Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Few Friends

Let me take a moment to introduce a few of my best friends in the kitchen! First up is Keurig single cup espresso maker. These guys are made by a number of different companies these days and you can find a good deal on a used one on craigslist or in a thrift shop. The Keurig one can take the coffee pods that you pre-buy, or you can buy an attachment filter so you can use your own coffee, which is both more cost effective and environmentally friendly. I like Tully's coffee because it is a good value for good coffee (you can typically find the 12oz. bags on sale for around $6) but for a special treat I'll go for Peet's (if it's on sale, of course;). I usually drink 1-2 americanos in the morning and one in the afternoon, formerly with unsweetened soy milk, but more recently with rice milk (see previous entries). I love good coffee.

Next up is my digital kitchen scale, a calorie counter's number one accomplice! It's great for baking and cooking too, since weighing ingredients directly into the mixing bowl eliminates using multiple measuring utensils and yields a more accurate measurement. Now, I want to clarify a couple of things that my aunt brought to my attention: 1) I do not vilify all high-calorie foods, since many very healthful foods are naturally calorie dense (think avocados, nuts, olive oil, wine) or just plain nom noms (think chocolate cake, scones, cookies), I just eat them in moderation and adjust the portion sizes to fit in with whatever else I'm eating that day. Or there are the "special occasion" all out counting-free splurges (think vacation, birthdays, CHRISTMAS!!). My calorie counting has more to do with my own neuroses than my diet (in busier times, I used to schedule my days to the minute...yes, I know I sound like loads of fun, but really I can usually hide this stuff pretty well). And 2) not all healthful foods are created equal for all people (ie, those who have special dietary needs like diabetics, celiacs, etc.). Fortunately, aside from slightly elevated cholesterol levels (which, I believe are genetic), I do not have any serious dietary restrictions (that I am aware of), so the way I eat does not take these into account.

Last, but by no means least, my trusty sidekicks, spray olive oil and fresh ground pepper. I use them on veggies, in baking, in nearly everything I make, in one form or another, not necessarily always together. Thanks you two - ye've been grand!