HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Have you made any resolutions? 12/31/2012

January 1st, 2013 ... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Did you make any New Year's Resolutions?

I'm not someone that usually makes New Year's Resolutions. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's the probability that I'll just let myself down. Not setting myself up for failure seems like ... pure win, right?

Maybe, but ... probably not.

Apparently almost half of all Americans make New Year's Resolutions. I think I'm going to cross the divide and see how the other half lives!

First, I wanted to make sure my resolutions are reasonable and achievable. If I set my goals too high, I'm definitely setting myself up for failure and ... I don't want to do that. I also don't want to be overly vague, because then the benchmarks get all "fuzzy wuzzy was a bear". I need tangible goals; so that I can clearly perform them, participate in them, cross them off my list, etc. I need to balance out my goals, so that they don't all feel like painful dreck and drudgery. Some need to be fun and bucket-listy. There needs to be some pleasure in with the pain. It should make for a fun, productive and well sorted out year!

After a lot of thought ... here's my New Year's Resolution List!

  • Submit a new, interesting, well photographed low-carb recipe into the world, every day ... until mid-August. Then, make new rules.
  • Lose at least 1 lb. a month.
  • Go snow skiing.
  • Go water skiing.
  • Go to the gym at least 5 times a week.
  • Eat a raw diet for 30 consecutive days.
  • Go camping.
  • Read at least one educational book a month.
  • Travel outside the US.
  • Not kill my plant.
  • End 2013 weighing less than 200 lbs. (unless I'm a well toned block of muscle)
  • Eat a vegetarian diet for 30 consecutive days.
  • Eat more bacon.
  • Complete and publish at least one cookbook.
  • See a play.
  • This one is private, but it's the best one and it's awesome.
  • Volunteer at a Farmer's Market.
  • Drink more water.
  • Give each blog post a little more of a cohesive focus. Each one should have a point, but ... have fun with it!
  • Dig a tunnel in the snow.
  • Go scuba diving.
  • End with at least 1500 likes on Facebook.
  • Eat fish at least once a week. (not just salmon)
  • At the beginning of each week, review this list and put a plan into place that will allow it to happen.
  • If I struggle with these or any other goals, I give myself permission to relax and do better the next day.

What are your resolutions? What are you doing to ensure you follow through?

Here are a few recipes you have to look forward to in 2013!


Coming Attractions

Smoked and Pulled Pork Butt

Curried Chicken Salad

Baja Fish Tacos

Recipes are still in development, but ... I'll have 'em to you next week. 7 fresh recipes, in fact, EVERY WEEK!


Holiday Retrospective

How was everyone's holiday? Was it fantastic and full of Christmas cheer? Mine was a little odd in that my family went to Mexico, while I stayed in Seattle. We did Christmas a few days early. However, Christmas Day, I did enjoy dinner with my brother, grandmother and cousin. From there, we went and drove through Seattle's "Candy Cane Lane", which is a street decorated with all kinds of bright festive lights, signs reading "Peace" in just about every language, and a big strange merry-go-round like decoration in the center of a large round-about. Christmas couldn't have felt more like Christmas than listening to Bing Crosby belt out the tunes, while cruising through Candy Cane Lane with my family. It was wonderful!

Here's one where ... maybe I'm bragging. Maybe I'm sharing. Maybe I'm just being human (which, when I asked what I should focus on next year ... being more human was one of the requests, believe it or not!) So ... here's a story ... from me, DJ Foodie ... the human.

With a blog, I don't always know my motivations and find it difficult to decide what things go public and what things stay private. It's all a big crap shoot, I suppose.

*ahem *

I like to put a lot of thought and time and effort into gift giving. It's a lot fun and I think it's really in the spirit of ... GIVING. I'm always trying to think of something interesting or unique to give, suitable to the recipient. If it's a busy year, people may just get socks, but when I have a really good idea or the time to put something interesting together ... I always will. It really just seems the spirit of the whole thing.

Somewhere in the 80's, I believe, there was a photo taken of my father for business purposes. It was his corporate photo. Growing up, my brother and I saw this image almost daily, it would seem. Think about the kids whose parent is a real estate agent, with their photos plastered all over "For Sale" signs all over town. It was like that; this one ubiquitous image that represented my father. I imagine he was in his mid-30's when it was taken.

My brother and I are in our mid-30's ... now. In a flash, I had this perfect idea ... DUPLICATE THAT PICTURE!

I found a crotchety old beat up low resolution version of the image somewhere in the dark corners of the Internet. It was JUST good enough. Then, I sought a photographer, visited Good Will for a jacket, shirt and tie, and convinced my brother to shave his goatee (he has a goatee and I have a full beard, right now ... we both had to shave down to just mustaches).

TADA!!!

Papa Foodie is the one in the middle.

I'm the one that looks like a young, tired and slighly "slow" Tom Selleck and ... Brother Foodie is the one that looks like a thinner, more "all knowing" ... Tom Selleck.

Cool idea, huh? I got it framed and wrapped it up. My folks LOVED it! Kind of a fun idea for next year ... feel free to take it. It's a good one!

(Special thanks to the photographer Ken Priest, who did an AWESOME job!)


