Last week was rough. There’s really no other way to describe it.
Without getting into too much detail, I had way too many things going on…and I missed an important appointment because I didn’t double-check my dates (BUT, I was able to reschedule!).
Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who helps me out in any way he can. Last week it was doing laundry, getting up with me at 5:30 in the morning and driving 40 minutes–each way– to pick someone up before I went to work, making breakfast and lunch, and listening to me have a mini-meltdown midweek. No big deal.
Somehow, we made it through the week and Saturday morning, we were out of bed bright and early to drive down to the social event I’ve been mentioning for the last month or so.
This weekend, Ben and I attended a wedding. The wedding of my friend Laura… or my ex would-have-been-sister-in-law. She’s a pretty amazing lady and we are still close. Driving down Saturday morning my feelings were swinging between “This is going to be totally fine. It’s not a big deal.” and “What the heck was I thinking?! I am so nervous that I am going to drive off the road!”
The reality of the event was somewhere in between. I’ll share more in my next post…but for now, I need to share some positivity!
So, here is a short list of things that made my weekend (and life in general) pretty amazing:
1. My hubs. This man makes my life a lot more interesting. Each and every day. Not to mention, he’s pretty handsome.
2. Wearing a dress that I haven’t worn in a long time and finding out that it still looks pretty good. It’s an awesome feeling, and nice to know that hard work does pay off.
3. Local Produce. I love going to farm stands, co-ops and farmers’ markets and knowing that I am supporting my local economy… not to mention, it just tastes better. This weekend, my sister, Ben and I visited Turks, a small farm and flower market in Horseheads, NY.
5. Fresh Ingredients. Simple Food. Delicious-ness. Here are some shots of our Sunday lunch. Thrown together in about thirty minutes after a quick trip to Turks and Wegmans for supplies.
6. Potato Salad. Especially when it’s not drenched in Mayo…Recipe for this particular salad is coming soon!
7. Late summer nights. Particularly when paired with a glass of wine in hand, hummus at my fingertips and ridiculous conversation. Bonus points for a bonfire.
What are some things that make you ridiculously happy?
As I said, stay tuned. More to come!
Wow! What a gorgeous day! It was 48 degrees when I got up to run this morning. 48 degrees! The sun was shining and there was a light breeze. Perfect running weather. Unfortunately, I only had time for a short run, but every little bit helps! That’s what I keep telling myself.
So in short, I am feeling pretty charged and pumped to take on the rest of the day!
Another awesome thing about this week; Chocolate Hazelnut Spread! Holy cow is it good. And soooooooooo easy to make! Seriously, if you can work a blender, you’ve got it in the bag. This would be a great spread for a fancy party or a brunch with your family and friends-the hit of the party. OR you can hide it in your fridge and eat it by the spoonful… whichever you prefer.
I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Per usual, Deb did not disappoint. I’ll let you visit her post because she explains it so well.
A couple of notes:
I ended up using just under a cup of powdered sugar and 2 tbsp. of oil instead of 3. I also added a splash of vanilla… this is just personal preference on sweetness and texture. Tweak to your taste. It would still be amazing with more sugar and oil.
The SK recipe called for peanuts and peanut oil…I happened to have hazelnuts and walnut oil on hand, so that’s what I used. Still delish. You could probably also use Tahini if you don’t have some sort of nut oil.
It may seem that you are running your food processor forever… don’t worry, the nuts will liquefy. It takes patience and scraping down the sides of the processor. Just when I was about to give up, I had liquid! So just…keep blending. Also, don’t make this past 9 pm…unless you want to tick off your neighbors.
Spread lasts in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week. Makes about 1 3/4 cups. Serve on toast, with fruit, in oatmeal..or by the spoonful. The options are endless.
According to my ingredients, a serving (1 tbsp.) has the following: 92 calories, 7 g of fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 65.6 mg potassium, 6.2 g Carbohydrates, 4.7 g sugar and 2 g of protein.
I have been having a lot of fun lately. Whether it be ice skating, updating my food journal, planning a workout, perusing food blogs, watching old 3rd Rock episodes with Ben, cooking/destroying my kitchen, watching Ben cook and not destroy the kitchen or working too much, I’m having a good time. In short, 2012 has been good so far. No complaints on my end.
As you know, I go through food phases. For some reason, the last few weeks have been missing meat. It wasn’t intentional and I’m not complaining, it just worked out that we ate a lot of veggies/beans. As much as I love my veggies, I am ready for some beefy deliciousness.
This weekend I finally had some red meat; Ben made this crazy good (and super easy!) goulash. Basically, it was a mish-mash of what we had in our fridge. It was also a one-pan meal. The best kind.
Here is what he did, I apologize for not having exact measurements …or photos, as I was just watching Ben work his magic.
Fridge Emptying Goulash
To start, Ben chopped up a couple of carrots, a tomato and 2 cloves of garlic (normally, we would add onion, too… but for some crazy reason, we were out) and threw them in the trusty iron skillet with some olive oil over medium-low to medium heat.
After a few minutes, he added a pound of (local, grass-fed) ground beef. He browned it, stirring occasionally.
Once the meat was browned, he added in some leftover tomato sauce, maybe a cup or so? After stirring, he put in one small can of Muir Glen (Organic) tomato paste.
For seasoning, he kept it simple; cracked pepper, onion powder (due to the lack of chopped onion), marjoram, some chili sauce (a few tbsp.) and some smokey paprika. This can be adjusted according to your own tastes.
He let everything simmer for a few minutes and added about half a can of V8-as much as I love V8 juice, I was unsure about this. Thank God I trust Ben’s judgment.
After the V8, he gave one more stir and let it cook a little longer-covered, until the carrots were tender.
We served it over pasta with a dollop of sour cream and a few slices of Cabot pepper jack. So good.
Hummus is probably one of my favorite snacks. For a brief period, when I lived by myself and didn’t feel like cooking all three meals, I ate hummus and crackers for lunch or dinner all the time. It’s something light and involves no fuss. Or dishes. I like that.
I am a big fan of hummus with crackers (I love the Kashi TLC’s) or in a veggie wrap/pita…or even just a scoop of it on a salad. It also works well as a spread on sandwiches.
I discovered that it is way cheaper to make than to buy…and you can do pretty much whatever you want with it-it’s almost impossible to screw it up.
You can even make sweet potato hummus (shout-out to Becca for introducing me to this awesome idea!)
I am a huge fan of garlic, lemon and a little spice in my hummus.
Anyway, here is how I make it, I’m not the best at measuring things out, so these are just guidelines-do what suits your tastes!
- 1 (16 oz.) can of chickpeas (you can also use the dry beans and soak them…I used the canned to save time)
- a bunch of parsley-about a tbsp.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp. Tahini
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. Spanish Smoked Paprika-keep in mind, a little goes a long way.
- a few dashes crushed red pepper
- sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Open your can of chickpeas and drain.
Chop garlic and parsley.
Place all ingredients in food processor. Blend until smooth.
*Note: I was lazy and didn’t want the extra dishes, so I used my walnut chopper and a fork to mash everything together in a large bowl, it was a bit lumpy, but I liked the added texture*
Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies or pita…or by the spoonful to your mouth.
If you’re having company over, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and arrange with veggies/pita on a platter-they’ll love you forever!
Hummus should last for about a week, covered and refrigerated.
Have a great day everyone!