callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Randomly Rambling on a Saturday! Gosh, what will happen next? Masterplan: sort out health this month, Nanowrimo next month, Christmas the month after... dear gods.

Food
So, it's time to clean up my act. I have been thinking on this for days, and I have been thinking about attack plans and preparation. I like a low carb, whole food kind of approach, as I am sure most people must know by now. :) So first, some thoughts. I have to be mentally ready, and part of this means not eating my feelings any more, being more in control when I am out and feeling good, and also being aware of my traps.

Anxiety and Eating My Feelings.
I have been very up and down mentally lately, with a whole slew of things draining my mental energy and distracting me from life in general. One of those things has been a huge rift between my Mum and I, which left me devastated but also left me feeling quite under seige in my own home. Things are starting to work out, but I've been feeling anxious and upset and miserable for most of a week, which has been annoying to say the least. Plus there was a miscommunication with a loved one, and some other general anxious moments. But as someone pointed out, I have had my three and everything should be fine from now on. 

I need to figure out a way to not eat my feelings any more. I have to re-pattern my comforts. :( This is the hardest part, I think, of trying to make this a permanent change. When I am upset of course I am going to reach for something to distract me or make me feel better. So how am I going to change this? What are my options? I can ring people, I guess. Ju might get tired of the sound of my voice, but there are other people I can go to for comfort. I guess. I'm still learning how to do that and not get hurt. I don't think it's been so successful yet. Also, I am planning on divorcing Castleville. How many addictions can I tackle in a week? Suggestions will be welcome!

Going Out and Feeling Good
I have been making bad food choices when I have been out and enjoying myself, and food is often a key part of self care and morale. I need to be more conscious of my choices, and frame the decisions as more 'enjoyment is also choosing healthy food for myself' and 'self care is ensure I make choices based on health rather than desire.' There's always options I can choose if I look hard enough, and treats of quality rather than quantity should be the idea. 

Don't Go Near That Trapdoor!
Oh dear gods the traps! My weaknesses... Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. *cries* Chiko Rolls. *cries* Noodles *cries* (though rice noodles do less damage to me wheat noodles do and I usually choose rice noodles these days.) Crusts of freshly baked bread. *cries* Take away. (No crying here, I hate takeaway but sometimes the efficiency in procurement means we get it.)

So. If I buy or any one gives me Buttercups, I shall.... um, stash them somewhere and use them as rewards? Except I want to get away from the rewards as food thing in my head.  Ask John to stash them somewhere? Eat them all in one go and then be happy? Save it for the cheat meal? Ooo, I like that idea. I shall save them for the cheat meal. Delayed gratification should be fine. The Buttercups don't have much or any wheat in them, the only problem with them is the sugar. So on the scale of bad things, it's bad on the sugar side but not the wheat side.

So. If I am out of the house and need to eat something, I shall... Try and make better choices about food. Less processed food, wheat free food, good, healthy food. Options include carrying a tin of tuna with me at all times (yuck but I usually don't need to snack after a while anyway, and it's OK with salads), buying water, or perhaps considering liquid meals, such as a fruit or vegie smoothie thing. That would also fall in line with the less wheat angle, and the processing angle isn't too bad, it's more the additives that come with processing that's the problem in other foods I am worried about. Restaurants often have salads, or lumps of meat with salads, and I can ask them to hold the potatoes/chips/whatever.

Practicalities
What I can do in the house to make sure my needs are met and my detoxing from carbs is successful.
- when I have the urge to snack, I can eat cheese, boiled eggs, tuna, drink water, have a coffee
- I will make sure my water bottle gets filled regularly as I know I drink it when I fill it
- Make sure there is cooked chicken or meatballs or protein foods handy
- make sure there is always salad ingredients handy
- if I am out of the house and at someone else's house and I am desperate, fruit is usually available and is wheat free and not processed
- I will buy a half a cow
- I will buy 12 kilos of chicken legs asap
- I will do a final edit of my shopping list to get rid of any processed foods that have snuck into my list.
- Breakfast ideas can include a boiled egg and V-8 if I can't stand bacon and eggs any more.
- No tomato sauce
- no packaged bernaise
- One week's chicken cooked and in the freezer at all times
- One cheat meal a week, or less.

