Boneless Wings

One day, many moons ago, I was experimenting in the kitchen.

I admit, sometimes this doesn’t go well.  Like the time I tried to make cream of potato soup by boiling the potatoes in the milk.  Shudder.  I didn’t always know a whole lot about cooking.

Anyway, I was experimenting.  I think I was going to be throwing a party and wanted to make something easy and delicious, something people would flock to but which wouldn’t take me a whole lot of time to make and could be prepared in advance.

It was also around that time that I started frying things.  As in dunking them in hot oil and seeing what happened.  I’m a wild and crazy girl, aren’t I?

After much experimentation, I came up with…this:

Popcorn chicken.  You know you want it.

Be sure to cut the chicken up into pieces of approximately the same size – you want them to cook evenly so you know when one is finished cooking, the rest are as well.

It’s important to make sure the oil is ready for frying.  How do you know? When you drop a small piece of bread in the oil and it sizzles, then floats to the surface right away, it’s time to fry.  If the oil isn’t hot enough it will just make the breading soggy.

But keep an eye that it doesn’t get too hot or else you’ll have some burned chicken, or a lovely golden coating with raw chicken inside.  Which is no good for anyone.

That’s what you want.  It may take a little experimenting at first to get the hang of it.  But it’s well worth the experimentation, believe me.

How does it taste? Well, let’s just say that I was frying batches for a New Years Eve party a couple of years ago and one batch was gone before I turned back to replenish the plate.  And we didn’t have that many people in attendance.  And there were approximately a million other things to eat.

Plus, Rob’s addicted.  So that’s saying something.

The next time you feel like a little KFC is in order (or Church’s or Popeye’s or whatever), and you have a little time and patience, give this a shot.  You can play with the flavor in the coating after frying a piece or two and seeing how you like it- personally I like it on the milder side, but that’s only because I like to do…THIS to it:

Oh yeah. Buffalo sauce.  I went there.  I went there, sat down, ate a heap of it and wiped my mouth after.  And it was good.

Incidentally, this could also be called boneless buffalo wings.  Which is the only kind I’ll eat.  I’m not a fan of, like…bones and stuff.  Just give me the meat.

And then, if you’re really bad (like me) you could dunk it in some dressing…

Gulp.

Excuse me.  I have to wipe the drool off my keyboard.  And fry up some more of this.

You should fry some up, too.  Only don’t blame me if you find yourself dreaming about it and buying oil by the vat in order to keep up with your chicken frying habit.  Your addiction is your own, as they say. ;)

 

Sharing with Delightfully Dowling, Skip To My Lou, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, 33 Shades of Green, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, This Chick Cooks, The Lady Behind The Curtain, Designs by Gollum, 504 Main, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy Mom, Momnivore’s Dilemma, Fireflies and Jellybeans, A Creative Princess, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, It’s a Keeper, Delightful Order, Mangoes and Chutney, La Bella Vita, EKat’s Kitchen, Mom Trends

 
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Another post for #SummerBlogSocial! Woo hoo!

I’m having a terrific time with this, by the way.  It’s amazing, all of the blogs and bloggers I was unfamiliar with prior to this.  And I know that there’s a whole lot more for me to discover.

Tell us about an element or two of your blog or social media presence that you are unsure of and would like opinions on.

Let it be known here and now: I love social media long time.  And I love what it does for my blogging as well.  If anyone is still on the fence about joining Twitter – get off the fence and get a Twitter account.  Seriously.  It’s worth it.

Social media is awesome indeed.

However, I’m pretty sure I sorta suck at it.

Okay, not all of it.  I’m getting better with The Twitter.  I’ll give myself that.  But how do I make a personalized page?

Just what exactly does one do with their Facebook page? I know I could be making much better use of it.  I know of one blogger who claims that Facebook brings her the most traffic.  It boggles my mind, frankly.  While I’m at it, how do I create a welcome page?

And, well, Google+.  I think we’re all learning more about that as we go along.

What’s the point of my having a LinkedIn profile? Seriously.  I’d love to know.

Here’s my last question: If you spend time interacting with me via social media, what do you think of me? What does my presence bring to the table, if anything? What do you look for in a person you want to interact with?

Okay, #SummerBlogSocial buddies – hit me with your best shot.  I can take it.  ;)

 

Hello, Company Girls and other friends!

