Friday, August 28, 2009


I've somehow managed to wake up early and run twice this week! That's exactly 2 more times than normal! Suh. Weet!

I've been scrambling around getting ready to head to Memphis this afternoon, then to Little Rock Saturday for Carol's bachelorette party. I'M SOOOO FRIGGIN' EXCITED! We've had some damn good memories come from Little Rock and I am certain that Carol's Bachelorette party will top the list! Being Maid of Honor, I've whipped up a nice goody bag for everyone this week. In midst of all that, I miraculously made a homemade, healthy dinner in less than an hour. WHAT? Let me share.

Since I went to Whole Foods on Sunday and purchased an on sale! eggplant ($1.00), I've been dreaming of Eggplant Parmigiana. This is my mother's favorite dish-we even lugged ourselves to EVERY restaurant in Little Italy to find some authentic Eggplant Parmigiana, and had no luck. I digress, so I googled the basics to "baked eggplant Parmesan" and then I followed my own ideas. And, I used homemade breadcrumbs. Ok, I already had those on hand, but still. Homemade breadcrumbs.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
  • 1 eggplant cut into thick slices
  • 1 egg
  • whole wheat bread crumbs and a few tablespoons of panko mixed in (3/4 cup? I suck at measurements.)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • dried basil
  • Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350. In one bowl, crack open egg into and beat. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, panko, spices (to taste). Mix around with fingers. Dip eggplant into egg, then into bread crumb mixture. Place onto foil lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes one side, 5 the other, then crank the oven to 400 and add slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. When the cheese begin to bubble, they are done. Remove and top with Vodka sauce (follows) and what else ARUGULA and fresh Parmesan!!!!

Almost Homemade Vodka Sauce
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara/tomato sauce (I use Classico's Spicy Tomato and Basil and I also eat it by the spoonful)
  • 3/4 cup vodka
  • about 3/4 cup light cream

In a saucepan, simmer jar of sauce and vodka together for about 20 minutes. Slowly add cream to sauce. (I always add to taste.) I think I used about 3/4 cup. Maybe. Always taste. Remove from heat and dump over eggplant. Scarf down.
I also made a quick salad of spinach, fresh mozzarella, onion, tomato and spicy olives with a little drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground pepper. And we also enjoyed some crispy green beans.

Cheap and Fancy aren't oxymorons in our house!!!

Happy Friday All!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Welp, I guess we better all stop running immediately. Can't have people feeling good, that wouldn't be right.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekend of Glutton Part Tres

In continuation of the weekend foodie theme and also in light of my new arugula theme, Sunday night Live In and I made the most delicious meal, probably ever. No joke.

Angle 1:


Blackened Chicken on top of Spaghetti with sauteed spinach, onions and asparagus, topped with fresh arugula and shaved parmesan.

View 2:

It was just so darn good and also very easy to make!

Sauteed Veggies

  • Sauteed 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • spinach (1 package of frozen spinach)
  • 1.5 tbsp of olive oil.
Add chopped asparagus in the last 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. You can also leave the onion out or not.

Blackened Chicken
Coat lightly oiled chicken breasts with a mixture of the following (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp each)
  • White pepper
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper
    Smoked Paprika
  • Onion Powder

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cast iron skillet with 2 tbsp of butter. When hot, add chicken and cook for about 2 minutes each side.

Throw in the oven until chicken is done (internal temp of 160)
We also throw a pat of butter on each breast in the last five minutes of cooking.

Spaghetti (Whole Wheat)
Follow the directions on the box

Mix sauteed vegetables in with spaghetti and add more olive oil, if your little heart desires.

After plated, top with handful of arugula and shaved parmesan. Your taste buds will thank me. I don't lie.

Whew! All that cooking makes one sleepy little puppy!

Night Night

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Tummy

Tonight I feel like this:
Because I FINALLY got on a real shoe and was able to spin! I almost barfed. I love it. My heart was happy too. When I got home I was in the mood for some serious comfort food.

Bob's Scottish oats with vanilla soymilk, white chocolate peanut butter, and about 1/3 of a mushed up nanner. Happy happy tummy.

