And to my surprise, my quilt even won a ribbon- third place in the novice category. I'm officially a quilter, y'all. I may not ever progress beyond the novice stage (let's be honest) but I get to play with the big kids and that's a lot of fun.
Between spending long hours at work the first half of the week to make up for being at the quilt show the latter half of the week, my schedule was upside down. I didn't get to the gym at all and missed my favorite classes. But there was plenty of physical labor involved in hoisting around blocks and poles and assembling the show, then walking around for hours greeting visitors to the show.
Things were different on the food front too. Every day at the show, we pitched in and set up a potluck breakfast and lunch- and you should see what amazing food Southern ladies dish up at a potluck. Vegetarian chili served on fritos, carrot pecan sandwiches, olive salad, pimento cheese, lemon pound cake- I enjoyed it all, in modest portions. I'm changing my eating habits, but when I give myself permission to enjoy eating whatever I want once in a while, I find that it makes it very easy to stick to my plan the rest of the time.
In the same vein of choosing the middle path, I'm trying to modify rather than abandon some of my family's favorite dishes. Every evening, Lila asks me what's for dinner, and she's always hoping to hear the answer "pasta". Carb heavy pasta is no longer something I want to eat very much of but I'm not throwing it out altogether.
I would use an entire box of pasta (say, macaroni or shells) in 1 recipe- 6 to 8 servings, and we'd eat the meal for dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day. Not any more. These days, I use a single box of pasta over 3 or 4 recipes, using a whole lot of vegetables to make up for the balance of the pasta in the dish. Here are three examples.
-Make 2 cups white sauce and stir in some cheddar and lots of pepper. Set aside.
-Roast a tray (half sheet size) of broccoli and cauliflower florets until tender.
-Measure out a cup of uncooked pasta and boil it until tender, add a cup of frozen peas to the boiling pasta to blanch them. Drain the pasta and peas.
-Combine pasta, peas and vegetables in a baking dish. Pour on the white sauce. Bake.
Pesto pasta salad is another favorite, and a convenient make-ahead dish. This time, I used only 1/4 of the pasta, the rest was made up of mixed roasted vegetables- peppers, cauliflower, zucchini to make a vegetable pesto pasta salad. To make it even more of a main dish, I'd be tempted to add cooked white beans next time.
In each of these dishes, the pasta could certainly be left out altogether. But putting in just a bit of pasta is a good compromise to give enough of the bite and "feel" of pasta while still cutting down drastically on the carbs, especially if you serve these meals with a good salad or soup on the side. The funny thing is that each of the dishes is made much tastier with the addition of those veggies, so far from sacrificing anything, you're in fact gaining flavor. And that's my little tip for today- pasta can stay on the menu, only less frequently and in a much smaller quantity.
What have you been cooking and eating these days?