Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Pork’ Category

Lucky

I just got all sorts of weird lucky today.

The morning went EXACTLY as predicted. After turning down 5 people who tried to stop and pick me up to take me to work, I finally gave in and took a ride from one of my managers. I was laughing then, but it really was really really annoying. Which is why I simply gave up. Everyone there knows why I walk, and do they REALLY think no one else offered me a ride? Uhhhhhhhhg.

Everyone also knows the only one I accept rides from is G.

Everyone knows that.

He did not have to go to this meeting.

He will be there, but not until the meeting is over.

I hope to chat with him in passing. And I will be back at 4 when his shift is over for the movie.

I sit with PFH#2 which no one is shocked about. We adore each other.

There are muffins, which I do not partake of as I had cereal for breakfast. There will also be cake for our retiree who is showing up to party with us before we open.

Meeting is silly and pointless as most store meetings are. But it wasn’t terrible.

I stand around and chat with PFH#2 until #3 shows up for work. I stand around with him and eat cake and chat enthusiastically. I only eat half of my piece of cake. I took too much and did not want any more. Also, G is on a diet and could not have any. This made me feel bad. We have a blast talking until the store opens and he has to go work.

I chat again with #2 for a while before leaving myself. Everyone allows me to walk home.

On my walk, I find $20.

And people wonder why I walk.

I stop into a grocery store on the way home and decide I need some sort of protein as I am out of chicken. I search the meat department for something cheap when a certain mystery package catches my eye:

Thats right, just “Meat”. No other description whatsoever. And it was incredibly cheap. Only $2 for 2 lbs. Why is this perfectly awesome looking “meat” so cheap? No idea. It is not on a clearance so it is not old and there is nothing else like it on the shelf. I am content to take it.

Breakfast:

Cereal and cake (not pictured.)

Lunch:

Turkey Sammich

Dinner:

(Maybe) Seared Pork with Cherry flambe sauce and Roasted Parsnips

Taken from: http://homecooking.about.com/od/beefrecipes/r/blbeef49.htm

Ingredients:

1 can (16 ounces) pitted dark sweet cherries with juice
1/4 cup ruby port (I used Sherry)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon (drained) bottled horseradish (I had to use ginger, I wish I had horseradish)
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 large bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1 tablespoon mild olive oil
4 beef tenderloin steaks (6 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup kirsch (cherry brandy) (I only had regular brandy, but added cherry juice)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon grenadine syrup

Preparation:
Drain the cherry juice into a large saucepan and set the cherries aside. Add the port, beef broth, horseradish, tomato paste, shallot, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the mixture is reduced to about 2/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Dissolve the arrowroot in 1 teaspoon water and stir into the sauce. Simmer until the sauce is shiny and slightly thickened, 1 minute longer. Strain, cover, and set aside. (This can be prepared a few hours ahead. If you refrigerate the sauce, bring it to room temperature before proceeding.)

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper and add them to the hot oil. Brown the steaks on both sides and cook until medium-rare (about 6 minutes total) or to your liking. Transfer the steaks to a large platter.

Add the cherries and kirsch to the skillet and flambé. When the flames die out, reduce the heat to low and add the cherry sauce. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the butter and grenadine syrup. The sauce should be bright red. Return the beef to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Cook until the beef is heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Transfer the beef tenderloin steaks to warmed dinner plates. Spoon the cherry sauce over them and serve at once.

*As I had no idea what my meat was, I chose this just to use the cherries again. I had no Grenadine syrup and no canned cherry juice, so I basically made a simple syrup out of pureed cherries, water and sugar and used that instead. HOLY CRAP it was absolutely fabulous! I mean it was so good! I did a pretty amazing job if I do say so myself, AND it was the first time I ever did a flambe! YAY for setting food on fire! It was awesome!!!

 

I had SO much fun yet again with G at the movies. I walked to work to meet him, but brought a change of clothes so I could pretty myself up for our date. Nude heels, jeans and an emerald green sequin top. Even a little makeup…I just want everyone there to think he is the luckiest guy in the world to be out with someone as beautiful as me. We always have so much to talk about, car rides with him are a jumble of thoughts and randomness that amazes me every time. I just love everything about him. He treats me so wonderfully and I have so much fun with him. The next few days are going to suck so badly without him at work.

I miss him when he’s gone.

Exercise: About a 5 mile walk

Getting better at food

Things I have learned in the past 3 months:

#1) I love bad for me foods. Love them. But when I eat them every day or have too much of them in general, I feel bad. Usually both physically and mentally.

#2) I love good for me foods. LOVE them! And you can never have too much of a good thing!

#3) Even though I think binges will make me happy, they never ever do. Not even while I’m on one. Not before, not during and definitely not after.

#4) My love of cooking, thankfully, goes beyond the “control” aspect I originally used it for. I was afraid if I stopped counting calories I would no longer enjoy cooking. I love it more now than when I was on a “diet”. I no longer use it as an excuse to alienate myself from people, and now I can even share it with my friends and family!

I will take these things and learn from them. Especially #3. That one has been a big stumbling block. I feel like it’s one of those “Fool me once…” sort of things….and at this point its WAY past “…shame on me.”

Eating healthy this past week has really taught me how much more awesome I feel about me when I treat my body with the respect it deserves. It is not a trash can. It’s OK to have homemade mac & cheese, but not paired with chocolate chip peanut butter muffins for breakfast and deep fried sausage meatballs with heavy cream sauce for dinner. I need to balance the good with the bad. Having at least 1 sensible meal a day (lunch always being either soup or a sandwich…a salad would be acceptable as well) has REALLY helped open my eyes to the fact that I ENJOY making healthy meals just as much, if not MORE, than making unhealthy ones.

I wake up in the morning and, instead of asking myself, “What do I want for breakfast?” I ask, “How can I feel good about myself today?” and come up with a game plan.

Breakfast:

Banana Oatmeal Bread Mini Loaf

Taken from: http://www.pbfingers.com/2011/10/13/banana-oatmeal-bread-mini-loaf/

Serves: One
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 15 – 18 minutes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (also added nutmeg, allspice, a tiny bit of ground clove and a little ginger)
1/2 banana, mashed
1 egg white
1 tablespoon pumpkin butter (optional) (I just used regular margarine and added pumpkin spices to the recipe)

Note: If the banana doesn’t add enough sweetness for you, adding two teaspoons of brown sugar may help! (I of COURSE added this, just the 2 t though, no more than that!)

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2 Stir oats, baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl
3 Add banana, egg white and pumpkin butter and mix with a mixer until everything is combined and no clumps of banana remain
4 Spray mini loaf pan with cooking spray and pour batter into pan
5 Bake 15- 18 minutes, until loaf is set and springs back when touched lightly on top

*This recipe suggests breaking up the loaf on top of some greek yogurt, so that’s what I did! I put an extra little dollop on top and to finish sliced the other half of the banana and threw it on! This was MAD yummy, and of course I felt great about myself after eating it!

Lunch:

My husband picked up a big pork loin that he cooked in a crock pot for about 8 hours or so. He told me I could use some if I wanted to, so of course there’s no way I’m passing up an opportunity for free food and fun experimentation!

Great Northern Bean and Lentil Stew with Ham

Adapted from: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2009/04/recipe-for-cannellini-bean-and-lentil.html

Ingredients:
2 (14.5 oz.) cans cannellini beans, or 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and cooked (I only had canned Great Northern Beans, but at least they were a white bean!)
3/4 cup brown lentils
5 cups ham stock or chicken stock (I used the juices from the cooked pork left in the crock pot…DAAAAAAMN!)
ham rinds or ham flavor base to flavor the stew (Optional, but recommended. If you don’t have ham rinds, use Ham Flavor Base, made by Penzeys or Goya.) (Since I used the pork juices, I didn’t think this step necessary for me)
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery (I ACTUALLY WENT AND BOUGHT CELERY FOR THIS!!!)
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup diced ham (or more if not using ham rinds or ham flavor base) (Obviously I used the crock-pot pork)
1-2 T balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
If using dried beans, soak overnight in cold water, then drain, add fresh water, and cook over low heat until beans are softened but still have a slight bite to them. This will take 40 minutes to an hour, or possibly more, depending on how old the beans are. When beans are cooked but firm, they’re ready to be used in the recipe.

If using canned beans, drain into colander placed in the sink, then rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears. Let drain until needed for recipe.

Chop carrots, celery, and onions into fairly small pieces. Chop ham into slightly larger pieces, reserving ham rinds if there are any.

