Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too Soon??

After only 1 day of my Halloween Challenge, is it too soon to change my goal? Well, hell no. It's my game, my rules. After another serious discussion with myself (and yes, I'm still answering, too) it occurred to me that 10# might not be as realistic as I had hoped. If I were truly able to do the exercises at full speed and for the full time, I might have a chance. But, with my knee giving me such difficulty, and the Dr.'s appt. not until Oct. 22, I may have to pare back the expectations. It is therefore necessary for me to recalculate what weight loss might be reasonable. I would now like to restate my goal.....5-6# lost by Halloween. Needless to say, I'm shooting for more, but I need to be sensible when I exercise and not overdo just to make my original goal. So, after only one day, I'm changing my rules. I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a wimp, but also a bit of a realist.

Weigh In Wednesday was everything I thought it might be. It was not as awful as I thought, but it was not good. I stayed the same. A small victory, but a hollow one given that I behaved so stupidly. Had I just stayed on some sort of an even keel, I would have probably shown a small loss. This is the kind of behavior I'm trying to change, but it is really IS hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Woof!Woof!!!

I am now fighting the "Fall in the Midwest Obligatory Cold". A time honored tradition here in our house. It is not the flu, so I'm heartened by that, but I still feel like crud. My time on the recumbent this morning was cut short by my sneezing fit and a stuffy nose making my breathing difficult. I did 30 min, tho. I had hoped to up the time to 45min. this week, but I'll settle for the 30 for now. Maybe I'll try another few minutes this afternoon, in between sneezing fits.

I spent a good portion of my afternoon yesterday sorting recipes, calculating calories for those not already done, and sorting into categories. I found some new things that I think will make good tailgate fare, and some that just plain sound yummy. I'd forgotten I'd saved some of them, so it was like finding them all over again. Today, I'll finish sorting and begin making tailgate plans. I'm not used to doing that, so having an actual list of things we'll be eating will be a new and exciting experience. I take this step as a very good sign that I'm trying to get control over my weekends. I am counting on all of you to help keep me honest. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BOO!!


Not boo hoo, either. :) I have issued myself a Halloween Challenge. After pondering what I could possibly do to get my big fat ass back into gear, I came up with a short term challenge that I think will be completely doable. Taking into consideration that we have only two home games between now and Halloween....meaning only two tailgates to get through....I am re-committing to my 75% plan, with the addition of a few "tweaks" at the tailgates. I can make at least one dish that is a healthy, delicious treat for ME. If someone else wants to partake, there will be plenty, but I'm making at least one main thing just for me. I will supplement the usual chips and crap with a tray of healthy nibbles, too. The last few tailgates I have made healthy salads which no one touched. So my healthy salads idea will be made with just me in mind. I make tons of food each week, I think it's time I make things that are just for ME. I don't have to partake in the ribs, buffalo tenders, pizza bread, cheesy corn, mini-mac 'n cheese, and crunchy potatoes. I can still make them, I just need to pass on them, or be more sensible when enjoying them. Starting today, I'm scouring my many, many, many cookbooks for healthy alternatives. I'm making a shopping list for supplies I don't already have on hand, which doesn't happen often, so I need to be specific and have a list. Cooking Light and Eating Well have provided assistance previously, so I'll begin with those two "go to" recipes. I'll also use some of the wonderful recipes Mary Fran was so kind as to forward to me. As you can see above, I have plenty of reference material. This is only 1 shelf in 1 location housing my cookbook collection. It is in my pantry where I can get at them easily. I do NOT lack for information.


Therefore, Mr. Primary Child and Ms. Perfect Child, prepare for a healthy dish or two when you arrive at the tailgate tent. I realize, Ms. PC, that you'll only be at one tailgate this year, but there will be a healthy tray of food somewhere on the menu. I have to say, I'd be surprised if more people don't enjoy some different stuff and dive into the "good for you" fare. Hubby Dearest might be the toughest sell, but even he will come around, I'm sure.


