Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cookie Swap Cookies, 2012!

I am a terrible person, so I waited until the last minute this year to make my cookies before sending them out. I'm also super picky about my bananas (I won't eat them unless they're a little green), so I always end up with oodles of bananas in my freezer, waiting for cookies, or bread, or some kind of baked deliciousness.

That prompted my Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies this year.


1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 scant c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
generous 1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg
3 bananas, mashed
2 c. quick oats
lots and lots of chocolate chips!


Preheat the oven to 375. Mix your dry ingredients, then fold in butter until mixture is a little crumbly. Add egg, bananas, and oats. Mix it all up again. Finish with lots of chocolate chips! Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes.

Then take pictures with a better camera than my phone.



Enjoy! These are super moist cookies - best enjoyed within a few days, but will keep for about a week.

Another big thanks to the three ladies who sent me delicious cookies this year, as well as the organizers for putting in all the hard work required behind the scenes!

xo

Friday, November 30, 2012

Woohoo! Cookies, part two.

Today, I received part two of three cookies in the mail. Thank you so much, Julia!

Adorable packaging - and what a cute card! 
She sent Double Chip Chocolate Chunk cookies. Peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and huge hunks of chocolate. These, I'm going to bring to work to share. I already ate two, plus the dozen I received in the mail a few days ago, and I can't possibly fit into my dress for my sister's wedding in two weeks if I eat the rest!

I'm going to be baking and sending out my cookies tomorrow, since I don't have a whole lot of time next week. I hope everyone is looking forward to my cookies as much as I did theirs!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My first cookies!

I received my first dozen cookies this morning, from Corinne over at Reverberations. DELISH!

Super adorable packaging. Plus they're German, which is a huge bonus for me. And Corinne reads lots of German books and makes lots of German food, so I think we're going to get along famously.

I know, quality blows. But the container is so cute!
Was I supposed to take a picture of the cookies before I ate them all? ...oops.

German shortbread cookies with sea salt. And I'm really looking forward to this recipe!



As a side note, I'm sorry I haven't been around again lately. The in-laws moved in, so I moved out, and I've just been under a lot of stress. My 7-lb. weight loss in the last month is probably an indicator that I haven't been cooking for myself very often. I'm having spaghetti and meatballs tomorrow night and then perhaps I'll get back into the swing of things around here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Potato cheese soup

My mom used to make a super delicious soup during the winter when I was little. And since it's sort-of winter (okay, so it's not triple digits anymore and that excites me), I decided to try my own hand at it.

DELISH.



2 medium to large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 c. nonfat, low sodium chicken broth
2.5 Tbsp. butter
1 c. milk
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
2 green onions, chopped



Put your veggies in a pot with the garlic and cover with chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook for about ten minutes, until everything is a little soft, but not mushy. Put your butter in there, too. Watch it melt and contribute tons of delicious fat. Combine your cornstarch and cold milk. Mix it well! No lumps. Dump your milk concoction in to the pot and stir everything. Throw in the shredded cheese and stir until it melts. Top with your green onions and serve!

This doesn't count as topping with green onions. 

It was everything I had hoped it would be. The salted butter I used was just enough that I didn't have to add any seasonings. This is the perfect comfort food!

Enjoy! Ciao.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 2nd Annual Cookie Swap!

I just signed up for this year's Great Food Blogger's Cookie Swap, and I couldn't be more excited! I hope to see all of you that joined me last year join me again this year, with an added bonus! There is a mandatory fee to participate this year that will go toward Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

Now, for the next month, I'm going to be racking my brain for a new cookie recipe that's more delicious than the one last year. :)

In other news, I have been cooking lately, but haven't concocted anything original enough, homemade enough, or delicious enough that I thought warranted mention. Stay tuned! I may have a few things up my sleeve, thanks to my newest Food and Wine magazine.

Ciao!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicken on the fly

Today's dinner conversation went a little something like this.

Me: "What kind of meat do you have in the freezer?"
Kyle: "Just chicken. We should probably thaw some for dinner."
Me: "Hmmm. Okay!"

So I got the chicken out to thaw and promptly set about making gingerbread cookies, not giving the chicken a whole lot of thought until 9:30 when I realized we had plenty of cookies and no dinner. Not wanting to go to the store for a third time today, this is the ingenious dish we concocted.



I'm not sure it has a name yet. I'll have to think on that one.


