Thursday, July 28, 2016

beef taco egg muffins

We had tacos last week, so I had a bunch of stuff in the fridge to use up. What better way than to make egg muffins?  You can throw pretty much anything in these and they'll come out great.  They freeze well, too. (Actually, Bob had tacos.  I threw some tortilla chips in a bowl and topped them with the taco ingredients.)

Beef Taco Egg Muffins


8 oz. leftover taco beef (if yours has some liquid in it, make sure you don't put that in, as it will make the egg muffins soggy)
1/2 a medium onion, diced
3 Scallions, sliced
8 Eggs
1/4 Cup milk
1/4 Cup diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk.  Mix meat, tomatoes, scallions, and salt and pepper into the eggs.  You can mix the cheese into the eggs, or you can put it on top of each muffin before baking, Your choice.
  3. Pour mixture into muffin tin.  Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Pop them out of the pan within 10 minutes so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. 

You can top these with some sour cream and salsa if you want to.

These taste best when warm from the oven, but they will chill or freeze and reheat just fine for at least 4 to 5 days.  If using the microwave to reheat, use 60% power so they don't turn out rubbery or hard around the edges.  100% power might kill them.

Note:  If you've seen my other egg muffin recipes, you'll note that I always cook the veggies before I mix them with the eggs.  Typically you should to release the water from the veggies.  That way your eggs don't get soggy. In this case I didn't because I was being lazy and didn't feel like it. They came out fine, though.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

baked egg boats

Whenever Bob goes camping, like this weekend, I usually make a special breakfast for when he gets home on Sunday.  He usually stops for a fast food breakfast, but I like to make something to offset all the burgers and hot dogs he eats while he's gone.  I don't mean I'm trying to offset the calories.  Just making something a little more substantial, like a treat.

While scrolling through Facebook this weekend I found a recipe for baked egg boats.  It looked very quick and easy.  The recipe called for several items I don't have, like pancetta, heavy cream, baguettes, and Gruyere cheese, so I improvised. (OK, so basically I didn't have ANY of the items except the salt, pepper, and eggs.) No need to run out and buy stuff you'll only use once. And, honestly, you can use any ingredients you want here.  Just pre-cook any veggies you use, since they tend to release water upon cooking.

Here's the original recipe:  Baked Egg Boats

Here's my version. It's not a weight loss surgery-friendly recipe, since I wasn't making it for myself.

Baked Egg Boats


4 grinder rolls (long sandwich rolls--everyone calls these something different, depending where you live)
5 eggs
1/3 cup half & half (or milk)
8 breakfast sausgages, sliced
3 ounces shredded sharp cheddar (use any cheese you like, as much as you like)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut a deep “V” through the tops of each roll. Don't cut through the bottom, and make sure you leave the ends intact so the eggs don't run out.  You want a nice dam to hold it all in. Partially unstuff the rolls. Set aside.
  3. Place the eggs and half & half or milk into a mixing bowl and lightly beat together. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide and pour the mixture into each roll and place onto a baking sheet. Top with more cheese if you like.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and set in the center. Season with salt and pepper. Note:  I baked mine for 35 minutes, and I still had one that wasn't cooked all the way. You'll have to watch and test for doneness.
  6. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, cut and serve.
Note:  Don't throw away the "Vs" you cut out of the rolls. Toast them in the toaster oven and slather with butter.  It will hold you over until the egg boats are done.  I wouldn't want anyone to starve!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

tomatoes are almost ready!

My cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen finally.  I only bought one plant, just in case I kill them (I'm a known plant killer!).  But they're growing well this year.  Basil is doing well, also. Although I think it's going to take the entire summer to get enough tomatoes for a Caprese salad. It's worth it, though.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

my 500th blog post

Today I'm making my 500th blog post.  I can't believe it's been 500 posts and two and half years since I've started this blog. It's been a way for me to vent, possibly help someone else who is in the same boat, and just do what I like to do--write.

I wasn't really sure what to write about, since I don't really have anything "deep and meaningful" to say at the moment.  Maybe I'll save "deep and meaningful" for the 1,000th post.

