Thursday, January 22, 2015

The holidays were not kind to my waistline

The holidays were not kind to me although I enjoyed them immensely.

Thanksgiving brought my brother-in-law (the bro) and mother-in-law (MIL) so we had a full house of Veterans for the holiday. And full houses means food.

MIL and I went for lunch to Serendipity III at Caesar's Palace and it was wonderful as usual. We ended up skipping dessert (the best part there!) because the food portions were just immense. Next time I will eat dessert first- ice cream so it isn't as bad. Ok, fine, you did not just read that about the amazing, yummy, beautiful dessert...

Later that night we all drove back downtown to pick up the bro and head to DH's and my traditional travel spot, Gordon Biersch. The beer selection is always amazing and the menu is huge and has something for everyone. We have never been disappointed. Dinner lasted forever with us chitchatting. I forget what we had by now. I know I was good and opted for an extra side of cooked spinach. It is probably loaded with bad, but can't say no to a big bowl of fresh spinach and garlic. And I did order the table the garlic fries. Yumo! (Although, I hate to say it, I am over them now. Which is great news for my waistline, and my bum, and my belly, and my saddlebags....)

The planned smoked turkey in our new, awesome smoker did not happen. The boys were up late talking and carrying on 'til all hours of the night. I think I might have been in bed around 9 pm. At some point of O'Dark30 I woke my husband up to make him go put the turkey him. Prior to all of the family coming in, he had assured me, over and over and over again, that he would have the wood chips and everything all set up the night before so he could just get it going and the turkey would go right in for perfect timing around 1pm-2pm for an early dinner. I then planned lots of stuff in the oven as there would be plenty of space to cook and keep things warm.

Don't think for one second that this perfectly planned out event would not be influenced by booze and late night carousing. Although not on my part! I went out to go shopping for the ingredients to the recipe MIL packed along with her. And I went alone....ugh. I miss my Mom, shopping for ingredients was a tradition best served with company. As was baking pies in to the early hours of O'Dark30 when I could never stay awake, falling asleep on the floor so she wasn't "alone" baking all night after working all day. At some point in between we went to Midnight Mass. The only time I can sing with upper registers and not sound like a dying crow.

Actually I got the ingredients without too much danger in the packed grocery store and then hit the booze spot right next door. Talk about packed. I was on a mission looking for the booze the bro drinks, and some mixers. It is the same stuff I drink, just not usually at home - which is stupid, it is always much cheaper at home. And everyone knows that hard liquor has less calories than beer and wine, especially if drunk with diet or zero calorie soda. (We are not getting into that debate here...)

So really, the fact that the turkey was not in the smoker does come down to me and my successful shopping trip. The booze I bought liberated the brothers to chat until the early hours of morning, catching up on years away.

Thanksgiving Morning. Just put the turkey in the oven, he says. I was furious, where was I going to find space? I am magic, so of course I made it work.

Oven turkey, the oven sensor made perfect turkey. Sweet potato casserole from MIL was delic and a permanent staple now. I mixed turnips and potatoes for a mashed potato, DH took care of that, but I forgot to tell him less milk to compensate for the watery turnips. So those were a runny mush, which I enjoyed immensely (and perfect for soup!!). I think there was a mixed veggie, the table was packed.
Earlier in the day I had made deviled eggs, and set out chips and dip and cheese and apples to snack on. I think we skipped breakfast opting just for coffee. The bro drank milk instead of caffeine, I had totally forget to get OJ. Oops! And that is exactly why I need to write it down on the shopping list.

And for Dessert...dun dun dun dunnnnnn... home-made pumpkin pie. I bought the pie shell. Do you know how hard it is to find a pre-made shell with no hydrogenated oil? How about some pre-made whipped cream without it? Nada! Well, not at the grocer down the street. I am sure I have a few stores in mind I can try when I get a bit more time. Yes, yes, I could have made my own whipped cream just as easily, but I didn't. Pumpkin from a can, for you purists out there. I work full time, and good thing I didn't plan anything crazy with the turkey fiasco.

The pie was never eaten, at least not until our guests had left. It went into the fridge and was forgotten about. DH and I destroyed it, have no illusions about that. And it was delicious, sans the pie crust. I don't need any pain and potty runs over crust. Bah.

So that week was no gym time, despite the treadmill upstairs. I was up early for the dog to go out for his walk, but no one else was. And our treadmill is old and makes a ton of noise. Once everyone was up, I was downstairs with them. I am not ashamed or regretful. It is hard to get family together, especially when you living in the military lifestyle.

After that, working out was spare. I did try to move it to the am before work. That was more successful that after work, when I am tired, and hungry, and rushing about getting errands done.

Work and stuff later, we move on to Xmas. Our work schedules were both kinda crazy and it wasn't until just about that day that we knew we had off. Someone nicely worked some magic so DH could have the day off between his work week. We actually got quite a bit accomplished around the house. I unpacked my office, finally. He did whatever it is he does. And the house was nicely decorated weeks before for us to not have a holiday. We had nothing planned for dinner.

So steak from the freezer it was. Matzo ball soup from a box as always for Christmas. Frozen veggies, salad, maybe a left over baked potato. We skipped the gifts and didn't have anything special...oh wait.

The Kringle. Ugh, The Kringle. I came across this one year, maybe in Florida, and I dream about it all year. It is something you eat sliver by sliver, which is good, until you have eaten the entire giant pastry, which is bad. So...absolutely...delicious. I like the pecan filling, never really tried any other, although in my research I have found a company that makes 25 different fillings. Now I am starving (it is currently time for breakfast). According to, "kringles are hand-rolled from Danish pastry dough (wienerbrød dough) that has been rested overnight before shaping, filling, and baking. Thirty-two layers of the flaky dough are layered, then shaped in an oval. After filling with fruit, nut, or other flavor combinations, the pastry is baked and iced"

I had ordered us one when I ordered the usual cheese and sausage we send out as gifts every year. It said to eat within a week for freshness. I think we stretched it for a month, sliver by delicious sliver. It could not be eaten while drinking my lovely store bought eggnog. Just to rich. I had a healthy eggnog, a icky pumpkin flavored eggnog (it was good, just not what I wanted), and an eggnog that was also "healthy" in that it was not pumped full of random unspeakable stuff like the good ones always are. So I didn't do as much damage to my liver and kidneys as I could have.

New Years was more chips and dip and but I was sick sick sick. I think we had gotten food poisoning from a potluck we went to (which is why I am so afraid to cook for people). So between Christmas and New Years we were sicker than dogs, mine continued through New Years and so our yumyums were put away or frozen. When we were both better out came the crab legs and lobster to celebrate the new year. I really don't remember anything else food wise, other than swallowing down baking soda and water (gyack!) but it did the trick and helped relieve the pressure between my chest bones and stomach. So really, I might have lost a bit of weight here... We did try a bit of bubbly when the ball dropped, ringing in 2015. But the bubbles made my pain worse, so the plants were celebrating instead (totally joking!).

The gym was really non-existent during this whole holiday season. I tried, I still walked the dog. But those two walks a day could not compete with all the calories the holidays bring. And we didn't even have cookies or cake or whatever people usually eat for Christmas. Then work began again and the cold weather got colder.... you see where this is going.

I hope you had a great holiday season and didn't pack on the pounds like I did. Only 10 lbs in the end, but still! Well worth it to have family around and not be working on Christmas.

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