That Awkward Time

Hello m’dear dear eaters!

I took last week off from blogging to hang out with my family. And then I drove back to Greensboro, picked Leon up from the airport, and we spent a lot of time cleaning and organizing the house, which was so messy it was annoying.

I didn’t know annoying was a level of messy until I walked in my front door.

But a few hours, a few Rubbermaid tubs, and a mail sorter later, my house was organized and livable.

And I was in the mood to get the rest of my life in order.

So Leon and I gave Charlie a bath. I did some serious work on my thesis. I’ve already got the healthy eating on lock thanks to my friends from Crossfit who are hosting a paleo New Years Eve party. I ordered a few books (Bitches on a Budget and 20-Something, 20-Everything, which I’ll tell you about if your interested) that will help get my life in order in the future.

And now, I think it’s time to get my blog in order.

From here on out, FoodBaby won’t be a Sunday through Thursday blog. It’ll be a two or three times a week blog.

Ya see eaters, it’s not that I’m losing steam. It’s not that I’m burning out on blogging. And it’s certainly not that I’m tiring of you. (Because you’re amazing and I want to hang out with you and braid your hair and we can tell ghost stories and get glamour shots taken at Sears.)

It’s that I’ve been writing a lot of crap. It’s that dinner comes every night and my meals have been repetitive and less than inventive. It’s that I’m starting to feel like this blog is a chore and a stressor, except for that one or two times a week when I write something I’m excited about and proud of.

So instead of writing five times a week and feeling guilty when I don’t, I’m only writing what I’m proud of and excited about.

And now, for this awkward time between Christmas and New Year’s, here’s a bunch of photos from my life. Enjoy.

My mom's Socialist Pancake.

I LOVE dedicated water bottle fillers in airports.

My father pretending to treat my grandfather like the Godfather.

Learning the ancient art of napkin folding.

My second favorite Italian bakery in New York.

Actual authentic New York pizza, I love you.

Totally nailed an unsupported headstand, thank you very much Crossfit.

A really delicious wine for under $10.

My brother, ready for work.

Thanks to my new LifeProof case I was able to take this picture of myself in the shower.

A new thing I made up: save your mismatched dangly earrings to turn into Christmas ornaments.

And here are a bunch of cute pictures of Charlie laying on my mom's furniture.

Your turn, eaters:

Grammar people, is it New Years’ Eve or New Year’s Eve?

How was your holiday?

G’night eaters!

Happy Merry!

G’morning eaters!

I just wanted to say a very merry Christmas from my little family to your whatever-size family!

PS — I did the Christmas chipper this morning. Did you?

A Christmas Chipper

Hiya eaters!

It’s Christmas eve. I’ve got tons of fun family time planned, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. And sweaty.

So here’s a little Christmas eve or Christmas morning workout for all of you.

It’s what we call a “chipper” in Crossfit, meaning that you chip away at the reps and the exercises as you go. And it’s the workout that I’m going to be doing tomorrow between opening presents over breakfast and going to hang out with my family tomorrow afternoon.

I hope you have as much fun as I’m sure I will.

Think of it as a Christmas present for your body.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you workout on holidays?

When do you open your Christmas presents?

G’night eaters!

Holiday Photo Dump

Hi eaters!

Sorry for completely disappearing these last few days. Between a date night and then a traveling day I haven’t had the material or time to blog.

So to make up for it, here’s a lovely photo dump with my attempt at humorous and informative captions.

1) This is what I read while waiting for my brand new tires to be put on. 2) If you enjoy humor and essays, this is the book for you.

 

An ornament from Sur la Table that I really wanted.

 

For all you Greensboro people, Crafted on S Elm is so good.

 

This is a sign that a restaurant is trying too hard.

 

Scrambled egg and chorizo tacos with avocado, pico, queso, and potatoes.

 

Leon and I celebrated Christmas on Wednesday night.

 

Egg nog with a splash of rum is delicious. Egg nog curdling because I didn't drink it fast enough is not.

 

My amazing boyfriend got me a very luxurious flavor of coffee from a local roaster.

 

The puppy nest I made Charlie in an attempt to help him feel better about being at my mom's house.

 

Lunch.

 

One of my all time favorite candies — Cadbury milk chocolate Easter eggs — is now in Christmas form!

 

Mom's boyfriend got someone to send him a real Christmas pudding all the way from Tesco grocery store in England!

 

I had no idea that you're supposed to pour brandy on a Christmas pudding and then light it on fire.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite candy?

How do you feel about drinking out of mason jars?

G’night eaters!

Bad Hush Puppies

G’day eaters!

It’s be an almost extremely, definitely painfully long day over here. I had a ton of trouble sleeping last night — which never happens, by the way — and that just messed my whole day up.

By once I got off work I put my feet up and watched that episode of The Office from the second season where Micheal grills his foot on the George Foreman he keeps by his bed to cook bacon (which I am so jealous of!) and I instantly felt significantly better.

So now that that little story is over with, let’s talk about my failures.

In case you were under any delusions of my being awesome or perfect right out of the gate, let me dash those right now: I am so not even close to perfect. I make lots of mistakes. A lot of my recipes fail and I try to take way too many shortcuts.

Which brings me to tonight: hush puppies.

I found a recipe for Georgia-style hush puppies — which are very different from North Carolina-style, by the way — from Garden & Gun magazine, because they seemed like a reliable source.

I figured out what a third of the recipe would be and mixed the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients.

I whisked the two sets on ingredients just enough to combine and then let them sit while I heated the oil.

I fried the puppies in small batches so as not to affect the oil temperature, all the while saying things like, “I should fry everything!” and “I totally understand why Paula Deen has a built in fryer.”

I decided to test one of the beautiful brown little puppies before dinner.

And this is where I discovered my problem…

Apparently a frying thermometer is important and you can’t just eyeball the temperature of the oil by dipping a wooden spoon in and seeing if it bubbles steadily (meaning the oil is about 350F) or vigorously (meaning the oil is too hot). Because if you do just eyeball it you’ll end up with half cooked hush puppies.

If you can't tell from my poor photography skills, that's the very doughy center of a hush puppy.

Womp womp.

Oh well, I popped the whole lot of them into the toaster oven for a few minutes and then we magically had fully cooked, but still not tasty hush puppies.

So let this be a lesson to you, eaters: the temperature of things is very important when cooking, and the hush puppy recipe from Garden & Gun magazine isn’t good.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s the last cooking failure you had?

Do you eat your failures?

G’night eaters!

Omega Man Workout

G’evening eaters!

Today I was wonderfully successful at trying to apologize to my body for all the crap I did to it and put in it this weekend by doing healthy things.

I went to an early morning Crossfit session before work.

I ate fruits and vegetables.

And I didn’t eat too too much of this frosting-flavored pb.

Hooray health!

And because I love health and Photoshop (did I mention that I love Photoshop and that I really want Santa to bring it to me because I’ve been so good this year and eaten lots of broccoli?) I thought I’d give you a pretty AND pretty damn tough WOD (Workout Of the Day) for tonight’s entertainment.

Yup, it’s Omega Man time!

You may remember this guy from my house tour.

Well, he’s awesome. And he rhymes. And I see him everyday and he never ceases to make me smile.

So next time you’re without a gym but in serious need of a workout, I suggest you bust this bad boy out.

It may not be pretty. It definitely won’t be easy. But it’s never easy standing tall for excellence. Or being an inspiration to the crowd. Or making the brother/sisterhood proud.

But it’s always worth it.

Am I right?!

Ya gosh darn right I’m right!

Oh, and this is an awesome workout to do with friends, if you’re feeling a little competitive.

And if you’re new to air squats, they’re just low depth squats you do without adding extra weight. Here’s a good demo, but I would ignore when she tells you to put your hands behind your back. Every single person I know puts their hands out in front of them at about head height because that helps you keep your chest up.

What do you think, eaters:

Are you going to give this workout a try?

Does Omega Man inspire you to push harder?

G’night eaters!

PS — I’m not a certified personal trainer, Crossfit coach, or anything else that requires certification. This is my suggested workout, but I don’t know your life so PLEASE don’t do this if it will cause pain or injury.

Paleo Cookie Cake

Hiya eaters!

I could talk about how terrible the massacre in Connecticut was. I could talk about how unbelievably gut wrenching the idea of someone killing dozens of completely innocent children is. But, I’m not going to.

I’m much more of a fan of doing extra living in times of tragedy.

And luckily, this weekend I got to do lots of living because a bunch of friends rented a lake house for the weekend.

We ate lots of pizza.

Drank far too much.

Lounged in a hot tub.

It was fantastic!

And now I’m detoxing from all the fun by drinking liters of water and eating a massive salad.

Mmmmweekend.

But if you aren’t detoxing from beer Olympics and eating two pizzas in one day or if you’re still looking for some festive living, here’s that paleo (I think) cookie cake recipe I teased you with on Wednesday.

Possibly Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

First, is agave paleo? I’ve got no clue. Second, this can definitely be paleo if you want to splurge on egg protein instead of the more common whey protein. I know GNC has AWESOME egg protein.

Also, this was adapted from this Purely Twins recipe.

1 ½ c almond flour

½ c vanilla protein

½ t salt

2 eggs

3 T agave

½ c coconut oil

½ c apple sauce

1 T vanilla extract

large handful of chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or carob chips

a few shakes of rainbow sprinkles

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix all the ingredients together.

Grease an 8”-9” cake pan and bake in a 350F oven for 20-23 minutes.

Once the cake has cooled slice it up and dig it.

I suggest slicing it into 6 pieces because this cookie cake just happens to be perfectly Zone balanced at 12 total blocks, meaning that you can easily enjoy a 2 block slice.

And if you’re feeling extra festive I suggest mixing a little bit of honey and vanilla with some Greek yogurt to make icing.

Because what’s cookie cake without icing?

So here’s to living a little more in the face of realizing just how lucky we all are to be living.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite style of cake — cookie, traditional, or ice cream?

What’s your favorite part of the cake — cake or icing?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Squat Tabatas

Hiya eaters!

So I had a realization today: I’m bored.

My homework is done. I didn’t work today. I don’t have errands or crafts to do.

So you know what I did to fill my time? I did lots of dishes.

This is what it has come to.


Breakfast:

Two sunny side up eggs, a clementine, and a slice of Irish soda bread with a healthy schmear of butter.

Leon made corned beef and soda bread on Monday night, so I just had to have some leftover soda bread for breakfast. Schmeared with a thick pat of really good local butter, of course.

Dog walk:

Charlie is getting progressively crazier on his walks. His new trick yesterday was running up the side of a hill and then body surfing down it.

Charlie the body surfer.

I would probably be annoyed if he wasn’t the cutest little dummy.

Lunch:

I forgot to take a picture because I didn’t eat until something like 3:30. But it was a salad of red leaf lettuce topped with orange bell pepper, avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese, and steamed broccoli.

It was delicious. But then, when isn’t bacon on a salad a good thing?

Crossfit:

Last night’s class was a lower body killer!

Warm up: 3 rounds

Run ½ mile

10 empty barbell (which is 30#) behind the head overhead presses

15 empty barbell good mornings

10 empty barbell overhead squats

Yup, it’s the warmest warm up in town!

(That’s what we all say whenever the warm up is especially hard.)

WOD:

#HoorayCrossfit!

O’m’gah! Those squats killed me. I seriously almost couldn’t walk after each tabata. But, despite feeling like a cripple turtle on the run, I was able to run an 8:50 mile. Sure, that’s 28 seconds slower than my PR, but I’ll take it.

Appetizer:

Lay's, you will be the death of me.

Why do I buy chips? It never ends well.

Dinner:

Blackened catfish and roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts.

Sometimes Leon and I pretend to be healthy by eating fish and vegetables.

After dinner snack:

A slice of the cookie bar-cake thing I made yesterday.

Following my manifesto beliefs, this is not dessert because it’s actually almost healthy. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s the hardest workout you’ve done lately?

When do you normally eat lunch?

G’night eaters!

A Food Manifesto

‘Ello eaters!

I hope you enjoyed my pictures from last night. As you can tell, I’ve very proud.

Hell, I’m very proud anytime I can do something on the computer. I’m a bit of a Luddite, don’t ya know.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about my views on food. They’ve obviously changed over the years, especially since I’ve had this blog. And while I’m absolutely positive they will change more over the years, I figured it was worth tacking them down as they as now.

Kind of like a manifesto time capsule, if that makes sense.

So, without further ado, here’s my food manifesto as it stands today, December 11, 2012.

Sprinkles don’t have calories. Or carbs.

Eat one serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal.

Bacon should be thick cut and crispy.

Food becomes exponentially better when you eat it with your hands.

Condiments make food exponentially better.

Any cut of BBQ pork is the right cut as long as it’s saucy.

The more colorful the food the healthier it is, with regards to fruits and vegetables.

Tofu is not just for vegetarians.

Salads are the best packed lunches.

Eat at least one snack a day.

Dessert isn’t healthy. If it’s healthy than it’s not dessert, it’s an after dinner snack.

Never skip meals.

Nuts should be roasted and salted.

Donuts are a perfect food.

When you don’t know what to say, bake a cake.

Smoked paprika is the best spice, second only to pepper.

Cheese.

Strawberry banana is a very over used flavor combination.

It’s always worth it to make it from scratch. At least once in your life.

Eat locally and seasonally; it’s cheaper, among other things.

Never turn down crusty bread.

Pizza is also a perfect food.

Sausage is not just for ball games and barbeques.

Wine should be dry and shared.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that I have lots of other views on food, those are all I can think of.

Your turn, eaters:

What are some of your views on food?

Any of my views that you disagree with?

G’night eaters! 

Apple Cranberry Galette

Hola eaters!

Spoiler alert: This post has nothing to do with Spanish things.

If you’re a longtime eater you may remember that a couple of years ago I decided to master piecrust. It was summer. I was living in an apartment with my friends and we were too broke to turn the AC on any cooler than 80F. My kitchen supplies were still pretty sparse and I don’t think I even knew what a pastry blender was.

In short, it was the worst possible time to try my hand at mastering something that requires cold and a bit of precision, at least in regards to how finely incorporated the butter is.

And while I did okay — thanks mostly to some tips I learned that one time I had brunch with an editor from Bon Appétit — my pies were neither perfect nor pretty. So my pie perfect summer ended and I let all forms of crust (except pizza!) fall by the wayside.

But last week, with the festive holiday spirit, along with a strong craving for more cranberries, coursing through my veins I got the pie making itch. And it just so happens that a pie, especially a rustic free-form pie, makes a wonderful photography model for a storytelling project in my digital photography class.

(FYI, I am very proud of these photos. I wish all my pictures could look this good. And hopefully if Papa/Santa decided to bring me Photoshop for Christmas, at least they can be as well edited.)

Apple Cranberry Galette

2 apples, peeled and sliced

½ c cranberries, fresh or frozen

1 T sugar

1 T honey

1 t cinnamon

½ t ground ginger

1 T orange juice

Crust

1 c all purpose flour

6 T real butter, plus a little more

1 T vodka*

1 T sugar

~1/3 c water, as needed

~2 T heavy cream

*You can use lemon juice, but I hear vodka is best.

If possible, put the flour, butter, sugar, and vodka in a food processor. Set it to “dough” and whirl away until the dough has the texture of a very thick meal. Slowly start streaming in water until the dough barely forms a ball. Wrap the dough in wax paper and chill in the fridge for ~1 hour.

Put all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix until it’s all evenly mixed. Chill the filling for ~1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Take the dough out of the fridge, flour a surface and your hands, and roll out the dough to less than ¼” thickness. Carefully move the dough onto a baking sheet and spread a thin layer of butter over the top.

Pile the filling in the middle of the crust; you may not need it all. Gently fold up the edges, pressing them together where they overlap. Brush a little heavy cream over the crust edges and sprinkle everything with a little extra sugar.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden in most places and the fruit is just starting to darken at the edges.

Let it cool enough to touch and then cut yourself a big slice.

I highly recommend adding a heavy handed drizzle of really good quality cream. It’ll fill in all the nooks and crannies between the fruit and add a lovely cool note on a hot slice.

Of course, ice cream will do the same, but I had cream so cream was what I used.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you enjoy editing photos?

Do you prefer your pie a la mode or as is?

G’night eaters!