Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are we really that lazy?

A week or so ago my husband and I hit up the grocery store, fistfuls of coupons and our favorite fabric shopping bags clutched tightly in our hands. We like to have contests of guesstimating how much cash we saved on our purchase.

Yeah, we're cheap. I know.

Now that I'm a blissfully no-longer-nauseous but get that fried chicken away from me or I'll kill you pregnant lady, I'm able to go out and about without hurking up what little food I could get down three hours ago.

We drove into the parking lot where I discovered two reserved parking spots for expectant mothers. "Aw!" I squealed in my hormonal voice. "I think we should park there!"

Too late. K had parked the truck and was halfway out the door, dragging my bloated behind with him. (Ok, so that's not what really happened; I actually tripped out of the truck on my own) We walked by the parking spots, and as I got closer I saw that you have to apply for a parking permit with the store...and prove that you're pregnant. REALLY? Ok, I can understand that they need to be restricted spots, but to prove to the store you're expecting a watermelon in the next 6 months? We also noted something else:

Right next to the pregnant parking spot? A regular parking spot. By 'applying' for a permit, you're saving a whopping 2.5 feet in your trip to the store. Sorry, but I'm not giving out my personal information to a grocery store just so I can park my car a hair closer to the door.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recipe Review - Chicken n Dumplings

As a new wife and entry-level cook, I'm always on the hunt for inexpensive, yet tasty recipes. On a a message board that I frequent, one of the members posted her version of a chicken and dumplings recipe. It looked too good to be true, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Below is my modified version of her recipe:

1 whole chicken
1 can buttermilk biscuits
Poultry Seasoning
10 garlic cloves
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
Sale and Pepper

In a large stockpot, toss in garlic cloves, add water, and bring to a boil. Clean whole chicken and remove innards. Season liberally with Poultry Seasoning, TC, and salt and pepper. Put whole bird into the pot and let it boil for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove biscuit dough from can and cut into quarters - smaller pieces if you prefer smaller dumplings. Sprinkle melted butter over the biscuits and let them sit in a cool place while the chicken is still boiling.

Remove the chicken from the pot, de-skin, de-bone, and de-fat meat. Return chopped meat to the pot (in the same water). You may choose to add an extra cup of water if the level looks unusually low; this is not necessary and makes the gravy a bit runny, but still tasty. Bring water back to a boil.

When the pot is boiling, toss in the biscuit pieces and boil for another 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper generously. Remove the pot from heat, let it sit for about 10 minutes, and serve. I served mine with some cream gravy, but on its own it is still tasty.

Total cost for this meal: $6.50. ($4 for the chicken, $1.50 for biscuits, and I'll add an extra buck for seasonings, even though they are a pantry staple for me) We got about 6 servings out of it.

This is a wonderful, easy (albeit a bit time consuming) recipe for all of you wannabe cooks out there. Enjoy! Special thanks to my forum!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hot topic - Marriage and Obesity

Long time, no post.

I'm not in the mood to review, so I'll just post a link to a blog I liked and talk about it.

"New research shows that within a few years of getting married, individuals are twice as likely to become obese than their unmarried partners who are dating."

More here: Does Getting Married Cause Obesity?

I've been married, divorced, and am now remarried. During my first marriage I packed on the pounds willingly, albeit subconsciously. My first husband and I were never meant to be together, from the way I did laundry to the way he held affairs with coworkers. After the split, I ended up losing weight (mostly from depression) and got back into the dating field.

Eventually I met my current husband and we are working on the 'happily ever after' every couple strives to achieve. Have I packed on the pounds again? Actually, not really. After learning of an allergy and a brain growth that stunted any weight loss and correcting it, I shed several pounds before learning I am pregnant. My husband has also avoided layering fat for the winter and has stayed the same waist size.

We both agreed that we refused to gain the weight that some of our friends and family members had done. Even in pregnancy, when my mother in law giggles that I need to 'eat for two', I usually cringe and put down whatever I was eating in fear of gaining 70 pounds (like her) or 80 pounds (like her daughters). My husband, K, smiles at me and reassures me that I am not the size of a bovine, nor do I eat like a chicken. Under careful supervision from my doctor and my own healthy eating plan, I've only gained five pounds for the first trimester, an average gain.

So how did we avoid the massive amounts of weight gain? To start with, K and I both love to cook. We love fresh ingredients and loathe packaged dinners (unless one of us is sick or the coupon was just too good to pass up). K also has a job that keeps him on his feet for up to 10 hours a day, and we both decided to join a gym. A few weeks ago, we walked a 5k together for Alzheimer's awareness. While these past few weeks have been difficult for me because of morning sickness and extreme exhaustion, I've still managed to hang onto some of my normal sized work clothes.

I think people do let themselves 'go' once they get married. I also think this ties in with reduced amounts of sex after marriage. The mentality is "I got the prize, so why do I need to make the effort?" For any married readers who stumble upon this blog, DATE each other. Dump the kids for a night, put on some nice clothes and dust off the cologne bottle, and go on a date.

Just my thoughts.