Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tailgating 101...HELP!!!

This is a picture of "The Pistol", our grandson, and smallest of our tailgaters. For those of you who don't know, I am a huge fan of tailgating. Not tailgating in general, a specific, all consuming tailgating event entirely devoted to watching and supporting our beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers. We travel 3 hrs. each Saturday from Des Moines to Lincoln, NE. If there is a home game, we must be in place, neatly set up, complete with tent and grill, in our same parking area at least 3 hrs. prior to kickoff. I do most all of the cooking for the event, although more and more I'm doling out small tasks to others. I might be just a tad OCD in this regard. We have all of the necessary equipment to transport both hot and cold foods, beverages, tables, chairs, etc. Hubby Dearest and I have packing for the event down to a science, but this year a small difficulty has arisen. I'm trying to make some of the food healthy choices. I don't dare spring the whole healthy food thing on the crowd all at once. I'll edge into it with some healthy stuff each week, and before they know it.........ah, hell, who am I kidding, one or two healthy dishes each week will be all I can pass off to these people.

To this end, I would like some assistance from you, my blog buddies. I'd like a recipe or two, or three that would feed 10-30 people, is low cal, low fat and healthy. I have a complete repertoire of the regular tailgate fare, so all I'd really need is a salad or two, and casserole or two, a wrap or two, things of that nature. The catch, of course, is that it has to be able to be easily transported. I can keep it hot or cold for an unlimited trip, but portability is key. My current project is slimming down my world famous killer chicken pot pie. Not sure how I'm going to go about that, but I'm determined to try.

Luckily, we do have breakfast tailgates once in a while, so we can cook healthy fare for those. Although, most prefer the M & M's to the strawberries, we also have fruit and veggie plates available each week, but some real rib-stickin' foods that are not loaded with fats, oils, cream, butter, you know, all the good stuff, would be nice. HELP!!! And Thank you.

I'm going to sit by my computer and await the millions of wonderful recipes that I'm sure will be coming my way shortly. Thank you to you all!!! GO BIG RED!!! (That's the Nebraska cheer, for those of you who might not know that.) AND, I should mention that if you are a huge fan of another team, I won't be offended if you send me a recipe dedicated to your favorite team. :)

I just love college football season!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It Ain't Sauerkraut, But....

Realizing the work that goes into making sauerkraut, this doesn't rank up there in that category. However, I did marshal up all of my inner Martha Stewart and dehydrate my wonderful tomato crop as well as the two lovely Ancho peppers I produced. I now have about 2T of Ancho Pepper Powder ready for use. Nine hours of waiting and hoping, and all I got was 2 measly tablespoons. I'm going to have to choose my use very carefully. Unfortunately, the plant shows absolutely no signs of producing another pepper at this time. It looks healthy and is still perky as the dickens, just blossom free. Luckily, my other pepper plants look like they are going to provide me with some fine specimens.

Today was Weigh In Wednesday, and I am afraid that my soireè at the fair may have finally caught up with me. The good news is that the plateau has been broken, the bad news is that it was broken by going up 1.7# this week. I do realize that with my knee in my brace some of my exercises might not be quite as vigorous, but I was still hoping that at least by moving about, I'd stay at the plateau until I could bust through it. Damn!! My wonderful, cool new shoes were supposed to help, too, but I don't know if that's happening either. However, I do wear the shoes whenever I am going to be walking anywhere, so perhaps eventually they will be of some assistance. I shall not be defeated by this setback, I will make adjustments where I can, and continue the fight.....albeit at a slightly slower pace. I suppose now I will be the tortoise in this race, rather than the hare I had such high hopes of being. Double Damn!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brag, Brag, Brag

