Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kitchen Reader: Smart Chefs Stay Slim

This month's Kitchen Reader selection, chosen by Aileen of 300 Threads, was Smart Chefs Stay Slim: Lessons in Eating and Living From America's Best Chefs by Allison Adato.

As someone whose favorite pastimes include cooking (and eating!) and obsessing over the scale - in equal albeit alternating measure - I was beyond excited to peer into the lives of nearly 40 renowned masters of the kitchen to see how they managed to master their waistlines as well.

Alas, I think I've ruined myself with too many years of dieting: a good amount of the advice offered up in this book has already been served up elsewhere.

Not that Smart Chefs Stay Slim isn't chock full of great advice, there just isn't much new here.  We, the diet-consuming public, already know that we ought to start our day by eating breakfast (Chapter 4), "work out to work off" what we eat (Lesson 68), that when eating out, we should "employ the takeaway" (Lesson 53), and that big flavors used in moderation don't have to equal an unhealthy meal - even when it comes to bacon (Lesson 33).

There are some nuggets I can see myself employing.  For example, like Michelle Bernstein, I tend to sneak a snack while I'm making dinner (food is readily accessible and I'm usually pretty hungry by then).  Michelle suggests keeping raw vegetables on hand both to taste-test sauces and to nosh on while dinner is on the stove: "switching to some raw vegetables from bread or cheese was easy, and doing so means I've had something nutritious (but not highly caloric) even before the meal."

I also appreciated Lesson 48: Smart chefs don't over-romanticize local and seasonal produce.  The point of this section wasn't that local and seasonal fruits and vegetables aren't wonderful, but they can become pretty limiting and monotonous (and nothing leads to diet "cheats" like boredom!).

If you have the good fortune to have made it through life without overconsuming diet advice, you will probably garner a great deal from this book.  However, if you've already taste tested a wide range of dieting and healthy eating advice, Smart Chefs Stay Slim is a lot like leftovers.

Disclaimer: this post contains some affiliate links.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lysol Sweet Lysol

Cleaning (130/366) 

Like a lot of first-time moms, I have found my lifestyle shifting in a more "natural" direction since Moose was born.  I have transitioned to gentler store-bought cleaning solutions (with eyes toward a move to the vinegar and baking soda camp).  I choose organic where I can find and afford it, and (most weeks) expend the effort to make more meals and snacks from scratch at home to avoid the expense, waste, and not-so-savory ingredients in so many convenience foods.

However, in the last 48 hours, I have come to realize that there is still a place in my life for these things.

That place is in the middle of a stomach bug attack.

When Moose woke us up vomiting at 12:30 Wednesday night, thank goodness I still had some "real" disinfecting wipes on hand to take care of the bed frame.  As much as I love my Method cleaners, the bedsheets (and the subsequent four sets of clothes and blankets that Moose and I went through on Wednesday night) weren't useable again until I washed them in good ole' fragranced Tide.  And, let me tell you, uber-healthy organic whole grain toast doesn't go down nearly as well on the tummy as white bread and saltines (neither of which I had on hand when Moose was ready to try some sustenance on Thursday - and we both paid the price for it). 

I applaud the moms who can stay green and natural, even during bouts of illness with their littles.  I'm not one of them and, today anyway, I'm not ashamed of it.

Photo credit

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yarn Along: Pumpkin Interlude

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~
Ginny at Small Things

The sweater for our hopeful new addition is coming along nicely!  As I began the ribbing to finish the body over the weekend, I started reading ahead in the pattern to the sleeves and it dawned on me that my #8 DPNs were occupied with a hopelessly snoozing pumpkin hat (begun when Moose was about 9 mo. old and shelved when we had a hot autumn and Moose tore off any hat that came within five feet of his head).  Instead of frogging the hat or moving it to some stitch holders, I made myself take a mini-break from the sweater to finish the hat.

I'm sad (and not a little embarrassed) to say that I haven't picked up any reading this week because I had a late-to-the-party TV show discovery: glee.  I was in show choir in high school but, for some reason, have intentionally ignored the show until now.  I can't even tell you what made me watch the first episode on my Kindle.  But I have, and now I'm a bit hooked.  Where's that blushing emoticon from my email and online forums when I need it?

Come share in the fibrous fun with Ginny and friends!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yarn Along: New Addition Shaping Up

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

One of the chief reasons I've been an absentee blogger of late is that we are working on a new addition to our family.  No, I'm not about to get adult-rated on you.  The Moose Family have officially started the process to adopt another baby.

Because I don't get to "expect" in the traditional way, I decided long ago that, at a minimum, my children would leave the hospital wearing something I had knit them.  And when we were not a part of Moose's birth, I decided I would make a Birth Box for each of my children: containing anything we did get from their birth, a copy of the profile we used for their respective adoptions, and their very own hand-knit that they wore home from the hospital.

Moose left the hospital in a very novicely-made kimono sweater that, I am ashamed to say, I made from green dishcloth cotton (I had not yet been introduced to the world of luxury yarn yet . . .).

So as we begin to prepare for Baby Moose, I needed a new sweater and turned to the Coffee Bean sweater pattern I've been eying for ages.

Because we don't know whether we will be blessed with a girl or boy, I'm knitting gender-neutral again, although this time with luscious Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn.  My intention is to complete everything except for buttons, and add on buttons on our way to pick up Baby Moose: I spied pink daisies (for a girl) and red race cars (for a boy) at one of my LYS that will do nicely.

As for reading, mostly it has been adoption paperwork for me. 

Please come join in the Yarn Along fun with Ginny at Small Things!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Links for a Monday


I am long overdue for another "Where In the World Is Victoria?" post!

In the meantime, however, here are some bits and pieces I've been enjoying.

Good Eats - some of my recent favorites inspired by our CSA basket

Good Reads - some funny, some not
  • This Anatomy of a Trip to Whole Foods (recommended by my friend who calls it "Whole Paycheck") is excellent for a laugh!
  • This overview of The Six Kinds of Time - makes one feel infinitely better about all the things on the to-do list that did not get done today.
  • On a more serious note, this series of excerpts from Marion Crawford's beautiful biography of Queen Elizabeth's early life was one of the gems of the Diamond Jubilee: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.  
  • Finally, I've recently discovered the Charles Lenox mysteries by Charles Finch.  If you're at all a fan of cozy Agatha Christie mysteries and armchair detectives in manner of Sherlock Holmes, I cannot recommend highly enough!  And I saw the first installment, A Beautiful Blue Death, at Sam's Club yesterday for around $6!
Good Stuff for Kids -

Photo Credit