Happy Humpday, Friends!
I returned to the cabin on Wednesday with Jake, dropped him off at camp, and promptly focused on plowing through a chest cold while nursing spider bites on my leg. Some nasty little Plainfield arachnid noshed on my left thigh for lunch a week ago and it’s STILL red and itchy. If any of you have killer homeopathic solutions, I’m all ears.
For the first time in my life, I actually miss something about Plainfield. It’s my kettelbell group! Working out here by myself just isn’t the same. So I’m sampling some fitness classes at the YMCA, and while the people are generous, kind, and welcoming, it just doesn’t compare to the challenges Tim the Trainer puts us through in every session. Add fitness snob to my list, which is growing. I’m slowly becoming a wine geek, am definitely particular about my coffee, have extraordinarily high standards when it comes to vegetables, and am now a kettlebell brat as well.
Some observations from my first two classes at the Y:
- If the trainer switches to a cartoon character voice while leading the class, I will most certainly stop in annoyance and look up. Every time.
- Although I once considered coordination one of my fortes, I apparently cannot perform salsa moves and alternating high kicks set to complicated choreography for the warmup. I now prefer mindless jump rope, jumping jacks, or walking leg kicks, thank you very much.
- When I hear, “Now lift your juicy beef off the ground,” as we begin a glute exercise, I look around to see if it’s a joke. It’s not. I stifle my wonderment, lift my drippy rump roast high and proud, and carry on.
All true stories. Those alone will keep me coming back, and of course, I’ll be more than happy to share the good-uns here.
Meanwhile, back in my tiny cabin kitchen, I’m not holding back when it comes to meals for two. I completely intended to bring you a fabulous zucchini lasagna today, but as I was assembling the dish and snapping pics, I came to the layering of the ricotta step to find decayed cheese within the container. More to come later this summer – despite our lack of a key ingredient, it was mighty tasty. And last night we created a winner – stuffed pork tenderloin wrapped in cherrywood smoked bacon with pumpkin-cranberry risotto alongside it. You’ll be seeing that one this summer too. 🙂
If you’ve followed me along here from the beginning (by the way – thanks for that. Let’s have a party celebrating you and me, OK?), you know quite well that I lack in the dessert category. The reasons are many – baking is such a science requiring exact everything, I’m not a giant dessert fan, the time, etc. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy an occasional treat. Quite the contrary! Daily I’ll eat a square or two of chocolate, or I’ll slather peanut butter on a rice cake and top it with sliced apples or dates for a mid-day pick-me-up. Usually I make a sweet treat when I host a party, but I always follow a recipe. Back in the day when we ate like crap I made more desserts, but they usually started with a box of something processed.
Now when I make treats, I immediately head over to Minimalist Baker, a (mostly) vegan and gluten free food blog by Dana and John out of Portland, Oregon. Many people associate negative connotations when they hear ‘Vegan’ but I’m telling you, the food that these folks create is OUT OF THIS WORLD! In the aforementioned kettle bell group there are a few vegans, and I love the challenge of cooking for them. Vegan food is wholesome (hi, plant based everything), delicious, decadent, savory, naturally sweet, complex, rich, and satisfying. And Dana repeatedly nails so many interesting food combinations on their blog with 10 ingredients or less, in one bowl, in less than 30 minutes.
When I saw her post on Vegan Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles, it was inevitable. First off, the combo: creamy peanut butter and rich chocolate. Just tell me you don’t love a peanut butter cup. I dare you! But then add a little crunchy texture in the way of nuts and – HOLLA! – pretzels. Gluten free pretzels. Which happen to be crispier and crunchier than their counterparts. How is that possible? I’m not sure. It just is.