Two Lives, One Lifestyle

Banana Oatmeal Cookies by Katie
May 14, 2010, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Baking, Cookies, Dessert, Katie

Packing to move is not fun- you know how you start looking around like “oh it won’t be so bad!” and then the night before you’re like “what IS this stuff? why did I keep every magazine I’ve bought in 2 years!?”  For once, I’m ahead of the game and started packing about 3 weeks before I move for this reason.

One night my brain was bleeding from reading about Markov Chain Statistical Methods for Biological Applications so I needed a more mindless activity- going through all my magazines to tear out all the recipes I want to make someday.

I’m attempting to slowly eat everything in my kitchen rather than hauling it around with me (I’ll be a bit of a nomad for the next month) and the extra brown banana on my counter and an excessive amount of oats beckned as soon as I ripped “Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies” out of Cooking Light, July 2009.

Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. softened butter
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 5.6 oz. (1 1/4 c.) all-purpose flour (I used 1 c. white, 1/4 c. wheat)
  • 2 c. oats
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips (exactly the amount I had left in the bag!)

Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl until smooth, then add the egg.  In a different bowl, mix the dry ingredients and then add the dry mixture to the banana mixture.  Drop onto a cookie sheet, spacing batter 2 inches apart, and bake for 18 minutes (um, set the timer for less than this… or maybe that’s just at altitude) at 350°F.   Makes about 12 cookies, or more if you can’t make consistent cookie shapes…

The banana helps add sweetness (so less added sugar) and keeps the cookies very moist, but just a touch of banana flavor.  They are a bit dense and not my favorite cookie, but still pretty tasty.  I’ve been refueling with one or two after my runs this week.

Just wanted to through a running respite in there for everyone who started reading for the food ;).

St. Patrick’s Celebrations by Katie
March 14, 2010, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Beer, Breakfast, Cookies, Dessert, Dinner, Eggs, Family, Food, Katie

What a whirlwind weekend!  Saturday morning, Kelli, Madelyn (my sister) and I headed downtown for the race! My sisters first ever race and my first running race.  Unfortunately the weather was being uncooperative (aka rainy) and a bit windy.  However, I warmed right up running and the drizzle felt nice and refreshing.

My sister started running just 5 weeks ago and she decided to keep with me for as long as she could.  She was really nervous about being able to run the full 5 miles without stopping.  Well, someone has a running future is all I can say!!!  My official time was 45:33 and she beat me by 1 second ;).




After a slow first mile weaving through the crowds, we sped up a little bit more and more.  The run was out and back and at the turn around I asked her how she felt.  I had a lot left and really wanted to make negative splits… and negative splits we sure did!

  • Mile 1- 9:35
  • Mile 2- 9:19
  • Mile 3- 8:54
  • Mile 4- 8:36
  • Mile 5- 8:06 (Garmin says my best pace was 5:05?! :-P)

The race t-shirts were so nice!

My Aunt had a room at the same hotel the race started at so we went up to change before the parade.


As you can kind of see in the picture of Madelyn stretching (don’t be mad), my camera was foggy.  The cold and rain were making the lens cloudy so it went on top of the TV to get a bit warmer. It was knocked off accidentally and then I noticed the lens wouldn’t close all the way :(.   There was nothing seriously wrong with the picture taking, but the lens stayed open a slit so I left it at the hotel so it wouldn’t get scratched in my pocket and there are no pictures from the parade :(.

Post-parade, a few (25-30) family and friends came over for corned beef, cabbage, Irish beverages, and entertainment.




Kelli post-cartwheel


My mom mid-cartwheel!


Car bombs… I did not partake.  They were also not made with that 100 proof whiskey (thought that was very delicious and hinted of vanilla).


Live music by my cousin, most likely the Black Velvet Band.


And plenty of cabbage, corned beef, carrots, potatoes, and Irish soda bread.  We even had Kerrygold Irish butter, which is pretty amazing.




Oh, and at some point, I accidentally started to sit down on my camera (I felt it as I started to sit and jumped back up)!!  You’ll never believe this, but it actually fixed my camera.  Seriously.  The lens closed and it is all back to normal :).

My aunt made these pretty sugar cookies for dessert.  She is such a great artist with food and non-food items.



This gorgeous Bailey’s cake was made by my cousin’s girlfriend.  She wants to open her own bakery someday.  Don’t you agree that she would definitely succeed?!



