Week 7: Poisonwood Bible, Pizza Puffs and Cher Fitness

  I have to say, even though some of these endeavors have been more difficult, awkward or soul-crushing than others, so far, I have completed most of them.  Until today.  Today…I’m popping that failure cherry.


Yeah, I didn’t finish The Poisonwood Bible.  I really, really wanted to.  I was really enjoying it.  But…it was the week of the Oscars and I was trying to get all the nominated films in that I could and…maybe I’m just burnt out.

I selected this choice because I remember my mother having it around the house while she was reading it.  I always enjoyed the cover, the idea it had the word “Bible” in the title…it looked like an interesting story.  And, you know, it totally is, I just…meh.  Couldn’t do it.

So, the dilemma here, kids, and I really need your input, is: Do I use this week to finish Poisonwood and the hell with Gullivers Travels?  Or do I just put the first on the shelf and get started on the second?  Feedback from readers of either or both (or even neither) is welcome.  Whatever happens, I will come back to this book and finish it, this I vow.


Fortunately, I had a lot more success with the ebullient Cher and the Hot Dance portion of her 1992 workout DVD Cher Fitness: Body Confidence.  (Which, incidentally, was a followup to her 1991 DVD Cher Fitness: A New Attitude.  Who knew?)

For those of you who didn’t know, I am a quasi-closeted Cher Fan.  Growing up, I adored watching her in Mask and Moonstruck, but then once the Believe album hit in the late 90’s, I was going through a lot of early 20’s post-adolescent angst and Cher really got me through.  I even had tickets to see her on the Believe tour, but she had to cancel due to illness.  Whore.

So, then, this may explain why I felt so callous towards the scantily clad Aussies in last week’s Pump It Up dance workout, but not to Cher, who wears a fitness-ready version of her Turn Back Time costume.  While last week’s clothing choices felt like an exhibition, this was clearly an homage.  A scant, dramatic, Bob Fosse homage.  And I was totally on board.


The workout itself was also tres, tres user-friendly.  In the introduction, Cher explains that the class is lead by her choreographer who, she says “is the best.”  And I can see why.  I’ve done a few “dance” workouts now and Michelle (I think that was her name?) eased me into the choreography at just about the most efficient pace of any I’ve tried so far.  She would first introduce a move by doing it half time, then do a practice, then do a practice at proper double time, then incorporate it into the whole routine/combination with the glorious exaltation “From the top!” At one point, Cher chided “Not the top, anything but the top!”

I love that this workout did not take itself too seriously.  Towards the end, during the cooldown (set to the tongue-in-cheek Tell Me Something Good), the camera even closes in on our star just before she issues a pretty spectacular eye-roll.  It says to me, “Hey, this is cheesy and I get it.  But we’re getting fit, whaddaya want?”

And I felt the soreness mere hours later in my tummy, arms and thighs.  I’d definitely do this one again.


This past week, I made the Pizza Puff Appetizers you see above.  We don’t have a mini muffin pan, we actually have the Shrek muffin pan, so my “puffs” were roughly three times the size of the ones shown.   This amounted to about 150 calories per puff.  I served them with some pasta and vegetables with sauce.

Pizza puffs on tray at left

First of all, if you’re reading the recipe, I must clarify: the idea of these sounded delicious, I didn’t choose them for the “gluten-free, organic hippy” factor.  I am staunchly pro-gluten, having worked selling products to legit celiacs in the past. I find the gluten-free trend to be highly over-inflated (and that’s probably the most conservative thing you’ll ever hear me say).  I used full-fat flour, pepperoni that was likely loaded with those pesky nitrates and whatever olive oil Jungle Jim’s sells in the big jugs (which, knowing JJ, might actually be organic).

Secondly, they were absolutely delicious.  Instead of chopping up little tiny circles of (nitrate-free!) pepperoni, I used the mini-pepperonis that come in the store and my GOD!  So good.  We’ll definitely be doing these little guys again.  The one thing I will say about the recipe: if it doesn’t call for little paper cupcake wrappers, I probably should stop putting them in there.  I did the same thing with the mini-fritattas a few weeks back and they were just a pain in the ass to deal with.  Next time, I’m putting these bad boys straight on the (highly greased) muffin tin.

Fun fact: This morning, Jason ate the last of the leftover puffs (I enjoy saying puffs.  Puff Puff Puff).  As I sarcastically indicated that, “No, that’s fine, I didn’t want any,” he countered by saying, in the sincerest tone I’ve heard him use since he proposed, “I just love your cooking, honey!”

I feel just like Donna Reed.  I don’t know whether to be flattered or terrified.


Book: Gullivers Travels? (or the rest of Poisonwood Bible?  YOU DECIDE!)

Recipe: Turkey Black Bean Sloppy Joes

Fitness: 7 Minute Full Body Fat Burning Workout


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