Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Pear’ Category

I won something!

What an odd morning!

I’d put off getting some work done (also probably put off proper blogging) to randomly join a chat sponsored by Gevalia coffee. It’s something I guess they do every Thursday morning. They also offer prizes to participants. I thought, “Eh…sure! What the hell?” and jumped into the chatroom. I quickly turned the conversation in the room toward food and made everyone hungry. Then at the end of the chat, they told me that I had won. How they choose their winners, I have no idea, but I won! So basically, I got to talk about food for an hour and then got free coffee. Life is great!

Breakfast:

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

Taken from: http://ladywiththeredrocker.com/2012/01/12/pumpkin-baked-oatmeal/

6 cups quick oats
1½ sticks of butter (melted)
1 cup brown sugar (You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking. You can also use part sugar and part honey if you like.)
1 cup canned pumpkin
¾ tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 cups milk
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ pecans, chopped (optional, but oohhh so good! :D )

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl, mix well, and pour into a 9×13 baking dish.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning bake at 350° for 20 minutes with foil off.

*Next time, I would like to do an overnight version of this. It was really good, but felt it was a bit dry. I’m not sure if more liquid would help or if maybe letting it soak overnight would help. I did use honey instead of sugar and also didn’t put any other kind of crazy crumble on top. I tried keeping this simple so I didn’t go overboard with the unnecessary calories. I put a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. I had 2 small servings of this and threw out the rest. I made a 1/3 recipe.

Lunch:

You guessed it.

Dinner:

Ginger Pear Chicken

Sorry about the two different light sources in the picture. I’m sure no one else notices that sort of thing but me. Still…

Taken from: http://busycooks.about.com/od/chickenbreastrecipes/r/gingerpearchick.htm

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger root
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 pears, peeled and sliced

Preparation:

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper and dredge each in flour. In heavy skillet, combine olive oil and butter over medium heat. When foamy, add chicken; brown on both sides but do not cook through, about 5 minutes total. Remove chicken to plate.Increase heat to medium high; add ginger root and onion to drippings remaining in skillet. Cook and stir until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Return chicken to skillet along with pear slices; reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 6-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened. Serve over couscous or hot cooked rice.

*I of course only made one of these, not six. Hehe. I followed the recipe exactly save for the added broccoli that I put in. I liked this. It was simple, easy, and delicious! I would make it this way again.

I was going to go out with a friend of mine tonight, but she turned out to be too tired. No matter, I worked until late. I didn’t stop till around 11 pm. It was a good day for food!

Exercise: 3.5 mile walk (I now have an iPod nano, those have a pedometer built in! Holy shit!)

Wish there were more hours in the day

Finished a project that I started last night, did yoga, went out to buy more supplies, started and finished another order, went to work out, and I came home with the intention of doing even MORE work, but was just so bushed. I’d never been so tired at 8:30PM before. I wish I were robotic. I wish I didn’t need sleep.

I would be incredibly sad to not need food though.

I love it even more now that it doesn’t control me.

Breakfast:

Creamy Pear Cardamom Oatmeal

I just made oatmeal with milk instead of water. Made sure to use enough milk that it was nice and creamy. Added lemon honey, cardamom and pear slices. Topped it with some sliced almonds. Really. Really tasty.

Lunch:

Smoked Sausage and Kale Soup

I’ve made this before. This time I made it with less oil (hehe), beef sausage instead of turkey and chicken stock instead of beef stock. Find the recipe here.

Dinner:

TODAY I got to have leftover lentils! YES! They totally saved some for me! Life is great! AND I didn’t even eat them all, there’s still another serving left!

 

Potential Future Husband #1 really wants to get back into shape. Which is totally awesome and adorable. He tells me every day how out of shape he is and how he’s going to fix it. He really really wants me to like him, I can tell. Lucky for him, I already do. No matter what weight he is. ~_^And I really mean that. It’s interesting to me how much I actually DO mean that.

But it totally can’t hurt.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga, 1 hour at the gym

 

How I felt good about myself today

One of the girls I referenced in an earlier post posted about me the other day on her Facebook.

