December 2010 Archives

What I ate: December 31, 2010

Breakfast: 1 organic scrambled egg, 1 slice of homemade 9-grain bread toast with Earth Balance spread and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

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Lunch: Turkey and Napa cabbage stir fry, rice.

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Dinner: Mussels fra diavolo with 1.5 oz. fine linguini and 1 slice of Red Hen ciabatta bread. This dish is quick, easy, inexpensive, sustainable and very tasty. With 2 glasses of Per Linda Trebbiano d'Abruzzi.

ate.20101231.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And champagne! Happy New Years!

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Weight at beginning of the day: 111.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 110.8 lbs.




Cooking prep: December 31, 2010

This morning I walked to the grocery stores in preparation for the next few days' meals, and here's what I prepped:

Two 12 oz. packages of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon, cooked on sheet pans in the oven, then frozen.

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Broke down a 7-rib pork roast into a roast to be further sliced thinly for miso-marinated pork,  some darker meat bits to be roasted for stir-fry, and a small pile of inedible bits.

prep8.jpgThinly sliced pork for miso marinated pork:

prep9.jpgThe rest of the pork roasted, sliced and vacuum sealed in 2.8 oz. servings for stir-fry:

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prep11.jpgprep12.jpgCleaned 1/2 pound of Gulf of California white shrimp.

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Half vacuum sealed and frozen, the other half seasoned with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and chili powder and marinated with lime. That will be grilled and used for shrimp tacos.

prep14.jpgCleaned and seasoned two Misty Knoll chicken breasts. Vacuum sealed and cooked in the sous vide at 160°F for 2 hours.

prep15.jpgOut of the sous vide it doesn't look very appetizing, but it's perfectly cooked all the way through and very juicy!

prep16.jpgFortunately it, and the shrimp, spent a little time on the grill:

prep17.jpgCut up for use on grilled chicken Caesar salads:

prep18.jpgPortioned out into 2.7 oz. packages and vacuum sealed for freezing:

prep19.jpgA pot of rice in the rice maker. And a stir-fry of turkey and Napa cabbage for lunch.
 
ate.20101231.l.jpgThat was it for the morning; time to relax!


















What I ate: December 30, 2010

Breakfast: Chorizo, green pepper, jalapeño, onion and egg breakfast burrito. In a Richard and Maria's multi-grain organic tortilla (100 % whole grains).

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Lunch: Organic spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, 0.5 oz. Vermont Butter & Cheese goat cheese and homemade maple candied walnuts. And a homemade whole wheat and oat dinner roll with Vermont Butter & Cheese cultured butter.

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Snack: 2.6 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 1/6 cup. of homemade granola.


Dinner: Meatloaf, gravy, rice and broccoli. I re-made my standard meatloaf recipe. And 2 glasses of Marosso malbec.

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Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

Weight at beginning of the day: 109.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 111.8 lbs.

I can't explain that, since I didn't eat anything unusual!



What I ate: December 29, 2010

Breakfast: 2 pancakes (previously made then frozen) and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon (also previously made and frozen).

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Lunch: Small plate of pork fried dumplings and 2 Switchback beer (while skiing).

Dinner: Japanese style curry with rice. I previously made, vacuum sealed, and froze this serving. To reheat: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the vacuum sealed bag. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, and simmer for 22 minutes. 2 glasses of Marosso malbec.

ate.20101229.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And 1 bowl of Popcorn Factory plain, cheese and caramel popcorn.


Weight at beginning of the day: 110.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 109.6 lbs.

And for the first time, I didn't gain weight on a ski day!

What I ate: December 28, 2010

Breakfast: Homemade blueberry muffin and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

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Lunch: 2.6 oz. grilled chicken Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce and Annie's Natural Caesar dressing and a very small amount of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. And a homemade whole wheat and oat roll with Vermont Butter and Cheese company cultured butter.

ate.20101228.l.jpgSnack: 2.7 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 0.8 oz. of homemade granola.

Dinner: Shrimp pad Thai. And 2 glasses of Schmitt Söhne Riesling.

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Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And 1 bowl of Popcorn Factory plain, cheese and caramel popcorn.

Weight at beginning of the day: 109.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 110.2 lbs.

Too much pad Thai!


What I ate: December 27, 2010

Breakfast: 1 organic scrambled egg, 1 slice of homemade 9-grain bread toast with Earth Balance spread and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon. Somehow I forgot to take a picture of it, but it looked just like this:

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Snack: An empire apple.

Lunch: Organic spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, 0.5 oz. Vermont Butter & Cheese goat cheese and homemade maple candied walnuts. And a homemade whole wheat and oat dinner roll with Vermont Butter & Cheese cultured butter.

ate.20101227.l.jpgSnack: 2.7 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 0.8 oz. of homemade granola.

Dinner: Organic roast beef (3.2 oz.) soft taco with homemade salsa fresca and lettuce in a Richard and Maria's organic 100 % whole grain multi-grain soft tortilla. With 1.0 oz. tortilla chips and rest of the salsa fresca. And 2 glasses of Schmitt Söhne Riesling.

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Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And 1 bowl of Popcorn Factory plain, cheese and caramel popcorn.

Weight at beginning of the day: 110.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 109.8 lbs.





What I ate: December 26, 2010

Breakfast: Chorizo, green pepper, jalapeño, onion and egg breakfast burrito. In a Richard and Maria's multi-grain organic tortilla (100 % whole grains).

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Lunch: Roasted pork (3.0 oz.) stir-fry with scallions and broccoli, rice.

ate.20101226.l.jpgSnack: 2.7 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 0.8 oz. of homemade granola.


Dinner: 1 1/2 slices of Positive Pie "Carcass" (Pepperoni, sausage, meatball and mushroom) pizza and 1 glass of Switchback beer.

ate.20101226.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle. And 2 glasses of 2008 Owen Roe Sharecropper's Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington.


Weight at beginning of the day: 109.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 110.8 lbs.





What I ate: December 25, 2010

Breakfast: Waffles and a Vermont Smoke and Cure breakfast sausage. And 0.7 oz. maple syrup. I actually ate 3/4 of the waffle, it's kind of big, though very light and fluffy!

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Lunch: Organic spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, 0.5 oz. Vermont Butter & Cheese goat cheese and homemade maple candied walnuts. And a homemade whole wheat and oat dinner roll with Vermont Butter & Cheese cultured butter.

ate.20101225.l.jpgSnack: 2.7 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 0.8 oz. of homemade granola.


