Thursday, April 30, 2009
Here's the ingredients you will need. I like recipes that don't require too many ingredients. And, you know me - I rarely follow a recipe exactly. In an effort to reduce some calories, I only used 1 tablespoon of olive oil and instead used more of the bean juice. Also, as you can see, I used reduced fat peanut butter.
I put the garlic in the food processor all by itself and gave it a whirl to help chop up the garlic finely. I put in 2 1/2 cloves of garlic and that ended up being a bit much. I think I just had really strong garlic this time.
Here's the somewhat finished product. It might not look too appetizing, but it is good.
And it's an excellent way to use up the other half of the jicama from the other day.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Thanks! I can't believe you didn't include any pictures of how cute I am now!?
I think now is an appropriate time to tell this storey. If you are a member of my family, then I am quite sure that you have heard this before. Please humor me while I tell it again.
Back in the days before digital cameras, whenever David would come to visit us he would always sneak my camera away and take some self-portrait. It was a running joke to see what extra pictures we would have mingled in between our family pictures once we got the film developed. They were always of David holding the camera out at arms length and him making some kind of a funny face. He was quite good about taking the pictures as well. I never actually saw him sneak the camera away - we would just see the evidence that he had done it again once we had the film developed. And, because his visits were only a couple of times a year, I would forget about his little habit and would be surprised once again each time I picked up the pictures.
After one of his visits, I dropped off the film at our local grocery store for their one-hour film development. I had more errands to run that day, so I asked my husband to pick up the pictures. Bad idea. Apparently, David had decided to up his self-portrait activities to include a picture of his derriere. I couldn't help but giggle, but Rominal did not find it so funny. He started into a rant which included things like, "anyone could have seen a white guys ass coming off of the photo developing machine," and "there are children at this store!" and "I can never go into this store again!" and "why would a black man want a picture of a white man's hairy ass," and "what is wrong with your brother!"
Luckily, Rominal can now laugh about this and see the humor in it. It also doesn't hurt that we now have a digital camera.
I've kept the aforementioned picture all of these years waiting for just the right time to unveil it to the public. I felt I really took the high road when I did not bring a poster size version of the picture to his wedding last August. I should get rewarded for that.
But now since David is now asking for another picture of just how cute he is, I'm thinking that this might just be the right time.
Look away if your squeamish
Last chance to look away . . .
Nah, I couldn't do that to you. Here's David at his wedding. You owe me one David.
Monday, April 27, 2009
This was taken when David was 7 years old. Look at how cute he was!
And here's him and me, on his second birthday.
Now, all together please -
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday Dear David!
Happy birthday to you!
Here's the recipe:
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 24oz jar of red grapefruit sections, in light juice - drained
- 1/2 jicama, peeled, sliced into thin strips
- 10 pitted kalamata olives - sliced (I used green, because I forgot which kind they were supposed to be when I was at the store)
Combine lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl and beat with a whisk. Add the grapefruit, jicama and olives and toss.
4 Servings = 1 point each
If you have never tried jicama before, here's your chance. I should have taken a picture of it before I started to cut it up, but this is after I have cut it in half and sliced off the outer peel. It's very crunchy and somewhat sweet.
Here's the grapefruit and jicama mixed together, before I realized that I had forgotten the olives. I'm really not one to follow a recipe very carefully.
Ok - crisis averted - I have added some olives. Only to find out that they were the wrong ones. Oh well. Again, me and following directions. I'm not going to have some recipe telling me what to do, I like to be in charge.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I took this picture because I have no idea what elephant ears are, and I wasn't about to try them. I hung around this booth for a bit to try to figure it out and no one ordered one, so it remains a mystery to me.
Lots of people had their pets out there, and this guy let me take a picture of his birdie.
However, the highlight of the day was when we passed a woman holding this adorable puppy and she let Bailey hold it too. Oh dear, here we go. Que the cries of, "Mom - why can't we get a dog?"
This little guy was adorable. He slept through the entire photo shoot. He just couldn't be bothered to open up his eyes.
How cute is this!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Kenzie has been in my Girl Scout troop for a long time and I have many pictures of her, but it's very rare that I will catch her in a smile, so I'm extra pleased to have gotten this shot below.
And another smile!
The girls were quite excited about the dance. I can't wait to hear all about it.
