Posted in Food, Menu Planning, New Food, Recipe

Pumpkin Soup with Chili and Ginger

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While I’m staying home with BabyGirl, there is a lot of opportunity to watch daytime television.  There’s an unbelievable amount of talk shows on that follow a similar format.  The Talk, The View, The Chew, The Real

I was watching Clinton Kelly (of What Not To Wear fame) on The Chew when he demonstrated a Roasted Curried Pumpkin Soup that I thought sounded scrumptious.  I happened to have everything that it was calling for and happily headed into the kitchen to cobble it together. 
Continue reading “Pumpkin Soup with Chili and Ginger”

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Posted in Crafty, Food, Menu Planning, Recipe

Pumpkin Pancakes

My in-laws are in town for Easter. They drive all the way down from Winnipeg, and I like to think it’s just for my pumpkin pancakes.

I’m allowing myself to call them “mine” because I make a couple tweaks to the original recipe. It’s actually a recipe from Diane Sanfilippo, from the book entitled Practical Paleo.

Since everyone was still sleeping, I had the entire first floor to myself. Step one: turn on some tunes.

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Now that you’re bopping around to some good tunes, you should realize that you’re starving.  Eat a can of pears while getting your ingredients together!

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As you’re getting your ingredients together, question the freshness of your eggs since you can’t remember when you bought them.  The Float Test works really well!  If you’re questioning your eggs, give it a try.

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Ruh roh… One of them is bad. Two are alright, and one is fresh.  Toss the baddie and swap in another fresh egg!

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All set? You should have 4 eggs, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 2* TBLS vanilla extract, 2 TBLS maple syrup, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 2 TBLS coconut floor*.

*quantities or ingredients vary from original recipe.

All set?? K, let’s mix the wet ingredients first.

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Whip that up–I use an electric beater, but a whisk would work too.  Next, get together the dry ingredients. Make sure to get your cook book all messy… This is required. 😛

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K, mix the dry ingredients together so that we can sift them into the wet ingredients next.

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Mix these together, then set it aside for a moment. Now is going to be a great time to clean up your dishes and get the skillet or griddle pre-heated.

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That’s one of the things that I learned from my grandma.  If you clean as you go, the end clean up won’t be so bad.

Now, if you’re using a nonstick skillet, you shouldn’t need the coconut oil that’s called for in the original recipe. I normally prefer to leave it out, but I used a little this time just to stick a little closer to the original recipe.

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These cook up a little differently than normal pancakes. Depending on how hot your griddle is, these might cook up in a couple minutes, but it could take longer.  Our griddle is starting to lose heat in some areas, so I had a couple false starts.  You can watch for the bubbles to burst, but it could be a little while before you see that.

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Flip! These are a bit wet, even with the added coconut flour, so I like to press them after they’re flipped to get them to cook through. I also flip them again to make sure both sides of the batter that ooozes out (yummy!) is cooked.

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Slice up some fruit to have with your meal, and you’re all set. These pancakes are so flavorful that you won’t need butter or syrup to go with them.  By all means, feel free to dress them up!

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Enjoy!

Posted in Gaming, Life + Living

Step by step guide to building a standing station

Last year, I posted a very high level overview about building an Ikea standing station conversion. This year, I’m showing you:

1: Read this guide
2: go to Ikea

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3: Daydream about making some of the rooms yours:

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4: Find and purchase the following:
~Lack side table (21×21″)
~Antonius shelf (31×11″)
~brackets of your choice

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5. Gather your materials.  You will need

– side table
– shelf
– brackets
– power drill with 1/16″ bit and Phillips had screw driver bit
– screws of appropriate dimensions.( I raided our junk drawer to find some. You want at least two that are just under 1/2″, and about four more that are about 1″)
– a pencil
– a buddy

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6. Assemble the table according to the included instructions (recruiting a buddy helps save fatigue in your forearms)

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7. Figure out where you want your keyboard to be by putting the table on your existing desk. Bend your elbows to mimic typing comfortably at a keyboard (usually around 90°) and mark off this height discretely with a pencil on the inside of the table leg.

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8. Measure and mark the holes for the brackets on the bottom of the shelf

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I couldn’t find my measuring tape, so I just eyeballed it.
9. Drill a shallow pilot hole for each of the screws using a 1/16″ bit. Only go deep enough to get through the veneer

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10. Line the brackets up as planned, then screw them down. Your screw should just fit:

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11. Referencing your pencil marks from step 7, mark where you’ll be attaching the other side of the bracket to the table

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12. Drill pilot holes *just* through the veneer, and use the smallest bit (1/16″ is what I used).  Get your buddy to brace the table so it doesn’t fall over on you. He or she can hang out and lend some leverage through the next steps.

13. Mount the shelf to the table using 1″ screws.

14. Place standing station conversion on your existing desk, move your monitor, keyboard, and mouse as needed and Ta da: standing station

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* if you use too big of a bit, drill too far, or use screws that are too short, you might experience the painful conclusion of your shelf falling off when you place your table upright

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Don’t worry, if plan “A” fails, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet. Plan “B” for me was to spin the table around and correct for my mistakes. The damaged part faces the wall anyway, so no one will see.

My trip to Ikea included the parts shown above, crafting beads, and lint roller refills. My bill came to $33.  The table itself should be around $7-9, the shelf around $6-7, and the brackets around $6-7.  Not a bad deal for $20!

I talked to someone there who had already made his version and he was helping a friend build one. This was #2 for me. Are you going to tackle it? Comment below with your thoughts.

