I’m Tired of Being Fussy

I’m Bob and I’ve been a fussy eater all my life. My parents couldn’t break me of it. College didn’t change things. Even my time in the Air National Guard did nothing to change my fussy eating. My wife Linda (who loves to cook) has tried in the past and had limited success. Now I do most of the daily cooking at home. Due to health concerns in both our families, we have decided to try to eat healthier. That’s not easy when you don’t eat fruit or most vegetables.

Join me as I try to find new foods that I can eat. I’ll offer tips for dealing with your fussy eaters and you can make suggestions for me to try as well.

Fifth Tier Baking Studio

My wife and I celebrated our 12th Wedding Anniversary last Saturday. Oddly, we didn’t have our usual Anniversary Pizza. We did, however, celebrate by watching our daughter perform at a comedy show in town.

The day after our anniversary we met up with a friend of ours (Lyle) who is opening a bakery in town – The Fifth Tier Baking Studio. He had some treats for us – well, probably a little more for me since I have a sweet tooth.

The first treat was Ready-To-Bake chocolate chip scones.


Fifth Tier Scones 1He had just made them so they needed to sit for a few hours before I could bake them. That was a bit of a test for my patience, but I kept myself busy.

After dinner, I pulled them out of the fridge and started to prepare them. Lyle made this very easy. They came complete with a nice set of directions.

Fifth Tier Scones 2

Since they were already sliced, he suggested that I separate them out in groups of 3 or 4 and freeze whatever I wasn’t going to make. That seemed like a great idea so I kept 4 of them out to make for breakfast the next few days and froze the rest in smaller packages.

Fifth Tier Scones 3

I only very lightly greased the pan because we were just about out of baking spray.  For future batches, I should probably use a little more. The didn’t really stick, but they didn’t slide right off when they were done either.

Fifth Tier Scones 4

Next, I basted them with butter and sprinkled sugar on them. On one of them I also added a little confectioners sugar. That didn’t seem to make any difference so I think I’ll stick to regular granulated sugar and just use more of it. After 25 minutes in the oven, I rotated the pan and let them cook another 2 minutes. Then I pulled them out to cool.

Fifth Tier Scones 5

I sent Lyle a picture of them and he said they looked perfect. As you can see, he really puts a lot of chocolate chips in his scones. That’s just the way I like them.

That plan to save them for breakfast the next few days didn’t quite work out. Before I put them in a Ziplock bag for the night, I had one and it was delicious.

The next morning, I took another one into work. They pair very well with a cup of coffee. I finished off the last two this morning at work. I’ve already taken another pack out of the freezer to make up later tonight.

The second treat Lyle made for us was banana cream cupcakes. I guess one didn’t make it home with us.

Fifth Tier Cupcakes

I’m not a huge fan of banana, but these were really good. However, there were so many of them that I brought some in to work the next day. Several people asked who brought them in and where they came from. Needless to say, they didn’t last the afternoon.

Lyle said he was kind of experimenting a little with these and wished he had put cream inside as well. I think that also explains the various sizes. I could see putting the cream inside the bigger ones , but I didn’t think the smaller ones needed it. They already have a good cake to cream ratio.

Lyle’s bakery opens at the end of September and if these are any indication, I think he will do well. He puts a lot of care into his baking and it shows in the final product. I don’t know if he plans on taking orders outside of the area, but if you are in the area, be sure to check it out.


Buffalo Cauliflower – Hiding a Multitude of Sins

Sometimes it’s a lot easier to eat something good if you can’t tell what it is. That can either mean changing the texture or the taste. Buffalo cauliflower is a good example of changing the taste.

Recently, my wife discovered something rather unusual in the frozen vegetable section of the local supermarket – Bird’s Eye Buffalo Cauliflower. Since I seem to have a taste for spicy foods like spicy roasted Brussels Sprouts, she figured we’d give it a try.

Buffalo Cauliflower

As you can see, they are pretty good for you (except for the sodium). Simply follow the directions on the bag for microwave cooking and you’ve got a quick spicy side dish for your meal.

Buffalo Cauliflower Cooked

They were reasonably spicy – which I have become quite used to by now. However, if your fussy eater hasn’t taken to hot food, this may not go over well. On the other hand, if you’ve got one that loves hot wings, this may be just they way to get them to eat cauliflower.

