Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday--4/27/09

john cena
I luckily had a little time at work this weekend to get this planned out on paper. We never managed to get the Shrimp and Grits done from last week, so that got bumped to tonight.
Luckily that makes me not have to grocery shop until tomorrow --which is good since my work schedule is crazy this week and I got absolutely zero sleep yesterday. Easy food for Tuesday since I will have worked the night before. Anyway, here it is. All low carb and a recipe or two to boot.

  • Monday--Shrimp and Grits (mashed cauliflower subbing for the grits) with Spinach Salad
  • Tuesday--Crockpot Pot Roast with Turnips and Green Bean Salad (the turnips peeled and cut up in crockpot in lieu of potatoes)
  • Wednesday--Tangerine Up the Butt Chicken (recipe below) and Grilled Broccoli Salad (recipe below)
  • Thursday--Grill Basket Lamb Kebabs with Grilled Summer Squash and Mushrooms (cut up a boneless lamb roast into cubes and marinade all day in ziplock bag. Cook on grill in grill basket to skip all the skewering)
  • Friday--Portabello Mushroom Pizzas (top lg portabellos with pizza topping and bake...delish!)
  • Saturday--Turkey Legs and Yard-long beers at Tennessee Renaissance Festival --it is the first weekend and kids and grandparents get in free!!

Orange-Tangerine Up the Butt Chicken
--from The Low Carb BBQ Book by Dana Carpenter
1 whole roasting chicken (3-4 lbs)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp splenda
1 drop blackstrap molasses
1 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp low sugar orange marmalade
1 can Diet Rite tangerine soda (wash that can!!)
2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp spicy brown mustard

Light one side of gas grill. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Combine salt, splenda, molasses and chili powder in small bowl. Reserve half the mixture and rub the other half inside the cavity of the chicken.
Stir the marmalade into the reserved seasoning mixture. Open can of soda and pour out 2/3 cup. Add 1/4 of the cup that you poured off into the seasoning mixture and then drink the rest that you poured off.
Punch several more holes in the top of the soda can with a can opener. Spray the can with cooking spray and set it in a shallow baking pan. Carefully place your chicken down over the can, fitting the can into the cavity of the chicken. Rub down the chicken with olive oil.
Set your chicken, standing upright on the soda can on the side of the grill not over the fire. Close the grill and cook at 250degrees for 75-90 minutes or until juices run clear.
While chicken is roasting, add mustard to marmalade seasoning mixture. Use this to baste chicken with for the last 20 minutes or so.

Grilled Broccoli Salad
--Low Carb BBQ Book by Dana Carpenter
1 head fresh broccoli
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp sesame seeds

Trim bottom of broccoli head and separate into large spears. Brush with a bit of olive oil and grill over medium fire until flecked with brown spots. Remove from fire.
Pt broccoli in a bowl and add rest of oil, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir it all up and let set for a half hour.
Meanwhile, toast your sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium flame until they start to make a popping sound. Add to salad and toss to combine. Serve at room temp.

I had posted the Cauliflower recipe I will use tonight previously here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Unveiling the New Play Kichen

