Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eating alone means never having to say you're sorry...

...for having sushi and seaweed salad for breakfast.

Serious Eats' Weekend Cook and Tell challenge was "Going Solo." Past weeks were easy for me to pass up, as one was cooking with wine (I become tipsy on fumes and hence don't really drink) and burgers (I'm a vegetarian). However, as I live alone, and frequently dine alone, it seemed like there was no excuse not to participate. However, I quickly experienced feelings of inadequacy--I was sure that people on the board would make perfect little meals, complete with fresh flowers in a glass and note how they froze the rest of the nine gallons of bouillabaisse they made for the next natural disaster/holiday.

Truthfully, many times I agree with the sentiment once expressed in an episode of "Cheers" by Sam that the best thing about living alone is being able to have doughnuts for dinner. Now, I love doughnuts--in fact, when I debated in college, my favorite thing about going to the Vassar tournament was the quality of the bakery doughnuts they served for breakfast. I used to starve myself beforehand, and pretty much live for the entire duration of the tournament on the enormous spread they left for we hungry hordes of college students. I can recall with great fondness the homemade Italian doughnuts...especially the chocolate mousse-filled powered doughnuts...even though they left me sugar-frosted for all of my rounds...

I have come a long way nutritionally from my doughnut college days. But as I work out in the morning, I still love a nice, substantial breakfast, and sometimes leftover Wegmans' avocado roll sushi and sesame seaweed salad is what I need.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ten Signs Your Next Meal Will Suck....

Oh little blog, how I have neglected thee...I had such great plans for you. I intended to post something every day that I was consuming (food, clothes, and 'toys') as a kind of self-examination but much have I consumed, and little have I posted. Being a writer and editor can take the joy out of writing for pleasure.

However, after seeing a link on my favorite food website Serious Eats, that linked to a blog post Ten Signs Your Next Meal Will Suck, I couldn't help adding a few (although his advice is good, regarding general cleanliness and such)

1. Open canoodling amongst staff: Yes, I have read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and Waiting by Debra Ginsberg. I know about and don't care about what goes on after hours/ backstage. But waiters flirting with the bar staff/hostess even when the place is slow (and especially if the place is small) makes me feel as if I am 'interrupting' something rather than have a right to order a meal.

2. Waitors asking if you want drinks, serving the drinks to those who order at the table, but forgetting to bring water to the table (especially if, like me, you don't order drinks and only drink water).

3. The presence of 'surf and turf'--shows that the restaurant is back in the dark ages when piling lobster and steak together was the ultimate sign of a true high-end restaurant.

4. Sticky tables or menus.

5. Cute names for pedestrian items, like "Fisherman's Feast" and such.

6. The presence of a brownie sundae on the menu--I love brownies, but this is sure to be a dried-up pastry that needs to be lubricated by ice cream. Only the ice cream is not nearly good enough to stand on its own.

7. Iceberg lettuce. Sorry Republicans, no arugala for me. ;)

8. There is only one vegetarian item containing pasta with ten pounds of cheese. (Either more than one, or none--just the one shows an effort to 'please everyone by pleasing no one at all).

9. A weird blend of ethnic entrees with no coherent fusion sentiment--as in smothered nachos on the appetizer menu, and pizza in the entree section.

10. If the restaurant soundtrack loops more than once during a normal meal.

Sometimes it is best to just stay home and have a bowl of cereal.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yogurt--Least sexy food?

I try not to eat too much dairy and get my calcium from non-animal sources, but I do like my Fage. Imagine my disappointment when my favorite bland of thick, pasty yogurt that makes me feel as though I'm eating cake icing even though it is really good for me was out at Wegman's. Crisis!

Undaunted, I decided to make my own Greek yogurt. After all, my father is Greek, right? So I bought some starter....

Haha! Who do you take me for? The Pioneer Woman? Nope. But I did do the 'make your own yogurt technique of placing a spaghetti colander over a bowl, covering the colander with coffee filters, and then putting the 'normal' ghetto-price Dannon 50 cent yogurt on top, and letting the water drain for a few hours until it had a nice, strained Greek consistency, albiet still with some 'Dannon' tang. I also put another filter and a bowl on top of it to make it drain even more.

Here is my makeshift yogurt 'maker' (aka drainer) with the Dannon hiding beneath:

Then, comes the 'reveal,' as I take off the bowl on top....

And you can see what I mean about the least sexy food in the world It tastes great. But then, so does icing and ice cream before they are spread or scooped. Of course, it would help if the colander wasn't white. And my bowl.
But alas...
Anyway, I can definately see why 'the yogurt people' have used cartoons, Go-Gurt dispensers, and faux flavors and colorful candy stir-ins to make yogurt more palatable to the masses. Next time Fage is in I will probably spring for the $1.79 it costs at Wegman's, too, simply because the quality of the milk tastes better to me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Eleven degrees

Is what it said on the news we have some 'snowpack' from yesterday. I would have run outside this morning, to say that 'I did it' if nothing else (with the help of multiple long johns, my usual cold weather buffer) but was a bit leery slipping on the snow. I guess it must be cold because my camera, which I took with me on a walk, froze up, so thus far, this is the only picture (from my window) that I have of the cold.

I have to say, the cold hasn't been affecting me as much this year as it has previously, but I think that has more to do with the insulating layer of fat I gained the past few months, that I'm blaming on a sluggish metabolism but which really has more to do with increased chocolate consumption. Blech!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Obsession 1: Butterfly Bakery Double Chocolate Muffins

Yes, yes, I know--I should post something worthy, that I crafted by hand like the illustrious Anna from Cookie Madness or Peabody, two of my blogging inspirations. However, I must admit that a single gal such as myself, other than when I'm making something for people tends more to buy then to bake. Hence the dark chocolate muffin love, made by the Butterfly Bakery.

They're sugar free and only 150 calories, according to the label. I'm always a bit suspicious of calorie labeling of fairly unknown companies, but given they're marketed to diabetics, I'm assuming they can't be too off--I'm not diabetic, just a bit neurotic. However, even if they aren't quite so 'lite' I haven't gained a zillion pounds yet, and I'm much more of a 'chocolate person' than a sugar person, and I actually like them better than the 'real kind' of chocolate chocolate muffins I've tried, which can be noxiously sweet.

I would highly recommend them....very high on y the ooey gooey chocolate-y factor.

On the plague front, while it is pissing rain, I feel a bit better. Actually moving seems to help the congestion. That and generic Sudafed, of course.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The best laid plans...

Oh dear readers, I had such plans for the new year. To start blogging. Cooking, riding, ice skating--all in the first week. To truly do things I had never done before (skating, baking em, chocolate chip cookies--baby steps, baby steps) and to do things better like horseback riding that my pathetic 34-year-old arse is attempting after a long, shall we say 'hiatus.'

Then, this happened:

Ah, the joys of the little red pill. Yep, I'm sick. Just dragging ye old carcass around today was an effort, let alone doing anything terribly exciting to delight my presumably captive readership.

However, I do assure you that this is the 'hard stuff'--the kind with pseudoephedrine in it--I had to sign for it behind the pharmacy counter! I felt like such a bad ass! This is as close as I get, living on the edge of the law, seeing if I purchase two whole packs of generic Sudafed will alert me to the federal authorities as a dangerously addled, stuffy-nosed woman!

I feel as though I should post something on a plate, given all the fashionable bloggers seem to do that:

Ahhh....little, red, better....kind of like the stare of my little dog.

See how mean I am? I bathed her! I'm the most evilist dog owner in the world, hahaha!

Tomorrow will be better.