It is my last day of work before Labor Day Weekend! I wish you could see me now because I’m TOTALLY doing the “Carlton.” If you didn’t get that reference, I feel old.
I’m actually going to go through my apartment and donate clothes this weekend, as well as clean out other things I’ve been hoarding (nail polish anyone?!). No seriously though, I have a BUCKET of nail polish. A bucket!!! I never seem to throw anything away and it’s starting to drive me crazy. I just have too much crap! So this weekend, I am starting anew my friends. I am adopting the “out with the old, in with the new” mantra (we’ll see how it goes…)
My brother is actually coming up to stay with me today because I live on the Jersey Shore (not THAT Jersey Shore). We are going to go out tonight to this bar where they have LIVE rock band karaoke. We are both obsessed and once we saw the flyer we both said, “Done and Done!!” Hopefully there will be some embarrassing videos to post!!
I love having company. I guess it’s because I love being a host. One day I will be the ultimate soccer mom (not anytime soon…oh geez).
Anyway, so as I continue my journey to try to become domestic, I decided to make homemade truffles for a birthday barbecue. I have NEVER made truffles before, but I figure I have to start somewhere.
They actually came out delish! And I know you must be thinking…isn’t this a healthy lifestyle blog?! Why the hell is she making TRUFFLES?! To be 100% honest, I had the tiniest sliver of one just to make sure I wasn’t going to kill people at the barbecue. I snacked on some dark chocolate and almonds as I made the truffles. I’d like to think that I’ve come far enough that I can bake for others while not going on a crazy binge. It’s still a struggle, but I’m definitely stronger than I used to be.
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Using a stand or electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugars and salt, then add the vanilla and milk. Add the flour a little at a time while mixing on low speed until the dough is well-combined. Lastly, add the chocolate chips and stir by hand (note to self: learn to use a mixer properly so that next time you won’t be cleaning dough off of every surface in your kitchen).
Use a small scooper or teaspoon to scrape out the dough and roll between your hands into a smooth 1-inch ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes.
Melt the chocolate chips in a mini crockpot or double boiler (Totally not even kidding, I had to ask Carrie from my office what a double boiler is…I’m working on this domestic stuff, as I said). Then, use a toothpick to dip each ball into the chocolate. Use a spoon to help fully coat the balls. Place back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
I decided to put a few truffles in little plastic craft baggies and then put them in a cute bag for the birthday girl.
I thought for a first try I did ok! Haha.
It’s Monday, WAH WAH. Mondays are the freaking worst. I just keep reminding myself that next weekend is a holiday weekend so I just have to make it through the week.
I think I’m also being a TOTAL buzz kill today because this weekend was all sorts of awesome. On Saturday, I went to a fair with a group of people and it was one of those nights for the books. There was so much laughter, no worrying about problems…just a genuinely good time. I’m constantly thinking/over-thinking and stressing over everything, so it was great to just actually LET GO and have a BLAST. And I got to meet some incredible new friends.
Like this beauty! Honestly, it’s not often that I meet someone that I just instantly click with. But within five minutes we basically ditched the boys and were planning all sorts of fun girl dates for the future.
I think in living a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to be surrounded by good/positive people. Cut the a**holes out of your life. Life is too short.
On Sunday, I lounged around a bit after my workout before getting ready to go to a barbecue. Teddy (my dog) loves to lounge around with me. But I think he’s a little too needy…I literally can’t even go to the bathroom with the little guy.
Seriously….it’s a little weird.
Before I got ready for the barbecue I had to finish the chocolate chip cookies I was bringing (you are supposed to let the dough sit for at least 24 hours). Even though this was definitely a different cookie recipe than I’m used to making, it was SO worth it. They came out so good!
The recipe is from Jacques Torres and was featured in the NY Times.
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (I just used chocolate chips)
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
They were a hit (thank gosh!). I’m always worried trying out a new recipe. The barbecue was a lot of fun. Even though the grill master was wearing a dumb apron.
I swear you could have rolled me home after all of that yummy food! I definitely don’t pretend that I eat healthy all of the time, because I don’t. I’m completely human. However I have to say, I am regretting just how much I indulged this weekend. But I’m acknowledging it, refocusing, and moving forward.