Now mind you, this is a girl who I took one look at and my immediate reaction was “I wish I was as thin and pretty as her”. But as the day progressed, I looked at a reflection of us walking next to each other I realized how GORGEOUS and lean and skinny (whilst still maintaining perfect curvature!) I am! I mean, she’s thin, but that’s all shes got. She has tiny chicken legs, no butt, no muscle, and feels run down and tired all the time due to her bad eating habits.

She’d written how she’s joined a gym, started eating better and wants to learn some simple yoga…all inspired by me.

SHE wants to look like ME.

A year ago, I would have wanted nothing more than to look like her and would have basically stopped eating entirely to do so.

I’ve learned a lot these past 4 months since starting this blog. That first of all being healthy is FAR more attractive than being unhealthy, regardless of your weight. I also hope she realizes that she IS beautiful the way she is, she doesn’t need to look like me to be beautiful. Sure she’s got skinny legs and no butt, but that doesn’t mean she’s unattractive! It means she’s unique and, honestly, MOST women will still covet her shape! She should embrace her body type and even if she doesn’t eventually have my butt or my legs that she still finds pleasure in making herself healthier and leaner! I hope to keep encouraging her to do so!

Breakfast:

Oatmeal and Cottage Cheese Fruit Bowl

My husband had his friend over again, so I was stuck making myself something easy for breakfast. I just made half a cup of oatmeal (with water) in the microwave, added about 1/3 cup cottage cheese, a big squeeze of honey, then topped it with some cubed apple, pear and dried mango. Then drizzled just a little more honey on top. Quick, filling, sweet, packed full of nutrients. I couldn’t ask for anything better!

Lunch:

Tomato Rice Soup

Lets see…I sauteed some onions in oil and a little margarine…then I added 2 cups of canned tomato halves and let that simmer, break up and reduce for about 10 minutes uncovered. I pureed this until smooth. I put it back into the pan and added half a cup or so of milk, 1/4 cup of Romano cheese, 1 T tomato paste, 1 t dried oregano, 1 t dried basil, lemon pepper, a little lemon juice and salt to taste. Then I threw in 1/3 cup rice, covered it and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes (I can’t remember, whatever the instructions on the rice said ha!). I think I may have thinned it out with a little more milk when it was done. I LOVE TOMATO RICE SOUP! It’s been forever since I’ve had it being that I try to reduce my pasta/rice/flour intake to just once a day. This was FANTASTIC.

Dinner:

Lentil, Mushroom and Zucchini Italian-style Shepard’s Pie with Parsnip “Potatoes”

Ok this was ridiculously good so I’m going to try really hard to remember this one.

1/3 cup uncooked Lentils
2 medium Parsnips
1.5 cups Mushrooms, roughly sliced
2 large slices of sweet onion, roughly sliced
1/2 large Zucchini, sliced and cut in half
2 cloves Garlic plus more garlic powder to taste (I wanted these really garlicy)
1/2 T Margarine
1 T Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Milk
Dash Lemon Juice
Large dash White wine, probably about 1-2 T
Oregano, Parsley, Basil (to taste)
Margarine, milk, Parmesan or Romano grated cheese (for parsnip potatoes)

Boil the lentils for 8 minutes, add sliced parsnips to the water and boil another 8 minutes. While this is cooking, sautee the veggies in some olive oil for a few minutes, add garlic. Add cream cheese and allow to melt with a little margarine, add milk and let simmer for a while, 5 minutes or so. Add riccota and lentils. Thicken with a little cornstarch if desired. Add this mixture to a small loaf pan. Puree cooked parsnips with a little milk, margarine, 1/8 cup grated romano or parmesan and S&P if desired. Add puree to the top of mushroom mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the “potatoes” become golden.

SO SO SO good! Ridiculously flavourful! Just tons of good stuff for you! Vegetarian and gluten-free. LOVED this!!! Just a really neat spin on Shepard’s Pie!

 

Tomorrow I am going to a girl’s night in party! There will be vegan cuisine, games, mani-pedis and fun! I’m excited about it. I need a night off for once! It’s been so hectic. Work work work all the time it feels like…I just need a tiny bit of time to kick back and have fun! I deserve it!

I may have sold my Harley!!!

