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.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
At first I thought that the Nintendo Wii was a little lame and a little scary, so I was avoiding it at all costs. Also, using it meant learning how to use all those scary remote controls that suddenly have taken over the coffee table. But, I realized that it was worth it the day that Mike downloaded Dr. Mario for me on the Wii. Since then, I have educated myself in the basics of entertainment-center functions. Then, Mike and I one day played Wii Bowling and Tennis and a few other things. Yes, it was fun. It was fun enough to want to play again. But it wasn't great enough to make me daydream about it, and pine for it.
I heard about the Wii Fit just like everyone else in America has... because I only live under a rock four or five days out of the week. I had no interest in learning more about it, because hi, I'm obese, and obese people usually don't like anything that has "Fit" in the title.
But I was at Brian and Kim's the other night, to pump iron (ha, ha, ha) with Brian and Ricky and I found myself sneaking out of the room in search of Kim when the testosterone in the room became too much to handle. She was just taking a break from playing with the Wii Fit, and insisted that I try it out.
First of all, it is incredibly user-friendly. Once you have established that you are a new user, it takes you through a tutorial. The Wii Fit comes with a balance board that you stand on, and it weighs you and measures where the most pressure is. It then tells you how your posture is, and where your balance is. Then it tells you a little about how posture and balance effect your body, and takes you through a few excersizes where it shows you how to correct your posture and stand correctly. I am totally shocked that a little board like that can tell if your hands are resting on your hips or not. It's crazy!
Then, once you get into the game, there are options: strength training, balance games, yoga, and aerobics. I did the balance games first. The first game I tried was a ski-jump game. You have to lean forward and get your center of gravity lined up with what they want. The closer you get, the faster your character goes. Then once you get to the bottom of the ski jump, you straighten your legs quickly to mimic a jump. Then you get scored. After a few tries, I was "ranking", and it was so much fun. Then there was another ski game where your character is going down a mountain and you have to lean to the right and the left to get your character to move on the screen and go between certain markers. Next I tried a tight-rope game, where you have to stand up perfectly straight and stay balanced, and take small steps and walk across a tight-rope that is balanced between two buildings. If you're not balanced, your character splats on the road below. It's harder than it sounds, but tons of fun. Also there is a hula-hoop game where you have to rotate your hips as fast as you can to keep your character's hula hoops going, and you have to lean to the right and the left to catch hula hoops that someone is throwing at you. There was another game, a soccer game, where someone is throwing balls at you and you have to lean to the sides and hit the balls with your head. But as the game goes on, they start throwing shoes and disembodied panda heads at you, and you have to duck from them. Under aerobics, there is a step game that is slightly reminiscent of Dance Dance Revolution, but with no jumping, just stepping on and off of the board in time with the screen. I even tried yoga, and let me tell you, that shiz is difficult! The more minutes you play, the more features get unlocked. The best part of all is that I played for 41 minutes and then all of a sudden realized that my heart was pounding and my muscles were a little sore, and I never realized I was working out - it was just fun. I wasn't even trying to break a sweat, since I wasn't in the comforts of my own home and technically just trying out a friend's game. I also like that the game tracks your weight for you and tells you if you've lost or gained.
I need one. Like, now. Only, I don't have $100 to spend on it. I am totally broke.
My birthday is April 4th. Hint, hint.
In a freezer bag, soak boneless breasts (big chunky ones) with the juice of one lemon for each breast, and a little olive oil. Soak for at least a few hours. Cook in a pyrex dish or, if you're like me and making for a large group, a cake pan. Cook with all the juices that you soaked it in. Just before cooking, grate garlic pepper and sea salt on top. I did 6 breasts, which took about 45 minutes to cook thoroughly.
Prepare in advance. Slice mushrooms and a red onion. Slice as thin as possible to make for a "delicate" salad. Add one can of mandarin oranges. Save the juice from the can. I also added a can of water chestnuts, which isn't necessary if you can't find them. Also add a few stalks of celery, sliced nice and thin. To make the dressing, mix the juice from the oranges with a little bit of olive oil and hot sauce, to taste. I also added a very small amount of vinegar. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours so the spinach starts to wilt.
