Monthly Archives: September 2013

Move It Monday + Weekend Photos

Standard

Hello! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I didn’t post nearly as much as I would have liked last week, hopefully this week will be better. 🙂 Our weekend was great. We went to Santa Barbara and spent the weekend in an Airstream Hotel of sorts, called SB Auto Camp. I’ll give more details and suggestions on the trip in another post, but check the place out. It’s worth the google search!

Now, let’s get to Move It Monday. I finished up my work out week with a 6 mile run last night, and it went surprisingly well. This week I am going to continue with the same type of workouts, but switch up the resistance training workouts.

(warm up before, & cool down/stretch after a workout.  Always consult your doctor before starting a workout plan)

Monday

Runner’s World Strength Workout

Core Circuit #4

Tuesday

3.5 mile run

Wednesday

Kickboxing – 25 minutes

Runner’s World Yoga Video – 25 minutes

Thursday

3.5 mile run

Friday

Medicine Ball Workout

Core Circuit #3

Saturday

OFF

Sunday

6 mile run

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll put up a post about some Santa Barbara’s to-do’s. In the meantime, here are a few pics! 🙂

DSC03676

DSC03665

DSC03672

DSC03681

DSC03691

DSC03699

DSC03702

DSC03701

DSC03710

DSC03715

DSC03717

Hope you have  a great Monday!

Advertisements

Fall Sausage Hash

Standard

Hello, all! I hope your week is going smoothly. After all, it is half way over! 🙂 I was called to substitute yesterday, so I didn’t get a chance to put this recipe on the blog. It’s a great hearty meal that goes good with a chilly weather change. Fall Sausage Hash.

This skillet is full of  sausage, sweet potato, kale and onions. It’s great as is, but can easily be modified to your tastes. The sweet potato can be swapped for any of the squash that’s abundant in the fall. I’d like to try it with Chicken-Apple Sausage, too. The apple would go great with the fall-ness of the hash. 🙂

DSC03584

Start out by browning about 1 pound of sausage in a skillet. Once browned, remove and drain off excess fat. To the same skillet, add 2 cups of finely chopped kale and 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced, over medium heat. Cook until translucent and soft.

DSC03571 DSC03580

Meanwhile, dice 1 large sweet potato and add to boiling water for about 3 minutes, or until almost soft. When the sweet potato is ready, add it to the onions and kale, followed by the drained sausage. Then add about 1 garlic clove, finely chopped.

DSC03577

Over medium heat, stir the hash together and let the flavors party for about 3 minutes, or until heated all the way through.

DSC03592

The spices and cheese you may want to add will vary depending on your sausage. The sausage I used seemed really salty, so I just added a touch of pepper and a little mozzarella. If you want something a little saltier, you may try feta. I think cheddar, Parmesan, or ANY cheese is wonderful! Now, eat it up. 🙂

DSC03584

DSC03589

Have a great day!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Fall Sausage Hash

1 lb sausage

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 cups kale, finely chopped

1 medium sweet potato, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper

Mozzarella or favorite cheese for topping

1. Brown sausage in skillet and then drain excess fat and set aside. In same skillet, saute the onion and kale until translucent and tender. While the onions and kale are cooking, dice your sweet potato and add it to boiling water for about 3 minutes, or until almost soft. Once the onions and kale are ready, add the sausage, sweet potato, and garlic to the pan and mix together. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Once it’s ready, add salt and pepper if needed, and your favorite cheese. enjoy!

Move It Monday, Core Circuit + Apple Orchard Photos

Standard

Can I get a what-what! for these b-e-a-utiful fall temperatures that rolled in this weekend? Man, I am loving it. We woke up on Sunday to a very chilly morning, and decided to go ahead and run before Mother Nature realized she left the A/C on over night. 🙂 I had my long run, which went great, largely because of the cool temps.

