Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful x2

November 5, 2010:
I'm thankful for afternoon snuggles with Eddie, and our pooch Dora who likes to butt in.  But I'm also thankful for Dora sandwiches, cuz she gives some pretty good snuggles herself!

November 6, 2010:

I am also thankful for Walmart's Halloween selection being $1 or less so that I could get this sweet butterfly princess costume for my cat!  Also thankful that Princess Prettygirl has a pretty good cat sense of humor & allowed me to put this ridiculous costume on her with very little protest!!!  (It only stayed on about 5 minutes, I don't torture my cat, I promise!).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Progress & Thankful Day 4

Today I am thankful for support and partnership in my weight loss journey, especially from this guy!  Eddie joined WW with me last week and he had an amazing week eating on plan.  So amazing that he earned the snake at our meeting tonight!  The person who loses the most weight at the meeting that week gets to take the snake home.  Two weeks ago, I got the snake, and tonight, he got to proudly take it home--with a whopping 8.4 pounds lost!  So proud of him & thankful for him!

I also had a pretty good week and had a good loss to show for it.  Though I did battle a bit with the Halloween candy, I still put up 3.4 pounds lost on the scale this week.  This also put me below a weight that I was hoping to see disappear soon, and I"m so glad that it's a goner!  I'm down a little over 7 pounds from my May starting weight (remember, I had to lose that chunk I gained over the summer, so thankfully all that is just about gone!) and Eddie's down a little over 8 pounds.  We both got to celebrate with our 5 pound star stickers tonight!

Here's to another good, on-plan week!   

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tart Apple Pork + Thankful Day 3

Today I'm thankful for my big kitchen & amazing Calphalon pans that we got as a wedding gift from my aunt.  We could have never afforded them on our own, and they're wonderful!  I'm finding myself doing more cooking lately, and I'm so glad I have the space to do it (and a husband that cleans it for me from time to time!)
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Tonight I decided to give another new recipe a try.  This is from, and while I modified it to make more servings (and it altered the points amount), the recipe I'm posting is straight from the WW website.

Tart Apple Pork (4 servings/6 points each)
16 oz lean boneless pork chop, center-cut, trimmed of all visible fat
1 Tbsp rosemary, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp thyme, fresh, chopped
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tsp canola oil
2 medium apple(s), Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 large onion(s), thinly sliced
2/3 cup(s) apple juice, unsweetened variety
2 Tbsp honey mustard

Sprinkle the chops with the rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until browned and cooked through, 4–5 minutes on each side; transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the apple juice and honey mustard; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Return chops to pan and cook, turning once, to heat through, about 2 minutes. Yields 1 chop with 1⁄2 cup apple mixture per serving.
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What I did differently: I used the generic "crystal lite" that was apple flavored, rather than buy apple juice that we wouldn't drink.  I thickened the sauce a little with 1 tbsp flour (I didn't have cornstarch or I would have used that).  I also used more pork, so I doubled most things.  The recipe as written yields 4 servings, at 6 points each though.

This was pretty good.  I was hesitant, as I'm not usually one to care for cooked fruit (I don't like fruit pies, generally), and I'm also pretty picky about honey mustard, because I don't really like mustard.  This turned out all right though.  Eddie ate it up & said he'd definately have it again.  I think I would too.  The pork chops by themselves were really good too, with the salt/pepper/rosemary/thyme on it, and I'd probably have them by themselves sometime too, because I really enjoyed the flavor of it.  Overall, a success.  It was easy to make, it just took about 40 minutes of active cooking/preparation in the kitchen... not a recipe that you can just pop in the oven and forget. 

