Archive for December, 2008

What’s the Name of Your Hog, Dawg?

shadow.jpgI know, I still need to work on the lingo, but I do need to give my motorcycle a name, right?  I’m not sure what the rules are, but I think it has to be a girls name.  How about princess?  No, too feminine.  How about mama cat?  No, that just sounds like a harley dude’s lady (who’s gonna whoop your ass if you look at her funny).  How about shadow dancer (my motorcycle’s model is a shadow).  No, that sounds like a stripper name.  Obviously I have to give it some more thought.

Mountain Dew Christmas Tree

You have to give this guy credit for creativity. We have been going back and forth on what to do about a tree this year. I drink caffeine free diet coke, those gold cans might actually look pretty cool.

Mom’s Beef Stew

My mom used to make a great beef stew.  The weather has been cold, so no better time to recreate it.  It didn’t hurt that stew meat was on sale buy 1 get one free (extra big pot!).  I usually walk in to the grocery store with no idea what I am going to cook (helps me come up with new ideas), and thought it would be fun in the future to walk in to the store, find the sales, and cook a great meal on the cheap, and post the recipe and how much it cost.  I am going to have a new area of the website called Grocery Savings Center, where there will be a bunch of articles to help you save money on your groceries (#1 tip- learn how to cook).  Enough rambling- here’s the stew.

Brown the meat in vegetable oil and add spices if you like.  I added some paprika, oregano, black pepper,  and pinch of pepper flakes (for a little heat).

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I like to add some flour, though it’s optional, I think it gives a nice body to the broth, but like I said, it’s up to you.

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Add carrots, onion, celery, and  beef broth to cover by a few inches and bring to a boil.

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That’s the hard part.  Turn the heat down, cover it, and let it simmer for a few hours.  Add some cut red potatoes, frozen peas, and green beans, and simmer for another 1/2 hour .  It’s not rocket science, the stew is done when the meat is tender (keep testing the meat, it’s fun).

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I have to say my mom would be proud, it was pretty darn good, and tastes even better the next day!

Thanks

 get_gas.jpgThis is the season to give thanks is it not?

I would like to thank the following:

Recipe testers: Al Dente, Casey Deya, and Sum Ting Wong

Quality Control: Sal Monella

Accountants: Bill Foldes and Iris Audit

Insurance Rep.: Justin Case

Weight Loss Coach: Will Power

Wardrobe  Coordinator: Polly Ester

Travel Agent: Lewis N. Clark

wreath.gifIf we could just maintain our weight over the holidays wouldn’t that be a cool thing?  Our consulting dietitian for the diabetes member plan for mydietchef.com, Judy, wrote this great article for members a few weeks ago.  It is good advice for all of us.  We have a calorie controlled weight loss plan also (we count the calories for your though), but she gives good advice for those not on that plan.

By: Judy Fischer, RD, LDN, CDE

Those of us who try to lose weight may have been taught the “counting method.  For instance, the Weight Watchers program counts points.  Diabetes education focuses on counting carbohydrates. The fool proof method” for weight loss is counting calories although this can be very time consuming for most busy people.  Therefore, for you NON COUNTERS try these easy tips for weight loss to help lower your overall calorie intake.

1.    Leave over a 1/3 of the food on your dinner plate which tends to be the largest meal of the day.  1/3 less calories of a 600 calorie meal is 198 calories.  Doing this every day for a year would afford you a 20# annual weight loss.

2.    Follow the divided plate-method of eating.  Fill 1/2 of your plate with non starchy vegetables such as salad, green beans, broccoli, 1/4 of plate with lean protein such as turkey and the last 1/4 with  beans, corn, wild rice or potatoes.

3.    Plan on walking more during the holidays.    For a 150# person, a 2 mile walk = 200 calories.  Walking an additional 5 miles a week will equal ALMOST A 10# weight loss.

4.    Commit to avoiding drinks with added sugar.  Keep in mind 20 oz of soda or sweet tea have 240 calories which is ROUGHLY 15 PACKETS OF SUGAR.

5.    Learn to honor your biological hunger instead of eating by the clock.  If you are truly hungry, eat a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit and handful (not a can full) of almonds. even though it may not be “time” yet.  For this method of weight control to work, you also need to avoid eating when you are not hungry.  Overeating is a non-productive way of dealing with emotions and leads to further sadness and feelings of lack of control.

