I thought I was seeing things and had to look twice. This isn’t a catchy title, it’s real. Dark Chocolate cookies made with Avocados! – Oh my Gosh. I’m not domestic and yet I suddenly need to make these. Click on the READ MORE link above to see the recipe.

Things My Belly Likes

Not content with being the star of salads and every vegan’s go-to food, avocados have been making a bit of a splash on the dessert scene lately.

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The Fair is coming! The Fair is coming!

The Tulsa State Fair opens in 21 days! I can’t wait. We went to see Third Day play there last year and while there I thought I’d be brave (another word for stupid) and try the Krispy Cream Bacon Cheese Burger.

I don’t suggest doing that.

It wasn’t pretty.

It didn’t even taste good.

I discovered a whole new level of nasty. After raising two boys, I did not think that possible.

What is the most unique food item you’ve ever tasted at the fair?

Self Will Run Riot. No more Monday Menus

Scripture calls it being handed over to your desires.

My 12 Step books call it an “Obsession of the mind” or “Self will run riot.”

Either way you put it, it means the same thing. God sits back and lets me work out my control issues until I’m dead tired, defeated, and humbled and remember that he is there to help. This isn’t a new thing, it’s really how I tend to run my life. I believe it was Ben Franklin who said, “God helps those who help themselves.”

The problem with that phrase is, it isn’t true. It’s not even scriptural.

God is a gentleman, yes he’s willing to help but do y’all remember the verse, “you have not because you ask not.” – yep, that’s me. I don’t ask for help. I’m more of the hey God look at me! See, I can do this all by myself. But the truth is, I can’t nor was I created to.

I thought the Monday menu was a good idea. And from a family planning perspective it probably was. Except that I spent hours pouring over cook books and web pages looking for ideas to piece together the perfect family menu that they would love and I could eat and still lose weight.  I was obsessed.

My doctor gave me simple instructions when he released me from his care, don’t gain weight. He also very kindly pointed out I was not in good health and he’d really like to see a different me by next June.

I have, over the years, tried preordered plans like Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem. I’ve even done Weight Watchers, LA Weight loss, Atkins, and South Beach Diet. I’ve swallowed a variety of pills from appetite control to fat blockers to cleansers all to no avail.  I’ve counted carbs, points, and fat grams until I couldn’t count anymore. I’ve also spent a few thousand dollars on equipment and videos over the years only to give up after a while.

In AA, when an alcoholic doesn’t want to admit they are an alcoholic they try what is called “Controlled drinking.” That basically means they white knuckle their way through just having one or only two drinks, or they abstain for a period of time to prove they can. Foodies like me do controlled eating. Alcoholics keep a private stash of booze, I keep a private stash of candy bars or chips or cookies or cakes.

It’s really no different. Except that for an alcoholic to fully recover they need to quit drinking completely. I cannot quit eating or I’ll starve to death.

I’m not going to bore y’all with this. Let’s just say it’s been a journey. This week in my new bible study, (http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/)  I learned about permission based eating. Basically that means I wait until my stomach growls before I eat. Sometimes I like that – most days I don’t. See, my stomach doesn’t growl when I think it should. But we’re getting there. I also became aware how often my brain tells me I should be hungry and when I stop and really listen to my stomach, I know I’m not and I pass on the food.

Another neat trick I learned — use the pause on my videos. Right now, I can’t keep up with them. I dropped a class at church because I couldn’t keep up. Even though it’s a wonderful class and the gal said go at your own pace, my pride over rode my desire to get in shape. Same with a bike trip. Several gals get together every week and ride 12 miles. I can’t keep up and I don’t want to make them wait for me, so I told them, let me get in better shape and I’ll join you then. I do the same with videos at home. I just turn them off. Then my mentor suggested something she did – hit the pause button, catch your breath and turn it back on. It doesn’t matter if it takes you two hours to do a one hour video, just make the goal to complete it.

I hadn’t thought of that.

 So that is where I’m at this week.

  1.  No more diet plans (which should make grocery shopping enjoyable again) 
  2. Permission based eating 
  3. Use my pause button and keep going. 
  4.  And last but certainly not least, it’s my spirit that is hungry, not my body, so Bible Study is essential for me.  Without God, this won’t have any kind of lasting results.

So that is it in a nutshell.  Confessions was not intended to be a foodie blog anyway. Confessions is just a place to practice my writing, and share stories. And besides I have much cooler things to share with you guys than my food issues, like The Messiah, Adventures in comedy, missions and family as well as saving up for my very first girlfriends only vacation that I’m taking next year. So, thank you for letting me have my rabbit trail, and now let’s get back on track, shall we?

 This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart: Confessions of a Spiritual Bulimic. All rights reserved. November 15, 2010

Monday menu : November 1, 2010

It’s November, can you believe it? Where did October go? I was going to learn how to make Apple Butter in October, but I guess I procrastinated the month away because that never happened. I’ve been sitting here this morning, trying to plan my menu for the week and I hate to say it, but I’ve got nothing. Well, I have my outline, you know fish on Mondays but still. I need inspiration today. Fortunately for me,  WordPress has added a nifty new feature where it will plug-in related blogs at the bottom of your posts. This little trick has led me to some new and exciting places that I’ve been checking out all morning.  This is where I like to go when my cookbooks come up empty.

1. Ree Drummond: The Pioneer Woman. Ree lives in Oklahoma and is married to a rancher. While her recipes might not always be low in fat, a lot of them are and her detailed directions make them easy to make. She writes about a LOT more than just cooking. I love her website. Granted, I have to set a timer when I go there because otherwise I’d never get anything done.

