Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Ruin Dinner

I finally got around to the grocery store to pick up some coconut milk for dinner the other day. I make this Shrimanach Curry (Shri- Shrimp, Man- Mango, Ach- Spinach), which is delicious, but I didn't have the supplies. I had a tub of spinach, the frozen mango*, and the shrimp and all I was missing was the coconut milk.

* I guess I could technically use the fresh mango but I happen to be allergic to the sap from mango trees, which I found out the hard way- mango trees are fantastic climbing trees. It isn't that I am allergic to mangos, because I'm not. I can eat them and they are delicious. I just happen to react badly to the sap which sometimes gets on the skin of the mango. It contains the same ingredient as poison ivy and sumac. So, just to be safe, I avoid fresh mangos like the plague.

Yay, finally picked up some coconut milk!
I started the recipe for the Shrimanach Curry, which I will provide for you at some point in the future when I actually have the opportunity to make it.

 I put the coconut milk in a sauce pan and put on the heat.

I pulled the spices down from the cabinet,
 dumped it into the coconut milk,

 and stirred it around to mix it up.
 Contrary to what I was used to, the coconut milk took on this brownish color, instead of yellow, and wasn't smelling quite like the spicy curry I was expecting. Thinking I just hadn't dumped in enough of the curry powder, I poured in a bit more. I did this several times but the coconut milk just wasn't looking or smelling right.

So I looked down at my spice container...
I had been looking so forward to the Shrimanach Curry. What had I done????? I tried to fix it.

Lots and lots and LOTS of curry powder was added to the coconut milk.

Unfortunately, the coconut milk was unsalvageable. There was just tooo much cardamom. I had to throw out the entire concoction.  

 Sigh... I should have bought to cans of coconut milk!
Next time I will double check!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Eggnog Season!

I am a firm believer that eggnog belongs in a specific season. Sometime in November when it starts to get cold to the beginning of February is the ONLY time when I believe eggnog is acceptable to drink.  Well November and December couldn't quite make up their mind in terms of weather so Eggnog season is starting a bit late this year. But, to appease my friends, who have been begging me to make eggnog, I've decided to declare eggnog season open!

I don't remember where I got this recipe originally but I've made a bunch of tweaks to it, and it is popular.  Some people are opposed to eggnog because of the texture. The stuff you buy in the grocery store is thick and some people are very opposed to this. This eggnog recipe, however, is very liquid and feels like you are just drinking milk, very eggy milk. WARNING: it does contain raw eggs, so I always give out my salmonella warning prior to people indulging.  I haven't had any problems yet, but there is always a first time.

Also, this recipe can be made with or without alcohol (both are very good). The alcohol version is quite boozy, so just be aware of that when making this for parties. One final note: find a very large bowl. The  non-alcohol recipe is about 2.5 Quarts, and the alcohol adds significant volume.

You will need:
12 eggs separated
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups Apricot Brandy
3/4 cups Light rum
3/4 cups Brandy
6 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream

1. Separate Egg yolks and egg whites. Keep the egg whites, though! You will use them later!

2. Mix egg yolks and sugar until you get a thick yellow mixture.

2. Slowly stir in brandy, rum, apricot brandy, milk, and cream. The slowly stirring is KEY!
3. refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and pour into a punch bowl.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold gently into eggnog
5. Put a little bit of nutmeg on top and enjoy!

Sorry I didn't have any pictures of the actual final product. But here are all the empty glasses! I had no leftovers!

And since it is Friday, here is my weekly roundup of my goals!
Sat- Ran 7 miles, 10:40 pace
Sunday- Made dinner
Monday- Ate leftovers for lunch and dinner, Ran 3 miles
Tuesday- Ate leftovers Lunch and dinner
Wednesday- Made Lunch (goal for the week achieved), bought dinner, Ran 4 miles
Thursday- Made lunch, failed at dinner  (story for another post), Ran 4 miles- 10:05 pace

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stuffed Squash

I was trying to decide what to cook for dinner the other night and decided to try something new. I had this acorn squash that had been sitting on my counter for a while that I really wanted to use, so I decided to modify a thanksgiving favorite,  stuffed pumpkin, and simply stuff an Acorn Squash.

Acorn squash
1 slice of bread (I used Udi's gluten free whole grain)
a couple of baby bella mushrooms
2 ounces of jarlsberg cheese (or really whatever- Previously we've used Gruyere
4 tblsp of heavy cream
salt, pepper

First, I cut the acorn squash in half and removed all of the stringy insides

Then I coursley chopped up the onions, bread and cheese

Toss all of the ingredients with the gream, nutmeg, and pepper and then stuff as much of it into the squash as you possibly can.

Then stick it in the oven at 400 degrees for a long time until the squash is squishy. I forgot to set a timer but I'm guessing it was about an hour.

And voila! Roasted, stuffed acorn squash.

Friday, December 7, 2012

What a mug!

I recently decided to become a sustainer for my local NPR station. I figured I'm paying $8 a month for Hulu plus, $8 for Netflix, and I listen to NPR just as often if not more than I watch those two stations. So, in the last fundraising drive, I decided I would also spend $8 a month for my NPR addiction.

Yay! Look at that mug!

And since it is Friday, I thought I would do my weekly review of my December goals.

