Caption Contest

Beanie with Megz

What is this lil guy thinking?

Disclaimer: No babies were harmed during the snapping of this caption contest photo. Winner of caption contest receives no prize, with the exception of bragging rights.

Two more days…

Only two more days and this month will be at its end. This is good for two reasons:

1.  We are that much closer to kayaking season.  Woohoo!

2.  I will be able to compute my weight loss for the month–something I am excited to do since I have finally been able to rock this stale mate I’ve been having with my body.

Eating right, but not losing any weight, sucks!  It just does.

But because I know that quitters never win and winners never quit, I keep going.

I keep eating right.

I keep buying more whole foods than processed junk.

I keep looking at how many times a week I eat out.

I keep blogging.

I keep attending my Monday night meetings.

I keep thinking everyday about being sober where food is concerned.

I keep striving for the ultimate refinement of my palate and my program.

I keep on, keeping on.

Success: That’s what I want! That’s what I’m working to have for me.  That’s what I will NOT give up on.  Not ever!

I believe in change!

In what area of life are you keeping on, keeping on right now?  Why is your goal important to you?  What is your toughest challenge to date?

“If you try anything, if you try to lose weight, or to improve yourself, or to love, or to make the world a better place, you have already achieved something wonderful, before you even begin. Forget failure. If things don’t work out the way you want, hold your head up high and be proud.

And try again. And again. And again!”

― Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon

Meatless Monday–Cookies

This weekend our church will host The BIG Sale!!  We call our annual rummage sale “The BIG Sale” because 1. this is a BIG sale.  2.  the name of the church is too long to put on the signage that we put out on the highways, byways, and cow paths of our community in order to advertise the sale.  Instead of writing it all out, we simply put BIG SALE on the signs, along with the dates.  Folks know what we mean.  We’ve been doing this for a while.

Part of The BIG Sale effort includes selling home-made baked goods and other foods that people can enjoy at the sale site.  We depend on the congregation to provide the goodies for the Bake Sale, so I’m baking cookies and donating them for the cause.

Rather, I’m no-baking cookies. 

I thought I would share my quick-n-easy recipe for peanut butter no-bakes as my Meatless Monday recipe for today. The hubs LOVES these and licks the pan clean every time I no-bake them (prolly why he saw high cholesterol levels on his most recent blood work results).

000no bakesFor this recipe you will need: sugar, butter, milk, peanut butter, vanilla, oatmeal, a sheet of tin foil, a kitchen timer, a touch of no-stick spray or butter to coat the foil, a medium sauce pan, and a spoon for stirring, but only when instructed to stir.  You’ll see why later.

Here are the ingredients and my no-baking method, in the order that I use them when making this recipe.

Into a medium sauce pan place:

2 cups sugar, I most often use white, but I have used raw sugar too.

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into chucks or slivers

STIR, then light the burner under your pan. 

Note:  Do NOT stir the cookie mixture while it is cooking. If you do, your cookies will set up too quickly and you will have a mess on your hands when trying to get them out of the pan and onto the foil for cooling.  Stirring while cooking affects the sugar crystals and ruins the “batter”.  Stirring while cooking also slows down the boiling process, so resist that urge to stir. NO stirring after initial cold stir, and until the sugar base is done boiling and other ingredients need to be added.

Once sugar mixture reaches a rolling boil (meaning the boiling liquid looks like a bog of hot bubbles dancing across the surface of the brew), set your timer to 3 minutes.  Still, no stirring. Not yet.  Let it boil hot for the full three minutes, then turn the heat off beneath the pan.

Once heat is turned off, add the following to the hot sugar mixture:  1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and 2 or 2-1/2 cups of uncooked oatmeal. 

I love steel cut oats for this recipe, because they provide incredible texture and a tiny bit of health to the treat.  I usually start with 2 cups of oats and see how it feels. If I think more oats are needed to create a firmer cookie, I add the other half cup of oats. Most recipes call for 3 cups of oats, but I feel like that knocks off the sugary peanut butter-to-oatmeal ratio that is so important to a good peanut butter no-bake cookie.

Nobody wants to eat a peanut butter no-bake that tastes too heavy of oats. 

Note: When adding the vanilla, the sugar mixture will bubble up, so be careful.  And by the way, this is probably not a recipe you want to try with kids around. This liquid gets 3rd-degree-burns level hot, so best to keep the kiddos in the other room while you’re doing this.  Also, make sure all peanut butter is stirred into the hot mixture before adding your oats.

Yes, you can now stir the cookies. Yeah!

I know it was hard to wait for this step, but wait no longer. 🙂

Once the oats are added, you can stir a wee bit more to combine ingredients and begin spooning out your hot cookie “dough” onto an oil sprayed or buttered sheet of tin foil.  Depending on how big you make the cookies–I make them small–this recipe will yield 12-16 yummy bits of no-baked goodness.

Let them cool, then enjoy!

Danger Zone

000cholsteralHubs got the results of his blood work in the mail yesterday.

Ought oh, his cholesterol is elevated; 208

He said: Guess I’ll be going on a diet.

I said: Uh hunh.

He said: What do I have to do to get my cholesterol level down?

I said: Eat more fresh fruit and veggies. Eat less Texas Hots. Eat more oatmeal and Farro, and other whole grains.  Eat less milkshakes and fish sandwiches from Mickey Ds.

He has access to wonderful, healthy, whole and home-made meals at home and is only occasionally asked to eat chinese take-out or subs (no mayo or oil, please), but until now he has fussed about giving up his junk food.

We’ll see how this goes…

Next up: My blood work, at end of month.  Hope its better than his.  :/

Do you keep track of your blood work while dieting?  What junk food do you hate to think about giving up?