Monthly Archives: April 2011

Back to Reality

I had a wonderful time on Friday watching the Royal Wedding.  Every detail seemed to be perfect. 

I’m very happy for them, they seem like nice young people who have a much better chance at succeeding at this married while Royal thing than anyone else in recent memory.  I wish them the best!

While I was watching and while on my second cup of coffee, I decided I was hungry.  I decided on oat bran.  For some reason that seemed British to me.  I have no clue why, it just did! I have expounded on my new-found love of oat bran before.  I don’t expect it to change.  I did however have an interesting experience with it.  I had run out of the store brand I was using and decided to open up the Hodgson Mill oat bran I had previously purchased precisely because there was a recipe that sounded good on the box.

It was interesting.  The texture was different from what I’ve gotten used to.  It was less finely ground.  It tasted very good, but because of the difference in texture, I should have probably cooked it a bit longer. I was in too much of a hurry to get back to the wedding to actually take a photo of it.  I took the picture of the box later (blogger’s license? 😉  )

The day was long and tiring.  Dinner was VERY simple and without documentation.  I had Morningstar Farms Mushroom Lover’s Burgers on Pepperidge Farms Deli Flats 7-Grain.  These are the lowest in Points that I’ve found of any of the Deli Flats or sandwich rounds.  They only count for 2 Points each.  I was quite disappointed when the Point value of all of them went from 1 Point to 3 Points.  These are my go to variety now.  Our leader mentioned another brand that I have yet to find.  I’ll have to continue my search.

I really crashed last night which was good for the purpose of no snacking!

Which led me to another success at Weight Watchers this morning. I lost another half pound.  That puts me only 2 and 1/4 pounds from my personal goal at WW! 🙂  I can’t tell you how long since I’ve been there.  It’s within my reach and I am determined to make it.  Oh, yeah…that and fitting in some of the jeans that are getting dusty in my drawers while they don’t fit me.  I suppose I should at some point tell my other jeans and WW story.  I’ll save that for a slow news day and share it then. 😉

It was very chilly out this morning when I was leaving for WW.  I had a sweater on and thought that would be sufficient.  I had to run back in the house for a jacket.  It’s still pretty cool, but the sun is shining beautifully.  Ralph has said he wants to get out of the house, so we’ll see where it leads us!

Happy Saturday! 🙂

Wedding Day!!

Up Early!!  3:50am and I was on the exercise bike!  Ralph then came out and asked if I was ok.  When I worked I was always up at 3:50am!  I couldn’t miss anything.  The strange thing is how different the coverage is from one network to another.  Some are respectful and being enthusiastic about it, others are rather flippant.  It is all a part of America’s history.  We should appreciate it and enjoy it.

Thursday was another day spent at Gail’s lending support.  She was happy because her lovely cat, Angel came home.  She had been staying with Gail’s brother due to all of the equipment movement in the house.  Now things are at the point that she can come back.  I think it’s a good thing for  Gail to have her back.

As you can tell, Angel isn’t much interested in having her photo taken!

When I got home I started dinner for Ralph and me.  Steak and baked potato for him.  Stir fry for me.

Brussel sprouts, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic and Locatelli cheese.

Brussels cooking away…in fact because I was cooking two meals at once, the brussels got a little toasty, but that added to the flavor!


Can you say Cheese Please? 🙂

It was very tasty, but for the second time I forgot my pre-cooked navy beans.  I’m going to need to wear them on my head to remember them! Well, if I did, it couldn’t be any worse than some of the hats I’ve seen so far.  I do not know what some of these ladies are thinking!

Well, it’s almost time.  William and Catherine are waiting for me…

Royal Wedding 2011

The Queen has just arrived!

Happy Wedding Day!  Happy Friday 🙂  🙂

The Last of the Salad Day

That’s exactly what Wednesday turned into!

After doing a few things around the house, Ralph asked me if I’d like him to take me to lunch.  Food, did you say food?!?  I said sure and we were off to Pat’s Pizza in National Park.

Lately, whenever Ralph offers food I try to steer him toward a place where I can get something that will keep me on track with Weight Watchers.  I’m really happy with the success I’ve had lately when it comes to staying at or below goal and I want to keep up that progress.

Pat’s has good salads, they’re reasonable, it’s not far and I had a coupon!!  🙂  $3.00 off of $15.00!  Excellent.  I made it simple for myself and just had their big Garden Salad.

I had it with their balsamic vinaigrette (I’m beginning to think that it runs through my veins!! 😉  ) lots of black pepper and some added parmesan cheese.  It was very good and kept me satisfied all afternoon.

After spending the afternoon at Gail’s, I got home knowing what would be in my future…Salad!

