Friday, June 24, 2011

Weight Loss and Other Great Things!!

After weighing in last night at our Weight Watchers total weight loss so far is 35 pounds and Brother Sacker's total weight loss so far is 57.4 pounds!!  Yippee for the Sackers!!  It is so nice to be able to wear smaller clothes, walk/hike, and just feel so much better, in general. 

We have decided to put our house back up for sale!  As soon as this hot weather cools off, I will be finally be having our garage/moving sale.  We need to get everything out of the garage, so we can get this house back on the market and sold!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ham Steaks with Apples and Cranberries!! Oh, so good!!

I decided to try some new recipes this week...all from the Weight Watchers Just 5 Cookbook, of course!!  So, tonight I made Ham Steaks with Apples and and recipe below.  As Brother Sacker said, "Now, that was just flat out good!!"  I also made a salad to have with's so warm outside that we really aren't eating all that much!!  Several people have asked me about my dishes...both sets that I use are from Pier 1 that store almost as much as I love Pottery Barn!!

You will need:
1 (10 oz) low-sodium lean ham steak, trimmed
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and dices
1 onion, chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dried cranberries

1.  Spray large skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat.  Cut ham into 4 equal pieces and add to skillet.  Cook until browned and heated through, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer to platter and keep warm.

2.  Add apples, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to skillet; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add broth and cranberries; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until most of broth has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Spoon mixture over ham.

5 Points Plus per serving (1 piece of ham and 1/2 cup apple mixture)

Cut ham into 4 equal pieces and add to skillet.  Cook until browned and heated through,
about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer to platter and keep warm.

Add apples, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to skillet;
cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. 

Add broth and cranberries; bring to boil. 

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until most of broth
has evaporated, about 5 minutes. 

Spoon mixture over ham.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

We Are Going to Yosemite National Park in CA for the July Fourth Holiday!!

We are driving to Dallas on Friday, July 1 and spending the night.  On Saturday, July 2, we are flying from Dallas/Fort Worth to Vegas, non-stop...hooray!!  We'll have a rental car waiting for us in Vegas.  From Vegas, we will be driving to Yosemite National Park in California!  The drive is about eight hours, so we are staying in Bishop, CA on Saturday night at Chalfant House Bed & Breakfast. We will be driving through Death Valley on our way to's a bit warm there!!  Once we are in Yosemite, we are staying two nights at the Yosemite View Lodge.  I'll get updating the blog once we know where else we'll be and what we'll be doing.

The Bishop CA.  CHALFANT HOUSE bed & breakfast of 1898. Beautifully restored
The Chalfant House B & B in Bishop, CA

We are staying in the Adeline Room

Hotel Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge.  You can't see the other side, but the Merced River flows on the other side of the Lodge.  We have a King River View room!!

I Tried A New Dessert Recipe for Dinner at Sister Taylor's House

Sister Taylor in Beggs invited us over for dinner on Friday night.  I said I'd bring a salad and the dessert.  So, of course I turned to the dessert section in my fave WW cookbook!  I decided to make Pineapple Upside-Down Shortcakes.  They were fabulous...only seven points plus per shortcake.  Yummo!!  Read further down and I will give the recipe with pics...

 Mine looked almost as good!!

You will need: 
1/4 cup +3 teaspoons packed brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon pumkin-pie spice
1 (15 1/4 oz) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
6 refrigerated reduced-fat buttermilk biscuits (I used reduced-fat Grands)
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray 6-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
2.  Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar), lemon juice, and pumpkin pie spice. in small bowl.  Divide sugar mixture evenly among muffin cups; top evenly with pineapple.  Add 1 biscuit to each cup, gently pressing it along side of the cup to help it adhere.  Sprinkle each biscuit with 1/2 teaspoon of remaining brown sugar.
3.  Bake until pineapple mixture is bubbling and biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Let shortcakes cool in pan 5 minutes.  Invert onto large plate and serve warm.

Divide sugar mixture evenly among muffin cups

Top evenly with pineapple

Add 1 biscuit to each cup, gently pressing it along side of the cup to help it adhere.  Sprinkle each biscuit with 1/2 teaspoon of remaining brown sugar.  This was from my second batch; I had some other reduced-fat biscuits in the fridge, so decided to use those for a second batch, so I pressed two smaller biscuits to make a larger shortcake.

The finished shortcakes!

 Brother Sacker was probably playing chess on his phone!

Brother Sacker and Sister Taylor

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

These Are My New Projects! Edamame Soy Beans for Lunch, And, Tuesday Is Salad Night, Also!!

