Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Ham’ Category

Gumdrops and magic sugary sprinkles

Refined sugar, you my best friend.

Unfortunately.

I hate to love you, but I do. SO much. And I’ve missed you dearly.

Too sweet? You say something can be too sweet?

That’s like saying “This amusement park ride was FAR too fun, I will never ride it again!” or “Oh Benedict Cumberbatch, all this crazyamazing best sex of my entire life we’ve been having has just GOT to stop!”

No. Such. Thing.

When I was a kid, my weekly $5 allowance went toward one of 2 things: Lion King collectors cards and candy.

I would scour the house up and down to find loose change to buy candy with. Couch cushions, mum and dad’s dresser drawers that they often threw loose change onto, the laundry pile in the basement where change might fall out of someone’s pocket, etc etc.

The biggest difference was that this was ALL I ate. I never had breakfast. I was far too lazy to pack a lunch. I’d rather buy Little Debbie snack cakes with some change that I found at school instead and have that for lunch. The only actual meal I ever ate every single day was dinner. Everything else was just candy.

Though I would definitely not say that my sugary addiction is the big thing that had gotten me into trouble with my weight, it certainly doesn’t help it. Now that I DO have 3 meals a day I have to watch my sugar intake like a hawk. I can’t eat it the way I used to, but I still THINK that I can. I can have sugar. I can have a candy bar when I feel like it. I can make a sweet breakfast if I want. Just not every single day. And of course I CANNOT replace meals with it.

And that’s actually really hard for me.

That being said…

Breakfast:

Strawberry-Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Taken from: http://sugarcrafter.net/2010/06/08/strawberry-lemon-cheesecake-squares/

  • 1 cup vanilla cookies, crushed (No cookies, I did more of a crushed Honey Bunches of Oats-type crust)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (No lemons, so I used 1 T lemon honey in place of some of the sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • Lemon zest, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8″ pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cookie crumbs and flour. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes.

In another medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well-blended. Add in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and baking powder. Stir in the strawberries, and then pour over the warm crust. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.

*Yep, I basically had cheesecake for breakfast! I was smart enough to make a 1/3 recipe and then only eat half of it. I was too lazy to bake my crust first, so though it tasted great I wish it was crispier on the bottom (it was perfect around the top where it was exposed in the oven!) so next time I will make it as written. This was of course wonderful! Using the lemon honey gave it that perfect lemon undertone that the zest would have given it, so I did good!  REALLY really glad I only ate half! I mean, thats all I wanted, but this was just a sugar/butter/cheese factory here! Doesn’t get much worse for you than this lol! Don’t know when the hell I’ll ever eat the leftovers, maybe as a dessert instead?

Lunch:

Quinoa and Potato Croquettes

Taken from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/quinoa-potato-croquettes-10000000388862/print/

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) baking potato
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese, drained
  • 3 tablespoons grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Preparation

Pierce potato with a fork; place on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at high 5 minutes or until fork pierces potato easily, turning potato after 3 minutes. Wrap in a towel; let stand 5 minutes. Peel and mash potato.

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add quinoa and salt. Cook 15 minutes; drain.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, cilantro, and jalapeño; sauté 1 minute. Add cumin, oregano, black pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Combine potato, quinoa, onion mixture, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese in a bowl, stirring well. Let stand 5 minutes; stir in egg.

Shape potato mixture into 10 patties. Carefully dredge each patty in panko. Place on a baking sheet. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add 5 patties to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and patties.

*I’m still learning how to make these right. I always make them too flat and thin. So I had a hard time cooking these because the size specified seemed a bit big. I found another recipe that said you should scoop a 1/4 cup and flatten it to 1/2 inch thickness. So I will remember that for next time! Otherwise, these still tasted GREAT! I always think because they never come out pretty because I always shape them wrong that they won’t taste good, then they taste SO good that I remember why I like them. ^_^

Dinner:

Lamb Tagine (Serves 4)
Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 medium onions roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed to a paste
  • 3 tsp Ras-el-hanout or 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, cumin and coriander
  • 1 small red chilli chopped (add more or less depending on how hot you want it)
  • 1 tin (400g) of chickpeas drained
  • 1 pint of stock (any kind)
  • 1 tin (400g) of chopped tomatoes
  • Half a shoulder of lamb on the bone (I used our crock pot ham)
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and chopped into large chunks (you could use squash or sweet potato)
  • A good handful of dried apricots
  • Salt and pepper
  • A large handful of chopped fresh coriander

Method:

  • In a large pan over a gentle heat soften the onions in a little olive oil.
  • Add the garlic, chilli and spices to the pan and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the chickpeas, stock and tomatoes, mix well and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the lamb, carrots and apricots, season to taste and put in a low oven for 3-4 hours until the lamb falls off the bone.
  • Stir in the coriander just before serving and serve with cous cous or flatbread.

