Friday, April 26, 2013

T. G. I. Funny

Last night I taught a swimming lesson to a sweet 5-year-old girl. Here's a little of what we talked about in between floats, kicks, and big arms.

Swimmer: "Miss Ellie, one of my school teachers looks just like you."

Me: "Really? What makes her look like me?"

Swimmer: "Well, she has the same eye color as you, she wears her hair in a bun like you, and her skin is really white, just like you."

Me: "Wow, maybe she's my twin sister?!"

I got a good chuckle out of that! Kids are honest, that's why they're great. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's "Ten Things I Hate" (but not about you)

10 recent things that really got my goat (some more than others):

1) This article about the modeling industry.

2) Again, Real Simple, you boned me (see May's edition): slow cooker baked rigatoni with mushrooms recipe. Bleh.

3) This:


4) A hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay.

5) This. Sorority. Girl. Is. Nuts.

6) Maybe I don't understand fashion, but, this.

Source: Red Carpet Fashion Awards

7) Oh Gwyneth.

8) It's awful, don't buy it. Not sure what I was thinking.


9) Catcher in the Rye is not available in e-book/Kindle form. Gee, maybe I'll have to use my local library, which is perfectly ok. But I ended up accidentally downloading an e-book ABOUT Catcher in the Rye and J.D., you boned me this week too.

10) J. Crew's shoe prices (damn you, Jenna Lyons).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Diet defiance: chicken fried steak

To spit in the face of all diets, I (almost) cooked and (almost) ate chicken fried steak last night. Up until that point I had done neither, so it was a real experience for me.

Recipe from Real Simple (which makes the meal a tad less tacky, I suppose):

1 ½ pounds sirloin steak (1 inch thick), cut into 4 pieces
Salt and pepper
1 C buttermilk
1 C flour
¼ C canola oil

  • Pound each piece of steak into a ½-inch thickness. (Really pound this steak down so it's nice and thin.) Season with ½ tsp each salt and pepper.
  • Dip the steak first in the buttermilk, then the flour. Fry the steak in two batches in the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, 2-3 minutes per side. (Make sure the oil is good and hot).

We served this little doozie with a side of home fries and scrambled eggs (at my husband's request). You can call it a breakfast-for-dinner night.

So here's where the 'almost' part comes in. I failed at chicken frying the steak: the buttermilk/flour coating fell off, the steak was too thick, the oil wasn't hot enough, it was just bad news. So husband rescued this damsel in distress and cooked the remaining pieces of meat outside on the grill. This actually made the steak a lot healthier (but don't worry, I still loaded up on home fries and eggs!). Husband did try my attempted fried steak, and he said it wasn't terrible.

I'm now in the almost-successfully-cooked-but-didn't-eat-chicken-fried-steak club, will you join me? Please....I don't want to be fat and alone.

Oh and, P.S., I would not recommend this recipe.....out of 5 stars, I'm giving it 2. Sorry Real Simple, love your mag, but sometimes your recipes, hmmmm, how can I put this, they aren't 'real simple.' I'd take tacky over a badly constructed recipe any day.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Crash (and burned) diet......

Here's my new theory on dieting: it doesn't work. Well, not for me anyway. I believe I worry too much about it, which causes my body to go into a tailspin, and I mentally block the fat from leaving. Oh and here's my new t-shirt that captures exactly how I feel:

I tried starving last week and that didn't get me anywhere. So why deprive myself and make everyone else around me miserable because I'm hungry and therefore nasty when I end up not losing any poundage at the end of the week anyway?! Tell me why, Jennifer Hudson, oh great Weight Watcher's spokesperson! Tell me why! Here's MY version of Weight Watchers' latest slogan: "...because it DOESN'T work."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Activities that are difficult with an extra 30 pounds:
1)      Getting dressed
2)      Taking a shower
3)      Exercising
4)      Painting a small guest bathroom
5)      Cleaning
6)      Bending over
7)      Shopping for big clothes
8)      Backing up my car
9)      Playing with my dog
10)   Riding the metro

Source: realitytvgifs

Monday, April 8, 2013

White as white bread

That's me. But this recipe is not: pandesal. Now, it is white bread, but it has something more than Wonder Bread ever could. Ok, here she is...

