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COAEE (Confessions Of An Emotional Eater) - Week 2

Le Weekend- When bad things happened. We received a grandma package from back home. Yes, it was filled with brownies and wafer cookies. All fresh, delicious and plenty.

Also, this happened at some point. Don't worry, it wasn't that good.

And this:

That's spaghetti with tuna and zucchini in a tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella. Yup, evil weekend.

Monday

11:00 Breakfast time! On Sunday a friend invited me (via the magic of facebook) to join the "Girls who eat oats in the morning" club. If you're not a foodie this sound very weird. Just roll with it, man. So, yogurt mixed with oats and almond it is! Leave them overnight in the fridge to puff up and soften up and all those lovely things. I mixed mine with vanilla, honey and lemon zest, stirred and tucked it to sleep. In the morning, I took it out of the fridge, topped it with mango, blueberries, pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup.

I felt full and energized! What a lovely surprise after 10 days of crawling through life on an empty tank AND stomach, for that matter.

13:30 to 15:20 Cleaned a house. Fast and efficient! Very surprising!

15:25 Felt very very hungry. On my way home, I, of course, went to Lidl- The Disneyland of the poor.

16:15 Yay! Managed to spend less than an hour in there and tormented myself waaay less compared to that other time! I declared it a success! I celebrated that success by eating a banana+some roasted&salted cashew nuts on my way home.

16:45 Hoooneeey, I'm hooome! I watered some plants, changed my shoes, put the groceries in the fridge and then decided to stop doing anything else and eat! I have this gift to get wrapped up in silly things and not prioritize what I should prioritize! Had some grilled chicken leftover in the fridge, so I decided to use that in a salad. Lettuce, chicken, carrot sticks, apple slices, grated gruyere cheese, walnuts and cranberries. Filled up on half of that and then started dancing and doing push ups on the kitchen counter. I don't know what happened, man! It was a magical day! Someone put fuel in my tank and I loooved it!

20:15 I cleaned some things, re-organized some other things and then got hungry again. Ate some pastrami with cottage cheese, some tomato and onion salad and a slice of bread. Life felt simple again! It was a nice feeling.

21:46 Uh, uh, I'm getting hungry. Nooooo!

21:50 Ate 3, no, 6 pistachios.

23:10 Pistachio business is good! I'm afraid I'll turn green. It's a pretty green, but hey, It's still green.

23:19 Thinking of a banana. Not just a banana, in general. One specific banana. In a brown paper bag. Downstairs. In my kitchen. Waiting for me. Whispering sweet, nasty things in slytherin.

23:21 Too lazy to get out of bed, so banana's efforts to lure me in are pointless. Instead, I answer the calling of grissini from the bottom drawer of my nightstand. I like to keep my forbidden stash close.Why? Because I want to make sure I fail at life! I can't risk giving myself a chance! I might make it! What the fuck am I gonna do then?!

Sometime after that, I fell asleep. Day over.

Tuesday

10:30 Woke up. Started counting. No, not stars. Pains and aches. 1.Headache. 2. Latimus dorsi- repetitive strain ache + neck. 3. Lower back pain. Sciatica is sssexy. 4. Period pains. 

There you go: 4 reasons to start drinking in the morning!

10:56 Morning yoga. Necessary yoga. Stiff, old lady yoga.

11:11 Tea. One teaspoon of honey, honey.

11:32 Breakfast. Same overnight oatmeal thing. Different stuff on top. Hoping to re-create yesterdays energetic experience.

13:00 Still resisting the grandma brownies. Feels like a fucking countdown to giving in. Will I eat it now? Will I eat it now? Will I eat it later?! Exhausting!

12:58 Tea. With just a hint of Soplitza. Magical Polish booze with hazelnut flavor. Come on, baby, give mamma a kiss on the lips!

13:39 I'm hungry. Question is: am i proper hungry or is it just an illusion? Let's wait and see what happens.

15:00 Waited for a while now. Hungry. Lunch. Omlette du fromage with tomato salad, grilled pastrami, and some whipped cheese. 

