Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cookies and Burgers…What A Combo!

Well we are halfway through Cookie Season with only two weeks left (thank goodness!) and I am happy to update we are around the 700 box sold mark on FabPreteen’s quest for 1,000.DSCF0036 Yes, I have cookie boxes all over my living room!  Those are all full cases you see….but that is the last of what she needs to hit the mark!

A few more booths, a few more boxes, and then I can get back to my regularly scheduled blogging!

Honestly, I take tons of pictures for the blog, but by the time night comes and I am done with work and cookies (there is nothing else in my life right now!) I am totally and completely beyond pooped and the fingers just won’t work to eek out a post…let alone the brain put together something coherent!

That being said, it is the weekend and FabPreteen is at her dad’s this weekend which means no cookie booths for me and blog posts for you!

This week I really had some deeeeeelicious concoctions I whipped up while frantically trying to use up produce before it went bad!

Before I get into a few of those…I have to share the new and unusual veggie (for me) that came in my box this week!

I consider myself pretty worldly and knowledgeable when it comes to fruits and veggies…but this was new to me….and just adorable too!  It looks like a little flying saucer!

DSCF0009DSCF0008 It is a sunburst or patty pan squash!  I need to figure out what I want to do with them to enjoy them.  So far I have only cut up one into a pan of roasted veggies that I made this week.

But here is what I did with another squash I had…zucchini!  I have had these zukes in one of those green bags for more than two weeks now…those green bags are fantastic!  But they aren’t miraculous and the zucchinis were letting me know they need to be used up or else…so I made them into these:DSCF0004

These zucchini burgers were beyond deliciousness!  (I can’t believe this former 100% medium-rare beef-loving gal just said that!)

I grated up the zukes and let them drain while I chopped garlic and grated fresh romano cheese to put in there.  When the grated zucchini had drained, I hand squeezed large clumps of it so it was very dry, and then added the garlic, cheese, some panko bread crumbs, and an egg.

I formed these into burgers and fried them up.  No ketchup needed!!

I also had some organic potatoes that needed to be used…which I baked and we topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

And finally the ever present salad.  I get a head of lettuce and some for of tomatoes in every week’s produce box…as well as various other veggies that are perfect in salad…and so we always have salad to eat.  I don’t mind but I am not sure my family is of the same mindset at this point!DSCF0001I was pretty pleased with this dinner!!!!  Even though I am not having meat…I feel like I eat like a Queen and in great portions….and still lose weight!   Not too shabby!

And I never got to it earlier this week…but here was my box this week!DSCF8312 DSCF8311Bananas, apples, strawberries, mandarin oranges, raspberries, apples, lettuce, tomatoes, asparagus, the patty pan squash, avocado, kale, carrots, pears, mangoes, blueberries, dill, radishes…and more!

The bananas were incredible!  I have never seen such big fat bananas…DSCF0037Okay…besides the fact that the picture does not do the description justice at all…what weirdo posts a banana with a golf ball for comparison!

You will just have to take my word for it!!!

Have any of you been able to find an organic produce co-op near you?

A Tale Of The Scale

Because I am losing, the scale and I have actually been getting along quite well lately!   I am usually kind excited to see what good ole scale has to say to me many mornings.

But last month was a little frustrating…I was eating well, but hovering!  Grrrr!!!  I just couldn’t blast through the floor of 171 pounds!  I had a seriously vicious cycle going…up three or four pounds, down 1, down another, down again…the up…then down…then…I am sure you get this picture!

And then one morning, about three weeks ago, I hopped on the scale AND I WAS DOWN 7 POUNDS!  SEVEN!  Was this right?  Was something wrong with the scale?  How could this be? 

I really really really wanted it to be right of course!  I was kind of excited!!!  But I was a little afraid to give in to that excitement in case it was a fluke…this was SEVEN pounds! 

I stepped off the scale…then stepped back on.  SAME THING!  So good so far!  I tried one more time, off and then back on…I was still down!

Now I was feeling pretty good!  FabPreteen came downstairs and I hustled her over to the scale for a second consultation from an independent physical specimen….yes, I made her weigh herself!

SHE had not lost seven pounds!  She was still in the ballpark of where she had been…good for me…that meant my weight loss was a good possibility here! 

Now finally I allowed myself to be excited…and because I was so light, I floated through the day on cloud nine!!!


