Thursday, February 28, 2013

State of the Blog
 winter 2013


Welp, let's see.

You can follow me on Pinterest now, if you want? I dunno, do I want? I think I'm mainly on Pinterest for— well mainly for myself, as an additional receptacle for the torrent of talking to myself that I'm up to my farm in. You may ask why don't I just keep a journal to myself, well I do, but you know these social media products, they're like pensieves, pretty polished bowls that you can swirl your thoughts in, but a place like Facebook is a small town bowl where you know who knows your business. So lately I've been more all by myself on Pinterest, the big city bowl where you're nobody and not bothering anybody and pinning to my heart's content.

—but that's not what I started out saying, I do get most of my traffic from Pinterest and IF I want to increase traffic, which is a big if, which is why it's all in caps, then I guess it can't be my own private Idaho.

IDK. I haven't decided.

But anyway, I have this new egressions feature, which I like okay so far. I started it because one of my morning rituals is reading my Google reader and then posting links that I like to my Facebook feed, so why not repurpose that into blog content like everybody else does. So I get a day off from writing? Except that curating, you know, is also something that you can do well or half-assed.

Credit where credit's due, egressions back end support is provided by the sweetie man! I send him the links, and he wrote this automated thingy that processes the thumbnails and properly links back to all the places.

Going on break! Will post March's habit on Monday, then back 3/21.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shoobop Sha Wadda Wadda

m: i cannot adequately express how much i hate having wet feet.

p: you do not have to express it.

p: i also hate having wet feet.

p: do you know why that is?

m: soulmates.

p: solemates.

m and p: ahahahahaha.

Quick Trout
 with parsley and preserved orange

quick trout with parsley and preserved orange

I like this even better than the slow salmon, it's just sort of more exciting to me to blast a piece of fish for five minutes in an inferno. I also like the way it turns out better, I guess I'm more into crispy than tender. Also it doesn't hurt that it's faster.

I got this technique from chaos in the kitchen's Butter Roasted Salmon, except that I sent the sweetie man out for salmon and he brought back trout. It also was much thinner than what the original recipe called for, so it cooks even faster—all the better, if you ask me. I made this with parsley and preserved orange, but again I'm sure parsley and shallot, or parsley and garlic, would work if you don't have preserved orange.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
6 ounce trout filet, fairly thin
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 piece preserved orange

Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Put the oil and butter on a foil-lined baking sheet or in an ovenproof skillet and put it in the oven to melt the butter.

Get a piece of preserved orange from your preserved orange jar and thoroughly rinse it under cold running water. Finely chop the preserved orange, then mince the orange and parsley together to make a paste.

Get the pan out of the oven and lay the trout in the melted butter. Spread the parsley orange paste over the trout, and roast for five minutes. The trout is done if it flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with steamed vegetables. If you roasted the trout in a skillet, you could quick saute some baby spinach and cherry tomatoes in the browned butter for your side vegetables.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Best Loneliness

m: poor [redacted].

m: it's tough being a dumbass.

p: haha, how would you know.

m: ...

m: i dunno.

m: i imagine it.

Winter Pastime Wear
 garter belt and sweater leggings

sweater leggings with garters


Ha ha, I love how mine turned out so much trampier.

You know what these are, these are the sleeves from the sweater that I made the sweater pillow from. Literally just the sleeves, not hemmed and actually slightly unraveling in spots. I'm just acting like that's the look I'm going for. And boy, consider that these sleeves fit my thighs now like gloves and imagine the bingo wings these were when I was nineteen. Oh well, all's well that ends well!

I tried wearing these slouchy, but they were too slouchy even with tall boots. So I got this Sock Dreams Industrial Garter Belt that's supposedly what hockey players wear to hold up their thick socks and now all I can think is that hockey players skate around in cute garter belts. But man, it's super comfortable and does it hold things up.

And woah, sweater leggings are warm as toast. We are talking a serious contender to snowsuit here, and also a serious contender to sweatpants. I might have to go thrifting for more sleeves.

I think the snow boots aren't quite right, they're better with my huntress boots. Maybe my fatboys, idk, I'm a one too far kind of gal but short shorts plus garter belt plus sweater leggings plus black patent riding boots seems like one past one too far.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Savory Clafouti with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

savory claufouti with roasted cherry tomatoes and goat cheese

I don't bother plating this savory clafouti with greek yogurt or anything, I just flip the whole thing out of the pan and eat it.

