An Ending? Nope! It'S A New Beginning! - A Glimpse of Me Blog at - 187293

A Glimpse of Me

An Ending? Nope! It's a New Beginning! 
Jul. 25, 2010 8:40 am 
Updated: Aug. 2, 2010 5:08 am
Hi there!  If you're returning, thanks again for stopping by!  If you're reading my blogs for the first time, welcome!

I do need to warn you, readers, that I am going to be a little bit graphic about certain body functions today.  If that bothers you, I will not be offended in the least if you choose to stop reading here.

Today was to be the last day of the 7-day Cabbage Soup Diet eating plan.  However, I decided yesterday that I was ready to move into my healthy eating lifestyle and didn't really feel like I needed the last two days of the plan.  I did this for a few reasons, but most of all because of my experience with Beef Day.  I found that the first beef day didn't agree with me all that well.  Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed eating my soup with chunks of lean steak and Worcestershire sauce added.  It was delicious!  What I didn't like was the effects the beef had on my body!  You see, I have battled with what I suspect is a mild case of irritable bowel syndrome for several years.  It's mostly consisted of...shall we say, "irregularity".  For some reason, most of the time I didn't have easy bowel movements (I'm sorry, but I did warn you I would be a bit graphic).  Occasionally it would happen easier, but not often.  One day into this eating plan my regularity was perfect!  It wasn't overboard...just perfect.  Then I got to Beef and Tomatoes day.  I loved the food that day, but the next day I was right back to where I had been before with the irregularity.  I started to think about the times when I'd had it easier in the restroom and I realized that those days were usually after I had eaten mostly fruits, vegetables, and beans with little or no meat involved.  Is my body telling me that it should be vegetarian?  Maybe not 100%, but I'm seriously considering a mostly-vegetarian lifestyle.

I still haven't gone to use my mother's scale, so I don't know how much weight I lost this past week.  I do know, however, that I'm feeling a lot better than I did when I started this journey!  I don't have the cravings I did before and I am satisfied with smaller portions of food.  I'm really looking forward to the weeks to come!

I went grocery shopping yesterday and bought steel cut oats for my breakfasts along with tons of vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grain items.  I shopped the perimeter of the store and only went into two of the middle aisles!  I needed vanilla, so I went into the baking aisle.  While there, I also picked up some packages of sugar free Jell-O.  I figure that will be good to have on hand for if I get a craving for something sweet.  I also looked at the canned fruit aisle, but decided I had enough fresh fruit and didn't need that syrupy canned stuff (even the stuff packed in juice is higher in sugar than the fresh stuff).  I did splurge on some Triscuit and Wheat Thin crackers, because I really do love them and they're both made with whole grains, so I figure a few crackers here and there isn't going to destroy my healthy eating plans.

I also picked up some multivitamins, a B-complex supplement, and salmon oil capsules.  I started taking them yesterday and, believe it or not, I felt the benefits immediately!  Ordinarily I'm ready for bed by 8:30 or 9:00, but last night I couldn't even think about sleep until after 11:00!  I was certain I would sleep until 10:00 this morning because of it, but I woke up at 5:40 and didn't even feel like I needed to go back to sleep.  I'm going to like this!  I just hope it continues LOL!

Several commenters have mentioned that they are inspired by my blogs to try the Cabbage Soup Diet themselves.  I am so happy that people are encouraged by my experience to get into a healthier way of eating, but I want to remind you all that you should check with your doctor before trying the CSD, just to make sure your own health/medical situation is okay.

I plan to continue updating you all on my progress as well as my different ways of cooking and eating more healthy.  The plus to all of this is that my daughters are going to benefit as well.  They are both overweight, though not as seriously as I am, and I'm anxious to help them get a handle on their weight before it gets out of control like mine has.  They both like vegetables and they're both willing to try semi-vegetarian eating, so that's going to make things a lot easier!  Hopefully we'll all be learning valuable eating lessons and good habits that we can carry with us for the rest of our lives!