Instead, I'll just say that I've finally made an appointment for a consultation to have my excess skin removed. I'll be going on August 3 to see the plastic surgeon.

Before the weight loss surgery, and even afterwards, I said that I didn't think I'd want to have the skin removed, as I'd be happy just to lose X pounds. However, I've changed my mind.  And it's not about appearance; it's about comfort, really.  I'm starting to experience discomfort when sleeping, since all that extra skin hangs to the side and I'm a side-sleeper.  It prevents me from doing certain exercises because it limits my range of movement.  Also, it's a real pain in the ass to shop for pants.  If I buy pants to fit my waist and all the skin, the legs and hips are huge.  If I buy them to fit my legs and hips, the waist is tight.

The procedure is called "panniculectomy" and is performed to remove the panniculus, which is the "apron" of excess skin and fat hanging from the lower abdomen.  Basically, it's what's left over after losing a ton of weight and having done all you can do in the exercise department. I've been reading a lot about it, and this is different from a abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck").  A tummy tuck is done more for cosmetic reasons--tighten the underlying muscles, remove excess fat and hanging skin--whereas the panniculectomy is more about medical necessity due to health and hygiene issues caused by a large and hanging panniculus.  What that means for me is that a tummy tuck likely wouldn't be covered by insurance; however, a panniculectomy might be covered.  If insurance will cover it, I'd much rather have the tummy tuck, as the panniculectomy wouldn't tighten the muscles, which means I might have to have a tummy tuck later if I want it look better.

Anyway, I had planned on waiting until I lost my weight regain (29 pounds...I've since lost 14 of those pounds!); however, both my bariatric surgeon and my trainer both say I should get a consultation now. That way, I know what I have to do to prepare, which procedure is right for me, how much it will cost (that scares me!), etc.

I'll be sure to report back after my appointment and let you know how it went. Bob will be going with me, as he wants to hear about the procedure, recovery time, etc..  He'll also be there to lend support, which I appreciate.

I'll leave you with a few pictures and posts that I've enjoyed throughout the last two and half years.

six months and 100 pounds lost
happy one year surgiversary to me!
my little black dress
on my own, but not all on my own

Bailey, Max and Leia.

Max as a kitten. :)

Before surgery.  Bermuda, September 2013.

 After surgery. 2015, I believe.

Monday, July 18, 2016

update: time to check the knees

Well, I went to see the orthopedic doctor last week.  My knees have been bothering me more than usual lately, so I finally made the appointment.

It was easy. Spoke to the doctor for a bit.  Told him where it hurt, when it started, that I have pain walking up and down the stairs, etc. Then they took six x-rays: one of my hips, three of my knees together and then two of the side of each knee.

The verdict:

  1. Arthritis in my right knee:  on a scale of 1 to 100, it's a 1.  That's a good thing. I was expecting it to be worse, since my maternal grandmother was in a wheelchair by the time she was 70, as was bedridden shortly thereafter.  I'm still disappointed, though, because the main reason I had weight loss surgery was to prevent arthritis in my knees.
  2. A bone spur at the top of each kneecap. They look like little cat claws.  Appropriate, given the fact that I'm a crazy cat lady. Nothing will be done about these for now.
  3. Very tight hamstrings. Apparently the hamstrings help the front of the knee move and if they're really tight, it can cause pain in the front of the knee. The cure for this is lots of stretching.  
  4. No problems with my hips, but he said they're tight. Not sure what that means, although he commented that movement seems a bit restricted in my left hip.
I went to the trainer, Mark, Friday night and he showed me some stretches for my hamstrings. Not fun!  At all.  I'd rather have had a strenuous workout than to stretch until I feel like the back of my leg will explode. I felt like I was on fire from the back of knee all the way down through my toes!  He showed me three different stretches, which he said should be done three to five times a week. The doctor had told me everyday, twice a day, so I'll aim for somewhere in the middle.

Here are some examples of the stretches I'll be doing. The goal is to be able to touch my toes. That seems really undoable right now--I can barely go past my knees!

This one is easy, and it feels good on my back, too.

In this one, my knee is supposed to be bent.  It's pretty close, though. 

