August 2013 Archives

What I ate: August 31, 2013

Breakfast: Pancakes and bacon. Both previously cooked and frozen; a quick reheat in the oven, 8 minutes at 350°F on a sheet pan.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Grilled chicken Caesar salad at the lake. Mom provided the lettuce and roasted chicken, and I brought the rest of the ingredients from home. It was good!

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Tostitos tortilla chips and Green Mountain Gringo spicy salsa.


Dinner: Tingua poblana - pork with smoky tomato sauce and potatoes. And a medium flour tortilla.

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And 2 glasses of Alta Vista malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 124.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.


What I ate: August 30, 2013

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg. Reheat of the filling I cooked on Wednesday in a freshly heated tortilla.

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Packaged Mom's roast beef:
2x sliced for dinner (5.0 oz.)
2x sliced for sandwich (3.2 oz.)
3x diced for stir-fry (3.2 oz.)
2x gravy (8.0 oz.)

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Mom's hot dog with Dijon mustard and my homemade pickled jalapeños. With a side of melon, at the lake.

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Snack: 0.7 oz. peanuts.


Dinner: Mom's roasted chicken, rice, gravy and broccoli at the lake. With 2 glasses of Alta Vista malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.4 lbs.

What I ate: August 29, 2013

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese English muffin. With homemade sausage, an organic egg and Cabot cheddar cheese on a Barowski's whole wheat English muffin.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Mom's left over salmon, fried fish and rice at the lake.

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Dinner: Mom's roast beef, rice, gravy and asparagus at the lake. And 2 glasses of Rex Goliath free range red.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.

What I ate: August 28, 2013

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


CSA Week #12!


Lunch: Thai style pork with peppers and onions. My nephew cut the vegetables for it, and liked eating it, too.

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Snack: 4 Wheat Thins garden veggie toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese.

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Dinner: Mount Fuji Japanese Restaurant in Oneonta, NY, with Mom and my nephew. Miso soup, salad and sushi regular platter. And a glass of Kendall Jackson chardonnay.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.6 lbs.


CSA Week #12 (2013)

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This week:

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I selected:

lettuce
edamame
cabbage
garlic
potatoes
cucumber
zucchini and yellow summer squash
onions
eggplant
tomatoes
hot pepper


All prepped. The onions and garlic sit out for a week to dry out. The potatoes and tomatoes go into the 55°F cooler, in paper bags. The lettuce is separated, washed, spun dry, bagged and refrigerated. Everything else is bagged in zip-lock bags and refrigerated.

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Last week: CSA Week #11
Next week: CSA Week #13

What I ate: August 27, 2013

Breakfast: Homemade Blueberry muffin and bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Mom's fried rice at the lake.

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Dinner: Mom's salmon, rice and salad at the lake. And 2 glasses of Rex Goliath free range red.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.6 lbs.

What I ate: August 26, 2013

Breakfast: Egg, toast and bacon. With one organic egg, half a slice of Barowski's wheat bread with butter and 3 slices of bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Mom's fried fish at the lake.

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Dinner: Mom's spare ribs at the lake. And 2 glasses of Cupcake malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.0 lbs.

What I ate: August 25, 2013

Breakfast: Bagel, lox and cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel with tomato and red onion. And a mimosa.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And a spicy Blood Mary.

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Post-breakfast: A half slice of Barowski's wheat bread toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Lunch: Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich (BLT). With 3 slices of bacon on one slice of Barowski's organic wheat bread, cut in half. And Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with bacon and horseradish sour cream dip. And a Saranac pale ale.

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And an extra snack due to a late dinner tonight. 4 Late July organic crackers with Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese. And a half glass of Ponga New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Mom's fried rice at the lake.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.2 lbs.

What I ate: August 24, 2013

Breakfast: Corned beef hash, egg and toast.

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For some reason, corned beef hash is one thing I don't make from scratch. A can is 3 servings, and I vacuum sealed and froze the two remaining fully cooked servings.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And a spicy Blood Mary. And, later, 0.7 oz. peanuts.


Lunch: Grilled veggies, meat and bread (new recipe). There are only four little cubes of beef, but it's a nice addition to the zucchini, red onion, green pepper and tomato. And grilled homemade ciabatta bread.

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Snack: Cantaloupe, Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese and Salame Toscano. And a half glass of Ponga New Zealand sauvignon blanc. This was delicious!

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Dinner: Fried clams and French fries.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.


Grilled veggies, meat and bread

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This is a variation on my grilled veggies and bread, with a few cubes of beef added. The beef is spiedie marinated beef, which is an oil, lemon, vinegar and herb marinade, sort of vaguely like Italian dressing. I previously marinated and froze the beef.

Serves 1 for lunch, multiply as necessary.