Blessings to you all!  Have a wonderful week :-)
Jul. 25, 2010 9:05 am
So glad you are feeling better and that this experience has been a good one for you! Keep up the good work - the scale is just another tool in your health, not a ruler to measure it by! Feeling great is its own reward! Wishing you continued success! Jan
Jul. 25, 2010 9:17 am
Great you are feeling more energetic! Will start next sunday! Hope you continue to feel well!
Jul. 25, 2010 9:31 am
It sounds like you're doing great, Keri. Good luck in keeping things healthy!
Jul. 25, 2010 9:35 am
So glad that things are working for you. Keep up the great eating style!!
Jul. 25, 2010 9:55 am
@WFDM - That's a big part of the reason I haven't felt compelled to go buy a scale. I know that there are times during weight loss that you can plateau or even gain weight (because of increasing muscle mass) and that can be discouraging. I'd rather measure my success by how I feel and by how my clothes are fitting. Thanks for the good luck wishes! **** @love to cook - I know! It's so great!! I'm looking forward to even more energy so I can have fun with my kids! I actually shopped at three different stores yesterday without feeling tired! Usually I can only make it through one before I'm getting cranky and crabby because I'm ready to be done. I'm loving this! Good luck with your own efforts and be sure to keep us posted!! **** @Citrus Punch & Cindy in Pensacola - Thanks so much for your continued encouragement! Having the support of so many people here has made a big difference in keeping my attitude positive this past week. I KNOW I can continue to have success with this!
Jul. 25, 2010 11:19 am
I hear ya on the beef thing. I really don't eat a lot of beef. I def don't do hamburgers, but I do love a good grilled steak. Unfortunatly, it doesn't like me.. I guess since I don't eat a lot of beef my body can't handle the digestion. But still about once every month or two I torture myself and eat my grilled steak that has been marinated in Dale's sauce. Oh the heavenly choir sings because the taste of that steak is out of this world!! Keep up the good work and remember to keep up the protein levels, if you start to see your nails are peeling or are getting flemsy, you'll need to eat more protein an take a extra vitamen E supp.
Jul. 25, 2010 11:21 am
P.S. I have found that deer meat, I can tolerate and it is very lean and is delicious.. We ate deer for a whole winter without eating beef, and once we ran out, we were back on the beef an that is where my intolerance to beef began.
Jul. 25, 2010 11:34 am
Congrats on all your progress! You are a very inspirational writer! Since you mentioned vitamin B-12, have you ever checked into taking the sublingual ones, you don't swollow the pills, simply put 1 under your tongue and your body absorbes it as it melts.
Jul. 25, 2010 1:36 pm
I am very happy to hear about your progress and positivity! I am also very impressed that you resisted weighing yourself too frequently whilst on the soup diet. As you said, it is better to go by how you feel and how your clothes are fitting. There are so many awesome vegetable recipes on this site, I am sure you will have fun trying out new dishes. Yay for you!
Jul. 25, 2010 1:38 pm
I really think if we are tuned in, we can listen to our body and know intuitively certain things we need to do. Keep listening! I am enjoying traveling this journey with you.
Jul. 25, 2010 2:50 pm
Sounds like you are doing a great job so far! Good luck!
Jul. 25, 2010 3:50 pm
Good for you Keri. Glad thing are going well. Mag
Jul. 25, 2010 5:53 pm
Excellent report. ;o)
Jul. 25, 2010 5:59 pm
Congrats, Keri!!!! Hey~ Can I put all the ingredients fot the soup in a crockpot and cook it over night? I just got home from store! I will chop and wait for your answer! Might try to find you on FB!
Jul. 25, 2010 8:33 pm
Good luck to you, cabbage soup or not! You've just got to find what works for you.
Jul. 26, 2010 5:06 am
Okay Keri, just had to point out that as I'm reading your blog today, I glanced over and saw the pop up ad..."You gotta love lean beef." I just about choked on my coffee! Anyway, congrats on your success and I hope you can continue on in your healthy eat quest.
