darkemeralds: Melted chocolate in a pot (Chocolate)
Recipe time. I mentioned these the other day and so here, let me share my vices with you.

Chocolate hazelnut little freezer square candy thingies

Melts in your mouth. And in your hand. Hence the freezer. )
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
I think I've perfected this recipe. Thought I'd take some pictures and share them.


Illustrated. )
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
It seems I've joined the juicing brigade. Both of my sisters swear to the health benefits of daily fresh juice drinking, and Macy's had a zillion juice-making machines on display--presumably because it's this year's big holiday gift idea. So today I took the plunge.

It's big )
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
Both of my sisters are into the smoothie for breakfast thing--grinding up a bunch of otherwise not-well-liked vegetables with some fruit and nuts and rice milk and drinking it down to start the day with a big nutrient boost. So I decided to try it today.

I went to the farmer's market and got some stuff.

a cutting board with a carrot, a beet, some hazelnuts, some blackberries, some chopped kale and a knife

A beet (including greens), hazelnuts, fish oil, kale, coconut milk, half a peach, blackberries...I left out the carrot and added some honey. Whrr-whrr-whrr went the blender. Whir some more. Add more coconut milk. More high speed whirring.

A tall glass containing a thick, brownish smoothie, with a green straw stuck in it

The result tasted considerably better than it looked--somewhat sweet and acidic, a bit "green"--and I can overlook the ugly color caused mostly by blackberries. But I honestly don't think I could choke one of these down daily, especially not first thing in the morning. It's lumpy and thick, which prevents the guzzling that would make it at least go by quickly. It was kind of a chore.

Do people really do this every day? In the absence of an expensive blender, how?
darkemeralds: Screencap from Where The Hell Is Matt (Matt Dancing)
Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel so good that it's almost like being in love?

I'm having one of them right now. I wish I could pinpoint exactly what's making everything feel so wonderful. What combination of perfect weather, adequate rest, good food, pleasant company, just-so exercise, new ideas, and fortuitous timing makes my brain full of dopamine and oxytocin and serotonin (or, alternatively, connects my consciousness to the universal field of goodness, or whatever)?

There was coffee, and more bike riding than usual. The forecast called for heat, but the weather stopped at perfect breezy warmth. I had a nice leisurely start to my day after about nine hours' sleep. A good visit with my mom at the farmers' market. There was the emergency consumption of a pint of very-ripe raspberries in the form of a bright magenta smoothie on the porch. A zillion fun emails with links to SDCC pictures and videos. Lots of reading and commenting on LJ and DW. Dishes to wash and groceries to put away and good food to prepare. A little bit of bacon. A good audiobook* and a good book-book**.

It's not like anything has really changed much from yesterday. I eat raspberries every chance I get. The weather's been gorgeous for weeks. I get plenty of sleep most weekends...I mean, there is no extraordinary cause that I can identify. And yet, I'm in an extraordinary state. Even Graydie the not-that-stray-anymore cat is feeling it. Normally aloof and outdoors, she's been by several times for hugs and scritches.

Today, the world is beautiful, and I'm at home in it, and life is good. I want to store up this apparently causeless bliss. It might come in handy on a rainy day.

View from above of two baskets of farmers market produce clipped to the rear rack of DarkEm's Dutch bike

*Science Set Free by Rupert Sheldrake
**Vicious Circle by Mike Carey
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
The only time I ever really want a big green salad is when the weather is hot. That's today, so I went over to Whole Foods and loaded up on those mixed baby greens they sell in bulk.

Dinner for one )

Blueberries for dessert!


Jul. 17th, 2013 10:54 pm
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
I seem to be on a one-food kick. It happens sometimes. I've been making oatcakes for dinner, like, every day.

Oatcakes )

On an unrelated topic, this new DW slug-URL thing is pretty cool.
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
1. Posting from my phone. This works slightly better with the latest version of Chrome for Android than it did before.

2. Reading the Felix Castor books by Mike Carey. Urban magician, kind of, except he's more of an exorcist, and there are ghosts and zombies. In London. Good stuff. A long arc underlies the individual story in each book. I'm on book two and it's getting more intriguing as it goes along.

3. I made oatcakes for dinner and ate them all.

4. The weather here in Stumptown is PERFECT. I can't get over it. Bright and warm in the day, cool in the leafy shade, cool at night. Breezes are keeping air quality high. It's wonderful.

5. Eleanor O is in the shop overnight, having her brakes adjusted and getting a new bungee for her rear rack. This means a couple of bus rides for me, but I don't mind because it's just so nice here right now, nothing seems bothersome.

29/30: RUI

Jun. 29th, 2013 07:44 pm
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
Here's something you don't see every day: a drunk post from [personal profile] darkemeralds.

Okay, not, like, super drunk. After the stupidly annoying Saturday I had to spend at work today (two hours that turned into seven), I rode home in the 90 degrees (dear Phoenix and Las Vegas: I'm not complaining! Really!), then had to put every garment I had on into the laundry basket, take a cold shower, and re-do myself in order to go meet my sis for dinner.

I ordered a drink when I got there. "Gin 'n' Juice" was the homey name of the delectable cocktail that tasted of lime, grapefruit, rosemary and...um...something else yummy. Then I ordered another one.

I'm a cheap date. Two drinks and I'm ridiculous. My sister, a long-recovering alcoholic with a keen eye for "problems" was probably beginning to have doubts about my being the immune family member.

But you know what? It was fun. I talked more readily about more things than I usually do, and it probably doesn't hurt me to over-share a bit with my own sister. Right?

I slowly pedaled the ten or so blocks home on traffic-free back streets. Which, okay, Riding Under the Influence. Inadvisable but not the end of the world. And I did combine the gin with positively prodigious amounts of delicious dinner.