*Soooo I nixed all of those last steps because I had cooked ham already. So I just made the awesome chickpea apricot sauce stuff and put it on top of a chunk of ham. SOOOOOOOOOOO good! I of course can see how this would also be even more amazing with lamb, but the ham was cooked so well that it was a good substitution! I need to work with more dried fruits. Also, I need more apricots. Hehe.

I got a LOT accomplished today! I finished *2* projects, did my yoga, went to the gym, made great food and left the kitchen in immaculate condition. And I felt good about myself all day! Tomorrow I work my retail job for 6 hours. I traded shifts with this girl I have a big crush on as a favour to her. (And of course to get in good with her.) I think I’ve mentioned her before. She’s a cutie. And she laughs at all my jokes. I like her.

I’ll be sure to let you know if switching shifts with her to help her out gets me laid or not.

If nothing else my husband will have sex with me.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1.5 hours at gym

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Feeling big today

Though the size 5 pants I bought were already just a little tight on me (I was irrationally hoping I would lose even more weight, so I bought them anyway), I’ve completely outgrown them if you will. While this is not technically a bad thing (what exactly did I expect if I already barely fit into them and I needed to gain weight?) I still am feeling fat. I want to weigh myself, but shouldn’t. I can’t here obviously, but if I wanted to I could at my gym. I haven’t weighed myself in over a month and I admit, I like not knowing what I weigh. But at the same time, I feel like I ought to have some sort of guideline to know whether or not I’ve gained as much weight as I wanted or maybe I’ve gained too much.

But does it matter?

That’s what it really comes down to. And I’ve decided it doesn’t. I’m just going to go buy a new pair of jeans and keep doing what I do and I ought to be able to maintain what I’ve got. I would say if I get any bigger than this I should seriously reconsider my workout/caloric intake routine, but for now I am fine.

Also, it smells like Christmas in here with this ham that’s been cooking all night! It’s still doing its thing in the crock pot, so I will leave it be for breakfast and do something else, but lunch and dinner are most likely going to consist of ham! I bought some bread specifically to make a sammich out of it for lunch! Excited!!!!

Breakfast:

Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits and Spicy Sausage Gravy

I had a friend request I make some biscuits and gravy, of course I had to up the ante!

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits, makes 10 biscuits
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar

Butter topping:

1/4 cup butter
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley

1. Heat oven to 425ºF. Add the egg to the buttermilk in a measuring jug and beat to combine, set aside. Take a tablespoon of the flour and add it the grated cheese. Toss to coat the cheese with the flour, set aside. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper and set aside. Place the remaining flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas. You may need to shut the mixer off and manually rub the butter into the flour to get the butter pieces all the same size.

(*Note: I do not have a mixer. I cut my butter in with a pastry blender until it was of the consistency mentioned here)

2. Turn the mixer back to low and add the buttermilk mixture to the flour in one addition. Mix until just combined. Add the cheese mixture to the dough and mix until just combined. Stop the mixer.

3. Using clean counter space, flour a 12×12″ area well. Form a ball with the dough in the mixer bowl and place it on the flour. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough gently. Using your hands again, form a 5×10″ rectangle with the dough.

4. Using a 2 3/4″ biscuit cutter, cut out 8 biscuits from the dough. Reform squares of the same thickness to get the last two biscuits.
*You can also cut the dough into 8 squares as the original recipe suggests.

5. Place biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

6. Combine butter, dried parsley and garlic powder; brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.

Sausage Gravy
1/2 tsp canola oil (I used vegetable oil, I prefer it over canola)
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage (I used spicy Bob Evans sausage)
1/2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk

1. Heat the oil in a 9″ saute pan over medium high heat. Add sausage and break up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is browned.

2. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, trying to keep as much of the oil and fat in the pan as possible. Add the butter (less if you have a lot of oil) and allow to melt. Add flour and begin to whisk continuously for 2 minutes until the flour and butter have formed a smooth paste (a roux) and the flour is cooked.

3. Begin to add the milk in a thin stream, whisking all the time to prevent lumps.

4. When all the milk is added, let the gravy simmer gently for 2-3 minutes to make sure the milk is heated through.

5. Re-add the sausage and cook on medium low heat for 2-3 minutes.

*Ok everyone, another COMPLETELY SPECTACULAR breakfast!! This could NOT have been good for me, but was so great I’ll live with the extra cals for the day hehe! Maybe I’ll work out a bit harder at the gym later. But yeah, I could be selling this shit in a restaurant. It was THAT good.

Lunch:

Slow-cooked Ham with Cherry Barbecue Sauce sandwich

We slow-cooked this massive ham that was on a sale for 99 cents a pound in white vinegar, brown sugar, mustard powder and ground clove overnight for 8 hours. This shit is CRAZY. It’s SOOOOOO good. I threw a bunch of it onto some French bread and topped it with a little Michigan Cherry BBQ sauce. It needed nothing else! DAMN this was good!!

Dinner:

Ham and Pineapple Pizza

For the crust:

Taken from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pizza-dough-iii/

Ingredients

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Form dough into a round and roll out into a pizza crust shape. Cover with your favorite sauce and toppings and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

(It was suggested by another user on this website that it should be cooked at a higher temp for a shorter period of time to keep the sauce from making the crust soggy. This worked really well as I cooked mine at 375 for 15 minutes.)

Sweet Marinara Sauce:

Taken from: http://www.brewcookpairjoy.com/2010/03/the-perfect-sweet-pizza-sauce/

28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
½ cup fresh basil
½ tsp crushed fennel seeds
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Note: This recipe is sweet. So if you’re into really zesty or garlicy sauce, this probably isn’t for you. Also, if you’re not into anise flavor, you might want to decrease or remove the fennel seeds.

*I topped this ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS and incredibly flavourful pizza with fresh sliced mozzarella, the slow-cooked ham, pineapple, and fresh grated sun-dried tomato cheese on top of everything else. This pizza was OFF THE HOOK delicious! I could only eat 2 slices, but I work 2 days next week, so I will have opportunity to eat them. I didn’t mind saving them because of that! This was the first time I made my own crust, and it didn’t really have enough time to rise properly, so the crust itself didn’t rise much, but thats ok! I totally prefer a thinner, chewy/crispy crust anyway! Though I will try again sometime just to see if I can perfect the fluffier crust style.
I’m incredibly proud of how this day turned out. It started sorta down and by noon I was wearing my “Today Is A Good Day” shirt! I got to relax for most of the day, work out at night, make some absolutely amazing food, and now I’ll pop on over to bed a get some ideas about what I might want for breakfast! ^_^

This is incredible. I mean REALLY incredible!

I feel absolutely AMAZING! I don’t care that I ate a lot yesterday. I’m not punishing myself with a tiny breakfast. Theres no use in it. None at all. My tummy is a little sore from eating yesterday, but I don’t care. It’s not going to affect how I feel today. Its OK to have fun and overindulge a little bit every once in a while. It won’t kill me.

IT WON’T KILL ME.

I have a friend who de-friended me on Facebook about 9 months ago. I was so blind and so into myself and my own little world that I didn’t even notice. He was a really close friend too, someone I love dearly and have had a long friendship with. He re-friended me this morning. He said he had to apologize to me. TO ME. Over silly stuff that happened years and years ago. He’d let those things bother him for so long because he REALLY CARES about me. A couple years ago he kept trying to get me to come over and hang out and so on…I was so nervous about the possibility of having to eat or drink while out with him that I declined…or I would “try” to see him and it never worked out. I didn’t know that he wanted to get together to apologize to me. I didn’t think about his feelings for a second. I was so self-centered I didn’t see the signs. He finally gave up and de-friended me. I didn’t even notice. And this whole time he was only thinking of me and my feelings and how he was so worried that he may have hurt me like, 8 years ago. I feel like such a fool. I’m such a fool to be blinded to how my friends really really care about me and love me. I cried. I admited to him that I have an ED. And it was my fault that I was avoiding seeing him. It was my fault that I didn’t even notice he’d de-friended me. It was my fault that we didn’t work this out years ago. And that I had just made the decision 2 days ago to let it go. His timing was impecable, but it wasn’t he who had to apologize to ME. I had to apologize to him.

