I’m so lost

I don’t even know where to begin. At the beginning you say? Fine, except I really don’t know where that is. My weight is such an issue. I’m depressed and loathe seeing myself in the mirror or, god-forbid, a photograph. I feel….desperate…lost…confused. I have tried so many things over the years and the only one to give me the best success was eating low carb. See, my struggle with weight is much like an alcoholic’s struggle with the bottle. I can say this because my mother is an alcoholic and I’ve witnessed first-hand her battle to quit harming herself with booze. It’s tough and, while I do not drink, I do eat. My self-medication is food and I will use it and abuse it like nobody’s business. Now though, I’m actually afraid. I’m afraid that my health is going to get to a place of no return and I will die at an early age. It would be devastating for my boys to lose their mother so now is the time for me to get my shit together. Even though Thanksgiving, with all it’s glorious, carb-laden side dishes is right around the corner I have to do something. Even though Christmas, with it’s stocking’s full of chocolate bounty, is only a short time away, I have to do something. I am unable to do a modified portion size lifestyle. That just doesn’t work for me. I have to go back to doing low carb.

This time, low carb eating is going to be different. I’m going to do it differently in the respect that I’m not going to eat a bunch of fake foods to replace the ones I’m omitting. I will only use artificial sweetners in my tea or in a sauce if need be and I’m not going to eat a bunch of candy full of sugar alcohols. Believe me when I say this alone will make my family happy. My low carb days were some of the gassiest in history, all because of sugar alcohols. TMI. Sorry.

I will continue to document my journey and hope you will continue to join me. This site is about food and eating, too, and even though I’m cutting out flour-based meals and desserts, I’m still going to get my delicious grub on.

Now, I’m off to make up a meal plan for the upcoming week. I have roasted red pepper soup on my mind and may have to whip up a batch!!!

Anonymous - I’m not sure where you live, but maybe you could find a support group for people that are struggling like you are. I think that maybe if you had a “buddy” that you could give and get support from you both could make a difference in each other lives. If no group, than post an ad in the newspaper or grocery store bulletin board. Who knows what great things could happen??!!

carri - Oh Evie! I am right there with ya girl!

This whole health scare has scared the crap out of me. But food has always been my drug of choice.

This whole counting saturated fat grams has been the key for me I think. I am eating what I want as long I keep within my limits of fat. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be. My Cooking Light subscription has come in quite handy.

And since I started seeing results in the weight loss department very quickly, it has been even easier to stick to.

I don’t know much about low carb, but if it worked for you before, I say go for it!

Joie de vivre - Good luck. My mother has had success on the low carb and she attributes it to NO artificial sweetener. She weaned herself off of the taste for sweet and that made it all the easier for her. I look forward to reading your progress. Keep trying. Remember, meal by meal, day by day.

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Foodbuzz Publisher Community Launches!

Wow, isn’t this exciting?! I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community! Here is a copy of the press release:

“LAUNCH OF GLOBAL FOODBUZZ BLOGGER COMMUNITY
LEVERAGES REAL-PEOPLE, REAL-TIME POWER OF FOOD PUBLISHING

San Francisco – October 13, 2008: Foodbuzz, Inc., officially inaugurates its food blogger community with more than 1,000 blog partners, a global food blogging event and an online platform that captures the real-people, real-time power of food publishing in every corner of the world. At launch, the Foodbuzz community ranks as one of the top-10 Internet destinations for food and dining (Quantcast), with bloggers based in 45 countries and 863 cities serving up daily food content.
“Food bloggers are at the forefront of reality publishing and the dramatic growth of new media has redefined how food enthusiasts access tasty content,” said Doug Collister, Executive Vice President of Foodbuzz, Inc. “Food bloggers are the new breed of local food experts and at any minute of the day, Foodbuzz is there to help capture the immediacy of their hands-on experiences, be it a memorable restaurant meal, a trip to the farmers market, or a special home-cooked meal.”
Foodbuzz is the only online community with content created exclusively by food bloggers and rated by foodies. The site offers more than 20,000 pieces of new food and dining content weekly, including recipes, photos, blog posts, videos and restaurant reviews. Members decide the “tastiness” of each piece of content by voting and “buzz” the most popular posts to the top of the daily menu of submissions. Foodbuzz currently logs over 13 million monthly page views and over three million monthly unique visitors.
“Our goal is to be the number-one online source of quality food and dining content by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz, Inc.

