Friday, July 31, 2009

Cabana Girl Hits the Road

Heading out for a few day of fun and sun! (And crab legs and Krispy Kremes and Frozen Alligators and frozen grapes and......)

Noggin - Moose A. Moose "Are We There Yet?" Song - video powered by Metacafe

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why Kroger's Loves Me

I like to grocery shop. No, wait, I love to grocery shop IF I'm by myself and IF I have money and IF I have time to leisurely look around.

I am a sucker for new products and will throw them in my cart. Kroger's loves to see me coming, and I'm fairly certain they turn up the 80's music when I pull in. I bee-bop around, singing to myself, throwing everything in the cart.

Personally, I think the Kroger card (and all shopping cards) are a scam. I spend the same amount of money each time I go. I think they store an average of what I spend in their Big Brother computer and work the numbers out slightly to get the same amount each time. I can go in with a list and a stack of coupons and spend X amount. I can go in and randomly toss items in - still spend X amount of dollars. It's a scam, I tell you.

They sucker me every way I go. This is what I bought last week:

Ken's Steakhouse Healthy Options Sweet Vidalia Onion. I love the full fat version of this dressing, so I won't buy it. But lookee here, Ken made me a low fat version with only 2 g. of fat. I have trouble eating salad all the time. Those little Wish-Bone Salad Spritzer things are great, but sometimes, I just need a little fat on that salad. Can you tell by the picture how much is gone already? It's not me. Farmer Brown loved it, too and was eating it on french fries and chicken.

Love Morning Star Farms sausage patties and now they make them with maple-flavor. Mmmmm.....these were durn good on some whole wheat English muffins and a scrambled egg.

While I was foraging away in the organic section looking for hulled pumpkin seeds to make this granola, I saw this granola calling my name - already made. Seeing as I couldn't find the pumpkin seeds this week, I quickly grabbed this. Fabulous choice. I don't think that it is new, but I have heard Big Mama raving about it. I eat it for breakfast with yogurt and fruit. I eat it for a snack, plain out of the bag. I eat it for dessert with sugar-free strawberry gel and Cool Whip lite. Just can't go wrong with it.

So what about you? Anything new you've been purchasing that you just love? You know I'll throw it in my cart next time I'm at Kroger's.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kicked Out of the Chubby Club

So, I got kicked out of the chubby club.

I know. That’s kind of embarrassing to admit. I would like to tell you that they kicked me out of the chubby club because I lost so much weight. Sadly, I was kicked out for not adhering to the guidelines of the program. Was I keeping a food log? Yes. Did anyone want to see it? No. Did I meet with the nutritionist? Yes. Was I using her advice? Yes. Was I meeting with my personal trainer? Uhhh….no.

I met with him FOUR times, and we worked out once. Once. As in he put me on a machine, set the timer for 20 minutes and walked away. When I was done, he told me that our session was finished. (*The other three meetings consisted of him talking about his diet and the website he created for the gym. He eats Burger King but burns it off playing Dodge Ball.)

Instead of wasting my time arranging my schedule to meet with him, I became a free agent, doing my own thing at the gym. But I was intimidated by it all. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing and I fumbled around and ended up hiding out in the W.O.W. room (Women Only Workout Room – knock off of Curves.) It was great, but I didn’t feel like it was doing me any favors. I quit that, too.

I got my official letter in the mail, informing me that I was no longer a part of the club. Then, I got a bill.

Now, I’m working out at home. I would like to call the suckers up at the gym and say, “You see these Hip Hop Abs?”

I’ve lost six inches off my waist. I’ve lost three inches around my bust (sigh!). I’m nowhere where I need to be, but I want to say that a gym has no more than what you can get at home.

Without a bill.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

When Does a Muffin Cross the Line?

I got this recipe over at The Finer Things. What drew me to this recipe was that it had zucchini and whole wheat four. If you ignore the oil, sugar, and LARGE box of instant pudding mix, this is rather healthy.

I figured these would be a little dry or heavy. But, I was wrong. So wrong. These tasted like little chocolate cupcakes.

