Experimenting in the Kitchen

Friday!

I celebrated my last week day of spring break by sleeping in and watching the Today Show with coffee and peanut butter-banana-pumpkin-power oats before heading outside for a run.  I went a sloww 7.5 miles on sore legs from yesterday’s lunges and squats.  My shins hurt for the first few miles of the run, but they started to feel better around mile 4.  Since I discovered my weak upper left hamstring muscle on Monday, I’m really thinking that my shin problem has to do with the hamstring, so hopefully the shin cramping will go away as I strengthen my hamstring.

Check out this mini birds’ nest in my font lawn.  I think it fell out of the tree branches above it.  If you look closely, you can see a spider in the nest!

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I spent the rest of my afternoon clothing shopping (I found some great shirt deals!), grocery shopping, and cooking.  I really branched out with my cooking–If I feel like getting crazy in the kitchen, it’s usually a variation of pasta or chicken and almost always involves a crock pot.  This time, I made meatballs, German potato salad, and bread!

  • Meatballs: I experimented with this recipe.  1 lb lean ground beef + 1 lb ground chicken + grated onion + 1/2 c breadcrumbs + 2 eggs.  The mix seemed a little too mushy, so I added in some oats (oats fix everything, right?).  I rolled them into balls and baked them on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350.  Then I plopped them into a crock pot with 2 bottles of Heinz Chili Sauce and a jar of grape jelly.
  • German Potato Salad: German potato salad is not mayonnaise based, which means it is awesome.  Neither my dad nor I will come within 5 feet of white and creamy food (mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream, alfredo, cottage cheese), so any other potato salad is down for the count.  I followed this recipe.
  • Irish Soda Bread: I followed this recipe and added Craisins and chopped walnuts. I was a little nervous about it because the recipe directly states “the dough should be soft, but not wet or sticky.”  Mine was sticky.  Like sticky sticky, stuck-to-every-part-of-my-hand sticky.  I blame it on the missing buttermilk–the recipe calls for 2 cups of  buttermilk (which we didn’t have), so I googled “buttermilk substitute” and found that you can mix milk and lemon juice instead (which we did have).  It turned out okay, but I don’t think it will be a repeat creation.

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The spread.  [Not pictured are the five or so extra chunks of bread that never made it to my plate.]

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Close up on the bread.

I consider this bread as an early St. Patrick’s day celebration.  It’s Irish!

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