WIAW: And Then…

G’day eaters!

Tomorrow I leave for Vermont and I’m so freaking ‘cited!

But because today is not tomorrow, let’s talk about yesterday.

That’s logical, right?


Crossfit:

I had every intention of going at 6am yesterday, but with a super long day ahead of me I decided that sleep was more important.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with chia seeds and a plum, topped with peanut butter, and a piece of bacon on the side.

We still haven’t turned the heat on and it’s been getting a little nippy in the mornings. So I used that excuse to not eat the same breakfast I’ve been eating forever.

It was glorious.

And then I chugged the last few sips of my tea and left for work.

Snack:

A pear and Justin's maple almond butter, and a Balance bar.

Halfway through my shift I took a snack break for what was by then a slightly scraped up pear and almond butter.

And then I chugged the last half of my first tall coffee of the day and got back to folding denim.

Lunch:

A salad with bib lettuce, yellow bell pepper, a bit of chicken, a piece of bacon, and balsamic vinaigrette with lots of pepper.

After work I headed over to school, found a sunny bench, and enjoyed this really delicious lunch.

A cheese sandwich on Great Harvest High Protein Dakota bread.

And then I quickly grabbed my second tall coffee of the day, skimmed a few chapters in my textbook, and did research for a project that my professor hasn’t assigned yet.

Snack:

After my first class I ate the Balance bar pictured above.

And then I spent two hours doing a pretty stupid PhotoShop project that involved lots and lots of rotating and lasso selecting. But in the end I turned a picture of a pear into a line of Rockettes, so that’s kind of cool, right?

Dinner:

A roast beef, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese sandwich with tater tots from the Lindley Filling Station.

After school I went home and figured out what take out to order because neither Leon nor I felt like cooking or doing dishes.

And then Leon went to pick it up. And I ate the whole thing.

And that’s it. Another super busy day in the books, but I’m more then okay with it because it brought me one day closer to Vermont.

#HotDamnHooray!

Your turn, eaters:

What’s more important to you — sleep or exercise?

What are some lunchbox-appropriate snacks I can start packing?

Later eaters!

Things That Make Me Smile, 5

Hi eaters!

The last two days have been pretty packed and a little stressful, so I figured it was the perfect time for another installment of Things That Make Me Smile.

If you’re new, check out installments one, two, three, and four.

Because it’s easy to find things to smile about when life is easy and everything is going your way. It’s a lot harder when you’re stacking up 12 hour days between work and school and the dog is going crazy and the dishes are piling up.

But that’s exactly when it’s most important to stop and smell the metaphorical flowers. So here we go…

  • My new lunchbox and all my Rubbermaid (and recycled) containers.

Seriously, it’s a little absurd how happy being able to easily and compactly pack my lunch has made me. But I’m absolutely giddy over it, especially this week when I’m out of the house so much.

And seriously, how can you not smile when you see m’snail pail?

  • I’m leaving for Vermont on Thursday!

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but Leon and I are going up to Vermont this weekend for a wedding and I absolutely can’t wait. Not only will the leaves be gorgeous and the weather will be extra crisp, but this is a much needed little vacation after a very busy summer and early fall.

  • Our letters.

Pardon the flash, there isn't enough daylight anymore to get all the pictures I want.

I had some money left on an Anthropologie gift card after I bought new jeans (finally, because both of my pairs have had holes in the crotch since April), so I bought Leon, Charlie, and I each our own letter for the back of the door. Because sometimes it’s fun to be disgustingly cute, even if Leon pretends to cringe every time I do.

  • Charlie’s face is healing.

His face isn’t 100% yet, but it’s getting back to normal. The skin is almost healed up, he doesn’t leave pieces of face behind when he lifts his head off a pillow, and his hair is growing back. Now if only he’d be done with all of his meds.

Which brings me to…

  • A huge jar of pb.

Not only is this cheap, but it's ONLY peanuts and salt and has a much better texture than fresh ground pb from the store.

This big baby was only something like $5! For 36 oz! That’s awesomely cheap. So awesome cheap, in fact, that I don’t mind giving Charlie spoonfuls every night with his meds hidden inside.

And finally…

  • This book.

Anyone get the stew reference?

I’m not officially writing my thesis until next semester, but I’m starting preliminary stuff already. And reading this book is getting me so excited to write my thesis.

