Food Junkies Can Be Healthy Too! It Just Takes Some Work…

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Now that I’m a little bit older and wiser than I was in my twenties, I’m all too aware how easily I can become addicted to something. Luckily, I’ve never been addicted to anything dangerous, but food has always been a weakness of mine.

I don’t know if you guys have heard, but food is DELICIOUS. You should really try it sometime.

This has been a thing as far back as I can remember and though it’s gotten much better into my adulthood, I still have my struggles. It’s not so much the act of eating, but the experience of flavor. Salty, sweet, fatty, sour, rich FLAVOR.

Amirite?

That’s the messed up thing with taste as a sense: it usually involves ingestion. Seeing things doesn’t make you go blind (just don’t look directly at a solar eclipse). Smelling things doesn’t make you eventually… uh… uhhhhhhhh…

Anosmatic!

Google FTW.

Anyway, you know what I mean. Taste, you are an evil temptress.

A deliciously evil temptress.

Surprisingly if you don’t know me and unsurprisingly if you do recovering from a food addiction relapse is all about mental fortitude. Remember, this has been a thing since childhood for me so, yeah, old habits are hard to break and all that jazz. So because I’m in this mindset of attacking life 100% (I’m not into that whole more-than-100-percent thing that people sometimes use), I made up five, count’em, FIVE rules for myself to help make this a lifestyle.

  1. My primary beverages will be water and wine, not to be confused with turning water into wine. I don’t drink wine every day, but it’s something I do with my fiancé on our days together. I can throw tea in there as well, but anything outside of that will be relegated to once every couple of weeks. WWAD?
  2. Snack foods are a Friday only thing (for now). While my fiancé and I are apart, I’m keeping snacks to my favorite day that begins with an F.Yeah, not Father’s Day. Sorry, Dad, but it’s a close second. At least it’s not Frog Jumping Day. Only suckers celebrate that.It’ll probably be a different story once we’re living together, but for now, Fridays are our day so I don’t mind being a little reckless one day a week.
  3. I’m going to eat raw at least once a week. I’m not a big fan of eating raw because I love warm food, but this one shouldn’t be too tough.
  4. The only things I’ll buy that have more than three ingredients are bread, pasta, and my Friday snacks. Is there more to explain? No? Let’s move on.
  5. Meditation is key! At least it is for me. And although I don’t really meditate in the traditional sense as much as I used to, mindfulness will only help keep me on point.

You may have noticed I don’t have much of what many might call a “diet” on my list. That’s because diets are for chumps, y’all! I’m not trying to get über muscled up like I was some three or four years ago either. This is about health and balancing it with my infatuation with my mistress, flavor.

Sweet delicious flavor.

I firmly believe that body and mind are much like chaos and harmony in the sense that they are constantly in a state of flux. For many us, chaos and harmony appear to be at odds, but a high level view shows us they’re part of the same thing because you can’t have harmony without chaos and vice versa.

Side note: I hate when people say “vice-ah versa,” but apparently that’s some old school British English at work there so I don’t have a leg to stand on.

Er… on which to stand*

It’s tough for grammar junkies in these streets.

Anyway, I think mind and body are the same as well. Let’s call them our physical and non-physical selves, shall we? Some people have strong physical attributes such as good health, muscle mass, high metabolism, etc. Others have strong non-physical attributes like a sense of inner peace, determination, courageousness, etc. Tangible versus intangible.

Makes sense? Awesome!

Okay, the balance between harmony and chaos is somehow managed by our entire realities. The balance of body and mind is up to us as individuals.

Kind of. External factors come into play, but stick with me here.

If you have the means to properly take care of your mind and body, do it. Why not, right? I feel doing so is a large part of achieving personal balance. While I’m here on this earth, that’s the goal. I’m pretty sure I have the mental/non-physical side down; now it’s time to refocus on the body/physical.

What do you do to maintain or increase balance in your life? Let me know! Tips and insights are always welcome.

Let’s do this!

Peace out, party people.

Dre’s Bougie Kitchen: Maple Bourbon Mini Apple Pies

mini apple pie with whipped cream and raspberry syrup

If you didn’t know, I gets down in the kitchen, even more so since my girlfriend moved in. Because we’re both cooking more as well as upping our photography game, I figure I’d start posting the pictures and recipes. Also, I’m still of the mindset that if I put it out there for all the internet to see, it’ll give me some accountability if I get flaky.

Cue conveniently timed , yet still awesome segue.

Speaking of flaky, I have mini apple pies on the menu.

mini apple pie with whipped cream and raspberry syrup

mini apple pie with whipped cream and raspberry syrup

Bam.

Before I go on, you should know my girlfriend and I are very vegetarian at the moment. But we’ll be eating meat at some point so when it happens, just know we’ll be making something special.

Anyway, here’s what you need

Crust
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup shortening
Ice water

Filling
2 apples peeled, cored, and chopped somewhat finely
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon bourbon
2 teaspoons maple syrup (not pancake syrup, damn it!)
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (sometimes I go more)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped Cream (Optional)
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Raspberry syrup

Now, I’m no cookbook writer so don’t go expecting a ton of detail in the actual process. Also, even though I have measurements here, I do A LOT by taste. Be creative and try stuff! You’ll get the hint (hopefully).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. For the crust, mix the dry ingredients together well. Cube the butter and add it to the flour mix. I use my hands to press and incorporate the butter into the flour, but use a spoon if you don’t like getting your hands dirty.

Clean freak.

Add the shortening and mix until the dough feels like shaggy strands. Start adding water to the dough, a little at a time and incorporate it into the dough. Keep doing this until you have  single ball of dough that is not sticky or wet to the touch. Also, don’t overwork the dough. You don’t want it getting tough. Grease up a cupcake pan with a little butter and start applying the dough to the mold.

For the filling, mix all the ingredients well.

Duh.

Fill the cups and pop them in the oven for 20-22 minutes or until the crust looks nice and golden.

If you want to make the whipped cream, put the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Beat it until you see peaks form. If you over-beat it you’ll get butter.

I originally added a touch of raspberry syrup just for color, but it goes well with the whipped cream which isn’t very sweet.

Pro Tip: Add some finely shredded cheddar to the dough for the crust for an added bite.

mini apple pie with whipped cream and raspberry syrup