The Foodbuzz blogger community is growing at a rate of 40 percent per month driven by strong growth in existing partner blogs and the addition of over 100 new blogs per month. “The Foodbuzz.com Web site is like the stock of a great soup. The Web site provides the base or backbone for bloggers to interact as a community, contribute content, and have that content buzzed by their peers,” said Mr. Dehan.
Global Blogging Event
Demonstrating the talent and scope of the Foodbuzz community, 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs offered online food enthusiasts an international, virtual street festival of food and diversity. The new feature showcased blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz partner bloggers chronicling events occurring around the globe during a 24 hour period and included:
• Mid-Autumn Festival Banquest (New York, NY)
• The “Found on Foodbuzz” 24-Item Tasting Menu (San Francisco, CA)
• Aussie BBQ Bonanza – Celebrating Diversity (Sydney, Australia)
• The Four Corners of Carolina BBQ Road Trip (Charleston, SC)
• Criminal Tastes – An Illegal Supper (Crested Butte, CO)
• From Matambre to Empanadas: An Argentine Dinner (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
• A Sweet Trompe l’oeil (Seattle, WA)

“24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs” captures the quality and unique local perspective of our food bloggers and shared it with the world,” said Ryan Stern, Director of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community. “It illustrates exactly what the future of food publishing is all about – real food, experienced by real people, shared real-time.”
About Foodbuzz, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, Foodbuzz, Inc., launched its beta Web site, foodbuzz.com, in 2007. In less than a year, Fooduzz.com and its community of over 1,000 exclusive partner food blogs have grown into an extended online property that reaches more than three million users. “

Please go to Foodbuzz.com and check out what the “buzz” is all about!

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Sharking

That’s what I call it when I keep going into the kitchen and looking for something to eat repeatedly, without finding anything. I keep circling the kitchen, and circling the kitchen until I’m so hungry I’m ready to take a bite out of the fridge itself to see if it tastes good. Thankfully, these days, my sharking has been cut back extensively. I’ve been eating good food, in proper small portions, and haven’t been snacking in-between meals. Now though, I’m sharking in a different way – via the internet.

Yes, now I circle the world wide web looking for new and delicious recipes to try. Especially since the holidays are right around the corner, I want to experiment and try some new things. The holidays always find me mired down in the regulars but this year, I’m going to step out of the box and try something new. If you know of any websites that have some wonderful things I might try, please feel free to leave a link here. I just don’t want Green Bean Casserole this year. GASP!!! Did those words actually just escape my fingertips?? Blasphemy, I tell you. Long has GBC been one of my favorite foods, indeed I am known in my family for making it better than anyone else. A strange feat considering the ingredients but HEY! I’m going to take the accolades however I can get them, okay?

Somethings for which I’d like recipes are:

  • different way to prepare sweet potatoes, my new love
  • brussels sprouts
  • stuffing (I use my mom’s cornbread dressing recipe which is to die for but want to try something else)
  • zucchini, squash, broccoli, or cauliflower

I am looking for things to make completely from scratch. No soup-in-a-can-casseroles for me this year. Nope, I’m trying to go old school which will without a doubt be a lot more work but I want to take on the challenge of seeing if I can do it. Any websites or recipes you can point me towards are greatly appreciated. Now, if you will excuse me, I’ve got some googling to do.

Jill - I have some yummy recipes. If any of these sound good, I’ll send you the recipes. Cherry & Sausage stuffing, Hash brown casserole, sweet potato casserole, banana split cake and Pumpkin Gooey Cake. We love all of these! Now I am hungry for the holidays to get here.

EC - jill, all of those sound delicious! Can I have all of them or is that just beyond gluttinous? LOL

carri - I made a stuffing with pomegranate a couple of years ago. I loosely based it on something from Martha, but I didn’t write it down so I don’t really know what the recipe is.

