Christmas Crack and Sausage Dressing

•December 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

As I sat here at my kitchen table watching the snow fall, I realized it truly is winter. I live in Victoria, British Columbia – the tropics of Canada – usually. It seems Washington state send us an “unusual weather pattern” (their words not mine). It means that snow came to our island. It was close to 8cm (4 in US). Out came the barely used snow shovel and every bird in the neighbourhood to the feeder. We even have humming birds feeding at their feeder, too. Decorating the tree did not make it feel like Christmas was coming. Maybe it was the tree topper?Yoda

golden-grahams-treats-wm-640x425Me? I’m feeding as well. It won’t be long until the traditional Christmas dinner. So already the required Christmas treats are in the house. Shauna made Christmas Crack (Golden Grahams cereal embedded in white chocolate). It is highly addictive. Also on the coffee table are: mixed nuts (shelled with no peanuts), Nansi’s Chex mix (almost gone), mince tarts for Norm (I, for some strange reason, do not like mincemeat, I think it’s the dried currants), mixed candies and nice little blue napkins.

It is Christmas Eve Day (sigh!). The turkey is thawing; the Christmas pudding is steaming (it’s actually pumpkin pudding because I hate peel and dried currants); presents are wrapped; and I’ve posted the Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas Bell video. (Click on this then read the rest of my blog!) Sigh!

I should be making a cheese ball and some smoked salmon cream cheese but I’m a wee bit tired.  Cheese ballI’ll have some eggnog and rest a bit and quit “shoulding” on myself.

Tomorrow is the real test of a family and its traditions. And food is a biggy, starting as soon as we get up. Mimosas, coffee and Bailies, cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing. Shauna and Leanne will be here so maybe pancakes etc??? Later the preparing of the smashed potatoes. These are really just mashed potatoes with skins on. The mixing of the OJ and fireball for the yams. It’s OK because all the alcohol evaporates and the taste is divine. I always make a very special sausage dressing and this year I think the amount will be bigger than the turkey. The bird is only 8.5 pounds but I’m making way more dressing than will fit in that little bird. The original recipe came from a recipe booklet from Maple Leaf products. It also included the original for our cheese ball. But, like most things, we have adapted the recipes for us. Yogurt instead of sour cream for the cheese ball, chicken broth instead of butter – that kind of thing for the stuffing. I get my bread for the stuffing from Breadstuffs Bakery in Brentwood Bay. It is yam poppy seed and makes an amazing stuffing. Lots of celery leaves, onions (wilted) and Glenwood meat sausage make this stuffing spectacular. Then there is the thyme, rosemary and sage I grow myself.

Wow. I can see I’ve gone way overboard on the food talk. But isn’t Christmas the time of year for excesses like presents, donations, hugs, treats and love. This is a time for reflection on what Christmas really means. Not just the commercial pageant we have grown to expect but to look at what we need, what our children NEED and what the WORLD NEEDS! Love, understanding and heart. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others. I’m still having a difficult time doing almost everything one-handed but, with the love and support so many have been sending me, I will send out waves of caring and love to all. Have a very merry Christmas and don’t dread the new year. It’s new!

Thanks for listening.



Justified Weight Gain or Single-Handed Comeback?

•December 13, 2017 • 2 Comments

Whew! Yep, I am not dead nor have I given up – yet. I’m currently recovering from another joint replacement. This time it was my left shoulder so, literally, I am typing this only with my right hand. Get it – single-handed? Simple Skeleton Drawing 1000 Images About Cute Skeleton Crafts For Kids On Pinterest

I now have 5 artificial joints – both hips (one twice), my right knee and both shoulders. It’s my cartilage, my bones are way too strong and wear the squishy padding to nothing then they create extra stuff (bone spurs) to compensate. Damn.

sailor moonIt has been a challenge every year or two to have these monstrous surgeries and months and months of re-hab. And I just found out that artificial joints weigh more than just bone. I guess this is justified weight gain? And, yes, I set off security alarms in airports. But I can move without a wheelchair.

I am truly grateful for medical advances, unbelievable surgical techniques, the people who do them, nice medications and a medical system that takes care of all the cost. Well, most of it.

