Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cabbage Stroganoff... No, Really, It's Good!

I had some cabbage left over from making Liz's Asian Balls o' Meat and perused the internet looking for inspiration... and found Cabbage Stroganoff.  I am not kidding you, this stuff is so awesome you will freak.  What a great way to get in your veggies!

You can click here for the recipe on CDKitchen.  I didn't follow it, and used it more as inspiration.  I left out the onions and added garlic and mushrooms.  Mushrooms and garlic make everything better.  Except ice cream.  And fudge.  Eww. 

This is quick and easy, too, in addition to being ultra-yummo.

Melt a knob of butter.  Finely chop the garlic and add it to the butter.  When the garlic begins to brown, add the chopped cabbage, salt, pepper and some beef boullion.  Toss it all around a little to coat the veggies.  (Note to self: buy some low-sodium boullion, the regular was kinda overpowering.)  When the cabbage starts to soften, add the sliced mushrooms and continue tossing and stirring occasionally.  Once the mushrooms are cooked through, remove from the heat and add sour cream and stir.  Maybe add a little more, it makes a nice sauce.

We had this with pork chops and it was a marriage blessed by the gods. 

What's your favorite way to have cabbage?  C'mon, I know you love cabbage!  If you don't already, you will once you try this.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fixing a Window Screen

Step 1: Realize there is a hole in the screen exactly the size of a dog's head.

Step 2: Close window.

Step 3:  Count pets.

Step 4:  Take down screen and frame.  Pull out spline and the destroyed screen.  Show it to dog.  Marvel at his lack of remorse.

Step 5:  Spline new "Pet Safe" screen into the frame and wonder if "Pet Safe" is a match for the dog-asaurus.

Step 6:  Re-install freshly screened frame in window.  Glare at all pets.  Shake a finger at them.  Marvel at their lack of interest.

Step 7:  Realize there is a hole in a window screen exactly the size of a dog's head...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Small Progress is Better Than No Progress!

I just started weighing on Fridays.  It's easier for me to stick to plan during the week, so I figure that will be my best day to see some progress and keep me motivated.

This week I made big strides toward staying on plan.  I had probably one misstep each day, except Wednesdsay.  Wednesday  I rocked!  I think it was because I was focused on trying a new recipe, the steamed dumplings that I posted Thursday.  Yesterday was just a disaster.  I had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon so I left work early enough that I would have time to make myself lunch at home before heading on to the doctor's office.  And I had been running at top speed all morning at work, trying to get things done.  Well, just as I got home the doctor's office called and asked me to come early, so I had to leave right then!  More running.  I finally had lunch at 4:00 and by that time I was starving and caved in and had a regular (with bread) cheeseburger and fries.  The bread and fries are not on plan!  Sigh.  I did have one victory though... all day long I was thinking about pie.  Boy, did I want pie.  At one point I was near a grocery store that sells slices of Tippin's pie.  But I didn't do it, I didn't cave. 

Last night I tried to conconct a recipe for lowcarb chocolate cupcakes to appease my pie-craving sweet tooth.  They weren't that good but no worse than some of the other healthier versions of treats that are out there.  So if you want to give it at try, here ya go: 1 cup grated pork rinds (I used the blender), 1 egg, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup water, splash vanilla, 1/2 cup splenda, 1/2 cup cocoa, genereous dash cinnamon.  Mix by hand.  Use those little cupcake papers when you put the batter in the muffin tin... I can't for the life of me remember what they are called right now.  But I didn't use them and just greased the tin, and the cupcakes stuck.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Anyhoo, I lost 1.2 lbs this week.  I wasn't sticking to Atkins so that wasn't Atkins weight loss.... you have to stick entirely to plan to see losses with that.  So I'm attributing the loss to eating more whole foods and less crap.

I hope everyone has a fab Friday and an even better weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Liz's Asian Balls o' Meat

Or Low-Carb Steamed Dumplings... or Naked Steamed Dumplings... or Chinese Meatballs.  I think I like "Liz's Asian Balls o' Meat" the best.  Any way you slice it, here's my first original recipe!

I've mentioned I've gone low-carb.  I've told you about my love of steamed dumplings.  I'm feeling like having some Chinese tonight, but the wrappers and dipping sauce for my beloved steamed dumplings have carbs.  What's a girl to do?  Revamp the recipe, that's what!  So I ditched the wrappers and added more eggs and some crushed pork rinds to bind the meatballs and help them keep their shape.  I also reduced the amount of veggies in them since veggies seem to generate alot of moisture when they're cooking... I didn't want that to turn my meatballs into Chinese Crumble.  As far as the dipping sauce, I said goodbye to Mirin, a sweet cooking sake, and used my stepmother's dipping sauce instead: half soy sauce, half cider vinegar.  Seriously, seriously good stuff!