I have roasted cherry tomatoes on hand because when I roast a pan of apples, I also put a pan of cherry tomatoes and a pan of sweet potatoes in the oven. I mean, as long as it's on. I have a really tiny oven, too. If you have a normal-sized oven, even more so. Roast everything, throw it into mason jars, and you can take things out to make good stuff all week.

olive oil
a pint of roasted cherry tomatoes
a little chopped parsley
an ounce or two of goat cheese
3 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a bit of olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over low heat. Toss in the cherry tomatoes, and I also have chopped parsley in the freezer from making turkey meatballs. So a palmful of that, too.

Cut up the goat cheese into small dots. Blend together the eggs, flour, and milk in a rocket blender for thirty seconds. Pour the eggs over the tomatoes in the pan, and dot all over with goat cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes. Run a heatproof rubber spatula around the edges and under the clafouti to release it from the pan, and cut it into wedges.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Egressions #29-30

29. Topping for post-workout greek yogurt? Via a la mode.
30. Eenteresting, zucchini chips. Via Vittles and Bits.

[ETA: Well I tried the zucchini chips, they were good but they shrank into shrinky dinks. I'd rather eat the raw zucchini. I think sturdier vegetables are better for chips, like Tay's sweet potato chips, maybe other root vegetables like beets. Or parsnips. Or turnips?]

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Coconut-Popped Popcorn


I guess I have to start winding down on jokes about things that I "lost" in the divorce. Okay, okay, I didn't lose them, I left them behind. Anyway the joke isn't what I left, it's what I thought was important to take, like the air popper, and not, like, the Prius, and I only mention this because I will eat an infinite amount of air-popped popcorn, but am satisfied with a 1/3 cup of coconut-popped.

I got this technique from Simple Recipes' Perfect Popcorn Recipe, and the idea for coconut oil from Tamikaze.

3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup popcorn

Heat the coconut oil with three or four popcorns in a large saucepan over high heat. When the canary popcorns pop, dump in the rest of the popcorn and about a half teaspoon of salt. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and count to thirty, swirling and shaking the pan just because.

Turn the heat back on high, still shaking the pan. The popcorn will pop "soon, and all at once," which I love, you can click through the link to read about why it does that. Pour out the popcorn into a bowl, and yes, let the melted coconut oil drip all over the popcorn.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hourly Exercise Breaks
 cancel cancel cancel

Aghghghghgh, this skeleton did not work for me at all. I wonder if it worked for anybody.

First of all, I thought I would post a strength workout skeleton at the beginning of the quarter and then an interval workout skeleton in the middle of the quarter, i.e., right about now, which I'm not at all ready with, so that you could have workouts all year round. Whoever "you" are, which is part of my problem. I'm a personal trainer, I train persons. I feel like I can't train in the abstract, and woah to that, abstraction has always been my Garden of Eden. I guess I'm getting my act together and taking it on the actual physical road. Am I being too figurative? I'm just saying that it's difficult for me to train without an object. It's like fitness doesn't exist on its own, it needs a body to exist in. Which is going well for me in the world, but on this blog not so much and why not. I write about food, food needs a body to exist in? I write about what I eat, there's my object. I could write about how I work out, about my own fitness. I'm going to guess that asking me to write about fitness is like asking a goldfish to write about water, and probably asking me to write about food was also like asking a goldfish to write about water at one time. Or maybe writing about food was like writing about the bowl, and now let's write about this water. What water, right, remember when you said what bowl? Let me tell you something that I only just realized despite dutifully posting food and fitness charts like clockwork: this past half year during which I've written the majority of my posts about derby-life balance, all that was my off season. Now the season is on, and you know what? On and off are, like, different. Like you know, they're binary. Like I forgot about how during home season, it's not that you're training so much harder but that you're doing everything else so much harder. Like there are so many parties. I'm not joking, that shit has to be factored in.