3 rounds of zucchini, 1/2" thick, cut into half rounds (6 half rounds)
4 grape tomatoes
4 pieces of red onion, approximately 1/2" square
6 pieces of green pepper, approximately 1/2" square
4 pieces of spiedie marinated beef approximately 1/2" x 3/4"

salt
freshly ground black pepper
garlic powder
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

homemade ciabatta bread

Assemble the vegetables on the skewers. Season both sides with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The plastic is there because the meat is raw. Also, it keeps the oil and balsamic vinegar from getting on the bread.

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Grilled for 5 minutes, 2:30 per side.

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What I ate: August 23, 2013

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg. Reheat of the filling I cooked on Wednesday in a freshly heated tortilla.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, 0.7 oz. peanuts.


Lunch: Veggie sausage and green pepper stir-fry with rice.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with bacon and horseradish sour cream dip. And a Saranac pale ale.


Dinner: Grilled chicken quesadilla with tortilla chips and homemade salsa fresca.

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And 2 glasses of Chimango malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.4 lbs.


What I ate: August 22, 2013

Walk/run intervals: Ease Into 5K Week 3 Day 3 at 3.2/6.2 MPH on the treadmill. 2.33 miles in 30 minutes. Longest run interval: 3:00. Exercising first thing in the morning is supposed to be good, and it eliminates the need to take a second shower, but all things considered I'd rather exercise in the afternoon. I survived, however.


Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese English muffin. With a Barowski's whole wheat English muffin, 3 slices of bacon, an organic egg and Cabot cheddar cheese.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Homemade clam chowder (made a few days ago and refrigerated) with homemade ciabatta bread (previously frozen).

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A Saranac pale ale after mowing and weed-whacking.


Dinner: Grilled rib-eye steak, grilled veggies (zucchini, green pepper, red onion and tomato) and wild rice mix (new recipe). This was really delicious!

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And 2 glasses of Cholila Ranch malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.4 lbs.


Rice mix #2

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I got this rice blend (white, brown, wild and red) for a little change from my regular white sushi rice.

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The first time I made it according to the package directions, and it was good, but I added some things that I normally do for risotto and this is much better!


Serves 1, multiply as necessary.

a small pat of butter
1 tbsp. shallot, minced (can substitute onion)
1/3 cup rice mix
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. More Than Gourmet roasted chicken stock concetrate.
salt

Here are my shallots.

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The rest of the mise en place.

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Shallots, sweating in the butter. Be careful not to burn them!

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Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the stock concentrate. You could also use 1/2 cup of chicken stock or broth instead of the concentrate and water, of course.

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Stir. Cover. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes.

Here it is, served with steak and grilled veggies. Delicious!

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What I ate: August 21, 2013

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Walked to the Village Variety, 1.6 miles total.


Lunch: Beef with snow peas stir-fry and rice.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. pretzels and a Saranac pale ale.

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CSA Week #11!


Dinner: Pasta with meat sauce and zucchini. This is so good! It's 4 oz. (before cooking) ground beef, cooked with onion and garlic, 6.0 oz. homemade pasta sauce and 1/2 of a zucchini. With 2.0 oz. Barilla penne pasta.

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And 2 glasses of Cholila Ranch malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.


CSA Week #11 (2013)

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This week:

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I selected:

lettuce
tat soi
green beans
tomatoes
leeks
onions
cucumber
zucchini and yellow summer squash
melons
green pepper
hot peppers


All prepped. I separated washed and spun dry the tat soi and lettuce. I used the lettuce from last week and some of this week's to vacuum seal two salads. I tipped, tailed and blanched the green beans. The tomatoes go into the 55°F cooler. The onions sit out for a week to dry before going into the 55°F cooler. Everything else is bagged and refrigerated.

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Last week: CSA Week #10
Next week: CSA Week #12

What I ate: August 20, 2013

Breakfast: Homemade Blueberry muffin and bacon, both previously frozen.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later 0.7 oz. peanuts.


Walk/run intervals: Ease Into 5K Week 3 Day 2 at 3.2/6.2 MPH on the treadmill. 2.33 miles in 30 minutes. Longest run interval: 3:00.


Lunch: Grilled Hebrew National hot dog with Cabot cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeños, Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips and a Saranac pale ale.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with bacon and horseradish sour cream dip.


Dinner: Chicken paprika with rice and broccoli. And a glass of Pongo New Zealand sauvignon blanc. It works better than the malbec with this dish.

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And 2 glasses of Middle Sister malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 125.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.2 lbs.

What I ate: August 19, 2013

Breakfast: Egg, toast and bacon. With one organic egg, half a slice of Barowski's wheat bread with butter and 3 slices of bacon.

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Cooked and froze 2 pounds of bacon. I still have bacon frozen from last week, but it's supposed to be hot later this week, so I thought I'd get the baking out of the way. It takes 26 minutes at 400°F.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Walked to the grocery store, a little over a mile.


Post-breakfast: A half slice of Barowski's wheat bread toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter. The picture didn't come out, but it looked like this.

