What Up, Buttercup?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ok.  So… consistent I am not. Not with blogging.  Not with cooking.  Not with anything really.  I’m working on it though and am making strides.  Small Chihuahua like strides but strides nonetheless.

To catch you up….

Meal planning went GREAT the first week!  We ate delicious food EVERY day and it was AWESOME.  Then instead of taking the time that weekend to figure out what food I needed to buy for the next week’s meals I winged it (wung it?) at the grocery store and ended up with a weird mix of almost there recipes.  I forgot the cornstarch and a few other key ingredients so we fell back on boring food to just get by when the hangries hit. 

So annoying.

And then this week.  Well.  I don’t really want to talk about it.  Let’s just say that planned well it is not.

Oh well.  I have identified what I need to do differently and where I failed miserable and have hope to fix it.  Because that week that was planned out and it was so great…so so great.  And I would like to eat that well every week.  Kevin would too.

In other news, the weather this week has been GLORIOUS.  Yesterday evening we went to White Rock Lake and walked for an hour and talked and talked and talked.  It is one of my favorite places in Dallas.  It is gorgeous and I love the diversity of people that are there…from cyclists zooming by to families out for a nice stroll to dudes fishing for dinner to people going all out training for marathons.  So many wonderful people just as happy to be there as I am.  LOVE IT!  

Photos - free filter site

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Okay, so this post has nothing to do with food.  I'll do that post tonight.  Instead, this is about this super fun site I found that allows you to upload your photos and then put fun filters, effects and borders on them.  I was looking for something that would be similar to some of the apps I have on my phone and I think this is the best one so far (and it is free!) .   It's at Pixler.com/o-matic.  

I've been having a lot of fun with it.  Below are some photos I've been playing around with.  The first is the original that I edited in Adobe Light Room.  The ones after that have had filters etc put on them. 

Oh, and I suppose I should mention that I am in no way affiliated with this website.  I just found 'em and I like 'em  think you might like 'em too.

Meal Plans – Week 1

Monday, February 6, 2012

In the past one of the reasons that I didn’t meal plan was because I became overwhelmed with options and had a hard time figuring out which meals to make.  The list of ingredients seemed miles long and how did I know what I would want to eat what nights?  I would give up because it was just too much for me to figure out.

But now I feel more confident in knowing what and how we like to eat and I have a better understanding of how to use ingredients in multiple dishes without them tasting the same.

It still took me a really long time browsing through my Pinterest food board to come up with the combination of meals for this week and next week.  Like.  A really really long time and by the end I was ravenously hungry.

Here is what I came up with for us this week.  I have put an (*) by the items with a recipe and I will share those recipes throughout the week.

Breakfasts (these are options for each day not all for the same breakfast)
Eggs & Sausage
Green Smoothies
Greek Yogurt and frozen berries or honey with almonds

Lunches (options for each day)
Sandwich lettuce rolls
Cauliflower Mash*

Dinners (we don’t eat dinner every night, sometimes we just have a smoothie or a snack so there isn’t a dinner for every night)
Asian Lettuce Wraps* (PF Changs inspired)
Chicken Tacos/Taco Salad
Chicken with Parmesean Green Beans
Chicken Fried Rice* (Benihana inspired)
Skirt Steak *

Turkey Sausage Sticks
String Cheese
Veggies (broccoli, baby carrots, celery, bellpeppers) with ranch or hummus
Cauliflower Poppers*
Chickpea Poppers*
Stove popped popcorn

What are your favorite go to recipes?

New Interest

Friday, February 3, 2012

I have recently developed a desire to cook well and to cook often.  This took me by surprise actually because I have been known to eat tortilla chips with cold shredded cheddar cheese rather than take the extra steps of throwing it all into the microwave or oven to melt the cheese for nachos.  Sad, I know.  I’m not proud of it, however, it emphasizes that this newly awakened desire to cook was pretty unexpected for me.

For the past several years, Kevin has been in charge of most of the cooking. I would pick out what I wanted him to make and then he would make it and as he is quite a good cook it was a win win. 

But now I feel this strange desire awakening in me that I would like to start creating meals and food and getting good at it.  I blame Pinterest, partially. All of those yummy looking foods right there with easy to get to recipes!  YAY!   But all of that wouldn’t have done me a lick of good if I hadn’t spent the past 10 years unlearning my picky eating habits because most of the foods that now make my mouth water would have been completely unappetizing to me years ago.  For most of my life I happily ate hamburgers, chicken fingers, French fries, tacos, pizza, pasta and soda.  And that was pretty much it.




While I have nothing against those foods in moderation the fact that those foods were the base and bulk of my food pyramid is cringe worthy.  In another post a couple years ago I wrote about my strategy of introducing a few new foods (2-5) each year so that now I can eat most foods.  Some of the foods I introduced myself to were simple like having ketchup and mustard on my hamburgers (for years I ate only meat, bun, lettuce…the end…that is all…done) but I’ve recently discovered the joy of condiments (although mayo still gives me the heebie jeebies and I have not yet graduated to pickle lovin’).  Some of them were more daring like fish that isn’t deep fried (hello, cedar plank grilled salmon!) or Thai curry dishes (my mouth just started to water).   All of these changes have caused me to become a fairly well rounded eater and piqued my interest in learning to cook the dishes I like.

In fact, Kevin and I have almost stopped eating out altogether in favor of cooking at home.  I love the process of being in the kitchen with him, joking together and creating our meal.  I also really love being in control of what goes into my food and the quality of ingredients.  The more I learn about the food industry in America the more picky I am becoming about where and what I eat.   

This has lead on my recent decision to jump on the meal planning wagon.  We’ve tried it in the past but it never worked for whatever reason (I’m guessing the fact that I hated to cook and still didn’t like many foods). Our grocery shopping process was pretty haphazard and lead to some interesting and unsatisfying meals or running out to grab something to eat because by the time we realized we were hungry we would discover we wouldn’t have everything needed to make a meal and it was too late to go buy ingredients because we were hangry (the state of irrational anger/irritation brought about by hunger).

This time feels like it will work though.  Partially because I’ve spent about 4 hours planning out meals for the next two weeks and am SUPER excited to eat everything and partially because I feel like I have a better handle on what we like and when we like to eat it.

I’m going to share my progress and the recipes that we use.    I’m looking forward to documenting the processes with you and hope that you’ll share some of your favorite recipes with me!

I have a fat cat

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My fat cat refuses to acknowledge his, um, limitations.   

I admire that about him.

Making Stuff and Giving Hope

Thursday, January 26, 2012

There is a website called Craft Hope.  It combines the best of two worlds...making and giving...through picking a project and then having people make that project to donate towards worthy cause.    Projects from the past have ranged from sock monkeys to bracelets.

Right now their project is to make hats/beanies or bags for pediatric oncology. All of the details can be found on their website and the deadline to make one (or more) and send it/them in is March 12th.   

I plan on making several of the bags from this post.  Will you join me in making something? 

Do it!!!!

5-4-3-2-1 Workout

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I love Pinterest.  I have found all sorts of great recipes, crafts and also workouts.  I tried out this 5-4-3-2-1 Workout on Monday and I have to say that so far it is the best quick full body workout that I've tried yet.  I can barely walk or lift things today...which is the universal sign of a good workout.  I plan on doing in at least twice a week and look forward to seeing the result!

Photo Outing - Dallas Farmers Market

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One Saturday this Fall I asked Kevin to go to the Dallas Farmer's Market with me so that I could play around with the camera.  It's still very new and intimidating to me and I haven't used it much at all.  I think the fact that it is so big and so very black that it makes it seem more imposing to me. I feel weird looking at the world with this giant black thing on my face.   I would have an easier time if it were white or a soft  pink or silver or robins egg blue.  But it is black and so I need to get used to it.   

The day before had been warmish (in the 50's/60's) and sunny and for some reason I had foolishly assumed that the next day would be as well.  Silly me.  I haven't learned my lesson yet.   

Far from being warm and sunny - it was cold and it wet from the rain earlier that morning and it was windy.

But I wasn't going to let that get in the way so Kevin admirably and ungrudging went with me.

We didn't stay very long but we did eat some yummy breakfast tacos (they didn't last long enough to photograph) and I got a few fun shots under my belt and a little more confidence.  I'll get the hang of it some day.

For some reason I can't get the horizontal ones bigger in my blog template without them looking funny so if you want, you can click on them and they'll get bigger.

Happy Pug Day

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tyler's Bike

Saturday, January 21, 2012

We went back to Boise for a week this summer and my lil' brother in law, Tyler, asked me to take some photos of the cafe racer he restored.  His first ever and I think he did a pretty good job.

I'd never done anything like this before and honestly had NO idea what I was doing.  I was INTENSELY self conscious the entire time and I believe I was wearing a skirt which probably didn't help much.    I still don't know if these are good photos or not but I like them and thought I would share.

I'm proud of the job he did and I hope one day he can do one for me!