Final Notes
I will start on Monday I guess. I am going to get my monthly shop delivered on Monday, and I have no idea what food is already in the house. I was a bit out of it when I did last month's shop, so I bought heaps of condiments and a couple of packaged stuff. I am more alert this month, so I will go over it and make sure I get rid of the stuff that might be tempting to me. We need to do a weigh in as I found that not weighing in did not help me at all when I tried to clean up during August or whenever it was that I got so sick I ended up on 2 types of antibiotics.. I am looking forward to having everything under comtrol again. I can't believe how often we eat when we're eating crap. I can't wait to stop snacking, and I can't wait to stop feeling cramped and bloated in the tummy when I know I can fix that. Maybe I should just take measurements rather than weigh in. Also, once the initial week or two is over, I will be going back to the gym. Yay gym! Firm decision required - weigh ins plus measurements I think.

Suggestions or comments welcome but I reserve the right to ignore any trolling or unhelpful comments.

callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Dinner tonight was so awesome I am blogging it so I remember!

Ingredients
- Trio ginger/garlic/spring onions
- Oil
- 100ish grams of beef mince

Vegies
- one smallish/medium sized eggplant in one inch cubes
- one zucchini in one inch cubes
- can water chestnuts, drained

Sauce (mix up ready to go)
- 125 mls chicken stock
- 125 mls chicken master stock (or just use normal chicken stock)
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons kecap manis
- 2 tablespoons CHILI BEAN IN SOYA OIL
- 1 tablespoon Chinese vinegar

- Cornflour slurry to thicken

------
1) heat wok, add oil, add trio, fry for ten seconds, add beef mince as crumbled as possible. Let it fry for a bit until it's mostly brown, and then start tossing it about a bit to make sure it's all done.

2) Add vegies and strifry for a few minutes, tossing around. Add sauce and bring to boil with lid on. Maybe 5 minutes? Then take lid off and check it out. Eggplant should be mostly done, so stir it around a bit more to release more water from the sauce and finalise cooking. Eggplant should be in cubes still, not turned into mush. (I have learnt a lot about cooking eggplants LOL) 

3) Add slurry, stiry until it's thick and done, put in serving plate. I had fresh chopped spring onion greens on top, but I think a drizzle of toasted sesame oil would be the perfect trick.
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Name of Cuisine:

Italian

Dining Experience:

Lots of very solid, very yummy food. Stories of proper Italian dinners involving multiple courses and a fish course, a pasta course, a beef course, a chicken course....Lots of lovely desserts too, the most famous of which is tiramisu. Italian (to me) is very much a home food. Every one has their own version of Spaghetti Bolognese (also known as SpagBol, SpagBog, Bog) and Lasagne. Chesh and I are planning to make lasagne a family event, from making the pasta through to the final product. We think it will be a fun activity to do with *every one*.  All the pastas mentioned below I expect to make by hand with Vinnie's assistance.

Customs and Notes:

Food is a very group and/or family affair. The care and love shown from growing the produce through to group processing and cooking and consumption is very much a tie in of food and love.

Recipes: (10 recipes)

1) Pizza with potato dough base and special tomato sauce
2) Roman Pan-fried Lamb
3) Gnocchi Romana
4) Pasta carbonara
5) Pasta Marinara
6) Lasagne
7) Parma-wrapped chicken stuffed with herbed garlic cheese
8) vegetarian Bean and Pasta Casserole
9) pancooked chicken with artichokes
10) Pumpkin and spinach cannelloni
11) Chicken (paprika) casserole


Main Ingredients I need to obtain (excluding meats):

General Ingredients
AnchoviesOlives (green)Olives (black)
Parma HamGruyereParmesan
EggsFlourCheese
PasataSoft Cheese with herbs and garlicPasta Sauce
OnionCrushed Tinned tomatoesArtichoke Hearts
Cannelini Beans  
   



Resources (Books/Blogs/Etc)
This is the book I am using:
Italian - over 180 tantalising recipes
The funny thing about this book is that I tried to give it away! I didn't like the formatting or the recipes, but Chesh said he did, and would mark some things he liked to try. So, it's now going to be my main reference for this month.
Also, an old favourite might have few entries/.

Livejournal Posts
Roman Panfried Lamb and Potato Base Pizza with Special Tomato Sauce

Other notes... Japanese month was a complete flop. I was sick for three weeks out of four, and we did a couple of recipes, but not the whole array I had planned. I'll tackle Japanese again later, probably in a warmer month. I want to explore cold noodle soups and salads more!
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Garlic and Lemon Chicken with Tomato Pilaf and Mother's Birthday Cake )


Notes: The garlic and lemon chicken was lovely! I oven baked marylands rather than doing wings like in the recipe, but next time will go with wings. The skin really took on the flavours of the marinade, and it was crisp and juicy. The tomato pilaf was pretty good too, and was unusual in that in the recipe you start with 500gs of tomatoes, blend them, and then add a few bits and pieces, and use that as the water for the rice. I cheated and used a tin of tomatoes which I then blended.

