Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old


It's Me, Mum, Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest tonight. I have a killer new sexy black dress but nowhere to go and no one to go with. Soooo sad. LOL. Actually I'm kind of glad... I hate big raging parties with bunches of strangers. I'm a backyard BBQ, lawn chair, family party girl.

I'm looking forward to saying goodbye to 2008. It really has been a rollercoaster year in both the big world and in my little piece of it... lots of wonderful things but lots of sadness too.

I have high hopes for 2009. Bring it on!

Tonight's New Year's Eve Menu

Shelly's Bacon-wrapped Pesto Shrimp
a Yummy Quesadilla (will post recipe this week sometime)
Turkey & Cranberry Goat Cheese Roll-ups
Veggies and my Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Little Sausages and Meatballs in 2 Sauces (also will post soon)
A glass of Almond Champagne (a local winery favorite)

and my traditional 12 Raisins.

Remember from last year... you toss them in your mouth at the stroke of midnight. For every raisin that you get in your mouth that will be one month of good luck in the coming year.

Last year I practiced the day before and the first raisin I scored right in the mouth, second raisin bam right in my eye. This explains a lot about my 2008. Hoping for a better outcome tonight.

Hope you all have an AWESOME time whatever you do and maybe get a New Year kiss (or 2 or 3).

Be safe.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dinner: Zen and the art of meatloaf

The word for meatball in Italian is Polpette. The word for meatloaf is Polpettone or "big meatball." Makes sense. Think of this as big meatball meets a Caprese (mozzarella, tomato, basil) salad. It was soooo good.

Tonight's dinner...

Weight Loss RNY VSG Diabetes Health Fitness Cooking Food Menus BlogShelly's Caprese Turkey Mini Meatloaf

1 Yellow Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
3 cloves Garlic, diced
1 - 14.5 oz can chopped Tomatoes, drained very well
1 1/4 pounds Ground Turkey, the average weight of 1 package
1/4 cup Italian Style Dry Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Milk
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons Storebought Pesto Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
16 small Fresh Mozzarella Balls, cut in quarters
Butter/Oil for sauteing

Drain tomatoes thoroughly. Squeezing out any excess juice. Set aside. I do this an hour or so ahead to really have it drain. Saute onions till golden. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Soak breadcrumbs in milk for 1 minute. Beat egg. Add egg and soaked breadcrumbs to ground turkey. Add cooled veggies and all remaining ingredients (except mozzarella.) Mix till combined.

Divide into 8 equal mounds. Form into mini meatloaves or if you have this super groovy pan like me use it. Insert 2 mozzarella balls (chopped into 4 pieces) into each meatloaf and cover with meat. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 oven. These freeze well either cooked or uncooked.

For dinner I served this with sauteed green beans.


Like Caprese Salad? Try this yummy Eggface appetizer as a first course.

Other Eggface Mini Meatloaves:

Shelly's Florentine Turkey Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Italian Artichoke Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Turkey Mushroom Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Greek Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Mexican Mini Meatloaf

Highlights of the day:

* I actually was hot at one point in the day. I was running errands which were not a highlight because everything that could go wrong seemed to but at one point I was stripping off layers of clothing. 76 degrees 2 days before New Year. Some "Winter" huh? Amazing. This message was not sponsored by the Southern California Tourism Bureau although it should be.

Now I'm no stranger to real winter weather. I grew up all my life on the east end of Long Island, New York. Here's some photo proof...


* Staying all zen and chill despite the above mentioned problems I had today which included forgetting stuff, losing stuff, locking stuff in the car, three trips to the same place, yeah it was just one of those should have stayed in bed days. Normally I would have been swearing in three different languages and my Sicilian blood would have been boiling but nope... I just rode the wave and at one point even laughed about it all. The day actually turned out nicely in the end too. A nice sunset walk, texts with one of my best friends, and I came home and read this quote...

"Sometimes things will fall apart in order for other things to fall into place"

I need to make a magnet of that or something. An insightful and timely message.

So there you go... I was rewarded. Ohm.

* Looked at puppies and kitties at the pet store today. Just looked. Not ready yet. I needed a fuzzy love fix though.

Listening to: James Morrison "Wonderful World"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eating Meme

Name: Michelle (aka Shelly, aka Eggface)

Occupation: Little of this, little of that. None of which utilizes the expensive degrees I possess. Currently seeking new opportunities so feel free to pass any leads on.

Where do you live: In a state of confusion and denial somewhere in Southern California.

Relationship status: Single. Yeah. Thanks for reminding me.

