Just a short update

4th of July

I have been doing well on my diet.  I have lost almost 11 pounds.  I have been eating Special K Chocolately Strawberry Cereal for breakfast.  It is so good and it satisfies my chocolate cravings.  I also enjoy a cup of Teavana tea in the mornings while sitting out on the patio.  My favorite teas right now are Youthberry and Wild Orange Blossom Herbal Tea.  For lunch I have been eating a Lean Cuisine frozen dinner.  They are low in calories and they are tasty too.   On this diet I can snack around on just about any fruit or vegetable.  I can eat as much as I want of them.  Luckily it is summertime and there is plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from.  Lately I have been eating watermelon.  I have been fixing about the same main dishes for my family for dinner.  I eat a very small portion of meat.  Then I add a salad with low fat dressing or I stir fry up some vegetables to go along with it.  I stay away from the potato salads, mashed potatoes, baked beans etc. that my family generally loves.  I cook it for them but I just don’t eat it.

Tonight I am cooking my Chicken Fried Steak and I am going to try not to put much gravy on it.  Then I will fix myself a salad.  Everyone will eat some corn on the cob and the others will enjoy some baked beans.  On the 4th of July I am cooking Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork and Gourmet Potato Salad.  Yumm-O  I will have to be careful about my portions here though.  I am also baking Patriotic Jello Cookies.  I just might try one of those just to see how they taste.  Friday night we will probably have leftovers as we are having company coming in on Friday night.  Saturday night I am cooking Baked Spaghetti, tossed salad and garlic bread for our company.  I am going to make the Baked Spaghetti ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator.  I will bake it an hour before we want to eat.  This way I won’t be spending all my time in the kitchen when our company is here and I can visit.  Sunday they are leaving so Sunday evening we will probably be eating leftovers again.  Actually the Baked Spaghetti tastes better the next day.  All those wonderful flavors seem to be even more enhanced.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July.  I will post a few updates here and there of my weight loss progress.  I have come across some good family meals that are diet friendly and I will post those later.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Mold

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This is one of my favorite recipes to serve at Christmas.  I know it is one of those old fashioned jello mold things but it looks just like a red wreath to me.  I also just love cranberries and I have to sneak it in somehow.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Mold

1 1/2 cups boiling water
8 oz. package of Jello Cranberry (I can’t find cranberry anymore so I use black cherry instead.)
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium apple, chopped
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (I just pour the whole can in.)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Stir boiling water into jello in large bowl 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water and cinnamon. Pour 2 cups of the gelatin into a medium bowl. Refrigerate about 1 1/2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression). Reserve remaining 1 cup jello at room temperature. Stir apple and cranberry sauce into thickened jello. Spoon into 6 cup mold. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set but not firm (should stick to finger when touched and should mound.) Stir reserved 1 cup jello gradually into cream cheese in small bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Put over jello layer in mold. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold.

Gourmet Potato Salad

This is a no mustard version of potato salad which our family likes better.

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped dill pickle
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon pepper
10 cups diced cooked potato
Can add bacon bits and chopped hard boiled eggs if you want

Mix all ingredients except potato. Dice potatoes and put in a bowl. Pour other ingredients over potatoes and toss. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Layered Salad

I had to bring some kind of dish to a “working” lunch at work the other day.  I couldn’t decide what to bring but whatever it was, it had to meet a few criteria.  First, it had to be something that would go with about anything.  Second, it would have to be something that I wouldn’t have to heat up as there was nothing I could use to do so.  And thirdly, it would have to be something that would not necessarily need to be refrigerated as there was no refrigerator.  The last two criteria were quite limiting in my choices.

I decided to make Pioneer Woman’s Layered Salad.  I loved the fact that this salad was made the night before and refrigerated overnight.  I could grab the salad in the morning and go.  I still needed to keep the salad cold so I put it in one of those soft sided coolers with one of those freezer packets.

It worked out great.  When lunch came around, I got the salad out and it was still cold.  It went over well with everyone.  There is only one thing I would change about this recipe though.  I would leave out the bacon.  After leaving the bacon in the salad for 24 hours, it became soggy and was no longer crisp.  That part was not very appetizing but the rest of the salad was really good.  So next time you have to bring a dish consider Layered Salad.  (Shhh….don’t tell Pioneer Woman but leave out the bacon!  It doesn’t work in the dish!)