Posts Tagged ‘food’

Portion Control Is Not Diet Control, But It Helps.

November 22, 2015
Ham Skin and Fat-Delicious

Ham, Skin and Fat, Delicious

My Father Lived to be 71 my Mother 94. They lived in the same house ate the same foods but had completely different lifestyles. My father retired at 57 and spent the rest of his life on the couch watching television and drinking beer. My mother quit drinking alcoholic beverages at 57 and went out and got a job at a delicatessen where she was on her feet all day. After retiring, she joined a barbershop quartet called the Alley Cats who had skimmer hats and long tails. They swished their tails when they sang and danced.

I asked mom who they performed for and she said they went around to retirement homes and sang for the old people to cheer them up. I laughed at her because she was about 70 at the time so she clarified it by saying old people like my father who did absolutely nothing except complain and talk about the weather. The other big lifestyle difference was the amount of food my mother ate compared to my father. My Father believed in three huge meals a day. breakfast was a couple of fried eggs, toast and meat, which was usually ham, bacon or kielbasa. My mom usually had just toast and tea. Lunch for mom was usually rabbit food, celery, carrots, cucumbers, pickles or a salad. Dinner was a shared meal and she ate a small portion of whatever was cooked.

Despite living to 94, a Nutritional Nazi would have insisted that my mother was killing herself with what she ate. She loved the skin of a roasted ham and thought ham fat was a food group. She ate the very salty, jellied brine that seeps from a ham when you refrigerate the leftovers. She would eat the crisp skin of any fowl she roasted and of course she would pluck and eat the very fatty tail of a roasted bird. She would take a small portion of the mandatory potatoes that my father insisted upon at every dinner and a full portion of overcooked green vegetable. Her total portion of meat, skin, fat and soft bones never totaled 6 ounces. She stayed healthy by working like a bear and eating like a bird.

I don’t gain weight because I eat excessive portions, I gain weight because bad habits creep into my diet. I like Ting, grapefruit soda, before coffee and a bag of nuts with my coffee and heavy cream. I like a 1500 calorie dinner and when I am in bad habit mode, I do not cut back if I have a social luncheon or breakfast date. I just eat 2 big meals for the day plus my standard bottle of wine.

As to exercise, I still do walk in bad habit mode, just not as much. When unconcerned about my health, I will walk about 2.5 miles 3 or 4 times a week and find it a little difficult to walk 5 to 10 miles. When concerned about my health, I will walk 5 to 7 days a week with at least 2 days in the 5 to 7 mile range.

My biggest problem comes because I enjoy being both physical and cerebral. When i am in my physical mode, I work all day in my yard and on my house. Perfection is not a goal it is a standard. If anything isn’t perfect, it is done over. Not a stray plant or blade of grass in my cactus garden, just cactus and mulch (Ouch). I never think of food nor do I get hungry for anything other than my one meal a day at dinner.

When I am writing, I live in a world of my own making. There are so many things to learn about including history, heredity, Arduino programming, geology, gardening, cooking, wild flowers, herbal medicine, politics, economics and more. Whenever I stumble upon a missing connexion or incomplete thought, I get up and pace.

Of course the refrigerator is a traditional stop in these walks. Depending on the severity of the mental block or amount of missing information, refrigerator stops can get more frequent. I cannot change my nature but I can minimize edibles beyond carrots, celery, broccoli and lettuce. It used to be hot air blown popcorn at 150 calories of carbohydrates and starches with minimal vitamin content and a few minerals.

I checked my blog content and found I was in physical mode from 2009 to 2012 when I dropped from 265 to 165 before returning to a comfortable and stronger 175. From 2012, I started writing my two pirate books about St. Croix and as described above, I was less physical and much less food focused. I had moved back to the 17 century in my mental time machine and let my house completely run down to a pitifully low standard. My weight rose to a maximum of 215 pounds on several occasions but residual knowledge helped me keep it in check in the obese range and not morbidly obese.

I have several more books I need and want to write so the question is, now that I understand the problem, can I start another book without losing interest in my wellness programs.

If I don’t resolve this issues there may not be any more books as I stay physical to stay alive, stop exercising my mind and end up as a mindless Alzheimer Victim walking the streets and not recognizing anybody. On the other hand if I collapse into the imaginary world of my next book and ignore physical activity, I may not live long enough to finish it. When you have a lifetime of clinically accessed ADHD, there is no guide book for gracefully growing up and especially growing old.

