• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
  • Previously spoken….

    August 2020
    S M T W T F S
  • Visually taken....

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Cran-Apple Oatmeal

Cran-Apple Oatmeal

I used to really dislike cranberries but lately I’ve been second guessing my long held beliefs. The smell alone of this dish cooking was worth buying cranberries! I’d post a recipe but it’s a test of Urban Vegan’s new cookbook. Sorry! Oh so good.

Into the light with oatmeal

We know that natural light is the best light for photography, right? But it’s hard to get that at 9 p.m. I do get it during the day on the weekends though! So, I grabbed the camera for the simplest but one of my favorite foods — oatmeal.

Which is better?

Bright sunshine directly falling on the bowl in the dining room

It’s getting hot in here with steam swirls in the non-harsh kitchen sunlight

The action shot in the kitchen

As you can see on the last image, I put the bowl on top of the oatmeal container to get it up higher near the window in the kitchen. This also allowed for some depth of field play. In the dining room, I hand held the bowl against the window. In both places, I hand held the camera. Yes, even when pouring the milk. Yes, I did miss once. No, I didn’t cry.

Oatmeal versus Oatmeal


Instant oatmeal nuked in the microwave. Splenda and milk were added later.

Steel cut oats cooked the night before and stored in the fridge in a class bowl with foil on top. Cut the congealed mess in half inside the glass bowl and pull out the half-mass to a new bowl (above). Nuked for 1.5 minutes with a splash of water. Brummel & Brown, brown sugar, milk. Worth eating at home versus work? Maybe.

By the way, I always use just water to cook my oatmeal and not milk.

I was disappointed yesterday when I saw that I was out of regular oatmeal. That’s not too bad cooked in the microwave for a quick warm breakfast. But I tried the instant anyway. I think I’m done with it. It was like eating a sticky gloppy mess.

Yes, steel cut oatmeal may take longer than instant (or regular oatmeal in the microwave) but steel cut wins in taste and texture!

Yet another picture of oatmeal….

I just wanted to show off my new placemat at work.


But, seriously, finally cooked up a bunch of oatmeal on Monday night, put it in a container and took it to work this morning. Now I have breakfast taken care of for the rest of the week! Check marks on my goal calendar incoming! 😉

Two days of eats

How I love thee but won’t it get old quickly? I still have about 2 or 3 cups left in the fridge for nuking. So far my favorite way to make it (other than oodles of brown sugar and milk and butter) is banana. Gotta find some other ways!

PB&J Roll-up massacre
PB&J roll-up disaster
I tried to make a PB&J roll-up so that I can cut it up for my Laptop Lunch. It was a disaster! My little cutting board looked like I just butchered something. The spewed guts (aka: jam) went on top of some yogurt so that was good. But the roll-up…. I don’t know what I did wrong! I put peanut nut butter on the tortilla first so it wouldn’t get soggy and then put on the jam. I put too much jam (2 tablespoons) definitely but the cutting was horrible.


  • Oatmeal, steel-cut, leftover, 1 cup: 2
  • Apple, organic, Fuji, cut-up: 1
  • Cinnamon:0
  • Da Dew! 0
  • Was going to put slices on top of the oatmeal but that’s hard to eat so I chopped some up and mixed apple in after the oatmeal was nuked. Sprinkled cinnamon on top. Not a huge fan. Maybe it’d be better with the apple nuked or some sweetener added like honey or such. I’ve seen people add applesauce to oatmeal so thought this would work.

Chicken fried rice

  • Chicken fried rice
    Based loosely on OAMC Chicken Fried Rice. I used some of the cooked brown rice, rest of the chicken, onion, frozen vegetables, 2 eggs, and soy sauce/pepper.

2 Turkey cheddar dogs, 1 cup corn/lima beans.
I didn’t cook this but photographed anyway.
3 hot cocoas: 12
ice cream (1 cup + chocolate syrup): A kazillion points. Ok, not really.

PB&J Roll-up massacre
PB&J roll-ups: 2 Tbl peanut butter, 2 Tbl jam, 1 tortilla (3)
1 cup ff yogurt
Diet dew, 1 can

Saturday foodstuffs

Yeah. Difficult day. Emotionally draining. I’m glad it’s over. I ate those little quarter sandwich things on a boat that I didn’t take pictures of but I did take pictures of the dinner I ate out. Yay? Oh and I am a huge fan of steel-cut oats! Cook up a bunch and store it for a quick nuke each day!

