Painting and Cooking






Last week I talked about my two passions; Painting and Cooking.
So why cooking?
Here’s my story. It became apparent that my health would improve if I lost weight.
The truth is that I’ve been on every diet plan in America.
5 pounds is all that I could ever lose.
And then the doctors ordered me to lose the weight.
Specifically I needed to lose 24 pounds First time that has ever happened.
So I decided to meet the challenge.
Here’s what I did.
I’ve been doing the painting, and Al has been doing the cooking and shopping.

My First change…I decided on the Mayo Clinic Diet Plan, a diet designed by medical professionals from a reputable health institute. I bought the meal plan book, the journal and the New Mayo Clinic Cookbook.
My Second big time change…No restaurant eating for the first 16 weeks of my new eating plans.
And here’s the third really big change…
I took over the meal planning, the grocery shopping and all of the cooking.
I plan one week of meals every Friday…grocery shop on Mondays, and cook meals daily (except for Saturday and Sunday)
You got it…those are street fair days. So I plan Thursday and Friday meals for 4, leftovers for Saturday and Sunday.

How is Cooking like Painting?

My thrill is all of the prep that goes into a meal (just like painting) and then voila…
onto the range and into the oven.
These are James Beard inspired recipes and many include around 20 ingredients.
I am inspired and successful. I’m eating lots of food, and actually losing weight.

16 Weeks of the Diet

16 weeks diet results…I lost 16 pounds.
And the food…gourmet. And it is like painting, only I substitute food for paint.
The plating and presentation is my signature to the nightly piece of food art.
Yep, I love it and I actually never feel like I’m doing this to lose weight.
I’ve learned to shop for and eat vegetables that I never used before. I’m in love with mushrooms, leeks and fennel.
Oh and the meal plans must include 3 days of fish. That’s new for me…for sure. I was a red meat lady.
Now I’m a salmon, a cod and a shrimp kind of woman.
So today I’m sharing my favorite recipe.

Provencal Fish Stew Recipe

diet - cooking

Photo : Oxmoor House

Serve with a Caesar Salad and a crusty French Baguette.

A meal just like one served in any fine restaurant in New Orleans.

 Wait until the last 3 minutes to add the shrimp and fish; they don’t need to cook long.  If you don’t want to use the wine, you can replace it with 1/4 cup of fish stock, chicken broth, or water. Oxmoor House MARCH 2010

  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
  • Cook time:11 Minutes
  • Prep time:4 Minutes


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped leek
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel bulb
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 6 ounces grouper or other firm white fish, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • Parsley sprigs (optional)


  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add leek, fennel, and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir in tomatoes, broth, wine, and 1 tablespoon parsley; bring to a boil.
  • Add fish and shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until done.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, and garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

There you have it…painting and cooking, my two passions.

Painting - Pear - Diet

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