Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jane's on the Commons

Mom and I went to Jane's on the Commons for Mother's Day brunch. Actually we went Saturday to avoid the rush. We had been wanting to go. I had read about this restaurant several times while on the road in several different Canadian publications.

It was everything I had read about and more. We just had coffee since it was brunch and it was an excellent cup of coffee and I'm pretty fussy about my coffee (surprise, I'm fussy about something food related...). I ordered the grilled cheese. I had heard so many good things about the grilled cheese I just had to try it even though there were so many good things on the menu. Mom had the ricotta pancakes. Mom is doing LA Weight Loss and I'm also trying to eat healthier. So this was our treat outing that wasn't suppose to break the bank, if you know what I mean.

This was the most amazing grilled cheese I had ever had. It was made on french bread with sharp cheddar (the secret to great grilled cheese and mac and cheese is using a good sharp cheddar, even kraft's old or extra old will do the trick) and provolone. It was served with tomato butter. I can't even begin to think of how you make tomato butter but it was delish. I had the spinach salad on the side with goat cheese and pistachios. Yum, yum, yum!

Mom's pancakes had bananas in the middle and had maple syrup on the side but it was so tasty that mom didn't use much syrup. And the service? It was impeccable. And you all know how I have high expectations for service!

The grand total for this excellent meal - just $30 with tip! And we were full right up until dinnertime. So if you are in Halifax anytime soon, make a trip to Jane's on the Commons. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Expanding Waistline (aka How did I get this big?!?!)

I"m a pudgy little wino. Okay, I'll admit I've gotten a little thicker around the middle in the last few years. It didn't happen overnight. And it didn't happen because I quit smoking (the exact date, I don't remember because I was so ready it was a non-event but I think it's been about 4.5 years) I was already gaining weight before I quit. It might have something to do with the huge lifestyle change that came with going from being single to being a couple. Every night was a romantic candlelight dinner with wine and gourmet fare. And then there was the introduction into all sorts of evil fast foods that I never would have indulged in but that my new partner was used to.

It hit me a while ago when Tim said to me that this was the best he had ever eaten in his life. This from a man with stage one hypertension ( we had just found that out. since then he has gotten it down with diet and exercise!!!!!) I had to tell him it was the worse I have ever eaten. Time for a reality check.

So after a few too many pounds I decided it was time to do something about it. I don't believe in diets. Anything that deprives you is going to fail in the long run and research has shown that those who diet never really keep it off. The regular meetings of weight watchers do work but you must always go, forever. Yup. Big commitment for me.... But how was I nice and healthy sized before? Well for me it was about grocery shopping and menu planning. See I used to go to the store and buy all the nice looking veggies. Then I'd come home and plan my menu based on using those veggies up before they went bad. Sounds funny? Maybe but works for me. In the last 3 weeks I've lost 6 pounds. No pain, no misery. I also started weighing or measuring my cheese portions. I try never to have more than an ounce at any one meal. We are cheese craze around here so any 'diet' that says no cheese isn't going to fly. But if I can have a little at every meal then I'm happy.

I'd like to add that I've lost weight but still ate out, including a trip to MacDonald's (they have those Shrek glasses!). We had date night (lamb chops and creme brulee were on the menu) and girls night (more creme brulee, mussels, bruschetta, shrimp) in the last week and I still didn't gain anything back!

I do have at least 2 veggie servings per meal. I weigh my meat portions ( i buy in bulk and then bring it home, cut away visible fat and divide it up into 4 ounce serving portions). We eat red meat. We drink wine. Tim hasn't really lost anything but he has been eating out for work related events for at least 13 meals in the last 3 weeks. Eating out is tough. The portions are way too big, everything is well salted and the fat is not controlled. That doesn't mean you can't eat out but I do limit it to only once a week. Now that is something I couldn't have done when I was travelling all the time. Although now when I eat out I make sure to get a salad to start because it fills me up and I can split the main course for 2 meals - less calories to burn at once!

So stay tuned as we see how I fair. Also, I have a restaurant review of Jane's on the Commons in Halifax that I have been meaning to share.