In all honesty, I have found that I actually like cauliflower – more so than broccoli. We have even made pizza with a cauliflower crust once. I’ll have to post that one sometime. It does a good job of disguising both the texture and taste of cauliflower.

If you haven’t tried cauliflower, and like spicy food, be sure to pick up some of Bird’s Eye’s Buffalo Cauliflower. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It definitely pleased this fussy eater.

Nashville Noshing

About a month ago, my wife and I visited our daughter in Nashville, TN for a week. We had a great time. We got to be in the booth when she was interviewed on Lightning 100 and got VIP seats for her show at The Basement East. Since we had never been to Nashville, she really wanted to show us some of the traditional sights (like the Country Music Hall of Fame), but also some lesser known places that where big down there.

She took us to a lot of local shops selling all sorts of things. The one that caught my attention was called Chocolate F/X. It’s a local chocolate shop that specializes in mixing hand made chocolate with Hollywood special effects. The results are amazing. Here’s a werewolf they had on display.

Chocolate F/X - Werewolf

It’s difficult to get an idea of scale from the picture. It was probably about 10 inches across the shoulders and stood almost as high. I don’t think it was for sale though. They did have some smaller pieces that were available. I opted for one of my favorite horror characters, Freddy Kruger.

Chocolate F/X - Freddy Kruger

The week was topped off by a visit to one of Nashville’s best restaurants – Kayne Prime. I knew it was supposed to be high end, but I really got a better sense of what that meant when we pulled up and a McLaren was parked out front.

Kayne Prime - McLaren

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the McLaren, it’s easily $250K and was such a sweet ride that I couldn’t help but get a picture of it even though I’m kind of partial to Lamborghini. Then again, I’ll never be able to afford either of them.

When we went inside, they had a team of waiters and assistants that served you. Oddly, the assistant waiter turned out to be from a town neighboring our home. He joked that we could talk about anything but football – our High School always beat theirs. They had some really nice steaks on the menu. My wife went with the Prime Rib, and I decided on the Flat Iron steak. We got a bunch of appetizers/sides for the table including risotto tater tots and a delicious macaroni gratinee. There were others, but they didn’t interest me.

Kayne Prime - Dinner Kayne Prime - Meal

The meal was awesome. The only steak I have had that was better was at Murray’s Steakhouse in Minneapolis. If you are ever in Nashville, and want a nice upscale dinner, I highly recommend going to Kayne Prime.

Carb Free Pizza – Cheese IS the Crust

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. It’s not that I haven’t tried anything new in all this time. Actually, I’ve tried quite a few things and I hope to backtrack and post about some of them. Since I last posted, my wife and I have really tried to eat healthier. One thing we have been doing is trying to cut down on carbs. Since pizza is one of our favorite dishes, we figured a healthier pizza would be a great thing to add to our meal plans.

This pizza really struck us as odd since it contains no dough. The crust is literally made of cheese.


  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese – or more if desired
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • pepperoni


  1. Mix the cheeses, eggs and garlic well
  2. Spread the mixture on a 16 inch baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  3. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes – but watch after 10 and remove when golden brown
  4. Add some additional mozzarella cheese as desired
  5. Add your toppings – we used pepperoni
  6. Broil on the center rack for around 5 minutes until additional cheese is melted and toppings are cooked

Carb Free Pizza - Crust

The idea of using cheese as a crust seemed very odd to me. I wasn’t quite sure how it would work. We saw several recipes for this kind of thing and this one used the fewest number of eggs. We figured we wanted to avoid an egg flavor to our pizza so we went with this one.

Carb Free Pizza - Crust Baked

Once the crust was cooked, we could kind of see how this was going to work. My only concern was how firm the crust would be.

Carb Free Pizza - Sauce

Carb Free Pizza - Chese

So we continued making the pizza pretty much the way we would if it had “real” crust. I’m not really sure we needed to add additional cheese after the sauce since the crust was cheese, but we did it anyway.

Carb Free Pizza - Ready to Cook

Next we added a whole bunch of pepperoni. Never hold back on pepperoni. The way I see it, every bite should have some. Unfortunately, we ran out so the last little bit was plain.

