Tuesday, September 30, 2008

slow release energy

I am really trying to stop my 3:30 space-out time at work. I find that at the end of the day I am exhausted and also swamped with work to do that I have a hard time motivating myself to keep going. The pile that builds up just seems so insurmountable by the end of the day but everything is also so urgent. I feel defeated and I have grown accustomed to eating mindlessly at this time. I am also in need of perking up, though, so it is hard to stop myself. So I am trying to substitute better foods at this time of day.

Tonight I made some oatcakes to try to insert into this snack attack. I think they are a bit bigger than they were supposed to be according to the recipe, since I made 12 and I was meant to make 16. But I am hoping that one will be substantial enough for me to get the energy to make it through my day. I need to have the energy to cycle home, too.

I think I will also need to take another snack food--maybe some fruit to nibble on because the act of snacking also seems to be a motivator (and it has been for me since uni days when I snacked my way through exam time). Either that or my brain needs reprogramming. It's quite bad news when there are chocolates of something left over from my tutor group and I end up mindlessly eating my way through the ten that remain in the box (after all, ten does not split between 28 students very well). Then I end up feeling ill and disappointed in myself.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

chard utopia

Mum and Dad gave me a new cookbook while we were visiting with them in August: Simply in Season. It's a companion cookbook to the Mennonite classic More with Less, which I have loved and used for years. Today I used it to make a variation of spanikopita called Chard Utopia (!) for our church harvest lunch tomorrow. It was my first time working with filo (or phyllo) pastry and very exciting it was too. First I chopped up mounds of greens, including chard, rocket, and the one that Sainsbury's simply labels "greens".

I added feta cheese, and garlic.

Then I layered the greens mixture with the pastry sheets, each one brushed with olive oil. It came out a lovely golden brown colour, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to see if it tastes good.

Monday, September 22, 2008

soup for the week ahead

Tonight I did something I have never done before in preparation for the week of work. Perhaps it is the healthy living magazine (Zest) I have been reading. Or perhaps that my mother told me she is totally eating low GI now (what an inspiration!). I prepared a soup tonight to eat over the week and I made the first two days of salad to go with it.

I made Caribbean Sweet Potato Coconut Soup from my new Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special cookbook (page 29 for the one reader who may be interested!). Here I am defrosting 2 cups of stock that I had frozen in cup measures, then popped out into a freezer bag. (Hey--I forgot to tell you that I roasted my first chicken two Saturdays ago and then I made my first stock the next day with the bones. All with the help of Mr Bittman.)

And the soup is made with lots of lovely sweet vegetables and coconut milk and orange juice. I had a small bowl tonight and I have a flask I will use to take it to school this week.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

food for my British party

I had such a great time last night celebrating my citizenship with some friends who came over. It was really nice to have my friends mix as well--not something that happens very much. I had some colleagues, some church friends, some new friends, and some of Ant's friends there. I wish I had taken more pictures! I guess I was too busy pulling things out of the oven and topping up (or was it emptying?) the Pimm's pitcher.

Dave was pressed into service when he arrived and he constructed this amazing cheese and pineapple hedgehog. Ant told me that this was a food he always ate in Liverpool when he was young, and my British guests confirmed that they remembered it from their childhoods.

Ant made the cucumber sandwiches and they were snapped up. I managed to get a photo just before they were all devoured. Very British with the crusts removed.

I ordered most of the other food from Sainsbury's: toad-in-the-hole, steak and kidney pies, cocktail sausages, onion bhajis, vegetable spring rolls and samosas, quiches. I did make the puddings, though, chocolate trifle and cream scones. I am so pleased with the scones (from my new Bittman cookbook), which we ate with clotted cream and Grammie's strawberry and raspberry jams. Yummm--it was delicious.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

party food

This is turning into a place to do some scratch paper thinking when I know that I need to find it again.

British party food
scones with clotted cream and jam (strawberry and raspberry)
other drinks: need mixers and juices, squash
cucumber sandwiches
sausage rolls
toad in the hole
steak and kidney pie
veggies with dip
scotch eggs
cheese and pineapple hedgehog

things that need to heated:
toad in the hole

things that need to be made:
cucumber sandwiches
dip and veggies


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