2 chicken breast halves, boneless/skinless/trimmed, and all that.
Italian breadcrumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
Rosemary
Thyme
Garlic / garlic powder
Butter


Combine your breadcrumb mixture. I gave Kyle some direction and he went to town, so I can't even approximate measurements. A bunch of Parmesan, plenty of rosemary, a good-sized helping of garlic (or garlic powder, since he didn't have any fresh), and less thyme. Dip your chicken in that heavenly stuff. Make sure you coat it well. Set it in a greased baking dish and cover with a few cubes of butter. Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes.

In the last 10 minutes, prepare a tomato chutney thing. Wash some grape and yellow grape tomatoes. Chop 'em in half. Toss them in a pan with a little olive oil and Garlic & Wine seasoning from The Melting Pot. (If you're not fortunate enough to have that - my favorite spice - at home, some regular garlic should do the trick.) Cook it up until the chicken is ready. No more than ten minutes. It should be super fragrant and the tomato skins should be slightly blistered.

When your chicken is good and hot, add a slice of Jarlsberg cheese to each breast. Pop it back in the oven for a few minutes for the cheese to melt. Serve chicken topped with tomato salsa.



This received some of the best reviews of anything I've ever made, I do believe. In Kyle's words, "I'd pay for that in a restaurant." High praise coming from the aspiring French-restaurant chef and owner. Enjoy!

Ciao!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ode to tri-tip.

I should preface this by saying I fail at grilling. Like, super fail. I've only grilled once and the result was so horrifying I haven't been able to stomach trying again.

But when Fresh & Easy had tri-tip on sale last week for $3/lb, I had to buy some. This was a bit of an experiment for both of us, since Kyle had never grilled a roast before, and I didn't realize he was out of aluminum foil, so there went the red wine idea. The result was still brilliant.

My photography skills haven't improved in my absence. Also, it didn't occur to me
to photograph anything until after I'd chowed down. Oops. 

I rubbed it in sea salt, cracked black pepper, thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder. I added a dash of jalapeno powder as well (which is something I've only found in Arizona - sorry for you out-of-towners). Kyle plopped it on the grill with the gas on super low and let it slow roast for almost an hour.

Absolutely divine. Especially with the Valsacro Rioja Dioro 2005 we paired it with. On sale for $16.99 right now at work. Fantastic bottle.

Now is probably the time to apologize for disappearing for several months as well. Between a death in the family, college happenings, and the ex reappearing in my life, I've been a busy little bee and I either don't cook as often, or I forget to take photos. I plan on being back at least once a week with an update of some kind!

Ciao!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Veal Parmesan. I can die happy.

I've always been an Italian food fan... So much that I rarely eat Italian food out anymore. There's almost never anything on the menu that I haven't tried, and I hate ordering something and realizing I could have made something tastier at home.

However, there's one meat that I never tire of. I haven't been brave enough to make veal at home, but I absolutely adore veal parm. So when I was gifted a bottle of Gaja last week, I decided I needed to make something new and exciting to accompany my wine.

Cue veal parmesan. And oh, sweet Jesus, am I glad I did.

I made dinner last night for the manfriend and the wonderful gentleman who purchased the bottle for me. I feel fairly confident saying it was a religious experience for all of us. And to top it all off, since we had dinner at Chris's house, he set the table and had the most adorable plate garnishes ever. Especially for a low-key dinner party.

Fresh rosemary from the garden! So cute, right?


Anyway. Let's get back to the star of the show.



Veal Parmesan. 


1 lb. veal scallopini
8 oz. mozzarella
diablo marinara sauce
Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
parmesan




Dip each piece of veal in egg, then in breadcrumbs. Lay length-wise in a large lasagna pan. Cover with diablo marinara and a layer of shredded mozzarella. Repeat. (I only needed two layers.) Top with more marinara, mozzarella, and tons of parmesan. Bake at 350* for 12 minutes.


Yes, we kicked things off with a Bordeaux. No, that's not the wine that prompted the party. 




And for the sauce:


Diablo Marinara


3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
extra virgin olive oil
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
3/4 c. Cabernet Sauvignon or other red wine
4 bay leaves
thyme
oregano
rosemary
4 Tbsp. chopped basil
red pepper flakes

Saute the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery in olive oil until softened. Dump in the canned tomatoes and wine. Add in your seasonings, to taste, with a very generous helping of red pepper. Let simmer for 45 minutes. Take your bay leaves out and enjoy!

