The higher you fly… [+ mustard-maple chicken]

March 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment

…the farther you fall.

I spoke too soon, blog friends — I’ve had a rough night.

After work, I stopped at Banana Republic to return a dress I decided I didn’t want (I am a serial returner — I seriously can’t decide on anything until I have it home). I purposely didn’t bring my Banana Card so I wouldn’t buy anything in exchange for the dress since I can’t really afford it right now, but I still wanted to shop around since I am feeling those spring-y urges to wear bright and colorful things (of which I have none).

Enter the dreaded dressing room mirror.

I don’t know if it was because it was nearing the end of the day and I was tired, the particular cut of the clothes I was trying or simply just all in my head, but it was one of those days when every single thing I tried on looked..awful. It’s disheartening because I’ve felt fantastic lately since I’ve kicked up my workout routine. The scale hasn’t budged much, but I can see and feel myself getting stronger, and a pair of jeans that had been too tight all winter is fitting again.

Not today, though. Everything was too tight, or pulled in the wrong direction, or just looked…bad. One failed clothing item after another piled up higher and higher in the dressing room when I finally had just had enough. I’m starting to realize that this is why I seem to wear some variation of the exact same thing — it’s because I don’t feel comfortable in much else.

I’m sorry to be such a downer, guys; I’m just really feeling down tonight. How do you cope with those awful dressing room days?

Instead of going to the gym, I wanted to get home and cook a wholesome dinner and get myself to bed early — there is no situation or mood that is made better by being exhausted. A good night’s sleep works wonders.

So does a good meal.

I really can’t believe I went so long without eating Brussels sprouts. Mmmmmmmmm. To accompany my massive batch of sauteed sprouts I made some chicken. What’s so shocking about chicken, you may ask? Well…it had mustard.

crispity crunchy

Please excuse the crazy burned sauce..I don’t know another way to do it! But at least I didn’t set off the smoke alarm this time :)

If you know me at all (or would like to know now), I despise all things mustard. I don’t know why, but I have never ever liked the smell, taste or even look of mustard — it seriously grossed me out.

Recently though, I’ve been trying to be (even more) open minded about food and tried something with stone grond mustard in it. The real shocker was that I actually liked it! I think stone ground mustard has a much more savory, complex flavor than your acidic, stinky yellow mustard or even dijon. This makes me happy, because mustard is used in so, so many recipes — in everything from salad dressing to sauces to marinades — for a lot of flavor bang for your calorie buck, and I had been missing out on it. Call me crazy, but I think I kinda like stone ground mustard!

Let’s not get all crazy now, though — I still need to do this in moderation! ;)

My dinner turned out wonderful. I wanted something that wasn’t too carb-y or had cheese (okay, that’s a lie, but after feeling the way I did today, I wanted something that wouldn’t make me feel like a piece of lard) so I went with my own take on maple-mustard baked chicken.

Laura’s Maple-Mustard Chicken

Ingredients (serves one)

  • Two boneless, skinless chicken thighs (organic, if possible)
  • Heaping tablespoon of stone ground mustard
  • Heaping tablespoon (or eyeball a pour) of maple syrup
  • Tablespoon red wine vinegar or cooking sherry
  • Liberal shake of garlic powder
  • Liberal shake of poultry seasoning (or any combination of thyme, basil, marjoram and sage)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray baking dish or cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix mustard, wine/sherry, maple syrup and spices. Whisk together and adjust ingredients as necessary so mixture has the consistency of ranch dressing (thick enough so that it won’t run all over the pan while cooking).

Place chicken thighs in dish and spoon mustard mixture over chicken, making sure to cover completely. Bake on center rack for 20-40 minutes until meat is cooked through (I did about 30 minutes).

It’s slightly sweet, savory, healthy and oh-so-tasty. Try it out! You won’t be disappointed :)

And now, because I want to smile, some puppy pictures from my weekend in Madison

Hi Shandy!


Entry filed under: Fashion, Fitness, Food and diet, Life, Motivation, Recipes, Self confidence, Shameless consumerism. Tags: , , , , , , .

I *don’t* have a case of the Mondays! Never enough hours in the day [+ pasta rosa verde]

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