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A Little More Yum, A Little Less Stress November 13, 2012

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Cross Training for Life, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, The SK Plan, Tips and Tricks.
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What we’ve learned so far in this Cross Training for Life adventure, is that health isn’t about how many miles you can run or the state of your six-pack, it’s about being a well-rounded person inside and out! SK has taken it upon herself to spearhead the Cross Training for Life game plan by trying out new, different and suggested things to better her own mind, body and soul, as well as YOURS! If you’ve been following our posts, you know we’ve covered a lot of the nitty-gritty basics, so let’s jump into the specifics, the tips n’tricks and yummy goodies to being healthy and strong!

There are so many times we look in our fridge and want something oh, so savory and juicy, but we know that the frozen pizza or the chips and salsa will just do us wrong. Here’s the latest from the SK Plan files to help you in your workout life, but also meet the unequivocal needs of your taste buds.

Tasty Tuna Salad

Now, everyone has their own version of tuna salad and the great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever your heart desires (celery, walnuts, grapes, etc.) Here’s the SK version:

  • One can tuna in water
  • One red onion, chopped (as much as you like…not the whole onion!)
  • Granny Smith Apple, cubed or cut up small
  • Mayonnaise, about 1/2 the amount of tuna (less than a regular tuna salad)
  • Garlic or garlic powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Pepper

Mix it all together in a bowl! Make a lot to fridge for later or eat it as is, or on toast (yum!) for lunch or a light snack!

Mexican Pizza

  • One Whole grain tortilla
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Red or green peppers, thinly sliced
  • Shredded taco cheese
  • Salsa
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper

Start by putting your onions and peppers on a whole grain tortilla, add any other mexican/pizza like veggies you enjoy. Don’t over load, or you won’t be able to eat it! Lay a thin layer of shredded cheese on top of veggies, then a thin layer of salsa and top again with a layer of cheese. Add spices on top for seasoning as you wish. Bake in oven for 10 min at 300 F. Let it sit for about 1-2min and then dive it! The tortilla will be crunchy like a pizza, I recommend using a fork and knife or folding it over like a quesadilla!

The Workout Calendar

To help you with your stress and your anxiety about working out, SK has also thought up two great new ideas that seem to work wonders for people who just can’t get their minds off…well, anything. For those of you who are avid worker-outters, or the ones that can’t seem to get their workouts to be consistent (remember, a workout can be anything, check out some of our suggestions in other posts!) a workout calendar is the best! Sometimes, being visual gets you motivated to fill in the blanks! Print out a blank monthly calendar from Google or your Outlook style program. Every time you do something active, write it on that day. For example – Ran 1.5 miles; Did abs and arms; Helped mom clean house; went to karate class and stretched. Don’t fill the calendar in before you do it, this will build anxiety and expectations and if you don’t end up working out, you’ll feel like you failed. Try to mix up your activities but also keep some consistency, if you run Monday and Thursday, try to mix up Saturday, do something different every week. The point of the calendar is to encourage you to fill it in, not to push you to plan your days around it. Maybe this month it’ll look a little empty, but set a goal for next month to fill in more and more days!

De-stress Book

The de-stress book is going to help you with your mental health. Are you that person that is up until 1am thinking about all the things you needs to do, people you have to email, tasks you can’t forget? i-phones and computers don’t help with that at all, you just end up staring at the screen all night and wake-up tired. Go buy a notebook, preferably a drawing book with totally blank pages, if you like ruled pages that’ll work just fine too! Keep it by your bed with a pen and write EVERYTHING in it. You’re schedule, things you randomly remember, things you don’t want to forget, list of bills, tasks or duties. Anything that keeps you up at night, even your workout schedule! It doesn’t matter what you write in it because it’s personal to you, it doesn’t have to be organized any which way, it’s just a place to put your brain so you can de-stress and fall asleep. You may not even refer to your de-stress book after you write in it, and that’s okay, but if you do need to remember something, you’ll know that it’s safely stored where you can find it.