15:09 Had my very last bite.Two fucking minutes later I craved something sweet with my entire soft body!

15:24 I have a brownie. I wish to have them all. Damn you grandma! You and your evil delicious treats that no one asked for but you sent anyway, so that we'd be fat forever!

15:26 Thank you, grandma. They are very yummy. No, we are not ungrateful privileged white kids with no respect for your love and efforts.

15:49 I feel sleepy and I would like to sleep in a sleepy way.

16:38 Two pieces of sugar happiness+a headache. Well done! I am so proud of myself right now :/

17:17 Feeling really thirsty. Which means I'm already dehydrated. Yay. I am doing everything right today! How about you drink more water and eat less cake, smart ass?!

18:20 Drank some water. Ate some more devil brownie. That's it, tomorrow I'm giving them away! If temptation is in every corner of your home, spreading its delicious smells and flaunting its chocolatyness with every occasion, you're gonna give in at some point! Or repeatedly!  Time to put that chocolate slut on the streets, where she belongs!

Between that and dinner all that happened was headache. All that I felt was headache. All that remained in my world and in the entire world, universe included was this bitchy headache that wouldn't go the fuck away!

21:40 Dinner. Beef and vegetable sour soup best known as the mighty, life-saving ciorba. It is believed to have magical healing powers. For the body and the soul. I can't be alone in this! I'm sure that are people out there who feel the same! Soup lovers from around the world, unite! Captain Planet style! ;)

I do not have a picture for this, I forgot to snap one every-time. Sorry. 

2:00 Yes, a.m. Glass of milk + last brownie. Goodbyeeee, brownnies!

2:25 Went to bed. Lights out, honey! You've been a very bad girl!

Wednesday 

10:30 Rise and shine!

10:56 Water! Drink water! You really need that!

11:30 Breakfast. Same oats. Pears (tossed with cinnamon&lemon juice), strawberries, basil, honey.

12:19 Ate slowly. The Never-ending Oats, ladies and gentlemen, the title of my first book! A lovely fairy tale about the miracle grain that is the oat. The magic is wearing off, only managed to eat half of that. I am officially getting bored. Experiments are hard.

13:11 Kinda empty down there in the belly district. Let's try drinking some water, maybe the hunger goes away.

Ate nuts. That's all I remember. I was busy. Didn't wanna waste time cooking, was hungry, ate nuts. Not the best idea. But not the worst either, considering I have Ben&Jerry's Cinnabon ice cream in the freezer. You know what I mean?!

17:00 Lunch. Cabbage, onions, carots, smoky meat. Put them together and you've got yourself a treat. Add a fried egg, drop some polenta on that plate, and you're done! It's really tasty. Didn't quite fill me up, though. Should have had more of that.

19:00 I ate the last of those much advertised grissini. To get it over with! Plus, I was hungry and lazy.

22:00 Yeah, dried bread sticks are not really that nutritious. A shocker, I know! So, I had half of a sandwich, half a bowl of soup and a chocolate digestive biscuit.

And then I just blacked out. Nighty night!

Thursday

10:30 Woke up. Back pain, hello! Headache, hi there! 

10:32 Yeah, fuck you guys!

11:00 Woke up again. If at first you don't succeed...give it a half an hour and hope for magic?

11:30 Ok, magic doesn't exist. I'm getting out of bed.

12:02 Breakfast. Yeah, I know what time it is. It's breakfast to me, cause it's the first meal of the day! Shut up, you can't tell me what to do! I had porridge, ok?! Judge that too! God, I can't catch a break.

Ate half, cause I'm kinda sick of oats at this point. The other half landed in the garbage. It is what it is, not all of us make it. Some get eaten, some get thrown away. It's a hard life for oats everywhere!

13:30 Yoga Camp- Yoga with Adriene. On youtube! For free! I love her! She's the best! You should check her out!

14:40 Man, hunger comes at you like a bitch! All of a sudden and out of nowhere! Let's cook something fast! 

