Friday, October 9, 2015

Adding Protein to your Workout

My friend often says, 'you should have given me an aspiration warning with that text, email, blogpost...', meaning that whatever I have written and/or transmitted may cause her to laugh, snort and/or unexpectedly aspirate. So consider yourself warned.

This will be a bulleted point presentation that will allow you to add protein to your workout.

  • Go for a run after working eight hours because it was that kind of day.
  • Make sure to apply some sort of lip stuff, because that's what you usually do when you run.
  • This allows the swarms of white ash flies to not only fly under your sunglasses, into your eyes, up your nose, straight down your throat, but to stick directly to your lips so that you appear to be some sort of crazy (ok crazier than usual) running, spitting and waving your arms to fend of the flies that of course only you can see due to their miniscule size.
  • Not that you are one of those graceful effortless runners with legs up to there anyway, but this sort of behavior really isn't helping.
  • Upon arriving home when your husband asks, 'How was your run'? you answer, 'Well, I did not appreciate the effect of the ash flies prior to embarking on this run'. 'Eewwww....', he says. He is alway so loving and supportive.  He is my biggest fan!
  • Try not to think of the actual amount of white flies you may have ingested. It's just added protein, right?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Apricot Season

The other day I was eating lunch in the break room at work, which this time of year sometimes resembles a farmers market. I don't know what it is about nurses, but most of us have gardens, as if we're not busy enough! It is nice however to go home with a fresh tomato or lettuce or squash depending on where we are in the growing season.

One of my friends was telling me about her most recent farmers market acquisition, as she ate her yogurt with apricots. She had recently gotten 25 lbs. of apricots for $19.95, a steal and if we can't grow it, which apricots are a little dicey this far north, getting a great deal on them is the next best thing.

And while that is a great price I couldn't help thinking, 'I don't know what I would possibly do with that many apricots!', or that much of anything for that matter.

Well she proceeded to tell me, two apricot pies, an apricot crisp, apricot cobbler, a whole batch of apricot preserves, a batch of apricot freezer jam and she was now left with a large bowl on her counter that were just a few days away from a date with the dehydrator.

Now it is her and her husband at home, so this is where you separate the men from the boys.  Any real man who knows what's best for him and his gastronomic future is in the worst quandary of all. He is being supplied with ALL of these fantastic treats and treasures, made from scratch fresh everyday so he has to measure his words. Because we're all still thinking it, 'That's A LOT of APRICOTS!'

But any words to that effect may impact his ability to be served freshly baked homemade treats in the future. So I asked her, 'What's the hubby think of all the apricots?' 'Well he hasn't said anything yet', she said.

That is one smart and loving husband who knows what side his bread is buttered on.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Captain Safety

My friend and I went running at the crack of dawn today, well actually it would have been the crack of dawn last week, but now it's just plain dark. I of course was wearing my 'please don't hit me with your car' neon yellow top and neon orange running shoes. She was wearing one of those reflective neon yellow safety vests, which I had never seen her wear before. We have been running together for over a year.  "Yes", she said, "Captain Safety (meaning her husband) insisted on it". We started running, "Oh, let me tell you about my Captain Safety" I started, "Oh, no", she laughed.

Last week my husband offered to walk the dog in the morning so I could sleep in a little. Yes I agree, he is so sweet! Anyway, most days it is me or the kids that walk this dog. This dog came to us about 3 years ago.  He is a rescue, mild mannered and cute, but with some (and I use the word loosely) separation anxiety.  There is not enough doggie Valium out there for this dog's anxiety.

If there is someone here with him he is all good, no problems. He does not however want to be left alone. On the days when we both work and all kids are at school we were having a lot of trouble with him behaving badly when we tried to leave the house and after we had gone. Through trial and error we discovered if he has a good walk in the morning, 2 - 4 miles, he is perfectly happy to sleep the day away. Pretty cheap fix, I say.

So this morning my husband was taking him for his long walk. As they strolled along they encountered, joggers, other dog walkers and a guy carrying a fairly good sized box and loading it in his car. Hmmmmmm... This is not a usual activity for people at 430am in our little neighborhood. My husband being a police officer and just suspicious by nature began watching said, 'guy'.

