Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Monday Link & List Love [01.21.2013]

I have found some interesting links lately that I wanted to share:

Monday Link Love

  • The Nitrate & Nitrite Myth: Another Reason not to Fear Bacon: This article “debunks” the idea that nitrates and nitrites can cause serious health problems (cancer, heart disease). Honestly – I want to believe it; I just don’t know if I can. Apparently nitrates and nitrites are found in much higher amounts in natural foods like celery and even in our own saliva than they are in hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats. Even if they are – aren’t they different? Wouldn’t our bodies treat “natural” (whatever that means) nitrates/nitrites differently than artificial ones? I have no idea. I’m not a food scientist but I would really like to know the truth behind processed meats. (Because I love bacon. Who doesn’t?)
  • Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Eating: Just some goods tips for leading a happy, healthy life. I especially like #5 – Unleash Your Creativity and Do Something You Love Every Single Day.
  • Homemade Lotion Recipe: I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like it really couldn’t be simpler.
  • Slow-Cooker Squash Stew: Butternut squash, chard, and parmesan? Count me in.
  • 7 Ways You Might Be Inadvertently Sabotaging a Good Night’s Sleep: I may not always agree with him, but Mark Sisson just about always has an intelligent, well-thought-out response to just about every question or problem anyone could possibly have. In this case I do agree with him. The article is from November but particularly applicable now that I’m trying to sleep earlier. He makes good points – 1) are you getting natural light during the day? 2) are you eating too late? 6) do you have a nighttime ritual? and 7) are you simply staying up too late? –> These 4 all right true for me.
  • Vow to Get More Sleep in 2013: Another sleep article. Tips include 3) turn the heat down, 4) unplug (what I should be doing now!), 5) meditate, 6) do yoga (OK!), and 7) stop puttering! (That means no chores after 9pm, yes I am talking to you my fellow type A’s.)

And I also just wanted to share some other random things…

Monday List Love

  • Wanted to share this pic of dinner the other night. I was out of the city all day Saturday and when I got home, Bobby had prepared this beautiful meal! It’s a salad with hard boiled egg, bacon, onion, and homemade dressing. I had no idea he could cook – he totally outdid himself. He also made butternut squash ravioli (from TJ’s) with sauteed veggies and he cooked up a cheesy mushroom flatbread (also courtesy of TJ’s). The salad is served in a really beautiful dish from my mom.
    bobby-dinner-salad-ravioli-wine
  • Bobby used this salad recipe for the dinner salad and dressing. It was supposed to be spinach but I prefer romaine as a salad base.

That’s all I have… I’m off to do some reading and relax before I go to sleep (early). Hope your week is off to a good start.

Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad

I made this simple salad for a dinner party I had on Friday night. Thanks for the idea, Mom! Thanks for Grandma’s beautiful china as well. We are making good use out of it. And thank you Dad for bringing it up and devoting a day to helping us move. (Perfect anniversary presents.)

Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad

Slice up 1 very large cucumber (~2 cups). Slice 1/2 a large red onion (< 1 cup) very finely. Mix veggies together with 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 2 teaspoons dried dill. Serve slightly chilled. Serves about 4 as a side dish.

You know, food just tastes better with some wine. Here is what I’m drinking this week:

It’s a local wine that I got at a farmers’ market in Trenton last time I visited New Jersey. If you see it around, pick it up. It’s a great rose from Unionville Vineyards – slightly dry and incredibly flavorful.

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Do you like wine? What is your favorite kind?

Spritzers & Language

Food & Wine seems to be the quintessential foodie combo. My husband likes to unwind at night with a nice glass of wine, or by sipping slowly on a cup of whiskey on the rocks. I am not a drinker; I haven’t been since the middle of college. But I’m starting to enjoy wine again. (Apparently you can even get your wine online.) I like making connections with people, and wine is something that many people are passionate about, so it makes for good conversation.

My favorite wine from Trader Joe’s

The main reason that I did not drink for so long was that alcohol is very high in calories, and in general I prefer to chew my calories. In general, I would rather have a piece of pie than a regular soda – but I’m not that picky anymore. (Aside: The calories in wine are not protein, carbs, or fat. Some people think that alcohol calories are sugar – they are not. Alcohol is its own food group and it has 7 calories per gram, whereas carbs like sugar have just 4 per gram; protein also has 4 per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. So alcohol, if we are judging solely on caloric content, by the gram, is more like a fat than a sugar.)

Anyway, my point is that I wanted to learn how to enjoy wine so that I could enjoy it with my husband, my family, or my friends. So I started drinking wine with seltzer. I know, horror of horrors! Wine + seltzer! To a wine fanatic that is probably a sacrilege. But to a seltzer fanatic it is not.

My sodastream seltzer machine, which I am missing much – it is in New Jersey.

But it is not a sacrilege to me. My mom and I discussed it on Tuesday night as I was walking home from my first choir practice and I think I got her on my side (she loves wine).