Now, I get to take time off to heal. I don’t have much stamina and pain-killers are still one of my best friends. But, I do miss my students and co-workers. Daytime TV sucks and I haven’t got the stamina to watch more than two episodes of the same show in a row on Crave or Netflix. Sigh, sounds like whining again.Mince tarts

It’s near Christmas so the “feasting” has begun but I haven’t stockpiled baking from before surgery but I’m not missing it, yet. Norm does miss the mincemeat stuff but I know stores that have those amazing tarts. But he has to drive because I’m not allowed to…yet.

Thank you for all the messages asking me if I’d quit writing this blog and to not quit but keep it going. It’s support like that that keeps me going. (I’ve always wanted to write a double word sentence that really works.) I’m going to try and keep myself in line and on line. And, if it all works out right, keep you all amused or at least pondering if I’m nuts or not.

Thanks for listening and welcome to the holidays! Diane Kirby




Wonder Woman Wonders

•June 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

My daughter, Leanne, took me to see Wonder Woman yesterday for my Mother’s Day present. It was spectacular! We both love the character and the way she is portrayed in 2017 does her justice. But boy, has she changed since I was a girl. I will say, though, I like leather better than spandex and satin. I also really like that she is now international not just American. I read a lot when I was a kid and comics were way up there. But it may explain why a woman’s self image is warped from the very beginning.

If you look at the pictures above from the ’50’s to 2017, you’ll notice something. The modern Diana actually shows less skin. I know what you’re going to say, “You think you are her because of your name.” That is sort of true, and I have been a sword matron when needed. Diana is the name of the Roman goddess of the hunt and the moon. In Greece, of which the modern Diana is created from, the Goddess Diana is named Artemis and is the sister of Ares. Nice name play. I’ll keep my name, I’m told it is the French spelling and I’m very partial to the moon.

But looking like Linda Carter, Gal Gadot or the original DC creation has not been a motivator to me. Maybe now that she is going to save the world from evil not just the US, I will lose some weight to fit into a nice leather two-piece with a blue skirt and wedgie boots. I may have to adjust the arm guards because of my huge hands but the lasso shouldn’t be a problem since I’ve worked hard with my whip from my Indiana Jones fixation.

So, I’m wondering if wanting to be Wonder Woman is a bad thing? Lots of girls and women take all kinds martial arts training. I took bokken (wooden samurai sword) training and it was a lot like ballet because you have memorize all the steps, moves and practice them forever. Exercise is good for us no matter why! I wonder what they ate in Themescyra for breakfast. I’ll opt for strawberries and yogurt today. I’ll make it Greek yogurt just to stay in the theme.

Thank for listening.   Diane – Wondering Woman


Coffee and Chocolate

•May 31, 2017 • Leave a Comment

First, I want to apologize to all the people who regularly read my blog. As you have noticed, it hasn’t been regular for months. I’m back and feeling confident enough to expose my fatish views to the world! Yes, the warm weather had made me store/hide all my “multitude of sin” winter clothes. Now? Capris, tanks, tees, and even dresses. I’ve lost a couple of pounds over the last few weeks and I had a heart shake-up that turned out to be nothing, so I can do this. Thanks for listening and on to the real meat of the day. OK, not meat but other yummy stuff.

CoffeeRecently, there have been scientific reversals on how bad coffee and chocolate are for you. I was making my morning coffee and thoroughly enjoying that amazing aroma when I realized I drink at least 4 cups of coffee every day. I remember believing more than two cups a day was really bad for you. I don’t remember who said so or why but it was “general knowledge”. It turns out, that much coffee without sugar will help prevent Type 2 diabetes and is loaded with anti-oxidants! Yeah!!!! If you don’t believe me, try the Huffington Post. My biggest problem with coffee is that I have become a coffee snob. Around here there are as many specialty coffee roasting companies and there are artisan breweries. I truly enjoy dark, Italian roast coffee. Some stuff in restaurants needs cream, lots of cream to be drinkable but I still enjoy the caffeine!

cacao-vs-cocoaThen there’s cocoa, the basis of chocolate. It’s good for your heart, Who’d a thunk it? I read it in my local paper, The Victoria Times-Colonist. In Denmark there was a study of men with Atrial Fibrillation and those who consumed chocolate with more than 35% cocoa showed far fewer signs of the heart condition. And the Livestrong website also lists benefits such as: lower cholesterol, more serotonin, less depression, naturall lower blood pressure, and melatonin for great sleep. And hot cocoa has more anti-oxidants than red wine or tea. Well, I’m not ready to give up my red wine yet but I really like dark chocolate melting slowly on my tongue.

