PEACHES!! and other stuff….

I will admit, right out of the gate, that I may be feeling a little down today. I’m not always the best on Monday’s as a general rule, but today I am on the verge of making several dietary mistakes in order to tell myself I feel better. So far….the “food healing” has been avoided. My healthy oatmeal and fresh peaches breakfast, and taco salad lunch has averted my attention away from other choices. For now.

Now, my therapist says that I am a good “faker”, and that I could be having a rough day and I will fake my way through so no one, not even my closest friends, know I really wanna hide in the ladies room at work and cry till I pass out on the floor. I think of it as coping to still move forward, and practice happiness even if I don’t feel it at the moment. I’ve done the alternative (hibernate for about 3 weeks, don’t shower, don’t eat) and it’s not a pretty thing. I have a little one now that needs his momma, so I think the way I cope is better than it could be. Fake or not, at least I still brush my teeth daily… right?!

So, in the name of MOVING FORWARD, and keeping my chin up, let’s discuss what I did yesterday shall we? I cooked! When I say I cooked, I mean I was in the kitchen for at least half of the day. I did make the stuffed bell peppers for dinner, southwestern pasta salad, baked a pie, and cookies for my husband to have in his lunches.

The stuffed bell peppers: I cheated. I usually do these days because my little man is so busy and time is a precious commodity. The recipe is as follows:

2 lbs of ground beef
1 can of diced stewed tomatoes, mexican style with the chilies in it
1 box of beef flavored rice-a-roni (my grandmother’s recipe called for this, but you could use brown rice, white rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa, anything that you like the texture of and will bulk up the filling a little.)
5 ish bell peppers, any color. I made 3 green, one yellow, one orange because I like them better than green. Less bitter.
Colby jack cheese, or whatever cheese you like
salt and pepper to taste

I parboiled the peppers. For anyone not familiar with this you are just cooking them enough to soften them, and still have that nice pepper color and flavor. You could also grill them or soften them in the oven, but for my taste I think that makes them too soft. To parboil, bring a big stock pot size pot of water to a boil, drop the peppers after they’ve had the seeds and ribs on the inside removed, into the water and boil for about 3-4 minutes depending on the size of your peppers. Then to stop the cooking drop them in an ice water bath. While they’re cooling in the ice bath, brown your hamburger, and start your rice-a-roni or whatever you’re mixing the filling with. Once the hamburger is browned, drain the grease, and stir in the tomatoes. Set aside, and finish the grain part of the filling. Heat the oven to 425, and mix all of the filling components together. Salt and Pepper to taste, and fill the peppers, I overfill mine a little, and then top with cheese. Place in a baking dish and bake in the oven for about 7-9 minutes. Serve.

The soutwestern pasta salad is a Pinterest recipe, and it’s right here:

and the pie….well, like I said, I’m a cheater. Here is the deepest darkest secret ever for anyone that loves my pies…and I do get compliments.

I don’t use my own crust.

No. I don’t. I don’t even try to torture myself by making a homemade crust. Ok, go ahead and throw fruit and boo. I agree. I’m a fraud. I know how to make from scratch crust, but again, my time is super valuable and I’d rather be spending the 45 minutes it takes to make and roll out my own crust the tedious way (cold water, cut the butter in…blah blah blah) tickling my baby and singing “the itsy bitsy spider”. That’s just me.

Here’s the rest of the recipe. Pretty simple and straight forward, but pay attention to the little things…’cuz I swear that’s how no one knows I’m a fraud. Unless they ask. I’m pretty unapologetic and honest about it.

6-8 medium peaches, sliced, and peeled.
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp lemon juice to prevent browning, you can’t taste it if you have good peaches
1/4 tsp of cinnamon, but can be increased to your own taste

Stir all together and let sit! The peaches release their juice a little and make a heavenly sauce. Yummy!
Place peaches in the crust and dot with one tablespoon of butter. For me there is no substitute for butter. Margarine just isn’t the same, and as my mother says, is only one molecule away from plastic. I get why people use substitutes and I pass no judgement, I just don’t feed it to my family. We get fat the good old fashioned way!

Place the top crust on, pinch the edges to seal (I still bake it on top of a cookie sheet because a really great pie always leaks a little) make some slits in the top crust, or a design if you’re creative, and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, and cover the edges with foil. The cinnamon sugar part is in lieu of an egg wash or cream. We like the extra sweet with ours, but you can do what you like. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, then remove foil, and bake another 15 minutes. Let sit for about 5 minutes, and then devour with vanilla ice cream. Also, please do have it for breakfast if there’s any left the next day!

Look at me encouraging unhealthy behavior! I think my main objective every day as of late is to just be gentle with myself. I would love to be strong every day and not eat a single thing that’s bad for me, workout, and feel good about ME again. The reality is I wake up and say my thank you’s out loud to remind myself of all that I have, and then psych myself up to go to work another day and keep focusing on the goals I have left in life. Some days I feel better about the direction I’m going, and some days I look behind and miss who I used to be, or allow myself to wallow in all of my short comings or feel negative about my progress, and those things aren’t productive.

This wasn’t meant as a fluffy blog to mask over all of the junk that needs to be discussed, but if I can find it in me to be upbeat and positive, no matter how much of an effort it is, then I’m going to do that. There’s plenty of time to discuss the rest.

the chocolate chip cookies were per the recipe on the back of the bag of chips. The only difference in my method is to refrigerate the dough for anywhere from 2-24 hours. Just enough to firm up the dough a little. I find the cookies to have a little more oomph and less flat, but that’s just me.

For now, I feel better. The day is almost over and I have as of yet resisted chocolate. YAY!!

Have a good rest of the your Monday!

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