Now I have to say as a police officer he always has a heightened sense of security where his family is concerned. In fact if I had walked the dog that day I would have gotten the rundown before leaving the house. Do you have your phone - yes, keys - yes, flashlight - yes, pepper spray - YES, what route will you be taking.... the list goes on, but I think you can see where I am going with this.  Whenever the kids and I are out and about on foot in the evening or early am we get this line of questioning. It's as if we are headed out for overnight field exercises rather than a casual stroll to get our persnickety dog to do his business.

My generous dog walking husband arrives home.  The dog races upstairs to greet me, his tail waving as he prances into the bathroom.  He is obviously proud of himself, and he's always happy to see me. The rest of the family well that can be a crap shoot - anyway, I'm chatting with the dog about his walk, he is wagging enthusiastically, and I hear my husband dialing the phone. High alert, Mrs. Kravitz mode.  He describes a guy, gives addresses etc, then I hear him coming upstairs. "So you decided to start work a little early today"?

I guess suspicious 20 something guys aren't concerned with middle aged guys walking with poodle mix dogs at 430am. Middle aged cops watching suspicious people in their neighborhood while walking poodle-y dogs notice everything. Keeping his eye on 'the guy', he continued on his mission with the dog and started to notice the cars parked along the street had open doors and/or trunks, broken windows etc. Uh-oh. Cue Cop Voice, "Hey, what are you doing"? 'Guy' slams his car door and speeds off.

- "Why'd you wait to call?", I said.
"Well... -sheepish pause -, I didn't take my phone with me".
-What?! (mocking incredulity)
"...and I didn't think I should confront the guy armed with a bag of dog poop and a poodle so..."
- Uh-huh...Sooooo you didn't take the flashlight or pepper spray either?
"Well, no....."

Acting like this whole exchange had not happened he said, "A cop may stop by." "Well did you give them your cell phone number?" "No, just the home." Oh Good Grief! Since he left before me and I was leaving before the kids I put one of his business cards near the door and told the kids the whole story.  When I got to the part about him calling out - What are you doing? - they all said, "Did he arrest him?" I had to break the news that no he hadn't because he didn't bring anything but the dog and a plastic bag on his walk.  Almost at once the 3 said, "The leash." They refrained from adding "Duh."

All I could say was, "Really?!", but I did have to tell my husband, even though we have 2 teens and a tween and the battles for independence are raging at our house, his kids have every confidence, that armed with nothing but a bag of poop, a leash and a rescue doge with an anxiety disorder, their Dad is fully capable of apprehending and arresting a neighborhood car prowler.  That's got to make him feel good.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Post Game Post

Today was kind of weird. It started that we were going to have a friend and her kids over for the Super Bowl because her husband was out of town and she is a Seahawks Fan (sorry). Anyway, then we thought, why don't we add a few more people? I mean if you are going to pick up the house and clean the bathrooms you might as well make it worth every ones while, right?

The head count was up to 7 adults, 3 teens (2 of them boys), and 4 kids under 12. We had some light snacks and my friend was bringing the veggie tray. We bought the pizza, remember we were planning on 2 teen boys here.

As the day wore on guests were dropping like flies, people were sick, pets were vomiting, grampa's 96th birthday (ok that is a really good reason). At any rate, by noon we were back to us and my friend and her kids and A LOT of pizza.

Tomorrow is my daughter's birthday and I had been trying to find a day next week when we were home in the evening which is really impossible between three of us working, color guard & basketball practices, youth group, well you get the idea.  I was just trying to have a dessert with my parents for her birthday.

Dun-da-da-dum, Voila! Super Bowl/15th birthday party! Genius! So I called my parents, they were available, you might think that is a given for people in their 70s, but not so much. Also called some good family friends, also Seahawks fans (sorry again) they were available too! We were back up to 6 adults, 3 teens now 2 of them girls, and the same 4 kids under 12. Luckily I still had the 1 and  the 5 candles from previous birthdays, because you know those are milestone years. Game on!, Oops, I mean Birthday Party on!

