Tuesday

Whoa, I’m late to this today, but I have been writing my food down to post, so here goes…

Cereal/banana/milk: 4

yogurt: 2
carrots: 1
hummus: 2
laughing cow cheese: 1
granola bar: 2
2 small bananas: 2

15 pts
-3 spin class

12 pts

small slice of cheese and kombucha: 2

14pt

Dinner plan: Spaghetti squash, brussel sprouts, wine. I’ll keep ya posted.

Monday

Crazy day of work and working out… two gym classes tonight. And then dinner with Megan W! AND I get my exercise bike back in my possession. Woop!

1 C bran flakes: 2
1 small banana: 1
almond milk: 1

carrots/hummus: 3
leftover soup with avo: 7

granola bars and an apple: 6

20 pts

-5 for spin and lift classes

15 pts

luna bar: 2

shrimp: 3
parmesan: 2
arugula: 0
oil: 3

25 pts

Sunday (Ty’s Winter Soup recipe)

Definitely feeling better!

I woke up and went for a bike ride to St. Johns and will go to the gym shortly (running again!)…

Starbucks egg white wrap: 5

Spaghetti squash: 2
laughing cow cheese: 1
avocado: 3

11 pts

2 mile run! -3

subtotal: 8 pts

banana/apple: 3
pb: 1
almond milk: 1

cranberry salsa: 0
crackers: 3
random bites: 4

20 pts

8 pts left for soup!

We made Ty’s Winter Soup this evening…

2 boxes of Pacific Foods chicken broth

1 rotisserie chicken- tear all chicken off the bone and shred

1 summer sausage roll (such as hickory farms) turkey sausage or ham could work too. Cut into small cubes.

2 bags of Trader Joes- 17 bean and barley mix

one yellow onion- diced

3 carrots- diced

I tsp of minced garlic

2 tsps of “Johnny seasoning”

Sauté onions, sausage and garlic together

I did not soak beans overnight…I used the “quick soak” method on bean package.. boil beans with three times their volume of water and then let sit for one hour. Drain beans and add chicken broth and all ingredients.

Simmer on stove for two hours

a Weight Watchers intervention

This blog is about to become pretty boring, and I understand if you stop reading completely. Until Christmas, I’m only going to post what I eat, the corresponding WW points, and my physical activity. Gotta do it; gotta get this food train back on track. And since I started this blog to hold me accountable, this is the best way I know to refocus my mental strength.

Banana: 2 pts
granola bar: 2 pts

activity: +4

brussel sprouts: 0
turkey (dark meat): 3
egg: 2
tomato: 0
vinegar/cooking spray: 0

Subtotal: 5 WW pts

apple and squash snack: 2
banana: 1
potato cake: 2

10 pts

dinner salad:
cheese: 2
oil/vin: 2
veggies: 0
random stuff: 2
wine: 4

20 pts

pita/hummus: 3

23 pts

random drinks and bites: 14?

37 pts

Definitely over, but not by much!! My best day in a long time. I even turned down chocolate, popcorn and beer! WOOHOOO!!!

family to family

Our big feast yesterday was definitely over the top. Nine people ate, and we probably averaged two dishes/person. And I say with complete confidence that Mandy’s brined turkey was the best I’ve ever had.

Filled with this perfectly salty stuffing (put this on your Christmas menu!):

Guess who got to carve it… ME! Talk about an adrenaline rush…

Savory scones and crab app:

Doubtful that yesterday morning’s spin class or 2 mile hike were able to stand up to this:

T-Day Family:

I spent today with Ty’s family… and tomorrow I’ll be in Seattle with Juanita’s!

Happy Thanksgiving

Gratitude moment:

My family and my friends. This life would be exceptionally pointless without the resounding love, support, humor, encouragement, excitement, understanding, and general positivity that y’all shine my way on a daily basis. I love all of you in such a crazy, silly way. What a pleasure to be thankful for something this precious.

Recipe #3: Cranberry-Cornbread Stuffing

Thanks to Trader Joe’s for this one…

(Make the stuffing accordingly.)

Saute mushrooms and rehydrated cranberries (from this morning, remember?) in olive oil and chopped fresh sage:

Add this to what you’ve already made:

*I think I’ll surprise the crew and add feta to this tomorrow before reheating… these kids LOVE feta.

Oh, and there’s this… Trevor’s Bacon-Pecan pie that Carolyn and I had the pleasure of smelling all afternoon:

Today’s completed work, ready for Mandy’s!

**Weigh-in Wednesday was a total disaster today. Silly me, I was feeling all light and strong and ready to be down at least a pound. Let’s get serious; I started running this week! Nevertheless, the number drastically went in the wrong direction. No time to freak though, it’s Thanksgiving! We’ll discuss this on Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving-Eve to all of you! I’m grateful as can be for each of you. Love.

Recipe #2: Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

To balance out the healthy factor in dish #1, I deemed it necessary to make an insanely rich dessert.

Gingersnap Crust!

Cheese! Sugar! Eggs! Pumpkin!



Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the gingersnap crust:
About 40 gingersnap wafers (to yield 2 cups cookie crumbs)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2-1/2 oz. (5 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling:
2 lb. (four 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. table salt
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
One 15-oz. can pure solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Make the crust: Pulse the cookies and brown sugar in a food processor until well combined and the crumbs are uniform. Transfer to a medium bowl; add the melted butter. Combine thoroughly, first with a spoon and then with your fingers, until the mixture is evenly moist, crumbly, and holds together when you squeeze a handful. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and partway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill for 5 minutes and then bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Make the filling: Heat a kettle of water. With an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, beat the cream cheese until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Add this mixture to the cream cheese. Beat until well blended, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, making sure each is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next, and scraping down the bowl after each. Blend in the vanilla and pumpkin.

Scrape the batter into the cooled crust. The batter will come up past the crust and will fill the pan to the rim. Tap the pan gently once or twice on the counter to release any air bubbles. Set the pan in a larger baking dish (a roasting pan is good), and add enough hot water from the kettle to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the top of the cake looks deep golden and burnished and the center is set (the cake may just barely begin to crack), 1 hour 35 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. The cake will jiggle a little bit when tapped. The top may rise a bit but will settle as it cools. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a thin-bladed knife between the crust and the pan sides (this will prevent the cake from breaking as it cools). Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill overnight.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size: based on 16 servings; Calories (kcal): 410; Fat (g): 27; Fat Calories (kcal): 240; Saturated Fat (g): 16; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 36; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 320; Cholesterol (mg): 155; Fiber (g): 1;

Recipe #1: Cranberry Mojo

Warning! This is what happens when you rub your eyes immediately after cutting into a jalapeno:

That made for a nice start to the morning… Moving on…

Cranberry Mojo! This is an old recipe I’ve made each Thanksgiving since Carol’s mama, Renee, introduced me years ago. Pictures first.

I reconstituted dried cranberries in the boiling juice, which will be used in the cornbread stuffing later:

The culprit:

Cranberry Mojo

1 quart cranberry juice
2 cups fresh cranberries (or unthawed frozen cranberries)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
Juice of 5 limes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pour juice into a non-aluminum saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the juice to about 1/2 cup of glossy syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place cranberries in bowl of food processor and pulse on and off until finely diced. Do not purée. Transfer cranberries to a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes: 3 cups.

Per 2 Tbs.: 32 calories, 0.2g protein, 0.1g fat, 0.4g fiber, 8g carbohydrates, 1.5mg sodium.