Monthly Archives: November 2011

I Can See Clearly Now…WIAW!!

Nothing clears your head like getting back to what you know.  One of the things I know and love is…What I Ate Wednesday!  It is of course hostessed each week by the lovely Jenn over at Peas & Crayons.  Mozy on over and join the fun group that gathers there each week.  Read some blogs and please be sure to leave some comments.  That’s what we all live for!!  😉

Without further adieu…

Peas and Crayons

As I was saying on Sunday, my food life has been a jumble lately, but I am in the process of working hard to get back on track.  Sunday night after our birthday party, I allowed myself one last little fling.  It wasn’t actually such a bad fling, but fling it was.

A yummy pepper and egg sandwich with American cheese from Picasso’s.  My favorite takeout sandwich.  I enjoyed it. But I won’t be seeing another one for a while.

Monday morning, I was off to the races with being on track.

Fat free vanilla yogurt, Fiber One and blueberries I froze over the summer.  I’m so glad I froze them.  They will be delicious to use all winter.  They’re really yummy in oatmeal!

Last night I tried something new.  I love quinoa and I’ve had red quinoa in the cupboard for several months, but never made it.  Last night, was the night.  It looked so strange.

Cooked it up in veggie broth.  It tastes a little different from the white, but still tasty.

Other salad fixin’s…pre cut bag lettuce.  I really don’t like iceberg, but my friend Gail gave this to me before she left for Florida, so I used it.  Green bell pepper, tomato, canned black beans, mozzarella cheese and leftover dressing from Picasso’s from last week.  The lettuce did not taste that good and I realized that I am spoiled now with home cooked  beans.  The canned ones just did not taste as good.

Beans added

Quinoa added

Mozzarella added

I love having my salads in my Big Purple Bowl.  They are so satisfying that I’m not usually looking for a snack in the evening.  That’s a good thing!

Tuesday AM, I was in a hurry, so I just divided a Honeycrisp and had it with some almond butter.  It’s amazing how filling that is and it really held me. 

Short and sweet this week for WIAW.  Just want you all to know that I am back on track with my food.  Two days in a row on my exercise bike also.  I feel better already.

Don’t forget now, go visit all the cool kids over at Peas & Crayons.  They’re waiting and they’ve all prepared something tasty for you to look at.  I’m heading there myself in a few minutes.  I’m a food voyeur just like the rest of you. 😉

Happy Wednesday!!

Plan Of Attack

Good Morning, All!  I decided yesterday that it was truly time to get back on track with my efforts with Weight Watchers.  Now is the time because as the weeks creep on toward Christmas and the New Year, I need to be on top of my game.  I had been doing so well, getting below my Weight Watchers goal and even below my personal goal.  I want to be there again.  No one is keeping me from achieving that but me.  I’ve lost my focus and I need to get it back.

That’s actually something that I’ve learned from working on the NaNoWriMo project.  I don’t think I believed I could do it when I started.  I had no concept of what 50,000 words were in terms of time spent writing them, in terms of number of pages.  I had no clue.  I had no idea how to arrange my time to accomplish it.  But I figured it out.  There really wasn’t all that much allotment of time needed. I would write in the morning for a while after posting on BCDC and then for a while in the afternoon.  I focused on it and I accomplished it.  I can’t say how excited I was to complete it and a week early!  I never expected that.  I haven’t worked on it for a few days and I must say, I miss my characters and I want to get back to it.

But for now I’ll share this with all of you…

Yup!  That’s me.  A Winner!!  After you post your novel to the NaNoWriMo web site, you get this!  I’m pretty excited about it.  It’s gotten me started and I really have to thank Stephanie at Love Life Project.  She’s the one who encouraged me to do this.  Well, actually, she threw down the gauntlet saying she was diving in, who was with her?  I decided to be with her and I’m so glad I did.  Thanks, Stephanie, you are the best!

So back to my Plan of Attack on Weight Watchers.  I have been off track because I didn’t really have the right things in the house which is my fault and no one else’s.  If the right food is here and ready for me to make the right choices, I will make the right choices.

