Sunday, December 30, 2012

Potato Pepperoni Supper

I got this recipe from my Mom but altered it a bit.  It still needs some tweaking but made for a pretty good start.

Potato Pepperoni Supper

5 large potatoes, cut into 1/8" slices (may try dicing it next time) - this makes a ton, maybe fewer potatoes?
1 Onion diced
salt & pepper
1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella (maybe try mixing in some pepper jack cheese for a kick)
8 oz tomato sauce (maybe half tomato sauce, half tomato paste for some thickness)
3 oz pepperoni, sliced ( we used turkey pepperoni)
salt and pepper

Spray large skillet with non-stick spray or coat with some oil.  Arrange potatoes and onion on bottom and slightly up side of skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cover skillet; over medium-low flame, cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 - 25 minutes.'
Top with 1/2 can tomato sauce; arrange pepperoni and tomatoes over sauce.
Top with cheese and remaining sauce.
Cover skillet; cook until cheese is melted and tomatoes are heated through. Makes 6 large servings.

I served it with B's favorite broccoli.

ENJOY!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Being home this week inspired me to do some cooking to try some new things and have leftovers to hold us over into January.  B requested something "spicy" so I tried this Chicken Enchilada Soup.  It is spicy and really tasty.  I made a couple of edits to the recipe, noted below.

I even remembered to take a picture!

Chicken Enchilada Soup
I used small chunks of chicken rather than shredded.  This tasted fine and cooked through nice and fast but they were kind of hard to fish out of the broth once they were cooked.

I couldn't find Cojito cheese.  The site says to use what you have on hand so I used about 4oz cheddar and 4oz feta, tasted really good so that worked fine.

I broke up whole wheat Tostitos scoops on top. 

Not a huge fan of the cilantro so I will leave that off in the future.

You can make this in the crock pot, but I made it on the stove top.

ENJOY!

Ok, so I've been super lazy...

Actually, I've been doing a lot of stuff, just not a lot of blogging.

So let's see, what have we missed:

  • Hanukkah and Christmas are over (boo) but we got and gave lots of great stuff (yay!)
  • B and I took B's parents to the Steelers game and watched them secure a play-off free season.  At least going to the game was fun even if they did play like crap.
  • I've been off work for a week now, with a few more days to go, still SO not ready to go back.  Being home all day with nothing to do is awesome.
  • I made chili, with enough to freeze for later
  • I made Chicken Enchilada Soup, with enough to freeze for later (recipe in another post)
  • I'm 2 workouts away from scheduling my reward massage :-( and I'm changing up my goal for the next quarter.
Hmm, I think that's it for now.

Happy Holidays (or at least the one that's left)


Monday, December 3, 2012

Quinoa, Broccoli, & Cheese Casserole

Today's dinner experiment - yet another success.  It's almost like I know how to cook or something (I really don't) 

 Quinoa, Broccoli, & Cheese Casserole Preparation

1 1/2 cupsquinoa
1/2 mediumOnion; chopped
2 cupsbroccoli florets; cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cupshredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese; divided 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
1/4 cupGrated Parmesan cheese
1 clovegarlic; crushed
1/2 tspPaprika
salt and pepper; to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer 2-3 times.
3. Combine quinoa with 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
4. Meanwhile, saute onion for a few minutes, and cook broccoli in microwave for about 4 minutes.
5. Combine vegetables and spices in a mixing bowl, adding in hot, cooked quinoa, parmesan and 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
6. Mix well and press into an 8x8 baking dish, greased lightly with cooking spray or olive oil.
7. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese on top.
8. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted on top

Yum!

Trains!! And pizza...

This past weekend J & K and the kids (A & S) came to visit and we went to the Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Gardens.

Picture taken from the NYBG website.


A is almost 6 and it was right up his alley.  S is still a little young for it at almost 4 and was disappointed as it was "not her kind of show!"  I think she was expecting a show on stage, not something you walk around.
I can't really blame her, there were big crowds and it was a lot of walking.  And the Thomas train broke! So sad.

After the Train Show, we came back to our place, singing silly songs the whole way (well mostly the kids, though I sang some too).  J & B went to get the Christmas tree out of storage and K & I made some pita pizzas for the kids.

