Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stretch

Growing up the youngest in a family of five I was lucky to have a mother who worked very hard to get a wholesome well-rounded meal on the table every night by 6 o'clock. If my memory serves me right, dinner was different every night each week except for one random night that my mother named "Must Goes". 

"Must-Goes" night was a sort of last hurrah of all the leftovers from dinner throughout the week. Macaroni and cheese served alongside a ham and cheddar quiche. Maybe some creamed corn with some tuna casserole. Typically, there were many choices on "Must-Goes" night with the only rule being we had to eat, but what we ate was up to us. My brothers and I would try to lay claim to our favorite dishes first to avoid less desirable leftovers. Needless to say, when it was "Must-Goes" night we got to the table quick to get the best of what was leftover before someone else did.

I've written about my aversion to leftovers before, but I want to make clear that it's not the result of my mother's random "Must-Goes" dinner nights growing up. When cooking for a family of five leftovers are typically not in abundance, which means serving them all up on one night is usually enough to clear the fridge for the next grocery shop, as well as to clear the conscious knowing that nothing is going to waste.

Cooking and shopping for one is a whole other situation. Following traditional recipes means there could be potentially days of leftovers looming, which is probably where I developed my great dislike of them. The idea of eating the exact same thing for days is completely disheartening and depressing. So trying to balance the need for a different meal every night to avoid potential culinary depression with the desire to not waste food or money often proves to be a challenge.

I don't have the solution yet, but I did make some baked chicken this morning that can be used in a variety of ways over the next couple of days. I baked it at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes with some basil, thyme and butter. I figure I can use it for sandwiches, maybe toss it in a salad or add it to some pasta and tomato sauce.

This is what it looked like before I put it in the oven...


I forgot to take a picture after it came out, so look at the above picture and imagine the butter all melted and bubbly around the herb covered chicken.

Happy Cooking

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Issues

It's so easy to sit at my computer on a lazy Sunday morning and conjure up all the reasons to eat breakfast and then blindly commit to making and consuming breakfast every day during the work week.

In my post on Sunday I impulsively threw out to the world that I would enjoy a simple breakfast each morning for seven days in a row. It all seemed so easy, but it wasn't.

Monday, being a holiday, was easy. Breakfast done by 10 am.

Tuesday, a work day, not so much.

Today, a work day,  not so much.

I have a problem eating breakfast... it's very clear now.

It's not that I forget-- I have been very conscious of breakfast for the last two days. I just have a complete aversion to it during the work week and I'm not sure how to remedy the situation.

Here's how it played out today...

7:30 am: 
I wake up and think "I need to have breakfast this morning."

7:35 am:
Coffee in hand I sit at the computer reading news and email thinking to myself, "I need to make breakfast."

8:00 am:
Realize it's 8 am and I need to get ready thinking to myself "No time now so I will get some breakfast at work."

8:30 am:
Walk to work thinking to myself, "Wow, I am so proud of myself for walking to work, but I really need to get on that breakfast thing."

8:45 am
Go to cafeteria with Toni to get coffee. While in cafeteria thinking to myself, "I really should get some breakfast and prove to myself I can do this."

9:00 am
Back at desk with coffee and no breakfast.

On the way home tonight I decided it's best to come clean and admit that I have a serious issue with breakfast during the week. Breakfast on the weekends? No problem. Breakfast during the work week? Serious issues.

Now I am finding myself being overly slightly obsessive regarding the whole breakfast issue. I'm wondering if there's some kind of support group for people like me. Like a Breakfast Anonymous group-- "Hi, my name's April and I hate eating breakfast during the week." 

I need to take this whole breakfast thing under advisement until I figure it out. I have a job and a life and the whole neurotic breakfast worrying is starting to get in the way. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on the bigger goal to be a healthier, lighter and all-around better person... at lunch and dinner.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Breaking the Fast


Is eating breakfast part of being an all-around better person?

Considering a co-worker once threw a Zone bar at me due to my no-breakfast crabbiness I would have to agree that there's value in starting the day with a little something to ward off the not-so-favorable mid-morning mood change.

I subscribe to the three cups of coffee starter plan for my day, so trying to incorporate anything more since starting my new healthy challenge has been...well, a challenge.

To  kick off week 2 of my challenge to be a healthier, lighter and all-around better person I am going to try and have breakfast every morning this week.

 I started today with one of my most favorite things-- sliced avocado and cream cheese on toast. 

1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
1/4 avocado, sliced

This is not the first time I've posted this complicated recipe, so if you want to review assembly instructions click here. If you want to know if I meet this challenge follow me on twitter-- just click the "follow me" button at the top of this page. If you have any quick and easy breakfast ideas please share in the comments. I don't think I've ever eaten breakfast seven days in a row, so I need all the ideas I can get!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Coke Fiend

I am a Coke fiend.



Over the years I have developed strong opinions regarding the manner in which a Coke is served and have created a ranking system:

Coke in a Plastic Bottle
This is my least favorite way to enjoy a Coke. If nothing else is available I will settle for it only if I'm really itching for a fix. I'm not sure what it is, but there must be something about storing Coke in a plastic bottle that degrades it's quality. If any scientists are reading this blog please share your insights in the comments. If any scientists actually read this and then share their insights I might possibly die of shock.

Coke in a Can
This is a totally acceptable way to drink a Coke and a big step-up from the plastic bottle option. Popping the top on an icy cold can of Coke is very satisfying. But...

Coke from a Fountain
...If fountain Coke is available I will choose this option over the previous two every time. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with amount of carbonation-- there's definitely more in a fountain drink that makes it seem more refreshing.

Coke in a Glass Bottle
Hands down the best way to enjoy an icy cold Coca-Cola. If anyone begs to differ it's because either they have no soul or they've never pulled an icy cold coke in a glass bottle from a cooler on a hot summer day. Glass bottles have a magic effect on Coke and bring out the perfect balance of sweet Coke-y goodness and fizz.


Oh, Coke in a glass bottle, how I love thee.

When I set out on my "be a lighter, healthier and all-around better person"  mission almost a week ago I pledged to not completely cut out my most favorite things. Coke is one of those things, but, unfortunately, too much of it doesn't really help me achieve my goal.

So instead of cutting it out completely I have decided to only cut out the lesser ways it's served. I will no longer drink coke from a plastic bottle, can or from the fountain. If I am to enjoy a fix I will only do so if it is available in a glass bottle.

Coke in a glass bottle is not widely available except at grocery stores, which means I can purchase coke in a glass bottle for at-home consumption. I am limiting myself to one 6-pack a week, which is equal to 48 ounces of Coke a week. I used to drink almost that much in a single day.

I think this bold act will lead to great results.

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