The night ended in the best way possible:
I hope you all had a great weekend too!!!
Finally, it’s here….FRIDAY. Oh dear friend, how I’ve missed you!
But seriously - thank. freaking. gosh.
I love weekends: no commute, I can actually clean my apartment, I can catch up with friends, catch up on emails, watch Sex and The City marathons….(I still think she should have gone for Aiden). Sigh, happiness.
Ok, back to the point Sam.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love food (while it’s not a food blog, my blog IS called A Foodie Patootie….so if you haven’t figured that out yet, we should talk). And I hate the idea of “dieting,” the idea of restricting yourself from anything. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a balance.
I love comfort food, just as much as anyone else. And obviously lasagna is a hearty classic that has mouths watering all over. But a slice of lasagna (and you know a “slice” is really a big f**king portion guys) = calorie and carb NIGHTMARE. But does that mean that I don’t eat delicious lasagna? Hell to the no friends.
In the past I have posted my lasagna cupcakes:
Seriously, make them for your boyfriend’s parents….then trust me, you’re in!
And I’ve also posted this recipe before, but I have to say: veggie lasagna is kind of a staple in my diet. I L-O-V-E it. And it is great to bring to work and reheat for lunch (it also freezes well).
5 sprays cooking spray, divided
1 medium eggplant(s), trimmed, sliced lengthwise in 1/4-in thick slices
2 large uncooked zucchini, trimmed, sliced lengthwise in 1/4-in thick slices
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 pound part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup basil, fresh, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups store bought marinara sauce, divided
1/2 pound shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
To roast vegetables, preheat oven to 400°F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. Place eggplant on one prepared baking sheet and place zucchini on other prepared baking sheet; coat vegetables with cooking spray. Roast 8 minutes; flip vegetables and roast for 7 to 10 minutes more (total roasting time should not exceed 20 minutes or the vegetables will get too mushy). Remove vegetables from oven; reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Meanwhile, while vegetables roast, in a medium bowl, combine egg, ricotta cheese, basil and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese; set aside.
To assemble lasagna, coat bottom and sides of a 14- X 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of sauce (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) on bottom of pan. Layer eggplant over sauce (use all the slices, even if you have to overlap them). Cover eggplant with half of marinara sauce and then spread half of ricotta mixture on top; sprinkle with half of mozzarella cheese. Top mozzarella cheese with zucchini and cover zucchini with remaining marinara sauce; spread with remaining ricotta mixture and then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake until the bottom starts to bubble, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove lasagna from oven and allow it to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes before slicing into 12 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.
Serving: 12 equal squares
Serving Size: 1 square
Fat: 9 grams
Protein: 12 grams
Carbs: 13 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Enjoy your weekend!
Happy Hump Day!
So disclaimer: I’m not a chef by ANY means, but I make it work. That’s kind of my thing: being a hot mess that can barely hold it together but somehow making it work. This dinner just kind of happened. I didn’t follow a recipe, use specific measurements, or even rely on past experience (I’ve “breaded” chicken before, but never a pork chop). But it worked and it was delicious so I figured I’d share!!!
As I’ve mentioned I try to keep my carb count down, for many reasons. So this is what I came up with. First off let me say, my “breading” mixture is tried and true. It’s ALWAYS a hit. So you might want to think about trying it.
My mixture contains: flaxseed meal, almond flour, parmesan cheese, pepper, and Himalayan sea salt. You can experiment with your own spices! I usually use 1/2 as much flaxseed meal as almond flour.
I dipped my pork chops in egg, coated them with the mixture, and placed them on my baking sheet.
I cooked them at 325 degrees and just kept checking them. They didn’t take long because they were thin.
To make the bacon kale, I used frozen kale (yes, sue me. I’m all about faking it til you make it !). I chopped up a few slices of bacon and cooked them in a pan, then as they got close to being done, I added my kale and combined the two.
Seriously, so delish! I’m a very hungry girl…and this meal satisfied.
Ok, come on guys, this work day is almost over!!!