Friday, March 1, 2013

baked mustard chicken

Soooo YUMMY and so easy that I've been pretty much been eating this for 3 weeks now. 2 min of prep time and 25 min bake time. Even though I used skinless thighs, the butter and high temp brown the chicken and make it a little crispy on the outside. Yum. I normally whip up a batch on Sundays and then eat it throughout the week with pasta and veggies or on top of salads.

I also used chicken thighs from Costco, which means I got 7 pounds of chicken for $14. What a deal! Costco is the absolute best.

Baked Mustard Chicken
5 chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons salted butter
A big scoop of dijon mustard. I give my squeeze bottle a big squirt. If I had to eyeball it, maybe 2-3 tablespoons.
A dash of adobo seasoning
Lots of black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a bowl (I microwaved it for 1 minute). Add mustard, adobo seasoning, and pepper. Using tongs, dip the chicken in the mixture so both sides are coated. Place chicken on baking sheet. If there is any leftover mixture, pour on top of chicken. Bake for 25 minutes (or until chicken is done).

Feel free to alter the recipe however you want. Oil instead of butter? Multiple types of mustard? Panko bread crumbs? Different seasonings? The world is your oyster. (and you have lunch for the next week).

Sunday, February 24, 2013

the craziest thing i've ever done aka the frozen pilgrim race recap

I've done some pretty crazy things in the past such as (yes I am only posting the PG-13 stuff),
1. Ate M&Ms as a pre-race meal. In fact, I blogged about it here.

2. Spontaneously (as in on 48 hours notice) packed all my things into my car and drove down to Lancaster, PA to work at a summer camp for nerds. Seriously, these middle school kids had to take the SAT in the 7th grade in order to go there. They also met other nerds for the first time, fell in "love," and had "sex" in bushes. Don't send your children there.

3. Bought a pet rabbit on the side of the road in Maine. There was a sign that said $5 rabbits so we got one. RIP Mugsy.

4. Took a 27 hour train ride from Beijing to Chengdu, China. I pretty much lost a day of my life on that train. At least we got to see a really big Buddha and panda bears once we got there.

5. Climbed a 3 story scaffolding absolutely wasted. What can I say, I used to be wild back in the day (and...I can't post about that part of my life here).

6. Lived in the Bowdoin Hockey house for a month. There was blood on the mattress, porn magazines under the mattress, broken furniture, and a dirty handprint with an arrow that said, "Colby fuck '08" written in permanent maker on the wall. Good thing it was only $240 for a 4 bedroom apartment. Best deal ever.

7. Cooked a pot of beans at midnight and a a big pot of soup in the middle of summer. (Full confession: I STILL think these things are completely normal, but my sister and my friend, Jo, don't seem to think so).

8. Peed in an open trench in the countryside somewhere in China (the bathroom was basically a trench with 2 slabs of concrete that you stand on). A dog walked in while I was in full squat. My vagina has never felt so vulnerable.

...and my personal favorite:
9. Lived in an apartment in Portland, ME with no furniture, no hot water, and no transportation. This meant I had to walk 2 miles each way to work and my roommate, Ranwei (who refused to get hot water in order to save money), had to bike 15 miles each way. We heated up hot water in pots to shower, slept on air mattresses, used a piece of wood we stole as our kitchen table, and went to bed everyday at 8pm because we also had no internet (wireless wasn't cool back then). We also contemplated charging our laptops at work to save on electricity.

It actually was a very nice apartment

If you couldn't guess, Ranwei was also my roommate at the Bowdoin Hockey house. Apparently we used to be really cheap. Don't worry, we've really grown up since then. In fact, we also lived together in a respectable condo in Brookline, where we bought a $2,000 TV with $20 bills. Super classy.

Despite this non-exhaustive list of strange things I have done, last Sunday, I reached an all new level of crazy. I ran a a snowstorm.

The Frozen Pilgrim 10K took place on Sunday, February 17, 2013 in Plymouth, MA. At start time, told me there was a winter storm warning and it was "feels like" 4 degrees, heavy snow, and high winds.

I'm still not sure why I did this, but I am SO glad I did. Mainly because I feel like a total badass now. The route was unplowed so we were running on snow and parts of the race involved wind and snow blowing right into my face. I shouldn't be surprised, after all, it is called the FROZEN pilgrim. I thought about turning back during the first mile, but for some strange reason, I just kept going.