We wanted to continue to take advantage of the cool temps, so we took a little road trip up into the mountains, where it was super chilly, to the apple orchards. It was a blast, and the apples were so sweet and delicious. Tehachapi, again, wins for the neatest town ever. Here are a few pictures from Pulford’s AppleTree Orchard.

DSC03610

DSC03609

DSC03608

DSC03606

DSC03605

DSC03598 DSC03599 DSC03600 DSC03601

DSC03607

Mmmmk. Now for Move It Monday. WooHoo! 🙂

This week it’s time to bump my long-ish run up to 6 miles. Surprisingly, I’m actually looking forward to it. In the between time, there will be more short runs and strength training. Here’s how it looks:

Monday

1 mile run

Resistance Training

Core Circuit

Tuesday

4 mile run

Wednesday

Kickboxing – 50 minutes

Thursday

1 mile run

Resistance Training

*Core Circuit # 4 (below)*

Friday

3 mile run

Saturday

Rest

Sunday

6 mile run

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Core Circuit # 4

Plank Jacks

-do as many as possible in 45 seconds

Dumbbell Side Bends

-complete 10 reps on each side

Hanging Leg Raises ( if you don’t have a pull up bar, sub another lower ab exercise)

-complete 10 reps

Double Crunch

-complete 15 reps

*Do each exercise the designated number of times. Rest, and then repeat 2 times.

(always warm up before exercise and cool down and stretch after, and never start a workout program or routine without previously consulting your doctor)

Friday Finds – Gift Guide

Standard

The weekend has arrived! Yippidy-do-da-day! D is going to catch a game at the Rose Bowl with a co-worker, and I’m going to fine tune my window shopping and couch sitting skills. I plan on making a lot of headway. Hope you all have something fun or relaxing waiting for you this weekend!

I feel like fall is the ultimate gift buying season, between Christmas and a ton of birthdays. So, this week Friday Finds is more like a gift guide, for someone else or for you! 🙂

 

I feel like everyone has a foodie in the family these days. This cookbook would be great for the travelling foodie.

I think this almond butter would be a great homemade present for family and friends. You could put it in a cute jar and tie a little raffia around the lid. Done!

nutbutter2

Although it isn’t technically a gift, I think this Apple Pie Sangria would be a great addition to any holiday gathering.

I would say this is great gift for a brother-in-law, but I like it for myself. I love the leather scales on this flask.

These Salted Caramels would be a great gift for someone far away. Just order them and have them sent to their door.

My sister, Annie, would love this Beef Jerky. They have a few flavors to choose from.

I love this camo vest. Usually camo isn’t my thing, but I really like this one. It would be great for an outdoorsy girl.

Excursion quilted vest in camo

I think this candle would be great for a girlfriend. You could give it as is, or make a little gift basket.

Paddywax Mason Jar Candle

If you have a dog lover on your Christmas list, check out this shop. These leashes are really pretty….and made in the South.

Dog Leashes from seescoutsleep.com; $26-$30 each

These mixing bowls are so pretty. Anyone that’s spent time in the kitchen knows you can’t have too many.

Pretty and practical! Mixing Bowls from Gleena (gleena.com)

Need an idea for a fitness fanatic? Or someone who is looking to get motivated? Check out this fitbook?

 

Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

Homemade Graham Crackers

Standard

In another attempt to coax the cooler temps our way, I dug out my boxes of fall clothes yesterday. It’s kind of like having a birthday or Christmas all over again. After they’ve spent a summer packed away, I sometimes forget about what I have. 🙂

After talking about all of the pumpkin recipes, fall clothes, and apple orchards I feel obligated to stick with the fall theme for a bit longer. So today I am making (drumroll please…) Graham Crackers! There is nothing quite like sitting around a fire (or a gas stove top) and roasting a marshmallow for THE best s’more you’ve ever had. I mean, I’ve loved s’mores for as long as I can remember, but before the graham crackers were far from homemade. But now, these puppies will always be homemade. 🙂

DSC03547

At first I was a tad disappointed in the graham crackers. I thought they lacked that snap or crunch that you get out of a Honey Maid cracker. So on the second batch, I baked them a few minutes longer and BOOM. Perfection. I was scared of over baking them, but as long as you watch them, they’ll turn out juuuust right.