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (I just used 2 packages)
¼ C warm water
1 C lukewarm milk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
½ C sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
4 ½ C all-purpose flour or more as necessary (yes, you'll need more)
Plain breadcrumbs

  • In a big bowl, dissolve the yeast in ¼ C warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes, and then stir well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the milk, butter, eggs, sugar and salt.
  • Add milk mixture and 2 C flour into the yeast mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth. Gradually stir in the remaining flour, adding more as needed.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough, adding flour, until dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky (around 10-15 minutes).
  • Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour or until dough is double in size.
  • Again transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 24 even pieces. Shape each dough piece into a ball, roll in breadcrumbs and place on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in a 225 degree oven for 20 minutes and then increase the oven temperature to 325. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
And here's my proof:

My husband found this recipe--he's Filipino and these just happen to be Filipino breakfast rolls! Pandesal (Spain: pan de sal or "salt bread") is the most popular yeast-raised bread in the Philippines. Hubby's reaction after trying one: "they're good, nice job, but could have been lighter," he said. Now any bread to me is heaven, but I was pleasantly surprised when I broke open a roll and smelled its sweet, but not overly sweet smell and noticed a fluffy consistency. I was happy with the result, because hey, FRESH, HOMEMADE BREAD, nothing better.....but he's the expert on this pandesal stuff.

I'm not sure what could have been done to make these rolls "lighter." With me and bread baking it's simple, I jump the gun and knead when I should have left the dough alone or get a wee bit lazy and tired of kneading and don't add the proper amount of flour or I don't work the dough long enough. But this time, I was a well-behaved bread baker: I was busy with something Saturday afternoon during this recipe's first rise, so the dough actually sat for closer to 2 hours. And I know I added more like 5 cups of flour than the called for 4 1/2. Could it have been the type of yeast I used? Maybe my butter and milk weren't at the right temperature. Gee, guess we'll just have to make this awful tasting recipe again...ha.

Anyway, that's the pandesal saga.....I ate two rolls Saturday and haven't had one since because I'm on some crash diet that my mom and I swear will be the answer to our prayers. We'll see. I told my husband to hide the remaining rolls somewhere so I wouldn't be tempted. We froze 12 of them too. If I finally lose weight, I'm celebrating with pandesal!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pasta for breakfast

So, yeah, I've opened the flood gates, and it came to a head this morning: I had leftover pasta with bolognese sauce for breakfast. Oh and I also inhaled a chocolate coconut egg (thanks, Mom, for sending me back to Virginia with NINE of those!). I think I've already exhausted my Weight Watcher's points for the day, and it's only 7:30am.

(Source: realitytvgifs)

Oh what a week this has been. I tell ya. I'm losing weekly diet battles and yes, my troops are retreating from the diet war. I just don't know what it's going to take. What will put me over the edge to where I finally say, "enough is enough, Ellie, stop eating." Here are a few things I'm dealing with, and any of these should be snapping me into terminator diet mode, but guess what? They're not.

None of my clothes fit. And I refuse to buy new things because, let's be honest, who the hell wants to go try on clothes when you have an extra 30 pounds hanging around? I simply say, "Hmmm, ok, none of my pants can reach their closures, oh well, guess I'll just wear a big, blousy dress then." I weigh more than my husband. A normal woman would not accept that, but apparently I'm not normal and that's not doing the trick either. Oh and here's another one. Everytime I try to put on my bathing suit to teach swimming lessons, it's a workout. I sweat, for real. Don't even try to imagine what it's like when I try taking the bathing suit off. That's the thing nightmares are made of.

So if none of these scenarios are embarrassing enough to force my jaws closed, I ask you: WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE? Hmmmm, maybe if I got stuck somewhere? Like in my desk chair or in my car and fire fighters needed to come to get me unstuck with butter (yummm, butter)? Or what if an elevator that I'm in can't go up because I've forced the lift to its weight maximum? Maybe something like that will finally put me over the edge? I wonder.

And I have no answers, but all this talk has me anxious, and I think I need a snack...AHHH!

Walking around the office looking for treats,