Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 157 from France:
LaLaLa

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

I love Paris. I love the fashion, the architecture and the KOOKS! Check out this lady. No idea what language she's singing in. Sometimes it sounds French and sometimes it sounds some-kind-of-Asian.


video

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Joyeux Dimanche - Oscar Sunday


Photo borrowed from the internet

One of my favorite Oscar Winners.

Hope your Oscar Sunday includes Bunny Slippers and Popcorn.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Voila!


Photos by Karen at French Skinny


I made this breakfast in less than 15 minutes. One piece of toast (I cut the crust off because no one here eats it anyway.) Canadian Bacon cooked in a little butter for 3 minutes on each side. One egg cooked sunny side up.
I put this all in the broiler with a little gruyere on top and green onions.......
Voila! Breakfast to take me through the day.

4 ate the whole thing. Hubby loved it with a little hot sauce.


Dinner was a Vegetarian's Delight.
Brown Rice made with Vegetable Stock instead of water. I threw carrots in with the rice.

Meanwhile I roasted some red peppers in olive oil, sauteed some Portabello Mushrooms in olive oil, garlic salt and balsamic vinegar and sauteed leeks and celery in butter.

When done I threw the leeks and celery in with the brown rice and carrots. Added frozen corn and frozen peas to the rice.

Put the mushrooms on top.

The red peppers all around and.....Voila!

Dinner, hearty, flavorful and nutritious.

Hubby ate everything. 4 asked if I could make this again tomorrow night. (Although 4 doesn't eat the mushrooms or red peppers, he did eat 2 bowls full of brown rice with carrots, leeks, celery, peas and corn. I'm calling it a success!)



Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 156 from France:
Trocadero Break Dance

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

I feel like when we talk about suburbs, as Americans we take that to mean cookie-cutter homes and yuppies. But in Paris, suburbs and suburbanites are more what we'd consider "inner-city." They tend to be lower-income areas with a higher percentage of blue collar workers and immigrants. One of my favorite things about the Parisian suburbs is the kids that come into the city to impress the tourists and city-dwellers alike with their snazzy moves...


video

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gindi Thai


There's a place in Burbank called Gindi Thai. It's light, open and airy. The menu is fun, the service is great and we had a delicious dinner.

We shared an appetizer and curry. It was plenty.

Corn Fritter


The Four Diplomats


Curry

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 155 from France:
French Lyric Flub

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

Here's another bad metro tunnel train transfer video where I stumbled on one of my favorite songs done very very poorly. But when it's done well, it's done oh so well. Click here to see what I mean.


video

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vegetable Broth-The French Skinny Experience

Photos by Karen at French Skinny



Today I decided to make vegetable broth.

Vegetable Broth Recipe

4 leeks. The Green leaves trimmed and thrown out. The white part sliced and washed.


In a large pot at medium heat, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter. Put leeks in for 10 minutes to soften.
Then add 2 cups of carrots roughly chopped, 3 stocks of celery roughly chopped, half an onion roughly chopped and 4 cloves of garlic (I just put them in whole). Fill the pot with water until everything is covered (8 to 10 cups of water) add 2 bouillon cubes.


Get to a boil. Cover and turn down to simmer for an hour and a half. Strain all the vegetables out. Taste for flavor.

(Measuring spoons given to me by my Goddaughters, Ninny and Fifi. I love them)

Add salt and pepper as desired. I like to add a little Herbs de Provence for flavor and a little cayenne pepper for a kick. Top with chives.

I planned on making this for myself and having it for the next few days. 4 ate four little bowls full, Hubby had 2 giant bowls full, I managed to fight my way for one bowl full and by night there was one tiny little bowl full left for tomorrow.


We had this as a first for dinner. Then some ham and baguette for the second. Grapes and some cheese for dessert.

I'm now living.....
"The French Skinny Experience."


Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 154 from France:
Metro Symphonics

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

Music is still following me around. Here's a group of string instruments I spotted when transferring trains. I would love to learn how to play the violin. Anyone have a violin they want to donate? And a pair of earplugs ...maybe a dozen pairs of earplugs for all the neighbors?

I'm serious, though. I know I could figure it out. Or maybe I should get a cello instead...


video

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weigh In Week 22- Yes!

Goal: Lose 35 pounds the French Skinny Way.
(In 6 months)
Lost: 3 pounds this week
Total lost so far: 29 pounds
"Breakfast. Yes!"
Photos by Karen at French Skinny

I tried on a green top Shaboom had given me and it was too big. Yes!

