Tag Archives: fat

Feed a Cold, but Not THAT Much…

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Poor neglected blog. But readers, I’ve spared you what would no doubt have been the ramblings of my jam-packed sinuses and you don’t want to hear anything they have to say. Ten days of this and I’m ready to surrender to Western medicine and get some antibiotics from the doc. Aside from feeling like crap, I’ve developed some scary eating habits. Fast food and mostly foods from the four food groups – salt, fat, sugar and chocolate.

Very rarely do I darken the drive-thru of the Golden Arches, but I’ve been there, Wendy’s, Tim Horton, pizza land and a lousy Chinese place in the last week and a half. I don’t do fast food, or at least haven’t for the past three years. Today, I tried the Fish McBites. Scary, but I liked them, especially w/ extra tartar. Someone, please do an intervention…

This is what my grocery list has looked like lately:

  • pretzel thins – Who are we kidding w/ the “thins?”
  • mini ice creams – I rationalize that the individual servings are not as fattening. Maybe not, unless you eat two…
  • salt & vinegar chips – I NEVER bring these missives from Satan into my home. But now that they’re here, I have to eat them. At least these are baked.
  • triple fudge brownie mix – Oh, it doesn’t stop there. I’m obsessing about making a Trader Joe’s Crunchy Cookie Butter frosting for these bad boys. Like I said, please call Dr. Drew.
  • milk-bones – At least I’ve drawn the line and won’t be dipping them in onion dip. 
  • assorted cheeses – Evidently, there’s no limit to the things that taste better w/ melted cheese.

So I’m picking up an OTC drug today at the grocery pharmacy that sometimes has to have a ‘script. Confusing, but I hope it works before I outgrow my clothes, couch and house…

My nurse pal says that craving salt is often an indicator that your electrolytes are out of balance. I guess I’ll have to add Gatorade to my diet.

Now why didn’t I freeze some of these bacon cookies when we made them?

If I had bacon, I'd be making these.

If I had bacon, I’d be making these.

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Burning the Latte

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"Medium" Starbucks Pumpkin Latte

“Medium” Starbucks Pumpkin Latte

After recently paying over $4 for a festive holiday latte at Starbucks, I’ve started making my own at home. Don’t get excited. I didn’t buy one of those insanely expensive new coffee/espresso/latte/single-serve machines. I use leftover coffee, a couple hits of Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup, cinnamon and fat-free creamer. It’s not bad. There’s no foofy foam on top or sprinkles, but it’ll do.

The other morning, I actually burned the latte. I was doing remote cooking in the style of  HWNLI (“He Who No Longer Inhabits” or the “new” Voldemort) and left the pot simmering away while I was distracted by the pup. My gas stove that goes from gentle simmer to fry the hell out of it in under 8 seconds made a boiling, sticky mess all over the burner. Lovely. I drank some of it anyway.

Carbo Load

What is it about this time of year, besides my rampant SAD (seasonal affective disorder – kind of depression “lite”), that makes me put every sugar-laden item in a five-mile radius in my mouth? Brownie bites are no longer satisfactory alone – they must have a scoop or TWO of peppermint ice cream on top!

This would be a good plan if I wanted to be a sumo wrestler. Reminds me of something a psychiatrist with whom I used to work (not as a patient, a colleague) said when I mentioned trying to lose weight. He said, “Maybe you should just revise your goals to become as big as possible.” I worry sometimes that he gave similar advice to his patients.

Fruit

In an attempt to cool it w/ the sweets, I had a clementine orange today. OK, let’s quit pretending that fruit is just as satisfying as a hunk of chocolate. Seriously. I love apples, but this time of year, they need to be baked w/ brown sugar or dipped in something.

To Ham or Not to Ham

Not unlike the masses, I think about buying one of those spiral-sliced, glazed (see brown sugar above) hams this time of year. If I do, I then have to eat 34 ham sandwiches even after splitting leftovers w/ my mother. But it’s often worth it for the bean soup I make w/ the bone. But now these suckers are like $4.99/lb. and of course the smallest you can purchase is 73 lbs. I may have to opt for another meat du jour this year.

Okay, I just proved my own point that most blogs go on and on with the most inane drivel disguised as interesting stuff. But maybe now you too are inspired to chuck the expensive latte habit and burn your own at home?

