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My Favorite Cut

Christmas is almost here. Like, this is the last weekend before it is upon us and I have something I’d really like to return to Nordstrom Rack and I am afraid to go anywhere near the mall. I’ve been keeping myself in spirit this holiday season, though, so it’s not so bad. I also have an update to provide: I defrosted the soup.

Now, I have a small confession to make. I’m really not a fan (at all) of white beans. I like them in chili because, well, they taste like the chili at that point and they help to make it creamy. Although my soup recipe included white beans, I am now regretting adding their pasty-ness to my otherwise delicious soup, but it is not a total bust. It was worth the experiment, which is important in the kitchen. And many of my readers seem to be bean fans, which I will keep in mind. For future, this girl here will make this soup again but exclude beans and maybe also try a version without the barely but adding some spicy sausage or mini meatballs. So anyway, the important part is that I defrosted the soup this week and I promised I would share the outcome. Due to the absorbency of the beans and barley, once defrosted the soup had very little broth left—and seemed as if it might be watery. What I did was add some broth—I used chicken, you could certainly use more vegetable broth—to put some life back into the soup. I also let this new addition marry in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying it for lunch the next day.

And now to get down to the meat of this post. This week I was in the mood for a nice piece of delicious red meat. In order to tell you the glorious story of my Wednesday night post-workout meal, I must first share some details regarding my red meat habits. For red meat, I really only eat a nice piece of steak once a month (at most) and/or a burger once or twice a month (at most). I usually have a craving for red meat when my body is naturally depleting itself of some iron, which is probably a positive. My household are not big eaters of red meat—my parents and I enjoy a good burger or steak but mostly stick to chicken and pork in our normal routine.

Something many people who are even moderately acquainted with me know is that I am a huge fan of duck. Duck is one of my favorite foods in the entire world, prepared in almost any manner—although I’m not really a foie gras eater. What those same people do not know is that if I had the chance to eat a last meal, I would ask for a massive rib-eye steak prepared medium rare by the likes of Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Michael Simon or my very own celebrity chef dad, accompanied by a plump baked potato—loaded, of course—and some seasonal greens. The reason I share this is because, even though my dad is a chef and a restaurant owner, I only discovered which cut of steak was my favorite within the last couple of years. And I’ve tried every cut there is in some shape or form in a variety of preparations. I always thought I liked prime rib, until I realized that was the roast beef stuff we eat on Christmas—which is delicious in its own right, but not my first choice. Or filet mignon, which is a common favorite because of the luxury—my brother is a filet fiend. As can be expected, I discovered that rib-eye was my favorite cut of meat because my mom and I went to Texas Roadhouse one night for an easy dinner and I told her I had no idea what kind of steak I liked. She explained her choice and I followed suit. Given the choice, I have eaten rib-eye ever since. The fatty parts that lead to literally the tastiest meat money can buy make this cut my absolute #1 choice every time.

This week I was craving a nice piece of steak and intended to treat myself for having a healthy, productive day. I did all of my errands, spent over an hour at the gym, and then went home to whip together the delicious meal pictured below. Brussels are certainly a regular member of my dinner plate club at this point, perhaps I’ll do a future post on how to cook vegetables so they’re actually enjoyable without being unhealthy…

Please recognize this long, informative confessional as a small anecdote aimed toward my meat-eating followers: if you are a steak lover, knowing which cut is your favorite just makes that small difference from a really good meal, to the best meal ever each time you have it. I know I enjoyed this plate more than I would have enjoyed any other cut of beef.

Happy Holidays! And until next time,

Food Snob

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My Latest Obsession

Being that it’s the winter and it’s getting chillier and chillier outside, I’ve been trying new methods for staying warm. Last week I shared a recipe for some soup with a kick. This week I shared some information regarding my exercise habits, which is another way to keep warm (trust me).

Another thing I’ve been doing is adding some daily spice to some of my favorite things. And they are associated with breakfast, which is my favorite meal of the day.

 

The Perfect Over-Medium Egg

 

What you’ll need: 1 large egg, red pepper flakes (a pinch), butter to melt before dropping.

Methodology:

Melt butter (a sliver, make sure it covers the bottom of the pan enough that the egg can slide around in it) in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes into the butter.

Crack and break egg into the pan, be sure the yolk stays in tact, be gentle!

Cook the egg until the whites are almost cooked through (about 2-3 minutes at most), then flip using some wrist action, or a spatula if you’re not on that level, and turn off heat, let the whites finish cooking without fully cooking the yolk (about 1-2 minutes).

Slide the deliciousness onto a plate. BOOM! Spicy egg.

For an added level of awesome: toast a piece of bread, spread a tiny amount of butter on it, then sprinkle some of your favorite shredded cheese. Slide the egg on top of the cheese and give it a few seconds to get nice and melty. Cut the piece of toast down the middle, fold into a sandwich and sop up any yolk that falls on the plate in the meantime. YUM!

 

The Perfect Cup of Christmas Season Coffee

I very much enjoy the amount of alliteration I just used in that title. So, I enjoy flavored coffee as much as the next basic white girl. Especially in my home state and town. We Rhody girls are big on our flavored coffee, though some of us drink what to most would be considered coffee milk and not actual coffee. For me, the best cup of coffee tastes like coffee and is smooth, nutty, medium-brown, warming and round.

Instead of drinking pumpkin spice first thing in the morning during this fall and holiday season, I have been adding the tiniest bit (probably 1/4 teaspoon) of cinnamon to my coffee in the morning. And it is magical.

