(Minimal) Labor Day Weekend

by Sarah on September 6, 2010 · 4 comments

Yesterday I told you I was celebrating the Month-of-Me by taking a “day off” and just letting everything evolve naturally. This was partially inspired by the fact that allergies or sinuses or some other head-fogging annoyance has infiltrated my health reserves, but it is always good to just take some time for yourself, no?

So what did I do? Well…

I invented a new, incredibly tasty chicken ‘marinade’ (not really a marinade because I didn’t let it sit for more than 2 minutes before popping it in the oven…perhaps we shall call it a glaze?)
Inspired by the haunting deliciousness of an orange-mustard sauce eaten during the seven-course sake dinner at Kenichi many weeks ago, I brought out some orange marmalade and dijon mustard from the fridge.
I combined approximately 1 part mustard to 2 parts marmalade (but you can adjust to your sweet vs. spicy preferences) in a small bowl and stirred ’em up!
I slathered this Orange Mustard Glaze all over a VERY large chicken breast.
And cooked it for about 40 minutes or so in a 375 degree oven. (You can see that the sugar in the marmalade burned a wee bit, but this is why we spray the pan with cooking spray before hand. Easy cleanup later.)
Served it up with some okra (frozen and boiled…super simple) and fresh corn onto which I squeezed some lime juice and sprinkled some chili powder ( very Mexican).
The leftover chicken tastes great even cold. Success!

Also an unequivocal success? Splurging on this:
Oh my goll, y’all! Goat’s milk yogurt is the new Greek. Perhaps not as protein-packed, and definitely not thick like Greek yogurt….but it tastes sooooooo good. I can’t stop eating it. I’m excited about its appearance in my overnight oats this week.

I caught up with both my mom and my sister on the telephone. Because they read the blog, they usually know everything I have done before I can even open my mouth. Weird, but true.

I decided now was good time to use the Groupon I had bought many moons ago for frozen yogurt at tart. [The period is, in fact, part of the name.]
You might be wondering how I let “free” (well, 50% free) frozen yogurt go so long in the imaginary world of electronic vouchers without being consumed by the self-professed yogurt fiend that I am. Well, clearly I was subconsciously waiting for this:
Did you know $10 will get you a whole lot of yogurt?
On the left we have a little Cookies ‘n Cream and Chocolate Decadence, with some cookie dough bites on top. The monstrosity on the right contains Lychee, Mango, Original Tart, Banana (not artificial tasting!), and Taro…topped with those lovely little mochi balls and some brownie and cream cheese bites.

No, I did not eat all of this at once. I had planned on bringing it back and stowing it in the freezer, which is exactly what I did. (Well, that little bit on the left was consumed during Mad Men.)

Speaking of Mad Men…I watched that. And The Great Food Truck Race. And some DVRed The Real Housewives of D.C. And maybe some My Boys.

I realized I had an awful lot of miscellaneous nuts in no particular amount and being utilized for no apparent purpose.
Clearly time for some Nutty Butter.
I roasted the raw cashews and almonds, and piled them into the food processor with the sunflower seeds and peanuts. I didn’t measure, so I couldn’t tell you the ratios. All I know is that there was a whole lot of nuttiness happenin’ in the processor…
So much so that when steam started coming off of it, I realized we might need to take things a little at a time.
A few, slow and steady batches later (where I just let the processor run while I read in a chair next to the machine)…
YUMMMMMMMMMMMM…..
Lots of nutty goodness to be eaten by the spoon(or chopstick)-ful…
I started with what I “couldn’t scrape out of the bucket” (a similar problem that happens to when you just can’t get all of the brownie batter out of the mixing bowl and into the pan).
The fun didn’t stop there. Oh no.

I went to Alamo Drafthouse with Jen and Katelyn to see Going the Distance, which was quite a bit more along the lines of boy-movie funny than romantic quirky humor, but enjoyable (if not what I expected).
I overcame my craving for one of the Drafthouse’s amazing black bean burgers and munched on the snacks in my bag instead. :)
The usual pre-popped mini-bag of popcorn and some veggies (which are in a Ziploc, despite appearances to the contrary). No hummus this time. Because there is no hummus in my house! (You may pick your collective jaws up off of the ground now.)

I read this book.
It was your typical chick-lit-aimed-at-middle-aged-women-in-the-midst-of-potential-life-crisis. So, not especially intellectually stimulating. The best part was that the last 3/4 of the book take place in Costa Rica, which just made me all happy inside.

In preparation for a Labor Day BBQ, I created a Cucumber-Melon Salad inspired by a dish my friend Kathleen had brought to Book Club a couple of weeks ago.

In a large bowl, I combined 3 cups diced/cubed (into pieces about 1/2 inch in size or so) watermelon, 2 cups honeydew, and an entire cucumber (about 2 cups).
I squeeze the juice of one very juicy lime over everything, and sprinkle it with a good handful of diced fresh cilantro (about 1/2 cup).
I let that sit in the fridge overnight…
…and then added a generous sprinkling of roasted pepitas and feta cheese for the final presentation!
This is so unexpectedly good. I have already eaten about a quarter of what you see below…oops! 😉

Cucumber Melon Salad

3 cups diced/cubed watermelon
2 cups diced/cubed honeydew
1 whole cucumber, peeled and diced into 1/2″ chunks (about 2 cups or so)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
3 Tbsp. roasted pepitas
2-3 Tbsp. feta cheese (or more if you wish)

1. Combine melon and cucumber in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
2. Juice lime over melon mixture and add cilantro to the bowl. Stir well.
3. Allow to sit (in the fridge) for a few hours.
4. Prior to serving, add pepitas and feta, as well as more cilantro for accent.

———————-

Hopefully it is a hit at the BBQ this evening! At least I will like it, if no one else does. :)

———————
Month-of-Me Celebration #5

So today’s Month-of-Me celebration was to listen to my body. When I woke up, it was slightly overcast and rainy, and I thought, “Do I want to go to the gym?” I didn’t focus on whether or not I should or if I would feel guilty if I didn’t, but really, “Did I want to?” And the answer was yes! So I went. But I took it easy…after all, this is a (Minimal) Labor Day for me!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Oh that cucumber salad looks divine! Those are all my favorite flavors.
I also love your perspective on whether or not to hit the gym. I also have this same debate and am going to try your new question. Mine is (unfortunately) "How will I feel if I don't work out?" and it's time for a change.

Reply

kitty September 7, 2010 at 12:49 am

that chicken looks amazing… *drool*
i wish i had a food processor/blender so i could make my own nut butters!

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reshapeyourlifeblog.com September 7, 2010 at 10:02 am

I've never thought of making my own nut butter… That seems so simple!

Wish I could have gone to the movie! That's one I forgot was coming out! There are too many movies on my "to watch" list… maybe I should use my netflix account. lol

Reply

Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) September 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm

So many things to comment on! Sounds like you had an amazing day weekend. I've been wanting to make my own nut butter for a long time but I need a bigger food processor first – yours looks great!

Also love that your yogurt place has so many flavors, mine only has tart, green tea and raspberry – good, but still….i really want peanut butter!

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