Well, this is the end of my first month of blogging. I have lost 5 pounds eating the foods I love. I find the blog has made me pull out old loved recipes and work to recall the food that I have really enjoyed. Though I have felt hungry, I can hardly wait for meal time because I enjoy the food so much. I thank you again for stopping by, it really is motivational to have people to share this experiment with. I enjoy eavesdropping in on your worlds as well.

When we were attending ASU, we found this Mediterranean restaurant called Byblos. It was so good that we went every chance we got. In fact, every time we returned to Arizona for a visit, we had dinner there. They are still there and still serving fantastic food. The food I discovered there for the first time was hummus. It was so delicious that I had to find a recipe for it. At a Mediterranean deli, a woman married to a Lebanese man hand-wrote a recipe for us. (I still have it.) I still use it to this day and have never had hummus I like better. I made one change to her original recipe, I replaced the olive oil with the juice from the can of garbanzo beans and I don’t think it is less delicious.


* Exported from MasterCook *


Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
15 ounces garbanzo beans, canned
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain garbanzo beans, reserving the liquid. Place all ingredients plus 1/2 bean liquid in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if too thick. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Today for lunch I am having turkey meatballs made with a store-bought spice mix that tastes like Keufta. (I’ll stick to my old recipe). And saffron basmati rice. I soften chopped onions in ICBINB and add the rice and cook for a bit longer. I then add twice as much water as rice, a bit of chicken bouillon and a pinch of saffron. I bring it to a boil, then turn to low and cover for about 20 minutes. Even the pickiest eater I know loves the rice this way. I am also having 1/4 cup of hummus with celery sticks and tomato wedges.


Melting Pot-Style Meal

Fondue was a craze when I was a child. I recall hot oil in a pot into which we dunked meatballs. I was unimpressed. This continued years later when our PhD candidate finally finished the course and treated everyone to a Melting Pot dinning experience. I rate it:

Appetizer Course-Amazing, Delicious

Salad Course-Blah

Meat Course-Sad


So you see it was wasted on me to go to this fancy fondue chain. Just give me a good cheese fondue in which to dip bread and vegetables, then finish with a Creme Brulee Fondue with brownies and fruit dippers and it’s a celebration!


Since today is a special day, I went searching for Melting Pot clones to whip up for the celebration. Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue and Creme Brulee Fondue fit the bill! Now, I know this could really eat into my progress if I am not careful, so I need a beautiful vegetable tray and lots of fruit to limit my intake of mini pretzel bites and brownie chunks. (The brownies are homemade Great Day Cocoa Brownies from a Ghirardelli Cookbook using Splenda and half the amount of canola oil instead of butter.) We ended up just melting the white chocolate chips and adding about 1/2 cup Caramel Macchiato Creamer. It was thin enough to pour and didn’t need to stay hot, but was delicious. I want to try it again thinned with skim milk and sugar-free caramel syrup.


The plate on the right is what I ate, along with many of the veggies and 5 pretzel bites both dipped in Cheese Fondue and a lovely glass of Moscato d’Asti. We are all very happy!

UPDATE: I just came across some videos on YouTube of actual Melting Pot servers making these dishes!

Spinach Artichoke Fondue

Creme Brulee Fondue