A very frustrating week went by slowly and painfully. It all started with a Monday Meltdown. Why? Because I felt like my life is a continuous parade of aches and pains and colds and tiny shitty obstacles that stop me from going full speed. And my full speed has never been fast enough! I never feel like I'm going as fast as I wanna go, I'm always 5 steps away from where I wanna be! And colds are such useless, annoying little "diseases". Like a fucking fly buzzing in your ear with no purpose whatsoever! Some people manage to ignore the flies, or accept the flies and wait it out or move on with their lives. I am not that kind of person. I cannot ignore or accept. I get frustrated and miserable and nasty.
Ally, what makes your problems so much bigger than everybody else's? Ally:
I lashed out, I cried... Or I least I think I cried, my nose and my eyes were so damn runny I couldn't really tell! There you have it: I made a scene in an Italian place! And it wasn't even because the waitress couldn't understand the difference between "juice" and "porridge". Nor the fact that she didn't even get her own language. "Spremuta" meant nothing to this woman! Shock, dismay, horror. It wasn't the "frittata" either. Because there was no frittata. There was a basic-bitch of an omelette that came in a size "normal"! It wasn't my ugly looking mushroom soup that tasted alright. It wasn't even the chocolate croissant they ran out of before I stuffed one in my mouth. It wasn't all that. It was me. Well, all that didn't fucking help! When one can barely hold it together one needs a good - if not wonderful - brunch experience, not a hot mess inside and out! Dropped the ball there! Don't hire people just because they're family! Teach them at least one language first! Cooome on, you're embarrassing yourself! Also, you're forcing me to be mean after losing my shit in your restaurant!
Oh, and don't let a crying woman leave the premises without a chocolate croissant.
The Meltdown - Part two. I realized I put a lot of pressure on myself and I don't allow myself a break. Even when I'm not doing things I constantly think about the list on my whiteboard and everything I wanna do and the time that's passing and the opportunities I might be missing and AAAAaaggGQAAAAAAAAA! You get the picture now? People ask me why am I so tired all the time. Why?! Because it's exhausting working on yourself everyday! I'm my biggest fucking project! Do you have any idea how much work it takes to build myself up?! To try and change the behavioral patterns that make me my biggest enemy? To constantly train my mind to not think all the negative things it wants to think?! To think less, do more, eat better, move my ass, not think about the past or the future, not compare myself with others, to not get impatient and envious and gloomy! To think more rational, to love myself, flaws and all, to accept my pace, to not give up! To silence my ego and give voice to my wonderful bits and pieces. It's hard work, don't underestimate it until you've tried it.
Worry not, a good old cry and I decided I will let myself be sick. I will erase everything on the whiteboard for a week and just be. So I "beed". And I ate.
Boys and girls, this is all you're getting for that week of my life. Why? 'Cause I need to start telling you about the other one and things are less dramatic there and more exciting. If anyone has any questions about the food in the pictures, ask away, my darling. Don't be shy, I love me a good foodversation. Yes, I just made that up. Just as I did with those chocolate treats you see there on the left. Homemade! Wink, wink, honk, honk! Adios! Y un beso para osito! ;)
P.S. There were only 3 tablespoons of ice cream in that Ben&Jerry bucket. Don't go judging! You never know if the bucket is half empty or half full ;)
Monday was a very pensive day, very slow and kind of funny... but not in a "haha" way. More in a "hm, this feels weird" kind of way. Lucky for me I kept my new found "A soup a week" tradition that is just perfect for days like these. Here you have a Romanian sour soup with chicken that I made on Sunday.
Morning started with the old apple crumble and continued with a slice of rye bread with butter, kabanos, cheese and tomatoes for a before-work snack. A banana for a after-work snack and soup for lunch. Dinner was chicken schnitzel with roasted sweet potato fries, green beans and white cabbage salad.
I also made some nuts&seeds honey bars with added goji berries for chewiness and dark chocolate for obvious reasons. These are awesome! If you're interested in the recipe just ask for it. Yeah, I'm talking to you. Express your feelings, this is a safe environment.
Tuesday. The short version: The last of the crumble topped with a yummy dollop of vanilla yogurt. Lunch was soup. Dinner was leftover schnitzel with sweet potatoes and peas. Snacks: aubergine spread on rye bread with tomatoes, and nutty bars.
Tuesday. The long version: International Women’s day. I treated myself to crumble and tea in the morning. I wrote a lil’ status on Facebook (because where else can one express thoughts these days?!) wishing women this and that in a burst of “girl powah to us all”. For the first time ever, I was inspired by my own words ("omg! no you didn’t!", complete shock and all that jazz) and decided to woman up and go walk the walk. Or run the run for that matter. My first run. Lord, gimme the strength to not fall down on my face yelling “Meeeercy! Big fat desperate meercy!”.
