Friday, March 8, 2013

Had to share a giggle with you today...



Our little Benjammin is starting early with the car stuff.  Last weekend he was all about grabbing Abby's stomper truck.  Why does Abby have a stomper truck? Ummmm, could it be because she's a little Kentucky girl, whose Daddy is obsessed with any kind of wheels.  I don't think her pretty little mama bought it for her.

Grandkds are such fun!!!

Mediterranean Diet Information

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Lunch was diced cucumbers, onions and tomatoes, marinated in olive oil and red wine vinegar, shredded lettuce and garlic hummus, all stuffed into a whole wheat pita pocket.  Was it good?   YES…..

Here is some more info for you.

I got this book at the library, The Miami Mediterranean Diet Expanded Edition.


It's a fast read, catchy title, looks like they are trying to knock off South Beach with this look, but it has a 300 recipes, a lot of them look really good, but since I'm just getting started, I haven't had a chance to try anything.  I tend to get more of my information online, but I did want several recipes in one place to get me started.

If there is a "con" to this way of eating, it's that you have to cook.  No way around it.  But I like being in the kitchen, so it isn't a stretch for me.  I haven't eaten chicken or fish yet this week, the beans, yogurt, olive oil and nuts satisfies me, I'm not hungry,  let's put it this way, this is so much better than low carb.  Every single time I do low carb, I say never again, and then in a desperate attempt to lose 5 lbs. yesterday, I cave and try it again. And it works, until you eat one little cookie, and then you blow up like a balloon!  So goodbye low-carb, hello Mediterranean Diet.  At least for this week...

Now for some links:

Living a Heart Healthy Lifestyle - this tells you what you need to eat...

Meditteranean Diet Menu Plans

1200-Calorie Mediterranean Diet

Breakfast Recipes

How to Eat a Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health

Mediterranean Meal Plan

This should be enough to tell you everything you want to know.

Dinner tonight - baked cod, frozen lima beans, baked sweet potato, green salad - afternoon snack is that yummy yogurt concoction I showed you yesterday.  Now you have it, a synopsis of what it's like to eat this way.  

Hope it's a good day wherever you are, temps are warming in Heavensville and the sun is shining.  Life is good…  ~ jan

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The obsession begins...

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Ladies,  you have never tasted anything yummier than this, it was my afternoon snack with a big cup of coffee.  Sliced strawberries, sprinkled with Splenda, a big dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a handful of those toasted oats on top, a few pieces of walnut, and then the oats drizzled with honey.

I could eat this every single day, and I just might.  It's good enough to make you weep!  Seriously...

Mediterranean Diet Boot Camp


Unless you've been living under a rock, you've undoubtedly been reading all the press this past week about how the Mediterranean Diet is the most healthy diet in the world and how Greek men have 90% less heart attacks than American men.  90%, that's astounding.

And if you're  a regular reader of my blog you also realize that I'm horribly  OCD.  The older I get, the more compulsive I am.  I'm also the Diet Queen!!!  I've tried everything known to (wo)man, sometimes with results, most often without.  Since January I have faithfully, until last week followed Low Carb dieting and I initially lost 7 lbs. stalled out, and didn't lose another pound.  And all the time I'm eating all that bacon and meat, I'm thinking I don't even like meat.

Enter my friend Cynthia, who is a tiny little thing and she's bummed because she's gained 10 lbs.  She told me she was going to try the Mediterranean Diet, and I decided, what the heck, I'll try it too.  I've known about it for years, read about it, but didn't really do any in depth reading, but that OCD kicked in and I have been reading everything I can get my hands on for the last couple of days.  Then I trekked to the grocery store where I spent $4,602.83 on Mediterranean friendly diet foods.

Now if you're not familiar with this way of eating, it's pretty simple.  You limit calories to 1200 a day to lose weight, you eat a lot of veggies, a ton of fruit, lots of olives, a handful of nuts a day, feta cheese, plain greek yogurt, honey  and of course, olive oil.  You eat fish and chicken, and limit red meat to a couple of times a month.  But the best part for me is beans, you eat beans daily, which I adore, so that part is easy.  And whole grains, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pitas, couscous, bulgar, barley, quinoa, and best of all whole wheat pasta, all the good stuff I really like.