Jul. 26, 2010 5:24 am
Keri, you mentioned possibly joining Weight Watchers when the registration fee was waved. I received an e-mail this morning that you can join in participating areas for $1.00 plus the cost of the meeting. Check this out -
Jul. 26, 2010 10:43 am
@Judy – Thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m starting to use stevia instead of the Sweet ‘N’ Low for sweetening my drinks and I’m getting away from prepared “diet” drinks because of the aspartame. I’m certain that these things are actually causing me to retain weight. I do know about the studies that have been done that show these things to cause cancer in lab rats, but we also have to realize that the amounts of these substances that are fed to the rats are thousands of times the amount a human would ever consider ingesting (for example, one study fed the rats the equivalent of a human eating 10,000 packets of Sweet ‘N’ low a day). As part of my “get healthy” plan, though, I’m trying to get completely away from using artificial sweeteners of any kind. Thanks for your words of encouragement and thanks for the info about Stevia Clear!! **** @LucyMarz – Thanks for the good luck wishes! I’m ashamed to admit it, but the 20 cans of Pringles each month were paid for with food stamps. I no longer qualify for food stamps, which is a GOOD thing, because I was buying a lot of junk food with them because I could afford to. Now that I’m on a very limited grocery budget, the junk food is out of the question…something I’m VERY glad about! Even so, I do have the scale at my parents’ house available and I can weigh myself once a week or even more often (they only live about 2 miles from me) until I can get a scale of my own. Maybe I’ll ask for one for my birthday in October! For exercise, I’m parking farther away from things, going down the stairs at work instead of using the elevator (can’t go UP the stairs because of my knee, but going down is still exercise!), and I’ll be getting the DVDs mentioned by Confederate Rose a few comments above yours. Trust me, I do acknowledge that I got myself into this condition and I have to get myself out. My biggest problem has been that I wasn’t ready to change my lifestyle before. Now I am :-) **** @MShayinJax – Congratulations on your weight loss and exercise accomplishments!! I’m glad to have inspired you to get back on track with that! Don’t go into your vacation assuming it’s going to be diet sabotage!!! It’s still possible to make healthy choices, even when you’re eating out. One HUGE tip that someone offered me recently was this: When you go out to eat, ask your server to have the kitchen staff automatically box up half of your food before it’s brought to the table. If it’s already boxed up and they hold it in the back until you’re ready to leave, you won’t be tempted to eat the entire thing just because it’s sitting there. Take the rest home with you (or back to your hotel room) and save it for lunch or dinner the next day. Good luck!! YOU CAN DO IT!
Jul. 26, 2010 2:55 pm
Hi Keri :) I'm glad that you are feeling good and doing well with your healthy eating. Its great that you are doing this for yourself. I get you on the beef thing it upsets my stomach. I eat beef once a month because there is a certain time of month that I absolutely crave it ;)That is the only time it doesn't bother me. For the irregularity have you ever tried all-bran? Definitely gross as a bowl of cereal but sprinkled into some yogurt it is yummy. Or they have the flakes which is really good. And if you don't mind me suggesting a workout DVD, try Denise Austin's Shrink your Female Fat zones. It is a low impact work out that uses a ball. I had knee problems a while ago because I was to over weight and I was able to do that workout. But it worked really great for me. Scale Schmale I loathe those things. If your feeling good don't put to much worry into what the scale says :) Your doing great!
Jul. 26, 2010 6:44 pm
Hi rae! Thanks for the tip on the Denise Austin DVD. I'll look for it when I'm looking for another series that was recommended to me. I definitely cannot stand All-Bran cereal. I call it cereal worms LOL! I don't even like it as a yogurt topping. I'm finding that eating more veggies is helping with the regularity, though. Thanks for the encouragement!!
Jul. 26, 2010 7:29 pm
LOL - cereal worms! I agree. Going to try your cabbage soup recipe. Probably won't follow the whole thing. Glad things worked out for you! Keep going! I think I'm going to try some those vitamins that go under the tongue somebody mentioned above. I hate taking "horse pills".
