You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Month: February 2010 Page 1 of 3

Eating In: Day Seven

Today was our last day eating in and we didn’t do anything fancy. For dinner we made our vegetarian taco salad which is about the easiest thing on the planet. It’s a taco flavored, meat substitute that heats up on the stove. Add whatever salad fixings you like and it’s done. It’s one of my favorite meals actually.

It was an interesting week. I actually had a lot of fun trying out different recipes and I even feel healthier. Food at restaurants tends to be so fatty and greasy and I never feel like I eat enough fruits and veggies. Eating in I got to control exactly what went into my food and I made sure to incorporate healthier ingredients. Amazingly I didn’t have any major disasters either! Perhaps not quite as interesting for you readers but I feel good about it. It was a lot easier than I imagined it would be too. I didn’t spend hours in the kitchen every day because we were able to eat leftovers certain days. I still need to work on starting on dinner earlier since we tended to eat at around 8pm most nights. Things always seemed to take longer than I expected. I just have to learn to think about food before I’m hungry. All in all it was a great experience and I’m planning on continuing it for the most part. I feel much more productive and good about myself when I eat something that I worked hard on rather than just ordering in all the time.

My favorite quote of the week:

Joel- “Abigail, I love you more when you cook.”

Me – “Um, thanks… so do you love me less when I don’t?”

Joel – “Uh….”

Thanks Huffington Post for an interesting challenge and making my husband love me more in the process.

Eating In: Day Six

Well, today we kind of cheated. We had a yummy pancake breakfast at home and just relaxed. Then I had a job interview. That went really well so Joel and I decided to see a movie. That’s when we ran into trouble. See, I have this obsession with popcorn. It just seems so wrong to see a movie without popcorn so I caved and we bought some. And an icee. Because what’s a movie without popcorn and an icee? For dinner we weren’t very hungry because of all the popcorn so we had the rest of the fritatta I made the other night. It was still yummy.

So we’re still good on all of our technical meals but we did buy some food “out.”

I feel like second grader writing in her journal right now. I did this. Then I went and did that. It was fun. We ate food. It was good food. It was a good day.

I’m sorry this is so boring. I’m tired, it’s been a long couple of days. I have a lot on my mind actually but nothing I feel comfortable sharing with the whole world. It’s one of those trains of thought where if I share I’d be afraid I’d look like I was feeling sorry for myself (maybe I am) and I wouldn’t want any pity comments. Then again, I’d be just as afraid of not getting any comments at all. It’s no-win. Maybe I can figure out how to put my thoughts into words eventually but until then I’ll just blabber on about basically nothing and bore you to tears. Hope you needed a good cry.

Eating In: Day Five

Joel had to work both jobs again today so I wasn’t planning on being very creative with food. It always seems like a waste if I make something delicious and I’m the only one who gets to enjoy it. Well today I accidentally made something delicious. I love sweet potatoes so I thought I’d have one for dinner. I wasn’t really sure exactly how I should cook them. I’ve made sweet potato fries before but I wanted something a little different so I did a little looking online. I couldn’t really find a recipe that I thought sounded good so I decided to just kind of wing it.

I baked one potato in the oven at 350 until it was soft (it took about an hour). I’m thinking there is probably a faster way to bake a potato but I didn’t feel like figuring it out. Once it was soft I scooped out the middle. I planned on just adding a little brown sugar and butter but I realized we didn’t have any. Instead I chopped up some walnuts, added a little cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and a teaspoon of white sugar. I mixed it all up, spooned it back into the skin and put it back in the oven for ten minutes. It was really yummy!

So this was my dinner. It may not look the prettiest but it was awesome.

Eating In: Day Four

Today was a much better food day and I even have a recipe to share. Since I started tracking my calories on SparkPeople I’ve run into some interesting problems. I thought I would have a hard time staying within my recommended calories for the day and I was right, just not in the way I thought. When I eat out I have problems staying under my calories for the day. However, when I eat in I have the opposite problem. I have to yet to follow the meal plan exactly and maybe that’s my problem. I was surprised to find how easy it is not to eat enough calories every day. What I have the most trouble with though is eating enough carbs. I know, whine whine. You probably hate me now. Not getting enough calories every day is just as bad as eating too many so it’s something I have to manage better.

Anyway, the food report: I woke up and was freezing this morning so I had some oatmeal. There’s nothing like oatmeal on a cold morning, love it. For lunch I cooked the rest of the Greek turkey burgers that I made Monday.

Mmmm, it was a really yummy lunch.

Then dinner I made a garden vegetable frittata. It took a decent amount of time to prepare. There was a lot of chopping and mincing vegetables. I also discovered that if I say ah! enough times while using a big knife Joel will offer to buy me a food processor. I wonder how I can make that work for other things… Anyway, it took awhile but it was delicious!

It doesn’t look too bad either, does it?

The recipe calls for it to be served at room temperature but we were hungry (because it took three times as long as it should have to make due to my lack of vegetable chopping skills) so we just let it sit out for 20 minutes or so. If you would like to make this yummy, veggie-full frittata you can get the recipe here.

Eating In: Day Three

Today was a fairly boring day, food wise. Joel had to work most of the day so I didn’t make anything fancy for dinner. Tomorrow I’m going to try something different so things will be a lot more interesting. Until tomorrow here is an adorable picture of the two loves of my life.

Watching a movie.

She is such a little sweetheart.

