Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bout Day Breakfast
 TF v MA playoffs

blueberry walnut baked oatmeal, greek yogurt, bananas, coffee, and grapefruit juice

Blueberry walnut baked oatmeal, greek yogurt, bananas, coffee, and grapefruit juice

More bout day breakfasts!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Early Spring Thursday Cooking Practice
 vaguely korean carne, sesame kale,
 and mashed potatoes

vaguely korean slow carne, sesame kale, and mashed potatoes

Thursday's cooking practice is just the same as it was in late winter, which is boring for providing new blog content, but brilliant for being able to make your week's worth of dinners with your eyes closed.

But also you start freestyling, as I said last month, and sometimes you come up with new variations that are really darn good. I got a little tired of my slow carne being soo spiced, so I changed it up with more Korean seasonings:

an onion
a red bell pepper
a jalapeno pepper
5 cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 c soy sauce
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 lb chuck steak

Roughly chop the onion and peppers and mix together. Mince the garlic and mix with the red pepper flakes, sesame, oil, soy sauce, and molasses. Brush the sauce all over the steaks. My new cooker is bigger than the old cooker so I just throw in the whole steaks, layered with the chopped onions and peppers. If you have any sauce left, just dump it in there. Cook on low for whatever, six or eight hours.

When the meat is very tender, you can remove it and turn the cooker up to high and let the vegetables reduce to a thick sauce. Or not. Rip the meat into bite-sized pieces. Put the meat into a container, pour the sauce over, and put it in the fridge.

For the kale:

a bag of kale
two onions
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Bring water to boil in a stock pot over high heat. Empty the bag of kale into the boiling water, squish it down with a wooden spoon, and let it come back to a boil. When you can smell the kale, pour it out and drain in a colander.

Meanwhile thinly slice the onions and heat the sesame oil in a saute pan over medium high heat, add the onions and let them cook down until pretty well caramelized. Add the drained kale and the sesame seeds and continue to cook it all down over low heat for another twenty minutes or so. Then put it into a container and put it in the fridge.

Last but not least, the mashed potatoes and beans. Here it is again for your one-stop shopping needs:

four russet potatoes
two cans of white, pink, or red beans—whatever beans you want, it's America

Generously salt water and bring to a boil in a large saucepan.

Scrub and quarter potatoes in the stock pot. Boil until fork tender, about fifteen minutes.

Meanwhile rinse and drain the beans, and put them in the large saute pan.

When the potatoes are done, ladle out a pint of cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup and then drain the potatoes.

Mash the beans with a potato masher in the saute pan, adding in some cooking liquid to make them easier to mash. Add the potatoes back to the pan and mash them on top of the beans, adding more cooking liquid to make the consistency you want. I like fairly soft mashed potatoes and add back almost the whole pint of liquid.

Put the mashed potatoes into a container for your week's spacefood needs.

To serve, scoop out a bit from each container into a bowl and heat in the microwave.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bloc Toe Stop

bloc toe stops

I was perfectly happy with my bounce toe stops and am never very inclined to fix what ain't broke, but then they broke? Sort of? So that gave me a little push to swap in these blocs.

WHICH I LOVE. Oh, how I love them. They just feel right; but if you pressed me for specifics, I would say that they're this giant launching pad to ...erm, launch forward, and also for tiptoeing through the tulips, and you know that by tulips I mean really nice girls who are trying to kill you. Ermahgerd I was jamming and Bork was in the pack, all you want out of life when Bork is in the pack is to get the hell out of there, two inches opened up on the line and idk it felt like a spacecraft putting down landing gear. I mean, I know nothing about a spacecraft's landing gear. But I'm thinking like big feet, zero gravity, one giant step for mankind. You know?

Full disclosure: I was so excited that I got out that I immediately tripped on my own foot and fell down. But then the jam ended, and I lived to write this post.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Early Spring Cooking Practice
 egg bites or chicken stew

Eurrr idk if I like cooking in the afternoon, I know why I decided to try it this way, because I need a fresh mind for desk work, most particularly for paying bills so I don't screw it up, but paying bills is only once a month, maybe the rest of the month I can do my cooking in the morning. The thing about cooking is, once you start you have to see it through to the end. I mean right, not like studying or writing, you can always put a pin in that for later. So with cooking in the afternoon there's this anxious eyeballing the clock if you got a late start, which is like always, I'm always sleeping in Tuesday and Thursday these days, and lately I'm always bargaining between which comes first, egg bites or chicken stew, and by comes first I don't mean which one I do first and which one I do second, I actually mean which one I do and which one I don't. I just I always have to say comes first when I say chicken and egg in the same sentence, I know you understand.

So anyway truth be told, I hardly ever get both egg bites and chicken stew done in the same practice. It's almost always one or the other. Same old good old egg bites here. I guess chicken stew is a little more involved than slow chicken and that pushes doing both just past the point where my reach exceeds my grasp. Chicken stew is very good, though. I'm just cooking from the recipes that I developed last year and enjoying them a lot.

