Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin pie’

Progress Report #1

January 24, 2012

There you have it…. eight months of hard work paying off!  I’m down 65 pounds since April 2011.  It took me a LONG time to come to terms with my before picture, but I have.  I’m ready to share with the world.  I still have 35 pounds to go, but I’m not heading back to the neglected state of health on the left, thankyouverymuch.

I got a facebook message from my jr. high choir director from church (talk about a blast from the past!) who told me that she is a health coach and asked me to spread the word for her.  I said no.  I only spread the word for programs/products/people that I’ve tried and had great success with.  She asked if I wanted to try her program.  Just look at that BEFORE picture!  Does it look like I want to lose weight? (Well, I do look happy, but that’s beside the point.)  Yes!  I’ll try another weight loss program…. why not?  I’ve tried ALL the other ones.

My journey began with aching knees, a sore back and general lethargy due to carrying around 100 pounds that I didn’t need.  (I can’t even lift 100 lbs!)  I began eating five of the meals from the company each day and one meal I prepared (or ate out.)  This is the easiest plan I’ve ever seen.  And the meals are a variety of types of food, all nutritionally equal, so I could eat five of their brownies a day if I wanted to.  Some days I wanted to. But I don’t think I ever ate five brownies in one day.  But I was allowed to and that made me happy.

As with any self discipline issue, it was HARD!  And I didn’t want to follow the program when everyone around me was eating movie popcorn.  I WANTED pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.  But I realized that eating what I wanted got me into the horrific shape I was in.  (That shape would be a round ball.)  I changed the input to change the outlook.

I’m still on this journey of feeling empowered with the knowledge I’ve gained.  I can go to a potluck and not freak out and fall off the wagon.  I don’t feel deprived, I feel empowered.  It’s a great feeling.  So great that I decided to be a health coach myself and guide others to optimal health and a feeling of empowerment!  Now if I had only taught jr. high choir, I could send them all a message on facebook!  Paying it forward!

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

April 7, 2011

Anyone remember when the pumpkin shortage was announced back in the Fall of 2010??  Well, I, for one, was not going to be short on pumpkin come Thanksgiving time.  I stocked up when I found the cans of orange goodness in a local store.  Then we got our adoption referral and left for Colombia the day before Thanksgiving.  You guessed it, I didn’t cook anything with pumpkin last Fall.  When Christmas rolled around, we had been home from Colombia with our new daughter for three days…. and cooking anything was not on my list.  I was in survival mode.

Fast-forward three-and-a-half months to this week, and envision me standing in front of my pantry staring at cans and cans of pumpkin.  It was raining, even hailing, outside… yes, we still live in Phoenix!  Pumpkin cooking time had arrived and I was ready to fully embrace it.  I searched through the cupboards and took inventory.  Next, I went to www.supercook.com and typed in the ingredients from my pantry.  They ALWAYS can come up with a recipe for you no matter how strange your items are!  Amazing!  Well, I didn’t have any cooking oil, so that severely limited my pumpkin choices, but one did catch my eye…. Pumpkin Pie Pudding.  Sounded divine.  I was salivating thinking that in an hour or so, I could be savoring a yummy pumpkin dessert.

Not so.  As it turns out, the recipe I found was yummy, and easy, and quick to prepare…. but it was a slow-cooker recipe.  SEVEN to EIGHT long hours in the crock pot were required before I could partake of non-shortage pumpkin goodness.  I prepared it anyway… and 10:00 at last night. 

When my husband’s alarm went off this morning at 5:00, I asked him if he could turn off the crock pot.  He replied in the affirmative…. but failed miserably to act on his promise once he arrived downstairs.  When I strolled into the kitchen at 8:15…. yes, it was too late to resuscitate the supposed-to-be-orange-now-dark-brown dessert.  Pumpkin Pie Pudding had morphed into Dark Pumpkin Brick from the HOT place.  Sadly, I got a spoon from the utensil drawer to investigate the darkness inside the pot.  To my surprise, it actually was yummy pumpkin pie pudding, encased in a thick skin.  I scraped off the top layer and removed the savory remains to a separate dish.  YEAH! 

All was not lost.  PPP was a wonderful, cold weather treat today!

Thanksgiving Traditions

November 27, 2008

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Happy Thanksgiving Day to all you fine readers!  I pray you are thankful and full. 

I found these pictures from Thanksgiving 2006, but they are exactly what we are also partaking of today… in 2008.  In fact, as far back as I can remember… and that’s about 38 or 39 years…. we’ve relished the first three: Stove Top Stuffing, Mom’s Pumpkin Pie and Turkey.  The homemade buns were added to the spread circa 1993.

Now I’ve had gourmet stuffing with wild rice and bits of apple, celery and wild mushrooms.   I’ve had cornbread stuffing with almonds and cinnamon.  But none illicit memories of “home” like, as we affectionately call mom’s stuffing, Stove Top Trailer Trash Stuffing.  It’s predictable.  It’s constant.  It’s yummy… and it sings “Welcome home” to me every Thanksgiving Day.

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Mom’s homemade pumpkin pie is also the bomb.  We have tried deviations through the years with pumpkin cream cheese rolls and pumpkin cheesecake.  But are they on the menu the following year?  Nada.  It’s the old, familiar pie that returns and is welcomed with glee and with Cool Whip.

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Nothing smells as good as a home where the turkey is roasting in the oven.  And when that little red dealie pops out, sweet mercy, IT’S TIME!  I’ve read suggestions and ideas and recipes to improve Thanksgiving Day turkeys, but like the pumpkin pie and Stove Top, we keep going back to the ol’ turkey in a pan.  My favorite sure-fire turkey cooking idea was the popcorn stuffing.  It’s the easiest recipe to tell when the bird is done because when the popcorn blows open the door of the oven … it’s ready. (Don’t try this at home.)

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Here we have the newest addition to the Nikander Thanksgiving menu… Coral’s Buns… which have been renamed and are now known as Linda’s Buns.  I learned to make these from two dear friends in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Coral and Marilyn.  The buns are sweet and soft and melt in your mouth and sop up gravy like nobodies business.  I made them yesterday and my brother happened to stop by as they were in the oven and the aroma assaulted him at the door.  About five minutes after he went home, the phone rang.  He said, “Julie made her homemade soup and we were wondering if you wanted to come for dinner and bring your buns.”  How can you refuse an offer like that?

Keep the family Thanksgiving traditions strong in your home and may God bless us each and every one.