Sunday, January 31, 2010

Um, we can talk for a sec?

This stuff is divine. I want to be clear; I don't know the folks at Pacific Natural foods and they don't know me, but they did something really, really good. Kendall and I have been on a hunt for good French Onion soup since Tres Konor in Chicago. But we've been seeking one without beef broth. This is REALLY good.

Not as good as Tres K. But a close second.

At $3 for 32 oz., it's a decent deal.

Just heat and serve. But see how it's brothy? That's because it's all broth. Not an onion in sight. Definitely in taste, but not in sight. So I would saute your own onions to add to this.

I also recommend adding a little extra. Like some homemade croutons and shredded cheese.

Worth it, no?

Weekend in Review

Long time, no post. I know. Mea culpa... again.

Friday's breakfast was oatmeal. For lunch, some black beans, a piece of toast, and a salad. Then for dinner, Kendall came home from his week long conference, and we ordered pizza! We had it with a beer. Yum!

Saturday morning, we slept in. I beat Kendall out of bed, and decided to get all domestic and welcome him home with some crepes! We ran our errands, and went home for lunch. I roasted a Cornish hen and we had French Onion soup... more on that later! Then I boiled some chicken and made some stock for dinner.

We had a friend over for dinner, and I made chicken fideo. So good. So hearty. I love that stuff. Good lord. We fed 3 people and I later boxed up enough for 4 more meals. More on that later. We also had salad, but finished it that night. That brings my grand total per meal to $1.34! Just the fideo by itself is just $0.63. Um... score!
Sunday morning, we were up and at'em! I had the best.oatmeal.ever, and then helped clean the kitchen and floors. The house was spin and span! Then Kendall did taxes and I did homework. AND I baked this...
Cranberry-Walnut-Cinnamon Bread. Oh baby!

After all of our hard work, it was time for some lunch. I had two pieces of left over chicken and spinach pizza and some more French Onion soup. Yes. It was good.
We shopped around Sunday afternoon for a phone and finally figured out something that will work. Why new phones? Because Maple chewed on my phone charger, breaking the cord, rendering it useless. We had both been meaning to replace our phones, and here was our golden opportunity.
For dinner, a little Asian slaw... which is super duper delicious!

While I used at dinner... chicken teriyaki and brown rice and a beer. So hearty and filling.

AND CHEAP. It made enough for four meals, and came out to $1.17 per meal. Great deal!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yesterday's News

SO, I was GOING to take a photo of dinner. But I had left my camera upstairs the night before. And the dog was running around, looking like she was fixing to chew on everything we own. So I had to keep my eye on her. The nice camera was out. Point-and-shoot! I got it out, but the batteries were dead. No batteries in the case. I was starving. So no photo.

Bowl of cereal with milk

Half a grapefruit
Hot Tea

Leftover cheese ravioli with sauce

Carrots with some dressing

Black bean and cheese quesadilla
Salad with homemade dressing

1 square dark chocolate

Thinking about a CSA

After becoming obsessed with Michael Pollan yesterday, I went ahead and revisited the idea of joining a CSA. I looked into it about a year ago when Kendall and I shopped heavily at our local farmers' market. Notice how that's in the past tense? We found a problem-- a lot of Saturday mornings, we were running other errands, the weather was crappy (too hot, too cold, too wet) and in the winter, and we found ourselves not really wanting to eat seasonally. Summer's great here, but in the winter, I struggle with root and leafy veggies. Our bad. But we didn't commit because of price.

So now I'm looking into joining a CSA. There are several around Austin. Most run about $30-$35 for a 1/2 bushel of produce from a local farmer. For the amount of food that we would get, I think it would be cheaper than what we'd spend at the farmers' market, just picking things out. Plus, it would force us to learn how to cook some things! And we could pick it up in our area on Friday night or Saturday morning.

Currently, we're spending about half of the CSA price on produce from our supermarket. So we're going to have to do some thinking and talking.

I'm all for eating more veggies, and I like the idea of sort of being forced to try some new stuff. I also like the idea of having to tailor my week's menu to the expected harvest for that week (usually, the farm will post this on their web site the week of pick-up). Also, when we ate from the farmers' market, we felt better and noticed our seasonal pollen allergies weren't as severe.

