Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simple is just fine...

Hello All!
Emily, the fabulous Experimentarian, is out of town for the weekend so she asked me, Sarah, the More Traditional Not Really So Experimentarian to write a guest post for Sammie Saturday!

Now, when I hear the word "sandwich," I think of one specific kind of sandwich - not that I am a sandwich snob - I like PB&J, ham and cheese, turkey with cranberry sauce, and tomato/basil/cheese sandwiches - really, I do. But there is a special place in my heart for the Fluffernuter. Now, I'm sure some of you hail for places where Fluffernutter's aren't exotic beasties, but in Wyoming we sure got some funny looks in the lunchroom. And some . . . interesting guesses about what that white stuff in our sammies was.

For those of you (poor, deprived souls) who have not been introduced to the Fluffernutter it is a deceptively simple sandwich - a cousin to the PB&J, really - consisting of bread, peanut butter, and Marshmallow Fluff (or Marshmallow Creme, if you live out west). That's it. Put them together and you get a little bite of heaven (at this point I will admit that I'm biased - this is one of my favorite meals - your results may vary).

My mother will tell you the bread must be toasted (so that everything gets all melty together), our dad and brother will debate the proper fluff/PB ratio with you all though lunch, and Emily would probably tell you to use whole grain bread (and she would be right - not only is it better for your heart, but it holds up to vigorous peanut butter spreading ever so much better).
I will add my two cents by saying that a fluffernutter is best accompanied by chips (potato or tortilla - no spinach, cheese puffs or fancy flavored chips, please) and an apple (carrots, pears and mangoes are all acceptable substitutes). But then, I am a bit of a traditionalist. So go ahead and experiment, just remember that, for this meal at least, simple is just fine.
'K, rambling ode to fluff over, thanks for sticking around, and thank you all for being so supportive of Emily - you're awesome.

What are some of your favorite things to pair with peanut butter?
Stay warm and dry,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Family Food/FFF #15

I am taking the weekend off from blogging, but fortunately, my family members have pitched in to help out. I received a holiday card from my mom that was pretty funny. It said something like, "The holidays are full of turkeys, hams and nuts....and that's just the relatives." Of course, no matter how nutty, there is nothing better than spending time with the people you care about, no mater how nutty.

Today, here is a special guest post form my brother in law, Ollie. He has similar adventurous food tastes to mine, only minus the barbeque and philly cheese steaks because he is a vegetarian :) He is also so smart, witty and generally hilarious. Plus he cooks, too, as you'll see below. And guess what ladies, he's single!

Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you had a great holiday and hope you enjoy this post too. Love you! xoxo,

Hi everyone! My name is Ollie and I'm subbing for Em on her blog today. I don't really have anything too freaky for freaky Friday. I think the freakiest part was just the idea of me cooking. Today wasn't that bad, and I put out the fire immediately (but not quick enough to save the blender. Oops.).

I've been experimenting with making my own bread for a few months now; unfortunately, I've made little progress. Today I followed a recipe from the New York Times. The best part of it is the amount of ingredients: 4. Water, flour, yeast, salt. There's also a video of it floating around. Anyway here's a foto of today's loaf; the crust wasn't as good as it normally is but it was still fairly stiff:

The crumb was actually better than I usually get it; I got a few more air bubbles than normal, but it was a little dense. Still it tasted impressive:

I also finally got around to making my bobas. I've been looking for these for a while. I found them in a little Thai store and cooked them up. They are really easy to prepare; they only need to be cooked in water for a few minutes:

Note that smiling spoon--it seems to know something that I don't (maybe that my blender is too close to the stove). I don't know if you guys have tried bobas (usually used in bubble tea or peal milk tea), but they are big purple tapioca pearls. The lady who sold them to me recommended that I try them in a mango smoothie. She convinced me pretty easily; I also tried them in some milky chai rooibos tea. The bobas went well with both. They don't add much flavor but they are fun to slurp up and chew:

Also I've been wanting to try persimmons since reading Li-Young Lee's poem. So when I found them at wal-mart I had to try one. I forgot to take a picture of them whole, so I found a pic online and while I searched for the picture I learned that they were called by ancient greeks "the fruit of the gods":
This probably wasn't the best way to try an unfamiliar food but I just cut it up and popped it in my mouth. It was sort of like eating a ripe mango but it made my mouth feel like it was covered in fuzz. So I would recommend cooking them--unless you enjoy the fuzzy-mouth sensation.

