Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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Ok, I think it’s finally for sure…

January 23, 2013

… I think I am a grown-up. Finally.

Well, at least I think so.

Things that didn’t make me feel like a grown-up for sure:

  • getting married
  • having a baby
  • getting divorced
  • turning 30
  • joining the PTA (I thought that did it, but now I’m not so sure)
  • getting remarried
  • turning 40

This morning I realized that I am feeling compelled to keep a full fridge. I noticed that I was panicky at work yesterday because I didn’t have any food in the fridge there. I am so over eating out and would always rather eat something I made.

Every time I go in the kitchen I feel like I have to cook something to stock in the fridge for my family to grab.  In the last 36 hours I have cooked:

  • two whole roasted chickens, then broke them down in containers for Scott and John (yes, they were local hippy chickens from Whole Foods. I’m cooking happy meat twice a week for the boys – that’s less genocide meat they’ll be eating)
  • a whole large sheet pan of roasted root vegetables and split them up for Scott and John
  • a large pot of rice
  • a turkey and Gouda omelette for Scott
  • tofu scramble for me and Haley
  • 2 pounds of hash browns
  • crispy chipotle tofu nuggets
  • garlic ranch dressing
  • chick’n salad*
  • … and been to 3 grocery stores

* no one makes a better chick’n (and chicken – but I don’t eat death) salad than me.

chick

3-4 days of meat and veg for the boys
(note the tofu 😀 )

 

We are down to 6 containers of yogurt and 1 box of instant oatmeal and feel like the world might come to an end if I don’t get to the store soon – even though the rest of the cabinets are stuffed.

I kept a partially stocked fridge until single motherhood – then finances prevented me from buying more than a few days of food at a time. I’d shop and then we’d be a horde of locusts and wipe it all out.

Feast and famine.

When money got less tight we’d eat out more. Oddly we had more control over how much we ate because we weren’t eating ALL THE FOOD just because it was there for once.

Three weeks into our mission toward ending wastefulness (eating out, for example), and I think the locusts in our brains have full bellies and are getting used to the idea of “there’s always something to grab in the fridge.”

Happiness is a well stocked larder 😉

fridge

my work drawer

 

I finally “get” why I feel like a kid when I visit my Mom’s or my Aunt and Uncle’s house – they are always well stocked with FOOD.  Now we are, too!

Yes, folks, this really is my exciting life 😀

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You asked

January 18, 2011

… and “you” shall receive!

A couple of people suggested that I should do more cooking posts, so I started a whole new blog! (Overkill much?) 😀

If you’re interested in vegan cooking, or just fast, easy and nutritious cooking – take a look!

Vegan Lazy

I’ll post dishes as I make them. There’s a subscription button at the bottom of the page.

Suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

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One down, 540 to go

January 3, 2011

For every reason under the sun I am re-committing to veganism. I did it for years before and I am doing it again. I am! I am! I am!

The reason first and foremost in my head today is my “health” (because peeps get mad when I talk about my fatass 😉 )

Yesterday I had a very fruitful shopping trip with The Mom, The Maid of Honor/Sister-Cousin and The Child. We found The Dress, and boy is it THE DRESS. *swoon*

It looks pretty freaking fantastic on now, in the current state of affairs. Any healthifying I do between today and 180 days from now will make it look possibly too overwhelmingly amazing that our wedding guests may have to look at me through a pinhole poked in cardboard. Like a solar eclipse, I may very well be too awesome to look at directly.

😀

So when I ordered my lunch today I had that dress in mind.

Rainbow Salad – romaine, carrots, cabbage, corn, beets – hold the blue cheese and candied walnuts – add avocado (miniscule) – with light (again, miniscule) low-fat vinaigrette. Blue cheese and candied walnuts make this a phenomenal and gut-stuffing salad. Ordering it without was the hardest part. I also passed up the free piece of french bread and pat of butter.

It’s still a delicious salad. It will, however, take some time to readjust my pallet to not crave dairy fat. I can do it. My ass and some dairy farm cows’ lives will be more beautiful for it! HA!

So that’s one meal down, and 540 to go before The Big Day. Somehow that makes it easier…

How are your New Years resolutions going so far?

