Published 9:38 PM by with 0 comment

The Right Tool Matters




Talk about being behind on writing...
This was dinner - It was supposed to be the Chicken Hash from the Whole30 Cookbook. It looked NOTHING like the picture in the book. I was worried that the taste would be off as well (more than with my substitutions). The photo has sweet potato noodles, not the type of shredded hash I got that would have been better turned into sweet potato hash browns. Now there's an idea.

Chicken Hash
Sweet Potato Chicken Hash:
1lb chicken thighs, diced; 1/4 cup pecans, chopped; 1 large sweet potato, grated;
1 pink lady apple, diced; 1/4 cup apple cider; 1 -2 cups spinach; 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms; salt and pepper to taste
I think it probably had a lot to do with not having the right tool for the job. I found my cheese grater, but it wasn't a box grater with variable grating sizes, it was a handheld fine grater. Very fine. The cookbook suggested using a spiralizer, but the one I have was not up to the task. It gave me funky 1/2-inch noodles that kept trying to fall out of the bowl.


The final result tasted fine, it just looked ... off. And the texture ... well, that was different. Mushier than expected. No one wanted the leftovers except me. The texture was still weird, but the flavors blended extremely well. It was more than palatable two days later. I don't think I will attempt this recipe again without a coarse grater, or investing in a better spiralizer, especially since no one else seemed to like it. Cooking healthy should not involve buying more kitchen gadgets.

Maybe I'll  just make hash browns.


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Published 4:14 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I might have stocked up on chicken parts last week (or maybe two weeks ago), and the items on that menu plan made lots of leftovers, plus a trip to NOLA, and I haven't had to go grocery shopping in a while. After taking stock of what meat was still in the freezer, this trip will mainly be veggies and side dishes.

Sunday: Pineapple Ceviche - inspired by the yellowfin tuna cones at SoBou. So good! I still need to write up that trip. Maybe I will while noshing on ceviche.
Yellowfin Tuna Cones
Yellowfin Tuna Cones

Monday: Jerk Chicken and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Caribbean Jerk Chicken and Stuffed Sweet Potato
Caribbean Jerk Chicken and Stuffed Sweet Potato
Tuesday: Chicken Cacciatore (Whole30)
Wednesday: Pecan Crusted Chicken (no breadcrumbs)
Casablanca Chutney Chicken

Friday: Early birthday trip, I better not have to cook dinner.
Saturday: Still celebrating. I'll probably post all my delicious eats on Foodspotting.

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Published 3:49 PM by with 0 comment

Breaking Things Again

Allrighty then. Here we go. After watching this:

and this:


I've decided to refocus certain things in my life, starting with paying attention to my creative outlets. Especially my blog. It's my main creative outlet and I need to core dump more often. Are y'all ready for that? Of course, I don't expect any of you new readers to be, but there are some of you who have been with me since the beginning. Ideally, I'll get back to more me, less fluff.

Last night I spent hours moving things over to Squarespace and playing around with templates and customizing things and well, in the end it looked like crap. Largely due to my inconsistent photography and boring content and just ... well, I was horrified. And then I thought "I could just close this down and start over", but I have had this blog for over a decade. It's just going to have to keep growing and changing with me. So maybe I am not truly ready to move out of my comfort zone, but I am ready to change a few things.


This is your warning. The look around here will probably go through a few changes as I find something that fits who I am now, instead of trying to fit into something I'm not. Hope you keep coming back for the content. If you don't want to deal with all of the construction mess, you can always subscribe.
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Published 1:25 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Using the Whole30 Cookbook

The chores never end, even when you work from home. The Man asked if he could help with anything, so I handed him the cookbooks and said "Pick a few recipes".

Going back to strict Whole30 is helping him, I'm supplementing my mood with raw honey and dark chocolate. Trust me, it's needed. And with the <insert expletive> heat and humidity in Houston, I'm ok with not losing weight the way I was in California. I figure I'll hit goal weight eventually. It's taken over a month for me to get back on a regular walking schedule, that's good enough for now.

In no particular order this week:

Sunday: Tilapia with Green beans and Cherry tomatoes

Monday: Shrimp with Romescu sauce and Zoodles (definitely a favorite)
Garlic Shrimp with Romescu Sauce
Garlic Shrimp with Romescu Sauce and Zoodles

Tuesday: Grilled Steak & Avocado with Garlic Shallot puree (pg 216) and mandarin strawberry salad
Image Source: Amazon

Wednesday: Kitchen Sink Scrambled Eggs (pg 202) - which oddly enough, I do a kitchen sink omelette, so it might turn into that.
Kitchen Sink Omelette
Kitchen Sink Omelette

Kitchen Sink Omelette ingredients

Thursday: Chicken Hash (pg 228) - I hope I find the cheese grater in time.
Friday: Thai Chicken Mango Pineapple Salad - I need a little more flavor and summer type foods.

What's on your plate this week?

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Published 7:26 PM by with 0 comment

Bantu Knot-Out (FAIL)

So, unintended consequences of having all that exposed scalp? SUNBURN!!!! Yay. A sunburned scalp is a very uncomfortable thing. Guess I'll be wearing it down anyway, or at least half up and half down.


And my hair still can't figure out how to hold a wave or curl even after being in Bantu knots for three days. The front kind of waved, but it fell by the end of the day. These were taken right after letting them all down. 


The back didn't wave or curl at all. And the sides, forget it. They were just confused. My ends ... they are still doing their own thing. I am about at my wits end about what to do with my hair in this freaking humidity! I can't even get it into a bun that looks respectable. And I still managed to get dog hair in my hair. Sigh.

