Halloween Eve

Since nothing will be as fun as our TLC costume from last year, Sara and I decided to stay in tonight and avoid the holiday hoopla. Instead, we went to Kruger’s for produce, made a hearty salad bar and watched 30 Rock. Next year I’m going as Liz Lemon. I’ll be looking for a Tracy Jordan counterpart if anyone is interested.

Morning workout: 70 minute wacky intense spin class

Brussel sprouts!

Pan of protein:

Salad bar toppings: Chanterelle mushrooms, onion, chicken, hen-fresh eggs, brussel sprouts, avocado, pear, and feta… A low-carb dinner!

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Game planning

The upside of today is that October is almost over. Never have I been so excited to see one month come and go… Not that I’m encouraging the passing of time, but this one really did a number on me. And now we’ve got a holiday season on deck, and I’m trying to determine how to keep my weight-loss goals in close focus. To be honest, I went to bed a little scared last night, as I thought about how much food and I drink I consumed during the Harvest dinner feast. I felt really out of control and could barely sleep last night because of it. Not a good feeling.

How am going to manage weekly group meals over the next two months?

My ability to consume is really powerful, and I need to get a serious grip. Immediately.

I’ve recently thought about quitting the blog, but I know that’s a horrible idea. I will not let another week of 2010 go by without posting a Weigh Watchers weigh-in update.

As for today, I’m feeling in control and planning my day. Just today. That seems less overwhelming.

Food so far:

One fig newton
One 100 calorie granola bar
One banana
Small nonfat latte

I’ll have a Lean Cuisine for lunch and plan to go to two classes at the gym this evening before Sohlman family time.

Happy Neurotic Friday!

My first NoPo dinner party

Successful!

Of course the food was outrageous, highlighting our fave harvest veggies: Squash, pumpkin, cabbage, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, apples, bacon, beer, cheese, oh… right….

Fresh picked chanterelles… Thanks, Gabe!!

You are correct. These are, in fact, homemade gluten-free giant Oreo cookies… what? Yes.

Just look at the happiness!

Seven hours of food and party prep has sufficiently wiped me out. G’night.

Pumpkin Bread

Last night I made a pumpkin soup that turned out way tastier than my last version. But I had half of this beautiful blue monster leftover (I forget the actual name of this variety…) after roasting, so obviously I had to do something exciting with it.

Pumpkin bread! From the Joy of Cooking (my new favorite cookbook; I’ve used it three times this week!):

Hmmm, not sure what happened to that bottom right loaf… weird. 🙂 (And since we’re on the topic, Mandy and I spent an hour at the gym today. And I was there for two classes yesterday, so I’m just a little sore right now.)

PUMPKIN BREAD
(Nothing healthy ’bout this.)

One 9 x 5-inch loaf
This loaf can be made with any cooked mashed squash, yams, or sweet potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Whisk together:
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine in a small bowl:
1⁄3 cup water or milk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat in a large bowl until fluffy:
6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) butter, softened, or 1⁄3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1⁄3 cups sugar or 1 cup sugar plus 1⁄ 3 cup packed brown sugar
Beat in one at a time:
2 large eggs
Add and beat on low speed just until blended:
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in:
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1⁄3 cup raisins or chopped dates
Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

sunday brunch

I’m taking a mini blog-hiatus… Just a couple days to pull myself together.

Here are a few brunch shots:

12 egg strata baked with roasted cauliflower and squash, homemade meatballs, onion, garlic, feta, goat cheese and toast:

Workout yesterday: 50 minute spin, lots of dancing
Workout today: Laughing with my friends.

Love.

Bend -> Portland

Is anyone wondering why I’m blogging instead of dancing at the Mumford and Sons show right now? Because I’m exhausted and decided to sell my ticket… which definitely came out in my favor. And now I’m cozy in my bed and not at my least favorite music venue in Portland.

Today was mostly healthy, even with traveling. Foodwise, not so bad. A Trader Joe’s salad for lunch and veggie burger for dinner (with some leftover crisp). But breakfast, albeit insanely delicious, wasn’t the best choice I ever made. You see, I woke up feeling guilty that I didn’t take any pictures of Jackson’s Corner last night, so I decided to stop there for morning coffee and get some blog shots. And then I found this spread by the coffee counter:

So naturally I needed a piece of the falls-apart-it’s-so-gooey pumpkin spice bread:

You would have done the same thing.