Jul. 26, 2010 11:17 pm
You may have an "allergy" to beef. It may not be all meat protein. I sometimes have the opposite problem with large amounts of beef. I have been diagnosed with IBD, not to be confused with IBS, for 7 years so do not know if that plays into my problem with beef or not. I agree with you that increasing vegetables in my diet helps with my regularity. I try to balance my protein sources and quantities as much as I can. In my research, sugar free products are equally bad for you as the ones with sugar. They are both toxins!!!!! Toxins can prevent weight loss. That is why people who drink diet sodas are still overweight.
Jul. 27, 2010 12:41 am
Good for you!! I'm glad to hear your feeling great:)
Jul. 27, 2010 9:01 am
@Magnolia Blossom - Enjoy the soup! Even if you don't follow the eating plan, adding the soup to your regular menu is a good thing. It's delicious and it's super healthy for you. You can change it up so many ways by adding different seasonings and/or protein of some sort (beans, meat, tofu, etc). I want to try those under-the-tongue vitamins, too, but not because I have trouble taking pills (I can take a handful at a time with no problem). Sublingual (under the tongue) medications are more readily absorbed by your bloodstream than solid pills you swallow, so they're usually more effective. Good luck with your own healthy eating! **** @cookhealthy - I definitely have some kind of aversion to beef, but I didn't realize how drastic it was until Beef and Tomatoes day. I have avoided eating beef except on rare occasions for several years now and I did realize that I didn't feel so great any time I did eat it, but my body's reaction last week really opened my eyes. I know I need to stay pretty much as far away from that stuff as I can and only eat a very small portion of it when I do have some. I definitely feel better after cutting out the Diet Coke. I used to drink that stuff by the case! It wasn't unusual for me to drink 6-8 cans or more in a day. Now I'm down to 1 or less a week! I figure once in awhile like that won't hurt, just like that occasional piece of candy, just so long as I don't get back into the habit of drinking it on a daily basis. Thanks for stopping to read and comment! **** @sillasmiles - Thanks for your continued encouragement! I hope your week is going great so far :-)
Jul. 27, 2010 9:23 am
I think keeping an eye off of the scale is a great idea. Priority number one is feeling better and boy it sounds like your healthy eating plan is going great for you. Congrats on listening to your body and getting so in-tune you know what it needs and cutting out the junk. I hope some of your positive energy rubs off on me, I could use it!! I've had a problem with eating most red meat for a few years now. I've completly had to swear off most of it but I still love a grilled burger, which I find easier to handle than a steak.
B L 
Jul. 27, 2010 10:50 am
Hi Keri! I am going to the store today and hoping to start the csd tomorrow.... too many comments for me to read through today - you are so popular! :) I wanted to ask... did you put anything on your salads? I cannot eat dry salad but don't want to interfere with the plan - suggestions? (Besides lemon :)
Jul. 27, 2010 11:06 am
For all of you that think this diet need a boost, Try a little hot sauce to bring out the taste when you get ready to eat. Try a little and you will be supprised. Also try to sip it cold on a hot day. Put it in a blinder with a dash of hot sauce, and sip away. it works. good luck
Jul. 27, 2010 12:09 pm
Keri, good for you for keeping up with it! I have to catch up on my reading, but it sounds like you are doing great! I'm glad you are taking your vitamins and supplements - it really makes such a big difference! And crftaholic has a great idea to eat/drink it cold, like a gazpacho! The last time I made this soup (I used it for lunch and as a pre-dinner snack to fill me up so I'd eat smaller portions - kind of like a salad replacement) I made a big batch but each serving I'd season it differently - shake of Tabasco one day, Chipotle Tabasco the next, Worcestershire, even a little red wine vinegar. That way I didn't feel like I was eating the same thing, day after day.
