General


As I’ve said before, I’m the self-proclaimed ambassador for proper sports bras. I really try to spread the word about Enell Sports Bras because they have changed my exercising life!

I have been going to a local trainer for a half an hour once a week at a local gym. Trish is tough but a nice, sweet person. So, I find it difficult to hate her even though she is pushing me to do things I don’t want to do. Like exercise. And jumping. I go on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm. Her 6pm client and I started to recognize each other. We would smile at each other and roll our eyes. She was always happy to see me – because it means her session is almost over. I always kind of hate to see her because I know I’m about to be tortured. We saw each other a couple of other times and finally introduced ourselves. Her name is Joan.

Trish likes to make us jump. A lot. We jump on boxes, on bosu balls, or just on the floor. Trish claims it helps with bone strength. I’m skeptical. One night, I had to make an adjustment to the Enell after a series of particularly strenuous jumps. Trish, who in no way would ever need an Enell, laughed as I shifted and tugged. I told her that while she didn’t understand, there was no way I would jump without my Enell on. She mentioned that Joan really seemed to hate jumping and sometimes even refused to jump. The next time I saw Joan, I asked her about the jumping. I don’t like the jumping, but I do it. She said she felt self conscious about jumping with everyone around (it’s a co-ed gym). I told her I had the answer – Enell! I showed her the bra. I explained how well it worked and that it was a mini-workout just to put it on. She said she would order one.

The next time I saw Joan, she grabbed my arm and told me she had something to show me. She was wearing a brand new Enell. She said it has changed her life! When I saw Joan last week, she said every time she puts her Enell on, she thinks of me! I’m flattered, I think. And Trish confirmed that she is jumping at every session!

These bras really do change the lives of the well-endowed. Make no mistake, they are expensive, but totally worth it. And they do last! I’ve had each of mine for years and they are still holding up (pun intended!!). If you are a C-cup or larger and like to exercise, I recommend checking it out! Once you try one, you’ll be hooked (that pun is for you, Mom!).

Before I took a sabbatical  from this blog, I had completed a few more episodes. So, before I embark on the next phase, I’m going to finish up the episodes I finished. First up, Mission Poachable. This episode had three recipes, the first being simple poached eggs. I did this when SH wasn’t home because he has an aversion to any egg that is not scrambled. The poaching liquid for Alton’s eggs is just water and white vinegar. He says the vinegar will “set” the eggs and you swirl the water to keep the eggs from spreading out in the pan. The eggs come out with a soft yoke, which would make SH gag, but I love a good soft-boiled egg. Served on toast, these eggs were yummy!

Next, Alton poaches catfish in evaporated milk, Catfish au Lait. I forgot to take a picture, but I wasn’t a huge fan of this preparation. To me, it just smelled strange and then I really didn’t want to eat it. I used 2% evaporated milk rather than full fat, but I doubt that was the issue.

After the milk fiasco, the next recipe was court bouillon, which is french for short boil. This mixture was water, white wine, lemon, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and pepper. He suggested cooking several types of fish in this poaching liquid. I used shrimp and salmon. I loved this method. The fish and shrimp cooked very quickly (once the liquid came to a boil) and was very flavorful. And the liquid has no added fat and definitely added flavor! I’m surprised more diet people don’t recommend this method of cooking. I highly recommend this one!!

Products: All produce was organic. The eggs were organic. The milk was not (maybe that was the problem). I found some organic wine for the wine in the court bouillon. All fish used was fresh from Publix, but not organic. Although I’m not sure if you can get organic fish. That sounds like research that needs to be done!

SH: I spared him the trauma of this episode.

Up next: Tofu

Well, here I am again. Please read my “About Me” page to see what I’ve changed about this blog. I’m starting up again with new focus and a slightly different plan. It’s on people!!

A foreign counter!

This episode is all about chocolate. Chocolate mousse sounds so exotic, I thought for sure it would be really difficult. So, I had to bring in the big guns! I was going to visit my mom and grandmother, so I waited to do this one there. Actually, my mother was having surgery, so she would not be helping. But Grandma and I have always bonded over chocolate, so I thought it would be fun in between trips to visit mom at the rehab center.* Now, this is not to say that my weight problems are related to either my mom or grandmother. Our “bonding” over chocolate (choooocollllllaaatte), was very healthy and I do not blame either one of them for weight problems other than providing me with the genes that give me a propensity for big boobs and wide hips. I might blame them a little for having strong genes that prevented me from getting Grandpa’s thin frame! I blame my weight on my metabolism changing at 30 – well after I left home and was completely responsible for my own caloric intake. But that is another post! This is about chocolate.

I knew this was going to be fun – having Grandma (commonly known as Grandma Chicky Babe) as my sous chef and Mom (commonly known as Sweet Momma P) as my taste tester would bring a whole new dynamic to the quest.  And Grandma is a great cook. My great-grandmother (Granny) cooked almost constantly. We are still trying to perfect her peach cobbler. I mentioned in an earlier post her love of lard. Grandma says baking is her therapy. Mom is also a very good cook. SO…there is a long tradition of cooking in my family. We always have debate over who makes the best sausage gravy between Mom and Grandma, but now that I have Alton’s recipe in my pocket , I may win!!

