Confessions, Shopping Mishaps and Chili-Cheese Mac

So, I have a confession. I have been doing something really flipping stupid less than smart. I’ve been running and crossfitting through an injury. Not my ribs. Yes, I have another owie.


I’m not sure how it happened but I did something to my left leg. It’s been at least 3 weeks now. Okay, maybe 3 1/2. I either strained my sartorius muscle or my hip flexor. I’m limpy and my leg is weak and often requires physical assistance in moving (meaning I have to physically pick my leg up and move it – like when I’m trying to get out of the car.)

Yes, it hurts when I run….at least when I start and then it feels fine until I stop. Explain that! Seems to me that I have 2 choices – I can either never stop running or I can rest it so I’m not forced to stop for longer than necessary.


The good news is that skipping CrossFit yesterday and not running this morning (sadness) have been the right thing to do. My leg is starting to feel better and I don’t have to pick it up to move it. Now, I just have to wait it out and not come back too soon.


How do you handle being limited by an injury?


So, on Mother’s Day, my sailor and thing 1 (soon to be a sailor, too!) covered the grocery shopping for me. Sweet gift, right? Yep, until I realized that I ended up with 3 pounds of ground sirloin instead of 3 pounds of top sirloin.


Clearly, I’ll be doing the shopping from now on. A devious plan to ensure that I do? Perhaps, but, that’s okay. I’ve got it covered, thankyouverymuch! I happen to have that big book o’ recipes with loads of ideas in it. We’ve done tacos and then I found this recipe for Chili-Cheese Mac. Healthy, light, tasty AND kid-friendly comfort food. In the middle of the week, no less! What a delicious screw-up. Om nom nom! Now, I just have 3/4 pound left …. what to make, what to make?

What’s your favorite way to use up ground sirloin?


Chili-Cheese Mac
Serves 6

1 teaspoon canola oil
3/4 pound ground round
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 cup water
1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup fat-free milk
4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
4 1/2 ounces finely shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add beef and next four ingredients; cook 3 minutes. Add broth, water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni; cover and cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.

2. Heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar. Add cheese sauce to macaroni mixture; toss well to coat.


Per serving:
Calories 342; Fat 12.3g (saturated 6g, polyunsaturated 1.1g, monounsaturated 3.7g); Protein 25.7g; Carbs 32.7g; Fiber 1.8g; Sodium 652mg; Cholesterol 60mg

Recipe from Cooking Light, February 2012

– jennifer

Apple, Bacon, and Cheddar Mac ‘n Cheese

So, I get up early every day. Well, except Sunday – I sleep in on Sundays. And by “sleep in,” I mean I sleep until 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. Hey, I get up at 3:45 Monday through Friday to either run or go to the gym! Sleeping until 6:30 feels like a luxury after all those early mornings!

Well, this morning, it was tough to roll out if bed well before the sun was going to make an appearance. But, I did because I was meeting a workout buddy at the gym. She was counting on me to show and I wasn’t going to be THAT GIRL who cancels at the last minute just because I was feeling lazy.  So, up I got and to the gym I went. Glad I did, too, because we had a helluva good workout. Here’s what we did:

Warm-up: alternated each set between these exercises – squats holding one 20# dumbbell between legs & high knees (just like it sounds) for 2 sets, 20 reps each.

Then, we moved onto the meat of the workout and did this:

10 reps X 5 sets of
* sumo squat high pull with 45# bar
* pushups
* box jumps
* dumbbell swings (30#)
* butterfly situps

And, on to the treadmill for some good, old-fashioned treading. Treading is where you move the treadmill belt with your body weight – the machine is not on. We did 45 seconds of treading, 15 seconds of rest for 15 rounds. Whew! What a workout! Then, we walked it out and stretched and called it done. Great morning!

Of course, after a workout like that, I’m pretty much starving all day. I always pack plenty of food but I look forward to going home and having dinner with the fam. Now, I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but mine has been rainy for the past three days and a cold front is moving in. What does that mean? Comfort food! So, when I saw this recipe for mac ‘n cheese that includes bacon, I knew it had to be made. Mac ‘n cheese – the ultimate in comfort food. Throw in some bacon and apples, and you’ve likely achieved the ultimate in comfort. Enjoy! 🙂

Apple-Bacon-Cheddar Mac ‘n Cheese
Serves 4 (football players)

6 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced and cut crosswise, rinsed well and drained
3/4 lb elbow macaroni
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk, at room temperature
8 oz sharp white cheddar, coarsely shredded (about 2 cups)
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp fat, add the apples and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Place the leeks in a colander in the sink. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes; drain in the colander with the leeks to soften them.

3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, cook until smooth and thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 1/2 cups cheese and a generous sprinkling of pepper; whisk until smooth.

4. In a bowl, add the pasta and leeks, the sauce, apples, and parsley; toss well. Reserve 1/4 cup of bacon. Add remaining bacon to the pasta; toss. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Divide pasta among 4 16-oz baking dishes, or one large dish, top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved bacon and serve hot.