Junior year of college, I spent a semester in London.  I chose London because I'd become enamored in my youth, had a hot little thing for Robin Hood and was roped into an odd love for The Clash when I was 12.  Also, I would live on my own instead of with a host family.  That was pretty much the deciding factor.  Looking back, I should have greased whomever bent the rules for Stacy Robbins and gone to Florence instead.  For, I too was crushing on Michelangelo quite a bit.  A few of my besties headed to Madrid since they were too cool for school, but unlike Robbins, were famously hosted by Spanish families. Stacy (not Robbins) Jill broke hearts left and right, ("love me today, love me tomorrow...") and Michael, a lover not a fighter, was making hearts flutter as well.  So what if it was the beat beat of his host "Dad"?  I'd hear stories of Mikey being chased around the house while the host perv squealed, "Miguelito!  Miguelito!", trying to goose him, with Gonzalo in hysterics.  God Bless the Queen.  

For spring break, while the other Orangemen took their ISICs down to the Canary Islands, I headed to Spain.  For some culture, dammit.  Also, to rock it out in the Plaza Mayor.  It was my first true experience with true Spanish food.  Tortilla Espanol, Croquetas, Manchego.  Endless plates of egg, meat, potatoes and cheese.  Meat, potatoes, cheese and eggs.  Potatoes, cheese, eggs, and meat.  Cheese, eggs, meat and potatoes.  That's what I got.  I don't think I spied a single vegetable in the two weeks I was there.  Not even in Sevilla.... just paella there.  It got to the point where if I didn't see anything popping off the menu, croquetas were my go to.  I mean, fry a car part and it's delicious.  You right, Alex, you right.  A deep fryer makes everything better. 

Not sure if you heard, but your gubment shut down.  For two weeks plus.  Since I was unable to get into my office (thanks, Cruz, for my semi-staycation... I can't even believe you sad childish little assholes... WAIT.  Breathe and STOP.  For real???), I spent a LUDICROUS amount of time in my other office.  The one y'all share with me.  So much time, I'm doing extra yoga sessions to make up for it.  So.  In my alt-office madness, I became master of the leftover.  Oh, and I had leftovers.  More specifically, the root vegetable puree that accompanied the schnitzel.  You heard.  Fucking schnitzel!  With no Andrew or Peter to eat the remainder, something had to be done.  Believe you me, ALL that leftover root vegetable puree got put to good use and the leftover bacon to boot.  Andrew and Peter should stop by this weekend. I'll bribe with DC Brau and a fabulous lanai (miss you Stacy Jill).

During the 2013 shitdown (not a typo), I made a quick turnaround to Madrid.  Croquetas were calling.  Airfare? $0.  Hotel? $0.  Reliving my 20th year with imaginary 20 year old Mikeys, Stacys, and G-Loves by my side?  Priceless.  

The croquetas?  So good, I want to fly down to Miami, chase Michael around his living room squealing, "Miguelito! Miguelito!".  I'll let his wife goose him.

Fry about 6 strips of bacon and set the swine aside.  Drain half the fat from the pan and replace with butter.  Ya HEARD??? Chop one turnip and blanch in water for about 30 seconds.  It will remove the bitterness leaving the sweet sweet.  Sautee 1/2 yellow onion, the chopped turnip and 1 apple in the drippings and butter.  Set this aside too.  Boil a yukon gold potato and a sweet potato and prep as you would mashed potatoes.  Add the sautee and the chopped bacon to the potatoes and throw in a raw egg and enough panko breadcrumbs to get a good consistency.  Enough so that when forming into small balls, they stay together.  Roll in panko. Let set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before frying until pretty and brown in 350 degree oil.  Serve with a cheese sauce (left over from the mac and cheese... lawwwwwwd) and sprinkle with parsley. 

The Deal:
You see I only fried three right?  Right.  Shut up and enjoy. Freeze the unfried until Andrew and Peter show up at your door.

The Laziest Break of Fast

I'm not a morning person.  I've accepted that.  I'm starting to really revel in it, frankly.  I have fantasies about staying in bed until noon with breakfast brought up to me on a little yellow bamboo tray adorned with silver set.   I like contrast.  Anyway, sometimes my fantasy is simply a hard cooked egg and coffee, sometimes it's a full on feast.  Every night, I set my alarm clock for 6am.  Planning on doing Pilates, showering, taking my time making my breakfast and french roast.  Every morning, I drag myself out of bed at 7:50am just in time for GMA's "Play of the Day" and curse myself for not getting up 20 minutes earlier.  At least that way I could grab a breakfast sandwich on the way to work.  I haven't had a breakfast sandwich in months.  It's also probably not the best choice of breakfasts for me if I want to really put the good fuel into my bod in the morn.  As I trek towards the Dome at the Natural History museum, I regret, again, not rising sooner and just not making the dang oatmeal.

I know what y'all are thinking.  Girl doesn't have time to make oatmeal?  Just stick it in the microwave and go!  I don't own a microwave, I'd have to cook it old school on the stove and ain't nobody got time for that.  I can't believe I went there let alone hyperlinked it.  Le sigh.  I'd have to get up 20 minutes earlier!  Follow along with me now.

So when I came across an article about cooling summer breakfasts, I fell out.  I felt like someone was telling me, YES!  Go 'head girl go 'head get down.  Get your oatmeal on.  And trick it out if you want.  So I did.

It's a 1:1 ratio, so it's easy peasy.  Take about 1/2 cup of oatmeal and place in a covered container.  Pour 1/2 milk (I use almond milk) over the oats, cover and refrigerate over night.  That's it.  I swear.  And no weird o rama microwaves rearranging the bio makeup of the food.  So there.

