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Running for Beer

February 6, 2011

SO, it has been over a month since I ran outside. After a horrible ride home from work the other day, I woke up the next morning and knew it was time to check out the roads in Whitman on foot. I mapped a 2 mile run and set out. I ended up not following the mapped run and ran 2.5 miles! I was so excited that after almost 2 months without running, I could still do it.

After being all hyped up about running 2 miles, I signed up for a race on Feb. 13th, the Patty Kelly 5 Mile Road Race. Yes this does seem a little ambitious, but a free beer for all runners, I could not pass this up (does anyone want to run with me?).

Also, for the first time ever, I ran with a book on tape (or book on iPod). Scott has been telling me over and over to read A Song of Ice and Fire series by Georges R. R. Martin. He bought me the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones. I have been listening to it on my ride to and from work and I am completely absorbed. I decided to try and listen to the story while I ran, the time went by so fast, it was an entertaining run with dire wolves, dragons, knights and lords. Nerdy, I know, but I highly recommend this book.

Keeping up with my New Year’s resolution:

  • Week One: Honey-Whiskey Pork Chops
  • Week Two: A New and Easy Hodgepodge – Marinated Chicken with Spinach, Roasted Everything (Peppers, Onions, Chickpeas), and Broccoli
  • Week Three: Apple Cupcakes (turned into apple muffins and were really dry, but they were cute!)
  • Week Four: Spinach Linguine with herb buttered seared scallops, red bell peppers, garlic and shallots
  • Week Five: Cod, breaded with lemon, herbs and butter

What are you cooking up for the Super Bowl?

Back in the Saddle Again

January 16, 2011

So, I haven’t written recently about fitness because I have been a complete slacker and not going to the gym. But I think I am starting to finally figure out my routine again! Here is where I am at right now:

  • Monday – 6am Boot Camp @ the Hanover YMCA (I haven’t been to the class yet, but the instructor is letting me come try it out tomorrow for free!)
  • Tuesday – 7am Beginner Pilates @ the Barnstable YMCA (I love this class. All we do is stretch and abs.)
  • Wednesday – 6am Group Cycle @ the Hanover YMCA (This is kinda new to me, all the YMCAs on the South Shore have the Keiser bikes.)
  • Thursday – 7am Beginner Pilates @ the Barnstable YMCA (LOVE IT!)
  • Friday – 6am Group Cycle @ the Hanover YMCA
  • Saturday – I have a few options – Body Pump, Group Cycle, Pilates, Yoga, Zumba @ the Hanover YMCA
  • Sunday – Some more options – Body Pump, Zumba @ the Hanover YMCA and  Community Yoga @ the Whitman Wellness Center (Right behind my house for only $5!)

Okay, some of you might not know what Body Pump is. I had no idea until I started reading some of my favorite blogs. I went today and I had SO much fun!

From the LES MILLS website: BODYPUMP™ is the original barbell class that strengthens your entire body. This 60-minute workout challenges all your major muscle groups by using the best weight-room exercises like squats, presses, lifts and curls. Great music, awesome instructors and your choice of weight inspire you to get the results you came for – and fast! Like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new BODYPUMP™ class is released every three months with new music and choreography.

Okay, I won’t lie, I am pretty sore, but the class was a blast and went by so fast. It really made me feel motivated and excited about working out!

Obviously, I am not going to make it to all of these classes, but I hope to at least go 4 out of 7 days and to start fitting in some running – anyone want to be my running buddy on the South Shore?!

Update on keeping with my New Year’s Resolution:

  • Week One: Honey-Whiskey Pork Chops
  • Week Two: A New and Easy Hodgepodge – Marinated Chicken with Spinach, Roasted Everything (Peppers, Onions, Chickpeas), and Broccoli
  • Week Three: Any requests?

How are you doing on sticking with your New Year’s resolution?

Our New Kitchen!

January 3, 2011

Time to break in my new kitchen. Our first night at our new place we were SO tired we just had some pasta and meatballs and a lot of wine. Tonight it’s time to light up my new gas range and dirty my gleaming granite counter tops.

Tonight calls for some Honey-Whiskey Pork Chops with Cider Roasted Acorn Squash and Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, a recipe adapted from Cooking Close to Home, A Year of Seasonal Recipes (a beautiful cookbook I received for Christmas from my sister).

Honey-Whiskey Pork Chops

  • 2 tbsp whiskey
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cider
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 pork chops

Combine and mix the whiskey, honey, soy sauce, cider, shallots and garlic. Submerge each pork chop in the marinade and place on a cooking pan. Pour half the marinade over the pork chips and place in a 350 degree oven. After about 15 minutes, take the pork chops out, flip and pour the rest of the marinade on top. Cook for another 15 minutes (cooking time will vary dependig on the thickness of your pork chop).

Cider Roasted Acorn Squash

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of cider

Halve the acorn squash and remove seeds. Drizzle about 1 tbsp of olive oil on the bottom of a pan along with the cider. Sprinkle cinnamon on the flesh side of the squash. Place the squash flesh side down on the pan and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the squash. Cook at 375 degrees for about an hour.

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

Drizzle about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil on a cooking sheet. Lay out chopped broccoli. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil on top. Sprinkle Parmesean cheese on top. In a 400 degree oven, roast for about 20 minutes.

Okay the dinner was good, but cooking in this kitchen is AMAZING! We have so much room, tons of cabinets and counter space, AND a pantry! Love it!

What does your dream kitchen look like? What is the first thing you would cook in your dream kitchen?

Beet Chips

January 2, 2011

All you need are 2 beets, 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water.

Slice you beets up with a mandolin, nice and thin.

Make a simple syrup by boiling the sugar in the water until the liquid is clear.

Take the simple syrup off the heat and soak the beat slices for 15 minutes.

Drain and let the beats rest for another 15 minutes.

Line a backing sheet with one layer of beets and bake in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour.

After an hour take the chips out of the oven and place on a cooling rack till room tempurature and crispy.

Optional: shake up the chips in a plastic bag with salt and/or spices.

Enjoy!

Instead of draining and throwing away the beet simple syrup, I saved the simple syrup and used it to flavor soda water and mixed drinks. The beet simple syrup adds a beautiful color and an interesting flavor.

COMING SOON…

Pictures and recipes from my new kitchen!!

Happy New Years!

January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!!

The only resolution I have for 2011 is too cook more new recipes, at least one new recipe a week.

What is your New Year’s resolution? How do you plan on keeping it?

Homemade Hummus

December 16, 2010

I think it is imperative for hummus lovers to know how to make hummus from scratch. Not only can you save A LOT of money but you can make it to your taste.

Here is how to do it:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup of chickpea liquid
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt

Put all then ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

You can add in olives, roasted vegetables, or anything else you fancy.  The only ingredient that is somewhat expensive is the tahini (the only place I have been able to find it is in the natural section of my grocery store), but you only use a little each time, so it will last long.

I LOVE hummus. I use it instead of mayonnaise, for a veggie / bread / cracker dip and as a salad dressing. So instead of buying $4 hummus, make it yourself for about only about half the price – so worth it!

What is your favorite type of hummus to buy? Have you ever tried to make hummus?

The Winter Bounty

December 7, 2010

Like a kid in a candy shop! When I arrived at the winter share pick-up I was overwhelmed with the tables upon tables and boxes upon boxes of fresh vegetables and fruit. My last Farm Direct Coop pick-up EVER. I was so giddy with anticipation with what we were going to get that I almost skipped the sign in sheet. At each table there is a sign with instructions on what to take from the table, example: 2 lbs of yams or 1 bunch of kale.

Can you name all 25 items I cam home with?

Now, what should I cook?