Don’t Choke on the Artichoke

It’s getting late so I am going to try and make this snappy. 

This A.M. I started with a quick breakfast because I woke up a few minutes late since my husband failed to wake me up before he left for work.  Normally he tells me bye and I wake up. (He claims he said goodbye and I responded, but I have no recollection of it.)  Anyway, I had a slice of whole wheat toast with some peanut butter, sliced banana, and a handful of blueberries.

DSC00377 DSC00376

Lunch consisted of a delicious salad composed of tender greens, grape tomatoes, yellow and red bell pepper, sliced scallions, reduced fat colby stick, rotisserie chicken pieces, and peach salsa for dressing.  I had a Fage Honey on side and I added a couple of spoons of the plain greek yogurt to my salad before digging in.

DSC00379 DSC00380

On my way home after my meeting, I munched on this pecan pie Larabar all thanks to my sister for snagging me one when we stopped at the grocery on Sunday afternoon.

DSC00388

For dinner I ran over to Fisherman’s Cove Seafood Market to get some fresh fish to prepare at home.  I knew I wanted to have roasted asparagus as a side, but I also picked up  a stuffed artichoke to share with Chris. 

I cooked the mahi filets loosely following a recipe for a topping involving miracle whip, Worcestershire, dijon, bell pepper, scallions, and cayene.  However, I wasn’t at all happy with the dressing so I won’t be sharing that recipe.

DSC00395 DSC00398

As for the star of the show, the stuffed artichoke made an appearance.

DSC00389 DSC00392

Just in case you want to stuff your own artichokes, here are the ingredients.

DSC00413

And for those who have never eaten a stuffed artichoke which is actually a type of flower…

How to Eat a Stuffed Artichoke:

1. Pull a petal from the flower.

DSC00400 

2. Put the entire petal in your mouth crumb side up and scrape the entire thing with your top teeth pulling the petal out of your mouth.  (Don’t eat the petal.  Just scrape the soft top layer from the top with the crumb mixture.)

DSC00404

3. Discard the scraped petal.

DSC00403

4. Once all of the petals are removed you get to the choke or hairy covering over the heart of the artichoke.

DSC00406 DSC00409

5. Peel off the entire choke layer to reveal the edible heart.

DSC00410 DSC00411

6. Now that does not look all that appetizing, but it can be eaten in its entirety.  It contains the most flavor of the artichoke.  Many people only scrape the petals and stuffing and bypass the nutritious artichoke heart altogether.

In this area, I only see stuffed whole artichokes at seafood restaurants, po-boy shops, etc.  However, no stuffing is necessary.  Artichokes can be steamed and the petals can be dipped in lemon butter or vinaigrette prior to scraping the leaves.  Hungry Girl sent out a recipe last year for the steamed artichoke which can be seen here.  I made it and preferred the lemon butter dip over the salsa- yogurt dip she suggests.

Have you eaten artichoke before that did not come from a jar or can? 

Thai’d and True

Breakfast this A.M. was a warm bowl of oatmeal in my fairly new deep, red bowl.  And guess what?  The bowl worked like a charm.  There was no overflowing oats all over my microwave, so the two bowls were definitely a good buy.

Included in the mix was:

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup almond milk

Pinch of salt

Drizzle of honey

1/2 of a Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffin Cookie, crumbled(add after heating)

1 tsp. of peanut butter(add after heating)

Small handful of blueberries(add after heating)

Eat Me Already

All Mixed Up Bite

Warm, comforting, and deliciously sweet. 🙂

Since I still didn’t make it to the grocery last night, I ate leftover BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and a fuji apple for lunch.

The meatloaf was even better today, which I find it always  is better on Day 2 because it has time to marinate in all its seasonings/sauces.

After work I headed to the gym and ate this small snack for some much needed fueling.  The remnants of this trail mix has been sitting in my kitchen cupboard for several months, so I finally finished it up.

My workout included 15 minutes on the true slider elliptical, 35 minutes of strength training (same machines as last Wednesday), and 15 minutes of warm up on the treadmill.

Then, it was on to the grocery store.  Before going inside, I checked my email to see which of the 8 international recipes (received from a wellness site) I wanted to create for supper tonight.  I knew I’d be a while at the grocery and also that I have not had much greens in my life the past few days.  So I definitely wanted a quick and simple salad.  I went with the Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad.  Truthfully, I have never eaten Thai food, so was a bit unsure as to what its distinctive flavors included.  I followed the recipe as seen HERE on Eating Well.