 I'm going to chronicle how this is going, along with recipes in case anybody else decides it's time to eat healthy.  And since I don't have a good track record, I'll warn you ahead of time that this may fly out the window in a week,  a month, or even tomorrow, who knows.  But until it does, I'll give you all some "food" for thought.

I toasted  oats this morning by putting oats on my Silopat liner in the oven.  I used convection at 350 for about 15 minutes, stirring often until they were toasty and slightly brown.  And no, I didn't burn them, that's a shadow in the picture.  So now I jar them in my wonderful Ball jars, sit them on the shelf and they're ready when I need them as a topping for my yogurt.

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And then I made black bean soup for lunch, which tastes pretty similar to Panera's Black Bean Soup.  This recipe is adapted from one I found on Once Upon a Chef, a great site, with lots of Mediterranean friendly recipes.  This was wonderful, a keeper recipe for sure, even hubby loved it.

Serving Size: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled - I used a couple of cloves extra of garlic
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped - I used a handful of baby carrots
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups (40 ounces) low sodium chicken broth (best quality, such as Swanson) - I used a 32 ounce box of chicken stock,  which is 4 cups, I think that 5 cups would have made the soup too runny.
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander - I omitted this, because coriander is dried cilantro and I am not a fan.
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from half a lime - I used half a lemon instead of lime
  • 1/3 cup sour cream - I put a big dollop of Greek Yogurt in mine instead of sour cream
  • Chopped fresh cilantro - No way Jose, another omission


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pan. Add the onions, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes, stirring in the garlic the last couple of minutes. Do not brown.
  2. Add the black beans, chicken broth, oregano, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
  3. Purée the soup using a hand-held immersion blender until very smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, you can use a standard blender to puree the soup in batches.) Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and freshly chopped cilantro.

I also started a Mediterranean Diet Board on Pinterest.  Here's the direct link, not a lot of recipes yet, but I'm sure it will fill up quickly.

And if you're rolling your eyes and thinking, "oh-oh, here she goes again" I totally understand.  Just ignore my posts about this, as you all know I tend to burn out quickly.

Tomorrow I'll update you with a book I'm reading and some great sites for you to explore.

Okay, I won't make you wait until tomorrow, here's a great site to get you started...

~ Jan

Let's play the how smart is my granddaughter game ;o)



We all do it, believe that our grandchildren are the smartest little people in the entire universe.  I did it first with my own kids, and I've done it with my friends kids over the years as well.  Nisha's Mandi was so precocious, we all thought she would grow up to be a rocket scientist.  V's Angie was scary smart, Ang's Jes and Sam, so smart as well.  And now along comes the next generation, my little Miss A.

So the story goes, Abby was out with her mother, and they saw a sign that said "BABY."  And Abby tells her momma that they spelled it wrong.  "It should be spelled A-B-B-Y," she said.  Now this child is just three years old.  I'm thinking another scary smart rocket scientist is in the making.

Go Abby!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cooking Rice in a Pressure Cooker



I'm such a fan of my Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker and talk about it often.  I use it many times weekly, in fact, I have lima beans cooking in it right now.  But I've always used a rice cooker for cooking rice.  Let me amend that, hubby is the ricer maker in the family, he is the one that gets the rice cooker it from the garage, measures the rice, puts in the water, and sets it and forgets it. :-D   So last week when it quit working, and he tore it apart and deemed it unfixable, I was thinking that I had to buy a new one.

But then I got the bright idea to Google cooking rice in a pressure cooker, and sure enough it's very doable.  In fact, when I got ready to cook it in my Wolfie, I discovered that it has a rice setting.  Duh, Jan.

But anyway, here's how I did it and it came out perfectly.  I put a cup of water in the pressure cooker, added the steamer basket, then I took a small stainless steel bowl, put in a cup of rice and a cup and a half of water in the bowl, set the bowl on the steamer basket, pressed rice, and it took six minutes.  You're probably thinking, "wow, that was fast."  Well, not exactly.  It had to build steam, and then you let it depressurize, so it's probably about the same amount of time as on the stove.  But, it doesn't stick, it doesn't come out like glue, it's perfect, fluffy grains.  Amazing, huh...

Monday, March 4, 2013

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