Hydration, Meal service and Smartwatches

Well I did it. I got rid of the weight that I gained the week of July 4th. I lost 5 pounds in one week. I stuck to light meals, while replacing one meal with Arbonne’s protein powder made into a smoothie. Then to speed up the weight loss I drank a bunch of water every day.

If anyone of you have followed my social media posts, I make video check ins through the week. Wow, I didn’t realize how dehydrated I was and the good feeling that comes with hydration. The last time I kept this hydrated was 3 years ago…when I was pregnant, because my OBGYN kept telling me to keep hydrated. Then once I had my son, I have mainly survived on coffee. I’m working on creating new habits rather than reaching straight for the coffee put first thing in the morning, I reach for a glass and chug a glass of cold water as soon as I wake up. This helps me kick the coffee craving, wakes me up a little, and buys me time to drop my son off at daycare and get myself to work then I can either drink one cup of coffee or tea.
I’ve also taken meals a little more carefully. My last post I introduced to you all that I’ve started a meal delivery service with Hello Fresh. It’s been great! It saves me some sanity during week, so I don’t have to think about what I’m going to cook some nights. Which helps tremendously, especially after a long day of back to back meetings and intense focus on my computer. If you are interested in signing up, I can get you a great start up deal. Send me a message via this site or find me on social media.

Hello Fresh’s BBQ Pineapple poblano flatbread pizza

To help me with keeping track of workouts and walking steps I bought a smart watch! I know smartwatches have been around for years but I’ve never thought I would want one until now. The wrist notifications of work emails and text messages has been helpful to let me determine if I need to reply immediately. The voice to text has been really neat! So far so good, although I have found a couple flaws which I will address next week with my review.

I may have overdid my workout this weekend though. Yesterday I took my dogs on a 30 minute run and then today I did some intense labor in my yard by edging my sidewalk. I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow and I’m pretty sure my face is a little sunburned. Oh the joys of summer!

Honest Truth and Meal Delivery Service

Honest truth you guys…so I’ve been on Arbonne’s Breakfast Club for three weeks now but I totally failed the week of July 4th. After a really embarrassing night of one too many drinks, then recovering and then giving into my cravings and convenience of take out most of the week I gained 5 pounds from about a week ago. Ugh. I’ve been really pushing myself a lot at work, and at home trying to make sure our home is clean. During this pandemic a fear of mine is some of the viruses we may bring home may spread to our household surfaces, so my anxiety has been higher this week. A local news sources came out with an article saying there has been a rise and spike in Covid cases in our area. Which doesn’t surprise me a whole lot but at the same time it does because based off the number of people that I’ve seen not wearing masks at my grocery store down the street and then there’s a good chunk of a marginalized community members in South Seattle, many of which who lack a good source of health care and education about health. So Covid definitely has it’s grips on my mind this week, so my stress and anxiety has increased.

On top of that for some reason my toddler’s sleep schedule has been strange, hence mine too. He refuses to take naps at home, and likes to stay up late with my husband on the weekends. I adore structure and normal evening routines and I want my son to understand the importance of sleep and routines.
Anyways, what I’m trying to get at is that self-care is needed in this house. My brain has been working overtime lately so I’ve been taking naps. Which is new for me. I’m one of those types that hits it hard 10 hours a day and then I rest. But with COVID and my kids unusual sleep disruptions I’ve been finding myself falling asleep on the couch. I still want to lose weight, so to add my protein meal/drink replacement I’m going to drink more water, like, A LOT more.
I’ve also started a meal delivery service to lessen some of the stress I have about what to cook for my family. This has been a struggle for me for years. Before the pandemic, I rarely had the energy to plan and prep dinner. I tried an app called Emeals but again that requires time to pick and shop for the ingredients. I’ve seen meal delivery services out there before but was always hesitant about spending the kind of money on something I can just do myself for cheaper. But out of sake to save some sanity and guesswork out of meal planning, I handed it over to Hello Fresh. I went for their minimum 2 meals per week with 4 people servings. I stuck with a family friendly meal menu since my toddler surprises me once and a while by eating at the dinner table. (He’s a nibbler at dinner) Into my second week with Hello Fresh, I have say I’m enjoying it. It comes in one medium sized box once a week on the day of choice via UPS. Everything in the box is perfectly portioned for the recipes, ripe, cold and fresh. I would say if you aren’t an experienced cook and new to the kitchen, Hello Fresh may not be for you. I have my ingredients shipped to arrive on Fridays so that I can cook the recipes on the weekends. My only gripes about this service is that it can be a little pricey and to keep the ingredients frozen/cold they use a water soluble frozen gel which they make you dispose of. Very heavy in my garbage bag! Otherwise it’s been a lifesaver on the weekends. It takes the guesswork out of what to feed my family on the weekends when all I want to do is relax. I recommend! If you are interested in signing up, feel free to send me message or comment on this post with your email contact and I get you a great introductory offer for Hello Fresh.

