Recipe Review: Debby’s Fried Rice

Just a quickie. I mention this recipe so frequently that it doesn’t really need a review. But I happened to have the bowl of rice on the stove right next to the veggies I was cooking, and I thought it provided a good perspective on the rice to vegetable ratio. You don’t really need a lot of rice to make it a very satisfying dish.

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And I’ll just mention again that this is a very versatile recipe. You can use almost any vegetables that you like and that you happen to have on hand, and I always use whatever pre-cooked meat I have available in the freezer.

This batch was so easy to make. I used part of a bag of cole slaw (shredded cabbage,) the last of a bag of shredded carrots, and some frozen peas. Oh, and one small onion. That’s the only veggie chopping I had to do! For meat I used a couple of chicken drumsticks and some ham. I didn’t have a whole egg, so I used 1/2 cup of egg beaters. Done! Four large, very satisfying servings for only 250 calories each!

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Click here for the recipe for Debby’s Fried Rice.

Still Here, Still Under Construction

I don’t really have anything profound to say. And there isn’t a lot to show you on the construction, but I thought I’d share a few photos that show what I’ve been doing for the last week or so.

Every day the contractor comes and works steadily. I like so much how he works. So calm. He even has a calming influence on Noah! But there is still a LOT to do. And I keep adding on to the things I want done. He is very orderly, though, and wants to finish the studio before moving on to any of my other add-on jobs.

So one day when I was out driving an older neighbor lady around to do some of her chores, she wanted to drop some clothes off at the thrift store. Its not one of the thrift stores I frequent, so imagine my surprise when I walked in and here was “the chair of my dreams!” I thought about it overnight, and then went back and got it the next day. It is very large, soft, and cozy.

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So long-time readers know how important color is to me, right? And you know how I think I’m pretty good with color, right? I mean, I dyed fiber and yarn, and could pretty much create any color I could think of. So do you know how frustrating it was when I couldn’t find the exact colors I wanted? I even tried mixing my own colors a little bit. And then I think I got a little addicted to buying those sample cans of paint. I’m not kidding, I’ve got about 20 sample cans out there. I lost sleep over worrying about choosing the right colors. My biggest worry was choosing the right color for the exterior of the house. Because that’s a big job to get wrong.

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Do you all know the website Houzz.com? It was really helpful–they just have TONS of pictures on there. I could google “painted exterior entry doors,” and there would be hundreds of pics of painted doors. DSCN0827

So I won’t tell you my final choices, and I’m not sure the final choices are even in those pictures. I’ll wait and take pictures of the house and walls actually painted.

Here’s an embarrassing funny picture. See that duct tape on the sliding glass door? Yes, I lived with that stupid sliding glass door with only duct tape and no handle for over fifteen  years. And the tracks for the door didn’t work right either. And that was the main door I used to enter and leave the house. I think that’s how I got the tendonitis–trying to get the stupid door open. I don’t know why I lived with it so long. Indecision?

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So here’s the new door between the living room and the studio. Its SO FUN to open a door with a real door knob. And to have the door open without any effort at all LOL.

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And here’s the room with drywall done. He put some texture on on Friday afternoon. I don’t really like texture too much. Oh well.

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Well, me and the contractor have had the weekend off, so we will be back to our regular routine for the next five days. I am surprised that I can actually get on with my regular routine (to a certain extent) with someone working here all the time. I’m not sleeping all that well, but I’m not stress eating, and I am getting in plenty of exercise (more than usual afternoon escapes to the gym!)

Recipe Review: Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins

That darn Facebook! People are always posting “recipes I can’t try” on there! The other day I saw a recipe for breakfast muffins and it reminded me of an oldy but goodie of mine–Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins. 

