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

Cheeky
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
 

Ingredients:
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
Directions:
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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  • March 31, 2011
    4:52 pm

    What an amazing friend and that cake – stunning!!! Will have to try the chicken soup recipe – shore season is coming (regardless of the Nor'ester that they keep yippin' about that is supposed to hit Philly and beyond tomorrow).

  • March 31, 2011
    5:13 pm

    That recipe will definitely be tried at our house soon, that looks so good and flavorful! Thank you for the shoutout Julie Anne, I was very happy to have a hand in the continuation of your birthday celebrations. :)

  • March 31, 2011
    5:48 pm

    chocolate and candied ginger… I'm salivating!!! Can I have a virtual slice of cake? And by the way, you can never celebrate a birthday long enough, it's a good thing to celebrate the fact you were born and are alive! (and gorgeous, I may add!) :)So, a very late happy birthday from me, or happy un-birthday, if you prefer!

  • March 31, 2011
    7:50 pm

    Beautiful cake! And that soup looks amazing! My daughter LOVES chicken soup (one of the few healthy things I can get into her 5 y/o self). Anyway, if I were going to cheat and not boil the entire chicken (and instead use leftover chicken breast or already cut up chicken), would I add more chicken cubes? Hope you had a wonderful (if extremely drawn out) birthday! Cheryl Soler

  • March 31, 2011
    8:08 pm

    Cheryl – I think it really is worth taking the time to boil the whole chicken for a number of reasons – chicken cubes add a lot of sodium, so flavor coming from the whole chicken is preferable from a health standpoint, and when you cook the whole chicken like this, the meat is so much juicier and tender. Using the personal chef approach, means you would cook it when you have time – and heat to eat individual portions when you need them. .

  • March 31, 2011
    8:09 pm

    brilliant blogg huni thanks for sharingJaxx Hedley

  • March 31, 2011
    8:10 pm

    Thank you Julie Anne! Those kind of cakes are my favorite to do, so personalized and wacky!Jamie Hoffman

  • March 31, 2011
    8:11 pm

    yum, yum …Madeleine Gallay

  • March 31, 2011
    8:12 pm

    Love the fact there's a wicked witch cackling behind you "eat the cake my pretty, mwha ha ha haaaaa!"Tess Scott

  • March 31, 2011
    9:35 pm

    Celebrate! Don't even think that you shouldn't. You have so many things to look forward to this year and having a piece of cake just helps you sit back and savour all the good things headed your way.

  • March 31, 2011
    9:52 pm

    Wow what a cake! But the soup would be better for my diet, LOL! Great entry!Isabel Ortiz Bernad

  • March 31, 2011
    9:53 pm

    I love the witch cackling in the background too Tess – good spotting!

  • April 1, 2011
    3:11 am

    gorgeous cake, reminds me that i never had a cake this year for my birthday. i wonder how that soup would be w/matzo balls for passover…hmmm….

  • April 1, 2011
    3:18 am

    I think I had your cake, my cake, and everyone else's cake Melissa! When I think of Passover, I think of a more traditional chicken soup (just the broth with a little bit of chicken in it) than this with matzo balls, but if your family/guests are not sticklers for tradition you could try it.

  • April 1, 2011
    3:20 am

    Happy Belated Birthday, I hope you had a great one!!!Kristie Thill

  • April 1, 2011
    3:21 am

    Happy Birthday! The best cake I ever remember was at a birthday party when we were little and your mom made a red velvet cake.Camille Trave-Slattery

  • April 1, 2011
    11:40 am

    OMG that cake looks divine

  • April 1, 2011
    4:56 pm

    That cake is amazing looking and is so you!!! It looks tasty too! Happy Belated Birthday Julie Anne!

  • April 1, 2011
    5:23 pm

    i go for the Birthday Month.Khrystyne Haje

  • April 1, 2011
    5:24 pm

    I never understood legalese,just keep going until someone issues you a court order to stop! ;pAesea Neassa

  • April 1, 2011
    5:27 pm

    Good answers!

  • April 1, 2011
    6:11 pm

    Infinity! Every day I wake up is a blessing and new day.Carly Guerrero

  • April 2, 2011
    3:12 am

    That soup looks delicious, I'll definitely be trying it. Also Happy Birthday to you.

