Sunday, February 20, 2011

This past week was long.

No posts for last week, sorry. Krys and I have been sick. Epic colds. Day- and Ny-quil have helped incrementally, but not enough to really make a huge difference. We've been on antibiotics since Wednesday, but that's not doing the trick either.

So with all the blech and the blerg floating around our house, it's not wonder that things have been...... cranky. VERY cranky.

On Saturday I had some cooking projects I really needed to get done, so I sent Krys and Matt out to get Jamba Juice Coldbusters (aka the Best Thing Ever for a Sore Throat). When they came back, I was about halfway done and really needed to just finish and move one. Poor Matt wanted to help, but only had hot stuff to deal with and nothing toddler-friendly for him to do, so I kept trying to redirect him out of the kitchen. Total FAIL. Epic MeltDown. My kid doesn't usually throw screaming tantrums, but he did. And it was awful.

At this point I had cookies burning in the oven, a hot pan of bacon that needed turning, and a screaming child. Krys was called in for reinforcements.

It was at this point that Krys had a brilliant idea. The bacon I had been cooking didn't have a particular purpose other than I really needed it cooked because it had been in the fridge for a few days and needed to be used. I was thinking of making BLTs or something. Krys made the following recipe. It may not be the most original recipe ever, but man was it the perfect thing for that moment.

Daddy's Grumpies-Be-Gone Loaded Smashed Potatoes

3 serving of instant mashed potatoes cooked according to directions
3-4 slices of cooked thick cut bacon
1 cup of sour cream
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 handful of Parmesan cheese
1 handful of mozzarella cheese

Combine ingredients. Serve warm. Feel better.

We're still sick, but I'm optimistic for this week.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What we had for dinner and update on Couch to 5k

I made the following recipe for dinner:

Lentil and Macaroni Soup
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
1 can (14 ounces) whole tomatoes in puree (or crushed tomatoes in juice, if unavailable)
1 can (14 ounces) vegetable broth
3/4 cup lentils
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon vegetable bullion (if you don't have, add a bit more salt to the soup)
6 cups water
1 pound fresh spinach
3/4 cup elbow macaroni
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
Lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a nonstick 5-to-6-quart Dutch oven (or large soup pot), heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add carrots, onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and golden, about 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their puree, broth, lentils, salt, pepper, thyme, bullion and water; heat to boiling, stirring to break up tomatoes with side of spoon. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until lentils are almost tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in spinach and macaroni; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until macaroni is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if you like, and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

So very very yummy. I didn't follow the recipe exactly. (I rarely follow recipes to the letter.) I had all the ingredients and I just kind of added things by the handful. I made a pound of lentils and added the cooked lentils until it looked right and had the right flavor. I also used wagon wheel pasta instead of macaroni because that's what I had on hand.

What a great starting point!

The couch to 5k is going well, but I'm starting to worry that I'm never going to get up to actually running. I can walk for the full half hour really easily, but when I jog I can only go for about 20 yards before the asthma really starts to get to me. When i just keep it to walking, I feel great and like I got a great work out.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

How about a Meatloaf Night?

I love to cook. More than that, I love to cook things that make me happy when I eat them. This is probably really cliche of me, but I love having a meal on the table when my husband gets home. Not everyone gets satisfaction from that, but I find it fulfilling. Cooking is a talent that I have and that I love to cultivate. I cook for the people I love to tell them that I love them

Meatloaf is one of those dishes that I love because I can dress it up (serving it with steak sauce and roasted red potatoes) or dress down (making meatball subs). This is a recipe that I came up with after reviewing several meatloaf recipes and not finding a recipe that I liked well enough to keep using. I assume that it makes good leftovers, but I don't know for sure. I never have enough left over to find out. lol

Julia's Italian Meatloaf

1 small to medium onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb extra lean ground beef (alternate a higher fat ground beef for meatballs)
1 tbs Italian Seasoning (I like Pampered Chef's)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tbs salt
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce (not paste!)
1 egg
1 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1-2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Ketchup (0ptional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook garlic and onion in olive oil until caramelized, cool. In a large bowl, add everything but the ketchup, combine by hand.

Press into an 8x5 loaf pan. (Lining the pan with foil or using a disposable pan before baking prevents mess.) Cook for 50-60 min.

Let the loaf rest, cover with ketchup.

This recipe also makes yummy meat balls. I usually double the recipe and add and extra egg. From there, just form the mixture into balls and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

P.S. The couch to 5k thing is going well! I walked again last night and I'll go again today.

I'm doing WHAT?

I'm starting a running program with my awesome ward girlfriends this week. Seriously.

I am SO excited to get this body into better shape! I have some concerns that I'm doing my best to quiet, though.

One of the biggest worries got resolved today. What to do with Matt? Tomorrow, I'm going to Clearfield to buy a jogging stroller. A real one. We have a bike trailer that's really awesome and has a front tire that you can use, but the problem is that it doesn't swivel. At all. So it's really difficult to walk/jog/run with since you can't turn with it. I tried to find a conversion kit for it, but had no luck finding one. So now if I want to do my daily running (OMG, I'm going to be doing running! DAILY!) and I need to take Matt with me, I can put him in the stroller.

One of my other concerns is the time. I know that I just need to make it a priority and do it. I think once I just get going on it, it'll just become second nature. What I want to do is start coming home from school to change and then get right out there for my run. That is, unless I can talk Krys into running with me. I have serious doubts over whether or not I can, but I'd LOVE to have him in this with me.