Sunday, January 29, 2012

More food fun

Lovely Liver???

When I was a kid there were two food that I absolutely hated; liver and lima beans. A serving of either guaranteed a long painful dinner of tiny bites, lots of tears, serious bargaining and gags. Yes, I couldn't eat either of those food without gagging. My mom claims she didn't actually like liver and only made it because my dad liked it. But, I'm pretty sure the intent was pure (and very successful) torture! The thought of lima beans makes me sick to this day (do people still eat those things)?

So I was surprised when my favorite cook/blogger (the clothes make the girl) posted a recipe for chicken liver. I did a little googling and guess what, liver is hella good for you. With that knowledge and the fact I have loved every single recipe I've made by TCMTG, I decided, with great trepidation, it was worth a try. So, the following week at the farmer's market I scooped up a baggie (yes, it came in a baggie) of chicken livers and a week later I had gotten up the courage to try out the recipe.

Have you ever tried to cut liver?  It's crazy stuff. I'll just say this, handling the stuff does NOT make one more excited to eat it!

Anyhow, I did the coconut flour breading and fried it up and well..... hmmmm.... It was okay. And it was maybe a little bit more okay if I loaded it up with homemade mayo, but really I can't say I enjoyed it.  So, I ate a couple, gave a couple to the dog and then was trying to decide if I needed to choke down the rest so I wouldn't waste them, when I had a brilliant idea, PATE!!

Here's what I did, cooked 3 pieces of bacon in some ghee, added the liver - chopped up, cooked for a bit, added some parsley and red wine vinegar. I would have added some nutmeg, but I forgot. Then I threw it all in the blender.

And guess what??!!??  SO TASTY. Really, one of the best things I've eaten in a long time.

But really, liver? What the heck is next?   

How PHAT is that?


Well, the answer to the above question really hinges on what you think of my gradual drifting to happy homemaker status. If you think the new recipes and crockpot and cooking whole happy chickens and their broth is cool, then I'm totally phat now! Otherwise it's possible coo coo comes to mind.  

Fat!  I spend way too much time thinking about it. Not the fat on my body, but the fat I put into my body. As I learn more and more about food and the effects on the body, I keep shifting how I cook and what I cook. I think the proper fat shifting has been the slowest. And the issue has really stemmed from not being sure what fat to bake, roast, saute, fry my foods with. I had heard that vegetable oils were terrible. So I cut those out a while ago.  Olive oil you're not supposed to use at high heats, but goodness, it's sure easy and tasty to drizzle a bunch of olive oil on some veggies and throw them in the oven for some tasty goodness!  I tried walnut oil, that is supposed to be better at higher heats, but it has a high ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 and just isn't supposed to be that great.

So the answer, and I've known it for a while but resisted, is saturated fats. Saturated fats include primarily animal fats and coconut oil. The problem is that they are solid at room temperature, so they take a bit more work than drizzle and go!  Not to mention that you have to find a place to buy this fat. You will not be buying good quality happy animal lard at Safeway.

So yesterday I did a bit of online research and today when I hit my favorite farmer at the farmer's market (Skagit River Ranch). I asked for fat. And sure enough, they sell it! I am now the proud owner of 2 pounds of pork leaf!  I guess you throw it in a crockpot (perhaps overnight to make my sister proud) and hours later you have a bunch of fat you can use to make everything extra tasty!  If the crockpot wasn't in use making some tasty pork carnitas, I'd whip some up right now! 

In other fat related news, it seems you can also buy organic duck fat at the farmer's market. Which I did, currently eating  chicken and chard cooked in a little duck phat and homemade chicken liver pate (which has bacon). If you all aren't jealous, you should be!!!! 

Whooo, we're cookin' fat!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Well, I certainly would not be a true Seattleite if I didn't a. spend a lot of time worrying about the snow before it happened b. stress about traveling once it did happen and c. post cute pictures of the snow.......  Yes, we have had a bit of a snow adventure this week.

This was last night post Monday event and pre Wednesday event. That's a big snow ball!
Uhm, oops. I was walking and not on the bus, because clearly buses were not an option.
Otto is much happier about this adventure than Daisy.
Maybe I'll just go back in.
My mom sucks at playing.
See, cute snow picture!
These kids were trying to sled down McClellan, but the lids they were using woult not slide.
Sledding, kind of.
Extra Cute!

My neighbor's snowmen, a wooden sign under the one w/ the gun says 'give me all your ice'. Hmm.
Phew, I've done my duty!!!

And in other Seattle snow news. The Link Light Rail is MUCH too effective. I was one of about 2 people at work. Everyone else got a snow day!  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Little Things

I know the saying is that it's the little things that make the difference. However, that is NOT the theme of  today's blog. Today's theme is 'why are the littlest things such a pain in the butt'!

This week I've been a bit distressed about the fact that I have a dead car battery that needs to be replaced (you didn't guess that was where I was going, huh?).  I don't fix cars. I don't like the challenge of fixing cars. Other people fix cars and i pay them. But with a dead battery you can't actually drive to get a car fixed, so it becomes more challenging.

So, first thing Saturday morning, I jumped right on the problem, so it wouldn't be weighting me down. I read a few internet articles and headed out to the car with my tools. First step, remove battery, was super easy. I loaded up the (other) car and headed off to the battery store. Other than the fact that I wasn't sure what kind of car I was buying a battery for, everything went smoothly. The store guy was extra nice and helpful. I made it home, loaded up the new battery, tightened it down.  And that's when it happened, as I was tightening down the final bolt, almost successfully completing the project I'd been dreading, all hell broke loose!!!

