Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sesame Noodles with Chicken & Cucumbers
from Cooking Light Sept. 2009
8 oz uncooked dried udon noodles
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbs dark sesame oil
2 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. honey
2 tsp sambal oelek or chile paste with garlic
1/2 tsp. bottled ground fresh ginger (I used dried ginger)
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (I bought bone-in chicken breasts and shredded them)
2 medium cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced
6 Tb.s chopped green onions
3 Tbs. chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Cook noodles according to package instructions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Combine rice vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl, and stir with a whisk. Add noodles, chicken, and cucumbers to bowl; toss gently to coat.
Top with green onions and peanuts.
Yield 6 servings
(serving size 1 cup noodle mixture, 1 Tbs green onions and 1 1/2 Tbs. peanuts)
Calories 302; Fat 9.2 g; Protein 21.5 g; carb 32.6 g; fiber 3.1 g
"World's Greatest Hamburger"
Description We won the "Best of Show" at St Louis BBQ Cookoff. This was over ribs, loins, chicken and etc.
2 1/2 of ground sirloin
1/2 package of Lipton Onion Soup
3/8 cup of Country Bobs All Purpose Sauce
1 T Country Bobs Seasoning salt or other.
Combine all ingredients and grill. When serving top off with a T. of Country Bobs.
Eating out is not usually Weight Watcher friendly. Eating hamburgers and fries is almost never Weight Watcher friendly. So how can I try new restaurants, eat a burger and not feel guilty?! My plan: eat healthy and exercise all week and have the weekends "off." Eh, it may or may not work out. We'll see. I just hate guilt feelings while I'm trying to enjoy something. Know what I mean?
Let's begin the week's tour, shall we?
We were supposed to go to Latin class but Rachel was not feeling well. So we stayed home and didn't do much.
A while back a company contacted me and asked if they could send me some sauce to try for free. They said the magic word (FREE) so of course I said "yes."
Along with this sauce called Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce came a recipe booklet. We tried the one for the hamburgers.
These were truly some of the best burgers I've had. I don't generally like to order sauces online. I don't want to pay shipping and there are so many sauces at the grocery store. But Chuck told me that I needed to order some more of this stuff to keep on hand. It's sooooo good! I can see where you could use this in a lot of your savory dishes. I'm going to experiment with it. But trust me: it's VERY good. And it's only 25 calories per tablespoon and no fat. The ingredient list says it's "all natural."
And because I'm so sweet (and Country Bob sent me an extra bottle) I'm going to GIVE AWAY a bottle and recipe booklet to YOU! Just leave me a comment telling me that you'd like to have it and I'll have a drawing next Sunday and post the results.
Rachel had a class for high school homeschoolers (though she's in 8th grade they said it would be fine for her to attend) at the Houston Museum of Natural Science about the Terra Cotta Warriors (since they're having an exhibit right now) and Chinese culture. The museum was even bringing in a professor from Texas A&M to teach some parts of the class.
The weather was terrible that morning and I even went through some high water but we got there in time. It took the professor 3 hours to get there! Poor lady.
The class was awesome. She learned some Chinese, culture and painted a replica terra cotta warrior.
Rachel also won a Chinese lantern in a trivia game!
As part of the China study we did at home the kids painted "Ming" vases. Well, they're actually bowls.Wednesday:
Meh, nothing much going on except a big load of school work.
We all went on a 1 night stay to San Antonio. Just because. We had planned on going to homeschool day at SeaWorld but it turned out not to be such a great deal so we just went to San Antonio to hang out.
Ever hear of the TV show called Man vs. Food? Well, he went to this restaurant in San Antonio called LuLu's Bakery and Cafe so we decided to try it.
The building and atmosphere don't look like much. They have a sign out front that proudly boasts that they have been voted to have the best chicken fried steak in town.
Sooooo.........here is a visual of the SMALL chicken fried steak that I ordered complete with mashed potatoes (some of the best I've ever had), fried okra and a roll. All for under $10. And it really was some awesome chicken fried steak.
Afterwards we went downtown where we were going to go on a ghost tour but our guide stood us up. The kids were ticked off.
Got to see the Alamo. It's so pretty at night. Stirs something in the heart of this Texas girl.
Here are some Burmese pythons they have.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Here are some free samples of goodies for you to get!
Honey Nut Cheerios
Taster's Choice Coffee (6 flavors)
Wal Mart (a variety of samples to choose from)
Total Blueberry Pomegranate Cereal
Fiber One Cereal and $5 in coupons
Essence Perfume Sample
Nature Valley Trail Mix bar (you do have to sign up for a newsletter but you can cancel it at any time and enjoy your samples)
Bear Naked Granola Bar
A.C.T. Energy Drink
Enjoy! That should get you some good stuff coming in the mail. Now if we could only get some free wine samples.....
Here is what they asked me to do: take the stuff and blog about my experience. They also want me to include a link to them so you can get your free trial. Being the nonconformist that I am, I'm not going to include a link. Yet.
Sensa is not a pill but a powder. It comes in what looks to be a giant box of floss but it is split between "salty" and "sweet." You are supposed to sprinkle the salty side powder on your food that you would normally put salt and pepper on. You sprinkle the sweet side powder on stuff that is sweet. The powders themselves have no sweet or salty taste. The idea is that the smells will signal your brain that it's satisfied.
The ingredients are not impressive or dangerous sounding, otherwise I would not be willing to try it at all.
My thoughts are that it will not work at all. I just don't see how it could. So I have no expectations for this product. (Sorry, folks at Sensa. Thanks for the samples though!) Either way I'll tell you how it's going. I just started using it Saturday night.
Weight loss update: I have nothing to update. LOL OMG, it's so difficult to stay motivated and focused. But I saw a picture of myself and I realized that I need to get back to my dedication. Focus. Focus. Focus.
I also need to analyze my goals and why I do what I do. My main reason to lose weight is because the health risks to being overweight are just too great. I love my husband so much and I want to have as many years with him as I can. It seems that time is speeding by at the speed of light and I want to slow the clock down just a little bit.
My other reasons for losing weight include better self confidence, feel better, able to get cute clothes, and I want to accomplish this HUGE goal. It's a mountain to climb. A mountain of lard! LOL But I must never give up.
Food and recipes: nothing much to share this week. I mainly used stuff I already had in the freezer so it wasn't creative. One thing that we had for dinner that was fairly low cal and delicious was potato, egg, cheese and bacon breakfast tacos (or we call them taquitos). Just scramble some eggs and cook up some hash browns and center cut bacon. Add them and some low fat cheese to a low carb tortilla and you have a VERY yummy meal that satisfies. One of my favorites, actually.
This week was busy as usual.
Took our first Latin class. It was all Greek to me! :P It's pretty difficult but I think we'll be able to learn it.
Rachel had a chemistry class so Charlie and I did school at a fancy coffee shop called Minuti Coffee. The atmosphere must have agreed with him because he made perfect scores on everything including his spelling test, which he never does well on. Rachel LOVED her chemistry class.
First episode of Biggest Loser of the season! My heart about broke when that poor woman said she lost her family in a car accident. It even made Jillian cry! JILLIAN! Hell hath frozen over.
I know that not every one has warm and fuzzy feelings for Biggest Loser but it's a big motivator for me and my family. Every time we watch it we feel like we can also get in shape. Even the kids get in on the action. So for us it's a big help. I wish that none of them would get voted off. I don't really like the reality game show aspect of it. Glad to see Daniel back and getting another chance.
We're studying about ancient China so the kids painted their own Ming vases. I don't think they would fool an art dealer though. :)
Just ran errands all over town. Got NOTHING done at home. Charlie had PE at the Y.
Park Day with the homeschool group. The kids love park days.
For lunch we went to a Chinese buffet as a sort of field trip to go with our studies. It wasn't the best place we had ever eaten. They also had some weird stuff on the buffet like octopus and salty duck. Blech! We dared Charlie and Rachel to eat an octopus. We even offered $10 if they would eat it. Charlie accepted the challenge and ate a whole octopus. I almost lost my lunch. I did try a tentacle and it did not taste what I thought an octopus would taste like. It was kind of rubbery too. Charlie finished his octopus and was $10 richer for all of 30 minutes until we got to the dreaded Wal Mart.
Spent the morning at Sims Bayou Nature Center for the Family Nature Exploration Club kick off. It was so good to see my favorite chicken and they had lots of activities going on.
Me and Scooter the rooster.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Chuck was home from work so we skipped school. The kids were so disappointed. LOL (not really)
It was such a rainy day that we were not able to go on a hike that we had planned at Hudson Woods. We drove to Brazos Bend State Park and it wasn't raining there. Apparently it was only raining in patches here and there in the area.
Although it threatened to rain while we were there, we just got a few sprinkles. We were able to hike a trail and find a geocache that had eluded us on our last geocache search.
While on the trail around Hale Lake, this guy was nosing around for some food and got pretty close. Armadillos are such odd looking critters.
Chuck was home. I hate to do school when he's home. It seems like such a treat for the kids to have dad home during the week so we usually take the day off and do something fun and/or educational.
Today was rainy (again) so we decided to try a place we've never been called the Angleton Natatorium. Angleton is a town in Brazoria County and a natatorium is just a fancy indoor pool.
Let me tell you: this place was terrific! They had slides, lap pool, spray area with tipping buckets, hot tub and a lazy river. All indoors! The admission was cheap too.
Lots of rain still. We were lazy today and didn't do too much of anything. Chuck and the kids went to his parent's house for dinner but I had a headache so I stayed home and finished up my library book. Angels & Demons is a great story!
And 1 year ago on this day, the mighty Hurricane Ike hit. I'll never forget that night as the wind howled and the fence was being torn up and the trees were bending back and forth in half and touching the ground. It was a scary time and we all slept huddled in the living room as a family. The next morning I was so exhausted. Our house made it through ok but we did get some water damage upstairs from the driving wind sending rain into our ridge vents. Others lost their lives in the deadly storm. Bolivar and Galveston are still recovering to this day.
Before the storm hit, the sky turned purple and frogs started chirping everywhere. It was so odd. There was also a sweet smell in the air that I can't describe. Like a perfume or flowers almost. When the storm hit there was green lightning throughout the sky. We found out that it was transformers being blown across Houston. With the purples and pinks and greens it was an eerie night.
a non-venomous broad banded water snake. Hint: in Texas, if a snake has a round pupil it is not venomous. But that means you have to get close enough to actually see its pupils and we don't always want to do that!
A black bellied whistler duck and her progeny:
4 lbs pork roast(shoulder or butt)
2 large onions
1 cup ginger ale
1 (18 ounce) bottle favorite barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)
Slice one onion and place in crock pot.
Put in the roast and cover with the other onion, sliced. Pour over the ginger ale. Cover and cook on LOW for about 12 hours.
Remove the meat, strain and save the onions, discard all liquid. With two forks, shred the meat, discarding any remaining fat, bones or skin. Most of the fat will have melted away.
Return the shredded meat and the onions to the crock pot, stir in the barbecue sauce. Continue to cook for another 4 to 6 hours on LOW.
Serve with hamburger buns or rolls and additional barbecue sauce. Any leftovers freeze very well.
TIP: freeze ready-made sandwiches - a scoop of meat on a bun, well-wrapped. These make a great quick meal or snack. To reheat, remove wrapping, wrap in a paper towel, and zap 1-2 minute in the microwave.
Note: Shoulder or butt are recommended because the meat shreds very well. Other cuts do not shred as readily. It is a fattier cut, but the fat melts away in the cooking and is poured away when you discard the liquid.
Note 2: I have an older, smaller crock pot. The above times work perfectly for me. But if you have a newer or bigger crock pot, you may need to revise times downward, esp. after the bbq sauce is added. I think you need at least a couple of hours for it all to meld, but that may be all you need.
My notes: I used pork loin because it's leaner. I also used Cattlemen's Smokehouse BBQ sauce. It took me almost 3 bottles of barbecue sauce for that amount of meat. It made a TON of pulled pork.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I've decided to post at least once a week. I know it's not the every day posts that I was doing but honestly there just isn't a way for me to do it all. School and life just demand a lot of time.
Here is Rachel's school load:
- Classical Roots
- 3 math courses (Math-U-See, Life of Fred, Teaching Textbook)
- ancient history
- world religions
- cartoon/comic group & class
- once a month chemistry class
- once a month science/history class at museum of natural science
- weekly Latin class besides the one at home
That's a lot! I may have even forgotten something.
Much of my blog has been about health and losing weight. As I have been saving for taxes I have been looking for the least expensive meals to prepare to save as much money as possible. Have you noticed that the dollar just doesn't go as far as it used to?! What happened?
Unfortunately, the easiest way to stretch a dollar is with filler foods like rice or pasta. Not Weight Watcher friendly. But I'm trying to get creative to make items that will be low calorie, dollar stretchers that actually taste good.
Not exactly a dollar stretcher but I do have a fantastic recipe for pulled pork sandwiches that is out of this world. Can't wait to share.
I think I will be doing my posts on Sundays and see how that works out. So meet me back here Sunday and we'll chat and I'll share a recipe or two and we'll catch up.