Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chipotle Mango Chicken Kabobs!

Sounds interesting, yes?

Well they are, but they taste, DELICIOUS!  I admit I was a little hesitant.  A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to try something new, and the grocery store was offering a B1G1 on Kraft Dressings, I looked at the choices that were offered, and decided to take a chance on this Chipotle Mango Dressing. 

I, oddly enough, ended up with an email from Kraft Foods in my inbox a couple of days later.  Must have been fate, as it was advertising their new 'Anything Dressings' and different recipes to try.  So I take a gander at the page, and come across this recipe for Chipotle Mango Chicken Kabobs!


I love chicken, and I bought the boyfriend a metal kabob set last year, and this summer we have been making steak and chicken kabobs on the grill, probably once a week on average.  So, I thought, let's give this a whirl!

Last night I took 8 chicken tenders out of the freezer, and this morning before I went to work I threw the half frozen tenders into a pyrex container with some pepper, pepper flakes and the Chipotle Mango dressing. 

Made myself a delicious iced cold brewed coffee for the road, and hoped for the best.

On my way home I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a red, yellow and green pepper, and a can of pineapple chunks.  Rushed home to start on this culinary adventure.  (Yes, I know, it's not that adventurous.) 

I got home and cut up the peppers in to roughly 1 inch pieces, and busted out the chicken that had been marinating in the fridge, and cut those into 1 inch pieces as well.  Popped open a container of cherry tomatoes, and cracked open the can of pineapple and took some chunks out. 

It's really handy to have all the stuff set out ahead of time.

Now that I had everything set, I started on skewering everything, starting with the pepper pieces, and threading on chicken at random, and only actually added the pineapple chunks on a couple of the skewers.  The Boyfriend isn't a huge fan of odd foods.  When I told him what I was making, he made a crinkle face and said... "Uh, okay I guess I can eat that.  What else are you making to go with it?" (Raised over-grown eyebrow and everything.)  And then he headed off to the shower to wash his daily grime away.

So, that meant I was a girl on a mission.  Went out started the grill, and then grabbed a one of those rice packets out of the pantry.  Four cheese rice?!  The Boyfriend will love that. 

So, I started that, and went and threw the chicken on the grill.  Came back in, threw some dishes in the dishwasher, and after about 7 minutes I went back and checked on the chicken, and turned the skewers.

Halfway done - how great do they look?

Rice was done, went out, chicken is done too!  How great is that!?!

So I brought the chicken kabobs in, and we each served up our plates, I took the skewers with the pineapple on them, and am I glad I did - they were DELICIOUS!!! 

The chicken was flavorful, with a hint of spice, and a nice hint of sweetness.

I suggest you try this, here is a photo to help convince you!!

Lovely kabobs with the Four Cheese Rice.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

HeartBeat 5000!

The 10th Annual HeartBeat 5000 took place today.  The money raised helps support the cardiac care program and efforts at Children's Hospital of Minnesota

How did I get roped into this one, and more importantly - how did my good friend D? Well, my company is a partner sponsor, and it was offering free race fee.  I went to the site to see about signing up, and yes, I did fill out the info, but it hadn't asked for payment info.  Which yes, would make sense since my employer said they would pay.  But I wasn't thinking, I hit next, and BAM! I am signed up.  And so I text my good friend D, and says, please tell me you have nothing going on, on this date, and that you are completely interested in participating in two 5K's in 7 days.. told her to use this code to get signed up for free.  She half reluctantly agreed, and signed up to take on the HeartBeat 5000.

Side note: My company is one of the partner sponsors.  I would like to point out, we did not have company t-shirts on.  Which is HIGHLY interesting, as the Big 3 medical device manufactures were present, and 2 out of the 3 were very well represented. 

The HeartBeat 5000 had t-shirts.  So, no worries, I still got one, that I will not wear - ever.

Not really sure what my deal is, I do not want to do a race with out a t-shirt, or other fun little perks.  But I have no care to actually put the t-shirt on.  I figure eventually, I will take that collection of technical and t-shirts and make one of those fancy shirt quilts.  Let me just say, I have never made a quilt.  But it can't be that hard, right?

So did the race, used my handy Couch to 5K app on my nifty iPhone.  And according to that map of my 'run', it puts the distance at 3.43 miles, which is .33 miles too far that what I signed up for.  My average pace was set at 12:53/mile - so that was pretty cool!!! :)  *for a non runner*  But it was warm.

I am not going to lie, the end - SUCKED.  It was on the Stone Arch Bridge, and it was still open to the public, which included, a pack of bicycles, and a Segway tour.  So freaking annoying.  Dodging random pedestrians, bikers, dogs, leashes, Segway tours.. are you kidding me?  Really annoying.

AND also, there were warm waters available at the end.  SUPER!

The view from the bridge.

