Thoughts on Fitness from a Lazy A**

One of my very bestest of the best friends is getting married in October and I am one of her bridesmaids. In my ongoing quest to be as supportive and helpful as I can be during this stressful wedding planning time, I agreed to do something called the “Dirty Girl Mud Run” with her in August. It’s a 5K obstacle course run and you get really dirty and muddy and hopefully have a good time all in the name of breast cancer research and funding and support and stuff. But here’s the thing: I suck at exercise. I always have.

When I was in elementary school I was in dance like all the other girls my age but I hated it utterly and completely. I was kind of uncoordinated but also very enthusiastic which proved to be a disastrous mix not only for the general uniformity of the class during a recital but also for my popularity. Dance class was where I learned that my name rhymes with nothing good. The name game sucks people. So one day my dad is getting me ready to go to class and helping me get into my tights and I am just sobbing and this huge wad of disgusting child snot falls onto my dad’s hand and he just looks at me and says “You really don’t want to go this much?” Thankfully he let me quit that shitshow.

Fast forward to the 7th grade where it’s kind of expected that I will join a sport or something since I’m now eligible to do so. I tried volleyball, basketball, golf, and cross-country skiing(what!? and why?) over the course of the next 3 years but I seriously sucked at all of it. Truthfully my friend Shannon and I spent most of golf practice every afternoon hiding in the clubhouse and eating the pre-packaged muffins they sold there. That’s the problem with me, not only am I not good at physical activity, I just don’t care about it. I don’t get sports. You couldn’t pay me to care who wins what game or trophy or whatever. The genes are missing for it I guess. I think they were replaced by the genes that care about who dies and who kisses who in what TV show or movie or book….I don’t know.

But anyway, exercise and I have never been friends. So you’d think I probably weigh about a million pounds right? Well I don’t, but neither am I what anyone would call slim. I’ve always thought of myself as pretty “normal-sized” whatever that means. but if you’ve read my blog before you know that this place is mostly about foods. Delicious foods that may or may not be healthy. Cooking, baking, and food are sort of my thing. So gradually over the last few years I’ve realized that if I want that to be my thing (and I do, I SOOOOO do), I’m going to have to start doing some kind of exercising because I think I might be edging out of normal and moving slowly towards the larger end of the spectrum. Stupid metabolism and aging. I’ve been pretty lucky until now but I think the old girl is slowing down, gradually being impeded by huge chunks of pie and cookies. I’m a big proponent of tough love. I usually always advise it when someone asks for my advice and I’m quick to offer it when I think it’s really needed but I realized as I was huffing up the relatively small hill near my house this morning on my first day of the Couch to 5K program that I don’t really practice the whole tough love thing on myself very often. So I guess I’m saying I need to put up or shut up. Shit or get off the pot. That kind of thing. I can’t whine about my pants being tight if I’m not actively doing anything to change it. Since I exercised today I fully reserve the right to whine about it later though, k?

I read about this whole Couch to 5K thing on Bake at 350 the other day and she made it seem pretty doable so I downloaded it this morning and after about 2 hours of lollygagging and being a lazy POS I got outside and did it. And guess what, I didn’t die. Hopefully I stick with it. It would be cool to say that I can run 5K, wouldn’t it? I mean I’m sure I’m probably still going to look like this towards the middle of the Dirty Girl thing, but I’m okay with that.

And Pogo or my mom or Shannon will have to carry me like this at the end:

But we’ll have fun, won’t we girls? Bwhahahahaha! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make some Hungarian Shortbread. Baby steps, friends. Baby steps.

French Fridays with Dorie – Boeuf Printanier

This is the recipe I was MOST excited about for the month of April, which if you’re just tuning in was filled with sardines and coconut and asparagus (two of which I surprisingly really enjoyed). I actually really love lamb. REALLY love it! I always feel a little guilty when I eat it, but it’s not enough to make me stop that’s for sure. My dad gave me a leg of lamb for Christmas which I foolishly wasted a few months ago before I joined the illustrious ranks of FFWD. Silly girl. So when faced with buying 3 lbs of lamb myself, I just couldn’t do it. Flippin’ $40 for just one ingredient for this stew. Sorry Charlie, not gonna happen. So I went the cheapy McCheapster route and used beef. I mean I went to the meat market and everything and had them cut up a roast for me so I feel like I got the nicest cheapy beef I could but yeah, I’m kinda hanging my head.

So things start out in one of the most promising ways a kitchen venture can – getting browned in a Dutch oven. I don’t know that I’ve ever made anything that wasn’t delicious in it. Seriously.

The main characters of this dish are all hanging together for your viewing pleasure. I felt like I wanted to give the Baraboo Meat Market props for the nice job they did with this beef but a pile of raw meat is not all that photo-friendly. I think the bag of cutie little mini onions in the back helps though. So after getting a nice brown crust on the meat, you throw it back into the pan with some flour and salt and pepper and bam! That’s a lot of meat right there!