I bought this blue painted dresser for $5.00 last year in Okmulgee, Sister Taylor gave me the painted desk and I bought the blue painted chair for $2.00 in Okmulgee last year.  These three pieces have been sitting in my garage since last year and I finally decided to strip them and re-finish them.  And, of course, I decided that I would start 98 degree weather!!  I am using a liquid stripper on all three pieces, then will probably need to get out my old sander (I have my Daddy's old sander!!  I sure could use a new one...hint, hint, Brother Sacker!!)  and work some magic on each piece.  I'm thinking I may paint the dresser a creamy pale yellow or off-white and use it as my desk in our office...with that cute lucite lamp that I bought at Goodwill!! 

I bought that pool last year, at summer's end and got a great deal on it!  So, I thought I'd inflate it today and hop in and enjoy some cold water between stripping the furniture.  So...I ended up calling Liz to see if Devon could come over and do the inflating cuz it just got plain old HOT outside!!  Hopefully he can do it tomorrow!

I had Edamame soy beans for lunch today.  I prefer the kind in the shell, still.  I nuke them for about eight minutes and yummo!!  Probably about eight or nine points.  Shelling them is theraputic!!  At least for me!

I played outside with the boys this morning and this evening, after watering my outside plants and flowers and was just too hot and tired to cook!  So, after a nice, cool shower, Brother Sacker and I went to Panera Bread and I had a Fuji Apple Chicken Salad and a whole grain baguette...the salad is 11 points and the bread is 4 (or maybe was a VERY SMALL piece of bread!!), had a healthy dinner. is kinda an ugly blue color, but 
won't be for long! 

Someone gave this to Sister Taylor and she gave it to
me.  Weird paint job, huh?  Might be tough to strip. 

Love this chair...don't love the color!

I LOVE the liquid bubbles up and you should
just be able to wipe it least that's the concept!!

 My little pool

Didn't get real far before I called for reinforcements!!

 And, after!!

 Can you even SEE that tiny little piece of bread?!
Love that Fuji Apple Salad

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Night Is Salad Night!!

I have been making this salad out of the Weight Watchers 5 Ingredient Cookbook for a while, now.  We have taken it on our picnics and even took it on a hike!!  I add whatever berries I have on hand...strawberries and blueberries are the best.   And, for a dinner meal, I add Black Forest Ham.  The recipe suggests low fat raspberry vinaigrette, but I use Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Raspberry Vinaigrette...less calories and it is sweetened with Splenda!  And, it is sold at WalMart!  Tonight, I added some Quinoa that was already made, some strawberries and some ham.  It was fab!!
BTW...I've lost 30 pounds and Brother Sacker has lost 50 pounds!!  Yippee!  Whoo Hoo!  Go, Team Sacker!!

Great salad.  Only 2 points plus per 1.5 cups; probably 3 with the
Black Forest Ham

Filling and delicious! I make it differently almost every
time I make it...whatever I have goes in!

I do NOT usually like a vinaigrette; I like Maple
Grove Farms Suger Free Raspberry Vinaigrette, though.

And, I love the shallots and gorgonzola cheese

Friday, June 3, 2011

What The Sacker Household Had for Breakfast and Dinner Today

I had a six point breakfast today.  Target and Wal-Mart both are starting to stock VitaTops!  I love the Banana Nut and Deep Chocolate the most.  I like the Cran Bran, also.  Each VitaTop is three points.  Used to be you had to order these from the VitaTop website.  They are actually located in the freezer section with breakfast foods at both stores.  The Deep Chocolate has chocolate chips...divine!  I microwave them for 30 seconds and the chocolate chips melt...divine!

Brother Sacker and I were both too tired (him from working and me from spending the day shopping with Sister Taylor!) to go out for dinner tonight.  So...Boca Burgers to the rescue!!  These have no meat in them and they are really tasty!  I also found burger buns (wheat) that are two points per bun.  I sauted some sweet onions, then cooked the "burgers" and voila...lazy night dinner!!  But, very tasty.  We are trying to stay away from red meat, so the Boca Burgers are a wonderful alternative.

 Deep Chocolate on the left, Banana Nut on the right
Iced tea makes a complete breakfast for me!!

Really...try them...they are SO good!  And, sweet
enough to have for dessert, too!

 Easy dinner!

We both love these "burgers".  Put on a bun, some lite mayo,
a few sauted onions, a little dab of BBQ sauce on the bun...ummm good!

A Tramatic Start to Our Friday!!

The other day, I reached for something under the kitchen sink and noticed some shredded paper towel pieces in the cabinet.  Later that same day, I reached under the sink in Brother Sacker's bathroom and noticed shredded toilet paper pieces in the cabinet.  So, we figured we have a mouse!  I'm not afraid of mice, I just don't like them because they just seem filthy!!  ICK!  So, yesterday I went to Lowe's and talked to a man there about mouse traps.  He asked me what I wanted to do...catch and release the mouse or kill it.  Naturally, I said I want to kill it!  So, he recommended the mouse traps in the following pictures.  He said to just put peanut butter inside it and wham...dead mouse!!  They stick their head in the trap to eat the peanut butter and it snaps their neck...supposedly!!  So...Brother Sacker set two in the cabinet under the kitchen sink and one in the cabinet under the bathroom sink.  (My bathroom apparently didn't appeal to the filthy little creatures!!)  This morning, Brother Sacker opened the cabinet in the kitchen and called me in the kitchen.  We both were looking at the back of the trap when suddenly it moved!!  Yikes!!  Brother Sacker looked and me and said, "I think I caught something bigger than a mouse!"  Well, apparently this little mouse didn't read the directions on the package, because she (I think it was a built a "nest"...see below) caught her leg in the trap, not her neck!!  Brother Sacker took some tongs and reached in and got the trap, with the mouse hanging off of it by one leg!!  He then proceeded to take it outside and beat the mouse on the sidewalk till it died and then he released it.  Talk about tramatic!  Anyway, I cleaned under the kitchen sink and swept out the stomach was flip-flopping the whole time.  Not the ideal way to begin the day!!

The "nest" I swept out from under the kitchen sink

The Tomcat mousetrap

Great idea, if the mouse cooperates!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Last Hike at Greenleaf State Park...for a few months!

On Memorial Day, we loaded up the boys (Sundance and Valentino) and went on a short 2.5 mile hike at Greenleaf State Park.  We were having lunch after crossing this bridge and noticed a LOT of ticks were starting to crawl on our clothes, so we very quickly ate, and hi-tailed it outta there!!  We decided to wait until leaf-off (or early fall) to hike here again!!  The boys had a few ticks on them, but they went to the groomer yesterday and are now clean, clipped and tick free!

Where we had lunch 

Me and Valentino crossing back over the bridge

Aleesia Butler Got Baptized!!

Aleesia Butler is my BFF's youngest daughter.  I have been blessed with being able to watch Aleesia grow from a darling two year girlie to a darling nine year old girl!  She is like a daughter to Brother Sacker and me.  We were so honored to see Pastor Howard baptize her in Jesus' name on Sunday, May 22, 2011. 

Aleesia, Sister Butler and Pastor Howard
(Sister Butler was in the exact same spot when Pastor
Howard baptized me!!)

Baptized in the sweet name of Jesus!

Praising God
And, praising Him some more!

Celebrating Nine Fabulous Years!! Also Known as I Am SO blessed!

Nine years ago, on Saturday, May 25th, 2002...Viktoria M. Clarke and David Sacker were united in wedlock in Lake Charles, LA!  I thank God every single day for bringing Brother Sacker into my life.  Brother Sacker had these flowers delivered to me.  There were pink peonies, yellow roses and pale yellow ruffle edge tulips.  The vase was wrapped with pink ribbon...they were beautiful!!

Spring Has Sprung at the Sacker House!

A friend of mine, Sandra, owns a flower/gift shop in Kinder, LA...Sandra's Gifts.  She made me this darling wreath...she knows how I love a wreath on my front door!!  I put this wreath up a couple weeks ago, when we returned from LA and within a week, had a bird making a nest in it!!  I checked for eggs, didn't see any and dumped the whole thing out on my front yard.

Update on Saturday, June 4th:  On my way out the door tonight for Family Prayer...when I opened the front door, a bird flew right past me!  So...another nest is being built in my pretty summer wreath!!  I will check for eggs on Monday and if there are none...I'll dump it again!!  I guess we'll have to see who is more or the bird!!

Back to Jefferson, TX (on our way back to Tulsa)

We stayed at the Hale House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson, TX on our way home.  Jefferson has some great antique shops and specialty boutiques.  We had dinner at the Austin Streeet Bisto Saturday night and yes, I got a menu!  In fact, I was invited to the kitchen so I could personally thank the owner for the menu...she is such a nice lady.  You can actually read her story

Hale House B & B 
Those windows above the front door are the windows of our room 

Very cute room 

The bathroom used to be a closet! 

The streets are paved in brick