Note to self: balance, locomotion and control are pretty much autonomic: the problem is judgment at intersections.

Home without incident. Now for an evening of dumb TV and knitting. And hydration.
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
I just finished Michael Pollan's newest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation and I liked it so much that I went back to Chapter 1 and started it over.

Cooked )

Note: the audiobook is read by the author, who does a terrific job. And there's a story in it about a pig named Kosher. Kosher: The Porcine Prometheus.

It's a really good book.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Chart)
I've lost more than 60 pounds and kept it off for a couple of years, but I'm still overweight and I don't want to be. These last 30 pounds have obstinately resisted all my tricks.

The problem comes down to cravings. Starch cravings, to be specific. I'll be in fine shape all day and then bam! I get home from work and turn into a ravening pancake beast. No power in the 'verse can stop me. By the time I come to, I've added several hundred excess calories to my day. 1

Why do I keep falling into this trap?

Carbs, cravings, and the pancake monster. )
darkemeralds: Photo of espresso with caption "Straight Up" (Espresso)
A few weeks ago, discouraged with steady but super slow weight loss, I decided to hit the accelerator and re-commit to losing another 30 pounds.

Then along came Intermittent Fasting.

Sixteen hours a day )

Fat city

Jan. 9th, 2012 10:49 am
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Chart)
My doctor--who is young and hip and up on the latest in nutrition--says that a woman my age (presumably with my particular body makeup and health history) should be aiming to get 75% of her calories from fat.*

Say what? )

*I hope I don't need to emphasize that this is specific advice from my doctor to me, and not a recommendation to others. But just in case: this is specific advice from my doctor to me, and not a recommendation to others.
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
Yesterday I noticed a bad bitter taste when I ate some yogurt. The container was newly opened, its expiration date way off in the future, and the yogurt smelled perfectly fine. Things like "Oh no! While I was out, someone slipped poison into my yogurt" and "Can we really trust US food safety and labeling standards anymore?" crossed my mind while I waited for stomach pains or seizures.

Nothing happened.

I ate some beef--also fresh and properly handled--and noticed the same nasty taste, somewhere north of grapefruit seeds on the bitterness scale, right at the back of my tongue.

Today I had a honeycrisp apple. Same thing. I started googling, thinking perhaps I've got some neurological disorder. Phantom tastes can be symptoms of diabetes and a couple of other conditions, none of which I have.

Turns out I've got Pine mouth! It comes from eating certain Asian pine nuts, though nobody has figured out exactly how it happens. You eat them, the bitterness develops two days later, and it lasts for up to two weeks.

While I'm grateful not to have a terrible neurological disorder or a bad case of Sneaky Paranoid Poisoning, I'm a little annoyed that all my food is going to taste like the bitterest bitterness that ever biled for the next two weeks.

And I guess I'll be making my pesto with walnuts in the future.


Oct. 9th, 2011 08:43 pm
darkemeralds: Screenshot of Zoe from Firefly, caption "So You've Never Pretended to Fall?" from an unfilmed Firefly script (Zoe)
I just had a lovely dinner of sautéed chanterelle mushrooms, a bratwurst, and a honeycrisp apple. Fall is here. \o/

My Sunday morning rounds to the grocery stores and my Sunday afternoon cooking-for-the-week extravaganza have netted me a large pot of bœuf bourguignon, a dish of kedgeree made to [personal profile] kis' recipe, a crock of carrot salad, a big jar of thinly sliced cucumber in rice vinegar, two quarts of plain whole milk yogurt (being strained and Greekified into a single quart), dried blueberries, the above-mentioned sausages and apples, and now a lovely pot of tea.

Happy sigh.

I did not bring home any chocolate, any nuts, any butter, or any rice cakes. I just can't seem to have that stuff in the house right now without eating all of it. Cheese is a little iffy, too. And bacon. Bacon's right out.

My weight loss has flatlined for two months, and this time it's no mystery: I've been eating too much to keep losing. I'd like to get it back on the downward slope. So in a moment of renewed discipline at Trader Joe's, I walked past the Aisles of Temptation, squared off against my fear of bored starvation or starved boredom, and came home with the makings of dessert-less meals for the whole week.

We'll see. I feel back-to-schoolish and structured this time of year, and it's a good moment for me to set things to rights.

Salad days

Jun. 20th, 2011 03:37 pm
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
I've discovered a new pleasure: riding a bike for for four or five miles in the sunshine with a pannier full of fresh basil. I dunno about anyone else, but fresh basil to me is like the most wonderful drug.

Here's the salad I've been living on for days:

2 big handfuls of mixed baby greens
about 6 big fresh basil leaves, cut up
1 ounce roasted and salted Marcona almonds
3 large ripe strawberries, sliced
half a cup of raspberries
2 tablespoons balsamic-mustard-blue-cheese vinaigrette*

The salty-sweet-pungent-sour-astringent flavor combination, the soft-crispy-crunchy textures, and the beautiful red-green-brown-purple-white colors make this a complete winner. If I do say so myself as invented it.

*1 part balsamic vinegar, 2 parts olive oil, a spoonful or two of Dijon mustard, dill weed, salt, pepper, and crumbled Danish blue cheese, shaken up together.
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (I Don't Care)
I never quite realize how much stress I'm under until I get a break from it (or until I start getting overdraft notices, take your pick). I took Friday off to make the three-day holiday weekend into four, and oh, the sense of healing!

Rich days )

1I'm enjoying it. It's the kind of slow-unfolding story with slow-building suspense that I particularly admire.
2This one in this wool.
3Ironically, we were discussing writer's block.
4I don't even get to work at 8:30
5It was fabulous, pan-fried in a bit of butter and balsamic vinegar with dill and salt.

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