Best Bites

{Weeknightmushroom garlic pizza with extra goat cheese and green salad with sauteed onions and mushrooms}

I love to eat, as you can probably tell. I have a confession though: much of the recipes that make it to my blog are special-occasion kind of food. Weekend food. Food I make simply to delight my friends. (They deserve it, I have absolutely wonderful friends.) It’s food I want to learn how to make, experiment with, make look really pretty.

But it’s not what I spend most of my time eating. If this isn’t immediately obvious, I apologize. That’s sort of the problem with blogs: they only showcase the glossy, lovely aspects of our lives. Not the mundane, quiet parts. Most of the food I love is simple, unfussy, messy, not really fit for photographing (though I do anyway). Shall I give you a little peek?

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Homemade Pizza

If you’re looking at this picture and thinking to yourself: “My my, but that looks good”, I would like to inform you that you are not wrong. It was good. A little too good.

Why too good, you ask? Well, because, I am now in possession of some dangerous information: I now know how to make pizza dough. I have the easiest-ever recipe bookmarked, I own bread flour, I have a few packages of instant yeast lying around – and honey, you better come save me from myself. If you only knew how much I love pizza…

Conveniently, this is a “bread-like” recipe, which means I’m a quarter done my bread-baking resolution! But I have a feeling that thanks to lots of inspiration and this initial success, I’ll be baking more than 4 breads this year.

Wanna know how to make it yourself? That’s a rhetorical question, obviously.

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Healthy Changes

Since it’s January, I’m joining in with the masses and making some decisions that I hope will better my health. Actually I should say decisions that WILL better my health, because they already have – I’ve seen changes. Today, I wanted to share some of the systems that have been working for me, mostly because I find them either accessible, easy, or helpful (not necessarily all three!).

Diet

Note: cupcakes were eaten on cheat day! :)

First, my diet. This I would not put under the “accessible” category, because it is pretty difficult and requires quite a bit of willpower (for me, at least). But it is definitely helpful and I have seen results after only 2 weeks.

I am following the “slow-carb diet”, written about by Timothy Ferris in his book The 4-Hour Body. You can click the link to see a full explanation of the diet, but the gist of it is: you eat solely protein and vegetables 6 days a week, with a free-for-all day 1 day per week. No carbs (including fruit), nothing that could be considered “white”, no rice even if it’s brown (!), no dairy. Basically your meals should consist of protein and vegetables, and that’s it.

The more you think about this diet, the harder it seems (at first). No fruit! No rice! Unfathomable. And indeed, the meals are a little boring. It’s hard to think of meals that don’t include some kind of carb. But eventually if you think about it creatively enough, you can come up with some food that is yummy and healthy. No joke! Here’s what’s been working for me:

  • Shrimp stirfry, with peppers, onions and broccoli
  • Shrimp + avocado salad
  • Eggs, cottage cheese (allowed in small quantities) and broccoli
  • Black bean burgers (no bun) with guacamole and salsa
  • Panfried Korean-style tofu
  • Sweet potato fries and green salad with edamame, beans or avocado
  • Bean salad with beans, onions and a light dressing
  • Homemade chili with lots of kidney beans and veggies
  • Nuts or spoonfuls of nut butters for snacks
  • Big mug of tea with 1 sugar cube to fend of nightly sugar urges

Now, I’m a (quasi) vegetarian, which makes this diet a little bit harder for me. If you’re a full-fledged carnivore, it should be a breeze! Swap out different proteins with veggies on the side and you’re set. Personally, I love food, so I haven’t been satisfied to eat the exact same thing every day (except for breakfast). So I’ve tried to be really creative with my food without breaking the rules, and I’ve enjoyed most of my meals immensely.

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Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes

Guys, I’m okay! I got my wisdom teeth out yesterday, but thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, I don’t remember a thing. And, according to my boyfriend, I can still crack a joke or two while high as a kite. Nice to know.

I’m in a fair amount of pain, but it’s not intolerable, and I’ve been able to keep food down today. Yippee! And no bruising or much swelling yet. It must be genetic – my little sister had almost no side effects after she got hers removed either.

The night before my surgery, I was all stressed and annoyed about life, trying to motivate myself to get through some readings and essay outlines. And the best way I could think of was to make these gorgeous toasted marshmallow milkshakes, as seen on Cupcakes and Cashmere, Joy the Baker, and Gourmet.com. While I was at the store, I picked up vanilla ice cream and jumbo jet-puffed marshmallows, and after I finished my work for the day I made myself a little treat. It’s super easy, you can do it too!

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