WIAW~Back Home and Blogging

Good Morning!  Here I am, keeping my promise to blog on a regular basis.  I told you I had NOT deserted you and I meant it. Of course, I had to come back for the biggest, most fun party of the week-What I Ate Wednesday, hostessed by the lovely Jenn at Peas & Crayons. I’ve missed participating and I’ve missed reading all the crazy wonderful posts from all of the other party-goers.  So here I am to share and give you all the opportunity to drool.

What I Ate Wednesday

There are a lot of veggies in this post, well…there  are Always a lot of veggies in my posts so nothing new there.  These are all foods that I ate while on my two-week visit to Clearwater, Florida.  I had a great time and ate a lot.  Fortunately, all of it was amazingly healthy so I don’t think I’ll have any worries when I get back to my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday.  Here we go! My friend Gail found an incredible restaurant called the Green Market Cafe. This is a great find for vegetarians and great choices for non-veggies too.  I ate there five times and tried five different things.  So there is definitely flexibility for vegetarians.

Mushoom Salad at Green Market Cafe

This was the Baby Bella salad.  Huge amount of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers and steamed mushrooms, topped with gorgonzola  cheese and house dressing.  Very filling and tasty.  I’ve never seen such huge salads as they have here.

Waldorf Salad

This is their Waldorf Salad. Again, lots of greens, apples, walnuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese and poppy-seed dressing.  Again, amazingly filling and delicious.

We had to experience Hamburger Mary’s and if you’re ever in Clearwater, you have to give it a dry.  A drag show and a burger.  What could be better.  This is the Huge black bean burger that I had.

Black bean burger at Hamburger Mary's

It came with a large side salad.  I had to eat half of this before I took the picture so that you could see it.  Excellent!

We had quite a wonderful experience at the Buddhist Temple in Tampa.  Every Sunday they have a market with all kinds of incredible foods.  Things we had never seen before or even ever heard of.  I went with something I’ve heard of and am learning to love.

Pad Thai at the Buddhist Center

Pad Thai.  It was delicious.  It was a huge portion and I ate every bit!  My other favorite thing there was sweet bean pie.  Like a little apple turnover but with bean paste inside that was so good.  Didn’t get a photo…I ate it too fast!

I’m home now and starting on trying to eat more routine things.  If I had remembered to get cabbage yesterday, I would have been making my Weight Watchers veggie soup today.  I’ll have to go out and get some.  I need to get back on track.

That’s What I Ate Wednesday for me for today.  Be sure to head over to Peas & Crayons when you’re finished here to join all the fun!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Week In Revew~April 14

Holy Cow it’s April and I can’t remember the last time I posted! Of course, I could just look at the date on my last post but I didn’t think of that before I started typing and I’m already typing so why go back?!

Hi Everyone! I was away in Florida for two weeks.  I had a wonderful time while I was gone.  While I was there, wonderful things happened both in Florida and in New Jersey, none of which I can talk about.  Let me just say that so far so good and there are exciting things happening.

This will not be so much a Week In Review as a catch-up ramble.  I’m still going to link up with Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets just because I love her and I miss being part of the fun!  Be sure to check out what’s happening over there.  It’s always a party.

Week In Review Button Final

I have no real direction in this post.  I want you to know I’m back and I will be posting on a regular basis.  I realized during this hiatus that I miss blogging when I don’t do it.  I miss the typing, the linking up and the general experience.  I’m hooked even though there are some time lapses when I don’t post.

I had a wonderful time with my friends Gail, Alice and Margot.  We also spent a lot of time with Margot’s sister Mary Lynn which was great fun.  We ate out a lot but I have to say that Gail (as a fellow vegetarian) has done an excellent job of finding places where we can all eat.  There is a wonderful place that she found called the Green Market Cafe. It was started by a young man, I think he was 24 years old and it’s wonderful! Incredible soups and salads and you get free frozen yogurt with your meal!  I thought it was a national chain but apparently it’s not.  Someone needs to market this and make it national.  It’s wonderful.

I’m facing a Very busy day with lots of things to catch up with, groceries, laundry, banking, sorting and packing.  All of that! I am back and I promise not to be a stranger like that again, especially without warning.  So here’s to a good week with lots of lists so that I can update all of you Next Monday!

Happy Monday!

Saturday Snapshot~March 22

It’s time for Saturday Snapshot, the great link-up hostessed by the lovely Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.  I love Saturday Snapshot because I get to see great snapshots of all of our friends’ lives all over the world.  Pretty exciting if you ask me.

SaturdaySnapshot

 

I’ve been moaning and groaning about snow and cold for…well…all Winter! Just a bit more groaning and I think we’ll be over it.   At least, I think I’ll be over it.

Ralph and I were heading out to a St. Patrick’s Day lunch with his family on Monday and what happened?!?  It Snowed!! I was not happy.  We weren’t traveling far but some of the other family members had longer drives and I was concerned for them.

Last snow

 

This was what I saw as we was sitting in the parking lot waiting for the others to arrive.  It actually was pretty, but I am so tired of it.

But they tell us that on Wednesday, Spring arrived.  Most of the snow was gone and I took this photo.