This time I didn’t forget the huge green bell pepper that I still had in the fridge!

I used up the last of my leftover salad… 😦  Now I actually have to make salad if I want it!

Added to it were the last of the cranberries 😦 , sunflower seeds and Locatelli cheese and  last of the Ken’s Lite Balsamic and Basil vinaigrette  :-(.  What I forgot were my navy beans, waiting patiently in the fridge. They’ll be waiting for me for tonight’s stir fry! 

 As it was, I actually had to dump the salad into a big plastic container because it was too big to mix in the plate I originally used.  When I make a salad, I make a SALAD!! 😉

It was delicious and kept me satisfied.  I did however (true confession…)

…finish off the last of my Easter candy 😦  I’m not sure if the sad face is because I ate it all or because it’s gone…probably a combo.  My theory has always been, if I eat it, it’s gone…I can work it off and it’s not there to taunt me anymore!!  I did not however, eat the Bunny!

I’m still reading and enjoying A Discovery of Witches.

It’s very well written and it really has me hooked.  It’s the kind of book I wish I was reading when I had a whole weekend to just sit and read.  I keep saying this, but I need to find a way to fit more reading time into my day.  I should really get on my exercise bike in the evening.  That would serve two purposes, I would get the extra exercise I need and I could read more.  I almost said “kill two birds with one stone.”  Not sure if that’s appropriate for a vegetarian to say. 😉  But remember, I’m not an annoying vegetarian!

So it’s Thursday…One day until the Royal Wedding!!  I’m beginning to feel like such a dork to be excited about this, because some people around me are saying it’s so lame.  I’ve watched all of them, not just Charles and Diana.  I love history and I love to see history in the making.  I can always remember where I was that day. 

Off to meet the day!  Happy Thursday! 🙂

Leftover Love

One of the things about being the resident vegetarian in a group of people, they always ask you to bring the salad!  All that chopping and dicing and tossing.  Such a big thing to ask, such a hard task…hee hee hee… 😉

I LOVE it!  Why, you may ask?  Leftover Salad!

For Easter as is my job, I made a big salad for dinner to take to Ele’s house. We all ate our fill and the salad was what helped me to not get sucked in by the macaroni and cheese! 🙂

Yesterday after a rather confusing, frustrating day when I generally felt like I was in a fog, I took comfort in the fact that I had this to come home to…

…a big plastic bowl of deliciousness!

I added a few things…

Some of my lovely, ALREADY READY navy beans, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, Locatelli cheese and the last of the balsamic vinaigrette from 2 Fridays ago.   I again forgot about the green bell pepper in the fridge which I forgot when I originally made the salad on Friday!  I’ll remember it eventually! 😉

Some people say you shouldn’t cut lettuce in advance for salads because it gets all yucky.  I used to do it all the time when I was still working.  I had 5 containers that I would fill with the lettuce.  Then I’d have separate smaller containers I would put tomatoes or other combos of beans and veggies to put over the salads.  They were done all at once on Sunday night and then I could be happy all week-long at lunch time. 

It gave me such a good feeling of having my food and my lunch under control when I did that.  On a week when I didn’t get my lunches ready in advance, I was like a crazy person.  I felt all at loose ends.  I would then spend too much money for a salad that had too many of the things in it that I didn’t really need.  Being in charge of my food makes me feel so much better.

The end result of last night’s brief preparation efforts…

It was so good and really kept me satisfied for the evening.  I realize that it looks like a lot of cheese, but I am so happy now that I calculated it and found that I can have 3 tablespoons of the cheese for only one point on Weight Watchers.  That fact alone could keep me on Program and at goal forever! 

I got my car registered yesterday, gave her a tune up and today I get to take her for inspection.  From what I’ve heard recently, they only check for emissions so it shouldn’t take very long.  We’ll see about that!  I’m happy in a way because I think this will probably be the last time I register my car in New Jersey.  The next time will be in New Mexico!  I can’t wait until the day I get to tell you all that I’ve accomplished that!

I’m off to see what the day holds…Happy Wednesday!

Monday…Did It Happen?

I hate days when I get to the evening and have no idea where the time went.

We tried to get my car registered, but it seems the Motor Vehicle department is closed on Mondays!  How nice for them.  I now have to do it on Tuesday!

The temperature went up into the 80’s and we hadn’t yet turned on the air-conditioning, but we decided it was too uncomfortable without it.  We didn’t turn it on until about 6pm.

In spite of the heat, I have veggies in the fridge which need eating before they turn to science experiments.   It was pretty simple.

I had leftover couscous from Friday night so that was my base.

