Memorial Day Weekend

Oregon coast, originally uploaded by gail des jardin.

We're heading to the Oregon Coast for some camping, with a stop over to see friends in Portland along the way! It's going to be rainy, so we've brought lots of books and games, and we may escape to Tillamook for some cheese tours!

Here's to s'mores, camp breakfasts and bratwurst! Have a fantastic weekend!


Things I Like

I'm thinking of trying to talk Pete into going out for dinner with the LivingSocial I just got and seeing Thor tonight. Will I be successful? We'll see.

A few things I'm into these days:

The Fleet Fox's new album

Catching up on documentaries like "Kings of Pastry" and "Bigger, Faster, Stronger." Next up will probably be "Waiting for Superman."

Making margaritas

Making smoothies

Reading and drooling over Super Natural Every Day

Penzey's Chili 9000 - a great spice mix for chili, Mexican food, whatever!

Reading through the AV Club's Nashville or Bust series (I know, I'm waaaay behind on this - just found out about it!) and discover or re-discovering awesome country music singers.

Signs of spring in Seattle - seeing ducklings and blooming Lilacs on my runs!

Seeing new bulbs pop up in the yard - I think it's the dahlia and gladiolus bulbs I planted!

I recently switched back to Nike running shoes after a long period of Brooks Adrenalines, and the Lunar Glides have been working great for me!

Does anyone get bruises on their eyes from swim goggles? I've been on a quest to find a more comfortable pair. This is the best I've tried so far.

Oh, and I just started the book "Little Bee," inspired by Seattle Public Library's Seattle Reads program. I'm hoping to go to one of the author events. (Our library system is awesome - FYI)


Stuck in my head: Glee

Do any other post-high school Glee watchers wish it had been around when we were in high school? Even though I often find the plot silly or downright confusing, it has some great messages about acceptance - of yourself and others. I was really touched by this song in a recent episode - so I, of course, downloaded it and I've been listening to it all week. It just really strikes a chord with my memories of high school - always wishing I were skinnier, prettier - just better. Thank God we make it past that.

And, just for fun, the other songs on my current Glee playlist:


Cinco de Mayo

Pete and I are planning a themed meal for Cinco de Mayo tomorrow! (Which, FYI, is NOT Mexico's independence day. It's the day they defeated the French in a key battle.)

Here's the plan:

  • Tortilla chips with salsa (bought from the store) and guacamole (made by Pete)
  • Carne asada - My mom made this over the weekend and it was a hit! I picked up the flank steak at Costco yesterday.
  • Margaritas! - We tested recipes this weekend, and I've listed my favorite combo below.
  • Mexican chocolate ice cream - We're looking for any excuse to use our new ice cream maker.
I like my margaritas on the rocks without any sugar. The combo of liquor and sugar makes me feel kind of sick, but you could add sugar, simple syrup, 7-Up or limeade (we might even experiment with adding Squirt!). Also, my mom thought these were a little strong, so you could cut down the amount of tequila.

1. Pour some salt on a plate. Use a slice of lime to wet the edge of the glass, and then turn the glass upside down onto the plate to stick the salt to the rim.

2. Put ice cubes in the glass.

3. Add:
2 oz. Silver tequila (I found I much preferred silver to gold, and there's a bottling company that makes it out of Hood River called Monarch. Not sure if local is better for tequila, but I liked it!)

1/2 oz Triple sec (This is an orange flavored liqueur with less alcohol content. We also bought the Monarch brand of this.)

Juice of one lime (I threw in a couple of the wedges too)

Splash of Grand Marnier (For tomorrow, I actually bought an organic blood orange liquer from Michigan called Thatchers. It was right next to the Grand Marnier, but way cheaper.)


P.S. This recipe for a gin bucket also looks pretty darn good.

P.P.S. While researching recipes, I stumbled upon a whole website of recipes using Coca Cola, including this horrifying recipe for Coca Cola Rice. So wrong.


Cookbooks: Super Natural Every Day

I've recently whittled down the number of food blogs I follow to just a few favorites that consistently have winning recipes. One of my top blogs is 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson. She has delicious, wholesome, easy recipes - many of which have become regular week night go-to meals for me. I just bought and started reading Super Natural Every Day, her new cookbook. So far, I can tell that she and I have very similar tastes in the tools we use and how we stock our kitchens. (She likes to keep about ten different kind of nuts and seeds around - just like me! I'm glad someone else shares this addiction.) She's a vegetarian, which I'm not, but I often prefer vegetarian food and her recipes have such great flavor!

One tip I've picked up so far: Whenever you cook up a grain or rice, make a big batch and freeze the extra in a freezer bag. Then, just pull it out and warm it up next time. If you're ambitious and cook up dried beans, you can do the same!

She also admitted that she does not make homemade broth. So refreshing! So many food writers make me feel inadequate with their weekly routine of broth making. It sounds wonderful - but who has time??

I had to miss her book signing in Seattle last weekend :( and it sounded amazing. Darn. But, I've been on a kick with her recipes lately and I can't wait to try more from the cookbook!

A few winning recipes:

  • Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup - A good, basic lentil soup recipe made more interesting by the saffron/Greek yogurt on top. I really like this addition, but Pete said he'd skip it next time.
  • Double Broccoli Quinoa - Just made this last night and it was delicious! We didn't have Parmesan, and it still had great flavor. I'd probably add some tofu next time.
  • Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie - Pete wasn't in love with the whole-wheatness of this, but I thought they were awesome! I'll definitely make them again for a quick dessert that's a crowd pleaser. Plus, I love any dessert that involves my cast iron skillet.
  • Simple Cauliflower Recipe - I usually add tofu to this and eat it with brown rice. This is a long-time standby for me. LOVE cauliflower.


Get in shape girl!

Pete and I walked Bloomsday last week - a 12k run/walk in Spokane, that drew more than 55,000 people this year. (Go Spokane! Love my hometown.) It's a great way to kick off spring and summer fitness plans, and on our drive back across the state to Seattle, I started setting mine:
  • Bike to work at least five times during the month of May (this doesn't sound like much, but I have a really crappy bike commute). I've committed to do this as part of Bike to Work Month here in Seattle. 
  • Work my way up to running the 6.2 mile Cheshiahud Loop in Seattle.
  • Do at least one triathlon - I may do both the Seafair Triathlon and Danskin. (Danskin seriously needs to work on its website.)
  • Hike Mt. Si.
  • Go on a weekend backpacking trip with Pete!
  • (Oh, and cheer on Pete when he ride RAMROD!)
Can't wait for warm weather to FINALLY get to the northwest so I can enjoy my training outdoors!
    A fitness blogger I follow likes to say: Say it. Do it! Telling other people about your fitness plans helps you stick with them. Hope it works for me!

    P.S. I used to LOVE "Get in Shape Girl." Yea for the '80s!