The hardest portion of my challenge will be the tailgate beverage station avoidance. Perhaps taking this into consideration, and planning ahead will help. This is one of the reasons I think I came up with the 75% rule originally. Even taking alcohol into consideration, we do walk a fair distance to and from the stadium, so at least I'm not sitting still and drinking for hours and hours. There IS a game in between. :)


Having issued myself this challenge, I am hoping to lose 10 pounds by Halloween. I think if I truly implement the ideas I have just espoused, I can be successful in this endeavor. The plan is still kinda forming in its entirety, but I think I've made a good start. The Halloween Challenge is a short term goal kinda thing, so I'll consider expanding to a Thanksgiving Challenge, Christmas Challenge......you get the idea. Baby steps, mostly because I have an extremely short attention span.

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Stupid Is As Stupid Does"

Sound familiar? Yep, another Monday morning apology for yet another tailgate indiscretion!! Lucky for me we have a bye week, so I can get down to business. Now, truthfully, the tailgate was not "what done 'er in" specifically. It was just the starting gate for a downhill thrill ride. Now, even tho' my granddaughter is being taught not to use the word "stupid", I cannot think of another apt word for what I did this weekend. I was STUPID!! And up until right now, I wasn't really feeling all that guilty about it. THAT is what worries me. Beginning with an evening football game and all afternoon tailgate, the food and beverage consumption was, to say the very least, a bit excessive. Expected, but excessive. Late night, early morning, to boot. After the game we return to Omaha, where we stay over night, thus knocking off an extra hour of drive time. Sunday morning got up and on the road so we could make a noon tee time with friends. Noon, of course signals the appropriate time to begin consuming adult beverages. Had two on the course. Golf is over after about 4 hours, which brings us to the "cocktail hour", which leads to dinner with friends. Well, you see how it goes. I am not taking a quick peek at the scales this week. I'll wait to be surprised at my Wednesday Weigh In. Not looking forward to that, I'll admit.

After my "regroup and rethink" week, I did show some progress at the Wednesday Weigh In. I was down 1.2#. It's still over what my lowest has been, but since I'm looking at this as a completely new challenge, I lost weight, and that was good. Unless I can really get my butt in gear these next couple of days, I fear my next Wednesday will not show any progress. I am going to take this bye week as a sign from the diet and health Gods that I am to behave myself and stick to the plan I have repeatedly promised to adhere to. What really gets me is that for the most part, I stick to the plan quite nicely. The 75% plan I set forth works really well..... until Saturday. Whatever self control I might possibly possess, I must "sleep off" Friday night. So now, to set myself straight, I am going to focus on my weekends. Tailgates will be included, so I am working on a plan. I have just begun thinking about this, so it really doesn't have a shape or form yet. But it does seem to me that for 2 lousy days of the week, I should be able to exhibit some sort of self control. I think that this weekend will begin with a Saturday morning trip to the farmers' market. We've not been going lately since our CSA has been giving us such wonderful produce. Friday was our last day for the CSA deliveries, so I think an early morning walk through the downtown market will be just the ticket to start off a new weekend plan.

So, Stupid here is off to make that plan....."Run, Forest, Run!!!" And I will.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Honestly, I've Been Scrapped!!

Thanks to Jo, I've been given the Honest Scrap award. If memory serves, it's been 2 min. since I read about this award, and I have the attention span of a gnat. I am supposed to tell 10 things about myself that no one knows and then pass the award on to 10 more bloggers. Hopefully, that is the correct explanation of this prestigious award. So, I'm pondering ten things about me that no one would know. Since my kids read my blog periodically, I assume this is intended to enlighten the blogosphere, not family. :0 They pretty much know everything there is to know at this point. As has been said ,"Rarely do I have an unspoken thought". It all comes rolling out at some point or another.

