Hello! I have been in rural Missouri for the past couple of days without internet and I have so much news, so this is going to bed a pretty long blog.
First, how my diet has been going. I did not bring my juicer out to the country, but I did make sure I cooked vegetarian meals. If my stepdad cooks (my mom never cooks) we would have been eating pasta and meat. I am a pretty awesome cook though. The first night we had homemade scalloped potato’s, roasted carrots, and a huge salad. The scalloped potato’s were SO amazing, I actually got the recipe off of a wordpress blog a long time ago, I wish I could remember whose it was though. If you are reading this and recognise your recipe, please let me know and you are amazing.
Comfort Scalloped Potatoes 350 degree oven
(Have your potatoes sliced and ready to go. Keep them in a bowl of cold water until you need them.) Also need a 2 quart casserole dish, greased.
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups milk (any % you prefer)
5-6 large potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced, well drained if necessary) (5 cups)
First for the sauce. On medium low heat, saute the onion in butter until tender and translucent. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook, while stirring, for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook while stirring, until the mixture had thickened and come to a soft boil. Cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
Place half of the sliced potatoes, even layer, on the bottom of the greased casserole dish. Cover with half of the sauce. Repeat layers.
Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven, for 45 minutes. Stir half way through. Uncover, bake an additional 30 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
(In last 15 minutes of baking time, you could sprinkle shredded cheese, of your choice, on top for added cheesy goodness. You can also add any cooked meat you like for a more rounded meal.)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley (This is optional for me – I’ve used parsley before, but I’ve made this recipe far more times without this step.)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. If the carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not, leave whole. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. (They will shrink up while cooking so make the slices big.)
3. Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
4. Transfer to a sheet pan in one layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.
5. Toss the carrots with minced dill or parsley if desired, season to taste, and serve.
Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles (October 2008), originally from Ina Garten on Food Network
Nutritional Info from Food Network: Calories:110; Total Fat: 7 grams; Saturated Fat:1 gram; Protein: 1 gram; Total carbohydrates:12 grams; Sugar: 6 grams; Fiber: 3.5 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 484 milligrams
The second night I was there I made vegetarian stuffed peppers. Again, AMAZING. We also ate the last of the giant salad from the night before.
•6 large sweet peppers
•2 cups cooked brown rice
•3 small tomatoes, chopped
•1 cup frozen corn, thawed
•1 small sweet onion, chopped
•1/3 cup canned red beans, rinsed and drained
•1/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
•3/4 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese
•1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives
•4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
•3 garlic cloves, minced
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon pepper
•3/4 cup meatless spaghetti sauce
•1/2 cup water
•4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
•Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the rice, tomatoes, corn, onion and beans. Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese, olives, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon into peppers.
• Combine spaghetti sauce and water; pour half into an oval 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the stuffed peppers. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
• Cover and cook on low for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Yield: 6 servings.
I “juiced” at work last night though. Since I was running late I had to cheat and get the less healthy V8 juices, a vegetable one and a fusion one. The fruit V8 was way too sweet though. The veggie V8 just tasted like tomato soup to me. That was yummy.
I also weighed myself, no weight loss but no weight gain. I thought I was going to go up, but I guess since I was eating veggie based meals and portion controlling, it made it so my weight just stayed even. At least I know that even after juicing, if I watch what I eat I won’t just blow up. I have been reading that on a few blogs, that people will juice and when they go back to eating all the weight instantly comes back. I wonder if that if because they go back to eating poorly.
I also went to my favorite breakfast spot this morning. They are an organic based restaurant though and if you are ever in St. Louis, check out Benton Park Cafe. Their food is soooo amazing. It was a celebration meal. You may be asking, Storm, what are you celebrating? Well, I just got accepted into LAW SCHOOL! I am so excited, so happy, if you know my trailer trash beginning, you would understand this is an American dream in the making. Just, wow, something I have wanted for so long and I have achieved it. Now the next goal, completing law school. 🙂
I told my general manager this morning and he said “I remember in your interview, you saying you’re going to go to Law School some day.” Crazy he remembers my interview, but he is the best manager I have ever worked for. Nelson seems to actually enjoy his job, a rare thing to find. His story is nuts too. He was an anthropology major in college, started busing tables in a high-end restaurant, decided he enjoyed the hospitality industry, and has been working his way up ever since. From busing tables, he now is a regional manager in training and he deserves it. To understand how good he is at his job, lets just say for a while I considered trying to go into management and pursuing a career in the hotel industry because he seemed so happy in his job. Then….I met two other assistant general managers and decided, wait, this is terrible and I would have to deal with guest complaints for the rest of my life….no thank you.
Part of the reason I went out to my mom’s place in the country was to see her new house. This house’s last owners had to be meth addicts. The alterations they made make no sense, so let me take you on a little tour of “The House That Meth Built.”
Lets start with this room, the room that they couldn’t decide where this wallpaper trim was going to go.
So, starts off as a wall runner. Seems legit.
Guess, they decided to put it up high next though….
That wall they decided not to use the trim though…..
Ohhhh….they ran out, so THIS wall only has half…
That room was just the beginning of the strangeness.
This door is only 14 inches wide…
ANOTHER little door….
And…another little door…must have been a sale on little doors…
TWO little doors, both going into the same gigantic walk in closet that probably used to be a bedroom….
Here is a little door to a bedroom closet, but that is not it….
That little closet was a secret passageway to a secret bathroom!!!! That’s right, you get to the bathroom through a walk in closet in a bedroom…
That’s nice, doesn’t work, but is nice.
Pretty chandelier in the kitchen.
This cool baseball fixture is in what I can only assume used to be a little boys room, which works out because I have a young stepbrother.
And this butterfly light fixture is my absolute favorite. I think it is so pretty.
This is the stairwell to upstairs.
So, that is my parents Kooky fixer upper house. There are other weird things too. Like, the kitchen pantry has a secret little door to another room. A “sunroom” that is just a shell of room, no flooring or anything, just wood and the floor slant downward. Really nice deck though. A lot of half-finished rooms. They did get this crazy house for 49,000 with 5 acres of land, which is not too shabby. Also, there is a fish pond! Stocked full of cat-fish. That is exciting because I love spending a lazy summer afternoon/evening fishing and drinking beer. I know that is such a country thing to say, but there is nothing like it.
This is the last picture I will add, it’s not the best quality, and I wish I could convey how pretty this dawn was, but the camera on my phone is not the best.