Monthly Archives: November 2011

Cinnamonroll Pancakes

After all the Thanksgiving cooking, it’s amazing we were up for a fancy breakfast recipe today.  But, my Mom really wanted to have these, so my Dad and I set to work. First my dad prepared the batter with Pamela’s Products Gluten-Free Pancake mix (he used buttermilk instead of water. Meanwhile, me and my kid cousins set to work making the cinnamon filling with:

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

After mixing it all together until it was smooth, we put it in a plastic sandwich bag so my dad could add it to the top of the batter in a spiral:

After the batter bubbled a little bit, he flipped it over to cook the other side. It takes one or two pancakes of practice to get it so the cinnamon filling doesn’t “escape”.

Now it’s time for the cream cheese spread! Put these in a microwave safe bowl:

4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese

and whisk. After you get it smooth, whisk in:

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

When you’re ready to serve, spread this mixture on top the pancakes.

YUM!

 


This Thanksgiving (as always) I’m Thankful For Family

Today at dinner my aunt thanked all of us because her children could call us family, and that nothing is more important than family. Maybe it’s because I have such a great family (no arguing, no dry turkey), but this fits with my feelings every Thanksgiving (not the part about her children, but they are super adorable kids to call cousins). Even my family in MN was on Skype with me in the kitchen for about 4 hours. You are the people who keep grounded and smiling.

http://piccsy.com/2011/11/be-happy-no-thankful/


Spicy Yellow Chicken Chili

When I was younger I hated chili, but I LOVED the smell. My best friend’s mom would make a whole bunch of it on cold days, and as I bundled up to make the quarter-mile walk back home, she would hand me a little Dixie cup full to keep me warm. I always ended up picking out the big chunks of beef, carefully maneuvering around the tomato chunks and “unknowns”.

I’ve never made chili before this year, but now I’m on a kick. I like mine with chicken, lots of spice and corn. I also strongly contend that all vegetables should be minced, no piece larger than a corn kernel.

This weekend I used a white chicken recipe my friend Emily gave me, and gave it a twist based on what I had in my kitchen, and my perfectionist desire to have a color theme. I had corn and yellow peppers, so the theme was yellow. If I was really motivated I should have gotten some squash or yellow tomatoes…next time.

First I browned my chicken in a large saucepan with a minced onion, garlic salt and some canola oil. Meanwhile I minced my yellow peppers.

After the chicken was cooked, I added 2 cans of great northern beans (drain the juice out), a can of chicken broth, my corn, spices and my peppers.

Bring the concoction to a boil, then put on low to simmer for a half hour


All you have to do then is throw in the sour cream and whipping cream to make it creamy, then put in a bowl with some sharp cheddar cheese for garnish.

I makes about 6 servings, but between me and Logan it was miraculously gone in 12 hours. Hmmm…

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Sharp cheddar cheese for garnish.


Betty Home Skillet

The next project I’m going to be working on–in light of the holiday season and the visitors it brings–is being a better home-maker. While this house doesn’t look like a frat house, I’m certainly not the neatest person. Actually, I think my aunt Janessa is the “neatest person,” and she’s going to be visiting for Thanksgiving. Even more reason to DEEP CLEAN. What I really want to focus on during this project is cooking. Here’s some recipes I’ve been meaning to tackle, and finally have an excuse:

Homemade Butterfingers

Buffalo Grilled Cheese

Southern Chicken & Corn Chowder

Carried over from past projects:

  • Working out at least 3 times a week
  • Being open to try new things
  • Stay within my budget
  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that insult my soul
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be more charitable and generous
  • Put my friends/family first

Cheesy Lasagna Hotdish, Or Why Erika Will Die Early

Got home from work tonight and had a craving for pasta, so I boiled some gf elbow noodles and stole the cheese mix from a box of Kraft mac and cheese. While the noodles were boiling I looked into the fridge for an appetizer. Instead, I found red meat sauce, which reminded me of lasagna. Naturally I looked for cheese, and check. Ricotta? Amazingly, check.

Here’s how I made a Cheesy Lasagna Hotdish off the top of my head with a weeks worth of recommended dairy.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and oil a smallish casserole dish. Put 1/3 of prepared mac and cheese at the bottom. Then layer about 2/3 cup meat sauce, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup mozzerella. I repeated those 4 ingredients again. Finish with the last 1/3 of mac and cheese and some more mozzerella. Then bake for 20 minutes.

I may die before Thanksgiving even gets here, but Lord, this is was good.


OK

Whenever I spend too much time “partying” I have a sever down-swings. First I obsessively clean and work, then I sleep, then I require an excessive amount of hugs and reassurance. I’m currently in sleep stage.

This project is partially about self acceptance, and in the following year I will almost certainty:

-Stay awake at night with a rushing mind

-Try to over justify my emotions

-Do something people have advised me not to do

-Disappoint my parents

-Be insulted by a stranger and care deeply

-Be unkind to a stranger

-Doubt my purpose in this world

-Get headaches, mosquito bites, bruises and colds

-Allow the laundry to pile up

-Agree to something I don’t want to do out of perceived social obligation

-Complain it’s too hot or too cold

-Act needy or desperate and feel embarrassed

But I will be OK.


Featured: Ross Femrite

Recently I was with a couple of friends who were ordering diet pills online that were advertised for “the person who doesn’t have extra time to exercise”. This made me think of how my brother would take the situation. See, my brother is going to grad school, works as a bartender, has an active social life, plays rugby, and does triathlon. Because he has a work hard/play hard attitude and a desire to never cut corners, I know he would never be online buying a magical solution. So, of course I needed to interview him.