Monday morning, my first project was to get to the produce stand.  I now feel ready to begin.

So many goodies!

Spinach, romaine lettuce, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red delicious apples for Ralph and Portobello mushrooms!  I think there is roasting in my future.  I have come to enjoy the roasted veggies so much.  I got all of this for $14.75!  Pretty good!  As I look at it now, I should have gotten some onions and garlic to add into the roasting.  I can pick those up today. 

I realized over the last few weeks that I’ve missed my salads and roasted veggie combos.  They are so tasty and they’re part of what helped me stay on track.  I am back to it today.  My big salad or veggie combo for dinner helps me to be less inclined toward snacking in the evening. 

Three meals a day is also important.  I’m trying to get back to that as well.  As the week goes on, I’ll be more specific on my plan.

I also got back on my stationary bike on Monday.  It felt so good and I love the fact that it gives me time to read. I’ve missed that too!

I woke up this morning to pouring rain outside in the dark.  Not too long after as I was working on the computer, I realized it was getting light out.  What did I find, but this…

I love that gnarly old tree!  I think it’s going to be a beautiful day!

Happy Tuesday!!


Another Weekend, Another Birthday!

It seems as though lately, the birthdays are never-ending.  But that’s a good thing!

Sunday we were off to celebrate the birthday of our wonderful little nephew, Jesse who turned Two last week.  It’s a fun age for a birthday party especially when you have a creative Mom to make it even more fun.  The theme of the party …



Can we all say ELMO!!!

These were the cutest cupcakes I’ve ever seen!

My problem was…The Birthday Boy was too fast for my slow camera!  He was facing me when I started to take this one!

This is Jesse with his beautiful Mom, our niece, Marie.  Marie told me I wasn’t allowed to take her picture.  I got this one by accident so it doesn’t count.  😉 I like the happy, startled look on her face!

The man of the hour!

Finally a smile!  Too bad the soda bottles were in the way!

You’ve heard of the Full Monty…well this is the Full Elmo!!

Opening Presents!

Laughing with his pretty Mom!  Don’t be mad, Marie!  You look beautiful!

As we were leaving, the start of a beautiful sunset through the tall pine trees.

This morning, a beautiful sunrise.  It was strange.  The photos were not taken looking at the sunrise.  The color was reflected in different areas in the sky.

I’m so lucky to get these shots.  I try never to miss the opportunity. 🙂

Lots to do today.  I’m about to send my NaNoWriMo project to them to be validated!!  I can’t believe I actually completed it.  In December, I’ll get the chance to re-read and edit and see if this is The Book I want to work on, or start again with something new.  It’s been a cool adventure so far.  Now to see where it takes me.

Happy Monday!!!


Jumble Of A Day

Saturday really was sort of a jumble.  It was an “I don’t feel like doing anything” day.  That’s pretty much what I did.

After coming home from Weight Watchers, I did some computer work: posting to BCDC, reading blogs, paying bills.  All necessary things.  Ralph hadn’t been feeling well the night before so I let him sleep in.

Our plan was to go to Ele’s for the wonderful leftover dinner, but she was out for the day with Jim and Little Michael, so I didn’t want to eat a lot during the day, I knew what was coming.  That’s been part of my problem the last few weeks.  I haven’t been eating regular meals.  I need to get back on track with that to get off this weight I’ve put on.  I can do it.  Knowing the reason is the first most important step, now I have to do it.  I have a plan and will share as I go.

When I got hungry, I had one of my new favorite things in the whole world…

Honeycrisp and almond butter, or sunflower seed butter, or…. It’s a filling and tasty treat.  It’s not a meal though.  Got to get back on track with that.

In the afternoon, I started a project that is inspired by the writing I’ve been doing.  I’ll share that soon as well.

