Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Finds: 7/28/13

Breakfast:

Homemade Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Finally - a copycat recipe for these biscuits that doesn't use Bisquick! These look really simple, and more importantly, really delicious. I love that they are drop biscuits, which not only makes them super easy to make/form, but doesn't waste any scraps from rolling. 

Lunch:

Creamy Zucchini and Rice Soup
While most won't think of humid July as hot soup weather, this soup is a great way to use up all of that zucchini you're getting from the farmers market. Use homemade stock, and whatever rice you have on hand.

Snacks:

Chewy Granola Bars
These granola bars promise to not fall apart, or become crumbly! They are perfectly chewy, and get their chewiness from nut butter and corn syrup. You can use the nut butter of your choice, as well as choose your favorite dried fruit and chopped nuts. I have to give these a try!

Roasted Blueberry and Brie Cornbread Muffin
These muffins sound really unique. You first roast the blueberries, then mix everything together. Everything includes the roasted blueberries, brie cheese, buttermilk and cornmeal.

Dinner:

Polenta Steaks with Multi-Colored Peppers, Red Onions and Smoked Mozzarella
This sounds like a delicious vegetarian main dish. Polenta is cooked, chilled in a pan, cut into squares and then fried - to give it a crispy exterior and creamy interior. It is topped with a colorful salsa of peppers, onions and mozzarella. I probably wouldn't use quite as much oil when frying, but this sounds really good. It's a great make-ahead dish since the polenta can be cooked in advance.

Creamy Cheddar Polenta with Pesto and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
This is the style of polenta that I'm more accustomed to making. This one sounds incredible - it is super creamy due to whole milk and lots of cheese. I'm sure it would be delicious on its own, but then it is topped with summer's best - pesto and tomatoes.

Lemon Goat Cheese Ravioli
Homemade lemon infused pasta dough is wrapped around a light goat cheese filling, and then simply topped with crushed pink peppercorns, tarragon, and more lemon. This sounds very elegant and delicious.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart
The crust in this tart uses cream cheese, and promises to roll out easily, and bake with flaky layers. The filling combines both goat cheese and ricotta cheese with asparagus. It looks beautiful, especially with the lattice strips across the crust. 

Sides:

Creamy Herby Summer Salad Dressing
This simple and relatively healthy dressing uses Greek yogurt as a base, sweetens with maple syrup (I'm sure honey could also be used), and is flavored with a number of dried and fresh herbs. I would definitely use parsley as the substitute, since I can't stand cilantro!

Burrata with White Wine and Garlic Sauteed Tomatoes
Everyone is all about burrata these days. Apparently it isn't cool enough to use just regular fresh mozzarella, you need to use one that is filled with cream. When I was checking out restaurant menus for restaurant week at the beginning of the month, about half of them had an appetizer with burrata. Anyway, this looks like a new way to use it besides just replacing mozzarella in caprese salad. It sounds delicious, and I want to make it!

Dessert:

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
A basic vanilla ice cream (made with egg yolks, whole milk, heavy cream, and vanilla) with a ton of peanut butter cups thrown in. I love the peanut butter cups that were used - the little minis from Trader Joe's. If I buy them they will be gone in about 3 days. It's kind of gross... Anyway, this ice cream sounds delicious. I think it could be really yummy with a peanut butter ice cream base as well.

Spiced Rum Banana Ice Cream
While this isn't exactly a recipe bursting with summer fresh produce, it sounds like a delicious way to cool off on a hot day. The bananas are blended until very smooth, and added to a typical ice cream base of cream, egg yolks and sugar. The spiced rum should add an interesting flavor, as well as help prevent ice crystals from forming.

Peach and Ginger Crisp Pie
It's the best of both worlds - crisp AND pie! Honestly, pies with crisp toppings are the easiest to make since they only use one crust, and they still look pretty on top. This one is even better due to the addition of ginger, one of my favorite flavors.

Biscoff Gooey Butter Cake
I think I need a new category for this one. It goes beyond the basic dessert category, into the "I want to stuff my face with this, but then I will weigh 5000 pounds" category. I fondly remember butter cake from my time at WashU in St. Louis, and I wonder if this is a similar style. However, if you fill something with biscoff, I really don't care what it's called! (This also was problematic in pinning - I put it on my cake board but somehow that felt wrong.) 

Flourless Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookies
I actually pinned these a while ago, since the post is from 2011, but the recipe just resurfaced. I've made similar recipes, but these just look so beautiful. They look like a cross between a brownie and a meringue. They're also flourless, which means they're gluten free (if the rest of your ingredients are uncontaminated) and okay for Passover!

Drinks:

Peach Jalapeno Margaritas
I'm definitely using my serrano pepper simple syrup for these! I love frozen margaritas, especially flavored ones. This sounds delicious.

Fitness:


Ball Planks with Leg Lifts
This workout tones three parts of your body - your arms, your core, and your glutes. All you need is a stability ball to get started!

Tips for working out in hot weather

Plank Circuit Workout This looks like a really great workout! It takes the basic plank (which is hard on its own!) and adds some simple moves to make it a more dynamic exercise. You'll target your core, as well as other parts of your body, plus get your heart rate up.

Stability Ball Workout
 These six exercises all utilize the stability ball to target most major muscle groups.

Shin Splint Recovery Here are some ways to strengthen your shin muscles, to help prevent shin splints. 

Running:

30 Minute Treadmill Interval Workout That's right, another 30 minute interval running workout! This one is a more speedy version of the ones I've been doing, which means I can do it once I've gotten back into running a bit more. During this workout you do exactly 3 miles, at an average pace of 10 min/mile.

Food for Thought:

Article: Is Organic Agriculture "Affluent Narcissism?" Really interesting article that explains what it really means to be considered "organic," and why this designation doesn't mean what most consumers think it means.

Girlfriend vs Cat Pretty funny comparison of an annoying girlfriend and a cat.

Favorite Fashion Staples:

Everyday 5" Khaki Shorts 
While something from Old Navy is definitely not considered "fashion," these are my favorite shorts. I first bought them two years ago in a light khaki green color, and loved the soft fabric, the way they fit, the durability (I'm still wearing them), and the length. I like wearing shorts, but my legs aren't teeny tiny. That means I can't get away with teeny tiny shorts. The 5" shorts are the perfect length to make sure your butt isn't hanging out, while still feeling like you're wearing something youthful. Last summer I bought them in a fun sunny yellow, and this summer I've bought them (so far) in light purple (lighter than the shade pictured) and white. Best part, I just bought the white pair for $12.50, so they're super cheap!

Favorite Workout Gear:

3" Mesh Running Shorts 
Big surprise - another find from Old Navy! For me, they're the best place to find something that is cute, cheap, and will probably need to be replaced in a couple years anyway. I have two pairs of these shorts - the teal ones shown, and the white with orange trim. I bought the white ones first, and loved that the orange trim matches one of my shirts perfectly, but found out the hard way that they become kind of see-through when sweaty. Whoops - guess I can't wear hot pink underwear with them anymore! I shouldn't have that problem with the teal ones. 

Racer Back Cotton Sports Bra 
I'm picky about sports bras. I want something that will support me without binding everything down. I really like this sports bra - I have it in two colors. It's really cheap at Target, and they have a lot of colors to choose from. 

Compression Bike Shorts 
Sometimes I want the freedom of movement that you can get from capri compression pants, without all of the extra fabric. These shorts are perfect for that. They're long enough that I'm not self conscious, but are much better for the summer time. They would also be perfect to wear under a bigger pair of shorts, for more coverage.