Tators and Temperatures

I’ve been sick since Sunday… upper respiratory crud… lost my voice.. fever (and chills) come and go.. so, I’ve decided since my folks are 80 and my neice is six months preggers that I probably shouldn’t go to our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.. sigh.. I hate that.. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday.  Why?  Because it’s about family.  Not presents, or bunnies, or dead people.  Family.  Tomorrow, they’ll tell stories I’ve heard hundreds of times – and everyone will laugh.  Tomorrow, my dad will ask us all to tell one thing we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Some will tell funny things, some mundane and some will bring us to tears.  If I was going to be there, my thankful testimony would be that two weeks ago my mom received the official word from her oncologist that her aggressive breast cancer has been “cured” – it’s been 5 years!  Thank you God.  Seriously.  Thank you.

 

Creamy Tators

Everyone has their special dish to prepare and I am the “Queen of the Mashed Potatoes”.  So, prior to making the heart breaking decision not to go, I had whipped up 5 pounds of yukon golds.  The secret(s) to creamy tators is keepin’ it REAL… real butter, real cream cheese and real whipping cream.  Uh huh.  No margarine, no ff cream cheese, no skim milk or even half and half.  This is not a time to scrimp on calories.  If you’re gonna do tators – DO ‘EM!  (While I’ve been sick, I’ve been surfing with my laptop in bed and found that Ree of the The Pioneer Woman makes her tators like I do!  Who knew?  Except I use regular salt and whole cream and she uses lawry’s seasoned salt.)  The Pioneer Woman herself is going to be in Ponca City this Saturday for a book signing of her new cookbook… Ponca City isn’t too too far from me and I’m thinking I may go see her.  It would be a first for me.  I did stand in line at midnight for a Harry Potter book (and no I wasn’t the only adult there!) but I’ve never stood in line for an autographed book.  I’m thinkin’ seriously about it.

In the meantime, I’m recuperating.  Hoping to be fever free for 24 hours so I can get out of this house without making anyone else sick.  But just look at who I’ve got to keep me company…. ohhhhhhhh.. smoogy woogy widdle dahlin puppy dawgs… they do not care what I look like, or that sneeze my germs all over them, or that I croak like a frog and cough like a fog horn… they just love me…

Unconditional Love

Happy Thanksgiving,

Annie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gettin’ Figgy with it!

Ohhhhhh the house smelled good today…

First, I tried the Fig and Maple Brussel sprouts from the Zesty Cook.  I followed his recipe pretty darn close… cut the little brussels in half, tossed them with a bit of olive oil, salted them and roasted them for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  I like mine very done… start checking them at 20 minutes if you like yours less done.

 

Brussel Sprouts

Roasted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig and Maple Brussel Sprouts

Combined 1/2 cup of chicken stock and the dates in the good old Vitamix to combine.  Then brought to a rolling bowl, turned down the heat and added 1/4 cup Maple syrup.  Simmered for about 10 minutes and when the brussels were done, I poured the mixture over them… all I can say is mmmmmmm.  I’m definitely serving this as a side at Thanksgiving!

Next, I couldn’t resist making some carrot fries!  I heard about them on HEABs site… and followed her link to Choosing Raw’s Carrot Fries.  All I an say is YUMMMYYYYY.  Lord they were good.  I had a small mishap withe the mandolin when I was cutting the carrots that involved some blood.. and well.. it could have been worse.. so BE CAREFUL… I wish I could have used my spiralizer but it just doesn’t work well with small veggies like carrots.

Again, I like a little black on my roasted veggies… the pan was still warm from the Brussels so I dropped a dollop of coconut oil and let it melt then rolled the carrots around until they were covered.  I added a bit salt and popped them in the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

 

Carrot Fries

Carrot Fries mmmmmmm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rolled Oats in Vitamix

Oat Flour

I finished my day by gettin’ figgy with some Fig and Almond Shortbread by Miss Emily of Sugar Plum.  I changed a couple of things.. first I didn’t have any almond butter because I had just used the last of it to make HEAB’s ABU (almond butter, almond milk, plus some extras).  If you have not tried this – DO IT.  It’s the most amazing stuff… although I’ve never added it to some of the stuff that HEAB does (broccoli??)… it is SUPER on oats… and is great to spread on sandwiches or whatever.  The cool thing is you basically cut the calories in half without sacrificing that scrumptious almond butter taste!

