Tag Archives: cooking

what I’ve been into

TV that I’m into: “Playing House” on USA with Jessica St. Claire and Lennon Parham. I’ve been binge-watching this show, and I LOVE it. It’s exactly my sense of humor. It also has the added bonus of having Keegan-Michael Key in it.

TV that I’m looking forward to: “I’m Sorry” with Andrea Savage on TruTV

Books I’ve been reading: I’ve been reading A LOT lately, which is good. Just finished a historical novel called The Ghost of the Mary Celeste. It’s based on a real incident, and pulls a lot from history including the Spiritualism craze, Arthur Conan Doyle, and more. I just started my second Erik Larson book, In The Garden of Beasts. It’s about the American consulate in Germany during WWII and his family.

Work stuff: Just finished a book on Ethereum, which is Bitcoin’s competition. It’s unique in that you can create applications on its blockchain, it’s not just for currency. If that makes no sense to you, look it up, I’m not going to summarize the book again. I usually just get blank stares. Still working on the book for my Gildshire articles, too, just finished up editing and writing the intros.

What I’ve cooked/baked lately: Made no-bake brownies with black beans and dates. It’s more like fudge than brownies, but it’s delicious. Getting out a slice is kind of like digging for fossils, because they have to be frozen, but it’s worth it. I also made homemade tomato sauce the other day. It was a bit runny, but I can thicken it up by just reducing it some more. I didn’t make this, but we tried Ben and Jerry’s “One Love” ice cream flavor, which is banana ice cream, graham cracker, caramel, and chocolate peace signs. Chris says it might be his new favorite.

Fitness stuff: Still using the good ol’ mini trampoline and rowing machine most nights. I take just one day off a week. Also got myself a resistance band, which is very convenient. Looking forward to having the toned arms of my dreams. It’s been gross and hot lately, so haven’t been exercising outdoors as much as I (or Yoshi) would like, but what can ya do. I know weight isn’t the goal here, but I am happy that I’ve successfully went down to about 155 after plateauing at 160 for so long. Paying attention to macros and sugar has made the difference. It doesn’t matter if I’m eating just 1200 calories if way too many of them are coming from sugar.

Novel stuff: Still steadily working on my Harley Gray novel. I filled out one notebook, so I’m on to a new one. That feels like an accomplishment. Been focusing a lot on trying to actually picture my characters moving around in the world I’ve created, so I can convey that to the reader. That means writing a lot of stuff that won’t actually end up in the book. I’m still figuring out how to get that in the story without actually putting it in the story (like a character’s whole marriage, basically), but I enjoy the challenge.

So that’s pretty much it, that’s what I’ve been doing. Small group meets again soon. Chris’ parents will be visiting, which means beach day!

 

 

Homemade Pizza, Thoreau, and Feathered Serpents

It seems like it’s been forever since I wrote. I really want to take a nap since I couldn’t stay asleep last night, but I’ll endure for now.

Pizza, pizza:

So I have already fulfilled my goal of making a homemade pizza dough and I gotta say, for a rough start, it turned out pretty well. The night before the pizza was to be made, I made the dough according to an overnight recipe (with the dough hook on my mixer, which is very handy) and awaited the day. When I checked on it many hours later, I was disappointed to see that it had not risen as much as promised. No matter. I’ll try again. For the second dough, I put the yeast in warm water and sugar and let it get all bubbly before I added it to the rest of the ingredients. That seemed to do the trick, because it only took about 1.5 hours for the dough to rise. So I had enough dough for two pizzas no problem. One for me and Chris, and one for Ren and Bonny. They brought toppings, so we had pepperoni, green pepper, and mushroom pizza. In the future, I’ll probably try and make the dough a teeny tiny bit thinner, and add more cheese. For a person who a year ago wasn’t sure how long to boil an egg, I’d say I did pretty well.

Also made recently: Mini chocolate chip cookies, lemon yogurt breadcrumb chicken, turkey burgers, and a hot chocolate molt cake.

Thoreau:

I’ve actually started my class now! It’s going very well thus far. I always forget how quiet English classes are at Macalester. I don’t know if it’s an English thing, or just coincidence that I always end up with shy people. It’s definitely not a Macalester thing, ’cause I have been in classes with people who will not stop talking. In a good way. Sometimes good way. Right now, we’re reading Thoreau, which is a little…dense? That’s not quite the right word, because it isn’t like reading an academic essay, but he does go on about everything. The class is essentially about transcendentalism.

