Christmastime is here

December 25, 2008

I’ve been so lame about posting lately. I even made something new earlier this week. Behold, Lemony Chickpea Lentil Soup from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan:

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Like everything from that cookbook, it was delicious. And there are about forty six servings left. We could have had some last night, but I had to work until two, so we decided to start a new Christmas Eve tradition of pizza. Luckily, we caught the last place that was open for deliveries about 20 minutes before they closed.

In my family, we always did most of our celebrating on Christmas Eve, but since I had to work, Matt and I saved the main event for today. We got an early start after being awakened by more scratching in our bedroom wall. Santa!

After some coffee, we opened presents. Matt got me some awesome gifts, including these:

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Cookbooks and chocolate! What could be better?

Right after our gift exchange, Matt made pancakes for brunch. I had mine with some berries:

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I watched a movie, cleaned a little, started packing for my trip, tied a new apron on, and got started on our Christmas menu:

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We started with a spinach salad with chopped apples, craisins, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette:

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For the main course, we had chicken, roasted lemon-rosemary squash rings, and a riff on green bean casserole- green beans with portobellas and feta.

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We had a couple of kitchen episodes that involved a few run-ins with the smoke detector, so we decided to nix the stuffing. It was a good call in the long run, as I had plenty of room for dessert, which was apple crumble.

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With soy cream. And an awesome little appetizer spoon from Crate and Barrel that makes dessert last longer. Going back for seconds also makes dessert last longer. So does going back for thirds. I love Christmas.

Okay, I’m off to finish getting ready for my trip. My flight leaves at the ungodly hour of 5:55am, so I plan to get to bed early so that I can endear myself to the neighbors by blow-drying my hair at 4 in the morning.

I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to post while on vacation, but rest assured that I’ll be eating lots of delicious food.

Happy new year!


I’ve got a new attitude.

November 2, 2008

I’m working on cultivating a positive attitude about Sunday nights. Right now, for instance, I am congratulating myself for doing about half of the things I so boldly claimed to the internet that I would do today. Good job, self. I blame it on this book, which I stayed up late reading and woke up early to finish, leaving me in some kind of sleep-deprived haze on the one day of the year when I am supposed to be extra well-rested.

After a long afternoon of errands, I did some grading and then started dinner. I made chicken cacciatore (Ellie Krieger’s recipe), which, for the record, I don’t recommend if you’re really tired, have a swollen knee, and/or feel like eating anytime soon. What I’m saying is that it took forever, and it was all up and down, up and down. I need to really focus on finding less active recipes for those kind of days. Or, I don’t know, actually reading the whole recipe before I get started. I’ll file those under 2009 resolutions.

I had a pretty small bowl because I was still full from lunch. We went to Wamego on a whim to eat at Toto’s Tacoz, only to find that the restaurant, along with much of Wamego, was closed. We ended up eating at a diner where I had a delicious omelet with a few home fries and some toast. Good, but greasy, and I’ve been full ever since. I didn’t even eat an afternoon snack. This is unprecedented.

Because of my knee being a little puffy and painful, I skipped my “run” today, but I’m hoping to get back on it tomorrow. I think the best part of my “training” is that, even though the 5k is two weeks from today, I still haven’t actually signed up for it. I think I’m afraid I’ll jinx myself. I should probably get on that, as I’m supposed to be raising money for it. Oops.


Boktoberfest

October 20, 2008

At the penultimate farmer’s market of the year on Saturday morning, I got the biggest bunch of bok choy I’ve ever seen. I mean, it wouldn’t fit in a bag, my arm hurt from carrying it, and, half gone now, is still taking up an entire shelf in our refrigerator.

And it was only $2!

So, bok choy has been the featured ingredient in our last two dinners.

Last night, which got a little hectic because I had another event with my class, we made soba with tofu and vegetables, in a delightful almond sauce, using this recipe.

My RA started flaring up last night, and eventually woke me up at 4:00 this morning. I love that. Luckily, I have an awesome husband who didn’t mind getting up at 5:00 to get me some medicine. Anyway, I took the morning off work, and I learned several important things:

  1. The construction workers do not care that I did not sleep well and that I am in pain; they continue to yell and dig holes and drive their truckies around regardless.
  2. People who live in my building do not seem to work during the day.
  3. Which seems to lead them to rampant abuse of hot water, as I had none when I eventually rallied and got out of bed to get ready for the day.

Because not working when I have a million things to do and I feel like I’m supposed to be working makes me twitchy, I drove over to work, got my laptop, and came back home to work for the afternoon. I think I’m going to make “Work on self-care” one of my 2009 resolutions, because I’m going to go ahead and admit that I’ve been kind of a failure at it recently. And I’m pretty sure that getting depressed and eating half a bag of candy corn doesn’t really count.

Anyway, after I finished working, Matt and I went on a really short walk so that I could try to loosen up my knee. Then, we made chicken fried rice, using an adaptation of this recipe.

We still have so much bok choy left. I have no idea what to do with it.

Since dinner, I’ve been grading papers, which pretty much sucked every bit of energy I had left. So now I’m going to go to bed and try to force myself to have a positive attitude about tomorrow. GO TUESDAY.


