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Freezing Usable Portions

13 Dec

img_1121I was asked how I prepare meals being single. Well it’s definitely hard. I don’t eat leftovers so I don’t want to waste food… It’s rare healthy that food is packaged in single servings, but I’m figuring it out.

I’ll start posting some of the things I’ve figured out so far. The first is freezing usable portions.

I buy fruit (canned, fresh, or frozen) blend it with water or juice, protein powder and then freeze that mix in ice cube trays. All of those cubes I put into a zip-lock bag in the freezer once they’re frozen. 4 ice cubes of the fruit protein mix then can be blended with a little more juice, protein powder, and a couple of spoonfuls of plain Greek yogurt (22% protein!) to make an awesome smoothie.

I also portion out pasta sauce this way. I freeze them in ice cube trays and store them in a zip-lock bag.

Other food that can be portioned out and frozen are meats, even though I rarely buy it. I buy the smallest amount of ground beef or turkey that I can and I break it up into two or three zip-lock bags. This can also be done with shrimp just look at the serving size on the package and break it into that many individual bags.

Tiny House; Tiny Bread 

27 Oct

It’s difficult to buy groceries when you live alone. You either waste a lot of food or eat a lot of food that is bad for you to avoid wasting it.

I stopped buying bread over a year ago for that very reason…but I miss bread, I love, love, love it.

My solution: I found a little Pyrex loaf pan in my moms endless cabinets of kitchen gadgets. She makes homemade bread a lot from frozen bread dough and it is delicious so I thought that this would work the same just on a smaller scale.

I bought a bag of dinner roll dough, same thing my mom uses just smaller portion. I mashed 3 of them together, let it rise, and bake! Makes about 3 or 4 sandwiches worth of bread, I’m not wasting anything, and I’m eating less bread because it makes a mini sandwich!

Day 3 of “The Military Diet”

21 Nov

military-diet-logoToday has been the hardest day of the diet; my head hurts and I’m hungry, which I haven’t been on the other two days. But the diet is “over”, now it’s four days off and then back on for another three.

As for the weight loss, I lost a couple of  pounds. I think a lot of that was water weight but my clothes are definitely fitting more loosely. I’m excited to see what happens after the next three days.

DAY 3

Breakfast:

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5 saltine crackers
1 slice of cheddar cheese
1 small apple

Lunch:

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1 hard boiled egg (or cooked however you like)
1 slice of toast

Dinner:

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1 cup of tuna
1/2 banana
1 cup of vanilla ice cream

 

 

 

Day 2 of “The Military Diet”

19 Nov

military-diet-logoDay two of the military diet went fine, I’m missing condiments and seasonings the most. I’m super excited for the end of day tomorrow to see if this diet delivers on dropping 10lbs.

DAY 2:

Breakfast:

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1 egg
1 slice of toast
1/2 banana

Lunch:

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1 cup of cottage cheese
1 hard boiled egg
5 saltine crackers

Dinner:

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2 hot dogs (without bun)
1 cup of broccoli
1/2 cup of carrots
1/2 banana
1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

 

 

Day 1 Of “The Military Diet”

18 Nov

military-diet-logoOne of the things on my bucket list is to get healthy, getting healthy has been something I’ve been trying for, for a long time. And really not even that. I just wanted to be skinny; I thought being skinny would solve a lot of my problems.

I’m not what I would consider “un-healthy” per-say…I don’t have blood pressure problems, I’m not on any medication, I’m strong and active. I am however “over-weight” and really, how much over weight I am…I have no idea.

There isn’t an exceptionally reliable source for appropriate weight, I’ve heard weight watchers has the most realistic. Which considering doctors offices, for my gender and height, think I need to weigh 115.

One-hundred and fifteen pounds.  Does that not sound outrageous to you? A mid twenties woman at one-hundred and fifteen pounds would be skeletal. What about hips and breasts? And I know that heavy, or fat people say this a lot “I have big bones,” but I literally have big bones; my wrist is very wide I can never buy off the shelf bracelets because my wrist is too large and that’s bone, not fat.

Anyway, I’ll stop my rant now and get back to the point. While I think I am attractive and so do other people, I’ve always wanted to be slimmer so I would fit in more easily, with less initial judgment. I’ve tried gyms, every diet under the sun, nutritionist, diet pills, diet bars, diet drinks, not eating all together…so here I am trying another diet.

