Friday, September 07, 2012

Feeding frenzy for One!

My meal planning routine is taking a turn! I joined the Enterprise Farms fall CSA. Usually I do all my meal planning on Saturday or Sunday, but now I'll start on Thursday or Friday. Here's a picture of the box I got yesterday. Isn't that exciting?
At Trader Joes, they have good produce. There isn't much variety though and I found myself getting in a rut. Now I will have a surprise box to inspire my weekly meals. This week I have several red peppers, lovely tomatoes for slicing, 2 egg plants, baby bok choi, parsley for pesto possibly, kale, a bag of lettuce for salad, and a little watermelon. I think I'll try something like curried vegetables or some kind of Morocco inspired dish. The tomatoes I will probably eat like candy.

I've been following Kate over at 2 Kids and  a Minivan for quite some time. She recently started Fun Friday link ups. Conveniently, this is a perfect link up for my CSA post! This week's theme is "How do you feed your family?"

My family consists of me and Baxter. Baxter eats Call of the Wild brand salmon and veggie dog food. I tried to get him a cheaper food, but he wouldn't eat it. He also eats little bits of my left overs and I give him quite a bit of raw veggies.

For me, I usually try to cook 2-3 full out meals in a week, plus some lunch salads. Not always lettuce salads, but quinoa based salads with cucumber, avocado, tomato, etc. I could eat that stuff all the time! If I need variety, I'll make fancy grilled cheese, a frittata, or eat a bowl of cereal. Cooking for 1 person isn't really so hard if you just try to buy only enough food to make 2 real meals. I always keep sliced cheese, fruit, bread, crackers, milk, cereal, peanut butter, etc on hand. Any other meals can be made from whatever is in the fridge or pantry.

So that's how I feed myself. Abundance of veggies as an inspiration for 2-3 real meals and made everything else out of left overs and random pantry items. I waste precious little and rarely have to eat anything less than tasty!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Baxter's Pop Tart Review

The title of this post kind of says it all. I finally got around to making home made pop tarts this weekend. Many steps were involved. I'm not sure I've ever baked anything this involved. My friend here is quite the baker and has her own very successful blog: Beantown Baker. She is incredible. I'm just a step away from a disaster every time flour is involved. Luckily, most of the recipes I've tried have been fairly successful. I really want to be a better baker. So far the cupcakes, lemon bars, and blueberry muffins have been successful. I can make a mean batch of box mix brownies too! These pop tarts were risky given all the steps involved and my lack of ability to follow directions.

First I made some chocolate ganache. I used Trader Joe's Belgian dark chocolate, heavy whipping cream, and a lot of butter.

I'll admit to eating a few spoonfuls strait from the bowl. It was soooooo good! Somewhere in the "health neighborhood" of Pioneer Woman and Paula Dean.

Then I made pie dough. I followed nearly all the directions. I chopped up the butter and then froze it. I mixed it with my fingers until there was a texture like sand. I added a few tablespoons of ice water and mixed until it all stuck together in a "big gloppy mess."

The dough was refrigerated another 2 hours while I did everything I could to NOT eat the entire bowl of chocolate ganache. Piecing together the pop tarts wasn't the easiest part, but I got them together. Sleep deprivation and a severe case of inpatients got the pop tarts into the oven instead of back into the fridge. Oops! 

Are you doing the mental math? This took some serious will power on my part! The pop tarts ended up a little rugged, but looked scrumptious all the same. I was so pleased! Couldn't wait to share them with my friends who I visited this weekend.

My bags were packed, so I took the bus to go get the zip car. When I got back, this is what I found...

Baxter would like you all to know that they were delicious! He thinks the crust could be a little thinner next time, and would prefer that not quite so much plastic wrap be used to cover them up. It was a bit of a barrier to consumption, but he seems to have gotten around it for the most part. Only a few crumbs left behind. All of that work and all I could were some measly crumbs covered with Baxter slobber from the corners of the plastic wrap! I concur on the crust thickness. Next time I will work to make it thinner. Otherwise, they would have been a great treat to share with friends. Sorry no one will get to try them this time.

Lucky for some friends who are coming for dinner. Pop tarts and ice cream anyone? These are safe in the fridge for now!

For all those who may be worried about Baxter's consumption of dark chocolate ganache: he's fine. This guy has eaten so much chocolate over his life time. He may have a million allergies, but chocolate seems to have zero negative effect. Thankfully, he only got about 1/3 cup of ganache. It's my fault for leaving them within his reach. They were down in a shopping bag. He managed to carefully take the tray of pop tarts out of the shopping bag without breaking the tray, peal back the plastic wrap without tearing the plastic wrap, and devour the pop tarts. Keeping stuff out of his reach is nearly impossible. Trust me, I will not be training him to open the fridge for me. That's about the only place food is safe!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Joining Clubs in Boston

I am now a member of 2 clubs. Two clubs that don't really exist, but if you are a member you make it pretty obvious. Obviously these clubs are not exclusive to Boston! Funny how we make statements, isn't it?

The Lululemon Bag Club

When you shop at Lululemon Athletica, you get a nice little reusable shopping bag. I see women all over with these bags. The bag says many things two main things.
"I workout."
"I spend too much money on workout gear."

This place has super cute stuff, but at outrageous prices. I can totally see what people buy it. Everything is so cleverly designed. I found a pair of cute girly compression shorts on clearance which made them a comparable price to most Nike or Under Armor shorts. These shorts have a few features that made me want them over a pair of el-cheapo compression shorts from Old Navy.

1. Not 1 pocket, but 5! Can you even imagine where to put 5 pockets in a pair of compression shorts? There is an outside pocket on each thigh, a zipper pocket across the back and 2 little pockets just inside the waste band.

2. They are just barely longer than compression shorts usually are. Hasn't anyone else noticed that the widest part of your thigh is often about an inch below where the compression shorts hit? I don't need old-school compression shorts that bring back bad memories of aerobics and spandex in the 80s. But shorts that actually cover the chafe zone would be nice.

3. There are little rubbery polka dots printed across the hips. Why? To help keep your t-shirt or tank top from riding up! I know every tank-top wearing running out there knows exactly what I'm talking about. You throw on a racer back tank top and 2 minutes into your run you're baring your midriff. You spend half your run pulling down your shirt.

I'm pretty excited because the store offers complementary classes. This month, there is an urban bootcamp every Thursday evening. Won't that be fun?!? Should kick my bootie into shape in no time!

Barefoot Running

I hadn't ever given it much thought until my brother told me that he had started barefoot running the other day. A friend who was in class with me this summer is also a fan. People swear by it. One of my friends and I were out shopping and found the Vibram store, so we went in and tried on the shoes. She's already read the book, Born to Run which evidently is what sells people on the shoes. I suppose it was a bit of an impulse buy for me, but I now have a pair of hot pink running shoes with toes. I'm following the guide book that came with the shoes. For the next couple of weeks I'll just wear the 1-2 hours a day while I do normal everyday activities. Plus they give a suggest list of foot strengthening activities to do each day. After over 10 years of dancing, the concept of really "using" my feet isn't new. It actually makes quite a bit of sense. We'll see how it goes. I'm kind of excited! Is anyone else doing the barefoot running thing? Let me know what you think!