In medium sized soup pot, add lentils, ham or chicken stock, carrots, celery, onions, parsley, bay leaves, dried thyme, dried oregano, and ham rinds if you have any. (If I don’t have ham rinds I use a teaspoon or so of ham flavor base.) Let simmer at low heat about 30 minutes, until lentils and vegetables are starting to soften.

Remove bay leaves and ham rinds (if using.) Add cannellini beans, diced ham, and about 1 cup water (depending on how much liquid has cooked out.) Continue to simmer at low heat, 45 minutes or more, until most of lentils have at least partly broken apart and dissolved into the broth. Taste for seasoning and add more black pepper and salt if desired. Stir in balsamic vinegar, turn off heat and serve hot.

*This was one of the best soups I’ve ever made, I even allowed it to simmer for an hour, normally I have a hard time waiting that long! It came out perfect and WONDERFUL and I accidentally made too much. There’s an average heaping 1 cup serving sitting in the fridge now next to some leftover mac and cheese from when my cousin was over. Maybe lunch tomorrow? We’ll see!

Dinner:

Roasted Butternut Squash sauce with Penne

Adapted from: http://andreasrecipes.com/2008/03/10/roasted-butternut-squash-with-penne/

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash, about 2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs sage leaves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
3 sprigs thyme leaves, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth or light vegetable broth
1-1/2 cups low-fat milk or soy milk
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
16 ounces penne pasta
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or fresh breadcrumbs

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

2. Stand the squash on the large end. Use a large knife or cleaver and cut in half from the stem to the bottom. If you have a rubber mallet, you can use it to tap the blunt side of the blade to help push the knife through the squash. Place the cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the skin can be easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and put it into a bowl. Mash the squash until it’s smooth.

4. In the 3-quart pot, heat the olive oil and saute the shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until they soften. Add the mashed squash, sage, stock, and milk. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm while cooking the pasta.

5. Reduce oven heat to 350° F.

6. In the 8-quart pot bring water to a boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente, not too soft. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid from the sauce in the oven, so don’t overcook it. Drain well and put back into the pot.

7. Pour the sauce over the pasta in the pot, stirring to mix well. Pour sauce and pasta into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 15 minutes, until the sauce is a little bubbly and the cheese is a light gold color. Serve hot.

*I did not bake mine as I didn’t feel like it and was too anxious to eat since it looked so good! I also added chopped pecans, a little chicken (which I cooked with the onions and garlic) and some chopped tomato on top. Delectable! The pecans added the perfect body and crunch! I kept thinking I should add some other veggie or something to it, but decided against that, and I’m glad I did. It was perfect the way it was! For dessert I normally have ice cream, but ran out. So instead I had the rest of those Airheads I had laying around. They’re only 60 cals each and I had 3 of them which about equals a small bowl of ice cream! I was happy!

My husband woke up earlier than expected today, so I couldn’t do my yoga. That always puts a little bump in how I feel about myself for the day. I also injured my ankle 2 days ago and its still pretty swollen, so I decided against the gym. Instead, I just did some nice low-impact stair stepping here at home. I hate not being able to go to the gym though. I feel like a sloth (which are adorable by the way…so I feel lazy, yet adorable) so I have to get up and do SOMETHING. I felt decently good about myself afterwards, here’s hoping my ankle feels better tomorrow!

Exercise: 1/2 hour on stair stepper

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! ~_^

Quick post

I had a lot to do and therefore didn’t get my post in for today until late, sorry about that. I still took pics of everything! I had a major project to start though and so took all of my time doing that. I actually have to get that one finished today so my next post might be short too. I will let you know if I was able to finish it! I try to get my stuff done by 7 so I can go to the gym, come home, make myself dinner, relax for a little while then go to bed. I think I can get it done!

Breakfast:


Strawberry & Cream Stuffed French Toast Casserole
Makes: 12 Servings  |  Prep Time: 30 minutes  |  Cook Time: 1 hr
To print recipe click here

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of Challah Bread
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 16 oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 quart Strawberries
  • 1/2 of lemon’s juice
  • cinnamon

This recipe is best made the night before you plan on serving.

Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Tear half the bread into pieces and cover the bottom of the baking dish completely.

