Monday, November 9, 2015


I found this on MorgueFile and thought how pretty! I've seen places like this through the Ozarks and Virginia.

Autumn is slipping away here in the Ozarks and thoughts turn to comfort foods. Soups mostly for me, but I'm also looking ahead to the holiday baking. I'm not a big cookie person but when Christmas time approaches, I want to bake up a storm and I have a few favorites that I only make during the holidays... treats.

If you do not know, I am a writer by trade. My job as a freelancer is what has kept me away from this blog. I see I have three of you who visit each morning and I thank you. I am blessed.

So over the remaining weeks of 2015 I will be posting here and there. Right now I am taking part in the annual National Novel Writing Month Challenge. This is my 9th year. So when I'm not doing the day job of promoting musical artists and working the freelance gig, I am working on my latest novel... the 2nd in my Branson trilogy.

For the week ahead I will be striving to stay on task. Money is a great motivator. Bob is off on the boat and we are on our weight loss challenge. Except we have decided to up the anty... Instead of the usual $100 to the winner, we've decided to roll over the $100 neither of us won the last time out. So this time the pot is worth $200! That would look nice in my travel money bank for 2016.

His biggest challenge is while he does not have an official cook on the boat, he does have a deck hand who likes to cook - from scratch! LOL Bob said he will limit his portions. Last time he had a deck hand who liked to cook, he gained #6.

I have it a little easier. I eat lots of stir fry while he's gone and plenty of protein. After a recent Glucose reading scare I'm really trying to watch my carbs.

So there you have it. Bear with me and I'll get things back on track.
Love the Journey!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Today's recipes is one of the easiest to make. Very filling, delicious and had a variety of ways you can serve this. 

Another Pinterest recipe which came from iheartnaptime  One Pot Burrito Bowls is like 7-layer burriot in a bowl and is a keeper in my Pinterest Recipes book. 

Two ingredients her recipe calls for that I left out of mine were chicken stock and rice. While the rice would stretch the dish and be more filling, I opted out of the starch and went straight for vegie. Also, if you leave these two items out plus the ground bee, this makes a great vegan recipe.

I used twice as much ground beef because I'm just a protein lover. You can serve this in a bowl, use it as a burrito filling, lettuce boats or scoop chips. Great Football Party dish!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


While I had the shrimp out I thought I'd double up on recipes and meals. I saved out about 20 of the shrimp from the package and just tossed them in a teflon pan with a little butter-flavored olive oil (Spritzed) and a couple Tablespoons of Taco Seasoning. I thought I might have used too much seasoning but was pleasantly surprised.

I spread a bit of sour cream on the inside of each Spelt Tortilla added chopped Romain Lettuce. I divided the shrimp up between the two shells and sprinkled a bit of fancy shredded seasoned cheese on each. Very tasty. Also very quick. 

What's on your menu? Share a link to your favorite recipe.
Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Another Pinterest discovered recipe for you but this one I modified ahead of time. Due in part to not having a couple of ingredients and part because they are seasonings I use in almost anything.

The Quick and Easy Shrimp Salad recipe came from Erren's Kitchen.

Erren did choose to use fresh shrimp, which she prepared because they tend to have a bit more 'crunch' to them as opposed to the precooked/ thawed version. Due to the fact that I waited too long to prepare this and was past dinner time, I opted for the quick thaw of the pre-cooked. The cat was happy as he always gets a shrimp for his very own :-D  She also used fresh Dill, Mustard Powder and lemon juice. I am not a fan of lemon juice on ANY seafood so I skipped that one. I didn't have fresh Dill but did have dried and no mustard powder. But I did use Onion powder and Seasoning Salt.

Her recipe called for #2 of shrimp. I had a 12 oz bag, which since I was only cooking for one, I divided the package between to meals/ blog posts.

