29 March 2011

Garden Tuesday

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My friend Pam from Sidewalk Shoes is having a garden event on her blog. Check out what is going on all over the US this spring!

Our garden got snow again on Saturday, so I am showing you a fun pattern that the snow made on our patio. The stones were warm but the snow stuck to the plants. I thought it was interesting!


Here are our spring plants in the snow. I hear that early spring snows bring lots of nutrients to the ground, and I am hoping that it is true!


Truman and Wilson are eager for Spring, too!








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21 March 2011

Portabella Burgers and Fat Free Onion Rings

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Had a low point Weight Watchers dinner last night that I wanted to share with you. The Portabella Burger recipe is my own, the onion rings adapted from The Hungry Girl.



Portabella Burger

2 large portabella mushrooms, stemmed with gills removed
Butter flavored Pam
2 triangles of Laughing Cow cheese, garlic and herb flavor
steak seasoning
1 large onion, sliced
4 sandwich rounds

Spray skillet with Pam and saute onions until golden brown and soft.  Heat grill to medium hot heat.  Clean mushrooms, spray with Pam and sprinkle with steak seasoning.   Grill until hot.  Spread 1 triangle of cheese onto each mushroom.  Spray rounds with Pam, toast on grill.  Lay mushroom on bottom round and cover mushroom with grilled onions.  Top with the remaining round.  Makes two sandwiches at 4 Points Plus each.

Onion Rings

1 onion, sliced into rings
1/2 c Fiber One Original Cereal, processed until like fine bread crumbss
1 T ranch dressing mix
1/2 c Eggbeaters

Preheat oven to 375. Spray cookie sheet with Pam.  Mix ranch dressing with cereal and pour into a plate.  Dip onion rings into the eggbeaters, then into the crumbs.  Place rings on cookie sheet but do not stack.  Bake in oven for 25 minutes, turning once half way through the baking.  Onions should be soft inside and crunchy on the outside.



We loved this meal and will try the "burgers" with bleu cheese and balsamic vinegar next time!  The variations are endless!


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18 March 2011

A St. Patrick's Day to Remember!

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When we made plans last week to see the Diana exhibit in Kansas City, we never thought of the date which happened to be St. Patrick's Day. When my friend Dana heard what we were doing, she immediately told me how busy downtown was going to be, after all, Kansas City does have the second largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the United States.

What??

I was thrilled to hear we would be in the midst of a huge parade.  I begged Bob to go and he agreed to do it.  Unheard of.  A last minute change of plans.

We left Jeff City a little earlier than planned, in order to get a decent parking space.  I had downloaded the parking areas and printed them off... and left them in the printer.  I discovered that fact when it was time to decide where to park.  Of course, I get out my iPhone and start downloading the directions.  I had plenty of time to do it, as traffic was not moving a lick.

By the time we hit the parade's beginning at 33rd and Broadway, Bob tells Ash and me to jump out of the car and start walking.  He'd park the car and meet us.  Ashley and I started walking through the waves of green, getting beads from Union workers and my photo taken with Charlie Brown!  We finally made it passed the parade entries and decided to cross the street.  One lady took exception with us crossing the street by her.  I think she wanted us to stay where we were but we had designs on standing in front of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.



We barely find a place to stand, and we are an hour early.  It was fun to people watch and about 30 minutes into the wait, Bob shows up and stands with us.  He blocks the 30 mph winds that torment the parade for the first hour.  We gave up and started walking to the car when the crowds got so bad you had to hold your breath to make room for all of us!

It was a people watchers paradise and something I would love to do again!

We were actually in KC to see the Diana exhibit.  It was wonderful but you couldn't take pictures.  I wanted to sooo bad!  There was only one allowed photo in the gift shop, and this is it:

Replica of Diana's wedding cake.  See her photo behind it?

Sharing at the Little Red House Mosaic Monday!


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17 March 2011

Shamrock Fun

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I saw these darling shamrock "cookies" over at Close to Home. 

I decided I had to try them but of course, didn't have everything I needed but wanted to do it now.  Those of you who know my "north" tendencies are probably nodding right now, understanding that I don't plan ahead well but still want to go forward with my ideas.  No surprise here that I decided to make due with what I had.

I melted green (white chocolate) disks.  I dipped small round pretzels into the green chocolate and arranged them into a clover shape.  I broke a small piece off a pretzel, dipped it into the chocolate and arranged it on the clover as a stem.



According to Weight Watchers three chocolate covered pretzels have two points.


