Happy Moanday: Keepin' Cool

Well, my wish was finally granted. Going to bed last night I felt a chill, gathered up my quilt, and huddled under the blankets. Sleepy and content, it took me a minute to discover what had actually happened: I was cold. Cold! In my apartment! In my poorly-ventilated, air-conditionerless, boxy, barren apartment! It was, oh, fantastic.

So, I am dreamily wafting through this week, cheered by the slight crisp in the air and dismayed that I have just managed to move my winter clothes out of my closet and into storage.

After this past weekend, though, and all the many weekends this summer filled with pizza, ice cream, cookies, hamburgers, soda, etc etc, I am craving plain, simple food that fills me up without filling me out. Although most people seem to gain weight in the winter time, I tend to switch things up (like a bear!), piling on the pounds in the summer to last me through a cold, dark winter. Of course, now that I am engaged and every personal trainer in the tri-state area is sniffing me out to remind me that no, in fact you cannot get married unless you go through something called "Bridal Body Boot-Camp Bonanza," the realization that there is more of me to love is even more distressing. So! With Dave rolling, rolling, rolling on a multi-hour drive to Chicago (tell them about the time you ran out of gas in the middle of the intersection...), I am looking forward to lighter meals.

Yes, I think I will put away the baking and deliciously cheesy, saucy, buttery dishes that I so love (at least most of the time), and focus more on salads, simple chickens, whole grains, and sugar-free alternatives (my big vice: amazingly sweet and tart fruit juices. mmm baby). Although I am mostly against going on diets, since I find them depressing and degrading (I spent one terrible month trying to follow a diet in Us Weekly that completely eliminated dairy, spices, and most carbs. Oooh I still shudder), I like finding meals that are healthy and delicious, relying more on blends of spices and subtle balances of natural flavors than addititives like butter, sugar, or cream. Plus, I am delighted to discover a slew of farmers' markets in the area, which hopefully will lead to better and fresher vegetables than I usually am subjected to (my little market is far, far, far away from organic yuppie-dom).

For tonight I am thinking of starting out simple: balsamic chicken salad with a sprinkle of walnuts and blue cheese, paired with a white wine. Not sure what I'll end up with for the rest of the week, but I did pull out my copy of Mark Bitman's Bitten, and the recipes there seemed to sing they were so amazing. So perhaps I'll work my way through that?

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