Thursday, December 29, 2011

What have I been doing since June?


  • I've lost 33 pounds on Weight Watchers. Making the total lost since hubby deployed 40 pounds! Only 35 more to go!
  • I've gone back to school to finish my degree while my husband is deployed. 
  • Finished half of my provisional year in the Junior League.
  • Taken on two new piano students.
  • Taught Sunday School.
  • Taught Vacation Bible School.
  • Pulled a 3.4 my first semester back in Big College.
  • Galavanted all over the Southeast.
  • Had an amazing R&R with my husband.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I have turned a corner and there was pesto

I've had a very emotionally draining week this week. Most of it does not need to be mentioned in a public blog for various and sundry reasons. But the big thing I've noticed, going into my ninth week of Weight Watchers (weigh in is tomorrow), is that I have broken the cycle of emotional eating.

Honestly, it's been an emotionally draining year for a whole other set of various and sundry reasons. However, before I started WW, when that awful gnawing feeling in my tummy happened, I would soothe it with a peanut butter fudge shake, first from Sonic, then realizing I could make them cheaper and better (and bigger servings), at home.

In the past week, I have written two papers, taken a final exam, hosted a gathering at my parents' house, sold the car my grandmother gave me, drove said car to Atlanta, saw my in-laws on my own for the first time, saw old friends, got peed on by the friend's kid (it's ok, it didn't smell bad, just made cuddling time a little more moist at the GA Aquarium), had a negative encounter that ended very badly, found out some somewhat bad news from the hubby, had my sewing machine break (again), and threw away a lot of stuff we've been saving for no reason because we didn't know how to let go. The me of four months ago would have immediately brought out the ingredients (because the me four months ago would have already had the blender out as a permanent fixture on the counter) for the milkshake a number of times in the last week. The me of now put the blender away in a cabinet last week when I was decluttering the kitchen and is not particularly interested in getting it out. It's a pain to clean and it's in a high cabinet and I'm only 5'2".

When I was having a low day yesterday, due to exhaustion, dehydration and my depression getting the better of me, I did not eat a super heavy meal at my parents' house that would have made me feel sick. Instead, I went home and ate some carrot sticks and hummus and went to bed. I've heard the phrase "Eat to live, don't live to eat" a lot over the years (people tend to say it to heavy girls a lot). However, I have finally reached that point where I'm eating to live. I plan my meals out as best I can, with much help from the WW iPhone app. I try to make good choices, but I also occasionally splurge and have a burger and fries, but I make good choices later to make up for it. I am by no means perfect, but I certainly feel a lot better about myself now than I did six months ago.

Speaking of feeling better. Here is one of my new favorite recipes that makes me feel good about my food.:
Pesto Genovese
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Tamara Novakovic
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins

  • 4 cloves garlic (I love garlic)
  • some sea salt
  • 3 cups (150 g) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) Pecorino cheese
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) walnuts (you can use some other nuts, but walnuts are almost always on sale)
  • 7 tbsp (100 ml) olive oil
  • pinch of nutmeg
  1. I took my food processor and ran it with the garlic and some sea salt.
  2. I then added the fresh basil leaves and pureed them.
  3. I added grated Parmesan cheese and Pecorino cheese with the walnuts (which I used instead of pine nuts because they're way cheaper), a pinch of nutmeg. I pureed everything together and in the end combined it with the olive oil.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at

I discovered this recipe courtesy of a friend several weeks ago when I mentioned that I have a massive basil plant that is always full of more leaves than I can handle. I keep a jar of minced garlic in my fridge, and anyone that knows me knows of my love for cheese, so if I don't have parmesean and pecorino, I use more of one or the other or substitute asiago. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it can be adapted. I add more garlic than the original recipe because I love garlic, but there are people that are not fans. I've marinated chicken breasts in this pesto and cooked it on the grill. My brother has asked for "That Green Chicken" three times since I made it last month.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Is Stevia the femenization of Stevie?

In the last couple months, I have had several things break. Some of them are big (lawn mower) and some just feel big at 7am when YOU NEED COFFEE (coffee grinder and coffee maker). So I broke down and bought a new coffee maker. I've been wanting a Keurig for some time. The hubby's been poo-pooing them for some time. But I have to say, after buying the one they sell at Sam's Club, I've been nothing but pleased. I can have 20oz of coffee with creamer for 2 points (I get 29 a day), or I can have a 20oz bottle of Coke for 7 points, or a Venti White Chocolate Mocha for 17 points. That's several points a day I could be using for other more important things, like cheese.