It still works out because egg bites makes eight servings, which is more than a week's worth. And chicken stew makes four or five servings and I really only need three per week, because I pretty much skip Tuesday and Thursday lunches because of the aforementioned sleeping in and then having to rush out at five or five-thirty for my evening work, and I eat other things for Saturday and Sunday lunches. So I can roll with what I'm making from week to week, and not run out of food.

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Clean Bathroom Mold

how to clean bathtub grout

So listen, my bathtub was like this when I moved in ::cough:: eight years ago, in fact the girl I was subletting from told me that the tub had been grouted improperly making this mold impossible to remove, and well, here's the not so savory part of me, I'm not that squicked about sharing my living space with some life forms and the apartment was otherwise perfect, and I and later the sweetie man have been very happy here. And I'm not saying that I haven't done more than a few energetic bouts with the mold; but to no avail, so it seemed I had been told the truth.

BUT THEN Biggie told me she had read this and you know she's a hairdresser, so she could get me some of that salon coil for a couple of bucks at Sally Beauty Supply. It's cotton, you know, like a cotton ball except it's more like yarn.

All you do is put some bleach in a small bowl, cut a piece of coil, let it soak up some bleach, and lay it down over the grout. I did wear latex gloves, I have a box from when I was dying my one orange streak of hair. And I poked the cotton a bit with a chopstick to get it all up close and personal with the grout.

You know how things can be disappointing? I thought I'd have to leave this on for hours upon hours and check back only to find some stubborn mold giving me the finger.

BUT NO, I idly checked it after a couple hours and the mold was gone. Or well I guess it's still there, it's just sparkling white now.

Ermahgerrrrrd, this is going to be life-changing. I can't wait to do the rest of the tub, I'm sorry to say but not being able to get rid of that mold wore me down about keeping the rest of the shower tile perfectly clean. I mean, why botherrr. Imma clean it all up now! I can use my tub as a tub now! It's just not relaxing to take a bath surrounded by a ring of mold, you know? I can make fancy bath salts! Eeeee!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pizza Quest

Post street teaming pizza again and I must say, for a pair of introverts, it's a nice thing to have a pizza reward for having to ask strangers if we can hang posters in their windows. Although maybe they're not so much strangers anymore, since we've been doing this route all season.

Well. We still get pizza!

We also got my Fury teammate T. Wrecks to join in our street team and pizza quest, the three of us played together last season on Third Coast and Wrecks just made Third Coast again this week. Third Coast is RIDIC this season. This league just keeps getting deeper and deeper. Maybe time for a D team?

wrecks and dawn

Wrecks and Dawn. See Dawn's black eye? Badass.

poppy and matt

Me und der schweetie mann. Probably the short person shouldn't hold the camera.

So I just noticed an odd thing about this Chicagoist list that we're working from—Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza, right? Like what about Lou Malnati's, or Gino's. But really only four of the pizzas on this list aren't thin crust. I mean, I actually prefer thin crust. I guess that's what it says on the tin, The 20 Best Pizzas In Chicago and not The 20 Best Chicago Pizzas. Okay. I accept that.

I feel I should also mention, there's a couple few good pizza places on Division where we street teamed. Like I really like Pizza Metro. I was trying to explain their crust to Dawn and Wrecks, it's not like the bready and blistery crusts we've had so far. It's like cornbready? But, not cornbread. Well, it turns out that Pequod's has this crust and this is what I think of as Chicago-style crust.

And you know, I've lived in Chicago on and off—really at this point, mostly on—for the past, geez, twenty-five years, and I've certainly heard people talk about Pequod's, I used to work on Webster and I knew where it was, but I never really wanted to go there, a) I had the sense that it was small and hard to get a table, and b) it has a neon sign of ...a fish. Or I guess it's a whale. Well let's start with a) the hostess is leading us to our table and I am grimacing at the table of Cub Scouts shrieking near the door, but she leads us to the back of the room and the shrieking fades, and then we turn left... and then we go up some stairs... and then we go even more back, and at this point I turn around to say it's bigger on the inside to the sweetie man who simultaneously says to me, "It's like the tardis," so we had a little soulmates moment there.

The 20 Best Pizzas In Chicago Via Chicagoist.

Some consider it blasphemy, but I’ve never been a fan of Chicago-style pizza. I’m more of a razor thin, crisp crust kind of girl, but there's one place I'll make an exception for: Pequod's. A friend lured me there on a miserably snowy day with their $4.95 beer and a 7" pizza lunch special and now it's my go-to for deep dish. The thing that sets Pequod's apart is the beautifully crispy, thick carmelized crust. It isn't weighed down with too much sauce or cheese so it's never soggy and it’s cooked in cast iron, making the crunch consistent from edges to center. I also love their appetizer combo - everything you could possibly want deep fried: mushrooms, mozzarella, zucchini and jalapeno poppers. Perfect for while you wait for your pizza to be cooked to crispy perfection. —Julia Weeman

Pequod's is located at 2207 N. Clybourn Ave

The pizza at Pequod's takes some time to get to the table, so you might as well work on that appetizer combo while you wait.

And b) nevermind the fish, THIS. IS. PIZZAAAAA!!! And it is worth the wait.

spinach sausage pan pizza

We got a large pan pizza with spinach and sausage, the crust was as aforementioned. Cornbready, but not cornbread. Crunchy, I guess a normal human would say. We took a few minutes to finally settle on the classic spinach and sausage combo, but it's a classic for a reason. The only reason I sometimes don't like spinach and sausage is because sometimes sausage is ...fluffy. Eurrr. But the sausage here is really dense and meaty, and nicely seasoned.

We each had two slices, and we all ended up juuust full.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Early Spring Food Chart

Green tea with almond milk, most mornings in bed.
Egg bites for breakfast.
Switching to chicken stew for lunch.
Black tea and cuties for afternoon snack.
Slow meat, greens, and mashed potato for pre-workout dinner.
Fish soup for Friday night.
Cococherry2O for workout drink.
Egg mochi oatmeal for post-workout snack.
Buttered rum and coco popcorn for Friday evening snack.

Spring is being pulled kicking and screaming feet first into this world, sheesh.

For these between charts, I get to spring forward to the next season's and fall back on the last season's food if I want. Like last month I got a little jump on egg bites, and this month I'm hanging on to slow meat and mashed potatoes, mochi oatmeal, and buttered rum.

I'm getting started with chicken stews, though. I think I like my chicken stews just a little bit more than my slow chickens, boy some of these—the companion stew, and the shepherd stew even though I don't have preserved lemon this year—are real good.

For afternoon snacks it seems like cuties a.k.a. haloes are done, and now Jewel has cara cara oranges. The power orange! Uh, okay.

I have been super creative with fish soups! So far I have a chowder, a gumbo, and a curry, and I made a fish pie with a cauliflower mash crust. I was a skeptic about cauliflower rice and mash, but it's freaky. I am going to give cauliflower pizza crust a try, stay tuned.

Ultimate food chart! Always tweaking...
Early spring food planner for the extremely detail-oriented.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Fitness Chart

morning morning morning morning morning morning morning
5 5 5 4 5 2 2
evening evening evening evening evening evening evening

Pretty well settled into this schedule, practice is when practice is and everything else fills in around that.

This is whole day fitness, so everything counts. I have a point system, of course I do, no activity (gray) is zero points, very low intensity activity (purple) is one point, low intensity activity (blue) is two points, and high intensity activity (orange) is three points, where the idea is to get at least two points for morning and afternoon. So that could be two purples, one plus one, or a gray and a blue, zero plus two, and sometimes that gets turned upside down on the weekend but whatever; then I add whatever evenings to that. So if I keep my mornings and afternoons consistent, it's the same high low as it ever was. Right now I have four high, one low, and two rest, if you follow what I'm doing there. (I turned Sunday upside down. Also I'm only counting the major beats, not the minor morning and evening beats when all I do is a tiny bit of balance work when I'm brushing my teeth.) I think before I was saying three high, two low, two rest, well, like I said, practice is when practice is, I think it's fair to swap a high for a low and keep two for rest. Anyway on the one hand it's the same as it ever was, but on the other hand it's not—the high low used to be on a base of zero morning and afternoon activity, now everything's up two. It doesn't feel like doing anything extra, I just changed some habits around and now that's just how I do. Except that it does feel like I've done something extra, like my core strength has noticeably improved. Just from getting up every thirty minutes, resetting my glutes and abs, and my upper back when I remember, and sitting back down—I'm not kidding, it's that simple, get up, reset, sit back down.

Here's the thing I'm thinking about: can I raise my base some more? My client Kris is pretty naturally active, twenty-five minute walks morning and afternoon plus moving boxes of books now and again; so her base is four, and then she runs and lifts weights two or three evenings a week on top of that. I mean, I'm not comparing. I'm just saying. There's no set rule, it's about finding your own level. And when you find a level, seeing whether you can raise your level. Or not.

Not is valid! Recovery is always a thing, recovery might be the thing you need to level up.

What I'm thinking about is adding in some teeny high intensity bursts, but anyway, one of the great things about having the friends that I do is, somebody will always think of something, like Trixxxie's ab challenge last fall. Problem's starting a burpee challenge soon for her 44th birthday, so it might just be that.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Owner's New and Improved Guide to Washing Your Gear

washing your gear

This is not actually my guide, it's pretty much straight from Ask A Clean Person:
How To Clean Your Roller Derby Pads
on Jezebel. I'm just here to say that my stuff was bad, and what she said worked.

I do bring my gear home from every practice, but I'd been getting lax about actually unpacking my bag and letting my gear air out. That's really the first line of defense for staying at Stage 1, I'm back to that again. I haven't tried the thing with the vodka.

  • Unpack and air gear after every practice!

But since I hadn't been airing it out, I'm sad to say that my gear was just about to transition from Stage 2 to full metal Stage 3. So I basically did the Stage 2 wash immediately followed by the Stage 3 wash, as follows:

  • Put 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup laundry detergent in a bucket or the tub, I used my five-gallon Home Depot bucket but maybe the tub is better.
  • Fill with very hot water.
  • Add gear, hold it down to saturate and then swish around for a few minutes.
  • Then actually I let it soak overnight.

The next day, I drained the bucket and took the pads in the bucket to the laundromat. Meh, I don't put them in a bag but besides that I do:

  • Tack down all velcro to itself.
  • Use whatever combo of gentlest cycle and hottest water is available at the laundromat.
  • Add 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup laundry detergent, then gear.
  • Remove gear after spin cycle and hang back at home to air dry.

And, it worked. So I think this is going to be my way, let things air out every night and then soak followed by wash say every other month.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Chart

morning morning morning morning morning morning morning
evening evening evening evening evening evening evening

Have settled into a nice schedule, intense but as nicely spread out as could possibly be managed.

Sunday I sleep in a bit and then have Second Wind practice, then after chicken with Dawn I have this a weird little slice of time that I finally figured the best thing to do with is go home and lay on the couch. And also eat cuties as soon as I can manage them, even though I'm a little full from chicken. Because I'll still be too full for dinner before I have to leave for refs but then pretty much as soon as I bike back, I'm starrrving; forcing some cuties in takes the edge off that. There are two Sunday variants: one, I get chicken with Dawn and go straight back to the space to lead league practice, and then train refs, oof, and two, I get chicken with Dawn and don't have league or ref practice, so I get to go home and lay on the couch foreverrrrr. Oh actually, there's a third variant, post bout Sunday, when I have no practices and nothing. To do. At all.

Monday I work, and then it's either rushing out of work like oh lord jesus christ help me get to 6:30 practice and then ahhhh couch, or the other way around for 9:30 practice. But I love these three practice nights, which we owe to Go-Go, I love 90 minute practices more than life itself, I like the shorter duration for itself but they also tend to be higher intensity and more focused.

Tuesday, boy, idk what I'd do without my Tuesdays and Thursdays. I get to sleep in a bit and now I have it that I do my desk work first, which on Tuesday starts with bills. Three weeks in the month it's no biggie, just recording bills—i.e., credit card receipts, I put everything I possibly can on my credit card and pay it off every month and I get points that I can spend on Amazon—into quicken, and also figuring out and recording what cash I spent the past week. One week in the month it's paying bills, which is more of a production. Once a year for about a month it's an ordeal beyond speech, filing my taxes. That is upon me. After bills I have lunch, and then I make my egg bites and chicken stew for the week, and then I try to squeeze in a little rest before evening, which is training Travis (NEW!) and then from there SW practice.

Wednesday I work and then I get a little chill time, and then I bike up north to train Kris. Though lately I have been taking Miss Bike on the train, and a couple times just taking the train and Kris picks me up. What can I say, it's been a long winter. I am worn down to a nub.

Thursday same as Tuesday, except I start with tasks i.e., setting up my timetracker for the following week. Which is easier than bills, so then I can tackle a little bit of play desk work. Play desk work is, like, taking CEC quizzes or writing up somebody's workout plan or other administrative work that I sometimes have to do. Then lunch and then I make my carne, greens, and potatoes for the week, squeeze in a little rest, and then training Joe and then from there scrimmage.

Friday I work, then on the way home from work I pick up groceries for dinner, I get a little chill time, and then I make fish dinner. The sweetie man and I are more purposefully trying to talk and reconnect on Friday nights, otherwise we mostly spend time together asleep. Which is some of my favorite time, but still. So we talk and then we watch TV or movies, or we talk and that gives me an idea for something to write and then I'm writing until 2am. Which is good for getting writing done—not sure when else I'm going to get it done, and writing does serve as pastime for me—but not so much for togetherness. There's also a Friday variant, Trouble hosts a monthly wine party and when that comes up, we go to that.

Saturday starts like Tuesday and Thursday, except I do appointments i.e., setting up my slate for the following week. Which is the easiest and quickest desk work to do, because then I go right out to train Nora. Then I have the rest of the afternoon and evening free, pizza quests tend to go down at this time, and also this is where I fit in street teaming the weekend before a bout. The Saturday variant is bout day, of course, which works out for me and Nora because neither of us wants to train then, and then I get morning and a little bit of afternoon to myself, which I have been using for big cleans.

I do little cleans here and there all through the week, not charted. Well, they're in my timetracker, different chart. Just making the bed and picking my clothes off the floor and washing dishes, which the sweetie man also does a lot of. He does the laundry and almost all the grocery shopping, except for my little Friday trip. Also he takes out the trash, which I never do.

It's jam-packed around here, that's for sure, but still livable. It feels a lot like wheee slinging myself from Friday night to Friday night like Spiderman, Friday is like the building that I anchor myself to. To keep myself flying. I get little pockets of breathing room from the variants, and also because how I am with my clients, we don't reschedule, we have a standing weekly appointment that they can make or not, which I should say they almost always make, but if they can't, we just say see you next week and I get a little air pocket, and so far, it's been enough to breathe.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bout Day Breakfast
 The Fury vs Unholy Rollers

put an egg on yesterday's reheated photo shoot

Put an egg on yesterday's reheated photo shoot of vaguely korean slow carne, sesame kale, and mashed potatoes, water, and coffee

More bout day breakfasts!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Egressions #124-127

Of course right when I gracefully resign myself to not doing crafts is when I want to make everything.

124. Mine would say fury. Via A Beautiful Mess.
125. For Rudy! Via A Beautiful Mess.
126. I would say RAWR whenever I unzipped this. Via A Beautiful Mess.

Ha, everything is from A Beautiful Mess.

127. Maybe white lights though. Via Say Yes.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

State of the Break
 winter 2014

eating breakfast looking at the snow

I have never needed a break like that break. Truthfully, I don't have a deep sense of having had a break. It's been busy. I totally said that last break, didn't I. Sigh, I don't mean to sound like busy is a virtue. I swear that's not me.

I had all my winter posts put to bed by 2/20, except I did tuck in fish curry and coco broccoli on 2/24, mochi oatmeal on 3/8, and also a poppylogue on 3/12; poppylogues are pretty much always written if not in the moment, then moments after the moment. But anyway except for those three easy pieces, I went on blog break starting 2/20 until picking back up with this post on 3/14—oh wow, so almost three weeks.

So what this post should be about is what I was doing from 2/20 to 3/14.

Well, I started with a decent weekend—a nice Friday night in; haircut, pizza quest, and Chicago Red Hots Saturday night; and then Second Wind, Feed, blocking, and referee scenarios Sunday from noon to 9PM. That's a nine hour day if you're counting, seven on skates. It sounds a little horrible, but after all I do want to make a full-time living doing physical education; so yeah, let's get physical. But then Monday I fell sick, just a head cold, nothing to stay home from the office for, but something to do as I say and not as I do, first of all stay away from the practice space for your teammates' sakes, and last but not least don't freakin' practice when you're sick for your own sake. Remember too that I came down with the flu—or I should say with a chest cold since I'm not a doctor and didn't go to the doctor, I don't know that it was the flu—the day after travel team tryouts, just three weeks earlier. So I'd already been as good as gold about staying in and skipping practices for a week, don't ask me to do it again! Grrrrr but I was, good as gold again. I'm looking at my timetracker for that week and I wasn't writing and I wasn't practicing, so what the hell was I doing? Just resting—watching TV, or browsing my feedly, or futzing with any of my innumerable charts.

I was back to practice the next Sunday, and the next two weeks went better. I guess how it goes is that after breakfast on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are my three little windows to chop away at my to do list, recurring tasks first, and then the top one or two things on my to do list. Which when I'm not on blog break are predominantly posts to be written, and when I'm on break are what? I had two clients starting new sessions, so drafting workout plans for them. Also booking the studio for them as needed. Ah, I finally took my last two ProSource quizzes to finish up my CEC credits and get recertified. I've been a trainer for two years, wacky. Finally changed my email address from rocketmail to gmail for the rest of my online accounts and collected all of my passwords, that's been on my list forever. Mailed some socks to Cara.

I know, right? Is that all?? You mailed some socks to your niece and you changed your passwords?

That's the thing, man. All this picky little stuff still takes time, and furthermore there's less time to do it in. There's less energy to do it with. Have I said before that I'm like a frog in a pot on the stove? The water starts cold and gradually warms so as you don't notice that's what it's doing, until you do. I'm in very warm water right now. Second Wind turned it up a bit, and also by the way I squeezed in another client. Those two things, basically, flowed in and filled up this break to the brim, overflowed actually, being that I got sick.

Well, let's talk about that a bit. Sick twice in a month is unacceptable, something has to be done. And something has to be done means that something has to be done, I say this only because "something has to be done" so frequently is followed by nothing being done. Probably because one doesn't know what is to be done, but that's not how to get things done. You don't know what is to be done and then do it. You pick anything and do it; and if it does the trick, that's what was to be done. And if it doesn't, it isn't and pick something else. So I picked two things to stop getting sick, one, letting go of the idea that I'm going to do much else besides work, systems, housework, train, and practice. Because work, systems, housework, train, and practice is what I do and hello is a lot, and the rest of my time, which is not a lot, is for not doing—watching TV, or browsing my feedly, or futzing with any of my innumerable charts. And what I'm not doing is, like, crafting. Or any big cleaning projects. Sorry about my floors, Mom. Or you know, going out much at all. This is more freeing than as dire as it sounds, I still have pizza quest and monthly wine party at Trouble's. Two, upping my daily starch allowance from one to two. I say starch to refer to what are more commonly called carbs but you know, vegetables are carbs. What I limit are starchy carbs, right at the top, pasta and bread, which are red flags, and then primarily rice and potatoes are my yellow flags. Red flags I'm only supposed to have one or two per week, yellow flags were one and are now two per day. So like carne, greens, and potatoes for dinner, and mochi oatmeal for post-workout snack. I'm giving this a try because sick twice in a month means something's needed—it might be more calories, it might specifically be more simple carbs— and I'm certainly not gaining weight, I've been stable between 132 and 136 for a year without really trying, so I'm not testing the top of my headroom where I'm at.

I left off before break not really sure how much blogging I'd be doing from now on, but that's how it always is before break. I always think I might be done blogging, but I just need a break. By the end of break, blog posts are writing themselves in my head; so there's that. Do I have time to write them out is the question, we shall see about that. Now that I've done a tiny number of trivial things off my insanely large but docile to do list, maybe it goes back into eclipse and kneels before Blog. Maybe I'm more inclined to write instead of watching TV, and that's when I'll do it. I mean, that's what I'm doing now. Maybe I won't write as much, but how likely does that seem at the bottom of eight column inches.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bout Day Breakfast
 Second Wind vs Saint Lunachix
 parmesan baked eggs in sweet potatoes,
 carne asada, banana and cuties

parmesan baked eggs in sweet potato, carne asada, banana and cuties, water, and coffee

Parmesan baked eggs in sweet potato, a little bit of carne asada that was baked underneath that, banana and cuties, water, and coffee

More bout day breakfasts!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pizza Quest
 pizzeria da nella

Saturday afternoon Dawn and I did the Division poster route, which, St. Patrick's Day, ha ha, wow. I had no idea St. Patrick's Day was like that. But it was only hairy in the bars, and the hairiest in Mac's American Bar where you can hang your poster on the bulletin board by the bathrooms, so fighting through a sea of green that has to pee really bad.

After doing our leaguely duties, we picked up the sweetie man and took the Ashland bus to Fullerton and walked over to Pizzeria da Nella.

mr and poppy spock

Me and the sweetie man.


Dawn has a new haircolor, isn't it nice.

The 20 Best Pizzas In Chicago Via Chicagoist.

Pizzeria Da Nella
Nella Grassano has been a game changer for how Chicagoans view pizza ever since she pulled her first magherita pizza out of the oven at Spacca Napoli years ago. After years wandering the restaurant wilderness Grassano and husband Franco look to have finally found a permanent home with their Lincoln Park restaurant and the third-generation pizzaiola from Naples is the star of the operation from her vantage point in front of a hand-tiled wood burning oven crafted from Italian volcanic ash and Vesuvian stone. Mondays are $7 magherita pizza nights but any of Grassano's pizzas are worth the list price, especially the funghi with portobello mushrooms, garlic, mozzarella and mushroom puree. The crust, bubbling and browned from the heat on top with a chewy texture throughout, proves you don't need a passport to travel to Naples when you put yourself in Grassano's hands. —Chuck Sudo

Pizzeria da Nella Cucina Napoletana is located at 1443 W. Fullerton Avenue.

Pizzeria da Nella is very nice, a restaurant restaurant, where you get bread for starters, and also I ordered a nice mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and black and green olives, and also also Italian craft beers were had by all, two blondes and one brunette. The sweetie man did not like his blonde, so I traded him my brunette and he was happy with that. The blonde was a little on the hoppy side, I don't think he likes that. I like it all right, I'm not too picky about my beer and really generally like beer with pizza.

Pizzawise, we ordered the funghi and sausage and the prosciutto and arugula:

funghi and sausage

Red pizza with funghi and sausage, whoop, not the funghi in the review.

prosciutto and arugula

White pizza with prosicutto, parmesan, and arugula.

I guess I'd say this pizza was not bad on the Munt scale. Do you know the Munt scale? It goes good, not bad, not half bad, I suppose there's also not half good but that's like vosotros in Spanish, rarely used, and then not good, and bad. And so far I've been saying everything is good, right? Not bad is not bad, you know? I think the crust is the same style as the Coalfire pizza we had a couple weeks ago, a thin crust that gets fired in a fancy oven. Hold on, let me actually check....... yes, both Coalfire and Pizzeria da Nella are Neopolitan style pizza. So I've been thinking about my crust words and I decided that "bready" means like bread, you know, American bread, like it has a crumb, and "blistery" is like naan bread, thin and stretched out and, well, blistered. Are you with me on this? So like Coalfire was a perfect blistery crust. The crust at Pizzeria da Nella is blistery too, but not as blistery, and turns into bready around the rim.

I think also the middle of the red pizza crust was a little bit soaked. I mean, that happens. (Not at Coalfire, though, they just put a shmear of red sauce on their crust.) Also I ordered a different funghi than was recommended, so we may have missed the boat on that.

The white pizza has no tomato sauce, just cheese and then whatever toppings. We got the prosciutto, parmesan, and arugula, I liked that a lot. I feel like that's the first time I've tasted prosciutto on its own terms, perfectly thinly sliced prosciutto sitting on a cheesy blistery crust with some sprigs of fresh arugula for contrast. And now MJ has a prosciutto tooth, I have to source some more for him.

We've done three thin crusts in a row, I feel like for the next one we have to dive into some deep dish...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fish Curry
 over coconut broccoli

fish curry over steam sauteed broccoli

This is my take on Adrian Miller's catfish curry via Design Sponge served over Stone Soup's cheesy broccoli, they go together rather well if I do say so myself.

I'm not sure how I feel about catfish so I used cod, which in any case is very cheap and also I halved the amount. The original instructions said something about rolling the flour paste into balls and then dissolving the balls one by one into the stock... but you know that's not a thing that I would do, right? But I was about to turn up my nose at the idea of a teaspoon of curry and almost threw in a tablespoon, and I'm super glad I didn't because a teaspoon was just right—just flavorful enough, and just hot enough. I do use Penzey's hot curry powder, which is quite hot.

