Category Archives: Food

Slow Cooked Weekdays are Back!

When we were living in SoCal and I had a wonderful kitchen to spend time in, we very often we had Crockpot Tuesdays. I worked late on Tuesday nights and wanted nothing more than a warm home-cooked meal when I returned from my commute and Crockpot Tuesdays was the perfect solution. Since resettling here in the Bay Area, I for a while found myself resisting the kitchen. I wasn’t in the mood to cook. I didn’t enjoy the space I had to work with. I was working a lot and not doing the food shopping. Excuses, excuses, excuses. But now that I have a lovely large kitchen and my meal planning is in full effect (it’s coming along smashingly by the way), I have no reason not to have warm home cooked meals everyday day of the week.

That's The All-Star cooking breakfast!

That’s The All-Star cooking breakfast!

The only problem is that now it’s not just Tuesdays that I’m working late. Monday, Wednesdays and often Fridays are turning into 8 or even 8:30pm quitting times so the crockpot is getting a lot of use over here. It’s great though. Simple, warm, perfect for winter, and waiting for me when I get home!

Most of my recipes are soups and stews, although I will throw in the occasional whole chicken and veggies. I like making whole chickens because the remains make for awesome chicken soups, but who has the time to wait and make sure it’s cooked. I let the slow-cooker do that for me. Set it and forget, baby!

I usually prepare my meals before I leave for work. They don’t require much prep so it’s easy to just throw it all in! Tonight we’re having No Hurry Curry from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  I’ve made it before. I even blogged about it (the recipe is in the post I linked above.) I’m not vegetarian but I really love this book. It’s nice to have meatless meals sometimes and the recipes are creative and healthy!

Here are my ingredients all ready to go…

Looks good already!

Looks good already!

The recipe doesn’t call for it but I’m adding cauliflower. I actually bought it by mistake because I thought it was in the recipe. It’s not but I’m keeping it in there anyway. I’m in the mood for cauliflower. I’m also using chicken broth because that’s what I have. Like I said, I’m not vegetarian so chicken broth is what I use.

I wasn’t ready to cook yet and I didn’t like all the ingredients on the counter so I put them in a basket where they will wait. I would like a different basket but this is what I had.

no hurry curry ingredients

Baskets make everything better!

Goodness, I feel ready to eat this right now! Alas, I will have to wait 10 hours. I’m sure it will be worth it. What’s your late work-night solution for dinner??

 

Laura

Happy Week 2 of the New Year!

Missed me? 2012 was a whirlwind…but a good one. Want highlights? Sure, why not.

Earth and Air expanded to a larger space (which we’re already outgrown!)

I planned a wedding and GOT MARRIED! Eeeek!

We moved to a cutey little cottage near town.

and

The All-Star and I became an aunt and uncle!

Super great year. And now onto 2013, which I believe will be equally as magical!

So how did I start off the New year? Being quite lazy I must admit, accept for a little bit of mouse clicking to satisfy my love of online shopping. But it wasn’t all frivolous, we need a lot of new things for the new place. Okay, we don’t need. But I want! I also want to get organized and stop being so lazy and I believe my purchases will help me achieve that. I also make my home look PRETTY!! 🙂

I’m not sure if my online shopping obsession is all about the actual purchases I’m making or about me enjoying time spent on my computer. In attempt to validate the latter, last night I put my energies to good use and finally start meal planning. I’d made up a cute template last month ago that I altered from another one that I obtained somewhere (sorry to the person who deserves the credit – I forget who you are. But a lot of my inspiration came from this gal.)

I realized that in order to keep us fed and stocked with food that I would need a better plan than the one we had in place which was essentially…”John (that’s the All-Star. Should I be calling him Mr. the All-Star now that we’re married?), John we need food. Can you go shopping?” And then he goes shopping and we have a lot of food in the fridge but minimal plan on what to do with it and sometimes, I’m afraid to admit, a few items never make it to the dinner table and instead feed the worms that are hopefully helping to decompose that plastic bottle I threw out a few weeks ago because there was no recycling bin at that park. Insert guilty face here. :/

I’ve made a few weekly meal plans before but none this organized and I had so much fun with it that I decided to go ahead and plan the next three weeks, accompanied by a shopping list and also what we had on hand. Those lists may change obviously as we ingest all the goods but it’s nice to have a basis. I personally strongly dislike hate food shopping. If only I could food shop from my couch in my pajamas…

So now it’s Monday and I’ve got my meal plans and my shopping list and I wrote it out all nice for the All-Star, along with the recipe for the meal he will be making tonight since I’m working late, and we are good to go!!

Because I know you want to see it, here’s my plan for this week.

Weekly_Meal_Plan_2013

Sorry if it take a few clicks to get to…I’m new at the whole pdf thing. But check out how I linked the recipes to their source. Oh yea, it feels good!

I’m excited for this new organization of our eating habits. I hope it sticks. At least we know it will for  the next three weeks!

Laura

Getting Fit with with a Fit Tracker

I’ve never had issues with my weight. I fluctuate with the seasons and during times of stress or study but usually I remain the same. As a health care practitioner, I feel that it’s important for me to stay fit and set a good example for my patients. Unfortunately the more people I’m helping and the busier I get, the less time I have for myself! It’s a sad but true fact and nutrition and exercise are always the first to go.

With just six weeks left before my wedding, (EEE) I realized it was time to get a little more serious about my body and create a healthy and wholesome fitness and diet plan. I want to look and feel my best on our big day and I know the only way to do that is to treat my body with the care it deserves!

In the past I’ve jogged, but unfortunately I really don’t like it, so I don’t do it. I’ll go a few times and my knee will start to hurt or I’ll get out of breath, and then there’s the sweating. (I really don’t like to sweat. Some people do. I’m not one of those people). I have a friend who walks every day and instead of doing nothing I decided that walking is a good something, so Tuesday, I began my walking routine. Just around and about the neighborhood. I enjoy it so I know I’ll do it. It helps me clear my head, I am able to enjoy good music, and I can experience the town I live in from a new perspective (not just one I see as I zoom by in my car.)

Also to get with the program I started counting my calories. I’m not trying to loose a ton of weight but a few pounds would be nice. Also counting calories helps me understand what I’m putting in my body and how I can make better choices. If that burrito is 800 calories, and a good healthy dinner consisting of meat, a starch, veggies and even a class of wine is the same amount, the choice is obvious…and my body will thank me.

My skin will thank me too. I’ve been having another little episode of less than clear skin these past few months. I know it’s just a diet too high in fat and salt (we eat out alot!), so I’d like to get that in check.

The last and final reason for all of this is the most important and that is for my digestive system and heart health. When I reach the top of our two flights of stairs and I’m out of breath… When my tummy gets aggravated more than usual,  I know time to get serious about making changes. So serious I will get.

So I’m using a tracker to help me on my journey. CardioTrainer helps me track my fitness and MyFitnessPal for the calorie counting. They both are free and have phone apps and MyFitnessPal even has social networking! Look for me, LauraCYW, so we can help each other achieve our goals together!!

Or at least for the next six weeks. Then we leave on our honeymoon!

Laura

Tis the Season for Baking

I haven’t had much time to blog…or bake, but a friend just asked me what I do with persimmons so I figured I’d blast from the past you and share re-post a delicious recipe for Persimmon cookies that I made this time last year.

persimmon cookies

Actually, I’m realizing as I write this that I was planning on baking tonight. Just a simple pumpkin bread from the box that I picked up at Trader Joes. Not as good as the real thing (which I should be making because I do have a sweet pumpkin just waiting to be used) but my guests will have to settle for a less-than-from-scratch version instead.

What guests?

My beautiful sister Theresa and her boyfriend Justin are coming to visit! I’m very excited. Not super thrilled to have to drive to San Jose tonight to pick them up, but they are worth it! A fun-filled weekend is in store!!

Aren’t they cute?

xox

Laura

Trying to Kick the Caffeine Habit

I used to never drink coffee.  Not ever.  Well, in high school and college a little but when I was nineteen a doctor told me I had cysts and caffeine would aggravate them so I stopped cold turkey.  And I was quite fine without it.  When folks offered me a cup I’d kindly decline or ask for some tea. I even got out of a date with a silly boy who asked me out to a coffee shop.  “Sorry I don’t drink the stuff.”

That is of course until my final year of grad school when I could no longer justify eating candy bars to get through boring lectures and decided to give coffee another go.  Bad move.  Soon coffee was a staple at every breakfast meal and it’s been that way ever since.

So lately I’ve been feeling a bit of anxiety which I can chalk up to several causes but think caffeine isn’t helping so it may be time to quit.  Crap.  This is not gonna be pretty.

coffee mug

This was my Christmas gift from The All-Star last year!

So anyway.  Yesterday marked Day 1 of my attempt to not drink coffee.  And it went pretty well. Of course, I didn’t have work, so that helped a bit.  Today I woke up and said flat out, “I’m having coffee today.”  So much for will power. Day two FAIL.

But it was just one cup.  I’m not that crazy for the stuff.  It’s more like a routine at this point, I think.  I love sipping my coffee in front of my computer reading emails and writing blog posts.  It makes me feel, I don’t know, sophisticated or something.  Actually, it makes me feel jittery which is why I’m thinking it’s not the best for me and I’m on the notion that I need to be paying better attention to my health and since I’m not about to quit wine, coffee it must be.

I’ll let you know how I do. I’m already dreading the thought of going without it tomorrow. And I hear the withdrawal gives you headaches.  Great.

Anyone else out there off the muddy stuff?  Got some advice?

Laura