There is no published recipe for this meal. The recipe for the super healthy home fries will be posted in a couple of days. After all, why would anybody want a recipe for a ham streak from a picnic ham with all of the skin, fat and salt.

But, Hey, Mom lived to be 94 still had all her marbles and died peacefully after expressing the sentiment that she was ready to go.

 

Simple Spinach Soup

November 19, 2015
Delicious Ripe Soursop

Delicious Ripe Soursop

Of course I ate the whole Soursop, 1000 calories, which is one of those perfectly delicious foods. Once I got started, I just couldn’t stop myself until there was nothing left. I never did have much will power which is why I eat and drink too much and remain overweight. However, this time I am not giving up until I reach 180 pounds when I will slowly return to my bad habits. Honestly, it’s easier for me to go on a diet every few years than it is to be temperate everyday of my life.pixel period
This is my first serious diet since 2012 where I was watching for the effect of what I ate on my chronic pain and the ability to control my ADHD. Of course, I lost interest in my experiments, stopped worrying about what I ate and gained weight reaching a maximum of 215 which is still more than 50 pounds lighter than my highest ever. I must admit it was nice starting my day with a bag of peanuts, a double order of crisp bacon and a Ting, grapefruit soda. Over 1000 calories before lunch, dinner and wine. The only reason I never went above 215 was my exercise. But those days are past, I hope.

 

Dinner, Spinach Meatball Soup

Dinner, Spinach Meatball Soup

I decided to have a very light dinner to offset my fruit consumption and I had spotted a recipe for Spinach Soup at I’ve Got Cake which focuses on Food, Fashion and Style for a young audience. Dana cooks full flavored foods so I carry her on my reader. It helps that she’s attractive, but don’t get her angry because she has a temper and will cuss you out.

Cleaned Fresh Spinach

Cleaned Fresh Spinach

Since I was a little bloated and also a little tired from the sedative effect of the soursop, I did not feel like a creative meal just a quick easy one. The creative part had already been done by Dana in her attractive presentation. I had some fresh spinach I wanted to use up so that part was easy.

Meatballs and Bullion Cubes in Coffeepot

Meatballs and Bullion Cubes in Coffeepot

I got really lazy and used frozen meatballs and bullion cubes. I also adapted it to my coffeepot so I didn’t have to pay attention. The spinach was fresh and I added it at the end when the meatballs were cooked. I ate all the spinach, six meatballs and half thee broth for about 300 calories. I was satisfied and that was it for the day except for my evening bottle of wine.pixel period
I actually made this about a week ago and am making it for the second time today. I went out to breakfast with a couple of friends and overate during this social gathering. Today I am making the soup easy by putting everything in the pot and letting it cook while I run errands.pixel period
Ingredients.
6 meatballs
1/2 package of frozen spinach
1/2 scotch bonnet hot pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 bullion cubes

Method
Place all in the pot and place on the coffeemaker
Add 16 oz bottle of water to the coffeemaker section
After the heated water is in the pot, let steep for 1 hour.

Feather Meal Fed to Chickens Contains, Antibiotics, Prozac, Tylenol, and Benadryl

November 17, 2015

This is a guest commentary based on real science from two respected organizations testing all the feed that goes to chickens that they could find. This article starts as follows:

“Grilled chicken lightly seasoned with some of your favorite fresh vegetables sounds like a nice dinner, doesn’t it?  It may not sound so appealing once you find out  what the chicken’s diet consisted of. According to a recent study by John’s Hopkins  Bloomberg School of Public Health, feather meal that is fed to chickens (yes, feathers from other chickens fed to living chickens…gross) is contaminated with a  pharmaceutical soup that contains antibiotics known as  fluoroquinolones.” Read article here.

The original source article is easy to read and is available from Johns Hopkins website. Unfortunately, I found it even more negative.

The only problem I have with this research is it came out in 2012 and was passed along in the first link in 2013. My concern in passing it along is that Big Business feeding mommy’s chicken feathers to her baby chickens may have developed a conscience and stopped using the feathers and the illegal antibiotics they contain.

So don’t worry be happy! Eat chicken, it’s finger licking good.