But paying double for food gives me pause, again. I understand the arguments as to why eating locally and organically is worth it, but we also have some pretty hefty saving goals this year...

What are your thoughts, gentle readers?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Direction?

Confession: I've been thinking about how this whole receipt thing isn't work out. I started with the best of intentions. But I often find myself buying lots of a staple that's on sale. When was the last time I seriously spent $40 on groceries?

For example, this weekend, I plan to stock up on some goodies... chicken, shrimp, mahi mahi, red onions, red potatoes, red bell peppers, avocados, whole wheat pasta and papaya... They're all on sale and who could say no? Right, right, so the produce can't live forever (we will DEFINITELY go through avocados and bell peppers in a week. Love them!). My brain sister introduced me to the loveliness of papaya in a fresh green salad. I'm planning to throw one together with one of my cheap-but-so-good meals, fideo! Plus, you can also freeze those puppies and put them in fruit salad, bring them along as cubes with your lunch, or pair them with yogurt or add to a smoothie!

Perhaps I should start calculating how much a meal costs per serving... It wouldn't be hard, and I think I might surprise myself. Perhaps I feel like I eat on the cheap, but I don't. Perhaps I'll be surprised by how low the number is!

I'll give it a whirl... In the mean time, I'm planning to whip up some major meals this weekend. I've been really inspired by Epicurious' interview with Michael Pollan and the Wasted Food blog shared by Mark Bittman on Bitten. With me in class, I'm hoping to make a heaping bunch and freeze it for easy homemade microwave dinners and perhaps teach Kendall a bit about cooking in the process. I'm hoping it will help us waste less. I seriously need to take stock of what is in my pantry! I know I have bits of pastas, some lentils, canned goods, etc. I need to weed through it all and use it up!

Here's what I'm planning so far, based on sales this weekend...
  • Thai-Style Chicken in Coconut Sauce, served with rice and an Asian Slaw (bone-in chicken of various cuts, red bell peppers and Napa cabbage on sale)
  • Chicken Fideo served with corn tortillas and guacamole, paired with a papaya, pepper and greens salad (bone-in chicken of various cuts, red bell peppers, papaya on sale)
  • Mahi Mahi (not sure how, but have found several great recipes) served with roughly mashed red potatoes and broccoli (fish, potatoes and broccoli crowns on sale)
  • Shrimp Stir-fry of some sort? I have rice, and sugar snap peas in the freezer, plus broccoli & shrimp is on sale.

I figured this will give us some fun new recipes to try and store for this week or later use. It sounds ambitious, and we might not make all four, but I think three would be fun!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hungry all the time...

Perhaps it has been the fact that I feel like I've been running 90 miles a minute recently, but I have been HUNGRY all day, all week!

So, you know how I sort of didn't write about what I ate on Tuesday? Well guess what? I didn't STARVE or anything-- I had best. ever. oats with peanut butter & milk for breakfast, a chicken breast 6-inch sub on 9-grain bread and LOTS of veggies for lunch, a PIECE OF CARROT CAKE for a snack before class (because I was starving and my body was craving FAT) and then chicken pot pie and a salad for dinner. And I drank water. Lots of water. And I ended the evening with herbal tea.

And yesterday, I had an omelet, grapefruit, juice, an English muffin, coffee, a salad, soup, a tortilla, tuna salad with crackers, and ravioli! Oh, and chocolates and a piece of pie! I'm eating! So why am I so hungry?

Do you ever experience this phenomenon? When I look at what I've put in my mouth, I feel like I shouldn't be hungry, but I am. Hmph.

It's Been a While

Whew! Life has been a whirlwind. Mostly it has been class that has been keeping me busy! I was without access to my laptop, so I'm updating for the first time in a few days.

Today was busy busy busy! My Dad made me a veggie omelet this morning, which I had with 1/2 grapefruit and an English muffin. 'Twas delish!

Work was hectic with meetings and cases and distributing... oh my! I was exhausted ALL DAY LONG.

For lunch, I had about 2 C of veggie soup and a big salad with black beans. On the side, I had a flour tortilla.

Then I ate 4 chocolates. Sorry.

I needed a snack before class, so I took advantage of the "healthy options" vending machine at work and picked up one of those tuna kits. I got it for the tuna, but was happy that there wasn't a ton of mayo or crackers. It definitely wouldn't be an entire meal, but held me well through class and the drive home!

Once home, I took some time to put together something yummy and easy...

Cheese ravioli with tomato sauce and some steam broccoli with spinach.

Oh yeah, baby.
The meal really hit the spot. I watched a bit of the State of the Union and am now ready for sleep!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What a Weekend

Folks, no photos. And I'm sorry about that, but it couldn't have been helped. Mainly, because my family just spent the weekend grappling with something very hard, but it turned out well. I'll spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say, I am emotionally drained. But I am relieved and happy.

NOW. Let's talk about FOOD!

I ate out a lot this weekend. Couldn't be helped. But here's what went in my mouth...

  • Instant oats made with milk
  • Chicken burger, fries, diet soda
  • Water
  • Grilled tilapia with a lemon sauce on the side, tomato slices, green beans with butter, and a small roll
  • Handful of popcorn

  • Lowfat strawberry yogurt
  • 1/2 English muffin w/ a bit of peanut butter and apple jelly
  • most of a banana
  • 3/4 C scrambled eggs with hot sauce
  • Coffee
  • Cranberry juice
  • Blueberry bagel
  • Water
  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Thai chicken & cashew stir-fry (loaded with veggies) w/ 1/2 C steamed jasmine rice

Let me just talk about the stir-fry for a sec. I've been looking for a better alternative at Thai restaurants because coconut milk is high in saturated fat and there aren't a lot of veggies in my curries. I love curries. I don't ever want to let them go. But sometimes I want vegetables! This stir-fry, Pud Cashew, was amazing. LOADED with veggies! Baby corn, green bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, onions, celery. Yum! Plus the chicken and cashews were great. And the sauce was more of a broth (thin) and was had that soy sauce tang and salty but was also sweet! My only suggestions was that I like more heat in my Thai food. I tried a few condiments, and might mix in some chiles at the very start next time. I think I might recommend this one to my Papa, because he likes the flavors in Thai food, but is not a spicy food fan.

The weekend was not the most nutritiously sound, but I'm writing it off to being a total roller coaster.

I probably won't get around to blogging tonight, but basically, here's what I'll be eating today...

  • Instant oatmeal with milk
  • Coffee
  • Hot cocoa
  • Leftover stir-fry with rice and a banana
  • Turkey or chicken sandwich from Subway (I have class tonight, and am going to my Aunt's class after class... I am debating between picking up a footlong and having half for dinner and saving the other half for lunch the next day? That sounds like a decent plan to me!)

Friday, January 22, 2010

I love Fridays. I took Maple for a walk, then got dressed and some breakfast. Today, I had a cup of shredded wheat and milk. I grabbed some coffee and went out the door.

I sort of had a donut at my desk around 10:15 am. Whoops. Actually, I don't feel that bad about it. It was good.

Kendall packed lunch, which included a turkey sandwich and an apple. It was simple but satisfying.

Then there was cake. No, folks, I'm NOT making this up. There was chocolate cake for a co-workers last day. I sort of felt bad about it. But it did taste REALLY good.

I did get some Organic Chemistry homework done, but I also got stuck. SUCKAGE!

Once I was home sweet home, I took Maple on another walk, got the mail, and started prepping our fancy schmancy Friday dinner.

First, the guac.
Hello, gorgeous.

Oh my. Oh dear me. That looks perfect.
What's that you say? It's Friday and I should relax?

What about some pizza?

And wine...

Oh yes. Lovely.
Now we're chilling. Have a good weekend all!

Gearing Up for the Weekend!

Happy Friday! I'm going to be out of pocket this weekend, but I plan to post tonight.

In the mean time... I stumbled upon some articles about smart snacking. I advise you NOT to read this after eating a donut in the office, like I just did. It will not make you feel happy about your choices. Trust me here, folks.

I often pack a piece of fruit for a snack, and eat it around 10 am. But sometimes I'm still ravenously hungry by lunchtime. So I'm always looking for quick, cheap, healthy and easy-to-pack snacks. Self magazine publishes a lot of great ideas, depending on what you are looking for. Here are some of my favorites and links to their articles. NOW, full disclosure, when I think snack, I think salty. But their website has plenty of sweet options too.

Happy Munching!

In the category of "Eat this before a meal and you probably won't scarf down two pizzas ALL BY YOURSELF"... the following sound pretty good to me on my "Yum-O-Meter":
  • Avocado, hummus and crisps
    1 Wasa Multigrain Crispbread topped with 1 tbsp avocado and 1 tbsp hummus
  • Black bean dip
    1/4 cup black beans combined with 1 tbsp salsa, 1 tbsp cottage cheese and 1/2 tbsp guacamole; savor with 4 celery stalks
  • Mediterranean bruschetta
    1/2 slice whole-wheat toast brushed with 1/2 tsp olive oil, topped with 1 tbsp Greek yogurt and a mixture of 3 tbsp diced tomatoes with a pinch of chopped garlic and basil

For more ideas of something to snack on before you dine, you can read the whole article here. I like these ideas because I'm tired of hearing the same old "order a salad before your dinner and drink lots of water." House salads are usually boring, people. I would rather not have to overpay for something BORING! Also, you can snack on these with a friend or loved one before you leave and can probably get away with splitting an entree at a restaurant. Saves moolah and saves calories!

In the "I just need a snack" ideas, they have a big list of snacks under 200 calories. My favorites:

  • 2 oz Applegate Honey and Maple Turkey Breast wrapped around 2 bread-and-butter pickles (80 calories)
  • 1/4 cup hummus, 3 carrot sticks (80 calories)
  • 1 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Original wedge, 3 pieces Kavli Crispy Thin (85 calories)
  • 1 oz buffalo mozzarella, 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (94 calories)
  • 1 container Fage Greek Total 2% fat yogurt, 2 tsp honey (173 calories)
  • 1 Subway Turkey Breast Wrap (190 calories)

And finally, when you want to eat while watching "The Office" or whatever, these sound particularly delicious to me:

  • Crudités and yogurt dip: Combine 3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt with 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro and 1/2 tsp each chili powder and garlic powder. Serve w/ veggies!
  • Spicy edamame: Boil 3/4 cup preshelled edamame in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp chili powder (or garlic salt); toss to coat.
So there you have it, folks!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

After a lovely night's rest, I got up and took Maple on a little walk. Then I came back, got dressed for work, and made this:
Guess what's missing? Peanut butter. Saddest part of my day.
Work was sort of busy, which was fine, but I worked through my snack. So I was ready for lunch. Kendall packed today, so here's what I ate...

A PB & J on potato bread, 1 C veggie soup, 1 apple and 4 chocolate pretzels. Best husband ever? Perhaps.

I raced home and Maple and I walked to the mailbox, and then I had a yogurt. Then I got goin' to class. I think I'm going to like this Bio business....

I came home and assembled these:

Black beans, flour tortillas, CHEESE, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions...

Oh yeah. That's right. Come to mama.

Then I had some shortbread cookies and decaf. How did I get these shortbreads? The Girl Scouts, naturally. I came home last night to 4 boxes. My husband said, "The neighbor girl stopped by. And she couldn't figure out the change, and I felt bad, but it was also cute so I just asked her if I could make a donation of my change." Best husband ever? Definitely.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Scale

Are you a cow? A bird? Neither! You are human.

A lot of food and health bloggers out there usually end up writing about their scale habits. So I figured now was as good of a time as any to write about mine. Many gals who have struggled with their weight have sworn off the scale all together, and pay attention to their measurements or how their clothes fit. Others weigh themselves frequently, using it as a tool to keep them on track.
I'm an inbetweeny, myself.

