Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nashville is over, so what next?




Waiting for me to arrive.
The kids are still waiting....
Is Mom ever going to get here?
Then my family left when I did come by since they thought they had missed me.
I have been busy this last week. Our family took a trip to Nashville for the Nashville Marathon on Saturday. My friends Jeni and Jill did so well! Nashville is such a beautiful city. The weather was extremely warm for this time of year. It ended up being 88 by the end of the race. The hills were rolling for the entire 26.2 miles! I had some stomach problems after the race and so we have zero pictures of me with my medal. I am very disappointed about that! This was my hardest and slowest marathon yet. I am hoping that my next one will go better.
This race has been my excuse for making desserts and eating them every week (especially my TWD baking group). That is over and I am on a two week running break. I have been trying to find other ways to stay active at the gym. I have tried yoga, weight training class, elliptical machines (we have 3 different kinds at the gym) free weights, biking and walking. Nothing has given me the "Runners High" but I am enjoying my recovery time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Croque Monsieur for dinner



This week I made Croque Monsieur for my Barefoot Bloggers group. This recipe was from Ina's Barefoot in Paris cookbook (one of my favorites)! A Croque Monsieur is a fancy ham and cheese sandwich with a rich cheese sauce poured over the top and then broiled for perfection. This brought back so many memories of our trip to Paris a couple years ago.
I found a great crusty french bread to use. I sliced it on the thicker side too. I had read from other peoples blogs that the bread makes or breaks this sandwich. I toasted the bread, added the cheese and ham and then poured over the sauce. It broiled for about 5 minutes and then dinner was served.
I chose the perfect day to make this, since it rained for most of the day. I served this along with a roasted red pepper soup from Trader Joe's. What a great dinner for a busy night. Thanks to Kathy of All Food Considered for this months pick.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tyler Florence makes amazing potatoes

I was looking for an easy potato recipe to complete our Easter Dinner. I came across this easy recipe for scalloped potatoes. It should be labeled potatoes in cream! We really enjoyed the flavours and there weren't any leftovers. That is always a good sign that it was enjoyed.
Scalloped Potato Gratin
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
50 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
4 to 6 servings
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Butter
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling
Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a saucepan, heat up the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg.
While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 5 minutes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nashville here I come....

I am running the Nashville Marathon next weekend with a couple of friends Jill and Jeni. I have been training since January for this race. It has had its ups (completion of my 20 mile run) and then some downs (finding out my marathon is rolling hills then entire way). Through all of this I found that if I stay positive and focus on my goal I can overcome. While looking for some good articles on motivation on race day I came across this video of a Father and Son Iron Man team. What an amazing relationship these two have together. I am hoping that next weekend I will be able to do just what this verse says! "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chinese Chicken Salad for dinner


McKenzie of Kenzie's Kitchen chose Ina's Chinese Chicken Salad for Barefoot Bloggers. I know that I am a few days late in making this recipe but its better late then never. We had this for dinner tonight. I LOVED it as well as my husband and daughter. My husband did eat the entire bowl of Chinese Chicken Salad.
I made a few changes to the original, Ina recipe. I chose a spring green salad mix along with shredded carrots, toasted almonds, and sliced radishes to complete the meal. The roasted chicken was really good mixed with the peanut, garlic and soy sauce dressing. I had to eliminate the toasted sesames seeds since I was out of them. I have lots of dressing left over and can't wait to find ways to use it :- ) I see vegetable stirfry and Asian noodles in the near future.
Here is the recipe Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe from Ina Garten,
Barefoot Contessa Parties! and Food Network
4 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on) (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound asparagus, ends removed, and cut in thirds diagonally ( I didn't add any)
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup good apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The best pizza ever!


While my sister was visiting she taught me how to make the most delectable pizza. I was a little skeptical when she told me I needed to pre-heat my pizza stone at 500 for an hour. But she was right and the pizza turned out just like in Italy. It has a crisp, crunchy crust and wonderful toppings. We started with the pizza dough from Trader Joe's. We made two varieties: bacon, tomato and cheese and a pepperoni/salami. The BLT was awesome and my favorite. We served it just like at California Pizza Kitchen with the salad on the top. We also made a homemade garlic Ailoi for dipping. I need her to come back and show me how to make more wonderful meals like these ones. Thanks Steff for teaching me how to make the best pizza ever!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Banana Cream Trifle....


Amy of Sing for Your Supper chose this week's recipe: Banana Cream Pie. I have been under the weather for the last week, so my lovely sister (who is visiting from Oregon) helped me prepare this recipe for our family.
I had previously read that some people found the custard too thick, and I agree. To remedy this, we folded in extra whipped cream after the custard had cooled completely. (Yum!) We also decided to mix things up a bit by changing it from a pie to a trifle--alternating layers of fluffy custard with chunks of Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean cake, sliced bananas, and more whipped cream. A certain family member (I am not mentioning names) even added some Brandy to give it an extra kick!
Thanks, Amy, for the wonderful choice! I would like to try this again with a graham cracker crust. Now what do I do with the 6 egg whites in the fridge...

The Year of Trying Something New.

This past year has been a year of change. We moved from a huge running community to an area that does not have the biking and running trails...