I am planning a ten mile walk for tomorrow so I followed my own advice. I ate a  chicken leg (oops hind quarter) and potatoes for dinner tonight; Fried, Deep Fat Fried. I found out in searching my posts, I have never described frying chicken before but here is the Caribbean method of making deep fat fried pork and French fries.

I am still 202 pounds so I expect that after walking 10 miles tomorrow, all the toxins will work their way out of my system flushed out by a few beers before noon.

Is Broccoli Bad for Your Health and a Rant About Internet Research

November 17, 2015

As a writer who lives on St. Croix, I must use the Internet for the background research on the stories I write. On the negative side, much of what is published on the Internet is simply unsubstantiated personal opinions. Fortunately, I am living and working more than 300 years in the past and people have taken the trouble to electronically archive original documents and books on line.

When I find a page about pirate activity without a source for the information, I usually ignore it unless I can find a 300 year old source book with eyewitness accounts that substantiates the information. Where I find most of the worst information is when I am searching for new recipes or trying to find the nutritional value of what I eat.

 

Broccoli snack

Broccoli snack

For instance, another of my very low calorie snacks is steamed broccoli which can be done in a steamer or even a colander above a boiling pot of water. The water should not contact the broccoli, only the steam.

double boiler

double boiler

While seeking the nutritional data, I stumbled upon the paragraph I quote below.pixel period
You probably didn’t see what was so great about broccoli as a child, but the truth is that this vegetable is one of nature’s superfoods. From its stalk to its flowering head, broccoli is packed with nutrients and vitamins needed for your overall health and wellbeing. This vegetable has been around for centuries, and it has always been used and viewed as the perfect go-to food.”

pixel period
There are many superlatives in that paragraph even though it doesn’t give any really factual knowledge. For instance; Who has always used and viewed broccoli as the perfect go-to food? What is a go-to food? And how long is always? I like to give credit to the original author no matter how bad the work to confirm this was not a plagiarized post. I used two search engines (here and here) to check on the source of the sentence highlighted in bold. I found eight posted sources word for word on various health and fitness blogs all with a different authors so I have no idea who the original author was.pixel period
Interestingly enough, nobody bothered to leave a comment at any of the sites I visited so I assume that nobody really thought about what they were reading. I guess we will now have another generation of mindless mothers who will be feeding their kids broccoli because it is the go-to food full of the nutriments and vitamins needed for overall health and well being. Their kids would have been better off if Mom spent the same amount of time that she wasted surfing the Internet on taking her kids for a walk in the great outdoors or learning Arduino programming to teach to her kids.pixel period
On the other hand, Broccoli is bad for you, like, really toxic bad was written by Tim Crowe is an Associate Professor in Nutrition at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia and an accredited dietitian. He started off with a clear warning that “An alternative title I had for this blog post was: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet to do with nutrition”, but I wager this one was more effective in getting your attention.” He than published an over the top rant about the evils of broccoli before telling people that this was pseudo science, exaggerations and corruptions of scientific studies.

Professor Crowe received 158 comments many of them angry and negative because people missed or ignored the subtle warning not to believe everything you read on the net. Commenters feared that careless or unscrupulous readers might quote out of context and spread false informational about broccoli.pixel period
I decided to check and see if there was any other reuse of his article. Naturally I took one of his more outrageous sentences and searched, here and here to find other sites that contain the phrase, “And remember those thiocyanates I mentioned earlier? Well those too can cause bladder cancer in rats. We have graphic warning signs about cancer on cigarette packets, so why do health authorities continue to sit on their hands and take no action against broccoli?”pixel period
On the positive side, I found his complete article was reposted in full at FitnessReloaded.com by editor Maria Brilaki, a Stanford Engineering grad with an MBA. She helps over 100,000 monthly readers make better, healthier choices. She has a personal trainer certification and spends over 15 hours researching each article people read on her site. It’s all because she doesn’t want to fall for fads or hype anymore so searches for the truth like Tim Crowe.pixel period
Unfortunately, we are discussing Internet publishing so there is always an offsetting negative and the prize for that is Ben J. Johnson, Staff Writer for Natural Newd, a site that publishes pseudo science, deceptive science and science fiction. Of course young Ben only published the negative and avoided the part about how to tell real science from junk science as that would allow evaluation of everything published at his site.pixel period
As near as I can tell he even drops so low as to violate the terms of a free Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. He does lead with a link to the original article but lists his title as Staff Writer and notes at the end that the source is Broccoli is bad for you, like, really toxic bad by Tim Crowe.

