Frenetic Fitness

fre·net·ic /frəˈnetɪk/ done very fast and with a lot of energy, often by someone who is in a hurry.

Archive for the category “Cooking”

5 Great Things in My Kitchen

1. Quinoa- Hello protein packed grain! You’re my hero. I still miss rice sometimes but you’re doing a great job as healthier alternative.

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2.  Almond Milk – It seems like a good idea to try something other than pasteurized cow milk. Almond milk is a good low fat source of iron, calcium, vitamin E and potassium without the vitamin A palmitate that is added to low fat cow milk that is added to replace vitamins lost during fat removal.

3. My garlic press- I love garlic and always try to keep a head or two in the kitchen.

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4. Ezekial Sprouted Bread- Sprouted grains that spoil versus over processed wheat product that in some cases has so many additives and preservatives, it doesn’t even mold.

5. The Feed Zone Cookbook– This book is filled with easy recipes meant for athletes who want to eat whole nutritious foods and not rely on prepackaged bars or gels for fuel during training and races. Another plus, no crazy ingredients that kids or picky eaters won’t like.

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Kitchen Elf

Sometimes life can get pretty busy. I know lots of moms who say that. Actually I don’t know any moms who don’t say that. Sometimes I wish I had elves around the house to do chores. Coming home from 3 days away over a weekend, my usual time to get chores like housework, grocery shopping, and cooking done, I was so happy to have a Relish! Black Bean and Spinach Lasagna that I made ahead before I left town.

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I swear I’m going to have to start making this twice a month just to have on hand. Everyone loves it, with a salad or green beans it becomes a healthy meal. The new Relish weekly menu choices come out on Thursdays so tonight, I chose the ones I wanted from the list including one dessert, and then I added a salmon recipe we’ve had before because it was so good. I know I have the recipe still, but this way the ingredients are automatically populated on my shopping list with the other meals when I print this week’s menu. It’s so convenient to have a list automatically made!

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If you know a mom who needs a Kitchen Elf to help her save time for more important things, like hugs and kisses, get her a Relish! gift subscription. You can even use the code on my blog for a discount so you’re saving money while saving her sanity. Just click the Relish! button in the sidebar of my blog and use Frenetic15 to save 15%.

Time is Money

When I started using my new Relish meal plan last month, I deliberately chose some of the entrees listed as “freezer” meals and purchased double ingredients for a couple of recipes. One of my goals with using the system was saving time not just in meal planning and grocery store trips, but also in the kitchen. Benjamin Franklin is often credited with the quote “Time is Money.” I’m sure we can agree that all who say it, are correct.

We all have those days when we wake up knowing we are going  to need an extra hour or three in our day. Sometimes those days lie in wait like a lion in the bush and we’re overtaken before we know it. I’ve had some of those days lately and it was nice to know I had a Basil-Monterey Jack Meatloaf in the freezer or that extra portion of pork tenderloin to make my family’s new favorite pork dish, Honey Buttered Pork Loin.

Basil Monterey Jack Meatloaf

Basil Monterey Jack Meatloaf

In the past I would have been tempted to yell “I’m exhausted! Let’s go to AR Burger Company or Purple Cow!” I have a thing for good burgers. So thanks to Relish! and a few minutes of planning, we’ve been eating at home more often (goal met) and saving that money (another goal met). Last night I came home to a flank steak that had marinated all day and was ready for the grill. In less than 30 minutes we had steak, roasted chickpeas and carrots and snowpeas on the table. Delicious, nutritious, and healthy.

Dinner in Under 30 minutes

Dinner in Under 30 minutes

If you want to try some of these great recipes and meal planning tips, click the RELISH! button on my sidebar for a 15% off code to try it out. Happy Healthy Eating Y’all.

My Kitchen Laboratory

I’ve been kvetching about my need to streamline meal planning at my house. What I’d really love is for a reality show called “Pimp My Kitchen” to choose me for a kitchen makeover that included either a live in chef or one of those Star Trek/ The Jetsons deals where food miraculously appears behind a little cubby door.

Pretty sure that’s not going to happen so I’m dealing with finding ways to make life in my kitchen more like Nigella Bites and less like Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.
I’ve been using the Relish meal planning for a few weeks. So far so good! Every meal from the plan has made it onto the family’s “I’d eat that again” list. One of the first dishes we tried, salmon with a fruit salsa and boxed couscous with a little extra homemade touch added was one of our favorites.

