In a hurry

I was in a hurry to make dinner yesterday but I really wanted my Chicken Marsala. It requires pounding out chicken breasts which was a little more effort then I could make so I came up with this quick version. Similar flavors, a little more sauce. Try them both and you can compare. I think the original is still my favorite but this is yummy too.

I didn't have green onions which the original calls for so I threw some frozen peas in for color. I served it with a side of sauteed spinach.

Shelly's Quick Version Chicken Marsala

8 boneless Chicken Tenders, cut into 1" pieces
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
8 sliced Crimini Mushrooms
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Marjoram
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Marsala
1/4 cup Frozen Peas

Saute chicken in oil till golden. Remove from pan set aside. Saute onion and mushroom till golden. Add butter, flour, marjoram, salt & pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add the peas, broth and Marsala to the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid on till peas are tender.

Yummy product alert

I was in TJ Maxx the other day shopping for clothes and in the back of the store there are all these home products, etc. I picked up this Blackberry Patch Sugar Free Syrup to try. It's Maple Praline and I thought it would give a new twist to my Best Breakfast Ever. Verdict: Yum! Nutty maple goodness. I drizzled it on Oatmeal but I bet it would be yummy on Fage Yogurt or Ricotta Cheese.

Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Calories: 35 g.
Carbs: 15 g.
Sugars: 0 g.
Sugar Alcohols (maltitol): 15 g.
Protein: 0 g.

The sugar alcohol maltitol is iffy with some people... gas, cramps, etc. but I've never had issues with it but I also don't eat toooo much either to test the theory.

If your local TJ Maxx doesn't carry any (they may not TJ Maxx stuff is pretty random) the company does mail order. They have a load of SF flavors Blueberry, Raspberry, Roasted Pecan... I'll be on the lookout for others.

Have I told you lately...

THANK YOU SO VERY VERY MUCH for visiting my blog and for your lovely, funny, encouraging comments. It means such a lot to me, and it bothers me a lot that I don't always have enough time to answer each and every one of you. My world would be a lot less without all of you that is for sure.

OK mushy stuff aside.

Back to the food porn... I made a yummy stew today for dinner.

Shelly's Beef & Black Bean Crockpot Stew

2 pounds Stew Beef
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/4 cup Beef or Chicken Broth
2 large cloves Garlic, minced
1 large chopped Onion
1 large (28-oz.) can Tomatoes, chopped (I used S&W Petite Cut)
1 cup Salsa
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Paprika
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Frozen Corn (I used Trader Joe's Frozen Fire Roasted Corn)
1 (15-oz.) can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro


Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream

Toss beef cubes in flour. In a large skillet, brown beef. Deglaze the pan with broth. Pour into crockpot. Saute onion till golden, add garlic cook 1 minute. Transfer into the crockpot. Add tomatoes, salsa, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, corn, and beans. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Add green onions and cilantro during the last hour of cooking. Top with grated cheese, avocado, and/or sour cream.

I had a lot of fun today. It's getting chilly in Southern California and I only owned 2 pairs of pants (both capris) in my size. I think I'm finally at the size I would like to stay and I'm getting really cold wearing capris and sandals everywhere so I went shopping. I love TJ Maxx. I got two pairs of super cute jeans (size 10) and 2 great sweaters in my favorite color green. I also found a couple of treats to try a SF Maple Pecan Syrup (next time I make the Best Breakfast Ever I will give some a try and let you know) and a Da Vinci Amaretto Sugar Free Syrup (TJ Maxx is a great source for random SF syrups BTW). I also stopped at the supermarket to stock up on my Driftwood Dairy Cottage Cheese & Pineapple which I am completely obsessed with right now.

Highlights of the Day:

* Looking in a mirror and really beginning to like what I see. It took 36 years.

* I walked by people eating a huge pizza today and instead of coveting it I thought, "Damn, that is a lot of carbs" How's that for a mindset change??

* Ooooh I went to Starbuck's today and had them make me a Tall SF Cinnamon Dolce/SF Gingerbread Soy Latte with No Whip. They mixed the two SF syrups for me and it was seriously one of the best drinks I've ever had. Try it. Yum.

* The Christmas cactus blooming in my kitchen window (see above)

Listening to: Fleetwood Mac "Silver Springs"

Getting in the spirit

The other day I put up a thread at work and it really got me in the holiday spirit. If you missed it or don't frequent OH it's a fun read.

I also went to the mall this weekend which despite the crowds and commercialism always gets me in the spirit. I love all the displays of trees and ornaments in all the department stores. I also love to check out the North Pole Village they have set up for Santa pictures and the line of children dressed in their cute outfits waiting to take a picture with the big red dude.

I never got a picture with Santa when I was a child. 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.

PS Update: I'm still a little swollen above my new belly button and my back (I'm in my size 10 Lucky's though.) I'll never be a bikini girl but no more Sharpei dog. Woot! I'm so jazzed that the medical issues that led to my deciding to have plastics have been resolved but I'm also starting to love the physical results. I'm feeling pretty good. Still tired but I'm thinking it might be my sleeping arrangement. I'm still not in my bed. I have a really high bed and it was too hard to get in and out of so I've been on the den couch but it's starting to get to me. I'm gonna try the bed tonight. Wish me luck!