The vegetable dish for the night was a lot like loobia, except it had carrots, and chickpeas. I cooked up some chick peas and made hummus for tomorrow night, and froze the rest to help me get into using them more in cooking. I want to use more legumes etc, so I have to start somewhere!
The chick peas were yummier than from a can. Weird. :-)
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
I am starting my monthly meal plan for next month. The second most popular item on my food poll was Japanese, so Japanese will be the theme of next month.

If you have any suggestions or hints for me to think about, post them here!
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Chicken and Onion Pie, Sweet Potato Salad and Couscous and My Secret )

Notes: I can not stress enough how much Chesh loves that sweet potato salad. I think it is the preserved lemon. I did not do the egg yolk wash on the philo as recommended, but it was good anyway. Dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon as per recipe. :-) It was all really really good! Again!
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Meat Cigars, cold Aubergine with Tomatoes and Chickpeas, and Cucumber and Yoghurt Salad )

Notes: This was the first time I have used filo pastry and it was much easier than expected. Only problems were little hands wanting to help. He seems to like eating all pastries raw. The meat cigars were astonishingly morish, and I did make a LOT of them even though I only used 500gs of mince rather than the full 750 as per the recipe. The cucumber salad is basically tzadziki with half-moon cucumbers instead of grated. I liked the aubergine with tomato and chick peas better cold than I did warm!

The nashi with sweet cream cheese is fantastic. I had a quarter of a pack of cream cheese left, so warmed it to be able to beat it in the microwave, added maybe a scant tablespoon of caster sugar, about two drops of vanilla and beat it all up and smeared it around and added very finely chopped nashi. The denuding of the nashis was an effort in itself. I was going to make nashi pie, but they're the size of GOLF BALLS. Once I had done six, I cut one in half and discovered they are also mostly core. *sigh* And then V would run off with one to eat it. Then come back for more. The little parcels were much easier. :-)
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
A kind of simple dinner tonight, two types of sausages with corn, and Aubergines with Tomato and Chickpeas. It was my first time to use the pomegranite molasses. One and a half tablespoons did indeed flavour the entire dish. It was lovely. It wouldn't make it to my favourites list yet, but was good, and probably will make for a shared meal one night.

Bad photos of dinner. Enjoy! )
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Dinnah!

I think I read somewhere about everything being served on one big plate and against mounds of pilaf or couscous, so I thought I would give it a try. In the end though, we thought Vinnie might not like it and opted out for now, so this was served as it was and we all had our own plates. The chicken turned out AWESOME!! A real win! And the loobia also turned out to be a real win! The loobia came from Barbara at Tigers and Strawberries and the chicken is from Arabesque.

Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Honey, Loobia and Pilaf )
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
Name of Cuisine:

Turkish/Lebanese/Moroccan

Dining Experience:

Mostly sitting on cushions on the floor with a low table in the middle. Starters or appetizers, main course, and desserts. Drinks often yoghurt based. Usually men eat together, no mention of what women do. Gossip in the kitchen I guess. :-/ (Incomplete entry)

Customs and Notes:

Recipes: (10 recipes)

1 - Loobia (beans in tomatoes and onions)
2 - Turkish style kebabs (toasted pita bread, a tomato sauce, natural yoghurt sauce and beef or lamb mince kebabs with sumac sprinkle)
3 - Chicken honey tagine
4 - Lamb stew with egg and lemon sauce
5 - Chicken with dates
6 - Mini turkish pizzas
7 - Baked kibbeh with onion and pine nut topping
8 - Lamb chermoula
9 - Stuffed courgettes in tomato sauce
10 - Grilled chicken wings with lemon and garlic
11 - chicken pie with onions and sumac
12 - Aubergines with Tomato and Chickpeas
13 - Meat Cigars
14 - Cucumber and Yoghurt Salad
15 - Sweet Potato Salad
16 - Hummus


Main Ingredients I need to obtain (excluding meats):

General Ingredients
YoghurtPine NutsBurghar
MintDillParsley
eggplantlemonspring onions
EggsCapersFeta
WalnutsFilo PastryCinnamon
all-spicepistachiostahini
chick peaspomegranite molassesvine leaves


Resources (Books/Blogs/Shops):
Arabesque by Claudia Roden
http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Cookbook/Morocco.html
http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com/

Livejournal Posts:
http://callistra.livejournal.com/411205.html
http://callistra.livejournal.com/412006.html
http://callistra.livejournal.com/415964.html
http://callistra.livejournal.com/416622.html
http://callistra.livejournal.com/418493.html
http://callistra.livejournal.com/422837.html
http://callistra.livejournal.com/424031.html
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (cake)
The plan for this month is located here. Tonight's meal was all prepared within an hour, though I did have help from [livejournal.com profile] mynxii, [livejournal.com profile] cheshirenoir, and The Big V. I am extremely pleased. It worked out fast, and really well! It was lovely to be able to present a beautifully laid out meal. It looks like a mess afterwards though!!

