Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week 1 Tuesday (1/7/14)

 Hi Everyone,
      Here we are on Day 2.  If you missed yesterday, I believe the archives are on the right side of the screen, so you can begin at the beginning.... and start all over again.
Recipe Review

Today’s Recipe and Location:  Make Ahead Muffin Melts
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From my Frontier
Pages 12 – 13    Copyright:  2012  Harper Collins

         Breakfast is my favorite!  I love eating a hearty breakfast because as a teacher, it has to last until noon.  I have always purchased McDonald’s Egg McMuffins, but this recipe is so much better than that muffin.  This was a very basic recipe that was quick and easy to make.  My only problem was that Ree loads up the muffin with a great amount of spread.  This actually makes a lot of sense because she has cowboys and cowgirls riding the range all day who need a filling breakfast. As I ate my first muffin I decided it was too much for me so I will modify it and use about half as much of the mixture on the English Muffin.  This modification will basically double the total muffins used.  So instead of 12 I now have 24.  As usual, I recreated the recipes and can now make 24, 12, or 6 servings.  When I took that first warm bite I thought it was Heaven on Earth. I also shared some muffins with my nieces:  Brandy Lehman, The Serpico family, and Alaina Erd.

         Today’s critics:  The Lehman, Erd, and Serpico Families

         Brandy Lehman reported:  These were fantastic, the bacon was an awesome surprise, I did not even know it was on there until I put them in the broiler. I thought they were so hearty, but not "too much". The serving portion of the topping (the modified version) was the perfect amount. The flavor was excellent, filling, fast, and a great way to start the day, or have for lunch, or even dinner :) No cons for these. TWO THUMBS UP! This was so much fun! Thanks Becky!!”
          Cory Lehman stated, "I thought they were good!"

          Alaina Erd: “We did have a little trouble with the broiler.  The top was warm and crispy before the inside cooked so next time I will cook it in the oven and then broil at the last minute. I also think they need a little kick.        
         Tim Erd came up with the perfect solution – “Maybe a little sausage.”
         We oohed and ahhed at his solution for a similar recipe or substitution.
         Nicole, Nicholas, Gigi, Marissa, and Michael Serpico also critiqued them:         Gigi actually preferred it cold, but Marissa enjoyed the warm version. Everyone said it has good flavor. Nicole and I both think I should have chopped both the egg and bacon into smaller bites.  Nicole thought this would be a great item for a brunch table.  The family also said that it was good, cheesy, and delicious. Nicholas, a picky eater like me, even tried it, too.

Nick, Gigi, Marissa, and Michael Serpico

Why Weight?

       As much as I hate this topic, I know it has to be a part of this blog. Since high school, I have struggled with my weight.  I have gained and lost hundreds of pounds in my lifetime.  I should have been the poster child for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, the Metabolic Diet, and Atkins, along with many others.  I once even tried to be professionally hypnotized to help curb my cravings. The leader told me I could never be hypnotized because I had a will of steel and would never give up my personal control.  I know this is a shock to all of you readers who know me well. Of course, he never knew that a thin Pizza Hut Pizza had total control over my thoughts. Nevertheless, they all worked for a while but never became a lifelong habit.
         I also purchased every diet book I could get my hands on. I own at least 17 books, from Bob Green to Geneen Roth and even Dr. Phil.  My best friend, Donna Dowd and I purchased just as many exercise tapes because the person with the most tapes wins.  What do we win?  God only knows the answer to that one. My all time favorites include Zumba, Country Line dancing and yes – Sweatin’ to the Oldies with good ole’ Richard Simmons.
         My bad eating habits actually began with the first solid foods given to me by my parents.  My Mom and Dad said that I refused to eat anything green.  They tried everything but unless they mixed it with peaches or something like that, I would not consume those nasty green meanies. Unfortunately, avoidance became a lifelong habit. In the old days, kids were told they could not leave the table until they cleared their plates.  My iron will left me seated at the kitchen table long after everyone else had gone into the family room. Eventually I won, or did I really lose?
         The weight issue all began in high school with a simple comment, but unfortunately I internalized the statement and began to believe it. From that point on, I anesthetized myself with food.  I ate when I was sad. I ate when I was depressed.  I ate when I was angry. I even ate to celebrate happiness and joy.  I associated all emotions with food. It now all sounds so sad and pathetic. Food was my constant friend and comfort. You begin a bad habit for one reason but it may continue for a different reason. Either way - it has been the anvil around my neck for as long as I can remember.
         The diet that worked the best over the years was Jenny Craig. I bought a life-long membership, which is pitiful to admit.  I became a member in March of 2002. I took the program very seriously. My Mom, who is always a good support, joined with me.  She reached her goal quickly as she is a little thing. From March of 2002 to September of 2007 I lost 126.0 lbs. on Jenny Craig. When you do the math, that is only about 25 lbs. a year – so much for total devotion.  From September of 2007 to July of 2012 I basically gave up.  I ate pizza every Friday night and binged constantly.  I lived off of fast food and didn’t care.  I knew I was gaining weight but was just sick of being “on a diet.” Unfortunately, I gained 90.5 lbs. back in those four years, yo yoing once again.
         July 10th of 2012 was a new beginning for me in so many ways. I am now successfully losing weight but not because of a Diet Program or just exercising but because I did it for myself for the first time ever.  I am now at the lowest weight I have been at since 1977. As of 12/28/13, I have lost 115 lbs. I will fill you in during the coming weeks on the secret to my success (to quote an old movie).

My Gorgeous Girls

         Dogs have always been a part of my life. I have two shelties named Willow and Sage. They are a huge part of my life and bring me such joy.
         Willow is quite timid with strangers, but a true sweetheart with me.  She is a wonderful guard dog and knows everything that goes on in our neighborhood. She loves to bark at cars, buses, and especially the UPS and FedEx vans.
         Sage on the other hand, is outgoing and extremely protective of our yard. My poor neighbors have to deal with the attack sheltie that lures their dogs to run the fence and bark. She has a bad habit of biting the fence, which causes damage to the fence and her mouth.  We are working on that one.
         I am so blessed to have these two in my life. Every time I enter the house they run to meet me with love and licks. What more could a person ask for in life?

Summer Fun

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