Thursday thoughts – a “day date” recap :)

Hello, hello!

In case you missed it, my birthday was Monday.

You’re welcome for the day off. 😉

Of course, that meant I got to do whatever I wanted all weekend long.

Hell, who am I kidding? That’s how it goes all the time. 😉

So, my sailor and I had a “day date” and we went antiquing!

No, I didn’t force him – don’t even give me that “poor guy” business.

It’s something we actually both enjoy doing.

Anyway, we went to some pretty fancy antique stores!

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I can’t even imagine how much that mirror costs – or even WEIGHS! – and I think it’s a little odd that they hung it on the outside of the building but seeing the reflection of the trees was pretty cool.

There’s no way we could have afforded anything in that store, by the way. Seriously, like Beverly Hills prices. We’re used to those antique stores where you find random old stuff crammed into boxes, stuffed under tables, too much stuff to see in one trip, and you have to crawl around parts of the store just to see it all!

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There was some really awesome stuff in this store but once I saw this, all I could think about was this…

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Baby carriage, circa 1800s. Only about $2000. Sure, why not?

And then, we found our kind of store….

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Complete with paper protectors and Ziggy Christmas cards!

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Of course, we had to take a sustenance break. #omnomnom

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cold stone creamery FTW!

 

Then, we hit the mother-lode!

I’ve been searching for a butter dish for a while now.

I’m not a fan of the ones you can find in stores now – they’re too predictable and boring – and our dish set was cobbled together from a discontinued set so I could never find one to go with it or even one that spoke to me.

I don’t want boring glass or white or normal. I want fun, classy, interesting!

And I found one!

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And then I found another!!!

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Now I have one for every day and one for fancy!

I’m so excited!!

By this time, it was dinner and we headed to the 80/20 Burger bar for dinner.

This place is near my CrossFit box (how I heard about it) and the menu looked pretty intriguing so I figured we needed to check it out.

We started with some house fries – garlic, rosemary, and parmesan.

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They were decent but really, there was ZERO garlic and do you see any rosemary? Yeah, me neither.

For dinner, I ordered the “Heritage” – a bison burger with caramelized onions, thick cut bacon, and gruyere cheese. I got the herb lemon broccoli as a side to counter those fries. #balance

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The most flavorful thing on the plate was the pickle.

I mean, it was good but it was boring.

I’m sorry, how do you make a fancy bacon cheeseburger BORING?!

And the broccoli was just steamed. Maybe a smidge of lemon but definitely no herb.

My sailor’s food was equally as boring.

It’s as if the chef was put on “seasoning restriction.”  So much so that he even had to remove the salty deliciousness from the bacon.

I’m not kidding!

How do you make bacon taste boring?!?!?!?!

But, even with that ending, we had a stellar day. I’m pretty sure we won’t be going back to that restaurant but I KNOW we’ll be heading back to some of those antique stores. There’s still so much more to see!

Talk to me: Do you like antiquing? Do you use a butter dish? Have you ever had a surprisingly boring burger?

– jennifer

Fanciness, ice cream cones, and spinach, bacon & sweet tater salad

Hello, hello!

Happy Monday!

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Did you have a fantastic weekend? Did you do anything fun?

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably know I had a decent weekend. 🙂

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There was definitely not enough sleeping this weekend. 🙂

Although, honestly, I made up for it yesterday by sitting on my couch and watching CrossFit Regionals all day long. Like, literally, All. Day.

Plugged my sailor’s phone into the TV (mine, for some reason, does not have an HDMI out slot) and watched the live streaming action on the big screen.

It was awesome!

Two words – Julie. Foucher.

Badassery.

Anywho, we also ate pretty well this weekend. I promise there was more than just ice cream – um, hello, MOOSE TRACKS! – and coffee.

Thing 1 gave me the best gift ever for Mother’s Day – the Runner’s World Cookbook!

You know I was bookmarking recipes in there!

First up – spinach, bacon, and sweet potato salad.

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Oh. Em. Gee.

I sauteed some shrimp in garlic and olive oil as an accompaniment. So delicious!

As you can tell by more than just spinach leaves in that picture, I changed up the recipe a little (hey, I can’t help it! It’s what I do.).

But honestly, it doesn’t really  need it. There’s not really anything more perfect than sweet potatoes and bacon and this recipe has them BOTH!

Spinach, Bacon, and Sweet Potato Salad
makes 4 servings

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 slices thick-cut bacon (or 3-4 slices regular bacon)
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice from 1 orange (or about 1/4-1/3 cup OJ)
1 pound fresh spinach (or use a spinach blend, if you prefer, which is what I did)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the taters on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until crisp and brown on the outside and tender inside. Remove from oven and keep on the pan until ready to use.

