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Lesson of the Week: Do not use an immersion blender when making vinaigrette. My raspberry-walnut vinaigrette turned into some kind of spreadable butter.

We got through an overnight stay out of town & to my knowledge did not violate any W30 rules! Our B&B host seemed to enjoy the challenge and made us a fabulous breakfast where he worked some kind of magic on kale. We also successfully navigated a Mother's Day cookout! Took that opportunity to grill up extra meat for the week.

Rin is about a week behind me... he made it through the first few days of horrible soda withdrawal and is now experimenting with adding balsamic vinegars to sparkling water. Sunday, when J was teasing him by drinking a soda in front of him, he joked that he was past the point where he would murder J and drink his blood because it contained soda...

Interestingly enough, the biggest thing we've noticed so far is how much less trash we're generating as a household! Mostly due to less take-out. I did order a steak recently; LongHorn has always been incredibly accommodating about special dietary needs. They'll cook things on tinfoil if needed to prevent cross-contamination of sauces/oils/spices.

Eating W30 really forces us to cook. Takes more effort to locate a W30 compatible eatery and communicate all our restrictions than to make food at home. This is not a bad thing! I'm less organized/planned than I'd like to be, but given some of the recent challenges in life, that's ok. (Even food failures are fun - a failed Larabar-alike made a marvelous cereal.) I like cooking. I bought a meat thermometer but I think it might not be very good; the "magnet" for hanging it on a fridge is so weak it slides down and falls off! Considering getting a lemon juicer gizmo, and a meat tenderizer.

Next week, I'm planning on making some Asian-inspired dishes. This week, we're chowing through grilled meat leftovers and I'll make some sweet potato soup w/ homemade sausage for a hearty, savory twist. Still not tired of eggs. Not sure I'll ever be tired of eggs. Hot damn, we like eggs around here. We should invest in chickens.
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Prior to day 1, I scoured my kitchen for non-compliant foodstuffs. Those I could part with I donated to a local church program. Those I wanted to keep are stored out of sight, or if in-sight, clearly labeled/segregated so I don't grab them by accident. Did some shopping and food prep last Sunday so I'd have lunches for the week.

Observations/successes from the first week include:

1. Proscuitto is delicious. Why do we even have bacon when we have proscuitto? (Probably $$$. Bless Costco for carrying this in an affordable bulk package, btw.)

2. I FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE MAYO!!! 100% thanks to Foolproof Homemade Mayo, my long history of failed mayo is OVER. Immersion blender + better egg-oil ratio = NOM NOM NOM. I already have an (ancient) immersion blender, and a large stockpile of that exact size of wide-mouth glass jars.

3. Coconuts are miracle foods. Coconut butter is so damned delicious.

4. I made my own clarified butter - kind of fun, super easy, cost-effective, and a fantastic cooking oil! Never tried it before; last W30 I bought ghee, which was ok but expensive and has its own unique flavor that didn't always work with what I wanted to use it for.

5. Instead of rewarding myself with food, I bought myself some music-related items (stand light, portable multi-instrument stand), a fun nightgown, and a new kitchen gadget to help with my increased cooking! I don't know how others will think this looks, but for me, this is tremendous. I'd buy myself expensive sugary treats without hesitation while actually needed, useful, and/or highly coveted non-food items of lesser value went unpurchased.

Reflections from the first week and expected challenges ahead for the second )

Week 2, here we go!

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