A Few Of My Favorite Things

“When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”

Just so we’re clear, I’m not feeling particularly bad. It’s just limbo. When I find myself in this neutral free-falling space, I like to focus on happy things. And when I do, Julie Andrews’ voice always pops in my head.

So, now that I have that song lodged in your head, too, I’m going to inject you with even more sugar-crusted sweetness with these photos, the first of my list of favorite things this week:

Claire and Luca (who cut his first two teeth today! Little bugger told no one.) had their first official photo shoot with a professional photographer last week. My friend Pam is a gem. Has a real eye for people and their emotions and gestures. Check out this photo that I had printed in poster size and will frame for my living room. Not just because this is my granddaughter, but because it’s a lovely piece of art.

And of course my daughter loving Luca and vice versa isn’t so shabby either.

The scale is not usually one of my favorite things, but on Saturday, it delivered some really good news: I’m not a water-retaining mess anymore! Whoohoo!

Another favorite thing: my bike. Oh what I’ll do to ride my bike, especially this time of year.

Here’s Larry dressed and ready for our bike ride last weekend.

Here’s me.

I’m dressed like I’m hiking the Andes and he’s ready for a romp on Padre Island. It was not even 50 degrees outside! Guess who wasn’t freezing five minutes into our ride? Hint: it wasn’t me.

A few food favorites. Remember how I said I’d cleaned out my homemade recipe books? I discovered the Dijon roasted potatoes recipe I’d totally forgotten about. Since last Saturday (as in 9 days ago, not 2), I’ve made them at least four times. Heaven!

Mix 1 T Dijon mustard, ½ to 1 tsp crushed dried rosemary, ½ to 1 tsp dried oregano, and a few shakes of pepper. Put it in a plastic bag with 6-7 ounces of potato wedges. Shake it all together and put it on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spray the potatoes. Cook for 17-18 minutes. Flip. Cook for another 17-18 minutes. Serve with ketchup and/or mustard and or/fat-free sour cream. I do all three.

I’m heading to Pittsburgh tomorrow and will partake in four of my other favorite things: watching the grandkids, seeing my daughter, shopping at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and listening to NPR in the Jeep. I might even stop at Starbucks and get me a vanilla rooibos latte. It’ll be darn cold tomorrow (barely 50 for a high and 40 mph winds). I’m breaking out my favorite sweaters, that’s for darn sure.

And finally, two other recipes that became my new favorite things today.

Sautéed Asparagus

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 1/2–inch pieces
1 T light butter
2 cloves minced garlic
½ c veggie (or chicken) broth

Sauté asparagus and garlic in butter for about two minutes or until the butter is mostly absorbed. Add the broth, cover and simmer until asparagus is tender. (3 points for the entire dish. 1 point for half.)

Lentil Vegetable Soup

(I apologize for having no clue where this came from. If it’s one of you readers, please let me know so I can publically bow in your presence because this is really good stuff.)

1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
2 (or 5 like I use) cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups veggie broth
1 C dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (or use 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes with skin removed)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies, undrained
1 C frozen corn
1 C sliced carrots
2 C zucchini, cut in quarters

In Dutch oven sprayed with non-stick spray, sauté onion, garlic, cumin, and chili powder for about a minute. Add tomato sauce and cook until onion is tender, about 2 minutes. Add everything else and simmer for 30-45 minutes (depending on if you use fresh or canned tomatoes. Fresh require a few more minutes.)

Makes 6 2-cup servings. 180 calories, 1 gm fat, 8 gm fiber, 11 gm protein per serving. (3 points)

Good stuff. No lie.

And finally, one of my very favorite veggies is beets. And last week, Claire tried them and now loves them, too.

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