“Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.” M. F. K. Fisher
Back in January, I talked about my one word resolution, but, am I following through with it? For the most part the answer is yes, but after a few weeks, I felt myself running out of steam. The stress of daily life (on top of some personal trials) was starting to weigh on me. Negative thoughts were trying to clutter my mind and bouts of “the blues” were starting to creep back in. My solitude was definitely not helping matters. This time, I was determined not to let it consume me. I was in dire need of encouragement from other women whom I love and respect. Then I realized, it’s been awhile since I’ve shared a good meal with good friends.
Not long after I updated my last post, mom and I were on a plane headed for Oregon. We were on our way to visit my cousin Esther for her all girl 30th birthday party. This event was really special because us girls hadn’t seen each other in a few years and so much has happened since our last visit. Two things were certain, we were going eat (well) and we were going to laugh!
We had the honor of staying at “Auntie Jan’s” house ( which is was better than any high end INN in my opinion). Her home was immaculately decorated with ice blue & chocolate colored walls. My mom and I shared a king size bed covered in color coordinated plush pillows that you could practically sink into. We were only staying for the weekend, so it was important we get to bed early (yeah right)! My Godmother “Nina Gracie” had stopped by for a much needed visit, and we spent the evening laughing over wine and pizza. Then, we passed around Aunt Jan’s homemade pecan icing while sharing stories and catching up on each other’s lives.
We talked about the importance of women having a tight circle of trusted girlfriends that she can turn to when in need. It’s so easy to get caught up in your family life or career while neglecting your basic needs. “The Sisterhood” is what they called it. It’s true, every woman needs a sisterhood. I was already starting to feel better. When 1:00am finally rolled around, we decided to call it a night and get some much needed beauty sleep. Mom and I had big plans to do some shopping and take advantage of Oregon’s “no sales tax” law :)
When we woke up the next morning, Auntie Jan had prepared a small feast. Delicious, crispy french toast, eggs, sausage, fresh fruit, orange juice and cocoanut syrup. I’ve included a photo of her spread because it was amazing! We shared more laughs and stories while stuffing our faces and it felt wonderful. Later that evening, we attended the “Lady in Red” themed party for Esther and had the time of our lives eating (of course) & dancing the night away.
It seems as though so many wonderful things come out of sharing a good meal with friends & family. If you haven’t seen your girlfriends lately, set aside some quality time for one another. It’s so good for the female soul! Get together for breakfast, cocktails or a movie night! Plan a laid back potluck picnic at a local park or beach. Daylight savings is in full affect, so take advantage of the extra sunlight! Remember, keep things simple and meaningful. Eat together often. Cheers!
This is my first post for the year 2010. I still don’t have a camera, but I’ve decided that I need to be more consistent with blogging anyway. I love pictures because I’m a visual person. The same goes for recipes. I feel like I need photo to put the recipe into perspective! Although, I do have to admit, this little issue has forced me to be more creative in terms of content for MFM. So, I ‘d like to start with this little antidote :)
I had a lovely conversation with my mom this morning about resolutions for 2010. She asked me what I was planning to focus on, and I ran through all the usual suspects; going to lose weight, spend more time with loved ones etc. Mom was quiet on the other line and I wondered for a moment if I should keep going. Was it that obvious that I was insincere and going through the motions? No, not at all. It didn’t take long for mom to make her resolutions known. ” I’m not going to go through a list. I have one resolution this year. I’m going to de-clutter starting with my house.”
I sat and thought about that for a few minutes. How simple, yet meaningful that resolution was. As the conversation went on, I began to feel a need to adopt this single “resolution” for 2010. Not only could I put in a little more elbow grease around the house, but I could also apply this “de-cluttering” notion into other aspects of my life such as my own personal spiritual, emotional and physical growth. What about relationships that need de-cluttering? Have I created a healthy garden for myself to grow in? Are there weeds that need to be pulled? Are my thoughts and actions constructive and productive? What kind of people am I surrounding myself with? After all, you are the company you keep.
