Saturday, June 30, 2012

I buy way too much food!

I was very careful at the Farmer's Market this morning because I still had stuff from last week!  The peas are still in the fridge and I have a few mixed greens left.  I finished up the tomatoes in the salsa I made for the fish tacos last nigh...which I thought were fabulous, someone else was a little cranky because they are messy.  We won't mention who.

Heller's was out of strawberries by the time I got there, but they did have these fabulous looking bite-sized plums that I scooped up, along with more yellow tomatoes.  And of course I grabbed some of the edible violets from the wonderful lady on the end, whose name I can never remember.  She is the same person I buy my honey and vinegar from.  And she even commented on my weight loss.  With all the people she encounters, I was flattered that I had made enough of an impression that she remembered the way I was and now how I am.  Of course I grabbed some milk-I think Army is hooked on it-from the milk ladies.

Since I still have peas, tomorrow I am preparing some Risotto with fresh Peas.  To go with this wonderful, flavorful delight, I picked up some thick cut pork chops, olives, and Stilton cheese with brandy and apricots...a stuffing waiting to happen.  I forgot, I also have zucchini from last week so that will be the side, sauteed zucchini.  Dessert is wonderful.  I have two Madeline pans that I have NEVER used.  So tomorrow I will- lemon scented Madeline's with some Limoncello gelato sounds like a very refreshing way to end a meal.  Also, Santa Margherita ( Pinot Grigio to go with.  I love their wines.  I paid a steep price today, I know because of where I purchased it, if I had driven to J & J Liquor store in the Commons it would have been about $7 less; lesson learned!

I still have to get through this wedding and reception later today...I have a big bag of baby carrots I am sneaking in along with my Vanilla Orange seltzer and a big sippy cup of ice water.  Hopefully there will be veggies that have not been killed with a sauce or drowned with butter.

The next challenge is my anniversary- July 4th.  I know national holiday, but it does make it easy to remember.  It is also Zeus's birthday, a patriotic pup he is.  Army said something about going to the Lake Front (, which would be wonderful.  I think their chef is a CIA grad...good food just waiting to happen.  We went there for my birthday last year and I cannot say I was disappointed.  It was a great meal.  The link takes you to the homepage of the hotel.  It looks like a typical tourist trap, but the food is great and worth every penny.  Some of the menus are on line.  I am thinking the Calamari Salad sounds great...I wonder if they would do it as an entree?  Hhhhmmmm.

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day.

Friday, June 29, 2012

How you know your husband does not read your blog everyday

What's for dinner? Yup, dead give away, seriously?

Oh well, he was still happy with the salad last night. I even threw some raspberries in them, which was actually wonderful with my cumin, coriander, curry laced chicken and the fabulous vinegar from the Farmer's Market.

I told him this morning we were having fish tonight...he didn't ask how. So fish tacos it is. Limes, avocados, salsa-yummy.

Here is today's bounty of fabulous:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fridge full of leftovers

I have a fridge full of leftovers and not sure what to do with them.  There is leftover chicken thighs from earlier this week, NY strips from last night, a potato from last night, and leftover (not dressed) thankfully salad mix.

I have four fresh zucchini, fresh peas in a pod, tomatoes large and grape size and the only thing I know for sure is that we have a wedding Saturday and I have Sundays Off and we have not had fish all week!  I think tonight we clean up the leftovers.  The chicken thighs were seasoned with cumin, coriander, and a little curry powder and sauteed, I think I'm having those with a some salad mix, a little feta from the Painted Goat ( and maybe some of those corn tortillas.  The pups have pork chops-they love them and Army can have the steak and potato and salad and leftover cake from this past Sunday and cake that his mother felt compelled to bring last night when (impromptu) everyone came up for dinner.  

Then tomorrow night, I can do some fish; I have salmon and haddock in the freezer.  I should be able to whip up something good from that.  I have avocados (I always have avocados, thank you Dr. Oz), fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and hot peppers.  Almost sounds like fish tacos since I still have the corn tortillas- they come in a package of like 18 or something, it's huge!  Not sure I can sell Army on them, tacos are hard enough...but he does love fish so I might be able to.

I am taking watermelon and the cherries from the Farmer's Market for lunch today.  And I have the most wonderful water to drink...Christine brought me in some of the Vanilla / Orange seltzer water that I have most definitely become addicted to.  It tastes like a Dreamsicle and who doesn't love those?  Army and I have to go pick up a gift for Saturday's wedding, we have at least finally decided on something.  Gift giving can be so difficult and honestly following a registry is as boring to me as giving someone cash.  What thought went into it? Based on some of the shower gifts Jess received, I think these will be a big hit.  We'll see.

Have a happy, healthy, and safe day.  Make one small (good) change and let the avalanche begin!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Broke the hump day streak

Yeah me! Okay it is only a half pound, but at least it's something midweek. I am 2/10's of a pound away from 31 pounds. I had wanted to be down 35 lbs by this Sunday, but I don't think that can happen in a healthy way. Maybe 32lbs. God, I am (quite literally) praying for lots of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables at this wedding reception I have to go to.

