Monthly Archives: March 2013

High Five for Friday

March 22 High Five

1. My grandma gave me an entire bag of York miniature hearts for Valentine’s day, and I’ve been eating one daily as an afternoon pick-me-up at work. It looks like I’m on schedule to finish the bag before Easter, just in time to make the switch to Cadbury Mini Eggs.

2. Warm Irish soda bread and coffee for breakfast every day this week.

3. Corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day! I made it in the crockpot using this recipe, and it was delicious. The cabbage and potatoes were not neon green in real life, as my camera phone would have you believe.


5. Whiskers couldn’t find any blankets, so he snuggled up under Dave’s pajama pants for an all-day nap.

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Balsamic Flank Steak Cauliflower Crust Pizza

03.21.13 Pizza

I just realized that I featured this pizza in a High Five for Friday post and promised to post the recipe … and then I never did. Just to prove I’m not a liar (and because it’s almost 10 p.m. and I have nothing else to write about), here it is:

Balsamic Flank Steak Cauliflower Crust Pizza

For steak marinade:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic
Sprinkle of sea salt and pepper

For crust, follow this recipe. You’ll need:
1/2 head cauliflower
1 clove garlic
1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano

Pizza toppings:
Flank steak (I used 1 lb. and threw the leftovers in eggs the next morning!)
Handful of cremini mushrooms
1/2 red onion
2 green onions, sliced
Handful of spinach
Your favorite white sauce (I used Classico Four Cheese)

30 minutes prior to starting crust, combine marinade ingredients in a plastic bag and add steak. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

While crust is baking, warm a skillet over medium heat, and add steak and marinade to pan. Cook through and then remove steak, leaving marinade in the pan.

Add mushrooms and red onion to the marinade left in the pan. Cook until caramelized, giving them an occasional stir.

While mushrooms and onion are cooking, cut the steak into bite-sized pieces.

When crust is finished baking, remove from oven and top with white sauce, steak, mushrooms, red onions, green onions, and spinach.

Broil for 5 minutes until sauce is warm and edges of crust are crispy.

This pizza is not only delicious, it’s fairly healthy (providing you don’t go crazy with the sauce). We usually eat it with forks, just because the crust isn’t quite as firm as a regular bread crust. I’ve served this to people who hate cauliflower and they loved it – definitely give it a try!

Is it spring yet?

Judging from my friends’ Facebook photos and blogs, spring has sprung just about everywhere except where I live. After several days in the 60s, the sunny skies have given way to drizzle and wind. The fact that every clothing store in the U.S. is pimping out its spring lines makes it even rougher to layer a scarf and gloves under my thick winter coat every morning. Today I took a break from scouring Groupon for tropical vacations long enough to put together a short list of things I would be wearing right now if I still lived in Los Angeles:

Spring wants

Cardigan, Loft // Skirt, Loft // Wedges, Loft // Dress, Modcloth // Earrings, Modcloth

Savory sweet potato fries

I used to think that I hated sweet potatoes. Until the sweet potato fry craze hit recently, the only time I’d tasted them was on Thanksgiving, when they tend to be covered in mini marshmallows or brown sugar. Which, nasty. Who decided that root vegetables are an acceptable vehicle for candy? And why stop there? Why not put syrup on cauliflower, or stuff broccoli into s’mores? Oh right, BECAUSE IT’S GROSS.

I do not like sweet shit on my vegetables, is what I am saying. Because of this, it took me a while to come up with a sweet potato fry recipe that I enjoy, mostly because a lot of the ones I found online contain sugar or cinnamon. After making them several times, I finally discovered the holy grail of sweet potato fry seasonings: Cumin and garlic salt. Maybe a little smoked paprika, if you’re feeling adventurous.

sp fries

Perfectly salty sweet potato fries

(Makes two servings)

One large sweet potato or two small ones
1-2 T Olive oil
Garlic salt
(Optional seasonings: Smoked paprika, cayenne pepper)

Preheat the oven to 400. Cut potatoes into wedges and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle generously with cumin and garlic salt (potatoes soak up a lot of seasoning, so don’t be timid here). Toss with your hands until wedges are evenly coated with oil/spices.

Bake for 20 minutes, then give them a stir. Bake 10 more minutes and stir again. If they’re starting to look crispy around the edges at this point, move on to the next step. If not, bake for another 10 minutes.

Broil on high for 3-5 minutes to achieve perfect crispiness (keep an eye on them the whole time you’re broiling – they’ll go from perfection to burned in a matter of seconds).

Be sure to taste one to check your seasonings before serving – sometimes I’ll add a little sea salt if I don’t feel like I got them quite salty enough. These are delicious dipped in ketchup, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing.

03.19.13 Sweet Potato Fries

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Outdoor running and Oreo cake

The weather has been so beautiful here that I went for my first outdoor run Friday after work. I was pretty nervous about it, since everybody has told me that running outside is way harder than running on the treadmill. I was glad that I found the opposite to be true – maybe it was the fact that there was a breeze to cool me off or that the scenery distracted me from my pain, but I felt great and did a 4.5-mile run on Friday and then another 7.5 miles on Sunday. I pretty much never want to run on a treadmill again.

