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Posted on Nov 15, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 26 comments

It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World

I’ve been bad lately. I know, I know, I shouldn’t use terms like “good” and “bad” when it comes to food, since it hearkens back to the days when my relationship with food was, uh, less than stellar. But I’ve got to be honest with you folks (that’s kind of my M.O. here, after all) and while “bad” may not be the best word for it, it sure hasn’t been good. With all the emotional drama of the past couple of weeks, I’ve barely been cooking. And we all know that cooking for ourselves is an integral part of weight loss (and health, in general!) So, y’know. Bad Gretchen.

In order to remedy this, I made a triumphant, if belated, return to the grocery store! And yes, I do realize that for normal, non-crazy, non-lazy people, the act of going to the grocery store isn’t exactly something worth celebrating. Buuuuuut, my blog, my rules. So we’re going to make a big deal of it anyway, goshdarnit! BEHOLD!

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Brussels sprouts, apples, limes, a lemon, a red onion, and asparagus. Can you believe that b. sprouts stalk?! Let’s get a closer look at that sucker:

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Whoosh!

Totally worth the extra dollar and a half I probably paid just for the stalk, haha. It’s kind of hilarious (in a sad way, not an actually funny way) that I always gripe about how much I’m spending at the grocery store for two weeks’ worth of food, when I easily will drop $10 at Chipotle for a single meal. Just another thing I’m continually trying to remedy, friends.

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Almond milk, eggs, bacon, and a salmon fillet.

Now, please note that this shopping trip was also done in the wake of yet another dental visit (6 months on the dot!), so I can’t be held fully responsible for some of the things that may have crept their way into my cart.

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Pretzel crisps, pita chips, hummus, garlic hummus, and a box of just-in-case Velveeta (kekeke.)

Case in point.

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Evaporated milk, pie crust dough, heavy whipping cream.

Though to be fair, something epic is going to be happening with these ingredients (plus two important additional ones that aren’t pictured) this weekend. Any guesses? Prepare thyselves for greatness!

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Tofu of the silken, firm, and extra firm variety, and balsamic vinaigrette.

One of the perks of being a blogger, besides the inflation of my ego and getting to meet awesome people I would never have met otherwise, is the awesome amount of coupons that I get my hands on before failing to ever actually use them. So thanks to remembering to actually try to save monies for once, I picked up the above bottle of salad dressing and not one, not two, but THREE cubes/packages/blocks (?) of tofu for FREE! Stay tuned for the amazingness that will be coming out of my recipe box (why does that sound dirty?) utilizing those puppies.

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In fact, the dressing has already been used in a red cabbage dish that I made alongside the salmon (prepared in the same way as my dill-icious lemon tilapia recipe!) and some particularly beautiful swiss chard that my sister gave me from her CSA. Yay for finally getting my act together and cooking for myself! I had almost forgotten how much I like doing so!

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Recipe for the braised cabbage to come tomorrow!

How do you dig yourself out of a cooking (or lack thereof) rut?

26 Comments

  1. I use the same price comparison perspective as you — I may gripe about spending a lot on groceries, or that extra dollar or two for organic vs. conventional, but have no problem spending $10-$30+ on a meal out. Such flawed thinking!

    • You and me both though… you and me both.

  2. Oh, the cooking rut. As you know, I get in them quite often. And like you…I also think nothing of dropping $10 for lunch but bitch at my grocery bill. As far as the cooking rut, I sort of have to reach the point where I’m sick of anything I could get out and am craving something that I can cook on my own.

    Living in NYC, I can go a long, long time before this happens 🙂

    • Oh gosh, if I lived in NYC I don’t think there’d be any point in me owning an oven.

  3. I feel like I live in a cooking rut. Every now and then I get inspired by something I see on a blog or decide it’s high time to stop just pinning and forgetting about things I’ve pinned on pinterest but usually I just stick with what I’m used to because it’s easier than thinking about cooking. And I too am guilty of not wanting to spend money at the grocery store but not caring at all about my lunch or dinner out. Ridiculous.

    • At least you’re in good company, clearly! I guess it’s because spending $70 at the grocery store still seems like $70, even though logically we can figure it out really breaks down to like, what, $5 a day? Versus $10 for lunch is still only $10, and I don’t let myself think it’s really $50 over the course of the week, for only 1 of my daily meals. Le sigh.

  4. I’ve been experiencing the same thing and I got super excited after a much needed trip to Publix and Costco this weekend. I was most excited about all the vegetables I picked up because my diet has been severely lacking in the veg department. Your dinner looks gorgeous!

    • Lately I’ve been waffling on whether I should get a Costco membership. There’s one that’s not too far, but not super convenient to my house, and I just worry that it wouldn’t really get utilized… but then again, I do live with 4 other people and we go through toilet paper like whoa. Dilemma, dilemma…

      • Yeah, we get all of our toilet paper, tissues and paper towels and store them in our garage like the hoarders we are. We’ve also experimented with what works in bulk and what doesn’t food wise over the years (I should do a Costco post one of these days). The biggest key is your freezer. We usually stock up on things like sandwich thins, chicken, shrimp, chicken sausages, and ground turkey. With fresh produce we only buy bulk for items we use a ton like bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, bananas, apples, and citrus. For the fridge we usually stock up on Greek yogurt, eggs, hummus, and salsa. And for the pantry we love buying pasta, canned beans, canned tomatoes, dog food, cereal, granola, and protein bars. It’s just my husband and I and we go to Costco to restock every two to three weeks. Costco has done a good job of bringing in healthy and organic options as well as repackaging so that smaller families or single people can utilize their deals. You should find out when your Costco has a weekend where non members can come shop and check it out, definitely worth a preview! And that ladies and gentleman is one very long winded comment (sorry!)

  5. I’m in a huge cooking rut, too. By the time I get home from work, it is so dark out! Who wants to cook when it’s dark out?

    I’m pretty good about not eating out (gosh, I am so cheap) but I do get in ruts where I just make the same ridiculously easy stuff over and over again. Spaghetti. Grilled Cheese. Eggs.

    This weekend is grocery shopping and I think I’m going to plan a whole bunch of new fun recipes to excite me.

    I’m excited for the tofu recipes! We have two boxes of local tofu (from our CSA) in our fridge and I have NO IDEA what to do with them.

    • Mmmm, grilled cheese… THAT’S what I didn’t pick up at the stinkin’ grocery store!

  6. Is THAT how brussel sprouts grow?? I had no idea. Heavens, you take beautiful photos, even if it’s just of packaged pie crust. Hang in there, chick, because it gets easier with time. Both the cooking and the coping. 🙂

    • I thought the same thing about brussel sprouts! I guess they don’t grow frozen in a plastic bag?

  7. I love the fact that you are so honest about your life I think that is part of what makes your blog so enjoyable to read.

    As far as cooking I know it is better (and cheaper) for me but I admit sometimes stopping to get food on my way home is just easier (and more expensive). The sad part is I genuinely enjoy cooking and I usually like what I cook so I should cook more often but I get lazy.

    • That’s my thing too! I really do love to cook as well! I guess my laziness just knows no bounds… 😛

  8. I love cooking. Especially the experimenting part of it. But ever since moving home, I’ve been in a huge cooking rut because my parents aren’t really into the whole “utilizing the kitchen for its purpose” thing. They might as well keep sweaters in the oven (Oh, dearest Carrie…). I’m trying to get back into the cookin groove for my lunches at work, even if it means cookig them all up on my days off ahead of time. Which is what I’m doing today. If I can find the stove under all the junk they put on it…

    • I just watched the episode where she comes home and Aidan is making fajitas. “You’re deflowering my pristine kitchen!” Bahaha, classic.

  9. Your dinner looks so much better than mine. I was cheap and took some leftoever sandwhiches from a film shoot. They had a good basil mayo in them, but nothing compared to that plate of beauty.

    As for my rut, I don’t know how I get out of it. I think I just get scared by how my credit card bill random went so high and I go on severe budgeting mode. I know, it’s not much of an answer.

  10. I look for a new recipe that I am excited to try, and that usually helps me get out of my rut. When I have something that I’m actually looking forward to making, it gets me excited to get back in the kitchen!

  11. Good question. I always think I should cook more often. And then it’s time to go to bed. In the morning, I forgot about it.

  12. I’m so excited for Daily Eats to come back!!! I have missed them!

    • me too! 🙂

      • I know, I know, just more reason I’ve been “bad”! Must get back on the ball… if not only to help continue motivating me to cook, just so I don’t have to take pictures of Chipotle bags and sushi containers! 😛

  13. Love stacy’s pita chips! I find if open a new cook book or one I havent used in a bit, I find some new or some “oldies but goodies”. This usually gets me in the kitchen

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