caitieofohio in dc

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this year, rather than make one over-arching new years resolution, i’m going to improve myself in small bursts with monthly resolutions.

they say it takes 28 days to make a new habit, so hopefully these will stick!

i kick things off with jumpin’ january:

  • cardio 4x a week
  • yoga/stretching 1x a week

i’ve racked up a number of livingsocial deals to different yoga and spinning studios in my neighborhood which should make it easier when i don’t want to venture out into the freezing january weather.

the remaining monthly resolutions of 2013 are yet to come, so stay tuned!

Q4 gets pretty nuts where I work. It’s when we do most of our business, and there’s a huge push for performance. This leads to what many of us call the “Q4-15” - weight gain that comes from eating due to stress, less time to work out, and more time sitting at our desks. Not to mention the fact that they cater food for breakfast/lunch some days, and often it’s not the healthiest.

One of my coworkers came up with an idea to do a “Biggest Loser” competition for the next 6 weeks (until Thanksgiving… because, let’s be real) to encourage us to find time to work out. 

So last night, I decided to make something really decadent.

What we ended up with is what I’ll call “Shrimp Taco Mac and Cheese”. The name wouldn’t generally catch my eye, but what we ended up with was delicious! And not super unhealthy, actually. 

The cheese sauce I mostly took from a lobster mac and cheese I’d made a few weeks before, but I added a few things to really bump it up a notch:

1 lb shrimp

a bunch of green onion, chopped

1 tomato

1 box of pasta (I like the shape of conchiglie because it really collects the cheese)

1 cup grated parmasean

3 wedges laughing cow cheese

1/4 cup goat cheese

a splash of almond milk (add more or less depending on how watery you want it)

sriracha

1 tbsp butter

lemon juice

chili powder

salt

Cook pasta until al dente. While that’s going, peel and then bake the shrimp at 400 degrees after sprinkling with salt, chili powder, olive oil and lemon juice. 

When the pasta is done, drain and then put in a bowl and coat with the melted butter. While it’s still warm, add all the cheese so it melts into the pasta and mix it together with your hands. Pour in almond milk until you get the consistency you want. Add sriracha until you get the spiciness that suits you.

Add chopped green onions, tomato, and shrimp and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes so it all settles together. Try not to inhale all at once.

Olives are my fav. For those of you who are also HIMYM addicts, the “olive rule” is one of the cutest story lines ever:

On Lily and Marshall’s first date, Marshall got olives in his salad. Lily asked if he likes olives and Marshall said he didn’t, and let Lily have them. Marshall says The Olive Rule says that makes them a perfect couple, because he can let Lily have all his olives.

Turns out Marshall actually loves olives, and just pretended he didn’t to make Lily happy.

Olive tapenade:

1 jar Spanish olives
A few capers
A dash of garlic (powder), salt, and pepper
A splash of olive oil
A bit of ground mustard

Combine in food processor. Eat with pita chips (or spoon).

I’ve been working on going off recipe more when cooking. Mainly, I’ve been glancing an a recipe and then flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to ingredients and measurements.

So tonight, I tackled a homemade chicken marinade. I couldn’t find the recipe I went off of, so apologies to the original chef. But here’s what I came up with, and it turned out pretty awesome:

3 splashes of apple vinegar
A few squirts sriracha
3 spoons mustard
A bunch of salt (I love salt)
Black pepper
Garlic (I used powder, but fresh would be good)
Lemon pepper powder
A squeeze of lime
3 splashes olive oil

Whisk together and pour over chicken breasts. Marinade for as long as you want (the longer the better, I’ve heard).

Broil chicken breasts, 10 minutes on each side

Taken with Instagram

Taken with Instagram at Nationals Park

Thanks mom! (Taken with Instagram)

Finisher! (Taken with Instagram)

Sunrise over Virginia Beach (Taken with Instagram)

Taken with Instagram