Dinner: 5.0 oz. Roast beef, rice, gravy and broccoli. And 2 glasses of 2008 Owen Roe Sharecropper's Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington.

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Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And 1 bowl of Popcorn Factory plain, cheese and caramel popcorn.

Weight at beginning of the day: 110.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 109.6 lbs.



Roast Beef #2

The last time I made roast beef I did so using the reverse sous vide preparation where you brown then sous vide. This time I thought I'd try the normal sous vide then brown preparation.

I started with 2.34 lb. Tangletown Farm local, organic beef round, top loin roast:

roastbeef1.jpgIt was kind of fortunate that I was cooking in the sous vide because it was still a little frozen. The sous vide is very forgiving that way. I trimmed excess fat, seasoned with salt, pepper and granulated garlic, and sealed in a new vacuum sealer bag.

I cooked for 3 1/2 hours in the sous vide at 133°F, though probably anywhere between 2 and 4 hours would be fine.

Remove from the sous vide and let rest for 15 minutes. 

roastbeef2.jpgHeat the oven to 400°F.

Take the roast out of the vacuum bag and place in a lightly greased roasting pan. Reserve the juice from the bag. Add a small amount of the water to the pan. Season the roast with soy sauce. Roast 10 minutes, add more soy sauce to the roast, then roast for 10 more minutes.

roastbeef3.jpg Remove the roast from the pan. Add the reserved juice from the soux vide bag.

Make a mixture of about 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and water to make about 16 fluid oz.. Add to the roasting pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for at least 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add soy sauce and black pepper. Add any juice that drains from the resting roast.

Thinly slice the roast beef, which, thanks to the sous vide, is perfectly medium rare.

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Serve with gravy, rice and steamed broccoli.

roastbeef4.jpgAll vacuum sealed and prepared for freezing: 3 3.2 oz. packages for stir-fry, 2 5.0 oz. packages for roast beef and gravy and 2 6.0 oz. packages of gravy.

roastbeef6.jpgThe verdict: If you have the equipment, sear then sous vide works better. The reason is that the roast is cold when in goes into the oven, so less of the insides get cooked as you're browning it, which is an issue if you're going for rare to medium-rare.

The problem is that this method requires rapid chilling and really works best with a chamber vacuum sealer. The external units like the FoodSaver will want to suck all of the juice out of your partially cooked roast, which isn't really helpful.

Plus, there's a lot more serving time flexibility when you end in the sous vide, since the roast can stay in there somewhat indefinitely, at least give or take an hour. I definitely wouldn't let the roast sit in the oven for an extra hour!




 

Waffles

waffles2.jpgNote: There is an updated version of this recipe.

These slightly labor-intensive but delicious yeast-risen waffles are always a hit when I make them at family gatherings. They are very lightly and fluffy.

One of the keys is the excellent Waring Pro waffle maker. There's a new double sided version that makes two at a time which looks really neat. I'd get one if I made waffles more than 4 times a year!

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One of the major issues is that you have to start the batter the night before, so plan ahead! It's actually the recipe that came with the waffle maker, but it really is good and I scaled it to some more serving sizes.

Good Night Waffle Recipe

           
3 Waffles
    
           
6 Waffles
       
           
9 Waffles
       
           
12 Waffles
       
           

           
       
           
4 oz.
       
           
8 oz.
       
           
12 oz.
       
           
16 oz.
       
           
Water @ 105°F
       
           
1/2 tbsp.
       
           
1 tbsp.
       
           
1 1/2 tbsp.
       
           
2 tbsp.
       
           
Granulated sugar
       
           
1 tsp.
       
           
2 1/4 tsp.
       
           
3 1/4 tsp.
       
           
4 1/2 tsp.
       
           
Active dry yeast
       
           
8 oz.
       
           
16 oz.
       
           
24 oz.
       
           
32 oz.
       
           
Milk @ 105°F
       
           
2 oz.
       
           
4 oz.
       
           
6 oz.
       
           
8 oz.
       
           
Unsalted butter, melted
       
           
1/2 tsp.
       
           
1 tsp.
       
           
1 1/2 tsp.
       
           
2 tsp.
       
           
Salt
       
           
1 cup
       
           
2 cups
       
           
3 cups
       
           
4 cups
       
           
All-purpose flour
       
           

           
       
           

           
       
           

           
       
           

           
       
           

           
       
           
1 egg
       
           
2 eggs
       
           
3 eggs
       
           
4 eggs
       
           
Eggs, lightly beaten
       
           
1 tsp.
       
           
2 tsp.
       
           
3 tsp.
       
           
4 tsp.
       
           
Vanilla extract
       
           
1/8 tsp.
       
           
1/4 tsp.
       
           
3/8 tsp.
       
           
1/2 tsp.
       
           
Baking soda
       


The night before, or at least 8 hours before baking, combine the warm water, granulated sugar, and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes until foamy.

Stir in the warm milk, melted butter, and salt. Beat in the flour until smooth.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand overnight on the countertop - do not refrigerate.

Preheat waffle maker to setting #4.

Light beat the eggs. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and baking soda to the batter.

Use one scoop (¾ cup) of waffle batter.





What I ate: December 24, 2010

Breakfast: 1 1/2 slices of Vermont Bread Company alfalfa sprout bread French toast with 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

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Lunch: Turkey (3.0 oz.) and Napa cabbage stir-fry with rice.

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Snack: 2.6 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 1/6 cup. of homemade granola.


Dinner: Sushi: Tuna and cumber roll. Avocado, cucumber and carrot roll. And tuna sashimi. And a glass of Momokawa Silver cold sake.

ate.20101224.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle and two glasses of Sebastiani zinfandel.

And my annual Christmas Eve homemade eggnog. Oh, too much nog!

eggnog1.jpgAnd 2 Christmas sugar cookies.
 

Weight at beginning of the day: 111.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 110.8 lbs.

I did not anticipate the weight loss with the big plate of sushi, eggnog and the cookies!

