Own Your Beauty!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Caramel Apple Weekend

Dolly Parton knows what's up
Dolly Parton has her Hard Candy Christmas, I have my Caramel Apple Weekend…it’s kind of the same thing except with less singing and dancing prostitutes.  So actually, it’s not the same thing at all.  But I still think I deserve a song!

This was a whirlwind of a weekend!  So first off, how did the Herbalife go?  Well, I would say mixed (or shaken, as it were).  Honestly, I only had 1 shake all weekend and didn’t take any of my pills…whoops!  Friday night I cooked dinner for a friend, shwarma seasoned chicken, homemade faluffins (falafels baked in a mini muffin tin…delicious and adorable!), green beans, hummus and pita bread.  So then Saturday morning there was one little chicken thigh left and that became breakfast.  I did end up with a shake for lunch, which worked better than I thought.  Honestly I got really hungry, still had to round up laundry, do dishes, go shopping, all this weekender stuff and nonsense and just started worrying about what I could throw together with what I had around without even thinking about the shakes, and when I did think about them I figured I was way to hungry for a shake to be satisfying.  But I caved (mostly because I had nothing easy to make or clean to make it in) and made myself a peach cobbler Shakey Shake, drank it while I was doing stuff around the house, and it was delicious and astonishingly filled me up until dinner!  I know, I know…I was skeptical, but it worked out and so it will make it that much easier to keep transitioning to that mind set going forward.  Of course part of the thing with weekends is that I really don’t have a set schedule that makes “breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks” a thing like it is on the weekdays.  If I am getting up around 11:30am, I am usually eating around 2pm, then maybe a snack later, but probably not much until dinner time and maybe a snack late night depending on how things go, but a third meal usually doesn’t happen and the chances of me being out are much higher.  Sometimes a shake is going to work in there, sometimes it isn’t.  But I do have the trust in them now that they can be quick, satisfying, and worth it if the other option for lunch at home is a box of mac and cheese or take out once I hit the road. 
***Peach cobbler Shakey Shake recipe – scoop of peach jam, big sprinkle of cinnamon, 2 scoops Vanilla Formula 1, carton of peach yogurt.  YUM!!!  Seriously, the good peach jam I got from the Greek market totally made this!  Tasted just like a big scoop of peach cobbler icecream or something. 

I actually did a lot of cooking this weekend.  My friend Jessica came over Saturday and I made salsa chicken (thin cut chicken breast filets, in pam, smothered in salsa, sprinkled with cheese, baked), roasted broccoli with balsamic/olive oil/Italian cheese/smoked sea salt, wild rice pilaf, and a very burned batch of cornbread mini muffins that we picked the centers out of because what wasn’t toasty was tasty :-P  I normally make cornbread from scratch, but for ease I had just picked up a box of Jiffy mix and a can of creamed corn…mix, bake, don’t burn, enjoy!  I obviously forgot one of those steps, oh well. 

Call them "Rustic" - they are still delicious!
I also made the aforementioned Caramel Apple Tarts of heavenly delight!  They got a little crazy because I didn’t have a top crust and the caramel went EVERYWHERE – oven is going to smell like burning sugar for awhile!  But they were super tasty and I am restraining myself from just sitting down and eating the pan!  Next time there will be more apples and a top crust to contain the caramel-ly goodness, but this was a winner of a dessert.  Recipe?  Ummmmm…make a pie crust, put it in your tart pan of choice, chop up a buttload of apples, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and lump them into the tart pans, put a glob of caramel in each one, sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar, bake at a hot temperature that seems about right for your oven (375ish for me) for about 30 minutes or until the pie crust looks golden brown.  Cool for as long as you can stand to keep out of them and then DEVOUR!!!!  I know, super scientific, right? This is why I am not a regular baker.

Fry 'em up!! Om nom nom
Sunday night was another cooking adventure.  I had bought a little package with 2 Butterfish at the store because they looked interesting, I have heard some tasty things about Butterfish, and they were only $3.  I see they have the heads on but that’s no biggie.  Of course what I DIDN'T see until I opened the package is that they also were still completely intact and had not been gutted or cleaned!  I had to laugh and think about how many of my friends would have freaked out at this, and instead I grabbed a knife and got into the good squishy stuff and then sent my dad a text thanking him for teaching me how to gut fish and not be squeamish about it when I was a wee youngin’ learning the outdoorsy ways.  Cut a deep X in the side of each of them, rubbed liberally with smoked sea salt, flower pepper and Greek oregano, dusted with whole wheat flour, and pan fried them in a cast iron skillet with searing hot coconut oil.  Took about 5-6 minutes to cook them through then I squeezed a generous half of a lemon on them and HOLY MOTHER OF YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously, these little buggers (maybe 5-6 inches long once the heads were off) were so meaty and tasty and crispy and delicious!  I will be buying and cooking these all the times in the world because I am totally in love with them.  Plus, wild caught and small so low on the food chain = low in mercury…such a great and tasty way to get more fish into my regular diet.  Another batch of roasted broccoli, a glass of red wine, a tear jerker fest of catching up on Nashville and Glee it was a perfect Single Girl Sunday.

The Art of Pathetic
Had to deal with a sick doggy this weekend L Poor girl got into something that I can’t figure out and had a sad tummy all weekend (which means she also had a sad mommy who was tired of cleaning up after her because she wouldn’t tell me she needed to go out!!)  but she seems to be back to about 80% today.  Got a haircut for the first time in 12 months…I think he took off about ½ of my hair in bulk, it feels so oddly light now!  The very chic stylist also complimented my hair color and dye job, and since it comes from a $6 bottle of Garnier Fructis and my bathroom and this was a high fashion Aveda salon I felt pretty good about that…haha!  I am also way too excited about a memory foam bathmat I got that makes you feel like you are walking on clouds, and a snazzy double decker drying rack that tucks back into the corner of my TINIEST KITCHEN IN THE WORLD when not in use.  Seriously though guys, this kitchen is ridiculously small…I will share pictures at some point, but I am still learning to work around it and not drop things off my little 2 inches of ledge of prep space on one side of the sink and about 2 feet of counter on the other side.  I need a table or skinny island or something!  This will definitely be my biggest challenge to figure out how to cook well in this little bitty space.  But hey, if My Tiny Paris Kitchen and Mark Bittman can do it, so can I!  
A new haircut and a can-do attitude!