Aren’t We All a Work in Progress?

What truly amazes me is other people’s obsession and commentary about MY weight loss journey. Believe me this is as big of a journey as you can take! Weight loss is difficult and maintaining has been more difficult. I’m a food person and my life has always revolved around cooking, trying new restaurants, exploring different ethnic foods and trying all the ice cream places I can find in the tri-state area. At one point I was so thin and felt deprived of everything I loved. Although I felt pretty confident in my weight loss success I didn’t feel like my true self. When losing an extreme amount of weight, you have a bit of an identity crisis and your weight can begin to define you. Weight loss isn’t going to solve all of your issues and insecurities. Yes, I have definitely put on some weight but for you snarky, narrow minded people commenting (you know who you are) worry about yourself and your own journey before putting someone else down. All this crap about women lifting other women up is a farce in my opinion. You gossip, you compete and a lot of that is dependent on weight and material objects ; both of which does not bring complete happiness.

So, yes now I have leaned that I can lose the weight and will get back on an exercise routine  because it makes me feel better. Pilates gives me strength and biking gives me a great cardio workout. The endorphin release is a real thing and probably has kept me off of anti-depressants. I’ve learned that balance is important in this journey and that deprivation of all the foods you love can be miserable. People have said that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels but trust me I’ve done the leg work. Eating a delicious meal is equally satisying as fitting into a size 6 jeans. I’ll never be back to 130 pounds again but somewhere in between and finding my comfortable weight and current weight will be my next focus.

Life is too short and food is too good to define yourself by weight. Enjoy the journey, keep moving and I’ll see you at the local ice cream spots!


Small Scale Victories


It’s the eve of a new year, the day when you assess where you’ve been and what direction to go next. I’ve conquered my last 20 years of resolutions, losing weight. It was a really difficult process which I combined both diet ( my own version of Weight Watchers) and a regular exercise routine. Keeping the weight off has been more of a challenge and after a very stressful end of the year which included my step daughters wedding, estrangement from my family,father in laws illness which has had an effect on my husbands overall physical and mental health…..well you can fill in the rest.
In 2019 I am going to get back on track and will get rid of the holiday and stress related weight gain. The fact is when you lose a large amount of weight people take bets on how long you can keep it off but I’m betting on me. Hopefully 2019 will bring me back to focusing a little more on myself and my small victories. Yesterday I began tracking my food again, I rode my Peloton and this morning I took a walk around the neighborhood using the Peloton app. I’ll celebrate more of my positive choices rather than wallowing in the negative. Happy New Year and this year YOU DO YOU!!

The Door to Sanity

In November I started a new fitness class, Pilates at Body Language Pilates in Long Beach,NY. I had tried mat Pilates in the past and remembered how my core was on fire for a week. I bridged, pumped and toe tapped until I felt like road kill on a mat. On Instagram I followed the progression of the studio until it opened and I went for a private class with Lori, the owner of the studio. Immediately I felt comfortable around her. She has a very cool vibe and is not intimidating like many instructors can be. I was introduced to the reformer and began gentle movements of my arms and spine. It felt so good to move my body in these ways. The Peloton is a great cardio and leg workout but I needed a balance. I found a great balance here! After some private sessions I was able to join the class. The “organization” of my posture, knowledge of Pilates terms and all over confidence I gained through Lori made me feel great about myself and my capabilities. I am a new person and feel like my weight loss and fitness accomplishments make me an overall better person mentally and physically. Now my good buddy Colleen joins me for Pilates twice a week. You know what we do after??? We eat! There’s no free lunch as Katie Lee says.


Hamptons Farms in East Quogue

After I sold my apartment and after many times visiting the east end of Long Island, my husband and I decided to purchase a home in the small community of East Quogue, New York. We had been going out to East Hampton for a few years and overpaying for hotel rooms. The trip was far, especially in the Hamptons traffic so we decided to look west of the canal in East Quogue. What seemed to be a little secret is now becoming more popular with others that don’t need the “scene” or the traffic of  27 East.

One of my favorite places to eat here is the new Hamptons Farms farm to table restaurant. All of the produce and ingredients are locally sourced and prepared to showcase the freshness of the food. This morning I had a omelet with kale and mushrooms that was  delicious. My husband has an egg sandwich with bacon on brioche. This isn’t just a breakfast place. The fried chicken would make Colonel Sanders of Kentucky question his methods. There are also burgers, salads and steaks on the dinner menu. Don’t forget the homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert. Just get there before the summer rush. I hope I’ll still be able to get a table! 😋


A New Shortcake

I’ve been away from writing for a very long time. Because I write daily for work as a third grade teacher, writing for enjoyment can be hard at times. This year has been a life changer for me. I haven’t been eating too much shortcake or anything for that matter. I’ve lost over 50 pounds by following the Weight Watchers app and last February 18th I started riding my Peloton bike at home. It is the best thing that has happened  to me and it changed my life. Through exercise and the positive feedback from these instructors, I felt like I could accomplish anything. Through exercise came more positive food choices and a conscious effort about what I put into my body. I have struggled with weight loss for over 20 years and now it will be a new lifestyle to keep it off and maintain this new me.


Your Grandma’s Attic in New York City


It is a bittersweet month for me. I will be closing on my “single girl pad” apartment that I have owned for 12 years. Another young teacher will be moving in and I hope she will enjoy it as much as I have. It was my cozy little haven and I leave behind many special memories and great neighbors. My furniture was called “Grandma’s Attic” by Carol Anne Furniture. It was floral chintz with patchwork design. I brought it with me to my house and I call that room little 700 after my building.