Jul. 27, 2010 1:56 pm
Good for you, Keri! You know...until you mentioned it...I never realized but the healthier, whole foods are on the perimiter of the store...weird! I hope everything continues to improve...I think I need to start taking vitamins...I can't get to sleep until midnight or so and it's nearly impossible to get me out of bed in the morning. Anyways, great job and continued success! :)
Jul. 27, 2010 1:59 pm
Hey keri! Congrats! I just saw your question to me on your last blog - I add ground flaxseed to my smoothies. We buy it whole then grind a few tablespoons at a time and keep them in the fridge, that way you only have to grind them every other week or so.
Jul. 27, 2010 3:18 pm
@Jena - Thanks for the encouragement! I hope you have some success in making the changes you'd like to make, too! **** @B L - I know, right?!?! I can't believe how huge this thing has gotten!! For the salads, I tossed mine with a little balsamic vinegar and they were great. I also really enjoyed tomatoes sliced up with a little salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar on them. You can have the tomatoes on any of the fruit days and on Beef and Tomatoes day. **** @crftaholic - You are SO right! I did that exact thing with my soup a few times. I took a Magic Bullet mug full and whirled it around to puree it, then mixed in some hot sauce. It was delicious! It's also good with a little balsamic vinegar drizzled in your bowl. I didn't think to try it cold, but I'll definitely do that next time around! Thanks for the ideas!! **** @Christine M - I'm seriously considering making another batch of the soup to keep in the freezer, because I'm already missing it! I'd love to have it available for lunches on days when there aren't any leftovers from dinner the night before. That way I have something I can grab quickly and not have to fall back on that nasty ramen soup junk. I also added different seasonings and such to the soup to change it up. It made it seem like I was eating something different every day, so I didn't get bored with it. **** @Abbey - I never realized that myself until someone else posted about it on the Recipe Exchange recently. I shopped around the outside of the store and found I didn't really NEED anything from any of the other aisles except the vanilla from the baking aisle! It was awesome!! **** @MK! - Thanks for the congrats!! And thanks for the tip about the flax. I've been buying the already ground flax meal, but I wondered if it was losing some of its nutritional value by being stored in its ground form. My Magic Bullet can grind seeds, so I'm going to switch to buying only the whole seeds and grinding them as I need them. Have a great week everyone!!
Jul. 27, 2010 4:39 pm
Yeah I don't know about it losing its nutritional value, but I do think it keeps better/longer whole thats why we do it that way. I have a magic bullet too!! I use it for all my smoothies. My mom marked the cups at every 1/2 cup so when we make smoothies you fill to the first line with juice, second line with yogurt/soy milk/kefir/etc, to the third line with frozen fruit. Then there is still room if you want to sprinkle in some flax seeds, protein powder or tofu, honey, or whatever add-ins you want! :o)
Jul. 28, 2010 2:22 am
Congrats on making a life choice! I just wanted to suggest a wonderful site that I find to be a great help. Its They have lots of tools, a great community and with the exercise and food logs its easy to make sure you are eating right and tracking your exercise. Keep up the good work!
Jul. 28, 2010 10:22 am
@MK! - That's a great idea to mark the Magic Bullet cups like that! I usually just toss the frozen fruit in the cup and then add a bit of juice or milk plus my add-ins and whirl away. I don't usually use yogurt because I don't care for the flavor it gives the smoothies. Funny, cuz I love yogurt otherwise! I'm going to take your suggestion, though, and mark the cups. That way I can keep better track of how much of what I'm putting in there so I can enter it into my food diary. Thanks! **** @jessiekat - Thanks for the congrats and the web site! I was wondering about a site with tools like that. I'll put it to good use! Have a wonderful day!!
Jul. 28, 2010 12:33 pm
That is WONDERFUL that you've had such a great experience and are able to move into the next phase of new eating habits! I hope you continue to feel great! :)
Jul. 29, 2010 12:52 pm
@SANDRA_92083 - Thanks for the encouragement! I'm really excited about continuing this journey :-)
Jul. 30, 2010 5:53 am
You are doing great! Are you a member of sparkpeople? It has really helped me to log my food intake there and keep track of my calories. When I am tracking, I am staying more accountable. Not to mention the inspiring stories there of others who are successful at weight loss. Good luck in your journey!!