When reposting. you must give appropriate credit to the original author of the material and indicate if changes were made. Well guess Ben is one of those people who never follows the rules.pixel period
I like broccoli, it is low in calories and I am not dead yet. I am also down to 202. Guess I’ll just keep snacking on Rabbit food and eat portion controlled meals. I would drop weight much faster if I quit drinking, I am just not ready yet.

 

Summer Squash Pasta Substitute

November 10, 2015
Squash slices in Tomato Sauce

Squash slices in Tomato Sauce

I woke up Sunday at 203 pounds, only 23 pounds more to lose in 52 days. Should be OK, if I don’t have too many failures. Todays meal takes the carbohydrates out of Italian food by substituting thin sliced zucchini or summer squash for pasta in tomato sauce.

This recipe is more visual than wordy. I always have tomato sauce in my refrigerator so it is easy to put the sauce on early in the day and let it heat up in my coffeepot.

Prepping the Squash

Prepping the Squash

The squash is pealed and both ends cut off. Then thin slices are cut from the squash.Notice the seed core is not used in this recipe. There is nothing wrong with the core. The resulting meal is just prettier if you ship it.

Summer Squash Slices

Summer Squash Slices

I use a cheese slicer but there are other tools that can do the same.  I love both Summer Squash and Zucchini and previously made this meal out of the latter. The meal is Vegan before the cheese is added and vegetarian after.

Served with Parmesan Cheese

Served with Parmesan Cheese

BTW, the two soursop’s I bought are not ripe but a friend of mine gave me a fully ripe one today and if your not familiar with the fruit, you might think it looks rotten. That is when they are at their sweetest best.

Soursop, Ripe and Green

Soursop, Ripe and Green

Notice the ripe one is bigger than both of the one pound fruits. Therefore, I am looking at a 1000 calories. When I start to eat it, I will have to program myself to make a very light dinner or soup to offset it. Of course it is a sedative so maybe I will offset some of the calories by cutting back on wine. What ever happens, will happen and I will track it.

Refrigerator Pickles

November 9, 2015
Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator Pickles

I am inspired!! I am down to 204 which is my lowest weight for 2015 and with very little effort. I am still eating well and drinking my evening wine but avoiding the soda, peanuts and coffee with cream in the morning. On Saturday morning, I usually take a trip to the Vegetable Market at Le Reine for my week’s supply of fresh Vegetable. Today there was an abundance of cucumbers and a couple of nice young eggplants. I always have sauce in my refrigerator so am planning on Eggplant Parmesan later in the week.

I keep saying that I nibble on rabbit food during the day but that is not exactly true. When I got home today, I turned my cucumbers into Refrigerator Pickles. Since there is no sugar in the brine, the calories are about the same and I like the texture and flavor of pickles better.

Cucumbers are mentioned at least twice in the Bible (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8) and history records their usage over 4,000 years ago in Western Asia when cucumbers migrated from their native India to be pickled in the Tigris Valley.

As far back as 850 B.C., Aristotle extolled the healing effects of “cured” cucumbers and Julius Caesar thought pickles had an invigorating effect and supplied his army with them.

Aside from the Bible, Shakespeare specifically mentioned pickled as in drunk and in the The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1660), the word is used to describe a mess “as the house is in a pickle”. He also used pickled as a substitute for drunk.

While the English never solved the problem with scurvy until about 1850 when they all became limeys, The Dutch Navy and others fought the disease with pickles and sauerkraut. Columbus’ ships were supplied with vitamin C-rich pickles, allowing sailors to make the long trip without being debilitated by scurvy.

Cucumbers were brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus, who is known to have grown them on the island of Haiti. Cucumbers adapted quickly to the new world and by 1535 Cartier found cucumbers growing in Canada, and they were known to the colonists of Virginia as early as 1609.

Somewhere along the line, someone figured out that instead of a fermented pickle like a kosher dill, people could make a pretty good imitation without the long and sometimes uncontrolled fermentation process. Refrigerator pickles have a nice texture and flavor and there is minimal risk of making a bad batch.

