Monday, January 27, 2014

Update - Telling It Like It Is

One of the nicest things to come out of blogging is the way I can put something out there and the awesome responses I get in return.  The ideas and helpful tips that came via the comments and emails were both plentiful and very helpful.  I've said it before but it bears repeating:  the blogland community is a really amazing group, and I'm so glad to be a part of it!

So, last Monday's post brought a lot of great suggestions, and I was motivated enough to try several last week.  Although, I wish there was not the issue of distance, because it sounds like I could do some meal sharing with both Debby and Biz...too bad we all live so far away from each other!

I think that along with my food doldrums, I am also dealing with my C.R.S. (Can't Remember Shi... er, Stuff), because the suggestions for roasted vegetables?  Oh yeah, I used to do that, and I used to like it.  Same for smoothies...and a lot of the ideas that were in the comments/emails.  Back when my kids were little, I used to keep a running list of meals, because obviously this C.R.S. goes way back for me.  So that was the first thing I did on Monday morning when I started reading the comments - I pulled out a notepad and started writing down your ideas.  For me, it really is out of sight, out of mind...and this list will be front and center from now on.

I made a chicken orzo soup:
Just started simmering; hadn't added the orzo yet.  Best part is that you add fresh lemon juice right before serving and oh man, does that ever make the flavors pop!

And Jeff wanted to make some muffin-tin frittata thing that he saw the contestants cook on The Biggest Loser:
Cracking eggs...
Sauteing the onions and mushrooms; getting ready to add some turkey breakfast sausage...
Out of the oven and very proud of his concoction!  These tasted great; I think next time we'll add some broccoli or maybe spinach to them.

I also roasted some carrots, but the light was too bad when they came out of the oven to get a decent picture.  I was pleased - these meals were a good start on the road to more well-balanced eating.  My goal for this week is to make something in the crock-pot (using liners for easy clean up, what a great suggestion), and we'll eat off of that for at least a couple meals.

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Another idea that several people came up with was doing an at-home spa, with the suggestion of bringing in food.  I also got an offer to fly out for a friend-spa, but some things are a little up in the air right now with some stuff and I can't commit to that, even if I could scrape up the money for an airplane ticket (settle down, life).  While I think a week is more than I need for an at-home spa, I scheduled a massage for Wednesday, so I'll make that day my "me" day.  By then my legs should be ready to be pampered after running a half marathon yesterday, and I'll bring in a nice salad or something equally healthy and indulgent for lunch.  It's not the total immersion experience that I'd truly like, but it's better than what I'm doing now, and I know it will be nice.

Thanks again for all the great suggestions - I'm feeling a lot better about this.

29 comments:

  1. I love the idea of the in home spa.
    AND JEFF.
    he's so flipping smiley.

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    1. He was very proud of himself with his frittata skills, lol!

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  2. Looks like you took control with your food. Great ideas and I think Jeff made a great meal too. Proud of you.

    And so smart to book a massage. I remember that I had plans to do that for my second attempt to running a half. Since I decided not to run it before race day and didn't have an appointment yet so I never went.

    We all need me time, good for you taking yours!

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    1. Thanks - I think we'll be cooking a little more this week, too.

      That massage is going to feel sooooo good on Wednesday.

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  3. Seriously, how could you post the photo of that soup and not post the recipe? And now I also want muffin frittatas!

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    1. The soup mostly came out of this recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/greek-chicken-orzo-soup-10000001980159/. But I added a lot more carrots and celery, no spinach, more lemon juice (used two very juicy lemons), and put in 1.5 cups of orzo (which soaked up most of the broth the next day, so we had very chunky soup for leftovers, lol). It was good!

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    2. Thanks that soup sounds delicious! Always looking for a different kind of chicken noodle, you know?

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  4. I have a lemon chicken orzo soup on my menu for tomorrow! It seemed perfect for another day of a -500 degree wind chill.

    I keep a running list of meals that I've made and liked too - it's on Pinterest, but still, same concept. It's super easy to have that on hand for when I just can't think of anything to make.

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    1. I laughed at your -500 degree wind chill until I looked at our forecast - snow tomorrow, again...HERE???