Yes, I’m kind of a nerd about English. But come on, if you were in my shoes you’d be excited to write a food-centered creative writing thesis, too.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s something that’s making you smile lately?

What was/is your major in college? If you didn’t go or haven’t gone to college yet, what would you like to study?

G’night eaters!

Invest in Your Food

G’evening eaters!

I hope your Mondays were good.

After a weekend of no exercise and lots of junk food I was beyond thrilled to hit up Crossfit, eat some vegetables, and drink plenty of water today. And I did just that!

In the process of all of that, I had a pretty interesting conversation about food costs that I thought you eaters might be interested in.
After we finished the WOD at Crossfit this morning (which was called “Death By Pull Ups”), the coach and a few of us got to talking about food. I don’t really know how we got on the subject, but we started talking about where we grocery shop.

Allow me to paraphrase the conversation:

My friend Nikki (who is easily the strongest, most nicely badass girl at the gym) and I: We shop at Whole Foods.

This other guy, Jamie: I’ve been to WF a few times, but I didn’t like it. I shop at Harris Teeter.

Our coach, Blaine: WF is nice, but I feel like it’s a bit of a rip off because you’re paying a premium for the experience.

Me: I don’t think so. I think you’re paying for a whole different product. Sure, WF’s whole, raw chickens are considerably more expensive than Harris Teeter’s, but they’re organic and free range and antibiotic free. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a chicken like that at Teeter.

Nikkii: I’ve seen chickens like that at Teeter, but they’re often more expensive than at WFs.

Blaine: Yeah. Recently my wife and I decided to start buying better quality food and our food costs went up to total about 10% of our income, which felt like a big jump, but in reality aren’t really a lot.

Nikkii: That does feel like a lot, but I think that’s just because Americans spend the least amount on food, in terms of percentage of their income. And we’re going to pay for that down the line.

There was also some talk of Tyson chickens and the size of almond butter jars, but this was the main gist of the conversation: Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than almost any other country in the world.

And frankly, that’s really bad.

Source.

Why is that really bad?

Because the reason we’re able to spend so little on food is because we thrive on convenience and/or factory produced foods. And we’ll pay for all of that ease and convenience down the line (or not so far down the line) with the inconvenience of sickness and disease.

Example: I saw in a Target weekly flyer a few weeks back that a 2.5 lbs bag of frozen chicken breasts was $5.

Now for most people that sounds like an awesome deal, right? I mean, if you figure each chicken breast is about half a pound, then that 2.5 lbs bag has about 5 breasts in it. So a dollar per chicken breast is an awesome deal, right?

Not when you think about what it took to produce a chicken breast that cheaply. Not when you think about all the hormones and antibiotics (which are needed to combat the sickness caused by substandard living conditions) that are pumped into that chicken breast. Not when you think about the quality of life of the animal and the quality of meat that’s produced when a chicken grows from chick to full grown in something like two months.

This WF chicken weighs 3.9 lbs and cost $10.43.

Example: A 10 oz bag of Popeye Field Select baby spinach is $2.69, which equals $0.27 per ounce. A 5 oz bag of Earthbound Organic baby spinach is $3.69, which equals $0.74 per ounce.

It seems like the logical choice would be to pick the conventional spinach. Not only are you getting more spinach to eat that week (which seems like the healthy thing, right?), but it’s roughly a third of the cost, ounce for ounce, of the organic leaves.

But then when you factor in the residues from 48 pesticides found on conventional spinach, which includes 8 known or probably carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 8 neurotoxins, and 6 developmental/reproductive toxins, suddenly that extra $0.47 per ounce doesn’t seem so outrageous, does it?

So what’s the point of this long, preachy post?

If you can financially afford to, invest in your food. Invest as much as you can in the food you eat. You may not be able to tell a difference now, but in the long run, after years of NOT subjecting your body to carcinogens and neurotoxins and antibiotics and growth hormones, you’ll be very glad you did.

Alright. That’s the end of my preaching for the night.

What do you think, eaters:

Why do you buy organic? Why don’t you?

Are you willing to spend more money on food?

G’night eaters!

Actually Fluffy Funfetti Almond Pancakes

Hiya eaters!

My weekend has been nice and eventful. And I was going to blog about the awesome food truck festival I went to tonight, but it wasn’t so awesome.

It should have been because it was just a mile down the road and in the same parking lot of my Crossfit box, Vigilante Crossfit (for any of you local readers that are looking to join the most awesome Crossfit box ever), so Leon and I leashed up Charlie and walked on down.

Aren't they the cutest? I kinda love them both a lot.

After spending a few minutes chatting with my coach and friends at the box, and letting Charlie play with the two gym dogs, the three of us headed over to our first choice truck and waited.

Boo lines.

And waited.

And waited.

After an hour we finally got our local sausage-stuffed baguettes. And while they were awesome (so if you’re ever in NC and get a chance to eat at Baguettaboutit), by the time we got them we were starving and stressed because Charlie was nervous. We ate them (and I may or may not have fed a few bites to Charlie in a bird-like fashion) and then walked home.

So, instead I’m going to share with you the almond flour pancakes I made on Friday.

Now before you get any ideas, let me officially say that I am not paleo or gluten-free. I just like diversity.

I am still trying to stick as closely to the Zone as possible, though. Unfortunately, I was out of protein powder the other day when I wanted some pancakes. So instead of eating another breakfast of scrambled eggs and spinach (have I mentioned that I’m getting sick of that breakfast?), I busted out the bag of almond meal that I’ve so far only used for breading eggplant and blackening catfish.

And a few minutes later I had a damn delicious stack of gluten-free, sprinkle-studded, fluffy, slightly tangy, buttermilk almond meal pancakes topped with a wonderfully seared plum and a few generous schmears of sunflower seed butter.

Yup, it was a mouthful to say and a glorious mouthful to eat.

With only minor dirty dishes to boot!

Actually Fluffy Funfetti Almond Pancakes

Serves 1

¾ almond meal*

½ t baking soda

½ t vanilla extract

1 egg

¼ c buttermilk**

1 T coconut oil

sprinkles!

*All I had was almond meal, but I have a feeling almond flour would have worked a bit better.

**I had buttermilk on hand so I used it. Any kind of dairy or non-dairy milk will be fine and you can always add a small squeeze of lemon juice if you want to replicate the tangy buttermilk flavor.

Whisk everything together until clump free. This batter won’t be as thin as regular pancake batter, but that’s okay.

Heat a large pan or griddle to just under medium heat. Pour about ¼ c of batter onto the pan/griddle and cook until bubbles start to form on the top. Flip and cook until the other side is golden.

Don’t over heat the pan or else you’ll end up burning them a little, like I did.

And if you want to sear some fruit to go on top, simply slice up whatever fruit you have on hand and toss it on along with the pancakes after you flip them. Give them a toss or two and you’ve got a somewhat saucy, warm topping.

I also suggest a schmear of nut butter between each ‘cake. It adds just the hint of creamy decadence that they need to really send them over the edge.

But if that doesn’t work to really seal the deal on these pancakes, more sprinkles definitely will.

Hell, more sprinkles could even make tonight’s less than stellar food truck festival better.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite pancake topping?

How do you feel about sprinkles?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Stressed and Soup

Hi eaters!

I’m procrastinating some last minute exam studying, so I figured I’m do something productive with my procrastination and share this week’s WIAW with you.


Breakfast #1:

Fruit n’ fat in the form of a plum and sunflower seed butter. I’ll save you the boring picture.

6 am Crossfit:

My trainer made a variation on the benchmark WOD “Amanda.”

WOD:

Jump assisted pull ups

Push ups

27-21-15

Deadlift -> snatch pull -> snatch

9-7-5

Time: 18:16.

This was one of those WODs where I never felt like I got into a groove and instead was constantly struggling with motivation. Oh well, I finished.

Breakfast #2:

Two scrambled eggs with spinach and a blue corn tortilla with sunflower seed butter.

Are you getting tired of seeing this breakfast every week? I’m starting to get tired of eating it, but I can’t think of anything else that’s super fast, hot, and full of protein. Got any ideas?

Annoyance:

I started pressing some Whole Foods 365 brand tofu the night before. I noticed the tofu was a bit weird and came off on my fingers as I was putting it in the press, but it wasn’t expired so I pressed on. (Pun intended.)

Boo crappy tofu.

But when I opened the press to start marinating it, it looked all kinds of funky. It was like I was trying to press silken tofu instead of extra firm. So it went directly in the trash (maybe it had expired way before its October date) and pressed some good old Nasoya.

I think they’ll be my tofu of choice from now on.

Stress:

Charlie had a vet appointment for what I thought was an ear infection. I figured they would clean his ears and the hot spot he scratched just below his ear (which I thought was a symptom of an ear infection), he’d get some meds, and we’d be good to go.

Unfortunately, during them shaving the hot spot (and me having to listen to him cry from down the hall), they noticed he had a broken nail. I’d noticed it last week when it happened, but aside from a little extra licking, he didn’t see bothered by it so I didn’t think anything of it.

Yeah…apparently it was a big deal. It was a big enough deal that the vet said the entire nail would have to be removed, which required me to leave him so he could be sedated.

I was freaking the fuck out. But I’m a big girl, so I sucked it up, gave Charlie a few last pats, and waited until I got to the parking lot to cry.

Call me a baby, but he’s my sweet baby puppy and I don’t ever want him to be in pain or unhappy, and I could tell he was very much of both.

Luckily, I wasn’t home for more than an hour before the vet called that Charlie was wide awake and ready to go home. After rushing back to the vet, Charlie was very happy to see me (I was worried he would be mad at me or scared of me because I’m the one who took him there). He then proceeded to show his anger at the vet by leaving a really large poop on their front lawn.

Not being one to get in between a dog and his emotions, I left it there.

Nap:

Both of us had a slightly traumatizing morning, so we took an hour nap. It was awesome.

Lunch:

Chicken and vegetable soup with half a dumpling.

It’s definitely getting to be soup weather, which I’m pretty darn excited about. And I was also pretty excited when I found that Leon had not only left me a dumpling, but that they kept well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Snack 1:

Chicken and mustard, and a pear with sunflower seed butter.

Buying that rotisserie chicken is already shaping up to be a pretty brilliant idea.

Snack 2:

Follow me on Instagram: Kara_Hadley

I’ve never hid the fact that I often use food for comfort. Some of those uses are better than others. I consider this a very acceptable form of food comfort, especially considering that I really did need a snack.

Dinner:

Tomato soup with extra crispy tofu "croutons."

This soup is a slight variation of Mama Pea’s recent recipe.

A grilled cheese (Cabot extra sharp cheddar) on Great Harvest higher protein Dakota.

Have I mentioned that I think she’s awesome? And that I want to be her friends? We could drink coffee, paint toenails, and pretend to be graceful while doing yoga.

(Side note — Have I mentioned I’m creepy?)

So for once, eaters, not only do I feel like I’m kind of living up to the WIAW theme for the month (it’s Fall into Good Habits this month), but I’m showing you a pretty balanced and typical day of food.

That almost never happens, so don’t get your hopes up for next week.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s something warm, easy, cheap, and protein filled I can eat for breakfast?

What blogger do you wish you could be friends with in real life? (You don’t have to say me, even though I’m super fun and am always up for going out for a beer and surprise you with random food and always tell you the truth about what you’re wearing.)

G’night eaters!

Abbreviated Cobb Salad

‘Ello eaters!

I’ve had a really trying day — both mentally and physically. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow for WIAW, so I’ve save you the sob story tonight.

Instead, let’s talk about salads, shall we? More importantly, dinner salads.

Everyone knows that salads are great for lunch. And who doesn’t love a nice salad before a fancy restaurant dinner?

But what about salad as a dinner entrée? Why does that feel so rare?

It really shouldn’t, especially considering how easy a salad can be.

But I do want to point out that, at least in my house, a dinner salad is not the same as a lunch salad.

A lunch salad is generally light, with more emphasis on vegetables. A dinner salad, though, should have a bit of heft to it. It should have at least a few sources of protein and fat. Oh, and something purely for fun.

By these standards, a Cobb salad is pretty much my perfect dinner salad.

Eggs, chicken, and bacon for protein. Bacon, cheese, and avocado for fat. Tomatoes and lettuce for veg.

With plenty of fat, protein, veg, and fun, this salad is so close to perfect. The only problem: it’s so complicated.

Who honestly has all those ingredients just lying around waiting to be put in a salad? Or who has the time to cook each individual thing for a salad, which is supposed to be a quick dinner?

Certainly not me!

So, I introduce you to the Abbreviated Cobb Salad.

A mix of green leaf and a local bib lettuce.

It’s got lettuce like a Cobb, but I prefer Romaine, green leaf, or bib instead of iceberg.

It’s got bacon like a Cobb. I suggest two slices per person.

Bacon makes everything better. As long as it's crispy.

It’s got cheese, specifically some super sharp Dubliner cheddar, but a nice Swiss would be good, too.

It’s got chicken like a Cobb, but mine is sliced off a Whole Foods rotisserie chicken (which at $8 is a bit steeper than most rotisserie chickens, but is still cheaper than buying a whole, raw chicken from WF).

Convenience is key.

It doesn’t have avocado, because I’m lazy.

It’s got green bell peppers instead of raw tomatoes, because I hate raw tomatoes.

It’s got balsamic vinaigrette instead of the Cobb’s customary blue cheese or ranch.

It’s got chia seeds, too. Because why the heck not?!

So it may not be quite as fancy as a Cobb salad or look as good with each ingredient laid out like a rainbow. But it was a heck of a lot easier, tasty as hell, and still plenty satisfying to qualify as a dinner salad.

Who says salads are boring?

What do you think, eaters:

Do you eat dinner salads or are they strictly a midday meal or side dish?

What’s your favorite kind of salad?

G’night eaters!

New Balance Minimus Review

Hello eaters!

#HotDamnHooray, today has been awesome.

First, I absolutely fucking primal-style beasted it at Crossfit today. I guess having to take a few days off for my foot (and eating way too much sugar) gave me the energy to do crazy things.

  • WOD:
  • 10 rounds of
  • 10 back squats (60 lbs)
  • 10 (jump assisted) pull ups
  • 10 strict front presses (33 lbs)
  • Time: 22:52.

Yup, I did things I didn’t even know I could do. And it felt awesome.

So between feeling like a goddamn muscle beast and since I haven’t really done any noteworthy cooking (unless smoothies and pb toast count), we’re going to focus on the fitness side of things tonight. Mainly, my shoes.

As you may remember, I bought my first ever pair of minimal, Crossfit-specific sneakers a couple of weeks ago. My whole active life I’ve been wearing squishy, stabilizing, arch-correcting running-specific shoes, so I was a little wary making the jump to minimal shoes.

But it’s been about three weeks with my New Balance Minimus 3090s and I have to say, I’m in love.

Can you tell from the dirty lining how much I've loved them?

Sure, the first few times I ran in them wasn’t exactly comfortable. I actually felt a bit of pain in my feet and shins. But it wasn’t bad pain. It was a strengthening pain, like my feet were adapting to having to rely on their own muscles. And

Sure, I spent a little extra time on the treadmill just to strengthen my feet in the Minimus, but my feet are now noticeably stronger and I got in a little more active time, which is never a bad thing.  And now, after just three weeks of changing only my shoes, I can tell a difference in my running for the better.

And sure, there’s a chance that had I been wearing my old, thick, squishy running shoes I wouldn’t have jammed my toe as bad. But my complete lack of coordination and grace isn’t the shoes’ fault.

But ya know what didn’t take any time to get used to doing in the shoes — lifting!

Oh boy oh berto, do I ever love these shoes for lifting.

The sole is hard enough and there’s enough of a lack of padding that almost every ounce of momentum that I generate with my full hip extension and hard heel jumps go into sending that barbell soaring.

Proof: For skill work today I was able to snatch 60 lbs multiple times easily. My previous snatch PR was 50 lbs and even that was a struggle.

Of course, I’m not saying these shoes are magic. I can’t suddenly run a marathon. I’m not lifting large men over my head (yet). I’m not leaping over tall buildings or even over tall people.

But, I can definitely tell a difference.

And it’s that little difference in my running and lifting that has allowed me to get past the hang-ups of weak feet and stifled energy and make real progress.

So moral of the story is: shoes really do matter. And the New Balance Minimus 3090s are freaking awesome.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you put much stock in “proper” gear or are you an all around minimalist?

What’s your favorite/most useful piece of exercise gear?

G’night eaters!

A Healthy Week And Beyond

Hiya eaters!

It’s Sunday night once again. And I’ve got a feeling that at least of few of you are making grand plans for a super healthy week because your weekend was less than stellar, health-wise.

Am I right?

Yeah, I thought so. And I knew this because…I’m doing the same damn thing.

Ya see eaters, it all started at Crossfit on Thursday morning. We were working on what we call “toe ring passes,” but what others might know as “skin the cats.” (Here’s a link to a really long and kind of annoying video demo. The move starts around minute 3.)

Since I’m still learning them I’m doing them with my feet on the floor and kicking off instead of using my arms and core to get me around. And in the process of flailing around on and getting frustrated with myself, I didn’t control a flip enough and landed on my right foot weird.

