Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Last night I made a pasta sauce from my daughters recommendation having to do with anchovies. My basic sauce: sauteed in olive oil, garlic, hot peppers, cilantro, anchovies, diced ham, add V-8 juice, can diced tomatoes, simmer. While angle hair whole wheat pasta cooks at high heat, keep tasting, half covered, do not stir too much, drain when still crunchy, put back in pan and add olive oil and toss lightly.

The gang at water aerobics is working hard. I end up being late so have to work out in the deeper water which is harder. It is so funny to be doing this with seniors to songs I once danced at Studio 54. It is a good work out.
I can just see the strobes and moon. Hi Andy.

Celery is King. I am having celery and tofu dip with a glass of white wine as appetizer while watching the news. Very good. I am not hungry afterwards. I eat less dinner.

That's all folks.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Long Time No See

So this blog thing is harder than I expected. I have some issues with the limit of my subject. Also I found a book at the library The Skinny, How to fit into your little black dress forever. or
So there it is, everything I wanted to say and well said.
Where does this leave me? Possibly marching on to a new blog with a broader view.

I did come up with a new idea for tracking what I eat. I happened to have an large card index box that was bought for some forgotten reason. I divided it into sections about food and food issues. For example: last night I went out to eat at The English Pub. I ordered a hamburger, which came with fries, not good. So today I am making as card to give me ideas of what to order the next time I go there. Like the lean hamburger meat with salad and no fries and a glass of wine and no pint. Da? I put this card under Restaurants.

For the sake of keeping this venture up I have decided to blog short blogs more often. One idea at a time is fine.

WW is going fine and I am getting great support. I wish I had more contact with WW members in my group. I keep asking but it's not happening.

That's all for now.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Southwest Foods

I just returned from New Mexico.

What can I say? I ate a lot of Mexican food. I do not know the scale results yet but have four days to redeem myself before weight in at Weight Watchers. I plan to spend hours at the gym and riding my bike. I did try to eat salad, light meals, on schedule with the regular routine. However, the Mexican food did capture much of my dinner menus. I know I am in trouble. I had very little exercise for twelve days.

I had fun. I saw old friends and made new ones. I worked and played. New Mexico is beautiful. I want to buy investment property, and, I have this idea for a Mexican food café. Actually, I can justify eating so much Mexican food because I was doing research for the possible café. I am thinking I will try to do a menu with many of the same ideas for good Mexican food but lighter on the bad stuff. Traveling in Mexico years ago I remember the food was much lighter. I want to make the taste work without the bulk. I wonder if it will sell.

Days Later:
Tomorrow morning is WW. I have been riding my bike.
I found a good cookbook at the library Mexican Light by Kris Rudolph. It looks great. More later on this.

The big question for me: is it possible to open a café and still be a skinny girl?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shrimp & Pasta

Well gang, I’m off to my homeland, New Mexico and Texas, the desert Southwest. Love those enchiladas. I am definitely going to be challenged because of the really delicious real Mexican food. I don’t even want to think about it. I am going to WW in El Paso and I plan to go to the health food store and buy the right foods and cook for myself as much as possible.

My Mom thinks the Cafeteria is the way to go. She says everybody gets what they want and the price is right. I hate it. The food is terrible. And, not healthy. My brother’s wife is German so cooks slaws and potatoes and sausages. Very tasty but not for me.

I’m having friends over for dinner in my NM mountain cabin on Saturday night. Maybe I’ll do my famous shrimp and whole grain pasta with fresh tomato sauce and fresh oregano. I like a lot of fresh garlic. It is important to cook the pasta al dente. I do not leave the boil. I like capellini and it can over-cook in a second. Keep tasting. It will continue to cook after it is drained. Another thing, make sure everyone is ready to eat and the table is set completely. It is not good to cook pasta then look in the fridge for the cheese, fill the water glasses, open the wine. The pasta will be mush by then. It is a Zen moment when the pasta is done.

I guess it is recipe time again. I first ate this dish in a palapa on a cliff over looking the Pacific outside Puerto Angel Mexico many years ago. Everything was cooked over open fires camp-out style. It was a make shift place I happened onto looking for a remote beach to snorkel. I remember passing a dead donkey and a couple of buzzards on a rock and dirt road in my little rented VW bug. The smell was intense. Luckily the wind was coming from the sea. About the time the dead donkey smell registers it is time to gun it to get over the boulder and up and over the hill to the top of the sea cliffs. The short walk further up, looking down into the lagoon where a few snorklers were disappearing into the waters. The view of the sea was truly aqua. A whiff of roasted garlic took us up to the top.
A few small palapa covered tables are scattered between the rocks. We sit and two cold Corona’s with lime wedges on the rim appear. There is only one thing on the menu. Shrimp and pasta. Okay. Sold.
I will never forget the wonder and deliciousness of it all. Just to make it more unbelievable two whales surfaced on the distant sea horizon.
Oh, Mexico, how I love you.