Highlights of the weekend:

* Breakfast with my Mom at Bux after the Farmer's Market on Saturday.

* I hit my favorite thrift which I haven't done in a while and scored a cool coffee table book for $5.

* Mmmm the lunch I'm eating right now. A Tortilla Pizza This one is Sauteed Mushrooms, Pesto Sauce, Ricotta Cheese, Provolone, and Parmesan with a sprinkle of Italian Seasoning. Have you made one of these yet? You need to.

Listening to: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" Barenaked Ladies & Sarah Mclachlan I love this CD!

Thanksgiving 2007

Hope you had a great one. I slept in, surfed the net, read magazines, talked to friends and family, cooked the feast and then ate it. A perfect day.

I won't bore you with pics of a turkey breast (it was exceptionally moist though) but I'll include the recipe:

Citrus and Herb Turkey Breast

1 large Carrot, cut into thick slices
1 Celery stalk, roughly diced
1 large Leek (white and green parst), sliced thin, lengthwise
1 small Whole Turkey Breast, with ribs
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
8 to 10 fresh Thyme sprigs, or 3/4 tsp dried
1/2 a Lemon, sliced
1/2 an Orange, sliced
Olive Oil
1 c Chicken Broth

Set a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. In a roasting pan just large enough to hold the turkey, arrange the carrot, celery, leek, and fruit to form a base on which to roast the turkey. Rub with oil. Sprinkle with salt and thyme. Set the breast on the bed of vegetables and fruit, arranging them to hold it upright. Add the broth.

Roast until an instant-read thermometer (inserted into the thickest part of the breast and not touching the bone) registers 165° (about 20 minutes per pound). If the skin is browning too much, loosely tent the breast with foil. When done, remove the breast to a platter; let it rest 20 minutes. Discard veggies and fruit.

Here's a few of the more unique recipes we served:

This year I was determined to come up with a lower carb, bread-less alternative to traditional stuffing. Here's my effort:

Shelly's Roasted Eggplant Stuffing

3 medium Eggplants (approx. 1 pound each, I use the traditional Italian ones)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
2 Stalks Celery, sliced and parboiled
1 large yellow Onion
1/2 cup sliced Crimini Mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/8 cup Bread Crumbs
1 Tablespoon Butter

Peel and cube the eggplants place on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden turning a few times during cooking. Parboil celery till tender and set aside. Meanwhile saute onions and mushrooms till golden. Add garlic cook 1 minute. Combine eggplant and veggies. Add the bread crumbs and cheese. Mix to combine. Spoon into a casserole dish, dot with butter and bake till golden about 25 minutes.

Verdict: We don't need no stinkin' bread. It was super yummy and very stuffing like. Ummm dare I say it but I'd have this over cornbread stuffing any day.

We also served one of my favorites Fried Cauliflower a staple on every Sicilian's holiday menu. There's really no recipe more of a process because it depends on how big your cauliflower is. Basically you parboil the cauliflower, dredge it in beaten egg and lightly toss in Italian Style Dried Bread Crumbs and pan fry in a tiny bit of oil. Turn till golden on all sides.

Finally yesterday I posted the recipe for an absolutely awesome non-traditional version of Green Bean Casserole we served so I added the food porn pic of that dish to that page.

Highlights of the day:

* It was a gorgeous fall-like day the sun was shining bright but there was a crispness in the air. Perfect.

* I love any chance I get to "cook big"

* I'm looking forward to Grey's Anatomy tonight looks like it's going to be gooooood.

Listening to: Brian Ferry & Roxy Music "Avalon"

Not Yo' Momma's Green Bean Casserole

Here's one of the dishes on the Eggface family menu tomorrow.

Forget the mushroom soup. This version of Green Bean Casserole is soooo much better. The addition of Trader Joe's frozen spinach artichoke dip makes a creamy and flavorful sauce that beats the classic cream of mushroom soup version hands down.

Shelly's Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole

8-10 slices of Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 - 24 oz. bag Frozen French Green Beans
2 pkgs Trader Joe's Frozen Spinach Artichoke Dip
3/4 cup Milk (or half & half)
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1 cup Fried Onion Pieces

Cook bacon. Let cool and crumble. Steam green beans till not quite done. Set aside. Prepare frozen spinach artichoke dip according to directions and then whisk in milk (or half & half) until smooth. Combine green beans, bacon, dip mixture, and a twist or two of freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Pour into a large casserole dish. Top with the fried onions and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Have a wonderful Turkey Day everyone (I'll be sure to take some FP and put up the rest of the recipes tomorrow night or Friday)

A Thanksgiving Blessing

May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the Moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.

OMG Heaven!

Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Almonds. These are to die for. I don't know whether to thank my pal Darsi or send her hate mail because they are so dangerously good. I'll just utilize portion control and thank her.

Look for the Vanilla Bean (OMG!!!) and Cinnamon Brown Sugar flavors

Find them at a store near you. Here's the nutritional information and if you can't find them in your area you can order them online.

Breakfast at Bux

Back in August I blogged a WLS Post-op Starbucks Survival Guide with tips and info to help the gastric bypass post-op make better choices.

I suggested steering clear of the dreaded bakery case and while that is still the best bet for the most part. I thought I would make mention of something I have been enjoying lately and give Starbuck's some kudos.

