Seeing it again, for the first time

I went for a motorcycle ride with Martin yesterday and it reminded me of how much I love to be on the bike. I drive some of these roads in my car, but when you’re on the bike, it’s like you are seeing landscapes for the first time. Looking around, while on the back of his 1100 V-Star, is looking through a panoramic lens. A lens that includes not just sight but all the other senses. Driving on Woodbine, in Keswick, I smelled fried chicken (thanks KFC), but driving through Udora at dinner time was the smokey scent of a backyard BBQ.

Enjoying a day on the bike
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Great Neighbours & Delicious Food

Seventeen years ago, my husband and I made the best decision of our lives. We decided to move to Keswick and have been thankful every day since. Sometimes when I describe my neighbours to others that I know, the most common reaction is “must be nice”. A lot of my stories involve food, like this tasty dish here:

Delicious white fish with vegetables in a foil wrap
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Why I take cooking classes

To learn new recipes and techniques. These are great reasons. But it’s more than that for me. The first time I went, it was to learn new appetizer recipes for the Christmas season. It was a great experience. But ultimately it was lonely. I wanted to share with my friends. It would have been great to turn to someone you know and say “We’ve got to make these the next time we get together”. So the next time I went, it was with a friend. Thank you Jean for signing us up for the Mexican interactive cooking class (circa 2017).

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Comfort food & Low CArb, wait … WHAT?

Who would have believed it, but yes, you can have comfort food and it can be low in carbohydrates. I’ve spent the last few months researching and creating recipes that both taste good and have low carbs. There have been many successes, like the lasagna stuffed Portobello mushrooms, creamy chicken with bacon and of course Zucchini cheese casserole. But yesterday I made chili and cornbread, that my family LOVED.

Butter Bob’s Famous Chili
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Dieting for over 30 years

I joked with my husband today, saying that I could write a book, about this journey (I’m blogging so that counts). He asked about a time when I was happy with a weight loss tool. My first response was with Weight Watchers, I lost a significant amount of weight and I was super proud of myself. However I gained it back. His next question was “what about Curves”, yes I did that too. This got me thinking. I had done these things and more …

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Always looking for different ways

One of the quickest meals to make in my family are sandwiches.  We love them.  Fresh bread, butter, mayo, deli meat and cheese.  Just to name one.  But in our house, we do it differently.  We can never leave it at just that.  Often playing with different breads, spices, cheeses and adding onions, roasted peppers or sauteed mushrooms. 

Today I made a sandwich for my husband and I had fun with it.  A grilled provolone cheese with crispy bacon, tomatoes, caramelized onions and harvest bread. (Sorry no pics, it was eaten pretty quickly).  BUT, I wanted to eat too and unfortunately, I am cutting down on my carbs.  So I made this:

Tomato Bacon Melts

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Stop telling me about it and tell me how to do it!

I love food.  I talk about food, alot.  I believe that you can add descriptive words to make someone want to eat what you are making.  For instance, lemon pepper chicken wings turns into crispy chicken wings seasoned with tangy lemon pepper, will get more people to the table.  But if you are hungry, I guess just saying “dinner is ready” works well too.

Recently I started describing a few dishes that I’ve been making and I keep getting requests on how to make these recipes, so here goes. Continue reading “Stop telling me about it and tell me how to do it!”

Say it ain’t so …. summer? Almost gone? No …

I’m “that” person.  Who, you ask? I’m the one that doesn’t like Sunday’s because they sit so close to Monday.  But my feeling of doom doesn’t end there, nope.  It’s now the end of August and for me that means I’m already feeling like summer is over.  Usually this feeling will last for a couple of weeks.  A melancholy, that I’m sure exists because I feel like I’m “losing” something.  Of which I am.  The Sun. Cue song …..

“WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS” BY GREEN DAY

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I eat pizza

On May 25th, I decided to go all in with Keto.  Up until now I’ve tried recipes that are Keto friendly but I was apprehensive to go full out.  But that day, I got on the scale, glanced at the numbers as they resolved on the display and started researching.  One thing I’ve learned the last 7 weeks is to change my wording from “I can’t eat … ” to “I don’t eat …”.  It makes difference.  For instance, I don’t eat flour but that doesn’t mean I don’t eat pizza!!!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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Eat with your eyes, not really, but in theory

I was reading a post on Humanthology by Ashley McCormack about eating with your eyes.  When talking to her father about why he spent so much time making the food look nice on the plate, he replied, “Because first, you taste with your eyes.”