Here are some photos (some taken from Bayside Runner's Facebook page):

Before the race. Contemplating...should I really do this? Why not, we're already here.

Start line

As one lady put it, "this isn't a race, this is survivor"

Lead runner coming in. What a badass.

It wasn't always pretty, it wasn't always fun, it wasn't always fast, but I FINISHED.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 goals: one month (plus a few days) in

January is over. February is well, almost half over. Here's how I am doing so far on my 2013 goals.

1. Run faster - Maybe? Friend me and follow my progress on dailymile. (I only have 4 friends on it so far...sad). I'm also in the process of trying to link my dailymile account with my blog, but so far it is not working. In other news, I've done some speed intervals at the gym and I'm running my first 10K of the year this weekend. Lets be honest though, I really don't think I am any speedier than when I started. Good thing there are still 320 days for me to work on this.

2. Train for a half marathon - I recently signed up to run the More/Fitness Women's Half in Central Park on Sunday, April 14. I am SUPER PUMPED! It's basically 2 loops around Central Park and apparently quite hilly. I just started training for it on February 1 and so far its going well. Running 3x a week is much more doable with my schedule than my Philly training plan, which involved running 5x a week. I normally do 1 short hilly run, 1 short run with speed intervals, and a long run on the weekend. Sometimes, I just say screw it and run outside when it's snowing. I do what I want. I love it.

Here's a recent picture from one of my chilly long runs...Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Boston, MA.

3. Blog more consistently - Seeing as my last post was over a month ago, this one's probably an epic fail so far. Sorry Lynn, looks like those Turkey Trot posts will be happening after Valentines Day. Crap.

Happy Valentines Day (I know this is so unrelated, but look how cute those hedgehogs are!)

4. Strength training - I've started going to North End Yoga. I love it...not just because it makes me feel more zen, but because I can also get a pastry from Modern Pastry afterwards. So far I've had a lime tart, numerous cannolis, a rum baba, and a lobster tail. I wasn't a super fan of the rum baba (too much rum) or the lobster tail (too big and crunchy), but I LOVED the cannolis and lime tart.

Anyways, back to yoga. I'm terrible at it and can barely do a downward dog, but I love it and plan on going at least once a week. I've learned that I am not very strong and not very bendy, but these are great things I need to work on. Plus, I love ommm-ing. My favorite is going on Friday nights after work. It is a great way to unwind from the week and fresh, healthy start to the weekend. Unfortunately, I might have to switch studios, my beginner introductory special is about to expire. I am thinking of going to Karma Yoga Studio on Comm Ave.

5. Watch more Grey's Anatomy - A+ on this one. Favorite character these days? Christina. a special treat, here's another goal that I'm adding:

6. Run 500 miles - This means I need to log about 10 miles a week. 54 miles down, 446 to go.

Monday, January 7, 2013

creamy chicken with broccoli and baby bella mushrooms over rice

CONFESSION: I'm too scared to leave the crockpot on when I am not in the house. It's a silly fear, I know. One that I'm hoping to get over...soon. I'm just convinced something will happen. E.g. my food will overcook, I'll forget about it (go out with my friends, get drunk, and come home 20 hours later), or there will be a fire. Ridiculous, I know. I am making a little bit of progress. Tonight I left my crockpot unattended for 2 hours while I went to the gym (although I must confess, my roommate was home the entire time). That's why this recipe calls for the crockpot to be set on high (so it cooks faster because of course I started cooking this when I came home from 5. #lifefail). I'm sure you could cook it on the low setting and just go to work and come home to a delicious meal (like normal people).

This recipe is super easy and I am sure someone could adapt it so its made with less canned items (aka less preservatives). Honestly, that someone is probably not going to be me. Maybe in the future...

Creamy Chicken with Broccoli and Baby Bella Mushrooms over Rice (excuse my capitalization. it's probably wrong)

1 pound chicken (I used defrosted, previously frozen Trader Joes thighs)
1 can of broccoli cheddar soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup of sour cream (I only had a scoop of sour cream...I tried to make it work. 1 cup = definitely better)
2 cups of broccoli
1/2 a small container of mushrooms (you know, those grocery containers that the mushrooms come in)
Seasonings! - the recipe I used called for salt, garlic salt, and cajun seasoning. I used garlic salt, adobo seasoning (don't ask, I put it in everything), paprika, cayenne pepper, and normal pepper.
Brown rice

Put chicken, soups (and broth), and seasonings into crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours.

