I’m rouxined

I used to hate cooking. It was ONE MORE THING on my to-do list of a lot of other mom-things. It was just not an enjoyable task, wich is surprising, given how much I love to eat. And when I was trying to diet cooking was even worse because then I had to cook TWO dinners: one disappointing meal for myself and a tasty one for my family.

But then when I finally decided that I would liberate myself from the diet du jour, guess what?! I actually started to enjoy cooking. When I could cook whatever sounded good to me, that’s when cooking became fun.

What I love about cooking is learning how to make things from scratch that I would normally buy in a can. I’ve learned that the basis for a lot of these is starting with a roux.

If you don’t know, a roux is just oil or butter mixed with flour. From there you add your liquid of choice and voila – you have a delicous sauce and just saved yourself a chunk of change.

For example, not long ago I was making a casserole and needed a can of cream of chicken soup but I didn’t have one in my pantry. I Googled “diy cream of chicken soup” and found a recipe. Some butter and flour cooked until bubbly then I added some chicken broth and stirred until thick. Ta Da! Cream of chicken soup that was delicious and free of unpronounceable ingredients. And so quick and easy – I couldn’t believe how simple it was and it didn’t take much time at all – a few minutes at most.

I also found a dangerous homemade nacho cheese sauce recipe that starts with a roux. I say dangerous because this stuff is so easy and delicious…it might become a problem if I let it. A cup of milk is added to the roux then a couple of handfuls of grated cheddar cheese is melted into the mix. Add a pinch of salt and chili powder…BOOM. Nacho cheese to fulfill all of your cheese dip dreams. So easy & delicious! And again, free of unrecognizable ingredients. I’ll be more than happy to never buy Velveeta again in my life.

As someone who has lived off of processed/convenience foods her whole life (Why so chubby Jill? It’s a mystery!) cooking from scratch is a novelty. I can’t believe I have relied on canned soups and sauces for so long when it’s almost just as easy to whip them up from ingredients in my own kitchen. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks! ūüôā




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Old Mother Hupboard

Before I get started with today’s post, can I just take a moment to give a big shout out to coffee?¬† I love coffee and it loves me.¬† We’re thinking of taking our relationship to the next level¬† – freshly ground from the whole bean.¬† J’adore le cafe.¬†

Anyway, today I am blogging from home ( I took a¬†vacation day to take care of things like dentist appts and veterinary appts, etc).¬† I’ll probably be doing more of this (blogging from home that is)¬†in the future because the microscope is increasing its magnification at work, and I don’t want to get fired for something as stupid as abusing the internet policy.¬† I mean if I’m going to lose my job, I would prefer a layoff as to have to admit to my friends and family that my blogging addiction got so out of hand that they had to fire me.¬† So if you find that I’m posting and commenting on your blogs at random times of the day – that’s why.¬†¬† Just trying to keep all under control – I can quit anytime I want to, I just don’t want to.¬†¬† ūüėȬ†

I have to say, this cooking thing is getting easier and funner!  Last night I made the best meatloaf and it was chock full of yummy veggies and my family had no idea!  Mwahahahahah.  I felt so sneaky!!  Today I was seaching the cupboards* for something to eat for lunch when I realized that I was going to have to actually cook something if I wanted to eat.  So I thawed some chicken and sauteed it in a wee bit of olive oil along with some green onion and green pepper, then I added it to some brown rice mixed with salsa and a small dollop of sour cream.  It was goo-ood!  Tonight I am making lasagna in the slow cooker, and I have added lots of veggies to it too.   I may turn into a for really reals cook yet!

So I went to the WalMarts today and bought some protein powder.¬†¬† Now what do I do with it?¬† I know I can make shakes, but I’m guessing ice cream is probably¬† not one of the ingredients in a protein shake.¬† So what is your favorite use for protein powder?¬†

The treadmill is dead.¬† For real.¬† Let’s observe a moment of silence for my friend of 8 years, shall we?



Thank you.¬† Since the treadmill took a header six feet under, I’ve had to break out some of the dvds.¬† I have also decided that Denise Austin is not my friend.¬† Kickboxing for Dummies however is my new BFF.¬† And Gilad is still my boyfriend when it comes to working my abs and other general toning parts.¬† I miss the treadmill though because that’s when I could just escape my little family for a while and be inside my own head and not have to worry about 4 other people and their IMMEDIATE needs.¬† I will most likely get another treadmill for my birthday but that’s still a couple of months away, so I’m going to have to get used to working out with¬†four pairs of eyes watching me because I have to do something.¬† Not working out is not an option.

