Saturday, November 20, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
:-) More to come as the wedding train slows down and the baking resumes.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
|Major and I clean up well!|
|My ladies look fab, too!|
Monday, August 30, 2010
Spaghetti Squash Caprese
- 1 (4 pound) spaghetti squash
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and lots of coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 cup of mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, marinated in olive oil and herbs to taste
Saturday, August 28, 2010
First day back on the road after two weeks of dealing with the consequences of running the Chupacabra 10k - pinched back nerve. I longingly watched my regular group continue on while I turned and ran with the half-marathon group for six miles. (I did notice how odd that was, to want to run 11 miles) Stranger than that, I wanted to hop out of my car and run some more upon seeing folks running around the neighborhood at home. It's in me now, no matter how hard I run. (ha!)
Also, some failed baking endeavors have not made it online. Lemon curd awaits some tasty scones in the morning (here's hoping). If that wasn't bad enough, I read four different versions of croissant recipes. After some more macarons, it's on. Like kong.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
|For the lemon curd:|
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup sucanat (or sugar)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room
For the buttercream:
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room
1/2 vanilla bean
|4 egg yolks|
5 ounces sugar
3.25 ounces (by weight) lemon juice
2 ounces softened butter
2 teaspoons lemon zest
For lemon curd
2 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Bowtie Pasta with Feta Cheese & Lemon Pepper Chicken
- 3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- One, 16-ounce box dried bowtie pasta
- 1 small bunch broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
- 2 to 3 carrots, chopped or ½ bag baby carrots
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 to 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1 ½ cups half & half, warmed
Rachel Ray's Shrimp Fried Rice
- 2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- One 8-ounce bag sugar snap peas, trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 bunch scallions (3 to 4), green and white portions thinly sliced separately
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- One 10-ounce bag frozen peas and carrots, thawed
Chop the green and white portions of the scallion bunch separately and use half tonight. Wrap the remaining scallions in damp paper towels, then in plastic wrap; save for a few days.
Save 20 minutes! Use about 5 cups cooked leftover rice and skip Step 1. Just add the rice in Step 3 along with 1/4 cup water.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the rice and 2 cups water to a boil; lower the heat, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar snap peas, season with salt and pepper and cook until the shrimp is opaque, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Place the skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the scallion whites and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic sizzles, about 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, season with salt and pepper and spread into an even layer. Cook until slightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir and cook for 3 minutes more. Push the rice to one side of the pan; add the eggs, season with salt and cook, scrambling, until set, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the eggs into the rice, then add the shrimp mixture, peas and carrots and scallion greens and cook, stirring, until heated through.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 cups of tomatillo sauce (pureed with garlic, simmer for 5 minutes)
- 2 shredded chicken breasts
- 1 cup shredded white cheese (low fat-Monterrey jack)
- 1 can yellow corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- casserole dish (I use my Pampered Chef Baker)
Bake at 350 for 30-minutes - enough to complete one household chore - and enjoy. If you have it, top with cilantro.
**I'd add chopped onions but they'd get picked out. I need to remember to add to the tomatillos!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
|First version two months ago.|
My guess is that the silpat is serving as an insulator, causing the macarons to heat more slowly. Trying increasing your heat by 25 degrees or so and see what happens.
But if it's any comfort, I feel your pain. My last batch of macarons was a flop. I got too darn cocky and blew it. That'll learn me!
Soldier on, baker!
*Adapted from Makeover Moms
· 2 lbs, ground turkey
· ½ cup cooked black lentils
· ¾ cup bread crumbs
· 1 egg
· 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
· 3 tbls olive oil
· 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded, (about 3/4 cup)
· ¼ cup diced onion
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
· 4 sub rolls
1. Combine ground turkey, lentils, onion, carrot and garlic in large bowl until completely mixed.
2. Add breadcrumbs and egg, mixing in.
3. Form 1 ½ - 2 inch balls.
4. Heat pan with olive oil. Cook thoroughly.
5. Combine the meatballs, pasta sauce, and carrot in a medium saucepan.
6. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and continue to simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Divide evenly among the rolls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese as desired, and serve.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
While I love all things pastry, and dream of having a bakery, I find myself getting in my own way. I make excuses to *not* bake. Ah, fear. So now I've challenged myself to learn and create addicts of my treas, starting with the French Macaron:
This was my first attempt. They were delicious and odd shaped, but the aesthetics will improve with time. I also made some green tea with black sesame, but I didn't like the color.