And then that evening, FabHubs said to me out of the blue, “Hey…did you weigh yourself this morning?  I was down about six pounds!”

Well with those words I immediately crashed back to earth!  Uh-Oh…was something wrong with the scale after all? 


So FabHubs, changed the battery and calibrated it…and made sure it was flat, and did all the technical things necessary to make sure the scale was doing its job the way it is supposed to.

And guess what…hee hee!  I am getting thinner!!!!

(Ummm…so is he apparently….I am the one who needs to lose weight and it is still dropping off of him faster than it is me!  MEN!)

Since that roller coaster of a day the scale and I have become really tight…it is my friend at the moment! 

Yes, it is showing better and better numbers each week…and while I know many of the competitors are blowing me away in weight loss…..I am looking forward to my Losing To Win weigh-in this month. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Tale Of Two Dinners, Indoors and Outdoors

First, sorry for my relative quietness!  With two camping weekends in a row, girl scout cookies, and work…I am hard pressed to get any sleep this past two weeks let alone get in the kitchen for cooking and on the computer for blogging!

Last Thursday though…as I sat in the doctor’s waiting room I flipped through one of the magazines in his office and found this delicious-looking recipe for a healthy beef stew!  I looked at this recipe and thought…I can vegetarianize this…AND we pretty much have all the ingredients for it from the produce box.  And so this was born:

I subbed out a package of store bought seitan for the beef,

DSCF8254 DSCF8255

When we got home from camping Sunday night we had big bowls of this for dinner.  I added some Boca Crumbles to make a little meatier tasting for FabHubs…and sprinkled some freshly-shredded parmesan on top. 

I still got the glare!  But to the rest of us it tasted so yummy! 

Friday night was back to the Everglades for us…this time with the Boy Scouts…and this time on a primitive piece of property in the middle of the Everglades. 

This is what we had  for running water:



I kid you not!  The boys (and adults) used this for drinking water and cooking and washing water.  We big city folk are definitely not used to this!

But we could get used to this….beautiful isn’t it!

DSCF8257 DSCF8258 DSCF8259 DSCF8260 DSCF8261

This little guy was right up next to the path.  This lady stood right over his tail while her family took, a picture of her!  I personally keep a wide berth and I have lived here my whole life!DSCF8262This this guy pulled the gator’s tail!  Mr. Gator was NOT happy.  He turned and hissed and looked at this guy…..And then we had to walk by him to continue on our way back to the car!  And I was NOT happy either!

DSCF8263 DSCF8264The sun was already setting when we started making dinner…     DSCF8269  And I thought I would show you the camping kitchens…these are the different kids’ kitchens:


DSCF8274 This is FabHubs and my personal camping kitchen…it is a bit messy as it was in use full blast all weekend!


FabHubs (and I) was the cook for the adults for the weekend, about 20 or so people.  FabHubs did the menu planning and shopping for the group, but I packed a bunch of my own food to make sure I was able to eat well…and eat healthy.  Our troop loves their meat and potatoes…and FabHubs was able to slip some healthiness into the meals, but still made it unhealthy enough for them to enjoy!

Breakfast did not get pictures taken as we were running behind and the group was hungry! 

FabHubs made his English Muffins from scratch and I worked on the eggs.  I sliced and diced red and green bell peppers, onions, and potatoes, which I cooked in a Dutch oven along with eggs and sausage.  Bulk pork sausage for the group…and a small Dutch Oven portion for me with Gimme Lean meatless sausage.  We melted cheese on top.  This along with the muffins and coffee….Divine!

After lunch I went on a small hike (see pictures above!) and we got back well after the time for lunch. Lunch was simple…fruits and sandwiches  but  I was not hungry from the big breakfast though so I never ate it!

Dinner was the major meal and FabHubs started on it right after lunch!   He wanted to make his “Better than Macaroni Grill” Italian rustic bread out there in the Dutch Ovens.  I didn’t get pictures of the process…but I managed to get some pictures of the finished product before it disappeared!  He made three loaves.   DSCF8292


It was GOOD!  I hadn’t had lunch and I ended up eating THREE slices!!!  Good thing I had only had fruit for lunch!

Our dinner menu was grilled chicken (FabHubs makes THE BEST!…even if I do not eat it anymore); green beans almandine; Caesar salad, and cowboy beans. 

