March 31, 2010

Waffles in the morning, waffles in the evening...

Rise and shine! I woke up and was reading the food section of the Tribune with breakfast, you know, my usual Wednesday morning routine. And I came across this article, website, and all around incredible idea, that I thought I'd share. This guy is a genius!

He explores the question, "What would happen if we stuck (insert food item here) in the waffle iron?"

I like the egg idea, and the pretzels!

Read article here: waffleizer
"Will It Waffle?"
Remember these cookies I made? Chocolate Waffle Cookies

SOTD: Ripple by Grateful Dead. I chose it. I love this song. And I was just so in the mood for it this morning driving to work in this beautiful warm weather.
Album: American Beauty

I love how music can really transform your mood, so intensley at times. It almost makes things euphoric for me- like this morning when I stepped out to run, and Jimi Thing (Dave Matthews) came on my power hour play list, and it was all nice out and I was in shorts for the first time this year, I was just so happy, lettiing the music just carry me through my run.
It's kinda like when Lee sang last night on Idol. Wow. Goosebumps. Chills. All of the above. He was incredible. Agreed? On that note, Crystal was good too obviously, and I loved Garcia. And I especially loved how mean the judges were to Tim Urban. Get him outta there!!! Oh, and I cannot wait to see Usher perform tonight.
Tara from Monday was great-  I feel so bad for Tara. And Marshall too. He's such a smart, confused kid. I agree with him about marginalizing himself in that club, and that he is just a regular kid. Why label it?

And last but not least- Lost: The Package. Well, I did think it was a good episode. But something about Lost just isn't so exciting to me anymore. Like everything somehow seems overdramatic and played out. I prefer the stories off the island. Sun and Jin's story was a good one, and it was cool to see how that connected with Sayid's story. Interesting that they aren't married, and that it was Keemy's job to "catch" Jin for being with Sun. I also think there must be a reason that she lost her English speaking ability, in terms of the story. Maybe when her and Jin finally ALMOST unite, that will be what holds her back. I duno. I wonder... Oh, and Dez at the end...predictable. Blah.

March 30, 2010

Do you need a laugh???

Who doesn't! Check out this blog I just came is SO funny, this girl is SO talented.

PS it's NOTHING like my blog. It's reminding me a bit of Chelsea Handler...

Hyperbole and a Half

What's for dinner? Pizza! Matzoh Pizza!
See? Passover food isn't so bad. 
Whole wheat matzoh with tomatoes, pesto, string cheese, parm cheese, pine nuts, giardanere. Olives on the side (I was craving olives after work so I ran to Whole Food's Olive Bar. Yum.)

How to make Mandel Bread

What is mandel bread??? Well, it's the Jewish form of Biscotti.

Biscotti is called "Biscotti" because it is baked twice! (That's what that means in Italian I believe)

Just an FYI...and now onto the good, delicious stuff. How do you make it?
Well, to be honest, it has a lot of steps. And it was a little intimidating. But it wasn't half as bad as I thought it'd be! This is actually kosher for Passover mandel bread, in honor of the holiday this week!

Recipe: Mandel Bread
After the dough is made, roll it into a log and coat with cinnamon sugar
^^Here is the log baked^^

^^Here is the baked roll, sliced (I used a serrated knife)^^
^^Here are the slices laid out on the baking sheet, ready to bake for the second time^^
^^Baked twice, and all done!^^
^^I also made plain ones, which I later dipped in melted semi-sweet chocolate.^^
^^After put in the freezer to harden, all done!^^
^^2 types of mandel bread side by side, like friends^^

Happy Passover!

Chag Sameach and Lots of Catching Up

Translation: Happy Passover! I have a lot to catch you up on...

But first...Take a look at the delicious food at last night's Seder below...
 ^^My dad's non-vegetarian plate^^
Brisket, roasted veggies, spinach casserole, potato kugel...and red wine of course!
^^My vegetarian+salmon plate^^
Roasted veggies, salmon, kosher roll (sorry, my plate was half eaten by the time I thought about a camera...oops!)