I really need to figure out a summer hairstyle that is easy and quick and fairly humidity proof. My length during my installation was between 8"-11" and I haven't gotten everything cut to an even length yet because some sections are not fully locked. I'm now much longer than that. It's a really weird feeling for me to put my hair in a low ponytail and feel it brushing my back. With all the Houston bugs, I often mistake it for flies landing on me. Though it could be that too.

Any ideas or products to help me out?


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Published 8:00 PM by with 0 comment

Got Crabs?

If I ever have the need to absolutely destroy something like Hulk under the influence of the Scarlet Witch, that would be the time to make me eat crab (in the shell, crab cakes are another story). Otherwise, I just want to eat my food, not work for it. I mean, anything that needs a nutcracker and a tool that looks like seam ripper just to get to the meat ... too much work.
KJ Steampot
Snow crab, seared scallops and mussels in a light
Kendall-Jackson wine sauce with hints of garlic, pepper and notes of citrus.
I do have to admit that the scallops, crab, and mussels were delicious, I just didn't want to work for my food, get crab juice shot into my eye, or get so messy that I needed baby wipes and to wash thoroughly with soap and water. That kind of stuff should only be reserved for BBQ ribs. I mean, I haven't worn a bib since I was 4!
Crab Lover - only if it's already out of the shell
Dessert made up for some of it.

What's left of the Campfire S'mores
A huge slice of chocolate cake between two crispy
graham crackers topped with a Hershey's® Chocolate Bar and freshly toasted marshmallows.

And then we really needed to work off that dessert, so we walked back down to the Pier. I was somewhat reminded of Santa Monica.

Beautiful sunset at the pier
And I thought it would be cool to walk down the pier and check out the rides for a future trip, but unlike Santa Monica, you have to pay to get past the entrance. Just to walk around. What the fruit?

Bonus: All that walking paid off in a new badge.


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Published 4:35 PM by with 0 comment

Summer Style: Bantu Knots


 OK, Houston, you win. I can't take it anymore. After this morning's walk, I was once again drenched in sweat. I think my hair gained a pound or two between myself and the ambient humidity. And there is so much hair. I had barely gotten my hair contained into something one could very loosely call a ponytail (seriously, it was a grocery store rubber band holding my hair off my face. I couldn't even wrap it around twice).
Nailed it, right?

So after washing my hair I opted to bantu knot it. No more dog hair (hopefully), air flow on my scalp and hopefully less weight gain due my hair's amazing ability to absorb all the moisture from the air or from sweat. I just wish I could have gotten them to lay nice and flat. Not all of my ends wanted to be tucked, so the back doesn't look quite as good, but at least it's off my neck!
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Published 3:46 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Something Fishy Going on Around Here

Yes, that is the absolute best I could do for a title at the moment. Mainly because of the first two meals this week and a lot of tuna consumption.

I'm finally on the mend from the plague, so I have the energy to not only menu plan, but also go grocery shopping and cook. I'm actually looking forward to feeding my face this week.

Sunday: Grilled salmon and chicken kabobs (he had chicken, I had salmon).
Monday: Jerk Cod with GF Cornbread and veggies or salad.
Tuesday: Romescu Garlic Shrimp with Zoodles (it was pretty tasty the last time I made it).
Romescu Garlic Shrimp with Zoodles
Romescu Garlic Shrimp with Zoodles
Wednesday: Whole 30 Harvest Grilled Chicken Salad (pg. 232).
Thursday: Whole30 Chicken Primavera over Spaghetti Squash or Zoodles (pg. 338).
Friday: Modified Primal Jambalaya
Primal Jambalaya with Okra
Primal Jambalaya with Okra

Saturday: Happy 4th of July! BBQ meat! Lots of meat! And sweet potatoes! And maybe some corn, because... tradition.


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Published 12:55 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Aiming Towards Goal Weight

Well, we made it to Houston last Thursday afternoon without getting caught in too much weather and no floods, at least in this part of Houston. I cooked last night and it was pretty damn tasty.
Steak Fajita Spinach Salad
Steak Fajita Spinach Salad
I'm hoping I can be somewhat creative and inspired this week. I know a lot of people get inspired by Whole 30, but I'm not there yet. Yes, I am cooking Whole 30 because some people in my life need extremes. I'm still having my raw honey in my coffee every morning. You can't take that away from me!!!! Gawd, I can't wait for my stuff to get here, I need my Keurig.

Breakfast

Eggs and Turkey or Beef Bacon, Paleo Banana Bread Muffins or Mini Sweet Potato Souffles.

Lunch

Aiming for leftovers, otherwise, tuna and avocado or BLTs with extra lettuce instead of bread.

Dinner

Sunday: Pineapple Turkey Burgers with either arugula salad or sweet potato fries. Or both. Or maybe I'll splurge on some bison. It's awfully dangerous living less than a block from a Whole Paycheck Foods Market now.
Image Credit: GreenLiteBites - Pineapple Bun

Monday: Chicken Cacciatore
Tuesday: Bacon (Cheddar) Apple Fritatta. Leave out the cheese and use ghee to make it paleo/Whole 30.
Wednesday: Romescu Garlic Shrimp and Zoodles
Thursday: Grilled Chicken with roasted brussels sprouts and (turkey or beef) bacon
Friday: Grilled Salmon with pineapple-mango salsa

No Menu Plan Monday next week, I'll be at a conference.
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Published 10:48 PM by with 0 comment

Nightcaps

I haven't been blogging much lately, but I have been trying something a little different on G+. It started when I saw some awesome bedrooms and decided that in a perfect world, that's where I would want to sleep. Each post was titled "Tuck Me In". Since Collections launched I've been a little more focused and they have evolved into a short recap of my day or my state of mind.









You can follow the collection if you're interested in exotic locations and want to keep getting inside my head. And no, you don't have to get a G+ account to see these gorgeous bedrooms.
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