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Lunch: Homemade clam chowder (new recipe) and a salad. Salad with cucumber, carrot, green pepper, celery, red onion and tomato with Annie's Tuscan Italian salad dressing.

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Snack: 4 Wheat Thins garden veggie toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese.

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Dinner: Cheesesteak sandwich. With 3.0 oz. homemade roast beef, Swiss cheese, onions and green peppers. And Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips.

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And 2 glasses of Middle Sister malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 126.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.6 lbs.


Clam chowder #2

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This is a new recipe for New England clam chower, based more on my recipe for corn chowder, which I like a lot. I previously made clam chowder with raw clams, too. I wasn't positive this would work out, so I made a small tester recipe for now.

Serves 2, multiply as necessary.

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 slice cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
1/8 c. flour
12 oz. water
1 tbsp. More Than Gourmet roasted chicken stock concentrate
small potato, peeled and diced
1 small can of clams (6.5 oz.)
4 oz. heavy cream
salt
freshly ground white pepper
Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)

Here are the veggies prepped and mostly ready to go. (Not pictured: the minced garlic.)

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Add the butter and oil to a soup pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes.

Add the celery, carrot, garlic and bacon and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the 1/8 c. flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring periodically.

This was a spur of the moment thing so I walked to my very small local grocery store, which does not carry live clams, or even more than one canned variety. This will have to do.

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Incidentally, while minced clams work, they're kind of weird because they really are minced - miniscule clam bits. Probably chopped clams, or whole clams, chopped, would work much better!

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Update 10/27/2013: This time I made it with chopped, not minced, clams. Much better!

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Drain the clams into a measuring cup. Add enough water to make 12 oz. of liquid.

Add the liquid and the 1 tbsp. More Than Gourmet roasted chicken stock concentrate to the pot. Or substitute vegetable broth, seafood broth, clam juice, or just plain water.

Add the potatoes and bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very slow boil. Cook the potatoes for 10 minutes.

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Add the clams and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the 4 oz. of cream and cook for 2 minutes.

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Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Optionally add a few dashes of hot sauce.

This was delicious!

There are few options, not as many as corn chowder, though.

Pescetarian: Omit the bacon and use vegetable broth.

Gluten-free: Substitute another thickener for the flour.



What I ate: August 18, 2013

Breakfast: Bagel, lox and cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel with tomato and red onion. And a mimosa.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And a spicy Blood Mary.


Snack: Cantaloupe and blueberries. And, later, 0.7 oz. peanuts.

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Lunch: Beef with scallion and broccoli stir-fry and rice.

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Walk/run intervals: Ease Into 5K Week 3 Day 1 at 3.2/6.2 MPH on the treadmill. 2.33 miles in 30 minutes. Longest run interval: 3:00.


Snack: Apple and Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese. And a half glass of Casal Garcia vinho verde.

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Dinner: Iron Chef Chinese Buffet in Oneonta, NY, with Mom and Dad.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 126.0 lbs.

What I ate: August 17, 2013

Breakfast: Pancakes and bacon. Both previously cooked and frozen; a quick reheat in the oven, 8 minutes at 350°F on a sheet pan.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, 0.7 oz. peanuts. And a spicy Blood Mary.


Lunch: Fried chicken sandwich with wasabi mayo and lettuce on a Barowski's whole wheat hamburger bun with Cascadian organic shoestring French fries. And a Saranac pale ale.

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Snack: 0.7 oz. pretzels and a Saranac pale ale.

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Dinner: Japanese-style beef curry with rice. Previously frozen, reheated boil-in-bag, 20 minutes.

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And 2 glasses of Sledgehammer El Gaucho malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 124.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.0 lbs.


What I ate: August 16, 2013

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg. Reheat of the filling I cooked on Wednesday in a freshly heated tortilla.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Snack: Cantaloupe and blueberries.

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Grilled, vacuum sealed and froze rib-eye steaks. Actually, it was one $ 15.65 steak, but I cut it into three dinner servings.

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Lunch: Grilled veggies and bread. With zucchini, red onion, green pepper and grape tomatoes. And grilled homemade ciabatta bread. And a half glass of Casal Garcia vinho verde.

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Prepped salad veggies: cucumber, carrot, green pepper, celery and red onion. Vacuum sealed in jars.

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Snack: 0.7 oz. peanuts. And, later, 4 Late July organic crackers with Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese.

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Dinner: Homemade sausage and green pepper pizza (previously frozen).

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And 2 glasses of Sledgehammer El Gaucho malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.8 lbs.

What I ate: August 15, 2013

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese English muffin. With homemade sausage, an organic egg and Cabot cheddar cheese on a Barowski's whole wheat English muffin.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Ham and Swiss cheese sandwich. With Virginia baked ham, Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard on one slice of Barowski's whole wheat bread, cut in half. With Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips.

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Snack: 4 Late July organic crackers with Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese. And a half glass of Casal Garcia vinho verde.


