Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Three trains of thought

I decided to make a slow-cooker pot roast for dinner tonight. It's not one of my favorite meals, but I've been driving around listening to Julie and Julia, which really does make me want to cook, and eat, comfort food. This recipe, which takes $9 worth of meat and vegetables and makes your whole house smell wonderful, seemed like a reasonable compromise. Plus, my husband is coming home late, so this is the kind of thing that will be warm and ready whenever he shows up, instead of drying out in the oven or getting cold and hard in the refrigerator. Plus, it makes good leftovers.

I was able to tolerate my contact lenses long enough to run today, but the scenery made me think that maybe all this itchy-eye stuff has something to do with the beautiful stands of goldenrod and other late-fall bloomers that I was jogging past. I found my cuter pair of glasses and decided that half the day was long enough to push the contact lens thing for now. I hear about Lasik, but considering my problems with dry, itchy eyes, that whole cornea-healing process seems like it might be troublesome for me. I'm sure eventually I will get over my squeamishness and just do it.

It must be all the food talk: I had a craving for a perfect brownie with walnuts and no frosting today. Unfortunately, I couldn't find such a thing, and had a passable chocolate chip cookie instead of waiting until I could. It's hard to waltz into a bakery and say, "No, you don't have the exact thing I'm craving, so I'm not going to have something that won't scratch the itch." But I wish I had. In my book, a brownie with no nuts and frosting is really just a flat piece of cake. It seems impossible to find a bakery that agrees with me, and I don't want to eat a whole pan of brownies (or even half a pan) so I'm not baking them myself. I also wouldn't be satisfied with the various single-serving mixes out there -- I want the real thing, which to me is a thick, cakey, rich chocolate brownie with a dry, crackly top and big chunks of walnut, made from real ingredients. But the cookie at least took the edge off for now.


  1. Where did you get the passable chocolate chip cookie that substituted for the perfect brownie that you couldn't find? I haven't tried going to a bakery in a long time - they're not on my radar. But I like that everything is portion controlled and that I can get just one of something if I want.

    You described that perfect brownie beautifully, BTW.

    How do you fix your pot roast in the slow cooker?

  2. I totally get where you're at with the brownie. There was a place in my hometown, Houston, that did my dream brownie. Nice thick, cakey with nuts, and a tiny little dusting of powdered sugar. Nothing else would scratch that itch. It's probably a good thing that I don't have a go-to bakery like that here.

  3. If you have a dry eye problem you might try Refresh Liquigel - make sure it is the Liquigel. It's great, like hand lotion for your eyes. It lasts a long time too. It's not like regular eye drops and will take a minute or two to clear up in your eyes (so you wouldn't want to put them in your eyes while driving). I also suspect you would NOT want to use it with contact lenses either, but it is great stuff.

  4. I got the chocolate chip cookie at a downtown bakery here, and they were closing as I came in so I would have felt like a jerk not buying anything. It was a good cookie, just not what I was craving.

    The pot roast recipe was "Our Best Pot Roast" from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook which I think I've reviewed here. It had onions, carrots, turnips, and celery. The recipe had me brown the meat first and then pour boiling wine and water over it. It came out dry, but that's my fault: I added potatoes to the bottom of the roaster, which kept the meat out of the liquid. Still, the flavor was good.

    I have some of those thicker eyedrops, they do help when I have a flare-up.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07