Monday, March 4, 2013

Wrapping Up and (Gulp) Up Next...

I'm cutting Nigella a little short. I don't feel too badly about this. While I've only covered 13 recipes for the blog, when I include those that I cooked before re-starting the blog, my total comes to 32. That seems like a sufficient exploration to decide that yes, I am most definitely keeping Nigella Kitchen.  I hit some duds prior to cooking for the blog, but by and large, most of what I made while focusing on the book was easy, satisfying, and I'd make it again. There are lots and LOTS of tempting desserts in this cookbook that I haven't touched. I look forward to trying them in the future. As far as I can tell from past baking, Nigella knows her sweets. I'm not too concerned about the success of her dessert recipes.

The calendar turned to March, and I've launched into full-on panic-mode. See, my brother is getting married in July. I'm a bridesmaid. I sent my future sister-in-law my measurements back in September, when I was a stress-ball whirling dervish of activity who had no time to eat and was running all over base while living in the hotel there. During those two months we lived on base, I lost 9 pounds without even trying.

Let's just say I've gained some back.

Yeah. "Some." That's a nice, vague description.

I've actually just hit the number that consistently in my adult life has made me put on the breaks, rock in a fetal position in a corner for a while, then decide that something must be done.

Something must be done. Now, while I still have enough time to fit into that bridesmaid dress.

Now. I'm not pursuing a particular diet at this time. I've established some general guidelines for eating habits that I know make a difference for me (drink 64 oz water a day, eat lots of fruit and veg, baking is forbidden, exercise). Without actually doing Weight Watchers, which I've never been very good at, as I hate weighing each piece of food, hate eating easily-trackable processed foods, and hate figuring out points of non-WW recipes, I plan to cook from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, which I bought a few years ago when I was on the diet.
Be brave.
I will not track points. The recipes, in general, are healthier than what I normally cook, so I'm hoping the sheer fact of cooking them instead of a bacon coated meatloaf will help me in my plight.

There are a few things that WW, and this cookbook, push, which I just can't get behind. I will not use butter substitute (like Promise butter spread), egg substitute, powdered egg, fat free half and half,  or any other chemically-altered/too-far-removed-from-its-native-form product. As far as cheese goes, I'd rather use less of the full-fat version than more of a tasteless fat free version.

I also tend to triple the spices required in any given recipe. Spices don't add calories, do they?

Really, I want to be cooking from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem. That book is gorgeous. Plus, my friend just went to Morocco and brought me back a bunch of spices that I need. Squeeeeeal! Honestly, most of the recipes look pretty well-rounded, veg-rich, and healthy. It'll be my reward follow-up book for giving the Weight Watchers cookbook a chance.

I'm not expecting a whole lot from the WW recipes. Maybe I'll be surprised? Wouldn't that be nice. PLEASE, if you have this book and have found a good recipe or two, I beg that you direct me to them.


  1. ooohhh - good luck. I've done WW - and while it was successful for me, I just couldn't keep up with tracking every single point. My life is just not conducive.

    I think spices are "free" - add with abandon! Jerusalem is bee-you-tee-full and it makes me want to just hug it and absorb all of its goodness.

  2. Spices are totally free! I don't understand why a lot of light cookbooks seems to ignore that.
    I'm doing WW now, and it's working for me, but I've got free time and enjoy all the detailed tracking and such involved. Structure and anal obsessiveness about details are my thing, apparently. The recipes don't interest me much though. I'm focusing more on eating smaller portions and avoiding processed food. Substitutes just don't do it for me either. Good luck!