It is refreshing to learn that things that were considered bad for us now are found to be not only life preserving but good for us! So, I’m going to finish my third cup of West Coast Dark roast, finish this post and get ready for a blood pressure check at my doctor’s. Take care and Thanks for listening!


coffee stupid

Chocolate linked to reduced heart risk (Times Colonist, May 30 2017, PageC5)

•May 31, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Chocolate linked to reduced heart risk
Times Colonist
May 30 2017

Medical researchers have identified a compound that might reduce your risk of a dangerous type of heart rhythm that can lead to strokes, dementia, heart failure and early death. In a study of more than 55,000 Danish men and women who were tracked for…read more…


Emotional Eating – Omni Style

•January 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

To say I am an emotional eater is an understatement. Any emotion I have will make me eat. And I mean MAKE me. We have all heard the old saying that stressed is desserts spelled backwards. So that makes it OK to eat.

But it isn’t just stress that makes me eat or even crave food. When I feel anything, I want, no, need to eat. Lately I’ve been trying to work out which emotions trigger which food cravings.

emotion-listHappy – Bread
Sad – Sandwich
Worried – Crackers with something on top
Lonely – Hickory Stix, lots of them
Bored – Fruit and yogurt (OK some of the cravings are healthy)
Angry – Chips
Pained – Jamieson’s
Anxious – Cheese
Love – StrawberriesDisgusted – Nuts
Thoughtful – Home baking
Regretful – Chocolate (preferably Kit Kat Chunky)
Satisfied – Nothing (but it doesn’t last long)

Of course one of the hardest things to do is to be aware of which emotion I’m feeling and how do I dial back the craving and not, I repeat, NOT eat. Just looking at the list has helped me stop omni-emotional eating. OK, I haven’t stopped yet but I’m learning and what I’m learning most is what I am feeling at any given moment.

the_self_perpetuating_cycle_of_emotional_eating-28-18382I’ve been told that food, especially comfort food, should give pleasure. That’s why we call it “comfort food”. I get pleasure, guilt, anger and sometimes nothing emotionally. So what happens then? I get stressed. Stress is a soup of emotions. And yes, it triggers major food cravings, even when my stomach (what is left of it) feels like it is falling through the floor.

So, to control my omni-emotional eating I must identify my emotions then consciously avoid the food trigger in my internal programming. I have programmed myself to avoid emotions by eating, OR, maybe I’m rewarding myself for feeling something? That actually makes more sense.

Well, If I slow down and identify what the hell is going on I also can tune down or maybe eliminate the bad self talk and do good talk. By taking control of my situations and food intake I can feel better about myself. Seriously, I have been doing this procedure for a variety of reasons – depression, anxiety, stress, physical pain and just plain attention-getting. I’m feeling better already. As I re-read this blog post I feel successful and will go have breakfast. Oh oh.

Thanks for listening.   ;D   Diane

My Resolution Revolution – SMART Goals

•January 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I did not write one resolution this January 1st! This was my most promising accomplishment of the new year. Resolutions have created many closed or closing doors to me and have caused undo stress and worry and, I am trying not to have these two things in my life right now.


Times-Colonist – 8 January 2017

I like this cartoon because it truly reflects what many of us do at the beginning of the year. I often feel put upon because I have two beginnings every year. There is the traditional New Year and then there is the September start of school. Both are great times to take stock and make resolutions for my future. But are the SMART?

smart-goalsSMART are goals that I can set that can(will?) be achievable. I use them with students so they can work on the parts of their learning that are manageable. It can be very overwhelming when a goal is huge such as: “lose 25 pounds” or “graduate”. But if I make it specific (S) and measurable (M). I can agree and achieve (A) to lose a pound a week (T) in 6 months. These types of goals are much friendlier and harder to  sabotage. I’ve decided not to list my first 3 SMART goals in this post. I want to make sure I wrote them correctly and I’m always sensitive to those of you amazing readers who are better than I am at this and those who will support me no matter how good or bad I am.