I weigh myself occasionally... every two weeks or so. I used to weigh myself a lot more often. And guess what? The number didn't really change all that much! So every two weeks gives me a better idea of weight that I've lost and kept off, rather than fussing around with a pound or two of water weight, or too many pieces of cake, or that third dark, heavy, syrupy beer, or eating like a bird due to some strange social situation that I've overdeveloped in my head or WHATEVER.

Ahem. For example, on New Year's Day, I stepped on the scale and then picked up Maple and I did some quick math to get her weight. Two good things came of it: 1) The vet confirmed her weight and I realized that I was not failing at doing basic arithmetic in my head. Take that, calculator function on my cell phone! I resist your powers and remain independent. Until I have to divide out how many sheets vs. how many rolls of toilet paper per package in the store to ensure the best deal. But ANYWHOO... 2) I actually lost a couple of pounds over the holidays (or week after Christmas, most likely) and when I weighed myself yesterday, I received the news that I kept it off. It was not a fluke. Oh joyful news!

NOW. If you start exercising more, you might seriously consider using your body measurements. Because you will lose fat and tone up. Inches will disappear. Unless you compensate your exercise by eating marshmallow fluff straight from the jar, it's a basic fact of science. Trust me. I read about this stuff ALL the time.

But if you are running and lifting weights, your body will look slimmer, and your waist will slide around in your jeans, BUT the scale might remain stuck at the same ol' number. They say you don't actually gain that much weight due to muscle development, unless you seriously start pumping iron. But if you lose a pound of fat and gain a pound of muscle in a week, which is not a crazy idea, well... whip out your cell phone and do the math. Same number. So please, don't agonize. Use a measuring tape. Swim in your clothes. You will feel much, much better about yourself. You must trust me here.

So I readily advocate scales, or tape measures, or your clothes, or the mirror. You know your body better than anyone else. And you know what works best for you. When they say it's just a number, they are right. It is. And it can change, for the better or the worse. And you can change it. You have that power. So don't freak out too much, because it's not written in stone or anything.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Real Bad Blogger

This morning started with taking the Mapster on a walky-walk. It was really quiet and kind of misty, which translates to creepy. After getting dressed, I got my breakfast ready.

'Twas a nice drive to the office. This morning, our e-mail program decided we all needed new signature blocks, so I was one of the lucky few to teach everyone else how to fix it. Hooray! The rest of the day was nice, and I trained our new team members. Hooray 2!

Also, I spent my in-between time to e-mail my Brain Sister. Shout out to my Brain Sister, who follows this blog closely! AND it's a statistically proven fact that e-mailing and talking to her regularly makes me a happier person. Hooray 3!

Then I was home for a bit to grab a bite before class.

I really like my new professor! She's super organized and funny. Yes! Hooray 4! Then I came home, ate some dinner and am chilling with TV, Husband, Maple and one dark beer. Hooray 5!

A little later, I am hoping to flip through my new issue of Better Homes & Gardens. Hooray 6!

No photos today, but luckily, you can easily imagine it...

Le Menu:
2 slices cinnamon raisin bread with a bit of butter
1 light yogurt
1 small snack apple
More coffee
2 oz. raw pecans
1 oz. raisins
Turkey and Swiss on 12 Grain Sandwich, with lettuce and Dijon
2 C vegetable soup
1 medium apple
Hot Decaf Tea
1 oz Swiss cheese on 1 slice Potato bread with a bit of Dijon
1 small snack apple
1 C brown rice
1 C Spicy Peanut stew
1 C asparagus
1 beer

Monday, January 18, 2010

Two Simple Soups

This weekend, I found myself make soup unexpectedly due to cedar allergies and the start of my new semester. The allergies made Kendall and I crave something brothy, hot and simple, something to steam up in our faces and perhaps melt away the foggy-feeling in our heads. And as I begin a busy semester, I want to keep on track, instead of falling prey to convenience foods that are laden with salt, fat, simple carbohydrates and sugar.

Enter... egg drop soup and vegetable soup.

Egg Drop Soup

Perhaps the simplest recipe for this classic on earth. I made two big bowls for lunch today. I beat two eggs in a bowl.

