bowl of chocolate vs responsible adult

What should be done with this?

We have a big bowl of chocolate candy bars in our dining room. This is not normal, because we try to eat reasonably healthy most of the time. But we just passed Halloween, and for various reasons we had less trick-or-treaters this year. (I’d guess because it was a Monday — a school night — and our closest neighbors decorated less than normal. More people went to the other side of our subdivision, which had more decorations.) Regardless of how and why, the end result is a lot of tempting chocolate in my house.

So what am I supposed to do with all this chocolate? The obvious answer is to EAT IT! But there’s a flaw in the slaw: I’m trying to be a responsible adult here. One of my goals is to lose some weight and be more fit, and chocolate bars don’t exactly fit in fitness. But the counter-argument is that I’m a grown-up, so I can eat whatever I want. And that’s true. Therein lies the dilemma.

Do you remember being a kid and being limited by your parents on things like eating sweets and watching TV and playing video games? You probably dreamed of how one day you’d be a grown-up who can set your own rules and how wonderful that will be. And it is good. But you also (hopefully) learn that there are good reasons to be responsible and it’s better to do those things in moderation. It reminds me of this funny quote:

I don’t think I can talk Jen into installing a deep fat fryer in our kitchen. That’d rock! A short order grill. I can sit home and make grilled cheese sandwiches, hash browns, French fries, and pancakes all day long. Mmm. The fat kid in my brain just got really excited. The adult in my brain has to calm him down. Which really is what “growing up” is all about — telling the kid in your brain to sit down and behave, while the grown-up in our brain says, “You know, it’d be more responsible of us if we did this instead…” Stupid brain. ~ Jeff Schell

That’s the mental battle that we all must endure. But let me caution and encourage you with the word “moderation” in another context. Being an adult — especially when you have children — means being serious and responsible a lot more often than you may want to be. If we go too far on the serious side, it can drain the joy and happiness out of life. We don’t want to become an adult that forgets how to have fun. (I suppose that applies to everyone. But if you don’t want to laugh and be happy, that’s your choice, but I don’t recommend it.) Life is much better when it’s enjoyed. You can still be responsible and serious while enjoying the journey. That’s where moderation applies here — it’s not just about limiting the fun, but it can remind us to be serious in moderation. Allow yourself to have fun, even when life is busy and overwhelming. Actually, being able to enjoy your life makes the serious parts less tedious! So it’s helpful to have fun!

So the next time you’re about to eat a piece of chocolate that you might feel somewhat guilty about, find the balance — set a limit of how much, but within that limit, enjoy it as much as possible. While eating it, don’t think about calories or saturated fat grams or sugar or how much exercise it would take to burn it off — just close your eyes and savor each delicious bite. (You tend to enjoy it more when you eliminate distractions, so closing your eyes actually helps.)

Now go enjoy a reasonably-sized piece of chocolate! 🙂

you put WHAT in a dishwasher?

woman-loading-dishwasher-with-cocoa-pebblesThe other day I had a really random dream.  That in itself is not surprising, because I really enjoy randomness (hence why I write on this blog).  But what’s odd about it is that it featured a scenario I had never thought of before.

In my dream, I was at someone’s house, and the woman was loading the dishwasher, but instead of standard dishwashing detergent / soap, she poured in a chocolatey cereal, something like Cocoa Pebbles.  Unfortunately I woke up and didn’t get to see how the dishes turned out, but I expect it would be the opposite of clean.  (A quick glance on Google didn’t find any images to go with this… maybe I just didn’t spend enough time, because supposedly you can find anything on the Internet.  So you’ll just have to use your imagination to picture it, old-school style.)  [Edit: Mango-Man sent in a picture to go with the post, so here it is.]

I don’t know how or why my brain created that scenario.  I’ve never wondered what else you could put in a dishwasher besides soap.  Although this does remind me that I heard someone once joke about putting their underwear / drawz in the dishwasher instead of dirty dishes, but I don’t think that’s a recommended usage, especially if there are dishes in there also.

Buffet o’ Bacon 4

Last night I had the Buffet o’ Blog staff at my house, and I knew there had been rumors of more bacon “research”, but I wasn’t expecting much, given various circumstances.  But this turned into quite the bacon extravaganza!  We had five (5) bacon dishes to test.  Of course, I took some pictures to go with my analysis and commentary.  First up is bacon-wrapped pineapple — on a stick.

It seemed weird to mix bacon with a fruit, but it didn’t taste too bad.   The texture was weird to me.  But pineapple by itself has a somewhat weird texture.  Nonetheless, it was pretty good, but was overshadowed by some of the other bacon experiments.

Next up in our buffet of bacon was bacon-wrapped Twinkies.  How would you expect this to be?

We were skeptical about it before, but it proved to be the tastiest of them all.   The key here was cooking the bacon prior to wrapping the Twinkies.   Once wrapped, we placed them in the oven just long enough to heat the Twinkies (and we did it too much, as evidenced by the creamy overflow).  The taste was great — a pleasant mixture of bacon and sweetness, and it was not greasy at all (which was my main concern before trying it).  I would definitely eat these again… and again… 🙂

Next we made small sausage balls (of just pork / breakfast sausage), wrapped in bacon, and held together with toothpicks.  We had intended to apply the BBQ sauce before cooking, but didn’t add it until about halfway through cooking.

These were very delicious.   (Would you expect otherwise?)  You just have to make sure the sausage gets cooked thoroughly.  And be sure to cook these on a raised rack of some kind to let the bacon grease and sausage grease drain off.  Failure to do so may result in a “gut-bomb”.  (For a documented example of that, see the second comment about our initial Buffet o’ Bacon.)

Next up was a BLT — bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich, with Miracle Whip.  Nothing revolutionary, and tasted like you would expect.

Last but not least in our “research” was chocolate-covered bacon.  The bacon was cooked first, with all grease drained, then dipped in molten chocolate.   The molten chocolate was made from semi-sweet chocolate chips plus butter.

Chocolate-covered bacon may sound gross if you haven’t tried it, but it’s quite delicious.   The salty bacon goes well with the sweetness of the chocolate.   You really should try it for yourself sometime.

If you would like to read about our other Buffet o’ Bacon events, here’s a link to search the blog for “Buffet o’ Bacon“.  (It will find a few other posts which reference it, but using a search will also find future ones, too, once they’re published.)  You could also have your own bacon research parties.  It’s a really fun time (as you would imagine).  You could post your results on your blog, and be sure to link back here so we can check it out.

chocolate-covered bacon on a stick

Last night I had the Buffet o’ Blog staff over to my house, along with a classified secret guest.  Food was not specifically on the agenda, but foodstuffs were brought nonetheless.   There were chocolate chip cookies, which are always good, but the unique item we had (for which I’m writing this) was chocolate-covered bacon.  And it wasn’t just any bacon — it was Petit Jean peppered bacon.

The flavor was unique: the salty goodness of bacon, the spicy peppered seasoning of this variety, and the sweetness of chocolate.  And to make it even cooler, it was on a stick.

I didn’t get a picture this time, because it was quickly devoured.   But you can imagine.  At least this time, no one brought a “gut bomb“.  🙂

The collective conclusion was that it was awesome.  Although it probably would’ve been even better if it wasn’t peppered bacon, because adding spicy to the salty plus sugary mix was almost too much.  But I’d eat it again, either way.  🙂