Eating In: Day Two

I knew eventually eating in all week would probably become more of a challenge but I didn’t know it would happen so soon. I found out today was National Free Pancake Day at Ihop. I love their pancakes, especially when they’re free! In my head I tried justifying it. Ya know, it was supposed to be about saving money and if it’s a free meal then it doesn’t really count. In fact it should be even better because it doesn’t cost me anything at all… right? *sigh* I didn’t give in to temptation though and held out. I can get free pancakes next year.

This morning I didn’t have anywhere to be so I was able to have a normal breakfast. It wasn’t anything fancy, just some cold cereal. For lunch I made Joel and myself spinach and cheese omelets. It was my first time making omelets and I was surprised that it went pretty well. It actually came out looking like an omelet instead of scrambled eggs so I was pleased.

Dinner was another story. I got a recipe for portabella mushroom burgers off Spark People. I love mushrooms and when I looked at the ingredients it seemed like it would be delicious. I didn’t pay close attention to the instructions when I decided to make it though, and that was my big mistake. We bought all the ingredients yesterday and as I was preparing to make the burgers I read the recipe more closely. That’s when I realized this was not going to be a quick and easy meal to make.

The recipe called for garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When I read the ingredient list I assumed they all would be mixed together and then rubbed on the mushroom cap. Yeeeah, not exactly. What I actually had to do was this:

I cut little slits in the top and had to insert the garlic, rosemary and thyme into the holes one by one. It took for.ever.

Once I finally finished stuffing the four mushroom caps I brushed the oil and balsamic vinegar on them and grilled until they were tender. The looked pretty nice once they were done.

Unfortunately they weren’t as delicious as they sounded and looked. They weren’t awful but they were no where near worth the time it took to prepare them.

So, out of six meals at home I’m only classifying one as a fail so far. Not too bad for a girl who almost never cooks.

Eating In: Day One

Joel and I eat out way too much. This is mostly out of laziness. I have a really bad habit of not thinking about food until I’m ready to eat. I don’t tend to plan ahead and by the time I start thinking about food I’m too hungry to want to cook something. More often than not there’s not much of anything in the house for me to cook even if I wanted to. This is also because of laziness, I really hate grocery shopping. Joel doesn’t mind doing it but his work schedule doesn’t give him a whole lot of time. All this eating out is expensive and it’s been awful on my waistline.

Joel and I have been meaning to eat in more for awhile and so when the Huffington Post announced their Week of Eating In challenge I was excited. It was the perfect excuse to stay in, eat healthier and save money.

Today was day one:

On Mondays Phoebe has obedience class. Of course I stayed up too late the night before and got out of bed later than I should have. Then the shower water wouldn’t get hot (grrrr) so I took too much time fiddling with that before I just gave up and took a cold shower. Anyway, all that meant that I was running out the door at the last minute so my breakfast was a cheese stick. Not exactly gourmet but it kept me from fainting during class.

For lunch I ate some leftover vegetarian chili. I got the recipe off Spark People. It was pretty good and it lasted me three meals so definitely inexpensive. Normally on Mondays I’m so hungry I pick Joel up and we grab some kind of fast food. Today it was nice to eat at home and not spend the money.

For dinner I made my Greek turkey burgers. Those are always delicious and one recipe makes seven or eight burgers so I was able to freeze half and we’ll have them again later this week or next week.

So far we’re off to a good start. We have all the ingredients we need for our meals tomorrow and we’ll go grocery shopping for the rest of the week on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to cooking more this week. If I cook anything extra delicious I’ll be sure to share the recipe. I’ll also share if I have any cooking disasters so you can laugh at along with me.

Almost as good as actually off roading

While at the Auto Show we got a chance to ride the Camp Jeep test course. It was a series of obstacles and were designed after real life off road trails.  We had to wait a good hour and a half (with the world’s most annoying family behind us) but it was a lot of fun.

A bumpy track and….

A 20 foot hill with a 35 degree angles were just a couple of the many obstacles.

Here is a video of the full experience.

And yes our driver did say I have a “round butt”. Um…. thanks?

Chicago Auto Show

Joel and I went to the Chicago Auto Show today. It my first time so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m not really a car person but I thought it could be interesting and since we were given the tickets I figured if it was boring we could just leave. Well it was the opposite of boring, I had a blast. We ended up staying for 7 1/2 hours! Even staying that long we still didn’t see and do everything. Honestly we probably could have spent another 7 hours there if we hadn’t been so exhausted.

This is just a fraction of one area of the show. It was enormous. As you can see it was really busy since it was the second to last day of the show.

This is the DIY Suzuki…

I love me a pretty Mini Cooper.

Note: this car does not actually fly.

I fit… in the Fit… *giggle*

Remember that Superbowl commercial?

This car had sparkly seats! I might have squealed a little.

What you’re looking at is a grill, and I’m not talking about what bugs usually die on. This is a fully functional grill. Also included, a mini fridge and sink. This is the ultimate tailgating machine.

Nice thing about the auto show is you are introduced to new cars and find out which ones are nice and which ones aren’t nearly as cool as they look. This Toyota was a dud.

I think Joel liked this car more than I did. Shh! Don’t tell him I told. *wink*

We aren’t in the market for a new car right now but we got some great ideas for when we do start to look and we had a great time in the process. Hopefully Joel and I can make The Auto Show a yearly tradition.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a video of the Jeep test course we got to ride on. Watch Joel and I get whiplash!


We have a dog, but sometimes I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s a kitty.

She really likes to climb on things. The only thing I worry about is I’m not sure she’d land on her feet if she slipped.

Other times I think she thinks she’s a human being.

She covered herself with that blanket and she uses that pink bone as a pillow.

And then there are times when she definitely acts like a dog.

Cat, person, dog… Whatever. She’s my baby and I love her.

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