Salmon with Kiwi/Mango Salsa and Parmesan CousCous

Salmon with Kiwi/Mango Salsa and Parmesan CousCous

I made this beautiful Chicken with Snow Pea stir fry a little less caloric by reducing the amount of cashews and increasing the snow peas, which we love.

Chicken with Cashew and Snow Peas

Chicken with Cashew and Snow Peas

We’ve definitely had less waste of fresh produce, and I’ve cut my trips to the grocery store down significantly. I think we’re saving money but that might take a bit more time to prove. I know we’ve been less tempted to eat meals out. And since I try to pay attention to what I’m shoveling in my piehole, I like that all the recipes have complete nutrition info and many of them have weight watchers points listed. Each week’s choices include some lower calorie options if that’s important to your family.
Here’s the deal, if you’d like to try it for yourself, Relish is offering FreneticFitness readers 15% off their already reasonable pricing. Click the button and use the code Frenetic15 to get your discount then get to cooking!
Relish!

Kitchen Experiment

Salmon and couscous

salmon with mango kiwi salsa and parmesan cous cous


I’ve blogged before about my struggle with advance prep and planning of meals. It’s also been a struggle to get help in the kitchen because like a lot of families, in my family Mom’s the cook. Mom also insists on having family dinner as often as possible. When I ask for help in the kitchen I hear “I don’t know what to make”. A lack of organization and preparation too often results in restaurant meals or eating meals that are less than healthy. I end up going to the grocery store without a clear plan and buy items that spoil. Who wants to waste food? My mother should be here telling me how there are starving children, how dare I waste that limp lettuce! I might as well be sending dollar bills down the garbage disposal. Not having help in the kitchen also leads to head chef burnout so I’m often the one who says, “let’s go out.” Or I turn into Gordon Ramsey and start screaming and cussing. We as a family need to work this out before a neighbor calls the cops. My teenager needs to learn to cook a variety of meals, not just ramen or eggs, though I have a feeling that will come in handy for her young adulthood. I need some help and all of us could stand to eat a few more healthy meals at home. So I’m experimenting.
My husband often says that the kitchen is an extension of my job, it’s my laboratory at home. I have binders and folders full of recipes I want to try but I rarely sit down to make out a weekly menu and shopping list. I’ll start but then SQUIRREL. I can’t stay focused long enough. It’s just time consuming. When I was presented with an opportunity to try an online service that would allow me to choose a weekly menu from several recipes that included entrees and a choice of side dishes, I was all in. It also automatically populates a shopping list once you’ve chosen your meals. Seriously? So I’m giving it a go this week. It took me just a few minutes to figure out the navigation and how to choose/swap out side dishes and I was quickly on my way to a plan. By printing out the recipes and the shopping list I was able to show my family exactly what we would be eating, the teenager was able to help me with the shopping and she’s helping me with the prep work for the meals so far.
I’m hoping this will cut down on dining out just for convenience, cut down on waste and make trips to the grocery store less frequent. Perhaps it will be one less thing on my list of s#*t that makes me want to choke my family. This is your heads up, if you are like me and want to save a little time and a lot of your sanity by planning meals, I’ll be reviewing the site, sharing photos of some of the recipes I’ve made and letting you in on a discount deal on the service in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

Choppin’ Broccoliiiiii

I have a new cutting board. It makes me want to sing like Dana Carvey. I’m CHOPPIN’ BROCCOLI!

On New Year’s Day, one of the blogs I follow, Jacklyn’s OhByGolly blog, posted a giveaway. Now Jacklyn is model gorgeous, has mad skills in the sewing, fashion, refashion and decorating arenas and to top it off, not only does she have some power tool skillz, she has friends who do beautiful woodwork. Owl Creek Woodshop makes some lovely items including these cutting boards. I happened to win one. That’s right, in line with my recent winning streak, I won a new cutting board. I’ve been choppin’ broccoli and everything else on it ever since.

Grapefruit

Breakfast

The boards are handcrafted from the finest hardwood. I just can’t get over how adorable the brand is, that sweet little hoot. Shop Local!