Blend softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 egg in a bowl. Spread evenly over top the challah bread pieces in the baking dish.

Next slice strawberries and cook in a saucepan over medium heat with 1/4 cup of sugar and the juice from half a lemon. Cook till strawberries are soft and juices begin to bubble, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, spread evenly on top of cream cheese layer.

Tear the remaining Challah bread into pieces and place on top of strawberries covering them completely.

Lastly mix milk, cream, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl. One by one blend in 5 eggs. Fold in Bailey’s Irish cream and evenly pour mixture over top of casserole. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or for best results, overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover casserole and bake for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how firm or soft you like your french toast. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm.

*This was really good despite the fact that I didn’t care for the look/texture of the cream cheese…it was sort of “grainy”-looking and I wished it was smoother, more custardy-looking. I will have to try this again with a different cream cheese filling and see if I like the results better!

Lunch:

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Ingredients Serves 8 servings
1 cup quinoa
1 tbsp butter
2 cups chicken broth
12 cup green bell pepper (diced)
12 cup red onion (diced)
1 cup corn
15 ozs black beans (drained)
14 cup chopped cilantro
1 tomatoes (diced)
12 cup fresh lime juice (taste)
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
2 tbsps olive oil>
1 tbsp adobo seasoning
12 cup feta cheese
salt
black pepper
1 Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water, and drain. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir the quinoa until the water has evaporated and the quinoa is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the broth, about 10 minutes. Cool quinoa in refrigerator at least 10 minutes.
2 Mix together green pepper, red onion, corn, black beans, cilantro, tomato, lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, adobo seasoning, and feta cheese in a large salad bowl. Lightly stir in the quinoa, and season with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice to taste, if desired. Chill the salad at least 30 minutes before serving; serve cold.

*LOVED this! It was a perfect compliment to the “bad-for-me” breakfast that I had! I just wanted something really super light, so a salad was perfect! I also wanted to be certain to get in lots of protein before my workout, so the black beans and quinoa were key!

Dinner:

Peking-Style Pork Chop/Spare Ribs(Strawberry Pork Chop)(Ching Du Pai Gu) (京都排骨)

Yields: 3-4 Servings
Cooking Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2 hours 30 min
Ingredients:

Pork:

  • 3 Pork Chops cut into 5-7 cm pieces (2-3 inches) OR 500 gm of Pork Spare Ribs (1 lb)
  • 100 gm Potato starch or Corn starch (1/2 cup)
  • 500 mL of water (2 cups)
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 ml of Sesame Oil (1 tsp)
  • 10 gm of Baking powder (2 tsp)
  • pinch of salt

Sauce:

  • 100 gm of Strawberries, smashed (about 3 oz)
  • 30 gm packed brown sugar (2 1/2 tbsp)
  • 30 mL of Soy Sauce (2 tbsp)
  • 45 mL of Hoisin Sauce or Kecap Manis (3 tbsp)
  • 30 mL Chinese Rice wine or Sake (2 tbsp)
  • 30 mL Oyster Sauce (2 tbsp)
  • 15 mL Korean Hot pepper paste (Gochujang) (2 tbsp)
  • 10 mL Srichacha Chilli Sauce (or any hot sauce) (2 tsp)
  • 45 mL of water (3 tbsp)
  • 30 mL Vinegar (2 tbsp)
  • 5 mL sesame oil (1 tsp)

Method:

  • Prepare the batter, combine the potato starch or corn starch in a large bowl and mix it well with water.  Leave it on the counter for 2 hours.  It should separate into two layers.  Drain of the water, and add in the egg white.  Mix until the batter becomes runny.  Add in the sesame oil, baking powder, and salt.
  • Prepare the meat.  Cut the pork into 5-7 cm (2-3 inch) pieces.  Pound the pork with a kitchen hammer, meat tenderiser or heavy pot to flatten it.  This will make the pork very tender.
  • Add the pork to the batter and coat it evenly.
  • Heat the oil to medium heat at 180 C (350 F), and fry the pork until a little golden (about 4 min).  Remove the pork and let it drain on paper towel.  Let it cool slightly before frying the second time.
  • Heat the oil to medium-high heat to 190 C (375 F) and fry the pork again for 2 min until they become very golden brown and crispy.  Remove and drain again.
  • Combine the ingredients for sauce and then put in a pan or wok on medium heat.  Let the sauce boil and reduce in volume by about 1/2.  It should become sticky and and glossy.
  • Add in pork, coat the sauce evenly, and serve with rice