As an added bonus, the table before we all dove in:

The flowers came from Chris's garden. And the Gaja is in the decanter, slightly left of center stage. After chowing down, we enjoyed a nice soak in the hot tub. Perfect way to end the night!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wine review!

I'm sorry I fail at life. I vacationed in mid-February because Prince Charming's big brother got married. Came home and started nightly opera rehearsals. That finally closed March 4th, and I've still been running around like a chicken with my head cut off ever since.

I've done some cooking, but the only things I felt were incredible, or tasty enough to warrant a blog entry, I forgot to take pictures of. So instead, since I feel terrible neglecting you for even longer, here's my favorite wine as of late.


From a wordpress blog / google image results




Cincuenta Ugarte Rioja 2009. Rated 90 points (Wine Advocate).

100% Tempranillo. Aged 10 months in French oak. Nice spice with some amazing bright fruit. Fantastic! It was on sale (down $6) for $9.99/bottle. Definitely took one home this weekend. It's an amazing value. I've sold a ton of it in the last two days.










Things are going to be crazy at work for the next two weeks (I'm working 6 of 7 days this week, and probably a similar schedule next week) but hopefully by the second week of April, things will settle down enough that I can cook a little more.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

7+ layer bars

Compulsive-grocery shoppers need to never go to the store unsupervised. Especially when knocked-up.

I love seven-layer bars. I don't recall ever having them as a kid, but somehow I've conned my adult mind into believing they are a necessity to growing up. Therefore, since I still have a lot of growing up to do, I require a lot of them.

Well what seven-layer bars require a lot of are butterscotch chips. At least when I make them. And butterscotch chips are usually more expensive than regular store-brand chocolate chips. So one can only imagine the look on my face the day I walked into Fresh & Easy and saw they had butterscotch chips on clearance, for $1.25/bag.

I may or may not have walked away with 14 bags.

It's been a few months, and I surprisingly have some left. (Ok; I did until this past week. Don't judge me.) This is my favorite thing to do with them.



1 sleeve cinnamon graham crackers
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 - 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 - 12 oz. bag butterscotch chips
4 oz. sliced almonds
6 oz. chopped hazelnuts
4 oz. chopped pecans
1 bag sweetened coconut flakes
1 can sweetened condensed milk (the little ones. I think they're 10.5 oz.)


Grease a baking pan (at least 8"x8"). Melt the butter and crush your graham crackers into itty bitty crumbs. Mix the butter and graham crackers together and press into the bottom of the pan. Top that with a layer of chocolate chips. Dump the bag of butterscotch chips on top. If you're like me, put some more chocolate chips on top of those. Pour your nuts in there - the more the better! These are super sweet and the nuts help cut that a little. Top with coconut and a can of condensed milk. Bake at 350* for 20 - 25 minutes, until coconut on top is toasted.


A few notes:

  • If your pan is 8"x8" or smaller, don't use the whole can of condensed milk. It makes your graham cracker layer soggy. 
  • Make sure you wait at least half an hour for these to cool before cutting them and taking them out of the pan. You'll be disappointed and end up with a gooey mess if you don't. 
  • If you double this, still only use one can of milk! (I routinely make this in a 11"x17" pan with only one can of milk. Trust me.)
  • If you're making these for an event, make them a day ahead. They are always better on the second day. 

As always, enjoy, and don't eat them all at once!! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

OMG Quinoa salad.

I'm so sorry for dropping off the face of the earth lately! I posted a little update on what's been keeping me so busy lately over on my personal blog. The short and sweet version: school, boot camp, and credit stuff. The ex is trying to close on a house and has been soliciting my help. I think we wrote and then re-wrote a letter threatening legal action probably six times this week. Ugh.

Anyway. Quinoa.

I have a confession to make. I'm not a big fan of cilantro. I used to have a Russian piano teacher when I was in high school. I was over at her house one day practicing for a competition, and she invited me to stay for dinner. She was making fish stew and asked me if I liked cilantro. I couldn't quite understand her, but knew enough to know that she was asking about some herb she had grown in her garden, so I said yes.

Well I was wrong. Very wrong. She tossed handfuls and handfuls into her fish stew... I don't really like fish either. I wasn't super impressed with the entire experience. So ever since then, I've despised cilantro.

When I was home for Christmas, though, Mom talked all about this delicious quinoa salad she makes, and how she puts handfuls and handfuls of cilantro in it. I was skeptical at best, but then I came back, was gathering all my fruits and veggies for my juice cleanse, and cilantro was $0.50/bunch. I gave it several dirty looks, and then I bought some. This is what resulted.