I was off over Christmas and New Year’s Eve for 16 days and did not do a lot except baking and cooking. The holidays were very relaxed and comfy. Too many times the holidays become full of stress, bad calories and the seepage of money. My Mastercard is paid off. There is only turkey stock in the freezer as leftovers and I watched two Netflix series from start to finish. I DID NOT beat myself (or anyone else) up over treats, turkey, drinks, or lack of walks. I did not gain any weight. Or, if I did, it came on and off over the two and bit weeks.

I feel good about this year after the year from hell last year. So I WILL keep up with my postings and will make you smile with me in the coming months.


Thanks for listening.  ;D  Diane

PS This is the Post-turkey No-guilt puppy!

Tequila Can Help Us Lose Weight!

•December 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

WOW! I was very skeptical when I first read this on Facebook.  The website article is: A New Study Shows That Drinking Tequila Could Actually Help You Lose Weight. 

agaveI read it and it made so much sense I researched it. Agave produces a great sweetener for everyone with special benefits for diabetics. Tequila is made from agave, therefore tequila is good for us. Agave syrup is full of agavins, a natural fructose that actually lowers blood sugar levels and makes us feel fuller – then we lose weight.


I’ve seen agave syrup in all my local grocery stores and there’s all kinds of tequila in the liquor stores, too. But I would worry about whatever I was mixing with my tequila. Most mixers are high in sugar, too. But I have discovered that tequila makes a great Caesar!

Tequila Caesar

45 ml (1 1/2 oz.) tequila
120 ml (4 oz.) Clamato juice
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
A few drops of red Tabasco sauce
Ice cubes
Celery salt
1 lime quarter
1 drunken bean

Frost the rim of a highball glass with the celery salt.
Combine all the ingredients, except for the lime quarter and the bean, in a highball glass containing a few ice cubes. Stir using a mixing spoon.
Garnish with the lime quarter and drunken bean.

They are delicious and count as a vegetable serving, more if you add more beans. So I’m going to try the agave syrup instead of su

gar but I don’t personally use much sugar so it might have to be the tequila. As it is regular, distilled alcohol has no carbs so maybe I’ll end up a skinny alcoholic!

Thanks for listening and limit your alcohol!  ;D Diane






•December 2, 2016 • Leave a Comment

wtfWTF  – Where’s the food? Diets are notorious for restricting what is available to eat. Then there are the Crave Morsels that call out to you and you go an extensive kitchen forage.  The fridge has some Leanne’s Favourite; a bit of unstuffed cabbage rolls (I’ll have that for breakfast); two mandarin oranges; two blocks of cheddar (for the Christmas cheese balls); but not anything I can just have by the handful. The carrots are wilty and going into the stew. Then the snack basket – chocolate coconut flakes (nah); whole grain tortilla chips (no salsa); and that’s all. It’s a relatively empty basket right now. See, I’m denying my salt craving. The bread basket only has bread in it. I’m not craving bread. OK, I’ll try the cupboard. Cereal; tons of things that need to be cooked or opened with a can opener; and crackers. Crackers might do but, now that I’m aware of my foraging, I feel guilty and will not be snacking right now.

How about the special Christmas goodies that are everywhere! Christmas Crave Morsels can be even worse, because they are available for a limited time. Nanaimo bars, peppermint bark, tarts, cookies, chocolates, veggie and shrimp rings. Sigh, there will be a lot of food but I’m delaying the baking, making and buying until the family complains – a lot of food.

By the way, are snacks really food or just empty calories? Thanks for letting have my mini rant. ;D   Diane

Fireball Yams – Happy Thanksgiving, American Folk

•November 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment

yamsHere’s a present for everyone! No alcohol is in the finished product just flavor! ;D Diane

Diane’s Fireball Yams

2-3 pound of yams or sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
dots of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 ounce Fireball
1/2 ounce Cointreau or Triple sSec (don’t use Blue Curacao or you will get turquoise yams! Another story)

Slice the yams(sweet potatoes) into a single layer into a relatively shallow dish or casserole. Sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter over the whole thing.  Then, pour the Fireball and Triple Sec over the whole thing and add to the oven at 325/350 F for at least 1 hour!!!!  The alcohol evaporates but the flavour remains – big time!  Enjoy!


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