Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Losing Weight With SparkPeople

In early May I decided I needed to be more accountable for the calories I eat. I hate counting calories and I only did it one week per month to get an approximate idea of what I was eating. I knew I wanted a web based application where I could track my food and maybe my exercise.

After some serious web searching I found SparkPeople. Wow! SparkPeople is everything I never knew I wanted in a weight loss and fitness website. Not only does it have a nutrition and fitness tracker, there are message boards, home pages, blogging, teams, articles and a motivational points system. There are thosands of friendly people aiming for the same goals as me. And the best part of all - it's free!!!

I cannot say enough good things about SparkPeople.com. They've turned a chore into something fun and motivating. I love it! And it's free!!! If you sign up, please stop by my SparkPeople page and say hi - I am Leanna1017.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock

Whole chickens were on sale this week for 88 cents per pound and Ben can't pass up a bargain.

On Sunday we browned the whole chicken in the pressure cooker with some carrots, parsnips and onions. We added garlic and peppercorns, along with parsley, thyme and sage from the herb garden and filled the PC with water to 2 inches below the maxium fill line.

The cooker was at high pressure for 30 minutes and we used the quick release button when the time was up. I strained the stock while Ben stripped the meat from the bones.

At this point, the bones went back into the pot with the stock and the water level was again topped off to about 2 inches below the maximum fill line (lower than necassary in case the stock foamed up). We set the timer for another 15 minutes at high pressure and let the cooker cool off naturally.

The stock was refrigerated overnight and the fat was skimmed off the next morning. We ended up with over a gallon of aromatic chicken stock and enough chicken to make chicken and cheese enchiladas for dinner and chicken soft tacos for our lunches this week. Quite the yield from a single bird.