Weekend Catch Up

I know that my posting comes in waves; there are daily posts that dwindle to nothing for a month and then I’ll reappear.  I’m sure this is no way to garner an audience, but life happens.

I headed up to Albany after work on Friday, and Mister and I were both equally tired and hungry by the time it got dark out.  We agreed on take out from Rain on Lark Street, after having stopped in for a drink last week and agreeing the food smelled and looked promising.

We picked up our takeout, and ate it on the couch with our sweatpants on; which is the best way to eat any and all takeout.

This stuff was really good.  It wasn’t nearly as greasy as typical Chinese takeout, and didn’t leave us feeling like bloated, sweaty monsters.  There was flavor, texture, and quality to our order, and we would definitely order again.  The only thing I didn’t like, was their won ton soup.  Interestingly enough, the menu we were looking at online for ordering listed it only as “Shanghai style won ton soup.” The menu on their website lists it as “shrimp and pork won ton.” This additional shrimp information makes a world of difference; when I bit into the dumplings, the filling was almost sausage like in its consistency.  Lumpy and almost gristly, it was unappealing.  Knowing now that it was shrimp mixed with pork explains it enough, but I wouldn’t order again.

Saturday morning, Mister and I had our second wedding related planning appointment.  After a year of being engaged, we set a wedding date and booked a venue.  On Saturday, we also confirmed our photographer.  Since our wedding date isn’t until June of 2017, we’ve got plenty of time to worry about the small things, and I’m making sure to check off the big ticket items as soon as I can.

Sunday, was when the fun went into full swing.  We started the day off with a workout at Flight Trampoline Park, which I can’t recommend enough.  Want to work up a sweat, while laughing for about an hour? They have instructor led fitness classes Saturday and Sundays, where you get to jump around barefoot.

Following that class, I got to the serious business of meal prepping.

I like cooking, and I like eating.  But with my living/work situation I can’t always find the time to do both well.  So I’ve gotten in the habit of cooking up a storm for myself and Mister over the weekend, to last throughout the week.

This Sunday, I cooked up:

3 containers of lean ground beef, riced cauliflower, and mushrooms

3 containers of shredded buffalo chicken salad and broccoli slaw

3 beef burrito bowls with rice, beans, and veggies

4 plain baked/shredded chicken breasts.

1 dozen hard boiled eggs

This, combined with some leftovers, cut up veggies, and my office stockpile of oatmeal will get us both on a good start for the breakfast and lunches for the week.  Some will be eaten for dinner depending on our schedule, and I’m sure we’ll grab a sandwich or something else to add to the mix when necessary.  But my point is, this took about an hour of grocery shopping and an hour or two of cooking while watching TV.

With the wedding coming up, I’m trying to keep myself more accountable on watching the bank account and my dress size; so making sure we eat healthy meals on a budget is important.

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Hype

Trader Joes Cookie Butter.
People love that stuff, like really love it. I’m a fan of Fall and Holiday season flavors; I love all the pumpkin, gingerbread, maple conceptions that appear. So it wasn’t difficult for a Trader Joes employee to talk me into a jar of Cookie Butter.

That was a year ago and I finally finished that stupid jar this morning. I know Trader Joes has a great return policy, but I just kept thinking I just hadn’t figured out what to do with the stuff yet. I put it on toast, pancakes, with jelly, etc.

This stuff is thick. With an almost gritty texture that always reminds me of lard.

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Several types of sugar and margarine seem to be the basis for this off conception. While its marketed similar to peanut butter, it should really be sold as more of an actual butter. Except it doesn’t melt.

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This morning I finally used up the last of the stupid jar by making my morning oatmeal in it. I microwaved the oats with almond milk right on the jar. The cookie butter didn’t even mix with the oatmeal after a stir. But it’s settling nicely in every artery and pore of my body. I feel lethargic and greasy, from a mere two-ish tablespoons of this awful stuff. But I’m a stubborn, determined person and felt some sick satisfaction in finishing off the jar that has been lingering for way too long.

Resolve to Bake

I will bake more. I will bake more. I will bake more.

I’m trying. Solemnly swear.

This enthusiasm for warm food and fall flavors drove me to try a muffin recipe. This is from an old Cooking Light cookbook I unearthed from my shelf.

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I didn’t have dates, or pineapple. Subbed in some figs, diced apple, and pecan bits instead of walnuts. Oh and I didn’t have any bananas in the freezer (weird right?!) so I used one almost ripe banana and extra Greek yogurt.

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I also added some vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. I should’ve added more. These muffins were so moist and texturally perfect with the apples and pecans. But so bland. So bland. Ugh. Oh well, nothing extra butter and jam can’t fix.

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Breakfast Rut

This weird weather has gotten me in a very cozy breakfast rut. I can make it without thinking at 7 am when I get home from the gym and it has the perfect blend of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, and sugar.

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I mix a scoop of whey isolate protein powder with half a cup of oats. Cover with water and microwave for 6 minutes at 40% power.

Then mash that all up. The texture isn’t bizarre like those egg white oatmeal concoctions because the protein powder is a little more “solid.”

Once that’s done I add one cup of blueberries, one packet of stevia, and a quarter of a cup of walnuts. Cover with as much cinnamon and ginger as you want.

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Not Everyone’s A Winner

We’ve all seen those tantalizing recipes on Pinterest, or the inventive combinations bragged about on Instagram. I’ve stolen a few ideas for recipes or meals; but let’s face it, they’re not all the greatest thing. Even if they have a pretty border and great photos.

This morning I tried something new for breakfast, mixing my cooking oatmeal with my raw egg whites. The theory is they cook together making a light, fluffy breakfast with protein and cinnamon. Nope. Liar.

I ended up with a clumpy bowl of boogers. Sorry but it wasn’t good. I might have done something wrong but I think this process would only work if you loaded it up with all the fruit, peanut butter, and nuts shown in the pictures, which defeats the simplicity and low calorie enticement.

I couldn’t even take a picture, because it was chunky, white globs in a bowl. No one wants to see that.