Jul. 30, 2010 7:34 am
Way too go!!!!
Jul. 30, 2010 8:24 am
@Cat - Thanks! I had an account at SparkPeople a few years ago, but I found I didn't really have time to navigate the site very much and I kept getting tons of e-mails from them, so I canceled the account. I do have an account at a different site that tracks my calories and also calculates how many calories a day I should eat if I want to maintain my current weight, gain weight, or lose weight. It's really cool! I can't remember the site right now (it's in my favorites on my home computer), but I'll try to remember to post it here when I get home from work today. **** @Cat Hill - Thank you!!
Jul. 30, 2010 8:39 am
Just some food for thought but you may also have a low tolerance for gluten. A lot of people with IBS find that it is better when they reduce the amount of gluten in their diet. Also, meat takes several days to fully digest in the digestive tract which is probably why you noticed a difference on the Beef day, in addition to all the fiber you were getting from the fruits and vegetables. You daily fiber intake should be about 13g per day most foods that we eat even the ones marketed as high in fiber contain less than 3g
Jul. 30, 2010 5:36 pm
Keri, I am soooo proud of you! Ya done good, Girl! Wanted to let you know that I conned...okay, convinced my DH to go on the diet with me. Everything is good to go for Monday, new week, new diet, new lifestyle. We have the entire weekend to get rid of certain temptations! Perhaps you can blog about your experiences during the "off" weeks, how you balanced it all out, substitutions you may have made; that sort of thing, and I'm really curious about the meat vs. vegetarian aspect. Although we define ourselves as carnivores, I, too, have a problem digesting meat; specifically beef. Love the blog. Very informative and enlightening!
Jul. 30, 2010 6:01 pm
Great reading Keri. You were subtle! Keep blogging!
Jul. 31, 2010 9:10 am
This blog cracked me up.......Good job!
Aug. 1, 2010 12:09 am
Hey lady, I know JUST how you feel. My family had black icing on a cake (result: what my kids named 'smurf poop') and it took me, well, a few days longer to see the effects. LOL Good job on the diet and healthy eating-you have inspired me to keep going on my own. By the way, for a healthy meat substitute, my family (small kids and all) loves the "Tasty Lentil Tacos" on this site. Even my meat 'n'potatoes father-in-law raves about them. They're especially healthy if you make a taco salad and forgo the tortillas and shells.
Aug. 1, 2010 6:05 am
Hello Keri - This blog series has inspired me to start the diet. I just had my first bowl of soup for breakfaxt. I made it with spicy V8 and added horseradish and worcestershire (bloddy mary in a bowl). It is really delicious but a bit on the hot side which DH loves. I'm looking forward to seeing this particular journey through. Thanks so much for writing about your experience and the tips and tricks to make it through. (love the banana ice cream as I HATE skim milk)
Aug. 1, 2010 6:08 am
BTW - I found weight wathers on-line to be a great tool to stay on track. Very versatile, real food for real people kind of plan.