Weddings are a very safe activity to attend, it's the reception that is deadly. Jess and Mike's wedding is outside and will be lovely, I am very much looking forward to that. Receptions, argh...they can be deadly. I just want to get through the day without drinking, or my guard will drop and then there is no turning back. Funny how well I have come to know myself these last 150 or so days.

Look at how beautiful today's lunch is,albeit a little smaller than where it started. Amazing how thick the rind is on a seedless watermelon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I love this kind of weather...

I know, what an oddball, but weather like last week is the death of me. The me I like at least. This kind of weather I have energy, my hands work, and all the ugly sides of my life with MS dissipates. Last night when I came home from work, I took Micro for a walk or dragged her up and down the road on her leash as Army puts it. Of course, that was when it downpoured-it was great! Today I believe is my last bastion of comfort for the week...temps climb into the 80's. Saturday will be warm, but not raining so I am happy for Kajsa (rhymes with Lisa) who is getting married as is Jess, daughter of a friend of my husband's. We are going to Jess's and I will be thinking happy thoughts for Kajsa.

I had the leftovers from Sundays Off last night, but I did sub out chicken for the skirt steak; Army ate that. Today for lunch I am taking the balance of the pico and the last half cup of the black beans. Funny, 6 months ago, I would have tossed that out thinking there was not enough left for any meal. My mindset has really changed. Want to see what else is for lunch? Take a look! And of course, the only way to start the day...

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day. Show people you love them, cook good food!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It could have been a Mon-Sat!

It could have been,honest; well except dessert, that was so good it probably never should have happened!

The pico was amazing and the skirt steak, by an act of God was a perfect medium on the grill. The tortillas were all corn, the sour cream was light, the refried bean were organic and gluten free turtle beans. If I did this Mon-Sat, I would use chicken. And yes, that is a Bud Light that stuff.

Okay here it is...decadence at its best (hang on fellow workmates, it's coming your way!

And the best news...drumroll please....down 30.3lbs only 9.7lbs until my unrevised goal (more on that tomorrow).

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Long week, wasn't sure Sunday would ever get here. Good thing I love my job, I cannot believe how much life must suck for people who hate their five days a week. For me it is the extreme heat and it does quite literally take weeks for me to recover. This time of the year I recover from one heat spike just about the time the next one arrives! And people wonder why I cannot wait until September.

But anyway, I is the best day. Take a look at this...

Is that not screaming pico de gallo? The Vidalia is in honor of my Georgia girl, Brandy because I have often told her that other than our friendship, I am hard-pressed to come up with good memories of my time in Atlanta, so when I come across a happy moment I make a point of honoring it! I defrosted the skirt and will rub that with cumin and coriander...things are looking up.

I promise I will take pics today and post them.

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Love the Farmer's Market

I have no idea what I am making for Sundays Off tomorrow, but take a look at and tell how it can't be good!

I have a skirt steak in the freezer and some tomatillos, a hot pepper and cilantro from my container garden and a couple of limes...sounds like the beginning of something yummy with these beautiful yellow tomatoes.

Maybe a small cherry clafoutis for dessert...the possibilities are endless!

Oh, before I forget, yesterday's lunch,absolutely filled with all kinds of yummy land mines, right down to the very elegantly served vanilla bead ice cream and sugar cookie. I exercised amazing self-control throughout with the help of fabulous fresh fruit and I only had two bites of my cookie and two small spoons of ice cream. I'm not gonna lie it looked and smelled so good that the temptation was certainly there; but the idea of a smaller number on the scale and a smaller size on the tag won!

Have a healthy, happy,safe Saturday. The weather is finally tolerable for me. My energy should be back by the end of the week, all things considered.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Potential landmine

The dreaded business lunch...hosted at the home of a very important donor.  This will take some strategic thought and planning--thankfully I execute both well.  I am being incredibly careful with points, using only free this morning (except for the lattes, or I will be useless) and depending on lunch, dinner may just be a huge free point salad.  Play it by ear.

Some when I arrived home yesterday, I stuck a small chicken in the smoker.  I've never done that before.  I had put wood chips to soak yesterday in Southern Comfort, coffee, and some hot water and let it go.  I rubbed a little salt and pepper on the chicken and tossed it in.  Some of the ingredients from the soaking mixture went into the drip pan to steam back up when fat hit the pan.  WOW- granted it was 8:00 before I had a salad with smoked chicken for dinner, but it was fabulous.  I have to clean the smoker this weekend, there was not time last night, and it was too hot; hence the reason I smoked the chicken instead of cooking it in house or grilling it and having to stand over that heat.

I have not planned Sundays Off dinner may be out for dinner Sunday after this week.  We'll see.

Stay healthy, happy, and safe.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Every life-style changers nightmare

Yes, life-style changer not dieter, nightmare.  I had to go to a meet and greet event yesterday evening for work.  You know the classic high-fat, high-calorie event.