Aaaanyway, what I am using to guide me through the madness is the C25K aka Couch to 5 k. Pretty fockin’ accurate. First day goes like this:
We began… Who’s we, you ask? Me & my juicy booty, heyo! Damn, yoga pants are hot! Where was I? Right. We begaaaan with a 5 min warm-up walk. I started this step foolishly enthusiastic, feeling like “Uh, I can’t wait to start running!”, “Uh, my ass feels great in these pants”, “Uh, I’m gonna skip a little, just because I can!” You naive, delusional, poor soul. Waaaait fooor it!
Step two is running for one minute. Oki, oki, that went well. Exciting even! Step 3: walk for 90 seconds. Then... repeat.
“Begin running for one minute. This is run 2 out of 8.” This is when I began to feel the fear creeping in. Enter Eminem.
“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy” - Yo, you read my motherfucking mind! Go, go, don’t stop! I pick up the pace, pour some willpower into this biatch!
“No more games, I'm'a change what you call rage / Tear this motherfucking roof off like two dogs caged / I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed” - Word, the mood did change. Breathe, breathe, don’t panic, keep going.
“Success is my only motherfucking option, failure's not”- This one here really put some gas in my engine, some coal in my stove, some hot sauce on my fries! Mmmm... fries. I drool, but it’s windy so the drool hits me right back in the face. Rinse and repeat, baby, rinse and repeat!
“Feet, fail me not / This may be the only opportunity that I got / You can do anything you set your mind to, man”- By this point I was exhausted and could hardly inhale. I was exhaling way too much, though. No, it didn’t make up for the lack of air going in! That’s not how it works. But I made it! I made it to the “ping” sound that announced the end of that 1 minute. Man, a minute can be really fucking long.
“Now walk”. “Run 3 of 8”. Keeping it together, it’s getting harder to breathe, though. “Now walk”. “Run 4 of 8”. Ah, crap, can’t catch a full breath, my nostrils are flaring, my air ways are starting to sting like bees on pms.“Now walk”. “Run 5 of 8”. I feel heavier, my legs feel like linguine, my right side starts to hurt, like I’m being stabbed with a very tiny but very real knife. I guess; I wouldn’t know. “Run 6 of 8” I can’t do it, I won’t make it, it stings too much and hurts too bad. Those 90 sec of walking seem to be getting shorter and shorter; And boy, those 60 seconds of running sure look like a bitch now! If only I could make it to the end of this run! “Now walk”. “Run 7 of 8”. Omg, I can’t believe I have to run again! How will I pull this off?! I feel like I’m running towards my death while also having a fever! I am burning up, my chest is like a big box of needles, my head feels like a boiling potato and I’m losing control over my legs! I am, also, very aware of my butt-cheeks. I am waving the desperate flag right about now. Somewhere there is that little voice (a combo between hope and ego) that keeps me going, just doesn’t wanna give up. Come on, I’m sure that by the time you reach that woman with the stroller, you will be done. That thought gives me comfort. I’m almost there! I reach her! I pass her! Goddammit, it’s not over, it didn’t ping! I feel like collapsing into fetal position and giving up. I don’t. “Now walk”. “This is run 8 out of 8”. Oh dear Lord, I can’t breathe! How do I do this if I can’t breathe?! On the other hand, come on, just one more! One run more, one minute more! You can fucking do this! And I did. Barely. But I did. “Now walk”. “Begin cool-down”. Jesus, even my teeth hurt. How is this even possible?
I got home. Could not speak. Everything felt hot, everything was burning, in different ways. I sat down and continued trying to breathe. After I was able to say some things, everything started getting cold. My face was red in some places, blue in others :)). Not proper blue, just pale. I took a shower and wrapped myself in warm clothes and a fluffy blanket. New location: bed. Took me like a half an hour to get to breathe normally again. I checked “Run” on my to do list.
One of the most satisfying things I’ve ever checked off a list. Why? Because I hardly ever thought I’d try running. Because it was very challenging. Because I felt like I would die half way through it, but I lived to tell the story.
There was this one moment, before the desperate crawl-for-your-life struggle started, when I felt free. I felt like crying and laughing at the same time. I felt this hurt in my chest that has my dad’s absence written all over it, this pain that I can’t lose, I can’t run from, but I can shake while running. Maybe if I shake it enough it will eventually melt. It will still be there but maybe it will just get easier to stir it into life. Like the yogurt into a squash soup.
It’s unbelievable how much my struggle in life resembles my struggle today. There is a lot to learn here. About limitations, about setting goals, about perseverance, about trying and failing, accepting and starting again and again.
When I was walking home I realized that our destination is the key. You may get tired, the load you carry is too heavy, you may stop and recharge but eventually you gotta get up and go home. Why don’t we look at goals/dreams the same way? We get lost on the way, we find a comfortable place somewhere and get cozy there. Come on, we’ve lingered enough. Get up, it’s time to go. As Dorothy put it “There’s no place like home”.