Ok now rewind to Sunday...I have been so busy lately :) I feel like it's been nonstop, but in a good way. Sunday I ran 4 miles! It's not a ton, but I was very proud of myself. Thanks to Girl Talk to getting me through the run!
Gregg Gillis aka Girl Talk
I then ran a bunch of errands, including taking my broken laptop over to the apple store to get a note declaring the complete and utter damage job my sister managed to do in Israel. (It's's insured...) I needed this so I can get a check from State Farm to replace it... It was all a bit depressing to see my shiniy new macbook pro leave for Israel in tip-top shape then return with a dented side, a cracked screen, and a coffee stained keyboard :(.

Anywayy I then proceded to bake for Pesach. I made kosher for Passover rolls and mandel bread. See the next post for a tutorial!

After all of that my dad told me that the unfinished puzzle on the dining room table was gonna have to go. We have to set the table for tomorrow! Ughh, add another thing to my to do list. Luckly I was able to draft Jamie and Julie to help me finish it! God forbid I should destroy an unfinished puzzle! ;)
^^Done, and admiring our hard work :)^^
A very quick recap on TV...did you see the Jamie Oliver show? I DVRed it and finally watched it Sunday. It had me in tears. So sad the way people are so oblivious to the importance of healthy eating. That food is killing us! I wish I could help Jamie out. He has such patience to work with those people and perservere through all the doubts. I strongly suggest watching this from now on!

This morning I had to run 3 miles- and I downloaded a new app on my ipod. Power hour- but I used it for running. Highly recommended. Makes the run go by so fast having the song change every minute! I don't know why I didn't think of this before... It's funny how 3 miles seemed like a long time last week, but now that I did 4, 3 is a sinch(cinch?)! :)

For breakfast I had a piece of whole wheat matzoh with a wedge of laughing cow cheese on it and one hard boiled egg sliced atop it all. Yum. But after the run I needed more fuel for the long work day. So I made this "green monster", another blog inspired goodie. In the blender went...ok don't judge...2 squeezed clementines, 1 scoop chia, 1 handful each frozen strawberries and mango, handful of spinach, cranberry juice, plain non-fat greek yogurt. I promise, it's good. You cannot taste the spinach. At all. But it's in there so you're getting all those nutrients and such.
^^Inside the Blender^^

Have a great Tuesday! Enjoy this sunny 60 degree weather :)

March 28, 2010

How to make Curried Lentils

Have I mentioned I love beans? I did? Oh.

For you fellow bean lovers, below is a tutorial on how to make beans from scratch, in this case Lentils. Curried Lentils. The technique is basically the same for most beans (lima, white, black, etc...) and for any flavoring (yes, I do realize curried lentils probably doesn't appease the majority.)
Above, note the ingredients you will need. 

First, mince some carrots, shallot, and celery. Add these to a big pot (a dutch oven if you have one) with some olive oil. Salt and pepper.
Turn the heat on medium and get this going. Next, dump that whole bag of lentils. Stir that around a bit. Add about 3 tbs curry powder, and just a tsp of cumin, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. (Sounds weird, but just trust me on this one.)

Once all incorporated, add that  whole carton of veggie broth.
Bring this all to a boil, then down to a simmer for about 30 minutes (longer for other beans). Leave lid on.

Do a taste test for salt, pepper, and done-ness.

I added frozen peas- they defrosted just from the heat of the soup.
Add it to those roasted veggies, maybe some wild rice, and mashed sweet potatoes for a delicious vegetarian meal!

March 25, 2010

Bouncing Around All Day Long

Guess what I'm sitting on right now? An exercise ball. Yup, replaced my chair at work with this:
So fun!
But I really got it 'cause I hear it helps you posture and strengthens your core- aka maybe my back won't hurt so badly :(. Does anyone else's back hurt every single day!!! Damn work chairs...

SOTD: Time to pretend by MGMT
Album: Oracular Spectacular

What a great first song! I love these guys and their music is sure to put me in a good mood!

