6.20.2013

It's Time.

When the heat comes out I turn into the biggest baby ever. I would much rather be cold than hot - there is just something that is much more appealing about shivering than being slimy from sweat. On the positive side it does mean that I get a killer tan and the hours of biking in the day is really endless. If I don't force myself to take an hour at lunch to go out and either run a quick 6-7 miles or go ride a bike then there really isn't much hope for any type of exercise being achieved that particular day - annnndddd there tends to be a whole lot of complaining about feeling gross. Well, today I found myself  intertwined with the new video feature of Instagram...

Here are some other things I am excited for this summer:


  • Jolyn Clothing, this is probably one of the best kept secrets in the bathing suit world. Inexpensive, practical fits/cuts/styles, awesome colors. I just ordered my first bottom and I LOVE it. This company has a neat little story, and it totally worth checking out - or - you can just hang with me and scope all the sweet new suits I will be sporting. 
  • New Age Wine, let's face it. I am a bit of a wine-o. A few summers ago some friends introduced me to New Age - there is something that just screams summer when you open a bottle of this chilled with a lime and a few cubes of ice. Yum, summer time. 
  • The Tour, I love watching/reading about the tour. It has been something I have been entranced with since I was a wee-one. I remember always being in North Carolina - we would always go back to the cottage for lunch and watch a re-run of the stage then go back to the beach....otterpop in hand of course. 
  • Strava Challenages - I like to think that I am not competitive, but, in real life I am. I am really looking forward to doing a handful of Strava challenges throughout the summer - these are a great way to find motivation - plus, gaining a few more QOM's wouldn't hurt either...
  • Bike testing. I am currently on the market for a new 5" mountain bike. As I told someone today: I want to be more badass and less cross country. Yes, you read that right - I don't want my only claim to fame to be that I can go fast uphill. I am really looking forward to playing around on some different bikes this summer. The line up so far goes something like this: Juliana (Furtado, of course!)Ibis Mojo HD, and Giant Trance X1 W. I am beyond pumped on all of the new bike technology - andddddd I really want a pair of 27.5's (even after my crash last weekend). I am even going out on a limb and saying it is time for a new road bike too... 
  • Ooddles of fresh vegetables.
  • Riding my cruiser and flying by traffic on my way to the beach.  
  • Adventuring...

Sending Love from SoCal


6.13.2013

Little Chicken Pot Pie Secrets


I found this recipe on the Proud Italian Cook, these have truly turned into one of my favorite mid-week meals. Normally, we have a butternut squash (with salad) during the beginning of the week and then we will cook some chicken another night... then we toss it all together add some extra goodies we have leftover in the fridge, along with the other recipe ingredients - cook - cool and indulge.


Here’s the ingredients:
1. A previously roasted chicken breast, I seasoned mine with a drizzle of olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.
2. A previously cut up and roasted butternut squash that was drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. You’ll have leftovers, but that’s a good thing, that’s what I made my risotto with!
3. A huge handful of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped.
4. Onion, garlic, fresh thyme.
5. Grated Parmesan cheese.
6. Puff pastry sheet defrosted, and shapes cut out with a cookie cutter.
Here’s what you do:
In a saucepan melt 1 tablespoon of butter and saute 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 of a small red onion.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour, season with salt and pepper and then whisk in a good 2 cups of chicken broth, maybe a teenie more, also add some fresh thyme, and a generous handful of grated cheese.
Note* If you want the sauce to look creamier stir in a tablespoon of milk or half and half, but you really don’t need it!
When the sauce thickens, turn off the stove and throw in your chicken, squash and chopped spinach. Scoop ladles full into your buttered ramekins and place your puff pastry cut out on top of filling, ( brush a little milk or cream on top to help get it golden brown).
Bake in a 400F. oven untill brown and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

Sending Love from SoCal

6.03.2013

KaleSprouts Salad

We have been on a greens spree here. Salads for almost every dinner which in-turn means that that is what is for lunch too (since lunch always consists of leftovers). Ever since we found Grower's Direct we have consumed more vegetables it a week that I think I have in my entire life. Okay, that isn't true - but, we have really upped the ante. Seriously...I juice every morning and eat like 17 salads a day (okay, so I only have two, but, that is essentially 17). 

By far one of my favorite salads we have been making lately is a kale brussel sprout mixture. YUM! We add one chicken breast chopped up that we cook on the stove top with coconut oil...of course. 

