August 05, 2011

Movin' On Up...Well, actually, more like MOVED.

Well friends, the time has come for me to do a little re-locating.  It's been 5 years here with Blogger, but I thought it was probably about time to expand my horizons.

Come join me over at will ya? It's the same website that you know in a brand new home. 

I'm in that phase of moving where most of the boxes are unpacked, but I'm still eating takeout straight out of the container if you know what I'm saying, so there may be a few kinks here and there.  Bear with me and my serious lack of technological skills and I will try and get back to your regular programming ASAP.  If it wasn't for the fabulous Lisa none of this would have happened in the first place, so many thanks to her!  And of course to you for reading. 
So come see the new digs!   


August 04, 2011

July Books

Oh, you all.  July was kind of a ridiculous month with respect to reading.  Ridiculous, as in -- it took me the entire month to finish one and a half books.  And even that WAS A CHALLENGE!

Here's the story:

Book -- One Half

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Well the whole internet was atwitter about this book and I certainly thought it sounded interesting.  It was claimed to be any one of the following: Harry Potter meets Twilight, Not Your Daughter's Vampire Novel, A Paranormal Romance for Grownups -- and while I agree with the accuracy of most of these sentiments, the most overwhelming quality of this book?   IT IS 600 PAGES.

For some reason, the length to me made it feel like a bit of a slog.  It's not like I can't read that many pages  -- I generally read 6-8 books per month which is far more than 600 pages -- but something about 600 pages OF THE SAME STORY just feels like climbing Everest when I just want to sit down and relax.  It felt like work.  

The entire story and premise were fascinating, the pace worked well, but I was busy at the beginning of the month and was reading 10 pages here and there and I began to dread picking it up because I was making NO PROGRESS.  I realize that technically this is not a reflection of the book, but a reflection of my reading shortcomings, so I don't want confuse the two.  The book was just fine at being entertaining, but it was a library book that I couldn't renew and after paying a week's worth of late fees, I had to give up.  So I only got through about half.  SOB!

The silver lining (or perhaps the Universe issuing a challenge) is that last night when I stopped by the library another copy was available.  I hate being a quitter, so damn if I didn't pick it up and  check it out AGAIN!  I guess that means you may have to hear about this book next month, so prepare yourself.  But I hear it actually gets better later on, so maybe I will have a whole new attitude.

The book I did actually finish this month (and thank god there was at least one!):

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong 

This was light and Young-Adulty.   Moody Pacific Northwest Town, Mysterious Incidents, People Who Can Shapeshift-- any of this sounding familiar? So yeah, originality is not the most notable thing about this book.  It was, however, pretty well written and definitely engaging enough for me to finish in a day and half.  At 359 pages it was just the boost I needed to bounce back from being unable to finish a 600 page book in a month.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  My Life Is Small, people.  Don't hate on this lame things that keep me up at night.  

ANYWAY, so mostly this book was cheesy in that very enjoyable way that derivative YA Lit can be.  If you like that sort of thing, pick it up!  My only caveat is to warn you that this is a trilogy, and the author uses trilogy in that loose form where they don't actually tell you three separate but related stories but rather they stretch one story over three separate books.  

I guess what I'm saying is:  CLIFFHANGER ENDING.  And the next book doesn't come out until April 2012 and by that time, I'm fairly certain I will have forgotten everything about this novel.  So keep that in mind.  
Since July was so dismal, I've got quite a few things I'm looking forward to reading in August, including not ONLY a celeb memoir, but fiction written by a celeb.  Hmmmm -- we'll see how that goes.  I'm skeptical about celeb fiction.  Have you ever indulged?  I'll report back what I think next month!

Any Must Read Recommendations?

August 03, 2011

Easy Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers

I'm just going to throw this out there:  Satay sauce is next to Godliness in my humble opinion.  

It's creamy, nutty and sometimes spicy -- and really what more can you want from a sauce? Just typing that made my mouth water.  The only two problems I have with it?  The peanuts make it very un-Paleo (Peanuts are a legume and not actually a nut...who knew?) and there is generally some type of soy sauce in it which I avoid like the plague (mostly due to gluten).  So while I occasionally throw caution to the wind and order if I am out, I wanted to make a version that I could eat anytime and know I wasn't  deviating from the style of eating that has kept me happy and healthy over the last year. 

I set out to make a sauce that would hit all the same notes as a good peanut satay (and would be a nice dipper for chicken) but also because I am lazy on most weeknights (shocker!) I wanted to find a way to turn it into a burger.  Burgers = King of Easy Weeknight Recipes! Everybody knows (said in my best Phaedra impersonation) that if you are looking for a good burger recipe, Rachael Ray is a great resource.  She's written something like 1000 burger recipes so whenever I'm in a pickle I seek out one of her recipes.  This time I used this recipe as inspiration (and did some tweaking to satisfy my own dietary needs.) 

The results were PHENOMENAL.  I have to admit this surprised me a little.  I thought for sure it would be edible, but I wasn't certain I would love it.  I only had turkey on hand and I thought it might be a weird combination, but it actually works out awesome because the creaminess of the sauce lends well to turkey because and its low fat content.  The toppings give a great texture combo and overall I LOVED IT!  I hope you will too.

Paleo Turkey Satay Burgers (adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)


for burgers
Fat of Choice (I used coconut oil on this one)
1.25 lbs of Ground Turkey

2 Large Garlic Cloves, grated
1 Inch Ginger Root, grated
3 Green Onions, finely diced
Salt + Pepper to taste  (I went lighter on the salt than usual due to the salty sauce.)

for sauce
1/2 Cup Almond Butter
3 TBS Coconut Aminos/Tamari 
1 tsp red pepper flakes (less if you don't want your sauce to have some kick) 

for garnish
1 Bag of Broccoli Slaw (My favorite thing to have in the fridge! So useful!)


1.  Heat fat of choice over medium in a 12 in skillet (or you could grill these -- I just chose a pan because I'm lazy, remember?)
2.  In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients through salt and pepper.  Form into 4 patties. 
3.  Cook patties for 6 minutes one side, flip, cook 3 minutes on the other side so that the surface gets brown, then cover and continue cooking until inside is desired temperature.  I like my turkey fairly well done so I cooked it another 5 minutes covered.
4.  When turkey is almost done cooking, in another small pot, combine almond butter and coconut aminos over medium low heat.  Stir until combined and sauce has a creamy consistency.  If it thickens over the heat more than you like, feel free to thin it out with some chicken stock (or even water would be fine!)
5. In a separate bowl toss broccoli slaw with a few TBS of satay sauce
6.  Serve cooked burgers on butter lettuce garnished with a dollop of the satay sauce as well as the sauced broccoli slaw
7.  Enjoy your super rich, spicy Paleo-friendly satay dish!

The flavor is so complex considering the ingredients are so simple and it has become a great way to fancy up your everyday turkey burger.  If you end up trying this let me know how you like it! 

August 01, 2011

These Are My People

One Word from American River CrossFit on Vimeo.

Cute video from my friends over at American River CrossFit.  I've pushed my physical limits with just about every person in this video and never once has anyone made me feel like I was anything other than an awesome athlete.  I probably should have chosen a word like "Supportive" or "Uplifting" but instead my pre-workout anticipatory jitters got the best of me.  

See what words Garrett and I chose at 5:18 and 6:56. 

Honestly, I love this place.


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