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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dinner, Deviled eggs and basketball

Last night was the 4th of the NBA play-off games between the Dallas Mavericks (Woo Hoo!) and the Miami Heat (Booooo). I invited a friend over to watch the game with my husband and I since we're all fans. I started off by making two dozen deviled eggs. My friend and husband are both deviled egg fanatics. What I do is very simple and delicious. They both said that they were the best deviled eggs they have ever tasted. This is what I did:

I'm going to be very descriptive since I used to be incapable of boiling eggs. This is no longer true, but in case you are, here you go...

                                              Kam Jo's Delicious Deviled Eggs


Eggs (duh)
Mayo (I like the Kraft Mayo with olive oil, it tastes the same and saves you a lot of fat)

1. Place however many eggs in large pot that you plan on boiling. Fill pot enough to sufficiently cover the eggs.
2. Put pot on stove. Turn stove on high and watch the eggs.
3. As soon as they start boiling, set timer for 10 minutes.
4. As soon as the timer goes off, take the pot off the heat and drain the water (be careful of steam)
5. Cover eggs with cold water. Let them cool for about 30 minutes. (Eggs are much easier to peel when they have cooled off. (I learned this on the first dozen)
6. Peel all eggs.
7. Cut the eggs into halves.
8. Remove yolk from eggs and place in bowl.
9. Set egg whites on plate or tray that you will serve them on.
10. Using a spoon, mash the egg yolks.
11. Add about three or four heaping  tablespoons of mayo to egg yolks. This amount varies, depending on how much you like. As long as the yolk is creamy, you're good to go. Don't put to much. You can always add more but you cannot remove the mayo once it's mixed in. (Always remember this).. This amount will depend on how much eggs you are cooking.
12. You will add a significantly less amount of mustard than you did mayo. The mayo is for the creamy consistency. The mustard will give it some flavor. Add in two tablespoon increments and taste to see how you like it. Once you like the taste, stop adding mustard. (Don't eat to much, save some for the eggs.)
13. Add salt and pepper to taste. Don't be shy on this, especially with the salt.
14. Spoon the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Be sure not to put too much in one egg so you don't run out of yolk mixture.
15. Sprinkle paprika on top of eggs.
16. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. (Or eat immediately)

For dinner we had baked chicken with a side of rice and sliced tomatoes. I bought some drumsticks and boneless skinless chicken thighs. I used Zatarain's Bake & Crisp chicken breading. I coated the chicken using a beaten egg and covered it with the Zatarain's. The directions are on the box but the total cooking time was 40 minutes. Boneless chicken is baked for 20 minutes and bone in chicken is baked for 40 minutes. Flip chicken half way through baking and you have some delicious baked chicken.


By the way, weight update, I weighed myself today (after eating) and I'm down to 170. And I have entered in a weight loss competition at work. I plan on winning. That's all for now. Let me figure out what I am going to cook tonight and then make a trip to the gym. (I'm off today)

Oh and the Mavericks won! Yay! : )

Thursday, May 12, 2011

So Far So Good

Despite the doubts that everyone had for me, I have managed to maintain my goal of eating mostly real foods. I have actually not eaten out in a restaurant since I've started this quest. O.k., there was one exception. I had to go out for margaritas on Cinco De Mayo so I did eat out at a Mexican food place. Other than that, I have done quite well.

Breakfast has been mostly the same, homemade granola bars, smoothies and Russian apple cake. These are great for a fast breakfast. Since I have to be at work by 6am, I don't want to spend any more time in the morning than I have to. I have these items prepared the night before so that I can grab them and leave.

After Cinco De Mayo, I went right back to where I was. I had a leftover beef brisket, which yes, was purchased at the grocery store pre-made. But hey, I'm trying not to waste food here. I chopped up the brisket into cubes, added some Kraft Original BBQ sauce and put it in my slow cooker. It didn't take long for it to heat up and be ready for sandwiches. We had chopped beef sandwiches for dinner along with some Bush's Grillin Beans (once again, I don't want to throw away food), and some homemade potato salad. There are many variations on making potato salad but I like to keep it simple. Here is what I did:

1 can of whole potatoes (chopped)
Green olives (substitute for pickles if you're not an olive fan)
Salt and pepper to taste

This is much better when done with fresh potatoes but since I was in a pinch, I used the canned ones. Mix mayonnaise with potatoes. Don't use too much or it will be watery. Then add mustard. You don't need much, just enough to wear it looks slightly yellow. Add as many olives or pickles as you want. This depends on how picklely you want your potato salad to taste. Then top it off with salt and pepper. You can add some paprika if you desire.

I apologize for my vagueness in writing the recipe. I've never actually written one down so bare with me. I'll get better.

Last night, I had a craving for omelets. I made a ham, cheddar, mushroom and onion omelet. I actually didn't eat it because I'm not a fan of mushrooms or onions but my husband said it was tasty. (Pictures to follow)

I then noticed that three of my bananas were going bad. They were very ripe and too mushy to eat. I decided to make some banana bread. Here's the recipe I used:

1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flour
3/4 cup fine graham cracker crumbs (I left this out because I didn't have any)
2 Tbsp. ground baking chocolate (I ground up some chocolate chips and this worked out fine)
2 Tsp. baking powder
1 Tsp. baking soda
1/2 Tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of ripe bananas, mashed (I used 3 bananas)

Combine pecans with flour, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Cram butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in mashed bananas until mixture is smooth. Stir in pecan mixture. Spoon into greased and floured 5 x 9 in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour or until well done. (This was a little too long for my oven so watch it closely) Turn out onto wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

This was a real simple recipe. I cannot remember the source I got it from.

That is my update of what has been going on in my kitchen. As you've noticed, I'm integrating real food with the processed food that I already had. Oh and by the way, so far I have lost five pounds. I have not changed my level of physical activity. So far, a success.

I have to work this evening so I will probably grab a sandwich or some soup at work. However, I am off tomorrow so I will have all day for cooking. Who knows what I will come up with.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Operation "Real Food"

As most people know, American consumers are bombarded with choices. We can choose our brands of cars, electronics, neighborhoods, jobs, schools, and food. I have always been the person who will go to the grocery store and grab whatever chemistry experiment in a box that looks edible and be on my way.

Over the past few years, I have put on forty pounds. I don't look really fat but I am definitely thick. This may be because I am getting older and my metabolism is no longer what is used to be. Rather than accept the fact that I am destined to be another fat American and wallow in self pity, I've decided to do something about it.

The first step I did was consult my friend, who is a food connoisseur. She can cook just about anything and loves to eat. Ironically, she is skinny. I asked her to take on the challenge of being my personal dietitian. She accepted and our project began with a trip to the grocery store.

She noticed my kitchen was full of processed foods that were not "real food", which would contribute to my weight problem. She went through the store with me and we were both surprised at how much food was not actual food. Most common foods that we buy every day are nothing but crap. Apparently the food that is optimal to eat are the ones in which you can pronounce all of the ingredients and preferably have very little ingredients.

The next challenge was to start cooking. We rearranged my kitchen and got to work. We ate poached shrimp, quinoa, and tomato and spinach soup. I had never tried quinoa, but it was very tasty. We have spent the past few days cooking and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. If you knew me, this is something that you would never expect to hear. My husband, as well as most of my friends do not think this will last. I must prove them wrong.

So the adventure begins...more to come.