Monthly Archives: October 2015

Oh the power of food

happy Friday my friends! I hope everyone is gearing up for this Halloween weekend! Gabi was only 16 weeks last year so we really didn’t do much but this year she has a quasi costume and we’ll walk our little neighborhood of 10 houses for some candy and then call it a day. The husband and I have a symphony date night at the new Lufthansa hangar and big papa (aka as my father) will have babysitting duties. But more on that later. I promise! 

Gabi has been fighting a cold this week so her sleep over the last few days have ranged from freaking awesome to Seriously. Go. To. Sleep. Last night was not a good one as she insisted in 1. Being cuddled in our bed (the husband is on nights do it was just her and me) and 2. Staying wide ass awake from 1am to 2.30am. So I got lots of facebook article reading done. And one of those was this fascinating article from the NY Times about this amazing lady who has been chronicling food, recipes, kitchen tools…anything from the medieval times to now. Mind you, this is still a work in progress and not very accessible to the masses (I don’t think) but it just sounds amazing! 

Basically the premise is to show why certain foods/recipes were created at that particular moment in history and what it says about that time. Which got me to wondering (and we can so piggy back this to the ‘ I wonder Wednesday’ that I missed) how so right on this brilliant woman is because food is such a huge part of our everyday lives. There’s a reason why we cook what we cook and why we don’t. And to chronicle it over a multitude of centuries, I think, sheds light on how we’ve evolved (or in some instances devolved. Is that a word?)

 

homemade pizza with buffalo mozzarela, fontina, proscuitto, oven roasted tomatoes, and green peppers

 
I know food is a huge part of my life and I’d like to think that certain dishes tell a story of where I came from, how I started, and where I want to go. I remember arroz con pollo and scrambled eggs with tuna growing up in my parents house; one of the best steaks I’ve ever had at a midnight dinner in St. Louis; pot luck dinners with my amazing friends in St. Louis and Phoenix; amazing steamed clams in Key West when the husband and I went for our honeymoon; fresh caught spiny lobsters from the depths of Puerto Rico grilled to perfection. These experiences are marked just as importantly as to WHAT we ate as to WHO we at them with and WHERE we ate them. 

 

our lil Linger Longer in the big blue waters of the Keys


 

spiny lobster. you’re not a cook until you’ve dispatched one, or a few of these. im just sayin. 😉

  
Food united people. Food is that universal language. Food feeds the soul. 

 

steamed clams with butter and bacon and raw oysters on the half shell. finally they’ve come to Puerto Rico!

 
So I’ll be back focusing on food and the joy it brings to our little world. 

  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Race weekend recap 

wow! Try saying that fast! There’s a torrential downpour happening right now and I’m hanging in our living room (the hammock spot is currently getting soaked) enjoying the most amazing breeze I’ve felt in a long long time. It’s almost on the verge of a chilly breeze, which never happens on this beautiful island. I figure it’s a perfect time to catch you all up on my past race weekend (about 2 weeks ago) EEECK! Guess better late than sorry, eh?

The weekend of October 9-12 I participated in the Mujer Brava event. It was a three day event that consisted of one activity per day: swim, bike, and run, respectively. This is perfect for someone who may want to try out the triathlon events but maybe hasn’t quite worked up to doing all three at the same race or someone who would just want to do one or two events. I used to triathlons back in my formative years (read: before motherhood) and while I’m eager to get back to it, I knew that there’s no way I could do the swim portion. It was almost 1 Mile long and the longest I’ve ever done was 3/4 of a mile, with training. So I opted for the bike and the run. Hers a bit of flashback from past races. 

   

yea, thats me over there in the orange cap 🙂


   
I unfortunately had a bad bad start to the bike: the night before I had a flat. After much patching it looked like things were looking up. No such luck. We were able to find a mechanic at the starting area who changed the tube and we kept out fingers crossed all was to go well. Again, no such luck. Around mile 7 of 25 I had another flat. Turns out I had a staple in my TIRE that was repeatedly puncturing my tube. After all that was taken care of, all was good. 

This bike event was probably one of the best moments I’ve experienced. There must’ve been over 300 women participating in the 4 different distances: 25, 45, 60, 80 miles. Each group went off at different times and then we all rendezvoused to bike the last 5 miles in together in a giant peloton. I got chills looking around me and seeing all these women together in our shirts taking over the streets of Old San Juan. There were people cheering for us on the sidewalks and outside on balconies and patios. The views alone of the city were breathtaking and then the comraderie was excellent. 