Walked from Sidney Tire to downtown Sidney, about 2.2 miles, total.


Dinner: A French Dip sandwich, French fries and a Switchback beer at the Angus and Ale.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.2 lbs.

What I ate: August 14, 2013

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Made a new batch of sriracha chex mix.

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Lunch: Chana Masala and rice.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with bacon and horseradish sour cream dip.


CSA Week #10!


Dinner: Penne pasta with chicken, zucchini and garlic scape pesto. With homemade ciabatta bread. And a glass of Casal Garcia vinho verde.

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And, later, 2 glasses of Altos Las Hormigas malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 125.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.4 lbs.


CSA Week #10 (2013)

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This week:

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I selected:

lettuce
melons
carrots
radicchio
cucumber
tomatoes
onions
zucchini and yellow summer squash


All packaged! I washed and bagged the lettuce. The vacuum sealed jar of prepared salad lettuce is the remainder of last week's lettuce. I cut up one of the cantaloupe melons. Tomatoes go into the 55°F chiller. Onions sit out for a week, then go into the chiller. Everything else is bagged and refrigerated.

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Last week: CSA Week #9
Next week: CSA Week #11


What I ate: August 13, 2013

Breakfast: Homemade Blueberry muffin and bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later 0.7 oz. peanuts.


Post-breakfast: A half slice of Barowski's wheat bread toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Lunch: Grilled Hebrew National hot dog with Cabot cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeños, Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips and a Saranac pale ale.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with bacon and horseradish sour cream dip.


Dinner: Rigatoni with tomato, broccoli, and prosciutto in spicy vodka cream sauce

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And 2 glasses of Altos Las Hormigas malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.2 lbs.

What I ate: August 12, 2013

Breakfast: Egg, toast and bacon. With one organic egg, half a slice of Barowski's wheat bread with butter and 3 slices of bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, a Chobani key lime Greek yogurt.

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Walked to the post office, a little more than a mile.


Lunch: Corn chowder and a salad with cucumber, carrot, celery, mushroom, red onion and grape tomatoes. With Annie's goddess dressing and Olivia's garlic and herb croutons. I forgot to add the potato to my chowder when I made it yesterday, so I boiled a little potato to add to it today.

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Snack: Apple and Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese. And a half glass of 90+ Cellars New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Fried clams and French fries and a Saranac pale ale.

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And 2 glasses of Kaiken malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.0 lbs.

What I ate: August 11, 2013

Breakfast: Bagel, lox and cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel with tomato and red onion. And a mimosa.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And a spicy Blood Mary.


Baked a half dozen blueberry muffins. I put one in the 55°F cooler for breakfast on Tuesday and the rest in the freezer.

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Lunch: Corn chowder (new batch) and a slice of homemade rosemary bread with butter. In a small oversight I forgot to put potato in my chowder, but it was still excellent. I refrigerated the other serving of soup for lunch later this week. Maybe I'll cook half a potato and add it when I eat that serving.

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Snack: A Saranac pale ale. And some senbei (Japanese rice crackers).


Dinner: Iron Chef Chinese Buffet in Oneonta, NY, with Mom and Dad.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.

What I ate: August 10, 2013

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg. Reheat of the filling I cooked on Tuesday in a freshly heated tortilla.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Veggie sausage and green pepper stir-fry with rice.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. pretzels and a Saranac pale ale.

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Made a tester recipe of fresh corn and jalapeño muffins (new recipe). They were pretty good - I had one as a snack.

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Dinner: A speedie (new recipe) and corn on the cob. I only had 2 of the ears of the corn - they were big!

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And 2 glasses of Kaiken malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.0 lbs.


Spiedies

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This is a regional dish specific to the Southern Tier of New York, think Binghamton, near where I live. Curiously, I've never actually had one! What I ended up making is delicious - I like the combination of the marinade and the grilling.

Based on my vague recollection of what they should look like and the helpful Wikipedia page, here we go.

I was a little unsure of what meat to use, so I selected Angus chuck stewing meat. My hope is that the long marinating process will tenderize it. 

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I cut some of the larger pieces to make them a little more uniform and around 1/2 to 3/4" cubes. I also seasoned it with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.

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It gets marinated in a sauce of oil, vinegar, lemon juice and Italian spices. I used a prepared version from Brooks' House of Bar-B-Que. Lupo's is apparently good, too.

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Though you can easily marinate in a container or a zip-lock bag, I vacuum marinated mine. It really draws he marinade into the meat, requires much less marinade, and basically never leaks. You're supposed to marinate for at least 2 days, though under vacuum I marinated for slightly less than that.

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They're apparently served on a soft white sub roll. These are the ones I used. The idea is that you stick the skewer in the bun and use the bun to pull the meat off. (And these were in the freezer - they are not way past their expiration date!)

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This sort of implies that you should only put as much meat on the skewer as will fit in your roll if you're using small one-serving skewers as I am.

