Remember last year when I wrote about trying to reduce the sugar in my life? I did a good job of it for a while, but then my love of all things chocolate and pastry related got the better of me. I went from cutting out sugar, to slowly introducing it back in, to full on “let’s sit at the kitchen table on a Saturday night with two giant batches of cookie dough and two spoons and just go to town.” Because while I know what’s good for me, I don’t always follow through with healthy choices. That’s human, right?
But I am trying to get back on track, making the effort to stay away from refined sugar for a little while. It’s been a few weeks of reading labels, and focusing more on getting satisfaction from the savory foods in my life. Yes, I’m still enjoying fruit, and haven’t shied away from putting a touch of maple syrup and cinnamon into the almond cashew butter I make, but I haven’t had a bar of chocolate or a cookie in 24 days. (That’s huge. You’ve got to know that is huge.) And I’ll be honest, while it’s gotten easier, the cravings STILL haven’t gone away entirely. There’s no doubt that my body had to go through some serious withdrawal, and I had a good five or six days of insane crankiness because of it, but I’m trying to reset my habits. 3pm doesn’t have to mean it’s time for a scone, it could very well be time for some carrots and hummus. (I know, crazy talk.)
To which end, last week I was inspired to recreate a meal I had on vacation in April. I already told you a little about our time in the Catskills, but here’s a bit more. On our first day, we had lunch at a restaurant called Lekker 209. In Stone Ridge, NY, it’s a small cafe that seemed to have more specials listed on the chalkboard than food on the menu. Homemade baked goods (like lavender honey scones and chocolate chili cookies that I’m currently dreaming about) and creative housemade sodas (like the vanilla cream my kid ordered,) complemented all the locally sourced ingredients that made our mouths water. The meal was so good that we returned for breakfast on our last day. I ordered the Baked Mushroom Skillet, and fell in love. (I even posted a picture of it here.) Luckily, as we were walking out of the restaurant, the open kitchen allowed me to stop and ask the chef how he had prepared it. Generously, he told me the basics of how to make it, and I quickly wrote it all down when I got back into the car….