Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Things I Eat 2018

I was sitting in my cozy corner chair, reading in the lamplight an old blog book I printed out from 2009 and came upon a "things I eat" post.  Oh hey guess what- I don't have to tell you, i can show you. 

Turns out it's super interesting, now that much time has passed, to compare all the things I eat over the years.  The last time I documented this was in spring of 2016 so it seems a good time for an update on my food consumption. Let's begin.


Breakfast is by far king--i'm sorry, queen-- of the meals.  It's my favorite. I love it so. It's important and sets the tone for the whole day.  These days I get up early, at least what's early to me and my body with its anti-early circadian rhythms.  Julian is an early bird so I have to get a move on if we're going to have anything decent for break-y.    Here's what we'll have:

1. Cereal, maybe once or twice a week. And actually I rarely eat cereal, it's mostly just Julian.  Isn't that funny? I used to eat it all the time and now it's hardly ever and even then it's only just Cheerios, or the Trader Joe's equivalent.  That's it. That's the only kind of cereal in our house. These days I just can't justify getting all that added-sugar cereal. It always makes me feel gross and I can't in good conscience send Julian off for the day having had food I don't consider very substantive.  But the O's are ok.  He eats them with bananas and honey. 

2. Eggs, of course.  Scrambled-- I've since learned how the professionals make them: Cooking, stirring constantly over very low heat.  This takes time so, again, I have to hustle. But it makes them very creamy and slightly wet, which I like.    Also, poached (obv), atop the toast, or fried, inside the toast. 

3. Still loving the oatmeal.  Love it forever.  These days I eat it with applesauce, like I did two years ago, but also with some sliced or slivered almonds and a dash of cinnamon. Possibly some cut up apples. Whatever's lying around.

4. Yogurt, but strictly plain Greek Gods full fat yogurt, pictured here:

  Image result for greek gods plain yogurtAlong with the rest of the world, I have learned that the refined sugar is what will destroy me, and I need the good fat to keep me filled and fueled.   Full fat yogurt is so delicious, I don't think I can ever go back. I am such a nazi these days in that I restrict Julian's yogurt intake only to Chobani which has added sugar but not as much as other brands.  I could get him types that have even less sugar but they taste pretty unappealing for a squirt. He loves these though and eats one a day I'd say.  I ate a lot more yogurt in the summer compared to now, probably because of the berries which are my favorite fruits to top with.  For example, I will eat a couple scoops of yogurt with berries, almonds, and a healthy drizzling of honey. I love honey and eat quite a lot of it but I discovered the revelation that is honey-soaked fruit my mind was blown. Sooo delicious.  Topped with a few mint leaves from my single-herb herb garden and it's pretty tasty.  

5. My goodness. Breakfast is going to be a tome, alone.  I still love the smoothies.  Bananas (which i've since learned to freeze), some kind of greens, a fruit, kefir, maybe some chia seeds, and ice.  If I have some melon around that's a major bonus because it gives the smoothie such a nice consistency. Melon pulp in everything!  I say. 

6. the honey lemon tea is still going strong. Daily. I will never quit.  It's a staple for me forever. Another good use for the mint leaves, too.

7. Pancakes, of course.   I love them so much, I miss them a little when I think about them.  Topped with Trader Joe's applesauce (that comes in the little cups), a far superior applesauce flavor to any other I've tried.  I stock up.  Sean went to TJ's today and the check-out girl asked him how long it'd take him to go through all that applesauce and he replied, "you'd be surprised."    But as for the pancakes, I discovered a recipe similar to the buttermilk but this one is even BETTER.  Here it is, because I have it memorized, because I make it regularly and have to pre-make little pouches for those early mornings. Also I have altered it a little, naturally.

Jen's Cornmeal Pancakes of Your Dreams
1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
1/4 c. almond meal
1/8 c. oat flour
1/8 c. something else, like more white whole wheat flour (for the gluten needs) or maybe some flaxseed for some extra fiber. But it all comes out to 1 cup of flour.