My baby girl, until today, had my 20 something year old sister's hand me down play kitchen. Her big sister and brother had it before her...well, her big brother liked tractors better, but you get the point. Vintage Fisher Price with the original toaster and everything. See....
Old Play Kitchen
There is nothing actually wrong with this kitchen....except that I LOATHE it. I never liked it when we had it out 10 years ago and I dont like it now. It is an "in the round" type kitchen for lack of a better description. All that means is that it has to sit smack in the middle of the floor if you want to play sink AND stove. All the doors perpetually hang open and nothing fits inside it. I have a big ugly rubbermaid box next to it to hold all the accessories and that is just tacky. It is sitting in our living room for heaven's sake....along with 10 million other things so another rubbermaid box is the last thing we need.
So, last week I was inspired by some kitchens I saw here. I would be more specific, but there were many, many inspirations--mostly ones based off Ikea shelving and found objects. Do a search and you will see many. May I also say that I have an unnatural love for that website. Beautiful ideas abound so check it out.
Anyway, I decided we could do this on the cheap and have something I dont mind walking past when I head to the living room. We were standing in the basement and I drew a little plan on some scrap paper and put measurements of the approximate size I wanted. We stood there and figured out how much wood we would need and headed to Lowes.
In the end we spent $22 on two MDF stair tread things for the sides, a piece of pegboard for the back--both revisions (improvements) of my plan by the dude who has to build the thing--and a clearance handle that turned into a towel rack. I went to Michael's and Walmart the next day and got all the little odds and ends that I wanted for the top (I had a vision, dontcha know) and the baskets for storage. That I think was about $30 with the baskets. The butcher block counter top was a scrap from my parent's new kitchen.
It was definitely a joint project. Chris was responsible for the structure of the thing, shelf building, etc. I did the sanding and painting, designed all the little knobs and burners and actually ended up making the faucet and knobs since I couldnt find a real faucet anywhere for less than $30. Oh, and I made the curtain too. I was going all black except the countertop, but Chris suggested the red back--good choice. I love it. The fabric that I had mentioned earlier turned out as adorable as I had hoped. Here is hoping it stays in place.
This is the NEW kitchen...
The new kitchen
The top of it with all the knobs and gadgets looks like this...
Top view of new kitchen
All the accessories are now organized into cutie little baskets instead of big ugly plastic...
Kitchen Baskets
And then everything fits INSIDE the kitchen and behind the cute little curtain...
Basket Storage in new kitchen
I am very, very happy with it. I have some more pegboard hooks I am painting for the back and I am making her an apron and a couple pot holders to match the curtain but other than that, this project is FINIS!! Total price a hair under $60. If you click on the pics it will take you to Flickr and you can see lots more of the pictures.
Now, oh sister of mine, what do you want me to do with YOUR kitchen?!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cool Stuff!!

Play Kitchen Accessories, originally uploaded by Rowetopia.

Cariboo and I went looking for a couple things this morning and came back with this stuff. Very colorful and very cute. If we ever finish this kitchen project, she will be very stylish. I am trying to find non-plastic food items for her kitchen, which is slightly difficult. Those plates are bamboo, the bowl and spoon are wood, the potholder is loom made by the big sister (and not for this...mommy has been using it for years) but this tea set, however....not so much organic. More like totally cheapo plastic and probably toxic just to look at it. She was in love though...

I am glad for the nice organic-ish-ness of it (yes, I made that word up) because two seconds after we got in the car she tried to chew the end off.Wooden spoon
Dont ask me. She is waaaay too old to be teething....just being annoying I think.

And the whole time I was piling this stuff here to take the picture, she was trying to steal the teapot to pour "tea" into the other glass.
Play Kitchen Accessories
She is the bad seed, but she sure is cute.

Also, I had to have this. How could I resist for $4.

It leans...Waahaahaaa.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday-4/40/09

john cena
I think I am going to attempt to do this. It makes my grocery shopping much easier and I buy way less expensive extras. Maybe next week I will get it done in a more timely fashion. This is an ongoing event over at the Organizing Junkie blog.

Monday-BBQ Chicken and Stir Fried Cabbage
Tuesday--Peperoncini Pot roast (yes, I checked that spelling!)*
Wednesday--Tuna Casserole made w/Dreamfields pasta and roasted Broccoli
Thursday--BBQ Ribs and Grilled Asparagus
Friday--Scampi Shrimp and Mashed Cauliflower (posing as grits) and a spinach salad

*Italian Beef (thank you Christy L.)
1 pot roast
1 packet onion soup mix
1 jar peperoncinis with juice
Pile it all in the crockpot and cook for 8 hours.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thirsty Chickens

When I woke today, they had drank all their water. This is after the fill up.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Project Supplies!!

This is the new fabric for an upcoming project that I think is super cute.

