Archive | February, 2012

Foodie Penpals – February Edition

28 Feb

Guess what I got!

A new box for Bond to play in?

No! My February Foodie PenPal Box. This month I was paired up with the wonderful RealFitMama.

There was a great card that her daughter made:

Like she actually made it . She started an eco-friendly greeting card business at her summer camp where they made and sold their greeting cards. Pretty cool.

Inside were a bunch of goodies!

My loot included:

Luna Chocolate Protein Bars – delicious!

Dirty Sweet Potato chips – which made me think of Mike Rowe

welcometomysoapbox.blogspot.com

Odd connection? Maybe, but he did a Dirty Jobs shoot at Dirty Potato Chips, so there!

Gatorade Propel Water Bottle Packets – helps out with a fruity taste when I’m drinking water alllll day.

Annie’s Mac n Cheese – Parmesan Cheese Flavor. I had this on Friday with some broccoli, yummy!

Schlafly’s Pumpkin Beer – This was so good, I half want to drive/fly to St. Louis to get some more!

Tahini – I’ll have to attempt to make my own hummus again. The first time I tried, I didn’t turn out very well…but maybe this time I’ll be able to remedy it.

I have already tried and loved a lot of my goodies! Thank you so much Real Fit Mama!

If you missed my other Food Penpal Box take a gander.

If you want to participate in the Foodie Penpal greatness (which I recommend you do) here are the rules:

Lindsey at The Lean Green Bean came up with this ingenious idea!

On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

Sound like fun? If you’re interested in participating, please send an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
-WHETHER YOU ARE A US RESIDENT OR CANADIAN RESIDENT. – this is SUPER important so she can get you on the right list!

My baking addiction

27 Feb

This weekend was pretty chill. 

I caught up on Parking Wars:

Some of those people are nutty.  Seriously though, if I had to stand in those lines at the parking authority all day…I’d probably be a little crazy too.

Trained for the Flying Pig:

I walked a super windy 2 miles on the beach on Saturday.  I thought the winds would have died down from Friday but I was sorely mistaken.

On Sunday I ran 1.5 and walked a mile and a half on the Cape Henry Trail.  I went a different way and found trails that I didn’t know about.  It was great!

I have to train in the mornings the next couple of days…here’s hoping I do it!

funny-pictures-blog.com

As the title says I went a little crazy baking this weekend:

Exhibit A:

Cornmeal pancakes

I loosely used this recipe.  However, my batter was super runny and they weren’t fluffy at all.  What did I do wrong??  Ah well, they still tasted delicious!

Red, white and blue pancakes

Next I made cranberry orange muffins:

I came up with parts of the recipe all by myself, but I did use my Post Punk Kitchen as a blue print.  Awesome website by the by…

2 c. self rising flour

1/2 c. Chobani

2/3 c. sugar

2 T Olive Oil

2 t. vanilla

2 c. whole cranberry (roughly chopped)

1 Cara Cara orange, zested, peeled, and segments roughly chopped. 

3/4 blanched almonds

Mix flour and sugar together.  Add yogurt, orange, cranberry, vanilla, and oil.  Mix until just combined.  Add in almonds.  Grease muffin tins and fill about 3/4 the way up (although I always fill more).  Heat in a 375 oven for 20 -25 minutes.  Not only are they an awesome pink grapefruit color, they are tangy and sweet.  Delicious!

Yes they are on green snowflake napkins.  Don’t judge! 

All this baking in one day!  I’m glad I did it because now I have yummy food to yet throughout the week!

Happy Monday y’all!

Hey Eddie!

26 Feb

ummm, I mean Andre 3000.

I caught that Gillette commercial that has Andre 3000, Adrien Brody, and Gael Garcia in it.  I just saw it out of the corner of my eye and I thought, “Hey Eddie Murphy looks pretty good!”

I don’t know if that’s good for Eddie Murphy, or bad for Andre 3000…

What a Difference a Day Makes…

24 Feb

In this case it really should be, “What a difference can make….”  And no it’s not as catchy or uplifting as the song, but, “the difference is you…”

Although I’d like to put in my request now to have Jamie Cullum follow me around and sing. 

Friday Fivedown

1. I did have a pretty good day, the largest part of it was just peachy.  It was after the work day when I had to call a parent about something that it turned.  See this particular parent wants something that their child can’t have.  Just can’t do it.  I called said parent to give them this not so great news and got instant shut down mode…  Awesome.  It will surely be a super fun meeting when we have it.

