Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Big 58! Inching towards the 60's

Well guess who celebrated a birthday this week?

This Girl!

Yep, with that cheesy grin. Can you believe I'm 58 years old? It's hard for me to believe, in my mind I'm still in my early 30's, sometimes in my mind I'm still 18...but trust me, my body knows it's nearing 60! Those aches and pain remind me every day!

But it was a great birthday this year. It started out with a hug and birthday greetings from my mom who couldn't wait to give me my birthday gifts. She knows me so well and knows what I love!

A beautiful butterfly necklace and purse. I just love them! Thanks mom, you're the best and I love you!

Then I get to the office and my co-worker has all kinds of surprises for me. You can see in the first picture with the cheesy grin, all kinds of goodies! Starbucks coffee, my favorite, a beautiful blue creamer, sugar bowl and bowl that I love and she even made a special Lemon Cream Pie for me...low-carb!

Here's a close up of the dishware, I love them and her! Thank you Angelica! You're the best!

Later in the day I received this beautiful floral arrangement from my employers!

My wonderful sister Lisa put together a "girls" birthday celebration after work where family and friends got together to help me celebrate. With Margaritas, balloons, laughter and fun we had a great time!

It was a fun day and all the festivity made me feel like a kid again! Thank you all for sharing in this special day with me!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Onion, Ham, Jalapeno and Cheese Frittata

July 7th was exactly one year that I have been on my low carb, high fat lifestyle and I've lost and maintained a consistent weight loss of 23 pounds. I was aiming for 1 pound a week which would have been 52 pounds, but I have to be realistic and realize that sometimes life happens and for one reason or another you can't stick to the plan. Don't fret and beat yourself up, just get right back up on that horse and keep on trucking! I know that is mixing up a couple of different quotes, but you get what I mean, you're a smart bunch!

In the spirit of my one year anniversary on LC/HF, I decided to share a great Frittata recipe! Cause why wouldn't I? I mean just look at this deliciousness!

I also love sharing recipes on my blog because that way I can always find the instructions on how to make something because I'm pretty forgetful!

So you start by melting 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a non-stick, oven safe pan. I used my cast iron pan which I love, love, love, but next time I will make sure to use it on a lower heat level. Once the butter is melted I toss in my diced onion and about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cracked pepper to taste. I just love the smell of onion caramelizing in butter, it makes my heart happy!

I cooked the onions...oh about 4 minutes, then added my chopped ham and diced jalapenos. I would have preferred to use red bell peppers but I didn't have any so I improvised. It's all my training from watching episode upon episode of Chopped and Iron Chef! I stirred and cooked that for about 2 minutes. 

While that was going on, I cracked 8 eggs in a bowl, added a 1/4 cup of half & half, but you can use milk if you so desire. I added a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper and a dash of paprika and whisked the eggs. Then mixed in 1 cup of grated cheddar and I mixed in a bit of mozzarella as I didn't have enough cheddar to make up a cup. (Again, my Food Network Chef Training) See the little red flakes of Paprika in there? Yummmmm! Gives everything a great smokiness!

Now was the time to marry the ham, onion, jalapenos with the eggs and cheese and I said my blessings over them and they all became one with the world and it was beautiful!

So you gently stir to try to get all the ingredients uniform so they aren't all just clumped together in one spot and then you kinda leave them alone, see how they get along, for about 5 minutes. During this time you heat up your over broiler and then you place the whole pan under the broiler and you add a little heat to this beautiful marriage and see if they still blend beautifully even when things get hot! And they do and they did and it was good!

Wanted to cut into this right away but I know that patience is a virtue and so I covered it with foil and let it sit for about 5 minutes then turned it over onto a plate and then turned it over again onto another plate cause I wanted the pretty top to be showing. Then I cut into it!

And it was good and my heart was happy, especially after I paired that slice with my favorite low carb beverage.

So I enter into another year of low carb/high fat and here's to hoping I can lose another 23 pounds in the coming year.

RECIPE:   4 to 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (about a cup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of Paprika
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Half & Half (you can use milk instead
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 or two jalapenos, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Melt butter in a medium, non-stick, oven safe skillet. Add the onions and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cracked pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often for about 4 minutes until the onion gets soft, then add the diced jalapenos and ham stir and cook 2 or 3 more minutes.

