Yuck

I did not like that Ecto experiment at all. I’m not sure I can continue with the trial! I am reposting the regular way because it is prettier …

Breakfast this morning was another slice of french toasted kitchen sink muffin. It was also the last slice, sadly, since my first attempt today resulted in the toast falling in that scary space between the oven and the counter. I almost cried.

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(I topped the toast with Artisana cacao bliss (I will be very sad when this jar ends), unsweetened coconut, and cinnamon.)

After that, I popped two more ibuprofen for dessert (gotta keep the swelling down!) along with my vitamins and headed to the gym for some leg strength and cardio. Oh wait, I was moving so slowly to get ready for the gym that I got hungry again. Pineapple and watermelon (from MA) topped with hulled hemp seed:

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Then I went to the gym, came back, and made this random lunch:

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Key players included a heated Eggland’s Best hard-boiled and peeled egg (getting down to the wire on these, so I need to use them fast!) sprayed with Smart Balance and sprinkled with fresh black pepper:

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A Peppadew salad with strawberries, watermelon, pineapple, and feta from home:

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The TJ’s rice and bean chips that Elisabeth sent:

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With fresh Union Market salsa (thanks, Tara!):

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And Peppadew Mango Salsa:

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Speaking of this mango salsa … I love it! Probably because it tastes like dessert. It would be delicious over yogurt.

Now,  I’m off to get more memory (birthday present from my parents!) installed in my little old computer and to pick up my official race packet on the Upper East Side (aka the other end of the earth) for Saturday’s half!

Have you ever used Ecto or another blog-editing software for Macs before? What do you think? I would love a time-saver, but not if it means I have to deal with ugliness!

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What YOU said

Linner tonight was delicious delicious leftovers from chicken-pineapple skewer night (on one of my new cherry plates from mom):

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Remember the char (marinated to reduce carcinogens, of course)?

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Dessert was a special special treat.

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Before I left MA yesterday, I convinced my mom my mom offered to make Indian pudding so that I would have some comforting “mom food” to bring back to Brooklyn with me. I found this recipe online, and mom doctored it by replacing the whole milk with a mixture of skim milk, fat free ricotta, and nonfat evaporated milk; the sugar with a mixture of sugar in the raw and erythritol; halving the butter and using Promise; and omitting the half-and-half in favor of vanilla ice cream. For tonight’s dessert, I heated 1/2 cup.

I had my warm Indian Pudding with homemade vanilla frozen yogurt (plain yogurt, vanilla, honey) and a sliced strawberry:

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Word on the street is that a slice of healthy cheesecake also found its way into the evening 😛

On another note, you’ve all given me so many fun suggestions via comments over the past few days, so I thought it would be useful to give a little recap. Here’s what you said!

Food in Your Hair (and other non-edible beauty-inspired ways to use food)

  • Oatmeal face mask (Susan)
  • Grape-vanilla smoothie body wash (Krista)
  • Cocoa bean body scrub (Lara)
  • Mayonnaise hair mask (Coco)
  • Avocado face mask (Sophia)
  • Strawberry shampoo and banana conditioner (Christina)
  • Coconut oil shampoo/conditioner (Anne K.)
  • Lemon juice hair highlights (Vani)
  • Chamomile tea hair rinse (Mara)

Things You Would French Toast

I dare someone to give one of these a try (especially the s’mores — I bet that could actually work very well). Report back if you do it! What sounds best to you?

Chopped out

I’m not even going to try to be witty tonight because all I can hear running through my head is a repeating loop of chop this, chop this, chop this. I never want to see another knife or another veggie again. (I will probably change my mind tomorrow, though.)

Anyway, we had steak salads for lunch made with leftover steak from Saturday night’s grilling:

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Also in the salads: arugula from the garden (10 million times better than from the store — it’s super super hot and spicy), green onions from the garden, chives from the garden, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, feta, and drizzles of balsamic and herby olive oil.

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Dessert was a teeny bit (like 2 tbsp) of leftover carrot cake oatmeal with extra pineapple, apple, cinnamon, and cardamom:

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Mom and I forged on throughout the afternoon to make enough food for 30 armies to send to my dad’s house: chicken cacciatore, beef-kielbasa-barley stew, and pumpkin grapenut pudding. Mom was in charge. I followed her commands. Chop this, chop this, chop this. At some point, I had a minor breakdown and abandoned the kitchen in favor of a nap on the porch bench. I am not made to be a sous-chef, nor am I made for large-scale food prep.

My dad came over around 7pm to collect the goods, and mom gave him detailed serving and reheating instructions. Dad, I expect a full report as you eat these things!

