Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Cravings: Word Counters

Counting my words again. 

Today my fellow Word Counters and I are sharing our monthly group post. Each month one group member picks a number between 12 and 74. All participating bloggers are then challenged to write something (or a few somethings, as the case may be) using that exact number of words. Today we all share what we came up with.

Word Counters, a multiblogger writing challenge | Developed, run by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

The August number is 60. 
It was chosen by Diane of On the Border.

As I've been doing in these Word Counters posts, I've chosen a theme and am using my word count multiple times in keeping with the theme. This month I've chosen the theme Cravings (ie: when you can't be with the one you love . . .).

~ You'd think my cravings result from the pandemic ever changing food availability. You'd be wrong. I've talked about having to change Hubs' diet due to gallbladder issues, so my cravings aren't about availability, but kindness. Yes, kindness. I've not only changed how I cook, but I'm (mostly) not eating anything at home that Hubs can't have. Call it couples suffering.

~ I made adjustments so there'd still be meals and accomplished the task of actually providing them . . . you know . . . daily. But with Hubs home so much more, there were also snacks and desserts needed. They're made differently, taste different, and required aggressive diligence in masking the artificial taste of fat free cream cheese or whipped cream substitute (yuck, by the way). 

~ I've had my successes {{pats self on back}}. I make pizza using lower fat cheeses and vegetables for toppings, satisfies the craving. We have burgers too, mine beef but I've developed a recipe for Sweet Chili Turkey Burgers that Hubs loves. And I've tried new ideas, like my Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches served with Sweet Potato fries. Sweet (pun intended) successes. 

Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches are a healthy, hearty meal. Grilled eggplant is topped with cheese and vegetables, and served on a toasted Ciabatta. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #sandwich

Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches are a healthy, hearty meal. Grilled eggplant is topped with cheese and vegetables, and served on a toasted Ciabatta. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #sandwich

~ But still . .  cravings. Yes, I know there are drive throughs. Unfortunately, this state never instituted precautions, bought into the"see no evil, less testing, less cases". Without closings there weren't safe stages of reopening. The amount of time we spent indoors was longer than in states that took intelligent precautions both in closing and reopening. We've been on our own.

~ Picturing myself collecting coveted goodies then sitting alone in my car shoveling it in? Not pretty. And logistics: sneak out (with cover story), use cash (no bills), get rid of the trash (evidence) before coming home, air out the car, oh, and where to brush my teeth? A gas station bathroom? Has it come to this? Not yet (maybe later).

~ Yet there are foods I can't duplicate, nor live without (there, I said it). Funny, the cravings are for foods I rarely eat when I can, yet now haunt me continuously: Popeye's Chicken Sandwich, McDonald's french fries, Dairy Queen Blizzard, Egg McMuffin, General Tso's Chicken (with Crab Rangoon, of course), Dunkin' munchkins. {{sigh}} May their memories be for a blessing.

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Messymimi’s Meanderings 
On the Border 

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Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches        

Printable Recipe

1 eggplant
6 Ciabatta rolls (can use any roll) 
6 slices of beefsteak tomato
6 TBSP parmesan cheese
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese 
Jar (7 oz) roasted red pepper slices
6 TBSP Miracle Whip or other reduced fat mayonnaise 
1/2 cup cleaned, dry spinach leaves

*Remove the ends from the eggplant and slice the thickest section into six, about 3/4 inch slices. Place individually on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
*Pat the top of the eggplant slices. Turn over onto clean paper towels, sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
*Heat grill to medium high. Slice the Ciabatta rolls. Drain the red pepper slices and pat dry.

*Place the eggplant slices, tomato slices, and halved rolls (open side down) on the grill. Lower the heat to medium. Watch the rolls and remove as soon as they're brown.
*Cook the eggplant slices for 5 minutes. Turn them over and top each slice with 1 TBSP grated parmesan cheese, a slice of tomato, then 2 TBSP shredded mozzarella cheese and a few roasted red pepper slices. Cover the grill and cook for another 5 minutes. 
*Spread 1 TBSP mayonnaise onto the bottom of each roll, top with some spinach leaves, an eggplant round and cover with the top of the roll.


  1. Ah, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. I can live with out the fries, I don’t like theirs. Cracker Barrel and fresh (well that’s a stretch) vegetables. Fried okra, black eyed peas or green beans, stewed squash. Yeah I know I could do it at home, but nobody eats them but me. The one thing I have not given up, Chic fil A. They deliver through Door Dash. I know, pricey, but you got to slip it in sometime.

    1. We all have our favorites, and nothing wrong with treating ourselves now and then.

  2. Cravings! Yikes! My go-to guilty pleasure is the A&W Uncle burger. With bacon and cheese. Mmmmm...
    That grilled eggplant sandwich looks absolutely delicious! Maybe I'll finally be able to get Husby to eat eggplant!
    I'm quite sure you're way ahead of me, but Husby and I use our air fryer for our fries and we love how they turn out-crispy in all the right places...completely without using any oil!

    1. I don't have an air fryer. Or an Insta Pot for that matter. Maybe some day when it's safe I'll go spend an afternoon in a kitchen store!

  3. The longer this goes on, the better having a nosh in the car might sound.

    If and when things reopen again, you might plan a ladies' night out at a restaurant and go get some of your favorites.

    And you have seen that i nominated you for an award, you really do inspire me to try to be more creative when i cook.

  4. I can sympathize. With Weight Watchers, our reduced fat diet (and husband eats "my food" right along with me)allows us to have some fat. I would rather do without some things, and fat free whipped topping and fat free cream cheese are so nasty we don't use them, period. On the other hand, we've gotten used to ground turkey and reduced fat cheddar, and now I even prefer fat free Greek Yogurt to sour cream, believe it or not. Husband makes a sort-of alfredo sauce using almond milk cooked down. I've not tried an air fryer yet. We love eggplant and are growing some this year. Your sandwich sounds yummy; perfect for a summer meal. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. I hope I get to see some pics of your eggplants.
      I've used the fat free cream cheese and whipped topping. I had to work so hard and add so much flavoring to mask the taste, I won't use either one again.

  5. I rarely eat take away but do like a quarter pounder from time to time. We have an air fryer sine long before they became popular

    1. I think I'd love having an air fryer, it's first on my to-do list when it's safe to be out again.


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