Cookout For One

July 13, 2008

We went for an awesome run today – just over 5 miles and through a new park we found near our neighborhood. I felt strong and fast (too bad the husband felt the same and kept leaving me in the dust!)

After a steamy shower, we decided to turn the AC on when our thermostat said 85*! It’s much more comfortable in here now.

I used up some of our leftovers and had a nice summer cookout for one –

We had a tiny bit of meat leftover when the husband was forming the burgers last night so he made a little 1.5 oz burger that didn’t get eaten. Perfect for me to get a taste of a burger without committing to all the calories (at 70 calories an oz for the 80% fat beef, a regular 5 oz burger is 350 calorieswithout cheese or the bun!) So I crumbled up the little guy and had him with avocado, tomato and K+M:


Plus some leftover corn –


And the last of the watermelon I bought –



I finished Change of Heart last night (I liked it, but like I said, wouldn’t want to re-read it). I’d like to start a new book ASAP (a little more cheerful this time) but I don’t have many options. I might start 1,000 Splendid Suns (I liked Kite Runner a lot) but it’s not the most cheerful either! I have a bunch of Mauve Binchey books too that I friend gave me, but the one book I read by her wasn’t that great. Guess I’ll have to just pick one and start reading!

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BethT July 13, 2008 at 1:46 pm

1000 Splendid Suns is great but not exactly cheerful. Definitely read it but be warned! ๐Ÿ˜€


2 Emily July 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm

I really enjoyed Jhumpa Lahiriโ€™s Unaccustomed Earth. She won a Pulitzer Prize for The Namesake, which i also highly recommend. Here is the link to the NY Time’s Book Review of Unaccustomed Earth:

Enjoy your Sunday…i’m stuck studying for my Macroecon test i have tomorrow! ugh.


3 Abby July 13, 2008 at 2:02 pm

If you really want a light read, you should look up “Loose Screws” by Karen Templeton. I’m a couple chapters away from the end, but i’ve enjoyed it the whole way through. The beginning starts out a little sad, but it makes for a funny story.

Just a suggestion!


4 haya July 13, 2008 at 2:03 pm

what maeve binchy books do you have? she has written some splendid ones (like circle of friends) and then a few that aren’t that super

80% fat beef? is that regular ground? lean?


5 jrf July 13, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Kath, check out “A Thousand Days In Venice” by Marlena de Blasi…a true, totally romantic story about how she met her husband with gorgeous prose and descriptions of food that will have your mouth watering. (Marlena is a chef and cookbook author.)


6 Kath July 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm

I’m writing these titles down to look for at the library….

haya ,
Circle of Friends was the one that everyone RAVES about and I didn’t think it was that great. I didn’t dislike it, but I just thought it was kind of boring? What others did you like of hers?

I think the 80% is just ground chuck. The husband got it. We’ve tried burgers with the leaner kinds and he doesn’t think they work as well.



7 Kelly L. July 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm


The Beach House- Jane Green
The Beach Club- Elin Hilderbrand
Barefoot- Elin Hilderbrand

These are fabulous Summer books that you can’t put down. Not too heavy, but not super light chick lit either. You get super involved with the characters. LOVE THESE!!


8 KatieTX July 13, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Wow 85 in your house! I continuously fight with my roommate who enjoys putting the AC on 70…in the SE Texas. We have compromised to 75 but 80 inside is definitely when I start feeling hot! I bet your electricity is super low with no AC on!


9 Anna July 13, 2008 at 2:26 pm

1,000 Splendid Suns is incredible!!!! While it can be depressing, it is worth it. Just thinking about it makes me want to pick up my copy and reread it. :)


10 Jenny July 13, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Hi Kath,
I was just wondering what time you generally eat your meals and afternoon snack (when you have one). Thanks!


11 Clara July 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm

For absorbing, ultimately cheerful summer reads I’d go with anything by Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, or Jane Green! :)

sheesh, 350 cals is crazy for *just* the burger! that’s why I love veggie ones, heh heh


12 Jen July 13, 2008 at 2:33 pm

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a fantastic book – I liked it even better than The Kite Runner. If you’re looking for some light summer reading, I recommend anything by Jen Lancaster. She’s a total narcissist & smart a$$, but her writing is hilarious – her books are somewhat Seinfeld-ish as they pretty much centre around her random thoughts on daily stuff.