15:20 Fast my ass! Still too slow! Damn it!  Anyway, lunch. Grilled chicken + roasted veg (from a bag, frozen) + tomato and mozzarella salad. 

15:40 Done! Full tummy, yes, sir!

16:57 Roasted cashews time. And a bite out of a very dark chocolate. Why? Because I was bored. I was reading and the automatism to just put something in one's mouth kicked in. Made me realize how fucked up and unnecessary that is! And what an evil rooted habit it is...

17:00 Dizzy. Because black chocolate was too black for me to handle. No, that is not racist. Don't roll your eyes. And don't you dare pout your lips at me!

19:00 Have a banana! 

19:01 I did! I totally did!

20:00 Would-murder-for-cookie impulse came over me. Out of the freakin' blue!

20:35 Dinner. Soup. Because curry takes forever and we're too hungry for that bullshit. No, I don't have a picture. No, I wasn't really fulfilled.

21:34 Half of pear. Eating those cakes was clearly a mistake! Now my body craves the sugar intake it got used too. I feel like a crack addict. I need the candy, the snow, the smack, man! Gimme IT!

22:20 Some nuts again. Kinda hungry, I'm not gonna lie.

1:00 Sleep. Just sleep. Try again tomorrow.

Friday

10:00 Woke up.

11:00 Breakfast. Ate half.

12:25 Kinda hungry. Had an early lunch, since I was gonna clean a house during proper lunch time. Beef and squash curry with cous cous.

12:39 Now I'm full and ready to go!

14:00 to 16:30 Cleaned house for a delusional, bitchy lil' piece of shit that wanted "everything" done in a big ass house in just 2 hours and 30 min instead of 4 and half, as reality dictates. Why? Because if there weren't any crappy people in the world we wouldn't appreciate the nice ones we usually meet.

16:50 Had a banana and some nuts on my way to Howth. The place where I buy fresh prawns. Because tomorrow is Friends Food Challenge day and that recipe ain't gonna make herself. 

17:something I receive an email stating that future bookings with the delusional have been canceled by the earlier mentioned delusional because she is delusional. I felt angry, mistreated and frustrated. Then I felt sad because there was nothing I could do about it.

I bought my prawns and tried to get a table in a restaurant, which was not easy, without a reservation. Let boyfriend know that he should come, that we should have a nice dinner in a nice place to wash away the ugliness and injustice of that day.

18:32  Found a table at The Brass Monkey. Ordered a chai latte. Waiting, looking through the menu, feeling crappy. Sciatica is hating on me. I want to drawn in sticky toffee pudding until the pain goes away. Miserable state, so of course my instinct was to resort to food. Because food can make it all better. Because food is always there. Because pudding never judges. Toffee always understands.

19:00 We order a bunch of things and decide to share them all. First, we had the Deluxe Clam Chowder. Boy, was it deluxe! Fishy joy in a bowl! Those are indeed pesto prawns floating on that creamy dream :D

Second, the duck liver parfait with crusty bread. Was alright. I have high pate expectations since the London trip and the pate that changed my life. This one didn't stand a chance. Nice, creamy texture, but the flavor was just plain and meaty, no dimensions here.

As a main we ordered the catch of the day, which happened to be salmon. Delicious! The fish was perfectly flaky and juicy, the roasted potatoes and the veggies were just as they should be, no complaints here!

You know we went for the dessert. Don't even ask me that. Sticky toffee pudding it is!

Did it make me feel better? Kind of. It's like having a cold and taking a pain pill. It's a temporary band aid. Then you go back to the pain, cause it didn't fix it. Pudding doesn't do that. I just covered it up, like cats do with their shit. But the shit is still there, you can smell it. Go pick it up and stop eating pudding! You're just eating delicious pudding in the presence of a very bad smell! You're ruining a perfectly good pudding experience!

20:30 Called the bitch to check if her diet consisted mainly of shit or solely of shit. Verdict? Shit for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And for snacks? you ask. Smaller pieces of shit, nut sized. 

