My Recipes for Weight Control

Maintaining a sensible weight has always been a struggle for me so I object to 23andme saying “Kitty, your genes predispose you to weigh about 8% less than average.” I really want to blame my DNA for this excess weight, not the eating habits I learned growing up. My maternal grandparents were a bit pear-shaped when they were older. My mother and brother also always struggled with their weight … it has to be in my genes!

I have a simple five year plan for weight control: diet for six months to lose 15-20 pounds then eat for four plus years to gain 20-25. You can see how this long term trend is going! So this time I will try to lose 30 even if it takes over a year to do it.

Critical to my many previous successes has been a support person or group. Perhaps that is why I have done Weight Watchers so many times. The last two times my husband dieted with me and we did Nutrisystem quite successfully. This time I am doing South Beach with my friend Lynne (her choice) and I am quite pleased with it as I do not get very hungry nor crave .. chocolate … Low carb has always worked well for me. As a teenager all I had to do was give up dessert and hamburger buns for a week to lose 5 pounds.

Since a reader told me at a recent conference that she enjoyed my occasional off topic posts, I will share some of my low carb creations here. By the way, whenever I find a recipe online, somehow I always have to fiddle with it a little.

I prefer to start the day with a good breakfast so here is my own invention, an easy recipe for an open faced breakfast sandwich using a microwave and a toaster oven that works on Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, (2 protein, 1 bread) and starting week 3 of South Beach. However my current weight loss stalled when I added back the whole wheat English muffin so I dropped that part of it and now serve mine on small slices of ham instead.
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Chicken soup for what ails you

So I have been fighting off a cold for weeks now and never seem to actually get rid of it. This has slowed down my blogging as well kept me from doing much of anything energetic.

A bowl of my frozen chicken stock cubes

Thus it seems appropriate to follow up on my new year’s resolution of occasionally writing a cooking or gardening post by sharing my chicken soup recipe. I made it again yesterday. This is the third time since the start of this cold!

I always make a lot so that I can freeze up two or three ice cube trays of the broth for use in cooking. The trays get emptied into baggies or my glass containers for the freezer as pictured on the left.  I always use a cube or two or three for extra flavor when I cook various things on other days.

Click the continue reading for my recipe which cheats a little by using a rotisserie chicken (I prefer the rosemary-garlic or lemon-pepper ones)

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Norwegian Pancakes for Christmas

This blog was intended to be a personal blog with many gardening, cooking, and genealogy posts. However after I tested my DNA and talked other family members into doing it too, I found that they needed explanations of how to do things at blogcategoriesthe various DNA companies. Unlike me they were not willing to spend hours and hours experimenting, so I added a number of tutorials for my cousins which are linked to from the top menu here under DNA testing as well as from under Resources. Soon I found myself writing more about DNA: tips, techniques, and success stories. Thus this blog morphed into being mainly about genetic genealogy. The numbers for each category shown on the left tell the story.

So enough DNA for now. To me the holidays are about love, family, friends, and food. Happy Holidays to all of you. Now for some food …

My late father always made us “Norwegies,” the family nickname for Norwegian pancakes, on Christmas morning as well as on many other special occasions. So guess what I cooked on Christmas morning for my jewish husband. No I will not make them on every day of Hannukah! Yes he did say that they were just like blintzes.

norweegiesWe stuffed them with strawberry jam and then sprinkled them with confectioner’s sugar. Click here for the family recipe in a previous year’s holiday food post (towards the end).

My New Year’s resolution is to write more food and garden posts, maybe as often as once a month, in addition to the usual weekly DNA post and the occasional genealogy post.

Holiday Food

Happy Holidays to one and all and thank you for making it a great year. I have enjoyed sharing my passion for genetic genealogy and gardening with all of you. I am endlessly surprised by how much I love writing these posts and look forward to a new year of blogging after this short vacation.

FlavorsFjordSo today I am going off topic to talk about holiday food.

Every Christmas morning when I was a child my Dad would make us Norweegies aka Norwegian pancakes.  Sadly, I was unable to find the recipe he gave me when I went looking for it the other day. However my 2nd cousin Dick Larkin had given me a wonderful Norwegian cookbook, Flavors of the Fjords, years ago; so I found the recipe in that book and made those pancakes for myself and my husband on Christmas morning. They were outstanding! The secret ingredient is cardamon and, of course, lots of sugar. When I posted this on the Norwegian genealogy facebook group, I discovered that pancakes are not the traditional Christmas morning fare in Norway! Apparently they are just a tradition among us Norwegian Americans.

From my mother’s German side came the holiday marzipan fruits from the Elk Candy Store in the Yorktown area of New York City on 86th St. It has long since closed, but happily it still exists online; so I send some every year to various family members and myself. It is so much fresher than any other marzipan I have found.

Then there was the stollen baked every year by, first my grandparents cook Anna, and then for many years by my wonderful Aunt Trudi. This was the first year that she did not make it. Her failing vision makes cooking quite difficult. However while looking for the Norweegie recipe, I found the stollen recipe, so maybe next year I will try it?

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Fresh lemonade with blue agave syrup

Lemon TreeSo we have way too many lemons and when life deals you lemons … time to make lemonade. In the photo on the left I circled where many lemons have fallen off the tree due to our hot weather spell. I have given away 3 bags of lemons in the last week and still have too many.

So I googled recipes for making lemonade and I was appalled by the fact that they all called for as much sugar as lemon juice. The basic recipe is 1 cup lemon juice (from 4-6 lemons), 1 cup sugar (best to make into syrup via hot water), and 4-6 cups cold water (depending how watered down you like it).

So I decided to try using that blue agave syrup that has been sitting in the cabinet. It was in packets and it took 14 little packets to get enough sweetness! And of course the flavor is a touch different than sugar but I think I like it.

After making the lemonade, you put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Let’s see if I still like it later!