Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The tarts were a combination of canned crab meat, sauteed onions and mushrooms with shredded cheddar and parmesan with cream cheese. They were yummy and the filling was even better before it was cooked.
I'm not a big fish eater - so I am going to take it nice and slow while getting through the fish section of Eat Shrink and be Merry.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Forgot to mention that yesterday while making my meal, it required just a tbs of orange juice concentrate and we are not going to drink a pitcher of OJ. Instead, I put the remainder into ice cube trays and froze for future recipes that call for just a bit.
Mike was in the mood for burgers and I had already prepared my menus for the week and done all the grocery shopping. So we compromised. He made the gigantic burgers on the barbeque all wrapped in foil and I made a Chicken Coup Salad.
The salad contained chicken, apples, cranberries, chopped pecans, celery and green onions. Well I did improvise a bit since the green onions I forgot to pick up got replaced with thinly sliced leeks and the sour cream than I thought I was buying turned out to be ricotta cheese. I substituted sour cream for plain yogurt and it worked out fine.
The salad was a really big hit on the back porch with all the guys next door. I saved a bit so I could still take some to work for lunch. I loved this recipe as much as the football!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
The produce is locally grown and I get so excited buying everything my week work of menus requires. By the time I leave - my arms are aching and I vow that next week I'll get one of those little pull bags on wheels.
All the fall veggies were perfect for a soup called Melancauli Baby - cauliflower, leeks, sweet potatoes, rice, broth and topped with swiss cheese. The spices were cumin and curry along with salt and pepper. My house smells amazing and the soup was spicy - but not in a bad way.
Perfect for a Saturday! Now off to Grape and Wine Festival in St. Catharines. Hope nobody pukes on my shoes! Every year thousands of people who don't normally drink wine, get together to celebrate the grape harvest and the result is usually a lot of ruined shoes and really happy people.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Last night we had Hawaiian Pizza with Canadian bacon - or pemeal bacon and a bit of pineapple chunks. I loved it and Mike ate Delissio since he thinks pineapple is the worst fruit on the planet.
Another busy day today. I'm eating leftovers today - Hawaiian Pizza for lunch!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Plan B - instead of serving just the "Grill of My Dreams" - I also made some Sticky Chicken. Both were easy to do and luckily I had marinated the pork the night before. I made the pork with the grilled veggies on the side. Instead of slicing the pork and serving it on the spinach leaves with mango, I prepared a tossed salad and a tomato, red onion, cucumber and feta salad.
There was plenty to feed the boyfriend with a great appetite and the neighbours too! Everyone was raving about a great meal. I have to give all the kudos to Janet and Greta for making me look good!
Tonight I will get organized - famous last words!!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I hate excuses - but - this was a week of a new job, new employees and a new puppy!!
This is the Golden Retriever puppy that I so desperately wanted and I still do. His name is Dallas and he is just 8 weeks old. All of my spare time - and some of my sleeping hours are spent keeping him out of trouble!
Besides all the changes - the biggest obstacle that I am now facing everyday is that there is a french fry truck in the parking lot where I work.
Fromage a Trosi is a vegetable lasagne with lots of cheese - feta, ricotta and mozerella. I loved this but I did a slight variation - I used eggplant instead of lasagne noodles. The slices were grilled lightly on the barbeque. This was a big hit and a way to use a lot of veggies from gracious neighbors!
Pizza for the Upper crust was just perfect for feeding puppy visitors! I can't get over how much I love fresh mozzerella.
On the same subject - I made Red, White and Yahoo - a chick pea, boccincini cheese, fresh tomatoes and red onion salad - oo la la!! I got a suggestion from someone that has been following the blog and I am so greatful for the suggestion. Another favourite even though I'm not a big fan of the chick peas. The different textures and flavours is amazing!
Lord of the Wings was also tasty - just enough zing for Mike to eat them. I still grabbed Franks Hot Sauce and gave them more spicy flavour for my liking. These were made with boneless chicken thighs, barbeque sauce, dijon, honey, lime juice etc. A much better verision of hot wings!
The Chokes on You was an artichoke dip made with kidney beans, swiss cheese, sour cream, mayo etc in a food processor and baked - then topped with crumpled bacon. I loved this and so did our company. This was not a fan favourite of Mike's.