Shred chicken with a fork. Add broccoli and mushrooms. Cook for another 30 minutes.

In the meantime, cook rice.

Stir in sour cream and serve over rice.

Sorry, no photo. Just imagine something creamy with chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms. I would totally make this again. So easy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

pumpkin dutch baby pancakes

Well, I guess it is technically a pancake, and not pancakes. Either way, this requires no stovetop and no griddle, just the oven. Gotta love lazy Sundays.

It's been awhile since I've posted a recipe, so here you go...

Pumpkin Dutch Baby Pancakes
Serves 4 (I'm convinced it really only serves 2-3 because I always want seconds)

1/2 cup milk (I've used whole and 1%, I don't think it makes a big difference)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (The first time I made this, I only had salted butter. It came out alright)
Powdered sugar (for the top!)

Combine milk, flour, eggs, pumpkin, spices, and salt into a bowl and mix.

Spray 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Place butter in the pan, put in oven, and preheat to 450 degrees. When butter is hot and sizzling, remove from oven and pour batter into hot pan.

Put pan back into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and fluffy.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve with coffee (coffee + powdered absolute must).

Obviously, as soon as I snapped this photo, I then dumped 4 more pounds of powdered sugar onto my pancake. Really, I made these so I would have and excuse to eat powdered sugar.

Also, I think it might be prettier if you double the ingredients and bake it in a 9x13 pan, but since I am basically just a 1 person household, I really don't need a 9x13 pancake for myself.

In other news, I am going to NYC next weekend. I've been informed that I haven't been in over 5 1/2 years. I've also been informed that I need to get out more. I'm looking for cheap, tasty things to eat while I am there. Any ideas?

Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 goals

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's going to be a snowy one here in Brookline.

I'm not big on New Year's Eve (which is why I'm staying in tonight) and I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. I've never really had anything I suddenly wanted to change on January 1st. This year, however, I do have some goals I'd like to accomplish. They aren't very big, but hopefully they are somewhat attainable and something I can work towards throughout 2013.

2013 Goals! 
1. Run faster - How do I quantify this? I'm not a very fast runner (but hey, I just started), but it's something I definitely want to work on. I ran my first 10K back in May with a time of 1:01:42. I'm convinced it's a fluke because I've never been able to run a 10K even close to that time afterwards. In fact, here are my other 10K times - 1:09:08, 1:04:42, 1:03:56, 1:08:40, and 1:07:33 (Wtf???). In 2013, I want to run a 10K in less than 1 hour. I want a 59:XX next to my name. Obviously, I would plan to improve my half marathon time as well.

2. Train for a half marathon - Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I trained for the Philadelphia Half Marathon, but did I really train? Not really. I skipped a lot of runs, and in the last month leading up to the race, I barely ran at all. No long runs, no short runs, no nothing. It's going to be different next time. I'm signed up for the Run to Remember on Memorial Day weekend. I'm going to write a training program and I'm gong to stick with it! It's a ways away, but I'm envisioning 1 short run with speed work, 1 short run with hills, and a long run on the weekends. That's doable right?

3. Blog more consistently - especially after races. Lynn (and everyone else), you won't have to wait until Valentines Day to read about our double turkey trot! Especially since there was a pretty badass medal involved.

4. Strength training - I'm pretty much all fat, no muscle (I had one of those body mass index tests done once. Let's just say, it wasn't pretty). #plankaday and arm muscles are the plan.

5. Watch more Grey's Anatomy - ha, just kidding. I watch PLENTY of Grey's Anatomy already. I also watch a lot of Scandal.

In other news, I'm running a New Year's Day 5K tomorrow. The weather tomorrow is forecasted to be a high of 30 and a low of 11. I've never really run in the cold before so good thing I got some new cold weather gear! Including a really awesome hat from City Sports with a hole for my ponytail! How cool is that? Here's what I plan to wear. 

