Monday, November 5, 2012

Epic baking fail.

Why hello der.

So I have a confession. I'm a terrible baker. With cooking, my lack of caution/precision/care is no problem. Oh, I forgot to pick up the main ingredient at the store (happens more than I would like)? No problem, let's substitute ____. I bought 1 can of diced tomatoes and we needed 4 cans of crushed? No worries, let's be creative and do _____. Easy smeezy.

Baking however? Baking is an absolute science. I can remember baking in my Mom's kitchen, and the determined look in her eye as she carefully leveled off her cup of flour. Me? I dump the vanilla in until it "feels" like 2 tablespoons. Totally excusable, almost encouraged practice in cooking. I could sense my mother's frustration as I dumped two uneven cups of granulated sugar into her bowl that was supposed to have 1 cup of packed brown sugar, the despair and horror in her eyes.  There does not appear to be any room for my messy, creative, don't-give-two-poops attitude (scuse my french) when you are baking a cake.

So how is it that I found myself going to the store to pick up ingredients for the pumpkin spice cake with chocolate pecan filling that I discovered in our new food network issue? Maybe the sound of it...maybe because I had way too much pumpkin...or maybe I have temporary memory lapse and forgot that I suck at baking. Whatever the reason, I thought it was a great idea. I was incorrect.

This was the ugliest cake I ever made (as you will see from the pictures). Here is the story.

The first problem (of many) was that I bought the wrong cake pan sizes. This is often my boyfriend's reported pet peeve of my many obnoxious mannerisms. I tend to not read recipes carefully, forget how much I need of each ingredient, and forget the main ingredient of the whole meal. So this cake pan error was not surprising.

The second problem, was that I (of course) was not precise in my measurement. Steve always observes in shock as our measuring cups and tablespoons lie dormant in their respective shelves and drawers during my baking experiments. The result of these two problems, was that I was left with two cakes basically uncooked in the middle, and dry around the edges. Sigh. How did I not see this coming.

In a moment of hanger (hungry anger), I decided to improvise (again, encouraged in the cooking world, wildly frowned upon among pastry chefs). I cut the cakes in half, and piece mealed the dry parts of two into one, while removing the parts that would have resulted in vomiting from salmonella. What am I, an architect? No Cate. Why?

The next series of problems is expected. I only had 3 layers of cake instead of 4. Therefore I had way too much filling spilling out EVERYWHERE. I was also too impatient to wait for my beautiful chocolate ganache to cool, and dumped it on the cake in a moment of anticipation. It pooled around the edges of the cake like a sad river. This cake looked like it was created by a three-year-old assisting their mother in the kitchen.

The end of this fiasco is the point in which I realize why I will probably not put forth too much effort into changing my ways. The cake was delicious. I took half of it too my practicum site, and it was gone within the hour. I took swipes of the sad river of a glaze every time I walked past that horrific looking excuse for a cake. Flavor conquers aesthetic beauty, everyone. That is the lesson of my story.

Enjoy my ugly cake. Here is the link for the recipe:

I hope yours looks slightly more professional than mine.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin this.

Oh hey there.

So I have been trying to fill up my boring life with pumpkin-y things. Here is an update of my life lately.

1. Eating.

2. Eating butternut squash ravioli and drinking wine at Maggiano's.

3. Eating Vietnamese food and saying "Pho" a bunch of times in a row.

4. Hiding in our apartment for fear of a shooter (not funny at all, very sad) and then thinking it would be a good idea to watch Prometheus. At night. Lights off.

5. Making a pumpkin spice cake with chocolate pecan frosting...under-baking the cake part with my awesome baking skills, and then piece-mealing the cooked parts together to resemble a cake that a four-year old attempted, and then abandoned for a nap and a bottle (more on this later).

6. Eating (surprised?) amazing Colcannon cakes, which are a kind of fried potato (surprised!?!?!?!) patty, stuffed with kale and gruyere. Spending the rest of the day doubled over in glorious pain.

