cooking with mo, part 6

Today’s lesson – enchilada sauce!

I’ve recently discovered the magical land that is Pinterest.  In my quest to stop spending money on restaurant food (except for pizza, because let’s face it, nobody does it better than Lou Malnati’s), I’m trying to cook more at home.  Soooo enter Pinterest.  It’s amazing what a girl and her computer can accomplish.

Part 7 in my cooking series is coming on Tuesday, but before we get there, we have to make one of its essential ingredients – red enchilada sauce.

So when I blog about a recipe that I got from somewhere else, I’m going to give you the link, what I did differently, and how it turned out.

You can find the original recipe here.

What I Did Differently:

  • I didn’t have any garlic powder or fresh garlic in the house (damn you, spoiled food), so I used 1/2 tsp of garlic salt instead (and did not add the extra salt mentioned in the recipe).
  • I added more oregano than recommended, because I dropped the spice jar, haha.  But that’s okay, because I like oregano.  It didn’t have any adverse effects, IMO.
  • I immediately added a splash of chicken stock after making the roux, so that my spices wouldn’t burn in the bottom of the pan.
  • I reduced it down for about 20 minutes, because it wasn’t getting as thick as I would have liked otherwise.

How It Turned Out:

  • Quite delicious, actually.
  • Not the color in the picture – more of a brown, probably due to the reduction time.
  • Needs more chili powder, as Jakre would like it to be hotter next time.
  • Yes, there will be a next time.
  • Made exactly enough for the deliciousness you have coming your way on Tuesday!  Get psyched!

a question for a weatherman*

*yeah, yeah, I know.  I should have used “weatherperson” or “meteorologist.”  But you don’t come here for politically correct content.

Last week when the weather turned cold (my favorite), I laid out my clothes for the following morning’s run – shorts, a tank, and a half zip.  Jakre looked at my pile and said, “Isn’t it weird how in the spring you’d wear pants for this weather?”

Oh man, I thought.  He’s right!

In the fall, 50 degrees means shorts and a long-sleeved tee.  In the spring, it means capris and a short-sleeved tee.  Why is that?

I can only assume that it’s because in the fall, we are expecting things to be warmer, since we’ve been sweating all summer.  So we keep our legs and shoulders bare and just throw on a long-sleeved tee, knowing that we can always take it off when getting too warm.  In the spring, the reverse is true.  It’s not like you say, “It’s X degrees out, I will always wear this.”  It baffles me.  Maybe I should keep a clothes log inside my training log?

Nah, too much work.  I’ll just ask the internet (and a weatherman) instead of employing the scientific method!

5 friday favorites [15]

See what amused me on the internet this week!

1.  Boo.  Just, BOOOOOOO.  (Mostly because it was supposed to be the Blackhawks.  Not because last year’s version was particularly enlightening.)

2.  More interesting last week, when Hell’s Kitchen was interrupted by President Obama.

3.  I’m obsessed with this story.

4.  Normally I object to her because she dresses like a slut, but these are some good points.

5.  Yeah, that’s right.  Best college football team in the whole damn state.

3 things thursday [93]

1.  It amazes me sometimes how small this world really is.  I see posts by Facebook friends that I know from one circle (say, book club), and see that someone completely different (say, a friend of mine from first grade) likes the post.  Why would they like it, I wonder.  Oh right, my book club friend has a friend that is friends with my first grade friend who is friends with me.

My point is, we’re all connected, yo.

2.  Jakre and I have been sick with the flu all week.  It’s the first time that we have EVER been sick at the same time – normally we just pass it back and forth for a couple of months.  Regardless, we both feel miserable.  As a result, I have to take another step back week this week and regroup for the road ahead.  It’s going to make the next 3 weeks crazy, but I can do it (as long as this flu goes away).

3.  Speaking of training programs, it’s entirely possible that I copied mine while I was drunk… because it’s totally wrong.  I was supposed to do a half marathon for time last weekend, not 8 miles at pace and 11 long.  Oh well.  Can’t go backwards!

cooking with mo, part 5

Today’s lesson – End of Summer Salad.

This is actually a play on a salad that my cousin always makes for family parties.  I had some extra stuff in my fridge, so I just added it into the salad, with delicious results!  (And I also gave it a name, haha.)

End of Summer Salad!

End of Summer Salad!

You will need:
1 package cheese tortellini
1 package flat leaf spinach
cherry tomatoes, halved (I used both red and yellow, 20 of each)
1 can black olives
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste
1 bottle creamy poppyseed dressing (or the low-fat Aldi version, and you’ll only use about half a bottle, depending on how wet you want the salad to be)

To prepare:
Boil water, make tortellini according to directions on package
Drain pasta and rinse in cold water
Toss in large bowl with all other ingredients, adding dressing while stirring.
Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.

YUM!

YUM!

I know, it’s astoundingly simple.  But it tastes DELICIOUS.  Good for both lunches and parties.  And I like it, and I’m in charge here.  So there.  :)

the cool thing about internet strangers

In your younger years, friends were largely determined by geography and convenience.  You were friends with the kids in your neighborhood, the kids you went to school with, and the kids of your parents’ friends (because you always knew that you could get a ride to their house, haha).  That was it, that was how you made friends.

It is really freaking hard to make friends once you leave college and are out in the real world!  I was running my 15 miles last weekend, and I thought to myself – holy crap, the majority of “my people” are from the internet.  Like, I made friends online, met IRL, and decided to be best friends.

When I was a kid, this neighbor of ours left her husband for A MAN SHE MET ON THE INTERNET.  Oh, the scandal.  Back in the 90s before everyone had a computer in the palm of their hand, people assumed that the internet was for sex perverts, and suckers who became involved with them.  Now, it’s so different!

You can do all of your Christmas shopping, order pizza, play slot machines, watch NFL highlights, read someone’s super terrible blog about paleo muffins… the possibilities are endless.

I got my toes wet when I met my future husband on match.com, but I didn’t really buy into the whole internet life until I took a big risk and hopped into a van with strangers to run from Madison to Chicago.  I made friends on that crazy journey that I’m sure I will have for the best of my life.  Since then, I expanded my blog, joined the Chicago Running Bloggers, became a member of the Wurst Running Club Ever, ran 3 more Ragnars with strangers (good and bad!), and am currently putting together a Ragnar team entirely made of strangers.

My point is this – don’t be afraid to take the leap and hang out with people you meet on the internet.  The cool thing about internet strangers is that they are just like you!

(Sex perverts.)