2012 Goals Check-in

Time to check in with my 2012 goals:

Cook 1 new recipe each week
So far, so good.  I didn’t think I’d get a new recipe in this week because we weren’t planning on eating dinner at home this week.  Staying home on Sunday instead of going out to San Francisco worked to my advantage.  I made split pea soup with yellow peas that I found at the Indian market by my house.  Pretty yummy.  I didn’t follow the directions 100% though…  I dumped everything in the pot and let it cook instead of adding the carrots and celery in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Eat real food
This one I’m falling down a bit on.  Most bread in the supermarket has some kind of weird preservative in it.  I’m also trying to use up my peanut butter and salad dressings before I buy more (budgets, ya know).  And of course the cookies and candy at work don’t really work so well for this.  I just need to focus more and be more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth and what I’m buying.  I can do that.  It might be difficult at Disneyland next week, but I’ll do my best.

No white grains
Do onion bagels count as white grain?  Or the rice at lunch yesterday?  Or the flour that’s used to make those delicious cookies in the lunch room?  I’m pretty sure they do.  *sigh*  FOCUS Danie!  I’ve been doing good except for those three slip-ups.  And my sister was super sweet to buy pizza with whole wheat crust for my nephew’s birthday.  Thanks Sis! Yay me – I’m almost succeeding with this one!

Finish one quilt or sewing project each month
All I have to do is attach a border to this hot pink quilted throw I made and the project for month #1 is done!  I also have the stuff I need to complete at least on project for month #2!  This goal is going well.

Buy a house, not a condo
I showed DH some McMansions around our neighborhood that we almost have 10% down on.  I think we’ll probably end up buying something a little more manageable payment and upkeep wise (read: smaller and cheaper).  We have 20% down on bank-owned prices for smaller homes, but we need to save more for closing costs and any repairs/upgrades the houses might need.

Learn basic web development technologies
I haven’t even started on this one.  DH showed me a series of videos I can watch to get the basics down and then take tests to get certified on this stuff.  I’m just not super motivated on this, though.  Got any tips to get me motivated?

Get Project+ certified
This is a direct response to some project management training work sent me to awhile back.  I have all of the training materials I need sitting in the 2nd bedroom upstairs.  Have I watched one refresher video?  No.  Read one chapter of one book?  No.  Maybe I need some prizes to motivate me, what do you think?

Run a 5k without stopping; complete three 5k races; complete two 10k races; complete at least one half marathon; wear a bikini comfortably in public
I decided to lump all of these goals together because they each build on one another.  I signed up for a 5k, I joined a gym, and my rib is healed so I can focus on these goals more.  My weight went up in response to the gym-going though.  Just a pound, but I know that is water retention from the upper body workout I did yesterday.  Seriously, my arm muscles are so sore that it’s a miracle I could turn on the shower this morning.  I also jogged on the treadmill twice this week, which felt really good.  I’ll keep doing that until I’m jogging for the whole 30 minutes the gym allows.

 

Advertisements

Food and Fitness Goals for 2012

I’m sitting on the couch pondering my goals for the next year, and letting them marinate in my brain.  The ones that I’m thinking about the most right now are the fitness goals and the food goals, mostly because they go hand in hand.  And also because there are some limitations to what I can do right now.

Let’s start by further defining the food goals:

  1. Cut out wheat and rice
  2. Eat “real” food
  3. Cook one new recipe each week

I’m focusing on the food goals because those are usually the most difficult for me to follow/stick with, and because they have a direct impact on my fitness goals.

Cut out wheat and rice
Hmmm… OK, this one isn’t really what it sounds like.  It doesn’t mean that I will be cutting out all wheat and rice products.  It means that I will be only eating products made with 100% whole grain, 100% brown or wild rice, 100% corn meal.  If there’s any other weird grains, sugars, additives or chemicals added in, it doesn’t go in my belly.

Eat “real” food
I’ve noticed that when I eat food that has lots of “fake” things inside (like additives, flavorings, colorings, preservatives, etc) it takes more to fill me up and I’m not as satisfied.  When I eat real food I need to eat less and I’m generally more satisfied.  OK, to be fair I really like to have a bit of something for dessert, but doesn’t everyone?  So the rule is that the food that goes in my belly needs to be real.  In other words: no weird additives, no weird flavorings added, no weird preservatives, etc.  Birthday parties and other celebrations are the exception to this rule.

Cook one new recipe each week
I’m hoping this one will help me meet the other two food goals.  Plus I know it’ll help me meet the fitness goals.  It’ll also help me put to use the many cookbooks I have at home.