What did you eat today?

around 9 cups of coffee w/ Vanilla Soy Milk
Tortilla Pizza w/ oodles of gooey cheese
a slice of Turkey rolled up
Crockpot Carnitas with my homemade Guacamole and Sauteed Zucchini
as if I didn't have enough coffee I went out with friends and had a Starbuck's SF Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte w/ no whipped cream
Apple Strawberry Crumb w/ SF Whipped Cream
Mixed Nuts 'cause I'm part squirrel

What do you never eat?

Lamb. I had a pet sheep named "Wooly" as a child. So you see how it would be disturbing to eat lamb chops. That's pretty much it although Anthony Bourdain would I'm sure come up with a few more things I would never eat... like monkey brains or aardvark testicles or something. Although aardvark testicles prepared right with a good red wine and who knows?! They might be tasty.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you can always find...

Silk Vanilla Soy Milk and AT LEAST 10+ types of Cheese. See for yourself.

What is your favorite kitchen item?

A knife but my microplane comes in a close second

Where do you eat out most frequently?

My two favorite foods are BBQ and Persian. In San Diego there's a restaurant called Bandar I adore but I only get down there once or twice a year. Lately it would be Sushi (I do Sashimi) with Jeremy and Soupplantation with my Mum. Does oatmeal at Starbucks count??? I really don't eat out much... it's usually cheaper and tastier to make food at home.

World ends tomorrow. What would you like for your last meal?

The grilled Chicken Barg (marinated in saffron, onion and lemon juice soooo good) from Bandar
Some falling off the bone BBQ ribs
My Mum's Homemade Bread and Butter (WTF bring on the carbs LOL)
a Black and White Cookie
then just start racking up the Patron shots to knock me out (it is the end of the world after all.)

Tagged: anyone

Highlights of the day:

* I heart making dinner in the crock pot. It's a nice feeling to have a fabulous meal simmering away getting all yummy while you are out living life. I just need to whip up a batch of guacamole and saute some of the zucchini and squash (calabacitas style) I picked up at the Farmer's Market yesterday and we're good to go.

* The weather was awesome today. It was close to 70 and sunny. Soaked up some major Vitamin D on my walk.

* Ha. It's my 1/2 year Birthday today. A good excuse to treat myself to something. It's time for some new sneakers. Hitting the outlets this week. Dear Lord, Keep me out of the Coach store. Amen.

Listening to: "No Diggity" Blackstreet feat. Dr. Dre and it will be stuck in my head all night. Hey yo, hey yo, hey yo, hey yo...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

How can you not have a good time eatin crabcakes?!

In my humble non-Maryland living (aka non-expert) opinion, the secret to a good crab cake is to let the flavors of the crab shine through adding just enough binder to give structure to the cakes without overwhelming the crab. This is a CRAB cake versus those mostly carby filler, crab-flavored posers.

Last night's dinner...


Shelly's Baked Crab Cakes

1/4 cup Italian Style Dry Bread Crumbs
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
a few twists of Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish (the creamy kind)
1 Tablespoon unsalted Butter, melted
1 Egg, beaten
1 cup Cooked Crab
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil a cookie sheet. combine all ingredients together until well blended. Shape mixture into 8 crab cakes, about 2 1/2 inches and 1/2 inch thick, and place onto cookie sheet.


Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the crab cakes over, and bake an additional 8-10 minutes, until nicely browned. For a cheaper variation try this recipe with salmon.

Serve with tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, a tomato or fruit salsa or Shelly's Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce. The would be great with a salad for lunch. For dinner I would do a green veggie like spinach or sauteed green beans. It would be a great side with a steak too get the whole Surf ‘n’ Turf thing going on. It's pictured here with leftover Mediterranean Baked Shrimp.


You can even serve one for breakfast.

Ooooh OK guys reading this take note.

For Valentine's Day (aka Single's Awareness Day) or a birthday breakfast in bed make your sweetie this...

Crab Cake Benedict: a crab cake topped with an egg (it should be a poached egg but if this is beyond your egg making skills just scramble one) and top both with a dollop of Hollandaise sauce (shhh use a Knorr Hollandaise Sauce Mix packet I won't tell) include a flower and a love note.

Trust me guys do this and you'll be golden for months.

LOL I guess this is why I'm single. I can't seem to find the guy that will do this for me and until I do... I will be celebrating Single's Awareness Day.

Highlights of the day:

* Later this morning I'll be heading to the Farmer's Market. It always inspires me... not just with cooking ideas but being around people who are passionate about what they do.

