In what turned out to be an honor to Robert Frost, I created a gold loving summer salad. Early this week I roasted some golden beets. Quickly, I’ll explain how I roasted the beets – it is too simple not to do yourself. Preheat your oven to 400. Get your beets, cut the top leafy part and the bottom skinnier root part off. Wash the beets as best you can, they usually come nice and dirty. On a baking sheet spread out some aluminum foil and set the beets in the middle. Drizzle olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper. Pop these babies into the oven for 1-1 1/2 hours (depending on the size). Once roasted, let them cool and then peel and cut them. These keep in the fridge for about two weeks.
So back to my golden beets. I added them to some arugula (I was generous with my beets – I can’t help it, I love them).
To this I added some quartered strawberries, thickly sliced almonds, and goat cheese. For dressing I used golden balsamic vinegar, a touch of olive oil, and, of course, salt and pepper. This golden salad accompanied some saffron rice and seared salmon for dinner.
If you have a pair of Nikes and you run or walk, I highly recommend getting yourself a Nike+ sport kit. I just got one and am using it to track my runs. It’s got a little transmitter that lives in your shoe. The transmitter sends your running info to a little receiver that can be plugged into just about any iPod (or if you’ve got an iPhone, it syncs right to it!)
After your run, you plug your device into the computer and it shows your whole run! All your data is kept on your own personal space on Nike’s website, where you can keep a little running diary. The run-tracker shows your pace and distance as well as your slowest and fastest points. Today I took it for a test run and I ran 30 minutes and 4.3 miles (yes folks that’s a 7:05/mi. pace).
My favorite thing about this is that it takes the memory guessing-game out of my runs. I like to run several times a week but by the time I get home I don’t really feel like writing down exactly how far I ran in exactly how much time. This will make it much easier to keep track of my progress. The site offers a lot more that I’m still in the process of checking out (maps, challenges, goal setting, running coaches etc…) But after today’s test-run, I give Nike plus the thumbs up!
Last weekend Andy and I watched this movie on a lazy Sunday morning after dropping mom off at the airport. The Men Who Stare At Goats is hysterical, witty, and ridiculous. The men in it are also quite good looking. In fact I wouldn’t mind being The Woman Who Stares At The Men Who Stare At Goats. Okay that was a bad one, but seriously, George Clooney and Ewan McGregor – you can understand.
Ewan McGregor plays a heart-broken reporter, Bob Wilton, from Ann Arbor, Michigan trying to prove his worth to his wife, the world, and himself. He stumbles upon Lynn Cassidy, a “former” soldier and member of the New Earth Army. Cassidy takes Wilton under his wing and introduces him to a world of secret psychic militarism and paranormal peace-making. Jeff Bridges plays the legendary Bill Django, founder of the New Earth Army and flower child. Kevin Spacey is the good guy/bad guy, Larry Hooper, who will stop at nothing to make a name for himself.
Hilarity ensues on their misadventures, and if you’re not left with stitches in your stomach and philosophical thoughts about life and war, you weren’t watching the right movie.
Rent it. Netflix it. Watch it. Love it.
A few weeks ago, I decided to broaden my vegetable vocabulary, so I bought some rhubarb. Rhubarb is a good source of magnesium, Vitamin K, and several other essential vitamins and minerals.
But it has a weird name and a weird look. And, truth be told, I was a little frightened to cook it.
That is, until I found a delightful recipe for a light & easy Strawberry Rhubarb Topping from Whole Foods (woo-hoo!). I gave it a whirl the other evening with e-x-t-r-a-o-r-d-i-n-a-r-y results. There are just a few fruity ingredients and, with a little choppy prep-work, you too can experience the aromatic taste explosion that is the Strawberry Rhubarb Topping:
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup light agave nectar
1 pound rhubarb, sliced (I used frozen)
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
Place the orange zest and juice in a sauce pan along with the agave nectar, rhubarb and apples. Simmer for ten minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in strawberries.
It seriously takes more time to chop the fruits than it does to cook it all up! And it is soooo amazing you sort of forget that it is also extremely nutritious and relatively low cal. Win!
It can be served warm or cold, and paired with a wide variety of foods, from desserts to yogurt or cottage cheese.
I tried this cold on top of the Bad ‘Nana Jamma smoothie and it was rockin!
(i also snuck a spoonful straight from the fridge…but don’t tell mom.)
It’s been a long time since I’ve said this to a pair of shoes, but… hello, lover!
Seriously, I have surprisingly put my little shop-a-holic tendencies aside this year and have not succumbed to fashion-website-browsing. But I did find these beautiful babies on Anthropologie and confess that I am tempted to splurge!
Perhaps it’s the description of the Waving Grain pumps that really got me: Quilted, golden-wheat leather undulates across this heeled pair as if rustling in an unseen breeze.