The stripe is Michael Miller and the horses are some imported something something by Kokka--a Japanese fabric. I have never heard of them, but the fabric lady was all enamored with them and Cariboo (Baby Girl) picked it out. They arent really meant to go together, but i think they do so they will!! If Chris does his part and gets my project started this weekend, I will post more pics later. It is going to be soooo cute.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rant of the Day

Rant of the day.
I do not like to see a person wearing scrubs that is not a doctor or nurse. It makes me very irritated. Especially when their scrubs are grimy and need to be washed. As a nurse, I think this is a personal affront to me--yes, me personally. They did it on pupose just to bug me, I just know it!! Dental hygienists and veterinary assistants get a pass, but nobody else...and their scrubs should have teeth or dogs on them.
Rant complete.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hot oil massage for your face!!

4/22/2009 I am adding this to the Works For Me Wednesday list--even though I posted it LAST Wednesday. That counts right. Well, here it is anyway. I will do better next week. It seems Earth Day appropriate. Happy Earth Day!

I happened upon this ages ago at a blog I used to look at all the time but that doesnt exist anymore. Strangely, I found this archive of the original, so I thought I would share it here.

When I first read this I got sucked in because I have oily skin and it seemed nuts--I love to try out things that sound nuts. I have been washing my face exclusively with straight extra virgin olive oil for well over a month now and it is working fabulously. I havent put any soap on my face this entire time. I think I am turning Italian and I look just like Sophia Loren now. Okay, that's a lie, but I have no zits and I havent put any soapy chemicals on my face at all. I have to get some points for that.
This is how I am doing it:
1. Turn on the hot water...wasteful I know but you want it really hot.
2. Put about 1 tsp or a bit more in my hand and then massage all over your face. Pay particular attention to oily spots just like you would with any face wash. Dont be scrimpy...if you have a big fat face, embrace it and use more oil. To much is better than too little. Rub it in for about a full minute-ish.
3. Take a nice nubby washcloth and run it under the HOT water. Wring it out and lay the washcloth over your face. (Some people advocate the zen approach here and want you to steam yourself like you are getting a facial. I have ZERO patience so I stand there with it on my face as long as I can stand it. The idea is to open your pores with the steam. I usually last about 20 seconds tops.)
4. Take that same washcloth and scrub the living crap out of your face.
5. Dry off and you are done.

So, after I had been doing this with good results for several weeks, I suckered my poor daughter into trying it. She is 12 and has the most sensitive skin of anyone in our entire family. You never know what is going to break her rhyme or reason to it. I have a friend who took her to one of those Diva Kid Party places...she called me in a panic on the way home because my poor kid's whole face was red and puffy and swollen. Gotta love some Benadryl. Anyway, I was just thinking that if this would work for her it would be much less irritating to her skin.
The first time I hauled her in the bathroom to try it I thought she was going to have a panic attack. She was horrified. She has since done it everyday on her own. Her face isnt completely blemish free, but it is better and she is much more thorough with it because no soap in the eyes and splashing water, etc. And after all, she is 12...blemish free is alot to ask at that age.
I have also read in that post above and elsewhere that adding some castor oil to the olive oil has drying effects, so would be good for oily skin. I am going to get some of that to add to my daughter's and see if that does better for her. I will let you know. One way or the other, though, we are converts.

These are the Spring Chickens!!

We had a very early 5:30am wakeup call from the local post office this morning begging us to hurry up and come and get our chickens. Apparently 15 chickens chirping in your ear while you are trying to sort mail is not a good thing. So, once we prepped for the TCAP by mom actually making the kiddos something to eat this morning, we headed off to collect some chicks.
When you order chicks in the mail, it is assumed that you will check that they all arrived alive in the presence of the post office people. I have never had this be an issue, but we did take a peek once we got back in the car. Arent they cute?
First peek
Then after some kid drop-off, I headed to the Co-op for some Starter prep work for me, obviously. They were out of the 25 pound bags and offered me a 50 pound bag. That is waaaaaay to much, but the guy was nice enough to go get me a lunch sack full of feed from the back room for free to tide me over until tomorrow when they get more in. Very nice of him--so that is why i mention it. Shout out to that guy.
Anywhoo, this is the box and supplies needed for this little chick extravaganza.
Box ready to unwrap
Look what's in the box
These guys are very low maintenance. They require a little food, a little water and a warm light. That is about it other than a giant rubbermaid box.
The temporary chick set up.
Once we got home and got counting, we realized that the 15 we ordered had become 18.
Crowding under the light
Apparently it is cold in Missouri and they added a few freebies to help keep them warm--lovely. My buddy Heather is going to take 7 of them, but that leaves me several more than I planned. We have plenty of room in the big coop, but I hope everyone I know likes eggs. Come late summer we will be swimming in a sea of eggs. Start saving your egg cartons now, please...
Who loves the baby chicks?

