Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Friday, November 21, 2008


OK this is going to be harder than I thought.

And I already figured it would be hard.I just got three quarters of the way through a post I deleted because I nearly bored myself to death trying to edit it.

Writing about cutting calories and lightening up recipes is just not all that fun."Cooking Light" may be selling a trazillion magazines doing just that but I'm convinced folks are mostly buying it to lick the photos and then leave their copies around in prominent places so the other people in their house will be grateful for all the effort they are going to.

I mean, have you looked at the recipes in there?

They take some simple four step technique and then run it out to a page of single spaced instructions to accommodate the fact that every good thing in the recipe is now being replaced by four other not nearly so tasty things, generally incorporating all sorts of extra work for the cook.

Most of the weight loss from such cooking results from a combination of exhaustion "then beat each of the 7 egg whites separately and briskly by hand for 45 minutes!" and revulsion. Once you "know" what that "easy pastry substitute" is, no way you'll enjoy eating it. Nope, you'll just pass the "pie" and smile brightly, dwelling on how everybody can have as much as they want because the "crust" is really ground up seeds mixed with cardboard.

Somehow, making a pie "lighter" by forgoing regular pastry with a substitute of hand ground boxes the other food comes in mixed with an egg and your own spit just doesn't strike me as reasonable.

Pie is pie, people. It is DESSERT. Either eat a small portion of dessert (and by small I mean no larger than the palm of your hand - if you are Shaquille O'Neal) or don't eat it at all. Low calorie dessert is fruit salad by another name. Fruit. SALAD. Not fruit dessert. Please. Let's be real.

And maybe the people buying that magazine are cooking healthy food for their families. But - how many Mommies are licking the butter knife after putting that precise amount on their families' plates (every time) and then going into the laundry room to eat the rest of the mashed potatoes out of the pan? Hands?

I thought so.

I figure I am going to pretty much keep cooking the way I cook because 1) it is AWESOME and B) I don't want to have to be making those lame substitutions and triple guessing and doing extra work all the time.

You know what I'm saying, right? Those decadent dishes with the preface "If you want to cut out half the calories, just substitute half and half Elmer's Glue mixed with mustard for the Bearnaise sauce! Bon Appetit!".

Or, "Soon enough your children will learn to enjoy eating sticks and berries from your yard and never miss those sugary cookies!".

Uh huh.See Chapter Six of any "tell all" book (that's the chapter that comes after the chapter on wire hangers) and it will be filled with stories like "The Year My Mother Tried to Give Us Healthy Easter Baskets" or "What My Therapist Says About How My Mother Tried to Make Me Only Eat Cookies Baked with Honey and Carob".

I am writing this knowing that I pretty much did fix healthy food for my kids while they were growing up. But not to the exclusion of bacon or sugar or chocolate or canned sodas or any of that. I figured the best way to make my kids crave all that stuff would be to outlaw it entirely. Anybody read Romeo and Juliet?

If Juliet's parents had tried forcing those kids to get married and fast, that would have put the kaibosh on the whole deal. Totally parent tainted their erstwhile romance. If Juliet's Dad would have gone out to hold a ladder for Romeo? The whole deal would never have gotten past that balcony.

I digress.

So. Here's my plan. I mostly cook like I always cook only with an eye to portion control and more healthful between meal noshing options.Like, I don't know, carrots. Or popcorn.Popcorn is actually not that bad a deal. Higher in fiber than chips and if you watch the butter (while you are putting it on - watch it - watch it glisten, watch it gleam, watch it coat every morsel and ENJOY!!) - wait. See? Sigh. Popcorn without butter is fine in moderation.

Tonight is Pizza Night. I will fix a pizza with less fatty stuff on it and we will try not to eat the entire thing between the two of us.

A big salad will help. A Caesar probably, but with less dressing, no croutons and no extra parm. Instead of throwing almonds in for extra crunch I'll try a bit of celerzzzzzzzzzzzz..................

There I go putting myself to sleep again. So that's it for now. I am going to go stand in the corner, drink a full glass of water, slowly, and repeat the new mantra. "There's no place like ho--" no wait, that's not it.

Oh, right.

"Nothing tastes as good as the way I feel when I like the way I look.".

PS - nothing serious about Cooking Light. They do a good job at what they do and obviously loads of people appreciate that. I am not a light recipe hater, really. They can stick to doing that and not writing my blog and I will stick to writing my blog and not trying to lighten recipes. Such a deal!

Last but not least: ChefSon made it into the MarxFoods Comfort Food Contest Finals. Go here and vote for him - he is lucky number 7! If he wins I am pretty sure I can convince him to fix us all a huge batch to share over at my house. Go ChefSon! Yay Tortilla Soup!


Shannon said...

I'm losing weight laughing at your descriptions of light recipes. And I'm right there with you on the pie.

MizFit said...

laughing at your post.
laughing at MYSELF in that I often must bore people to death :) and mightshould employ the delete more often ;)

TexasDeb said...

Shannon, MizFit, y'all are too kind. I'm glad you enjoyed this little poke at how serious we can all get at times about what we eat (or don't).

Miz, your blog is a treasure - you have legions of fans so I doubt you are doing anything you shouldn't be. Room for everyone here on the interweb.

Besides, unless your videos are as misleading as the photos on the diet entreés, I am pretty sure just by looking at you that you can totally kick my ass.

Not that you would, necessarily, just pretty sure you could.

Thanks for dropping by.