You need to make enough liquid to cover the cucumbers and onions. I reuse the liquid so I just add enough cucumbers and onions until the Jar is full but the following is a good place to start. There are hundreds ,perhaps even thousand, of truly different pickling recipes on the Internet. Some include dry powered mustered or Turmeric which I like but they turn the brine yellow which I don’t find appealing. Others add sugar and cutback on the water to make a sweet and sour syrup. That’s the last thing I need when dieting although my recipe for pickled beet eggs has sugar, but not enough to make a syrup.

Cut up cucumbers and other ingredients

Cut up cucumbers and other ingredients

Ingredients:

4 to 6 cucumbers cut into spears.
1 onion cut into rings

Brine Ingredients.

4 cups of water
2 cups of vinegar
2 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
1 Tablespoon dried dill or a few sprigs of fresh dill
1/2 Tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 Tablespoon of Coriander seeds
1/2 hot pepper scotch bonnet or teaspoon of whole peppercorns

Directions: Slice onions and cucumbers and add to an appropriately sized container with a sound lid. I used one gallon sized. Mix water, vinegar and salt in a pot and make sure salt is all dissolved. Toss the spices into the container, don’t worry about mixing them. Add enough brine to over the raw vegetables. Cover and swirl around to distribute the spices. Stick container in Refrigerator. Since cucumbers are one of my goto snacks when dieting, I might start eating them right away. The do improve with age although, I have never had a batch last more than ten days.

My biggest diet problem started today. I went to the vegetable market and many merchants had out of season Julie mangoes. Also, soursop is in season, these are two of my favorite fruits. For a dollar a fruit, one pound, I brought two of each. Guess we get a chance to see how poor my will power is. Mangoes have about 210 calories with 200 from sugars and a soursop has over 400 calories with about 375 from sugars. However, I cant resist the flavor of fresh ripe locally grown fruit. I will attempt daily progress reports as I beat myself down to 180 pounds to start the new year.

Losing 25 pounds by New Years -Back to Basics

November 6, 2015
Hard Boiled Eggs - Coffee pot method.

Hard Boiled Eggs – Coffee pot method.

It appears that I am permanently 60 pounds lighter than I was 5 years ago, but at 205, I am still classified as obese. Unfortunately, loosing 100 pounds was a full time job and I am simply not sure I want to work that hard everyday of my life to keep off the last 40 pounds that I regained.

After I recommitted to coffeepot cooking on September 5, I have been somewhat careful about making portion controlled meals, snacking on rabbit food – cucumbers, celery, carrots, lettuce and radishes. I have also cut back slightly on wine but will have to quit drinking entirely if I really want to shed a great deal of weight before the first of the year.

Since September 5th, I am back down to 205 from 212 which really isn’t spectacular for a man who is close to 5′ 8” tall when barefoot. I still walk about 3 to 5 miles a day when it doesn’t rain and everybody tells me I am in great shape, but that is a rather low standard when it comes from a group of old people who eat and drink too much and never exercise. I also checked my last few posts and it seems I get excited about coffeepot cooking and portion controlled meals when I reach 212 to 215 and get bored when I reach 205 pounds.

On the positive side, I am again starting to focus on what I will cook for the day and then prepare portion controlled meals by what ever means necessary. I still use my coffeepot but not as religiously as when I dropped 100 pounds down to 165. I think this foray into the diet world may be more lasting than the last few times as I set a definite goal to lose 25 pounds by the first of the year and keep it off. BTW at 180 pounds I am still classified as overweight but I know at 165 I look terrible and am still considered overweight.

One indication that I am on the right path is I started out by reviewing all the different recipes on my coffeepot cooking blog and preparing portion controlled meals. I am starting to get fixated on portion controlled healthy meals and am searching out full flavored new recipes and have reverted back to vegetarian and even an occasional vegan meal.

Perhaps the biggest change is my breakfast routine. I would pick up my paper along with a grapefruit soda and a bag of nuts. Everybody knows that grapefruit is good for you and nuts are good for your heart. So that was 500 calories whether or not I walked, worked in my yard or spent the day at my desk. Of course, I had toast before I left my house. and cream in my coffee just to round out my morning to about 1000 calories. Now it is just bush tea for breakfast; a blend of cinnamon, lemon-grass and basil.

My plan for the future is to post recipes for portion controlled meals for one person using recipes I have previously posted or new recipes I found and adapted to a portion controlled meal for one person. So what does this diatribe about dieting have to do with hard boiled eggs.