And hey! I had all the ingredients right in the house. Or so I thought. Also, as I looked at the recipe, I thought–why were you so skimpy with the ham? So I changed it up a bit-increasing the ham from 1/4 cup to a whole cup. Oh, and then I forgot I was out of oatmeal (had already made a batch of Shelley’s Hippie Granola that morning–yummmm.) And I only had one egg. Never you mind, I am the queen of substitutions. Some of which work, and some which don’t. These worked marvelously. I used oat bran instead of oatmeal and sub’d egg beaters for one of the eggs. Oh, and I wanted to make a “dinner sized muffin” so I made six big muffins instead of 8 smaller ones. And I baked them for 30 minutes instead of 25 minutes. Don’t worry–I’ll post all the changes on the actual recipe. To tell you how old this recipe is, I only listed points instead of calories. These new larger muffins come in at about 150 calories and 12 grams of protein. A very good deal indeed. And oh so delicious! For dinner I had one muffin with some of that Kale super foods salad from Costco.

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Hope you are having a wonderful relaxing weekend! These would also be a great “Sunday Brunch” item. This is one of my healthy recipes that I’m pretty sure the mainstream would enjoy, so its a good one to share with friends.

Try Something New!

If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you are probably well aware of my fondness for things that stay the same. I like the familiar. I like routine. It feels safe and comfortable. Ha! You might be thinking that this building/remodeling project must be pretty uncomfortable for debby. You just might be right about that!

That might be one reason I have not strayed from something that IS the same and familiar to me–going to they gym for a workout on a regular basis. I love my gym routine–20 minutes on the bike, 20 minutes upstairs on the weights, and finishing with 20 minutes on the bike. Its familiar, and feels safe and comfortable.

One day last week there was a notice at the sign-in desk for a new class that was starting. Of course the “burn hundreds of calories” claim piqued my interest. But it also mentioned working with free weights, something I would like to do more of. The notice said the class was being led by a certified personal trainer. “Is that you?” I asked the young man at the desk. He is one of the nicest people working in that gym. We chatted a bit, and I said I’d come to the class on Friday.

Well, Friday rolled around and I was still having my “issues” with paint color. I was determined to get my “final” paint color samples mixed. I headed down to town to do that, and then planned to go to the new exercise class. But I was running a little late… maybe I will have to skip the class. It went pretty well at the first paint store. But I needed to go to the second paint store. I glanced at my watch–3:45. I could get to the new class right on time or I could justify skipping it. I NEEDED those paint colors. I turned in the direction of the gym.

I LOVED the new class. Small size (me and five other people,) GREAT instruction, and a HUGE challenge (but not so much that I couldn’t move the next day.) It made me feel good about myself all weekend.

Try something new. Its good for your body, and surprisingly good for your mind.

Recipe Review: Bare Bones Scones

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It has gone through a number of revisions, and this is the one I created last year when I was attempting to make some new, lighter breakfasts. Its still based on my “Best New Blueberry Scones” recipe, but with a few of the bells and whistles cut out to get the calorie count down to 155 per scone. And just in case you’re wondering, these are nice sized scones. I notice that a lot of “low cal” scone recipes just make the portion size smaller. That’s one way to go. Its just not the way I prefer to go : )

I usually make these scones with blueberries. Bleuberries are easy to work with either fresh or frozen. But for this batch I had a basket of particularly lovely raspberries in the fridge. I probably wouldn’t try making the scones with frozen raspberries–they are too delicate.

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The recipe for the Bare Bones Scones is here.

Sometimes I enjoy my scone with a cup of tea in my favorite Christmas present:

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And Then There was Insulation

Man, I am tired. It seems like I’m not doing that much every day. But every day I am just exhausted. I think part of it is emotional exhaustion. Its exciting to see the studio progress. Its frustrating to be having this much trouble picking out paint colors (for both the inside and the outside.) Its fun to watch the construction progress.

It was super fun to have this stuff arrive today!

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The hardwood flooring! It has to sit in the house for at least 3 days to get acclimated.

I was so happy to take a few boards out of the box and see that I liked it even more than I did at the store! It is natural acacia.