Alter Ego

When I’m not writing this blog about trips to Trader Joe’s and wine selections, I actually write for a living. I know, I know. That’s hard to believe, but I often pay my bills w/ writing income. In the interest of cross-promoting (like cross-dressing, but w/ less flair and mascara), here’s an article I wrote that was just re-posted on the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop blog. Thanks to author Tim Bete for his assist. Check it out and then stay and read about other humor writers who don’t have side jobs…

“Ahoy Matey: Pirate Parenting Eases Stress of Moving”

Just Running in for Some Coffee and Torilla Chips…

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You may remember I’m a coffee snob (“Am I in the Chemex Cult Now?”). I’ve succumbed to the belief that I must buy coffee that was roasted w/i the last 24 hours. Anything less is blasphemous to my elaborate coffee-making set-up. So after getting my hair cut yesterday, I planned to go to Whole Foods. I don’t know if they are a national chain of grocery stores, but I’m lucky enough to have one a short 35 miles away. I was in the ‘hood after all.

Coffee Choices

I still pretend that I am doing the healthier thing by mixing decaf and reg. – less caffeine and all. But in the higher echelon of coffee snobbery, the types I buy aren’t just cranked out in a reg. and decaf version. So I mix it up. Yesterday I bought Bel Canto reg. and a Mexican decaf something. (I always mean to write the name on the bags, but forget.)

Tortilla Chips from God

One day, my friend Rhonda brought these over from Whole Foods (WF). I thought, okay, tortilla chips, that’s cool. She said to try one. I did and it changed my view of the lowly tortilla chip. These are homemade in-store and totally amazing – not greasy, not too salty. Next to TJ’s Cookie Butter, these are like meth.

Having completed my short list of  the two items, I intended to leave because this store is pricey. Mainly because I gravitate toward the World of Cheese That’s the Cost Per Pound of a Bentley. I resisted cheese world but took a detour to Wine World. Here’s what else I bought:

  • 3 bottles of wine – These were affordable. The most expensive was $7.99
  • Brownie bites – My rationale is that they are “two-bite” treats with fewer calories and fat. Right.
  • Smoked salmon salad – This is right up there w/ CB and the chips. I wasn’t going to cave, but the guy told me they had just smoked the salmon yesterday and he was making a fresh batch. OK, I’m in.
  • Beer – When it’s 90+ out and I’ve tried to die by working in my yard, I need a cold beer when I’m done. I bought Brooklyn Summer Ale on sale. I don’t usually like summer ales because they’re often Belgians/wheat, which I don’t like, but this looked good.
  • Arugula – I’m growing some, but I don’t want to deplete the crop.
  • Organic lemonade – It was $1.50.
  • Strawberries – I don’t usually spring for organic fruit, but these were $2.50.
  • Some other stuff I don’t remember.

Total was $68.00 which should not be a surprise. I go in there w/ the best intentions of grabbing just one or two items, but I’m weak.

Wine, Tall Bags and Green Beans

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Wine, Tall Bags and Green Beans

Thus began my latest grocery shopping list. Although I tend to drink more white wine in the summer, I was missing a red to have w/ a chunk of chocolate. So, red wine it is. Other items in the cart:

Green beans, tomatoes, romaine lettuce and an avocado – I WILL eat vegs. in between the other crap I’ve been consuming.

  • Insect sting cream – Yesterday, after eight years of peaceful co-existence, the wasps that build a nest in my shed attacked me. I have at least 3 stings on ONE earlobe. When I went to look for a first aid cream, the tube was dated 2003.
  • Small filet of beef -Well, it’s not small, it’s .52 lbs. and was kind of expensive. But I rarely eat beef and I’m grilling out for the week on Sat. I’ll save half to put on an arugula salad another night.
  • Peppered turkey– I buy tortilla wrappers and make sandwiches. I pretend like it’s less fattening than bread.
  • All natural chicken sausages – Had a coupon.
  • Six bottles of red wine – My fave, Baguala Malbec 2008 was on  sale for $4.99.
  • Two bottles of rose – Some French stuff on sale for $7.99
  • Tall kitchen bags w/ handles – I swear there are as many choices of plastic bags as there are feminine hygiene products. It’s a disposable TRASH bag, people.
  • Kleenex – Only I bought Puffs. I shared my opinion about buying paper products in this post, If Only Paper Towels and Toilet Paper Were Edible. But I have to say, I’m a sucker for attractive Kleenex boxes. And yes, I buy the little boxes that are 25 times more expensive because they’re cute, dammit.
  • Assorted other stuff that’s even more boring than my take on Kleenex.