20:35 I was angry. I turned to yoga. Yoga said:

But my tits were not easy to calm, cause they were pissed off! Good yoga session though. I'm really focused when I'm mad.

21:30  Wrote angry e-mail for justice purposes. Boyfriend edited angry e-mail because, even though it made some good points, it was aggressive,passive aggressive and sarcastic as fuck. First drafts tend to be like that when dealing with stupidity!

Spoiler alert: justice was served on Monday. It felt good.

12:00 Protein bar. 

12:something Made bed on the floor because the back pain was killing me. Eventually fell asleep.

Conclusions:

1. I need to work on letting thing go. This is no news for me. 

2. Need to keep up the research I started to see what's happening to my gut and my muscles. I'm currently reading two books hoping to get there faster.

3. I know it will take a while. And lots of patience.

4. I learned  (again) that attitude towards food makes a big difference. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and the things that I "can't have", I try to focus on what I am having and how I can make that pretty and tasty. Put in the effort to make it look nice, then it will feel nice! Like a treat not a punishment!

5. A difficult one: STOP postponing! Eat when you are hungry! Prepare the food before you get to a crazy angry point! Because, honey, it's only downhill from there and meltdowns are not pretty.

This was Week 2. See you next week. And the week after that, and the week after that, and the week after that, forever and ever and ever. 

S01E04 The one with Pheobe's cookies

Finally, cookie time! Tananananananana can't touch this! Break it down!

Now, some people may be confused by the title and mistakenly believe that I'm talking about the “Nestle Toulouse” cookies. No. The cookies in this episode are Pheobe's “best oatmeal cookies in the world”, that she offers Rachel after this particular incident:

Pheobe: Ok, uhm, we haven't known each other for that long a time, and, um, there are three things that you should know about me. One: my friends are the most important thing in my life. Two: I never lie. And three: I make the best oatmeal raisin cookies in the world.
Rachel: Ok, thanks, Pheebs. [tastes cookie] Oh my God! Why have I never tasted these before? Pheobe: Oh, I don't make them a lot, because I don't think it's fair to the other cookies.

Yeah, that sums it up nicely. Now that you know where we are on the cookie scale, let's get down to bussiness. As far as utensils go, you will need: a big bowl+a big spoon, an electric mixer/a whisk and some willpower, a sieve, a baking tray, parchment paper, ice cream scoop (not necessary, but helps get your cookies the same size) and a genuine love for cookies.

Most recipes I researched used two types of sugar. As I find myself so sick of unnecessary usage of sugar, this whole sugar conspiracy where there's sugar even where no sugars should be, I decided to use just one type of sugar, the better type–brown moscovado sugar. This one creates an awesome chewy texture and gives a caramel flavor, which creates amazing depth. You feel like that cookie could go all around the universe and back, that's the kind of magic I'm talking about! I'm not here to bash white sugar, but I always find myself (no matter what recipe I follow) overloaded with sugar. Every-time I make a new recipe I cut down 20-30 gr. of sugar from the start, and most of the time the end result is still too sweet! I find that usually half the amount of sugar is sufficient! Desserts are about more than sugar! They're about butter, and cream and eggs, and cinnamon and I don't need sugar overshadowing all that! Don't get me wrong , I love decadence in food, I'd just rather have in the french way: de la creme, du bon chocolat, beurre! No matter how amazing a dessert is, if after two bites I feel like I'm getting diabetes, you lost me! That being said, you should know I did the same thing for this recipe and I think next time I'll make these, I'll cut another 10-15gr. of sugar, so that they're perfect for my needs.

This batch made 18 giant cookies. If you make the normal-sized ones you will get about 30 cookies.