13 Tina O. July 13, 2008 at 2:43 pm

One of my favorite authors is Elizabeth Berg. I’ve read all of hers except for one that was set in WWII. Not really my bag. But otherwise, all of them were great.


14 Julz July 13, 2008 at 2:58 pm

I’m missing the candle :( It makes the meal seem so intimate and special! I have to credit you for that inspiration, as I, now, enjoy having a candle lit while eating meals alone. (I always do it when I eat with others, but I never used to think to “bother” when I’m by myself! But it’s wonderful :) )

-PS- I recently purchased stemless wine glasses (BIG) from Crate & Barrel outlet in Waterford, VA and I totally thought of you! They were $1.99 EACH! I bought a set of six for my mom (birthday) and the same ones that aren’t real glass but look and feel identical! They are perfect for outside/parties because they can’t break :) (Best part? They are green-“glass”)

Just had to share! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


15 Penney July 13, 2008 at 3:01 pm

You might like David Sedaris’ books.

What you did with the left over meat reminds me of the idea of reducing our dependence of meat by not thinking of it as 1/3 of the plate, but using meat sparingly, almost like a seasoning.


16 tiedtogetherwithasmile July 13, 2008 at 3:09 pm

That corn on the cob looks delicious, I’m going to have to pick some up now. What a great summer meal!


17 Clara July 13, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Hey, I got a quick question for Kath and anyone who might know – about hummus:

I buy this jar of deeeeeelicious homemade garbanzo bean hummus at this local fair occasionally, and I was wondering if it was reasonable to estimate it had roughly the same amount of cals per 2 tbsp as the store-bought stuff – 70ish? It tastes and looks the same consistency, it’s just plain homemade.
This might sound kind of silly, and I know it’s impossible to know exactly how many calories are in it, I’d just appreciate some feedback ๐Ÿ˜€ thanks!


18 kathleen July 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I just finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. I bought the book yesterday and it was so amazing that I finished it in about one sitting. It isn’t exactly uplifting, but it is an amazing glimpse into the human experience.


19 bee July 13, 2008 at 3:22 pm

^i just bought the same book at a yard sale about…a month ago? i haven’t read it yet, but hopefully i’ll get around to it!

i second the elizabeth berg recommendation; she is a really fantastic author. my favorites of her’s is “year of pleasures”.


20 KrisT July 13, 2008 at 3:27 pm

19 minutes – Jodi Picoult
my sister’s keeper – Jodi Picoult
those are wayyy better than change of heart

the Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls
(I read that book in one day and I’m not a fan of reading at all)


21 Jaime July 13, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Dog lovers might enjoy reading Marley and Me! I really liked it:) I just found out that there is a movie being made based on the book with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.


22 Fit4Life July 13, 2008 at 3:38 pm

james patterson books are my FAVE! if you like murser mystery books. i have YET to meet a person that didnt like his books. once i pick it up, i was SO sad to have to put it down! thats how good it was!


23 Allison July 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Read A Thousand Splendid Suns. It is much more upbeat (relatively speaking) than Kite Runner. I also have to add that Unaccustomed Earth is really good. I just finished it.


24 C July 13, 2008 at 3:54 pm

I am reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. It is a great read with lots of interesting characters and plot twists. Though only start if you are in it for the long haul, it is almost 1000 pages.


25 sarah July 13, 2008 at 4:16 pm

i agree with sedaris for a fun, light read.

i LOVED middlesex by jeffrey eugenides. probaby my favorite book ever!


26 Emily July 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm

KrisT – I agree on The Glass Castle. It was one of my best reads of the year thus far! Kath, you MUST borrow it from the library asap, great read!


27 haya July 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm

if you haven’t read anything by barbara kingsolver, you must! prodigal summer and animal, vegetable, miracle (right down your alley, perhaps. that one is non-fic though) are both absolutely fantastic. she is a great writer, and you can feel good about reading her stuff. it’s not fluff, but still completely enjoyable and easy to read.


28 CourtneyS July 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm

All of Elin Hilderbrand’s books are fun summer reads! Anita Shreve is great, too.


29 mi July 13, 2008 at 5:36 pm

i absolutely adore your blog, and it’s one of the ones that really, really inspired me to start building a truly healthy lifestyle, and as a result even started my own little blog! so a big thank you! also, a thousand splendid suns was a wonderful, wonderful book. of course it’s not a happy story as such, but it was incredibly moving and not without hope – i highly recommend it!