2.  My day was made slightly better by the arrival of this:

 

 

Sweet!  That’s not just one bottle of wine, ooooh no!  I have a grand total of five and one of them is a sparkling white!  I about five bottles excited about it ;)

Of course Bond was super helpful throughout all of it

 

3.  Downton Abbey is over!  I know you are sad too.  I was pretty happy with the way things ended.  SPOILER ALERT!!!!

I’m glad that Mary and Matthew are finally together and that she got rid of that creep she was supposed to marry. 

 

However, I think it’s total crap that Bates got the blame because his ex-wife killed herself.  C’mon well all know she did it to herself!

4. I’m doing okay so far with the no meat for Lent deal.  I had a bushel full of sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, and celery (amongst other things) for lunch and it was pretty filling.  Three days in and doing fine!  Oh!  I also had a Dr. Praegers Veggie Burger they other day…not too bad.  It was hard to eat my veggie burger while Leanne and Phil had steaks, but hey, I still got to smell the meat (TWSS?)

5.  Leanne and I went to go see This Means War on Monday.  It was a cute movie that unbeknownst to me Will Smith was involved in.  Who knew?  Of course Reese goes with the charming, blue-eyed guy with the depressing, sad back story, but hey it was entertaining even if I think she should have gone with Tom Hardy’s character.

 

Aaaannndd, that’s it.  I’m going to drink some wine (only a bottle or two;) and chill inside.  This is what is headed this way tonight…

 

It may not look like much, but the winds are at 29 MPH so it’s a little freaky.

Happy weekend!

Find, one song, one last refrain…

22 Feb

Because who doesn’t need a little more Adam Pascal in their life?

Broadway.com did a fun article on Adam and the roles he’s been in.  Take a gander…

In other and totally unrelated news, today is a day of fasting.  I’m not really suffering since I think I ate sooo much yesterday.  Which brings me to more Lenten news.  For Lent you (Christians) give up something and make a sacrifice.  Every year, I make my pact, give up chocolate, sweets, or something like that.  This year I’m going to make it a little more difficult…I’m giving up meat!

 

I am confident that I will prevail in my Lenten sacrifice.  The one thing I’m really worried about…is bacon…

Stopping tempting me Bacon Motor Inn!

 

Sigh…I still think I can do it!

I’ve found some good blogs to get my veggie recipes going. 

No Meat Athlete

Daily Garnish

Veggie Belly

Are there others out there that I should check out?

What are you giving up for Lent?

Eat whatever you want day!

21 Feb

Or Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday. 

Every year, I mean every year, on Fat Tuesday my family and so me would eat a wonderful Polish bakery treat called a Paczki (pronounced poonch key).  What is a Paczki you ask?  Well, it’s a jelly doughnut type of pastry, except so much better.  The lore behind the Paczki is that the Polish people would use up all the eggs, sugar, and lard as that it was the day before Lent and they would be fasting and they weren’t allowed to be eaten.

Around Virginia Beach, there are no Paczki.  Sometimes Kroger will have them, but they are basically just jelly doughnuts, nothing to write home about.  This year I decided it would be different, I would make Paczki!

I set out with a recipe I found on a Polish forum:

Here’s the rundown:

 6 eggs (the traditional recipe calls for 12 egg yolks, but I went this route)

4-6 cups of flour

2 packets of yeast

1/3 c. butter (room temp)

1/4 c lukewarm water (110)

1/2 c sugar

1 t of salt

1 c of heavy cream

3 T of brandy

Raspberry or strawberry preserves (tradition is prune, but I don’t like prune soo…)

Oil – I used vegetable, but peanut would work too.  You want about 4 inches of oil in your pot

You start off with dissolving the yeast in 1/4 c of lukewarm water.  While the yeast is dissolving,cream the butter and sugar together. (It is also important to scald and then cool your cream here) Also whip the eggs and salt until thick and creamy.  Once the yeast has dissolved and is frothy, combine the yeast mixture with the butter in a large bowl. 

Next, add in 2 cups of flour and the cream, beating constantly.  Once combined add in the brandy, 2 more cups of flour, then finally the yolk mixture.  This is where I needed a little more flour than the recipe called for.  You want the dough to be in a ball and able to pick up and knead.  Knead the dough until it is smooth.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and place in a warm spot.  Let rise until doubled (an hour to hour and a half). 

Once the dough has doubled, punch it down.  Don’t get all UFC on it, just gently push the air out of it.  Put it back in the warm spot and let rise until doubled again.   

After second rise,roll out dough on floured surface to about 3/4 inch think.  Using a 2 in cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can.  Be careful with the scraps and don’t recombine too many times.  This will make the dough tough and dry. 

Place circles on a floured board and put a spoonful of preserve on one half, cover with another circle, pinch or crimp the edges.  Once you have made as many circles as you can, place Paczki in a warm spot to double, again (1 hour). 

While dough is rising, again, clean your kitchen, it will be a mess!

Once Paczki have doubled in size, start placing them in your 375 oil, only a few at a time.  They cook quickly, so don’t let them get too brown, only a minute or two on each side.  Take the Paczki out of the oil and onto a cooling rack with paper towel or newspaper underneath.  Repeat with all Paczki.

After all the Paczki are made combine 2 cups of powdered sugar, 3T milk or water and 1/2 t of vanilla to make a glaze.  You can drizzle, dunk or spoon the glaze onto the Paczki. 

Now the best part!  Eating!

These were pretty delicious.  I kinda ran out of flour when I was mixing it altogether, so I had to improvise with a lot of different flours…they still turned out pretty well.  When I make them again next year, I will make sure I have an abundance of flour!

Nice try iPod

19 Feb

Apparently my iPod did not approve of me walking 7 miles on Sunday. 

Towards the end of my walk it played:

Adagio for Strings

And then I’ll Cover You From Rent

Good try iPod, but I’m not dead yet!  Just crazy for walking 2 hours in the rain…

If you’re keeping track, which I know all of you are, that’s a total of 13 miles for the weekend! 

Flying Pig training is coming right along!

Decoding the popularity of ‘Downton Abbey’

19 Feb

See even Brian Williams and NBC can’t get enough of Downton Abbey!

Decoding the popularity of ‘Downton Abbey’.

Friday Freestyle

17 Feb Happy Valentine's Day to me!

It’s Friday again, thank the sweet baby Jesus!  I’m also happy to report that we (meaning all of you if you work for The Man or are observing President’s Day)have a three-day weekend!  What’s up!!

1. Girl Scout Cookies. 

online.wsj.com

I’d like to thank and also maim the evil genius who invented these calorie packed, sweet little nuggets of goodness.  They are also paired with equally sweet nuggets of goodness that come in cute little girl form.  There are a lot of cute little girls at school, so that means I have lots of Girl Scout cookies.  I’d like to pat myself on the back this year, I only bought four boxes.  Way to go self-control!

2.  I alluded that my best friend was awesome earlier in the week.  Wanna know why?  Cuz of this!

Happy Valentine's Day to me!

Oh yes, she knows me all too well. 

3. Speaking of cookies, because let’s face it, when am I not!?  I made cookies for Valentine’s Day for school. 

Self control what?

I made the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Tollhouse bag, but I stuffed them with Lindt truffles!

 

They turned out deliciously.  I put them in the muffin baking sheet to bake, which I thought would be an awesome easy way to do it. Well it was awesome and easy putting the dough in the muffin sheet, but so much taking it out…

 

Since the truffle was now all liquid, they either a) dripped out the bottom or b) just completely exploded.  I ended up leaving them in the sheet until they were completely cooled and then pried them out.  They were still delicious both intact and exploded. 

4.  I was supposed to have a meeting with a parent today.  When I called to confirm this with them yesterday she told me she had the flu.  Then she said that it was okay, she could still come in.  Oh no you don’t!  Don’t bring your crazy flu bug  to me!  I saw what happened on Downton Abbey and they’re fancy aristocrats.  Just imagine what would happen to my lowly white blood cells!

blog.cymbal-rush.net

 

5. This song has been running through my head all week!

This weekend holds bowling (which I am horrible at), training, and lots of lounging around!  I’m way excited!  Happy weekend!

Holy Resistance Training Batman!

14 Feb

I didn’t really do resistance training, it just sort of happened by accident.  I went for a walk on the boardwalk by today going out was fine, but when I turned around sheesh!  It was super windy and it felt like I was trudging upstream.  I did a total of three miles, gotta keep that mileage up!

Today, if you didn’t know, is Valentine’s Day! 

Now, I’m not super excited about it.  I’m going to watch my DVRed Downton Abbey, drink some tea, and eat cookies.  Watch out, it’s just too exciting!

 

I know Christian you can hardly handle it!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’d thought I’d share some “love” songs.

Gasoline and Matches with Buddy Miller, Shawn Colvin, Emmylou Harris, and Patty Griffin

Pop Rocks and Coke – Green Day

Infamous Love Song – Over The Rhine

Of course a few musical selections:

Being Alive – Company

The I Love You Song – 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The Schmuel Song – The Last Five Years

There ya go you crazy lovebirds you!

Oh and just in case you were wondering…I have the greatest best friend!  Oh, and Phil’s not that bad either ;)

Ghostbusters!

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