December 2015 Archives

What I ate: December 31, 2015

Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese English muffin with 3 slices of bacon, one egg and Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese on  a Barowski's whole wheat English muffin.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, a half slice of Barowski's whole wheat toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter. And 0.8 oz. almonds.

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Lunch: Corn chowder, a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's Tuscany Italian dressing, and a homemade whole wheat and oat roll with butter. And a half glass of Fernlands New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil spray, salt and Asiago and pepper flavored popcorn seasoning. And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos.

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Dinner: Beef with scallion and broccoli stir-fry with rice. And 2 glasses of Chateau Maine d'Arman Côtes de Bourg 2010.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 128.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 129.6 lbs.

What I ate: December 30, 2015

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

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Prepped 3 salads with veggies and lettuce mix. With celery, carrot, green pepper, radish, pickled banana peppers and red onion. I'll add cucumber and tomato when I make the salads. Vacuum sealed in jars.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, a half slice of Barowski's whole wheat toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Lunch: Veggie chicken patty sandwich on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, dill pickles and mayonnaise. And a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Brooklyn Pilsner.

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Snack: 0.8 oz. almonds. And, later, 1.0 oz. potato chips and French onion dip.


Dinner: Steak, baked potato and broccoli.

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And 2 glasses of Chateau Maine d'Arman Côtes de Bourg 2010. This was good!

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Weight at beginning of the day: 129.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.8 lbs.

What I ate: December 29, 2015

Breakfast: Spicy western omelette. Filling cooked Monday and reheated, in 2 eggs, freshly cooked. With a homemade buttermilk biscuit (previously frozen).

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Spicy Indian veggie burger with cucumber yogurt sauce with a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing and a Brooklyn Brewery East IPA.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips and dip. And, later, 0.8 oz. almonds.


Dinner: Reheated, previously frozen turkey dinner from Thanksgiving.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 129.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 129.2 lbs.

What I ate: December 28, 2015

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

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Made the filling for an spicy western omelette for Tuesday. And the filling for chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg for breakfast Wednesday and Friday.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Spicy black bean veggie burger with a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing and a Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil, salt and dill pickle flavored popcorn seasoning.

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Dinner: Onions and spinach with kamaboko. And a half glass of Fernlands New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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And, later, 2 glasses of Bota Box malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 129.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 129.0 lbs

What I ate: December 27, 2015

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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Made a batch of Japanese-style beef curry. Cooking the beef chuck stewing meat in the sous vide (3 hours at 131°F) did the trick! It was super-tender and still moist. 5 servings vacuum sealed and frozen.

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Lunch: Spicy Indian veggie burger with cucumber yogurt sauce with a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing and a Saranac Adirondack Lager.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips and dip. And more potato chips from the bottom of the bag.


Dinner: Pork with bean sprouts and scallion stir-fry. And 2 glasses of Bota Box malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 128.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 129.4 lbs.

What I ate: December 26, 2015

Breakfast: Refried black bean, egg and cheese breakfast burrito. And a mimosa.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Cheese and jalapeño hot dog on a whole wheat bun and Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips. And a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing and a Saranac Legacy IPA.

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Last time I made Japanese-style beef curry the meat was a little tough. This was not surprising since I used beef chuck stewing beef, and it really doesn't cook for long enough when making curry. To solve this problem without overcooking everything else in the curry I thought I'd try cooking the diced beef in the sous vide, 3 hours at 131°F.

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Prepped 3 salads with veggies and lettuce mix. With celery, carrot, green pepper, radish, pickled banana peppers and red onion. I'll add cucumber and tomato when I make the salads. Vacuum sealed in jars.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil. salt and white cheddar seasoning. And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos.

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Dinner: Homemade pho. The beef stock and beef were previously frozen; I made the rest of the soup fresh today. And a half glass of Fernlands New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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And, later, 2 glasses of Château Saint-Sulpice Red Bordeaux 2012. And 0.5 oz. almonds.


Weight at beginning of the day: 128.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.8 lbs.

