Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Except for messing up my workout, I don't have much to talk about today... except the weather.
We are expecting another big storm tonight an tomorrow. The good news is that it will be mostly rain, not ice or snow... the bad news is that it will be rain... about 5 inches of it they say. Since the ground (and lake) is still frozen, that doesn't leave anywhere for that water to go so we are expecting some flooding. I think I would rather have snow.
Dinner tonight was chicken parmesan. This is Jason's specialty. The first time he ever cooked for me, this is what he cooked. The recipe has changed a little and we don't usually have it on hoagie buns anymore but its still delicious!

Couch to 5K shuffle

I messed up a little today. I started week three of Couch to 5K. I slightly messed up the program in my head. I was supposed to:
1. Walk for 5 minutes
2. run for 90 seconds
3. walk for 90 seconds
4. run for 3 minutes
5. walk for 3 minutes
repeat 2-5 once

Instead I had in my head that the 3 minutes should be 4. Thats great right? Except when I added the time on my watch, it was about 3 minutes extra, not 4. When I looked back through the times I realized I must have forgotten to hit the stopwatch start after step 3 the first time, therefore running only 2:30 for step 4. So this is what I actually did...

1 Walk for 5 min
2 Run for 90 seconds
3 Walk for 90 seconds
4 Run for 2:30
5 Walk for 4 minutes
5 Run for 90 seconds
6 Walk for 90 seconds
7 Run for 4 mintes
8 Walk for 12 minutes (I had to wait for Jason to be done with his workout)

At least now I undertand why the second 4 minute run seemed so much longer than the first!

Here is what I was listening to:

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere... Alan Jackson w/Jimmy Buffet
Who You Are... Pearl Jam
Lithium.. Nirvana
Take the Money and Run.... Steve Miller Band
Simple Kind of Life... No Doubt
Cowboy.. Kid Rock
Run-Around.. Blues Traveler I found this to be very humorous since the track is tiny (16 laps/mile)
Uptight (Everything's Alright)... Stevie Wonder
Heartspark Dollarsign.. Everclear

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sausage Spaghetti Pie

4 oz. uncooked spaghetti
1/2 pound kielbasa, diced
1 cup garden-style spaghetti sauce
1 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
3 egg whites
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small, nonstick skillet, saute sausage for 3-4 min or until browned; stir in spaghetti sauce

In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese and 1 egg white; set aside. Drain spaghetti; add Parmesan cheese and remainin egg whites. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon ricotta mixture into crust. Top with sausage mixture.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 min. Sprinkle with mozerella cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Let stand for 5 mintues before slicing.

This recipe is from the Jan/Feb issue of 'Simple and Delicious'. It was made to be a healthy, low fat recipe. However, we only had regular kielbasa in the freezer and the recipe called for low-fat turkey kielbasa.

Monday, February 26, 2007

More Snow Pictures

Since we don't have much exciting stuff talk about... here are some more pictures of the snow yesterday.
The snow pile in front of our house.

This truck was buried on the side of the road. I only caught the front of it because Jason was driving but you get the idea.

And here is the parking lot we park in. Unfortunately, the piles were not cleared yet this morning, meaning there were only about 1/2 as many parking spots as there should be!

Kielbasa and kapusta

This is from a recipe I found online, although the idea of having this for dinner was certainly inspired by my grandparents. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly how they made it but this seemed close to what I remember - or at least closer than other recipes I found online.

6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 onions, chopped
1 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 medium head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 (32 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained and pressed
1/2 lb kielbasa, sliced into thin pieces
2 tbsp EVOO
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Heat 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat; saute onions and mushrooms until tender.
In a medium saucepan over high heat, boil cabbage for 10 minutes.
In a frying pan, heat olive oil and brown kielbasa.
In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish combine onions, mushrooms, kielbasa, cabbage, sauerkraut, sugar, thyme, salt and pepper; mix well. Dot remaining 2 tablespoons butter on top. Cover.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Couch to 5K shuffle

Ok so I have taken a 3 day vacation from the gym (mostly due to the bad weather). We went back today and I finished the 3rd workout of week 2!