I don't know how people who routinely travel for business do it. I was out of town Sunday through Wednesday and I'm still trying to recover from the lack of sleep, the time zone difference, and just the general change of routine. Three days of sitting in intense meetings can really wear a person out. As I get older it becomes more and more apparent that I do not function well without much sleep. Boy, I sure do sound like a whining baby, huh?
Well, yesterday was my first day home and you'd think that I would have been able to go home after work and relax. But no. Tonight Bailey has a dance, and not just any dance, but a dance at the high school that she will attend in another year. And, it won't just be her middle school going, there will be another middle school in attendance - since both middle schools feed into the high school. This dance is somewhat dressy - they were told no jeans. So, last night as soon as I got home I had to leave the comforts of my home and take her shopping. As much as I would have preferred to stay home, I certainly remember the excitement and jitters of a big dance and how necessary it is to have "just the right thing to wear." Bailey had even texted me while I was in Phoenix to ask me if we could go shopping on Thursday. It was that important.
We met a friend of hers and her mother at the store and the girls tried on dresses until they each decided on the perfect one. Then it was on to the shoe department to pick out the perfect shoes to go with the perfect dress. (Side note - they had a sale, buy one, get one for $.88 - so I snagged a cute pair of sandals as well - yeah me!) Anyway - when did the girls grow up so much?
I'll be taking pictures tonight, so I'll post some over the weekend - after I sleep in really, really, really late tomorrow. Happy Friday everyone!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So - since I'm pressed for time, here's some more from last weekend.
At the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth on Saturday, we saw the group Mass Ensemble perform. They play an instrument called the earth harp. Three people were actually playing it when we were listening.
The strings of the earth harp went way out above everyone's heads. They had weights on them at different places on each string.
Unfortunately, you can't see the strings in this picture, but they are connected to the top of the 3 story white building.
The music was very interesting, and the harp just catches your interest. Here's a YouTube clip of one of their performances from another show.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
These figures were sculptures that were made out of metal by one of the artist at the festival. They moved and swayed in the wind. We saw so many creative works of art.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thank you so very much!!!!!
I love cookies. They are one of my favorite desserts, and they are even better if they have icing. And cookies for me must be soft. I'm not a crispy cookies girl - give me a soft chewy one please.
This is my "go-to" recipe for chocolate chip cookies. The recipe is really easy and it makes a ton of cookies. The only change I have made is that I add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. The cookies really need the salt to balance the sweetness. This recipe calls for instant vanilla pudding, which gives a deep vanilla flavor. I have sometimes changed the recipe to add chocolate pudding and white chocolate chips, or white chocolate pudding and chocolate chips - both have turned out well. You can use your own favorite combination.
I took these to Rominal's family's house for Easter and they were gobbled up. Also, as a special request, I made some without any chips at all.
Here's the recipe: Award winning soft chocolate chip cookies
And here's some action shots - first the cookies all ready to be baked.
And the finished product. The two cookies in the back are without chocolate chips.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
First of all - I have a tip!
I had several bananas that had all turned brown on the outside (perfectly ripe on the inside though) and I knew we wouldn't get around to eating them before they passed their prime. My family was already turning their noses up at them. I didn't want to make banana bread, because that would hurt my diet efforts so I needed to come up with something else. I had tried to freeze bananas in the past and it didn't work out. The peel was impossible to peel off. So, I had this wonderful idea - I peeled the banana and wrapped it up in plastic wrap, then I put it in the freezer. The next day the frozen bananas are the perfect color - they didn't turn brown or look gross. Perfect for a smoothie!
So, today for our snack I took out 2 frozen bananas and tossed them into the blender, added my skim milk, a couple of packets of Splenda and some vanilla. Set your blender on whirl and you have a glass of goodness! I think this is my new favorite smoothie flavor. Bailey loved it as well.
I chose this recipe because I love black beans, and the recipe didn't have too many ingredients. It has 7 Weight Watchers points (not including the hamburger buns).
I often chose recipes based on how many ingredients it calls for - and if there are too many I have been known to edit some out.
This recipe was super quick to make and I really liked it.
Here's what you need:
- 2 (14oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs (I found that it needed double this amount)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (I'm too lazy to chop cilantro, so I tossed it in when I put the beans in the food processor.)
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 hamburger buns
Pulse 1 can beans in a food processor with mayonnaise, bread crumbs and spices until a coarse puree forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro (if you hadn't already added it to the mix prior like me) and remaining can of beans. Form mixture into 4 patties.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet and cook the burgers until the outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 minutes total. Serve on buns.