   

future mujer brava

    
 
Then the run on Monday. I originally planned on the 10k but I just wasn’t feeling it so I opted for the 5k. I wanted to have fun and I knew trying for the 10 I’d hate it so I was pretty ok missing that goal. And it was one of the best runs I’ve done! The route took us along the waterfront of Old San Juan and we even took in the sunrise. How magical it was to see the whole waterfront light up with an amazing display of golden colors. It was breathtaking. 

 

pre-race smiles

  

post race smiles and a medal!

 
Being it was the first year that they added the run they didn’t do placing a for each group but if they had, I would’ve placed 3rd! Yea! But I of course had to take advantage of the 1st place podium pic! 

Overall the two days were amazing, despite a few setbacks. It’s all a learning experience and I can’t wait till next year when I’ll do all three events. I think the biggest thing for me was that this was my first ‘race’ since moving to PR. And I’ve missed it. So I’m going to try extra hard to find more local races to participate in. Not only do I feel good because I am helping out good causes and charities but I also get a sense of achievement that you don’t get with just practice runs or bikes. I really do miss it. 

So on November 8 I have my half marathon and I’m sorry to report that I seem to have a strained hip flexor so the half is up in the air. I’ll be resting a few days and stretching and we’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed the pain will subside and I’ll be staring down 13.1 miles in 13 days! 

Sorry for the photo blast but I like to document. 

Have a great day and here’s a few more 😉

 

yep, goes waaaay back there

  

she could live in the water

  

mi familia there to support me

 

I wonder wednesday…

Hey gang! Sorry for being MIA the last couple of weeks. Motivation level was low and tiredness was high. I think we are just getting into a routine with the husband working nights, especially with my father back from Georgia. But my anxiety has been running high (hence no sleep) because we’re moving baby/big girl Gabriela into her own room this week. It only took 15.5 months! But more on that later this week AND I’ll be doing a recap of my two day Mujer Brava race from the other weekend. Lots to catch up on. But first….

I wonder Wednesday: Celebrities. 

This whole wondering occurred the other night at around 2am, laying in bed, wide ass awake, and thinking about a dream I just had about  Geoffrey Zakarian, celebrity chef (and who, I have to admit, I think is quite sexy in a weird kinda way. Could it be the silver hair; the glasses; his authority he exudes when cooking;his dapper wardrobe…who knows…but still sexy.) Oh- back to the dream! From what I can put together I was in his school and I failed miserably at something and he was so sweet about it. Subconscious kicking in? Perhaps. 😉

So it got me to wondering: how do people, let’s just use chefs for this example, become CELEBRITIES? I know with the age of technology, television, blogging/vlogging, youtube, Instagram, etc etc there’s a lot of people out there showcasing their talents. And believe me, I’d be in utter awe if I met GZ, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay, ~swoon~ Tyler Florence…but in the grand scheme of things, these folks are just cooks/chefs. How did they get so big and grandiose?

I guess it just goes to show you that a star can be born at anytime. So keep on cooking, crafting, singing, acting, getting yourself out there because you never know when someone might be wondering and in awe of your stardom!

And a HUGE thank you for those still following me and for our NEW followers! Welcome and I hope you enjoy! 

chillin. star in the making.

I wonder Wednesday 

Pancackes. 

Fluffy little circles of yummy goodness bathed in melting butter and sweet maple syrup that makes lazy Sunday breakfast’s perfect. Sigh….

Unless you’re me and you can’t bloody make pretty pancakes. Which probably explains why I don’t make them. Ever. I really never thought about it until the other day I saw a post on Instagram that pretty much echoed my disdain for those little orbits. To make, not to eat, mind you. 

Don’t get me wrong. I CAN make them but they’re usually more dense than light and airy and a perfect circle? I’m lucky if there aren’t any angles. And then flipping them? C’mon! Trying to figure out when it’s the right time to flip? So many factors!! And then add-ins? I don’t think so. 

So I wonder…how is it that I can do so much in the kitchen but I utterly fail at simple pancakes! I think it’s rather comical really. Maybe I’ll start practicing. 

How about you guys…is there anything that you just can’t get the hang of? 

Happy Wednesday! 

  

Juggling 

I can now see how actual juggling is so difficult: the concentration, coordination, and multitasking is utterly mind blowing and I’ve again encountered a less than stellar juggling act the past week.  

