Monthly Archives: January 2009

Healthy Delicious Peanut Butter Granola bars

Peanut butter barI have recently been looking through healthy food blogs to come up with snacks for Sweet Man, who isn’t really fond of our health food kick.  While we feel much better and are enjoying the new recipes, our grocery bill is suffering, becuase believe it our not it is cheaper to eat copious amounts of junk than 1500 calories in health food a day; go America. He enjoys granola bars but they cost a lot and usually have many ingredients I cannot pronounce, along with the much dreaded high fructose corn syrup. So, I browsed through many online recipes to come up with a formula that I think we can use for many different variations on a basic theme.  Most of the “healthy” recipes that I found added brown sugar or a cup of honey, but I find that you don’t need that much if you like chewy bars like we do. For different flavor omit the peanut butter and add your favorite dried fruit and nuts with a teaspoon of vanilla and cinnamon. We have tried dried cranberry and  cashew using 1/2 cup of the cranberries and Sweet Man could have eaten them all in a day if I had allowed it!

Peanut butter bar

Healthy Delicious Peanut Butter Granola bars

1/4 cup flax seed
2 cups oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup agave nectar or honey
1 cup peanuts
1 cup peanut butter

Mix all ingredients pour into parchment paper lined 8×8 inch pan. Bake in 335 oven for 20 minutes and let cool before cutting. Cut into 6 squares.

Sam the Man

Sam The Man

I mentioned her in a post a while back, but never really explained the joy in my life named Sam the Man. No, it is not a mistype and I have not just fucked up Doctor Seuss, she does not like green eggs and ham but does really enjoy Italian food. She is the one who introduced Alex pasta into our life, along with osso bucco and her dad makes amazing chili. She was also a history major, and at Skidmore, Sam lived up the hill from us with two female house mates who are both as girly as they come. I mean, shriek when you see a spider, tons of man problem kind of ladies. But, in every house you need someone who is going to be designated spider-picker-upper, and that fell to my friend Sam. In my apartment, it was three girls and Sweet Man, the poor guy, and so deal with the overpowering femininity,  he would invite his friend Steve Jobs (I know I know, but this whole coming up with pseudonyms is really really hard and it’s 10am) over to barbecue. Sweet Man received a charcoal Weber for Christmas a few years ago, and the two of them would stand in the back yard with fire having a manly time of it. (And as a side note, don’t you love how women buy the meat, marinate it, make all the sides, set the table and lay out all the serving dishes, but the man cooked becuase he threw the meat on the grill and poked it a few times?) So, Sam the Man was invited to these events, and they all swore up and down that the grunts of acknowledgment over each others grilling prowess was really a language so superior that women couldn’t understand it. The title of Man of the House allowed Sam to escape her estrogen palace and enjoy racks of lamb so she never complained. She really is one of the best people we know, and she just called me yesterday to tell me that her dog was put to sleep and she needed some cheering up. So, all my love Sam, and I hope this day is better than the one before it.

The Omnivore’s 100

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

(and sorry the font size changes halfway through this, I can’t seem to fix it…)

1. Venison- a friends’ Mom hit one with her car in elementary school and we all got to try it, go CT!
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari

12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie Gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
– never in a million years
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30.
Aloo gobi
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O– I think they mean jello shots
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac

56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV– just the other day
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant- I’ve eaten at a three star, just not a tasting menu.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare– I ate it before I knew what it was in France
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Defiantly an interesting combination of items, most of which I would eat but I am not into spicy food or things that could kill me. I think I might need to go in search of things on this list now, and I would love to see yours in the comments!

