16 December 2011

YES! I need a project!

Check out the project HERE, and if you have a spare moment, you should get involved too!!!
I realized yesterday that I do much better when I am SUPER busy.  So, this will be the next project.  AND it is non-food related--double bonus!  YAY!

13 December 2011

Back to old patterns...

Yep. I've been avoiding life.  I've been avoiding the scale, eating right, writing, and the outside world.  I haven't been avoiding working out.  I am averaging 5x a week, and have been walking outside taking advantage of the nice weather (i.e. not rain).  I haven't stopped going to Body Pump (3x a week) either.

It hasn't helped in the whole lose-weight journey.

I'm up to 247.5

And I am aware that if I was eating right, I'd be dropping weight readily.  And it should be more of a focus and a priority for me.  Instead, I tell myself, "after the holidays," or "when I get a job"...Neither of which are healthy approaches.  I know.  I am grappling with the fact that I most likely won't get to teach again, and I am not sure what I CAN do for a living.  I have been applying for jobs left and right, and can't even get a response--from administrative assistant, to a corrections officer, to classroom assistant, to various state jobs, to--get this--McDonald's.  NO RESPONSES.  It is heartbreaking.  Ok.  That's all for now.  I just haven't fallen off the earth, though that might be more exciting than my actual real life at this point.

28 November 2011

Stinky on the domestic front.

Since I am still unemployed (grumble grumble), I try to keep up with cleaning the house and chores.  Which I hate.  Which, I told L when we first met, "I don't clean."

Yeah.  Things change when you lose the ability to financially contribute.

So today I thought I'd tackle one of my nemesis's, the filthy oven and stove top.  I tried a home cleaner from pintrest, but made the mistake of first starting the oven's cleaning cycle (which actually goes for 4 hours!!).  While the home-made cleaner worked, it took many rinsings to semi-get the solution off,  and I don't think my choice to do both cleanings at once was beneficial--the heat dried the solution so it became crusty and flaky, which I will now have to vacuum and mop because of the mess that transferred to the floor.

And now there are still at least two hours more to go for the oven's cycle, and my house STINKS.  Even with the windows open.

So, overall, the results today: stinky house, super scrubbing and eternal rinsing with still a not 100% clean stovetop, messy floor  = I SHOULDN'T CLEAN. EVER.


19 November 2011

mini-ugly dog 1; me 0

Yup. Bit by a dog.
The rain held up enough yesterday afternoon (Friday), and I was irked that I didn't walk very long on Thursday, so I set off.  I had an awesome pace going on, and was about 10 minutes from home at a park when I saw a lady with her little, as I call them "shit-mouthed dog," on a leash walking towards a garbage can.  I was in my own world, listening to my fantasy football podcast, and as I saw the dog and the owner head for the sidewalk, I started to look down towards my feet until we passed each other.  As much as I really do love dogs, I don't like little yippy dogs (annoying), and I don't like to make eye contact with people on my walks...I don't know why I am like this, I just am.  Anyway, I am walking, looking down and away from little crap dog and her owner, when suddenly the dog lunges at my thigh, nips once to attempt a grip, then twice tearing at my pants and biting my leg.  The owner was in shock, she pulled it off me as a scrap of my pants fluttered from the dog's mouth as I stood in shock.  I was just minding my own business. I didn't even look at the ugly dog--it wasn't an awesome dog like the greyhounds and great danes and labs that live by me, it was an ugly thing like this:

WTF did I do to make it attack me?
So, since I am a total nimrod, I looked at the owner and she had complete terror in her eyes and she said "I am so sorry."  I mumbled, "That's allright," AND KEPT WALKING.  

Yes. I am a dumbass.

Why am I a dumb ass?  Well, I was wearing my favorite workout pants, and they are now ruined.  I didn't even get the name of the person whose dog attacked me, and as people on facebook pointed out to me, what if it had been a little kid that the dog bit--or bites next?
I am more mad about my pants being wrecked than anything else. 

Today I am bruised around the bite area, and I am feeling guilty for not reporting it.  So I will.  I guess i get frustrated by our litigious society and didn't want anything bad to happen to the dog or its owner, even if I was attacked unprovoked, it really isn't that big of a deal.

But the more I think about this, the angrier I get.  Anyone else in my situation would have stopped the owner and gotten her information and reported the bite right away.

Who else but my dumb ass would be more concerned about keeping my awesome walking pace going than stopping for valuable information?

ARGH.  I wish I was more assertive sometimes.

I'm just not.  :(


16 November 2011


I can't believe how much strength I've lost missing eight Body Pump classes (two weeks away from the gym), and I feel super useless.  Some of the problems might come from being sick--I have some sort of a cold that  I can't shake, but overall I am feeling very wussy.  Normally I am the one with the heaviest bar during our 6 minutes of squats (35lbs on each side of the bar--even more than any guy in class), but I came back and wanted to take it easy so I could still walk, and doing just 20lbs on each side makes me want to die.

The good thing about this though is that I want to work hard to get back to where I was and even more!  It is a super-power trip to be strong, and I want to continue to get stronger.

The weather blows today.  I think winter is officially here in the NW, and luckily I took advantage of the day yesterday and went for a nearly three-mile walk.  It felt really good and it is something I want to get back in to--even if it isn't jogging/running, at least I am off my ass and moving.  Only attending Body Pump classes with an occasional Zumba class thrown in isn't cutting it.  Especially considering how I have been fueling my body.

That topic is for another day.

13 November 2011

My photographer is a TEASE!

And I love it!!!
(Plus, she shot my wedding for free to build her portfolio, so I am forever indebted to her.)
Some of my favorites!

09 November 2011

SO much!!!!!

And while I am overwhelmed, I am looking forward to all the things I have to catch up on:
Writing (updating this!)
Working out
Reading blogs I've missed
Reading books!
Applying for jobs--I.AM.GOING.TO.GET.A.JOB.
Eating better
Starting my CASA case!

Off to clean and make some dinner plans!  I can't wait to get back into the swing of things!

18 October 2011


Things I love:

BodyPump class.

Tanning (I know, I know...but I have these atrocious tan lines I need to get rid of (they totally are apparent in my dress! And anyway, I LOVE BEING BROWN!)

My family.  (They will be here in ONE WEEK!)

Book Club (T-minus 4 days).

Clean hair.

Vitamins.  Especially Vitamin D.

Diet Soda.



17 October 2011


So I am pretending that what I am experiencing is normal.

11 days.

I hate my dress.

I hate my shoes.

I hate my jewelry.

I hate my body, hair, and everything...

I hate a the homemade projects I've finished.

I hate what little decorations we will have.

I am stressed, overwhelmed, and all I want to do is eat bread.

03 October 2011

Pulling myself out of the funk...

And forcing myself to face the reality that my bad habits are truly detrimental to all aspects of my life.  I am grouchy, tired, sluggish, and a huge debbie-downer.  


Working out 4x a week isn't helping.  Especially since I am going to 4 weightlifting classes and doing no cardio because I hate cardio.  Nevermind what I eat.  Clearly, by the weight gain, I am not making good choices.  If I had a job, I'd be back to Weight Watchers.  For now, I will use MyFitnessPal to track my calorie intake, but I won't lie--it makes me VERY crabby.

Have I mentioned that I have no job, am getting married in 26 days, and I have gained nearly half the weight that I lost back?  W.T.F.?

As my dad so helpfully reminded me, I possess genes that, when stressed, rather than not eat, instead cause much overeating.  And not overeating of carrots and celery.

Bread, bread, ice cream, bread, carbs, some more carbs, jam, ice cream, and did I mention bread?

Ok.  New day.  Here I go.

20 July 2011

Recommit or Quit: Or, The One Where I Need a Swift Kick in the Ass.

Things I have been doing:
making these (but different colors including glittery/sparkley) for the wedding
applying to jobs
getting rejection emails from said jobs
obsessively looking at wedding stuff on etsy
designing and redesigning and obsessing over our invitations, which I can't do much about because we still don't have a venue
trying to not worry that we don't have a venue
eating and overeating and falling back into old eating habits
weighing myself and hating what I see (234.4 last time I looked)
working out every day of the week in some fashion (at least 1 hour) except Saturdays and Sundays (mainly Body Pump (3x a week) and other classes)
reading (six books completed since the end of June)
when there is sun, I lay in it
trying to not get so down that I completely lose control. 