 

ABU and Brown Sugar

Chopped Figs

But I digress… First I used the old vitamix to make flour out of a cup of rolled oats… I added some flour, clove, salt and a bit more rolled oats (non pulverized)… in a separate bowl, I combined the ABU with the brown sugar and creamed…  then added some vanilla to this wet mixture…. I omited the orange juice because I didn’t have any… I don’t think this effected the recipe too much since the ABU was much more moist than regular almond butter.  Finally, the dry ingredients were combined with the wet ingredients – and once that was mixed well I added the figs.  The mixture was pretty dry.  I used a rolling pin and rolled it out like a pie crust…. cut away the ragged sides and then cut into squared… placed in a 350 degree oven… I only cooked for 20 minutes because I wanted them chewier.. They’re very good and I know my friend will like them.  Personally?? I’d eat them with some ice cream… mmmmmmmm

And now, I need to clean the kitchen!

 

Fig and Almond Shortbread (Vegan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Breakfast Clubber??

This morning I ran across a new blog (new to me) having a 40 day challenge to eat breakfast everyday to be an official “Breakfast Clubber”.. not much of a challenge for me cuz I love me some breakfast!   The author of the blog is a dietician and a gifted photographer as well.  I can already tell I’m going to enjoy her blog and promptly subscribed in my reader.

Of course I’m still clicking along on Katie’s Chocolate Covered Kindness pages as well.  It’s so nice to know that by doing the things you enjoy (reading blogs and trying new, wholesome, delicious recipes) I can help raise money for a good cause.  You rock Miss Katie!

I’m making two new recipes today:

Figged and Maple Brussel Sprouts from the Zesty Cook himself.  If they turn out as super as they sound, they will be one of the side dishes at our Thanksgiving meal this week. Next…

Fig and Almond Shortbread (vegan) from Miss Emily of Sugar Plum blog.  This is a little Thanksgiving present for a friends family – her daughter is vegetarian/vegan? I can’t remember which so I’m going for vegan just in case.

I’m still not exactly sure what this blog of mine will be but decided to quit thinking about it and just go with the flow… so, this is what’s on my mind today – cooking two new recipes, finding the new breakfast clubber blog and supporting Katie.  So there.

I’ll leave you with a picture of my favorite thing right now… oat groats!

Oat Groats

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Chocolate for a Cause…

I’m a regular HEAB reader… and she lead me to Katie… Katie is doing what one person can to raise money for her favorite charities The Enough Project – she’s having a Page View Charity Drive!!  Brilliant idea.. simply brilliant.  This week HEAB is having a contest called POM Covered Kindness in support of Katie.  The challenge was to incorporate pomegranate into one of Katie’s most delicious recipes.  Katie has been positively raving about these Fudge Babies so I decided to enter with that recipe.

I followed Katie’s recipe fairly close.. I used:

130 grams walnuts, only 130 grams of pitless dates (Katie suggest 230g) , 4 tbsp organic Cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla – I added the arils from one pomegranate and 2 tbsp of organic unsweetened coconut… YUMMO

I have never had pomegranate juice or arils… and had to google how to get the little bursts of goodness out of their shell.  It wasn’t hard though.  I do like the taste although some of the Arils have a hard “seedlike” thingee in them that a big weird… not all of them, just a few.

And here (drum roll) is my first “raw” food.. the scrumptious.. Chocolate Covered Katie Fudge Babies ala Coconut and Pomegranate Arils!

