Well I am on 8 of my 21 day challenge. My first thought was to do 4 miles a day, and after day one, I determined that my speed wasn’t quite fast enough to do that mileage on my lunch hour, so I quickly reduced it down to a 5k. I also said I was going to try to do a 5k every day for 21 days, but decided yesterday that I definitely needed a rest day. But I did a 5k the last six days!
On Saturday, I used my Nike app I downloaded. My plan was to run on the nature trails by my house because they are already mapped out. But of course, the one weekend I want to go the trails were closed for deer thinning. So I had to run on the road near the trails – its not very busy, so it worked. As Leslie said on my facebook page – better safe than be mistaken for bambi!
- 3.1mi Total Distance
- 39:56 Total Time
- 12’52″/mi Avg Pace
- 368 Total Calories
I am pretty happy with my time because I have a hard time keeping a pace without the treadmill, and my neighborhood is pretty hilly. So six for six – done! The views weren’t too bad either.
Saturday I made some more bread – I have cut out wine, cut down on my cheese, but I need my bread. I got the recipe from Saveur’s May issue. I literally made this bread on a Friday night the same day I got the magazine back in April. I cut the rest time to three hours that time, but Saturday I had more time, so I did the full four hours. I have to tell you, I don’t see the difference between the two. You can find the recipe here.
If you are afraid of yeast breads, try this one. It’s super easy, and the only hands on time is the 10 minutes of hand kneading, which I love doing. Just something about having the soft dough between my fingers, having such simple ingredients turn into something delicious, is amazing to me.
It went perfectly with Giada’s lasagna – while I can’t stand her on her show (you could actually have a drinking game on that show – take a sip of your drink every time she says “just like that” and you’d be drunk by the end of the show!). Neither Tony and I have ever had a lasagna with a béchamel sauce. It’s basically a white sauce, with tomato sauce added in. I did reduce the amount of butter and olive oil called for, and I made it into two separate lasagnas. The second lasagna I gave to my SIL for her family for the week.
Tony really liked it. I thought it could have been a little saucier, and I kind of missed the added flavor of Italian sausage vs. the ground beef. I think next time I’ll add some fennel seed to the meat mixture.
Sunday morning was a Tony breakfast morning. He made me a lovely fruit compote (which I am saving for my breakfast today!) and his signature hash browns, scrambled eggs and English muffin.
I was Bizzy in my kitchen all day! Making food for my SIL’s lunches, which included onions because she loves them. At one point Tony came in the kitchen and saw the onion on the cutting board and was like “I knew there were onions in the house!” One dish I made for her which I’ll post later in the week is braised red cabbage with apples. I’ll leave the onions out of mine though.
Long time readers will know that Tony loves his football. Like a lot. When I am not busy with my Mom, sister or Hannah, I try to come up with a “football” food for him. Sometimes it’s a meal, yesterday was a snack.
I got the recipe from this blog – this has to be the easiest pretzel recipe I’ve ever made. I love the fact that I didn’t have a baking soda water bath on the stove. I simply put 4 cups of water in my measuring cup – nuked it for like 5 minutes, then added the baking soda. Once I cut up the dough into pretzel bites, I just tossed them in the baking soda water and they popped right up, dunked the nuggets in a little bit of melted butter, sprinkled with salt and baked for 7 minutes.
And these make A LOT! Perfect for a crowd. I sent half of the leftovers home with my SIL.
Pretzel Bites with Cheddar Horseradish Sauce
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
2 egg whites left this out
2 Tbsp butter, melted that has been cooled
Kosher salt, for topping
Parchment paper and cooking spray
In a measuring cup dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Set aside. (Mixture should become foamy, if it doesn’t your yeast may be bad or your water too hot)
In the bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugars, and salt on low speed. Turn off the mixer and pour the water/yeast mixture and melted butter into the bowl. Turn the mixer on and knead for 6-8 minutes until the dough is smooth. If the dough is too dry you can add extra water, a tablespoon at a time.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a ball. Place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with a clean towel, and allow to rise for one hour (*or until double in size).
Towards the end of rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper and cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and melted butter.
After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and then knead with hands for one minute. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough into 12 even portions. Now you can pick your shape. For pretzel bites roll each portion into a snake then cut the snake into bite size pieces, about 1 1/2 inches in width.
Dip the pieces in the baking soda water and place on the baking sheet (sometimes I dab the pretzels with a paper towel if they seem too wet). Brush each pretzel bite with egg whites/melted butter then sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 7-8 minutes, until browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cheddar Horseradish Sauce
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup good quality beer
1 Tbsp horseradish
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2-3/4 cups cheddar cheese, grated (I used 1/2 a cup)
Microwave cream cheese for 30-45 seconds until very soft. Stir in the beer, horseradish, and garlic powder. Microwave again for 30-45 seconds. Add the grated cheese and stir until smooth, microwaving again if necessary.
You can tell if your yeast is fresh when it bubbles up after 10 minutes. I did have to add a bit of water to the dough, once it doesn’t stick to the sides of your mixing bowl, you know you have it right.
The mixer does all the work! After it rose for an hour, that’s when I heated my oven to 450.
Make sure your water isn’t all the way to the top when you add the baking soda – it will fizz up a lot.
I also divided my dough into 8 pieces – it was just easier for me. Then I rolled out each piece to 12 inches, then made 8 bite size cuts per piece.
Fresh out of the oven:
These were really good. Light on the inside, crunchy on the outside – and dipped in the horseradish cheddar sauce? One word: amazeballs.
And I am happy to report that I went the whole weekend without a single glass of wine . . . and I survived. A couple times I was like “it would be nice to sip a glass of wine right about now!” but it quickly passed. 21 days will be over before you know it – just hoping that with my workouts, no snacking and no drinking, it will show a difference on the scale at the end of this challenge.
I am off to do my 30 minute stretch before work, then hitting the treadmill for my 5k at lunch – our high today is only 36 degrees! Brrr.
Hope you had a great weekend – make it a great day!