Cheers everyone! I’m going to go cook dinner!

Entrepreneurship & losing weight

It has been a minute since I wrote anything in my blog. And I’m sorry for those who liked reading my weekly posts. Time and stress got the best of me, I thought I was going to take a couple weeks off then it turned to a month to several months. But I’m back and ready to share more of my journey and recipes!
This past Spring I did some self-reflection and didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. Despite my content with my office 9-5 job I wanted to tackle my yearning to return to college and take on a new hobby.

In May I was accepted to The University of Washington for one their certificate programs and the same week I started my Arbonne business. What is Arbonne? It’s a company that sells botanically based products that supports a healthy lifestyle. The way we sell the products is via network marketing. A very social and interactive way to talk to people. I mostly knew what I was getting into, as my husband and I have bought items from network marketing consultants before. I also wanted to tackle my own personal goal to improving my overall health and wellbeing. It took me a little while before I wanted to get back to regular exercise after I had my son a few years ago. I had my son via cesarean so recovery was slow. Then a dark storm of grief hit our family. We lost 6 immediate family members within two years. So self improvement got put on the back burner, like way back. In efforts to control my yearning to reach for alcohol when I felt sad I instead went to the fridge, or bought take out. So after a couple of years, my baby pudge just turned to fat and my energy level and interest in stuff declined. This past winter I knew I wanted to get myself in better shape. I signed up for a gym membership and it quickly turned into an inconvenience, so I quit the gym and bought an at home membership on Daily Burn, a widely accessible app that has many at home exercises you can do in your living room. After some time I realized I wanted more of a supportive program that would help me and keep me on track. I looked into weight loss programs like Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem but knew I didn’t want to make a huge transition just quite yet. With picky eaters in my house I knew I had to apply myself in a program that I still could occasionally cook and eat items that are usually on the naughty list. (greasy bacon burgers and sugar filled breakfast). Before I had my son, I held a government job that had required odd hours so I needed to keep my body in shape. Back then I drank water all the time, I ran on average 3-5 miles per week, and made sure I got enough sleep. Fast forward, I’m quite the opposite.
So after some time getting know the Arbonne business, I knew I needed to work on my own personal story and showcase my journey. On Sunday I started my goal to lose 28 pounds! I looked my BMI (body mass index) and I’m about 28 lbs over where I should be with my age and height. It’s really not a huge amount of weight to lose but do this I have retrain my brain and create new healthy habits and kick unhealthy habits.

6/28/2020
165 pounds (You can clearly see I I have pets, so much dog fur!)

To accomplish this weight loss goal, I’m starting regular exercise and Arbonne’s Breakfast Club. What is it? It’s a nutrition program that gives you a soft start to tackle health goals. Arbonne does have their famous 30 Day Challenge but again, I wasn’t ready to take a full dive, as the 30 day requires elimination of coffee, alcohol, dairy, wheat, soy and artificial sweeteners. Blah! So instead I’m taking a softer approach. The Breakfast Club is basically replacing one meal per day with a protein shake and/or protein smoothie and supporting products such as their detox tea, and energy fizz sticks.