OK, now it’s time to further define the fitness goals

  1. Run a 5k without walking
  2. Complete three 5k’s
  3. Complete two 10k’s
  4. Complete at least 1 half marathon
  5. Wear a bikini in public comfortably

Run a 5k without walking
So, you’d think that with all of this training I’ve done that I could run a few miles without stopping somewhere in there to walk, right?  Well, you’d be wrong.  To tell you the truth, I’ve only run 1 mile without stopping and that was awhile ago.  So, to make myself feel like I deserve to call myself a runner, I’m going to run (or jog, whatever) 3.1 miles without stopping.

Complete three 5k’s
I find that when I’m training, I get bored if I don’t have little things to work towards.  Upcoming races are awesome for the motivation factor and I love how short a 5k feels.  I just need to figure out which 5k’s to complete.  Oh, and complete means just that: complete it.  It doesn’t matter if there’s walking mixed in, as long as they’re done and I’m happy with what I’ve done.

Complete two 10k’s
Again, having upcoming races as motivation is awesome, and a 10k is twice as challenging as a 5k.  So, as I get back into running, I’ll be working towards the 10k length.  And again, complete means complete.  I don’t have to run the whole thing.

Complete at least 1 half marathon
My plan is to complete the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2, 2012.  I’ll be using the 5 and 10k races I complete along the way as training.  And if I don’t die and if I don’t totally hate it, I’d like to complete the Wine & Dine half marathon in Disney World in November.  So yeah, complete means finish it.

Wear a bikini comfortably in public
As I’m training and eating healthier foods, I should be losing weight along the way.  I’ll also need to work in some weight training too.  I don’t want to be “skinny-fat”, and doing this will help me become a more effective runner too.  So, I know this is cliche, but I’ve never worn a bikini in public because I’ve always been too fat to do so.  Being able to do this would be tangible proof that I’m not the girl they made up a song about in Jr. High.

I’ll come up with a training plan in another post… this one is already too long as it is!

DH Cooked: Egg Breakfast

DH and I thought that it wouldn’t be fair to discard a cookbook without trying to cook something from each section.  So, he chose to make an egg breakfast thing.  The cookbook called it eggs rancheros, but it didn’t look like any kind of eggs rancheros I’ve ever seen.

Jalapenos

This recipe required minced jalapeno, diced bell pepper, chopped tomato and chopped onion.  Saute everything except the tomato in a little oil until the onion is translucent.

Egg Mixture

Add the tomato, scrambled eggs (a lot of them!) and some cream. Finely chop a half a bunch of cilantro.  Toss it into the egg mixture.

Breakfast!

Scramble until the eggs are cooked.  This is almost impossible to do if you add too much cream, or if the liquid hasn’t cooked out of the vegetables.  Serve with some freshly fried corn tortilla strips.

This was a little too wet for me.  DH thought it was bland and added some tabasco sauce to it.  I could see us making it again, but only if we made it spicier and were able to cook all of the liquid out.

DH Cooked: Weird Chicken Burritos

After DH made chicken burritos like we always do, he thought he’d try following a recipe in the cookbook he picked up.  We both looked at the recipe and thought it sounded weird, but we agreed he should cook it anyway.

 

Onion-Clove MIxture

Brown some chicken breast, cube it and set it aside.  Then chop an onion and mince some garlic. Stick it in a sauce pan with some hot oil and ground cloves.  Yeah… now you know why it sounded weird. Who puts cloves in a burrito?

Add the Rice

Add a can of tomato sauce, some chopped tomatoes, and rice.  Simmer until the rice is cooked.  Add chicken stock as necessary to keep the mixture from drying out.

Burrito Pouches

Warm your flour tortillas until they’re pliable.  Add the chicken & rice mixture to each tortilla along with some shredded cheese, fold it into a little square and hold it closed with a toothpick.  Put the burrito pouch thingies into a baking pan and bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

OK, we will never make these again.  Well, OK, we might make burrito pouches again, but never with this recipe.  The cloves were completely off-putting.  It was impossible to think of them as burritos when they tasted nothing like the burritos we know and love.  If I remember right, this recipe was the one that made DH and I decide to avoid using this cookbook for any additional Latin Cooking.

DH Cooked: Chicken Burritos and Pomegranate Margaritas (I cooked pineapple!)

A few weeks ago my husband thought he should make burritos.  After all, when Americans think of Latin food, we often think of things like burritos and tacos.  He wanted to make the kind of burritos that we usually make as a kind of day off from following a specific recipe.