That being said, I will go back out there to get bitch slapped by the wind and hit by the rain. I won’t say “Let’s see how long it lasts” even though that was my first instinct. Why? Cause that’s just me being a dick to myself and also giving me an easy way out. It’s hard, I’ll probably won’t make it. And then, I get to be right and feel miserable. My whole “almost adult” life my verb has been “trying”. I am always “trying” goddamn it! I’m done trying, I wanna be doing! "Do or do not. There is no try" that green little shit said. Oh, there's a hell-of-a-lot of "try", but I'm done with it!
I’ll tell you all about how the second run will go. I don’t know when that will be, let’s see if I can walk tomorrow :)). Or lift things. Or grab things even. I expect the worse and hope for a pleasant surprise.
Wednesday. The day after the run. I woke up to realize that I can walk! It hurts, but I can move! My left side seems to be more affected than my right one and all of my joints are feeling it. I expected much much worse so now I can consider myself lucky. Ah, the secret to a happy life.
I declared this the day of sitting and writing.
Breakfast was omlette au fromage with avocado toast and tomatoes. Snack: Spiced milk with nutty bars. Later snack/ lunch: Aubergine on toast again. Dinner: Leftover schnitzel everything. Other dinner: le soup.
Weather seemed really nice so we got dressed and decided to get a taste of the sun. As we were putting our shoes on, the sun went away. Forever. I try to not take it personal, but some days that's very hard to do. Without the magical effect of this rare beast we call sun, the outside world was really cold and bitchy and nothing like we expected it to be. We reached the corner of our street and decided that this was the opposite of a pleasant walk. The highlight of the day was seeing a poop on a rock. We like to call it "The poop on the rock" day. Why? Cause that's something you don't see everyday! I mean it was a really tall rock! How did the poop get there?! It just makes you wonder: How did the dog do that? Was it a long legged dog? Was it a tiny dog that jumped up there to poop like a king? I mean... I hope it was a dog... We'll never know. That's what makes this one of those great suburban neighborhoods mysteries. Wow, this is good stuff! No, really, I encourage you to read this to your kid as a bedtime story. Give them something to talk about 15 years later in a psychiatrist's office.
Over and out!
All I remember about this day is what I ate and the fact that I made banana bread in a cake shape because it was our housemate's birthday
Summary: Chai flavoured porridge with berries and pecans on top, cashew nuts, soup, slice of bread with butter and cheese, an apple, kebab with salad and a bite of the banana bread covered in sour cream and nutella sauce. That is not a picture of my portion, because mine was tiny and thus a lot less impressive.
Oh, I also had 6 sips of Coca Cola :O. I haven't had that in forever and a day! My stomach totally felt it and disapproved. Coke, ain't nobody missing you! You're out!
Friday. Cleaning day. Garden cleaning day. Friend coming to visit daaaaay! Oh, happy daaay! Sing it with me! Ooooh, haaappy daaay!
It started with leftover chai porridge from the other day. Theeeen, I grabbed two homemade spring-rolls (made the day before) and a kiwi for a in-between cleaning snack. For lunch I had soup and banana bread because omnomnom-no-self-controool. For special late night dinner because friend is coming I made the ultimate cheat pizza. I bought some dough from the Italian place around the corner, made a quick sauce and used whatever meat and cheeses I had in the fridge. The result was a fluffy, juicy pizza with little effort and for a very low cost. Best of all, it gave me a very comfy feeling. Combine that with wine and one of your oldest, dearest friends and you get happiness. Also, he brought a box of tiny booze chocolates! We were well behaved and only ate one piece per person. After all, we were pretty full from the pizza and the banana cake ;). Naughty-naughty.
Saturday was my favorite day in a long time. We had a purty breakfast, went to yoga and then had brunch. Like fucking adults that wake up early and go to yoga and eat well. We are clearly getting old. Where are the good ol' days when we used to get drunk and eat shawarma at 6 in the morning and then fall asleep on the toilet and fall on the floor?! I'm not saying more. You'll just have to guess which did what. Look at us now downward dogging and sweating the good sweat. I'm so proud I wanna throw up.
Then brunch was a delight. Delight=the whitest word in the whole wide worrrrld (say it with Britney tongue-swirls). Blueberry french-toast with bacon and maple syrup and conversation. Man, I looove good conversation! You cannot buy that shit! Nothing compares to great conversation and brunch! After yoga! That just spells perfection! Everything fell into place.
The second part of that day was spent eating kebab, getting dressed, going out, drinking gin&tonic in reasonable amounts, eating pizza in very reasonable amounts, then going back home early because I caught a cold again and I felt crappy. Happy wellness state lasted successfully for half a day. I won't take it personally. I won't take it personally. Repeat mantra and go to sleep.
Sunday. Big booty brunch day. I baked a bread, put together a caprese salad (with the milkiest mozzarella I could find), some good cheese, lovely Italian salami and some of that magic garlic&basil butter. You know it was good, I don't have to sell this, this baby sells itself! With this I drank two types of improvised smoothie-juice things: a carrot, apple and ginger one and a grapefruit and mint one. Why so desperate? Because I was sick and it wasn't subtle so I tried my best to help myself. What followed was a Japanese feast: beef ramen, prawn gyozas and sushi. We took a lot of that to go because we couldn't eat everything at once. We also stopped for donuts. They had an offer we couldn't refuse! Long story short: we bought 12 donuts. Don't worry, we shared them with other people too! Well, kind of. We stuffed our faces while and after watching Bradley Cooper's fine ass in action in the mediocre movie Burnt.
