Tomato and Corn Summer Salad

August 12, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Food

tomato salmon corn goat feta olive oil balsamic avocado salad

 

One afternoon I tossed together tomato, basil, corn, salmon, avocado, and feta. Drizzled it with some good olive oil and balsamic glaze, sprinkled it with salt, and ate it all up in just a few bites.

I called it Summer Salad because I am incredibly creative. I think you should try it too.

The Eatery

March 21, 2013 By: Jenna Category: weight

I’ve moved back into weight-loss mode full-time (it will be a glorious day when I don’t have to devote so much time to this anymore!) and I’m gearing up to start That Weight Loss Challenge 4. Last year I started it around my birthday and so I figured I’d start another one around the 15th of April again. We’ll have the Facebook group (I just removed everyone from the existing one so we can start fresh and try to limit the group to active members), and we’ll use DietBet for the prizes (I’ll explain more later), and I’ll offer up a Jenna Cole session once again. It’s going to be awesome. And I’m not going to get pregnant and drop out halfway through this time :).

For the past two weeks I’ve been using an app called The Eatery to track what I eat. It’s like someone took my food blog idea, and gamified/social-networkified it!

Source

The idea is really simple. Take a picture of what you eat, and rate it on a scale of 1-100. 1 is fat, and 100 is fit. Then your food will be shown to other people using the app and they will say where they think it is on the scale of fit to fat. Then the app takes all of your data and creates a variety of charts/graphs to show you how you’re doing over time.

The gamification aspect has been really effective for me, as I constantly find myself thinking “Do I really want to eat this? If I do, I have to take a picture and show Eatery and then my score is going to go down.”

 

Source

The company, Massive Health, has been acquired by Jawbone and I’m not sure that they’re going to keep the app going indefinitely. That’s fine with me though, as it’s doing what I need to do right now. And if they integrate the app into the Jawbone UP I’d probably consider buying one just so I can keep using it! That’s how much I love this app!

I’m writing this post in part because I hope that Jawbone will see it and think about maintaining the app (fix the ability to connect to Facebook friends please!) but also because I’m wondering if anyone else is using it, or would like to start using it? I think it would be fun to compare our weekly scores and see if we can beat each other.

 

Once A Month Mom Cooking and Freezer Stocking

January 24, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Cooking

I know I’ve done several sponsored reviews lately, so I want to clarify that this is me writing a post about something I paid for and chose to do voluntarily. The people at Once A Month Mom have no idea who I am (other than the two payments I’ve sent their way over the past 6 months!) and I am writing this only because I know it’s something a lot of people are curious about and I wanted to share my experience! Just a note, in this post I frequently refer to Whole Foods grocery store and the Whole Foods menu from Once a Month Mom (OAMM). I tried to clarify each time, but I didn’t want people feeling confused!

A glimpse of my freezer filled with Whole Foods and Paleo menu items before baby comes.  All made entirely from scratch!

It’s 5:11pm on a Monday as I sit down to write this post. Can you hold on a minute while I go get a made-from-scratch Chicken Pot Pie in the oven?

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5:15pm and I’m back! And that includes yet another trip to the restroom (I’ve lost count of the number of trips I take on a daily basis at this point in my pregnancy). That short interval for preparing dinner is why I love freezer meal cooking. I know there are all sorts of pins floating around Pinterest that describe how to DIY this process, but I didn’t want to spend my time making grocery lists or calculating chopping amounts. That’s why I love the Once A Month Mom site. They feature menus filled with breakfast/lunch/dinner items made with seasonal ingredients to fit all sorts of diets including Whole Foods, Paleo, Vegetarian, and Gluten/Dairy Free. So far I’ve done two different menus, the Whole Foods menu in September, and the Paleo menu in January.

Want to know why you should give them your money? Because other than the chopping/cooking/wrapping, all of the work is done for you. They put out new menus with new recipes each month, they test out all of the recipes several times to figure out how to best adapt them for the freezer, and each of the menus includes Recipe Cards (with initial cooking instructions, freezing/wrapping instructions, and defrosting/reheating instructions), a Grocery List, Instructions (this feature is indispensable  as they’ve broken down the best order to make all of the recipes in), and Labels. All of these are created using spreadsheets and you plug in the number of people you want to cook for, and all of the recipe cards, instructions, chopping lists, grocery lists, etc, are updated with the correct amounts. You pay $8 for this and save yourself hours of time.

I have known about this for a long time but chose to wait until we had a larger kitchen and a bigger freezer to store it all in. You can find posts where women have made it work in small freezers, but I have a lot more counter space here in Palo Alto than we did in our apartment in Hyde Park, Chicago. We also were able to find a used stand-alone freezer to keep in the garage.

Budget

I think the question I get most frequently about this is “What does it cost?”. I’ll tell you what I paid for both rounds that I did, but keep a few things in mind. First, I live in Palo Alto which is a pretty expensive area of the country to be in. So maybe it will cost less for you. Second, I like to buy organic fruits/vegetables and “happy” meat. I was a bit more budget conscious with the second menu (the Paleo one) and decided to buy non-organic vegetables at Sprouts grocery store so the price was a bit lower, but with the first menu I bought almost everything from Whole Foods grocery store and the Farmer’s Market. Third, the cost will vary based on what you already have in your kitchen/pantry. I did the Whole Foods menu right after we moved and had to buy incredibly basic stuff like flour and olive oil because we didn’t have it on hand. Read more →

Things To Eat Before I Die

June 05, 2012 By: Jenna Category: Food

I can’t remember what this was. Something unusual in Poland.

There is a meme called 100 Things to Eat Before You Die going around the blogosphere and Facebook with people marking off the items they’ve eaten so far. I saw it on Grace’s blog, and decided that I’d like to start working my way through the list as well. There are some things I won’t try though, and I’m wondering if you guys would be interested in helping me think up replacement items.

I’m going to eliminate:

Absinthe

Bellini

Cognac

Dandelion Wine

Eel

Pufferfish

Mimosa

Octopus

Phaal

Shark

What food items should I add in to replace these? They don’t have to start with the same letters, I just want 10 unique food items to seek out and try (preferably from a variety of cultures!)

 

Musings on Mayonnaise

February 24, 2012 By: Jenna Category: Food

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I found myself thinking about mayonnaise. Which is weird, because for the past few years, we’ve all but given up on mayonnaise. I try to avoid oils like canola or vegetable, and mayonnaise is almost always made with them. It hasn’t really been that big of a deal since we gave up lunch meat, and most of our previous mayonnaise consumption came via ham or turkey sandwiches.

I know that they make all sorts of alternative mayonnaise-like products, like vegenaise, or mayonnaise made mostly/fully with olive oil, but I only like one kind of mayo. Period.

Source

If it isn’t Hellmann’s*, I don’t want it anywhere near my plate. I’d rather eat a dry hot dog any day (actually I don’t eat hot dogs either so that’s kind of a non-issue) than slather some of that disgusting slop called Miracle Whip on my bun.

While I was surfing the chasm between sleep and awake on said night, I had a thought. I probably only like Hellmann’s because that is what my mom liked and bought, and I associate that taste with how all mayo should taste. The part of me obsessed with  localganic whole foods, bucking-the-industrial-food-revolution, Occupy Big Food, etc wants to switch to mayonnaise made with oils I find more agreeable, but I can’t force myself to make the sacrifice. Sometimes a girl just wants a tuna sandwich with her childhood favorite mayo, you know?

Which means I’m probably dooming my own children to loving the soybean oil infused flavor that Hellmann’s provides. I know I could make my own (and I’m sure I will at some point just to see what it’s like) but the short storage time is really an issue. I like buying my big ol’ Costco sized tub of mayo and digging in month after month with no worries.

So, are you willing to help me figure out if my theory is correct. Do you consider one type of store bought mayonnaise to be best? Is it the same mayonnaise that your parents raised you on?

*Also known as Best Foods.

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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