Monthly Archives: June 2012

WIAW~I Need To Fix This Snacking

It is that happy time of the week, the time when all the hard-core foodies gather because it’s What I Ate Wednesday! And where do we gather? Why of course it’s over at Peas & Crayons and we get to hang out with the lovely Jenn who is the mastermind of this whole thing.  Be sure to visit over there when you’re finished here at BCDC, leave some comments and just enjoy yourself.

Peas and Crayons

Our theme for June is healthy snacking and trust me, I am in real need of some direction here.  I’ve been having a terrible time and have to get it under control.  I’ve been making some overall good food choices, but somehow the snacks are getting me.

A banana is a great snack, especially while reading a book.  You can eat it one-handed.  I just wish I liked them more.

Found a new favorite snack that can double as a lunch…caramel corn rice cakes with peanut butter.  Sadly, peanut butter is one of the things getting me into trouble lately.  It will not be living in my house any more… 😦

Apple with peanut butter is also a good snack, but again…no peanut butter for me in the future.  It’s just as good with almond or sunflower butter.  I don’t know why Those kinds of nut butters don’t make me eat them out of the jar.  I’m doing what I have to.

I have an incredibly easy dinner to show you.  It really only takes the time it needs to cook in the microwave to prepare.

Crock pot black beans, already prepared bulgur wheat (boil 2 cups of water or stock and pour over 1 cup of bulgur.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.) and a can of a mix of tomatoes, okra and corn. Mix it together and microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

This was ready in no time and so good and filling!

Dinner last night was leftover salad from Father’s Day with the last of the black beans and bulgur added and topped with shredded cheese.  The dressing was a new twist.  1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp of honey, 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp of wasabi mustard.  Very tangy and good!  I expected that it would be a lot hotter than it was but it had a great flavor.  I just love making up my dressings!

And here you see one of the snacking reasons that I’m getting into trouble.  My new favorite from the local ice cream shop…black raspberry.  It is just delicious.  I will be doing my best to avoid this in the coming weeks. 

So there you have my snacking travails.  I hate to whine, but I’m frustrating myself with my inability to keep this under control.  Of course, I believe that confession is good for the soul and BCDC is a bit of a confessional for me.  I am working hard this week to get on track and stay there.  Make good choices both in snacks and in regular meals.  Perhaps when we get to WIAW next week, I’ll have some good news to report about my progress.  Don’t forget to go on over to P&C to read some blogs and make some bloggers happy by leaving comments. 

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  I Can do it and so Can you!!

What’s Better Than a Book for 49 Cents?

Why a Free Book of course!

A few weeks ago I entered a contest on the Algonquin Books blog. I didn’t think too much more about it, until I received an e-mail telling me I had won.  I had to wait about 2 weeks for my prize to come in the mail.

Saturday…in the mail…I find…

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick.  It’s brand new and I thought it was pretty exciting to get a new book directly from the publisher.  Kind of made me feel like a book reviewer or something! 😉

It’s even signed which makes it additionally cool!  I’ve only barely started it so I don’t have much to report just yet, but so far I’m enjoying it.  I’ll keep you posted!

I had mentioned that I was reading Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

Cage of Stars

I really enjoyed this book.  It seemed like a Young Adult book although it wasn’t listed as such.  It followed the life of a 12-year-old girl through a terrible tragedy then on into adulthood.  I liked the way it was written and it could easily work as a YA book.  Even the tragic parts were handled carefully.  It was well worth the time.

Regarding efforts to have a good week…Monday was tough…I don’t know why…I wanted to be nibbling all the time.  I don’t know what it is with me right now.  I did write everything down, which took quite a chunk out of my Weight Watchers Weekly Points Allowance.  But…today is a new day and I will work to keep myself on track!  That’s all I can do. 

My stomach issues seem to be erupting again, I don’t know if that’s why I feel the constant urge to snack on something.  I will get this under control.  Just saying it is the first step to doing it.  So I will do it.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a better outlook.  Promise!!

Happy Tuesday!!  Stay On Track!!