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  5. Wow, that's a lot of cooking and food ideas for a non-cooker-type! I'm very impressed with your skills! And yes, smoothies! Remember, you're the one who started me on my smoothie quest. I'm still enjoying them!

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    1. I should reread my blog for more food ideas!

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  6. I love the picture of your husband with his masterpiece! My husband loves to cook as well. He is actually a better cook than me. The soup looks delicious! This time of year I make a lot of soups and serve a salad on the side.

    Enjoy your massage. I'm scheduled for one this afternoon and can't wait! I opt for an hour hot rock massage which is like heaven!

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    1. I had a bit of a hot rock massage a few weeks ago and it was interesting! I'd do it again. :)

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  7. Yep, I totally would smother you in food! Soups are great for me, because I consider them a meal, and one pot lasts me several days. I made #57 batch of lasagna soup for this week!

    I am loving my hat you made me - it's so warm, and we've had our coldest January ever!

    Love that you are doing a spa day for yourself - but I too would love a week!

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    1. I still haven't made your lasagna soup. I should try it, seeing how much you love it!

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  8. Jeff looks very proud of his creation! Does he cook often?

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    1. No...and I don't encourage it because when he does, he uses up every bowl and pan. JUST START WITH THE BIGGEST ONE might be what I've said a time or two. ;)

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  9. I need a Jeff around here. :)

    Another favorite "meal salad" source for eating in or taking out is Panera. The Fuji Apple Chicken Salad is heaven in a bowl.

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    1. Ooh, I forgot about that one - the Fuji is a great salad!

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  10. wow - you really put your foot to the pedal there! I know some people don't like leftovers, but I love the reheat and eat. I made chicken chili and it was so nice today to just heat it up in no time flat.

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  11. I had a comment that I never posted to that blog post.
    I too keep a running list (in my phone) of the meals we make.

    Beginning of year I have started something new, printing out a blank calendar for month. Some nights I end up pencilling the menu in *after* the meal. Sometimes I am able to preplan the week. I've never laid out a meal plan before. It's been helpful; & ultimately I was hoping to eventually repeat the weeks somewhat & preplan. I don't know how that will work out, but so far the visual is helpful.

    I too had hit a huge menu idea/cooking, & meal plan slump. This is working for me so far, & seems to be evolving in to planning ahead. Another thing that is helping my boredom is trying new recipes that I gather from friends, blogs, print, etc. I am kind of having fun with that.

    I don't have an empty nest yet though-that could actually happen this fall maybe. ?! So that might change things, who knows.

    We're headed for 2 degrees tonight, enjoy your warmer temps.
    Chrissy

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    1. Good idea with the calendar, and even writing down meals after the fact. Of course, that way you know when they are a success and worth repeating, too!

      Our warmer temps are rapidly dropping. This is one strange winter - we're supposed to get snow tomorrow morning (!) and then it's supposed to be 73 degrees on Friday!

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  12. I'm sorry; more from me.

    I forgot to say how much I enjoyed the pic of Jeff with his frittata concoction. :)

    Also, fwiw, I have heard that cooking with plastic may not be recommended. Examples--heating things in microwave in plastic containers, or covered with food wrap, or using slow cooker liners. Obviously these items are food safe, but the heating of plastics & potential leeching of chemicals in to foods may be worth a look. I think it's probably to each it's own, but thought I would mention incase you wanted to research the slow cooker liner thing.
    Fellow commenters please do not beat me up, I was merely mentioning incase Shelley had never heard that. Not a biggie.

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    1. You know, I've heard about not microwaving plastic containers, but I didn't think about heating the liners in the crockpot. Hmmm. Thanks for the info - I guess in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal to let the crockpot soak in the sink vs. chemical leaching.

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  13. Your soup looks wonderful, too! I've never tried lemon juice, but it sounds delicious.

    I totally feel you with the planning and cooking. I really, really don't enjoy cooking, even though I have to do it ALL the time.

    I swear I'd eat chips and hot sauce every night if it were just me. :)


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  14. YAY!!! Glad things are falling into place in the kitchen! And Jeff? He's ready for his own show on the Food Network! :)

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