Monday, December 27, 2010

Asian-themed cooking without the fuss

Tonight I made my version of stir-fry for dinner. I have been thinking of trying to get into some asian-themed cooking and stir fry is something that I used to cook a lot in college so I decided to start there. In college, I would make some white sticky rice, a 20-minute time investment, which was huge for me then. And dumb some frozen stir-fry vegetables from a bag into a fry pan, heat them up, dump a little stir-fry or soy sauce on top of the veggies and rice, and dive in.

For my grown up but not-quite grown up take on this dish, I opted for fresh veggies and asian noodles instead of rice. I also decided to throw in a lot more veggies than the broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot frozen mixes I used to buy. At the grocery store I picked up some fresh broccoli, one red, one yellow, and one orange bell pepper, a bag of shredded carrots, and a bag of bean sprouts. I cooked all the vegetables, the asian noodles (I bought the clear glass-like noodles) and then tossed everything together. I also cut up chicken breast into small pieces sauteed them on the stove. I didn't use any seasonings beyond salt and pepper on either the vegetables or the chicken.

I still am not ready to dive into making asian sauces on my own. Seasonings in asian recipes cause for pastes and oils that I don't regularly stock in my (or I expect most Twenty-Somethings) beginner-cooking kitchens. I used a Kikkoman stir fry sauce that I bought in the asian section of the supermarket. I think that if you find a sauce that you love, it is a perfect way to dress stir fry and not have to keep loads of rarely used seasonings. This was my first time purchasing this brand and it wasn't my favorite. I am going to keep looking to find my perfect sauce.

Finally, I ate this meal with chopsticks :) For Christmas, my roommate gave me a new set of chopsticks that I was really excited to use. I still have a long way to go to master them, but I consider it a success that I was able to eat noodles with chopsticks. RICE would be another story. I will save that challenge for another day :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I wish I was having a party.

Blog posts like this make me wish I had a party to cook for.

Brownie that will change your life...

How can I not try this??

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I forgot to take a picture of my actual plate...

TONS of leftovers, including lunch tomorrow!! YUM!

Also... to make this a little classier for guests or something. You are supposed to serve with parmesean cheese on top but what I like to do is bake little parmesean crisps in the oven. All you do is make a small pile of cheese and bake for 10 minutes (I did it at 425 but I am sure you can bake at whatever and just adjust the time). You get this crispy delicious cheese crisp that you can place on top of the bowl and it looks and tastes fantastic!

Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Stew

2 medium carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 medium bulb fennel, chopped
1 can cannellini beans (19 oz), drained & rinsed
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups water
1 package of cheese filled tortellini (9 oz)
1 cup firmly packed fresh baby spinach leaves
2 medium green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesean cheese
salt + pepper

1. Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer carrots, garlic, chicken, fennel, and beans in slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour broth and water on top, stir to mix.

2. Cover. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours.

3. About 20 minutes before serving, stir in tortellini, spinach, onions, and basil. Increase heat setting to high. Cover. Cook 15-20 minutes longer or until tortellini is tender. Sprinkle with cheese.


Dinner is cooking as we speak. Or as I type. Bundled under a blanket watching "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" -- Dinner in 2 hours!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gobble Wobble

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday AM I kicked off my Thanksgiving by running a 5K road race in Southborough, MA called the "Gobble Wobble." I was a bit nervous because I haven't been running as much as when I have done the past road races and it was also my first time running in cold weather like this.

I ran the race in 38.16, which is far off from my previous road races but an accomplishment nonetheless because I finished the race without walking at all-- which was my goal. There were a couple hills and a couple challenging points but with some willpower, some fun music, and the support of my friends that I ran with, I finished the race "gobble wobbling" across the finish line.

Pictures of both the Gobble Wobble road race and the Thanksgiving dinner that led to the real "gobble wobble" that took place later that day. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Party Foods

This past weekend I had a party at my apartment. Whenever I have people over, I always like to cook some easy finger foods to have out. Over the past couple years of entertaining I have developed some party favorites that are quickly becoming what I am known for amongst my friends and what is requested by me for get togethers.

