Friday, July 31, 2009

Random And Delicious

I had a hard time finding inspiration last weekend. I was perfectly willing to cook, I just didn't know what to cook. That always drives me crazy. I have a millions recipes I want to try, but nothing calls out to me, nothing quite fits together into a cohesive meal. The biggest problem, is that while a bunch of things sound delicious, they're just not healthy enough or well rounded enough. I need my vegetables! I ended up doing a mixture of recipes I've been wanting to try, and experimenting on my own. Imagine that! Overall, it all came out delicious. Here's what I ate this week:
  • Pesto pizza, idea courtesy of my college roommate! I was lamenting on facebook that I needed to use up some pine nuts before they went rancid, and I was thinking pesto, but I just wasn't in the mood for pasta. She suggested pesto pizza. The girl is a genius! I made this pesto, courtesy of good ol' Martha. I've made pizza dough in the past, but I haven't found a recipe I've really liked yet (ok, I've only tried one so far). I really like the pizza dough they sell ready made at Trader Joe's. It's whole wheat. What's not to love? I sauteed some chicken marinated in lemon juice (and a little zest), rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Diced it up, and threw it on the pesto-ed pizza. Then I added some red onion I had caramelized. Aside: I didn't realize caramelizing onions is so easy! You just cook 'em low and slow until they get all sweet and delicious. Next, I put on some broccoli florets, but I didn't feel an entire onion and 3 cups of basil was enough vegetable. And then I topped it all off with a ton of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. It turned out to be the best pizza I've ever made. By far. The pesto was nutty, the onions were sweet, the chicken was lemony, and the cheese was, well, the best part of course! That's definitely one for my recipe bank!
  • Chicken meatballs with chipotle-honey sauce, courtesy of Noble Pig. The lady who writes this blog is my idol. She just up and moved to Oregon to run a winery. How awesome is that? Also, her balls are amazing. They are moist and flavorful with just a little kick. And the sauce! It's sweet and tangy and spicy. I couldn't eat enough of these. Our hippy grocery where we buy our meat doesn't have already ground chicken, but they were happy to grind some fresh for us when we asked. How nice.
  • Herbed summer squash and potato torte, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I had bought a big bag of tiny yellow, red, and purple potatoes at Costco. I was going to just mash them, but then I came across this recipe. This is one of those dishes that ended up tasting way better than I thought it would just from reading the recipe. Where did all this flavor come from? The ingredient sound simple enough. Almost boring! But the green onions, cheese, and thyme all married each other in the oven, and had a million flavor babies that permeated every bite. Seriously. It makes a ton, but it's good.
  • I had extra potatoes to use up, and extra squash, so I decided to put them together again. This time roasted in the oven with some rosemary and lemon. Potatoes really are a magical food. They take on flavor so well. I try not to eat too many because they're so starchy, but sometimes I just can't resist. I ended up throwing some of this in a frittata with some bell pepper, arugula, and some parmesan cheese. It was delish, except I think I put too much salt in. I was paranoid that Husband would hate it (because he's very sensistive to salt, and he has high blood pressure, so he tries to stay away from it), but he didn't think it was too salty at all. I think that first, the cheese probably added a lot of the salty flavor, and second, we've been eating out so little, and I've been cooking so much (and always low sodium), that I'm losing my sodium-loving touch! I guess that's a good thing.
  • Whole wheat no-knead bread, courtesy of Not Martha. This is it. The bread that I think will be my go-to bread. It's healthy (100% whole wheat flour, none of this half and half with all purpose stuff), and it tastes absolutely spectacular. I making sandwiches left and right. Left over king salmon (OMG, this was the best salmon ever we bought on a whim at the hippy store last weekend)? Throw it on some bread with some avacado and arugula. Toast with jam? Why use the store bought stuff? I think next time I need to make two loaves. Husband kept thinking he was entitled to some!
There may have been some muffins involved too, but I have to run and pick up my little one from daycare. Ahem, my dog that is. I'll tell you all about the muffins soon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Must Remember Vegetarian Goodness!

I was so unbelievably crazy busy last week that I didn't get a chance to tell you all about the most wonderfully delicious food I made. A travesty! Well this week you'll get two posts. Unless I get busy again...But the food must be documented so I won't forget it! It's all so delicious, it must be made again!

