Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekends, and Stuffed Mushroom Appetizers

I barely did any cooking this weekend. The VIP was in town, and we totally enjoyed that chicken I roasted (it was really good, I hope you guys also had the chance to make it). The little cooking I did do involved chicken in some fashion - chicken salad w/ lebneh, chicken sandwiches, eggs. Mostly we just went out to eat. It was an around-the-world food fest, with visits in Italian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, American, and Latin American restaurants. I also introduced the VIP to the concept of "All You Can Eat/Drink Champagne Sunday Brunch" - this was a good thing.

VIP was here for the New Year, but almost didn't make it on time. His plane was due in John Wayne Airport (near the OC beaches) by 9:00 pm on New Year's Eve. I noticed on my drive to the airport that fog was rolling in, and getting heavier. I waited by the baggage at 8:45 pm. At 9:15 or so, the airport announced that his flight was delayed due to the fog until 9:30. At 9:30 they said it was further delayed until 9:45. And at 9:45, they announced that the fog had gotten so thick, the plane was diverting to Ontario airport (well in another county, in a completely opposite direction). The plan was to land the plane there and bus the passengers back down to John Wayne, but I ran (in heels, with a beehive hairdo) to my car and texted VIP to NOT get on the bus, and just wait for me to get him. I broke a lot of laws to get to Ontario airport in the time that I did. However, seeing him in his suit and giving him a long, long awaited hug was worth it, and we made it to the party on time.

I barely kept track of my Weight Watchers plan all weekend long too. And given the things I ate (and that I thoroughly enjoyed) I know I blew my plan well out of the water. So it goes. I knew this was coming, and VIP and I did our best to offset our gastronomical excursions with long walks along the beach and more long walks on the beach. We spent a lot of time at the beach - Santa Barbara, Point Mugu, Malibu...just walking, holding hands, gazing longingly...sigh. All good things.

I did make some stuffed mushroom caps for the party, which were ridiculously easy to make, and were demolished by partygoers within minutes. And they're pretty decent for you, diet-wise. I'll share the recipe here now, and I can guarantee that more are coming in the next few weeks, as the VIP is in an airplane right now flying further and further away from me. This means no more dining out, and much more counting, measuring, working out, and waiting until the next time.

Stuffed Mushroom Caps, 2 Ways

5 packs of Baby Bella (Crimini) mushrooms, stems popped out, and rinsed
2 cans of black olives
1 jar of roasted red peppers
Shredded fat-free or part-skim mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesean cheese (the kind in the can is fine)
Italian-style bread crumbs
Fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat broiler (or oven to 350)

To make olive-parmesean mushroom caps: Dump a can of olives, 1/4 cup bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons grated parm into a food processor. Pulse until mixed into a rough pasty mixture (like wet sand). Scoop plentiful amounts into mushroom caps and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

To make red pepper-mozzarella caps:: Dump a jar of roasted red peppers, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, and 1/4 cup bread crumbs into a food processor. Pulse until mixed into a rough pasty mixture. Scoop into mushroom caps, and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Broil (or place in a regular oven, close to the top burner) for about 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked and the cheese is slightly melted into the mushroom. Remove and garnish with thin slices of basil, if desired. If you use fat-free cheese, these little poppable bites are fat free (or just very low in fat, for the olive kind). And even if not, they're still not the worst appetizers you could have on a party table. I received many compliments on New Year's Eve, both on my hair and my delicious stuffed mushrooms.

Monday weigh-in:

Previous: 163.4

Current: 163.4 - no change! I'm TOTALLY ok with this given the amount I ate and drank over the weekend. I was surprised I didn't gain a few pounds! Thumbs up for walking on the beach!!

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