The pizzas turned out MUCH better than I expected, perfect for a snack or quick meal.
They were super simple.  I just got packaged pita bread from the store, the kids spread sauce and cheese and I baked the pizza at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes (longer makes a crispier crust). 
K & B added pepperoni too.

It came out like real pizza!!  Really tasty.  Definitely going to have to keep these in mind for quick meals on Monday nights or whenever I don't want to cook!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Thanks to my brother, we got our xmas tree out of storage at a reasonable time (i.e. not the day before Christmas.  We put it up today and started decorating.  It looks so cozy and festive!!  I just need to get the rest of the ornaments out of storage and hang them and we'll be fully ready for the holidays!

As an added bonus, we got to decorate while the Steelers beat the evil Ravens!!  GO BLACK AND GOLD!!!



Player 1 of this week - Vernon Davix, SF 49ers Tight End.



And in honor of the Steelers win today - Shaun Suisham


He's got the baby-faced thing going for him, pretty cute!

Sweet Citrus Chicken and Stuffing

Clearly my recipe posts are the most popular (even if no one will actually submit a comment!), so I guess I'll add another...

Sweet Citrus Chicken & Stuffing - another from emeals.com

6 oz box Stove Top Stuffing mix for chicken
1 2/3 C Hot Water
1/3 C Brown Sugar
3 T margarine, melted (I used 1 1/2 T butter)
1 1/2 lbs Chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thick
2/3 C orange juice (may try with broth, B didn't love the sweetness, I liked it though)

Add hot water to stuffing, stir gently until just moistened.
Place chicken into a sprayed 9x13 baking dish.
Mix juice, brown sugar, & margarine; pour over chicken.
Top with stuffing
Bake 30 min @ 400 or until chicken is done.

Yum!  We had some cranberry sauce on the side, too.

The recipe suggested balsamic green beans on the side.  I made them and will eat the leftovers, but didn't really like them.  If you want the recipe, let me know.

Happy Cooking!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Potato and Sausage Dinner

Another winner!  Actually, I like this one better than the Apple Chicken and it was easier too (or at least faster).

Today's recipe experiment (also from emeals.com)...

Potato and Sausage Dinner (2 servings)

2 medium red onions, peeled & diced
6 oz smoked turkey sausage, sliced (I used chicken sausage, it's what I had on hand)
1/2 of an onion, sliced
1/3 c FF chicken broth

Microwave potatoes 3-5 minutes or until tender.
Brown sausage in pan on med heat.  Remove sausage and set aside.
Add onion & potatoes, cook 5 minutes.
Return sausage & add broth.  Cook until most liquid is reduced.

I don't usually like carrots, but I followed the plan and I actually really like these!

Glazed Carrots (4 servings)
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled & sliced
4 tsp lemon juice
4 t honey
2 T light margarine (I used butter, it's what I had on hand, but I only used 1 T)
dash of cinnamon

Steam carrots for 10 minutes or until tender.  Heat remaining ingredients and toss with carrots.

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apple Chicken in the Slow Cooker

I'm a sucker for meal planning and diet websites, it's not good!

The latest - www.emeals.com

I heard about it through Groupon and signed up for the Portion Control menus.  The options look pretty tasty!  I made my first recipe tonight and it came out pretty good!



Apple Chicken
3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 t dried thyme leaves
pepper
1/4 t salt
2 T brown sugar
1 T butter melted
1/2 of an onion, thin sliced
1/4 C FF Chicken broth (I made using a bouillon cube)
2 T apple juice
1 green apple, sliced
1/4 C chopped pecans (I left this out)

Sprinkle chicken with thyme, pepper & salt.  Place onions in bottom of slow cooker.  Top with chicken.
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, butter, broth, and juice, mix well, pour into slow cooker.
Cover, cook on low 5 hours (or high for 2 hours).
Stir in apples, cover and cook 1-2 hours on low (or 30 minutes on high) or until chicken is cooked and apples are tender.
Sprinkle pecans on top and divide into 3 services.
Serve each over 1/2 rice and broccoli

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I'm thankful everyone made it here safe and sound. 

Slightly less thankful that I haven't slept more than 2 hours since Tuesday night, but what're you going to do?  That's the deal when traveling with an overactive doggy!

Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Honey Mustard Baked Chicken

I don't remember where I got this recipe, I've been making it for years.  This has been one of Brad's favorites of the few things I know how to make since we started dating (11.5 years ago!) and he requested a variation for his birthday dinner.

Here's the original recipe:

1 chicken (3lbs), cut up - I always use chicken breasts or whatever I have on hand.  I've never made 3lbs worth!
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted - scale to reflect the amount of chicken you're using
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat over to 350.  Place chicken pieces in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.

2. Combine butter, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Spread over chicken.  Bake 1 hour, basting pan juices every 15 minutes, until chicken is tender (watch closely if you're not using the full 3lbs of chicken, probably won't take this long!)

For tonight's variation, I dredged the chicken in the honey mustard mixture and then breaded with Panko breadcrumbs before baking.  Be sure when you serve it to scrape up the drippings in the baking dish to serve with the chicken, so good!

I served it with Brad's favorite broccoli dish on the side: Caramelized Broccoli with Garlic.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Family

Installment #3: What are you thankful for?

Today I'm thankful for my family.  My biological family is pretty small and spread out, but I'm lucky to have wonderful in-laws that I actually get along with.  I'm very thankful for that and very much looking forward to spending Thanksgiving in PA with the crew!


Happy Birthday, Brad!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Positivity

Installment 2 of my "what are you thankful for" series...

Today I'm thankful for the positive people.  The ones who greet you with a sincere smile and have an uplifting impact on your day.  There is so much negativity in the city, in my job, in the news, etc, that it's really hard to keep a positive outlook.  I try but it's somewhat against my nature.

So, today I'm thankful for those positive people out there that remind us that there is good in the world.

How about you - what are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Week!

What are you thankful for? 

I'm going to try to post one thing I'm thankful for each day this week (might get tough once we get to PA, we'll see).

Feel free to chime in with what you're thankful for as well, we need some comments on this blog!!

#1 - I'm thankful that my friends and family got through Super Storm Sandy safely and without major loss or damages.


PARTY!!! (with recipes)

Last night R and I threw and awesome party to celebrate M getting her PHD.

We rock at science!!  Or at least decorating with science related stuff.

Awesome scientist cake from The Iron Tomato
And, what everyone's been waiting for - recipes for the best party food EVER!

New for this party, and instant success, Bodacious Bean Dip (from food.com).

2 (14 ounce) cans fat-free refried beans
1 (14 ounce) can corn
1/3 cup green onion
2 1/2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning (I use Pampered Chef Southwest seasoning)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients except the cheese into a greased 2 - 3 1/2 quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes and then on high heat for another 30 minutes OR on low heat for 2-3 hours.
3. Add cheddar cheese for the last half hour on low heat.
4. Serve with tortilla chips or as a filling for warm flour tortillas.

I didn't add the cheese, kept it Vegan for R.  It was still really tasty, cheese isn't needed.


Crockpot Meatballs

1 Bag Swedish bite size frozen meatballs (I use whatever frozen meatballs I find at the store, doesn't seem to matter)
1 Cup A1 Sauce
1/4 stick butter
2 T brown sugar
3 T Sour Cream
2 1/4 Cup Ketchup

Defrost meatballs in crockpot.  
Heat Sauce in saucepan and pour over meatballs
Leave on crockpot on warm

I like to serve these with some dinner rolls so people can make mini meatball sandwiches if they want.  
I got this recipe from someone on a chat board I belong to.  I'm not sure where it originated.

Spiced Beef Empanadas (also good with turkey) from CookingLight.com

1 T Olive Oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 lb ground beef (80 to 85% lean)
1/3 cup golden raisins (I leave these out)
2 T ketchup
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 store bought refrigerated rolled pie crusts (a good brand, not store brand)
1 large egg, beaten
Sour Cream for serving
Heat over to 375.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the (raisins), ketchup, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (or glass), cut out circles from the pie crusts.  Divide the beef mixture among the circles, brush the edges with water, fold in half and press with a fork (or fingers) to seal.  Transfer to a baking sheet and brush with the egg.  Bake until golden, 20 - 25 minutes.  Serve with sour cream.



NFL Player of the Week

Maybe I should start calling this "NFL Player of Every Other Week!"