So if you recall 2 weeks ago, I made a bunch of meat. Not surprisingly, since I'm not a big meat eater, I was in the mood to go vegetarian last week. I stuck with lots of veggies, whole grains, and legumes mostly. But don't worry. I did some easy chicken in teriyaki sauce for Husband. Nothing special to blog about there. Heh. Anyway, here is the deliciousness that was my food for last week:
  • Spring green risotto, courtesy of Ina Garten. Oh my word, this is good. Even Husband, Mr. if it doesn't have meat or chocolate it's just ok, went on and on about how good it was. This was my first time making risotto, and I have to say it wasn't bad. Lots of stirring. It takes a little more thought to time management. But definitely do-able! First off, I was very pleased at how many veggies were in this dish. Usually grain dishes call for about 80% rice or pasta with only a sprinkling of veggies. Have you noticed that? It totally bugs me. This one was different. It was at least 50/50, if not more weighted to vegetables. After I added all the peas and asparagus, it almost all didn't fit in the pan! Make sure you use a big pan if you make this. And the flavor! I don't know where it came from! I added the ingredients. I thought it would taste pretty good. And then I took a bite and my head just about exploded from flavor. This Ina Garten is amazing! I think it was the combination of the wine with the fennel. Oh, this was also my first time using fennel. It's good! I skipped the mascarpone cheese because I've never had mascarpone cheese (I find it easier to leave out a flavor if I don't know what I'm missing, heh) and I didn't think the extra fat would be needed. And I think I was right. Also, I used green onions instead of chives because I already had some on hand. My only regret is that they don't make brown arborrio rice. I'm all about the whole grains!
  • White beans with tuna, courtesy of The Kitchn. I'm all about cannellini beans lately (aka white kidney beans). They're fantastic! Creamy and light and slightly sweet. Yum. I did this light cold, well it was basically a salad, because I wanted some easy protein and I wanted something cold. I used champagne vinegar instead of red wine because I wanted to keep it light and not too strong. And my red wine vinegar may also be the cheapest stuff you can buy at the store, which after watching the vinegar episode of Good Eats, I now realize is not the way to go. Also, I left out the onion because, well, I forgot all about it. I don't think it was needed, though I'm sure it would have been tasty. It's very tuna-y, so if canned tuna doesn't do it for you, I would skip this one. Otherwise it hit the spot!
  • Miso carrot and ginger dressing, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. Phew! It took me some google searching to remember where I had gotten this recipe. It was a last minute find, so it wasn't in my usual email list where I keep my recipes. I should have known it was Smitten Kitchen...since that's where I seem to get most things, right? I wanted more vegetables, and this recipe also allowed me to try more of the white miso I bought for the miso soup I made a few weeks ago. I shredded half a head of red cabbage and mixed it with a shredded broccoli and carrot mixture I bought from Trader Joe's. I made 1 1/2 times the recipe, and it turned out to be just enough for my giant tupperware's worth of veggies. This was another winner, for sure. The dressing is wonderful. It was sweet from the carrots, salty from the miso, and the ginger went really nicely. It went perfectly over the veggies to make a nice, cold slaw. Geez, I'm into those a lot lately. Could it have anything to do with the fact that it's boiling hot?
  • Bulgur wheat with lentils, caramelized onions, and mushrooms, courtesy of Culinate. I have to say...this was right up there with the risotto for me. Husband wasn't as big a fan, but he also has something against food that looks like a can of dog food (and thus lentils, mostly). This was a really earthy dish. The lentils and mushrooms had such a nutty flavor together that I ended up sprinkling some sliced almonds on top. That really did it for me. The extra crunch was nice. I also served it over a bed of arugala for some added vegetable. The sweet onions went so well with the earthy flavors. This is one to repeat, for sure. Note: it looks like the Culinate website is down today, so you won't be able to check this recipe out until tomorrow. Contain yourself!