Everyone was gone or in bed by 10 PM!

This morning, the leftovers went to good use in a corned beef hash- onions, potatoes, and corned beef.


We topped it off with poached eggs.


After breakfast, I sat in bed with the puppy and snuggled while watching Millionaire Matchmaker (we don’t get Bravo on CO cable; absurd).  As each episode ended I thought “maybe I’ll go shower and get work done now…” and then stayed put.  After a day of running, entertaining, and some drinking I think the rest was well-deserved ;).

Oh yes, see the shamrock??  He’s a German Shorthair Pointer with a shamrock ass in an Irish family = McShultz.

Back to real life tomorrow.

Mushroom And Cream Cheese Burgers by Katie
March 3, 2010, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Burger, Cookies, Dinner, Green Monster, Katie, Lunch, Mushrooms, Original Recipe, Run

It was just your standard day over here-

Oats for breakfast (1/4 c oats + 1/2 banana + 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk + handful of frozen blubies + coconut + PB blob)


Leftovers for lunch- beans, peppers, potatoes, brown rice.  Topped with guac and salsa come lunchtime.


Lunch and snacks- I actually didn’t eat my snacks cause someone so graciously placed a bag of Smartfood right next to me.  Needless to say, I ate at least a serving or two.


The weather has been unbelievable and perfecto for running.  Heather asked why we exercise today and I thought about how my reasons for exercising have varied over the years.  I’ve viewed running as a way to get in shape for sports, a way to keep myself relaxed and sane, and as a way to burn calories, sometimes one reason greatly outweighing the others.  Head over to Heather’s Dish to dish about why you exercise.

Along the same vein, training for the marathon has been changing the way I think of running.  I’m all about my pace and heart rate and rarely look at calories.  I’m thinking of food as fuel more than anything else, which is leading to some of the most balanced eating I’ve ever done.  For example, after a run, I think about what I should eat for my body. Not what I should (or shouldn’t) eat for weight-loss; not what would immediately taste delicious (aka French fries and ice cream).  I eat when I’m hungry and try to eat something balanced cause half of the time, I’m going to run within a few hours or I just ran.  Have your views of food ever varied due to training, or maybe due to something like pregnancy?  I’d think that would be another time in life that the food quality would really be front and center.

Speaking of running, today was a 30 minute run, and I went with negative splits.

  • Mile 1– 9:55
  • Mile 2– 9:48
  • Mile 3– 9:34
  • Last 0.2– 8:19 (I have the need for speed)

Tangent off. 😉

After my run, I drank a green monster (bunch of spinach + vanilla almond milk + 1/2 a frozen banana) and caught up on my Tweets.  The important things.


The last time Kelli visited (last MAY?!), I ate a mushroom-cream cheese burger that was to die for.  I’m sort of embarrassed to say that this burger has been on my mind since then and this was my first attempt to recreate it.  A girl can dream [about food] for 9 months right?


I started sauteeing a bit of onion and garlic in olive oil, and then added about a cup of these frozen mixed mushrooms + 2 fresh button mushrooms.  I added a splash of soy sauce and then remembered Kelli’s burger- and added some steak sauce! I added probably 1 Tbsp of each.  After the shrooms were good and cooked, I tossed them into the food processor with 1 TBSP of cream cheese and a few crackers.


I sprinkled in a teeny bit of this gouda.  Lots of grocery stores have these mini cheese samples, and are perfect for sampling, especially when you cook for one.


After grinding it all together, I made a patty and fried it in a bit of butter.  Meanwhile, there was some garlic broccoli cooking (olive oil, garlic, and broc until it’s bright green).


The finished product, with a couple goat cheese crumbles.  Looks close to a real burger, no?


The insides- even more beef-like.


Huhg jass pile of broccoli.


And the sweet potato fries that inspired it all.  Thought process- I want sweet tater fries, what goes with fries? Burger! I have no meat. Mushrooms!


Now, I’m going to relax with a GS Cookie (Samoa) or two and some Malbec. 🙂

Black Bean Potato Skillet by Katie
March 2, 2010, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Cookies, Dessert, Dinner, Katie, Original Recipe, Run, Snacks

Breakfast was an old standby- spinach and such with eggs + laughing cow.  Can’t forget the perfect complements of ketchup and toast with Heather’s Strawbs jam.


After an amazingly productive morning (withOUT coffee for the first time in weeks- no headache either!), I was about to pull out some pasta but I was tempted with an invite to Choice City Deli.  Only my favorite lunch option in the FoCo.  The walk there is about 15 minutes and the day was perfect for a nice long walk-  50’s and sunshine! All I could think about was running later.

Unfortunately, there is no picture of lunch- but it would be well-worth recreating at home.  Portobella mushroom + grilled pineapple + artichokes + teriyaki sauce + provolone.

The run was on a recreational paved trail, with some diversions onto the dirt paths where it wasn’t too muddy.


Look ma, no heels!  All the dirtiness is concentrated on the frontal areas, which my calves are really noticing.  My pace today was much more in line with marathon training- ~10:15 for the whole thing, with HR under 170.

I ate some PB toast while I started prepping dinner- black bean potato skillet (2-3 portions).

First, I started making brown rice since it takes forever and a day.  Meanwhile, I chopped fingerling potatoes and tossed them into a pan with a touch of olive oil.  I let those cook over medium while I chopped half of each pepper and a onion quarter



I ended up letting the veggies sautee for about 10 minutes and adding in half a chopped tomato too.



I found these local beans at the grocery store tonight and based my dinner around them.


After the veggies were a bit softened, I added the black beans.  I drained off most of the liquid and then rinsed the can with water, adding that back to the pan.  I turned down the heat and let it all simmer away while the rice finished.


Final product- brown rice, topped with bean, potato, veggie mixture, topped with salsa, topped with guac, topped with a spoonful of Greek yogurt!


Kinda like my own personal Chipotle bowl.  Which, it just so happens, was what I had in mind before I hit up the grocery store.

Oh, and guess who was cleverly planted outside of the grocery store??  Girl Scouts!  Um, does anyone else not like thin mints, cause I have yet to find anyone else.  I’ll take a somoa please or a lemon whatever it’s called now, x2.


The night is young, so my willpower will be battling these once-a-year yummies for awhile longer.

What’s your favorite GS cookie?? It’s fine if it’s a 3 way tie ;).

Happy Hump Day! by Kelli
February 3, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Bikram Yoga, Cookies, Dinner, Food, Kelli, Lunch, Workout

Wednesday already?  Crazy 🙂  When the husbands alarm went off at 5:30 I just could not fall back to sleep.  I tossed and turned for about 10 minutes before I realized it was hopeless and I might as well get up.

When I got up and looked out the window this is what I saw…

Two inches of snow fell overnight!  I had NO idea it was supposed to snow!  Luckily my commute is so short this shouldn’t effect it too much.  When I used to work in Hartford I dreaded the snow.  It meant my 20-30 minute commute into the city turned into AT LEAST an hour.  But now, I just think its pretty 🙂

Waking up this early did give me plenty of time to prep my slow cooker meal for today.  I found this pork roast on the Cooking Light website and decided it would be a perfect Wednesday meal (ie : that night I go to Bikram and don’t get home until 8:45ish).  I marinated the pork last night…

Raw meat in juices, yum ??  Haha.  Please excuse my very Pennsylvania Dutch cook ware 🙂  I’ll put this pork and marinade in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours (right around the time Stephen will be home).

Being up so early also left me some time to roast butternut squash for my lunch!

I cubed this baby and popped it in the oven on 400* for 30 minutes.  This will be a nice lunch and a nice change compared to my usual can of soup!!!

Breakfast is still up in the air.  Eggs?  Pumpkin yogurt?  Protein?  So many choices….

Have a great Wednesday!!!

Purple Hashbrowns by Katie
January 21, 2010, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Cookies, Dinner, Eggs, Katie, Lift

At the end of my work day, I started feeling lightheaded and shaky and I knew I needed some quick sugar.  The low blood sugar thing hasn’t happened in a while but it used to happen all the time in college.  I learned later that alcohol can contribute to low blood sugar problems so that probably, uh.. definitely, explains that.  Like this one time in Perkins… I got a free muffin though.

I treated myself to a favorite from the Whole Foods Bakery- a flourless chocolate cookie.  Ingredients include cocoa, egg whites, chocolate chips, and few other ingredients.

I ate half right away in my car and saved the rest for later.  Someone definitely stared at me as I took this picture in my car. Oh well.

Once I got home, I had a more substantial pre-workout snack: cereal + kefir again.

At the gym, I did The Fitnessista leg workout and intervals on the elliptical.  I pedaled backwards on the higher resistance pieces.  I’m thoroughly enjoying spinning and ellipticizing since my life will be all about running soon!


I had a lot of random pieces of vegetables to use up and I was really craving hashbrowns (no idea why).  I grabbed some local potatoes when I was feinding for the cookie-  they were all about between the size of a golf ball and a lacrosse ball and different colors.   I boiled them briefly and started to chop-chop.

Surprise! Some of them were purple inside!

I was kind of obsessed.  I sautéed the chopped potatoes in olive oil with onion, garlic, and some spices.

Meanwhile, I sautéed green peppers, tomatoes, and the rest of a Portobello and eventually added an egg + egg whites.

Breakfast for dinner:

Yeah, another ‘tato shot because they were much prettier than my egg scramble.  I added mama’s hot peppers and ketchup and life was good.

Enjoying some vino (on sale at Wilbur’s for $7.99!), doing some work, and possibly watching Jersey Shore.. maybe.  Don’t judge.

Portobello Spinach Wraps by Katie
January 15, 2010, 1:24 am
Filed under: Cookies, Dinner, Elliptical, Food, Katie, Original Recipe, Snacks, Workout

Work went by fast due to having lots to do and I never had my hummus wrap or my tangelo.  By the time I arrived home, I was hungry and I was feeling blue.   The NPR stories concerning Haiti on the drive home were just devastating and then I talked to my mom and got really homesick.  I had a quick cry sesh cause we all need that sometimes and then reminded myself how lucky I am to know where my family is and that they are safe.  Although no one can singlehandedly heal this crisis,  whatever little bit we can each contribute will add up to something incredible.

I really wanted a big fat cookie or bowl of ice cream though clearly it was due to my emotions and I compromised and made the instant oatmeal raisin cookie that Tina posted about today.  I used her recipe exactly except to use one egg white in place of 1/8 c of egg whites (sidenote: what is a good brand of egg whites? I toss a lot of yolks).  Pre-mixing:

I microwaved it a full minute because it looked more oatmeal-ish than cookie-ish at 45 seconds.  The end result smelled interesting but looked like a big soft, chewy cookie.

My first bite tasted like scrambled eggs but after that initial taste, things went better.  It would be fab with some nut butter or Greek yogurt “frosting” on top. My only tip would be to mix very well for no scrambled egg cookie bites ;).  But overall, genuine cookie flavor and a good, filling snack.  After the cookie, I danced around to happy music while cleaning and my mood was fixed.

A couple hours later (it lasted at least 2 hours!), I made a quick dinner to have before a Team in Training info session.

Portobello Spinach Wraps

  • 2 Tbsp red onion + spray or oil for a few minutes.
  • Add 1 sliced Portobello mushroom + 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar drizzled on top.

  • Add in heaps of spinach- 1 to 2 cups- and wilt briefly

  • Sprinkle with parmesan
  • Fold inside a tortilla or enjoy on top of rice, pasta, rolls, salad, anything!  I had half of the mixture in a tortilla.  These are medium sized wheat tortillas by La Tortilla Factory and just bigger than a salad plate.

I gobbled it up and then headed to a Team in Training meeting.  If you are unfamiliar, participants fundraise a certain amount which funds leukemia and lymphoma research.  In turn, participants train part-time with a group of people and part-time on their own, with a coach to give guidance and training tips.  For the race, the Team travel and race expenses are covered and there is the benefit of being with a group who knows there way around hectic race grounds. I’m leaving out a ton of details but believe me, you go to one of those meetings and there is no way you leave thinking “no way!” I honestly never, ever had any inclination to run a marathon. Until this meeting. I want to participate so badly but the timing is probably definitely not the best.  Stay tuned for some pro and con lists tomorrow.

After the meeting, I headed to the gym for a 35 minute elliptical workout involving long intervals (4 minutes hard, 4 minutes regular) and some Jersey Shore viewing.  Post-gym, I finished off the other half of the portobello mushroom and spinach mixture a top a salad.  My roommate just got back from Puerto Rico so I was chowing down while he told me about his vacay and forgot a picture!

I’m up pretty late for me and just had another small snack of ~1/4 c. Greek yogurt + 1/2 Tbsp. AB + bit o’ jam.  Don’t mind my attempts at swirling.