No matter what your resolutions might be for the new year, take a cue from my mom’s book of wisdom. Keep your goals small, attainable, realistic and meaningful. Try to focus on a one word resolution. What single action could you take today that will make all the difference tomorrow and every day after that? For my mom, it’s tackling all the little messes starting with the one in the living room. Focusing on improving your “home” environment is a fantastic starting point.
Well wishes, love & light!
1. What is your secret in creating flavorful, low fat dishes? “I stay away from using heavy cream & cheese that is high in fat. I also enjoy red wine vinegar and mixing it with fresh spices and adding a little vegetable oil for salad dressing instead of creamy ranch dressing or anything with cheese or high fat oils in them.”
2. How did you make this pasta “classically thin” ?“I use low fat feta cheese and the dressing is made with light vinegar and fresh spices.”
3. What is your favorite low fat dish? “My favorite low fat dish would probably be the Orzo pasta, and my veggie lasagna.”
Check out the winning recipe for our “Classically Thin” recipe contest.
Leaha’s Greek Orzo Pasta salad
One bag Orzo pasta (Trader Joes brand)
3 color bell peppers (I use one green, red and yellow) finely chopped
One container fresh basil (Trader Joes) finely chopped
One bunch Parsley finely chopped
Two tablespoons of Greek seasoning.
One vine ripe tomato finely chopped (optional)
One jar Kalamata olives- 8oz jar Trader Joes brand (optional can be made without)
One 8oz package feta cheese low fat (Trader Joes)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1cup vegetable oil
Cook Orzo pasta according to instructions. Add about 1 tablespoon olive oil to the water and a little salt. Then add the pasta.
When pasta is done run cold water over it until it cools completely. Add to a large bowl and set aside.
Finely chop the basil and Parsley and set aside.
Finely chop the bell peppers set aside.
Finely chop the tomato and set aside.
Drain the Olives set aside.
Mix the vinegar, oil and Greek seasoning together- I put it in a cup with a lid and shake it well.
Add all the veggies and olives to the pasta. Then add the vinegar and oil mix. Then add the basil and parsley. Mix well. Then last add the feta cheese crumble it to your preferred amount into the pasta and mix well. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.
NOTE: I have a husband who does not like chunks of tomatoes or olives so most of the time I make it without and add those to my own plate later;)
Thanks for sharing Leaha and congratulations!
I felt nervous, excited and at one point in time, I felt like I wanted to cry tears of joy! It had been quite some time since my heart had raced that quickly, especially over some celebrity. I knew she was in the building and the line for her book signing was growing longer by the minute.
I was on my way to pick up one of her latest books with hopes that I could meet her during the signing. On my way, a reporter had pulled me aside for an interview on women’s blogs (thanks to my sister). I knew this was a great opportunity to get the word out about MissFitMama and was excited since this was my first official interview. The woman was kind and sincere and I tried so hard to focus on what she was saying, but then time stopped. I heard the echo of a voice I had become all too familiar with on the Food Network. It was the woman I had been waiting for. Paula Deen was a good 50 feet away from me now.
My mother had secured us a spot at the back of the auditorium behind some rope and after I answered my last question, I made a b line for it. She was just as beautiful as she was on tv. Her laugh and personality was larger than life. I had missed the first few minutes of her speech and came in at a point where she began to talk about her early days as the “Bag Lady”. She had started her business with determination, hard work, a passion for cooking and only $200.00.
Later she discussed the love of her life, her now husband Michael. She talked about faith, responsibility and her will be independent and self reliant. Here, I will share on of her many pearls of wisdom. “Ladies, never be with a man because you have to, be with a man because you want to”. In other words, take responsibility for yourself (financially and otherwise) and when you’re independent, happy and healthy, love will be that much more fulfilling.