What I ate: December 23, 2010

Breakfast: Homemade bagel, toasted, half with Vermont Butter and Cheese creamery cultured butter, the other half with 0.5 oz. Organic Valley cream cheese. And 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

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Lunch: 2.6 oz. grilled chicken Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce and Annie's Natural Caesar dressing and a very small amount of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. And a homemade whole wheat and oat roll with Vermont Butter and Cheese company cultured butter.

ate.20101223.l.jpgDinner: Thai-style pork and peppers. 3.2 oz. roasted pork, green pepper, serano pepper, onions, garlic, red chili garlic sauce, cilantro, toasted sesame oil, hot pepper sesame oil, soy sauce. Served with rice and 1 glass of Schmitt Söhne Riesling.

ate.20101223.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And 2 glasses of Tiasta torrontes white wine.


Weight at beginning of the day: 112.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 111.6 lbs.

One more pound to go to undo the effects of that bread bowl of chili!



What I ate: December 22, 2010

Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg, 1 slice of homemade 9-grain bread toast with Earth Balance spread and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

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Lunch: I ate too much for lunch again. This time it was the turkey chili in a boule (bread bowl) at Bolton Valley. It's good but just too much food for me. And two Switchback beers. I guess I should take pictures of the food when I eat out too.


Dinner: Meatloaf, gravy, rice and broccoli. I re-made my standard meatloaf recipe. And 2 glasses of Tiasta malbec.

ate.20101222.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And 1 bowl of Popcorn Factory plain, cheese and caramel popcorn.


Weight at beginning of the day: 110.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 112.6 lbs.

I'm pretty sure it was the evil chili in a boule!



What I ate: December 21, 2010

Breakfast: Chorizo, green pepper, jalapeño, onion and egg breakfast burrito. In a Richard and Maria's multi-grain organic tortilla (100 % whole grains).

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Lunch: Organic spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, 0.5 oz. Vermont Butter & Cheese goat cheese and homemade maple candied walnuts. And a homemade whole wheat and oat dinner roll with Vermont Butter & Cheese cultured butter.

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Snack: 2.6 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 1/6 cup. of homemade granola.
 
Dinner: Shrimp scampi with 2.0 oz. spinach fetuccini, 4.0 oz. Gulf of California white shrimp and a slice of Red Hen bakery ciabatta bread. And 2 glasses of Tiasta torrontes white wine.

ate.20101221.d.jpg Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And 1 bowl of Popcorn Factory plain, cheese and caramel popcorn.

Weight at beginning of the day: 110.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 110.6 lbs.

What I ate: December 20, 2010

Breakfast: Homemade blueberry muffin and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

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Lunch: 2.6 oz. grilled chicken Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce and Annie's Natural Caesar dressing and a very small amount of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. And a homemade whole wheat and oat roll with Vermont Butter and Cheese company cultured butter.

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Snack: 2.6 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 1/6 cup. of homemade granola. It looked like this:

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Dinner: 5.0 oz. roasted local, organic Tangletown Farm chicken, pan gravy, rice and broccoli. And 2 1/2 glasses of Anton Bauer Gmörk Grüner Veltliner 2009, Austria.

ate.20101220.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

And 1 bowl of Evil Popcorn (Popcorn Factory plain, cheese and caramel popcorn).

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Weight at beginning of the day: 111.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 110.2 lbs.

I completely did not anticipate that weight loss. I ate quite a bit!






Cooking prep

The vast majority of the time I cook for one. Aside from the obvious benefit of working from home and having my home office 20 feet from my kitchen, I really prepare or partially prepare a large number of dishes ahead of time which really makes life easier.

This morning I did my grocery shopping and walking to the Coop and Shaws. Since I'm limited to the amount of food that will fit in my backpack it encourages careful shopping. Plus I go a number of times per week. The key is doing as much prep ahead of time as possible.

That bacon that I eat, um, just about every day? I cook two 12 oz. packages at a time on sheet pans in the oven, then freeze it. Here's the bacon I bought and cooked today cooling on the wire rack.

prep1.jpg
One of the first things I did this morning was defrost a Tangletown Farms frozen half chicken. It's vacuum sealed, so it's easy to just thaw in a sink full of water for an hour or so. Then I roasted that off after the bacon came out of the oven.

prep2.jpg
After it cooled I cut it up making a 5.0 oz. serving of breast meat for dinner tonight and two 2.0 oz. servings of the remainder for stir-fry. The stir-fry packages were vacuum sealed and frozen.

I then made a batch of pan gravy. The chicken and gravy were refrigerated and will be heated up for dinner. The nice thing is that there are no pans to clean after dinner!

I eat quite a lot of pork in stir-fries, tacos, etc.. Today I bought a 2.35 lb. boneless center-cut pork roast. I removed the fat and silverskin, seasoned it, then cooked it off for 1 1/2 hours at 155°F in the sous vide. After cooking and cooling, it got cut up, portioned, vacuum sealed, and frozen.

prep3.jpgWhen I get fresh spinach I wash and spin it dry, divide into 16 oz. glass jars and vacuum seal. This keeps the spinach fresh for much longer than just in a bag. Plus, it's already cleaned and the correct portion size for a spinach salad or sautéed spinach with hana katsuo (and rice and sardines).

prep4.jpgI got shrimp today in anticipation of making shrimp scampi tomorrow night. I peeled, deveined, and cleaned the shrimp and divided it into two packages, vacuum sealing and freezing one. It's nice to be able to just take the shrimp and drop it in the scampi pan.

prep5.jpg
And finally I made a batch of maple candied walnuts for spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette, goat cheese, and maple candied walnuts.

candiedwalnuts2.jpgIt seems like a lot to do, but I was completely done and cleaned up by 12:30 PM.

What I ate: December 19, 2010

Breakfast: Chorizo, green pepper, jalapeño, onion and egg breakfast burrito. In a Richard and Maria's multi-grain organic tortilla (100 % whole grains).

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Lunch: At Bolton Valley skiing: A big plate of mussels (there must have been 2 dozen!) with shaved fennel and a grilled bread. Way too much food, and it's considered an appetizer! And 2 Switchback beers.

Dinner: Japanese style curry with rice. I previously made, vacuum sealed, and froze this serving. To reheat: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the vacuum sealed bag. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, and simmer for 22 minutes. And 2 1/2 glasses of Anton Bauer Gmörk Grüner Veltliner 2009, Austria.

ate.20101219.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.


Weight at beginning of the day: 110.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 111.6 lbs.

I'm okay with that since 110.8 was a new record low weight, and I ate way too much lunch!

What I ate: December 18, 2010

Breakfast: 2 pancakes, 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon and 0.5 oz. Vermont maple syrup.

ate.20101218.b.jpgSnack: An empire apple.

Lunch: Turkey (3.0 oz.) and Napa cabbage stir-fry with rice.

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Dinner: Thai-style pork. 3.0 oz. roasted pork, green pepper, onion, Serano pepper, cilantro, cooked in toasted sesame oil with hot pepper sesame oil and red chili garlic sauce. This time I removed some of the ribs and seeds from the Serano peppers so my lips are still tingling but my mouth is not on fire like the last time. Served with Schmitt Söhne Riesling.

ate.20101218.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle and two glasses of Sebastiani zinfandel.


Weight at beginning of the day: 111.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 110.8  lbs.



What I ate: December 17, 2010

Breakfast: Homemade bagel, toasted, half with Vermont Butter and Cheese creamery cultured butter, the other half with 0.5 oz. Organic Valley cream cheese. And 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

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Lunch: Organic spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, 0.5 oz. Vermont Butter & Cheese goat cheese and homemade maple candied walnuts. And a homemade whole wheat and oat dinner roll with Vermont Butter & Cheese cultured butter.

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Snack: 2.6 oz. plain organic Greek yogurt with Vermont maple syrup and 1/6 cup. of homemade granola.

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Dinner: Tangletown Farm T-bone steak with a salt and olive oil-rubbed local gold baked potato and broccoli.

ate.20101217.d.jpgWith 2 glasses of Sebastiani zinfandel.

Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.


Weight at beginning of the day: 112.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 111.0 lbs.

I just checked, and that appears to be my lowest weight since, um... 1986?!?!

In any case, my previous record was 111.4 which was then followed by a meal of rigatoni with prosciutto in a cheese, cream and vodka sauce followed by Danish butter cookies, which promptly caused me to gain 2 pounds. I will not repeat that tomorrow.

What I ate: December 16, 2010

Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg, 1 slice of homemade 9-grain bread toast with Earth Balance spread and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

ate.20101216.b.jpgLunch: 2.6 oz. grilled chicken Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce and Annie's Natural Caesar dressing and a very small amount of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. And a homemade whole wheat and oat roll with Vermont Butter and Cheese company cultured butter.

ate.20101216.l.jpgSnack: 2.6 oz. plain Greek yogurt with maple syrup and 1/6 cup. of homemade granola.

Dinner: Mussels fra diavolo with 1.5 oz. fine linguini and 1 slice of Red Hen ciabatta bread. This dish is quick, easy, inexpensive, sustainable and very tasty.

ate.20101216.d.jpgAnd 2 glasses of Schmitt Söhne Riesling.

Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

Running: 30 minutes on the treadmill with walk/run intervals at 3.6/6.6 MPH. 2.56 miles. And I did run before breakfast.

Weight at beginning of the day: 113.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 112.6 lbs.





What I ate: December 15, 2010

Breakfast: Homemade blueberry muffin and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

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Lunch: 3.0 oz. pork with broccoli and scallions stir-fry with rice.

ate.20101215.l.jpgSnack: A banana. And later 0.5 oz. peanuts.

Dinner: Roast beef (3.0 oz.) soft taco with homemade salsa fresca on a Richard and Maria's multi-grain organic tortilla (100 % whole grains) with lettuce. Also 1.0 oz. tortilla chips and the rest of the very spicy salsa fresca.

ate.20101215.d.jpgAnd 2 glasses Casal Garcia Vinho Verde. Portugal, 2010. Still not great, but seemed a little better than 4 days ago.
 
Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

Weight at beginning of the day: 113.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 113.0 lbs.



Exercise before breakfast?

Fascinating article about exercising before or after breakfast. The experiment was relatively complex, but the end result was that all other things being equal, when consuming a high-fat, high-calorie diet only those who exercised before breakfast did not gain weight and did not exhibit insulin resistance.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/phys-ed-the-benefits-of-exercising-before-breakfast/

Unfortunately I don't have enough data points for exercising before breakfast vs. after to be sure, but there is some evidence that I did, as a general rule, lose more weight when I exercised before breakfast. Interesting!

What I ate: December 13, 2010

Breakfast: Sausage, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat English muffin. With homemade sausage.

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Snack: Switchback beer. I went skiing.

Late Lunch: Organic spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, 0.5 oz. Vermont Butter & Cheese goat cheese, and homemade maple candied walnuts.

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Dinner: Left over pot roast. I had previously frozen it and reheated it in the sous vide (45 minutes at 145°F). The picture didn't really come out.

2 glasses of Parker Station pinot noir.

Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

Snack: Evil popcorn. It arrives as a gift from Mom and Dad every year, is very tasty, and is probably not at all diet friendly. I had four or five bowls approximately this size.

popcorn.jpg
Running: 30 minutes on the treadmill with walk/run intervals at 3.6/6.6 MPH. 2.56 miles.

Weight at beginning of the day: 112.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 113.6 lbs.

I'm pretty sure it was the popcorn.

What I ate: December 13, 2010

Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg, 1 slice of homemade 9-grain bread toast with Earth Balance spread and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

ate.20101213.b.jpg
Lunch: 2.6 oz. grilled chicken Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce and Annie's Natural Caesar dressing and a very small amount of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. And a homemade whole wheat and oat roll. This is an older picture, but it looked like this:

ate.20101211.l.jpgSnack: 0.5 oz. peanuts.

Dinner: Tonkatsu, sautéed Napa cabbage and rice with furikake. The tonkatsu (panko breaded deep fried pork cutlet) was previously frozen, but it reheats really well in the oven on a sheet pan at 350°F for 9 minutes.

ate.20101213.d.jpg And two glasses of Parker Station pinot noir.

Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

Today should have been a running day but I didn't run. Maybe tomorrow.

Weight at beginning of the day: 113.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 112.6 lbs.

By the way, if you happened to notice that comments are turned off on the blog, it's not personal. Twice that I've noticed, the comment system has gone out of control and basically taken down my entire server. Bug or denial-of-service attack, it's still annoying so I disabled commenting until I can figure out why it's happening.

What I ate: December 12, 2010

Breakfast: 2 pancakes and 3 slices of bacon.

ate.20101212.b.jpgSnack: Banana.