What I ate: December 21 - 25, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

Breakfast: Egg, toast and bacon. With one 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: Quarter pounder with cheese and medium French fries at McDonalds in Norwich, CT. I forgot to take a picture of it.


Dinner: "Fat Bastard Chicken Ciabatta" (All natural free-range chicken, porcini mushroom, Fat Bastard Cabernet, jalapeno tomato jam, smoked Gouda cheese) at Preston's at the Killington Grand Hotel, Vermont.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese English muffin. With homemade sausage, one egg and Cabot cheddar cheese on a Barowski's whole wheat English muffin. I made the egg and cheese on Sunday and microwaved it today. I also separately microwaved the sausage. And toasted the English muffin.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex mix.

Breakfast 2: Eggs, sausage, bacon and a piece of French toast. There's a free breakfast buffet at the hotel, but it doesn't start until 7:00 AM and I'm hungry by 4:30 AM!

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Lunch: Cheeseburger and French fries from the Killington K-1 base lodge cafeteria. It was surprisingly good for a ski area cafeteria burger!

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Dinner: Vegetarian lasagna and 2 glasses malbec at Preston's. This was really good!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015


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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex mix.


Lunch: Cheeseburger at K-1 Peak Lodge. I forgot to take a picture until I was partly done. This burger was better.

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Dinner: Cheese plate and beef carpaccio with arugula salad at Preston's. Great light meal!

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese English muffin with 3 slices of bacon, an organic egg and Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex mix.


Breakfast 2: Cranberry muffin.

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Lunch: Chicken tenders and French fries at the K-1 base lodge cafeteria.

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Dinner: Herb Roasted Lamb with truffle mashed potato, olive tapenade and tamarind lamb reduction at Prestons. This was really good as well! And 3 glasses of malbec.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg. Reheat of the filling I cooked Sunday in a freshly heated tortilla. The picture didn't come out.


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

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I had a late lunch so I just had some wine and cheese for dinner. Château Saint-Sulpice Red Bordeaux 2012 and black pepper and olive oil Triscuits with Grafton village smoked chili raw milk cheddar, Salame Toscano and Cabot hunter's sharp cheddar. And some cashews.

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Weight at beginning of the day 12/21: 128.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day 12/25: 128.8 lbs.

What I ate: December 20, 2015

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

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Made the filling for chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg for breakfast Wednesday and Friday.

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Made the egg and cheese for Sausage, egg and cheese English muffin and Bacon, egg and cheese English muffin for Tuesday and Thursday. Also finished cooking the bacon. It was previously mostly cooked and frozen, but it's best to finish it in a sauté pan to get all of the pieces evenly done.

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Prepared packages of salame Toscano and cheddar cheese for snacks next week.

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Packaged 2 vacuum sealed bags of spicy Blood Mary.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix and a spicy Blood Mary. And, later, 0.8 oz. cashews.

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Lunch: Spicy black bean veggie burger with a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a few Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips and a Saranac pale ale.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil spray, dill pickle seasoning and salt. And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos and a half glass of Bota Box malbec. And 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips and dip.

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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: 128.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.4 lbs.

What I ate: December 19, 2015

Breakfast: Refried black bean, egg and cheese breakfast burrito. And a mimosa.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix and a spicy Blood Mary. And, later, 0.8 oz. cashews. And 0.8 oz. more chex mix.


Lunch: Cheese and jalapeño hot dog on a whole wheat bun and Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips. And a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing and a Saranac Legacy IPA.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil spray, Sriracha seasoning and salt.

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Dinner: Chicken and cheese enchilada and a margarita.

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And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos and 2 glasses of Bota Box malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 128.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.0 lbs.

What I ate: December 18, 2015

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, a half slice of Barowski's whole wheat toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.


Lunch: Roasted garlic and quinoa veggie burger with lettuce, cheddar cheese, dill pickles, hot pickled banana peppers and sriracha. And a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Saranac Adirondack lager.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil spray, cracked pepper and Asiago seasoning and salt. And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos.