The Grill of My Dreams was so delicious! It started with a marinade on a pork tenderloin and sat in the fridge overnight. The tenderloin was grilled while peppers and zucchini grilling. After resting the pork for 5 minutes, it was sliced with the veggies and added to a bowl with sliced mango and spinach leaves. The reserved marinade was added and wow - what a meal!!
Mr. Bean was so easy and so good too! It makes such a difference using freshly picked beans from the market. You can use frozen too - but I really like just snacking on these midday too!
Tomorrow we are having the girls over to meet the puppy!
Thanks for being so patient - waiting for me to get back to the blog
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I made Do the Chunky Chicken Salad - oh my!!!!
Its made with a lemony dill creamy dressing and lots of crunchy vegetables and chicken. Try this one - I sure will again and again.
Tomorrow is Jamaican Me Hungry - since I made the marinade and put the chicken thighs in it tonight. Busy week - only 3 more sleeps till we get our new puppy!!!
The marinade was spicy, sweet and basted on in the last 5 minutes of grilling. This recipe was so quick and easy - but crazy delicious!! We added some fresh green beans and cauliflower.
A great meal before Monday Night Football - much tastier than pizza and wings!!
In my attempt to catch up - I will recall as best as I can the last couple of days that I did miss. We had Shroom With Ado - marinated and grilled portabello mushrooms.
These were made with a marinade that sits for an hour - I left mine for four. The mushrooms are grilled lightly and sliced. The recipe calls for stir frying onions and peppers then wrapping in tortillas.
As I mentioned the lack of energy - we just ate the mushrooms sliced and they were actually pretty filling as well as really tasty!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Luckily - I won't be spending more time in front of hotel buffets next week. Back to eating lunches that I prepare and pack.
Mike and I drove to North Bay and back yesterday - so I made Bewedged - baked pita wedges with parmesan and rosemary and yummus. This was light and easy. Maybe I love parmesan and rosemary too much - Mike thought the taste was a bit too strong!
Back on track tomorrow!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The dish had lots of great ingredients that have flavour; penne pasta, bacon, chicken, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach, pesto and feta cheese. Maybe I added too much pasta and the sauce was barely noticeable??
Mike added some cream of mushroom soup and tomato sauce to make it more of his liking. I am going to try this one again - but next time I will measure the ingredients.
I come from a long line of cooks that have passed on recipes with references to "a pinch of this" or "a handful of that"! My grandma's spaghetti sauce recipe was about 50 years old and the ingredient list included "10 cents worth of spare ribs"
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I made Tongue Thai'd for dinnner when I got home. It was one of those dishes like Pad Thai that you never think you could make like the Thai restaurants serve. The prep work was a lot of chopping of onions, red peppers, green onions, peanuts and tofu. The sauce is spicy sweet and the dish is made quickly with shrimp, bean sprouts and rice noodles.
I served this dish to Mike and our neighbour - Jim. They loved it even after they asked me what the little light coloured cubes were. Yes tofu - extra firm was not the gross ingredient they had always thought it was. Well worth making this recipe again!!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
One thing I have learned along my journey to becoming the smartest fat person (just kidding) is that the body needs quality "fuel" with regular intervals. Breakfast is really important to provide the body with a kick start for the metabolism with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
My favourite breakfast is fast, balanced and yummy. I make yogurt with cottage cheese and fresh fruit (raspberries, blueberries etc) and sprinkle with almond slivers. Even if I can't get a lunch until 1pm - it really keeps the hunger pangs away.
Today we had More Than Meatza Pie. The pie crust was a combination of lean ground beef, italian sausage, bread crumbs, onions, garlic and egg. The topping was pizza sauce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, green onions and crumbled bacon.
This was a great way to have your pie and eat it too - without a carb filled bread crust. Crazy how this has been a discovery of great recipes that are healthy and so flavourful!!
I might not feel the same way 6 or 8 months from now - but for now Mike and I are loving it!!
Monday, September 7, 2009
The Roastess with the Mostess was an easy whole lemon and herb roasted chicken- I did mine on the barbeque. I'm having a little denial issues with summer ending.