So. Good.

Quinoa Salad 


1 c. uncooked quinoa
2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
a handful (or more, if you like it) of cilantro
1/2 white onion, diced
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 can kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
juice of 1/2 lemon
a few liberal shakes of curry powder

Saute the onion and garlic in a little evoo in the bottom of a saucepan. When it looks suitably done, toss in your chicken stock and bring to a boil. Dump in the quinoa, green onion, and cilantro. Cover and reduce heat to low.

Leave it alone (don't peek under the lid!) for 15 minutes. Then toss in the beans, lemon juice, and curry powder. Stir it all together and let it simmer there for another five minutes or so, until the liquid is absorbed.

Enjoy!



Beware! I was late to work because I couldn't put the fork down when I made this. :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Beef barley mushroom stew!

I love this stuff. This is comfort food for me. It's yummy; it's hearty; and it warms your soul. 

Sometimes I make it with ground beef. It's just as heavenly. 

My mommy bought me a cookbook for Valentine's Day last year. (Isn't she awesome? Who buys their kids cookbooks - or anything for that matter - for V-Day?) I had received a 6.5-qt. slow cooker as a housewarming gift from one of my best friends (I live by myself... Are we starting to see where the nickname Miss Piggy came from?), and had never made anything in it but pot roast. Then I get an awesome care pack from Mom, with the Taste of Home: Casseroles, Slow Cooker, and Soups cookbook. So perfect!

Anyway. It has a recipe for an awesome stew. Basically beef barley stew with a ton of mushrooms. So I put my own spin on it, and now I make it once every two or three weeks or so. Feeling down? Make beef barley mushroom stew. Finals are over? Celebrate with beef barley mushroom stew. It's cold outside? Eat lots of beef barley mushroom stew. You get the picture. So without further ado...


Beef Barley Mushroom Stew!
Adapted from Taste of Home

1 lb. stew meat
evoo, for browning
thyme, to taste
1 yellow or white onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
12 - 16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 can (14.5-oz) fat-free beef broth
1 can (14.5-oz) reduced fat, low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 c. barley
2 c. water
cracked black pepper, to taste


If your stew meat isn't already in bite-sized chunks, chop it up a little. Brown it on all sides with a little olive oil. I like to toss my thyme in here, so the meat has nice flavor. Remove your beef with a slotted spoon and set it aside. 

Toss in your onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook them all in the meat drippings until softened and the onion is translucent - about 5 - 8 minutes. Add in some more thyme if you'd like. (I always like.)

Dump your beef back in, and add your liquids and barley! Top it all off with a healthy dose of cracked pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer for about an hour and a half. 

Don't eat it all at once! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A-mazing lemon blueberry bread

Yeah, I said it. This bread is one of the most delicious things I've ever made. (And I've made a lot of delicious things.)

For my juice cleanse, I bought close to 20 pints of blueberries. Annnnnnd definitely didn't use them all. I got a ridiculous craving for something sweet this evening, and decided a lemon blueberry bread would do the trick! I chose this recipe because I didn't want to wait for dough to rise.


It was reluctant to come out and I didn't want to ruin the loaf before I could take a picture, so sorry. This is all you get.

The Most Delicious Lemon-Blueberry Bread Ever.
adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny!

6 Tbsp. butter, softened (not melted!)
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
zest from 1 large lemon
1/2 c. nonfat milk
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder 
dash of salt
2 pints blueberries

Glaze:

juice from 1 large lemon
3/4 c. confectioner's sugar


Preheat oven to 350* F. Cream butter. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients, and then mix into wet mixture. Add milk. When everything is combined, gently fold in blueberries. 

Grease/spray a loaf pan, and toss your bread mixture in! Bake for 55 - 60 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). 

Allow your bread to cool for about ten minutes. While you're waiting, whip up the lemon glaze! Remove the bread from the pan and drizzle glaze on top. Enjoy! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Zucchini & feta macaroni!

I've noticed several different broccoli mac & cheese recipes pop up on Pinterest lately, and thought I'd give one a go... only to find that the broccoli in my fridge had passed its prime. So I dug through my crisper drawers looking for the next best thing, and found something even better!

Zucchini.


I love zucchini. I could eat it for nearly every meal and never tire of it. It is so versatile and delicious. And so that is how, armed with the contents of my kitchen, I set out to create a somewhat-healthier mac & cheese today.