Dinnah! )

Food!

Apr. 5th, 2008 08:47 pm
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (cake)
I am tossing around ideas about cooking in the next few months. I have a number of cuisines I am a little bit confident at, and one cuisine per month, say two nights a week, would really broaden my horizons and get me even more confident in that cuisine!

Plus, as Babalon_93 pointed out, maybe I could learn something on the way.

I can cook in:

Indian
Thai
Chinese
Moroccan/North African
Japanese
Italian

When I feel more able, I will think about this some more. Since this is a learning experience, I am making a template for details for myself. What sort of things would you guys like to know?
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
A Drop-In-And-Decorate Day! We make huge numbers of cookies and people drop in and decorate some and we give them away! Plus I expect eat some ....

:-)

http://www.ninecooks.com/hostyourown.pdf

Looks like fun though!
:-)
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Good as Gold AOL)
Life is good right now. I'm feeling good, John is feeling good, Vincent is asleep and therefore must be feeling good..

And we are having this for dinner: Honeyed Lamb Shanks for dinner. YUMMO! I'm off to start prepping for vegies. We made a big cake today. *grin*

Hey, would Connor like a duckling for his birthday? *evil grin*

More than three ducklings this time! Just by a few... )

Nanowrimo

Oct. 16th, 2005 12:24 pm
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Wickedness!)
I need to read a lot of fairy tales.
:-)

I'm going to go down to Elaine's nanowrimo weekend in November for just a few hours. I'm excited already! I'm really looking forward to a few hours with friends, writing, cooking, and relaxing. I'm going to miss my boys but at the same time, I can't wait to be without them!! LOL!!

[livejournal.com profile] babalon_93's baby show was a lot of fun. I wish now I had made Chesh come with us. He would have liked to go to the pub with the boys, and then I could have stayed longer! The party was huge - heaps and heaps of people, and my favourite times of parties has to be later on, when it's a bit quieter and there's just a few people around, and every one can chat in a single group. :-) It's just ... nice. :-)

Vincent was a very good boy, despite all the passing like a parcel, he wasn't whingey or over tired much, which is fantastic. It was a big day for him yesterday! We went to the Kelmscott show in the morning, and then off to the party afterwards! I thought about leaving him home briefly, but he seemed happy enough, and besides, the point to baby showers is to frighten the new mums as much as possible... however, he's not a very frightening baby. He sat calmly in [livejournal.com profile] babalon_93's arms for the most part, so yeah, apart from the "I've never done this before" fear, he's not very fear inducing. :-)

Anyway, I am getting all enthused about having people over for dinner tonight... Menu at present is:

Pork and Corn Patties
Tom Yum Goong
Massaman Beef
Pepper and Garlic pork
Coconut Rice
Stirfried Vegies

At this rate, I don't think I'll be doing dessert, but I do have a number of cheeses lying around...
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Red tomato icon)
Goodness, I have been watching too many cooking shows! Dinner tonight was leek and pea risotto with honey mustard garlic prawns, and the butter from the prawns drizzled around the risotto. Dessert is strawberry pudding - using Jamie Oliver's recipe from some episode of the naked chef that I have seen about four times now, I mixed up 75gs butter, 75 gs castor sugar, and then later add one egg and 75 gs self raising flour, dolloped it on top of chopped strawberries. Realising that Jamie had done his pears with a syruppy thing, I then poured a little plum port between dollops in lieu of a syrup, and popped it in the oven. Served hot with connosieur vanilla icecream.

Pics of main, but not dessert, will be posted to food porn, when I can be bothered.
:-)

However, this is food for the soul as well as for the body, so I don't feel as carbed out as I have been. Yay! Lunch today, I made pad thai. Oh, and the Franks and Beans were....OK. John liked them more than me.
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
These options are subject to change. Except for tonight.

Mostly )
callistra: Fuschia from Sinfest crying her heart out next to Hell's flames (Default)
I made Aki's caramel slice instead of cupcakes.

So. One caramel slice, one buncha sausage rolls, and probably a dip and vegetables for those avoiding the higher calorie options.

:-)

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