Brussel sprouts, green bell pepper, zucchini, garlic and navy beans!

The family favorite!! Locatelli brand pecorino romano cheese!  I had been out of it for 2 weeks…I kept forgetting to buy it! 😦  I feel much more secure now! 🙂

It was SO good!  The cheese makes it, as always.   I can never be without it again!

Sadly, later in the evening I got sucked in by leftover birthday cake that I picked up from Ele’s yesterday. 😦  Amazing that it was still as good if not better than on Sunday!  It was worth the Points, but I WILL NOT EAT ANYMORE!!

I’ve got to get myself up and out to visit my friends at the Motor Vehicle department.  Hope they’re nice to me! 

Happy Tuesday!

Happy Easter!

My happy Easter started with this little fellow…

And his friends…

… a box of Duffy’s Chocolates!  They are a long time local company.  In fact, just looking at their website, I see that they’re as old as me…pretty old, but I think we’re both still in good shape! 😉  They are dark chocolate butter creams and they are so yummy.  I couldn’t find any nutritional info so I’m going with the Weight Watchers standard of 2 points for a piece of candy.  I won’t tell you how many points I ate, but let’s just say I ate my share!

My very favorite Easter treat is these…

Zintner’s Butter Cream Eggs…I’m drooling as I type.  They are another local company and they are just the best!  I was originally going to talk about these in January because I first found them in the stores on January 21 and it made  me crazy!  I knew I had to resist them all that time.  I think I had 4 the entire season and thankfully Ralph didn’t buy me any for Easter.

I always got them individually and I was never able to calculate the Points for them.  About a week ago I was at the local CVS and they had an unopened box on the shelf that I could turn over without making a terrible mess.  The people in the store must have thought I was crazy!  Turns out that they are only 4 Points! 🙂  I say only because for as much as I enjoy them, they are truly worth the Points!  I’m also excited to find out I can order them on-line so I can still get them when we move to New Mexico!

We were having Easter dinner at Ele’s.  Just before leaving to go to her house, we got a phone call from Ralph’s son Bill.  He told us that he, Alex and Patrick would be able to join us for dinner after all.  We were very excited.  I called Ele to let her know and she was thrilled.

Bill, Patrick, Alex and Ralph

Jim, Ele and Bill

In my efforts to stay on track…I had a plan! No, really a plan?!?  Yes, for a change!

I had made a really Big salad and I started with a really Big bowl!

Funny thing was, by the time I finished it, I was mostly full.  However, I couldn’t pass up two of my very favorite things…

Ele’s cole slaw, made from Gram’s recipe and…Macaroni and Cheese!  I think I finally have the recipe down so I’ll be sharing it soon!  I made the green beans and they were good, too!

In order to keep myself from seconds on the mac and cheese, I had another big bowl of the salad topped with more of the green beans.  It was very good and it helped keep me in line for this…

…Yes!  Another birthday celebration for Ralph!  This is getting to be a habit with us!

The Birthday Boy…as adorable as ever!

My tiny corner of cake…home made by Ele.  Another recipe I need to share!

One last shot of Grandpop and his Boys! 🙂

It was a lovely day in all ways!

Strangely, when I got home, I had a terrible problem with snacking.  I kept it under control with popcorn and CoCo cakes, 2 CoCo cakes for 1 Point! But it was tricky. 

I have lots of things to do today, so let’s get started and see what I can accomplish.

Can’t keep her out of my mind…Happy Birthday, Mom!  I miss you every day.

Fun Day Out and Around

Since I had Weight Watchers Saturday morning I couldn’t go to breakfast with Ele, Jim and Little Michael, so we planned on going  to lunch.

We settled on going to our old favorite, In A Pickle.  Sadly, it was closed.  No sign saying if it was just closed for the Easter Weekend or Closed.  I hope not because we’ve come to really enjoy it.  I’ll have to check during the week to see if they’re open.

We decided to head to Pat’s Pizza in National Park.  I had their Wally salad again with Lettuce, Grapes, Cranberries, Apples, Avocados, Walnuts, mandarins, Croutons and Gorgonzola Cheese.  I had it with their balsamic vinaigrette.

Looks Yummy!

Do you think I enjoyed it?!? 😉

Ele, Jim, little Michael and Ralph!

Ele, Jim, Me and Ralph…portrait courtesy of our resident 8-year-old stupendous photographer!

He couldn’t be cuter if he tried!  Michael likes it when he makes guest appearances on BCDC.  I told him he can be part of it any time he wants!

After lunch we were off to Barnes & Noble where we planned to meet up with Kristen.

Michael and Ele.

Jim and Ralph

Ralph drawing…as always!! 😉

Kristen and Me, taken by Me!

