Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Recipe On the Run

Just a quick recipe to add to your arsenal. I made this tonight and found it to be pretty easy thanks to my new PC toys. If you're on the run to another Mexican themed get together with your friends and looking for something tasty to bring, try this Southwestern Pizza.

What I like about it is that you can make a big batch of salsa and use half for the pizza and the other half as an extra app. Now look at you, bringing TWO appetizers to the party :)

Southwestern Salsa Pizza/Classic Salsa

1 package of crescent rolls
2 pints of grape tomatoes
half a red onion
half a jalapeno
2 ears of corn (or a can of corn), blanched and kernels removed
a couple cloves of garlic
8 oz cream cheese
(Great tip from Elina, for a lower cal option, do 4 oz greek yogurt, 4 oz cream cheese!)
1 lime
1 red pepper, chopped
1 or 2 pieces of chicken, shredded

I got to use the Deep Covered Baker for this recipe. Its amazing. I put this frozen piece of chicken in here, added some mexican seasonings, and then stuck it in the microwave for 5 minutes. It comes out perfect in this thing. In she goes...

Bake the crescent rolls laid out flat according to package direction.

While the chicken was in the microwave and the crescent rolls in the oven, I got started on the salsa. Again I had a new toy to play with!! Salad Choppers. Just throw the onion, jalapeno, cilantro in whole and chop chop with the salad choppers.

Like so!

Added in the cherry tomatoes, lime juice, crushed garlic, and salt and chop chop some more with the wonder scissors that are quickly replacing my knife.

Chicken is done! See... its perfect.
Chop chop it up!

Remove the kernels from the corn

Throw in your salsa!

In a separate bowl mix cream cheese, some cilantro and some pressed garlic in a bowl

Stir it up!

Once your crust cools, top with cream cheese mixture, some dollops of salsa,

Some chopped red or green pepper

And finally the chicken! Then dig in...

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Perfect Summer Pasta

We just arrived home from a week at the beach. My goodness it was H-O-T. We vacationed with family, which meant that I had many many hands who were eager to hold TGB.

Many hands also meant that my husband and I could sneak off for a run together in the mornings. He suggested we run on the beach. Sounds romantic right? A nice, quiet morning run beach side with your love? No. Not at all. Running on the beach is definitely more romanticized in my head then in real life. Running on the beach is HARD!! The beach we were at was slanted so one of my hips was constantly beating the ground at an angle for the entire run. We would hit random patches of quick sand where it felt like you were dragging your feet with lead weights on each side, and there is absolutely no reprieve from the sun! The only redeeming factor was that as soon as the run was over I could dive right into the ocean. All in all, I'm going to say I much prefer walking on the beach. With some pinot grigio.

We came back home to absolutely brutal heat. Its a lot more unbearable when there is no ocean to jump into. I found corn in this week's CSA box, further proof that we are in the midst of the hottest month of the summer. I love this recipe so much because the three main ingredients, corn, tomatoes, and basil are in prime season right now!! You can get them at their absolute freshest from your farmer's market, or at their absolute cheapest at the grocery store :)

Thanks to Judy DelliColli for this great recipe!!

Summer Pasta

Spaghetti or Linguine, cooked and ready to go
2-3 ears of corn, blanched and then kernels removed
***Time saving tip... cook the pasta in the same pot that you boil the corn in***
2 ripe summer tomatoes, cut into big pieces
a big fresh bunch of basil
4-6 oz of fresh buffo mozzarella
balsamic vinegar
half a lemon
chopped garlic

Add a small bit of EVOO to a hot skillet. Quickly saute corn kernels with some fresh garlic... I used my new garlic press from PC which I am obsessed with.

Of course you could totally use a can of corn if you were in a pinch.
Add the tomatoes

Then throw in a few handfuls of pasta

And then the basil. Throw in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of balsamic. The original recipe didn't have this but I thought it sounded good. I also added half a lemon because I felt like it.

Turn off the heat and add the mozzarella. Toss it all around.

And serve it up.... sooo fresh tasting, easy, and seasonal. Loved it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hard Work Pays Off

Last Tuesday night I laced up and headed out for my first track workout of the season with my local running club. Oh, I have such a love/hate relationship with the track. I dread the workout all day long, cursing myself for signing up for such a thing. Then once I get the workout underway I'm reminded how much I love pushing myself. How great it feels to do something you didn't know if you could even do. How nostalgic it is to smell the rubber and feel the heat of the track while nearby coaches bark orders and blow whistles at football practice. And most of all, how rewarding it is to do something hard, and have it actually pay off.

