Fire’t Up!

May 8, 2008

It’s National Barbecue Month, folks! In North Carolina, that means pulled pork, so I think National Grill Month or Cook Out Month would fit better ;) That age-old debate…

Anyways, I’m becoming quite the grillmaster since I boldly pushed the ignition button yesterday. I had to get dinner started early tonight before the husband got home from work because my sister needed to eat early. So I basically grilled the whole dinner myself – including using the side burner, which was kind of scary too but cool!

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Sweet potato fries and AmyLu Apple Gouda Chicken Sausage.

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My plate, complete with “hot dog”, fries and greens.

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The trick to grilling sweet potatoes is to cook them 90% of the way before you add them (or the outside will burn before the are tender). This was 2 medium potatoes and I sliced them and microwaved for about 9 minutes. They were perfectly steamed and then went on the grill for about 10 minutes or so to get some good char.

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We have a lot of bread so I skipped buns and just used normal bread.

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We sauteed some of the CSA kale with a big chopped date and drizzled it with maple syrup. Mmmm! Nothing like greens with maple!

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Fake Scone

Dinner tasted great and I was actually too full to have dessert right away. A while back I would have just eaten it anyways for the taste but I decided I would enjoy it more if I got a little hungry and waited about 45 minutes.

Then I had my scone in the hammock! It was like a chocolate chip biscuit.

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Afternoon Snack

Lunch held me over until about 5:15, including a walk to the grocery store to buy a (mom, don’t look!) Mother’s Day card. I could have probably waited for dinner, but I decided it would be better not to sit down starving, so I made a little snack pack of trail mix, Kashis, graham sticks, and Kashi H2H.

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Trip

Tomorrow I embark on a journey to Hillsborough before I fly to Baltimore on Saturday morning with my mom to visit my grandparents! My grandfather is turning 90 (!!) on Mother’s Day! Can’t wait to see him and my grandmother. They are moving out of the house my mother grew up in this summer. It’s so sad – I’ve been going there my whole life. But I may come home with some goodies for my house :)

Here’s my sister and me with my grandfather a year ago at my wedding

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I’ve got a whole week of meals out coming up – it will be quite a challenge! Four dinners in a row. But eating healthy does get so much easier each time I go to a restaurant.

Like the beach, I’ll be blogging from Maryland, but will have to save questions + comments again for when I get back (The comments are the most time consuming part of the blog, and I need to spend some time with my grandparents!) Thanks for understanding :)

Countless Days

Jenna ask me for an update on how my “countless” days have been going. Well, GREAT! While I do feel a certain loyalty to calorie counting because it got me where I am, I do find not counting to be quite fun. Really more refreshing than anything. Since I read SuperFoods HealthStyle well over a year ago, my attitude toward food changed from weight loss to health. But now more than ever, I feel that food is more than just good taste and calories (and it probably helps that I just finished reading In Defense of Food). Calorie counting was never bothersome for me – I was very happy doing it – but I do feel happier towards food now.

I will say: I have been counting very generally. I will do a quick tally: “200 for hot dog + bread, 100 for fries + ketchup, 50 for greens + sauce. Ok I’m done.” More of a mental check to see if I’m on the right track, but as you might guess, I usually am. I think that will go away with time, and I think it’s a very natural habit for me at this point. And probably not a bad idea in general.

‘Night!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hk May 8, 2008 at 8:08 pm

kudso, quite the grillmaster!! I love sweet potato rounds with a bit of grill mark/char…always a good little crunch to an otherwise softer texture. Dinner with your sister looks to have been a fun night outside, love those summer dinners when it’s still light out :) Thanks!!

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2 VeggieGirl May 8, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Definitely didn’t know it was National BBQ Month – you certainly ARE becoming quite the grillmaster!! Awesome!!

Sounds like you have a wonderful journey coming up – what fun!!

Glad that the “countless days” are going well – you’re doing great!! :0)

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3 Romina May 8, 2008 at 8:15 pm

You make me want to get out and grill!!

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4 Tina O. May 8, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Your grandpa is SO cute! My grandma will be 89 in June!
We were going to have just about the same dinner, but I was baking the sausages (out of laziness) and my pyrex dish exploded in the oven! It was scary! So needless to say, my husband had to run out to get dinner quickly. What an awful debacle that was. Certainly ruined my mood.

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5 CourtneyS May 8, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Kath, tell your grandfather he is very dapper!

What a great dinner. mmmmmmm.

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6 BethT May 8, 2008 at 8:24 pm

My daddy’s b-day is Sunday too. Happy day to him AND your grandpa. Have fun and safe travels.

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7 Bev May 8, 2008 at 8:29 pm

After I learned how to grill my husband thought I was the one to do it all the time…GRRRRRRR . By
way your meal looks so good . Have a great time in Maryland.

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8 Katers May 8, 2008 at 8:42 pm

So many cute pictures! I love the one at your wedding – your grandpa looks so happy!

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9 Suzanne May 8, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Hello Kath and everyone!