Pork isn't something I often think about getting, but I do enjoy it when I take the time to make it!  What are your favorite pork recipes?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

When the husband and I visited the pumpkin patch last week, the produce was all half price.  This meant that spaghetti squash were only $2, which was cheaper than I'd seen them before when I'd considered buying them.  I'd never tried them, but everywhere I read said that it was a great, healthy alternative to actual spaghetti, and that there was hardly any difference in taste/texture.  Let me just say that I was quite nervous to try this... I get in a comfort zone with my foods and hesitate to try new things sometimes.  I also have a very "meat & potatoes" husband, so convincing him that we should try this was a feat.  He agreed to try it, so we purchased two.  And tonight I gave it a try.

First, you cut your spaghetti squash in half, long-ways.  It's pretty firm, so try not to cut a finger off in the process.  Next, take a spoon and scoop out all the seeds in the center.  Place face-down on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  (sidenote--next time I'd cook mine a little longer because I had 4 halves on a cookie sheet & I don't think the heat distributed evenly; some parts were a little more firm)

Once they're finished cooking, fluff out the "spaghetti" gently with a fork.  It'll look something like this:
We tossed a couple tablespoons of butter in the spaghetti with some salad tongs, as recommended by a few recipes. It smelled pretty good at this point, but I was still pretty nervous.  The shells will look like this when they're scraped clean:
While the squash is cooking, I made my own sauce, which I've posted about before... I usually do some variation of the same type of chunky marinara--canned seasoned tomatoes of some sort, onion, garlic, spinach, etc.  I basically just make it to taste.  I also like to add parmesan & sometimes shrimp, which I did tonight.

Once both the squash & sauce were finished, all that was left to do was add the squash to our bowls, top with sauce, and give it a try...

The verdict from my husband?

He gave it a definate thumbs up!  He couldn't tell the difference between the spaghetti squash and regular spaghetti!  I wasn't AS sold on the spaghetti squash has he was, but I would try it again.  I'm a big texture person, so that was my only problem... the texture was a little more firm than I thought it would be, and that may just mean I need to cook it longer next time.  It also looks like sourkraut, which I don't like, so I tried not to look at it much.  LOL.  Next time I think I'd also just use a jar of pasta sauce so that it coats the "noodles" better, as I think that would help with my texture issue.

Overall, not a bad meal... and totally low in calories/points.  If you didn't put the shrimp in it like I did, it's a completely vegetarian meal!  You could certainly use meat sauce if you wanted, but that would add to the calories/fat.  With just veggies or shrimp, it's only 2-3 points per serving, which is definately pretty awesome for a huge bowl of "pasta"!

Any other recipes for spaghetti squash that you've tried & liked?  Link up!

Thankful Day 2

Thankful for my freedom & the right to vote!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Giving Thanks & A Recipe

Considering this is November, and November means Thanksgiving, I'm going to take a stab at being thankful for things all month.  A blog pal of mine that I've had for a few years started a "thankful" blog awhile back, and I really like that idea.  I'm going to join her, at least for November, in posting daily about something I'm thankful for.  (This also coincides with November being "blog posting" month, where bloggers attempt to post once daily for the month, so I'll be working towards that goal as well!)

Today (and every day) I'm thankful that I get to wake up next to this face every day.  Every day is made better because he's in my life.

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Now, a recipe!  Nothing too original here, just a twist on a classic, Sloppy Joe's

We're trying to use up some of the food in our house that's been around for awhile & gets pushed to the back of the cabinet, and this weekend I found a can of Manwich.  I'm not a huge fan of the stuff, but Eddie loves it, so I decided we'd make sloppy joe's tonight, but a version that's a little different than just meat & sauce on a bun.

Sloppy Joe's (35 points for entire recipe)
1 pound ground beef
1 can Manwich
2 medium onions, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 c. spinach, chopped
1/2 c. chopped carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped

1. Saute all veggies in small amount of olive oil.  When all veggies are cooked & tender, remove from heat & place to the side.
2.  Brown ground beef (or turkey) and drain any excess grease.  Add veggies back to the mixture, then add the sauce & heat through.
3.  Serve in low-calorie pitas or low-calorie buns of your choice.  (I prefer pitas because they are less messy!)

Not a very difficult recipe, just a little twist on an old favorite!