Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Savory Oatmeal

I am not a sweet-breakfast-foods type of person. I prefer my breakfasts savory. Usually I eat some sort of egg dish in the morning, if I have time, consisting of eggs, salsa/hot sauce, and toast/tortillas. If I'm rushed in the morning, I'll eat some toast with butter.

Lately I've been eating a fair amount of oatmeal for breakfast since it's cheap and relatively fast. I can eat it 2-3 times a week, but I usually get tired of eating something sweet, since that is how most people eat oatmeal - they add sugar, maple syrup, fruit, etc. to it. I've been seeing recipes for savory oatmeal floating around the Internets for a while and decided to try it out today. After reading a few recipes I decided to wing it and try my own thing. It turned out pretty good, I must say.

Basically all I did was cook my oatmeal and add salt, pepper, and bacon fat to it once it was done. I then topped it with an egg. I know, I know, I'm a vegetarian, I'm not supposed to eat bacon fat. The truth is, sometimes I do eat meat, when I know where it came from. The farm we worked at for our CSA raised pigs and we bought some pork from them not too long ago. Jeremy saved the bacon fat and we've been using it in things on occasion.

I was so excited about eating this that I forgot I was planning on topping it with some Parmesan. Oops. Next time, I guess.

This is a good alternative to the normal, everyday, sweet oatmeal dishes out there. I'm excited to play around with other savory flavor combinations.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mini Magazine Rant

Jeremy and I were recently gifted with a subscription to a Christian magazine. Now I'm sure the the person giving us this gift means well and probably enjoys the magazine. I thought I'd give it a chance and I read the first few editions. I quickly noticed a pattern, nearly all articles go something like this:

Wo is me, my life is in shambles.

But then, I read something/talked to someone/remembered something/heard something

And now life is great!

Seriously, almost every. single. article. follows this pattern. I now amuse myself by reading articles and looking for it to happen.

Another thing that annoys me about the articles is that they are all written in first person narrative. There is no journalism going on here, just "here is my story about how my life was in shambles but now it's great!" It gets a little repetitive after a while.

Lastly, the magazine is full of ads. These aren't just any ads, though. I'm used to seeing ads in other magazines for clothes, perfumes, kitchen stuff, etc. This magazine is full of "Look 20 years younger now, magically!" or "Work from home and make $50,000!" or "Take this 'all natural' supplement and all your health problems will be gone" ads. It just seems kind of wrong to have these ads, and so many of them, in a magazine of this sort.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby it's Cold Outside

True Story. Saturday night Jeremy and I are on our way home from our weekly trip to Wal-Mart. Now normally we go Friday night, because there is nothing else to do around here on Friday nights. This week we went up to Bangor on Friday to go out to eat and to finally see Harry Potter 7. That meant our weekly date to Wal-Mart was pushed back a day. Anyway, we're headed home and I make the observation that Maine isn't as cold as I thought it would be. It's cold here, don't get me wrong, but compared to the Midwest, it's nothing. I not-so-fondly remember those prairie winds in Kansas in the winter. It was cold. Here it might dip down to the single digits at night, but during the day it's mostly been in the teens to 20's, maybe making its way up to the low 30's. Totally managable.

Fast forward to this morning. I woke up and checked the weather, as I knew I was going to be spending some time outside as all the kids I work with like to do things outside even when it's cold. I knew there was a pretty good chance I'd be taking a kid sledding today. It was 9 degrees, but felt like 6. Ouch. I made sure to bundle up and it's a good thing I did since we did go sledding. We didn't stay very long, since it was so cold.

So I guess Maine can be cold. I still don't think it compares to Kansas though. I mean, it was sunny here and there was no wind! That makes a huge difference.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Getting enough fruits and vegetables

When I was a kid, I swear I could eat anything, anytime, and never suffer any repercussions. Now I'm an adult and if I go 2-3 days without eating enough fruits and vegetables and/or too much sugar I notice. I start to feel sluggish and gross. My body starts craving fresh fruits and vegetables. I don't know if I just didn't notice this happening as a kid or if it's more pronounced now. Probably a little of both, I'm guessing.

I have especially noticed this while traveling. It seems like whenever we go out of town I don't eat enough fruits and vegetables and after a few days I need them. This usually means that, if we're driving, I make Jeremy find a Panera or McAllister's on the way home so I can eat a salad. On occasion, Jeremy has even said he wants some vegetables. That's when I know it's really bad.

The past few weeks, mostly around Christmas, I have not been feeling great and I know it's related to my diet, which had consisted of way too much sugar. This week I finally decided to do something about it and bought a bunch of fruits and vegetables while grocery shopping, including a bag of kale. I've mainly been eating it in the morning with eggs and toast, but have also made a quesadilla with it.

I also made lentil sprouts this week, in an effort to eat better. I've been eating them with hummus on bread. And because I have no other hobbies, here are some pictures of my sprouts sprouting:

I'm always so amazed when they get their first little sprout buds.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Haircuts

This weekend both Jeremy and I got our haircut. We probably should have staggered it - I don't know how many people have asked us if we got a "two for one" special. (For the record, we did not.)

Jeremy hadn't cut his hair since before our wedding, about 2 1/2 years ago. At some point he decided that he wanted to grow out his hair, and since he's a grad student right now, it seemed like the time to do it. He finally got tired of it and had been talking about cutting it all of for a couple months now. He looks so different, yet this is how he used to look.

I've been needing a haircut of a while, I just never got around to it. My hair was the longest it had been since in college when I grew it out for Locks of Love. Since it was so long, I figured I might as well cut it all off again and donate it. I ended up getting about 12 inches off.

In the middle of my hair cut, the lady cutting my hair started asking the lady cutting Jeremy's hair how to cut my hair. I will admit, I was a little nervous at this point. Luckily, the lady doing Jeremy's hair decided to show her how to do it, which made me feel better. It was a bit weird to be turned into a teaching prop, though.

Such drastic haircuts in January probably wasn't the best idea - our necks are cold!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

My Toaster Oven

As you may remember, last month I was trying to decide between getting a toaster oven or a stand mixer. I ultimately went for the toaster oven and received the mother of all toaster ovens, the Breville Smart Oven, for Christmas. So far I'm really enjoying it. I've made toast, pizza, nachos, roasted sweet potatoes, apple raisin quick bread, and have reheated numerous things in it. Pizza is so much better reheated in a toaster oven than in the microwave.

Speaking of microwaves, we've put ours in storage for the time being. As we don't have that much counter space we decided to swap out the microwave for the toaster oven, since it can do so much more. If we find we just can't live without a microwave, we'll have to bring it back and figure out where to put it. So far I'm not missing it too much. Sure it takes longer to reheat stuff in the toaster oven, but the results are usually better. We also had to buy an egg timer since we always used the timer on the microwave for everything. Also, I'm getting accustomed to melting butter on the stove now. Other than that, I can't think of what else we'd really need the microwave for.

I'm excited to use my toaster oven for more things, like a small batch of cookies. Sometimes Jeremy and I like to make two cookies at a time for an after dinner treat. Since we're still eating all of our Christmas chocolate, we haven't had to do this in a while. It will also be nice in the summer when it's pushing 90 degrees inside and I don't want to turn on the oven to make dinner.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A New Adventure

For 2011, I have decided to embark on a new pizza adventure. In 2010, I resolved to "eat more pizza." This year, I will make a new pizza every week all year and write about it. I have started a new blog for this, titled "The Weekly Pizza." Check it out!