1. I have only lived here in Iowa for about 2 years. After 25+ years in Omaha, I'm not a huge fan of Iowans. Never have I heard so much whining about infringement of personal rights. At the moment, it is because bike riders want car drivers to be nicer. It is the bike riders' personal right to be on the road. Whine, whine, whine over everything imaginable. To top it off, Iowans may just possibly be the second worst group of drivers, ever. Second only to Massholes. Directional fluid does not come in cars sold in Iowa, I am convinced.

2. I love all things golf, but I'm assuming you all knew that. I'm counting it as one of my ten anyway. (I am also pretty darned good at golf, too.)

3. I love a good party!! Actually, I can make a bad party good, so I guess I just love parties in general.

4. I can procrastinate 'til the cows come home, and NO ONE can out stubborn me.

5. Geez, this is getting hard now. I love to cook for a crowd.....which usually means A PARTY!! I do love to cook, and will try a new recipe at the drop of a hat. I have an amazing pantry and freezer. Rarely do I have to run to the store for a strange ingredient. Although finding some of my stuff here in Iowa has been a challenge.

6. I want, more than almost anything, a huge outdoor kitchen, complete with a huge brick oven and all the bells and whistles. I have a great grill, but I want it ALL!!!

7. I love, love, love gourmet grocery stores. I will buy almost any obscure thing in them I can find.

8. I have an affinity for golf shoes. Not regular shoes, but golf shoes. I have way too many pairs hiding around the house and in my locker at the club. It's kinda embarrassing, but I really don't care.

9. I collect recipes knowing I will probably never use them. I have books, folders, binders, and way too many cookbooks, but I still don't have enough. I buy cookbooks and actually read them. I'll read anything, but I really do enjoy reading cookbooks.

10. I miss my grandkids. In Omaha, we lived 5 min. away and I could go babysit at the drop of a hat. Now I have to schedule visits cuz we're 2 hrs. away. That is what truly sucks. They are so cute and so much fun, I really miss being close to them.

Now, Jo.....drop down to DM sometime and we'll hang out together. I know you've been "in the hood" before, so come again. Thanks for the award, but thinking this hard has made me tired. But, as instructed, here are the 10 bloggers I will bestow the award upon. In no particular order, as they say on "Dancing With The Stars".
1. Sheilagh
2. Kate
3. Tina
4. Teresa
5. Gigi
6. Cammy
7. Tammy
8. Mary Fran
9. Suzi
10. Irene
11. Jack
12. Amy

Guess my #11 should be I don't follow directions very well.


I know I left a few people out, but I love all my fellow bloggers, and read everyone regularly.
Ok, I've done my part, now it's your turn to do your thing. I'll await the answers. I hope you have more luck thinking of 10 things than I did. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

To Tea, Or Not To Tea, That Is The Question!

On this rainy Monday morning, I'm sitting with my cup of green tea in hand reading the newspaper. Not that it is like a real newspaper, more like "My Weekly Reader" used to be. But I digress. Generally speaking, the news articles are not really interesting or well written. However, this morning one headline caught my eye. It was telling me that green tea may not be all that good for your bones!! Lab rats lost a bit of bone density in their leg bones, according to this article. I continue sipping my green tea as tho' nothing has happened. I even brew myself another cup!! Bravery at its finest, I'd say. But as time wore on, I began to think....yes, I do that on rare occasions....just how much green tea did they actually give these poor rats? Usually in these studies the quantities given are so much greater than we'd ever actually ingest, that they make no sense to publish them. Kinda like the "Boy Who Called Wolf", if you ask me. Sip, sip, sip.

I'm going to continue my green tea enjoyment while slurping down vitamin C & D, Calcium and anything else I can think of to build my bone strength. Even tho' at my last bone scan my Dr. told me I had wonderful bone density. So there, green tea PooPoo'ers. Sip, sip, sip. Besides, now I have to get more Vitamin D to prevent the H1N1 virus. (Here in the Hog Capital of the US, we do NOT refer to it as swine flu, under penalty of death.) I'm putting the toilet seat down when I flush, lest the "aerosol" floats germs into my home, I wash my hands, I Lysol everything, I cough and sneeze into the crook of my elbow instead of into my hand, I got my regular flu shot Saturday, I'm am armed and ready!!! And I'm sure my green tea is gonna help. Sip, sip, sip.