My cousin, who is one of the most amazing, strongest kids I know, has been trying to help me out for the past week without my knowledge. She’s found 2 people who are interesting in purchasing my motorcycle…including her father!! That’s right, my uncle wants to buy it! I mean, how cool is that?? I could keep it in my family! And he has NO idea how much it would help me…or maybe he does. ~_^ Which is why he wants to buy it. I adore my family!!! Also, in case he can’t afford it or whatnot, she has another friend lined up who is also very interested! My cousin, her and I are gonna be besties, I can tell.

Breakfast:

Turkey Sausage, Yellow Pepper and Mushroom Omelet with Pepperjack Cheese

This thing was MASSIVE. I did eat it all, just because I couldn’t stand the thought of wasting anything. I figured if I was really full, I could always just have a light lunch later. And that’s exactly what I did.

I spent the next few hours tearing my hair out over a project that I couldn’t get to do what I wanted. This thing was a structural nightmare. I spent 3 extra hours I would not have had to spend otherwise had everything worked out on the first try. Alas, I’m hardly ever that lucky. I feel like I wasted a LOT of time today. *sigh* It’s no wonder I’ve been freaking out over lack of time.

Lunch:

Fruit Bowl

This was just an orange, half of a huge pear and half of an equally huge apple cubed up and thrown in a bowl with a dollop of yogurt (left over from last night’s dinner) and a few dried cranberries. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve had just a fruit bowl for lunch, I’d forgotten how yummy and filling they are! It was nice and light after that HUGE breakfast, so I was quite happy!

Dinner:

Beef, Yam, Peas and Avocado on Whole Wheat Penne with Yam Sauce

Just trying to keep things simple as I’ve had a considerable lack of time today. I made a sauce out of pureed yam, milk, brown sugar, sherry, sage and nutmeg.  I sauteed beef, onion, garlic, peas, cinnamon and a little cumin, then added the sauce along with a couple extra chunks of cooked yam and avocado and let that heat through. I mixed it all together and served it with a few more cubes of avocado on top. SCORE! This was delicious! I knew I’d love it and it was nice and easy!

 

Once again I do apologize for the recent lack of real recipes to type out for you. A lot of this has really been worth sharing too, absolutely delicious, so I feel kinda bad. But really a lot of it just has to do with throwing in what YOU love together and making something amazing out of it!

I’m feeling really great about today! I’m freaking out slightly less about money due to the possibility of selling my bike. I talked to my brother best friend about me taking over his lease and having him move in here as my husband has told me that he was interested in doing this and wanted to move. I should have known better. That it was another fabrication. He has no interest in moving out at all. Of course not. So now I have to look closer at all my other options. But if I sell my bike, I’m going to be ok because I can show I have money in the bank. YES!

Exercise: 4 mile walk (I haven’t been able to do my yoga because my husband keeps waking up early…its starting to make me angry…)

Yet another lack of time day on Meatless Monday

I am incredibly sorry, but if I’ve made a recipe up today I just don’t have the capacity to remember everything, nor the time to dedicate to try and remember everything. It’s been a really long day. I did some apartment hunting and found a couple more really good prospects, so we’ll see how this turns out. I’ll call them and let you know how it goes!

Breakfast:


Cardamom Pear Pancakes

Taken from: http://teaspooncomm.com/teaspoonofspice/2011/11/cardamom-pear-pancakes-holiday-recipe-exchange/

Makes About 8 pancakes

Ingredients

Pears:

    • 4 medium pears, cored and finely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pancakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. For the pears, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large baking dish, mix together pears, brown sugar, butter, caradmom and nutmeg. Roast for 40 minutes or until pears are soft and golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from oven, set aside.
  4. For the pancakes, in a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.
  5. In another bowl, beat together buttermilk, egg, butter and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not overmix.)
  6. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat with cooking spray.
  7. Pour 1/3 cup batter into skillet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of pears on top of batter.
  8. Cook until little bubbles on edges start to break, flip and cook other side until golden brown.
  9. Serve pancakes with remaining roasted pears and honey or maple syrup.

*I have a thing for cardamom. The pear sauce made out of this was amazing, really light, not a ton of sugar. I added cinnamon and almonds to the pancakes. Super yummy!