Oh, and I think I have solved my snack attack dilemna:¬† I’m going to have a portable snack that I can eat on the way home.¬† Also I have decided to eat a small snack every couple of hours instead of every four hours – we’ll see if that helps.¬† Mary Lou said this morning I was 2 pounds below my starting weight, so that’s a start.¬†¬† I think I should have mentioned also that this week is TOM, so that had a lot to do with my angst and malaise on Monday.¬† Funny how those hormones can take a perfectly optimistic woman and turn her into moody, pathetic pile of goo.¬† Glad they’re under control now.

I should probably clean up around here a little bit before everyone gets home – just to make it look like I did something besides spend all day on the internet…not that I did that, because like I said, I can quit anytime I want to.¬† Really.¬†


*did you know that for a long time I thought cupboards was spelled cubbards?  I blame Mother Hubbard for that one.  Just a bit of trivia for ya. 

Shiny New Post

Hello Friends!¬† I fully intended to post more over the long weekend but between all the movie-watching and naps, I just couldn’t find the time, and did you really want to hear about how many Butterfinger Jingles I ate anyway? I didn’t think so.

So, here we are at the beginning of a shiny new year. To resolve or not to resolve, that is the question, and I still haven’t decided. I think New Year’s Resolutions are a good, if you make them small probable goals, and not something like “make eleventy billion dollars and buy Costa Rica”, but having goals such as “eat 3 veggies every day, or make the bed every day” I think are perfectly reasonable goals to shoot for.¬† Another important thing about making a list of resolutions is to actually read the list at least once during the year. Making a list and then stuffing it in the back of your office desk drawer never to see the light of day again is not going to do you any good. I looked at my list from last year at least twice during the following months, and it was a good reminder of what I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t accomplish everything on my list, but that’s okay. I’ll probably make another one for this year, just because I think it’s fun to dream about what I might be able to do in the next 12 months. Of course I’ll let you know when I do.

One thing I know will be on my list is “cooking more and healthier”. I’ve already started on that one by putting that food processor to good use. So far I have made hummus (not a good result – must do more tweaking), guacamole (OMGosh – so good!), and black eyed pea dip for New Year’s Day (very good if I do say so myself!), just to name a few. I also just bought Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook Deceptively Delicious in order to sneak in a few more veggies into my kids’ meals. I decided to buy the cookbook because I had made some Good Morning muffins (recipe from the Hamilton Beach website) which had shredded carrots and apples in them. My kids love muffins and I didn’t tell them what was in these (if I had, they would have something like “Ew gross” and never even tried them), so they gobbled them right up. I felt a certain satisfaction that they got at least a few nutrients, so when I saw the DD cookbook – on sale no less – I snatched it up pronto. I can’t wait to start pureeing (that word looks like peeing -tee hee I’m such a child!), and sneaking in the goodness.

On a sad note, the old treadmill is dying. It tries to keep up, but its old motor just isn’t what it used to be. I nearly panicked Saturday when I went to start it up and it just wouldn’t go. Luckily Gilad was on at that time, so I followed along with him and got an excellent workout. I like Gilad because he doesn’t incorporate a lot of goofy moves, so I even felt comfortable enough to work out IN FRONT OF MY HUSBAND. That is a huge deal because I never work out in front of him, but Saturday I just didn’t care. The hubs even cheered me on while he sat at the computer playing games, as he had been doing for the previous hour and a half. He declined my offer to join Gilad and myself. Oh well, I’ll bring him over to the dark side eventually. I will get my little family healthy if it kills me.

Let’s see what else? Oh, on the advice of the excellent MizFit, I went out and bought some milled Flaxseed and have been putting the stuff in everything I can think of. I haven’t yet eaten it by the spoonful straight out of the box like the Miz does, but I’m off to a good start anyway. It’s been in my oatmeal, last night’s chili, the Black eyed pea dip, the Good Morning Muffins, and other miscellaneous foods that I can’t think of right now. I feel so exotic sprinkling this unfamiliar (to me) yet healthy goodness in my food!

To steal from Debby’s idea, I went through some old photos over the weekend looking for progress pics, and as soon as I scan them into my computer, I’ll post them so we can see how far I’ve come. I don’t feel like I have an accurate view of myself until I see myself in a picture. For a long time I didn’t let anyone take a picture of me, so I didn’t really know how big I was. What’s the opposite of anorexia? I always thought I was smaller than I really was, so when I would catch a glimpse of myself in a store window, or heaven forbid – a dressing room mirror, I would be genuinely surprised and hurt. But out of sight means out of mind, so I dove back into denial and a plate of cookies in order to forget what I knew was a big problem (pun totally intended). If I can remember to do it, I’ll post the pics tonight. So there’s something for ya to look forward to!

Whew – see what happens when I don’t post for several days? Let that be a lesson to me!