I wasn't actually going to write a post today. My inspiration is not as "up and at 'em" as it should be. I know, so sad. However, a phone call this morning followed by the cutest picture ever, changed my mind in a hurry. Our "Primary Grandchild" started kindergarten today. Above is the picture of the "Cutest Kindergartner Ever". I'm sure you will all agree. Right? Right! Unfortunately, her wonderful curly hair doesn't really show, but still, cute as a bugs ear. :) This is only a part of the bragging portion of this post.
The next boastful paragraph is about what she chose for her lunch today. (She is in all day kindergarten.) The school was offering pizza for lunch. What kid doesn't like pizza? Well, that did not appeal to her at all. So she decided that her first lunch as a kindergartner would be a sandwich made on whole wheat bread, spread lightly with whipped cream cheese, sprinkled with dill, with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers in another container to add to the sandwich when she's ready to eat. What 5 yr. old comes up with a wonderful, healthy sandwich like that? I'm so proud I am practically tearing up again just thinking about it. :) Brag, brag, brag!!! Oddly enough, she doesn't like jelly, so PB&J sandwiches are not an option, much to her Papa's dismay. PB&J is Hubby Dearest's go to sandwich for every occasion.
So you can see how verklempt I became at the thought of my little darling going to school, then realizing what a smart and healthy eater she was. Just like "G".....that's what she calls me. Well, to be truthful, I'd have eaten the pizza offered as a 5 yr. old, but at 60, I'd have her make my lunch for me, cuz it sounds yummy. Brag, brag, brag.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Lovely Blog??? Who Knew?

Why, oh why, can I not make my pictures save properly? Damn.

At any rate, thank you to my new blogging buddy at 266 for giving me the Lovely Blog Award. It was so very thoughtful of you. Now I must, as the rules state, say something nice about the donor, and pick 15 blogs of note, ones that I frequent and really enjoy. Well, of course, you've read all about the dilemma that this creates and the anxiety that goes with it, so I'll not go into all of that. I'll just try to pick 15 of my blog buddies that perhaps haven't been picked thus far. First order of business, to say something nice about the donor. 266 is a new blogger and I am enjoying her entries very much.
And Now...The list: and in no particular order, as they say on "Dancing With The Stars"....
1. Patty at both Abneylane and Fit by My 50th.
2. Amy at FattieMcButterpants
3. Mary Fran at New Start
4. Jill at Sassy Pear
5. June at MammaBears Health
6. Cammy at Tippy Toe...that's just so obvious I almost didn't include it :)
7. Suzi at Spunky Suzi....with Get Well Greetings
8. Vee at Vee's getting healthy
9. Dutch at myupsdownsofevrydaylife
10. Anne at Carb Tripper
11. Jo at 282.5 ....simply because she left me out and I want to annoy her
12. Sheilagh at slimsexysassysixty....cuz we share the same age issues
13. Gigi at Chunky Monkey Mama...probably another repeat, but who cares?
14. Karen at Fitcetera.....I'm on a repeat roll here, aren't I?
15. Teresa at 40 is the new 30

There you have it. I do feel a disclaimer is in order, however. There are many, many blogs out there that I enjoy. These are but a few who have been kind enough to encourage me on my health journey. I consider all of my bloggin' buddies to be real friends and are constant sources of inspiration to me. Thank you one and all. Enough mush, right?

Rain has postponed my walk this morning, but I'm expecting clearing this afternoon, so hopefully I'll get my walk in then. Weigh In Wednesday brought no changes, good or bad, so I guess after the State Fair and all the goodies I should be delighted. So, ok, I am.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Little Susie Homemaker

I thought I'd best be for posting these wonderful pictures as soon as I could, if for no other reason than to get the ridiculously long gap between my last post and the comment button off the blogsite. Not exactly sure what happened there, but it was aggravating to say the least. Made me feel stupid, besides. :(

Saturday, I spent the afternoon (I was supposed to be golfing, but that's another story) being Little Susie Homemaker. I made a double batch of pepper jelly and a double batch of pepper relish. I had so many peppers in the fridge I had to do something!!! This is not the same problem as having too many kohlrabi, however. :) The peppers were of both the sweet and hot varieties, and both of my creations are quite tasty. I realize it isn't rocket science.....or sauerkraut....but it was a big deal for me. 'Sides, it was kinda fun.
The Dinner Challenge with the Perfect Child is going quite nicely. She is doing some very nice and creative cooking. I am even contemplating stealing one of her salad ideas and using it myself. Now that I've had success with eggplant, I'm going to try and interject a chickpea or two into a meal for Hubby Dearest...a.k.a. The Pickiest Eater in the World. I probably shouldn't be so hard on him because he has been pretty good about trying new things lately. But then, I also know what absolutely, positively NOT to feed him, too.
Went out for a short walk yesterday without my knee brace. I'm trying to build up the surrounding muscles and "stuff" so that perhaps I can get by a few more years without surgery. It went well, and I had no awful effects from the stroll. However, it did rather depress me that on my stroll/walk I don't have wonderfully beautiful things to photograph like so many of you do. Maybe that's why walking "in my hood" is always such a chore. But then it seems kinda silly to drive to a spot that's prettier, just so I can walk in a scenic area. I don't think I'd walk longer, faster or better if I liked my surroundings more, I think I just want to be able to post pretty pictures. :) Even tho' I cannot figure out the whole picture posting thing correctly half the time.
Well, speaking of pictures, I'm gonna hit "Publish Post" now and hope like hell that the pictures align on the left side as I'd planned. If not, sorry 'bout that. I'll keep trying. Maybe sometime soon my five year old granddaughter can teach me how to do it right.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Disclaimers and Apologies