Sarah Whiting (aka Ting) and her friend Nora came over for dinner. I completely forgot to take people pictures, grrrrr. But I did take food pics. I made chips from the stale whole wheat roll-ups and guacamole from two avocados, black bean and corn salsa, fresh tomato, fat free sour cream, fresh lime juice, and cayenne.

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We ate it all very quickly (a significant portion is sitting in my belly now). We also enjoyed more Golden Star sparkling white jasmine tea spritzers (1/3 tea, 2/3 plain seltzer).

The main course was chicken-pineapple-onion-green pepper-kielbasa skewers. I’m pretty sure I spent hours skewering these things. John started them off in the stone grill outside, but they weren’t cooking fast enough, so we finished the job inside with a quick broil in the oven. Ting and Nora brought an awesome pesto-bean salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The plate:

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The skewers may not have been able to finish outside, but the sweet potatoes did, however, do quite well in the stone grill with perfect char.

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Dessert was fresh watermelon:

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And pizelle cookies:

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Dinner with the girls was so fun — Ting and I needed the chance to catch up, and we had some very interesting conversations, not the least of which was my mom’s recounting of her competitive bodybuilding days. And like I said, I’m exhausted. And stuffed. I’m heading back to NY at some point tomorrow, though I don’t know my exact schedule. And I’m too tired to deal with the bus schedule right now!

I can’t think of a question. What question would you ask now, and how would you answer?

Food in my hair

I took a shower this morning. That is very exciting news in itself. Even more exciting, however, is the assortment of shower products that I discovered in the bathroom:

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Products only a food blogger could appreciate 🙂 John travels often for work, so the house has quite a collection of mini hotel shampoos. I usually seek out the cinnamon bun set from Holiday Inn (left), but I got so thrilled about washing my hair with whole grains (right) that I decided to shake things up today.

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Moving on, breakfast was a slice of random rhubarb pie:

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Alongside a pile of fruit salad with apples, kiwi, banana, orange, and fresh pineapple topped with ground flax, chia seeds, cinnamon, and cardamom:

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And some milky oriental rose tea on the side (with my baby fork):

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Mom and I have embarked on yet another day of cooking (of course!). My stepmom broke her ankle last week and is going to be bed-bound for a while, so we’re throwing together some casseroles and goodies to take over to my dad’s house today to make sure they are well-stocked 🙂

How do you feel about food in your hair? If you like it, what is your favorite hair treat?

Chop ‘n’ char

Wellllll, I spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing the fridge with/for my mom. The process resulted in turning up a bunch of wrinkly, old, dried, spotted vegetables that absolutely needed to find their way into our lunch. Some also had to go straight to the compost, unfortunately! What I could save included red pepper, yellow squash, garden asparagus, garden green onions, and the inside of a white onion:

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I really should have taken a pre-chop picture because you can’t tell the sorry state of the veggies in this one. Just imagine lots of wrinkles.

Obviously, this plate needed to turn into a pizza. The onions went into a pan with olive oil and a sprinkle (teeny) of sugar in the raw for caramelization; the veggies roasted at 450 for 25 minutes with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. For the pizza base, I toasted two stale Damascus Bakeries “Roll-Ups” on a cookie sheet at 450 for about 10 minutes until they were crispy. When we were finally ready for lunch, I spread a thin layer of tomato paste on the roll-ups and topped them with the roasted veggies, caramelized onions, and feta cheese. I put the topped pizzas in the oven for 10 minutes at 450 until the cheese got lightly browned and they were heated through. Here’s one of the finished pizzas:

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I still wasn’t that hungry after my huge breakfast, but mom and John were ready to eat! I trimmed a little bit off the end of each pizza for me and sliced the rest up for them:

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Here are my end pieces (topped with extra feta, of course):

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The rest of the afternoon involved more cooking and some napping. Somehow, every time I come home to visit, I never leave the kitchen. I wrapped parsnips, carrots, and a golden beet in foil for John to grill (with steak!) in the outdoor stone grill. Using this grill always makes it feel like summer! Here’s the view from inside:

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I wish NYC apartments came with that sort of green!

While John was cooking, I whipped up a big ol’ bowl of kale chips for the table:

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Here’s my electric plate with charred veggies and super super super well-done steak, the way I like it:

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It was the perfect, perfect, perfect summer meal, even though it was cool and rainy outside. Plus, you know how much satisfaction I get from saving food that is on its way out (and this isn’t half of what we did!). However, I’m also exhausted — I’ve been on my feet peeling and chopping all day long. Takes a lot out of a girl!

To char or not to char?