(I say life style change and not dieter because if you're dieting and not changing your life style you're screwed anyway!- Failure is your only option)

By the virtue of shear will power I avoided the cocktail of the event, a raspberry Margarita, stuffed mushrooms, glazed chicken and pineapple on a stick, cheeses etc.  How about a vegetable somebody?  Seriously I clung to my ice water with lime (on the side after I heard some of the most frightening restaurant kitchen bacteria information ever) like it was my only life line.

And it was.  When it is this hot and my MS is flaring it is hard to not turn to anything that provides some sort of comfort.  If I was dieting and not changing my life style food and drink would have been an option.  It is not a hard mental game to play- "I feel like *&%^, a stuffed mushroom would taste so absolutely yummy, crab filling inside of white button mushrooms, baked off with a little cheese...that would make me feel better "    or "An ice cold Margarita, that would do the trick, my fingers aren't working correctly, I am bone weary exhausted, color prisms in the corners of my iced cold Margarita would hit the spot" and while both of these are true they are not productive mindsets.  That ice cold water with the lime juice squeezed into instead of sliding the lime slice into actually did help, the more hydrated I am, the cooler the space, the cooler the fluid, the better I feel.  The more weight I loose, the better I feel; stuffed mushrooms and weight lose are a complete dichotomy, mutually exclusive, not in the same ball park, opposite ends of the playing field, one is a hockey stick the other the puck...getting the picture?  Eating so-called comfort food that  has great mouth feel, wonderful memories, or amazing flavor from high fats and calories will only make you feel worse after that 5 second rush.

I need to feel better for the long term and right now just getting out of bed is the greatest struggle of my day.  People always ask me what the worse part of having MS is, I tell them it is the part of  me I lost when I gained MS.  People think they understand the "tired or exhausted" I feel and try desperately to be empathetic- "I know how you feel, I did not sleep well last night"- not to be disrespectful- but you don't have a clue...and I wish I felt that good.

Dr Oz was talking to Guy Fieri the other day.  Look up the restaurant germ and bacteria issues before you go out to eat again.  Argh.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Not feeling well...

I am so sorry I have not posted yesterday or today. I am honest with all about my MS and it has not been the best behaved over the last few days. My stuck theory is holding strong, unfortunately.

Will post something fun and exciting tomorrow, well maybe not exciting...but I will shoot for fun!

Monday, June 18, 2012

I checked

Many of you have literally heard me say not to weigh yourself everyday, it can mess with your mind too much. I did it this morning, I had to make sure I was not hallucinating yesterday. I wasn't! My goal this week is to change the outcome of my established theory on Mon-Wed weight loss stall.

I forgot to take pictures last night, Buggy came up and I got distracted. I have to say the Syrian Houmus (interesting spelling) was great and with only 1 tablespoon olive oil, pretty low and it's good fat. It does have a whole lemon in it, not just juice- a whole lemon! Thank God for my Robo-coup. I have plenty of left over "tabbouleh " that I can eat since it's sans glutton.

Hot week ahead, I pulled a whole chicken out of the freezer to put in the smoker whatever day it's defrosted. A little something different from grilling and the house doesn't heat up!

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Theory proven

Well, it's true, I cannot lose weight the first part of the week;  as I said Wednesday, I was stuck for the second week in a row on Hump Day, but lo and behold, this morning down another 1.2lbs for a total of 29.2...8/10th of a pound from the next small goal

I am sticking to the Kabobs for today- chicken I decided.  I have the hummus made, the dough rising for the pita bread and I am cooling quinoa.  I know, traditional tabbouleh calls for cracked wheat.  I decided there is enough gluten in today's meal with the pita and the dessert as it is and I am swapping nut flour for some of the regular flour in the cake. has become one of my favorite idea sights.  I don't often use their recipes, I have had problems with some of them in the past, but it is a great jumping off place if you are trying to think outside the box.  Foods of the World is also a great sight if you are looking for adventure in food.  I think the best thing I have learned through the years cooking and baking is to learn the technique, the products themselves are often interchangeable--lamb, chicken, beef, pork, seafood; understand what herbs and spices go with which as well as cooking time and your kabobs can be anything.  The cake I am making is a nutmeg cake, that is the primary flavor, mace would work wonderfully as well, for traditionalist, cinnamon would probably be fine, although I would add some orange zest to boost the flavor.

Learn about food, Italian is easy because so much is regional.  If you are preparing food from that region, pull wine in from the same region.  The Amalfi Coast is a seafood driven area, you won't find a lot of beef recipes, Limoncello most likely, but not meat.  Playing with food makes living within limitations of what food is intended for-nourishing your body-a lot more fun and a lot more bearable.  Food & Wine magazine has been an inspiration for as long as I can remember, as has the Pro Chef book.

Look around, play around, let food be fun.  I will post pics tomorrow!

