Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I haven't posted much in the way of cooking goodness lately, and since I've tried several new recipes in the last few weeks, I thought it was high time to share the wealth.

Aromatic Couscous & Veggies

3/4 c . orange juice
1/2 c. water
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. whole-wheat couscous
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 med. zucchini, cut into 1/4-in slices
1 med. yellow squash, cut into 1/4-in slices
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes

Bring the orange juice, water, and 1/2 tsp. of salt to boil in a small saucepan. Add couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff couscous with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add zuchcini, squash, onion, garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and remaining salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until veggies start to soften. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve over couscous.

Serves 4. PER SERVING (3/4 c. couscous & 1 1/4 c. veggie mixture): 366 cal, 7g fat, 11g fiber. 7 WW pts per serving.

Chicken Souvlaki with Rice and Yogurt Sauce

8 chicken tenders
2 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 c. plain fat-free yogurt
1/3 c. finely diced cucumber
1/4 c. chopped fresh mint
2 tsp. olive oil
2 c. hot cooked brown rice
2 c. shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion

Combine chicken, vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, oregano, and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine yogurt, cucumber, mint, remaining minced garlic clover, and remaining salt and pepper in small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side.

Arrange 1/2 c. rice on each of 4 plates; top with 1/2 c. shredded lettuce, 2 chicken tenders, 1/4 of tomato and onion, and 1/4 c. of yogurt sauce.

Serves 4. PER SERVING: 282 cal, 6g fat, 4g fiber. 5 WW pts per serving.

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes

2 c. shredded cooked skinless chicken breast
20 small seedless grapes, halved
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 onion, grated
1/4 c. plain fat-free yogurt
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
4 c. mesclun salad greens

Combine chicken, grapes, carrot, celery, parsley, and lemon juice in medium bowl.

Combine onion, yogurt, curry powder, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Pour over the chicken mixture and toss to combine. Divide mesclum among 4 salad plates and top with chicken salad.

Serves 4. PER SERVING: 171 cal, 4g fat, 2g fiber. 3 WW pts.

(Note: I add 1/4 c. fat-free Miracle Whip to keep the salad from being too dry. It does not affect points.)

All these recipes came from Weight Watchers Ultimate Flex & Core Cookbook.

Monday, July 23, 2007

So Much to Do...

So little time.

I really hate gospel meetings. I know, I know - I should be thrilled to listen to God's word, right? I do enjoy that - I just hate being subjected to four days of some country preacher's soapboxes. That's what our gospel meetings usually entail. It completely shot my whole week. So now I have to play catch-up.

Besides the usual mounds of housework, I have to prepare my "homework" for Creating Keepsakes University. I'm actually quite excited about it - Mom & I are going in August. Friday we'll be taking various classes, and Saturday we'll be making an entire album. To prepare, we have to collect quite a few pictures, all specific subjects and sizes. I'll be helping Mom do the editing on hers, since she'll never figure that out on her own, and I'm the one with Photoshop, anyway.

If I'm lucky, my new workout equipment will come in the mail this week. I ordered the new FIRM set that you see on the infomercials when you're awake at 4:30 in the morning. (Should I say if?) I know it will kick my tail, but the new versions have an "express option" that cuts the workout time in half. Otherwise I'd never have ordered them. 55 minutes is longer than I can spend or survive!

My stomach hurts. It kept me up all night, too. Ugh.

I can be really random, can't I?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Don't worry - I'm not going to put up spoilers just yet.

As I'd planned, I stayed up all night to read the book. It took roughly 5 1/2 hours. (Granted, I'm a pretty fast reader.) It was everything I'd hoped for and expected from the last book. Rowling is simply brilliant. Don't think I've ever read anything that engrossing. I started crying a hundred pages or so from the end and didn't stop until I read the last words and closed the book. At one point, I was absolutely sobbing. No book has ever made me cry like that before.

I truly hope she decides to create a totally new world and a new series of books. It would be a shame if this is the last we see of J. K. Rowling.

Now I'm off to start Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. That will take considerably longer; I believe there's 14 books in the series, with the last coming out in November. Never saw myself as a fantasy fan, but if you like Harry Potter, you will most likely enjoy the Goodkind books as well. He, too, will be wrapping up the series this year - an end to a long, arduous, exhilarating, and sometimes heart-breaking journey. I'm looking forward to it.

On a slightly different note - I had a fabulous time last night. I tried tofu for the time (loved it), saw the HP movie (it was very much like I'd imagined in the book), and most importantly, gabbed for several hours with a friend that I believe is a "kindred spirit." It's been a long, long time since I had that much fun crammed into one evening. Probably going to make this week feel rather mundane! LOL

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Big Day Tomorrow!

I am so excited about tomorrow I can hardly stand myself. A friend is meeting me tomorrow afternoon, and we are going to see the new Harry Potter movie, eat at PF Chang's (a new experience for me), and . . . drum roll, please. . . wait in line at midnight to pick up the newest and last Harry Potter book! I am just nutty excited. I get to spend time with a friend, catch a movie, eat out, get a new book. . . and spend time with a friend. That is a rare thing for me these days.

Don't expect to hear from me anytime soon. I plan on staying up all night tomorrow to read the book!

Friday, July 6, 2007


So it's really not as bad as people make it out to be. I feel no different now than I did before my birthday. Actually, it was a pretty decent day. I had a couple of disappointments, but since my birthdays are historically rotten, thirty was a definite improvement.

Jeff got me a book I wanted and a CD set from one of my fave Christian groups. I was impressed, because I had given him no clues whatsoever. We headed to Chattanooga and saw Transformers, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was probably the best movie I've seen since Star Wars Episode I. 'Course, I am a child of the 80s - as were most of the people in the theater. I was amused - the only kids there were with their 30-something parents, and there were multiple mobs of 30-something guys there. It was just plain cool.

I really really really wanted hibachi grill for lunch, but the place was actually closed. I was annoyed - after all, they're Japanese, not American! It was the only restaurant in town that was closed for the holiday. Grr.... I told Jeff he'd better give me a rain check, and we wound up at Chili's.

We don't go to Chattanooga without hitting the bookstore, and I bought Bebo some books from the clearance rack. He hasn't put one of them down since I gave it to him. Cute. Then came the sucky part - I had to buy something to wear to a wedding I'm going to tomorrow. I really despise clothes shopping. It's frustrating and depressing. If I find something that fits, it's cut too low in the neckline. Makes me utterly crazy. But I did manage to find an acceptable (if somewhat dorky) shirt to wear. I'd like to beat in the brains of today's fashion designers.

We went to church - oh, rah! - ate out at Shoney's - oh, rah! - and attempted to set off a few fireworks in the backyard. Braeden was, as usual, terrified, so we aborted the show early and called it a night.

So that was how I closed out my 30th birthday. No big deal, really. I was surprised (and maybe a little disappointed) that no one at church noticed, 'cept my Grannie and Peepop. Oh, well. Such is my life - I tend to fly under most people's radar.

Yawn. Must go back to work now. Ugh. Fridays suck.