This is truly the end of this week. You better believe it, cause it's all I've got! Santa's bag is empty! He ate the cookies, he drank the milk and now he's asleep underneath your tree, drunk on life and carbs. Don't worry, Santa, we still love you. Because we understand. Belly wiggle and goodbye! (mic drop)
Ladies, get your special panties ready, cause it's gettin' hot in here! We are turning on the oven at maximum capacity and we're getting ready for some steamy action! Why? Because you know what's sexy? Pizza. Smooth, soft dough is sexy. Melted cheese is sexy. Olive oil on the crusty bits is sexy! It's that time of the year when we let loose and celebrate the magic that is pizza.
This particular pizza is the Thai Chicken Pizza from yes, the same episode we seem to be stuck on: "The one with 5 steaks and an eggplant''. I know it was supposed to be teeny tiny, but I couldn't do that to myself. Also, since one does not make pizza everyday and it is sort of an event, I made four instead of one. Now wait a minute Miss Judge-A-Lot ! Before you trash me and my fat appetite, consider the following:
1. I live with two guys. Everybody knows guys like pizza. You can't just play "tease the bear" when it comes to the big dough, daddy. Comas - vewy impowtant.
2. Throughout the series, Friends is bombarded with pizza moments, so instead of making a pizza every-time pizza was mentioned on the show (and we all know that's a LOT), I made one big ass Pizza Feast to rule them all!
Alright, let's cut through the cheese already! I mean the chase, let's cut to the chase. Cheese makes more sense to me, but, whatever, I'll stick to the "classics".
There are many ways to approach the pizza making game, the options are quite overwhelming at times. I went for the barely-knead, leave-overnight-to-get-juicy'n'tasty-on-its-own-method and pre-bake to prevent it getting soggy. Hwhy?!
The hard part when making pizza at home is the struggle in trying to replicate the heat in an wooden oven (aprox. 500 degrees Celsius). A solution to that problem is to go ahead and invest into a pizza stone. I didn't, because I don't need another reason to eat pizza! I'm trying to slim down not puff up! The lil' trick I stole from someone who's already pretty famous on youtube, so I won't mention him cause he doesn't need your views, iiiiiiis the pre-bake way of livin'. That way, you avoid the whole soggy pizza fiasco and you get to live a long, happy life. Well, ok, I'm not sure about those last ones, but the first one is true! I'll prove it!
Things and stuff:
fairly big oven tray
an oven (duh!)
cling film wrap
It was this big: 4 medium sized pizzas
It took this long:
The dough: 10 min. to bring the dough together, 15 min. to rest, 5 min to shape into a full moon and cut into 4 (in my case) pieces. Theeen 8 to 24 hours in the fridge. You know the drill, you do the math.
The toppings: It depends on the quantity and complexity of the shit you plan to up on it. Just cheese?Cow? Mousse? You're gonna have to spread your wings and fly alone on this one.
Don't be like Killer, don't hang on to your momma's skirt 'till she kicks you into the world! Come on, you know better than that.
Le Dough- Ingredients:
Le Dough- The Process:
Step 1: Get yo' self a mixing bowl. One that can take 400 ml of lukewarm tap water. Stir that together with the yest and the olive oil. Whatever you do, don't add salt here. Salt kills the yeast, it murders it without remorse! They are natural enemies. You know, like Superman and kryptonite.
Step 2: Get a big ass bowl. Combine the 2 flours and the salt. Dig a hole.
Step 3: This needs to happen:
If that's not enough of an explanation, let me try again. Pour the wet stuff (water, oil and yeast mixture) into the dry stuff (flours and salt). Clear enough? Oh, don't forget to yell "Oh, no! My hole!". It just makes better, trust me.
Before I take you to the next step, I need to tell how I fucked up. When I doubled the ingredients in this recipe I forgot to double the water quantity. Moronic, I know. Don't worry, I wrote it correctly for you. And hey, thanks to this mistake you get to see the "how not to" pictures.
Step 4: Start incorporating the thing into the stuff with your hand. Just mix in there round and round until it magically comes together. Don't overdo it, when you have something that looks like a soft dough, stop. Now, the ones in the top I call "The Ugly Face Of Failure". Dry, lumpy and uptight. The ones would read "Look at this dough, this dough is amazing!". The opposite of dry, lumpy and uptight.
Step 5: Cover with a towel and let rest for 15 min. Then transfer from the warm bowl that's been this dough's home onto the cold surface that is real life. It should look like this:
Step 6: Knead for 3 min. I am not a professional kneader, I'm not even close, so I don't really know what to advise on this. Just push it, work it, shaaape that bad boy!
Step 7: Cut into 4 equal pieces and then shape into balls. You can't see the "ball" stage here because I ran out of light. That's what happens when you fuck up the first time and have to re-do everything. Time. Time happens.