Dress it up with some walnuts and honey and you're full and focused all morning.  This morning, I rolled out of bed at 8.  Win win.

The Deal:
Calories: 261; Fat: 8g; Protein: 7g; Carbohydrate: 41
It may seem high in fat, but it's a good fat.  From the walnuts.  Aids the brain.  Promise.

En Papillote

Mes Cheres!  I have a few months to get back to basics (wedding, wedding, another wedding.. can't look beat).  Which means cooking in the kitchen more than paying Chef Dave to cook for me.  Less frying, more steaming.  No butter. Damn.

I love eating out for lunch, but since I am trying to slim down my waist, I'm going to go ahead and fatten up my wallet in the process.  Brown bag lunches.  Quelle Horreur!  It really is a travesty.

So, last night I prepped my packable lunch.  snapped some asparagus, julienne'd some carrots (I have to use those quickly or I'll forget about them and they'll end up grey and soft in the back of the fridge), and sliced a scallion.  All with the intention of pairing these with tuna and egg over butter lettuce.

Guess who ended up waking up late, bailing on the last part of the prep and saying hello to Nam at 701 instead?  This girl.  The salad was amazing as usual.  Thanks, Chef Dave.

Well, not trying to clean out limp veggies in tupperware next week, so guess what accompanied my fish for dinner?  I can't get anything past you guys. You're so dang smart.

I laid out the scallions, asparagus, carrots (with a few sprigs of the carrot green, how macrobiotic of me) and parsley on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkled some white wine.  Placed a lovely, firm, seasoned (sea salt and black peppercorn) fillet of Turbot (a fish I'm now desperately in love with), arranged the remainder of veggies over it and folded the paper like a good French girl should.  Fine.  A good girl with a French last name.  Then into the oven it went at 375 until something divine floated from my kitchen.  

I was honestly BLOWN AWAY at how simply delicious this was.  The carrots were perfectly tender and sweet.  The turbot.  Oh G-D the turbot!!!  $6 for a half pound and I'm dreaming about it right now.  

Enjoy the goodness.

The Deal
Calories: 177; Fat: 3g; Protein: 19g; Carbs: 12g


Ctrl + Alt + Delete

Starting anew.... somewhere along the line, my skinny jeans got tight.  OK, fine they don't fit.  At all.  We all know I'm not buying a new wardrobe, so that just means one thing.

Recharge.  Reload.  Reshoot.  (note: this post was written Thanksgiving 2012 and I've slightly, but not really, amended to 1. acknowledge the violence highlighted in American culture and 2. acknowledge my procrastination... however, my editing a silly blog won't singlehandedly shift the stance of the NRA, sooo)

(note #2: I updated this post around Superbowl time, but never published.  Blogastination had set in, but I'm back.  Again.  On the regular.  Promise.)

I'm going Spa Lady on you and turning my abode into Canyon Sonoma Sedona Way Too Expensive For My Blood But Dying To Go Ranch.

A skinny little bitch named Tracy Anderson is going to help me do it.  Tracy is out of her mind and trying to tell me that it's going to take 90 days to shut down my computer and reboot, but ask any ex-boyfriend, I just can't commit.  So I told her, gurrrl, I'll hit you up for 6 weeks and if I'm one leg in that denim, it's on.

So, I headed to the store, on Thanksgiving Superbowl Sunday which is honestly THE BEST time to go... work your way around the clueless husbands girlfriends who've been sent out in the cold to fetch the lone missing ingredient from the sausage stuffing seven layer dip and it's a breeze.  The husbands girlfriends will stay out of your way, they're desperately trying to get home to the pigskin (should I have left that in?).

Well stocked, no lines, and the produce section all to myself.  I parked my cart in one corner and roamed around until my cart looked like a rainbow of sunshine fresh grown goodness. I strolled out, three recyclable bags and $200 deep.... Oh, Tracy allows booze, did I not mention that?

I have to admit, I haven't been the best girl and have amended some of Tracy's rules.  Namely numbers 6, 7, and 8... Look, I can't look like an asshole and carry tupperware anywhere but work, so Rule #8 NO RESTAURANTS NO PARTIES was the first subject to edit.  I like to enjoy life, my city and what both have to offer and that involves restaurants.  I've chosen wisely and haven't broken any food rules, just rearranged a bit.  You'll see.

Rule #6 states NO SUBSTITUTIONS unless necessary.  The brazil nut exchange was necessary due to availability.  Rule #7 states NO ADDITIONS.  OK, Tracy, I love you, but mama needs flavour.  I can't get by on bland chicken in dishwater, so I'm going to go ahead and assume you didn't mean herbs.  Clearly.  Who would omit herbs???? I know you meant to omit salt, but I'm going to ignore that too.  Doctor's orders.

I've also decided not to view Tracy's recommendations as restraints or limits, rather my base diet to which I'll shape everything around.  That means if I'm really truly famished, I'm going to have a handful of almonds, or a salad.  Both wise choices in which to compliment Tracy's regimen.

She'd say I was cheating.

Good.  We're on the same page.

The more I delve into this, the more excited/terrified I become.  So far the recipes are pretty tasty and I slowly realize that the best way to pack up Week 1 for the work week is to treat it as baby food.  Yes.  You heard.  BABY FOOD.  Suddenly, those US Weekly covers with Jennifer Aniston headlining in a teeny weeny yellow bikini flashed across my mental screen as I put two and two together and realized who'd gotten me into this in the first place.  Tracy, you celebrity whore, you....

**UPDATE: Baby food is for BABIES**

Back to square one.


Random Tip #3

Freeze your Trinity.  Separately.  Use as needed.  OMG, Duh.  #slightlyembarrassed #saving money #promisethisisthelasttimei'llutilizethishashtagshiteveragain