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New Year’s Resolution Remorse

January 21, 2010

I started this blog with a lot of crazy fantasies and hopes.  After all, it’s 2010, The Year of Bang-Bang!!


Now that it’s mid-January, I realize that some of my goals are embarrassing or make me want to yawn.  Will I care about half this stuff when December rolls around?

I do want to find joy and fulfillment.  I do want to be a better cook.  I do want to be a more fashionable, sexy woman.  I’m just not sure I’m going about it the right way, and I’m not sure that all of cyberspace wants to hear every little detail.  Nor do I wish to write about every little detail.

It’s time, while the year and this blog are still young, to revise.  

My original goals were as follows:

  1. Go to a cooking class in each city (not each country, each city) I visit.  Including Cincinnati.
    Although I enjoy them, is taking a class necessary?  Can I just cook with a foodie I admire for a few hours, or “intern” in a restaurant kitchen?  I’m looking for inspiration, advice and techniques more than anything, not recipes.
     
  2. Try a new recipe on my own once per week.
    I can see myself doing that for a long time.  But I think I may be going too easy on myself–let’s make that at least one recipe.
     
  3. Have a meal with someone new each month.  Preferably a meal I cooked myself.
    Eh, am I supposed to make friends just so I can cook for them?  Contrived, much?
     
  4. Use unprocessed, seasonal, “whole” foods in my cooking whenever time permits, avoiding canned and frozen foods.
    I can do that.  No more frozen broccoli.  But if a recipe calls for canned beans, I will not go out of my way to make fresh ones.  Silly, silly.
     
  5. Throw FOUR dinner parties this year.
    Gulp–I can do that one.  Of course, things might become too staged, which is the issue I have with #3.
     
  6. Hint for dinner invites whenever possible.
    That’s just not me.  If it happens, it happens.  Besides, no one wants to cook for me, I’m a vegan!  :P
     
  7. No JEANS (or pants, unless it’s super-cold) in 2010!!  Skirts and dresses only, with appropriate footwear and hosiery. 
    Yeah yeah yeah.  Because I threw my jeans away, I ought to be able to stick to that one.  But I quickly discovered that being a fashionista takes a lot more work.  You can look frumpy in a skirt, too.  And do I really feel like discussing my lack of denim and what pair of tights I’m wearing in a blog?  No.
     
  8. Wear makeup–mascara and lip gloss, at least–whenever I leave the house.
    Again, I can (and will) do that, but I don’t wanna write about it.
     
  9. Find people who can help me pick out clothing and steer me away from Old Navy.
    And just how would I do that, hmm?  Should I place an ad on Craigslist?  
    Please Help Me Dress Myself!! – w4w – 31 (Cincinnati)
     
  10. Spend more time around positive, beautiful people.
    As opposed to the crackheads I roll with now.
     
  11. Get more exercise, spend more time outside. 
    Fuck you (er, me), it’s cold out!  But it wouldn’t kill me to go for a walk sometime.  And our current building has a gym.  Ugggh.
     
  12. Take dance classes in every country we visit.
    Meh.
     
  13. Go ice- and roller-skating whenever possible. 
    I’ll go when the mood and opportunity strikes. 
     
  14. Learn French.
    I did just install Rosetta Stone…
     
  15. Write in this blog at least once a week to report my progress.
    I can do that.  I will do that. 

 

As much as I didn’t want this to be a food blog, that’s what it’s already turning out to be.  I can’t stop myself!!  And that’s okay, as long as I can throw stuff about my personal life and travels in it as well.  Food is what I like to write about, not fashion.

“Yay, Yum, and Yes” can all be applied to a really great meal, you know.  :)

So these are my new goals… I’m sorry to disappoint my 1.5 readers…

  1. Spend some time cooking with a foodie in every city I visit.  Including Cincinnati.
    A “foodie” could be a CIA-trained chef, or it could be a fellow food blogger, or it could be someone’s grandmother who entertains a lot.  One-on-one time would be preferable but I know that may not always happen.  As long as I get to see the foodie’s kitchen, observe their techniques, and learn something, (or perhaps teach them something) it will be beneficial and memorable.
     
  2. Try AT LEAST one recipe on my own every week.
    I’ve already done one for this week (see below), so I’m sure I can manage another.
     
  3. Cook for someone else besides Andrew once a month.
    I’ve already cooked for my mom and Theresa (see below) this month!  I’m on a roll.
     
  4. Throw FOUR dinner parties this year.  
    Okay, okay.
     
  5. Use my food powers for good whenever possible.
    If someone did something nice for me, I should send them cookies.  If there are people in trouble (hello, earthquakes in Haiti!) 
    I should bake to raise money for charity.  I cooked for Food Not Bombs once, I could do that again…  That sort of thing.
             
  6. Write in this blog at least once a week to report my progress.
    You know it, baby!! 

 

I have other goals besides food-related ones (such as learning French), and I’ll talk about them from time to time.  But let’s get down to the grub.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK!!

For some reason I really wanted to stuff something on Monday, so I made Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.  And I will tell everyone who will listen that it’s a Martha Stewart recipe, because I love/hate her so much.

Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
From Martha Stewart Living, December 2005
(I found it on MarthaStewart.com)

  • 4 large round sweet potatoes, (10 to 12 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces Tuscan kale, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 4 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake sweet potatoes on sheet until tender but not completely cooked through, 55 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes (depending on size). Let stand until sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Leave oven on.
  2. Cut off the top quarter of each sweet potato; discard. Scoop out and reserve flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell; set shells aside. Reserve half the flesh for another use. Coarsely chop the remaining flesh; set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, salt, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add kale; cook, stirring occasionally, until kale has wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in reserved chopped sweet potatoes, the tofu, and 1/4 cup water. Cook until filling is heated through, about 45 seconds.
  4. Place sweet potato shells on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon filling into shells, dividing evenly. Cover with foil, and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.

 

There are no pictures of my version (sorry!), because I was making this for our friend, Theresa, and was feeling really frazzled, as I always do when I entertain.  Which is why I need to do it more often.  Andrew and I are staying in a guest apartment, which has a coffeemaker, toaster, and enough silverware for 50 people but no pots, pans, mixing bowls, etc.  Improvisation!  We drank wine out of coffee mugs.

Martha’s voice was in my head every step of the way as I prepared the stuffed goodness–I won’t tell too many people that part.  :)  I followed the recipe pretty closely, except for the Tuscan kale (at the time I wasn’t sure what that was, so I just used the curly stuff they sell at Kroger) and the BS about parchment paper.  Give me a break!  Oh, and I forgot to get rosemary.  Okay, so, in other words, I just kinda followed the recipe.  But it turned out delicious anyway–we all finished every bite, even the skins.  I served it with an arugula salad with roasted tomatoes and sprouts, and some French bread (also courtesy of Kroger).

One thing I would change is the tofu.  Next time I would either crumble it up and mix it thoroughly with the potato mixture, or find another protein to put in its place. (Tempeh?) Having it in little white cubes just reminds me of marshmallows, which is not what you want to think about when you’re eating a savory sweet potato recipe–I’m just sayin’.  

The recipe says to remove the top quarter (one end) of the potato, which is fine, but you have to remove some of the other end as well, so it will stand up cutely on the plate.  I made a mixture of olive oil and vegetable broth and drizzled it on top, just before serving.  The added moisture made it look sexier, and made the skin more palatable.

The leftover sweet potato pulp is awesome for breakfast the next day… if I had more to work with here, I would have made some fried mashed sweet potatoes, but I ended up mixing it with sweetened soy milk until it was slightly runny, and nuking it in the microwave.

Thanks for a great vegan recipe, Martha!  I haven’t been to her website much, nor do I own any of her cookbooks, so I didn’t know what to expect.  She could have very easily thrown some bacon or duck fat in there, like a lot of people do.  (What’s up with duck fat lately?  Is it just me or is it in every friggin’ recipe?)  And there wasn’t any hooey like,”This will please vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!” in the intro.  Nor was the recipe in the “vegetarian dungeon” of the website.  It just was what it was.  

Kick. Ass.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2010 2:20 pm

    Hilarious…..love your revised goals! Reading your posts one by one today….having a great time so far. Hope you are enjoying Boulder (you still there!). bye, bye…going to your next post now!

    • February 10, 2010 1:28 am

      Aww Renee! I’m honored that you would spend time reading it all, I know I do tend to ramble on a bit. :) Thank you! Let me know what you think!

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