I did a little back to school shopping today:
I am teaching Pilates this semester, so I HAD to be prepared, duh. What kind of teacher would I be if I didn't have a good (pink) mat and (baby blue) no-slip towel?
All my happiness was short-lived however, when I took a look at my planner for the week.
Yowza! makes me feel like this:

*note: please do not judge sweaty post spin class pics.
Now I am headed to the shower, and the bed for a LOOOOONNNGG day tomorrow. Nitey-nite!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Say it aint so

In light of Morgan's awesome rocking female athlete bod post ( which I love) I decided to eat 2 cookies and appriciate my own athletic bod for the evening!

But I have some bad news....
1. You may have noticed no pics recently. That's becasue my camera is on the fritz! Ew. Electronics. I swear I would be happy with everything in my world being Flinstone-style. I am a technology grandma.
2. School starts...well, now ish. I did go buy a ( unpictured) load of school supplies, and a shiny new pink binder which will most assuredly make me smarter. I also bought a pack of the new multi colored sharpie pens, Yay for school supplies. This week is crazy with faculty meetings, GA meetings, and a department cookout. I am interested to see how healthy the "Health and Sports Sciences" department cookout is. Look out for a blog on that. My classes start next week. I will be taking an Exercise Physiology/ muscle morphology class, a research design and writing class, and a statistics class, so I can understand all of this research I will be desiging and writing about. I am teaching pilates. I am actually very excited in a nerdy way to impart wisdom on young minds! Hopefully my students will be engaged and actually care about this class. I would, pilates rocks. Can I wear a running skirt to teach in? Hmm.....
3. My training has been crappy these last couple of weeks! Although, ( silver lining up ahead) my lovely staph infection is MUCH better, and I actually put on a real shoe today, with laces and everything! Now if this huge scab would just magically dissappear overnight, I would be one happy camper.
4. I am already stressed about school starting back, but what I am most worried about is ( duh) nutrition when classes start back. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I will be teaching 3 hours of pilates, followed by an hour of spin that evening. What's a girl to eat?
What are some of your fave on the go foods? Help me out here people, I need a game plan!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend of Glutton-Part Deux

Saturday, I wanted to have another adventure in the city, umfortunely, Hurricane Bill didn't want us to ride bikes.  I decided I wanted to try out Brooklyn: Park Slope and Clinton Hill/Ft. Greene and then have some pizza and wine at the wonderful Graziella's.  Brooklyn did not disappoint-Park Slope, Clinton Hill and Ft. Greene are the cutest little pockets in Brooklyn.

Now on to Graziella's.  Dear. Lord.  It's the best pizza ever.  No lie.  Hands down, the arugula parmesan pizza is the best I've ever had.  I'll be back in 2 weeks, Graziella's!  (This photo does not do this pizza justice!)

The rooftop dining area only adds the awesome factor to this secret pizza joint!

Sweating it out on the subway in my 2008 Final 4 T-Shirt

New Running Skirt, by Nike.  (do not look above my waist.  Don't.  I know you just did.  Avert your eyes!!)

I'm still not sure how I feel about a running skirt.  I feel a tad bit like a fraud.  But yet, oh so girly!  I also bought some Blue Nike Shorts and a Fall Sweatshirt (for Running!!)

Ok, Fall, bring it on.  I'm ready!

Weekend of Glutton-Part One

I love a weekend of good food!

The weekend started out with a trip to The Mermaid Inn for a fantastic seafood dinner.  We started out with Shrimp Cocktail and ordered a bottle of Verdejo (a Spanish white wine) Paso y Paso- a first for me to have more than a sip of white wine.

For dinner, I ordered Spaghetti and a Salad-different, but fantastic.  The dish was spaghetti, olive oil, steamed clams and littleneckes (a first) with arugula and shaved parmesan on top!  The taste and texture was out of this world-I think I have a new favorite dish idea!
There really wasn't enough protein for me, but I went with it.  A first for me to let loose with my food!
Side of sauteed spinach-

Live in ordered the Lobster Roll-

Nom Nom Nom

Desert was a chocolate pudding and a Fortune Fish!

The air was too stagnant outside for our fortune fish, so I saved him for another day!

