Archive | August, 2012
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Run Baby, Run

30 Aug

It’s true.  I don’t run.  Sometimes I walk.  Sometimes I wog = walk jog.  Sometimes I even jog.  But I rarely run.  And by rarely, I mean twice a year.  I would much rather take a class at the gym, use the elliptical, power through the incline trainer, or lift weights.  Running… not so much.

But things are about to change.  Deirdre and I are training for a 5k using the “Couch to 5k” program.  Sounds right up our alley.  Most people are probably thinking, “Whoop-de-doo, a 5k.  Why don’t you really challenge yourself and train for a 10k?”  Trust me when I say that this is a challenge.  And who knows, maybe a 10k is next on our bucket list.  It hasn’t been penciled in yet, and no promises that it will be, but you never know.  We went on our first run last night, which consisted of intervals of running and fast walking, and I think we’ve got this.

Does anyone have any good tips for us?  We  could definitely use some pointers.

And if you see us running on a Sunday morning, don’t pull a Jaclyn and roll your eyes just yet.  We are most likely on our way to brunch to indulge in bacon and mimosas.

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Taco Turkey Lettuce Cups

16 Aug

Although nothing can compare to the glorious-ness of PF Changs’ lettuce cups, the idea of anything in a lettuce cup instead of straight-to-the-butt carb-filled bread or tortillas sounded appealing. Especially if I get to tie this in to my love of Mexican food.  Turkey taco lettuce cups are really delicious – just make sure the lettuce cups you get are REALLY crunchy (ie: buy the head of lettuce the day you’re making these).   You can add a little cayenne pepper to the taco seasoning if you want to spice things up a bit.  I also added black beans as a topping – I think corn would be a good addition too.  Now… what else can I make in a lettuce cup?

 Turkey Taco Lettuce Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • Taco seasoning
  • Large lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • Salsa, avocado, light sour cream (for topping)
  • Other optional additions: black beans, corn

Process:

  1. In a large skillet, add oil, ground turkey, and taco seasoning, and cook until browned.
  2. Add green pepper and onion to the skillet and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Scoop mixture into lettuce cup and add desired toppings – enjoy!

 

… if you try these, snap a picture of the finished product and maybe we’ll use yours instead of the terrible iPhone shot above!

She’s a Cool…. Haus.

14 Aug

I grew up eating ice cream sandwiches. In my opinion, they truly are the perfect summer treat. I’m not a big fan of getting food on my hands while eating (hence the reason I go through 14 napkins at each meal), but I have absolutely no problem with getting sticky chocolate cookie on my fingers and having to lick it off afterwards. And an even better version of the ice cream sandwich… a chipwich. The classic gas station ice cream novelty. Vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. I enjoyed these as a kid, but my best friend Dana and I have also consumed several way too many of these as adults. Road trips, hot summer days, random surprise for your friend who’s pumping gas… so many reasons to enjoy a chipwich.

I had heard rumors about this highly rated ice cream sandwich trailer in Austin. While it sounded like something I would love, I never took the time to hunt it down as there are eight trillion food trailers in Austin and I am often overwhelmed by our options. Lucky for me, we literally stumbled across it last weekend when my Mom and Aunt Lori were in town. We were on the east side for breakfast, and we came across the Hope Farmer’s Market (located at 5th and Waller). The Market itself is worth revisiting, but even more so once we reached the end of the lane of vendors to find this gem, in all her glory:

The options are endless. They have so many flavors of both ice cream and cookie that you could try out hundreds of different combinations. And bonus! She let us try as many samples as we wanted. I’m sure she didn’t expect us to pass around the tiniest spoon in America with one bite of ice cream between the four of us, but hey, beats her scooping out the same flavor four times. Since we couldn’t decide on just one kind of cookie, she suggested we do a different cookie for each side. Mmm, don’t have to tell us twice. We opted for brown butter and bacon (!) ice cream sandwiched between a peanut butter cookie and a coconut almond (think samoa) cookie. So strange, but so good.

The Coolhaus trailer is parked at the Hope Farmer’s Market every Sunday from 10 am – 2 pm. And good news for those who don’t live in Austin – it turns out that they have Coolhaus trailers in Dallas, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles! If you live in any of these cities, I suggest you go and get your haus cooled as soon as you can.

Forever 39

13 Aug

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As a 28-year old gal who still wanders into Forever 21 and determinedly enters the dressing room with 26 articles of clothing and leaves with one (if that), I’m in.

Charlie says…

10 Aug

Who’s ready for the weekend????This guy!

Anyone going to try any Lauerland recipes this weekend? My folks are going to make the honey cilantro salmon dish that Aunt Jac suggested. I’d try to sneak a bite, but apparently I’m not supposed to eat honey until I’m 1. Won’t be long now…

Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

8 Aug

I love Mexican food.  A lot.  Moving to Texas, I knew I’d be in for it because seriously, the Mexican food down here is on a WHOLE. ‘NOTHER. LEVEL.   So while I would like to gorge out on chimichangas and queso every night, I don’t think our scale likes that option.  But I just can’t give up the Mexican food.  So I’m testing out some recipes for lighter versions of my favorite Mexican dishes and first up is chicken enchiladas.  I just knew I wanted them to be SPICY!  It took way too long at the grocery store to find “chipotle chiles in adobo sauce” (they’re hidden away the canned vegetable section) but it was totally worth it!  I didn’t include the steps for cooking and shredding the chicken – you can do this in a crockpot if you plan ahead or just by boiling the chicken in a skillet.  Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think.

Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken:

  • 2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup fat free chicken broth

Sauce:

  • 2 cups canned tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, diced
  • ½ cup fat free chicken broth
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

Other:

  • 8-10 whole wheat or low-carb tortillas
  • ½ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • Light cooking spray

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium pot, add chipotle chilis (diced into small pieces) in adobo sauce, tomato sauce, garlic salt, garlic powder, and chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until ready to use.
  3. In a medium skillet, add oil and sauté onions and garlic for about 2 minutes.  Add cooked chicken, chipotle chili powder, salt, tomato sauce, and chicken broth.  Cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Use non-stick spray to coat a large baking dish.
  5. Lay out tortillas, one by one, and add chicken mixture on top.  Slowly roll them and place into the baking dish seam-side down.
  6. Top all rolled tortillas with sauce and add cheese to the top.
  7. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes (you can add some additional cheese here if desired!).
  8. Serve with salsa and light sour cream.

Go Fish: Honey Cilantro Salmon

7 Aug

This is completely irrelevant to the subject of this post, but I just have to share.  After a quick trip to the grocery store, I was reorganizing the fridge a bit so that I could fit a a few more things in there.  It’s typical that I pull out a container of cottage cheese, maybe even two, that Firas has inevitably forgotten about once they get tucked away in the dark corners of the fridge behind the more enticing foods… fruit, cheese, yogurt, juice, butter, etc.  Cottage cheese is Firas’ Velveteen Rabbit of healthy foods.  And then there’s me.  I. hate. cottage. cheese.  I will never come back to the ol’ faithful chunky cottage cheese because I was never a fan in the first place.  So when I was finished reorganizing and turned back to the counter to take care of the fridge rejects, you better believe I snapped a photo and sent it to Firas with the message, “What’s wrong with this picture?”

I swear he picks a new one up every time he’s at the store.  Five tubs of cottage cheese is just ridiculous.  It also makes me think that our fridge is absolutely gigantic.  And yes, for the person with the magnifying glass who zoomed in on the June expiration date of the top container, we should clean out our fridge more often.  Don’t judge.

On to much fresher things… Honey Cilantro Salmon!

It is an incredibly easy recipe and I’m not lying when I say it is one of the most flavorful fish dishes I have ever eaten.  I am typically not very daring with my fish marinades – I tend to stick to the lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper in foil tents… which is good, but nothing extraordinary.  I’m glad I ventured out of my comfort zone this time.  I hope you give it a shot!

Ingredients:

2 salmon fillets

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup honey

1 bunch chopped cilantro leaves (use as little or as much as you like – I used about 1/4 – 1/3 cup)

Juice from one lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together cilantro, garlic, honey, and lime juice. Heat until the honey has thinned out and is easy to stir, approx. 5 minutes. Remove from heat; allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place salmon in a baking dish, and season with salt and pepper. Pour marinade over salmon, cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes or more.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until fish is easily flaked with a fork.
  5. Enjoy!

*My initial plan was to put the salmon fillets on the grill, but running out of propane combined with little energy for a second trip to the store led me to Plan B.  I’m sure grilling it would be delicious, too!

What’s your go-to fish marinade?  Do tell!

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