Two again this week, I was in VA for our nephew's baptism last weekend, so at least I have an excuse for not posting (sort of).

First, by request, Jason Witten, Tight End for Cowboys.


Not a bad choice, Dr. M!

And choice number 2 this week, Antonio Brown, Wide Receiver for the Steelers. He has a pretty sweet smile.  Oh, and he's awesome.







Trip to VA to Meet our Nephew

Last weekend we finally made it down to meet our nephew, N, who was born in June!  We're bad aunt and uncle.

N was baptized, so we went down to do the family thing.  The kiddies are very cute and growing up so fast!

N, Seriously, check out those ears!!  Too cute
Big Sister C.  Not sure why but this is how she smiles for pictures!
A better one with Grandma.
We also went to the Reston Zoo.  It's a good place for entertaining the kids, but I just felt bad for the animals.

That didn't stop me from posing as a sheep, though.

Me, as a sheep :)
We also got to have dinner with C & T, who we hadn't seen in much too long.  We went to Fords Fish Shack in Ashburn, VA.  If you have a chance, go, it's so tasty!  Definitely get the Maine Chips as an appetizer. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!

Did you vote?  I did and thereby earned the right to complain for the next 4 years, regardless of who wins.  My polling place didn't have stickers though.  So sad :-(



Did you know:  In the 2008 election, more than 100,000 write-in votes were cast and recorded for a scattering of other candidates (not listed on the ballot of any state), including 62 votes for "Santa Claus" (in ten states) and 11 votes for "Mickey Mouse" (in five states).  (Wikipedia)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

NFL Player of the Week

This week I've gone a slightly different route for my player(s) of the week.  I saw a segment on the news about Tony Gonzalez, Falcons tight end, and his work with Shadow Buddies.




Matt Cassel, Kansas City QB,  works with them as well.


Very cool!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Super Storm Sandy

Thanks to Sandy I've been "working" from home yesterday and today.  Thankfully we did not lose power or have any damage. 

I hope everyone else is doing well also.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cheeseburger Casserole

I decided to skip the crock pot this week but still wanted to make something to make my weeknight meals easier.

So, I tried this Overnight Cheeseburger Casserole.  I did the "same day" prep rather than letting it refrigerate overnight.  It came out pretty good but was rather labor intensive. 

I think I might try it the overnight way sometime, see if that's any better.  Otherwise, while it was good, I don't think it was really worth the amount of work or dishes required.  I HATE washing dishes!

At least I still have some tasty leftovers for the rest of the week though.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

NFL Player(s) of the Week

I've been bad again, was too busy watching the terrible Steelers vs Titans game in Nashville last weekend to post a player of the week.  So, two again this week...

First, Eagles safety Kurt Coleman:

The Eagles really have some hotties on their team!

And number 2: Colts wide reciever Austin Collie



Oh, and WTF Steelers - you took a picture of our sign but cut out our faces??



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Crock Pot Beef Chili

Another of the family favorites...beef chili.  This recipe is SUPER easy.  Literally just throw everything in the crock pot and let it cook.  The only prep is to cut up an onion and rinse some beans.

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 T ground cumin
2 T chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves
7 oz diced green chilies (I used canned)
1 medium onion chopped (use discretion, you don't want to be overwhelmed with onion)
1 15 oz can chili beans, undrained
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
12 oz can tomato paste

Add everything to crock pot, mix, cook on low for about 5 hours.  We typically end up leaving it on warm or simmer for a while after and it's fine.

To serve I usually put some diced red onion and shredded cheese on top and serve with some crusty bread.

This is a big recipe, makes 8-10 servings.

The chili freezes well.  I like to freeze a couple of smaller portions to have later on as a topping for a baked/sweet potato.

Enjoy!

NFL Player of the Week

For R...Aaron Rogers (Packers QB)

I know how you love a guy with a 'stache!

And one where he looks less creepy


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Random Rudy Post

Just cause he's a cutie...

Loungin' in the doggy bed.

Baked Sweet Potato "Chips"

I think I had mentioned in my pulled pork post that I had bought some sweet potatoes to have as a side.  Well tonight I decided to try a new way to make them.

