Today is a great day! It's a great day because Austin is finally out of my kitchen. I will have space again. I won't always be surrounded by paleo, weighed-out portions of carbs, fats, and proteins. Yesterday was Austin's last day on the Zone Diet!
Today, he woke up and ate cookies for breakfast, put sugar and cream in his coffee, and smiled. There was a lot of smiling. There was no measuring. Today, we are both happy!
His challenge lasted 31 days and he successfully completed (makes it sound like a competition...yeah, that's accurate) all 93 meals and all 62 snacks. In the meantime, I gained 5 pounds and my dinners for the past month have usually consisted of Cheez-Its and muffins.
About halfway into the month, most of our conversations started revolving around: "what do you miss the most?" and, "what are you going to eat first?!" At first, he couldn't really get past wanting chocolate cake. Then he started thinking about meals too, not just dessert. He requested this Chicken Carbonaro, but since he hasn't had dairy for a whole month and he was already lactose-intolerant (kinda) before, I talked him out of it. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have it!
If I had been torturing myself for the past month, I would probably choose this meal too. In fact, when I go home to visit and my parents ask me what I want for dinner, it is almost always Chicken Carbonaro.
This Carbonaro is not at all like the traditional Italian dish. It is loaded with chicken, bacon and green peppers. There's no egg, but we definitely kept the cream and parmesan cheese in there. I used to think this was really hard to make because we did not have it that often, then when I tried to make it myself for the first time, I realized that really there was no excuse for why we didn't eat it every night.
Growing up, we lived about 20 minutes away from my grandparents house so we saw them pretty often. Usually we would go over there and watch the IU (Indiana University) basketball games, make laps on the big wheels up and down the (really long) driveway, and pester my grandpa for more money to buy candy at the gas station down the way.
In all of those times visiting my grandma and poppop, I only remember eating a handful of things: Chicken and Noodles (loved it), Apple Pie (each time she made it, it was the better than the last), "Yay Big Meat" (my grandma would describe how big the beef was by holding her fingers about 2 inches apart and say it was "yay big" - hated it), Pumpkin Cookies (again, loved them), and Banana Bread.
Her banana bread was so light and moist and when you bake it, the top turns this dark espresso brown color which is magically sweeter than the rest of the bread. There is a reason that I loved it then and I still do now.
To make her perfect banana bread into muffins, I just tweaked a few things (namely the baking time, amount of batter, and the amount of pecans). The muffins are still sweet and not dense at all AND now they're portable.
Somedays you go into the kitchen with your best intentions. You have an idea and a recipe. You have the ingredients necessary. Despite all of your efforts and good planning, something isn't right.
Yesterday, after a trip to the grocery store, I spent about 4 hours trying to make macarons with the aim to pack them up and send them to my mom for Mother's Day. Instead, I spent 4 hours and got little, thin wafers that, quite honestly, didn't even taste that great. They ended up in the trash and now I'll have to send a lame card or order flowers or something.
Sure, cookies that don't turn out perfectly is not that big of a deal in the scheme of things, but it did have the ability to ruin my day. Because I didn't get those treats in the mail by this morning, my mom isn't getting anything special this Sunday, and what I would really like to do is have a meal with her. My sister could probably make dinner, I could make dessert. My other sister could take a nap on the couch ;)
So do me a favor, if you are lucky enough to spend this Sunday at the same table as your mom, make her something delicious. Appreciate it. I recommend this Rosemary Loaf Cake.
Sorry about the macarons, Mom...maybe this cake will be arriving at your house soon!
Have we moved on from soup? Are we only eating fresh, raw salads and berry pies from here until October? We're only going to eat alfresco and have garden parties and wear big hats that block the sun? We'll drink iced tea and lick ice cream out of waffle cones.
That all sounds really nice and I like a fresh blueberry pie more than most, but unfortunately summer fruits and veggies aren't quite in season (at least not here in Colorado where we had 10 inches of snow last week). So I think we should embrace hearty, soul-warming soups for a little while longer.
Once we've packed up all of our winter clothes and put them in storage, we can officially start the diet of fresh greens followed by berries and ice cream. Washing it all down with fresh-squeezed lemonade and cold beer.
Even then, there are always rainy days, right? All I'm sayin' is give soup a chance!
April 29 | I really hope sinking my hands into warm, yeasty dough is the only therapy I'll ever need. I don't think I've ever felt more relaxed.
April 30 | Refrigerator cleaned and organized! That's been on the to-do list for a long time.
May 1 | Happy May Day! I started it off by bringing my espresso machine out of hiding.
May 2 | After getting a parking ticket, I worked out my frustration by cleaning and rearranging the living room - it didn't really work.
May 3 | It finally feels like spring might stick around this time - I'm ready to spend some nights out on the deck now.
May 4 | Austin and I stumbled upon our favorite street performers on Pearl Street yet. They're called "Intuitive Compass." You can't see it here, but the dude had a baby strapped to his back too. Only in Boulder.
May 5 | This morning, Austin and I ran our first 10k! I am calling it...my training for the Bolder Boulder is accomplished! Treated myself to this delicious raspberry banana smoothie (recipe soon) afterwards, and had a nice relaxing Sunday.