Step 8: Place said balls onto slightly floured plates and cover with cling film. Don't make that too tight, stuff is gonna fluff up and expand overnight.
Step 9: Remove from fridge 30 min. before you begin to shape it.
Meanwhile, I prepped the chicken & toppings for the Chicken Thai Pizza. First:
Le Thai chicken- Ingredients:
Normally, I would not buy a sauce in a bag, I'd make my own. But I rrreally didn't feel like it that day. So, I bought an Amoy-pad thai pack of sauce. You don't have to use this brand, they're not paying me.
Step 1: Salt, pepper, grill.
Step 2: Cut it up. You can do smaller bits, but I like it chunky. Yes, I know, that's what she said. Or maybe that's what he said! Keep an open mind, people. Oh, also, don't overcook it. Consider the fact that it's gonna go in a pan with the sauce AND in the oven.
Step 3: Pour your store bought sauce shamelessly into a pan. Let it start to bubble and then slide you poultry bits in there.
Step 4: When sticky enough, stop everything you were doing. You done.
We're ready for the dough and the dough is ready for us! Look at that plump bootay:
Don't look at the deflated one, it's very self conscious.
Pre-step: Pre-heat your oven. I know I said this in the beginning, but I think you might have thought I was joking. I'm not. Full blast, the hotter the better. Put your oven tray in there, turned upside down. To quote Pitbull (which I never thought I'd say) :"Face down, booty up. Timber" Just kidding about the "timber" part. Whatever that means.
Step 1: Remove the cling film right before using the dough. Don't let them sit there uncovered, it will form a nasty crust and it will never feel young again. Uh, look at the bubbles on that one!
Slowly, don't go band aid style on this one, you're gonna ruin everything. There it is! Free, free at last!
Step 2: Sticky it is, but be gentle, flour your hands and tip it on your surface of choice.
Step 3: Shape into a full moon. From a wild thing to a well behaved, gentle little creature.
To get that, you must be gentle. You do not knead it! Not for this version of the recipe. No hardcore stuff in here, just the equivalent of a peck on the cheek. Listen to this while you do it, it will help you understand.
Step 4: Now stretch it. Aim for a round shape. Settle for whatever shape it chooses to be. It's what I did.
I ended up with this:
Step 5: Get that very hot tray out of the oven. Sprinkle semolina on it and try to place your dough there without ripping it. It ain't easy, you wont' make it, but that's oki. Let's focus on what really matters in life. A hole or two in your dough is hardly the end of the world, get over yourself. You need to move pretty fast here, hotness is important. As it is in life, apparently.
Step 6: Get it into the oven. Before closing the door splash a bit of water in there to make it steamy. It will help your dough. And if you can help, why wouldn't you? Why would you be a dick? Wah? Anyway, move fast and trap that in there. Leave for about 8 min. It needs to look kinda like this:
♪ Trrrriiing trring trrring goes the timer / Ding, ding, ding went the bell /Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings/ From the moment I smelled it I fell .♪
From here on we're playing games. First you sauce it, then you you put stuff on it, then you stick it back in the oven for like 5 min or until your eyesight says " Yo, it's ready, don't burn this shit!". For the Thai Chicken one I used the sauce that didn't stick to the chicken and smeared it allover that sexy motherfucker.
Whoaaaa, I smell pizza... It's my pizza! Omg, I made pizza!
For the second pizza I went with classic tomato sauce, mozzarella, pancetta bits and basil.
Slapped it with some fresh Parmesan after getting out of the oven but before getting it into my mouth.
The third one was a Carbonara inspired pizza.I say inspired cause I covered that beautiful bitch in gorgonzola. Sauce was some blue cheese sauce I had from the night before when I ate spicy wings. Greek yogurt, blue cheese, some pepper. Really basic and lazy. Topped that with pancetta strips, gorgonzola, egg.
Ready for some heat!
The fourth and last pizza was a pepperoni and mushrooms one. Rosemary and chilli pepper here and there. All you kneed to know.
Feedback: This is by far the best pizza dough I've ever made. The almost no kneading is great, the overnight method gets you a really tasty dough and the pre-bake trick works wonders. It was my first time eating and making Thai Chicken pizza. I gotta say I didn't expect much, so I wasn't disappointing. It's hearty but fresh at the same time, so I'm kinda sold. Of I had to pick one, though, it would have to be the Carbonara-Gorgonzola hybrid. Mmm...moldy love with a sunshine in the middle. Pizza, I love you. Please come back to me! I need your sauce and your warmth to make me whole again!
If anyone knows a good Pizza Support Group, please let me know.
This week flew by fast and painfully. My kind of week. I caught a cold, people! A real one this time, not just a tease. Boy, was I happy! I am always looking forward for more obstacles to come my way and slow me down and piss me off! On top of that, I hurt my hand. It started like a small pain in the morning, next thing I know I can't even chop a damn onion because of the damn pain! Worst thing is I have no idea why it hurt or what I did to cause that. No hand stuff, promise! Well, not with my left one, anyway. I managed to stay balanced and pretty happy in the food department, but I had to postpone yoga (because of the wrist) and running (because of the cold).
