OUR NEW VENTURE

We just purchased a home away from home in Ocean City, Maryland. Both my husband and I grew up having fun in OC. It’s all fun when your a kid. Amusements, rides, sun, sand, and surf; what more could you want? Even at our age, it still calls to us.

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We bought a mobile home, with a bit of a history. It used to belong to my husbands parents 27 years ago. It was sold because they decided to build a home outside of OC. We offered to buy it and his father refused to sell it to us. When we asked him why he said “I want to get paid”. We laughed, truth was, they wanted us to stay with them and not at the beach. I must admit, we weren’t in a position to buy it back then anyway. So here we are, back at the old vacation place.

It’s going to take some love and elbow grease to get it the way we want it. Picking out paint, repairing and removing to make it ours. Hopefully it will be just as fun and memorable for our family and friends as it was for us years ago. Time to make new memories!

So here it is. Two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, and one bathroom. Oh the stories this place could tell if it could talk. Here are the before pics. I will post our progress on my FB page Around the Butcher Block. One room at a time with some time off for sun and fun. Let me know your thoughts. I am open to thoughts and ideas to maximize our tiny space, all constructive ideas are welcome.

I hope you enjoy our transformation. If your in the area, stop by with a paint brush. We can certainly use a few more hands to get the job done.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

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Stay Tuned……

It’s been a while since I’ve written! Believe me when I tell you a lot has been going on.

We are getting ready to embark on a new venture. One that I can not wait to share with you. So look for some new recipes and some cool and creative stuff very soon.

In the mean time; Spring is here! I couldn’t be happier! It’s time for flowers and my herb gardens. Digging in the dirt is therapeutic for this chick. How about you?

Anyway, I’ll be back real soon with some goodies. I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter holiday. Be happy and enjoy your life. Tomorrow is never promised, live for today and live your best life.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

YOGURT CHEESECAKE…1WW SP

We are invited to a friends for brunch today. I hate going to somebody’s house without taking something. Are you like that too?? I mean, I was told not to bring anything. I just can’t help myself. Both of them are trained chefs. One, a pastry chef and the other, an all round amazing cook. Crazy, right!!????

Anyway, I woke up this morning thinking to myself, “what can I bring”. As luck would have it I ran across this recipe on Pinterest. It’s been sitting in my kitchen all week staring at me. I had all of the ingredients so why not? By the way, this was 6 o’clock this morning. My sleeping habits are obnoxious.

Anyway, nonfat Greek yogurt, eggs, a box of sugar free, fat free, cheesecake pudding, some vanilla and sweetener of your choice, and your off. Seriously, you just throw everything into a bowl and whip it with a whisk. The batter tasted amazing. It is tangy from the yogurt but I thought it was great.  Bake it for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and let it cool.

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It is crustless! My favorite part of cheesecake is the sugary, buttery, crust; alas, too many points. I have, what I think, is a good solution. One square of graham cracker smashed into crumbs. I took the crumbs and sprinkled them over the fat free cool whip and strawberries. I’m so excited, I just want to eat dessert.

So here’s to a wonderful Sunday with family and friends. I hope you enjoy your day too! If you’re looking for a Sunday dessert, this whips up quick. I’ve shared the recipe below.

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 small box of sugar free fat free pudding mix, cheesecake flavor (you could easily use other flavors to change the taste)
  • 2 Tbsp Splenda (or your favorite sweetener) taste the batter and adjust for more or less sweetening.
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan (or cake pan) with foil. Spray lightly with a nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk all the ingredients together. (it is very thick)
  3. Pour the batter into a prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Cool completely at rom temperature and then keep chilled.

Note: you can use any toppings you like. Just remember to calculate the points.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

C’s SALAD OR ANYTHING GOES

I haven’t written in a while. In fact, since our return from Aruba there hasn’t been much free time. In an attempt to reclaim myself and get back into a routine, I felt the need to blog.

I swore when I came home I was going back on Weight Watchers; so I did! Having to wear a bathing suit in Aruba really puts things in perspective. With summer just around the corner, I decided to take a stand. It’s amazing what you can do when you get your head into the game.

I can’t imagine anybody not knowing what Weight Watchers is. I mean, it’s been around since the early 60’s. It was founded by Jean Nidetch of Queens, NY. She began inviting her friends to her home to discuss how best to lose weight. Now millions of people follow this program all over the world. You can still attend meetings and also follow the plan on the web. The program has changed many times over the years. It still offers the same benefits of health and successful weight loss.

I truly hate the word “diet”. As soon as someone mentions the word take a look at the person or people you are talking to. There are the head shakers, the nose wrinklers, the whispers, the laugh under your breath, basically the “non-believers”. So here is something you need to understand. Weight Watchers is a lifestyle not a diet!!!!

At present I have two partners in crime, two of my best friends actually. We all decided to change our “lifestyle” together. One of my friends had lunch for the 3 of us this week which resulted in this salad. She made this and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and what I could put in it. I made it for my husband and myself last night. It was a huge hit with him too.

This salad can pretty much be whatever you want it to be. It’s a fantastic way to use leftover vegies. The addition of beans and the egg are good sources of protein. I added some fruit as well. I have a new-found love for Bolthouse Farms yogurt salad dressings. You can use a lot for few points. I was also recently told about a poppyseed salad dressing from Panera that is 1 point for 4 Tablespoons. I haven’t tried it yet but definitely will.