Me and Krisen, taken by Michael!

My HUGE Iced Coffee!  I asked for the cinnamon dolce flavoring and it had the feel of the Frappuchino without the Points.  Because I used real half and half, I gave it 3 points.  I think I was safe with that.  It was so good and I think it will be my B & N drink for the spring and summer!

Michael as a Pirate!

We sat and chatted for a Long time!  I was proud of myself because I didn’t buy anything, not a single book!  That’s not easy for me.

Speaking of books, because I woke up at 2am and tried for an hour to go back to sleep, I started reading at 3am and finished my book, The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.

I always enjoy her books and this was no exception.  She always tosses in a bit of magic and I like that.

I then started A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

Very intriguing so far.  I think I’m hooked already.  I like when a book grabs me and doesn’t let go.

Today is Easter Sunday.  It looks like it will be a sunny day and weather reports say it will be warm.  Dinner at Ele’s today.  I have a big salad to make and I believe there is macaroni and cheese in my future. 🙂  We’re hoping that our cousin LuAnn will be able to join us.  It depends on how she’s feeling after her surgery.

Wishing a Very Happy Easter to you All! 🙂

Hot Dinner in 10 minutes?

Sound impossible?  Well you can do it with the right ingredients.  actually I think it was about 8 minutes, but I don’t want to brag. 😉

You see we have rules around here.  I have to be eating my dinner while I watch TMZ.   Cheesy, I know, but I love to watch it and I think Harvey Levin is adorable!

This really is a case of knowing what you’re going to do and using ingredients that don’t take very long.

I had cooked up a big batch of navy beans (Navy Beans!?!) in the crock pot the morning.  See, it is a good idea!

I had been thinking about this all day because I realized I wouldn’t be getting home until late.  I had a plan!  Wow, imagine that!

Any speedy cook worth her salt knows that couscous is the best you can get when it comes to quick and easy foods.  I used Near East Whole Wheat couscous.  When Ralph asked me what I was eating and I told him couscous, he asked how I make it…not like him at all, but I explained!  I told him you boil the water, put in the couscous, turn it off, turn around three times and it’s ready.  He looked perplexed and asked how long I cook it.  I repeated the steps (just joking about the turning around three times…anyone who knows me well knows I would be dizzy after that and fall over! 😉  )  He was impressed that it was that easy.

I opened a can of Ro-Tel Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro and heated it with 1 cup of my pre-cooked navy beans.  Ta Da!!

It was so simple and so good and I was in front of the TV in time to catch Harvey and the gang. Next time, I may try to get it down to 6 minutes!

Saturday showed up rainy, cold and dreary, Again!  I got to Weight Watchers and wasn’t sure how I would do.  I even thought about not weighing in.  I’m glad I did…I lost another half pound!  I’m very excited about it.  I wish I was sure what I was doing that’s making a difference.  Maybe BCDC has something to do with it.  I’m forcing myself to be honest and by doing that, maybe I’m following the program more accurately.

So I’m off to lunch with Ele, Jim (visiting again from D.C.!), Ralph, little Michael and Me.  Later we’re meeting Kristen at Barnes & Noble.  Who cares if it’s raining…we’ll have fun!

Happy Saturday!

An Afternoon Out

It’s been very difficult lately for my friend Gail because of her Mom’s health.  She hasn’t had a chance to get out and friends have all been coming to her house to help in what ever way we can.  Thursday we were able to get her out of the house for a few hours to try to take her mind off of things.

I didn’t take any photos of the excursion but Gail, Alice and I had a great time.  We started with lunch at Taco Bell.  I have yet to calculate the points on the Beefy 5 Layer Burrito (-beef + beans) that I had.  I know it won’t be good.  In my mind I gave it 10 points.  I have to look it up though.  It was big and filling and came from the $1.39 menu!  I couldn’t believe it!  I enjoyed it and it reminded us of all the times we’ve gone to Taco Bell while staying at Gail’s condo in Clearwater.  fortunately, I didn’t notice the Limeade that they have until we were on our way out.  I had one while we were in Silver City last fall and it was delicious!  I’m sure it’s filled with sugar and I don’t need to be drinking it too often.  Maybe I can figure out a way to lighten it up!! 😉

After lunch we went to a produce stand I hadn’t been to before and we got Easter flowers from Gail’s Mom.  I need to go to this place again, it has lots of interesting foods and I need time to browse through it.  It’s not far, I don’t know why I never realized it was there!

We then went to a local paperback book exchange so that Gail could get some books.  I behaved and didn’t buy a one! 😉  We stopped at Family Dollar to help feed our Tootsie Pop habit.