7. Delightful conversations with amazing friends.

8. Pretending I'm good at High Intensity Interval Training.

Do you see why I need the pumpkin?

This recipe I am about to share with you...will..blow..your..mind. But also, very spicy. But also, so good and spicy. This was seriously amazing and you all should go out and make it right now except maybe tomorrow because it's late now, unless you eat dinner like Steve and I..probably should figure that out. This BBQ spiced chicken with pumpkin chipotle polenta was the perfect blend of fall and spice. We nixed the salsa salad however, and subbed some teamed lemon brocc what whaaat. Here is the recipe:

Also, check out these two new favorites: and Pumpkin butter and pumpkin granola were the perfect combo when I tried to smush everything pumpkin into this one weekend. I've been eating oatmeal every morning, with 1/4 cup of the granola, and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin butter. For less than 300 calories, that's not a bad gig. Plus..tasty.

Cakes and other boring tidbits to come soon. Happy eating :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Food and Stuff

Hey guyz.

I wish I could say that all these exciting things are happening in my life and in my kitchen, but that would be an exaggeration. So I'll just talk about how boring life has been.


1. Working on one stats assignment for 7 hours. It was the wrong assignment.

2. Eating lean cuisines on a Saturday night (yes, sometimes I eat lean cuisines, let's talk about it).

3. Watching old episodes of Parks and Recreation. Over and over. Endlessly.

4. Going to urgent care thinking I had a kidney infection. Pulled muscle.

5. Seeing Ingrid Michaelson in concert, picking apples with my love, fantastic food, and fabulous friends. Okay, so that one wasn't so boring/ironically evil like the others.

Let's talk about a Parks and Recreation analogy. Sometimes I am loving Chris Traeger's views on food, but sometimes I just want to pick up some meat at Food and Stuff and have a lovely meal with Ron Swanson. So here is one recipe with meat and one without :)

Steve is quickly becoming more than a sous chef around here, especially with my late night clinic/class evenings. Also we have been breaking out the crockpot more easy, and makes the apartment smell delicious all day.  So we (he) made crock pot honey sesame chicken! Served with brown rice and plenty of veggies, so relatively healthy and well balanced. I'm all about the balance, especially if it includes ice cream after dinner whaaaat? Who said that.

Here is the link:

I kept this asian dish vibe going throughout the rest of the week, finishing with another noodle peanut type concoction. Really can't get enough of those. Soba noodles with spicy peanut sauce was almost as addicting as those crack-like peanut noodles I posted several months ago.

 is the link:

So that's about it for now, folks. The rest of my night will be spent reading stats (like I'll ever understand that, come on Cate), watching Steve yell at the Yankees, and brainstorming Halloween ideas. My cute idea was Calvin and Hobbes...Steve's was himself as Frankenstein, and I the pitchfork wielding villager. Sigh.

Can't wait to share more boring/ironic things with you next time! Plus buffalo chicken soup and broccoli with spicy sriracha. Stay tuned.

Happy eating!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jalapeno cream and tough mudding.

Hello all!

So I officially finished Tough Mudder! 11.5  miles later, 10,000 volts of electricity, and an irregular pattern of bruises and I am still standing. It was definitely a challenge but I am so glad I did it. Those boot camps were rough, but quite helpful. Completing an event like that was a huge rush, and totally worth not being able to walk the next day. If anyone is thinking about signing up for an event or race, go for it. If you push yourself to do the training, crossing that finish line is one of the best feelings in the world.

So on to food...Steve and I have been brunching a lot on the weekends. I actually had some delicious multi grain pancakes with yogurt, granola, and honey this morning at this new pancake house. However, sometimes I just don't feel like putting on a bra on a Saturday morning :)  So for those lazy weekend days, our kitchen is the place to be. For me at least.

Steve and I had whole wheat tortillas, eggs, avocado, and some leftover of this jalapeno cream (found here: The best ingredients to make tostadas! We toasted the tortillas in the oven for 5 minutes, scrambled the eggs with cheese and avocado, and put the cream on top. Yerm.

Light and flavorful.

Current obsession: water with cucumber and lemon juice. SO tasty. SO refreshing.

Current frustrations: working/having class until 8:30 every night! Where did my cooking time go? Come on now. It is helpful to have a kind boyfriend who often makes dinner, and another helpful thing packets!

An easy weeknight meal that you can do with most fish. Just choose your fish, some veggies or potatoes to add, and a sauce. Steve and I got tilapia, green beans, yellow tomatoes, and red potatoes. We baked them in aluminum foil at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. When they came out, we drizzled a delicious citrus basil oil over it and voila! Dinner is ready in a quick 15. Perfect for those late nights, when I am literally exploding with hunger after work.

Citrus Basil Oil

10 basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbl orange juice
pinch of sugar and salt

*Cook the basil leaves in salted boiling water for 10 seconds, drain, and run under cold water. Then squeeze the leaves dry. Puree the rest of the ingredients in a blender (I used an immersion blender) and serve over fish foil packets.

A new workout I tried today (props to Pinterest of course) was nice for the tush. You do each exercise 20-30 reps, and than repeat the whole circuit 2-3 times. I only did 2 because my buns were burning. Here are the exercises:

Plie squats
Donkey kicks
Fire hydrants
Circling donkey kicks
Alternating jump lunges
Lunge kicks

Besides that, classes have started so I am immersed in a world of statistics and neural circuits. More food to come when I pull my nose out of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.

Happy eating!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stuffed tomatoes and sore butts.

Hey peeps.

It's been a crazy few weeks, with my trip to Orlando and Minneapolis, and Steve's buddies from college visiting. There has been Packers games,  Brewer games, beer pong games, drinks by the water, cheese curds, and a whole lot of fun. So amidst all my traveling and all of our visitors, I did manage to eat healthy. For three days.  Two of those days involved tomatoes, which made me very happy, and Steve very sad. Here is a rhyming formula:

Potatoes: Steve happy, Cate depressed
Tomatoes: Cate ecstatic, Steve enraged

He says tomatoes taste like rotten lettuce. Not sure what that means.

Anywho, he'll eat them anyways which is nice. So one of the meals I made was Orzo caprese in tomato cups. DELISH. It is easily served in a tomato cup, but I also had it on its own the next evening for dinner...just as good. Anything with orzo and pesto, I am sold. It was super easy too, a nice weeknight meal. Also, if you add something like basil to tomatoes, and roast them, Steve magically can tolerate tomatoes. What have I gotten myself into?

AMAAAAZzzzzing. We also served it with some chicken we had lying around. We bought a huge thing of chicken breasts from Sam's club, that is now gone after having three 25 year old guys come visit...coincidence? I think not. (Excellent chicken parm though). We rubbed the chicken in this spice delightfully called, "Butt Massage" by Paula Deen. It tasted like a less flavorful barbeque sauce. Not your best Paula. Do love that Kristin Wiig sketch about you though. Butter and oil!

Also during all this fun, food indulging, and lack of exercise, I should've been training for Tough Mudder...which is 3 weeks. Great job Cate. What a teammate. So, I started the Tough Mudder boot camp this week. I decided to try a week on the medium level before moving up to hard, and let me tell you...I never thought you could sweat from your eyes. Probably not medically possible, but it certainly feels like it. There are four circuits, with a five minute warm up and a cool down. Should take you approximately 50 minutes. Here are the circuits:

1 minute running
1 minute grapevine (awkward in your apartment complex gym)
1 minute side shuffle (continued awkwardness)
1 minute high knees
1 minute butt kicks

Circuit 1:
2 minutes running
1 minute pushups
1 minute squat with weights
2 minutes jump rope
1 minute mountain climbers

1 minute rest

Circuit 2:
2 minutes burpees (DEATH)
1 minute turkish getup (basically hold your arm up with a weight and use your other arm to help you stand up and back down. Repeat and switch arms after 30 seconds)
2 minutes skaters
1 minute crawl outs
2 minutes ski jumps
1 minute side planks

1 minute rest

Circuit 3:
2 minutes standing mountain climbers
1 minute jump squats
2 minutes high knees
1 minute pull-ups (whatajoke)
2 minutes quick feet
1 minute lunges on a bosu

1 minute rest

Circuit 4:
2 minutes tire jumps
1 minute low plank
2 minutes run
1 minute tricep dips on a bench
2 minutes burpees (AGAIN REALLY)
1 minute lunges

1 minute rest

Cool down! Just random stretches and a 2 minute wall sit. Intense. I'll write the harder level when I try it next week.

Sigh. I must go because Steve is making phallic references to our jalapenos. Also I just drank half a diet coke before realizing it expired...over a year ago. HAPPY EATING AND DRINKING NONEXPIRED THINGS.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Minneapolis: A Journey in Food

Hello all!

I'm back from a wonderful trip to see my uncles in Minneapolis with my bff Caroline...the best part about it, was my Dad flew out to surprise me! We had been planning a trip for him to come out in September, but he showed up on the doorstep of my uncles' house (after we had passed him in the car, much to the dismay of my uncle who quickly took a left). Fantastic surprise, you got me family members.

So even though I'll have to run 10 miles everyday for my poor swollen stomach, the food was amazing and so were the cocktails. It was four days of drink, food, and catchphrase. With a little Taboo and Cooking Scrabble (the tiles are in a grocery bag!).

To begin our journey, we arrived at the Town Hall Tap. I had been to this restaurant before with Steve last summer, and had to get the brie cheese curds with blackberry chipotle jam. AMAZING.

Caroline and I also split two chicken sandwiches, one chicken salad and one chicken something or other. I apologize if I forget some vital ingredients, this food coma has made everything seem like a blur.

Now normally I don't like to double dip (get the same thing I've ordered before at a restaurant), but I couldn't help it. the chicken salad sandwich comes on a pretzel roll, and the sweet potato fries are sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Say no more. Thanks Town Hall Tap!

We visited the Guthrie building and had a lovely view of the city, before returning to the house to play catchphrase and start in on the cocktails. The uncles' have an amazing restaurant called Wise Acre right across the street. They get all their food from a local farm. We walked there for dinner and started with a couple appetizers. The homemade chips were served with a caramelized onion dip and fresh veggies. Not bad at all.

 We also ordered the gouda nettles. I am still not quite sure what this was, but after looking it up, I believe nettles are an herb that is added to the cheese and it was served with bread. Very flavorful, and I always love me some gouda.

Caroline and I split a tomato basil pie. We split many things so that these food journeys did not end up in vomiting and a comatose state. The pie was my favorite part of the meal..the crust was flaky and delicious, and the basil and tomatoes so fresh. It was served with grilled summer veggies, the perfect August evening meal.

We finished off the meal with a sampling of custard with amazing toppings. I slept well that night, fo sho. Our evenings usually ended with more booze and the olympics. Friday morning we had a late start, and ventured over to the Colossal Cafe, a dive featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I had seen this episode, and knew exactly what I wanted to get. It was the only breakfast dish featured on the show: Pancakes with apples, walnuts, cinnamon maple sugar, and brie. That's right, brie. Cheese for breakfast?! Most people from Wisconsin would say, "umm..yeah..and? Your point?". However, I have never heard of such nonsense. When I saw a picture of the pancakes, I thought there were two sticks of butter on top (puke). They were amazing! Caroline and i split them with a breakfast sandwich (fatties) that had prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, fried egg, and swiss.

We had a post-breakfast stroll around Lake Nokomis, one of Minneapolis' 10,000 lakes. One of the things I love about this city, is people are always out and about, running and biking. It's fantastic. Caroline and I went for a run around Lake Harriet, and the creeks and bike paths are just amazing. The run was well needed and in no way makes up for my stretched-out stomach...perhaps I am preparing for Thanksgiving.

We have now come to my favorite meal, Friday night dinner. It was at a newer restaurant called Eat Street Social. The area it's located in is called Eat Street, and they have another one in a different part of town called Northeast Social or something like that. It was a pretty trendy atmosphere, and the menu and cocktails were creative. We were on our way to a play at the Open Eye theater, a tiny local not for profit theater where we saw a friend of the uncles' perform a political piece. So we ordered appetizers. The scallops were PHENOMENAL. Might be the best I've ever had. They were served with a corn puree and potato salad...and you all know how I feel about potatoes. But this one is one for the books.

I had this with the gazpacho, which was super fresh and had just the right amount of spice. The cocktail I had was the coolest one I've ever ordered, called the Jackson Pollack. I'm not sure exactly what they used for the splashes of color, but I think there was cayenne aioli and basil oil involved. Count me in. Caroline had an amazing salad with peanuts and duck! She's usually not into duck, but it was tender, light, and melted in our mouthes. Delightful.

The play was good...the producer and main actor, Kevin Kling, was friends with my uncle Ricky and is now close with Doug and Charlie. He was born with a birth defect in one of his arms, and lost feeling in the other arm after an accident. He has produced many plays, and written three books, and his talent is beyond words.

The next morning, we went to the Mill City farmer's market. It's one of the best ones I've gone to, and we got small donuts from a food truck that was voted one of the top 10 most creative food trucks in the U.S. The menu looked awesome, with items like sweet potato tacos yummmm. We found ingredients for the dinner that we cooked Friday night. I love farmer's markets.

For lunch we went to another Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives spot called Psycho Suzie's. The food was okay, but the decor and atmosphere would keep me coming back. It's a motor lodge full of tiki decorations, outdoor seating, and a bloody mary bar. We ordered a bunch of appetizers: cheese curds, fried asparagus, pickle pinwheels, bourbon maple bacon wrapped smokies, and deviled eggs. I also made a bloody mary based on a recipe found by the bloody mary bar. It had sriracha among other ingredients, which I decided to spill all over our table, so that was also fun and not embarrassing.

This was the kick start to our cocktail hopping, which took up the rest of the day. It's a hard life, eating and drinking your way through vacation. I'm pooped.

First we went to the Red Stag, a supper club opened up by two strapping Wisconsin gentlemen in Minneapolis. Even though I just couldn't eat another bite, we ordered the fried smelt, which is a small fish. They were delicious, and I would've eaten more if I wasn't bursting to the brim with fried food. I had a lemon basil cocktail, which was a bit harsh, but I do love that combination.

Next we come to my favorite venue, W.A. Frost and Company. It was located not far from the UMinn campus. Complete with an outdoor garden, the inside had an amazing dining room, and the basement can be likened to a castle den. AMAZING. This was also the location of my favorite cocktail, a peach violette. Beautiful color, beautiful flavor.

And now comes the final meal of Minneapolis: home-cooked. After days of stuffing myself full of amazing cuisine and fried delights, it was nice to have something that we made all on our own. The menu was a flank steak in a whiskey balsamic marinade, panzanella salad (italian bread salad) with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, corn, and basil, and grilled corn on the cob. We finished off with rolo fudge brownies, which were blow your mind amazing, but super rich.

Recipes for the steak marinade and brownies can be found here:

After an amazing trip,  I left with a full belly and a smile on my face. With my Dad, who came back to Milwaukee with me :) I had a wonderful time sharing good eats and drinks with friends and family. Now, it's time for boot camp and non-fat yogurt. Happy eating!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chicken parmesan burgers

Hello everyone!

So I just got back from Orlando, where I totally forgot to take pictures of the food, so that is really productive for this blog. HOWEVER, I did eat at Gloria Estefan's restaurant, Bongo! I think that's what it was called. There were many mojitos. Anyways, the cuban food was amazing. I got a churrasco salad, which is a grilled meat found in Latin countries. It was served with avocados and a chimichurri sauce (which I can never resist). It's like chimichurri? Don't need to read the rest of the menu. Just kidding, I read menus for fun.

I presented my Master's paper at APA, which was less like a presentation and more like, let's pin your poster on this bulletin board and people will walk by and ask questions that you will not know the answer to. But I learned a lot. Also, they had a pina colada hour. So that was worth the trip in and of itself. I also got to see a Cirque de Soleil show, which was hands down the coolest thing I've ever seen.  I spent the entire 2 hours with my mouth ajar. Also, I believe my blood pressure may have been at dangerously high levels with the heights and all. Overall, very cool. Not cool? Tequila with jalapeno. Be careful.

This week, I'm going to Minneapolis with my friend Caroline to visit my uncles. It's going to be a weekend full of food and drink, just like last summer, so be prepared to be overloaded with pictures. For now, here is two recipes that Steve and I made last week. The chicken parmesan burgers were from pinterest, although my Mom has a wonderful recipe as well. They were delicious and easy, smeezy.  Here is the recipe:


We made them on onion burgers, with a side dish from our food network magazine. P.S., the new one came out, and I have been talking about it all day everyday in a very obnoxious manner. The side dish was this Asian asparagus and mushroom delight. Here's the recipe:

I've also been trying to bake like once a week, since Steve is so fat. Just kidding Steve, you are wasting away. I love you. My friend Laura and I baked these last week to surprise Steve and our friend Delara when they were on call, delivering babies and saving the world. They were cake batter blondies and they were amazingly easy, and only needed a few ingredients. Here they are:

I've also made an observation that going to the grocery store with Steve, results in many more things that I would ever care to purchase. Like cinnamon chips. I believe we went with the intention of buying green onions. Whoops. However, it was a good excuse to add some to a really good oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, found here: I added 1/2 cup of cinnamon chips, and they were pretty tasty.

I hope everyone is having a good week! For a new workout, I tried this circuit from pinterest. It was SUPPOSED to be three rounds that last 25 minutes. Um..I got through 2 rounds, and it took 30 minutes. Maybe next time Cate. Nice try. Here it is:

50 jumping jacks
20 squats (with weights)
20 jump squats
20 alternating lunges for each leg (with weights)
15 burpees (woof)
25 pushups
30 mountain climbers
50 crunches
60 second plank

I'll end with one last pic of the chicken burgers! Happy eating everyone :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Homemade Pizza

So are you guys like real proud of me? A blog post a week!? This is madness! I hope everyone is having a delightful summer so far. My summer recently has been full of happy hours, camping trips, supper clubs and old fashioneds (what is the plural of an old fashioned?), dancing, and mooching off my free pass to Steve's gym. As my roomie Caroline likes to say in reference to this summer, "ohmygod it's so hard to hang out with our friends and go out and drink every night, our life is soooo hard." It's tough to be 25 you guys.

Since this blog does include the word "travel" in it, which I often don't get to do as a busy/poor student, I thought I'd include some details about the traveling I have done. This past weekend, my roomies and I went to Plymouth Rock. Did you think that was in Massachusetts? It's not. It's a campground about an hour and a half north of Milwaukee. There I had my first Culver's experience, which is a midwestern fast food chain. Their most popular item? A butterburger. Since I obviously had to try everything on the menu, we ordered burgers, fries, cheese curds, custards, and heart surgery. If you couldn't tell, my eating lately has fluctuated from healthy (barely) to unhealthy/binging. It's been wonderful/terrible.

It was raining when we got to our camp site, so obviously we went to a bar, where we met a lovely bartender named Ben who played bar dice with us and bought us birthday shots. Obviously.

Since it was my roomie Tracie's birthday, her parents came to our campsite to help celebrate. They brought steaks to grill, which wasn't really happening in the rain. So they took us to a supper club. Supper clubs are all over Northern Wisconsin, and Tracie thought it was hilarious that Caroline and I had never been to one. They're kind of like restaurants where you drink old fashioneds and everyone knows each other, and it was fantastic. I had the grilled tilapia which was TO DIE FOR, as well as after dinner drinks with interesting names, such as the Pink Squirrel, Brandy Alexander, and the Desperate Housewife. All delicious. All with ice cream. I gained 45 pounds this week. Needless to say I was very excited.

To balance off all this relaxing, drinking, and eating fried food, I also ate some healthy things and worked out kind of. Since I'm half moved into the new place with Steve, things have been a little hectic and we found ourselves scrambling for dinner on a night where I was back and forth between apartments. Also this may have been because I forgot the main ingredient of what we planned on making. So we threw together a cool salad with shrimp, avocado, and hard boiled egg. If you are ever at a loss for dinner ideas and need something quick, throwing together a salad is usually easy and healthy. We also didn't have dressing, so I threw together some balsamic, oil, and lemon juice. Easy smeezy.

Steve and I were also in the mood for homemade pizza, especially because we recently purchased our first pizza stone :) So we made one plain pepperoni, and one from my fave blogger. It's a crispy shrimp pizza, with arugala and lemon. Super refreshing and light. Also we added a little ricotta, so maybe not as light. Here's the recipe:

At the gym, I've been trying to switch up my workouts. I usually start with cardio, alternating between intervals on the elliptical, running 3-4 miles, or intervals on the treadmill. I usually do 45 minutes of cardio, and then do a 15-20 minute circuit. A couple circuits I've tried are ones that I found on pinterest:

100 jumping jacks
25 vertical leg crunches
30 crunches
20 squats
20 push-ups
50 russian twists
15 sec side plank each side
10 lunge split jumps
5 jump squats
40 high kneews

*repeat it as many times as you want, and decrease the number of reps in order to modify it.

15 backward leg lifts, each leg
15 side leg lifts, each leg
15 side lunges total
12 tricep pushups
12 tricep dips
50 bridges
30 jumping jacks
7 burpees
25 high knees

Happy eating!

Monday, July 16, 2012

One win, one fail.

Another post in less than a week, whaaaaat?! This is craaaaazy. So here is the deal my new kitchen is still amazing and I'm still obsessed with it. Also, I will probably call it my new kitchen in 2 years. When we leave it. I can't even begin to think about this. Also I think I'm spoiled.

Also I am bad at creating my own recipes. I can openly admit this. Also I say also too much. I'm a work in progress people. I am a great cook, yes (modest too). However, when it comes to throwing a meal together, I suck. Here is a classic example. Same night, same meal, two different recipes. The one that I actually followed - delish. The one that I threw together like some fabulous chef from a foodnetwork show - projectile vomit. Worse. Well...maybe not.

Okay, so first one. Chicken and Avocado salad with lime and cilantro. Straight up DELOYCIOUS. Ask my roomie, Caroline, partner in crime/cook/bake. It's good on its own, as well as on a sandwich. Also I hate when avocados get black in the fridge EWWWWWWWWWWWW. [[]]

The fail was an epic bomb of a dish. I bought some awesome cous cous/orzo/veggie dry mix from World Market (east coast peeps- World Market is like pier 1 but with delish food and tea and amazingness). So I thought I would cook the cous cous with some sauteed zucchini that I bought from the Tosa farmer's market. I don't know why I think grain + veggie will be delicious regardless of how it's cooked or what it's cooked with, but it is a problem that resulted in this. Steve offered up a pity smile as he choked it down...but I knew.


