Posts made in September, 2010

West Philadelphia, Born and Raised.

8

Posted on Sep 29, 2010 in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Greetings from Philadelphia!

Building

What a fantastic city this is. We got in around 5pm and only got to explore a little, but it is so cool being in a city with so much history. Just thinking about all the events from history books that took place in the same places I’m looking at is totally crazy.

A bit of warning about our trip, I’m stuck with the point-and-shoot, so photos will not be great.

It took all three of us about 20 minutes to decide where dinner was going to be. Each of us on our phones using various apps to search for local restaurants. There are SO many choices! We finally landed on Jones and made the 1/2 mile walk from our hotel. Taking pictures the whole way.

Heather
Meet Heather, travel partner number one. And also my running partner for tomorrow morning.

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Buildings

We finally landed at Jones and it was WAY different from what the reviews led us to believe.

Jones

We were expecting cute, small diner and instead got nice, upscale and trendy.

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Jones

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Waited for a table at the bar and partook in some local brew.

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Beers

It was good, but not great. Way too citrusy for me. Plus, I expected it to be on tap and not in a bottle. Oh well.

Rollls

To our table we headed and out came these fantastic sourdough bread pillows. Which we agreed reminded us of the rolls served in school. Warm bread is always welcome to my tummy party.

Calmari

As is a deep-fried seafood appetizer. This was some of the BEST calamari I’ve ever had. Not overcooked or rubbery. Delicious!

The entree was a crab pasta dish that was really great but that no one could pronounce.

Pasta

Pasta

Heather and I both got this one, while Pam (traveling partner #2) went for the A.L.T. (avocado, lettuce and tomato). Best combo ever?

Sandwich

She was very excited for her bread. She made us all try it. And it was some seriously good bread.

Sandwich

Twas a nice first dinner of the conference.

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Jones

Tomorrow is an early wake-up call for a run. It’ll be pitch black out when we get up, but the hotel gym is directly across the hall from our room. Talk about motivation. Til tomorrow, friends! And hopefully, I’ll have mastered the point-and-shoot and little better.

White Bean Chicken Chili Simmering on a Clean Stove

1

Posted on Sep 27, 2010 in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Remember when I mentioned yesterday that we did some chore rearranging? Well part of that was me taking over kitchen duties. For our entire marriage I’ve cooked and the Husband was assigned the duty of cleaning up the kitchen. Which sounds all well and good, but the truth is, I enjoy cooking and no one enjoys doing dishes. So the divvy wasn’t really all that fair. Plus, it was hard for the Husband to get motivated to keep the kitchen clean when he was never cooking in it and he wasn’t the one dirtying it. So now the kitchen is my domain! I shop, I cook, and I clean (and the Husband does most of the other household chores). I think this arrangement will work out much better. Before I take over kitchen maintenance, I want to have a clean slate. I am working on getting the kitchen to clean base zero. Today was getting our stove sparkling clean. It was a lot of elbow grease but it is much shinier and sparklier.

Plus, a nice pot of chili simmering away looks so much better on a sparkly stove.

White Bean Chili

I am an equal opportunity chili lover. With beans, without beans, veggie chili, beef chili, tomato chili, on top of pasta, on top of hot dogs. Love it all, but definitely one of my favorites is white bean chicken chili. Somehow it feels lighter than regular chili (other than the color) but still gets the warm-and-fuzzy feeling of chili across.

Chili

My recipe is simple, quick and full of flavor.

White Bean Chicken Chili

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced green chiles
2 large chicken breasts (around 1 lb.) cooked and shredded
4 c. chicken broth
2 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste   

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large soup pot. Cook onions and garlic until just softened. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve topped with shredded Monterey Jack and sour cream. Makes 6 large servings.

Tonight was another car picnic for us, so I packed up our soup into some thermoses.

Chili

Made up a little salad for some veggie reinforcement.

Salad

Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers + Newman’s Italian dressing.

Cornbread

And some cornbread. My nickname as a kid was “Cornbread Kid” because I could down cornbread as well as any adult.

Cornbread

Want my cornbread recipe? Here it is: Jiffy corn muffin mix, 1 egg, 1/3 c. milk, 1/2 c. frozen corn. Mix and bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Done!

