New Domain Name

Don’t forget to update your google readers and bookmarks!!

The Runner’s Kitchen can now be found at www.runnerskitchen.com

 

Alive!

Hello faithful readers! I am alive and well and have not abandoned the blog :-) I was busy, busy at the Healthy Living Blogger Summit in Boston on Friday and Saturday and am now at the beach in New Jersey. My current wireless connection is really sketch, but I promise to get some updates posted soon.

Hope everyone had good weekends!

Hot Yoga in August

 
Friday a.m. update: Just went for a 25 minute run. Had some pain at the top of my knee (need to work on stretching out those quads!) and some twinges in my upper hamstring. I guess I need to remember that running is not an easy activity and some aches and pains are inevitable. I feel like I’m in pretty good cardiovascular shape, but my musculoskeletal system needs to get used to running again. I stretched a little bit after the run, but need to dedicate myself to more stretching throughout the day!
Now, back to Thursday morning…
I had plans for hot yoga after work, so I tried to concentrate on hydrating with lots of water and fruit. Breakfast was the usual coffee w/ milk, a big container of cantaloupe & sliced banana, and an oikos vanilla yogurt.
 
Breakfast
 
I had a lunch date for 1:30pm, but around noon I needed something to quiet my hungry tummy. My mom sent me a container of individually wrapped prunes and they came in handy! I had prunes x 4.
 
Prunes
Nate met me at my office for lunch and we enjoyed a yummy cafeteria meal. I put together my usual salad.
Salad
  •  romaine, shredded carrots, red onion, mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup pinto bean salad
  • whole grain croutons
  • feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Mediterranean Bulgar salad
  • Tbs balsamic vinaigrette
  • Taste of pasta salad
The afternoon went by soooo slowly. Around 5pm I fueled up for hot yoga with a white chocolate macadamia nut luna bar. Mmm, this tastes like a healthy candy bar.lunaI was lucky enough to have two dates for hot yoga – Katie and Agnes. Yay! After a sweaty 60 minutes, Agnes and I headed West to search out some din-din. We ended up at the Zen Palate, a restaurant that I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. All of the food is vegetarian (most is vegan) and their mission really emphasizes healthy eating & a healthy body. Check out the Our Food page for more info! The menu featured some very interesting combo plates, but I was craving salt so I ordered the portobello mushroom burger and yam (sweet potato) fries. Wednesday’s eats were kind of light on the produce, so this veggie feast really hit the spot. My grilled portabello mushroom was nestled in a whole grain bun and topped with a thick slice of tomato, lettuce, shredded carrots, alfafa sprouts, mustardy-chickpea spread. Yum! The flavors all worked really well together. On the side I enjoyed crispy, salty sweet potato fries with ketchup. French fries are my fav way to replace electrolytes :-)
Zen Palate
Portabello mushroom burger
Sweet Potato Fries
 
After dinner, I took advantage of the beautiful evening and walked a mile or so uptown. Before hopping on the subway to head home, I stopped in Blockbuster and rented Revolutionary Road (with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio). I think the film might be a little depressing, but I still want to watch it. Has anyone seen this movie? Thoughts?

Hope your Friday’s are off to a good start – it’s a beautiful sunny and crisp day in the city!

Some food for thought:

Make your workout more effective

Get the most nutrition from your veggies

Blast from the Past

Love this photo! It’s from the 80’s party during senior week – May 2007. Miss you ladies of 44 Home Avenue :-)Material Girls

Material Girls

Whole Foods Cakes & Desserts

On Tuesday, night I attended a Cakes & Desserts technique class at the Whole Food Bowery Culinary Center.  The class was taught by the always delightful duo of Christine Carroll, Culinary Center Director and Wai Chu, Culinary Center Educator. I’ve taken nearly 1/2 dozen courses at the Culinary Center and always enjoy myself. As soon as the clock struck 5:30pm I dashed out my midtown office building and took the F train down to Houston Street. I arrived at the Culinary Center to find warm sunlight streaming through the West facing windows and everything mise en place (French term for prep or set-up).  After a brief introduction, we began to bake! All recipes are from The New Best Recipes Cookbook by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. I highly recommend anything published by the Cook’s Illustrated test kitchen! If you have a subscription to the magazine, you are also given access to the Cook’s Illustrated website which is chock full of recipes, how-to videos, and photos. My lovely sister gave me a subscription to the magazine for Christmas, but I don’t yet have the cookbook (Attn Nate: my birthday is in 2.5 months).

Whole Foods - Bowery Culinary Center

Mise en place

Prep

We worked in teams of 4-5 to prepare the first recipe: Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. You may remember the whole wheat carrot cake cupcakes that I made a few weeks ago. Well, ladies and gents, the cupcakes I made on Tuesday were a completely different animal. My carrot cake cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World were very good, but they definitely leaned towards muffin territory (whole wheat flour, lots o’ nuts & raisins). The mini cupcakes I baked (and ate!) Tuesday night were so soft and fluffy that they  melted in my mouth. Upon first bite, the outer crust produced a bit of a crackle followed by the center’s moist, light crumb. Topping it all off was a tangy and sinfully creamy (you don’t want to know how much butter) cream cheese icing. The icing contained a few Tablespoons of sour cream – sounds weird, but it made such a delightful difference. Even if you think you don’t like cream cheese icing, I guarantee you’ll like this recipe. I think the tangy cream cheese icing provides the perfect foil to the sweet carrot cake. Regular old butter cream is good, but sometimes a bit cloying.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Whipping the frosting

Line 'em up

The cupcake stands alone

Last night we had a lengthy discussion about eggs and baking. I’m fascinated by eggs! Here is some of what I learned from my Cake & Desserts Class:

  • Eggs are an essential ingredient in baking. The yolks provide richness while the whites create lightness and loft.
  • Always use room temperature eggs. And if you’re going to add eggs to a hot batter (or hot butter) make sure to temper it first. This means adding a little of the hot batter to the eggs first and then slowly adding the rest. You don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs!
  • Older hens lay larger eggs. As a hen ages (and loses calcium) she lays bigger, yet thinner shells. This results in a bit more egg white and a heavier egg. Always use regular (large) eggs unless the recipe specifies something else!
  • If you get a piece of shell in your egg mixture, use a piece of shell to scoop it out. This will make a faster job than if you use your fingers! Shell attracts shell.
  • Creaming batter = combining eggs and sugar to cream a lighter batter, almost sponge-like.
  • Whisking batter = incorporating air into the batter, NOT the same as mixing. To whisk correctly, tilt the bowl to one side, hold the whisk by your underhand, and try to whip as much air as you can into the batter. You should hear the whisk “clink” on the side of the bowl.

Next on our agenda was a Blueberry Cobbler (it’s berry season folks – a perfect time for cobblers, crisps, grunts, and pies!). After macerating the berries with a little lemon juice and sugar, we baked the berry dish in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes. It is necessary to pre-bake the berries before you add the biscuit topping – otherwise the biscuits will finish before the filling is cooked through! After we prepared our biscuit dough, we removed the berry dish from the oven and placed heaping balls of dough on top. After another 15 or so minutes in a 425 degree oven, our cobbler was finished. The ripe, luscious berries paired perfectly with the sweet, doughy cobbler crust. The biscuit was exactly as it should be – slightly sweet with a cinnamon sugar crust and tender to the tooth.

Blueberries, baked.

Blueberry cobbler

Dish it up

We had some leftover dough, so we made biscuits! We topped these heavenly carb-bombs with Wai’s homemade lemon curd. Yum!