I spent quite a bit of money this trip, which I’m trying not to do (because the funds are scary low). But my rationale is my cash-back rewards credit card, that had a pristine 0 balance, messed up the amount in my account. I had $55 instead of $7. Sooo, I used the bad, bad card and will get the $55 taken off my next bill.

Hey, it’s ice cream season. Not sure if I shared that I’m into making homemade ice cream. My best is butter pecan w/ artisan salt. Details to come…;-)

Undersize Me…

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I’m sure some people still drink at lunch and maybe even hit a joint occasionally, but sitting in an empty parking lot with a quarter-pounder was my recent MO. I had just been grocery shopping and as usual there wasn’t much edible lunch stuff in my bags. And behold – a  McD’s appeared before me like a vision and I fixated on a quarter-pounder.

Meal Deal

I decided to go for a “meal,” which I never do because I don’t want fries or big drink. But I was jonesing for those fries and to save some cash, I did the meal deal and asked for a medium iced tea. The counter worker said, “the medium and large are the same price.”  I told her I knew that but just wanted a medium drink. This conversation continued longer than expected and I assured her I was fine w/ the medium drink and would forgo the amazing savings.

Ambiance

There is not much ambiance in a Walgreen’s parking lot, but I live 20 miles from this McD’s and we all know that hot fries have a 6 minute shelf life before becoming inedible. So I pulled into a nearby empty lot and ate lunch. Something about it felt creepy and sneaky – kind of like I was being bad. Oh yeah, I need another reminder to get a life…

Healthier Choices

I did buy some food at the store including fresh halibut that was $17.99/lb. The piece I chose was $6.53. I also bought some fruit to balance out the salt and fat from the fast food fest. Wine has fruit, too, right?

Are chocolate-centered peanut butter thumbprint cookies healthy?

Are Apples the New Pepperoni?

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Ha, that title will reel them in! I just made the apple/gorgonzola pizza I said I was going to make Super Bowl Sun. Nothing will replace pepperoni, but this pizza did turn out pretty cool and tasty.

I have to give a nod to Southern Living because the original recipe is from their Nov. issue. It was in the “I’m so sick of turkey, what can I eat?” section of the mag. I changed it up to include stuff I had on hand.

I used a Boboli whole wheat pre-made crust. “He Who No Longer Inhabits” (heh – sounds like Voldemort) used to foof over the crust and make his own. Not me.  Here’s the rest of the goods:

  • 1 granny smith apple (I used another type), sliced thin
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. fig jam (I used Trader Joe’s Fig Butter, which surprisingly has no fat.)
  • 4 oz. of gorgonzola (the recipe used goat cheese, but I mixed feta w/ the blue because that’s what I had and I wanted more of a salty taste.)
  • Sprinkle of Italian shredded cheese blend
  • 1/3 c. toasted chopped pecans
  • 1-2 cups arugula
  • Salad dressing of your choice (I used my own balsamic vinaigrette.)

Saute apple and onion in olive oil until soft and a bit browned. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread fig jam on crust and top with apples and onion. Sprinkle cheese over apples. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese has slightly melted. Sprinkle pecans over the top.  Let cool a minute. Toss arugula w/ a little salad dressing. You don’t have to use dressing, but I wanted a salad-type topping. You can serve w/ the arugula on top of pizza or I put it on the side.

(Not my pizza – too busy eating it to grab a camera.)

It was really good. The salty feta and gorgonzola balanced out the sweet apples and jam. I’m going to do some other variations of this pizza, too. A friend once served a fig and olive tapenade w/ goat cheese. I’m going hunting for that baby. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Oh yeah, serve w/ a red table wine, a bold white or something fancy. I had a Spanish Jumilla w/ it – a bit on the pricey side for me – it was $12.99, but it was worth it. Bon Appetit!