My job was the green beans….I started out by getting some  help and then breaking all tips off of the beans and breaking them down into bite-sized pieces.



We got another group of adults to put the salad together:

DSCF8280 I melted some butter in the Dutch Oven and threw in a package of almonds to toast some:




Oddly enough, the green beans ended up being the last thing finished and we were waiting on them!   Here is what they looked like when cooking…there are hot coals on top of the lid and hot coals underneath to provide heat and cook what is inside!


FabHubs made the baked beans from scratch.   He had put the beans in to soak the night before.   My vegetarian version, however, got a little dried out!!!


He also grilled the chicken over the open fire.  I had tried to think ahead a little…see that silver looking thing on the top right corner of the grill?    That is my organic sweet potato I had brought from home…I wrapped it in foil and threw it on the grill so I would have something to eat…based on the looks of those beans above, it is a good thing I  did that!


 DSCF8286        We had some fun entertainment while we cooked!DSCF8303



And while our meal cooked, I walked around to see what the visiting pack was making:

Grilled eggplant and onions….I got the leftovers of this…YUMMY!

DSCF8300 Baked potatoes:




At some point around this time, someone calmly said to FabHubs, “Ummm…Mr. M**, your chicken is on fire.”  At which point FabHubs ran over to the fire pit to extinguish his chicken!

DSCF8299DSCF8294DSCF8295 DSCF8296The chicken was saved and was still good….so I hear!

This was my dinner!  The green beans were a huge hit and I was lucky to get myself a second portion!


I did sneak in a few oreos while there…but overall I managed to watch what I ate and of course the planning made a huge difference.

Monday morning the scale and I were still happy buds!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who Needs Workout…I’ve Got Cookies!

Hundreds of them to be exact (that is not exact is it!).

Yes..FabPreteen is on the quest to reach 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies sold and guess who is her support system.  DSCF8226I am getting tons of exercise lugging cases of cookies out of the house and into the car….lugging cases of cookies out of the car to the booth…packing up the booth  and back to the car…unloading the car and back into the house.  (This is Florida…you can’t leave the cookies in the car or they will melt!)

Don’t forget that heavy table, two chairs, and a cash box….and who needs to go to the gym, I just do the cookie mom workout!

Yesterday was a crazy day for me!  In addition to having back to back cookie booths from 3-9 p.m., I also had a organic produce delivery, work, and kids to deal with.  

My living room was unbelievable yesterday with 350 boxes of cookies and a few hundred pounds of produce to be sorted!

Needless to say I am quite exhausted….and my eating habits after 3 p.m. were less than stellar. 

Does splitting a box of Lemon Chalet Cremes with your daughter for dinner make me an awful mom?   I threw a couple of cheese sticks in there for protein.

When I got home at 10 pm I still had to put my own produce away, do the paperwork for it, work on the order for cookies for the girl scout troop for this weekend, and take care of the last day’s produce box pickup.  Yes…that late!

I finally stumbled to bed around 12:30 a.m. and got to get up at 6 a.m. this morning to do it all again.

Have I told you this is my favorite time of year?  (You are not reading any sarcasm there are you?)

I actually don’t mind all the work…I just need a few more hours in my day so I can fit some sleep in there as well.

In case you didn’t notice, produce was moved this week to Wednesday!  This week’s box contained a lot of wonderful goodies I don’t have a lot of experience with, such as turnips and parsnips, and look forward to making, along with some of my favorite staples, apples, bananas, pineapple, carrots, and  more…DSCF8248We got:

  • Leeks
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Yams
  • A head of Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Turnips
  • A bunch of Dill
  • A head of Romaine
  • Chard  (this was so pretty!)
  • Fennel (also very pretty)
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Tangerines
  • Gala apples
  • Pears
  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple

I was also supposed to get some mandarins and strawberries but took a trip north on a different truck…so I will get some of those next week!

This weekend I am camping again, this time not in those adorable Chickee dorms…but in a tent out with the Boy Scouts in a rough and primitive campground out in the Everglades!

I hope to be able to find time to prepare some food to bring so I have some healthy veggies to enjoy and so all of this won’t go bad!  FabHubs will be doing the cooking for the adults in the troop…but the troop is a huge meat crowd so that is what he will cooking for them and I will be on a lonely veggie quest, fending for myself!

Today it is work….and more cookies!  I sure look forward to getting some rest while camping this weekend!!!!