls, 10 smaller ones. Bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. 

    Glaze: 

    Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and a splash of milk in a small bowl or a large measuring cup and stir! I used my immersion blender and it made it a quick and easy job.

  • Just look at it! They are so very good and just pretty! In the words of a coworker I shared one of these cinnamon rolls with, “These things are gourmet!” Easy and impressive. You can never have enough recipes like that. 

    I’m not suggesting that these as “healthy” BUT they are a much healthier version of most cinnamon desserts and cinnamon rolls. According to the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder they are 7 points with the glaze. For comparison, a Starbucks Morning Bun (their cinnamon roll) is 10 points with no icing or glaze. A Corner Bakery Cinnamon Roll is 17 points! A Pillsbury Supreme Cinnamon Rolls is 10 points. 7 doesn’t seem bad at all in comparison!

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    Pumpkin French Toast Casserole with Coffee Whipped Topping

    I know what you’re thinking. Pumpkin? You? In May? I know, right? I totally broke my pumpkin belongs in the Fall and Winter months rule to make this recipe. And guess what? I loved it. It gave me the same warm and cozy feeling I get when I watch Gilmore Girls and see the red and orange leaved trees. 
    Just like my Gilmore Girls, I’ll still save pumpkin for special moments out of season and bask in it like crazy in season, but I might occasionally break my rule now. I did break it for a good reason. We had one of our potluck breakfast meals at work. A coworker who started post fall, had heard about my Pumpkin French Toast Casserole and then I didn’t have a choice! I like it when people request my food! I just can’t say no. 
    The other factor that pushed me over the edge to saying yes to making a pumpkin dish? Coffee whipped cream. Let’s just start things off right and talk about this! 

    Coffee Whipped Cream 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 package Starbucks Via
    • 1 container fat free cool whip

    Directions: 

    Combine. Stir. Seriously, that’s it. It’s the simplest thing every but oh man is it good. I mean how can you say not to anything topped with Coffee Whipped Cream? My coworkers love to put it in their coffee too. It compliments anything pumpkin flavored magically and also just spoon. It’s the perfect topping for a good old spoon.

    Did I mention it’s also guilt-free? 0 points for 2 tbsp or 1 point for 1/4 cup.

    Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup Brummel and Brown Yogurt Butter
    • 12 slices Sara Lee Delightful 45 Calorie Bread (I’ve used Multigrain and Whole Wheat)
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup – 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/4 cups Egg Beaters
    • 1 1/2 cups skim milk

    Directions: 

    Melt Brummel and Brown butter and pour into a 9 x 13 pan. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. In a separate bowl whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla together. I like to shake in a little extra cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice into the liquid mixture.

    Time to layer. Layer 6 pieces of bread in the pan. Spread a thin layer of pumpkin across the bread. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture over the bread. Layer the other 6 pieces of bread on top and spread with pumpkin. Pour the liquid mixture over the bread. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar mixture over everything.

    Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, cover the dish with tinfoil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. It should be golden brown and set.

    Sprinkle with powdered sugar to make it pretty. Serve with syrup, butter, whipped cream OR COFFEE WHIPPED CREAM.

    Yields 12 medium sized servings at 4 points each or 6 large servings at 8 points each.

    If the summer heat is getting to you and you’re missing fall as much as me, I highly recommend this dish now!

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    Double Chocolate Banana Bread

    Once upon a time, I didn’t eat breakfast very often. I was either too rushed, not hungry, woke up too late or just (let’s be honest) too lazy. However, as a Weight Watchers doer and meeting attender I quickly learned breakfast is essential! Fact – people who eat breakfast loose more weight and are just generally healthier. 
    As you should know by now, breakfast has become one of my favorites! I mean I can’t ever get enough of these make ahead crustless breakfast quiches, I’ve posted them twice with different variations and made them WAY more than twice. There were the make ahead breakfast burritos and banana pancake muffins. And now… CHOCOLATE! 
    Is there anything better for breakfast than chocolate? I mean it’s bread. Bread is a breakfast food. It has bananas. That’s fruit. Fruit is a breakfast food. So Double Chocolate Banana Bread can most definitely be eaten for breakfast right?! Glad you agree. 

    Double Chocolate Banana Bread

    (Adapted from a Pinterest recipe.)
    Recipe yields 2 loaves of bread, 12 slices each loaf, 24 servings, 6 Weight Watchers points per whole slice, 3 per half slices (which is a great snack size). Calculated using the Recipe Builder on Weight Watcher Etools. 

    Ingredients: 

    • 2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup egg beaters
    • 2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    • 2 1/2 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 6)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cup white flour
    • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips 
    • Optional garnish – powdered sugar for dusting (not counted)

    Directions: 

    Preheat oven to 350. Spray the bottom of an 8×4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. I only had one, so I did it in two batches. If you have two, even better! 
    Beat sugar, egg beaters, and applesauce on medium speed until combined. Beat in mashed bananas and vanilla on low. 
    Combine flours, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a seperate bowl. Beat into banana mixture one cup sized scoop at a time on low speed until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. 
    Pour half of the batter into loaf pan(s). Bake 60-65 minutes or until center of bread doesn’t jiggle. Cool 10 minutes. Turn out of pan unto a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar to pretty it up a little.

