Hey all who are following this blog page, I think there are 71 of you nice people! I have a new web site and blog! The address is http://www.simpledinnersbyvicky.com. Please go there and subscribe to it so that you can continue seeing what I am doing! It is not all completed, but you can at least subscribe to it now and receive the posts that I do! Thank you and I hope your new year has been good so far! Hugs! Vicky D
Yes, tis that time of year again. Tis the season to remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Happy birthday! Jesus! And thank you for all that I have received from you this year and in years past. Amen.
It is a crazy time of year for us all, me included. Working at Der Kuchen Laden, plus doing my personal chef work, and trying to make time for family and friends makes my time, and temper sometimes, a bit short or pulled very thin. But with our Lord’s help and understanding, we will get through it all and remember that He is the Reason for The Season.
Not sure what all I will be cooking for our gathering with families yet, so I am just in the waiting game right now for menu items from those who need to decide. Pulled pork, I think, for the Beard gathering on January 1st at my mom & dad’s house. The Duecker kids will be gathering the Sunday before to do our celebration/gifting and I don’t have a menu as of yet.
The hunting lodge Saturday nite menu will be beef shoulder roast with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and mushroom gravy; green salad on the side with whatever desserts I come up with. If I remember right, we will be doing Sloppy Joes for lunch. Saturday breakfast will be breakfast tacos with trimmings; Sunday breakfast will be sausage links, home made biscuits, gravy, and scrambled eggs. Yes I spoiled them the first time I made breakfast for them because that is what I made then! I am very grateful for this connection in my business.
By the way, how do you like my new page theme??!! I changed it today, playing around with what Word Press has that is free.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!
Yes, it is time for the feast! We had our family feast this Sunday and yes, over-eating took place, again. But I DID make something that I know I will be making again and again. So, I will share it with you but I don’t have any pictures of it, sorry.
Cream of Celery Sage Gravy for dressing: (oh so easy and oh so VERY good!)
Thinly slice and mince about 1 cup of celery, thinly slice and mince about 1/2 cup yellow onion. In a medium (6-8 cup size) sauce pan, saute veggies in about 1 1/2 TBSP butter and 1 TBSP canola oil until onions are clear and celery is tender. Add about 1/2 tsp dried Sage powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Stir to meld flavorings in veggies. Sprinkle in about 2 TBSP unbleached AP flour. Stir into veggies and cook for about 3-5 minutes on medium heat to cook flour. Add 1 1/2 cans of chicken broth (I used Swanson’s, 99% fat free/no MSG cans). Stir with whisk to break up lumps and blend all together. Continue to stir and bring to simmer and add about 1/2 cup half & half, stirring all the while. Bring back to slow simmer and let gravy thicken as much as it can, turning heat to low or medium low. You don’t want to scorch the gravy or have it do a rolling boil because it will make the milk break up and show little curdles in the gravy. When thickened as much as it is going to, take off heat and serve with meal. It may not be extremely thick but it will be like giblet gravy thick because of the amount of flour added to thicken it up. In other words, it may a little runny, but that is ok because it will get absorbed in the dressing on your plate! (it was good topped on my buttered roll)
This gravy took the place of giblet gravy for the dressing I made Sunday because I did not have a can of Cream of Celery soup to use for gravy or giblets to cook up. Who needs that can when you CAN do this?! It was very good and something I will be doing again for other recipes and for giblet gravy. It can be made and you could put cooked diced chicken or turkey in it along with green peas and carrots and turned into a pot pie or served on top of some good home made buttermilk biscuits! Yum! Yum!
Hope everyone has a great time this year with your families and friends. Hugs and prayers to everyone!
Do you know how hard it is for little ones to be still for pictures?
No, I have not gone away, it has just been a busy time since the last time I posted here and I do apologize for it tremendously. Tis the season for many thanksgivings for me. I did something I never did before. Actually two things have happened and they are both good. One, I walked my first 5K(see posts on Facebook under Vicky Duecker in August) and I have now been hired to cook for a hunting lodge! That has been a dream come true for me and the people who own it are such great and wonderful Christian people.
