BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Simple Things – Kitchen Edition

This could be my kitchen's clean twin.

This could be my kitchen’s clean twin.

Life is made happier by noticing the simple pleasures and appreciating them. Here are some things that make me happy in the kitchen.

1. An empty sink and dishwasher. I don’t enjoy the chore of putting away dishes, so if I use a dish it’s nice to know that I can easily rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. A pile of dirty dishes in the sink isn’t so nice to look at, and a dishwasher full of clean dishes is a chore waiting to be done.

2. A well stocked pantry. I can pull a meal together, make lunches for myself and my family, and know that I can do a little baking if I want to when the pantry is well stocked. Currently it is not. Bummer.

2a. A well stocked fridge and freezer. Again, options abound and we can make healthy choices when I’ve taken the time to make a list and actually follow it.

3. Cleared off counter tops. I grew up in a home with a lot of clutter. Not dirty, just a lot of stuff. I prefer to have more space and less stuff, especially in my kitchen. I want to see those expanses of builder grade pinkish formica! Something about having less on the counter is calming to me.

4. The smell of something good cooking. I love food. This should come as no surprise. So when there’s something delicious cooking I enjoy the aroma. Of course at that point the counters are usually covered, there’s a lot of dirty dishes in the sink, and the supplies from the fridge and pantry have dwindled, but that’s what it’s all about in the first place, isn’t it?

5. The knowledge that we have more than enough and never have to face the day hungry. My mother used to tell us about starving kids in China. I thought it was a lame attempt at guilting us into eating something unpleasant, but as an adult I do appreciate that we have more than enough. That alone, is something to be thankful for each and every day.


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Eating my Veggies

The veggie portion of Chicken Cacciatore

The veggie portion of Chicken Cacciatore

I admit it, I have horrible eating habits. I love food, but not all food. Of course the food I love most is the food that is the worst for me and the foods I tend to steer clear of are the ones that are usually quite nutritious. Case in point, my two least favorite foods (as in a polite, “No thank you” every time I see them) are watermelon and cucumbers. I know many of you are groaning inwardly at this moment, or else your jaw has hit the ground. Not like watermelon? Is she crazy? Cucumbers? Who doesn’t like cucumbers? Well, I don’t. Sorry. But we’re not here to debate the merits of any particular fruit or vegetable, at least not right now. What we’re here to do is to celebrate the amazing dinner that my sweetheart and I made and devoured last night.

The man I love is incredible and multifaceted (he’s also the photographer who took that lovely banner photo). This wonderful man also loves to watch cooking shows and actually try out the recipes.  Well, lucky for me he caught an episode of Lidia’s Italy.  She was making Chicken Cacciatore and he was intrigued.  Off to the store we went in search of all the right ingredients. A short while later we were home and cooking. I was his sous chef, chopping onions and slicing gorgeous orange and yellow and red peppers. Before long the kitchen was filled with the most heavenly aroma, and our Chicken Cacciatore was ready. We had ours with pasta and wine, and it was incredible. The best part about it? The vegetables! I’m not kidding. They were so good, and we actually used a little more than the recipe called for.

Now I know that this meal isn’t “diet” food, but it’s delicious wholesome food and it’s a whole lot better than a lot of the garbage I’ve eaten recently. Besides that, there was plenty left over for dinner tonight and even more for tomorrow. I love cooking once and eating three times! If you try out this recipe I would love to hear your feedback. Enjoy.