So on top of lovely coffee (that's signifigantly cheaper than going to Starbucks or buying a bottle of Coke), I also have taken to drinking tea in the afternoon (made with my Keurig). There's something very genteel about drinking iced tea in the afternoon. With this tea, I've started sweetening it with Truvia instead of sugar or Splenda (0 points). I have to say, I'm a fan. I'm debating the merits of getting a stevia plant for my house to soak in the tea because Truvia is a little pricy and I do love to pinch a penny.

Also, I'm on my fifth week of Weight Watchers and I've lost 7.8 pounds. I've lost about two inches all over except my belly. I've only lost a quarter of an inch. Guess it's time to get on those crunches...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm going to do something big

I'm going to give you my sketti recipe. And here's why: I have joined Weight Watchers and I want to share this great recipe because I'm really excited that something I made already is only 5 points and gives you two or three servings of fruits/veggies per serving of sauce!

Points Value: 5
Servings: 20 1-ladle spoonfuls
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 1.5 hr
Level of Difficulty: Easy

10 clove(s) garlic clove(s) (medium)
2 tsp olive oil
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup(s) canned diced tomatoes
3 pound(s) cooked ground beef, 10% fat
2 shallots
1 1/2 cup(s) Carrots
1 1/2 cup(s) vidalia onion(s)
2 cup(s) celery
2 medium green (or yellow or red) pepper(s)
12 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 cup(s) red wine
fresh or dried italian herbs like basil, sage, oregano, red pepper flakes, rosemary, parsley, thyme


Sweat veggies until soft. Add crushed and diced tomatos to veggies. Add half a cup of wine and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. In another pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute shallots, add the ground beef, brown, drain, add to the sauce. Add herbs. Let simmer for half an hour or more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not bad for a Tuesday night...

Tonight for dinner I had an egg salad sandwich with a side of homemade raw fries made from some red potatoes I had laying around the house.

Blogger isn't letting me upload photos right now, perhaps later.

Everyone has their own egg salad recipe, mine is fairly simple, but I like it. Take one hard boiled egg, slice it up (twice) in the mushroom slicer thing that everyone has in their "Kitchen Stuff" drawer.  Mix the cubed egg with a spoonful of mayo and a drop of mustard. Then salt and pepper to taste. I put pickle slices on top of the egg salad, it adds a little something extra.

And it was delicious!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Since my husband's a soldier, should it be Freedom Onion Soup?

I've made this a few times and it's always a huge hit, especially with one of my favorite people, who happens to be a vegetarian.  Yes, the beef stock is not ideal, but we looked at the bullion cubes I used and the ingredients said less than 2% beef, so we don't worry about it.

French Onion Soup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large)
4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons dry sherry or dry white wine (optional- I used some chardonnay that was about to turn)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash black pepper
6 slices french bread, toasted (I took italian bread and sprinkled it with olive oil when I forgot to pick up french bread at the store)
1 cup shredded Swiss, Gruyere , or Jarlsberg cheese (4 ounces- I used Gruyere and let people add their own to taste)

1. In a large saucepan melt butter, add onions. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until onions are tender and golden, stirring occasionally. (I added some salt at this point) Stir in broth, sherry (if desired), Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle toasted bread with shredded cheese. Place bread under broiler until ladle soup into bowls and top with bread.

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm really bad at this

The pre-deployment process has swallowed me whole the last couple of months.  That Nice Man I Lived With is going with his work friends in the mountains to fulfill a lifelong dream of hanging out with goats for a year.  Here is my current favorite (last minute dinner guest) recipe:

Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp sage
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 and 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
Stir together first 11 ingredients in a shallow dish or zip lock
freezer bag.  Prick pork with a fork, and place in marinade, turning
to coat.  Cover or seal and let stand at room temperature for 30
minutes or chill 2 hours. Remove from marine and place prok on a a
rack in a roasting pan.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until 160

I keep all the ingredients in the house and I usually grab a couple pork tenderloins when they're on sale at Sam's Club or Publix and stick them in the freezer.  My mother grills this, but I really prefer the oven.  We take the left over marinade, add some brown sugar and cook it in a sauce pan while the tenderloin cooks to make a nice glaze at the end.

I'll try this blogging thing again in a few months.  Maybe... Hopefully.