Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Carrot’ Category

Distinct lack of 4:30 AM

Not that it was terrible or anything waking up that early, but my sense of time disorientation yesterday left me feeling that maybe I could use a little more sleep. I slept until 8:30.

I decided to try something different for breakfast since raspberries were on sale and I actually had time to make something.

Breakfast:

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Scones with Dark Chocolate Raspberry sauce (made by my dad)

Scone recipe taken from: http://www.joyofbaking.com/RaspberryScones.html

Ingredients

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (75 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

2 ounces dark chocolate chunks or chips (about 1/2 cup) (50 grams)

3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk plain yogurt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Added: 3 T dark cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.  Stir in the chocolate chunks (chips) and raspberries. In a small measuring cup whisk together the yogurt, vanilla extract, and egg. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut the dough into eight triangles. Place the scones on the baking sheet.

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

*Now, if I were to have done these correctly and just followed the recipe exactly, they would have been perfect. But I had to go and fuck them up by adding too much liquid. I decided the dough was too dry (even though for scones the dough is SUPPOSED to be dry as they are supposed to be more dense…UHG!) and added 2-3 T more liquid. Dumb, dumb, dumb. So these were more like scone-shaped muffins instead of scones. I means, they tasted good and had they been MUFFINS they would have been perfect! But I wasn’t making muffins, I was making scones. Idiot! There will always be a next time, though. At least I drizzled my dad’s dark chocolate raspberry sauce on them, which made them even more wonderful! I’ll get this baking thing down yet!!! I will not be defeated!!!

Lunch:

I skipped lunch today. I think it was because I had a late, large breakfast (I ate all four of those muffin scones…) and had a LOT of running around to do. I called a mechanic today. This will be my last day without a car. I will get it towed and fixed tomorrow. I’m so happy I could cry, but I also do enjoy walking. So I went on one last long walk.

Dinner:

Orange Chicken

Crispy chicken recipe taken from: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1639,152180-247202,00.html

SEASONED FLOUR:

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

CRISPY BATTER:

2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 beaten egg yolk
3/4 c. flat beer or water

Combine flour and seasonings in medium bowl. Combine egg yolk and beer or water. Add gradually to dry ingredients. Heat Crisco to 365 degrees in deep saucepan or deep fryer to a depth of about 2 inches. Moisten chicken pieces. Dip in seasoned flour, then batter, then back in seasoned flour. Fry in hot Crisco for 15 to 18 minutes, or until well browned. Drain on paper. Serves 4.

Orange sauce recipe taken from: http://thenoshery.com/2010/03/19/better-than-takeout-orange-chicken/

Orange Sauce

1 ½ cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root, minced
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

In a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired garnish with green onions.

NOTE: I also added sauteed carrots to this dish. Carrots and orange go very well together!

*YES! YES YES YES! I finally made a crispy chicken that STAYED crispy in sauce! It just had a nice, light crisp to it, it wasn’t KFC or anything. It was PERFECT! I loved it! The seasoning for the fried chicken itself was not exactly suited for a Chinese dish, but was delicious none the less! I am so proud! It was a fantastic sauce recipe, too. I highly encourage you to try it!

 

I will be calling my brother first thing in the morning to get my car taken care of. Wow. A car. It’s hard to imagine it now since I’ve been walking for miles and miles every day for 4 months now. Damn.

Exercise: 6 mile walk

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FFD (Food Fail Day) but not an MM fail!

Anytime I fuck up my food, I shall start deeming it as such. An “FFD”, or, “Food Fail Day” since I seem to do this so often. I at least got my Meatless Monday correct.

One of my tendencies is to throw all caution to the wind when I screw up my first meal of the day. I become angry with myself and decide to make up for it, I will just eat whatever I want, fully convincing myself that it will make me feel better. It never really does.

Breakfast:

Buttermilk Pancakes with Sugar Free Maple Syrup

While I’m sure these don’t look the least bit messed up to you, I assure you, they are. They were not as fluffy or well-cooked as the last time I made them. They tasted acceptable, and anyone else would have thought they were great, but I was disappointed. The sugar-free syrup doesn’t help either. Ick. REAL maple syrup (or at least full-fat Mrs. Butterworth’s or SOMETHING) will be purchased soon. I cannot tolerate sub-par food anymore.

Lunch:

Because of the failed pancakes, I made cookies for lunch. As you can see, these were also a fail. The rack in the oven was set too low and the bottoms of these were burned before the cookie was even cooked all the way through. Goddammit. I made 9 of these I think…I ate 6. The last 3 were thrown out because they just weren’t any good.