Cold Day in July.. Dixie Chicks
La La... Ashlee Simpson
Take the Money and Run... Steve Miller Band
Uptight (Everything's Alright)... Stevie Wonder
Torn... Natalie Imbruglia For the longest time, I thought this song was called Corn or Porn
Pride and Joy... Stevie Ray Vaughan
Down to the River to Pray... Alison Kraus and Union Station
Lullabye... Billy Joel
You May be Right.. Billy Joel

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Its still coming down. Here's a few recent pictures of the snow we have so far. Remember that a few days ago, it was nearly 50 degrees and nearly all hints of snow had melted. So this is pretty much all new snow.


1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water, warmed to 110°F
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
3/4 cup plus 1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4-5 cups vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Make the dough: Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil and set aside. Gently warm 1/2 cup milk and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Combine the water and yeast in a large bowl, stir to dissolve, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the warm milk and oil to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the remaining sugar, sour cream, eggs, yolks, salt, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the flour gradually. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place it in the prepared bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume — about 2 hours. Punch dough down, re-cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 or up to 12 hours.

2. Make the doughnuts: Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface. Lightly flour the dough and roll it out to about 3/4 inch thick. Cut doughnuts out of the dough using a 3-inch doughnut cutter and transfer them and their holes to a baking sheet. Gather dough scraps, reroll, and repeat cutting doughnuts and holes until all dough is used. Chill doughnuts and holes for 30 minutes.

3. Fry the doughnuts: Heat about 4 inches of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet fitted with a thermometer over medium-high heat until oil reaches 350°F. Fry the doughnuts three at a time until golden — about 2 minutes per side. Remove doughnuts and holes with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and holes.

4. Make the glaze: Combine the remaining milk and confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and stir until smooth. While doughnuts and holes are still hot, dip them in the glaze and transfer to a wire rack until glaze is set and doughnuts are cool. Serve immediately.

I found this recipe on The website cites Country Living as the source. It was pretty good but not quite Krispy Kreme!

Time to Make the Donuts...

We woke up this morning to even more snow. Although it doesn't seem to be as bad as they were saying.
The donut dough had been in the fridge all night so it was time to cut them out and fry them up. Then we glazed them with milk and powdered sugar. I think they won Jason's seal of approval.
As for the snow, I only have a picture of our deck for now. We haven't built up the courage to leave yet. I would estimate we have almost a foot of snow right now and we are supposed to get more throughout the day.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chicken Mole

(14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/3 cup slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds
3 garlic cloves, quartered
2 canned jalapeno peppers, drained
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 ground coriander
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 1/2 lbs broiler-fryer chickens, cut up and skinned
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds or almonds (to garnish)

1. In a blender container or food processor bowl, combine undrained tomatoes, onion, nuts, garlic, jalapeno peppers, cocoa powder, raisins, sesame seeds, sugar, salt and spices.
2. Cover and blend until mixture is a coarse puree.
3. In the crock pot, place the tapioca.
4. Add chicken and then the sauce.
5. Cover, and cook on low for 9 hours.
6. Serve with hot cooked rice.
7. and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds

I received this recipe from my coworker, Steve (the same guy who gave me the huevos rancheros recipe) This was amazing. I didn't cook it for 9 hours, only five. I used 3 split chicken breasts, with the bones but I removed the skin. I used slivered almonds instead of pumpkin seeds, and I chopped up one fresh jalepeno and used 1-2 chipotle en adobo. I guess I should also mention that I used golden raisins instead of regular raisins.