* Went to Costco yesterday and saw they had Lucky jeans for $39 (a great deal) so I looked for my size. They didn't have it. Size 4 was the smallest and all my 4's are getting too loose. 2 1/2 years ago (at size 28) I couldn't have gotten one leg in anything at Costco. I need to remind myself of these little wows especially during the holidays when it would be easy to fall back into old patterns.

Mindless eating will never be a part of my life again. I worked too hard to get here and I know what life was like when I was unhealthy. It's about keeping your head in the game.

* Right now. Steaming cup of coffee with Sugar Free White Chocolate Syrup. Fuzzy blanket. Making a list of stuff to look for at the Farmer's Market... I'm thinking some Apple Crumbs are in my future. Jamming to tunes.

Listening to: "Live Your Life" T.I. feat. Rihanna. My latest Ipod walking favorite.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Protein and Purgatory

This was a super yummy dinner with oodles of protein. The cumin gave it the distinctive taste found in chili and I just love black beans (iron, protein, fiber.)


Shelly's Southwest Turkey Casserole

3/4 lb. Ground Turkey (about 1/2 a package)
1 Yellow Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz.) Black Beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup Frozen Corn, defrosted
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Seasoning Salt
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Creamy Ranchero Tomato, Southwest, Mexican, or Nacho Cheese Soup
1/4 cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese

Saute onions till golden. Add garlic. Add turkey and cook till no pink is seen. Add all remaining ingredients except cheese.


Mix till combined and pour into Pyrex casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

You could really use any meat in this... ground beef, sausage, cooked leftover chicken or turkey. I served it as is with a green salad but if you want to carb it up a bit for non-ops I might spoon it over a baked potato.

Highlights of the Day:

* Storms gone. Super long walk in the warm winter sun. Ipod blaring. I think maybe my sloppy calves are tightening up a bit. Woot.

* Doing a little experimental cooking tonight. The mad scientist laboratory is open for business. We'll see if anything blogworthy comes out of it.

* Sarah and I IMing...

Preface: We were reading some bad news headlines.

Sarah: oh he's burning in hell
Me: f ing loon
Sarah: I hope our suite isn't near him
Sarah: hell's gotta have sections right?
Me: no we're vip
Me: ;-)
Sarah: the people just having fun section
Me: yup
Sarah: not the demented psycho killer sections
Me: no that's bad hell
Me: we're going to hell in a hand basket
Me: different place
Sarah: LOL

Listening to: "This Afternoon" Nickleback

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

This is the first year we didn't go to the beach on Christmas Day in at least 5 years. We planned on going. We even got in the car and head out but it was so stormy. We stopped at Starbuck's (Yeah it was open. Cool huh?!) and that's where we stayed. Well for an hour or so. We found the only open supermarket in our area (TY Vons) and bought another avocado so we could make some more of that super yummy Fiesta Shrimp Cocktail for lunch.

So we spent a low key day at home. Music, movies, snacks, phone calls to loved ones far away. It was nice. At about 3:30 the rain let up (temporarily) and I decided to capitalize on it and head out for a walk.

I'm glad I did. Check out the gift I was given...



I made my Mediterranean Baked Shrimp for dinner. I served it with steamed Crab Legs. I know shrimp for lunch and dinner. I'm on a kick.


Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.


Highlights of the day:

* I had to laugh at all the Christmas sweaters I saw today. These people need to come to my party. Remember if you are one of my local friends or family your mission tomorrow is to grab a 75% off ugly Christmas sweater no one wanted. You will need it.

* Upon having difficulty finding an open supermarket this morning my Mum and I conspired to "procure" an avocado from someone's tree in their yard if necessary. Here was our excuse we would have given if caught...

"No officer we did not take any avocados we always carry avocados in our pockets for luck."

"What do you mean you have never heard of that?!" (Look incredulous)

"Wellllll that explains why you aren't lucky now doesn't it?"


Thankfully we found an open supermarket and just bought one. We didn't have to turn to a life of crime.

* Right now. Christmas tree lights. Listening to music. Eating 1/2 a Sugar Free Marshmallow Santa purchased at Walgreens the other store open on Christmas Day where I gave a rousing performance of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" this morning for the other freaks out in the storm.

Listening to: "Don't Stop Believin'" Journey

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Seven Fishes and Christmas Wishes

This is round one of the Feast of the Seven Fishes tonight...


Shelly's Fiesta Shrimp Cocktail

Jumbo Shrimp, cooked and chilled
Cucumber, chopped
a dollop of Pico de Gallo (find in the refrigerator section premade or make your own)
Avocado, diced
Vegetable Juice (I use bottled Knudsen Very Veggie)
squeeze of Lime
sprinkle of Kosher Salt
Optional but yummy: dash of hot sauce (I heart Cholula)

Toss shrimp with veggies and spoon into martini glasses (I do 5-6 shrimp per glass). Pour a shot glass of juice over top, a squeeze of lime, sprinkle of salt and a dash of Cholula.


