Saturday, January 30, 2010

101 in 1001 Update!!

As of today, I have completed the following:

13. Buy running tights. After many, many frustrating hours of shopping for tights, I FINALLY found a pair at Target that I hope will please me. :-)

29. Buy a garlic press.

I don't know HOW I lived without one! SO convenient! In the background is smoked turkey kielbasa for Clean Eating Spaghetti Carbonara. :-)

44. Learn how to knit. No picture available of this as I left my 6 inches of knitting at my mother's house. :-)

62. Find a job. I am not employed with our county schools as a substitute teacher! It's going very well and pays extremely well!

71. Buy black boots.

I pretty much wear these every. Single. Day. Love. Love. Love.

81. Finish Reba on DVD.
79. Finish Arrested Development on DVD.

We had a snow day in today, so we marathoned on our remaning episodes of Reba and Arrested Development!

99. Go to an opera.
We went to see Figaro's Wedding (a "spin-off" of The Marriage of Figaro) at Liberty. FIL directs the opera workshop every year there.

Doin' pretty well on some of these tasks! :-) Anyone else snowed in today? We love our snow days. They are a great excuse to just sit in and not accomplish much. I did manage to throw a dinner together with little to no groceries. I forgot to pick up cream cheese for the enchilada lasagna, so I have all those things ready minus the cheese... You know... the most important part. Haha.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

As promised the third...

Crustless Spinach Quiche
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine (slightly adapted)

4 oz smoked gouda cheese, cut into pieces
1 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 large eggs plus 2 egg whites
1 15 oz container skim ricotta cheese
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6-8 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp (or more...) Parmesan cheese
1 tsp paprika

1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat to 450*. Lightly grease a 9-inch round or 8-inch square baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.
2. Pluse the gouda in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the spinach, whole eggs and egg whites, ricotta, flour, and nutmeg and process until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add the scallions and pulse to mix.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan and paprika. Place the quiche on the preheated baking sheet and bake until the center is just set, 25-30 minutes.
4. Serve the quiche hot or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 280.0
Total Fat 12.5 g
Saturated Fat 7.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.7 g
Cholesterol 162.3 mg
Sodium 549.5 mg
Potassium 369.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 5.0 g
Protein 25.7 g


As Promised Part Deux

I promised you awesome recipes this week and I am delivering numero dos to you. This was Tuesday's meal.

Sirloin Steak with Grainy Mustard Sauce and Parmesan Steak "Fries"
Adapted from Ellie Krieger's So Easy

Sorry for the bad plating, but DH was running late for a music rehearsal.

Ingredients for Steak:
2 tbsp EVOO
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 cups dry white wine
1 boneless sirloin steak, about 1 1/4 lbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 tbsp whole-grain mustard

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the steak. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the steak, turning once, for 6-8 minutes total for medium rare, or to desired doneness. Transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add any juices from the steak on the grill pan to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in any juice from the cutting board into the sauce. Thinly slice the steak and divide among 4 plates. Spoon the sauce over the steak and serve the fries (recipe to follow) alongside.

Parmesan Steak Fries
Adapted from Ellie Krieger's So Easy

(no picture available)

Cooking spray
2-3 russet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs total) peeled or unpeeled
1 tbsp EVOO
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly chopped basil
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450* and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Cut each of the potatoes into even "fry-sized" slices. Make sure they can lie flat on the cooking sheet. Put the potatoes in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the oil.
Place the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the potatoes with cheese and basil and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes, until they are crisp and golden brown; there is no need to turn them. Season with salt and serve immediately.

THESE ARE DELICIOUS. DH could NOT stop talking about them. I used shredded Parm instead of grated, which in the end, I would not recommend because it doesn't really stick to the fries, but it did make nice little cheese crisps on the baking sheet. :-) Yum.

SO... I went to the gym yesterday and asked the fitness specialist about my knee and she gave me some stability exercises to do to strengthen my knee. She also stretched me out really well. I ran a quick mile on the treadmill, but my Zune died and the TV sound plug in kept shocking me, so I gave up. :-/ Oh well. At least I did something. Tuesday, I did a Billy Blanks (don't hate) Bootcamp DVD and I am soooore. I'm glad it works at least! :-) I might have to go out to Target today and get some stability balls and stuff to help my knees!

Monday, January 25, 2010

As Promised

Garlic-Basil Shrimp
Courtesy of Ellie Krieger, So Easy


2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/4 lbs large shrimp (20-25 per lb) peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups cooked orzo pasta, preferably whole wheat


Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over med-high heat until hot but not smoking, then add the shrimp and cook, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Return the shrimp to the pan and cook just until heated through. Serve with the orzo.

