I Wouldn’t Say I Cheated On My Most Recent “Chopped” Cooking Challenge… But I Did Stretch the Rules

May 17, 2020

My office does a fun “Chopped”-inspired cooking challenge, where they provide a list of three secret ingredients, and we use them to make a dish over the weekend. I’ve done it twice before (read the posts here and here)… but this time, I had to stretch the rules a little bit. But I ended up with a delicious late night snack, since that was the category.

Crunchy carrot chips! I’ve been wanting to make these ever since Read the rest of this entry »

Return of the Carrots AND My Song

April 29, 2011

Had a particularly colorful and delicious snack yesterday…

…Rainbow Carrots!

It’s not the first time I’ve blogged about them (this blog has that honor) – and it probably won’t be the last time I blog about them, because they are tasty and different and I love them.  I look for them every time I’m at Whole Foods.

Like oddly-colored vegetables?  Check out this post, this post, and this post.

Yesterday I went around my office, and offered the carrots to about 20 different people.  I thought it’d be nice to share.  I got a variety of reactions and responses, and here are some of them:

  • “Oh wow, this is good!  Tastes just like a carrot!”
  • Co-worker: “Why is this carrot purple?”  Me: “Who says all carrots have to be orange?”  Co-worker:  “I do.  It’s a carrot, and carrots are orange.  That’s why they’re carrots.”
  • “Hey thanks, I love them!  Have you ever had purple potatoes?”  Yep!
  • “Why are you giving this to me?  Is this some sort of set-up?”
  • “I like it!  It might be a touch more bitter than a regular carrot but if I had my eyes closed I wouldn’t know I’m not eating an orange carrot.”
  • “Those are the most beautiful carrots I’ve ever seen.”
  • What’s going on?  What are these?  Am I going to hallucinate or something after eating one?”

I’d say they were a hit.  And no one hallucinated.  As far as I know.

Moving on…

Remember, in March, when I shared that beautiful new song that was inspired by this very blog?  Click here to refresh your memory!  Last night, my friend Kristy Hanson (along with Mike Chiaburu and Tim Young) performed again in Hollywood, and once again, she performed my song.  Even though I have the song on my iPod, I haven’t listened to it in a couple weeks, and I didn’t know they were going to include it on their set list (they have a lot of songs), so it was a wonderful surprise to hear it live again.

Long story short:  Kristy and Mike did a side project called East Paris where they wrote songs inspired by writers, and they asked me if they could write something based on this blog.  Uh, yes, please!  So I sent them this post, and they came up with a song called “Today’s The Day”, which is about taking control and knowing that things are gonna change, and knowing that they’re gonna change because you’re going to change them.

The fact that the concert last night feel during a week where I’ve been struggling to stay on track and retain control didn’t go unnoticed in my own head.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO “TODAY’S THE DAY.”  While you’re on that page, check out that “Free Download” button!  They set it up special for all my readers – so take advantage, download it, and add it to your iPods and playlists!

Kristy played another song last night that really struck a chord with me.  It’s called “Crawl,” and even though I’ve heard it tons of times before, last night it resonated in a way it hasn’t before.  Kristy introduced it by saying (and I’m paraphrasing): “this next song is about how sometimes things don’t move along at the pace you’d like, but you just gotta keep going” and I thought, that’s the boat I’m in right now with this plateau!  Some of the lyrics:

It’s not what you hoped for

But who can trust hope

You plan and you daydream

Then you just cope

You flail and you flounder

Till you’re thrown a rope

And you crawl, and you crawl

and you crawl onto the shore

You can listen to “Crawl” on Kristy Hanson’s website (it’s track number 7 on her album Into the Quiet).

I’ll end with two questions that Kristy poses in “Crawl”:

Is it the dream you’re holding that keeps your pace from slowing?

Is it the hope for something, or the hope itself that keeps you going?

What do you think?

Keep it up, David!

A Message From Wolfgang, Chart Update, and MORE!

March 2, 2011

There are a few topics on the docket for today, and I’m gonna start by sharing something that is so unbelievably cool, it made me jump up and down.  Literally.

1) A Message From Wolfgang! A couple weekends ago, my friend Felise treated me to a wonderful lunch at Spago, in Beverly Hills.  You can read my blog about it here. If you didn’t know, Spago is the flagship restaurant of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, and if you don’t know who Wolfgang Puck is, you need to crawl out from under your rock!  He’s a huge celebrity chef, with cookbooks, tons of restaurants around the country (both fine dining and casual), and he makes frequent television appearances.  You may have seen him last weekend on TV, as he catered the Governors’ Ball after the Academy Awards.  Anyway, we had a fantastic time, and ate a delicious meal at Spago, and guess who saw my blog about it? WOLFGANG! I woke up this morning to find this video message from him, to me.  It literally took my breath away – how cool is this?

Thanks, Wolfgang, for the amazing video – it made my day!  I can’t wait to go to another one of your restaurants… I have my eye on WP24, which is Wolfgang’s newest restaurant (I think) in Los Angeles – it’s on the 24th floor of a skyscraper downtown, and I love a restaurant with a view!  (Check out this blog as proof!)

2) Weigh-In and Chart Update. It’s been two weeks since I’ve last had a weigh-in, and two weeks since I’ve updated my chart.  I opted to skip my weigh-in last week, because I’ve been on a plateau since the beginning of February, and I didn’t want to start obsessing because I was seeing the same number over and over again.  The past two weeks I’ve been eating well, and working out, so I was hopeful that this plateau might be over.

I was wrong.  I got on the scale, and there’s that same number again:

Ugh, my scale is kinda dirty, isn’t it!  I really should do something about that.  Maybe tomorrow.

I won’t lie and say my initial reaction was something other than disappointment, because it was.  I’ve been working hard for the past month.  In February, I worked out 23 out of 28 days, including 5 classes at Slimmons and 3 boot camp classes with Craig.  My eating has been good, too.  Plateaus are frustrating!

You know what changed my mood about the whole thing, though?  A couple hours later, I was running around the house, gathering things so I could go run some errands and then hit the pool, and I caught, out of my periphery, a glimpse of myself in my bedroom mirror.  And it stopped me in my tracks.  For a split second I thought there was someone else in the room, and then I realized that it was me.  I had seen myself from an angle that I wasn’t used to seeing, and holy crap, I looked good!  That’s what ended up setting the tone for the rest of the day.

Before moving on, here’s the updated chart:

Which brings me to…

3) Pool. My workout at the pool was kick-ass!  Here’s what I did:

  • 1,000 yards warm-up (2oo free, 200 IM, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM).
  • 1 x 500 freestyle – I used to swim the 500 free competitively in high school, but don’t think I’ve tried to swim 500 yards without stopping since my interest in swimming resurfaced a few months ago, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
  • 2 x 100 free at 80% exertion, followed by 1 x 50 free all-out sprint.  That’s 250 yards, and I did it 4 times, so 1,000 yards total.  Wrong! On one of the sprints, I caught myself not sprinting, so I made myself re-do it.  So 1,050 yards total.
  • 200 cool down (mix of free and breaststroke)
  • GRAND TOTAL: 2,750 yards, in 1 hour and 5 minutes!  That’s 110 lengths of the pool, and just over a mile and a half.  My best swim workout to date!

4) Rainbow Carrots. The last time I was at Whole Foods, I picked up a vegetable I’ve never seen before.  I don’t think I ever mentioned it on the blog, but I’m mentioning it now…  Rainbow Carrots!

They’re carrots, in other colors besides orange.  I didn’t know carrots came in other colors besides orange.  They don’t come in tons of other colors (or maybe they do and Whole Foods’ selection is lacking), but I bought some purple ones and some yellow ones.  Here they are, next to one of their common orange cousin:

They’re a little smaller than the orange ones, but who cares.  They’re also almost twice the price of the orange ones ($2.49 a lb for rainbow, versus $1.29 a lb for orange), but I just noticed on my receipt that I was changed $1.29 for all of them!  Score!

Most of the time, I just eat carrots raw.  I love them, and they’re easy to cut up and store, and it’s super easy for me to grab a handful as a snack as I’m heading out the door, which I do often.   I also don’t bother peeling carrots.  Do you?  I find it time-consuming, and have found that with a good cleaning, they’re fine.   So I chopped off both ends of each carrot and cut them into sticks.  Here’s some of all three colors:

I love how the outsides don’t necessarily reflect the insides.  Right in the center, you can see a carrot that’s purple on the outside, but yellow on the inside, and the two yellow carrots I cut up have different colored insides altogether.  Call me a nerd, but I think that’s kinda fun!  Who knew vegetables could be so mysterious?

As for the taste, they taste like carrots.  Perhaps a touch less sweet, but basically the same.  If I were blindfolded, I wouldn’t know the difference, I’m sure.

I’m heading back to Whole Foods tomorrow or Friday… I wonder what new produce item I’ll pick up this time!

Keep it up, David!