Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tastes like Broccoli

Turns out brussels sprouts are edible.  Who knew?  And, they taste kind of like broccoli.  I might not have waited 26 years to try them if I had known they tasted like broccoli.  I mean, I'm not a huge broccoli fan but I do find it to be edible, and it's certainly not my least favorite vegetable.   
I heard recently that brussels sprouts get a bad rep because they get boiled frequently, and boiling makes them nasty.  Apparently they are really good roasted.  Since I didn't feel like waiting 45 minutes for them to roast, I sauteed them instead.  

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts


10 brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp minced fresh ginger
garlic powder
ginger powder
pinch of crushed rosemary

Brown the garlic and ginger in olive oil.  Add the brussels sprouts and saute for a few minutes.  Add garlic and ginger powders if desired.  Add pinch of rosemary.  


Trail Work Day


Hill and Holler, the bike shop I work at during the summer got a grant to build some new trails in the Greenbrier State Forest.  I was asked to come out and take some pictures of the progress they are making.  Yesterday was day 2 of 3 in a row that volunteers are spending out there making the new trail.  They have been meeting at 9 am.  I slept til about 10 yesterday (it feels so incredibly good to be able to do that after a few weeks of insomnia getting me up between 3 and 5 am every day!).  Once I made it out of bed and ate breakfast, I whipped up a batch of Ginger Craisin Cookies, boxed them up straight out of the oven, grabbed my camera, and headed out to the forest.  Once there, I followed the sounds of metal tools striking rock until I found everybody hard at work.  They appreciated the cookies, although there were some complaints that I didn't bring any milk to go with them...

I hiked along the portion of the trail that they created over the 2 days, it's pretty awesome!  It's a mostly flat trail, designed for beginners, and it will be a great warm-up trail to hit before tackling some of the steeper inclines.  It is also shaping up to be great for a potential cross-country course for the local schools.  


















I would have loved to run some trails yesterday, but my knee is still feeling a bit funky and I just couldn't risk twisting it.  I had a 5 mile jog around town instead.  Hoping to get back to trail running soon though, now that the weather is getting warmer(?).


Ginger Almond Truffles


Ingredients
1/4 tsp finely chopped ginger root
1/2 c heavy cream
 1/4 tsp almond extract
3.5 oz chocolate (60%)





Directions
brown the ginger in a tiny bit of olive oil
add the heavy cream and stir continuously for 3-5 minutes
add the almond extract
remove from heat
add the chocolate
stir til smooth


refrigerate

skim off the oil
use a melon-baller to scoop out truffles



melt c. 3 oz chocolate (70%)
use a fork to drop the truffles in the chocolate, turn to coat, place on tin foil
sprinkle some powdered ginger on top
refrigerate until set

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ginger Craisin Cookies



Ginger Craisin Cookies

1 stick butter
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c wheat flour
2 c flour
1/4 c mini chocolate chips
1/4 c (scant) craisins

(I didn't actually measure the chocolate or the craisins...so 1/4 c is just a guess)



bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes



makes about 40 cookies


I took these cookies out to the people hard at work in the State Forest building a new trail.  
There were no complaints.  

The trail is looking awesome and I can't wait to run it!

groups of 3

Last weekend was a 3 day weekend.
This school week was a 3 day week.
Today was the start of a 3 day weekend.

Thank you, President's Day, and Ice Storm.

Personally, I would be willing to give up some summer vacation time in exchange for 3 day weekends/4 day work weeks.  2 days is never enough time to get ready for the next week, but by the end of the 3rd day, I am (usually) ready to go back to school.

My phone rang at 5:45 this morning.  I heard it ringing, but my brain didn't register what was going on until after it stopped ringing.  So by the time I realized that the music was a phone call, it was too late to answer, and I had to wait for the voice mail.  Which told me there was a 2 hr delay. I could hear the ice falling outside my window, and was glad I hadn't tried to get up for a run.  So I reset my alarm to 8:15 and went back to sleep.  Somewhere around 8 I got a text message saying school was cancelled.  So I slept some more, and didn't get out of bed until almost 9:30.  After 3 weeks of insomnia, it felt absolutely glorious to sleep that late.  And then I took a nap from 12-1.  I love sleep.  Even more so after all that insomnia.  The ability to sleep is truly wonderful.

I got some grocery shopping today.  And some cooking.  And some laziness, because sometimes it is necessary to just lie on the couch and do nothing.  I watched a movie on Netflix "Safety not Guaranteed."  Good movie.  And I ran 5.5 miles.  I ran 4.3 yesterday, and after 4 days of pain/injury, it felt really really good to run yesterday and today.  Also, it was 30 degrees and that was the warmest run I've had in awhile.  Yesterday I ran at 6 in the morning and my fingers froze.  I have experienced very few things more painful than thawing fingers...and yesterday they definitely hurt a lot while thawing post-run.

Today's Kitchen Play

I really wanted fried potatoes for breakfast, and the only potatoes I had were frozen french fries.  So I chopped them into pieces and pretended they were hash browns.  


good with ranch

For lunch, I had a tuna-salad quesadilla with avocado-cucumber topping.


For dinner, I made a stunningly delicious pizza. 

I also made some truffles today. 

More cooking to be done tomorrow.  
I've been in kitchen withdrawal lately, I plan to make up for it this weekend. 




Friday, February 22, 2013

SAT Pizza

Spinach Artichoke sun-dried Tomato Pizza


Very delicious dinner tonight, with this pizza and some salmon.  

SAT Pizza

dough
2 tsp yeast
6 oz hot water
garlic powder
onion powder
ginger powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 c wheat flour
1+ c flour

toppings
pesto
spinach
artichoke
sun-dried tomato
colby jack cheese


bake @ 450 for 15-20 minutes







add a side of salmon, and dinner is served!




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mint Chocolate Truffles


1/2 c heavy cream
3.5 oz. chocolate (70%)
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Heat the cream, stirring constantly, until it starts to simmer.  
Add the peppermint extract and chocolate.
Remove from heat and stir til smooth. 
Set aside to cool.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate til hardened. 


*I melted 3 tbsp butter with the cream.  It separated from the final mixture, and I ended up having to skim most of it off of the top before putting the mixture in the fridge.  I had to scrape the rest of the butter off of the top of the chocolate after I removed it from the fridge.  



Use a melon-baller to scoop out truffles from the bowl of hardened chocolate. 


Melt 3.5 oz chocolate (70%).  Use a fork to drop the truffles in the melted chocolate, turn them until coated, then place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. 


Eat the leftover melted chocolate. 


Refrigerate the truffles until the chocolate has hardened.  







Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Panda Marshmallow

The wall behind my desk at school is covered with drawings and cards from students.  I sometimes refer to it as the "wall of love."  Younger students draw me pictures, older students write me things like this:




Today, an older student gave me this drawing, and insisted that I put it on my "love wall."  I hesitated to put something "violent" on a wall dedicated to love, but hey, it's all in good fun...right?

Speaking of marshmallows, where's the chocolate and graham crackers?



In other news, NO STABBING PAINS IN MY KNEE TODAY!  And I'm being responsible and taking today off anyway, other than a short arm/ab workout.  I am running tomorrow though.  Enough of this running-less existence.




Articles I read today:

When to retire running shoes

-Mine usually get retired between 200 and 400 miles.  Much more than that and my legs start getting aches and pains in random places.

Carb-loading

- I like pasta.  I eat pasta.