I will reign supreme in this kitchen and will work on a new treat twice a month until the wedding in November, then it's on like Donkey Kong.
Friday, July 16, 2010
|Meal #1 – Pantry Couscous and Chicken|
|· A box of Near East plain couscous, cook as instructed |
· 4 green onions or chives, chopped or 1/4 c fresh parsley
· ¼ c cooked lentils
· ¼ c cheese of choice (goat, feta) that crumbles
· ¼ c dried fruit of choice (fig, apricot, pomegranate, gold raisins)
· 2 sliced, grilled chicken breasts
· Single-serving of Green Giant frozen veggies
|1. Mix cooked couscous and lentils. Serve ½ c. with chicken to picky child with a side of single-serve Green Giant frozen veggies. |
2. Mix remaining ingredients and serve.
**I passed on the chicken, which left enough for a lunch portion for the next day.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Q: Are you out of your mind?
A: Yes, but that has nothing to do with running.
Q: How did you start?
A: It was a New Year's resolution for 2008. It took me A YEAR to actually get off the couch to run because I decided I needed to be a fit to begin. Cut to January 2009 when I dragged Luz to shuffle around the NISD Athletic Center in preparation for the SA Komen 5k. I thought I'd die in the process of being able to run 3.1 miles, but I didn't. I also used the Couch to 5k podcasts on iTunes to help. I successfully completed the 5k with an 11:30 pace. I've since learned that pace, not speed, helps me as I work to increase my endurance.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: Jeans and food. (And better health). I live to eat, and that's not conducive to skinny jeans. It's part vanity, part not wanting to buy new pants because I love cheese and desserts. And wine. And cheeseburgers. Also, I want to have good habits firmly entrenched by the time Major and I start raising kids (the Boy is already suffering through Ramen withdrawal thanks to my new role as Kitchen Dictator).
Of course, that doesn't mean I don't sometimes hit the snooze button when I should be out running. I'll make up for it during the day. I just have to ask myself: are you going to be a wimp, or are you going to be strong today?
Q: Where did you get your information?
A: All kinds of places:
Hal Higdon's Website
Rock N Roll Marathon site
San Antonio Road Runners
There are a ton of resources out there. And while they may not be the most user-friendly, they are pretty valuable. I've tried to share these on my Facebook wall for those of you linked in.
Two other tools I use: Run Keeper's iPhone app and my Garmin FR60. These have helped me track my progress and learn about pace. Remember, if you're training for a long run, PACE not RACE is key.
Q: Are you participating in a formal training program?
A: This is one aspect I didn't want to do on my own. I signed up for SA FIT (sanantoniofitness.com) last year for the half and this year for the full (fool?). There are locations nationwide, but you can find other group training options if do some research. Many charities offer training in return for some fundraising (American Cancer Society, Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, Race for the Cure, Livestrong).
Generally, you'll meet as a group for the long weekend runs. It is *important* that you complete the weekday runs, otherwise you'll be suffering Saturday morning when you have to complete your first 8-miler.
Also, listen to your body. I've been super vigilant about how my knee and feet feel after running. Shoes are undeniably important – you don't want to be 4 miles into that 8 mile run and realize the sneakers you bought at Target have now chafed your ankles, squeezed off a toenail, and given you shin splints the likes you never knew possible. Go to a running store (not a sports store) and talk to the folks there about shoes. And any other aches and pains. I've started using KT Tape (kttape.com) and it's helped my knee not complain about the abuse I'm inflicting on it.
