Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Little About Learning and a Lot About Food

Or something like that. ;)
Have a gander at a completed portion of my WIP table set, including invisible food and drink! Done in Tunisian Crochet with acrylic yarn I've had gathering dust and moths in my stash (Caron Simply Soft). The four coasters are done and look mighty fine if I do say so myself. However, I'm debating what to do with the other three place mats, as I dislike what this particular pattern did along one edge. (It got all ripply and weird. I attempted to hide it with the black edging but even that looks too funky for my taste.)
What's the point of crafting if you can't have a little learning experience from your projects? In my case, each and every project is an experience. :p

I suppose I should take this opportunity to share an upcoming new feature to my blog: "We're Not Starving" entries.

The short version of the story is that I'm on a specialized diet.  Hubby joins me on it because it's healthy and is good for weight loss.  That's not my reason for being on it, but it's easier to make one meal for everyone in the family than it is to make two separate meals. . .  And then hubby's sitting there munching on stuff I wish I had and I'm left feeling cheated.  This way we all eat better, are healthier and it saves us a lot of money. We have a cookbook with 500 recipes in it and it was hubby's idea to start cataloging what we eat.  We've been on this diet since August 2010 and have only hit a small portion of those 500 recipes so now we're attempting to go through the book's chapters to try to get through each recipe at least once.  We're happily sharing our adventure with you. :)

Here's a longer version of the story for those who want to know:

I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam. . .  Except, of course, for the fact that I should no longer eat them so freely.

Many people who know me know that I was diagnosed with an endocrine disorder (summer of 2010).  My options were surgery (which may have worked, temporarily) or drugs which I've had previous and very negative experiences with.  Things were bleak for a couple months before I decided to see what other options were out there.  Weight loss weighs heavily (pardon the pun)  in the health of women with this disorder but I'm what is called a "Skinny Scyster" in the PCOS community.  There, I said it. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
At the time and with my history, I didn't think my weight was a factor.  However, I was not eating well -- I never have.  I love me some starch and sugar so much that those two things were virtually all I ever ate.  My weight may not have been the problem but certainly my diet was.
A lot of people see or hear the word "diet" and immediately think "weight loss."  Now, going on the low-glycemic diet did cause me to lose weight -- 30+ lbs, which I needed to lose, frankly -- but the point of this diet is not specifically weight loss.  It's to keep me healthy and, well, alive.  The weight loss is simply a. . . side effect, if you will.
I will be honest: being on a specialized diet can be a royal pain in the butt, especially when it comes to restaurant dining or vacationing.  Vegetarians who think they have it tough have nothing on those who are on my diet.  However, with the prices of everything going up, it ends up that the specialized diet thing keeps us from spending extra money we don't have the ability to waste.  Dining out isn't cheap.

So we make good use of this fantastic book:  500 Low Glycemic Index Recipes.

What we've made out of this book has very rarely been cause for disappointment.  (The one recipe I flat-out didn't like involved a lot of one particular food I don't like, so I couldn't be too surprised I didn't like the finished meal.)
Anyway, there are chapters devoted to pastries and desserts and breakfasts.  One of my absolute favorite foods ever is the apple banana fritters (we omit the apple entirely so they're little banana fritters and they are oh so good). Seriously, I would never want for restaurant food again if I had to choose between my all-time favorite restaurants or those fritters.  They are really that good.

I don't quite remember how it came up but out of the blue I thought maybe we could turn that recipe into waffle batter.  Without frying it, it makes them even healthier for us.
I reluctantly purchased a waffle iron, expecting it to waste room on the counter and money that could have been better spent elsewhere (like on toys Contini would happily break or ignore).

So far we've used it many, many times and have branched out from that initial fritter recipe into dessert waffles. . .  Instead of making the chocolate carrot cake recipe in the book, we made chocolate carrot cake waffles, pumpkin bread waffles and apple pie waffles (which became a close second favorite to those banana fritters).  We made several servings extra and have been eating them fresh out of the refrigerator over the last few days and they continue to be yumtastic.  Even Contini indulges in them, which speaks volumes.

It turns out in addition to being healthier to make the batters into waffles, it also takes less time and electric/gas to cook them in the waffle iron as opposed to frying them or baking things in the oven!  How Green of us. ;)

So all that explanation just to explain the simple title of our food entries:  "We're Not Starving."  I hope you will join me for those posts (once or twice weekly) in the near future!  Happy Hump Day!


JelliDonut said...

I'm not very good at diets--the second I'm told I can't have something, it becomes the only thing I want. But those waffles sound really good. I could stand to get rid of 10lbs AND eat healthier. I'll be following along.

Got hockey tickets for Friday night, btw. Poor Avs!

Contessa said...

I really didn't like the idea of saying good-bye to my absolute favorites: potatoes, sugar, bread, rice and pasta. It's tough-going at times but the variety of (better and better-tasting) food I'm getting now makes me crave the bad fillers much less. And Splenda has been a life-saver! (Huh, that's probably actually literal.)

If you're interested in trying one of our waffle conversions, let me know. . . I'll get you the recipe via email. :)

Good luck at the game on Friday. Your team has my permission to destroy Dallas. They don't have to do it for the Ducks, just as long as they do it. Cheaters deserve some sort of comeuppance. >:( Hope your team's coach doesn't make any obscene gestures at the refs, because allegedly that's what cost us the two goals at the end of the game against the Stars.

venividivoom said...

Holy crap! They have that book available on the nook!

/dies of happiness!

Contessa said...

Is it on Nook?! (ANOTHER reason I'm buying that as soon as I can.) Our book is getting quite trashed with all the love, so having a second copy might not be so bad. Of course, if the book got trashed, I'd be too scared my Nook would follow. :p
But still, how awesome!!! You'll let me know if you buy it and what you're making, I hope! :)

venividivoom said...

Yup, it's on Nook! So I'll be downloading it tomorrow as a payday treat... and then probably trying out those apple fritters as soon as we move, and that weird ground nut stew or whatever that you made that one time I came over...

Contessa said...

That makes me SO SO happy to hear! :D :D :D Enjoy the hell out of the book. If you're looking at pretty restaurant-authentic ethnic food, it's good for that too. We're trying the tuna burgers shortly, and another of the Asian recipes.
Anyway, if you need help locating either recipe, let DH or me know and we'll point you in the right direction. Let me know how DH2B likes the African Groundnut Stew. :)