For my salad, I purchased frozen, pre-cooked peeled shrimp to save some cooking time and ran them under cold water to defrost at home.  However, it really takes little time to cook shrimp, so it would have been just as much time as it took to defrost the cooked ones.  I picked up a red bell pepper, a cucumber, fish sauce, 2 limes, fresh cilantro (the basil looked old, so skipped it) and a box of light brown sugar since I was running low.  Once home, I whisked the juice of 2 small lemons, the fish sauce and oil, and spices together; then I added the shrimp, vegetables, and herbs.  (I did add some dry basil in the mix as well.)

I enjoyed a slice of whole grain bread on side smeared with a small bit of Brummel & Brown.

Shrimp Salad

Colorful Veggies Been Thai'd Up

My opinion of the salad is that it is very refreshing over a bed of lettuce. Having said that,  the fish sauce has a pungent smell and taste and may need some getting used to.  I have had fish sauce on my cucumber salads from Japanese restaurants, but didn’t remember it being that aromatic.  While eating I felt compelled to look up the influences of Thai food.  Regardless of what region influenced the cuisine, one ingredient prevalent in most Thai foods is fish sauce.  Much of Thai foods are enhanced with highly odorous/flavorful ingredients some being lime, cilantro, and spicy peppers.

Coincidentally, how ironic is it that my plate purchased for $3 at TJ Maxx before heading to the grocery and deciding on this recipe was “Made in Thailand?”  I didn’t even realize it until I got home and was washing my plate prior to using it.

Question of the Night:  Do you enjoy Thai food?  If yes, what is your favorite dish?  If no, what is your favorite international delight?

Say Hi to Your Mom an’ Nem

You may have noticed some of the unconventional New Orleans dialect in yesterday’s post regarding the “N’awlins” Saints.  Out-of-towners must get a kick out of the local gibberish heard around the city or perhaps feel a slight state of confusion as to what New Orleanians are trying so say.  Take for example, “How’s your mom an’ nem?”  If I’m speaking candidly, I’m not quite sure how to even spell it, but phonetically speaking, that’s what I hear.  I have also seen it written as “mom and dem, mom and ’em” and I’m sure someone else may have his or her own derivative; however, it is not about writing the phrase or how it is spelled.  It is more about the welcoming and “I’m happy to see you” friendly conversation when out and about the city and you run into friend or family that you may have not seen in a while.  You may be asking yourself, “Ok, what does it mean?”  Though the phrase specifically says “your mom an’ nem,” it is not only referring to your mom, but also the rest of your family too.  So, “say hi to your mom an’ nem” transfers as “say hi to your family.”

################################################################################

The hubby and I didn’t run into any long lost friends or family yesterday, but we did get a little taste of home cooking for breakfast on Saturday.  My hub wanted to venture out for breakfast and chose Dot’s Diner, a local 24 hour breakfast joint.  Breakfast is served all day and night, but they do serve lunch and dinner type meals as well.  I’ve only experienced their breakfast foods, which are cooked to order the way you choose.  Have your eggs over easy, medium or scrambled with your choice of whole eggs, whites only, or Egg Beaters.  I decided on the Western Omelet with two slices of lightly buttered wheat toast and hash browns.  For the omelet, I requested one regular egg and the rest whites rather than the three whole eggs that are normally offered for the omelets.

Western Omelet with Onions, Green Peppers, Ham, and American Cheese

I gave hubby half of my hash browns and ate the rest with ketchup.  I ate a little more than 3/4 of the omelet, and one slice of toast.

Cheesy Omelet

And as the mug says, “I’m not your Mama, but you’re always at home at Dot’s Diner!”

Shortly after breakfast I ran drove to the gym, to get a quick 45 minute workout in before our next stop of the day.  My workout consisted of 10 minutes on the elliptical, 25 minutes of strength training, and 10 minutes on the treadmill.  My strength training looked similar to Wednesday’s with only ten-twenty second rest periods and the addition of 3 sets on leg press with 20 reps @ 60 lbs. (done two different ways with 10 reps each way) and omitting the leg extension.

