Own Your Beauty!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Massive Cooking Weekend - No Cooking Week

So I have disappeared for a little bit because I have been crazy busy! The musical 7 Deadly Sins runs this weekend at school and I am the Assistant Stage Manager so I have been in rehearsals from 6pm-11pm pretty much every night, and this is after being in school and work from 8am-5pm every day!! Knowing in advance this would be happening, though, I took my free time this past weekend and did a MASSIVE cooking frenzy to stock my fridge in advance. And I have to say, it has worked out pretty well.

Here is a rundown of everything I cooked this weekend with some pictures. No real recipes this week because everything was more of a throw together:

1) Cherries and apples stewed in red wine and cinnamon

2) Potato and oyster corn chowder

3) Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

4) Chili
5) Brown Rice
6) Marinated Tofu
7) Peanut Butter Cookies
8) Sweet Potato Muffins
9) Baked Eggs
- I whisked together 8 eggs and about 2/3 cup of milk with some seasonings as if I was making scrambled eggs. Put a small piece of whole wheat bread in the bottom of each cup of a greased muffin tin, topped with a little diced cheese, and poured the eggs evenly into each cup and then baked. Yummy, but I would make a few changes next time. I would toast the bread first so it didn't get as soaked up into the egg as it did this time and I would add veggies like spinach or broccoli to bulk it up and make it more satisfying (and healthier!). I have also seen an idea to do this with a crust made of biscuit dough or puff pastry which would also be an option, although more expensive. I will include pictures and a REAL recipe when I do it again and feel happier with the results.

10) Baked potatoes

Holy hell! Looking at the list even I am overwhelmed by how much I did! But it has worked out great...I have been able to take chili over a baked potato for lunches, muffins and eggs for breakfasts, have a cup of chowder and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner, pack a couple of peanut butter cookies as an afternoon snack/treat, marinated tofu with brown rice...it has been super easy just to reach in the fridge, grab something and go!

Now granted, I didn't do a whole lot of planning on this and I probably overdid it. For example, I baked 7 potatoes and I am NOT eating a potato a day. I did freeze half the muffins, but I will probably need to freeze some of the chili and brown rice too so it doesn't go bad because I just can't eat it all when I am one person and I cook for an army (something I still need to work on). I think for next week I am going to do some better menu planning, for one to make sure I am getting more veggies in my meals, and also so that I don't end up overwhelmed with a fridge full of food I just can't eat in 1 week.

I am still on a strict budget (and I will be for the next few years, might as well get used to it now!) so I won't be doing much more grocery shopping except maybe some fruit and veggies. I am also planning on going through my freezer to see what I have already stashed there that I want to thaw and eat before it gets too old. I know I froze a couple containers of black bean soup so I think that will accompany some quesadillas for lunches and dinners next week! This pantry cooking is actually a lot of fun and a great challenge - Use what you have instead of going crazy spending a ton on stuff for a single recipe.

Still feeling healthy and riding my bike to school every day. It is definitely feeling easier too! I am taking less breaks heading up the hill (only 1 pause this morning and I was stopping 3-4 times when I started 3 weeks ago!) and able to do it faster without feeling like I am dying. Once it gets to the point where I don't feel like it is pushing as much anymore, I am going to start taking the gears up slowly so it remains a good workout. As long as I keep the intensity high, it will continue to be a good 1/2 hr or so of exercise every day and that is a good start to getting healthy! I will say though, riding my bike after 6 hours of sleep and riding it after 8 hours of sleep I can sure tell a difference in how sluggish my legs feel...sleep really is key, and once the show is over I will start getting it again :-)