For the party this weekend I made:

- Funfetti cookies decorated as turkey's
- Pepperoni stromboli
- Broccoli stromboli
- Corn & avocado salsa with chips
- Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
- Pretzels w/ a Hershey's Kiss & Reese's Pieces on top

The funfetti cookies are out of a box. You buy the funfetti cake mix and follow the recipe for cookies that is on the side and I swear, you will get the best tasting cookies in the world. I feel like it is sort of cheap that I am known for something made off a box's recipe... but I have perfected the baking of them so that they are always the perfect softness. Frost with vanilla frosting and decorate for whatever occasion... Halloween, Thanksgiving, Lighting Appreciation Day, Laser 50th Anniversary, etc.

The stromboli... is something I copied from my mom. Take some store bought dough, roll it out, and throw in whatever you have. I've made them with pepperoni, broccoli, spinach, sausage & peppers, etc. Add a little seasonings and some salt, roll the dough up, and bake until golden.

Salsa... I copied this recipe from one of my coworkers who participated in our office's "Top Chef" healthy recipe event. I removed the black beans from the salsa because I am not the biggest fan of black beans. It is still hearty and delicious.

Prosciutto with asparagus. This was a first time for me making this. I have had this before at parties and I just made up my own version. Roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes in the oven so it is a little cooked but still has some crunch and holds its form. Wrap in prosciutto. Done.

And the final thing I put together... I just wanted another little sweet snack to have. One of my coworkers had brought this into work earlier this week and I made this. I bought the pretzels that are like little checkerboards, put a Hershey's Kiss on top and put in the oven at 250 degrees for 3 minutes. Then, push a Reese's Pieces on top so that they all stick together.

I had a great spread and all the food was gone by the end of the night-- but also not too soon! I think I had the right amount for the 30ish people that were here. Some of my friends hadn't had dinner and they were satisfied and some just munched and they were also happy.

I've also got to point out that I have amazing friends who always bring food and one friend brought DELICIOUS peanut butter brownies and another put together a cheese, cracker, and grape spread that included a cinnamon/apple/cranberry cheese spread that was to die for.

I think with this party... I can officially say... EATING SEASON HAS BEGUN!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oprah's Favorite Things

I remember saying when I was younger that one of my goals in life was to be an audience member during one of Oprah's Favorite Things episodes. Welp, looks like that isn't going to ever happen for me!

Here is the list of Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things from the 25th and final season of The Oprah Show. The food items getting extra special love in bold, of course.

1. Diamond watch
2. Tory Burch tote and ballet flats
3. Nikon D3600 camera
4. Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater ($498)
5. Ralph Lauren cashmere robe
6. Judith Ripka crystal and sapphire earrings ($525)
7. Oprah's hair styling products, Andre's hair care line.
8. Full 18 piece set of candles
9. The Rebel Panini Press
10. Knives
11. Beecher's Mac & Cheese
12. Baker's Edge brownie and lasagna pan
13. Ghiradelli brownie mix
14. Course in Weight Loss book
15. Jay-Z's book "Decoded"
16. 5-year Netflix subscription
17. 3D TVs
18. The closet of your dreams from the Container Store ($1000)
19. Oprah farewell season T-shirt
20. Lululemon Relaxed Fit pants ($98)
21. Four pairs of Nike free run shoes (4 x $85)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sausage-Cauliflower Spaghetti-- YUM!

Hello everybody!! I've got another recipe for you all. It was delicious! I tried a recipe that appeared in my Food Network Magazine (which I LOVE) and it was really easy, delicious, and gave me some great ideas for the future.

You can find the complete recipe here but my adapted version is this....

First, you cook some spaghetti. I opted to use a whole box of Prince spaghetti because I knew that my roommate would eat some of this and figured we could both take some in for lunch for the next couple days. While the water was boiling, I started to brown the sausage. Whenever I cook with sausage, I always buy the patties that are supposed to be for sausage burgers. I break that up, which is really simple, and saves me from having to deal with disgusting sausage casings. Ew. I also chopped my garlic and broke up the cauliflower (into pretty small florets) and washed it.

While the pasta is cooking I finished browning the meat, added the garlic to the pan and cooked it, then added the cauliflower. Once the pasta was done and the cauliflower was browned, you take 1 cup of the pasta water and add it to the sausage, garlic, cauliflower mix, cover it, and let it simmer until cauliflower is tender (about 8 minutes) and then uncover, and boil in high until the liquid boils down. Then you throw everything together, add some olive oil, salt, parmesean cheese, toss and voila! The recipe calls for scallions as well, which I left out, and I also added some oil to my pasta so it wouldn't stick (since I had about 10 minutes where the cauliflower was steaming and the pasta was just sitting in its bowl).

Some of the selling points on this meal...

  • All you dirty is a pasta pot and 1 cooking skillet.

  • The ingredients are all inexpensive.

  • Makes a ton so it would be a good meal to entertain with (although I would definitely add the scallions if making this to entertain, the green would make it that much prettier and impressive.)

  • It is easily adaptable.

  • It tastes delicious!

  • Some things I learned that I will apply to other meals...

  • Adding the pasta water to the cauliflower/sausage. I have heard recipes call for this a lot before but I have never actually done it. The starchy water really pulled everything together and made the sauce thicken and stick to the pasta. I am SO excited to try making my Cappello Mastrociliega again and adding some pasta water to the sauce!

  • Steaming the veggie with the pasta water. Perfect!

  • Enjoy everybody!!!

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Open letter to Southern Hospitality restaurant

    To the owners/managers of Southern Hospitality in New York City:

    On Saturday, November 6th, I ate dinner at your restaurant located on 1460 Second Avenue in New York City. The food was wonderful and the atmosphere was great, however, I was disappointed by the dishonesty in one of your advertised promotions. You promote to customers that if you are following Southern Hospitality on Twitter (@BBQNYC) then you will get a "secret password" which entitles you 10% off of your entire bill.

    I showed the waitress I was following the restaurant on Twitter but inquired because I had not seen the password for the day. She first let me know she was going to check with the individual in charge of the Twitter account. When she returned she apologized and said, "Nobody actually set that up for today." I pressed for more information as that wasn't really a satisfying response and there was a sign for the promotion on the wall directly across from me. I also asked about the promotion that the restaurant offers for those who check-in on FourSquare, offering a free pint of Miller Lite. The waitress left to find out more and returned with the answer, "I can get you the free Miller Lite but you actually can only use either the FourSquare promotion or the Twitter promotion." Somewhat understandable I thought, but a no-brainer, and let her know that I would like to use the Twitter promotion and not take the free Miller Lite. She left again to speak with the manager working at the time and returned saying, "We actually don't offer the Twitter promotion on the weekends." When I asked why it didn't say that on the sign, she did not have an answer and asked if I would like a free Miller Lite.

    I did not press the matter any further (and accepted the Miller Lite). I wasn't looking to start an argument and was having a good time with my group of friends. However, the false promotion and advertisement is still bothering me. I am not seeking any sort of refund or anything along those lines, I just truly believe it is dishonest for a restaurant to offer a promotion and advertise it in their store -- but not follow through. At the very least, these signs should be taken down or updated to offer the correct information (although, I believe the "no weekends" response was just an excuse to not have to provide 10% off to my table's bill.)

    Imagine if you were to show up to a clothing store with a coupon and have the cashier tell you that the coupon isn't valid on that particular day, despite the fact that was never mentioned in any of the promotions or coupon "fine print." At least in this circumstance, one would have the option to, upon learning of the misleading ad, not make your purchase. In my case last night at Southern Hospitality, we had already ordered our food and committed to paying the price.

    As digital communications continue to grow and businesses more frequently are offering special deals and promotions through online mediums (Foursquare, Facebook Places, Twitter, etc.), I find it unsettling to think that they could not be held to the same standards of traditional advertising, marketing, and promotions. It is a dishonest practice and should not be tolerated.

    It does not surprise me that 10% off the entire bill just for following @BBQNYC is not true (especially compared to the Foursquare deal.) However, please don't be misleading and take down or update your signs?

    Thank your for a delicious meal and fun time at your restaurant yesterday. Please consider what I have suggested and show your customers that you are honest and straightforward and do not wish to mislead them.

    Katelyn Buress

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    I've been "running" around this town on the corner...

    So.... here are all of my race results off of the Websites. The Susan G. Komen race is the same route as the Freihofer's so it is interesting to compare those results. What I wrote here is exactly off of the Websites but I don't understand how they calculate the pace for these races. I did some math and it doesn't make sense to me.

    The way that I figure it... my pace for the Susan Komen race was 11.12 minutes. I really tried to up my pace for the last mile. I finished the first mile at 13.38, factoring in that it took a bit to get across the start line. The time at mile 2 was 25.38, which keeps right at my 12 minute mile pace I usually figure for myself. I really pushed myself to pick up the speed, especially as the race course went downhill for mile 3 and the extra .2 .... finishing that last 1.2 miles in 11.46.

    And there ya have it....

    Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K, 10/2/10
    Chip time: 35.52 minutes
    Time: 37.22 minutes
    Pace: 12.02

    GE Energy 5K, 9/9/10
    Time: 36.24
    Pace: 11.43

    Firecracker 4 Mile Race, 7/4/10
    Time: 49.16 minutes

    Freihofer's 5K, 6/5/10
    Chip time: 37.40 minutes
    Actual time: 38.48 minutes
    Pace 12:08

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Happy New Year!

    So... today is my "New Year's Day."

    I've been celebrating my birthday for the past few weeks (I know, I know... even for me it was too long) and eating everything in sight but today I christened to be "New Year's Day" and I started by 10-week training plan for the 15K I want to run and gave my eating habits a quick makeover.

    No, I am not perfect. No, I will never be. But I am trying.

    I am going to aim more for fueling my body rather than cutting the most calories possible. Training for the 15K is going to be really tough for me and I hope I can do it. Today was an easy day. A "stretch and strengthen" day. I did yoga and spent a lot of time just stretching out my muscles to get back into the swing of things. For food.

    Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with skim milk.
    Dunkin Donuts egg white flatbread sandwich
    Salad (all veggies, no dressing)
    1/2 turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, no dressing or sauces
    Steamed ginger chicken and green beans

    And just to clarify, if there is anybody out there who still reads this thing. I am writing what I ate, not because I think you'll care, but because I need to hold myself accountable.

    Goodnight and Happy New Year :)

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    Summer Seasonal Foods

    Hey everybody, so I wrote an entry in the fall about the fall seasonal foods that I was obsessed with at the time. Welp, we're smack dab in the middle of summer and smack dab in the middle of my obsession will all foods summery so I figured I'd share with you what some of those loves are:

    - Ice cream! (I love, love seasonal ice cream places)
    - Popsicles (even though I do eat year round)
    - Corn on the cob
    - Fruit salad (my favorite is simple... grapes, strawberries, and blueberries)
    - Lots of ice cold water
    - Iced coffee
    - Frozen lemonade (I miss Rhode Island and Del's lemonade)
    - Burgers and hot dogs on the grill
    - Cold, crunchy salads with lots of veggies

    I think some of the things that change for me when the summer comes around is not just the foods that I crave but the way I cook . In my apartment I don't have AC and I will now do anything I can to avoid using the oven. No more quiches or baked pies or roasted vegetables. Instead I try to eat food more in their natural and raw forms-- which is great with all of the seasonal, fresh produce that is available now.

    No more baked chicken-- instead, chicken on the grill. No more sauteed veggies-- instead I will throw them into a big salad. No more fresh baked cookies-- instead I will go out for a soft serve cone of Guptill's ice cream or Kurver's. No more making a meal in the crock pot on the weekend to eat throughout the week-- instead I'll put together a nice big fruit salad to have for breakfast every day. And if I'm going out to eat, no more automatically opting for one of the Cap Region's italian restaurants with delicious pasta and chicken dishes drowning in delicious sauces-- instead, I'm drawn to the places I know I can get delicious, overflowing salads with crispy greens, or Mexican restaurants with fresh, cool, mountains of guac.

    I love living somewhere with a change of seasons not just to enjoy the different outdoor activities that come with the winter and summer. I love living somewhere with a change of seasons not just because I enjoy seeing the way that the blanketed wintertime snow or the bright summer sunshine can make the same scene beautiful in two different ways.

    But I love the living somewhere with a change of seasons for the subtle ways that the change in those seasons, change the little ways that we live our life. Everything from the clothes we wear to the food we eat to the way we cook and socialize with friends.

    Happy summer everyone!

    (and please, tell me what summer foods I'm forgetting in the comments, because I know there are more!!)

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Update: I did better than I thought!

    Just a quick update... I checked the results on the Freihofer's Web site and my actual race time was: 37:40 minutes and I ran at a pace of 12:08. I know that is probably way slow for a lot of people's mindset but I'm proud of myself.


    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Ghaza khoshmazeh bood!

    For the past year and a half I've been living in a beautiful 4-bedroom apartment. Throughout the time we've been here, we've had a bit of revolving door of roommates. Although there are definitely some hassles that go along with living with so many people, there is also many benefits. One of which for a food lover like me is getting to share a kitchen with people of different backgrounds, nationalities, tastes, preferences, etc. I definitely must say that many of my favorite recipes and food insights are inspired by my roommates (my other inspirations are my mom and the Food Network). One of the most notorious roommate-inspired meals is breaded chicken wrapped around mozzarella cheese in white wine/garlic sauce. I will forever think of 604 Walnut when I make mozzarella chicken (an apartment speciality).

    Last week one of my good friends moved into my current Albany apartment and with him brought a box full of new spices and flavors that are new to my taste palate and cooking styles. My most recent roommate, Bahman, is from Iran and as I just learned today, he is an incredible Persian cook. For dinner tonight Bahman made Ashton and I chicken, steak, and rice. He marinated the chicken in saffron, onion, and olive oil. The steak in oil and onion. He made saffron rice, grilled tomatoes, and served with a post-cooking sprinkle of a spice brought from Iran called Sumac. It was all DELICIOUS.

    One of the coolest things about Bahman's meal was that he was also able to tell me a bit about the spices and the meal that he was cooking. The saffron comes in a tiny, tiny tin and is steeped in hot water before used to marinate the chicken. The saffron is brought from Iran and is actually more expensive than gold due to the laborious process of hand picking the saffron from the flowers, then drying and curing the saffron. The rice that Bahman cooked us was made in a way where he boiled the rice with water, drained the rice and rinsed with cold water, and recooked on the hot water with saffron. This way, although delicious, loses some of the nutrients and in Iran, you'll see a lot of men with protruding bellies-- which isn't a beer belly but a rice belly!

    I'm looking forward to learning more about Persian cooking and foods and very thankful to have a roommate who is nice enough to cook for me and share his culture with me!

    Happy, happy weekend :)

    This weekend was absolutely wonderful. Saturday AM I ran my first 5K of my life. Although I ran in he 2005 Arnold Mills Road Race and then a few weeks ago in the Corporate Challenge road race... this race was the first that I was able to complete running the whole time! I ran the race in 38 minutes and 45 seconds. It was quite an accomplishment for me as I have always, always struggled with running. During elementary school gym class I was a member of the "slow poke's club" and not even Mrs. Kenwood's cheers of "Let's go joggers!!!" could motivate me to even run a mile. In middle school I was on the cross country team but just walked the runs, socialized, and snuck off the paths to find little streams and rivers to play in. In high school, I swam, joined the track team as a thrower, and played on the line during flag football-- anything and everything to avoid running.
    But after months of training and hurt knees and physical therapy and icing and stretching... I ran for 3.2 miles without stopping! It is a big source of pride for me.

    I prepared for the Saturday morning run by eating a nice meal of carbs on Friday night. I hadn't had a bowl of pasta in a while so I planned to make it special by recreating a meal that I
    have eaten time and time again while at my favorite restaurant in Florence, Italy. Attached is a picture of this amazing meal at a trattoria called Mastrociliega.

    The menu in Italy says it is made with gorgonzola cheese and truffle. There is asparagus in the dish and penne pasta. To try and recreate this meal, I first bought a bottle of truffle oil from a local specialty italian deli for $23.95. I had some fresh asparagus and a block of fresh gorgonzola cheese.

    To make the sauce, which isn't very thick, I first started melting some (a lot) of butter in a pan and adding a small amount of the gorgonzola cheese. Right from the beginning, it was smelling good in the kitchen. I had been planning on adding some flour to the butter to make a rue and make the sauce a bit thicker, but alas, we were out of flour so I couldn't do that. I also wanted to add some milk to the dish... all we had was skim milk, which was a bit thinner than I wanted but I tried it anyway. I let the milk, butter, and cheese melt and simmer together and reduce. The truffle oil smelled amazing and it was the last thing I added. I also put a bit of salt into the sauce.

    I boiled and salted the water, cooked the pasta, and for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking I dropped the asparagus into the water. I drained everything and mixed the sauce and the pasta. I finished it off with a bit of fresh grated mozzarella cheese.

    Now, I don't think anything can compare to the dish that is made at Mastrociliega's but I have to admit. It was really, really good. And I still have a TON of truffle oil left so definitely more to come. I think in the future I will try the dish again using some flour to make a rue and using a fattier milk. Definitely not a diet meal... but it was good. Perhaps it will be a pre-race ritual for me??

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Fallen off the wagon

    Lately, I've been going the route of full disclosure in my life. I'm opting to do that here by saying that, in the last week, I'm completely fallen off the wagon (I *think* that is the right phrase? please let me know in the comments if I am wrong, so I don't continue to say that).

    Last night I ate a full pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

    Today, I went to go for a run to the grocery store, and walked only after a few blocks.

    I know, I have a legitimate reason for having a hard time with running. I have been having bad pain in my knee and am waiting for the "Health Coach" at work to get back to me with orthopedic recommendations. However, I don't need to have gone off the deep end with eating poorly. But that is exactly what I have done.

    Since the beginning of February I have been working to build my endurance with running by doing a downloaded program that was recommended to me called "Couch to 5K". It has been AWESOME. For the first time in life, I have been enjoying working out and enjoying challenging myself. Yes, I always did sports but I was always mediocre at them. Probably because I didn't have that drive to push myself to the limits physically. I swam in high school because I loved the water (still do!) and loved the physical exercise and loved the feeling of having a good work out in the pool. But, I still didn't push myself past the points that I felt comfortable at. I have had to do that with my recent attempts to "become a runner" as I like to say.

    In the process of working on becoming a better runner, I have developed, what I think, is a really healthy attitude around food. I found myself eating healthier, not because I thought it would make me lose weight, but because I wanted to fuel my body the best way possible for my workouts. I wasn't stressing over everything I put in my mouth because I knew that I was working my body hard. I didn't really lose any weight (maybe 5 lbs or so) but I started to not really be concerned with that. I FELT good.

    But now I am not running. And although it has been just over a week, this past week has been pretty hard on me. I just don't feel as good about myself and don't have as much motivation to eat healthy. I'm not sure what to do to get me out of this fitness funk. I need to dig deep and find something to pull myself back onto the wagon.

    And I'll just keep my fingers crossed that I can get to the doctor soon and learn what is going on with my knee.

    Sorry for the rant! I want to get back to writing here and will be hopefully back soon. This entry was a bit like therapy for me... so thanks for listening.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010


    Hi All-- guess what??? I am in Orlando for a work conference and tonight I get to eat at Emeril's restaurant Chop Chop (I think that is what it is called?).

    I am so excited! I think it might be inappropriate to take a picture of my plate for the blog... but I'll be thinking about wanting to the whole time.

    Talk to y'all soon!

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Things I want to make/eat...

    I started following a new blog on my Google Reader. Actually, I don't know if it would be considered a food blog but it is called Food Gawker and it has the most delicious looking pictures of food you've ever seen in your life. Apparently there are recipes to go along with them and they are all from random food blogs *such as this one, ehem*.

    I must try each and every one.

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    Twenty Ten

    Happy New Year!

    I must say that I am sort of pumped to be past the holiday eating festivities. My waistline is not happy with me. Or really, the waists of my pants are not happy. Problem.

    I haven't been writing lately for a number of reasons... one of which is that I literally have been spending too much of my time eating to pause for even a moment to stop and reflect. Instead, I've been feeding my face as if there was no tomorrow with homemade fudge, pasta and homemade sauces or "gravies", french fries from some of the finest diners up and down the East coast, discount Christmas candy, soups, homemade chocolate covered pretzels, gingerbread cookies, chinese food, and then of course beer, wine, and champagne. Happy freaking new year. Sheesh.

    Now that this is all over, I am back to work for a week and then will be leaving to go to Orlando, Florida for 10 days. Most of which will be for a work conference which are routinely also filled with mass amounts of eating (it is typical at one of these conferences for me to be working 14+ hours a day and constantly chewing and swallowing is one of the best ways to keep myself awake and focused).

    All of that being said... I spent today getting back to some of my normal eating and cooking habits. I do everything that I can to have a Sunday routine that involves going to the grocery store and buying foods to prepare for the week. I like to eat the same basic things for lunch every week, which helps me to have a routine, manage what I eat, and not spend a ton of money overshopping or eating out.

    At the grocery store today I purchased:

    - Box of Special K Cinnamon & Pecan.
    - 5 Dannon Light and Fit yogurts
    - Carrots
    - Green beans
    - 5 Apples
    - Box of Fiber One bars (peanut butter and oats)
    - English muffins
    - Turkey

    These are pretty much weekly staples of mine. And alright, ready? Here is a tip I have, that I think actually works REALLY well. Every Sunday right after I grocery shop, I take out 5 ziplock sandwich baggies and I immediately bag up the vegetables into serving size bags. That way when I am up in the mornings getting ready for work, everything is ready for me to grab. If I ever purchase bags of chips or crackers, I immediately put them into baggies of one serving each as well.

    And the english muffins? I typically don't eat more than 4-5 in a week and they come in a bag of 6 so right away I will put a few into the freezer.

    Anybody with a similar lifestyle to me, I swear doing these things right after grocery shopping on a Sunday will help you to get out of the house faster in the mornings, eat proper serving sizes, and waste less food.

    Happy New Year-- sorry for the random and rambling post!

    P.S. I am so pumped for the results of Jackie's salsa challenge... anybody else?

    Salsa Challenge

    Those who know me understand that my favorite meal consists of guacamole, salsa and chips (and maybe a margarita on the side -- but a dirty vodka martini is always my number one beverage of choice).

    Good guacamole is hard to find, but I have discovered that good salsa is even harder to find. Over the next several weeks (I hope that's all it takes), I am going to embark on a quest to find the best salsa money can buy. At the end of my quest, I plan on making my own salsa -- and including the recipe here -- by figuring out which ingredients I like more and which ingredients I like less in what I perceive to be the perfect salsa.

    I'm not going to discriminate: I will try store-brand, sit-on-your-shelf-for-a-year-and-not-go-bad glass-jarred salsa and I will try fancy, plastic-container, short-shelf-life organic salsa -- I will try every salsa I can. I will then write about them here, on this blog.

    I invite you to send in suggestions of your favorite salsas and salsa recipes. If you wouldn't mind including a note about why you love it, I'd love it!

    Happy Eating.