The important thing to note: the best results come from putting cinnamon in the cup before adding the coffee. Especially if, like me, you have Keruig. The reason for this is simply that the cinnamon can stay in one giant clump if you add a little spoon of it to a cup o’ joe. However, if you have a shaker of cinnamon instead of a plastic container from your dad’s restaurant, like most normal people?, you can shake a little bit at a time and stir it in with ease.

 

Enjoy all, and Happy Holidays!

Until next time,

Food Snob

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True Life: I have bad exercise habits.

As I typically provide some notes regarding my health and lifestyle amidst my food indulgences and tastes, I would like to clear the air on one of my biggest battles. I do not have an exercise routine. Nor have I developed any habits over the years which would help to boost my lifestyle towards a ‘picture of health’ like the one featured here—that’s not me, by the way. But I liked the colors.

In a last effort to defeat the seasonal depression aforementioned (in my last post), however, I have decided to finally join the other side and create routines and habits which will result in more physical activity. Physical activities—as we all know—tend to release endorphins, which make us happy and promote a healthier lifestyle. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion and all those good things to say with unidentified speakers and such. In the past, I have worked in the service industry and was so physical at work, especially around the holidays, that I did not take any steps toward being active outside of work. This year, however, I am not working in retail or a restaurant and I am seeking some movement in my daily life.

I’ve been practicing yoga semi-regularly for the last three years and have become addicted to not only the feeling of being stretched out, but the complete quiet in my mind when I go into final meditation. Unfortunately, I’m not addicted enough to go every week but, fortunately, there’s a studio less than ten minutes away from my house that offers yoga twice a week for $5/class which is amazing and unheard of. The young yogini who teaches the classes is wonderful, insightful and ultimately mindful of her students. I tend to get myself to go to a class at least once a month, so I’m not completely melted into a chair, the couch or my bed. Yoga is sort of a commitment, as I have found that when I take too much time away from the mat, I am almost back to square one when I return and I have to rebuild much of the flexibility, balance and strength I had built up. When I’m going to yoga regularly, I’m happy and I’m calm, I feel a sense of peace between my body and mind, and I’m more observant and receptive of the environment around me. So, as a part of this attempt to build a healthy exercise routine, I am going to be including a yoga class at least once a week.

In the meanwhile, I’m going to let Mike convince me to join a gym near us. Mostly it’s because he gets a free month of membership if I sign up and because this month they were offering $0 down and $0 until January. How could I object? Plus, he’ll usually be able to convince me to go and spend some time exercising with him and won’t let me give up early because I’m tired or don’t feel like it. When I’ve gone through brief stints of exercising regularly, it’s always been because I felt good, but I’ve never had a gym membership and I’ve never stuck to a routine. The gym membership will force me to use the opportunity for exercise and provide an excuse to spend time doing something productive with my boyfriend, rather than drinking or watching endless hours of movies and sports—not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In the cold it is important to stay warm and to stay active. I’m getting a little too old to be so careless about my health and well-being. Taking some steps toward a better lifestyle overall during a more difficult time for activity seems like the right move. Exercising in the summer is usually easier because it’s appealing to be outside and the idea of being active is more welcoming in warm sunlight. Challenging myself to be more active when it’s cold and dark outside should (hopefully) encourage the habits to stick. And for good measure, to keep myself honest, I’ll be tracking my exercise using my FitBit—which I own because of my issues with developing healthy habits—and I’ll have to give a report in about a month regarding how often I’ve gone to the gym or taken a yoga class. This tiny pink clip-on device will be my witness and I will only be able to prove what she has tracked of my activity. Including, but not limited, my calorie intake vs. my calories being burned off by physical activity.

And so, with this promise I have made with myself, I will offer you to try and do the same this holiday season. I have learned that our gym, Retro Fitness, has a mobile app by which I can create and track goals, enter challenges and earn rewards points. The contest they’re running for December is geared towards working off those holiday calories. C’mon, let’s be honest, the holidays are delicious in November and December, but they’re also loaded with sugars and fats that we probably don’t need. So I’ll be forcing myself to indulge moderately,—compared to my usual binges—seek healthy alternatives, and get to the gym or yoga a few times a week. And, just in case you didn’t know, Retro Fitness is a large chain of gyms that are all over the country. If there’s one by you, maybe give it a shot and join me in the holiday challenge!

In the meantime, feel free to comment with any tips, questions or notes of encouragement. Any and all will be greatly appreciated.

Until next time,

Food Snob

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I’m not as tidy as you think.

I’m not as tidy as you think.

This is a short & sweet post meant to do one thing: advertise.

I recently self-published a book of my poetry. It is a compilation of the poems that were included in my BFA Thesis. I am providing a link here so that you might check it out & possibly buy it.

In honor of my starting graduate school on Sept. 4, I am reaching out to try and sell a few more copies of this before I begin work on another book while I am completing my MFA. I would like to try and publish at least 1 collection at the end of each year of grad school that I complete. Thus, I would also like to create a following with my audience so that they might become comfortable and accustomed to my work, how I write, etc.

By sharing this link & information here on my blog, I am inviting the two worlds – my academic, personal writing world and the blog world – to collide. Now any & all that are interested in my writing can access all available outlets of it.

I thank you for your readership, interest in this blog and in advance for even visiting the Amazon.com page for my book. It is available both on Kindle and in paperback to satisfy your reading preferences.

❤ the Food Snob