The flavour of the chicken is surprising - lemon. The lemon is squeezed into the cavity of the bird and the half lemon is placed inside. A paste of dijon mustard, brown sugar, garlic, rosemary and olive oil is rubbed under the skin of the breast and thighs.
Another big hit for Mike and I - we will make this one again and again!
Back to school for all the kids tomorrow - I miss this now that mine are grown up. Drive slow tomorrow - there will be kids and school buses on the road.
I am going to sound like a broken record - but oh my goodness!! I made this for my mom to give to her neighbours - but she kept the whole thing for herself.
The blueberries (fresh and local) were sprinkled with sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and lemon zest. Then I added a topping of oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and juice.
Maybe I added too much lemon or zest - but mine tasted a bit sweet tart - but I loved it.
If it weren't for the fact that we also had pork loin and a baby green salad and roasted vegetables, I would have been happy eating just the baby potatoes. They have a sweet flavour!
We were busy packing up the cottage so it was great to only have one dish to prepare.
Today I made Erik Eggstrata - a layered breakfast with hot italian sausage and veggies. I did this on the barbeque since the house was pretty warm already inside. The sausage and veggies were cooked in a skillet on the side burner. I was a little short of croutons that go on the bottom of the baking dish - so I was able to find a crouton recipe in Loony Spoons.
This made a great looking breakfast dish that would be terrific to prepare for company. Mine was a wee bit spicy since I used the hot italian sausage - but no one complained.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tonight it was "Jellystone Pork" a pork tenderloin that can be cooked on the grill or in the oven along with a tasty sauce of apple jelly, sour cream and dijon mustard etc.
I started out with the pork tenderloins grilling on all sides to seal in the juices and then I sprinkled salt, pepper and rosemary and sealed it in double foil and returned to the grill and reduced the heat. This cooked for just 40 minutes while I prepared the sauce on the stove top.
It calls for sour cream after the sauce comes to a boil and removed from the heat - so this gets a bit tricky with the timing of the meal. I added a chop till you drop salad - minus the chicken and the thai peanut sauce salad dressing.
We were amazed by the flavour and tenderness of the pork that was done to perfection. As we head into the long weekend, I will be in Northern Ontario for a few days and once again - I will try to enter my blog daily.
If that fails - I will catch up when I return - but I plan on sticking to this without a hiccup!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
As for cooking/eating my way through Eat Shrink and be Merry - tonight we had "Dilly Beloved" and I must admit - this is still my fave!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The difference in this commitment to eating healthier is that I love the food, the recipes are quick and easy to use and I'm tasting some new foods.
If the next 354 days are like the first twelve have been - this will be so much fun!
Today we had Kickin Chicken and that had just enough bite to take away the urge for hot chicken wings!! Mike loved this one too!!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Today I began a two week training class with catered breakfast, lunches and snacks!! Usually this is a good place to chow down and pack on some pounds.
The breakfast has fruits, yogurt, juices, danishes, bagels etc. The lunches are usually a theme - mexican - tortillas, veggies, rice, beans, salsas, italian - pasta, bruschetta bread, cheeses etc. The snacks and desserts are chocolate eclairs, fancy cakes, huge cookies.
I have sat through these catered training classes many times and most often people get really tired in the afternoons from all the carbs. It really is disheartening to be the presenter after lunch and watch people nodding off!
Luckily there are pitchers of water within reach at all times. I find that if I fill up on water, I'm not so tempted to crave the sweets. The fruits and yogurt are healthy enough for breakfast and I can select the salads and proteins to fill up on at lunch. My own snack of almonds and a peach or apple will give me enough natural sugar to keep my energy up and not chase the chocolate.
My saving grace is that I've been to this hotel with same foods every 3 months for the past 2 years. At least I can go home and make a really great supper that tastes amazing and is healthy too.
Tonight we had Chop Til You Drop Salad using a rotisserie chicken from the deli counter. I had to pick up groceries and not much time to prepare the meal. The salad is my favourite still!
Don't forget to mark your calendars for the 3rd season of Eat, Shrink and Be Merry on the Food Network this weekend!
When I got home I found enough ingredients left in the fridge for me to make The Soprawnos - everything except white wine.
I'm sure the wine adds a special flavour - but kitchen fairies must have gotten into the wine I thought I had in the fridge!