One lb.Whole Grain Capellili

See Joy of Cooking 1997, page 295

One 14 ½ oz. Can Del Monte Diced Tomatoes
One 5oz can V8 vegetable juice
One package fresh oregano or broad leafed-Cuban oregano plant
One to two cups fresh diced ripe tomatoes
One or two hot peppers, diced
Four to six cloves fresh garlic,
(depending on size) cut in half or quarters
extra-virgin olive oil

Heat olive oil, add garlic, peppers, fresh oregano. Cook until flavor opens. Add tomatoes and V8. Simmer.

2lbs. fresh or frozen shrimp

Grill over open flame in shells, good with mesquite wood.
Do not over cook. Taste for doneness.
Shell and add to sauce or serve separately.
You can grill other vegetables at the same.

Add a bit of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I just finished a book, Wolves in Chic Clothing, (very funny) about society women in New York. It reminded me of so many times I came across this type while I lived there. The Skinny Girls Rules were invented by these women who think nothing of spending $10,000 on a mid-week-personal-present-recovery-program, shopping spree at Bergdorf’s; some shoes, a few bags, a scarf or two, just odds and ends. Now, one must have a skinny body to justify this interest in high fashion. The rules are Zen strict. You may eat anything lettucey with nothing but lemon on it. Consomme for special occasions. Never touch the food at society benefit dinners. Move it around on the plate and eat the lettuce only. Perrier with lime is favorite drink. That is about it. The question of eating thing like sodas of any kind, diet or not, any peasant foods like sandwiches, ethnic foods, pasta, is frowned upon. To even be in the presence of such food is creepy. These Extremely Skinny Girls always eat before they go out to dinner, order something small and expensive and nibble at the lettuce. Needless to say, they do not take leftovers home. They also eat before going to a dinner party. Sometimes cocktail time can be long. It is not good to drink on an empty stomach and hors d’oeuvres are out of the question. They have personal trainers, a personal gym, and nutritionist/chiefs on call. The demand to fit into designer clothing consumes them. They do not cook. Their food consumption is controlled by the trainer and chief. Heads roll if they gain even a fraction of a pound. (I exaggerate only slightly). See New York Social Diary.

Just to acknowledge the influence of the Extremely Skinny Girls on my approach to eating, I am not going to include foods that are substitutes for foods that are knock offs of high fat foods skinny girls never eat. It is an attitude that is important. Trying to eat the same not so good for you guy foods that have been adapted to be okay is not skinny girl thinking. This is hard ball I know and not for everyone. I believe one's mind set has a lot to do with ones relationship to food. Changing the programming of the mind requires a seismic shift of brain cells.

Last week I went to an Open House Sunday afternoon. I had a “party panic episode” and ate the tiny White Castle like hors d’oeuvres. Sometimes I get freaked out in social situations. Someone I knew was introduced to me and she did not remember that we have meet and even talked before. Granted this is Naples, Florida and most everyone is old as the hills and can’t remember anything. I took it hard and left to attend my 11 year old granddaughter’s birthday party at Cheebuger Cheebuger. I ate a big hamburger with cheese, fries and onion rings and a chocolate milk shake. Anxiety eating. I felt sick. I confessed my lapse at WW yesterday and my Leader gave me sheets to fill out titled Anchoring, Mental Rehearsing, and Positive Self-Talk. Thank you WW.

Joy of Cooking 1997, Page 107

Basic Mixed Green Salad
Joy of Cooking 1997, Page 206-207

Monday, February 19, 2007

Drink Water

Good meeting Saturday at WW. Told everyone about this new blog. Got lots of great tips, it being tips day:
Here’s one I like. Set monthly goals. What a good idea. Takes the pressure off of the weekly expectations.
Here’s another sign I like, “You never fail unless you give up.”
This is a good one I am considering. Do not eat in front of the TV.
And of course, drink water. (Six glasses each day.)

There was a woman who was most inspiring. She had lost a great deal of weight over a long time. She said to count inches lost not pounds.

The WW meeting I go to is really hopping. A great bunch of women and a few men who are sports.