1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon or more

1 T sugar
2 T cornmeal

1 egg
2 T avocado oil
1 cup of sour milk (half of a lemon + milk. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes to curdle) 

Mix all the dry, mix the wet in a separate bowl and then gently fold with a spatula into the dry. Don't overmix! DON'T DO IT.
I've learned some tricks about pancakes and one important one is letting it sit and effervesce for a while--get that baking soda/powder working and making bubbles.  I cook these pancakes in butter and they are THE BEST.  The cornmeal and cinnamon are the key ingredients here. Also, topped only with applesauce for me, still.  Julian requires syrup. Sean requires both.  
8. German pancakes for Julian, his fave. But only on the weekends bc they take too long and I'm only human. These days I make them in the muffin tin and out come the cutest individual-sized poofy pancake cups you've ever seen. Filled with syrup or applesauce. He is so spoiled to get such a variety of warm breakfasts but frankly, it's how I was raised and again, it's what I do best and again, most important meal(!!!)


Lunch is still about the same.  Apples and cheese, or maybe some hummus and carrots, whatever scraps are leftover from making the boy's lunch.  Actually since I eat so much earlier than i used to, I need a bit more in the midday so these days I'll eat a salad from TJ's.  Cobb for Sean and Asian for me. We both get so excited when it's salad time.  Our life is one big adventure. 


Guess what? Since the last food post, Sean has turned into quite the chef that we always knew he was.  He has read up, studied, watched videos, whatever, and these days is largely in charge of dinner and has really developed some serious culinary skills. It is the GREATEST and even though I know I used to make dinners of some sort way back when, I honestly can't remember and basically have zero skills. Not cooking dinner has made me hate doing it even more, if that's possible, and i have forgotten everything I've ever learned.  But Sean, oh the Sean.  He sears the most perfect salmon you've ever tasted. I don't know how he does it but it has this crunchy crust and I die every time. Simple flavors, but perfected technique. We have a professional chef friend and Sean picks up tips when he can and this is what he says--pick a food and practice cooking it in different ways until you find the way you like best. Salmon is a weekly treat and I look forward to it.

 Otherwise it's grilled chicken or pork chops, occasionally the steak,  with roasted vegetables of some kind--asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes. He's actually been working for months and takes pictures of pretty dinners he makes.  I will make this into another post because he's built up a pretty impressive repertoire.  Carrot purees and potato cakes and pan sauces.  He got some All-Clad frying pans for Christmas and I've honestly never seen a person more in love.  The other day I insisted on doing dishes even though he never minds doing it even though he just cooked the dinner (double ugh)  and he said "Well, ok, but I'll clean the pans."  I tried to fight him until he said, "No, really. Please? I enjoy it."  And he really does. Kills me.  He takes care of them like children.  And hey, if he wants to bathe the kids, fine by me! (-- mom thing to say)

Also I don't know how long it's been since we've had meatloaf.

Additionally, we still have soups, tacos, fajitas.  And that's about all I can think of right now.


I rarely have ice cream anymore.
I don't really know why.  And I can't handle hot chocolate either. :( My body has turned against it, or it's turned against my body?  I'm just getting too old for some things and though I still totally eat chocolate, for some reason I can't have it hot.  This is why I have converted to tea which I drink an exorbitant amount of, especially in the winter.  It's lovely.

Cookies, yes.  Gotta have oatmeal in them and then I can handle it pretty well.  Also I only like them when they're hot, right out of the oven, so I basically gorge myself and then I'm done.  It's the best.  Same goes for muffins--Oh, muffins! One more breakfast thing.  I have this amazing muffin recipe that only uses only oat flour and maple syrup for the sugar.  These days I pretty much only bake using syrup or honey and it's a life changer. 