And more snow

Jason and I woke up to about 7 inches of snow this morning. So we took our time getting ready and decided to head to lab around 10 since there was a blizzard warning starting at 6pm. We were prepared for terrible roads but the roads were good! We saw plenty of piles of snow and very hard working snowblowers.Even the parking lot I use during the week was full of snow piles.
After a couple hours of work, we went for lunch on our way home since the weather wasn't too bad. We stopped at Land's End Inlet for a big sale. I didn't find anything I liked but Jason bought a new shirt. We were going to go to lunch at Chipolte but instead we chose Chin's Asia Fresh. I had Pad Thai with tofu and Jason had sesame chicken. We split a small order of potstickers and cream cheese puffs. It was all pretty good (good enough to take home) except our fortune cookies. Mine was 'To one who waits, an hour seems like a year' and Jason's was 'Real business often happens during lunch or dinner'
Why exactly are they called fortune cookies? Those are not fortunes.
Our ride home was a little slippery but at this point we have about a foot of snow on our deck and they are projecting up to 24 inches before this is all done.
So today I have done alot of cleaning. I made chicken mole for dinner and I started making some donuts for tomorrow. The dough was a little more messy than I had planned.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Veggie Fajitas

1 1/3 medium red bell pepper
1/2 medium onion
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/3 cup pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup salsa
1 1/2 cup zucchini
2/3 tsp olive oil
flour totillas

Rinse and cut the peppers, onion, and zucchini into thin vertical slices. Heat olive oil in a skillet to medium high and add the vegetables. Stir-fry about 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, but still crunchy. Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and beans. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the salsa to mix thoroughly and cook for another minute. Spoon mixture down the center of a toasted tortilla and enjoy.

This is a recipe from ediets. It makes 2 servings that are approximately 450 calories. Of course we add cheese and sour cream.

The Snow Has Started

Well the snow has started... and a little earlier than forecasted. Supposedly the worst will be tomorrow but we will see.
Dinner tonight was veggie fajitas
and I made myself a dessert of s'mores. Unfortunately, I didn't have a Hershey bar so I had to make do with Hershey's kisses so they turned out more like s'mores eyeballs.
We both need to get to work tomorrow so we are hoping we don't get much more snow tomorrow. I am sure we will take lots of pictures!

Friday Feast number 132

Where on your body do you have a scar, and what caused it?
I have a couple that I can think of off the top of my head.
I have a scar above my navel from having it pierced. I had to take the ring out for an MRI and never put it back.
The other major one is on my chin. The summer before 7th grade, I had a bike accident on my way to a softball game. I went over the handlebars. I lost a tooth and had something like 30-40 stitches inside my mouth, on my chin, and on my upper lip (some from the dentist and some from a plastic surgeon).

What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?
Hmmmm... well maybe that I survived the bike accident that I described above? Or probably more likely that I survived the pickup truck accident when I was 4 (I think I have scars from it but I am not sure).

Name a television personality who really gets on your nerves.
Katie Couric, I am so glad she isn't on Today anymore.

Main Course
What was a funny word you said as a child (such as "pasketti" for "spaghetti")?
Well, I know I said advertisement incorrectly because even though I thought I was saying it right, I can remember my mom asking me to say it to my grandparents and they would just laugh at me. But I remember getting the words bikini and zucchini mixed up and saying to someone at the pool 'do you like my zucchini?'

Fill in the blank: I have always thought ______ was ______.
Jason was cute:)

The Friday Feast is a weekly meme intended to "feed your mind by asking thought-provoking, mind-stimulating questions."

Foodie Definition

Since there has been some question about what a foodie is, I found a definition on another bloggers site and lifted it.. sorry Nicole W.. who I don't even know.

What is a foodie, anyway?
Posted Feb 10th 2006 3:27PM by Nicole Weston
Filed under: How To, Did you know?
Foodie is a term that we throw around a lot here at Slashfood. The dictionary defines a foodie as "someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food." In previous decades, words like "epicure" or "gourmet" were used to apply to the same type of person. The words are out of favor now, and bring to mind stodgy, snobbish people who are only willing to consider a restaurant that has truffled pate on the menu. This is because good food was hard to get and expensive in years, decades and centuries past. People didn't have the resources to buy virtually anything they could want and often wouldn't have the means to cook it. Now, both times and terms have changed.

Anyone can be a foodie.