My problem with everything else I have tried is its too complicated, and takes too long. So when I found the military diet on Pinterest I did a little research and decided to give it a try.

This diet is only three days, I can do anything for three days. It came with a very simple clear layout of each meal for those days, the food is normal food we already had in the house, and it also came with a shopping list; a short inexpensive shopping list.

So today was day one of the diet and it went well, the only gross thing I had to eat was tuna on bread, nothing else like mayo. But other than that today went fine, in fact there was too much food for dinner I couldn’t finish my apple or ice cream.

Check out the diet for yourself here.

DAY 1:

Breakfast:

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1/2 Grapefruit
1 Slice of Toast
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
1 cup Coffee or Tea (with caffeine)

Lunch:

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1/2 Cup of Tuna
1 Slice of Toast
1 cup Coffee or Tea (with caffeine)

Dinner:

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3 ounces of any type of meat
1 cup of green beans
1/2 banana
1 small apple
1 cup of vanilla ice cream

 

 

 

Ice-cream Truck

25 May

Vintage Ice Cream TruckNothing quite says stereotypical American suburban summer quite like the jolly tune of a slow moving, sugar-coma packed, ice-cream truck.

“Ice-cream like” treats date back to the 4th century B.C with early references from the Roman Emperor Nero and King Tang of Shang, China. Ice-cream was brought to Europe from China and from there eventually to the United States where George Washington and Thomas Jefferson served it to guests in 1700.

1343292473405989Ice itself was once considered very valuable and reserved for the elite only. In the 1800s, merchants started to invest in the frozen rivers and selling the ice to the people. Frozen treats were now more prevalent in parlors and tea gardens but still out of reach to the masses.

After the 1830s, immigrants to the United States, with limited job prospects, used their culinary talents to take treats to the masses with cold treasures in a cart frozen with the new access to ice.

Through the remainder of the 1800s and early 1900s, delicious new frozen concoctions were invented and enjoyed by all. 1920, after the invention of the automobile by Henry Ford, a man in Youngstown, Ohio decided to combine the two national trends and invested in 12 refrigerated trucks.

images (1)And so, by the hand of Harry Burt in small town Ohio, was born the ice-cream truck. Years brought more advances and variety to the treat, a treat on wheels,which after nearly 100 years still brings kids running.

My junior year of college an ice-cream truck made a pass by our dorm building and boy did we go flying after it, even faster than we did after the Red Bull car!

Today I heard the familiar tune of the ice-cream truck and not only did I hop out of my chair to see where the sweet ride was, so did my family. The ice-cream truck is a representation of youth, summer, a simple time before worries, and an ease.

I drove around straining my ears for the tune but I never did find the ice-cream truck…the ice-cream in our freezer doesn’t have the magic that the one from the truck have. I suppose half the fun and excitement is in the chase; if only the ice treats in the freezer would make a run for it and hum a little tune in the process…

We all need to hang on to the memories and as much ease as we can, so chase that truck if you hear the jolly tune.

Run.

Don’t think, don’t worry about shoes, grab some cash and run.

The Single Girls New Years Eve

1 Jan

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Last night was the final night of 2013 and  therefore a celebration of the year past and a party to kick off the year to come.  New Years Eve can be a bit of a downer when you don’t have anyone to kiss at midnight; so this year I decided to throw a Single Girls New Years Eve.

I invited the girlfriends that are still single, I’ll be honest there aren’t many left now that we are all in our mid twenties…so two girls were able to make it and the three of us went into town and had pizza, came back to my house and watched Monsters University (an early birthday gift!) we decorated wine glasses (a tradition I brought from my time at college) we laughed and joked around in a mustache and took lots of pictures. IMG_8339

We also made plans to have more fun this year including paintball, laser tag, concerts and a slightly unlikely trip to Las Vegas (since I’m not a fan of gambling)

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As for my 2014 list…this year I want to:

  1. Cross more items off my Bucket List
  2. Find a way to be happy where I am or go somewhere else
  3. Get the addition on the house done
  4. Stop looking for love and just be content as I am
  5. Do more, make more memories…

Stay In Touch With The People Who Matter To You

25 Sep

k10360045I stumbled across this really fantastic website it’s like a hub of amazing advice for women plus networking and mentoring opportunities, it’s pretty cool. Here is the link if you want to check it out: http://www.levoleague.com

Anyway I went ahead and created a profile while I was on the site because it gives you the option of archiving your favorite articles which I really love because there is nothing worse than referencing an interesting fact or view point and not being able to also show that person where you got the information from.