I cooked for a group of girls at a B&B here in town and I found out that they located me through Google and not through Hire-A-Chef. It hit home to me that they did their homework by reading about me on facebook, found out that I have a blog but no web page. I had one through the USPCA but it was phased out and we were to go to “goDaddy.com” to create our new web site at a discounted rate. This happened back in the summer of this year. As of yet, I have not taken the time nor spent the money to get one set up. But after hearing them, I will put it on my priority list of things to get done soon. That is also why I am posting this on my blog: the visibility of my business in the social media world. I know that when I post on facebook, it goes there and on Twitter, unless FB has done something to that feature. Hopefully, when I blog, it will also be on my web page too, if GoDaddy has that feature, I do not know. I am not a computer guru like some people are. (would love for someone to do the GoDaddy thing for me…?? I don’t want to screw it up :/) Anyway, that is a goal for me by the end of this year, if possible.
Now, back to the lodge…….it is a place that you would/could only imagine ever being in…it is a place you would only see in hunting magazines and on TV hunting shows for the “celebs”. The kitchen is to die for. Granite counter tops everywhere, cabinets-top and bottom, everywhere; sink, dishwasher, trash compactor in two different places in the kitchen. One set across from the six burner gas stove on a huge wooden bar area. That is my work area since it is across from the stove. The wooden bar reminds me of the big table that my grandmother had in her house. Fridge is like the cabinets and you would not know it is there unless you looked and saw the ice/water maker. There are two additional stainless steel freezer/fridges back in the wet room. I could go on and on but I won’t. The lady of the house made this comment: : “God puts people in certain places of your life for a reason” and she was aiming it at me and her friend that comes there with them on their weekends. I really feel blessed to have this in my life because it is not about the amazing place of where I am cooking, it is the people I am cooking for that brings me the greatest pleasure of all. It is always better to give than to receive and I try my best to give as much as I can to them because it is just an honor to be able to do what I am doing for them because it relieves them from that pressure and they can relax more and enjoy their time away from their hustle and bustle world of where they live during the week. It brings me joy and satisfaction knowing they are pleased with what I am doing for them. God is with them and me both and I am just so thankful for wonderful people who are in my life now, both family and friends. Blessings to you all. Vicky
I am posting this again because I did not find this on my facebook pages….hmmm….
Confession time…..went to the fitness center to work out, first time in over a week…30 minutes on the elliptical with 5 resistance! That was the good part! The bad part is this….stepped on the scale in the ladies dressing/shower room….disaster….about 4 pounds crept up on me…….that is what I get for not watching what I have been eating and drinking and not exercising on the regular basis I need to be…….
So! It is back on the wagon for me beginning tomorrow! Today is the visit to Becker Vineyards to sample their wines for the Fall project of mine! What am I going to do beginning this next week??? Bring my lunch, cut out breads, boost my protein and veggie intake, go to fitness center like I should, cut beer/wine on back porch (drink my red tea instead)….you would think summer time would be the easiest time to lose weight with all the fresh produce at hand, but it is also the best time of the year for back porch time with hubby and beer & wine goes so well with back porch time…I need to go to a week long health spa/club…anyone want to fund that for me???? LOL……..back to cleaning on the house now…..
Now, how can I create my own health club/spa here at the house??? Gotta think on that one especially since I need to keep hubby Larry happy too and keep it in very reasonable budget! Looks like another research project…….thoughts and comments welcome on this project…….hugs…Vicky
Hey all! No, I did not fall off the earth….sometimes I feel like I did, though..:/
It has been a crazy time since my last post here! Have had some cookings, been playing with recipes, gardening, working, etc. A few major things have happened since last post, unfortunately the co-owner of Der Kuchen Laden, Jerry Hughes, passed and went home to be with our Lord and Savior. He has been missed tremendously by everyone at the store. But on the bright side of things, my daughter, who now lives in Huntsville, is pregnant with child number two and due in March! This is exciting for us! I told her it had better be a girl or I will send it back! No, I won’t , we will love it all the same!
I am working on a project with a B&B here in town, now! Matching appetizers with wines for her guests to purchase as a package when they stay at the B&B! I will be making what they choose for appetizers with the wine they choose! Tomorrow, Sunday, Larry & I will be going to Becker Vineyards to do some wine tasting and I will be drilling them about food pairings for the wines I taste. I may even become one of their wine club members so I can get the ones HEB does not carry! Could be fun! Larry is not much of a wine drinker, so he is coming along as my driver, not that I plan on getting snockered, but it is always a good idea to have him around for safety sake! Plus, it is time together doing something different and that counts tons! When things are set and rolling with the B&B, I will post pics and how to get to the website so you can see what is happening and pass along to your friends!
