Friday, January 20, 2012

Un-hammed ham

Yesterday we finished up the last of the peanut butter, and as I was looking at the jar thinking about what a pain it would be to scrub it all out I realized what I SHOULD be doing with it.  If you read many food blogs you probably already know what I'm talking about.  Overnight oats in a jar, of course!
Mostly empty peanut butter jar + 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 banana chopped  all soaked overnight in the fridge
 It's the most bang for your buck peanut butter-wise (except maybe for using peanut flour) because every bite has some peanut butter flavor without actually having very much of the stuff in the jar.

A lovely fried egg made by my lovely husband and salsa
 Blech.  I bought this salsa for a party because it was on sale but it turns out it's got some icky-tasting preservatives in it and I couldn't finish it all...I had to chuck the last bit from my plate, then I threw away the rest of the container.  I suppose the only way to avoid having preservative-laden or overly-vinegared salsa is to make my own!

Emily didn't have preschool today because of parent teacher conferences, so I went straight to Zumba and then to her conference afterward.  On the way I snacked on a Babybel light and half a mango kombucha.  Charlotte picked it out herself at the store, and she liked it but I wasn't a big fan.  I prefer my kombucha very fizzy and without much sweetness at all and once they start putting fruit purees in them it dilutes the actual kombucha and makes it taste more like spoiled juice.

The conference went well, and aside from the fact that Emily apparently doesn't hold her scissors correctly (she turns them sideways like a gangsta) she's doing just fine.  I can't believe in a couple months she'll be in elementary school!

For lunch I decided to forego the salad in favor of a big old sandwich.

Great Harvest honey whole wheat bread, sabra artichoke hummus, thinly sliced cucumbers and carrots, TJ's rosemary ham, some leftover pepperjack cheese I found and some greens

Plus a bowl of antioxidants
 I had a chill afternoon around the house taking care of some pre-trip "errands" (if doing things on the internet can be called errands) and playing a game with Emily that used to be called "balloon catchers" but is now called "never let the balloon touch the ground and keep it up in the sky but never never let the balloon touch the ground but it's ok if it lands on the couch or Remy's dog bed".  After that I needed some energy, and I had already had a ton of fruit so I made a coffe-based smoothie with Will's leftover coffee from this morning.  I even put it in a pretty glass because I'm tired of my regular smoothie glasses plus these margarita glasses don't get much use.
1/2 cup coffee, 1/2 cup almond milk, banana, handful of ice, cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg
 I just could not make this smoothie taste good :-(  First I made it without the cocoa and thought it tasted bland so I dumped it back into the blender and put in the cocoa and the spices.  I blended it gently to stir it all up and tried it again, but apparently I had blended it TOO gently because it still had chunks of cocoa powder and spices so back in the blender it went a third time.  After that it still wasn't super-tasty but I decided to just go with it because I was sick of pouring it back and forth.  Oh well.

When Will got home he was excited to start his barley wine experiment so we did our first annual barley wine tasting.  

Serious stuff
Look at that lacing

Once we were done, dinner was ready.  I found this slab of pork at Common Market a couple days ago, and it was labeled as a "fresh ham shank half".  I have wondered before what cut of meat a "ham" is and what it tastes like before it's smoked (and sometimes injected with chemicals) beyond recognition.  Tonight I was excited to find out!

Pork shank marinated in red wine/mustard/buckwheat honey, blanched snap peas and roasted leftover root vegetables from the recesses of our veggie drawer (beets, carrots, turnips and kohlrabi).
The verdict?  It was quite tasty.  The meat was kind of similar to pork loin consistency-wise but with a slightly darker meat flavor.  The "grain" of the meat was also coarser than a traditional ham, I guess because the smoking process breaks down some of the connective tissue?  It was quite fatty though, it took a lot of fancy knifework to separate all the meat from the little fat pockets that were everywhere.  Now that I've satisfied my culinary curiosity I probably won't choose this cut of meat again unless someone else is preparing it for me :-)

I was hungry a couple hours later and craving chocolate, so I made up a nighttime snack.

1/2 whole wheat tortilla, 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 banana, 2 Tbsp sunspire grain-sweetened chocolate chips zapped in the microwave for 30 seconds
I haven't had this in a long time and it was perfectly gooey and delicious :-)  It's steep calorie-wise though so I shared half with a deserving husband.

Now we're watching Star Trek (Next Generation) before bed.  It's an episode about Data trying to understand feelings...I swear there are about 5 of these every season and I find them pretty irritating!

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