Thursday, July 12, 2012

She's Back!

Quechee Gorge, Vermont
June 1, 2012

I've always been fairly good at being able to laugh at myself.   And that's a good thing, because I do plenty of things that are laughable.   So it's o.k. to laugh at me when I share some things that I've done recently.   In fact, it would make me really happy to think something in this post has made you laugh out loud or at least smile!!

Remember that woman who showed up in my kitchen last October?  Well, she's back!  In case you don't remember her or are new, here's the post in which I introduced her.  I've discovered that she shows up when being in the mountains or hiking takes a back seat for whatever reason.  Right now, it's just too hot and crowded.  In October, the crowds make it virtually impossible to easily reach most trailheads, so we patiently wait until November when they all go home.  Little do they realize that most of the time, November is at least as beautiful as October in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

At any rate, she's back, doesn't seem to have lost any of her enthusiasm for finding fun in the kitchen and is having a blast discovering new food blogs geared toward an eating lifestyle that weighs 30 pounds less than last October!  With Bill having jumped on the bandwagon (see this post), it's even more fun as we are able to share the things I prepare.   

Speaking of Bill....of course, in 1 1/2 weeks, he's lost five pounds while I'm struggling to get rid of my last four to "technically" reach goal. (I'll be happy to entertain any sympathy about the fact that men lose weight so much quicker than women!!) I say, technically, because I'm no longer stressing over it.   It's doubtful four pounds is going to make much difference in my size, so in my mind, I'm already at goal.  I did mention earlier that I'd planned to return to the 17 Day Diet - Cycle 1 for a few days to jumpstart a loss.   Tried that for one day and decided I'd rather lose these last four pounds slowly than do anything that might squelch the fun I'm having in the kitchen.  Yes, Cycle 1 WORKS, but there is no question about the fact that it's restrictive and bottom line, I just didn't want to do it.  I'll get there, probably not by my birthday, but it'll happen sooner rather than later and you'll be the first to know!

On to another subject.........

While on the trip, I had three hilarious NSV's (non-scale victories) and wanted to share them with you.   It's o.k. to laugh or think, a) what a hoot, b) she's lost her mind, or c) sounds more like the fashion police than a NSV!  Just as long as one or more of these makes you smile!

1)   On 2012 Summer Adventure - Day 1, I traveled from home to Dulles, VA alone as Bill wasn't quite finished with work responsibilities and my friend, Tish and I wanted to ride bikes again.  At the rest stop in Luray, VA, two older (like REALLY old) gentlemen were serving as hosts in the restored train depot/Visitor Center.  Very friendly guys and on a slow Sunday afternoon, seemed intent on persuading me to spend the night in Luray.   Loved their enthusiam and can only wish it was present in ALL tourism offices!   I had noticed a paved bike path/greenway running as far as I could see in both directions along the former rail bed.  Thinking I'd enjoy a quick bike ride, I asked about it.  Instead of answering my question, the older of the two gentlemen said rather loudly, "Ah-ha!! I knew you were a biker!"  It took me by surprise, but I quickly asked how in the world he knew that. (My car, with the bikes on it, was not visible.) He kind of backed off and said he couldn't tell me because, "we women get so offended over compliments."  After promising him I wouldn't be offended or report him to his "bosses," he said (AND I QUOTE), "you have biker legs."   Oh my gosh, that was two months ago and I'm still bent over double laughing just thinking about it.   I'm 56 (19 days away from 57) years old - I do NOT have biker legs!!   But doggone it, it almost made me want to spend the night in Luray!!

2)  One night when I must have been really, really bored (maybe it was one of our few rainy days), we were getting ready to do laundry and Bill's jeans were laying on the bed. (he wears a 34 x 29 jean)  Whatever possessed me to pick up those jeans and wonder how far I could get them on is TOTALLY beyond me.  Truthfully, I didn't think I'd be able to get them past my knees!!  But I did!   I got them on and zipped them up!  Tight??  Yes!!   But I could breathe and I managed to walk into the den where they must not have looked too bad because he couldn't figure out why I was whooping and hollering.  Once I told him, he promptly told me to take them off before I "stretched" them!  MEN!!  Geez - do they ever get it???  Actually he was grinning when he said that and he most definitely GOT IT!   This was huge!   Not so much the fact that I could get them on, but the fact that it FINALLY altered my perception of what I now look like!  And BTW, it was all I could do to refrain from immediately drafting a blog post entitled, "I Got In Bill's Jeans."