1.Ingredients and quantities

Given the fact that the weather was partly sunny, my camera's battery was fully charged this time, and I was baking some goodness, I felt pretty happy so I played with the camera a lot. About 200 pictures were taken for this particular post. Don't worry, only a few made it here. I present to you still life with spoons and vanilla:

 2.The process 

  • The very first thing you need to do is get the butter and the eggs out of the fridge. Everything needs to be at room temperature and the butter needs to be soft enough so that it blends easily with the sugar. I got mine out of the fridge about an hour before I started using it, because it's a whole pack, it needs some time to adjust. Have patience. Don't rush the butter. Just remember to do this first! Consider this like a pre-step to the entire process. 
  • Next, soak your raisins in warm water. This makes them nice and moist and prevents them from burning in the oven. The initial quantity of raisins was 220 gr. I soaked them and everything, and then I realised that that can't happen. Way too many raisins! So I used half – 110 gr. 
  • Turn your oven on so that it's nice and pre-heated for the cookies. It is indeed too early, but I tend to get wrapped up in the dough making process and forget about it. So I'd rather be too early than too late. When your butter is soft enough that a butter knife cuts through it easily, no opposition, we are ready to rumble. 
  • Cut the butter into small cubes and throw it in your big sexy bowl (1). 
  • Add the sugar (2) and mix them together until you get something that looks creamy and intense (3).
  • Add thy eggs and vanilla, fair maiden (4). Mix. Now it should look lighter and looser (5). 
  • Now, gently (or roughly, who am I to judge?) throw in there the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and incorporate.

This is how it looks like:

Now is a good time to strain your raisins. And mix in the oats:

Ta-daaaa:

This is the moment I realised I underestimated the power of raisins and decided half is plenty: 

Incorporate the raisins, cover the bowl with cling film and chill your dough for 15 min in the fridge. 

After chilling time: tray, parchment paper and scoop, baby, scoop! This is my favorite part! 

Don't crowd them, they need space to “deflate” and you don't want them to form a monstrous coalition and take over your tray. 

Now bake those pretties in the oven on what should be 180 degrees for 10-12 min, or until the edges are golden brown. 

This is the perfect moment to tell you that my oven is weird. The heat is awkwardly distributed, the temperature is very hard to control, it's either too high or too low, doesn't really seem to have a middle ground. I have an oven thermometer so that I at least know how wrong it is and try to work with what I have. Of course, it broke. You may think I'm joking or making stuff up. No, it just stopped working. So, I was completely in the dark. I put the tray in the oven, had no idea what temperature was actually in there (even though theoretically gas mark 4 should be the equivalent of 180 degrees, my oven is not trustworthy) and also forgot to turn on my timer. Success all the way!

I am the living proof that you can make these cookies without the usually needed precision. Just go with your gut feeling, keep an eye on them and that should be enough. It was for me! Get the tray out of the oven and do not attempt to move the cookies, they are slightly too soft when hot. Don't worry, they're supposed to be like that. They get stronger with time. Like people! There's a little cookie-life-philosophy for you :P.

After they have cooled enough to hold their shape move them onto a cooling rack/grill thing and get ready for the next batch. 

I had mine with black tea with milk and honey, and I would repeat that combo any day! Except black tea makes me dizzy so I had a sip of tea and many cookies. You do what you have to do. 

Drumroll! Batch number two, boy, are we ready for you!

This was my first time making oatmeal raisin cookies and I actually believe they might outshine chocolate chip cookies! Just in MY heart! No need to start throwing rocks! I love the chewiness of the raisins, the sticky texture and the slightly burnt caramel flavor given by the brown sugar. The complete lack of white sugar did not affect anything! No regrets! In the first day these cookies were sweet and soft. The next day, I got to feel those little grains of salt here and there and I was bewitched, bothered and bewildered (the Ella Fitzgerald version). If you know the song, sing along!

If you are anything like me and enjoy your cookies as they toughen up, don't put them in a jar (just because you wanna be able to say that you have a cookie jar). They will get softer and softer in there, they'll feel safe and relaxed and they will never get strong enough to face life. So do them a favour, put them on a plate and let them evolve and grow. That is, before they find their end in your hungry mouth. Oh, what a lovely way to go!

And I'll tell you, it really isn't fair to the other cookies.

That's a wrap! Until the next one, happy eating!