Archive for the 'food' Category

‘comfort’ food

as a kid, i was a finicky eater. my mom was a terrible cook. there was some circular relationship between the two. i didn’t eat much so mom didn’t attempt much. and when she did the results weren’t good which made me reluctant to try new things.

it all changed in 7th grade when i took my first home ec class. the first cooking project was actually making peanut butter cup candy. mine were great. the teacher said i must have a knack for cooking. after that, i decided i loved to cook. i learned what i could from other cooks in my family, home ec, recipe books. by my junior year, i was making all the holiday meals for our family–thanksgiving, christmas.

i still love to cook. i love to cook for friends and entertain. i love to cook as a stress reliever or when life gets overwhelming. there’s something soothing and cathartic about it. and i love that there’s a finished product in a reasonably short amount of time. and i also love that when i cook for friends they feel the love i put into it and find it nurturing and comforting as well.

tonite, i cooked for the women in my small group. we had spinach-artichoke dip with chips, paula deen’s chicken georgia, roasted yukon gold & petite red potatoes with carrots, green beans, crescent rolls, and for dessert, pumpkin cheesecake pie. we shared our hearts and lives with each other over dinner.

and i think that is the real comfort of food, the way that it brings us together.


looking back

ok last post was late october (really didn’t mean to go that long without posting) so looking back, here’s where i was:

  • st. louis (national youth workers convention–8 days)
  • atlanta (national youth workers convention–8 days)
  • tulsa (thanksgiving holiday–7 days)
  • colorado springs (meetings–2 days)
  • pasadena (core test–1 day)
  • tiajuana, mexico (staff christmas party–1 day)
  • tulsa (christmas holiday–12 days)

if you’re counting that means i was gone for 39 of 67 days since my last post. that’s just crazy! and since this post has developed a counting theme, the last 67 days have also held:

  • 18 flights
  • 1 piece of luggage “redirected” (note: the “redirected” bag was on xjet–and my non-stop san diego to tulsa flight–the only non-stop trip i took and they couldn’t get my bag on the plane!)
  • 1 plane bathroom not working (also on xjet–“we’ll be landing in tulsa in about 2 hours, try to wait.”)
  • 3 movies (4 if i count seeing enchanted twice)
  • hundreds of photos taken (i took our ys photo album pix from st. louis & atlanta plus part of the ones from mexico and lots of family pix)
  • countless hugs and laughs with friends & family

and then there’s the food. here are the highlights of where i ate

  • ted’s cafe escondido (fabulous chips, salsa, queso, tortillas and the best sopapillas ever)
  • sonic (love the 1/2 price happy hour on sodas)
  • braum’s (crinkle fries dipped in chocolate shakes)
  • chick-fil-a (favorite option in the cnn center in atlanta)
  • coney i-lander (ah, the best little coneys smothered in chili, onions, mustard and cheese–they deserve a post of their own one day)

the only regret over the past couple months is that i have a bunch of tulsa friends i either didn’t get to see or didn’t get to see enough of, but that is something to change and look forward to in the new year which will also be the subject of my next post.

how i know i’m under the weather

i woke up yesterday thinking i had a migraine. i went back to sleep for a little bit and woke up again and realized, it wasn’t a migraine, i was seriously stuffy. couldn’t breathe, my sinuses hurt and i was running a low grade fever.

today no fever but still not feeling great. and i know i’m under the weather because only 4 foods sound good: toast w/butter; chicken noodle soup, mashed potatoes and mac ‘n’ cheese. i like these foods anytime, but they’re the only things i want when i feel yucky.

if i wake up like this tomorrow, i’ll call the doctor. no time to be sick–convention is next week.

1 down, 4 to go

so my doctor prescribed a 5 day dietary cleanse for me. my thyroid is a little off again and my weight is up so i’d started back on weight watchers. my latest round of blood work also showed my blood sugar is a little high, hence the cleanse. today was day 1. i’ve had 3 meal replacement shakes, 2 supplement bars, and a cup of grapes.

yesterday, i had a very good cheeseburger & fries for dinner. a good cheeseburger & fries is one of my favorite meals. it’s not my best choice on weight watchers, but since it’s the last thing i was eating for 5 days, i splurged.

i know this is only 5 days and i can do this, but i already miss eating. and it’s only been one day. i’m avoiding the food network…and i can’t wait til friday.

food network confessions

on most any lazy saturday or sunday afternoon, you’ll find me curled up on the couch knitting and watching food network. i get lots of great ideas from the food network. i’m actually starting to think i’m really developing an addiction to food network. more and more often, it’s not enough to just watch the shows. i actually feel compelled to try the recipes.

my three favorite shows–which are also the ones i’ve tried the most recipes from–are barefoot contessa, rachel ray’s 30 minute meals and everyday italian with giada de laurentis. i also really like ace of cakes, but it’s more american chopper in the kitchen than a show you can actually try in your own kitchen. i actually own cookbooks from barefoot contessa (confession: i’ve had hers for years–before she had a food network show. the photos are beautiful, it’s more like a coffee table book) and rachel ray 30 minute meals 2.

the thing i love about these shows and cookbooks is they put together flavors i’d never think to. one of my favorite appetizers is from giada’s show, honey & gorgonzola bruschetta. sounds weird, but it’s so yummy and always gets rave reviews. yesterday afternoon giada had a recipe for cinnamon butter gnocchi on her sweet and savory episode. again sounds weird, but i typically like gnocchi and i love cinnamon butter so i thought, ‘why not?’. so tonite, i bought some gnocchi and cooked it, made the cinnamon butter and tossed the gnocchi in it. and the weird thing is, i can’t decide if i like it. i didn’t hate, i didn’t love it. i really just can’t decide. so, if you work with me, i’m bringing some to the office tomorrow. you can try it and tell me what you think since i really think i need a second opinion.

giddy at the grocery store

some days, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. today was one of those days. on my way home from work, i stopped off at the grocery store to pick up some caffeine free diet coke. i’d left work late and the thought of cooking was unappealing so i checked out the lean cuisine case.

and this is where giddiness set in. lean cuisines were on sale for $2 each and there’s a new flavor–butternut squash ravioli–and this is where it gets even better…

it was right next to ben & jerry’s lowfat frozen yogurt in phish food that was also on sale!!!!

my tummy is sooo happy right now. and my waistline is too. 🙂

new favorite food

yesterday at trader joe’s i was looking for some whole wheat pasta when a box of organic brown jasmine rice caught my eye.

i’d never tried organic brown jasmine rice, but i liked jasmine rice so i thought why not? i know brown rice is better for me than white rice and organic has to be even better. i was a little bummed that it takes an hour to make, but that even worked out. it smells wonderful while it’s cooking and tastes even better and it’s really good for me. no preservatives, no fat, just healthy fiber and a touch of protein. it’s my new favorite side dish.

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