I've had to make a few train trips lately and conveniently there is a Starbuck's right across from the train station. One afternoon finding myself with little time to seek out alternative food before my train departed I ordered a Starbuck's Wrap.

They have two different wraps and the one I am reviewing consists of Scrambled Egg, Feta Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes and Spinach on a Whole Wheat Tortilla. I'll tell you I didn't have high hopes. It's frozen and then heated up for you. How good could it be? Well you know it was actually tasty and a pretty decent choice for us @ 240 calories and 13 g. protein. The whole wheat tortilla is crispy when it comes out of the easy bake oven the Starbuck's dude sticks it in and so it goes down well and of course you get a little protein from the egg & cheese. Viola. A WLS friendly menu item. It's $3.25 add a SF Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte and I am a happy girl.

Good for you Starbuck's.

Weekend wrap-up

I got up really early yesterday and took a shower. I'm getting a pretty good at showering post plastics and I'm cool even if I drop the shampoo. Why? Because I have the world's most talented toes. Yes, that's right I'll toot my own horn. My toes rock!

When I was about 7 years old I watched a television news program about a girl who tragically lost her arms. Her story really made an impression on me. I thought... what if that happened to me??? So for weeks I threw shit all over my bedroom carpet (paperclips, coins, bit of paper, buttons, etc.) and practiced picking them up with my toes. I mastered it. There is nothing I can not pick up. I can also write my name. It's my Molly Ringwald thing I can do. Remember in the movie The Breakfast Club Molly Ringwald's character Claire could put on her lipstick with her boobs... I can pick anything up with my toes. Yeah. I think my skill is muuuuuuuch more useful than that boob thing.

So back to my weekend. I went to the Farmer's Market. I bought Eggplant, heirloom Garlic, Onions, Sweet Potatoes, Parsley, Corn, Cauliflower, Leeks, Yellow Squash, and my Mom's Austrian Fruit Bread. Oh and a couple of those yummy Turkish Burgers from that nice vendor and his daughter. They are killer with my Yogurt Dill Dip.

After the FM we went to Starbuck's and about 5 other stores to get the rest of the week's supplies and Thanksgiving Menu items.

Here's the Eggface Family Thanksgiving Menu as it stands (subject to tweaking). I will of course add some recipes and food porn to the blog next week.

Citrus and Herb Turkey Breast
Roasted Eggplant Stuffing (my experimental effort at avoiding this from happening)
Green Bean Casserole with Bacon
Fried Cauliflower
Creamy Crockpot Corn
Cranberry Sauce (I don't eat it)

Dessert: No Sugar Added Pumpkin Pie (store bought) I bought one to taste test and it was yummy so I'll be getting another for Thursday.

I came home and literally crashed for hours. I can go really well for awhile and then when tired hits it's a crazy... MUST LIE DOWN NOW! feeling. Intense. I guess I shopped till I dropped literally.

Today was going great. I had fun plans. I made a Tortilla Pizza for lunch. Mmmm a great combo of sauteed Onions and Mushrooms, Pesto Sauce, Provolone, Parmesan, and Italian Seasonings.

But it all went south...

I was in my garage and one of my two kitties got under my feet (he's blind can't blame him) and I fell backwards and smashed my still swollen from plastics back into the counter. I burst into tears. I was only soothed by the insides of a slice of the taste test no-sugar added pumpkin pie I bought... well that and a leftover happy pill. I was going to make a cameo at a friend's baby shower but I was sad and pie and drugs sounded better.

Later I'm going to BBQ Steak and Corn (elote style) and watch Amazing Race. Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Highlights of the weekend:

* Fresh air and sunshine walking around the Farmer's Market

* Leftover drugs

* Pie

Listening to: "Don't you forget about me" Simple Minds

The Antithesis of Turkey

The week or so before Thanksgiving I try and avoid poultry. I figure it builds up excitement for the main event and of course after a couple of days of leftovers you don't want to see turkey for awhile. So expect the next few food porn entries to be beef or seafood dishes. If I do a chicken dish it's usually highly seasoned and as far from T-giving-ish as I can get.

Here's what I made last night when I was craving Chinese. The use of bean sprouts is my low carb and low calorie trick to avoiding rice (which I don't do by choice anymore as a post-op). Cooked in quantity they are like noodles in the dish. Bean sprouts are a good source of vitamin C, B complex vitamins and protein too.

Shelly's Beef Stir Fry

2 Eggs, scrambled
1/2-3/4 pound package of Beef Strips (aka beef for stir fry)
1 Tablespoon fresh Ginger, grated
1/2 cup shredded Carrot
3 cups Bean Sprouts
1 can Baby Corn
1 large Onion, sliced
2 or 3 Green Onions, sliced into 1" sections
4-5 Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Frozen Peas
3 to 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
3/4 cup Chicken or Beef Broth
2 teaspoons Corn Starch
Salt & Pepper to taste
Canola Oil

Heat wok pan, add oil, and scramble eggs. Remove and set aside. Add a little more oil and add beef and ginger. Cook until the beef is slightly browned. Remove from wok. Add a little more oil. Add the bean sprouts, carrot, baby corn. Stir fry over high heat about 5 minutes. Remove from pan set aside. Stir fry onions and mushrooms till golden. Add all the veggies (including frozen peas), beef and any juices and egg back into the wok season with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and salt & pepper. Dissolve corn starch in broth and add to pan and cook for 3 minutes. Simmer till heated through and gravy has formed.

