Day 28 of 30. Fire!

Ha! Gotcha!  Seriously though, I’m enjoying our first backyard fire of the year while writing tonight.  It’s so relaxing and is one of my favorite things in the summertime.  I’m just sitting here with my kid listening to the peepers, what I think are coyotes, and the last of the birds to go to sleep for the day, including a very upset goose.  


I’m trying to figure out how we can do kabobs on an open flame without setting ourselves on fire… And I have to tell you, s’mores will happen, folks. If you don’t know what that is, I’m sorry for you. Life will never be the same after trying one. It’s a toasted marshmallow (or two) sandwiched with a little slab of a Hershey’s chocolate bar between two graham crackers. It’s so messy, so delicious, and it’s a classic! I can’t pretend I won’t do it!  But maybe just once per weekend?…

The detox has almost run its course. I’m very thankful that all of my tough food decisions have happened in the latter part of this month.  From my first encounter with a restaurant menu to my friends trying to sabotage me with cookies and cannoli cream and whatever else.  (You turds.  You know who you are…)  Currently my big problem is pizza. It’s the kryptonite of the week.  I want pizza so damned bad.  If they had tried throwing a piece of New York style pizza at me I might’ve tried to catch it in my mouth rather than dodge it.  I thought for sure chocolate would be the thing that tried to break me…  I’m happy I can’t get that kind of pizza anywhere near here.

Today is my mama’s birthday.  We celebrated some yesterday with a trip to Texas Roadhouse for steak and baked sweet potatoes. Sadly, no cinnamon butter OR those amazing rolls, but it didn’t matter.  That steak.  There aren’t words to describe how amazing it tasted.  Today, I, along with a couple of other people, helped to start planting in her vegetable garden.  I don’t mean a little patch in the back yard.  We prepared and planted multiple rows of veggies in 75 feet of a 100-foot long raised bed.  There are seven more just like it.  We may not use all of them, but, regardless, it’s a lot of work. It lasts for most of the spring, all of the summer, and part of the fall. It really is a lot, but it feels so good to know where your food comes from, whether it was treated with anything while growing, and how it was handled before hitting the table for dinner.

I was faced with a brand-new challenge this afternoon.  I had to bake a birthday cake!  I’m no slouch in the kitchen, but this was intimidating.  Baking successfully is, of course, about the flavor, but more so, about the science.  Eggs, baking powder, sugar.  They were the only familiar faces in this baking adventure, and even the sugar was different.  This recipe was 95% legal.  The flour mixture I used has white potato starch in it, and the toasted coconut flakes are sweetened with cane sugar.  To be honest, I’m not feeling guilty.  The truly odd ingredient for me is xantham gum, which is a binder needed to replace the gluten found in wheat flour.  I don’t know what to say except, “anxiety”.  I just had to turn it off and trust the recipe.  It turned out pretty good!  

I couldn’t find a sugar-free or dairy-free recipe for icing, so we opted for a coconut custard.  It didn’t taste good.  Luckily, Aidan hit the handle of the pan while it was cooling and it ended up on the floor. And the cabinets. And almost everywhere else – I scraped a little off of my glasses a little while ago.  So no coconut custard.  Instead, I poked holes in one of the cake rounds, poured coconut milk over it, and covered the top with toasted coconut flakes.  The end product tastes similar to the coconut crusted doughnuts you can get at Dunkin Donuts but so much better!  The texture was a little different; like a brownie that’s more on the cake-y side and equally rich and moist.

Hey! Don’t hate the word.  Appreciate its meaning applied to baked goods and be happy.

So that’s it!  Except! I forgot to tell you, I’m down a couple more pounds!  I’m just a hair under the 20 lb mark.  The whole famn damily has lost a total of 69 pounds!  I still have a couple of days left, so I’m aiming for 20!  I’ll let you know how it goes! 


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