Packet up

October 18, 2008

We love things cooked in packets here in the See Food household. Fish cooked in packets, sweet potatoes cooked in packets, chicken cooked in packets. If you could bake cakes in packets, I’d do that, too. But you can’t, and that’s why I don’t bake cakes.

Anyway, tonight we had chicken packets with whole wheat couscous and green beans from the farmer’s market.

For these particular chicken packets, I used a recipe I’ve tried a few times before – they have salt, black pepper, garlic, crushed red pepper, and orange slices.

I slept for 11 hours last night and I’m still feeling wrecked. Last week was pretty stressful, and next week is looking a little intense, too. So, I think I’ll take it easy tonight, especially since I did approximately zero things today, which means I’ll have to do lots of things tomorrow.

I really wish I hadn’t started talking about cake, because now I want some. And I don’t have any. I might be able to dig up some decaf creme brulee coffee, and if I close my eyes, maybe I can pretend it’s the real thing.


I think it’s pretty obvious that I need my own show.

September 17, 2008

I had every intention of making one of the delicious meals from the carefully thought out plan that I devised on Sunday, but then I got home and it all fell apart. I’ve had a headache since yesterday, and I was so tired, and I just wanted a snack. First came some crackers, and then I moved to harder stuff like half my weight in peanut butter, some trail mix, and handfuls of Skittles. I blame the cake I had at work at 10am. I’ve had the sugar sweats ever since. Anyway, in a valiant attempt to salvage the evening nutritionally, I made a smaller than usual dinner of quinoa and steamed brussels sprouts:

Oh, and at the last minute, I threw a little leftover chicken tender on there. I know, I know. It is just too gourmet for you. Sometimes, I pull out all the stops. I do it for the readers.

Now I have to go make an epic decision between doing what I should do (clean), what would be good for me (taking a walk), and what I’d like to do in an ideal world (read until I fall asleep, no later than 8:15 pm).

I think we all know where this night is headed.


This post is boring.

September 16, 2008

Today, I did several things to attempt to manage my fatigue

  1. Only had one caffeinated beverage (apparently this works out in the long run, though I’m not sure the people who have to be around me during my mid-morning stupor would agree).
  2. Took a short walk at lunch. I investigated the track on campus and have deemed it worthy. I might even try to take some running shoes with me some day this week.
  3. Did a circuit training class at the gym that made me feel like I was going to keel over. I always read that weight training increases your metabolism, and metabolism=energy, right? Maybe it doesn’t. I’ve never been good at science. If I’m wrong, please don’t tell me. I’m fragile.
  4. Ate animal flesh.

This last one is really the only one that’s relevant here. We’ve been going fairly meatless lately, and whenever my fatigue flares up, my mom always tells me I need to eat some chicken. So, for her, I made lemon/rosemary chicken with roasted potatoes and broccoli for dinner.

It was good, but I forgot to microwave the potatoes beforehand and they took forever to cook through. I actually had to put them back in the pan after I took this picture.

Now, let’s see if any of that helps. Considering that I’ve fallen asleep at the laptop three times while typing this, it’s not looking good.

I’ll try to be peppier tomorrow.


Pizza Pizza

August 24, 2008

Sorry, sorry. I got distracted.

Thursday, we had a departmental retreat at a Challenge Course. I’d been dreading it for weeks, but it was actually pretty cool. The kids leading it were a little… ill-equipped to draw analogies between our work on the lessons learned in the course. One of them started talking about cheeseburgers at one point. Stuff like that. Anyway, we went out for a tasty Mexican meal afterwards and I had shrimp fajitas. They were still awesome the next day.

Speaking of the next day, I spent Friday afternoon at my favorite place, the pulmonologist’s office. It was, as usual, a stellar experience, in which he told me that the muscles that help me breathe are 23% as strong as they should be, but he has no idea why. So, I get to go back in six months. It was just the tiniest bit frustrating. So, leftovers were really the best option.

Yesterday, I worked. On student move-in weekend, we set up outside the library to give away free water and help people find their way around our ginormous campus. It’s always fun. I came home and had more work to do, so Matt cooked dinner – spicy chicken and noodles. Only we didn’t have noodles, so it was really more like chicken and pasta. Either way: delicious.

For some green stuff, I made broccoli. With some Parmesan. Because it’s not really a day unless you’ve had cheese.

Today has been pretty busy, though I’ve spent most of it on the couch. I’m teaching a class this semester, and today was syllabus day. It’s my first time teaching anything other than library classes, so I’m a little nervous.

Since the Fall semester starts tomorrow, and that’s by far the busiest time of year for me at work, I decided to go all out on tonight’s dinner. For the first time ever, I made pizza from scratch. I used this recipe and the dough didn’t rise right, but it still tasted delicious. Like super crispy flatbread pizza. I had two and a half pieces, but since I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste, I started with one. Here it is, along with a salad of mixed greens with tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette.

Those are some big heirloom tomatoes we found at the farmer’s market yesterday. Delicious.

So, speaking of the semester, I have a feeling that my posts are likely to become slightly more sporadic in these next few weeks. I also see a lot of pasta in our future. Please, do what you can to work through it.

Oh, I’m also going to go ahead and apologize in advance for any future photographs. I know that you’ve gotten used to the high quality images I usually feature here at See Food.

Wish me luck!