3)  We were hiking one day and had been pretty quiet each thinking our own thoughts when out of the clear blue, Bill says, "you need to quit wearing that shirt.  It's way too big, makes your butt look big and is just tacky!"   Well, thanks a lot there, dear husband who supports me in all things and is never unkind!  Again - kidding!    I have no better supporter than Bill!   He was more than right on this one!  I'd realized it myself, but the weather had been so unseasonably cool, it really was all I had.  It was a favorite go-to pullover for cooler days and had been for a long time.  Once we got home, it was banished and won't be seen again!!

Moving on from the NSV's to the admission which should probably never be written about in public!  Except for the fact that I enjoy laughing at myself!  This one can be filed under, "perhaps, Sharon should just stay OUT of the kitchen!"   You be the judge!

Didn't have any steel cut oats, so after we walked, I ran by EarthFare to pick them up along with a few other things.   As I was putting away my groceries, I went ahead and measured out the one cup of steel cut oats I would need before storing the rest in my pantry.  At some point, I made the decision to make the Quinoa Salad first. (anybody figure out where this is going????)   I made the quinoa (cough! cough!), fluffed it up nicely, drizzled with olive oil as directed and thought to myself, "that really doesn't look like quinoa."   I have only cooked with it once and that was a long time ago.   But I soldiered on, completed the recipe, tested it and pronounced it "good."   

It was only after I put the "Quinoa" Salad in the fridge and started looking around for that measuring cup of steel cut oats that I realized what I had done!  Yep, you guessed it!   We have a rather large bowl of "Summer Steel Cut Oats Salad" sitting in the refrigerator and the only quinoa I have is still in the pantry as uncooked as it was yesterday!  

The end of this story is that my lovely Summer Steel Cut Oats Salad isn't bad at all!  I warmed some for lunch today and paired it with (don't you like my Food Network jargon?) a ground turkey patty then enjoyed fresh raspberries for dessert!   Seems to me a combo that might next appear in a basket on "Chopped!"  (BTW, the Steel Cut Oats recipe was made and pronounced "excellent!"  I have verified that I did manage to use steel cut oats and not quinoa!!)

All right, COME CLEAN!   Every one of you has done something equally as crazy in the kitchen.   Tell me about it.   Only fair that I get to laugh at you!


  1. The husband jeans thing? I totally get it, LOL. I've got one for you too. One day my husband came home from work and he said "I must need to go on a diet too." I was a bit taken aback by this and I asked what had brought this on. He said that all day, while his jeans seemed like they fit, in the stomach they were pinching him bad. It turned out he wore MY jeans to work by accident! We're about the same height, but I have a tinier waist (and a bigger backside.) He was both so relieved and mortified. "Kyra, you can't tell ANYONE!"

    Yeah, so not sticking to that! ;)

  2. I'm sure I have but just can't remember. Love your NSVs. And, yes, men lose faster. It is fact. Has something to do with them having higher muscle mass and therefore burning more calories. And, don't forget, Bill has not been "dieting" so it is not at all unusual to get that nice whoosh that we, chronic "dieters," are not going to experience anymore. As for the jeans - I'll share my own story with you. I was kind of dating a guy my freshman year in college who asked to borrow my Calvin Klein jeans! He fit into them; I was at the beginning of my years of weighing more than I wanted to weigh. Depressing:( (To both, actually.) BTW - the jeans were "seconds." No way I spent a lot of money on clothes back then! Or now, actually.

  3. Sharon! Who knew two years ago that I would get some good cooking ideas from you?!? Loved both of these ideas (okay, not the oatmeal salad so much LOL) I clicked over to that Yummy site, and she had some other ideas about refrigerator oatmeal. You know I"m gonna try these with my good supply of homemade oatmeal! They look so delicious and cool.

    And actually, regarding the 'mistake,' the only way I've used quinoa so far is in conjunction with my steel cut oats, so it actually doesn't sound too bad. Who knows, you might have created the next new food craze.

    Okay, here's my very funny (IMO) mistake. One morning I made myself a bowl of my favorite 'spackle'--(oatbran/flaxseed meal/nut butter combo) I leave it sitting on the counter for 15 minutes because it softens up a bit. When the timer went off I went to get it, and at the same time to let the dogs out of their separate eating areas, and I thought, man, Bess was really a messy eater today. Why is all that food junk left on the side of her bowl? And then I went to get my bowl of spackle and it was GONE!!! Yes, Bess had a bowl of spackle for breakfast!