2. While the taters are roasting, place the bacon in a skillet (cast iron, if you got it!) over medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. **Now, the recipe says to pour off the fat but I chose to keep it for the veggies. Do what you want.** When bacon is cooled, break into pieces.

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3. Return the pan to medium heat and, if not using bacon fat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil (I added a couple of teaspoons because there was only about a tablespoon of bacon fat). When it’s hot, add the bell pepper, onion, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until just softened.

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Stir in the cumin and the orange juice and turn off the heat. (The recipe can be made up to an hour or so ahead to this point. Gently warm the dressing again before proceeding.)

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freshly ground cumin smells so amazing!

4. Put the spinach in a bowl large enough so you can toss the ingredients together without them ending up all over the counter or floor (although, 5 second rule on the bacon!). Add the sweet taters, bacon, and the warm dressing. Toss to combine. Try to remember that it makes 4 servings and you should share.

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Nutrition per serving (according to the exact recipe):
262 calories, 22g carbs, 6g fiber, 8g protein, 18g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 409mg sodium

Talk to me: Did you watch any of the CrossFit Regionals this weekend? Were you lucky enough to actually BE there? Do you know anyone who’s never had a sweet potato?

– jennifer

I biked! And the best orange sherbet ever!

I biked! I know, I know, I said I wasn’t going to do it until I checked with the physical therapist but I’ve been doing some research and biking is actually used as therapy for groin/leg injuries. And, I tested it out when I got home last night. No pain or strain at all! Man, was I excited for this morning!

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I got a great 45 minutes in of hills, sprints, hill sprints, hovers, etc. I was a big sweaty mess when I was done. Love that! 🙂

And then I was hungry. Om nom nom! It’s always good when your snack smiles at you.

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What’s your favorite post-workout snack?

So, let’s talk sherbet. I made some fresh orange sherbet last weekend. Thing 2 loves orange sherbet but if you ever look at the ingredients, they’re a little scary. Anything you make fresh at home trumps store-bought every time. And, you can be guaranteed that you can pronounce all the ingredients. Always a bonus!

I found this recipe in my Cook’s Illustrated “The New Best Recipe” cookbook. Everything I’ve made from this book has been amazing! You’ll need an ice cream maker for this. If you don’t have one, well, you need to go to the store and buy one. Seriously. This sherbet is so worth it.

The major ingredient is orange juice, of course, but not just any old orange juice. You need to find unpasteurized, fresh-squeezed orange juice. The book says that pasteurized OJ will not taste as fresh and don’t, under any circumstances, use from concentrate. That won’t taste good at all. Unpasteurized OJ is out there; you just have to look.

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Oh, and there’s liquor in there. Just 2 teaspoons so it’s not like it’s drunk sherbet or anything. Haha! I used Triple Sec because it’s orange flavored and it seemed like the right choice. And I think it was! The final product was perfect – light, orangy without being overwhelming, and delicious. Better than anything you can get out of your grocer’s freezer, that’s for sure! Om nom nom!

Sherbet – love or not?
What’s your favorite flavor?

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Fresh Orange Sherbet
makes about 1 quart

1 tablespoon grated zest from 1 to 2 oranges
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups orange juice, preferably unpasteurized fresh-squeezed
3 tablespoons juice from 1 or 2 lemons
2 teaspoons Triple Sec or vodka
2/3 cup heavy cream

1. Process the zest, sugar, and salt in a food processor until damp, ten to fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the orange juice and lemon juice in a slow, steady stream; continue to process until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 1 minute. Strain the mixture through a nonreactive fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl; stir in the Triple Sec or vodka, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer until very cold, about 40 degrees, 30 to 60 minutes. (Alternatively, set the bowl over a larger bowl containing ice water.) Do not let the mixture freeze.

2. When the mixture is cold, using a whisk, whip the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Whisking constantly, add the juice mixture in a steady stream, pouring against the edge of the bowl. Immediately start the ice cream machine and add the juice-cream mixture to the canister; churn until the sherbet has the texture of soft-serve ice cream, 25 to 30 minutes.

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3. Remove the canister from the machine and transfer the sherbet to a storage container; press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the sherbet and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours. (The sherbet can be wrapped well in plastic wrap and frozen for up to one week.) To serve, let the sherbet stand at room temperature until slightly softened and in instant-read thermometer inserted into the sherbet registers 12 to 15 degrees.

– jennifer