Zucchini & feta mac & cheese


8 oz. pasta, uncooked
2 small zucchini, chopped
1 oz. feta
2 oz. shredded colby jack
1/4 c. nonfat milk
1 tsp. ground mustard
Worchestershire sauce
garlic powder


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and dump pasta in. Top with a double boiler or colander, and steam zucchini while pasta is cooking. (8 minutes.) Drain pasta, but do not rinse. Return pasta to pot, and dump in zucchini. Mix mustard and milk together, and pour over pasta. Toss in cheeses, garlic powder to taste, and a few shakes of Worchestershire sauce. Mix until combined. Top with cracked black pepper and serve!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Hide the Cucumber" Salad

I had a girlfriend over for dinner Sunday night. I was doing my thing in the kitchen, using up some of the leftover veggies from my cleanse, and decided to make a cucumber salad.

I'd chopped up the cucumber and started in on the tomatoes when she informed me she's not the biggest cucumber fan. Whoops.

So I got to play hide the cucumber! Here's what I came up with.


Hide the Cucumber Salad


1 cucumber, chopped
1 (10 oz) container grape tomatoes, halved
juice from 1/2 lemon
crumbled feta, to taste
oregano, to taste

Mix it all up and enjoy! 

Jalapeno avocado quesadillas

I was recently inspired to put avocado in my quesadillas, so I finally gave it a go today.

This was the result.


Jalapeno-Avocado Quesadillas. 

And they were delicious. 

2 tortillas
1/2 avocado, sliced
6 - 10 slices of jalapeno
shaved manchego

Put a little butter in the bottom of your skillet and heat it up. Then put the tortillas in to warm them slightly. Cover one tortilla with sliced avocado, jalapeno slices, and manchego, to taste. Enough to hold your quesadilla together, but it's a unique cheese so if you're not familiar with it, don't go overboard. Cook on high for approximately 3 minutes per side. Slice and enjoy hot!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Last day of the cleanse!

Day five, and the final hour is upon us. I'm enjoying my carrot/apple juice at the moment, as a matter of fact!

I have also concluded that if ever I should be proud of myself, it's today. Not only have I (almost!) completed five days of juicing, but after work today, I thought it would be a good idea to head to Costco and get some sprouted grain bread (for my chocolate french toast in the morning!) and some non-fat Greek yogurt, just because I like having it around the house.

More than $100 later, I made it out not only alive, but not having sampled anything in the store. And oh, boy, was I tempted. The first demonstration booth I came across was an outside vendor sampling their five different gourmet cheesecakes. Brianna, Spartan juice warrior. Self-control of steel.

Or something like that. Only one of their cheesecakes had chocolate on it. I might have been more tempted if I'd had chocolate dangled in front of my face.

Anyway, more juice recipes.

Juice 6:

  • 1 (6-oz) container blueberries
  • 1 (6-oz) container blackberries
  • 1 orange, peeled, with pith removed
Adds a little extra "body" to the blueberry/orange one I did before. 


Juice 7:
  • 1 pear
  • 1 (6-oz) container blueberries
  • 1 (6-oz) container blackberries
This one was breakfast this morning. Holy delicious!!


Juice 8: 
  • 4 - 6 carrots
  • 1 apple
Yum! The one I made last night had 4 larger carrots. This one I'm drinking now has six carrots because I just decided to use up the bag. 



And so for the last five days, I've been living off these eight juices (and a few mistakes). I've been incredibly surprised at how tasty most of them were. (The most notable mistake involved cucumber. That one was not at all tasty.) But of the recipes I put up, I think I would try all of them again, and the breakfast ones I might continue and add into my usual breakfast repertoire. 

---

And since I left this up all evening rather than posting, I am SO pleased to tell you I made it the entire five days! And I broke my fast with something healthy - an avocado and a handful of pistachio nuts. I needed some crunch and some healthy fat. I'm going to guzzle down some water and head to bed. You might be able to catch a new recipe or two from me tomorrow! I don't think I'm going to do the chocolate French toast (I forgot to get eggs at the store today), but I definitely have something up my sleeve for lunch. 

Thanks for stopping in, and thank you to those who have followed me through this last week and cheered me on! I really appreciate it. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Juicing, Day 3

Day three is over! Only two more to go. :)

Breakfast usually means two juices, because I can't pick just one.

Breakfast #1:

  • 1 mango, peeled. Can't put the pit in there. 
  • 1 6-oz. container blueberries
  • 1 apple
Delish. My favorite. 