So each week I will be showcasing my progress with no strict time limit, but just a window view of my goal and experience with the products I use and sell. Because it’s easier to attack and maintaining your goals in a group, I encourage any of you to try the program with me! Your goals are achievable and I want to help you with whatever your targets or ambitions are. If you are interested in taking the program with me or want to check out more from Arbonne please send me an email or find me on social media. 🙂

Easy Spam Musubi

I’ve been wanting to make this for a while and I finally added the ingredients to my shopping list. Surprisingly it’s easier than I thought. Spam musubi! From what I read a common snack in Hawaii. My guess is that if you don’t like sushi in general, you may not like spam musubi. I think it’s the seaweed wrap most people don’t like. My husband thinks it’s such a weird concept eating seaweed. My Coast Salish heritage loves seafood in general, so eating not so common seafood isn’t foreign to me. Maybe I’ll do a recipe with salmon roe one of these weeks.
This was my first time working with nori paper. You can find nori paper in the international foods section at the grocery store. It’s generally pretty cheap. The trick to working with nori is getting slightly damp and toasting it with believe or not your standard toaster. Why toast nori? It will bring some of the flavor out of it as well as smell good.
Wet a couple of plate-sized paper towels, let one out, lay the nori paper and then place the other towel on top. Gently press down to get the nori paper to soak some moisture. Then push down your toaster to warm up, once warm enough, glide the nori paper back and forth on top of the toaster until you start to see/feel it crisp. You do this process ahead of time so that you’re ready to make the rolls. Just make sure to keep the sheets moist.
Of course, you can put your own twist on this recipe, like adding avocado slices, different spices, adding more protein like eggs or change up the flavour of Spam. I used bacon flavoured for this recipe. Play around a little.
For the rice, you want to make sure you have some that’s sticky enough to form. I bought a special bag of roasted garlic jasmine rice. And wow! My house smelled amazing. Totally worth it. Shout it if want to learn where I got it from.
This recipe makes forming the musubi easy. You use the original Spam can it comes in and some saran wrap. So rinse out the can, wipe it down and save it!
This makes about 6 rolls, enough for a family snack. Wrap it in saran wrap, take it on the go.

Prep time (setting up wrap station):10 minutes Cook time (fried Spam): 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 can of sliced and cooked Spam
2 tablespoons sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 sheets of nori sheets
2 cups of cooked rice

Directions

  1. Start by setting up your roll station. Moisten the paper towels on a plate, cooled down cooked Spam slices and rice. Line the inside of the can of Spam with saran wrap.
  2. For the sauce, combine the soy sauce and sugar with a fork. Set aside with a basting brush.
  3. Starting with the first nori sheet, cut in half with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Again this process can be done ahead of time. Just keep moist.
  4. Using a spoon, spoon a couple of scoops of rice into saran lined Spam can and gently press to the bottom.
  5. Grab a slice of cooked Spam, add on top of rice and gently press down.
  6. Pull the saran wrap up out of the can. Gently unfold and brush soy sauce mix on top of Spam.
  7. Take the form out of the wrap and place on the end of the precut nori sheet. Gently start rolling the sheet into a roll. Press the ends of the nori into the rice to stick.
  8. Repeat process! Enjoy!
Step 4
Step 6
Step 7

Instant Pot Corned Beef Potatoes & Cabbage

I went into full submission and went out and bought an Instant Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer. I kept seeing all these Instant Pot recipe wonders. And knowing I’m short on time for weeknight dinners. I was looking for a kitchen helper and I found it.
This kitchen appliance does it all. Pressure cooker, saute, slow cooker, steams, sous vide, air fries, roasts, bakes, broils AND dehydrates! All with a touch of a button.

I’ll be honest I’ve never cooked anything in a pressure cooker other than canning in my pressure canner for jars. I was so nervous doing the test run. But as all the reviews say, it’s virtually effortless. You press a few buttons and in minutes you have a fully cooked meal or side.
So far I’ve only used the pressure cooker function, and it’s day 3. I have a bunch of things I want to try like chicken wings, mac n cheese, chicken and dumplings, hard-boiled eggs, and lasagna.
Safe to say, I’m a believer in this appliance. It was worth every penny. Most of the parts are dishwasher safe which is a winner in my book.
The only downside is the size. If you don’t have any storage for this thing, then you might want to consider getting rid of something in your cupboard. Mine currently sits on our dryer, until I find some room in our kitchen. Hah!