Monday, April 13, 2009

The best peanut butter ever

This stuff...
Best stuff ever is a kind of extra special awesome that I cant even explain to you. If you see it, buy it. You wont be sorry. You dont need bread. This is for low carb spoon eating right out of the pantry. Only 3 carbs in 2 tbsp. Yummy!

Sewing...all day long

I managed to get a lot accomplished today for some reason. I dont understand how some days I get absolutely nothing done the entire day and then other days I just knock things out left and right. We even managed to fit in a nice outdoor Mexican food lunch in the middle of the day. The kids were off all day and actually entertained themselves. The Wii is broken and sent off to Nintendo, so they are actually "playing" if you can believe it.
Anyway, first thing today was finish Chris's pants for Ren-fest. This involved a bias tape maker for the ties and lots of threading through casings...
Next, I made some quicky black pants for Baby Boy's costume and finished the Liver lip's reversible corsety thing for her costume. I think i covered both in this picture. The pants still need hemmed and so does the pink shirt, but that didnt happen today.
Here you can see what it reverses to since it isnt visible in the hanging photo. I am trying to make some multipurpose pieces. Since you cant see the back, the two sides dont have to match at all. She shirt matches both sides and i am going to make her a brown skirt to go with the other brocadey print.
Then, since I am trying to use up some of this random fabric that is cluttering up my laundry room, I made these pajama pants for the bacon fiend in the house. They are too big, but I am too lazy to fool with making them smaller. They have a drawstring...she hasnt complained so I am pretending I dont notice. And for God's sake, dont look at her bedroom...
It is cute Michael Miller flannel fabric with bacon and eggs.
Finally, the Baby Girl got this super nice crown-ladyish (per her) hair do.
So, to go with the do, she got these pants. They arent supposed to go with this shirt. The shirt they go with is cut out but not made. That is as far as I got with it today...maybe tomorrow. She tried them on and then was wanting to pose for lots of pictures. Far be it from me to deny her...
See that laundry basket up there in that last picture...that was the rest of my day. I hate laundry.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ode To A Plastic Container

My laundry room isnt just for laundry. It is the only storage in the entire downstairs for one thing. Where our fabulous hall closet should be is actually the basement stairs. We should have remedied that in our house plan, but who would have thought we would have so much junk?!
So this "laundry room" is actually that as well as a craft/sewing room and a storage closet and a "we are too lazy to carry this to the basement and I need it out of the living room" room. One day I will have a basement sewing room....not today.
So, this is how this room started. I share this with you why? Dont ask me...stupidity obviously. The rest of my house doesnt look like this. Not today anyway.
If you click on any of these pictures, they have "notes".
Pre-laundry room
Yes, I know. It is gross.
The biggest issue here was the sheer amount of sewing stuff that I had crammed in (and overflowing from) way too small plastic containers that I had leftover when my kitchen went anti-plastic. That is another story.
So, this is the contents of the shelves, spread out on my kitchen table.
Craft supplies
Organizing this was a chore. I have the weirdest stuff. At the bottom there is a pile of fake tattoos. We like Halloween, what can i say?
This is my patterns. No, I didnt count because I dont even want to know....
This is the patterns now. They took over the entire cabinet, but at least they are categorized now so I can find something without going through ALL of them.
Pattern storage.
This is the shelves. All labeled because NOTHING makes me as happy as a label maker.
Laundry room shelves
And look, it's the floor. Ahhh, much better.
Nearly done with laundry room
Appropriate plastic containers are GOOD!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Low Carb on the go

We were out on the town running errands today and had a terrific lunch at Fattoush Cafe that I would highly recommend.
This is the Beef Gyro Meat Salad...