The dish was delicious - shrimp, onions, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes (wine) etc. Definately going to do this one again - but I'll hide the wine first!
I came across a copy of Looney Spoons 1996 by Janet and Greta Podleski in my Dad's recipe books. My mom told me that I had given it to him and he used to make all kinds of recipes from it. I know that my Dad is who I get my passion for cooking from.
Today I made the Unrolled Cabbage Rolls from Looney Spoons for dinner - it was good - but I really love the originals rolled with ground beef and pork.
I am visiting my mom in northern Ontario. Its a bit of a job trying to explain - not only what I am attempting to accomplish - but also the concept of what a blog is to someone who is not on the internet.
Today I made Greek with Envy - a cheese tortellini salad - yummy. Mine was a wee bit spicy since I thought the jar of peppers in the fridge was roasted red peppers and they turned out to be hot pepper rings.
We still loved it.
Even more amazing than that was the "Dilly Beloved Chicken"!!!
Seriously - the best tasting chicken ever! Mike loved this and I can't stop thinking about it and when I can make it again.
Only 51 weeks remaining!
This was sent originally on Thursday on my blackberry to the blog. I thought I was so smart and could do this while I was away.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It also made me think about my own motives for doing this. I really don't intend to write a book about this - or a movie and I really don't want to be famous. What this does for me is it keeps me committed and I have a constant reminder that I do intend to change my eating habits and add exercise - and add a lot of water.
I spend a lot of time in the car and I drive past a lot of fast food places every day. I also have little nagging urges everyday to go find a chocolate bar or chips - my comfort food.
The difference I have noticed is that by planning the menus and being prepared with really tasty food that is balanced, I can fight off the cravings. If fit and healthy came in a bottle - my shelves would be stocked!
Margaret reminded me that her husband Mickey says "with all the various diets, exercise programs, weightloss centres and nutrition books we have entertained - we must be the smartest fat people he knows!"
The food we ate from Eat Shrink and be Merry was Touched By An Angel - angel hair pasta with peppers, basil, garlic. It was like a healthier version of pesto. Mike did the preparing of the peppers while I went to the gym and I finished it off when I got home. I think I overdid the garlic though. It was yummy but the garlic has lived on long after the meal ended. Not a fault of the recipe - I am learning moderation! You wouldn't want to be on the treadmill beside me tomorrow!
Tomorrow I am leaving for the weekend up north so I had better get planning some easy meals to prepare. Actually I haven't come across any recipes in the book that would be difficult for anyone.
Day 7 tomorrow!! Whoo Hoo - 1 week almost complete - 51 to go!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Mike was good enough to cook the chicken for me and I did try it - but I'm going to make this one again when I have taste buds. Gone to bed at 6pm and ate some ColdFX - I don't know how and I don't really care how it works - but it does! This morning I got up with no headache and no cold symtoms - just a bit scratchy throat.
Needless to say, there was no trip to the gym yesterday - but I will get those 2 more hours of exercise in this week. Thanks for the support and I promise that tomorrow will be more interesting.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I really hate sweating in front of people (and the gym is full of them), so l like to go early in the morning or mid afternoon. My plan is to
- warm up for 5 mins on a treadmill or bike
- then 30 minutes on the machines and
- back to the treadmill or bike for 20 mins of cardio
- 5 more minutes of stretching
I plan to work on upper body machines one day followed by lower the next and a combination on the third - followed by repeat, repeat, repeat until I get fit and love doing this (not there yet!)
I did my upper body exercises and really struggled with last few repititions. My motivation to fininsh was the Biggest Loser Show. All I had to do was think about those people with 8 hours of this a day and Gillian and Bob screaming at them.
Yes I am sore - but grateful that only the upper half of my body is aching. Tomorrow I will do the lower body and look forward to the total body ache! Hurts so good.
The nutrition part of this endeavour is my favourite part. Yesterday I made Hakuna Fritatta for breakfast and Loin King for dinner. The breakfast was amazing and it tasted so good that I really felt like I was cheating badly. The Loin King was a marinated pork roast that turned out amazing. We added salad, brocolli and corn on the cob. So good - I will do this one again!!