Promising to behave 75% of the time this past week, I think I'm doing ok. 75% means that 5.25 days I have to make good decisions and stay on my plan. So far, so good. I took Sunday off to play golf and have dinner with friends. That always means a cocktail, or six, after golf, and then on to dinner. I did fish tacos for dinner (small plate portion) instead of the build your own burger extravaganza, so calculating the calories I used swinging at the golf ball numerous times, I came out only slightly "off" plan. I am heartened by that. So currently my score is 4 days, good, 1 day partly good. I have only today and tomorrow to be good, and I will have actually exceeded my target of 75%. Hubby Dearest is going out of town, so I can make some of the new, healthy recipes I've been wanting to try. That will be fun. We found out Friday night HD is NOT a fan of grilled okra or brussel sprouts. So, since the CSA provided ample amounts of both, I'll be trying something new with those ingredients. Both of which, I like. Sip, sip, sip.

I am also happy to report that I really do think my new "mini" squats, and spiffy new shoes are helping stretch and strengthen my knee. I am experiencing much less pain while golfing and doing the steps in the house. Progress, I'd say. I am extremely thankful for that, believe me.
No walking today, so it'll be the recumbent for me today. I like the stretch that gives me, so I'm happy to be able to do that, at least. But first, one more cup of green tea, just cuz I don't care what the paper said. Sip, sip, sip. Pfffft.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just Takin' A Quick Peek

Yes, I did sneak a peek at the scales this morning. After all, it has been 2 whole days since my recommitment!!! I was sure I'd see a huge difference. I did see a difference, a good one even, but I don't want to kick myself in the a** by announcing my small success prematurely. Karma can be a bitch, ya know. I also think that playing golf yesterday probably contributed to a bit of the loss. Oh well, as we all know, we'll take what we can get and be damned grateful for it.

My new plan is off to a good start. Without really bragging, I would like to say I've stayed with the plan I set out for myself. Granted, it's only been two days (plus a few hours this morning) but for whatever reason, it seems easier this time. Prior info is helping, I suspect.

I have also developed a guilty pleasure while riding my recumbent bike. I watch Dr. Oz!! I find his show fascinating and informative. Who knew that flushing the toilet with the lid open, spreads germs like crazy? That's a habit we are trying to break. The germs that showed up on people's toothbrushes, counter tops and drinking glasses, and even towels, was so gross, it sent me running to the computer to warn my children. Odd, the things that move me to action, isn't it? Dr. Oz has also prompted me to be more faithful to my green tea consumption. I'm really good about getting the water thing done, but a cup or two of green tea might be a good thing, too. Reading back over this paragraph, I just might have become a Dr. Oz groupie. How odd, at my age. :)

Today it is back to doing some weights. The "mini" squats have had no ill effects on my knee, so I am going to continue to do those. I think I'll try increasing the number of sets, but cut down the number of reps. That way I can do them throughout the day, thus giving the knee a slight rest in between. I have found that anything over my head with the weights still has my shoulder aching, but that, too, is getting better. Perhaps my layoff rested things sufficiently so that I am now ready to resume the exercises in their true form. No need to modify.

Lastly, I have cured my computer blues. It seems that somehow a program attached itself to my computer and provided those double green lines to show me ads related to those words. It was part of a game package, which I did NOT download, and added pop ups and advertisements willy nilly on my computer. After an "uninstall" I am happily green line free. However, a happy happenstance has also occurred. It seems that now, when I receive comments from all of you lovely bloggers, your signature picture appears on the screen along with your comment. That's new, and I did nothing to prompt that. Technology truly baffles me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Concentration Constipation

Yep, that's what I have, alright. Focus, or in my case, lack thereof is becoming a bit of an obstacle to my ultimate success. I seem to have lost sight of the big picture and have dialed in on just the weight loss portion of my journey. Today was Weigh In Wednesday, and I was struck by the emphasis I put on getting on the scale this morning. No change, so that was ok, I guess. However, in the larger sense, I became annoyed with myself at being so dependent on what my scale shouted back at me.