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Dinner: Japanese-style beef curry. And 2 glasses of Bota Box malbec.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil spray, white cheddar seasoning and salt.


Weight at beginning of the day: 128.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.2 lbs.

What I ate: December 17, 2015

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese English muffin. With homemade sausage, one 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: Blazin' Texan burger (with shredded barbecue brisket, jalapeños, white cheddar and grill sauce) at Applebee's in Oneonta, NY, with Dad.

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Dinner: 2 slices of Digiorno supreme frozen pizza, previously cooked, vacuum sealed and frozen. Defrosted in water, the reheated on a perforated sheet pan, 15 minutes at 400°F. And 2 glasses of Folonari Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 127.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.2 lbs.


What I ate: December 16, 2015

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, 1.0 oz. cashews.


Lunch: Veggie chicken patty sandwich on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, dill pickles and mayonnaise. And a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Saranac Legacy IPA.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil spray, dill pickle seasoning and salt.

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Dinner: Beef with bean sprouts and scallion stir-fry.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 127.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 127.0 lbs.

What I ate: December 15, 2015

Breakfast: Spicy western omelette. Filling cooked Sunday and reheated, in 2 eggs, freshly cooked. With a homemade buttermilk biscuit (baked yesterday).

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Prepped salads. Three salads with celery, carrot, radish, green pepper, red onion and pickled banana peppers. Vacuum sealed in jars with lettuce mix.

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Made a batch of homemade spicy pork breakfast sausage patties.

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Lunch: Spicy Indian veggie burger with cucumber yogurt sauce and a side salad with lettuce mix, spinach, cucumber, tomato and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Saranac Legacy IPA.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with olive oil and sea salt and vinegar seasoning. This was good!

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Dinner: Homemade pho. The beef stock and beef were previously frozen; I made the rest of the soup fresh today. And a half glass of Fernlands New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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And, later, 2 glasses of Bota Box malbec.

Weight at beginning of the day: 128.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 127.4 lbs.

What I ate: December 14, 2015

Boiled and baked homemade whole wheat bagels.

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Breakfast: Bagel with butter and a side of bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, a half slice of Barowski's whole wheat toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Made a batch of sriracha chex mix.

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Vacuum sealed and froze the remainder of the sliced deli turkey from yesterday's Turkey club sandwich. 3 packages of 3 slices each, and 1 package of 4 slices.

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Cooked and froze 2 pounds of bacon.

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Made a jar of homemade pickled jalapeños.

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Lunch: Spicy black bean veggie burger with a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing.

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Walked 2.42 miles in 41:47.


Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with butter and salt.

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Made a batch of buttermilk biscuits.

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And I had one as a snack, with butter.

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Dinner: Pork with scallion and broccoli stir-fry. And 2 glasses of Bota Box malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 128.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.2 lbs.

What I ate: December 13, 2015

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. And, later, 0.8 oz. cashews.

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Made the dough and formed homemade whole wheat bagels. I'll boil and bake them tomorrow.


Made the filling for an spicy western omelette for Tuesday. And the filling for chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg for breakfast Wednesday and Friday. 

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I transferred one of the servings of chorizo breakfast burrito filling to a vacuum sealed bag (light vacuum, 15 seconds, 0.08 KPa) as a test.

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Also prepared the egg and cheese for sausage, egg and cheese English muffin. Normally I make this fresh, but I thought I'd try making it ahead, vacuum sealed (light vacuum, 15 seconds, 0.08 KPa) to see how that works.

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Diced, vacuum sealed and froze the rest of the ham steak.

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Walked 2.42 miles in 40:24.


Lunch: Turkey club sandwich. With a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato and Annie's Tuscany Italian dressing and Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips. And a half glass of Fernlands New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with butter and salt. And 1.0 oz. Doritos. And 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with Heluva Good French Onion dip. And some Banrock Station shiraz. Too many snacks!

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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: 128.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.8 lbs.

What I ate: December 12, 2015

Breakfast: Refried black bean, egg and cheese breakfast burrito. And a mimosa.

