Tuesday, May 10, 2011

House guests! Plus, Lemon Curd on Not-Weigh-In Tuesday

I am excited that today marks the arrival of some exciting house guests!  The lovely Kenz, a fellow weight loss blogger, is coming to stay with us for the week.   I can't wait to hang out with her!  She's bringing her friend Kent, and all four of us will be heading to Slimmons tonight, where she'll get to meet Richard for the first time!  I know that the first time I met Richard really changed my life... and since he was a motivator for the beginning of her own weight loss journey, I know she'll have a wonderful time.  I'm sure there will be much more on Kenz & Kent throughout the week, but for now you should check out her blog, All the Weigh, where she has documented the 100+ pounds she's lost so far!   She's an inspiration.

You may remember that last week I wrote about my possible plan to avoid pressuring myself on numbers.  And I decided that it was a good idea, so today I'm skipping my 4-month anniversary of weigh-ins.  I'll be back to regular weigh-ins again next week.  I've still been eating well and exercising each day, because this is not an excuse to do poorly, it's an opportunity to remind myself that my end goal has nothing to do with numbers, and everything to do with strength, health and behavioral changes.

So instead, I have a new recipe for you.  Well, kind of.

I experimented with lemon curd last week, because I'll be using it in place of frosting for the next flavor in my cake pop quest.  I wanted to bring down the calories per serving, so I tried replacing two of the typical ingredients (eggs and sugar) with two lower-calorie replacements (Egg Beaters and stevia.)  Let me show you what happened:

I started with this batch of ingredients.


I zested the lemons (peel only, no pith)

And then I juiced them. This style of juicer is by far the best
and most fun - way to get all of the juice out of your lemons.

I combined all of the ingredients and stirred over a low heat.  A VERY low heat.

But what I didn't realize is that Egg Beaters, because they're made of egg whites, cook much more quickly than regular eggs (especially yolks.) Like, in 30 seconds.

There's a very thin line between lemon curd and lemon scrambled eggs.

So I started over again.  This time, I did everything the same except I used a double-boiler and alternated heat and no heat, every four seconds.  I was able to get the correct consistency, but the flavor was dreadful.  How dreadful was it?  So dreadful that Tom made his "wine face," the grimace he makes when he has a sip of champagne at a wedding.  (He's not a fan of the taste of alcohol.)

So I started over ONCE AGAIN.  Thank goodness we'd bought 6 lemons.  We're clean out now, so we need to buy some more in order to enjoy our citrusy steamed vegetables, as we do a few times a week.

This time, I gave up on the Egg Beaters.  The recipe had called for a cup of them, and 3 real egg yolks have about the same calorie count as the full cup of Beaters.  So I adjusted to Martha Stewart's curd recipe, swapping only the stevia for sugar, and adding double the lemon juice (because stevia does not add the bulk that sugar would - and because I like my curd tart.)

Yolks have a slower cooking time, so it made for much easier curd.  I also added a pinch of sugar (perhaps a teaspoon) because I wanted to combat the stevia aftertaste (which I was definitely not enjoying.)

The third batch turned out OK.

By the way, today's entry marks the first photographed backgrounds
as sponsored by my lovely "textile sponsor," my sister! Thanks, Michelle!

It still doesn't taste like perfect lemon curd, but it's tart and light, and I'm willing it enjoy it on a crumpet for breakfast this week. (As part of "this complete breakfast," I'll also have some fruit and yogurt, and a boiled egg.) 

Crumpets, by the way, are generally fat free and under 100 calories.

What I've realized from all of this is that lemon curd is best without any swaps.   It's delicious and fits into my plan, in moderation.  And I've recently discovered that lemon curd freezes well!  So when I make a real batch in the future (which I'll do for the upcoming cake pops) I'll portion-control my leftover curd by freezing it in cute silicone ice cube molds, which can be popped out and melted on a hot crumpet or healthy muffin.

I have a feeling one of these cute molds will be on my wish list in the future...

How adorable would it be to have a little lemon curd heart on your toast?

Or, color-appropriately, a PAC-MAN!?

If you wish to make my adjusted stevia curd - which will do in a pinch, if your calories or willpower won't allow for the real thing - here's the recipe:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 tsp stevia
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tb butter
Cream the butter and stevia together with a mixer, until it's as smooth as possible.  Incorporate the egg yolks one by one, and then add the lemon juice and zest.  It will curdle, but don't worry - as the butter melts, it will become creamy.

Heat the mixture in a double-boiler at a low temperature.  It's important not to warm the mixture too quickly or you'll have lemony scrambled eggs. Stir continually, scraping the sides and bottom to make sure that the mixture stays at a consistent temperature throughout.  After about 8 minutes, it will gradually thicken.  When the curd is 170 degrees, or when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (and running a finger across the spoon leaves a clear swipe), it's ready.  If you prefer to get rid of the zest or any lumps, you can filter through a fine mesh strainer.  Otherwise, pour into a container and cover.  It will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for several months.

And here's the nutrition facts, per serving of 2 teaspoons:

All right, I hope that your day is full of warmth and love.  Take care of you, and I'll be back tomorrow with an Adventure Wednesday full of twinkly lights and booty-shakin'!


  1. Stevia is the business! I used it to bake plantains the other day :]

  2. Another great typo from Not Afraid. Hahaha.

    I can't believe Kenz & Kent is NOT a typo. Have fun with your guests!

  3. but what happened to my request for a new picture of you and Tom on not-weigh-in Tuesday?

  4. Joyce, that sounds yummy, do you have a recipe?

    NA, I knew I'd have you with just that one word.

    iSm, Agreed - I love saying "Kenz & Kent!"

    Diane... I knew you'd say that! I do indeed have new pictures of us, but they're a part of tomorrow's entry for Adventure Wednesday. :)

  5. My day has absolutely been filled with warmth and love. Thank you for being a gigantic part of that! I love it here!

    I like saying Kenz and Kent too. When I wrote out our itinerary, I called it K2 (not sure how to make the squared sigh - and not willing to learn at this late hour) but I like it too.

    I'm exhausted.....see you in the morning(ish.) ;)

    And thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Can't wait for tomorrow!

  6. I love Lemon Curd! It's a great treat for a girl who can't have berries! I can't wait to make and try it!