Then I brought 3 C of chicken broth to a boil. Then, using my fork, I stirred the broth rapidly as I poured the egg in.
I let this boil for 2 min., then reduced to simmer while I chopped up some green onions. Then I ladled into bowls and sprinkled the onions on top. Viola!

Easy Vegetable Soup:
Needing something quick to heat and eat, I decided on an easy, easy, easy veggie soup. I chopped up 4 stalks of celery, 1 calabaza squash and two handfuls of baby carrots.

Then I rooted through our freezer and found about 1/2 C of frozen green beans. I threw those in there.

Then I measured out 3 C of chicken broth. I brought to a rolling boil. Then I let it simmer for about 15 min or so while I made sandwiches for lunch the next day.
Vegetable soup doesn't have to be complicated. Feel free to throw together whatever you have in your fridge or freezer.

Weekend in Review

Friday was RAINY, but it was also wear-your-PJs-to-work day with a breakfast potluck. I brought a bag of orange wedges. Because I knew the potluck spread would start early, I ate a light breakfast... one waffle and a little glass of milk.

My dad came over for dinner, and after playing with Maple indoors because of the rain, we opted fora quick dinner route of pizza.

Saturday was beautiful. We ran an errand or two and then took Maple on a long walk around Ladybird Lake. My mother-in-law joined us and we all had a nice time. Then it was back home to get ready for Erik & Bethany to come over for some dinner and chitchat about their honeymoon!

Sunday was a blast. We had a leisurely morning, and then headed out to Temple to see the lake. Maple loved the sand and water. Come summer, I have a feeling she'll be splashing and swimming with us!

Sunday night, we out to eat at a new Thai restaurant. I doubt we'll rush back, as the acoustics were awful and even though there weren't many people or any loud people, it was really hard to hear each other. The food was just okay. Service wasn't that great either. The end.

Today has been leisurely. Due to all the time outside, we are now suffering from cedar allergies! I woke up and took Maple outside for her walk, because cedar doesn't affect me the way it does Kendall. For breakfast, I made the best oatmeal ever and coffee. Then it was time to clean! When allergies strike, we find the best thing is to clean, clean, clean and wash laundry. We try to cut down on all the dust. We also lock ourselves inside.

Maple had a bath, a hair brush and a teeth brushing! All fresh and clean. So did we. We spent the day relaxing, reading and watching movies. I took Maple on a second walk today, and then made dinner.

Friday's Menu:
1 waffle
1/2 C milk
Half a bagel with 2 Tbsp cream cheese
1 cinnamon roll
2 C fresh fruit
small slice of spinach quiche
1 migas taco
1 biscuit
1/2 C orange juice
1/2 C apple juice
3 slices pizza
1 C salad

Saturday's Menu:
3 slices French Toast with Maple Syrup
1/2 C juice
1/2 C rice
1/2 black beans and tomatoes
1 C fresh carrots and celery w/ 1 Tbsp French Onion dip
Nachos w/ ground turkey, refried black beans, and cheese w/ 2 Tbsp light sour cream, guac and salsa
1 slice cherry pie
2 beers
1 C decaf coffee

Sunday's Menu:
3 slices French toast w/ maple syrup
1 C milk
1 diet soda
1 chicken burger
1 small French fry
1 C steamed jasmine rice
3 C Thai yellow curry with chicken, potatoes, onions and carrots

Monday's Menu:
The Best Oatmeal Ever
2 C egg drop soup
Nachos with black beans, cheese, guac, salsa, sour cream
1/2 C carrots w/ 1 tsp French Onion dip
1 C brown rice
1 C Spicy Chicken in Peanut Stew
1.5 C asparagus

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm Alive and Well

The morning started with a little walk in the drizzle with Maple. We successfully chilled-the-hell-out when meeting our neighbor's dog, Gracie. Gracie is smaller than Maple and she is very, very shy. So when Maple goes all freak-o on her out of excitement, Gracie gets scared and cowers. Maple needs to learn that not scaring someone is key to making friends. After a bit, she sat and they sniffed each other. Yay! Much better.

Then it was breakfast time... Blueberry juice, light yogurt and two barely burnt waffles...

with syrup, of course...

