Monday, February 28, 2011

A brilliant use for Bok Choy!

I had purchased baby bok choy at Trader Joe's last week.

My friend Lynn was raving about it, and I had every intention of making the recipe she had recommended.

I like to try new vegetables, new foods.  A recommendation by a friend is a great way to go.  Had she recommended fried scorpions I never would have tried it, but this just made sense.

I had to mention the scorpions; I am addicted to the show An Idiot Abroad.  Watch it.  It is brilliant!

Anyways, the only ingredient I seemed to have for Lynn's recipe was the bok choy.  I guess it will need to be tried another week.

So, yesterday I headed over to

I found this recipe.  It had everything I could ask for.  Pizza.  Bok choy. Eggs!  I had all the ingredients so it was a no brainer!

I made my own pizza crust.  I normally use Lynn's recipe for that as well, but was not sure how it would work without rising. I ended up with this recipe.  Lynn - will yours work without rising time as well?

I won't go thru all of the details, you can read those in the recipes.  I did make 2 changes; in with the bok choy I added some sliced leeks that I needed to use up. And with pizza I HAD to add the anchovies!

Here is the result:

The eggs were just past runny.  So good.

I have a similar piece ready for lunch tomorrow!

Work with me.  Make this.  Please!

Here are the stats, minus the leeks and the anchovies.  (The anchovies will increase your sodium count!)

nutrition facts

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy to Have a Lazy Day!

Good Saturday morning!  How have you all been?  I have missed you!

Where DOES the time go?  Seriously.

Last week I was in Las Vegas for work.  It was a good week, but did they have to have a scale in my bathroom?  No, I did not step on it!

After what seemed like a 10 day work week, I am happy to be sitting here in my PJs.  It is 12:23 CST so that indeed qualifies me as lazy!

I have been doing some meal planning this morning, and am excited for my shopping trip.  I decided to head to Trader Joe's today.

TJ's is not exactly close.  I have 4 in the metro to choose from, the closest about 15 minutes away.  I have only one real reason to go there today, and that is for Chile and Cheese Tamales.

This past week I was digging through the freezer for meal ideas; since last weekend I was out of town, there was no meal planning or grocery shopping.  I was scraping by on what I had.  I found a previous purchase of TJ's Tamales in the back, on the bottom shelf.

Ben and I headed out or a run, and by the time I was home, I was really ready for those tamales.  And they rocked!

After following the instructions, I added Ben's homemade enchilada sauce (I will share the recipe someday), a poached egg, some black beans and a sliced avocado.  It was SO good.  Now you see why I need to go.  I must have it again this week!

I really love poached eggs.  I had them 3 times in Vegas.  I went to the same restaurant twice for this amazing soup that had a runny poached egg in it.  SO GOOD!  Anything is better with a poached egg on it!

And this was a hamburger I had with a runny fried egg.  Dreamy!  Notice the fries?  Yes, cooked in duck fat!

Anyways, back to Trader Joes and my plans for meals for this week.

Last year I had purchased the book Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati.

I decided I actually should make some of the recipes instead of just drooling over them.

I am going to make Black Bean Soup, prep time 10 minutes, cooking time 20.

I am also going to make Pizza Bianca with Prosciutto and Asparagus.   You know anchovies will be making an appearance!  I will cut back on the prosciutto to avoid the salt lick effect. 

For Sunday dinner I am going to make this pot pie:

No one said this would be good for me.

This is from the Nine Fine Irishmen, a restaurant in NYNY in Las Vegas.  I had vowed to get the recipe when I visited this time.  I had it before the last time I was in Las Vegas, and had made attempts to recreate it at home.  I was even committed to offer, um, certain sexual favors to get the recipe. (KIDDING!)  No favors had to be offerred; it turns out all I had to do was ask!  An email to the chef, and voila! I now have the recipe.  

One last recipe to round out the week's menu.  It is one of the easiest to make, and will offer lunch leftovers too.   It is Pasta e Ceci.  I had it for the first time on our trip to Italy last year.  I dare say this recipe was even better than the one I had in Rome.  You MUST get the feta cheese.  I had been skipping this, and when I added it the last time, it just takes this to a whole different level of flavor.  You think it is decadent, but it is not!