I tried to put the meat on in a way to make it thin and wide. Thin, so it cooks more easily, and wide, so it covers more of the bun. I ended up with enough meat for 6 skewers, but I only have 4 metal skewers, and that's all that will fit on my grill, anyway.

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I vacuum sealed and froze the last two skewers worth, raw.

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Here they are on my very small infrared propane grill. 3 minutes, flip, and 3 minutes more. Incidentally, it's a good idea to leave a little of the pointy end of the skewer sticking out like that. If you pick up that end first, you can loosen the meat from the grill more easily when it comes time to flip it.

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All cooked! Looks good!

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I'm pretty sure this is how it's supposed to look, without the top bread, but I think I would personally prefer more meat and less bread.

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I wonder if there should be some condiments on the bread. Maybe some mayo? The Wikipedia page didn't help me with that. Here it is with the top bun.

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I vacuum sealed and froze the 3 remaining cooked servings, too.

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These were tasty and quite inexpensive!

I also used the marinated meat to make a version with vegetables and homemade ciabatta bread: grilled veggies, meat and bread. Not at all authentic, but I like this version better:

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Jalapeño and fresh corn muffins #1 (experiment)

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I had extra sweet corn, so I thought I'd try making a fresh corn muffin. These turned out good, but not great. Also a little difficult to eat because they're not very structurally stable.

I used parts of this recipe, my blueberry muffin recipe and my jalapeño skillet cornbread recipes as inspiration.

Make 5 muffins. I know, that's a weird quantity. I thought it might make 6, but the quantity came up a little short.

2 oz. butter at room temperature (half stick)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1/2 tbsp. baking powder
4 oz. buttermilk (1/2 cup)
1 egg, beaten (if doubling, you can probably still use 1 egg)

1/2 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (1 ear)
1 jalapeño, minced


Cream together the butter, sugar and salt. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer, but it's easy enough to do by hand.

Add the second group of ingredients and mix.

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Cut the corn kernels off a cob of raw fresh sweet corn.

Mince a jalapeño pepper. I like things spicy, so I just stemmed it and minced the ribs and seeds as well. The end result didn't seem particularly hot to me, however.

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Fold the corn and jalapeño into the batter.

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Portion out into a muffin pan. I used paper muffin liners lightly oiled with spray oil, as well.

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Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the muffin pan (I find a tablespoon works best) and cool on a wire rack.

I split one of the muffins horizontally so I could butter it for a snack, and you can see the structural problem. It's probably safer to leave it whole and butter the top.

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It was tasty, however.

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I froze the last 4 for later.

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What I ate: August 9, 2013

Breakfast: Pancakes and bacon. Both previously cooked and frozen; a quick reheat in the oven, 8 minutes at 350°F on a sheet pan.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Cooked and froze 2 pounds of bacon.

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Started marinating beef for spiedies (new recipe).

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Lunch: Grilled veggies and bread. With zucchini, red onion, green pepper and grape tomatoes. And homemade ciabatta bread. And a half glass of 90+ Cellars New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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Baked a loaf of rosemary bread (new recipe). It was delicious! I had one slice with butter for a snack. And then another slice with olive oil. It's really good!

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Dinner: Mom's barbecued pork, previously frozen and reheated in the sous vide. With rice. I had a lot of vegetables at lunch. And 2 glasses of Trapiche malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.

Rosemary bread #1

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I came across this recipe for rosemary bread on Pinterest and it looked good! I made a few modifications and here's what I came up with.

7.5 oz. unbleached white whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups + a little more)
2.5 oz. unbleached bread flour (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp. instant yeast ("bread machine yeast")
0.2 oz. salt (1 tsp. Diamond Crystal salt)
1 tsp. honey (I might try 1 tbsp. next time)
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (I will use 2 tbsp. next time)
1/4 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
2 tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. warm water

The white whole wheat flour is from King Arthur and it's really whole wheat, but it's made from hard white spring wheat and is lighter in color and flavor.

This is 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary. The original recipe called for 2 tbsp. but it seemed like a lot, but after making it, 2 tbsp. seems like it would be about right after all. I'll try 2 tbsp. next time.

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Combine all of the ingredients in the mixer bowl and combine. Knead for 8 minutes with the dough hook.

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The dough shouldn't be sticky. Form into a ball.

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Lightly oil a bowl, put the ball of dough in the bowl, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 2 hours until approximately doubled in size.

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Lightly oil a sheet pan with spray oil and sprinkle semolina flour or cornmeal on it.

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Form the dough back into a ball and place in the center of the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. Looks good!

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Put the sheet pan into a preheated oven, bake 20 minutes at 400°F. Rotate 180° after 10 minutes for more even baking. It's done after it sounds sort of hollow and is lightly browned on the bottom. Or you can stick an instant-read thermometer deep into the loaf and make sure it's near 190°F.

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Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour before cutting.

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Sliced. It's surprisingly light for mostly whole wheat.