It was absolutely delicious. If you go, I also say get the Shangri-la Un-sweet tea and add Splenda. Very low carb and very awesome!!

As a little p.s. , get ya one of these... Venti sugar-free vanilla breve latte. Iced or not-both good!

Some Recipes

I thought, after the last post, I would plod through my old 3 ring binder of low carb recipes and lay down some tried and true ones we have had a million times since doing low carb.
A couple of these are goofy simple but, as I hold to the fact making up recipes is not skill I possess, I had to see these I print to realize how simple these could be. I have made all of these and they are all yummy. I will put the recipe as written and give you any tweaks I do in pink.

Mashed Cauliflower "Potatoes"
Literally the only "potatoes" I ever make.
1 head of cauliflower or 1-2 frozen bags (fresh is better, but I do frozen all the time)
1/2 stick of butter (I totally use 1 whole stick, but that's me)
2 tbsp heavy cream (more-use to get proper consistency)
Salt and Pepper (a LOT!! of salt)

The key to making these a mashed potato consistency is cooking the crap out of the cauliflower. Put it in a sauce pan and cover with water. Boil until very soft--about 30 minutes. You should easily be able to squish a floret between your fingers.
Drain well--press the water out (like you would do tuna from a can). Put in a bowl with the butter and a teaspoon of salt. Beat with an electric hand mixer. I have the most luck with kitchen aid stand mixer doesnt do as well. You need two-beater action. Beat until the butter is melted in and then add cream as you beat to get the right consistency. Also, probably add more salt and pepper. They taste remarkably like potatoes when properly salted--I always think they taste watery until I get the salt and pepper right.
14 net carbs for the entire recipe

Those are good alone, but also topped with
Hamburger Gravy
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
salt and pepper

Cook onion and ground beef until browned. Drain. Add cream to make a gravy-just enough to barely cover the meat. No need for flour, it will thicken up on its own after a few minutes.
Also good poured over green beans!

Chicken "Nachos"
Cooked chicken strips--leftovers, store-bought, deboned rotisserie chicken...all work
Shredded Cheese
Salsa-check carb counts!
Sour cream
black olives

Put very hot chicken on a plate and top with cheese and nacho toppings. Eat. The end. The rotisserie chicken makes this VERY easy.
Carbs depend on your topping choices, but very few.

Burger Breakfast Scramble
1/2 lb ground beef or ground breakfast sausage
2 tbsp minced onion
3 ounces cream cheese
3 large eggs
salt and pepper

Brown ground meat in skillet with onions. Add cream cheese cut in little pieces to pan and cook over low heat until melted. Beat eggs with salt and pepper and pour into skillet with meat. Scramble until desired doneness.
6 carbs in whole recipe if using ground beef.

Easy Almond Pound Cake
1 cup butter
1 cup splenda (1 cup granular or 20 packets)
5 eggs
2 cups almond flour *
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Cream butter and splenda in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Add almond flour and baking powder a little at a time until well blended. Add extracts. Bake in 9 inch cake pan or loaf pan for 50 minutes at 350.
Can vary the flavor (banana or lemon) with different extracts.
47 carbs for whole cake
*"Almond flour" is just finely ground almonds and is nice to have for baked goods. Cheaper online, but locally Kroger, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have it. Bob's Red Mill makes it. Also, make it yourself with blanched almonds and a food want it very finely ground.

3-2-1 Salmon
3 tbsp sugar free maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grated ginger
Place salmon fillets on greased foil. Whisk together and pour over salmon. Marinate up to 1 hr and then place on grill for 8-10 minutes--on the foil is fine.
My sister gets credit for this one.

Chicken Divine
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp chicken bouillon
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup canned asparagus
3/4 cup cheddar cheese.