A new Asian grocery store has opened in my neighborhood. Variety makes meal planning much more fun. I came up with dumplings that are WW friendly. Once again, please note, I am not in any way affiliated with WW and have my own quirky ideas about how to approach food. I am not going to talk about points at all. I have worked out points for myself and am satisfied with my calculations. You should do the same. Otherwise, this is about a lifestyle. It is important to remember that once you get the feel for the points plan and if you know a thing or two about cooking then just take off. If you are not a cook get The Joy of Cooking and learn. For this recipe, in fact, check Joy for dumplings.

Turkey Dumplings & Sweet Potato Chips

Dumpling Wrappers (Shanghai Style)
Two Kirkland Turkey Burger Patties
Two Chinese Eggplants
One Chinese Red Pepper

Crumble and cook turkey in teaspoon olive oil. Add a bit of cumin.
Put turkey aside and in same pan cook peppers, add a dash more olive oil and cook eggplant with peppers.

Put turkey, eggplant, and peppers on one wrapper and wet edges of wrapper very slightly, fold over sealing edges together, form crescent and wet ends to seal together. You’ll get the hang of it after a few tries. A small bowl of water works to dip your fingers in.

Steam for about seven minutes. Serve with Tamari soy sauce (add little lime and water), and Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Sauce. (Both at Asian grocery.)

Cut sweet potatoes into thin rounds and bake at 400 degrees until crispish. ( This recipe is from WW meeting.) I recommend a non-stick cookie sheet. Salt before serving.

I like a small 8 ¼ inch dark green Japanese plate for serving six dumplings and one sweet potato, as chips. Use chop sticks.

And, a big glass of water.

Makes approx. 30 dumplings, half of dumpling wrapper package. For another day try just vegetables, or add red cabbage, or lean pork and cabbage, or sprouts and shrimp with lime and small amount of chili paste. You get the idea.

Friday, February 16, 2007

First Post

I am assuming as I write this there is someone out there reading who also wants to be or stay skinny. When I say skinny I mean not fat. Believe me when ten pounds creep up slowly what is skinny takes on a whole new meaning. Forget about the x-ray thin idea. I think everyone agrees that just looks sick. And maybe is. I am talking about a man’s version of skinny, meaning “somethin’ to ya’ ” but not falling out in spots. You know what I mean, no bulges.

You got that? OK. We’re on. The first step I recommend is to call 1-800-651-6000 and turn your self in to Weight Watchers. I say this because it is the only thing that works over time. They have it down. I am in my second round of WW magic. I went for the first time about two years ago after trying several other diets. My Dad was on Weight Watchers many years ago, bless his soul. He used to say “ I have to go weigh in with the fat ladies.” It worked for him until he had a stroke and could not keep focused any longer.

Here’s what happened. I signed up for an expensive cruise. Had to get skinny. Had a dead line. Seven months. Worked really hard. Lost 15 lbs. Bought cute cruise clothes. Looked great. Cruise turned out not to be as great as I thought it would be. No real fault of the cruise itself. It was my first and I went alone on a group thing and did not connect with group so well because they were mostly couples. My looking skinny and great was not exactly a plus with the wives. Got home. Gave up. Ate everything. Gained weight back and then some.

Now I am, through prayer and great determination, on a mission to get my skinny body back. My health means everything to me. I have so much to live for. My life is blessed in so many ways. I will come to terms with this single older woman stigma.
Back to Weight Watchers.

Let me say a few things about WW. Really warm and fuzzy. Nice people, mostly women. Safe. Caring. And, all types trying to loose weight. Some have had a struggle with weight issues their whole lives, some just had a couple of babies and need to get back in their cute swim suits, some are once upon a time skinny girls like me, a big gang of grannies of all shapes and sizes. Medical problems seem to keep many from exercising the way they need to. It's hard to work up a thirty minute sweat when your knees feel like the Tin Man. And some have doctors saying "Get Ye To Weight Watchers Or Else".

Looking around the room I feel supported and lucky to just be wanting to get back into my expensive cruise wardrobe again. I can ride my bike and like to. I like to exercise. I like vegetables. I like healthy foods. This whole thing is a piece of cake for me. Some of the gals hate to exercise, hate vegetables, have never had good eating habits. And meditation? That subject has never come up. I feel I am way ahead of the game. So, tomorrow morning I weigh in for the week. I am hopeful. I'll let you know what happens. And, I have some great new recipes to share involving dumplings, sweet potatoes, and greens.