After a frank discussion with myself. (And yes, I did answer myself back.) I have decided to return to the basic premise that brought me to the blogosphere.....better OVERALL health. I've been slipping a little in that department lately. My meal prep and planning has not been nearly as good as it was a month or two ago. The Dinner Challenge I issued to the Perfect Child has kinda gone belly up, so I became a bit lax. Lack of Focus at its finest. I still have all of the "tools" necessary for success, I've just been ignoring them, I guess.

So, after my re-evaluation of the situation, I have decided to start all over again. I'm starting with today's weight and going forward with renewed vigor. I am confident that if I put this new beginning out here in the blogosphere, you will all help me remain accountable. So starting today, it is back to the basics. I'm going to re-focus and remove the "blockage" that has my concentration constipated. I think if I can remain on track at least 75% of the time each week, I'll be back to where I want to be. 75% , you say, is not much....however, if you're regaining focus a little at a time, 75% is a good starting point. Maybe it is a low expectation kinda thing, but at least it is something, and I have to re-start somewhere. :) I know there will be slip ups, so I am allowing myself an "oops" now and then. No recriminations, just get my butt back in gear. I hope this approach proves successful. If it does, I'll up the percentage to 90% eventually, then up to 100% !!! I will be a work in progress.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gimme A "Z"!!!!! Please.

Gimme several "Z's". I want a full night's sleep. Anyone else have the same problem? I can get to sleep, have about 2-3 hrs. of pretty good sleep, then wake up all "banjo eyed" and ready to rock and roll. I then stay awake, toss, turn then eventually get up and go downstairs to the kitchen. The only good part of the scenario is that I don't eat when I go downstairs, I read and drink water. So that's ok. After about 1-2 hrs. of futzing around in the kitchen, I can get back into bed and get another 2-3 hrs. of sleep. I have numerous sleep aid pharmaceuticals, melatonin, Tylenol PM, Sleep Eze, Unisom, and my personal favorite Clonezepam, the choice of schizophrenics everywhere. It is an addictive medication used for spasms (restless leg), and is also a choice for treating schizophrenia. ( I do not suffer from this affliction. FYI) I have been taking absolutely nothing for 2 weeks in hopes of getting my system to adjust to a normal sleep pattern. No luck so far. I was also hopeful that my lovely walks were going to assist me in having a restful night's sleep. So far they haven't done one damned bit of good.....other than I enjoy them, and I get to wear my cute shoes. :)

Ok, so now my second rant. When did reading blogs become a commercial endeavor? All of a sudden, key words are being underlined in blogs with links to ads. I notice them in almost all of the blogs I read, including mine. A key word is double underlined in green and suggests that I have linked a reader to an advertisement. How does one shut this off? I certainly am not advocating for any of these companies or services, and would prefer to have them eliminated. Am I the only one that has noticed this, or is my computer the only one affected?

As an aside to yesterday's post.... The comment made by my stinky friend was, in fact, said in such a way as to make me believe she was, indeed, moving to facilitate the "Wide Load Comin' Thru". It was not just a polite gesture. I, myself, have often moved to the side of an aisle if I think I'm taking more than my fair share. This was clearly not the situation yesterday. However, I've had several good laughs over the situation, so all was not a total downer. :)

I didn't really intend for this post to turn into a rant-o-rama, but guess it kinda did. I do feel somewhat better, so I suppose the rant served its purpose.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wide Load Comin' Thru!!!

