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: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/04/crispy-shrimp-pizza/

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. [[http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2012/05/recipe-for-chicken-and-avocado-salad.html]]

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 (http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/2012/05/01/new-treadmill-workout/) 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.