This has been a very busy couple of weeks, so I think this post will probably be a little random as I remember things to write about. I apologize in advance if it’s too random. 🙂
I have started to get back into running now that the weather has cooled down in Seattle. I love the scenery around the areas I run!
I’m also starting to work on hill training (i.e. running up and down steep hills) to improve both my cardiovascular fitness, my endurance, and my leg strength. Today my run consisted of 7 miles which consisted of a whopping (at least for me!) 1620.7 ft of elevation gain over the 7 miles.
Earlier this week I had a twenty-four hour period of time that seemed to consist of an array of messes. First, Piper had an accident late at night that took some time for Mike and me to clean up. That resulted in both of staying up late and having a hard time finally falling asleep. Then the next morning at work I got out my jar of protein powder to make myself a protein drink and the top was on a little tight. I tugged it a little and the plastic sleeve around the bottle slipped just as the top came free. The end result was that the jar fell to the floor and with a “whoosh” a couple handfuls of protein powder hit the floor and exploded into a little cloud that sent a film of protein powder out in a three foot radius. Protein powder found its way ALL over the area next to my desk. If you have never had protein powder you might not be able to appreciate how big a mess this was. Protein powder is very similar in texture to chalk. Which means it’s impossible to clean out of carpet without a vacuum cleaner. I gave a half-hearted effort with a little water but then found that wasn’t making the problem any better so I gave up and contacted facilities. During the hour and a half it took them to come up with a vacuum I got to explain to the coworkers who came in how the mess had occurred. In some strange way I felt like it was a refreshing experience for me. Normally explaining big messes at work would be embarrassing, but for some reason I relished keeping everything in perspective and realizing that in the scheme of anything, it just wasn’t important. No one even remembered it two hours later. Interesting.
Seattle weather returned briefly with a vengeance. For about a week it was chilly and misting rain continually, and the wind started picking up. Leaves started to drift to the ground, although it was more because of the wind than anything else at that point. Then the weather made a mysterious turnaround and it was bright and sunny most of last week and the temperatures climbed to 90 degrees. Once again I found myself walking home from picking up CSA produce all sweaty. Then, yesterday, the fickle fall weather turned yet again and it became cool, humid, and a little misty. Yesterday evening Mike and I went to a BBQ hosted by a friend from work and his wife. It was a lot of fun. It was a potluck and I made up these potato wedges to bring and they turned out well and were well-liked. We talked, BBQ’d, and played some games until late.
Speaking of cooking, I’ve been doing lots of cooking as usual. I asked Mike what he wanted me to make, and he wanted the chicken pot pie recipe that I made by combining two recipes (one for the filling and one for the biscuits that go on top). I think this is one of Mike’s favorite meals ever. He’s asked for the leftovers repeatedly, which is pretty unheard of for Mike. I also made tomato and green bean soup. This is the third time I’ve made this so far this summer, but the CSA keeps giving me lots of green beans and there are only so many plain green beans you can eat (unless they’re my Grandma’s green beans, in which case you can eat them forever and never get tired of them). And the soup is a nice way to use up the excess green beans and tomatoes. Plus, because I have tons of summer squash too, I also threw a couple of diced small yellow summer squash to use up some of that as well. Since the CSA gave me cinnamon basil this week I was able to use fresh basil in the soup as well. Always good! I also had SO MUCH zucchini and summer squash that I diced it all up and sautéed it in olive oil with a few garlic cloves. I decided I wanted to add a little spice to it so I went through my spice cupboard sniffing various spices and trying to decide which one would be best for a bunch of zucchini. I finally decided on lemon pepper. It was very good! If I would have had some lemons I would have added fresh lemon juice in and it probably would have been even better. But it was still good. I also used one big zucchini to make another loaf of zucchini pineapple bread. I added a little more crushed pineapple this time since Mike said he couldn’t taste it at all last time. I also hard-boiled up a bunch of eggs (I know that’s not technically cooking)!