First, as I stood up, I somehow dropped my wrench and it disappeared in to the depths of the car. I couldn't see it. I couldn't feel it. I went inside to find my flashlight which lives in only one place in my house. And of course, that was NO WHERE to be found. So more time outside trying to find the wrench, crawling under the car (pouring rain, freezing cold mind you) and no wrench.

As I was working through the wrench issue, I began to notice that the parking lights - front and back - were steadily blinking on and off, on and off, on and off. So I gave up on the wrench and got in the car, pushing and pressing every button multiple times, reading the manual trying solve my new problem. I finally found a sticker near the battery advising that I need to use the remote control key (which I don't have) or push the Emergency Override Programming Button located under the dash board while the key is in the on position. So, back in the car, searching high and low for this button. NOTHING.  Google searching directed me toward two fuses and a button hanging from a wire.  Uhm, NO, those do not exist!!!!

Finally, desperate, I got in the car and drove to my favorite car repair place where a very nice mechanic went through the exact same steps as I had (though with a specific car repair internet search) to no avail.  We engaged another mechanic who said that only way to fix this, was to have the key in the car in the on position WHILE you attach the negative battery wire. (Uhm, what?  The instructions I read warn that you are risking electrocution and fiery death if you even think about looking at a battery while the key is in the ignition!!!) 

Anyhoo, it worked. In addition, they  had a flash light and a fancy tool with a magnet at the end to rescue my wrench.

2 hours later (.5 to change the damn battery and 1.5 to trouble shoot ridiculously small stupid unnecessary design flaw issues) problem solved. Did I mention freezing cold and raining..... Sigh!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Cookbooks

Who needs garlic and onions with these gems around!

A few months ago, I decided it was time to upgrade my cookbook collection. Most of the books I owned I'd purchased as a vegetarian. As a result, they are virtually obsolete in my life.  In fact, if I were a person who was capable of throwing things away, I might actually do just that! (Alas, I missed that gene.)

Moving on. So my new cookbooks are of the paleo variety. Grain Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Happy Meat cookbooks. And, overall, my eating has certainly improved with these recent purchases. However, it's really one cookbook that really has made the difference, Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan.

And it's all about SPICES!

In my last blog I mentioned that I have to give up onion and garlic for  a while. Now, this is something I really can't imagine. Onions and garlic are in EVERYTHING. And as far as I've known for the last 40 something  years, should be in everything!  They're what adds the flavor, right? How do you not eat them? Well, the answer seems to be hang out with my new best friend Melissa (see previous blog Cool Kids), and her favorite spices Rogan Josh and Ras El Hanout.

So far I have made six recipes from Well Fed.  That is perhaps more recipes than I have made from a single cookbook ever!  And if not ever, certainly the first time in the span of a month (I will note that the cookbook hasn't been out for a month, I first pulled some recipes from her blog.) My current new favorite breakfast food (mixed with steak and eggs) is velvety butternut squash and her lamb rogan josh with the beautiful spice above, is umm, finger licking good!

I just tried my latest Well Fed recipe, Chocolate Chili!  OMG. I don't even like chili and I can't stop eating this stuff. Melissa had suggested I cook up some carrots and celery and substitute them for onions and garlic. So I did just that with the chili. Woah, Nellie, this chili is good! Though, it has nothing to do with the celery and carrots and everything to do with the cocoa, cumin, chili powder and various other spices that I would never think to add on my own. 

Garlic and onion, who?


Trying something new!

Me pretending to whoop it up on New Year's Eve.

Hello and Happy New Years to all my loyal (and not so loyal) readers.  (I'm not picky, I'll take whoever I get!) However, the more loyal of you may realize that I love new year's day!  Not new year's eve, that I can take or leave. But New Year's Day is always perfect and beautiful and full of hope. So here's to a brilliant 2012 for everyone!  And on new year's day, the upcoming year is always brilliant. (Sorry about the not so brilliant and contradictory use of capitals.)

Anyhow 2012!  So, I don't really have any resolutions, I always figure making those is a waste of time and energy. However, I do have a few fun plans for January and February. First, drum roll, NO CROSSFIT.  I know.  Hard to believe. I LOVE Crosffit. But, I've been doing it for 3.5 years now. And I seem to be tired. I am no longer getting excited for those met cons I love (metabolic conditioning). Oh sure, there is still the occasional work out that will get my heart all aflutter (like friday when we got to do many rounds of 4 clean and jerks, 8 pull ups and 16 ball slams - so fun). But for the most part I just haven't been excited to crossfit.

SO. January and February are going to be weight lifting only. I'm going to go to the gym 3xs per week and pump iron. The other two days my free time will be taken over by an extra hour of sleep. Or maybe if I'm lucky (and feeling ambitious) some stretching and/or meditation. \

The hope is that I become lean and strong.

And don't become crazy muscle lady.

Not this
If I start popping out of my jeans in scary ways, let me know.
Part 2 of my new year's experiment is some playing around with food. I am going back on the The Whole 30 (amazing clean out your diet, whole food program, see previous post about The Whole 9). But I'm taking out some extra stuff. I've had stomach issues for years. And I think it's time to finally figure out what those are all about. So I'm giving up some stuff no human should ever have to give up. Things like onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower (all I can say is thank god kale isn't on the list). At the end of the month, I'll start adding things back in and see how my stomach reacts. With luck, the things I really love will be okay.

And now, because it's new year's day and because I haven't done it in forever. Some completely gratuitous Daisy and Otto shots.

You woke me up for what?  No, I will not smile!

It's really hard to take a photo of a jumping dog with an iphone. This was cuter in real life. Just imagine it!