Too be continued!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fat Day

Everybody has those so called "fat days".

After looking at my tree stumps (aka, legs) in the gym mirror and deciding I should probably cut out all pasta type foods, wheat, anything over 100 calories, etc, I get an nice compliment from a fellow gym-goer. Muscle lifter said (in his opinion) I have "the perfect athletic body". I really did thank him because I was having a low self esteem body day. (Of course I realize men are always trying to get in girls' pants, so I said "thanks" and moved on).

But why am I posting this: because it goes to show that a. women CAN have athletic bodies and look fantastic and 2. because so many women are down on themselves and their appearance-it's ok to receive a compliment and TAKE IT!!!

Glamour Magazine (September 2009) did a month long story on a woman and how she felt daily about her body-and took pictures each day in the same bathing suit, in the same pose. The pictures were to prove that she looked the same each day to other people, even if she felt like like a giant walrus.
I also think body image has a lot to do with the food we eat. I know when I eat like crap, I feel like crap, thus making me have a low body image. I don't like to feel bad or look bad so this is why I eat healthy and work out. Plus I am uber competitive and I like to compete with mostly, myself.

I am posting my favorite strong, female athletes. And they also just so happen to be hot!

Who is your favorite female athlete?
(PS: I don't consider Nascar [driving] a sport therefore Danica Patrick will not be on my list])

Jennie Finch and Kara Goucher

Brandy Chastain

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Various Awesome Blogs

Yesterday, I stumbled upon awesome blog after awesome blog and I thought I would share. Because that's what I do.

Eat, Live, Run: written by Jenna-I've been reading hers for a while (my first blog to read!!). She has easy lunch and dinner ideas. Also, she's a pastry chef. Saywhat? We'll be right over, Jenna!

Healthy Tipping Point: written by Caitlin-I read about 75 pages yesterday. Me likey. Very positive and motivational!

No Meat Athlete: written by Matt, a marathoner, vegetarian! Yipee for no meat marathons! Also nice to have a male's point of view.

The Runner's Kitchen: written by Megan-a runner since high school (and she's fast, people!). Also fellow New Yorker. I like to see where her NYC adventures take her!

Fitnessista: One of Anna's fave's. I like her recipes! Healthy and they look delicious!

Things to do While Unemployed: And of course, one of my besties, Stacey Logan. Hers is foul and funny, kinda like a married version of Tucker Max. SO really, nothing like Tucker Max, 'cept writing styles.

I hope these keep you busy, yanno for a rainy day!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Things I have learned this summer

Sigh. I am in my last week of summer vacation. I realize most 29 year olds don't get summer vacation, but since I am a grad student, I do. And I needed it. During the semester I am a full on crazy person, stressed out to the max, and exhausted and cranky. This summer break has been great.....but i didn't totally turn my brain off! I learned some things. Some I learned through research, or my awesome job, some I learned the hard way ( which is evidently my fave way to learn.) So without further adue ( how do you spell that word?)

Top 10 Things I learned This Summer
10. Shaq is really good at alot of sports.
9. I am a pretty smart cookie. I believe my education is sticking. Good.
8. I am even more obsessed with peanut butter than I originally thought.
7. Gall Bladder surgery is serious business.
6. My husband is an excellent ceiling fan installer.
5. Time magazine is ridiculously ignorant.
4. If you treat your body nice, it will return the favor. It is your Temple. Respect it.
3. Fire ants are black....who knew?
2. Pei Wei's veggie and tofu substitution for meat in their dishes is unbelievable. So Super Duper Yummy
And the #1 thing I learned this summer:

ANT BITES SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I Hate You, Spin Class

Memba that time when I was so mad during spin class, I cried? Yeah, I do. I hadn't taken a spin class in ohh, about 8 months because it makes my vaginal area hurt. Bad. More on that later.


