Where is she now?

Well, it’s been nearly 6 (yes 6!) months since my last post, which is a little “OMG” ish right?  What’s happened in that amount of time?  I got back onto working on my weight loss, sans major exercise for now, but will be adding it within the next 2 months, and am on the new Weight Watchers Points Plus program.  They have this slick “Simple Start” system now where you don’t even count points, you just eat a very specific group of foods.

Weight Watchers logo

Does this mean that I’m not ordering from DietDirect again any time soon?  Absolutely not!  I love their products and they’ve NEVER screwed up an order for me, so I’ll keep ordering their products as as a great way for me to have my cake and eat it too!  I especially love the Crispy Fudge & Graham Meal Replacement bars, which net only 4 Points Plus on the Weight Watchers plan, so I can totally handle that (as opposed to the 8-15 Points Plus for a standard candybar).

My blog will still have the  Ideal Protein and alternative content on it, honestly that information was a pain in the butt to track down, so I’m not wiping it off the face of the earth just because I want to add new content to my blog.  So that’ll stay in place, although it won’t be updated really.

I re-joined Weight Watchers on January 4th, 2013 weighing in at 201.4 pounds (omg over 200!), over the next 5 weeks I have lost NEARLY 10 pounds, I’m at 192.6 right now, and am confident I’ll hit that 191.4 this upcoming Saturday when I weigh in.  The loss is slower than when I was on Ideal Protein, but I do find that I’m angry much less of the time 😉  I’m working with the Monthly Pass system, so it’s $42/month, but that gets me as many meetings as I’d like in the span of any given week, as well as the online E-tools.  What’s better, I don’t “have” to buy special food, I just have to eat smaller portions of food that’s not a fruit or vegetable (Weight Watchers points plus doesn’t count points for most fruits or vegetables, with a few exceptions).

So, that’s where I am now, the next step is starting to update my blog more regularly again, let’s see how that goes 😉

Low(er) Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

Tonight I was craving some comfort food, but not the calories and carbs that come along with it. So I took a stab in the dark and worked up some easy cookies.

1 cup Skippy Natural peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup flour

Mix the egg, sugar and peanut butter in a bowl, add flour little by little until the consistency is more cookie-dough-like. Trust me, it starts pretty watery. Once firmed up, drop by the spoonful on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Makes a dozen cookies. Note: these will hold their shape, so if they are funky shaped they’ll stay that way. Let them cool 5-10 minutes then chow down!!

I am not a baker by trade, so any feedback is appreciated.

Nutritional info:

1 cup of Skippy Natural Peanut Butter has 16 tablespoons, which converts to 8 servings.  The info below has all been multiplied by 8 to give an accurate “full” amount of the whole recipe.  The recipe makes roughly 12 cookies.

Serving Size2 Tbsp (32 g)
Servings Per Container13
Amount Per Serving
Calories190                                                   (1520)
Calories From Fat140  (1120)
% Daily Value*
Total Fat16g 128g
Saturated Fat3.5g 28g
Trans Fat0g
Cholesterol0mg 0%
Sodium150mg 1200mg
Total Carbohydrate6g 48g
Dietary Fiber2g 16g
Sugars3g  24g
Protein7g  56g
Add roughly 350 calories for sugar (yes, really, that’s a half a cup of sugar) 71 calories for the egg and we’re looking at (rounding up) a cool 1,000 calories for the batch of cookies.  Divide that by 12 and it’s less than 100 calories for a cookie.  Now, that may not sound that grand, BUT keep in mind the fact that this is

Recipe: Gaucho Steak & Roasted Poblanos


The page stared innocuously back at me from the book on the counter.  One would think a book would be innocent enough.  This, however, was different;  this was a cookbook.  The recipe was a trifecta:

  • Food I’ve never cooked with
  • Food I’ve been lead to believe tastes bad/weird
  • Required more than one pan to create
  • I gritted my teeth and creased the page.  The time was now.  I will become a better cook.  I will learn to cook outside of my comfort zone (my husband can only eat so much baked, crock-potted or fried chicken and pork chops), and I will brave the elements of foods I had previously thought as taboo.

Tonight’s meal consisted of the following ingredients:

  • 1 lb flank steak (I substituted a thin top round steak or something similar as the store was out of flank steaks)
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic (Cue the Dracula music, aside from Garlic Salt I never touch the stuff)
  • 3/4 tsp Cumin (Cumin, WHAT THE HELL IS CUMIN???)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt, separated (it’s salt, I can handle this)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil (Extra Virgin for me, it’s really the only way to go, somehow I think it is the protector of recipes everywhere, if you use EVOO, your odds of success increase by 65%)
  • Juice from one lime (Maybe  a little white-trashy, but I used that lime juice in the green little lime-shaped bottle from the store, it’ll last hell-a longer than the regular lime)
  • 1/2 cup of Feta Cheese (This was the scary part for me, why should cheese crumble? It shouldn’t, unless it’s moldy, or being eaten by Tom (Tom & Jerry Reference) so I was really freaked out by this)
  • 4 Poblano Peppers (I only roasted 3, and only cut up 2 so easily could have halved this amount)
  • 1 Red Onion, Large (Who doesn’t know how to dice an onion?  Well, I might not know the proper way, but I get it done, none the less)