This is a killer meal for us weight loss surgery post-ops. Shrimp = oodles of protein. A four ounce serving of shrimp supplies 23 grams of protein.

I love this too because we can feel "normal" eating the exact same thing as everyone else at the get-together. This is great at the holidays because of the red and green colors but it's also super yummy as a first course or side with steaks at a summer BBQ.


Highlights of the day:

* It's Christmas Eve. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year! I hope Santa is good to you all.

* My bro reloaded my Starbucks card. Does my family know me or what?!

* An entire day of seafood dishes awaits. Curling up under fuzzy blankets watching Christmas themed movies. Burning "Sugar Cookie" scented candles. Going for a bundled up winter walk tonight to look at Christmas lights. Coming home to a SF Hot Cocoa w/ a splash of SF Peppermint Torani Syrup in it. Eating a few yummy weight loss friendly treats (Mmmm Sugar Free Peppermint Bark Popcorn.) Chatting with loved ones.

Listening to: "If Today Was Your Last Day" Nickelback. I love this song.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Peppermint Popcorn

You know I sometimes wonder what my neighbors think when the light pops on in my kitchen every night err morning at about 3 AM. I hope they don't think I have some meth lab bubbling away and that one of these days the block will blow. Have no fear it's just me... the insomniac Eggface whipping up a batch of Peppermint Bark Popcorn.

OMG this stuff is scary good... like Moose Munch but waaaaay better.


Shelly's Sugar Free Peppermint Bark Popcorn

1 mini bag of Microwave Popcorn, popped (I use Orville Redenbacher 100 calorie Smart Pop Mini bags)
2 Sugar Free White Chocolate Bars
2 Sugar Free Candy Canes, crushed
1 Sugar Free Milk or Dark Chocolate Bar

Pop popcorn as directed by package. Place candy canes in a Ziploc bag, seal and whack the heck out of them with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Set both aside.

Break up the white chocolate bars into pieces and microwave for 30 second increments stirring in between till melted smooth. Place popcorn in a bowl and pour the melted white chocolate over it. Stir to combine. Quickly sprinkle the crushed candy canes all over. Stir until the candy is evenly distributed. Pour the popcorn out onto a cookie sheet or plate covered with a piece of waxed paper in an even layer and let set.


While the popcorn is setting, melt the milk or dark chocolate bar in the microwave for 30 second increments stirring in between till melted smooth. Drizzle over the popcorn. I just used a fork but you could put it in a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off. I can't mess like that. Place in the fridge to harden about 20 minutes. When chocolate is hardened break it up into chunks. This keeps several days (though if it isn't gobbled up in a day I'd be surprised non-ops have no clue this is a treat for us) in an airtight container. Great party snack or fill individual cellophane bags and tie with ribbon for a yummy homemade gift.


Highlights of the day:

* I made it home alive and only slightly bruised... some lady tried to maim me with her shopping cart. My Mum made me go to Walmart with her. I have been avoiding that store like the plague these past weeks. Walmart is bad enough during the year but during the holidays it's a special kind of torture.

Holidays are stressful.

It helped me to read this post from last year.

Ohm.

* This is really a highlight from the other day but go see Jim Carrey's new movie "Yes Man" it was hilarious. The bar fight scene was worth the price of admission alone. Considering going again. I had a blast the other night with Jeremy and I think my Mum would love it too. God knows we both need a laugh lately.

* If you've been a Eggface blog reader for awhile you know at my house we celebrate the "Feast of the Seven Fishes" Christmas Eve night and then head to the beach with snacks on Christmas morning. I've got a few new dishes planned I'm excited about. I will of course take oodles of food porn. I'm definitely going to make my Mediterranean Baked Shrimp dish from the other day. Soooo good.

Listening to: "Dare You To Move" Switchfoot

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bark at the Moon

Up at 3 AM again (what else is new?!) and needed a project...

So what do most people do when they can't sleep at 3 AM? Make several versions of White Chocolate Bark of course.

I know. I'm a little psycho... like Martha Stewart on crack psycho.