I drove through the drizzle and got to work safe and sound. We had a power outage and our server went down, so... things got a little hairy. But everything worked out fine!
Lunch was delicious... leftovers from last night. It was just as delicious as it was yesterday!
Tonight, I came home and whipped up some black beans and rice. Warm, hearty, healthy, cheap!

It was filling.

Check out that avocado action!
But, like most citizens of the world, my heart and mind have been with the people of Haiti and the miserable situation they face. The stories and footage have been truly heartbreaking.
Gentle readers, if you have a little extra jingle in your pockets, I encourage you to consider donating to one of the many reputable charity organizations that are provided the much-needed relief in Haiti. Such basic necessities are needed; when you hear that $5 can make a difference, believe it. Think of the water, rice, gauze, antiseptic you can buy with that.
For me, I am so grateful that I am in a position to give, to do what I can from afar, and that tonight, I can crawl into my bed, in my house, with food in my belly... all warm, healthy and sound.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Heel and Heal

I was up this morning with the hubby and the dog. After getting creative with lunches because we ran out of bread, I made yet another bowl of the best oats ever. Again, these things did not disappoint.

I actually got around to unloading the dishwasher before leaving for work, so I considered it a successful morning. Ah yes, such is my life. It's the little thinks, folks.

For a snack, I had a ripe banana and lots of lemon water. 'Twas refreshing and delicious. What I'm saying is... it's the little things.

For lunch, I packed a salad of lettuce and deli turkey with a lemon vinaigrette. It was... interesting, but not bad. I toasted a blueberry English muffin on the side. I also had a piece of Swiss cheese. Then I ate my pear and I had blueberry yogurt. It was weird and actually lovely. Again, the little things, people.

I came home and walked Maple. So, we are working on heeling and I can tell she's really trying. The dog's afraid of cars, y'all. And when one rolls by, she sort of freaks but also tries to keep heeling. But I can tell she really wanted to bolt and run away. But she was trying REAL hard. It was probably the sweetest thing. And I looked at that dog, and I knew I would love her forever. Oh little itty bitty things.

Then it was time for dinner!

Tonight, I made ravioli with white beans and squash.

It was saucy.

Look at that. LOOK! Onions, cheese filled ravioli, squash, tomato alfredo sauce. Can it get better?
Oh wait. I think I just answered my own question...

That's just adorable.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Dog, New Car... New Life?!?!

Pffft! Hardly. Let this post be a post about repeats, folks.

So as promised, here's a photo from yesterday. This is what a scarfed down for dinner before heading to wheel-and-deal!

Now let's back up... Monday morning, I just so happened to whip up the most amazing oats ever (meaning Baked Apple instant oats with milk, applesauce, cinnamon and peanut butter).

I had a banana for a snack. It was underripe and sort of yucky. For lunch, a little turkey and jalapeno jack on whole wheat with lettuce and mayo. Yum. And an apple. And some popcorn.

Then at dinner, the chili and the salad, which I drizzled some Ranch on it. I needed it to power me through test driving, of course!

The End.


This morning, I took Maple on a walk at 5:45 am. Now, I love this dog. One of my new favorite things in the world is to have her sit on my lap and I kiss behind her ears and sort of nuzzle and then she looks up and licks at me. It's sweet. We have an understanding of lurve. However, at 5:45 am, when it's a bit chilly out and I am carrying her you-know-what around in a baggy and some nice gentleman walks by to get to his bus stop and she tries to jump on him to greet him and make friends and then keeps jumping and jumping as he disappears into the horizon...well, I look at that dog and think, "What happened to our calm understanding of lurve?"

So ANYWAY... We got home and she got her Iams, and I got my amazing oatmeal once again. Score!

Kendall packed lunches, the saint. And when I got into that thing, I found a PB & Raspberry J sandwich on whole-wheat. And chips. And a big juicy apple. And then... I found chocolate-covered pretzels. I thought, Holy Toledo, I love that man!

So for dinner, we had the rest of the chili and salad with a few chips. Sound familiar?

Guess what, people? I don't know if you've heard, but there's this little show called "American Idol," and the let people from all over this great land audition and see if their singing voices are nice.

