I'm leaving for a trip to Belize in five weeks. Five weeks to be in bikini shape. I figured this out about 11 weeks ago, but didn't do anything about it then (well, I became more rigorous about exercise, but that's it.) When the fact set in that the trip was 6 weeks away, I decided to get serious. I dusted off some old "diet" programs prepared by my friend Tamara years ago, and got SERIOUS about my diet. When I say serious, I mean it. Half an apple, 6 almonds, and a slice of sprouted grain toast for breakfast -- I count the almonds. One week down -- and down 6 pounds (yeah, yeah,yeah -- I know it's all water weight.)
The beauty of Tamara's diet programs is that you have to be super strict during the week, but on the weekends you can let loose -- with a few guidelines. So I didn't make any desserts at all last week. On the weekend, I made two! But I didn't eat much of either of them.
On Saturday, I made the Peanut Banana Bread referenced in Maria's post "Eating an Elephant." This is just a regular banana bread with the inclusion of chopped peanuts and raisins. Maria noted in her post that the raisins were really good in the bread and that I wouldn't mind them at all. Apparently she doesn't understand how little I like raisins.
As usual on the weekend, I had way too much to do and not much time to bake. I got the banana bread baked sometime during the afternoon on Saturday, let it cool, then wrapped it up and refrigerated it, per Maida's instructions. I knew that there would be a Girl Scout hike on Sunday morning, so decided to bring this along.
Sunday morning came, I sliced up about half of the loaf, wrapped it up and brought it in my backpack. At the trailhead, Jessica and Maddy both announced that they were hungry cause they hadn't eaten breakfast. I whipped out the banana bread and offered it up. Jessica said she had never eaten banana bread before but would try it. Lisa said she would help Jessica eat her piece if she didn't like it -- but then Lisa spied the raisins and decided she would not want to eat any. She despises raisins just as much as I do apparently. Possibly even more. "It is the texture," she said. Yes, I would agree with that. And the flavor. And everything else there is to hate about taking a perfectly good grape and drying it. Jessica ate a small bite, declared she also didn't like the raisins, and began throwing the raisins in the scrub. Maddy ate her whole piece.
A couple miles into the hike, Maddy announced that her blood sugar was getting low -- she got another piece of banana bread, which she ate.
When we got to our destination (a small picnic table in the middle of nowhere), I whipped out the remaining banana bread. No takers. Until a mountain biker came by and I offered it to him. He liked it. Apparently he likes raisins.
On the way back down the hill, Maddy announced that she felt sick and it was probably the peanuts in the banana bread, because peanuts "don't agree with her."
And I have to say that this bread does not agree with me at all. The inclusion of the raisins and the peanuts make a perfectly good banana bread into a horrible, disastrous tasting thing. I choked down one piece. I will probably throw the rest away unless I can get somebody at work to take it.
Following Sunday's hike, while Maddy and Natalie were showering, I threw together the Chocolate Gingersnaps. The hardest part of this whole recipe was grating the fresh ginger and dicing the candied ginger. The rest was super simple. I have no idea who Maida got 50 cookies out of her recipe though, because I thought my cookies were pretty small and I only got 34 cookies.
I literally made this recipe, from start to finish, in an hour. Which was good, because Maddy had to get to a birthday party. So I threw the warm cookies into a shoe box with wax paper dividers, and had Maddy bring them to the party. Natalie grabbed some out of the box before they were all gone, and I haven't seen them since. But I did sample one. I didn't taste any chocolate, but the ginger flavor was quite pronounced and yummy. The one I tasted wasn't crisp, but it hadn't been out of the oven more than about 15 minutes, so maybe they got crispy as they cooled further. Hopefully the girls at the birthday party liked the cookies. I would make these again.
So now it's Monday, and I'm back on my diet. Spinach, 1 egg, and 1/3 avocado for breakfast. Yum. No more desserts -- UNTIL THURSDAY! Guess that during Thanksgiving week, the "weekend" will be Thursday and Friday!