Sunday, March 31, 2013

Project 365: Week 13

March 25 | I got locked in the parking garage at work, but it wasn't all bad - I got to see this view of Boulder.
March 26 | After getting Shelly's windshield fixed, Austin and I played with the Dingo in the "dog park."
March 27 | I'm really hoping that this is the last snowman of the season.
March 28 | It's on it's way out!!
March 29 | My boss gave me Good Friday off! - I spent it getting rid of old felt so good!
March 30 | Thanks to all the cleaning and organizing, we found our growler from Moab Brewery - we're definitely bringing this with us in 2 weeks so we can get a refill of my all-time favorite beer (Dead Horse Amber Ale).
March 31 - This was the best Easter surprise...ever!!!  
Those are celebratory looks after a very long, steep hill climb!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

This weekend I have plans to do some spring cleaning.  With the snowman in the neighbors yard finally melting away, it seems like a good idea.  I've never really done spring cleaning before.  Usually I leave my deep-cleaning to when I move in or out of a new apartment.  That's been happening about every year so it's worked out fine.
This year, I am feeling the need to purge some of my belongings though, and I don't think it can wait until we move out of this apartment.

Because I can't close any of my dresser drawers without working up a sweat, and because stuff falls out of the closet when I try to get the vacuum out, I feel like it's necessary.  It's daunting, but totally necessary.
At one point, I read something about burning as many calories cleaning as you do jogging on the treadmill.  Well, that's not true, but either way,  I know that when I vacuum I get hot.  Sometimes I get winded (probably because of all of the sugar/fat I eat), and I need snacks to keep me going.  So I choose to have sugar/fat-based snacks to keep with the trend.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chicken Jalapeño Panini

Over the weekend, Austin and I drove to Idaho Springs to meet up with some old friends from Utah.  We drank some beer (some of us maybe had a little too much), ate dinner, and just talked.

For the past two years, Austin and I have been making new friends.  It can be awkward.  Every once in a while you meet someone who you click with and things are easy, but for the most part it feels forced and hard.  You're spending your time trying to get to know them.  You put a lot of effort into really listening to them talk (admittedly, not my strong suit).  You worry about if they will like the food you made, or if they will think it is lame.
With old friends, things are easier.  Conversation flows, you have shared history and stories, and they'll like your food even if it's not fancy.
Sandwiches aren't typically thought of as "fancy," but when you turn a "sandwich" into a "panini," then it's fit for new friends too.  These chicken jalapeño paninis will please all types of friends (as long as they like food that's a little bit spicy).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Project 365: Week 12

March 18 | Catching up with my BFF, Julia, over beers.
March 19 | Julia and I tried to go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park, but there wasn't much snow.  We had a nice hike to Bierstadt Lake instead.
March 20 | Austin's gym hosted the Crossfit Open.  Those girls were pretty burly and impressive, but I was most excited about the free barbecue and the fact that Bob Harper was there (I've mentioned I'm a "Biggest Loser" fan)!
March 21 | Julia and I tasted a lot of tea at the Celestial Seasonings factory.  The factory tour is seriously my favorite thing about Boulder.
March 22 | Dingo literally stopping and smelling the flowers.  These were the first ones that have popped up this spring.  Friday night they got covered by about 10 inches of snow :(
March 23 | Austin and I drove to Idaho Springs to meet up with some friends from Utah.  We drank a lot of beer at the Tommyknockers Brewery and finally tried chicken 'n waffles.
March 24 | The Flatirons are looking pretty good - and cold.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cranberry Pear Salad

I think it's supposed to be spring right now.  Mother Nature is trying to trick me though.  It doesn't feel like spring.  We're supposed to get 4-6 inches of snow this weekend and the high is only going to be about 25˚.  But the calendar said so.
This leaves me struggling between wanting to eat lighter foods for the new season and the fact that I'm cold and want to get "Big Purple" (my down coat) out and cuddle up.  Maybe put on some extra layering via brownies and cake too.  

The other problem is that salad toppings don't really shine at the end of winter/beginning of spring.  Tomatoes aren't good yet.  Beets aren't ready.  I mean, I guess croutons are always good.  So, caesar is an option, but if you're looking for something a little different, try this combo.  And maybe if we just keep pretending that it's the season for eating salads and trying to lose some blubber, then it really will be that season soon!
Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles

There are so many classic recipes out there.  So many family recipes that you don't want to stray from.  You know you love them and what if you try something new and it's not as good?  Well, then I guess you have a batch of cookies that you'll still eat (because they are still cookies), and next time you know better.