First, I must tell you that I went to the State Fair but did not get a picture of the Butter Cow!! That's the apology. After watching the Iowa State Fair Jr. Cowgirl Contest we simply couldn't get thru the line in time before the building closed. Why, you may ask, would anyone not associated with a young lady in this Cowgirl contest sit thru 1 1/2 hrs. of this mind numbing horse riding thing? Well, I'll tell you. The friends we go to the fair with bought us tickets....yes, it costs money to do this. Their granddaughter is a horse riding kid, and one of her best friends was entered in the contest. That's it in a nutshell. Thankfully, we did not have to stay for the Sr. Cowgirl contest, or I'd have missed out on my Pork Chop on a Stick!! We got to the stand with only 10 pork chops left!!! Whew! Crisis averted. We were #7 & #8 in line.

Our next stop was to try the ever popular Roast Beef Sundae. Dear Lord, it was mashed potatoes with roast beef and gravy on top, shredded cheddar on top of that, and a healthy little cherry tomato on top for decoration. It got rave reviews from our crowd. I thought I detected a slab of butter underneath the beef & gravy, but I can't be certain of that as they were making the sundaes way too fast. They were selling them by the hundreds.....and at 8:30 at night, no less.
I took a few pictures of some of the other heart attack inducing foods available. Unfortunately, the quality of the pictures doesn't do the stands justice. But you get the idea. The deep fried turkey legs are quite a huge hit at the fair, so I did try to capture a picture of one. Of course, 10 minutes later I saw one that was much larger. Oh well, can't have everything, I guess.
From here we moved on to the dessert portion of the event. A Peppermint Bar was my choice. It was HUGE!! Hubby Dearest and I argued over the actual size. I said it looked like a Rubik's Cube, he said it was larger than that. Whatever! It had a double crust of oreo cookies, with a layer of fudge, then a 2" (or more) layer of peppermint ice cream. I took the picture after I'd ea ten about 1/2 of the darned thing. Finally, I had to ditch the cookie crust & fudge filling and just finish off the ice cream middle. It way way too much for one person, and everyone else had consumed their Turtle Sundaes and would not help me. The old poops. :(
I didn't bother taking pictures of all the beer tents we passed by.....well, stopped at, actually. I figure those are a given, and everyone knows what they look like. :)
To my credit, I did lots and lots and lots of walking in my spiffy new shoes. They were really comfortable. I have to admit, the next day I did feel a little "tug" in the old glutes. Maybe they do work and are not just cute.
The disclaimer portion of this post is for the quality of the pictures. I forgot my camera so the crackberry pics are a little fuzzy at times.
All in all, it 'twas a wonderful evening of eating, friends, horses and people watching. Notice eating came before friends?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My New "Back To School" Shoes

