Monday, January 30, 2012

In Memory of Pat on her Birthday

Cooking with Pat was started as a way to show the world what my mother has wanted to show them for years.  Home style Mid-western cooking!  Her recipes that she has handed down to her children who have in turn have passed them down to their children.

January 30, 2012 would have marked the 58th birthday of this incredible lady.

I want you to know who Cooking With Pat is:

Patricia L. Padgett was born Patricia L. Carroll on January 30, 1954.  She was born and raised in Michigan and Indiana.  She spent her life cooking and raising 9 children.  She loved her love for her children, through hugs, kisses, words of encouragement and food.

We did not have much growing up, but my mother always found a way to make sure we had food.  There were days I can remember a time when she would forgo dinner so that we could eat. Other days she would work miracles with the little that we had in the cabinet.

Family was very important to my mother Patricia L. Padgett and to show her love she cooked us some of the best meals I have had in my life.  Cooking became a passion for my mother.

When cooking for nine kids with nine different personalities not to mention her husband, it was sometimes difficult to find meals and recipes that would appeal to us all.  Somehow night after night we were served meals with colorful flavors, rich and hearty and managed to calm her rambunctious brood.

My mother’s dream was to share her recipes and her cooking with the world.

After 56 years on this planet as one of the most beautiful people I have ever loved or known on April 25, 2010, she passed away from a heart attack. It was shocking to her entire family as she did not suffer from any major medical issues. When she died an untimely death I saw it as my duty and my responsibility to bring her dream to life.

Before her death she spent countless hours working on her recipes. She would sit at her computer and type up every last one. Thousands of recipes were lovingly sorted and counted and organized for publication.  This was something that she has wanted to do for a long time.

When she died an untimely death I saw it as my duty and my responsibility to bring her dream to life.

This year, Cooking with Pat in coordination with First Draft Publishing, LLC a sample cookbook will be release in eBook format so that people can sample some of her recipes before the launch of her first book in 2013.  Watch out for the release date of this launch.

In honor of her birthday please visit American Heart Association website and make a donation to further the research and education of heart disease. We hope that her death was not in vain.  Before my mother passed away she complained of heartburn like pain in her chest. If this information can help someone we will know that she left us for a reason.

To learn more or to see more of Cooking With Pat’s recipes visit or checkout her Facebook page CookingwithPat.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Man vs. Girls Scout Cookies!!


This is a public service announcement.

Once a year we are all faced with the most addictive substance known to man.  A substance that has been known to crumble and destroy many diets. 

It is known in my neck of the woods as the crack cocaine of food.  They are addictive and yet they are delicious.  They are hard to resist and you can never have just one.

What am I referring to?

Girl Scout Cookies!

Yes it is that time of the year where our little darlings go around selling cookies and making me cut out dinner to eat them. 

Oh when it was announced that it was time to start selling cookies, I felt like an addict. I began to get panicky and …hungry.  I felt so guilty for wanting to buy like a million boxes.

Oh you tell yourself I am just helping out the neighborhood girl scouts or I am just stocking up. I don’t plan to eat them all at once. I am just going to freeze some of them so I can enjoy them year round.

I was feeling good about the life decisions I was making. I cut down on my junk food intake, replaced it with fruit and healthier choices but…

All it takes is something as delicious to throw a wrench in my plan.  It is hard to continue a diet with the enemy on hand staring you in the face.

Why not avoid cookies this year you ask?

Well, being a Girl Scout troop leader and also a Girl Scout mother, it cannot be avoided.  I have to support and I have to buy some.  Believe me I have been trying to make the all the sells go to other people’s homes.  I could also donate them to Operation Cookie Drop, but…Did I mention that I am addicted to Girl Scout Cookies.

When I sat down with the cookie order form I just continued to think about my mantra…all things in moderation.

Because like I have been saying, this is a lifestyle change and why can’t a box of yummy Girl Scout cookies be a part of my life. 

I can be superman every day and repel junk food when I want to.  I am that strong.  I am Superwoman in every aspect of my life and this can be just one more thing.

Lest we not forget however…Superman did have kryptonite.

Darn you Girl Scout Cookies!!!! Darn you to Heck!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Diets Are Temporary. I Need A New LifeStyle.

At the end of every diet, the path curves back toward the trough. —– Mason Cooley

Has this ever happened to you?  You plan to diet and eat right in order to lose weight for your wedding, your class reunion, so you can have that beach body for the summer?

You diet and diet and lose all that weight…only to gain it all back when the holidays come or when someone offers that beautiful slice of cake.

It has happened to me.  I counted my calories. There was a wedding I was attending and I told myself I would lose weight for that wedding. I exercised and I worked out constantly. I lowered my calories and every day I counted every single one.

I felt so great when the numbers on the scale were getting lower and lower. 

I attended that wedding and had a great time in my dress that was 3 sizes smaller than the other dresses in my closet.   