To be a foodie is not only to like food, but to be interested in it. Just as a good student will have a thirst for knowledge, a foodie wants to learn about food. A foodie will never answer the question "What are you eating" with "I don't know." There are some basic traits of being a foodie, as there are basic traits that come with all labels. Generally, you have to know what you like, why you like it, recognize why some foods are better than others and want to have good tasting food all or certainly most of the time. This doesn't mean that you can't eat flaming hot Cheetos every now and again, but it does mean that you don't fool yourself into thinking that it's a nutritionally balanced meal. Do you have to know the difference between a beefsteak tomato and an heirloom tomato? No, but you might be interested to find out what it is. Do you have to only shop at farmer's markets? No, but you still look for good, fresh produce. Are there some foods you just don't like or weird foods you like? That's ok - it doesn't make you any less of a foodie. Just like food, learn about food and, most importantly, eat food.
I hope that answers everyone's questions. And yes Jamie, it probably means you are one too:)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

couch to 5k shuffle

Today was week 2 workout 2.. a little easier than last time but still hard.

So I thought that I would start recording the music that I listened to while I ran (mostly so that I can make some better playlists since i get alot of country music and running and sappy country music don't mix) * denotes songs I didn't skip

*Milkshake.. Kelis I know, I know, but it was good to run to
Ol' Red.. Blake Shelton Like I said good music... not good running music
American Woman... Guess Who Didn't feel like hearing this one today
When Somebody Loves You.. Alan Jackson Sappy country song
Joy to the World.. Three Dog Night Didn't want to run to this one
*Jet Airliner.. Steve Miller Band I LOVE SMB
You were meant for me.. Jewel Might as well be a country song
*Get the Party Started.. Pink
*Sunday Morning.. No Doubt
But for the Grace of God... Keith Urban too sappy
*SOS.. Rihanna I used to love this song in college... I think it was called 'tainted love'
Ave Maria.. Harry Connick Jr. this song is so beautiful, it makes me cry... not runworthy
*My Band.. Eminen (D12) my salsa
*Short Skirt/Long Jacket.. Cake I love cake
Stay.. Alison Krauss & union station this one had to be skipped
*Objection (Tango).. Shakira
*Me against the music.. Britney Spears where is Madonna for Britney now?
*Jackolantern's weather.. 311 great song

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I am a self-described foodie... that is fine except on the ride home tonight, I told Jason that and he said "What is a foodie?"

Crazy time....

I am sorry to keep you all waiting for a new blog entry. Things have been a little stressful the last few days with job applications and work. I haven't even posted since Sunday mroning.
Sunday afternoon was busy with work and the gym (I didn't start the new week of The Couch to 5K Running plan so just 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer), then we had the frozen leftovers of the rainbow bean soup that has been on the menu for the last couple weeks.
Monday was a really busy day. I had a job application due on Tuesday and I was pretty stressed. On the way home from work, some friends called and we met them at State Street Brats. I had a red brat basket and Jason had a double burger basket. I had skipped lunch so I suggested that on the way home, we pick up some Ian's Pizza. But a couple slices turned into four. I ordered mac&cheese and lasagna

and Jason ordered chicken alfredo and steak and fries.
We were so stuffed but it was SO good.
Yesterday was crazy until I mailed my application. It had to be postmarked by yesterday to be considered. Jason went with me to the post office and we sent it off. Then we finished up some work and came home. Then we went to the gym, I did the first workout of week 2 for the couch to 5K workout and then it was time for dinner.
Dinner was Tuscan Bean soup.
We also made the meatloaf (actually Jason did) since the hamburger had been out of the freezer a couple of days. We planned on having it for dinner tonight, but we didn't.. it won't go to waste in this house. We can take it for lunch or have it for dinner tomorrow night.
Tonight, we came home from work (Jason actually came home earlier in the afternoon to work on some applications himself. The livingroom and kitchen were spotless! That definitely put a smile on my face. When Jason came to pick me up, there was an accident that had traffic backed up on our way home so we decided to go out for dinner. This time we went to Frida. We had a gift card that expires next month so it was pretty cheap. I had Fish tacos and a Dos equis Amber and Jason had a pork chimichanga and a dos equis amber. It was very good. Unfortunately that is our last gift card, but I am sure we will go back again. Needless to say, we did not make it to the gym tonight.
Sorry to write so much but it has been a few days and I will update the recipes soon.