2. Abi Joy HopkinsSupport Future Artists.  Abi also lives in Oklahoma. I’ve known her for 17 years and she is a delightful young woman whose artistic talents extends to the dinner table. I go to her blog when I’m looking for something fresh and creative. Oh man, you should really check her out. Abi cooks with whole foods and in a day where most young women do not know how to cook — she is an inspiration.

3. Elizabeth Edwards: Mom Cooks   Elizabeth lives in Michigan (one of the dozen or so states I’ve lived in throughout my life) and I had to include her. I love her writing style and honesty. She’s a stay home mom just like me. She’s close to my age and I can totally relate to her. I’m thrilled with this new find. (Discovered via WP widgets)

4. Jenn Fowler: Frugal Upstate. I will admit, it was the title of her blog that caught my eye. “Upstate” can only mean one thing, she must be from New York. I was right!  Okay, so reading her blog does make me a bit homesick. (I was born near Rattlesnake Gulch, outside of Syracuse.) Jenn refers to herself as a “suburban subversive, plotting to reinvent the way we stay-at-home-moms think about keeping up with the Joneses.” After reading her blog, I can’t help but wonder if my penchant for resale shops didn’t come from my time in NY. (Discovered via WP widgets)

5. When all else fails, I check out All Recipes dot com. It’s a free website where readers share recipe tips and ideas, complete with photographs. I fall back on this one a lot. I can save recipes to my virtual box, print them either as full-page or index cards, and they even have a subscription services where I receive daily recipes. I love it.

 I’ve decided to try one recipe from each page this week and then one from my cookbooks. The tricky part is going to be decided which ones. They are all so good. I’ll let you know how it goes, how’s that?

Have a great week ya’ll.

Edited at 1:45 to add:

I have my choices for the week:

Today: Breaded Fish, tartar sauce, green beans, and sweet potato fries from Mom’s Cook. No recipe, just took one of her menu ideas since it took me so long to plan today — note to self: do not pig out on leftover Halloween candy while menu planning — it kinda kills it. LOL

Tue: Malsaysian Mango Chicken Curry from All Recipes 

Wed: Roast Chicken with Autumn Veggies from Support Future Artists — this will be perfect as I’ll use the leftovers for chicken soup on Friday. – I’ll be out with my Dad on Friday night, so I’ll just cook up the soup for the guys.

Thursday: Spaghetti with artichoke hearts and tomatoes from The Pioneer Woman

Still looking for a saturday dish – will try something from Upstate and let ya’ll know how that turns out.

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Monday Menu: October 25, 2010

Stuffed Peppers
Image via Wikipedia

I didn’t post a menu last week, and you know what happened? I didn’t follow a plan and I didn’t lose weight. hmm. Coincidence? I doubt it. I learned something though. After two weeks of no sugar and not much flour, I had energy, my stomach didn’t hurt, and I just felt better all the way around. Last week, I ate sugar and flour and had stomach aches and head aches all week. That, and I also gained three pounds. Healthy eating does not happen by accident, therefore as annoying as menu planning is to me (I’d much rather wait and see what I feel like eating than plan it) planning works. We have worked the following things into our menu so far:

SUNDAY: We are not the big Sunday Dinner family type. Sunday is church and football and my day off. I provide a buffet of choices, sandwiches, snacks, fruit and whatever else the guys can grab and go during game day — once in a while I’ll throw in slow cooker chili made on Saturday night  or left over meat from Saturday, but that is really about all.

SATURDAY: Used to be our sports day and Jeff’s work day at the Mission Start. Now that D-man is no longer playing soccer and Jeff only works at the plant every other week, we’ve changed Saturdays to family night.  Saturdays are my red meat nights, whether it’s a roast, or stew or something else, I make sure to plan a good dinner on Saturdays.

MONDAY AND FRIDAY: Fish night. — I am not a big fish eater, I’m not even a  fish cooker, but with my now being on blood pressure medicine, my doctor has encouraged me to expand my horizons and learn how to cook fish so there you go.

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY: Are Chicken and or Turkey and sometimes pork.

THURSDAY: Is my 100% vegetarian night. This is where I really get to be creative and work up dishes that taste wonderful and are nutritious.

We all lead very busy lives, and I won’t always follow this plan, but it’s a start. 

My Menu for this week is simple:

Mon – Salmon with fingerlings potatoes and green beans.

Tue – Red Wine Pork Chops 

Wed: Stuffed Peppers

Thurs: Ratatouili on spaghetti squash

Friday — I’m performing in Yukon on Friday, and so we’ll be eating out.

Saturday: Jeff is at Ablaze and Dillon is at a dance – I’ll be home alone (between playing chauffeur) and will simply make slowcooker chili to be enjoyed on Sunday.

And that’s my plan for this week. What’s yours?

Tulsa Oktoberfest Starts Tonight

Tulsa Oktoberfest was rated in top ten Oktoberfests in the country according to USA Today.  I wouldn’t go when the kids were little, but now that they are older, we try to go every few years or so during the day. It’s always a fun time for the family.  Many people from our church work in the beer tents (It’s a Lutheran Thing) and being German we do like to celebrate our heritage. Proceeds from Oktoberfest benefit Tulsa’s Parks and Recreation. Daytime activities, include rides, arts and crafts, fun music and great German Food. For more information, check out the Oktoberfest Web Page.