On Saturday night I went to a Russian restaurant called Mari Vanna. The antiques, chandeliers and mismatched floral plates made me feel as if I were in my grandma’s attic but believe me, no grannies were hanging out here. There were six feet tall beautiful Russian models and one short plump teacher….me. (That 21 Day fix , I guess I fell off the wagon) The menu has traditional Russian meals like Chicken Kiev, Beef Stroganoff and Borscht. I ordered the Stroganoff and loved it. It comes with buckwheat on the side which was different than when I make it with noodles at home. I LOVED THE DRINK MENU!! I had two Moscow Mules. There are many different infused vodkas and caviars if you are feeling adventurous.

If you are in the Flatiron District of Manhattan and want to try something different in food and decor check out Mari Vanna. Just don’t go on Tuesday nights. Apparently its Russian model night and Mick Jagger is chasing some tail. I’d stick out like a sore thumb.


Blizzard 0f 2016

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I can hardly believe that I managed to stay loyal to the 21 Day Fix throughout the blizzard. I usually am stuffing my face during a snow storm, as if I am going to the electric chair at midnight. I cooked a great recipe that I wanted to share. I used something new in my kitchen called Tap’n Apple. 

I used this to try to recreate Panera’s autumn squash soup. Their version has over 20 grams of fat per serving. I love cream based soups but right now I cannot afford to have them. As I watched the snow fall I had to keep reminding myself that very shortly I will be in a bathing suit in Turks and Caicos. In fear of someone harpooning me, I have to stay on track. Here is the recipe below:

  • 1 already cubed container of butternut squash
  • 1 large container of Pacific low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 tbsp. Tap n’Apple spread
  • 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter
  • 1 /2 tsp.each of ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice (you can use more or less of what spices you like)
  • 1 tsp. of salt and pepper

First, finely chop an onion and saute it in butter. Add the butternut squash once the onion is glossy and saute together for about 5 minutes more. Next,  add the apple spread to the squash and add the chicken broth and the spices you like. It should just about cover the squash. If there is too much liquid the soup will be too thin. Cook about 30 minutes until the squash breaks apart easily with a fork. When it starts to cool off a bit, take an immersion blender and puree soup until all of the squash is blended. (You could do small batches in a regular blender also) At the very end I added Land O’Lakes fat-free half and half. If you aren’t dieting you should definitely use a bit of cream or real half and half.

* Note: I love curry and if I had curry powder that would be good too.





Munching My Way Through Montreal

IMG_1669IMG_1678This past weekend I went to Montreal, Canada to watch a hockey game with my family.  Of course as I always do, I ate my way through the city. However, my 21- Day Fix arrived in the mail today. I had to enjoy everything before I start on this program. I had to try Poutine while I was in Canada as it seems to be a local favorite. The only thing I can compare it to is what we call “disco fries.” You know those fries with gravy and melted cheese we used to get from diners when we were headed home from a night in a club?  The cheese curds had the same mild taste and texture as mozzarella cheese. Although it does sound ordinary, the restaurant we tried them in called 3 Brasseurs has poutine down to an art. There are three locations in Montreal. We ate at the one in Old Montreal and knocked down some locally brewed beer to go with it. Here is the link if you are ever in

I also visited the most adorable and charming chocolate shop called Divine Chocolatier located at 2158 Crescent. Frommer’s travel guide stated that,  “A visit to Divine Chocolatier is like stepping into a fine chocolate shop from the past.” I’m no Frommer but I do agree. The shop even had an old fashioned brass cash register and little old- fashioned ice cream chairs. The gentleman working ,whom I assume was the owner informed me that all of the chocolates are made on the premises and made in small batches. I probably tried them all- champagne truffles, almond bark, hazelnut and praline chocolates. They were all delicious. I am going to contact them to see if they would ship to the United  If not, I’ll have to wait until I return next year. Until then, I’ll try to get through my 21-day Fix and drink my shakes. Up next, Turks and Caicos where I will hide under my muumuu if I don’t stick to this plan.  🙂



Katharine Hepburn Loved Mondel’s Chocolate!

A very dear friend of mine recently sent me a beautiful gift for Christmas, a box of chocolates from Mondel’s. This place slipped by me and although it has been family owned since the 194o’s, I hadn’t heard of it before. Located in Morningside Heights, it is a little out of the way but I intend to check it out soon.

My friend said the staff was very accommodating, friendly and helpful. The box of chocolate arrived the day after the order was placed. The two pound box was a golden box which is a beautiful present. The chocolate was fresh and the assortment had my favorites such as nut clusters, caramel and dark chocolates.

Gentlemen, Valentine’s Day is around the corner. If you want to impress a lady love present her with a delicious and well thought out gift, a box of Mondel’s chocolates. J’adore le chocolat!

New Years Day 2016

I love preparing party platters for people. Today I went to my friend Renee’s  house for brunch. I made the antipasto platter from cheeses I got from The Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck and meats from Fairway in Westbury. I married an Italian so pepperoni and salami are always a necessity on a holiday.

Preparing a platter takes time but worth the effort. I buy cheese leaves from Sur La Table and place them on big inexpensive platters I purchase from Home Goods. I think presentation is everything and looking at a well presented appetizer makes people want to eat more. Sure, you can go to Costco or Stop and Shop and purchase the same old Hormel pepperoni and Ritz cracker tray but if you want something special call me. I can help you organize a great party. Bon Appetit and Bon Annee.