Truthfully, not much except that it reminds me of when I started. I was afraid of safety issues and of course willpower was always a concern. I used an engineering approach to resolve all safety issues and it has not been a concern even when my granddaughters insisted on helping. My safety discussion is here.

I resolves issues with my insatiable appetite by recognizing that if I don’t cook it, I wont eat it. Also, if there are no leftovers in the refrigerator, there will be no temptation to eat between meals. So when it takes all day to cook a meal and there is only one small portion in the pot, I cannot over eat. The complete recipe is here for both cooking the eggs and making egg salad. For the most part, future recipes will stand alone and be complete in ingredients and directions.

Angle Hair Pasta with Chicken – Parmesan Sauce

February 17, 2014

 

 

Angle Hair Pasta with Chicken – Parmesan Sauce

Angle Hair Pasta with Chicken – Parmesan Sauce

Even though I own about 100 cookbooks, I always read the food section of the newspaper especially when I am food focused while dieting. I use these recipes to inspire me even though the recipes may not be low calorie, they always end up being portion controlled. I usually don’t even bother with calories if I know the portion is correct. In today’s post, I make an exception. Because I am on a 3 day plateau of 205 after a week of being careful, I am curious to see the damage this apparently rich meal caused. Still, 205 pounds is down from 208 on February 7, and 212 on January 23, my birthday which is pretty good.

This recipe attracted me precisely because it was apparently rich and fattening and I liked all of the ingredients individually. Well I cooked the meal in my coffeepot without checking calories and it was filling and delicious. I ate everything that was in the pot which is still one of my bad habits. “If I cook it I eat it all.” As we will see, this wasn’t really a diet disaster and I stayed at 205.

 

Primary Ingredients: Broth Garlic and Cooked Chicken

Primary Ingredients: Broth Garlic and Cooked Chicken

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil, 120 calories

1 head garlic, 52 calories

1 cup broth, 224 calories

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 215 calories

½ cup cubed chicken, 130 calories

1 T cornstarch (optional), 52 Calories

1 serving angle hair or fettuccine pasta, 200 calories

Total calories about 1000

Method:

I love simple recipes and nothing could be simpler than everything in the pot and let it cook for a few hours. Well, almost everything.

 

Garlic and oil in pot

Garlic and oil in pot

Put olive oil and garlic in coffeepot on warmer for about 1 hour.

Add everything else except cornstarch, stir then cook for 2 hours on warmer.

If desired add a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken. Blend and heat for about 15 minutes. The original recipe did not have chicken and thickened the sause by blending the garlic sauce in a blender

As I said, I ate everything I cooked but by planning the meal and limiting the portion to reasonable amounts like 4 ox cheese and 4 oz chicken, without even measuring calories, the meal comes out in diet range.

If I was really looking to blame anything for my limited progress, I might look to Tuesday day when when we decided to party after our five mile hike and ended up drinking 3 beers and a couple of mixed drinks, took a nap and then had half a pizza and wine for dinner. Oh well, everyone knows that I’m more Sinner than Saint. Especially when it comes to food and drinks. 

Coffeepot Beef Liver

February 14, 2014

 

Liver and onions. Garlic Mashed potatoes and brown Gravy

Liver and onions. Garlic Mashed potatoes and brown Gravy

When it comes to liver, I prefer calves liver to beef liver. However, most people in St. Croix don’t like any liver at all and there are very few calves around so no calves liver in stores. Now calves liver properly done is a very tender richly flavored piece of meat whereas beef liver is much tougher and has a coarser heavier flavor which is hard to overcome.

All this changed when I stumbled upon a recipe for Serena’s “Lazy Liver” cooked in a crockpot. This recipe was simplicity in itself which is always a good way to start when using a new cooking method and slow cooking was definitely a new concept because with calves liver it is quickly fried and served slightly pink. Slow cooking calves liver on a stove destroys it and makes it tough. I tried Serena’s recipe a couple of times when liver was on sale and it was a lot better that beef liver cooked on a stove but not quite equal to the best of calves liver which is generally unavailable.

When I decided to return to coffeepot cooking, I found beef liver on sale for $1.25 a pound and purchased .84 pounds which I cut in half. This gave me a 7 oz portion size which is a lot better than cooking and eating a whole pound. I left the other half frozen and returned it to the freezer in a Ziploc bag for another day. The following is a simple recipe with simple directions. It is also the best beef liver I have ever cooked or eaten. While I still prefer calves liver, I will cook and eat this again because I cant always find calves liver when I am in the mood for liver.