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Divided and froze the remainder of the can of Amy's refried black beans.

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

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Lunch: Cheese and jalapeño hot dog on a whole wheat bun and Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips. And a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber and tomato with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing and a Saranac legacy IPA.

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Walked 2.42 miles in 41:40.


Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with butter and salt.

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Prepared poolish and soaker for homemade whole wheat bagels. I'll make the dough and form the bagels on Sunday and boil and bake them on Monday.

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Dinner: Pork with bean sprouts, broccoli and scallion stir-fry. And a 2 glasses of Banrock Station shiraz.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 127.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.0 lbs.

What I ate: December 11, 2015

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Made a batch of Mexican rice (new recipe). I vacuum sealed and froze it for future meals like enchiladas.

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Lunch: Spicy Indian veggie burger with cucumber yogurt sauce with a side salad with mixed spring greens, tomato, cucumber, carrot, celery, green pepper, radish, red onion and pickled banana peppers and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing.

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Walked 2.42 miles in 41:26.


Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with Heluva Good French onion dip. And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos.


Dinner: Beef with snow peas stir-fry. And 2 glasses of Bota Box malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 128.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 127.6 lbs.

Mexican rice

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I'm not sure how authentic this is, but it's tasty. I made it for side dishes when I have Mexican-ish food for dinner. In a restaurant if I get an enchilada it might come with rice and refried beans, but I never do it at home because it's too much work for one serving of a side.
 
I started with this recipe, which also indicates that it freezes well. That solves my problem: I can make it ahead and reheat one serving in the sous vide or boil-in-bag. Perfect!

I made a half recipe, which is 6 servings of 1/2 cup each.

6 oz. tomato (1 medium)
1/2 yellow onion
1 jalapeño (maybe 2 if they're small)
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tbsp. tomato paste

Here's the rice I used, Canilla extra long grain enriched rice from Goya.

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And the vegetables:

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And some more ingredients. For the chicken broth I used More Than Gourmet Glace de Polet Gold roasted chicken stock concentrate.

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I rinsed the rice until the water ran clear in a sieve. The rice package directions say not to rinse, but the recipe above was pretty adamant about rinsing, so I decided to rinse.

I also roughly chopped the vegetables.

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I put the onions and garlic in the food processor first, and gave it a little chop. Then the jalapeños. And finally, the tomatoes with just a few pulses. This made 1 cup.

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Since I'm making a half recipe I used an oven-safe 10" sauté pan with a lid. You'd need a bigger pan for a full recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spray the pan with spray oil to reduce sticking. Heat the pan to medium-low heat, add some oil, and add the rice. Add a little more oil as necessary. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring periodically, making sure the rice doesn't stick or burn.

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Add the vegetable purée, tomato sauce, and chicken broth, stir, and bring to a low boil, stirring periodically.

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Once boiling, turn off the heat. Stir, cover and put the pan into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes, stir, and cook 15 minutes more.


After coming out of the oven:

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I transferred the rice to a sheet pan to cool, and also to soak the sauté pan since a little rice stuck to it the first time, though now I can make it without sticking.

ate.2015.12.11.c9.jpgEach serving is 1/2 cup, about 2.3 oz. They're individually vacuum sealed to low vacuum (15 seconds, 0.08 KPa) to prevent forming a solid block of rice. One batch makes 6 servings, vacuum sealed in half of a 8"x12" vacuum sealer bag.

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I also divided a can of Amy's refried beans with green chiles, individually vacuum sealing 6 servings of a little less than 1/3 cup, about 2.5 oz. each, each in half of a 4"x8" vacuum sealer bag.

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Update February 22, 2017: Updated the quantities and steps slightly.


What I ate: December 10, 2015

Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese English muffin with 4 slices of bacon, an organic egg and Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, a half slice of Barowski's whole wheat toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Lunch: Turkey barley soup (new recipe) with a side Caesar salad. This was really good!

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Walked 2.42 miles in some length of time. I stopped for an errand and didn't properly stop the timer. Oops!