Up next, the 3rd Annual San Antonio Los Chupabacras de la Noche 10k. Actually, up next is this weekend's 9 mile run. I'm proud to say that my 8-mile run last week was actually enjoyable at a 12/m pace. That same route last year while training for the half was not enjoyable and at a 14:30/m pace. Progress!
Since this week's run moves to 6am(!!!), I'll have to wake up at 445 to being my ritual of wakeup-whatshappening-potty-eat-water-potty-whyamiawake-gottagonow.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Can't be all that bad, right? I continued running over the winter, but I wouldn't say I'm now an athlete. I completed the timed run for this year's group and ended up in the Red group (just barely) by averaging 2 miles with a 10:42 pace. So...I'm stretching myself. I'm prepared to be the last of the Red Group/first of the Orange Group (greater than 11:00). Yeah...I'm dreaming big here. The upside is that I've stuck to torturing myself at least twice a week so increasing my training isn't so bad. Or pain free. Urg.
Motivation drives me forward and I'm having a tough time gathering it. One of my running partners may need to take the season slow thanks to a chronic issue. The other is training for the half with a different pace group and is not likely to meet me at 5:45 regularly to get a run in before work. Major is held hostage by the sheets every morning and is also significantly faster than me. I may have a Monday partner, but that leaves me two solo runs. There's more accountability when others are around, and I feel like I can challenge myself more when in a group. (Read: I'm less likely to run a two-mile out and back rather than a four-mile)
What I've learned my first full year of running is:
- there's always an excuse not to run. My ass, however, feeds off excuses and will grow.
- that burning knee pain should not be ignored. Apply ice and take glucosamine.
- I'm proud of my accomplishments.
- lined shorts may sound weird, but they really are awesome.
- having little boobs comes in handy - no boob/running pain!
- fries are treats. Treats should be enjoyed now and then.
- a one-story house is in our future - after a long run, i'm not coming back down from showering.
I'm sure there's more. Until then:
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." John (the Penguin) Bingham .
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Find San Antonio's Food Bank on the list tab and vote daily to help win an orchard!
|Help a community win a fresh fruit orchard.|
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Monday, May 10, 2010
In talking with Major about it, he assured me that he wouldn't be hurt if I didn't change my name. Of course, I had to ask him five different ways. The only question that came up was what name would any children have. His. The more I think about it, the more I understand this: I am an only child. Yes, there are a good amount of people with my last name, most of which I'm not related to. It's been my name for almost 34 years and to me, changing a name is too much like changing identities. I know my Mom is going to make a face when I tell her, but that's just the way it's going to be. Here's hoping for smooth sailing all the way around.
After all of that, we did book our flight to Italy for our honeymoon/roz & raf's wedding/trip to visit Boyd. Now, how to cram Italy into 11 days.
As for automobiles, I jumped on my service soapbox upon receiving a 'service satisfaction survey' from VW after taking the car in for a free tire. I thought I had save my well-thought out email response, but it looks like that didn't' happen. In summary, I stated that service has been in decline for a while and my biggest complaint was that service delays weren't being addressed. (Why is my car in the shop for 10 hrs when all I needed was an oil change? Do you or don't you have my tire and why is it taking so long to find out when I called ahead?)
Check out the subject line...
Subject: poor survice at A VW
I am sorry we miserably failed to provide you top quality service on you most recent visit. Your input is very valuable for A### VW to make necessary corrections to future serve customers. I think your assessment of your visit is one of the most accurate customer perception dialogs I have read. It most definitely boils down to poor communications between our advisors and you, our valued customer.
I want you to know that is our goal to provide a "quality service, at a reasonable price" to all customers. I know we failed in this particular case and we are always looking for areas to improve. We have improved in overall customer service over the past few years but still need refinements.
I most of all want to thank you for your business and loyalty to the brand and hope all your next visits to our dealer will exceed your expectations.