We headed back to Gail’s house where everything was about the same.  I was glad that her brother had stayed to give Gail the opportunity to get out.  She really needed it and I think she enjoyed it.

When I got home I fixed dinner for Ralph, roast pork and baked potato.  He said it was very good and so filling he has leftovers for tonight’s dinner.

I made myself a salad.

Romaine, grape tomatoes, green bell pepper, sunflower seeds and black beans (from a can 😦  ). 

I used the balsamic vinaigrette that was leftover from last Friday’s salad from Picasso’s.  I don’t quite know why, but when Kristen and I got our salads, they sent 4 containers for each of us!  I was actually happy because I ended up with all of them and I love their vinaigrette! 

My salad was HUGE and delicious!  It really is a help for me to make such a big salad.  It fills me up and keeps me on track. 

At one of our stops today I bought mandarin oranges because I haven’t been able to find clementines.  I think it’s the end of the season and I’m truly sad.  I had gotten mandarins on my produce trip last week, but they didn’t have any this week. 😦  These were not so tasty, but it gave me something to snack on in the evening.

In the morning I had started to soak some navy beans that Gail had found in her cabinet and knew she wouldn’t be using.  The funny thing is, I had them sitting on the couch next to me so I wouldn’t forget them.  Everybody who walked in the door said “Navy Beans?!?”  Yes, Navy Beans!

After soaking overnight, they are now happily cooking away in the crock pot! It’s funny, but I find it so comforting to know I have a batch of some kind of beans in the fridge.  I can do so many different things with them.  I need to stock up on some more. 

It’s Good Friday.  I remember growing up we were always told we had to be quiet from 1pm to 3pm. I should try that.  Hey, I’ve been able to not eat chips all through Lent.  I may continue to not eat them, just because it makes me feel more in control.

Have a blessed Good Friday.

Birds and Buried Treasure

Wednesday was another one of those days that I keep having lately.  I was working on a few projects around the house and then I headed over to Gail’s to offer what help I can.

When I got there, our friend Margot had another load of goodies for the Rummage Sale so I loaded them in the car and later met up with Ele to deposit them at the church.  Margot is excited about the  Rummage Sale because it’s encouraging her to sort through her collection of stuff.  She’s a big thrift shop shopper so she has loads of treasures to donate! 🙂

Gail is a big bird lover and has many bird feeders scattered around her yard.  She mentioned she’d seen some yellow birds that she’d never seen before.  They were wily, but I got a few shots…

Ele said she thought they were yellow finches.  Whatever they were, they were beautiful.  I’m hoping to get some better shots of them today, if they’re still around. 🙂

In my cleaning out process, I’ve found some interesting things.  The house I live in was my grandparents house.  I’ve lived here for about 20 years.  The refrigerator is a HUGE side by side that is really too big for the space it occupies, but it still works so I don’t complain.  Even when it sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night when the compressor turns on. 

We’ve often joked and speculated on how old it must be.  I’ve checked inside the doors to see if there might be some kind stamp to tell us.  Well, in cleaning out the cabinet…right above the fridge…I find this…

The owner’s manual to the fridge!  There, written in my Grandmother’s inimitable handwriting…

If you can’t see it, it says “Ordered 10-29-71/Rec’d 11-10-71.”

I had judged it to be about 40 years old and Ele thought that was about right.  It doesn’t matter, it’s just neat to have the question answered after all this time.  I should have thought that Gram would have been orderly enough to put the book right where she could find it, above the fridge.  As cluttered as her house became as she got older, she always knew where things were.

Another treasure I found in the same cabinet was this…

It is one of a set of four dessert dishes.  The glass is depression glass and comes apart from the metal base.  Ralph gave them to me a number of years ago for my birthday.  They are so pretty and delicate.  I had put them in the cabinet above the fridge and since it’s not easy to get into, I forgot they were there.  I’m so glad I found them again!  They’re just beautiful.  Now I guess I need to make something to serve in them! 😉

One last treasure and these are so cool I can’t believe I found them.  I remember them being in Gram’s house and using them from time to time.

They are GLASS straws!!  I can’t even imagine how old they might be.  I’m actually a little afraid to use them because they’re so delicate.  They are very cool and the next time I make a smoothie I won’t have to use a plastic green straw left over from Barnes & Noble in my antique glass!  😉

Thursday morning and I’m not sure what the day holds.  I know I’ll be spending some time at Gail’s this afternoon so we’ll see what else I can accomplish.

It’s Holy Thursday.  Years ago, when I was in high school, I used to be in the church choir and we would always do a program in the evening and then again on Good Friday.  That seems so long ago.

Happy Holy Thursday!