Here's what I did:
  • preheated the oven to 375 degrees
  • washed and sliced the sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick "chips"
  • tossed the potato slices in some seasonings (I used cumin and chili powder and some salt and pepper) and some olive oil
  • spread in one layer on a baking sheet (I lined the baking sheet with foil to keep it clean, this came in handy later on too.
  • baked the potatoes for 17 min
  • I used the foil to help me toss the potatoes in the pan
  • baked for an additional 5 min
  • sprinkle on some sea salt, to taste
    • ENJOY!
They came out really good!  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Since I broke out the crock pot last weekend I decided to make something today so I wouldn't have to cook this week. 

I asked Brad what I should make so, of course, he requested Pulled Pork - his fav.

This is one of my stand-bys - so I figured I'd share:

About 2.5lbs pork roast (I use whatever boneless pork I can find, usually 2-3lbs)
1 Medium Onion chopped
1 Bottle BBQ sauce, about 14oz (whatever flavor you like most)
1 T Lemon Juice
1 tsp brown sugar (I overestimate this - yum!)

Cook pork roast in the crock pot on high 5-6 hours or on low for 10-12 hours (just drop it in there all by itself, super easy).
Remove pork from crock pot into a bowl, drain liquid from crock, shred the pork using a form (tongs also help) and return to crock pot.  Be careful, it's hot.
Add remaining ingredients.  Cook 2 more hours on high.

You can leave it on warm for a while if you're serving for a party (always a hit).
I usually get some tasty rolls to make sandwiches.  I got some sweet potatoes to have with the pork this week, can't wait!

 


Recipe Fail - Crock Pot Oatmeal

I saw a recipe online for oatmeal that you make in the crock pot overnight.  I thought it looked easy to and that it would make the apartment smell all yummy and cozy.

It did smell good however, it was NASTY.  The oatmeal got congealed.  SO gross and disappointing.  I'd share a picture but, trust me, you don't want to see that!!

I won't link too it either,  I don't want to win any enemies...

Blech!!!

NFL Player of The Week

This week's installment...


Adrian Peterson - Minnesota Vikings RB

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Football at Wicked Wolf

We watched Sunday Football at Wicked Wolf today.  We went at 1 to watch with J since the Wolf is now a Bills fan.  We stayed for the Steelers game because they put the sound on for us.

Watching there is fine, but we really need to stop eating there.  The wings and the sweet potato fries are good, but the rest of the food is generally disappointing.  I wish we could order Black Bear food and eat it at the Wolf.  Pretty sure they share a kitchen so I'm not really sure why we can't do that.  To be honest, I've never asked, so maybe you actually can...

NFL Player of the Week

Installment #2 for this weekend: Trent Edwards - Eagles QB


Saturday, September 22, 2012

NFL Player of the Week

I'm a little behind of my NFL player of the Week series, so I'll be picking 2 this weekend.

Here's today's installment:  Eric Decker, Wide Receiver for the Denver Broncos




Find more pictures here!

Stay tuned for another update tomorrow!

BLT in White Plains

Last night B and I had a belated anniversary dinner at BLT in the Ritz in White Plains.  We've been meaning to go there for years now and finally did it!
The service was very good.  The food came out fast, possibly too fast.
They had a small appetizer "from the chef" that was little croutons and some sort of spread.  It was ok.
Then they brought out this puffy bread stuff that was steaming hot and delicious.  Especially good with butter and salt.  At this point we were happy we didn't get appetizers.
We each had an 8oz filets and tried some sauces.  The sauces were not needed, the steak was really good on it's own.
On the side we got truffle mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.  We could have used more mashed potatoes, but both sides were tasty.

For dessert we got Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse.  The menu lists it with banana ice cream, but we substituted coffee instead.  So good!!

The wine selection was good.  We got a reasonably priced Pinotage that was good.

I totally recommend BLT for a special occasion dinner.  In my opinion it's a bit too pricey for just a normal night out.

First Day of Fall

Fall is my favorite season - bright blue skies, crisp cool air, all the colors of the changing leaves - only down side is that it ends in winter.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Morgan's Stalking

You may notice a new blog added to the list of blogs I follow, Morgan's Stalking.

This blog is disturbing, but addicting and really interesting. 