Shelly's Sugar Free Cranberry Pistachio Bark

3 Sugar Free Chocolate Bars (I used SF White Chocolate)
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Pistachios


Shelly's Sugar Free Peppermint Bark

3 Sugar Free Chocolate Bars
3 Sugar Free Candy Canes, crushed (place in a Ziploc, be sure it's sealed and whack the heck out of them with a meat mallet or rolling pin)


Shelly's Sugar Free Toasted Coconut Fruit and Nut Bark

3 Sugar Free Chocolate Bars
1/4 cup Toasted Unsweetened Coconut
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Pistachios

The Process:

Break up chocolate bars into pieces and microwave for 30 second increments stirring in between till melted smooth. Add dried fruit, nuts, crushed sugar free candy, whatever you like (as much or as little as you want) Mix to coat. Pour onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet or plate. Refrigerate till firm about 1/2 hour. When firm break into pieces.



You can use any nut/fruit combo I liked the red and green holiday colors of the cranberries and pistachios and the peppermint bark is classic Christmas. This is a holiday treat so don't go crazy and eat the whole batch because it does have calories and they add up. If candy was a trigger food for you. I might skip this one.


Highlights of the day:

* When my drug induced haze from Migraine meds began to lift. My Mum and I went to Starbuck's and hung out for awhile. She's a cheap date... a slice of Gingerbread and a Tall Pike's and she's a happy camper. We swapped memories of my sweet kitty Rosie Posie. We decided the secret to her longevity was that she was a coffee addict like me. She had a little bowl of milky coffee several times a week as a treat all her 20 years.

Thank you my friends for all for your kind words. They truly have been a comfort.

* This blog's title: "Bark at the Moon" like the Ozzy Osbourne song. OK here's something I don't think I blogged before... though hell I may have I talk a lot.

You all know my Dad dying at 67 years old of sleep apnea and my being diagnosed with sleep apnea (now resolved) was the catalyst for me starting to seek out weight loss surgery but seriously there is an Osbourne connection. One weekend I caught a marathon of the first season of Jack Osbourne's Adrenaline Junkie where he is getting into shape and following a strict exercise regimen, training at a Thai boxing camp near Bangkok with the ultimate goal of climbing El Capitan Mountain. It was intense. Jack had some addiction issues and weight issues to overcome and I seriously was inspired by his commitment to make changes in his life. Watching that show energized me and was the "I can do this" push I needed. Well and shhh I have a crush on him too. What a little hottie now.

* Right now. Sipping on a cup of coffee with a splash of SF Chocolate Syrup in it. Fuzzy blanket. AIMing my pal Sarah. Discussing how as a child I never got a picture taken with Santa...

I've been told I would stand in line and just as it got to my turn I would refuse. They would of course give me a candy cane anyway. Score. So every year this would repeat until I started calling it "the line to get a candy cane" instead of "the line to see Santa." I was foiled. The parental units were on to me and my ploy to score free candy so we stopped that holiday ritual.

I really really want one but you know you'd have to wait in line with all the kids and ummm no matter how pure of heart you are it still seems kinda naughty and bizarre. You know what I'm saying. I just need my perfect man to own a Santa suit.

Listening to: Michael Bublé "Let it Snow"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sad


Sorry I am MIA. My beautiful kitty Rose died last night. Almost 21 years ago my Dad found a little gray runt kitten abandoned and weak in our backyard and we brought her inside and hand fed her till she was strong. She was the best cat ever and a part of my life for over 20 years. I will miss her terribly.


So yeah getting upset brought on a killer migraine and I have spent the day in the fetal position in the dark. I will be back posting tomorrow. I need to cook... it's therapeutic.

On a happier note it's my 2 1/2 year RNY Surgiversary today. -158 pounds and holding. Best GIFT I ever gave myself.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stuffed

Stuffed peppers are one of those classic comfort food dishes. I remember my Mum making them when I was a child. They were one of my Dad's favorite meals. Of course as a child I ate all the filling and left the big green "cup" behind. My Mum's version like most stuffed pepper recipes was stuffed with ground beef, tomatoes and rice.

I wanted to make a weight loss surgery friendly, low carb version because as a post-op RNYer I don't do rice (my choice.) Overindulgence in simple carbs like rice (pasta, bread & potatoes) was the reason I needed to get my stomach severed and my guts rearranged. So I just don't go there now.

My post-op mantra: You can't continue the same behaviors and expect different results

Everyone's journey is different. This is what I have to do for me. I know what I have no control of so I don't open that door. You know what I'm saying.

I replaced the simple carb rice bulk with a saute of yummy vitamin packed veggies. Much better for you and waaaaay tastier.

These are soooo good. Company's coming good. For company I'd serve them with a simple green salad and a nice bottle of vino.