Half a Loaf Shy of a Load…

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As I toss yet another stale 6-7 slices of bread from a loaf, I wonder why there aren’t half-loaves for sale in grocery stores? Of course it screams, “I’m a single person and I only need 4-5 slices,” but who cares? I really hate to waste food. And before you tell me that I should throw it out for the wildlife, you should know that I live in an area where the size of said wildlife can be considerably bigger than the average birdie.

Coffee Shop Cool

Today, I decided to dress like a grown-up working person and take my laptop to a local coffee shop and work. Yes, that’s not a new thing, but it is to me. I’m Mocha!late to the laptop-toting, mocha-latte sipping crowd. But as I get squirrely-er heading into Feb., I realize I need to get out more – out “amongst them” as the Amish say. It was a nice change except for the guy who had to blather on about his politics to the shop owner. I would have much preferred the ’80s rock. But it’s a risk you take when you leave your house.

Stopped at the store while out:

  • cat food
  • raspberries, blackberries and grapes
  • peppered turkey (yeah, I’m in a rut w/ this stuff)
  • three-cheese semolina bread (I will freeze half of it!)
  • bottled water – I have a $3,000 water softener (came w/ the house), so I have no excuse for not putting my water in a bottle. But in a power outage, I’m not getting anything from the well. Been there, done that.

Well, in the hopes that we get more interactive on here, tell me how your winter is going. Confess all that fat and sugar-laden junk you’re eating. As usual, I won’t tell anyone…

Groceries in the Wild

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Today, my need for cat food and chocolate outweighed my concern about driving in the snow on bad tires. So I went to the grocery. My austerity plan is working fairly well – I’m trying to eat up everything I have on hand and spend less money on food items and luxuries like TP. But I needed a few other essentials.

Wild Kingdom

You may not believe this, but I swear I’m not making it up. I was in the drugstore part of the grocery store and walking by the adult “undergarments” area. OK, I was NOT buying them – even though they come in cool colors (like beige) now, I’m not there yet.

There on the shelves, in the midst of the diapers, were two mesh bags of pine cones. It wasn’t as though someone was in the home decor section and left these guys out of place. They had migrated to the adult diaper section. I completely lost track what I was over there to get.

 

 

 

(Pine cones behaving themselves.)

 

Today’s List

Having enough wine, frozen entrees, Brie (I’m slipping that one in because it gets lots of hits. Evidently, there are Brie cults out there in cyberspace.), hummus and pitas, I got the following:

  • Cat food – heavy on the fish flavors today
  • Fat-free creamer – this balances out the Chinese cookies…
  • TP – does anyone buy packages of single rolls any more? There’s double, mega…
  • Chocolate – I’ve discovered the most wondrous item of chocolatedom – dark chocolate w/ sea salt. Damn!
  • Elbow macaroni
  • Peppered turkey from the deli – this is another new fave
  • Some other stuff that w/ the above totaled $73.65 – I know I repeat myself, but how does that happen? Was the TP $29.95??

Soft-Top Lemon Cookies are Fruit, Right?

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It’s turning cooler here and that means the body wants what it wants – carbs, fat and sugar. So I purchased some off-the-list items yesterday. I really only needed cat food and bread, but…

  • Soft-top lemon cookies – We might as well call these “forget about having a waistline” cookies. But the sell-by date was good. How could I say no?
  • Cat food – At this grocery, they carry the Aristocrats brand. Yes, Disney makes cat food. He likes the liver one.
  • Cheez-Its – Do you always have to stop and think about how to spell it? Maybe it’s a writer thing. I got the new Baby Swiss flavor. Honestly, white cheddar, Parmesan and this one taste exactly the same. Let’s face it, we’re all just going for the faux cheesy goodness of that dust that comes off them.
  • Bread – I like those new take ‘n bake loaves. I can pretend like it’s fresher than the bagged stuff.
  • Raspberries – Grab these suckers while you still can. Next week, at least in this area, they will shoot up to $10.99 a half pint. These were 10/$10.00. Okay, does that seem like more of a bargain than $1.00 a package? Dumbest pricing strategy ever.

Please come and post your lists, Singles. Many of you have shown me yours saying that you’re secretly ashamed at how boring they are. Does the above look exciting? I’ll change your names if you like.

I don’t want to spoil your appetite, but I’ll end on a cheery thought:

You may have had a bad day, but at least you didn’t have to give your cat an enema.

Cheers.