4 and I went to breakfast with Grandma Dee, Miss Jean and Miss Anna. They all told me I was getting skinny. Yes!

I had this delicious croissant and 2 pieces of bacon. When I was done I felt like I had eaten a 5 course meal.


Then we went back to Grandma Dee's house. I spent about 3 hours picking tomatoes and making pasta sauce for Grandma Dee to freeze for later.

Pasta Sauce
It's pretty basic.
Fresh tomatoes in a pot with olive oil. I let them cook down a bit then put in chopped onion, sliced garlic, dried oregano, fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Get it to a boil, cover and simmer for an hour or so. Every batch is different so you have to taste, taste, taste.
This is the base. I have to keep it sweet for my kid. I like it spicy so I'll add red pepper flakes, red wine or balsamic vinegar for a little richer flavor.

Of course I had to taste a lot of the sauce to make sure it was good enough for my Momma. And if she happened to have some French bread to dip into the sauce who am I to say no?


Dinner
I ate 3 ribs and half the corn on the cob.
More for tomorrow.
And maybe the next day.




Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 153 from France:
Harmonica

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

SexySultry and I had brunch at Le Loir Dans La Théière and then went and hung out in a little park to enjoy the sunshine. It seems like music is following me around this week as a man strolled down the street serenading us on his harmonica.







video

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 153 from Burbank



Coffee with cream.

Water.

8 sweet potato fries with mayo.
Water.

Our friends came over for dinner tonight and brought a feast from P.F. Chang's.
Dynamite Shrimp.
Brown Rice
Hot Fish.
Noodles.

Great Wall of China Chocolat Cake for dessert.

I'm not missing out on anything!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 152 from France:
Drunk Sing-A-Long

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

When you're a local in any major metropolitan city, sometimes the tourists can really get on your nerves. There you are on the street in New York City and you're just trying to get to work on time and some jet-lagged or drunk tourist is holding you up because he doesn't walk fast enough. In Paris, it's the same. The tourists who give money to the street musicians on the metro usually annoy the locals as the musicians can be oftentimes irritating and lacking talent. But sometimes, you just have to smile...

video

Here's a crappy short video I took with my phone of some crazy drunk German tourists having fun and singing along with an accordion player on the train. The Frenchman in a suit on his way from work not even reacting to the scene totally cracks me up.

Pasta For Breakfast?

Photos by Karen at French Skinny


It was chilly this morning so I made some penne all'arrabbiata for breakfast.

This warmed me up nicely.


I'm determined to drink 8 glasses of water. So, I down one glass in the morning and one with my penne.

About an hour later I had my pot of black tea then cleaned the house for 5 hours.

4 dark chocolate almonds for a snack. Oh right! Water. One more glass.

Brown rice and stir fried vegetables for dinner with water. I can't believe that's only 4 glasses of water so far today.

One more glass of water before bed. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

Either you hate or love Valentine's Day - or you ignore it all together. I heard today something about singles drinking champagne and then smashing their glasses here under the Eiffel Tower. Could that be true? I couldn't find anything about it in a quick google search.

I used to love all holidays, including this one. I'm not sure where I stand anymore ...the jury is still out. But if I was to get into the swing of things and get festive, here are some cute places to get a little inspiration.

POPPYTALK

MY MORNING CHOCOLATE

BELLA DIA


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Joyeux Dimanche - Love

Photo by Karen at French Skinny
"Love"

Things to do on Sunday.....

Watch a beautiful French Film at Dress Design Decor......

Read about the renaissance of Saint-Sulpice Church at Paris.....

See what a day in the life of Shaboom looks like at My Year Started Tuesday Night with the lovely Keri.........


Have a beautiful Day

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gentle Judging

Photo by Karen at French Skinny

Full pot of black tea.

4 and I went to a friend's house. She put out humus and pita chips. I ate 6 pita chips with humus. Then I was full.

She said, "Is that all your going to eat? Have some more. Oh wait, you're doing your French Skinny thing, I forgot." (She gave me a giant eyeball roll.)

My new normal is still not normal for some of the people around me. I don't really blame them. I've been dieting since I was 18. Almost everyone I know is on one kind of diet or in between a diet. The in between a diet includes gorging on guilty pleasures before ramping up to yet another diet to reach a goal weight and then eat again.
I know this because that has been me. Up until now.

Like someone who's just found religion, I enthusiastically explain that this isn't a diet. I'm not starving myself to lose weight. I'm eating exactly what I want. I wanted the pita chips and humus. My stomach is now used to French Skinny portions so I stop when I'm full. The idea that I need to keep eating food after I'm full seems strange to me now. Grab a tambourine and hop on my bandwagon!