Dinner

Add two squares of dark chocolate and you have a picnic for two.

Hope everyone had an awesome Monday. I am headed to Philadelphia on Wednesday for a work conference and I have a mighty hefty amount of travel snacks to show you. No point in depending on snacks and food provided when I have plenty of room in my suitcase to pack my own. Pictures tomorrow.

   

Spontaneous Kitchen Organizing

2

Posted on Sep 26, 2010 in Food

Apologies for the lack of posting today. We decided to embark on a spontaneous and epic kitchen reorganization that ended up taking all day. So much so that I just remembered Zumba started 33 minutes ago. Oh well.

We have so many gadgets, dishes and small appliances and they just weren’t working in the precious real estate of our little apartment kitchen countertops. So shelves were purchased and things were reorganized and I am MUCH happier. We also had a nice sit down to divvy out some chores. Being completely honest, neither my husband nor I are excellent housekeepers and our household chores tend to fall way down on each of our priority lists. Hopefully a new schedule and new assignments will help it go more smoothly.

Anyway, back to the kitchen. Our big change was the addition of two new shelves. One in the kitchen to hold small appliances, spices, canisters, and some other frequently used items.

Kitchen

I adore the hooks on the side. We are always struggling with where to put the kitchen towel and oven mitts.

Yes, that is my 10K training schedule on the utility closet door.

10K training

Check out this absurd amount of spices. I may actually put these into matching jars at some point, but there are right around 40 different spices here and that is a lot of money in jars!

SPices

The second shelf went over by our dining room table (and under our white board) and holds liquor, barware and miscellaneous bowls and platters.

Shelf

In context.

Shelf

And then we repositioned the shelf that was originally holding all the canisters and spices to be on the other side of the table.

Shelf

Holding cookbooks, ball jars and a few other miscellaneous items. Also, the closet pictured here was reorganized and is so much neater and user-friendly. I am very happy.

Shelf

I am the most happy with the massive amount of counter space I now have now that my mixer, blender and food processor live on a shelf.

Counter

Ahhh, it is nice to have a better organized kitchen!

Breakfast

Rewind to breakfast. We slept until 9am today! Which is just unheard of in our world. Once we finally rolled out of bed, I had pumpkin french toast on the mind.

Pumpkin French Toast
Pumpkin puree, eggs, half and half, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pumpkin French Toast
Sprinkled with some chia seeds. Wish I could say this was awesome, but it was just okay. I think it needed some more cinnamon and actually less pumpkin.
But it sure did look good.

Pumpkin French Toast
Husband cracked some hickory nuts for a topper.

Hickory Nuts

Pumpkin French Toast
Don’t you worry, I’ll be trying this again before Fall is out and perfecting the recipe to share.
On the side, plain yogurt, blueberries, granola and some more chia.

Yogurt
And some Gypsy Cold Care tea and a little bit of milk.

Drinks
All together now!

Breakfast

Lunch

After running around town looking for the perfect shelves, we had worked up a nice hunger for lunch. I whipped up a little tuna salad using the last can of tuna in our pantry. Just a simple tuna, mayo and relish salad this time.

Sandwich

Sandwich layers:

  • Whole wheat bread from our CSA
  • Spinach
  • Tuna Salad
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado

On the side, had some grapes and blue tortilla chips.

Lunch

Dinner

After hours of organizing (and football watching—Go Colts!) we finally finished and were way too tired to be creative for dinner. Thankfully there was enough leftover clam chowdaaaah for two servings.

Chowder

Whipped up a little spinach, blueberry and avocado salad while the soups were reheating.

Salad

Plus a hunk of bread with some butttah and a few crackers.

Dinner

Dinner

Check out our nice clean kitchen table. We used to store all of our extra dishes on it because we had no where else to put them. Hooray for shelving!

Table

Today is supposed to be strength and stretch day in the 10k plan. But my knees are not happy today. Not sure if my shoes are dying (or dead) or if it is just the cool, rainy day that is causing problems. Taking today off to try not and exaggerate any aches or pains. Have a great Sunday, friends!