After the addition of some broth and other things comes the long simmer and the “play with the veggies” time. I have never bought these little miniature boiler onions before, but I really liked them, if only for appearance –  I didn’t think they tasted any different really. I made a few changes in the veggies area too just subbing in some plain ol’ Russets for the red or Yukon potatoes called for in the recipe and then adding some extra carrots and an extra turnip. The recipe said medium-sized carrots and one medium-sized turnip but it seemed like all the veggies available to me were mini-sized this week. The carrots seriously looked like a wand straight out of Harry Potter they were so skinny and twiggy. I mean if anyone’s wand in Harry Potter was orange. The potato sub was really just because I had the Russets and I never seem to be able to get through a whole bag of potatoes before they get all eye-y. Also, I have never really gotten the appeal of Yukon Gold potatoes. I think it’s just that I was raised on the very dependable Russet and I’m a little averse to change. Sue me. The turnips were actually really pretty and I meant to take a picture of them but I only remembered when I was halfway through peeling the most gorgeous one. Whoops! Here’s the majority of the veggies chillaxing with some butter and sugar – YUM!

I was a little bit afraid we were going to have a French Onion Soup repeat and not be eating until like 9:30 PM but we got to the table at the very respectable time of 7:45 – kind of European, but not full-on. More like just really cool, trendy Americans. That’s what I’m going with. Check out this perfect bite! It has a little bit of everything:

Since I didn’t make the real recipe, I feel unqualified to give a real opinion. This was a very nice beef stew that I will definitely enjoy for lunch for the next few days but I am left wishing that lamb was a little more affordable so I could have made the real deal. It does look pretty though, doesn’t it?

I feel obliged to mention the bread we ate with dinner because it is SO GOOD! We each had a toasted slice of English Muffin Bread with our soup and good lord it’s delicious. I baked it yesterday at work to combat a pervading gluey smell from some remodeling upstairs and I would highly recommend it. I have eaten it with every meal for the last two days. Yeah, it’s that good. So next week we’re making flounder – again forcing me out of my comfort zone and into the unknown world of cooking fish. It should be interesting assuming I can find some flounder to get all up in here. Wish me luck!

Versatile Blogger Award

So I got nominated for this award by the lovely Amanda over at Auntie Treats! This was really surprising and I am so flattered by it! Thank you so much Amanda! I can’t even believe anyone at all even reads my little ol’ blog so this was really exciting. Since I started up this blog in January and joined Tuesdays with Dorie and French Fridays with Dorie I have been introduced to so many inspiring and fun blogs and people. I could probably spend all day on the computer and not get to all of them. Seriously.

So I guess the rules are these:

  1. Add the award to your blog
  2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you
  3. Mention 7 random things about yourself
  4. List the rules
  5. Award to 15 bloggers
  6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blogs or on Facebook

It is so hard to choose because there are so many blogs I LOVE, but here are my 15

1. The Little French Bakery

2. Crumbly Plum

3. Hon, Please Take Me to Paris

4. Lights on Bright No Brakes

5. One Expat’s Life

6. Emmy Cooks

7. Eat.Live.Travel.Write

8. Necessity is the Mother of Invention

9. Baker on the Rise

10. Thursdays with Granny

11. This Bountiful Backyard

12. The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler

13. Bean and Pie

14. Oven Chaos

15. Loaves & Stitches

I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your blogs and if I’ve never commented it’s because my computer/Wordpress account don’t like to play nice with others sometimes. I don’t really get it but sometimes I can get it to work and sometimes I can’t, it’s weird.

7 Random Things About Me – hmmmmm this is difficult but I’ll give it a go.

1. I have 2 miniature dachshunds who I love to death

So this handsome devil on the left is Theo and on the right we have the cute but very mischievous Dillon.

2. I have never been in a tanning bed. I was just talking to a relative this weekend about this fact which is why it’s at the forefront of my mind but I just don’t get tanning beds. It seems like a hot coffin. I don’t know why anyone would want to get in there.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is and forever will be my favorite show of all time. If you’ve never watched it, give it a try. You kind of just have to get through the first season but it really hits its stride at the end of season one and then it’s just pretty much non-stop gold all the way through. It’s the best, the end.

4. As a child (and still) I was a voracious reader to the point where I would hide a book on my lap and read during most of my classes at school. At the time I thought this was no big deal because I really didn’t care about math and the sciences but now as an adult I think it was a really dick move on my part. Teaching is hard work and I was one of those little shits who wasn’t paying attention. I’m taking this opportunity to deliver a big fat apology to all my teachers than I tuned out over the years. I’m sorry guys.

5. I have two nieces and one nephew (and another one on the way – sex to be determined!) and I love them to pieces. They are the cutest little kiddos and I’m so happy every time I get a chance to see them.

6. Probably as a direct result of #3, I am kind of a vampire junkie. I seem to really like them. I even started watching The Vampire Diaries on the CW just to prove to myself that I don’t like all vampire-y things but goddamn it all to hell if it isn’t a good show. I love it. We’re almost at the end of season 3 and I’m still watching. I guess that plan backfired.

7. Though I live in a very picturesque location with lots of natural wonder and splendor to behold (or so I’m told) I am just not outdoorsy. I never have been. I like a campfire sometimes, but then I want to go back to my house and sleep in my bed. Camping & hiking and the like are not for me. Sitting in my three season porch and reading with a cup of coffee while the wind gently blows the leaves in the trees outside is about as much as I like.

So there it is – the 7 Random Facts. I hope you still like me after reading them. And don’t worry the next post will have lots of food and lots less about me. Let’s get serious, we’re all here for the food, aren’t we? 🙂