Balls o' Meat Ingredients

1/3 head of cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 bunch scallions (5 or 6), finely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
3 large button mushrooms, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or run through a garlic press
1 inch nub of fresh ginger, grated
3 eggs
1 lb ground turkey (or pork)
5 cups crushed plain pork rinds
2 swirls of toasted sesame oil
3 swirls of soy sauce

And by "swirl" I mean draw a circle in the mixing bowl as you pour. 

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Makes 40 meatballs, serves four
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 25 minutes

Mix all the meatball ingredients together really well.  I use my hands.  Nasty, I know, but nothing else works as thoroughly or as quickly as just rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty. 

Roll the mixture into meatballs.  It might be worth your time to put the whole mess in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to rest first, to give the pork rinds a chance to absorb some of the moisture.  I noticed that the last meatballs I rolled were much easier to make than the first few.

I knew I was going to freeze whatever I didn't end up cooking for dinner, so I put the finished meatballs on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.  Once the meatballs I didn't cook are frozen solid, I'll toss them in a plastic tub where they'll take up less freezer space.

Steam the dumplings for 25 minutes and serve with dipping sauce.  We had salad with them to round out the meal.  I used the toasted sesame oil and some vinegar as salad dressing; that was a great match for the dumplings.  And wow, the dumplings were so good!

Honestly, I didn't miss the dumpling wrappers one bit, and you couldn't tell there were pork rinds in the dish at all.  Make sure to use the plain ones, though.  I'm not sure how Mesquite BBQ or Hot 'n Spicy pork rinds would work out...

These were awesome!  They were time-consuming to make but not as much so as the actual dumplings-in-wrappers are.  And it made almost 40 meatballs, enough for two dinners for the two of us.  So the next time we want Chinese I can cut out the hour of prep time and get straight to steaming them.  Easy peasy.  And totally Low Carb!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back on Track

Good morning!  I just wanted to check-in.  I have been continuing to try to get back on track with the ol' food plan.  I am so close to getting it right!  Monday I did everything right except have a damned frappucino and a candy bar.  Tuesday I was ultra-busy and ate lunch a couple hours late.  Then I bought a candy bar without even thinking about it and didn't realize I was off-plan until it was in my hand.  And then I ate it.  So today, without further ado, I bring you Day One of Back on Track.  I can do it!  I know I feel so much better when I don't have sugar.  I've managed not to have any bread products for the last three days; I've just been struggling with the whole sugary-stuff-thing.

My fridge is loaded up with protein and vegetables so I have the tools; I just need to stick to that darned plan!

Tonight I will be working on my first original recipe, and I can't wait to share with you.  Hopefully by the weekend I will have it tested and posted.

Is there anything that has been a big temptation to you lately?  Have you been able to resist, and if so, how?

Have a fab day!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, it was so fun to read your thoughts on what you would buy.  And now, with no further ado, the winner:

 The winner of the $60 gift card to is Bluerose!

Bluerose, please stop back by and let us know what you end up purchasing.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Giveaway Winner TBA

I'll be announcing the winner of the gift card giveaway this evening or tomorrow morning.  Whoo hoo!

I hope everyone has a great Friday!  Those of you who have a long weekend for Labor Day, are you doing anything fun?  We will be getting together with family and doing all kinds of fun stuff.  And Sunday or Monday I  need to start canning pears; it's that time of year and our pear tree seems to have survived the recent thunderstorms intact, thank goodness!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gardening and Giveaways


This summer my sister and niece helped me revamp a couple big flower beds.  Talk about a workout!  Squatting, digging, pulling, planting.  I felt so hardcore when we were done!  Aaah, I love workouts that are just built into your life. No need to carve out time to go the gym when you are busting your hiney in your own yard and getting something else done, besides.

 Don't mind me, I'm showing off a pair of gardening gloves I got for my birthday.  Can you tell my favorite color is green?

The gardening workout was doubly enjoyable because of the sisterly/niece-ly bonding and the neat and tidy flower beds that came out of it.  And every time I look at the flower beds I can remember a great visit with family who I see far too seldom.


Only a day and a half until the gift card drawing!  Click here to read the rules and enter.  I have noticed that some of the people entering aren't leaving their email addresses.  If you included a link to your webpage I can track you down that way, but if you didn't, and if you didn't leave an email address, I don't know how I will find you if you win!  Please, please leave your email address when you enter the giveaway.  If you don't want to put the address in your comment for privacy reasons, I guess you can email me right when you leave your comment.  Just click on "contact me" in the side bar.

I'm very excited about the giveaway!  I'm having a great time seeing what people are thinking about buying if they win.

Have a fab day!