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Day 14: A food blogger I am not.

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Juli B over at PaleOMG has been an invaluable resource to me as I’ve gone full stop Paleo these past few months.  Not only are her recipes tasty but her blogs are funny as hell. She makes you feel like you could be besties IRL, in a non-creepy-blog-stalker kind of way. ***Waves frantically*** HI, JULI!!!!

I decided to tackle a more in-depth recipe of hers this week because holy CRAP my grocery store finally had delicata squashes in stock! I know, I’m FAR too excited over a gourd. Foodnerdporn ahead. Sort of.  The whole point of this post is to show you how much I am NOT a food blogger. What I am is a lover of creamy alfredo-like sauces.

The recipe in question: Chicken Bacon Alfredo. 

NOTE: Juli herself did two blog posts on this meal because in her own words, “The bummer part of this recipe is that, well, it just pretty much always looks like dog doo.”  Whew. Okay, I’m off the hook for what you’re about to see. Because I say so.

First, Juli says “Cut spaghetti squash and delicata squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and excess threads. Don’t be dainty.”

Here’s as far as I made it into STEP ONE before the spaghetti squash fought back. It ate my knife and wouldn’t give it back.

REALLY, SQUASH? Really.

If you’d been brave lucky enough to be in my kitchen at this point, you would have seen me lifting the knife by the hilt, with the squash firmly embedded… and hammering the knife-eating squash combo repeatedly on my cutting board with full force.  Which promptly rattled the countertop so hard it knocked over my bottle of water and I then had to mop up the mess. Okay, the destructor method wasn’t working.  After much swearing and wiggling of knife around the equator of the world’s most ornery gourd, I was here.

I WIN, SQUASH.

Whew. I needed a drink.

Luckily the delicata was much easier to cut through. And then I gutted those bad boys. Juli said not to be dainty. I wasn’t.

mmmmmsquashguts.

Hm. It was getting warm in my kitchen, what with the squash-wrestling, the Georgia temperatures in the mid 70s and an oven preheating to 425*. But I soldiered on and put the squashes on the baking sheets and the seasoned chicken tenders on another. In they went.

While they were cooking, I got the bright idea to make a batch of my typical veggie saute. So I got to chopping:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large yellow squash

No pictures of this, sorry – I only had 15-20 min to get it prepped and in the pan to get cooking. And now with both the stovetop and the oven going, I was sweating.

Then Juli said I needed to get another pan out to cook the bacon. Oh, hell. Are we gonna use every damn skillet that I own? And, I’M TOO HOT. So I changed into a tank top and shorts and put my hair up on top of my head. That’s better.

I slapped the bacon into the pan. Meaning, the WHOLE package of bacon. What? Juli said 4-6 slices. There were only 8 in the pack. Shaddap. There is no such thing as too much bacon.

Then the oven timers went off. The chicken was done.

5 minutes later, so were my little squash monsters.

rrrrrroasty

It was official.  There was entirely too much heat in my kitchen. I was dying. The veggies were sauteing and the bacon was sizzling away while the squashes were being all rrroasty on the counter.

OMG. How much longer until this is assembled?!?!!?

Did I mention I’m also f***ing HANGRY now?  It’s hot, I’m sweating, I’m starving, and an hour into this ordeal, I still have nothing assembled.  Jeez, I’d be an epic failure on Top Chef.

Finally, the bacon finished up and I removed it from the skillet but left the grease. In went the delicata flesh that I scooped out of the skins, along with the coconut milk and seasoning.  I loved how the delicata just moooshed up so easily into a sauce with the cream! Then it all came together quickly, but I was so starved I only remember being pissy.

I de-spaghetti’ed the other squash and when the sauce was heated through, I poured it over the squoodles. Added the chicken. Added some of my veggie saute. Mixed well. Topped with bacon.

EAT ALL OF THE FOOD.

But I did get one last picture before I let my hangry self dig in. You’re welcome.  And Juli was right. Yes, it does look like dog doo when photographed. But it tasted amazing. 🙂

PSA: Don’t cook hangry.

8 Week Challenge #9: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

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Yep. It’s last call, folks.  The Pish Posh 8 Week Challenge is coming to an end.  I will end this fun endeavor with my highlight/blooper reel but before I do, I want to thank Pish Posh.  This gal is incredible, not only as a writer and the fearless leader of this challenge, but as a person. She is going through some hard times right now, and I can only hope she knows how much we are all here to support her. Pish, I’m sending you all the good juju I have. You deserve it.

Without further ado, The Good, The Bad and The FUgly about my experience with the Pish Posh 8 Week Challenge:

  • Came to terms with my new bootylicious booty body shape/structure, and shopped for clothes that worked with it.

  • Had a nasty cold, which meant all I wanted to do was eat to feel better.
  • Broke up with my boyfriend, which meant all I wanted to do was eat to feel better.

totally stole this from Pish Posh.

  • Realized that my “cheat foods” on Paleo Faileo plus face-eating of pints of Haagen Dazs were causing stupid weight gain.

  • Flipped tires, climbed ropes, jumped over boxes and onto boxes, lifted a ton of weight, ran a race in a tutu, smashed my previous 5K time, and probably confused/bored you all to death with my CrossFit updates. But thanks for putting up with it!!! 🙂

  • Fought with the scale, but have stopped the calorie counting cold-turkey and replaced it with listening more to what my body NEEDS. Not wants. The mental adjustment continues… it is so difficult when you’ve been heavy and are determined to never let yourself get back there. Didn’t know that about me? Yep. Go read here if you want my body journey.
  • Took a break.  Ate my way through Vegas.

  • Upon return, I knocked all that cheating/emotional eating shit off and decided to sumo-tackle a Whole30.  Happy to report I’ve been completely, 100%, entirely dairy-free and grain-free, alcohol-free, and legume-free for 15 days now.
  • Jumped on a 4 week plank challenge over here and I better have some damn ab muscles to show for it when it’s over. 🙂
  • Tried a ton of new recipes and learned the hard way that blenders and wooden spoons don’t play well in the sandbox. Oops.

My goals for the rest of the year are:

  • Finish out my Whole30 without cheating.
  • Continue on the path of healthy eating, with kindness and love to myself instead of anger at a number on the scale.
  • Keep CrossFit’n like a badass. I want to be able to do kipping pull-ups by mid-November!!

In closing (snifffffffff waaahhh), I tried, and I bellyflopped a little, but I consider the lessons learned worthwhile.  I certainly know I couldn’t have persevered through the rough weeks or the days I did not want to work out without my challenge buddies cheering me on (or twitter-smacking me upside the head, THANKS GUYS). It helped to see myself through your kind and objective eyes. Eyes that are nowhere near as critical as my own.  It helped me be nicer to myself about what I see in the mirror or on the scale. Because Pish Posh is right, we all need to take better care.

Y’all stay in touch with your progress!