While I archived a great many articles, everything from the best ways to utilize your sorority membership as an alumnae to how to ask for a raise and get it. One thing that really stood out to me was ways to stay connected to your friends.

As a post grad your life goes from being totally lived in 5 mile radius; all your meals, shopping, friends, exercise, entertainment…etc. all located in one place. Then as a graduate, which in my case, being hundreds or more miles away from everyone I care about. I have a handful of friends and sorority sisters that I feel the closet too; the problem is these girls are in California, Arizona, Indiana, Florida and that’s not even everyone. The girls that are still in Ohio are at a minimum an hour away, more like two or three for others. So the days of walking to the bedroom next to mine or what a real pain to the building across campus, are over.

That’s not to say I don’t have friends in the town I live in, I do. The friends from high school are still here we just don’t have a lot in common anymore so finding activities everyone likes usually come down to dinner, better than nothing but still it gets “blah”.

I’ve been really focusing on keeping the relationships I have, especially with the out of state girls I feel very limited with options, the time difference makes holding live conversations cumbersome so we usually end up Facebook messaging over a couple of days. I don’t ever want to back and say “man I wish I would of worked harder to keep up with that friend. I hate that we drifted apart.”

So while on this Levo site I saw an article that listed suggestions on ways to keep in touch, many well most of which I’ve tried or am currently utilizing. I hope you find the suggestions useful in your friendships!woman286

1. Take 10 minutes to create a favorites list on your smartphone so that you’ve made the rest of the life hacks below easy for yourself. This is a really good idea, I definitely need to sit down with my phone an make this happen.

2. Choose one day a week (I personally do this on Sunday for the most part) and dedicate 30 minutes to texting your favorites a loving note or a friendly hello. While in theory this sounds like a good idea I feel like it could end up feeling like a chore…and you never want your friends to feel like you’re on their check list.

3. If something funny comes to mind about your best friend or you remember a special story about shopping for hats with your grandmother (maybe that’s just me), send them an email or call so they that know you’re thinking of them. I agree and I personally do this one all the time. I even take pictures of things that remind me of my friends and send it to them. This one time I was in Wal-Mart and saw a girl that look exactly like one of my friends so I hid behind an end cap and took a picture of this lady to send to my friend…creepy sure but we both got a good laugh out of her doppelganger.

4. Find out your closest friends’ busy season and drop off lunch one day. If you have friends that work in the fashion industry, bring them lunch (or have it delivered) today, trust me, they’ll appreciate it. fantastic idea. What I did was send a card to a couple of my friends when they got a new job along with something cute for their new desk since mailing lunch out of state would be…hmm…wait I could mail a can of soup…just kidding.

5. Make (or buy) chocolate chip cookies and drop them off to someone you care about. Yeah you don’t really want to eat anything I make I’m still attempting to master cooking…

6. Soup. Soup is the answer. Want friends to come over, but don’t have the time to make dinner? Prepare a great stew and just put it in the freezer for “unexpected” best friend visits. Pizza delivered in is the answer this girl isn’t going to subject anyone to her cooking. Plus I don’t really ever have anyone stop by I still live with my parents.

7. Next time you’re at a museum or gift store, buy some stamps and post cards and keep them in your desk drawer. During lunch, write a note and voila, pen pals for the win! I totally do this! I have a stack of cars in my desk that I send out every now and then to friends.

8. If your bestie lives across the country and scheduling a Skype date isn’t going so well—make her (or him) a video message and send it. My big did this for me she sent me a Taylor Swift card when I landed my current job and it had one of those little boxes you take a photo of and your phone takes you then to a video they made, I loved it!

9. Have a favorite activity that you never get to do, like aerial yoga? Call a buddy! Fun things are always better in pairs. This I am still trying to do…I’ve been wanting to canoe, laser tag, wine and painting classes, movie nights…anything but it’s hard to get everyone to find time.

10. Forward an article and add a little note (they make such a big difference)! I forward articles a lot, in fact I just did it yesterday with an article I found on Levo.