Spray 9X12 casserole dish with pam. Squeeze asparagus dry and layer on bottom of dish. Top with layer of broccoli and then a layer of chicken. Mix bouillon, mayo, lemon, and curry powder in a bowl and then spread evenly over chicken. Top with grated cheese. Bake 350 for 30 minutes.
30 carbs for whole pan...this is my favorite.

Low Carb Lasagna
I started to type this out, but it is easier to say this...
Make it like you always make it, just leave out the noodles. A little extra Mozzarella between layers will hold it together nicely. Like all lasagna, it is better the next day! You can use those Dreamfields Lasagna noodles if you choose, but it is just as good without them. I never use them for this.

The same idea as the lasagna goes for lots of things.
Seven layer dip--leave out the beans and do a thicker layer of chicken or beef on the bottom. Eat it with a fork.
Enchiladas--use low carb tortillas or none at all
Broccoli Salad/Cole slaw--use splenda instead of sugar and no raisins or other dried fruit.
Pizza--there are a million ways to fake this-recipes abound online. Easiest is to top a low carb pita, a low carb tortilla, or portabello mushroom on the grill. All tasty. Here is one for kicks...

Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust
Oven to 450. Combine 3 eggs, 3 cups mozzarella cheese, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp italian seasoning. Press evenly onto pam sprayed pizza pan. Bake at 45 until golden brown. About 10-15 minutes.
This is yummy, but i just ate it plain.

And last but not least, a soup. This is delicious. I served it at our Halloween party 2 yrs ago and it was eaten by everyone including the kids. It tastes nothing like you would expect.

Pumpkin and Sausage Soup
1-15oz can pumpkin-not pumpkin pie filling!
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 onion, minced
1 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 pound breakfast sausage--that kind that comes wrapped in muslin in the breakfast sausage section is delicious. Hot or mild types are fine.

Brown sausage. Drain. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms and herbs. Cook until veggies are limp. Stir in the pumpkin. Stir in the broth and mix well. Simmer 20-30 minutes. Stir in the half and half and simmer another 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Low Carb Land

How to manage this post? Do I just post recipes? Give advice? Lots of links? Hmmmmm....
Just so you know, this is going to be very long...
Here is my disclaimer. I am not a Dr or a nutritionist. I am a nurse and a maternity nurse at that so I have no credentials nutrition-wise whatsoever. Know this now.
That being said, I have been doing low carb for a good long while. Also, i am obsessive--I have covered this, I think. Think I am lying? Check this out, baby.
I have done so much research, message board lurking/posting, cookbook buying and cooking that it is more nuts than I am willing to fully let you in on. I have made things out of pork rinds that I am not even going to mention lest you know I am certifiably crazy (pork rinds are carb free). So, my plan is this. I am going to tell you what I do---you can do whatever floats YOUR boat. I will show you the things I think are essential to doing this for the long haul, at least at my house. I think it is a very healthy way to eat and I think it is not a diet but a way to eat healthy for life. I rarely ever make up my own recipes and if I do they are very trial and error and exceedingly simple. I am a cookbook reader, not a cookbook writer. Every recipe I post on here is taken from somewhere else, unless I specifically say otherwise. I will try to give sources if I have them, but if I dont, just know I love you whoever you are. Okay, blah, blah, we go.

About my low carbing
I am an Atkins advocate. His book is an easy read and makes this plan extremely clear. I really encourage you to read it--it is very cheap and readily available pretty much everywhere. The basics are here. Even if you just skim it, it is a valuable if not essential reference. Anyone who knows me knows I always have a book reference.
The reason I have always done Atkins is that it is the simplest. 20 carbs per day. The end. No calculation of protein grams, points (dont get me started on points) ,measuring portions or any of that whoo-ha. That is just too fiddly for me. Just a target of 20 carbs. Some people (not me) can go as high as 40-50 per day and still drop weight. Good luck with that. Other low carb plans are Protien Power, Sugar Busters, Carbohydrate Addicts Diet and South Beach. I have all of them and still like Atkins the best.
My basic everyday guidelines are this. No bread, no rice, no regular noodles. Try to eat at as many veggies as I can fit in for the day, but when in doubt, just eat protien. I eat a ton of eggs in many different configurations--and yes, my cholesterol is great(181). Potatoes and corn are NOT veggies (either is macaroni and cheese)--they are starches. No eating those. Carrots are best left out until you are all skinny because they are full of natural sugar and very carby. I dont like them anyway so it isnt a problem. Oh, no fruit except berries until you are all skinny either. No lowfat stuff unless it is the same carbs as the full fat. Fat free products are FULL of sugar to make up for the lack of tasty fat. I dont buy low fat anything. I also only buy real butter and only use olive oil.