We may be separated by generations,culture & state lines, but our common ground is our love of good food and the life that happens in between meals. I was 22 when I lost my father, and Paula was 26 when she became an orphan. Like Paula, I struggled terribly through school (as my poor mother can attest to). I had dreams of becoming a famous actress or singer. She wanted to become a model. I was called a late bloomer, but as Paula reminded me during her speech, she was in her 40’s when she decided to take life by the reigns. She said, “It was June 19th… I never forget it”. Thank God she did. So, in honor of Paula Deen, I will share The Serenity Prayer that she shared with us. I love you Paula!
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Leaha’s recipe for Orzo Pasta Salad was a favorite amongst the judges for it’s simplicity and creativity. Check back soon for a copy of this recipe along with a short interview with our winner! Great job Leaha!
I also want to send out a special thank you to everyone who participated in our very first “Classically Thin” recipe contest. I had so much fun going through all your recipes and am looking forward to more contests in the near future!
Last week I attended open house for our kids which is always kind of a bizarre experience. On one hand, it feels great to be on the other side of things! Now, I’m the parent having conferences with teachers. On the other hand, it’s bittersweet because I begin to reflect on my present age and some of the more awkward moments from my teen years. I am completely different yet still the same.
Junior High and High School was a time of self discovery. While most girls were discovering boys, I was more interested in what was on the lunch menu. I did have a core group of female friends, but all my “male” friends saw me as ” one of the guys”. After all, I did weigh more than most of them. I hated being late to class because that always meant you were forced to squeeze into the least desirable seats near the front. I always preferred to sit near the rear exit because at my heaviest, getting in and out of my chair without causing some commotion was near impossible. Did I mention I was also extremely clumsy and frequently, tripped or stepped on toes or knocked people over with my backpack? Thanks goodness those times are behind me now :)
It wasn’t too difficult to squeeze into the front desk of my daughters Home Economics class, but I did (for a moment) panic, wondering whether or not I would actually fit. In many ways, I’m different now because I’m more secure in who I am (even if I haven’t reached my goal weight). However, it was a small reminder that the self image demons I fought in school are still lurking beneath the surface, waiting to bring me down with memories from past failures. My defense; Remembering that I can start over every day. I try not to beat myself up with negativity, but rather encouragement and a plan of action. I make small, attainable daily goals and focus on accomplishing one thing, one day at a time. Its these little victories that really add up to great success in the end or future if you will. Be encouraged! It’s never too late to start over.
Say this to yourself each and every day:
1. I am beautiful right now.
2. I am strong right now.
3. I am worthy of being loved right now.
4. I am worthy of respect right now.
5. I have the power to take control of my own happiness right now.
If you don’t know where to start, check out THIS article as a guide to your first step :) I would wish you luck, but you don’t need it. All you need is the will to succeed. I believe in you. Now, believe in yourself.
PS) Sorry about the absence of photos. My camera is missing so until I get a replacement, I’ll see what I can do to keep things visual :)
Thanks to everyone who supported my very first MissFitMama low fat recipe contest! It was a success and I’m looking forward to testing and tasting all these amazing recipes! Good luck to everyone who entered!
One afternoon my girlfriend Dawn and I were having a little chat about dancers and their amazing physiques. Dawn (who also happens to be a dancer from Detroit) gave me a very valuable tip. She told me that dancing in heels night after night slimmed her body down into a well defined feminine shape. The tilt of high heels really forces you to use all sorts of muscles in order to keep your balance. So, I decided to experiment and thew on some high heels while I was washing dishes then decided to throw a quick meal together. Although house cleaning and cooking are not always so glamourous, I have to admit that I felt somewhat empowered and quite feminine.
Realistically, I’m in no shape to keep up this type of “regimen” but I did want to explore this concept and felt it was important to feel dare I say “sexy” yet “classy” while in the kitchen. If you read my previous entry, then you’re probably already familiar with Carolyns’s Kitchen. Needless to say, it was her designs that inspired me to have thi. I’ve decided to have my very first “Classically Thin” recipe contest for Miss Fit Mama readers.