I think I got a bit heavy on the mayo. I've tasted the final product and it's okay - just a bit over mayo'd.. which I expected. I've covered the dish and put it in the fridge for the flavors to meld and that will be lunch tomorrow. (this post was written and scheduled on 7/13/15)

I may wind up scraping part of the mayo out of the way and plan to either put in Romain Lettuce boats or eat by itself. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Crock Pot Broccoli Beef

A couple weeks ago I tried the Crockpot Broccoli Beef recipe from Just A Pinch that I found on Pinterest. While I need to make some adjustments to this recipe, I did like the concept over all. For one, I could not get the sauce to thicken up until I'd separate the juice from the rest of the goodies. However, by the time I'd made that move, everything was cooked too much. I also don't think the beef needs to cook as long (6-8 hrs on low) since I sliced mine much thinner. I could do this in 4 hours easy.

Here's what we started with:

This chuck roast was just under #2. I keep chuck/ pot roasts on hand as pot roast is one of Bob's favorite meals.. and very easy for me to do on a busy office day. 

One thing to keep in mind when slicing any meat. Always cut across the grain. If you cut with the grain, you are going to wind up with long pieces hard to chew. Here's an example:

Notice the piece on the right is cut with the grain. Long strips that will be difficult to bite unless you cook them beyond recognition. The slices on the right were cut cross-grain. These pieces will be tender. If you are not sure how a grain is running, cut a slice and see. Then you can rotate the cut if necessary and slice the other direction.  

This is what I wound up with:

In the crockpot with the recommended additions (see recipe at Just A Pinch).

As I said, slicing thin would have given me a cooking time of 4 hours before adding the broccoli. I'm also thinking next time I will quick steam the broccoli while I'm thickening the sauce then toss everything together. I realize this kind of defeats the purpose of the whole crock pot thing but keep in mind, the meat cooking in the juice will be very flavorful and slowcooking meat is usually the best way to get a tender morsel. Making the sauce and steaming the broccoli only takes five minutes at best and if you are serving over rice, you are going to take time to cook that anyway... so no real time inconvenience at all to do this in layers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Pork Steaks with Stuffing

While this might not be the most appetizing picture, trust me.. Pork Steaks with stuffing in the crockpot tasted rich, gooey, yummy.

I needed something that would feed four - 6 of us rather inexpensively. I probably could have done a half recipe and been fine but when Bob's home, I overcook so I have left overs in the freezer for when he's gone. This was also not so much on the new eating plan but every once in awhile you need the comfort food.

I took this version from a Pinterest recipe for Chicken and Stuffing in the crockpot but used pork steaks with beef Stove Top stuffing instead. The recipe is on isavea2z site. The recipe calls for green beans but I omitted them from the crock pot and served them on the side.

For now... I started by browning the pork steaks in the skillet. I just seasoned them with a bit of Lawry's Seasoning Salt and lightly peppered (Bob is not a fan of pepper so I use it sparingly then add more to my personal serving)

Then I made the sauce. This picture looks like a cream sauce but it is not. The ingredients are simply Cream of Chicken Soup and Sour Cream. 

Then I layered everything into the crockpot. I started by spraying the inside of the crock with a butter flavored olive oil from my Pampered Chef oil mister. I never thought I'd want one of these but would be so lost without the tool now. Of course they no longer have it now but I did find one similar at The Kitchen Store (for about 1/2 the price) that I use in my art journals for misting water on canvas.

I put some of the sauce in the bottom then a layer of the pork steaks, topped with some of the dry stuffing mix (DO NOT make the stuffing. Use it straight from the package) 

Topped with sauce then continued the layering process. My final layer was stuffing mix and sauce:

Put the lid on the crock pot and let it cook on low - 4-5 hours. You'll know dinner is ready when the contents look like the first picture. I'll put the picture here, too. Notice how everything has pulled away from the sides.

All I had to do was make a vegetable and dinner was served. Clean up is easy!

Even with all that cooked on goodness, When you've taken everything out of the crock, fill it with water, put the lid back in place and let steam on low over night. In the morning, your crockpot will wash up easily or go into the dishwasher. No more scrubbing and scraping!

Monday, July 13, 2015

WEEKLY PLAN - Almost there!