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve heard this before and it so true.  Just last week, I made a Fish Pie and while it tasted great, it didn’t look very good.  My family only ate about half.  But wait, that’s not all the story.  So, I may get the plating of the food nailed down, but what about that next step?  Taking the food photo.  For the most part I’ve focused on the actual dishes, but lately I’ve wanted to just be able to take a better picture.  Then it happened. I got advice that I actually took.  Thanks to my friend Angie (one of my ESO guild-mates, who lives in NC) who recommended that I purchase a photo box.

Polaroid Photo Studio

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Doing something different with the Chicken

I wanted to try a new salad this week, something less complicated, which is hard since I feel like you need to have a lot of ingredients to really get all the health benefits.  But after some searching I found Autumn, over at It’s Autumns Life.  I did a basic search for: Chicken Keto and up came this delicious looking salad.  So, I had to try it.

Keto friendly – Chicken Pesto Salad

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Breakfast is the most important meal

So is lunch, dinner and snacks.  I cannot even tell you how much time I spend thinking about every meal and what impact certain food has to my journey.  I scour websites looking for recipes, usually I look at the images first because if it doesn’t look good, chances are it doesn’t taste good.  I test those out that make the short list.  Here’s a breakfast that looks great and taste amazing.

Savory Egg Muffins – Mushroom, ham and cheese

 

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How’s the diet going?

Do you cringe when someone asks you that question?  If so, then you are probably in a rut like me.  If not, well then, congratulations and keep up the excellent work.  But like I’ve said before, this is a “journey”, it’s about the experiences and not the finish line.  This isn’t a race.  That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like to hit the fast-forward button and just land my butt on a beach in a bathing suit (the kind without a skirt attached). 

 

Me and Rachel in Dominican last year for her wedding.

As you know, my oldest son, Josh is leaving in less than a week to join the Army.  He will begin basic training and we won’t see him for quite a long time.  I’ve always relied on the fact that Josh is honest with me, he tells me about his life and what’s going on with him.  Maybe not all his 22yr old secrets, but I’m sure I don’t want to know them anyways. 

Josh and I, a couple of years ago

But he caught me off guard yesterday.  He walked into the game room, I was playing Xbox and he sat down to ask me how I was doing with my plan.  Was I eating well and when was the last time I went to the gym.  Now most people wouldn’t have the nerve to ask these questions, because you just don’t bring that up to people, at least you don’t if it’s obvious that they have fallen off the wagon.  But not Josh.  So, I answered as best as a I could.  My answers sounded weak to me, but they were honest.

Food?  Well, I eat mostly healthy, up until dinner and snack time.  I’ve allowed copious amounts of carbs to sneak onto my plate and I sometimes have a late carb laden snack.  But it’s summer and well, I’ve just gotten off track.  (um, well true, but technically it’s September now, so what’s the plan?)  He pretty much asked me that follow up.  So, I said that I would focus on getting back to cutting out the carbs. 

Exercise? About that.  Well, I really love the gym I go to, but I’ve had some family stuff that I’ve been dealing with and making time to fit my schedule to the gym has been very difficult.  I want to get the basement gym back into shape and work out like I used to, with some yoga added.  So again, I told him that this too would change and I would make time for me.

It’s not always comfortable to be asked how you’re doing (be it a home improvement project, diet, blog, project or any task that you’ve told people about) but think about why it makes you a little sick to your stomach to answer the question.  My guess?  Well, you’ve probably let your progress slide, maybe stalled or even gone a few steps backward.  It’s OK.  Just stand up, brush off the dust (or crumbs) and get back to making better choices.

Maybe the next time my husband asks me how my blog is doing, I won’t grimace and mumble that it’s fine.  But instead tell him to go check out my last post.

Karenlee

“Plan for tomorrow, because tomorrow you won’t have time”

“I could make this” … famous words

I’m sure that I’m not the only one that says this.  Let me set the scene, you’re out at a restaurant, eating a great meal and you say to (yourself) or the people that you’re with “I could make this”.  My kids are so used to me saying this that they now offer up the suggestion.  Often starting a conversation with ” hey mom, you could make this into a salad jar right?”  Well, challenge accepted. I SUPER love East Side Mario’s (ESM) Garden Salad.  We don’t have an ESM near us (but hey, we have four, count’em – Mary Browns, Swiss Chalet, KFC and Popeye’s, chicken restaurants in town).  Here is a picture of my most favourite restaurant salad.

East Side Mario’s Garden Salad

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