Next, ALL these things happen at the same time, although the book tries to get sneaky about it, breaking it down.  Apparently the editor didn’t realize the reader might be a writing instructor who recognizes phrases like “Meanwhile” are the same as “At the same time”… So, screw the order of things, let’s look at what has to get done, ultimately:

  1. Roast the Poblano peppers for 5 minutes in a broiler, 5″ from the heat source.  Once they’re roasted, take them out, “skin” them (vegetable with clear skin, it sounds like an alien movie), and then chop them.
  2. Chop the onion, throw it in a medium-heated skillet along with the olive oil, or rather, olive oil, then onion, and add one of the two garlic cloves, but it has to be minced, and 1/4 tsp of the salt (alright, I just used a sprinkle).  (This was another fun adventure for me, “mincing” a 3D shape of a flower petal from hell, which slides all over the place and mocks my pitiful attempts at cutting the pieces into 1/16″ squares).  Cook the onion and garlic together until the onion is “soft”.  Not caramelized.  Caramelized is bad, although it’s really good, but it’s bad.
  3. Now, go back to those poblanos you recently skinned.  Toss them in with the onion and let them toss around a bit, then add your lime juice and some fresh cilantro (I had no cilantro, my grocery shopping skills are so inept) and cook “to heat”.
  4. Heat up a “raised grill” skillet to “medium high”.  I’m poor and don’t have a fancy skillet that has the cool little grill lines on it, so I used an electric griddle, yes, like the one you use to make pancakes on Saturday mornings.  Mince the second garlic clove and rub it into the steak, followed by the cumin and 1/4 tsp of the salt.  Massage it like you wish someone would do to you, showing it some real TLC, then drop that baby on the skillet, er, griddle…er…you know what I mean.  3-4 minutes on each side or until the middle is a piping hot 145 degrees F and you are in business!  Oh wait, not done yet.  Flip it, flop it, and drop it on a plate.  Wait 5 minutes (as my tastebuds scream BUT IT IS GETTING COLD!) and the slice it across the fibers, so perpendicular to the lines of fat/tendons etc (as opposed to parallel, back to math class we go, eh?) into 12 strips and place it on a platter (or in my place, two dinner plates)
  5. Top the steak strips with the veggie mix, then polish it off with the cheese on top.
  6. Take a moment to admire the beauty, update your will, and proceed to devour the plate, serving size is 4 (3 pieces of meat + 1/2 cup veggies)

My review?  My preconceptions about Feta cheese were unwarranted.  Sure, it’s weird on a salad, but when combine as a layer of flavor, it’s amazing.  Poblano peppers, which I had never used before, are totally going to become a staple in my kitchen.  Cumin is NOT a weird spice, it seems to put the “Gaucho” in the steak.  And last, but not least, the trifecta did not defeat me.  Although I have not done the dishes yet, the other two points of the trifecta have bowed in defeat, and my mouth smiled in victory tonight.

Eat on, my friends, eat on.

WW Points Plus Value: 6 points / serving

It’s a New Year and a New Adventure!

Jessica Simpson lost 60 pounds on Weight Watchers PointsPlus

The new year might have started out yesterday, but I feel like I’m starting out a new me as of today.

For those of you keeping tabs, the scale of death informed me last week I had crept back up to 180.2!  Let’s talk about devastation, or more likely, the stages of grief.  I was in denial, I begged, I bribed, and now I made it through to acceptance.

Does it suck?  Yes.

Is this a setback? Yes.

Have I learned from this? Yes.

What have I learned? Get off my darn high horse and realize that just like everyone else, I am merely mortal.  I had considered going back on Ideal Protein, but unfortunately have realized with the addition of cooking for my husband, it’s going to make more sense this time around to do Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

I’ve lost on this program before, although I was never willing to incorporate exercise.  For the record, I’m still trying to determine how they stretched a 4-letter word out into an 8 letter word, it’s two 4-letter words crammed together in my personal opinion, and is doubly bad compared to the rest of those 4-letter words!

So, as soon as my next paycheck arrives, I’ll be driving to the local supermarket and picking up my favorite high-fiber, low calorie breads (Oh Sara Lee Simply Honey Wheat, it’ll be nice having you back in my home), vegetables (onions, bell peppers, and probably some I’ve never tried nor can pronounce), fruits (huge challenge for me to eat fruit) and lean meats (no problems there, but I always seem to cook the same meal).  Finally, it’ll be time for “The Extras”.  Those seasonings that people say they have in their “staples” category for their home.  Taragon?  Parsley?  Parsnip? Is there a difference? Catnip? I don’t know!

I’ve dug out my cookbooks (yes, they have dust on them) and am planning on cooking some sort of dinner every night for the next 3 days.  I’ll focus on day # 4 when I get there, for now, 3 is a good place to start.  Last night was pork chops in a cream-of-onion soup base, which I then put onto Hungry Jack Potato spuds.  Yeah yeah, spuds = duds but they were fewer carbs and calories than my preferred Stovetop Stuffing, so nyeh!

On the fun side of all this transitioning, I’ll get to start adding new recipes that I’ve tried and liked to my blog, hooray!  Although that might mean another breakdown of the pages, which I’m dreading…I can’t lie, dread, dread, dreading!  Or worse, stepping away from the pre-made WordPress blog set up and moving over to a more HTML/CSS style website…

That just about put me into anaphylactic shock, we’ll stick with this layout…for now.