It hurt like a bitch, but I was pissed and only 6 minutes into a 20 minute AMRAP (which stands for “As Many Rounds As Possible”) so there was no stopping.

By the time I got home my second toe was a nice shade of purple and most of my toes and surrounding foot area was swollen.

Please excuse the Toms tan while I draw your attention to my still swollen foot as of Sunday at 9pm.

Verdict: I had jammed the hell out of it.

And because this boneheaded injury made walking, running, and sometimes standing uncomfortable (not to mention that it is still a little swollen, which isn’t a good sign), I’ve done my best to stay off it.

For me, though, staying off of my feet and not exercising leads to bad choices. Exercising is the key to me making healthy choices throughout the day. Without my daily doses of exercise to push me towards good decisions, I made some pretty lousy ones.

Yeah, sometimes I keep a bag of Twizzlers on my nightstand. Don't judge.

Like eating a pound of Twizzlers in just over 24 hours.

Like eating ¾ of a 10” pizza with a beer for lunch.

Like not eating proper meals.

Like not getting my bare minimum of 2 liters of water a day.

You get the picture, right?

Luckily, though, I know I’m not the only imperfect person around. I know I’m not the only person who throws caution to the wind on the weekends. And I know I’m not the only person vowing to make tomorrow the start of a much healthier week.

So in honor of making healthier choices this week and beyond, I did a little shopping.

First, I bought a lunch box; a real lunchbox with freezer packs.

Why be age appropriate when you can have a smiling bug?

For weeks I’ve been carrying my food around in an insulated shopping bag without freezer packs. This has been counterproductive in the health department because warm, raw vegetables make me gaggy. And there was no hope of vegetables being anything but warm in a set up like that.

That problem is now solved.

And to go in my lunchbox, I bought a whole bunch of plastic containers.

These containers can hold everything from yogurt to fruit to dips and dressings to hard boiled eggs to salads and/or sandwiches. In other words, I have no excuses not to pack healthy lunches and snacks.

Yup, I’m pretty set.

And while I’m at school tomorrow (with plenty of healthy choices packed up in m’snail pail) Leon is going to do the grocery shopping so I’ll have even less of an excuse for making bad choices.

Now if only my toe would stop looking so funky.

Your turn, eaters:

What have you done to set yourself up for a healthy week?

And beyond?

G’night eaters!

Memories of Buttermilk Donuts

Hi eaters!

So remember last night how I made an excuse as to why I didn’t post my donut recipe on Tuesday. Ya know, how I had so much to say and couldn’t do it justice unless I had time to properly flush out my ideas and write?

Well, I’m sitting down to write this post at 10:32pm.

Yup. This is my life.

Anywhoo, donuts.

The idea to make donuts came about when Leon and I were talking about the holidays coming up. We’ve talked about some of our holiday memories and traditions in the past, and one of Leon’s fondest memories (as it seems to me) is of his mother making donuts on Christmas morning.

According to him, his mother makes these really amazing, almost salty donuts and then they each get a bowl of maple syrup to dip them in. When the donuts are gone everyone then drinks their bowl of syrup.

(FYI, this story is also how Leon convinced me that it was completely normal and almost required that I take a shot of syrup when I went up to Vermont last summer.)

Every time he tells me about this tradition he gets such a little boy sparkle in his eyes that I couldn’t help but get intrigued by these donuts.

And of course, every time he talks about his mother’s Christmas donuts I can’t help but think of my own mother taking Brother and I to Dunkin’ Donuts some mornings before school. While him and I were ordering the craziest, most heavily iced donuts we could find, Mother always, without fail, ordered an Old Fashioned, which is just a plain cake donut.

It may seem weird that I think of Mother driving me to school while Leon is thinking of his family’s Christmas traditions, but Mother driving Brother and I to school was kind of a big deal. Everyday from preschool until we were in high school (and even some then, too), she drove us to school. We were almost never on time and our shirts certainly were never tucked in, but that didn’t matter to Mother. She always drove the speed limit and always listened to NPR.

I may not get a little boy sparkle in my eyes thinking about these morning commutes, but they’re still pretty special.

So with simple, glaze-less donuts bringing up such fond memories for Leon and I, it seemed like it was high time that I tried my hand at them.

Classic.

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Donuts

Adapted from Something Swanky

I don’t know if either of the donuts in question actually use buttermilk (and I’m certainly not comparing these to Leon’s mother’s donuts), but I wanted to* so I did.

2 ½-3 c AP flour, plus more for dusting

1/3 c sugar

1 t baking soda

½ t baking powder

~1 t nutmeg

½ t salt

1 c buttermilk

1 egg

2 T coconut oil/butter

oil for frying

Put everything except the frying oil in a bowl and mix until combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.

Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface until it is ~1/4” thick, or just a tad thicker. Using whatever two sizes of circles cutters you have on hand (I used the top of a Mason jar and a fondant cutter I happened to have), cut out donuts and place on a floured sheet of wax paper.

You can save the centers to fry as donut holes or you can throw them back into the dough and roll them out for more donuts. Your call.

Once all the donuts have been cut, heat ~4” of oil in a pot (or an electric wok!) to roughly 350-375F. Gently drop the donuts in one at a time, in batches of two or three. Cook for ~2 per side and then transfer to a paper towel to drain.

Keep frying until all dozen or so donuts have been fried to fragrant, brown perfect.

From here you can dip them in cinnamon sugar, add a chocolate ganache, coat them in vanilla glaze, or dip them as you see fit. Or, you can be a bit of a purist, and leave them as they are.

Obviously, I chose the simplest route and was rewarded with a big plate full of brown, crispy, warm, slightly misshapen, not overly sweet or sticky donuts.

And while these don’t have nearly the same emotional attachment as Leon’s mother’s donuts or my mother’s favorite donut, they’re still delicious. And they’re still homemade.

And you can bet every single dollar that you have that one day these donuts will actually mean something to someone. Hopefully by then I’ll be better at keeping them round.

What do you think, eaters:

What’s a food that has a strong, albeit slightly silly or obscure emotional attachment for you?

What’s your favorite kind of donut?

G’night eaters!

Not real buttermilk.

*I didn’t use real buttermilk. It wasn’t until the day after I made them that I read this NYTimes article about how most conventional buttermilk is fake. And lo and behold, when I checked my carton I realized that it, too, was just milk with cultures added in.

WIAW: No Planning

Hellooooo eaters!

I skipped out on you last night, but I have a totally legit reason why: I got home late and while I could have quickly scratched out a post, the recipe I have to share with you is too good to do it the injustice of being accompanied by a subpar post.

Yeah…did the whole “my paper is late because I have so much to say” excuse ever work for you in school?

Ehh, oh well.

At least you’ll get to see below what the recipe is for.


Crossfit:

Skill:

1 mile

WOD:

5 rounds of 1 minute max rep and 1 minute rest for each

ring rows

push ups

My mile time was 10:52, which is kind of embarrassing. But at the same time, running is by far my weakest skill.

I managed a total of 124 ring rows and 100 pushups.

Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with spinach and Dubliner cheddar (the BEST!), with half a plum and sunflower seed butter.

I did eat my usual fruit n’ fat before Crossfit, but I was running way late and only had time to eat half a plum, so I finished the second half with breakfast.

Waste not, want not, right?

Snack #1:

Licking the beaters totally counts as a snack, right?

Snack #2#

The last of the on sale+coupon string cheese.

My morning got pretty hectic and over packed after breakfast, so this was eaten after 1pm and in a desperate attempt to keep myself from passing out into a vat of hot fryer oil. Speaking of which…

Snack #3:

A fresh from the fryer, homemade buttermilk donut.

Why yes, eaters, that is a homemade buttermilk donut I’m eating. And yes, you will get the recipe tomorrow.

You’re so smart, eaters. That’s why we’re friends.

Lunch:

Fage Greek yogurt with (Maranatha) sunflower seed butter, a peach, and sprinkles.

This was one of those “I need to eat, but an tired, not hungry, and don’t really have time” meals.

Dinner:

Hot damn hooray, Leon ordered pizza. And it was just sitting on the table when I got home from a “happy hour”-type birthday party, begging to be eaten. So I did.

Pepperoni pizza from Spring Garden Pizza

And that wraps up a super weird, poorly planned day of eating. I’ve been having too many of those lately. Which brings me to…

Your turn, eaters:

I need to buy a lunchbox — Do you have a recommendation? Do you have things I should definitely look for in a lunch box?

What’s the best excuse you ever used to get out of an assignment or not get in trouble for turning it in late?

Later eaters!