Monday. Baked eggs in avocados with bacon and salsa.
Snack: one clementine. If you don't know what they are, you have lived in vain. No, I don't have a picture. Google it.
Lunch was the last of the Minestrone soup that was such a life saver and that I have mentioned a LOT!
Snack: Clementine time! They are strong on the vitamin C, you guys. I need loads of that shit!
Dinner was stuffed aubergine and couscous. Lots of veggies in this one and really tasty!
Snack: You know what happened. Come on, there's no point in spelling it out! I'm having a clementine love affair! I'm turning orange, oh nooooo!
The ultimate snack/dessert/post dinner treat/pre-sleep meal : the last piece of the cheesecake. I ate it without the crust. I hate those nuts man. I'm going back to black. Black is evil. Biscuits are evil. See what I did there? Huh? Huuuuh?!
Also, I <3 Jamie Foxx. He is so goddam talented, I can't handle it! Hot sauce in my bag, swag!!! Those lyrics were written for him! I'll have it no other way!
Tuesday. Morning. Ish. Let's call this brunch. I experimented with flour-less pancakes. Eggs, bananas, ricotta cheese, almond meal, vanilla, honey and bicarbonate of soda. A dollop of yogurt, a bit of sour cherry homemade preserve and a bit of passion fruit at the end. Look , they're tasty, really. Thing is I can't help but feel disappointed. They look like pancakes, they almost act like pancakes but they are not pancakes. It's like...La Usurpadoraaaaa! :O If the theme song doesn't automatically start singing in your head then you an I have had very different childhoods. I choose to not feel ashamed of my obscure references from the fascinating world of Mexican telenovelas, so yooooou can suck it!
They were kinda fluffy, more moist than a normal pancake would be, a lot harder to handle when flipping your shit than a regular flour pancake. I am, of course, talking about the "pancakes" and not the telenovelas.The thing is like this: I do not eat pancakes every day, so when I do eat pancakes I want them to be real fucking pancakes. I will try wholemeal flour next time, but that's the last compromise I am willing to make. That, and substituting sugar with honey. Because honey rocks. Signed, Bear.
Lunch was leftover stuffed aubergine and cous cous with the addition of an egg.
Dinner was chicken and noodle hope-it-cures-everything soup.
Wednesday. I planned on having an omelette du fromage, but I only had one egg left, so I went for the next best thing: Semolina and milk "pudding" with orange slices and some sour cherry magic on top. Cause I felt miserable and I wanted a hug in a bowl with cherries on top! Hug me, foood, HUG MEEEE!
Lunch was soup.
Other lunch was wholemeal and rye bread (homemade and delicious!), aubergine spread, ham, cheese and salad.
Dinner. Chicken, cream, leeks, parsnip, carrots, asparagus- The White Stew. Yup, that's what I call it. No, your eyes are not deceiving you, that is polenta.
Snack? One bite of Toblerone. No more. Didn't want any. Now, that felt weird.
Thursday. On-the-run-half-sandwich. Oh, the joy of eating on the road! When did that go out of style?!
Snack was a banana.
Lunch was some of that White Stew I was telling you about.
Snack- pear. Lovely pear!
Dinner was soup. Again. Cause nobody is in the mood to cook when they're sick.
Snack? Slice of bread, aubergine thang, tomatoes.
Yeah, I didn't eat too much, I was too busy being sick! Still sick! Always sick! Forever and ever and ever!
Friday I woke up feeling worse. I was actually sicker! Who would have thought?! After the bath and the pills, and the soup and the tea and the ginger honey AND the sleep, I was actually much worse! That's just a slap in the face, really.
Breakfats (it started as a spelling mistake, but now it makes sense) was leftover semolina pudding with stuff on.
And then this happened:
From left to right we have: magnesium, cinnamon tea, coldrex (blueberry edition) and The Gouda in the middle. You might be wondering why The Gouda? Gouda was there because I find coldrex so utterly disgusting that it makes me puke. After every sip, I take a gouda bite to push back the vomit. Also, because Gouda is the female version of a hustler.
Lunch was not one, but 2 bowls of soup. Yeah, I was trying rrreally hard.
Despite my horrible state and the absolutely dreadful irish weather I had a gal meeting with some gals. Social life is something you work for when you're an expat, so I got off my sick ass and went. I drank a lot of tea and ate half of a mediocre, dry and too sweet piece of cake.
Dinner was chicken at Nando's ! My very first time there! These guys really know their chicken! And their mashed potato is a surprise, it doesn't look like much, but then you put it in your mouth and it's so fluffy and buttery! I think they bake their potatoes instead of boiling them, like we, simpletons do.
Lunch. Frittata with loads of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, pepper, kale) with garlic bread and avocado and tomato guacamole thing. AAAAAH, gaaaarlic breeeaaad! Insert heavy breathing here.
