Friday, October 30, 2009

Chili, Dahl, Squash, and baking

Happy Halloween!

The Food Report:
I spent most of the week eating the butternut squash chili. It was really good, and I even froze a few jars.

On Wednesday, I ran around like a crazy person and in my "down time," I chopped up the last of my cabbage (yes, from almost 2 weeks ago) for saurkraut. It's almost done chillin' on the counter. Total cost of 3 jars of saurkraut = $2.42

Then I made some hummus. This is the fourth or fifth batch of hummus I have made (yeah, I lost count), and I still have 1/2 of the $6.00 jar of tahini. So I have determined that it is cheaper to make your own.

I cooked my green-striped spaghetti squash. I showed you the outside here, and now here it is cooked and scraped out and ready for some tomato sauce.

Cost of the squash = 75 cents, cost of sauce (I actually just bought a jar this time) = $1.29. Total cost of approximately 3 meals = $2.18.

And I cooked lentil dahl. Another food blogger recorded the conversation she had with her husband about this meal. "Hi honey, I'm making dahl for dinner." "We're eating DOLLS?!" And I thought, that sounds a lot like my dad. But I looked at the ingredients and thought, well, I have almost all of that. Easy.

I took it in to work for lunch yesterday, and had almost the exact same conversation with a coworker...

One pound bag of lentils = 79 cents. Jar of Tumeric = $1.19. Total cost of a HUGE pot of dahl = $2.12.

I had 3 baby red potatoes languishing in my pantry. So I baked them up and served the dahl over top.

Yes, I know. Now you are thinking you know what my dad would say about the appearance of that meal too. It's actually quite tasty though, I split it up into 3 portions, and have frozen the rest.

In addition to the three dinner meals, I experimented with some baking this week.

I suppose I have to be honest. I am scared of the holidays. I have been trying to control my sugar problem, and have been doing really well on my own. For some proof, I'll tell you about last weekend.

I went on a short road trip with a friend. We decided to eat lunch/dinner at Chili's, because it was close. So we went in, and like all the other restaurants, they are having a 2 for $20 deal. She asked if I wanted to bother with that, and I said sure, but the dessert is entirely yours. She picked her dessert and kept asking, "Are you sure? Are you sure you don't want some ice cream?" And I kept saying, "No, I don't want any." The surprising thing was that it was actually true. I didn't want any. They brought her dessert out, and again she pestered me, "Are you sure you don't want any?" And I really didn't.

It was a proud moment for me, because I want to take care of myself and feel good. But it was also a reminder of how difficult it is to take care of myself so that I can feel good when other people pester me.

And I got nervous about Thanksgiving.

I was reading some food blogs and saw a recipe for pumpkin cookies. My thought was that if I can bring treats where ever I go, then people will leave me alone, and I never have to tell them that the treats are gluten and sugar free. The cookies sounded good, and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry, so I made them on Sunday.

What a disaster. They don't look like it, do they? But they tasted pretty awful.

But it was kind of fascinating because then I was watching Good Eats with Alton Brown, and he was making cookies. He explained why cookie recipes always say, "cream the butter and sugar." It's because the sugar crystals poke holes in the butter, expanding its volume, and making its melting point more stable. The cookies I attempted were a disaster because I didn't have any sugar to poke holes and change the butter.

No more cookies.

So I moved right on to muffins. Yes, again.

These are pumpkin muffins. I have another tweak I want to try with the recipe. So check back for that. Just to keep you hanging...

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