And now I love wine (with seltzer). I call it wine spritzer but I’m not sure if that’s the right term, because I think there is an actual product called wine spritzer. I like it much more than wine alone, which is sometimes too pungent and flavorful. And it goes by so quickly.

Maggie’s Wine Spritzer Tips

  • 3 parts seltzer to 1 part wine is my favorite mix (I eyeball it – it might be more parts seltzer to 1 part wine)
  • Dessert wine is especially good with seltzer
  • My wine spritzer has just 25% of the calories that regular wine has
  • Wine spritzer is really good for when you can’t figure out what you want to eat – once you have a few sips, your appetite perks right up
  • Try different kinds of wine with different foods
  • Drink wine spritzer while you’re cooking – it makes cooking that much more fun ;)

I googled the word “spritz” for fun, and found its etymology. (Etymology = word meaning and history.) You might remember my linguistics blog from last year (I keep meaning to start that up again) – I love words. I love languages. So I am going to tell you about spritz.

Spritz comes from German and it means splash, or sparkling. (Aren’t those beautiful words? Some of my favorites.) Spritz is basically a variation on the wine spritzer that I make and it’s served in Italy (which is one of my favorite places) – it’s made of white wine or Prosecco, a dash of a bitter liqueur, and sparkling mineral water. And garnished with an orange. You can also do it with champagne. Spritz was first made in Venice when it was under Austrian rule. (Because the Austrians drank Spritzer, which was half wine and half seltzer.)

Gespritzter (German) is the past form of the verb spritzen (to squirt). German is so cool. Spritz first appeared in English in 1917, and spritzer in 1961.

Okay I have to stop going on about languages ;) This is why I started that other blog that I need to update! If you want more word origins, check out one of my favorite website, The Online Etymology Dictionary.

Do you drink wine? Wine spritzer? Other alcohol? What is your favorite?

For now I am stuck on wine spritzer. I hate beer, and I’m not really a fan of most hard liquor. So I’m going to keep drinking what I enjoy.

Also – don’t forget to enter my book giveaway!

Knowing When to Stop (Eating)

I am never really sure what I want this blog to be about. You could say I’m a flip-flopper…

(Source.)

So: it’s time to stop flipping and flopping (or at least flip and flop decisively), because I think I know what my blog is all about. It’s about how I learned (and am still learning) to eat intuitively, and how those principles spill over into the rest of my life (for example, yoga and intuitive eating go hand in hand – just wait for a post on that).

Speaking of Knowing When to Stop… How do you know when to stop eating? Is it really as simple as knowing when you are full? My guess is NO.

Now that is a big bed meal. (Source.)

Some people “save” lots of calories during the day so that they can have a big dinner or snack a lot after dinner. This can be unpleasant though (stomachache, indigestion, etc…), and can lead to a vicious cycle of a poor night’s sleep, feeling sick the next day, and repeating it all over again.

How can you end the cycle? Here are some tactics…

Dessert for Dinner, or: Eat What You Love and Be Satisfied

Last night I was on my own for dinner. My husband (I can’t stop saying that!) was at a work event until late so I was alone for the evening. Normally this might be a tricky situation – when I’m alone I’m more likely to snack out of boredom.

(Source.)

Trick one: know yourself. I’m a girl who can’t go without dessert. Ever. I cannot remember that last time I didn’t have dessert. I also know that once I have dessert it can turn into a snackfest. My belly and my head are not satisfied with a piece of fruit for dinner. Maybe your weakness is potato chips, or cereal. Whatever it is, make a note of it. Then…

Trick two: trick yourself. I may like dessert, but I am not okay with having Rocky Road for dinner. So what is a good substitute? Breakfast foods are usually desserty enough for me. French Toast in particular is comforting, delicious, and sweet enough to satisfy my dessert tooth. If you love your potato chips, portion out a serving (1 serving) to have with your dinner. If you don’t want it with a meal, you probably shouldn’t have it while watching TV anyway.

Trick three: indulge (just a little). I put tart frozen yogurt (from Trader Joe’s) on top of my dessert for dinner French Toast. If I didn’t do that I would probably want to eat frozen yogurt after dinner anyway. Again with the potato chips – why not get some really delicious potato chips (I like Terra Chips) so that you really enjoy your treat.

Trick four: Stop. (Okay, that’s not a trick, that just the end result – hopefully.) I loved this meal. So much so that I didn’t need to eat anything the rest of the night. Hopefully if you had the chips with dinner you won’t want them the rest of the night either.

My Easy Peasy (Healthy) French Toast For One Recipe. Check it out if you want a low calorie but filling and healthy meal. I think it has about 300 calories total depending on your bread and toppings.

Good reads:

  • Brian Wansink discusses the French paradox (they eat lots of fatty things yet are – on average – thinner, healthier, and live longer than Americans).
  • I think I linked here before, but I really really like Honoring Health – it’s an intuitive eating blog, and Christie (the author) is very inspiring. Plus, she is helping me figure out how to organize my recipes!