Tuscan Bean Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 sage leaf
2 (15-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, cut in 1/2
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices ciabatta bread
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and beans and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer until the garlic is softened, about 10 minutes. Pour the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Be careful to hold the top of the blender tightly, as hot liquids expand when they are blended. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pan. Puree the remaining soup. Once all the soup is blended and back in the soup pan, add the cream and the pepper Keep warm, covered, over very low heat.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle the slices of ciabatta bread with extra-virgin olive oil. Grill the bread until warm and golden grill marks appear, about 3 minutes a side. Serve the soup in bowls with the grilled bread alongside.

This recipe was from Giada De Laurentiis' Food Netowrk show Everyday Italian. We didn't have the ciabatta bread, just some bakery fresh french bread that was toasted.

Huevos Rancheros

Serves 2 to 4
3 medium jalapeño chiles , halved, seeds and ribs removed (see note above)
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 8 medium), cored and halved
1/2 medium yellow onion , cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 medium cloves garlic , peeled
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Table salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
Ground black pepper
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice from 1 or 2 limes, plus additional lime cut into wedges for serving
4 corn tortillas
4 large eggs

1. FOR THE SALSA: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Mince one jalapeño and set aside. In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, remaining jalapeños, onion, garlic, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, and cayenne; toss to mix thoroughly. Place vegetables cut side down on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tomatoes are tender and skins begin to shrivel and brown, 35 to 45 minutes; cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Increase oven heat to 450 degrees. Using tongs, transfer roasted onions, garlic, and jalapeños to bowl of food processor. Process until almost completely broken down, about 10 seconds, pausing halfway through to scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add tomatoes and process until salsa is slightly chunky, about 10 seconds more. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro, reserved minced jalapeño, salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste.

2. FOR THE TORTILLAS: Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with remaining tablespoon oil, sprinkle both sides with salt, and place on clean baking sheet. Bake until tops just begin to color, 5 to 7 minutes; flip tortillas and continue to bake until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more.

3. FOR THE EGGS: Meanwhile, bring salsa to gentle simmer in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove from heat and make four shallow wells in salsa with back of large spoon. Break 1 egg into cup, then carefully pour egg into well in salsa; repeat with remaining eggs. Season each egg with salt and pepper to taste, then cover skillet and place over medium-low heat. Cook until desired doneness: 4 to 5 minutes for runny yolks, 6 to 7 minutes for set yolks.

4. TO SERVE: Place tortillas on serving plates; gently scoop one egg onto each tortilla. Spoon salsa around each egg, covering tortillas, but leaving portion of eggs exposed. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

This recipe was from my co-worker, Steve, I am not sure where he found it but it is a definite keeper! I didn't bake the tortillas, just warmed them on a griddle.. and I used flour totillas instead of corn, still very good!

Refried Beans

If you wish to use dried beans, you can find our basic bean recipe, (see related recipe). Substitute reserved cooking water for chicken broth (you may need to add another 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking water or broth in step 3 if the beans appear too stiff).

Makes 3 cups
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 (15.5 ounces each) cans pinto beans , drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 ounces salt pork , rind removed and diced very small
1 small onion , chopped fine (about 3/4 cup)
1 jalapeno chile , seeds and ribs removed, chile minced
1 poblano chile , seeds and ribs removed, chile chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 small cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (optional)

1. Process broth and all but 1 cup of beans in food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds, scraping sides of bowl with rubber spatula if necessary. Add remaining beans and process until slightly chunky, about ten 1-second pulses.

2. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add salt pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered and pork is well browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer pork to small bowl with slotted spoon and set aside (you should have about 2 tablespoons of fat left in skillet.)

3. Increase heat to medium-high; add onion, chiles, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beans and stir until thoroughly combined. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice, if using, and serve.

Again, a recipe from Steve. I think I will have to discuss food with him more often! I really cheated on this one and used a can of refried beans instead of the two cans of pinto beans. Then instead of 1/2 cup of chicken broth, I only needed a splash. It is probably even better with the canned whole beans but I didn't have the patience on a Sunday morning

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Is It Sunday Already????

