Being cell phone-less made today especially tough. It's Tuesday, which is Emily's dance class day, so it's the day that I have to entertain Charlotte for 45 minutes during her normal naptime in a crowded and quiet space and usually I do that with the assistance of Elmo videos on youtube and the bubble-popping app on my phone. Robbed of those tools, we had to go pass some time playing in the car when Charlotte's attitude got too nasty, and then I wasn't in the dance studio when Emily came out looking for her bag with her ballet shoes in it, ugh. I need to find daycare just so I can sit in the dance studio for 45 minutes on Tuesdays without having to wrestle with Charlotte the whole time.
Now that I'm home and Charlotte is napping and Emily is busy playing with her My Little Ponies, I plan to blow off some steam by making some tasties in the kitchen. First up is applesauce (i.e. chopping some apples and throwing them in the crock pot with a bit of water and cinnamon), as we still have a ton of apples left from our trip to the apple orchard. Then I will attempt to make some mozzarella cheese, because Will's coworker who lent me his cheese-making kit months ago would like it back and I am too ashamed to send it back without a report on how things went! I made some feta (which turned out yummy!) and cheddar (which turned out not so yummy) back in the beginning of the year so mozzarella should be much easier than either of those. I am also feeling the itch to bake something. These have been intriguing me so if I have time I will give 'em a shot. My goal for today is to make a bunch of treats in the kitchen without immediately eating half of what I make.
I'm pretty conflicted about my eating these days. Back in my "good" weight loss days I was not eating very clean. I ate lots of things with artificial sweetners and gross chemicals because I just didn't really know any better yet. Over the last couple years I have discovered the whole "clean eating" movement, and I believe very strongly in that idea now. I had pretty much given up on baking anything because it is all but impossible to bake things that are low fat/low cal, sugar AND artificial sweetner-free, 100% whole grain and oh yeah, taste good. If I did find a recipe that met all these requirements, the result was more often than not gone by the next day because I couldn't keep my hands off it. But with kids in the equation, I really want to make healthy snacks and desserts for them. I don't want them to feel deprived, but 99% of the snacks out there for kids are not "clean" in my opinion, so the only other option is to make things myself. For my kids fat isn't an issue, so healthy fats have started finding their way back into my life. I read these blogs where healthy, skinny moms with healthy, skinny families bake "clean" cookies and crackers and cakes and breads every day and start believing I can be like them. But one of my biggest issues eating-wise is not being able to control myself while making things in the kitchen (or if we have a lot of yummies in the kitchen, as in AFTER I make things). Eating clean is good, but if you eat TONS of clean food you'll still have a weight problem! And a high grocery bill :-(
I'm not willing to go back to eating low-cal chemicals, but I still do need to lose weight. So I'm going to try to focus on making things and not scarfing them down immediately. I'm announcing this in an effort to stay accountable, so we'll see how my baking day goes.
I did well! I made a big crock pot of applesauce that is very yummy. I remembered to put in some vanilla extract too that makes it especially good. I had about 2 cups of that but since there's no sugar or fat or anything but apples and spices in it I figured that's ok.
I made the applesauce cakes too, and they are quite interesting. Lori and Michelle were right, they taste like they're not going to be sweet enough at first but once you finish one you want another! The recipe didn't make much batter, so I put them into mini muffin pans.
Hmmm...mine don't look nearly as pretty as theirs! I am definitely not a food blogger! Ugly muffins, chipped plate, closely-cropped picture so you don't see the mess I made of the kitchen. Oh well, these were an interesting experiment for me both because I haven't really made many gluten-free egg-free baked goods before and in terms of having a tasty baked good around and trying not to eat it. Well, I think they taste good, and I have only had 2 so I declare it a success!
I also made the mozzarella, which was really easy! It was done in about an hour. It looks pretty nasty while it's being made...
...but it turned out ok too. The recipe said that the more you stretch it while it's cooling the more string cheese-like it will end up, so I split it into 2 hunks and stretched the one on the right more than the other.
Emily doesn't like it though :-( With a lactose intolerant husband and my #1 cheese consumer disliking it, I probably won't be making this much because it's a lot of cheese for Charlotte and I to get through. I would be curious to try making it with 2% or even skim milk though, and next time I'll probably add more salt. I ate a carefully measured half ounce of each kind and called it good until dinner when I sprinkled a bit on my pasta.
Posting my challenge to myself here seems to have worked...I finished the day having made yummy tempting things in my kitchen and I was able to control myself! Maybe I'll do this again in the future when I need some accountability :-)