Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A not-so-sweet experiment

Hey, guess what these are:

flat, brittle meringue

Well, guess what they’re supposed to be…. 

Yeeeeah, that’s my first attempt at a Splenda-based meringue.  Probably not possible, but I had to see for myself.  I’ve never made real meringues before, so I had no idea what I was after to begin with.  Now I can say with certainty that this recipe didn’t work.  Maybe it was the fact that I used straight Splenda instead of the Baking Blend, or maybe because my vanilla had gone bad, but they turned out flat, brittle, and tasted like salt.  Plus, this recipe only required 15-20 minutes in the oven…that’s not typical, right?

Here’s an action shot of my 2nd batch made with this recipe from the Splenda website, though I did add about 2Tbls of real sugar to it, too.

fluffy, puffy meringue

Looking better already, huh?  These babies have about 20 more min before I turn off the oven and leave them overnight.  Stay tuned…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Viva la Vista and Newish Hobbies

I’ve got to fit into a bridesmaid dress in about 4 weeks, and as a result I haven’t been doing a whole lot in the kitchen as of late.  A lot of meat ‘n’ veggies and not much else…not very blogworthy.  Though today was an occasion for bending the rules – Viva la Vista – a food festival in downtown Columbia

It’s late September, officially autumn, and it was about 90° today.  I really wanted to try some nontraditional fare, but I wasn’t in the right mindset to stand in 90° heat and eat shrimp and grits.  Instead I went for comfort food (after I got a Shock Top upon arrival while waiting on my friend).   First I got a mini salted caramel chocolate cupcake from Cupcake.

mini salted caramel chocolate cupcake

Next was a bananas foster pudding dessert from Liberty Taproom and a 2nd beer – a Southern Tier Harvest Ale.

bananas foster and beer

About now was when I started thinking to myself, “hmm…maybe I should have some ‘real’ food instead of just sugar and alcohol…”  I wanted to try something I’d never had before, but none of the items sounded good since I was so uncomfortably hot and sweaty.  Chicken salad on half a croissant from Nonnah’s it was.

chicken salad croissant

We walked the entire length of the festival again before I decided I wanted a good ol’ fashioned slice of pizza from Mellow Mushroom.

pizza

And what better way to wash it down than strawberry cheesecake gelato from Peace, Love, & Rocky Roast?

strawberry cheesecake gelato

I’d have been more than fine without that pizza, but it just looked (and tasted) soooo gooooood.  I wish I had been in more of a mood to try off-the-wall stuff – there was a veggie sandwich and some blue cheese fries that looked to die for – but the weather today just SUCKED for a food festival in September.  Still, I’m looking forward to it again next year – it was a neat concept and a great way to check out some area restaurants I’ve never tried before!

In other news, I’m knitting again thanks to this chick:

Giuliana in sweater

She’s modeling the little shrug I made her, but it’ll take awhile until she’s able to fit into the sweater dress:

baby shrugbaby sweater dress

And I recently went pottery-painting with her and her parents.  I like being artsy again!pottery painting

I’m also into geocaching lately…do any of you do it?  Have you ever met up with a geocaching group or do you go on your own?  I’ve had some GPS issues on my phone, but when it actually works as it should, it’s fun!  What kinds of artistic things do you do to keep your mind busy?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How Katherine got her Groove Back

Well that’s a pretty presumptuous title…I’m starting to get my groove back.  First off, I’ve been walking/hiking a few times in the past couple of weeks – something way out of the ordinary for me given my sluggishness the past few months.  Then to really get the ball rolling, I Redboxed Zumba for Wii the other night.

Zumba for Wii

It took me a good 15 minutes to get loosened up (and shrug off the possibility that I could maaaaybe be seen through my blinds by passers-by…), but I did a good 45 minutes of this game, and it was fun!  I miss going to Zumba and walking out feeling all sweaty and sexy.  I am so self-conscious that my body is perpetually stiff; Zumba helped loosen my hips up a bit.  I might just have to buy this one!

I think that game got my momentum going, because I was found myself deliciously sore the next day and craving other forms of exercise.  I even got brave enough to join my boss at a pilates/yoga class at our gym Saturday morning (waaaaaay out of my comfort zone).  I anticipated something more akin to the yoga classes I miss so much from my old gym, but this was a faster-paced ass-kicker of a class.  There were a couple of times I thought I would pass out, but I felt like a million bucks for the rest of the day, and I think I’d like to go back. I need accountability, and I’ve set myself up for it with this class.  1) I talked to the teacher and told her I was new but familiar with yoga, and as a result, she kept her eye on me; 2) I obviously struggled the most out of everyone, 3) I told the teacher I’d like to come back, and 4) my buddy in the class is my bariatric doctor/boss…I’d feel like a turd if I wussed out.

Today I explored some trails in a nearby forest with my dog, and it felt so good to be out early in the morning getting fresh air in my lungs.  Then afterward, I was going to get a skinny iced latte at Starbucks but noticed they had PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES again!!! 

pumpkin spice latte

I thought they weren’t due for a couple more days!  So obviously I had to get one…I didn’t, however, have to get the slice of cinnamon loaf I got with it.  [sigh]

I’m experimenting in the kitchen again, too.  Yesterday I made a fig pizza again like last year (though I’ve switched to gluten-free crust!)

fig pizzafig pizza with arugula

tonight I made my favorite butternut squash soup, but I added some red pepper flakes.  Hooooo boy.

butternut squash soup

I also made a chicken dish – I sliced some chicken breasts and put in some sliced Mini Babybel cheese and sliced ham, and on top I poured a mixture of dry onion soup mix whisked with chicken broth and dijon mustard and let it bake for 45 minutes at 375°.

onion dijon chicken cordon bleu

So now that I’m sore and loving it, I’m motivated to keep it up (I’m tired of telling people “yeah, I’ve still got about 30 pounds to lose, just gotta get my head in the game,” and I’ve got some events coming up that I superficially want to look good for).  What’s more, a lot of our patients have asked me for good low-carb veggie recipes lately, and I feel the need to deliver.  Also, I’m excited to keep up this blogging accountability; I’ve missed everyone, and I miss being so aware of what I’m doing.  Disordered eating is such a secretive thing – perceiving my life in a public way (“how can I blog this?”) really helps me keep myself in check. 

Have you had to step away from blogging for awhile only to realize some surprising truths about yourself and/or blogging?  I’ve realized a lot of the food/fitness blogging/bloggers I followed months ago were extremely disordered, but I also realize that writing publicly about my efforts causes me to re-evaluate just how (un)healthy my habits are.