Secondly, this here skeleton. Two days of an alarm going off on the hour made me unhinged, real talk. Not even an alarm that goes clang clang clang, just a little pop-up window on my computer screen. In the parlance of hacking habits, it's the cue that isn't working and why not. Because it clashes with the flow of the other thing that I have to do at work, which is, you know, work. I'd just settle into pulling some reports and then POP! goes the weasel. [ETA: Well obviously, why this doesn't work versus pomodoro technique: because it's clock-based and not timer-based, by contrast you set your pomodoro when you start your task and you have twenty-five minutes from that point, which supposedly is in sync with your internal task clock.] The other thing is, did I tell you that I'm picking up a third day at the office, the third day being in charge of the kitchen and office supplies, so that means I'm on my feet taking stock, unpacking, squatting, climbing, reaching, you know, actual movement that doesn't need to be interrupted for extra movement, and actually I'm quite geeked about my third day.

Okay so this habit does not work, what do we do to make it work. And okay, I'm only supposed to be doing one habit per month. Actually I think I had hourly exercise breaks down for July or something, maybe I'll have it figured out by then.

For starters, why do I want to do this. Not because I need to get these four sets of ten reps of balance and core strength exercises in, I just need to get up and move around at work. But I need that to work with how I work at work, also I should mention that we moved offices and now I sit at the front desk with everybody else and the kitchen and the copy room in the back down a long hallway; so there's already more walking involved, which is good. Though on the other hand, I finally figured out this other window that keeps popping up on my computer is intraoffice instant messenger. What is this about again? Getting up and moving around at work, so you don't die from sitting. What is this not about? Getting another workout in, you're good on workouts. No seriously, you're full up on workouts. No more workouts.

I'm putting this in the homework machine now. I'll be back when I'm back.

Cancel cancel cancel, by the way, is a little bit of magical thinking for when something from overmind gets its teeth in you and you need it to let go. Food and fitness charts are overmind, don't think for a second that only your id has teeth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shallot and Squash Slow Chicken

shallot and squash slow chicken with broccoli

My crockpot is tiny and only fit half a butternut squash. If yours is normal-sized, I think you could use a whole squash and maybe then a few more shallots but maybe even the same amount of chicken. I mean, as always, you can do whatever you want. I have an idea about throwing in an apple with the squash, eh? [ETA: Yes indeed, that worked, just dice up an apple and throw it in there.]

4-5 chicken thighs
3 shallots
1/2 butternut squash

Skin or don't skin the chicken thighs.

Peel and dice the butternut squash and the shallots. Layer the veggies in the cooker with the chicken: bottom layer of veggies, layer of chicken, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and also nutmeg for the squash is nice, another layer of veggies, another layer of chicken, and another sprinkle of salt and pepper and nutmeg.

Set the slow cooker on low, and then go away for four hours. When the chicken is done, take it out of the cooker, and at this point you can turn the cooker up to high to reduce the vegetables a bit, and the chicken can cool in a bowl. Take the meat off the bones if you want and portion out the chicken and sauce between your containers.

To eat later: steam frozen vegetables on the stove, reheat chicken in the microwave, and plate them together. Or cook veggies in a casserole in the microwave on high for four minutes, add the chicken, and finish cooking the veggies with the chicken for another 3-4 minutes.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bout Day Breakfast
 TF vs MRD

scrambled eggs and guacamole, edamame, pickle, and water

Scrambled eggs, guacamole, edamame, pickle, and water

More bout day breakfasts!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Egressions #25-28

25. Good ol Hershey's. Via Hershey's.
26. Oh hello, vegan. Via Oh She Glows.
27. Red wine, woah. Via Home Cooking Adventure.
28. Red velvet? Eh. Via A Beautiful Mess.

I always want red velvet to be more than red colored, but maybe I just need to accept it for what it is...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

happy valentine's day


work messenger and lunch bags play backpack pastime purse pastime fanny pack

Let's talk about bags, I also want my bags to all be black and I only want three. But, there are four bags. Actually, there are five bags!