This one BURNS!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

time to check the knees

I'm finally headed to the orthopedic doctor to have my knees checked out.  I go tomorrow morning. I'm getting pretty tired of being in pain when I walk up and down the stairs.  And after almost every workout I need to ice my knees.  My trainer has been after me for weeks to make the appointment, so I finally did.  He's really good about making sure I'm working out safely ("work above the pain" and "stop if you feel stabbing pain!") and asks me every single time I see him how my knees and back are doing.  He has knees issues himself, so he's very conscious of it.  As a matter of fact, he's going this week also to see about a revision of his previous knee replacement.

I'm nervous about going tomorrow, because I'm pretty much convinced I have arthritis.  The main reason I had weight loss surgery was to try and prevent that, as my maternal grandmother had it and was in a wheelchair and then eventually bedridden by the time she was 70. Scary stuff.  But I know half the battle is being active, and that's exactly what I'm doing now. It's ironic how my knees actually felt better when I was obese.  It's only since I lost the weight that I'm having issues with them.  But I've heard from doctors that all those years of wear and tear have a tendency to catch up with people once they lose the weight.  UGH!  It's just not fair.  (Yes, I want to have a tantrum...)

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

last night's dinner

Last night's dinner was sushi. Bob was working and I didn't feel like making anything.  The only time I have sushi is when I'm home alone since no one who lives close by likes sushi. I have three friends that like it, but one lives out of state and the other two are a 45 minute drive away. No one in my family likes it. So, I save it as a once-in-a-blue-moon treat.

My trainer recently told me that the local grocery store has great sushi. I was skeptical, as I always am when it comes to grocery store sushi. Typically, grocery store looks pretty generic and I'm suspicious of its freshness.  Plus the only thing I ever see is the California roll. Not bad, but I like a little more variety. He assured me it's fresh and tastes great, though, so I decided to grab some after training last night.

I got the spicy dragon roll and the spicy crunch roll. Each roll had 10 pieces and was packaged (they have a sushi counter where it's made to order or made fresh and packaged). What you see here are three pieces of each. It was a bit much for me, though--I was full after four pieces. And he was right--it tasted great. Very fresh and good quality. My only complaint was that they give you one little soy sauce packet, a couple bits of pickled ginger and a little dab of wasabi with each roll.  But most people would eat one whole roll in one sitting, so they most likely assume that's enough ginger and wasabi.  That's just not enough for me, though, since I can't each much in one sitting. (These two rolls are enough for about four meals, possible five.)  I bought a bottle of soy sauce, so that covered me.

I'm so happy I found good, inexpensive sushi. There's a good Japanese restaurant near me that's closer than the store, but if I happen to be in that store, I'll just buy it there.  It wasn't a whole lot cheaper than the restaurant, but I figure I saved about $3.00.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

small victory

I decided in April to start posting when I have a small victory. Whether it's avoiding sweets, or carbs, exercising when I didn't feel like it, or not pushing a coworker out the window, I'm going to post it. I've had some small victories since that post, but I've forgotten to post them. :)

Yesterday's small victory was the fact that I didn't buy anything in the cafeteria at work.  We have cold cases with various items, like sandwiches, salads, cheese snacks, yogurt, cheeseburgers, drinks, etc. We also have a freezer case and a snack rack.  The snack rack is what normally gets me in trouble.  There are some decent choices, like beef jerky and protein bars, but I tend to go for the pretzels or crispy pea snacks when I'm trying to be "good," or the Bugles or Pop Corners when I'm being "bad." I'd kicked that habit for a long time, but it reared it's ugly head again last week.  Mainly because my back was really bothering me, which was making it hard to sit at my desk and work. So, I made a few trips to the cafeteria to spend money I don't need to be spending on food I don't need to be eating.  As a result, I didn't lose any weight this past week.  I wasn't hungry, just restless.  I think that's the thing that will plague me for the rest of my life, unfortunately.  I'll just have to control it as best as I can.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

another def leppard concert under my belt

Monday night my sister and I went to see our favorite boys in concert in Syracuse, NY. Always the best time of year for me. Even better than Christmas.

It was at the newly-built Lakeview Amphitheater, which was a total surprise to us--for some reason both of us assumed it was at the NY State Fairgrounds.  I wasn't on the ball this year.  Normally when I buy tickets for a concert, I spend a lot of time researching the venue, the seating charts, the general area, etc.  I want to know where I'm going, where the good restaurants are, and, most importantly, what kind of view I can expect from my seat.  This time?  I didn't even look to see where it was being held.  I'm slipping in my old age, I guess. Or getting lazy. Good thing I checked the ticket before we left the hotel!

The theater is a quick drive from the hotel we stayed at, maybe 15 minutes; however, the person at Hotel Reception suggested we leave at least an hour, maybe more, before the show started. Apparently there can be a lot of traffic in that area and it's a long walk from the parking lot.  He wasn't kidding--the theater FAQ says that two of the parking lots are a 30 minute walk from the venue!!  Luckily we were able to park in the Orange lot, which was about a 10 minute walk.  And it was very hot and dusty.  The parking lot is all dirt and gravel.  (Note to self:  if I go there again, I WILL NOT wear black leather boots.  What a mess!)

The amphitheater.
We had great seats in the 7th row on Sav's side; however, that was the side where the sun sets.  So, we baked until about 8:45 pm when the sun finally went down.  We went outside a few times and stood near the side gate.  Someone famous was talking to various concert-goers and taking pics with them, but I had no idea who it was.  His sticker said he was a guest of Def Leppard.  I wanted to approach him, but I didn't.  I'm shy like that.

Tesla opened up and played for 45 minutes.  For some reason, I'm not a fan of listening to Tesla on the radio or on CD; however, I do like their music live. They were pretty good.

Next up was REO Speedwagon.  They played for an hour.  I always enjoy seeing them.  I noticed that a couple songs seemed to be slowed down a bit, which make me wonder if Kevin Cronin was having issues with his voice. It didn't seem as powerful as the last time we saw them.  It was a great set, though.

Then came the main attraction: Def Leppard!  They played the usual 90 minutes (please play longer!!).  The show started off with the curtain covering the stage.  They started playing "Let's Go"--a new song--and then the curtain was whisked away.  Then it all went by in a blur, as it usually does. They sounded great and Joe's voice seemed to be healed.  I was thrilled they played "Let it Go."  It's one of my favorites to hear live. They also played "Dangerous"--another new song--and it seemed to go over well.  I was really hoping they would play "Man Enough," but no such luck.

My only complaint was the security guard.  He kept letting people move up when seats became empty.  That's OK with me, but rather than letting us move up, he let the two people behind us move up.  So, my panties were in a bunch for a bit, but I got over it.  When the row in front of the thrust/cat walk opened up, my sister and I ran over to take some last minute pics as the guys were saying goodnight.  And then it was over.

Next was breakfast at Denny's at 1:30 am.  They got slammed with people after the concert, so it took awhile to get the food.  When we finally got it, it was good.  There was definitely a subdued vibe in the restaurant.  Most people seemed tired.  Or maybe they were half deaf and their ears were ringing. (Not me!  I wore my ear plugs.  Yeah, I'm old...)

I think this is my favorite picture. 
I went to bed around 3 am, an hour I haven't seen in a very long time.  Then I got up at 7 am and did my workout.  OMG that workout was so hard!!  Obviously, I was very tired, my back, knees and feet hurt from standing the previous night, plus there was the four-hour drive there.  But I got through it. It was hard, but I was so happy I got it over with.  (That's actually my new motto:  Just get it over with. Seriously.) I'm also happy to report I didn't eat a bunch of junk food.  I had bought trail mix, but I put it in the trunk for the drive up there.  I knew if I had it in the car I would polish off most of it.  And trail mix has a crazy amount of calories!

On my way home I stopped at Wegman's, a huge grocery store in the Northeast.  It's kind of like a giant Whole Foods, but with much better prices.  I got some hot food for the ride, and also stocked up on cheese blocks.  Then I drove home.

And that's a wrap.  Another concert that has come and gone. I had a great time with my sister and we had a great time in general.