Dinner:

Completely made up Coconut Milk and Yogurt Curry

Carrots, diced
Rutabaga, diced
Onion, sliced
Mushrooms, cut into chunks
Ginger, fresh grated
1/8 t Cardamom
1/4 t Garam Masala
1 t Cumin
Ground Red Pepper
1/2 t Turmeric
Fennel
Pinch of Sugar
Yogurt (1/4 cup?)
Coconut Milk (1/3 cup?)
Parsley for garnish

Cook root veggies until they begin to soften. Add ginger and spices and cook for a couple minutes longer. Add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are slightly browned. Add coconut milk and yogurt with a pinch of sugar. Cook until sauce is as thin or thick as you’d like. Serve on top of sticky rice.

*Dinner was not so much of a fail. I used up some veggies that really needed to be used. Throwing out food is the pits. It tasted exactly the way I wanted and was very filling. I nearly bought more junk food as I was out shopping, but didn’t. I decided on a reasonable dinner instead. It was still a fail day for the most part, but it at least had a happy ending.

I got a call from a possible mechanic about my car while I was out. He came over to look at it. He seemed really nice at first, very chatty and we had a lot in common. Toward the end of the conversation though, he turned out to be a complete racist bigot. I do not want him to work on my car. Finding someone else shouldn’t be all that hard. Someone who isn’t a bad person.

Maybe I will never have a working car.

Exercise: 1.66 miles

Slightly famous

I had a date tonight to go to the art museum and see a photo of yours truly up on the wall. It was a project that started right when I moved into my new place. I’m certain I mentioned it. They posted times when a photographer would be shooting pictures of anyone who wanted to be a part of the exhibit. You just showed up, got your photo taken, and left. It’s a project to convey the diversity of people who visit our art museum (which is, quite frankly, world-renowned). I loved this idea as I love getting my photo taken. So I gussied myself up, went, and had a blast. The man had to of taken 50 shots of me. I made all sorts of faces and made certain to give him a lot of variety to choose from.

Tonight I got to see the result. My picture is perfect. It is unique (I am winking in it and it seems none of the other 700 patrons did that). It is so very me. I was flattered as the shot he picked was the very first shot he took. That is generally the sign of a good model.

While we were standing in the room, other people put 2 and 2 together, look at the photo, looked at me, pointed at the photo, pointed at me…and eventually would inquire as to whether or not I am the girl in on the wall. One group even took a picture with me, of course getting the photo of me on the wall into the shot as well. I got the phrase “You’re famous!” said to me a large handful of times. It was fun.

My man and I also wandered around some of the other rooms in the museum, making up lavish stories about the characters in the paintings. The stories were so long and detailed, we didn’t get through many of them before being informed that the museum was closing. What fun! We will absolutely be back very, very soon!

Breakfast:

Long days call for boring cereal!

Lunch:

My apple here was somewhat disappointing, actually. It is VERY tart and no good for eating plain. It is a baking apple. I did not know this because I just grabbed a $1 clearance grab bag at the market and had no idea what sorts of apples were contained in it. I only ate about half of my apple.

Dinner:

I made dinner for the both of us. This was his serving.

Irish Stew with Veal, Carrots, Potato and Rutabaga

Adapted from: http://matzoandrice.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/532/

  • 1/2 pound thickly sliced bacon, diced
  • 1.5 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 large onions, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 cup Guinness Stout

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
  2. Put lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in large mixing bowl. Toss to coat meat evenly. Brown meat in frying pan with bacon fat.
  3. Place meat into stock pot (leave 1/4  of fat in frying pan). Add the garlic and 1/2 yellow onion and saute till onion begins to become golden. Deglaze frying pan with 1/2 cup water and add the garlic-onion mixture to the stock pot with bacon pieces, beef stock, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Add carrots, onions, potatoes, thyme, bay leaves,  onion, and beer to pot. Reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

*I wanted to use my crock pot, which was the whole point of making a stew. So I had to adapt this a little to use it. All I really did differently was cooked my bacon, crumbled it into the bottom of my crock pot, quickly seared the meat (not to cook it, just to brown it) and threw it into the pot along with all of the other ingredients. I added rutabaga. I also realized too late that the meat I bought was not lamb, as I wanted and as the recipe called for, but veal. They were in the same spot on the rack at the market and I didn’t read the label closely enough. Dammit. Veal did not have nearly the amount of flavour I was hoping for. So while I was good, MORE than edible, next time I would really like to use lamb.

Exercise: 7 mile walk (it was a loooooong day)

Non-fucked-up Meatless Monday! YAY!

