The County Fair Post-Op

What a long day but it was lots of fun. I went to my first County Fair as a post-op and I have to say I did really well. I was surrounded by people carrying plates of Australian Battered Potatoes slathered in cheese sauce (a former fav), Funnel Cakes, heck anything and everything you could shove on a stick and deep fry and you know I didn't miss it. Seriously I didn't. Shouldn't I miss it? I was expecting today to be a hideous battle but I was fine. I split an order of ribs with my Mom and had 3/4's of a BBQ corn. I was happy and satisfied. Bizarre.

I walked for over 6 hours. I remember last year hurting so much... walking around a little and then needing to sit. Today I barely sat... just during the cooking contest judging which by the way I got a 4th place ribbon (only 1-5 get a ribbon out of 43 entries) I guess that's good but not as good as last year's 1st place. Speaking of last year's win I finally got the recipe back. Woo Hoo! For those of my friends who don't know the story last year I entered in this same division (Appetizers) and won 1st place but the week after I won my computer died and with it died the recipe. I had turned in my only paper copy with my entry. So I had to wait a whole year to buy the cookbook with last year's winners in to get my recipe back. The sponsor of the contest was Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing so every recipe had to have that product in it. So after a year here you go...

Shelly's Artichoke Squares

1 12 oz. can artichokes (not marinated)
1 T. Butter
1 Medium Onion, diced
3 Large Eggs
2 Large Egg Whites
1 cup Jarlsberg Cheese, shredded (Swiss or Gruyere may be substituted)
1 packet (1 oz.) Hidden Valley Ranch Original Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive Oil (for pan)

Preheat oven to 325. Finely chop artichokes and set aside. In a small pan cook diced onion in butter till lightly golden and tender, about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until blended. Stir in cooked onion, chopped artichokes, cheese, Hidden Valley seasoning mix, and pepper. Lightly coat a 12 x 8 inch baking dish with olive oil. Spread mixture evenly into coated baking dish. Bake 30-35 minutes until set and lightly browned. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into squares.

And freaky because I made it pre-op and it's really a wls friendly recipe. I have two more contests coming in the next few weeks. Wish me luck! I think I have a really good chance with the next one.

On a sad note I saw so many people struggling with obesity today. I hurt for them. The healthier I get the more I realize what a hell it was. I wasn't living at all. I was committing a slow suicide by knife and fork. I secretly wanted to scream, "Hey, I was you last year! Can you get your hands on $12,000??? Because life can change" I didn't because for one I'm not a freaky lunatic (LOL despite these insane ramblings seriously I'm not) and two thinking back I wouldn't have appreciated that last year as I stood on line to get another deep fried something or other on a stick. I just hope those that want to are able to find a way out of that hell soon. I do freely tell all that I had the surgery and hope from them seeing my success it may prompt them to find out more but I try and be subtle. Like when I asked the very overweight girl at the coffee counter if they carried soymilk because "since I had weight loss surgery I can't do milk" which of course opened up the conversation. LOL I told you... subtle ;)

The weather was awesome today and I got some color. Yeah uhhh except on my arms, which were of course still covered :( I have a total Farmer's Tan.

Highlights of the day:

* Getting the cookbook (I'm on page 6 BTW)
* The cool collections are always my favorite
* Feeling fine with not eating my traditional crap oh I even watched my Mom eat a Texas Donut (another pre-op fav) and not a tinge of desire or regret.

Listening to: "Make a Memory" Bon Jovi