Healthy Home Cookin’ Restaurant Style! October 13, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Food/Dining, The SK Plan.
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Sometimes you just feel like a little restaurant, home style flare without the 20 minute drive and tip+tax budgeting. In which case, I’ve recently found two tastey solutions that are quick, easy, YUMMY!, and can last you for more than just one meal.

Old School Cornflake Chicken Tenders…if you don’t like these, you need to seek therapy!
What you’ll need:

  • Skinless chicken thighs (or you can find ‘chicken tenders’)
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • Approx. 2 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional but highly recommended!)

Set oven to 400 degrees, while it’s pre-heating rinse the chicken and pat dry. In one bowl mix cornflakes, oil, cayenne and a teaspoon of salt. In another bowl, mix 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water.
Before dipping the chicken, salt and pepper both sides generously. Taking one piece at a time, dip the chicken into the egg mixture, shake of excess and then coat with cornflake mixture. Press the cornflakes into the chicken to help them adhere, make sure it’s covered. Place chicken into a small ceramic baking sheet or rimmed baking sheet. Right before you place them in the oven, sprinkle any extra cornflakes left on top to fully coat those puppies! Bake for 30 min, sprinkle with salt and pepper or any spice for taste!
An easy honey mustard mix to enjoy with your newly baked tenders: mix honey, Dijon mustard and a bit of mayonnaise to taste! Dip away!

While the above object may remind you junk food galore, it’s actual a pretty healthy meal! Add the salad below and you’ve got lunch or dinner for a few days!

1 -2- 3 salad!
Buy a packages arugula or romaine mix from the store, depending on your taste. Throw salad mix in a dish, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, add a little vinegar, oil, lemon juice and pepper and finish off with fruit of choice (i.e. strawberries, melon or green apples!) ….it’ll taste like you paid $18 for it!

Get the Most Out of Your Dirty Dishes June 13, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, The SK Plan.
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Something that’s pretty common in my kitchen is making one meal …for three. Why spend time getting dishes dirty and the kitchen a mess for just one, singular meal when you can get more out of it for your money and your appetite?

Mother-Meal
Sofia’s Mom’s Enchiladas

This is probably one of the easiest recipes I have, I make them all the time in all different forms.

Tortillas (whole wheat or flour)
Enchilada sauce (any but I prefer Casa Fiesta Green. Green is hot, red is mild)
Cottage Cheese
Shredded Taco Cheese or Mexican Blend
Beef or Chicken (if you’re only making one meal you can use anything to substitute meat like beans or just keep them cheese only.)
Taco Seasoning

  1. Cook the beef till it browns and add Taco Seasoning, about ½ a bag. Just mix it in.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Mix 1 small tub (16oz) cottage cheese, 2/3 can Enchilada Sauce and a hand full of shredded cheese in a bowl. Mix well.
  4. Take your tortillas and lay them flat on a cutting board of clean surface, hold up one side against your palm and lay cottage cheese mixture in a line, about an inch thick. Take beef or chicken and make another line right next to the cottage cheese.
  5. Fold the tortilla over the mixtures; fold the bottom and top ends in (use two hands, one on top, one on bottom.) rotate once more to fold is all over. Carefully place it in a baking dish…smushing it in is okay. Continue until baking dish is full.
  6. Continue until dish is full
  7. Take the remaining enchilada sauce and mix it in the remain cottage cheese mixture. Pour this right down the middle across all the enchiladas. Grab a handful of shredded cheese and cover the entire platter.
  8. Bake 20-25 min.

Meal two
Since enchilada sauce does not need to be heated to be eaten you can easily use the cottage cheese mix as a high protein snack. Use whatever you have left and some added cottage cheese to make a very healthy bite! You can also add some veggies or use it as a dip! Make sure it’s cottage cheese consistency rather than soup consistency.

Meal Three
Remember that beef or chicken you put aside? SAVE IT! For anything, it’s a great Tupperware keeper to have to throw into a salad (like my taco salad!), on top of pasta for a little kick, a quick snack with some chips and salsa or even just on it’s own.

You can make as much or as little as you like of any of this. I usually buy groceries in bulk through FreshDirect so while I may only use 1 tub of cheese and 1 pound of beef I’ll buy and cook more to give me different meal alternatives!

