It freaking sucks.
However, I truly expected to say “It sucks a duck and I want to lay down every moment of the day and die from the pain”, so I guessÂ you can say that it is going better than anticipated.Â I don’t have headaches anymore, but I am a lot more tired and unfocused and BLAH.
I’m Linus without his blanket and IÂ miss it with the power of a thousand burning suns. In fact, I haveÂ a perpetualÂ urge to tackle and make out withÂ anyone carrying a Diet Coke just to leech off a tiny bit of its melodious essence for my poor, deprived taste buds.
As for the rest of it?Â The gym and the dieting and thus?
I am not sure how I did it, but I have lost three pounds this week.
You can see my confusion when I show you a break down:
Calories: TO INFINITY AND BEYOND+1
As you canÂ see, the Diet Coke and caffeine are going well. I have not cheated even ONCE and OH, HOW I FRIGGIN’ WANTED TO!Â Â In fact there were two moments in particular where the stress and anxiety of the moment about drove me over the edge, but I didn’t cheat.Â Yesterday was one of those times, but as I have another post waiting all about it, I’ll hold off.Â
The rest of it is not going so spectacularly.
I have only been to the gym twice.Â My neck is out and I need to go to the chiropractor. I’m not proud of it, but it’s better than nothing.
The eating has been the WORST.Â
Not only have I had activity after activity that is food oriented this week, I am also dealing with how not having soda is impacting my eating.Â I was a “Chain Diet Coke Drinker”.Â I almost always had one one me sipping all the live long day.Â My mouth is lonely without Diet Coke.Â It feels like it has nothing to do. I have never felt so snacky and hungry in my life.Â My husband swears this will go away in time, but I’m not so sure.Â
Granted, I have tried to not snack on bad things, but I have gone over in calories a lot this week.
It didn’t help that I think I pretty much consumed an entire week of calorie alotment in one meal because of “Food Day” with my brother.Â I love Food Day.Â We bring the whole family and cookÂ for a crowd.Â Even though it usually wipes us out, the bro and I always have the best time.
For those who don’t know, I love to cook and so does my eldest brother.Â We’re acutally pretty darn good at it as well. A couple of years ago we started having Food Day, which pretty much entails us picking a theme (like Thai, Italian, Japanese, and Indian) and creating really challenging dishes together.Â
The theme this time was “Country French” and I have to say that it was probably one of the best we have ever done. Wanna see?
We started with Baked BrieÂ en Croute: (A wheel of brie cheese smothered with thick raspberry compote (Jam) and buttered pecans and wrapped and baked in puff pastery and eaten with crackers.
It’s pretty much a party for your mouth, people.)
Whenever we make dishes,Â we oftenÂ play around with the recipe and make it our own.Â Usually, we end up majorly increasing the fat content which puts me in 7th heavan because, like Ina Garten, I am a firm believer in the awesomeness of cream, butter and heavy cream.
The main dish was my brother’s own recipeÂ of Cassoulet.Â Cassoulet is a bean cassarole with a breaded stuffing top. This dish takes forever to make because you have to roast a duck before hand and soak the beansÂ a long time. There are a lot of steps that make itÂ complicated, but it is so worth it.Â
Â With this, we addedÂ roasted duck,Â sausage, bacon and pork to the beans and also sauteed the bread lightly in duck fat.Â Â We then decided that the dish wasn’t heart attack worthy enough so as an added topper, we took the duck skin and crisp fried them into cracklings, which we broke up and added to the stuffing.
I think it must have had eleventyhundred calories per tablespoon, but it was sooooo yummy.
To close off the dinner we served chocolate souffles.
My brother was afraid of making them, and it was a wonderful opportunity to show him how easy they are to make.
Â There are some easy tricks to making a good chocolate souflee.
Bake individual souffle’s instead of a big one. It’s much easier to tell when it’s done. Also, triple coat your ramikens. Butter them then refrigerate. Butter them again and then coat the inside with sugar.Â The batter adheres to the sugar and helps it climb to puffiness perfection.
Since most of the rise of the souffle depends on egg whites, fold them in gently. Don’t beat your batter to death. It needs to be fluffy and light.
Buy the best ingredients youÂ can get your hands on. There are few ingredients in a souffle, so it is important that they are top quality. Splurge on a vanilla bean and use high quality bittersweet chocolate. It is worth it.
DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN TO PEAK.Â You could collapse the whole thing.
Serve right out of the oven. As in, pronto. The more time the souffles have in the open air, the more they deflate. It doesn’t make it any less tasty, though.Â If it should happen, just say that you are having individual molton chocolate cakes. No one will know the difference.
I also recommend trying your hand at a Creme Anglaise sauce.Â (Again, best of ingrediants! Use a vanilla bean. You will never go back.) When your soufflees are done, make a deep hole in the middle with your spoon and pour it in. I would have loved to put some fresh berries on here, too.
It’s to die for.
As you can tell, Saturday was a load of delicious fun.Â
Sunday ended up being a big, fat headache.Â
THATÂ is a story for another day.