We heard from Ele that they would be home soon and we headed over to her house around 4:30.  We’re pretty laid back about our leftover feasts.  We lay out all of the food on the counter.  We each take our plate, fill it with our choices and then take turns with the microwave.  It works out pretty well.  I had two plates that looked pretty much like this…

Mashed potatoes covered in succotash.  You may not think it looks appetizing, but it’s delicious!  I had salad with it too, but you see plenty of salads on BCDC, this is far more interesting…at least to me! 😉

I had another piece of Ele’s wonderful apple cake.  I need that recipe.  I’ll share it and see if we can lighten it up a bit.

Little Michael had a good day.  On their adventure he acquired a new friend…

This is actually a puppet.  It looks so real that it startled me several times.  I walked into the room and jumped thinking I was seeing a real dog.  It is very cool.  If he told me what he named it, I forget.  In fact, he had it with him in a restaurant that afternoon and people sitting near them were looking at him strangely thinking he had a real dog!

We had a lovely evening, looked at some old pictures.  We found some that I should have had for Halloween…you should have seen the costumes!  It was lots of fun.

We’re off to a birthday party Today which should be fun.  I’ll share all of that with you tomorrow.  But first, last night’s sunset.  I can’t get enough.

Pretty spectacular!

Happy Sunday!!

The Day After The Day

Friday morning started with a beautiful sunrise. 

I love it when the day starts that way. 

It was kind of a lazy day.  I did get back to work on my NaNoWriMo project.  I didn’t do any work on it Thursday and I have to be honest, I missed it!  I missed my characters and I was happy to get back to getting all involved in their lives again.  I did an additional 1260 words for a current total of 51,336.  Now I have to figure out how to post it to the NaNo website so that I get credit for what I did!

Friday night we were at Ele’s house again.  We had more company and things were more laid, just pizza and salad.

I had two plates of salad like this.  One included a slice of pizza but that was all.  I was proud of myself for that.

I also had a piece each of Ele’s yummy gingerbread and apple cake.  Really good.

Some people got caught eating pumpkin pie with whipped cream…can you guess?!

Smiling visitors…

Carrie and Patrick

Diann and Terri.  We were so glad they could all come to visit!  It was a lovely evening.

There was also a cool sunset…

This morning another beautiful sunrise…

I was grateful for the beautiful sunrise.  I needed something cheery because when I got to Weight Watchers, I had a gain.  I was up by 3.4 pounds. ;-(  I wasn’t happy, but my eating was very much off track last week.  I will not allow that to happen this week.  We’ll be at Ele’s again tonight for left overs.  I’ll have to be on my best behavior!

Now to figure out how to post my novel to the NaNoWriMo website!!

Happy Saturday!!


Gobble, Gobble Recap

We tried some new things for Thanksgiving regarding food preparation.  It all stems from my sister, Ele reading the newspaper and watching the Food Network on TV.  We’ve come to a group conclusion that she needs to continue those habits.  Thanksgiving dinner was Wonderful!

I can’t vouch for the goodness of the first tidbit of information because it involves the turkey and of course I didn’t eat it.  I did however have the opportunity to witness how good it looked and I think she wins the prize.  She cooked the turkey unstuffed, on Wednesday morning.  She was at work; I got the job of taking it out of the oven when finished and covering it with foil. 

Then, Wednesday night, Ralph took over his job of turkey dismemberment.  He sliced it in a slightly different way, I can’t explain it to you, separating white from dark meat.  Too much info for a vegetarian, but I’m going somewhere with this.  Beautifully arranged in two roasting pans, Ele poured chicken stock over the turkey, covered it with foil again and it was in the fridge for the night.

She also made the stuffing in baking dishes.  Thursday about an hour before dinner should be served, we put it all in the oven to heat up and for the stuffing to brown up.

We had a vat of potatoes cooking on the stove and my major job was to make the succotash, also in a vat.

Succotash is something my Mom always used to make and it’s our favorite, well Ele’s and mine.  Mom would have been proud, it was a good batch!

The Crowd Assembled!  Jim, Stephanie, John, Ginny and Ele

Bill, Alex, Ralph and Patrick.  Please note Ralph and Patrick with their knives and forks at the ready for the Food!

May I present…The Food!  In the foreground you can see my traditional cranberry orange jello mold.  I’ve made it for years.  Unfortunately, I have successfully misplaced (lost?) the mold it should go in.  I now call it cranberry orange jello bowl.  We said we were doing things differently, right?!?  We ended up with a horde more mashed potatoes and stuffing than we had mouths to fill, but that’s ok, there’s another crowd coming Friday night!

I forgot to photograph any of my food, not because I was being sneaking I was just having too much fun.  Ginny brought two yummy veggie dishes so with the succotash, potatoes and stuffing, I was well taken care of.  Should I mention the apple cake and gingerbread I had instead of pie?  Well I had it Instead of pie, not along with…better change the subject.

Not only did I forget to photograph my food, I forgot to bring my camera home with me!  I had to send Ele a text this morning to make sure they were up so I could get it.  Lucky for me, she only lives one street away!

But it’s a beautiful morning and it didn’t really bother me that I had to scrape the windshield.

Little Michael came to spend the rest of the weekend!  He got there after Ralph and I left, so I was excited to see him.  I had actually run out in my pajamas…I was only going around the corner to my sister’s house, what the heck.  Jim made the comment that this must be the “no photo zone.”  I don’t think so…

Our family has always been into high fashion!!!

It was a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving and I do need to put that in capital letters.  The only thing that would have made it better is if the people who were missing could have been with us.  But that’s always the case.  Ele said a beautiful grace which summed it all up.  We are so lucky and I am so thankful.

Happy Friday!

Give Thanks and Be Joyful

I had hoped to have a wonderful, thoughtful post prepared for Thanksgiving.  I wanted to list the five or the ten things for which I am grateful.  There are so many things to be thankful for today.  If I dive right in it may make sense even without much preparation.

1.  I am grateful for the wonderful people in my life.  Ralph, my sister Ele, my sweet nephew, Michael, my friends Gail and Alice. I am grateful for Ralph’s family too. I have grandchildren because of Ralph and it is a wonderful gift.  I am grateful for Ralph’s sisters, especially Maddie, my biggest cheerleader next to my own sister. 

2. I am thankful for my good health.  I am thankful for what I’ve learned from the Weight Watchers program.  Through this I have been able to reach and maintain this level of health. 

3. I am thankful to all of you who come to read Broken Cookies Don’t Count each day and to share your thoughts and your lives with me.  I feel I have an even wider circle of people for whom I must be thankful.  You have all made me feel that what I do here has meaning.  Even when I have a hard time expressing what I want to say, as is the case today.

4.  I am thankful for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  On November 1, I started on a project that at that time was a whim which I thought was an impossible goal.  To write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days.  I never thought I could complete it by November 30 but I was willing to give it a try. As of yesterday November 23, I have completed 50,076 words. 

I can’t believe I have gotten to the goal and a week early.  I’m not bragging, I’m as stunned as you are.  It’s funny, considering all that I need to do today because of the holiday and the fact that I don’t need to write today, my fingers are itching to continue.  Is it a finished novel?  Not by the stretch of anyone’s imagination.  But it is so much more than what I started with.  I’m going to continue writing.  I can’t post it to the NaNoWriMo site until Friday so I might as well keep at it.  I do intend to continue working on it beyond that.  Will this be the first novel I attempt to publish? Probably not, but I’ve learned so much from it.  Most of all, I’ve learned not to be afraid of a blank page and a challenge.  I know now that when I set my mind to it, I can do it.

There are so many other things for which I am thankful. 

The Sunrises

And Sunsets in New Mexico.  We’ll be there soon.

The incredible Fall we’ve had here in New Jersey.

I am a very lucky person.  I am grateful for so many things.  As I think about it, I don’t think I have to tell you all what I’m grateful for.  I tell you every day. 

So Thanks to all of you out there in the world of Blogs and those of you who still aren’t quite sure where all of this is coming from.  It doesn’t matter, you all enrich my life.  Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Bowl Me Over…It’s WIAW!!

Good Morning, Everyone!  Is this our favorite day of the week?  Well, if it’s not, it’s pretty darn close.  What day is it??  What I Ate Wednesday of course!!

Peas and Crayons

That’s the day when all of the fun happens over at Peas & Crayons presented by the lovely Jenn!  When you’re finished getting your fill here at BCDC, please wander over to P & C to read some blogs, get some ideas and leave many comments!  Don’t just be a lurker…everyone likes to know that you’ve visited!  It’s fun, I tell you!

It seemed that the foods I wanted to share with you all happened in a bowl, hence the title…Bowl Me Over!

Monday night I was very hungry for some reason.  I wanted pasta, but pasta meant some waiting time.  I started with a ready-made but very delicious salad.

It was actually the side salad that came with Ralph’s dinner on Sunday night.  He doesn’t like the way Picasso’s makes the side salad.  I happen to think it’s delicious and since they gave me extra balsamic vinaigrette, I was perfectly happy to do away with it while I waited for my pasta to cook.

I was turning whole wheat rotini pasta into what we call in our family “stinky feet” pasta.  It gets that name because of the Locatelli cheese that we use.  It tastes delicious regardless of how it smells.  I made it with some of the special olive oil I got in St. Petersburg this summer from the Kalamazoo Olive Company.  The variety I used was Tuscan Herb.  It was so good.  All you do is cook the pasta and drain it, then you add the amount of olive oil you like.  Then you sprinkle with the cheese.  I also like to add some crushed red pepper flakes.

Mix it all together and it is just the best.  I think I love it because it is so simple.  It also tastes good!

Tuesday morning I was up early working on NaNoWriMo.  I knew I had a busy day ahead of me and I wanted to add as much to my word count as possible because I wasn’t sure if I’d have a chance to get back to it later in the day.  I also figured I needed breakfast early for the same reason.  I put together something that I love.

It looks a little strange I realized.  It’s cottage cheese and apple butter.  It probably sounds a little strange to some people too.  However, it is very tasty.  So sweet and creamy that it tastes decadent although it’s not.  It’s something I’ve loved for a long time although I’m usually hard pressed to convince other people.

I took it into the computer and ate while I worked.

That’s my view lately.  I’m kind of liking the view I think!  So as you can see, I’ve been a little bowled over, but I keep working!

Now don’t forget to make your way over to Peas & Crayons see what’s happening and say hi to all of the fun people.  They love to hear from you as much as I do!

I’ve got to get some more work done on my novel.  Enjoy your day!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!


Monday…Where Am I?

Monday was one of those scattered days.  It seemed that every time I tried to be one place I needed to be someplace else.  Guess there are just days like that.  Dazed and confused, that’s me.

We started out on a fun adventure.  My favorite nephew, Little Michael was visiting with my sister, Ele for the weekend.  We hadn’t had the chance to get together so we decided to go to breakfast on Monday.  Michael got to choose as usual.  His choice…Dunkin’ Donuts!  Trust me, no one complained about his choice.

We really like going to the local DD.  Not too many people seem to want to sit for any length of time and we can sit there as long as we like.  The coffee is good (Duh!) and I’m not in danger of buying any books (can you say Barnes & Noble!)  So Ralph, Ele, Little Michael and I piled in the car.  I could have had a breakfast that was more on Program, but I sure enjoyed this.  Simple, sometimes that’s all you need.

A cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese (next time I have to ask them to be light with the cream cheese) and gingerbread spice coffee. Great big Yum!

Uncle Ralph and Little Michael.  I love this picture!

Michael munching away at his bagel.

Ele and Ralph

It was lots of fun.  When we were finished, Ele and Michael talked me into going with them to a place called Five Below.  It’s a great place for kids and everything is $5 or less.  Very good.  We looked around.  Michael got a few things and I was able to get a birthday present for a party I’m going to on Sunday.  Good deal!  We then realized that the new Dollar Tree had opened in the same shopping center.  Very clean and spacious.  We always need another dollar store!

Michael with one of the treasures Grummy bought him at Five below.

The set had a whole collection of them…a little creepy…Smarmy McSmarmalson.  We love him anyway!

When I finally got home, I got to work on NaNoWriMo.  I think I’m getting to the home stretch on this project and I’m pretty excited about it.   I was able to get in 2148 words for a total of…

I wish I had found this handy little widget sooner, but I can enjoy it now.  Still 8 days to go before the deadline, I’m happy!

While working I was forced to eat a Huge oatmeal cookie that Ralph had bought at Dunkin’ Donuts…

With my afternoon cup of tea, it was very good.

The day seemed more disjointed than it does now that I write about it.  Never the less we got through it!  I have to do some grocery shopping this morning for Thanksgiving things and it’s raining. 😦  Why is it I hate grocery shopping in the rain?  I just do.   Then we’re off to celebrate Alice’s birthday. Should be fun! 

Happy Tuesday!!


Blogging and Shopping and Writing

On Sunday I was up early (good early, not middle of the night early) and ready to go.  I posted on BCDC and got right into work on NaNoWriMo.  I have to admit that I am impressed with my own dedication to this project. I’m learning a lot about the writing process and about myself as a writer.  In both cases I like what I’m learning.

Gail, Alice and I had planned to go on another trip to the Christmas Tree Shop in the morning.  We we were out by about 10am.  We were meeting our friend Margot there and planning on lunch after.  Although the parking lot looked full when we got there, it was not too bad inside.  I hate crowds and was not looking forward to it for that reason.  I’m sure if we were there later in the day it would have been impossible.

I got a few treasures while there.

I hear everyone talk about Peanut Butter & Co. but I haven’t had the chance to try it.  The cinnamon raisin swirl sucked me in.  I got some Chili Garlic Sauce made by the company that makes sriracha sauce.  Also a jar of bay leaves.  It’s soup season and I’m out of them.  All of these were much less expensive than I would have gotten them at the grocery store.  Christmas Tree Shop has lots of reduced price foods.  My helpful check out lady also told me about another shop in that general area that is similar to Christmas Tree Shop in pricing but with additional merchandise.  We’re planning a trip there when we get the chance.

I also got some pretty things.

Two pretty bowls that will be good for oatmeal or soup and a flat plate that will be good for wraps or sandwiches.  I like to have pretty things to use to photograph my foods but I don’t like to spend a lot of money.  The bowls were $1.69 each and the plate was $1.99.  I also got another set of the little ceramic spoons I had gotten last time we were there.  I was happy with my purchases.

For lunch we went to…Say it with me…Taco Bell.  I don’t actually get tired of eating there.  It’s tasty and it certainly is reasonable.  $2.33 for two hard tacos.  Pretty good.  I just didn’t think that you needed to see another shot of Taco Bell tacos!  😉

I worked hard on my novel when I got home and then Ralph decided that we were hungry. 😉  We decided on Picasso’s Pizza and since we were both working on projects we decided to have it delivered.  I love Picasso’s for one thing that they have, the mixed cheese salad.

Regular salad things, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and sweet peppers topped with American, provolone and mozzarella cheese.  I love that they like to give me extra of their balsamic vinaigrette.  I get to use it again.

I take it out of the container and mix it all around.  It is so delicious and we also like Picasso’s because they are so reasonably priced.  Ralph never eats the side salad that comes with his dinner so I have that to eat too.  Sounds like lunch to me!

I felt really good about my word count for Sunday.  I found a fun widget on the NaNoWriMo web site to tell you my total.  My daily word count was 2438.  My current total is…

Pretty cool.  I’m excited and as I’ve said all along, I can’t actually believe I’m accomplishing this.  I’m proud of myself. 

Ralph and I are off in a little while for breakfast with Ele and our special celebrity guest, Little Michael.  We always have a good time together.  I think there might be Dunkin’ Donuts in our future.

Happy Monday!  Stay Productive and Have Fun!