Starting the New Year

As with a large percentage of Americans the hubby and I have managed to pack on a few extra pounds over the last two years.  We enjoy good healthy food but we also enjoy our sweets.  We have enjoyed them a total of about  60  (combined) excess pounds.  Working as a nurse  I’m constantly reminded of the epidemic percentage of people who have diabetes.  According to the  American Diabetic Association 10.7% of Americans over 20 years have diabetes and for those over 60 years the rate increases to 23.1%. Having first hand knowledge of the complications that go with diabetes, and not wanting to support the drug companies, has provided the  inspiration  to lose the extra weight and avoid over processed food. Many Type 2 diabetics spend over two hundred dollars a month for medication alone.   With this in mind, I’m trying to revise my menus by decreasing the carbs and working in more vegetables and whole grains.    These are my goals, or resolutions, for the New Year. But as everyone knows you don’t start anything so drastic on a Sunday. It only seemed right that we celebrate the first Sunday of New Year with our favorite breakfast and start our new goals on Monday.

Hot biscuits or scones are always a good start to any meal, especially breakfast.  A basic buttermilk biscuit recipe can be varied to fit your sweet tooth by adding dried fruit and nuts or become a savory delight with the additions of cheddar cheese and ground pepper.   Combining the dry ingredients and measuring the liquids,  the night before, will shorten and  simplify preparation the next morning.

Cheddar Pepper Scones

2 cups unbleached flour

2 TBLS sugar

1 ¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

6 TBLS cold butter cut in small chunks

2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese

10-15 grinds of black pepper

¾ cup cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.   Prepare baking pan with parchment paper.  Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pepper, and salt to the food processor fit with the metal blade.   Process for 10 seconds, add butter and pulse 5-7 times until butter is cut in small pieces.  Add cheese, do not blend.  Pour in buttermilk and pulse 20 times or until the dough holds together in thick clumps.  Pour on a floured surface, using a bench scraper gently fold the dough over 4 or 5 times until it becomes cohesive. Be careful not to over work the dough.  Pat into a 7 inch round, about 1 inch thick.  Cut into 8 wedges, place on prepared pan.  Brush tops with butter or milk and bake 15-17 minutes until firm to touch and golden.  Serve while warm.

Scrambled Eggs

When the hubby and I were first married I could whip up a batch of scrambled eggs in no time.  They also would bounce onto the floor if recklessly spooned on the plate.  Nothing was said until about 6 months into the marriage when he ever so kindly stated that he preferred his eggs a little softer.  I think this was close to the same time I found out he didn’t care for bay leaves or soups.  I had never eaten scrambled eggs any other way.  Mother’s eggs looked just like mine, so did my sisters. Were they done if they didn’t bounce?  Over the years I worked at not over cooking my eggs, there have been some successes and some very runny eggs.  Food Network is frequently on while I work around the house.  Not long a go I shut off the vacuum long enough to hear Ina Garten say “the secret to cooking good scrambled eggs is to cook them slow.”  This is the secret; if you don’t use an extremely hot skillet and you cook them slowly you will have fluffy tender eggs every time and they will not ricochet around in your mouth.

Eggs for Two

5 eggs

3 TBLS of cream, half & half, or milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk all of above ingredients together.  Melt 1-2 TBLS butter in pan, add eggs,  and cooks slowly to desired doneness. Remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes then serve.

Now that our tummies are full it is easier to get ambitious about losing those extra pounds.  Hopefully it will soon be time to shake the dust off those skinny jeans.  I will keep you posted.

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