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I can’t say enough good things about my contractor. I was telling him how much I admire the way he works. He never seems to be in a hurry, and yet at the end of each day there is another huge amount of progress to be seen. He said “the secret is to do it right the first time.” Ha! Seems that might be a lesson a lot of us could apply in life.

And in between I continue to choose a couple of areas to clear out/clean up/put away every day. I went through a CD cabinet and got rid of 90% of the CD’s (and empty CD jackets) yesterday. That cabinet will be a great place to store all the little tools I use in my sewing and other handwork. Today I put away all the rest of my Christmas stuff. That might not seem like much to most of you, but I am the person who is putting Christmas away the first of March! And, if you can believe it, I am going to the gym at least every other day, and taking Noah for a walk every evening before it gets dark!

Here is the most current view of the studio. You might not be able to see it, but I am particularly happy about all the electrical outlets. He put extra electricity in every outlet, so I should not have any trouble with things shorting out. There is even going to be an electrical outlet in the center of the floor. I thought of that, because I know there will be a work station there, and that is probably where I will also do most of the ironing.

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What you can’t see is the trailer load of sheet rock that is waiting right outside. That goes up tomorrow. Oh, and the doors will be here tomorrow! Very exciting.

This is where there was a window from the living room to the covered deck. I never liked it there. So now it will be filled in and there will be more wall space.

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And that is the end of my story for tonight. I am off to bed to dream of furniture arrangements and paint colors. Yes, that is what I dream about every night. Now I know why I’m so exhausted!

AIM: Winter Maintenance

This sign, that our friend Lynn found, got all of us AIMer’s thinking about the hazards of winter weight loss maintenance.

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I do hear people talking about how hard it is to lose or maintain weight loss in cold weather. Comfort food and all that jazz. But just think about it. Winter is at least 25 per cent of the year (and in some places it lasts longer than that!) If you are not working on your weight loss or maintenance for 25% of the time, no matter what time of the year, you are not going to be successful. That’s just the way it is.

Before I started losing weight (nine years ago this month!) I was ALL about the comfort food. Pretty much everything I ate was comfort food, and I was good at figuring out how to make my favorite foods. No holds barred! I still remember when I realized that fat was the key to deliciousness (not sure why it wasn’t until I was an adult that I figured this out.) Everything was better with MORE! FAT! on it. It was VERY comforting. Until it wasn’t. Because, darn it, at 255 pounds it wasn’t even comfortable to sit in my favorite chair. That’s just not right.

So when I started Weight Watchers in January 2005, I thought there were foods I could never have again. And then I learned–hey, if you’re willing to learn and adjust your tastes and expectations, you can still have the essence of that comfort food and it can be a regular part of your diet! That was a good day when I discovered that. The best example I can think of is my mom’s beef stew. I just thought anything with gravy was out forever. And then I learned that you could still thicken the sauce with a minimum of fat, measure the flour or corn starch that you use to thicken it, and bump up the veggies to meat ratio, so you can still have a nice sized serving.

My scones have undergone a complete metamorphosis! The original recipe (which was delicious and COMFORTING,) used white flour and heavy cream. I’ve tried a lot of different versions, but my current scone recipe, which uses rice flour, oatmeal, and greek yogurt is my favorite, and is also the lowest calorie version. The key I learned there was to add a LOT more fruit to make the scones seem luxurious and satisfying. I ate these scones all last winter while I was losing 25 pounds.

The sign is EXACTLY right. If you choose to take the route of “NO WINTER MAINTENANCE” you will indeed be”TRAVELING AT YOUR OWN RISK.” Don’t do it. Its just not that comfortable.

This month we’re asking you to participate in our post with an “Ask Us Almost Anything” feature. Just click here, and you’ll be directed to a survey where you can ask whatever you’d like about long term weight loss maintenance. It will be fun to see what topics you all come up with.

Be sure to check out my friends for their views on winter maintenance. I’m pretty sure they might have something different to say about the risks and rewards of traveling this rocky road of weight loss maintenance.

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet