Leftovers, I Love You

G’diggidy day eaters!

I’m coming to you live from my very comfortable bed after a very long day of school and work and general, all around hustling.

This is my life and I’m not mad about it.

And tonight I want to talk about a very big part of my life: leftovers.leftovers1

Yes, leftovers do count as a big part of my life. #ThisIsMeHavingItAll

I know I’m not the first person to extol the virtues of having a fridge full of leftovers. Everyone who has ever lost a pound will tell you that they did so by cooking a little extra at dinner and bringing the leftovers as lunch. Every busy mom and lazy college student will tell you they save loads of pennies by eating dinner’s extras.

So obviously my love of leftovers is nothing new or extraordinary. But I never promised to post anything new or extraordinary, so let’s push forward.

Eating leftovers does save you money. Yes, you pay a little extra to buy all this extra food to make, but it’s a lot cheaper to have self-made convenience food on hand than to buy a meal out.leftovers2

Example: This is a meatloaf sandwich I made this past Sunday with leftover meatloaf from the night before. I was a little hung over and craving greasy food. Instead of going to the grocery store and buying a frozen pizza and chips (my usual hangover cure), I toasted some bread, heated up the meatloaf, and went to town.

It.Was.Awesome.

Eating leftovers also keeps you from eating junk food because, once again, after you make the food the leftovers become your convenience food instead of burgers and fries and Jimmy Johns subs.leftovers3

Had I not eaten this sandwich on Sunday I would have packed the meatloaf with a side of roasted veggies and eaten it between work and school (so I can use a microwave). A healthy meal on its own and made all the more healthy when you compare it to what I eat when I don’t have convenient healthy lunches — a turkey bacon and egg white breakfast sandwich that I pick up from Starbucks while I grab another coffee.

Moral of the story: Embrace leftovers. Buying handy Tupperware and a fun lunch box helps.

Your turn, eaters:

How do you feel about leftovers?

What did you eat for lunch today?

Later eaters!

Angry Zucchini Cookies

Hi eaters!

I’m exhausted to no end.

Over the last two days I’ve gone from living it up like a single lady on summer vacation to trying to balance classes, homework, work, being a girlfriend, working out, all my awesomeness, and the normal things that are necessary to sustain life.

I got 5 hours of sleep last night and have been up for 18 hours without a break.

Can “stressed” even begin to cover it?

Yeah…

So today when I came home for what should have been a three hour break full of a Zone-balanced lunch and baking some Beyond Bitchtastic Brownies only to find that we didn’t have ANY protein or cocoa powder, I threw a bit of a tantrum.

I yelled and slammed cabinets and didn’t cry. (Luckily, no one was there to witness this lovely display of adult-ness.)

Once I was done acting like a spoiled toddler (which was ironic behavior for the first day of my senior year of college), I decided to get proactive.

I hand grated my anger away.

I dirtied a lot of dishes without regards to the fact that I would have to wash them.

This wasn't even all of them.

I ate cookie dough while watching “Workaholics.”

Two spoons means I was double-fisting cookie dough.

I realized that I over worked the flour and forgot the vanilla.

Vanilla is for bitches.

I decided that I really didn’t give a damn anymore.

(Yeah, I’d crossed over the threshold from thinking I could still make the day wonderful and productive to just wanting to make it till the end.)

I ate a bunch of cookies* without regard to Zone blocks or imperfections.

Thank-you, Mama Pea.

These cookies didn’t make the day sunny and wonderful, nor did they magically give me an extra couple of hours of sleep, and they also didn’t get me off work early or out of homework, but Leon did wash the dishes and for once I wasn’t eating the chocolate chips straight out of the bag. So really, things were looking up.

Not to mention that they used an entire zucchini, which is good considering that Leon came home with what looks like a lifetimes supply of zucchini and summer squash.

Get ready for an endless stream of zucchini recipes. (And hopefully far fewer of these “I’m stressed and cranky and bitter” posts.)

Your turn, eaters:

How do you handle stress? I’d love some tips.

What’s a funny 22-minute sitcom on Netflix that I can watch next? I’m done with 30 Rock, the Office, Workaholics, and Scrubs.

G’night eaters!

*FIY — I made these with whole wheat pastry flour, a chia egg (1 T chia seeds + 2 T water), 1/4 c Earth Balance and 1/4 c coconut oil, and ~3 T sugar. And they are AWESOME.

Anti-Label Mac N’Cheese

Hello eaters!

Aside from a last minute doctor visit (because my leg stitches/wound is healing weird), this weekend has been lovely.

And I have tomorrow off, so my weekend is still going.

What more could you ask for from a weekend, really?

Nothing. Well, maybe except some of these leftovers.

Mac n'cheese.

Yup, I’m at it again — making unseasonal recipes.

And not only is this unseasonal, it’s not vegan, paleo, Zone-friendly, gluten-free, low fat, soy-free, low carb, or raw.

There has been so freaking much talk around the blogosphere lately about Paleo this and low carb that. Every recipe (and person!) seems to need to have a half dozen labels attached. And then if — deities forbid — they change something in some way they have to go all out and explain why suddenly they’re eating meat or eating less bread.

And then there’s the “loyalty” that people have for other people that share their labels and how quickly that loyalty fades when those labels change.

It’s tiring — keeping up with it all, figuring out your labels. And frankly, I’m getting beyond sick of it.

This may seem like a weighty topic to breach with a mac n’cheese recipe, but really, I think it’s very fitting. Because this recipe is so label-free — so almost anti-label, if you will — that I bet a bunch of people aren’t going to read this post after seeing the above picture.

But for those people that are brave enough to venture outside their labels and keep reading despite the carb-tastic, dairy-filled, visible protein source-free picture above, they will be rewarded.

With mac n’cheese.

Almost Dairy-Free, Anti-Paleo Mac N’Cheese

4 c (~1/2 lbs) whole wheat mini pasta shells, spirals, or elbows (plus water)

8 oz silken tofu

8 oz SHARP cheddar cheese*

¼ c nutritional yeast

2 cloves garlic

~1/2 T whole peppercorns

½ leek, chopped**

1 ½ c broccoli, chopped**

~2 T almond meal/bread crumbs***

salt, to taste

oil

*This is the only cheese you’re adding, so you don’t want to go weak on the flavor. Sharp is the only way to go.

**You can really use any green vegetable you want. I love leeks and broccoli, so that’s what I went with, but choose as you wish. Anything covered in cheese is good, right?

***This is for sprinkling on top if you want to bake it for a few minutes. You can leave this off if you don’t intend to bake it.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and then add the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, add the tofu, cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic, and peppercorns to a food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined and there are no visible large chunks of garlic or pepper. Taste and add salt, if needed.

A few minutes before the pasta is al dente add the broccoli directly to the pot. Once the pasta is done, drain it off in a colander.

Leave the pasta and broccoli in the colander for a few minutes while you drizzle a little oil in the bottom of the pasta pot. Once the oil is warm add the leeks and sauté for just a couple of minutes. Once the leeks are soft add the pasta and broccoli back into the pot.

Dump the cheese sauce into the pot and stir until everything is coated in delicious, creamy, cheesy, goodness. If you’re going to bake the mac, scoop it into a pan, sprinkle with almond meal/bread crumbs, and bake it in a 350F oven for 5-15 minutes, depending on how baked you like things.

Leftovers!

If you’re not going to bake the mac, dig in.

I sure as heck did.

And I enjoyed every label-less bite. Don’t even pretend you wouldn’t.

Your turn, eaters:

What labels do you use to define yourself?

Do you like baked or non-baked mac n’cheese?

G’night eaters!

A Year of Beer

G’evening eaters!

Today has been long and trying in so many ways, but also so darn rewarding.

Part of the reason it’s been rewarding is because today is National IPA Day! This is by far one of my favorite holidays. 

If you’re a long time eater, you may remember that last year I did a little IPA tasting in honor of the holiday. Not only did that tasting introduce me to two of my favorite IPAs — Dogfish Head 60 Minute and SweetWater 420 — but I also think of that day as the beginning of my life as a beer drinker. 

Sure, I drank beer before IPA Day 2011, but it was pretty limited. High Life. PBR. Bud Light. The occasional nicer beer when Brother was buying. But honestly, I didn’t know heads or tales of beer.