I have been working out consistently, and if I was eating right to balance the exercise, I'd totally be rocking in the losing the weight aspect of my life.  I know that it's bigger than that though.  There are some underlying issues that get in my way after I do well for myself for a while.  I am letting the no job, no money, hatemybodyanddon'twantaweddingdressbecauseI'mfat, get to me. 

I have been in this place for a considerable amount of time, and I have been trying to not let it get to me, hence the not blogging.  My friend told me that people want to read both the good and the bad,  so I will try to write more.  I just hate being Debbie-Downer and want to be more positive. 

I'll work on it.

10 July 2011

Cupcake Trial #1

I will update on life after I get my head wrapped around what I want to say--it will be forthcoming though!

I have decided to make cupcakes for our wedding.  I am going to have L's mom and stepdad choose a flavor (coconut), my parents choose a flavor, L's dad and stepmom choose a flavor, and L choose a flavor, and I will choose a flavor.  Our wedding is huge (for me), but small in the realm of wedding-land, so this isn't as crazy of an idea as it could be.  I figure I will make 1-2 batches of each flavor, and we'll be good to go.

L's dad and stepmom suggested a cappuccino flavored cupcake with a cream-cheese center, so, for his dad's birthday today, I thought I'd bring a selection of cupcakes to taste to make sure that was the flavor they wanted.  And, to try the recipes out.  So, Friday, Saturday, and this morning, I have been dabbling with recipes and making cupcakes.  I have had the opportunity to share the different flavors I made with different people, and so far the reviews have been awesome.  I am really excited about doing this--it is the ONE component of my wedding that I am excited about and can get 100% behind.

On to the cupcakes....
First, this is the flavor I think I am going to choose.  I fricken LOVE pumpkin pie, and when I saw this recipe I almost fell over.  Who would have thought?
First I made mini-cherry pies to see if I could even make mini-pies (and crusts) without poking my eye out in frustration.    SUCCESS!! My patience level must be increasing, because I actually had fun making these.  But, I need to remind myself that just because they are mini, DOESN'T MEAN I SHOULD EAT 7 MINI PIES AT ONCE.    BAH.
Anyway.  With some confidence I could make the pumpkin-pie filled cupcakes, I went at it.

 Yum.  x10000000000

Mini crusts!!!

Mini pies!

Pies into batter ready to be covered in batter!

cupcake + pie = AWESOME!
Delicious, and awesome.  My pictures suck, but I am proud of how awesome, even without frosting, they turned out.  I think a mini-dollop of plain cream-cheese frosting will be the final selection for my choice.

too much frosting...
2nd, the cappuccino cupcake with a cream cheese center.  And, with my own addition thanks to the original recipe, espresso butter cream frosting.  I think that after sampling the frosting as I was making it, immediately followed by trying to eat one of these just got the better of me.  And I love sweet things, but that was too much sweet all at once for me.  L thought the frosting was too much, so I scraped off my dollops, and he reapplied new dollops. Last night, someone tried this cupcake and said I needed to open my own cupcake store with this cupcake.  I think that says it all.  I just hope L's dad likes them.  Though my friend said she'd kick his ass if he didn't like them! :)  YAY!


Finally, I thought that to be safe, I'd bring a second choice for L's dad and stepmom to choose from--and made Tiramisu cupcakes.  Wow.  Yum-a-licious!
After getting coated in the marsala-sauce.

If I hadn't almost-picked my flavor this might have made the cut!!

Finished product!


I am really proud of how all three of these turned out--even though the tiramisu cupcake cake part was overcooked (stupid Martha Stewart recipe was off by 3 minutes!!!), and the cappuccino cupcakes had too much frosting (and a BOATLOAD left over too!!). 

While NONE of these are good for WW, they make me happy to bake.  I am pumped for my guests to eat them and see the looks on their faces as they try each flavor--my dad said,  "People better get in line fast to get some!"

Update post will follow soon.  I do wish I could mail cupcakes--my parents would love to sample these, and I know Julia would love them as she hangs out with her son!