Then I returned from the wedding and I slowly stopped my vigorous exercise routine and my eating habits slowly started to return to what it used to be. Before long, I was back to my original size and all of those cute clothes that I wore to the wedding were way too small for me.

I was depressed and that only made me eat more.

I tried to lie to myself and say that I was happy with my size and I should just forget about dieting and just eat whatever I wanted.  The truth was I was not happy with my size and it made more depressed.

Eventually I realized that those diets just set me up for failure.  I love food and dieting was only temporary. I needed something that I could do for the rest of my life.

I love cake and I love ice cream.  I love cookies and fruit juices.  I can’t just give these things up.  That will make me miserable and in the end just makes me give up and eat more.

I decided that what I needed to change more than my eating habits was my mind set.  I decided that I would fill the house with tasty yet healthier choices.  Yes, I still eat cake and cookies, but I eat them in moderation. I don’t try to eat a whole half of cheesecake. I eat a slice and that’s it.

It makes me feel better that I do not have to give up the things that I love.  I have added exercise and I am losing weight. I have made my changes a lifestyle and when I wake up in the morning I don’t have to count my calories. I just choose the healthier choice, exercise 30 minutes a day and move on.

No, I am not losing weight as fast as I did before.  The weight is falling off at a slower pace, but it is falling off.  I feel healthy and happy at the same time. 

And…I can still have a piece of cake.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sometimes making the Healthy Choice...Is so freaking hard!

My three year old daughter lately has been telling her Dad and I that her brain made her do it.  Whenever she gets into trouble, it’s always “My brain told me to do it.” And we respond with stop listening to your brain when it tells you to do bad things.

It’s funny.  I didn’t understand her, but now I see where she is coming from.  It’s not my brain however that is telling me to do bad things.  Oh no, I have discovered that my stomach is the bad influence.

I woke up this morning determined to work out and get my Healthy 2012 off to a good start. I got up at a reasonable time; I did 25 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes of weight training.  I felt good and in control. 

Then my family decided that we should go out for lunch.

I freaked for a second.

Did I tell you that my weakness is good food?

My brain told me that I needed to stay on track. It said that I needed to continue my healthy habits all day no matter where I go. As I said before, this is a lifestyle and not a diet.  I needed to be in control and stay in control.

So I get in the car and drive to the restaurant confident that I can stay on track and get my healthy day going.  We enter the restaurant and this is the first thing that I see at the front door by the hostess station.

I wanted to scream.  It looked so good.  Even the kids were thinking that they now wanted dessert.

It is difficult sometimes and some days I fall off the wagon.  Food (and in particular junk food) is my kryptonite.  I feels o weak when I give in and pig out. Sometimes I think that I can’t do it. My stomach (the enemy) always hungers for the unhealthiest things on the menu or in the grocery store and in the refrigerator. 

But when I choose to eat the healthier thing, I feel victorious.  I feel so strong and confident that I can makes these decisions long term.

At the restaurant, I got a salad and I didn’t ask for extra dressing.  It is something small, but every small thing counts.  I feel victorious and healthy.  I like that feeling. I think I will do it again tomorrow.

My next challenge, not eating right before I go to bed.  But, that is another story…

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: The year to be heathy and happy!

The New Year brings many changes to the Cooking With Pat Blog. 2012 sparks a healthy new lifestyle for Cooking With Pat and hopefully for many of the Cooking With Pat followers.

Staying in shape and being healthy is very important. As much as I like food, I know that I would like to lose weight not just because I wanted to look good, but because looking good leads to feeling good and when you feel good you make more important healthier choices in the foods that you eat.

I know that it is hard to put down the donut and pick up an apple.  I for one have a major sweet tooth and really love to just snack all day. But I have children and I want them to see mommy and daddy eating properly. Hopefully they will make the right choices for the rest of their lives.

I have been known to say that I would rather eat what I wanted then be miserable in a diet. I knew that I would just gain all the weight back.  So I refused to diet. Then I realized that I didn’t have to diet. Diets end and that was one reason why I gained all my weight back. 

I knew that if I wanted to lose weight and keep it off I had to not diet, but make a lifestyle change.  This had to be something that I could do and it had to be permanent.  It had to be something that I would make me feel good about myself and not make me miserable.

I decided that I would eat healthier and try to get in at least 30 minutes a day of activity, like walking around the block or on the treadmill.  I knew that I also needed to incorporate some weight lifting and yoga to tone my body.  At first I didn’t see any weight come off and I was a little discouraged. However, I knew that I still felt good being more active and I noticed that I had more energy.

It doesn’t take much to be healthy and to do what’s right for your body.  Trust me, I am no extremist.  I do occasionally give in some days and have ice cream and on Holidays, I might pig out a little (hey, I’m only human. Yet, the next day I get right back on that treadmill and continue my healthy lifestyle.

Make that choice for yourself.  It is so easy to eat right and get in 20-30 minutes a day of cardio activity.  You can chose to go bike riding or you can just work out in the comfort of your own home.

Join Cooking With Pat in 2012 and make this year a healthy one!