  • For dessert/breakfast, I tried these peanut butter banana oatmeal bars, courtesy of Visions of Sugar Plum. They really appealed to me because first, I had some over-ripe bananas to use up. Second, I've been totally in the mood to bake with banana ever since I saw the banana episode of Good Eats a few weeks ago. Third, I like that it used whole grains to make it a little healthier. And fourth, who doesn't love peanut butter, banana, and oats together? I do! Overall they turned out...pretty good. Husband wasn't too impressed, mostly because he was looking for a totally different consistency he never would have gotten with the ingredients that were in there. He wanted fluffy. These were chewier. The puffed rice gave them a softer, kind of soggy texture. Husband suggested I try added baking powder next time to help with the fluffing. I think he's crazy and he doesn't know anything about baking. I don't know if I'll make these again. I enjoyed eating them, but I think similar ingredients in another recipe might work out better. Like maybe an oatmeal banana bread? I did find a better, more delicious, much less healthy way to use up my over-ripe bananas. But that's a recipe for this week's second post.
  • Soft pretzels, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I made these for a picnic/outdoor concert we went to with some friends on Thursday night. Thursday was not a good cooking day. I also made pork bao, which I've mentioned before. Both recipes I've made successfully before, but not that day. I think that when I know I'm cooking for other people, I get tense and things just don't turn out as good. Also, I totally ran out of time. I didn't properly calculate how much time I would need to bake the pretzels and steam the buns. Or really, I just didn't take batches into account. I was frantically throwing buns in mesh strainers that were rigged over pots of water. But let's talk pretzels. First off, you'll need to roll these out really thin. Don't worry, you'll be amazed how much they puff up. If you leave them thick, then they're smoosh together as they rise and won't have that awesome pretzel shape. Also, don't use parchment paper! Or if you do, spray it with Pam first. I used it plain and my dough stuck like crazy to the point where my pretzels just looked like blobs. I didn't have time to bake the 2 sheets in batches, so I threw one pan at the bottom of the oven, where it by no means cooked evenly. I was so disappointed that I almost threw them straight in the trash after they came out of the oven. Husband convinced me not to. And go figure, everyone loved them. They each had at least 2 (so more than just a no thank you helping), some had 3. He had fun saying "I told you so". I didn't add anything on top, like pretzel salt. I don't have pretzel salt, and I think the dough is plenty salty by iteself. Also, the flavor of the pretzels is greatly enhanced by topping them with some Gulden's mustard. I'm telling you, it goes the best. By far.
This food was all so good! I would make it all again, which is why I wanted to make sure to blog about it. It's a good way to find the recipes later. Hopefully I'll have time to blog again later this week to tell you all about what I'm eating this week. Let me just tell you now, so far, so frakking good!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Hey, guess what I'm eating this week? I didn't realize this until last weekend, but I rarely use my freezer anymore. Since this has directly coincided with my healthy eating habits and subsequent substantial weight loss (55lbs and counting! Woo!), I choose to think of this as a good thing. Go me! I only open my freezer for one of these few items: frozen peas and/or corn (so handy if I need a way to add some easy veggies to something like pasta), frozen blueberries (because blueberry buttermilk pancakes are the best thing ever), frozen pizza (for emergencies, and usually it's Husband who eats them, usually about once a month), frozen chicken (Husband used to only buy the bags of frozen chicken from Costco, insisting that it tasted the same as fresh. A few months of good quality chicken, and he now refuses to eat that nasty frozen stuff. Score! So why do we still have it regularly stocked in our freezer? For dog food, of course!). Ok, I admit it. Sometimes there's ice cream in there as well...but Husband is a total ice cream monster, so it's usually gone before I can blink!

Anyway, my point is that if I'm not opening the freezer for one of the items listed above, I don't pay any attention to whatever else is in there. Husband, desperate for a snack last week, poked his head in and discovered 6 steaks from Harris Ranch his parents had stopped to buy for us last time they drove down to visit (who on earth needs that much beef at once!?). Let's see...that was last March. Only four months ago? Oh that's not so bad. Husband declared he would grill them up, so I planned for an easy meat-filled week. Oh joy. Have I mentioned before that I'm not a big meat eater? I'm really not.

After the cooking marathon I did the 4th of July weekend, I was up for something easy this last weekend. Also I was feeling lazy. So what else is new? Here's what I'm eating this week:
  • Cucumber mango bisque, courtesy mom! My mom called me last week and told me about this fantastic chilled soup she had made for a 4th of July dinner she went to. When she mentioned there was buttermilk involved I insisted on having the recipe. I heart buttermilk and mangoes! She got it from a cook book, I forget which one. I'll post it with my modifications below. By the way, this soup took minutes to make. Just chop, blend, then enjoy! I could not wrap my mind around the fact that I had made soup without actually cooking anything. Trippy!