I would like you to contact O for any future service needs. O has consistently been recognized as one of the top advisors in the U.S. and he has played a very important role in keeping Volkswagen as one of the rated Customer Satisfaction Dealers in the Southern Region. His direct phone line is ####. I also would encourage want you to feel comfortable in calling me direct with any potential future issues.
Thank you for sharing your true thoughts and perception.
I love my car. Sadly, there isn't anywhere else for dealer service that's any better. Now that I've had my say, we can resume your daily interwebs surfing. Thank you, come again.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Got to my desk this morning, Little Bird bought herself and myself a Jamba smoothie. Yum! Which I then dribbled on my blouse. Doh! Fortunately, Nic next to me had her trusty Tide pen. It may be a great day after all. Too bad I forgot my lunch at home. Do'h.
Quiz tonight, Quiz Thursday with a trainee in tow. Tired as I'll be this month, the income will help pay for next month's baking/etc class and my CIA class in May. MmmMmmm.
E-pics came in the mail from JSperos yesterday. Will upload to shutterfly this week and order the Save the Date Postcards. And my cute shoes for the wedding came in last night, too!
Still to do this month, gather addresses. Take art to tattoo guy. Get my bake on at least twice.
Experimented with a recipe from work's health site: Low-fat Lentil Meatballs. Not too bad. I'll have to experiment with the seasonings to get it to my liking. And I think I'd like to try this with lamb and feta. Drool.
Traditional meatballs can be awfully high in fat. By choosing a lean meat to start, extending it with lentils and then baking (not frying) the meatballs, you will cut the fat by 50 percent if not more.
|Takes Over 60 minutes|
|Makes 8 servings|
|1.||In a small saucepan, bring broth or water to a boil. Add lentils and bring back to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 20 minutes.|
|2.||Preheat the oven to 375°F (185°C). Line a baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil and set a wire rack on top.|
|3.||In a large mixing bowl, combine meat, onion, garlic, egg whites, ketchup, Italian herbs, crushed fennel seed (if using), salt and pepper. Drain any liquid from the lentils and add them to the meat mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add breadcrumbs and mix gently just to blend. Form the mixture into 24 meatballs, each one about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Set on the wire rack and bake for 20 minutes.|
|4.||In a deep, heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat spaghetti sauce. Add the baked meatballs and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in fresh basil or parsley.|
|5.||Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and place in a large shallow serving dish. Top with the meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.|
Source: Healthy Living Kitchens
Monday, February 22, 2010
Another challenge: Parenting. It's tough, I get it. Parenting a step-child has it's separate challenges (thanks to my step-mother who's always loved me as her own). Autism/aspergers boy-child. Who sees me as the Mean Rule Maker. I'm thirty-three and I still want to be care free. Makes it tough to set an example to someone who reads you literally. Jokes need to be explained, "why" can't be answered with "because," disruptions to order are devastating. He is a great kid that knows so much about our solar system - Jupiter is 2.5 times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined; the distance between Neptune and the Sun is 4.55 billion km. Patience, young grasshopper.
How is it the end of February? Nine months to W Day. Wow.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The first year, I was well into a routine at the gym and changing my eating
habits. No more ice cream three nights a week, no more weekly happy our
beer and carb party, no more cheese and cracker dinners. This helped me
shed ten pounds.
Last year, I finally had better income (making it easier to eat more than
cheese and crackers) and decided to take up running in lieu of going to the
gym. I successfully trained for and completed a half-marathon, along with
other benchmark goals. No weight-loss, but better toning of leg muscles.
It's now 2010. This year brings a cruise and wedding. And maybe a full
marathon with some smaller races in-between (!!!!). Can I at least lose 5
pounds? 10? Some fat please? This is where it's really going to hurt... I
love food. I love starches, and carbs, and sugar, and butter, and lard.
Combined, separated, in that order or not, fried, but still in moderation.
I appreciate veggies in all forms. The balance will be in feeding myself,
the Major and the Boy. The picky-eating, hate new things Boy.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Not too many holiday pics this year. Too sick to party it up. That, and everyone is so busy... maybe in the next few weeks...