Fresh Water Fish Sushi Tarties

Fresh Water Blue Gill Tarties
Phyllo dough cups stuffed with fresh fish… YUM!!

What to do with leftovers? Personally, I hate leftovers. If I have eaten it the night before, I don’t want it on my plate for the next couple of weeks. My honey-man is the complete opposite. He could eat the same dish three nights in a row.

I had leftover Blue Gill in my fridge from this weekend. It was fish my grandson caught while vacationing in Traverse City this summer. We pan fried it last night and I stuffed the leftovers in a baggie for a “TBD” (to be determined) meal.  This morning is was calling out to me, “What yah gonna do with me, Blimpy Girl?”. Well, Mr. Blue Gill, I’m gonna make you into a fish tartie. How do you like that?
 
What cracks me up about this dish is my computer tech guru was at the house installing a new desktop today. He is clueless about my new Blimpy Girl venture and when I presented him with these plated fish cups, he was in awe. Blind tasters are the best. Mr guru tech’s exact words were, “Wow, this is so flavorful, what’s that yellow stuff (which was butternut squash BTW)?” Two gulps later the food had vanished and the dishes were sitting in my kitchen sink. The smile on his face said it all…. AWESOME BABY!!
 
My second taster was one of my afternoon workers. She also gave a thumbs up for the Fish Sushi Tarties. Quite honestly, I even impressed myself with this recipe. I’ll be serving it up tonight to the honey-man along with the turkey Rueben I made for lunch.
 
If there is one thing you should have in your freezer at all times, it’s phyllo cups. They are in the frozen section and come 15 cups per package. My gosh, you can fill those little dough cups with just about anything and make yourself look like a gourmet chef.
 
This recipe can be adapted for just about any kind of fish or seafood. The ingredients used lend themselves well to the California Sushi idea. I haven’t tallied the calories yet, but they should be relatively low for a serving of three cups. I’ll get that info to you ASAP. Just have to do the math. Grab the Recipe
 

Cinnamon Applesauce with Vanilla Wafers & Pudding

Warm Applesauce & Vanilla Wafers
A perfect after school treat & healthy, too!

I work from home and have staff that often need a quick snack fix. Blimpy Girl is there for them. Today’s snack was warm applesauce with low-fat vanilla wafers.

You can toast the wafers in a hot skillet with some non-stick oil if you like. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and you’ve got an afternoon treat that is under 100 calories.
 
Perfect snack for the kids when they get off the bus. Ahhh… how about a dollop of warm vanilla pudding (you know the kind in a pudding cup). The low-fat pudding will only add another 27 to 30 calories if using about 1 1/2 tablespoon per serving.
 
I dished up 3/4 cups of applesauce as pictured with 3 vanilla wafers (halved) and the warm pudding, of course! Find out how I made the applesauce here.
 

Turkey Reuben

Turkey RuebenI couldn’t wait to try this lunch dish. A turkey Reuben sandwiched between a toasted green onion tortilla. It was everything I had hope for and more (especially if you add extra dressing!)

I cut the tortilla into quarters for finger plating. Each quarter is in the neighborhood of  50 calories and that’s with the extra dressing.

This is one of my “Meals on the Fly” dishes. Took less than 10 minutes from start to finish. Grab the Recipe

Heat Tortilla in skillet to help melt the swiss cheese.

Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, turkey and Thousand Island dressing. The perfect sandwich combo for a quick lunch. Tip: You’ve gotta eat this one hot!

Organizing for Entertaining

Organizing for Entertaining

Making the most of your entertaining storage space is critical.

The wine guy and I do plenty of entertaining and it’s usually at least 12 people plus. I try to have at least 18 sets of white dinnerware on hand at all times. This means salad plates, dinner plates, bowls, serving dishes…. you get where I’m going with this.

Finally, this weekend, I made time to organize my storage space. Heck, I’ve got another 12 dinner and salad plates arriving this week from my Kohl’s (30% off) sale purchase. Oh, and new dinner napkins, too (24 of them in two different colors/styles). I’m fairly certain that somewhere in this blog I’ve mentioned my compulsive nature….in case you haven’t noticed.

Knowing what dishes I have on hand and table linens is critical. In the past, I have spent considerable time trying to hunt down dishes and table setting items in some forgotten cupboard, the attic, or cubby hole. That all came to a halt this weekend. I CLEANED OUT CUPBOARDS!  I now know exactly where every item is located and have become so anal that I actually take pictures and log entertaining items. This means service ware, linens and table flower arrangements and displays are now categorized with a location.

Take pictures of your dinnerware, linen and table setting locations.

I can hear you muttering under your breath, “Way too much time on her hands.” Quite the opposite. I don’t have time to be searching for things. Nothing irritates me more than spending 15 minutes looking for something I know I have “somewhere”.