  • No-knead bread, courtesy of the NY Times (note: requires you to register on the site, but it's free). Because every bisque needs some good crusty bread to dip in it, right? This is seriously the easiest bread to make ever. Four ingredients. Mix them in a bowl. Cover bowl and wait. Touch dough for a few seconds then wait some more. Then bake! The recipe calls for a dutch oven, which sadly my kitchen lacks (I want one sooooo badly!), but I just use a corningware dish covered with foil. Works fine for me.
  • Grilled chicken over stir fried veggies and cold soba noodles, courtesy of me. Look at me! I made something on my own without a recipe! If you haven't already noticed, I tend to use a recipe for everything. When I'm left to my own devices, bad things happen. Or at least, the same thing happens. Asian flavors are definitely my crutch. Soy sauce is easy and it tastes good. But at least I spiced things up a little this time. First, I marinated some sliced chicken breasts overnight in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, lime juice, grated ginger, minced garlic and a little sugar. Then, I stir fried a crap-ton of vegetables: snow peas, carrots, celery, mushrooms, savoy cabbage, and green onions. I grilled the chicken actually using the griddle side of my indoor grill pan, I just put some oil down and stirred it around until cooked (Korean BBQ style!). I had sliced the chicken pretty thin, so it cooked up super fast. I threw the veggies and the chicken over some soba noodles and topped with toasted sesame seeds and the same sauce I used to marinate the chicken (not the same actual sauce, that's unsanitary, I mean I used the same ingredients). It turned out really delicious, but after a day in the fridge I think the acid in the sauce broke down the chicken a little too much. So while tasty, it apparently doesn't keep too well unless you leave the sauce off. I am quickly becoming obsessed with soba noodles. They are so flavorful, good hot or cold, and I hear buckwheat is super good for you.
  • Steak and roasted zucchini quesadilla, courtesy of me again. Twice in one week? I astonish even myself. Here is my newly discovered delicious masterpiece. I took a whole wheat tortilla and put a thin layer of Parmesan cheese down. Then, I took some sliced zucchini and yellow squash I had roasted earlier in the oven and layed out the slices until my tortilla was covered. I had lots of extra basil from my soup, so I threw some of that in too because everything tastes better with basil, right? Then I sliced some of the grilled steak into bite-sized pieces and sprinkled them over the veggies. Lastly, I put down another layer of Parmesan cheese and topped with another whole wheat tortilla. You'll want both layers of cheese because it acts as the glue that keeps your food from flying out of the middle when you flip it. I used Parmesan originally because I has some left over I was trying to use up, but in hindsight, this cheese was perfect for the dish. The salty, nutty flavor from the cheese went so well with the zucchini and steak. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Last night I used up the last of the Parmesan and used cheddar instead. So not as good, but still tasty. And this may sound unappetizing, but the Parmesan when melted had almost a bit of a rubbery texture to it, which gave the quesadilla a really nice bite to it. I'm all about texture apparently. I may actually have to write up a recipe for this. It will definitely repeat.
  • Steak! Husband did his man thing and grilled up the steaks. There is so much freaking steak! I've mostly just been eating it in the quesadillas, but the week is mostly over and it's only half gone. Husband insists he can finish it, but I have a feeling Theo may be getting a treat for a few meals in a few more days. I think we have 3 whole steaks left. Ugh, I think I'm on a meat overload right now.

Cucumber Mango Bisque
4 large servings, or 6 small

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat because that's what I had)
2 hot-house cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 2 cups)
2 mangoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (I used 1 1/2, minus the seeds)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients except salt in a large bowl and puree with emersion blender, or puree in batches in a stand blender. Add salt to taste. Let chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Feasting On The 4th...And 5th...And 6th...

I had been wanting to barbecue. I had been wanting to have a small group of friends over. I had been wanting an excuse to make somewhat unhealthy, and less balanced food than usual. The 4th of July seemed like a great time to do all of this, so I did! Husband and I had a few friends over for what turned out to be a total feast! We are still enjoying the fruits of our all-day labor.