Combine 2 TBSP ground flax seed, 2 cups AP flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in bowl. Transfer to a food processor and pulse together.

DSC03495

In a separate small bowl whisk together 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup honey, 2 TBSP molasses, and 2 TBSP vanilla paste or extract. Set aside. (Personally, I could have used more molasses, but I am used to the flavor. If you aren’t a molasses fan, you can just sub for more honey.)

DSC03500 DSC03503 DSC03505

To your pulsed dry ingredients add 8 TBSP very cold, cubed butter. Pulse until the butter becomes completely combined with the flour mixture. The texture will resemble a course flour.

DSC03508

DSC03509

Take the liquid ingredients and pour into the flour/butter mixture. Pulse until the mixture is combined. You may have to take the lid off and scrape the sides and bottom, no worries. Eventually your dough will become sticky and completely combined.

DSC03510 DSC03511 DSC03512

Roll out about a 15 inches of plastic wrap and flour it liberally. Form the dough into a ball and lay it on the plastic wrap. Wrap it up and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Overnight would be better.

DSC03514

Once the dough is chilled, take it out and divide in half. Flour the surface you’ll be rolling the dough on and roll one half at a time to about 1/8 inch thick. You can eyeball it if you’d like. As long as they are all the same, they’ll bake evenly.

DSC03516

DSC03519

Cut into squares as big as you’d like. I made mine around 2″ x 2″, but you can do whatever size and shape tickles your fancy. Then lay them out onto baking sheets and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (you can speed it up by popping them into the freezer for about 15 minutes).

DSC03520

DSC03525

While your crackers are cooling, we’ll make the topping. Combine 2 TBSP vanilla sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. You can most definitely use regular sugar, but the vanilla is really good if you have it on hand.

DSC03548

DSC03524

Now it’s time to make the graham crackers look like graham crackers. You can use a tooth pick or a skewer, whatever works. Make an indention down the middle, being sure not to go all the way through the dough. Then poke holes down the crackers. Aren’t they cute?

DSC03532

DSC03527

Using a heavy hand, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top and pop them into the oven at 350°F.

DSC03536

 Bake them for about 15 minutes before you check them. You want them to start turning golden brown, otherwise they will be chewy rather than crunchy. Let them cool completely and then store in an airtight container.

DSC03540

DSC03539

You could go ahead and make a s’more before you put them all away, couldn’t you? Of course! Since we don’t have chocolate bars in the house all the time, I went for the Nutella for this s’more. It definitely worked. 🙂

DSC03551

DSC03552

Hopefully you’ll turn to this recipe at some point this fall, you won’t be sorry! 🙂

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________-

Graham Crackers

2 cups AP flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 TBSP ground flax seed

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

8 TBSP butter, very cold

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup honey

2 TBSP molasses

2 TBSP vanilla extract or paste

1. In a food processor, pulse together the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon). In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, molasses, and vanilla. Set aside. Now add 8 TBSP of cubed, cold butter to the food processor and pulse until the flour and butter resemble a coarse flour. Next, add the liquid ingredients and pulse until completely combined. The end result will be a sticky ball of dough.  Remove the dough and lay it on a floured piece of plastic wrap. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

2. While the dough is chilling, mix together your topping and set aside. Once the dough is chilled, divide in half and roll out to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes and sizes. I chose 2″ x 2″. Pop them back into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until re-chilled. Using a toothpick or skewer, make an indention down the middle and holes on each side. Now sprinkle with topping and bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown. Remove and let cool. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

Standard

Oh, how I love the Fall. I love everything about it! Football season, weather changes, Thanksgiving, pumpkin flavored everything, hoodies, sweatpants! I could go on forever, seriously.