(EF): What’s your motivation for working out?

(RF): I always have goals that I am striving to reach to keep me motivated.  Right now I am getting ready for Crossfit games [in February].  Then, my goal will be to break the five-hour mark for the half Ironman.  After that  I need to get ready for Fall rugby season.  This always gives me something to work toward.

(EF): Why is it important to stay active?

(RF): You are only given one body, so why not take care of it?  There are a million studies out there showing how much activity helps you in all aspects of your life.  I really think if you had to choose 1 thing to improve your overall health,  activity should be the #1 choice.

(EF): What’s in that huge jug of powder you always have?

(RF): It is protein, the building blocks of your muscles.  I aim for about 200g of protein per day during training and without adding protein, it would be hard to get there on a normal diet.

(EF): What made you choose the career in PT?

(RF): I really wanted a career in the medical field where I was able to spend a lot of time working with people.  As a PT I get to do it on a daily basis.  It is also really rewarding to see people come in with problems that impact their life and be able to help them.

(EF): Best advice you’ve ever gotten for staying shape?

(RF): Always find a goal that you want to achieve and then tell everyone that goal.  It is a lot harder to quit when you know you will have to explain to people why you fell short and quit.

(EF): Advice for me in getting in shape?

(RF): Getting in shape is a slow process and can start anywhere and go anywhere.  Start slow even if it is walking for 20 minutes 3 days a week.  If you slowly increase that and add in running you will be running a 5k in no time.  Then you can increase to longer distances as you build up your fitness.  I am a good example I would have never guess I would do a half Ironman when I graduated High school, but I got there slowly over many years. Just stick to it and it will get better.

(EF): Hardest you’ve ever pushed yourself?

(RF): The last part of the half Ironman, I was dying.  The last 3 miles were not fun. The furthest I have run and biked is 13.1 miles and 56 miles respectfully.

(EF): Favorite triathlon?

(RF): I really like the Buffalo triathlon.  It is well run and just a good atmosphere, It’s probably why I have done it the last 3 years.

(EF): Why do you like Rugby?

(RF): It combines so many skills in to one sport.  You need endurance because it is constantly going.  You need strength to go up against some of those guys.  It also involves a lot of skill.  It is very physical, just like football, but you don’t have to deal with all those pads.  If you have to hide behind lots of pads to make a tackle or be tackled maybe you’re not as badass as you think you are.  The people I have played rugby with are always a good group of guys.  I have met a lot of my good friend through rugby.

(EF): Why do you like triathlons?

(RF): It keeps me in shape and gives me goals to achieve.  I am always looking to see how far I can push my body physically.  When I work out I get bored, if I do the same thing over and over.  This is true even when I race.  Triathlons give me the opportunity to always be doing something different with my workout.  Then, when I race, if I get bored I know a new leg is always right around the corner.  It makes you a more well-rounded athlete.

(EF): What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?

(RF): I skied above the clouds in the Alps of Switzerland with 1 ½ feet of fresh powder.

(EF):Where is the coolest place you’ve ever been?

(RF): I loved Bahamas sailing from island to island for a week.  Every island was different and each reef had new things to explore.

(EF): If you won the lottery, what would you buy?

(RF): I would first pay off all of my loans and my sisters loans for school.   I would buy my parents their condo by the river.  Donate money to the Courage Center, the Eastside Banshees, and the UMN PT program.  Then I would so many toys, sports equipment, wave-runners, boats, most of the items at REI, ect….

(EF): I’m going to need you to start buying more lottery tickets. On what was your last splurge?

(RF): Being a Grad student really doesn’t allow me any money to splurge on anything.  I just bought new running shoes that weren’t cheap, but I really wanted them.

(EF): What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?

(RF): I have been to over 30 different musicals.  I really do enjoy them and listen to the soundtracks when I run.  Most people don’t think I fit in to that stereotype.

(EF): What are things we can do on a daily basis to live a good life?

(RF): Enjoy the little things in life.  It is the little enjoyments that make it all worth it.  Also always look at situations from others point of view, it will make you a better person.

(EF): Do you have someone you look to for inspiration in your life?

It is cliché, but I look up to my parents.  They always work hard and are good people and that’s what I try to be.  Plus they are still standing after putting up with me for 27 years, so they are obviously very strong.

(EF): True dat. What activity makes you most happy?

(RF): I can honestly say that working out makes me happy.  I look forward to it and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.  If not that, then laying on the beach in the sunshine.

(EF): Who’s the funniest person in the world?

(RF): I am and if you don’t believe me then just ask me.

(EF): Who do you admire most in the area of sports?

(RF): I admire the little guys who were not given god-given talent, but worked really hard to get the professional level.  It makes me angry when people like them make it and people who are naturally talented just throw it all away.

(EF): In the area of design?

(RF): I am sorry Erika, but I can’t even give you a name.  Mr. Effle for his tower and the iron structure inside the statue of liberty.

(EF): Mr. Effle? He sounds fancy. What would your last meal be?

(RF): It would be ribs with and Oreo Blizzard.  My side items would be sweet potato fries and cheesy potatoes.

(EF): What would you tell the 18-year-old you?

(RF): I would just point out what is really important in life.  I think 18-year-old me had a very warped sense of what was important.  I didn’t really have a good plan of where I was going or what I needed to get there.

(EF): If you could give someone advice, what would it be?

(RF): Look for what really makes you happy and what you enjoy.  This is one aspect in your life where you need to be selfish.  If you pursue that then the rest will fall in to place.  Also, there are no short cuts or substitute for hard work.  If you really want something then it is worth working hard for it.