Lunch:

Asparagus Lemon Avocado Soup

If anyone desperately wants the recipe to this, I will try hard to remember, but otherwise just rest assured this has no meat or stock in it (I made it with pureed avocado, cilantro, pistachios and water). And it WAS delicious. Hehe.

Dinner:

Dried Mango Yogurt and Veggie Couscous

I made this awesome concoction from pureed dried mango and yogurt with a little lemon zest, brown sugar, soy sauce, tarragon, curry spices, and rice vinegar on some sauteed onions, peppers, peas and mushrooms. I put all that, along with some extra chunks of dried mango, on some couscous. YUM!!!! Yeah I actually wish I could remember the amounts I put in this because it was incredible. Dried mango was on a sale! YAY!

So after calling some of the places, I may have a stab at a couple of them. There’s a nice sounding second-floor 1 bedroom that includes heat for $430 a month. There’s another complex that a close friend of mine lives in thats a 2-bedroom for $450, but includes nothing else. So I’d have to pay gas, electric and I’m told the coin-operated laundry there is expensive. But it would be nice to have 2 bedrooms. I dunno…I think I’ll schedule a time with the less expensive place to go see it. I have to cut costs wherever I can and I think the inclusion of heat/gas is really nice. I will have to ask him how warm he keeps it in the winter. Being a second floor place would be good as heat rises and all, so I probably wouldn’t be as inconsolably freezing as I was when I lived in the basement of a comparable building up the road. But that guy kept the building at like, 64 degrees in the winter. So I will ask what the guy usually keeps the heat at.

Exercise: 1 hour at the gym

Day #3! (Slow to update…sorry!!!)

I realize that I’ve been super slow to update lately! Well you see, I have to hook my lappy up to my TV to watch all my Who and Sherlock this weekend, so then I can’t do computer type stuff at the same time. And I’ve been doing nothing but watching Sherlock and Who hehehehe! OH and baking!!! ^_^

Breakfast:

Ginger Pear Muffins
*Note: To improve this recipe next time around, I would  increase the brown sugar and add candied ginger.

1 medium pear, peeled and finely diced (I used Bartlett here!)
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup old-fashioned oats
¼ cup brown sugar (increase to ½ or ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 extra-large egg
½-inch piece fresh ginger, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line or lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Toss pear, lemon zest, and candied ginger together in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. In a separate mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, sour cream, melted butter, egg, and fresh ginger. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in pears.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

*While these did not look all that pretty and my oven sucks so baking things at 400 is a bad idea, they really were delicious! I’ll know that for next time though…I tried by only baking these for 15 minutes instead of 20, turning the pan around after 7 minutes (because I tend to over-bake muffins), but it didn’t really work as well as I’d hoped. BUT they tasted super great! Just the texture and fluffiness and photogenicness and all that could have been better.

Lunch/Dinner:

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients
For the herbed pâte brisée
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling
1 whole chicken, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 1/2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (about 2 cups)
3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 parsnip, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup frozen pearl onions (I did not use these)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Pinch nutmeg (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash

Added: 1/2 Avocado, pureed

Directions
Make the pastry
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and thyme. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow and steady stream, a little bit at a time, until the dough just comes together. You may not need quite all of the water. The dough should not be wet or sticky. If the dough is too dry and does not hold together, add a little more water.

2. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide in 2 and wrap each half in plastic wrap, shaping them into flattened disks. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Make the filling
1. Rinse the chicken. Place it in a large saucepan or small pot, just large enough to hold the chicken comfortably, and add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat and skim the foam that is floating on the top of the water. Add up to 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot with a large slotted spoon and let cool. Pull the meat from the bones and shred it. Discard the skin and bones.

2. Strain the stock through a fine strainer. Measure 2½ cups and set aside. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining stock for another use.

3. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the red onion, mushrooms, carrots, and parsnip, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer until evaporated. Add the flour, stir to blend with the butter, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the 2 1/2 cups reserved chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has reduced to the consistency of a thick white sauce, 7 to 12 minutes. Add the peas, pearl onions, thyme, parsley, nutmeg, and shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat.