Breakfast #2:
  • 1 orange or grapefruit
  • 1 6-oz. container blackberries
Also delish. 

During the day, my "snack" juices usually involve carrots and celery, with a ratio of about 2:1, respectively. I didn't put any kale in my juice today. Oops. 


All this healthy stuff running through my veins now has prompted me to look a little further into the Paleo diet, though. I might make more of an attempt to eat Paleo / Clean throughout the year. I also think I'm going to try to meal-plan. I often get pressed for time and end up only eating veggies for dinner. I could probably use a little forethought in my life. 

In that vein, my weekend is probably going to look a little something like this:


Saturday.
Breakfast: steel-cut oats with fresh blueberries
Dinner: (hopefully) Kale & ricotta stuffed shells, to use up some of the extra kale from this week that I'm sure I'll have. 

Sunday.
Breakfast: I've been eyeballing this baked oatmeal for the last few days. I would use blueberries instead of strawberries, since I have 13 containers of blueberries in the fridge right now. 
Lunch: Maybe a Greek salad of sorts. I have plenty of cucumber that needs to be used and that sounds really tasty. 
Dinner: A soup of some kind. I'm thinking about this Coconut and Red Lentil Soup. But by red lentils I really mean green, since I bought a bunch of green ones today. 


... Most of that is decidedly not Paleo, and not much of it is Clean either. But making more of an effort to eat protein is a huge step for me, since I'm usually a snack-on-veggies kind of girl. (And before you get any ideas, my kind of veggie is a marinated artichoke heart. I'm not that healthy.) 

Anyway. There will certainly be an update at the end of my cleanse! So far, so good. I'm surprisingly not hungry, and drinking probably less juice than I should be, even. I crave gum less now than I did the first two days. I never noticed a decline in energy, but the fact that I'm still up at 2AM when I'm hardly consuming anything is probably notable. Day three is definitely the easiest so far. 

The first day of school comes early in the morning, so I should probably crash. Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Juicing my way into 2012.

I'm home, and the new year is here!

One of my resolutions for the new year is to lose the nearly-45 lbs. I've put on in the last 9 months. So I decided to make that a two-part goal, and made another resolution to complete a 5-day juice cleanse.

Today is day one.

I unintentionally fasted until about 4:30 or 5 o'clock this afternoon, because I was completely unprepared. I got off the plane yesterday morning and basically went straight to work. I didn't feel like going grocery shopping after I got off work at 9:30 last night, and I ended up sleeping in a little this morning and then running some other errands before heading to the grocery store.

I spent about $45 and got the following:

  • 3 mangoes
  • 4 (12 oz) bags fresh cranberries
  • 4.65 lbs. organic gala apples
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 bunches red leaf lettuce
  • 3.3 lbs. navel oranges
  • 2 bunches organic spinach
  • 6 lbs. carrots
  • 4 grapefruit
  • 3 avocados (for coming off the cleanse) 
  • 1.3 lbs. broccoli crowns
  • 1 bunch turnip greens
  • 3 bunches kale
  • 2 (6 oz.) containers blackberries
  • 2 (6 oz.) containers blueberries
  • 4 bunches celery
My first juice this afternoon was a little sweet. I was actually surprised by how tasty it was! It's something I might make for myself even when I'm not cleansing. The apple juice definitely lightened it up quite a bit. (That's it to the left.) This one made just shy of 8 oz, I believe. 

Juice 1:

- 1 apple
- 1/2 lemon (peeled, without pith!)
- 1 carrot
- 1 kale leaf





This next guy to the right is my second concoction of the day. I was surprised, when I cut out the apple, how much juice I lost. 

Juice 2:

- 1 celery stalk
- 1 carrot
- 2 kale leaves
- 1 lemon wedge (without pith, again)

This one tasted a lot like V8 to me, minus the tomato, obviously. It was pretty tasty as well! I rarely (read: never) crave V8 juice, but as a homemade replacement, I'd take this any day. It made 4 oz. of juice, so I'll need to double the recipe from now on. 

I'm going to make another glass of Juice 2 before I head to bed, to stave off any midnight cravings. One of the things that has surprised me the most is that I am not all that hungry, but my mouth and brain are desperately craving something to chew. I broke down and have been working on the same piece of gum for the last hour and a half. It's sugar-free and curbed the war going on in my brain, so I'm not too upset about it. 

I hope to update daily with my other strange concoctions, and I have several recipes to post from my vacation when this madness is over!