January 16, 2013

Wine is really fattening…AKA, What I am learning on my weight loss journey

On Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 I started the Weight Watchers program. I bit the bullet, paid and have the WW app on every device I own. Its in my face all the time. It is VERY time consuming, but I think it needs to be so that I don’t stop paying attention to it. Being intentional about being a new me by Christmas that is. I don’t want to be this fat Kari when I turn 40. For those of you who do not know (and I can’t imagine there are many of you) I gained 70 pounds in the last few months of pregnancy with Kelsey. Mike and I tried Power 90 way back when. I lost about 30 pounds and then put it back on with poor habits.

I kept waiting to “hit bottom”. For the weight loss to mean more than the bad habits. The freedom of being lazy and eating wonderfully fattening food. You see, I am blessed with a husband who is a wonderful cook. Not just a recipe follower, or a grilling man, but a real chef. He loves food. So do I. We are self proclaimed foodies and spend a great deal of time watching tv on the subject, talking about and trying new foods. Its a deadly curse. But one that I have decided to make a sometimes thing, not a daily. It really is all about decisions. I stumbled upon a blog by Sheryl Yvette. She was the same starter weight that I am and she currently is around my ultimate goal weight. Here are a few things from her site:

Decide between yogurt and fruit for breakfast and feel good about your choice, or decide on donuts at work cause they’re “there”.
Decide if you’re going to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Decide if you’re going to pack your lunch so that you are guaranteed a meal you like that’s within the points you’re willing to spend – of if you’re going to order take out because it’s easier.
Decide if you want to splurge for your birthday guilt free and get right back on track the next day.
Decide if you want wine with dinner. Or dessert. Or both. Or neither.
Decide if you’re going to challenge yourself to walk a little further, or add a few minutes to your workout.
Decide if you’re going to let someone push food on you, or if you’re going to stand up for yourself.
Decide if you’re going to stock your refrigerator and home with a healthy variety of food or succumb to temptations outside your house.

I make these decisions every day now.  To not be completely unrealistic in my goal setting I would like to set my ultimate final goal at Christmas.  I would like to lose  70 pounds by the end of the year.  That really is only about 6 pounds a month.  I can do that.  I KNOW I can.  I lost 6 pounds my first week WITHOUT working out.  This week I am adding workouts and hope to lose 4 more to complete my first baby goal of 10 pounds lost.  My next goals are 25, 50 and then the 70. 

Mike asked this morning what my rewards are going to be.  I really don’t know.  At those amounts I surely will be needing new clothing, but he says thats just a necessity.  What should my rewards be?  Let me know your thoughts and I will keep you updated on my progress!

-Savory

September 12, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Sausage Harvest

Ingredients

  •                     4 Chicken Sausage Links (I used Spinach and Feta)
  •                     3-4 large potatoes (any kind) cut in chunks
  •                     1 onion cut in chunks
  •                     1lb fresh green beans
  •                     1 red pepper cut into chunks
  • 20 baby carrots (or 3 whole carrots cut in chunks)
  •                     2-3 apples cut in chunks
  •                     1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  •                     1 cup beer(any kind)
  •                     2 tbsp dijon mustard
  •                     1-2 tsp minced garlic (I used 3 garlic cloves)
  •                     2 tsp chicken seasoning
  •                     1 tbsp chicken stock
  •                     1 tsp black pepper

            Directions

  1.                     1. Begin to layer the ingredients in your crock pot.  I did potatoes first, half the onions, apples, red pepper, carrots, rest of onions, green beans, and sausage on top.  Put cinnamon stick on top for the essence (optional).
  2.                     2. Whisk the beer with mustard, chicken seasoning, garlic, chicken stock, and black pepper.  Pour over the top.
  3.                     3. I cooked for about 4-5 hours on high temp.  Time will need to be adjusted according to your crockpot.
April 26, 2012

I can’t cook meat, ASL is so cool and WHAT…its almost Mothers Day!?!!??!