Posted in Uncategorized

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

For the crust:
2 cups flour (not packed)
1/2 cup oil (canola or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup milk

Mix flour and oil together with a fork, then add milk and mix. Dough should hold its shape.  Roll half out between two sheets of wax paper, this forms the bottom crust. Carefully remove the top sheet of wax paper (can use a butter knife to coax it). Put your pie tin on top of the crust then slip your hand under the bottom sheet of wax paper and turn the whole thing over. Now you can coax the wax paper off the top and the crust should be in the tin.

For the filling:
2 cups strawberries cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups rhubarb cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss/mix together, then pour into the prepared crust.  Add 3-4 rounded tablespoons sprinkled on top, to absorb some of the juice as it bakes.

Follow the directions above to roll out the second crust. This time, though, take of the top later of wax paper, then carefully flip/place the crust over the pie. Remove the last bit of wax paper, then press the edges of the crusts together.

Cut slits for vents, then bake at 350°F for about an hour.

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Soup-y pie is still pie…

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Posted in Food, New Food, Recipe, Weight Watchers

Super-easy short-cut for WW Grilled Fish with Mango Salsa

Ha!

So, WW is super diligent about watching out for copyright infringement, so I can’t post the whole recipe or directions here, but in the book I bought there’s a recipe for Grilled Fish with Mango Salsa.  There are 6 ingredients and the prep time is probably around 15-20 minutes.  I wasn’t in the mood to de-vein jalapeños or deal with slimy mangoes (especially in winter?) so I cheated a little bit.  Here’s the condensed version of WW Grilled Fish with Mango Salsa:

Ingredients:

1- bowl of fruit salsa from your local deli
2- fillets of cod (skin removed)
little bit of lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:
Unwrap fish from the paper it comes in, place in a skillet over medium heat.  Drizzle with a little bit of lemon, salt, and pepper.  Depending on the thickness of your fillet, it’ll be ready to flip around 3-5 minutes.  Apply the same techniques to this side – lemon, salt, pepper as desired.  This will be done in about 3-5 minutes as well.  The fish will be done when it can be flaked with a fork and is no longer translucent.  Don’t over-cook the fish or it’ll get rubbery.

Top with spoonfuls of the prepared salsa and enjoy 🙂

Total time – 10 minutes.

Fish with Mango Salsa

Posted in College, Fitness, Food, Gaming, Life + Living, Recipe

Colorado n stuff

[Life in general]

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I’ve been meaning to write, but there always seems to be something that comes up *cough*GW2*cough*.

Well, now I’m at my friend’s house, four states away from home. Everyone is sleeping, so I’m going to write.

Continue reading “Colorado n stuff”

Posted in Fitness, Food, Life + Living, Recipe, Strength Training

I-i-i-i Work Out

 

So, now that vacation is over and I’m climbing out of my funk, I’ve got a new routine that I’m establishing.  This is going to be another one of those short posts because I’m writing it as I’m sippin on a smoothie when I should really be heading out the door instead.  I’ve got, oh, 10 minutes maximum.  Here goes:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Wake 5:45, make breakfast/lunch, leave by 6:30. Strength routine at the gym until about 8:15.  Work until 5:30, then it’s home to cook dinner by 7.  After dinner, go for a 30 minute walk/play racquetball.  Then, from 7:30 on, lollygag–er, I mean, study, work on my blog, and generally have free time until bed at 9. I give myself leeway to read until 9:30pm, at which point I’m generally nodding off anyway.

Tuesday: Wake 5:45, make breakfast/lunch, leave by 6:30. Physical therapy (for my back. Finally. After almost 3 months) until 7:30am. Go for a morning walk/jog/bike for 30 minutes. Work on blog/browse the internet until 9am. Then the rest of my schedule is the same as M/W/F.

Thursday: Wake 5:45 just to stay in the routine.  Make breakfast/lunch and watch My Little Pony until it’s time to go to work.  Work. Then evening is the same as M/W/F.

Saturdays and Sundays are not nearly as structured except to say that there will be at least 8 hours of studying and at least 3 hours devoted to menu planning and grocery shopping, an hour to working out (on Saturday) and 30 minutes cardio on Sunday.

My workouts have gotten pretty darn good, too.  My personal trainer really listens to me and I think we’re going along at a good pace.  My strength training routine has an “A” day and a “B” day that alternate.  My “A” Day looks like this:

Warm Up: Bird Dog, Adductor Mobility, Hip Flexor Mobility, Wall Slides, Ankle Mobility
Abs: Plank 1 minute; rest 30 seconds; Plank 1 minute [When I asked for more ab work, she said that if I’m doing the movements right, everything involves abs]
Strength: Squats (30lb DB); Chest Press (20lb DB); Static Lunges (10lb DB); Cable Cross-over Pull-Downs (25.7); Glute Bridges with a Bench (18lb Bar); TRX Rows; X-Band Walk

And that’s what I’m up for this morning. So there we go.  There’s the old me that would struggle with cuddles vs. muscles  and then there’s me: ready and rarin’ to go.

Blueberry Shake: 

2 Tbls (Plain, non-fat) Yogurt

1/4 Cup Blueberries

1 (medium) Banana

2 Rounded scoops protein complete (meal replacement) powder

splash of milk

(smoothie button until blended)

Ice cubes

(Icy drink button until blended)

Eat right away and rinse of all components before protein turns to glue.  🙂