Farewell Appendix, Farewell Hostess. Hello, Thanksgiving!

So I had these grand plans for November at Tiffany’s. It involved moustaches, drummers, entrepreneurs, men, and more!

But as you may have heard, my appendix decided that it was time to go.

What I thought was a terrible stomachache landed me the hospital, visiting the different wards in this order:

1. Urgent Care
2. CT Scan Room
3. Outpatient Unit
4. Surgery Room

As you can see by my laywoman hospital terms, I ended my pre-medical career early in college, (after organic chemistry to be exact). But anyway, I was very shocked (and kind of annoyed) that I had to have surgery! (Oh!! “Operating Room”.. Now I remember what it’s called..).

After I bid my appendix adieu, I spent an entire week on sick leave at my parents house while enjoying tons of homemade Filipino food and personal half-gallons of ice cream (impeccable timing with the end of October #Unprocessed!). Thankfully, my surgery was routine and recovery has been going smoothly. I’m back to work!

Speaking of back to work, I have a small announcement:

You know how I provide guidance for career goals, like resume and cover letter writing (see most popular posts!)? Well, I decided that “Hostess with the Mostest” isn’t a very telling title, so I’ve re-labeled such posts with..

“Catering Your Success!”

Look forward to more success-catering posts in the future, like tips for interviews, transitioning into a new professional setting, and more!

I also thought the timing just made sense with the whole Hostess-going-bankrupt thing.

Zombieland, anyone?
Poor Tallahassee of Zombieland. No more Twinkies for him. :/

You know what I think about the Hostess bankruptcy?

Who cares?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

In other news, Thanksgiving is tomorrow! With my health condition, I haven’t put much thought into writing a festive post. I am, however, here to answer any last-minute Thanksgiving feast questions! Ask on my Facebook page!

Here is a sample Thanksgiving consultation for my dear older sister who lives in Hawaii:

So.. I’m getting a little nervous about hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner although it’ll probably just be me our good ol’ neighbor and her hubby, haha.. What do you think of this menu so far..
-Turkey + Gravy
-Pot Roast..maybe
-Mashed Potatoes
-Some veggie dish..? Maybe green bean casserole?
-Sweet potato or yam dish
-Cranberry dish
-Dessert: A pumpkin and an apple dish..

Suggestions? I’m trying to think of our traditional Thanksgiving dinner that I miss so much!!

[Dining at Tiffany’s]
I would recommend going to www.foodgawker.com for veggie side dish ideas. I even have the app on my phone. I find most of my recipes there. It should be choc full of ideas soon!

I like the menu. Isn’t that a lot for just two couples? Also, are you doing this all by yourself? That might be a little crazy, haha.

Haha, maybe.. There may possibly be another family of four coming if they don’t end up hosting for a group of single Marines. And I may or may not ask our good ol’ neighbor to help, but now that I think about it, she won’t really have anything kitchen wise since they’ll already be all packed up ready to move to San Diego on the 28th. Yipe! Maybe it WILL be crazy after all! I just need to plan this accordingly and cook ahead of time where I can..

[Dining at Tiffany’s]
I would recommend against three proteins and a bunch of sides. You don’t want leftovers that last through Christmas!

Haha. True.. I guess this is just an ambitious menu then. Maybe no pot roast then? Turkey and ham? Or no ham?

[Dining at Tiffany’s]
Casually ask your guests if they like ham or roast beef better. Like not in a planning conversation, but just a jovial, lighthearted banter about Thanksgiving!

Casually.. haha. I’m just gonna ask my neighbor, “Hey! You want ham or not?”ย  haha.ย 
ย –

As you can see, I love answering questions about Thanksgiving! Send them over if you have any! At the very least, I hope you’re a little more enthusiastic about Thanksgiving than my sister’s dog Sasha:

Sasha says, “Thanksgiving, Smanksgiving.”

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving full of food and family and friends and festivities!

Whether you are a first time or long time reader, I am so grateful that you came! Though I got rid of my “hostess” title (and appendix if that matters), my goal is to always provide food and fun conversation to my readers like you — I hope that you enjoy Dining at Tiffany’s!

More to come soon.

Now it’s time to brine my turkey…

With love,
Dining at Tiffany’s


I See Processed Food — It’s everywhere — 5 things I learned fromOctober #Unprocessed

Hello! Happy Halloween! For me it’s even happier because I’m celebrating the grand finale of October #Unprocessed!

For the month of October, I joined thousands of others to eat only unprocessed foods. Overall, it was a great experience — I ate very healthy and well, while making connections with friends old and new!