*Someday I may attempt a real deep-fry, but I was simply too anxious to try it today. I’d already had a really crazy unhealthy breakfast, so I wanted to keep the oil consumption down to a minimum. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have even tried this one today, I should have done something simpler. I was really curious about this batter though and wanted to see if it was possible to get the crispiness described using only a little oil. The results were still delicious, but I’d rather try the full deep-frying method next time. I’ll have to pick a day where I eat mainly healthy for the rest of the day and add this in at the end! Otherwise, this was absolutely delicious! I’d love to get that crispy texture though! I served this with shredded carrots and orange sweet pepper strips on a bed of sticky rice.

Once again, sorry this post was so late and quick! I will do better tomorrow!

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

It’ll probably be a long day

I have to get at LEAST 2 out of 3 projects done today, if not all 3 (which is not happening) but at least I know I get to take an hour and a half out to go work out! I LOVE that I’ve joined a gym! Just love it! It’s so great to have somewhere to get away and out of the house to!

I desperately need some new music for my workout mix though! I love everything. There is literally no genre of music I will not listen to or at least try and listen to. Give me suggestions! Especially nice fast-paced stuff I could run to!

Breakfast:

Upside-Down Sausage-Apple Muffins

Taken from: http://unconfidentialcook.com/2009/03/12/upside-down-sausage-apple-muffins-rr-the-first-unconfidential-cooks-dinner/

(MAKES 6 JUMBO CUPCAKES; TOTAL TIME ABOUT 1 HOUR)

FOR THE MUFFINS

1 1/2 C.  ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1/2 C. CORNMEAL
1/3 C. PACKED BROWN SUGAR
1 TBSP. BAKING POWDER
1 TSP. BAKING SODA
1/8 TSP. KOSHER SALT
1/2 C. PLAIN NONFAT YOGURT OR BUTTERMILK  (I used yogurt)
1/4 C. MILK
2 TBSP. VEGETABLE OIL
2 EGGS
1 EGG WHITE
1/2 LB. BULK BREAKFAST SAUSAGE
1 FUJI APPLE, CORED AND THINLY SLICED

FOR THE CARAMEL
1 C. PACKED BROWN SUGAR
1/3 C. HEAVY CREAM
1/4 C. MAPLE SYRUP
2 TBSP. BOURBON OR RUM, OPTIONAL  (I did not have any)
1 TSP. SALT

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. COAT CUPS OF JUMBO MUFFIN TINS WITH NONSTICK SPRAY.

COMBINE FLOUR, CORNMEAL, BROWN SUGAR, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA AND SALT IN A LARGE BOWL. COMBINE YOGURT, MILK, OIL, EGGS AND EGG WHITE IN ANOTHER BOWL. SET ASIDE.

BROWN SAUSAGE IN A SKILLET OVER MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT, ABOUT 5 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM PAN AND DRAIN ON PAPER TOWELS.

WHISK BROWN SUGAR, CREAM, SYRUP, RUM, AND SALT FOR CARAMEL TOGETHER IN A SKILLET OVER MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT, STIRRING OFTEN. BRING TO BOIL, REDUCE HEAT TO MEDIUM-LOW AND SIMMER FOR 10 MINUTES.

STIR SAUSAGE INTO FLOUR MIXTURE AND ADD YOGURT MIXTURE. STIR JUST UNTIL COMBINED; MIXTURE WILL BE SLIGHTLY LUMPY.

FAN THE APPLE SLICES IN THE BOTTOM OF EACH CUP. MAKE SURE THAT EACH SLICE MAKES SOME CONTACT WITH THE CUP.

SPOON ABOUT 4 TBSP. OF CARAMEL OVER APPLE SLICES IN EACH CUP, DIVIDING EVENLY AMONG CUPS.

TOP CARAMEL WITH ROUNDED 1/2 C. OF BATTER.

BAKE UNTIL TOOTHPICK INSERTED IN A MUFFIN COMES OUT CLEAN, ABOUT 30 MINUTES.  ( I SUGGEST UNDER-BAKING  SLIGHTLY.) LET COOL BRIEFLY BEFORE RUNNING A PARING KNIFE AROUND THE EDGE OF EACH MUFFIN SO THEY DROP OUT WHEN PAN IS INVERTED.

