Saturday, September 1, 2007


How does that sound to everybody? That might be my new goal weight... I know, I know but I haven't even reached my current goal. Yeah I'm aware of that. My cousin came over and tried out my scale the other day. So just in case you are all wondering how it compares to say... calibration... it was on the money! She had just had her trainer calibrate her and it was in line with my scale's assessment. Now she is an actual bad ass and so this was a good reliable test. And a wake up call. The scale gave her a metabolic age of get this... 12 !!!... she's 38! I had just gotten my metabolic age down from 27 to 22 and was feeling pretty good about that. She really is more of an athlete and is a runner, weight trains, does pilates and didn't just have a baby (so don't try telling me this stuff... I know), but the point is this: I'm striving to be in the best shape of my life and 118 is 3.something (depending on the day) pounds away and honestly I am more than 3.something pounds away from my physical prime. I think I'm going to have to keep at the calorie counting and weight loss a little longer. Plus I need a new goal anyway, the closer I get the less motivated I feel. I need a new carrot.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dinner was *%^&$#@ Delicious

Let me just say I was practically making out with my flank steak sandwich tonight! The bread is even better than I remember it being. Nothing could have been better than the still warm from the oven bread slathered in horseradish sauce and covered in a good amount of steak... I mean it was mother fucking fantastic! I have rarely had something as completely satisfying as this sandwich. So simple and yet so delish!

So the bread is worth making. If you've made bread by hand I'm confident that you will turn out a good loaf or two. If not here are my tips: bread is not complicated, there are not a lot of ingredients, but you do need to be sure to knead it well to develop the right texture (I'd say gluten but I don't want to scare you away). Also be sure to follow the "Traditional Method" the steam produced by the boiling water is what gives the bread such a nice crust. I like to make my bread with the minimum amount of flour needed to pull the bread together and work it in well getting it pretty elastic. That means I don't put all the flour in... I usually reserve 1-2 cups and knead it in just to get to the texture that isn't too sticky. I keep dusting my board (ie counter) and the dough while I knead. I'm scaring you already right? Just follow the directions.... if it sucks go feed some ducks or use it for french toast.

As for Flank Steak if you have either a grill or a cast iron pan (my personal favorite cooking tool these days) this is the easiest thing to make. Take your steak out and let it rest and come up to room temp before you cook it (no you are not going to get food poisoning.. you are going to cook your meat faster and more evenly) Heat your pan with just enough oil to coat over medium high heat (or grill to med-high) I get about 1.75 lb and that covers us with 2 dinners of 4 oz each (believe or not Kid Furious can throw back some serious "steak meat") I know, I know, you are doing the math and you're coming up with 1.5 lbs, well the steak cooks down so keep that in mind when you are making your purchase. Back to the cooking. So you've let your steak come up to room temp and you've either started your grill or you've got your pan ready. I change my seasoning up all the time but what you need to remember is that all you really need is salt and pepper. If you've got some ethnic side dish just throw those same spices on your steak, or buy a "steak seasoning", you cannot mess this up (and yes Ms.B I'm talking to you!) This week I put on some garlic powder, onion powder, ground thyme & ground oregano... just because I had them on the counter... perfectly good. Alright, your pan is hot (or grill) put the steak on it. For 1.75-2 lb your gonna cook that about 8 mins and then flip and cook another 8 mins. For a smaller steak 6 mins per side. Take it off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes (do not cut into it to check it or anything you'll end up with a dry steak... it's fine). Now if you are me you had a pot of water on the other burner and you diced up a potato (yes just one big yukon gold... I'm on a could do as many as you want) and as soon as it was fork tender you scooped out the potato with a strainer and let them sit on the counter but kept the water on. When you take your steak off the heat you add a little more oil to your steak pan (yeah I know there's bits all over the bottom) and throw the potato in there and season it up with salt and pepper. Cook it flipping them around while the steak rests. At the same time I put some ears of corn in the old potato water. When the steak is done resting your corn and potatoes are done too. Slice that steak across the grain (that means parallel to the stubby end) as thin as you can. Dinner's done and you should have about half a steak leftover to make those delicious steak sandwiches. That's how its done Mrs. Furious style.

The Easiest Bread Loaf ?... I wouldn't go that far

"The Easiest Loaf of Bread You’ll Ever Bake"
(taken from King Arthur Flour's website)

1 T sugar
5 1/2-6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 T (1 packet) yeast
1 T salt
corn meal
2 cups warm water (not over 110°F)
boiling water

Add sugar and yeast to warm water and let dissolve. Gradually add salt and flour to liquid and mix thoroughly until dough pulls from sides of bowl. Turn out onto floured surface to knead. (This may be a little messy, but don't give up!)

Fold far edge of dough back over on itself towards you. Press dough away with heels of hands. After each push, rotate dough 90°. Repeat process in rhythmic, rocking motion for about 3 minutes. (Lightly sprinkle flour on board to prevent sticking.) Let dough rest while you scrape out and grease mixing bowl. Knead dough again about 3 more minutes until bouncy and smooth.

Place dough in bowl and turn over once to grease the top. Cover with damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk (1 to 2 hours).

Punch down dough with fist and briefly knead out gas bubbles. Cut in half and shape into 2 Italian or French-style loaves. Place on cookie sheet generously sprinkled with corn meal. Let dough rest 10 minutes.