This was met with a "Whatever works for you." And a smile that never reached her eyes.

*Sigh*

In general, there is a part of our culture, in America, that's in the habit of gently judging not just what you eat but the amount. The eye roll, the sigh, the off handed comment, I have encountered all of these in my French Skinny Experiment.

Shaboom told me that she has found the exact opposite in France. No one judges you if you leave your entire meal on a plate. If they're not hungry they don't eat. She said it really hit home for her one day when a French woman said to her, "This food will just go into the trash. Would I go in the trash can and eat out of it?"

Now, I'm no dumpster diver but I'm still struggling with this one. I have a hard time dumping food into a trash can and I hate to waste things. The best I can do is eat my French Skinny portions and save the rest for the next day.

I had a nice walk to the store for fresh bread and brie.

I was hungry when I got home so I had 3 pieces of baguette with brie cheese, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.

I made chicken salad from the roasted chicken we had yesterday. Hubby wanted me to use the mayonnaise with olive oil. How can I put this nicely? I don't care for the taste of mayonnaise made with olive oil...... So I made it for him and 4. I wasn't hungry anyway.

Hubby felt bad about me not eating the chicken salad because I used his mayo. *Sigh*

Wait, am I gently judging him for judging me?


Later that night I had one bowl of popcorn with some real butter.
Then one scoop of chocolate ice cream.

"I love my new lifestyle!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 151 from France:
Morzine

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

And you can't boast about your knowledge of Alp ski resort cuisine without mentioning Raclette. Click here for a recipe.





Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 150 from Burbank- Running Around


Photo by Karen at French Skinny


"Breathe"

Day 150 from Burbank: Today is crazy. We all have crazy days don't we? I sit down with a pot of black tea and plan my day. I feel the rush of adrenaline that comes from having too much to do and juuuust enough time to do it. If all the traffic lights cooperate and no one melts down.

Drop 4 off at Aunt Bonnie's. He was there for 5 hours while I went from appointment to appointment. There's no easy breezy lunch for hours. What happened to my plan?

Chocolate bar with a hand full of peanuts for lunch. (I'm not proud of this.)

Dinner was roasted chicken. I ate a half a thigh, 3 cherry tomatoes with basil leaves, some chedder cheese, and some egg bread with baby bell cheese.

Later on I had some Trader Joe's frozen sweet potato fries with mayo. (8 fries)

I'm finding that, for me, I need a little late night down time with a snack or I feel deprived.

I will never feel deprived again.
I will never diet again.
I will only eat only when I'm hungry.
I will eat French Skinny portions.
I will choose carefully (most of the time) and eat with passion.
I can only taste for flavor for about 4 bites of food. After that, why am I eating?
I will Breathe.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 150 from France:
Flaine

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

Another delicious thing you eat while in the Alps is Fondue Savoyarde, a recipe for which you can find by clicking here.

Mont Blanc...








Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Leek and Potato Soup -The First Attempt

Photo by Karen at French Skinny

"Ingredients"

Apparently, the French are "Leek Crazy"! (It probably sounds sexier in French.)
When I'm shopping, I tend to pass right by the leeks. That won't happen anymore.

For my first attempt, I go online and find Alton Brown's Leek and Potato Soup Recipe. I gather all the ingredients and quickly make up a batch of this delicious elixir.

I give Hubby and 4 some. Hubby wants more. 4 wants more. I want more.
I want to eat this everyday and put it on everything.

Now I'm stumped because I usually like to follow a recipe and then figure out how to make it better. I honestly can't think of a thing. They should give Alton Brown his own show. Oh wait....

At some point I'm going to add brown rice to the soup and see how that tastes. I'm afraid this might cause an international kurfuffle from Shaboom's French friends. Good thing I live here.

I'm now officially "Leek Crazy!" Eww that still sounds gross. I won't say that anymore, I promise.

"Enjoy!"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 149 from France:
Avoriaz

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

My parents ski for at least a week or two each year. As I live in France, what better excuse to see me than to arrange a little get-together in the Alps last week?

My favorite thing I ate was Tartiflette. You can find a good recipe here although it not being the French version approved by a French chef using French ingredients, I wouldn't advise trying to serve it to any of your French friends.








Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 148 from Burbank-Croissants and Popcorn


4 asked if we could walk to the bakery today. We split a hot ham and cheese croissant and a chocolate croissant. We brought these home for Hubby........of course if he doesn't see them.....

