Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Week of Boot Camp and I Haven't Puked

"You'll probably throw up."

Those were the words told to me by a male participant of the weight loss boot camp at my gym. Last Thursday was my first day attending and I was one class behind the others because business travel had me out of town for the initial class. A female participant had puked so it was only natural I, the newbie, would do the same.

"Good to know," I said.

Since then I've survived two other classes (three in total) and I have successfully held my lunch. Although, I admit to coming close.

How do I feel? Tonight my body feels tired. Like last Thursday, aches are beginning to settle in. It was upper body day where I had to punch the pads the trainer held. Boy, is that hard! Other activities were involved, too.

Leg day is on Tuesday. It was hard and I don't recall dripping sweat so much before but my legs really didn't hurt afterward. They felt stiff and heavy. Maybe it's roller derby training? Or maybe the protein shakes I've been consuming?

Mentally, I'm feeling great. For the past week I've been on the program's nutritional plan, too. It was hard the first couple of days. I enjoy cooking and enjoy eating so being regulated six small meals a day which consist of three of this, four of that and a teaspoon of something else has taken some getting used to.

Honestly, I think my stomach has shrunk because an apple with a teaspoon of natural peanut butter is filling. I still have headaches but they are waning and I don't have cravings for tasty food.

If scales at my doctor's office and the gym are accurate, I'm excited about the weight loss after the first five days. If they're not, well, I'll find out tomorrow how much I've lost in the past week.

Stay tuned for progress!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Attempt at Making Baked Caramel Apple Donuts

I came across a blog called "Shutterbean" today and a recipe for baked caramel apple donuts. Yes. I know. Sounds sinfully delicious.

Last January when visiting Buffalo I made my Mom stop at Tim Hortons for a donut. My choice: apple fritter filled with caramel. Yes. It was sinfully delish.

So, I just *had* to try caramel apple donuts recipe. My pantry had most of the items and I picked up the rest at Walmart including a mini-bunt cake pan. They didn't have any donut pans and since I didn't want to wait, I found what I thought was the next best thing.

I'm not going to include the recipe but you can head over to Shutterbean to pick it up. And be sure to take a look at her photos. Then compare it to the one at the top of this post.

Um, yeah. I had an issue and didn't cool the baked goodies before taking them out of the pan.

But, they taste delicious and can't wait to taste one tomorrow after the caramel soaks in. Yum!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cooking Parsnip Bacon

I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen during my "free" time and today was no exception. Today's experiment was inspired by the Nov. 2010 issue of Food & Wine magazine and a very small article about parsnip bacon. Chef Quinn Hatfield of Hatfield's in Los Angeles shared the simple recipe:

Chef Quinn Hatfield's Parsnip Bacon
Use a vegetable peeler to thinly slice parsnips;
Brush both sides with vegetable oil;
Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper;
Sprinkle with smoked salt;
Top with another piece of parchment paper;
Place another cookie sheet atop the parchment paper;
Bake one hour and 15 minutes at 300 degrees;
Cool before serving.

Seemed simple enough to prepare and following is my version of the recipe.

Jenn's Parsnip Bacon
I used my vegetable peeler to slice off thin layers of one parsnip;
I dipped the slices in olive oil;
Placed on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet;
Sprinkled with flaked sea salt and pepper (didn't see smoked salt at Publix);
Placed another piece of parchment paper atop the slices followed by a cookie sheet;
Baked at 300 degrees for about an hour and 5 minutes.

If you look at the picture on Food & Wine and compare it to my final results (below) you'll see mine look like crisp bacon.

These actually turned out pretty tasty with the right amount of crispness and bite peppery bite.

Hungry for culinary travel? Check out Eataly New York in New York City and my mini-trip report on the visit over at

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Three Tips for Marketing Your Blog on the Cheap

It takes money to make money and blog page views come from marketing, too. Following are three tips I've used for marketing your blog on the cheap

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dig Out the Tie-Dye! It’s a '60s Dance Party, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 , in Palmetto, Fla.

Hey Southwest Florida! Dig out the bellbottoms, go-go boots and tie-dye shirts for what should be one groovy evening on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, at the Olympia Theatre in Palmetto, Fla. (1512 10th Ave. West) when Yesterdayze hits the stage with rock 'n' roll for the soul. Not only will you boogie to '60s tunes but a music video for the band will be shot that night.

Here are the deets:

Olympia Theatre
512 10th Ave. West, Palmetto
Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 7 to 10 p.m.
Doors open at 6 p.m.
Tickets: $7 in advance, $10 at the door

Half price admission for anyone wearing a Yesterdayze t-shirt.
Visit for additional info.
Disclosure: The bassist is my uncle. Isn't that cool?