Cakes and Casseroles and Pies, Oh My!

Happy Wednesday everyone!! In addition to enjoying all of the barbecuing and festivities this weekend, I hope everyone took a minute to appreciate the men and women who have given their lives serving their country. ‘Merica!

It was a very long but very good weekend for sure. Here’s what’s been cookin’!

Friday
As tempted as I was to use my griddle again to make some more pancakes on Friday, I am determined to maintain variety (to some extent) with my meals, and decided to instead make a recipe I recently found for a banana breakfast cake (with my own little twist)

Banana Chip Breakfast Cake
(Original recipe courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie)

Ingredients:
- 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1/16th tsp salt
- 1 heaping tsp very ripe banana
- 1 tbsp applesauce
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tiny pinch baking soda
- 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar

I mixed the ingredients (first the dry together, then the wet together), and poured the mixture into a greased miniature springform pan. I prepped the oven at 325 degrees and baked the cake for 15 minutes. It came out perfectly! Drizzled with a little sugar-free syrup, it was a delicious breakfast!

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Friday was a very good and productive day at the office. A highlight was receiving a $5 gift card to Starbucks in the mail for simply completing an online survey! Love it!

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PG came over after work and we went out for dinner at Tess, an east side restaurant. I had never been there before, but had seen a Groupon that seemed to offer a great discount on their delicious-sounding menu, so I figured “why not!”

We started with an appetizer.. a slice of something that I unfortunately can’t remember what was called, and that I can’t even figure out based on their online menu. Either way, it was yummy!

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I ordered the Gorgonzola Walnut Chicken, featuring chicken breast, Gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and sautéed vegetable strands served on top of sweet potato puree. Mmm this was really good!

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Making a dessert selection was not difficult at all for me, as for me, if Creme Brulee is on the menu, it’s what I’m getting. I was able to get the very last chocolate almond dish they had. It was fantastic, though I usually prefer a more vanilla-based creme brulee.

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Saturday
Saturday started early, and I headed over to the Knick, a salon I’d never been to before, to use another Groupon I’d recently purchased, which included a cut, conditioning treatment, style and highlights. I got to my appointment at 10 a.m., and was thrilled to be handed a glass of Pinot Grigio upon my arrival. Score.

PG and I went to see the Great Gatsby that afternoon… which was a good movie, but I’m sad to say it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. We went to see it at the Landmark Oriental downtown, which is probably my favorite movie theater in the area. Though the seats aren’t the new, luxury-style ones that a lot of more modern theaters have, the theater is beautiful. The Landmark Oriental was built in 1927, and though there have been various renovations and updates made over the years, a lot of the original charm has been maintained, and I love sitting and looking at all of the decor and design.

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(Image courtesy of Astor Theater History. More info on the theater can be found here.)

Saturday night PG and I couldn’t decide between pizza and spaghetti, so with a little internet searching, I found a few recipes for pizza spaghetti casseroles – I pulled what I liked from a few and arrived at this!

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients:
- 8 oz spaghetti (broken in half)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 cups pasta sauce
- 3 cups shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

Set oven to 350 degrees, and mix cooked spaghetti with the Parmesan and whisked egg. Lay the noodle mixture into the greased pan (I used a pie pan, but you could use a casserole dish.) Sprinkle 1-1 1/2 of shredded mozzarella on top of the noodles.

Brown the turkey and mix it with the pasta sauce. Pour the meat/sauce mixture over the existing cheese/noodle layers. Top the casserole with the remaining mozzarella, and bake for 30 minutes.

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This was pretty good! Though PG commented it could use some more seasoning, and I fully agree. Though I must say, the leftovers are even better than the pie was fresh out of the oven!

Sunday
One of the best things to do in Milwaukee when the weather is starting to warm up is tailgate at a Brewers game! Sunday was my first game of the year, and I made my way over to the park with a caravan of 30+ others for a good time! Food+sunshine+baseball = can’t lose! I whipped up some French Toast Casserole for breakfast that day, knowing my belly would definitely be needing a good layer of bread for soaking up the inevitable consumption that was to come.