All poetic lusciousness aside, these kicks are quite adorable. They would spice up any outfit at work and they’d look so funky-fresh paired with some jeans.
The price tag is not so adorable, but for a gal who hasn’t spent too much this year on her wardrobe, I maaaay be able to justify snagging them. Perhaps I’ll have to go to the store and meet them in person, to see if they are as golden and glamorous as they appear in their photo. 😉
This past week I have been bonding a lot with my blender, making a variety of fantastic smoothies for breakfast. They’ve been so flavorful, fresh, and filling that I had to share them all with you!
First, is the tasty mixed-berry smoothie. I haven’t come up with a clever name for this one yet. This simple fruity treat has just a few ingredients:
– Frozen mixed berries (mine comes with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
– plain greek yogurt
– 4 ice cubes
– a splash of water
– a splash of soy milk
– a few dashes of ground flax seed
Whip it all up in the blender for a few minutes and you have a delightful purple beauty of a berry smoothie. I added 1 scoop of protein powder before I blended all the ingredients, to get my post-workout protein in. When it was all blended, I poured it into my travel mug and had a perfectly portable breakfast to go!
PUMPkin It Up
Second, the pumpkin protein smoothie:
I got this recipe from a great little blog I discovered a month ago called, Peanut Butter Fingers! The girl who writes it is totally adorable and her energy and enthusiasm for life (and good food!) is totally contagious! I found her blog a few weeks ago when I was craving pumpkin in July and realized I’m not the only weirdo who looooves pumpkin any month of the year!
1/3 c. canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix)
1 scoop natural protein powder
1 frozen banana
5 ice cubes
1/2 c. water
a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice (her recipe calls for more, but I can’t handle all that spice!)
Blend and in a few minutes you will have a cold refreshing taste of fall!
Third, the banana smoothie:
The Bad ‘Nana Jamma!
This was originally an attempt to make the banana custard on Peanut Butter Fingers’ site. It didn’t quite turn into custard, but it was still reallllllly tasty. And goes really well with the strawberry rhubarb topping I made the other evening (recipe to come later this week…)
– a frozen banana, chopped up
– frozen and then slightly thawed plain greek yogurt (my freezing/thawing process did not quite work)
– 1 scoop protein powder
– a dash of vanilla soy milk
– a little bit of water
As you can see from the photo, I made this one in the food processor (my blender had been working so hard I decided to give it a break). The original recipe also calls for xanthan gum, which would give the mix a nice smooth thickness, and probably make it a little more custard-y. Mine is much more of a banana smoothie, and still tastes great! I’ll try the custard again one of these days, but for now I will enjoy this bad ‘nana jamma!
This post goes out to our little bro, who is completing his LDAC training in Ft. Lewis, Washington. Today he commissions as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army!
Michael spent a full month training at Warrior Forge to become a full-on warrior. We’re sure the training was tough, but only made him tougher.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Any chef or cook will tell you, fresh ingredients are the best way to make your food taste great.
Of course not everyone has a farmer’s market to go to, nor can a once a week market satisfy a household’s week of meals. So, when you go to the supermarket the best way to ensure that you’re getting the freshest (and not pay a fortune for it) is to buy local. Luckily it isn’t so hard to know what your state and its neighbors are harvesting with the map Epicurious has created. Just click on your state and the current month to find out what is in the best season. Then stock up!
I’m finally back in a regular running routine after a crazy & busy first half of the year. I am reconnecting with the inimitable runner’s high and am finding my rhythm again on the treadmill (city pavement is too harsh for these old lady joints!). But, wow, holy aching calves! I’ve always had tight calves and running definitely doesn’t help. Normally I skip the post-workout stretch because I’m on a schedule in the a.m. and feel like I am wasting time sitting around stretching. But I’m always amazed at what a difference a good stretch makes the next day.
A few weeks ago, I got some great tips for stretching out my calves from a massage therapist at my favorite massage/physical therapy place in San Francisco: Psoas Massage + Bodywork. He made sure I had a stretch for both the gastrocnemius (upper calf) and the soleus (lower calf).
- Stretching the upper calf is as simple as pushing your bodyweight up against a wall with one foot behind, leg straight, and the front foot/leg bent. Holding for 15-20 seconds will restore your calf to its original length and holding longer will really help you stretch it out. Switch legs once you’ve stretched the first one out. My massage therapist said it’s ok to spend a little more time on one leg than the other if it feels tighter.
- To stretch the lower calf, my total weakness, from the same gastrocnemius stretch position, bend the back leg as well as the front slightly – you’ll be in a bit of a lunge position. Bend the back leg while holding onto that wall until you feel a stretch above your heel. Hold until you’re stretched out and then switch.
Easy as pie and it only takes 2 minutes!