He forgave me immediately.

Breakfast:

Corn, Ham and Cheese Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 C cornmeal
  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1-2 C grated cheese (we used cheddar for this recipe)
  • 1-2 C cubed “uncured” ham (without nitrites or nitrates)
  • 1/2 – 1 C frozen corn kernels (thawed and drained) if desired

Directions:

  • Place muffin tin in oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, honey and melted butter.
  • Whisk grated cheese into milk mixture.
  • Add milk mixture into dry mixture and stir with spoon until incorporated.
  • Stir in ham and corn if using.
  • Remove hot muffin tin from oven and coat with cooking spray (if using), or place paper cups in pan.
  • Divide batter evenly amongst muffin cups.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

The difference in how things taste is amazing. When you don’t skimp on the honey or the cheese or even the meat and veggies. I even used just a little butter on each muffin when I ate them and added the little bit of melted cheese on top as my own little flair. ^_^ I’m not afraid of food anymore. These are still PLENTY healthy. I did use the whole wheat flour and the corn meal and 2% milk cheese. I still used almond milk too. I think maybe I want to keep both of them on hand, real milk and almond milk, because I LIKE the taste of almond milk. But I want to try some of these recipes with real milk as well just to see the difference. I’ll let my husband know that if we buy it I’ll actually use it and maybe we’ll pick some up next time we’re out. But anyway, these tasted fluffy and cheesy and awesome! I ate all 4 of them and didn’t feel the least bit bad as they are good for me and will make me healthy.

Also, I’m bringing my husband roses today when I go to pick him up from his friend’s place. He really needs to know how much I appreciate him and his unconditional love. He’s really put up with a lot of shit from me these past couple years and he deserves to know how happy I am that he still loves me.

Lunch:

Ham, Turkey and Potato Corn Chowder

I was totally in the mood for more corn after breakfast and had every intention of making a chicken corn chowder but then realized I didn’t have any thawed out. So I just used some deli ham and turkey that I need to use up anyway!

1 cup Corn
1/2 Green Pepper, chopped
1/4 small Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, cubed
3 small baking Potatoes
2 large slices of deli Ham, cubed
2 large slices of deli Turkey, cubed
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
(about) 1/2 cup Water
About 1/2 t of McCormick’s Roasted Garlic seasoning (recipe suggests a seafood seasoning, but this is my go-to spice mix for this recipe!)
1/4 t Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 t fresh chopped Thyme
1/4 t Parsley
S&P to taste

I think I got all that. Spray a saucepan with olive oil and cook onions and green pepper until lightly browned. Add corn and carrot and let it roast for a little bit. Add water, broth, spices, and potato and bring to a boil until potatoes start to soften. Add evaporated milk and meat (whichever you choose), reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Take a potato masher and mash some of the potatoes right in the saucepan to thicken the  broth. Top your chowder with a bit of cheese and enjoy! This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. I make this CONSTANTLY. It’s ridiculously yummy. Use any sort of meat you want! I normally use bacon. Or of course, make it meat free if you’d like!

I did buy my husband those flowers. I bought him these gorgeous pink roses with these smaller purple flowers in between. These roses are MASSIVE, I will have to take pictures in the morning. He LOVES them! He immediately displayed them as soon as we got back to the house. As I shopped for flowers, I also bought a whole bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Unbelievable. Life is getting back to normal.

Dinner:

Work soup! Italian Wedding today, PLUS I had half a Turkey and Cheese wrap sandwich (I was going to get a whole sandwhich, but they only had a half left) AND a small 1-serving bag of pretzles. The significance of the pretzles is actually a big deal. They mysteriously showed up in my locker at work about a year ago. Of course, they’ve been sitting there uneaten for a year. Because I couldn’t eat them of course. So since I coudln’t have my whole sandwhich I was still a little hungry, so I ate the pretzles. Oddly enough, they were not stale or anything. They were great! ^_^

I ran around like crazy at work all day. Lots of customers, lots of questions, I did really well though! AND I felt really amazing all day! My coworker thats been helping me through all this whom I love so much was there today and I was SO PROUD to tell him about my epiphany. He’s incredibly happy for me and is just a fountain of encouragement and love. THANKS DARLING! You’re amazing!

I’m going out to breakfast with one of my best friends in the morning. I’m probably going to get my favorite waffle dish at my favorite breakfast resturant. My god I’m excited. It’s been years since I’ve had that dish! I can’t even express how happy I was to say “Yes! Lets go out to breakfast!” and not think twice about it. I can’t wait to tell you all about it in the morning! I might be so excited I won’t sleep again!

Exercise: 8 hours of running around my retail job like a chicken with its head cut off. Loved it!

Bleh

I knew today was gonna suck. No sunrise. Basically no sun at all. It’s completely gloomy as hell outside. When its gloomy all day, I don’t want to do anything. I feel tired. I don’t want to work, I don’t want to leave the house, I don’t want to do anything. I didn’t even start making breakfast till around 10:30. And though it tasted really super good, I fucked it up. I’m tired of fucking up pancakes. I love them, and I can’t seem to make them correctly. I need to start being really specific with what I do and what I add and EXACTLY how thick the batter needs to be and how hot the grill needs to be and etc etc etc. I seem to keep getting the same results no matter what I change. I dunno. I suck at pancakes. Sorry I’m so down on myself already today. I just always get put into an automatic shitty mood when everything above happens.

Breakfast:

These are sweet potato, orange juice and ham pancakes with sugar free maple syrup. Tasted great? You bet! Looks pretty? A hell of a lot prettier than the last attempt at similar pancakes that I made! But (and theres always a but) they weren’t cooked. Again. At all. They were totally and completely raw on the inside. It was good that at least they tasted wonderful because if they didn’t, I’d be ready to go on some form of binge. So I need advice on cooking pancakes. The last time I made them the griddle was too hot and they stuck like a motherfucker on it and burned more and more as I pushed the batter around the gril. This time, I was afraid to make it too hot and so I think I set it too low. I had to work REALLY hard to make completely certain that they wouldn’t stick, so I kept unsticking and unsticking and unsticking them over and over. I’m afraid if I set the heat any higher, they’ll stick and burn. But if I don’t set it higher, they won’t cook. I seriously cooked these for about 20 minutes and they didn’t NEARLY cook through. At least they’re pretty. And tasted good. I worked really hard on these and failed. :< Again.

Lunch:

Garden Linguini with Mushrooms, Summer Squash and Sweet Potato sauce

3 oz Garden Delight Linguini
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
1 small Yellow Summer Squash, sliced
3.5 oz Sweet Potato, peeled and cut into cubes
2 slices small Yellow Onion, sliced into large pieces
1/8 cup Fat Free Evaporated Milk
1/4 cup Almond Milk (I think…it may have been less…just use as needed to thin the sauce)
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
Splash Lemon Juice
1 t Lemon Honey
1/2 t Brown Sugar
Ginger
Tarragon
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
S&P to taste

I dunno, I think I forgot something in there. If I did, I’ll add it later. I ate this incredibly late because I had to go errand shopping with my husband. And as much as he says “Oh it’s only a couple of places, it won’t take very long…” errand running always takes up most of my day. So we didn’t get home till about 5 PM and I didn’t want anything overly complicated. My hubby DID buy me a Christmas present while we were out though, a Hamilton Beach hand blender with processor and wisk attachments! Oh man, I had to break into that IMMEDIATELY and make a sauce out of it! I LOVE the damn thing! The husband loves how quiet it is (since he’s basically sleeping/hungover all the time) and I can whip things up SO much faster! LOVE LOVE!

Anyway, I just sauteed the onions, garlic, tarragon and summer squash for a few minutes while waiting for the linguini and sweet potato to boil (I just threw them into the same pan, worked out well!) then blended the mashed sweet potato with the rest of the ingredients (with my new hand blender!!!) and poured the concoction into the pan with the veggies and allowed it to cook down a bit to the consistency of my choice. It was actually really really good. Like, really good. I hope I got all the ingredients right in there because it really was yummy.