09 June 2011

Homemade Yumm! bowl!

I super-love Cafe Yumm! I am in love with the Yumm-Baby bowl.
So, today I bought a giant jug of Yumm! sauce, and made my own bowl.  Or, plate.  That I used a fork with because I was too hungry to mess with chopsticks.
Jasmine rice, corn, black beans, tomato, cilantro, avocado, Yumm! sauce, and Greek yogurt
It was AMAZING!!!!

I love how filling and fresh this is.  And, if I were to calculate the points (which I will do at some point), I don't think this is too bad of a meal.
I wish I could adequately describe Yumm! sauce, but just trust me, it is awesome, can be eaten on anything, and it hard to replicate (my ex-colleague who basically drinks the stuff she loves it so much tried to make it herself several times and failed).


03 June 2011

No shame...

I just licked the bowl to get every drop of ranch dressing possible.

I did measure the serving (2 TBSP) first!  I wanted to be sure to get my FULL 4 POINTS+ worth!!!  (holy crap.)

I also ate it with carrots and cucumber (not plain) to get a veggie serving in.

In other news, don't buy a mini-bag of Skittles to cope with helplessness and then put the info in the points calculator when you are in the car ready to tear the thing open and pour them in your mouth. 



I didn't eat it though.  The bag is still sitting in my purse.  Taunting me.

Small victories. 

There are three loaves of oatmeal bread baking in the oven right now.

And you can bet your ass I am having a slice with butter when they are done. 

02 June 2011

Lost steam, any thoughts other than my own?

Not sure when it happened, probably in between the cupcakes and bread, and more bread, and then the chips and oreos...but no matter when it happened, it did.  I have no motivation to track what I am eating and hold myself accountable for what I eat during the day. 

I am envious of the people who don't need to account for every single morsel that goes into their bodies, and I am irritated with my own self that I have gotten to this point where I HAVE to be accountable for every morsel or I gain weight.  I am back up.  225.5.  And I know how hard I was working, and how I am not working that hard anymore, and I know what has to right itself.  I just don't know how to start in order to get back to feeling successful again.  

The weather isn't helping, and being unemployed isn't helping.  I haven't been reading blogs as much because it is frustrating to see what I am not doing and could be doing and feeling. 

I know I will find a way out of the funk. It's taking a toll, and maybe I am keeping good things away from myself because of the negative/sad/down energy that surrounds me. 

I miss having a job. I miss being useful. I miss our housekeeper. I miss city life.


I am going to get out of this.  Really.

31 May 2011


I made snickerdoodle cupcakes.  With this frosting...


Snickerdoodle Cupcakes (24 cupcakes)
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 C boiling water
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 C milk
  1. Heat 1/2 C sugar in heavy 8-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and golden brown.
  2. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Gradually add boiling water into sugar mixture; continue cooking until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. You need to stir really quickly here to keep the sugar from glomming up.
  4. Beat egg whites in medium bowl at medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  5. Gradually add 1/2 C granulated sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  6. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  7. Beat butter and remaining 1/2 C sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  8. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  9. Gradually add sugar syrup, mixing until well blended.
  10. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  11. Fold in egg white mixture.
  12. Fill cupcake liners halfway full.
  13.  375 F for 20 minutes--Too long, they were overcooked.   (I didn't do the cookie baked in like the original poster did, but I might try that next time.)

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 C (half stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 t vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (add more to taste)
  • 2-3 C powdered sugar (add more or less to make it a stiffness that you like)
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter well.
  2. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Add powdered sugar.

I know, I know.  I am getting back on the wagon tomorrow with my weigh-in day.  I am tired of the gaining of the weight.  Company was coming for dinner, so I wanted to try a new recipe.  Yum.

25 May 2011

WI Wednesday

And not exciting on my front. 


Yep.  +3.3 

Argh.  I really need to be more...everything.  Track better, workout more, eat better. 

I am proud that after an emotional event I didn't go and get Cinnamon rolls and fast food.  I ate a pear.  YAY me.

19 May 2011

A post of random...

