Wednesday, May 25, 2011

a failure of epic proportions

...or let's just call it Wednesday, May 25th.

And no, I did not within 6 days of my end goal fail to fulfill my no meat challenge diet.

But for some insane reason, I thought that I would for half of the last days of my month-long meatless diet also partake in a 3 day juice detox.  You really clean my system...and cuz I'm just crazy.

So determined was I while I was researching juice detox recipes.

Ambition and glee were in my eyes when I purchased my juicer on sale and with a 20% off coupon.

Furrowed was my brow at the supermarket as I perused the produce section to pick only the best fruits and veggies for my juices.

And then I began to make juice.  Glorious juice.  I was so excited I hopped on gmail chat and sent Hubster a message that contained one word and one word only...JUICE!!! :D

I made three different yummy juices, one for breakfast, one for lunch and one as a snack.  As I lay in bed last night, I worried about how hungry I would be in the morning...but alas I woke and was excited for my juice, so off to work I went with my three bottles of juice in hand.  And I had a good feeling about the day.

Breakfast juice was good..Grapefruit & lime with mint.  Mmmm....hit the spot.  I was still excited about my juice diet and convinced that I could do it.  Went out for an appointment then came back for my lunch juice (watermelon-apple-lemon & lime)...mmm good and refreshing.  An hour or two goes by and then....oh, and then...

I'm EFFING HUNGRY!!! I don't want juice! I want food!  I want...a BURGER!

....but a burger I did not have.  I'm sticking to that one folks.

So I then talked to a friend who I refer to as Twinnie and she said 'Why don't you supplement your juice diet with a raw food diet?'  Genius!

So off I went researching raw food diet recipes with a new sense of determination.  I have rolled oats! I have raw almonds! Yeah!  This is such a great idea!

Yup, I went online looking for recipes.  For food.  To eat, not drink.  When I'm already hungry.

Suffice it to say, about 10 minutes later I had a bag of popcorn and 3 teaspoons of peanut butter because that's what I have at my desk.  Oh...and I still have a bottle of juice.  And I want an effing burger...with bacon.

{ cindie }

Sunday, May 22, 2011

SND: Pesto!

Eight more days left of my 30 day no meat diet! Truth be told, it's been difficult, but not as hard as I thought.  Perhaps I have mother nature to thank tho, since the weekends have been too rainy to bbq.  Would I have had to restrain from eating burgers cooked on the grill every weekend...well let's just say I'd either be a super grump, or I would have failed my diet.

Anyway, since starting my no meat diet there has been a serious lack of posting recipes here.  The last three SNDs didn't even make it.  So now here I am, like a bad boyfriend with a bouquet of gas station purchased roses the day after Valentine's day, with a new recipe.

This recipe features one of my favorite herbs that just so happens to be one of the most elusive things for me to grow and maintain...

Basil Pesto Penne and Meatballs

This was Hubster's bowl...mine was sad without the meatballs

For pesto sauce
- 2 cups packed basil leaves (washed and dried)
- 3 cloves garlic (quartered)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper

For meatballs
- 3 slices of whole wheat bread (crusts removed)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 scallions (mine were fresh from my garden! yay I can grow things!)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup pesto sauce
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 TBS olive oil

For sauce
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup light cream
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- salt
- 1/4 cup basil (finely chopped)
- reserved pesto sauce
- 1 ladle-full of reserved pasta water

Let's get started shall we?

Prepare the breadcrumbs for the meatballs.  If you use pre-made breadcrumbs you can skip this step, but I prefer to make my own cuz...well it's simple.  Break up the de-crusted bread and put into a small food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. 

Once your bread is all crumby, transfer into a large bowl and add 1/4 cup of cold milk and combine well.  Set aside.  Unless you have more than one mini food processor, wash and dry because you'll need it again.  

Make your pesto sauce.  Again, you can always buy the pre-made stuff in the grocery store, but I prefer to make my own.  In your now clean mini food processor, combine the pine nuts and garlic and pulse until combined.  Add the basil, pulse again until a paste is formed.  Add the olive oil, cheese, a couple grinds of salt and pepper then pulse again.  Taste. 

If you're like me and you used two regular sized cloves of garlic and one huge clove, your pesto will taste a little hot.  If that happens, add a few more pine nuts and cheese and pulse.  Once you get your pesto to how you like it, set aside and start on the meatballs.

On a baking sheet, pour the flour.  Combine the ground beef with all the ingredients except for the flour (cuz you already just used it, duh) and olive oil.  Once everything is well combined, begin forming your meatballs.  After all your meatballs are formed, roll them in flour. 

In a large skillet or saucepan (or in my case my favorite dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Once the oil is heated, place your meatballs in to brown.  Once browned, add the broth and cream.  Bring to a boil and then simmer to allow the meatballs to cook through and the sauce to thicken (if after 10 minutes or so your sauce is too thin for your liking, add some more cream). 