*I made a half-recipe which made 6 regular-sized muffins. Now these were DELICIOUS. I mean SPECTACULAR! But I had MAJOR problems with the caramel bubbling up and out of the bottom of each cup. Making a HUGE mess in my stove. I think this was due to the amount of caramel (which I only used half of what was called for since the recipe was originally for jumbo muffins and mine were regular-sized), but it could also be that I needed to almost try and push the muffin batter into the caramel at the bottom of each cup to sort of mix it in…I don’t really know. But the caramel/apple part at the bottom of each muffin wouldn’t solidify because it was so hot and liquidy (even after letting cool in the pan for 30 minutes), so I had to just pop out the muffin part and spoon the apples and caramel from the bottom of each cup onto the muffin. Which looked pretty and tasted absolutely amazing regardless! But there’s got to be a way to fix this problem. Any suggestions? I’d love to make these again, but might just make the muffins minus the caramel actually in the muffin pan and instead just spoon it over each one after they are baked and cooled.

I also felt that I HAD to eat all 6 of these because I had no way to store them and they were SO good I didn’t want to throw them out. So my lunch will probably be really light as I’m rather full of amazing muffinness!

Lunch:

I was not hungry and very busy during the day today. So due to my massive breakfast, I didn’t end up eating lunch. I also knew I was going to make myself an awesome, huge dinner, so it was ok!

Dinner:

Pork Chops with Mushrooms, Dill, and Sour Cream Sauce

Taken from: http://www.closetcooking.com/2008/12/pork-chops-with-mushrooms-dill-and-sour.html

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
4 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion (sliced)
1 (8 ounce) package cremini mushrooms (sliced)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons dill (chopped)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.
3. Saute the pork chops until just cooked all the way through and golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side and set aside.
4. Melt the butter in the pan.
5. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
7. Add the tomato paste, flour, paprika, dill, salt and pepper and stir.
8. Add the stock and deglaze the pan.
9. Simmer until the sauce thickens.
10. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and dill.

*MAJOR YUM! Exactly what I wanted, no sugar or fruit or sweet of any kind. I was all about savory after my insane breakfast! The dill went so amazing with the pork. I also steamed some cauliflower as a side and put some of the sauce onto that too. Very filling, very very good!

I did get 1 out of 3 projects done. Meh…at least I got one done. We had to run some errands in the middle of the day, so that messed up my workflow. But on the bright side, blackberries and strawberries were on sale! I can’t wait to make something with them in the morning!

I hear that if you look forward to breakfast in the morning it means you’re old.

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

Dishes

Who else here likes doing the dishes?

I find it to be a part of cooking. Since I love and adore cooking so much I actually like to do dishes. I like to see a clean, beautiful kitchen just waiting in anticipation for me to mess it up again with my next meal. ^_^ (Or cupcakes.) For me its just a cycle of amazing and I’m certain my husband doesn’t mind in the slightest.

Breakfast:

Miss Pistachio’s Fucking INSANE Mango Pear Crepes of Awesomeness

1 heaping dose of AWESOME
1 Pear
1/2 Mango
Tons of leftover Mango Cream Cheese glaze stuff

Crepe recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk (preferably whole) (I used Vanilla Almond Milk…AMAZING!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter, plus more for cooking crepes
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Put the flour and salt and in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a small pat of butter in the pat and swirl around so that it lightly coats the surface.

Add 1/3 cup of the batter and move your wrist in a circular pattern to coat the pan with thin even layer of batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until the first side browns lightly, then flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

*These actually were born from the fact that I sorta screwed up my frosting yesterday. I added way too much mango puree and it thinned out the frosting into something I simply couldn’t work with. I added more powdered sugar, more cream cheese and more butter until it was a workable consistency, but then I was stuck with a TON of it! I had to use it up somehow! So these crepes are filled with and topped with this insane cream cheese concoction along with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top, mainly for presentation because it QUITE OBVIOUSLY did not need any more sugar hehe. They were sinfully delicious, I mean I could feel my former self starting to ask how many calories I was probably consuming. Then the new me told the old me to stuff it.