The Week Ahead

Monday, Monday…can’t trust that day…

Oops…Pardon me while I lapse into a Mamas and the Papas moment!  We had a wonderful Father’s Day, at least I think we did, you’d have to ask Ralph.  I think he’d agree.  I realized however that it was almost devoid of photos. 😦

I got up and made breakfast for us.  Simple…Egg sandwiches, but Ralph always enjoys them and that was the point, right?  Here’s mine…

Topped with sriracha sauce.  Yum… I just found a Food Network salad recipe that uses sriracha and from my calculations, I think it will be 0 Points on Weight Watchers.  I’m going to give it a try this week.

My wonderful sister, Ele cooked Ralph his favorite meal for Father’s Day…Thanksgiving in June!  Of course, I only took picture of my own meal, but she made turkey breast, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn and mashed potatoes.  She even made biscuits.  Ralph was So happy.  Especially because he got custody of the leftovers!

My dinner looked like this…

Some of the Huge salad I made to add to the festivities.  I cooked up 2 Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie burgers to chop up and add.  With a bottled balsamic vinaigrette, it was pretty darned good.

Of course no celebration for us seems to be able to end without a trip for ice cream.

My new favorite…black raspberry…way to big and way too much and I sure didn’t need the cone too, could have had it in a cup.  Regardless, it was a splurge and it will not continue!

This leads me to why I titled this post “The Week Ahead.”  I didn’t have a chance to share my results from Weight Watchers on Saturday.  I gained 2 and 1/2 pounds.  Not good, Norman!  In spite of writing everything down…and I mean everything…good or bad…it got written down, I know I was off track and a little out of control.  I’ve made an important decision.  I can’t have peanut butter in the house, at least not regular peanut butter.  I don’t have a problem with almond butter or sunflower butter, but if there’s a jar of regular peanut butter in the house…it’s the jar, the spoon and Me!  That has to stop and I think it has to go the way of all chips…it just can’t be around on a regular basis.  I’ll rely on the other nut butters because I don’t find myself having the problem of mindless eating from the jar. 

That said, I’m starting myself off for a good week.  I need to add some more exercise into the week as well…that will help. But I have to get on track and focus on what I’m doing in ALL areas.  I think I’m going to try to get back to meditation.  That helped me focus before and it’s easy enough to do…I have what I need…I just have to Do it!

I’m shooting for being the perfect Weight Watchers example this week.  We’ll see where that gets me.  Having you all behind me is a big help and having a place to talk about it helps also.    I know I can Do this!

Happy Monday!!  Eat a Carrot!! 😉


Happy Father’s Day and a Big-Time Birthday

I need to start out this morning wishing my Dad a very Happy Father’s Day.

I was named for him, of course he was “is” and I am “es.” ( The spellings of Francis and Frances!) I think I’m a lot like him in many ways.  I’m sure that I got his nose!

Daddy was a great guy, a stamp collector, builder of swimming pools (in our back yard), playhouses (also in our back yard) and a great hugger. He had the most beautiful green eyes and unfortunately, neither Ele or I got them.  He’s been gone for 28 years now.  I miss him all the time and I know how lucky we were to have him. 

I also want to say Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband, Ralph.

He is a terrific Father and served as a father to my niece, Mary when she really needed one.  I know she loved and appreciated him like he was her Dad.  Thank you, Ralph for all you do, for all you did.

Now let’s party!

Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law, John!  John’s a great guy, he’s the wood-carver whose handiwork I showed at Christmas time.

Here’s Ralph’s handiwork in John’s honor…

Excuse my messy kitchen!  This was just great and SO John.  We had it laminated to keep it from getting crumpled!

A “FEW” of John’s carving creations…He has a whole room dedicated to his work…finally!!

The last one is a bit blurry which I didn’t realize when I took it or I would have done a better one.  John is just an Amazing carver.  I’m glad it’s finally all on display!

The cake with the handsome Birthday Boy on it!

Blowing out the candles!

John and his lovely wife, Kathy, Ralph’s sister.  They’re also celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  John’s tee-shirt is a picture of them on their honeymoon.  They were such a cute couple, and still are!

I couldn’t do a party post without some food.