I feel like its been a couple weeks since I did this right. Things have been throwing me off. I think the point is that I make a conscious effort to go at least 1 day a week without eating meat, but the truth is, I only actually eat meat maybe 2 or 3 days a week and everything else is vegetarian. So I think I’m doing just fine on that part, but I will always try to keep my Monday’s specifically meatless!

Breakfast:

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Taken from: http://www.cookiemadness.net/2008/03/carrot-cake-breakfast-cookies/

1 cup white whole wheat or all purpose flour (4 ½ oz)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup oats, old fashioned or quick (not instant)
2/3 cup shredded or grated carrots
1/3 to 1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla. When well mixed, add the egg and orange zest and beat for another 20-30 seconds. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until flour is absorbed. Stir in oats, carrots, raisins and nuts.

Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop up big mounds of dough – they should be a bit larger than golf balls, but quite smaller than tennis balls.

Place on ungreased or Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes.

Makes 8 big cookies

*These were….AMAZING. I mean it! They were so fantastic, you will never believe! I LOVED them! I will be making them again super soon, I made 4 and I ate them all! And SO PRETTY!

Lunch:

One more feta, pesto and tomato sammich! Had just a little more pesto to use up!

Dinner:

This was just carrots, peas and corn on vermicelli noodles with a white wine lemon sauce that I actually think I’d like to attempt again tomorrow as this dish didn’t quite work out as I’d hoped. I will post a recipe for the sauce in the next post if it works out better!

 

I just really worked all day today. Had a nice giggly conversation with G at some point during the day. He astounds me. My co-worker is coming over tomorrow morning before I go to work to try and fix my car. I’m RALLY excited about the prospect of having my car back as I can go dancing again and I could visit G in his town instead of him traveling an hour to get me, an hour back to his town, an hour to drop me off and an hour to drive back home again. Sheesh…poor guy. He must really like me a lot. ^_^

Curiosity!

Incredibly proud of myself! It’s so much easier not to skip meals when I’m at home and HAVE to eat all these fresh fruits and veggies. I hate wasting food so damn much. Also, working makes me hungry.

I was VERY disappointed in myself though for waking up late…my brain didn’t get me up until 7:40!!! Why did it do that?? I went to bed…well…early enough…I mean I was talking with G until 1 AM, but really 5.5 hours of sleep should have been plenty! Sad.

I got my yoga in today. I can’t believe how friggin busy I’ve been lately and how often I’ve been skipping this. It always makes me feel so amazing. My back was just crying to be stretched out. I feel great!

Breakfast:

Strawberries, Peaches, White Nectarines, and Cherries with Greek Yogurt and Granola

GORGEOUS food!!! I’ve missed my beautiful food pictures dearly! So fresh and delicious!

Lunch:

Tomato Salad

2 small Tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/4 cucumber, cut into large chunks
Fresh Corn, cut off of cob
1 large slice Vadalia Onion, chopped
1 small Carrot, sliced
Fresh chopped Basil
Red Wine and Pomegranate Vinegar
S&P

*With this a also had a small apple. I love my food!!! It’s so pretty!! I’ve missed this so much, it’s good to be back!

Dinner:

Apple Sausage Meatballs with Apple Raisin Wine sauce and Mashed Potatoes

Meatball recipe taken from: http://stolenmomentscooking.com/apple-sausage-balls/

Apple Sausage Balls

3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 lb. bulk pork sausage (original or maple flavored)
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. maple syrup
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/8 t. allspice

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the pork sausage, cheese, maple syrup, apple and allspice.
2. Using your hands, combine everything together until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Roll into evenly sized balls, about the size of a golf ball.
3. Place sausage balls on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until fully cooked.

I made these exactly as instructed!

Sauce:

Loosely based off of: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1627,156167-245193,00.html

1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground sage (I used fresh)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tart apples, sliced
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. orange juice (I used red wine and apricot preserves for extra sweetness and flavour)
1 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 c. raisins

I sauteed the apples in olive oil for a little while until they started to brown. Then added all the other ingredients and let it reduce.

*I made mashed potatoes with a little cream cheese, milk and S&P. I’m out of butter, so none of that. Which is probably good as I consume far too much butter as it is. As usual, this dish was fantastic! I didn’t want pasta, so I thought the potato was a perfect substitute! Excellent!!! The sage in the apple gravy was the perfect touch!

