Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pretty Bird

I roasted a chicken today for the first time ever. It felt like a rite of passage, like now I'm really a grown-up, cuz I've cooked a bird.

Here she is:

This was one of Dad's very typical dishes, and I asked Mom for the quick rundown of how he did it. He would always roast a chicken (or a pot roast, or a pork roast, etc.) in a little water and builloin with carrots and celery, hence the little veggie bath my bird is in. I used one of Giant's organic / antibiotic free, etc. fresh chickens. I stuffed in a few sprigs of rosemary fresh from my balcony and a bay leaf, and sprinkled some dried thyme around. I cooked it for an hour at 350 degrees.

The end result?

It probably could've used more cooking time, because some of the dark meat wasn't cooked through. The white meat in the breast was delicious, though, so that made me happy. :-)

The sad part of it? I have *terrible* knife skills, so my attempts at carving were pretty horrifying. At a few points I just switched to using my fingers -- all final vestiges of my former vegetarian self are now gone, with what I put that bird through... I still only ended up getting about 2/3 of the meat off.

I used the veggies as a side and then cooked up some white rice. Also using a Dad trick, I used the pan juice / drippings and mixed it with cornstarch to make a nice light gravy. *That* tasted like Dad used to make it.

So, I had one good meal out of this today and 2 more servings waiting in the fridge for later in the week. This was an interesting experiment... but until I get better with a knife I think I'll go back to buying my chicken in pieces.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Awesome low fat salad dressing recipe

Hey stef! Here's another use for your mini-prep food processor.

South of the border salad dressing

1/2 cup of salsa (I like Trader Joe's 3 pepper salsa)
1/2 cup of nonfat sour cream (or even nonfat yogurt)
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon lowfat mayo (you can use nonfat mayo but I think that stuff tastes vile)
Juice of 1 lime

Additional add ins: chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, finely chopped jalapeno, chili powder, cumin

Throw everything into a small food processor and whirl until smooth. A great dip for julienned bell peppers or sugar snap peas or cherry tomatoes. Make an awesome salad with chopped chicken or shrimp, shredded cheddar, and baked tortilla chips.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Diabetaversary

Whew, it's been a while since either Stef or I checked in. It's funny how the post-summer life starts getting in the way. For those of you who don't know that the Bay area does not follow the regular four seasons but ends up having something like 30 season throughout the year. Whereas most of you probably "enjoyed" a hot summer, the Bay area summer ends up being a chilly, foggy fall climate. Most visitors end up having to do a target run for long pants and hoodies. The funny part is that once September hits, the Bay area experiences the summer that the rest of the country put up with. You see, when the temperature in the rest of the state is summer, the heat gets trapped in the Central Valley and the weather stays firmly entrenched in the 60 degree range. Once it cools down in the rest of the state, our September ends up with temperatures in the 80s.

With that in mind, it was this time last year I found out I had diabetes. And shortly afterwards, I asked stef if she wanted to start a blog. In the past year, I've kicked diabetes ass and learned to love Splenda (like LOOOOVE Splenda). Here's a snapshot of my year living with diabetes.

After much crying and freaking out, I take the crappy Living with Diabetes class and learn how to monitor my blood glucose level and learn ways to control my diabetes. Stef and I start the blog.

I start hitting the gym on a regular basis and creating the food log. I realize I need to eat more regularly and space out my eating so that I have two snacks and three meals. My midnight snack becomes my savior.

I have a great time eating my first post-diagnosis Thanksgiving. Much turkey is eaten and people actually envy my splenda mocha panna cotta with sugar free chocolate mousse.

This is where diabetes just becomes a part of my life. The crazy ass blood sugar drops stop as my body adjusts and I meet with my super-awesome nutritionist. My first post-diagnosis blood result comes back and I kick some diabetes ass. I'm in normal range on all of my readings. I also travel like mad and learn how to have some semblance of normal eating and exercise while traveling (entailing many a 10:00 pm run).

I run my first race (a five miler) and do it in a sub-ten minute mile pace. I increase my running from two three-mile runs and a five mile run to two four mile runs and a six mile run. My test results come back and I am now beyond normal to crazy ass awesome in my readings.

Another praiseworthy month as I continue on the same path. I increase my running to two four mile runs and a seven mile run.

I run a 10K across the Golden Gate Bridge. The day is beautiful and I can't complain about running over a national monument.

I decrease my medication as my diet and exercise regime is doing a good job of controlling my blood sugar levels.

Bay to Breakers! Running on the steep hill for about a mile and still managing to run a sub-ten minute mile pace, in costume! Yay! My nutritionist tells me I can stop taking the diabetes medication.

I graduate from the diabetes program and my insurance doesn't think it's cost effective to spend one afternoon a month having a nutritionist praise me. J and I move and getting the the gym becomes harder. I still do it four times a week!

We get a dog and I have to add an extra hour of walking to my exercise regime. I also go into maintenance mode and cut back on the running and strength training. I get so good a Splenda desserts I poison J (who is allergic to artificial sweeteners)

I gain about four pounds but somehow go down another pants size. How is this possible?

New goals - 1) run a ten miler 2) Keep the food log and cut back on the fat 3) Pass a REAL health care reform bill.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Right Wing nutcases are not like you and I

Check it readers, they are excoriating Michelle Obama for supporting the establishment of a Farmer's Market on Vermont Ave. I've been a little over a year since I've moved but are there any Mom and Pop grocery stores selling fresh vegetables that this farmer's market would drive out of business in the neighborhood near the White House? Then the opponents should just zip it. I'll leave you with this hilarious quote:

"Real Americans like fast food and grease, and, if they ever find themselves eye-to-eye with a vegetable, they want it to be flash-frozen or at the very least plasti-wrapped. No one who was actually born in the United States could countenance such disregard for this country's traditions."