So in hindsight, it was pretty ballsy of me to think I could do a beer tasting. 

But o’m'gah, am I glad I did. Now I know that I loveloveLOVE beer. 

IPAs are my favorite. WIPAs (which are IPAs made with wheat beer) are good, too. Pale and golden ales taste like bologna to me. Hefeweizens are my newest intrigue. I still can’t tell much of a difference between porters and stouts, but I’m getting there. And I don’t like pilsners. 

In addition to generally being able to pick from a beer list, I’ve also drank some pretty ah-maze-ing beer in some beyond ah-maze-ing places.

Like a perfect pint of Guinness atop the Guinness factory in Dublin, Ireland. 

Guinness storefront 01

Like countless really dang strong pints at the Euston Beer Tap in London. 

Beer collage

Like a pint with Mother at the Queen’s Arms Pub in London. 

Like a small, but ever growing fraction of the beer available at the best beer grocery store in Greensboro — Best Way. 

Beer best way collage

Like a bunch of really fun pints at Natty Greene’s with m’lovely lady friend, Liz.

Like a bunch of really yummy stouts with the same friend. 

Beer stout day collage

And that’s not even half of the great beer I’ve drank in great places. So while I may be considerably more broke because of my beer habit, it’s been a dang good year. 

What do you think, eaters:

What’s your favorite type of beer?

G’night eaters!

Software Test

Hiya eaters!

This is just a test post for a desktop blogging software I’m trying out. I have a Mac, so I can’t use Windows Live Writer. I really hope this one works out. Abc dress2

Either way, you can disregard this post. It’s of no importance. 

G’night eaters!

Dang

Hi eaters.

The saga of my computer continues. Currently I’m neither able to import photos or save Word documents. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Yeah…

I have a Genuis bar appointment tomorrow and I’m not bringing my computer home until it’s completely fixed or I have a new one. So I’ll be blogging from Leon’s computer the next couple of days (once we get a couple of kinks worked out there). But today, I’ve got nothing for you.

Your turn, eaters:

Tell me something good to cheer me up.

Is it possible for camera memory cards to become corrupted? How often should those be replaced?

G’night eaters!

Things That Make Me Smile, 2

Hi eaters.

Can you tell from the lack of exclamation point that I’m unhappy?

Leon left today. I won’t see him again for 8 weeks. I’m in more than a little bit of a funk.

So rather than dwelling on that and spreading my funk around, let’s talk about happy things. Ya know, things that make me smile.

  • First up, this picture.

Guinness is trying to break a world record to have St. Patrick’s Day declared the happiest day of the year so if you sign a petition at the factory then you get to have your picture taken in the photobooth. I then convinced Leon to upload this to his FB, making it the first thing he’s posted on FB in something like a year.

  • A kilo of pb.

Don’t try to tell me it’s not normal to buy pb in quantities this large. Because when this was the same price as a regular size jar (and when you qualify for free home delivery from WFs so you don’t have to worry about how much your groceries weigh), buying pb by the kilo won’t sound so strange.

And yes, this is the second time I’ve bought this.

  • A porch-ful of puppies!

Source.

Leon and I are planning on getting a dog this summer, so we have been looking around at what’s out there.* I found this picture and for the rest of the morning I was following Leon around with my computer yelling “It’s a porch-ful of puppies!”

He didn’t exactly find it as amusing as me.

*We’re not going to a breeder, so we’re checking Craigslist and rescues. If you have any advice about rescuing a dog please share.

  • Hibachi restaurant-quality salad dressing.

Ya know when you go to a hibachi restaurant and they give you a salad of iceberg lettuce and shaved carrots, which normally you would pass up except it has the most ah-maze-ing gingery dressing?

Yeah, this tastes just like that.

  • This plant won’t die.

The little basil that could.

My ‘mate bought this a few weeks ago, picked a ton of leaves off, and kind of left it to die. I placed it by a window and have been sporadically watering it. Somehow, while it hasn’t grown any new leaves, it hasn’t died.

I like that kind of resilience.