Feathered Serpents:

I’ve started my next book. After reworking my original idea, I’ve decided to make it another Harvey Grey story. It centers around Quetzacoatl, the feathered serpent deity from ancient Mexico, and I have two professor characters that I’m excited to use. I haven’t written a sequel to anything before, so further developing Harvey and how he’s changed (or not changed) since the last book will be a new experience for me as a writer. I probably won’t be posting it on the blog like I did the first book, but excerpts might make their way here.

One Month into 2014

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Ah, January. You are a strange month. You fall low after the holiday razzle and dazzle of December and New Year’s, but also promise new things and change. I had a quaint little list of resolutions I wanted to hop on. Let’s see how I did:

Yoga has been going….decently. I try to do it every day, but it isn’t especially consistent. Sometimes I do half a routine and then get bored. Sometimes I do half a routine and then do situps on the exercise ball and lift the kettlebell. And then sometimes I dig in my heels and do a full routine until I’m sweating and as limber as a rubber band. Chris has this weird habit of getting really clingy when I work out and is very distracting. He either likes to “work out” next to me, which means doing push-ups and then lying down staring at the TV, or he’ll stand over me and pat my head or try to kiss me. He’s worse than Yoshi, who used to just steal the yoga mat and stretch out, or the cat, who would sit on my back. 

Cooking has been going very well. I already made two new recipes this month, so I’m ahead. Those were turkey sloppy Joe’s (barely a “new” recipe, since it just substitutes the meat, but still) and broccoli chicken cheddar soup. Both were successful. Next month will be pizza with homemade crust with new friends Ren and Bonnie, whose names I have changed. Very proud of myself for the way I modified them.

Reading has been the same. Writing has been slow, I’m in the outlining stage of my new book and it is PAINFUL. Counseling is going well, too. I was all ready for class this week until I got sick from medication withdrawal and then Thursday’s session was cancelled. That was pretty weird and anti-climatic. My birthday is next week, which I always enjoy. I will be 23. I guess I’m about where I thought I would be in life; I thought I would be graduated by now, but I definitely didn’t think I would be married, so those two big life things got jumbled. I never really thought about where I “should” be in terms of years, I kind of thought in decades, or just didn’t bother with it. In the words of Edna Mode, it distracts from the now.

Food to the Body, Food for the Soul

ImageI have a confusing relationship with food. I love it, but it doesn’t always love me. I can’t eat red meat more than once a week or I start getting chest pains, foods high in fat or oil make me sick, and artificial sweeteners give me terrible stomach cramps and insanely itchy skin. It’s unfortunate for a person who loves hamburgers, onion rings, and the new Sparkling Ice drinks.

So I’ve had to adapt. I eat mostly chicken, wheat bread, yogurt, and cereal. I loooooove cereal. I would eat it for every meal if I could.

I haven’t always been so methodical about food. When I first went on medication, my appetite was suppressed. All food tasted like ash. It took a lot of focus to eat and to eat anything besides sweets. My body had grown silent and refused to tell me when it was hungry and what it needed. After several medication changes and six years, it has awoken and although it’s a little more sensitive than before, we essentially understand each other.

Now that I’m married and primarily responsible for making the food (Chris is the dishwasher), the new challenge is summoning up the energy to think of and prepare meals. If it was just me, I would eat an assortment of random things for a meal (vegetables and dressing, toast with an egg, etc), because it takes focus and time to put together a coherent dish. However, it’s not just me. It’s me and a 26-year old man who can eat a whole pizza by himself and was raised on the hearty meals of the southern Midwest. He needs food.

It’s weird to think about the appetite of another person. Sometimes it’s really stressful. If I’ve had a particularly bad day and haven’t been able to move a frozen chicken breast to the fridge because I’ve been asleep all day, I worry about what Chris is going to eat. Even though he is perfectly happy with his meal, I don’t like seeing him making three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I had planned on coconut chicken and rice. Other days, it’s extremely fulfilling. I’ll pull myself together and make an inspired sloppy Joe recipe with brown sugar, zesty Italian dressing, and chili powder, and watching Chris eat three of them is food for my soul. I never thought I would take pleasure from cooking; I even rebelled against the idea because it sounded too close to submitting to a life of “a woman’s place is in the kitchen.” In practice, it’s not about that though. Chris loves food and so to be able to make something he likes makes me feel good about myself. It’s also a tangible accomplishment during a day that otherwise seemed pretty pointless.