At this rate, I will be celebrating this past birthday until the next one!

My favorite personal chef from Yuma, Karla Billdt, showed up on my doorstep with her daughter Brityn

The dastardly diet derailleur’s Brit and Karla
… and a birthday cake three weeks after my birthday! It was certainly a surprise party, but I didn’t know whether to shoot Karla or hug her. She’d challenged Jamie Hoffman at Yuma Couture Cakes to express my personality through reading my blog, so Jamie joined my email list, bless her cotton socks.

Jewels and Karla
Jamie definitely got the pink, leopard print, and the “pearls of wisdom” down right away, but my favorite part of all is the hibiscus on top – referring to the hibiscus ensemble Antony Price made for me after a trip to Barbados together.
My Couture Cake

I know, I know – I promised no more cake for a while, so blame Karla not me! At least she brought a cake made for four people, instead of twelve this time.

Jewels indulging… again!
The unusual flavor combination was as heavenly as it was surprising. Rich moist chocolate mud pie-cake with bits of candied ginger suspended in luscious butter cream icing. I couldn’t shovel it into my face fast enough.
This situation called for my top secret weight loss weapon for the rest of the week – the chicken vegetable soup I lived on for years as a model. It’s low fat, chocked full of yummy vegetables and chicken, and certainly satiating. My own private diet rescue remedy.

Weight-Loss Weapon Chicken Vegetable Soup

Servings: 6

1 whole chicken without skin
2 Knorr’s chicken cubes
3 tablespoons mixed garlic Italian herbs
2 teaspoons Lawries salt (or to taste)
enough water to cover chicken
3 stalks celery, halved
3 carrot, peeled and halved
1 medium cauliflower, cut into bite-sized
1 medium broccoli, cut into bite-sized
2 medium zucchini, cut into bite-sized
1/2 lb. green beans, cut into bite-sized
1 package button mushrooms, sliced
1 can corn, with juice
1). Bring ingredients chicken through carrots to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken and set aside to cool.

2). Add cauliflower through mushrooms to boiling broth, and simmer/boil, partially covered, for 15-30 minutes (depending on how cooked you like your vegetables).

3). While vegetables are cooking, remove skin from chicken, debone, and cut chicken meat into bite-sized pieces.

4). Remove soup from heat. Add corn and chicken back in, and stir well.
Serving Ideas: Serve this hearty meal in a bowl piping hot on its own, or with fresh bread.
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