A Confession

I have a confession to make today, Big Hungries. I’ve been working with a health coach the past couple of weeks, trying to shed the pounds I acquired this summer whilst battling my hearing issues. It hasn’t been easy, and it’s barely been delicious. Of course, my coach, Sheri, is amazing. She’s trying her damndest to customize a diet that will soothe this savage beast when cutting down on bacon, bread and processed foods is a necessity. And though I love the bounty of tomatoes, potatoes, squash, green beans and peppers coming out of Shawn’s garden right now, I also really just want to pig out. In order to balance these competing imperatives, I haven’t eaten out much. It’s hard enough resisting the urge to scoot down to the cafeteria at work for tots and a cheesesteak and eat the healthy lunch I’ve packed instead; I don’t need the temptations of fantastic restaurant menus on top of it.

But on the horizon is a really bright star: I leave for the United Kingdom this afternoon, to spend a few days in London getting to know my co-worker there, then up to Birmingham for a trade show. While in London, I plan to at least sample some delicious treats like mushy peas , bangers, and the much-blogged-about grilled cheese sandwich at Borough Market, and I know there’s Indian food on the docket with the trade show peeps. Because I may have posting issues whilst over there, I won’t have a new BHS for you on Wednesday, September 14, but I’ll be back on 21 September (heh, that’s the British way of saying it) with tales of my journey and tons of pictures. I also will post pics while I’m there on Twitter (@BigHungryShelby) and Facebook, so if you haven’t joined the Big Hungry Shelby group there, please do!

Sheri has given me some great tips for eating all of the UK specialties I’d like while also staying on track for good health, like ordering a green salad or steamed leafy greens with each meal to “crowd out” the naughty stuff, and ordering a glass of water with lemon alongside each beer and taking alternating sips. I also plan to hoof it around as much of Britain as possible this Saturday and Sunday, hitting not only Borough Market, but Westminster Abbey, Marks & Spencer (makes me think of Bridget Jones), and Stonehenge (!!!). The walking around should build in some much-needed exercise, and standing all day at the trade show won’t hurt, either. I just hope it doesn’t rain constantly. Send me your good weather vibes, Hungries!

I don’t have any yummy food pics for you this week, but I do have this:

That would be my awesome boyfriend Shawn, and our friend Rob, from high school, working on our front hardscaping last Friday eve. As you can see, I was supervising the action with a glass of wine in hand, which seems apropos, no?

And because I love y’all more than my luggage and I feel bad I’m not delivering a fresh restaurant rec to you this week, I’ll hook you up with a recipe instead. These are my famous honey butter green beans, and they could not be more simple. They also probably aren’t famous, save for the fact that every time I try to make green beans another way, Shawn vetoes and asks me to honey ‘em up. I guess that endorsement is enough for me.

Honey Butter Green Beans

A pile of fresh green beans, tips removed and washed (we usually make about 2 cups or two handfuls for the two of us)
1 T Butter
1 T Honey
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Get yourself a skillet. I actually use a combo skillet/saucepan that’s about 5 inches across the bottom, but the sides swoop up more than a standard skillet. I also use this for risotto. But that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, put a half inch of water in the skillet, crank the burner to high, and get your beans in the pan with a sprinkle of salt. This will give you an initial cook on the beans, so they’re crisp-tender by the time the water cooks off. If you’re using a larger skillet, use less water, or you’ll have to drain it off when the beans are tender, which is a pain.

Cut the heat down to medium once the water has boiled off, and add the butter and honey, a good amount of salt and generous pepper. You need the salt and pepper to counteract the sweetness of the honey. Toss to coat and serve as soon as the butter and honey mingle to form a gorgeous, light-brown sauce.

That’s all she wrote this week. I mean, it’s all I’m writing. Wish me luck on this trip, and in not eating every sausage in the whole of Britain. Oh God, and streaky bacon! I’m doomed. If you’re very bitterly disappointed in my lack of content this week, check out my friend Stephanie’s hilarious Weinerwhistle blog. She doesn’t talk about food so much, but her pen is totally mighty, and you will love her as much as I do. My personality is big, my hunger is bigger!

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