30 yadi July 13, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I look for hummus made without canola or olive oil. Some people put a ton of oil in it. I like the recipe with the greek yogurt and tahini instead. Just my two cents – I’m a big hummus fan!


31 mh July 13, 2008 at 5:38 pm

i second the james patterson recommendation! his books are amazing (just bought another today and I thnk its the ONLY one i havent read! )haha! enjoy your weekend kath


32 KatieF July 13, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Books by Marian Keyes, Jennifer Weiner, Amy Tan and Barbara Kingsolver are all good for casual summer reading.

What a fun summertimeish lunch! :)


33 Christianne July 13, 2008 at 5:47 pm

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovitch is HILARIOUS! The titles all have a number in them, starting with, I think, “One For the Money.” I am in a circle of about five women who all read them. They are really fast and easy to read.


34 Jessie July 13, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Hey Kath, 1000 splendid suns is one of the most amazing books, it’s not cheerful, but its is a seriously good read! Have you read anything by Augusten Burroughs? Running With Scissors and Dry are both wonderful. But also…not cheerful :)

And if you get a chance i would really appreciate some feedback on my blog, after all, your kind of the blog guru :)


35 Amanda July 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Kath in an answer to someone else you mentioned you sometimes will buy the dirty dozen for organic foods. What is the dirty dozen referring to?


36 Stacy July 13, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Kath-If you’re looking for entertaining yet light reading, I’d suggest anything by Phillippa Gregory. It’s entertaining but not as quick of a read or as fluffy as typical chick lit.

Of course, if you like chick lit you can’t go wrong with Sophia Kinsella.


37 Evey July 13, 2008 at 6:30 pm


If you google “dirty dozen organic,” the first link is:;
and the second is:;
either of which will list the top 12 most contaminated produce items (which is why people advocate to buy those organic above all others).


38 Heather July 13, 2008 at 6:50 pm

I second Unaccustomed Earth! It was really good… The Interpreter of Maladies (also by Jhumpa Lahiri) was great too.

I just started “The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner”- it’s an awesome foodie read :)


39 Megan July 13, 2008 at 7:00 pm

I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns even though it was a heavy read. I would highly recommend it.


40 Kath July 13, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Thanks for all the great recommendations guys!! I will definitely try to order some used on Amazon and/or check the library. Current read: I decided on 1,000 Splendid because i had it right then and there ready to go.

Jenny ,
It totally depends on the day. On a normal school day, breakfast around 7, lunch around 12, snack around 4, dinner around 7. On the weekends, breakfast 8-9, lunch 2, snack – optional, but maybe something small around 4 or 5, dinner 7-8?

Julz ,
Sorry I forgot to light it!!! Glasses sound cool. I love stemless ones when I drink out of one, but everytime I go to buy one I think back to our big stemmed ones and think I’d rather use them!

Clara ,
Most of the store-bought hummuses are 50 kcal per 2 tbsp, so I think 70 is a great estimate.

mi ,
Thanks :)

Jessie ,
Blog looks like it’s off to a great start. My philosophy: the more photos the better!



41 Allyn July 13, 2008 at 8:23 pm

I have to jump in and second Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She’s a superb writer. You’ll appreciate the thoughts on appreciating food and its importance in our lives and culture.

I’d also like to recommend Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It is a great story you can really get swept away with.

Also, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I listened to the book on tape (my job requires a LOT of driving), and it was the most fascinating 14 hours. I couldn’t wait to get back in the car.

I recommended Life of Pi to a former professor of mine and he later recommended The Book Theif. If you read one and enjoy it, you’ll definitely like the other too.

Happy reading!


42 Jules27 July 14, 2008 at 12:20 am

I just re-read Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl and it was great. All of her books are actually really good, especially if you are into reading books about food. Some other great authors(well to me) …David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, Jonathen Safran Foer, Peter Mayle, Diane Abu-Jaber.


43 Stacey July 14, 2008 at 8:21 am


Pillars of the Earth…amazing. But you’re right, it takes awhile! Follett’s sequel to Pillars is The World Without End. I have it but because of the length of it will wait for the cold Minnesota winter to dive into it.


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