Since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d share 5 things I learned from October Unprocessed, some spookier than others. ๐Ÿ˜‰

People would often mistake me for a rich rabbit (not to be confused with a Playboy Bunny..)

Like many things I do, the concept of “unprocessed” took so much ‘xplaining
to do!

I’d try to mention that I was eating only whole foods, but that just got me these stares that cleary said to me, “wow, how do you work in nonprofit and afford to shop at Whole Foods?” or “you said you weren’t vegetarian*.. have fun eating like a rabbit!”

I’ll have you know that I did not visit Whole Foods once (it’s amazing, but expensive! Sprouts and Farmers Markets to the rescue!) this month. Nor did I abstain from yummy meat (still not a Playboy Bunny..)

At the very least, I hope I was able to spread the word about the wonders of natural, unprocessed foods!

Beware, You will be taunted.

On October 2nd, yes day 2, my roomies brought home not one.. but TWO boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. Ack!

(I’m proud to exclaim that not a single donut was eaten by Tiffany in October. And I used to eat pastries on the daily! I did eat a 4th of a cookie though.. Don’t tell Andy of @eatingrules!)

Not to mention me winning sweetheart-of-the-month award by picking up in n out for my love while getting exactly ZERO items for myself. Hey, I didn’t make him pledge #unprocessed!

But this brings me to my next point..

ย Fast Food and Unprocessed Food are pretty much antonyms.
My deliberate exceptions were as follows:
– Anything someone graciously cooks for me (especially my Mommy).
My mom makes almost everything from scratch, but there are a few staple, Filipino ingredients that I could not (and WOULD not) avoid. I’d like to dare you to refuse my mom’s cooking.
(*big reason I am not vegetarian).
Also, my sweet roomie made me pancakes from the box so I compromised by making a fresh fruit compote to avoid eating syrup full of refined sugars.
– Dining Out. Now this doesn’t mean throwing #unprocessed out the window when going out, but I at least tried to make the most unprocessed choices I could. I don’t think I have any right to interrogate waitstaff and chefs about what kind of sugar/flour they use; a strategy I used was to avoud chain restaurants and eat exclusively at local, family businesses, especially those that use ingredients from local farmers and artisans.
– Some perishables that I bought before October, like granola and fruit juice.

Even with these exceptions, eating unprocessed was very challenging. Which is why…

Planning Ahead is the Key to Success

Thankfully, I have a good amount of time on my hands after work. Some strategies I used to ensure unprocessed eating include:
– packing lunch the night before, often leftovers from dinner. No frozen burritos were eaten by Tiffany in October!
– Cooking in bulk: i think i will actually continue this food prep method. I get a lot of produce fron the farmers market, and one of my favorite preparations is roasting. Yum! Don’t believe me? I have turned yuck-sayers of cauliflower and brussel sprouts to enjoyers of these, simply with an easy roast in the oven! Even if I didn’t need a veggie right away, I’d chop it, roast it alongside other ingredients, and save it for later that week (Like sauce! And hummus! and salad!)
– always carrying snacks. One general rule of thumb for unprocessed eating is to avoid buying food at the same place that you fill up your tank with gas. I’m always on the go, so packing containers of almonds, fruits, and more saved me from impulsively buying any bags of chips/candy bars this month.

Eating Unprocessed is a Wonderful Luxury
It is a luxury of time, money, and knowledge.

This month, I spent so much of my time planning what to eat and thinking about food (yes, even more than usual, fellow food gawkers!). I would imagine that someone much more busy than me.. taking classes, working multiple jobs, toting a kid or two.. would face many more challenges than me (I can hear the “Amens” now).

Also, I spent a ridiculous amount if time scrutinizing labels. Looking back, I must have appeared to be having intimate staring contests with various packages of food..

It took me a lot of reading and reasearch to learn about and practice unprocessed eating, but I’m really happy I did! And I hope to continue sharing this knowledge, both here and at the meal table.

I can say with confidence that my body has never felt this great! I am much more alert during the day, have tons more energy, and feel stronger than ever.

This may also be attributed to a more regular workout schedule, but I’m pretty sure fueling up on fruits and veggies did my body immensely better than would their food-like wannabe counterparts.

& those Hot Cheetos of snacktimes past? Sure I’ll grab a bag or two every now and then.. But after this month I’d much rather eat unprocessed food if I have the choice.

With love,

Tiffany R.

Dining at Tiffany’s
(written from my mobile device, will format later ;D)