There's another possibility though.  You could switch it up and find out that Grandma's recipe was good, but just not quite as good (no offense, Grandma).  It might challenge your beliefs.  The ground might shake beneath you.  You could start to question things you once held as truths.  Or you could just start to work this new recipe into the rotation and still go about your days doing the same-old same-old.
These vanilla bean snickerdoodles from Joy the Baker will blow your mind.  Seriously.  In fact, her entire cookbook will have you drooling and setting butter out on the counter to soften, immediately.  You should buy it -- I'm not getting paid to say that - it would be welcome, but I'm not ;)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Project 365: Week 11

March 11 | Trying to bring some new life and some green into our house.
March 12 |  This was a bit of a surprise this week.
March 13 | Up and around in time for the sunrise - like most mornings.
March 14 | After the snow all melted from Monday, felt like we had to take advantage of the beautiful springy afternoon on Thursday.  Also, the maiden voyage on Austin's new shock.
March 15 | Austin had a St. Patrick's Day potluck at work - hopefully he won best costume with this one.
March 16 | Showing my BFF, Julia, a real "Western" experience!
March 17 | Austin and I taught Julia and the Dingo how to longboard.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

My last name is Flinn, which, according to Wikipedia (the end-all, be-all of sources), came from the Irish name "Ó Floinn."  I'm not really sure why the Americanized version of this name became Flynn, but I do know that I don't like it.  It's not that I have a problem with just throwing out the letters that were in the original name and adding in a random one (the "y"), but my problem is that no one knows how to spell my name.  It is always spelled wrong.  Like always, always.
Some people I know are really connected to their roots.  Like, they know things about their family history and genealogy, they go to festivals to celebrate their heritage, they probably even know facts about the country they came from.  I am not one of those people.  My genealogical knowledge stops at my great-grandmother.  But every year around St. Patrick's Day, I like to bring up the fact that, "I am Irish," and everyone else is just posing.  
The fact of the matter is, I know less about Ireland than you do, I'm sure of it.  I don't even know what traditional Irish food is.  I have never seen this green, rainy land I've read about.  I have no idea if leprechauns roam the streets of Dublin.  So whether or not this Irish Soda Bread is legit or not, is not really the point.  The point is that we all pretend like we're something we're not for a day, wear something that's kelly green, and drink "a pint."  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kale Apple Smoothie

It's that time of year for people to take things that are not naturally green and make them green.  Green rivers?  Not that often and not that green even when they are.  Green cakes?  Not usually.  Green beer? Nope.
I don't know why, but every year around St. Patrick's Day, people forget all about the foods that are naturally green and instead add food dye to everything that's not naturally green.  I don't get it.  I mean, vegetables are green.  A lot of fruits are green.  And that means even smoothies can be green.

Now, I'll admit, when I first read through this recipe from Real Simple, I was skeptical.  Blended kale, celery and apple juice?  Well, I was very pleasantly surprised.  Plus, I finally felt like I fit in with all the Boulder hippies drinking their unknown green drinks.  (This one has no mud in it I promise.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cadbury Creme Egg Milkshake

There are a lot of things I really like about Easter.  All of them are sugar or egg based.  And when sugar and eggs come together, there's really nothing better.  By that I mean, sugar shaped into egg forms (real eggs and sugar would be gross).  Like Reese's eggs and Robins Eggs and especially Cadbury Creme Eggs.
In fact, I remember bartering a lot for those precious cream filled eggs.  I would pretty much trade everything else in my Easter basket for just one more Cadbury Creme Egg.

Since then, I guess I've grown up some.  The day that I grew up was the first day I said, "that's too sweet."  At least in my mind, that's what distinguishes a grownup from a kiddo.  And now I think that Cadbury Creme Eggs are "too sweet."
So, by all means, you would assume that a Cadbury Creme Egg on top of ice cream blended with butterscotch and chocolate would also be "too sweet."  You'd be wrong.  It's just one of those mysteries of the world, because I promise you, this milkshake is just perfect.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Project 365: Week 10

March 4 | Considering the unexpected snowstorm, probably not the best day to get a pedicure, but it was nice anyway.
March 5 | My friend, Kristin, is the cause of this new problem: Instagram (@callmefudge).
March 6 | Crossing the road.
March 7 | Greyhounds with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice - one of the nicest days we've had all year.
March 8 | The squirrel that plagued me last summer has returned :(
March 9 | Blueberry Pear Buckle (recipe coming soon).
March 10 | Waldo and Wenda aren't very hard to find, but can you find "the Dude?"
There he is!  They all ended up in that icy water for the polar bear plunge at Frozen Dead Guy Days.
March 10 | After the polar bear plunge, came the coffin racing!

Hope you had a great week too!

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