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day.  Happy Father's Day to all of you who are.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

And all it took was five minutes!

Okay, I lied. I still have no idea what I am cooking tomorrow; although I am intrigued by a recipe I found for Syrian Poundcake. Can I build a meal around dessert? We'll see. I think I could make some taboleah, hummus, homemade pita, and maybe lamb kabobs (thanks Jess, now kabobs are stuck in my head and have become a personal growth experience)to round out the meal. I actually have most everything I need. Which is good because I refuse to fight the headache of parking downtown this morning with all the parking that is blocked because of the parade. I actually just planned an entire meal while sitting here! That took all of five plan, production will take half the day. But a fun day, and Army said he'll eat anything-beets are an issue, but that is a story for another day-, good thing I don't have a mean streak. Have a happy, healthy, safe day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mexican? Smoked? I don't know

Somehow, I have made it to Friday.  It might rank up there with all time miracles, but I'm not sure.  I have not even thought about Sundays Off this week; not to any serious degree at any rate.  I have no idea what I am looking for at the Farmer's Market tomorrow, nor at the grocery store.

I am playing with the idea of Mexican; I do have those great dried peppers I purchased at Penzey's a couple of weeks ago.  On the other hand, I do have the smoker and we have not smoked anything in weeks.  That's fun, and easy- marinate meat, dry, rub with spices, load smoker with chips, place meat on rack, turn to temp and time and walk away.  With as tired as I am after this week, that option is looking better and better.

Argh, graduation party of a friend's daughter to go to tomorrow night- interpret as mosquito feeding frenzy on Corrine's legs.  I will have to veggie load ahead of time, because I am relatively sure that every evil food in the world will be sitting there calling my name, not to mention the alcohol availability for the adults.  Why are social gatherings food disasters in this country? I have a wedding later this month and that will be just as bad...cake and all. least it is not bacon sundaes.  I am still mentally recovering from that.

I think I will cop out with a big salad tonight with avocado and feta cheese.  Army is making burgers for himself, and, yes the pups.  Maybe I can squeeze in a walk tonight, some activity points might make me feel better...and something has got to help my back, which is not only distracting but painful.

I will decide about Sundays Off dinner and post tomorrow, in the meantime to all my fellow WW Points Plus people, stay positive and on track.  I know how hard it is, especially when the number does not move...Sunday will be interesting!

Be happy, healthy, and safe.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bacon does not make everything better

The beauty of muscle relaxers is that they can be vvvvvvvvvvverrryyyyyyy effective.  My back does not hurt to the degree my head is sleepy, that's for sure!  I really thought that with all the weight I have lost, the issues of bending, twisting, and lifting in whatever the magical configuration is that injures my middle right side of back would go away.  Oh, here I am, wrong again.  Good thing I don't have a problem with that.

I left work early yesterday and came home and took a pill and immediately went to sleep, I did eventually manage to get dinner on the table.  The glory of simple dinners, is that slicing takes very little effort and that was all I had to do, and spray the pan with Olive Oil Pam.

I am very puzzled by something.  Are we not on a national campaign to curb and- nay, I even say reduce- obesity and Type II diabetes in children?  Can anyone intelligently explain BACON fudge sundaes at Burger King ( to me?  Honestly, I have a hard enough time understanding that much fried food in one place to begin with, but seriously?  Bacon does not make everything better---Blood Pressure, Obesity, Cholesterol, Fatty Liver...should I keep going?

I love to rant that elastic waist bands were the demise of the self-control in the American female diet, but wrong again, it is apparently the almighty dollar and the ability to market crap to the masses.  And people gripe that banks have no moral compass?  That Wall St. will bring down the country?  I don't argue that, but how about the real human cost of spending hard earned dollars in fast food joints that are slowly killing our children?  And ourselves.  Think about that next time you hit the drive-thru for a snack.

Stay away from Bacon Fudge Sundaes so that you can have a healthy, happy, safe and long life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hating hump day!

Probably I am the only person you will ever encounter (whose normal schedule is M-F) who hates Wednesday.  A blight on Wednesday, I say.  Ever since I started weighing myself Sunday and Wednesday, the number is stuck to the same as it was on Sunday.  I guess I can only loose weight the second half of the week.

Piccole Polpetta nel Brodo was wonderful last night.  Just enough to take the damp, chill air and chase it away.  I love veal meatballs because they are light as air and almost fluffy.  Of course, using soaked bread instead of bread crumbs also helps keep them from being dense and heavy.  I think I will do fish tonight.  I have mustard greens from the Farmer's Market and I have some haddock in the fridge and graffiti eggplant, kalamata olives and tomatoes, fresh basil and parsley...hmmm.  Maybe a pseudo Caponata?  I don't know, but with all those fresh ingredients, who needs fats and starches?

Not fact I am taking all of my unopened WW and Special K snacks to the office today for whomever cares for them. I think it is easier in the summertime, at least in the Northeast, because there is so much fresh, locally grown produce available and even meat from local farmers, such a better way to eat. Who knows how I will handle the winter - I love the comfort food category- and holiday parties, etc but if I can continue to build the good habits and keep non-fruit starches, refined sugars, high fat, bad oils, and too much high fat meat out of my diet long enough, I won't be tempted.  I'm telling you, living this way gets easier and easier...I just hate the midweek stuck.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Piccole Polpette nel Brodo

Remember the veal meatball I made on a Sundays Off a weeks back?  Well, I put the uncooked meat mixture in the freezer.  And here it is June, and I am making Piccole Polpette nel Brodo because it is not warming up much today.  Granted, low 70's is not cold, but still this time of the year?  And it gives me an excuse to make mini meatballs in broth!  Who does not love that.  I am not sure how to calculate points for that mixture, I may just use high points value for 80/20 beef to be safe.

I bought broccoli rabe at the grocery store, so I will toss that in, some tomatoes, basil, and fresh thyme- from my container garden on the porch- add some chicken stock (in box, I love Kitchen Basics); cook some small pasta for my husband and call it dinner.

I have started reading Weight Loss Boss (, it's pretty good so far.  I never thought about weight loss from the male perspective.  Let's face it...women are consumed by their weight, their pant size, does their butt look is endless, we are consumed, but men other than ripped abs, and "guns" from my sons I never heard much.  Blake is very appearance conscious and size conscious.  Both he and Andrew are both (if I don't say so myself) very good-looking boys (men?).  I know the physical fitness part of it does not come easy for Blake, like me, he has always struggled with it.  Andrew may come at it from a different perspective since he has never had a weight issue.  But my sons are the extent of my experience with male weight issues.  The book so far is worth reading.  I'll keep you posted.

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday again

The weekend blew by.  The weather this week doesn't look conducive to outside evening activity.  I may have to work on getting the Bowflex Tread Climber I want; that way, first thing before I blog, before anything, I can at least get some activity points in and if the weather is good, then Chunky Pup and I can get out in the evening.

Before this week let us recap dinner yesterday.  The cheesecake had a few, shall we say, structural issues.  I thought it had cooled enough to remove the spring form, but alas, that was an incorrect assumption so there was some sagging and cracking.  Flavor was incredible, however, between the lemon zest and the vanilla bean seeds...yummy.

The beet salad I did was one of my favorites.  I used canned beets because I could not find fresh that looked nice.  If you make this, buy whole and quarter them.  Slice a Spanish onion thinly, chop some mint (half cup or so).  In a container, put 1/2 cp olive oil (good stuff, with a lot fruity flavor), 1/3 cp lemon juice, 1 chopped clove garlic, the mint, salt and pepper to taste.  Shake hard until your hurts than toss with the beets and onion slices and top with crumbled feta.  I like to serve it on arugula, but a bed of watercress or baby spinach is good too.  Fresh orange juice works well in place of fresh lemon juice, but don't try lime!

The Shrimp with Charmoula sauce and couscous was also outstanding.  I love grilling shrimp, helpful hint: to keep the skewers from flipping and shrimp not, double skewer, that way they cannot spin on the skewer.

To save on calories, it was easier to make a white wine spritzer with vanilla seltzer and reisling.  And, yes, that is a red wine glass, believe it or not I, too, have lazy moments!

Have a happy, healthy, and save day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Unstuck...not unstuck by a lot, but unstuck nonetheless.  I have lost another pound, down a total of 28lbs.

 Last night Army made burgers on the grill, a mix of venison and beef which gives great flavor and provides the venison the fat it needs to not become a hockey puck on the grill.  I had an enormous salad and Army loves (canned, yikes!) baked beans so I grabbed some of those yesterday at the store.  I also picked up some of the Arnold whole grain sandwich thins ( a far cry from the square loaves of Arnold white bread of my childhood!  The funny thing about eating right is when you start listening to your body, amazing stuff starts to  happen.  I only had a half of a a hamburger, roll and all.

I was able to pick up yellow tomatoes at the Farmer's Market yesterday even though we arrived a little later due to the fishing expedition, so baked tomatoes are on the menu.  The fishing expedition, ahhh always an experience to be had up here.  Two years ago when we went, I walked off the boat with a sunburn on the right side of the front of me...and completely exhausted from the heat.  So keeping that in mind, I dressed appropriately, I thought.  I looked at Army before we left the house and asked if he would be too warm with the red and black plaid hunting jacket, yellow oilcloth slicker (the kind the guys on Deadliest Catch wear), and his work boots.  Rather than being kind and saying something nice like "Oh, honey, it will be much colder on the water, especially if it is still raining...blah, blah" -what do I know about lakes?- he just let me be.  Needless to say, a  hour in, the slicker was off him and covering my legs, by the end of the second hour, he had the slicker back and the hunting jacket was on my legs.  I was a Popsicle stick by the time we docked.  I don't think I warmed up until after dinner last night.  We had a fire in the wood stove because a.) I was freezing and b.) the house was damp from the rain.

