Man, I'm OLD! I have to admit that's the first thought that comes to mind when I realize that its 2008 already. I'm not really old. There are older people out there. There are younger people. It just smacks me on the head every New Year's that, as my dad would say, I'm not getting any younger.
That being said. I love January. It's like a brand new fresh year that isn't messed up yet. 2007 started out with so much promise, I got married in April. But really there was so much turbulence, so much change, and I really really don't handle change well. Sudden deaths and weddings, massive joy and betrayals, worries and unbelievable anger. It was like one of those horrible movies on the Lifetime for Women network. But here is 2008. Brand sparkly new.
As a rule, I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. I think they're like diets, they work for a while and then wear off. But I started thinking this week about how the gym gets crowded every January and it makes things annoying when you want to work out, and I realized that in my turbulent 2007 I lost the part of me that I most admired about myself. I lost my gym rat status. I am no longer athletic. I am a flabby blob that sits at work and then sits on the couch.
Granted, I stopped working out hard because everyone was concerned that I would walk down the aisle on crutches. And the idea of working out in a gym in a small town where I had little hope of keeping any anonymity was intimidating. But I like working out. I like pretending like I have a shred of athletic talent. I like how I feel about myself when I work out on a really regular basis. I miss my me time. So I'm making a lifestyle change again, and it coincidentally lands on January 1st. I'm training for triathlons again. I have my eye on 3 of them, but I have to get the training process started before I'll be able to convince the Brain to fork over some cash for it. He's not horribly tight with the money, but he doesn't see paying for something if I'm not going to do it.
There. Now that that's out there, don't worry. My sweet tooth is still the size of Texas, or something massively huge like Texas. I am still in the Daring Bakers. And I'll still be doing the cupcakes every month. Like I said, diets don't really work. So while I'm posting these lovely recipes, I'll just be eating smaller portions of them.
Also I'm doing a little blog changing. I now will posting the total miles on foot, swam, and biked on the side of the blog. (Swimming and biking might not rack up the numbers very soon. It is winter here. And me in public in a bathing suit might take some courage.) And to show I'm well rounded I'm also going to post what books I've read this year. I have to admit, I got the idea from Mrs. White over at Pretty to Think So.
So what was for dinner? Traditional New Year's food. Lentil Salad with Feta Cheese and some baked fish. I'm not sure why lentils and fish are traditional foods for the New Year, but I've heard they are and I like them. And my cucumber, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese looked like they needed to be eaten or they soon would rebel.
Lentil Salad with Feta Cheese
from Cooking Light
1 1/4 cups dried lentils
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1 garlic clove crushed
1 1/2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup (2oz.) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup diced celery
Place lentils in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above lentils, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well, and set aside.
Combine lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl; stir with a wire whisk until blended. Add lentils, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, and celery to lemon juice mixture; toss gently to coat.
The fish is just seasoned with salt pepper and paprika and put in a 350 degree F. oven until it's white and flaky.