I left the cheese out of the cheesy broccoli, and used coconut oil rather than olive oil or butter. What I thought would meld well together, and it did, was the curry in the fish and the coconut in the broccoli.

1 lb cod
2 cups water
1 onion
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 lbs broccoli
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Cut the cod into two-inch pieces and finely chop the onion. As long as you're chopping the onion, you may as well also trim and slice the broccoli into small pieces, rinse them in a large bowl and don't drain, and also finely chop the parsley.

But anyway, put the fish and the onion in a small saucepan with the water, about a half teaspoon of salt, and a dozen or so grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the fish is cooked, about six minutes. Remove the fish to a plate and cover with foil to keep it warm.

Turn the heat back up to high and boil the cooking liquid until it reduces to half a cup. Meanwhile combine the flour, curry, and butter—soften it a bit in the microwave, if you forgot to take it out of the fridge until now— into a smooth paste in a small bowl. Whisk the paste a little at a time into the fish stock and cook until the stock has thickened into sauce, about five minutes.

While the stock is thickening, you can do the broccoli: heat the oil and the red pepper flakes in a large saute pan over medium heat. Grab the broccoli out of the bowl with your hands and throw it into the pan. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender, about five minutes.

Stir the fish gently back into the sauce.

Scoop a good amount of broccoli into bowls, ladle the fish curry over the broccoli, and top with parsley. The sweetie man and I basically split this amount of fish, and we had some broccoli leftover.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Late Winter Thursday Cooking Practice
 slow carne, greens, and mashed potatoes

Thursday's cooking practice still mostly the same: slow carne asada or carnitas into the slow cooker, but then I put on a pot for water one of my three greens. If it's turnip greens, it's blanched in the large saucepan and drained in a few minutes, if it's kale, it's blanched in the large saucepan and then sauteed in the large saute pan for maybe thirty minutes, and if it's collards, it's simmered in the large saucepan for an hour. When the greens are done, instead of baked sweet potatoes I've been doing mashed potatoes and beans in whatever pans I've already dirtied.

four russet potatoes
two cans of white, pink, or red beans—whatever beans you want, it's America

Generously salt water and bring to a boil in a large saucepan.

Scrub and quarter potatoes. Boil until fork tender, about fifteen minutes.

Meanwhile rinse and drain the beans. If it's around, I put them in the large saute pan. Let's just say put them in the large saute pan.

When the potatoes are done, ladle out a pint of cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup and then drain the potatoes.

Mash the beans with a potato masher in the saute pan, adding in some cooking liquid to make them easier to mash. Add the potatoes back to the pan and mash them on top of the beans, adding more cooking liquid to make the consistency you want. I like fairly soft mashed potatoes and add back almost the whole pint of liquid.

Put the mashed potatoes into a container for your week's spacefood needs.

So a "normal" Thursday cooking practice might go, in order:

  1. Prep slow carne
  2. Prep greens and put them in a container
  3. Prep mashed potatoes and beans and put them in a container
  4. Go do something else, like nap.
  5. Start cooker around 4pm
  6. Go to train or practice
  7. Put slow carne into a container

To plate it up, you grab your containers and fix yourself a bowl of slow carne, greens, and mashed potatoes and heat the bowl in the microwave, and then you add a lil chunk of butter on top of your mashed potatoes:

slow pork, kale, and mashed potatoes

I have to say, I've been freestyling my slow carne and some of them have been great and some of them have been gross, and the above is actually one of the gross ones. But hey, freestyling, fun, just sometimes it turns out gross but mama, that's where the fun is.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I Have Not Been As Others Were

p: listen to this:

p: "being alone doesn't mean you're weak...

p: " simply means you’re strong enough to wait for the right relationship."

p: who the fuck thinks that being alone makes you weak?

p: seriously.

p: i can't even think.

p: what about being alone is weak.

m: melty brain.

p: ...

p: being alone is something you fight for!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Late Winter Tuesday Cooking Practice
 egg bites and slow chicken

Okay so, 1) no more Sunday cooking practice, just Tuesday and Thursday, and 2) Tuesday and Thursday afternoon instead of morning, which is a leetle bit risky. Because if it's morning, there's still afternoon to get a little rest in. Before evening, which is when I do my most work. All of the recipes I'm making right now are real easy, though, and actually I think they get even easier as it gets warmer. Like summer is the easiest, I hardly cook at all, ahh I can't wait. But it is still late winter, which still means mostly winter recipes and an early start on egg bites. Anyway, on paper, Tuesday is supposed to be egg bites and slow chicken and Thursday is supposed to be slow carne, greens, and mashed potatoes, but really I have these two blocks to cook whatever needs to be cooked, and I also cook Friday night dinners and leftovers from that (helloo extra dirty eggplant rice) also go into the rotation; but I will take you through two so-called normal cooking practices.

