After the first of the year, I stood on the scale. The only word that came to mind was, “jeepers”. My life of eating too much and exercising too little had really caught up to me. No, I won’t tell you how much I weigh, but let’s just say that the scale groaned a little bit.
Also, let me state that I hate fad diets, and believe me, I am fully aware that juicing is in full-on fad mode right now. With that in mind, I have decided to try to drop a few pounds, while adding the nutrients of vegetables to my body. You’ll typically not find me eating vegetables with my meals and this is a tasty way to get that nourishment.
Here’s what I have been drinking as a meal replacement each day. For the most part, I have dropped lunch and drink juice instead. It generally makes about a quart of juice. I drink half one day and refrigerate the other half for the next day. I don’t suggest saving juice longer than 24 hours.
3 medium to large tomatoes
1 medium beet
4 or 5 medium carrots
3 stalks of celery
1/4 medium red onion
1/4 head red cabbage
1 bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green)
1 thumb ginger
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon (no rind)
Salt and Pepper to taste
I don’t like apple juice in my vegetable juice, and that is what almost all of them use as the primary ingredient, which I have intentionally ignored. Beets are really great for your liver and can help with detoxification and are high in iron. They are also known to lower blood pressure. Carrots are also great for your liver and can help with weight loss by increasing the liver’s ability to metabolize fat.
Keep in mind that these ingredients, when taken in any quantity, will make your poop loose. Believe me, if you drink a lot of it, or any juice for that matter, you will feel like a king because you will be spending a lot of time on the throne. Don’t overdo it the day before you have a marathon meeting at work!
I’m no dietician and mostly like to juice because I like the flavor. The good news is that I am losing roughly 3 pounds per week.
I am a food lover. I don’t just like food, I love it. So, imagine my surprise when I heard about using a brine to enhance the flavor and moistness of chicken! There seems to be a lot of opinions on how to best create the brine and for how long to leave the chicken in. Here’s what I used:
10 lbs of chicken quarters
1 gallon cold of water
1 1/2 cups Kosher salt (don’t use iodized salt)
1 1.2 cups white sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon allspice
3 large cloves garlic chopped finely
1 tablespoon red chili pepper flake
Heat 2 cups of water to near boiling. Remove from heat and add salt and sugar. Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Add back to the rest of the water. Add the rest of the ingredients to the water and chill.
You can either completely submerge the chicken in a pot with a weight on top or use zip lock bags to brine them. I put three leg quarters in a 1-gallon zip lock bag and filled with 4 cups of the liquid solution. Make sure you get an even amount of ‘goodies’ with the water you pour in each bag if you go that route.
Put the chicken in the refrigerator and allow to sit for between 4 and 6 hours. When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove from the brine and completely rinse. The chicken will be a little salty if you don’t get a good rinse on them.
Barbecue or bake normally (to 180 degrees). I actually barbecued the chicken to get a good brown skin on it then put it in the oven to finish it off.
If you like a little spicier chicken, add a couple more tablespoons of red chili powder. Garlic lovers (like me) add a few more cloves. The chicken will take on the flavor of the spices in the brine so be careful not to overdo it.
I was completely stunned at how moist the meat was. Even the breast meat was juicy.
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
This is an old family recipe that originated in Germany. I remember my grandma and my mom baking this cookie every Christmas. It’s somewhat akin to gingerbread, but with a licorice flavor (derived from the anise). Don’t expect to make this cookie in secret; the aroma will fill the entire house! But, it’s a good smell. It’s the smell of Christmas.
1 lb brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
2 1/4 c. shortening
1 T nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 qt dark Karo syrup
1 tsp allspice
1 pt sour cream
1 tsp cardamom
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
Rind & juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp salt
1 T anise oil (Do NOT use extract, you can find the oil at your pharmacy or online)
Mix all ingredients together. Just before pouring out, add 2 Tbsp soda. Pour liquid ingredients into a large pan. (I use a 13 quart bowl, but a clean dishpan works, too).
Stir in enough flour to make a dough stiff enough to roll out, about 18 cups. Chill.
Roll dough about 1/4 inch thick; cut with cookie cutter. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cookies are better if made several weeks before used.
Frosting: Beat 1 or 2 egg whites until frothy (beginning to peak). Add 3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar per egg white, depending on size until frosting reaches the consistency of Elmer’s glue. Food coloring may be added if desired. Spread on the flat side of the cookie; decorate as desired. Place in warm oven, about 200 degrees, for 6-7 minutes until set. Cool on rack. Store in airtight container, putting waxed paper between cookies that have been frosted. Makes between 20 and 24 dozen, but they will keep for months and when they are frosted, taste better than fresh ones.
Note: If your frosting leaves a watery mess after baking, add more powdered sugar. It should be the consistency of the paste you used in grade school. *You can eat this paste without being ridiculed.