Track workouts are hard, but they are so important if you want to take your running to the next level. Even more important than that for me, they help to break up the monotony of weekly runs. It can get pretty boring to go out there every day to push out the same old 4 to 6 miles. Track workouts shake it up, give you one day where you push yourself just a little harder, and in my case, reward myself juuuust a little more. Immediately after finishing this weeks track workout, which by the way was in the pouring down rain, I was feeling pretty badass so I took myself over to Giant for a fresh carton of chocolate ice cream. Its a good thing I love to run, because I suuuure do love to eat. :)

So here is the other indulgent, sinfully delicious recipe I mentioned a few posts ago. Similarly, this recipe is a LOT of WORK but it is worth every effort!!!! My girlfriend brought over these chicken enchiladas after I had TGB and oh my goodness, I fell in love with the sauce immediately. I put my own little spin on them, but kept the sauce the same. This dish is a definite crowd pleaser. The sauce is savory and rich but not at all spicy, so its perfect to please a large group. And always an added bonus, you can make this the night before!

The Best Chicken Enchiladas You've Ever Had

6 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I poached these in water and shredded the day before to make the assembly a little less burdensome the next day)

About 12 corn tortillas

vegetable oil for frying

your favorite brand of jarred salsa

About 4 oz of shredded jack cheese and 4 oz of shredded cheddar

For the sauce:
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 stick of butter
At least a 1/2 cup of tightly packed cilantro
1 tbl cumin
2 tbl flour

(Its pretty funny I thought light sour cream might make this any less fattening. Especially since its sitting next to that giant slab of butter)

In a blender add the chicken broth, cilantro, sour cream and cumin. Blend until smooth.

Meanwhile in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter over low heat (I doubled the recipe, so there's a lot more butter in here than half a stick if youre wondering). Whisk in the flour until smooth.

Like so :)

Then pour in the cilantro sour cream mix from the blender and whisk it up from time to time as it thickens over the low heat.

Get everything ready for frying... corn tortillas, veggie oil, a piece of aluminum foil, and you'll need some tongs too! Get someone to watch your kids (even if its the TV) because this part is kind of time sensitive. And by the way, don't even bother making these enchiladas at all if you're going to skip this step! If you just put the chicken in the corn tortillas without gently frying them first they will fall apart when you go to serve them.

Add a thin layer of oil to a hot hot pan, and fry the corn tortilla for just maybe 10 seconds per side so that its slightly crispy but still bends without breaking.
Then pick up the corn tortilla with the tongs, shake off the excess oil, and dip both sides in the sour cream sauce. Then transfer to the aluminum foil.

Repeat this with each tortilla until you've done as many as you want to make!

And now finally its time for assembly. Arent you happy you cooked the chicken the day before?? Make you assembly line... I've got the tortillas, chicken, then salsa, then cheese, then baking dish.

Put a bit of chicken, a spoonful of salsa, and some cheese in the tortilla.

Then fold and put open-side down in the baking dish.

Then pour alllll over the magic sauce...

And top with even more yummy fattening cheese! Just do it! You've already come this far!

Then bake at 350 for 30 minutes until the top is hot and bubbly. Oh my.
And finally, the last parallel I'll draw for you today, if you love all things running check out my girlfriend Dorothy's blog. She is the definition of Hard Work Pays Off and chronicles her inspiring journey through her Mile Posts entries. She was kind enough to do a little athlete bio on me today!

Monday, July 12, 2010


The best things happen organically.

Saturday morning I woke up to rain. I was planning on running with my local running club, but after a long tiring week and an even longer Friday night up with the babe, I squealed like a school kid who sees snow outside when my husband told me it was raining at 6 am.

I ended up running with the club Sunday instead. I rarely ever run on Sunday, but decided I would just go and squeak out 4 miles for the weekend. Since TGB has been born I had yet to cross the 4 mile barrier. I wasn't really looking forward to the Sunday run, I was feeling like it was something I had to do, and honestly I just wanted to go and get it over with.

But then I started going, and I didn't feel terrible. In fact, I felt pretty good! And when I got to the 2 mile turn around point for the 4 mile option, I actually ran past it on accident! Before I knew it I was tagging along with the 6 mile people. I had no Garmin, no iPod, and no plan. At the end of the run I was told we did 6.3 miles in 54 minutes. And for me, that was much faster and farther then I had gone in quite a while. It just kind of happened organically, and it ended up being the best run I've had in months and months!

Some of my best meals come together organically too! Later in the day I was having one of those moments where you look through the fridge and wonder what you can make with what you've got. I had these beautiful *and organic!* peaches from CSA I had been wanting to do something fun with. Here's what came together...

Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa

2-4 ripe peaches
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
half a fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
chopped cilantro
2 tbl honey
juice from one lime
couple sprinkles of cumin
couple sprinkles of paprika
salmon filets
soy sauce

I actually didn't use the olive oil, salt or green onion as depicted. Thought I might, but as I said, this kind of just came together as I went.

