Odds and ends and easing back into the kitchen

January 18, 2016

Ahem. Er…..yes. It’s me. I am attempting to find my way back to normalcy after two weeks with the Sinus Infection From Hell, which has finally consented to leave me, albeit as a weakened, frail husk of my former self.

Which means I’ve got to get in the kitchen and cook myself up some strength-renewing dishes that will not pack on the pounds which I have lost to that and a mild stomach issue that plagued me through the fall. So, in an attempt to maintain, I’m joining  a bunch of friends in an online 12-week health and fitness challenge. The guidelines don’t call for a special diet, but rather for ensuring you eat your requisite fruits and veggies every day, drink at least 64 ounces of water, eat no added sugar or sugary treats but for one day a week, and get at least 30 minutes’ worth of exercise. So I’m hoping that’ll keep me from blimping back up, and encourage me to eat healthier, as well.

It is now 9:30 a.m. and I’ve had a serving and a half of fruit (in a breakfast smoothie) and about 24 ounces of water so far. Of course, I’m sitting here bundled in an afghan and shivering from the smoothie. That oughta burn some calories, right?

I can tell you right off, the hardest things about this will be keeping up the exercise six days a week, and drinking the water. Just got to make it a point to do it. Got my water bottle out and keeping my records.

Meanwhile, some ideas for kitchen stuff this week:

  • I still have the SV’d round steak frozen in the bag that I cooked last week for stroganoff. I need to make that soon, before the mushrooms aren’t any good any more.
  • Saw a recipe that tweaked my interest t’other day, for a vegetarian chili with butternut squash chunks. I picked up a couple of small butternut squashes at Kroger, and have plenty of Rancho Gordo beans, so I can do that, whenever.
  • At some point in the next two or three weeks, I need to make some King cakes for friends. Not for me. Not on the diet, and I’m not crazy about ’em, anyway.
  • I have some ground beef thawed in the fridge that I put in there yesterday that I plan to make meat loaf. I’ve been jonesing for meat loaf sandwiches — and y’all know how I get when I’m jonesing for something. And it occurred to me that I could make said meat loaf like I like it, but even flatter and more spread out, and then cut it in sandwich-sized slices, and that would be a Good Thing. And I could slice it and put said slices in the freezer, wrapped separately, and enjoy meat loaf sandwiches at my leisure. So I think I’m gonna do that.
  • Sandwiches will require sandwich bread, of which I am out. Must make a batch today.

Other than that, I think today’s culinary focus will be on my new book that arrived yesterday (I cannot get used to this Amazon Sunday delivery!), Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn’s Charcuterie. I’ve always love charcuterie — cured meats — of almost any description, and I could see myself getting very involved in something like this. I’m intrigued that making bacon can be as simple as they make it seem, and I will be trying that in the not-too-distant fugure.  I’m also going to try yet One More Time to do my own corned beef brisket from scratch for St. Paddy’s Day this year. I have ordered my Prague Powder curing salt, and perhaps this time will be the time that my Irish ancestors step up in my persona and guide me through the process.

And if they don’t, I’ll go to the grocery and get Boar’s Head. And we will have corned beef for St. Paddy’s, yes, we will.

But first, I think perhaps it’s time for a nap. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy your day.



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