Note: 3 people shared that bread, so don't go assuming things.
Dinner. Salmon, mashed potatoes, veggies and salad.
Late night snack: Bread, butter, cheese. Clementine.
Sunday. Poppadom with cream cheese and porchetta, frittata and radishes.
Then, I made bread, and apple-pear crumble with wholemeal flour, pecan nuts and no sugar.Yes, I used the Oxford comma right there. In yo' face! Booyah!
Note to self: must remember the ginger in the combo, this was surprisingly yummy, a lot more there than meets the eye.
Lunch. Thank God for frittata! You make it once and it keeps on giving!
Dinner was carbonara.
No asking why, please, it's obvious. That stuff is delicious! The one thing we are having in mind is the old portion control. When it comes to pasta, if you go loosy-goosy on the quantity, your ass goes loosy-goosy too. Ain't nobody gonna be happy about that!
Ladies, fellas, this has been my week. Balance is just around the corner, I can almost smell it!
Last Sunday I decided that I'm going to start the week better no matter how bad I feel. And I did feel bad. Why? Because period pains are real pains, people! And they make women be meaner to you once a month, every month!
Sometimes it's the pain, sometimes it's you. Remember that, stop escaping responsibility! Strap on a pair and be a better person! I know you didn't ask for this advice, I gave it to you anyway. You're welcome! For more such wise answers to your daily suffering, send an email at email@example.com and you will receive an answer. Sooner or later. I am pretty busy trying to get my own shit together.
In order to achieve that I made myself plan the week ahead. I creatively called it The Meal Plan and I picked recipes for every meal and then I shopped, to make sticking to the list possible. I also thought about replacing the sugary crap in my house with better snacks, so that I can get some sweetness in my bowl, but have it be the less evil one. I have decided honey is my friend. And yes, I know, what you'll say! Sugar is sugar and it doesn't make a difference, it's all evil. My policy? If it's good enough for the bears it's good enough for me! I'm going on a bear diet! Honey, berries, nuts and fish! Chill, I'm kidding, I'm trying to find balance not start another fad diet. There are plenty of those! That being said, lemme walk through my week.
Monday. Pre-breakfast: greek yogurt, a banana, nuts that I've been keeping in a honey jar and a splash of lime. Exactly one hour and 30 min later I was as hungry as Trump is to sit in the damn presidential chair! Proper breakfast: Baked eggs&feta in a lovely tomato sauce. On my way back from work I ate pistachios on the street, cause I'm a trendsetter. When I reached home base I had a big ass bowl of heart warming minestrone soup. Dinner was baked salmon with sweet peas and mashed veg (potato, carrots, swede). That night I experimented with peanut butter&oats cookies. There were good when fresh outta the oven, but the second day, they turned very bready on me. That got me thinking that I could turn this "failed cookie" recipe into a "successful tiny breads" recipe. I'll keep at it, I'll let the world know if I hit gold.
Tuesday started off with Jamie's blooming breakfast, which I love! Toasted oats, dollop of yogurt, mango, hot syrupy blueberries and half a banana. Lunch was minestrone. I successfully snacked on peanut butter failed cookies and white chocolate, mint&orange zest covered almonds. They don't look at good as they taste, I'll tell you that! One lunch wasn't enough, so I had another one in the form of leftover baked egg and feta with spinach salad and a poppadom. What is a poppadom you ask? Why, it's a magical thing! Papadum is a thin, crisp disc-shaped food typically made from black chickpea gram flour! It's usually deep fried, but thanks to the magic of internet and Mr.Oliver I am microwaving these lil' bitches and I'm loving them! It's like eating a big ass potato crisp! It smells fried even if it isn't, it's crispy and tasty and ready for love!
I also ate half a mango and pistachios. Then for dinner: chicken&squash cacciatore.
Oh, and I made bread. Wholemeal & rye flour, oats,buttermilk, egg and bicarbonate of soda. No proving, no kneading. Stir it, shape it, babe! 40 min in the oven and you have fresh bread! And it's a very tasty bread! Farewell, bought bread! Hello, sexy bread maker!
Wednesday was definitely a good day. It began with eggs and popped beans with ricotta toast. Add pomegranate&lime water to that and we're feeling fancy! It was a great way to start the day, I'll tell you that! Aaaaand it kept me going for a while! Lunch was a ricotta poppadom with salad. Dinner was sushi (does happy dance and drools all over keyboard). I also had a chai latte that was waaaay to sugary for my taste! Must remember to mention that I don't want diabetes in a mug, just the tea for now, thank you!
Thursday was bircher muesli day. Well, not all day, just in the beginning of the day. Then I ate 2 peanut butter oats cookies on my way back from work. I was so surprisingly full, that I just snacked on some white chocolate almonds and parked my ass in bed. I dived into some minestrone at some point, then had a sandwich and a salad for dinner. Why? Because I was making cheesecake! Why? What kind of question is that?!