This is Robbie, if you did not know! He is now two years old and is a little toot! They are planning to come Labor Day weekend for a visit! I am excited that they are coming! Alex has a three-day weekend and making the trip over!
Bunco is at my house this Tuesday and I am making Mexican hash with salsa, fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, avocados, cheese, and sour cream for sides! This hash is one I made for Alex & I when we lived in Harper by ourselves. It stretches a pound of meat really well! Larry likes it too and it is something you can put in the freezer and take out later! Someone remind me to take pictures and post recipe here!!!!!! It is good and easy!
Hope everyone has a good weekend! keep smiling and God bless you all! Hugs! Vicky
It is the last day, or next to the last day, of the Advocare 24-Day Challenge! I weighed in, got measured and had the stats calculated! Starting weight was 136, today’s weight was 135.5. BUT! Here are the measurement calculations!
“Dun ta don! (so made up that sound!)
The after pic-side view:
Front view before:
Front view after:
Not much visual change from these pics, but my pants DO show me a change! I DID see my weight at 132 last Thursday, after being gone from home and the gym! I was in Huntsville helping my daughter get settled in her new apartment. They relocated because Michael is going to grad school at Sam Houston; she got a job and had to get moved before school started for Michael. Yes, YaYa got to spoil that grand-baby! No gym available to work out in kinda had me worried about gaining but I was careful to make sure I took the MNS packs as I should and careful as to what I ate while there!
Yes, I DID binge out this weekend, but IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY!! OK!!!!! (did you hear me yelling at myself…?)
Again, it is not about the pounds, it is about the inches lost and I am very satisfied as to what I have lost and I will continue to stay on the plan! I was taking the MNS E packs, but now I will be taking the packs of MNS C for another 14 days. Those are suppose to really help me with my appetite control. That has been my issue…eating too much! The foods I eat are not BAD foods, it is just I eat TOO DARN MUCH OF THEM!!!!! I have a hard time stopping if it is especially good! I live to eat, can you tell! I love good food!
I am happy with my body right now but I am looking forward to having more results, so I will continue working out and doing the MNS packs for another 14 days and then take a break from the packs. You cannot go back to way you were before, so we keep on doing what is right! Or else, the weight and inches will see you again!!!!
The garden is starting to take off, fresh cucumbers, squash, green beans, okra, peppers of all kinds, sound like gumbo to me??!!! You bet! But a low fat one!!! Or maybe even a cold gazpacho using the cucumbers and peppers and squash! Yum Yum! Watch out for garden pics and recipes!!!!
Thank you all for your support! Hugs! Vicky D
Just checking in to say that I went to Anytime Fitness Center-Fredericksburg this past Wednesday and checked my weight on their scale! It may not seem much, but I LOST 1 POUND!!!!!!! May should have been more but these last pounds I want to lose will be the hardest to lose for me! (5.5 pounds to go in 14 days) Another good thing is that I did 30 minutes on the elliptical (big shoe pedal machine and Larry calls it!) That is the longest I have ever done on that thing! It is getting to where I can’t do the tread mill because of my hips.(need to go to chiropractor for adjustment)…….
This week’s quinoa lunch salads have been Greek flavored! Cooked quinoa in chicken broth, add 1/2 tsp of fresh chopped rosemary, parsley, and oregano, one pressed garlic clove, a little lemon juice and EVOO! Toss, chill, add one chopped cucumber, black calamata olives, portion out, and put in fridge to take in my lunch to be topped on lettuce and veggies with vinegar dressing! Yum! Yum! Good combination! It does not need Feta cheese, either!
These next few days are gonna really be hard to be true/faithful to the plan….I will be in Huntsville helping my daughter move/unpack into their new apartment. Being away from home and out of your element makes being true/faithful to your diet plan hard when you don’t have your normal things with you! But! I will try and do my best! I will be cooking things for my daughter to take for lunch and for their supper while I am there and I will be cooking things that are good for us too! I found a crock pot soup recipe that sounded good and was good for you too that I want to make! It is an Oriental soup that uses chicken broth, stir-fry frozen veggies, fresh grated ginger and soy sauce! It would make a good egg drop veggie soup too! Sounded good and good for you!(too many “good”‘s used her….LOL)
Anyway, pray for strength and faithfulness!
