Bad Golf, Good Dishes

Actually, it was an injured arm that lead to the pursuit of more dishes for my lovely bride. I wanted to golf at a course in Canton, TX, home of the First Monday’s Trade Days (the largest flea market this side of the Mississippi). It’s also home to the Canton Dish Barn. For those who are into Fiesta Dinnerware, the Canton Dish Barn is the place to shop.

My wife and I appreciate Fiesta Ware. We like the color. We like the solid feel of the plates. We like the way the plates keep our food off the table, as plates are designed to do. Yes, the simplicity of the plates and the bright colors remind me of… kindergarten, when things were simpler. No confusing patterns. Just simply, color, roundness of plates, and thickness, giving a senses of durability.

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A Gentle Reminder

My lovely bride loves to make chocolate candy for me, since I’m such a lover of chocolate. You can read more about that here.

The problem is that we ran out of chocolate a few days ago. She is ever attentive and asked me this morning, while she was at work, to leave her a reminder so she could make me more chocolate tonight. I thought it would be helpful to leave the can of cocoa in a place where she would see and be reminded. Then, to my delight, I discovered we had four cans of cocoa. She is really good about never running out of the essentials. Seizing on the opportunity, I placed all four cans in convenient locations. After all, can one leave too many reminders for the need of chocolate? See the photos and tell me if you think she will spot the conveniently placed cans of cocoa. (All photos Copyright TimothyJHammons 2017).

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You Can Keep Your Krispy Kreme! I Will Take Shipley Do-nuts Every Time!

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I can remember all the hubbub over Krispy Kreme donuts when they first came to Texas back in the late 1990s. Everyone was all excited about the prospect because we had heard for years about how good they were. And they are great donuts. But never did I ever waiver from my love for Shipley Do-nuts because that was the donut that a grew up with back in Houston.

We never looked forward to going to Duncan Donuts, or any other donut shop Saturday or Sunday morning. For my family, the treat was always Shipley’s. In fact, at one point when my brothers and I were all under the same roof, we had to buy two dozen donuts when we went. Most of them never got cold. We were in donut heaven.

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Heidi’s Peanut Butter Cups!

As many of my friends knows, I’m a confessing chocoholic (please follow the link). This isn’t like being confessional in a theological sense, where you come to your positions theologically through much study, prayer and leading by God. This is…of the flesh, completely! Chocolate is my Kryptonite, my weakness when it comes to eating. I love chocolate. Well, that should be overly redundant by now.

However, since my doctor strongly recommended I go on a diet and my wife helped me, I have cut out almost all chocolate intake. In fact, the first three weeks on the diet we were completely chocolate free, along with being beer free, wine free, bread free, cheese free, potato chip free…,well, anything that I could eat that wasn’t absolutely good for me. And guess what? The diet worked beyond my wildest dreams. After the first four weeks, which is the main portion of the weight-loss portion of the diet, I went from a dainty 265 lbs. to 238 lbs. After that, the diet focuses on stabilizing at the 238 lbs. But I didn’t stabilize at all. I kept losing weight. Now I’m down to an even 230 lbs. for a told loss of 35 lbs., and I may get into the 220s if I continue eating the way that I have been.

But alas, the need for chocolate. Heidi knew that I loved chocolate, so she went to work trying to find chocolate that would keep us in the guidelines of our diet, meaning that it had to be butter free, sugar free, fat free, etc. You might think that it was an impossible task, but not for Heidi. She came up with a simple recipe of mixing cocoa (a major portion of what makes up chocolate) with coconut oil (no relation to chocolate), added some Stevia and then froze it. This was about week three of the diet, so when she presented it to me, I was extremely grateful.

I bit into the chocolate not knowing what to expect. It was quite different than the chocolates we are accustomed to. First of all, it’s not full of sugar. Yes, the Stevia gave it a hint of sweetness, but the taste was more chocolate and almost sour in comparison to the other chocolates we are used to eating. I loved it.

Then something happened. The more she made it, the more my tastes changed, and the more I loved it. That has been another one of the surprises to this diet, my tastes have changed. While in the first part, I was craving all kinds of foods I could not have, after being away from those foods, I only began to crave what was on the diet. The last hold out was last week when I was craving Saltine crackers. Strange, I know.Food 005

What was special is that Heidi gave me a piece of chocolate the she dipped in all-natural peanut butter, and it was a taste from the heavenlies. I told her she should make some peanut butter cups, and she being the loving wife she is, she did!

The two I have eaten were splendid. While you have to keep them in the refrigerator because the chocolate has a low-melting point, the cups are best eaten at room temperature, meaning they will be much more messy. But messy is worth it. Here are the final peanut butter cups.

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More Glorious Food!

More delectables from Heidi’s kitchen. First up, sword fish and fresh green beans. Very delightful!

Food 003Heidi marinated the swordfish in Thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper, broiled it in the oven, 5 minutes on each side. Did I say it was wonderful?

As for the green beans, she gets a gold medal award for taking fresh green beans, adding red onion, and marinated them together with Herbes de Provence, and balsamic vinegar with a dash of salt. Superb!

The bonus: only about 250 calories for the entire meal!

Here is another dish she made me last week, although, no details for it. Just look and drool.

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Not Eating Donuts

As anyone who has ever experienced a serious diet knows, the worst part of the diet is the cravings, and the the worst part of that is having that which you crave, right before your eyes.

My sons and I have a weekly ritual on Saturdays in which we go to the pharmacy and a donut shop. I knew going into my current diet, that I would be faced with our little ritual, so this is about not eating donuts. Fortunately, there isn’t much to say, other than the sacrifice has been worth it. I have lost 17 lbs.!

I need that truth before me, because the worst part of this diet hasn’t been the hunger. On the Hungry-O-Meter, I’m usually around a 3 or a 4. However, on the Crave-O-Meter I’m usually around a 9 or 10. Donuts are high on the list of cravings. At my worst, I think I was craving bacon and chocolate, with a buttered tortilla wrapped around it, covered with gravy and a beer. I’m sure they serve that somewhere. But if they don’t, try one for me and let me know.

As for the donuts, my boys tell me they were excellent.

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Food, Glorious Food! Heidi’s Taco Salad

Heidi has me on a special diet that she used a number of years ago to help her lose more than 60 lbs. We cut out carbs, which means, we cut out bread, beer, chocolate, fruit with too much sugar, beer, chocolate, bread, tortillas, chips, cereal, beer, chocolate … well, you get the idea. It is also a low fat diet as well. This means, brace yourselves, no bacon! I know! The humanity! It is not the Atkins diet, but a bit more complicated than that.

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Chili Rellenos for Thanksgiving

This is the time of year that I start thinking about chili rellenos. Most people start thinking about turkey, stuffing, being stuffed by turkey and stuffing and football. But not me. I think about chili rellenos, because my mother had the world’s best chili relleno recipe.

It was so good that she always cooked chili rellenos for us on Thanksgiving instead of turkey, gravy and stuffing. Well, not always, but for the most part. She would save the turkey for Christmas.

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