Seriously.  Its Monday again, already?  Where on earth did our weekend go??

You guys are going to think all I do is cook and eat anymore.  And sometimes, I’d say you’d be right!  We had our friends over for the weekend, and while it is sadly devoid of pictures of activities such as a brewery tour and a baseball game, I did manage to take some delectable shots of food I made for you.  Aren’t I sweet?

Dusting some scones


Saturday’s spread


I’m really sorry for that last shot.  It was pretty mean of me to show you something so deadly delicious so early in the morning.  But I did it anyways.  You guys are serious troopers. Those brownies are a slightly tweaked (and 100% NOT Vegan) version of who else, but my new obsession.   Clearly, mine looked nothing like hers.  But they still tasted good enough for me to instruct Brandon to take the rest of them into work with him so they didn’t have to occupy my dining room table for longer than absolutely necessary.  They’re definitely one of those sweet treats you always seem to crave, but regret taking a larger piece of than you intended.


As for my Marathon Monday training update.


That should sum it up nicely for you, no?  Last week, I left you with the cliff hanger of “did she? didn’t she?” in regards to my 7 mile long run on Monday.  Which I did do.  I was super proud of myself, albeit cursing my “great idea” the entire time. Especially since I felt it was a great idea to do it after my lifting set.  Luckily, that time I was smart and remembered to bring my water along.  Which was heavy and annoying, but absolutely necessary.  I followed that up with a not-so-great 3 miler the next day.   The heat managed to kick my butt that go-round and I was happy to get back to my ac’d apartment.  And after that, I declared my Wednesday a well deserved rest day.  Which turned into a rest for the rest of the week.  I was hot, tired and had a pretty annoying muscle tweak in my hip.  Enough to make me favor it going up and down the steps.  And so it goes ad I didn’t get anymore runs or workouts in for the rest of the week.   I could blame the heat, working out outside in 100+ degree heat isn’t always a good idea.  But there’s always the gym, there’s always cross training and no matter how many times I may slow down or stop to take a walk, its always a workout in the books afterwards.

I do, however, put a huge portion of the blame of my lethargy on my food lately.  I have had a distinct lack of fruit, veggies and protein and whole grains, replaced with easy meals that  don’t always have “balanced and nutritious” in mind. (Ahem..see brownies above?).  There’s also been an alarming decrease of water intake these days, with more of a tendency to nurse  a cup of coffee for a day, instead of finishing the coffee and switching to water.

Given my direct link between what I eat and how I feel, I don’t have much hopes for today either.  This weekend’s gluttony (although, in retrospect, could have been FAR worse – but remains less than admirably healthy) has left me with all the more reason to lace up the running shoes and get out there and get it done, but no physical energy to do so.  So its back to the (have we heard this before?) conscious effort of what i’m eating, why and how this week.

And keep the fingers crossed for some cooler temperatures.

How was your weekend?





Welcome back for another installment of Katie Learns to Cook!

Another doosy of a chapter!  This week, I read about Kitchen tools and equipment (knives!) and the general organization of a professional kitchen.   Again, a lot of this chapter was geared towards a professional point of view and not the at home kitchen.  Although a kitchen is a kitchen, right? So some of the tools and such can still apply. Right?  Right…we hope 🙂  Here goes!

There isn’t much in the way of vocabulary, but at the same time there is a TON in the way of vocab.  All the different pieces of equipment and kitchen tools, its enough to make you go cross eyed!   So lets just play this one by ear, shall we?

There are hand tools for the kitchen, which can help you to cut, shape, move or combine foods.  These guys tend to have minimal moving parts, so things like veggie peelers (not the technical term, naturally), mallets, all sorts of spoons, zesters (I have this one from Oxo and looooooove it), tongs, spatulas, whisks and KNIVES, which I’ll save for a little later.

There are measuring devices.  Which are pretty self explanatory – Scales, measuring cups/spoons  for liquids and dry ingredients, ladles, scoops, thermometers and timers, oh my!

Of course, the ever important cookware – This was pretty interesting for me to read about all the different kinds of metals used for cookware (pots, pans, etc) and the heat conductions for them all, but then again, I’m a science geek.  There are a ton of metals to choose from, copper (a GREAT conductor), aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, glass (a not so great heat conductor), ceramics, plastics (obviously for storage and microwave purposes), enamelware (not really used a lot) and nonstick coatings (Teflon).  There’s a lot to consider when choosing your pot or pan, do you want to retain heat, do you want to heat something up really quickly, are you looking for faster evaporation vs. slower (pans vs pots?) etc etc.

Strainers and sieves  – most people have a common colander or strainer in their kitchen.  My husband brews his own beers, so we have a lot of cheesecloth lying around and if you like to bake, you probably have a flour sifter (this is on my Christmas list this year!)

Processing Equipment – some of this stuff, like slicers, we don’t need, but Mandolines, food choppers, mixers, processors and blenders are pretty common to find in the everyday kitchen.

Whew, there is STILL MORE, when we’re looking at kitchen tools.  I’ll skip  over the idea of storage containers, its pretty self explanatory.  The last set of “kitchen tools” that the chapter went over, was the “heavy equipment”.  ie the stoves, the ovens, the griddles and broilers.  The fryers, refrigerators and steamers and dishwashers and and and and and and…the list goes on and on and on.   Its amazing that kitchens aren’t GINORMOUS.
But, despite all of this…stuff that finds its way into a kitchen, it all seems to have a place.  Hectic, yes, but has a place.  Which is where the kitchen organization comes into play.  There are roll out storage bins and refrigerators at work stations, as WELL as communal sets around the kitchen.  Its also important to remember, that not every kitchen is designed like the next  (and another important thing to remember if you’re trying to stock your own kitchen, don’t use professional chef kitchens as your guideline, they have a lot more stuff than we’ll ever need!).   For instance, if you’re a bakery, it doesn’t make much sense to have a meat slicer, rather, you should have big storage units for flour and lots of ovens and candy thermometers.   Likewise, if you’re a restaurant that specializes in steaks, grills are pretty important and will likely take up a majority of your kitchen space.

What I thought was pretty interesting, when reading about this kind of stuff, was the idea of balancing out your front space and your (usually, in the back) kitchen space.  The idea that you want to maximize your patron space, so you can seat as many people as you can accommodate and make the most profit, but you HAVE to balance that with the appropriate amount of kitchen space.  If you can only serve 100 guests at a time efficiently, then you can’t very well have a seating space of 200.  And the smaller your kitchen space, the more efficient it has to be.  I’m starting to get the idea that kitchen design is a pretty tricky business…

Like I said, a lot of information in one spot, about a lot of different things.  But next week, I’m excited for the chapter on Knife skills! Finally, something I can practice!! 😉

Hope everyone is having a fabulous and well deserved weekend!


Who’s pumped?

Simple thoughts

July 26, 2012

Is it weird that its almost impossible for me to read a good period piece mystery, set in England without a cup of tea?  

Simple thoughts for another day  in the week.




July 25, 2012










That you should go no where near a kitchen, or a waffle maker, when you’re not feeling well.   Things just don’t work when you do.  It is a far better option to order pizza.  However.

This just goes to show, that if you smother  a disaster in Earth Balance and Maple Syrup, it too, can taste delicious.



I’d still suggest the pizza though.