Ok, so I didn't post anything yesterday..... we were pretty busy with work. I did squeeze in my workout (the final workout for week 1! I don't know if it is because I didn't eat very much yesterday or because of all the S'mores Brownies I ate in the last few days, but the workout definitely didn't feel the greatest. We were supposed to go out to eat last night but we didn't eat lunch until late afternoon so we both finished up at work at about 9:30pm (I know.. it was a Saturday night). Then we came home and got some thing ready for breakfast this morning, watched SNL and went to bed.
This morning we made Huevos Rancheros
and refried beans.

If it hadn't been so much work, I would plan on making them more often. They were very good and I am sure I will make them again, but not every weekend. But after a yummy and filling breakfast, we are ready to start the day.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Feast 131

What sound, other than the normal ringing, would you like your telephone to make?

I prefer silent vibrations. Ringing sounds bother me. Although I am partial to a ringtone I have specifically for my friend Moises. My phone plays 'suavamente' when he calls.

Describe your usual disposition in meteorological terms (partly cloudy, sunny, stormy, etc.).

I think there is a saying in Iowa (and most midwestern states) that goes something like... 'If you don't like the weather in (insert state name here) hang around for a little while, it will change' So I guess that is equivalent to calling myself moody.

What specific subject do you feel you know better than any other subjects?

Thats a tough one... since I am a geneticist I would say science but I also seem to know many random historical facts (at least until I play Trivial Pursuit.

Main Course
Imagine you were given the ability to remember everything you read for one entire day. Which books/magazines/newspapers would you choose to read?

Something about money investment. Also, this is going to sound nerdy but a statistics book should also be on the list.

If a popular candy maker contacted you to create their next confection, what would it be like and what would you name it?

You would think that this would be an easy one for me.... however I am at a loss. I am always partial to peanut butter and chocolate. Can I just have them bring the peanut butter twix back?.... this time make it with crunchy peanut butter.

The Friday Feast is a weekly meme intended to "feed your mind by asking thought-provoking, mind-stimulating questions."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

If you want to destroy my sweater...

Did I mention that when I went shopping for Jason's gift, I bought a sweater for myself?
Well I did and I wore it today.
I hope that wasn't horribly selfish.

Other than that, a normal day. Came home and went to the gym. I did workout number 3 from week one of the couch to 5K workout (I think because of my break after the first workout, I will only count this as workout 2). Then we had hot dogs and old fashioned macaroni and cheese for dinner. I don't think a picture is needed for hot dogs.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

S'mores Brownies

*6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
*1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
*2 tablespoons sugar
*Pinch fine salt

*8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
*4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
*1 cup packed light brown sugar
*3/4 cup white sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon fine salt
*4 large cold eggs
*1 cup all-purpose flour

*4 cups large marshmallows

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.
For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.

This is a recipe from food network kitchens... I didn't move the shelf toward the broiler.. 2 minute in the middle rack and the marshmallows were almost in flames!

Salmon with Puff Pastry and Pesto

*4 pieces of purchased puff pastry, each cut to be just larger than a piece of salmon
*4 (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon
*1/4 cup sliced almonds
*1/4 cup purchased pesto
*2 tomatoes, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400.
On a foil-lined baking sheet, place the 4 pieces of puff pastry. Also place the 4 pieces of salmon, being careful to make sure they are not touching. Sprinkle each piece of salmon with 1 tablespoon of the sliced almonds. Bake for 10 minutes.

To serve, place each piece of puff pastry on a plate. Top each puff pastry with 1 tablespoon of pesto. Top the pesto with 2 slices of tomatoes each. Top the tomatoes with the salmon and serve.

This is a recipe from Everyday Italian on the Food Network. I usually make two servings... this probably isn't great as a leftover

Happy Valentine's Day!

I was such a procrastinator.... since Jason and I have been riding to work together, I didn't have a chance to get his gift until today! I guess it wasn't too late.
It was a busy day. I went to lunch and then went shopping. I bought Jason a bottle of cologne.

