Long before Julie and Julia I started cooking my way through a book called the Ultimate Guide to Cooking A to Z. I made it to the cake section before I gave up. Julie was right to make a concrete deadline. Around that time I also went on a series of many diets (and “they” are right you should say lifestyle) most of which worked. I often say any of them will work if you actually stick to them. I lost about 70 pounds and have counted calories ever since. well, that is until I moved to the south last year. I gained 25 back and since then have been doing a combination of healthy and unhealthy cooking and some serious baking, most of which I try to give away! so because of the diet I used to only buy books that had nutrition information in them, and then I discovered the Barefoot Contessa. I have all of her books and so far have made everything in the first book. However, my husband is in the National Guard and currently deployed, so I have no one to give leftovers to. In the interest of not gaining another 50 pounds I have recently started following Ellie Krieger. I have all three of her books (actually there’s four, but the first one is a little too diet-planny for me!)! I have recorded her shows on the Cooking Channel and work her recipes into my week.
I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while. yesterday pushed me over the edge. I made EK’s Jewel Roasted Vegetables from her book, The Food You Crave. I realize I may lose a reader or two here before I even gain them by starting off with this, but it consisted of Brussels sprouts, beets, and carrots. I grew up on a farm and love my vegetables. Add to that the 10 years of dieting and I even eat them plain, unlike my sister who needs cheese sauce! However, even I was skeptical about mixing beets with carrots and sprouts. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They were amazing and beautiful. I did manage a picture which I’ll figure out how to post later, but it does not do them justice. I should also mention that because of EK I have steamed some beets recently. I’m pretty sure that’s the only time in my life I have made them and both times were a very simple process that is worth repeating for sure. Even though I love them, I have flashbacks of my childhood chores on the farm, which included filling a kiddie pool with ice-cold water from the hose and washing the dirt off of an endless amount of beets.
anyway, back to the edge. . . don’t rush me, I’m getting there. EK paired her veggie jewels with a scrumptious looking turkey roulade, but in the interest of not overdoing I like to keep my meals around the 400-calorie mark. The jewels themselves were 190, so I discovered a lovely Meatloaf with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms (around 245) in a WeightWatchers cookbook entitled My TurnAround Program Cookbook. As a child I refused to eat onions, which meant a lot of time sitting at the table picking them out. Turns out it’s the crunch of an onion that grosses me out, so caramelized is right up my alley. This meatloaf, which I’m pretty sure is two words, but the book has it as one (this is where knowing that I’m a court reporter is important – if anybody who is not a court reporter worries about these things I would love to know about it). This meatloaf also had plain old tomato sauce on top of it. What I found amazing about it was how incredibly moist it is. I didn’t even need ketchup, which is practically a sacrilege to me. I LOVE ketchup!
okay. so here’s what brings me to you: it was so friggin good I had it for lunch and dinner! seriously, is that something I can tell my friends? I mean, don’t get me wrong, my close friends and family already know about my cookbooks and cooking/eating habits, but my facebook is full of people I haven’t seen for years. Trust me, my friend Avery and I make fun of her sister-in-law for posting about when she cooks, which she refers to as Tasty Tuesday. seriously, I know my audience.