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?