Finally spring

 

No leaves yet, but when I look, I can see the buds starting.  In fact, just below that center tree is where the crocus usually show their pretty heads each year.  I checked this morning and not quite yet, but I bet I know what my photo will be next Saturday!

Be sure to stop by at West Metro Mommy Reads to see what everyone else is sharing!

Happy Saturday! Happy Spring!

WIAW~True Confessions and a Recipe!

I have been among the missing for a bit and I do apologize for it.  No real explanation except life gets in the way sometimes. But I wanted to get back for What I Ate Wednesday because I missed playing along with Jenn and all of the fun kids over at Peas & Crayons.  So Here Goes!

What I Ate Wednesday GOES GREEN

Well, it is the week of St. Patrick’s Day so I’m using this logo.  Since I wasn’t around to say it…Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

First the true confessions part.  I have been off track with my eating and I would be truly ashamed to show some of the things that I’ve wolfed down in recent weeks.  No one’s fault but my own.  However, I always have a safety net, a trick in my back pocket that works wonders for me.  Weight Watchers vegetable soup.  With all the updates to the program, I’m not even sure what the current “Garden Vegetable Soup” recipe looks like.  Over these many years (almost 27 years) of being a Weight Watchers member, I’ve made some changes and made it my own.  This is my current version.

Veggie soup in crock pot

Weight Watchers Veggie Soup

1 large onion chopped (or more if you Like)

2 or more tbsp of chopped garlic ( or more if you like)

4 peeled, chopped carrots

3 celery stalks

3-4 cups of chopped cabbage

1 large jar ( think it’s 12 oz but it might be larger) salsa of choice

I have for a number of years made my veggie soup in a crock pot.  I like it because I can make it and then it takes care of itself.  All of these veggies can be adjusted as to amounts depending your preferences.  I sometimes add others depending on what’s in the fridge, but this is the basic.  That’s one of the best parts of this soup, you can make it your own as I have.

When it comes to spices, I vary that again depending on my whim. Right now my spices are cumin (liberally sprinkled), turmeric (good for me for anti-inflammatory purposes, so I’m told, also liberally sprinkled), a dash of cayenne or several, depending.  I also like to add a few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.

I cook in the crock pot for usually about 4-6 hours on High.  You can cook as long as you like depending on how crunchy you like your soup.  I like mine still a little crunchy.

This soup as it is counts for 0 Points on Weight Watchers.  For anyone who is following Weight Watchers and want to make this, I have a suggestion.  If you want to add something else to it, pasta, rice, quinoa, beans or meat if you are a meat eater, I suggest that you make the basic soup.  Then take out the portion you want to eat.  After you’ve done that, then measure and add whatever else you want to add in.  That way your big pot of soup stays “pure,” it still counts as 0 Points.  You can then calculate the Points for whatever you might be adding to your portion of soup.  Just makes life simpler and you’re left with a pot of 0 Point soup in case you have a day when you’re Hungry and need something that counts for 0 Points.

The finished product…

Veggie Soup completed

 

It is so delicious and so versatile.  It’s a great tool for helping me stay on track.  Even if you’re Not a Weight Watchers member, it can be a help.

That’s it for me today for WIAW.  Be sure to join in all of the fun over at Peas & Crayons.  Have a great day!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Week In Review~March 10

I can’t believe that it’s time for another Week In Review.  That’s the great link up hostessed by the lovely Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  I also can’t believe that it’s another week when I Didn’t write my post on Sunday so here I am Monday morning scrambling to get it written.  We WILL correct that next week.

Week In Review Button Final

So here goes.

~Last Monday was another and hopefully our last snowstorm.  I am so sick of snow and any of you who read BCDC on a regular basis know that and are also sick of hearing me talk about it.  I’m seriously hoping that this will be our last.  I thought that if I approached the snowy day with a positive attitude, I might get some spiritual or real world reward out of it.

I decided to get busy.  I’d heard about the storm in advance and was ready.  That preparation and readiness allowed me to put at least my morning to good use.  Commence the tale of the Three Crock pots.

Three crock pots

 

Yes, you see three, count ‘em three (how many times can I use that?) crock pots all at work at the same time.  Beef stew for Ralph, lentils for me and Weight Watchers veggie soup for me.  I felt pretty excited about this whole thing.  Ralph thought it was pretty funny.  We have relatively little counter space so this was an accomplishment.  During the cooking process the veggie soup was actually working on a tray on top of the stove.  All worked out well.  It was a first time for the beef stew recipe and Ralph really likes it.  With a few seasoning adjustments, it will enter the rotation.  Love my crock pots and I think they’ll be working today later on.

~I worked on my morning pages for The Artist’s Way every day.  Again, I have to say, that I’m amazed that I have continued with this routine.  I love writing my pages and can’t imagine allowing myself to miss a day.  I actually completed my very first notebook.  That’s a lot of writing!!  I’ve started a new one and I plan to keep going.  I can’t believe that there are only three sessions left.  Twelve weeks seemed so daunting when I first started.  It’s been great and I’ve met some interesting people who I think have become friends.  I’m happy that I joined.