Here's a couple of Eggface dishes like this one you might have missed:

Egg Foo Young
Chicken Chop Suey

Sew, a needle pulling thread

I am stitch-free (well technically he missed one so I'm almost stitch-free). I went down Tuesday (had a 2:30 appointment) and was pretty wiped out by the time it was all over that I decided to get a room at The Lucerna and hang out by the pool watching the sunset. I ordered dinner (Chicken Fajitas) and watched "Scent of a Woman" (Aroma de Mujer) on TV. Woo Ha!

Dr. Q says I'm "still really swollen" (it seems like it's all in my midsection and back now) but that I'm "looking good." He drained my elbow again. That is so strange to watch. He cleans the area and inserts a shunt/needle like thing and it's like the Trevi fountain. Clear water shoots into the air. It's flat now and hopefully it won't fill again. So far, so good. I'm one month today. What a difference a month makes! I'm starting to feel like I'm making some progress and getting back to normal (sort of). I'm still not in my bed and still wiped out after a few hours but the benefits are starting to outweigh the negatives (physical issues have resolved and I'm seeing the change in the mirror more and more each day).

As for pictures there will not be any close-ups Mr. Demille until the swelling goes down. Oh and don't hold your breath for the naked shots. My va-jay-jay is not making an Internet appearance anytime soon. I'm thankful for those of you post plastic people that are brave enough to do that but uhhh I'm not. Chalk it up to my degree in Political Science. It is possible I will run for office one day and I don't want my va-jay-jay to be on my opponent's campaign posters with the caption, "First Paris, then Britney, Now Eggface. Do you want a va-jay-jay flasher as your next (insert political office here)???"

In other news: I'm planning the Eggface family Thanksgiving menu which I will post later on this week. I'm going to hit the Farmer's Market this week for the yummy supplies. I will not be serving Cornbread Stuffing. Long term World According to Eggface readers will remember the Cornbread Stuffing Dumping Incident of 2006. I don't want a repeat.

Tonight it's an Asian Beef Stir Fry. I'll take some food porn and post the recipe tomorrow. As far as recipes and food porn expect a bunch of beef and seafood dishes for awhile. I try and steer clear of poultry for the week before Thanksgiving or at least make it as far from T-giving-ish as possible.

Highlights of the day:

* There's no place like home.

* It's Thursday - Survivor and Grey's Anatomy.

* Sushi for lunch. I have an Asian theme going on today.

Listening to: "Smooth Criminal" Michael Jackson. One of my favorite walking songs.

F is for...

Fat Chick version

F is for Folding Chairs - A common site at graduations, weddings, baby showers always sent shudders down my spine. I'd gingerly (as gingerly as 295 pounds can be) sit down and say a prayer. Creeking and popping ensued and thankfully my worst nightmare never came true. God just talking about it gives me the chills.

Satan's Chair

Post Gastric Bypass version

F is for Fear of Failure - I personally think a healthy fear of failure is a good thing. It keeps my head in the game. I'll never say -145 pounds gone forever. I know those little fat cells (well not those I just got wacked off with plastics) but those remaining are just hanging around waiting in the wings for me to screw up, get lazy, lose focus, reach for the bread basket, take a second helping.

RNY was my last chance. There is something desperate and life changing about having your stomach severed and your intestines re-routed. Add to my story that I did it in a foreign country, alone and am still paying $ monthly for it. Failure is not an option. I'm sure other post-ops reading this feel the same way.

As you begin to feel and see the dramatic changes you never want to go back. That encourages me each day. On days it doesn't I look at a list I made of the worst things about being fat, my before pic (I put a Before & After pic on my fridge), a pair of my fat pants (a tight 26/28), find strength in others or I blog about it here.

For those in the beginning stages of this incredible journey I remember those stalls when the scale wouldn't move and I would freak out. We have all been on so many "diets" in the past and failed we can't imagine when something will finally work for us and when the scale slows those old fears creep in... am I going to fail? The answer is: maybe. This will work for you... for a time. The question really should be will you work for it?

Change your mind. Remember they operated on our guts not our head. The head thing... our responsibility. Don't think of this as something you have to get through till you reach goal. Hell I know I can suffer through something for a period of time I shot orange grease out of my ass for weeks on Xenical, ate pounds of grapefruits and gallons cabbage soup, stopped eating all together, took countless other diet pills. I can get through anything. Change that thinking because this isn't a diet. This is your life.

Change your life. Make changes that you can live with not just get through. Find protein rich healthy foods that you truly enjoy, incorporate exercise/activity that's fun and something you look forward to doing, find stress reducers that don't involve a bag of Pepperidge Farm Salsalito cookies and... keep a healthy fear.

If you are wondering what this entry is all about catch up here.

Party like a rock star (post WLS style)

It's the holiday season and just because we had weight loss surgery doesn't mean yummy party foods are off limits. Here's some weight loss surgery friendly party foods so good your guests will never know.

