again with the food

i’m not a food blogger, and i don’t really have a desire to be one. which might have you asking, “why another post about food?”  i’m attempting a little bit of psychology (or something like that) in order to get my blogging mojo back.  i figure if what i’m cooking is the most interesting thing i have going on in my life right now, then that’s what i’m gonna write about.  (it’s not just interesting, it’s also unusual.  cooking is not my default.)  so i guess i’ll just keep posting about food until i can find the interesting in the rest of my life.  my hope is that i will add a dash of daily life in with the cooking/food stuff and – eventually – it will become more and more daily life and less and less look what’s in my crockpot, but until then…  let’s go ahead and look what’s in my crockpot!

before i could head to the store to check off my grocery list i needed to make a trip to immigration for sam’s 90 day check-in.  it was due aug. 14, but they allow a grace period and i was within that time period.  except i wasn’t.  turns out the slip of paper that had the stamp that read -14 AUG also had a stamp that read -4 AUG. obviously (to all but me), the second one was the correct one.  i tried to explain it to the officer at the desk.  she agreed it had two stamps, but seemed to think i wasn’t too bright for assuming the one that was in the top corner, that showed without me having to unfold the piece of paper that was stapled in sam’s passport, was the correct stamp.  it’s very possible that they told me when they did this.  i tend to be stressed when i’m at immigration.  what with the waiting and the lots of irritated people and the waiting and the crowded room and the waiting…  not to mention the last time i was there for this purpose i was suffering with a wee bit of hip pain.  anyway, it didn’t appear that the officer was going to come around to my way of seeing things and she handed my passport to the officer next to her.  he opened it, saw it was sam’s, asked me if he was my son, and said, “mai pen rai.” (which is basically hakuna matata).  the first immigration officer agreed with him, but did remind me to be more careful in the future.  i was very, very appreciative.  i get to do it again for myself in just a few weeks.

my next stop was the grocery store and, as an added bonus, there was a downpour.  i still managed to get the shopping done.  i also got an umbrella-d escort to my car. once i was home, the first thing i needed to do was get the chickens ready for the best whole chicken in a crockpot. 

chicken

they needed 6 hours to cook, so i got busy making soup.  i might tire of the soup with some protein quick meal eventually, but for now i’m thinking i’m brilliant for coming up with it.  last week it was curried cream of broccoli soup and crockpot sweet potato basil soup.  this week i made a pot of creamy spinach and artichoke soup.

crmofspinach

and cream of mushroom soup.

creamofmush  i’ve got some pork from last week and the chicken from this week to mix in with these.

once the chicken was done, i removed the meat and threw the bones and other bits and pieces back into the crockpot.  i added a few vegetables and some water and tonight while i’m sleeping my crockpot will be making overnight chicken stock in the crockpot.

broth

feeding frenzy

it’s mother’s day in thailand and i’m celebrating by fully embracing project firm up (that name probably won’t stick.)  i got up and searched the internet for recipes, made a shopping list, went shopping, and cooked.  it wouldn’t be abnormal for me to get stuck at any of those steps.  usually it’s pretty early in the process, like the “i got up” step.  but not today.

as a mother’s day gift i got a parking spot in the actual grocery store parking lot.  in the states the parking lots at the grocery store are generally two or three times the size of the actual grocery store.  this particular grocery store is two or three times – at least – the size of its parking lot.  not sure who came up with that plan, but it’s frustrating.  once i was home i got my julia child on and cooked up a storm.

i had slow cooker kalua pig in crockpot #1.

pork

this is supposed to be pork butt and it’s supposed to cook for 16 hours.  i purchased pork loin so cut the cooking time back to 9 hours.

and there was crockpot sweet potato basil soup in crockpot #2.

sweet

it came out really thick and creamy.  the recipe says you can add more broth to make it soupier, but sam and i both agreed this was nice, we could add meat and it would be great (and i’ve got a lot of kalua pig and not quite as much lemon rosemary lamb in my fridge).  i also think that it would be really good as a gravy at thanksgiving or christmas, but it would be a very thick gravy.   (that would be the immersion blender at work – 2 times in 2 days.  that gift was totally worth it michael!)

i made a batch of sweet potato hash.

hash

this calls for cinnamon.  i don’t like cinnamon in my savory so much.  so i add cumin instead.  i’ve made this before so i know that i also like to soft fry an egg (if i knew how to poach – or wanted to take a minute to learn – that would probably be better) and put it on top.  the runny yolk gravy is awesome.

and i even whipped up some sausage cabbage sauté for today’s lunch.
cabbagechicken

you’re supposed to use chicken apple sausage, but since that’s not readily available to me i just used ground chicken breast and added sausage seasoning.  i also snuck in some ghost chili salt.  this was quick & easy and very tasty.  i was a little doubtful, i was worried that maybe the cabbage would be over powering.

now for the last step in today’s master plan, the step that involves everyone’s commitment.  eat all the food up.  not all of it today.  we’ve got the rest of the week for that.

and then this evening i lost the plot – project firm up took a major derail.  i’d cooked all day and was hungry.  aly and i chatted about the first day of her last year of high school.  to celebrate this transition i had chocolate and wine.  red wine – which is okay in another 28 days.  but maybe the reeses peanut butter cups, the butterfingers (minis) and the baby ruths (minis) were too much.  and maybe it wasn’t celebration eating.  maybe it was stress eating (it’s aly’s senior year!).  sometimes i think they can be the same thing, right?

here’s to a better day tomorrow.  this is tomorrow’s lunch.

lunch

it’s the crockpot sweet potato basil soup with some kalua pig thrown in for fun.

a new leaf

i don’t think anyone would ever call me a softy, but i’ve definitely gotten pretty fluffy the past three months.  plus i’ve been eating a lot of good food.  (i have now been called a softy, by our mae baan.  actually she called me a fatty.  same same.)  the scale says i’ve only gained 2 pounds, but the way my clothes fit says i’ve traded some muscle for fat, possibly lots of muscle for fat.  i’m not complaining or regretting, but it is time i get a handle on these love handles.  enter paleo.  i’m not a recent convert.  i’ve toyed with eating paleo for years.  i admit to being way off the paleo track right now, but i’m no where near where i was before i started it and it seems a wise decision to turn back since i know it works.

so it started today.  (except for today’s morning coffee.  there were 2 iced lattes sitting in my fridge that i drank this morning.  i’m not feeling guilty because i can’t think of a reason to waste good coffee.)  the good news is that eating smart doesn’t have to mean eating not good food.  (that came of very public service announcement-y, didn’t it?) which is nice because i don’t want to make my family miserable, since they’re getting drug along on this journey with me.  breakfast and lunch will be my biggest challenges.  mainly because i have a tendency to skip breakfast so i’ll need convenience foods or pre-prepped food for this meal.  i tend to eat lunch out.  lunch out here frequently comes with rice.  you can order without rice, but i like rice – my struggles are great.  also there’s the no dairy thing.  it’s really only an issue because i like milk in my coffee.  but i’m gonna try for 30 29 days – no rice, no dairy.  the family will do what the family does during breakfast and lunch.  fend for themselves.  for the kids it means grabbing what’s at home for breakfast (normally cereal and milk) and then lunch at school.  i’m hoping to make use of my brand new, fancy-schmancy, american sized crock pot.  since it’s american sized i’m thinking it will provide me with leftovers that i can call breakfast.  or family members at home can call lunch.  that might be overly optimistic on my part, but a girl can dream.

so in an effort to get off to a good start i made lemon rosemary lamb and curried cream of broccoli soup (hey michael – this called for me to use that immersion blender) for dinner. i do not want to discuss how expensive leg of lamb is here.  and it wasn’t until i got home and reread the recipe that i noticed it could possibly be done with beef – also expensive, but less expensive than lamb.  i’ve never cooked lamb before so i was okay giving it a go and hoping for the best.  both of these were easy, i like easy.  and as a bonus they both turned out well.  we loaded our soup bowls with lamb and covered it with the soup.  that was a good idea and we’ve ended up with leftovers!!

 

 

paleo – week one

i’m starting day 8 of paleo today.  yep, that means i’ve made it through 7 days of no grains, no legumes, no dairy, and limited fruit.  and i feel like crap.  they said that would happen.  i’ve got no energy.  they said that would happen.  i’ve got a headache.  they said that would happen.  but they also said some good stuff would happen.  and the good stuff is what i’m holding out for.  like high energy.  and magical powers.  (i made one of those up).

my body is supposed to be relearning to use fat instead of sugar as it’s fuel source.  but while it’s working on figuring out how to do that i get the fun that is low energy.  and it’s not all that fun.  i haven’t missed a day at crossfit, but the workouts of the day seem 10 times harder than they were last week.  and 8:00pm is beginning to look like a very appealing bed time.  if only i could go to bed then.

i’ve been asked if i think i can keep this up forever and ever and ever.  and i do think i can. i’m not hungry.  what i’m eating is satisfying.  and, after the 30 days are over, i’ll be adding dairy back into my diet.  i don’t think i have any issues with dairy, and i don’t normally consume a lot of it, so i’m more than okay with adding it back.  it also helps to know that after 30 days i don’t have to be so strict.  i can allow a cheat here and there.  and i have no doubt that i will.  but i think i’ll also be smart about those cheats – i’ll make it something i really, really want.

september 30th will be the last day of my 30 days.  i weighed myself and took my measurements on august 31.  i’ll do it again on october 1.  i don’t know that i’m brave enough to put the actual measurements on here, but i will definitely share any changes – or lack of changes – that there are.

i’ll go with plan a. or maybe plan b.

i’ve been on a get my butt in gear and get fit kick lately. i’ve drunk the crossfit koolaid and i’m addicted.  i’ve taken up running – even managed to enjoy it a time or two. i finished the c25k program a few months ago and have kept on going. and i’ve been working on an overhaul of the foods i put into my body. this week i’m starting a 30 day paleo challenge – i’m pretty sure this isn’t the last you’ll hear about it.

since i took up this venture into fitness i’ve lost more than a few pounds.  53.1 to be exact. i picked up a 24 kilogram kettlebell the other day (which is almost 53lbs) and was shocked at how heavy it was. and that i carried that much extra weight around on my body. it made a pretty good impression on me and, while i would like to lose more weight, it is no longer a focus for me.

which leaves me in need of a new goal. i’ve found what i think is a pretty good challenge.

i’m not thinking full marathon.  i’m leaning way more towards the half – i believe that’s the proper term for a 1/2 marathon. 13.1 miles to be run on christmas morning. a bit of a christmas miracle. and then a whole different opportunity presented itself.

the annapurna 100 this one is to be run/walked/jogged on new year’s day. on the annapurna trail. in nepal.  this race comes in 50k, 70km and 100km versions – version 50k (31 miles) seems a good fit for me.  there are logistics to work out.  money, flights, arrangements at home, etc, but it might fall in the category of opportunity not to be passed up.

it’s not decided which one i’ll do.  i’m planning on training for the half.  since that’s most sensible.  but i’m still considering the annapurna race as a viable option.  official registration doesn’t happen until december 31. of course, plans will need to be in the works well before then.  i do find the idea of new year’s day in nepal very exciting and a not too unattractive way to usher in 41 – which i will have turned 2 days before the race.