Wednesday, February 22, 2012

indulgences + sacrifices

sunday nights in the tub
Yesterday was Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. A day of indulgences.

Today marks the first day of Lent - a period of forty days that many people use to give up a bad habit or start a good one. In Christianity, it marks a period of sacrifice and penitence. While I don't celebrate Lent for religious reasons, I am a fan of using the weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter to complete a challenge. (A 40 Day Challenge in lieu of a 30 Day Challenge!) I typically give up meat for Lent. This year Larry is joining me.

Actually, Larry has one-upped me. He is giving up meat AND beer for Lent. Will he survive? Will I?
Will we end up stuffing our faces with crab and wine instead?

We'll be eating a pescetarian and vegetarian diet. Seafood is allowed. We're both looking forward to eating healthier and trying more fish recipes. Hopefully, we won't end up eating cheesy pasta and cake every night. (Caaaaake! I've been having a serious and insatiable craving for cake lately.) Bring on the lentils, bring on the beans!

I've already planned out our dinner menus through the end of Lent, and thought I'd share how I attempt to schedule our meals:
march 2012 meal plan - veg
I love this calendar method. It really helps prevent the What's for dinner? Let's just eat Cheerios! scenario. As you can see, it's a messy process and we don't stick to the calendar 100% of the time since I haven't planned for meeting friends/family for dinner, going out to eat, getting lazy, or any of the other things that inevitably pop up throughout the month - when that happens, we just adjust accordingly.

breakfast tacos
Breakfast Tacos. Which look surprisingly like regular tacos, but are actually stuffed with scrambled eggs and refried beans.
Over the weekend, Larry and I gorged ourselves with a big brunch at Chef Geoff's (mimosas, eggs chesapeake, chicken and waffles). We made breakfast tacos for Presidents' Day breakfast. And last night we drank up all the beer in our house, and it made me think about Mardi Gras indulgences and also daily indulgences - the little treats that get you through the day. I'm especially a fan of these kind of things during the cold, dark winter months that I hate. Treating myself throughout the winter is necessary to my survival!

Our current indulgences:

DELICIOUS BEER | Our new favorite is Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye.
Another fun one is Southern Tier Brewing Creme Brulee Imperial Milk Stout. This beer smells and tastes like liquid butterscotch. Also, it is 9.6% ABV and has cows on the label. And it temporarily satisfied my craving for caaaaaaaaake!

sunday nights in the tub
Currently obsessed with Philip Seymour Hoffman movies - such a talented actor!

A NEW SUNDAY NIGHT TRADITION |  A hot bath, candles, and watching a movie on my iPad in the tub. Add a drink (wine or a cocktail), a bath bomb, and perhaps a manicure. You know that amazing relaxed feeling you get on vacation? That's how my Sunday night baths make me feel - it's like a vacation once a week.

nutella x2!
NUTELLA | My love for Nutella began when I was a college student studying abroad in Italy. I'm pretty sure that we were given Nutella as a snack during orientation on the day we arrived in Florence and I fell in love. I subsequently "invented" the peanut butter and Nutella sandwich. My love for Nutella has recently been rekindled, and I've been putting it in everything lately.

GREEK FOOD | It seems our fridge is never without a container of salty olives from the olive bar. I could eat a plate of these with some cheese for lunch every day. And yesterday, my mother and I had an amazing Greek lunch at Nostos Restaurant - the best Greek meal I've ever had. So glad to have this restaurant in the neighborhood. Already looking forward to going back!

MOVIES | I'm not a big TV watcher and I never even had cable television until Larry and I bought our house. Consequently, I'm way behind on seeing movies from the last decade or two. However, I'm currently obsessed with catching up on all the movies I've missed out on through HBO GO on my iPad. And Larry and I often spend winter evenings on the couch watching a movie OnDemand. I've watched 15 movies since the beginning of the year. Favorites include 50/50, Moneyball, The Ides of March, and The Way. This movie made me yearn for a trip back to Spain. (I studied abroad in Spain, too.) Also, Larry and I are now dreaming of hiking El Camino de Santiago. (Added it to the Life List!)

(Did anyone else hate Midnight In Paris? Ugh. I just don't get Woody Allen films. We almost had to turn this movie off because we hated it so much, so I can't believe it was nominated for Best Picture. Also, I want to punch Owen Wilson right in his crooked schnoz. So annoying.)


Sarah said...

Whoa! Good for you and Larry! I can't wait to follow your progress. Oh, how I wish we had a nice tub, so I could relax and soak. My tub is on the small side and filled with a certain toddler's bath crayons. Good luck on your journey - share some good vegetarian recipes!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Ha! We don't really have a nice tub - I don't understand who the person was who decided that the standard size for bathtubs should be appropriate for people only 4' tall. But there are no bath crayons, so I make do. (One of my goals in life is to someday live in a house with an enormous bathtub!)

Karen Travels said...

Love the calendar idea, might need to do something like that since as a single mama I am always grabbing chocolate chips or a slice of cheese as my meals!! Ugh!

Have fun with these goals!

Karin said...

That food calendar is seriously impressive...mine consists of frozen meals for one at Trader Joe's! :)

Sorry you didn't like Midnight in Paris, I saw it before all the hype so I had zero expectations and I thought it was pretty cute.

And how do I not know about Nostos? I def. want to try it now! Yum!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Karen - The calendar definitely helps - especially if you want to try recipes that you find in magazines, on Pinterest, etc - I find I'm much more likely to actually make them if I pencil them in! Also, a handful of chocolate chips is an awesome meal! ;)

Karin - I highly recommend Nostos. Also, I think I'm definitely in the minority regarding Midnight in Paris - everyone else seemed to love it!