Chocopathology

First off: I know that E and I aren’t the only people who do this, but we’re huge fans of compound word creation. For example, today’s title: chocopathology is a combination of chocolate and psychopathology.  Drizza and Draking stands for drunk pizza and drunk baking. I think you get the point.

Anyway, so I’ve always known I was a chocoholic (it’s genetic), but the rest of my chocopathology has only recently been revealing itself (maybe it is just all the time I spend in a psych department that is making the symptoms more salient). In addition to my addiction, I appear to also be a cocoarder (cocoa-hoarder). I went to the movies this afternoon and stopped by sugar heaven (products–> heaven, their prices–> hell!) for um… chocolate. But the store requires a $10+ purchase to use credit, and I had no cash, so I bought more chocolate!
When I got home, I went to my our pantry to put the chocolate away, but couldn’t find space on my chocolate shelf. Being the good CBT therapist-to-be that I am, I immediately engaged in problem solving. Here are the solutions I generated:

1) Make more room for chocolate in the pantry (by throwing away useless things like tuna, peanut butter, pasta and E’s fruit snacks).

2) Eat lots of chocolate right now to make room for more

3) Stop buying chocolate.

Of all these steps #3 was the least appealing, so I ate some chocolate and forced some other things into corners to make space for my chocostash, but as I snacked and reorganized, it just became to obvious to me how much chocolate we really have. And by obvious I mean ridiculous.

Let me show you what I mean.

here is a sample of  what I found in our pantry

CIMG0519And then just the bars, without the extra candy

chower

If you look closely, you can see that these bars of chocolate are hardly gathering dust.

I munch on them all the time! I just had no idea there were so many.

Organizing my chocolate lifted the veil of denial I had about living a healthy lifestyle.

So, I did some wii fit Yoga to get in shape!Warrior Pose

(I told you I was going to start doing Yoga!)

In other news, I’ve baked a bunch more recipes from my little book including:

1)those A+ cookies for a crowd (the kiddies agreed)

2) A cinnamon-apple bundt cake that I adapted to become a banana cake (A/A+, best banana cake I have ever had, maybe I’ll post the recipe next time)

3) Overnight Pizza Dough from Bon Appetit. E and I usually just use a Betty Crocker mix for home made pizzas, and it comes out ok. But we had company so I made this dough and it was phenomenal! Like way better than most pizza dough from a restaurant. The best part is that the recipe makes 8 servings of dough, so we’ve frozen some away. When we use it, I’ll let you know how well it keeps (and try to take a picture of the pizza before I gobble it up too fast!)

Alright, Enuf boring updates already. Time for So You Think You Can Dance! (I think Randi and Evan will be sent home… we’ll find out soon!)

UPDATE to add: I was totally wrong about Randi and Evan, they weren’t even in the bottom 3 couples. Shows what I know. Still, I had not strong feelings for Max or Ashley, so that’s fine. But I’m predicting it right now: next week we’ll say goodbye to Vitolio and Asuka.

LURVEY!

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Cookies for a crowd

Tonight I am baking 6+ dozen cookies for 70+ youngsters. I’m not sure that is enough, so I may have to whip out the mixer and make a couple (dozen) more. And by a couple, I mean four. I have no idea what 11 dozen cookies looks like, but I am about to find out. Dozen 8 and 9 are in the oven right now and my kitchen is already a tower of cookies. It is also 100+ degrees in here–quick side bar, I just went to hit the + sign and found cookie dough on it. This should indicate 2 things to you 1) I have been using the + sign with abnormal frequency tonight. 2) I have cookie dough coming out of my ears– Seriously, I bet it is over 100 degrees in here. As I was downstairs licking my fingers while washing the dishes from batch-o-cookies number one, I called up to E and asked if sweating while baking counts as a workout. Apparently not. HUMPH, would it kill him to enable my denial?

The most delicious cookies I've ever made.Anyway, in the end, my batter made 12.5 dozen cookies. I don’t have tupperware for that many cookies. But, the good news is, these cookies are delicious. I got this recipe from Jennifer at Bake or Break. It is her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and now it is mine. I’ll ask the kiddies tomorrow and see what they think, but this recipe tentatively gets an A+ in my recipe book.

In other news, I ate my weight in cookie dough this evening, so if salmonella is legit (and not just a scare tactic to keep me away from the batter growing up) I’m about to suffer big time. Honestly, I’ll probably suffer for this either way.

Stay tuned, tomorrow night we’re making pizza with some new friends. Our apartment is currently a mess. I figure I have 2 options: clean the apartment, or distract our guests with beer until they are too buzzed to care. We’ll see which one I go with.

Ciao bella.  Arrivederci

Keeping Busy

I know how lame this sounds, but the truth is that I get bored on weekends.

I’m sure I’ll miss this boredom come fall when I have to spend every moment not dedicated to research dedicated to studying Child Assessment and Psychopathology (I know, my life is awesome, right?). But anyway, until then… I get bored.

So today, I gave myself a project. I made a recipe book.

I don’t know how well you guys stalk me, but last week I did a guest post on a semi popular blog (thedailybalance.com) about ‘my’ world famous pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. When I make those cookies I used to use a paper print out of the recipe but it ultimately got destroyed by water and what not. So, when I was making them for the post, I tried to recreate the recipe by memory and um… failed.

Then, this morning, I read this post by Kath on her blog. This post depicts pictures of a recipe book she’s had for years, with little notes on each page about what she thought of each meal.

AHA!

I love craft projects (despite have less than zero artistic talent) so I went into this full force.

I am so excited about this book. It is full of cookie, cake and bread recipes that I have tried and that I want to try. Now, every night when i want to bake something, I just have to ask E to open the book and pick something new.

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That's a blanket in the corner, not a small animal!

Tonight, he picked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

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waiting to go in the oven

This recipe is from Cooking Light, but they aren’t so light. 1 cup white and 1 cup brown sugar?! 1/2 cup peanut butter? Granted, the recipe made 4 dozen cookies, but that’s still 1/24th cup sugar per cookie. I have no idea if that is a lot… But it tastes like a lot. The verdict: These cookies are too sweet and not peanut-buttery enough. Kind of bland really. Also, the recipe only calls for 2/3 cup chocolate chips, I was skeptical of this and upped it to a generous cup, but still not enough!

So what did the man think? In E’s Opinion: they’re not terribly peanut buttery, but good texture and creamy and yummy (I left him with 3 cookies and ran upstairs to grab something. They were all gone when I returned. Good Boy!). So maybe I spoke too soon. They’ll go in the book as a B/B+.

Next time, I think I’ll try a bundt cake. Any recommendations? There are still lots of empty pages in my book!

Drizza and Draking

Good morning from my patio.

It is about 100 degrees in the sun outside, but far too beautiful to be inside! So if this post trails off, it probably means I’ve died of heat stroke, or gone for a dip in the pool.

Anyway, sorry for the long absence. As I mentioned in my last post, we’ve had a big project starting up at work this week and I have been a busy bee trying to get everything squared away. But it’s been going great, so I took yesterday evening off…

not actually a picture from last night, but this captures the atmosphere of last night (i.e. alcohol and happiness)

not actually a picture from last night, but this captures the atmosphere of last night (i.e. alcohol and happiness)

Last night, E and I decided to celebrate his good grades by having a little alcyhol and making pizzas. Now, I know there is a trend going around the blogging world known as drogging, but I draw the line at blogging drunk. I do NOT, however, draw the line at tipsooking (tipsy-cooking) or buzaking (buzzed-baking).

So, as I was preparing the dough for pizzas, and enjoying my Mike’s Hard Lemonade on a very empty stomach, it suddenly seemed like a great idea to try and throw the dough in the air a la professionals. It also seemed like a good idea to try and catch this on camera. And E was upstairs, so I was trying to accomplish both of these things (while alternating sips with my Mike’s) at once. I took about 20 pictures of this process, but they all look the same, so I’ll just share 2 or 3.

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Actually, if you can believe it, these pictures make this process look a lot more civilized than it actually was. In reality, I took about 17 pictures of the wall and missed the dough, and I dropped one of the 2 crusts on the ground. But E was upstairs so… heh heh heh, guess who got that one?

Anyway, needless to say this was not a terribly successful technique, and the crusts were still quite thick. It was time to resort to Plan B.

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Eventually E came down and supervised this process. All ended well with pizzas and full bellys.

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please excuse my tipsography

Then, I decided to make cookies.

I think it is a wonder no one was hurt in this process.

But I’ll admit, the pizza and cookies were not my best work.

Lesson of the day: for best results, don’t drink and bake.

Lesson numero two: I only had one Mike’s last night. That was it. I am officially a light weight.

On Cloud 12

I don’t talk about work much, but allow me to indulge myself just a little bit.

clouds-2Today was a much anticipated day for me at work.

My mentor and boss, Dr. E, and I have been developing a prevention program for kids in a camp setting. The program focuses on helping kids learn better coping skills to deal with their emotions. And it is a unique, really wonderful, novel project that will someday change the world. Or at least, that’s the hope.

Anyway it was a long process to coordinate with the camp, recruit kids, get IRB approval and write the protocol (we’re still working on that part… oops!). But today was the first day of camp, and an opportunity to see the culmination of all my hard work come to fruition.

Saying I was a wee nervous is an understatement. I had to wear a black shirt to hide the sweat (but that is partly because it is hot as H E double hockey sticks here in June). I had nightmares last night about children getting lost, parents yelling at me and some of my idols, with no feet, running around on crutches ordering me to start painting. (Yeah, I don’t know what that last one was about…)

So today when E came home and saw me lying lethargically on the couch after work, I think he was prepared for the worst (I may have catastrophized a little to him over the past couple days): My fun activities were a flop, Kids were crying, parents have started pulling their children out of the program, no one wanted to sit with me at lunch, a kid closed the door on his finger and it swelled up like a balloon.

But the truth is, only one of those things happened! And in my opinion, that makes it a complete success!

The kids are cutey-patuties, the program went off without much of a hitch, and I will probably only get like 5 angry phone calls from parents. But it was EXHAUSTING. We ran 4 groups of about 20 kids each this morning. I was almost startled by how quickly the adrenaline left my body. By 4pm I was nearly catatonic and when I got home I was just going to “rest my eyes” and suddenly it was 5:30 and thunder storming (well that bit wasn’t too surprising, damn Miami weather).

I clearly have the endurance of a sleepy kitten. I think it’s time to make this yoga threat a reality. Seriously guys, I’m embarrassed.

But yah, the good news is I’m totally going to be a clinician one day, and if today is any indicator, I’m not going to seriously suck. I’m on cloud 12. It’s a sleepy cloud.

clouds

2 minute timeout

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.

I am a BAD CHOCOLATE BLOGGER. bad bad bad!

Today, as is the custom, I ate loads and loads of chocolate in the following forms: pumpkin chocolate chip “muffins” (what I call really big cookies),  in the form of a fudgsicle, a tiny piece of left-over chocolate cake (YES, from over a week ago! It is still delicious though!), and straight from the chocolate chip jar (yes, some people have cookie jars, I have a chocolate chip jar, at this moment it has 3 different kinds of choc chips: hersheys semi-sweet, ghiradelli 70% dark and nestle chunks, YUM)!

That makes me a good chocolate eater, but a bad chocolate blogger because I didn’t take pictures of ANY of it… so now I will take a 2 minute timeout as punishment.

While I am shamed in the corner, take time to enjoy these re-enactment photos.

(as added punishment, I decided to wear an orange sun hat in these photos. All for chocolate!)

Let the punishment fit the crime

"Muffin"

fudgy

Cakey

chippy

SillyHmm, I am beginning to understand why bloggers who photograph EVERY thing they eat lose weight. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to chunder. All the same, I think I’ll blame my photography rather than chocolate. Also, my subject. She hasn’t gotten much sleep and she sat out in the sun today for hours, sweating (w/o sunblock. I’m sorry mother!). Somehow despite all the alleged caffeine in chocolate, I am still ready to fall over backwards into a coma. nighty-nightttt…….


Attrition

What do you think of when you hear the word attrition?

Usually it reminds me of all the participants I have worked so hard to recruit who drop out of our studies at work (have I even mentioned what I do for a living? Hmm, I’ll go update my About Me page, and you can check it out).

But recently, attrition has had additional significance in my life. This time, with regard to my muscles.

My attitude towards exercise has always been: yah, meh.

Growing up I played sports half-heartedly and stayed in decent shape. In college, I ran occasionally, but it hurt my knee. For about 10 months after college, I went to the gym everyday to justify eating whatever I wanted (and I gained weight, supresa supresa).

So after all this I kind of said, yah, meh! I don’t enjoy exercise, it doesn’t particularly like me- we’re both a bit relieved when we’re just left alone. And, for the past year or so, that has been my motto. And it has worked out well enough. I’ve maintained weight (in case you were curious) despite my sloth, by not believing my hallucinations that fad diets will work.

But honestly, (and by admitting this, I am just inviting my mother to say “I told you so”) I think I’m less happy. This is a radical statement, but I think something about exercise makes me feel good. Do I enjoy working out? NO. Do I enjoy feeling strong and sweaty and like I am not wasting my life sitting on a couch watching So You Think You Can Dance while they are on the screen living their dreams? Yes, thank you.

The problem is, I have difficulty finding a type of exercise that suits me. I love the solitude of running, but my knee is no good. I have strong legs and a great bike and really enjoy biking but it rains here everyday (and when it’s not raining it is 1000 degrees). I think what I need to do is hop on the blogging band wagon and get into yoga. I love the concept of meditation, and we even practice it with the kiddies at work occasionally. I love solitude, I have strong legs, I am working on being more mindful: I really think I could fall in love with yoga. But I don’t know where to start!serenity

Blogis (hehe like Yogis, but for blogging): I am seeking your help!!

Chocolate can only take me so far towards self-actualization. Please, how should a wanna-be yogite start?

My "Before" Picture

My "Before" Picture