Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mid-weekend Update!

Previously on the Bumpbuster blog...I'd promised all you faithful readers an update on my homemade coconut milk yogurt experiment.

The verdict? DELICIOSITY!!!

I got home from work on Thursday evening, and my little jars of tangy, coconutty wonder had been chilling all day in the fridge. I took out a jar, dipped in a spoon, and tasted. It was the clean tang of yogurt I'd missed, and just a hint of coconut n the background. Creamy goodness! I decided to amp up the flavor by swirling in a spoonful or two of no-sugar-added mango jam that I'd made back at the end of July. Flashback photo...

Canning homemade jam makes me feel like a domestic goddess. Which I definitely am not.

The yogurt was definitely thinner than the Greek yogurt I'd been buying before going paleo, but it is very enjoyable and satisfying. I took another jar in my lunch on Friday, so I've got just five jars left to enjoy before I need to make another batch. Plus, I've had requests from family members to share!! I might end up buying a second set of jars, so I can always be ready to make a batch even if I'm still working on the first. I just love the fact that I can now make my own yogurt at home, and control what goes into each batch. The only sugar I added to the recipe was a tablespoon and a half of coconut sugar, which is absolutely necessary for the yogurt cultures to feed off of during the fermentation process. Once the process is finished there is no sugar left in the finished product. No additives, no preservatives, just real food!

A quick recap of Thursday through today's meals (DISCLAIMER: I've gone off the rails a bit these past two days!):

Thursday, Sept. 11th:
Breakfast: diced chicken thighs, collard greens, and sweet potato hash, banana with sunbutter
Lunch: spicy tuna cakes, carrots, chopped nectarine with coconut cream
Dinner: zucchini noodles with homemade meat sauce, yogurt with mango jam
Evening snack: grapes and Caramelized coconut chips

Friday, Sept. 12th:
Breakfast: Aidell's chicken apple sausage, banana with sunbutter
Lunch: spicy tuna cakes, carrots
Afternoon snack: homemade banana pudding (more on this later)
Dinner: boyfriend treated to Capital Grille! Appetizer: fried calamari with cherry peppers Entree: steak au poivre with shared sides of roasted wild mushrooms and potato au gratin Dessert: creme brûlée 

Saturday, Sept. 13th:
Breakfast: apple fritter and bacon maple donuts with a decaf coffee from Rhino Donuts in Lauderdale by the Sea

As you can see, from Friday afternoon on, it was gradual slide into Cheat Day Extraordinaire; whoops! There's a story behind the banana pudding, though. At the end of July, one of the employees of the company I work for (which happens to be my dad's company) came to me about assistance with his insurance benefits. He had previously declined our company insurances, because he was covered under his wife's plan. Then she was laid off in July, so they now needed to enroll in our company plans.

 I helped him get his paperwork together, then I needed some additional information from their previous plan to submit to the insurance company. While he was on the phone with his wife getting the information, he asked me if I liked sweets. Now, by this time it was around the first week in August, and I was a few days into my Whole30; I told him I definitely had a sweet tooth, but I was doing a challenge and not eating sugar for 30 days. He asked when the challenge was up, and I said after Labor Day. He then said, "okay, after Labor Day, my wife is gonna make you her homemade banana pudding as a thank you!" 
Banana pudding...a Southern hug in a bowl
Now, I'm half Southern, and my food preferences definitely lean towards my Southern roots, and I LOVE banana pudding! How could I turn that down? So yesterday was the day, and his wife brought in a still-warm dish of the banana pudding into my office. They are two very sweet and nice people, and honestly one of my favorite parts of my job is being able to help the employees any way I can with dealing with insurance or whatever other payroll/HR issues they may have. Getting repaid in desserts is just icing on the cake. Heh heh.

As far as Capital Grille goes, the food there is so good, I couldn't resist indulging some more. And the menu is pricey, so it's a very occasional treat (the boyfriend had a $50 coupon, which is one of the reasons we went - the bill still ended up at $100 WITH the coupon!). Their fried calamari with cherry peppers is about the best calamari I've ever had, so I was definitely ordering some of those. I love the spicy, vinegary contrast of the peppers with the crispy, chewy calamari. The steak was pretty good, too, but was actually outshined by the two sides we ordered to share, which were both recommendations from our waiter. The roasted wild mushrooms were so earthy and savory, a good counterbalance to the pepperiness of my steak, and the potato au gratin just melted in my mouth. I should've stopped after my entree, but creme brûlée sounded too good to pass up!

And I have no real excuse for going to Rhino Donuts this morning after Pilates and yoga (I did back to back sessions; Pilates from 8-9, and hot yoga from 9-10:30). I'd heard very good things about the new donut shop in LBTS, so walked over and ate my two donuts at one of the sidewalk tables. Both donuts were delicious, but I'm really looking forward to trying one of their "rhino horns" when they put them back on the menu after the weather cools down (apparently they're difficult to make in the heat and humidity) - they're Rhino's version of the famous Cronut from NYC's Dominique Ansel Bakery!

That's about all for now, still on tap for the weekend is a baby shower this evening, and doing my weekly cookup at some point today or tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
So-long-for-now Snaggle