  1. Work bags - I used to bring my brown Derby Lite backpack to work, but the day that my marinated beans leaked all over my notebook was the last day of that one bag system. Now my notebook and my food, arguably the two most important things in my life, travel separately, notebook in this Tumi messenger bag that my niece bought me for my birthday to replace the really horrifying handwoven bag that I used to carry my notebook in. "See," she said reassuringly, like she was trying to get me to put down a gun, "it fits your notebook." Food gets carried in this cooler that I won the first year I did Walk & Roll, I actually love the pop of yellow.
  2. Play bag - This is just an Eastpak or Jansport backpack that I got at Staples, I think. I ripped off the brand patch and sewed on a WCR patch, which I had to do twice because the first time I sewed the front pocket shut. All my gear fits in this backpack and I snap my helmet to the top loop, or actually most of the time I wear my helmet to bike in.
  3. Pastime bag, dress - Just a little bag that I got at Target, I took it to the shoe repair to shorten the strap so the bag fits snugly under my arm. I guess this is my go-to dress bag for going out.
  4. Pastime bag, casual - Nooo Poppy... hahaha yesss, fanny pack. Do you know the difference between a hipster and a granny? A hipster wears a fanny pack because it's ugly even though it's practical, a granny wears a fanny pack because it's practical even though it's ugly. I would honestly wear this bag with all my pastime wear—I mean within reason, I wouldn't wear it to a wedding—except that even I draw the line at wearing a snowsuit with a fanny pack. But lately I'm thinking about only wearing the snowsuit for play, what! Yes. Only when I'm on my bike, and otherwise attempt to dress up when I go out, so then it's out of the snowsuit and into the fanny pack!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Slow Salmon
 with parsley and preserved lemon


So this is a six ounce piece of salmon, I thought I could take it but after half I was full.

So you know I make up most of my food ahead of time and put up jars of cauliflower or carrot puree, sometimes roasted cherry tomatoes, slow chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa with roasted root vegetables, and roasted apples in the fridge to mix and match all week. Friday nights, though, I've been trying to make one-off dinners, easy to fix things that you eat up, no leftovers. For variety, I guess. Not just varying what I eat, but also how I do. And fish is good for that. No leftovers I mean, because fish you want to eat up fresh. Though a little bit of leftover fish is very good flaked into a breakfast hash, like the trout, chayote, and apple hash that I had for my most recent bout day breakfast. Mmm. Creativity is sneaking into my cooking again, maybe I'm getting bored with my simplified menus or maybe I've mastered them and now I'm wandering but not lost.

I got this technique from The Kitchn's How to Bake Salmon Fillets. I make mine with just parsley and preserved lemon, simple enough if you have preserved lemons. I guess not so simple if you don't. Maybe parsley and shallot, or parsley and garlic, if you don't have preserved lemon. Overall, though, I simplified a lot of the technique, and it works for me.

6 ounce salmon filet, 1/2 to 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 piece preserved lemon

Heat the oven to 250 degrees (or 265 degrees, the lowest my oven goes) and let the salmon sit on the countertop while you prep the parsley and lemon.

Either you have chopped parsley in the freezer and are grabbing a tablespoon of that, or you have a fresh bunch of parsley that you're going to wash, trim, and finely chop. Leave yourself a tablespoon of chopped parsley and put the rest into a container in the freezer.

Get a piece of preserved lemon from your preserved lemon jar and thoroughly rinse it under cold running water. Finely chop the preserved lemon, then mince the lemon and parsley together to make a paste.

Lightly oil a baking pan and put the salmon skin side down on the pan. Spread the parsley lemon paste over the salmon, and bake for twenty-five minutes. The salmon is done if it flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with steamed vegetables. A six ounce piece of salmon actually serves two in our house. I can't eat much more than three ounces of fish at a time, maybe because I have it plated with half a pound of vegetables.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Winter Cooking Plan

baked sweet potatoes

So you know this, I don't want to be cooking all the time. That's a little ridiculous for me to say, I'm cooking a lot of the time and I have a lot of time to cook. Because I only work two (three?) days a week in the office, and because the other three (two?) days cooking for this blog apparently is my work albeit unpaid. Maybe a better way to say it is, I always want to have food. Ha ha, truer words never said. But what that means is when I'm hungry, I want food to be right at hand. How does that happen.

  1. I have a long-term food plan. I mean, I have a really long-term food plan that lays out what to eat the whole year round but the part I keep in my head is what to eat for at least this whole month and ideally this whole season. Because why, because keeping them and everything about them in my head and only so much room. So fewer things fit better, and longer means you get more mileage out of them.
  2. Then I lay it all out for the season:
    1. when I'm eating what - these are all the times that I want food to be at hand, and what food
    2. when I'm cooking what - these are highlighted, my basic strategy is to cook for some to be eaten now and some to be put away to be eaten later, and as long as I'm in the kitchen, cook a bunch of other stuff to be eaten later.
    3. what ingredients I need for what - since I'm just making variations on maybe half a dozen different recipes, if that, I can write up a grocery list for the entire season and reuse it every week, and not only that, I've started to reuse planners from previous years, so it's even less work. That said, I tweak a lot. Still, it's less work than always starting from scratch.

So this is how I do, first of all, there's the green tea and lemon in bed, or coffee and milk on the weekend. Okay then for breakfast it's eggs in puree at the beginning and sweet or savory clafouti at the end of the week, for lunch it's slow chicken and steamed vegetables, for dinner it's sweet potato and quinoa with roasted vegetables, and for post-workout snack it's greek yogurt with roasted apples. Except Tuesday is taco night, Friday I've been trying to make this slow-cooked salmon, and Saturday is catch as catch can.

Okay so Monday and Wednesday mornings is when I have to do my housework, which I get that not everybody has. Here's the thing, housework takes time to do and it won't get done if you don't take the time. Or it won't get done by you, there is such a thing as hiring a cleaning lady or even a cook. Honestly I think more people should consider this, I feel like people paint themselves into a corner too often with impossible requirements. Seriously, stop trying to do impossible things. I don't mean stop trying, I mean start making them possible.

Anyway, Monday morning I put on a pot of cauliflower or carrot puree. And I put a pan of sweet potatoes and a pan of apples in the oven, and I think if I get a third little cake pan I can do a pan of cherry tomatoes too. And I also put some chicken and vegetables in the slow cooker. Everything cooks, I tidy up the bedroom and the kitchen, I eat my breakfast, I put up jars of sweet potatoes and apples and cherry tomatoes, I get on with my day while the slow chicken keeps cooking, and eventually I put up jars of that, too.

slow chicken paprikash in jars

Wednesday all I have to do is put a pan of quinoa and vegetables in the oven, but that's only because I have a tiny oven. If you have a normal-sized oven, you could probably just roast everything that roasts at 500 degrees all at the same time and be done.

And that's it, you have a fridge full of mason jars that you can grab all week and, actually, mix and match a little bit. I just made the sweetie man a little chicken soup for his cold from a container of chicken broth that I had in the freezer, a head of garlic, a thumb of ginger, a jar of slow chicken, and a few big spoonfuls out of the quinoa jar, ta da, stone soup.

And obviously, for groceries, you pick on the list which variations you want this week, check which ingredients you have, circle the ones you don't, and go out and get your groceries.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweet Clafouti with Roasted Apples

sweet clafouti with roasted apples, greek yogurt, and pecans

I adapted this from The Parsley Thief's Savory Roasted Tomato and Manchego Clafoutis basically by making it ungluten-free and unsavory—sweet, I mean—again. I also do her savory version with roasted tomatoes, just a little simpler.

You have roasted apples on hand if you've roasted apples to eat as a post-workout snack with greek yogurt. But you can also make this with fresh apples, that's also good. I get this started first thing in the morning, put it in the oven, and then I do the dishes or fold the laundry. It keeps me busy while my breakfast is in the oven, and the laundry gets folded before breakfast.

2 tablespoons butter
two roasted or fresh apple halves, otherwise known as an apple
3 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup milk

Heat over to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet over low heat. Chop up the apple and toss it in the butter.

Beat together the eggs, flour, and milk, and you know what's great for this? My rocket blender that I use for smoothies, blend for thirty seconds. Pour the eggs over the apples in the pan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Run a heatproof rubber spatula around the edges and under the clafouti to release it from the pan, and cut it into wedges.

To serve
greek yogurt
sliced almonds or toasted pecans

Or well, you can just eat it as is. I like to eat half of the sweet clafouti layered with greek yogurt and topped with nuts though, and save half to reheat in the toaster oven.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bout Day Breakfast
 TF vs MA

fried eggs on trout, chayote, and apple hash with OJ

Fried eggs on trout, chayote, and apple hash, and OJ

More bout day breakfasts!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mulled Tart Cherry Green Tea

mulled tart cherry juice

Mulled tart cherry juice and green tea, why would I want to drink that. Well if you just did an ice bath, you would want something warm to drink after. And as long as the blood's rushing back into your frozen legs, you might as well drink something warm that's bursting with antioxidants.