I'm off to a good start this week by being down another pound since Friday. This leaves me with only 2 pounds left this week to reach my goal of 6 pounds in 21 days... the 21 days Bob is gone. We have our standard bet of $100 on who loses the most in the time period and we are each doing the process our own way. He has switched back to counting calories - a plan that worked best for him in the past.

So I'm staying the course with the Fast Metabolism.
Monday - a little of whatever from all the program today
Tue/ Wed - good carb/ healthy fat days
Thur/ Fri - Protein/ Vegi days
Sat/ Sun/ Mon - little of everything from the program day.  I like those best because that also opens up seafood. yum!

I do need to make a trip to Springfield one day this week for some studio pieces shopping. Fri & Sat are all you can eat crab legs at the chinese buffet. Just might have to enjoy that. Though I might have to switch up a day. Not crazy about going on Saturday so would have to be a Friday thing.  We'll see.

Plan your week and make it awesome! And rememeber...
Enjoy the Journey!


Friday, July 10, 2015


This has been a good first week for Bob being gone. I've stayed pretty close to program and tried new recipes... which you'll see over the coming weeks. They are already scheduled ;-)

One guilt-free treat this week was a piece of sour cream raisin pie. Probably my favorite pie and the gal who does all the baking for the local restaurant (we call her grandma) always calls me when she has one made up. The good thing is I can go into the cafe and have ONE piece without having a whole pie here to tempt me. Unless my sister comes for a visit, I'm the only one that will eat Sour Cream Raisin so I don't make them.

I am down 3 pounds from Bob and I's weigh in just over a week ago. We're half way through his hitch so if I can lose 3 more pounds I will have made my personal goal. Now that the rain has stopped for a few days I'm hoping to get out early in the mornings or late in the evenings and walk.

Enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Spelt Tortillas & Quesadillas

I have been learning a lot about grains since starting the Fast Metabolism Diet. One of which is the different types of flours we have to choose from. Most of us were raised on processed white flour such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury. Don't get me wrong, I have used those products a lot in my career as a competition baker as well as personal use. However, I am finding a whole different flavor profile... one that actually HAS a flavor.

Spelt flour is lighter than the traditional whole wheat which carries a nutty profile and a bit of sweetness. The grain is easily digestible and high in protein. As the tortillas were toasting in the skillet I had a waft of what could have been steel cut oats.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and of course, can not find my Pin now. But here's a link to the website with the recipe. We eat a lot of Tex-Mex food so finding a healthier version of a tortilla was a huge boost to my new eating options.

There are 4 ingredients plus about 1/2 c. of water:

The recipe called for 2 Cups of Spelt flour (in the bag) but I only made 1/2 a recipe and got 8 decent sized tortillas. If you want the big ones for like burritos, then you would get four from a 1/2 batch.

Mix everything together in a bowl adding just enough of the water to form a soft dough. You also don't want to overmix. Just till you geet something like this:

As a breadmaker, I knew to toss this onto a Spelt flour covered surface and coat it the dough good before portioning out and rolling.

As I said, I got 8 from a 1/2 batch. I rolled each ball really thin then lightly toasted in a very hot (400*) electric skillet. This only takes a minute or so per side.

Be careful not to overcook. You want them to stay soft and pliable. as soon as you start seeing little bumps on the first side, flip the tortialla over and toast for about 30 seconds. Then transfer to a dish and cover with a dishtowl ( have flour sack towels that I use - lint free)

Use these as you would a flour tortilla. To warm mine, I lay them on a paper towel and in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds. Because microwaves vary, you'll want to do this as a trial and error. Start shorter times and go from there. 

After making these, I doubt I'll buy store tortillas again. Even if I do choose to use white flour, making these are so easy, why buy them!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


One of the things off-limits on FMD is tortilla shells (unless you make your own with spelt flour but that's another post)

I've also never been a fan of Romaine lettuce.. mostly because when I get it in a salad I have big junks of the 'heart' and usually more of them than the actual leaf. But I'm learning to adapt. Who knew you did not have to have the big chunks.