Next up, a visit to the in-laws to celebrate our nephews 12th birthday with hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and birthday cake of course.  We were stuck inside for the most part due to the pouring rain that has been ongoing and will continue throughout the week.

My Plate

Happy Birthday Cake

Birthday Boy

Take a Bite

Birthday Boy's Twin Sisters Awaiting Some Cake

My Slice of Moist Almond Flavored Cake with Pineapple Filing, Mmmmm

My Handsome Hubby Catching Up on Some Football

As the day rolled on, we decided to head home after a quick stop at Home Depot so the husband could pick up some ‘tools’ for a few of his projects, one being a bucket to start a compost pile for his gardens out back.

Once home I ate a couple of snacks to tide me over ’til dinner.

Small, Overly Ripe Peach

Dark Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Muffin Cookie

Dinner was a quick, put together meal of a sweet potato cooked in microwave, boiled frozen mini ears of corn, and Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Patty.

Sweet Tater Topped with Cinnamon and Spray Butter

Sweet Corn Topped with Salt and Spray Butter

I forgot how delicious sweet corn is, and had to go back for a second ear.

###########################################################################################

While this weekend commemorates the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the many lives lost due to levees breaching, I leave you with some spoken words of our culture heard around the city.

Lagniappe (Lanyap) – something extra for free

N’awlins – short for New Orleans

Parish – in Louisiana we do not use county, we call ’em parishes

Metairie (Met- a-ree or Metry) – suburb of New Orleans, I lived most of my life here in Jefferson Parish

Kenner (Kenn-er or Kenna)  – suburb of New Orleans, where I live currently in Jefferson Parish

Beignets (been-yays)- fried square of dough with powdered sugar on top

Cafe’ Au Lait (cafay o lay)- coffee and chickory mixed with steamed milk

Laissez le bon temps rouler (Lay-say lay baw taw ruelay) – french for “let the good times roll”

Poor boy (Po’ boy) – crispy french bread sandwich cut off of yard sized loaf of bread to top with choice of roast beef and gravy, fried seafood, ham ‘n cheese, italian sausage, meatball, etc. The original poor boy sandwich was french fries topped with brown gravy on the bread.

Dressed – topping for po-boy including mayonaisse, lettuce, tomato, pickles

Muffaletta (moof-a-lot-a) – large, round sandwich topped with italian meets, cheeses and olive salad

Makin’ groceries – going grocery shopping; buying groceries ( I personally have never said I am makin’ groceries, but it is more heavily used by the older generations.)

Snowballs- like a snow cone, but much better due to the very fine powder like shaved ice topped with sweet syrups and choices of condensed milk, evaporated milk, soft serve

Where Y’at? – how’s it going, where you at, where you been; also local magazine of arts and entertainment

Mom an’ Nem-mom and family

Ya’ll (yawl)- short for you all; similar to “you guys” in other regions of the country; not pronounced with the thick country accent like Paula Deen

Mardi Gras (Marty Graw)- also known as Carnival season; begins two weeks before Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras Day; celebrated 40 days before Easter to start up the Lenten season; people drink, eat, and go to the parades

Parades – large, themed floats with riders dressed in masked costumes who throw cups, beads, doubloons (coins, not real), trinkets to people/families lining the streets; also have dance teams and local high school bands performing between the mix of floats, dressed up Indians, people on horseback, clown cars throwing candy, and flambeaux (flam-bo) walkers who carry lit torches to lead the way in night parades and collect thrown pennies/coins from the crowds of people lining streets.

Throw Me Somethin’ Mister – parade watchers yell out to the floats to get riders attention and get some goodies

Hurricane– a massive alcoholic beverage served at local bars downtown; originated at Pat O’ Brien’s

Bourbon (Ber-bun)- street lined with bars, restaurants, strip clubs, souvenir shops located in the French Quarter, downtown New Orleans; there’s a party every night on Bourbon

Here is a more complete list regarding foods around the area and here is a more extensive list of terms heard around the area if interested in learning more about the New Orleans (pronounced New Oar-lins, not New Orleeens except when referring to Orleans Parish) native tongue.

Question of the Day: Does your hometown have any cultural terms that are specific to your area and otherwise uncommon across other regions of the United States? Please share, ya’ll! 🙂