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Here is a list of what I used. This can be changed up by season and what is fresh. Seriously, this has no limits. For those of you that are lucky enough not to have a weight problem, you can also enjoy this. Vegies are for everyone!!!!!

C's Salad

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • Spiralized beets, cut into 3 inches (I use scissors for this)
  • Spiralized butternut squash, cut into 3 inches
  • Spiralized zucchini, cut into 3 inches
  • Carrot match sticks
  • Corn kernels (I used frozen and let them thaw to room temp)
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Chopped fennel
  • Chopped red pepper
  • Blueberries
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chickpeas
  • All of the above are on the zero points food list, use whatever you like. All of my vegetables are raw.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. I arranged everything in the bowl to make it pretty and eye appealing. I also wanted you to see what was in there.
  2. Serve with your favorite salad dressing. I am into the Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressings. I used the cucumber ranch. Two tablespoons = 1 point. It is a good amount.
  3. Salt and pepper or whatever seasoning you want on your salad.

This would be great for any time. If your hungry it’s a filling meal for little to no points.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

 

 

 

LIGHTENED UP CHICKEN FRANCESE (by Skinny Taste)

Yes, still in Aruba folks. We have a few days before our last and final crew come. I’m excited for them to get here. This has been a wonderful vacation. In the mean time, we are taking some down time and hanging out. In the mood to cook, I turned to one of my favorites. This Chicken Francese is amazing. It’s also one of my hubby’s favorites.

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While my husband loves this, he doesn’t like it if  it’s “too lemony”. Don’t get me wrong…..I love the extra lemon. In order to have my francese and eat it too, I had to cut back slightly on the lemon. The sauce turned out richly flavored from the chicken broth, white wine, and butter and enough lemon to please both of us. I added some roasted vegetables to round out our meal.

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The recipe below is the exact recipe by Gina Homolka, author of Skinny Taste. She has three cookbooks out. I own all three of them and use them all the time. She is an amazing cook. All of her recipes are big on flavor and light on calories. Check our her cookbooks and do yourself a favor and look her up @ https://www.skinnytaste.com/

CHICKEN FRANCESE LIGHTENED UP from GINA HOMOLKA @ SKINNY TASTE.COM

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large (32 oz) chicken breast halves, thinly sliced in 3 (12 cutlets total)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour*
  • 1/2 cup egg whites, beaten
  • 1 large lemon, juice of (about 3 tbsp) or more, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 15 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • cooking spray
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl, and the beaten egg whites in another bowl.
  3. Heat a very large non stick pan over medium heat. When hot spray with cooking spray to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Lightly flour chicken, then dip in eggs and add to the hot pan a few at a time. Saute chicken 2-3 minutes on each side.
  5. When cooked, transfer onto a plate.
  6. Spray the pan again and repeat until all chicken has been cooked.
  7. Once all chicken is cooked, place the chicken broth in the bowl with 1 tablespoon of flour and whisk.
  8. Add to the pan along with the juice of the lemon, white wine, lemon slices, parsley and butter and simmer over medium heat for about 2 minutes so it reduces slightly and thickens. Turn off heat.
  9. Return chicken to the pan to combine with the sauce.
  10. Serve immediately.

*discarded 1 tbsp flour so only calculated with 3 tbsp.

Note: I used one lemon cut in half. Half for the sliced lemon and the other half to squeeze in the sauce. It was a large lemon.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 2 cutlets

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Freestyle Points: 2
  • Points +: 6
  • Calories: 216.5 calories
  • Total Fat: 4.5g
  • Saturated Fat: g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 264.5mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Protein: 38g
All text ©Gina Homolka for Skinny taste
Til next time,
Ciao xoxo
Viki D

BINGO IN ARUBA

No, it’s not the game. It’s a fantastic restaurant on the island. Recommended to us 5 years ago by a local. It is the first stop we make as soon as we get here. We also go multiple times while we are here. Of course we take all of our guests there as well.

We went last night for the third time with our new arrivals. Once again it did not disappoint! We had a delightful waitress, Elena! Cute as a pin and just fun to engage. She informed us she was Dutch and 21 years old. We immediately became fast friends; I hope for years to come.

Our friendly bartender, Jimmy, has been working there as long as we have been going. He too is adorable, always has a big smile on his face. He never ceases to come from behind the bar to hug us and say “Welcome”. If you need to find something here, he is your man!

Bingo is a local hangout for the Dutch. The food is prepared fresh and is phenomenal. I will whisper one thing to you…..beef carpaccio! If you never try another thing; this is a must. We had the salmon carpaccio last night. It too, was amazing. I would never have paired a honey mustard sauce with it; it made the dish.

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Bingo has an old world feel; lanterns, dark wood tables, shutters at the windows. You feel transformed to another time. Bottles of Schrobbeler, a dutch liquor, line the windows and walls. It’s hard to describe the taste but it’s very good.

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There are steaks and burgers on the menu too. I had one of the best burgers last night I think I have had anywhere. Coming from me that’s saying something. I do love a good burger.  It was cooked to perfection and the meat was flavorful. My brother-in-law had steak and he raved about it.

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If you ever get to Aruba, and I suggest you do, locate Bingo. It’s a fun, friendly, atmosphere with great food. The entire staff is truly amazing. It has the feel of your local bar/restaurant away from home. The place is always packed and hopping; a reservation is a good idea. Eat in the bar or the restaurant, whatever your preference. You’ll be glad you did!

https://www.bingoaruba.com/

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D