Let's start from 10am.....(play the dream sequence sounds in your head)

My boss calls me to say she was "slammed" from a superior because I asked a question to someone in the legal department. Just a simple question to keep the ball rolling on an agreement while my boss was on vacation. But apparently our department isn't supposed to "talk to her". WTF? Seriously?! Is this lady the Queen of England? Ugh. I felt so bad for my boss, even though she is more on the side of "fuck it", but still. I guess that's what happens when I try and keep things moving along.
Anyway, after those shenanigans, I had a pretty normal day. Busy, which I like. And yesterday, my package from Target came. Of course, UPS did not leave it, so I called the number. The lady on the phone says it's at the UPS pick up center (which is located damn near in New Jersey) and I can pick it up. Sweet! Forty-five minutes later (2 bus rides and 10 minutes of waiting for a subway that never came) I get there. Man scans the bar code. Ma'am, your package is on the truck for delivery-they attempted to deliver it at 1:32pm. AAAAHHHHHHHHH! If at this point I could have blown fire out of my mouth like a kick ass dragon, then I would have. For sure. UPS man gives me the "manager's" phone number. I call and I don't lose my cool, but I am straight forward with this manager about my inconvenience. I say "LEAVE THE PACKAGE TOMORROW". Click.

At this point, I wanted to go to a bar and drink. But I didn't, because I was really looking forward to spin class. Plus, I had a reservation with Mr. Schwinn, bike 12.
I rush to class and barely make it by 6:30. People are already warming up as I walk in. I look at Mr. 12, BROKEN. Shoe holder thingy is on the floor, not attached to the pedal. Knob is missing from the seat adjustment part. My water bottle is too big to fit into the holder. And my ass/giny area already hurts. I adjust my seat, reattach my pedal shoe thingy as the instructor watches (not helping), sit in the seat, ow, readjust the seat, sit, ow. Deal with it. Ok, this will be fine.
When we start doing hills, I imagine I'm in France with Lance Armstrong and we are riding the Tour de France course together, cheering each other on over the hills. I also imagine the guy in front of me is Lance, although twas not. People in class are "hooting and hollerin' and woo-hooing". Yeah, this is gonna be good! Ass hurts, but ok.
I need to tighten my shoe thingy. RIP. I break the metal piece. Way to go dummy, but I think it's no big deal, I'm a pedalin'. Instructor says "Pick up the pace, let's go! Double time!! Double time!!" Cycle, Cycle, Cycle, Slip. F&$K! My left foot slips out of the pedal, no big deal, it wasn't bad. I slip my foot back in the broken pedal and realize I can't go too fast without my foot falling out. Fine.
I crank up the resistance and pedal. Woo, I'm pedaling like I'm in the friggin Olympics. Faster and faster then BAM. My left foot comes out and now is dangling while my right foot is still attached and the bike is still spinning. Up and down, up and down I go. My giny bangs the seat a few times. F@*K, OUCH. The instructor comes over and says "Are you ok?". I reply with a "Yes and the pedal thing is broken." He doesn't care. "PEDAL FASTER, LET'S GO!!!!!!!"

Now I am so angry by the hazing I have received from this fucking bike that I contemplate getting off, shoving it, flipping off the class and then walking the f out.
I'm putting my left foot back in the broken pedal, again and I'm angry. And what happens to Morgan Beene when she gets angry, she cries. Yes, I cried in spin class. Not real tears cry, but a pissed off cry. No tears.
I tell myself to suck it up-this totally merits a new bottle of wine for dinner. Meanwhile, I am trying my best and Mr. Awesome Teacher is pointing out the star spinners of the class giving a thumbs up. Fuck off.
Finally 45 minutes later, class is over and I Usain Bolt the fark outta there.

I want to love spin class, I really do. It's a great cardio workout and plus it's friggin' awesome cross training for running. But it's almost as if spin class doesn't want to like me. Terd. Next week I will try it again (somewhere embedded in my bones is perseverance-also embedded: competitiveness). I will need to a. not reserve a jacked up bike, and 2. wear 35 depends on my ass for cushion.
Mr. Schwinn, I will conquer you. Mark. My. Words. I'm coming after you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

Anna and I were gchatting about our top 5 foods and if we were stranded on a deserted island, what would the 5 foods be?

