Hurray, I am done with 2009 taxes and sending out financial packets to my daughter’s potential colleges.  So now things can get back to normal with recipes and writing.  Thanks for your patience.

I like re-gifting; it makes sense and is economical.  No more guilt about receiving a present that is useless to you or hangs around in your garage, waiting to be broken.  I’ve got a lovely 2 foot brass corkscrew that I have no use for since I like tools that are small and multi-functional.  Right now the damn thing is in its box and being used to hold up a bunch of crap.  But it was given to us by my husband’s best friend and so we are torn up about what to do with a tool that is the size of furniture.

This year my cousin gave me or really, re-gifted me a garlic press.  It has got to be the weirdest tool  I’ve ever seen and probably was last year’s hot kitchenware product.  I’ve worked with it and here is the  summary on the little monster; this tool is stupid unless you have arthritis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in your wrist and hands, which I have.

It presses and slices garlic very well, but you cannot fill the individual wells more than half way, otherwise it doesn’t work.  It also is a bitch to clean, since the pressed garlic gets stuck in the little metal holes. It is hard to set up with the swinging metal pressure pieces, and you need to be careful with the slicer, since it has VERY SHARP BLADES.  In all, it is a crappy and badly designed product.

However, if you are like me and have pain in your wrist from squeezing or whisking, this tool works.  I don’t like using it since it is cumbersome to set up and clean.  But I have no more pain when I use this press, and that is worth its weight in gold.

Now here is my bad news.  Since we are going to Hawaii for spring break, I’d like to lose some weight and get into a moderately pleasing looking dress.  Right now, I feel like the mother blimp and I need to get this lard off of my body.  It came on from eating great food, and now it is time to come off.  Which means that I’ll be hallucinating new recipes that my family gets to try, while I go back to protein shakes,2 per day.

I’ve tried most of the protein powders, and in my humble opinion, the protein/whey powder from Herbalife tasted great, but the price tag was nuts.  Not only do they charge 3x as much for a container of the stuff, you also have to pay $11 for shipping.  Forget it.

So I use the products at Trader Joe’s and it is fine.  But since I still get hungry in the first couple days, I also add oat bran and flaxseed (love that omega-3) to help fill me up.  So here is my Caribbean Cooler recipe.    If you have any great protein shake recipes, please email me.  I am so bad at sticking to any diet or lifestyle change and can get all the help possible.

Caribbean Cooler Shake

In a blender add:

8 oz. Almond low-fat milk

½ cup frozen pineapple – Trader Joe

½ cup frozen mango – Trader Joe

1 medium or small banana in 3 pieces

2 spoonfuls of your favorite protein powder

½ cup of water

1 tsp flaxseed

1 tsp oat bran

Liquidate mixture, and voila – a wonderful filling shake.

But come evening, I can’t wait to make myself a HUGE salad with avocado, feta cheese, cucumbers and of course, a salad dressing using SaladSuccess shaker.

garden-omelet-sl-257615-lI don’t know about you, but some mornings I wake up and I am STARVING, and other mornings a large cup of coffee and fruit does me fine.  This omelet  is what I eat in the morning when I am ravenous. The recipe was given to me by a dear French friend who is diabetic and has seen tremendous changes in her blood sugar by eating these omelets, including weight loss.  I haven’t yet perfected it (guys, jump in and help me) but it tastes good and FILLS YOU UP.  Plus it is low in fat, and full of good things.  For those of you that have overweight partners, they’ll love it.  Just don’t tell them how healthy it is.

Don’t Tell Them It’s Healthy Omelet

1.  Spray a small frying pan with olive oil and heat.

2.  Add ½ (60 calories) to 1 cup (120) of egg whites like Reddi-Eggs.

3.  Add 1 spoonful of flax seed and 2 spoonfuls of oat bran.  Mix well in to the egg whites

4.  When omelet is done, season with salt and pepper and add a lot of toppings otherwise it is very dry and cake-like.  I use no-fat cottage cheese, 3 slices of avocado, and lots of salsa.

5.  Drink lots of water due to the flax and bran.

So try it out, and give me more suggestions on other low-fat toppings.  Now that I think of it, replacing regular salsa with mango salsa should be delicious.  Well, I guess I’ll write that up next week along a wonderful way to preserve and cook salmon.

close-up-layout-722Using this recipe along with a lunch salad with vinaigrette made fresh out of  SaladSuccess shaker will help you eat better and feel great.  Remember SaladSuccess is just $9.95 and gives you perfect vinaigrette and salad dressings every day with no fuss.