Ta ta.  I’m heading back for seconds…

Annie

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Skinny Logic

Okay… I went to Zumba the other day… danced my po po off.. sweated til I was drenched.. ahhhhhh can you say 800 calories burned??? oh yeah baby (even if I do low impact!) I normally stand near the side but today my skinny friend (love her!) wanted to stand in the middle so we could see the instructordistorted mirror 2 better… okie doke… BIG MISTAKE.. the instructor was right in front of us but so was the mirror.. ugh.. I work SO HARD in that class.. I do everything I can but I do it low impact.. I don’t spin due to plantar faciitis in my right foot that’s really been acting up and doing turns aggravates it … but other than that – everything. Then.. I caught many glances of myself and I looked.. well.. .sigh.. like i wasn’t trying at all!!! If the instructor does a move where we bend over at the waist I feeeeeel as if I’m bending way over but in the mirror?? I’m not.. if she does a big move like kick her leg up .. I feeeeeeeeeel as if I’m a flippin rockette!.. uhhhh not so much.. I was so discouraged by the end of the class the tears just started to flow.. yes.. on the dance floor.. uh huh.. right there.. and lemme tell you i am not a pretty crier! my eyes get immediately red (to match my red as a beet face!).. my nose unbelievably gets even more red.. I’m scrubbing at my face with the sweat towel.. but I can’t hide it from my skinny friend (love her!)… then the questions begin.. what happened? are you alright? did you pull something??.. no no, I’m fine, I hiccup. I try to explain but all I can get out is I AM TRYING!!! I guess it must not have been as clear as I heard it in my head cuz she leans closer looking very frightened “you’re dying?? are you having chest pain” (uhhh she’s a nurse).. I look up at her and just completely lose it!! face-in-towelGREAT, now I look like someone having chest pain??? We move off the floor to the equipment room while I calm myself.. honestly.. get a freakin’ GRIP! several minutes go by (and by several I mean about 10!!) I’m finally getting under control when more skinny people (god love em) come in and start getting mats, and blankets and blocks… huh?.. my friend starts up a conversation with one of them.. ohhhhh yoga.. uh huh.. my friend convinces me that a good class of yoga is just what I need to restore my good nature, get rid of some obvious stress I’m carrying around and “center myself”. Center myself?? R U KIDDING ME?? But I agreed.. sorta. she got my mat, my blanket, my block and laid it down while I just sorta stared numbly around me.. Now, I ask you.. only a skinny person could think like this… I have just had a complete emotional breakdown because I am working my po po off in Zumba but it looks like I’m barely trying.. I’m comparing myself to all the others in the class (who range in size quite a bit).. and now my skinny friend (love her?) wants me to go to a yoga class to get “centered” while all around me are more skinny people who can tie themselves into pretzels??? HUH??? (skinny logic at its best there!)

I have never… and I do mean never.. felt more out of place.. the first move is eorihshango (yeah I didn’t know what he said either).. but it looked simple enough – stand straight and raise your arms over your head.. no no your feet should be shoulder width apart.. no no do not pull your shoulder blades up.. no no don’t quit breathing.. no no rotate your hands towards each other.. OH COME ON!!! I’m beginning to get “that” feeling again… I’m standing out.. I’m looking silly.. I can’t even stand right?? seriously??? and then I caught another glance at myself in the mirror – my face was HYSTERICAL.. it looked like a big black cloud ready to drop a ton of water and throw a lightening bolt at two or three people while it rained on their parade!  black_cloudSuddenly, I found the whole thing humorous.. uhhmmm VERY humorous.. and I started to laugh at the absurdity of it all.. all these very very fit women.. clearly in their 20s… standing with there arms over their head.. all serious and quiet.. except from the snorts coming from me!… and it hit me.. I have every right to be here or at Zumba… not only every right but I had more of a NEED to be there… is it just a coincedence that skinny people are in yoga class whereas I rarely see them at Golden Corral??  I don’t think so!!  Did I really think at 5’11”, 280 with red hair and I’m NOT going to stick out?? HELLOOOOOO.. and suddenly the mood lifted.. I had regained my confidence.. My strut was back… My swagger restored.. oh yeahhhh I’m doing YOGA BABY YOGA!! LOL I attempted every move.. some successful.. some uhhhh not.. but i did the best *I* could do.. I pushed myself.. I didn’t look at anyone else.. I just gave it *my* best… and ya know what?? I feel better. Most people my size were still home in bed or lying on the couch eating.. not me baby.. I did an hour of Zumba followed by an hour of Yoga. WHOA I FEEL GREAT!!!

However, I was starvingggg.. so I got home and made myself a salad with chicken breast, fresh corn off the cob and pluots (part apricot part plum),pluotsaladtopped it off with some olive oil and rice wine vinegar and FEASTED while I congratulated myself on a very productive morning! YEAH ME!!

So, I’m thankful for my skinny friend (love her!) and her skinny logic! I’m thankful that I have a body that can move the way I mostly want it to (LOL). I’m thankful that my mind is set on getting healthy. I’m thankful that I’m making the right choices most of the time. I’m thankful that all 5’11”, 280lbs of me stands out in a crowd. My swagger is back! But mostly, I’m thankful that I am DONE! Battle On!