Anyway thanks for reading my about my experimentations and don't worry Emily will be back soon. And thanks Emily for letting me post. Hugs and Kisses.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Oats aka Locked In

So, a funny thing happened to me on the way to breakfast the other morning...No, this is NOT a joke. But my husband sure thought it was humorous.

I got the chance to sleep in a little bit--and by sleep in, I mean, I woke up at 4:45, 5:15 and then made myself get back in bed until 5:52. It was my day OFF, dammit!!!

D had gotten up earlier and closed the door to our bedroom so he wouldn't wake me up showering (I'm very sensitive--so is he. Sweetie pie). All fine and dandy...until I got out of bed, thoughts of the delicious breakfast I had planned drawing me out of my covers and into the cold...I reached to open the door...stuck. Jiggled the handle. Twisted the knob. Turned again. Pulled as hard as I could. I was STUCK!!! Locked in my room! This is not a good thing.

I checked the lock, twisted and turned and pulled again, banging the door against it's hinges. Cripes! Totally peeved. How am I supposed to spend the day locked in my bedroom when i don't even have a computer in there?? Or a hacksaw to get out. Good grief. Luckily Dustin heard the ruckus from his bathroom and came to my rescue. After shoving his little pocketknife under the door so I could attempt to unscrew the doorknob, he threw his coat on over his pj's and came through the patio doors to finish dismantling the door. My knight in shining armor! Only I'm pretty sure most knights don't typically lock their princesses up to begin with.

I would like to point out that yes, I could have escaped through the patio doors as well, but I wouldn't have been able to get back IN the house at any other entry point since everything was locked. We're safe like that.

After Dustin picked himself up off the floor from laughing, and from me body slamming him on the way to the kitchen (kidding, kidding), he suggested that at least now I would have a good story to post on the blog. So there ya go!

Luckily, I have another good thing to post about today, too. The breakfast I was so excited to make before i realized I was trapped...

First of all, I found these in the store the other day and knew exactly what to use them for!

Look how cool! Think of the possibilities!

But there was only one possibility in the forefront of MY mind...

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Oats:

Soooooooo goooooood! This tasted like dessert. Creamy and gooey and warm. Is there a better way to start your day than with
candy in your oats? No. Maybe a healthier way, but whatever to that. There is probably less sugar in my candied up bowl of oatmeal than a standard bowl of most cereals--at least I will tell myself that for the day :)

  • 1/3 c oats, prepared
  • 1 laughing cow cheese wedge
  • 1 baby apple, chopped an steamed in the microwave
  • cinnamon
  • sprinkling of baby caramels

I mixed everything together and then microwaved to get the caramels to melt a little better. You guys, please make this! Your day will instantly become about 800 times better. Just like mine did when I got unlocked from my bedroom. But then again, any food might taste delicious after being released from five complete minutes of angry, door-pulling, temper-tantrum throwing solitude. Be safe out there peeps.

I don't know about you, but I am SOOOOO excited for only another half day of work and then a four day weekend! Yay! We are headed up to the MIL's to spend time with D's family which should be really fun. What are you all doing for the holiday? xoxo

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Phinally Philly

Yes, oh yes, I FINALLYYYYYYY got what I've been waiting for! Yee haw and thank goodness for Sammie Saturday so I can show it all off!