Part 1: In this post I'll include some of my favorite dips, antipasto ideas, hot appetizers, and crunchy snacks. In another post I'll cover some drink ideas, sweet treats, and other post weight loss surgery party tips.

As always check with your medical posse: what is OK on my plan may be off limits on yours.

The Dips:

Roasted Eggplant Spread

1 medium Eggplant, peeled
2 Red Bell Peppers, seeded
1 Red Onion, peeled
2 Garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
11/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly. Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

Dippers: sliced cucumbers, celery, carrots, jicama, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, soy crisps, flax chips, toasted pita triangles or crackers.

Shelly's Italian Cream Cheese

3-4 Basil Leaves, chopped
Contents of 1 roasted large head of Garlic
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Good Sicilian Olive Oil
sometimes I add:
1/4 cup toasted Walnuts (optional) or
1/4 cup chopped Artichoke Hearts (optional)

Mix chopped basil leaves, the contents of the head of one roasted garlic, cream cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, toasted walnuts (optional), artichoke hearts (optional). Blend thoroughly. Add olive oil a few drops at a time until creamy.

Hollow out cherry tomatoes. Fill a gallon size Ziploc bag with Italian Cream Cheese, cut off end of bag and pipe a little inside each tomato.

The Antipasto Platter:

Fresh Mozzarella drizzled with olive oil & cracked black pepper
Prosciutto, sliced very thin
Soprasata, cut thick
Salami, cut thin
Smoked Albacore or Smoked Salmon
Fontina cheese
Parmesano Reggiano
Ricotta Salata
Marinated Mushrooms
Marinated Artichokes
Roasted Red Peppers
Green Olives (I use Sicilian)
Black Olives (I use Kalamata)
Pepperoncini (pickled peppers)
Pickled Cherry Peppers
Sliced Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
Deviled Eggs

Make some cold cut-roll ups:

* Roast Beef and Swiss, smeared with Wasabi Mayo or Prepared Horseradish, rolled around a pickle spear

* Turkey smeared with Cream Cheese that has been flavored with a spoon of Cranberry Sauce, rolled up

* Salami and Provolone Cheese rolled up and speared with a Garlic Stuffed Olive

Caprese Skewers

1 bunch Fresh Basil
1 lbs Bocconcini (those bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls)
2 pints Cherry Tomatoes
Olive Oil
Pesto Sauce (homemade or store bought)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bamboo Skewers (toothpick size or cut a full length in half)

Wrap the bocconcini with basil leaf and pierce with skewer. Add a tomato to skewer. Repeat until you’ve run out of skewers or ingredients. Drizzle skewers with pesto sauce that has been slightly thinned out with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper.

Cambazola Apricots

32 Dried Apricots
32 Toasted Pecan Halves
1/2 cup Cambazola Cheese at room temperature
3 ounces Cream Cheese at room temperature

Mix the cheeses and spread the apricots halves. Top with a toasted pecan half.

Hot Appetizers:

Shelly's Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

12 fresh Mushrooms, large (I use Crimini)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped fine
2 Green Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 6 oz. can Crab Meat
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Italian Blend Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
Salt/Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Remove the mushroom stems and chop, set the mushroom caps aside. In a skillet, melt the butter and add the onions and cook till golden. Add the garlic and chopped mushroom stems. Saute' for a few minutes. Mix onion mixture with crab and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add mayonnaise, horseradish, cheeses, and bread crumbs. Mix well and season with salt and pepper as needed. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and place them on a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Shelly's Lemon Garlic Chicken Drummettes

1 tablespoon grated Lemon Zest
1/3 cup fresh Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped Fresh Herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, parsley, basil and/or oregano (I use thyme, parsley and Greek seasoning)
Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste
12 Chicken Drummettes
10 Garlic cloves
3/4 cup Chicken Broth

In a small bowl, stir to combine, the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, 1/4 cup of the herbs, and salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting pan, and pour the lemon-herb mixture over. Arrange the garlic cloves all around the chicken, stirring them to coat with the mixture. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the broth to the pan and place on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, while mashing the roasted garlic to thicken the sauce slightly. I like to transfer the chicken to a platter, pour the sauce over the chicken and then, garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons herbs and lemon wedges.

Shelly's Crockpot Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

1 bottle Chili Sauce
1 can Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 bag frozen Turkey Meatballs (or Beef), about 5 to 6 dozen meatballs

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring chili sauce and jellied cranberry sauce to a boil. Continue cooking at a simmer, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Place frozen meatballs into crockpot and pour sauce over. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours or high 2 to 3 hours.

Shelly's Beef Fiesta Bites

1/2 yellow Onion, diced
2 clove Garlic, diced
1 teaspoon Butter
1 teaspoon Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix, dry powder
5 Eggs
1 can/4 oz. Chopped Green Chiles, drained
1 jar/4 oz. Red Pimentos, drained
1 1/2 cups Shredded cheese, Mexican Blend
1 cup Crumbled Browned Ground Beef

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brown ground beef set aside. Saute onion in butter till golden. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Mix all ingredients together. Be sure meat & onions have cooled slightly before adding eggs. Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes or until centers are firm. Makes 24.