~I also meditated every day.  Each day I do it, it becomes more and more natural.  I love the music apps that I’ve downloaded to my phone.  They’re great and I have several so that I can switch them up.  Have I said that before?  If I haven’t, now I have.  If I have said it before it’s still true.  I keep trying to fit in an evening meditation.  That hasn’t worked out yet.  I’ll keep working on it.

~As I look at this Week In Review, I see that I’m not accomplishing much else other than my usual routine.  I was actually writing about that in my morning pages today.  I need to get some real projects accomplished.  Now that the weather is better, it’s warmer and there’s no ice and snow outside, I think I can do that.  My goal for this week is to get together all of the thinks I’ve been gathering (in different parts of the house…) that need to go to the thrift store, get them out of the house and into the car.  Then make the trip to the store.  That’s a good goal.  If I get the stuff out-of-the-way, then I’ll have a clearer idea of what to do next.  I also have a LOT of papers that need shredding.  Tomorrow the recycling goes out.  Perhaps that would be a good goal for today.  Then it will be out-of-the-way for real and can go to live in recycling land.

I’ll let that be my two goals for this week.  Something is better than nothing.  Usually, once I get myself started, I’m more likely to keep working.  Everybody has to hold me to those two projects now.  I’ll let you know next week how I did!

Be sure to check out the Week In Review link up over at Clean Eats, Fast feets.  Meghan is my inspiration.  I want to be her when I grow up!

Happy Monday!

Saturday Snapshot~March 8

This is our second Saturday Snapshot for March and I suppose I’m still complaining about Snow!  I know the folks who participate in Saturday Snapshot hostessed by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads come from all over the place and some of them are not dealing with snow right now.  Well, in New Jersey, we still are.  I’m hoping that this past Monday’s snow storm will be our last for the year.  Fingers crossed anyway.

SaturdaySnapshot

The day after the snow storm, I had dug myself out and needed to run some errands.  I had gotten a feel for this scene from my kitchen window but because of the screen on the window, I couldn’t get a good photo.  Outside, I had better luck.

Tree Shadows

 

I just loved the way the shadows of the trees were captured on the snow.  It made me feel a little less resentful for the snow storm.  I think this photo was worth it!

Be sure to check out all of the fun photos you’ll find at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Happy Saturday!

WIAW~New and Old Edition

Good Morning and welcome to the umpteenth edition of What I Ate Wednesday here at BCDC!  So many of the people who link up with Jenn at Peas & Crayons seem to know how many WIAW’s they’ve done.  I do not.  I just know that I show up Whenever possible and yammer on about food and stalk what other people eat over at P & C.  You should take the trip over there too.  I get such great ideas over there! I know it’s no longer Love your Veggies month but it’s Always love your veggies month here, so I’m sticking with it.

What I Ate Wednesday: Love Your Veggies

I’ve titled this post Old and New because there are things here that you’ve seen before and some wonderful new things.  First the most exciting new.

Veggie kabob

 

Ralph and I went to dinner on Friday night with some ladies I used to work with.  It’s always fun but we went to a new place this time.  It’s at a semi-local mall and it’s called Firesides.  I had checked it on-line and knew I’d be Ok for food choices.  I love when I have dinner at a restaurant where I don’t only have one choice.  This was listed as a Veggie Kabob.  Portobello mushroom, red pepper, tomato and red onion grilled on two kabobs.  Half a quesadilla with spinach, pepper jack cheese and something else that I forget inside.  I think that was pesto aioli drizzled around.  It was SO good and I was very satisfied.  I wish the restaurant was closer because I’d go again for this.  Everyone was pleased with their choices.

What would WIAW at BCDC be without a diner omelette.  You’re welcome, Meghan!

Diner breakfast

 

This was spinach and feta cheese.  I splurged and had the potatoes although I probably only ate a third of them, and an English muffin.  Yummy!

I so sick of saying this but…Monday we had a snowstorm!!!  Hopefully the last for the year.  I was tired of complaining and tired of hearing myself complain.  Since for some reason I woke up at 4 am, I got to work early on some cooking.  I needed to make my Weight Watchers veggie soup for the week and I wanted to cook up some lentils.  I also wanted to try an experiment.  As a very long time vegetarian, I’m starting to lose my powers of cooking meaty things.  I had seen a crock pot recipe for beef stew.  It seemed simple and I could deal with the meat without touching it. All of these things led to this on Monday during the snowstorm.

Three crock pots

 

Left is the beef stew, center is the lentils and on the right is the WW veggie soup.  I had so much fun!!  The good news is that Ralph loved the beef stew.  It’s a good thing, too because there is a LOT of it!!  I was excited because it really was pretty simple.

I put the lentils to use for dinner.  I had leftover salad from a big salad I had made to take to my sister’s house on Saturday.  I topped it with lentils, parmesan cheese and some balsamic vinegar.

Lentil salad

 

This was very tasty and surprisingly filling.  I love cooking lentils this way.  They go a long way and they are so good.

That’s What I Ate Wednesday for me today.  Not sure I can top that three crock pot trick.  My other big one is in New Mexico.  I only have one other small one.  Guess I’ll have to wait until I get to New Mexico to go Five for Five!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!