Shelly's Turkey Stuffed Peppers

3/4 pound Ground Turkey (about 1/2 a package)
3 peppers of any color, stems cut off, seeded, and then cut in half lengthwise
1 Zucchini, diced
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1 small Eggplant, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
1 cup Marinara Sauce (I used jarred Rao's)
2 oz. Goat Cheese (Chevre)
1/4 cup Shredded 4 Cheese Italian Blend
Olive Oil for sauteing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Place the peppers in a lightly oiled Pyrex casserole dish, season with salt and bake for 20 minutes. Remove peppers, drain any water that has expelled from the peppers and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Saute onions, zucchini, eggplant till golden and soft about 8 minutes. Add garlic cook 1 minute more. Set aside.

Saute turkey till no pink is seen. Add turkey and tomato sauce and seasonings to veggies. Cook for 5 minutes till most of the liquid is reduced.


Off heat add crumbled goat cheese. Mix to combine. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon mixture into partially cooked pepper halves.


Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Depending on the size of your peppers you may have a little extra filling. If you do sprinkle cheese on it and bake it along side the peppers.


Highlights of the Day:

* OK so after yesterday's post I got a bunch of emails and everyone was scarily jazzed about coming to my "Ugly Christmas Sweater Party." It is next year but if you want to get a head start may I suggest hitting the clearance racks after Christmas. You know find yourself a really ugly one everyone passed up this year or you could hit a Thrift for some vintage fugliness. Hell I may not be able to wait till next Christmas... Christmas in July? I'm thinking turn up the AC and bring it on.

* Getting my crazy mop of hair cut today. I think it's all the protein I eat post-op it grows like a freaking weed. Is it just me?

Might treat myself to a pedicure too if I have time. I'm working for Gail this morning. Easy stuff though no cooking just assembling those little lunchbox things you get at conferences/meetings. You know... sandwich check, cookie check, fruit... shouldn't be an all morning thing.

* Right now. Sipping on coffee with Sugar Free English Toffee syrup in it. Mmmmm. Listening to music. Warm fuzzy blanket.

Listening to: "Gotta Be Somebody" Nickelback

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snack for Santa

I make a plain chocolate version of these truffles but OMG I added Click Espresso Protein Powder to the mix and WOW these are scary good!

and...

They have been served to many non-ops NONE of which can believe they are a protein packed weight loss surgery friendly treat. So leave a few out for Santa on Christmas Eve.


Shelly's Espresso Protein Truffles

2 Scoops Click Espresso Protein Powder
3 Scoops Chocolate Protein Powder
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
1/4 cup Chopped Nuts (I used a combo of Pecans, Walnuts and Pistachios)

Toppings (optional): Unsweetened Toasted Coconut, Crushed Nuts, SF Pudding Mix, more Protein Powder, Unsweetened Cocoa, Crushed SF Candy Cane.

Mix all ingredients till thoroughly combined. Roll into walnut size balls. Roll in unsweetened Toasted Coconut (or other topping choice.) Place in fridge to firm before serving. Keep leftovers refrigerated. You can also freeze them and defrost in the fridge as needed. Makes about 25.


Highlights of the Day:

* I MUST have one of these parties next year... an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. I'm going to collect some sweaters just in case someone comes not wearing one. Sooooo if you are invited you better wear one or you'll be wearing one I select for you and you know that will be seriously scary. There will be prizes for the ugliest. LOL.

* I am an 80's old school Atari girl (River Raid, Pitfall, an undisputed Pac-Man Goddess) and I've never really wanted a Nintendo Wii or any of the new game systems until I saw this game. It looks soooo fun.

* I have so many dishes floating around in my head to make. I really got inspired cooking with Gail the other day. Food porn should abound till well into the New Year. Heads up: Tomorrow's entry is INCREDIBLE.

Listening to: Dean Martin "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" I took my walk after it got dark last night and checked out the Christmas light displays. There were some really pretty ones. The house on the corner keeps adding stuff and I swear is gonna blow our neighborhood circuit :) Total Clark Griswold.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sausage & Bean Cassoulet

Cassoulet is a dish cooked in the winter in southwest France. It's a traditional peasant dish of beans and sausages sometimes duck. I am not French so this is my 1/2 Brit, 1/2 Sicilian, ex-New Yorker, current Southern Californian, Americanized version. Forgive me Julia Child.

I needed something hearty and warm and this hit the spot. We are actually having weather if you can believe it. Strange water droplets are falling from the sky. Crazy?!


