Tag Archives: cooking

Like a madwoman

Still sticking with the DDP Yoga.  It’s not the easiest workout, but each time i do it, there is a bit of progress – i stretch a little further, reach a little higher, or feel a little stronger.  It was just over two weeks ago i tried it and couldn’t stay in the lunges without going to a knee.  I am wobbly now, but am staying up.  A lot of folks who stick with it seem to have similar results, so hopefully its a trend that continues.

Last night i tried a new recipe, Spicy Peanut Tofu Rice Salad + Twirl of Avocado, from Lunch Box Bunch.  Mine was sort of a mashed up avocado, rather than a twirl, but it was very delicious!  I enjoyed it for lunch again today in fact.  The recipe allowed me to use the last of the peanut butter sitting in the fridge, which helps remove a temptation.  Peanut butter & jelly is totally a comfort food, and while it isn’t bad for me, it isn’t really great either.  

Right now i’m trying to avoid comfort foods and work though some of those feelings that food will make me feel better.  Food does soothe me, but not for long, and so it isn’t the healthiest coping strategy.  I want a good relationship with food, not a cycle of binge and guilt!

Also from Lunch Box Bunch, i tried their Hot Pumpkin Mug.  It wasn’t my favorite, but i’m glad i tried it!

I also did all the prep to have beef stew ready when i get home from work today, thank you crock pot!  We’re having friends over to hand out Halloween candy and play with the nephew (niece is still too little to do much more than sleep, nurse and occasionally wiggle!).  I wanted something hearty, yummy and easy, so beef stew won.  It’s also a meal the husband enjoys, and it’s familiar, which is important to him right now as he works through his own food issues.

Because it is Halloween, i also made some pumpkin bread, which got rave reviews at the office. I haven’t tried it yet! but will tonight.  I made a double batch to have enough for me and my friends, and still make sure everyone at the office got some too.

AND i carved jack-o-lanterns last night.  

Yesterday was a very long day, but it felt good to be so productive.  I am strong enough to do a lot of things, and i am capable of accomplishing a lot.  I need to remember this next time i don’t think i can manage sweeping the floor or putting things away!

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Healthier Foods

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers & Brown Rice with Avocado

There’s a bunch of food pictures here.  I hope they make you think YUM! instead of ewww.

I’ve been cooking.  A lot.  And spending time concentrating on what i eat.  This means some interesting adventures in the kitchen.  I wanted to share some of my concoctions.

Tuesday night i made Santa Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers, a recipe from Skinnytaste.  I did have some slight modifications to the recipe because of what we had in the house and i hate using  a portion of a can of beans for some reason.

These came out great, although n

ext time – more seasoning.  I had skipped the spicy peppers, but the recipe needs a bit more of a kick.  They look ugly, as you can see, but taste pretty darned yum and make great leftovers.  I’m also guessing they’d freeze well.  I had it with some brown rice mashed with avocado and a salad.  There are lots of salads in my life right now.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a scary smoothie – almost black!  It was made of:

  • 1 banana (frozen)Scary Smoothie
  • 1.5 cups of chard (frozen)
  • 1 cup cherries (frozen)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup water

It’s official, chard in my smoothies is too grassy-tasting for me.  I need to try mixing it in a combination of greens, not just straight like this.  Other than that, this came out pretty good.  The smoothies aren’t super low in calories and are sugary, but it’s from fruit.  I didn’t get this way from eating too many apples!  It kept me feeling full well until lunch, and it takes a while to drink that much, which feels satisfying in itself.

Last night’s dinner adventure was a stir fry with flank steak, peppers, snow peas and broccoli.  The peas and peppers were in this week’s farmshare, and i picked up the broccoli at the stand.  I don’t cook much beef, but i wanted to make this process easier on the husband, and thought this might perk him up.

Flank Steak & Veggie Stir Fry

I made a sauce with:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

and let the meat marinate in half of it while i chopped  the veggies.  I was worried about it being too spicy, but it was just enough of a kick.  I loved how vibrant the veggies looked and they were cooked just enough.  And for a girl who doesn’t like much beef?  This was awesome.  I’m definitely going to make this dish again with whatever veggies are looking good.

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Foodie Pen Pals, February Edition

Having had such good luck last month, I participated in Foodie Pen Pals again!  I sent a package over to the lovely Joanna at the Midwestern Bite, but apparently did something wrong because her package hadn’t arrived!  I’ll be sending her a re-do if it doesn’t arrive soon.

Nicky at Our Little Family Adventure sent me a package with all kinds of goodies!

I wanted to open this to see what goodies were inside, but, i was on a conference call with my phone (aka camera) and had to wait TWO HOURS looking at the pretty sparkles before i could find out!

I wanted to open this to see what goodies were inside, but, i was on a conference call with my phone (aka camera) and had to wait TWO HOURS looking at the pretty sparkles before i could find out!

First i read the lovely card.  The photo doesn't do it justice.

First i read the lovely card. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

But once i got to open things, i found LOTS of goodies!!!

But once i got to open things, i found LOTS of goodies!!!

The Valentine’s chocolates didn’t last long!  I’d been awful sick on Valentine’s day, and none of my partners are really into it, so all i received was popsicles and ginger ale from Duncan.  When i was able to eat ‘real’ food again, i totally went for the candy!

These peanut butter pretzel nuggets were awesome.  Just salty enough and really satisfying.  I kept wanting just one more while i was studying!

These peanut butter pretzel nuggets were awesome. Just salty enough and really satisfying. I kept wanting just one more while i was studying!

She also included this soup mix.  It's been so cold and rainy here, it sounded delicious.  I decided to make some using the crock pot.

She also included this soup mix. It’s been so cold and rainy here, it sounded delicious. I decided to make some using the crock pot.

This is how it came out with some chicken, corn and peppers added.  YUM!

This is how it came out with some chicken, corn and peppers added. YUM!  I’m eating with with sour cream and multigrain tortilla chips as i write.  And likely going back for seconds!

I mentioned being on a ginger kick and Nicky delivered!  These cookies are wonderfully strong ginger snaps, nice and crisp and perfect for my lunches at work.

I mentioned being on a ginger kick and Nicky delivered! These cookies are wonderfully strong ginger snaps, nice and crisp and perfect for my lunches at work.

I haven't had the chance to try these teas or hot coco yet.  Maybe later tonight.  Have i mentioned cold and rainy?

I haven’t had the chance to try these teas or hot coco yet. Maybe later tonight. Have i mentioned cold and rainy?

Duncan was very excited about the spaetzle, but we haven’t made it yet.  I’m excited too.  The pocky is a nice lunch treat, and i’m hoping to try the dried fruit in my lunches soon.

Thank you so much Nicky, this really was a wonderful box!!!

 

Even lucky was excited to investigate

Even lucky was excited to investigate!

 

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE (www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/) to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 

You must submit your information by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on March 5th!

*If you’re from Europe, please CLICK HERE (www.thisisrocksalt.com/foodie-penpals/) to signup.

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Weathering the Storm

I’ll have another picture post with some post-storm pictures, clearing out and life at the office, but first some text, because i can do that right now.

Saturday was mostly spent clearing out from the storm.  Duncan or i would use the shovel to pull it down and the other person would use the snowblower to get it out of the area, although in some areas the drifts were just too high and we had to do it all by hand.  It was a quiet evening of TV, napping and studying.  Although the travel ban was lifted at 4PM, we stayed put.  The roads were still messy and we had  no where we needed to be.  I made some Toll House cookies which were delicious.  Aimee’s use of a little extra salt has become my new favorite trick.

Sunday Duncan shoveled more and then we made breakfast.  I actually made pancakes from scratch, rather than a box.  I also made beef stew.  And slept. And studied.  Wild times, right?

The good news is, even with us both being captive all weekend, the house is still clean and organized.  We didn’t even kill each other.  I feel like the more small things i do, the easier it all is to keep up with.  Sure, that’s a simple concept, but seeing it in action is amazing.

Yesterday i did have to go to work, although it was a quiet day.  Afterwards Ian came over for date night and we had some quiet.  He stayed over because his street has been plowed very little and with 5 cars to manage, one less on-site seemed like a good plan.

Again, because things are kept at a decent level of clean, having an overnight guest unexpectedly was no big deal.  I’m so glad my systems are working.

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Goodbye 2012

This morning started off strange.  I slept in very late, probably due to the last of the sick, and right away started in on chores.  I took today off from work, but went about my housework angrily, realizing i was using precious vacation time for housework instead of fun because the husband had not done things during the week.  That certainly doesn’t feel good.  I froze much of the leftovers from Christmas events, took out the trash, started some laundry, did a number of dishes, reset the dining room and talked with the Sister for a while over instant messenger.

The Husband and i had a little fight, which was resolved.  He’s taking unemployment hard and i expect too much of him.  It’s hard on both sides.

2012/2013 NYE Cake

2012/2013 NYE Cake

I used a 1-2-3 Gluten Free mix (Spice Bars) to make a banana cake with chocolate frosting for a gathering with the Family-of-Choice this evening.  We are doing burgers and home made french fries for dinner and celebrating the new year.  I very highly recommend their box mixes if you need to make a gluten free dessert in a hurry.  They can be adjusted easily for vegan needs, and are highly versatile.  Each box has several recipe variations, and there are more on their website.  You can even get creative with them pretty easily, since there is so much information about ratios.

I also hung up our new calendar.  This year i bought another Anne Taintor calendar for the kitchen, since it goes so perfectly (and subversively) in that room.

It was 2:00 before i got to sit down, and even then, it was still in my PJ’s with laundry in the dryer.  I let myself play Sims 3 for a little while to relax.  It is my day off after all.

The rest of the afternoon was spent going through the Husband’s clothes.  When his job ended he had to consolidate 5+ years of living in two locations into one house.  He had a giant collection of clothing because of how he did laundry in NY and, well, not getting rid of junky clothes.  So he did keep his promise and it was all put away by the end of 2012.  We did it together. Most of the time i would hold up an item, read the size and he’d decide.  Sometimes we’d talk about where we felt it belonged, or he’d try something on, but generally it was quick.  The way things were categorized were:

  • In the primary dresser: about 20 pairs of underwear and about 20 pairs of socks (all the same type), plain t-shirts, polo shirts, his favorite jeans and long sleeved t-shirts.
  • In the secondary dresser: Fancy socks, belts, undershirts (about 10), exercise clothes, swimsuits, pajamas, less frequently worn pants, t-shirts with logos or sayings
  • In the bedroom closet (hanging): sweaters, overshirts, sweatshirts
  • In the office closet: Suits, dress pants, ties, dress shirts
  • In the guest room closet – aikido gis
  • Bin – Seasonal clothes, mostly shorts and his motorcycle gear
  • Bin – Overflow, extra shirts mostly
  • Bin – Extra socks, underwear and undershirts
  • Bin – Too small clothing
  • Bin – Sentimental clothing
  • Bin – Work clothes (stuff with stains or rips but good for painting or other projects)
  • Small bin – Running accessories
  • Small bin – Travel gear

We ended up with the largest laundry basket full of things for me to turn into rags and/or throw away as well.  There wasn’t much to donate, as there were a lot of stained or ripped items, but i will see if there is anything worthwhile and bring it to Goodwill when i do.  I feel so much happier now that everything has a place and we know what he has!

NYE with our Family-of-Choice was lovely.  There was a moment where we were all in the kitchen, each doing something, and it felt so amazing.  We watched a terrible movie together after dinner and watched the ball drop before calling it a night.  Well, and lots of kissing to bring in the new year.  It’s important, right?

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