Food Lover’s Cleanse Diary Day 14: Victory!

cleanse collageWow, the cleanse is done! I alternate between feeling like it flew by and dreaming about what I’m going to have tomorrow. Fondue? Pizza? Cheeseburger? so many choices. The reality is though that I’m taking a lot of great habits with me and I think I’m off to a great start.

How I feel: GOOD. I just feel good. I’m not transformed, I’m not a whole new person, I just feel good. Which makes me realize just how bad I felt after all of the stress and anxiety and bad food and bad decisions that comes with the end of the year. This has been a great way to get back on track so I can keep making good decisions about my health going forward. And it’s been a great reminder that my family really likes to eat good, healthy food. There wasn’t a single night that I had to convince my kids to eat what I was serving. They loved it, and they were open to it.

Time in kitchen: 30 minutes

Most interesting thing eaten: Dinner was a great riff on baja fish tacos without any of the fried, carby, sour creamy bad stuff. Love it.

Total Weight Watchers Points: 24.

Menu in review:

Breakfast:  Planned: Pomegranate-Apple Salad with Greek Yogurt. [Read more...]

Food Lover’s Cleanse Diary Day 4

salmon and beetsHow I feel: Like I’m getting tired of doing dishes. So many dishes.

Time in kitchen: 2 hours, mostly prep for tomorrow.

Most interesting thing eaten: Almond butter. I’ve never tried before but I really enjoyed. And the kids loved it on their sandwiches for lunch.

Total Weight Watchers Points: 23 cleanse points. But I cheated so I actually consumed 33 points.

Menu in review:

Breakfast: Multigrain Hot Cereal with Pomegranate Seeds and Spiced Pepita and Cashew Crunch. 5 Weight Watchers points. [Read more...]

Wine & Dine: California Chardonnay

chardonnay…an occasional series on all things wine

Before we had Nicholas, Dan and I went out for a movie night. This is worth talking about because a) it was one of the last times we were in a movie theater (now we have kids), and b) it has to do with wine. I’m getting there.

Bottleshock was playing. No brainer, right? California wine country, 70′s, Alan Rickman (love him: Sense & Sensibility, Love Actually, Robin Hood, and probably a ton of better movies that actually made him famous), the dude from Star Trek, an underdog story…

But no. Dan and I spent $30 or whatever movie tickets cost these days to see Indiana Jones 4. Worst. Movie. Ever.

Salmon pot pie completeSo anyway, when Bottleshock came out on dvd, Nicholas was sleeping pretty well, we had some time to ourselves again, so we made a night of it. I bought a really nice California Chardonnay (couldn’t afford Chateau Montelena), and created a recipe to pair beautifully: Salmon Pot Pie.

Good movie, good wine, good food. Great night with hubby.

Talk to me. What kind of menus to you make that start with the wine?

Weekly Menu: A week of entertaining

How many holiday parties do you have this week? Tis the season for entertaining friends, family, colleagues…

Nicholas’ birthday falls during this time as well. At this age, it just means figuring out how many pizzas to order at the local bounce house venue, but when he gets older I’m sure it will mean cooking vats of chili for teenage boys who want to watch the game together. Wow, I just leapt ahead 10 years.

Anyway, this week I’m serving up a couple of menus that are great for weekend or weeknight entertaining, plus a great crockpot meal for the night you’re not on the go but too tired to cook!

Menu #1: Open house gathering

Roasted salmon completeEverything here works great at room temperature, so you can put out on the table just before friends arrive, but you don’t have to worry about keeping heat on any of it.

Even if you’re not entertaining, this is a great weekend meal that you can use the leftovers for later in the week.

Roasted Salmon with Mustard Caper Sauce
Roasted Potatoes
Pear, Walnut, & Blue Cheese Salad

Wine: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Menu #2: Elegant gathering with close friends

Salmon pot pie completeUse the leftovers from the Roasted Salmon to make this easy and elegant dish. You can even make ahead for a great weeknight dinner party for 4.

Salmon Pot Pie
Steamed Green Beans

Wine: Chardonnay

Menu #3: Crock Pot Comfort

After you’ve had your fill of entertaining and just need a comforting crock pot meal, give this one a try. I found it on Recipe Girl’s blog, and it looks amazing.

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

Shopping List

1 3-pound filet of salmon, skin on
3 to 4 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces (drumsticks, breasts, thighs)
red onion
yellow onion
fresh or dried thyme
2 pounds assorted potatoes
green beans
mixed greens
Bosc pear
Dijon mustard
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
cracked pepper
walnut halves
frozen peas
puff pastry
cocktail pumpernickel slices
sour cream
blue cheese, crumbled
white wine