The day started with some “syringe shots” prepared by my friends Nate and Courtney, who were also our fearless tailgating hosts/coordinators! These knocked my socks off. Either they were pretty potent, or I just don’t drink much anymore (probably a combination of both!)

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Also potent was the vodka watermelon that some of the girls made – a couple small cups and I was good to go.

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On to the sustenance! Bratwursts and burgers were prepped on the grill, and yes, I had one of each!

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A few of these amazing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were also inhaled as the day progressed…

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Our group was also surprised by some of the Brewers staff by being recognized as the best tailgate! This meant our host Nate was rewarded with a Brewers pop-up tent, all of us were given shirts, flags, cozies and other memorabilia, and our section was featured on the jumbotron during the 5th inning! Awesome!

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I remembered late in the tailgate, as it chilled up a bit, that my hoodie had a fully-functioning cozie designed just for beer bottles, a feature I took advantage of for the rest of the day!

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The fun continued into the game, where I enjoyed some of a strawberry icee – I quickly tired of the heavy-sugar and shared with a friend.

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Monday
Memorial Day ended up being a rather dismal day in Milwaukee. The weather was pretty crappy, and there wasn’t the sunshine that one would usually expect on one of the biggest bbq days of the year!

I spent some time at home earlier in the day, trying to get caught up on the never-ending laundry piles I have around my home, as well as some dishes and cleaning (I barely made a dent, but oh well!)

I made myself a reeeaally simple little pita with turkey, tomato, and a little mozzarella for lunch:
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…and then proceeded to make a little peanut butter pie for peanut-butter-loving PG! I have found so many good recipes on Katie‘s blog, and this is one of them!

Peanut Butter Pie 
(a single-serve portion of a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie)

-1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 medium banana, mashed up very well
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- the tiniest pinch of salt you can muster
- 4 tsp virgin coconut oil, melted (or you can use the same amount of peanut butter, though this will change the texture)
- sugar-free maple syrup, to taste
- sprinkling of mini chocolate chips (because what recipe DON’T I add these into?!)

I blended everything together very well in my blender, and spooned it into a mini springform pan. I set it in the freezer, covered, for a few hours before I delivered the goods to PG. He has yet to consume it, but I will be sure to report on how it went over!

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***note if you use coconut oil, you MUST put this in the freezer until just before you’re ready to eat it, at which point,
let it thaw for a little bit! If you use PB, it can go in the fridge instead!***

PG and I had talked about taking a hike or doing something else outdoors for Memorial Day, but the weather did not allow it. Instead, we decided on yet another movie (The Croods – if you like Disney/Pixar heart-warming and kind of hilarious movies, you should definitely see it!) and some sushi!

We hit up Meiji, which I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about previously, and I got my usual salmon avocado roll, as well as an Alaska roll:

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PG pointed out that his rolls’ presentation was much fancier, and suggested I snap a photo of it for your viewing pleasure as well (though I have no idea what he ordered.. something fancy, that’s for sure!)

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and on to Tuesday!
I got absolutely no sleep Monday night and ran on about 8 cups of coffee yesterday.. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

I started my day with a very good and filling breakfast, though!

I mixed 2 egg whites, 1 egg, 1/4 C instant oats, and 1 scoop of protein powder (as well as a spoonful of mini chips) together to make a big and hearty breakfast pancake! drizzled with a little bit of sugar-free syrup, it was yummy!


That was really the only notable meal of the day :)
I’m a bit better-rested today, and am hoping for a productive Wednesday!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

3 responses to “Cakes and Casseroles and Pies, Oh My!

  1. vodka watermelon? drool, I want to try! I like both of those things so it sounds tasty

  2. That boozy watermelon just brought back sooo many memories from college. Growing up really sucks sometimes!

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