Can't Talk, Eating

Hey, look! Two blog posts in the same calendar month! One month into 2015, and I'm still keeping one of my actual, CURRENT-YEAR resolutions! Go me!

Plus, this post is going to be about MULTIPLE resolutions at once. I win at ... something.

Anyway. When last we spoke, I mentioned a bunch of "guidelines" that I set for myself for this year and I am happy to report that I have been hard at work at #5 especially. Now that I have a semi-regular schedule (i.e., I work most days and am almost always home by 4:00, so I have time to make "real" dinner instead of just throwing random assorted frozen things on the table), I have been trying to expand my repertoire in the kitchen. I mean, I think I'm a pretty good cook anyway, but it never hurts to improve.

This means -- pretty much as I predicted -- that I'm experimenting a lot more frequently with recipes I find on Pinterest. And so far, I've found one that has been an absolute, unqualified slam dunk, and so I am sharing it here.

But first (OF COURSE), a story, which begins thusly: I just CAN'T with pancakes.

I mean, I love pancakes. LOVE THEM. That's the problem. One is never enough. Three are usually not enough. Add in butter, syrup, etc., and I end up feeling fluffy and sluggish for the whole day. (Carbs!) But I love them, and my daughter and husband love them, and I feel so ... difficult when I make them for everyone else, but don't eat them myself. Difficult, and sad. Everyone else has a plate full of golden-brown hotcake deliciousness in front of them, and I'm eating a sad little serving of scrambled eggs.

Enter the cream cheese crȇpe.

trying something new: cream cheese crêpes with (fancy!) blueberry preserves.

This recipe has been floating around Pinterest for a while, usually under something like "low-carb pancakes." I tend to stay away from recipes like that, because many low-carb recipes out there contain ingredients I can't eat or don't like -- almond flour (allergic), coconut oil (not worth the cost, I don't think), Stevia (ick), erythritol (what?). But I found one that has two ingredients, both of which I (1) recognize and (2) have in my house.

Cream cheese and eggs. That's it. WHAT?

Believe it or not: these are GOOD. I don't know what kind of culinary alchemy makes cream cheese and eggs (plus a little bit of vanilla extract, which I add, because I never follow recipes exactly) turn into something that tastes almost exactly like pancakes when you pour the batter out of a blender, but HELLO LOVER.

I made these for the first time about a week ago, and they were good. I was not 100% satisifed with how they turned out -- I had trouble getting them to come out "pretty" -- but they tasted fine, and instead of syrup, I only needed a little bit of topping. In that first batch, I only used three half-teaspoons of blueberry preserves (half a teaspoon on top of each crȇpe), and it was enough.

But, as I said, I wasn't completely sold. They were good enough, but not perfect. Something wasn't quite right. I needed a second taster to try these and guess what was wrong with them, or tell me I was bananas for liking them so much, or something.

We tried them again this morning, and this time they were an unqualified success. My husband declared this recipe "a keeper" -- and I'll agree, especially because I figured out what was wrong with the last batch.

made cream cheese crêpes again. you should too. they're amazing.

Here's the recipe: 3 ounces of softened cream cheese (lowfat cream cheese [American Neufchâtel] will work just fine) and 3 large eggs (or equivalent -- I used 2 medium eggs and 1/3 cup Egg Beaters). That's all. I added about 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, but you don't need to. Mix in a blender or Magic Bullet-type device, then pour onto a heated griddle or skillet. You'll get 6-8 crȇpes from this recipe, depending on how big you make them. They'll be thin -- they're crȇpes, after all -- but they taste like pancakes (somehow!) and satisfy that craving. I don't know how, but they do. Magic, maybe?

When I made this batch, I put about half a teaspoon of preserves in the middle of each crȇpe and then rolled them up, with a little extra of the top, and a squirt of whipped cream to look pretty. They tasted AMAZING, even better than last time, when I used all Egg Beaters.

And now I can have pancakes with everyone else. THE END.


As If We Never Said Goodbye

Forgive me, Internet people, for I have sinned. It has been 420 days since my last confession.

my christmas "elfie" got photobombed.

There is literally no reason for this picture to be here ... and yet, here we are.

(No, wait: that’s not true. It’s been 17 days since my last confession -- yes, really! -- but it’s been 420 days since my last blog post, which is what I really mean. Or, at least, that’s all you care about, anyway. Which is fine, because nobody cares how often I go to confession. Except maybe that poor priest who had to hear my first actual confession in 15 years. But he’s not allowed to rat me out, so you’ll just have to sit there and stew in your own juices and wonder what I had to confess after all that time.)

[Okay, fine. Can’t have you all worrying about me since it’s been so darned long. I’ll give you the short version, which is basically what I gave that priest, anyway: you know those Commandment thingies? I broke just about all of them except the ones about murder and adultery. I’m also pretty sure that I committed all of the Cardinal Sins, too, especially gluttony. I mean, Meghan Trainor might be all about that bass, but my “good-butt” jeans are most decidedly not.]

{Oops, there I go busting out the Pride already. But trust me: I still fit into these pants right now, and I intend to keep it that way, and if that’s sinful pride (prideful sin?), so be it.}

Gaaah, that’s a lot of parenthetical-type markings at the beginning of a blog post. ANYWAY. The point of all of this is to say that one of my resolutions for 2015 is to post more often. You know: like, more than once every 1⅙ years.

INCIDENTALLY, if you happened to find yourself wondering what I did during my mostly unintentional (yes, really!) hiatus, allow me to direct you to my Instagram and Twitter feeds. If you don’t know what those are (hi, Mom!), then let’s just say I spent a lot of time having something vaguely resembling a “normal” life, reading everything I could get my hands on, and trying to figure out (1) what in the Dickens my kid means when the words come out of her mouth and (2) where in the Dickens she picks these things up, anyway.

Oh, and I stopped being a grad student and became an actual, real-life, certified teacher of 7th-12th grade English Language Arts in the state of Pennsylvania. I have all kinds of paperwork to prove it and everything (including the student loan bills). They’re somewhere in this house, anyway. I can tell you where my diploma is, at least. Which, if you know anything about my life, is definitely progress. Victory in our time!

Anyway, I fully intend to get back to business now, beginning with my New Year’s resolutions. Except: I don’t really “do” resolutions, really. I mean, I make them, just like everyone else, but I also break them pretty easily (see: my attempts to learn to make a flaming dessert, which have been ongoing for approximately eleventeen years at this point).

But now that I’m mumble-something years old, I’ve finally gotten around to realizing that broken resolutions aren’t really fractured promises so much as they are detours -- or maybe I mean “scenic routes.” Sometimes you have to break a resolution in order to find out if it was one worth making in the first place. So I guess what I am saying is that I plan to make these resolutions more like guidelines (not unlike recipes and speed limit signs).

Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Blog more often. (See paragraph 5, above … the one after the {squiggle brackets}.) This one is self-explanatory and doesn’t require any clarification; yet here I am, writing at least one whole additional compound-complex sentence about it, including a properly-placed but entirely gratuitous semicolon.
  2. Treat myself better. Not necessarily in a “splurge” sort of sense (although I do intend to at least try to get massages and pedicures more often), but more in the “give myself at least a small break once in a while” kind of way. Stop beating myself up for small mistakes and lapses in judgement. Wear my “good-butt” jeans just because. Have an extra pudding cup because I want to.
  3. Take better care of myself. Again, not the usual “stop eating food that tastes good and work out 4 hours a day.” I’m 40 years old -- it’s okay, I’m fine with it, really -- and I’ve been on a diet for, like, 39½ of those years. That isn’t what I mean. (Although I do need to lose weight and exercise more.) Of course I’ll refocus my efforts on eating healthy food and not having Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs for dinner four nights a week. But I should also get a mammogram and a Pap smear and maybe some baseline blood work to make sure that my blood isn’t made up of 75% bacon grease. And I should definitely check in with a therapist for a tune-up.
  4. Keep learning. One of the things that I learned (or that was reinforced) while I was in grad school was how much I love to learn new things. I completely changed careers and lines of intellectual inquiry, which was so revitalizing for me. I know I was annoying, and I appreciate everyone who tolerated (and continues to tolerate!) my insufferable excitement. But I know I’m not done learning, and I want to keep learning something new every day.
  5. Try new things. This is, of course, related to “Keep learning” -- but the differences between those two resolutions are vast. It’s one thing to know who The Doctor is, but something altogether different to experience Doctor Who. I like to know what my students are reading, but it’s important to also read those things as well. Knowing and understanding are not the same, and unless I try to apply the things I have learned, my “personal education” will always be incomplete. (This might mean that I make more Pinterest recipes or try again to tackle Don Quixote; hard to say how this one will pan out. Hopefully this will give me plenty of things to blog about this year.)

So. I guess I’m back. And already it’s as if we never said goodbye. (Probably because we didn’t, but still.)