I've been reading:
Kelle's blog- and I don't want kids!! Her family, of course, is beautiful, and reading about Nella's developments and how Lainey is growing up is a pleasant escape for me.  Foreign, but an escape that I love.  Plus, she is a good writer.
Lisa's blog--she updates more, and it is awesome for me because she actually lives in PDX.  I love that her posts are so varying, and she too is a good writer.
Beth's blog--I am envious of her success, and hopeful that I could attain her levels of success via WW.  She just hit her goal weight after 2+ years.  Pretty effing cool.

I've been creating homemade STDs (Save the Dates--you oh so gross readers out there!):
(I'll post pictures once I mail them out and people get them, I'd like them to be a semi-surprise!)

I've been working on designing our invitations and learning how to use Adobe Illustrator.  It isn't as easy as I thought, and I am definitely NOT a graphic designer, and I have a great deal more respect for those gifted with such abilities. 

I've been searching Etsy for ideas for baby gifts I can make my pregnant amazing friend--she who is the first of us "grad-school girls" who took the leap and is going to have a baby later this summer. And wedding ideas--I really, really, really want a giant tu-tu....that's purple.

I've been working out.  Getting back on the wagon of really enjoying the power I feel when I am active and consistently working out.

I've been antsy and in need of projects.  Today I made three loaves of bread (1 banana--new recipe) and 2 oatmeal--my grandpa's that was his mom's.  I play football with a couple who is getting married later this summer, and they asked me if I could help with their wedding website.  HECK YES!! So I have started on that...(I'll link to it when there is more than blank pages!)

I've been applying for any job I can.  I am getting desperate.  OR cut off my unemployment, and I can't get emergency benefits because I worked in WI.  WI now is paying me unemployment, but it is a $53 cut.  I hate money.

I've been getting rejected from jobs.  I am not qualified to be a customer service rep for Netflix, clean in a hospital, or be a secretary/file in a law office. 

So.  That's what I have been up to.  I need to drink more water, write more, make a decision about future academic pursuits (change in career? grad school in English?), and keep working out.  I need to track my food consistently, and avoid the grocery store after I work out.  Seriously, it is the devil.

Finally,  I'd like to shout out to those of you still reading.  Thank you to my friends, and to the other random readers out there.  Your support and encouragement, and just knowing you are there means a great deal to me.  Thank you!!!!

:) Sunshine

18 May 2011

WI Wednesday



I know why, and I know what I need to do. 
At least I am still working out!

14 May 2011

Celebrations with my Polar

Football practice (5/4).
WillPower and Grace on Friday (5/13)
Body Pump (5/3)

13 May 2011

Update: pity-party, removal of head from buttocks, and hopeful end of said pity-party.

I actually got on the scale this morning.  I didn't mean to, but I had an atrocious migraine and thought that seeing large numbers on the dreaded scale might cheer me up (can you hear the facetiousness dripping from my voice?)...

So, even though I don't think it is totally accurate (since I have been sustaining myself with Coke Zero and Mint Oreos), I am down -.2lbs and am at 218.9. 

Minor victory, but I am not celebrating. And, I know that a loss is a loss, but for me it isn't.  There are too many other factors impacting any success I have. 

I need to pull myself out of this funk I find myself in.  I have supportive people in my life--including some awesome women who post amazing encouragement here--and I need to genuinely think of the good things when I fall into gloomy-pants-land rather than going to bad habits. 

How I have been dealing with my funk the past week?  Oreos, Chips, not enough water, fruits, or veggies, not tracking anything I am eating, and overall, back to my bad habits that put me at 275+. 

I haven't even been working out with gusto.  Which makes me sad. I liked how I felt with the gusto.

My goals for April fell very short, and I think that triggered the beginning of the out-of-control.  I am trying to reign myself in slowly, and stories like Beth's are inspiring, but feel so completely unattainable at this point.  And add to that PMS, unemployment, loss of unemployment money (don't even get me started with this), and then being chosen as an "Honored Educator" by a former student at my former school when I am not teaching, and you get super-pity party in my house. 

