Annoucement: Road Trip

January 6, 2008

My sister and I are leaving for a 4-day road trip today to visit our grandparents in Maryland and New Jersey. I will be blogging while I’m gone, but I won’t be able to answer> comments, so please save your burning questions until I get back. I’m not sure of my computer access, but I should be able to post at least once a day. I’ll probably do a big photo recap instead of posting each meal, but I’ll have to asses when I get there. So forgive me for not being as consistent as normal! I’ll be back home back at it on Friday.

Here’s my schedule

Today: Drive to my parents’ house in Hillsborough. Dinner out with old friends.

Monday: Up really early (no workout), drive to Towson, Maryland, shopping in the afternoon, walk??, out to dinner.

Tuesday: Hoping to run early in the AM, drive to Lakewood, New Jersey, out to dinner.

Wednesday: Out to lunch, hoping for a walk in the afternoon and/or a swim in my grandparents’ indoor pool! They keep it at 90* 8) It’s small so I won’t be able to swim laps, but I should get a little movement in. Out to dinner.

Thursday: Drive all the way home. Lunch on the road. Subway??

So as you can see, I’ll be really busy and my only exercise will be walking and maybe a run or two. I also have at least 4 meals out – maybe even closer to 6 – so this week will be QUITE a challenge!!

Plan

I always have a plan in the back of my mind. My goal is to not count calories but to focus on eating the healthiest foods I can and watching my portions of the ones that aren’t so healthy. I’m going to skip alcohol unless I really feel that it would enhance the dining experience and keep desserts to few bites. I WILL NOT let loose and pig out on this trip!

The good news is, I’m in maintenance now and if I gain a little this week (which I certainly will), I will just be extra careful about eating clean, whole foods next week and I’ll be back to point one soon enough!

If anyone asks where I am, please point them to this post!!

See you all soon :)

Kath

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ala January 6, 2008 at 8:35 am

Have a GREAT trip!

I know it can be hard, but try not to stress too much about not having a planned schedule. Enjoy yourself- you only live once, right?! ;) I can't wait to hear how it was.

Take care :)

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2 rivermomx3 January 6, 2008 at 9:51 am

Hey everyone,

After seeing many people commenting on Calorie King, I was going to try it, but I'm to cheap to pay! I have been using the Self Diet Club-its free and I really like it. You can input all the nutritional info. for any food, and if its not in the database, you can enter it in. You enter in your profile and you can track your progress for nutrition, exercise, weight loss, etc. It also has a meal planner, but I haven't used that yet. I think its a great tool for anyone trying to lose weight or just track their nutrition. Here's the link:
http://selfdietclub.com/dt/selfindex.asp

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3 VeggieGirl January 6, 2008 at 9:59 am

have a WONDERFUL trip to Maryland and New Jersey – relax, have fun, and enjoy!! :0)

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4 foodie January 6, 2008 at 10:09 am

husband,

are you going on this trip? or are you home alone for 4 days!

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5 Anonymous January 6, 2008 at 10:57 am

Hi Kath!

Thanks for the GOOGLE PEDOMETER SITE!!!! I've been trying to figure out my milage for a long time!!!!

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6 the husband January 6, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I'm home alone! Whatever will I do?!!? (besides clean the whole house)

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7 Fig January 6, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Ok I think its HYSTERICAL that "the husband" answered…he should be our subsitute blogger for the next few days lol

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8 arimcg January 6, 2008 at 3:16 pm

another good site for tracking how far you run/walk is mapmyrun.com. I've never used google pedometer (so maybe it has this feature as well) but map my run roughly calculates calorie burn based on how far you go and at what pace. It's rough, obviously, but still somewhat helpful if you don't have a heart rate monitor.

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9 Sarah January 6, 2008 at 4:17 pm

I'm not sure if the "husband" is reading the blog, but I actually have a question from him since it seems like he is the baker. I am excited to try to make my own bread after seeing your all's, but I am a novice cook so I have a few qs.

1. If I were to make a quarter of a recipe would I use the same amount of yeast and sugar as the original recipe since yeast multiples?

2. Can you substitute regular yeast with rapid rise (instant)? If so, what is the difference?

3. What makes some breads rise so high and others like the focaccia you made stay flat breads? And some breads crusty and others not, once again like the focaccia.

Sorry for so many questions. Thanks in advance for whatever help you can provide!

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10 kathryn January 7, 2008 at 3:27 am

I work right out side of Towson… looks like you will have great weather today… enjoy your trip

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11 the husband January 7, 2008 at 4:11 am

Sorry for the late response, but so glad you asked.

1) If you quarter a recipe, you should use slightly more than a quarter of the yeast and sugar, as well as all the other ingredients. However, unless the recipe you're quartering is for some GIANT restaurant quantity, it's pretty tough to quarter doughs. I feel that, to effectively knead a dough, you need at least two fistfuls of dough.

2) The only kind of yeast I use is instant yeast, commonly labelled "for bread machines." This is not the same as rapid rise yeast. I think this is the best yeast to use because it's easy to store (in the fridge), there's more living yeast than in the packages (which have a HUGE percentage of dead yeast in them, and sometimes they're all dead – i.e., no rise. I don't really know what rapid rise yeast is, but Alton Brown always vehemently speaks against it, so I've never even tried.

3) The short answer to the rising question is…… yeast! (ta-daaaaa!!!!) But you already knew that. See, the important thing to know about chewy breads (baguettes, focaccia, most anything you knead that has yeast) is that the rise is produced by two things: the gas that the yeast produces, and the water in the dough that converts to steam when it cooks. So in order to get a fluffy rise, we need to create a "container" that will trap that gas. That's where gluten comes in. Gluten is a type of protein, mostly found in wheat products. When you knead the bread, you're binding these proteins together, and stretching them out, and getting little yeasties trapped in there. Then the yeast goes about eating sugar and producing carbon dioxide. This creates little bubbles in the gluten strands. Simultaneously, it appears to "soften" the dough, but what's actually happening is the rising is just stretching the gluten out to a thinner and more malleable state. So once we have those bubbles, we cook, and the steam opens the holes even more, the yeast dies, and voila you have bread.

I almost always rise my bread at least twice. Why? It's just that much more time for the yeast to stretch the dough out some more. Well you may ask "why don't you just let it rise once, but twice as long?" Well it's because, as the yeast multiplies, they clump up against each other (they're not mobile). When they do that, the yeast on the inside of the clumps die because of lack of food, etc. This is why we "punch down" which is a terrible description of what you should actually do. Once the dough has risen, you should gently fold it over (like a tri-fold wallet) and do this about 3 times. This will loosen up those yeast clumps, redistribute everything, and allow them to keep fluffing up your dough.

One more comment about the gluten. Different flours have different amounts of protein in them. Bread flours have the highest (because we want lots of gluten). Pastry flours have the lowest (have you ever seen a cake recipe that you knead? Of course not – that's because cakes are risen by chemical leaveners and they aren't strong enough to make uniform holes in gluten). All purpose flour is the middle of the road, and you can certainly make bread out of this, as well as pastries.

Lastly, bread making is a skill, and one that I feel I'm still rather novice to. I think I'm at a point that I have the knowledge, but just need more practice. I still make ruinous loaves of bread (like on Saturday night – it wasn't that great). But what I'm getting at is, don't get discouraged by your first attempt. My first loaf of bread was a 9×5 loaf, 2 inches tall, and a solid brick. It was terrible. So keep trying!

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12 Sarah January 7, 2008 at 5:12 am

Thank you so much! That was such a thorough response. I'm excited to try making bread myself now!

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