I tried to be good…some potato salad, a little spinach dip with pumpernickel, carrots and celery  and lots of fruit salad.  Yum to all.  The Big Yum goes to the rice salad on the right of my plate.  It was Delicious! I asked the lady who made it, Linda, if she would e-mail me the recipe.  By the time I got home, the recipe had arrived!  I’ll hopefully be making it next week sometime and I’ll share it with all of you!

So that’s it for Father’s Day and for birthdays for a while.  I keep saying that, but another one keeps popping up!

Everyone enjoy your Father’s Day.  Hug your Dad while you can.

Happy Sunday, Happy Father’s Day!

Bracing for Another Birthday

I get teased a lot on BCDC regarding the fact that there seem to be so many birthdays in our family.  Well, brace yourself, Cookies…we’ve got another party today!  You’ll get all of the details tomorrow but for now just a few little tidbits.

I have long loved peanut butter on plain rice cakes.  Recently…

I’ve been getting the caramel corn rice cakes at Aldi and combining them with Aldi peanut butter.

The combo is SO good and I’ve had it the last 3 days in a row for lunch.  Something about the flavor combo I just love!

When I made my veggie combo on Thursday night, I remembered how much I enjoyed having grains, especially in salads.  I remembered that I had some bulgur wheat in the cabinet that I had never opened.  So….

“Cooked” it up.  Really all you need is 1 cup of bulgur and 2 cups of boiling water poured over the bulgur.  Just let it sit for about 15 minutes and it’s ready!  Made a salad of romaine, bulgur, celery, black beans, green and red bell pepper, scallions, celery and shredded cheese. 

Standard dressing with Dijon mustard.  Such a good dinner!  Very filling and healthy as can be.  Just found wasabi mustard in the fridge…forgot it…duh!  Can’t wait to taste dressing made with That!! 😉

Hopefully things go well at Weight Watchers.  Then I get to celebrate at the birthday party!

Happy Saturday!!

Pieces Of Days

Lately I have a hard time remembering what day it is.  It’s a good thing my phone Tells me or I might be at a total loss. 😉

But other than that… Things are good!

I love that so many people commented on my post about the book Holes.  I’ve gotten some suggestions for other Young Adult fiction and I would appreciate any suggestions you might like to make.  We all know that I NEED more books to read! 😉

I’m currently reading this..

Cage of Stars

Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard.  Got it at the Goodwill (of course) which is why it’s the large print version.  Don’t need that quite yet!  I wasn’t sure what I’d think but so far I’m enjoying it.  It’s written from the perspective of a 13-year-old girl whose family suffers a terrible tragedy.  It feels like a Young Adult novel.  I’ll keep you posted on what I think.

How about some food?!

I’m so excited that I found this at Aldi…pomegrante Kefir.  It’s tasty on its own and especially good in…

Overnight oats!  Half cup of oats, Half cup Kefir, Half cup almond milk, in the morning topped with home frozen blueberries and microwaved for 1.5 minutes.  So good.  The Kefir makes it a little juicier than if it was regular yogurt, and very tangy from the pomegranate flavor.  Really good!

I’m also very excited that Aldi now carries, fat-free half & half.  I picked some up.  They also have almond milk now too.  I haven’t tried it yet, I had just gotten some at Shoprite before I found it at Aldi.  Next time.

I really loved my Wednesday night dinner.

The assemblage… crock pot black beans, brown rice left over from the deconstructed veggie burgers, scallions, red and green bell pepper and shredded cheese.  Also olive oil to start and veggie broth and various spices…I always forget what I put in…:-(

So pretty and colorful while it’s cooking!

It was just delicious!  I’ve gotten out of the habit of making grains to go with my veggie combos.  I need to do that…they are much more filling that way.

So that’s my bits and pieces for today.  I need to get things done today!  As always on Friday, I’m wondering how I’ll do when I weigh in at Weight Watchers tomorrow.  It’s been a pretty good week.  I’ve written Everything down…even the things I wasn’t proud of…At the bottom of my WW journal for Wednesday I wrote…”Don’t Do That Again!”  That’s a family joke stemming from something little Michael said to Uncle Ralph.  A story for another day…

Happy Friday!!




Full of Holes

I guess just to cover my butt ( not that I’m superstitious or anything) I should thank the internet elves who seem to have corrected my WordPress problems.  It looks back to normal and yes I’m typing in a form that will become a post…couldn’t do that yesterday.  Thanks so much to my sweet friend, Kristen for her tireless efforts to keep me sane and try to help figure it out.  She knows how grateful I am.

Speaking of Kristen, she has recently gotten me into reading Young Adult fiction.  I’ve done The Hunger Games trilogy. I’ve read Uglies and will get my greedy fingers on Pretties on Saturday.  I’ve been thinking how I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of good YA fiction over the years.  Then Saturday took me to my favorite haunt…The Goodwill.  What did I find on the shelf…

Holes (Holes, #1)

Holes by Louis Sachar…and did I mention it only cost me 49 cents?! 😉

I remember hearing about this book only after a movie was made of it.  I picked this up on Saturday as I said, then I noticed that sometime between then and now the movie was on TV.  What a coincidence!  I didn’t watch it because I’d always rather read the book first.

I Started this Wednesday morning.  Not even really early Wednesday morning…I was finishing my previous book while doing my morning spin on the exercise bike.  I Started it Wednesday AM and finished it Wednesday PM.

I don’t think I’ve ever done that with a book, finished it in one day.  I LOVED THIS BOOK!!  It was a great story with clever twists (of course I didn’t realize until the end that I had missed a great big “if it was a bear it would have bit you” clue!) and very likeable characters.  I kept reading until my eyes were ready to pop because I wanted to know what happened.

I think that’s why over the past few months I’ve stopped reading various books.  I just didn’t care “what happened.”  I didn’t care enough about the characters to see if they got out of their situation or predicament or away from the evil doer.  In Holes, I cared.  Sachar gave me characters that were interesting and real enough that I wanted to know.  I need to remember that when I start writing my novel…make people care about the characters.  Yes…WHEN I write my novel.  Better start soon, I suppose! 😉

If you aren’t into Young Adult fiction that’s Ok.  But I’m not a big fan of labeling books into genres anyway.  If you’d like to read a good story, well written and intellegent…Read Holes!  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Happy Thursday!  Go Read A Book!!  Please…


WIAW~ A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

My issues with WordPress continue and I now seem to have to go to the WordPress web site in order to post…Isn’t that a treat?!?! 😦

Regardless of these issues, there is no CHANCE that I will miss the most exciting day of the week…What I Ate Wednesday!! Those of you in the know are aware that this is just about the most fun day of the week. It’s all under the careful direction of Jenn over at Peas & Crayons. So when you’re finished here, be sure to visit over at P&C to see what all the shouting is about! Here we go!!

Peas and Crayons

Now, again, I realize, we’re supposed to be talking about sensible snacking. Well, again, have no documented snacking. The trouble might be that I’ve been doing under the table snacking…undocumented means it didn’t happened. It’s been a bad week that way. I’ve got some good food shots…snacks or not!


After Ralph’s art class Monday morning, we went out for breakfast.  I tried to be good and I feel that I was with a wonderful big bowl of hot oatmeal.  This particular restaurant makes probably the best oatmeal in the area.  Topped with cinnamon…Yum!


Here was my first use of the “deconstructed” black bean burgers.  A simple salad with the “burger” mixed in.  The best feature was the dressing I tried.  Mixed my 1Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp of Honey and 1 and 1/2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar.  I added the juice of 1 lime, then a little dash of Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning.  It was SO good.  My new favorite!


Ok, here’s a snack!  A nice helping of the crock pot apples I made over the weekend smothered in fat free  vanilla yogurt.  Very tasty!

Ralph had a doctor’s appointment so afterwards, we headed to breakfast.


This is a special omelette with egg whites, broccoli, asparagus, onions and tomatoes accompanied by cottage cheese.  Very tasty and a good choice on Weight Watchers.