My husband Mike and I always joke about me roasting a pork loin on Sundays. Ususally it is during football season and he never makes it home in time to enjoy it - the last game airs at 8pm. Last night he said that he won't be missing any more pork roast Sundays if this is the menu!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
My neighbours came to see if I would look at a Bernese Mountain Dog - Sadie who wasn't doing very well. I am not a veterinarian, but I used to work for one and I did breed Goldens for 15 years. My love for animals got in my way of getting to the gym yesterday.
After Sadie was showing signs of improvement we were invited to a barbeque. I had visions of my diet and exercise committment going out the window. I considered staying home and instead, I prepared Chop Til You Drop salad with chicken and took it along.
The salad is unbelievable! It is yummy and has so much variety - I have put 5 stars beside this recipe in my book! Right now it is my favourite.
The day was not a complete bust on the exercise. We did walk to Sadie's twice and might call that 30 minutes of exercise. I have made sure to drink a minimum of 4 bottles of water and I did avoid the alcohol.
I am making the Loin King - pork roast for Sunday dinner. Last night I prepared the marinade and put it and the pork loin in a large bag to sit overnight.
The trip to the gym will be first thing in the morning - before life gets in the way!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
He told me we were going parachute jumping, bungee jumping or rock climbing for my birthday. I wasn't that thrilled - as they involved losing my bodily fluids. At least they included exercise!
I packed 4 bottles of water and a fibre one bar - just in case I was going to miss a meal.
We took a two hour drive to Barrie Ont and stopped at the Mandarin for lunch. I ate a good selection of chicken, shrimp, and veggies and avoided the deep fried chicken balls, egg rolls etc. The sushi there doesn't contain any raw fish. Imagine bungee jumping on a full stomach!
After lunch we drove to Midland where he took me to a Golden Retriever breeder to see my birthday present - a 4 wk old puppy! I get to bring it home Sept 19. He has been working on this surprise for months with my friends and the breeders. Needless to say - Mike now has a full set of Brownie points and I am truly over the moon. We have been dogless since December.
When we got home my neighbours and daughter Carolyn came over to see pictures and celebrate. This is where the sabotage comes in - Carolyn brought a box of tasy little pastries and the beer and wine were not in short supply.
I did indulge in a corner of a cannoli and one glass of wine. Then I quickly pull out my Eat Shrink and Be Merry. I found a recipe that contained a large amount of chicken breast and enough ingredients found in my kitchen that I could do on the barbeque and feed large group.
Chicken Teriwacky - I didn't have an orange - but I did have a lemon and I figured that I may not be so adventurous to bungee jump - but I think I am pretty good at improvising. Oh this went over huge - everyone loved this and I served it with kaisers for the rest of the group and plenty of fresh tomatoes - just off the vine!
Today is market day in Milton and I will attempt making a plan for the week and then shop for the recipes. My intentions are to plan a weeks worth of menus and then try to stick to them.
I plan on going to the gym and starting slowly getting back into shape! I also shared my news about this blog with my husband and daughters and they are very supportive.
Friday, August 21, 2009
This blog will provide the accountability I need to stick to the changes I am making - specifically - 3.5 hrs of exercize a week and eating healthy foods. I intend to eat my way through the book - Eat, Shrink and Be Merry by preparing and eating at least one recipe per day. I loved this book and read the book cover to cover in two days. It was purchased for a gift and I could not part with it. The recipes are both healthy and tasty. The articles are interesting and useful - but also motivating and funny.
Yesterday was my birthday and I am giving this project to myself for the next year. Today - I weighed in at 2 pounds more than I was when I was last pregnant in 1985 - 173.
Today I am going to start with 30 minutes of yoga, a breakfast of yogurt and cottage cheese with blueberries and then prepare Chop Til You Drop - oriental chicken salad with peanut dressing.
My husband, Mike has a surprise for me today (I hope it is a puppy!) and I will try my best to avoid birthday cake, chocolate bars, potato chips -ooh my favourite and chicken wings.
Last night I went to the local pub with the neighbors for wings and beer as my last hurrah - and we had a tornado rip through the city - knocking down trees and tearing off roofs! An omen?
Today I will plan to pack lots of water, snacks and good intentions for the first day of Eat, Shrink & Be Merry Project. Wish me luck!