Monday, March 23, 2009

Adventures in Slow Cooking in a Dutch Oven

I finally gave in and purchased a nice Dutch Oven! I wasn't able to use it until yesterday since I've been working doubles literally all week and the time was seriously not available. I'd been looking forward all week to Sunday and cooking because I had decided to give my first try at braising and make carnitas! I bought a 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast and, after seasoning it with salt and pepper, browned all sides in a large heavy skillet then removed it from the pan. (When I was turning the roast with my tongs, I lost my grip with the following results happening...)

Yes, yes. Who gets to take home the award of dumbass of the day??? This girl! Nothing like grease burns to kick off the cooking right! ;)

After I took the roast out of the pan, I added onions (1 yellow, chopped) and some garlic (2 cloves minced) and sauteed them. I then used one bottle of Dos Equis lager to deglaze the pan, get up all the lovely browned pits, and reduce the liquid. I put the roast in my dutch oven, poured over it the beer mixture, and added some orange and lime zest. Finally, I finished it off with about a tablespoon of oregano, covered and cooked in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours (until it was tender).

Here's the roast with all the aromatics on it prior to putting it in the oven...

While waiting for the food to cook, I whipped up some guacamole as an appetizer for Adam and I, which we enjoyed with some Dos Equis!

I also made some Pico de Gallo and, when the roast was almost ready, warmed up some corn tortillas in a skillet. Here are some finished pics of our Carnitas...

The verdict from Adam: Huge success! Score!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More Sharing

Back in January, bf extraordinaire and I ran a 5K and won some "hardware" for getting 2nd and 3rd AG, respectively. Well, the hardware finally made an appearance...

It started blooming a couple of days before moving to the new pad, which is evident by the background in the pic.

The next pics are of Copper in the kennel as I was driving them up to the house. She is such a goofy dog and I love it...

The weather here has been a bit blah and rainy lately and I've been craving warm breakfasts. Obviously a staple is oatmeal and I had a couple of friends ask how can I make mine without butter and brown sugar and still make it taste yummy. This is how I fix up my oatmeal...

and the last ingredient...

Seriously don't miss any sugar or butter with this one!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Major Slacker

Pitiful, I know. I haven't blogged in forever. To catch up on things...

The past few weeks have been nuts-o. Work has seriously picked up because this is the time of the year when my special ed. students have to have their annual meetings (IEPs) which means lots 'o paperwork. Yippee! I had planned for this but what I hadn't planned for was having to move during the same time. Yuck! I have been renting out my townhome for the past couple of years and my tenants decided to move out early. Two weeks and I have gone from downtown living to the 'burbs. Not a bad thing, though. I had originally planned to put the place on the market next spring prior to moving to Colorado and moving back in will make the process much easier.
Also going on was my sister's bachelorette party. My sister is amazing but she and I are the sun and the moon. As the maid-of-honor, I was supposed to be in charge of planning the party. I thought it would be great to rent a cabin and do a low-key weekend. Maybe some hiking, biking, etc. Ummm... no-go. My girly-girl sister (and I mean that in a loving way!) decided she wanted to do it up in Miami! Here's a group pic of all the ladies from the weekend...

These girls could party like a rock star and with Miami's clubs staying open 'til the crack of stupid, I was done. I definitely could not hang with this crowd. Great group, though.

All this crap really affected my workouts and I realized, bottom-line, I allowed it to affect my workouts. On my Beginner Triathlete website, I wrote a blurb addressing this. The short version is basically this: I like to reflect and see how I can improve at living life The realization hit that I need to do a much better job at balancing things in my life. I've allowed work and other things to take a front seat when a front runner should always be my health. So now I'm working on that. That's it in a nutshell.

The workout front has been poo with a couple of issues persisting: IT band causing some serious side knee pains and lower side stitches killing my runs. Today was my first day in weeks where neither issue flared up. I really do love running and it was so awesome to have a run sans hurting.

Anywho, it's stupid late and I need to go to bed. I have some new grub to try out and I hope to post some pics over the next week or two. Yell at me if I don't...

Good karma to all,