Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Tomorrow is September 1st, which means that the official start of Fall is right around the corner.  The weather this week (aside from Hurricane Irene, of course) has been beautiful.  Crisp mornings, blue skies and sunshine in the afternoon, and cool cricket-filled evenings.

On Monday when the power came back on, I had the urge to cook and bake since I hadn't been able to at all the day before.  There was a lonely can of pumpkin in my cabinet from last fall that had survived the year (and the move!), and I knew that it had to be put to good use.

Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves


  • 3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 flax eggs (1T flaxseed + 3T water for each "egg"...I just didn't have any eggs on hand!)
  • 1 cup each walnuts and raisins (optional)


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Spray 2 loaf plans with cooking spray.
3) In medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.  Set aside.
4) In another bowl, use an electric mixer (or super-human strength) to combine the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs.  Mix until well blended.
5) Add dry ingredients and mix well.
6) Stir in walnuts and raisins if desired.
7) Divide batter equally between loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
8) Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely.

Now, if I could only find a pumpkin beer and a pumpkin coffee/latte, we'd be in business!

Monday, August 29, 2011

What To Do When You’re Stuck At Home During A Hurricane

This involves activities both before and after losing power.

1) Play Yahtzee.

2) Stay up-to-date on the latest hurricane news.

3) Contact your family to see how they’re doing.

4) Try not to open the fridge.  Worry about all of the perishable food you stupidly bought yesterday.  Grr, I was thinking that I wouldn’t be able to get out to the store today.

5) Study for the Professional Engineer exam…using a headlamp and candlelight.

6) Stock pile water in case of an emergency.  Even though you just bought a case of bottled water.

7) Read your new magazine that conveniently came in yesterday’s mail.

8) Play more Yahtzee.

 9) Go for a walk to assess the damage in your neighborhood.  Make sure to wear your Sunday best.  And appropriate footwear.

We found a big wishbone!

We ended up taking refuge at Jennifer and Bill's for a few hours to hang out, reconnect with the world (aka watch TV), and play some Monopoly.  Board games rule!  Our groceries were also happy to spend the night in their cold fridge.

The power was out for 21.5 hours.  That was enough for me!

Friday, August 26, 2011


My favorite local radio station has been doing this new segment called "Enough Already."  At 8:45 each morning, right before people head into work, they call and rant about the thing that is currently driving them crazy.

My current enough already list:

  • Dealing with insurance companies
  • Dealing with incompetent people at my school
  • Dealing with rude people
  • Narrow doorways

My current more please list:

  • Golden Retrievers
  • Ice cream
  • Family
  • Breaking Bad
  • Good friends
  • Days off
  • Michael
  • Curried chicken with couscous and kale

  • Soy & maple glazed salmon

Gender Differences & Toiletries
So, this isn't really a rant.  More of an observation.  Have you ever thought about how differently men and women are targeted by manufacturers in regards to toiletries?

His & Hers

Men get one product that apparently is good for body wash, shampoo, and probably face wash too.  Let's face it, men want the simplest solution to their personal hygiene needs.  As Mike puts it, "Guys don't want to be bothered."  Women, on the other hand, tend to purchase face wash, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and all sorts of other creams, lotions, exfoliators, etc. Women love things that smell pretty and make their skin soft.  Just kind of interesting to think about.

What's on your enough already and more please lists?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Track Star

So, I realized the other day that I wasn't holding true to my tag line, "My life through food, school, fitness, and fun!"  It was clearly time to document some fitness-related activities.

Mike and I headed home this weekend and had some time to fit in a track workout at the local highschool.  I've really been enjoying track workouts lately.  We have one just minutes from our apartment, and it has been fun to head there to do some sprints, laps, and Rocky-style bleacher runs.  I have belonged to the same gym for 4 years now, and have been getting a little bored with the same routine lately.  You see, I try to work out 5-6 times a week, and rotating between running (either outside or on the treadmill), ellipticalling, and biking, can get old rather quickly.

Anyways, back to the track workout.

We ran to the track, did some laps, did some stride outs (jogging at a normal pace at the short ends of the track and sprinting on the straightaways), and then did some 200's.  The stride outs in particular hurt. so. good.  I was having a hard time catching my breath and being able to inhale fully. 

Like anything in life, it's good to add some variety into your workout routine.  It's also fun to workout with a buddy.  It increases your motivation, brings out your competitive spirit, and makes exercise a lot more fun!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's Cookin'

 Here is a peek at some of the things that have been coming out of my kitchen lately:

Arugula & Baby Spinach Steak Salads with Bleu Cheese

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup
Based on this

Dijon Salmon a la Michael
Mmm, this was good!
Recipe found here

Although I'm sad to see summer end, I'm looking forward to the fall.  Fall is my favorite season.  The air is fresh and crisp, the leaves are gorgeous, apples and pumpkins are abundant, and my slow cooker can finally come out of hibernation.

Fall also means back to school.  Ah!  Better go enjoy these last couple of weeks of vacation!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Now Bake Us Some Figgy Chicken

For all of you Scrooge's out there, that is a play on the popular Christmas song, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas."  You know..."Now bring us some figgy pudding..."  Now that we have that straight, please go to your kitchen and make this recipe ASAP.

As I was brainstorming meal ideas for this week, I decided that I wanted to make some sort of stuffed baked chicken.  I feel like goat cheese and figs are a combination that you often see in restaurants, so why not be the star of my chicken?  I made this recipe up as I went along and it came out quite tasty if I do say so myself.  Please give it a try and let me know what you think!

Goat Cheese & Fig Stuffed Chicken
Serves 2


  •  2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup marsala cooking wine
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp margarine
  • salt
  • pepper


1) Chop figs and mix them together with the goat cheese, allspice, and 1/4 cup of marsala.  Set aside.

 2) Cut a pocket in each chicken breast by pressing down on the chicken with the palm of your hand while making an incision in the thickest part.  Carefully slice to make a pocket, keeping the other side of the chicken breast intact.

3) Open each chicken breast and pound to flatten.  Salt and pepper both sides to taste.

 4) Stuff each chicken breast with the goat cheese mixture.

 5) Fold the top of each chicken breast over to cover the cheese mixture and place in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

 6) Microwave the margarine and the remaining 1/4 cup of marsala for about 30 seconds (until melted) and pour over the chicken breasts before placing in the oven.

7) Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

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