Come out of hiding with me.

Hello.

 

Did you miss me?

 

Sorry.  I didn’t mean to make you forget that there was a blog called Delectable Tidbits.  If you remembered it was out there in the blogosphere and you stopped by to wonder what happened to it’s author, I am sorry you were disappointed that the very rude looking baguette pointing itself straight at you in a very crass way was still sporting itself as the leading photo. 

 

Let’s catch up shall we?

 

I stopped blogging because I was going through some pretty heavy personal turmoil.  I am dealing with something that is a very big deal.  A big deal for me anyway.  Unfortunately, it is the kind of thing I don’t want to share.  Some of the closest people in my life are probably really frustrated with me right now because the silence on my blog has been nothing compared to how little I’ve been keeping in touch with them.

 

Anyway.  One thing that happened while I was away is that I finally came to terms with the fact that exercising myself to death without dieting and dieting without exercising will never make me lose the weight I need to lose.  As you know, I dealt with a scary health issue with my Dad this year and got to live with my Mom for three weeks and see how bad her health really is.  That and the general personal turmoil that is now my life, made me really reflect on how very little I care about myself.  In fact, I’ve cared zero about myself for years and years now.  Sure I talk like I care, but when it comes right down to it, I haven’t cared.  Sometimes a disaster or two or three can help put things in perspective.  Once I decided to care, I began going back to the gym in earnest and I walked during my breaks at work.  Since I did nothing about the huge amounts of food I love to eat, the scale didn’t budge.  So after really concentrating on what was wrong with me, I finally decided I needed help.  I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago.  So far, it is working out well, but I have been relying on restaurant food and frozen food and food that is way simple to make due to a very strange couple of weeks that coincided with my new “lifestyle”.  So there you have it.  Any posts to my blog going forward will have a bit of a diet bent to them. I hope I don’t lose anyone during this interesting time.  The good news is that Weight Watchers allows you to eat whatever you want as long as you don’t go over the amount of points they give you.  Points you say?  They have you take a questionnaire, which determines an amount of points you can have each week.  The food you eat is assigned a point value.  You add points each time you eat, you subtract points each time you exercise and hopefully you don’t go over your allotted weekly points.  If you are good at it, you lose weight.  So far I have been very good at it and I have lost more weight per week for the past two weeks than they recommend.  Unfortunately, I am a Virgo and bean counting is my forte.  I’m trying not to be too restrictive since I am a little freaked out about the warning on the W.W. website that states that losing weight too fast can cause gallstones.  Yikes.  So in the spirit of not being too restrictive, I will share a recipe with you in a little while.

 

But now, more catch up.  Did you hear about the Gap fire in Goleta?  The fire was extremely close to my house.  So close in fact, that we were right next to it.  Although we were five houses outside of the mandatory evacuation zone, the quarter size pieces of ash raining down on our house, the thick smoke that we couldn’t keep out of the house, and the fact that we could see flames from our kitchen window prompted us to leave on our own.  We went to my Boyfriend’s Dad’s house and spent a lovely fourth of July weekend in fire free Orange County while we kept an eye on the news to see if our house burned down.  The fire crews did an excellent job and very little structural damage occurred during the fire.  We are so very thankful for the firemen in this country.  They are amazing.  Most of them were fresh from battling blazes in Northern California and they still had the bravery and energy to save all of us too!

 

Now I need to share something wonderful.  Corinne from “A Gourmet Love Affair” didn’t forget about me while I’ve been gone.  In fact, she has been making my day by still posting comments to my blog even though there has been nothing new to talk about.  Now she really made my day by giving my blog its first award.  She gave me a “you make my day” award. 

 

 

Since there are no rules I am not obligated to pass it along but I would like to. There are three Bloggers who have been keeping me sane during this time and I’d like to pass it along to them:

 

Dylan of Sourdough Monkey Wrangler.  Why?  Because he shares his kids with us every week.  I don’t have kids so reading about his adventures as a stay at home Dad really makes me smile.  Sometimes his kids are so cute, it makes me feel like I’m missing something and sometimes… I like that he shares his kids with us and I don’t have to have my own, lol!!

 

Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and Northwest Noshings.  Why?  Her stories and sense of humor are wonderful.  I laugh out loud when I read her posts.  Nobody else has the energy she has.  This gal can cook and cook she does.  She posts several times a week!  Fantastic!