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Random thoughts about food

Random, flight of idea kind of thoughts about me and food:

  • I love a good carb binge but not the massive hangover afterwards
  • I sleep better when I eat whole foods and avoid processed food (nighty night)
  • I have fewer mood swings and am in a better frame of mind when I eat whole foods
  • I have zero bouts with hypoglycemia when eliminating processed foods – zip, zero, nada
  • I get sick of the same old thing day after day (unless it’s processed carby food – now why can I eat cheetos from now until eternity?)
  • I love really tasty food but rarely overeat really tasty fCake balls... sighood if it’s not in the form of sugar (read “cake balls are bad”) or processed (read cheetos)
  • I crave meat.  I mean I will wake up in the middle of the night craving a chicken breast!! Who does that???  But I don’t overeat on meat…
  • I crave bread, potatoes, bread, pasta, bread errrrr did I mention bread? – especially when I’m eating them… okay that makes no sense but *I* know what I mean. (The more I eat it the more I crave it.)  I most definitely overeat on bread, pasta, potatoes….
  • Food tastes better with butter, butter-butter, peanut butter, almond butter….. B-U-T-T-E-R (speaking of which is a tablespoon of almond butter a leveled off tablespoon or a rounded tablespoon???mmmm???)
  • I think Splenda “counts” as sugar.  I think Splenda “counts” as processed.  I think I am addicted to Splenda.
  • I crave fat -did you read where the Texas State fair is having FRIED BUTTER?
  • I do not crave fruit unless I can’t have any (like the Atkins diet) and am always surprised when I add fruit to a dish and it spikes up the yummieness (like grapes in chicken salad or pears and pork chops)
  • I crave cold foods sometimes (like when I’m doing Atkins and everything I ate was alway hot)
  • I am one of the few people I know who will turn down ice cream in favor of bread, pasta or potatoes!
  • Foods labeled “fat free” annoy me
  • My favorite combination of flavors is salty and sweet
  • I love hot, spicy foods too
  • I love foods that are crunchy (back to cheetos again)

If you can’t tell already – I do looooooove a list!

Here’s the plan for the week:

  1. No Splenda.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.  Just one week. And let’s see….
  2. Try all my health food buys this week:  Stevia, Chia seeds, grass fed beef and greek yogurt
  3. Try Heather’s ABU (need to buy Almond milk)
  4. Try the new Jay Robb’s protein stuff I got (thanks HEAB)
  5. Log my food everyday and be specific about cravings and time of day
  6. Move, move, move

All this and report back next week.

 

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    Here we go!

    I’m not sure how I found Heather of “Heather Eats Almond Butter“… but I did… the same day I found her I discovered I had 999 days until I turn 50 (now, 944 days). Kismet?  I loooooove almond butter… love love… And, she was living in a YURT! A yurt?? I love yurts and no one I talk to ever knows what I’m talking about.  I dream of living in the mountains in a yurt… ahhhhh… anyhoo.. Through her blog I found all sorts of twenty somethings documenting their meals everyday… and some super scrumptious healthy food ideas along the way!  Some I would have never thought of.. some I still can barely think of!  LOL  I’m not sure if this is only popular with 20 somethings or if it’s a fluke I can’t find any 40 somethings blogging about what they eat.. either way.. (shrug) I’m here now… and I love reading the 20 something’s blogs..

    One I found is Holly aka “The Healthy Everythingtarian” via HEAB (Heather Eats Almond Butter)… another twenty something blogging about her journey of healthy eating… well she had a great (odd) idea she got from another blogger for this scrumptious concoction… I messed with it a bit but not much..

    Hidden Valley Protein Salad…

    • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
    • 1/3 cup garbanzo beans
    • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
    • 1/2 cup tomato
    • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
    • 1 tsp (or to taste) of dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the secret ingredient!)
    • and about 2 oz of either salmon or chicken…

    Drum roll… a whopping 34 grams of protein and a bit over 300 calories.

    hiddenvalleyprotein

    It is sooooo good!  And was accompanied by no “energy bumps”

    Okay.  Well now.  That wasn’t so hard.  Post #1 is now in the books! Continue reading

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