Carb Free Pizza - Fully Cooked

As you can see, it came out looking really good. However, my concerns about the firmness of the crust were valid. You will pretty much need a fork to eat this pizza. Either that or cut it into much smaller pieces. That is what we chose to do. It made a great Super Bowl meal along with some cheese fries we made. Cheese, pepperoni, fries, bacon and Patriots win were all I could ask for.

We didn’t finish the pizza last night, so I heated it up again for dinner tonight. I was really curious how well it would hold up as leftovers. I knew microwaving it would be a bad idea, so I tossed it in the oven at 400 for a few minutes.

Carb Free Pizza - Leftovers

It actually hold up pretty well the next day. Well, the crust was still not as firm as an actual dough crust, but it tasted just as good as the night before. I must admit that I am not really sure of any of the nutritional info for this pizza, except that it uses no carbs. If that’s what you are looking for in a pizza, this one definitely gets the fussy eater seal of approval.


Meatless Monday – Rana Ravioli Cheese Forte

I’m not quite sure where my wife got the idea, although it seems to be a big thing these day – Meatless Monday. Generally we have meat every night, so it is a bit for a change for us. To be honest, I’m not sure how well we will hold to Meatless Monday. It certainly didn’t apply on Memorial Day.

Anyway, when we were in Price Chopper recently, they were offering samples of some bolognese sauce and ravioli. My wife liked the sauce so she picked some up along with the ravioli. It saw in the fridge for a while until we decided that Meatless Monday would be a good day to try it.

Rana Ravioli Cheese Forte

I was quite surprised at the cooking directions. This stuff literally cooks in 2 minutes – well, that and the time it takes for the water to boil. I wasn’t quite sure what cheeses were in it so I sprinkled a bit of Parmesan cheese over the top.

Ravioli Cheese Forte


I probably didn’t need to add any cheese. They were quite good and also rather filling. They will make an excellent addition to Meatless Mondays. They also are a great quick meal to prepare and to clean up after. I would definitely recommend these for younger fussy eaters too. If you aren’t a fussy eater, then add one of the sauces to create a less bland dish.

Italian Herb Chicken with Broccoli

I’ve become a little bit of a fan of the Land O’ Lakes Saute Express seasonings. I’ve made the Italian Herb before, but this time I decided to change things up a little.

So I decided to add some broccoli to the pan and I sauteed it up with the chicken. I’ve been tolerating plain broccoli florets for a while now so I hoped that adding them to the seasoning would give them a little more flavor.

Italian Herb Chicken and Broccoli

The broccoli certainly did get cooked in well with the chicken. I do think I may have added it too soon though. The broccoli got a little too soft.

Italian Herb Chicken and Broccoli with Noodles

I topped it all off with a little pasta and Parmesan cheese. It made for a great meal with some much needed greens. The broccoli was a bit too mushy, but it was a little more flavorful than usual. Perhaps it would be better to say it hid the broccoli flavor better. Either way, it gave me another way to eat broccoli.


The Problem with Purple Potatoes

Recently, my wife and I were shopping at the local Fresh Market and saw some purple sweet potatoes. We’d never seen them before. My wife loves the color purple and we enjoyed several sweet potato recipes, so we decided to pick one up.

We assumed that it could be cooked the same as a regular sweet potato and that just the color was different. So we decided to make grilled sweet potato fries out of it. We really enjoyed them in the past so it seemed like the perfect way to prepare them.

We’ll we were wrong. We forgot one thing about grilling sweet potatoes. It can be difficult to keep them from burning. That in itself isn’t so bad when you use a regular sweet potato because you can tell what color it is and tell when it is starting to turn black. That doesn’t work with purple sweet potatoes.

Purple Sweet Potato Fries

Purple sweet potatoes are very dark to begin with so it is nearly impossible to tell if the are burning until they are really burnt. Despite cooking a pretty reasonable number of fries, we ended up with only a few that were really edible.


The ones that were edible were just as good as the regular sweet potato fries. However, it was tough to pick them out. Sometimes, you thought you had a good one until you ate it. By then it was too late. If they were burnt, they were not at all appetizing.

In the future, if we cook purple sweet potatoes, I’ll try the baked sweet potato fries instead. I think they are too dark to try making potato chips since they tended to burn a little if you weren’t careful.

So I can recommend purple sweet potatoes if you like regular sweet potatoes, but you need to be a bit cautious in how you cook them so they don’t burn.



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