The husband was back last week from his trip but my father was still gone so juggling the house, gabriela (who I think is getting 4 more teeth), dinner, errands, and training was left to me. This isn’t a woe is me moment– I’m actually recalling loving this time right now. Not every moment, but a lot of them. 

I’m loving the quiet time I get when Gabi (miraculously) decides to take a nap in her crib (yes, I’m that mother who would cuddle her while she naps until she’s 18. I’m working on it). It’s just me in the house and it’s blissful. (Sorry dad, I love having you around but being alone ROCKS!). I’m able to just sit. And that’s all. Before I was always doing something: meal planning, cleaning, etc etc. but last week I just vegged a few times. Priceless. 

But it was still rough for a hours/days. Sometimes naps weren’t had at all and that sassy little chica ruled the roost. On those days, dinner was had out. And I’ve got a lovely husband who’ll be happy to dine out anytime. Thank you, husband. 

 

Gorgeous view overlooking Jobos Beach

  

Grilled shrimp with mango pico de gallo at La Vista Smokehouse


Overall it was a great week and we even took a drive out west to check out a new restaurant and the sunset. Unfortunately it was overcast and it actually rained – a lot – but being up in the mountain region was very refreshing. It’s amazing how green things are up there. What’s even MORE amazing is that we can get this different terrain/scenery by only driving 45 mins away from our house in any four directions. Puerto Rico surely is amazing! 

 

Casa Linda Restaurant overlooking the Anasco/Aguada valley. Rincon beachline in the background.

  

daddy- daughter giggles as the rain comes down.


So that pretty summed up our week. This week found my husband working nights for the next two months (ugh) but at least my father will be back on Saturday and the husband and Gabi get to spend a lot of quality time together during the day. Which has allowed me to make homemade chicken stock, which i doctored up by adding fresh herbs, carrots, and celery. But the way the recipe as written really does churn out a lovely stock. And I’ll be doing chicken pot pies for tonight, along with little mini ones to freeze for Gabriela. I haven’t found a recipe yet so I just might wing it. I’ll update you. 

 

chicken stock stash heading to the freezer.


So far the week has been pretty good. This weekend we’re off to San Juan for three days for the races so that’ll be a nice staycation ! 
Happy Tuesday, friends! And welcome to the new followers and thank you all for the likes!

 

my girl and me ❤️

 
 

 
 
 

I wonder wednesday…

I wonder…

…why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?

Yea yea, pretty lame. But I can’t for the life of me think of anything I’m really wondering about. Maybe I should wonder about that! 

So anyway, on to other things (don’t worry, I’ll be sure to be wondering for next week!)…

Oh! The pizza! In case you missed my last post, I was doing homemade pizza using the pizza dough recipe from Tuscan Gun. This is the second time I’ve used the recipe and the initial attempt delivered a really great, crispy yet chewy crust. So I figured I’d give it another shot. 

Not sure what happened this time around but the dough ended up being a bit dry while it was mixing. I really think I should have added some more water but I didn’t want to alter the recipe. I wonder if cooking in a non air conditioned kitchen with 80%+ humidity had anything to do with it? I’ve read that heat and humidity can wreak havoc on baking and this is sorta baking so maybe?? If anyone knows please offer up some advice. 

I was worried that the dough would be too dry/thick that it wouldn’t proof/rise. I was wrong! That sucker plumped up like a champ! 

 

pre-proof

  

after two hours! score!

 

The next step is punching it down and letting it proof for one more hour. This is not a quick pizza crust so make sure you give yourself time to let it rise. 

And, of course, that’s where the pics ended. Ggrrr! What else goes on the pizza? Great question! I use buffalo mozzarella, the roasted tomatoes, grated fontina cheese, and vey thin proscuito de Parma. In Dothan, I would have also added figs but I cannot find them here. 

Overall, it turned out pretty tasty. The crust was a little suspect and I think it was because of it being a bit dry. It came out pretty thin and ended up being cracker crispy. Not too bad though.  

I’ll be giving it a whirl again in the next few weeks as I have the leftover dough in the freezer. How nice is it to go into the freezer and pull out some fresh dough. This is why I love to cook! At anytime I can go in to my freezer stash and pull something out that I know is fresh and healthy. Speaking of fresh and healthy, here’s the bolognese I made last week for our dinners as well as single servings for gabriela. Gotta love snack sized ziplocs!

   

  

  

 
Gotta end with a Gabriela pic!

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