I know this might sound pretty much like the biggest lie you have ever heard, but life in Fargo is pretty busy. Since not blogging in what I am too scared to actually check on a lot has been happening. I started singing on my new praise team, Kelsey skated in her 2nd annual ice show, the Currys came for their spring break and we went to the Mall of America, K and I started learning ASL (American Sign Language), my parents came for a visit, Zac attended his Junior Prom and I got accepted to Minnesota State University Moorhead…to name a few. Yeah, I love this crazy life. It is busy, and my house isn’t nearly as clean as it used to be on a daily basis, but I laugh quite a bit.
K and I started watching an ABC Family show titled Switched at Birth. We watched the entire first season (what has been aired) on Netflix. We fell in love with it immediately. If you are not familiar with it, please click here and be enlightened. I have always wanted to learn sign language, and Kelsey has some deaf kids at her school that she always wonders what they are saying to her, so we decided to learn ASL and possibly in the future be able to communicate with the hidden deaf community around us. We are currently on lesson 2 of 30. We have a long way to go, and practicing with hearing people doesn’t really cut it, but we are going to do our best until we meet some hard of hearing or deaf people.
Zac went to prom with his girlfriend.
I had the huge honor of styling her hair. I think it turned out pretty OK.
Doesnt hurt that she is adorable anyway. Zac didn’t look too shabby either 🙂 I was a proud mama. Fun times were had by all.
As far as MSUM is concerned, I don’t know what that holds. I have to meet with a transfer specialist first and see where I stand. I will keep you posted.
Because this blog had an original purpose to include food and recipes, I shall share what I made for dinner last night. We were supposed to have grilled chicken, corn and salad last night. Healthy enough, right? Well, yesterday was a work golfing day for Mike…and he is the meat cooker. I always end up making it dry and rubbery. He tells me lower longer, but I don’t ever get it right. So I figured I would BAKE the chicken. This is what I came up with and let me tell you…it was FABulous!
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut 4 chicken breasts lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with olive oil, then spread 1/2 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish.

Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread 1/2 cup more basil pesto over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes.

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese.

Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted.

After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

I served with whole wheat angel hair pasta. So tasty! 2 thumbs up from the whole Savory Clan.

And finally…this morning I realized that Mothers Day is approaching. I could have completely forgotten, what with Mike’s constant Fathers Day hints he emails me. Usually Mothers Day is filled with constant questions the week before about what I want. I hate this question. I really do. Just surprise me. Or just be nice to me…all day. I NEED for nothing and barely want for more than that. I like my life.

For birthdays I have started looking at it as a day to appreciate who makes my life what it is. Inevitably, we usually end up travelling for soccer on Mothers Day weekend. People always ask me “dont you hate to do that on Mothers Day of all days?” It seems like such a silly thing to say. I wouldnt BE a Mother if I didnt have kids. Why would I ignore them on that day. Odd.
Today during my lunch break, enjoying leftover baked pesto chicken, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about WHAT I like about my life. Here it is:

I love that my kids can scream at me at the top of their lungs, slam doors, tell me they hate me and that I am the worst mother in the world, go to the basement and ignore me for 2 days because they actually have to do something other than game and I still get a gift card from Starbucks, a massage certificate, a Maroon 5 CD and a bouquet of flowers waiting for me when I wake on Mother’s Day.

I love that Mike calls me on my crazy. It’s not always pleasant, but he knows when to humor me and when to confront me if I’m being irrational or oversensitive or generally a mad woman. He could just ignore me, but he cares enough to let me know (sometimes gently, sometimes not-so-gently), that I need to take a look at how I’m acting, and I’m thankful for the checks and balances. He gets me. We’re different….what partners aren’t… but he understands our differences and takes care of me and knows when Im frustrated with the kids and need “in the nook” or a kind word. He’s a keeper. (Don’t tell him I said that.)

I love that I lost 10 pounds my first 2 weeks of going to the gym and counting Weight Watchers Points. I love even more that my parents came and cooked great food for 10 days and I gained 4 back 🙂

Yeah… I’m a happy little mama right about now.

-Savory

April 13, 2012

My thoughts about butter!

Mmmm…butter!  My assignment is to blog about butter.  Well, I am a fan!  : )  I have lots of memories of cooking with my mom and grandma, especially at Christmas, and we used butter!  I think it makes everything better.  It makes cookies so much better and other things a lot creamier.  One of my jobs when I was younger was to “cut” the butter so my grandma could mix it in to her cookie recipe.  I would just take a stick of butter and cut it and cut it until it was small pieces.  When choosing butter to cook with, I choose real butter, not margarine.  I know there is a big push to eat the fake stuff to be healthier, but it doesn’t taste as good!  What are YOUR thoughts on butter??

December 21, 2011

Tis’ the Season!

I KNOW!  It has been a long time since I have blogged…so sorry.  Instead of going back to all that has happened in the last several months, I am going to start with now.

It’s the Christmas season…only 4 more days, actually!  I LOVE this time of year the best!  I love the baking, the eating, the get togethers, the shopping, the giving, every part of it.  I even LOVE having my kids home with me for 3 weeks!  I am done with my shopping and with most of the wrapping too!  I have made 2 batches of fudge, cut-out sugar cookies, homemade frosting, and mint meringue cookies.  I have been to the mall in the midst of the busiest crowd I have seen.  We have seen Santa and even had a chance to give to those in need this holiday season.

I WISH WE HAD SNOW!!  It has been fluctuating from the 50s to the 30s and has been cloudy and gloomy.  This is not cheerful weather!  This weather has given me a cold!  Hmmm…the kids have been able to be outside more than last year, but seriously…I WANT SNOW!