  4. I loved all your NSV's, Sharon, and they all gave me a chuckle. But the line that made me actually laugh OUT LOUD was the one where you said you could barely restrain yourself from "immediately drafting a blog post entitled, "I Got In Bill's Jeans." funny! You should have done that (the blog post, I mean)---I expect we would have all been VERY eager to read it! :-)

    You have my complete sympathy, Sister Sharon, with feeling slightly annoyed at how much more easily men lose weight than women. After he hurt his knee, my husband Tom got serious about losing weight, and I think I recall that he dropped six pounds in one week by simply cutting out his nightly bowl of ice cream. That's all. Sure, I'm truly happy for him, but, seriously, even if I'd stopped EATING for a week, I'd probably not lose six pounds. *Sigh*

  5. Love your NSVs...and I'm thinking "I Got Into Bill's Jeans" could take on all sorts of meanings ;-)

    Crazy kitchen thing? The Great Almond Fire of 2000, in which I thought it putting a tray of almonds under the broiler to toast them woud be a good idea!

    BTW, ehen I click the link to find out who the woman is, I get directed to the Fiscal Time's review of bad that intentional?

  6. I was also curious about the woman who was back and puzzled by the 12 Worst Supermarkets link.

    I used to purchase a frozen vegetable, noodle mix which I would eat for a meal occasionally. One night I grabbed a spice thinking it was dried red peppers or something like that. Too late I saw it was cinnamon. I got out what I could but rather than toss the whole dish, I just ate it. It wasn't good enough to try again. :(

  7. Haha, most of my crazy kitchen blunders aren't nearly as exciting as yours--it's usually the old "I mixed up baking soda with baking powder" kind of mishaps.

    Congratulations to both you and your husband on your weight loss and keep up the good work. :)

  8. Great NSVs!

    I'm sure I've never done anything so silly in the kitchen. (Are we excluding burning things?) :)
    My mother once took a lemon meringue pie to a family potluck. She'd forgotten the sugar!

  9. I would have definitely posted right away about getting in to those jeans.

    I have tons of kitchen blunders and a few kitchen 'on purpose' experiments that will go down in family history. I made an anniversary cake for my sister & BIL 25th wedding anniversary several years ago. He was in the last few months of his life so I really, really wanted this cake to be special. I found some lovely clear sprinkles, I'd forgotten buying. I sprinkled the cake very generously with those sprinkles so it would sparkle nicely on the table before it was cut. Sadly, those sprinkles were not sprinkles at all but salt!! 65MD tried to save the day by vacuuming the cake. Let's just say that didn't work and I had to add extra flowers to cover those blunders, but the cake was indeed one of the most beautiful creations I have ever made, just not quite a sweet as usual!

  10. You already wrote "I got into Bill's jeans" - so welcome to the Google creepers that are going to visit your blog LOL!

    I wouldn't dare try to put John's jeans on. I do have biker thighs and I have the family's curvy hips - not like John's slim hips :D I did put his shoes on last week, though, as I had to quick run out to the porch and get something in the rain. He wears a size 11 and I wear 6.5 - I looked like a clown!

    One of my worst kitchen disasters was putting several tablespoons of baking soda into cookies on accident. They were like a hard salt lick. Yuck!

  11. You are just so cute, Sharon.... Oh the joys of losing weight, feeling good about yourself and eating healthy!!!!! Life is good---isn't it?????? I still can't get out of the big/baggy clothes.... I don't have too many 'little' things that I can wear --but I do have some.. We went to Walmart to buy some new matching t-shirts for the 4th of July. I got a large for me (used to wear 2XL) and an XL for hubby. WELL---that large for me is TOO BIG.... I couldn't believe it Me --in a medium t-shirt???? Holy Cow!!!!!!

    Love your stories--especially the 'biker leg' one.... NEAT!!!!!!

    Glad you are enjoying being in the kitchen ... We are still spending lots of time in the yard... At least though, we are getting some much-needed rain FINALLY...

  12. My daughter once put 1/4 cup of salt in a pancake recipe. Can't remember if she mixed it up with the sugar or what, but that was one special batch of pancakes, let me tell ya! I wrote down the quinoa recipe, I've been meaning to find some quinoa recipes. I recently had some with sweet potatoes in it from Whole Foods deli counter that was delicious on top of a mixed green salad with poppyseed dressing lightly drizzled on top. Yummmmm!

  13. four pounds to goal, Sharon? So, so happy for you :) And you're right about not stressing. Very smart response. If it happens, great. But if you feel good in the body you're in, that's all that matters. Congratulations!