Monday, May 30, 2011

Banana Soft Serve - I finally tried it! And more bootcamp food.

You know, this stuff has been all over the blog-o-sphere for at least a year now.  And I've been meaning to try it.  Really.  But, I've never had time or the urge.  But I found myself with 9 frozen bananas, so this week was the week.  Besides, I never was the "cool kid", so I should continue the trend and adopt the latest thing - years later.

My husband was doubtful.  After about a minute, he suggested the Blendtec instead of the food processor.  I said "no, the blog I read said that the Vitamix didn't work well".  Then, a minute into it, he said "this is not going to work."  I said "it takes 5 minutes!"  I followed the directions from Gena, but also checked out Averie for advice too.  It worked.  Here's what it looks like before the toppings.

Well, darned if it didn't work, and it was delicious.  I topped mine with a crumbled cookie and some chocolate syrup.  Spouse liked it, kid ate half and THEN said he didn't like it.

More bikini bootcamp recipes:  Roasted tomato and white bean soup:

Baked tilapia with vegetable hash.  (This is heavily adapted.  Original recipe called for grilled tilapia with vegetables on skewers.  This was easier.)

Scrambled egg with spinach, mushroom, onion, tomato (and I snuck in goat cheese)

Spinach salad with nuts, chickpeas, some other yummy stuff, with an orange dressing.

Note to self: if you are going to take a day off of the "diet" and eat a slice of sodium-filled pizza, do not do it the night before your weekly "weigh-in", because then all it does is depress you and make you feel like a failure for only losing 0.2 lbs.  When in reality, you probably lost 2 lbs and are carrying around extra water.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bikini Bootcamp

Sounds strange, I know, but bear with me.  On a recent whirlwind trip to DC (I do owe an update on that, don't I??), I found this gem of a book.  We were staying with great old friends, and my friend had this book and has used it a couple of times.  She said while she had difficulty following it to the letter, she really felt AMAZING each time she used it and it did work.

What drew me to the book originally was the recipes.  I (of course) perused the book at her house (specifically, the recipes section), and it was enough to sell me on the book.  When I got home, I hit up Amazon.

I was sufficiently warned about the amount of work to do all of the exercise and all of the chopping.  But, you know, I already exercise.  And I already cook a lot.  I am accustomed to chopping.  I figured, what's the big deal?  No problem!

Wow.  Was I wrong.  It's partly that the recipes are cooked from scratch (naturally).  Some of them require several steps - one soup recipe calls for 3 different steps that take 2.5 hours total.  Not exactly do-able on a weeknight.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Green dinner

Salad with beets and goat cheese

Fava bean and sauteed zucchini spread with cilantro

On bread

With guacamole and snap peas (those 2 pics were fuzzy, so just picture them in your mind)s

Friday, May 20, 2011

Links and Quotes of the week

The email from Mark's Daily Apple this week had this quote: "Make your easy workouts longer and easier, and your hard workouts shorter and harder. "  I love this philosophy!

Tips for staying fit on vacation by Weight Watchers.  I have used most of these tips: Staying Fit on Vacay

Nice graphic on activity (via Mark's Daily Apple).  Scary stuff.  I sit way too much!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins

On our camping trip, my neighbor brought along some buttermilk oatmeal muffins.  I was dying to try them, so I bought buttermilk.  When I got the recipe, I realized that they require steel cut oats (which I don't have) and 8 hours of soaking time (which I also didn't have).  So, google and allrecipes became my best friend.

I found this recipe and adjusted it a bit.  First, I doubled it.  Then, I used half the amount of oil (olive, because that's what I had), and added 4 oz of berry flavored applesauce.  Then I sprinkled in some cinnamon and added brown sugar.  Also, I didn't have 1 full cup of brown sugar, so I only used 1/2 (I always cut the sugar anyway).

These were nice and delicious and simple.  And they made 22 muffins.  Next time, I might try to add grated carrots or apple.  Why not?

The Denver Airport has pretty healthy food.

If you are ever there, you will be able to go to Itza and get an Itza wrap filled with delicious veggies on a whole wheat wrap!  And you can find fresh fruit too.

You will pay an arm and a leg for it.

Of course, there's also McDonalds.

We had both.

A recap of our whirlwind weekend trip to DC (hubby's there for 1.5 weeks, so we went out for the weekend) to follow.  It wasn't frugal!  (Well, except for flying on frequent flyer miles, but even that wasn't particularly frugal, since the last-minute booking meant it cost 100,000 miles for two tickets.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I got a new plate!

Leftover mother's day vegetables on one side, with the leftover chicken added to a stir-fry on the other side.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Big salad

I probably should have put it in a nice bowl or on a plate.  But I'm a single parent.  I ate it right out of the big bowl.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Buttermilk Rosemary Cheese Scones

So, remember that buttermilk?  Yeah, I had extra.  So I googled to find a recipe that was easy to make that hopefully would freeze well, as my spouse is out of town.  I found a basic scone recipe, and adjusted it (basically, added cheese and rosemary).

It was another good task that I could do with my boy.  I have to say, though, I must not have shaken the buttermilk enough, because the bottom was really really thick. No wonder it seemed runny when I made the muffins.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

Not a big post today, just some pics:  Breakfast (made by my honey) pancakes with strawberries.

Dinner: we made together: roasted chicken (Ina Garten's recipe) in a bed of root vegetables (that soak up all the chicken flavor), steamed green beans.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Just a few good ones this week:

Is sugar toxic?

10-primal-meals-in-15-minutes-or-less  I'm not primal, but I think about it.  But then, I think about going vegan too.  So.  These recipes look good and easy.

Raincoast crisps - or "why I should never go to the foo foo grocery store hungry".  I did go on Amazon to see the price there...same as the foo foo store.  $7.99 per box.  But they are goooood.  But $0.22 per cracker.  Now I did find this recipe to make your own version.  I bought the fig and olive version, by the way.  I found this version and this version too.  But I've never made my own crackers, and I will probably be lazy and just buy these when I'm really really craving them.

Annual Grocery Expenditures

Somewhere on this blog, I posted an annual summary of my grocery expenditures from 2000 to 2008.  Darned if I could find it.  But luckily, the combination of my spouse's and my organizational habits mean I found the original file.

So I've updated it.  What have I learned?  Well, in 2009 I made an effort to have alternating months of $160 and $320 a month (not including the CSA).  I lasted through September, but that had an amazing effect on my bill.  My typical annual bill was $4800/ year, that year was $4200.

In 2010, I made no such attempt, and it showed.  We were back to normal, plus a few hundred - likely due to increasing costs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Homemade Tomato Soup and Cooking with Kids

I know that lots of moms talk about cooking with kids, and how great it is.  I haven't done it much.  When my husband cooks with our son, it's usually a child-led "experiment" "let's add this!"

I tend to want to get the cooking done as quickly as possible.  So I try to put him off from "I want to play!" by cooking dinner.  It's painful.  Cooking, playing, and exercising have turned into major chores to me lately, and it's stressful.  So I've decided to change that.  I've been biking to work more, and walking places on the weekend (parties, the park) - incorporating exercise into my day.  It makes it more relaxing and fun.