Thursday, July 29, 2010

Silpat Fail

Here I thought using Silpats would be awesome. Giant fail:

At first, I thought it was that I over stirred the macronage. While that may have been a bit of the problem, it was truly that I needed to use parchment paper...and a scale... *sigh* Oh, and the humidity - it seems like it's been raining non stop for two months. Why, fates, why!

First version two months ago.

I will say, meringue is pure happiness. I could eat vats of it every day. As I licked the bowl and ate my flat almond discs, I emailed Joe Pastry for some Silpat help:

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!

So, while the tres leches cake sets in the fridge instead, I will plan to bake this weekend as I will not be running thanks to my internal issues. 

parchment. check!
almonds. check!
sanity. bah!

Meal # 3

Turkeyball Subs
*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

Meal #2

I modified this for Major and Boy by adding the chicken to corn tortillas with black beans, avocado, and fresh mango salsa. Steamed veggies added to Boy’s plate as he picks and chooses through the taco to find what he’s in the mood for.

Grilled Cilantro- Lime Chicken

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 4

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 bone-in chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), skinned
ground black pepper
lime wedges, for serving

1. In a shallow baking dish, mix the lime juice, cilantro, and oil. Season the chicken to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the lime mixture and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator, turning once or twice, for about 4 hours.
2. Heat a barbecue grill to medium-hot, or preheat the broiler and coat a broiler-pan rack with cooking spray. Grill or broil the chicken, turning once, 10 to 12 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 170 F and the juices run clear. Serve with the lime wedges.

Print From Rodale 7/22/2010

I love you, man!

I had another moment of clarity while I was a work, staring at my cubicle walls. In trying to asses and create development plans for each member of my team, the usually sleeping voice in my head shouted "THEY WON'T CARE AND YOU ARE STRESSING OVER THIS FOR NOTHING!" OK, so that's way over dramatic, but you get the point. I minimized all my windows and realized that I was spending too much time seeing the trees and not the forest. I'm in a great place now to spend more time and heart on my love of pastries.

This is my desktop wallpaper:

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

Gonna Fly Now

Today's daily "Kick in the butt" from was this:

Part of the challenge of the marathon is pushing past what you think is physically possible. You can do more than you think you can.

This week ends Week 8 of my marathon training. After Saturday's 12-mile run, I will have logged 20 miles this week. TWENTY! The closest week to this so far was last October at 16 miles. My long run that week was a training run to-and-from Eisenhauer Park, and I averaged 12m/mi. Which is what I'm at now. SO… when do I begin pushing for a better time?

Goal #1: Make the most of the next 6-week's speed and tempo workouts. This may mean sticking to the treadmill for those days, and trying to meet the SA Fit group on Tuesdays for speedwork training. End Date: 09/04/10

Food wise, something weird is happeneing in my brain. Either I'm burned out on meat or my brain is protesting time spent in the kitchen cooking. I'm finding my self eating smaller portions over all and shying away from animals. Monday: cous cous. Tuesday: Black bean tacos. Wednesday: Pasta with shrimp. Thursday: Watermelon salad*. We're going out to have Indian tonight, and I'm torn between Paneer Masala and Lamb Vindaloo. I may have to forgo the lamb as I feel it may cause a ruckus overnight and make for an interesting 4am wakeup. *sigh*

(*The recipe is on I posted a picture on Facebook. It was REALLY really good.)

I've tried mapping out meal plans, but it's made complicated by having to feed The Boy and Major. Making 3 meals a night does not sound fun, and adding chicken or sausage to what I make and then feed it to Major seems like a cop out (only to me). Why are there no "family training meal plans" for those of us who have to fuel ourselves and feed others?

Goal #2: Identify 6 family friendly training meals to place in rotation. End date 07/31/10
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.

Time to start the mental preparation for tomorrow's 12-mile run. Is that Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now" that I hear in my head? Sure is.