Weekend wrap up

I don’t have a lot to report this weekend.

I worked both Saturday and Sunday, and despite 95% of my weekend being pretty darn good, the nurse that chewed my butt for THEIR lack of planning sorta sunk in, and hit me hard as the weekend wrapped up.  Somehow, it’s my problem that they failed to finish their competency paperwork in a timely manner, therefore locking them out of the testing they needed to perform.  Yet anyone who works in healthcare knows that it’s ALL about rules, regulations, and proper training to keep our patients safe.

Yet I don’t have a BSN in my signature block, so this nurse decided to let me have it.  I kept my composure on the phone, apologizing profusely for a whole lot of nothing that I did wrong, and hung up the phone in tears.  I chose to let this drain my joy…but only briefly.  I drove home in silence, and after my 30 minute commute I was calm and welcomed by my family.  Life was good again.  I dropped my purse on the counter, gave hugs to my youngest who had spent the night at her friend’s house the night before and poured myself in to my welcoming bed.  I slept for TWO hours, and it was glorious.

I woke up to my hubby and youngest cooking our traditional Sunday Supper.  A dinner I normally always prepare.  But they stepped in and saved the day.

Check it out:

Cabbage salad with cilantro dressing, paired with a yummy passion fruit cocktail!
Cabbage salad with cilantro dressing, paired with a yummy passion fruit cocktail!
Marinated steak served over a mango sauce, along with roasted potatoes and mushrooms, YUM!
Marinated steak served over a mango sauce, along with roasted potatoes and mushrooms, YUM!

I finished the night with day 11 of my ab challenge, a hot shower, and time spent in front of the fire.  Tomorrow I have at least a 16 hour work day on deck, so I will postpone my first run of 2015 until Tuesday.

Lastly I was featured on one of my favorite blogs today!  You can see it here!

My goal?  2 miles on the treadmill.  Who wants to join me? What’s your favorite running songs?  I need to update my play list!

Have a great week, Movers!

❤ Michelle

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



Shrimp salad with chopped veggies

Do you need a great, quick, and easy ‘go-to’ meal for those nights you don’t feel like slaving over the stove after a long day? This recipe will surely make your palate dance, and your belly full.

What you’ll need:
One bag of large, precooked shrimp. (I prefer tail on, as they seem larger and you get more bang for your buck-simply thaw and remove the tail)
1 red pepper, sliced in strips
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced (place slices in a bowl of water for 10 minutes to remove some of the ‘bite’)
1 cup of chopped broccoli
10-12 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 head of romaine lettuce torn/chopped

Chop/prepare all of your veggies and lettuce, and set aside. Don’t forget to also season lightly with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper! I like to serve my shrimp lightly sautéed over my salad, so I season it with kosher salt and pepper, and sear quickly over high heat in a pan drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Drain on a paper towel, and serve atop your salad.

Serve with your favorite dressing (mine is in the pic-YUM) and enjoy!

Prep time is only 10-15 minutes, so this is a win win on a week night!

food, Recipes

Pan Seared Steak with rasberry/red wine sauce served with Root Vegetable puree’ and chopped salad

Tonight, I’ve prepared a pan seared steak, with a raspberry/red wine sauce served with a root vegetable puree’ and simple chopped salad.

What you’ll need for the steak:
Top sirloin steak, or your favorite cut.
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
Drizzle both sides with the olive oil, and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
What you’ll need for the root vegetable puree’:
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan; while you are waiting, start chopping!
3 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1-2 inch pieces
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 medium sized red potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1-2 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 pat of unsalted butter
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Boil veggies until fork tender, (NOT mushy) and place in your food processor and process on high until completely smooth. Cover, and set aside.
What you’ll need for the raspberry/red wine sauce:
1 box of beef stock, brought to a boil with 3 tablespoons of corn starch. (Add the corn starch right away when the stock is still cool or it will clump)
Season with kosher salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Chop one onion, and add to the liquid.
Add in about 2 cups of a good red wine (Pinot Noir or Merlot are two of my favorites for sauces)
Bring back up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let reduce down to about half the original amount. Strain the mixture, and put back on the heat. Add in one dollop of sugar free raspberry preserves (or fresh if you have them on hand would be even better!) and whisk until incorporated. Add another pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and let simmer.
Now it is time to sear your steaks. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Preheat a pan with extra virgin olive oil, to a high heat. Sear your steaks (don’t overcrowd the pan) to a golden brown, 3-4 minutes each side, and place on the baking sheet. Cook an additional 10 minutes in the oven, and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
While your steaks are finishing off in the oven, you can prepare your salad.
What you’ll need for the salad:
Romaine hearts, chopped finely
½ of a red onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
Kosher salt and pepper to season
Toss with your favorite dressing-I used a sugar free red wine vinaigrette
Plate as shown, drizzling the red wine sauce over the steak, serve, and enjoy!!!
Note-as an added yummy goodness I roasted some button mushrooms in the oven for about 20 minutes, drizzled simply with extra virgin olive oil, a splash of red wine, and salt and pepper. My daughter gobbled them down! Delish!