So that’s all I’ve got for you tonight. Frankly, looking at these things has definitely made me smile a bit more. Hopefully, they’ve made you smile a bit, too. But if not…

It’s your turn:

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

How would you feel about a porch-ful of puppies?

G’night eaters!

Oops

Hi eaters!

This isn’t really a post.

I was planning on posting about my awesome internship interview and the awesome work I’m going to be doing with an awesome company. But this morning before I left something not so awesome happened.

M’mate Cate accidentally spilled coffee all over the keyboard of my laptop.

I acted quickly and within about 5 seconds I had the computer upside down and the battery out. Now it’s sitting in a roasting pan of rice.

I’m really really reaaaaaaally hopeful that tomorrow morning, after no less than 24 hours of hanging out in rice, it will magically turn on with absolutely nothing wrong with it. If not, it looks like someone is getting a new computer.

At least if I do it means I don’t actually have to buy new screen cleaner, right?

Right!

Whatever happens, though, I’ll be back tomorrow with a real post. A real post about my awesome internship.

G’night eaters!

Things That Make Me Smile

G’afternoon eaters!

Things have been so wonderful in my neck of the woods lately that I feel like I need to share them with you.

So here goes round one of things that have made me smile lately.

  • M’mate Cate and my toothbrush holders.

The blue elephant is mine.

I am more than a little neurotic about keeping my toothbrush safe. I read once that germs from the toilet spray a 6ft radius every time you flush. Now I don’t know if this is true, but at this point that doesn’t even matter. The gross seed has been planted and now I always need to have my toothbrush covered.

And that blue elephant is much cuter than a plastic bag.

  • Realizing that if I get hot milk instead of cold milk for my coffee won’t get cold as quickly.
  • My new purple pants.

You do know who Penny Lane is, right?

I bought these for 10€ in Paris and I love them. I especially love them with my new-ish boots because they make me feel a little like Penny Lane. And really, anytime I can feel like Penny Lane is a good thing in my book.

They are also a lovely addition to my collection of purple clothing. So far that includes a purple sweater, V-neck, cardigan, 2 purple workout shirts, and purple socks. And soon I’ll be adding a purple scarf.

  • This is the yarn that will become that scarf.

Except, I’m a total noob when it comes to knitting and bought the wrong sized needles. So the scarf will have to wait until I can make it back to the knitting store.

  • California’s Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional. Yeah eaters, I did just get all political on you. Granted, that’s about the extent of my political feelings, so I don’t think you have to worry about this turning into a political rant-fest.

Or really any kind of –fest.

  • The books I bought at Shakespeare & Co.

I constantly waver between wanting to dive head first into contemporary literature and feeling like I need to develop a better base understanding of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Obviously, when I’m in a bookstore with as much history as Shakespeare & Co, I went with the latter.

And now I have a book to read at home (For Whom The Bell Tolls) and a book for the Tube (Men Without Women).

  • A basket full of healthy WFs food.

Loot:

Red bell pepper, canned tomatoes, green lentils, oranges, parsley, free range organic eggs, Fage yogurt, vanilla bean paste, shredded coconut, potatoes, kale, celery, pb, Braggs amino acids, tempeh with sea vegetables, Food Doctor bars, and coffee.

All of this made me pretty damn happy. Well, I would have been happier had I bought a few more things so my total would be £50 so that I could have gotten free home delivery.

Sure, there have been several other things that have made me smile lately, but these are the big 7.

Isn’t that also a sports thing/term? Maybe? I don’t know.

What about you, eaters:

What’s something that has made you smile lately?

Do you have any random political stances you would like to declare?

Later eaters!

Beer Me, Please

Hi eaters!

No time to talk tonight. It’s been a long day. Day 3 of the BodyRock challenge coupled with endless steps and stairs has left my body beyond exhausted.

So exhausted, in fact, that I passed on going to Chinatown to see all the Chinese New Years festivities.

Instead, I’ve got a date with these two.

A couple of British IPAs.

And maybe some of this.

We eat entirely too much cheese in my flat.

Because sometimes, you just need the pub to come to you. And carbs are good for refueling after a workout, right?

Your turn:

What are you doing tonight?

What was the last good beer you had?

Later eaters!