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Showing posts from October, 2010

Lapsed Athlete

Today was my first workout in almost a week, and I was dreading it.  Last week, in the throes of a mysterious bout of exhaustion, I decided to forgo my Zumba class in favour of getting to bed really early and getting some sleep.  And sleep I did, for almost 24 hours, getting up only to use the bathroom, and eat a couple of bowls of soup.  And after a frantic Friday spent catching up on my backlog at work, I was grateful for the long Columbus Day weekend, most of which I spent in bed, in a near-comatose state.

You would think that I would have leaped from my bed this morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to take on the world.  But alas, my tail was not the least bit bushy, in fact, it was dragging.  It dragged all day, impervious to all the caffeine I consumed and all the internal motivational speeches I gave myself.  I forced myself to the gym tonight, and pounded out my hour on the treadmill, fighting all the way.

I'd like to thank my fellow gym-members for not calling …

Dinner : Ghost Pepper Chili

In a large, heavy pan over medium-high heat, soften a large chopped onion, some minced garlic and a chopped green pepper.  Add 2 pounds of ground meat (I used a mixture of beef and lamb), salt, a tablespoon of ground cumin, a tablespoon of paprika, 3 or 4 tablespoons of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of ghost pepper flakes.  Stir, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until the meat is browned.

Add an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, and the same amount of water and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender.  Then add 2 cups of butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch cubes, and a 29 oz. can of black beans (drained and rinsed), cover and simmer until the squash is cooked through.  If you find the chili becoming too dry and in danger of scorching during the simmering process, add some water  (or beer if you're feeling wild).  Serve over brown rice and top as desired with sour cream or Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar, sliced scallion, diced fresh tomato, etc.

Warning:
Ghost pepper is the hottest pe…

Dinner : Pork Chops with Whole Wheat Pasta and Broccoli

Cook some whole wheat pasta in boiling salted water, remove from heat and drain while still slightly undercooked.  While the pasta is cooking, season some thin-sliced pork chops with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Cook in a bit of olive oil, in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side.  Remove the pork chops and set aside.  Add fresh broccoli to the same pan and cook for about 5 minutes.  Then add the drained pasta and a 15oz. can of diced tomatoes and cook until the pasta and has reached the desired texture.  Serve the pasta mixture topped with the pork chops.

If you have any leftovers, this is great the next day as a pasta salad (dice the leftover pork chops and mix in with the pasta).  Tastes delicious hot or cold.

Some Like it Hot

It all started out as a rather ordinary Saturday afternoon, as my sweetie and I decided to take advantage of one of the long-standing seasonal events in our area, and made our way to the Chile Pepper Fiesta at the Brookyn Botanic Garden.  Knowing that the fiesta is usually very popular regardless of the weather, we decided to get an early start, in order to avoid the inevitable crowds.  This turned out to be a wise move, as we were greeted not only by an entrance free of lines snaking around the block, but also by the lovely Pepper Sisters (later christened Belle Pepper and Holly Peño by the loopy MC at the main music stage).


As far as sweetie was concerned, our first order of business was to secure some Brooklyn Chili and a good spot on the lawn, both of which were accomplished with minimal fuss, since the gardens were still fairly empty at this point.


We lay around on the lawn enjoying what turned out to be a wonderfully warm day, listening to all the great music and clearing our si…