5. Roll the dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut rounds slightly larger than the diameter of your ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Place the rounds on another baking sheet and set aside in the refrigerator.

6. Ladle the chicken mixture into the ramekins. The mixture should come all the way up to the top of the bowl so that the crust doesn’t sink into the filling and soak. Top each bowl with a round of dough, tucking the excess around the edges of the ramekins. Brush with the egg wash. Use a knife or scissors to cut a vent in the crust. Set the dishes on the prepared baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the cooking, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.

*I used pureed avocado in mine for that extra creamy boost! It’s a little secret of mine! ~_^ The crust on this was FANTASTIC! You can see how flaky and perfect it came out! I still have more of it, so I will probably use it for a quiche at some point! I also baked my chicken instead of boiling it like it called for but there was still plenty of juices to put into it after baking it as well! I just had to also add a little  more chicken stock separately. SUPERB!

I should probably explain that I took a nap in the middle of the day at the time I would have normally eaten lunch. So by the time I woke up and made myself this crazy meal, it was 6:00. The pot pie was also HUGE!!! I went to work out after eating and was just not especially hungry afterwards. I spent the rest of the night watching Doctor Who and around midnight made myself a small batch of cookies. That was the extent of my eating for the night. I forgot to take pics of my cookies, they were pretty, but the good Doctor distracted me and it slipped my mind! Ah well.

Tomorrow my husband comes home. I love him and stuff, I just don’t know when the next time I’ll get to be really alone is and that bothers me a little. I AM happy that I get to see him. I want to be married, I just don’t want to live with someone. Can I be married and live in my own place? That would rule.

Who wants to get shit done? ME ME ME!

I’m going to get a couple small projects done today! It’ll put me in a better mood after my kinda crappy date last night. At least the food was good!

The cat now hears my alarm go off at 7 every morning and will start batting at the door at around 7:01 if I don’t get up immediately. I actually don’t mind encouraging this behavior (I always get right out of bed after he gently “reminds” me to wake up) because I feel if I ever set an alarm and accidentally turn it off while asleep (which I’ve done before), I’ll always have him as a back-up alarm.

So I have about 6 hours to get shit done! Who else has shit to get done? LETS DO THIS!!!

Breakfast:

Apple bacon coffee cake

Taken from: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Food/Stir-It-Up/2011/1012/Apple-bacon-coffee-cake

Apple and Bacon Kuchen
Serves 8 – 10

For the topping:

8 strips of bacon
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon maple syrup (grade B amber)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 granny smith apples

For the Kuchen:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten, room temperature
1 tablespoon maple syrup (grade B amber)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

For the filling:

Cook the bacon in large skillet until nice and crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain. Pour the bacon fat out of the skillet and reserve. Wipe out the skillet to remove any bits and pieces. Add back 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and the butter and melt over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. While the buttery brown sugar is melting together, peel and core the apples and cut them into small chunks. Drop the apple pieces into the butter as soon as you chop them to prevent discoloration and stir to coat well. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and stir to combine. Cook until the apples are soft and the syrupy brown sugar is reduced and just coating the apples. Cut the bacon into small pieces and stir into the apples. Set aside to cool. The topping can be made a day ahead and stored covered in the fridge until ready to cook.

For the kuchen:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Beat in the maple syrup. Mix in the flour, baking powder and baking soda alternately with the sour cream. Beat until well combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it out to the corners. Spread the apple-bacon topping over the batter to evenly cover the top. Press the filling in a little bit with a spatula.

Bake the kuchen for 25 – 30 minutes, until the kuchen is puffed and brown on the edges and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm cut into squares.

*I baked these for BARELY 30 minutes, probably about 29, and this was PERFECT! The bacon gave it that amazing salty crunch under the sweetness of the apples and maple-caramel. The cake was the lightest, meltiest cake I’ve ever made! I highly recommend you use this cake recipe while making ANY sort of coffee cake! WOW!!! I was going to offer up the other half of this on my Facebook, but then I eated it. Hehehe!