In this my neck of the woods we’re gearing up for SNOW. Granted, not as much snow as the areas to our south, but snow nonetheless. As I type this I’m hoping to be able to cut out of here early – it seems like many people are already sharing my thoughts and it’s only 9:45 right now. We’ll see…

I swear you’d think they were giving something away at the store. I only popped in to Whole Foods to grab a juice and muffin like I do on many mornings. Normally it’s an in-and-out type of thing and I’m sitting at my desk 5 minutes later. Not today, oh no. I waited 15 minutes in the express line – the other lines were up through the aisles. At 8:30 in the morning! Insanity. I was told by a coworker who stopped at the nearby supermarket prior to coming in that there was almost no parking and not a cart to be had – and the folks who were using carts had them full to almost overflowing! Of course we’re going to have to go through it after work, not because we’re panicking but because we don’t have anything in the house to eat! Yikes…

In other news, we visited Rob’s dad last night and his mood seems to have improved greatly. He’s still confused about time and about what’s real and what’s only something he dreamt about, but I’ll take confusion any day as long as he’s in good spirits. Oh, and we have at least an extra week as per the head nurse’s guarantee to Rob the other day. She’s certain they’ll need to keep him for at least that much longer. What a blessing that is, especially since the weather is messing with our plans.

This weekend we’ll be hunkering down. We’ll be packing. We’ll be cleaning. We’ll be watching old episodes of Lost so I can catch up. I’ll be cooking and taking pictures. And it’ll be a good weekend.

I hope everyone else has a good one as well!

Oh, and since Rachel Anne suggested we post recipes today, here’s a couple of posts involving my absolute favorites. Enjoy!

Mind-blowing Pasta Bolognese
 
Boeuf Bourguignon – it’ll change your life
 
Amazing Apple Dumplings

Linking up to:

 

Last week’s weight: 258 lbs

Today’s weight: 257 lbs

Well, it’s not the huge weight loss I’m used to seeing at the beginning of a new diet (when I was on Weight Watchers I lost 7 or 8 lbs the first week). But it’s a loss! And a sustainable one. Let’s look at the factors here:

1) I didn’t deprive myself – I still ate what I wanted, the entire time. Like the pasta I had at the Melrose Diner last week…and the pasta I had on Saturday night as well…and the pasta I had on Monday (okay, so this was a pasta-heavy week). Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Sushi. You get the idea. Could I have lost more if I’d pared down? Of course! But I still lost because I didn’t completely overdo it all day long, all week long. In the daytimes I stuck to small meals and made sure I had healthy carbs + protein, which equals more fullness with less food. Plain oatmeal and a glass of milk. A hard boiled egg and carrots. Greek yogurt and fruit. You get the idea.

2) I ate only when I was hungry during the week and on Saturday as well. Saturday was easier because we were busy all day. Not so much on Sunday, though. Sunday was an “off” day, though I hadn’t planned it to be so. I need to work on keeping busy because that seems to help a lot. Still, one off day out of 7 is not too shabby.

3) I definitely could and should have moved more. I had planned on getting more presentable workout clothing over the weekend but that didn’t happen. Maybe this weekend? (Are you reading this, hon?) I know that once I start incorporating regular exercise into my routine the weight will start coming off even more easily.

I’m really happy that the scale moved in the right direction without me starving myself or feeling resentful in any way. Now I know that it can be done. Which is a good thing to know.

 

Sigh.

I feel like such a sloth right now.

I hurt my back over the weekend and I’ve been on the couch for two days.  Sometimes I’ll feel okay for a little while and forget…and then I’ll move a certain way and OWWWW!

On to my latest weight loss-related exercise.

One very important point that I’ve read in the past is that if you’re hungry for a certain food, you should just eat it.  If you don’t, you’ll feel deprived and only end up eating more and more of all sorts of other things.  In the end it would have been easier and probably fewer calories if you’d just eaten what you wanted in the first place.

Again, this goes against all diet-related thinking.  I have a difficult time accepting this because, well, aren’t we all sort of programmed to believe that we have to eat the “right” foods? However, there is something to be said for the wisdom of the body.  The body knows what’s best for it.  For example, when Rob’s dad first went into the hospital I stress ate like a fiend.  It was a massacre.  But after about a week and a half, maybe more, I found myself craving salad.  Soup.  Light, nutritious food.  Because my body knew what it wanted.  All I had to do was listen.

The same is just as true now.  I have to learn how to listen to my body, not my brain.  My body knows what it needs and how much it needs.  But it’s always easier and…well, more fun!…to listen to my brain and just keep eating.  God, this is so difficult, this fighting that’s always going on between my head and my belly. 

Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it. 

 

It’s so clear that I have the toughest time with eating when I’m completely bored. 

Today at work I barely even managed to eat my lunch (and not even the entire thing), whereas yesterday and the day before I was nearly dying of starvation and couldn’t stop thinking about food.  I actually didn’t even remember that I had a half a can of Progresso soup in the fridge until I was well on my way home.  I hope no one throws out the container it’s in…

The difference? I was busier than all get-out this afternoon, and was bored as heck the two days prior.