 

Me being a MASSIVE nerd, I stayed up to watch the rover Curiosity land on Mars. You guys don’t even know. I was freaking out entirely. I wished I had someone to hug. I was so happy it landed safely and nearly cried when it sent the first pictures. I did fall asleep with the computer in my bed, but the second they started streaming the landing on the NASA website and people started talking, it woke me up and I was immediately pumped! I LOVE BEING A NERD!!!

Amazing!!! Fascinating! A rover as big as a car with LASERS is on Mars, people!!!

AND I have a date tomorrow at noon! Shit kids, this is the best night ever!

One more chance…

PFH#1 has one more chance to win me over. I’m thinking his chances are not very good right now next to how amazing PFH#3 is.

He claimed he wanted to see me today and that he would make time for me. He ended up working all day. “Couldn’t” make time.

How is it that a man who lives 45 minutes away has more time for me than one who lives 10 minutes away?

I’m feeling far more appreciated by #3 right now. And I need to feel appreciated.

I have a date that was planned literally a month in advance with #1 this Saturday. If this falls through on his end for ANY REASON, I will be focusing all of my attention on #3.

Nicole, I know, will be happy to hear this. She has been routing for #3 since day one.

Breakfast:

Parsnip Banana Muffins Pt. 2

AB’s recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/parsnip-muffins-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 1-ounce sliced almonds
  • Nonstick spray
  • 8 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I used 1 mashed banana instead)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 10 ounces grated parsnips

Directions

Place the almonds in a single layer in a pie pan and place in oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the nuts until lightly toasted, approximately 20 minutes while the oven heats. Meanwhile, spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with the nonstick spray and set aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and process for 5 seconds.

Whisk the eggs, yogurt, vegetable oil, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture and parsnips, and fold with a spatula until all of the flour is moistened, there will be some lumps. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups using a level 2 1/2-ounce disher or 1/3 cup measure. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the toasted almonds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins reach an internal temperature of 210 degrees F and are golden brown, rotating halfway through baking. If needed, use a small knife or offset spatula to loosen the muffins and immediately remove them from the tin to a cooling rack, and cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm. Store completely cooled muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

*I did this all AS DIRECTED BY WEIGHT kids and I’ll tell you the fuck what, it was SO MUCH BETTER. I will be using weight from now on with my baking. I can’t even describe how much better these were than the last time I did them simply by WEIGHING the ingredients! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lunch:

I did not have lunch. Instead I went on a massive 7 mile walk around and bought some supplies. I was bored waiting for something, ANYTHING to happen today. So I went out and made my own adventure.

Dinner:

Beef Fried Rice

I made this marinade and let my “mystery meat” sit in it for 2 hours:

Taken from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/meat-marinade/

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1 dash onion powder

Directions

  1. Use a flat container large enough to hold meat in a single layer. Combine oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and lemon juice. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Place meat in the marinade and turn to coat both sides.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, shaking or turning meat occasionally.

I used this marinade as a sauce by adding a little cornstarch to the bag and mixing it up. I cut all of the meat into strips and threw it into a stir fry along with carrots, peas, corn and onion. Then I added some cooked brown rice and the marinade and let that heat through. The meat was SO tender!!! YES!!!! It was awesome! I’m learning a lot about meats!

 

It’s going to be a long week until Wednesday when I get to work with G again. I hope I don’t get depressed. I’m trying so hard. I will offer that he stay after he takes me home. I already know neither of us works the next day. He will refuse, but he will know the offer is there. Always. Someday he will take me up on it. I am not bluffing. I never do. If he DOES take me up on it, I may have an interesting story to tell all of you on Thursday.

Exercise: 7 mile walk

Oh how quickly things change

Just knowing that G tried to send me a message last night made me happy this morning.

Though my chances of eating a breakfast were decent, I still wasn’t feeling up to making anything. Instead, I started on a project for the day. Just something to keep me busy and keep my mind off of stupid shit for a while.

Then my day got a whole lot better really fucking fast.

First off, I sent that picture of the “Mystery Meat” to Alton Brown through Twitter with inquiries as to what cut it was and how best to cook it. I did this at about 8 AM sort of forgetting that he’s in California right now shooting stuff and to him it’s 5AM. D’oh. The chances of him seeing my message are not good. Oh well.

The friend who helped me move the couches offered to buy me lunch in an attempt to get me to eat something. I tried to turn him down knowing that he is also poor and his bank account shouldn’t suffer due to my self-negligence.  He insists. IF he’s going to insist, then I would like to try a Thai restaurant just up the street within walking distance. He says he has never tried Thai food, but is willing. (God it always BLOWS MY MIND when people tell me they’ve NEVER tried a whole GENRE of food. To someone like me, that’s like saying you’ve never tried bread.) I am very much looking forward to going.

