Frustation & Food

The scale has not moved in weeks!!!! WEEKS!!! It is so depressing and frustrating to me. DO NOT get me wrong…I am THRILLED to have lost 17lbs. but I want to lose more….The scale just stays in ONE place and doesn’t move! Imagine the Cartoon Cathy character screaming, jumping up and down and pulling at her hair. And you will have me! It is so frustrating. I am so glad that I have learned to maintain the weight but I want to lose more! I will tell you exactly what I think happened. I fell off the portion wagon. I went from measuring everything to who cares as long as I eat the right foods….size doesn’t matter if it is healthy… Let me tell you how wrong that philosophy is when it comes to food portions!

I have not been blogging in a while. I was volunteering at WCET and then I had my mom in town, did some work and here I am. AGAIN. Behind. I do not want to bore you with the daily details so I am going to try to catch you up in as speedy a fashion as possible. Kinda like that television ad for Pigeon Forge where the lady speaks at record-breaking speed to explain her vacation in 30 seconds. I am going to give THAT a whirl. Also, please note, I am going to make the recipe portion of this blog easier. Instead of spelling out what I am doing…I am going to give you the recipe at the bottom of the blog so it is easy to print out and have at hand. Hopefully, this will help you or entice you to try some of this stuff.

Action Auction. It is this wonderful event put on by WCET, which is the local PBS station here in town. In order to raise funds for the station they have people donate a wide array of items and experiences and auction them off. The funding is for a great cause. As the chairman of this year’s auction said, “There are a lot of kids out in the world that are solely learning everything from A to Z by watching public television. They don’t have cable, and they don’t have computers, or books or toys and this is their only educational experience. When you think of it that way it is such a treasure!

My mom was very involved in Action Auction when I as a kid. It was a natural spot for me to gravitate back to it as a returning adult to Cincy.

My friend Mare and I went to see the new Smale Park addition down by the river but it had yet to open. The carousel was locked up behind doors across the street awaiting its big debut. It looks beautiful. I can’t wait to go ride it. I did end up going with friends to see the new kids park. They did such a nice job. Dulce enjoyed sitting on the bench watching the kids going by….she liked riding on a swing far better.

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My friend Stacey and I went to get sushi at this wonderful spot called MEI in Montgomery. I had a platter of sashimi. I love it! I really think I could eat sushi/sashimi ALL the time! Stacey and I have April and May birthdays so we try to go in the middle of both!

My cousins had a birthday party for Aunt Connie. She wanted a painting party for her birthday. When you are 95, you can have whatever you want. So we had two gals that guided us through painting a picture of a sunset. Here are all our sunset pictures lined up!

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Aunt Connie has a cockeyed notion that her brother was the artist and she was the aspiring one. He was definitely incredibly talented over a multitude of mediums but let me tell you…Aunt Connie…you aren’t so bad yourself!

My cousin Debbie did something incredibly clever. She created cards that had a famous person and a brief history about them and they were all born in the same year as Aunt Connie. 1920…and they were pinned on our backs and we had to guess who we were. It was very fun! VERY clever!

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I have been playing tennis every Saturday except the last two with a fella who played for Walnut Hills. He is really good. My back is having a hard time with it, but my soul loves it.

My mother came to town and it was to be the per usual eat fest with the exception being that I was on a relatively strict diet. When was the last time Ruthi came to town and I didn’t gain a pound? Maybe NEVER!!! Actually, once in Boston…maybe…

The first evening we went to Thai Namtip on N. Bend Road for some really exceptional Thai food. I heard it was close to were I live and really good and it was!!! I had a shrimp and vegetable dish in a curry and coconut milk broth. I could have drunk the broth. It was that good.  I couldn’t believe how good the flavor was!!!

The following day we went to my friend David’s PHO LANG THANG for Pho Soup and I was going to forego the noodles till the waitress told me it was gluten free. I devoured them!

It was great to be with my mom and Jennie!

My mother was in Cincy for her 50th College Reunion from DAAP (Design, Art, Architecture and Planning) @ The University of Cincinnati. The first night my funky mom went to a cocktail party dressed like this…she is so hip.

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Her first event that I was able to tag along for was a campus tour. I love architecture. I love, adore, relish architectural tours. Most of the pictures I take are architectural delights. Here I am on a tour of my college alma mater with my mother and a handful of her classmates with the majority of them being architects. It was heavenly for me. Heavenly. It was so fun and fascinating to hear them talk about the UC campus, which in the last decade or two has become saturated with an exceptional caliber of well-known architects.