Are you thinking, “I don’t entertain enough to have things organized.” I say, “Really!”. I don’t care if you entertain for a party of four or 24, you need to have your ducks in a row. Coordinate your place settings by season or color theme. Know where you have table decor and candles. Why buy things you already have?

Looking for a great and inexpensive place to buy table linens? One of my favorites is LinenTableCloth.com. Great place to purchase table clothes in a variety of sizes.

Garden Vegetable Beef Soup

Garden Vegetable Soup (from scratch!)

Here in Michigan the temps have started to chill down and it’s officially “soup” weather. One of my favorite Autumn/Winter foods is home made soup. This weekend my honey man and I emptied one of our freezers of all the frozen veggies we had stock piled and decided to make soup.

It was my call and I elected vegetable beef soup. Big hearty chunks of beef were stewed in the stock broth along with corn, green beans, cauliflower, onion, carrots, zucchini, and summer squash. I like to use a “Roasted Beef Base” from Gordon’s food service to add flavor to the soup stock.

My grand kids do not eat this kind of soup…too many veggies for them. However, this was a rare occasion when my oldest grand son (8 years old) decided to give it a taste. His verdict: “Wow, that is really, really good NeeNee!” If you add enough flavor and oohhh and ahhh about a dish enough, it might strike a chord with kids and they will be singing praises.

A hearty bowl of this homemade goodness (1 1/2 cup) packs about 200 nutrient filled calories. Add a slice of hard crusted bread for dipping and you’re under 300 calories.

My $4 Flower Arrangement

My $4 Flower arrangement
Who said fresh flowers have to cost an arm and a leg?

This was my weekend find. A $4 fresh flower arrangement from a local farm. You could buy the arrangement in a Mason jar for $6 or just the flowers for $4.

 Incredibly fragrant. I’m still trying to determine what flower or flowers make this so awesome smelling. I used the arrangement on my garden deck tonight for dinner. The scent intermingled with Autumn smells absolutely complemented the dinner.
 
 
 Sometimes it’s the simplest, least expensive things that make a meal or table setting. Put this arrangement in the middle of white table linens and you’ve got yourself a hit. Blimpy girl sticks to her guns about table decor…. dress a table and you’ll eat slower and eat less.

Blimpy Girl Binge Meal: Fried Calamari

Not your standard Blimpy Girl meal by any stretch of the imagination.

Occasionally Blimpy Girl splurges on extra calories. Weekends tend to be those times that I go on a Blimpy Girl Binge. It’s a time when the wine guy opens up a “really good” bottle of vino and I indulge. I’m am getting better about feeling “guilt-free” when partaking in these sinfully high-calorie, high fat meals. I didn’t feel too bad about this one. Come on, sitting on the back deck on a gorgeous Fall day with my man and sipping wine and knocking off fried calamari that was to die for…. guilt really wasn’t an issue.

One of the simplest meals you can prepare is with wine, bread, cheese, and in this case, fried calamari. Yes, yes, I know… fried! Ain’t suppose to happen in the Blimpy Girl meal plan, but baking this calamari just wasn’t an option for me. So I battered it up in Panko bread crumbs and flour and pan fried in 25% peanut oil to 75% canola oil. Grab the Recipe

  Calamari in Panko Bread CrumbsRoasted red peppers and toated French Baguette in olive oil

When I say that this calamari was the best that either my husband or I have had at any restaurant, it’s gospel. Tender with just enough crunch and full of flavor. No dipping sauce was needed. The 2004 Brunello was perfect with the Cotswold & a triple cream cheese from France (St. Andre). Toasted baquette slices and roasted red peppers completed this binge meal.

We won’t talk calories here, just know it is was a binge meal and today I’m back on track. Grilled salmon and vegetable soup du jour. I’ll also be grilling up some of the leftover bass my grandson caught this summer while vacationing in Traverse City.

Breakfast Caprese English Muffin

Breakfast Caprese English MuffinGarlic for breakfast? You bet! This English muffin Caprese may give dragon breath, but the taste is worth every bit of the knock off your dirty socks breath.

As my honey-man “wine geek” would say, “Nothing that a little red wine won’t fix.” And, that’s exactly what we did. We had a glass of Cabernet from Chile (Reserva, no less). At our house, we write the rules for wine drinking. Rule #1: There are no rules.

I am going to be hosting a tapas dinner in October and this will be on the menu for one of the small plates. I will substitute this instead of a salad dish. Grab the Recipe

Take Two: Guac Chips

Guacomole Chips AppetizerI recently posted a recipe for Mock Guack dip. This is today’s lunch using some of the leftover guacomole dip.

I plated 12 all-nautral scoopable  Tostito chips. Each chip is filled with low-fat cheddar cheese, a portion of guacomole and a diced roasted red pepper.

Melt for a minute or so in the microwave and serve. The entire plated chips as shown is in the neighborhood of 270 calories. Very filling, very EZ, and a great way to use up some of that Mock Guack dip.