Ingredients:

½ stick butter

1 medium onion

1 bullion cube

1 oz Cruzan white rum

5-7 oz liver

1 T room temperature soft butter

1½ T white flower

1 to 1½ cup water

Method:

Place butter and onion in coffeepot with bullion cube.

Place pot on coffee warmer and cook until glazed. About 1 hour.

Add partially frozen liver to coffeepot. (cut into chunks if desired)

Add rum, cover pot with foil and return to the coffeepot warmer.

Remove foil covering top and add the water. Recover with the foil when done.

Mix room temperature butter and flour to a smooth paste (rue) and let set.

After a couple of hours the liver will be completely cooked.

Add the rue to the pot, mix well and cook a couple more hours until a smooth gravy forms when stirred.

Serve with garlic mashed potatoes.

Notes: The meal was quite good and easy to make. All the times are flexible as long as the total is about four hours. Pretty sure that you can add the flower when the onions are glazed and make a paste, then ad the frozen liver and rum and water right away, cover with foil and leave for 4 to 6 hours and it will be fine.

Overall, portion controlled meals are starting to work, I am down to 205 today and that is slightly better than 208 where I started. I will feel better when below 200 and ecstatic for each 10 pounds dropped down to 175 where I will probably stay for a year or so before human nature kicks in and my weight starts creeping up. The biggest reasons for me to lose weight are not health or appearance. I just have more energy the lighter I am down to 175. Below that, I start feeling weak and tired. Of course all that excess energy can be put to bad use like enjoying parties and staying up too late partying and drinking.

Oh well, it’s the cycle of my life.

Pot Roasted Chicken

February 9, 2014
Coffeepot Chicken

Coffeepot Chicken; A Portion Controlled Meal

Cooking in my coffeepot is both amusing and it facilitates portion controlled meals. Sometime the amusing factor overrides the portion control especially when I pot roasted a whole chicken in my coffeepot in expectations of doing it for my granddaughters.

Well, it is definitely weird stuffing a chicken into a coffeepot and the girls and I had fun doing dinner for three in my 12 cup coffeemaker. Truth be told, it was a Cornish Hen, but the girls never noticed that it was a rather skinny chicken. The reason I violated the portion control rule the first time I did it was I had to make sure that it cooked all the way through in a reasonable amount of time. Check the link here and you will see that the chicken is falling off the bone.

Now that I have minimized my writing projects to spare the time to totally immerse myself into portion controlled meals, I decided to do a pot roasted thigh in my coffeepot using the method described in the pot roasted chicken link. Of course, none of the great cooks in my immediate family ever look at a recipe and usually never make a meal exactly the same. True to the tradition, I made the meal from memory and found I had substituted chicken bullion for the adobo I used the first time. It was great and I am using the leftover broth as part of my soup stock.

As an aside, the week before, I grilled three of the thighs with a big baked sweet potato and ate everything. My current Manta is: “If you don’t cook it, you cant eat it so start with the proper portion.”

Recipe:

Ingredients

1 potato

1 carrot cut to length that will fit in pot and quartered long ways

1 celery stalk diced

1 medium onion coarse chopped

3 garlic clove sliced or minced

1 bay leaf

Optional, piece of fresh scotch bonnet hot pepper. Size depends on your taste.

Chicken Bullion Cube

1 chicken thigh, about 5-6 oz.

1 oz Crucian Rum

12 oz water

Method:

Precook the carrots and potatoes and set aside.

Put chopped celery, garlic and onion in pot, cook with oil and cook until onion is glazed (about 1 hour).

Add half scotch bonnet and bay leaf so it can be retrieved when sufficient flavor is infused into the cooked veggies.

Wash one thigh with lime juice after skin is removed. Place in pot on top of bullion cube. Add rum to the coffeepot. Cover the pot and let chicken cook until chicken loses the pink color (about 2 hours.)

Add precooked potatoes and carrots and sufficient water through coffee maker to cover everything.

Let cook another two hours.

Serve with flowers and wine. If you are starving to death, you better make what little you eat an elegant experience.

Well, day one is a resounding success. I am down to 206 which is two pounds lighter than I was the day before and on my birthday on January 23. Guess it’s time for a glass of water and a three mile walk. The coffeepot is cooking my liver and onions, but that’s another story.