I also recommend removing anything nearby that could be damaged by hot steam.
My first recipe with the Instant Pot was corned beef, red potatoes and cabbage. Knowing this beef cut was tough, it needs lots of time and heat to break down the meat to fall apart. I liked this recipe but I still love cooking corned beef for hours in my classic slow cooker. This recipe is good if you are short on time. It still tastes like corned beef, but it doesn’t fall apart like in a slow cooker. It’s still worth trying.

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs corned beef brisket with spice packet
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 cups water
1 ½ – 2 lbs red potatoes washed and quartered
½ head of chopped cabbage

Brisket before cooked
Cooked brisket

Directions

  1. Pour 4 cups water on the bottom of Instant Pot, using the wire rack place, place brisket on rack, rub in season packet and minced garlic. Place into Instant Pot.
  2. Close and cook on High for 90 minutes. When time is up, wait 10 minutes for Natural Pressure Release and then press the Quick Release Pressure button. Remove brisket, place aside and cover.
  3. Leaving the water in the Instant Pot, add potatoes and cabbage. Cover and cook on High for 5 minutes. Again, wait a few minutes at Natural Pressure Release and then push the Quick Release Pressure button.
  4. Serve immediately, enjoy!

Chunky Tomato Bisque

I’ll admit I’m not that organized when it comes to bringing lunches to work. I usually spend my weekday evenings decompressing from the workday and running after my toddler. Before I had my son I was pretty disciplined and brought my lunch to work all the time. Back when I had a ton of energy. Anyways because I didn’t bring my lunch this week, I bought take out for lunch and I went to a local restaurant called Homegrown, they specialize in local sustainable fast food that’s healthy. I got tomato bisque and a turkey sandwich. It hit the spot! Eating warm comfort food at work was worth the somewhat pricey tag. It inspired me because I knew when I was eating it, “I could make something better!”. So I did!
This week it’s chunky tomato bisque with buttery garlic croutons. It was a slam dunk with my husband and kid. I served this with classic grilled cheese sandwiches.
It’s a great dish for a weekend afternoon when it’s windy and rainy out. Our Seattle weather is never forgiving, so comfort food is a must.
There’s plenty of variations to tomato bisque, traditionally you would blend the ingredients to a pulp with an immersion blender. I don’t own an immersion blender, but I should. Instead, I used a potato masher to crush the ingredients to small chunks. Either way, it doesn’t change the taste, it just changes the texture.
I used my enameled cast iron dutch oven, which is excellent for soups and chili.
This recipe can be adjusted to as quick as 35 minutes instead of the one hour it took me. I wanted to simmer the soup a little longer. If you use fresh tomatoes then the longer it simmers the better. I used a shortcut and used canned tomatoes.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes (up to 1 hour)

Ingredients:

(soup)
48 ounces canned diced tomatoes
1 cup of finely chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
32 ounces chicken broth
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Salt & pepper to taste

(croutons)
French baguette cut into thin/medium pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Soup Directions

  1. Using a large pot or dutch oven, warm stove top to medium. Add butter, wait till butter starts bubbling.
  2. Add chopped onion, stir occasionally. Cook until lightly browned.
  3. Add tomato paste, stir well with onion.
  4. Add garlic and chicken broth, stir until well blended.
  5. Cook for a minimum of 35 minutes up to an hour.
  6. Slowly add whipping cream, and mix well. Turn down heat to low/warm. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic crouton directions

  1. Cut baguette into thin/medium pieces
  2. Melt butter with garlic powder in microwave safe container
  3. Dip bread pieces in melted butter
  4. Broil or bake in toaster oven until your desired crisp

Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies

Hello readers! I’m back from a few weeks of rest. My grandmother’s recent passing needed some time of reflection and mourning. I’m feeling a lot better and ready to start this New Year with fun new recipes.
One of my goals this year is getting better at meal prep during the week so when I’m rushing home to pick up my son from daycare in commuter traffic I can at least come home and dinner is mostly assembled and all I have to do so throw the ingredients together and toss in the oven or stovetop.
My new goal came from this week’s recipe. I had various leftover cut-up veggies from previous meals that I had no intention of mixing together as well as a couple of pounds of chicken breast. I’ve heard of sheet pan recipes but never attempted them. It’s so funny I create some of my best recipes when I’m in a rush and not planned. My husband and toddler LOVED this recipe. My husband wants to add more vegetables to his diet so this was right up his alley. My son loved this because of its cheesy toasted bread crumb topping. Sheet pan chicken and veggies! A really thrown together recipe that you can prep ahead of time and toss in the oven when you’re ready.
To make this a little more appealing to my son, I cooked some thin spaghetti noodles and used this recipe as a topper. My husband ate this by itself.


I used to manage a franchise restaurant some time ago and I really didn’t mind what I did. I enjoyed prepping and cooking. I was a master at multi-tasking and I was fast. I bet if you put me back in that kitchen I would be slow and clumsy. Anyways, my point with this story is that it was part of my job to prep ingredients so that they were ready to mix and cook. I want to do that for my own kitchen.
So, if you have the ingredients washed and precut this recipe will be fast! Maybe save this recipe for a weekday night? 🙂

Prep time: 15/20 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
(all ingredients are washed and cut)

1 yellow squash
1 broccoli head
1 medium yellow onion
½ green bell pepper
½ red bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 lbs chicken breast
2 eggs
¼ cup heavy cream or regular milk
½ tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups shredded cheese
½ tablespoon garlic powder
⅓ cup bread crumbs
⅓ olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

My son loves to help me in the kitchen

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line large sheet pan with aluminium foil.
  2. Begin by cutting the vegetables and garlic first into bite-sized cuts, add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Cut chicken breast into bite-size cuts, add to mixing bowl.
  4. Add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Thoroughly mix together and pour ingredients onto sheet pan.
  5. Start scrambling eggs with heavy cream or milk. Evenly pour onto sheet pan mixture.
  6. Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs and then top with shredded cheese.
  7. Cook in oven for approximately 35 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly done.
  8. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool and enjoy!

New Years Eve Chicken Teriyaki & Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Phew! Christmas is over. I turned off my Christmas lights, started putting away decorations. Too early? I like Christmas just as much as the next mom, but OMG is it stressful and clutter drives me nuts. I’ve always enjoyed the week after Christmas because I can start planning for the New Year with things like vacations and big goals. This year our family goal is to make at least one or two trips to Montana to search for a town we can call home. If you have any suggestions for a town you love in Montana, I would love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below!
So New Years! I have to be honest, I can rarely stay up till midnight these days. I would rather get a decent nights sleep than be groggy and grumpy the next day. I need energy to keep up with my toddler. But I do enjoy celebrating New Year’s at home with my family, with some good food and fun cocktails.
If you’re hosting, finger foods are a must. Foods your guests can walk around with. Or at least sit down for 5 minutes to chow down on. If you’ll be serving alcohol, you will want food that’s sustainable. How about Chicken Teriyaki and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Skewers! What I love about these skewers is that they can be made on the BBQ grill, and eating grilled teriyaki reminds me of warm summer nights. It’s a nice change from traditional holiday eats.
My husband helped me with this post, as the BBQ grill is his territory. We used charcoal to give the chicken skewers more flavour. I cooked the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp in the oven on broil in a broiler pan to catch the bacon drippings.
I also used chicken thighs as opposed to breasts. I prefer thighs due to its great juice retention. Breasts tend to dry out too quickly on a BBQ.

