Archive | February, 2013

Broccoli & Potato Casserole

21 Feb

Disclaimer:  The following recipe is not one of those “I ate clean last night & felt so awesomely skinny this morning!” recipes.  This is one of those “My stomach and taste buds felt like angels were dancing the Nutcracker Suite all around and then lifted me up to heaven with their dainty little wings” recipes.  You decide what kind of dinner you’re having.

Ingredients:

3-5 potatoes

3 cups broccoli, chopped

1 cup cheddar cheese

3/4 can condensed broccoli cheese soup

Salt & Pepper

This dinner was inspired by the fact that a week ago I purchased a large bag of broccoli at CostCo.  Since then, it has been sitting in my crisper drawer silently mocking me.  Since I’m not a huge fan of wasting food, I knew it was time to teach that broccoli a lesson.

First, I preheated the oven to 350°F.  Then, I brought a big pot of water to a boil and then cooked the broccoli just until it became fork tender (there’s nothing I hate more than overcooked vegetables).

Broccoli

While the water was coming to a boil, I skinned and diced some potatoes.  I happened to use these PA-grown potatoes by Blue Denim:

BlueDenim

Ignore the exposed drywall in the background.  We are in the middle of the sanding & mudding process.

Then, I just added the potatoes to the same water the broccoli had been cooking in.  Again, I only let them get to the point of being fork tender and then I scooped them out of the water and into my 10-inch skillet.  I fried them lightly in just a little bit of olive oil, so that they would be a little bit brown and crispy:

Potatoes

Since I had to fight the urge to constantly fuss over the potatoes and just leave them the heck alone so that they could crisp, I fussed over the broccoli.

I added a handful of shredded cheddar cheese (save some for the topping), and about 3/4 of a can of broccoli cheese soup, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic powder:

Step2

Then, I mixed everything together and made the pieces of broccoli smaller because big chunks of broccoli annoy me.  When the potatoes were done, I added those in (and because they weren’t overcooked AND they had been crisped, they didn’t just turn into mush).  Then, I put everything into a greased casserole dish.

InDish2

Since everything is all ready cooked, I basically only had this casserole in for 20 minutes while I cooked our steaks.  Long enough for everything to heat through, the inside cheese to melt, and the topping to crisp up.  Oh, yeah – the topping!  Before I put mine in, I added the rest of my cheese.  Since I was feeling extra naughty and happened to have less than 1/4 c. of Stovetop stuffing in my pantry, I added a little dusting of stuffing.  I was so friggin’ excited to eat this, I forgot to snap a picture before we dug in!  What’s pictured here is actually what we had left over, since I made this as a side dish.  The next day, I added some grilled chicken to it and we ate it for lunch & dinner.

Finished

Cue the dancing angels.

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In Training for Training

18 Feb

I think I owe you guys a fitness update, partially because I use this blog to hold myself accountable and partially because I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that I’ve all ready flaked out on running.  I just figured people would be sick of hearing about the same. exact. thing. every day.

Lifecasting is soooo 2012, didn’t you hear…

That was sarcasm.  With a hint of mocking.  Do what you want, people, not what  people tell you to do.

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Except that.  Don’t do that.

In January when I discussed my goals for the year, I recycled one from last year: running. Up until a few weeks ago, my training was inconsistent.  At best.  Then, at the beginning of last week I realized that me saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” wasn’t getting it done.  I’ve been putting things off until “tomorrow” for…..oh, I don’t know….28 years.  Then, I looked at my calendar and realized ohmygosh if I actually want to run the 5K I picked out in January, then I was running out of time to train.

WHO IS GOING TO SAVE THE MEXICAN CHILDREN IF I DON’T TRAIN TODAY.

Dramatic, yes.  But effective.

Every time I’ve attempted to train myself to run, I’ve opted for one of Hal Higdon’s plans.  They are easy to follow and they work.  They just work, ok?  Don’t doubt the Higdon.

Higdon’s training program is 8 weeks long.  Mind you, the day I decided to look at my calendar was 9 weeks out from the race date (April 13th).  Even though the Higdon program begins with a 1.5 mile run, I decided to use the extra week to build up my endurance.  I have a habit of burning out too quickly and I have to be careful because of an ankle injury from earlier in the year.  You can read more about my gracefulness here.

