You know something is officially a commitment when you say it out loud to someone else.
So if you fall through, someone is going to be aware of it.
Yesterday, I announced to the roomie, amid an embarrassingly long MasterChef catch-up marathon, that I was going to write a cookbook.
That seems a lot more epic than it’s actually going to be, but still.
I did not cook as much as I should have this summer. I didn’t like sharing a kitchen, using pots & pans that weren’t mine (or big enough), hand washing everything, cooking for just myself, cat hair, etc etc. I ate a lot of chicken nachos, drank a lot of beer, and had a lot of fun. So even though my stomach kind of hit the floor when I stepped on the scale, and saw that I had done a little damage to all the work I’d done leading up to the summer, I can’t regret all the good nights I had and memories I made with some of my favorite people in the whole world. And really, three pounds is very lose-able.
But it got me thinking, it got me talking, and it got me researching. The thinking started here: I’ve been following the progress of Andie’s mom since Day 1, and it’s been a good reminder about portion sizes. Also her detailed account of her mom’s eating reminds me that 1) food journaling and meal planning are where it’s at, and 2) some great, yummy, low-cal meal ideas.
The talking was with my sisser and my dad. Sisser is doing unbelievable things over in Moscow, ID. Working & beauty schooling for 80 hours a week, she’s thinks she’s often too busy for much more than a drive-thru. When she came to visit in Leavenworth, we got to talking, and I offered to send her some healthy crockpot recipes and some ideas on how to meal prep effectively. She seemed open to the idea, which then led me to start thinking about how to go about presenting all the information, and what all I wanted to actually present. I also had a similar conversation with my dad, which led to him asking for the links to Andie’s plan for her mom, and for some of the recipes I’d be sending to Em.
Then I realized I would be needing all of this motivation & all the healthy recipes for myself when I start Les Miserables over in Issaquah next month. (Speaking of, did I ever mention the fact that I was cast in Les Miz at Village Theatre, and last week I was offered the Eponine understudy position as well? I’m kind of not really at all just kidding for sure jumping up and down excited. WAHOO!)
So that’s this month’s project. I am going to compile a Shutterfly cooking booklet for the sisser, the dad, and whoever else wants one. The goals of the booklet:
1) Healthy eating on a budget
2) Meal prep & planning, and how to grocery shop effectively to not over-buy
3) Shopping & cooking for one-two people
4) Having it done by Christmastime so I can give it to them as Christmas gifts.
5) Experimenting more with meatless, gluten free, and dairy free options
6) One-pan meals
The third one is going to be my biggest personal focus. I have a bunch of books on hold at the library right now, but my biggest challenge recently is how to cook healthy for one person. I love leftovers, but besides lasagna, I don’t want to eat the same thing every day for a week. I can make recipes smaller, but a lot of times that means things end up cooking differently. And I still end up buying things in excess only to discover moldy zucchini in my produce drawer. And that is always sad.
The fifth one is because I’ve discovered that meat & dairy are always the most expensive things I end up buying, and I’d like to cut back. I also just feel better when gluten and dairy aren’t the biggest things on my plate.
The sixth is because my biggest laziness as a cook is dishes. I will skip vegetables if I have to prep AND cook them, because I decide making less dirty dishes is better than having a couple servings of veggies with my chicken breast. If it’s all in one pot, I’m 10x more likely to add the veggies. And if I’ve pre-cut them (#2), then there’s no excuse.
So there it is. Shutterfly is going to make this the easiest thing ever, and hopefully I’m going to end up with something I’m decently proud of. Expect some new recipes these next few months as I experiment, starting tomorrow with my Make-Ahead Mason Jar Omelettes.
Any favorite Cooking for One books you recommend, or major tips/words of advice for this project?
(Also…GO NATASHA GO!!!!!!)