Happy meatballs swimming in yummy sauce

While the meatballs are simmering in the sauce, start cooking the pasta.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain (remember to reserve some pasta water!) and add to the meatballs and sauce.  Add the cheese and salt.  Make sure everything is well combined.  Depending on how thick/thin you like your sauce to be add some of the reserved pasta water.  Once everything is well coated, add the reserved pesto sauce and chopped basil and mix well.  Serve with an extra small sprig of basil to make it pretty and some parmesan. 

Oh...and while I was uploading the pics for this meal, I realized I never posted my recipe for Oreo truffle balls!!! Stay tuned...those will be coming this week :)

{ cindie }

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the number twelve

One dozen.
Six times two.
The square root of 144.

It's a number featured in a Christmas carole.  The number that precedes the stigmatized 'unlucky' number 13.  It's the number of months in a year.  And perhaps most importantly, it happens to be the number of days left in what seems to be to me the LONGEST.MONTH.EVER!!!!  It just so happens to be, at the time of writing this post, the number of days left of my 30 day no meat challenge. 

I'm more than halfway through and let me tell you, the last 8 days have been hard.  I was doing well up until day 10...until I realized that I still had 20 more to go.  Add to that the fact that there was one perfect grilling weekend and a Mother's Day feast thrown in there.  And I've been watching a lot of Food Network.  And I just watched an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay where it was a fried chicken throwdown.  Hubster might just come home tonight to see me rocking and shaking in a corner.  Ok, maybe not really....

12 more days.  I can totally do it!  The question is...what should my first meal be when it's over?

{ cindie }

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

running in shoes?

Well damn Blogger...glad you fixed your problems but now I'm missing comments (and when you only have a few you notice!)


Remember how excited I seemed to be when we got an elliptical?  And how I was sure it was going to help kick my butt back into gear?  Well I've been using it (not as much as I'd like) and burning calories galore, but I'm not so sure I'm seeing the results.  Since we opened our pool last week (and it is now Seattle rainy and chilly here, go figure) it made me realize that if I want to fit into the many swimmies (yes I call my bikinis swimmies) I own without feeling self conscious about my perceived problem areas I need to kick it up a notch.  So a running I will go.

Those of you who know me in the real world, outside of being in a computer (they're in the computer? - sorry I can't help the Zoolander reference), know that I used to run...a bit.  I've run two 5Ks and had aspirations of running more races.  But then I got married and figured...well hell, Hubster's stuck with me now...commence ass explosion.  But not really...I didn't plan for my butt to grow, it just did.  And that's my fault because I went from hardcore exercising before the wedding, to 'settling in' after and using excuses like, 'I'm tired', or 'well the gym isn't set up in the new house yet'. more excuses for me.  Now that the weather is nice(r) it's time.  Instead of pushing myself too hard, too fast which will result in burn-out, I'm going the way of the Couch to 5K program.  

Let's hope this gets me back to where I want to be!  Oh and my no-meat diet...I made it to day 14 when I decided that I was going to become a pescatarian for the remainder of the month.  Mmm...spicy tuna here I come! 

{ cindie }

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Confession #14

I'm a huge goofball.

Ok...not really a confession since it's pretty obvious.  But I'm also pretty shy upon first meeting.  My shyness and awkwardness has often been misconstrued as me being snobbish which makes me sad.  Cuz really...well I'm pretty awesome when you get to know me. 

Last week, I had a three day training/meeting for work where I was 'forced' to interact with colleagues from Europe and some that I see in the office daily.  While my awkwardness definitely hampered me from getting to know my European colleagues better, I do feel that it helped me come out of my shell with my everyday office mates.  Our off-site 'social events' were a prime opportunity for me to let my silly out...and well...silly I did get (not drunk silly..Cindie's comfortable enough to be herself silly type silly).  And you know what is awesome?  I got to know some of these people that I would see walking in the halls or sitting in meeting rooms with me better.  And they got to know me...hard working, fun loving, silly me.  Not so awkward anymore.  Not so quiet.  They got a glimpse of who I am, as I saw a bit more of who they were.  It was pretty cool.

And because I feel like a post is always better with a picture, here's one of me being me at one of our events

{ cindie }

Monday, May 2, 2011

a girl becomes a princess, a murderer is dead, and I got bangs

Talk about a historic weekend....well not the part about me getting bangs.  But based on the voting results of you guys, it was an unequivocally unanimous decision.  Wanna see?!!


I dunno...


It doesn't change my look up too much (I don't think Hubster even noticed) but I love them.  Definitely doesn't look like the bowl cut bangs of my youth!  Oh...and uh...I seriously must love you guys to post these ridiculously awesome pictures of me making stupid faces. like?

On a more serious note, this past weekend was truly historic.  Kate married a prince and became a Dutchess and Osama is dead.  Bless this country, bless this world!  A huge toast and thank you to the men and women of the US military forces who sacrificed time with their loved ones and their lives to search for a man who destroyed the lives of so many.  He may be just one man, but he is one less (insert expletive because I can't think of one that comes even close to describing him) in this world.  

{ cindie }