Sat- Ran 7 miles and fell into a hole 100 feet from my driveway.  Don't worry, I'm OK
Sun- I don't remember what happened on Sunday.
Monday- Ran 3.7? miles before work, made dinner (1)
Tuesday- Lunch-Leftovers (1), dinner(2)- new recipe, took pictures, and I plan to post!
Wednesday- Ran-3.6 miles, Made Lunch(2), dinner(3-Goal for week 1 achieved!)
Thursday- Ran 4 miles, Lunch Leftovers(3-goal for week 1 achieved!), made dinner
Friday- I plan on having leftovers for lunch and dinner!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My M.A.C and Cheese

I love macaroni and cheese. Not the fancy, baked in the oven kind. No, my macaroni and cheese comes from a box.
And thankfully Annie's makes a gluten free rice shells and white cheddar cheese.
Nom nom nom.

While I enjoy this mac and cheese on it's own, I also really enjoy adding things to it to make it a fuller meal. I can easily sit down and eat an entire package and that is my dinner, but adding vegetables or other proteins fills me up and I usually have leftovers.

Today I am going to share with you my M.A.C and Cheese. M stands for Mushrooms, A stands for Artichokes, and C stands for baby clams.

M.A.C and Cheese recipe

I used baby bella mushrooms
Artichokes from a can,
and baby clams.

While the water is boiling, chop and slice the vegetables. While the pasta is cooking you can cook the rest of the vegetables in another skillet.

Start off with chopping a bit of Rosemary, put oil in the pan and let it heat up and then toss in mushrooms.  Once they have started to cook, throw in the rosemary.

Once the mushrooms are fully cooked, I threw in the artichoke hearts (which I ended up chopping up so I wouldn't have such huge chunks).  After the artichokes have heated and combined nicely with the mushrooms, add in the can of baby clams (I mostly drained it, there may have been a little juice left).

Once everything is heated up, and the pasta is cooked and drained. I mixed in the cheese mixture,

and then tossed in the vegetable mixture.

soooooo  gooooood.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Goals

I clearly am bad at this whole blogging regularly thing. Oops.

Well let's see how I did on my November Goals.

1. Run, even if my running partner bails on me. 
Hmmm pretty sure I get a failing grade here.
2. Make Lunches and Dinners. 
Also failing grade here.
3. Get better at taking pictures of before/after meals.
Fail. Are you noticing a pattern? Actually I should probably give myself a D+. I took pictures. I just haven't posted them yet.
4. Have a good race!
A+++  I had a good race. The City of Oaks Half Marathon went really well. I PR'd at 2:14:01! I also had a decent race when I went home for Thanksgiving. It wasn't officially timed but my watch said 27:55 which is an 8:56 pace. So while I did get sick (I totally blame the cold I had been fighting for a while) I also PR'd in a 5k.

I like running!
 And twisting my body in an unnatural and awkward way!

So as you can probably guess that I'm going to keep most of the goals for December, but I am going to make some slight adjustments. Make the goals a bit more tangable.

1. Run!
I like running. I like doing it in the morning before work. So no matter what- I need to stick with my 4 runs a week. Three during the week, and a long run on Saturday. 
2. Make Lunches at least 3 times a week, Make dinner at least 3 times a week.
This is not an unreasonable goal. I really should be making my lunch 5 days a week and dinner as well. But, let's start with the small.
3. Get better at taking pictures of before/after meals, and don't forget to post them!
I have literally had a meal post all written and ready to go, all I needed to do was add pictures, since OCTOBER 30th. That is just ridiculous.
4. Blog at least once a week. 
Even if it is just to tell you how I am failing at my goals, I don't really want another month to go by where I have only posted once or twice. 

So those are my goals!
 And this is what I had for dinner.
This was the first time I've made this recipe.
  It was good but I want to make some adjustments, so no recipe yet!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My second Half!

I did it! I finally had a good race! I didn't throw up, I didn't have to stop to walk, I didn't fall down or get hurt, and I think I may have actually PRd!

I woke up at 4:30 so I would have plenty of time to have coffee and breakfast, and then went over to Sara's so we could ride out to Raleigh together.
We are so very excited for the race!
We got to the race just in time to find a place to go to the bathroom and then line up. Unfortunately they were kind of low on Porta-pottys, but we improvised.

We started the race to the tune of YMCA. I didn't hear the starting gun, but the crowd moved and eventually crossed the starting line, I started my watch but I didn't see how long it took to actually get to the starting line from the sound of the starting gun.  This becomes important later.

The race was kind of uneventful. I ran. I ran pretty well.

Avg Pace

According to my Garmin, My best mile was my first, avg 9:30 pace, and my worst mile was the 7th, avg 11:08- but I accidentally stopped my watch at some point in mile 7 so I'm missing about .3 miles.

This will probably add at least 3 miles to my total time so I'm guessing my time is around 2:13:and some change.  However, when I crossed the finish line the clock said 2:16:23. So... if it took me three minutes to get to the start line, then my 2:13 estimation is about correct.  If it took me less time to cross the start, my actual time is then something between 2:13 -2:16.  So my pace was something between 10:08-10:22.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it! I didn't have anything to give at the end of the race so I wasn't really able to sprint to the end. But hey, I had a good race. That was all I wanted

We look just as excited and maybe a bit more tired.

UPDATE: They posted the official times and my time was 2:14:01, avg pace 10:13ish!