Serving Size:
1 cup shrimp mixture and 3/4 cup orzo

Per Serving:
Calories: 380
Total Fat: 10g (Sat: 1.5, Mono: 5.5, Poly: 2)
Protein: 35g
Carb: 35g
Fiber: 4g
Cholesterol: 215mg
Sodium: 490mg

I made a half batch, and it was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend this to everyone. :-)

You all need to get ready...

For some SPECTACULAR recipes this week!!! :-) It's gonna be amazing. Grocery bill was a bit extravagant, but it'll be worth it. :-)

It is amazingly gorgeous outside. I have to keep reminding myself that it's JANUARY! Last night was a crazy night of rain, wind, and DH's snoring. ;-) I didn't get much sleep, but I didn't have to work today, so it's not so bad. Tomorrow I have a full day at a really close elementary school teaching Choir, so it should be super fun! Hooray!

Now it's an afternoon of Desperate Housewives (guilty pleasure) and housework. We cleaned up during the football game last night, but vacuuming and dusting are necessary around this place. It's been tooooo long.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yes, I'm a lazy bum.

It's been very, very busy and very, very sad running time around here.

I've been subbing around our county, making the moolah to pay off the education... Sigh...

We went to my mom's and DH's parent's houses the past two weekends...

DH got a job assisting our wedding photographer ( )... Yay!

I injured my knee running and I'm afraid to keep running on it because I don't want to make it worse. I miss my outside time, but at least it's been yucky around here for some time now so I don't feel the longing too badly, but you know how when you can't do something, it just makes you want to do it more? Yeah... I feel that way.

I have also completely failed at trying to exercise in any other way... I'm awful... I know. I'm doing better at my eating at least, though today we ate out with friends at a local Mexican restaurant, which was sooo fun, but sooo bad. Eh, at least I got chicken and no cheese on my enchilada and taco. :-)

Well, we are watching the Vikings battle it out with the Saints... Let's go Brett!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Running the Dreadmill

I've been going to the gym after subbing jobs I've had this week. I have several reasons that motivate me to do this. 1) It burns off steam after being in a classroom all day 2) I'm out already, I have my gym bag, I ought to go 3) The people who work there during the day are really nice and encouraging.

Tuesday I just did 2 miles and then Wednesday I ran 5k. I did it pretty slow and read a book while I ran, but I did it nonetheless. :-) I felt really great about myself. My energy was great, but my knee killed me afterwards and it still twinges a bit... I'm a little worried that I injured myself. I felt it beginning to hurt, but tried to ignore it and the slight stitch in my side because mentally I felt great and my energy was high. I'm going to hit the asphalt today because it's in the 50's and I'm so happy to have some warmer weather. I'll update the situation when I get back. :-)

ETA: Ran 1 mile in 10.05. Remind me not to run when all I've had to drink is a tiny glass of cranberry/pom juice. It feels awful. Knee held up okay once I got into it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Clean-Out-The-Fridge Soup

Okay. Last week I bought WAY too much produce for too many recipes that looked good. I didn't want to waste more money than I already have on the ground turkey I forgot to use. So, I took a cue from Tosca Reno and just made a soup out of everything I had in the fridge that worked. I present to you... Clean-Out-The-Fridge Soup:


1 large green bell pepper
1 medium yellow onion
2 large stalks of celery
2 thick carrots (I should have done three... I LOVE carrots in soups!)
1 cup chopped green cabbage
3 cloves of garlic pressed through a garlic press
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
1 palmful oregano
1 palmful cumin
1 palmful paprika
2 pinches of rubbed sage
1 package of pre-cooked smoked turkey sausage
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
32 oz of Low Sodium Chicken Stock (I used two 14 oz cans and some leftovers from soup last week)
1 14 oz can low-sodium diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans pinto beans
1 1/2 cups (or more...) of frozen corn

Sautee the first 6 items in stock pot with Olive Oil and spices for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, brown the sausage. Add spices to this if desired.
Add stock, tomatoes, beans, and sausage to vegetables. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Add corn and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy. I sure did. :-)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's been a while...

And I'm sorry about that... to all two of you who read my blog. I've been busy SUBSTITUTE TEACHING! Yes! I have job! I've been able to do two and a half days this week at an elementary school nearby and I have at least a half day next week so far. I check the site religiously to find as many jobs as possible. I'm heading in today at 11.15 for my half day, which will be super fun and easy because the classroom is a cooperative classroom, so the only things I'll have to do are take them to lunch, watch them at recess, and get them on the bus. Another teacher does the Social Studies lesson around the time I get there, then there's lunch and recess, then Daily Oral Language is done by another teacher and then it's quittin' time. :-) I like easy days. It's definitely different than High School English!