I had to run 3 miles on the treadmil this morning due to the rainy weather and puddly sidewalks. Ugh. I hate the treadmil! It was so much harder today than it was 2 days ago when I was running 'round the neighborhood. I was supposed to strength train after that- but I had NOTHING left in me after. I did what I could. Blah. If anyone has any tips to make treadmil running less blah, let me know. Please.

If you like reading, check out this site: What Should I Read Next? Thanks, Jamie.

I hope you're liking the tutorials. Please send requests. Thanks.

How to Roast Vegetables

How to Roast Vegetables:
Sometimes, this is easier said than done. You can apply this method to so many vegetables. It's an easy thing to do at the beginning of the week and just store em all in a tupperware for lunch packing all week long! You can add sauce or spices- or mix them with beans, rice, or meat for you non vegetarians....
Preheat the oven to 375 convection, OR 400 regular. Yes, a hot hot oven will make 'em crisp!

So, first cut up your veggies into the same size pieces. Below, I used yellow onion, zucchini, mushroom, broccoli, and asparagus. Things that work well here are potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflour, carrots....eggplant...
^^Me in my cool apron cutting zuccini, thanks mom :-) ^^

So, for broccoli, you need to cut away at those branches to get to the leafy stuff.
For asparagus, you need to hold an asparagus and just break it. It will naturally break at the point where the woody, stiff part meets the more tender, tastier part. Use this tender part's size as a guide to cut the rest of the asparagus at that same point (not exact, an estimate is just fine!)
Put all of the veggies on a lightly olive oiled baking sheet with just some salt and pepper on it.ONLY IN 1 LAYER. DO NOT HAVE VEGGIES STACKED ON TOP OF EACH OTHER. This will decrease that yummy crispiness we all want.
Bake for 10 minutes then check on them and use a spatula to just toss em around a bit so caramelization happens not just on one side of the veggies. Bake about 7 more minutes, depending on the size of the veggies.
^^Close up^^
I love cherry tomatoes- but not roasted. So I add them afterwords and they heat up just from the heat of the freshly roasted vegetables.
All done and mixed together. Taste for seasoning and serve. Easy enough right?

March 24, 2010

How to make Hard Boiled Eggs

For my first tutorial I will start off easily:
How to make a hard boiled egg:

It is actually so easy as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5, 6)!

1. Put as many eggs as you want in a pot.
2. Fill that pot with cold water until the water covers the eggs completely
3. Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil.
4. As soon as the water is boiling, TURN THE GAS OFF. ***IMPT NOTE: if you have an electric burner, the burner will still be hot. So move the pot OFF the burner.***
5. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Simply let the eggs sit in the boiling hot water 'til you hear the timer go off.
6. Run cold water into the pot to let the eggs cool off.

There are a bunch of ways to hard boil an egg. Not only is this the easiest way, but I think it is the best. Why? Because this way, you will not get that gross greenish color around the yolk. Why? (god, stop asking so many questions!) Because since you are starting with the eggs in cold water, instead of adding the eggs to the boiling water, the center of the eggs have a chance to heat up along with the water. You get a nice, even cooking all the way through.

That's all I got.

Try hard boiling a few eggs at the beginning of the week. They're a healthy, filling snack or meal to bring to work or school (or wherever else you have to go). Enjoy!

Consecutive Days and Lost: Ab Aeterno

SOTD: Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows....came on the radio. "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone". So true----
Album: I believe this is a single...Self explanitory

Breakfast this morning was oatmeal done a little differently than before. It was 1/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup very vanilla soy milk, 1/4 cup water, frozen berries, and 1 scoop chia ALL added to the pot before I even turned the gas on. So you bring it all to a boil together, then stir 'til it's the consistency you want. I added almond butter at the end, obviously :) It's sweet from the soy milk and the berries- and so pretty, don't ya think?
^^Berrilicous Oats^^

So about a week ago I deep cleaned my room and dug up some treasures from under my bed- I kinda hoard under there- birthday signs, speeches, cards, pictures, and other things from the past. And I found this:
Some notes I took in highschool when I was on the cross country team. I read them over and they're so inspirational. I especially like the quotes and the "consecutive days" concept.

So last night's idol SUCKED- they really should just kick out 5 at once so it becomes a legit competition.