Hopefully I don't slip on the ice and fall on my ass (and if I do, I'm sure I'll blog about it).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

philadelphia marathon: race recap!

Wake up time: 5:30am. The race started at 7:00am (with my corral probably starting around 7:30am) so I wanted to get to the start line by 6:30am (I'm anal, I know). We stayed at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel, which was located in Rittenhouse Square...a little over a mile from the start line. It was really convenient to stay somewhere that did not require cabbing it in the morning.

My sister and I texted photos of what we were wearing to my mom so she would be able to easily find us in the crowds (Unfortunately, this did not work out as well as I had hoped because I decided to strip down to a tank top in 45 degree weather. What is wrong with me?!).

For breakfast I had a banana and half a cup of coffee from Wawa. No McDonalds breakfast sandwiches this time!

Ashley and I at the start line

After saying goodbye to Ashley, I headed towards the bag check. I don't normally check a bag, but I learned my lesson at the Tufts 10K and wanted to have some warm clothes for after the race. I forgot to bring a plastic bag or a drawstring backpack, which meant I had to check in my Longchamp purse. I must have looked like such an asshole. 

View from my corral. Good morning Philly!

I was in the blue corral, which was the very last corral. The half and full started and ran together for the first 13 miles, so there were both half marathoners and marathoners in my corral. I stood in front of the 5:30 pace group (2:45 half time) and wanted to try and stay ahead of them during the entire race.

The actual race
FIRST (and most importantly)...I high-fived Mayor Nutter at the start line! WOOT WOOT! The previous night I wrote as my Facebook status: I only have 2 goals for the Philly half marathon tomorrow: to finish (and get my medal) and to high five Mayor Nutter at the start line! #weonlyrunformedals. Lucky for me, I managed to make both these things happen!

The first 7 miles FLEW by. Irene and I started the race together and stayed together for the first 4-5 miles. Even though it was only 45 degrees, of course I managed to get hot ASAP and took off my half zip by mile 2...leaving me with just a tank top. I also managed to re-pin my bib while running (very slowly, #sotalented).

My mom snapped a photo of runners in Center City

I ran the first 7 miles without music. Just enjoyed the scenery and the crowds. Parts of Philadelphia are super cute! I loved running past Independence Hall, along the Delaware River, past old row houses in Old City and Queens Village, and of course South Street (a whole different story for a whole different day). I'm convinced they picked all the best parts for our run. Here's the course map. When we ran through Chinatown, I screamed to Irene, "Asians!!" I don't know what's wrong with me.

Mile 8 after crossing the Schuykill River, I put in my headphones and started zoning out to music. I was feeling great until I hit Mile 10.5. That's where my legs started to hurt...A LOT. I started to walk, mainly because it hurt too much to run. Clearly I should have trained more. Haha. Too late for that. I would run until I thought my legs would fall off, walk a bit, run again, walk a bit. I may have also texted my mom and sister a lot at this point. I really wanted to finish under 2:30 so when I saw the 5:00 marathon pace group coming up behind me (and pass me for a bit), I said fuck it, I need to run the rest of the way. I yanked out my headphones, listened to the crowd, and just tried to run as fast as I could (so not that fast).

Eventually, I made it to the finish line!! Ridiculously enough (the full and half finish across the same line), they were announcing 3 hour marathon finishers when I ran across the finish line. Crazy people!

I did it! I finished my first (and definitely not my last) half marathon! Who would have ever thought I would actually do this, considering that a year ago, I did not run at all (see my second blog post ever here).

The finish line! (in photos)

Everyone! (Irene, Ashley, Me, Lisa, Dave, Ranwei, Ranyee)

2 hours 27 minutes 54 seconds later...I'm done

Me and Irene (we ran the first 5 miles together)

Me, Lisa, Ranwei

Rha, Ashley, Me. Lisa

Me, my mom, Lisa

For some reason, I'm convinced I gained weight during the half marathon. How is this possible? My face and stomach definitely look a lot fatter than when I started.

And most importantly: our post-race meal...Federal Donuts! There are only 3 things on the menu - coffee, donuts, and fried chicken. This may have hindered my recovery and led to a strained hamstring (ok, maybe they are not connected). Whatever, it was so worth it.

I would totally run Philly again. Thank you for being mostly flat. See you in 2013!