Category Archives: Exercise

A very bad recipe


Good Afternoon! I had a late start to the morning. Confession: Ever since we moved, I have had a REALLY hard time getting to sleep at night. I don’t know what it is. Last night was the worst yet – I didn’t go to sleep until 12:30. I tossed and turned for what seemed like a few hours!!! How frustrating…

I set off on a ride later in the morning, but I didn’t do well. I had great intentions, but I think the lack of sleep played a big role in my ride that was MAJORLY cut short. I only got in 10 miles. Boo. Check out my riding gear!

I would say that was $25 very well spent – the shoes and jersey are in brand new condition! Happy Micah & Happy Amanda! ๐Ÿ˜€

Preride snack:

Postride snack:

Last night I started making a lemon tart with blackberries and blueberries. Very yummy, but not healthy AT ALL. I don’t know why, I just had an itch to bake – crazy, I know (I am totally not a baker, if you know me well). Plus, why would I bake something sweet when I don’t even really have a sweet tooth? No clue. But I’m going to give some to some neighbors we haven’t met yet….or something – because we aren’t keeping it. Here is my recipe. Now, I like to keep things pretty healthy around here. Here is your warning: THIS IS NOT HEALTHY!!!! But Micah and I shared a piece this morning, and it was very good. Also, I do not have a tart pan (like I said, not much of a baker), so I just used a 9” round pan, and it turned out fine.

Lemon Tart with Blackberries & Blueberries

Ingredients:

Lemon curd:
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar (I cut this down – I couldn’t put that much sugar in, I just couldn’t do it!)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

Topping:
2 6-ounce containers fresh blackberries
1 6-ounce container fresh blueberries

Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour ( I used a combination of ww and ap flour)
1 large pinch of salt

For lemon curd:
Set fine metal strainer over medium bowl and set aside. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in another medium metal bowl to blend. Whisk in lemon juice. Set bowl over large saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until curd thickens and thermometer inserted into curd registers 178ยฐF to 180ยฐF (about 6 minutes). Immediately pour curd through prepared strainer set over bowl. Add butter to warm strained curd; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until blended and smooth. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd, covering completely (this prevents a skin from forming on the top). Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours. This can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

For crust:
Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg yolk; beat to blend. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until mixture resembles large peas. Using hands, knead in bowl just until dough comes together.
Transfer dough to 9” tart pan with removable bottom. Break dough into pieces, then press dough evenly up sides and onto bottom of pan. Cover and chill 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Preheat oven to 350ยฐF. Uncover crust and bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

For topping:
Remove sides from tart pan and place crust on plate. Spread lemon curd evenly in baked crust. Arrange blackberries and blueberries on top.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back later with something MUCH healthier! And hopefully that tart will no longer be in my home (because I gave it away – NOT because I ate it). ๐Ÿ˜€

Do you have any suggestions for my sleeping problems? I need help!!!

Eggstatic!


First of all: Shout out to my sister on her birthday today!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wow…I have so much to blog about! Let’s start with something that I got in the mail the other day!!!!

I haven’t tried these out on the bike yet (they came with the clips, but not the pedals – what?!?!?), but as soon as I buy the pedals – which I may just buy a new set of clips/peds depending, I am trying these out! I’ll let you know how they work and such. AND….they fit like a glove! Perfecto! The jersey – same thing, I just didn’t get a picture. Soon, my friends.

This morning I boiled up some eggs for a *healthy* egg salad. What, you say? I know, egg salads are not the healthiest thing around, but I tell you this one is so good – and not as bad as you may think. So, first I’m going to tell you how to PROPERLY boil an egg – to perfection, my friends.

Itโ€™s usually the most simple kitchen tasks that get messed up because itโ€™s so easy to ignore the importance of them, but that gray-green ring around the yolk of an over-cooked egg has got to be one of the most unsightly culinary mistakes out there. The reason this occurs is a reaction between the yolk and albumen as the egg cooks at high temperatures for too long, so preventing the ring (and that sulfurous smell that accompanies it) is pretty much as simple as not overcooking the eggs.

Overcooked eggs are harmless to eat, but theyโ€™re not particularly tasty โ€“ the whites are rubbery and the yolks are chalky. So, to boil an egg and retain a vivid yellow yolk encased in a delicate white, just follow these simple rules:

1. Start and end with cold water
You want to start your eggs covered with at least an inch of cold water and finish them by running under cold water. Gradually increasing the temperature of the water from cold to boiling is key to preventing the whites from becoming rubbery before the yolks have a chance to cook. It also reduces the chance of the shells cracking during cooking, as air trapped inside the shell can be released gradually, rather than as a burst of steam. Running them under cold water afterward halts the cooking process, which also prevents the whites from overcooking and being rubbery, as well as preventing that dreaded ring. Today, I also put some cold water in a bowl to set in the refrigerator while I prepared the other parts of the egg salad.

2. Season your cooking water
Add a small splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to the water you are going to boil the eggs in. This has two effects. The first is that, if by chance an egg shell does accidentally crack, the protein will coagulate instead of seeping out and making a mess of the water. The second is that it slightly softens the shell of the egg, making it easier to peel later.

3. Use โ€œoldโ€ eggs
This doesnโ€™t actually make a difference as far as the cooking process goes, but eggs that are very fresh are more difficult to peel once cooked, which can affect their appearance if the shells do not come off cleanly. Try to use the older carton of eggs in your refrigerator when making boiled eggs because they will separate easier from their shells. In the case today, I knew I would be making these late last week when I made out my menu plan, so I bought my eggs well in advance.

4. Use a timer
Once you bring the water to a boil over high heat, cover the pan, turn off the heat and start the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain the water and transfer the eggs to an ice bath or run under cold water until cool, to prevent overcooking.

Thatโ€™s it. If you start large eggs over high heat, covered with an inch of cold water seasoned with salt and vinegar, and turn off the heat when they come to the boil, cover and let sit for 15 minutes in the hot water, then run the eggs under cold water until cooled, you have perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs every time.

The finished product:
Perfectly boiled eggs. Yumm-o!

I boiled 11 eggs (I know, odd number – I needed to leave 6 for another project). I used 7 eggs in my egg salad recipe. And here is the recipe – this one is so good! I love cold egg salad during those hot summer days.

Ingredients:
7 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1-1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

*Note* I like less mayonnaise (I don’t like the taste of it very much) and more mustard, so feel free to adapt this recipe if needed to suit your own taste.

Procedures:

Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks from 3 eggs and reserve for another use. Cut remaining egg yolks and all whites into 1/2-inch pieces.
Whisk mayonnaise and mustard in medium bowl to blend. Add chopped eggs, celery, green onions, and tarragon. Stir gently to blend. Season egg salad to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Look what I picked up at the store!

I’ve been eating these like candy.

So, for my lunch today I had some leftover salad with balsamic vinegar, cottage cheese, berries, and egg salad on 1 slice of Earthgrains thin bun (toasted – just how I like it!).

Check out this salad (picture is from when I made it yesterday – it was so good!)

My lunch plate:

I normally like a slice of tomato with my egg salad, but just forgot about it – I guess I was too hungry to care! Next time…

Micah got back a while ago from class. We really don’t have many weekend plans, but I’m thinking a picnic is in store! Also going to spend some time on my bike and also some running. Catch you later!

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

A perfect combination


Words do not describe today. Awesomeness.

We got somewhat of a late start, but still managed to leave the house around 8:30am. The trip to Des Moines was shorter than I expected, and I do plan to take advantage of that! ๐Ÿ™‚

The farmer’s market was packed!!!!

We’re talking packed as in it was hard to walk! And Micah isn’t a big fan of that – which is okay. After I scoped it out for a bit, I went in for the kill. I didn’t get pictures, but I got some great lettuce, spinach, asparagus, and tomatoes. I’m planning on using the asparagus for a pizza tomorrow, so stay tuned!

We originally wanted to get something to eat at the market, but with the hot sun, big crowds and long lines – we opted for something different. I picked up some roasted red pepper goat cheese. This was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. OMG!!!!! We also bought some pretzels for a little snack before lunch. This combination was perfect considering my infatuation with goat cheese AND roasted red peppers. Do I need help?



I got a very nice gift certificate to Olive Garden for graduation, so since we were in the area, we went there for lunch. I have to be honest. I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants, but who doesn’t love a free meal?!?! ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t have pictures here, but I had some portobello stuffed ravioli. Also, a lovely glass of wine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Came home and crashed. We both took naps – much needed, and I gained some energy for a short ride. I did a 10-mile leisurely ride around town – perfect weather! Which leads me into my next topic…..

