Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Books Read in 2013

I think in the coming year I'm going to have to sleep a whole lot less! I had set a goal of 30 books to read this year!

30 books and I only managed to read 18! What happened to me in 2013? In 2009 and 2010 I read 24 books each year. In 2011 I read 29 books. 2012 I had set a goal of 30 but only read 26...but 18? Wow! What a slacker!

I guess other things were more important in 2013.

So I will set a new goal for 2014 and see if I can't do better. It's not that I've lost my love of reading, just life getting in the way. So maybe I will set a more realistic goal of 20 this year.

Here's a list of the books I read this year...

Ok, off to read a book! Are you reading any good books lately? Or do you have a recommendation?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Low-Carb Pancakes with Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

One thing that I really don't miss eating is sweets. I've never been a big fan of sweets, cookies, cakes, sweet rolls, etc. But one thing I really do miss is pancakes and french toast! 

For the longest time I've wanted to try making the low-carb pancakes that everyone is raving about. These don't require flour of any kind. 

My friend and co-worker Angie makes some super delicious pancakes but she uses Almond and/or Coconut Flour and Protein Whey...which are all a bit expensive for my taste. 

The pancakes I made tonight are made with cream cheese, eggs, Splenda and cinnamon...easy peasy and something most of us have in the fridge and pantry!

Pretty aren't they? And this was the ugly one...so I ate him! They are the texture of a crepe but the cinnamon reminds me of french toast. Can't wait to share these tomorrow with my co-worker with a cup of Starbucks coffee! 

Oh...and this is not my recipe or my idea...there are many much wiser low-carbers out there than I. They try over and over again to get these recipes right and then I get to try the no-fail recipe! Gotta love them! 

The recipe for this version is again from one of my fav low-carb bloggers, Mellissa Sevigny from I Breathe...I'm Hungry. 


Monday, January 6, 2014

Finger in the Dike and a Yummy Meal

Today is going to be a little bit random because sometimes that's just how my mind works! 

 Also my mind is pretty tired because today was the first day of a full week back to work in 2014, and I went into it with some trepidation. I tried to be positive about it and even posted on Facebook first thing in the morning something to motivate me and others.

Happy Monday everyone! Back at work for the first full week of 2014!
I'll be ready for it...just as soon as I finish my first cup of coffee! Make it a great one!

See how I tried to face the day with a lot of positivity? Yes, I know...that's not a real word, auto correct is telling me so, but I like the word...positivity!

I believe I've written before how I have some days when everything I touch turns to Gold and is smooth as silk...today was not one of those days!

Today I would no sooner touch one project and get a little into it when I would get interrupted with an urgent email or phone call. I would then turn my focus into putting out that fire and soon there was another call or email that took me away from that fire and so on and so on and nothing much got accomplished, just a bunch of half done problems and projects! *sigh* I hate days like that!

I felt like the little boy that put his finger in the dike to save the village but other holes kept cropping up and I was running from one to the other trying to just stop the onslaught of water and to keep from drowning!

But...the good thing is I got through the day and lived to face another one tomorrow!

Then I came home to do one of my favorite things...eat and share what I eat!

Tonight was taco night, but instead of having a regular taco with all the goodies stuffed into a high carb corn tortilla, I opted for a lettuce wrap. All the goodness for less carbs! Win! 

Is that not a work of art? Just seasoned and browned ground beef on an leaf of iceberg lettuce topped with avocado, salsa and shredded cheddar cheese...simple and delicious!

Tucked in at the back of the wraps is a yummy Spicy Cajun Chicken Strip. Made those yesterday to watch while the San Diego Chargers and the San Francisco Forty-niners played. They didn't play each other, they played other teams, but they both won! Go California! 

So that was it, that was my Monday. Hopefully tomorrow will be smoother and if not you know what?? There's always food and sharing it on my blog!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Our Minds are so Amazing...

This morning I was listening to the radio and the traffic report came on. There is a traffic reporter called Uncle Lee that does the traffic on several of the radio stations and I just love his voice. It’s deep and soft and soothing and you just know that with this voice guiding you through traffic, you’re going to be ok. 

As I listened to him, the thought came to me of what it would be like to be married to this man and listen to this voice every single day for the rest of your life. Would I find it just as soothing forever? Or would it eventually get to me to listen to a voice that deep and low. 

Then that thought took me to a thought about the difference in timbres of voices. I have a very deep, low voice that I can project without much effort. I can be heard in a crowd. My sister Lisa on the other hand, while she has a semi-deep voice (she doesn't sounds like Micky Mouse by any means) has a hard time projecting her voice. 