First, I line my baking pan with parchment for egg bites. Frozen vegetables go into the microwave, get mixed with green onions, bread crumbs, and cheese, and then here I am doing something different than the posted recipes, I dump the vegetables into the lined baking pan, and then I blend my eggs in batches in my rocket blender and pour them over the vegetables in the pan. Idk why but this winter, a dozen eggs doesn't seem enough to cover the vegetables, so I've upped the eggs to sixteen. Which means that I quarter the egg bake both lengthwise and crosswise to yield sixteen pieces:

cauliflower parmesan extra egg bites

Two pieces per jar for one serving, plated with a half or whole cut up avocado and a cut up tomato with a sprinkle of lime juice and salt.

I do the slow chicken when the egg bake is in the oven, which is for forty minutes, and you only need like fifteen minutes to chop up whatever vegetables (or fruit!) and layer them in the slow cooker with the chicken. I'm still playing with cooking times with my new slow cooker:

slow cooker


And actually it kind of works better to get it started in the afternoon, probably late afternoon is even better, so it can be cooking when I'm out training or practicing, and I have delicious slow chicken or meat ready for me when I get home and if I'm starving and don't want to just nibble on nuts. It's seeming like six hours might be the sweet spot, maybe eight? So that means start the cooker around four...

Anyway, summary, in order:

  1. Prep egg bake and put in oven
  2. Prep slow chicken
  3. Go do something else, like wash dishes.
  4. Take egg bake out of oven and let cool a bit
  5. Go do something else, like nap.
  6. Start cooker around 4pm
  7. Cut egg bake into bites and put into jars
  8. Go to train or practice
  9. Put slow chicken into jars

Monday, March 10, 2014

Egg in Oatmeal over Sweet Potato Bean Mash
 a.k.a. mochi oatmeal

one egg in oatmeal with a touch of maple syrup over sweet potato bean mash

This is my mochi oatmeal, I also have a version of this from 2012. Lately I have been having this for my post-workout snack, which means I'm having two starches per day these days. More about that when I get back from break. I know it looks like I'm here, but I'm not here! I'm kind of not here all week, oh well try the veal...

(Just kidding, there is no veal.)

a baked sweet potato
a can of black beans
1/2 cup quick-cook oatmeal
a pinch of salt
1 cup water
an egg
almond milk
maple syrup

If you don't already have sweet potato bean mash on hand, mash up a baked sweet potato—which you do have to have on hand, I mean not generally but if you want to make this up real quick—with a can of rinsed and drained black beans, right in your serving bowl. Leave some to eat and put the rest in a mason jar in the fridge.

Okay, pretend you already did that and you just got home from practice. Grab your jar of sweet potato bean mash and put a big spoonful in your serving bowl.

You can cook your oatmeal on the stove, but I just do mine in the microwave because it's easier to wash an extra bowl than a saucepan. Put the oatmeal, salt (essential), and water in a small mixing bowl and microwave on HIGH for two minutes, give it a stir, then give it another minute on HIGH.

Meanwhile, beat your egg in a rocket blender. I did try beating the egg directly into the oatmeal, but I find that it incorporates better if it's well beaten before being stirred in. I also played with the number of eggs, from none to two. I feel better if it has at least one egg for protein, and this amount of oatmeal does just hold two eggs if you don't mind eating something more like an egg soup. Which is a thing, you know.

When the oatmeal is done, put your serving bowl in the microwave and give the sweet potato bean mash a minute on HIGH, too.

And then meanwhile, stir your egg into the oatmeal.

When the sweet potato bean mash is done, scrape the oatmeal over the mash and swirl them together a bit. Pour as much almond milk as you want, and drizzle a thin pinstripe of maple syrup down the middle of the bowl.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Late Winter Food Chart

Green tea with almond milk, most mornings in bed.
Egg bites for breakfast.
Slow chicken and steamed vegetables for lunch.
Black tea and cuties for afternoon snack.
Slow meat, greens, and mashed potato for pre-workout dinner.
Fish soup for Friday night!
Cococherry2O for workout drink.
Mint almond latte, dried fruits and nuts for post-workout snack.
ETA: Egg in oatmeal with a touch of maple syrup over sweet potato bean mash for post-workout snack.
Buttered rum and coco popcorn for Friday evening snack.

In the home stretch of this winter...

I'm rotating out butter coffee on Saturday and Sunday, these are less relaxing and more working days and I'm having regular breakfasts for them. I do have butter coffee capabilities at work now, though, in case you were worried I'm not getting enough butter.

I'm getting a jump on egg bites, which is my spring breakfast. I have that option, late in the season. Just getting antsy for winter to be over, eggs in veg puree is a cozy thing to eat in the dead of winter and egg bites with avocado and tomato feel like a little harbinger of spring.

I burned out a little bit on sweet potato and am switching in mashed potatoes and beans, very good. I might do sweet potatoes just for fall, and switch to mashed potatoes in winter. That seems more right for winter, I think.

Everything else the same! Seems like I've been busy with things Saturday morning that I wouldn't want to have drunk buttered rum the night before so I haven't been drinking that as much as I'd planned, I guess I have a month to make up for lost rum...

ETA 3/8/14: I made a little adjustment that I will talk about when I get back, but now I get this uber-delicious oatmeal for my post-workout snack. Until. spring. comes.

Ultimate food chart! Always tweaking...
Late winter food planner for the extremely detail-oriented.

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