I was at the grocery store the other day deciding what product to buy for my work-outs to maintain hydration. When it gets to be summer and you have the hot temps, it’s hard for me to drink just water. Problem: Most of those sport drinks have HFCS in them. Which (if you know me), I refuse to buy. Then, I spotted this:

Verdict: Not bad! I liked the flavor, and it didn’t leave a bad aftertaste. The nice thing about it is that there are not many calories. I really LOVE to drink coconut water, but I have yet to find it around here….I’m sure I can find it somewhere, I’m probably just missing it. Hmmmm…..but this will definitely do until then….especially on those 20+ mile rides.

What do you use for hydration in your workouts? Any suggestions?

Score!


Take a look at this:

This is what my AWESOME husband bought for me today! The shoes are brand new Nike cycling shoes valued at over $100. And the cycling jersey….well, if you do any biking, you will know that it’s hard to find a jersey under $50. We found this on Ebay, and paid $25 including shipping!!!!! I had been watching this for the past few days. When it came down to it, I asked Micah if I should bid, and he said no. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Little did I know, he was bidding behind my back!!! This made for a very happy Amanda. ๐Ÿ˜€

Went for another 20 mile ride today. And this time, I did get lost. When I finally got back to town, I took a short cut. I would say today’s ride was perfect. There were still hills, but I was prepared. And they didn’t last the entire ride! There were 3 decent size hills, but I took it slow. Micah and I also had a lovely 45 minute walk this evening. I love investing in our marriage. I can’t put a price on it. โค

My meals the past couple days have been incredibly uninspired. I'm sorry! I promise to have a recipe tomorrow – it's a good one, so stay tuned! Tonight, I have some spinach that needs to be used, so I made a HUGE spinach salad with red peppers, olives, and feta. I also used the Greek Feta Dressing. I’m not a creamy-dressing kind of person – in fact, I don’t ever remember liking it even as a child. I’m more of your oil/vinegar-dressing gal. But, I was in the mood for something creamy and this sounded pretty decent. It is very good. Here are the nutrition facts:

And my gigantic salad:

So.Good.

I’ve been glued to the news for the past couple weeks on the oil spill. It angers me – words do not describe. The photos and videos I have seen are so disturbing. Brings me to tears. I’m turning off the tv for the night – can’t take anymore of it. :*(

Have a great night! Don’t forget to comment if you would like to be added to my blog list! ๐Ÿ˜€

Questions for you:

1. Have you scored a good deal lately? I’d like to know about it!

2. What are your thoughts about the oil spill? I know that’s a very abstract question, but if you have any thoughts, feel free to comment!

Lobster


What you say? Lobster? Okay, I’m not talking about food here people! That’s just what my arms look like right now. Yes, the first sunburn of the year happened today. It’s ok though. It doesn’t feel bad, and it’s not as bad as other burns I’ve had. I’m white as a ghost and always have been. Even with proper coverage I still burn. Anyway…….onward.

This morning, I packed up my gear and headed out on a nice ride…or what I thought was going to be a nice ride.

Pre-ride fuel:

Verdict: I hope these are still on sale!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I used Map My Ride and found a ride (23.5 miles) that I thought would be doable for today with the amount of time I had. So I started out. And it felt great. Until about 10 minutes in. The hills – or mountains? – were intense for the first 15 miles!!! I did NOT think I was going to make it. Once I got back to the edge town, I thought I was lost. But I trusted my instincts and I was right on track. At mile 16 (after I was finally on flat land again) I started feeling pretty weak, so I had another bar (there are 2 small bars in a package, but I only had 1). I felt much better and had more energy to finish strong. Now that I know that route, I’ll definitely be riding it to train on hills. Okay, it wasn’t THAT bad – but in my defense I didn’t plan on lots of hills today.

When I got back I took a nice cold shower (Amanda Fact: She only takes cold showers in the summertime) and made a green monster. Okay, a purple monster – but it really looked brown. So good. In the mix:

3 Handfuls of Spinach
3/4 Cup Almond Breeze (this stuff is AMAZING – if you haven’t tried it yet, do it. Now)
1 T. Chia Seeds
1/2 C Frozen Cherries
1/2 C Greek Yogurt
1/2 Banana
1 T Protein Powder

Another Amanda Fact: Amanda eats 99% of smoothies with a spoon. I know they taste better that way!