Fresh out of the oven! MmmMm!

The Quick, Yummy Fix May 26, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, The SK Plan.
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For a lot of us, young, business-ridden and tired as hell city dwellers, cooking is something we enjoy but not always something we have time or energy for. I can’t tell you the number of days I’ve come home and thought “ugh, I’m starving and the LAST thing I want to do it cook.” Heat-up, frozen meals are full of garage and most of them don’t even taste good and ordering-in can get costly…so here’s a few quick things I’ve learned lately that’ll give you a tasty, healthy meal in less then ten minutes.

Brocolli and Cheese!

This is my stand-by “I woke up 30 min late and don’t have time to make a real lunch! argh!” Easy as pie (…I wish pie were easy as pie!) Make sure your pantry it always stocked with Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and your freeze with frozen brocolli. Make the Mac n’ Cheese as instructed, cook the brocolli and then mix it allllll together! Bam, lunch and a healthy one at that.

Taco Salad….sans-restaurant

I’ve stood by the Taco Salad for years, it’s like my go-to aunt when times are tough.

All you need:

  • American Blend Salad (or whatever bag salad you fancy.)
  • Ground Beef
  • Onion
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Taco cheese
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream – optional

Beef:  Chop up the onion, the smaller the better. Throw it in a pan on medium-high with a tiny bit of olive oil and let it soften, throw the beef in and cook it until brown. Just before you’re done throw on the taco seasoning, at little or as much as you want, I usually do ½ a bag. Mix it in well for another minute or two.

Place salad in a bowl, top with warm beef, top with cheese. Take tortilla chips in between hands and crunch them up on top of the cheese, glop salsa and lastly sour cream if you desire. EAT IT! Yum!

You can make enough beef to last for 2-3 more meals and place it in the fridge, mine generally lasts great about a week! And it’s easily portable, just make sure to take the salsa separate and put it on top before you eat.

The quicker the coffee…the better!

Brewing coffee has rules and if you use a good ole’ fashion coffee drip, you’re good to go if you use a timer but for us French Press crowd, running late in the mornings can be a stressful coffee situation. Here’s what I learned recently from a coffee man in Brooklyn! Over boiled water hurts coffee grains, it burns them and destroys the flavor. Waiting for your kettle to boil before pouring it in your French Press can be agonizing and make the wait for tasty caffeine even longer, well, turns out you don’t have to wait! To make good, flavorful coffee water needs to reach boiling point and not beyond. Reduce the temperature when you hear water in your teapot begin to boil,  at that point it’s ready for coffee. You can pour it over your coffee and run off to get that skirt or tie on while you wait for it to brew in the press! It cuts coffee time and makes for a better tasting java. Everyone wins! (Including the crowd on the subway, since the extra flavor will make you a little less of a rush hour beast!)

Hearty Happy Tummies! February 21, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, The SK Plan.
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Fear not faithful foodie followers, the SK PLAN has not ceased to exist, it was simply simmering underneath the rest of life’s not so tastey endeavors!

Behold my latest, two favorite recipes! So yummy, nummy and fun to make, I couldnt help but share. For many of us, single or attached New Yorkers, cooking is something we enjoy but not always something we have time for in this 24 hour day we’ve been given. Below are my alternatives for both practicality and fun without losing the taste!

About a month ago I was having a horrid day at work and just needed a hug, just as I thought this, in the echoing cave of my mind, my favorite co-worker asked “Do you want some tortilla soup?”…She offered me the rest of her warm, hearty goodness, it was a hug in the form of beans, turkey and spice! The instant I got back to my desk I BBMed her asking for the recipe and in seconds it was in my inbox. It’s basically glue and glitter, make a glue picture, throw some glitter on it, TADA art! It’s a bunch of cans and meat all simmered together to create a stew like soup that’ll last a week if not more. I froze half of it for an emergency meal!


1 lb Ground Beef or Ground Turkey (chicken if you prefer or no meat)
1 packet of Taco Seasoning
1 can Corn
1 can Kidney Beans (For double recipe use 1 can light and 1 can dark beans.)
1 can Black Beans (even for double recipe.)
1 8oz can of Tomato Sauce
1 Large can (28oz) Diced Tomatoes

Cook meat and season with package of Taco Seasoning. If you like it spicy add some red pepper flakes. (Creole seasoning also an option)

Dump the rest of the ingredients into a large pot – including the juice from the cans. DO NOT DRAIN the cans. Add in cooked, seasoned meat. Cook and then let simmer a couple of hours. You can eat right away if you’re in a rush but it’s best to let it sit.

I was advised to serve with shredded Mexican cheese, a dollop of sour cream and scoop with tortilla chips!
(This recipe serves about four…four happy tummies.)

The next thing I waited nearly a week to try was from The Martha! It was soooo yummy, I was making it while on the phone with mom and sent it to her asap!!! My nutritionist told me to eat potatoes since I was having trouble with vegetables. Off I went to find a meat and potatoes kinda meal without it being an actual meat and potatoes meal. I found Mini Honey-Mustard Meatloaves with Roasted Potatoes and let me say it took under an hour to make but was fun to cook, easy and did not require that many ingredients. I was skeptical when it came out of the oven but what a surprise when it hit my taste buddies! YUM!
(I used regular breadcrumbs and it came out just fine; also added a bit of rosemary seasoning to the potatoes just because I knew I liked it and they were fabulous!)

As I said, I quickly sent both of these to my parents because I just couldn’t keep this healthy with a POW taste to myself!

Enjoy Foodies!

My Chicken’s Lay Brown Eggs! January 16, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Food/Dining, The SK Plan.
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As you all know, last year I was deathly inspired by Julie & Julia and started my own adventures in cooking and blogging about it, The SK Plan. In doing so, I not only had the advantage of A.) doing something I enjoy, 2) saving money by cooking my own meals and Thirdly) growing into an exceptional chef ( 😉 ) but I also began to learn so much more about ingredients and where they come from.
When I was younger, my parents and I vacationed in Denver often and one year we decided to check out the new gourmet supermarket, with the three of us having a “pie tooth” we decided to pick up a peach pie, an organic peach pie. It was VILE. Look up vile in the encyclopedia and you’ll find a gigantimous picture of my peach pie. I was turned off of organic food from that day, it was for hippies or food wimps and the thought of having to stir my peanut butter or spend $25 on dry pasta kind of made me gag in more ways than one. Still, as many of you know, I work in the field of health and fitness and while we all think we’re eating well, most of us are not. Despite my peach pie trauma I couldn’t help but cringe when I found out that many of my “healthy” foods contained large amounts of preservatives, sodium, sugars and even lard, yes L-A-R-D, lard. Even my protein or energy bars, that claimed they were made from the stuff of earth, turned out to have 600 calories a bite. I was negating all my workouts and water consumption by putting things that were never meant to be in my body. The turning point was Thanksgiving when my host and I struck up a conversation about peanut butter. I couldn’t look at Skippy the same again after that day, my dear old, childhood, peanut butter was a sham, nothing more than peanut colored fat. oiy.
Luckily, the peach pie days are long gone, over ten years ago we were just stepping into the world of all natural food and today we’ve found a way to make it taste better and be cheaper. I dove in and attacked the organic section of Freshdirect.com. I was pretty surprised that the milk I had been ordering for months was already organic, there was peanut butter and jam that were made from actual peanuts and berries and the best part, ICE CREAM!!!! NumnumNumnum! So yummy. I admit, it’s a journey and for now the organic soup and eggs I’m eating are fine but I will find products that are just not organically for me. Look, Soy yogurt sounds like the tastiest thing in the world but it kind of reminds me of that pink bubble gum medicine you had to take as a kid. MmMmMMmMmmm scrumptious!
I want to defy odds and statistics, I want to be healthy and screw what all the scientists say about 1 in every 5 people getting cancer, or women developing osteoporosis, I want to live to be 100 and still kicking a soccer ball around. Think about it this way…some of our canned goods can last for months but take that same vegetable and leave it out for a week, it goes rotten. Why do you want to pack your stomach with something that can survive an atomic bomb? Unless, of course, that is your goal, in that case I wish you luck. Please blog about it so we too, can live viciously through your stupidity. Otherwise, hit me up for straight from the farm goods to chomp, smush and mix into my latest, edible concoction!

Holidays Not-So 101: A Lil Crazi, A Lotta Eggnog December 20, 2010

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Cooking, Holidays, Holidays Not-So 101, Humor, The SK Plan.
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HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!! YAAAH! HAPPY HAPPY SNOWMAN MAN! WOOHOO, now pay us money, come

A bullet point holiday survival guide, tested by yours truly, not approved by the FDA 😉

Sing Christmas Carols…in the shower. All Elf style. I know, it sounds slightly retarded. I, for one, do not sing in the shower EVER but I’ve adopted this new holiday tradition and you know, it helps. You’re getting all the “dirty” off and all the negative off too. Once you step out you smell nice and you’re all cheery. At least it’s singing your neighbors can appreciate.

Eat. January is a useless month, the perfect project is to hit the gym and get back in shape so, really, you have no excuse not to chow down on cookies, cakes, hams and eggnog all you want for the 12 days of Christmas! Even better when you bake them yourself and eat with friends or co-workers.

– Immerse yourself in doing for others. At the end of the day the Holidays are about being thankful and giving. This year I had the opportunity to participate in a holiday party for children who would otherwise not have a party or get to see Santa! We acted as the “North Pole” for their Santa letters and are hosting a great party for them to enjoy the spirit of the season. Doing this takes the focus off of what I do not have…and puts it on what I can give.

– Make your OWN peppermint concoctions! Like peppermint coffee to start of the morning! Crush up 1 mini candy cane per cup, just hit it with the dull side of a heavy knife, throw it in with the ground coffee and voila! Stick a candy cane in it for added pizzazz and flavor! woohoo!

Take in the sights! Not traveling, no problem…do you know how many free window displays you can get just by walking the streets of Manhattan and seeing random people decorate their fire escapes?! Not to mention, ya know, that big, fat, Rockefeller tree thing you don’t hear too much about haha. My personal favorite NY Christmas sight is the Saks 5th Ave. light show! I performed there once!

Do something that’ll make you love yourself, whether that’s a trip to Vickies or a purchase of great new heels or treating yourself to a Bed, Bath and Beyond spree to decorate for the holidays or just catch-up on those “to-do” lists you never got around to. Take a day off from work and do NOTHING!…buy your significant other or best friend William Sonoma Hot Chocolate and have a movie marathon until you begin to hate chocolate! Have a snow-ball fight…just do it. Just make yourself happy, it’ll transcend.

If all else fails, listen to the intro of Tiny Dancer by Elton John, I know that sounds bizarre but trust me, it just changes you for a second or THIS!

The SK Plan: Capers and Cookies! October 20, 2010

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, The SK Plan.
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Well, I’ve become quite the little Susie homeBAKER recently. Part of my cooking obsession comes from fun and another part comes from maturity but once I have made something so lip-smacking good I just can’t wait to get back to the stove. My next dive into Martha Stewart world was her Chicken with Artichokes and Angel Hair. This was the first time I ever used capers in cooking. I’ve always loved them, eat them by the handful out of the jar but never have I thought to throw them into a skillet of artichokes and chicken. OH MY DEAR SWEET SALTY LORD! Capers are amazing!!! They give everything such flavor. My first taste of this dish was at work the next day and without hesitation I moaned out loud and muttered “I am a genius.” They laughed, all my co-workers, but if they had a flavorful artichoke with smooth pasta on their taste buds, believe me, they’d be happily dying too!

Here’s where things got interesting — I went recipe-less, which with me, as we know, is dangerous. However, I was a good girl, I stuck to it, simple, good, clean food. I cut up some zucchini, threw on the capers and mixed it in with angel hair and my meat/chunky tomato sauce. All on my own I created a dinner that was so delectable my Italian friends were asking for bites…now THAT’S impressive kids.