Prep time: 45 minutes (both chicken & shrimp skewers)
Chicken Skewers cook time: 20 minutes
Shrimp Skewers cook time: 20 minutes

Chicken Teriyaki Skewers

Ingredients:

1lb chicken thighs, cut into thirds
3 bell peppers, cut into large chunks
1 onion, cut into large chunks
2 cups (approximately) large chunks pineapple
8 oz teriyaki sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
Wood skewers

Directions:

  1. Start with the first skewer, by threading your choice of ingredients and make a pattern
  2. Add to large baking pan for oven or BBQ
  3. Do the same with the rest of skewers.
  4. Brush on teriyaki sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. BBQ for approximately 10 minutes per side for 20 minutes total. Making sure chicken is cooked through.
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

Ingredients

1lb of large deveined, and peeled uncooked shrimp
1 package of thin cut bacon
Wood skewers

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to broil to 400° (Make sure the oven rack level is near the top)
  2. Take a strip of bacon and wrap around a piece of shrimp, and take a skewer and pierce through.
  3. Add one or two more wrapped shrimp to skewer. Be sure to space each apart. Add to broiler pan.
  4. Do the same the rest of the shrimp and bacon till you run out.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes on one side, and 10 minutes on the other till the bacon is browned and the shrimp curls inward and turns a deeper shade of pink
  6. Serve immediately

Christmas Eve Beef Wellington

I found out some solemn news today about a family member that has my mind soaked in memories of my grandmother and the kind of Christmas’s I had as a child. Before my parents started hosting Christmas Day my grandparents would open their old large historic house in North Seattle. Christmas Eve was the night full of fun and food. Family would gather for dinner and tuck their presents under what seemed like a giant tree. The piles of presents would overflow into the living room floor. Grandpa would be basting the turkey and grandma would be the DJ playing her collection of vinyl Christmas classics. We would eat dinner and stay up until midnight. That’s when grandma said we could open up one gift. The kids would have a sleepover and our parents would return on Christmas Day to have brunch and open up the rest of the gifts. Christmas Eve dinner tradition will continue!
May I suggest this week’s post? Individual Beef wellington! This delectable hearty dish will satisfy those meat and potatoes eaters. It’s an ideal recipe for a cold winter night.
To be honest there’s a lot of prep but once you get these into the oven it won’t be long until you can dig into them. I also skipped the traditional mushroom caps, this house does not like mushrooms. Sorry! To make up for the mushrooms I added a little more onion. Returning is my ever favourite store-bought puff pastry sheets. There’s different variations to this classic but I think my recipe is the most basic but still packed with flavour. I used top tenderloin steak versus centre-cut due to my butcher being out. I bought two pounds of steak (4 individual steaks) which could easily be cut into halves and double your plate count to 8.
You could have fun with the puff pastry too, with pastry cutters or etching fun designs on top.

Prep time: 45 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 lbs center or top tenderloin steak
½ cup to 1 cup finely cut shallots (one or two shallots)
½ cup fresh thyme, oregano, basil or parsley
1 package of thawed puff pastry sheets
¼ cup dijon style mustard
½ to 1 cup crumbled goat cheese or sharp white cheddar cheese
2 of two oz packages of thin-sliced prosciutto
2 beaten egg yolks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven at 450°. Line two large baking sheets with aluminium foil. Decide if you plan on cutting the steaks in half to make more.
  2. Season both sides of steak with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a large cast-iron skillet, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil, warm to medium-high. Add fillets, cook each side for about one minute until browned. Set aside.
  4. In same skillet, heat butter till bubbling. Add shallots, cook and stir until tender and browned. Remove from heat and add cut herbs.
  5. Using thawed pastry sheets, lay one-sheet on a lightly floured surface, cut into squared quarters to equal the number of steaks. Do the same with the second sheet. Begin by using a rolling pin, flatten out each square piece to wrap the steak.
  6. Layout each pastry onto baking sheets. Spread a thin layer of mustard in the center. Then add a spoonful of onion mix. Evenly add a layer of cheese.
  7. Begin by wrapping each steak with one or two slices of prosciutto. Place steaks on cheese.
  8. Using beaten eggs, brush egg wash on corners of pastries. Bring corners together and pinch to seal in meat.
  9. Place each fillet sealed edges down. Using the rest of the egg wash, brush egg mixture on top of each pastry.
  10. Add to preheated oven, bake for 15 minutes until pastries are golden brown.
  11. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve!

Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastries & Deviled Eggs

I’ve been trying to make Christmas time more memorable for our son. My parents always used to say Christmas time is all about the children. Now with my own son, I understand even more. Sometimes it can get challenging when my two-year-old has a meltdown and I just want to stuff his stocking with coal. But then he gives me the puppy eyes and I immediately turn into figgy pudding. It’s especially around this time that I’m thankful for our little family, for the roof over our heads, the cars we drive around in, and for the warm crackling fire in our fireplace at the end of a long cold day.
Even writing this makes me tear up, just remembering how magical my parents made Christmas mornings. I grew up in an old country house in south Seattle. My mom made sure the house was clean (for pictures), my dad would set out the last of the wrapped gifts under the tree. Still laying in bed, my dad would turn up the stereo usually playing my favourite childhood album, John Denver and The Muppet’s A Christmas Together, then my mom would gently open up the window blinds so the gleam of the winter snow would shine in. She would kiss my forehead and whisper “It’s Christmas baby…”. Of course, I would jump up out of bed and run downstairs to see the Christmas tree all lit up, with the overflowing presents. Mom would have breakfast finger food ready on the coffee table. Fuel for the unwrapping gifts!
I hope to create the same feeling and experience for my son. So to keep up the tradition, I bring you breakfast finger food that is perfect for that coffee table on Christmas morning.
This week it’s bacon-wrapped puff pastries and simple deviled eggs. Either recipe can be tailored to your liking. Experiment! I tried a few different variations with the puff pastries such as simple sugar and cinnamon or shredded cheese over the bacon-wrapped pieces. If you like flavoured bagels, think about what your favourite flavour. I think next time I’m going to try these with sesame seeds.
Make sure you set out the puff pastry sheets to thaw an hour before you prepare this recipe. Frozen pastry will crack and break if not thawed properly. And I also recommend using thin cut bacon strips, as they wrap better around the pastry pieces. Thicker cuts don’t bend well. And use parchment paper for this, easy cleanup!
As for the deviled eggs, I could have done a fancy Pinterest worthy plate but I was so hungry I wanted to devour these sooner than later. So this is a pretty basic recipe with the traditional paprika and green onion topping. Had I had the patience I would have done my famous smoked salmon deviled eggs.
To same time, boil the eggs the day before, chill in the fridge and remove the egg yolks and create your cream base to your liking.

Bacon-Wrapped Puff Pastries

Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 10/15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 box Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
1 package of thin cut bacon
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
1 large beaten egg
Parchment Paper

Variation-Optional ingredients:

Shredded cheese
Granulated Sugar
Cinnamon
Diced jalapeno
Sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees, set one thawed pastry sheet on a cutting board, gently unravel flat. Using a non-serrated sharp knife cut strips into about ¾ inch wide, about same width of bacon.
  2. Lay strips on parchment paper-lined baking pan. Do the same with the second pastry sheet on another baking pan.
  3. Using a beaten egg, brush egg wash onto strips.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of strips and rub in.
  5. Begin with a strip of bacon, starting by grabbing the pastry and the tip of the bacon at the end, lift and wrap the bacon strip around the pastry. Then while holding both ends, twist in opposite directions.
  6. Do the same with the rest of the strips.
  7. Sprinkle on the optional shredded cheese. It helps if you press the cheese into the dough so that you don’t waste cheese.
  8. Bake for 10/15 minutes until the pastry starts to get golden brown.
  9. Serve immediately

Deviled Eggs

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

6 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional

Paprika
Green onion
Dill weed

Directions

  1. Using cooled and peeled boiled eggs, cut down the middle using a non-serrated knife, place pieces on a plate and set aside.
  2. Using a small narrow spoon, spoon out the center yolks into a small mixing bowl.
  3. Using a fork, mash the yolks into a fine powder consistency
  4. Add mayo, mustard and salt and pepper
  5. Mix well
  6. Spoon mixture back into egg whites
  7. Add optional ingredients
  8. Chill and serve cold