That same year, I made a Pumpkin Gooey Cake by Paula Deen. That thing was the most sinful thing I think I have ever had pass through my lips.

I wouldn’t mind having that hash brown casserole that Jill mentioned up there too!

Joie de vivre - Good for you girl! Step out of your comfort zone. You will be so glad you did. Even the thought of green bean casserole makes me want to gag a little. There are so many different things out there! How about a butternut squash soup? Or even fresh green beans with butter and garlic? I’ll be posting my holiday plans on my site closer to Thanksgiving but there is so much out there that I know you’ll have no trouble finding something. Good luck!

Joie de vivre - P.S. I think I also am “sharking” on the internet. It’s healthier physically and you need something to fill the void once filled by food. In French Women Don’t Get Fat, the author calls these things your “en cas”. Your “in case” of emergency things. So now instead of mindlessly eating, I spend my time really planning and thinking and blogging and taking pictures of and enjoying my food so much more than before, and in the process, eating less. Don’t feel guilty about your internet “sharking”. You’re doing great.

betty75 - I just got the best magazine last night which I will be getting a subscription to. Food Network is now putting out a their own zine and the first issue is full of wonderful holiday recipes. I know what you mean about wanting something new for the holidays. For Thanksgiving, I’m making spinach gratin and pineapple upside down pumpkin gingerbread. I needed something other than regular old pumpkin pie. You should take a look at this mag though. Lots of yummy side dishes to try.

Micki - I have found some great cook from scratch recipes at http://www.recipezaar.com. There are lots of soup-can-to-casserole recipes to sort through, but Recipezaar is my go-to site for great ideas.

I wish you well on your journey. I have struggled with my weight all my life… and I love, love, love your sharking analogy… it’s perfect!

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OMG People

Last night, I decided to get a little jiggy with my menu. See, I tend to be one of those people who gets in a cooking rut and will cook the same things week after week. It’s easy for me to blame it on my husband’s work schedule but I’m not going to do that anymore. I want to step out and experiment in the kitchen, get adventurous! Last night was the first step down that path.

While out and about yesterday I stopped off at one of our more chichi grocery stores and bought 2 snow crab clusters. Sean and I spent last weekend in MD and had some of the best crab we’ve ever eaten and I wanted to try and fix it myself. What I didn’t know about the snow crab you buy at a store is that it’s already fully cooked, just frozen afterwards so all you’re really doing is heating it up. Ok, so that sounds like a no-brainer! I’m liking it already! I asked the butcher how it should be prepared and he said I had my choice of either boiling the clusters for a few minutes or baking them at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. I chose to boil them. This is so simple, y’all.

Take these ingredients here:
snow crab

and place them in a large stockpot filled 3/4 full with water. Don’t use the whole container of Old Bay, only use about 1/2 cup. Bring the water and Old Bay to a boil and add the crab to the pot, boil for about 5-7 minutes and voila! Crab legs! They were really delicious, easy, and low on the mess in the kitchen. Serve with melted butter and you will think you’ve died and gone to heaven. I must confess that, although I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter, Sean and I really ate most of the crab plain. It’s so sweet and delicate that it doesn’t need much adornment. I was quite pleased with how it turned out!

Fast forward to breakfast this morning. No, it didn’t involve crab at all, just pancakes. Buttermilk pancakes that is. A couple of nights ago, the boys and I were watching “Good Eats” on Food TV with Alton Brown and he was showing viewers how to make the perfect pancake. Admittedly my pancakes always just turn out so-so, as a result I watched the episode with interest. This morning I was inspired to make some buttermilk pancakes and by using some of Alton’s tips they were the best I’ve ever made!! Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
3 Tbs sugar (i used turbinado sugar)
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

If you have a countertop griddle with a thermometer setting, bully for you! I don’t so I had to heat up a large skillet, sprayed lightly with Pam and then wiped clean. If you’re one of the lucky saps with a griddle, heat it to 350 degrees.