Crack the 8 eggs in a bowl, add the half & half (milk) add 1/4 teaspoon salt, paprika and pepper again to taste and whisk and pour into the pan over the onions, ham and jalapenos. Stir to make sure the fillings are evenly distributed and cook, stirring gently a couple of times during the first minute of cooking, and then let the mixture cook undisturbed until the eggs are just beginning to set, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil 3 to 5 minutes until the eggs are just set. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let sit for another 5 minutes, then invert onto a plate, then invert again. Cut into wedges and serve warm. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I'm Taking An Art Class

One of the things that I've always wanted to do is to draw. Draw and play piano. Draw and play piano and sky dive, yep...those three things are what I have have always wanted to do.

I'll admit now that I've taken piano lessons. Years of piano lessons, and I can play a mean Yankee Doodle Dandy...but that is about it! For some reason I just cannot read music. I haven't given up yet, someday I hope to take lessons again.

As to skydiving, I should have done it back in the day before I developed a fear of heights, now I know it's one of those things that I will never try! I get anxious just standing on a hotel balcony!

That leaves drawing. I think this one is still doable! So I'm taking an Art Class with my sister and our friend Lupe. Wish me luck because I have never had an eye or an aptitude for drawing. 

One of the classes was on perspective, which is tough for me. When I was in high school I wanted to join the Air Force. I took the test and failed. I failed because of questions like this. Once the shape below is folded up, what will the end result be? Can you guess? Answer later on, let me know if you got it. I didn't!

That being said, I'm learning that even someone who has no natural born talent with drawing can still draw using simple techniques. 

One Point Perspective is one way. You can find an explanation and really great diagrams at this link. I will admit it still took me a while to understand this concept while my sister got it right away.

Here was my first attempt. It's not bad, but the couch cushions are wrong and it throws off the room a bit.

Then I went rogue and during the week, outside of class I watched some youtube videos and came up with this. I thought I was doing really well on this one, but can you see the BIG mistake?

This is a subway train, people are going to sit in the seats and the ones that can't find seats will hang on to the poles. You got that right? Well first look at the seats on the left, see how they are almost sitting on the floor? Imagine if you will, someone sitting there, they are going to have their knees up by their ears!

And the seats on the right, imagine sitting there. You would have to jump up there or get a boost from another passenger and even once you were seated your legs would hang about three feet above the floor! FAIL!

But what I lack in artistic ability I make up for in perseverance, so I tried yet another one and this one I think I nailed and my art instructor said this one was pretty good as well.

We'll just call this one the hall in the library because this is the longest room I've ever seen! I'll keep practicing and the great thing is that it's very soothing to concentrate on this and it relieves a lot of tension!

Another technique that we learned just this week is drawing objects using shapes. He's teaching us to see the shapes around us and using 4 simple shapes we can draw almost anything.

In the drawing below, I drew the 4 shapes free-hand, not using a ruler so don't worry that they aren't perfect because one of the things that I am having to learn with art is that it's not perfect and sometimes it's those imperfections that make things beautiful; cones, cylinders, circles and squares. 

He had us make this simple diagram using those shapes and what does this drawing bring to mind? If you said a lamp you would be correct. I need to practice drawing this one some more because I drew it too big. Once I get the perspective of how big it should be I can add detail and make it look like a lamp.

With that lesson in mind, I drew this cute little guy. Can you see the shapes? What he had us do first in pencil was to draw him in shapes, the head, ears, eyes of course are circles. His paws are cylinders, the base of the cup is a cone. Once the shapes were there we simply created the rest of him and then outlined him with a black Sharpie, erased the shapes and there he was!

I'm really enjoying this and hope to learn more techniques and eventually be able to accomplish this! I would love to paint this on one of the fences in my backyard, that would be amazing! And since Lisa and Lupe are taking the class with me they can come and help! There's a method to my madness!

So that's what I'm up to this summer! Oh and by the way, don't think I forgot...the answer to the diagram question above is A. Did you get it right?