Shelly's Sausage & Bean Cassoulet

2 14-oz cans of Cannellini or Pinto Beans (I used a combo), rinsed and drained
2 links Mild Italian Sausage, casing removed
1 large Yellow Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
1 (14.5 oz.) can chopped Tomatoes, slightly drained (I used S&W Italian Style w/ seasonings)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Italian Style Dry Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (the really good stuff not the green can)
Olive oil/butter for sauteing

Rinse and drain beans and set aside. Saute sausage till no pink is seen. Drain any fats and set aside. Saute onions till golden. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.


Add beans and sausage to pot along and all remaining ingredients (except bread crumbs and cheese.) Pour into a Pyrex casserole, top with crumbs and cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.



Highlights of the Day:

* Went to Linens and Things. It's about empty (I will miss it) but I scored a super cool Fondue Pot w/ little forks and plates for $7.99. I heart Fondue. Gooey melty cheese what is not to love?!

* Mum and I ran errands in the crazy rain storm and had a blast despite getting drenched. We had the Christmas Music radio station on and it brought up funny memories and stories... best holiday memory, best gift ever, worst gift. Fun stuff.

Best Gift: My bright Yellow Coaster Bike w/ flower banana seat. Once my training wheels came off I got a white plastic basket w/ plastic flowers as a reward. My brother bought it for me ($$ from his first good paying job he's 12 years older) I couldn't find a Christmas Day pic of it but here I am in the summer with it...


Worst Gift: When I was little... Orange and Purple Crocheted Slippers made by my sister (Sorry Sandra) but they were seriously itchy.

* I walked around the lake yesterday between rain showers. I am feeling so much better since I started walking again. It's amazing when you are good to your body how you are rewarded... I was down 3 pounds at this morning's weigh-in.

Listening to: "If Today Was Your Last Day" Nickleback. The new CD is really really good.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Leftovers: Shrimp Pizza

I get a lot of "What do you do with your leftovers?" questions. Here's what I did with the shrimp dish leftovers from the other night's dinner.

Today's Lunch:


Top a Mission Brand Carb Balance Whole Wheat 6" Fajita Size Tortilla with a scoop of my Mediterranean Baked Shrimp (leftovers), a slice of Provolone and a sprinkle of Italian seasonings. Bake for 10 minutes at 375.

Sooooo good.

Go ahead. Take a slice...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ducks vs. Shrimp

So yesterday I was making an experimental dinner and I said if it was deemed blogworthy you would see the food porn and recipe today. If it wasn't... I'd be giving you more ducks on the lake.

Lucky for you (and me) it was incredibly yummy...


Shelly's Mediterranean Baked Shrimp

1 Yellow Onion, sliced
4 Green Onions, diced
2 small Zucchini, sliced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
1 (14.5 oz.)can chopped Tomatoes, drained
a few twists of Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
20-22 Medium/Large Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
Olive oil/butter for sauteing
2 ounces Feta Cheese (I used Tomato Basil Feta)

Preheat oven to 450. Saute onions and zucchini till golden. Add garlic and oregano cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Off heat add shrimp and basil. Stir to combine. Transfer to a Pyrex casserole dish. Crumble feta over top.


Bake until cheese is beginning to brown and shrimp are opaque 20 minutes.


I ate this on it's own. For non-ops you could certainly make a batch of angel hair to go with or serve it with some crusty bread but I promise you will not miss it. This is soooo good. Seriously, I think it's one of the best dishes I have ever made.

I will be taking the leftovers and making a Tortilla Pizza with them... Mission Brand Carb Balance Whole Wheat 6" Fajita Size Tortilla, a scoop of Mediterranean Baked Shrimp and a little more cheese. Bake for 10 minutes at 375. Shrimp Pizza Heaven.

Well I'm off to walk before it gets too cold and dark.

Highlights of the day:

* Finally finished the Christmas tree last night. We put it in the Den/Office this year because we spend the most time in that room and figured we would get to enjoy it more especially since it's up a little late this year. It's a mixed up, crazy ornament tree full of stories and memories. I love trees with meaning. Sorry but those generic matchy ribbon and ball trees just don't cut it for me.


* Sitting on the floor for about an hour last night with my kitty Rose all curled up on my lap. She's getting lovey dovey in her old age. Sometimes you just need a little unconditional fuzzy love.

* Had a blast cooking with Gail and her gang this morning. I spent most of the time making mini meatballs (500!? yeah you read that right) and assembling quesadillas. No skewers LOL. I will adapt the meatballs in the coming days with a few adjustments they would be perfect for us post WLS-ers. Yummy.