Looks deceivingly edible. However the cous cous was undercooked and there was literally no flavor. So I had no choice but to ruin my blood pressure by pouring buckets of salt on it. Thanks a lot. 

For workouts lately...wait what is that? Exactly. This is dangerous because I'm supposed to be on my game training for Tough Mudder in September. I've been trying to switch it up between P90x, Jillian Michaels, and the gym. At the gym lately, I switch between treadmill and elliptical, arms and abs/legs/butt. I'm going to try this tomorrow ( to try a HIIT interval workout for my cardio. For abs today, I did a routine that I learned from a Group X class. You use a bosu, and do five different exercises. Today I did basic crunches, circle crunches, leg extensions, and plank. Also I just realized that I did 4 instead of 5. Ooops. Anyways I did 20 of each for the first set, and went down to 10 each. It was quick and effective and made me feel SUPER GOOD about just eating half a pint of Phish Food. On that note, everyone enjoy your evening and as always, happy eating :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Ziti Bake

Well, well my friends. My how absent I have been. Since I have written last (almost 3 months ago, yikes) I have been busy with finishing up the spring semester, two intense summer classes, two practicum sites, work, weddings, moving, and a little bit of fun squished in there. Now that I finally have time to breathe, I thought I would update you on a few of the fantastic recipes that I have tried over the past couple of months. Even though my posts have been lacking, my kitchen has been full of delicious treats and tasty entrees.

For one, Steve's brother's girlfriend (mouthful) got me and Steve a one-year subscription (I always mess that word up with "prescription", very different) for FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE. I just died. In addition, my most favorite thing about my move to the new apartment, besides Steve living with me, is my cookbook holder. Yes. It is black, and beautiful, and probably like 20 bucks at Target. Despite the money we have spent on a new TV, new couch, and decorations, my eyes are immediately drawn to that precious cookbook holder. It's the small things, isn't it?

Also, the kitchen itself in my new place is, well, magical. That would be an understatement. Let's just say you had me at the island. I've never seen such beautiful counter space in my life. No more using the stove to chop carrots, gone are the days of keeping bowls on the ground, and say goodbye to fighting with the microwave in order to fit my plate on the counter. It's been pretty wonderful, not to mention I have been on a streak of great recipes. Here a few great summer favorites that you should make IMMEDIATELY.

1. Orzo salad with shrimp and feta- so amazing, I had to make it twice. In one week. It was a hit with me and Steve for a Sunday night dinner on our balcony, and a smash on fourth of July. Super light, flavorful, and easy to make. If you didn't live with a trashcan like I do, Steve, than it would probably last you a whole week of meals. I'm preparing to gain 78 pounds this year.

2.  Barley salad- perfect for a night of grilling. We made this originally with steak, but this salad was clearly the show stopper. Another light dish for those hot summer nights. It also lasted almost a week because it makes so much, so it would be great for a party.

3.  Outrageous Brownies- CAUTION. WARNING. There is a pound of butter in these. That is what makes them so mindblowingly good. I think I might've just created a word, but if there was a dictionary entry, a picture of these brownies would be beside it. These brownies are so thick and rich, you will only need one (or 7) to satisfy you. The couple tablespoons of coffee grounds are an interesting and tasty addition. Can't go wrong with these suckas.

4.  Broken Lasagna with Zucchini and Tomato- the first recipe we made from the Food Network magazine...perfect week night meal. Steve made it for me on a random Wednesday night...I think it was a bit labor intensive as it required a lot of shredded zucchini, but well worth it. Especially if you have 5 boxes of lasagna all half full.

5. Spring-Summer Ziti- This was the first recipe I've made from my Rachael Ray orange book, something about cooking easily and other good stuff. It was pretty delicious, if you are interested in a heavier pasta dish with some asparagus and peas.

Okay friends, it's good to be back! More posts and pictures soon to come, I promise. Eat, drink, and be merry.