Or at least that's what I assume this person meant today. I was at Bed, Bath & Beyond scouring the aisles for things I don't need, but must have, when a young woman (who, may I say, was not the poster child for good grooming) said "Here let me get out of the way so you can get through here." Since I did not have a cart, I assumed she meant that I was taking up more than my fair share of the aisle in which she parked her cart. Now, admittedly, I am fat, we all can assume that since I write about it constantly.....but I AM NOT bigger than the aisles in Bed, Bath & Beyond will accommodate!!!!! In fact, I breezed right through the space she left available by parking in the middle. So there, you stinky young thing!!! As I was gliding effortlessly through the aisle beside her I said (just barely loud enough to be heard) "Next time shower before you shop. Thank you." Looking back, perhaps I was just as snarky as she was, wasn't I? But ya know what? I don't give a rat's a**!!!

Tailgate #2 went quite nicely. I was actually pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.....and I do. I stuck to the breadless brisket and had one turkey sandwich, but the rest of the turkey was sans bread. I'll admit to a few, well ok, several adult beverages, but I'm thinking my walks helped mitigate those. In an effort to get my butt moving again, I hopped on the recumbent bike this morning. WOW!!! I hadn't anticipated how stiff my knee had become. I'd not ridden for a while, cuz I'd been out walking in my spiffy new shoes. WOWZAH!!! Things have tightened up a trifle, and not in a good way. I think today's plan will be to do 40 min. of biking. I'm gonna try 10 min. at a time to get started back without undue pressure on the knee. Hopefully, after a couple of days I can get back to doing it all at once. I also did a few weights earlier today. I'm going to try some "mini" squats with the 8# weights to see if I can tolerate it. I am also hoping that this might strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. Guess we'll see.

The football game this week is an away game, so I can "chillax" and not cook all week long. That also means it will be easier to maintain a healthy diet while viewing the game in the comfort of our own home. We were going to go to the local Husker watch site, but we decided staying home with our feet up sounded better to us. This way we can curse and yell, scream and throw things and not be afraid of lawsuits. :)

So, it feels as tho' I might have turned the corner on both my lethargy and my lack of commitment. I'm feeling slightly more motivated this morning, and I must say, that makes me happy. If only that smelly shopper hadn't gotten my morning off on the wrong foot, I'd really be a happy camper. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Was Right, Dadgummit

Yep, my Wednesday Weigh In was everything I thought it would be....and a bit more! Not surprisingly, I was up 3.4#. Not huge in the grand scheme of things, but certainly more than I wanted to see. I am improving my habits this week, but Tailgate #2 is tomorrow. I'm including some healthier options, so I'm going to really try and stick to the plan. I spent all day yesterday smoking a turkey breast and two briskets, so the turkey is ready for me. Also included in the day's activities is about a 2 mile walk to the stadium, a 1 mile walk at half time, and another 2 miles back to the tailgate spot after the game. That should all help, I hope.

I have been taking short walks this week, so that is certainly an improvement on my part. I do love my spiffy new shoes, and I really do notice a slight pull in my legs and butt when I walk with them on. Now, whether or not that will show any real results, or not, remains to be seen, but they are comfy and ever so cute. Even Hubby Dearest commented on how cute he thought my new shoes were. THAT never happens, so I am led to believe they really are as cute as I think. :)

I'm sad to see the last days of my CSA deliveries coming. Only 3 more Friday deliveries counting this one. I'm finally getting the kinds of produce I really want, and now it's almost done for the season. The abundance of kohlrabi in the early season almost had me wanting to quit the CSA and go just to Farmers' Markets, but I'm rethinking that now. We get our first winter squash this week! Those are among my favorite things, so I'm anxious for those to start appearing. I suppose, as with most farming operations, a lot of the success depends on the weather conditions at the farm. This year was certainly better than last year when we had all of the flooding around here, so the produce quantity and quality reflected the improvement.

Well, much remains to be done to prepare for our tailgate. We leave tomorrow morning at 7 so we can be in place and ready to party at 10-10:30. Minor details remain, so I'll piddle around doing little things for the rest of the day. I do LOVE this time of year, tho' , so it really isn't a hardship. It's just lots of fun, and it keeps me moving all day long. That's a good thing, right?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Anyone Available for an Intervention?

