Monday, September 28, 2009

I Love a Good Wedding

I LOVE weddings, love, love, love them, from the second the engagement is announced to the last hokey song the DJ plays at the tail end of the reception. (You know it's close to over when "The Chicken Dance" comes on!) We were blessed with a wedding in our family this weekend. My cousin married his sweetheart and we were honored to be there and even more honored that The Middle Child was able to share in the day as the flower girl. (Pics to follow; DH had them loaded on our laptop, thus no access yet from this computer until he transfers them over. Warning- the cuteness factor is over the top.) The bride was absolutely radiant; I don't think I've ever seen a woman as happy and glowing as she was. It made me all teary with happy tears when I saw her look at my cousin during the rehearsal and the wedding itself, which is when her face would really light up. I was proud of him for making her so happy.

I got to tease my cousin a little bit at the reception. He is one of those camera shy types, although that's putting it mildly. Camera phobic is a more accurate description; he DETESTS having his picture taken. He was a good sport about it at the wedding, though. I took a bunch of pictures of him and told him I was taking advantage of the occasion since I may not ever have the opportunity again in the future! ;) He looked very dashing, I have to say. He's Scottish on his dad's side and proud of his heritage so he wore a kilt with his family's plaid. That's not something you see at just any old wedding! I thought it was super cool. His son, the ring bearer, also wore a kilt and was too cute for words; there was a collective "awwww" from the audience when he walked down the aisle with The Middle Child. They made quite a pair!

The bride and groom are on their honeymoon now and I get warm and fuzzy feelings just thinking about them. They are one of those couples you just know are in it for the long haul; they're so RIGHT for each other. Many happy wishes, you two!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It's come to my attention that people have tried to comment but it didn't "take". I've played around with the settings again so hopefully I've fixed it. ???

Why can't things just WORK??

Recipes from My Grandmother

I'm still working on getting my grandmother's recipes on-line, I'm just not posting them here. In an effort to keep them together and easier to access, I'm putting them on another blog.

I've just posted a bunch of her "C" recipes (and there are more to go) which include cookies and cakes. She had quite the sweet tooth! I think the "C" section is the largest in the whole box. ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Review: My Life in France

I am totally charmed by Julia Child after reading her book My Life in France which she wrote with her grand-nephew, Alex Prud'Homme. The book begins with her move to Paris with her husband, Paul Child, just after WWII. Paul is in the diplomatic service and they are posted there for several years. During that time she falls in love with La Belle France, the French people, and French food. She attends Le Cordon Bleu to learn to cook with style and succeeds beautifully, or maybe that should be she succeeds deliciously! (Warning: do not read this book on an empty stomach.) ;) The book continues with additional postings to a more rural area of France, then Germany and Oslo, and back to the United States and follows Julia's career as a cook book author, cooking teacher, and through her roles on television. She and Paul finally build a small house in France and stay there for part of every year. The book is both a love song to France and food as much as it is an auto-biography of Julia herself.

There is another book associated with the movie but I don't have any plans to read that one. I've looked at the blog associated with the book and it didn't catch my interest. The author of the blog details her efforts to cook every recipe in Julia's first cook book (written with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle) Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I didn't spend too much time on the site, but what I saw couldn't even begin to compare to the food blogs out there now, but I've already talked about the blog when I wrote up my movie review.

Suffice to say, if you consider yourself a foodie, if you travel, if you love France, if you like to read biographies, or if you have any interest in Julia Child, this is the book to read.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Veggie Recipe!

I found a new vegetarian recipe- hooray! Our "Meatless Monday" project is coming along nicely, I must say. Today we had our beloved Black Bean Patties with rice, applesauce, and carrot salad for lunch and the new recipe, Pasta with Beans and Greens from Southern Living Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites cook book for dinner. Nom nom nom.

I followed the recipe pretty closely except I subbed veggie broth for the chicken broth, and there are slight variations from the cook book version to the on-line version. The cook book called for a package of pre-sliced mushrooms; I used 3 large portobello caps instead, which is the same as the on-line recipe. (Which I didn't look at until after I tried the cook book recipe, so what a coincidence! I figured sliced mushrooms go bad quickly and the baby 'bellas that aren't sliced, with probably more than 10 per package, take more time to wash and slice than chopping up 3 large ones.) The cook book also called for minced garlic out of a jar, which is what I used. The recipe also calls for either spinach or kale; I used the kale but we found it too tough, and now I have all this kale leftover since the bag had way more than I needed for the recipe. We'll use spinach next time and if there is any leftover we can use it for salad. I forgot to add the Parmesan cheese at the end; it probably would have been good but we didn't miss it. For portion control purposes, I didn't mix the pasta and bean mixture at the end, either. I dished my half cup of pasta into my bowl then scooped the mixture on top of that. This is a really low cal dish, too, so I feel all healthy and veggie-virtuous now. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Old Florida

My Brownie troop took a road trip yesterday to the Miami Seaquarium to check out a slice of Old Florida. This place is practically ancient in Florida years, dating back to 1955. It's the oldest operating oceanarium in the United States. The girls loved the day and all of the sea life and shows; I loved the historical aspects. I've been to the Seaquarium before, in 1982. (Yes, I'm old, OK!) I was sad the old rotating shark wasn't out front anymore; I guess one of the hurricanes (Andrew or Wilma) took it out. That thing was huge! It was a shark swimming either up or down (can't remember which direction) on a rotating pole. I don't think it was a real one; I'm pretty sure it was some kind of plastic. I poked around for images on the internet and couldn't find one; I'll have to go through my pictures from 1982 and see if I have a shot of it.

I have a confession about this post- I've typed in and deleted a whole bunch of stuff! As I went to look up little tidbits to link to about Lolita, the Miami Seaquarium orca, and learned a little more about her history I had to change what I was writing, then I decided I wanted to keep this a light and breezy post about the troop so I cut it all out. That's not to say I don't care about Lolita; I'm not quite sure where I stand on the issue, but I don't want to get into it here. Her capture was wrong but she's the oldest whale in captivity now so they must be doing something right by her, and the trainers obviously love her. That doesn't make it right, but... argh, I'm doing it again!

Suffice to say, the girls had a lovely day and learned a lot. Here are a few photos:

The Middle Child

I can't believe I got this shot of Lolita!

Another one of Lolita.

The dolphins can put the best of the best of our basketball players to shame with their jumps!

The Middle Child feeding fish to a sea lion

A sleepy sea lion. The girls sang him lullabies and I swear he was nodding off to their songs.

The Miami skyline as seen from Discovery Cove in the Seaquarium.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Evil Walmart is Evil Once Again

Just read this article then come back:

Wal-Mart Knocks Off the Girl Scouts

Can you believe it? I mean, just when you stop hearing about how rotten they are, they go and do something really, really vile. That's it, I've had it with Walmart; I will never, never, never darken the doors of that store again if they so much as sell a SINGLE package of those horrible cookie knock offs. Even at their worst, when they were getting the really bad publicity and documentaries were being made about how bad their business practices were, the one thing nice I could say was "they let Girl Scouts sell cookies in front of their stores". Now they might let us sell cookies there, but who's going to buy them when they can walk in the store and get the same cookie for less?

I'm absolutely livid.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Grandmother's Recipe Box

I'm now putting all of my grandmother's recipes on another site in order to keep them together. It's too difficult to find them all on this site since the content here is varied. I just posted a lot of recipes from the "c" section- candy, cookies, casseroles, and a chicken recipe to boot. There are a lot more "C"s to go, but I'm tired of typing for now. ;)

I'm anxious to get this done, though; we have an upcoming family wedding to attend and I'd like to return the recipe box to its rightful owner, my aunt, when I see her there. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Here’s a weight loss post. I wrote it in response to a woman’s post on an on-line weight loss/fibromyalgia support group I’m involved with. She wrote in that she was slacking off due to stress and a flare up of fibromyalgia. Stress happens; flare ups of chronic illnesses, injuries, and so forth happen, too. You have to roll with it sometimes!

It will happen when you're ready! I carried around almost 50 extra pounds for 15 years, trying like crazy to lose it the whole time. I would make progress then have setbacks, like problems with my feet preventing me from really exercising, my pregnancies, (I gained the weight before I had my first child, so I was heavy for all 3), the stress of renovating and moving into a new house, and the fibromyalgia diagnosis just to name a few. I finally got to a point where I wasn't gaining anymore (thank goodness) but I wasn't losing, either. During that time I was learning a lot about nutrition and making the switch to healthy eating. I subscribed to Cooking Light magazine, learned to slim down our family favorite recipes, took a nutrition class at the local hospital wellness center, went back to Weight Watchers for a time, etc., etc., etc. I was also trying to walk at least a few days every week with the kids, using a stroller when they were little, not far or fast but just getting out there on a regular basis to develop the habit. I never gave up! Once I was in a good place mentally and physically (in spite of still having fibro, of course) I put the puzzle pieces in place and lost the weight. I started weighing and measuring my portions, switched to a tiny plate AND utensils, cut out "seconds", and started REALLY walking. The Eldest was finally old enough to baby sit for the half hour I wanted to walk, so I stopped taking the kids with me which meant I could go farther and faster. (I still take them with me once in a while for their health!! They can mostly keep up with me now.) The weight melted off, but it was all the work I did leading up to that point that helped me succeed.

What I've taken away from that experience is that if you aren't in the right place to lose right this second, you can still gear up for when the right time arrives. Find healthy recipes your family will enjoy and that work with your cooking abilities, budget, and time limitations. Work on preparing healthy foods. Work on gentle exercise and daily MOVEMENT of some kind so you are building up for the time when you can REALLY start exercising. Read about nutrition and exercise. There are a TON of websites out there to help you, too. Prevention magazine is one- they have free diet motivation tools. I cleaned up my bookmarks last night and ran across a few others:

Healthy Yum: It's like Food Gawker only healthy! Click on the picture to get to the website with the recipes.
Meals Matter: Healthy meal planning
Spark People: More healthy eating! Includes meal finder
World’s Healthiest Foods
National Weight Control Registry
Mediterrasian: I found this one yesterday; it looks promising!!
Prevention Magazine
Cooking Light Magazine: (but when you look for recipes be careful; they've combined their recipe site with Southern Living so not all of the recipes are healthy; check the nutrition info. If it has it, it's probably from Cooking Light, if not, it's probably from Southern Living. But even Cooking Light has some recipes I wouldn't use for every day, and vice versa- some of the Southern Living recipes are pretty healthy and tasty.)
Recipe for Living: More healthy meals and info
Healthy Monday: endorsed by all sorts of good-for-you organizations

These are such a small sample of what's out there!

I'm rooting for you!!! :) (And for myself, too; I'm still struggling with the weight I gained on vacation- NINE POUNDS!! I keep doing the yo-yo thing with 2 or 3 pounds, and I still have 5 to go after that. It's a constant battle, even at maintenance, or close to maintenance, anyway.)