I wasn't hungry until dinner.

Oh wait. I'm not hungry at dinner. I made dinner for Hubby and 4, sat down and spent time with them but I'm not going to eat if I'm not hungry. This makes Hubby uncomfortable.

Later that night, after everyone goes to sleep I make myself some popcorn. The old fashioned kind in a pot with oil. Some kosher salt on top. I eat one bowl full.

*I'm not saying this is healthy. I'm not recommending this. I'm just being honest.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 148 from France:
No Anger Management Needed

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

I have driven in New York city, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Spain, Belgium, etc. and all over France. I'm not going to complain and say what I'm dealing with here traffic-wise and as far as driving-style compares to the atrocities I experience in Rome, but WOW is it a jungle on the road here in Paris.

First of all, this whole concept of "lanes" is not respected even though (for the most part) they are clearly marked on the pavement. Parisian drivers tend to swerve and split and hug lanes as they please with no regard to the other drivers around them.

Secondly, that blinky light thing that you can turn on by flipping a lever attached to the steering wheel, what's that??? Let someone know where I'm going? Use my turn signal? It's none of anyone's business what my intentions are!

Thirdly, and one of my most irritating daily battles ...DOUBLE PARKING, especially on narrow street where no one can pass the offending vehicle. We just have to sit and wait while you pop into the boulangerie to pick up your baguettes and have a 20 minute conversation with the baker. Thank you very much.

Fourthly, um... cut me off much?!?!

And don't even get me started on PARKING.

There are no parking spots to speak of at any time night or day in this city. Therefore, it's every man for himself. Some people park on sidewalks, double park, park facing the wrong way for fear if they turn around to get the space that someone else will beat them there, and my personal favorite parking in front of someone's driveway - mainly my own.

Imagine running out the door, late for an appointment, only to find that you can't leave due to the large metal obstacle that is blocking your way. &$(@#*&(_%Y#*!!!!! Finally, when you can't take it any longer and have spent 20 minutes on your iphone researching tow trucks, the offender shows back up at his car and yells at YOU for being irritated.

Him: But I just popped into the bakery for 2 minutes. Don't get your panties in a bunch!

Me: Um, excuse me dear sir. You most certainly did not as I have been out here for nearly a half an hour and have had the time to research and call for a tow truck.

Him: Why on earth would you do something as foolish as try to get me towed. That's just rude! You really need to learn how to be more patient.

Okay, so excuse me right now while I go take some deep breaths...




Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weigh In Week 21

Photos by Karen at French Skinny

Weigh In Week 21
Goal: Lose 35 pounds in 6 months the French Skinny Way.
Lost 1.5 pounds this week.
Total lost so far: 26 pounds

I can't believe I lost weight at Grandma Dee's house. I usually come home 5 pounds heavier. NEVER have I spent a week there and lost weight. Yay. I probably would have lost more if it hadn't been for all the game nights. But then I would have missed some of the warmest memories I've ever had with my family. The FSE is about living a full and wonderful life, denying myself nothing. Ever. And, apparently, never wearing a hair scrunchie again.

I took all of these pictures at Smacksy's delightful pot luck dinner.


What to pick?


A litte of anything I want of course!

9 pounds to go.

I have to eat some key lime pie now.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 147 from France:
Mirror Mirror

Shaboom writes to us from Paris, France...

I have no full length mirror. The only mirror I have is over the bathroom sink from which I can only take one step back. This means I have to use PhotoBooth on my Mac in order to see what I look like (when I actually care.)

Usually, as I'm fairly familiar with my wardrobe, this is unnecessary. But then there are some days where insecurity gets the best of you, like today. I wasn't sure if it worked but as I had run out of time and didn't want to be late for my appointment, I left the house dressed like this...






Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Breakfast

Photo by Karen at French Skinny

"Breakfast"

Way back when Shaboom and I started this Experiment, she confessed that she's not really into traditional breakfast food. Her morning started out with pasta and chicken. Now that I am listening to what my body really wants, I'm finding that I too am not really into traditional breakfast food. Most of the time I'm not even hungry for breakfast. But this morning I was. But for what? Brown rice with an egg on top. I was as surprised as anyone.
I made the brown rice with vegetable broth and a bouillon cube instead of water and then at the very end put in a few tablespoons of unsalted butter. Then I made an egg , threw it and a few chives on top and voila'

About 2 oz. of Dark Chocolate for a snack.

Dinner was herb roasted chicken with rosemary/garlic potatoes.