Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So, I ate a hot dog on vacation...

So, as you might know, I've been out of town for a while.  Joe and the kids and I spent 10 amazing days together with great attitudes and amazing sights, and some food that was good, and some food that was quite mediocre.  Don't even get me started on the quality of hotel chain coffee...and gas station coffee... well, sometimes its better than the hotels, but man, was my Mexican Chiappas, Organic, Free-Trade, Whole-Bean/Freshly ground, Black coffee fantastic this morning!

So, we've been eating breakfast each day at the hotel continental breakfast.  Most mornings I had a piece of fruit, an english muffin or bagel with peanut butter, and a yogurt.  Now, I did change up the muffin for a "make your own waffle" more than once, and I had a blue berry muffin one morning and well, they've blended together, but breakfast was always provided "for free" by the hotel.  You know, with three kids eating at the same time as I did, I ate a bite from them and a bite from my plate, and I don't really know what I ate.

Lunch... well ... The first two days I primarily munched on fresh veggies - but by day three they weren't so fresh anymore... then I turned to fast foods right along side the kids.  I did the McDonalds salads a few times - rather high in sodium, but overall, a really decent salad.  Ours is better, but I do REALLY like their Southwestern dressing (Newmans Own).  And I had a great burger at Arnold's in Rapid City, and somewhere I had a buffalo burger (Al's Oasis - who knows where).  The buffalo was tasty, but the preparation of this particular burger left it really dry.  Both were enhanced with blue cheese - no ketchup for me!  Oh, and sit down, I ate a hot dog... day five we were at a park with the kids and the park had a 99 cent lunch deal - an all beef hot dog on a bun with a small soda for $.99.  Lucky for me they offered it for $.79 without the soda (I swore off soda about 14 months ago - I've drank nothing but water, coffee, tea, and lemonade since - mostly I don't drink artificial sweeteners if I can avoid it!).  So, I ate a hot dog on vacation.  I also had a really nice mahi mahi taco with good mango salsa on it!  It's a world of give and take my friends!

Dinner - let's see, pizza, French Dip at a Roast Beef Chain, 4 oz burger with cheese (:-)), buffet meal @ a chain restaurant - Mommy needed a lot of salad and veggie options!, way too much Mexican food, then homemade sloppy joe's at my sister-in-law's, a brat and fresh fruit and a great Buffalo Chicken Salad at her friend's cookout (and a lot of hard cider), Fathers Day dinner at a salad buffet place, Pizza, Amazing Pork Tacos (recipe next week) one of my BFF's in Iowa, and then we are home!

I've never looked so forward to cooking seafood and citrus together with steamed veggies as I did tonight!  I can't wait to help put the menu together again next week.  I have REALLY missed cooking!  And I think I've really realized I'm a good cook!

So, I get that alot of people don't have access to fresh foods - and fresh veggies in particular.  Growing up we ate alot of canned veggies, and what wasn't canned was usually frozen.  Frozen really is the way to go if you can get it.  It lasts for several servings, it will not go bad if you keep it cold, and it probably is the peak of freshness veggie.  Transported veggies have to be picked to allow for ripening during time in transit - frozen veggies are processed immediately.  Perfect!  I am 90% on board with doing the entire shopping from Walgreens - or any other convenience store - but I am a sucker for veggies - I'm calling them a necessity in my world.  I'll be there 100% someday - I just know it!  If they would dedicate that cooler space to corn, peas, broccoli, and mixed veggies (without Lima Beans) instead of alcohol, they'd earn my 100% business!

Enough for now - know that I'm back in the cooking grove for a week, taking another week off to visit Joe's parents, then finishing out the remaining 25 weeks of this year with a storm. 

Thrifty is Hot ... it's the new cool thing to do... it's better than wearing black over black!  It's like "green" or something!  Being thrifty while eating healthy is HOT!

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