Here's some play-by-play pictures.
The rinsed black beans.
This was the mixture before I decided to add more bread crumbs. It was way too wet.
Here's a picture of my 4 patties prior to cooking.
And here's the finished product. For the record, I added a slice of cheese to mine, well, because, everything is better with cheese on it.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I have lots of excuses for why this has occurred, some good ones even.
- I lost a dear family member
- We went on vacation
- I had family visiting
- I've gotten out of the habit of exercising
- My taxes were due
- Food just tastes so good
- It's not fair! (whinny voice) Why do some people get to eat what they want and never gain and why can't I be one of those people
- It was Easter and they only sell Cadbury Cream Eggs and Brach's Chicks and Rabbits once a year, and therefore I must eat all I can now when they are available
However, I know that these are just excuses and it was these excuses that got me the 50 pounds that I have worked so hard to get rid of. Today is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers and I'm afraid I'm going to have a gain today (mostly thanks to Chicks and Rabbits).
As I was getting dressed this morning I reached out for my favorite pair of jeans and I found that they were tight - a tad uncomfortable even. This is new to me - they used to fit so well. In my pre-Weight Watchers days I would have blamed this on the clothes dryer. Now, however, I must admit that the jeans didn't just shrink and it's me who has grown. I like it much better when I put on my clothes and there is room enough for me to move around. In the previous months when I was losing weight that became a sensation that I loved and now I crave. I would put on a pair of pants and show Rominal how much extra room there was in them. To see that visual evidence of what I had done gave me motivation to keep on going. I need to dig down and find that motivation again.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how this is not a weekly battle or daily battle, but rather a minute-by-minute battle. Meaning that as I'm about to put the Chicks and Rabbits into my mouth I have to stop and think right at that very minute. "Will this Chick or Rabbit taste good? Yes, of course it will. Fantastic even. But will it help me go my goals? No."
So, today, in front of everyone, I am standing up and recommitting myself to my weight loss goals. This means exercising and watching what I put in my mouth. I might post more about this in the future - maybe that will help me keep on track.
Thanks for listening.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
They are basically done, but I just like to sit on them for a day or two so that I can mentally go through the last year one more time just in case I magically remember that we have another baby, or some other huge deduction that I forgot to itemize.
So, you can guess what I'll be doing tonight. I just hope that everyone else in the United States hasn't waited to file until now - thus making all of the interwebs* clogged when I try to e-file.
*I can't take credit for the word interwebs, but I do love that word. Thanks Cherie for introducing it to me.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
On this day, we had run out of peaches which Bailey prefers, so we had to use strawberries, but any frozen fruit will do.
You will also need about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. It makes it taste so much richer.
You will also need some milk - I used skim milk. Also, add Splenda to taste. Anywhere I go I leave a trail of Splenda packets. The picture below shows the milk, frozen strawberries, Splenda, and vanilla - right before I turn on the blender.
And here's the end result. It helps if you have bendy straws. Makes it taste better. Enjoy!
It's hard to believe my van has reached 100,000 miles. It's been a long time since I had a car reach that high in mileage. It's been a good car for us, so I hope to see 200,000 miles in the future.
I thought I would share a recipe today. I am bringing these to my husband's family's gathering today. These bar cookies normally get pretty good reviews, and I was specifically asked to bring these.
I found this recipe on Allrecipies.com, and I have only made slight changes. I normally double the recipe and use a 9x13 inch pan. Also, I always use Kosher salt, I just think it tastes better - and it's the only salt I have in the house.
For this batch, I actually tripled the recipe. In the past I thought that the amount of "bar" under the jelly wasn't enough to hold the bar together. So, I tripled the batch and I think this worked well. Also, I would recommend putting the pan in the fridge before you cut the cookies into squares. The butter needs to harden up to make the cookies cut easier.
The original recipe is here - Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars. Enjoy!
Friday, April 10, 2009
This is my fish. He normally doesn't move, but he is apparently scared to death of my cell phone camera. This was the best picture I got of him because he was moving around so much. I've had him for over a year now. He still doesn't have a name.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Some people are a-holes. We all know which ones they are. And what happens when you poke an a-hole? You get poo'd on.
I will have to repeat this to myself prior to dealing with any a-holes.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
So, please be a dear and don't complain too much. Also, feel free to check this blog daily, even hourly - hee hee.