Hey Everyone! We made it through a month of 2019! Hooray!
So I’ve made a few broader resolutions this year (See below), but I’ve also decided I’m going to do monthly “habit making or breaking” resolutions, that will just improve my life incrementally. I started in January with quitting takeout.
Since moving out of my parents’ and living by myself, I’ve become increasingly dependent on takeout for my meals. I’m not talking about Friday or Saturday nights ordering a pizza or whatever, I’m talking two or three times a week.
It’s not a good habit to be in. It’s nutritionally questionable and definitely expensive. (One weekly tip to the grocery store is half what I was spending in takeout.) So I spent the month eating more healthfully, and creatively and spending less cash! Hooray!
It also helped me up my cooking game significantly. I’d improved a lot over the past year, but relied far too much on crock pot cooking, which required more energy and organization than I can often give. Just getting my basics down was massive for me. I can now tastily sautee chicken breasts quickly. I’ve burned rice a few times so always got nervous making it, but thanks Instant Pot, that one’s a snap now too.
Pan searing steaks is a regular thing I do now, baking pastas, and here’s the one that was really hard though. On Sunday, as I got ready for Rent: Live I was nervous. Mary and I have a tradition of Chinese food and wine as we watch these things, even when we’re on the other side of the country from one another.
I’d tried a crock pot General Tso’s Chicken a few times, and since I now have rice down (yay!) I wasn’t too worried about my main course, but the best part of Chinese Takeout is often the appetizers. Scanning my America’s Test Kitchen cook book, I landed on doing Scallion Pancakes. If I’m honest, I rarely, if ever, uses the Test Kitchen recipes. They’re often complicated and require equipment/space that I don’t have access too. I use the book for ideas and then head to Pinterest for a simpler recipe. I botched the first two, but made 3 excellent scallion pancakes. I also bought some frozen crab rangoon from the grocery store.
Moving forward, I’m still going to avoid takeout when I’m by myself. It’s always too much food to make the delivery minimums and not being able to split means I eat too much. Also, I’ll probably stick to pizza and Indian food. I have an OK chicken korma recipe, but it always comes out too sweet, and no storebought naan is as good as a restaurants. And a lack of a good real oven makes homemade pizza a non starter. Also sushi. For obvious reasons.
But having quick go to’s in the kitchen (Pantry meals, I believe they’re called) will reduce my need for takeout as well. I can make chicken and rice and a salad in the same amount of time I’m waiting for dinner to be delivered. So why spend the money/calories, ya know?
February’s resolution is to quit phone games. This is easy in execution. I’m deleting the aps from my phone. What I’m hoping to get out of it is reaching for more effective ways to spend my time. Writing, reading, continuing to learn to cook, etc. We’ll see how it goes.
Broader Resolutions And Check Ins: (I’ll be checking in on how the previous months resolution has carried over into my life moving forward here
- Broader Resolution 1: Take Advantage of My Town – I’ve gone out a few nights and enjoyed the library more. I’ve also started going to mass and brunch! But frankly, my Grandpa’s hospitalization and funeral screwed up my rhythm here. Hoping to do better/have fewer relatives die in February. (I make no promises)
- Broader Resolution 2: Read More! (But Fewer White Guys) – I read 6 books! 0.5 were written by white dudes! (Crisis was written by a white dude, but drawn by a Hispanic dude 0.5!) HOORAY!
- Broader Resolution 3: Exercise 5 Times A Week – HAHAHHAHAHAHA….yeah, this didn’t happen at all…