Lunch:

(What was supposed to be) Curried Apple Tuna Open-Faced Sandwich

While this was not at all terrible, it wasn’t as great as it could have been because I did not realize I was out of tuna until I’d already started making the mayo/curry/apple mixture. So once again I had to use sardines in the place of tuna and once again it really didn’t work. I mean it did. It was fine. It was completely 100% edible. But I WANTED tuna. So oh well I guess. The cheese on top was super good, it was Cabot’s bacon cheddar. THAT was really yummy and saved the sandwich completely.

Dinner:

Seared Pork on Couscous with a Pear Tarragon Red Wine Reduction sauce

I really don’t have much of a real recipe for you as I didn’t measure out ANYTHING, but I will try to at least list the ingredients…

Unsalted butter
Olive oil (for the searing)

Red Wine
Red Wine Vinegar
Butter
Tarragon
Cayenne
Pear (sliced)
Mushrooms (sliced)
Blackberries
Dijon Mustard
S&P to taste

I just made a reduction out of the sauce ingredients and added more wine and vinegar as I saw necessary. It was delicious! Looked pretty too!

 

So I totally got shit done!!!! I got those 2 projects completely finished and now tomorrow I get to go spend time with good friends at an Ice Festival! I’m incredibly excited! Can’t wait to bundle up and keep warm with a bit of rum! ~_^

Late morning, gloomy day, but still high in spirits!

The sun hasn’t peeked through yet today, which lead me to wake up a bit late. I’ve been getting up around 7:40 lately, which is late for me, I don’t like it. I like to be up by 7. I may start setting my alarm if I can’t always count on the sun to wake me. My subconscious also seems to know when I’ve set an alarm and will wake me usually a couple minutes before it goes off. Our brains are cool.

Anyone else out there prefer being an early riser?

When I was a teenager, I don’ t think I saw the sunrise for years and years. I would sleep till 4 PM if I could. I think our bodies really do change and you require different kinds of sleep as you get older.

Being very curious I found this article from the National Sleep Foundation. Interesting!

So I haven’t yet had breakfast and it’s nearly noon. I picked something kinda complicated that takes time to bake and all so it’s somewhat my own fault. But I wanted blackberry bars. So that’s what I get. ^_^ Because now I eat what I really want. I’m willing to wait for what it is I want. If I settle for something else, I’ll feel unsatisfied and may get kinda bingey later. It’s happened before. So I have to make what I want. Hehe. Also, I’m not starving or anything. My stomach hasn’t even growled yet this morning.

Breakfast:

Blackberry Ginger Bars

*While I think these tasted great and were worth the wait, I would use fresh ginger next time in the topping rather than ground ginger as I felt I couldn’t taste it at all. I basically just ate this with a spoon straight out of the ramekin I made it in (I made a 1/4 recipe), but it could easily be cut into bars. The crust was yummy, I managed to not overcook it!

Lunch:

Havarti and Tomato Baked Tuna Melt

I mixed the tuna with light mayo, lemon juice and this amazing sweet Harry and David pepper relish. I added a little basil, salt and pepper. Then topped that with a few slices of tomato and Havarti cheese, baked it at 350 for half an hour (until the cheese was melty) and put it on this HUGE piece of bread. I’m still learning what kind of bread is best for sandwiches like this. ^_^ Really really good, if I get the right bread it will be even better.

Dinner:

Sourdough Stuffing with Pears and Sausage

  • YIELD: 12 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)
  • COURSE: Side Dishes/Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (1/2-inch) cubed sourdough bread (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 pound turkey Italian sausage
  • Cooking spray
  • 5 cups chopped onion (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (I didn’t have any, I used yellow pepper instead)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled Bartlett pear (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until golden. Place in a large bowl.

Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage, and cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add sausage to bread cubes, tossing to combine. Set aside.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot; sauté 10 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir in mushrooms; cook 4 minutes. Stir in pear, basil, tarragon, and salt; cook 4 minutes or until pear begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add pear mixture to bread mixture, tossing gently to combine. Stir in broth and pepper.

Place bread mixture in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; cover with foil. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake stuffing an additional 15 minutes or until top of stuffing is crisp.