Anyway, so having a taste for tacos and seeing this on Pinterest, I decided to give them a try. I may never go back to a tortilla shell again! Though as you can see I did add a bit of fine shredded cheese.

Monday, June 1, 2015

FEELING BETTER - Fast Metabolism

While I have come to passionately dislike the word 'diet', Haylie Pomroy turns the spelling into an acronym - Did I Eat Today.  Because as we all know, feeding our metabolism will allow our body to stay fueled.. and burning calories. 

I've also learned something else I've heard over and over... Dairy and Processed foods are not good for us! And you know what.... by eliminating as many of those foods from my eating plan as possible, I feel SO MUCH BETTER!

The overall plan is broken down into 3 Phases per week.. repeated for 21 days. 
Phase 1 (2 days) - Vegies, Starches, Fruits, lean Proteins - No Fats
Phase 2 (2 days) -Vegies, Meats. - NO Fats, Grains, or Vegi Proteins
Phase 3 (3 days) - Lean Protein, Vegi Protein, Healthy Fats, Fruits, as well as most of Phase 1 & 2.

Meal/ Snack/ Meal/ Snack/ Meal and Drink a min. of 64 oz of water 

With the exception of a couple of days while in Dallas, I've not had any milk other than Rice Milk in over a month. I'm reminding myself to eat fruits and vegies. The things I would normally eat a lot of, I now count as a treat. 

I've also been more conscious of gluten.

While I'm not losing a bunch of weight, I do feel so much better. Did I say that? LOL
And best of all, I'm back to not needing a nap every day by 3 p.m. - which really disappoints one of my cats. She got quite use to mom napping every day.  

I had discovered this some time back during the Liquid Detox my daughter recommended. I attribute the energy to more healthy foods - particularly fruit. I'm eating more fruit.

The only thing I really miss is cheese so that has become one of my treats. 

I'm still trying to organize pictures so will have more in the coming weeks. I'm also planning an entire week of family meals (there will be as many as 6 of us for 4 days) and want to stick to 'our' foods as much as possible.  I say 'our' because hubby did very well on this the first 21 days. He slid while I was in Texas and is now back to eating his way. We are on another weight loss challenge so we'll see how he does this trip out.

I have noticed that his schedule makes staying on program difficult. He said yesterday the company is bringing in a nutritionist and they were asked to suggest topics of discussion during her visit. I suggested tips for 'eating every 3 hours' and the 'not eating before bed' thing when their schedule makes following those 2 'golden rules' almost impossible. I am curious to what she has to share and will keep you posted. 

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Long overdue update

Who knew having my husband around 24/7 was going to create such a challenge? I love having him home and will be happy when he retires. I just have an issue with working a full schedule when he's home. NOT his issue - but mine. he is the most important part of my life and my most supportive person. So I don't want to work my 10-12 hour days when he's home. He is also dealing with boredom due to restrictions with the use of his hands - the right in particular since that is the one he had carpal tunnel surgery on first. Surgery which has made NO difference so you can imagine his frustration level at this point.

I've been on the treadmill almost every day. I'm starting with a half mile and building myself up gradually. I've also purchased the copper knee socks and they seem to be helping a little. I say 'almost every day' because on the days I've been working in the garden, I am getting a workout. I am building a straw bale garden so that means toting bales of straw and lots of steps. I am also trying to remember to clip on the pedometer every day. Some days are easier than others.

I also cleared my profile from the Wii Fit and started from scratch. The results are not pretty but they will get better as I am on the Wii 3 days a week minimum.

I leave for Texas in five weeks. In that time I need to be able to fit comfortably in my jeans and in a couple of the cocktail outfits I'll need for the Romantic Times Convention in Dallas.

To top everything else off, more of my teeth are loose. I can't get them taken care of right now as I don't want to be doing interviews in May without teeth and I can't get the teeth pulled and dentures in that quick. So I'm careful with what I eat for now. New teeth are on my agenda beginning in June.

All in all I am still Enjoying the journey!