On a high note though, on the walk back to my friend's car, there was a garage sale.  I 'heart' garage sales.  Many a stories of riding around in my grandma's station wagon garage sailing. :)   BUT - at this garage sale, there was a double papasan chair!  And I had seen this on the internet, where you change the papasan chair into a canopy! WAY cool.  We were in my good friend's convertable, so we put it on it.  I scored the chair frame for 3 dollars. Super cool!

What's not cool, is that it turns out that chair would not fit in my car, no matter how we tried to work it.  The chair is wider than my car.. oy.. BUT, crisis averted, as my friend drove me to my house to drop off the frame, and then drive me back to my car so she could get back to her place and continue on her way.

So, one day, I will get around to making the canopy... but for now it takes up space in me and and the Boyfriend's basement of the duplex we rent.

We will see when I get around to it.. sorry Boyfriend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cold Brewed Coffee!

I have a new obsession.  I will admit it.  It is borderline cRaZy.  But, I am okay with it, because it also saves me a couple of greenbacks a week.  Okay.  Honestly, about $20 a week.  Which is uber ridiculous.  I know.

Please note, both are not mine! One is the Boyfriend's.

See, I drink what I would call 'fake' coffee drinks.  I go to the Caribou, or Starbucks and order a mocha of some sort, lately it's been over ice. At Caribou it's a White Northern Lite Mocha - no whip.  Or at Starbucks I get a Mocha Frappuccino.  I generally will go to Caribou though, not sure why, maybe because it is sweeter. 

But my problem comes in, that I will stop 3-4 times a week. In my city, I pay $4.70 a pop.  And that is too much to be wasting a week; I would rather buy shoes or something more fun, and lasts longer.

So I was floating around trying to find a way to make something as enjoyable at home.  I found this blog, but there are tons out there with a recipe.  And they all pretty much follow the recipe published in the New York Times.

People say cold brewed is better for you, as it it is less acidic.  I say okay...?  Whatever that means.  The coffee does taste better than the made in a coffee maker, and cooled coffee.  There is a different flavor in it.  I am serious!

My dad quit drinking coffee because he wasn't enjoying the flavor any more.  I didn't know that, and brought him some when I went to the Patriot Ride (post can be found here).  He was quite surprised that it was Folger's cold brewed coffee, as Folger's was his brand he drank, and he said his didn't taste like this.. :)

I like Snapguide.  It's an app for my nifty iPhone.  It hasn't really caught on I don't think.  They have a little fine tuning to do, but I hope it does catch on.  You can make step by step guides in a SNAP! :)

You can see the guide that I created here if you would like, but it is pretty basic.

You will need a large container, preferably with a cover. A strainer, a coffee filter or two, a large bowl for the strainer to sit in, filtered water and your favorite blend coffee of course!

Basically everything you need!

The recipe:
1 cup of coffee, ground
4 1/2 cups of filtered water

Put them together in a container, stir them up to make sure all of the grounds are wet, set it on the counter for 8-12 hours.  I do this while I sleep, and in the morning, I set up the strainer, put a coffee filter in it, and strain it. 

AND Boom! Coffee is ready to enjoy.  But not straight - are you nuts?! This is a highly concentrated mixture!!

Mix it half and half with water-milk, cream what have you, and enjoy with ice.  The NYTimes says you can heat it/add hot water to it, but I am currently not interested in trying it that way.  I fill the cup about half way with ice, dump the coffee mixture in about 3/4 full, put some milk, and about 1/16 cup of Italian Sweet Cream Coffee mate.

Hello lovely!
I am not going to lie, it is kind of nice to come home in the morning after a 'run', grab a shower, get ready for work, dump this together and head off to work.  I will literally head to bed looking forward to the morning, because I know I will be enjoying this!

Hope you try it - SOON!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Flash Run 5K!

Today I participated in a Flash Run - I am sure you have heard of a Flash Mob by now.  Unless you have been hiding under a rock. 

If you have been hiding under a rock, the idea of a 'flash mob' is a bunch of people coming together at a pre-determined time in a public place, and busting out in dance (sometimes choreographed? that part I am fuzzy about).  Generally someone will have a boom box, or something for music. 

But enough of that.  This was basically a bunch of peeps getting together and starting at the same time, to run roughly 3.1 miles.  I went with my good friend D.  (please note, she and I would like to be runners, but lack a little *okay a lot* of the drive and determination)  My friend D and I walked the course for the most part, there were some bursts of jogging, but for the most part it was walking.  She had been at an Aerosmith concert the night before, so she was feeling peachy keen.

Side note:  Generally she and I do not travel the distance of the course together.  We will start together, and meet up after completing the course.  BUT  I had foot surgery on both feet back in December, the foot doctor told me that I might be able to do the Valentine's Day 5K in February(duh).  Well that was a lie.  But my friend and I had done this 5K the year before, and we signed up (me and my wishful thinking) and she was kind enough to walk with me, in February, in Minnesota, when the temp was 1 degrees above zero,  around a lake, with a wind at 15MPH which is roughly 20 degrees below zero faherenheit (without the lake effect).  It took literally about an hour and a half.  It was too freaking cold to be walking.  But she did it with me, so I sucked up and walked with her.

