Fun Fact Friday

29 04 2011

Hi Friends! We (Steph and I) have had a few questions about which days Steph posts and which days I post. So, if you are a new visitor to 321delish, WELCOME 🙂 and if you are a returning visitor but just haven’t figured out the pattern…Steph and I alternate days that we post! This week I posted Monday, Wednesday and today ( Friday); and Steph posted Tues/Thurs. Next week we will switch…Steph on Mon/Wed/Fri and me on Tues/Thurs.

Moving on to more important things…like Fun Fact Friday! I have never had a Fun Fact Friday before,  but I figured it was Friday, and you were probably in need of some amusing, somewhat funny and definitely unknown facts and tidbits about me. And for your extra amusement…I will throw in 1 confession at the end. So here goes…

1) Until the age of 12 last summer?, my nickname was Mud Bug. As a kid, I used to spend hours at the beach running into the ocean, running and rolling in dry sand and returning back to the ocean. yes…hours. As a teenager, my Mom frequently found me hanging out with my boy neighbors having mud fights in their back yards. And in high school, one of my best friends and I discovered a really nice mud hole by our lake house which we proceeded to turn into our own personal mud spa. yes…high school.

2) ANY time that I eat a roll (yes, even in restaurants, although I often get reprimanded) I cut it in half and proceed to pick out and eat the warm gooey insides before spreading the crusty outside with butter and finishing it off.

fresh out of the oven roll

picked out warm gooey inside

crusy outside, ready to be buttered 🙂

3) When I first moved to D.C., I bought a beta fish, Lambert, to keep me company in my little studio apartment. I thought that Lambert and I really had something going, but I guess I was wrong. After a few months of having Lambert, I came home from work to find him belly up on the floor. Apparently he was not a very happy fish and chose to commit suicide. His replacement will live forever.

the "new" Lambert...

4) You may have already seen this on my “About Chloe page, but even if you have, it is worth repeating…I eat ice cream (Edy’s Slow Churned preferably) 6/7 nights a week. I love ice cream so much that I once lost my keys and found them in the freezer…on the ice cream container.

this flavor is amazing!

5) I am scared of caterpillars…ESPECIALLY the furry kind!

Ok…and now for the confession

One of the only places to bike ride in Washington D.C. is in Rock Creek Park, which closes off a large section of road to cars on Saturdays and Sundays. In Rock Creek, there is a really wonderful Horse Center. I discovered the horse center early last summer on one of my bike rides and was completely brought back to my childhood. I grew up riding horses and spent lots of time at the barn. There aren’t many people who can say that they like the smell of a barn, but I honestly do! Anyway, on a few occasions when Chris would ask if I was interested in going for a ride with him, I would decline, telling him that I would just ride alone at my own pace and that he should go off at his faster pace. What I did not tell him was that on more than one occasion, I would ride to the barn (~3 miles away from home) and sit and hang out with the horses for an hour or so before riding home. Chris would ask how my ride was and I would tell him that my 30 mile rides were great and that I definitely thought I was getting faster! After a few months I finally told Chris, mainly because I felt like I needed someone holding me accountable for my longer rides. Needless to say, any time that I tell Chris I am going for a ride alone, he asks if I am “going to pet the horses.” I haven’t yet this year…but I am sure I will!

Question of the Day: What is a fun fact about you?! Or if you are really feeling bold…go ahead and share a confession!





A Peanut Butter Problem.

28 04 2011

You all know that I love am obsessed with peanut butter. I currently have 4 jars of nut/seed butter at my house and 1 more at my office. Is that excessive?

Some might call me a peanut butter snob. Once, I was staying at a hotel that offered a free continental breakfast, and they had those little packages of peanut butter, which I immediately grabbed for my oatmeal. But after checking out the ingredients, and seeing the extra chemicals/oils they added, I promptly put it down. I drove myself to the closest grocery store and picked up a jar of peanut butter with only one ingredient: peanuts.

So I probably didn’t need an entire jar of peanut butter for my short trip, but since I was checking bags, I knew I could bring it home (TSA would take it out of my carry-on, I’m sure!) 🙂 Yes, I love the stuff.

When I went home for Easter I realized that my peanut butter problem started back in high school. Though not quite as obsessed back then, I did make this in my pottery class:

I think I’ve gotten a little “choosier” about my peanut butter since then, but apparently I liked the stuff enough to recreate a jar of it for my pop art project.

Annnyhow, when I saw Jenna’s recipe for Peanut Butter Sandwich Bread, I starred it in my Google Reader and couldn’t wait to find the time to make it! Well friends, I found the time, and Oh. my. goodness!

I wasn’t exactly sure what a “Sandwich Bread” would be like, because I’m used to quickbreads that are moist, like banana bread and zucchini bread. This was a little drier than those breads, but still moist enough that I didn’t need to put anything on top of it to make it easier to swallow. I LOVED the texture of the bread, and the combination of cinnamon and PB is just incredible! I perked up the recipe just a bit by adding some dates for a little extra sweetness.

The bread fueled me through my morning swim practice, and also makes a great post-workout snack too:-) Or, you can just eat it any ol’ time. It’s THAT good.

If you like peanut butter a fraction of how much I love it, you will enjoy this bread!

Peanut Butter Date Sandwich Bread

Adapted from ELR

Ingredients:

3/4 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Whole Foods brand)

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 T baking powder

8-10 dates, roughly chopped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan well.

Cream together the peanut butter and sugar until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

With the mixer running on low, slowly alternate between adding the milk and the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Fold in dates.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for one hour.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack and cooling completely.

Question of the day: What is your favorite kind of nut/seed butter? What is your favorite way to use it?





Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

27 04 2011

Chicken. It’s what’s for dinner! At least it frequently is in my house 🙂 I know that I am not alone in saying that it is not always easy to “throw together” QUICK, HEALTHY and INEXPENSIVE dinners during the week. Whether you are busy studying to get your Masters, training for triathlons, vanning the kids around to soccer practice, or just plain lazy, what I am about to share to you will be a welcomed addition to your weeknight menu!

Introducing my 3 dinners in 1 roasted chicken. The original prep of the chicken is not very quick, but you can knock off some of your other around the house to do items while it roasts and it will save you LOTS of time over the course of the week!

All you need:

  • big ole’ chicken
  • 2 large apples
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 large onions
  • 1 lemon (halved)
  • fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

I got this 9 lb baby from our local big chain grocery store, the Giant. On occasion I buy organic chickens, but this guy looked pretty good and for $10 (on sale), I couldn’t turn it down. Some people get squeamish handling a big raw chicken, but I really don’t mind it. I took out (and threw away) the “delicacies” that were bagged inside the chicken. I chopped up the onions, apples and sweets into big bite sized pieces and coated then with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. I stuffed a handful of the chopped up veggies and fruit into the  chicken along with a few lemons which I had cut in half. I sprinkled the whole deal with generous amounts of salt, pepper and rosemary. Fresh Rosemary is AMAZING.

**side story- Last Christmas Chris bought me a Christmas tree that was made COMPLETELY out of Rosemary. You should have seen how my eyes lit up when I saw that tree! That is reason # 245532 why he is a keeper.

So, back to the chicken. A good rule of thumb is to roast a chicken at 20 minutes per pound at about 375degrees. My oven is completely screwy so its good to keep an eye on the chicken if you have a screwy oven. Mr 9 pounder took about 2 hrs 45 minutes to cook, but make sure that you stir the veggies in your roasting pan every 1/2 hour or so or they will stick to the bottom! You know when the chicken is complete by cutting a slice in the thick part of the chicken…it should be SLIGHTLY SLIGHTLY LIGHT LIGHT pink and the juices will be lowing out. Your kitchen house/apartment will smell glorious!

So…the chicken is done and your house is smelling like heaven. What to do with 9 lbs of chicken!?!? Answer- plan your weekly meals so that you don’t have to cook! 9 lbs of chicken made 3 dinners in my house (2 people…1 who is doing lots of triathlon training which results in lots of eating and the second who is eats 2-3 servings of everything at every meal). So…here were my Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night eats last week!

Sunday Night: Fresh out of the oven roasted chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, apples and onions and sauteed green and yellow squash.

Tuesday Night: Mexican Chicken Salad: Mixed greens, black beans, corn,  shredded cheese, chopped up roasted chicken and salsa. (I also had lots of blue corn tortilla chips on the side. Blue chips are the best!)

Wednesday Night: Cold roasted chicken (I find it to be really tasty cold!), roasted asparagus and warm rolls. mmmm bread and butter.

So there you go! 3 nights of different chicken dinners that are healthy, quick and will not break your bank account. My grocery bill last week was about 25% smaller than usual! I would definitely call last week a week of winner winner chicken dinners!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite quick, healthy and relatively inexpensive dinner?