Lunch:

Tomato Caprese and Pesto sandwich with chicken noodle soup. Work lunch! Also y’all know I have a thing for cool bowls.

Dinner:

Pork and Veggie stir fry with Avocado Peanut Sauce

Sauce:
1 small ripe Avocado
1 T Peanut Oil
2 T Peanut Butter (whichever you prefer, I think I ran out of the natural stuff and used chunky…worked just as well)
2 T Lime Juice
1 t Chili Powder
1 T Soy Sauce
2 T Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Stock (Vegetable, Chicken, whatever! Or just use water)

For the stir fry:
1 serving of Pork, cut into chunks
1 Carrot, cut into chunks
1/3 cup Peas
1/4 small Onion, sliced
2/3 Yellow Pepper, sliced
1 clove Garlic
1 piece Ginger in sweet syrup (I bought this stuff for the cuppycakes, now I gotta use it up!)

Saute the pork chunks in some sesame oil until no longer pink. Add onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add carrot, peas and pepper. Wisk sauce ingredients together while that is cooking. Its a lot of sauce, so you can either use like, 2/3 of it, or use it all and allow it to cook down, which is what I did. I cooked it on medium high for about 10 minutes and let the sauce thicken and reduce. I’m telling ya, this was the way to go! It was so flavourful and the avocado gave it such a nice sweetness. I can’t even describe! This was also a great way to make certain the carrots were cooked through. Perfect! GOD I just love a good peanut sauce! Oh yeah, I served this on top of sticky rice.

Work at the retail job was actually fun! We were BUSY, but I felt MUCH better and actually wanted to work! I was constantly either on the phone, putting stuff away, ringing at register, or helping people in the store. I mean it was just a never-ending cycle. I don’t know why we were so immensely busy, but it was a crazy night! It went by really really fast though! I also had my favorite co-worker there…FOOD BLOG! Come on buddy, you know you want to start one!!! I KNOW YOU’RE READING THIS!

Tomorrow morning I leave for Cleveland with my husband, his best friend, and his mom. Yeah, so much for a nice romantic weekend away eh? :< I’m hoping it won’t be all that bad. When I get home on Sunday afternoon, I’m going off to join that gym! YES! I can’t even wait! I’m hoping to work out that night, then come home and make myself an amazing dinner. GAH it’s going to be so great you don’t even know! Gotta get my Steven Colbert workout bag ready!

Exercise: 8 hours at retail job bouncing from here to there, but being a super-happy individual!

 

Eating better FTW

My husband went to his mother’s house yesterday while I was at work for dinner. He ended up bringing home a barrage of cookies and fudge and sweet things. Now while I’m obviously not adverse whatsoever to eating these things…its odd how much I’m changing about the way I think of them. How normal I’m getting again. Because sure, I can eat as much of them as I want. But I didn’t want any. I made my dinner, which was awesome, ate it, realized I was out of ice cream…but didn’t for a second let that bother me. It was like “Oh right, I’m out of ice cream. Do I want a cookie instead? Meh…not really…hell I don’t even really want ice cream right now. I think I’m set for the night.” and that was it! No big deal. I didn’t want any, I didn’t eat any. It was so weird to NOT WANT. Does that make sense? It was wonderful, but weird. I feel so…normal again.

I had a dream last night that was also amazing in a superneat way. In this dream I had gained back a tiny little amount of weight. Not a ton. Enough that I would be more in a normal weight range instead of at the edge of being underweight. Like maybe around 135 lbs. In this dream was one of my celebrity crushes (I dare you to guess ~_^) and he was obviously rather attracted to me. Not in some over-the-top overly sexual way. He was quite shy about it, and it was cute and lovely. And in a way it was very reassuring. I’m beautiful. Even if I gain a little weight back (which I probably should) I’m still beautiful. And in fact, I’d probably be a bit MORE attractive with a little extra weight on me. I sure felt sexy in my dream. Sexy enough to catch the eye of someone *I* find sexy! Even WITH the weight! How cool was that? How neat is my subconscious for helping me along like that?  I think it really means my brain is changing. The way I’m thinking about myself and my body is really truly changing! YAY!