But first I had this little guy, in yet another attempt at prolonging my cheese steak jones.
Whole grain bread, laughing cow, feta, sliced sweet and spicy peppers, roast beef. It's meals like this that make me wonder how I ever lived without beef. I mean props to all the veggies and vegans out there--I think it's a truly admirable way of life, health and eating. But cowgirl needs her meat yo! TWSS)

And now, on to more meat. TWSS x 2--I'm on a roll--and look, so is my sandwich! How cheesy...but then again,so was my sandwich :)
Big ol' chewy roll, crammed with tender, lean sliced beef, grilled onions and a teensey slice of provolone applied by my own hand. With a ginormous pickle on the side for kicks. Hey, if you're selling, I'm buying!

This was DE.LISH. The bread was so perfect, and I will probably be talking about it for days. Slightly crispy and perfectly chewy crust, surrounding the most doughy pillow of soft fluffy bread. Holy yum. I loved that the beef wasn't gristly or fatty. My only regret is that I didn't ask for extra onions like my friend did.

I was proud of myself for adding a little cheese. the sandwich comes with either provolone or cheeze whiz on top, so I asked for my provolone on the side and strategically placed just enough not to freak me out on while it was still warm so it would get all melty. Good call. For some reason, cheese on things is still a big fear for me. But I think this was a good rut buster, because seriously, you can't have a cheese steak without the cheese!

I also got to try another new thing I've been dying to try this weekend. Everyone and their mom has been singing the praises of High Intensity Interval Training, and I love the concept. 20 minutes of hard core pushing yourself, versus 40-60 minutes of ho-hum cardio queen routine (that would be me). HIIT has been shown to have many benefits, including building stamina and endurance and lowering body fat.

Even though I am simply convinced that less cardio will make me turn into one big blob, there are a few majorly hot bloggers who prove just the opposite. So despite the fact that I am terrified of deviating from my usual gym mandates, this morning I sucked it up and pounded out this version of HIIT, modified from the Oxygen magazine web site:

0-5 minutes 6.0 mph (warm up)
5-6 minutes 6.5 mph
6-8 minutes 6.0 mph
8-9 minutes 7.0 mph
9-11 minutes 6.0 mph
11-12 minutes 7.5 mph
12-14 minutes 6.0 mph
14-15 minutes 8.0 mph
15-17 minutes 6.0 mph
17-18 minutes 8.0 mph
18-20 minutes 6.0 mph
20-21 minutes 7.5 mph
21-23 minutes 6.0 mph
23-24 minutes 7.0 mph
24-25 minutes 6.0 mph
25-27 minutes decline to walking speed, cool down

I neglected to note that there were incline increases listed in the original workout, so I just left it at 0 the whole time. Next time, I'll try to adjust the incline as I go along. I actually really enjoyed this workout and loved that I got to change it up every minute or so--that is perfect for my mini attention span. After the HIIT, I have to admit that I hopped on the bike for a little bit so I could read my book. I felt pretty chill though, afterward, and not drained or relieved that my workout was over. I think I will be adding this in, for at least the next month or so, just to give it a try.

What do you think? Have you ever tried HIIT? I really am excited for the addition to my routine. If it's not working, I guess I'll know pretty quickly, but I think the most important thing is having fun and switching it up every now and then. Hopefully my body will thank me.

Anyway, I thank YOU for reading and hope you had a great weekend! xoxo

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Scream, You Scream for...FFF #14

My favorite thing for dessert is ice cream. This is not me favorite dessert in the world--that would entail something like my moms' homemade chocolate cake with two inches of frosting, carrot cake from The Roof with two inches of frosting, or bread pudding--with no frosting--or with. That would be yummy too.

But for every day, I prefer something a little lighter and ice cream fits the bill beautifully, I consider myself quite the connoisseur of different brands and flavors. I think the slow churned, double churned, however churned is the best invention literally, since sliced bread. I mean, half the fat AND smooth creamy taste? That's what I'm talking about!

Recently, however, my friend Jess came up with a totally different type of ice cream and still managed to keep that smooth creamy flavor using a perfect ingredient for Freaky Food Friday....

