Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 39 - Crabby Time

Tonight I had planned to make Tartlets O'Hara - crab filled tarts as an appetizer - but I got home from work so late that I didn't feel like making anything else. Luckily, the rest of my meals today were healthy and balanced.

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

Day 38 Rainy Days and Mondays!

Today I made Feast From the East. It was so filling and really delicious. Again I substituted leeks for green onions. I also substituted lemon zest for orange zest. Next time I try this I will get all the right ingredients. The salad dressing was really tasty and the crunchy veggies were a nice combination with the cooked cold whole wheat spaghetti. It was topped with a sirloin steak - cut into thin slices. Mike didn't even try this one - it just looked to healthy for him.

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.

Day 37 - Sunday Afternoon Football

For me, Sunday and football are just like peanut butter and jam. I actually love football as much as I do my Sundays! It seems that in the fall, I love to cook more and it feels like nesting - I just want to stay home and enjoy my home.

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

Day 36 - Ahh - Saturday!!

I love Saturday - not just because I can sleep in (not with a new puppy!) and I don't go to work - but the Farmers Market is every Saturday. Bad news is - just 2 more weeks of the farmers market here in Milton.

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

Day 35 Hawaiian Pizza

Is it just me - or is everyone rushing around all day and getting home to say what's for dinner? The plan for the week is really helping me with having the right ingredients in the fridge and the meal planned out. In my old ways, I got home - opened the fridge and said "what do I feel like today?". Ususally I snacked on something while I thought about it. Now I've got a plan and a recipe book to follow. Sometimes I am missing something - but its okay to improvise and still get good results.

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

Day 34 - Still Crazy

Last night I was having my daughter Carolyn and her boyfriend over to meet the puppy. As it turned out - my meeting ran late in the day, got caught behind an accident (and no less than 6 tow trucks that responded), pulled in behind Carolyn and found a couple more unexpected guests on the back porch.

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

Day 26 - 33

Sooo sorry I let a whole week get away from me. I hope you didn't think I had given up on this project. I am still at it and still loving the recipes and I really should be shaking my head for trying to pack so much into one week!

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

Day 25 - Biggest Loser Day - Chunky Chicken

Nothing motivates me more than watching the Biggest Loser. It should be on all year round! Those people work out so hard and so long - I really feel for them!

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!!!

Day 24 - Beijing Beauty

This recipe called for 3 pork tenderloins - but I had a pork loin roast instead. (the kind you buy in huge quantity at Costco. I cut the roast into thirds and froze the other 2 thirds for later. The remainder I cut into thick pork loin chops.

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!!

Day 23 - Moving Day

Well its been a bit of a struggle to get back to the blog. I will not give up - but we were moving over the last few days and I really had no energy left to be creative and witty.

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

Day 22 - Three Weeks Complete

Three weeks done and I didn't lose any pounds this week. A little disappointing - but not surprising. I did give in to that brownie. That works as a reminder to just keep at it - even when there is some temptations. Get back on that horse and keep going.

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

Day 21 - Three Weeks

Well it finally had to happen - a recipe that didn't particularly do it for me. Maybe its because we haven't had pasta in a while. I tried Worth Every Penne and it had a lot of ingredients - but not enough flavour for our liking.

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

Day 20 the one with the date 09 09 09

Today I was tortured by some double fudge brownies that were screaming at me from the back of the meeting room I was presenting in. For two solid weeks I have been avoiding eating the desserts, danishes, bagels and heavy carbs. Today that damn brownie won. Okay - I'm no saint - but I have been working really hard to resist chocolate, chips and fast foods. Today I gave in and just ate one. Now I am over it - got that out of my system. Move on...

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

Day 19 - Back to School Day

So much fun driving to work today - kids all over the sidewalks - all dressed in new clothes! A little frustrating getting behind those buses again.

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

Day 18 - Labour Day

Officially this is the day of rest - but we had plenty of work to do - unpacking all of the boxes we brought home from the cottage.

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.

Day 17 Oh My! Blueberry Season

One thing that we look forward to - going north is the blueberry season. I have committed to making every recipe in the book - Eat Shrink and Be Merry. I made the Rhapsody in Blueberry!

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.

Day 16 Spud Lite

Spud Lite was the side dish I prepared for a family barbeque at the cottage. This was roasted red baby potatoes with red onion, rosemary, thyme, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. They turned out perfect - in the barbeque.

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.

Day 15 - shed two more pounds!!

Baby steps - adding this weeks 2lb loss to the 3lbs last week makes me think of getting a 5 pound bag of sugar to remind me that was what I carried around that I won't have to anymore.

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

Day Fourteen - That's 2 weeks!!

Seriously, how long can this love affair with Greta and Janet Podleski's recipes last?? Just when I think we have prepared and eaten our all time favourite recipe - BAM - another new favourite!

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

Day Thirteen

Still in training at work trying to eat the healthiest foods at catered lunch buffets! Then I had to rush home to enter my fantasy football pool. That was so much fun - my first time - all done online.

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

Day Twelve

Thank goodness for Eat Shrink and be Merry! The recipes in this book are seriously so full of flavour! Mike also loves these recipes. It is a healthier way to cook - using fresh herbs and some new ingredients like peanut sauce.

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!!