Friday, May 12, 2017

Weddings and More Cookies

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cookie Catch Up: Colleges

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Boy oh boy!  Am I ever behind posting cookies!  I give people my card, and they must be super confused if they are solely looking for cookies.  I need to catch up and convince the cookie lookers to stick around and cook too! Here is an assortment of college, sports, some football commitment cookies and a birthday for a Vandy boy!

We love to hate them!

A popular past time for my girl friends!

A Bama/Chi O grad!

A UT Grad!

She is heading to Chatanooga!

She's heading to Birmingham Southern!

A Tennessee Volunteer is off!

A Bama girl!

Heading to U of Central Florida!

Tulane Bound!

Mississippi State!

A Germantown Tradition, The Charity Horse Show!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Final 10 of Whole30 and SWYPO

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Ten days left.  It seems crazy that I haven't had a grain of sugar (you should know I make thousands of sugar cookies every year...and did throughout this!), flour or any grain, alcohol or dairy.  Really, it just isn't that hard. I woke up on Day 20 feeling like a new woman.  I went to the farmer's market and roamed and smelled all the amazing produce.  I was alone so I cooked dinner for 3 meals, that is a key to survival on Whole30.  I also have found my quick go to meals.  I cook lots of extra chicken and cut it up and freeze portions.  I can whip up chicken salad rolled in lettuce, toss it on a salad, put it in an omelet, or just eat it as is.  I cook up a dozen hard boiled eggs at a time and eat a couple as a quick meal and I love them on a salad.  Egg salad?  YUM!  And tuna, I love tuna packed in olive oil, my goodness, I am Italian all the way through.  Again, on a salad, rolled in lettuce, made into cakes like last post's Salmon Cakes.  I told you about my batch of meatballs, they are in the freezer and can be cooked lickety split.  I'm even making a batch to take to a party.  If I can't find the lone sugar free BBQ sauce, I'll make a tahini or homemade ketchup something for them.  Maybe even buffalo.  I love that stuff! I drink lots of water and LaCroix, but also Tazo tea and coffee.  A cup of decaf after dinner with a little coconut milk is decadence for me and it feels like dessert. Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Spice tea is also a nice dessert feeling drink.

I do Pure Barre pretty much every day I'm not playing golf.  Sometimes I only play golf.  I know I should be doing cardio heavy, but my torn meniscus limits that sort of thing in many ways.  Besides, I like the strength and flexibility I get from Pure Barre.  Did I mention my awesome triceps?  Sleeveless for sure. What I'm saying is I'm sure plenty of people feel great on Whole30 without any major exercise.  I do my thing, you should do what you want too.

So some recipes I loved during this phase.  First of all, let's talk about SWYPO.  It's a funny term and basically means Sex With Your Pants On.  Apparently it's a thing, not as good as the real thing.  How this translates to Whole30 is that yes, there are recipes for pancakes, ranch dressing, pasta and more, but the idea here is to eliminate that stuff for a month.  Not remake it to be compliant.  So I was all fine and dandy with that until this came along. Vegan Coconut Ice Cream from EATMEBLOG and I decided right then, I am having SWMPO.  I am not even an ice cream kind of girl, but it is so friggin' muggy here that something cool and refreshing was what I wanted.  Like SWYPO, I was a little disappointed.  I changed it up, because that's what I do, but it froze into a brick and just didn't melt the way I wanted.  But hey, it was delicious and cold and...on plan compliant.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

1 14oz can Coconut Cream
1/2 cup salted cashews (that's what I had)
5 dates
3 T Pernigotti cocoa
1 banana

Whirl this up in the Vitamix until smooth and freeze in a covered container.  Take it out a good 30 minutes before you are ready to eat it.  It is solid! I didn't take pictures...it's not pretty!

The other wonderful thing about Whole30 is the fridge and freezer situation.  I buy meat when it's on sale and then tend to forget I own it.  I decided to clean out and eat them clean.  So today I found a scrawny little pork tenderloin.  I generally grill them after a marinade or brining, but it was thawed and ready to cook and Mr. Preppy was at poker night.  So I bagged the grilling idea and made Dutch Oven Pork Roast that I found on Nom Nom Paleo.  But it isn't her recipe, and I didn't really use a pork roast, or the honey.

Dutch Oven Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
coconut oil
salt and pepper
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
3 T olive oil
3 T cider vinegar
1 T Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt
1 cup water

Brown the tenderloin that is seasoned with salt and pepper in the coconut oil in your Dutch Oven.  Get it crispy on all sides.  While it's cooking dump everything but the water in a Vitamix or food processor and pulverize it.  When the tenderloin is browned, remove from heat and add the sauce and the water and bake at 325ยบ.  I set my timer for 1 hr.  It was a crap shoot, and that scrawny little tenderloin cooked in about 45 minutes and was a little tough.  Just not enough fat to make it tender.  However, the aroma was intoxicating.  Next time, less water, more fatty cut, and we will see what happens. Taste?  Oh, it was wonderful.  Really, this isn't diet food folks.

So then I started thinking about vegetable ideas.  I mean, how many ways can you roast a veggie?  One as far as I'm concerned.  I was also trying to lay off some of the super cruciferous ones, but how many salads can a girl eat? Don't answer that one.  So I bought some zucchini at the farmer's market and was going to can some zucchini butter from Food In Jars blogger who published a book called Preserving by the Pint. I love this book and dig into it often as canning is a fun pastime for me!Her recipe sounded amazing but I didn't have the fresh thyme, so I found another that was a little less involved as far as ingredients go. I love The Kitchn and this is their Zucchini Butter.  The comments are from 6 years ago, and no one ever responded to them.  Hmmm.  I would respond.

Zucchini Butter

4 zucchini, scrubbed clean
4 T olive oil
2 T bacon fat (I know, right?)
1 shallot
2 large cloves garlic

Grate the zucchini on a box grater. Set on a strainer and let any water drain if necessary.  Mine was not watery and this did pretty much nothing.  Heat fats in skillet with higher sides, and cook the shallot and garlic just slightly.  Add the zucchini and keep the heat low and slow and cook until it is soft and can be smooshed into a butter.  This will take a good 20-30 minutes.  Don't rush it!

So let's be brutally honest.  It's not great.  It's not terrible, but it isn't "butterish", it still tastes like zucchini, and it's a damn mess to make.  Zoodle those zucchini.

So final notes.  The 6 of us lost just around 100 pounds.  Yep, you could say it was successful.  The men lost way more, shocker.  Mr. Preppy had the most dramatic looking loss of 22lbs.  He had that 50 year old man belly, and it just disappeared.  He now drinks less than a quart of milk a week (used to be 2 gallons), ketchup is a treat, and very sporadic.  He won't eat his beloved, and sugar laden French dressing, and I don't know the M&M status, but there isn't any here.  The second fridge still holds many of those off limit items, no one misses them.  We enjoy our wine and vodka, if we eat bread, it's damn good bread.  We have become rather picky eaters.  I am wavering between 12 and 15 pounds, but the way I feel is all that counts.  I can't wait to go Whole30 again!