Dinner:

Baked Buttercup Squash with Tofu, Apple and Sweet Peppers in an Apple Cider sauce

1/2 Buttercup Squash
1/3 block of Lite Tofu
1 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Sweet Yellow Pepper
2 slices small Yellow Onion, sliced into chunks
1 Apple, peeled and cut into chunks
1 clove Garlc, minced
1/2 cup Apple Cider
1.5 T White Wine (or so, I may have used 2 T)
Splash of Red Wine Vinegar
1/8 cup Yogurt (more or less, I always have low-fat vanilla yogurt on hand)
Tarragon
Allspice
Pinch of Cardamom
Thyme
Fresh grated Ginger
1 t Butter

Cut squash in half and bake sliced side up sprayed with a little olive oil (I just really love the roasted quality of baking squashes cut side up) at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until soft. While this is cooking, feel free to start preparing everything else. Or have a cupcake. One of these options will surely strike your fancy. Cut your tofu into thinish triangles and press between a couple of towels (literally just place them in between towels and put a bunch of heavy crap on top of it) for about the duration of the baking squash. Spray a saucepan with some olive oil (I even sprayed a little more than I normally would have) and fry your tofu until golden. Spray the uncooked side with some more oil and flip them all over. Sautee on the opposite side until golden. Remove from pan and wipe out the used oil. Re-spray and add onion, peppers, garlic, mushrooms, and spices and sautee till onions are translucent. Add apple cider, wine, vinegar, and let reduce for a while. Add yogurt, tofu and apples. Let heat through. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top of the squash half. Fill with tofu mixture. Serve up all pretty-like!

Yeah this was off the hook. I hope I got all the ingredients right because it was friggin goooooooood! I used a slightly old apple (just trying to use stuff up and not waste anything) so they started disintigrating a bit in my sauce, turning it into an applesauce-like consistency. So I’d use a fresher apple next time. Also, feel free to use a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce up a bit if you’d like. I tend to do this because I dont like to be wasteful and runny sauces tend to stay on the plate instead of ending up in my tummy. ^_^

Oh also, I love it when it’s obvious that there are 2 different light sources in a picture. Bleh. Ah well, it still looks super pretty to me! And it was ridiculously good. Resturant quality shit right here!

So my other meals made up for my crappy morning. For the most part. It started snowing AFTER I got home last night, which was awesome. I’m not really into driving through snow. My car doesn’t handle it well. And I got some housework done. Did my laundry, cleaned up the kitchen a bit, etc. I will attempt pancakes again in the morning. So here’s hoping kids!

Morning weigh-in: 127 (I was TOTALLY pissed about this. I blame the chocolate.)
Exercise: Well, I was out and about for 5 hours, and did some housework. But  didn’t do any stair-stepping. I will be at work for 8 hours tomorrow, so it will be fine. I was active at least.

Cupcakes are GO!

I did it. I went ahead and bought that Groupon for a dozen cupcakes. How do you kids think I should handle it? I have this terrible feeling that I’m going to get the “variety” of different flavours and I’m going to want to eat every single one of them myself just to try them all. I desperately need to NOT be tempted to do this. Take my husband with me when I pick them up? Pick them up for a certain event/dinner so I can share them? Get only one flavour so I’m not tempted to eat them all? I can always go back to the place and get 1 at a time to try the other flavours. I can just see myself bingeing on the entire box of them and not eating any meals to make up for it. Ya’ll know I’m not allowed to do this, thats why I have this blog. I’d love love love your advice!!!

Today I get to work with my favoritest coworker ever ALL DAY! We’re normally not scheduled together because we tend to do more chatting than working…but I miss him all the time and he’s one of the few people who really understands some of the crap I’ve been going through lately with my brain! So even though there was no pretty sunrise (too cloudy) and it’s been raining all morning (and it will continue to do so all day) and my entire day is being taken up with my retail job (12-8 :<)…I AT LEAST GET TO WORK WITH MY FAVORITE COWORKER! I want him to know (because I know he reads this) how much he brightens my goddamn day and how much I love him. I wish I saw him more often, we both have our own second jobs that we do from home, so even though I literally live only a 5 minute drive from him, we hardly get to see each other outside of work. YOU’RE THE BEST HON AND I LOVE YOU!