I have been avoiding blogging because of my pity-party, not to mention avoiding friends, phone calls, and other things that actually bring me face-to-face with the outside world, but I need to knock it off.  Things could ALWAYS be worse. I need to take life as it comes, be more positive, and not be so hard on myself.  I can reflect the hell out of what I am going through, but I need to work MUCH harder at taking ACTION on what I need to do. 

Ok. End of pity-party. 

Or at least first steps toward the end...

04 May 2011


My sister is in town.
I haven't been eating right.
My knee is pretty effed, but I am living in the land of denial.
I am not weighing in today.  Or this week. 
I suck.

29 April 2011


My Bondi Band...
I got my bondi band, and I am slightly sad that it isn't as magically wonderful as I wanted it to be.  Maybe I should have just gotten a plain one or one with text, but mine moved.  But it is super pretty!! Maybe it won't be as inclined to move once I wash it?

Either way, this afternoon I made myself workout.  I didn't make it to the gym, but I did do my *free* Nike App for the first time.  It was awesome.  Well, by awesome I mean, hurts really bad, but is motivating and instructional. 
This was a middle portion. 

Not too bad for not working out since Tuesday.  I really like the app, I just wish there were fewer squat/knee pain exercises!!  I like how the app progressed through the workout, how, if I didn't know what a workout was, I could watch a video and then resume the workout, and the app talked to me and gave me reminders (which sometimes I wanted to punch the lady, but it is hard to punch a non-entity and I like my iPhone too much to hurt it.).

My sister arrives tonight! We have our second home game tomorrow, and overall things are looking up.  I'd just like this stupid cold to exit forever and the sun to come out and STAY for longer than a few minutes a day.  

28 April 2011


All I want to do is drink coke zero and eat bread. 
I am making myself workout tomorrow--I don't care if I keel over.  I am sick of felling lethargic and yukky. And I was doing awesome this month working out!!  GRRRRRR. 

27 April 2011

WI Wednesday


News Flash:
Constantly being aware of what I eat, and tracking WORKS.

26 April 2011


I knew it would be cool.  I knew I would probably like it.  But I REALLY like it. 

This is awesome. 
I didn't go to Zumba because I was hungry, and L and I watched last week's Survivor instead.  But I did go out for a walk/jog after dinner so I could test it out.  My knee was killing me so I did less jogging and more walking, but either way I learned some things that made me happy!!
1.  Even though I am super slow, I am still burning calories. 
2. Even though I am super slow, I am still in the fat burn heartrate zone. 
3.  It is ok that I am slow! 
4. I am scared that I will hurt my new favorite toy, so I don't think I will wear it during football practice. 
5. I need to hide things better if I don't want L to know about them. 

Did I mention how much I love this thing?  Super easy to setup, super easy to use.  Awesomeness!!!!

WHO'S EXCITED?!?!?!?!?


Now, I have to figure out how to manage wearing this during football practice!!!

I wasn't going to go to Zumba tonight, but now I HAVE to!!!

25 April 2011

Days like this...

I so get why people give up.

All I wanted to do after practice was eat ice cream and french fries. 

But, I ate an apple, came home and ate potato wedges that we had in the freezer for a long time now (that tasted like the freezer--yet I kept eating them), and 1 1/2 waffle that was frozen from Sunday.

Never mind that I barely let the waffle thaw out before inhaling it. 

I was doing pretty well today, but a rough practice set me off for carb-inhalation. 

And I wasn't even really hungry.  That's the worst part about this. 

In other news, my Polar watch should be in my hands tomorrow (don't tell L), and maybe that will keep me occupied for a while.  I really need a job, I am losing it. 

22 April 2011

South African Pumpkin Fritters

Thanks WW for this recipe. I am a cooking FREAK today.  This was totally not planned, but we are severely  lacking in the provisions here (no major grocery shopping has taken place in over a week), but I had these ingredients.  I noticed this recipe yesterday, and planned on making it eventually, but today turned out to be the day!

