I can’t believe I’m writing a post for MizFit.com… I’m seriously in awe here.
Oh, by the way, I’m Mara, the owner of the blog “What’s For Dinner?”
I started the blog in October after a few friends suggested I should start writing about what I’m cooking, and it’s just taken off from there!
So a little rewind: I was brought up in a household where cooking and food was very important. Not just “eating”, but learning to appreciate one’s food, how it was made, where it came from. Some of my earliest memories are in our kitchen, helping my mom cook (usually peeling onions), and waiting for the house to start smelling good. Things like chicken soup and roasted chicken are still immediate nostalgia for me…
When I got to college and I couldn’t cook for myself in my 1-quart hot-pot beyond ramen and macaroni and cheese, I discovered the wonder that was PIZZA DELIVERY and fast food. I’d never eaten mass quantities of junk before, just the occasional treat, and they were 90% homemade when I did indulge. College though? Fried things, actually, baskets of fried things with creamy sauces, pizza, pasta, did I mention fried things? Next thing I knew, I was entering my senior year almost 60 pounds heavier than 4 years before. I went to the doctor, got some pills, got a quick fix… then stopped taking the pills and gained all the weight back.
Fast forward to 2006: I’d met and fallen head-over-heels in love with Adam (my now fiancé), discovered the wide world of Chicago delivery, and had ballooned up to 265 lbs, which was HUGE on my 5’4″ frame. Even my feet were fat. I wore a size 10W shoe! I was stopping at McDonalds for a super value meal after work almost every day, then ordering a stuffed pizza or Italian Beef for dinner. I cut out some junk, and lost about 15 lbs on my own, then I made the decision to join Weight Watchers after a 3x shirt from Old Navy didn’t fit over my shoulders. Just cutting the crap out of my diet allowed me to quickly drop 20 lbs. The weight slowly kept coming off, and as of now, I’ve lost almost 50 lbs. Now, I just need to find that magic exercise that I don’t loathe doing so I can get the OTHER 50 lbs. off!
The cooking was spawned by necessity. I couldn’t get healthy enough options out, so I had to make them myself. Since I have a cooking blog, I thought I should share a recipe with you all, one of my favorites, and a total “nostalgic mom recipe”:
CLASSIC ROAST CHICKEN WITH GARLIC POTATOES!
1, 3-4 lb. roasting chicken
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon, halved
1 onion, quartered
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
pinch of thyme (dried)
2 Tbsp. Kitchen Bouquet
Pre-heat the oven to 400*F. Wash the chicken inside and out. Place onion and lemon inside the cavity, and loosely tie the legs of the chicken together with cotton string. Drizzle the olive oil, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and thyme on the outside of the chicken. Place the chicken in a roasting pan (on a rack if you want) and cook on 400* for about 20 minutes. Lower the temp to 350* and cook until done, about 40 minutes. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes before carving
4-5 red potatoes, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
Olive oil to coat all potato pieces
2 Tbsp. (more or less) garlic powder
2 Tbsp. (more or less) dried oregano
Put the potatoes into a large baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat the potatoes, then sprinkle on the spices. Toss to coat. Put in the oven at 350* (conveniently the same temp as the chicken!!!) and stir every 15 minutes until well-browned and done, about an hour.
Thanks for reading my ramblings, Bumbling Band, and thanks MizFit for being so fabulous and letting me write a post for you!
(Back ‘atcha Mara. I know I say it all the time, People, but I love her blog. To visit Mara is to love Mara and I *so* love me some Mara.)