Friday, February 20, 2015


I finally have the blog board set up and beginning regular postings again. This has just been a crazy year already.

First on my list is to let you know that doing without my fluffy coffee during the week made absolutely no difference. Not an ounce.  So I am back to one cup each morning during the week and two per day on the weekend.

While on a pre-Valentine trip to Springfield a couple of weeks ago, Bob and I found a bread bowl pan at Marshall's. The pan makes 4 bread bowls.

The only thing I've tried so far is Chicken Pot Pie in a biscuit bowl. However, it took 4 biscuits to make the bowl... that's 400 Calories!!!  So yeah, won't be doing that again LOL  I made the pot pie filling from scratch using:

2 cups of frozen mixed vegies
6 low carb yellow potatoes (there is 100 calories in 4 potatoes)
4 Baby bella mushrooms
milk/ flour thickening

I did not eat all of my bread bowl but the filling was good. I ate a bowl of just filling for lunch the next day.

We want to try other things with this bowl pan. Bob has his eye on a brownie bowl with vanilla ice cream. But, I'm thinking these are a treat - only thing.

So... plans for the weekend.
Bob is home so I am cooking for 2 every day. I'm thinking he needs a pot roast on Sunday. Saturday will be chicken something or other and Friday will be fish. We are not Catholic and don't observe Lent but that's just how the 'menu' fell this week.

I'm hoping by next week to have a regular meal plan. The freelance writing as well as novel writing is kicking in to high gear so if I can have a menu plan, things will flow much smoother.

I've also been having some knee issues so no exercising yet. However, I did lose 2 pounds total on Bob and I's last challenge - winning the Rebate Certificate to Menards, which will buy the new stereo system for the studio. yay!!!!

Tell me about your journey. Let's take this hike together.

Blessings on your journey!


Monday, January 26, 2015


Yep. That was the number on my scales two weeks ago. I don't get it. I just don't. What I do know is I WILL NOT stay at this number... thus the colorful background. I'm celebrating that this is the begining of the end.

I know I say that a lot but seriously, I really do try. I'm not a binge eater, I seldom eat candy... the jar of fall  M & Ms on my desk from autumn 2013 is a perfect example. I've gone from a full size Pepsi at least every other day to a Pepsi mini - and not being able to drink a whole one - maybe once a week. (ADDED NOTE: This was prior to the 190 pounds. I've not had a Pepsi in almost a month as of this post) I still take my vitamins with Mello Yello but a 20 oz will last me over a week. 

My beverage of choice for almost  a year now has been brewed decaf Lipton iced tea - UNSWEET! Yeah, I never thought that would happen but there ya go. 

I don't eat a lot of carbs, mostly lean proteins. I love stir-fry with vegies and protein. Nothing stretches a single chicken breast to two or three meals like adding a ton of vegies to the wok. 

The only thing I've not given up is my fluffy coffee. This week I'm trying NO FLUFFY during the week... just on weekends. Let me tell you, for a writer trying to spew 40,000 words this week that one is going to hurt!

In place of my morning go-go I'm drinking a small cup of Folgers Morning Blend, lightly sugared. I've even given up artificial sugars where I have control and use the real thing in moderation... aka my coffee. And for the record, I can't even drink a full cup of Morning Blend. the small cup gets cold and I wind up dumping the remainder down the sink.

So where do I go from here? 
I'd love to exercise but I have maybe a 2x2 space in the middle of my living room right now and we still can not get to the treadmill. I will be so glad when the new studio/ office is complete. I'll be moving the treadmill into there and setting up the Total Gym full time in the living room PLUS room to do the Wii again.

My first step - hopefully by this weekend is to have room for the Wii and start warming up with Yoga. I've never been a fan of Yoga - not limber enough but I guess that's part of the growing process. I'm willing to try. 

I'm not setting a GOAL for 2015. Instead, I have a RESOLUTION.

I RESOLVE TO Find something that works - and make every day count!

Please tell me about your journey in the comments. 
Enjoy the Journey!