Lunch: Broccoli and celeriac stir-fry with Chinese-style sweet and spicy garlic sauce and rice. I made this before, also adding Brussels sprouts, but I didn't have any Brussels sprouts today either.

ate.20101212.l.jpgDinner: Italian sausage, green pepper, onion and mushroom deep-dish pizza and a glass of Switchback beer. I ate 3/4 of this personal pan pizza, which is about 1/4 more than I probably should have eaten. But it was very delicious!

panpizza4.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle. And a glass of Etc. Malbec.

Weight at beginning of the day: 112.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 113.0 lbs.


Italian sausage, green pepper, onion and mushroom deep-dish pizza

panpizza4.jpg


This was an excellent personal pan pizza! It's kind of a ridiculous amount of work, but it really was delicious. Note that the pizza dough needs to be started the night before.



Pizza dough


10.1 oz. high gluten flour (or bread flour, or even all-purpose flour), chilled

0.22 oz. salt (a little less than 2 tsp.)

0.055 oz. instant yeast (about 1/2 tsp.)

1 oz. olive oil (a little more than 2 tbsp.)

7 oz. water, ice cold (40°F or less)

semolina flour for dusting


Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in the mixer bowl. Stir in the oil and water with the paddle attachment at slow speed.


Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 to 7 minutes. Dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides. If it sticks to the sides, add flour. If it doesn't stick to the bottom, add a little water. I had to add a fair amount of additional flour and it was still quite sticky.


If using a double recipe you'd probably need a sheet pan, but for 3 dough balls I use a 10" cake pan. Lightly oil the pan.


Sprinkle semolina flour on a board and cut into 6 oz. servings using a dough scraper. Sprinkle with semolina flour and form into a ball. The dough is quite sticky, so you will probably need quite a bit. Add to the pan and lightly oil the balls of dough. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or up to three days.


The balls of dough can also be frozen. I vacuum seal them, but you can just store then in plastic bags for up to 3 months.


Makes three 6 oz. pizza crusts.


From The Bread Baker's Apprentice, pp. 210-211. I highly recommend the book because it goes into much more detail than my brief steps above.



Pizza sauce


This is an excellent spicy pizza sauce, simple and much better than the stuff in a jar. Okay, you could probably get something similar by adding stuff to a jar of pizza sauce, but this really just requires ordinary pantry supplies and it's quick to cook.


1 14.5 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. fennel seed

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


Heat in a saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbling, then reduce the heat to simmer and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.


I mostly used this recipe, though I omitted the sugar and the allspice.


This should make enough sauce for two personal pan pizzas. Extra sauce can be frozen.


Update 3/19/2012: I think it's necessary to re-cook frozen pizza sauce after defrosting it. It's just too liquid-y after defrosting. You can see that it's running off the crust here. Most of it evaporated, but at the expense of a much less crisp crust, even though I par-baked the crust first.


ate.2012.03.19.c2.jpg



Pan pizza


Take a ball out of dough out of the refrigerator and let warm to room temperature for an hour. Form into a pizza crust and drape over a well oiled pan pizza pan.


Preheat the oven to 550°F.


I don't make pizza or pies very often, so mine wasn't pretty, but it was serviceable. The high-gluten flour does make the dough much easier to work with.


panpizza1.jpg


Yes, that is a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza pan, and, no, I didn't steal it. I bought four of them off eBay and while I don't profess to know where the seller got them from, they came with the covers that are used when the dough is prepped but before the pizza is baked. So at worst, if they were stolen it was an inside job, not just some random customer stealing pizza pans off tables.


Par-bake the pizza crust for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and add sauce and filling. I filled my pizza with green pepper, onion, Italian sausage, and mushrooms.


panpizza2.jpg

Then add more sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano cheese.


panpizza3.jpg

Bake for 8 minutes longer.


With any luck, the pizza will easily release from your well-seasoned and well-oiled pan and can be cut and served.


I also have a recipe for a very similar pizza as more of a flatbread.


What I ate: December 11, 2010

Breakfast: Chorizo, green pepper, jalapeño, onion and egg breakfast burrito. In a Richard and Maria's multi-grain organic tortilla (100 % whole grains).

ate.20101211.b.jpg
Lunch: 2.6 oz. grilled chicken Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce and Annie's Natural Caesar dressing and a very small amount of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. And a homemade whole wheat and oat roll with butter.

ate.20101211.l.jpg
Snack: 2.6 oz. plain Greek yogurt with maple syrup and 1/6 cup. of homemade granola.

Dinner: Thai-style pork. 3.0 oz. roasted pork, green pepper, onion, jalapeño and cilantro. With chili garlic sauce, toasted sesame oil, hot pepper sesame oil and soy sauce.

ate.20101211.d.jpgWith Casal Garcia Vinho Verde. Portugal, 2010. Not great. An indeterminately bad nose and surprisingly mineral-y for vinho verde.

Running: 30 minutes on the treadmill with walk/run intervals at 3.6/6.6 MPH. 2.56 miles.

Weight at beginning of the day: 113.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 112.4 lbs.



What I ate: December 10, 2010

Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg, 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon and 1 slice of homemade 9-grain bread with Earth Balance spread.

ate.20101210.b.jpg
Lunch: Turkey and cabbage stir-fry and rice.

ate.20101210.l.jpg
Snack: 0.5 oz. peanuts and a banana.

Dinner: Mom's shiskabobs and rice. I previously vacuum sealed and froze them, then reheated them for 45 minutes in the sous vide at 135°F.

ate.20101210.d.jpgAnd 2 glasses of Gabbiano Chianti, 2008.

Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

Snack: 0.7 oz. Madhouse Munchies sour cream and onion potato chips.

Friday is theoretically running day, though I noticed that I never actually run on Fridays. I think its because the first thing I do Friday morning is clean, and I don't have time to do both. Maybe Saturday should be running day, instead.

I did walk to the Coop (about 1.5 miles) and later to Vermont College (a little less than that, but with a bigger hill), however.

Weight at beginning of the day: 113.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 113.0 lbs.

What I ate: December 9, 2010

Breakfast: Homemade bagel with 1.0 oz. cream cheese, tomato, red onion and 1.6 oz. lox.

Lunch: Organic spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, 0.5 oz. Vermont Butter & Cheese goat cheese, and homemade maple candied walnuts.

Snack: A banana.

Dinner: Rigatoni with tomato, broccoli and prosciutto in spicy vodka cream sauce. With a slice of Red Hen ciabatta bread. And 2 glasses of Gabbiano Chianti, 2008. Unfortunately I did the calorie counts after eating, and they're high. Very high. Yikes.

rigatoni1.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

Also, a half slice of homemade 9-grain bread and 3 homemade danish butter cookies.