Avocado Ice Cream!
Yup. Ever since taking the plunge with avocado this summer, I am not quie so afraid of it, and it it a little more often, but never before in a sweet format. Now, i know that a lot of vegan and raw cooking incorporate avocado into certain desserts to replace animal fats and dairy products, but I think it's usually masked by a stronger ingredient such as chocolate. In this dessert, it was the star of the show for sure!

You'll notice above, that I said creamy flavor, but not necessarily texture. You can see in this pic, that the ice cream ends up being slightly crystallized, but it still tastes very smooth!
It is a sweet dessert, but at certain points, I'd find myself feeling like I should bust out the chips and salsa and start dipping. So, the avocado flavor certainly shines through, but is wonderfully complemented by lots of sugar and hints of cream. Needless to say, this isn't something I can eat a lot of at one time...which, given my track record with other types of ice cream, may not be a bad thing!

What's the best dessert you've had recently? This was definitely the most interesting one I've had in a while! Hope you all have a great Friday and a happy weekend. See you tomorrow for Sammie Saturday! xoxo

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Apples, Continued...

Well, our apple stash certainly is dwindling. And after this weekend's first snowfall of the season, we probably are down for the count...that and the fact that I have been eating them nonstop :)

Thanks to all your apple ideas, I have had tons of tasty recipes to experiment with, and this was one of my favorite suggestions. It was suggested by a sweet gal named Nina, but I don't think she has a blog of her own to link back to, so a big heaping thanks to her for this supremely seasonal Sweet Potato Apple Hash.

Based on Nina's suggestions, here's what I used:
  • half a small-ish baked sweet potato
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • an embarrassing amount of onion
  • ~1/3 c. black beans
  • chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and garlic
I sauteed up the onion, then added the apple and let it cook until it became a tantalizing golden brown. Mixed in the chunks of sweet potato and then added the spices. When everything started to darken a little on the edges, I stirred in my black beans and then dumped the mix over a bed of mixed greens. Topped of with a creamy cool dollop of Fage.
It was almost like a mock taco salad, and it was very delicious. I loved the crisp, juicy burst of flavor the apples offered to the dish and I thought it mellowed so well with the smoky spices and soft sweet potatoes.

More apple deliciousness, this time in the form of the world's best way to use up a $#@!load of apples. Applesauce. It's amazing. I filled up two HUGE pots to the brim with so many chopped apples that it made my head spin, and...well, you'll see how many jars I got out of all that slicing and dicing...

Because we had so many, I actually decided to try my hand at honest-to-goodness canning. It's an art-form and I'm bringin it back peeps :) Just call me Grandma Emily.

It's important to heat the jars first, and then scoop the applesauce into them while the sauce is still hot, too. That is a true adventure in not giving yourself tragic burns, so watch out.

According to my little canning guide, it's also important to get all the air bubbles out of the jar by pressing against the mush with a spatula. I had no idea if this was working because it still looked kind of bubbly. But I figured if it didn't work out and caused the jars not to seal properly, I would just have to eat it faster. Oh the horror.

the hardest thing is trying to work quickly so everything stays warm before you put it into it's big boiling bath. That way the glass kind of tempers itself and you don't end up with applesauce shrapnel all over your kitchen.
Boil for 20 minutes and voila!
Count em, baby. Seven jars. Seven. Over two hours of work and three huge grocery sacks full of apples equals seven jars. Not that I'm complaining. That is seven jars of sweet autumn bliss that I get to dig into until next year. Okay, well two, because I gave most of them away. Sigh....I am nice like that ;)

I mentioned up there that my apple hash reminded me of a taco salad. Ever since eating it, I don't know what my deal is , but I have been CRAVING taco salad in the worst possible fashion. Weird. Is there anything you have been craving recently?

Also, have any of you ever canned or done any preserving?

My mother-in-law lives in an area that is very bounteous in terms of it's local produce, and I first became interested in it when I was up there last summer and saw her and her neighbors bottling everything from peaches to asian pears to plums, grape juice, and yes, applesauce. I thought it was the coolest thing that they actually had that much of a surplus and were putting it to good use. I think I made a few comments to that effect, and sure enough, I got the whole kit n caboodle of canning supplies for my birthday last year (nevermind that I didn't have anything to actually can at that point). Thanks MIL!! Very useful :)

Speaking of being useful, don't forget to click here to send Holly some "well wishes" and over here to help Katie's cause.

Have a great day everyone! xoxo

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tea and Sandwiches

I have to start by saying I loved your response to my last post. Although a lot of you commended me for trying it, very few would be willing to chance it yourself. Come on you guys, you are more adventurous than that! Just kidding--if not for FFF, I may never have risked that amount of potent fermentation myself. ;)

Anyway, after my international adventure yesterday, I decided it would be quite fitting to continue on today with my own redneck version of a continental tea party!

Thanks in part to my faveee healthy Holly, who sent me the most awesomest (yeah, I know that's not a word) package, which I received in the mail yesterday.

Green roasted loose leaf tea, with a little infuser spoon thingy (yay!!!), some sweet coupons for my penny pinching little behind and the most ingenious chocolate bar ever--nutmeg and cacao nibs. I can't wait to try that one!

But of course, I didn't wait to try the tea! I was so excited to use my new tea spoon and I loved the comforting flavor of this slightly smoky, but light and delicate blend.

Thanks so, so much Holly! Muah! Big kiss to you.

And now on to the sammies! What's a proper English tea party without a dainty little sandwich?

Whole grain bread toasted with laughing cow, pumpkin butter and thinly sliced apples. This idea courtesy of a combo of some of the suggestions listed on my apple ideas post. Seriously, if you guys are overrun with fall fruit, check that post for some super inspiration. I even think pears would work wonderfully in most of the suggestions.

...and then this mouthful of glory and goodness.
Ok--I have to admit--this was NOT a dainty little bite, but rather a huge chunk of the most delicious homemade bread I have ever tasted.

Slathered with peanut butter....

and jelly....


The neighbor who brought this over actually taught a bread baking class at our church activity today. I'd been raving about that loaf of love all week, so I HAD to check it out. Now, I too, can make scrumptious hunks of dough seeded with nutty pops of whole grain wheat...that might be dangerous.

*Sigh* still no Philly cheese steak this week, but I have not given up hope yet--I WILL get one, and it better be good when I get it! Grr :p

Hope everyone's weekend is going swell! I may attempt this bread baking business tomorrow, so if I do, I'll let you know how that goes. What was the last thing YOU baked? xoxo

Friday, November 13, 2009

I come from a land down under...FFF #13

My favorite thing to do on Friday mornings? Park it in front of my laptop with a big old mug or three of tea and catch up on my ridic Google reader. I feel so satisfied when I'm done. As if everyone couldn't live without my input on their lives. Jeesh :)

Another favorite thing to do on Fridays? F-f-f-f-freak-ay food, baby!

I have been planning this one for a while, just because it seems like the perfect odd duck food for my American palette:


For those who don't know quite what this is, or have only heard about it through that classic Men at Work song, Vegemite is a fermented yeast paste, particularly popular in Australia.
Please note--suitable for vegetarians. Any takers?

I did some research on this,and evidently it is used quite frequently by those in the land down under as a sandwich spread, or served with hot buttered toast for breakfast. Well, how can anything with hot butter(spray)ed toast be bad?

So that's how I decided to try it, in the traditional fashion.

I wasn't sure what to expect, because the only yeasty experience I had to draw on was my use of nutritional yeast a while back. I had used a couple different brands of "Alfredo" sauce powder and got mixed results, but liked the overall flavor of nooch--not quite as sharp or cheesy as I'd like though.

Even though I was gunning for the sharpness, I was worried about the Vegemite being overly pungent--I mean, I didn't want to feel as though I'd bitten into a chunk of sourdough starter. Yuck.