Breakfast:

Peach-Raspberry Buttermilk Bread Pudding
Adapted from the LA Times
8 cups stale sourdough bread (with crusts on) cut into 1 1/2 inch squares
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
2 1/2 pounds ripe but firm peaches (about 8), peeled, pitted and sliced one-eighth-inch thick
1 teaspoon butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the bread, buttermilk, heavy cream, milk, raspberries and lemon zest and set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, lemon juice, and peaches, to coat; set aside.

Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with butter; set aside. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, salt and remaining 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a medium bowl, then add to the bread mixture. Add the peaches and stir well to combine. Transfer to the prepared dish and spread out evenly.

Sprinkle the additional sugar over the top and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, covering with a sheet of foil if parts of the top get too dark, about 1 1/4 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream.

*Though I DO have canned peaches from this summer, I needed to use up the rest of that papaya, so I substituted that instead. JUST as good! I think maybe I used a little too much bread because it wasn’t as pudding-like as I thought it would be, but all the taste was there! I LOVED the buttermilk in this! I sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top as well! I wish I had more raspberries, I used the very last little bit of what I had, same with the papaya. Next time I make this I will use more fruit and less bread.

Lunch:

Tuna & Pineapple Favourite

ingredients

10g butter
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornflour
1½ cups reduced fat milk
¾ cup drained, canned pineapple pieces
½ cup frozen corn, cooked following packet instructions
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
425g can tuna, drained
½ cup grated reduced fat tasty cheese
Fresh basil or parsley leaves for garnish

instructions

step 1

Heat butter in a medium saucepan, add spring onion and cook for 1 minute.

step 2

Blend cornflour with 2 tablespoons of the milk and add to saucepan with remaining milk, stirring for 2 minutes or until boiled and thickened.

step 3

Stir in pineapple, corn and lemon rind, gently fold in drained tuna and heat through.

step 4

Spoon mixture into 4 x 1 cup ovenproof pots, sprinkle with cheese and place under a preheated grill for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.

*These were surprisingly yummy! I had an insanely late lunch, so it was something very easy and at this point I love anything topped with a bunch of cheese, so life is good! This was also a great way to take care of the rest of that pineapple I had!

Dinner:

Pork, Onion and Potato stir fry with Coconut Peanut sauce

For the stir fry:
1 cut of Pork
3 tiny Potatoes, cubed (I tend to pre-cook mine in the microwave for 2 minutes)
1 cup Mixed Mushroom slices
1/4 small Yellow Onion, sliced
1 clove Garlic, minced
Fresh Ginger, minced
1/2 T Peanut Oil

For the sauce:
1/2 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon panang curry paste or red curry paste (I accidentally left this out, but it was still amazing!)
1/8 cup coconut milk
1/8 cup chicken stock
1.5 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon chili sauce (or 1 birds eye chili, sliced)
1 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons peanuts (roasted and crushed)

Stir fry pork in the peanut oil. When no longer pink, add onion, garlic and ginger. Fry up another minute or so. Add cooked potato chunks and mushrooms. Wisk all sauce ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to pork mixture. Cook until sauce is of desired thickness. I served mine on soba noodles.

*Now THIS was a decent peanut sauce recipe! I didn’t have any real peanuts so I ended up just using 2T of peanut butter. It was also suggested to me that I use the “natural” kind of peanut butter and I really feel that this did make a difference! I also of course accidentally left out the red paste (oops) but was still rather impressed with this sauce! I keep trying to find a good recipe that really compares to what I have in restaurants, but am slowly realizing that unless I buy some real specialty ingredients, this is probably about the best that I will get. And it is more than acceptable!

I also ended up having a couple little snacks while watching TV with the husband. A few cookies, a brownie, and of course my usual small serving of ice cream for dessert! I’m treating myself to something new (GASP!) and bought Blue Bunny’s White Chocolate Macadamia Nut ice cream! DAAAAAAAAAAMN! But the awesome part was that I was able to STOP eating the sweets. We still have a lot more left! I didn’t smash on it all! I had a few of these, a sampling of that, and a little brownie chunk. I’m incredibly proud of myself! I actually took the day “off” because it will be my last one in a while. Work is going to be overwhelming and crazy for the rest of the week, so I figured one day of not sewing was not going to kill me. I did get lots of exercise in as I went to the park with my husband for a while. It was a GORGEOUS warm winter day! I HAVE to take advantage of those!

Exercise: 1/2 hour on the stair stepper, 1 hour of walking in the park