1. Avocadoes-duh
2. Coconut Milk (for drinking and also for making ice cream)
3. MiMi Roll from Sekisui-except I would change the imitation crab to Prime Tuna-yanno, for the health factor
4. Sweet potatoes-to make sweet potato fries, baked, mashed, smashed, tempura-ed, and sweet potato hash
5. Cheese-again, duh.

Oh! But I need to get wine on that list too! Hmmmmm. Well, I cannot get rid of ANY of those items! Maybe I can get rid of the cheese. Nooooo, I will need that for protein. Ok, I've decided to get rid of GULP, sweet potatoes. Sad, yes! Goodbye! But hello Red Grapes and Wine!

Then I decided I would need 2 condiments, which are very necessary:
1. Agave Nectar
2. Olive Oil infused with Salt, pepper, and crushed red peppers

This list could change tomorrow-who knows. I might want to add spinach, but no, not really. I'm on a deserted island, so obviously, my deserted island is a tropical one and if Anna and I are stranded together, then, well, she can pick 5 other items and we can share!

What are your top 5 foods?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


See this? This is what happens when you step in an ant hill. I know I destroyed their home, but geeze! It was an accident! Those little jerks climbed inside my shoe and bit me repeatedly. this was over a week ago, and they are STILL itching so bad it keeps me up at night. Ugh!
I tried to do a 5 mile run yesterday for the first time since I had the cold, then got the bites. It has been painful/ itchy to put a shoe on that foot, because, like I said, the tiny jerks climbed in my shoe and bit me repeatedly. It was a very HOT HUMID and ITCHY run. Kind of like torture. It was 94˚ and about 96% humidity. And noon. I confess that was bad planning on my part, but I wanted to run SO bad! I ended up having to take several walk breaks, which I don't usually do anymore, but I had to reattach the duct tape and Band-Aids I had covering the bites ( I was trying to prevent rubbing because rubbing = itching like crazy) and hydrate. I ended up with a slow 3 miles, but hey.....better than no run, right?
BTDub....why did I just now try the little individual powder packs of G2?! Economical, portable, and refreshing!

I had an awesome salad for lunch today:
It was comprised of leftovers from my grilling and veggie roasting extravaganza this weekend!
mmm....sweet taters.

The combo of the warm sweet potatoes and roasted squash and zucchini over the cool spinach was divine. I also had a little feta under there that softened under the heat. YYYUUUUMMMEERRRSSS!

I love the hot/ cold combo. Like ice cream on a hot brownie or warm apple pie. Cold daiquiri on the hot sand.......HAHA!! What are some of your favorite hot/ cold combos?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Comfort Food

Tonight I made my first whole roasted chicken and I used Ina Garten's recipe called The Perfect Roasted Chicken. I've been hearing how easy this recipe is and how it's foolproof and it's also A-MAZE-ING! I've been craving roasted chicken and potatoes and vegetables lately and this HIT the spot! The recipe is simple and you need only a few ingredients!

courtesy of the Food Network and Barefoot Contessa


1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken (Organic Free Range)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Chopped Vegetables and Potatoes in my beautiful cast iron pot (that I lugged around for 3 blocks)

  • I followed the recipe to a T. Well, almost. Here are some changes I would make:

  • Add more vegetables, I like a ton of veggies with it and I would add an entire bag of carrots and also another onion.
  • Less salt. I was mega liberal with the salt and it was just a tad too salty

  • More Thyme inside

  • Whole Garlic Cloves with the veggies

  • I added Red Roasting Potatoes to the veggies too-turned out awesome

Here, after carving and with the jus from the bottom of the pot:

It was just a tad salty (which was my fault) but OMG the juiciness of the chicken and the taste, oh the taste! Is it lunchtime yet-I'm excited to eat these leftovers!

The health factor of this dish-well its already healthy. There isn't anything to substitute. Probably the butter, but it's only a tablespoon-ish on the skin to make it crispy, and you can remove that.

As a side I made Smoked Pimiento and Cheese Grits. Hello new favorite dish! When it's tweaked a little better, I will post the recipe! (and sorry for the blurry picture, Joey was bumping my arm-she went CRAZY for the chicken!)

And I couldn't complete a meal without dessert!!