Snack: Popcorn with sriracha seasoning. I got an assortment of popcorn seasonings. It's good the way I had been making it, with butter and salt, but it's kind of a lot of butter and salt, so I thought I'd give these seasonings a try. The sriracha was good!

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The set includes tangy dill pickle, sea salt & vinegar, white cheddar, cracked pepper asiago and sizzing sriracha. There is a smaller set and a larger set that includes some sweet flavors as well, but I wasn't interested in the sweet ones.

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Dinner: Veggie Buffalo "wings" with ranch dip and celery. Also, a salad with lettuce mix, tomato, cucumber, celery, carrot, radish, green pepper, pickled banana pepper, red onion and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Red Hook Long Hammer IPA.

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And 2 glasses of Banrock Station shiraz.


Weight at beginning of the day: 127.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.4 lbs.

Turkey barley soup

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This was really good! I made the turkey stock after Thanksgiving and froze it. Today I made it into a delicious lunch.

Makes the one bowl of soup pictured above. Scale as necessary. It's such a hearty soup, it probably could be divided into two smaller bowls, maybe with a little more salad and a roll.


16 oz. turkey stock with 3.0 oz. turkey
1/8 cup pearled barley (0.8 oz. by weight)
carrot, peeled and sliced
celery, sliced

I had frozen the turkey stock and turkey together in a single vacuum sealed bag, so separated out the meat from the stock. Here's the meat:

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Bring a soup pan with just the stock to a boil, add the barley, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Here are the celery and carrot ready to go into the soup.

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Add the celery and carrot to the soup and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the turkey and cook for 5 minutes or until the barley and vegetables are done.

Adjust the seasoning with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce (if desired).

I served it with a side Caesar salad and it was a delicious lunch!

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What I ate: December 9, 2015

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Salsa veggie burger and a side salad with lettuce mix, tomato, cucumber, celery, carrot, radish, green pepper, pickled banana pepper, red onion and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing.

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Walked 2.43 miles in 41:12.


Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with Heluva Good French onion dip.


Dinner: Homemade pho (new recipe). This was kind of a lot of work making the beef stock from scratch, but it was really good! And a half glass of Fernlands New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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And, later, 2 glasses of Banrock Station shiraz.


Weight at beginning of the day: 128.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 127.6 lbs.

Pho #1

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This is my first attempt at making Pho, the Vietnamese beef soup. I started with this recipe, which looked good to me. It was really good, though kind of a lot of work to make. I'll definitely make it again, however.


beef marrow bones, about 2 lbs.
beef cross-cut hind shank, about 1.25 lbs.

Here's the meat that I got.

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Into a small roasting pan. This particular combination produced a lot of fat, so I appreciated the higher sides of this pan vs. using a sheet pan!

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Roast the beef for 50 minutes to an hour at 425°F, flipping the meat and bones once.

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Use the beef bones and meat in the pressure cooker to make the stock, but drain off the fat from the roasting pan. You can save it if you want, but it's not necessary for the rest of this recipe and can be discarded. This is just the amount from the roasting pan; I added more after I skimmed the fat off the chilled stock.

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1 onion, peeled and quartered
5 slices of fresh ginger
1 tbsp. salt
2 pods star anise
2 tbsp. fish sauce
80 oz. water

Here's everything except the water in the pressure cooker pot. 1 tbsp. seemed like a lot of salt, and I originally added only 1/2 tbsp., but when the stock was done I ended up adding the other 1/2 tbsp. while it was still hot.

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And with the water.

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I used the Soup setting on my Instant Pot. That's 30 minutes at high pressure, though that's only the time after it reaches temperature. It takes about an hour to cook. Then 20 more minutes to cool down before releasing any remaining pressure. Remove the inner pot, then cool in a sink of cold water to speed up the cooling.

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By the way, at this point the star anise smell was strong, but don't be alarmed. Once I added the rest of the ingredients and made the bowl of soup it was just a subtle background flavor. If you're not sure you could just add one, but I thought it was good with two.


Remove meat and bones. The soup gets fresh beef, so you can discard the bones and meat or find another use for it.