Aug. 1, 2010 9:08 am
@ZOPOOH – Thank you for the tip about gluten intolerance. I’ll have to start experimenting with that. That would make sense, since I had less IBS issues during the CSD week and there was no gluten intake that week! I’m definitely going to keep track of any issues I might have in the next few weeks and take note of how much gluten I’ve consumed during those times. I’m also working on getting our fiber intake increased, by adding lots of beans and leafy green vegetables to our diet. I’m sure that’s another part of the reason I didn’t have many IBS issues during the CSD week – lots of fiber from all those fruits and veggies, plus the fiber in the soup. **** @Southern Gma – You con artist, you! Seriously, though, I hope you and DH enjoy the week and have success! In case you haven’t seen it, I wrote a blog about the ways I jazzed up the soup along with the additional allowed foods so the week never got boring. I do plan to write another blog about the healthy eating meals I’ve prepared since going off the CSD. I had a couple of days where I didn’t stay on track very well, but those were “Life Happened” days, as usual. The 31st was my mom’s birthday and she chose a Mexican restaurant to eat at. I made sure not to choose anything that was drowning in cheese or sour cream, though! And I only ate half of my meal and took the rest home for another time. Good luck this week and feel free to give me a shout-out if you need encouragement! **** @Maureen – Thanks for the encouragement!! **** @mauigirl - :-D Thanks for the compliments!! **** @Realmom – I’m glad to have been an inspiration for you! Thanks for reminding me about the “Tasty Lentil Tacos” recipe! I had forgotten about it, but we really like it, too. In fact, I think that’s what I’ll make for dinner tomorrow night. Good luck with your healthy eating efforts! **** @BRENDA – I’m so glad you’ve decided to try the CSD, too! I do hope you remembered to speak with your doctor first! If not, please at least give them a call tomorrow morning. I LOVE your idea about making the soup Bloody Mary style!! I’m definitely going to try that next time around. Good luck this week! If you need any extra encouragement, please come on over to the Recipe Exchange and we’ll give you pep-talks!!
Aug. 1, 2010 4:19 pm
could you please send me a copy of your csdiet! also what supplements you are taking. this sounds like I could do it!
Aug. 1, 2010 4:19 pm
my email is
Aug. 2, 2010 5:08 am
Thanks Keri - Day 2 and I'm cooking my spaghetti squash to have for lunch. Seems wierd eating this soup for breakfast. Oh well. I just keep saying "it's only a week, it's only a week"
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About Me
I have loved cooking since I was a young girl helping my mother make dinner or bake cookies during school vacations. My favorite class in elementary school was "Nutrition", because we cooked almost every day. I have two daughters who love cooking and baking as much as I do and my husband is even getting interested. He recently started making bread from scratch and he's doing an awesome job of it! We share our home with pets of all different kinds, including birds, cats, dogs, rabbits, a rat, snakes, frogs, a tarantula, and a turtle. We also provide foster care for a local dog rescue, taking in abused, neglected, abandoned dogs and giving them a safe, loving environment to live in until they find their "fur-ever" homes.
My favorite things to cook
Rosemary garlic roasted chicken with roasted garlic gravy; Skillet cabbage; Almost any baked goods; Anything I can make in my slow cooker! Somewhere around September 2008 I decided I was going to start baking all the bread my children and I eat. I'm COMPLETELy loving it and my kids like to brag that "my mommy MADE this bread!" Their favorite is when I make bread items that aren't your traditional loaf of bread, like hamburger buns, bagels, and soft pretzels.
My favorite family cooking traditions
For several generations, my father's family has made a "family tradition" dessert item at each major holiday. At Easter, it's Italian Cheesecake, made with ricotta cheese and anise flavoring (published as "Italian Cheesecake II", if you'd like to check it out). At Thanksgiving, it's "Roly Polies", which were invented by my great grandmother when she had leftover pie crust dough she needed to use up. My absolute favorite, though, is Christmas, when we make Birds Nests. These are made out of walnut-sized balls of a sweet pie crust type dough rolled out very thin. Then we cut slits in the dough without cutting through the edge, gather every other strip, twist them up into a jumble, and then deep fry the pastries. When they are cooled, we sprinkle them with powdered sugar. It doesn't matter how many we make, they all get eaten!
My cooking triumphs
I managed to make decorated sugar cookies for Christmas 2008 that turned out awesome!! I've NEVER gotten sugar cookies to turn out good looking enough to warrant decorating them. They always turn into shapeless blobs. This particular time I reduced the amount of butter in the recipe by 25% and chilled the cut-outs for 15 minutes immediately before baking them. They turned out beautiful!
My cooking tragedies
My first attempt at making Fairy Food candy (also called seafoam candy) was a disaster! I tried cooking it too quickly over too high of heat, so it burned, smelling up the entire house for DAYS. Thank goodness I still had enough ingredients (and courage!) to try again, and everyone at my family's Christmas gathering was impressed with my second attempt. I conveniently "forgot" to tell them about the first batch :-)
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