Other Eggface "Bites" (think crustless quiches):

Shelly's Beef Fiesta Bites
Shelly's Italian Crab Bites
Shelly's Breakfast Bites
Shelly's Pizza Bites
Shelly's Bacon & Swiss Bites
Shelly's Stuffed Pizza Bites
Shelly's Spamtastic Bites with Tropical Dipping Sauce
Shelly's Foo Rangoon Bites
Shelly's Ham Fiesta Bites
Shelly's Philly Cheese Steak Bites
Shelly's Lovely Lox Bites

Shelly's Spinach & Feta Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Artichoke Florentine Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Zucchini Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Mushroom Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Bruschetta Bites (vegetarian)
Shelly's Southwest Bites (vegetarian)

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

40 small fresh Mission Figs
4 ounces Manchego or Blue Cheese
20 Prosciutto slices, halved

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make a small slit in the side of each fig and stuff a raisin-size piece of cheese in the opening. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each fig to enclose it. Stand the figs on a baking sheet. Bake until the prosciutto melts slightly and forms a skin around the figs, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

2 lbs Bacon (regular sliced, not thick)
2 lbs Sea Scallops (if very large, cut in half)

Wrap a piece of bacon around each scallop; secure with water soaked toothpick or skewer (or better yet invest in a metal set of skewers I love mine) Arrange the wrapped scallops on a baking sheet. Broil 5 inches from heat for 3 minutes per side, or until bacon is crisp. I usually just throw these on the BBQ a few minutes per side. You can add shrimp in between if you like.

Crunchy Snacks:

Bowls of Trader Joe's Olive Oil, Garlic & Feta Soy Crisps and Marcona Almonds, Lime and Salt Peanuts and Crunchy Cheese are some of my favorites.

Land of the Living

I'm so excited. I went to the Farmer's Market this morning and walked around two times and get this... I put a pair of jeans on! I've been living in a sweatsuit since surgery. So this was a big deal for me. It made me feel like I was in the land of the living again. It was still a little difficult getting in and out of the car but I feel like I'm turning a corner. I'm really swollen in the middle and sides but my legs are almost 100% again. I get my stitches out next week. Woo Hoo! I'll be one month on Thursday.

The Farmer's Market was huge today. Tons of new vendors. I think more have come out for the holiday season. I bought Brussel Sprouts, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Corn, Garlic, my Mom's favorite Austrian Fruit Bread (yeah! she's been without it for a month I felt bad) and a couple of Turkish Burgers that we ate for Brunch. Mmmm super good. I topped them with:

Shelly's Yogurt Dill Sauce

3/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
4-5 Sprigs fresh Dill, chopped
Kosher Salt & Freshly Cracked Pepper to taste

Mix together. Keeps 3+ days in the fridge. For a different flavor change the herb to fresh basil or cilantro.

This is a great sauce for dipping meats if you have difficulties with foods sticking. Dip fish, chicken, beef, veggies. I used it the other night on Salmon.

My trick to eating dense protein in the beginning was keeping things moist whether through cooking technique or dipping.

So after the Farmer's Market I head over to Starbuck's where I saw an advertisement for the custom Starbuck's cards. Have you seen these? You pay $4 or so extra for a Starbuck's card that has your order on the front. So seriously considering this. I'm sick of having to say my order three times each time I go. I realize it's a long one but come on...

Me: I'd like a Tall Hot Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte with no whipped cream.

Starbuck's Dude: (vacant, spacey look) Cinnamon Dolce no whipped.

Me: No. Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte with no whipped

Starbuck's Dude: Oh Sugar Free

Me: Yeah and Soy.

Starbuck's Dude: Oh Soyyyy. Ok.

I could just hand them the card and say "Make that" LOL. What a time saver!

Tonight it's Grilled Shrimp Kabobs again. I like to BBQ on the weekends.

Highlights of the day:

* Jeans!!!

* Feeling a bit more normal.

* Currently about 25 songs into an 80's music marathon on my Ipod.

Listening to: "Boys of Summer" Don Henley

Soup's on!

A little chill in the air and the aches and pains from my recent plastic surgery put me in the mood for a nice bowl of soup. Prepare to do a lot of chopping but it's soooo worth it. My creation features lentils which are one of the world's healthiest foods and rich in iron which is important to replenish after surgery.

Shelly's Mexican Lentil Stew

1 Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Green Onions, diced
2 Leeks, chopped (white and light green parts only)
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
2 Zucchini (or Yellow Squash or combo), sliced
2 Carrots, sliced
2 Celery stalks, sliced
1 cup Green Lentils, soaked and drained
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
2 Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
2 cups Baby Spinach
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
8 frozen cooked Turkey Meatballs, halved (optional)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

To garnish:
Cilantro springs
Cotija Cheese, crumbled
Avocado, sliced

Soak lentils in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Saute Onions and Leeks in a combo of Olive Oil & Butter till golden in a large lidded stock pot. Add Zucchini and Garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Add Carrots, Celery, Stock, Water, Lentils, Cilantro, Cumin, Salt & Pepper. Simmer on low with lid on for 30 minutes. Add Spinach, Tomato Paste and Frozen Turkey Meatballs (I nuked them for a minute or so first so I could cut them in half). Cook with lid on for 20 minutes more.

Top with sliced Avocado, Cilantro sprigs, and crumbled Cotija Cheese.