Here is what week one looked like for me:

Monday: 1 mile @ 14:33 pace
Wednesday: 1.25 miles @ 13:44 pace
Friday: 1.25 miles @ 12:48 pace

Now before you get all

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on me…please keep in mind that I have never pushed myself to jog with no walking breaks EVER.  Before, as soon as I could feel myself starting to sweat, I would slow down.  I had a sweat aversion.  Last week, I not only proved to myself that I CAN do it, but that I can push myself to improve over the course of the week, and I’m learning to embrace the sweat.  One thing I am nervous about: treadmill running vs. running the actual course.  I suppose there’s nothing I can do about this until it warms up outside.  There’s nothing like frigid Pittsburgh temperatures to suck the motivation right out of a person.

This morning is officially Week One/Day One of Higdon’s training program and I am feeling motivated, accomplished, and inspirational.  Last week, I managed to convince Brother that he wants to run the 5K with me in April.  Its been a really great way for us to bond, even though we live an hour away from each other.  We have been checking in almost every day!  My sister is still on the fence, but I think she’s catching the bug.

The End.

Fish Fridays: Holy Angels ♥

15 Feb

I’m sure you knew this was coming.

I had to kick off the Fish Friday series with my ‘burgh fave: Holy Angels.

HolyAngels2013

Located in Hays, this little parish has the best damn fish sandwich in town. I’ll keep it short, sweet, and to the point because you can always check out last year’s post about Holy Angels here.

A monster, hand-breaded fillet made fresh each week with a measly $8 price tag.  Did I mention it also comes with french fries and the best coleslaw I’ve ever tasted?

FishSandwich2

Waaaaay too big for this gal to eat, so I split it with the gf♥:

FishSandwhich

Much better.  I even had a little room for this $0.25 Valentine brownie:

ValentineBrownie

If you are thinking about swinging by Holy Angels on Friday, definitely call ahead.  No matter what, you are going to have to wait for your order – this place is PACKED and I mean PACKED.  It honestly doesn’t matter what time, there will probably be a line out the door.  If you call in your order, they have honor it.  And yes, I’m sure they do sometimes run out of fish!  Here is a link to their fish fry menu: YUMMIES

Holy Angels
408 Baldwin Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15207
(412)461-9503

Wordless Wednesday

13 Feb

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Laissez les bon temps rouler!

12 Feb

It’s Fat Tuesday, y’all!

Years ago, all Fat Tuesday meant to me was binge drinking, boobs, & beads.  If I had a kitchen right now I would no doubt be posting photos of a king cake or beignets because, even though I’ve changed, the true meaning of Fat Tuesday hasn’t.  It’s a day to feast and celebrate before the season of religious observation begin.  By no means would I call myself devout.  But as I grow older and closer to having a family of my own, establishing my own religious beliefs and traditions has become more of a priority.  When we are ready to have kids, which I don’t foresee happening for many years, we plan to raise them as much as with can as Catholics.  (Should be interesting, considering they will have two mommies!)

Many people view Lent as a time of restriction and penitence, a spiritual preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection.  For me, Lent is a period of time in which I reflect on myself and my own spiritual beliefs & growth, abstain from a vice, and try to do something positive in my community.  Let’s call a spade a spade, though.  Lent is a time when I get to enjoy some of the best fish fry’s that my beautiful, culturally diverse city has to offer!  Last year, I did my best to stick to a Fish Friday series in which I explored seafood options throughout the Pittsburgh.  This year I plan on continuing the Fish Friday series, but I will be mixing it up with more at-home options.  Many of the local fish fry’s don’t offer the healthiest of options and I am currently in race training.  I’m sure we’ll cave to a few.

In fact, my mouth is all ready watering in anticipation of the meal I will eat from Holy Angels tomorrow when I go to receive ashes.  I know ashes are supposed to remind us of our mortality and of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, but fast-shmast.  My foodie brain overrides that as soon as I pull into the parking lot and smell the yums.

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