    This recipe can easily be halved if you only want one loaf. But I’m telling you, it’s so good you’re going to want to share! Which means, one loaf for you and one for sharing. Trust me, you’re not going to want to share your loaf.

    How do you like your breakfast? Sweet or savory? 


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    My Perfect Iced Coffee [& Monkey Bread]

    We established during our BLT discussion that my brain and taste buds have their own strange set of odd rules (no soup and grilled cheese unless it’s cold outside, BLTs and melons are only for Spring and Summer, etc.). I discovered two new ones. Apparently I don’t feel like crafting unless it’s Fall/Winter. I’ve totally failed at keeping DIY Club going this Spring. I also made up a rule somewhere along the way that I’m not allowed to wear red on Easter Sunday.

    I have this really cute wrap dress I’d like to wear as my Easter dress this year, but I’ve been having this internal battle that I can’t wear it because it’s in the red family. It’s one of the Spring pop colors apparently, the tomato tangerine red orange color, and I love it! Where the heck did I get this concept from?! I have a feeling it’s somehow to be blamed on my Southern roots and upbringing. Maybe I just associated the numerous pastel Easter dresses I had growing up with being the opposite of red.  Who knows. Regardless, I’m forcing my brain to get over it and wearing the dress. I might even try to make a soup between now and September.

    However, there is one weird quirk I’m not willing to let go of and fully embrace. I can’t drink hot beverages from mid February to mid September (which is pretty much the Mississippi version of Summer). However, I love and must have coffee! Financially, I can not rely on my Starbucks Batista to provide my coffee for me every day. I’ve experimented with making my own iced coffee for several years. A fellow food blogging friend led me to a great way to make coffee concentrate for iced coffee last year. I liked that a lot, but it does take some effort and time. I also experimented with low cal frappes using instant coffee last summer. But I finally concocted the perfect (for me) iced coffee.

    It uses Starbucks Via Iced Coffee packets. Depending on where you get them, they can be on the pricey side. They are more expensive at Starbucks, but you can get them at Kroger and Walmart as well. I happened upon them at Sam’s for a really great deal! Normally one box of five packets is close to $5. Last summer at Sam’s they sold them in two box packs (10 packets) for $2.81! I loaded up! I’m still using my stash from last summer. Unfortunately they aren’t selling them at Sam’s right now (I called), but sometimes things are seasonal there so I’m hoping they will bring them back for the summer. I like using these because they dissolve in cold water. Regular instant coffee has to be dissolved in hot water first.

    Easy Iced Coffee

    • Servings: 5
    • Time: less than 10 minutes
    • Difficulty: EASY
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    I was inspired by Pioneer Woman‘s Perfect Iced Coffee Recipe. However, I wanted a easier and more Weight Watchers friendly version. It’s 3 points for a good sized (16 oz) serving! (Which is less than any flavored specialty beverage that my favorite barista can make.) 

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 2 packs of instant Starbucks Via Iced Coffee
    • 2 cups of skim milk (I use Great Value organic because it has a longer shelf life)
    • 4 cups of cold water
    • 1/4 cup of Bailey’s Fat Free French Vanilla Coffee Creamer (or any of your favorite liquid coffee creamers)
    • 3 tbsp fat free sweet condensed milk (I use Great Value)

    DIRECTIONS:

    I use my cute little 2 quart jug from Target. You could use any container you have. Pour the Via packets in your container of choice. Add creamer and 1 cup of milk. Shake shake shake. Shake until the Via dissolves or almost is completely dissolved. Add remaining milk. Add water one cup at a time. Via is strong just like Starbucks brewed coffee. I’m not a fan of uber strong coffee. So this combination is perfect for me. Each packet calls for 16 oz of liquid. I double that amount and it’s a perfect strength and taste for me. Tastes similar to the strength of McDonald’s iced coffee or has a similar strength of a Starbucks frappuccino vs. the brew. Once you get all the liquid in, you may be able to shake it a little, but I advise stirring.

    And then… I made something unhealthy(ish), but I highly recommend that you make this one a day when you are having a cheat day. The pictures are awful! It was dark, daylight pictures are better. Some day soon (very soon) I’ll be making these again, making them healthier, calculating the points, and taking better pictures. I lightened up the original recipe a little, but one of my RAs assisted me and brought out the real butter. I used fat free sweet condensed milk instead of regular. There’s no turning back when that happens. I made biscuit dough from Heart Healthy Bisquick instead of using regular canned biscuits. Next time I’ll also use Brummel and Brown yogurt butter.

    Monkey Bread Muffins

    • Servings: 12
    • Time: 45 minutes
    • Difficulty: easy
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    Inspired by Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 3 cups Heart Healthy Bisquick
    • 1 cup of skim milk
    • butter (can substitute yogurt butter)
    • cinnamon
    • sugar
    • fat free sweet condensed milk

    DIRECTIONS:

    Preheat oven to 375. Mix Bisquick and milk until combined. Place dough on a floured surface and knead, folding over and over about 10 times. Spray your muffin tin. Add a little pad of butter, about 1/2 tsp, in each muffin cup. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of each. Pull walnut sized balls of dough off and roll in the palms of your hands. Place three dough balls in each muffin cup. Add another little pad of butter, about 1/2 tsp, on top of each. Sprinkle each with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately drizzle LOTS of condensed milk on top. Let soak in for 1 minute. Spoon out and enjoy!