Tasted straight out of the jar, I was very weary and almost put off from trying it again all together, even though it looked exactly like hot fudge sauce. Caution: This in no way is similar to hot fudge. Holy SALTY!!!

But, adventurous as I am (sometimes), I spread it on some toast, spritzed away with a little spray butter and gave it another go. Well, a little certainly goes a long way, but in combo with those other two items, it really wasn't half bad. It actually reminded me of super sodium-loaded mushroom gravy. I am feeling quite continental now, if I do say so myself!

What's the most outrageous international food you've ever tried? Have a happy Friday everyone! xoxo

Oh, P.S.--does anyone know if you are supposed to refrigerate this after opening? It doesn't say on the jar. But, really, how much more fermented can it get?

P.S.S. Oops. I originally published this as FF #12, but it's actually #13. AND it's Friday the 13th! Ironic, no?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Copy Cat

I mentioned a while back that I was stuck in a bit of a food rut, and asked you for some of your greatest food winners to help me out of it. You all had some great thoughts, and I can't wait to try some suggestions!

In the meantime, I turned to some of my favorite bloggies for inspiration. These ladies are some cool cats , and have some unique staples that are worth breaching the routine for. So I decided to incorporate some feline design and do some copy-catting down the line.

Copy Allison

Traditional spicy oats. You may recall my spicy fail here, but by actually following the directions (for the most part), they are a savory success. I usually prefer to get my day started on a sweeter note, but spicy oats are truly a crave-worthy concoction for breakfast, lunch or anytime.

Copy Holly and Tay

Thanks to Holly, who introduced the homemade yogurt idea , and Tay who keeps making it look so darn easy and delicious on her blog.

I was weary to make my own yogurt--see question and answer here--but there is nothing like taking on a kitchen experiment to perk up your Sunday afternoon and then bounce your Monday morning.

My batch didn't turn out as thick as tangy as "real" Greek yogurt, but it definitely lost a lot of liquid and took on a more custardy texture throughout the process. I'm thinking about mixing some of this style with a container of Fage to get a greater return on investment...we'll see. I am interested in trying a couple of other brands of plain yogurt to see if the texture or flavor turns out any different. All in all, it's a great addition to any mess or beautiful breakfast creation.

Copy K and Susan
Reese's Oats. To. Die. For. I don't know why I don't make these more often. Look at that decedent swirl!

A little candy added to make them extra sweet a la Susan

I think I actually smiled ALL morning when I made this for brekkie. Got my day off on the right foot for sure! If you have not tried A) PB and chocolate (or carob) in your oatmeal or B) decorating it with candy goodness, what in H-E-double hockey sticks are you waiting for??

Copy April
Roasted Kabocha Squash and nut butter. Given the wonderfully gooey and marshmallow-y texture of a roasted kabocha, the addition of peanut butter makes it almost reminiscent of a fluffernutter. I said almost. Best snack ever.

Copy Mama Pea
Pumpkin spice chickpeas
. I cannot tell you guys how amazing my kitchen smelled while baking these. Luckily, they tasted just as amazing--but it is my suggestion to WAIT until they cool down after removing them from the oven before you eat them. Otherwise you will probably suffer the eruption of a wonderfully spiced chickpea volcano on your tongue. And that is not wonderful.

Copy Janetha B.
Garbanzos and CC. While I didn't have any ranch seasoning, I totally thought of the protein queen when I whipped this up. You know I'd never turn down a new CCC. Fab.

Come to think of it, so much of what I eat has been influenced by the blog world and your wonderful creations! Where would I be without a good Lauren-lovin' BFD every once in a while?Or some of my favorite recipes including Danica's delicious enchiladas, Lainie's super versatile turkey joes and a twist on my favorite English Eater's veggie Biryani?

I am constantly checking out Sophia's Asian persuasion for burpalicious creations and blissing out on peanut butter for some lovely lists. I've seen so many things I want to try (hello kelp noodles and kefir cheese!) on Emily's blog and great baking ideas from my little dancer.

Even beyond food, I always look to Abby to say what's on my mind, or Erin to keep me ethical, and even on my worst days, I can usually find a little bit of love here.

My apologies if I've missed ya, but please don't think think I've dissed ya (you love my rhyming skillzz). Just know that everywhere I look, click or comment, I am finding inspiration in you!
You are amazing!

What's inspired you lately? xoxo

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pass/Fail and Sammie Saturday Round 4

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I though of a devastatingly clever and hilarious opening line for my post today. As you can tell, this was not it. Obviously I should not think and/or expect to remember things I think of after 9:00 at night. I am old. Fail.

But I am actually posting anyway. Pass.

It would not be Saturday without a recap of my weekly sammies...

This one was definitely delicious--I bought a jar of sauerkraut specifically for this purpose. I know a lot of peeps think sauerkraut is gross, but I like to support my heritage (Slovak) and EAT UP. It's cabbage. It's pickled. What's not to love?

Turkey Rueben on toasted multi grain bread with laughing cow and a sprinkle of feta. Pass.

There is a new restaurant down the street that I have been dying to try--like I talk about it every day, and have been planning to go there for weeks. Their thing is Philly cheese steaks, and I don't know why, but the sound of that sammie siren was calling my name. Or yelling. Whatevs. I WANTED one in the worst way.

D and I had finally settled that we were going no matter what yesterday night. We got ourselves all stoked up and rolled into the restaurant around 6:30. THEY WERE CLOSED!!!! What in the Fraggle Rock???? Who in their right mind, or even their left mind is CLOSED at 6;30 on a Friday night? Good grief. No one who wants my business, that's for sure. Fail.

I was willing to let it go. In fact, I was almost over it. Pass.

However, my hardworking hubby was in the office today (sad face) and he informed me that they were ordering in....cheese steaks. Gah!!! Fail!

Of course, I wasn't invited to the work-a-holic lunch party, so I was forced to improvise, lest my craving force me to hop on the nearest plane and have my own party in PA. ( I know two lovely ladies who might join me, but only if it was veggie and ethical!


LOTS of onions, sauteed up with mushrooooooms

Lavash wrap spread with laughing cow, sliced buffalo chicken breast and a sprinkling of Frank's
Pretty yummy for a buffalo chicken mushroom wrap. Pass.
Piss poor substitute for a Philly cheese steak sandwich. Fail.

Oh well. Never fear. I am devising a way to get my hands on the sammie for next week. Or else!

Anyways, one thing that never fails me is the outstanding show of support and encouragement from all of you! I am always amazed by your so sweet comments, and I can't tell you how much it means to me! Or maybe I can--it means the world! I am so lucky to have you guys as my readers, and I truly regard every one of you as my friends. Pass!

Hope you're all having a great weekend! Have any pass/fails of your own? xoxo

Friday, November 6, 2009


Jeez. No post since Monday. Just call me slacker-face. (Not to be confused with snacker-face, who is much cuter!). But (big sigh of relief) , I have spent my a.m. catching up on all ya'lls blogs and my reader is at zero. Ahhhh.

And even though my computer is all hot and bothered and is probably getting ready to burn a hole in my table, I am now writing my own post, sure to be little long-winded...

It is also sure to be a little more personal and revealing than most of my posts, so if you are more anxious to check out my freak-a-licious food find, please scroll (scroll, scroll)--it'll be worth it when ya get there :)

November is all about the start of the holiday season, and of course, Thanksgiving. It's often an over looked holiday, but I love it in and of itself as opposed to just a kick off to Christmas.

A lot of us are talking about the things we are thankful for, and I wanted to add my own thoughts.

November is an interesting month for me. I have been feeling highly contemplative. It seems as though this month has brought about some sort of medical malfortune in the past , and history seems to be repeating itself . Not anything drastic for the most part, just little instances that make you take a step back and examine the way you are living your life.

While some of these things are a little too close (or not mine) to share on the blog, there is one item I wanted to talk a little about in my most supportive forum....

This time last year is when I began to really list back into the clutches of my eating disorder. I had been battling and resisting for months at that point and could no longer muster the resources for a fight. I was done.

I was pushed to the maximum on all fronts. My job was in a series of upheavals and co-worker drama (why can't we all just get along?). I had gotten in my first ever car accident in my company vehicle--yikes. I was direction-less and therefore unproductive in my work behaviors, which of course led to a huge dissatisfaction in myself.

The holidays were approaching and our families were waging a full on guilt war over where D and I would be spending our time. No matter what my suggestion, offer or attempt, it seemed I just couldn't make any one happy. Least of all myself.

I wanted everything to be perfect....

I don't pass along this info to throw a pity party--simply to suggest my state of mind at the time.

Thanksgiving was spent in tense moments and tears. I was already restricting, counting, measuring. My dad noticed.

Christmas was wrapped in the comfort of ed.

New Year's came and went. Cold.

February, March, April. I got help.

I am thankful for my recovery team. For my nutritionist, my group, therapist one...and shortly, therapist two.

I am thankful that this year will be different.

This year I will bake pies and EAT them. This year, I will share in, and enjoy the family recipes that mean so much to the rest of my family. I will not indulge in self destruction and guilt in stead of togetherness and joy. The holidays will not be just about FOOD, but about the traditions and relationships associated with it--those things that help to normalize eating behaviors and build a life around something besides the calorie count of a piece of fudge.

This year will be scary because I will not be in control of all of my food the way I would like to be.

But I am thankful for the challenge.

Sophia and Allison posed a difficult question the other day, and I wanted to share my response. The question was :

Is full recovery form an eating disorder possible?

here is what I wrote:
Hmmm...complicated question. Hard and fast, I DON'T think full recovery is ever possible. but let me clarify--full recovery from an eating disorder isn't possible like recovery from LIFE isn't possible.

You will never lose that experience, but then, would you really want to? Yes, I wish I didn't have to face these fierce struggles on a daily, hourly, all-the-time basis, but it has made me who I am. It has shaped my life and my spirit and my empathy towards others.

There is a part of me that believes I must have selected this trial in order to LEARN whatever it is that I am supposed to in order to progress.

I suppose I would kind of compare it to the process of repentance. We sin, we grow from our experience. We feel regret, guilt and humility. We turn to our Savior and He offers us complete forgiveness and erasure of our sins in his eyes. But we remember. We rarely forgive ourselves as fully as He is able to. We hold on to that experience to help us learn from our mistakes and become better.

There are many other moments of pain in my life and choices that I wish I could undo or forget, but they have made me who I am today. And I am growing to like that person.

One day I will be free of symptoms from my eating disorder and my thoughts of ed will be very few and far between. My life will be stuffed with things and people and emotions that are greater than food. I will be "recovered." But I will always remember.

Thankful for remembering.

Thankful for a wonderfully supportive husband and mommy, who came down to hold my hand through a particularly difficult and eye-opening doctor's appointment.

Thankful that my body has not given up on me yet.

Thankful for more family joining me and mommy for dinner

Notice how there are two bottles of ketchup on the table--one for ME and one for everyone else :) Thankful for condiments!

...and thankful for a deliciously deranged appetizer that had my name written all over it!

Fried pickles:

Hey, don't knock it til you've tired it! You guys know I usually would rather pluck out my eyelashes than eat something greasy and fried, so it's gotta be good! You also know I love pickles and these were no exception! Hot, battered and so salty. Perfect with ketchup (obv).

Thankful for job that, despite its stresses, allows me to have Fridays off so I can write epic blog posts like this one. :)

Thankful for my blog, my readers, for your support, kind comments and great ideas! You guys had some awesome suggestions to help me out of my food rut, so look out for some new things of YOUR creation here soon.

Thankful for sunshine, grocery shopping and old kickboxing workout videos, all of which are on my agenda for today, as well as meeting with a NEW therapist, as I alluded to above. Wish me luck!

What are you thankful for this Friday? xoxo