Hugs! Vicky D
It is day three of the Advocare 24-Day Challenge! I have some pics and recipes to share with you that I have fixed!
I went to the Center Wednesday am and walked treadmill and elliptical for 30 minutes, and then weighed myself(one week from measuring/weighing for the program) and I weighed the same……good news is that I did not GAIN anything from my weekend in Austin with my sister! (must have done something right!)
I made my Quinoa Caprise for my salads and it turned out great! Here is a short recipe for you to try!
Quinoa cooked in Swanson’s 99% Fat Free/no MSG chicken broth, sea salt to taste with one minced clove of garlic. When done, squeeze 1/2 lemon on it and chop about 1/4 cup fresh Basil and add to the quinoa. Stir to combine; pack in portable containers, 1 cup or less per container. Let cool completely, put lids on and store in fridge! Use as topping on your green salad that you will be eating for lunch!
Quinoa is a plant protein that has really become popular and it is good! My salad consisted of spinach, mixed baby greens, and home-grown greens from a friend I work with, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 diced avocado, red pepper, garden fresh broccoli, garden fresh radishes, and a few black olives. Dressing was Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, a touch of EVOO, about 1 tsp Dijon Mustard, and 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning!(mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl with small whisk and pour on top of all salad stuffs! I REALLY like salads and I have grown to really like this dressing mixture! It is good and good for you too! This has been my lunch that I take to work with me too!
Monday nite, Larry grilled some chicken breasts that I marinated in EVOO, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, and fresh garlic(mince herbs and combine with EVOO, put chicken breasts in a bag, pour herbs and oil on top, seal bag, mush around and let sit for at least an hour. Season with a small amount of salt and grill outside on charcoal grill or your electric grill!!). He also grilled some pork chops too that we had with other stuff! Tuesday, I peeled, diced and baked a butternut squash in the oven that I drizzled lightly with EVOO and a touch of salt(bake covered at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes until tender!). We had this with fresh radishes and steamed broccoli and the chicken breasts cooked Monday nite! That was supper Tuesday nite(I ate a pork chop Monday when he grilled!)and will be supper again tonite with fresh squash! (I nearly ate it all up before I remembered to take a picture! It was that good or I was that hungry one!) :)-
This is the Chicken Enchilada Stew I made from a recipe that was given to me from one of the girls at Anytime Fitness Center. It turned out REALLY good! It is purty much a chicken tortilla soup without the corn tortillas! I was good and only had one bowl for supper!
Cooked chicken breast meat in chicken broth, 1/2 green and red pepper, diced, 1-4 oz can Hatch green chilis, 3 garlic cloves minced, 1/2 white onion, chopped, 1 TBSP Cumin and Chili Powder, 2 tsp. Mexican Oregano, S&P to taste, minced fresh cilantro at the end! Can top in your bowl with diced fresh avocado, but I did not because I had my avocado at lunch in my salad! I did not even miss the corn tortillas in this, which was VERY surprising! Hubby Larry crushed some up in his soup, though. I believe this recipe came from a Paeleo cookbook or site.
Weird picture angle….sorry….:/
I am proud of myself that I have been keeping on track with the Challenge Plan and have not veered off from it at all, but the hardest thing for me is sitting on the back porch with Larry….I have a glass of lemon water or decaf tea and he is drinking beer….that sucks……..BUT I AM STRONG AND I CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope everyone has a good rest of the week and weekend! I will be strong! Hugs! Vicky
This is the EVE of the Advocare 24-Day Challenge that starts tomorrow! Still “challenged” by what my menu will be for the week! Too many choices! But one will definitely will be chicken! Larry will be grilling marinated chicken breasts for me tonite plus, I think I will be making the Chicken Enchilada Soup that was given to me by the Fredericksburg Anytime Fitness Center people! That sounded REALLY good! Lunches will be Seasoned Quinoa on top of greens with avocado and tomatoes. Not sure if it will be spiced with Mexican seasoning or if I want to go Italian….been thinking Italian but not sure how to make it happen…..will come up with something for sure though! I have fresh basil that needs to be cut and used from my herb garden….no cheese……Quinoa Caprise Salad??!!! Hmmm…could work! Will post and tell tomorrow evening with pictures!
Stay tuned!!!!! More to come!