Just about ten minutes before it is time to eat, heat up a bag of sliced almonds in a dry pan on the stove top. Stir it constantly to ensure that they toast but don't burn. Put half on your salad, and half on the chicken.
Serve with Jasmine rice.
Strawberries soaked in splenda, with hand-whipped cream. Add vanilla and splenda to the cream. Mike and his family had angel food cake, too. I did not.
What a good meal. I have totally fooled these people into thinking I am a good cook.
Oh, and after you eat, slice up the leftover chicken and throw it in with the salad. The wiltier the spinach gets the better it tastes, so the leftovers are even better than the original meal.
And to come: pictures of the 1975 crock pot and recipe books that Mike's parents gave me. I am in love.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I stole this recipe from my favorite blog to make on Tuesday. Yes, I am just getting around to writing about it now, and no, I didn't take a picture. Check out the picture on her blog, though. Mine looked the same!
I am not a big "chunky tomato" fan and usually do not like chili that has large hunks of whole tomato in it. This was a good recipe, though. The flavor was interesting and I liked how chunky and hearty looking this soup was. I will eat and enjoy the leftovers. Honestly, though, I do not think that I will make it again. My basic chili recipe is SO much easier and still delicious. This may have inspired me to start tweaking my recipe, though. I think that the red wine vinegar may have been the OOMF in this recipe.
I hope that everyone has had a great week.
Tonight I am making white-trash dinner for Mike and I to eat while watching LOST, which I tivo'd last night. White trash dinner is basically ground beef, onions, mushrooms, velveeta cheese, and maybe even bacon, cooked until gooey and served over rice. It's very white trashy. It is very delicious. It is one of the many reasons I am fat.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
2 cups pancake baking mix. (I used Pamela's gluten-free pancake/baking mix)
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese -- shredded
Mix in a bowl until a dough forms, and spoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Cook 8-10 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 450.
Fresh out of the oven, brush them with a melted butter/garlic mix. The recipe I said called for half a cup of butter (that's a full stick), and it was WAY too much. I say eyeball it.
I am very excited, especially since I discovered over the weekend that my favorite tapioca biscuits have cornstarch in them.
By the way, it's that time of the month, so forgive me if I talk about food that is horribly bad for you over the next few days.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I was thrilled to find these microwavable rice bowls at Trader Joe's. I got them in the garlic and the mushroom flavors. It's nothing but rice noodles, rice bran oil, and non-mysterious seasonings. I was a happy camper!
In not-so-happy news, I got sick every day for the last three days. Awful gastro-pains and gas. Gas? That never happens to me, not since I stopped eating foods that make me sick. The only consistent thing about those three days is that I had pork tenderloin each day. Not the same one, either. I cooked pork tenderloin three days in a row. Yeah, so sue me. But really, I was pretty miserable. Could I be allergic to pork tenderloin and not regular porkchops???
Friday, January 9, 2009
Between myself, my friend Melanie, and Mike, we finished this soup off in one night. I personally wish I could have gorged myself more. Next time, I'll double the recipe. This time I used more chicken than called for. I also only had about a half a cup of milk so I compensated with chicken broth. It was so good! We have a "food day" coming at work and I am totally making a big batch of this and making more friends at work.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I didn't know what "Azorean" meant, so I looked it up: The Azores is a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 km (950 mi) from Lisbon and about 3,900 km (2,400 mi) from the east coast of North America.
I wish I had a picture. I meant to take one today when I ate the leftovers for lunch, but I forgot my blackberry at home this morning.
I loved this stew. Mike referred to it as a soup. I think, after giving it some consideration, I'd use the Rachel Ray term "stoup". It was really quite delicious. I was a little worried that it would be too spicy for Mike. First of all, Mike hates cinnamin. Second, even though he says he likes spicy foods, he can be a little picky when it comes to actually eating them. I wasn't awake when he came home and tried it, but he left me a note saying that it was spicy, but he still thought it was great with a little bread, and he enjoyed the excuse to eat ice cream after.
