Friday, January 29, 2010

Ann Louise Gittleman is a Genius

A few years ago I discovered a brilliant woman by the name of Ann Louise Gittleman. Her basic health philosophy is that if your liver is clean, your body will be able to use what you eat more efficiently and you will be healthier and feel better. So, she developed a two week "Fat Flush" plan to cleanse and detoxify your liver, and in the process you lose weight because your liver is fully functioning. Here is one of my favorite recipes, adapted a little.

Zucchini and Beef Delight

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 lb leanest ground beef
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground turmeric
14 1/2 oz can fire-roasted, no salt added tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Heat broth in large, non-stick skillet. Saute onion, pepper, garlic, and zucchini until soft. Transfer vegges to plate and set aside. In same skillet, brown ground beef with seasonings. When beef is cooked through, add cooked veggies, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste to skillet. Heat through and add grape tomatoes and fresh herbs before serving. Makes 4 servings.

So, here's the problem. Every few months when I start to feel a little pudgy or my size 2's are a little snugger than I like, I do the Fat Flush program and usually lose a pound a day for 10 days. This has never failed me until last week. At first I was really disappointed, but then I realized it just means I have a really clean liver, right?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Dreaded Derby

One more down, just a few more to go...Ryan actually did okay this year and was very happy with his 6th place finish! That tells you how we usually do.

Our friend with better tools than we have helped Ryan cut out his car. Then he sanded it until he was happy with the shape. He painted it several times before he settled with the blue and red stripe look. Our grass will never be the same!

I am so glad he was truly happy with how the car placed. I love the look of genuine joy!
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Last weekend Ryan said he wanted to make Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups. So, I got everything out and we made them the next day! I try so hard to follow through and really wanted to help him make them right away. Ryan could have make these by himself if he wasn't so worried about getting the chocolate even in the cup. It really doesn't matter because you just eat them anyway.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
12 mini cupcake liners
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter + 1 heaping Tbsp to add to the melted chocolate
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
pinch fine sea salt

Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds to make sure they don’t burn. Add the extra Tbsp peanut butter and stir to incorporate. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Place a heaping teaspoon of melted chocolate in each mini cupcake liner and spread it up the sides with the back of a spoon. Repeat with all 12 liners.
Place the chocolate-covered liners onto a plate and let the chocolate harden in the freezer.
While you wait, stir together peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and sugar. When the chocolate is hard, divide peanut butter mixture into all 12 liners, pressing down gently to make sure the cups are filled evenly. Top with heaping teaspoon of chocolate, spreading carefully so that all of the peanut butter is covered. Chill in fridge for at least one hour, until ready to devour.
Makes 12 mini cups.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Freedom of Speech!

For the past few months (Dave may say years...) it seems like we can't have a family conversation. Someone always ends up interrupting or starting a loud side conversation or giggling so obnoxiously that no one else can hear the original person talking. It has been frustrating! So, one day I told the kids they weren't allowed to talk. Just have a silent dinner.

When dinner was over and the kids were excused, Becca and Andy came back with these signs:

"Let us talk when we want to talk! END THE SILENCE. Do you hear the interesting conversation? No? Why not?


"Creative converstation is being killed!


I guess silent dinner didn't go over so well. All I want is for the kids to take turns and to listen to each other respectfully. Maybe it IS too much to ask. But I refuse to give up!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I was going to post some other things but I am really behind on my book club book reading (for tomorrow!) so I'll just post the recipe for the most amazing carrots in the world. I adapted this from Rachael Ray cookbook and ate the entire 4 servings with one of my daughters. It's a good thing she was here because would have eaten all of it myself.

Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Lemon
6-8 long carrots, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
Olive Oil
Sea salt
2 1/2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
Rosemary Seasoning
1 lemon, juice and zest

Peel carrots, then cut into 2-inch chunks and quarter the chunks. Put carrots on rimmed baking sheet and drizzle all over with olive oil. Toss well, then sprinkle sea salt and rosemary seasoning over and toss again. Roast carrots at 400 F for 13-18 minutes, shaking pan during roasting to cook evenly. At the same time, zest and juice the lemon and put in a serving bowl along with the butter. When the carrots are done, quickly pour them into the serving bowl and gently toss until the butter is melted and a sauce is made. Serve warm. Really good stuff!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Years Eve 2009 at Northstar

Happy New Year!!
They had a troupe of fire dancers come as part of the Village New Years Eve celebration. We decided they were a little creepy, but it was an interesting show.
As Ryan and I skiied our last run to our place we saw them setting up the fireworks equipment. They put on a great show and they burst right over our firepit! We played games and the kids pulled confetti poppers at midnight. I think it is the first year that everyone actually stayed up to see the ball drop!
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Northstar at Tahoe: December 2009

Doesn't it look like they are having fun? Apparently they were miserable...

We made our annual trek to Northstar at Tahoe for the week after Christmas. As we were getting our snow gear on, we realized that the ski pants Ryan was supposed to have grown into wouldn't button and the new ones we bought Andy last week were mysteriously too Dave took the girls up the mountain and I took the boys to the Village to get some new gear. We met them later and had a gorgeous ski day...along with about a billion other skiiers!

The three younger kids preferred to play in the snow and Ryan wore shorts whenever I didn't stop him. Dave and I decided that while we planned to ski three days, they only had to ski two. As I write this, I am thinking "had" to ski?!

Dave, Andy and I had a blast skiing nearly all blacks and loving the fresh coat of powder.

Oh yeah! That tiny ant doing a spread eagle is me.

They are actually great skiiers...just lacking a little confidence. It took me a little over an hour to get Ryan off the run when he fell. A little to ambitious, perhaps? I am just grateful that we had terrific weather and that no one got hurt.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Okay, I was going to post our Tahoe pictures, but I have to get Christmas put back in boxes and onto the garage shelves before the kids get out of school and the real madness begins. SO, instead I will tell you their new favorite knock knock jokes...

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Smellmop Who?
No thanks

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Europe who?
Am not!

See the theme? Pretty much any question ending in "P" who makes the same sound. Maybe the kids needed a little more to do over the break!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Morning 2009!

Even Cabo got in on the action and actually opened his presents by himself, after sniffing them out! He's a peeker and opened two presents early.

All that stuff produced 3 little bags of garbage! Incredible. It's kind of like planning a can take a year to prepare for Christmas but in a few minutes, it's over. That's why I love our week leading up to the big we can refocus on the reason we celebrate Christmas.

I loved getting so many Christmas cards and hearing about how our far away friends are doing. A few families have added 4 kids since we have last seen them! We moved 7 times in the first 8 years of our marriage and now we've been in California for nearly 10 years so we don't get to see a lot of old friends. Every year Dave tries to whittle down our address list, and every year I sneak people back in. Because I like getting news from people and I guess I think if I send a card, I'll get a card!

Yes, we broke down and got a wii. Funny thing is we are actually sore from playing tennis! I loved watching Dave play with Ryan.

I think Ryan's favorite gift was a flying monkey from my sister. He even brought it to Tahoe with us. I actually captured it on the picture!
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