I’m trying to come up with ways to busy myself at home when I’m having a major craving.  Yeah, yeah, I know there are a million things I could be doing instead of eating.  Heck, all of the crafty blogs I’ve been exploring over the past few weeks proves that in abundance.  Still, it’s very tough to focus on anything else when your brain is telling you it’s time for you eat.  Now.  Lots.  Of whatever.

In other news…

I started to reread one of Geneen Roth’s books on the train tonight.  I loved how just a few pages put me back to where I was a few months ago, mentally.  Everything came flooding back, all the wisdom, all the knowledge.  What a great feeling.

The first thing I need to do is learn to be a bit more gentle with myself.  This goes in all aspects of life, not just weight loss or the attempt to become a healthier person.

Case in point: One night Rob and I were sitting on the couch and watching a movie, as we do so often.  On the floor across the room is a basket in which I have piled many skeins of yarn.  He said, “I love that basket.  I look at it and it makes me feel so homey”.  My immediate response: “Funny, I look at it and I think about all the projects I never completed”.

See the difference there? And that’s just one example of, like, a thousand and one.  It’s all about how you look at things.

So, how to be gentle.  The first part of this is to accept my body for what it is.  Everything about my body, whether it pleases me or not, IS a part of me.  It should be treated kindly, with respect.

The next part is being gentle with my inner self.  I know I haven’t always made the right choices when it comes to what I say I want out of life.  The choices I’ve made regarding food are in direct conflict with what I say I want my body to look like and how I say I want to feel.  However, as Geneen points out (and this makes so much sense to me), compulsive eating is always done as a way to take care of ourselves.

For instance, say you feel as though when you are thin you automatically need to be vivacious and energetic and charming? Say you feel that you need to be attractive to everyone you meet.  But in reality you’re an introvert who would rather spend a quiet night in than be the center of attention.  So what do you do? You eat in order to protect yourself from the spotlight you think you’re going to be in otherwise.  It’s self-preservation, while on the surface it looks like self-mutilation.  I don’t know, to me it just makes sense and is worth exploring.

How have I done this to myself in the past?

Can you think of a time you may have done this to yourself (and it doesn’t have to be about food)?

 

I’m putting my foot down.

On what, you ask? On my chronic book purchasing.

First it was just your normal bookstore obsession. Then I became obsessed with buying uber-cheap books from the thrift shop. Then the thrift shop moved to a bigger location which is not anywhere near the train station, which was the only reason I started going there in the first place.  It was so convenient to pop in there and kill time if I missed my bus home.  So what if while killing time I could also score a half dozen books for less than $4.00? But the fun ended back in September when they had the audacity to move away.

Tears were shed upon this discovery.

Now I’m back to the bookstore obsession. But after buying a couple of books with Christmas gift cards, it occurred to me:

I have so many partially-read books it’s not even funny.  Like, a lot of them.

When did this happen? When did I start picking up and reading books that I supersupersuper wanted…only until the next book I supersupersuper want came along? When did I become so loose with my affections?

And that’s just it.  When it comes to books, I am a loose woman.

From what I can tell, I have at least 6 partials, including a biography of Benjamin Franklin, Team of Rivals about Lincoln and his cabinet, a book on the Johnstown Flood, a book on the Civil War and its beginnings and World Without End, the sequel to Pillars of the Earth.  There are also two Terry Pratchett books which Rob bought recently and probably a few other books that my father-in-law gave me a couple years back when he was cleaning out his own collection.  Except for the one on the flood, the other partials in my collection are all pretty big books.  Pretty DARN big, actually.  And they all deserve my love.  I should see our relationship through.

I have seen the light.  I am ready to give up my loose and wanton ways.

Therefore, in 2010 I am going to make it a point to finish reading all of my partially-read books before I buy any new ones.  I should be a busy girl for a long time!

 

I had an interesting conversation with Rob tonight over dinner. After stopping by to visit his dad in the rehab center, we went to the Melrose Diner in South Philly.

Can I just take a moment here to wax rhapsodical about the Melrose Diner? It’s just…aahhhhhhhhhh. That sigh right there? The sigh of a contented person observing all manner of interesting and colorful characters, in an atmosphere that hasn’t changed in decades. Something in the unchangeable quality of places like that just does something for me. I love it. Oh, and the food is good, too.

Anyway, after eating dinner (I admit, I felt overly full when I was through, and I didn’t finish my entree…or my rice pudding…) Rob and I talked about weight loss. I was in despair – once again I had forgotten everything I was “supposed” to do and eaten spaghetti and meatballs*. And rice pudding. And I’m supposed to be LOSING weight! That’s what I said to Rob. “You know what I weigh, I posted it yesterday,” I said. He nodded. “Why do I do this?” I despaired.

“Because you like food,” he replied calmly. “We both like food. We enjoy sitting down to a big dinner. Think about it – some of the best memories you have are probably those of sitting around the dinner table with your family, and of Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner.”