Breakfast [5]

  • Oatmeal, steel-cut, leftover, 1 cup: 2
    I’ve been warming the oatmeal up in this bowl. I measured out how much each line is with water from a measuring cup, but also the oatmeal comes from a storage container that has lines for 1 cup, 2 cup on it. Very helpful.
  • Banana, 1: 2
  • Honey, 1 teaspoon: .5
  • ICBINB, 1 teaspoon: .5
  • Diet Dew, of course: 0
  • I mixed up some cut-up, slightly smooshed banana in with the microwave oatmeal. Pretty lovely combination!

Invisible dolphins
No picture of the food, but enjoy the water….
Lunch [4][9]

  • Finger sandwich, 2 quarters, 1 turkey and 1 roast beef: 4?
  • Water: 0

Dinner [9.5][18.5]

  • Diet pepsi: 0
  • 1 fried mozzarella stick: 2
  • 1 broccoli nugget thing: 1
  • Mahimahi: 5
  • Broccoli: 1
  • Hushpuppy, 1/2 of one: .5


  • Diet dew, 1 can: 0

And then….

Ice cream with chocolate syrup. It seems the emotions of the day sent me back to my frozen lover. At least now that I’ve figured out how much my bowls hold, I can say how much I had. 13.5 points. How satisfying was it? Not very.

Just another manic Monday

I brought my breakfast! Yay! I even brought snack-y bits from home! I don’t like microwaving in the Ziploc container though but did. The yogurt was in a disposable container but that was so I could just try it. I can get a larger container next time and portion it out like I do for cottage cheese.

My laptop lunch is getting closer! It’s in Pennsylvania right now so I should have it within a day or so! Woo hoo.

First weigh-in was tonight.
Even though I had over-indulgences — self-indulgence was the topic this week — I had a loss. I figure because even though I went over my WPA, I still tracked and got back on track as soon as possible. I didn’t let those lapses become a gateway to “Oh, I had that, might as well have this.”

This leader is on Core and even though all the other women I joined with last week said they were going to try Core, not one did. Why did they want to do Core? “I don’t have to measure and can eat what I want.” Why did they not do Core? I kid you not, some said this. “I didn’t trust myself if I didn’t measure and count.” Wow. The reason for wanting it is the reason for not doing it. But the leader told us that it’s not that “scary.” We didn’t gain weight by eating too much broccoli. The foods on the list are, overall, not trigger foods. Rice/Pasta are limited to once a day because they could be.

On to the day’s food [30] journal…. Continue reading

Steel-cut Saturday

Today, since I had all morning and wanted to procrastinate my studying, I tried some steel-cut oats. Boy, did that take forever to cook! And the bottom of the pan was scrubtastic. Worth it? Not sure. I have half of the pan leftover in the fridge.

Steel cut oatmeal
Breakfast – 10ish

  • Steel-cut oatmeal, 1 cup: 4
    Interesting. WW.com says oatmeal is 2 points per cup. On container, it looks like 4 a cup.
  • Honey, 3-string drizzle: .5
    I miss my local honey desperately!
  • ICBINB, light, dollop: .5
    From the tub.
  • Milk, skim, 1.5 cup: 2.5

Taco, lima beans and corn
Diet Mountain Dew, 1 can: 0
Tortilla, low-fat: 2
Ground turkey with taco seasoning, 1/2 cup: 4?
Cheese stick, low-fat: 2
Picante sauce, liberal pour: 0
Corn, 1/2 cup?: 1
Lima beans, 1/2 cup?: 1
Lima beans have a little taco meat in them because I microwaved the two together in a non-plastic bowl

Lasagna! Nom!
Leftover lasagna from the freezer, little square: 12?
Salad (spinach, 1/2 apple, sprinkle of dried cranberries, sprinkle of walnuts, carrot): 0+.5+1+3+0
Balsamic, light dressing, 2 Tbl: 1
Leftover cauliflower: 1
Corn, lima beans: 1

Hot cocoa: 8

I’m filling most of this the day after because of how hard it was to do anything but study yesterday. I think I need to keep the little paper journal with me so I can write stuff done and not rely on memory. Photos help but I don’t photograph everything.

Yesterday’s quiz in the class went horribly. I’m getting very frustrated with the amount of times this professor puts material on the quiz that isn’t covered in the class. I turned to my comfort: ice cream.

Not a snack…
Ice cream with chocolate syrup: 20?

Oh and I didn’t write down what I turned to the other night after the bad fight. That time it was Krispy Kreme chocolate glazed donuts. I just looked up how much that “retreat into comfort zone” cost and that was 30 points. Needless to say, I’m way over my WPA. Will my few (ok, a lot at the few times) transgressions mean a gain tomorrow?