This year I get to add something to my Fall love list, and I am stoked about it. About 30 minutes away (and 2000 feet higher) sits one of the prettiest, most appealing towns I’ve visited, Tehachapi. It sits in the foothills and, unlike us, experiences all 4 seasons. Considering their weather can accommodate it, it’s littered with little farms and orchards, and this year we get to go Apple Picking!  I think growing up completely surrounded by agriculture in the Midwest makes me really excited about this! I can’t wait to see all of the orchards, pumpkins, and scarecrows. 🙂

(photo source)

Until the apples are ready I’ve had to move onto another Fall favorite, pumpkin! This pumpkin kick is barley warranted considering it is still 100°+ here, but I’m trying to will the cooler temps our way, and I think it’s working! 🙂 I’ve gone through quite a bit of pumpkin puree experimenting with smoothies, cookies, breads and things of the sort. After a couple hits and misses, I found a sure-fire keeper! This Pumpkin Bread recipe is the best I have ever had, and let me tell ya, I’ve had my fair share of it!

DSC03484

There are two things that make this so good. One, the spices are appropriate and don’t overpower the pumpkin. Secondly, it’s completely moist. I mean super, super moist.  There aren’t any fancy or special ingredients. In fact, a lot of people may already have exactly what you need to make it just sitting in the cabinet. So. . ? Go! Make it already. Uh-hum, anyway. Here’s the run down.

Start out by combining all of your dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar (raw or refined), 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Whisk until completely combined and set aside.

DSC03473 DSC03474

In a separate bowl, whisk 1 cup pumpkin puree (I just used the good ol’ canned kind), 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup water until smooth.

DSC03465 DSC03466

Now just add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine.

DSC03475 DSC03476

Grease three loaf pans ans evenly distribute the batter between them.

DSC03479

This recipe made enough to fill 3 mini loaf pans. But you could easily double this and make a couple large loaf pans. If you do that, you’ll need to adjust the baking time and keep an eye on it. 🙂

If you go for the 3 mini loaves, you’ll bake at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool and enjoy!

DSC03486

DSC03485

DSC03482

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, powder, soda, and spices). In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and vanilla. Add the wet to the dry and mix until smooth. Grease three mini loaf pans and distribute batter between the loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick come out clean. Let the loaves cool just a little bit, then slice, butter, and enjoy!

Move It Monday + Total Body Dumbbell Workout

Standard

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend. We just laid around the house and did as little as possible. We were pretty successful. 🙂

How was your weekend?

As far as workouts go, this week was sub par. I was called into sub for a 1st grade class on Thursday and Friday, and I let that be my excuse to skip a workout. Whoopsies. 😦 So this week I have to get it together.

My 5 mile run went pretty good yesterday, but I think I’ll stick with it one more week, then bump it to 6 the next time. Here’s how the rest of the week is lined up! You’ll find a Total Body Dumbbell workout below.

(photo source)

(always warm up before your workout, and stretch after your cool down)

Monday 

1/2 mile run

Total Body Dumbbell (see below)

1/2 mile run

Tuesday

3.5 mile run

Core Circuit #1

Wednesday

Cross train (45 minutes)

Thursday

3.5 mile run

Friday

1/2 mile run

Resistance training

Core Circuit #2

1/2 mile run

Saturday

Active  Rest

Sunday

5 mile run

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Total Body Dumbbell

1. Stationary Lunges w/ Bicep Curl (10 each)

Squats w/ Dumbbell Press (12)

2. Push Ups (12)

Bent Over Row (12 each)

3. Tricep Pullovers (15)

Bicep Curl 21’s

*This workout will be done in supersets. You’ll perform the 1st set of exercises, back to back, and then rest for about 2 minutes. Then repeat 2 times. Then you’ll move on to the 2nd set of exercises and do the same. Same with the third. You’ll do 3 sets of each exercise by the end of your workout.

Have a great Monday! 🙂