I haven't written much about the diet/exercise since the beginning of the year, when I joined a gym and began paying attention to those things as part of a whole resolution-related thing. I want to write about this because I haven't abandoned the project. Now, I'm hovering around the weight I achieved at the beginning of the spring (though am losing again! as I'm back on the wagon! and packing one's lunch seems to be the main key in doing this!), but I have succeeded in that I DO continue to go to the gym and I AM in better shape and I AM one size smaller than I was when I began 2006. My aim is to lose one more size by the end of the year. We shall see. (As you see, I'm not a very hard-core diet/exercise person - for me it's all about being able to live with myself as I try to do this, which means that a) I eat real food and b) I have one total cheating day a week.)
So speaking of real food, on today, what I like to call "Cheating Friday," I made an awesome dinner (after indulging on potato chips and bacon and onion dip). The first part of it actually is in line with phase two of the South Beach Diet (I was being good given the whole "chips and dip" fiasco), and I want to post the recipe, as I totally enjoyed it.
The dish: stuffed (that's right, stuffed) pork chops.
- Boneless center-cut pork chops, with fat trimmed. The ones I used were about 3/4 of an inch in thickness, maybe a little less. As I'm a single person, I only made two, though the ingredients I will list for the stuffing would definitely make enough for four, if not six. I chose just to make what was left of the stuffing separately to use as a side for some other meal I will make this week.
- Pam cooking spray. (Original recipe called for two full tablespoons of oil.)
- 1 medium onion, chopped.
- 1 cup of chopped mushrooms. I just bought one of the pre-sliced/cleaned packages of mushrooms that measures to a cup, and gave them a rough chop.
- 1 cup of bread cubes. (I used whole wheat bread, and it was yummy. I just cubed three slices. Incidentally, this is a great use for the heels of loaves of bread. Also, I like the Brownberry Double Fiber 100% Whole Wheat Bread, so that's what I used.)
- (The recipe called for 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, but I didn't have any, so I just eliminated it from the recipe. I didn't miss it. Does parsely have any taste in any dish except tabbouli?)
- Salt, pepper, sage to taste
- Two tablespoons of reduced fat-sour cream (I suppose you could use non-fat, but I find that reduced-fat has a texture that's preferable.)
- 1/4 cup of water.
- Cut side pockets in chops and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Sautee onion (spray a nonstick sautee pan with some Pam) until transparent. Add mushrooms, stirring often, and cook for about two minutes. Add the bread crumbs, parsley, sage, ground black pepper, and salt. Mix well.
- Add the sour cream, again, mixing well. ( I turned off the heat when I added the sour cream.)
- Stuff the pork chops, using toothpick(s) to keep the stuffing in. (I've got to admit, I used like one toothpick. I'm just not anal about such things.)
- Arrange the pork chops in a baking dish, and cover with 1/4 cup of water. Bake covered for 30 minutes, and then bake uncovered another 30 minutes until the pork chops are all delicious and browned.
If this weren't Cheating Friday, I think this would be lovely with either broccoli or asparagus. As it was Cheating Friday, it was AWESOME with mashed potatoes made with asiago cheese :)
I finished grading my exams from the lower-division class that I received yesterday. Can I just say I love grading exams? Compared to grading papers? Because I do not comment on them? At any rate, I have to say, I think I write a really good exam. I did curve it up three points (I tend to do this with the midterm, showing them what they would have received, but then bumping them up in part to account for my tendency to be pretty hard on them - the highest grade but one who would have blown any curving were I a meaner person was a 93 - and in part to avoid any haggling over points - I've already given you three, so don't come to me wanting an extra one) but here was the range of grades: 5 A's, 7 B's, 5 C's, 4 D's, and an F. How much better of a curve could there be for a take-home? I mean, it takes some effort on the part of a student to actually fail a take-home exam.
Ok, so for the past couple of days I've been kind of super-stressed and freaked out and a little bit nuts. I suppose it had to happen, what with going on the market and all. All I have to say about it, now that I've chilled a bit, is this: 1) thank God that Job Search Mentor is very mellow and is able to talk me off of ledges, 2) love the lovely Man-Kitty who is a total alleviator of stress with his awesomeness, 3) love my funny mom, who doesn't really get it but who listens, 4) (though this is actually kind of mean) thank god for my high-school/college ex-boyfriend, because things are so screwed up with him right now that it was able to take me out of my own head when I finally talked to him at length last night, 5) am very happy that IB (a person with whom I kind of correspond via email) didn't think I was a weirdo last night (a) and also that we didn't talk so that he would have seen first-hand what a weirdo I am (b).
I'm sending off the remaining application packets tomorrow. I'm kind of psyched, kind of freaked out still, but also kind of relieved that this initial phase of things is over.