Eight or twelve minutes is as long as you'd want to be in an ice bath, so you could put your juice and tea on, run your bath, get in the bath, and it'll be ready when you get out.

half a mug of tart cherry juice
palmful of mulling spices
green tea

Put tart cherry juice with mulling spices in a saucepan over low heat. Heat water for tea in a kettle, pour over tea bag to fill half the mug and cover.

After your bath, strain the mulled juice into the mug with the tea.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Covered Notebook

covered notebook front pocket back pocket planner in the back pocket

1. Really nothing to it, just glue some pretty paper to the cover of a composition notebook; I like the Staples recycled paper composition notebook mainly because it's college ruled. I butted the one edge of the paper up to that black binding and folded the other three edges over with about a quarter- or half-inch allowance. I used elmer's glue, brushed thinly and evenly all over the paper with a brush.

2. I used the cardstock I have left over from binding my screenplay (womp womp) to make inside pockets. Just cut to whatever size or shape you want, I used a corner punch to match the corners of the notebook. Then tape them on with scotch tape. Next time I'm going to tape the pockets on first, and then glue the paper over the taped edges.

3. A differently shaped back pocket.

4. Which my planner slides into. Looove my planner, I wasted fifty bucks on bought planners before biting the bullet and making my own.

Here's what the insides look like:
Full week, 7:00AM–11:00PM, three weeks at a time. Actually I use the 7:00 line for scheduling blog posts, and I have my little post-its stuck all through the pages. Designed and printed double-sided on legal-sized paper, the cardstock cover cannibalized from the bought planner and printed with the scanned paper pattern. Super proud of that. Folded not very perfectly and stapled, mein wifey works in a bindery and might show me how to do this better next time; but this works for now. If you don't have a stapler that reaches to the middle of your paper, just flip your stapler open and staple into a corkboard; then fold the staples down by hand.

I might say more about planning and planners later. Maybe. It's personal.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Leek and Apricot Slow Chicken

slow leek and apricot chicken and broccoli

The basic formula for this is chicken + leek + dried fruit. Why dried fruit, because obviously it's dried and not watery. It plumps up in the chicken and aromatic cooking juices and makes a nice thick sauce for the chicken. Any dried fruit, I can think of a dozen off the top of my head: apple, apricot, cherry, cranberry, date, fig, mango, papaya, pear, persimmon, prune, raisin. Why leek, dunno. No reason, just mixing up my aromatics.

4-5 chicken thighs
2-3 leeks
1/2 lb dried apriocts

Skin or don't skin the chicken thighs.

Trim, then halve and rinse the white part of the leeks. Then pull out and trim the light green part and halve and rinse that, too. Shockingly, I know, all the dark green parts get thrown away, or you could save them in the freezer for stock. Slice the rinsed leeks, and layer the sliced leeks and dried fruit in the cooker with the chicken: bottom layer of veggies, layer of chicken, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, another layer of veggies, another layer of chicken, and another sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Set the slow cooker on low, and then go away for four hours. When the chicken is done, take it out of the cooker, and at this point you can turn the cooker up to high to reduce the vegetables a bit, and the chicken can cool in a bowl. Take the meat off the bones if you want and portion out the chicken and sauce between your containers.

To eat later: steam frozen vegetables on the stove, reheat chicken in the microwave, and plate them together. Or cook veggies in a casserole in the microwave on high for four minutes, add the chicken, and finish cooking the veggies with the chicken for another 3-4 minutes.

Monday, February 4, 2013


p: consider that the contents of this jar was not cheese curds.

m: what was it?

p: sundried tomatoes.

Make the Bed and Wash the Dishes

make the bed and wash the dishes

Poppy, this is not a picture of you making the bed or washing the dishes. No but look, I'm about to do a one-legged squat! I'm only a little bit blurry, I was actually holding this pretty well waiting for the self-timer. Anyway, the bed's already made in this picture. What I do is, I get out of bed and hop around on one foot and say "scheiss, scheiss, schiess" while I put on my sweats and socks and crocs. Then I make the bed and also pick my clothes off the floor and put them in the hamper. You know that I throw my clothes on the floor when I get undressed. Because I can. I don't know why, there's something about throwing my clothes on the floor and then picking them up later that pleases me more than just putting them into the hamper. Okay then I put on my apron, so this picture is after bed and before dishes.

The Cue

See, the cue is the apron. For doing the dishes, I mean. The cue for making the bed is getting out of bed.

 making the beddoing the dishes
timeanywhere between 8:30 and 9:00 am, sometimes laterso then, anywhere between 8:45 and 9:15am, sometimes later
emotional statehalf-awakeharried
other peoplethe sweetie man periodically checks that I haven't fallen back asleep and am indeed planning to get uponce I'm up, he holes up in his room and does manly things
immediately preceding actionget out of bedput on apron

I'm not even sure that I can analyze my making the bed, I would just feel itchy and OCD if I didn't. I guess it's that I don't sleep well in rumpled sheets and the rumples set if you leave them like that, so I smooth them out as soon as I get out of bed. So the smooth sets instead, right?

I guess I started a trend of telling you horrendous things about me, so you know the fourteen years that I was with my ex-husband? I never washed the dishes. So there I was, newly single, and these dishes aren't going to wash themselves? What is the problem, Munt. The problem is, I am basically a cat. One, I will always help myself to the most comfortable seat in the room. Two, I hate getting wet. When you splash a little water on yourself washing dishes and the front of your shirt gets damp, aaghghghgh. Thus this apron, I got this red apron as a free gift with my All-Clad cookware that I thankfully bought before I realized that money was going to be a lot tighter than when I was a dink. Now I don't hate washing dishes, and I love my red apron! I still don't love coming out of the bedroom to a kitchen full of dishes, but I'm all business as soon as I tie on my apron. Except for the occasional one-legged squat.

So I think this is alluding to what to do when a habit isn't working, there's no need to vaguely hate life. There's probably some specific, silly problem that will be easy peasy to fix. It's like remember that time when you figured out what the problem was with washing dishes every time I tie on my apron.

The Routine

It will surprise you none that I sort the dishes before I wash them, right? Sometimes the sweetie man has gotten in ahead of me and already done some of the dishes, hooray fewer dishes for me. He does have a weird tic, though, he almost always never does all the dishes, he always leaves a few like how you're supposed to leave a little bit of food on your plate as a compliment to the chef. I almost never stop doing the dishes until every last dish is clean.

The Reward

What writing this is showing me is that probably in a working habit, the cue is the routine is the reward. When you're half-awake or harried, it helps to not have to think about anything right then. Your tried and true routine gives you something to do that you're reasonably sure will work out. Not having to think and having things turn out is its own reward.

But obviously, having smooth sheets to sleep on and counter space to cook on and clean dishes to eat from are also rewards. And sleeping well is a reward, and eating well is a reward.

Maybe this seems trivial, maybe you don't have tiiiiime to make your bed and wash the dishes when there's more important and fun things to do. If rumpled sheets and dirty dishes aren't impeding you from doing your more important and fun things to do, I say more power to you. But if they're ruining your life and you know this and you still can't commit to making the bed and doing the dishes because you can't bear the thought that fifteen minutes to make the bed and half an hour to wash the dishes every day adds up to eleven days of making the bed and washing the dishes every year, I'm going to tell you what I think that's about. Are you ready? Fear of mortality. So this is me not fooling myself that I'm not going to run out of time before I do everything that I can think to do, because I totally am and there's lots of things that I'm not going to get to, like get fluent in French, I totally am going to die not being able to speak French like a native, or even beyond the names of my favorite cheeses, and furthermore I am an organism that sleeps and eats, and I'd rather not find myself vaguely hating my short life just because I'm not well rested and well fed, so why don't I just make this bed and wash these dishes, and we can take it from there—

Status: ACTIVE

Friday, February 1, 2013

Egressions #19-22

Man, you can be totally okay with eating roasted apples and greek yogurt for twelve weeks running and then you run right into the wall. There's never any warning, always sixty miles an hour and then wall. Ow. Maybe I want something of a potato nature, I can have potatoes for post-workout snack. Or maybe I just want to go to Arturo's with my team.

19. Crash potatoes. Via The Pioneer Woman.
20. Zucchini and carrot fries. Via. Voracious Vander.
21. Parmesan zucchini fries. Via The Lean Green Bean.
22. Carrot and parsnip fries. Via Martha Stewart.

[ETA: I made more versions of crash potatoes that I could shake a stick at, and now I'm over crash potatoes.]