The melting of the chocolate went easy due to the practice I had with the lava muffins. Then, we just had to bloom the gelatin and whip the cream. Fold it all together and you have mousse!  Grandma and I were surprised at the ease of it all. We had fun cooking together and did remember to take pictures.

Of course we forgot to take the mousse with us when we went to see Mom, so I had to go back later. But that is so typical! The biggest surprise is that we didn’t forget anything at the grocery – we normally require at least two trips for any recipe.

Products: We used organic heavy cream. We didn’t want to buy a whole bottle of rum, so we found rum extract. I can’t have caffeine, so I did restrict the amount I ate, since we didn’t use decaf coffee. The recipe said either bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, so we used half and half.

Overall: Y.U.M. This was so rich and tasty, I will definitely make it again. But I think I will use 3/4 semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 bittersweet. I liked the darkness of the bittersweet, but some might not like it. I would also use decaf coffee. I’m not sure about the rum. I’ll have to try it with real rum to see if it makes a difference. It’s only a teaspoon, so I”m not sure if it will.

A Bowl of Yum.

SH: He was stuck working back in Nashville, so Mom and Grandma were the taste testers. I will make it again for SH to try! Here are their quotes:

SMP: “YUM. It’s the perfect mix of chocolate and coffee. Rich, but I could eat this a lot.”

GCB: “Very good. It’s very dark, but good.”

*For those who are wondering, mom had knee replacement surgery and she is doing great – making good progress and will be up and running in no time!

Up next: Good Eats Turkey. Also, more focus on weight loss!

My name is Melissa. I’m 41 years old, married to a wonderful man and live in Nashville. This blog will have two goals along with a side goal. I plan to cook my way through Alton Brown’s book “Good Eats: The Early Years” in one year. In addition, I plan to lose 40 pounds to prove that you don’t need to completely restrict your eating, but can eat healthy, have the foods you love, have an occasional treat and lose weight. The weight loss will include an exercise plan. My side goal is to complete the Iron Girl Atlanta Sprint Triathlon in June – about halfway through the endeavor.

I’m starting this blog with inspiration from the movie “Julie & Julia”. My husband and I were watching it and I related to both of the main characters. At first I thought there were many more differences than similarities between me and these two women. At 6 foot 2 inches tall, Julia Child was a foot and 2 inches taller than me. Her husband was 10 years older, mine is 2 ½ years younger. I have never been a spy and I’ve never lived abroad. However, I have moved around a lot as she did. Julia never had children – and neither do I. Most of all, I relate to her need to do “something” when her husband is at work. I have plenty of time on my hands when SH (that’s my husband) is at work because we work different shifts. I have tried some hobbies, but nothing has stuck. As far as Julie Powell, we have little in common – I’m not a writer and have never had any such ambitions. I’m well over 30 and don’t live in New York. However, we are similar in that we need a goal to focus on in life and love to cook. I believe she started with more advanced cooking skills than I am. While watching the movie, I told SH I wanted to start a blog, but have never had a good focus for it – a catch, if you will. From that conversation, this blog was born.

Here are my rules:

  • I will cook the recipes in the book, in order, over the next year.
  • I will use, when available, sustainable and/or organic products to prepare the recipes.
  • I will, when appropriate and it won’t affect the recipe, adapt the recipes to be lower fat.
  • I will blog about the process, availability of products, ease of following the recipes and taste.
  • I will give my husband’s assessment when available.
  • I will exercise 5 days per week for at least 30 minutes – more as I get into my training.
  • I will blog about the exercises I am doing.
  • I will post my weight weekly (this, no doubt, will be the hardest part).
  • I will NOT post the recipes – buy the book if you want the details!

For a while now I had been looking for focus in my cooking. Should I focus on Italian? I had some wonderful food in Italy, but have not liked the cookbooks that I’ve found. For a while I thought I’d do something with Rick Bayless’ Mexican, but that looked really complicated. I realized, I don’t need to pick a specific cuisine; I just need to hone my skills and techniques. I needed someone more like Julia – a teacher, but I’m not really a fan of French food. And I’m pretty sure my husband would refuse to eat most of the food – aspic – meat gelatin?? Really?? SO….since I’ve been a fan of Alton for years and recently bought his book, I picked him. I actually own all of his books, but at the beginning of this book, Alton says he wanted to do a show that combined Julia Child, Mr. Wizard and Monty Python. So appropriate! Once I’ve honed my skills, I can pick recipes for foods that I love and feel confident I can interpret them with my new knowledge! I’ve already done some of his recipes from watching his show Good Eats on Food Network, but I will repeat them as they come up in the book. 80 episodes – some with multiple recipes, some weeks I will have to do more than one episode, but with some planning, I should be ok. My plan is much less ambitious than Julie, but this is my quest, not hers! There are some similarities – a duck, a roasted chicken and killing a lobster! Although, I must admit, as a scuba diver, I’ve already killed more than one lobster.

What do I hope to accomplish by doing this? Well, I hope to learn some new cooking techniques and develop the skills I already have. Julia Child criticized Julie Powell saying she thought her blog was some sort of stunt. I hope Alton wouldn’t think this is a stunt, but proof that a show that took what Julia Child started and put a twist on it has also inspired America!