Weight at beginning of the day: 111.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 113.4 lbs.

That was expected after calculating the calories in dinner, and eating 3 cookies.

Danish butter cookies

buttercookie.jpgI have a weakness for Danish butter cookies. Also potato chips and dip. But in any case, the only time I dare to buy Danish butter cookies in the tin in the supermarket is at Christmas time, because I know I will eat them all. Quickly. And I'd feel bad about it.

One problem about liking to cook and having a well-equipped kitchen is that when you think to yourself, "I'd like a Danish butter cookie," after having several adult beverages you can just make Danish butter cookies.

(Okay, technically I could have walked to the store, and I walk to grocery stores 3 to 5 times a week, but it's really cold outside right now. It's 7°F!)

This recipe looked reasonable and I had all of the ingredients.

They turned out okay. I know they look more like peanut butter cookies but (1) I didn't feel like trying to make that crazy pretzel shaped butter cookie shape (2) I didn't have that coarse sugar and (3) I had those previously mentioned adult beverages.

I had three of them and they were not a bad cookie. They didn't taste like the cookies in the tins, possibly because they were fresh, moist and hot from the oven. They were also devoid of chemicals and preservatives. And I made them from King Arthur white whole wheat flour, so, in a crazy way, they were sort of healthy. Well, except for the two sticks of butter and cup of sugar...


9-grain bread

multigrain1.jpg

I decided to try some of my new King Arthur flour 9-grain flour. It says it contains "barley, rye, oats, amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, and teff, all milled to a baking-friendly, fine-flour consistency." It also contains high-gluten wheat flour.


This recipe makes one 1-pound loaf of very delicious and surprisingly soft whole wheat and multi-grain bread. I had some as toast for breakfast and it was delicious!


Soaker:

2.1 oz. whole wheat flour

3 oz. water at 70°F

Mix together, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature overnight.


Poolish:

3.4 oz. 9-grain flour

0.014 oz. instant yeast

3 oz. water at 70°F

Mix together only until the flour is hydrated, then cover with plastic wrap and let ferment 2 to 4 hours at room temperature. Then refrigerate overnight.


Dough:

2 oz. 9-grain flour

2.5 oz oz. white whole wheat, high gluten flour or bread flour

0.165 oz. salt

0.055 oz. instant yeast

0.75 oz. honey

0.25 oz. vegetable oil (such as canola)

0.825 oz. egg (half of a large egg), lightly beaten


When ready to make the bread, remove the poolish from the refrigerator 1 hour before and let warm toward room temperature.


In the electric mixer bowl, add the flour, salt and yeast. Then add the poolish, soaker, honey, oil and egg. Mix with the paddle attachment until combined, adjusting the consistency by adding flour or water if necessary. I added a couple tablespoons of flour as it was too moist and sticky.


The first time I made the recipe I used regular unbleached bread flour, but the second time I used King Arthur white whole wheat flour which worked very well. It's 100 % whole grain and high gluten, so it works well in this recipe.


Switch to the dough hook and knead for 8 or 9 minutes.


I removed the bread from the mixer and kneaded by hand for a few minutes on a floured board since the dough was still a little sticky. Spritz a bowl (can be the mixer bowl, though I used a fresh bowl) with oil. Add the dough ball and spritz the ball with oil.


multigrain2.jpg

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours until doubled.


multigrain3.jpg


Shape into a loaf, place in a greased loaf pan, cover, and let rise at room temperature for 90 minutes.


multigrain4.jpg


Preheat oven to 350°F.


Bake for 30 minutes, rotate, then bake for 15 to 30 minutes longer until the loaf sounds hollow and are 185°F to 190°F in the center, and golden brown.


multigrain5.jpg


Remove from the oven, release the loaf from the pan and let cook on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours before slicing.


Makes one 1-pound loaf. Easily multiplies to make more loaves. In fact, the original recipe was for two loaves, which explains the "half an egg" thing.


This is a variation of the Whole Wheat Bread recipe from the excellent cookbook, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart.




This is the same recipe I made earlier, but this time I have a better serving plate/bowl:

rigatoni1.jpg
And a picture of the mise en place for the dish.

rigatoni2.jpg
And the very scary Nutrition Facts plan from caloriecount.about.com. You might want to ignore this.

rigatoni3.jpgCompared to most of my meals, that's high in calories. Plus there was wine and a slice of Red Hen Ciabatta bread, which that does not account for.

What I ate: December 8, 2010

Breakfast: Sausage, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat English muffin. With homemade sausage.

ate.20101208.b.jpgSnack: A banana.

Lunch: Broccoli and celeriac stir-fry with Chinese-style sweet and spicy garlic sauce and rice. I made this before, also adding Brussels sprouts, but I didn't have any Brussels sprouts today.

ate.20101208.l.jpg
Dinner: Mussels fra diavolo with 1.5 oz. fine linguini and 1 slice of Red Hen ciabatta bread. This dish is quick, easy, inexpensive, sustainable and very tasty. I make it so often I had to get new dishes, well, technically, 12" soup bowls, to serve it in!

ate.20101208.d.jpgAnd 2 glasses of Schmitt Söhne Riesling (left over from yesterday).

Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle.

Running: 30 minutes on the treadmill with walk/run intervals at 3.6/6.6 MPH. 2.56 miles.

Also a couple walks (about 3/4 miles each?) to the gas station to drop off and later retrieve my car. Just a state inspection. And a walk to Shaws to pick up the mussels for dinner.

Weight at beginning of the day: 112.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 111.4 lbs.




Fresh flours

Fresh flours. Time to replace any expired flour with fresh, new flour.

Current menu: whole wheat, semolina, high gluten, 7-grain, white whole wheat, pastry, cake, all-purpose and bread. And smaller amounts of teff and chickpea. And non-flours: masa harina, sushi rice and dog food.

flour.jpg


What I ate: December 7, 2010

Breakfast: Chorizo, green pepper, jalapeño, onion and egg breakfast burrito.

ate.20101207.b.jpg
Lunch: Roasted pork (3.0 oz.), scallion, and bean sprout stir-fry with rice.

ate.20101207.l.jpg
Snack: Empire apple.