Carolyn of Carolyns’s Kitchen was kind enough to offer one lucky MFM reader a chance to win this glamorous, vintage inspired apron valued at $39.95! Read below to see how you can enter to win.
Do you have a classic family recipe like “Grandma Thelma’s Mashed Potatoes” or “Uncle Bobby’s Famous Carrot Cake” that you’ve reinvented or “thinned out” to make it figure friendly without sacrificing flavor? Share your creative ideas for a chance to win! To enter, simply send us your recipe via snail mail (postmarked by September 30th) or you can email MFM with a photo of your dish (if possible) along with your recipe. Include a short story about you and and what inspired your “Classically Thin” dish. Winner will be notified via email and will receive the prize along with your photo and recipe to be posted on MissFitMama :) You’ll be famous! Ok, not really, but you’ll have some serious bragging rights. I’ve included a personal favorite “Classically Thin” recipe that I make for my family. Now get cooking!
Here’s an MFM approved Classically Thin recipe for Mac N Cheese!
2 1/4 Cups macaroni
1 Cup Fat Free Milk
3/4 Cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar
3/4 Cup reduced-fat Monterey Jack
1/3 Cup shredded American cheese
1/3 Cup shredded part-skim mozzzarella cheese
1/2 tsp ground pepper (use white pepper if you can find it)
pinch of seasoning salt
1/4 Cup bread crumbs (optional)
1. Cook macaroni as instructed on package. Drain and pour into lightly sprayed 8×8 baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt. Set Aside.
2. While pasta is boiling, combine cheese and milk into a sauce pot and cook over low heat. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. Add a pinch of pepper. Mix until creamy and well combined.
3. Pour sauce over pasta an gently toss until all pasta is coated. Pop into the broiler until ready to serve.
Optional: Sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs and place into broiler until breadcrumbs are a light golden brown for added crunch.
Note:If you don’t have the money or time to purchase individual blocks of cheese, then use whatever you have on hand. Try about 2 1/2 Cups of a bagged low fat cheese such as Mexican or American Blend.
When I think of throwing on an apron, my first thought isn’t ,” wow, I look hot” it’s more along the lines of ,” I am one hot mess!”. I stumbled across Carolyn’s Kitchen while one Twitter and totally fell in love with her collection. Carolyn says, “I wanted to bring back the glamour, sexiness, and cuteness of a bygone innocent era. “I let my imagination run, and originated the embodiment of that 40’s girl in the apron and gloves, living in our ultra modern age.” Click here to learn more about how Carolyn West was inspired by an apron and glove set from Paris!
Every woman should have one of these aprons because the Domestic Goddess inside us needs little reminders here and there that she is beautiful & sexy no matter how tired, how hot or how sweaty she is!
Check back next week for contest rules and details on how you can win this awesome apron (pictured above)!
I’m having one of those days. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. It’s one of the few times I wish (for 7-9 days) I wasn’t a woman! It’s exactly 30 days until my birthday, and I swore at the beginning of this month and that I would try to drop 7-10 lbs as a gift to myself. I went on the “raw food diet” and stuck to it for about 4 hours. I can do fruit for breakfast, but I need my carbs! I’ve been unusally hungy and tired lately, so my will power is at a standstill. This morning I had a bowl of fresh blueberries with grapes and thought I could make it through the “fruit till noon”. 30 minutes later, I scrambled 2 eggs and a piece of toast. Later, I polished off a baby bowl serving of chips and 3 chocolate chip cookies. I’d love to blame everything on PMS, but but I’m still the one shoveling this junk down my throat. Why? It feels and tastes really, really good right now! Needless to say, I have since reduced my goal to 3-5 lbs for obvious reasons. Tomorrow is a new day. I have to be better prepared to handle these “horomonal” cravings. Ladies if you’re out there, let me know what you do to get through your “off” days!