Protein-a-thon

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Posted on Sep 25, 2010 in Food

I did exactly what I promised I was going to do today—spent all day on the couch. It was pretty glorious. I watched not one, not two, but three romantic comedies. And really only got up to make food and take the Puppyface potty. She also enjoyed the chillax day and open windows.

Puppyface

I did manage to get up at some point (between movies) to make pumpkin dip.

Pumpkin dip is one of my most favoritest fall recipes. There was a time that all the women in my immediate family (5 of us) had subscriptions to Cooking Light. A family event never went by without a few new recipes from the magazine getting tested on the crowd. There are a few that stuck, but the most regarded of them all is the glorious pumpkin dip. No point in posting the recipe here, I’ve followed the recipe as printed for years with excellent results.

Pumpkin Dip

Lunch was this little plate right here.

Pumpkin Dip

And maybe a few spoonfuls of the dip on its own. Maybe. Not the biggest lunch ever, but my tummy was still feeling off from the spicy green juice.

But snack! Now snack was HUGE. My body must have been craving protein something fierce because this sandwich was the definition of “hitting the spot.”

Egg Sandwich

Eggs, bacon + cheese. Running more has totally shifted my appetite. It is fascinating to really listen to what types of foods my body is craving and breakdown why.

A few hours and a bunch of episodes of Friday Night Lights later (LOVE that show. Watching the first season right now) dinner was ready. Made what we alliteration-lovers call burrito bowls, but they are really more of a taco salad.

Burrito Bowls

Into the bowl went:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Seasoned, sauteed bell peppers and onions
  • Olives
  • Green onions
  • Black Beans
  • Avocado
  • Cheddar
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Tortilla Chips

Burrito Bowls

See, I promise there was stuff under all those black beans. This was delicious, but I was still stuffed from the protein-fest a few hours earlier and only got about 2/3 through my bowl. Time for bed my friends, I am feeling much more rested after a stress-free day, but I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch. Still on sickness watch. Sleep well!

Green Juice Cold Care

2

Posted on Sep 25, 2010 in Food

Good morning (or almost afternoon) friends! What a beautiful day we have here in the Midwest. The windows are open and the sun is shining. I woke up this morning, after 10 glorious hours of sleep, and still felt exhausted. Boo. But refused to miss my run. Pre-run had a misshapen piece of toasted with some PB, jam and chia seeds.

Toast

During digestion, I pulled together a new 3 mile play list. I think I’m going to do this each Saturday for my long runs. New music makes runs much more fun.

Playlist

Once I got on the trail, the birds were chirping, my music was fun and there was a cool breeze and I got a nice burst of energy. I had an awesome 3 miles this morning. It was cool and clear and I felt fantastic!

Post run, I refueled with some coconut water.

Coconut Water

I normally buy O.N.E. coconut water because it is cheaper, but they were all out and this one was there and it was fantastic. Tasted like berry sweet tea. Mmmm! And only 80 calories for the box and a great ingredient list.

For breakfast #2, I really wanted a green monster. But our blender is still on the fritz after my massive refried beans batch. But green juice was a good substitute.

Juice

Into the juicer went:

  • 3 stalks celery
  • Half a cucumber
  • Handful snap peas
  • Bunch of some random green we got in our CSA
  • Handful of Italian parsley
  • Half an orange
  • Quarter lemon
  • Quarter lime
  • Whole Apple <—– normally would only use half, but no carrots mean I needed some more sweet
  • 1 tbsp. Maca Powder <—–mixed in after

Green Juice

Since I feel like I might be catching something, I want to make sure I’m eating very clean and juicing is a great way to get a TON of nutrients. Can you imagine eating all that listed above in one sitting? No way! But by juicing, I can suck out a lot of the nutrients in and easy-to-eat package.

Green juice

For a little bit more umph, added some yogurt, blueberries and granola.

Yogurt

And as promised yesterday, Gypsy Cold Care tea.

Tea

Tea

All together now!

Breakfast

I wish I could say this juice was awesome, but it wasn’t. Whatever those greens were that I used were super spicy and the spicy/sweet did not mix well together. I choked down about 2/3 of this and then couldn’t take anymore. Bummer.

Today’s plans include a whole lot of resting on the couch. I really want to fight off whatever is making me feel so fatigued and with some good food, lots of tea and rest, I think I can tackle it.