Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fat Angel's Diet Corner

Anyone feel inclined to try a recipe? I just concocted this one this morning, since I'm home for a snow day and had time. It's Weight Watchers friendly, for those who are counting points. Not too bad on carbs, either, being as there's only 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. I suppose Atkins folks could leave those out entirely and just make sure to spray the pie plate really thoroughly, so the eggs and cheese won't stick.

If you do decide to attempt this, I'd love to know what you think of it. And above all, enjoy!

Greek Sausage and Veggie Fritata

Servings: 8
Weight Watchers Points values per serving: 5


6 large eggs
½ cup 2% milk
2 tbsp store-bought Pesto sauce (I use Classico brand)
5 oz frozen chopped spinach (that’s approximately half a box)
½ to 1 cup roasted red peppers, drained
1 6-oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
7 oz canned diced tomatoes, drained (that’s approximately half a can)
7 oz reduced fat Feta cheese
¼ cup plain bread crumbs
½ lb. Lean Italian turkey sausage, sweet or hot according to your preference
Cooking oil spray (use olive if you have it, but vegetable or canola is OK, too)

Preheat oven to 400˚.

Spray heavy skillet with cooking spray and heat, then add chopped raw sausage and sauté until cooked through and nicely browned. Set aside.

Beat eggs, milk, and pesto together and set aside.

Remove frozen spinach from box and thaw in microwave, on a plate layered with several thicknesses of paper towel. Cook on high for 5 minutes, divide in half, and set one half aside for some other use.

Cut red peppers into thin strips and set aside.

Break up artichoke hearts with your fingers and set aside.

Spray a deep-dish pie plate on bottom and sides and sprnkle in bread crumbs, tipping and turning the plate so the bread crumbs evenly coat the entire surface.

Layer sausage, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, and cheese, then pour egg mixture evenly over the top.

Bake at 400˚ for 30 minutes. If the fritata doesn’t look brown enough on top, put it under the brolier briefly, keeping close watch so it doesn’t burn.

Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into 8 wedges and serve.

Leftovers may be heated in the microwave, about 2 minutes on high per slice.

Technically a breakfast entrée, but could be eaten at any meal, just as a quiche could be. It’s a way to have quiche without having quiche, and men will eat it without protest.

A note about Feta cheese:

Reduced fat sheep’s milk Feta is not easy to come by, but if you do happen to find it by chance, do buy it and use it in this recipe! Cow’s milk Feta is good enough and may certainly be used, but sheep’s milk Feta is out of this world, and soooooo much better if you can find it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Keith's Christmas Socks

I relented. Hubby's size 12 clodhoppers now have a new pair of handmade socks. These are the "Spey Valley" pattern from "Knitting on the Road." The yarn is handspun Cotswold, which I spun up when I was making friends with my Country Craftsman this past Fall. It's a 2-ply yarn, but if you look closely at the pic, you can see how...ahem...energized the yarn is. That's my polite way of saying I overzealously spun and plied the hell out of it, so it has a rather incredible amount of "sproing" and bias. I really feared they would feel like Brillo on hubby's feet, but he says no, and he loves the bouncy feel of the finished socks.
Here's a close-up of the cuff.
This was a really nice pattern, easily memorized, but not so easy as to be boring. The yarn, though gray, was not dull, being as many myriad and subtle shades of gray as it was. I have a ton of this roving, too, so there may be more socks in his future. And to entertain myself as I knit, perhaps I will dunk the finished skeins in a dye kettle before knitting the next time I undertake a project like this. I'm thinking the gray would do a lovely job of toning Jacquard's Sapphire Blue down to a more sedate shade of blue he'd be willing to wear...

I could also spin some of this for Larry and throw it in a vat of Kelly Green. But could I finish them in time for St. Paddy's Day and the wearin' o' the green? Hmmmm...I feel a new challenge coming on...

Daphne's Hat

As if I don't have enough knitting to do without adding new projects, I went to the local knit shop on Saturday to pick up some short length size 6 double-points. Could I just buy what I went in for? Oh, my, no. Of course not. I came out with a couple of skeins of Berocco Peruvia and some contrasting Eros to make my daughter a felted hat.

A few weeks ago, she had borrowed an adorable felted hat with rhinestones adorning it, from a friend. It looked great on her and she loved it, but alas! It did have to go back to its rightful home. so I said, well, maybe someday. I know I have a copy of that Fiber Trends pattern somewhere...

So, Saturday morning I started cleaning the sideboard counter in the kitchen, which had gotten waaaaaaaay out of control, paper-trail-wise, and lo and behold...there was the Fiber Trends pattern. The rest, as they say, is history.
Yes, yes, it's a little big and Daphne looks like the medieval executioner, sans eyeholes in her hood, but an hour or so later....
There. That's better, isn't it? Except I was a little impatient to be done with the felting and it really could do with a wee bit more shrinking. Or, since Daphne is only 13, I'm guessing her head circumference will increase a bit in the next couple of years.

Anyway, this has to have been one of my fastest start-to-finish projects yet. I began knitting on Saturday afternoon around 1 PM, and the hat was shrunk and drying on the hat stand by 8 PM Sunday evening. It's still a little damp as I type, but Daphne doesn't seem to mind and has been wearing it for the last couple of hours.
P.S. -- I've got to get more of this yarn and make a hat like this for ME!!!!! Perhaps a different color, or perhaps the same, but I'll put some kind of distinguishing trim on it so we know whose is whose...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm worried...

Alison is very, very ill right now, and has been struggling for a number of weeks. The news is good one day, and not good the next. The poor woman is up and down like a yo-yo.

If you don't know her yet, please visit her blog and read some of her archives. Then you'll know, too, what a special person she is. How kind. How loving. How generous. And if you then feel moved to spare some kind thoughts for Alison and her family, then I thank you. Every little bit helps.

But seriously, folks...

I have reached my first goal. 25 lbs down, and 75 lbs to go. It still seems insurmountable, but I can fit comfortably into a smaller trouser size, and that feels pretty darn good!

Still no working out at the gym, as my hip is still somewhat "out." Some days are worse than others, sad to say, but I can use an exercise bike at home now, so at least I'm getting some activity that way, plus I make myself get up and move at work as much as possible.

If the snow ever goes away, I might be able to give up the cane completely. At the moment, with winter in full force, it saves me falling in the street and tripping on stairs, and I've gotten used to it. If it has to become a permanent fixture, though, I want a "cool" cane. Something carved and aristocratic, or maybe crazy and colorful. Metallic purple, anyone?

New! The Dawn Keye Diet!

A friend of mine, a nurse, who has done a lot of research about dieting, had given me information about the various popular diets, including Atkins, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and the South Beach Diet.

She then mentioned a diet I had not heard about previously, which she insisted works for almost everyone:

The Dawn Keye Diet.

I think I may have to give this a try!

Here's how it works...