I just really love this place and its vintage vibe…

At least I avoided this:

Workout: 40 minutes of stair intervals at the gym

The Defibulators

Considering I can barely critique a restaurant or recipe eloquently, I really have no business reviewing a live performance, but tonight’s show at Mcmenamins in Bend was the best thing I’ve danced to (and attended solo) in a very long time. Based out of Brooklyn by way of Texas, this seven-piece crew covers the electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, fiddle, upright bass, two drum kits, washboard, harmonica, and saucy gal on vocals. And their sound blends rockabilly, honky-tonk, blues, Cajun, bluegrass, gospel, and swing.

Can I please be in this band? Please!?!?

If you’ve ever been to karaoke with me, you’ve probably seen me beg anyone with a voice to duet June Carter and Johnny Cash’s song ‘Jackson.’ I nearly passed out when they played it tonight… better than any version I’ve ever, ever heard. Please go see these beautiful people if you get the chance.

As for my import and export of calories today, it’s hard to say. I’m traveling, and I ate a donut (@ Joe’s) at six am. And I had pizza for dinner. I made sure to keep the ‘za under control though, and gave the majority of it away to the table of poor college boys sitting next to me. They were happy, and I left feeling less than full. Next time you’re in Bend I highly recommend Jackson’s Corner… a very local and residential hot (busy!) spot with a general store vibe that slings wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches, as well as fancy salads and soups. Oh, and lots of beer and wine available as well. How very Oregonian of them…

After work, Lucy and I hiked up Powell Butte on the east side. The last beautiful day of the year they’ve been saying… I say bring on the rain! My lips are dry, and I need to begin my winter hibernation asap.

A view of town and Sisters peaks from the top:

Work, travel home, gym and Mumford and Sons show tomorrow…

Weigh-in Wednesday

My homemade pasta and meatball meal has been rescheduled for the weekend… can you handle the suspense?

I was honestly anticipating a pretty horrifying weigh-in today since I didn’t go last week. These past two weeks have been a little unnerving and emotional, and needless to say my eating habits haven’t been stellar. I think I even skipped a few days of working out… not my style.

There was definitely a sigh of relief at Weight Watchers today when I was only up 1.5 pounds. That’s manageable and easily reversible. I actually feel pretty in control right now…

Photos from Bend tomorrow…

Breaking in the kitchen

I was thinking to myself, ‘What’s the best way to feel at home in a new place?’ By making three meals at once? Sure thing!

Sara and Mandy (my new neighbors… lucky me!) came over for a food frenzy this evening. I cranked out some homemade pasta (to be eaten tomorrow… with meatballs… stay tuned) and made an apple crisp while Mandy peeled apples and made us veggie tacos for tonight’s dinner. Sara brought wine, her photography skills, and general good looks and sassy wit.

First, the pasta. It really impresses me how two ingredients can make something so extraordinary. Eggs and flour, and maybe a splash of water… how crazy is that?

Make a well with two cups of flour, crack two eggs in the center, scramble eggs while incorporating flour:

Knead dough for 3-4 minutes until:

Chill dough for at least 20 minutes and cut into eight smaller pieces for rolling. The pasta maker and I got along much better this time, mainly because I avoided the ravioli attachment. Spaghetti all the way:

Drying:

Finale!

While all of this was happening, Mando was making black beans and cabbage for tonight’s meal:

And the apple-cran crisp for dessert (made it up, didn’t measure anything, sorry!):

Workout: Jillian cardio dvd. Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve hung out with her… my ankle hurts and so will other things tomorrow I’m sure. Yay.

A weird day

A couple really strange things happened today.

During a presentation a student asked me if I was aware of the human-trafficking epidemic afflicting Portland. (I am not.)

and

I attended a college fair where all presenters received a 300 piece first aid kit as a thank you gift. (Super cool, super random.)

No pics today. It was a Subway/cereal sorta day, meaning I wasn’t home much and didn’t cook a single thing.

Workout: 50 minutes elliptical

Tomorrow I’m hoping to make homemade pasta for a Wednesday night dinner… Last time I did this I nearly threw the pasta maker through the window, so wish me luck!