Strain the soup then refrigerate for a while to make removing the fat easier. Skim the fat off the top. I got almost exactly 64 fl. oz. of stock, which is what I was aiming for.

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Divide into 4 servings of 16 fl. oz. each. I vacuum sealed and froze most of the broth for future meals. I set aside one serving to eat tonight. You could go with a 12 oz. serving, but I think this soup is good at 16 oz. in a big bowl.

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Pho is usually served with rare beef. I got a 0.5 lb. first cut top round steak, thinly sliced. It was packaged as three large flat pieces.

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I cut each piece in half long ways, then into slices small enough to easily pick up with chopsticks. I got 4 servings of 2.0 oz. each. I vacuum sealed and froze 3 servings for future meals and kept one serving for tonight.

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Extra servings all packaged and ready to freeze.

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For serving, I added:

cilantro
scallions
bean sprouts
1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
1.0 oz. rice noodles
2.0 oz. steak
16 fl. oz. beef stock

I use the chili garlic sauce from Huy Fong, the company that makes Sriracha in the rooster bottle, but this sauce comes in jar and is chunkier. You could just use Sriracha or a different chili garlic sauce. Or even use something like hoisin if you want something sweeter and not spicy.

For the rice noodles I used these, about 1.0 oz. (dry weight).

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And here are the ingredients:

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Bring the beef stock to a boil on the stove. Add the rice vermicelli and cook for 2 minutes. At the end of cooking, add 1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce and a dash of soy sauce. Normally the hot sauce is left to add at the table, but since it's just for me I mixed it in earlier so it's easier to mix.

In a large soup bowl, add the mostly-cooked noodles, most of the bean sprouts, the beef, and sprinkle the remainder of the bean sprouts, cilantro and scallions on top. Add the hot stock and allow the beef to cook for a few minutes.

This was so good! The freshly made stock was very good and the chili garlic sauce gave it a nice kick.

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What I ate: December 8, 2015

Breakfast: Spicy western omelette. Filling cooked yesterday and reheated, in 2 eggs, freshly cooked. With a homemade buttermilk biscuit (previously frozen).

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, 0.8 oz. cashews.


Lunch: Veggie chicken patty sandwich on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, dill pickles and mayonnaise. And a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Red Hook Audible Ale.

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Walked 2.38 miles in 40:41.


Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with butter and salt.

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Dinner: Salmon and risotto. And a glass of Ferlands New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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And a glass of Folonari Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.


Prepped salad veggies. With pickled banana pepper, celery, carrot, radish, green pepper, red onion and lettuce mix, vacuum sealed in jars.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 127.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.0 lbs.

What I ate: December 7, 2015

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

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Made the filling for an spicy western omelette for Tuesday. And the filling for chorizo breakfast burrito with chorizo, onion, green pepper, jalapeño and egg for breakfast Wednesday and Friday.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, a half slice of Barowski's whole wheat toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Lunch: Spicy black bean veggie burger with a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Red Hook Long Hammer IPA.

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Walked 2.42 miles in 42:24


Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping) with butter and salt. And, later, 0.8 oz. cashews.

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Dinner: Beef with scallion and broccoli stir-fry. And 2 glasses of Banrock Station shiraz.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 129.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 127.8 lbs.

What I ate: December 6, 2015

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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Ate the rest of the cheddar cheese and scallion scones. These are so good I must refrain from baking them very often!

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Lunch: Spicy Indian veggie burger with cucumber yogurt sauce with a side salad with mixed spring greens, tomato, cucumber, and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Red Hook Audible Ale.

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Walked 2.47 miles in 44:07. It was a nice sunny day and I've been lazy recently!


Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with Heluva Good French Onion dip. And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos and a half glass of Banrock Station Shiraz.

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Snack: Popcorn (1/8 cup before popping):

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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: 129.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 129.0 lbs.

What I ate: December 5, 2015

Breakfast: Refried black bean, egg and cheese breakfast burrito. And a mimosa.