Sharing the LCve

I hang out at LowCarbFriends.com. I read there often, and post from time to time. There's a young woman named "Cris" or ... more commonly known as "LimeTwist". She's got a killer story, which I can only imagine changed her life as much as mine has mine. She's got a perky effervesce and humor which is completely infectious. Her writing style is engaging and her food porn is drool worthy. For a good long time, I've seen the Low Carb Gods swirling around this talented young lady and try and convince her to blog. She's finally given in to the coaxing and has started to write a true conversational and dialogue driven blog-like thing.

If you're looking for some inspiration, a dollop of motivation in this new year, a little bright-eyed bushy tailed nerdiness ... check out Cris's blog and ... urge her to keep it up. It's a true hoot!


This Week's Recipes

Because of the holidays, this collection is a little out-of-sorts. The recipes are awesome, but there's no clear cohesive logic. Some are new and some were cooked back in Mexico and are part of my archives. Next week will be about the same ... a little of this and a little of that, but ... then I'm going to get into "having a point!" I really enjoyed doing the Christmas posts, for example. I want to do more like that. I want each one to have a theme, with recipes swirling around the theme. I asked for requests and ideas and ... got a lot of them, too. Thanks everyone!

This week ...

Most of these are appetizers, starting with a REALLY tasty Vietnamese Wings. Those were fish-saucy, spicy and sweet. Messy, too! There was also a really lovely Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms. This was a homemade sausage, made with ground turkey, spices, sage and goats cheese. It was yum! (It also got lost in the shuffle and was intended to go out sooner than this. Whoops!). There's also a simple Shrimp Cocktail with a reduced sugar cocktail sauce and some Rosemary Skewered Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Herb Butter, from back with I was zero carbing. There's also a breakfast delight, also from my zero carbing days ... a Rosemary, Ham, Bacon and Swiss Frittata. It was YUM! Finally ... a third from the days of a Zero Carb Diet ... Pork Scallopini with a Butter Enriched Bacon-Caper Jus. I know I already filled my "Yum" quota, but .... this, too ... was YUM!

Welcome to 2013. I hope it's each and every one of our best years, yet!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

~ DJ


ALL NEW Weekly Recipes!
Vietnamese Hot Wings with Dipping Sauce
I love wings. I've eaten at least a million Buffalo Wings in my time. I had a buddy who was from eastern New York and was a true wing connoisseur. I assume I'll put a Buffalo Wings recipe on here at some point, but ... not this time. I wanted to do something a little different. Vietnamese Hot Wings!
Turkey Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
I worked as a waiter, all through college. Tips were good and I got to play with food (granted, it was a Greek Diner in upstate New York, but ... again ... the tips were good!).

They had these huge stuffed mushrooms that they would serve on hot sizzling trays (you know ... the fajita trays ... with all the sizzle and smoke!). This place did a similar thing, but ... with stuffed mushrooms. Ultimately they were just big heavy cast iron pans which would splatter everywhere and burn me. Oh I hated those things ... but the MUSHROOMS were awesome! They were little more than cheesy breadcrumbs with garlic, herbs and chopped up mushroom stems, but they were big and plump and full of buttery cheesy goodness (and breadcrumbs, which I refuse to romanticize).
Classic Shrimp Cocktail
This is a nice little appetizer. It's always delicious an always reads "classy". I LOVE a good shrimp cocktail! It's also really easy to make. It's really just a matter of boiling the shrimp, then chilling them and serving with cocktail sauce!

Many people do all sorts of things beyond these. Beds of lettuce, little lemon sculptures, the shrimps folded into one another, small shrimps literally mixed into the sauce, served like a soup, etc.

This approach is ... Classic Cocktail ... done in the manner of most restaurants that serve it.
Spicy Hot Cocktail Sauce
Cocktail Sauce is generally most often commonly a mixture of ketchup and horseradish. It's served with Shrimp Cocktail, obviously, but is also very common with oysters and other seafoods. The stuff is ... delicious ... for lack of a better word. Sweet and spicy. I love it!

Because most ketchups are filled with sugar, I've included a link to a reduced sugar ketchup, which is sweetened with sucralose. I'd be willing to bet that ... you could never tell the difference, but it makes a MASSIVE difference for the carb content of the recipe!
Rosemary, Ham and Swiss Frittatas
I make these things at least once a week. I really honestly don't know why, either! There is always a different flavor and the number of ingredient combinations is near endless, but ... it's easier and quicker to just whip up a batch of Poorly Cooked Eggs.

HOWEVER, I probably make these things as often as I make Poorly Cooked Eggs. It takes twice as long and requires baking, but ... it's just ... creamier ... softer, perhaps. More yummier? I think because there's more cream in the eggs and that it's baked, mastication becomes a slightly more sultry experience.
Pork Scallopini with Bacon Caper Jus
What a great way to ensure tender meat. Whack at it. Whack the "hey, how ya doin'" out of it! This works with pretty much anything and basically degrades the muscle to the point where "tough" becomes impossible. Yet, it still holds some level of shape, in the form of a very thin piece of quickly cooked meat. How do you do it? Hit it and ... cook it!
Bacon Wrapped, Rosemary Skewered Scallops
These delightfully and deceptively quick and simple little scallop skewers come bacon wrapped and skewered with fresh rosemary twigs! The saltiness of the bacon really complements the sweet scallop flavor. The rosemary skewer simply imparts a mild herby twist to the whole thing, while also helping to keep the bacon in place!
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