Array of mini desserts from Whole Foods: Petite Vanilla Cheesecake, Petite Fruit Tart, Carrot Cake, Cannoli, Mini Vanilla Cupcake (perfect size!)

Now, get to cooking people!!

Live-in and I spent Saturday biking around NYC and Staten Island (don't go) and it was just amazing-like I was a kid again! NYC Summer Streets is here every Saturday where Park Avenue was closed from 72nd to the Brooklyn Bridge from 7am-1pm. It's refreshing to see all the bikers, runners, walkers, skaters instead of cars!

See: (yes, I took this picture while riding and it was hard!)

This is the bike I want! Jamis Commuter 2 in Pacific Blue, just in case!!

Get out there and get busy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


In the spirit of Julie and Julia, the movie, and awesome cookbooks, food bloggers and chefs worldwide, Anna and I have decided to choose a favorite Chef/cookbook Author and recreate their dishes BUT with healthy substitutions. For example, if a dish calls for 4 eggs, the substitution could be 3 egg white and 2 eggs. We are really excited about this (and so our our boyfriends/husbands)!!!! Cooking is a passion of both of ours, and making "healthier" versions, well, I just can't say how awesome it will be!!!!

Anna will be taking Giada de Laurentiis and I've picked Ina Garten.

I am making the first recipe tonight, so stay tuned!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cooking is hip again!

I don't know about ya'll, but I am so glad that cooking at home is hip again. Remember in the late 90's/ early 2000's when Sex and the City meant girls night drinking cosmos out on the town? It wasn't even cool to eat at home, much less spend time cooking the meal you were eating. Eating at home meant you didn't have big fancy plans to go out with your friends in your super duper low rise jeans and highest pointiest-toed heels. I sure am glad that era has passed. I don't know if it's that I'm almost 30, or if I am lazy, and while I ADORE dressing up, I would almost always rather be home, with a pup and a book, watching the Food Network.
Well, thanks to so many awesome books, Food Network personalities like Paula Deen, Giada DeLaurentis, and yes, even Rachael Ray, cooking is hip!!!! I for one could not be happier. Some of my earliest childhood memories involve helping my mom peel vegetables for dinner, baking cookies with my maternal grandmother, and helping my dad's mom decorate wedding cakes which people ordered from her by the dozens in a tee-tiny Arkansas town. For as long as I can remember, these women just knew how to cook, and their cooking was the way they loved their families. Some of the funniest memories I have of my grandfather are of him and I watching Justin Wilson drink the majority of his bottle of wine with just a splash left for whatever dish he intended it to go into.
In the south, our livelihood is often food. We celebrated with food, we loved with food, and when someone needed it, we healed with food. New neighbors? Basket of baked goods. Friend had surgery or a death in the family? Casseroles. Good report card? get the idea.
It wasn't until recently that I realized all of the southern cooking I grew up loving, and the dishes I aspired to replicate actually had very healthy aspects. Sure we fried our fish, but it was caught fresh and cleaned by my grandfather. My other grandfather made his entire living with his crops. Rarely in the summer did I ever eat a fruit or vegetable that wasn't "MawMaw's purple hull peas" or "PawPaw's watermelon". In fact every Thanksgiving and Christmas there is at least one pecan pie with "MawMaws pecans" and one apple pie with "MawMaws apples". Let's not forget"Nannies' greens".
I love baking, chopping, stirring, mixing and pouring. I don't know if it is because of the recession, or what, but I am so excited that so many of my friends seem to be cooking at home more often these days. When you cook at home, you can control the quality and quantity of the ingredients you use. And benefit from having a very impressed man around the house. Afterall, the way to a man's heart really is through his stomach. Did Carrie Bradshaw ever think of that?
With this weekends release of Julie and Julia, I hope that people will fall in love with cooking the way I did when I was young. And I am so glad to tell my grandmas how long they have been "hip"!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Me Cookie Monster, me need cookies.
During college, one of my classes had a symposium of sorts (Psychology) and of course there was catering. I head straight for the cookies only to find one of my favorite teachers hanging around the cookie jar too. We discussed our love for cookies and agreed that cookies were in fact, the best food on Earth. When your professor says it, it's true.
It's definitely a week for cookies. I bought both boxes of cookies and the Le Petit Ecolier are gone. I shared veerry few with my coworkers. Very few. I pretty much ate them all.
The Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies are still available, as I type this. But I am pretty sure when I get home I plan on devouring them. Oops. Plus, so good dipped in Vanilla Coconut Milk.

