Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Pumpkin / Apple Pie spice’ Category

Just a little longer

My lovely is taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. How it works: Start writing on November 1st. Write at least 1,500 words a day. By the end of the month, you will have successfully written a 50,000 word novel.

I am strongly encouraging him in this endeavor. It’s already been established that I do not plan on getting to see him much this month since he will be writing, and that this is okay. I want him to do this. He NEEDS to do this. He doesn’t have to convince me, I already know how important this is to him. You should have seen the look on his face,  just  so very excited. A kid on Christmas. Writing makes him so happy. It makes him who he is. I’ve taken that away from him (unwittingly) for 5 months now. My only request was that I get to see him on my birthday. This was already the plan, apparently, and it was also made known to me that I am invited to Thanksgiving dinner at his parents’ house as well. I can’t wait. His mom is the coolest person I’ve never met.

I did not take a picture of breakfast. It was just cereal. A certain flea market is open today that I wish to go to today. The television simply needs to be elevated off of the floor. Our necks will thank me.

I didn’t have to shop for terribly long before finding it. A nice, short little black wooden table with a grid-like pattern on all sides. $10. Sold. The old man assisting me even gave me a deal on it, $8. Even more sold! He tried to flirt with me all the way to my car. I was regaled with comments of how pretty I am and how thin I am and how much he loves my hair. He asked if I “was a size zero, or something”. Men don’t know a lot about sizes. They also don’t care. A man couldn’t care less if I am a size zero or a size 5. There is literally absolutely no difference to them. We walk around like it’s the difference between life and death…and they don’t even notice. Though I’ve always known that my disordered eating had nothing to do with what men find attractive, it really hit home today. I felt great about myself. I told the man that, though I was completely uninterested, his comments about my size actually did more for me than he could realize and I appreciated them very much. I even gave him a hug.

Thank you, creepy old man.

I did not have time for lunch. I got home, set up my television on my table, took a shower, and cleaned up the apartment a little for G’s arrival. He, of course, couldn’t stay long. He had to go home and write. I completely understood and started walking him to the door. He asked me what time it was. It was only around 5:30. He talked to me for a couple minutes longer then again requested the time. Just a little after 5:30. He decided he could stay for a movie and popcorn.

We watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Wonderful film! It was beautifully shot! He left at around 9:30, which is early for him. I did make dinner for myself:

Butternut Squash and Potato Red Curry

I WANTED to use up some coconut milk that I had. The milk turned out to be bad. Dammit. I didn’t realize this until after I’d started cooking. So I used yogurt instead, but if you were to make this for yourself, use coconut milk! Yogurt was fine, it just wasn’t the effect I wanted.

Ingredients:

Butternut squash, cubed
Potato, cubed
Onion, sliced
Ginger, freshly grated
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 t Red Curry Paste
Pinch of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Brown Sugar
Crushed Red Pepper
1/3 cup Coconut Milk (I used yogurt as a substitute…in my own recipe. Fantastic.)
1/4 cup chicken stock
S&P
Optional – Cornstarch to thicken the sauce if need be, but the potatoes should add enough starch to thicken it

Fry the potatoes and squash in a little olive oil for 10 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until onion is translucent. Add spices and curry paste. Add coconut milk and stock and allow to cook down to desired thickness, 5 – 10 minutes or so depending. If sauce is still not thick enough, add a little cornstarch.

*The yogurt is also a fine substitute, but really, the coconut milk was what I wanted. Use that. I promise it will taste just as good, if not better!

I do not know when I will get to see my beau again. It pains me, but I know he is happy writing. And I’m a big girl. I can take it.

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!)

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! ~_^

What is happiness?

I thought I knew what it was when I was growing up. I was always extremely energetic and happy. I was always positive. Always looked at the bright side of things. ALWAYS.

I believed that not being happy was a decision. That you could turn it on and off. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why anyone would “choose” to remain unhappy all the time. To be depressed.