Hey check these out!! My new Sketchers walking shoes. You know those funky rounded sole thingies. Yep, these are all mine!!! Cute, huh?
Sadly, I must report that I have a color coordinated addition to this lovely pair of shoes. My old, black, three strapped, two metal stays and Velcro knee brace. Won't I look stylish? Well, I'm hoping that even a slow, methodical walk will be better than sitting on my big fat a$$ icing my knee every afternoon. Besides, I must get ready for my trip to the fair, you know. :) I am also thinking this could be "the look" for the fall season. I'm a trendsetter, that way, you know.
Also, I'd like to introduce you all to a new blogger "266". She is just beginning her journey, so if you have time, drop by and offer the same kind of encouragement you've given me. We all know how important our blogosphere buddies are, don't we?
As you may, or may not, remember, my last post bemoaned my bad habits and sins of over indulgence. I am happy (kinda) to report that this Wednesday Weigh In did, in fact bring a slight increase it weight, but not the horrible gain I had been expecting. I was only up 1.2#, and while that is really not acceptable, I'm sorta ok with it since I was expecting a 3-5# gain. It takes so little to make me happy, doesn't it? Now I'm back on track again. I've dug my food diary out of the desk drawer and put in on the kitchen counter where I will run into it on a regular basis. That will serve as a constant reminder to me that what I put into my big mouth will ultimately make a difference.
BIG NEWS!!! Well, to me anyway. Hubby Dearests, aka "The Pickiest Eater In the World" really took one for the team last night. He ate eggplant!!! Huge news in this family. Our CSA basket last week included an eggplant, so I was determined to find something to do with it that HD might consider ingesting. I found a wonderful turkey sausage and eggplant casserole that was really quite tasty. I added a bit of extra cayenne for some "oomph" and Ed ate 3 helpings... count them 3!!! Shock of all shocks. He hopes there won't be more eggplant, but if there is, he has consented to eating this dish again. :) Like I said.....Big News in these parts.
I'm hoping to get to the Iowa State Fair this weekend. If I do, I'll try and get some wonderful pictures of the butter cow.....which will now be accompanied by a butter sculpture of Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon instead of Michael Jackson, and of course a few of the many wonderful treats on a stick. I'm laying out my plan of attack as we speak, cuz I don't want a repeat of my last week of debauchery.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bless Me Followers For I Have Sinned...

It has been 10 days since my last weigh in, and during that time I have------(insert sins here).
The actual sins being too numerous to mention, I will highlight (low light?) only my dietary and exercise sins here today. It was a dark and stormy night..... no wait, that's not how it goes.

It all began last Friday with the arrival of the Primary Child and his family. They came for a visit that coincided with the Saturday arrival of the Perfect Child from Phoenix. The Perfect Child coming to town to participate in two golf tournaments. One, a parent-child (and yes, they do allow older children to play in what is called the "alumni" flight) with her father on Sunday afternoon. The other tournament, a two day event with me is "what done me in!!! The tournament theme was "Pardon My French" and all things French were included....including cream sauces, butter and probably lard somewhere or another. To everyone's delight, booze is included in the price of this event, so that was another hurdle I was unable to hop over, or go around.

All was going well until Monday morning when Hubby Dearest, The Perfect Child and I went to play a practice round of golf. Up to this point, we had eaten sensibly and been reasonable in our "exposure" to alcohol. Well, that all went up in smoke on Monday!!! I don't know how or why it seemed like such a good idea to eat and drink our way around the course, but it did. Then we went out for dinner because it was the only night Kris and I were not obligated by tournament "doin's". I chose the special of the evening.....ribs!! I ate them all without a care in the world, then 10 min. after getting in the car to come home, I had great eater's remorse. With that remorse came the promise to myself to do better in the next few days. Sh**!!! Who was I fooling?

Had a party at our house with friends participating in the tournament Tuesday night. We did burgers and turkey burgers while others brought pot luck side dishes. Lots of mayo sitting on my kitchen island!! So what??? Yep, I ate a sample of each and every dish. Wanted to be a polite hostess, ya know. This party was after our first day of play, so there was a little "Oh poor us" drinking involved as well.

So, it should be clear to you by now, that this behavior went on for a few days (and nights) so I'm really not looking forward to this Wednesday Weigh In. After a preliminary peek yesterday, I am quite certain the numbers will not be pleasing to my naked eye.

Now, as with all good confessions, comes the penance. The Perfect Child and I have another challenge. The last one, we decided would end in a tie. The challenge is really more for her than for me, but after this last week, I need a kick in the butt, too. Until her brother's birthday (Sept. 15) she must eat healthily 3 days of the work week, must make one healthy meal on the weekend, and must on one weekend in the month make food that can be taken out of the freezer to help in preparing a healthy weekday meal. She's been working at the gym and also with a trainer, but her cooking evening meals has suffered because of time constraints. I hate to see her slip into bad habits, so hopefully this challenge will kick us both up a notch. COLD HARD CASH is her incentive.....and believe me, there is nothing she loves more than that!! Well, maybe her family, but little more than that. I am going to stick to the same challenge rules, however, I will be doing it because I have forgotten those rules for a little bit, and need a refresher, so I will be doing it as my penance rather than for the money.

And now, my followers, I am ready to do penance, and am contrite. Amen!!!