Souffle.  I can make these but Sean always does, just for the record.  We have a giant souffle dish for guests and ramekins just for us.  It is so good. Similar to the individual hot lava cakes which I also love but these are a bit more airy and cloud-like.

Pie.  I love pie and have made that custard so many times lately.  I made cream puffs for a thing the other night and assembled the cutest little things using custard + lemon curd (and mint leaves, of course), and one with a single banana slice with custard and then hot fudge drizzled on top.  I also made some more pumpkin pudding, topped with caramel and crushed pecans.  They were so fancy and I was very proud of myself, since Sean is usually the beautiful food-maker. 

I made a chocolate pie the other day which i've been wanting to do. It was insanely simple and I'm excited about it. Chocolate, butter, sugar, salt, and eggs. That's it. Except the recipe didn't call for salt and I reprimanded the contributor severely.  To Sean: "The moment I read a recipe like this doesn't have salt I'm like, what?! Well, you don't know ANYTHING! Why am I following anything YOU say??" Serious salt snob over here.  He agreed.   Anyway,  I cut the sugar by more than half and added more chocolate because it's never enough.  I'm going to make even more adjustments in the future but i already have another idea of using orange chocolate with orange peel distributed throughout. Doesn't that sound so good? And Christmasy?

Chocolate-covered whatever from TJ's.  These days it's raisins and ginger, my new fave. I LOVE GINGER.  I eat ginger chews candy and these chocolate covered ginger balls are so dang good.  Get some today.  Sean and Julian love the dark chocolate peanut butter cups but I can only handle one of these every few weeks.  Have I expressed the utter joy it is to have a TJ's 20 minutes away? God bless us, everyone.


Water, tea.  We've also discovered le croix and other flavored sparkling water the past couple of years and I love it.  Sometimes I'll add mashed up berries, raw sugar, cubed ice and, of course, MINT LEAVES.  Ha ha! Love that mint.  So versatile.  But that's a fun summer drink.  Otherwise, it's all water all the time.  Milk with cookies only.

And that's it! That's the end of this fascinatingly boring blog post on the things I eat!   Amazing, all the thoughts and feelings I have on the matter.  And interesting how much our eating habits have changed.  Chef Sean has definitely changed our dinners in a big, better way.  I'm so spoiled to have someone in my life who likes to cook. And Julian has become less picky over the years. Or we've just cracked down on him.  But I'm loving the food I eat these days.  It's a good time to be alive.  


Alanna said...

*I tried to leave a comment while reading this on my phone, but I don't think it worked. If I end up leaving two comments, I'M SO SORRY!!! I swear, though, smartphones have been the death of blog comments!

Have you tried Yoplait's new yogurt, Oui? I'm obsessed with it. I go crazy over their blueberry and raspberry flavors. My sister can't stop eating their lemon. So good. I eat it with Cheerios. Special K if I'm feeling naughty. I haven't read the label, so I'm not entirely sure if it's because of sugar or fat that it's so good-- I don't want to know.

I wish I could come to your house for breakfast. I just can't actually cook anything for breakfast. But everything you listed sounds amazing.

Joel said...

I love breakfast. Sadly, in my effort to reduce calories (and leave more for dessert later) I have been pretty minimal on breakfast lately.

Also, you seem to have published another post and then deleted it. But my RSS feed caught it, I read it, and now I feel like a spy. Mwa ha ha!

)en said...

Ha! Lucky! It just wasn’t done yet. I’ll put it back up when it is. But good work, sleuth

)en said...

I have tried it and yes it is good. Euro yogurt is just supreme. The kind that comes in the little jars? Little tangy? Cant beat it.

Diana said...

I love knowing what people eat! It reminds me of things I've long forgotten. Breakfast is queen over here too. My whole day of eating is ruined if I can't start with a real breakfast.

)en said...

Diana-- i know, right? It's so strangely interesting. Sometimes I like to watch what people buy when i'm in line at the grocery store. And then I make all sorts of judgments based on what i see. Yes, breakfast 4+ever.