Monday, September 28, 2015

Pad Thai with Crab

Coming across this recipe, I realized that I hadn't eaten Pad Thai since I lived in New York (when I ate it probably every week). There were two different amazing Thai restaurants in our Brooklyn neighborhood, and we liked to alternate which one we went to each week. I'm not really sure why or how I managed not to eat it in so long, but I figured it was time to bring it back into my life.

In a ridiculous splurge purchase at the grocery store a couple days earlier (think stomach growling while roaming the aisles, when everything looks delicious), I'd bought a bag of pre-cracked crab legs. So instead of the traditional shrimp, I thought the crab would be a perfect way to make this dish a little different.

I wasn't sure if the hubs would be happy with this meal, but I was really glad to find that he devoured every bite of his dish! Getting all the crab meat out of the shells was definitely a process, but it was worth it. The crab was sweet and tender, and the dish was so amazing. I plan to make this one again, for sure.

Grandma's Raspberry Pie

I know this is old news, but every year I make us a fresh raspberry pie in the fall. Whenever we can get a big bag of organic berries from the farmer's market, I know it's time to get out this recipe. The best part is that every year, I get just a little bit better at baking this pie. And this year, I think my big improvement was on the crust.

As always, the smells and tastes bring back all kinds of memories of my grandmother. It's one of my favorite traditions that we have, just for this reason alone.  x

P.S.  That's my new favorite drink there with the pie...  Tequila Liqueur and Bailey's. Yum.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Spanish Tortilla with Romesco Sauce

When the hubs found a recipe for a Spanish Tortilla, I was a little confused at first... How were we going to make a meal out of a tortilla? But this is actually almost best described as a potato quiche, which is something I've never made before! So we ventured to the farmer's market for some fresh veggies and eggs to make this meal.

To go with the quiche, we also whipped up a Romesco Sauce. This pepper and tomato based sauce also turned out extremely delicious, and I've been using it this past week on several other dishes, to add its great flavor.

Overall, this dish was another huge success. We had to cook it quite a bit longer than the recipe called for, which reminds me that I need to do a little research on cooking these kinds of items at altitude... We got a great texture, but I'm sure there is some trick to knowing exactly how to make revisions up here in the mountains.

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie

Two weeks ago, we made an extremely delicious chicken pot pie recipe as our cooking challenge of the week. It was a very traditional recipe, including carrots, celery and onion as the veggie base. But with my picky husband, I knew we would need to improvise a little. He wasn't going to want carrots or celery, and I usually have to cut the onions in any recipe by at least half.

I was really quite proud of how we were able to take the original recipe and make it our own pretty easily. I honestly chalk it up to all the cooking and learning we've been doing all year! It makes it so much easier to understand how to substitute ingredients and revise the cooking plan. So instead of carrots and celery, we chopped up some potatoes and used them, along with some peas, as our veggie base instead.

We could not have been happier with the results of this dinner. We devoured every bite, and wished we'd had more! The chicken was super tender, and the crust turned out nice and flaky. This will definitely make it onto our list of go-to meals for future years to come.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Parmesean Risotto

After a couple weekends of traveling and racing, I was finally able to get back in the kitchen last weekend for another new recipe experiment! All year, I'd been eyeing the idea of making a risotto. Whenever we watch our cooking shows, risotto seems like one of those challenging dishes to really master and do correctly.

So last weekend, we tried a recipe for Parmesean Risotto, and paired it with some simple salmon. The cooking process for risotto requires a good amount of attention. You can't really walk away and let it just "cook." There is a lot of consistent stirring and ingredient adding in order to do it right...

Luckily, I think we really did a pretty good job! Whenever my arm got tired, I'd switch out with the hubby and vice versa.  haha   We ended up with a creamy, tasty result that I was really happy with! Even more so, I think I was so happy to have tackled one of the recipes I was targeting for the year and found it to be successful. It makes me excited to try the next challenge!!

My Way or the Tri Way: August 30, 2015

Soon after I arrived home from my trip to Germany, I headed out to the Aurora Reservoir for my last triathlon of the season. This event is special because it allows the racers to choose the order of how they want to race. So you could bike, run, swim if you wanted...  Or any combination of the three, or any combination of just two of the sports.

When I signed up for this race, it was supposed to be my last training race before my Half Ironman this year, so I wanted to make sure I was racing in the correct order. (After some trips were booked and my training dropped off, I had decided not to do the Half IM this year, so this became my last event for 2015...)

Waking up at 4:00am, still having some symptoms of jet lag was not easy. On top of that, having spent my last week of training down at sea level to try to race at altitude was also adding a level of difficulty. Strike three for the morning was the crazy wind out in Aurora. It made the water choppy, the ride tough, and the run very frustrating. Needless to say, I didn't have a very stellar race. But the event was really fun, with a great organization out there to support everyone.

I'm looking forward to some time off from training now. A little mental and physical break from the rigor will be really good for me. I'll look to ramp back up at the turn of the year and get back into it for the 2016 season!

Eurobike 2015

Attending Eurobike this year was an outstanding way to catch up on the industry's latest trends and innovative releases. Surveying the floors of nine huge trade show buildings was certainly awe inspiring. Hundreds of bikes, jerseys, helmets, shoes, and anything else you can think of for a bicycle were on display by hundreds of brands. There were unique finds and consistent stories all in one place. It took a couple of days to take everything in, and I'm so glad I got this experience.

Pearl Izumi's booth was one of the show's highlights, with a welcoming atmosphere and clean, professional presentation. I was really proud to show off product that I'd worked on throughout the last year.

Bike Ride in the Black Forest

During my visit to Germany, I was hosted on an epic bike ride through the Black Forest. It was easily one of the most difficult bike rides I've ever done (although that's not saying a whole lot...) For almost 2 hours, we climbed up and down and then up, up, up some more into the hills. And then we swept around gorgeous long curves of road to get back down into town for about 30 minutes.

After evaluating the data from my ride, there were spots of climbing that reached into the high teens of percentage grade, and we averaged almost 9% from the bottom to the top of the climb! The women I rode with were extremely accommodating, with one of my co-workers helping me up the climbs every step of the way. I couldn't have finished without her...

The views throughout the ride were amazing. The pictures here don't even do it justice.