*Very good! I also added a bit a Feta to make it feel more like a main dish than a side dish. It still felt like a gigantic side dish hehe…but it was what I wanted and it was still good! I used up the rest of my clearance bread (I keep letting the last chunk of all the bread I buy go bad and I needed to stop doing that) and the very last pear. FINALLY! I didn’t throw ANY of them out this year! I’m proud!
I got one more of my projects finished! WOO HOO! But I had to give up my working out time to do it. Boooooo. But I’ll get to go tomorrow, maybe I’ll spend an extra half hour there or something to make up for it, I don’t know. I have to get 1 more of these projects done tomorrow too, so if I can get it done in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll treat myself to more time at the gym. ^_^ I feel bad about not going…but I was up and active while working. So it’s ok!

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga

Anxiety? (I don’t actually know if it is…)

I wasn’t particularly hungry yesterday so I ate less than I had been. I was stuffed after half of my breakfast this morning, so I put the rest in the fridge (knowing that it probably won’t ever get eaten…saaaaadness.) Granted, I have been making WAY too much for each of my meals, but I think I want to be sure that I’m ok. That I’m not subconsciously getting anxious about my weight gain. I mean, I’m fairly positive I’m alright, I’m still using low-fat and full-fat ingredients (no fat-free) and I’m still listening to my tummy and making certain I’m full. It’s been a few hours since I ate and it’s not growling, so I must have eaten enough. I mean, clearly I don’t want to be overeating, but I also don’t want to be undereating and not realizing it.

Breakfast:

Apple and Pear Bread Pudding

For the custard:

2 cups stale Sourdough Bread, cut into squares
2 Eggs
1 cup Cream
1/8 cup Apple Cider
1/8 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 t Vanilla
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Small pinch Cardamom

For the fruit topping:

1 small Pear, sliced
1/2 Apple, sliced
Handful of Raisins
1 T Unsalted Butter
1.5 T Sugar
1 T Vegetable Oil

Wisk together all custard ingredients except bread. Cube up bread and toss it into the custard, stirring to coat all bread pieces. Cover and place in fridge at least 15 minutes, if not 1 hour or overnight.

While bread custard mixture is in the fridge, melt butter with oil in a saucepan. Add fruit and cook about 2-3 minutes. Add sugar and cook until fruit is caramelized.

Pour bread custard mixture into a buttered or sprayed dish or pan (casserole dish, large ramekin, pie pan, whatever…I used a pie pan) and add the caramelized fruit on top, mixing it in slightly. Bake uncovered at 375 for about 40 minutes, I think I pulled mine out at about 38. My oven runs a bit hot though.

*This was WAY better than the first time I made bread pudding. It was actually pudding-like! I would like to make it more do-ahead next time to see the difference between letting it sit in the fridge 15 minutes vs overnight. But it was creamy and sweet and packed with fruit! I think I’ve only got 1 good pear left. I may try and use it in my dinner somehow just to get rid of it.

P.S. Now see how much food there is there? Was it unreasonable or weird for me to only eat half of that?

Lunch/Early Dinner:

I don’t have a picture because I wasn’t expecting to have this for lunch, but my husband and I were out and about and he offered to buy Chinese Buffet. I would say I ate enough to cover both lunch and dinner. So I MAY not have anything else tonight as it is 6:00 and I’m pretty full. (I did good though! I didn’t overfill myself! I listened to my tummy and I stopped. YAY!) If for some weird reason I am hungry later, I will have a little something. But otherwise, I won’t have much of a reason to eat any more than I already have today. Maybe a small sandwich or a piece of fruit or something if my tummy actually growls.

Time for me to get to work for a while! I’ve got Evil Dead 2 on, a nice tall glass of water and a few hours left in my evening! Here’s hoping I get shit done!

*For the record, I DID get some shit done (YES) and my tummy did not growl the rest of the evening, so I didn’t eat anymore. I ate a huge, late lunch so it made made no sense to force myself to eat when I wasn’t hungry. I think I’m ok. Right?

Exercise: 1/2 hour of stair-stepping, 1/2 hour of yoga

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My kitten Jack apparently wrote the title to this one while I was doing my morning yoga. I decided that it works, so I’m leaving it.