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I walked and talked with a fella named Harry who let me know that my mother was the ONLY woman in Industrial Design in 1965. She was a pioneer. They didn’t think she would get through it. There was pressure for her to NOT succeed from the faculty because she was a woman. She persevered. I was so impressed and proud and didn’t know that fact till that day!

Harry was my walking buddy through the majority of the tour. He was in ID with my mom. He lived in Baltimore and worked for a local television station in town. Nice, nice and interesting man. So many of the people I met had used their degrees in a variety of ways and they scattered like the wind to all parts of the country.

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That evening we attended a cocktail party. So hard to find gluten free appetizers. Glad I nibbled before I went. Then we went in to watch the DAAP fashion show. Those students are so impressive. Really it was quite the spectacle and a coveted ticket in town.

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My mother requested two parties while she was in town. Two occasions that she refused to let go quietly by her. First a Kentucky Derby Party and secondly a Cinco de mayo celebration. I am game for the challenge.

I went into Bluegrass Recipes and got the Mint Julep recipe. I am the only one who drank them. Maybe one other person. I ended up taking the pitcher of them and a sprig of mint to a Lexington native who is a neighbor of mine.

It was a fun small party. Most people had other engagements.

My mom and I had been wanting to try Hangover Café down off of short Vine and the ambiance was adorable but the food was ordinary. We sat next to and met this really nice couple who had moved from Boston and NY to be here for his job. I invited them to our Cinco de Mayo party but they didn’t come. Phonetically spelled. Her name was Nay-ee-ma and he was Ron. They seemed really cool and fish out of the water in the Midwest. How did I know they were New Englanders? Red Sox hat.

My mom and I went to Tacqueria Mercado for a Mexican lunch one day. I had fajitas without the wraps and it was tasty!!! Really good quacamole. The place was empty when we arrived and packed when we left.

That evening my mom said, “Pick your most wanted meal for a belated birthday dinner.” We went to Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. I think my mom enjoyed it more than me and I really enjoyed it. We split the Collinsworth steak, which is a filet mignon resting in bordelaise with asparagus, crab and béarnaise drizzled over the top. I have eaten many steaks in my life and even had the famed Peter Luger steak several times, but I think Ruby’s are my favorite. We also shared a lobster bisque before dinner with CHUNKS of lobster in it.

We had the most darling server. He somehow heard me say that for dessert I wanted cheesecake and I was served one for a birthday gift.

The following day we went to meet our cousins and my friends at TACOCRACY. I still do love their tacos. They are the best! Great creativity and good flavor. Who would think to put duck in a taco with the dried apricots, juniper berries, white cheddar and pear de gallo salsa.  I love that sweet, salty explosion simultaneously in my mouth that they pull off so well. The manager Jacob was a sweetheart to save us a table for 10 on Cinco de Mayo Day, but we quickly discovered why and how that was possible. When we got there and went to the table it was inside and the WHOLE reason we went was for the garden. We were in a dark empty room. It was terribly disappointing. We could have left but instead we ate the splendid tacos and then mozied down the street to LITTLEFIELD’s garden and had unusual drinks and scrumptious food. My mom and I shared a piece of meatloaf. I have no idea what was in it, but it was so yummy.

 

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Littlefield is Littlefield. It is always a wonderful experience. The staff is warm and welcoming and they accommodated our party of 10 immediately. They serve above par food as always and they just are a wonderful establishment. They made everyone feel at home and those fleur d’ bees….I LOVE them!!!!

Here we all are at LITTLEFIELD….

 

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To the people of Tacocracy, I hope you can make it. You are a nice group of innovative foodie thinkers and you have a fab product. If you want to go punk…hey you got it and good for you, but if you don’t or want a mix…leave those rat bastard landlords that ripped out your garden in the middle of the night and seek greener pastures….you deserve so much better! This is what the garden looked like before the destruction of it.

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The following day we did my mother’s annual pilgrimage to the Netherland Palm Court for a Netherland salad. It would be a tradition breaker to not go with her. She adores that salad. Heck, I do too! It is so healthy on one hand and so darn tootin’ fattening on the other hand. Who cares…it still falls within my diet restrictions…another find afternoon with family.

That evening, we decided to eat at home. FINALLY. We stopped at Findlay Market. We first bought a few ribs at Eli BBQ because I heard it was great. It was the best BBQ either of us have ever had and I have had a lot of BBQ from various regions in this country. Look at these ribs.

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Then we went next door and shared a cup of hot chocolate at a new joint here in town called Maverick. Closest to NY City Bakery and Paris’s Laduree here in Cincy. It was pretty good. The owner was so friendly and informative. That is a real bonus.

Then we bought salmon and we came home and grilled it on my baby Cuisinart grill and then we sautéed mushrooms to put on top and then we didn’t drizzle. We POURED a healthy amount of leftover Jeff Ruby béarnaise sauce on top. Can you say YUM!

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SALMON WITH PORTABELLAS & BERNAISE

 1lb. salmon

Package of portabella mushrooms

1 stick of butter + 1T. butter

8 egg yolks

2T. parsley

1T. tarragon

¼ c. red wine vinegar

1 drop Tabasco

A few drops of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

2T. Olive oil

Handful chopped onions

1 garlic clove

 For the béarnaise:

Cook this first so the rest will be hot when the sauce is ready.

In a small saucepan, combine the tarragon, wine vinegar over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Blend yolks and add to mixture. Best way to make this is in blender. Put in blender add 1/3 of the butter in a slow steady stream. Once it emulsifies, turn the blender speed up to high and add the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in a warm spot till you cook the remainder of the meal.

 For salmon:

 Poke with fork

Drizzle olive oil over it

Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over it

Cook until it is to desired temp (I like to push with fork and if it bounces back not ready and if it doesn’t and flakes and looks cooked. To me it is cooked.)

 For Mushrooms:

Take a skillet and add olive oil and salt and pepper

Add sliced onions (small handful)

Add 1 garlic clove

Once those are translucent or turning brown add mushrooms (I like mine cooked till they are toasty brown)

 Plate salmon add mushrooms and cover with béarnaise and serve.

The following day my mother returned to her new hometown of Venice. Florida. Not Italy. For her sake, I wish it was Italy. Come to think of it. For my sake too!

Then I roadtripped up to Indy to visit my friend Jules. We either meet in Indy, Cincy or in the middle. We tend to meet in Cincy more often because she has a sis who lives down here. I liked it when we met in Sanibel. Neither of our families have homes there anymore.

We started in downtown Indy in an area called Mass Ave that is shops and restaurants. We went to a flea market that has a few food trucks. It sadly ended up not being much. We ended up at a restaurant in that neighborhood. We had salad at a joint with outside seating. We stopped at this really cool place called Trader’s Point Creamery for homemade ice cream on our way to Zionsville. It was delicious!!! They have a restaurant called The Loft that was such an awesome space. I want to go back there for dinner.

Traders Point Creamery-The LOFT Restaurant

 

And look at their room of cheeses…..and they have a patio outside to eat on that looks wonderful…

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Then I had never been to Zionsville. It was beautiful. So quaint. I loved it. We wandered around there.

 

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There is Jules off to the right.

Then we went to Jules place and vegged out. Then we went to Stonecreek and got another round of salads for dinner. Then I drove home.

Really, really nice day. Jules and I have been friends for 25 years!!!

My family rocks! Aunt Connie and her daughter Pam invited me over for Mother’s Day dinner. Aunt Connie even went out and bought me gluten free crackers. How thoughtful. Of course it encouraged me to eat WAY TOO MUCH dip. See….I am following the basic guidelines but on portions I am bending the rules to the breaking point. I need to behave better if I want that scale to go down again.

I am just starting to get a new wardrobe of clothes with my old clothes. The more I lose the more clothes I get! Yes, I am one of those that keeps it all.

My cousin Pam’s hubby Joe bought the best Metts I have ever had. They were so good. Who invented hotdogs or any variation on them. I want to personally thank you!

I actually had a tablespoon of Graeter’s salted Caramel. I can’t believe I had the willpower to do it. There is a first for everything!!!

And then I went into my walking mode….I walked with my friend Mindy and her kids at Heekin Park near the river. I walked with my friend Nancy H. in Clifton and College Hill. And still the scale doesn’t move….

Probably didn’t help that I went with my friends to Ruth Chris. A friend was treating me and another friend to a steak dinner. We had lightly fried calamari. Delicious. I could have eaten it all. A major no-no. We shared a chopped salad. Then we all ordered steaks and had sides of sautéed mushrooms and creamed spinach. There is nothing like a good steak and I always save a little to eat icebox cold for breakfast the next day. LOVE cold steak!!! It is a real toss up for me if I rather eat it hot or cold.

We went to the Reds game after the Ruth Chris dinner. I ran into an old friend. I thought it was so funny that he introduced me as a classmate from Summit. I said I didn’t go to Summit. You should have seen his face. A few months ago I was introduced as someone who went to Indian Hill. I didn’t go there either. I think I was the serious party girl. I tried to not miss a party. I wasn’t wild. I didn’t party but I loved to go.

At the REDS game, we sat 10 rows behind third plate with KILLER good seats.

A few days later, I made my first trip to Burlington Flea Market. I love that joint. I don’t need a damn thing but I love to pick up a Mexican Latte and wander through it looking at all the antiques. I will have company next trip because I have two friends who want to go. Any other friends that want to go? Third Sunday of the month.

That evening I was craving something light and relatively healthy. I made sautéed mushrooms with Crab Louie and a piece of avocado in them.

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The next day I had lunch @ MELT with my friend Jennie and my lunch there inspired me. I had beets, apples, cheese in a dressing. I love beets. Days later, I would do a beet recipe.

I went to New Richmond to hangout with my friend Mindy’s two sons Herwyns and Wagner. They are such great kids. We had such a fun day! I taught Wagner to eat carrots dipped in peanut butter. I was so impressed that he would taste anything. I handed him roasted sweet potato slices. He asked for more. It is so unusual today to see a kid willing to experiment with food. I love it.

Here is a pic of Dugal the hamster. He stole my heart that day!

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Memorial Day two friends had a party. One friend made this really yummy butternut squash and pecan recipe that reminded me of pumpkin pie and it was healthy. I will get back to you with the recipe. If she says I can! It was a really nice party. Nice group of people.

Other recipes that I have recently tried include the following.

Avocado Brownies. I made them last night. They had no flavor. I added a teaspoon of sugar for flavor. Still nothing. I ate two and didn’t like them. I should have thrown them away but I was determined to make them taste good. In retrospect, I should have blended dates and mixed them into the brownies to make them naturally sweet. I didn’t. I could have added a banana or apples but didn’t. So, what did the scientist that I am not do this morning? I cut open a date and spread it across the top of the flavorless brownie and ate it. It was good. So, I ate a second one. Then I added a piece of bacon and a date to the third one. Not bad. Then on the fourth and fifth one, I added marscapone cheese to them. That was good as well. I guess I have really missed chocolate. I really overdid it. I will give the recipe below. It is a healthy brownie it just has no sugar so it is not a tasty brownie. And it is not square shaped but rather spoon plopped down shaped. Here is an example of my placing a piece of bacon then a piece of date on top of the brownie.

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AVOCADO BROWNIES

 2 avocados

½ coconut flake

1 egg

½ t. baking soda

1 t. brewed coffee

½ c. Droste cocoa powder

1t. raw sugar

1 t. vanilla

1 t. cinnamon

2-pitted dates

2 figs

 Preheat oven to 350

In a bowl I mixed all the above ingredients with a hand mixer.

Spoon out on parchment paper on cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Cool down. Store in airtight container.

 

I had a recipe for Avocado cream. I didn’t have sour cream in the place so I used ricotta cheese and I loved it with lemon zest, olive oil and salt and pepper. So good, I ate it with a spoon…and then I spread it into an omelette. It was advertised as the sophisticated guacamole. I don’t know about that but it sure is a good alternative to guacamole. If only I was allowed to eat the chips!

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AVOCADO CREAM

 2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled

2 T. (HEAPING) ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ t. lemon zest

Kosher salt

Last night, I cooked salmon in olive oil with salt and pepper and at the last minute, I thought I would try the Beau Monde spice my mom sent for me to try. Holy moly. I couldn’t eat the fish fast enough. It had such a wonderful flavor to it. Here is a picture of the package and the spices in it.

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As I said earlier, my lunch at MELT inspired me to do a beet recipe. I do have a tendency to slice beets thin and roast them in olive oil and eat them with salt and pepper. This time I did that but then cut them into bite size pieces and tossed them in a bowl with goat cheese and drizzled a balsamic glaze over it and then a handful of almonds. I really loved the combination of the flavors.

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ROASTED BEETS WITH GOAT CHEESE & DRIZZLED BALSAMIC GLAZE

1 bunch of beets

2 T. Olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 oz. goat cheese

Handful of almonds

Clean and cut ends of the beets (long tail from the ground and the long leaves OFF)

I slice it as thin as I can

I put a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and drizzle oil on it and sprinkle salt & pepper and place beet slices on sheet

Bake @ 400 for 10 minutes (or longer depending on how you like your beets) on EACH slide

Take out and cool & slice

Toss in a bowl with crumbled goat cheese & drizzle balsamic glaze.

 

I have been on a mushroom kick lately. I bought shitake mushrooms last week and each and every bite of the sautéed morsels was a religious experience for me. Last night, I took the standard fare mushrooms and sautéed them in bacon fat with onions and garlic. Oh yes, baby. They were delicious!

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Until we meet again…

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often…

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One thought on “Frustation & Food

  1. The place I got that spice is called Mothers Cupboard and the owner is Suzanne M. Andrews. It is at 208 Miami Av. in Venice and she has a facebook page Mothers-Cupboard-Spice-Shoppe. Haven’t tried the FB but got that info off her card.

    This is a great idea. Any idea who’s blog it is?

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