Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday and Today: It's about time I got caught up

Lots of leftovers in the last few days.  You will notice that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lunch will be very heavy on the leftovers.  I work an extra job on those nights and don't have time to cook, so I make sure I have lots of leftovers.  My husband lives on the other side of the state for most of the week, fortunately, I have never had a problem eating leftovers like many people I know.  I cook a big meal just for myself and pack away the rest.  If there is too much I freeze individually portioned meals.  This way when I'm running late I have quick meals.

I realized today that I've been drinking very little water during the day.  I'm not really drinking anything else like soda or juice, but I just have my coffee in the morning and quit drinking.  This is very unusual for me, so tomorrow I'm going to start really watching my water intake.   My skin is doing weird stuff (being dry and blotchy).  I know this is partially due to winter's approach, but also because my water intake is low.

What I ate: Monday

8:00 am: Asiago bagel and cream cheese

9:00 am: 16 oz black coffee

12:00 pm: Leftover sausage with peppers, onions, and tomatoes served over Israeli couscous.  A small winesap apple.  The couscous got some strange/interested looks.  I actually packed too much food, so I ate half.  Usually I feel like I have to eat everything.

4:00 pm: Macaroni and cheese with spinach

10:00 pm: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

What I ate: Tuesday (Looks just like yesterday)

8:00 am: Everything bagel with cream cheese

9:00 am: 16oz coffee

12:00 pm: Leftover sausage with peppers, onions, and tomatoes served over Israeli couscous.  Leftover brussel sprouts with red wine vinegar.  1 large Granny Smith Apple.  I was super full after the brussel sprouts, but I ate the apple anyway.  This was not a good idea.  The sour apple was great, but after I had just finished with the vinegary brussel sprouts, it was just too much of the same taste.

4:30 pm: Leftover macaroni and cheese with spinach

Tomorrow I will have more leftovers for lunch, but I will also have try a new recipe for supper, and I will be talking about a new feature.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I meant to post another entry last night about what I had eaten on Sunday, but my electricity was going crazy.  I had lights flickering on and off, and it was creepy.  My husband and I ended up packing up the dog and going to my parents until we could get the issue fixed.  By the time we got back home it was late and time for bed, so no post.

What I ate Sunday:

12:00 pm: Lunch at church.  I didn't wake up in time to get breakfast, and I was afraid my stomach would start rumbling through the service, but I was fine.  I piled my plate high with salad, turkey tetrazzini, corn, cheesy potatoes, cranberries, and a brownie.

6:30 pm: Sauteed chicken sausages with onions, peppers, and tomatoes, served over Israeli couscous.  Balsamic baked brussel sprouts on the side.  I could tell that my body was craving vegetables after all the damage I have managed to do lately.  This supper hit the spot.

9:30 pm: dark chocolate gelato

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What I'm eating: Weekend recap

Before my weekend recap a recipe.  These are great on salads, on top of desserts, or just eating out of the bowl!

Maple glazed nuts

2 cups unsalted nuts of your choice (I used pecans and peanuts)
4 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1. In a heavy bottomed pan cook nuts for a few minutes.  They will start to smell "nutty," and will begin to brown.  Let them get brown, but be careful not to burn them.  Stir constantly.

2. Add oil and salt and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Add maple syrup (this will sizzle).  Stir for 3 minutes or until the syrup starts to get a little sticky.

4. Remove nuts and place on either a large plate or baking pan lined with waxed paper or a sil pad.  Place nuts in the refrigerator and let cool for an hour.

5. Break apart and enjoy!

The Weekend

The weekend has been a little hectic with the holidays, so I didn't get a chance to post each day as I have been.  I'll talk about both Friday and Saturday in this post, and then post for Sunday later tonight.  I have been eating with my parents all weekend, and this has affected the way I eat greatly.  They eat a lot more meat and less grains and vegetables than I do at my house.  I can really tell that my body is suffering.  I feel sluggish and tired.  I need to be very conscientious this week about what I'm eating, so I can feel more alert.  I have a lot to do in the next few weeks: finishing the semester with both my high school and college students, studying for the GRE, and baking for Christmas.  I'll need my energy, so I'm really going to try to pay attention to what I eat.  My husband looked at my blog and commented that people are going to think I was a liar in my first post.  I knew that if I made statements about how I thought I ate they would quickly be proven wrong, but I went ahead and did it anything.  This has been informative so far, and I think using all the information will help me put better food in my body.

What I ate, Friday:

9:30 am: Breakfast burritos and coffee.  I didn't have potatoes, so I used kidney beans.  We also had eggs scrambled with onions and peppers.  The burritos were topped with cheese, salsa, and Tabasco.

2:30pm: After Christmas shopping we stopped at Qdoba for lunch.  Yikes, fast food 3 days in a row, but really I love Qdoba.  I have the craft two with a chicken quesadilla and naked veggie burrito.

7:00 pm: Leftovers from Thanksgiving.  I really overdid it tonight.  I ate turkey, potatoes, gravy, and dessert.  I was so stuffed I could barely move when we left my parent's house at 10:00.  It all just tasted so good, and I just kept eating and eating.  Bleh.

What I ate, Saturday:

10:00 am: Biscuits and sausage gravy (I'll post my recipe sometime) with 2 over easy eggs and coffee.  Once again, this meal with with my parents.

4:00 pm: snack/lunch of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

7:00 pm: supper with parents again.  Hamburger with mustard and pickles, salad with apples and maple pecans and peanuts, baked beans and potato chips.  I really wanted a second hamburger, but I remembered last night, so I stopped myself.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving extravaganza (cranberries in a can)

Growing up I had never had cranberry sauce that came from a can.  We always bought bags of cranberries and cook them down with sugar.  It's easy to make cranberry sauce from scratch, and I honestly don't know why people assume that it's difficult.  This is my 28th Thanksgiving, and I finally got to have cranberries in a can at my in-laws.  My husband made sure to request the wiggly sauce when his mom asked if we wanted anything special.    My mother-in-law teased me because of my excitement saying that I probably wouldn't want them again, but intrigued.  They didn't taste too bad.  I prefer homemade, but I like that the cranberries in a can didn't spread throughout my plate.  I also really like that they come out looking like the can. As far as leftover cranberry sauce, I like mine spread on toast with extra sharp cheddar on top!

What I ate today:

8:30am: Monster biscuit and large coffee from Hardees.  This is a horrible guilty pleasure from me.  My husband, Jason and I knew we'd be driving for a few hours to get to his parents, so we wanted to stop and pick up breakfast.  I had planned on stopping by the grocery store for coffee and fruit, but when he mentioned Hardees I just couldn't resist.  I know, I know, it's greasy, salty, fatty, and has little nutritional value, but it just tastes so good.  I have them about 4 times a year.

12:30pm: Thanksgiving lunch at the in-laws.  I snacked on a veggie tray, and piled my plate high, and of course tried canned cranberries.  On my plate I have a pretty traditional dinner: Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll, olives, and celery.

6:30pm Dinner at my parents.  We had a little less traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I didn't remember that I wanted to take a picture until I was already half-way through eating it.  We had hot turkey sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy.  We also had macaroni and cheese, broccoli salad, and layer salad.  My mom made a trifle for dessert.  I have a picture of it that I'll be posting later. It was brownies cut and layered with pecans, caramel, and cool whip.  I also had about 4 glasses of Malbec.  I left feeling full, but not stuffed.  I would end up saving the miserable stuffed feeling for tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wendy's was not a good idea

I had a beautiful dinner planned for tonight.  I was going to make sausage with peppers, onions, and tomatoes, served with whole wheat couscous and kale on the side.  Instead I ended up driving 2 and 1/2 hours to rescue my husband, so I went through the drive through.  I don't eat much fast food, and half way through my meal I regretted it.  I knew I was full, but I kept eating.  The food didn't taste good, but I kept eating.  At some point I need to get rid of this "clean your plate" mentality, but I don't know if I ever will.  After what I have eaten today my body is craving vegetables.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have a lunch and a dinner to go to, so I'm not sure how many vegetables I will get, but I will try to be conscious of what I'm putting on my plate.

What I ate today

7:20am Italian bread with sugar and cinnamon.  I know I know, I was going to get up early to make breakfast.  The call of more breakfast burritos was strong, but my pillow was yelling louder.  I had just enough time to grab toast.

8:00am 20oz black coffee.  Once again, no time to make breakfast means no coffee at home.

11:30am  School lunch (Chicken fettuccine Alfredo, canned peaches, salad with ranch,  2 sugar cookies, 1 mini lemon poppy seed muffin, a garlic bread stick, and chocolate milk.)  I foolishly believed that I would get up in time to make breakfast and pack lunch instead of packing the night before.  I have no leftovers, and with very little time, I threw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and tossed an apple into my bag.  I had food anxiety all morning.  I knew I would be hungry after lunch if this is all I ate, so instead I caved and bought school lunch, which is something I rarely ever do.  Looking back at the meal now is kind of horrendous, and I know why the students have trouble sitting through class when all they have is starch and sugar.  We don't get too many whole fruits or vegetables because the students used them for throwing instead of eating.  The food was either very bland or very sweet, but it did fill me up for a little while.

4:00 pm Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

6:30pm Double burger with cheese, small fries, and small root beer.  I've already talked about this meal, but I'm still regretting it four hours later.  I don't feel right.  I'm thirsty, I feel greasy, and just off.

I will be back with what I hope is a more nutritional post tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Breakfast: a Love Story

My Breakfast Burrito Narrative:

This is less of a recipe and more of a method/narrative about my morning. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a morning person at all.  I love sleeping in more than almost anything.  My husband and mother know not to talk to me in the mornings until I talk to them.  After that I am a pleasant, easy going person, but woe to whoever asks me a "stupid" question before they have been spoken to.

Last night I started thinking about breakfast burritos, and I wondered if I had anything to make one for the morning.  I knew I had eggs, potatoes, tortillas, and cheese, so I thought I had the bare minimum at least.

When I came home I got out three tiny russet potatoes and cut them into a medium sized dice.  The potatoes were then steamed for 10 minutes.  While the potatoes steamed, I searched for something to top my burritos.  I really wanted guacamole, but I had no avocados.  I didn't even have cilantro or prepared salsa.  I opened my cupboard and found a can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes and a can of green chilies.  I mixed both cans together with about 1/4th cup of minced onion, salt and pepper.

Next I shredded some Monterey Jack cheese and put it in the refrigerator.  By this time the potatoes were finished, so I boxed them up and put them next to the cheese.

The next morning I put my cast iron pan on the stove to heat and started coffee.  Then I added canola oil, potatoes and a generous amount of salt and pepper.  I wanted the potatoes crispy, and I knew this would take some time, so I went about laying out clothes for the day, taking the dog outside, and packing lunch.

After the potatoes were brown, I took them out of the skillet and put the tortillas in to soften.  Next, I added an egg to another hot pan to scramble.  I put my soft tortilla on the plate with a few spoonfuls of potatoes.  I packed the rest of the potatoes for lunch.   I added my scrambled eggs and sprinkled on the cheese.  Then, I topped everything with my homemade salsa, wrapped, and ate.

It shouldn't come as a huge revelation to me that breakfast is good for me and would affect my mood.  In fact, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  I have a strong emotional connection with breakfast because my dad takes me out often, and it's a special bonding time for us.  Despite these ties, I never get up early enough on weekdays to make anything.  I just end up eating an apple (or a sleeve of saltines) during my break.  My breakfast burrito gave me a happy start to the day.  I lost some sleep, but I was able to get most of the prep work finished the night before.  I could also do things like lay out clothes while the potatoes browned and not feel rushed as I do most mornings.  I didn't have to drink the dreaded black coffee from the break room because I was up in time to make my own.  The fact is that this is something I should and will try to do everyday.

My food log

6:45 am: Breakfast burrito (Oh how I love thee!)

8:00am: 12 oz coffee with almond milk and sugar

12:15pm: 2 slices Reuben pizza, 1/2 cup leftover breakfast potatoes, 1 large Granny Smith apple, and 1 piece pepperoni pizza that was brought into the break room at the end of lunch.  Wow! my lunch seems huge.

4:00pm: Reuben scramble- 2 eggs scrambled with corned beef, sauerkraut, caraway seeds, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.  (is it possible to have a Reuben addiction?).  1 piece Italian bread with margarine, cinnamon, and sugar.

8:00pm: Hershey bar with Almonds

I almost didn't eat the Hershey bar because I knew I would have to record it, but I want this to be an accurate reflection of what I'm eating right now.  I will worry about fixing things after I collect data.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bagel disappointment and a Reuben Pizza Recipe

The following pizza is fantastic if you like Reubens.  Sauerkraut has never been a strange pizza topping in my family, but I can tell by the looks I get when I bring this to work that it's not a "normal" topping.  Still, I encourage everyone to try it.  It's delicious!

Reuben Pizza

1 pizza crust
1000 Island Dressing
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
6oz sauerkraut drained and squeezed of juice
4 oz thinly sliced corned beef
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds

1. Spread prepared crust with 1000 Island dressing to taste.  I went pretty thin on this, but I wished I had used more when I was making it.  This is used in place of sauce, so whatever you think looks right is fine.  If you use too little sauce you could always serve extra on the side for dipping.

2. Top with mozzarella cheese to taste.  I went pretty light on the cheese because I wanted the other ingredients to be the star.

3. Add sauerkraut in an even layer on pizza.

4. Top with corned beef.

5. Sprinkle caraway seeds on top.  The seeds are to give the taste of Rye bread that a Reuben is traditionally served on, but if you don't care for the taste you could leave them out.

6. Bake according to crust directions.  I made my crust and baked the pizza for 14 minutes at 450 F.

Enjoy!  I apologize for the picture.  My camera isn't working right now, so I'm using my phone.

Below  is my food journal

I knew I would be keeping track of what I ate today.  I know I normally have food on the brain, I have vivid food dreams often, but I didn't know how much more thoughts of food could consume me.  I woke up late this morning, so I didn't have time for breakfast.  I did pack a snack the night before, so I knew I could eat that. I also knew there would be a representative at work today who usually brings bagels. I went into the break room expecting starchy, carby goodness, but alas, no bagels were to be found.  I ate my snack and felt hungry.  I ate my lunch and still felt hungry.  This hunger had to be all in my head. I know what I ate was adequate, but I have become obsessed.  Below is what I have eaten today:

8:00 am 12oz black coffee. I actually really despise black coffee, but the break room at work boasts 6 kinds of sugar substitutes and no real sugar.  Black coffee tastes better than fake sugar, but not much.

9:45 am 12oz black coffee and a huge Granny Smith Apple.  I am so hungry at this point that the sleeves of crackers are tempting, but I remind myself how horrible I felt the last time and persevere.  Note: Wake up in time to get breakfast!

12:00 pm Leftover meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, and a small Winesap apple.  Despite the comfort food leftovers from my parents I am left unsatisfied and wanting more.

4:30pm  Salad with apricot dressing (recipe can be found at http://burlesquebaking.blogspot.com/) and 2 slices Reuben pizza (recipe above).

I have a second job on Monday and Tuesday, so lunch and dinner needs to be leftovers or super quick.  I will probably eat when I get home as this food obsessed day just won't quit.  I'll update if I do.

*Update:  As I was prepping burritos for breakfast tomorrow, I ate a little bit of cheese. Not too bad.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting to know me and what I eat

Welcome if you're reading this.  I'm not sure if this will have a readership or just be a personal journal for my own reflection, but just in case I wanted to include a little background information.  I have always had a love affair with food.  I come from a real "clean your plate" type of family in the Midwest.  My grandmothers would be offended if you didn't take seconds or thirds at the table. Celebrations always revolve around food.  I'm not a picky eater by any means.  My lunches always get strange looks from my co-workers, and I'm willing to try just about anything once.  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking.  I take a lot of pride in my "made-from-scratch" meals.

I've been thinking a lot about what I eat lately because of how I've been feeling.  It's not that I've been feeling awful, but I have been sluggish and just "off."  It occurred to me that while I think I have healthy eating habits, I don't always make the best choices.  This realization came as I was devouring an entire sleeve of saltine crackers during my break at work because I had forgotten to eat breakfast. I have no concept of sensible portion sizes, and I enjoy eating until I feel full, sometimes uncomfortably so.   I've been reading a lot about health and the way food affects our bodies.  I teach, so I see the effect 3 large sodas have on a high school student. I'm using this blog as a tool to look at the way food affects me.

I'd like to make big sweeping generalities about how I eat, saying things like "I don't drink soda," or "I don't eat a lot of meat," but the purpose of this project is to examine what I eat and how it makes me feel.  Inevitably, if I say things like that I will review my journal to see that none of this is true.  Using that disclaimer,  here are a few things I think are true about my eating habits (I plan on reviewing these later): I don't eat much in the way of highly processed foods; I cook a lot; I rarely eat fast food; I don't really drink soda; and I don't eat a lot of meat.

My goal is to write down what I'm eating daily.  Sometimes I will post recipes and pictures. I'd like to see how food affects my moods and emotions.  Right now I'm completely stuffed, yet I want to snack.  I don't need to eat anything, but I want the food.

In addition to chronicling my own eating habits, if I get any kind of readership, I would also like to follow someone's eating habits for a week or two and see how that makes me feel.  I may also do things like follow the "cabbage soup diet," the "thrifty meal plan," or other eating plans to see the reality of these plans and the physical and emotional impact of them.

Let me finish by saying that the purpose of this is not weight loss or any other kind of physical narcissistic pursuits; I just want to be healthy and figure out how the items I'm putting into my body affect me.  Saying that, I figure that those reading this might want some statistics.  I'm about 5'7 and weigh 190 lbs, so I'm technically in the obese category, but I've never had any body image issues.  If I follow anyone's eating plan I will record any weight fluctuations.

I think that's enough rambling for tonight.  If anyone if reading this and has any questions about me or what I'm doing, feel free to comment.  I'm off to pack lunch and maybe a snack, so I don't end up eating an entire sleeve of crackers.