Okay - so the walk (sometimes 'running') wasn't so bad.  We finished in like 50 minutes or something (allegedly - there was no time clock).  I used my Couch to 5K app on my nifty iPhone, and that's what it timed us at.

But the nice part about the day, aside from driving up to her house, getting her out of bed on a Sunday that seemed way too much fun, driving down to Minneapolis, I got to see the Stone Arch Bridge.  Well, AND 'run' across it. 

And as it turns out.. I had been on that bridge previously, with the Boyfriend, after eating at the Old Spaghetti Factory, which is more hype than anything else, so you can go ahead and skip that restaurant, and make noodles, use Prego at home, mabye some garlic bread, and enjoy it more.

Let me show you a photo of the Stone Arch Bridge - and the Famous Grain Belt Beer sign.
(learn more about Grain Belt here.)

Oh, and I quite enjoyed the B1G1 at Caribou Coffee with my friend too, and sitting in her backyard chatting it up talking about everytihng and nothing, and then heading home to the boyfriend.  :)

In the rare case that you were noticing that this day was Father's Day and I do not mention hanging out with my Dad.. I hung out with him the day before for the Patriot Ride(sponsored by Dennis Kirk) at his house. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Patriot Ride 2012

Today was the Patriot Ride at Lion's Park in Ham Lake!

A look at not even a quarter of the bikes.

I must admit, I had never previously attended the ride.  My Dad has, my sisters (I have 2) have.  My niece and both nephews have also.  Not me though, which is a little odd, as I was the one in the family that spent the most time at this park playing softball.  Oh how I still, to this day, LOVE softball. :)
For anyone who does not know what the Patriot Ride is, let me give you a brief undetailed (slightly inaccurate) description:
About a Million bikers come together, in remembrance and honor of men and women that have served, and are serving for the US, as well as support their families.  There is a program and then the men and women participating on the motorcycle ride, head down the highway 2 by 2 to Cambridge, MN with a stop (I believe) on the way, and then they come together and have a bite to eat, and then head back to the park for a dance and celebration.

At any rate, it was slightly drizzling the whole morning.  I brought an umbrella, and never opened it.  It wasn't a hard enough drizzle to make me want to open it.  My dad and myself, like most everyone else there, walked around damp at best. 

The Helicopter!
 But it was a very nice time; they presented the colors, had about a half hour program.  There was a helicopter at the softball fields, that anyone could get in and explore, and took off prior to the start of the ride.  

After the program all the riders went over to their bikes, some put their rain gear on, and at about 11:50 or so the helicopter took off.  And as soon as the helicopter took off, the sun came out. 

Which made me feel bad for all the riders that had put on their rain gear in preparation of the ride.  Because when the sun came out - it was HOT!  I was damp, and at least the sun would dry my light weight shirt and jeans, but the people that were damp, and under rain gear, just seems like it would be a sauna under there.
Enjoy just a portion of the bikers going by below.  I am not even kidding you, this is not even close to the entire ride, it went by for about.. 45 minutes?  Granted there were a couple parts where there was a pause for like 4 minutes in between the three groups.  It is a powerful group and sight to see all of the bikers coming out to support the troops, and driving down the Highway.

Find out more about the MN Patriot Guard here.  Find out more about the MN Military Appreciation Fund here. See more Patriot Ride photos of the ride here.
Semi Truck with POW MIA paint job.
Personal note: my Dad's father (my grandpa) is a Veteran.  A former POW, who was MIA.  He came back, and started a family, which is how I have my dad(and aunt and uncles).  One story that I have heard (and there are very few, as my grandpa doesn't talk much about it) is that he ate raw potatoes that he stole when he was sent out to the field wile being held as a prisoner.

After the ride, I came back home, did a bunch of nothing.  Waited for the Boyfriend to get off of work and come home.  Which he eventually did, and we are starting our Saturday night off enjoying some adult beverages. 

Bacardi Torched Cherry Lemonade.  With a maraschino cherry!

Happy Saturday night people!

Friday, June 15, 2012

This is just the begining.,,,

Welcome to my blog page!!

I have wanted to start a blog about nothing for some time, and have done my research.  I plan on posting (once I get into the swing of things) about 2 times a week at least.

I will be blogging about daily life happenings, whether it be bumps in my relationship, family life, or my physical ol' body.   My daily life includes a lot of different things, currently working as an admin, baking, running(or trying to), cooking, tackling projects, and creating new ones.

I am sarcastic, shy at first, and completely open.  I am a very opinionated person, but my opinions are never meant to cut another person down.

I hope you enjoy my Blog About Nothing (and I certainly hope I enjoy it too!).