  • I started off making my own buns, courtesy of King Arthur Flour. Surprisingly, the dough didn't give me any trouble at all. It rose great, it wasn't too sticky (well it was sticky, but it didn't stick all over me or the board at least), it kneaded well. I even managed to get some windowpane action going! I like a lot of bun with my meat, so instead of forming the dough into 18 buns, I ended up doing 12. They didn't see like they would be too big, even after their second rise. But once I popped them in the oven, they popped up and out! They were pretty huge. I still think into 18 would be too small, so I think I'll try for 16 next time. The burger buns formed well, but I had some issues with the hot dog buns. The burger buns I covered with a damp kitchen towel, which is what I would recommend to anyone making this recipe. I got lazy with the hot dog buns and only covered them with a damp paper towel. The paper stuck to the dough. Not a little, a lot. Husband actually had to cut away pieces of dough because the paper would just rip when I tried to separate it. Whoops! They also ended up a little water logged. I don't think it affected the flavor, but it did make them spread a bit, and not puff up as much, so they ended up being pretty flat. Doh! It's hard to say exactly how good these were, since Husband ended up basically burning them on the grill. They ended up being very crunchy, but still tasty. I would definitely try this again for my next barbecue (and toast them in the toaster!).
  • For an appetizer, I made white bean and roasted red pepper dip, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. This one is a definite keeper. It turned out so fantastically delicious. It tasted kind of like a hummus, but without the sesame flavoring, leaving it a little sweeter, I think. I roasted my own peppers because I'm a snob. I'll pretend like it made all the difference. Husband and I may have partook of some dip before the guests even arrived...but you can't prove it! This one was definitely a hit with my guests. They kept asking what was in it between mouthfuls. Did I mention this recipe is a keeper?
  • The second dip I served was a jalapeno black bean dip, courtesy of Noble Pig. I love black beans, so I liked this recipe, but it paled in comparison to the other dip, unfortunately. I seeded the jalapeno because I don't like things super spicy, but I think maybe a second seeded jalapeno could have punched up the flavor a bit. I used cream cheese instead of mayo because I had extra from the other dip, and I'm not a huge mayo fan (at least I try not to be). Flavor-wise, the dip was yummy, but texture-wise, it was a little stiff. Maybe because of my substitution? I don't really mind that it was bit thick, but the guests definitely didn't enjoy it as much. Though it was still mostly eaten by the end of the evening, so obviously it wasn't terrible. I would make this again for myself, but I don't know if I would serve it again without figuring a way to punch it up a bit.
  • For the "main course" we had hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbecue chicken. No recipes for these. We just seasoned the burger meat with basic salt and pepper, and being that it was Husband cooking, he also threw in some fresh minced garlic. For fixings we had everything but the kitchen sink. I caramelized a red onion, which was delicious and gone in about 5 minutes. I also put out some sliced avocado, tomato, red leave romaine lettuce, and raw red onion. And of course, cheese! I marinated the chicken in some barbecue sauce first thing that morning to ensure lots of flavor-y goodness. The chicken actually turned out really yummy, but no one actually had the stomach room to try it during dinner. Sad. Husband and I have been eating barbecue chicken sandwiches all week instead, which is a-ok by me!
  • For a side I made a quick panzanella salad, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. Husband, again he let me down a bit with his grilling skills on Saturday, ended up burning most of the bread I gave him to grill, so it was sadly light on that aspect (I have no problems with burnt bread, so I snacked on this on the side). But otherwise, this was very good. I forgot to buy couldn't find any good basil at the store, so I left it out, but I think it would have definitely been better with it. The dressing, while I'm not usually a fan of dressing, was very light and delicious. The champagne vinegar was a little hard to find (yay Whole Foods!), but I think it's nice enough to warrant the storage space for yet another kind of vinegar (along with balsalmic, white wine, red wine, raspberry, rice wine, apple cider, etc.)
  • For another side I served mustard-roasted potatoes, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. These turned out seriously good. I was looking for a way to serve potatoes without frying them or mixing them with mayonnaise or sour cream, but still do something delicious, and these potatoes were it. They actually tasted a bit like french fries, but better because of the mustardy, saucy goodness that was all over them! I will be saving this recipe for another time.
