Fifty New-To-Me Recipes in 2017: The Top Ten

Back in January, I resolved to cook fifty new-to-me recipes in 2017. Unlike some of the other resolutions I made (like, say, posting to my blog daily), I succeeded and surpassed my recipe goal.

I reached 50 recipes by the end of November, and (while I ran out of room on my notebook page to record them) I continued trying new recipes through December, reaching a total of 55 new recipes I tried this year — better than the one per week I’d originally been shooting for.

Some of the recipes, of course, were more successful than others. The undercooked sous-vide tilapia wasn’t my best moment, and neither was the woefully under-spiced egg curry. Some, though, became house favorites.

These are my top ten.  (more…)

Today’s application of Murphy’s Law: When the outside temperature is -2F, the drive-thru book return at the public library will be out of order.

Goals and Priorities

It’s that time of year again, where I aggregate all the interesting (or not) things from the year, think about what this year meant to me, and make some goals for the next.

I haven’t even started the 2017 Year In Review post yet, so my brain is still kind of in The Now instead of in retrospective mode, but I’ve been thinking about things I want to focus on in 2018.

But there’s too many.

I want to read more — fiction and magazines, mainly.
I want to make recipes from my collection of cookbooks — some of which I’ve never cracked open.
I want to meditate daily, and get sweaty from exercise at least once a week.
I want to watch more movies — mainly older ones that I keep meaning to watch.
I want to interact with my friends and acquaintances more often, and more meaningfully.
I want to write more, and blog more long-form posts (like this one).

That’s not even touching on the more mundane stuff, like getting my weight back on a downward slope, or paying my revolving credit balance back down to zero, or taming my backlogged to-do list(s), or catching up on getting prints into my photo albums.

I’m longing for that feeling of having things under control (which I totally don’t have right now), so I’m trying to figure out how to get myself the biggest head-start on that feeling, for the optimal snowball effect.

I’m over 40 years old. Aren’t I supposed to have myself figured out by now?

Christmas Is Coming

Today was “Polar Express Day” at Connor’s school (jammies FTW!), after which he gifted a box full of homemade cookies to the ladies at the after school program.

Tomorrow is his class’s Winter Party (not the “Christmas Party,” partially because they have children from Jewish and Muslim families in their class), where he’ll be gifting cookies and a gift card to his teacher. (I’ll be there along with some other parents, helping with the festivities.) Come evening, I’ll probably assemble all the recipes for the weekend’s cooking exploits to make sure all the necessary ingredients get on the shopping list.

Saturday, we’ll be doing laundry and grocery shopping (which are normally Sunday tasks), and I’ll be making an old family recipe for Christmas pudding that involves cracker crumbs and takes some four hours in the oven. (I’ve never made it before, so this should be interesting.) I’ll probably also make the cranberry sauce come evening, and we need to take some books back to the library.

Sunday — Christmas Eve — is our family gathering. Before the cooking starts in earnest, though, Connor and I will be going to let a friend’s dog out while they’re out of town for the holiday. Then I’ll be cooking the ham (from frozen, since we don’t have room to thaw it in the fridge, so it’ll take a while longer than usual), and making the side dishes I’ve planned. We’ll be hosting seven adults and two children total, which is the biggest Christmas we’ve had at our house yet. We’ll be opening some gifts, but saving the big ones for Christmas Day.

Monday is Christmas Day, where we open our gifts from Santa and from each other. Connor and I will check the stockings first thing, and our breakfast will likely be the candy Santa has left us (unless I decide to prep some sort of make-ahead bake-in-the-morning breakfast after everyone leaves the night before). Dad will get up around noonish, and maybe we’ll open presents before lunch, but probably after. Lunch will probably be Chinese, because that’s how we roll. It’s kind of a tradition.

I still don’t have the whole Christmas Spirit thing going on yet, though. I’ve felt glimmers of it, like when Connor and I were making cookies this week, or while I was packaging them up for the ladies at Extended Time last night, but… I mean, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, and this is going to be the last Christmas I’ll get to spend with my Mom for who knows how long, since she and her new husband are moving to Florida come spring.

I’ve felt like this before: last year, for one, and many other years where I haven’t documented the occasion because LA LA LA NOPE I’M JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Honestly, I’m really just looking forward to a joyous Christmas Eve with my family and, later, a chill Christmas Day full of presents and Chinese food and leftover ham.

My son and I made a metric ass-ton of molasses cookies tonight. If he’d earned any screen time today, Together Time wouldn’t have happened. #silverlining

I always re-watch favorite movies while I’m wrapping presents. Tonight was Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Tomorrow will probably be Victor/Victoria.

No, watching the Trolls movie on Netflix is making YOU cry.

Wearing “support undergarments” under my smallish/fitted holiday sweater for today’s department holiday lunch. I know I look fine, but I feel kinda sausagey.

November 2017 Weigh-In + WW Program Update!

File under Better Late Than Never… My evenings have been kind of whack lately, and I haven’t had the mental oomph to sit down and write, so yesterday I finally took some time over my lunch hour to start a blog entry, with the intention of posting yesterday evening.

Like I said, better late than never.

November’s been kind of up-and-down after October’s kickass turnaround. There were awesome weeks, and there were awful weeks. Overall, though, November’s daily weight graph looks like I screwed up, then got myself back on track… and didn’t do any damage with Thanksgiving Weekend, which is a huge deal.

Daily weight graph for November 2017 = up and down

I see the best results on the scale when I stick to the meal plan I set out for myself at the beginning of the week. The weeks where I see the most red marks on my meal planner are the weeks where my weight does erratic things that I don’t want.  (more…)