Even as I got older and got married to a manic-depressive, even as I learned that depression is NOT a choice, but a chemical imbalance in the head…I STILL felt that you could just DECIDE to be happy one day. And to just be happy. Why couldn’t depressed people just BE happy? Don’t they want to be happy? Don’t they want to just kick their sadness to the curb? So why don’t they just do it?

Then I went on a diet.

I was not eating the right foods. I wasn’t eating enough calories for my body to function. I wasn’t getting the right nutrients for my brain to work properly. And so my brain stopped working normally. I became very depressed. Moody. I would lash out at my husband and everyone else for no reason. My friends stopped inviting me out. But I didn’t care. I didn’t want to see them anyway. Everything annoyed me. They annoyed me. My husband annoyed me. All he would have to do was wake up in the morning and walk into the room and I would roll my eyes and go “Oh great…he’s up…” in my head. He didn’t even have to DO ANYTHING but exist.

And I couldn’t turn it off. I wanted SO BADLY to be happy. SO badly. But I just hated everything and everyone all the time so much. I hated myself more than any of them. I *HATED* myself. I thought maybe if I just lost a couple more pounds I would like myself again. And I would, for a little while. But then I would have to lose more. And more. Until I literally couldn’t lose anything else without being considerably underweight. Well now what? Now that I can’t lose any more weight, what will make me happy? I was absolutely miserable.

And so was my husband.

He told me how unhappy he was being with me. “Can’t you see that you’re the exact person that I was before going on medication? That person who turned on a dime from one mood to another? That person you couldn’t stand to be around? Well now that’s you. Maybe YOU need to be on medication.”

Those words kicked me in the face.

And I knew I didn’t need medication. I needed to kick this ED. I needed to eat the right nutrients to fix my brain. I knew WHY it wasn’t working right. I just needed to make that decision to fix it.

And I did.

That day I told my ED to shove off. And from there on out have become my incredibly happy-go-lucky self again!

So IS happiness a decision? Is it nothing but how the chemicals in your brain work? Do YOU make you happy? Or do the chemicals make you happy? Is it a combination of both? What do you think?

Now that I AM happy again, I still can’t figure out what happiness actually is. But I certainly have learned an awful lot about what depression is. I won’t ever go back. And that IS a decision.

Breakfast:

Apple Raisin Quinoa

From: http://www.epicorganic.net/tag/quinoa/

    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup orange juice (I used Unsweetened Almond Milk)
    • 2 cups apple juice (I used Apple Cider)
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp allspice
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 apples, diced
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used Pecans)

Toast the quinoa dry, in a saucepan, for 3 minutes while dicing the apples. Add OJ and apple juice to the quinoa, along with all the spices. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Add the apples, raisins, and maple syrup, and simmer 10 more minutes. Stir in almonds and serve.

*My stomach was just SCREAMING for something healthy. Not that I’m awful at eating or anything, but after that buffet yesterday it absolutely insisted that it didn’t want any cakes or muffins or crumbles or anything like that hehe. This was yummy, healthy, and very filling! I made a 1/3 recipe of this and topped it with a dollop of low-fat Vanilla Yogurt! PERFECT!

Lunch:

Creamy Sweet Potato and Candied Ginger Soup

Taken from: http://coffeepot.wordpress.com/2007/02/16/creamy-sweet-potato-and-candied-ginger-soup/

2 pounds sweet potatoes (2-3 pounds maybe)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot — minced
1 clove garlic — minced
3 cups skim milk
1 cinnamon stick — 2″
4 pieces candied ginger root — chopped
4 tablespoons pine nuts (pignolia) — toasted
salt to taste

Bake your sweet potatoes in the microwave and allow to cool a bit before you peel them.

In a saute pan fry your shallot and garlic for a couple of minutes then add your milk.

Add the ginger and cinnamon stick and allow the mixture to steep about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.

Put your peeled sweet potatoes in a food processor and pour the milk mixture slowly through the tube while running. Process until smooth and creamy. Salt to taste.

Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan on the stove top and then garnish the soup in serving bowls while still warm.

You can add a bit more milk if too thick before serving. Like I said I didn’t really weigh the ugly sweet potato.

*Perfect on a cold winter’s day! Knowing that I’m going to be having a rather unhealthy dinner (Steak & Shake…I promised a friend I’d have a Frisco Melt with him!) I went for something warm, filling and good for you for lunch! VERY good and I used my homemade candied ginger! I also used a yam instead of a sweet potato (there IS a difference!) and it was wonderful!

Dinner:

So I had one of these puppies and some fries. This was always my favorite sandwich at Steak N Shake. I hadn’t had one of these in YEARS. A close friend of mine sympathetic toward my recovery decided I needed to have one and we made a date about a week ago. We had a wonderful time and of course the food was amazing ^_^.  I also had a small bowl of ice cream when I came home.

Tomorrow is another wonderful day! I can’t wait!

Exercise: 1.5 hours at gym, 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

Delivery?

I’ve decided that I should offer some form of delivery service called “Who wants the other half of my breakfast?”. I post what I had, maybe with a picture, and depending on how far I have to drive and whatnot, for like $8 or something I’ll deliver the other half of my breakfast to your house or place of business. My husband doesn’t appreciate most of what I make and I prefer making myself something new and exciting every day as opposed to eating leftovers. Lately I’ve been making WAY too much food for myself and already have 2 other halves of breakfast waiting for me in the fridge. Now I have this to add to it:

Breakfast:

Sour Cream Pumpkin Coffee Cake

(makes 9+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3 cups pumpkin puree
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter (melted)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts
Directions:
1. Mix the flours, baking powder and soda in a bowl.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in another bowl.
3. Mix the vanilla extract and eggs into the butter and sugar.
4. Mix 1/2 of the dry ingredients into the wet followed by 1/2 of the sour cream and repeat.
5. Mix the pumpkin puree, egg, sugar and spices in yet another bowl.
6. Mix the flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and butter until they for crumbs.
7. Mix the nuts into the streusel.
8. Pour half of the batter into a greased baking dish.
9. Sprinkle on half of the streusel.
10. Pour the pumpkin mixture on next.
11. Pour the remaining batter on top.
12. Sprinkle on the remaining streusel.
13. Bake in a preheated 350F until a toothpick pushed in to the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
*I also added chopped dried apricots into the batter. This is TOO amazing not to share, and its not fair because I know my husband won’t like it. So it’s nice and warm and perfect right out of the oven right now and no one is going to eat the other half. I’ll put it into a container and into the fridge and won’t remember its there and won’t eat it. I need to start this delivery service…
Lunch:
For lunch I was at work. I had a turkey wrap and chicken noodle soup. And a banana. I wasn’t going to post a pic, but I’m just gonna find a pic of a banana.
Dinner:
Pumpkin Avocado Cashew stir fry on Couscous
For the Sauce:
Lets see….probably about 3/4 cup of Coconut Milk
1 T Tomato Paste
Heaping 1/4 t Curry Powder
1/4 t Chinese 5-Spice Powder
2 T Brown Sugar
For the stir fry:
Onion
Yellow Summer Squash
1 clove Garlic
Broccoli
Pumpkin
Avocado
Cashews (chopped and some whole for garnish)
S&P to taste
I whipped this up really quick last night after getting home from work and shopping (we’re getting a cat, so we went out to buy kitty food, litter box, toys, etc…) and got avocados on clearance and had to use them immediately. SO I threw everything together and it was awesome. I was too lazy to thaw out any meat so the cashews added some protein. I just stir fried all of the veggies in olive oil, added some cooked pumpkin chunks (which were very soft) and then threw in the sauce ingredients. Since the pumpkin was so soft, a lot of it kinda broke down into the sauce, which was QUITE yummy! Then I added in chunks of 1 small avocado, let it heat through, and served it on top of couscous. GREAT last minute easy meal!
So I’m off tomorrow! YAY! I can’t do this working retail every day thing…I can’t wait to get back into my working-from-home pattern. My best friend’s birthday is tomorrow and I plan on making her some mango ginger cupcakes!! Here’s hoping I don’t epic fail this shit…wish me luck!!!!
Exercise: 8 hours at retail job (yet again)