The mother of Morgan Ingram is doing a day by day blog recounting the 4 months Morgan was stalked before her death on 12/2/2011.

I won't share my opinions here (yet, at least), but definitely think everyone should check out this blog.  I can't seem to get it out of my head.

http://morganingram.com/wordpress/

You may want to read it when it's still daylight - and leave yourself a good chunk of time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Update

So, it's been a while since I've posted.  I'd like to say it's because I've been super busy doing awesome things, but really I'm just lazy.  Here's a quick update on what we've been up to, and a new "weekly installment."

Last weekend our friend M visited from North Carolina.  We had dinner at Lazy Boy (B's favorite) and then grabbed some drinks at Elements.
In the past year, since we've seen M, he started drinking.  This definitely made for a new and different experience hanging out with him.   We LOVE new M!!

I also made a new and improved version of the Basic Chicken Cutlets.  I followed exactly the same recipe, however, before breading and cooking I marinated the chicken in Lawry's Teryaki marinade.  It didn't taste much like teryaki, but it was more tasty than the first attempt.

Let's see...
We hiked Bear Mountain with S and D and had lunch at Peekskill Brewery.  The food was good, not great.  We probably won't be in too much of a rush to go back.


During the week I managed to keep up with my Cross Fit workouts.  LOVE it.  The workouts are crazy hard but it feels SO good when they're done.  I'm trying to get 2 workouts in a week.  After the last workout on Thursday I wasn't as sore as I thought I'd be, hopefully I'm over that hump and will be able to get more workouts in or actually run in between like I planned.

This weekend we stayed in the city Friday night to see the OW crew.  First B&I had happy hour with S, my coworker and B's friend from college at Niles, one of the few decent places near my office.   Later we met up with the crew for a surprise b-day outing at Fat Cat where we played some pool and shuffle board.

Too lazy to cook last night, we ordered in from Muscle Maker Grill.  Despite the horrible name, it's actually pretty good food.

Finally, today was the first Football Sunday of the season, how the heck did it get to be September already???  M and I met at Black Bear to watch the 1:00 games.  Last year we had talked about ranking the hottest NFL players but never really followed through.  So, this year I've decided to have a player of the week that I'll feature on here.  The player will be picked purely on their level of hotness, as decided by me.

First installment, in no particular order: Brady Quinn -  QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Not sure why he's playing football in a lake but really, who cares?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Salad in a Jar

Also known as lunch for the week!


Lookit me being all healthy!  Craziness...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Who needs Starbucks?

We made our own iced coffee!  And not the add ice to regular coffee kind, either.  And it came out pretty tasty!

Ok, so we do need Starbucks a little since we got the coffee beans from them (Sumatra Dark Roast) and had them grind them.  But you can get that lots of places.

We basically followed the directions for this "Home Brew" but we did not use mason jars.  Also, we were lazy and just used the a filter rather than multiple paper ones.  Worked fine (we told the barista that's what we'd be using so he set the grinder to the right setting) and it took more like 5 minutes to strain the concentrate, rather than an hour.

Yummy!





Friday, August 24, 2012

Basic Chicken Cutlets and Caramelized Broccoli with Garlic

Back by popular demand - a recipe post!

We actually cooked a healthy dinner tonight!
I love breaded chicken, but the packaged stuff is always full of who knows what.  So, I wanted to try my hand at doing it myself.

I found this Basic Chicken Cutlet recipe from Woman's Day.  It was super simple, literally just season the chicken with salt & pepper and coat with Panko breadcrumbs and cook in some oil.  Very easy and a great base to experiment and add other seasonings to.

B loves broccoli, and I've been meaning to try this recipe for a long time.  And...it got rave reviews!!
Caramelized Broccoli with Garlic from Food & Wine magazine was super easy to make.  The crushed red pepper really gave it a nice kick.  I may have overcooked it a little, as it was a bit mushy.  Thankfully, B likes his broccoli mushy.

To round things out we also made some brown rice as well.  Here's a picture of my masterpiece:



Monday, August 20, 2012

Busy Busy!

Weekend In Review

This past weekend I went to Pittsburgh to visit the McGourty crew, rather than B coming back to NY.  The weather was perfect!

On Friday night we caught some live music in Market Square (and had some beers), dinner at Seviche (highly recommend the Drunken Sailor mojito), and dessert at Sharp Edge.