Have you ever had dessert for dinner? What foods are really satisfying for you?

3 Steps to Intuitive Eating – Marriage and Food Intuition

Intuitive Eating and Marriage. That sounds like a rather odd combination? Surprisingly, it’s not. I just got back from my 2-week long honeymoon (it was absolutely amazing) and I am pretty sure I have discovered what might just be the ticket (or at least my ticket) to being an intuitive eater for good.

How I Got Married and Became an Intuitive Eater

I married an intuitive eater.

When we first started going out, I mostly ate just like Bobby (my husband) – but it can be hard to keep up with a 19-year-old boy, not to mention the fact that it’s not that good for your waistline.

For the next few years I tried to eat intuitively, and eventually something stuck. Creating good new habits takes work. But sometimes you can get a kick in the pants, or find motivation that will get your butt in gear. Here are the three steps that helped me (finally!) truly embrace eating intuitively:

  1. Name your flaw: I have an odd relationship with food. I knew that I did not eat intuitively. Lots of oatmeal does not a dinner make. For years I berated myself for not being able to “just snap out of it”, which many people seemed to think was good advice.
  2. Reframe the flaw: I have two glorious weeks to be completely free around food. Before I left for my honeymoon, I decided that it didn’t matter how much weight I gained while I was gone; I wanted to enjoy myself and I wanted to have fun on my honeymoon! (It turns out that I didn’t gain a pound – in fact, I lost 1-2.) Maybe your reframe could be, “I have a chance to completely change the way I eat,” or “I love eating locally and organically,” or “I am a great role model for my children,” and so on. This should be a positive statement about YOU that has at least a remote connection to that initial flaw you named above.
  3. Own it! I am an intuitive eater. This one is all about the power of positive thinking. “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Focus on your successes. Keep going. Push through. Pretend. If you can’t be an intuitive eater just yet, pretend you are anyway. Just don’t give up.

Why did it work for me this time? Because I keep trying. And because I followed all three steps, not just the first one. I’d named the flaw before (over and over again) but I never turned it into something positive. I think (hope) that everyone who tries to quit something fails the first few times (if they don’t fail, they are either lying or superhuman). If you quit smoking successfully, you probably “quit” several times before you succeeded. (Note: I do not smoke, but this is a good common example.) It’s the same with food – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

An Intuitive Eating Dinner

Open-faced tuna melts. Mine (2 slices of whole wheat bread, tuna salad, tomatoes, and melted cheese):

Bobby’s (sesame seed bagel, tuna salad, cheddar cheese):

My easy tuna salad recipe. Dessert was tart frozen yogurt (shared) from Trader Joe’s. Then wine – a mix of Trader Joe’s wine (Dr. Beckermann Auslese Rheinhessen – it’s a white wine and it’s fantastic – sweet and refreshing) mixed with seltzer:

Are you an intuitive eater? Why or why not?

Perfect Sunday.

Title inspired by Caronae (I love her blog – a beautiful writer and wonderful woman).

This morning I woke up at 10:10am. Meeting starts at 11. Bobby had said he would go with me this week, so I got him out of bed at 10:30 (late) and we showered and went on our way. We were only 20 minutes late and I enjoyed the silence and the few spoken words for the next 40 minutes.

Quaker_Dove

We left meeting and began to walk. Our promenade followed 15th street over to Union Square, and then into the Trader Joe’s wine store where we got three bottles of three buck chuck. We sauntered down to Souen but it was closed; something wrong with the boiler room. Then I remembered hearing about a fantastic vegetarian lunch place nearby: Quantum Leap.

To celebrate pancake Sunday I ordered the multigrain pancakes with fresh bananas and apples ($8 something). My condiments were butter (healthy animal fat) and minimal syrup. It was a satisfying and satiating meal and some of the best pancakes I have ever had (the best are from my dad’s recipe).

IMG00013

Bobby ordered “The Mexican” ($10 something), which consisted of a vegetarian chicken enchilada thing with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, fake sausage, and eggs. It was fine. I’m not a savory breakfaster.

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We walked over to Peanut Butter & Co where I realized I should never work in a place like that unless I want to be obese. (We didn’t get anything.)

tmenu3

We followed 5th avenue all the way home. I got votive candles at Pier 1 and a tea at Starbucks with half and half and all the spices.

starbucks1

Came home. Went back out to Gap and Banana. Got some things on sale. Came home. Made dinner (teriyaki turkey and tofu for bobby; lamb and veggies and various animal fats for me). Drank wine. I drink wine now. It was cabernet.

charles shaw 3 buck chuck

And now I will either go get frozen yogurt or relax in front of the olympics. I don’t know how much I like the olympics. It seems like everyone in them has serious food or body issues. Did you notice that? I guess it takes a considerable obsession to be as good as those athletes are.

Signing off now. Big week ahead. What did you do this weekend?