    • December 27, 2012
      7:05 pm

      I have seen an improvement in speed but, only sitemomes. I have noticed that when I have a lot of tabs open(say 10 or so) then, my computer slows down dramatically. Not sure why. Wouldn’t mind some insight.

  • April 2, 2011
    2:39 pm

    Oh that cake looks soooooo good.What a lovely friend.There is nothing better than a big bowl of chicken soup and this one certainly looks tasty. I may have to make this soon.Aussie Mum

  • April 2, 2011
    4:35 pm

    That Karla is a GOOD EGG!!!!!!!! It's so great to see two of my favorite peeps together again. Love you girls!!!!!! Sistah Chef Sharon

  • April 2, 2011
    4:48 pm

    does it really work??Michelle Chambliss Bacon

  • April 2, 2011
    4:48 pm

    If that is all you eat, and you get exercise – you better believe it

  • April 2, 2011
    4:48 pm

    doesn´t it get boring to eat it for several days in a row..Helen Clements

  • April 2, 2011
    4:49 pm

    I will have to try that then Jewel. I do work out about 3 or 4 days a week and eat salads, but I need to get my triglycerides down. Thanks for sharing.Michelle Chambliss Bacon

  • April 2, 2011
    4:49 pm

    Helen – sometimes you have to prioritize, do you want variety, or do you want to lose weight? I lived on this for years, not just a few days, as a model. It's easy to make ahead, and grab when you need it, and you don't have to think about food – just eat when hungry – it is healthy, filling and it does work. You can always vary the vegetables, herbs and spices. Avoid potatoes and starchy veg for optimum weight-loss potential.

  • April 2, 2011
    4:57 pm

    I will try this Jewels…looks beautiful!!!Kathy Davis

  • April 2, 2011
    4:57 pm

    Why don't you and Cynthia come over for a bowl full in a few weeks (once the website insanity subsides)?

  • April 2, 2011
    4:58 pm

    I got the hug!Karla Minto- Billdt

  • April 2, 2011
    4:58 pm

    You got more than one, once I tasted it! YUM!

  • April 2, 2011
    5:11 pm

    I would kill for your food!!! Yes i would love to!Kathy Davis

  • April 2, 2011
    5:12 pm

    Consider it a done deal!

  • April 2, 2011
    5:35 pm

    Can you share the recipe for those who can not go to your place? In Argentina want to eat and lose weight….tksFla Holës

  • April 2, 2011
    5:35 pm

    sounds yummyShannon Marie Moyer

  • April 2, 2011
    5:35 pm

    Fla – the recipe is on my blog post. Click the link next to the picture of it.

  • April 2, 2011
    5:40 pm

    Thanks Jewels you have helped me more than you will ever know re: some advice you gave me on twitter once :) have a great weekend.Debs Everill

  • April 2, 2011
    5:41 pm

    secret pill to weight loss = less input and more output. Both require a lot of effort and inner soul searching, but it's the only way. I'll let you know if I ever get there.Beverly Evans

  • April 2, 2011
    5:41 pm

    You all don't realize how much YOU inspire me!

  • April 3, 2011
    5:15 pm

    Oh! That soup looks fantastic!I'll be making that next weekend, for sure.

  • April 3, 2011
    5:24 pm

    Gorgeous cake!!!! If it tastes as good as it looks, it must be heaven!!! :D

  • April 5, 2011
    11:49 am

    Hi Jewels. I think you are fabulous, and thank you for your blog. I am 42 and have also had heart troubles (and am still surprised about that old chestnut!) and hope all is good with you. You are an inspiration, and your life journey has been immense – I worked at Vogue Ausralia, and you featured on the pages! Best wishes to you and your divine girl, Lisa. Sydney AUST empiremedia@optusnet.com.au

  • April 14, 2011
    3:35 pm

    I made this soup over the weekend, froze it, and have been eating it like crazy. This is so good! In fact, I am eating it right now. I love the flavor, and love the feeling that I'm doing something good for my body when I eat it.And, this is the first time in my life that I have handled a whole, raw chicken. Thank you for sharing your recipes, and inspiring me to try new things.