INGREDIENTS 

Salad
One bunch of Kale, chopped up in to manageable pieces
Oven roasted brussel sprouts (or as we call them sprouts
Chopped up Almonds for some additional crunch
A dash of Parm
Chicken if desired

Dressing
1/4 cup of Lemon juice 
2 tablespoons of Dijon (I generally skimp on this a little, I am not a mustard person...it is even a surprise that I consume this salad since it has mustard in it). 
EVOO
A few chopped up garlic cloves
A minced shallot or two
S&P 

I start by making the sprouts and cooking the chicken. Crank the oven to 415 - line a cookie pan with parchment paper (Hint: less to clean up. We like that in our house hold).  To prepare the sprouts cut the stem off, and then cut sprouts into quarters - Toss sprouts into a bowl add a dab of EVOO, Salt and pepper. Mix everything together, pour out onto the cookie sheet place in oven. I normally bake these for about 25 minutes, or until you start to see the sprouts getting crispy. 

While the sprouts are cooking mix together the dressing. Add everything together, listed above, and blend. You can do this in an actual blender or work on my forearms by whisking it together...

In another bowl, I suggest using one with a lid (I have a killer mixing bowl from Ikea that is gigantic with a lid and a rubber bottom. A normal mixing bowl with a large plate over the top works too). Place the the kale, sprouts, chicken, almonds, parm and dressing all in this big fantastic bowl that you have found in the back of your cupboard and SHAKE! 

The last step...dish into bowls and consume. I will admit, that I do enjoy this more the next day after it has had sometime to soak up the flavors a little more. MmmmmmMmmmmmGood! 

Sending Love from SoCal with a grumbling stomach! 



 

Hush Up

Silence...

Western State circa 2006. I had just moved back home (I use this term lightly because as I see it I am vagabond, and I mean that in the most delicate way) for a rough first semester at college in Nevada. My days had consisted of brainless general education classes held in lecture halls of 300 students - this being the largest "classroom", if you will, I had ever been in. Prior to college I doubt I had ever been in a class larger than maybe 20...MAYBE. I took English courses, I took psychology (snore), I took math, I took Spanish and nutrition, I took 2nd and 3rd interior design classes - there were the most interesting of course...history of design, that was fun until my persnickety teacher advised me to take classes at my own level - puuuuuuuhlease. I spent the rest of my first semester at college socializing, shopping and skiing once the snow started blowing.
There was something in me that wasn't ready to leave Crested Butte, so ultimately after four and a half months away I found my bedroom at my mom's house full stocked with all of the belongings which had been in my dorm room only days earlier. Nevada wasn't my place (or so I thought)...
I was QUICKLY enrolled into Western State, small classes, people I knew, skiing...mellow. I walked in to my first class and knew the teacher from high school. It was looking like my semester was turning out to be the same as my experience (class load wise) as it did at Nevada, so I had to seize the situation that I was in, because the reality of it was...the only other places that I could go was either back to Nevada (which ended up being the case), or to a Colorado school which I wasn't all that excited about.
After my first week I thought this will be a breeze....business, english, art history, and music.
The idea of taking music class to me was silly. I remember that at Nevada everyone took dancing and music classes for an easy A, essentially that is what I was trying to do - I needed the A. I quickly learned that this course was going to be a little bit of a challenge, I also learned that I my teacher was pretty darn cool and was going to introduce me to a concept that I had never considered before: Silence.  Think about it. Close your eyes and listen to what is going on around you - you are never really surrounded my silence, there is always some time of noise being made. Fore instance, take the keys on my keyboard right now - I am making silent music. Or, the cards driving my a few streets over. There is something that I just love about silence. That semester I had to buy a tape recorder, yes they do still make those. And, yes they are really hard to find especially in Gunnison. We recorded sounds and then played them at different speeds - it was invigorating knowing we are surrounded by so much life.
Tonight I got home and was able to listen to the silence. I love my quiet time - I don't understanding how people constantly need to surround themselves with others and noise and ahhhhhhhhhhhhh - there is just something so nice about good ole' silence. Living in a city (again a term I use very loosely because this is not a city - it is a corporate cookie cutter chic visage) you can forget about how blessed you are to be around the ocean, the hundreds of miles of hiking/biking trails that there are to offer and much more. So, if you close your eyes you can see both sides the beauty and nature and the big dark corporate cloud too that covers up the sounds you hear elsewhere.

Anddddd I am done.


Sending Love from SoCal