 

Susan of Farmgirl Fare.  Why?  The “daily dose of cute”.  She posts pictures of her farm animals every couple of days. If you are blue, there is nothing like a baby donkey or a furry lamb to lift your spirits.

 

Let’s talk about food now.  One thing I am noticing about this diet is that I am getting hungry.  Like… really hungry.  The kind of hunger you don’t get when you indulge yourself ALL OF THE TIME.  When I eat now, I am so hungry that food tastes, well, fantastic!  And I am eating so little of it that every bite is wonderful.  We’re talking almost as good as sex.

 

When you are on Weight Watchers you try to fit as much food as you can into that set amount of points.  You realize that fruit and vegetables are your new best friend.  They are worth very little points so you can eat lots and lots of them.  At the same time, you begin to realize that you need to not eat so much butter and sugar and the usual crap you are used to eating because these things are worth a high percentage of your meager amount of points.  I have been eating very little sweets these past two weeks.  I did find myself fantasizing about a half rotting banana at work the other day.  When I think half rotting banana, I usually think banana bread.  I began to think cookie instead.  (Probably because of the whole portion control thing).  From cookie, my thoughts wandered to biscotti, which led me to this recipe on Cooking Light magazine’s website for banana biscotti.  The cookies as they published the recipe are worth two points each.  It turns out that by making a few tweaks such as upping the fiber content with whole-wheat pastry flour I was able to knock the point score to one Weight Watchers point per cookie.  I just had a freshly cooled cookie and it was crunchy, lightly sweet, with a subtle fruity flavor.  Even if you are not watching your figure, I highly recommend you find a half rotting banana and make these cookies!

 

 

Banana-Pecan Biscotti

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

 

Makes 24 Biscotti (one Weight Watchers flex point each)

 

1 ¾ cups whole-wheat pastry flour

½ cup evaporated cane juice or sugar

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1/3 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 1 small banana)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/3 cup chopped, toasted pecans

Parchment paper

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, combine mashed banana, olive oil, vanilla and egg.  Add wet to dry ingredients and mix until well combined (I had to get in there and knead a little bit, the dough did not combine easily).  Turn the dough out onto a floured board.  Cut the dough into two equal halves.  Form the dough into two eight-inch rolls.  Transfer the rolls to a parchment lined cookie sheet and then flatten the rolls slightly.  Bake for 23 minutes.

 

Remove the cookie loaves from the oven and cool them on a wire rack for ten minutes.  Meanwhile, lower the heat to 250 degrees F.  When the loaves have cooled, Carefully cut each loaf into 12 diagonal slices.  Place the slices on two parchment lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Turn all of the cookies over.  Bake them for 15 more minutes.  Transfer the cookies to the wire rack and cool completely before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a hike with me

I used to love to hike.  That was before I got a sedentary  job and then another sedentary job and promotions to more sedentary jobs.  My boyfriend has never let himself get unhealthy.  He is quite active.  I’m not.  He always asks me to hike with him.  My answer is usually, “ummmmmmm…..”.  The reason why boils down to the fact that I get halfway through a hike and my head turns hot and red and feels as if it is going to blow off.  This happens because my fit partner hikes at his speed, lets me stop occasionally to breath or drink water and then keeps going at his speed.  Today I learned how to get through a hike.  Bring a camera.  The time it takes to set up a shot is just the right amount of time to slow things down so that I can endure more hills and more distance. 

Trail

A favorite hike of ours here in Santa Barbara is Rattlesnake Canyon.  Some Southern California hikes can be dry and hot.  This hike follows a creekbed that has some water all year long.  The water supports a lot of pretty trees and vegetation.

Flowers

We had gotten a lot of rain over the past couple of weeks so flowers were blooming and the creek was running.  There were many pretty waterfalls to see.

Waterfuall

At a certain point in the trail, before you begin to gain a lot of elevation, there is a view of the hills above you.  There is a monastery up there and a few other homes, but I always like to see this round house.  It is further up the trail and by itself.  Something about the architecture and the landscape reminds me of some place older like the mediteranean.

Round House

Once you climb in elevation enough, you get a view of the city below, the ocean and the fog shrouded channel islands

View

As we hiked higher and higher, we saw so many pretty flowers blooming happily because of the moisture from the storm and the warmth of the first springlike day.

flowers3.jpg

Everything was so pretty and I felt happy to be up there after weeks of stress and worry. 

flowers2.jpg

Even the trees were in bloom.

Flowers4

Life is good.