I also did some cooking this past Monday. I got turnips from the CSA, so I decided to make up the beef slow cooker stew that’s been my standard for awhile. I didn’t measure out carrots or potatoes or turnips… I just diced all the turnips and enough carrots and potatoes to fill up the crock pot. I also added onion and garlic.
Since I (again!) had lots of zucchini and summer squash, I also made ratatouille. I used the same recipe as I did a few weeks ago when I made it, but it was a little more authentic this time since I got a giant green pepper from the CSA to add to the ratatouille, and last time I didn’t have any peppers. I’m getting pretty used to dealing with zucchini and summer squash, so nothing new there. I also got Italian kale and bok choy… fun for salads and green smoothies! However, I also got three artichokes that I’m a little confused about what to do with. I’ve been asking around and most people recommend cutting off all the prickly parts and just adding the chopped hearts to a salad. I can definitely do that… I’m just wondering if I should do something more creative with them. I mean, how often do I get artichokes?? But when I looked up artichoke recipes on allrecipes.com, most of the recipes call for canned or jarred artichoke hearts. Almost no one has recipes for using a fresh artichoke. Weird.
My CSA loot for this week included (among other things!) a slicing tomato, a giant onion, green beans, edamame, peas, romaine lettuce, broccoli, pears, MORE zucchini and summer squash, and potatoes. I’m kind of excited about the potatoes. These are the first ones of the year.
Mike ordered a television on Labor Day that was on sale. It came in the mail last Friday. I don’t know much about it except that it’s small as far as TVs go, specifically because Mike and I have a small apartment and just want something bigger than a Kindle Fire screen to stare at when we watch movies or shows together. Mike has been knee-deep in cables and cords while getting all of that set up.
Apparently there’s a lot of work that goes into getting a TV. Mike hooked up the sound bar and subwoofer last week and we sat down to try it out. He was completely not happy with the sound. He said it sounded like iPhone-quality sound in his left ear and big boomy base in his right ear. It’s probably worth pointing out that it sounded just fine to me but I have absolutely no ear for this kind of thing and happily listen to music out of a $15 pair of headphones when I don’t want to disturb Mike. Anyway, we took the soundbar and subwoofer to UPS one night last week to ship it back. The UPS store we go to is in the University District and since school just started there were lots of new college freshmen wandering around. The girl in front of us in line at the UPS store was shipping four giant boxes, one of those roomba robotic vacuum cleaners and a big block of wood that seemed to be half table, half cutting board. It made our big box that contained the subwoofer seem small by comparison. So it looks like we won’t be using the TV until the new speakers come. In preparation for the new TV, though, I got out my Wii Fit balance board and dusted it off, hoping to be hopping around on the balance board soon. It was then that Mike and I discovered that the battery cover was missing from the Wii Fit. Bummer! There really isn’t a good way to use the board without the battery cover because the batteries are on the bottom of the board, so they’d fall out without the battery cover. I googled ‘Wii Fit balance board battery cover’ hoping that there was one available used somewhere since the Wii balance board has been discontinued, and sure enough I found one at the Nintendo site that was brand new for $1.00! Crazy cheap! I ordered one and it came in the mail today. I had no idea you could buy anything for $1.00 anymore. Aren’t packs of gum even more than $1.00 now??
Over a week ago we out an Indian restaurant named Chutney’s that we hadn’t been to before. I got the Veggie Jalfrezzi (“Fresh vegetables cooked in a spiced curry sauce with onions, peppers, garlic and ginger “… what’s not to like?) and Mike got the Lamb Rogan Josh (“Succulent pieces of lamb cooked in a spicy Masala sauce, with fresh juice of ginger and enriched with a selected blend of spices, served with saffron rice & vegetables”). The food was SO good! At least I thought so. Mike thought it was pretty good but didn’t feel like it was up-to-par with a burger and fries. Despite eating lots of Asian food since moving to Seattle, Indian is still not Mike’s favorite. Ditto with middle eastern. Unfortunate that those are my two favorite cuisines. 🙂
Piper, our ever-cute cat, says hello.