692499939_79104011. Scan an old picture and text it to them. Also did this already, I was cleaning out my old room in preparation to move into my new one (still working on getting my room all moved in so I can put up photos)and I came across a ton of pictures from elementary, middle and high school. I Facebook tagged all the girls and we all had fun commenting on it for a couple of days.

12. Order them a treat—receiving a present in the mail makes everyone smile. I do this with my big more than anyone. I’ll send her a crab cookie cutter because she lives in Florida and I decided if you live in Florida you need a crab cookie cutter. With my Indiana friend I sent her little gardening kits for her kids and my California friend just had a baby shower I couldn’t make so I sent her a basket filled with her favorite local foods and of course a baby gift.

13. Email them back, even if you say “I miss you! This week is super hectic, but I’m going to email you back this weekend.” That’s better than silence. I think this goes with texting too. I text a couple people every now and then just to reconnect and they never text me back. It actually hurts my feelings a little even though I know they’re busy.

14. Say thank you. If someone sends you a text, a gift, a treat, or even a virtual hug, let them know how much you appreciated it. This is just good manners you should always say thank you when someone does something nice for you.

15. When you see each other, put away your phone, keep your iPad in your purse, and enjoy finally being face-to-face. Good advice!

35. Donate clothes you no longer use

26 Aug

Some of the Items I donated

This bucket list item is good for everyone involved; I get my mountain of belongings reduced a little bit, I’m doing the environment a favor and not adding to the local landfill, and most importantly I provided someone less fortunate with nice blue jeans, shoes, tops, bags, household items like frames and mugs. Win, Win, Win.

When I graduated college all of my stuff got crammed into plastic containers and forgotten about for over a year and finally as my new room was nearing completion I had to sit down and go through all of it getting rid of as much of it as I could. Let me tell you I own a lot of stuff. I have all of my childhood stuff in my room, favorite old toys, high school projects and photos, and then college. College is when I added the most. I led an entity separate life while I was away at school; you live the majority of four years there coming home for short holidays and the occasional weekend. So  you have to have everything you need with you.

Among the mound of college stuff I have a twin bedroom set, organizational devises, pots, pans, cups, mugs, plates, bowls, cutlery sets…. Also while at school I had an entirely different wardrobe requirement including formal dance clothes, Halloween costumes, classic blue jeans and hoodies, massive winter wear stockpile since I walked everywhere, tons of business formal clothes because of my Sorority membership; we were required to dress in business clothing every Monday also known as “pin wear”. I loved it I got to wear cute shoes, of which I also own a ton, and it set my week off on the right foot. If you can drag yourself out of bed on Monday morning and not look like a homeless person then the rest of your week you felt productive. I never once missed a Monday; not once.

Then there were the numerous sorority items to go through. My chapter closed the day I graduated for membership issues (a topic I am not yet ready to discuss in any detail) because of this I ended up in possession of chapter items that I never thought I would. I have a massive plastic bucket of shirts that I intend on making into a shirt quilt, I bought wooden letters for our door along with other decorative items that should of stayed at school when I graduated but couldn’t, so those items had to be packed away. If and when my chapter is ever reopened I’ll be taking them back.

fan+electric+vintage+image+graphicsfairy004Even now that I am moved into my new room I have several, I mean several, buckets full and stacked in a spare room. When I have my own apartment and I have a kitchen for all the kitchen stuff and my own bathroom along with a living room; what seems like a ton of stuff now will be spread out and be much more manageable.

Returning to the bucket list item completion record at hand; I ended up donating three boxes, a laundry basket and a trash

bag full of items for the local Salvation Army. The back of my car looked like I was moving back to school. Like a total dork I forgot to get a photo of the back of my car all loaded down but I did snap a quick picture of the donation table that I sat the things on.

I feel really good about donating some of my things, it’s always nice to slim down and de-clutter and it’s even better to know you were able to help someone else.

I highly recommend this particular bucket list item.