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

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Made a batch of cheddar cheese and scallion scones (new recipe). These are delicious! I ate more than this; I couldn't stop!

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Lunch: Cheese and jalapeño hot dog on a whole wheat bun and Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips. And a Red Hook ESB.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with Heluva Good French onion dip and a Woodchuck Granny Smith cider. And some more potato chip crumbs from the bottom of the bag.

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Dinner: Japanese-style beef curry.

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Snack: 1/8 cup popcorn with butter and salt.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 128.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 129.0 lbs.

Cheddar cheese and scallion scones

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These are so good! I like the savory ones much better than the sweet ones. The recipe is from King Arthur Flour and they have lots of scone options on their web site.

I made a half batch, with sour cream as the dairy and they were delicious!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. baking powder

3 tbsp. cold butter, diced
1/2 cup diced Cabot extra sharp cheddar (2.3 oz. by weight)
2 scallions, cleaned, trimmed and chopped (both white and green parts)

1 large egg
1/6 cup sour cream (milk, cream, or ricotta can also be used)
1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

I used a greased sheet pan the first time, but I'd recommend parchment paper since I forgot about the cheese. It was kind of pain to clean up.

Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Add the butter and combine with your fingers.

Add the cheddar cheese and scallions.

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Beat the egg in a bowl and add the sour cream (or other dairy), mustard and hot sauce. Add the mixed liquid to the dry ingredients and combine. With sour cream, I needed to add a little water because the dough was too dry.

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On a floured surface, roll out to about 3/4" thick and cut triangles.

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Bake for 20 minutes.

What I ate: December 4, 2015

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, 0.8 oz. cashews.


Lunch: Spicy black bean veggie burger with a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Red Hook Long Hammer IPA.

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Snack: 1/8 cup popcorn, with salt and butter. I got a Whirleypop, which really does make excellent popcorn, and quickly, too.

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And, later, 1.0 oz. Kettle Chips hot jalapeño potato chips.

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Dinner: Pork with scallion and broccoli stir-fry.

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And a glass of Brotherhood New York Riesling, left over from Thanksgiving.

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And, later, a glass of Banrock Station shiraz.


Weight at beginning of the day: 127.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 128.2 lbs.

What I ate: December 3, 2015

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And, later, a half slice of Barowski's whole wheat toast with Woodstock Farms organic peanut butter.

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Lunch: Spicy Indian veggie burger with cucumber yogurt sauce with a side salad lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Red Hook Audible Ale.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with Heluva Good French onion dip. And, later, 0.8 oz. cashews.


Dinner: Beef Stroganoff. And 2 glasses of Banrock Station shiraz.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 127.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 127.0 lbs.

What I ate: December 2, 2015

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

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Snack: Homemade clam chowder. There was a little left from the batch I made on Saturday, but not really enough for lunch. A little odd for a snack, but it was good!

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Lunch: Veggie chicken patty sandwich on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, dill pickles and mayonnaise. And a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato, celery, carrot, radish, pickled banana pepper and red onion with Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Red Hook ESB.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with Heluva Good French Onion dip. And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos.


Dinner: Onions, spinach and bean sprouts with kamaboko. And a half glass of Starborough New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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And 2 glasses of Banrock Station Shiraz.


Weight at beginning of the day: 127.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 127.6 lbs.

What I ate: December 1, 2015

Breakfast: Spicy western omelette. Filling cooked yesterday and reheated, in 2 eggs, freshly cooked. With a homemade buttermilk biscuit (previously frozen).

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.


Lunch: Spicy black bean veggie burger with a side salad with lettuce mix, cucumber, tomato and Annie's cowgirl ranch dressing. And a Red Hook Long Hammer IPA.

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Prepped salads. Three salads with celery, carrot, radish, green pepper, red onion and pickled banana peppers. Vacuum sealed in jars with lettuce mix.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Wavy Lays potato chips with Heluva Good French Onion dip. And, later, 1.0 oz. Doritos.


Dinner: Beef with bean sprouts, broccoli and scallion stir-fry.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 127.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 127.0 lbs.

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