Well, I guess it is time for this girl's lazy Saturday to come to an end.  I need to get off the couch, put on some running gear and hit the pavement, if even for just a mile.  Then off to the store with my grocery list in hand!

I hope you have a spectacular weekend!

Enjoying the sun on my face last weekend in Las Vegas.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

That Scale

I had a physical for life insurance purposes yesterday.

Blood pressure 110/68.
Pulse - 49.
Weight - ?

I had not even seen her take the scale out; she had come to my house for the physical.  She wheeled her bag of goodies in and somehow snuck the scale out without me seeing.  She did the questionnaire, had me pee in a cup, took a few vials of blood and then asked me to step on the scale.

Really? But don't you know what I am trying to do?

Now, she is here to take measurements for life insurance, not to see if I am sane.  Thoughts race through my head; do I tell her what I am trying to do here?  Or will I sound nuts?

Promise me you won't tell me the number  I say before I will step on the scale.  I am not weighing myself for a year.

She showed no signs of thinking that I was nuts.  Either that or perhaps she laughed when I was on the scale and my eyes were closed.

Thank goodness it was not a talking scale!

She handed me my paperwork and assured me that she had not written my weight down on my copy of the paperwork.  Nice!

I imagine there will be more moments like this in my future.  This one was pretty easy as I could not have read the scale had I wanted to.  It was an old fashioned dial one and I have a hard time reading those little lines.

A trip to the doctor's office will be more challenging; I will just step on backwards.  Maybe I should make business cards; my name, phone number, and the blog address should anyone have concerns.
Go here, you can read what I am trying to do.

I remind myself what it is I am trying to accomplish.  I have been working out a few times a week, I have been eating to meet the nutritional needs of my body, and am making sure I don't feel hungry or deprived.  I can look in the mirror and see progress.  I do not need to see the progress on the scale.

Let's face it, and I articulated the same to Ben last night..  I am still at a point where even though I can look in the mirror and be really happy with what I am seeing, if I were to step on the scale and see that I had gained weight I would be a wreck.  I know for a fact I have been adding muscle.  I can see it in my legs, my arms, and even in this loose skin covered abdomen.  A pound of muscle replaces a pound of fat and the scale stays the same.  You ADD more muscle than the fat pounds lost and the scale can go up.  For me, that would be enough to cause me to course correct, and change my diet.  That would end up being a mistake!   More muscle means your body is burning more calories at rest.  I need the fuel for my body and I am getting to the point where I am listening to it instead of looking at calorie counts on my food log.

Never a never again; constantly a work in progress!

Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Uninspired is not that I am lacking the subjects to talk about.  I have good recipes from last week...well, maybe one or two.  I have ideas swirling in my head.  But I honestly think I am talked out by the end of the day.

At work I answer emails, "talk" via instant messenger, answer questions, ask many questions of my own, and sit in meetings. Lots. of. Meetings.

In this environment, I have a defined subject, and I talk about that subject all day. Blah blah blah.

What I would really love to do (and be paid for it mind you) is get out and talk; talk to people.  Large groups, small groups, one on one. It matters not.

So, when I say I am uninspired I guess it is really unmotivated.  Unmotivated to make the keys on the keyboard speak for me.

I believe I am also affected by the phenomenon that I don't have the word for; I describe it as when you have LOTS to say, you just don't know where to begin and how to make an approach.  You have experienced it I bet.

Disclaimer: This is not a specific example of what I am experiencing.   I just want to give you an idea.

You have something you are upset about, say with your spouse.  The more you think about what it is that is upsetting you, the less you talk.  It ends up with your spouse asking What is wrong?   Your only response? Nothing.

Like I said, I am not upset with Ben about anything; on the contrary, I could not be happier. He lets me sit quietly and recognizes when my brain is moving 100 miles an hour even though there are now words coming out.

I am seeing things in my life I am reacting to, and I am certain overreacting a bit.  I am reading the words of others and want to scream STOP I can help you if you let me.  I am just not sure where to begin.  I wait for an invitation for help that is not coming.

So I will wait for that time.  Maybe.  We will see.

In the meantime, blog world, please know that I am thinking about you.  I have lots to share, and I will.