I do believe I might be in serious need of one!!! This past two weeks have taken a real toll on my heretofore successful endeavors at health. And, before you ask, the tailgating did figure into my downfall, but it certainly was not the main cause of my fall from grace. For whatever reason, I just simply went crazy this past couple of weeks. I didn't keep track of calories, I just kinda "winged it", and now I know exactly what that is going to mean at tomorrow's weigh in. I can hear the scale speaking to me..."One at a time", is it's usual plea. I'm expecting an addendum of "And put the bowling ball down, too!". I suppose, after a suitable talking to, I'll get myself back into the correct mindset, but at the moment, I'm not feelin' it.

I did break down and make an appointment to see the Dr. about my knee. Can't get in until Oct. 22, so I must hobble around a bit longer. I've been hesitant to see a Dr. here, as my previous Dr. is in Omaha, and I had a wonderful experience with him. He was a friend and golf buddy, so I'd like to go back there to have the surgery if that's what is necessary. Guess we'll see when the time comes. Today the knee feels pretty good, so hopefully a longer, brisker walk will be possible. And, if nothing else, that will make me feel better about what is facing me tomorrow at my Wednesday Weigh In. At least I will have tried to get back on the wagon.

I must take a moment to brag about a project I just completed. I made beef jerky!! It is delicious. The dehydrator has been sitting on our kitchen island for over a week now drying its little heart out. I've done tomatoes, peppers and herbs. I decided I'd really like to give jerky a whirl. I used round steak, seasoned it and voilĂ ! Beef jerky. Drying the beef jerky took less time than drying the sage leaves, which I found shocking. It was also kinda fun braggin' about my interesting cooking stuff. My next adventure is going to be making Feta cheese!! I'm not going to start that until later, but I'm gonna do it.

Well, time to put on the walking shoes and go for a spin.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Perspiration and Inspiration

Or lack thereof. There has been very little of the former, and the latter is sadly lacking, as well. I have been doing a little walking, but with cooler temps the sweat just ain't happenin'. Inspiration is another matter completely. It is just simply not in my "hood" at the moment.

However, I've managed to keep busy, if not physically active. I've been tending to my harvest. I've dried tomatoes, made more chili powder, and today is "dry the herbs" day. I've taken excess potatoes from my CSA farmer and made ready to use hash browns. I've made and frozen several tailgate dishes, too. This necessitates many trips up and down our stairs to get to the freezer, so I'm kinda using the "stairmaster" theory of exercise.

Speaking about tailgates.....thanks to everyone, Mary Fran is particular, for your help. I copied some of the recipes and am ready to go. I'm doing the 7 layer salad next week. Not that anyone really cares, but this week is pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, potato casserole (I have an abundance of CSA potatoes), deviled eggs, pepper dip & pretzels, and all the other stuff that accompanies a tailgate. The "Aftergate" will be turkey wraps. We always stay after the game is over to let traffic clear, so we have and aftergate party, as well. So actually, I am making two tailgate meals each game.

I must tell you, the Pepper Dip is a real crowd pleaser. I'm actually kinda famous for it. However, it is NOT the least bit healthy or low fat, low calorie or any other "low". But, boy is it good. FYI....3 (8oz) bricks cream cheese, 1 stick butter, 1 pkg dry Hidden Valley mix (can be either dip or dressing), 1/2-3/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese (the real stuff, not the stuff in the green can) Mix it all together, put it into containers that have been sprayed with PAM and then coated on the bottom with coarse ground pepper. FREEZE!!! Pull it out an hour or two before serving and it is ready. Serve with pretzels. It has to be frozen first for some reason, I've found that serving right away just isn't the same. Also, 1- 1 1/2 brick of cream cheese can be low fat, but not no fat....don't know why that is, either. Like I said, not healthy, but really wonderful.
Could treats like this be how I got into this shape? Hmmmmmmm.