Quick Method: Lightly slash the tops 3 or more times diagonally and brush with cold water. Place on rack in cold oven. Bake at 400°F for 35 to 40 minutes until crust is golden brown and sounds hollow to the touch.

Traditional Method: For lighter, crustier bread, let loaves rise 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F for 15 minutes. Pour 2 to 3 cups of boiling water into roasting pan. Carefully place on oven bottom. Place bread on rack above pan and bake 20 minutes. Turn oven off and allow bread to remain for 5 more minutes. Remove, cool and devour!

*This is what we're having our steak sandwiches on tonight. I make it following the Traditional Method. After the 2nd rise and just before you bake them make three slashes in the tops with a sharp knife... totally professional looking! Also if you don't have cornmeal on hand use cream o'wheat (aka farina) or sesame seeds. I use Bread Flour when making this bread and have found I need about 5.5 cups. I stir in about 4.5 and kneed in the last cup. This is a sticky dough to work with but it is delish... and relatively easy.

Back To School

We take Kid Furious to visit her preschool tonight. It was a hard decision for us to make... holding her back. She is old enough to start Kindergarten (Michigan's current cut-off is Dec 1st) but she would be one of the youngest in the class. We've decided to "Red Shirt" her, a term I am uncomfortable with. However I do strongly believe it is in her best interest both socially and psychologically, if not academically, to be 5 before she enters Kindergarten. Not to mention the whole pesky neurological disorder issue. And for us Kid Furious's seizures are actually much harder to identify than those listed in the link, especially by an untrained eye (even paramedics as I have unfortunately had to learn!), and life threatening to boot. "Back to School" is a lot more stressful for us than picking out the right backpack. Relinquishing control of Kid Furious's health and well being, even for 3 afternoons a week, is a hard thing for this momma to do.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One More Reason To Get Off The Couch

I hope everyone appreciates the courage it takes for me to post these! I just wanted to show you what can be achieved in a short amount of time. These photos were taken 5 weeks apart. Believe it! I have dropped 9.5 pounds and have gone from 31% body fat to 26.9% body fat in the last 5 weeks. Behold the powers of cookie dough..... and 70 minute workouts ;)

Monday, August 27, 2007

This Week The Plan

Sorry this is a little late.. but that's what happens when you are actually acting upon your plan and not just making it up.

First a little review of last week.
I did indeed make the meatballs and froze 4 extra batches. When making the tilapia I made an extra batch in fish stick form and froze those as well. We do not have an extra freezer so it is pretty full right now. And by pretty full I mean every time you open it an avalanche of food comes falling out on your head... or your sleeping baby's head... which ever would be most inconvenient at the time. But don't worry I did finally make my cookie dough, whole wheat no less since I was out of regular flour, and I managed to wedge those babies in the freezer as well. FYI the cookies might be even better, sub half the flour for whole wheat flour and be sure to use dark brown sugar. On the plus side my plateau broke and I've had a little weight loss to show for it. Thanks to my scale I've managed to stay motivated despite the slower weight loss since I can track my fat loss as well.... and I'm down 1.5% in 3 weeks! I'm interested to see how the reintroduction of the cookie dough will effect things this week... is it actually magical? Stay tuned to find out.
On the pack rat front I failed to make any major cleaning or organizational progress last week but am already on my 3rd load of laundry today so things are looking up.

On to this week and my menu...

Monday: Chicken in Stubb's & pasta salad

Tuesday: Flank Steak, pan roasted potatoes & corn on the cob

Wednesday: pan seared salmon, Asian veggie stir fry & long noodles

Thursday: Steak & horseradish sandwiches on homemade french bread & salad

Friday: Shrimp Skewers, spring rolls & snap peas

Saturday: 6th anniversary dinner out

Sunday: Tomato & meatball soup

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What Gives?

This is me this morning. We went to a wedding last night. You'd think I was wasted, but the truth is I had 2 weak cranberry and vodkas... weak on the vodka not cranberry. I was done with them before dinner and from then on had only coffee and water. The buzz was gone within the hour. But I developed a pounding headache and had to have 2 coffees (I didn't have to put caramel syrup, whipped cream and choc shavings on them but I did) but no relief. I was completely sober well before dancing. And yet I pretty much want to die right now. I'll admit I am a total light weight, and because I've been nursing or pregnant for the last 5.5 years (literally) I haven't exactly been working on building up my tolerance, but still! Usually when I'm hungover it is because I went to bed drunk, not had two light drinks proceeded through an entire evening of sobriety and drank water and still feel like shit. What gives? It must be related to what a bad ass I am ;)

On the positive side I had a great time and didn't completely blow my diet either. Well I did blow it.. but it could have been a lot worse... and it would have been had the drinks been any stronger! This was one of those weddings where no one dances but just sits at their tables awkwardly watching... well no one dances but my family. So for the first 30 min of dancing it was literally just my immediate family. For one song it was just my mom and I... there comes a moment when you realize no one else is getting up and everyone is watching you and you kind of want to kill yourself and your knees start to buckle, but you keep going hoping and praying that this is not a remixed long version of the song, since you are committed now and can't stop until it is over. My mom suggested that we might wake up and find ourselves on YouTube. But we, the extended Furiouses, got that party started... my mom even lit our table on fire much to our amusement. We had a great time and I am often reminded of how lucky I am to have such a fun family. Thanks for a good night.. you know who you are. And I big thanks to Mr. Furious who bore full parental responsibility through the wedding and will quite possibly need to today as well!
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