This week has been a regular ol' week. Eatin' the leftovers of the gumbo and lasagna (go me!) is a rare feat and I also made tortilla pizzas last night and was STUFFED after one. Might be the fact that I shoved fresh Mozzarella in my face as I was slicing (one for you, 2 for me)!
Me and my boy, we got our new sofa this week and as soon as the apartment is clean, I will post some pics of me modeling how awesome it is. And when the table and chairs arrive, I will post ACTUAL MEALS at the table! I'm BEYOND stoked for a table. It's time to start setting the table again for dinner (yay) and talking instead of watching the tele hunched over our food.
T-minus 4 minutes until the end of my work day! Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ouch My Legs!

Sniff, sneeze, cough, cough, sniff. Those are the sounds i have been making for almost a week now. Dumb. This cold/flu thing I came down with last Thursday is hanging around! Luckily I do have a bit more energy today, adn I had a bit more last night. Good thing, becasue I had a super full spin class counting on me! We did a KILLER workout in class, and my legs are a bit sore today.
Speaking of muscle soreness, here is an educational tidbit for you. There is so much false info out there in what "delayed onset muscle soreness" really is, i htought I should fill you in.
The soreness that appears out of nowhere 1 to 2 days after a workout is actually tiny little microscopic tears in your muscles. The pain comes from that inflammation, and your body trying to heal it. That is why if you will move those muscles the day after a workout, your muscle soreness won't be as bad, and will go away sooner. Increasing the circulation to that area can actually speed healing by delivering more oxegyn and nutrients, and removing waste.
Did you know that the eccentric portion ( or the "lowering phase") of an exercise is what causes the damage to tissue, creating those microscopic tears? So if you want to really feel your workout the next day, try concentrating on "Negatives", or slowing down that eccentric phase. Try taking twice as long to lower the weight as you did to lift it. For a quad shredding workout, try this!

  • Leg extension on machine, 3 sets x 12 reps @ 60 lbs ( concentrating on lowering portion)

  • Walking lunges with 20 lb dumbells in each hand, 3 sets x 20 reps

  • High bar back squats with a 45 lb power bar, 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Bench step ups with 10 lb dumbells in each hand, or load on shoulders to stress spine, 3 sets x 10 reps on each leg

Monday, August 3, 2009

Italiano Night!

Yay for healthy, homemade Lasagna! Since I am lazy this week, yes and it's only Monday, I went ahead and prepared this weeks meals: Gumbo and Turkey Lasagna or should I say it's a lasagna with a turkey meat sauce!
You'll need
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes-I use one regular and one with jalapenos!
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato sauce-I use 1/2 the can
  • 1 small onion-diced
  • 1/2 green pepper (you can use a whole one, but I am saving the other 1/2 for pizza night) diced
  • 3-4 handfuls of spinach
  • fresh mozzarella
  • shredded mozzarella
  • Ricotta Cheese made from Skim milk
  • Whole wheat lasagna-about 7
  • basil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning-all to taste
  • Bottle of wine!

75% of the cans

Brown turkey meat-drain. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it's warm, add the onions, garlic and bell peppers and sautee for 5 or so minutes.

Exhibit A

Preheat oven to 350

Dump in your 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 can tomato sauce, and the whole can of tomato paste. Stir. Add spices (remember to taste the sauce). After about 10 minutes add the turkey meat. Continue to cook covered-for about 20 minutes . When almost done, stir in the handfuls of spinach a few handfuls at a time and let the leaves wilt.

Now with the spinach:

Meanwhile in another pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook lasagna according to the instructions on the box. Drain and let cool for a few minutes.