Is That Your Final Answer?

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I went to take my written motorcyle test today.  Don’t you just love the dmv?  There were 25 questions and you were allowed to miss 5.  After each question you have to confirm your answer by hitting the “is that your final answer?” button.  I felt like I was on a gameshow.  The girl next to me was screwed, after 15 questions she had already reached her limit, but in one of the greater comebacks in dmv history, she went on a hot streak and answered her last 10 correctly.  After each one she would call out to her friend- “I got it!”  It was real nerve racking not only for her and her friend, but all of us others taking our test.  I got 4 wrong, just a bit of drama toward the end, but some good softball questions bailed me out.  I have been riding the bike around the neighborhood, and finally got it out of 2nd gear!

Deep Dish Pan Pizza

It has been cold here, and it’s starting to drive me crazy.  I must be craving comfort food since I cooked pan pizza and turkey chili the last two nights for dinner.  I will post the turkey chili recipe as well since it was good, healthy, and super easy.  This pan pizza cost me around $10.00 to make and will feed 4-6 people, so it’s a lot cheaper than  your local pizza restaurant, and it’s pretty darn good too, and if you ask me, fun to make (I like cooking though).  Of course the sky is the limit as to what you put on yours.

Buy some pizza dough from a pizza store or specialty shop and roll out to fit the sheet pan.  Push in to the pan and drizzle with olive oil.

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Bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes or until is gets golden brown.  If it bubbles up, don’t worry about it, slap it down when you get it out of the oven.

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Spread some mozzarella cheese on top.

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Add a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes. (drain it good)

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I cooked a few chicken breasts and a package of turkey italian sausage together and added that. (oh yeah, and sprinkled a little dried oregano too)

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This thing is really growing isn’t it?  I finished it off with olives, peppers, mushrooms, some more mozzarella, and some parmesan.

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Ok, finally ready to bake this puppy again.  Probably around 10 minutes or so, or until it looks similar to this:

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Slip it on to a cutting surface, and cut that bad boy up!

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Piggy Bank

picture-or-video-151.jpgI bought a piggy bank in Mykonos last year.  We just dropped off a group of charter guests and had to hurry up to get to Rhodes to pick up another.   We only had a few hours to go ashore and enjoy the great island.  We all took advantage of it, I remember a big stork crossing my path as I was enjoying a leisurely lunch (I need to find that picture), and good shopping for sure.  It was classic Greece, pure white and blue.  I got this t-shirt on my mini shopping spree (I don’t wear it around the cats, and certainly didn’t wear it when we had blue the dog for a few days).

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I also bought a cool piggy bank (you need to click the picture at the top of this post for a good guess).  So, back to today; I have been throwing change in the piggy bank since I have been back home (the last few months), and filled that little piggy (she’s about 1 1/2 times the size of a softball), to the top.  I was excited to see what she held.  My guess was $21.85.  What do you think?  I will post a comment below and let you know- I went to one of those change counting stations where you pour your change in and it counts it for you.  I think I might have a junk drawer with some change in it (this is fun!)

Dinner Quiche

I had a leftover pie crust in the freezer, so decided to make a dinner quiche.  If you have leftover Turkey, your right at about the limit to throw it out, so this would be a good recipe for that.  This is Greek inspired.  You wouldn’t see this in Greece, hence the inspired part.  Saute a small diced onion with a few cloves of garlic, and some diced turkey or chicken or ground beef or diced ham or, you get the idea… in olive oil, and add some chopped spinach (squeeze it good), sliced cherry tomatoes, and some feta cheese, season with a little salt and pepper.

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Then place that in  the pie crust (oh yeah, preheat the oven to 375 degrees).

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Then take a picture of a red haired lady with an orange cat on her lap.

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I then cover the filling with shredded cheddar cheese (obviously this has nothing to do with Greece), and beat two eggs with a cup of milk and pour it in.

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Bake it on a preheated baking sheet for around 45 minutes until it is set and brown on top like this picture:

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Then let it sit for a few minutes, cut it in proper slices (no gouging with a spoon), add a green salad, and your good to go.

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