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Warmed and served with butter. Delicious!

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Also good with olive oil, with a little salt and freshly ground pepper in the olive oil.

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What I ate: August 8, 2013

Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese English muffin. With a Barowski's whole wheat English muffin, 3 slices of bacon, an organic egg and Cabot cheddar cheese.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Pork with broccoli, scallions and noodles.

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Made some homemade chicken fingers (new post) to take to a friend's house for dinner.

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Snack: 0.7 oz. peanuts. And, later a Fuji apple and Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese.

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Dinner: There was lots of food, beer, wine and conversation involved. I didn't take pictures.


Weight at beginning of the day: 123.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.


Chicken fingers (party-sized)

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I make fried chicken fingers periodically, but that's a very small serving for one. This is a larger batch, family-sized or as a party snack.

Normally I use a quart of oil in a pot on my induction hot plate, but this is a job for the big deep fryer!

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It holds a gallon of oil. Many cooks swear by peanut oil, but I usually use this inexpensive vegetable oil.

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The fryer requires a special 20 amp 240 volt outlet, and can bring a gallon of oil up to frying temperature in 8 minutes. It's pretty awesome.


This is about 1.5 pounds of chicken breast tenders. They're less expensive than breast and conveniently sized for chicken fingers.

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Here they are cut up and seasoned with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and a little cayenne pepper. While I make it for myself I use more cayenne.

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This is a good size when serving on plates, but I cut them into even smaller one-bite pieces if it's a grab-and-eat sort of situation, mainly to discourage people from double-dipping in the shared sauce.

Breading station: All-purpose flour, egg (thinned with a little water or milk) and seasoned bread crumbs. Those are 4C brand, but any brand is fine, or even better yet, homemade. That's one egg pictured, but I ended up having to add another.

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Dredge the pieces in flour, egg, then crumbs. Here they are all done.

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Ready to fry, 2:30 at 360°F. I can easily fit half in the fryer at once without over-crowding.

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Vigorously frying.

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All done!

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With the big deep fryer I filter and reuse the oil a few times. There's a stainless steel hotel pan that I use to store the oil, sitting in my sink, with a wire filter holder and a paper filter on it. Great care is required, because you can cause some very serious burns with a gallon of oil at 360°F! Those paper filters are designed to filter hot oil and don't really work right once the oil is cold.

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Here are my sauces, honey mustard and barbecue. While I often make my own barbecue sauce, this is just Stubbs sauce from a jar.

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The honey mustard is Alton Brown's recipe:

5 tbsp. honey (this might be too much)
3 tbsp. mustard
2 tbsp. rice vinegar

It didn't really occur to me at the time, but I have two kinds of honey, one that's liquid and one that's solid at room temperature. The solid would probably work better and make a thicker sauce, though refrigerating the liquid honey sauce helps.

I like to use Maille hot Dijon mustard. It gives the sauce a nice slightly spicy kick.

ate.2013.08.08.c11.jpgIt's really hard to mix, so a stick blender works wonders to getting it combined and not lumpy. That's why it's so bubbly in the picture.

I cooked the chicken ahead of time, cooled it on the wire rack above, then put them into a container and refrigerated.

These insulated carriers are great to take food to pot lucks, parties, etc.! They come with hot/cold packs that you can freeze ahead of time, or heat in the microwave just before using.

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There is a selection of nice covered dishes that fit inside. The big one fits in the bottom compartment and the little ones fit in the top compartment. They're insulated separately so you can make one level hot and one level cold, too.

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I transferred the chicken in the 9x13 Pyrex dish and heated it in the oven, 20 minutes at 225°F, covered with aluminum foil.

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That's it! Tasty and always a hit.

What I ate: August 7, 2013

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg. I made the filling yesterday so all I had to do is reheat the filling (40 seconds in the microwave) and a tortilla (40 seconds in the microwave in a damp towel) and combine the two for a quick and delicious breakfast!

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Ham and Swiss cheese sandwich. With Virginia baked ham, Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard on one slice of Barowski's whole wheat bread, cut in half. With Kettle Chipshot jalapeño potato chips.

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CSA Week #9!


Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with bacon and horseradish sour cream dip.


Prepped salad veggies. Only two salads this week, with cucumber, carrot, celery, mushroom and red onion. The cucumber and carrot are from the CSA, week #7 and week #8.

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Dinner: Salad with cucumber, carrot, celery, mushroom, red onion and grape tomatoes. With Annie's Tuscan Italian dressing and Olivia's garlic and herb croutons.

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And Mom's filet mignon steak, previously frozen and reheated sous vide, 45 minutes at 132°F.

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And 2 glasses of Trapiche malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 123.6 lbs.


CSA Week #9 (2013)

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This week:

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I selected:

lettuce
arugula
onions
yellow squash and zucchini
carrots
green pepper
tomatoes
Swiss chard
shallot

All prepped. The tomatoes go into the 55°F cooler. The onions and shallot will, as well, after they dry out for a week. I stemmed, washed and bagged the chard. I also separated the leaves and washed and bagged the lettuce. Everything else was bagged and refrigerated.