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Giving Thanks

November 26, 2010

We certainly had a great Thanksgiving Day and a half! I sure hope you did, too!

Our merriment started on Wednesday night when we went to see the Blackhawks get beat to holy hell by play the Sharks.

As soon as we got home at 11:30p I headed to the kitchen. I didn’t think I would last long because I was so tired, but the next thing I knew I had finished the cranberry relish, cubed and toasted bread for stuffing, baked a cake, made sweet potato pie and cleaned the kitchen.

Our fridge was packed to the gills!

I hadn’t broke out my trusty Kitchenaid sidekick since last Christmas. Oh, how I have missed her! I shan’t keep her out of commission that long ever again!

I was back up at 6:30a to bake the sweet potato pie, make stuffing, make frosting and set the table.

At 9:30a, done with all my cooking except what had to be done right before we sat down, I slipped out for a nice ride.

Boy am I thankful for the ponies – especially our pony, Fiona. She’s a special little beast. She’s incredibly sweet and gentle and a joy to handle from the ground – but get on her and she’s a firecracker! The big horses can’t keep up with her cracked-out-pony speed walking 😛 The day was so gorgeous that I was back in the barn before I realized I didn’t take my camera. That’s ok… it was amazing to have a couple hours break from Thanksgiving preparation to be with the wee one for a wonderful trail ride. (Next time the mud ball will get a bath!)

While I was gone, The Man was busy cooking his first bird. He did a great job! He even made his mom’s traditional stuffing. (I love him!)

Because we had some guests that usually eat vegetarian and gluten-free I really had to put on my cooking/thinking cap. It was SO FUN to have to think and be creative in my cooking. I actually glanced at recipes!!

I even took it up a level and it’s all vegan and gluten-free! And it was DELICIOUS!! I stumbled upon 2 new concoctions that will surely be seen again – the sweet potato pie topped with candied pecan crunch and tofu cutlets with creamy mushroom sauce. YUM!

I know that our guests enjoyed it!

Let me take a moment to tell you how much I love Scott’s friends. His best friend John and his parents are great. And I’m not sure I could love Steve and Nancy any more than I do! It was really a great bunch!

And to top off a lovely holiday the freeways were deserted this morning. It took 11 minutes from our house to the office.

Thank you!

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Big City* love

November 23, 2010

* Yes, we all know that San Francisco is not a big city in a literal sense but don’t harsh my buzz, kthx? 😛

Last night The Family went out for an unusual treat. We went out for pizza and we ate it in the restaurant. There is something homey and old fashioned about eating pizza in a pizzeria since pizza in the city has become a delivery-only phenomena. We are very lucky to live in a formerly Italian neighborhood that has a number of forgotten restaurant gems (one of which is where we’re holding our wedding reception!)

This morning The Man made his Thursday morning breakfast for The Child, egg-in-a-hole, since we won’t see her again until Saturday when we have Thanksgiving at my brother’s. I find that routine of theirs to be so adorable, it really warms my heart. After The Child and I BARTed downtown I treated her to an eggnog latte (hers was decaf) and waited with her for her bus to school. Mmmmmm… our first taste of the holidays!

Standing there it felt like New York for a minute. It’s been really cold the last week even though we’ve had rain. Everyone was bundled up in their warm winter coats, some with hats and scarves.

It was one of those minutes where you breathe in the cold clean air while you’re surrounded by urban hustle and bustle – and you feel so happy to be in the “big city”. We don’t really get seasons here in San Francisco being that temps really only range from 45 to 75. In fact, our season are quite backwards:  our winters are warmer than everyone else and our summers are colder.

I’ve never lived where there are four distinct seasons. I think I would like it very much. I think I would like to unpack my winter clothes when fall approaches and revel in the season’s first snowfall. I think I would like to pack away those coats and hats and scarves and mittens in the summer and wear nothing but summer dresses and watch things grow like crazy. I think I would very much like to feel the first crisp morning of the year and see the leaves changing color. I think I would like to see the snow melt and see green pushing through.

But today I couldn’t be happier to be living right here. Thanksgiving is in two days and we will have a house full of our friends who we call family. It will be cold outside but our house will be filled with much love and warmth. The Christmas decorations are going up around town and I can’t wait to get decorating in our house.

