No Gym? No Problem!

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Interrupting our usual Thursday programming – I was invited to guest blog for the lovely and inspiring MyFitnessBible. The post is up, if you are looking to get your at-home-workout on any time soon!

Blog post here. Happy sweating!

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Bday Breakfast (& Bridezillas)

Any good relationship is about give and take – a balancing act at times, but a worthy one. As relationships deepen and grow, it’s easy to fall into habits and roles that make sense between you and your partner.

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For example, I love vacuuming, while my partner gets all zen doing dishes. I get some kind of weird nerdy high from balancing the checkbook and he is all about in-depth research on important purchases. He might not quite understand my fascination and enjoyment of every single Bridezillas episode, but he rolls his eyes in secret and that what counts.

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Although we both are culinary titans in our own right, I do have do admit that my partner is a pretty fantastic cook. He is creative, patient, and pours love into the dishes he creates (total pizza wizard, among other things).

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Ever grateful to be the recipient of his cooking prowess, I really wanted to knock a meal out of the park for him on his birthday this week. After a bit of brainstorming, I eureka-ed on the perfect dish to properly celebrate my partner’s day-o-birth, as it’s one of his faves.

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BIRTHDAY COFFEE

Ingredients:
  • 10 spoons of ground coffee
  • Coffee maker
  • Water
  • Balloon w/relevant messaging
  • Milk / Sweetener (optional)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Place filter in coffee maker

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2) Scoop or eyeball 10 spoonfuls of coffee up in there

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3) Pour water in coffee maker (I think the rule is to match the number of spoons to the number on the pot?)

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4) Brew coffee

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5) Pour in mug, add milk or sweetener if desired

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6) Add a festive balloon to the mug and enjoy!

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Say Cheese (if you please)

Some of us are lucky and find people in our lives who we just connect with. People who understand us better than we understand ourselves. People who make us laugh so hard it counts as a core workout. People who you love unconditionally, and they return the favor without question.

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I’m lucky that I’m related to two such people. My sisters are two of the funniest, sweetest, most inspiring people I know. Plus, they have a lot of dirt on me, so it’s good to have them as allies.

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One of my sisters is getting married this week to a pretty fantastic gent, and I wanted to do a recipe in her honor. It’s odd how you can grow up together, and still develop totally different tastes. I’ve never been much for cheese, and yet my sister is all about it (in terms of food, not romance).

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I wasn’t really sure what to do to create a cheese-centered dish. Doesn’t the cheese just stand alone? I put this recipe together based on a couple of her fave staples, and hope other cheese lovers enjoy what I’m entitling Cheese Delight.

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CHEESE DELIGHT

Ingredients:
  • Handful or two of Cheeze-Its
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1-2 string cheese…chunks (?)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Procure ingredients

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2) Arrange ingredients on plate or in bowl

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3) Devise your favorite way to enjoy, combo-style (for example, I think you can dip the Cheeze-Its IN the cottage cheese…maybe crumble on top? I don’t know the cheese rules, here)

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Summer Book Club, Foodie-Style

I’ve been seeing a lot of lists for summer reading. “Top Ten Beach Reads,” “Hot & Sizzling Summer Novels,” “The Best 5 Books to Fall on Your Face While Trying To Be Somewhat Sexy on Your Beach Towel,” etc.

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I am a library girl at heart. There is something so incredibly magic to me about the ability to walk into a building, pick out whatever strikes my fancy, getting to take it home with me FOR FREE, then return it and repeat the whole delightful process. No regrets here, except my personal book collection is slim, as I hardly ever purchase books. Seriously, it’s some Goosebumps, a lotta Theater Major stuff, and old school Nancy Drew (hi, Bess – you were always my fave).

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Looking at my book stock, the most books I own are cookbooks. Family and friends have been generous and awesome at picking out stellar recipe collections for me to own. Wanting to share the wealth, I invite you to read about some of my top recs from my increasingly extensive collection if you are looking for summer recipe book enjoyment.

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RECIPE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Crazy Sexy Kitchen

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I really love Kris Carr. I find her personal story inspirational, and her approach to food sustainable and passion-filled. I haven’t made any recipes in this book, but I really would like to some day. This book is on the list for best photo spreads – I page through this book with the same affection and foreign wonder I use with Vogue in the supermarket checkout lane.

Skinny B*tch in the Kitch

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These ladies are full of sass and snark, which I appreciate to no end. This book earned a spot on the list because of title creativity and because I actually *read* the whole book at one point. Which is similar to the times I have actually watched entire Jillian Michael DVDs without getting up off of the couch to participate.

Vegan Bites: Recipes for Singles

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This book is on the list because I actually made a few recipes from it, and they worked out and tasted decent. The only issue is that the book is all “This book is for singles – portions are good for 1-2 meals so you aren’t making a ton of food.” Dumb. The best kind of food is tons of food. If you use this book, do as I do and double or triple all recipes.

Best Bet

So what is my best recipe book recommendation? All of them! And not like in a “everyone played in the tournament, so here is your participation trophy” way, but in a “when you stack them all up together they are the perfect height to balance your snack while you watch The Wire with all the time you saved not cooking” way.

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Tout de Suite Salad

One unchanging aspect about me is that I’m always behind on pop culture trends. Recently I heard a song on the radio I really liked, and was telling someone about it, hoping to track it down. After I skillfully hummed a couple of bars, they looked at me confused. “Um. That’s from No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom album. From 1995.” Sounds about right. Almost caught up, then.

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I’ll probably start collecting pogs and beanie babies any day now.

TV-wise, I am getting caught up with 2002, and thus getting into the grittiness of The Wire. I am nearing the end of Season 1, and things are getting heated up in Baltimore (and not just because of Idris Elba, but daaaaannnng).

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The other day, I got home from work late, and knew I had limited time to get in an episode before my next engagement. I also knew I needed something healthy to eat (as my “next engagement” would hopefully involve whiskey and tater tots). Not having time for my usual salad recipe, I opted for one of my go-to dishes, the Ten Second Salad.

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TEN SECOND SALAD

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw
  • Some salad dressing
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Grab bag of broccoli slaw and dressing from the fridge [2 sec]

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2) Grab bowl from cupboard [1 sec]

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3) Tear open broccoli slaw bag [1 sec]

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4) Pour bag into bowl (portion at your discretion – how many tater tots do you need to balance out?) [3 sec]

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5) Open dressing [1 sec]

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6) Pour dressing on slaw [2 sec]

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7) Enjoy [duration of The Wire episode]

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