Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Resolutions

Do you make resolutions?  I do not, I do not see the point in setting yourself up for failure.  I do however, believe in setting goals.  For the past 4 weeks or so, Doodle and I have been running... well more accurately attempting to run!  One of my bucket list items is to run a marathon (yes, I am insane)!

I had downloaded the C25K (couch to 5K) app, oh a few months ago and just never got around to beginning it.  Now I know why.  This crazy app tells you to run or walk at regular intervals that is suppose to allow you to run a 5K in 8 weeks.  I have my doubts, especially since I am winded by the 15 minute mark and then struggle to make it back to the house. 

The first couple of weeks, I swear the app was saying "Run Fat Woman, Faster, Faster" when it spoke to me.  Of course, it could have been related to the fact I was generally wheezing by the time we hit the top of our hill and did not stop for the next 30 minutes.

There have been days that I just cannot finish the last run part, I am done and end up walking back to the house. So, this week, we are trying something different, instead of running in our neighborhood with the plethora of hills, we are headed to a local park where it is flat. I am hoping the flat will allow me to build up my endurance without the hills slowing me down.  According to the app, we should be ready for our 5K at the end of this month... that is not a lot of time to get me ready.

Photo Credit
The goal, run the Disney Marathon which is taking place this week.  Next year, I know I can be there!
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin

Continuing the odyssey of great meals that we had over the holidays, we made Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin from Southern Living.  It was excellent and oh, so easy!  Below is the link and instructions.  This is worthy of a date night or dinner party.     

Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 1 (5- to 6-lb.) beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 14 very thin pancetta slices
  • Wax paper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kitchen string

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper. Cook tenderloin in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Let cool 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, arrange pancetta slices in 2 rows on a large piece of wax paper, overlapping to form a rectangle the same length and width of tenderloin.
  3. 3. Sprinkle garlic and rosemary over tenderloin. Place tenderloin on edge of 1 long side of pancetta. Tightly roll up tenderloin with pancetta, using wax paper as a guide. Discard wax paper. Tie tenderloin with kitchen string, securing at 1-inch intervals. Transfer to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.
  4. 4. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until pancetta is crispy and a meat thermometer inserted into center of tenderloin registers 120° (rare). Let stand 10 minutes. Discard kitchen string before slicing. Serve with Whipped Horseradish Cream.
  5. Note: For medium-rare, cook tenderloin to 135°, or to 150° for medium.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Cookie in the World

I trust everyone had a great holiday and a safe and happy new year?  Doodle and I certainly did.  We cooked, baked, cooked, and baked some more while mom and her husband were here. Interspersed with all the cooking and baking was lots of love and laughter and just a bit of shopping. 

I plan on sharing some of the outstanding recipes that we tried and wanted to start with my favorite from the past couple of weeks: Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies {The Best Cookies in The World}from Ambitious Kitchen.

A friend from work turned me onto these cookies and let me just say the are truly the best cookies in the world.  They are time consuming and messy but oh so worth it.  Below is the recipe from Monique and the link; she has some amazing recipes on her website that are worth a try.  

ENJOY!


Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.
  3. Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator, or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super eager, although I cannot promise the same results if you do this.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand. Place 1 teaspoon of chilled nutella in the middle and fold dough around it; gently roll into a ball — it doesn’t have to be perfectly rolled! Make sure that the nutella is not seeping out of the dough. Add more dough if necessary. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and flatten with your hand VERY gently. (Really only the tops need to be flattened a bit!)
  5. Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Let our New Year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.
~ Göran Persson

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
~ Neil Gaiman