  • For dessert I decided apple pie would be appropriate, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen (ok, I swear I checked other food blogs for recipes for this feast, but everything that sounded the best ended up coming from her. Go Deb!). I'm not very experienced with pie making. I admit that handling uber-thin pie dough is the stuff of my nightmares. I am far too clumsy and uncoordinated to think I could ever attempt this successfully. But you know what? I did a halfway descent job! Of course, Husband was on hand to spot me, since he knows me all too well. Not only was it not at all scary, it was actually quite easy. Know why? Plastic wrap! Rolling out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap meant that I not only didn't have dough sticking to my rolling pin, or sticking to the board. It also provided an all too easy way to transfer the dough to the pie pan, which was always the trickiest part when my mom did it. I just took off the top piece of plastic wrap, lifted it from the bottom (with the plastic wrap on the bottom still in tact, preventing tearage), carefully flipped it over into the pie pan, and then peeled off the remaining plastic wrap. Easy! The recipe for the dough was a little weird when it came to "cutting in" the water. My dough ended up a bit of a soggy mess. I considered re-doing it, but I hate wasting and so does Husband, so he convinced me that it was probably alright. After chilling it for a few hours, it was a little sticky, but overall fine. I didn't do the lattice top, since I prefer as much dough as I can get. I completely forgot to do the egg white wash and sprinkle sugar on top before I put it in the oven. I didn't miss the sugar. The wash probably would have made the texture a bit better, but really I don't think I missed it. The spotlight of this pie was definitely the filling. I followed Deb's recommendation and doubled the spices and reduced the amount of lemon juice with the apples, which I would highly recommend. The flavors were fantastic. I also only used granny smith apples, since I couldn't find any McIntoshs. Does anyone know if they are not available on the west coast or something? Or are they just not in season? At three different grocery stores, all I saw were grannies, fujis, galas, golden delicious, and red delicious (hardly). Poop. Anyway, I don't think I'm a pie prodigy by any means, but I think this was a very successful first attempt! My crust was nothing to write home about, but it was still buttery and delicious. Yum!
  • I also used the barbecue as an excuse to finally try these strawberry shortcakes, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I've been eyeing this recipe since she posted it. Unfortunately, I wasn't super impressed (especially next to the pie!). The shortcakes really didn't puff up in the oven, like I had hoped. They actually puffed out a bit. I may have rolled the dough too thin, but I had to in order to get 6 shortcakes. There was totally not quite enough dough. Also, I thought they were a little dry. I would try shortcakes again, but with another recipe. And next time I do my own whipped cream - which I totally will because it's ridiculously easy and wonderful - I'll add some vanilla and a pinch of sugar to give it some flavor. The cream plain was a bit, well, plain.
  • And to drink (even though my guests ended up bringing so many drinks they wouldn't all fit in the fridge), I made some watermelon lemonade, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I had just bought a juicer the previous weekend, so I was excited to try my own lemonade, and this just looked delicious. And I have to say, I don't know when it happeend, but sometime within the last few years, I've really become not a very big fan of lemonade. I didn't realize it until I made this recipe. There was nothing wrong with the recipe itself. It was a bit sweet for me. Even after I cut it in half with seltzer water, it was still too sweet. I didn't add that much sugar, I think that's just how lemonade is. Oh well. I discovered my love of watermelon juice through this exercise! It has a really light and refreshing, yet understated flavor. It actually reminds me a lot of cucmber water. I could see mixing it with some water for just a little added flavor.
So there you have my 4th of July feast! It was my first hosted 4th of July barbecue, and I think it went well. I may just have to do it again next year! I made so much food, that Husband and I are still enjoying it. Yum!

By the way, this might not sound like a lot of food on paper (or monitor, I guess), but I was disgustingly full just having a little bit of everything. I haven't eaten that much in as long as I can remember! I literally gained 3 pounds from this one meal. 3 pounds from 1 meal!!! I regret nothing. It's the first real splurge I've had since my radical lifestyle change (read: diet, only it's not a "diet", it's just how I eat now), and it was wonderful. Ok, it didn't feel so wonderful after the two desserts, and I really shouldn't have eaten a hot dog and a hamburger. Lessons for next time. Anyway, I've been exercising a bit extra to work off my fatty fatty fat fat. No big.