I must say the cherries really made this GM a hit!

Micah wanted some study time out of the house, so it was the perfect time to introduce him to Stomping Grounds. Check out my last post about Stomping Grounds here. This time, I ordered the egg salad with local farm fresh eggs. Divine, I tell you! It was served open-faced, and the bread was awesome. It was some kind of multi-grain, and toasted. Micah wasn’t hungry, so he ordered a strawberry smoothie made with LOCAL strawberries. This was no doubt the BEST strawberry smoothie I have ever tasted outside of my home.

Currently we are enjoying Border’s. And I’m going to browse. It just might be a bad thing that there is a Border’s in this town…….;)

One more thing. I have added another page to the blog – Blogs I Read. If you have a blog and would like to be added to the list, let me know. I’ll gladly add your blog! Also, if you are reading this via email or GoogleReader, etc. hop on over to the blog. It looks a little different. I needed something more summer-like. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great night!

Pain.


For the past year, I have been battling shin splints. It’s bad. I invest into good running shoes, stretch, ice, and anything I can find to avoid them, but it seems that nothing has been working. I have been taking it REALLY slow lately. I thought I had escaped pain, but alas…..last week on Thursday morning I awoke and could hardly walk! The pain is unbearable. And I love running, but I can’t deal with the pain. So I have some options. 1. Don’t run (UNACCEPTABLE!). 2. Go see a specialized doctor and get special order shoes that are made to fit my feet specifically ($$$$$$$$$$!). 3. Deal with the pain (see above where I said “I can’t deal with the pain). 4. Any recommendations? HELP!

Off to eat some delish dinner with my husband……..

Swimming Update


I SWAM MY FIRST MILE YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I’m a little excited…..no, A LOT excited! Swimming is hard! It wasn’t fast, I’m sure I don’t have the best technique, and I had to stop and take a few breathers, but overall I’m pretty proud of myself! I couldn’t have done this a few weeks ago.

Changin’ It Up


My exercise routine has remained pretty steady and consistent….until recently. I have decided to take up swimming. Mostly because I want to do a triathlon SOON! More details on that later. I’m a horrible swimmer, and for most tri-athletes, swimming is the most difficult part. I’m doing a program called 0 to 1650….basically swimming a mile in 6 weeks. However, since I have already been swimming for a few weeks, I’m a little more advanced than a beginner (in terms of endurance, NOT technique!). I’ve been swimming about 1000 yds per workout – hey, for a beginner I’d say that’s ok – cut me some slack! ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, if anyone has any tips on swimming, send them my way! I need them – badly!

Bike Repair :(


Well, I took my bike in to Bickel’s. The 2 lower gears work, but I can’t get into the high gear. GRRRRRR… They said it wouldn’t be looked at until next week. So my goal of 100 miles this week won’t be happening! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ This stinks!!! Instead I’ll be running 4-5 miles. Still fun and working out…but not NEARLY as fun as riding!

Tennis, Cycling, Running…


Micah and I have really started hard-core exercising lately. We usually play tennis for an hour every day. Also, we’ve started cycling – we picked up a couple bikes from a local bike auction! Woo-hoo! I love gettin’ back on the bike. I remember back in college……my big-time cycling days…..ahhhh….memories! Anyway, it feels great to get back into it. My goal is 100 miles a week. This week hasn’t gone exactly as planned, but I’m at 41.8 miles. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes. Hopefully I meet that goal – or surpass it. I’m also running on off days – usually about 4 miles. It’s going. I used to run a lot, but I have bad knees (which is why I LOVE cycling – much easier on the knees!). Hopefully I can do the 12:1 Run at our church in October. I would be amazed if I could do the 10k……we’ll see what happens.

By the way – I had the BEST lunch today. I’m not a fan of frozen food ANYTHING (those that know me will know that I cook everything fresh with the freshest ingredients available). However, today I picked up a Kashi Mediterranean Pizza. It was wonderful – I had the leftovers for supper! Spinach, roasted peppers and onions, feta cheese (my FAVORITE cheese), roasted red pepper sauce….mmmmmmmm. I might have to have this again. Ok, I WILL have this again!