So I thought, what the heck am I doing?! I've got to whip up some guac and STAT!

And guess what else? This might have been my BEST. GUAC. EVER. Even Kendall agrees, and he's like scary Chef Gordon Ramsay when it comes to guac. Not really. But seriously, he's brutally honest. Like Simon Cowell... but American and blonde and he gives me chocolate pretzels.

See how creamy? This is because of my whipping technique and then I chopped up everything really really fine. The flavors melded, the gates opened, the seas parted.

Now, I've been told that there's a request to see more photos of the Mapster. So here's one. I took it the other night before clenching the best deal on a car ever. They say that dogs can really sense feelings and things. And I think this dog knew that we were about to get a great deal. Look at her. Her jowls are just dripping with expectation!

Hit the Road!

Well, I was going to blog last night. I had every intention. I started snapping photos in the morning before work. Then I came home, walked the puppy and took her to the vet. When home, I got my dinner together and took my camera out. And I took pictures of my food... and my dog...

Then my phone rang. 'Twas my husband. He had just found the deal of the century on a car! So I scooped up Maple, tried to talk her through her fears of our car (all cars) and drove to the dealership.

A few hours later, I drove home in a new car. It was an exciting moment. Also nervous, because I didn't want to crash the thing. When we got home, we were tired, and a little hungry. So we ate, and talked about our new purchase, and then it was lights out.

So...I'll post up photos tonight, I promise!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday! I slept in again, which was heavenly! I took Maple on a nice walk in the cold. We saw some beautiful birds!

Once home, I got to whipping up a warm bowl of oatmeal. I bought baked apple flavor, which wasn't that great, so I spiced it up a bit. First, I cook my instant oats with milk. Then after nuking them for 1 min., I stopped and stirred in some apple sauce. Then I microwaved them for another 45 secs while I scooped some peanut butter on a spoon. As soon as they were out and hot, I stirred the peanut butter in and then dashed a bit of cinnamon over them. I poured a glass of juice.

And I have to say that this was probably one of the best bowls of oatmeal I've ever had!

We lounged and watched political talk shows. At some point, I decided it was time to take down our Christmas decor. We boxed up the ornaments, took off the lights and Kendall took down the tree. I went out with Maple and took down our outdoor lights while she soaked up the sun.

Then we were ready for lunch...

I warmed up a bowl of white chili and threw together a nice salad. I polished off the juice and club soda.

After lunch, we decided the weather was nice enough to take Maple to Lady Bird Lake for a nice walk on the hike and bike trail. She did pretty well meeting one or two dogs and humans. We are working on heeling, but saw some improvement today.
We stopped by my in-laws for a potty break and a visit.
Once home, I folded laundry while Kendall got dinner ready. Tonight was pizza night! He also made chunky guacamole. I had two plates like this...

and a little glass of wine. I'll probably have another little glass later, but for now, I am playing with my camera trying to find a home for it downstairs AND how to take more photos in the dim indoor light we have during the winter months!

Workin' for the Weekend!

On Friday, I got up and packed my lunch and had some breakfast. I had cinnamon bread with butter, a glass of milk and some fruit juice. It hit the spot!

Coffee, then work, which was good. For lunch, I brought some tortilla soup and chips, cheese, and a tangelo. It was perfect for the cold weather!

For dinner, I went out with some co-workers to a Mexican restaurant. My co-worker and I carpooled, so we came to the house and had a glass of wine as we talked to Kendall and played with the dog.

At the restaurant, I had a beer and a water, and spinach quesadillas. They were delicious!

Saturday, I slept in, and when I woke up, Kendall had made breakfast for me... French Toast! It was really yummy and the bread was the right firmness.

Saturday was spent cleaning, bathing Maple, bathing ourselves, doing laundry, grocery shopping and visiting family.

Kendall said he had an itch to go out to eat, but wanted to save $$, so he asked me to pick up a treat at the store. So I bought some sushi to share.

Then I whipped up a big bowl of white chili to breat the cold temps!

It warmed my soul. I had a glass of red wine with dinner and one with a movie. Perfection!