LOST, on the otherhand, was AMAZING. SO many answers!!!!
I especially loved the cork and wine metaphor. Jacob is bringing people to the island so that they can prove they're good. But Smokey is trying to bring out the evil that lives within each and every one of us. If Jacob dies, and there is noone to replace him, the cork is removed, evil spreads/all hell breaks loose, literally. I think this is what happend to Sayid, and all the infected. They became evil since Smokey got to them. And Smokey is trying to kill the candidates so that noone can replace Jacob. Interesting.

The whole episode was so different in the sense of the time period it was in. And it was fun learning about the history of the Black Rock and Richard. God we've been waiting so long for his story! I knew Jacob must have promised him his freedom for his life. Interesting how the "nice to see you out of those chains" quote resurfaced in a new form, from a new person.

The last thing I want to talk about was something Pam discovered. At the end when Smokey cracks the wine bottle, it really meant that he could get the wine out (evil spread) WITHOUT removing the cork! AKA another loophole!

What did everyone else think? 

March 23, 2010

Aziz Love

First things first...SOTD: Live in the Sky by TI.
Album: King
It's from my "workout" playlist...I don't usually like TI so much, but this song is especially good.

Now onto important things, like saying THANK YOU to everyone reading this! I love when I get comments either from IM or FB, and of course comments on the blog that you like it and that you are reading it! :)

And EXCITING news right here: I just got tickets to see Aziz Ansari in Milwaukee doing stand up! I'm pumped! I mentioned here that I loved him- and now I get to see him in real life! Maybe I can meet him- I'm definitely gonna try my very best.
I Love You, Aziz. And I love the name of your tour.

So I decided to start training for a half marathon. My legs may or may not hold up after the 6ish mile mark, but I'm gonna follow a training program and see how far I get. I had surgery a few summers ago for compartment syndrome so sometimes my legs don't cooperate still. But it's a goal of mine to run those 13 miles, so we'll see. Wish me luck :) This morning I ran 3 miles which I haven't done straight through for a while. It felt great. I miss running outside in nice weather- nothing beats it.

For lunch today I made this tuna salad last night- Italian style tuna (in olive oil), with chickpeas, greenbeans, diced tomatoes (all last 3 ingredients from can), some dijon mustard, red onion, 1 grated hard boiled egg, garlic powder, craisons, and pine nuts. Salt and pepper, of course. A much lighter version of tuna salad and it's so good. Then what I did was cut up a Flat Out wrap into pita-chip sized pieces and toasted them. So then I had chips to dip in my tuna salad! This along with hummus and carrots (not baby carrots- a whole, peeled carrot cut up- much sweeter) was a great, healthy lunch. And filling too!

I'm gonna start doing some tutorial-ish sections on how to cook the basics. I know a lot of you who live in apts now always ask me how to cook certain things and instead of cooking you go eat out cause you just don't know where to start. So I'll help out. I promise. Any requests? Let me know...comment!

March 22, 2010

TV Pleaseee

SOTD: Baby's Got Sauce by G Love and Special Sauce.
 Album: G. Love and Special Sauce
Really fun, chill music if you haven't heard of them. Perfect to start off my run this morn.

So, another Monday at work- definitely the busiest day of the week which is good- goes by fast.  Tonight starts season 2 of United States of Tara.
Toni Colette is such a good actress!

Every morning when I wake up, I need to think about what I'm excited about...cause getting up for work just doesn't cut it. Breakfast usually gets me on my feet, and sadly (kinda) TV shows work for the long term excitement. Thank god for TV! It's just sitting at work, my back hurting, doing the same thing every day is just not enough to get and KEEP me up and going. That's why Mondays were harder than the rest- no TV shows I watched. But now Tara (and T, Alice, and Buck) have come to my resuce. Maybe the nice weather and the possibility of after-dinner walks and bon fires will kick in soon enough, but until then, my couch keeps calling my name. And I listen.

I hope I don't sound like a total loser. Whatever. I'm out.

If you haven't checked out my blogroll, do it! There are some good ones in there.