Since cooking is what we really like to talk about, I am going to tell you about my goal for the new year.  It is to choose a cookbook and cook my way through it.  Each and every recipe, even if it sounds odd to me, I am going to try it!  I asked Santa for a cookbook stand for Christmas, so whichever cookbook I choose I will be able to display it nicely on my (newly uncluttered) countertops!  The decision I haven’t made yet, is which cookbook should it be??  Do YOU have any suggestions??

Merry Christmas!  –Sweet

September 15, 2011

Sioux Falls, Iowa? Yes, please!

OK…so I know it has been like six weeks since the last blog.  That is ENTIRELY my fault.  My family has moved from our townhome into a single family home in an older area of town and I am sublimely happy about it.  School has also started and since I work in the Professional Development department, this means I am busier than a one legged man in a butt kickin contest.  Nevertheless…I should have blogged about it.  And furthermore…maybe it ISN’T my fault.  Maybe Angela could have stepped it up a notch to fill in the gap in my much needed absence. Angela.  I have ONE thing to say to you.  “Why are we even friends?”  

THIS is her ringer for me when I call.  (Unless she has deleted it).  When we went to the cabin in Minnesota over Memorial Day weekend that was my thing to say to her whenever she didn’t agree with me. It cracked me up, so when she asked me to record her a message for her ringer for me I recorded that. 🙂  Along with some love of course. I’m not THAT mean. 

So this is where I should be telling you I never started on Couch to 5K or that the 6 week body makeover is more than that behind.  Or all of the fun things I have been doing to get this house Prekel ready and the fun paint colors my hands have been for weeks.  Or maybe something about the kids and soccer or ice skating.  No.  I think I shall reserve the rest of this blog for a plea.  A plea to my bestie.  I am going to be here in Fargo for Thanksgiving and Christmas and only coming back for a long weekend to see family the weekend after Christmas.  Yes…I will be in KC for a long weekend in October too, but these weekends are so spread thin trying to see everyone I never feel like I get a good chance to really VISIT with anyone in depth.  So…as a die hard Twihard TwiMom…November 18th Breaking Dawn Part 1 comes out in theatres.  I would like her to meet me half way for a couple day and SEE THIS EPIC FILM WITH ME!!!!!!

 Come on Angela.  We have seen all 3 of the first ones …come on…

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE!!!

-Savory

August 1, 2011

The Weight Thing…

I have weight to lose.  I know this.  I keep telling myself “on Monday I will start eating healthier.”  Monday comes and goes.  Every week.  I don’t eat horrible really, I just really love food.  I eat bigger portions than I should for sure, and I don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.

All that being said, people around me are losing weight like crazy and makes me jealous.  I have friends who are disappearing!  Ugh.  So, I will join the ranks of those trying to live a healthier lifestyle.  Today I started by getting a Weight Watchers point calculator thing-a-ma-jig.  It is a little electronic thing that tells me how many points something is based on its ingredients.  On the new Weight Watcher program you can have fruits and vegetables for free, so I will try to incorporate more of those to fill me up and make me healthier.  Today is just day one, but it hasn’t been that bad yet.  We shall see what the rest of the week brings and what the scale says next Monday.

Wish me luck…

July 22, 2011

Friend Friday: Espresso Yourself Creatively

This is officially Sweet & Savory’s  first ever Friend Friday post!  Very exciting.  I have been thinking of doing this for some time, but another blogging friend asked about doing it yesterday, so this was the perfect time to kick it off.  We are primarily an eating moms blog so I know it will be refreshing to get some of our friends viewpoints and other creative juices down your gullet. This is a post from our friend Melanie whose blog can be found HERE. OK, Melanie…ready…set…blog!
 

Chocolate Day fun: sheet cake & family recipe book

Hand over the chocolate, and no one gets hurt!  I saw that on a t-shirt once, and can relate to those full-blown chocolate cravings!  Do you know there are over 50 days set aside to celebrate some sort of chocolate?  Amazing.  But for this chocoholic, I don’t need a day….it’s an every day thing! 

In honor of today being Chocolate Day,

I’m posting the best recipe I know: 

my mom’s chocolate sheet cake recipe.

Love you mom, and love your cake!! 

Chocolate Sheet Cake

with fudge frosting: 

Mix the following, & set bowl aside:

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 tbs. cinnamon

1 tsp. soda

2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

Bring the following to a boil, remove from stove, then mix it with bowl you set aside:

1 stick butter

1/4 cup shortening

4 tbs. Hershey’s cocoa

1 cup brewed coffee (or water)

Pour into sheet cake/jelly roll pan and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  While the cake is baking, make the fudge frosting:

Fudge Frosting:

Bring the following ingredients to a boil:

1 stick butter

5 tbs. brewed coffee (or milk)

1/4 cup cocoa 

Mix in the following ingredients, & pour over warm cake:

one pound powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 

Yummy!  Enjoy with a cup of strong coffee!

