A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Silver Lining

The job fair was a total bust. I pulled in the parking lot at 8:40am since it started at 9am. I drove in front of the hotel and looked inside. There were construction workers inside doing drywall. What the heck? I drove around to the back and the same thing. I got out and walked up to the sign by the road that I saw last week advertising the job fair. In tiny little mice type at the bottom it said "Georgia Dept. of Labor Career Center" (a.k.a. Unemployment Office). Oh C-R-A-P. I've been to this ofc several times since I got laid off in February. They don't open til 7:30am, but the people start lining up outside the door at 7am, and that's WITHOUT a job fair going on.

I drove over there to see just how bad it was. I counted 53 people standing outside of the building, and there were probably another 30 in line in front of them inside. I am actually desperate enough at this point that I would have stood in line behind 83 people to apply for a job, however, there was just nowhere to park. Every spot was full...people had parked on both sides of every curb, leaving VERY little room to squeeze my car through to maneuver around the parking lot. There were signs posted saying not to park on the grass. I counted 12 cars parked on the grass. I was feeling down, deflated, disgusted, and I finally made it out of the parking lot and back on the interstate.

As I was driving along I remembered a scenario from years past. I was job searching another time and had applied and interviewed for a position that I really, really wanted. I didn't get it. I called my friend Gregg and told him. He said, "Oh....well.....thank God!!" "Excuse me???", I said incredulously, wondering when my friend had suddenly turned into a moron. He explained that I had prayed fervently for that position, always praying that His will be done in my life, and the same with this job. He said since I didn't get it, then it wasn't meant to be, and I should thank God that I didn't get stuck in a place that wasn't right for me. I would have been miserable.

Hmmm...maybe my friend was smarter than I gave him credit for. That was certainly one way to look at it. Always one that enjoys the positive side of life way more than the negative...I decided to accept and be thankful for the silver lining that my friend had found in my cloud of despair. I adopted the same attitude today.

Feeling better, I headed on up to the unemployment office in the new county I just moved to and had my claim transferred. This office is much less busy, with much more pleasant employees. I only had to wait 5 minutes to see a counselor and handle the paperwork. While I was there, I found out that I've been approved for 27 more weeks, should I not find a job, which means my bills are at least going to be paid through the end of March. Praise the Lord!! Now THAT is an answer to prayer. :)

A couple of my lovely followers on the blog asked me to post the recipe for my breakfast casserole that I mentioned in last night's post. I'm happy to do so!

First let me say that I've made several of these and every time they're a little different...it all depends on what meats I have on hand, what fresh veggies were on sale that week, and how many calories I want to spend on breakfast. Here's a list of all the items I've used so far....you can mix and match them to whatever suits your taste:

rotisserie chicken
ham steaks cut into cubes
homemade turkey sausage (way less sodium than store bought; 99% fat free)
Canadian bacon (only 120 calories for 6 slices)

summer (yellow) squash
fresh or jarred mushrooms
every color of bell pepper (green, red, yellow, orange)
fresh spinach
baby asparagus
frozen broccoli (thawed)

Kraft Fat Free shredded mozzarella (1/4 c is 45 cals)
Kraft Fat Free shredded cheddar (1/4 c is 45 cals)
Kraft or Sargento reduced fat shredded Colby Jack (1/4 c is 80 cals)
Kraft or Sargento reduced fat shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend (1/4 c-80 cals)

The 2 staples in this casserole that never change are 10 egg whites and 1/2 c. of fat free cottage cheese (I use store brand). Egg whites are 17 calories each and 1/2 c. of fat free cottage cheese is 80 calories.

I use an 8x8 glass baking dish so it's a perfect square and I get 4 even pieces. I spray it with Pam olive oil cooking spray and preheat my oven to 375.

Next I chop all the veggies I'm going to use and sautee them for about 10 mins with a lid on the pan to cook out most of the liquid...this cuts way down on any liquid that cooks out while you're baking it in the oven. I do it on medium high heat, taking the lid off for the last few mins to let all the liquid evaporate.

If you're using homemade turkey sausage, you obviously need to cook that first. Little 2 oz patties cook up very quickly. If you're using ham, Canadian bacon or rotisserie chicken then there's no need to sautee ahead of time.

Layer the veggies in the bottom of the dish. Add the meat on top of that. Add your cheese on top of that, whatever amounts and blends you choose.

Mix 10 egg whites and 1/2 c of fat free cottage cheese in a mixing bowl and stir briskly with a wire whisk if you have one. Add a little salt and pepper to the mixture (I also add onion powder). Pour over the top, making sure to go around the outside edges first then finishing up in the middle. This will seal the top with egg whites and give you a nice browned, slightly crispy top on your casserole. Bake uncovered in the oven for 40 minutes. If you're oven cooks hotter, cook for 30 minutes and check it...but my egg whites are never fully cooked at 30 mins. 40 minutes is perfect in my oven.

Here's the specific ingredient list for the casserole I made this week that was 211 calories per serving:

6 oz. rotisserie chicken breast
2 c. yellow squash
1 c. red bell pepper
1 4.5 oz. jar of sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. vidalia (sweet) onion
4 c. fresh spinach
3/4 c. fat free shredded mozzarella
1/4 c. reduced fat shredded colby jack

Total calories: 844
Cals per svg: 211

It's a bit of work to sautee the veggies and get it all baked, so it's a good thing to do in the evening if you're just sitting around watching TV...it frees up your time in the morning, and especially if you have to go to work or get kids to school. I just pop a piece in the microwave for 40 seconds and Voila! :)

My weigh-in is tomorrow morning. I am holding my breath. Whatever it is, I'll deal with it, and start working on the next weigh-in. :)

Quote For The Day:

"Shallow men believe in luck, strong men believe in cause and effect." -Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Thank you Tammy, I will definately have a go of your casserole next week, sounds very healthy. I would probably have it for lunch rather that breakfast:) I will feed back (no pun intended) when I have had a taste.

    The job fair was a bit of a bummer, but like your friend said, maybe this time was not your time. I am sure you will get something when the time is right.

    You now have a new home, new employment office fresh routine. I think you have a springboard for big changes.

    Good Luck in everything.
    Hope Scarlette is feeling better.
    When are going to see photo's of her?



  2. Hope you find a good job soon - times are hard, but keep on trying and don't get defeated.

    The breakfast receipe sounds quite good, I may try it!

  3. That breakfast casserole sounds amazing. I'm just too lazy to cook in the morning, so I eat my banana flaxseed muffins. And, I really like your quote today - it's apt. Sorry about the job fair, but I suppose your friend is right - just not meant to be.

  4. I am sorry about the job fair! But I also believe very much that God orders our steps. I am trusting and praying that He has a great job ready and waiting for you!

    I am so glad you didnt leave the fair and head to a fast food joint. Thats prob what I would have done. It is hard!
    Might try your casserole sounds great!

  5. What you friend said about the jobs is a great way to look at it. That happened to me once before (well, I actually got the job but then lost it over something stupid) and I got a much better one and I realized I would have hated the other one. Just have faith that God will lead you to one that you will enjoy and that will give you what you need. Good news on the unemployment checks though.

  6. Now see? You made the effort but it wasn't meant to be! God knows what is best for us...that is for certain! And you have 27 more weeks to take a deep breath and try again!