Salad Fixins

Salad Fixins

If you want to have one of these beauties for yourself or as a gift for someone you really really like, you can get one or three from Owl Creek Woodshop via Facebook or at owlcreekwoodshop@gmail.com.

Mummies, Eyeballs and Creepy Crawlies

This is the final post in Arkansas Women Bloggers BLOGtoberfest Week. The Challenge is Foodie Friday. Since my focus is on Fitness, I probably should be writing about my favorite healthy recipes but my focus this week has been drawn to Halloween: how much I love it, how much my family enjoys it and how much we’re looking forward to it. I’ve decided to write about my favorite Halloween Treats.

I’m not a food blogger and I’m pretty sure I’m not a photographer, especially when it comes to food. But I do love to throw parties and to entertain people. For the past several years we have hosted Halloween parties that have gotten progressively larger as the years pass. Each year I try to make at least one new recipe but there are a few treats that kids and adults have come to expect when they come to our house. In fact, the small one has friends who ask for White Chocolate Eyeballs in bulk.

White Chocolate Eyeballs

eyeballs and graveyard

White Chocolate Eyeballs and Pudding Graveyard

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1 lb powdered sugar

1 tbs vanilla extract

12 oz white chocolate or coating

40 miniature chocolate chips

red food gel

Cream the butter and peanut butter together then add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, blend thoroughly. Form one inch balls and refrigerate until firm. Melt white chocolate in the microwave, using a toothpick dip each eyeball covering all but a small circle. Place a mini chocolate chip in the center of each eyeball and decorate with red food gel.
Ghosts in the Graveyard

2 pkgs (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding

3 cups cold milk

1 tub (12 oz) whipped topping divided

15 chocolate sandwich cookies

Decorations: creme sandwich cookies (like Pepperidge Farm Milano), gummy worms, candy pumpkins, gummy skeletons etc. We made the fence for this one out of licorice and used black cat peeps. Grass can be made from cutting fruit rollups.

Pour milk in large bowl, add pudding mixes, beat for 2 minutes let stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir in 3 cups of the whipped topping and half the cookie crumbs. Spread evenly into a 13x9x2 pan. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

Decorate the yard!

Mummy Dogs!

I think Mummy Dogs are the one thing we make every single year. The idea is simple, wrap hot dogs in strips of crescent roll dough, bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until the dough browns. Add capers for eyeballs. I have no pictures of these  because they get eaten faster than I can make them.

Centipede Calzone

Another fun way to use biscuit dough, spread a biscuit into a larger circle and fill with pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, whatever fillings you like and top with another rolled out biscuit. Paint the tops with egg wash and food coloring to make the snake patterns. Use carrot sticks for legs, olives for eyeballs, other veggies for decoration. Bake as biscuit package directs until brown.

Crawly Calzone

Boogers on a Stick

Or Ghosts if you prefer. For boogers, add blue food coloring to Cheez Whiz until it turns green. Dip 1/3 of a pretzel rod into the newly green cheez whiz.

If boogers are too gross for you, dip the pretzel rods in white chocolate, make eyes and mouth with black decorating gel for ghosts.

sticks

Boogers on a stick

HAPPY HAUNTING!

Baking Jeans

Wiping my hands on my pants is as close as I’ll ever come to having baking jeans.My baking gene skipped out on me somewhere in the evolution of my cooking skills.

Last year we began Spring Break with a trip to Black Rock near Pocahontas, Arkansas for a weekend of camping, history lessons and cooking.This year we had planned to stay home during Spring Break, saving that precious vacation money for a long weekend in Memphis for the Beale Street Music Festival in May.But then I caught wind of another Dutch Oven Cooking Class.I should allow the culprit who spilled those beans to me to remain nameless, because the poor people in the class with me might not appreciate that she led me to them. But Kim Williams, what follows is all your fault.