So this sounds like a good idea right? It is. Don’t know where to start? Sounds too overwhelming? Well it is…but it’s worth it when you’re finished. i would recommend the following to help:

  1. Set up in the living-room and turn on music, not a TV show; you’ll end up sitting still and watching TV and not working.
  2. If you absolutely have to have the TV on work on commercials.
  3. Reward yourself; for every bag of items you let go over give yourself a wine cooler or hunk of chocolate.
  4. Warn everyone in your life you’re about to have a mess; everywhere.
  5. Set a deadline for yourself and stick to it.
  6. Once you decide to donate and item bag it so you can’t see it and talk yourself out of getting rid of it.
  7. Once you have a full bag put it in your car, again so you don’t talk yourself out of it and so it doesn’t sit around your house for months.
  8. If you cant remember the last time you used said item up for donation just get rid of it. You don’t need the clutter.
  9. Remember you’re helping yourself! The less  you have in your house/apartment the less likely you’ll start a fire or end up on that TLC show buried alive.
  10. The items don’t define you, the memories do, if  you have to re purpose the items so they don’t just sit around collecting dust (like my t-shirt quilt) do it!

Good Luck!

Post Grad Poundage

24 Jul

Before you ever step foot on campus you’re told of this mythical “Freshmen 15”. I say mythical because most of the people I knew, myself included lost weight during school contrary to the infamous “15”. During my four years as an undergrad I was involved in more organizations then I could juggle some days and every day running from building to building for class and meetings.

I bet I didn’t even put a thousand miles on my car while I was in school; we walked everywhere and only drove home occasionally, very occasionally. We had to walk to get to all meals, walk to see friends or participate in activities; are you seeing a theme here? Lots of exercises including stairs to get to your dorm room, class room, meals, library…some buildings had elevators but most times it was faster just to take the stairs.

I actually dropped two pant sizes while I was there, not too shabby! It was so easy to eat better too, lots of options to choose from in Convo (our cafeteria was called “convocation” shortened to “convo”), none of which you had to shop for or prepare yourself.

Another factor in the anti-freshmen 15 is that you’re so busy some days you didn’t have time to get a real meal opting for something quick in the microwave. Not necessarily always healthy but usually low in calories. Personally I lived off of peanut butter toast, microwave breakfast sandwiches and box mac-n-cheese.

Hmm…now that I see it written out like this I wonder if I lost weight from simple malnutrition? Just kidding.

Now I want to be honest here we ate a lot of crap. Tubs of cookie dough, popcorn, pizza, and the 21 and over only beverages. But overall I think I ate better at school then I do now. which is the point I’ve been attempting to reach.

After graduation I went from eating fairly healthy and constantly active to a relatively sedentary lifestyle. I worked hard on our house helping with the construction work; but that was on my dad’s days off. When he was gone I watched TV, read books, floated in the pool, and more often than not I was on my butt in front of the computer apply for job after job after job.1258127619992355676j4p4n_Thinking_Woman_-_7.svg.hi

Now one year and three months after graduation I have a professional job where I sit, and sit, and sit at a computer. Occasionally walking to meetings where…I sit. Or walking to different departments to get samples or to ask questions or to answer questions; then back to my desk where I sit. During luck I walk around the property which is close to a mile, but some days…most days, I just sit and catch up on texts and Facebook notifications while I eat (my lunch consists of a meal bar and a sugar free jello cup). When I get home during the week I do a few things around the house and then…sit. I’ll watch a few shows, have dinner and go to bed.

It’s so sad and lame that I hate to admit it! Even though I am actively trying to do things with my life; those activities are separated by long periods of sitting. I have a feeling a lot of newly minted post grads, like myself, struggle with “well now what?” I have the job I spent years preparing for and months fighting for… and now all I do is work, same for all of my friends. It’s hard to find time where everyone who matters also has time to do something fun.

So vastly different then college.

We had nothing but opportunity to do and see and experience and I think I did a good job soaking up taking advantage of as much of that as I could. Which only makes this phase of my life harder. Being an “adult” kinda sucks. I worry about money all the time, my car all the time, making a good impression at work and doing a good job, and seeing my friends who are now spread from coast to coast.

The post grad poundage I have put on since I graduated is more than my pant size. I feel weighed down with responsibility. I’m mildly excited by the new responsibility, it’s a cool new chapter in my life that I am sure one day I will be missing as much as I am missing my previous chapter so I’m going to keep chugging along making opportunities for more memories and experiences. It’s important to work and grow and get established as a professional but I think it’s important too, to make sure that professional isn’t the only thing going on in my life.

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This post grad single girl is going to work on shedding the poundage, embracing the weight of responsibly and continuing to enjoy life as much as I did as an undergrad, maybe even more.