Breakfast:

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins

What You Need

A hand-held breakfast or lunch is perfect for families on the go. These taste like a quiche but are easier to make and to eat. You can even make them ahead and have them ready to go in minutes.

4 eggs
3/4 cup (175 mL) Milk
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each, salt and pepper
5 cups (1.25 L) cubed whole grain bread (about 5 slices)
1 cup (250 mL) shredded Canadian Cheddar, Swiss or Colby cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) diced deli ham
12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

Added:
Paprika
Parsley
2 small Mushrooms, diced

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick parchment or silicone liners, or butter generously.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in bread, cheese and ham until evenly coated with egg mixture. Spoon into prepared muffin pan, pressing gently and drizzling with any liquid left in bowl. Press 2 tomato halves, cut side up, on top of each muffin.
Bake for about 25 min or until golden and puffed and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 min. Remove from pan by running a rubber spatula around edge. Serve hot.

*Though mine were not quite as pretty as the ones in THEIR pictures, they were DELICIOUS! I was surprised my “cut down” recipe made 4 muffins, I was thinking I’d get 3 at the most. Its silly, but the tomatoes on the top (I used canned diced tomatoes because I’m out of fresh) really made the muffin.  I personally would not exclude them! I think the mushrooms added a little extra moisture to them so they didn’t puff up as far as they should have, but that didn’t matter to me because they tasted exactly like I wanted them to!

Lunch:

Yup, another work lunch, another day I forget to bring my camera. The Soup Du Jour was Chicken and Dumpling, which I had 2 cups of. Someone also brought chocolates. Like, a little variety of mini peanut butter cups, mint kisses, Hershey’s variety squares and Ghirardelli squares. Yeah I had some. That’s right. After I stopped myself while I was (of course) being incredibly anxious knowing I was in the same room as chocolate, I had some during my first 15 minute break. Like a handful. Not a ton, but not just 1 or 2 pieces either. The amount a normal person would want to eat when they see free chocolate. It made me happy and giddy for the rest of the day. During my lunch break, I didn’t have any. I just ate my soup and was totally and completely happy with that. I didn’t need any more, I was still giddy from treating myself earlier. I was extremely proud of myself and smiled throughout the rest of my shift knowing that I’m slowly yet surely becoming more normal. (I did work out an extra half hour on the stair-stepper today, something I wouldn’t normally do after working for 8 hours, but then again I didn’t romp around a whole ton at work today as I was mostly stuck behind a register my entire shift…and Iron Chef America (Alton Brown Fruitcake battle!) was on, great excuse to veg out at the TV for some time, so I might as well work out! Hehe!)

Dinner:

CHICKEN IN CURRIED YOGURT SAUCE 

8 oz. peach low-fat yogurt
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 c. sweet bell pepper strips
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 1/2 tsp. curry powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 to 3/4 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 lb. boned and skinned chicken breasts, cut in strips
1 c. frozen peas
2 tsp. lemon juice
 
Added:
1 cup Mushrooms
Pinch of Cardamom
Extra Peach slices

 

Combine small amount of yogurt with cornstarch and return to yogurt container.

Place bell pepper, onion, curry powder, salt, pepper, and broth in skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until onion is tender, 3-4 minutes.

Stir in chicken and simmer 2-4 minutes. Add extra broth if necessary. Add peas. Cook until chicken is tender. Reduce heat and add yogurt. Stir over low heat until hot.

Sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir gently. Serve over rice.

*This is one of my absolute favorite dishes. I make this a lot. So that must mean its pretty awesome. And it is. I always add extra peach chunks which really makes it over the top amazing. It’s just something that is super easy and I know I love. Also, I had a jar of canned peaches from my peach tree that I canned myself opened from the peach chili I made the other day, so I might as well use them up. I’ll bet this dish would be FANTASTIC with tofu! ~_^ I adore tofu so someday I’ll try it!

Work was pretty amazing. I had really nice customers all day and of course great coworkers (I actually hardly got to talk with the one I was refering to earlier because we were hellishly busy all day. Then he left by the time it finally slowed down, but we still had our fair share of swapping recipes and talking crazy ^_^). I hope that it at least won’t be raining early in the morning and I can possibly see the sun rise. It just makes the day start off so much nicer.

Morning weigh-in: 126 lbs
Exercise: 8 hours at reatail job, 1/2 hour on stair stepper