Lastly, came the recipe I was severely looking forward to! My own…dundundun Beef and Broccoli! It’s my staple Chinese takeout order but if I could make it myself, MSG and oil free HEY, now I’m in business. It was surprisingly super easy and tasted like it belonged in a little white carton. The best compliments were the ones from co-workers who just kept telling me how great it smelled. Yup, smells great and I made it!

Now, if you’ve been following you’ll know that although I enjoy cooking, at heart I’m a baker. I bake when I’m confused, stressed, happy or feeling overly productive and on a happy, rainy, Sunday I whipped out the flour! I made my signature Great Grandma Sofia’s cookies with secret ingredient! It’s a family recipe and so special that it skipped a generation. It went straight from my Great Grandma so my mother, to me. She’s the best person I’ve ever known and no matter when I make her cookies or who eats them they’re wowed by the simple but lovely taste. I love to make people smile…at the end of the day, that’s why I cook and bake; to watch other people’s smiles become full with content.

The SK Plan: General Tso’s Light Chicken and Cornbread Beef Skillet Pie September 17, 2010

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Food/Dining, The SK Plan.
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Cornstarch…..WHAT the fudgesicle is Cornstarch? It just so happens that cornstarch is a key component of Martha Stewart’s General Tso’s Light Chicken. Believe it or not I have never, once, in my cooking career used cornstarch, I didn’t even know it was a powder! (A messy one at that). Ginger root has long been avoided too. Why? Because it’s not exactly one of those things you think about like “OH, Mom, we forgot to buy ginger root.” Or “Just throw some ginger root on it, hun.” Or “mmm, I think it needs more ginger.” My roommate, thankfully, had waltzed with ginger before and was able to instruct me on the techniques of peeling and grating it. One thing I’ll tell you is SK needs to be more diligent about prep time, I get over-excited like a little poodle and go straight to cooking without things chopped or cut or measured out, probably the reason this 45min meal took me almost two hours but I’ll admit it was a lot more fun that sitting on an uncomfortable bar stool staring at a bunch of guys I have no intention of leaving with.

Things I learned:

  • Let the pan get hot….just do it Sofia!
  • Cornstarch likes to come out of it’s designated bowl-area
  • 1 pound of snow peas sounds A LOT smaller than it actually is…especially when you have to cut and halve each of them.
  • Patience is a virtue I made a small dent in achieving.

Now, Cornbread and Beef Skillet Pie is not really a pie, nor is it really cornbread the way you generally think of it. However there is beef and it does involve a skillet or in my case two! Where’s the big fat “recipe yields” on this one???? I made enough skillet pie to send to a tribe in Africa, it was insane! You’d think a Cornbread Beef Skillet Pie would have a zesty almost south western sweetness to it, no such luck in this ole’ skillet, it was pretty bland unfortunately. In the next few days I’d mix it with taco seasoning or add it to my salads. Is it something I’d make again, no, is it something that made me feel like I was on Iron Chef – YOU BETCHA!

Round two begins shortly but to leave you with something to take home to your own kitchens (if not the Tso’s Chicken, which my roommate stole!!! Ok, I let her have the recipe. Defeat) here’s my OWN recipe for French Toast with a twist. It’s lighter, healthier and gives you the option of not using syrup, and this is coming from someone who LOVES syrup. I generally don’t measure when it comes to my own recipes so eyeball with me: Your general French Toast consists of egg, milk and sugar. I whisk the egg and milk together and then add something about ½ a cup or so of brown sugar to my mix, whisk it in, give the wrist some workout. Then just before it’s done I add maybe about a tsp of vanilla (this one all depends on your taste) and stir that in. I always use good quality whole wheat bread, try to get the less processed kind, it just works better. Soak it in, throw it on the frying pan and BAM, Emril, BAM! French Toast a La SK. I personally like to eat mine with raspberries; it gives a nice little sourness to the vanilla kick! However, you may adore as you please.

Till next time! You’re resident chef and kitchen mess-maker is signing off!

The SK Plan: Life is Like a Gobstopper September 3, 2010

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cooking, Food/Dining, Life Lessons/Growing Up, The SK Plan.
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Something ridiculous is happening to me…okay, so maybe that’s summary of a usual day in the life of SK but still, I’m perplexed by my own weirdom, as of late.

Last weekend, I sat in a relatively social setting with my two co-workers both of whom are older. We have about 8 year differences between each of us. A conversation started up about going out, bars and late night drinking. Both men were open about the fact that they don’t go out like they used to, they don’t leave the house at midnight and come home at 4am, they find solace in just walking around the city on a relaxing evening. I sat and batted my eyelashes wanting to say “Oh yeah, me too!” but understanding how, relatively, stupid that would sound coming out of my twenty-something year old mouth. Regardless of how it may or may not sound, it’s very true.

When I lived in Bulgaria, during the summers, I’d wake up at about 11am, go to the beach till 4, get lunch, take a nap. I’d wake up only to get ready, go to dinner and then go out. We’d club hop till sunrise and sit on the beach, drunk, loving life. No secrets here, those were some of the best times of my life. I’ve had my nights gallivanting around Manhattan, bar hoping, barely recalling if I went into the men’s or women’s restroom but knowing it didn’t matter because the bar was closed and we were the only ones there. Those memories make me smile and laugh but ask me, today, to meet you in Meatpacking to pop champagne and flirt with strangers- you’ll find me politely declining.

A glass of wine at 5pm at an outdoor bar is all I need and then I’m ready to go home to my comfy sweats, a TV and a warm bed. The “get dolled up and go out on the town” routine is still in full effect but I find myself going to wine bars instead of lounges, dive’s to watch a game rather than to pound back cheap beer, Blockheads for a margarita. Why, well…I’ve lost the concept. You go out, you pay money, you drink, you talk about things that don’t matter in the grand scheme and then you keep talking until you’re talking nonsense…and we pay money for that? Why did that seem like the best idea in the world when I was younger? ::hmph:: “younger”, that word haunts me, I am young. I’m very young, so what happened?

So today, I arrived home to find myself crashing. I was physically tired from my work week and emotionally shot, let’s just say I was faced with a bit of a “running into wall head on” situation today. I jumped into bed for a nap with all intention to go for a run after but waking up all I could feel were these shakes, my hands and feet unable to steady themselves. Not something new to me unfortunately, anxiety has been a part of my life for a few years now. I cozied back into bed and thought about this…everything. Why do I NEVER want to go out anymore? Why would I rather go watch free opera at Lincoln Center or get ice cream and walk around the LES? I feel like I should have a live-in-boyfriend and basset hound in tow (not that that’s a bad idea!). Where’s the weekly glitter eyeshadow and black eyeliner gone?

I realized, watching Julie and Julia, that life is more or less like our new friend Hurricane Earl. Big, fat, gray clouds roll in and eat the sky up. People board up their windows and move all wedding plans inside banquet halls and then…*poof* not even a raindrop. You just don’t know what’s around the corner. Plan your days out like a roadmap and then just go with the detours when you hit them. So– here’s my conclusion. What does one do when she can’t stay at home for more than three hours but has no desire to go swallow shots? Pick the one thing you’ve always wanted to master and spend your money and time wisely on that. Well…I’ve always wanted to take singing lessons, but I checked that one off the list last year. Hip-Hop classes have been long standing but with my work schedule that wouldn’t be a suitable choice right now. How about starting my own website!? Oh, wait. Then, as I watched this movie BAM! No, literally BAM, like Emril BAM! One of my biggest goals in life is to have a family and cook for that family. In a sense, I want to be like my mother the way I saw her from a childhood perspective. Someone who wakes up in the morning, magically makes everything run smoothly, goes to work and then comes home at night and puts a beautiful dinner on the table. I want to cook so that people will come to my dinner parties and leave feeling like they stepped out of a restaurant. I want to be healthy and smart and affordable but I want to know how to make oooey, gooey, amazing delights! That’s the plan. That’s the new SK plan.

I’m adding this as a category, so, just like Julia and Julia we can keep track of the route of the SK Plan. This isn’t about cooking or recipes, this is about finding another layer of who you are, of who I am. Life is telling me it’s time to move up and forward and I guess we’re just being thrown the way the wind is blowing! 😉 Life is like a Gobstopper, what color will it be next?