I would hate to have to admit how many times in my adult life I've started and then stopped counting calories. So over the course of many years, I've had little notebooks with the first several (or first few, or maybe just one) page(s) filled with a food journal...until the inevitable occurred- I got sick and tired of it. The 'sick and tired of it' phase seems to come sooner and sooner as I get older.
Well, for the past several months (mostly during the long Wisconsin winter) I've not done that. No little notebook. No jotting down what I eat. No obsession with calories. I am no longer a slave to the food journal. I've gained freedom at last...
...and five additional pounds to go with it.
How did this happen???
As they say in Weight Watchers, so others tell me, it had to do with portion control.
Take this strawberry shortcake, for example. I made delicious shortcakes, picked those wee little succulent strawberries, warm from the garden, and made a scrumptious dessert. I wanted to make sure I wouldn't get too full from supper to have my dessert, so yes, I ate my dessert first. I mean, it WAS the first strawberry shortcake I've had in years. And every bite was an amazing treat to my tastebuds! Amazing!
Because I didn't have any milk in the house, but had Half'n'Half, I used that in the recipe instead.
When I had finished eating my dessert, I decided, just for fun, to add up all the calories in the ingredients that went into making it, then dividing by 6 (for that's what I had eaten.) My daughter once told me to never look at the calorie content after eating something, cuz it's just depressing. I should have taken her advice.
It was almost 400 calories for that one piece of dessert! FOUR HUNDRED. Was it worth it? Well, maybe, yeah, but I decided that next time I'll wait until I have skim milk in the house AND I'll make 10 biscuits with the amount of dough, rather than only 6. That will take the calories down to 277 per serving. Isn't that better!
Of course one could always just eat the strawberries, which hardly have any calories at all, but at least once per summer, I'm going to eat a real shortcake with its delicious crunchy exterior and tender interior, where the juice from the strawberries soaks into the biscuit...
I can do without the whipped cream, but to serve company, I might have made whipped cream also.
Strawberry Shortcake Recipe:
(Makes 10, reluctantly)
1 Qt. fresh, ripe strawberries
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/4 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. skim milk (or maybe whole milk)
Wash and remove stems from strawberries, and slice. Mix in the 1/4 c. sugar. (Don't even bother to talk to me about fake sugar.) Set aside while baking biscuits.
Mix flour and sugar. Cut in shortening (a necessary ingredient, but did you know that it has 120 calories PER TABLESPOON???) until crumbs are very fine. Make a well in the center of the crumbs and pour in 1 beaten egg mixed with 2/3 c. skim milk. Mix with a fork just until mixed. Don't overmix. It will make the biscuit tough.
Divide into 10 equal parts and drop onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees F. (220 C.) for 12 minutes (in my oven.) I'd suggest checking them after 10 minutes. The outside should be firm to the touch and crisp with golden peaks. Let cool a couple minutes on pans, then remove to a plate, split open the biscuit, and fill with sliced strawberries. Spoon additional berries on top.
You'll thank me.
Nutrition: 1 serving, includes the strawberries: 277 calories
I know there are antioxidants in the strawberries, so the biscuit is mostly a delicious strawberry holder.
The biscuits are a lot like scones
Even the memory of it...sigh!
And tonight there's a basket of ripe peaches on my kitchen counter.
Now I'm thinking about warm, homemade peach pie.
Just one little piece...