Chicken

The first step was to cut the chicken into chunks and cook it.

Burrito Accessories

Then add the toppings, fold up your burrito and eat!

Pomegranate Margarita

And of course you have to enjoy it with a Pomegranate Margarita.  We didn’t really follow a recipe, just used pomegranate juice, triple sec and tequila. It took a bit of taste testing to get the ratios right. 😉

Pineapples!

We had some pineapple left from another recipe, so I decided to saute it in some brown sugar and brandy.

Pineapples and ice cream

We ate it with vanilla ice cream and relaxed.

DH Cooked: Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf and 3 Kinds of Fudge

I’m still playing catchup with the blogs about my husband’s cooking.  Unfortunately, it means that I don’t exactly remember the recipes, or why he chose to make one particular meal over another.  I think we were watching TV – maybe Kitchen Nightmares? – and saw an episode where bacon wrapped meatloaf was one of the special dishes added to the menu.  The fudge came about because DH was tired of not being able to find rum raisin fudge anywhere.  And true to form, we went overboard, made three kinds and practiced plating.

Bacon wrapped meatloaf will work with any basic meatloaf recipe.  Ours always involves

  • 1-2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 chopped onions
  • 1-3 diced cloves of garlic
  • “a few shakes” of Worcestershire sauce
  • “a good squeeze” of ketchup (maybe 2 tbsp?)
  • “a handful or two” of bread crumbs or crushed saltines
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper, and any other spices we feel like throwing in to taste
  • A few tablespoons of BBQ sauce
  • Uncooked bacon

This time DH decided to saute the onions and garlic along with a mild chili pepper to give it a little kick.  Remember to let your onion mixture cool before adding it to the meat if you like to mix it with your hands.

Sauteeing onions

Mix together everything except for the BBQ sauce and bacon.  If it’s a little too wet, add some more bread crumbs or crackers.  If it’s too dry, add some more ketchup or Worcestershire. Shape the mixture into a loaf on a cookie sheet with sides so that the fat that cooks out of the meat loaf won’t end up in the bottom of your oven and cause a fire.  Spread the BBQ sauce on top of the meatloaf.  Drape the bacon over the top of the meatloaf.  Tuck the edges of the bacon under the loaf so that they won’t curl up.  Bake at 400-425* for 30-45 minutes or until done.  The bacon should be a little crispy.

Fresh Out of the Oven

For dessert we had 3 kinds of fudge.  I don’t remember which recipes we followed, but they were all made in the microwave.  We found the recipes online.  Keep in mind that your fudge needs to set in the fridge for several hours before you slice it.  If you don’t give it that time to firm up, you’ll be trying to serve a gloopy, yummy mess.

DH wanted to practice plating and pairing.  So with that in mind he made Rum Raisin (next to the strawberry, but supposed to pair with the grape), white chocolate orange (next to the grape, but supposed to pair with the strawberry), and basic milk chocolate (next to the raspberry).  We found a dessert wine in our liquor cabinet that had a caramelly taste to it, so he lined the edge of the plate in caramel to compliment the flavors.

Fudge, Fruit and Wine

I had a lot of fun helping him with this cooking night.  The meatloaf was really good, and was paired with baked asparagus and baked potatoes.  We had a couple of friends over who helped us make sure there weren’t any leftovers.  The fudge was creamy and dangerously delicious.  I had to take it to work to ensure that I wouldn’t eat any more of it.

We both learned that the portions we cut of the fudge needed to be smaller.  Having 2″ squares of each flavor on one plate seemed to be too much after such a hearty meal.

This was definitely a hit!

DH Cooked: Black Bean Salsa

My husband’s continuing quest to learn to cook resulted in a black bean salsa that was waaay to heavy on the onion…

Soak a half cup of dried black beans overnight, then drain, rinse and set aside.  Chop a red onion and add it to the bowl with the black beans.

One Chopped Red Onion

Meanwhile you’ll need to rehydrate a large dried chili and roast 2 fresh jalapenos.

Rehydrate the Chili

Seed and finely chop the chili and jalapeno.  Add both to the black bean mixture, along with a couple tablespoons of beer, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Top with cilantro.  Refrigerate for a few hours and enjoy!

Black Bean Salsa

What we learned from this salsa: if you’re questioning the recipe, there’s probably a good reason.  DH said “a whole red onion?  But these are big!”  I said “Well, the recipe says to use it…”  This resulted in way to oniony a flavor.  It completely overpowered the black beans.  So the next time we make it, it’ll definitely have less onion and more beans!

  • December 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • Archives