Watch this journal for pictures that make me happy from my everyday life, proof of my commitment to a healthier and happier life, plus pictures and links to recipes that are food-allergy safe.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Special New Year's Eve Dinner

This was a great dinner, and it wasn't that hard. It WAS time-consuming, though. It was worth it just to have Mike lean back in his seat, let out a contented sigh, and ask if I could make it again for his birthday, and every other day between now and then.

The beef burgundy was made with rice flour instead of regular flour. I couldn't even tell the difference. I did notice that the rice flour didn't stick to the pan, and I had to add a little more when I was making the wine-sauce, but it was so good! The recipe called for pearl onions, which are hard to find around here, and also a pain in the butt, so I used regular onions.

If anyone wants the recipe, I would be so glad to share it. It met all my diet requirements!

The potatoes were awesome, too. Also very, very easy. Those were made in the oven and only took about 45 minutes to make.

Once again, I am very excited about eating leftovers!


If this is as good as it gets.

Since this is supposed to be my blog about the upside of life, I thought this was something I should share.

Sometimes, I get really stressed out. It's actually one of the reasons I decided to change the theme of this blog from "food diary" to "positive life changes". I get stressed out and sometimes have a very hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. One of the recent examples was about a month ago, when I was rejected for a promotion I had applied and interviewed for. I became convinced that there was no way I could survive. It's true, with any dramatization on my part, that my monthly bills total more than my monthly income. Even making minimum payments on my credit cards, I still don't make enough to cover everything. But it's also true that I'm not in it alone, and Mike picks up all my loose strings - he always has.

So, where am I in life right now?

Well, I live in a crooked house. Propane is wickedly expensive. But we have a roof over our head, reasonable rent, kind landlords, and we can say that we have a real home. We have a home that is filled with love. We have a fridge with an ice-maker. So what if we have to carefully choose which walls we lean bookcases up against, so they don't crash down and give us (more) bloody noses? We can live with that. We have a roof over our heads. Not everyone can say they are so lucky.

I got stuck with a car payment that I really can't afford at a very inopportune time. I also have a boyfriend who was gracious enough to put the car in his name to save me 12% interest, which is an ultimate sign of trust. My car is also cherry apple red and freakin' sexy. Just a few years ago I had a car that was paid off, but my epilepsy was so bad that I couldn't drive it. I'll take this. It's another thing that I'm lucky enough to have, that can't be said for everyone.

I don't love my job. Well, who does? I haven't gotten a promotion yet and had been hoping I would, but at the same time, there are hundreds of other people in this county who will kill to work for Lowe's. They have an extremely fair system that I really can't find much to complain about with. Although I am used to making more money, it's still more than minimum wage. If I didn't have so much debt I would call it a livable salary. I could be unemployed. I could work for one of the many companies out there that are laying people off left and right. I could work someplace that doesn't offer insurance, or sick pay. I am confident that a promotion will come my way eventually, when I have truly earned it. I like most of my co-workers. I am lucky and probably don't deserve it, for all the complaining I do.

My family and most of my friends are very, very far away. But they are alive. And they love me. I'm not going to jinx that by talking about it any further.

My skin sags and makes dimples and ripples when I cross my legs. But six months ago, I was so fat that I couldn't cross my legs. I am the healthiest I have ever been. My boyfriend doesn't complain about my body and seems to love me/it more than ever. I also know that there are six billion other fat girls out there who hear about problems associated with weight loss and say "yeah cry me a river" (and other less-favorable things, I am sure.)

So all this begs the question... what if this is as good as it gets?

If this is as good as it gets, that is just fine with me.


For the last six months, I have been trying to make resolutions frequently - and keep them. Some of them I have done very well with. Others, not so much. Time for a new list of resolutions to ring in the new year with. I'm curious to hear what everyone else has on their list, as well.

#1 Be a better girlfriend. This means doing what I can to always be a positive force in his life. Being a good listener, yada yada yada. I want to know that his life is better for having me in it. I'd also like to, at the very least, be engaged by the time the year is up. Or the month. No pressure though, Mike, if you're reading this... (yeah, right. Don't worry, he doesn't really read any of my blogs!)
#2 Make the house a thing of beauty. Keep everything clean and organized. Put up flower beds! Plant grass seed! Make my hickville neighbors jealous and confused!
#3 Try at least one new recipe a week. Become a great cook. This is my favorite resolution, and one I have already put into practice. The first part, anyway!
#4 Continue updating my blog, and make an effort to actually comment on all the other blogs that I read on a regular basis!
#5 Waste not, want not. Donate, compost, and recycle. 'nuff said.
#6 Spend more quality time - more time reading and writing letters and soaking in the bathtub and less time watching television and picking my nose.

Your turn!

Sadly, no picture to accompany.

Last night for dinner I made the Buffalo Wing Soup from the Year of CrockPotting blog. (Have I mentioned how much I love this blog? Let me mention it again now. Love it, love it, love it.)

I didn't get to take a picture of the soup, because my BlackBerry was dead and I was too lazy to charge it. I thought I'd just take a picture of the leftovers today, but no such luck, as I will explain shortly!

The hardest part of this soup was baking the chicken ahead of time. Needless to say, that wasn't very hard. We used Texas Pete hot wing sauce, which was free of any scary ingredients. I did use an entire 8oz of Velveeta, because... well... do I really need to explain? We like cheese.

This was SO good. I found myself sneaking spoonfuls of it after it had only cooked for an hour. Finally at about two hours, I had a bowl. Okay, two bowls. The instructions said to cook on high for 3-4 hours, so I went to bed after it had cooked 2.5 hours, knowing Mike would be home in an hour, and left it on high.

When he came into bed I woke up and asked him how he liked dinner. He said that it was gross so he made a sandwich. I was angry at him, because I had been excited about making some that I just knew that he would like. But, alas, I woke up this morning and saw that it had burnt and left gross burnt parts floating around in it. So, if you make this (which I highly reccomend), watch it and stir it often. Also, it probably doesn't need to cook that long, or would be better made on low. I wouldn't make this and leave it in the crock pot all day.

No leftovers :( No worries, though, because I will be making it again!

Since tonight is New Year's Eve, I am making a special dinner. Beef burgundy with a roasted potatoe medley. I also picked up some lemon rum and raspberry vodka to make some mixed drinks with. I will post pictures of the dinner, since it is special and a lot of work. (I started the beef burgundy this morning.)

Anyway, another post will come later today. RESOLUTIONS!