Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

Tease

Today kinda sucked.

I didn’t have to be at work till noon which was sort of cool. But I only got to see G for a total of not even 5 minutes before he had to go. That suuuuuuuucked. It sucked.

Such a tease.

I was actually a little depressed afterwards.

Also, I was supposed to get my car fixed this morning by a coworker. He had to reschedule for tomorrow. It’s ok, he’s a busy man. He works 2 jobs and has a family and whatnot. So I don;t mind. He’s incredibly kind to even offer at all. So I can wait!

Bah. Time for food!

Breakfast:

Raisin Bran.

I had Italian Wedding Soup at work. Forgot a picture. ūüė¶

Dinner:

Angel Hair with White Wine Lemon Sauce (attempt #2)

MUCH better this time! So this recipe is worth posting.

I had it all written out and then WordPress decided to be a dick. Here’s the gist.

White Wine
Butter
Lemon Juice
Milk
Chopped Onion
Minced Garlic
Thyme
S&P
Corn Starch

Cook all that together.

Done and done! You win! Seriously though, I can’t remember what amounts I put in of these. Use however much of each that you like until it is of your desired taste and thickness!

Exercise: 4 mile walk

Oh how quickly things change

Just knowing that G tried to send me a message last night made me happy this morning.

Though my chances of eating a breakfast were decent, I still wasn’t feeling up to making anything. Instead, I started on a project for the day. Just something to keep me busy and keep my mind off of stupid shit for a while.

Then my day got a whole lot better really fucking fast.

First off, I sent that picture of the “Mystery Meat” to Alton Brown through Twitter with inquiries as to what cut it was and how best to cook it. I did this at about 8 AM sort of forgetting that he’s in California right now shooting stuff and to him it’s 5AM. D’oh. The chances of him seeing my message are not good. Oh well.

The friend who helped me move the couches offered to buy me lunch in an attempt to get me to eat something. I tried to turn him down knowing that he is also poor and his bank account shouldn’t suffer due to my self-negligence.¬† He insists. IF he’s going to insist, then I would like to try a Thai restaurant just up the street within walking distance. He says he has never tried Thai food, but is willing. (God it always BLOWS MY MIND when people tell me they’ve NEVER tried a whole GENRE of food. To someone like me, that’s like saying you’ve never tried bread.) I am very much looking forward to going.

At about 12:30, Alton answers me.

I’m sure anything labeled a “mystery” piques his interest as he is also a very curious creature. He gives me an idea to what he thinks it is and denounces the crappy labeling. I mention back to him that it was the only poorly labeled item out there and that, combined with the low price, riled up my curiosity so that I just had to purchase it.¬† He answers me AGAIN instructing me to braise it and get back to him about it.

So not only an instruction, but also a request to answer back to him yet again.

God. Damn.

This has quickly turned into the best day of my life.

I chat a bunch with PFH#1, who will be on his way home from NYC tonight. He sends me funny videos and we have a good time in between me working on my project and finding braising recipes. (I’ve actually never braised anything before, so I’m freaking out slightly.)

4:00 rolls around and my friend comes over. We wander over to the Thai hole-in-the-wall. I order something with tofu and, being that I know how Thai food works, order it “Thai hot, not American hot, I know what I’m doing here…I know what I’m getting myself into, and I would like it THAI HOT”. The owner is impressed that I know my food. My friend also orders his dish “Thai hot”…I realize he is trying to impress me with his adventurous spice level choice, but he does not understand how hot it is going to be. He keeps claiming that he “likes” hot food. Ok…you’re own grave buddy.

I eat mine without so much as a sniffle. It’s nice and spicy, probably could even be a little hotter. I look up at my friend and he is just POURING with sweat. I mean, I’ve never seen a man sweat so much while eating. He has to use our entire pile of napkins to wipe down his face. I can’t help but laugh loudly at his predicament. The owner comes over and looks at me and says “Well you look like you’re doing just fine! You on the other hand, sir, would you like some more water?” Holy crap I just busted out laughing. He enjoyed it, he ate every last bite. I ate a bit more than half of mine. I gave him the leftovers since he paid for it anyway, he should have them.

The entertainment was priceless.

He hangs out here for about an hour talking about geek stuff with me, then leaves so I can start making dinner. It’s going to take at least 2 hours to braise this “meat” so I have to start it soon.

Dinner:

Braised Mystery Meat (courtesy of PERSONAL AB instruction)

Braising instructions taken from: http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/braising_meats.htm

Ingredients:

4 veal shanks (Obviously I used “mystery meat”)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 and a half cups parsnips, roughly chopped
1 and a half cups turnips, roughly chopped (Used carrots and sweet potato instead)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine 1 cup beef or veal stock
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

Preparation:

1) Season the shanks with salt and pepper and brown them in a large skillet with the olive oil, for about 5 minutes on each side.

2) Place the shanks in a large ovenproof casserole dish with a tight fitting lid.

3) In the same skillet you browned the shanks, sauté the vegetables for about 3-4 minutes adding more olive oil if necessary. Add the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for a few minutes more, being careful not to burn the paste or the garlic.

4) Add the stock, wine, and herbs and bring to a boil.

5) Pour everything over the shanks and place the casserole dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes. 6) Add salt and pepper to taste at the end.

*HOLY SHIT! This was by far the best “meat’ I’ve ever made. I mean. Goddamn. It just fell apart, it looked gorgeous, it tasted fantastic, I couldn’t have been happier. I hope that my pictures are pretty enough for AB as I will be Tweeting them back to him. I want to make him proud SO badly. Food and cooking mean absolutely EVERYTHING to me. I’m hoping I’ve got his attention enough now that he will answer my questions more often seeing that I am a good cook (or I’m at least passionate and try REALLY hard) and worthy of his instruction.

Alton is probably the only person other than PFH#3 who can get me to eat.

His timing couldn’t have been more impeccable.

 

Oh, the best day ever does not end, my friends.

I get a message from, whom I affectionately call, “my girlfriend” (the girl at work that I have a crush on) late last night asking me if I can take a shift for her Friday. I am somewhat confused as I’m fairly certain I already work on Friday, but I go to check anyway. I do. BUT. It is an opening shift, she wants me to work her closing shift.

If I close, I get to work with G all night.

I tell her that I already work, but that if she needed just the EVENING off, I could TRADE shifts with her being that I’d rather work the later shift anyway. This answer pleases her. We have traded shifts for Friday. I get to work with PFH#3 and will get a ride home from him later that night where we will surely laugh loudly together and chat a while before I go inside. I am incredibly happy.

I have a good connection at my apartment now due to my brother being amazing. I can now stream episodes of Food Network Star. I stay up watching one of them.

I am INCREDIBLY happy.

I will surely eat breakfast in the morning.

 

 

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

Busy and Dateless (the story of my life)

Date with PFH#1 did not happen today.

I ran around all day grocery and paint shopping.

I only spent $30 on food and it should feed me for the rest of the month without much issue.

I bought black spray paint to paint my entertainment center thing with because it was cheap. But it also sucked. A lot. So I took it back and bought real paint instead.

Then I spent the next couple hours painting in the hot sun. It was awesome. I love being out in the sun. I am no longer the pasty super-white goth girl that I used to be. The sun is like a drug for me. And in a way the Vitamin D you get from is really is like a drug.

PFH#1 spent the day packing and getting ready for his trip.

It’s ok. I have PFH#3 taking care of me tomorrow.

I am certain to let #1 know this. That another man is happy to pick up where he is slacking. That I adore this man’s company and am greatly looking forward to being with him tomorrow.

He has to know that at the moment I can be lost. I am not tied town and I will not sit around and wait for someone.

He is understanding this.

Breakfast:

I skipped breakfast due to that huge dinner I had last night. Wasn’t hungry.

Lunch:

I dunno, I was running around like a busy ass crazy person all day, I didn’t leave a lot of time for lunch, so I just grabbed an apple.

Dinner:

Tangy Cherry Chicken

Taken from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/tangy-cherry-chicken-recipe2/index.html

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves, about 6 sprigs (Left out, did not have)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts) a couple of handfuls (I used almonds)
  • 3 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped (No celery, so I left this out too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
  • 1 cup dry white wine, 1/4 of a bottle (Used red wine)
  • 1 cup dried cherries, a couple of handfuls (Used fresh cherries instead of dried)
  • 2 cups plain couscous (Used arborio rice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, eyeball it
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, eyeball it
  • 1/4 cup honey, eyeball a healthy drizzling
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • Generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with the 3 turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, about 3 tablespoons. Season chicken liberally with half of the thyme, salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

In the bottom of a medium sauce pot, heat and toast pine nuts over moderate heat and remove. Add 2 cups stock and 1 tablespoon butter to the pot and bring to a boil.

Return the chicken skillet to the burner over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, add the onion, celery, crushed red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper, cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the celery and onions are tender. Add the white wine, and cook until the pan is almost dry, 1 minute. Add the 2 cups boiling chicken stock, and dried cherries and continue to cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until there is only about 1/2 cup of liquid left in the pan. Turn the heat off the under the pan. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons cold butter in small pieces and whisk until it has completely melted.

In a medium saucepan bring the remaining 1 cup chicken stock to a boil, add couscous, allspice, cinnamon and a little salt. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle honey over the couscous and add the pine nuts, scallions and parsley. Toss and fluff with a fork to combine.

Serve the chicken whole or sliced with cherry sauce poured over it and couscous alongside. Dark seared greens or simple salad complete the meal.

*This would have been better had I added some pureed cherries or cherry juice to it somehow. I cooked the cherries for too long and they lost a lot of their sweetness. I will fix this next time. Otherwise it was still good! Just not as good as it could have been.

It was such a ridiculously long day, I didn’t even mind not going out. I would have had very little energy left to give on my date. So its ok. I am very much looking forward to the movie tomorrow. I have to be at work at 8 AM for a store meeting, I already know its going to be incredibly annoying walking there since every single employee who works there is going to be heading in ALL AT THE SAME TIME and will INSIST on picking me up. People don’t understand that I’m not walking because I have to, I’m walking because I WANT to. This is an incredibly difficult concept for most people to understand.

But I’ll get to see both Potential Future Husband #2 and Potential Future Husband #3 there. Such great guys. I love them.

Exercise:  Taking apart entertainment center, painting entertainment center (2 coats) in the heat, dragging each piece up to my apartment and re-assembling it

Tired

I finished a major project today. On time and everything. I worked so hard. I wanted to go on a walk afterwards but was just so very very tired. So tired. Instead I opted for a nice, long, hot, relaxing shower. Relaxing…when WAS the the last time I did that? Hell, when was the last time I took a shower? I’ve been working so hard that it’s been days…I can’t be sacrificing personal hygiene just to work more. I know I need to get out of here, but that’s simply ridiculous.

My brother calls me from Boston where he is attending PAX (geek/nerd convention, consider me jealous…) just to check up on me. He’s just an amazing person. I have no idea what I would do without him. I confess to him that I need to get out of here. He, of course, promptly (once again) opens his spare bedroom and an upstairs work room up to me and says that though they won’t be home until Monday, I am free to move in whenever I need. They are excited to have me stay. I promise that the longest I would need would be until the end of the month. I wouldn’t possibly want to burden them any longer than that and on top of that, it’s the longest the landlord will hold the apartment for me. He assures me they can’t wait to have me move in and that I can stay as long as I need!

I keep feeling that I am a burden, but then I think…”Well, if my brother was in the same situation, or ANY crappy situation where he had to move out, would I find him to be a burden on me if he needed to stay at my house?” OF COURSE not. I would be OVERLY excited to have him stay with me! And of COURSE he could stay as long as need be! Don’t be silly, head. Stop thinking its some awful thing to ask for help sometimes. You are not a burden. You just need help. It’s not weak to ask for help. Sometimes…it’s weak NOT to ask.

Breakfast:

Kale, Tomato and Cottage Cheese Frittata

Sauteed some onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Added the kale and allowed it to wilt and cook down for a while. Whisked together 2 eggs with about 1/4 cup cottage cheese, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and parsley. I poured that over my veggies. While I allowed that to cook for a few minutes, I sliced some tomato and added them neatly on top along with 1 heaping T of grated Romano. Threw that in the oven at 400 for 8 minutes. Perfect! SO much food, great start to my productive day!

Lunch:

Carrot, Mango and Cilantro soup

Boiled 1 sliced carrot, grated ginger, and S&P  in 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water for about 9-10 minutes, until the carrots were soft. I added a bunch of chopped cilantro, about 1 T of lemon juice (maybe a little less), some leftover chopped mango (about 1/4 cup) and some cayenne pepper for a little kick. Let that simmer another couple minutes. Whirled it all in my blender. Boom. The kick of the cayenne was AWESOME and unexpected to my tastebuds! LOVED it!

Dinner:

Cranberry Apple Chicken

1 Apple, sliced (I left the skin on)
1 Chicken Breast, sliced
2 slices of a Vadallia Onion, cut into smaller slices (these onions are HUGE)
Dried Cranberries
Walnuts
1/2 cup Red Wine
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8 cup Berry Liqueur
2 T Brown Sugar (probably too much for most of ya, just do 1 T for normal palettes ^_^)
Pinch of dried Sage
Pinch of Cinnamon

OK sounds about right. I did not put this together the same way I normally would, I screwed it up just a little bit…but NORMALLY I would sear the chicken on both sides in a little oil, remove them from the pan, sautee the onions in some oil and butter in the same pan, let them caramelize a bit, add the apples, let THEM caramelize and soften a bit, then remove THEM from the pan. THEN add all the sauce ingredients to the same pan along with the cranberries and walnuts, let it reduce a bit, add back in the apples and onions along with the seasoning and sugar and cook until the apples are soft and the sauce is thickened. I served this on top of brown rice (I made a dry 1/3 cup, which ended up making a LOT of rice hehe! YUM!) which I carefully placed my chicken strips on top of and topped with the apple cranberry sauce!¬† DELISH! I LOVE cooking apples and chicken together! I devoured this in a heartbeat! And it was a LOT of food!

 

I’m incredibly excited about tomorrow. I’m going to bed super early tonight, I’m just so tired. And I want to start my day nice and early tomorrow! I can’t express enough what a wonderful change this is going to be for me. I will be in an area of town that I can walk to everything. I will be right down the street from a farmer’s market. I’m going to be able to save a TON of money. I’ll be even closer to my gym at my brother’s than I will be at my apartment! ^_^ I’m gonna do a shitton of working out! YES! OH OH and I’m going to treat myself to some clearance candy tomorrow because I didn’t get any today. CANDYYYYY!!!!!

Exercise: None. No yoga or anything. I was just worn the fuck out. I will make up for it tomorrow!

Difficult times and eating disorders

I feel extremely lucky.

When I had an eating disorder, my brain wasn’t getting the right nutrients it needed to function properly. In retaliation, my brain inflicted on me a terrible depression among many other issues. I’ve always been an incredibly happy, optimistic, “never-let-anything-get-me-down” type of person. If I wasn’t smiling when I walked into my retail job, people (my co-workers, even regular customers) would immediately ask me if everything was alright. So when I became depressed and shut myself off from the world for a year, it was very apparent that something was wrong. This wasn’t me. Who was this? Who’s mind was living in the same body? Wait…was it even my BODY anymore? I wanted control…but this wasn’t even ME controlling myself now…so what’s the point? How did I let it get so bad that I once again gave up control?

Then 3 months ago I woke up and realized this was no way to live. I started eating real, nutritious foods again. I stopped worrying about calories and started focusing on good fats, protein, potassium, whole grains, vitamins and all those good things I’d been missing. I was so fucking focused on just one number and then wondered why things didn’t add up.

Now I feel absolutely AMAZING. My mind is back to my old self. I’m no longer somebody else. I am happy ALL the time, confident as hell, independent, no one but ME controls me. My body feels great. Looks great. I can take whatever life throws at me and shove it right back into its face.

List of shit I would be going through right now if I still had an eating disorder:

– Crippling depression. I would probably not be leaving the house.

– Severe self-hatred. No one could possibly hate me more than I hated me.

РSevere malnutrition.  I would have probably stopped eating entirely by now. What I would eat would probably be crap on late-night binges.

– Lack of any form of confidence. “My husband doesn’t want me. No one will ever want me. I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m a mess. I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life.”

– Self-blame. Even though I’d been nothing but an unconditionally loving wife who stood by him through thick and thin, I would have found some way to make this affair my fault. And I would have punished myself mentally and physically for it.

This is not the person you’ve been seeing this past week.

This was the disordered me.

I’m so glad she’s gone. This ordeal would be impossible to manage if she were still here.

I am lucky I woke up when I did.

Breakfast:

Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Walnut Syrup

Taken from:

Ingredients

    • 4 large eggs, separated
    • 2 cups ricotta cheese
    • 2/3 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour( I used whole wheat)
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
  • Melted butter

Preparation

Whisk yolks, ricotta and sour cream in large bowl to blend. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in another large bowl to blend. Add flour mixture to yolk mixture and stir until combined. Stir in milk. Using electric mixer, beat whites in another large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold beaten whites into batter. Heat griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Brush with butter. Working in batches, spoon 2 tablespoons batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with maple syrup.

-I also chopped up some strawberries and threw them in. Then I added a little vanilla extract, honey and cinnamon.

Lemon Walnut Syrup

1/3 cup Water
1.5 T Sugar
1 T Lemon Pudding/Pie Filling mix
1/2 T Lemon Juice
More water or juice as needed

Boil water. Dissolve sugar in water. Add lemon pudding mix and lemon juice and cook until thickened. Add more water to thin it out to desired consistency. Serve on top of pancakes with chopped walnuts.

*Yup. Holy crap. I didn’t get to whip the egg whites, but they still came out beautiful! They were delicious and not terrible for me! The whole wheat was a great idea, it was perfect with the lemon and strawberry! I would love to try and whip the egg whites next time, but honestly I didn’t need to. ^_^

Lunch:

Veggie Mix “Salad”

I needed something quick before going for a walk, so I microwaved some frozen peas and corn with some sliced carrots and baby spinach for about 4 minutes in a bit of water. After they were done, I drained them, added some chopped onion, Feta cheese, a little apple cider vinegar, about 1 t margarine, 1/4 t Chinese 5-spice, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  It was wonderful! Nice and light for an afternoon walk! Yum yum!

Dinner:

Apple Cheddar Meatballs with Red Wine BBQ Apple sauce

Apple Cheddar Meatballs

Adapted from: http://sweetluvininthekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/apple-cheddar-meatalls.html

Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey or pork (I used lean beef)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used quick-cook oats)
1 small, tart apple, such as granny smith, peeled and grated
1/2 small onion, grated
1/2 cup chopped parsley (Instead I used mint and tarragon)
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
I also added cinnamon and a pinch of ground clove

Mix all ingredients together with your hands. Mold into small balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, turning the meatballs halfway through.

While these were baking, I made some vegetable linguini. I was going to make couscous (next time I probably will) but I wanted the good vitamins and nutrients out of the vegetable linguini.

Red Wine BBQ Apple Sauce:

Ingredients
1/4 cup Red Wine
1/8 cup BBQ Sauce (I used a Michigan Cherry one for more fruit flavour)
1.5 T Teriyaki Sauce
A splash of Brandy
1 T Applesauce (or in my case I actually processed some extra apple chunks into mine)
1/2 small Apple, sliced
1/2 T chopped Tarragon
Pinch of Cardamom
1.5 T Brown Sugar
S&P to taste

I blended all the sauce ingredients in a processor except for the sliced apples. I poured the sauce into a pan, added the apples,  and allowed it to reduce a bit until it was the thickness I wanted. I added some baby spinach and allowed that to wilt. I took it off of the heat and poured it on top of the meatballs and vegetable linguini.

*I always enjoy my apple and meat combinations. I miss my Captain Morgan’s Tattoo rum (my husband doesn’t even like it, but drank it all one night when he was desperate), it goes SO well in apple sauces. I always try to compensate with other alcohols and it never matches the awesome spices in that particular dark rum. Otherwise, if you had nothing to compare this to, it would be really amazing hehe!

I finally called my dad today. I had to break it to him that I was getting a divorce for the same reason my mother divorced him. It was really hard for him to take. He wants to see me for dinner sometime this week. We will talk over possible money/finance issues during that time. He knows I’ll pay him back, but I doubt he’ll take my money. He doesn’t need it. He can afford to give me $400 for a deposit. And even then, he’ll get it back when I eventually move out of my apartment.

I hope to get an apartment that faces East so I can watch the sunrise. This is the only luxury I am asking for. A window to the East. I hope it isn’t too much to ask…

I like snow again

I remember being a kid and, on snow days off from school, would just play outside in the snow for hours and hours and hours. Granted, we were pretty bundled up in out little snowsuits and had somewhat of a limited mobility in them, but forts had to be dug! Snowmen had to be built! And snowballs must be thrown! I didn’t mind the cold, I hardly felt it.

When I lost too much weight last year I also lost my ability to appreciate cold weather. Ultimately, I found snow in particular to be absolutely horrid. I couldn’t see it as beautiful because I knew it would just make it wet and cold and miserable outside. I would just hole myself up in my workroom (the warmest room of the house) and let everyone else go have fun outdoors without me.

I couldn’t stand being cold. I was so tired of being cold. So very tired. I would do ANYTHING to just NOT be cold.

I didn’t think I could do it, but it turns out that my desire to be warm eventually trumped my desire to stay overly thin. That’s HOW MUCH I abhorred the cold.

I enjoy being outside in the cold again! I see the snow as beautiful again and enjoy watching it fall! How I’ve missed genuinely loving the differences in the seasons! I feel so good today!

Breakfast:

Couscous and Banana Hot Cereal

Taken from: http://pedalpressure.blogspot.com/

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup whole milk (I like MOO milk especially but Organic Valley is also a great choice)
1 cup whole wheat couscous (buy in bulk if possible, but packaged should work ok)
~8 cardamon pods (break open and grind the seeds, use 1-3 more if pods are older, dried can work too)
2 pinches of cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt (use coarse crystals and grind with cardamon for best result)
1/2 cup brown sugar (use less if you do not have a strong sweet tooth, white sugar will work too, just use less)
2 ripe bananas, sliced
Orange rind (scrape as much or little as you like but not more than 2 teaspoons)
Optional:
1tsp vanilla/banana extract
Fresh fruit for topping
Ground chocolate for topping (Taza Chocolate works great if you can get it)

Preperation:
Combine milk and sugar and heat on medium-high in a wide saucepan, stirring frequently until just boiling. Turn down heat, adding salt, spices, orange rind, and couscous stir and simmer for 30 seconds or so. Remove from heat and let sit until thick. Add extra milk as needed and fluff with sliced bananas. Add fruit or chocolate and serve hot or chilled.

*CHANGES: I used 1 T of honey instead of sugar and only had regular couscous instead of whole wheat. I did use the vanilla and did not have any orange zest unfortunately. I also added a couple dollops of greek yogurt and mixed them in. I added a small handful of chopped walnuts and drizzled just a little more honey on top.

I really really wanted quinoa this morning, but didn’t have any. I decided couscous would be an ok substitute for now and found this super healthy recipe! I was incredibly happy with it, because I wanted to use some fruit, but once again didn’t want anything packed with sugar (for some weird reason). The sun is out and I feel good! I’m glad my stomach at least seems to want SOMETHING today.

Lunch:

Chicken and White Bean Soup

1.5 cups Chicken Stock
1 T Olive Oil
4 oz Chicken, cut into cubes
1/4 small Onion, chopped
1 Carrot, shredded
1 clove Garlic, minced or grated
1/4 cup Celery, cut into small pieces
1/4 small Tomato, chopped
3/4 cup White Beans, divided
Fresh chopped Parsley
Fresh chopped Rosemary

Add 1/2 T or so to a saucepan. Throw in the chicken, but don’t stir it. Allow it to brown for a minute and get nice and crusty at the bottom of the pan. Flip the pieces of chicken over and throw in a bit more oil. Add the chopped onion. Go ahead and start stirring everything together and allow onions to cook and the chicken to cook the rest of the way. Add the garlic and allow to cook for about 30 more seconds. Add the chicken stock. Be sure to stir up all the nice browned pieces at the bottom of the pan. Add shredded carrot, celery and tomato. Allow to cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes or so. Puree about 1/2 cup of the cooked or canned white beans (I used canned) and add it to the pot along with the parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. Allow it to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the last 1/4 cup of beans and heat through. Serve immediately!

*I’ve not done much cooking with meat that has actual fat in it. I bought boneless skinless chicken thighs on a sale and though I do cut off most of the fat, there’s some I just can’t get to. I was AMAZED at how it sticks and caramelizes at the bottom with a bit of oil! It was SO GOOD! I was worried for a minute that it might burn, but adding a little extra while cooking the onions helped with that! It made for such a beautiful color and caramel flavour! I mean, REALLY impressive! You’ll love this!

Dinner:

Beef Stroganoff and Steamed Broccoli

Taken from: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hamburger_stroganoff/

You can substitute the sour cream and lemon juice for a cup of full-fat plain yogurt (room temperature). Do not allow to boil. (I took this suggestion since I was out of sour cream, I still used the lemon juice.)

Ingredients

  • Butter
  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms (can substitute button mushrooms), sliced
  • 1/3 cup of dry sherry, dry white wine, or water
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika or more to taste
  • 8 ounces egg noodles

Method

1 Put a large pot of salted water (1 teaspoon salt for every quart of water) on to heat, for the pasta.

 

2 Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in the pan and swirl it around. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan generously with salt. Working in batches as not to crowd the meat (crowding it will make it hard to brown), break up the ground beef and add it to the pan. Sprinkle the meat with salt. Do not stir the meat, as stirring will prevent browning. Once the meat is well browned on one side (a couple minutes, depending on how hot the pan), use tongs or a fork or a metal spatula to flip to the other side. Once that side is browned as well, use a slotted spoon to remove from the pan and set aside. Continue to brown the meat in batches, adding a teaspoon of butter to the pan with each batch if needed, and salting the pan and the meat, until it is all browned. Remove meat from pan. Drain excess fat from pan.

3 Lower the heat to medium. Add the onions to the pan. If you are working with very lean meat, you may not have any residual fat in the pan. If this is the case, you’ll want to add in a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to the pan. Cook the onions, scraping up the meat drippings, until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove onions from the pan (add to the meat).

4 Depending on the cooking times of your particular brand of pasta, this is likely a good time to add the pasta to the (should be now) boiling, salted water.

 

5 While the pasta is cooking, add a tablespoon of butter to the pan, increase the heat to medium high. Add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté until nicely browned (about 4 minutes). Add the sherry (or dry white wine or water) to the pan to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Let the sherry reduce by at least a half, then lower the heat to low.

 

6 Remove the pan from the heat. Mix in the sour cream and paprika until smooth. Return the pan to very low heat, and not let the sour cream boil (or it may curdle). You may add a few tablespoons of water to the mixture to thin it out a bit at any time. Stir in the lemon juice, and about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt (taste). Stir in the meat and onions. Stir in the chopped parsley. Add more salt, pepper, and/or paprika to taste.

7 Keep the stroganoff on warm heat until the noodles are done cooking. When the noodles are ready (al dente) drain.

Serve the stroganoff on top of egg noodles. Serves 4.

*WONDERFUL! The sherry in this gave it a kickass sweetness! REALLY good! I felt the need to kind of treat myself tonight, so this was beautiful, creamy and amazing!

 

I’ve not had a very good day. My husband has been going out every night and though I normally wouldn’t mind as I love to have the house to myself, it was starting to be an indication that something was wrong. So I asked him if everything was ok. Apparently not. But it’s also apparently not my fault. You know, an “It’s not you, it’s me” bullshit explanation. I don’t want to get too far into it, but everything is going to be fine. He obviously has not thought this through whatsoever and will soon discover that he is being a complete and utter idiot. He always does.

I am sad though.

But you know what I DIDN’T do?

I didn’t eat my problems away. I didn’t go on a binge.

I talked myself out of that as soon as he left for the afternoon. I KNOW that it won’t make me happy. I used to THINK that it would. And it won’t. It won’t solve anything and it won’t cure my problems. It will make me sick. I will then feel as physically bad as I will mentally. So instead, I went for a healthy dinner with super lean beef, used greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and a side of steamed broccoli. SO good and good for me!

So instead of feeling even more like shit about myself, I feel great. I’m high in spirits. I know I’m amazing. I’m an amazing person, an amazing wife and an amazing friend. I’m beautiful, smart, talented and fun to be around. And if someone else doesn’t acknowledge that, they’re wrong. They don’t deserve me.

I’m so very proud of myself.

Things are going to be ok.

Exercise: 1/2 hour of yoga (with new ankle-strengthening poses!), 1.5 hours at the gym (I can’t go back tomorrow, my ankle hurts too much)