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I used the green pepper to make Veggie sausage and green pepper stir-fry.

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And lettuce to make salads.

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Tomato in Bagel, lox and cream cheese.

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And Rigatoni with tomato, broccoli, and prosciutto in spicy vodka cream sauce.

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Last week: CSA Week #8
Next week: CSA Week #10


What I ate: August 6, 2013

Breakfast: Homemade Blueberry muffin and bacon, both previously frozen.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, 0.7 oz. peanuts.


Post-breakfast: A half slice of Barowski's wheat bread toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter. I did have my first breakfast at 4:30 AM, however!

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Lunch: Roasted chicken and cabbage stir-fry with rice.

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Snack: Wheat Thins garden veggie toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese and a half glass of 90+ Cellars New Zealand sauvigon blanc.

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I cooked the Chorizo breakfast burrito filling with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg today so I didn't have to cook it tomorrow morning.

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Dinner: Japanese-style beef curry with rice. Previously frozen, reheated boil-in-bag, 20 minutes.

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And 2 glasses of Trivento Amado Sur malbec blend.


Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.

What I ate: August 5, 2013

Breakfast: Egg, toast and bacon. With one organic egg, half a slice of Barowski's wheat bread with butter and 3 slices of bacon.

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Lunch: Grilled Hebrew National hot dog with Cabot cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeños, Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips and a Saranac pale ale.

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Walked to the post office, a little more than a mile.


Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with bacon and horseradish sour cream dip.


Dinner: Meatloaf, rice and gravy. And spicy yellow beans.

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And 2 glasses of Trivento Amado Sur malbec blend.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 125.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.



What I ate: August 4, 2013

Breakfast: Bagel, lox and cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel with tomato and red onion. And a mimosa.

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Baked ciabatta bread (new, slightly updated recipe).

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And a spicy Blood Mary. And, later, 0.7 oz. peanuts.


Lunch: Corn chowder and a slice of homemade ciabatta bread with olive oil.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. pretzels and a Saranac pale ale.

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Dinner: Iron Chef Chinese Buffet with Mom and Dad.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 125.0 lbs.

Ciabatta bread #5

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I have a long history of failing to make this bread: #3, #2 and #1. I got a tip to try out this recipe from Food Wishes, with a helpful video. Well it looks really simple from the video, and it is! And it worked! This recipe is basically the same as #4 with a few minor tweaks.

3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (around 17.9 oz. by weight)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour  (around 2.4 oz. by weight)
1/2 tsp. instant ("bread machine") yeast
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt

That is a basic no-knead recipe, though I did mix it in the Kitchen Aid mixer because it's easier than doing it by hand. The dough is very sticky!

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The video says let it rise for 18 hours in a cool place, covered with foil. It's summer, and while I have air conditioning, I like it hot, so it's usually 80°F here. It's about 70°F in my basement, so that will have to do. Fortunately it worked great! I used plastic wrap, as well. And let it sit for closer to 20 hours the second time I made this recipe.

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Spray a sheet pan with oil and dust with semolina flour. I used cornmeal the first time and both work. You want to be fairly generous because the first time I made it the bread stuck to the pan a little.

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The dough is extremely sticky! I used the technique of dampening your cutting board and covering it with plastic wrap, which worked great. In addition to eliminating the need to scrape dough off the board, the plastic is used later on to make it easy to transfer the loaf to the pan.

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Give the plastic wrap a light spray of oil and dust with flour. Be generous, but don't leave a whole lot of excess flour, because you'll be flipping the loaf onto the pan, and excess flour just makes a mess.

Formed into a nice loaf shape and floured on top.

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Thanks to the plastic wrap, you can just pick up the whole loaf and flip it over onto the sheet pan. This works well for such a large, sticky loaf.

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Spray a little oil on a big piece of plastic wrap and loosely cover the loaf.

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Left rise for 2 hours. The video also mentions that the loaf will grow more horizontally than vertically, and he's not kidding!

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Into a preheated 425°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Rotate the pan 180° after 18 minutes.

Mine looked done at 35 minutes. Holy moley, that's a huge loaf of bread. This loaf was much taller than #4!

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Ready to freeze.

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I had some with corn chowder.

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This bread is delicious and I'm so glad I finally learned how to make it!


What I ate: August 3, 2013

Breakfast: Pancakes and bacon.

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I made a new batch of pancakes today; I froze and vacuum sealed the leftovers.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And a spicy Blood Mary.


Post-breakfast: A half slice of Barowski's wheat bread toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Started a batch of homemade ciabatta bread dough to bake tomorrow.


Lunch: Corn chowder (new recipe). This was delicious! I only made a two-serving tester recipe but I'll make this again. With cream and potatoes in it, freezing would not be ideal, so I refrigerated the other serving to eat this week.