At about 12:30, Alton answers me.

I’m sure anything labeled a “mystery” piques his interest as he is also a very curious creature. He gives me an idea to what he thinks it is and denounces the crappy labeling. I mention back to him that it was the only poorly labeled item out there and that, combined with the low price, riled up my curiosity so that I just had to purchase it.  He answers me AGAIN instructing me to braise it and get back to him about it.

So not only an instruction, but also a request to answer back to him yet again.

God. Damn.

This has quickly turned into the best day of my life.

I chat a bunch with PFH#1, who will be on his way home from NYC tonight. He sends me funny videos and we have a good time in between me working on my project and finding braising recipes. (I’ve actually never braised anything before, so I’m freaking out slightly.)

4:00 rolls around and my friend comes over. We wander over to the Thai hole-in-the-wall. I order something with tofu and, being that I know how Thai food works, order it “Thai hot, not American hot, I know what I’m doing here…I know what I’m getting myself into, and I would like it THAI HOT”. The owner is impressed that I know my food. My friend also orders his dish “Thai hot”…I realize he is trying to impress me with his adventurous spice level choice, but he does not understand how hot it is going to be. He keeps claiming that he “likes” hot food. Ok…you’re own grave buddy.

I eat mine without so much as a sniffle. It’s nice and spicy, probably could even be a little hotter. I look up at my friend and he is just POURING with sweat. I mean, I’ve never seen a man sweat so much while eating. He has to use our entire pile of napkins to wipe down his face. I can’t help but laugh loudly at his predicament. The owner comes over and looks at me and says “Well you look like you’re doing just fine! You on the other hand, sir, would you like some more water?” Holy crap I just busted out laughing. He enjoyed it, he ate every last bite. I ate a bit more than half of mine. I gave him the leftovers since he paid for it anyway, he should have them.

The entertainment was priceless.

He hangs out here for about an hour talking about geek stuff with me, then leaves so I can start making dinner. It’s going to take at least 2 hours to braise this “meat” so I have to start it soon.

Dinner:

Braised Mystery Meat (courtesy of PERSONAL AB instruction)

Braising instructions taken from: http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/braising_meats.htm

Ingredients:

4 veal shanks (Obviously I used “mystery meat”)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 and a half cups parsnips, roughly chopped
1 and a half cups turnips, roughly chopped (Used carrots and sweet potato instead)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine 1 cup beef or veal stock
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

Preparation:

1) Season the shanks with salt and pepper and brown them in a large skillet with the olive oil, for about 5 minutes on each side.

2) Place the shanks in a large ovenproof casserole dish with a tight fitting lid.

3) In the same skillet you browned the shanks, sauté the vegetables for about 3-4 minutes adding more olive oil if necessary. Add the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for a few minutes more, being careful not to burn the paste or the garlic.

4) Add the stock, wine, and herbs and bring to a boil.

5) Pour everything over the shanks and place the casserole dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes. 6) Add salt and pepper to taste at the end.

*HOLY SHIT! This was by far the best “meat’ I’ve ever made. I mean. Goddamn. It just fell apart, it looked gorgeous, it tasted fantastic, I couldn’t have been happier. I hope that my pictures are pretty enough for AB as I will be Tweeting them back to him. I want to make him proud SO badly. Food and cooking mean absolutely EVERYTHING to me. I’m hoping I’ve got his attention enough now that he will answer my questions more often seeing that I am a good cook (or I’m at least passionate and try REALLY hard) and worthy of his instruction.

Alton is probably the only person other than PFH#3 who can get me to eat.

His timing couldn’t have been more impeccable.

 

Oh, the best day ever does not end, my friends.

I get a message from, whom I affectionately call, “my girlfriend” (the girl at work that I have a crush on) late last night asking me if I can take a shift for her Friday. I am somewhat confused as I’m fairly certain I already work on Friday, but I go to check anyway. I do. BUT. It is an opening shift, she wants me to work her closing shift.

If I close, I get to work with G all night.

I tell her that I already work, but that if she needed just the EVENING off, I could TRADE shifts with her being that I’d rather work the later shift anyway. This answer pleases her. We have traded shifts for Friday. I get to work with PFH#3 and will get a ride home from him later that night where we will surely laugh loudly together and chat a while before I go inside. I am incredibly happy.

I have a good connection at my apartment now due to my brother being amazing. I can now stream episodes of Food Network Star. I stay up watching one of them.

I am INCREDIBLY happy.

I will surely eat breakfast in the morning.