I’m back from Sedona and it took me a while to catch up on all the posts/comments I missed since last Thursday! I missed this blog! :)

To anyone looking for a wonderful relaxing vacation – take a trip to Sedona. It was beautiful! My husband and I ate at the spa almost everyday and forget what people say about ‘spa food.’ The food was DELICIOUS, and they listed the calories for each dish. It was so nice to keep a general calorie count – since we all tend to splurge when we’re on vacation, right?

KATH –
Your grandpa is so cute! Unfortunately, I lost all my grandparents when I was little – so when I think of grandparents I get a little twinge in my heart. I hope you have a wonderful time!

I have a question about grilling. We’ll be getting our first grill in a few weeks and I’d like to become a ‘grillmaster’ like yourself. Do you have any Grilling 101 tips? I see it’s pretty easy to slice up veggies and grill them.

Do I need to spray some oil on the grill beforehand? on the food? Is there a standard temp? I know people say grilling at high temps is bad because it creates carcinogens? And they say marinating beforehand reduces this. Do you marinate your meats before grilling?

I’m sure I’ll get some great meal ideas for the grill from you this summer! Thank you! :)

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10 Becca May 8, 2008 at 8:59 pm

What a cute picture of you, your sister, and grandfather! And I have to say you look gorgeous in it!

Dinner looks awesome, anything with sweet potatoes is awesome to me!

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11 Renee May 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Congrats on the success with the no counting and with the success of the grill!! :)

Also, where did you get your shoes? (the ones you are wearing in the 1st picture of this post). Thanks :)

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12 brownies... May 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm

thanks for the announcement link! i’ve quit counting calories before, but (like you) always count in my head. what i do now is weight/count calories for all meals i make but when i eat out i don’t bother.

that scone looks good. i’ve found the most dry and crumbly ones at starbucks–though you might not want to look at the nutritional info on that.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grandma-Johnsons-Scones/Detail.aspx
seems like a good/dry recipe. good luck if you try it:D

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13 Nicole May 8, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Kath, you and your family are so cute!! I just had to agree with your comments on the counting (or lack of!). I definitely keep a mental check out of habit, accountability, and responsibility. I refuse to become a statistic (as we all know, only “a few” people can/do actually keep the weight off…pssht…), but at the same time, it’s refreshing not to be so bound to counting. Of course, I was one to base each meal on what I was “allowed” to have instead of what I needed or wanted. It’s definitely been different and a struggle at times, but I feel more confident knowing I’m not going at it alone!!

oh and your pictures are making my Spring fever worse! Looks great!!

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14 Julz May 8, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Thanks for the shoutout :) I’m SO glad that you liked them! I actually LOVE them, but like you, when I was younger I totally thought they were gross. I wouldn’t go near one ;)

Rasberries: INCREDIBLE at this time of year or what?! I can’t get over them. They are unlike anything else for me, they scream summer. But I definitely like to eat them, rather than put them in a smoothie and cover up their freshness! I wonder how good frozen rasberries are… Have you ever tried them? (ps) With Chevre, are they not h.e.a.v.e.n.?

Scones: 2 Things: I did a little research as, like you, I only like CrUMBLY and DRY scones. They should be the perfect pair to some tea (in my opinion) and in that, They need to have that outside chew/lightness/crumble/yum now I want one really bad! I found this recipe at caloriecount (I use for recipes for my family as my mom has to watch her sodium so I just use it for calculating sodium and for baking too! Anyways, they had a recipe that looks really good and crumbly (no fat… Butter, oil, etc)

http://caloriecount.about.com/recipe/63238.html They are for Cranberry-Orange Scones! I hope they work out for you and let me know! If I make them for my family on Mother’s Day I’ll let you know!

Also, as a last resort, we have the most AMAZING Bread Shop called Baker Street and they make the world’s best scones! They are so nice there too and I’m sure they’d be MORE THAN HAPPY to help you out if you really can’t figure out what to do :)
http://www.bakerstreetbread.com/products.html

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15 Jessie May 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Im so glad that the not counting is going well!! You are such a positive inspiration :)

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16 Nikki May 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Kath-

I missed the post this morning, but good on you for being able to do real pull-ups – those are so difficult!
Don’t know if this is a weird comment, but looking at that picture from lunch a few days ago, your arms look really good! Congrats on getting stronger.

I need to get on that assisted pull-up machine today!

:)

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17 LT May 8, 2008 at 10:04 pm

hahah i LooooVe the fam. picks…esp. the cute little girl in the back!!!

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18 Nick May 8, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Mmmm, nothing like grilled sweet potatoes. How are those sausages? Are they low in fat? Because most chicken sausages I find aren’t very low in fat at all, usually 8-12g of fat for 1! A while ago I found white meat chicken sausages that were to die for but I can’t find them again! The only place I know to get them is the Delmonico gourmet food market at Grand Central Station in NYC. They make a deadly Italian-style rolled up white meat chicken sausage that is LOADED with garlic, parsley and oregano. I’ve never had better sausage in my life.

The Peanut Butter Boy

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19 Suzanne May 8, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Nick –
Have you tried the Applegate Farms chicken sausages? Or the Trader Joe’s kind?
I am not sure about the fat content…but they are tasty!

Do you live in NYC or NJ?

