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Week Four: Stats and Results

Setting goals is helpful, but it depends – of course – on the goal.

A pie-in-the-sky goal of losing X pounds in a week is (for me, anyway) doomed to fail. If I have a goal like that in the back of my mind, I almost always will do something to sabotage my bad self and then blame my lack of progress on overserving.


But setting a goal of not using artificially sweetened coffee creamer? Now that one worked. I also didn't buy any sugar-free ice cream. Here are this week's stats:

Stats for Week Four:
Average daily calories burned: 346
Average daily calories consumed: 1082

The result? I lost two pounds. Which means after a month of tracking calories in/out, I've gained half a pound.

That should be discouraging, but for some reason it isn't. I feel like I've been back on track for two consecutive weeks, and clearly I can never do Halloween again. Ever!

Last Friday I did something I never thought I'd do. Lately I'm all about eating not only less food, but also better food. Very little of the food I buy has an attached label. Michael Pollan isn't the first to suggest shopping the perimeter of the grocery store and, truly, most of the perimeter products have labels these days. But if you buy more produce than packages, you generally will be eating more healthful meals.

So what did I do Friday? I learned to make butter, mozzarella and cottage cheese. And Saturday I made yogurt. The food processor did most of the work on the butter, but I was surprised that it was actually pale yellow when it was finished. For some reason I thought home-churned butter ended up being the color of the cream from which it was made.

The cottage cheese and mozzarella were amazing. I was astonished at the mozzarella, especially. And it tasted great on our Friday night pizzas.

My yogurt turned out a little thin and not quite tangy enough for my taste. I strained some of it and it's definitely thick enough now, but I think I'll let the next batch incubate longer. I followed this recipe and one of the last things they tell you is to follow it exactly the first time, and then make adjustments for your taste after that. I used Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt for my starter, but the recipe called for Dannon. In another recipe I read yesterday, which also called for Dannon plain as a starter, it was suggested that organic yogurts (such as Oikos) might be less fresh, which could account for my thin results.

My daughter and mother-in-law are less than impressed. Each of them said, "Isn't it easier just to go to Kroger?" Well, yes, it probably is easier, if you don't have to get in the car and drive 12 miles (to Tiny Kroger) and hand them some cashmoneybucks and drive home and open a package in order to get to the product. Which they don't. Me? I'm fine with spending the day at home, watching milk turn into cheese.


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Update on the water: the circuit breaker tripped, either due to a power surge when the electricity came back on last night OR when lightning struck in the area. My neighbor's electric fence control box got hit in the same area. He was able to reset the circuit breaker for us and we have WATER! I think I'll go do a load of laundry. Heh.

It's all about the food

The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

Cupcakes are on the menu. Cupcakes sure seem to be popular these days – Google Blogsearch came up with 1,181,447 hits and is selling a boatload of cupcake cookbooks.

Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

I’m also making pig candy. I first had this at one of my daughter’s Oscar parties s…

And the winner is …

Kitten with a Whiplash, who left two comments and it was the second (which had nothing to do with the contest) which won the prize. Congratulations, and since the Kitten was the only commenter who expressed any interest in actually winning it, I'm so glad the Universe took care of it. Heh.

What a weekend! But first, how was yours? I hope you did some fun stuff and got some necessary stuff done, as well. It's all about balance.

Saturday was our fun day (but we had to drive, drive, drive to get there and then drive, drive, drive home again, all in one day, boy was I tired). We went to my husband's granddaughter's first birthday party. In addition to a sweet little doll, suitable for ages 0+ (meaning it has no parts that will come loose, and do you know how difficult it is to find dolls for babies when you live in the Middle of Nowhere?), I made her this:

I haven't sewn anything in a month of Sundays, so was a little apprehensive about finishing it on time, but this p…