Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A disappointment and a short break

Several months ago Evan and I booked a trip to Los Angeles, just the two of us, for a friend's wedding reception.  We looked forward to this mini-vacation IMMENSELY.  A much needed respite from Tampa, and being parents, and the daily grind, you know how it is.  My brother and future sister-in-law came down to watch the boys and we were to fly out Friday morning, returning Monday night.  Or so I thought.

Actually, I booked our flights for THURSDAY morning.  So when I went to check in Thursday midday, not only did I realize my mistake but the plane had already left.  Without us on it.  There was no way to fix the error without spending insane amounts of money, so our vacation became a "staycation" and in my sadness I decided that a weekend break from no fast food was more than acceptable.

Had we gone to LA, I had dreamed for months of all the delicious meals we would have.  Aliki's (my favorite greek place on earth) Sasabune for Evan, and Animal and Lemonade and GTA and the to die for breakfast burritos that this little hole in the wall near our old apartment makes.  Happy Hour with my girlfriends from my old job, In 'N Out eaten over a bonfire on the beach with friends,  Coffee Bean in the morning with my best friend and Sprinkles, the list goes on.

It felt like a candle had been blown out when I realized, not only would we not get our trip away, to see all our friends, to be present for our dear friend's celebration, but all this food I had imagined, and quite honestly held up as a reward for all my sacrifices in skipping the junkie food here, was no longer going to happen.

So I got Starbucks and we ordered pizza and I had PDQ.  It was nice.  It wasn't great.  I wasn't sad when Tuesday rolled around the "ban" was back in place.  The food I put in my body, and the bodies of those I love, should be meaningful.  I don't miss junkie fast food.  I miss LA.  And the people there and the life we lived, and all the incredible flavors that enhanced those experiences.  Papa Johns and Chick-fil-A, I can leave those for everybody else.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Planning and prepping and cleaning.

One of the many positive, but unintended consequences of this adventure in home cooking has been the new time frame it allows for in the evenings.  Dinner time is stressful in a house with young children.  Add to that an erratic schedule for my husband and it used to be that 3 out of 5 nights of the week were pure chaos around 6pm.

I have been shockingly pleased at how much smoother evenings are in the Patterson house now that takeout/delivery are off the table.  We have adopted Taco Tuesday's ( I think I've mentioned this before?) and Fish Friday's, which take such a weight off my shoulders in terms of planning.  Every Tuesday we have tacos.  Regular old ground beef, lettuce, cheese, hard shell tacos.  It is delicious, affordable, easy and everyone is ALWAYS happy about it. Same for Fish Friday.  We eat some kind of seafood every Friday night. Pair it with a vegetable and a starch (almost always broccoli, rice or noodles.). Again, so easy to plan, prepare and EVERYONE is happy.

So the "unintended" part is that the simplicity of these meals has made cleanup easier!  With less work to do during the day and before the meal, the post eating cleanup feels much less overwhelming.  It's the little things right? Going to bed with a clean kitchen just makes waking up in the morning so much more pleasant 😊

Monday, March 2, 2015

More random non-takeout meals

Grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, provolone, bun (obviously.)

One million shortbread valentines cookies.  Made from scratch.  Fresh raspberry purée icing.  Nailed it.

Broccoli and cheese soup.  Pioneer woman recipe but with chicken stock instead of one million cups of half and half.

Trader Joe's eggplant parm "nuggets"?  They're delicious.  Threw in some melted provolone and Rao's sauce.

My morning coffee.  Not from Starbucks. Tervis I love you.

The going continues

Trader Joe's steak and bean burrito.  Some diced tomatoes and avocados.

Several months ago if Evan had a work dinner I would hesitate, and then order pizza or Chinese.  And eat way too much, and spend too much money, and not even enjoy it and feel disgusting afterward.  This year, Evan has a work dinner and my meals look like this.  SO MUCH BETTER.  SO much.