This trip was going to be different right from the start because A) we were taking the Hobo with us and she’s never camped in a campground full of people before and B) the trip would be short, one night only.I was anxious to take her because I know the trails at the park are short and not crowded except around the fishing lake so it would be a great place to continue training Hobo to be a good trail dog.The cooking class wasn’t slated to begin until 4 pm so we decided to take it easy on Saturday morning and not leave until around 11.We made it to the park, got the tent all set up and a dog run fixed, all well ahead of our 4 pm deadline.

camp happy

We arrived at the pavilion to find lovely park interpreter Krystal ready to get cooking. There are stations set up for each dish: two different pastas and a dessert as well as a bread station. We’ve done this before.We know what’s coming: soon it will be time to choose a station for which dish you want to help make. So what in heaven’s gate possessed me? What do I let the small one talk me into? The bread. Why didn’t I choose the pasta? WHY? I know I’m not good at bread.I feel very blessed if my homemade bread concoctions turn out. I can barely make cookies. I tried to make homemade biscuits recently.My family dubbed them the biscookies  because they were completely flat.I don’t have the baking gene.

I kneaded too much, or used too much floor, or both. While my partner’s dough rose up to a double sized lovely air pocket filled, moist mass of doughy goodness, my lifeless dough sat in the bowl, just a big lump of goo and never rose. Luckily my husband has a rock gut that is quite used to eating my kitchen failures. He was happy to eat the matzo flat but and still doughy cheese bread I ended up with.Someone said it was like having a cheese pizza but I would have complained about the crust if I hadn’t been the one to cook that pizza.

The lasagna and the penne pasta with chicken and sausage were both divine. And the cooking crew scarfed them up quickly.Dessert was a filled rolled cookie: a cream cheese butter crust spread with jam, dried cherries and coconut.I hesitated while enjoying the main course and didn’t actually get to eat one of the cookies but I heard they were delicious.The cookies were gone but lucky me, my bread was so ugly there was plenty left for seconds.I MEANT to do that.

Dutch Oven Lasagna

The truth is, every once in a while, I make bread that sort of turns out. Or at least it’s edible. Okay my family claims it’s edible and they eat it.No one has been to the ER yet.

Rosemary Bread

Food, Food. Glorious Food.

Grilled Portabellas with Herbed Goat Cheese
One weekend night we were invited to a lovely but very large pot luck dinner. We thought we would be arriving relatively early so we brought an appetizer- goat cheese rolled in paprika and another rolled in finely chopped fresh dill. Yum. But there were so many people there and SO much to eat. We brought home a sliver of each to enjoy later. I had planned to make portabella burgers so the leftover goat cheese was a perfect topper. Then we decided to forgo the bun altogether and just eat the creamy cheese covered shroom on its own. 
Baked Eggs   
                                                      
                                   
One morning I got ambitious and decided to try something different for breakfast. This was one of our “snow” days so something hot and comforting was in order. Ramekins + butter + fresh garlic + eggs = goodness. 
     Jambalaya, Feijoada and Praline Liqueur                                                             
    
                                                       
 
 The Saturday before Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day Eve saw us entertaining and being entertained by our wonderful friends. I made a bastardized version of an Emeril Legasse Jambalaya and our Brazilian friends brought a traditional black bean dish called Feijoada.
Served with a beautiful pico de gallo and toasted yucca flour over rice, this dish was mouthwatering good!
We also had a Praline Liqueur to celebrate the Nawlins in us all. Who Dat!

Ladies and Gentlemen may I have your attention please. This is like yo momma’s Pecan Pie in a glass. Go get you some. Now. Right now.

Experiments in the Kitchen, AKA- Mom’s Science Fair Project

So the other night I had this 5lb pork loin that I had thawed with no real plan as to what I was going to make with it. Somewhere I had recently seen a recipe for a slow cooker pork roast with amber beer. Hmm. J had some questionable amber beer in the beer and deer down in the garage and I had a pork loin. Perfect. But where did I see that recipe? Never mind, I’ll just wing it. So I looked in the spice cabinet and see my collection of Dizzy Pig rubs. PLUG warning: I love these rubs! I coated my lovely loin, the pork I mean, with Dizzy Dust BBQ seasoning and let it rest while I did some chores. The lovely loin, as it will be known henceforth, was then browned in a big skillet with oil. Then I caramalized half a sweet vidalia onion in the oil. I made the gravy with lots of Dizzy Dust mixed in with the flour and used a bottle of amber beer as the liquid. The lovely loin and the onion and some fresh slices of garlic (about 3 cloves) and the rich, dark beer gravy went into the crock pot for 4 hours on high. Of course I have no pictures. I do have testimonials though they are unintelligible because they were grunted with mouths full of lovely loin and mashed potatoes.

I hope Chris doesn’t sue me for using his Dizzy picture.

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