Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Sage’ Category

Curiosity!

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

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

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

Breakfast:

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

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

Lunch:

Tomato Salad

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

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

Dinner:

Apple Sausage Meatballs with Apple Raisin Wine sauce and Mashed Potatoes

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

Apple Sausage Balls

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

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

I made these exactly as instructed!

Sauce:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Advertisements

COUCH DAY! (For real this time!)

I finally got my couches!!! YAY!!!!!!

My same friend came back to help me, who is AMAZING and cool and all my friends are cool.

So now I have places for people to sit.

Nothing to do or watch or anything when they get here…but at least there’s something to sit on.

AND I LOVE THEM!!!!

Maybe I’ll take pics for you kids.

Breakfast:

Baked Banana Oatmeal

Adapted from: http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/baked-banana-oatmeal

1) Bananas

Slice 2 bananas. You can add these however you like – in with the wet ingredients or arranged in a pattern on the top (and/or bottom!) of the dish. (You’ll need an additional mashed banana for the wet ingredients below)

2) Combine the dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

3) Combine the wet ingredients:

  • 1 egg, beat
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1.5 cups skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ADDED: Orange zest

4) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix well.

5) Line an 8″ pan (square or round) with parchment paper (for easy removal and cutting!).

6) Layer some banana slices on the bottom. Pour batter into pan. Top with remaining banana slices.

7) Pop into a 375* oven for about 26 minutes.

After 26 minutes, increase heat to broil, sprinkle oatmeal with 1 heaping tbsp brown sugar and broil for 3-4 minutes.

For the topping, I added walnuts and coconut.

*This would have been fabulous had I not managed to burn the top during the broiling phase. I’m just not used to my oven yet and it was the first time I’d used the broiler. Oops. Well, I just scraped off the burned pieces and ate it anyway, it was still really good! Just not as fantastic as it could have been. Damn…

Lunch:

PB&J + Apple. My usual quick lunch when I have a lot going on.

Dinner:

Sweet Potato Sage Pasta Sauce on Vegetable Linguini

OK Jesus H I’d better remember how I made this because it was SO good…amounts? Not so much…ingredients I can at least list…

Butter
Garlic
Onions
Olive Oil

I made a brown butter base with those ingredients. When the butter browned I added:

Chopped Tomato
Diced Green Pepper
Fresh chopped Sage
A little fresh chopped Lemon Mint
Pureed Sweet Potato (with a little milk)
Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
S&P to taste
Water
Brown Sugar

I simmered all that together for a little while, sort of let it reduce down to the consistency I wanted. It was INFUCKINGCREDIBLE. I am amazing. I love sage, and its been a while since I’ve made a good sauce with sage. Well, brown butter and sweet potato go AMAZING with sage, so I figured I’d sort of combine all of them. This did NOT disappoint.

Now I get to wake up at 5 AM to go to work tomorrow. Not a problem…..except a certain Potential Future Husband #1 is keeping me awake online being all sweet to me….

I told you he’s trying damn hard to win me back.

It’s working.

I do have a movie date with Potential Future Husband #3 tomorrow though.

It’s weird being single again.

I’m enjoying 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…)

Nicole and Gwendylon play-date day!!!

EXCITING!

I get to have lunch with Nicole and Gwendylon from nicoleandgwendolyn.com!!! SO very happy!

Start the day early! Lots of work to do before I go out! Glad I did one of those “make-ahead” breakfasts that you let sit in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning! Just add the eggs and pop it in the oven! Brilliant!

Then the phone rings at about 9:30. It’s my mom. She has a doctor’s appointment at 10:00 for an inner ear infection, but she’s managed to throw her back out and can’t drive. I have 5 more minutes on my baking and no way to rely on ex-loser to turn off the oven, I’m also not dressed or look presentable in any way. I ask if she can give me just 5 minutes to get ready. She may be a little late. She says that’s ok.

I throw on some clothes, brush my teeth, make sure the cat is fed. Timer beeps. I take my breakfast out of the oven and turn it off. No time to eat. I grab a book for the waiting room and run out the door. On the way there, I nearly hit a dog and have to slam on my brakes. If I wasn’t completely awake before I am now. Then I am stuck behind a semi-truck that is parked in the middle of the road. Each one of us has to wait for cross traffic to clear so we can go around. SERIOUSLY? Uhg!

I finally make it to my mom’s. At this point its about 8 till 10:00. She says she’s called her doctors office already and they said they couldn’t take her late. She’s had to reschedule. But her back still hurts so bad she thinks she should go to an urgent care. I figure they can also help her with her ear infection and agree whole-heartedly with this plan. I take her to the urgent care, read my book in the waiting room, they send her off with some prescriptions and ask her if I am old enough to drive. (WOW I mean, I look young, but under 16???? I am FLATTERED as I am 29.9 ~_^.) We get some coffee together before picking up the prescriptions to give the pharmacy a little time to fill them. I then take her home.

Is it 1:30 already?? Holy shit.

I eat only half of my breakfast. Lunch is a mere 2 hours away! I don’t want to fill myself up now!

Breakfast:

Baked Oatmeal with Blackstrap Molasses

6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups water
1/3 cup kefir, yogurt or whey
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1/2 cup applesauce or pumpkin puree (pumpkin is good but will impart a pumpkin flavor)
1/2 cup blackstrap or regular molasses
8-10 large eggs
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup raisins or other dried diced fruit, optional
1/2 cup nuts, optional

12- to 24-hours before you want to bake this, combine oats, water, kefir, oil, applesauce or pumpkin puree and molasses in a large bowl and stir well to mix.  Let sit on the counter, covered with a tea towel, till you’re ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. and grease a 9×13-inch pan or two 8-inch square pans.  Break eggs into a bowl and stir in cinnamon, vanilla, salt and baking soda.  Then pour this mixture into the soaking oatmeal.  Stir well to break up oatmeal and combine ingredients, adding dried fruit and nuts as you’re stirring.  Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for 30- to 35-minutes till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

*I had no applesauce OR pumpkin puree. So I pureed some canned peaches! I almost wish there were MORE peach flavour in this, next time I will add actual little pieces of peach! I did not add any more sugar or honey to this at all. It was perfect the way it was, just enough sweetness for a quick brunch! Letting the oats soak overnight gave them an almost flour-like cake texture! REALLY cool! I will do that more often!

Then it was shower time, errand-running time, and off to lunch!

Nicole and I both had the Mediterranean Salmon Salad! I tried it per her recommendation. We’d both planned on getting the black bean soup, but alas! They were out! So we went for this instead! REALLY great! We sat outside and chatted about our lives, blogs, ED histories, and future plans. She’s just the most amazing, strong, intelligent woman! I hang on every word she says! She never fails to impress me with her optimistic outlook on life and how much knowledge she’s gained from her good and bad experiences alike.  Her desire to help others is something to be admired. She’s dedicated so much of her life and time to people like me. I hope she realizes just how much it means. She amazes me.

Go work out for an hour. My brother gave me a new MP3 player! He didn’t need his old one anymore since he got a fancy shmancy new phone, so I was excited to hear some of the music he had on it! I had a great time bounding along on the elliptical to some new songs! I love my brother’s taste in music, so I knew keeping all of his albums on there would be a good idea! And it was all excellent workout music!

Go home. Is it REALLY 7:00???? And I got nothing done? Oh man…time to start a project! I actually do nearly finish one! In between, I make myself a semi-quick dinner.

Dinner:

Veggie Pot Pie with Cornbread and Gouda topping

I sort of winged a lot of this, so for the filling I used:

Broccoli
Corn
Carrots, diced
Peas
Onion, chopped
Garlic
Cream of Mushroom condensed soup
Sour Cream
2% Milk
Fresh chopped Rosemary
Fresh chopped Sage
S& Lemon P

I sauteed all the veggies in some olive oil for about 10 minutes. I added the CoM soup, a little sour cream, and some milk and just kept adding all 3 in whatever amounts looked and tasted right until it was the creamy consistency that I wanted. I added the herbs and turned off the heat. Then I made the topping which I did take from an online recipe:

Cornbread Gouda topping

Taken from:  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/11/mushroom_and_lentil_pot_pies_with_gouda_biscuit_topping

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gouda cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk; pulse until dough forms moist clumps. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces; shape each into 2/3-inch-thick disk. Set rounds atop filling; top with cheese.

    Bake pot pies on baking sheet until tester inserted into biscuit topping comes out clean, about 30 minutes

    *I put mine into a small bread pan, topped it with the cornbread mixture and gouda and baked it for the 30 minutes suggested. I ate the whole thing it was so good!! I’m glad I went with the seasonings that I did, it made it different from the norm. Definitely try this with any combination of veggies, meats, or condensed “cream of” soups that you want! It’s so versatile, that’s why I love pot pies!

    So kids, I have a date tomorrow.

    I’m nervous. Should I be nervous? I really want this guy to like me. He’s amazing. He’s always been amazing. He takes really good care of me. Should I be worrying about this right now? Take it slow Mz. P…don’t just jump into the arms of the next guy willing to go out with you…but he’s more than “the next guy”. He’s ALWAYS been “next in line” if you know what I mean. I’ve known him for years and years. I hope we have fun!

    Wish me luck!

    Exercise: Distinct lack of yoga due to parental unit crisis, 1 hour at the gym

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

Still waiting…

for that damn period to start.

Trust me, you have to have sex to be pregnant. I’m not pregnant.

My body is just all sorts of messed up from going off birth control. I’m really really hoping that when it starts I’ll stop looking so fat and bloaty all the time. It’s starting to drive me crazy.

We’re supposed to be going to our friend’s house today for the Puppy Bowl and I want to be excited, but I’m not. I’m actually trying to weasel my way out.

#1) I have to drive. I used to love driving. I still do, but I only hate it when I have to cart my husband around. I hate it. I fucking hate it. I don’t want to drive. They live an hour away.

#2) I have no money for gas. I will have to ask my husband if he will pay for it because I am broke.

#3) My husband will be getting annoyingly uncontrollably drunk. I hate that too. And since I have to drive because he can’t he will use this as an opportunity to get plastered because he doesn’t have to drive anyway. Then I have to listen to him complain when I want to leave, but he “just opened a beer” and so I have to wait an extra 20 minutes or so for him to finish his goddamn beer (which he’s already had 12, you wouldn’t think he’d need another one anyway).  Then I have to listen to him drunkenly ramble about shit I don’t care about for an hour alllll the way home. And I have to nod my head and say things like “Yes honey, you’ve already said that 3 times now…” I hate it.

I can’t do this anymore.

Breakfast:

Just a bowl of cereal.

My friend and I are going to bake cookies when we get to their house, so I really didn’t feel like making myself some gigantic, awful-for-me breakfast. Keeping it simple was the way to go!

Lunch:

This was just a wrap with bacon, turkey salami, tomato, lettuce, cheddar, mayo and honey mustard. Once again, just something simple since we had plans.

Welp, our plans ended up falling through. Our one of our friends kinda got into a bad mood so my girlfriend said that maybe it wasn’t the best of days for us to visit. So everything ended up working out for the best! I didn’t get to see the Puppy Bowl though which made me sad, but otherwise I didn’t have to deal with my drunken husband. YAY! So instead I spent the day relaxing, then working out (which for me is pretty relaxing) then making an AMAZING dinner!!!

Dinner:

Gnocchi with Caramelized Buttercup Squash Sage Sauce

For the gnocchi (best I’ve ever had by the way):

Taken from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/potato-gnocchi-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound russet potatoes
  • 3 to 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon gray salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

 

Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top (see Cook’s Note). Bake until a bit overcooked, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Reserve the potato skins, if desired, for another use.

 

Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups. Make a mound of potatoes on the counter with a well in the middle, add 3 of the egg yolks, the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the potatoes and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together, (try not to knead it.) Work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consistency, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope 1/2-inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.

 

Keeping your work surface and the dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them. You can cook these as is or form them into the classic gnocchi shape with a gnocchi board, ridged butter paddle, or the tines of a large fork turned upside down. Rest the bottom edge of the gnocchi board on the work surface, then tilt it at about a 45 degree angle. Take each piece and squish it lightly with your thumb against the board while simultaneously pushing it away from you. It will roll away and around your thumb, taking on a cupped shape — with ridges on the outer curve from the board and a smooth surface on the inner curve where your thumb was. (Shaping them takes some time and dexterity. You might make a batch just for practice.) The indentation holds the sauce and helps gnocchi cook faster.

 

As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour and scatter them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Set gnocchi filled cookie sheet in front of a fan on low for 1/2 hour (turning gnocchi after 15 minutes). If you will not cook the gnocchi until the next day or later, freeze them. Alternatively, you can poach them now, drain and toss with a little olive oil, let cool, then refrigerate several hours or overnight. To reheat, dip in hot water for 10 to 15 seconds, then toss with browned butter until hot.

 

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for about 90 seconds from the time they rise to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a skimmer, shake off the excess water, and serve as desired.

Cook’s Note: Baking potatoes on a layer of salt allows heat to circulate 360 degrees. Scrape the salt into a jar and reuse it again and again. If you do not have time to shape the gnocchi, you can freeze the dough, defrost it in the refrigerator, and then shape it. To freeze shaped gnocchi, line baking sheets with waxed paper and dust with flour. Spread the gnocchi on the prepared sheets and freeze until hard. Remove to individual-portion-size freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. To cook, drop the frozen gnocchi into boiling salted water. Cook for about 2 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Buttercup Squash Sage Sauce:

1/2 buttercup squash, baked in oven for 50 minutes and cubed
About 1/3 large Leek, sliced
1 T butter
1/2 T Olive Oil
1/8 cup Water
About 1 T Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Chicken Stock
1/8 cup (or so) Heavy Cream (or milk would work just fine)
1/2 T chopped fresh Sage
S&P to taste

I caramelized the leek and squash in the butter and oil with a large pinch of sugar. I then added the water, chicken stock, brown sugar and sage. I let that cook through for a couple minutes. Then added the cream, salt and pepper. Then I blended it all in a processor until smooth. Topped my awesome gnocchi with my awesome sauce and eated it.

*WOW! The gnocchi was light and almost creamy in texture. Holy crap were they good!!! Gnocchi usually comes out so heavy, I will be using this recipe from here on out! The sauce was crazy amazing! It was always one of my favorite recipes, but I doctored it up a little this time. I have a little of it left, so I’m looking forward to the next time I make this!

 

It ended up being an awesome day! My awesome dinner totally made it worth staying home. ^_^

OH also! I’ve learned that when one goes off of birth control, one’s cycle may not start at all for 3-12 months. I am NOT waiting that long! So I just went ahead and started taking my birth control again today. So basically, instead of waiting for it to naturally regulate its hormones, I’m just gonna do it for it. So here’s hoping I can have that red food day in about 3 weeks!! ^_^

Tomorrow is Meatless Monday!!! YAY! I’ve already got plans! ^_^

Yes! We have no cupcakes…we have no cupcakes today

Well I wanted to pick up a dozen cupcakes today (regardless of whether we have a party or not) and it didn’t occur to me that I cannot just walk into a specialty store and demand a dozen cupcakes 2 days before Christmas thinking I can just GET them. I should have placed an order a week ago. Silly me…ah well! No big deal! I’ll probably just make some myself today anyway! I need to do a fair bit of experimenting being that I’ve never actually MADE cupcakes before and plan on making them for my family as Christmas presents. I figure…I dunno, how hard can they be? Right? Right? If I experiment, my husband had better reap some form of benefit out of it because I’d rather not eat them all myself!

Breakfast:

Pumpkin Sweet Potato Tamale Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 chipotle chiles, minced
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce from chipotle can
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce (your favourite kind, I used plain)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn

For cornbread topping:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp molasses

Directions:

Brown beef in a large pan with onion, garlic, peppers, sweet potato, and spices. Add in sauce, beans, and corn, and let simmer for 30 mins.

While beef mixture is simmering, mix together the cornbread ingredients. You can separate the dry and wet, but I’m not picky. The pumpkin and juices from the filling usually keeps it from getting too dry from over-mixing anyways.

When the beef is done simmering, pour it into a 9×13 casserole dish and pour cornbread batter overtop. Bake in a 400F oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cornbread clean.

*I didn’t use any sweet potato, just pumpkin chunks and pumpkin puree (fresh). There was a very similar recipe that also used cream cheese in the filling so I added about an ounce or so of that as well. This was super good, I tried desperately to get my husband to try it as well and of course A) He  insisted he didn’t want any and B) Later he complained while we were out running errands about how fucking hungry he was and that he was going to pass out unless he had something to eat. I had to stop at Wendy’s for him. He got one of those chicken wrap things. So that inspired me to make…

Lunch:

Grilled Panko Chicken Ceasar Wrap

1 Flatout Whole Wheat Sundried Tomato wrap
About 4 oz Chicken, cut into 4 strips
1/4 onion, sliced
1/3 cup (or so) of Panko breadcrumbs
About 1 T Italian Seasoning
1 t salt (I use Kosher)
1/2 Egg, beaten
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
Newman’s Own Creamy Cesar Dressing
Reduced Fat Feta cheese
Classico Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Fresh Spinach
1 T + 1 t Olive Oil

Mix together the Panko, Italian seasoning and salt onto a plate. Dredge chicken strips through egg and then through breadcrumb mixture. Heat olive oil in a pan until glistening. Add chicken and cook till golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and wipe out any extra oil. Add a little extra oil (about 1 t) to pan and cook onion until translucent. Get your wrap ready! Spread on the tomato pesto (or the spread of your choice!) and add the cooked chicken. Top with the cooked onions. Drizzle on some Cesar dressing, then top with cheeses. Add some fresh spinach on top of that. Fold up, spray with a little oil and throw onto a foreman grill for about 3.5 minutes. Deliciousness will surely ensue!!!

Dinner:

Ingredients

1 10 oz package whole grain penne pasta (I didn’t have whole grain… :<)

3 Tablespoons Flour

2 Cups Fat Free Milk

14.5 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth

4 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 Cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1.5 tsp minced fresh sage

dash of nutmeg

Chopped walnuts

Directions

Cook Penne Pasta

While pasta is cooking stir flour, milk and chicken broth together, set aside.

Saute garlic in olive oil.

Slowly stir in milk mixture, parmesan, canned pumpkin, parsley, sage, and nutmeg.

Cook until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Add Penne Pasta and stir.  Top with 1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts.

*Perfect ending to a perfect day! Creamy, delicious, REALLY simple, and I still get my protein in there with the walnuts!

I know you’re all worried but DON’T WORRY! I DID in fact make a tester batch of cupcakes! They were out of this world delish! They need just a LITTLE bit of tweaking, but otherwise they were seriously yummy and addicting. I ate like 4 of them. Granted, I made some in this batch a little different, left things out in this one, added stuff in that one, etc…so I could compare and make an informed decision as to how I want to prepare them for my family and friends. BUT…I still ate 4 cupcakes hehe. SO EXCITED to try again!!!

Exercise: I did not work or exercise today…I ran around running errands and then baking like a crazy person, so I had very little rest if thats any consolation to you! ^_^