Life is good in the Big City. Yes, indeed, it is.

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Wet and wild and wooly weekend

November 22, 2010

Just as planned I braved the elements Friday after work and went shopping.

I managed to get myself in to 9 different stores (4 of them in a…. a…. a…. MALL!).

If something didn’t fit, I tore it off immediately and did not allow myself to wallow in self pity. The brief glimpses I caught of myself in my underwear in the dressing room mirrors were not obsessed over. I didn’t allow myself to stop and think at all. Either it fit and was cute, or it didn’t and it was tossed aside immediately. I was a shopping machine.

Three hours later I could no longer navigate crowded stores easily because I was lugging too many bags in a heavy overcoat while also carrying my regular large tote and a huge umbrella.

My haul included 3 dresses (one of them Calvin Klein), a pair of Liz Claiborne slacks, a pencil skirt that claims to smooth the tummy, a bright green cardigan (my new favorite piece of clothing), a pair of cargo pants, a pair of wide leg trouser jeans that can also be worn to the office, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, a pair of heels and 2 pairs of flats. Oh, and the most awesome military-style overcoat – ever.

For $240.00

The Child was home this weekend so we spent a stormy two days snuggled on the couch watching movies.

(dual lightning strike on the Bay Bridge! click pic for link to original)

Saturday night Cousin Rachel came up and we all went to one of The Man’s friend’s house to watch the UFC fights. That was fun but mostly I’m super grateful for the conversation we had over a couple glasses of wine. She made me think about some things – and more of what she said has sunk in long after our conversation.

THANKS RAE! I love you and am so glad we are close!

I was even SUCH a good girl and cooked a super veggie lunch yesterday AND made my lunches for the next two days.

Super veggie bowls with brown rice, black and kidney beans, broccoli, carrots and a bit of cheese – with home-made yellow pepper and tomato salsa. Mmmmmm.

Of course I forgot my beautiful bowls in the fridge this morning and now my tummy is rumbling at the thought of their deliciousness.

Question:  why is it when children make an honest attempt at being helpful it often fails so miserably?

Even though we were out of dishwasher detergent, The Child really wanted to run the dishwasher. Uggghhhhh. But I was very proud of myself: I didn’t get mad. In all honesty, I did the exact same thing once when I was a kid and Sandi didn’t get mad. It was an honest mistake and she had the best of intentions. (It did help that she immediately started crying as soon as she saw the mess! Poor thing!)

Yeah, that took a half an hour to clean up and now we’re afraid to run the dishwasher lest the bubbles come back to life.

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Food for thought

November 17, 2010

When I got home last night The Child was doing homework and The Man was working. I was dying to see what the produce fairy left me so I went straight to the kitchen and donned an apron.

This week’s produce box was impressive! This is what is going to drive my meal plans for the next 2 weeks…

Mustard greens, radicchio, bib lettuce, radishes, carrots,

cabbage, kholrabi (WTF?), spinach, yams,

cranberries, apples and pears.

I had leeks from the last box that needed to be used so I got to work making soup – since that’s the only thing I know to do with leeks. Without intending to, I spent over an hour and a half alone in the kitchen and I liked it. Actually, I think I liked it a lot.

As I sliced, diced, sautéed, simmered, roasted and reduced I felt a great sense of peacefulness and happiness that I was doing something nice for my family. It felt like a really great way to unwind and transition from work/commute to relaxing at home.

I realize that this is no great revelation to many. I am just one of those people who can cook but I never really noticed that I like to cook.

For the first time ever I found washing up to be quite pleasant and even meditative.

(Usually doing dishes ranks right behind shopping on my list of things I will avoid doing at all costs.)

So I made potato leek soup, pan roasted radicchio with a balsamic reduction (I have officially watched too many cooking shows) and a salad with carrots and radishes. We all sat at the table for more than a half an hour, enjoying our dinner and (mostly) each other’s company.

It was all very idyllic and blissful and I was thinking how perfect life is for a little while.

But it’s not. Life is life.

I guess the best one can hope for is to keep looking for these moments and enjoy them to the fullest.

Starstone/by Veronica Merlin

All content is copyrighted © to Veronica Merlin or Dark Mare Pictures

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