Healthy Chicken Parm

The hardest part of eating better as a family is that Sweet Man would like nothing to do with it.  He would like to loose the weight, but still eat all of our favorites, which is everyone’s dream.  The other day when I was planning my weekly meals I asked if there were any favorite dishes he wanted to eat this week, and he said “Chicken parm.” And I said “Oh Shit,” because when I make chicken parm, I make it old school style. Bread the breast, fry them a little on each side, put them in a dish, cover in whole milk mozzarella and sauce, each alongside copious amounts of pasta.  And that kind of food just doesn’t cut it for us any more.  I thought about a few ways to do this, but I hit upon a brilliant idea that was staring at me from the counter: spaghetti squash.  I have bought one a few weeks ago and never used it, but I’m always amazed that when you roast them and cover them with sauce, they do actually give you the sensation of eating spaghetti! Though it is missing the breading flavor, we enjoyed the basil taste and he actually said he would eat this recipe again. Hope you like it too!

Chicken Parm

Chicken Parm

Whitney’s Healthier Chicken Parm

Handful of Basil

Sauce of your choosing

One Tomato

Two chicken breasts

One medium spaghetti squash

Small package of skim milk mozzarella

Directions: You have two options on how to roast the squash, whole or cut up. I cut mine into quarters, scooped out the seeds and roasted it skin sides up at 375 for about 40 minutes. If you do it whole it should take around an hour, probably a little longer. Let them cool a little and then scrape out the deliciousness with a fork, but be careful, I have a burn to prove they are hot. Meanwhile, cut the two breasts in half and season each side with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a pan with non-stick spray and throw the chicken in. I covered mine becuase they were a little thick, but everyone knows their own preference for done-ness. At the last minute, take the basil leaves and cover each piece of chicken individually with a few pieces, then a slice of mozzarella and  then two pieces of sliced tomato. Cover and allow the cheese to melt.  Serve covered with sauce and more basil leaves if desired. (Serves 4)


At Least I’m Still on Break

For some unknown reason this week, my computer decided to eat all of the passwords it normally fills in for me on a daily basis, and I realized that I am completely screwed.  This major disaster opened my eyes to realization of how many passwords and combination of passwords that I use on various sites, and how easy it is to get locked out of site when you’ve tried every letter and number combination under the sun in an attempt to gain access to your bank account. I used to have a password on everything, and easy six digit number that I wasn’t going to forget anytime soon.  But then I ran into the problem of needing more digits for specific websites, so for those sites I decided to simply add my name to the number.  Then I realized that I should probably have a harder password that has nothing to do with my life so hackers actually have to work to gain access to my life, so I made a six digit letter/number password that I think is decently good.  Life was working out well for me, until this incident occurred and now I’m playing guessing games.  I never updated all my passwords to the same thing, mainly becuase I think I’m being all sneaky and will make the hacker have to work for each website. So now I’m trying to figure out what password goes where becuase I never made up a master list, which might of been the smart thing to do.  But, then if my computer got stolen or someone broke into my house then they would have everything and what is the damn point of a password them.  What I have been doing is resetting every password,which is such a joy bwt, but then you end up with $^#(&%jDIp* as a password and you can’t find the link to change it to something normal on the website, and who needs to deal with that? And, if I am changing all my passwords now, should I make them all the same thing? Something long and complicated, but the only password I’ll need to remember, or am I doing it right by rotating three passwords around? Does adding a hyphen to my password really make it harder to crack, or does it just slow the guys breaking into my life by 2 minutes? I’m looking for some advice from someone who knows more than me… any takers?

What Am I?

I started this whole blog project as a way to get some of my thoughts  and feelings down, and mainly because I love to read blogs.  Sweet Man is often amazed when I sit down and count the number of blogs that I check in rapid succession on a daily basis, which is up to around 50 at the moment. I like to read Mommy Blogs, Food Blogs, Medical Blogs, and that random category I call Interesting Blogs which is made up of Post Secret, Look At This and all their friends.  Theses people usually have their own .com sites, (which I do not, because I don’t know how to code!) are professional writers, and actual make money off these projects.  I stuck with my wordpress blog, and am trying to figure out what kind of blogger I will be, what message am I trying to get across.  I’m not a mother, so that is out of the question, and while I enjoy adding recipes, I don’t think I make up enough recipes to post, and who wants a blog full of recipes from everyone else? I enjoy the tidbits from the medical group, but I’m only in clinical twice a week and therefore the amount of material I would be able to collect isn’t that large. So, I’ve decided that I should break the mold and blog about my medical career, being in school, some food, and general life things.  I’m hoping that it gives me a broader audience, and speaking of, that is another issue I’m dealing with.

