Monday, March 29, 2010

Impulse Eating

I was really hungry when I got home from work tonight, but I don't keep a lot of convenience or quick foods in the house, and I only had an hour and a half before I needed to leave for my second job.  I grabbed some chips and salsa and threw a spaghetti squash in the oven to bake, so I could have it with some marinara after work.  During work I sat and fantasized (yes, this is the accurate word) about supper.  I needed to stop by the grocery store and knew I was in trouble.  Me + Starving + Grocery store = huge bill and lots of crap.

I surprised myself!  I limited myself to only impulse buys in the produce aisle.  I picked up some jicama to dip in guacamole (recipe later), and some beautiful red peppers.  I needed frozen strawberries for smoothies, and I also picked up a bag of frozen mixed fruit.  I am snacking on the mixed fruit now, and it is fantastic.  It was also on sale, so I got 3lbs. of fruit for under $3.  My last impulse buy was Bocca "Chicken" patties.  I forgot how good these were.  I know they're processed and not the best thing for me to eat, but it's better than the nachos I was making almost nightly because I needed something fast.

I came home and instead of using the squash I had a Bocca sandwich and some fruit.  I feel good because even though it was not the meal I was planning, it still wasn't bad.

3 bean salad

As I stated in my previous post, I was exhausted when I can home last night, and I needed to make something that would last most of the week for lunch.  I also had some veggies in the fridge that were looking a little past their prime, so I decided on 3-bean salad.  Please note the following recipe can take a lot of substitutions, if you have different beans or veggies add those.  If you like different spices or vinegars use them.  I found some sun-dried tomato oil on sale last week, so I used that.  Normally I would use olive oil.  This salad comes together very quickly, and gets better overnight. I will take a large portion of it for lunch with an orange.  It's very filling.

Three Bean Salad

15 oz can Garbanzo beans
15 oz can Pinto beans
15 oz can Dark Red Kidney beans
1 head broccoli florets, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 green bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup oil (I recommend olive or canola)
1/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons vinegar (I used white, but cider can be used)
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil (I use fresh if I can, but was out today)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed cumin

Drain and rinse beans and put them in large bowl.  Add chopped vegetables with the beans.  In a separate bowl mix oil, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, basil, oregano, and cumin until well combined.  Taste and adjust seasoning according to preference.  Pour over bean mixture and gently toss.  Serve.  Keep leftovers refrigerated.

The picture is not the best because I snapped it right before leaving for work this morning, but it gives you an idea.  Happy eating.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quick post before bed

I was in Chicago this weekend, and it was amazing!  I'm from a very small town, so it's always difficult for me not to walk around staring at the tall buildings with my mouth ajar.  I ate at Topalobampo Friday night.  Rick Bayless was sitting at the table diagonally from me, and I wanted to stare, but I kept myself under control.  I felt it would be tacky to take pictures during the meal, so unfortunately I have non to share.  My fiance and I shared the Trio, Trio, Trio which is three different ceviches.  This was my first ceviche experience, and it was not disappointing. It's kind of a like a sushi salsa.   I continued my meal with the Alaskan black cod with black beans and chorizo.  If you are in Chicago you should check it out.  Great atmosphere, great service, amazing food.

We had a few other culinary adventures, and I ate way too much.  My body is not used to digesting as much meat as I ate this weekend.  I will be making a 3 bean salad tonight before I head off to bed.  It should last me all week for lunches.  I will post pictures and the recipe tomorrow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Picky Eaters

I've been thinking about the food I bring to work a lot.  This may have been sparked by my leftover sushi and the looks of both awe and disgust it received.  Why are people so afraid to try something new?  Barring food allergies, what is the worst that could happen?  You eat something you don't like, so you spit it out.  Why not try the food?  It may be something you really enjoy, but would never know.  I've never been a picky eater, and the foods I eat have often been looked upon with suspicion.  Come to think of it, some of the clothes I wear have been looked upon with suspicion too, so I guess the food fits.

I pack mostly healthy and quick lunches.  I may make enough pasta one night to last a few days.  I plan ahead.  No, I don't have children who take up my time, but I would think children would be even more cause to plan meals.  Sauteing some garlic in olive oil and tossing in penne, tomatoes, and olives is not rocket science.  It's not even strange food.  It's simple; it's delicious, and it's not processed.  It's not "normal" by today's standards.  "Normal" is T.V. dinners and Twinkies.  I'll stick with my strange lunches and the stares to go along with it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Post and Bargain Hunting

I've been wanting to have a place to talk about food and cooking for awhile now.  Finally, it occurred to me to start a blog.  The problem was the name.  What could I name this that would be original and describe my personality and cooking style.  Then it hit me...burlesque.  Burlesque performers made fun of serious subjects in an "undignified manner," and sometimes without their clothes.  I cook in an old style, making most dishes from scratch.  My microwave broke six months ago, and I feel no need to replace it.  I like to have fun in the kitchen.  I dance, I sing, sometimes I'm in my underwear, but I turn out very good products.  Cooking is something that has always come naturally to me.  I'm always amazing during lunch where microwaved T.V. dinners are the norm, and my homemade meals are looked at with awe.  I'm tired of people thinking that cooking is such a chore, something to dread at the end of the day, something that takes hours.

I'm not sure if anyone will read this or if it will simply be a creative outlet for my thoughts and cooking experiments.  I hope if anyone is reading this they will take it in the spirit in which it is intended.  I love being in the kitchen, I love having boobs, and I think lingerie is empowering.  I wear ruffly things and cook because it makes me happy.  I don't do it to fit into any kind of preconceived gender role.  Enough with the rambling; on with the cooking.

I love food and I love new dishes.  I especially love new dishes at a bargain.  I was in the local Goodwill today searching for something fabulous and vintage to wear, maybe some aprons or a dress.  My clothing search was disappointing, but before leaving I decided to check out the housewares.  I am always on the lookout for a cast iron grill pan.  I didn't find my grill pan, but I noticed some cute china saucers and plates with a rose pattern.  They look like something my grandma would've had, and I'm a sucker for vintage patterns.  It was $10 for the entire set.  Arriving at home I thought I would check out the manufacturer and  brand.  Turns out I bought $350 worth of dishes!  I am euphoric with my deal.  I can't wait to use these.  Now if I can only find a $10 china cabinet.