When all was said and done we sent people home with pizza for their lunches, we have one pizza left for dinner later this week (yay! dinner bonus for me), 5 chocolate chip cookies, 5 mini cupcakes and 5 pieces of birthday cake. 'Mom', my daughter said, 'There are 5 of us. Everything is in alignment'.

'That's because the Patriots won.', said the 10 year old, he is a rabid Packers fan so as far as he is concerned it was one of the best Super Bowls ever.
Go Packers!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Best Brownies

Ok, so I took some brownies, well actually brownie bites, to work.  It was a birthday thing. I like to bake and take things to work then they don't sit around the kitchen calling my name until I have eradicated them from the area, usually along with half a quart of ice cream, some chocolate sauce and whatever else I may find in the general area.

Anyway there were two things about these brownies,
1) I modified and made individual brownie bites. Much less mess when dealing with a lot of people in a possible pot luck situation,
2) I made a chocolate stout butter cream frosting. Yes you read that right and frankly I could have sat down and eaten the whole bowl of the stuff with a large spatula if said dessert was not expected at work the next day.

I was asked a million times, no not exaggerating, about the recipe.  So here we go, there is a lot of stuff going on, so pay attention.

Dark Chocolate Stout Brownies

6oz. bittersweet chocolate
3/4c. unsalted butter
1c. chocolate stout beer, I used Boatswain from Trader Joe's
1c. brown sugar
1c. flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs at room temp for 30 min, why? I don't know it's what it said to do. I don't like to challenge new recipes that will be consumed by people other than my immediate family. They of course are total Guinea pigs for all my culinary exploits.

-Preheat to 350°. Grease 9x13 pan
-melt chocolate and butter in double boiler
 whisk in sugar, set aside and let cool
-mix flour, cocoa, eggs and beer.
-add in the chocolate/butter mix
-mix until just blended

Bake for 20 min.


Cheater Version:
Any Brownie mix, I like Ghirardelli's dark chocolate one.
Substitute the chocolate stout for any liquid in the mix, like water or milk.

Brownie Bite Version:
Instead of baking in your usual favorite brownie pan, you know you have one and if it is not available brownies cannot be made in any other pan.  Come on it's not just me! Is it? Do I have to worry?
Either grease or use papers in a mini muffin/cupcake pan.
Ours makes 24
Use about a Tbs of mix for each bite.
Bake at indicated temp from the box for 10 min then check with a toothpick. You might end up with hockey pucks if you over bake :(

3c. Powder Sugar
1/3c Unsalted Butter
1/2 to 1tsp Vanilla
Super slowly add Chocolate stout and blend with a knife
until the correct frosting consistency. YUM!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Well, it's that time of year again, that New Year time.  I don't think it really matters which year, unless your 16 or 21, but that's just me. All the other years just seem to come and go with all their activities and occasions and before you know it it's new years again!

I'm not really an in depth goal setter or resolution maker.  I just hope and pray, a lot, that I can keep everyone healthy, get them where they need to go with teeth brushed (it can be a struggle) and clean socks and underwear (there are times when I wonder!), pay the bills, make the meals, get some sleep.

I'd say that is usually a do-able list. #1 Pet peeve right about now? New Year's Resolution gym goers.  I know the fitness clubs are loving life right about now.  They are adding new members left and right, and I am all for everyone turning over a new leaf and getting healthy for a change. Only problem is there are those of us who are the year round consistent, loyal kind of people and suddenly we are having to grapple for a treadmill at 4:30 am, get there extra early to secure a bike in spin class and brush up on our hand to hand combat for a spot in Zumba.

I start worshiping the weather gods right about now so that we have some dry days and I can just run outside until all this new years fitness enthusiasm blows over.  I can do cold, but not cold and wet, so these mornings in the 20s and 30s I'm doing ok, logging my miles, just waiting for a spot to open up again at the gym.

That being said I'm happy to say I exceeded last years milage by 46.72 miles!  The total for 2014 was 653.72!

Now I'm just waiting for a pass to the Nike employee store to come along 'cause it's time for a new pair of Air Pegasus to start my 2015 milage.

Happy New Year!