//
you're reading...
Blog Posts, Recipes

Sauce Boss

This Week in Food Debauchery:

Gelato Quest 2011 began with dinner at my favorite Birmingham restaurant, Trattoria Centrale, a hip Italian joint in the middle of downtown with fantastic pizza, a tiny menu, and great prices. We topped it off with gelato in two of the five available flavors: vanilla and affogato (topped with fresh espresso). The vanilla had real vanilla bean specks in it, and had the creamy, thick, non-airy feel you expect from a good heavy dessert. The espresso was, sadly, too bitter, and I think the sweetness from the gelato brought the bitterness out even more. However, a caffeine buzz is a caffeine buzz however you can get it, and we finished off both bowls. A nice effort, but I think we can do better.

Scores:

Display – 0/5. Sigh. Half the fun is actually looking at the colors and syrupy swirly bits.
Flavor – 2/5. Vanilla bean specks were a plus, espresso was a minus.
Creativity – 1/5. Well, they only had 5 flavors, among them plain-old chocolate and unforgivable banana. There *is* room to improve. These guys put bacon in everything, so why not a maple-bacon ice cream? It would be, to quote Donald Trump, yuuuuuuge.
Texture – 4/5. No complaints here.
Affordability – 5/5. $2.50 for a decent-sized bowl. The entire restaurant is filled with the best values in town.
Ambience – 5/5. Tiny, bustling, candle-lit, crowded but not cramped. A little bit ofBrooklyn, just a block away from home.

Final – 17/30.

The girl and I also made a ripping-good pasta sauce (32 oz canned tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 1 tsp red chili flakes, 1 tbsp tomato paste, ¼ cup olive oil to sauté the onions) to go with our tortellini last night. The last time we had pasta, I used the leftovers in my fridge to make a surprisingly perfect alfredo sauce, to wit:

1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp olive oil
Lots of black pepper
Salt to taste

Heat the ingredients on medium in a large saucepan. Fold in the pasta as the parmesan is starting to melt into the cream. Keep mixing until the sauce is just loose enough to drip off the pasta. Eat and enjoy! You can also mix in some tomato sauce to make a ‘rosé’ sauce, which is also tasty and has the added perk of counting as a vegetable. I need to start taking more photos.

This Week in Weightlifting:

Epic fail on the bench press. After my 5 reps at 195 lbs last week, I upped the ante to 205, and *barely* made my third rep. I was a sad panda. I *so* need a break. But not from deadlifts. I destroyed 5 reps at 365 lbs yesterday, and rewarded myself with a big Moe’s steak burrito, which has become my go-to post-workout meal. I haven’t done a 1-rep max deadlift since my 435-lb effort at the ol’ CrossFit gym a few months ago. There are plenty of semi-accurate extrapolators online for 1-rep maxes based on other numbers, and 365×5 yields anywhere from 405-435. In truth, though, I feel stronger now than I did when I left CrossFit, so I think 450 is within my capabilities.

Here is, I guess, my first ‘cycle’ of lifts before I take off for Thanksgiving.

Back Squats

10/7/11

10/16/11

10/25/11

11/6/11

11/15/11

Set 1

205×6

215×5

225×5

235×5

245×4

Set 2

185×7

195×6

205×6

215×6

225×5

Set 3

165×8

175×7

185×7

195×7

205×6

Hang Power Cleans

95

105

115

120

120

Reps

5.5.5.5.5

5.5.5.5.5

5.5.5.5.5

5.4.4.4.4

5.5.5.5.5

Bench Press

10/9/11

10/18/11

10/28/11

11/8/11

11/18/11

Set 1

185×5

195×4

195×4

195×5

205×3

Set 2

165×6

175×5

175×5

175×6

185×5

Set 3

150×7

160×6

160×6

160×7

165×6

Shoulder Press

105

115

120

120

120

Reps

5.5.5.5.5

5.5.5.5.5

5.5.5.4.3

5.5.5.4.4

5.5.5.5.5

Deadlift

10/11/11

10/20/11

11/1/11

11/11/11

11/20/11

Set 1

315×5

335×5

345×5

355×5

365×5

Set 2

275×6

305×6

315×6

325×5

325×5

Overhead Squat

65

75

85

95

100

Reps

5.5.5

5.5.5

5.5.5

5.5.5

5.5.5

Weighted Chin-Ups

10/13/11

10/23/11

11/3/11

11/13/11

11/22/11

Set 1

45×5

55×5

65×4

65×5

70

Set 2

25×6

35×6

45×5

45×6

50

Set 3

5×7

15×7

25×6

25×7

30

Dumbbell Rows

70

75

75

80

80

Reps

5.5.5.5.4

5.5.5.4.4

5.5.5.5.5

5.5.4.4.4

The progression is called a ‘reverse pyramid’, popularized by Martin Berkhan at leangains.com, among others. My goal is to hit a 5-rep max, so when I do that, I increase the weight the following week. For the second and third sets, I drop the weight 10% and try to get one extra rep. I’d be quite surprised if the progress continues at such a rapid pace in December. By the end of the year, my goals are:

Squat 255×5
Bench 205×5
Deadlift 385×5
Weighted Chin-ups 80×5

This Week in Writing

Inspiration. The girl gave me a fun idea for decorating the kitchen wall, which currently has drawings of herb plants on it. How about black-and-white sketches of disillusioned authors, looking forlorn and desperate for their next drink? Something in the style of the “Take on Me” video, if I can do it.

This is a good one of Camus.

Vonnegut’s fun to draw.

Hands in front of faces are winners, in general, I think.

Advertisements

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: