A little bit of “did ya know”?

December 29, 2011

In the epic battle of Katie V. Crochet pattern last night, Crochet pattern won.  I got some hooks and patterns and yarn for Christmas this year and lets just say that Crochet Rounds are not an easy thing to figure out on your own.  Any help out there?  Back at it tonight for round two…

And now that I sound like a complete loser…

I’ve been really wanting to get back onto a schedule for working out, running and the like.  Starting with my lifting on Tuesday night, which left me alittle sore in the legs.  So I spent all day yesterday griping about how I was either going to skip the treadmill or hop on and fall flat on my face, which is not the most effective form of working out.  Until it dawned on me (lack of sleep guys, lets just say this epic Crochet battle has been ongoing…), CROSS TRAINING! Still an important part of working out and staying healthy and fit, even when not actively training for a race.  So, I bundled up and headed down to the gym for a short sweat session on the bike.  I know a lot of people prefer the elliptical, but it actually hurts my knees to do the elliptical.  Go figure, right?  Cross training is good for staying active and working muscles in a different way.  I’m still on the fence about signing up for the half marathon, but with the break from running consistently and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I’m starting to be ready to get back into it.  Maybe I should just bite the bullet, sign up and then be forced to do it no matter what?  Either way it felt good (as usual) to get out there and sweat a little.

And can we just talk for a second, about how glad I am to be getting back into a normal eating routine?   Last night I was tired of the veggie burger route, and definitely not in the mood for holiday leftovers.  I wanted different, healthy and homemade.  Just one problem with that…I refuse to go grocery shopping for a short week that I’m flyin’ solo for.  So I had to get creative.  Hearing about a night out for Mexican food got the ideas going in my head and I came up with something that’s delicious, relatively healthy, Mexican(ish) and NOTHING like holiday food.  Leftovers from the fridge with homemade “Mole” sauce!!!!  Now, disclaimer.  I’ve never actually HAD mole sauce.  And I didn’t use rice as my starch, I used bulgur wheat (yum) and I’ve never seen tofu offered at a Mexican restaurant.  Clearly, I am a visionary.   And clearly, after reading about Mole sauce, there’s a lot more to it than I ever expected (imagine that…).  Allow me to enlighten you…

Traditionally, Mole sauce is a thick dark sauce that can have up to twenty ingredients.  And if you do it the RIGHT way, you ground all the spices and ingredients into a paste by hand.  Suffice to say, I did NOT do it right.  If you’re like me, you assumed that Mole is the name for a Mexican sauce with chocolate in it.  And if you’re like me, then you were only half right. Mole, as it turns out, is a general name for a sauce (which is defined as something that goes on TOP of a dish, did not know that – another little tidbit, officials almost took away the title of “sauce” from Mole because it was such a thick and substantial sauce that they argued it could stand alone, but since it was used as a sauce, it kept the title).  One of the popular varieties, Mole Poblano, happens to contain some chocolate, but is NOT a chocolate based sauce, rather the chocolate balances out the spice.  It seems that the common ingredient for most of the Mole varieties is chili peppers.  Makes sense, right?

So, one of the coolest parts about mole sauce, is that there’s a LEGEND to how this sauce got started, or more accurately, a few legends.  All of which can be taken to mean that no one really knows how it got started.

Legend #1:  During the early colonial period, nuns at the Convent of Santa Rosa were about to be visited by the Arch Bishop.  The problem is that the nuns were pretty poor and there was a general panic as to what to FEED him.  So after praying, they rounded up what spices they had and created a sauce that they then served over an old turkey.  Legend has it the Arch bishop loved it.  And voila! A recipe was born…

Legend #2 is pretty similar, only this time its sans nuns and plus one Monk.  The story is generally the same, only, in his cooking for the arch bishop, the monk (or the wind), knocks over a whole lot of spices into a pot where a turkey is cooking.  And there you have it.  Mole sauce legend number 2!

My mole sauce, did not contain 20 ingredients…lets count:

Unsweetened cocoa powder (1), Olive oil (2), crushed tomatoes (3), cumin (4), oregano (5), chipotle powder (6), cayenne pepper (7), Chili powder (8), fresh cilantro (9), fresh cracked sea salt (10), Franks Hot sauce (11), Honey (12), refried beans (13), garlic powder (14), onion powder (15), brown sugar (16!).

Hmm, 16, not bad for a first try!  I think the great thing about the idea of a Mole sauce, is that generally, it can be whatever you want, but have a similar base to other Mole sauces.  I simmered this puppy with some chopped onion, zucchini and tofu (17, 18, 19?) and served it over bulgur wheat, with a garnish of goat cheese (20???).   While tasting the sauce the whole way through its cooking, it always seemed a bit off and the goat cheese provided the perfect amount of tanginess I was looking for to go with the richness of the sauce.  The zucchini also provided a nice fresh flavor to balance it out.  Ahhhh veggies, protein, yummy yummy grains.  I don’t know if my Mole sauce tasted like how mole sauce should taste, but It was a perfect warm you up kind of meal after a cold day.

Today’s history lesson brought to you by Wikipedia.  Who knew sauces could be so fun to learn about?

Tonight, I’m hoping to power through a shorter run and maybe some lifting (my poor legs…), prep for heading back up north for New Years (got those resolutions ready?) and wage war against my crochet hooks again.  What’s everyone up to tonight? Something delicious? Healthy? Relaxing? Fun?


One Response to “A little bit of “did ya know”?”

  1. andy1076 Says:

    Just heading home for my usual run and then blogging later for me lol 🙂 thank you for sharing your post! 🙂

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