Recipe Review: “Break-Up Bars”

Obviously… snowy weather slushy weather calls for some baking. On my obligatory grocery shop before the storm set in, I wandered down the baking aisle.. not sure what I wanted to make, but sure that I needed to pick up some ingredients. I already have all the flours, sugars, and seasonings at home, but added to my cart – chocolate chips, devils food cake mix, and some cream cheese frosting (I know, canned frosting is nothing like homemade, but I wasn’t in the mood to start from scratch).

Today, deciding what to make (cookie vs. brownies vs. cupcakes vs. other baked good categories) I went through my bookmarked recipes and found these goodies! Called “Break-Up Bars”, they are layers of shortbread, caramel and chocolate, and can ease any emotional female :)

With the recipe calling for 4 sticks of butter (Paula Deen and Julia Child get excited!) and making 24 bars, I felt my arteries constrict voluntarily and decided to halve the recipe (somehow, I can rationalize that, although the nutritional profile remains the same).

This was a fun recipe, and reminded/taught me some new things.

What is the formula again for the area of a circle? Ah yes, pi x radius^2 (don’t you all use this to calculate the area of a pan when you’re changing the quantity of a recipe?? haha)

How do you make caramel without a candy thermometer?

What is this soft-ball stage you speak of?

I found the freezing weather outside to be very helpful in cooling these bars, layer at a time, before adding the next layer.

I was going to  be a good food blogger and take photos at each step, but I found myself having mini kitchen-crises and unable to photo-document the experience. But I assure you that if you go to the origin of the recipe here, you will find beautiful photos and step-by-step directions, written especially for the broken-hearted.

I’ve already had one request for some of these goodies mailed out. That actually might be a good idea, to prevent me from inhaling pounds of butter and sugar by myself.

Tonight…. leftovers for dinner, a homemade fire, and the latest Netflix movie! Oh.. and probably one of these bars with Mayfield’s Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert :)


Fighting the Battle of the Bulge

Don’t think that dietitians (or RDs2B for that matter) are all perfect eaters, with daily diets that meet each and every one of the dietary guidelines and reflect the food guide pyramid. I will admit that before starting my dietetic internship and meeting my fellow interns, I was worried that no one else would eat sweets like I do, or enjoy indulging in caloric splurges. However, I have found that these girls (and 1 guy) also live by the motto of “everything in moderation”. We all enjoy going out to eat, discovering Nashville’s local eateries, and baking/cooking for one another.

If you read one of my recent posts, you will find that the very foods I teach people to think of as “sometimes foods” or “whoa foods” as the little kids learn, have been increasingly a regular part of my diet. Not a good thing. Especially when this sub-zero weather has lead to a decrease in my workouts and caloric expenditure. And so… I am left battling with my all-powerful sweet tooth, who seems to think that a meal cannot end without dessert. However, my thighs and waist tell me that I need to lay off the sweets!

I knew I’d never be able to just stop eating sweets. I’m not one of those people. I love chocolate, cookies, nutella, cupcakes, etc, and I don’t believe anyone should have to live a life without such delights. However, I don’t think they need to be part of my everyday diet. So… I decided to try a 2 day – 1 day cycle, which is as simple as it sounds: 2 days with no dessert, rewarded with a treat the next day, and continue and repeat. I recruited my best friend and college roommate (who will be supporting me when she’s a rich corporate lawyer in a few years) as my support and accountability partner. Afterall, if no one knows my plan and what I’m trying to do, it’s that much harder for me to stick to it!

So… how have I done? Oh dear. Today is day 2, and I’ve had sweets both days. Not planned, of course. Yesterday, the interns went to Fido for lunch. Being the financially poor intern that I am, I brought my peanut butter and banana sandwich inside, but bought a muffin to split with someone. I chose the PC muffin (pumpkin-chocolate chip) which has to be the best muffin ever created!! That was the only dessert of the day, and honestly it did have vegetables in it…. no, there’s no justifying that one. 

Today, an intern brought in chocolate/peanut butter cupcakes for our research workshop class, of which I enjoyed 2. 

So where does this leave us? Basically, the 2 day-1 day has been followed, but unfortunately in reverse. Oh dear…. haha. 

But let’s remember, tomorrow is a new day. And an ironic day at that. I’ll be at one of the Nashville Metro high schools all day, teaching students about making healthier choices for snacks, beverages and fast food. Oh and we have a hilarious “nutrition rap” to do with them too! haha. And in the afternoon, I will be watching Roddick and Federer go head to head in the semi-finals. My roommate has witnessed enough of my screaming at the TV for the past week. Today she asked “when is all this over?!”

Hopefully the next time you hear from me, I’ll be able to report successfully sticking to the “plan”.