Listening to: "Bless The Broken Road" Rascal Flatts. Gail = huge Rascal Flatts fan. So all morning I was force countrified. Country music always makes me want to cook but cook bad stuff like biscuits or pecan pie. I do like this song though.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Walking

I didn't realize how much I missed my daily walks. From the 2nd day after my gastric bypass surgery and for 2 years I took a daily walk. After I hit my weight loss goal, it was easy to justify "taking today off" but you know it was more than just the exercise I was getting it was the me time alone with my thoughts, breathing fresh air and jamming to good tunes. Plus look at the beauty I was missing...





I took advantage of a break in the storm and I just made it before it started to rain again...


Highlights of the day:

* Hit the Farmer's Market this morning. It just began to spit with rain when we got there so we made about 2 turns around and hit our favorite stands. This week's haul: leeks (I've got plans for these), a cauliflower, red yellow & green onions, peppers, zucchini, a delicata squash (not sure what I'm doing with it roasting it probably. It was too cute not to buy), and some apples and pears (maybe an Apple & Pear Crumb.) After the FM, we went to Starbuck's I got my usual Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte with no whipped cream and my Mum had a Pike's and proceeded to devour 2 cream-filled donuts from the donut shop next door. She's too funny. She thankfully has the metabolism of a 14 year old boy and those donuts are burned off already. I did not inherit this attribute. Pre-op if I ate things like that they just added another inch to my ass.

* If you have kids here's 2 super cute holiday websites to visit: Decorate a Gingerbread Person (gotta be PC) and Decorate a Ginger Bread House. These should take up a few minutes and give you momentary relief from "I'm Booooooored there's nothing to dooooooo."

* Experimental dinner tonight. I love the unknown. Will it be blogworthy? We shall see. If it is... look for the recipe and food porn manana. If it isn't... well... I will be posting more flippin' ducks.

Listening to: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" Barenaked Ladies & Sarah Mclachlan

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dinner: Spinach & Feta Mini Meatloaf

This was a super yummy dinner. Protein packed and full of vitamins.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Healthy VSG RNY Gastric Bypass Diabetes Recipes Cooking Blog
Shelly's Florentine Turkey Mini Meatloaf

1 Yellow Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
3 cloves Garlic, diced
1 - 16 oz. package frozen Chopped Spinach, cooked and drained thoroughly
1 1/4 pounds Ground Turkey, the average weight of 1 package
1/4 cup Italian Style Dry Bread Crumbs (or Oatmeal soaked in the milk for 1 minute)
1/4 cup Milk
1 Egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 cup Tomato Basil Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
Butter/Oil for sauteing

Cook and drain spinach thoroughly. Squeezing out any excess water with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside. Saute onions till golden, Add garlic and drained spinach cook 1 minute. Mix to combine. Set aside to cool.


Soak breadcrumbs or oatmeal in milk for 1 minute. Beat egg. Add egg, cheese and soaked breadcrumbs to ground turkey. Add cooled veggies and seasonings. Mix till combined.


Divide into 8 equal mounds. Form into mini meatloaves or if you have this super groovy pan like me use it. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 oven. These freeze well either cooked or uncooked.

I served them with sauteed zucchini sprinkled with a dash of Greek Seasoning.

I love these mini meatloaves. Not only are they are the perfect size for us weight loss surgery peeps (great portion control) they are just so flippin' cute.

Other Eggface Mini Meatloaves:

Shelly's Italian Artichoke Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Turkey Mushroom Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Greek Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Mexican Mini Meatloaf



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Being good to yourself

I read something once and it stuck with me and although I find myself often not following it... I should. We all should because it is soooo true...

The world has created enough enemies for you. Never be an enemy to yourself.

So today I am recommitting to being kind to myself. Physically kind, Emotionally kind. I am going to become my own best friend because frankly if I don't love and nurture me then how can I expect others too.

This also includes having people in my life that are honest, loyal, positive and committed to leading a healthy good life.



I ate this for breakfast this morning...


Shelly's Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Salad

2 ounces Fage Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used Caramel)
1 Tablespoon NSA Apple Butter
1 Pear, chopped
1 Apple, chopped
1/4 cup of Walnuts (or Pecans or combo) and Dried Cranberries (or Raisins or combo)
dash Cinnamon

Mix yogurt, syrup, apple butter together. Peel and chop fruit in yogurt it prevents the fruit from oxidizing. Add nuts and berries. Toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.


Highlights of the day:

* Started my morning with a really nice text message.

* The house is starting to look Christmasy and it's getting me in the spirit. Finally because I just wasn't feeling it this year but I'm coming around. I'm staying local I think. What's everyone doing for the holidays?

* Making a yummy dinner tonight... watch for the food porn manana.

Listening to: "Good People" Jack Johnson