I thought I'd link you back to another recipe of mine using Cotija Cheese. I always hate to buy something for a recipe and only have one use for it.

If you are on the pureed stage and allowed veggies you could certainly whiz this stew up I'd omit the meatballs but it's definitely whizzable. I'd use this or a blender in small batches.

E is for...

Fat Chick version

E is for the Evolution of Eggface - a pictorial look at my eating habits through the years

Baby Eggface - after a near death experience I apparently grabbed life by the spoon. Favorite foods: Sweet Potatoes and Strained Apricots.

Eggface in 2nd grade - Discovered Chocolate & "Pink" Milk. Mmmm liquid calories. Was this the beginning of my Starbuck's addiction? Nestle's stock soars.

Eggface's 10th birthday - Spent the day listening to my super cool (but now frighteningly big) Sony Walkman. Later snuck downstairs and sat in the open refrigerator door eating maraschino cherries till I puked. My favorite foods: Lik-m-aid Fun Dip and McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. Highlight of the year came when McDonald's came up with the 9 piece McNugget box. 6 piece was for wimps.

Eggface at 13 - and yes I was as obnoxious as I looked. Favorite thing to do: hanging out eating pizza and bagels (I grew up in NY) with my friends and wearing as much makeup as humanly possible. This would be also known as the beginning of the "Big Hair Years."

Eggface at 16 - sporting a Corona Beer t-shirt was this a premonition of what was ahead?

Eggface in her 20's (the college years) - Apparently so.

Few pictures are available from my 20's on... See C is for camera for the explanation. Basically my eating habits consisted of servings for 4 of meals heavy in simple carbs (pasta, bread, rice) and Venti Caramel Macchiatos.

Post Gastric Bypass version

E is for "Easy Way Out" - I'm pretty open with people I meet that I have had weight loss surgery. It was a life altering event for me this past year and so it does come up in conversation on occasion. Every now and then I will get a comment like "Oh I lost a bunch of weight too but I did it the hard way."


The answer back they get really depends on what time of the month they get me.

Polite answer (non PMSing answer): "Well, good luck with that."

Snarky answer (PMSing answer): "Oh yeah having your intestines re-routed and stomach severed while changing your eating habits and exercising more is sooooooo much easier. Ummm k then."

If you are wondering what this entry is all about catch up here.

Homemade Christmas

I'm so in the crafty Christmas spirit after reading the suggestions everyone made on HelenMaree's thread over at OH.

I added a few to the thread that I've made in the past and I almost forgot one of my favorites.

Handprint Snowman Ornament

When I was teaching we made one of these for every parent. Well they weren't a favorite at the time because we needed to make 450 on a deadline but they were a total hit. On a small family project scale they would be soooo fun. I think they would be absolutely great gifts for children to give Grandma & Grandpa's.

What you need:

Plain Blue Christmas Ball (the shiny metallic type)
White Paint (puffy paint works well)
Colored Paint Markers
Cute ribbon & tag (I made them on the computer)
A child

Here's how you make them:

Paint child's palm and fingers white. Carefully have them hold the blue ball to create the five snowmen. Use a paint marker to make hats, faces, and scarves.

Attach a tag with this poem:

These aren't just five snowmen
As anyone can see.
I made them with my hand
Which is a part of me.
Now each year when you trim the tree
You'll look back and recall
Christmas of 2007
When my hand was just this small!

It's back!!!!

Silk's version of Egg Nog. I loved this last year and it's back in the stores. Get it while you can it's only available till about January. Look for it with the soy milks or refrigerated egg nogs. It comes in the quart size only (why oh why). It contains no milk or eggs so it's lower fat, calorie, and cholesterol then the classic version. If you are lactose intolerant or just want a yummy alternative to the fattening holiday treat. Try some.

Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Calories: 90 (versus 200+ of the classic)
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 15g
Sugars: 12g
Protein: 3g

If you dump easily watch it (sugars).

How I use it: Egg Nog Protein Shake 4 oz. water, 4 oz. Silk Nog, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2-3 ice cubes, blend. Dash nutmeg on top. It's Christmas in a glass.

Make Egg Nog Protein Ice Cream or freeze this concoction in some of these to make Protein Popsicles.

A great way to get the egg nog flavor (nutmeg spice wonderfulness) without consuming too much is to splash some in your coffee or espresso to make your own homemade version of Starbuck's Egg Nog Latte. I won't tell if you splash some Rum or Kahlua in too.

My non blog worthy day

Continue reading only if you are seriously bored.

I had my first non-Dr appointment outing. You know just going out to go out. So I shower, recover a bit, and head over to the new mostly organic supermarket they just opened by my house. My Mom drove but getting in and out was interesting. For those of you that don't know I have a little 2 seater which is hard enough to get in and out of when you are healthy. It took several maneuvers but I did it. BTW ass first works best.

The store is great. Within walking distance of my house which will be a nice when I'm better. I got a little shaky a few times and was thankful for the shopping cart. I did ok though. I bought a bunch of yummy things so it should be a good food porn week.

My only other stop was Starbuck's where I ordered my usual a Tall SF Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte. I take one sip and realize something is terribly wrong :) I question... are you sure this is right? I get "Eeekkk I forgot the shot of espresso" So she gives me the screw up as a freebie which by the way was yummy. Basically a steamed soy milk with SF Cinnamon Dolce syrup in it. I will be making these for myself this winter.