Mix the honey, lime juice, and spices together in the bowl, then add chopped ingredients.

Then I strained out some of the juice from the salsa, and mixed a little soy sauce in for some saltiness to combat the sweetness to marinate the salmon.

Then I handed it over to my husband and let him do the grill thing. I don't grill!
Top with the fresh salsa... it was the perfect combo of sweet, spicy and salty! Light and perfect for summer. And its pretty. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I have two superheroes in my midst. Every night the boys put on their superhero pajamas and begin referring to eachother as Superman and Batman, in place of their real names. Last night I was trying to pack everyone up for our neighborhood summer concert when both boys insisted they wear capes. This proved problematic because I only own one real Batman cape from Target. Superman wanted his cape too! In a moment when we truly were *ontherun* I grabbed a t-shirt and came up with this quick cape.

I had no idea it would be such a hit! The boys loved their new capes which cost me approximately zero dollars and zero cents. The next day we took a trip to the mall and several moms stopped me to say they loved the capes! Little boys were following Batman and Superman around the playarea, pointing and yelling "LOOK MOM! Its SUPERMAN!!"

So here's how to make your little person a superhero in 5 minutes or less for $0

Grab an old kids T-shirt (sorry Uncle Matt, but my Solon Rec T-shirts worked perfectly)

Cut off the sleeves

Then cut up the sides and open up so it lays like this
Cut around the neck
Flip over and draw the emblem of your choice!
And here is the red cape I made last night in action. (Yes, I'm aware I'm not the best artist... but hey it worked).
They took off yelling "Lets fight bad guys!!"
But then ended up just fighting eachother. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hungry Mother

WARNING: If you're looking for super-healthy recipes, ignore my next two posts. The next two posts are ones for those nights you want to indulge! Couple the fact that I've finally been getting back on track with my morning runs with nursing over 30 ounces a day, means I am the definition of a Hungry Mom these days.

But really, what one considers "healthy" is a relative term if you ask me. Sure this may be all meat and bread, but its ground turkey! And there's only one slice of cheese! And its so incredibly tasty you'll stop caring about the nutritious value after one bite!!

Two additional facts about these:
  1. There are a lot of "steps" to this, which I actually don't mind because that allowed me to stop, break up a fight, resume. Stop, put together a track on the train table, resume. Stop, clean marker off of kid's arms, resume. Or maybe you need to walk your dog, or take a shower, whatever. Its hard to get 45 uninterrupted minutes no matter who you are.
  2. If you grow herbs, this time of year your basil plants are beginning to be absurdly huge. Unfortunately mine aren't, because an army of caterpillars invaded the soil of my herb pot. I know, gross. But anyway here's a fantastic way to use bunches and bunches of that basil.

Turkey Parm Burgers

(compliments of Leslie Moffitt and You've Got Supper)

1 lb ground turkey

Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs

Jarred Marinara

Rolls (I used Trader Joe's Take and Bake Ciabatta... yummmm)

slices of mozzarella

Lots and Lots of BASIL

And because I just couldn't stop there... a little aoili of basil, lemon juice, mayo and a tiny bit of olive oil for the buns.

Mix a few tablespoons of marinara into your ground turkey in a bowl with some additional dried Italian Spices... oregano, basil etc. Doesn't this look appetizing????

Shape into patties and stick it in the freezer for 15 min to let them get a little more consolidated. Otherwise they will be too gooey to work with. Yes, my freezer is this small.

During this 15 min little break I threw together the aioli real quick. Definitely not necessary! But a really tasty addition if you feel up to breaking out your blender.
Simply mix a few tablespoons of mayo, a touch of olive oil, a handful of basil and the juice from one lemon in the blender.

Should actually be thicker than this but I added too much EVOO. Whatever no big deal. Precisely why I like to cook and hate to bake!

Take out the burgers and put bread crumbs on both sides. Pat the bread crumbs down well so they don't shake off when you have to put them back in the freezer (for me, tipped on an angle) for another 10 minutes or so.

Use this time to give your cute baby a bath in the sink :)
Then heat your skillet to medium high heat with a thin layer of olive oil.

Sear burgers on both sides and pan fry until cooked through - about 5 min per side or so.

Stick your buns in the oven :)

Put one slice of mozzarella cheese on top of your turkey burger

Then to assemble... basil aoili on the buns, then the burger, then some marinara sauce straight out of the jar, then some fresh basil.
This is not just my camera, it really looks and tastes this amazing and delicious!

Then my sister suggested we pile tons of basil on top like lettuce. There's the genius in the background!