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20 Julz May 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Kath- Quick Question! I feel like I’ve never seen you make pb+j oatmeal!! And I feel like it’d be awesome! with some nuts on top or even dried crans/cherries and peanuts or something like that! Just a though, Idk, lol.

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21 Jill May 8, 2008 at 10:49 pm

HEhe, I’m a general counter as well – it’s easy and yet allows for check-ups every onces in a while

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22 mel May 8, 2008 at 11:06 pm

I may be the only one but i completely stopped counting calories a couple of weeks ago too bc I didn’t want to be so obsessive and I feel so good! I don’t even estimate bc i feel like that is still counting. Im just trying to eat healthy and balanced so I don’t feel the need to. I don’t think I’ve gained a pound and I love eating without worring if this is going to break the calorie bank or whatever. Does anyone else just completely not count and try to eat healthy and balanced?

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23 Dinah Soar May 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

I’m not a scone expert, but scone doughs are mostly like biscuit dough…the right blend of fat—usually butter for scones..and flour plus a tablespoon or two of sugar and liquid…most often milk.

The trick with the liquid is this…too much and the scone will be heavy…too little and it will be dry.

I find it’s best to begin with a cup or two of flour depending on how many scones you want to make, the sugar, and 2-4 tablespoons of fat which should be cut in just like you’re making biscuts…

Then add the liquid..it’s best not to worry about measuring, but slowly add the liquid while stirring, adding until the dough comes together and stopping at that point.

Then you should knead the dough 3 or 4 turns on a floured surface, pat into a circle and cut with a knife into pie shapes.

Scones can be varied by adding vanilla, chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, raisins, orange peel and flavoring…candied ginger..the sky is pretty much the limit.

I have made scones using a biscuit mix.

Also, you want to use a flour made from a soft winter wheat, like White Lily, and then when you’ve mastered the technique you can try adding whole grain flour for part of the white flour.

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24 Ally May 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

Such a cute post!

I’m home alone friday night so it’s now officially ‘Grill Night!’

Thanks for the inspiration, I hope I don’t burn down the neighborhood ;)

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25 Danielle May 9, 2008 at 1:12 am

I’m not counting calories either. I feel so liberated! :)

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26 Danielle May 9, 2008 at 1:12 am

I’m not counting calories either. I feel so liberated! :)

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27 magpie May 9, 2008 at 2:29 am

Thanks for the tip about sweet potatoes! Do you think you can grill squash too? I usually prefer butternut squash to sweet potatoes…

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28 Sidi May 9, 2008 at 6:05 am

Mmmmm, BBQ, that time of the year… Have a nice day!

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29 Jessica May 9, 2008 at 6:38 am

help!!!

I reaaaaaally want to make sweet potato fries, but the last time I tried I couldn’t even cut the potato open! Someone suggested baking it beforehand, but that didn’t make it much easier to cut through. Any ideas? I have SUCH a craving!!!

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30 caitlinbo (in FL) May 9, 2008 at 7:01 am

jessica – perhaps you need a sharper knife? i’ve never not been able to slice a sweet potato!

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31 Katie May 9, 2008 at 7:11 am

Love the meal. we literally barbeque almost every night from APril through Septmeber.

YAY for coming to MD!!!!! If you want a lunch date…Katie’s alwasy free!! (um…that’d be me…lol!) :)

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32 Becky in MD May 9, 2008 at 7:23 am

An early welcome to MD as well! I remember the last time you came(sometime in the winter) it was like 70 degrees and so nice out! I don’t think we’re gonna have that luck this time….the forcast looks pretty rainy. Enjoy your trip!

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33 Kath May 9, 2008 at 7:27 am

Thanks for all the scone recipes! I’ve saved them all and will do some experimenting when I get home next week…

Suzanne ,
Welcome back!!! Glad you had a great trip. I’m not the grill expert yet, but you can find lots of info on that National BBQ Month website :)

Renee ,
Shoes are Payless – Champion Brand. LOVE them!

Thanks Nikki :)

LT ,
The cute girl is my cousin Natalie – she was the flour girl (yes I just wrote FLOUR!!) flower girl :mrgreen:

Nick,
Sausages are the best chicken sausages I’ve ever had – and they’re very healthy. Here’s the website:
http://www.sausagesbyamy.com/shop/brand/sausages-by-amylu/

Julz ,
I always want to make PB&J but then I want whole fruit instead of jam! I’ll do it soon for you :)

magpie ,
You can definitely do it with butternut squash. We did a few weeks ago (try searching for it in the yellow box). I actually prefer it too as fries.

Katie,
You have mail!

Becky,
Just keep the rain away!!!

Kath

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34 bcgirl May 9, 2008 at 11:32 am

I don’t know if it’s just me but I’ve never counted calories in my life – it just always seemed to be too much work. I suppose I’m a little lazy in that regard. :) Good on everyone for making the switch and focusing on eating from the different food and colour groups.

I also find bbq’ing really dauting as well so good for you Kath for facing your grilling fears and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Last but not least I wanted to share a really awesome recipe for all you tofu lovers out there:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tofu-Parmigiana/Detail.aspx

Take a look at the reviews before you start – freezing the tofu beforehand really does help!

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