Several years ago I asked my mom for some of her original hand-written recipes; the same recipe card she used when teaching me how to make this cake is posted below: 

About eight years ago I started having my mom re-write some of our favorite family recipes for me because some of the recipe cards were written in the 1970’s and had faded. I took pictures of the finished product.  It is a work in progress:  a family cookbook of pictures and our favorite recipes!

 

 

A few other great places to find ideas to celebrate special chocolate days:

http://www.squidoo.com/chocolate-holidays#module41855482

http://www.familyembellishments.com

The Squidoo website listed the following July chocolate holidays:

July 3: National Chocolate Wafer Day

July 7: Chocolate Day

July 8: National Chocolate with Almonds Day

July 25: National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

July 28: National Milk Chocolate Day

 

Grab some chocolate & celebrate! ~ Melanie

July 21, 2011

Risotto with brandy in it? Yes, please! AKA: 101 Excuses for NOT starting a diet.

OK…so the super motivated 6 week body makeover and couch to 5K hasn’t happened yet. The day we were to start Mike ended up sick and at the walk in clinic. He had a sinus infection and infected ears…so we postponed so that he could get better. The next week was 4th of July weekend. A soccer family that we know invited us to the lake and we knew that with all the yummy food and fun we definitely would blow the diet there…so we postponed. THEN the next weekend I took Kelsey to Minneapolis for her flight to Kansas City for camp and fun with family and friends. She and I had meals planned at American Girl Café and an ice cream date…so we postponed.

All of this was followed by our last soccer tournament of the summer. Well…why not postpone? All that eating out is just going to blow it…right?

My parents will be here in just 2 days. For three weeks. If you KNOW your mom is coming and she makes great food and you will be requesting things like bierocks covered in butter, chicken fried steak with cream gravy and pies…why start a diet? So I am going to say my journey to a new and improved me will just have to start when school does. When life has a normal schedule and balance.

In the meantime I am still on the path to discovering new recipes that I love. As both of our children are still out of town, the hubs and I have two more evenings of meals alone. These are the times when we can break out the seafood and not have to hear any complaints. YAY! Tonight is Lemon Risotto with Tuscan Style Tuna. I found the recipe here.  I must say she has some pretty tasty looking recipes, so I chose Garlic Chili Prawns for tomorrow night. This is the recipe, but we are serving them over oriental ramen because we are having risotto tonight.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it. A good risotto is one of my new very favorite things. I am leaving on my lunch break today to pick up the groceries I ordered online and take them home to marinate the tuna steaks.

Other than the fat fest…I am missing my kids. K has been gone for two weeks and Z has only been gone 5 days thus far. However…I am kinda in a funk. I spoke with K on the phone this morning and she was weird and short and said “I could stay another week and be just fine”. She also wouldn’t say I love you. Although I am glad she isn’t crying and homesick…I do hope she is just putting on the brave face knowing she DOES miss me and doesn’t want to break down. Who knows. Either way I am going to try and enjoy the evening with Mr. Prekel.

After dinner I think we might be going to see a movie. Our 11th anniversary was last Friday and because we were out of town at a soccer tournament, we didn’t celebrate. Its just been a week of laxidasical celebration ended with two nights of yummy seafood.

Not bad 🙂 – Savory

July 19, 2011

Back to Blogging…

Hello!  Did you miss me??  Ha!  I have been away with sick kids, travel for a funeral, travel for Pampered Chef, and general day-to-day life.  What did I discover while I was away?  Well, that I missed blogging.  When we started this I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to say or that my turns wouldn’t be interesting.  I am not sure that I have been saying anything groundbreaking or even interesting, but I have decided that doesn’t matter.  I blog what’s on my mind and it makes me feel better in some way, so I shall keep it up!  I will also be much better about timing.  So, what’s on my mind today?

Sorry guys, but today on my mind is a woman’s time of the month.  Does anyone else get CRAZY during theirs?  I find myself an emotional mess each time.  I cry about everything, good or bad.  I constantly feel like everyone is mad at me and they all must be getting together to discuss how horrible I am.  Crazy, right?  I know.  In my normal life I have figured out that everything is not all about me, but one week a month I am convinced it IS all about me and it is all bad.  Ugh.  I can generally keep my insanity to myself and I really don’t go around asking everyone if they are mad at me.  However, once in a while you may get that from me.  Sorry.  I will try to be better.  So, anyone else have out of character behavior and/or thoughts during their time of the month?  Please don’t say it’s just me…

Have a great week, and, oh, by the way…are you mad at me??

–Sweet