When our dad was alive we would go to see him and my sister Lisa would try to explain things to him, or just tell him a joke or a story or simply ask him a question and he would look at her puzzled…and then look to me to tell him what Lisa was saying. This would drive Lisa crazy! She never knew if he just didn’t hear her, didn’t understand her, or just pretended in order to drive her crazy! 

 I would tell her it was just the timbre of her voice. Because dad was hard of hearing he couldn't hear the register her voice is in…and I honestly believe that, but she still was unsure. 

So then that thought took me to thinking about my dad and a rush of sadness overwhelmed me. I miss him so much and even though I go on through my days… working, eating, shopping, sleeping…all those regular things; something will catch my thoughts and I’ll think about dad and the tears will just flow. 

Today was one of those days. I miss him so much. His smile and his jokes, even those times that he would be mad at me or the doctors or the nurses. It does get easier with time but when that wall of sadness hits, it hits hard. 

 All of this from the sound of one man’s voice simply doing the traffic report. Aren't our minds amazing? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I'm No Expert, but.....

So it's the 2nd day of the New Year and I'm back at the office having my lunch and trying to stick to my resolve to eat healthy again in 2014. I follow a lot of blogs that follow the low carb, high fat lifestyle aka LCHF.

One of the blogs I follow faithfully and just love the author of it to bits is Mellissa over at I Breathe...I'm Hungry...

I've shared many of her meatball recipes on my blog before, but today she did a post entitled "Hi, My name is Mellissa and I am a Carb Addict." 

So..."Hi, My name is Alicia and I too am a Carb Addict." Love carbs, especially those in the form of little rounds of fried potatoes seasoned with salt, and little crispy, cheesy strips of Heaven that have a satisfying crunch. More commonly they are known as potato chips and Cheetos...Yum!

It's really difficult to find any foods comparable to chips and Cheetos. Nothing really compares in the LCHF world, but today a friend turned me on to something super delicious that I can actually have on a LCHF diet. 

I had mentioned to my friend that I need to eat a certain percentage of healthy fats but that I really don't like fats or the taste of fats and that I normally peel the skin off of chicken or force myself to swallow it without chewing. 

My friend told me I should take the skin, wrap it in paper towels and put it in the microwave until it crisped up. So today that is what I did and what I ended up with is those golden little crisps pictured above. 

And because I peeled the skin off of my Cajun Chicken Drumsticks...recipe again from Mellissa at I Breathe...I Eat..., they had a super great Cajun flavor; a tad spicy, very crispy and salty...Yum!

They were a nice little appetizer today, I got my fats in and then I enjoyed the chicken drumstick with a side of salad. All in all a delicious lunch!

It's amazing the things you can do with food. Every day I read about some new thing that you can eat on LCHF. So glad there are so many great bloggers out there sharing this information!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year - No Black Eye Peas for Us

I know that for most people Black Eye Peas are the traditional food for the New Year, but that's not the tradition in our family or in most Hispanic households. We usually have Menudo, which is supposed to be great for a hangover, but this year I made Jalapeno Poppers and Meatloaf Pie. I know...doesn't really make sense. There is no rhyme or reason, but hey, it's a New Year and why not start it off being different and unpredictable right? 

 I've written about Meatloaf Pie before, it's my son's favorite dish and you can find the post and recipe HERE.

The Jalapeno Poppers idea and recipe came from one of my favorite food bloggers, The Pioneer Woman. The Pioneer Woman, Ree, is one of the nicest, funniest bloggers online. I have followed her forever and own her books. I've always wanted to try her Jalapeno Poppers so today I did. 

Super easy and you will love them if you try them! Just three ingredients, Jalapenos, Cream Cheese and Bacon! That's it! That's all!

I bought 10, cut them in half and removed the seeds. Here they are all naked and ready to be all dolled up! Oh...important thing to remember, don't touch your eyes with jalapeno juice on your fingers and if you like them a little hotter leave some of the white membrane and/or some of the seeds.

The first step to covering up their nakedness is to fill them with cream cheese....room temperature cream cheese. I found that just using a simple dinner spoon worked best. 

Then you take a package of bacon and cut it into thirds and wrap each pepper with a slice. Warning...use a toothpick to hold them together. I ran out of toothpicks and made the last few without them and the bacon slides off...you'll see that in later photos.

Be sure you place them on a rack so that the bacon grease can drain, that will help to crisp up the bacon. And Voila! You end up with this!

I took all the toothpicks out for the picture but you can see in that one in the middle that the bacon opened up...which is why I say to make sure to use a tooth pick to seal them.

Aren't they lovely? And they are so delicious! I could have eaten them all and I almost did! The great part is they are low-carb! Yes, still doing the low-carb thing. I strayed a bit during the holiday's but tomorrow is Jan 2nd and it's time to get myself back on track!

May the very best of last year be the very worst of this year! Happy New Year!