Yes!!! Moment of GLORY

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On New Year's Day, you may remember my quest to make it to the end of Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. I was determined to see the end of the DVD no matter how many breaks I needed to take. And I did.

Every day since, I did Level 1 on the 30 day Shred (which continues to kick my butt no matter how many times I do it). I took a break on Tuesday to rest my poor sore muscles. So, today I figured I'd try BFBM again, hoping to make it through 4 of the 7 circuits before taking a break. But I did the whole thing this time with no stopping! It probably helps that I am not suffering from too much sangria, cheese, and ice cream syndrome like on NYD, but who cares how, I am just so glad I made it through. This workout is 40 minutes long, compared to the Shred's 20 minutes. I still have plenty to work toward though: 1) Doing the advanced versions of all the exercises - I can only do about 1/3 of them all the way, if I want to make it though and not hurt myself, and 2) Alternating this every other day with the shred, instead of just occasionally.

Since I'm off work, you know we've been eating some tasty food, so here are a few new recipes we've tried:

Quinoa and Pistachio Salad with Moroccan Pesto - finally, a quinoa recipe that Tom liked! Or at least, said he liked and ate it anyway. This could handle more veggies easily. I would definitely dice some cucumber and throw it in next time. And cooking the quinoa with chicken stock and orange juice was delicious alone, without ever mixing it with the pesto. I loved the OJ in there! Next time I want just a plain grainy type of side dish, I'll make quinoa with OJ and chicken stock.

Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

Creamy Veggie Fondue (new year's eve fare, not 2010 fare)

Braised Short Ribs - AMAZING, worth every second spent preparing it. Used my new dutch oven to make it. If you missed it on Facebook, isn't it beautiful? Thanks to my parents' giving me a graduation gift card, I was able to pick up this beauty! And short ribs are sort of the quintessential dutch oven recipe, so I had to try it out right away.

Which reminds me, I haven't blogged about this exciting adventure, making no knead bread in the dutch oven. Check out this video to see how I did it. And this is how it turned out. Gorgeous huh?

It was crusty and perfect. The only thing is, it called for a dusting of wheat germ, cornmeal, or flour, and I used flour since I didn't have the others. The flour end up with a burned taste and smell cooking in the dutch oven, so I would definitely opt for the wheat germ or cornmeal next time. I did get a bread machine for Christmas not long after trying this recipe, but while I know I'll get a ton of use from the bread machine, I can't make something this pretty in there.

I will say, it wasn't QUITE as easy as they show in the video. I couldn't keep the dough from sticking to me no matter what I did, and I feel like I probably lost 25% of the dough along the way! But this was my first homemade bread (other than quick bread), ever - I'm sure there is a learning curve even for the easiest recipe.

Simple Whole Roasted Chicken - still love this recipe even though it makes my kitchen smell smoky. Do cover it once you put it on 425 for the last 30 minutes. I'm finally going to make my own chicken stock from the bones. Will do that tomorrow and use it Friday to make chicken noodle soup.

The breads I've made in the bread machine are Apple Pecan Cinnamon bread, which was supposed to be a sweet bread, but it just had the tiniest touch of sugar. We ate it for breakfast for a few days, then toasted it for the fondue on NYE, and it was REALLY awesome with the cheese. I made a cheddar beer bread, which wasn't out of this world because it didn't have much cheddar or beer flavor in it. And, I made a whole wheat loaf which is pretty tasty, but my quest for 2010 will be to find the best whole wheat/whole grain bread machine recipe. So, we'll be going through a lot of bread in the coming months! I'll have to get creative for using the leftovers without just stuffing our faces with bread constantly.

And with that, I am really hungry so I'm outta here. 6 more days til I go back to work. Boo!!


Tammy Benson-O'Brien said...

we're making this dough tonight & planning to cook it tomorrow morning. we'll let you know how it turns out! thanks for sharing :0)

Tammy Benson-O'Brien said...

Michael made the dough last night & baked the bread this morning. yummmmmmmmy! Wondering if it might be good with some added things like cheese or rosemary??? Anyway, thanks for the recipe - it is wonderful!

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