dedication, food

The end of season 5, Master Chef

After work today I quickly took a shower, got my kids fed and swept my little one off to ballet class from 6-7 pm.  The season finale for Master Chef was TONIGHT, and I knew I’d miss the first 15 minutes but it was so worth while seeing my baby so excited to dance. So dance…we did.

Gotta get our reading done, Mom!
Gotta get our reading done, Mom!

We got home at 7:15, and I literally ran down to the basement to watch the season finale of Master Chef.  Thankfully I had an old pair of running shoes on…keep in mind, I am still wearing said shoes.  LOL.

My hubby had the wine ready, and we settled in quickly to watch the show.  One cool aspect was that Twitter was allowing you to ask questions to the Chefs…and yeah…Graham Elliot responded to my tweet.  Keep in mind, I suck at tweeting.

THIS just happened.
THIS just happened.

But I watched in awe as these home cooks did their thing…and I cried at the end, hoping, wishing, envisioning myself standing there in boots, and not heels.

The kicker was, having my husband ask me why I was crying…”You see yourself standing there, don’t you?”…Your darn right I do…because I know I have the passion needed to get where I want, need, to be.

At the end of the day, my husband said, YOU CAN DO THIS…and I will polish off my combat boots and try my hardest.

‘Nuff said.

Keep movin forward gang!



dedication, food, goals

Masterchef test kitchen, take one…

Well, I haven’t ran this week as most of you know.  I took it, mostly, in stride despite starting to go crazy by the end of the week.  I had decided yesterday that I would run tonight, but I woke up with another sinus headache, and several bloody nose bleeds to follow so I set the goal of running tonight aside. After a couple hours, I got the nose bleeds under control, so I showered, got dressed and hit the grocery store running with my youngest in tow.  She’s my ‘sous chef’ and we decided along with our regular grocery shopping that we would get something nice to prepare for our traditional “Sunday supper.”  I was also secretly using tonight as a test run for my Master Chef try out dish.

On the menu was:

Pan seared scallops

Roasted red pepper and carrot puree

Zucchini salad

We started by prepping our carrots and peppers.  Here’s what you’ll need for the puree in case you’ve missed my previous post.

Roasted red pepper and carrot puree ingredients:

2 large carrots, chopped

2 red peppers, chopped

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

Transfer to a large bowl, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread out on a baking sheet, and roast for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Let cool, and transfer to a food processor, adding a 1/4 stick of unsalted butter, dollop of low fat cream cheese, and two teaspoons of sun dried tomato pesto with whole pine nuts.  (I use the Bella Sane Luci brand, but any will do).  Puree on high until smooth, seasoning as needed.  I finish it with a sprinkle or two of freshly grated parmesan cheese.  DELISH.   I normally make this first as it’s the most labor intensive, and put in a baking dish to reheat although it’s quite tasty at room temperature.

Zucchini salad ingredients:

One half of a large zucchini noodled by your gadget of choice.  I use the Vegetti and love it.  Season the zucchini with salt and pepper and just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Top with 2-3 radicchios finely diced.  For garnish, the tops of oyster mushrooms lightly fried in basil infused olive oil (I made my own!).  Drizzle with a light lemon vinaigrette dressing of which I also make my own. (One teaspoon of Dijon mustard, juice of one lemon, salt, pepper, and whisk in extra virgin olive oil). Note: I separate all toppings, and make each salad individually.

Pan seared scallops:

Dry your scallops with paper towels, and place on a plate, seasoning simply with kosher salt and pepper.  Pan fry (I used my basil infused evoo) on medium to high heat, and turn once.  Finish by draining the scallops on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Serve, as shown.  I garnished the dish with fried basil leaves, and it was a hit.

This picture sadly wasn't the best, but it shows you how I plated the dish.
This picture sadly wasn’t the best, but it shows you how I plated the dish.

I made a couple yummy appetizers that I forgot to take pictures of, I know…blogger fail.  But stuffed cherry tomatoes with cheese and basil roasted to perfection and crostini’s also accompanied our dinner.

My take away at my first real attempt at a “Master Chef” dish:

I need to acquire better pans to get that amazing sear on scallops without having them stick.  (Christmas list item, number one.)

I need to work on time management as I find myself spending hours preparing these meals despite knowing the show is timed.  Sadly (well not really) I lose myself in the kitchen nearly as much as I do with running…therefore losing track of time.  Could I make this dish in just an hour??

I’m still unsure…but, I am still trying.  Working.  Hoping that I can find that inner spark to get my through to the ‘next round’ so to speak.

At the end of the day, I am pleased…I had almost given up on my dreams (yet again) of being well, more than I have allowed myself to be…but I have realized I am not satisfied with just ‘being.’

The last few years I have found myself talking in my own head…telling myself I know, I KNOW there is a greater purpose out there for me besides a 7-4 job…I just have to keep movin’ forward and FIND it…more so MAKE it happen.

And. I. Will.

So as I take my last sip of my orange cello (lemon cello with a twist of orange, YUM!) and I mentally prepare for our half marathon (my husband’s first!) I realize we can…and we will…OVERCOME.  ALL things…in life.  It’s our choice…it’s MY choice.  And I’ve made it.

Just wait.

Question: What inner dreams do you have?  Do you push yourself to attain these dreams, or do you let them be simply a dream?

❤ Michelle