Today is supposed to be a date day for my husband and I. He was up until 7 AM drinking. I woke up to find him still awake (after he’d said he’d only be up an extra hour after I went to bed last night…) and I asked him how he’d planned on staying awake during our date day and that “didn’t he say he was going to bed 6 hours ago?” I told him I was going back to bed (no point in me staying up if he’s up, I get up early so I can have my mornings to myself) and he said he was going to bed too. So I slept an extra hour and got back up at 8. He actually did come to bed and was alseep. I was happy at that point to get up and make myself an amazing breakfast, watch the sun rise and sneaking in half an hour of yoga while watching my stories. (“My stories” is code for “Good Eats” or generally anything that has anything to do with Alton Brown. I’m kind of in love with him.) I’m SOOOO glad to be doing my yoga again! I’ve been feeling a bit…big lately. And since I’ve started going to bed with my husband every night (because he keeps staying up until I want to go to bed) I haven’t done it in weeks. I decided to start doing it in the morning instead! Excellent decision on my part I think, I gets me pretty pumped for the day!

Anyway, one of my best friends has decided to take care of me in case my husband doesn’t wake up or wakes up too sick to take me out. He’s been one of my closest friends for nearly 15 years and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for me. He’s been one of my biggest supporters in all of this shit I’ve been going through lately and I love him very much. He’s decided that we’ll have a pizza-movie night if the significant other fails to take me out. So I’m looking forward to tonight either way!

Breakfast:

Fresh Pear Breakfast Bread

(This was my scaled-down version)

Streusel Topping

Directions:

  1. 1
    Core and finely dice pears, but do not peel. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Stir in wheat germ. Beat egg slightly and blend with milk, oil, and honey. Add to dry ingredients along with pears. Stir until mixed.
  2. 2
    Make streusel topping by combining all ingredients and mixing until crumbly.
  3. 3
    Pour batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan. Sprinkle with streusel topping. Garnish with additional pear slices, if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

*Yup, I STILL have pears to use! I have 3 left, though I think only 2 of them are still good. This, for me, was quick and easy. I did my yoga while waiting for it to bake. Perfection! I used a lemon honey butter instead of just regular honey and it gave it such a neat sweetness, texture and flavour! I eated the whole thing.

Lunch (at Cabela’s):

We took a small day-trip up to Cabela’s, which I’d like to make clear that I don’t condone hunting unless you’re planning on using/eating what you hunt, and had lunch in their cafe while we were there. This is actually very close to what I had! I of course, forgot to take pics of my food…I had a salad with fat free Raspberry vinaigrette (oddly enough, this was what I was in the mood for!) and a smoked elk sandwich with lettuce and tomato! I love trying new things!

And while I forgot to take pics of my own meal, I got this great picture of another animal enjoying HIS meal:

Mmmmmmm! Looks like a delicious…whatever that is!! I was fascinated with this guy.

Dinner:

I IKNOW y’all know I only used these pictures because I like the plates…

I had…ohhh about a 1/3 serving of lasagna and a 1/3 serving of veal cacciatore. I gave my husband the bigger half of my lasagna (then I didn’t even finish it) and he gave me 1 of the 2 veal patties he had along with a little spaghetti (about 1/3 of what he had on the plate). I also had a salad (that we both couldn’t finish because they DROWNED it in dressing…I’m going to start asking for my dressing on the side again) and a piece of bread with a little butter. We split a bottle of wine and had a wonderful dinner! I was SO full though! I felt proud because I finally know when I can’t eat any more. I was comfortably full and said “I couldn’t eat another bite!’ just like I used to be able to! Hehe. If that makes sense.

We came back home and had some more wine, some fudge from Cabela’s (which I only ate half of…that was all I wanted…but they do have AMAZING fudge!) and watched some 30 Rock. I couldn’t have asked for a better evening and couldn’t have had a happier tummy. I’ve finally learned to listen to it again. After years of perfectly portioned meals and no snacks whatsoever (effectively teaching my body to forget what it’s like to “stop eating when you’re full”), it’s great to know that I am SATISFIED with not cleaning off my plate if I’m full and not eating just to eat. YAY!

Sometimes I’m not certain my weird issues I’ve been getting over really make sense, so if anyone needs clarification, just ask! I’ll try to describe it better. I want to be certain people really get what I’m trying to say just in case someone else is going through the same thing. I want people to know they’re not alone.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga