It was audition week this past Tuesday for the spring theater production and Cecilia was a little nervous. I did my best to remain supportive and positive. This is not my strongest quality. I like to fix things. I like to practice and perfect things. Cecilia….has confidence in herself. I can only wish I had her confidence, even now, and I hope she never loses it.
Despite my perceived nitpicking, I am very proud of both kids and could probably do a better job of actually telling them that amidst my various notes on their tone, pitch, the dramatic arc of their show, their cake decorating technique or dough handling. Though they really should listen to me about the dough, I’m a fan of all of it. I’m rooting for them despite making them re-do that fraction problem. I believe in them even if I force them to empty the dishwasher. I’m proud of them every day.
Of course, Cecilia says she doesn’t need it but it can’t hurt.
One of the most common questions I get, especially for early morning workouts, is around found. Do you eat? Should you eat? What do you eat?
Twice a week during the off-season, I find the will to motivate and get up early for a gym workout. One is a 5:30 a.m. HIIT class and I rarely eat before that one. I just don’t have the appetite or the stomach fortitude to get up and eat and get out the door. The other day the workout is an hour later and I find that by that time I do want and need something to eat to really get the most out of the workout. Sometimes a little carbs are just as good as coffee at warding off the fatigue.
So, what are the best things to eat before an early morning workout?
Our one big indulgence during our PEI vacation was getting a seating at the FireWorks Feast at the Inn at Bay Fortune. I was a little hesitant given the the price tag, even in Canadian dollars it’s not cheap, but after a long night of slurping oysters, eating smoked salmon, and a full five course meal, I can happily say it did live up to the hype and is worth the price. If you can’t spend your money on a memorable vacation experience, what are you going to spend it on?
One advantage to staying on the eastern side of the island is that the Inn at Bay Fortune was just a short ten minute drive from our rental house. This came in especially handy at the end of the night when we were all so full that the prospect of driving across the island to roll into bed would not have been appealing.
I like the challenge of cooking on vacation. I like the different stove. The different equipment. The weird spices. The limited cupboard. I think just being in a different kitchen and a different place can spark your creativity.
Of course, after a day in the sun or a day touring the sites, sometimes you don’t want to cook. You just want something easy. Or for someone to put a plate in front of your hungry face.
We spend a lot of the summer weekends in Brewster on Cape Cod and we take plenty of advantage of all the local, fresh seafood to make some great meals, but sometimes vacation means taking a break from everything, including cooking dinners.
We don’t eat out at restaurants very often. Both Michelle and I like to cook and, unless it’s a special occasion, we can often make something just as good and healthier (never mind cheaper) at home. We’ll sometimes cave to convenience, but I’d guess we only eat out as a family about 2-3 times a month.
When we do go to a restaurant, especially if it’s for lunch, we like to find something quick, tasty, and healthy-ish. Cava, a new fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant that recently opened in Dedham appeared to fit that bill.
Some days just leave you drained and dragging by six o’clock. The kids will always eat mac ‘n cheese or nuggets, but you are left staring into the cabinets wondering if saltines and hummus can qualify as dinner. This is when you need a back pocket recipe. A recipe that requires little thought, little effort and little time, but yields something you know you like and will leave you satisfied. One of my back pocket recipes is okonomiyaki. The most difficult part of the recipe is the pronunciation.
I’ll come clean. I’m a soft cookie man. If you give me a choice between a soft and chewy or hard and crispy, I’ll choose the former every time. The only hard cookie I can think of that I eat willingly are biscotti (soft and chewy with tea or coffee aren’t natural bedfellows) and even then the shower of crumbs sort of annoys me when the pleasure of dunking and dipping is done.
With the price of chocolate going through the roof to a thirty year high (c’mon you’re telling me intervening in the Ivory Coast isn’t in our national interests) I’m increasingly turning to these versatile molasses cookies as my go-to staple for a cookie fix. In our house we aspire to two food rules. One, the Epicurean rule of everything in moderation and two, the Pollan principle of indulgence is okay as long as you make it yourself.