In the meantime, mix together the egg, 1 1/2 cup of buttermilk, vanilla extract, and oil in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, place the 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour. Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry and mix, counting to 10. According to Alton, over-mixing is the reason pancakes turn out badly so I was very carfeul NOT to over-mix! The batter was still lumpy but that was ok. It was a little too thick and I didn’t catch it until I got the first few cakes in the pan. I went back and added a splash or two of buttermilk to thin the batter out and the results were beautiful!

pancakes

See how thick they are? Yummmm. I used a cookie dough scoop to measure out my batter in the pan so this recipe made at least 24 small pancakes. I served myself three, topped with pure maple syrup…

pancakes and syrup
No, that’s not butter on top, it’s the reflection of the light over my stove. These were so moist they didn’t need a lick of butter. My only complaint was they were a touch gummy. Anyone know why that might be? Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know!

carri - Whenever I use regular flour in my pancakes they always end up gummy. I use whole wheat pastry flour. Since it isn’t self-rising, I add a teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup of flour. The whole wheat gives the pancakes a nice nutty flavor that I really enjoy and I don’t seem to get the gumminess that I get with regular flour.

I have never cooked crab before. You make it sound so incredibly easy.

EC - Hmm. I will try the whole wheat next time and see if it makes a difference. They weren’t bad gummy, just the barest hint.

Girl, I hadn’t ever cooked crab before and it was easy. If you’re nervous about it, you can always go the oven baked route instead. I’m going to try that next time and see how they turn out. If I can do it, you can do it!!

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Pork Tenderloin

Have you ever prepared Pork tenderloin? many people are intimidated about cooking pork because, let’s face it. It can get pretty dry if you don’t do it right and, there have been many, many, times when I didn’t do it right. But a couple of nights ago, I prepared the most juicy, succulent pork tenderloin I’ve ever cooked.

When I buy the meat at the store, it comes in a package with two long pieces. I take the “tail” end, where it tapers down to a thin narrow strip and fold it under, tying it off with some cooking twine to insure even doneness. Is that a word? I don’t know. I’m not a pro, people. Anyway, usually, I season the meat with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, and herbs de provence, then sear all sides in a pan, and then put the pan in the oven to finish it off. Well, this time, I only seasoned it with some garlic salt, pepper, herbs de provence, put it in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes and took it out when the temp read about 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. I let it rest for about 15 minutes and people? Let me tell you, this was the best pork tenderloin I’ve ever eaten. it was perfectly cooked all the way through and each piece was so tender and juicy I thought my husband was going to ask me to marry him all over again. It was that good. If you haven’t tried this cut of meat, do it ASAP. You will not be sorry. It is also a pleasantly nutritious meat. here are the facts for a 3 oz serving, roasted:

Amount Per Serving
Calories
122
Calories from Fat
27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
3.0g
5%
Saturated Fat
1.0g
5%
Trans Fat
0.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat
0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat
1.1g
Cholesterol
62mg
21%
Sodium
48mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates
0.0g
0%
Protein
22.2g

Serve it with some wild rice cooked in beef broth and some steamed broccoli topped with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper and you’ve got a winner of a meal.

On the personal front, I have been doing quite well with getting back on track with portions and eating whole foods instead of processed. So far so good!!

carri - 1.0g saturated fat!!! This is why I am confused about why all the books I’ve been reading say not to eat pork. I think I’m going to just start looking at the fat grams myself thank you very much.

This sounds delicious. I’ve never cooked pork tenderloin before. I’ll see if I can find some on sale soon and try this out.

EC - Carri, you will love it! Another thing I like to do it take a knife, insert through the bottom and put small slits along there. Then I insert slices of garlic clove and then roast it to 170 degrees. Delicious!

I think pork tenderloin is one of the most delicious cuts of pork you can get! Let me know if you try it!

Mama Podkayne - Oh yeah. That cut is divine. We grill it. Actually, we get similar results with a cut called Iowa Chop. We soak it in a sugar/salt brine and then broil it.

Delicious.

EC - Mama P, oh how I wish I had a grill. Ours blew up this spring and we haven’t yet replaced it. You don’t know how much you grill until it’s gone!

Teresa Cordero Cordell - Evie, the pork tenderloin sounds delicious. If your husband was that impressed to ask you to marry him all over again, I think I’ll try it with mine. 🙂 Great job. I love pork.

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