So, when does a muffin cross the line and become a cupcake? And is it a cupcake if it doesn't have icing?

Chocolate Pudding Zucchini Muffins
3 eggs, beaten
1 c. cooking oil
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 large package chocolate instant pudding
2 c. grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. unbleached flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Beat eggs, oil, sugar, pudding mix, vanilla and zucchini together.
Blend dry ingredients and add to zucchini mixture; mix well.
Scoop into greased muffin tins. Bake 17-20 minutes at 350°.

*Amy at The Finer Things said that she got 2 1/2 dozen. I got 1 1/2 dozen regular muffins and 2 dozen mini-muffins. She also suggested that it could be made into 2 loaves.

Very unappetizing picture of the muffins. Here's proof that they're good:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Zucchinis are Here and are Multiplying

I was so excited last week because I found this

It has only taken me a whole week to get tired of finding it.

I have made three turns of Pineapple Zucchini Bread. I have steamed it, sauteed it, and crisped it. I always start getting a little desperate, wanting to save the environment and eat locally and all that jazz, so I feel I need to use the zucchini up. Every summer, I pull out this recipe, look at the ingredients, and my stomach heaves a little. Then, I make it.

Trust me - it is not a waste of pizza dough.

This is a super-duper way to use the zucchini differently.

(Warning: Yes, even though you know I always take bad pictures, the pizza still looks this disgusting.)

Zucchini Pie
1 pizza crust (I used a Martha White mix)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. mustard
4 c. grated zucchini
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. butter
2 Tb. parsley
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Place the crust in your pizza pan. Spread with the mustard (I used a little more mustard to lightly cover the crust.) Sprinkle with 1 c. of shredded mozzarella cheese. Saute the zucchini, onion and butter in a large skillet, 3-5 minutes until tender. Then add the spices. (I did use fresh oregano, parsley, and basil from the garden.) Spread the mixture over the cheese on the crust. Then, beat the two eggs and stir in the remaining cup of cheese. Spoon and spread this over the zucchini. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mini Monday Field Trip

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Mini Field Trip Monday
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pretending to Be Domestic

When we were young during summer vacations, our mom would trek us out to the local farmer's unplowed hay fields where we would squat for hours and pick wild strawberries. Back at home, we would cap those tiny berries. Sometimes the berries were so small that after they were capped, there was nothing left.

My mom would mash the strawberries by hand and add in Certo, lemon juice, and sugar. She would ladle out the mix into old butter bowls to put into the freezer.

Aaaahhh....those were the days. That jam in January was the best.

Who has the time to pick wild strawberries?

When your grocery store or farmer's market has strawberries on the cheap, bring them home, wash them up, and remove the big caps.

Buy these little lovely packages made by Ball. They also make nice little freezer containers if you haven't saved up every empty butter bowl.

Lay out everything you need. I lay out my berries, my mixing bowl, my blender, a ladle, a funnel, and the washed freezer containers. This makes it easier when you are making jam. I also lay down a towel so that the mess is not so bad.

Get out your blender that belonged to your Grandmother. She bought it in the 70's. It is a lovely shade of avocado green. It still works perfectly until I try to pulverize my berries. Then, pull out your food processor and transfer the half-mashed berries to it. I'm so glad I laid down that towel.

After you smash the berries, mix the packages with sugar. Use the lovely funnel that Ball also makes that fits perfectly in your freezer containers. Realize that even though Ball said that the jam will fit perfectly in the five freezer containers, you have extra jam. Scrounge through the cabinet to find more containers. Consider briefly using an old butter bowl your mom sent home leftovers in. Scrounge around more when you realize that the lids don't fit on your containers.

Proudly display your finished products in your kitchen. Then, spend the rest of the morning reading through your favorite blogs. Or getting a pedicure. Or taking a nap. Whatever it is that you like to do. When your husband comes home or your mother-in-law drops by, act worn out and tired and point to your display. They will be impressed with how productive your day was. Fail to mention that even with the blender mess and the search for more bowls that it only took you a half an hour.
Store this your freezer for deep winter or give to your neighbors to impress them with your domesticity.


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