Oh...he didn't catch a darn thing, hence the hamburgers and not the fresh fish for dinner; there is always next time.

Did summer begin and end in March, or will it come back?  Mind you for the obvious reasons, I am not looking for steady 80's and high humidity; but high 70's would be nice.  At least having the oven on for the cheesecake won't be bad today.  I have to get that started so it has plenty of time to cool before dessert tonight.  I'll take pictures and post.

Have healthy, happy, and safe day.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Morning on the water...

I don't actually get to fish because I don't have a fishing license, but it is fun to sit on the boat, look in the water, and enjoy the extra fresh air.  We don't go for the whole day because with Multiple Sclerosis I cannot be out in extreme heat for long lengths of time.  We book early morning and we are back in by late morning, which is nice given everything else I have to do today.

I hosted a Members' Reception last night at the Fenimore Art Museum for our regular members...have I mentioned, (only a million times probably) that I work with the best group of women?  My boss is a pretty good guy so I guess overall I work with a great group.  Everyone hung out, stayed late, interacted with the members and L.M. Townsend Catering as always did a fabulous job.  I am sure Lucy does not know how to make bad food!  Everything is always yummy.  And even I, on a Points Plus day, was able to eat.

Tons of fresh veggies, the best strawberries I have had yet this season and a salsa that made my taste buds dance!  There was all kinds of other stuff too, but I was testing myself.  I have to do a few of these a year, plus my husband has a Christmas party for his business, we have parties to go to from early December through New Year's so I was testing the waters...and I passed!

Have a happy, healthy, and safe day...weigh-in day tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mediterranean, not just Greek!

This has to be short and sweet...very long day ahead and more to do than I thought this time yesterday!

Mediterranean, not necessarily Greek.  I think I will start Sundays Off dinner with a Beet Salad with Feta, one of my favorite all time salads spring into summer and right through fall when I can harvest the beets from my own garden.  I'll grab the feta cheese from Painted Goat at the Farmer's Market.  I love her cheese, some of the best I've ever had-

From there I am thinking Grilled Shrimp with Charmoula, a Moroccan marinade made with fresh parsley, cilantro, lemon, and garlic.  I am serving this with my all time favorite couscous made with freshly squeezed orange juice and cinnamon.  I'll use some of the blended cinnamon (not the Vietnamese) I picked up at Penzey's Albany store (Crossgates Mall) last week

If Heller's Farm has yellow tomatoes again Saturday, I will do a side of Baked Tomatoes with Garlic, Parsley, and Bread Crumbs.  Their yellow tomatoes were outstanding last weekend...I hope I can get to the market in time.  I will be on fishing boat early, but hopefully off by ten.

Then, for dessert, the aforementioned Cheesecake, for which I will use some of Painted Goat's creamy goat cheese, marscapone, vanilla bean, and lemon zest in a crust of crumbled amaretti with butter.

I'll figure out wine while fishing in the morning...

Have a happy, healthy, and safe day.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Gross, gross, gross.

 I would:

  1. Rather never eat pizza again, or
  2. Have a food hangover from eating gluten-filled pizza dough, or
  3. Attempt gluten-free pizza dough again.
1 or 2

It was mushy and slimy, had absolutely no flavor, and no color.  I had my salad.  I'm not sure even the pups ate any of it.

Tonight I am back in the game with fish...and yes, I just took it out of the freezer so it will be ready cook.  I think I still have some mustard greens I can chop and of course plenty of cherry tomatoes.  I can make Army some potatoes so he'll be happy.  I'll be happy if the scale ever moves again.  I hate be stuck, it is so depressing and so demotivating when you know you are doing everything right and the number won't budge.  If it continues to do nothing but rain in the early evening, I will never be able to increase my activity points by walking with Chunky Pup.  

When I was off last week, I was up in Crossgates Mall in Albany and found a new store absolutely made for me.  Penzy's.  It is a spice store.  Cinnamon from Vietnam.  Madagascar Vanilla Beans.  Every dry chili pepper even Bobby Flay would want.  Needless to say I picked up a few things so I think I will use the SALT FREE, (what doctor who has a high blood pressure patient wouldn't love that) Citrus flavor pepper, probably work nice with fish.  

I have decided Greece is definitely Sunday's destination.  I am sneaking the cheesecake in by using lemon rind and vanilla bean in the mix.  More on the menu tomorrow.

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day...and stay away from gluten-free pizza dough.  Yuk!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I hate being stuck at the EXACT same number for days on end! Sunday and today same exact number.  I know, stop whining, it is better than gaining.  But the 30lb mark is soooooooooooooooo close.

My plan for dinner tonight is pizza made with gluten free / dairy free dough.  I picked up a frozen ball of it in Price Chopper up in Utica Saturday.  I still have some of the mozz from Todaro's and fresh tomatoes from the Farmer's Market.  I have a basil plant growing (in water, in a jar) on the kitchen windowsill so between that and the bedding plant of opal basil and green Italian basil that I purchased on the way home last night I could make a good pie...I think; not sure how the dough will turn out.  The last time I tried this I purchased a mix and whipped that up, it was gross.