Recovery report: My leg swelling is going down but that's because it's all flippin moved to my my mid section and back now. It's so bizarre everyday the swelling is somewhere different. I feel like a big swollen bruise. Good news: Last night when my pain pill had kicked in I applied pressure on that area of fluid that was gathering on my arm. I know. I'm psycho. I heard a gush. Nothing came out but it's flat now. So far my arms are my favorite part of this. They didn't hurt as much as I thought they would and they look good already.

I warned you this wasn't a blog worthy post. I have a few new wls friendly products to tell you about and few new recipes to share. I just didn't have enough umpff. Sorry.

Highlights of the day:

* Yummy Roast Chicken for dinner with a baked Sweet Potato with Butter and SF Maple Syrup.

* I had a really nice email today from a blog reader ;) Thanks.

* I hurt less than yesterday.

Listening to: "And We Danced" The Hooters. What ever happened to them?

Random crap and a kabob

Thought I'd do a quick update since yesterday I was soooo whiny and sad. Thanks for all who attended my "Pity Party" it was a huge success. I was soon smiling. Today is a bit better. I emphasize bit. I'm telling you this is one slow healing process... when I had RNY everyday was progressively better and soon I was feeling awesome. This recovery is different I get 1 good hour then 3 wiped out throbbing ones then 2 good ones... sort of like that. It's hard to say if I'm feeling better it depends when you ask me.

Positives: Today my lower legs from the knees down look less swollen. My side that was gathering fluid looks smaller. I had some oozing from my incisions in the night so I think the fluid is trying to get out of my body. I am walking faster and straighter.

Negatives: My left arm still feels like hell and still fluid filled, my right boob's stitches hurt. I'm sore in unmentionable parts. My thighs are still Stay Puft Marshmallow Man size. I feel super super tired.

I had this grand plan last night that I would try and go to the Farmer's Market this morning. Just once around I told myself. I wouldn't hold any bags. I could do it. I woke up and my body had other plans. I put the Ipod on shuffle and fell back to sleep. I must have had the Mighty Mighty Bosstones on because I had a non-sexual dream about Dicky Barrett the lead singer yeah just my luck a non-sexual dream. WTH?!? Can't a wounded girl catch a break?

I did cook a few times today. I made a Meatball and Ricotta Tortilla Pizza for lunch. Here's the porn:

Later I BBQ'd Greek Shrimp Kabobs and made Crab Stuffed Baby Portabellas. I used my Crab Stuffed Mushrooms filling and filled the portabellas instead of regular crimini's. Same recipe just remove the portabella gills by scraping them with a spoon first before stuffing.

BBQ'd Greek Shrimp Kabobs

1 Pound Fresh or Frozen Shrimp (large)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Good Olive Oil
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Greek Seasoning (I use Konriko's)

Thaw Shrimp, if frozen. Peel and De-vein. Rinse. Thread Shrimp onto skewers. Melt butter. Stir in olive oil, garlic and Greek Seasoning. Cook for 1 minute. Grill Shrimp 6-10 minutes, turning once and brushing frequently with sauce.

If you like Kabobs here's a few from the Eggface archives:

Another Kabob

Highlights of the day:

* Good nap ;) could have been better (see above)

* I bribed my Mom with a scone if she went on a Starbuck's run for me. FYI: SF Gingerbread Syrup is available. It was good. I'm still a SF Cinnamon Dolce girl though.

* It was nice to be outside. I watched the sunset as I BBQ'd. I think I'll set myself up outside tomorrow for a few hours. Fresh air. The wildfire smoke has thankfully dissipated.

Listening to: "Someday I Suppose" The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

You're invited!

Start pity party: I'm hurting today and tired. Showering wiped me out. Showering. That's all I did and I feel like I did a day's worth of really hard work. I know in a few months I will think this is great but right now I feel like a big swollen tired sore scab.

There's no good crying about it because...

a. I did it to myself.
b. I will get puffy and snotty.
c. I know the drugs and anesthesia are talking.
d. No one wants to hear it... hell I don't want to hear it!

Recent random thoughts:

a. Why the f&ck did I think Venti Caramel Macchiatos with extra caramel and extra whipped cream and three servings of pasta would be one day worth this???

b. I just need a few more weeks and I will be feeling better. It's only been 14 days and I had a lot done. (Moment of Clarity)

c. Every fat girl in the world needs to feel this for one day and I swear they would never raise that HoHo to their lips.

d. Die Little Debbie Die!

e. It could be worse I suppose.

End pity party.

Edited to add: What's a party without guests.

Pizza Porn

Two recently made creations: A Greek Tortilla Pizza - a Mission Brand Carb Balance Whole Wheat 6" Fajita Size Tortilla topped with hummus, crumbled tomato basil feta cheese, and sprinkle of parmesan

and an absolutely yummy Red, White & Green Tortilla Pizza topped with dollops of ricotta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, pesto and a dash of Italian seasonings. This one may be my favorite yet.

Directions: Place the tortilla on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Top with toppings. Bake at 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes till the tortilla is crisp and the toppings are bubbly.

More Pizza Porn and Recipes.