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Snack: Bruschetta with toasted homemade ciabatta bread, olive oil, tomato, mozzarella, salt, and fresh basil. Delicious! And a half glass of Cupcake New Zealand savignon blanc.

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Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with zucchini, tomato and prosciutto (new recipe).

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And 2 glasses of Aguaribay malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 123.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.6 lbs.


Whole wheat pasta with zucchini, tomato and prosciutto #2

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This is a simple, quick and delicious meal! Pretty healthy, too. It's basically the same as recipe #1 except I omitted the onion and changed a few cooking steps.

Makes one serving, scale as desired.

2.0 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
olive oil
zucchini, finely diced (about 1/2 of a small zucchini)
1.5 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced, then cut into strips
garlic, 2 small cloves or one large, minced
red pepper flakes
homemade hot pepper vodka
tomato, diced
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Here is the mise en place:

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Start the pasta cooking; for my pasta it takes 10 minutes. When you put in the pasta, start heating up the sauté pan.

Add olive oil to the sauté pan. Add the prosciutto and cook for a minute. Add the garlic and zucchini to the pan. I like to keep the meat separate from the vegetables until the prosciutto crisps up a little.

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After the zucchini softens, add the tomato. Add a splash of hot pepper vodka and the red pepper flakes.

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When the pasta is done, drain and add to the sauté pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Plate and microplane a little Parmesano Reggiano over the top. Serve.


Corn chowder #1

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I had some leftover fresh corn from yesterday, so I decided to make a little corn chowder. This was just a tester sized recipe but it was delicious! I'll definitely make this again.

Serves 2, multiply as necessary.

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeño, minced (seeds and ribs included, optional, see note below)
1/2 slice cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
1/8 c. flour
12 oz. water
2 tbsp. More Than Gourmet roasted chicken stock concentrate
small potato, peeled and diced
2 ears of corn or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
4 oz. heavy cream
salt
freshly ground white pepper
Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce (optional)

Here are the veggies prepped and mostly ready to go. There are 3 ears of corn there, but I ended up only using 2.

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Add the butter and oil to a soup pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes.

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Add the celery, carrot, garlic and bacon and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the 1/8 c. flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring periodically. Here's what it looked like when done. (There's one slice of bacon in this picture, but the second time I made this I used half a slice, and that seemed like a more appropriate amount.)

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If using jalapeño, add it after cooking the roux but before adding the water.

Add 12 oz. of water and the 2 tbsp. More Than Gourmet roasted chicken stock concentrate. Or you could use 12 oz. of actual chicken stock. Or substitute vegetable stock. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil.

Add the potatoes and bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very slow boil. Cook the potatoes for 10 minutes.

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This is 3 ears of corn and clearly too much. I used 2/3 of it, the 2 ears in the recipe. Maybe a cup and a half? I probably should have measured it! Update: The second time I made it I used 1 cup of corn and it worked well. You can add more if you want. It also works great with 1 cup of frozen corn.

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Add the corn and cook for 5 minutes. If using frozen corn, increase the heat until it starts to boil again, then reduce back to a low boil.

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Add the 4 oz. of cream and cook for 2 minutes.

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Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Add a few dashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce, if desired.

This was delicious!

There are plenty of options, too.

Vegetarian: Omit the bacon and use vegetable broth.

Vegan: Vegetarian option, plus omit the butter and cream and it's not really so much chowder, but it would be a good corn soup. Double the olive oil if omitting the butter but still including the flour so there's enough fat for the roux to form properly.

Gluten-free: Substitute another thickener for the flour, or make it as a thinner soup.

I started with this recipe and this recipe, but the end result didn't really look like either.


Update December 20, 2014: I decided to make this spicier by adding a minced jalapeño, stemmed but seeds and ribs included, and it was excellent. I think I'll make it this way from now on!

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Update October 11, 2015:
It actually makes enough for 3 bowls of soup, especially if you serve it with something else, like a Caesar salad and roll.

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What I ate: August 2, 2013

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg. Reheat of the filling I cooked on Wednesday in a freshly heated tortilla.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Walked to the convenience store, a little over a mile.


Post-breakfast: A half slice of Barowski's wheat bread toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Lunch: Veggie sausage and green pepper stir-fry with rice.

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Snack: Apple and Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese. And a half glass of Cupcake New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Pork ribs and corn on the cob.

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And 2 glasses of Aguaribay malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 124.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 123.8 lbs.


What I ate: August 1, 2013

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese English muffin. With homemade sausage, an organic egg and Cabot cheddar cheese on a Barowski's whole wheat English muffin.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Chana masala and rice.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with bacon and horseradish sour cream dip.


Cooked and froze 2 pounds of bacon.

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Dinner: Thai-style pork with basil and rice. And a glass of Cupcake New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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And 2 glasses of Maipe malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 124.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 124.8 lbs.



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