Biscuits make me feel British

Lemon curd

Our final project of the night was Mini Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes. These cakes were based on the ever-popular Chocolate Lava Cake invented by the famed chef, Jean-Georges. This recipe is a bit confusing and doesn’t seem like it will turn out correctly, but trust the geniuses at Cook’s Illustrated! After preparing the chocolate cake batter, we filled our ramekins 1/3 full. We topped this with a mixture of cocoa powder and sugar until 2/3 full and then finished off the ramekin with a healthy pour of instant coffee granules dissolved in water. The results of this recipe are based on inversion – the batter on the bottom of the dish begins to cook first, meanwhile gravity causes the water mixture to be sucked down, thus creating a gooey sauce in the middle of the cake. As the water moves downward, the sugar-cocoa mixture creates the top crust. This dessert is intense with bittersweet chocolate and coffee dominating the flavor.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes

I was in a bit of a sugar coma after the class, but everything was so delicious that I can’t complain! If you’re inspired to do some baking of your own, check out this article on Creative Cupcake Ideas by Real Simple Magazine.

Note: I don’t know if I can post the full recipes because of copyright issues, but if you’re interested just let me know in the comments session and I will email the recipes to you!!

Happy Birthday Kiwi!

I don’t know exactly what day my family brought home Kiwi, but I do know that  it was June of 2006. I just found this photo of him and although it’s not running or food related, I wanted to share it. When Kiwi was a kitten, he was so small that he fit into a wash cloth!

Baby Kiwi

It was too early for a brawl

dunkin_donuts_logo

This morning I woke up around 6:30am and high-tailed it to the Dunkin’ Donuts across from Nate’s apartment. I always drink my coffee with just milk. Today, when I got to the front of the line, I ordered my coffee as usual.
 
Megan: “I’d like a small coffee with milk, please”.
Cashier: “How many sugars?”
Megan: “No, sugar. Just milk, please.”
Cashier: “NO SUGAR?!?”
Megan: “Umm, no thanks.”
 
After I say this, the cashier speaks rapid Spanish to her co-worker while giving me meaningful glances. All I catch are the words sin azucar and flaco. I already know that “sin azucar” means without sugar so I was determined to google “flaco” ASAP. This is what I found out:
 
FLACO:

adjective

thin
skinny
scraggy
scrawny
gaunt
lean
weakly
meagre
meager

Gah! I’m not sure whether to be angry that the Dunkin’ Donuts employees were so blatantly judging me or to laugh because the whole situation is just so hilarious. I mean really….the woman acted like I was from another planet because I like my coffee with just milk. For all she knows, I could have been diabetic. Oh, Washington Heights. This neighborhood is full of surprises. I’m going to consult my Spanish for Dummies book and come up with an appropriately scathing remark. Even if I’m too chicken to ever use it.

FAQ’s are posted!

Just posted some answers to my Frequently Asked Questions page. Check it out :-)

http://runnerskitchen.wordpress.com/faq/

$.31 ice cream!!

I didn’t get home until nearly 8:30pm last night and I really wanted to make a quick dinner. I threw together a salad that included:

  • spinach, arugula, mixed greens
  • diced onion
  • beets
  • hard boiled egg
  • goat cheese
  • craisins
  • balsamic vinegar

salad

It was delicious!

Along with a warm bacon-cornbread muffin that I baked in last night’s bread making class (I’ll explain more about the class in another post). Warm muffin + melt-y butter = perfection!

cornbread with bacon

Finally, more ice cream! On Wednesday, April 29th, Baskin Robbins was offering child size cups of ice cream for only 31 cents! And the proceeds were donated to a charity benefiting firemen. I couldn’t resist. I got 3 scoops: mint chocolate chip, reese’s pb cup, and gold medal ribbon. I enjoyed the gold medal ribbon (and most of the mint chocolate chip!) for dessert. I told Nate that I would save him the reese’s pb cup flavor :-)

ice cream for 31 cents!

Kitchen Creativity

When I was thinking about what to make for dinner last night, I knew I wanted to use up ingredients that I already had in my pantry. I decided to cook a big batch of brown rice, lentils, and sauteed onion. I mixed a serving of each in a bowl and added a few spoonfuls of Dinosaur BBQ sauce. Sounds weird, but it was actually pretty good! I’m going to have leftovers for lunch today.

Rice, lentils, onionsAll together

I ended my day with a cup of my favorite tea and an oatmeal raisin cookie.Cookie and tea

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