Saturday, July 14, 2012

I have to share this. As a waiter I think it's amazing, I feel so bad for the family, but I am glad they are able to fulfill his wish.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Menu Testing!

I may bitch and whine about a lot of things, but one of the little perks of working in a tiny restaurant:  menu testing!

Of course, how exactly to I count fried baby octopus, monkfish liver, duck dumplings and fried arugala?

I figured roughly a point a nibble. Oh the perils of serving...but I suppose someone has to do it.

A waiter's life

I suppose it's time to tackle the other half of this blog, the TABLE part. Being in the food service industry has it's challenges and in some case it's rewards. I have have spent much of the last two 25 years "at the table". I borrow that phrase from the job description of a butler. I spend a good portion of my day catering to the whims and tastes of people from around the world. I could perhaps go on for hours and hours and days and days about tipping, serving, bartending, etc. And maybe I will from time to time. I really have no idea where this particular section will lead.

How does serving relate to weight loss and vice versa. Are the two related or wholly separate endeavors? A case could be made that one should not impact the other, much like a person who wakes up in the morning and shuffles off to a cubicle in Gotham. In some cases I agree, I wish I could separate the two. But much like the poor office rat who faces the unwelcome candy dish, or heaven forbid a whole cake placed on their desk - I contend with hours and hours of looking at, serving, smelling and in some cases tasting food. My weakness is also my job. It really is no wonder that a good portion of the chefs int he world are overweight. Although surprisingly I have noticed that pastry chefs tend to be smaller that savory chefs. Go figure. 

As if serving wasn't hard enough, there is the inevitable hunger that accompanies the typical 8 hour shift. Unlike the aforementioned office rat (I really don't mean that in a bad way), my day usually starts in the middle of the day. Usually between what would normally be considered lunch and dinner time. I try and wake up and have breakfast (although that may be at 11am), I know I need to eat before I go in to work - many times I'm really not hungry. That normally means that the evening hunger pangs hit right in the middle ofr a shift. Do I have the ability to grab dinner, nope. Can I slip away and scarf something on the sly - usually that's what it takes. The experts tell us we should sit down and enjoy our meals. Yeah right! I'm lucky if I get to sit down at all till I leave. By the time I get home after midnight, I feel like I could eat a horse and I usually do.

Then I go to bed and start the whole mess all over again. Sounds fun, huh?

Well, that's a little backstory, and perhaps a hint of things to come. There will probably be rants about customers, rants about food. Stories of challenges overcome, and goals attained. So much like the character of Don Quixote, I charge off to face my demons. Although my windmills are typically deep fried and dripping in ranch dressing.

Onward we blindly stumble!


7 Pepper Chicken

Serves 6 (2/3 cup serving)
PP+:  7

This Recipe is VERY spicy, feel free to adjust the cayenne and chilli powder amounts

5 chicken breasts
2 poblano peppers
2 jalapeño peppers
6 to 8 “mini” sweet peppers
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
3 chipotle peppers in adobo chopped
1 tbsp chili oil
2 tbsp chopped green chilis
2 cans (8 oz each) Rotel Original Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
  1.  Roast the poblano peppers on the stove or in the broiler until there are scorch marks on the peppers.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Place chicken breasts in the oven at 350 and cook until just done (season with a little extra chili oil if you like - cover them . . . you don't really want them to brown, you just want them to cook through)
  3. In a skillet, place the chili oil with the chopped onion, green peppers and chili and cook until the onions are translucent.
  4. Slice and de-seed/de-vein the jalapeños. Discard the seeds and veins.  Add to the skillet
  5. Slice the mini-peppers and add to the skillet along with the chipotle peppers.  Slice the poblano peppers and add to the skillet as well.  Simmer for 1 minute on low.
  6. Add the rotel tomato sauce to the skillet and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.  Transfer mixture to a 4 quart slow cooker.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven and chop into small pieces.  Add it to the slow cooker along with the crushed red pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cilantro, coriander and salt and pepper.  Add 1 cup of hot water and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Allow to cook for several hours on high or overnight on low.
Serve with black beans and rice, garnish with a little Mexican Créma or Sour Cream.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Days of Perfect Imperfection

Kind of a strange title, huh?

Who knows maybe it will sucker someone in to read. :) I had the urge to write this post just as I am heading to bed after what has been a very full couple of days. As we all know WW is about life change, it is also about adaptation and evolution. There are many people who who follow the program with a zeal that almost borders of religion. There are others that take things in a more cafeteria style. Each person follows their own path and hopefully each person reaches their goals in their own time. We take from the program the tools and the information that will guide us on the journey. Some people beat themselves up if they falter, some people throw in the towel if hit a bump in the road. I know I have been guilty of this many times. I have stop and started this program so many times I think my brain would fry if I tried to count them all. I do think that this incarnation of the program is the best yet, and I am thankful that the boards, groups, Facebook groups are here to help. It's kind of like having a meeting every day.

Where is all this going you may ask - well, the past two days have been a rather exhausting day of walking. I don't have a car so many times in order to run errands or sometimes just for pleasure (? !) I subject myself to long and rather exhausting walks. In this case two days of 10+ miles of errands and in one case a brief stop at the beach. Needless to say I'm pretty exhausted. What is strange about this two days is that while I have racked up APs out the wazoo, I seem to avoided GHGs just as much. Not intentionally by any means. I normally really try and focus on getting all of them in, etc. But it just seems that these two days have been kind of junk food fiesta. I have tracked everything which is good, but it seems odd that on one hand I am getting all that activity in on the other I'm not eating the "right things." Am I worried about it? No - not at all. Do I feel discouraged? Nope. Maybe it's a sign of my personal evolution, maybe I am learning something after all. Perhaps I am actually figuring out that while I strive to be perfect, I know that ultimately I have to do the best I can. If I falter or heaven forbid eat a utterly delicious black and white cookie instead of a sauteed chicken breast - guess what - that's what REAL people do. It really is all about balance and equality. Tomorrow I wake up, have my oatmeal and continue on this journey.

Onward and downward