Sunday, January 24, 2010

New focus for Dinner at the Hamlet.

It's been a while..almost 20 months in fact-since I've posted anything on this blog. I've decided to resurrect it, polish it up and use it as a journal for my new way of eating. I've joined the Atkins's Revolution!!

If you haven't heard of it, it's a way of eating that helps you lose weight, then helps you keep it off for a lifetime. I know there's some controversy about this diet, but I've done a lot of research, reading and studying, and this seems to be the best fit for me. I plan to use this forum to post recipes, menus, successes and yes, failures. I am sure there will be a few along the way.

I am officially finishing the induction stage today and could move into Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) tomorrow. However, due to my level of success and lack of boredom-so far-with the food, I've elected to continue at least one more week on Induction, or phase 1. So far, I've lost 10 pounds in 14 days. I can feel it, but I doubt you can see it yet. I have a lot of weight to lose-at least 60 more pounds. I have been trying to set mini goals and to celebrate those successes.

My first goal was to have a "clean" induction-that is, not slip ups. No sneaking bites of mac and cheese off the kids' plates, no sugar, no large coke with extra ice from Sonic, not even during happy hour. And I've done it. Not one slip up. I've passed up a double chocolate cake (at my house) during Bunco, pizza, Little Debbies, popcorn, and everything else that's not on my eating plan. I even passed up tortilla chips and salsa in my favorite Mexican resturant at lunch Friday. I ordered a grilled chicken salad, added some salsa and guacamole (both allowed) and enjoyed every single bite! To non-dieters, that doesn't sound big. To me-it's huge.

So, I'll be sharing the rest of the ride with you. My loyal long time readers, all 5 of them, know that consistancy is not my best thing. Let's face it --life happens, and occasionally it happens over and over. I do have a husband and three kids, a house and a job to tend to, as well as church responsibilites and the occasional visit with friends. So, don't look for a post every day, maybe not even every week for a while. But I will be popping in to update you as often as I can. I'll post it on Hamlet and on Facebook when I post something here.

So..see ya in a few days.

Eat well and prosper!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Only 29 days until Cinco de Mayo, the day we all eat Mexican food! Yay!

I could happily eat Mexican food every day. Authentic, Tex-Mex, Southwestern flavored, you name it, I like it! I could eat a taco right now!

I usually plan a little soiree for the holiday. Last year we had tacos, burritos, cheese dip, salsa and chips and fruity punch to drink. We had our BFFs, Eddie, Melissa and Cameran to dinner. This year...

I'm not sure yet. I'm doing some research to see what I can come up with that would be good but a little different. I do make a mean fajita, if I do say so myself. Plus, you can do those on the grill for some added yum!

Stay tuned! I'll share menus and recipes soon, and hopefully pictures.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

...and another thing...

I forgot to post about the desserts we had at our Easter barbeque! We had some yummy stuff!

I made a strawberry shortcake with strawberry angelfood cake, strawberries and whipped cream...Mom made a Hershey Pie...basically cool whip and melted Hershey can you go wrong with that? She also made a Mystery Pie...something with lemon and nuts, I think. Melissa made a DingDong cake...tastes just like the foil wrapped treats of my childhood. It was very good! Gail sent a peach cobbler, which of course was a big seller with this bunch!

I used jars of spring colored M&M's and Hershey's candy coated eggs as part of the decorations for the dessert buffet, which also served as another little sweet for those wanting something to snack on.

All in all, it was a sugar laden, high carb, high calorie feast, just as Easter should be!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter lunch

We had a great time yesterday. It was not your traditional Easter lunch, but it was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself! We had barbeque beef, pork and chicken, hash brown casserole (Thanks, Melissa!), baked beans and deviled eggs(Thanks McCarty girls), 3 kinds of coleslaw-one plain, one with carrots and other veggies and one horseradish one-very good! A relish tray (Thanks, Michael for the slaw and the tray), a fresh veggie tray with ranch dip and spinach dip were good starters. I think we all were hungry for some fresh vegetables...even the traditonal non-veggie eaters snacked on carrots, celery sticks, cauliflower and broccoli, cucumber wheels and pepper strips!

We have a fairly new produce market in town and I stopped in there for the first time Saturday. I got a whole box of veggies for $20, and they were really good. I can't wait for the fresh homegrown stuff to come in... I will certainly be shopping there often!

I made a strawberry shortcake, but I used a strawberry angelfood cake instead of pound cake. It was ok, but I like the poundcake version better. I'll post pictures as soon as I get my camera charged. Again. Sigh.

I used black and white gingham with yellow accents, and I really liked it. I used fresh white iris from Mom's yard and some yellow flowers from her yard as an accent! Of course the garden bunnies hopped in from the master bathroom to make an appearance as table decor! Love them!

I'm working on a bridal brunch plan for my nephew's bride-elect. Oh, yes, you will be getting details soon! For now, here's the theme for a little sneak peek:

Eat, Drink and be Married! (I borrowed this from Tracey! Thanks, girl!)

Check in often!!

See ya!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Easter Menu

I've been working on the menu for our Easter lunch celebration. Lynn and I both agreed that it might be fun to buck tradition and do something besides ham for our holiday feast, so we are having a barbeque!

I am going to do a few pork loins and make barbeque. This is something that I do every so often, and my kids love it. I like to do it on the grill-that's how I think it tastes best, but the weather is supposed to be horrible this week-heavy, heavy rain for the first part, then rain again this next weekend, so I'm thinking it might be better to do it inside.

I'll put the loins in crockpots Saturday morning and let them cook all day with onions, garlic and a few shakes of Emirl's seasoning mix. Then I'll shred the cooked meat and add homemade barbeque sauce and let that cook for a few hours. We'll serve it on buns with extra sauce for drizzling over the sandwich. So, here's the tentative menu:

Barbequed pork loin on buns
Hash brown casserole
Baked beans
Deviled Eggs
Assorted Desserts
Tea, coffee and cherry lemonade

I'll ask each person attending to bring a side and a dessert, and we'll have plenty!

I'll probably make a strawberry shortcake, because my kids LOVE them! I made one over the weekend, this is it:

It was good and it was gone in about 10 minutes! They loved it...don't tell them it's a Sara Lee poundcake, frozen strawberries and cool whip!! On second thought, they probably don't care how I make it, just how often I make it!

Here's a good dessert that is not too heavy, just right for Easter! I got it from my Bunco Babe friend Debbie! Thanks, sister!

Fruit Delight

1st layer:
1 c. flour
1 tbs. sugar
1/4 c. nuts
1/2 c. oleo, melted
Put into a 9x13 baking dish and bake about 15-20 minutes

2nd layer:
1 c. powedered sugar
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1 c. cool whip
Combine and spread over cooled crust. Top with fruit of your choice (Debbie used strawberries, but said peaches are quite good, also!) Pour cooked glaze over this.

3rd layer-glaze
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
3 tbs. corn starch
Cook until clear, then add 1/2 box of jello to match the fruit you use, and cool. Then pour over the fruit. Top with cool whip.

There you have it-cool, easy and very yummy! I think I'm going to make it peach for Easter, especially if I make a strawberry shortcake.

Have a good day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Big Girl Birthday Party!

I had a big girl birthday party for my friends Melissa and Donna. It was a kind of impromtu affair, and Lynn ended up joining us because he was home that day! It was fun and super casual. We had ranch dip with some fun new chips, the kettle cooked 4 cheese Lays, chicken salad sandwiches on croissants and baby cup cakes in pink and green. I did the table in those colors and we drank iced tea. Here's a picture of the table.

Here's the chicken salad recipe. My friend Jami gave it to me, she uses it as a dip with good sturdy cracker, like a Triscit. Very good!

1 large and 1 small can chicken, drained
8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayo
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, chopped
onion, cucumber or any other veggie you'd like to add
jarred jalapeno slices (I used the juice rather than the peppers themselves)

Mix together the cream cheese and mayo and stir in the ranch dressing mix, the chopped veggies and stir until smooth. Fold in the chicken and mix just until combined, being careful not to break up the chicken too much. Serve with crackers, bread or chips.

We're working on our Easter menu around here. I'm thinking we're going to break with tradition and have barbequed pork instead of the usual ham. I'll get the menu posted and some pictures of the table when I get it done. In the meantime, check out my newest bunny, which will be the star of the Easter lunch table! He came from the flea market!! I love him, don't you?

See you later!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Breakfast report

Yesterday was our monthly family breakfast. It was raining buckets and cold-like 44 degrees or something. Fortunately, we had lots of warm food, hot coffee and conversation to keep us warm! It was a much smaller crowd than usual...only 11 of us, but it was still fun. The steak and eggs turned out well-lots of left overs, so I had a serving for supper, then Lynn and I had them again for lunch today. The boys ate the leftover pancakes. We don't do well with leftovers around here-there's usually not enough for everyone, and I stick them in the fridge "for lunch tomorrow", then someone calls and invites me to lunch or I get busy and don't eat lunch-yes, that really happens, even though you could never tell it by looking at me-and then I find the leftovers and they are GROSS and I chunk them in the trash. So, it was good that we mananged to eat twice off of one meal!

Here's a picture of the "Lodge" centerpiece. As usual, the meal was buffet style so the table was never actually "set" for me to photograph, but you get the general idea! The black and red plaid you see under the Smokey Mountain lodge is a fleece blanket off of Jacob's bed, layered over a black tablecloth. I used my white dishes and red napkins.

And here's a little display I did on the table beside the front door:

You can see our American flag behind the table...remember, it was raining and I had to bring it inside. If you could see under the table, you'd also see a pile of red, white and blue pillows and throws that live on the front porch in good weather.

And, finally, a picture of the Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding. Man, was it good!

I'm making Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner tonight!

Tomorrow or the next day, I'll post another week of menus!