Dinner: 8 oz. of chana masala (spicy Indian chickpeas with peppers and tomato), rice and homemade nan (previously frozen). I doubled the cayenne and used a large Coop jalapeño with the seeds and ribs and it was unbelievably spicy. Served with 2 glasses of Schmitt Söhne Riesling.

ate.20101207.d.jpg
Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain chocolate raspberry truffle dark chocolate bar.

Walked to the Coop for groceries, about 1.5 miles. A little more effort with heavy snow boots!

Weight at beginning of the day: 111.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 112.2 lbs.




What I ate: December 6, 2010

Breakfast: 1 piece of Vermont Bread Company whole wheat toast with Earth Balance spread, a scrambled egg and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

ate.20101206.b.jpg
Snack: 1 small empire apple.

Lunch: Organic spinach salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, 0.5 oz. Vermont Butter & Cheese goat cheese, and homemade maple candied walnuts.

ate.20101206.l.jpg
Snack: 0.5 oz. peanuts and a banana. Both organic. But not local.

Dinner: Mom's steak (7.4 oz., though Roscoe ate part of it), a small olive oil and salt rubbed baked potato (4.6 oz.) with Vermont Butter and Cheese company butter and broccoli. With Ravenswood Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, California.

I previously vacuum sealed then froze the steak, so all it took was 45 minutes in the sous vide at 133°F from frozen to perfectly reheat it, medium rare.

ate.20101206.d.jpg
Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain chocolate raspberry truffle dark chocolate bar.

Running: 30 minutes on the treadmill with walk/run intervals at 3.6/6.6 MPH. 2.56 miles. Normally I don't run two days in a row but my schedule got all confused.

Weight at beginning of the day: 111.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 111.8 lbs.



What I ate: December 5, 2010

Breakfast: Chorizo, green pepper, jalapeño, onion and egg breakfast burrito.

ate.20101205.b.jpg
Snack: An empire apple.

Lunch: 3.0 oz. grilled chicken Caesar salad with Romaine lettuce and Annie's Natural Caesar dressing and a very small amount of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. And a whole wheat and oat roll with butter.

ate.20101205.l.jpg
Snack: 0.5 oz. peanuts

And a glass of Olivares Altos de la Hoya Jumilla, 2008 (Spain).

Running: 30 minutes on the treadmill with walk/run intervals at 3.6/6.6 MPH. 2.56 miles. Sunday is not normally a running day, but I skipped Friday.

Dinner: Japanese-style chicken curry (9.6 oz.) and rice. And two glasses of Per Linda trebbiano d'Abruzzi.

ate.20101205.d.jpg Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain chocolate raspberry truffle dark chocolate bar. And one glass of Olivares Altos de la Hoya Jumilla, 2008 (Spain).

Weight at beginning of the day: 112.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 111.6 lbs.

I would say that's some sort of anomaly, but I saw it coming when I weighed myself before going to bed. I'm really not sure what's going on, but I'm not complaining!


Japanese-style curry

ate.20101205.d.jpg


I love Japanese-style curry, but it's a dish I've always had trouble eating it without gaining weight so I decided to finally do the math.


S&B Golden Curry mix is 110 calories per serving and is supposed to make 5 servings. There is no way I've ever gotten 5 servings, and that might be the source of the problem. I decided to try for 4 servings, or 138 calories per serving (just for the sauce base). [See update, below, as well.]


I've made this with chicken, veal, lamb, and beef, but in the interest of reduced calories I'm going with chicken. 3.2 oz. per serving or 12.8 oz. total. Also 138 calories per serving. Diced. (Actual amount used: 12.0 oz.)


curry1.jpg


Potato, 2.4 oz. per serving or 9.6 oz. total - 1 large potato. 58 calories per serving. (Actual amount used : 8.6 oz.)


Carrots, 1.1 oz. per serving or 4.3 oz. total - 2 medium carrots. 10 calories per serving. (Actual amount used : 5.5 oz.)


Onion, 0.9 oz. per serving or 3.8 oz. total - 1 medium. 9 calories per serving. (Actual amount used: 4.8 oz.)


curry2.jpg

Olive oil, 1 tbsp. total. 30 calories per serving.


Total per serving: 383 calories


Add in 1 cup of white sushi rice, 160 calories, and the meal is 545 calories.


This isn't too bad. It's less than shrimp scampi but higher than some dinners.


I'm pretty sure when I wasn't measuring I was eating way too large of a serving, and I think each serving probably had too much chicken and way too many potatoes.


Heat a shallow pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and the onion. Cook for a few minutes.


Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes.


Push the vegetables to the side, add the diced chicken and brown.


Add 20 oz. of water. Add the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Skim off excess foam.


curry3.jpg

Reduce the heat, cover, and and simmer for 20 minutes.


Dice the S&B Japanese curry mix, add to the pot, leave uncovered, and simmer for 5 minutes until fully dissolved, stirring to break up any clumps.


Season with soy sauce and black pepper.


curry4.jpg

Total size: 2 lb. 7.6 oz.. This works out out 9.9 oz. per serving, which sounds reasonable but when you actually divide it out looks small compared to what I used to eat!


Serve with rice (preferably Japanese sushi rice). Actually, it's supposed to be served over rice, but I prefer it side-by-side. Not touching.


The dish reheats well from refrigerator temperature on the stove or in the microwave.

It can also be frozen, though the best way to freeze it is to vacuum seal it. To reheat, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the frozen vacuum sealed bag, bring back to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

The easiest way to divide it is to refrigerate it. The sauce solidifies which makes portioning it much easier. Here are my four servings all divided out into their vacuum-sealed servings.

curry5.jpgI've started adding celery and green bell pepper - I really like it that way and it adds a little more vegetable to the dish.

ate.2011.12.07.c1.jpg

ate.2011.12.07.d.jpgUpdate 6/7/2012: It's also good made with lamb. I started with a lamb shoulder blade chop, about 0.75 lbs. and cut out the bone and finely diced it.

ate.2012.06.07.c1.jpgAnd the same veggies, though I forgot the celery.

ate.2012.06.07.c2.jpg
Update 4/5/2014: I forgot to note that I have reduced the serving size to 6.5 to 7.0 oz., which is 5 servings per batch. Sometimes there's less meat, as well. This seems like a good size now, and reduces the calories further. I can't believe how large of a serving I used to eat!

ate.2013.03.03.d.jpg
Update 12/27/2015: If made with beef chuck stewing meat as above, sometimes the beef can be tough because it's not really cooked long enough to tenderize. My solution is to cut the beef into bite-sized pieces, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and granulated garlic, vacuum seal and sous vide for 3 hours at 131°F. This worked great. The meat was super-tender and still moist.

ate.2015.12.26.c1.jpgate.2015.12.27.c1.jpg

What I ate: December 4, 2010

Breakfast: Homemade blueberry muffin and 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

ate.20101204.b.jpgLunch: Spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette, maple candied walnuts and goat cheese. There's about 0.5 oz. cheese on the salad. And a whole wheat and oat roll with butter.

ate.20101204.l.jpgSnack: 0.5 oz. peanuts and a banana.