I stopped at Changing Seasons gardens on Rte 205 on the way home last night to pick up potting soil, parsley (flat leaf), sage, rosemary, thyme, basil (two kinds) and tarragon so I could come home and plant my container gardens with the tomatoes and peppers I already have and after the whole day being relatively nice, albeit a little on the chilly side for June, what happens?  Yeah, there I am talking to Marianne and the heavens opened.  Seriously, it could not wait another 45 minutes or so until I could drive the 5 minutes from Marianne's to my house and then get stuff planted, nooooooooo.  So now another day goes by.  Tomorrow it will be done because tonight after I stop at Price Chopper for skim milk and bananas home I will come to plant my tiny garden.

Chunky pup has finally stopped sleeping all day and she isn't limping anymore, so if there is time, she and I will also go for a walk so I can get some activity points in!

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day.

Almost like she's behind bars...but at least there is no adventure!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prep, prep, prep

I cannot say it enough...prepare as much ahead as possible for the inevitable chaotic evening.  Remember that whole fish thing I talked about yesterday, yeah well doesn't work so well if you never take the fish out of the freezer.  My husband may burgers for himself and the "kids".  Small Pup and Chunky Pup-like she needs a burger?  I had purchased mescalin mix at the Farmer's Market and I had those beautiful tomatoes and always sweet onions and avocado.  I made a lovely chopped salad, threw on some olives and about an ounce of really yummy imported Italian cheese, king of all cheese and added the locally made vinegar also from the market and called it dinner.  I'm almost looking forward to having my cholesterol tested again, between cutting back on beef and ramping up fish and chicken it's not like the number can be bad!

I did do the smart thing with the leftover Italian pastries from Sunday- took them to the office and shared them. That way I did not eat them and they did not go to waste.

I have no idea what I am doing for this Sunday, except that I am staying away from the obvious gluten.  I think for dessert I may do a cheesecake with marscapone and goat cheese.  I like using marscapone rather than regular cream cheese and goat cheese gives it such a great tangy background.  I will probably have to do a little gluten because the crust will have to be crumb based, I'm thinking I will use Amaretti, I love them and I have some in the cupboard from this past Sunday's breakfast.  Maybe I'll do something Greek-like for dinner.  Shrimp something maybe, I wish I could find octopus, it is the one thing I have never cooked and would like to.  Oh well, there are just some things that are very difficult to get locally.

Have you checked out the Weight Watcher's website lately?  They have a fun new challenge- LiveLifeActive Community Challenge.  You have to sign up and become a member, but seriously what are you waiting for?  It works, do it! You will never find anything that works as well, it teaches life style change, not hocus pocus garbage where you do lose- you know 50lbs 25 days crap like that which the ongoing fads and crazes that reinvent themselves every 10 years and people fall for...again.

Think about making that will change your life.

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Food hangover...again

I don't know, maybe the gluten isn't worth feeling this way.  I may have to re-evaluate Sundays Off and turn to the dark side of dairy instead of carbohydrates.  Things like cream sauces or whipped cream, creme angliase, and meringues, ice cream and the like.  I'm just not sure gluten one day a week is worth it.

That said...dinner was yummy.  I love muffalettas and the roasted red peppers, Italian meat, roasted hot fingerling peppers and pesto.  I went that way instead of tapanade and caramelized onions.  And dessert?  Well, how do you beat Italian pastries?  You don't.

But, I am back at it, it's Monday.  Tonight I think a tomato and onion salad with the beautiful yellow and red tomatoes from the Farmer's Market and vinegar that I also picked up there with some roasted salmon and pesto.  That sounds good.

I succeeded in losing weight and not gaining on my vacation.  I am now down a total of 27lbs; I think the 4 hour walk looking for Chunky Pup Thursday night was a real calorie burner; if not actually a fun event, it was an effective one.  And I am back to work, back in a routine so it will be easier since my day is structured once again.  I am only 3lbs away from my next landmark and only 13 away from my original goal.  I don't want to say it has been easy, but it has not been horrible so I may tack another 10 on and head toward 50lbs instead of 40, I'll have to think about it.

Looking forward to going into my office this morning.  I actually really like and respect the group of women I work with and miss them when I am not there.  I did follow Christine's orders, I did not call and I did not work...I did check my emails and did some little stuff but I did not go into my office and I did not do anything major so in my mind I'm good.  I know what I left behind so I know I have a pile of work to go into and with the Member Reception on Friday, the week will go by in a snap...the 3lbs will whisk away!

Have a healthy, happy, and safe day.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I love Italian food

I always go back to my comfort zone.  When I was in Atlanta, I found a wonderful  trattoria that had an unbelievable Muffaletta on the menu.  They also had the best Amaretti cookies on this side of the Northern Hemisphere, but that is a story for another day.