Seviche was particularly good.  We had the Avocado and Corn Seviche with salmon and the Asian Tartare with tuna from the Seviche Bar and the Pulled Chicken Tostada from the Tapas menu.

We went back to Sharp Edge for lunch on Saturday.  It was good, but gave me a stomach ache.  Apparently I can't eat so much fatty bar food anymore :(

Saturday evening we did the Gateway Clipper sightseeing cruise.  Did I mention the weather as perfect?  The narrator was really good too, very informative and entertaining.  As is typical, we forgot our camera, but I did get this shot with my iPhone:


After the cruise we had dinner at Church Brew Works which is a very cool brewery in an old church.  The food was tasty, especially the Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Workout Update
Tonight I had my first Cross Fit ON-RAMP class.  We got a decent workout, but the focus was really on learning the basic exercises and proper form.  Still thinking I'm really going to like Cross Fit - next class is Wednesday!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

ON-RAMP

I must be crazy...

I signed up for the on ramp course at Cross Fit.  It's 3 training classes to learn all of the various exercises and Cross Fit lingo and then unlimited classes for a month.  It's a good deal for them because after the 3 training classes I'm pretty sure I'll be unable to move for a while.

The 3 classes are next week - Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  I'm stocking up on advil and ice packs now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ow!

So, I survived last night's CrossFit class.  I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.  The exercises were doable, the people were friendly and supportive, the equipment brought back memories of my days in gymnastics.  Oh, and we can't forget - the trainer running the class came over to introduce himself bleeding from a rip (callus torn from his hand from pullups) and with his foot in a boot.  He claims the foot injury was not CrossFit related, I'm not convinced.

Today, I hurt.  Everywhere.  I'm not sure what to massage/stretch first.

But, I'm a glutton for punishment and do plan to go back!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Did I Get Myself Into

So apparently they've open a Cross Fit gym about 4 blocks from me.  Who knew?

Earlier today it seemed like a good idea to schedule myself for a trial class, but now that it's confirmed I'm a tad nervous.
I REALLY don't want to do the box jump thing - have you seen how short I am.  Yikes!!

I'm going to a call Monday night, we shall see how it goes.  Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Running Shoes!

I ordered new running shoes from Zappos.com yesterday afternoon and had them in time to use them for tonight's run.  How do they do that??

For the past couple of years I've been wearing Brooks Ghost running shoes.  Every time I think "huh, these shoes feel OK, but it's been 6 months so I guess I should buy new ones."  Then I get the new ones and realize how much of a difference it really makes.  Craziness.

Here are the new kicks:

Disregard the horrendous wallpaper in the background.  We desperately need to renovate the kitchen!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hodge Podge Dinner

This has been a weird week.  I did something not ideal to my hip flexor and it's really been hurting.  I took a couple of days off the gym, hopefully that will help.  I do feel a bit better today. 
Of course, at the same time I'm insatiably hungry.  Isn't that always the way?


We actually have a ton of food in the house with all the cooking and freezing I've been doing.  So, I skipped the grocery delivery this week and I've been using up what I have.

Tonight I decided to get a little creative for dinner (aka, too lazy to really cook).  So, here is my hodge podge meal of the night:

I cooked up 2 eggs, mixed that with Steamfresh Southwestern Corn and some diced onion and red pepper I had.  Then I sprinkled some cheddar cheese on top.

And actually - it's pretty good!  No pic tonight, it just looked like a mess of yellow :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hot Stone Heaven

I had my hot stone massage at Red Door Spa in Westchester yesterday.  It was so nice.  I had a gift card, so I splurged for the longer 80 minute massage rather than the 50 minute, so worth it! 
I was sore from my workouts and the hot stones felt just amazing on my back and shoulders.  Anyone who hasn't had one of these really should try it.  Massages are pretty awesome anyway, but the hot stones are just magic.

Not actually me!

After the spa I did some shopping.  Of course I had to make up for the fact that I didn't have to pay for the massage.  I made up for that and then some...oops.

Continuing my "day of beauty" I also got my hair cut and colored.