Theeen me and my boyfriend spend 3 hours project managing my life. Fo' reals. So, naturally, somewhere along the way we got hungry again so we soup-ed. Minestrone again. Hey, it's there, it's easy, you know soup is the answer!
On Friday I repeated Wednesday's breakfast, because I had some leftover popped beans and tomatoes. After work times, which were very short, I come home to find a new mattress on our bed! Yaaay, a chance at a better life! Nooo, I'm not exaggerating, stop judging me, you hardly even know meeeeee!
This was also the day my running shoes arrived. First impression? Man, they're ugly! But, sweet chocolate Jesus, are the comfy! All that padding to correct my faulty walking makes it feel like I'm supported! A lot of cushion for the pushin'! Yes, I know what that means. Do you know what that means? I feel it suits my situation perfectly, so I'm using it here and if your mind wants to wonder around in naughty places, that's all on you, child! Don't be blaming me for your rightfully dirty mind! ;)
Lunch was grilled chicken tenders with zucchinies, peppers& onions that I tossed with garlic olive oil and crumbled feta and parmesan. Yum! We ate that with a big salad with and it was goood! Dinner was the chicken cacciatore thang with poppadom.
See that lil' bit of cheesecake right there? Lemme tell you the story. Girl dreams of cheesecake for months and months. Girl resists temptation until she can't no longer. Girl decided cheesecake is not that bad and she can make a better version by replacing the white dust of the evil man with the golden drip of the gods and the biscuit base with hazelnuts and almond meal/flour. On top she put a mixture of sour cream and whipping cream that she worked on with her hands. For a while, then she got tired and called Mr.Two Speeds to come on over and help. She then added some Bailey's to that creamy thing, to get things nice and smooth and ssexy. Then she grabbed strawberries, she cut them right up and put them in a small pan to sweat their sweet off. All they needed was a tiny drip of water to start that sauna of love and they were on their way! When they were nice and soft and they were dripping hot, red, sticky syrup, I added the raspberries and the blueberries. I mixed them gently, just enough to get them coated in the juice and then it was all done. The green stuff is basil, cause that's how I roll.
Ultimate feedback? The cheesy part was just as good without the sugar. The crust part? I can't deal with the nuts, man. It's just not the same. I'll ponder if the exchange if actually worth it. I'm currently leaning towards "no".
Saturday. The good day! I woke up at 9:30, had toasted oats with yogurt and fruit, grabbed my yoga mat and went to a studio for the first time in forever! This place was recommended to me, was closer by than city center and I was in desperate need for a place, so hopes were high. It was everything I needed it to be. The first time in a long time that I felt at peace! It was hard work, but it came with the feeling that I was up for it, that I could handle it if I just focus and take it step by step. That's why I need yoga, so that I can learn to take that feeling outside the studio, off the yoga mat and into the wild wild world. Monthly pass, here I come!
One of the greatest feelings was getting out that door - body all worked up - and being wrapped up crisp, fresh air! The area is filled with big, tall trees and has a cosy small village feel to it. Man,that's wellness right there! I felt alive, alive I tell ya'!
Then my new found friend, who recommended the place and was also there invited me for tea in the village center. Tea, honey, eggs benedict (too much lemon in the hollandaise sauce, had to be said) and good conversation. What more can one ask for?
I got home at one point, had to edit some pictures and get ready for the movies and dancing. I haven't danced in a while! In the good old days, I danced almost every week. Things have certainly changed a lot since then. In those days I would almost always wear this one pair of shorts. The last time I tried them I think it was autumn time and I thought they made my legs look like short tree trunks, so I decided against wearing them. This time I had another surprise. They were falling off of me! Whaaaat? And they were very loose on my thighs as well! Well, what do you know? The trunks got smaller!
I was running out of time and I didn't expect to have to decide on wearing something else, so instead of changing I took one of my big ass bow shaped broaches and changed the position of one button and prayed to the Buddha it would hold! Cause if they fall it's a full moon in Dublin tonight, boys!
On the way to the movies we had a Subway sandwich, cause it was late, we were hungry and I refuse to eat a ratchet cinema hot dog! Ate sandwich on the street, like an animal!
Dinner was Korean barbecue and sushi! Also, plum wine liquor which I loooove!
Then we danced. I had 2 vodka & cranberry juice and water. And and eye full of drunken, irresponsible, ungraceful homies and bitches. And I say that with all due respect.
Needles to say, Sunday was a wake up whenever the fuck you want" kind of day. I woke up with all the muscle pain in the world! I couldn't even lift my tea mug to my mouth without exhaling in pain! Wtf?! I think I wasn't as ready for the yoga jelly as I seemed! My mind was strong but my body was weak. Now I suffer the consequences.
"Breakfast"? Cheescake. Lunch? Chicken cacciatore with poppadom. Dinner? Kebab with homemade big ass salad. #saynotothefries
Enough talking, I need to post this fast if I wanna have a chance at sticking with a freaking schedule! It's gonna be a bumpy ride next week! Body has no idea I plan to take it on a yoga and running roller-coaster! Hoooray, I finally had a less unhappy week!