The cooks put the Muffaletta together in (and I mean that literally) a large round loaf of Italian bread.  The "lid" was cut off and the dough scooped out of the bottom leaving about a 1" thick wall all around, and from there the magic happened.  Imported sharp provolone on the bottom and then the Italian meat stack began, interspersed with imported cheese, housemade olive tapanade, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and topped with a layer of provolone.  The lid was returned to its place of honor and the whole thing put in the wood-fired oven until the bread was crisp.  It was pulled out, sliced, and drizzled with really fruitie olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

You had better been hungry...or had lots of people with you.

I am making one today.  Except I will leave room at the top for the tapanade, onions, and roasted reds to be added later so that Army can take slices for lunch during the week, and I can bring some to my anonymous Sundays Off kitchen taster.

Most of the meats, imported provolone, olives, some Parmigiana Reggiano, hot sopresseta and rock solid bread knots at Napoli's Italian Bakery in Utica.  And then, because I cannot resist, I had to grab some Italian pastries for dessert.  These came from Cafe CaNole in New Hartford  They have two restaurants as well, Ancora down by the Stanley and the cafe, attached to the bakery.  I will take construction pictures during the day today and post them on Facebook and then a picture of the final.  It will be a beautiful thing.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Chunky Pup's Great Adventure

So I did not post yesterday.  Thursday turned out to be an incredibly long day.  Sorry to what have become very loyal readers...surprising even me!  Those of you who read Thursday morning know that I was off to Albany to the NY State Museum to see the 9/11 exhibition.  Turned out to be as emotional as I thought.

Having grown up in Brooklyn, the firehouse wall of Ladder 147 and Engine Co. 281 sharing a wall with the apartment I lived with my mother, sisters, and ultimately my step father who worked that house, I was certainly predisposed to being sensitive.  The damaged fire engine and the looped video of the sole survivor of the house that truck came from brought me to tears, in a moment.  More so than any other loss it is that of the firefighters and their families that still knocks the wind out of me.  They were my heroes when I was growing up, and on September 11, as an adult I watched with world they proved why one last time.  It was a tough exhibition, but I am glad I saw it.

After that Army and I did a little shopping, had a very responsible dinner at the Cheesecake Factory--they have a "Skinnylicious" menu...who'da thought?  Then we went to Colonie to do a little more shopping; hats off to my friend Maria for telling me about Charming Charlies, clearly a store built for me.  If you are not familiar with Charming Charlies (and I was not) it is an accessory store...with accessories not only in every color of the rainbow but then every shade as well.  Totally inexpensive and worth visiting.  And yes, finally a store that I am talking about that actually has an online presence-  After basking in the glory of sparkly, shining things we left Albany.

Pulled in the driveway about 9PM and noticed Zeus was out, not good.  Both dogs were in the house safe and secure when we left.  Someone had stopped by, must have opened the storm door and not closed it firmly when they left.  Zeus stays around for the most part, but Chunky Pup takes off and does not come when she's called.  I stopped wandering around in the dark crying and sobbing and calling her name about 11PM.  After talking to a neighbor, I calculated she had been gone for about 5 hours by the time we arrived home.  I was heartbroken;  I had her squeaky moose out in the swing with me squeaking it and calling her name a while longer before finally going to bed, crying myself to sleep sure that I would never see her again.  Gone too long, traveled too far, she would not be able to find her way home.  My husband left front and back door lights on, the man cave open and lit just in case she came back, she could curl up on the sofa they had just moved down there that morning.  I kept waking up and wandering around checking, only to cry myself back to sleep again.

At 2AM--2AM!-- I woke up to a bark at the front door.  She was home!  Wet, muddy, limping and smelling like a swamp, but home.  I toweled her off as best I could with her tail wagging and head moving trying to get to her moose and kiss me at the same time.  She settled on the floor and slept soundly.  And finally so did I.  I never made it to Clinton yesterday.  I stayed home waited for the furniture to arrive and kept a fire in the wood stove to keep her warm in her bed, with a blanky and her moose.  I finally was able to bath her last night, she could stay awake long enough.

 I love this pup, as I have loved those who have come before her.  My heart breaks a little each and every time it becomes necessary to say goodbye.  I miss Colt and HoneyBear so much sometimes that it is palpable.  The thought of losing Micro to circumstances that were not inevitable angered me greatly.  Lesson to all who drop in someplace...if the house is not yours but you are welcome, be sure to leave it the way you found it and if there are animals around regardless of what you think, be cognizant of their safety and what their owners- presumably your friends or family- think and double check for their safety and well-being.

It's Saturday, Farmer's Market day.  I also have to make a quick trip to Utica- home of all wonderful things Italian- for tomorrow's Sundays Off. Will tell you in the morning if the foray was successful and what I am making!

Thanks to all of you who read, the numbers put a smile on my face...I would love for you to become followers, if you have not already.  It would be an honor.