Dinner: Smoked pork spare ribs with barbecue sauce, sweet potato fries and sautéed rainbow chard. And a glass of Switchback beer.

ate.20101204.d.jpgI actually ate nearly twice that many sweet potato fries - the entire sweet potato. They were very good!

Dessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain chocolate raspberry truffle dark chocolate bar. And two glasses of Olivares Altos de la Hoya Jumilla, 2008 (Spain).

No running today, and I skipped yesterday. I did, however, walk to the Copp and Shaws.


Weight at beginning of the day: 112.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 112.8 lbs.

What I ate: December 3, 2010

Breakfast: 1 1/2 slices of Vermont Bread Company alfalfa sprout bread French toast with 3 slices of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon.

ate.20101203.b.jpg
Lunch: Stir-fried zucchini, 1 slice of bacon and rice.

ate.20101203.l.jpg
Snack: 2.6 oz. Greek yogurt, 0.1 oz. maple syrup and 0.8 oz. homemade granola.

Snack: 0.5 oz. peanuts.

Dinner: Shrimp pad Thai. And 2 glasses of Polka Dot Riesling.

ate.20101203.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain chocolate raspberry truffle dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 113.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 112.8 lbs.

Blueberry Muffins

blueberry_muffins1.jpg
This is a half-recipe of blueberry muffins because I didn't have enough blueberries to make a full recipe. I realized that I needed to use my blueberries soon before they expired. And I ran out of cake flour, which makes lighter and puffier muffins. My butter was at refrigerator temperature. And I had been drinking. But the muffins didn't turn out so bad, regardless.

This recipe makes 6 muffins.

All amounts are by weight - not by volume.

3.0 oz. butter at room temperature
3.0 oz. granulated sugar
0.01 oz. salt

3.0 oz. eggs (about 2 large eggs)
3.0 oz. milk

6.0 oz. cake flour (can substitute all-purpose flour)
0.3 oz. baking powder

4.0 oz. fresh blueberries by weight (a little less than 1/2 US dry pint by volume)


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cream the butter, sugar, and salt in the electric mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth. Using room temperature butter not only makes the mixing easier, but it also make the muffins rise taller.

Added the eggs and mix.

Add the flour and milk and mix. For a half dozen muffins you can add everything at once, but for larger batches you should probably alternate adding some flour and some milk, mix and repeat.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

I used the paper liners in the muffin pan. Giving the liners a light spritz of oil makes removing the paper easier. There should be enough batter to completely fill the liners level with the top, or slightly higher.

I cooked the muffins for 20 minutes at 375°F. My muffin pan is a cheap Teflon coated muffin pan, however. The original recipe called for a 400°F oven.

Tip: A tablespoon works really well for popping the muffins out of the tin. What does not work as well: Flipping the tin over, which sometimes damages the muffins and one has rolled off onto the floor. Or tongs, which tend to swish the muffins.

This recipe was originally in my favorite cookbook The Professional Chef, 7th Edition, from the Culinary Institute of America, p. 920.

Update 1/7/2012: I changed the amount of flour from 5.2 to 5.5 oz., which makes a bit more batter so the muffins are taller.

Updated 5/22/2012: Reordered the ingredients and some steps to avoid confusion.

ate.2012.05.22.c1.jpg
Update 11/14/2013
: I increased the flour to 6.0 oz. and baking powder to 0.3 oz. to make a little more batter.

ate.2013.11.14.c1.jpg

Update 1/28/2014: My microwave was broken, so I took the muffin out of the freezer the night before, wrapped it in plastic, and set it out on the counter to defrost. I reheated the muffin and the pre-cooked frozen bacon on a sheet pan at 350°F for 8 minutes. It was really good, but requires a lot more time and effort than microwaving for 35 seconds!

ate.2014.01.28.b.jpg

Calories

Interesting: Weight Watchers revamped their entire point system. Before, it was almost entirely based on calories, which rated an apple (2 points) the same as a 100-calorie snack pack of Oreos (also 2 points).

Of course we now know that the body does not metabolize all calories equally, and the new system reflect that. About time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/04/nyregion/04watchers.html


What I ate: December 2, 2010

Breakfast: Homemade bagel with 0.7 oz. cream cheese, tomato, red onion and 2.0 oz. lox.

ate.20101202.b.jpgLunch: Twice cooked pork (3.0 oz.) with scallions and rice.

ate.20101202.l.jpgSnack: 0.5 oz. peanuts and a banana

Dinner: Meatloaf, gravy, rice and broccoli. And 1 1/2 glasses of Sebastiani zinfandel.

ate.20101202.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain chocolate raspberry truffle dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 112.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 113.0 lbs.

Apparently today was the last of the "easy" weight loss from Thanksgiving, dropping 2.8 lbs. since Monday morning.


What I ate: December 1, 2010

Breakfast: Chorizo, green pepper, jalapeño, onion and egg breakfast burrito.

ate.20101201.b.jpg
Lunch: Spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette, maple candied walnuts and goat cheese. There's about 0.5 oz. cheese on the salad. And a whole wheat and oat roll with butter.

ate.20101201.l.jpgSnack: 0.5 oz. peanuts and a banana, both organic.

Dinner: Mussels fra diavolo. 1.5 oz. fine linguini, 1 dozen PEI mussels (about 1/2 lb.), 1 slice of Red Hen Bakery ciabatta bread and 2 glasses of Per Linda trebbiano d'Abruzzi.

ate.20101201.d.jpgDessert: 1 square of Lake Champlain dark chocolate raspberry truffle and 1 glass of Sebastiani zinfandel.

Weight at beginning of the day: 113.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 112.8 lbs.

Okay, that wasn't so bad. That brings me back to my weight of November 21. Just a little farther to go!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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