Unfortunately, when I was looking for a good scent, I was spraying the little cards and I inadvertently sprayed myself with a terrible smelling one. I didn't spray that much but enough that I smelled it the rest of the day.
The commute home was terrible. It took us an hour and a half to get home because of an accident on our route. I hope everyone made it out of the car safely but it was still frustrating to be in the car that long.
When we got home, there was a package for us in the mailbox... a gift from Jason's parents.

And finally, there was one more box on the doorstep when we got to the house. I was told this was my present so I opened it... only to find the best chocolate ever!

Then came dinner... salmon with puff pastry, pesto and tomato.. a very quick recipe but very rich and delicious!

And then the best part.. a dessert I have wanted to try for a while.. S'mores Brownies. Graham cracker crust, brownies, and marshmallows.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Taco Tuesday

MMMMM Fish Tacos.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Quote from 'The Class'

This new sitcom is pretty good. Jason and I try not to miss it. Tonight was definitely not a let down.

Duncan: "They're still sayin' its not gonna snow"

Richie: "So I guess I just slipped and fell on the irony"


Corn and Crab Chowder

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning blend
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 quart whole milk
3 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
8 oz cooked lump crab meat

Hot sauce

Heat a deep pot over moderate heat. Add oil and butter. As you chop your veggies, add them to the pot: potatoes, celery, onion, and red bell pepper. Add bay leaf to the pot. Season vegetables with slat and pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Saute veggies 5 minutes, then sprinkle in flour. Cook flour for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and combine. Stir in milk and combine. Bring soup up to a bubble. Add corn and crab meat and simmer soup 5 minutes. Adjust the soup seasonings. Remove bay leaf. Ladle soup into bowls and top with desired toppings.

This is a 30 minute meal recipe from Rachel Ray.

Monday snowy Monday

We woke up this morning to... any guesses?????? SNOW!
It made for a great drive to work. I remember the weatherman saying 'snow flurries and showers with little to no accumulation'. I want a job where I can get paid for being wrong half the time!
So this was our road from our house this morning.. notice its hard to see the road.

And then part of the commute that usually takes about 25 minutes when Jason drops me off.. but today it was almost and hour!

At least we made it safe and sound. After work we headed to the gym. I did the second workout for my new running plan (I know, I have been slacking a little). Then we came home for dinner. Nothing like a bowl of soup on a cold, snowy day... especially when its corn and crab chowder with chipotle tabasco, cheddar cheese, and crackers.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lemon Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cupb plain whole-milk yougurt
1 1/3 cups sugar divided
3 extra large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze (which I didn't use):
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the over to 350. Grease a loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cups sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pand and bake for about 50 minutes or until cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

This recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network


There is one bad thing about Sundays... it means tomorrow is Monday. I always feel like the weekend is one day too short. Today, I did pretty normal stuff... grocery shopping and cleaning. We had a coworker of mine and his fiance over for dinner. I made a roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and lemon yogurt cake. I would post some pictures but I didn't take any before we ate and there aren't any leftovers.. except for the cake (which I used a previously unopened wedding gift to serve it on). I will post the recipe for lemon yogurt cake with a picture in a minute. Then we watched the Grammy's. I don't know if I haven't watched the Grammy's in a while or what but the show seems really good this year!
As far as the weather, well its snowing again outside.. I guess at least we aren't in upstate New York!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I love weekends

For the longest time, I was unable to sleep in on the weekends. I would complain all week about how I wanted to sleep in and I couldn't wait for the weekend. Then when the weekend would come, I would jump out of bed by 7 or so. Today however, I slept until at least 8:30!

Breakfast was eggs with chorizo sausage, onions, red pepper, potatoes, and cheese.... yummy.
Then came time to do some work.... not my favorite part of the day. Because of a paper I am working on, Jason and I did not go out to dinner last night and ended up ordering pizza from a place in town tonight.
Since I have way too many pictures of food lately, here are some outdoor pictures. I think our high was around 10 today!

And there are a few people who are very happy about the recent frigid temperatures that have caused the lake to finally freeze.... the ice fishermen!