“Yeah, but for me, Christmas dinner is every day, that’s my problem,” I retorted sourly. Again I asked why I am the way I am.

“You like food, that’s all there is to it. Some people aren’t like that, and some people are,” he replied.

I wish it was as black-and-white for me as it is for him. Maybe he just truly loves food, and if that’s the case good for him. But I have to sat that I feel it’s different for me on some level. Loving food is one thing – eating to the point of illness is another. Plus there’s the eating out of boredom, sadness, loneliness, etc etc that I and so many other people do – there is work to be done there, the pinpointing of when that happens and why, and how to prevent it.

Still, my husband had a point. I do simply love food. I love making a big meal, it’s my way of showing love to others. I love the taste and smell and feel of food.

I just need to learn to love it and still love myself.

*The meatballs were clearly homemade, NOT purchased frozen from the store. I was in heaven. I mean, a diner making their own meatballs? Who does THAT? It was worth eating them if only for the joy that revelation brought to me.

 

Well, the time has come. You asked for it.

Okay. I know you didn’t actually ask for it. You’re far too tactful and for that, I thank you.

But here it is anyway. The magic number. The number many people use to evaluate themselves. My weight.

Current weight as of this morning: 258 lbs.

Whew, that wasn’t so difficult!

So yeah, there I am, over the 250 lb mark. I’ve lost and gained so many times, and told myself so many times that I would never see 250 again. But I’m baaaaack. And as always, 250+ welcomes with me open arms. Big, flabby open arms.

My goal? Not so sure. For my height the most I should be is 160. But I have a large frame and have always been “solid”, so I could very well look like a skeleton by then. So we’ll have to see.

But the most important part will be health. A lot of skinny people are far less healthy than so-called “plus-size” models who may be a bit thicker about the middle but who eat healthy foods and work out regularly. Health is key. That’s my mantra.

Well, not tonight anyway. What I did do in honor of my big weight announcement? I went to the Chinese buffet. Yep, I sure did. Why? I was starving and craving Chinese. I wouldn’t have been so hungry if I hadn’t been too busy to have lunch today. So there you go. I was starving so I ate the easiest and fastest and most abundant thing available. Did I go crazy? No. I don’t feel the slightest bit over-full or uncomfortable, which is a huge difference from buffet visits in the past. Still, not the best idea and I know it. Maybe I should have snacks in my bag (lord knows it’s big enough) that I can eat on the train in times like this and not blow it all at night. So there’s a lesson here.

I know I’m not the first person to blow a day’s good work come dinner time. So I’m letting it go and moving forward. Good things I did today: I drank a ton of water and a cup of green tea – had I not been so busy I would have had more tea, it did aid in my weight loss the last time I made it a point to incorporate it on a daily basis. For a snack I had a hard-boiled egg and carrots, and a piece of string cheese in the afternoon. So I did make a couple of healthy choices anyway.

I’m tired of the 250′s. Next stop: 240′s!

 

Tomorrow is the big day. The day I bare it all (figuratively – you’re not gonna be seeing anything that only my husband should be seeing).

At first I thought it would be no big deal to reveal my weight like this. So rarely are women comfortable with that number, even if it’s an extremely reasonable one. The fib, they avoid, they dress themselves so as to conceal perceived flaws. No one walks around with that number hanging from around their neck unless they’re on “The Biggest Loser”.

Well I can say one thing with absolute certainty: This ain’t no “Biggest Loser” competition. You’re not going to see me losing weight hand over fist, just pounds and pounds disappearing all at once. It’s not going to work that way for any sustained period of time. I, like so many others, have crash dieted. And I’ve lost weight, fast. And gee gosh, it’s all back again! Go figure!

So, this is on my terms. I want to be fitter, I want to be slimmer, I want to be healthy inside and out. So no crash diets, no crazy exercise regime that’ll have me hurting myself. And no dieting.

GASP! No dieting?

No. I refuse to ever diet again. I am 30 years old and am at this moment breaking the dieting chains. At the heart of this issue, my weight, is the fact that I can’t deal with food in a healthy way. I need to learn how to do that. Until I do, no weight loss will ever be permanent. I’ll never know how to say “That’s not the best thing for me to be eating” if all I say when I’m losing weight is “I’m on a diet”. Once the diet’s over, what’s the excuse for passing up that second helping? And the issues that lay behind wanting that food so much won’t go anywhere, they’ll just be waiting to rear their ugly heads once my back is turned. So once again I say: No More Dieting.

Today’s food was just the same as yesterday’s, except I mixed up the order of my snacks (oooh, wild!) and had tuna instead of sardines. I’m truly a creature of habit. Dinner will most likely be pasta – but not much, since weigh-in is tomorrow and I really don’t need to add any more weight! I will be piling on any veggies I can get my hands on so as to make it more filling.

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