Who am I writing to? I created this writing to the Internet, the random masses who don’t know me but might find what I say worth reading  It’s actually easier for me this way because I can open up more and don’t need to keep things a secret, and then I made a link from my facebook page… don’t ask why.   Now people I know can read my blog and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not.  I’ve been trying to get Sweet Man to guest blog about his half of our relationship, but he is refusing becuase it’s not something that he feels comfortable sharing with people we know.  Get that? He’s okay telling the internet, but not our friends. So where is my line? What will I talk about and what won’t I knowing I’m not really anonomous to some. I think I’m going to have to figure this out as I go.

There is actually one more stupid issue that I’m trying to think about.  Language. Specifically: Dirty Language.  Some of my favorite writers Dooce and Motherhood Uncensored have really foul mouths, which I love.  They talk about balls, and poop and seem to have no problem sharing that with the Internet.  Me, I feel like I’m doing something wrong when I swear here.  Somehow it’s different from real life because it’s written down and I can’t pretend you didn’t read it. But, I think that without the language and subject matter, the blog won’t be as interesting or funny, which is a little bit of the point.  So, and this point I’m asking for help. What are you interested in reading about? How do you feel about swear/dirty topics? What kind of tone do you take in your own blog?

Breaking My Cardinal Rule

I know, I know, but I’ve had 15 visitors to this site today and I haven’t had anything to post about for a week becuase I’M ON VACATION and it’s a big day if my ass gets out of bed before noon.  I’ve gone to see the  new baby a few times and resumed painting little army men with Sweet Man, but other than getting my oil changed, my life is nothing to blog about. So, in honor of Unofficial National Weight Loss Month aka the month after New Years, I’m going to put in my dieting two cents. I used to be really thin, like one of those kids that weighed under 100 pounds until they were in high school, and then the hormones hit and I swelled.  Dance used to be a part time job for me, so I could always eat what I want and never have a problem, but when I stopped dancing in college, my ass was re-zoned as its own zip code.  And of course I realized this and should have taken care of it, but I enjoy eating. I come from a family of foodies, not that I’m making excuses, but I realized that in order to be a size 4 I would need to eat a lot less, and nothing fun. So, I hung out in size 18 area for a while, also known as the senior year filled with copious abouts of beer, until this summer when I decided that nursing school should mean a huge change in my life involving some weight loss.  So I did, and I was down to a 12 and really proud of my self… until I went back to my old eating ways.  I was always able to fit in my (slightly stretched) size 12 jeans, but their was a period where they looked more like sausage casings than pants and I stuck to the bigger sizes.  But, recently I’ve realized that I need to eat healthier, mainly for the benefit of my hair which I am trying to grow out (good reason right?), and I’ve put Sweet Man and myself on the path to healthier eating.  So, are you ready for by big tip? (It’s really going to be good…) Make it colorful.  That is what we are doing.  Making our food pretty to look at! Healthy foods are pretty colors, so by making a virtual rainbow on our plates we are loosing weight,and I have to say it’s kind of fun.  Have you seen that new KFC commercial? The one about ditching the bag and eat the box? Well, next time you see it notice the color of all the food on that box, its beige.  A huge beige box.  We don’t eat that much beige anymore, we enjoy purple (my favorite color and actually not found in that my foods which makes me sad) and green and even Sweet Man says that he feels better physically.  So, there you have it, Whitney’s Wondrous Weight Loss System: The Color Diet. Go enjoy it and I’ll be back when my life gets interesting.