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16 March 2011

French Toast Redefined

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My friend Dora tweeted about a French Toast Recipe that sounded awesome but I knew would not do for my new lifestyle. I decided to revamp it using ingredients that were more appropriate to my needs. Here's what came of it.



Deluxe French Toast

1/2 c skim milk
1/2 c eggbeaters
1/2 c no fat yogurt (I used Fiber One's Peach)
1/2 t cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
6 slices of low cal bread (I used Sara Lee's)
Butter flavored Pam
Confectioner's sugar

Preheat a skillet. Combine the milk, eggbeaters, yogurt and cinnamon. Dip the bread slices quickly into the milk mixture. Spray the pan with the Pam, and lay the coated bread in the skillet. Cook, watching carefully. Turn when brown and cook the other side.  Place one piece of toast on a plate, slice up a half a banana on top, then place another piece of toast on top.  Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Weight Watchers Point Plus:  6 per serving. 

I topped mine with fat free, sugar free syrup and enjoyed my breakfast looking outside at the birds!



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14 March 2011

What a difference a day makes!

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On Sunday I was walking around my house and noticed the buds coming out on the redbud tree and I captured it with my camera

 and then this morning I woke up to this!




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08 March 2011

So excited....

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Signs of spring at our house!

Tulips!

Autumn Joy sedum

07 March 2011

True/False Film Festival

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True/False Film FestivalImage via WikipediaBob and I participated in the 2011 True/False Film Festival in Columbia.  Bob has done this on his own for years, two years ago I participated a bit, last year I was still recovering from cancer and this year, went full out and saw 11 movies!  The True/False Film Festival is all documentary films.  2009 True/False is documented here.



On Friday we saw two movies, Resurrect Dead, and La Bocca del Lupo .  Resurrect Dead was a film about the Toynbee Tiles.  These mysterious tiles have appeared in roadways in the east and midwest US and in various parts of the world.  La Bocca was a love story.



Saturday was the marathon day!  We saw five films!  Life in a Day, a film about July 24, 2010, The Interrupters, about a group of former drug lords and gang leaders who have dedicated themselves to ending violence in Chicago streets, The Black Power Mix Tape, a set of films was found in a Swedish radio station basement about the Black Panthers.  This film showed me a side that I didn't know... about the social reforms the Black Panthers were a part of.  Project Nim was about the chimp who learned sign language and what happened to the chimp after the project, and then Shut Up Little Man.  This film was about a couple of men who audiotaped their neighbors tirades full of cursing and name calling.  It became a cult thing and this film documents the men who were being taped.

Director of Nim and Nim's caretaker

Sunday was a four film day.  We saw Blood in the Mobile, which is about the mining of minerals to make our electronics, especially our cell phones.  We saw 14 year old boys crawling deep into the earth to mine these minerals, getting paid little, with militant groups making a huge profit which they use to fund their civil wars.  Next we saw El Bulli, Cooking in Progress.  This was about a famous chef's restaurant and the creative process they go through to develop new cooking techniques.  Beautiful, exotic food.  Armadillo was about the Danish forces in Afghanistan, and our last film was Buck.  Buck is about the original horse whisperer.  Fabulous and my favorite of the event.



We had a lot of opportunities for Q and A with directors or the main people in the films.  It was incredible to meet the director of Project Nim and Blood in the Mobile.  Such brave people!

Already looking forward to next year's festival.  I highly recommend it!

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04 March 2011

Cauliflower Soup

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 Here
are some more wonderful recipes to check out on your journey to a thinner YOU at Gracious Living!

I made this simple soup last Sunday when I saw that cauliflower was on sale for $2.39 a head. It is a 0 points Weight Watcher food, which is always fun!

I found the recipe at Gina's Skinny Recipes and made it just the way she did.

Dad's Cauliflower Soup
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4-6 servings Time: 20 minutes Points: 0 pts


  • 1 large head cauliflower - chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a 5 quart saucepan, add all ingredients. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes.) Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.


02 March 2011

The Purple Dress Project

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Our daughter, Ashley, was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease last January, was in the hospital constantly during the first six months of 2010, and in June had surgery for a resection of her colon. She has been in remission ever since!

Ashley has been wanting to do something for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. She came up with the Purple Dress Project, based off a project that one of her blogger friends did (The Gray Dress Project).  She contacted some sponsors, the Foundation, and the University of Missouri Hospital and with their backing, formed the Purple Dress Project.



You can learn more by going to The Purple Dress Project or to Ashley's blog A Hasty Life.  She also has a Facebook page where you can learn more.  Be sure to "like" it... the more followers the better!

I will keep you informed on the progress of the dress, her month of wearing it and any other relevant information that comes up.

I am quite the proud mama.