In a long rectangular casserole dish, spread some sauce on the bottom so the noodles don't stick to the pan. Add a layer of noodles, layer of ricotta cheese, layer of sauce and a few sprinkles of the shredded mozzarella. Repeat. When you have reached the final layer with the sauce on top, add a few thin slices of the fresh mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. The last 5 minutes, uncover and add more of the shredded mozzarella, if desired. Yes, I desired. Take out of the oven and be sure to turn the oven off! Let cool for a few, then DIG IN!

Finished product!!! With a slice of garlic toast and an iceberg lettuce wedge!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Good Enough To Eat

Why, yes, it is Good Enough To Eat!
Good Enough To Eat is a VERY popular breakfast joint in my hood. The line is always long and I don't like waiting for long to eat, especially if its Brunch!
I ordered the "Good Enough To Eat" French Toast topped with sugar, raisins and walnuts and a side of Turkey Sausage! The meal came with 3, THREE!!!! slices of french toast and there's no way I could have eaten 3! Whew!
It sure was good though-Good Enough To Eat, for sure!

I hope everyone has a nice rest of their Sunday!

Restful, rainy, lazy weekend

The weekend started with a rainy Friday. It was super yucky out! Since I had a long training run (Thanks NYRR!) on Saturday, I wanted to eat light and healthy and no dairy. But since it was raining, I CRAVED soup! For soup I went to Europa Cafe and picked up a small cup of Spinach and White Bean Soup. No dairy and no meat-and it was creamy and EXCELLENT!!! I also had a toasted peanut butter and sugar free jelly sandwich-on Ezekiel bread!

After work, I headed to the gym for a 45 minute cardio workout with just a few strength training on my shoulders and back and some core work!
Then I headed to Whole Foods to pick up some supplies to make Anna's Gumbo!

The changes I made:
  • No black beans
  • I used loads of Emeril's Seasoning and Cajun spices
  • My Chicken Sausage was a Chicken Andouille Sausage
  • 2 cups of okra
  • Frozen Corn (I have an aversion to canned corn)
This soup is velvety rich and so excellent! I ate 2 whole cups of it along with a Cheesy Biscuit from Whole Foods! (Those were Live In's tots! I MAY have had 3 or 4!)

Saturday I woke up early and ran 16.5 miles with the NYRR's Long Training Run in Central Park! I am so grateful they organize a training run... for about $10 you can choose to run between 6-20 miles and they provide pace leaders, water, goo, porti- potties, and even a few spectators! But Central Park is one hilly B&^%H! Yes, I definitely ice bathed after the run and today I am not sore one bit!

Saturday the weather was so nice-there wasn't a cloud in the sky. After a re-fuel with some Gumbo and a Grilled Cheese and Cherries and Carrots, I went to Central Park to lie in the grass and soaked in some Vitamin D! It was HOT HOT HOT and there wasn't much of a breeze but I sucked it up and caught some rays!

For Dinner, Live In and I ordered from Cafe Blossom-a vegan, kosher Cafe across the street from us. We both ALWAYS order the same thing: LI a Sloppy Joe and I a Tofu BLT! My sandwich comes with fried tofu, tempeh, lettuce, tomato, and a chipotle aioli on foccacia bread-not low in calories, but DEEEELICIOUS! I even have some leftover for a snack/dinner tonight-which it's raining-AGAIN!

I want to make for dinner this week a spicy, smoky cheese grits, with blackened chicken and tempura okra! A fusion of many spices and tastes, but comes together nicely. This is my "Signature Dish". which still needs a bit of tweaking. When I was unemployed, I watched HOURS on HOURS of the Food Network and I decided that I needed a "Signature Dish"-a go to dish when I needed to whip up something tasty and impressive, with my personality in the dish as well. So that's what I came up with.
A few others I have:
  • Seared Sesame Tuna with a Wasabi Mustard with Crispy Green Beans
  • Southern Fried Buttermilk Chicken-Light (a "lighter" version, if you will)
  • Edamame Goat Cheese Dip-I found this recipe in Food and Wine and ever since I made it, it's been a hit.
  • Bite-Sized Spicy Spinach Croissant Rolls
Does anyone else have a "Signature Dish" and what is it?

Seared Tuna with Crispy Green Beans and a Cheese Crostini

Grilled Steak with a Chipotle Sauce and Smoked Gouda Cheese Grits