To top off this lovely day, we had dinner at Hacienda Azteca.  Their margaritas and fresh made guacamole are always tasty.  The food is really good, service tends to be a little questionable.
We then headed over to Wicked Wolf.  They've started having Dueling Pianos on Fridays and Saturdays so we wanted to check it out.  So much fun!!  We'll definitely be heading back.

I'm a bit dehydrated this morning, but still planing to go for a run a bit later today.  We'll see how that goes!



Friday, August 3, 2012

Wahooo!!

I met my workout goal :-)  Can't wait for my massage this weekend!

I'm also pretty excited that we have nothing planned for this weekend except some relaxing and hanging out with friends.  Yay, for travel free weekends!

New workout goal = 60 workouts, not sure of my prize, might stick with the massage.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Egg Muffins

I'm always on the look out for easy and tasty breakfasts I can bring to work.  Lets face it, oatmeal gets old after a while.


These "egg muffins" are super easy to make.  Not only are they easy to take to work, they'd be great to make ahead for a brunch with friends!



Here are the simple steps...Get creative!

Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray or use muffin cups
One egg in each cup
Break the yolk (I like yolk so I didn't scramble the eggs, but you could)
Add whatever toppings you want to cook in.  I used red bell pepper, red onion and small pieces of lettuce.
Cook at 350 for 20 minutes or until firm - keep an eye on them after 15 minutes or so.
Cool and store in Tupperware.


I took the egg to work, broke it up and mashed it (technical term) onto a sandwich thin (English Muffin would be a better size), added a small piece of cheddar cheese and heated it up in the microwave.  YUM!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Adventures

Not only did B and I have an adventurous weekend, Rudy did too!

Some people seem to be having trouble viewing this video but it's worth a shot.  Rudy was the star of the News12 Westchester news segment on the Doggy Olympics at Best Friends!

For those who can't see the video, a gratuitous Rudy pic instead, cause he's just so cute!

Sleeping!
Now for the human adventure...
B and I went to Club Getaway with a couple of friends, J & M.  Despite raining most of the weekend, it was a lot of fun.
I really wanted to trapeze, even managed to psych myself up for it, but got rained out both times.  B was, as usual, unnaturally good at it even his first time.


When the sun came out, the lake was pretty nice.  The water slide was definitely a popular activity.  Even I tried it, I swear, even though there aren't any pictures (B was in the water with me).


We also did a "Fun Mudder" which was fun, and muddy.  And of course there was the bar...
The food was really good, and there was plenty of it.  We'll be going again, I think, hopefully we'll get a less rainy weekend next time!


Finally, a bonus Monday Night Meal - Chicken & Cous Cous

We had some leftover whole wheat cous cous, so I reheated that and added some steamed french cut green beans.  On top I put breaded chicken and with a little bit of jalapeno hummus.  Not too bad!

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Two for One Day!!

I have two recipes for you today!  Just cooking up a storm (and my kitchen is showing the damage.  What a mess!) :-)

Last night I made Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal.  I even took a picture of it!


I followed the recipe pretty closely but found that when scooping the batter into the muffin pan 1/2 cup is too much.  I used a 1/3 cup scoop and it worked much better.
Oh, and I didn't have Flax Seeds so I left those out.  I probably should have substituted Chia seeds but didn't think of it at the time.
They came out good but could maybe use a few more minutes in the oven (I baked for 30 minutes).  
For toppings I added peanuts and peanut butter, cranberries, and blueberries.  

I like this recipe because it's not difficult, you can use what's in the house already for toppings, and it makes a lot so you can freeze some for later.

And maybe my new favorite food ever (except ice cream, but really, what could top ice cream?):  Quinoa Mac & Cheese. (And another picture...)

Confession:  I cut one corner off the picture because I couldn't resist and already ate some!

Seriously???

DELISH!

The only change I made to this recipe is that I coated the top of the whole dish with Panko breadcrumbs before baking.  I didn't put any veggies in it, broccoli would be good.  I had roasted veggies left over from our cookout this weekend, so I had those on the side instead.

Pretty sure I could eat the whole thing in one sitting but I'll be good.  Doing that would screw up the rest of my meal plan for the week!  I packed up some for lunch over the next few days and froze some for a treat next time I'm craving mac & cheese.

Enjoy!  If you try these recipes (or any I post), let me know how it goes.