South African Pumpkin Fritters
(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers)
1/2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
shake or more of cloves
15 oz canned pumpkin
2 large eggs, separated
cooking spray
1 TBSP olive oil (divided)

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, Cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin with egg yolks and mix until well-combined. *Don't do what I did, and let your mental capacity take a vacation. I am so used to separating eggs and putting the yolk down the garbage disposal, I had to crack another egg for loss of a yolk. :(
Whip egg whites until soft peaks form in a separate small bowl.
Add flour mixture and egg whites to pumpkin mixture alternating in batches, and stirring after each addition.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray.  Set over med/low heat.
Add 1 TSP oil, heat until oil shimmers (I have no idea WTF that means, but whatev).
Drop spoonfuls onto the skillet. *This is where things get tricky.  WW says make four 3" fritters, but there was NO way--especially after the reviews I read about cooking time issues.  So I made mine smaller.  
Cook until done. *Yeah, have fun with this.  WW says cook until bubbles tart to form along sides 1 1/2 min-2 min.  That is FAR from accurate.  Even after both sides were golden brown, I could squish the fritter and doughy ooze would emit from the fritter.  Doughy ooze=raw=grouchy me waiting for lunch.  I tried to practice patience, but seriously?  The dough kept sticking to the spatula, the ooze wouldn't stop, and the oil went away and quasi-stickyness resulted. 
Repeat steps until all batter is gone. 

18 fritters (that I made--feel free to make more or less as to your desire!) 1pt+/fritter.

I ate mine plain with salt (4 fritters),  they were savory and filling, and really good.  I was just frustrated with the process that they still felt semi-raw, but maybe that is how they are supposed to be?  I am going to try to make these again at some point and use even less batter per fritter to see if that changes cooking issues. Many people put syrup on their fritters or powdered sugar, but I don't like to blow points unless I have to!!!  

If anyone has any suggestions as to the ooze/cooking time issue, could you help a lady out here?  TXKBI

Banana Bread Oatmeal Cookies

Thanks to Gina yet again for an awesome idea!!

1pt+ each? HECK YES!!!

Banana Bread Oatmeal Cookies
(Adapted from skinnytaste)

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (+MORE!)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
1 large egg
1 mashed ripe banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups oats

Preheat oven to 350°; line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed.  (I did this by hand...just in case I wanted to use my KitchenAid for something else!)
Add the egg, followed by the mashed banana and vanilla extract.
Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the chopped walnuts.
Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.
Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Store in an airtight container so you don't eat them all in one sitting!

39 cookies

YUMMY.  Cinnamon-y, banana-y, and chewy.  Delicious!!!!!!!!

Irish Cream Brownies

Close-up of the chocolatey amazingness.

Today's plan was to make 1 recipe for tomorrow's book club.
Yeah, that didn't work.  

I was trolling the WW message boards, and someone evilly posted this recipe.  
And this wasn't my planned recipe.  And then I made cookies.  And THEN I made my intended recipe.

These brownies are chocolatey, rich, silky, awesome...For 4 pts+ each--SO worth it.  

Irish Cream Brownies
(Adapted from a post on WW message boards)

For truly fudgy treats, be sure to cook the brownies until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. If you wait until the pick is clean, the brownies will be overcooked. (THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Place the chocolate chips and the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until the chocolate chips and butter melt, stirring every 30 seconds. Cool slightly. Add sugar egg, Bailey’s and vanilla, and stir well with a whisk.
Out of the oven!
Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring every 30 seconds. Fold in the flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spread batter in a thin layer into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool on a wire rack.

16 brownies

Totally rich and delicious.  YUM.  I just wanted to smell them--sooooooooo good!!!

21 April 2011

Jicama-Pineapple Salad

Again, I pilfered a recipe. Krista posted this today, and I couldn't get to the store fast enough.  So, after the gym, I did. 
I was going to post this tomorrow, but I just ate some of this for a "dessert" (I am semi-hungry and still have 8 pts. left for the day), and it was SO GOOD I couldn't wait to post. 

My mom used to eat jicama like it was an apple.  She'd try to get my sister and I to enjoy it like she did, but what did I want with a vegetable that was like a fruit that was sort-of-tasteless, when there were Ranch Doritos around? 
Maybe too much cilantro, but it was perfect for me!

So, it's been a while since me and jicama have hooked up.  And, I won't wait so long again.  If you look past what a task peeling the bad boy is, jicama really is an interesting legume.
Combine jicama with my favorite fruit--fresh pineapple--some cilantro and fresh lime juice and the result is a fresh, crispy, sweet, mild, citrusy, springy treat. 

I am a baby with spice, so I didn't include a pepper like Krista did--so feel free to ramp up the heat with your own tweaks.

Jicama-Pineapple Salad
(adapted from Krista at Guerilla Gourmet)
1/2 fresh cut pineapple (chop it up)
1/4 ~ of a jicama (after peeling and chopping up)
Cilantro (I think I used about 1/4 C)
Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime

Mix together.  Let sit (I can't wait to try this tomorrow!!). Eat.  Feel free to salt to taste.  Me? I thought it was perfect. 

Servings?  Who cares, eat the whole friggen bowl if you want to!  Get this:  0 POINTS!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And it is DELICIOUS!!!

Thanks again Krista--this recipe ROCKS!

Quinoa Salad

Yum to the nth degree.
Thanks Beth for the idea!!
Yummy, fresh, and lots of veggies!!!

Grain Salad
2/3 C red quinoa rinsed (this was all I had)
1 C beef broth
In a small pan, bring broth with quinoa in it to a boil. Simmer for 18-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
Let cool. (I didn't do this.)

1 can artichoke hearts drained
1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added) drained
1 C frozen corn
1 GIANT cucumber
1/8 C chopped cilantro
2 stalks celery chopped
1/8 red onion chopped
Cucumber, celery, corn, red onion
cilantro, artichokes, tomato
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar

Mix all together.  Salt to taste.

6 servings (1 cup/serving) = 2pts+/serving!  YES!

I would probably add black beans next time, but I just wanted to finish this salad so I could eat it.  It is GOOD.  I can't wait to see how awesome it will be after it sits overnight!
The final result. 

20 April 2011

I made Risotto!

Final Product.  DELICIOUS!!
To keep my mind off today's WI, I thought I should cook.  So I did.  I made some sweet potato fries, and a baked sweet potato for lunch tomorrow, and sweet potato chips. 
And then I finally made risotto.  And it was delicious. 
Worth the 16 pts+?  (Don't freak, I had a HUGE serving.)  Possibly.  Worth the 18+ minutes of stirring?  Sure.  Maybe not after Body Pump followed two hours later with Kick-Butt Bootcamp (more lifting! Owie)...
I enjoyed the process. I loved all the steps, and the way the Arborio rice took shape the longer it cooked.  I love the meaty heartiness the dish afforded.  I love the overall flavor and textures of this dish. 
This could be an awesome side (for lower pts+), but as my lunch meal, it was filling, substantial, and satisfying. 

First step.  Stirring here too!
Mushroom Risotto
Recipe adapted from epicurious.

1 1/8~ cups hot water
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (this was all I had, so I added an additional 1/2 C +1/8 C water to meet the recipe's liquid requirements)
Mushrooms (I used 1/2 bag of crimini mushrooms and a few leftovers white mushrooms--if I had more mushrooms I would have added them.  Note that the epicurious recipe has other, more exotic mushrooms!)
1/2 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I like garlic!)
1C + 1/8C~ Arborio rice
1/3 cup vermouth (I used L's awesome imported sweet vermouth--don't tell him!)
1/2 C finely grated Flagship cheese (use Parmesan if you don't know what this is. I don't know what it is, but it was what we had that I could grate).
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Initial stirring...no tired arm.

More stirring. Not tired, but I am WARM!

In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan add broth, soy sauce, and water to pan and bring to a simmer. 

Meanwhile, heat oil with 1/2 tablespoon butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté shallot, stirring, until just softened, about ~4 minutes. Add garlic and fresh mushrooms and sauté, stirring, until mushrooms are browned and any liquid they give off is evaporated, about ~7 minutes. Stir in porcini and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.
Almost done!! Final step.
Stir 1 cup simmering broth into rice and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking and adding broth, about 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is tender and creamy looking but still al dente, 18 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, salt, pepper, and remaining butter until butter is melted.
If reserving some risotto to make one of the following recipes, set aside 3 cups and cool to room temperature, then chill, covered with plastic wrap.
On the plate...2 servings

4 servings = 32pts+