03.18.13 Running gear

In addition to my brand new Asics Gel Kayano 18 running shoes (which are like running on a cloud), I broke out the Timex Ironman Road Trainer heart rate monitor that I got for Christmas. Because I have a heart condition that causes tachycardia, my doctor told me it’s important that I monitor my heart rate recovery when exercising. Normally I use the little hand monitor things on the treadmill, but now that I’m running outside I’ll be relying on this monitor. The chest strap is super comfortable and doesn’t chafe at all, but it took me like half an hour just to figure out how to record a workout. I still don’t know how to set the date and time, which is why it is showing that it’s December 10 in that picture up there.

Once you record a workout, you can review your highest, lowest and average heart rate as well as calories burned. However, I quickly realized that the calorie function only works if you’re a normal person. My pulse averages in the 180s when I run thanks to my stupid defective heart, so the monitor says I burn about twice as many calories as I really do. I wish my watch was right and that I really did burn 1,600 calories running 7.5 miles – I’d definitely feel less guilty about eating a giant slice of Oreo cake Friday night. And again on Saturday. And a third time on Sunday. I’d eat another one tonight if the two of us hadn’t eaten the whole damn cake in three days. From now on when people ask why I run, I’m just going to say, “Oreo cake.”

High Five for Friday

I didn’t take many pictures of my life this week, so instead my High Five for Friday is my favorite things I’ve purchased in the last week or so:


1. Modcloth I Think I Can Dress in teal

I purchased this dress for an upcoming work conference in May. I was told I need to look hot, yet professional – with the right shoes and accessories, I think this will fit the bill.

2. LC Lauren Conrad Polka Dot Denim Motorcycle Jacket 

My denim jacket gets a lot of wear every spring, and this is just a little more fun than my old standby.

3. Essie polish in Allure

I’ve been wanting a super light pink polish for a while now, but have had trouble finding just the right shade – this one is pretty perfect.

4. Gap 1969 Deconstructed Always Skinny Skimmer Jeans

I’m regretting chickening out and not purchasing the floral version, but I think these will go with a lot this spring, and the light wash is a nice departure from the dark colors I normally wear.

5. Kahlua K-cups

Because if I put REAL Kahlua in my morning coffee, I would be an alcoholic.

Linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk.
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Finally back on track

I’ve spent the last week and a half suffering through a cold from hell, and yesterday I was finally able to get back to my half marathon training. I still have a cough, but since my chest doesn’t hurt anymore and I can make it through my workday without seriously considering taking a nap on the floor under my desk, I figure it’s safe to get back to running.

I did an easy-paced 5k last night and felt pretty good, considering I haven’t exercised at all in 11 days. The real test will be the 7-miler I have planned for Saturday. I’m nervous.

When I logged in to DailyMile to record last night’s run, I found a little set of stats outlining what I’ve done since February when I first started using the site. So far I have:

* Run 48.5 miles

* Saved the equivalent of $2.55 in gas

* Burned 28 doughnuts (this means I can eat 27 doughnuts and still come out on top, right??)

It says I have burned 1 lb., but I stepped on the scale last week and found I have lost nearly 6 lbs. since I started running in January. Weight loss was not a huge goal for me when I started running – I could lose a few pounds and still be within the “healthy” BMI range for my height/build, but I’m definitely not going to be super strict about calories just to lose a little vanity weight. But it does bring to light one of my favorite things about running – I can eat so much more throughout the day! I’ve had a few people ask about what I eat, so here’s what a typical day looks like if I’m running:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon or a fried egg on top of whole-grain bread, coffee

Lunch: Giant salad with spinach/chicken/nuts/dried fruit/low-fat dressing or a turkey/cheddar/spinach sandwich or wrap with pretzels on the side. When I have avocado on hand, I’ll throw it on my salad or sandwich. Those days are the best. I have a bag of miniature York peppermint patties in my desk, and I usually have one for dessert.

Pre-run snack: Banana or half a Larabar

Dinner: My breakfast/lunch routine tends to be fairly low-cal, so I tend to eat whatever I feel like for dinner, within reason. Sometimes that will be super healthy chicken and quinoa, and sometimes (like last night!) it will be three slices of cheesy, pan-crust pizza. Everyone says breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day, but I’m hungriest in the evenings, so it works for me to eat my biggest meal at night. Two or three nights a week I’ll have some sort of dessert – usually part of a dark chocolate bar or a serving of ice cream.

I do track my calories on running days to make sure I’m eating enough, and on days when I have a few hundred to spare, I’ll have a beer or two. I try to eat a little less on my off days, but that doesn’t always work out. I read quite a few healthy living blogs, so eating habits have really been on my mind lately. Some of those healthy living bloggers have really incredible bodies, but they are very strict about what they eat … I think I’d rather settle for a pretty good body and keep eating pizza.

And because this post needs some color, here are some of my favorite healthy recipes I’ve found on Pinterest (click to see the pin):

Hummus, tomato, and avocado on an English muffin

Avocado chicken salad


Barbecue chicken quinoa salad


Vegan carrot cake overnight oats