I didn't have any tomatoes to put in this recipe. Our local grocery store didn't have any cherry or grape tomatoes. Wrong season. I don't know if I'd even bother with them next time around. Also, the recipe doesn't say when to add in the carrots - I tossed them in with the onions.
I hope everyone is having a great day.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
But here it is.
Last night, I wasn't feeling very well. We didn't have any meat in the house. I didn't feel like going out to buy food.
So we ate potatoes.
I had a recipe from a "Gourmet Slowcooker" book for "Irish Champ". It said to cut up 8 russet potatoes and cook them with one cup of chicken broth for two hours. One cup of broth did not seem to come even close to covering them. The recipe didn't say if it was supposed to. I decided, at this point, that I didn't care what the recipe said. I poured the rest of the box of broth in and let it cook for two and a half hours.
When it was done I transferred the potatoes into a bowl with a slotted spoon, added a full bunch of chopped scallions, a cup of half-n-half, and salt and pepper to taste. Oh yeah and SIX TABLESPOONS of butter. The instructions said to, who was I to argue?
I ate it for dinner and thought it was okay but I didn't think it was anything super-duper great. Then I got an email from Mike today saying "I <3 Irish Champ" so I guess I will add it onto the "boy-approved" list.
Happy Hump-Day to all my fellow Sunday-Thursday worker bees.
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Alert, alert! I can eat Trader Joe's yogurt and it doesn't suck complete ass. Pardon the strong language, but this calls for it. Every other brand or flavor yogurt I have found that meets my requirements is disgusting. I had the TJ's vanilla today and the cocoa yesterday. They are both fantastic. No ill effects. I'll get more than 4 next time I am Charlotte. It felt good to eat breakfast again!
Monday, January 5, 2009
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Last night Mike and I were laying on the couch together watching television, and unwinding. I commented that everything smelled like garlic, and we eventually determined that it was actually garlic-boogers that I was smelling. Classy, yes, I know.
Anyway, I had a grilled chicken recipe that I was planning on trying out yesterday. I had the chicken defrosted. I was also going to make mashed potatoes. It didn't happen. I got home from work at 7:30pm, giving me only about 2.5 hours to relax before bedtime. I decided to cook to chicken the fastest way possible, and we re-heated the potato medley that I had made on New Year's Eve. Also, I found the tapioca cheddar biscuits that I can eat at Whole Foods. I bought four containers of them and stuck them in the freezer. I was so excited!
I cut the chicken up into small pieces (mostly to ensure that it was completely thawed, as it was still partially frozen when I got home and I had to soak it in a bowl of hot water to quickly defrost the insides). I put it in a pan with a little olive oil and four (yes, four) large cloves of garlic. Have I mentioned that I love garlic? I squeezed half of a lemon on top. Then I picked out the seeds that fell in. I topped it with garlic salt and lemon pepper. When it came out, it was a little bland and white looking. I like to serve food that looks appetizing, so I decided to make a gravy. I added a little chicken stock (just finished off the box I had sitting in the fridge) and a little rice flour. It was really good, even though it looks a little gross in the tupperware. Chicken with a lemony-garlicky gravy.
Mike asked me to make it again.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Cooked rice pasta.
Browned sausage (Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage from Trader Joe's)
Mixed up a bottle of Trader Joe's pasta sauce with a couple big tablespoons of ricotta cheese and two tablespoons of crushed garlic. Love garlic.
Mixed it all up and spread onto a pan.
Topped with a bag of shredded Italian cheeses.
Mike says I should make food not cooked in the crock pot more often.
I also took a picture and sent it off to my blog, but it never made it. Sadly, I deleted the picture right after to free up some memory. It was a picture of my plate with four hunks of cheese and a bunch of potato chips on it. I found chips at TJ's made with olive oil and they are so good! It had been six months since I last had chips! Also, around here, it is very very hard to get good cheese. I got the cheese while I was at Trader Joe's and it is so good!
So much for losing any weight in January...
Also, I spent the day in Matthews with my good friend Meg playing Singstar yesterday. So much fun! I took a picture but I think she would be angry if I posted it :)