Now, with this next photo…keep in mind it was Ralph’s choice.  But it’s kind of fun because it proves a point…


This was a HUGE cookie, but as we all know….Broken Cookies Don’t Count!!  I had a tiny, tiny piece, but I don’t have to worry about it!! 😉

So that’s it for WIAW for me!  I normally do my WIAW post on Tuesday and set things up to post on Wednesday.  However, with my WordPress issues…I just realized the way I’m posting gives me no option for scheduling my post.  So my choice is either post it now or have to do all of this early Wednesday morning.  So those of you who follow me with find yourselves getting a second post on Tuesday.  Don’t worry…there is no extra charge for this.  It’s a Gift!!   Be sure to head on over to Peas & Crayons.  Lust after some delicious food, leave some comments.  Everyone will thank you for it!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!  Someone please help me with these WordPress issues because they never respond to me!!!  🙂  🙂

School Days~Deja Vu

I had an interesting and unique experience on Monday.  As I’ve mentioned on many occasions, Ralph is a wonderful artist.  I’ve shown examples of his work.  He was invited to teach a class in drawing to a group of 6th graders in our local grade school.

This was interesting on several levels.  This is the school I attended as a child and I just realized that I don’t think they call them “grade” schools anymore.  I think the accepted term is “middle” school.  Hmmm.  Old am I.  The school has changed a great deal over the years.  It has always been a highly rated school and my sister and Ele both felt we got a very good education there.  Many people in our town complain about how high our taxes are.  I’m among them but when I think of the fact that much of that goes to the school system, I shut up and remember my School Days.

I’m not going to reminisce about that too much at the moment.  One other interesting point is that the art teacher who invited Ralph to conduct the class used to be the Mayor of our town.  She conducted our wedding ceremony almost 12 years ago now.  Pretty Cool!

I had fun learning to use my little video camera that I purchased a few weeks ago.  I was able to capture most of the presentation, but I still have no clue how to upload the video here, so all you get are photos.  I had a hard time trying to get pictures unobtrusively from the back of the classroom without getting little faces in the photos, but I’ve done my best.


(I’m hoping this is posting properly because I’m having really weird issues with WordPress today.)

That’s Ralph doing his thing showing the young ones how to do fabulous things with pencils and markers.


Ralph, after the presentation…


He did all kinds of demonstrations and the kids were very attentive…for 6th graders!  He did a great job, as always!! It’s very funny in the video I took…because of the white board…White Board?  When I went to school, we had blackboards!  Anyway, because of the white board and the fact that he had a white shirt on…in the video he looks like a tiny disembodied head moving back and forth across the screen.  At least we have an record of it.  

He loves to teach children to draw and he’s so good at it.  I keep telling him he should advertise drawing/art lessons for children and adults.  He has so many good ideas about how to make it easy and fun for people to draw.  I keep saying I’m going to sit down and draw something based on what I’ve learned just from listening to him all these years.  I might be fun to try!

Due to the issues I’m having with WordPress today, I’m going to keep this short.  Hopefully, the internet elves with get this all fixed and it will be working better tomorrow.  

Happy Tuesday!!

Black Bean Burgers~A Girl Can Dream, Can’t She?

I approached my plan to make Black Bean Burgers with all good spirit and intentions.  I believe my problem was that I approached it with the wrong equipment.

I got all of my ingredients assembled…

I had everything I needed.  But then…

I was being lazy.  I have a full size food processor in the basement.  It was a gift to myself purchased with the gift card I received when I left my job.  It’s Never been unpacked because I have nowhere to store it in my kitchen.  I have a wonderfully, fully functional mini-processor that I purchased at the rummage sale for $1.oo.  Now cost has nothing to do with my choice.  If I had opened the big food processor…I would have had to find a place for it.  Understand my reluctance?  Anyway, I forged ahead…

It looked good, it Smelled good…

I even called the Big Purple Bowl into service.

I remember my sister, Ele telling me that when she made these the first time, they fell apart.  The second time they worked well because she put everything through the food processor.  That was my intention, but it didn’t work out.

Before baking…

After baking…

Hard to remove…

They ended up in a storage container.  I guess they’re sort of a “deconstructed” burger.  I won’t through them out because they taste quite delicious!  I’ll probably be using the fruits of my experiment on salads and in stir fries this week.   I think I’ll also hold off on posting the recipe until I have  a success with them.  Probably Next weekend I’ll make the effort to make them…the Right Way… 😦

Happy Monday!  If at first we don’t succeed… 😉