Not much else to report. I did FINALLY go running yesterday. Only 1.75 miles, but I did something, which makes me feel good. I couldn't find my shorts with the... "butt pocket" as I call it. I like wearing them under pants because they have a zippered pocket for my Zune, phone, and key. :-) I don't know if the fact that I exercised makes my eyes see myself differently in the mirror or what, but I was very pleased with myself this morning. :-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

101 in 1001

101 in 1001

The Mission:

Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:

Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?

Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Health and Fitness

1. Run another 5k

2. Run a 10k

3. Run a half marathon

4. Take a class at the gym

5. Run 15 miles a week for 8 out of 12 months of a year (0/8)

6. No fast food for a month (0/30)

7. Get back to 112 lbs

8. Compete the 30 Day Shred (0/30)

9. Complete the New Rules of Lifting for Women

10. Take a ZUMBA class

11. Drink enough water every day for a week and blog about the effects (0/7)

12. Eat completely clean for a week (0/7)

13. Buy running tights

14. Do a workout from FitTV

15. Avoid soda for 3 months (consecutive not necessary) (3/3)

16. Exercise for 30 minutes minimum every day for a month (0/30)

17. Go to the gym 15 days/month for 6 months (0/6)


18. Buy a home

19. Buy local food for a month

20. No T.V. for a week (0/7)

21. No sugar for a week (0/7)

22. Go to the farmer’s market

23. Collect at least 10 “nautical” books (2/10)

24. Host a dinner party

25. Follow a cleaning schedule for at least one month (0/30)

26. Find 5 things every month to donate to Goodwill (0/32)

27. Buy a new rug for the living room

28. Buy a Dutch Oven

29. Buy a Garlic Press

30. Buy a DVD shelf

31. Buy a CD rack

32. Reorganize kitchen cabinets in current Townhome

33. Buy a fire extinguisher

34. Make a cheesecake from scratch

35. Make a Julia Child recipe

36. Make one recipe from our Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives cookbook


37. Pay off majority, if not all, of school loans

38. Save up for house down payment

39. Follow budget for 6 months straight (0/6)

40. Buy nothing extraneous for three (consecutive not necessary) months (0/3)


41. Finish wedding scrapbook

42. SC Vacation scrapbook

43. Complete uncompleted scrapbooks

44. Learn to knit

45. Sew 10 garments for Katie (0/10)

46. Make 5 garments for self (1/5)

47. Frame some of Craig’s photos

48. Paint a picture

49. Make a mosaic

50. Finish writing story

51. Rotate photos in current frames

52. Make three pieces of jewelry (3/3)


53. Go to Vegas

54. Go to Disney

55. Go to NYC

56. Go to TX

57. Go to visit Grandparents

58. Go to Busch Gardens

59. Hike three mountains (0/3)

60. Go to a zoo

61. Go to the Village Café as featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives


62. Find a job

63. Get a dog

64. Buy LOST Seasons 5 and 6 on DVD

65. Learn Wilton cake decorating technique

66. Sell a cake

67. Buy two new skirts (2/2)

68. Drive a stick shift

69. Blog extensively for a week (0/7)

70. Get a Passport

71. Buy black boots

72. List one thing I’m thankful for every day for a month

73. Avoid Facebook for one week (7/7)

74. Volunteer for something

75. Donate blood

76. Get 5 manicures (3/5)

77. Buy a Kate Spade purse

Books and Movies

78. Finish Everybody Loves Raymond DVD series (7/9)

79. Finish Arrested Development DVD series

80. Finish No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency DVD series

81. Finish Reba DVD series

82. Finish Pride and Prejudice (book)

83. Read 25 books in 12 months (0/25)

84. Read 50 books in 12 months (0/50)

85. Watch all of Gone with the Wind

86. Finish reading the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books (7/10)

87. Reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy (0/3)

88. Watch all three Lord of the Rings movies in one day

89. Read two C.S. Lewis Books (0/2)

90. Read the Bible through twice (0/2)


91. Go to 5 concerts (3/5) (Norah Jones, Iron and Wine, Tommy Emmanuel)

92. See Wicked

93. Discover a new musician

94. Go to a pro-sports game

95. Go see a play

96. Go on a date with my husband once a month (11/32)

97. Go to a Flying Squirrels baseball game

98. Go to a Spiders football game

99. Go to an opera

100. Go to a Flames football game (Homecoming 2010)

101. Beat Rayman’s Raving Rabbids on Wii