Hints from me
1.Purge your house. Do not try to do this with a bag of Doritos falling on your head every time you open the pantry. You will so eat that and you know it. Either pitch it or give it away, but get rid of it.
I think this diet is extremely healthy and everyone in the house can and does eat this way WHEN THEY ARE AT HOME. We eat out enough and my kids go to grandparent's houses often enough that they can get cakes and fries elsewhere. I cook one dinner and you can take it or leave it. If you are capable of making the rest of the family loaded baked potatoes and sitting there while they eat them, you are a stronger woman than me. I just figure if they want that stuff they can order it at Outback.

2.Keep appropriate food on hand at all times. Stock your fridge and pantry. Cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, sugar free jello, lunch meat, salad greens, tuna, ranch dressing, etc. Whatever you need...but keep it at the ready.
3.Find some recipes you like. They are everywhere. You need the supplies to make an easy dinner if you need to. Precooked meatballs, crockpot roasts, dinner salads with lots of protein. Just have a few options planned out so you dont start eating sandwiches.

4.Dont be hungry-ever. This is not stinking Weight Watchers. If you are hungry, eat something. Just make sure it isnt carby.
5.Read labels. Like, all of them. There is a ridiculous difference in carbs in different brands of food. Spaghetti sauce is a prime example. Leave the kids at home and read labels at the grocery store.
6.Plan for late night snacks and sweet cravings. Pork rinds and dip, deviled eggs, chicken salad...all of the above. More on the sweet stuff later.
7.Get past whatever it is that makes you think you need a starchy food on your table. Dinner is still dinner even if you dont have rice and bread. Hamburgers taste good without buns. Meatballs on a plate covered in sauce and cheese are delicious--noodles are not essential. Chicken parmesan doesnt need a side of pasta. That is just how it is, so deal with it. Stuff your husband full of enough steak and he will forget there is not a baked potato next to it.
8. Do not drink carbs. That is just stupid. Diet drinks only. Water, diet soda, unsweet tea or tea with sweetener. Coke zero and the Pepsi equivalent taste exactly like regular with zero sugar/carbs. There are 39 carbs in one CAN of regular Coke. Honestly, that is just silly.
9.Stop worrying about the fat. If you are truly eating low carb, you can eat fat and no worries. Also, if you eat low fat you dont worry about carbs (in that case you will be too busy being hungry to worry about much but that). You have to pick one or the other though. Eating lots of fat AND lots of carbs is BAD.
10.Eat some fish for heaven's sake. It is good for you.

Here is some extra stuff...this is getting stupid long...sorry.

This is our refrigerator. Dont look to close. If you click on the picture it will take you to my photostream that has tags to tell you the contents. TMI I know, but pretty low carb!

This is my rack of sugar-free syrups. Good for flavoring coffee, smoothies and homemade low carb baked stuff. Most are Torani (they sell them at World Market) or Davinci (you can find them usually in the food section of Marshalls or TJ MAxx). An online source is here. There is every flavor you can imagine. They sell very basic ones in the coffee section at Walmart --make sure you get the sugar free!!

I mentioned meatballs a time or two up there, so these are the ones currently in my freezer. Costco brand and they are 1 carb per meatball. We have them for dinner all the time. Fill a pan with them and pour heavy cream overtop. Put a lid on and cook until they are hot all the way through and the sauce is bubbly. Best Swedish Meatballs ever. 2 ingredients. Cant beat that. Skip the noodles.

I dont buy a ton of specialty products, but I always keep these. I have spent soooo much money trying to find protein bars that dont make me want to vomit and I have come up with just these out of all the ones in the universe.
1. Atkins Advantage Caramel Double Chocolate Crunch Bar
2. Atkins Advantage Caramel Chocolate Peanut Nougat Bar
That's it. The rest are crap. My sister likes the Smores one but i think they are yucky. These two above are really tasty and curb all candy cravings for me.
The Atkins Indulge Bars are all good. They are essentially just sugar free candy, but very good. There is a Mounds, a Payday and a Snicker variety...they arent called that, but that is what they are. Walmart has all of these in the pharmacy by the vitamins and those horrible slim fast drinks.

Pork Rinds and party peanuts. Both good for snacking. A little sidebar the "party peanuts". They have peanuts, oil, salt. If you read the "dry roasted peanut" label ingredients you will be stunned by the crap in there. Again, read labels.

Finally (you thought it would never end, didnt you?), Pasta. Here is your only option that doesnt taste nasty. Try as I might, I think wheat pasta is pasty and ick. This is Dreamfields Pasta. It is 5 carbs per serving and comes in Lasagna (shown here), spaghetti, elbows and ziti. I have served it to many, many people that had no idea. Why does it have so few carbs? I dont know...something to do with high protien flour or fiber or something. Dont ask me, but it is good so eat it.
They sell this locally at Kroger with all the other pasta and you can also order it online.

I thought I would leave you with one recipe. That is a very hard choice because there are so many great ones. I guess I will give you this since it can be breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is great leftover and you could eat it for breakfast all week.
It is paraphrased from George Stella's Livin' Low Carb Cookbook

Kitchen Sink Quiche
8 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheese--you pick which kind or mix and match
1 cup cooked meat (steak, hamburger, sausage, bacon, ham, whatever. Or skip it if you want vegetarian.)
1 cup chopped low carb veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, summer squash, asparagus, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray pie pan with cooking spray.
Mix eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl until well combined.
Spread meat out evenly in bottom of pie pan. Place veggies over meat and then completely cover in cheese. Press it down in the pan tightly. Pour egg mixture over the top and let it sink in.
Bake for 40 minutes or until top is browned and it is firm. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Very open to interpretation and very good.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Simplicity 3835-part deux

I made another one of these. I thought I would post the picks here quickly and so you could see my awesome Heather Bailey Paisley fabric I bought. Why? Because Heather Bailey is awesome.
I stuck to the pattern except made the arms longer and the length of the shirt longer. I also did darts in the back like the dress pattern so it isnt so loosey goosey in the back. It's cute. I like it. So there.
Simplicity 3835 revisited
Simplicity 3835 revisited
And yes, that is Edward behind me because I suckered my Liver Lip daughter into taking this. I also buy her posters of cute guys for her room so that I can look at them without having to have posters in my own room...that would just be weird.
Also, yes, I am so super photogenic and never, ever have an "eat poo and die" look on my face. Get used to that if you read this blog very often. "Pissy"--that is how I roll.

Beer Cozy

So, Chris does not often make special sewing requests but he wanted this and I accommodated. He made beer today and it has to sit for a couple weeks in the dark. He prefers a 6 gallon glass'd think the goofballs that make them would make dark colored ones, but no. And, he fully expects this thing to sit on the kitchen counter for all two of those weeks.
I just so happened to have this silk curtain that I bought 3 yrs ago for $3 on clearance at Lowe's. Beer Cozy
I planned the Baby Boy's entire room around the color and then didnt use this curtain because I only had 1 and he has a 6 ft wide window. It is lined with a cotton fabric--therefore very dark.
So, with this curtain and some braided stuff you make piping with...oh, and a cute ribbon left over from costume making, we now have this little beauty sitting on our counter.
Beer Cozy
Really, probably not much cuter, but it is appropriately dark under there and at least I made an effort. Beer that is trying to do its thing is sorta gross looking--lots of bubbly, weird, yeasty foam. Now I dont have to see it until it is ready for drinking.
So, TADA!! Beautious beer cozy. You know you want one!