Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tomato-Basil Steak Pasta

This is the OG version. My version is much thicker and darker. My pictures were ugly though ;)

Tonight I asked Sam what he wanted for dinner and his suggestion was to do something with the beef we had in the freezer, and since we barely ever eat beef, I decided to try something masterful. I love the Olive Garden Braised Beef and Tortellini dish, so I looked up some "copycat" recipes online.  I didn't find a solid consensus on the "real" recipe, so I just did my own thing with what I thought would work, and we loved the result! We think it would also rock without the beef, making it vegetarian (and cheaper) if you wanted.  You can also use regular pasta instead of stuffed, or serve it on rice.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3c diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8oz cooked steak strips
  • 1 10oz can of fire roasted tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 1tsp basil
  • 1tsp thyme
  • 1/4c balsamic vinegar
  • 1c mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 10oz can cream of mushroom soup
Heat oil in a large, deep pan.  Brown the onion, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Add the steak and brown.  Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, and vinegar.  Cover and bring to a simmer.  Add sliced mushrooms, cover (we used a cast iron pan and just put it in the oven, or transfer to a casserole dish), then place in the oven for at least 30 minutes (or until beef is tender) at 300F.  In the meantime, cook your tortellini.  When the pasta is almost done, remove sauce and stir in the can of mushroom soup.  Serve over your pasta.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moving onnnn!

Since I'll be done classes in June and Sam is working up in Alpine, we've decided that we are ready to get  the heck out of Provo and move closer to family and work.
When we posted our apartment online, I was shocked at how much response we got.  I've been getting anywhere from 3-10 calls or texts every day since we posted it!  It sure has helped me keep the house clean knowing that people are coming by almost every day to secretly judge my housekeeping skills the apartment.
As we started our own apartment search, I was looking desperately for a place that would allow me to have a dog.  I've been dying to get a big ol' running buddy.  Unfortunately, I learned that finding an apartment within our modest student budget was really difficult- and essentially impossible if you were planning on having a big hair drooly dog as well.  I have come to terms with the fact that a dog just isn't happening right now :( However, this did open up more apartment options to not have that criteria in the mix.
The first place we really liked was in American Fork. It was small but in a good neighborhood and crazy inexpensive.  We applied, and after waiting a week to hear a response, I got a mass text saying that it was going to be rented out to somebody else. Dang! Rejection!
Before we had applied for the AF place, Sam had gone and looked at a place in Alpine.  He said it was nice, so after our sad rejection we decided to go up and both take a look.  As we got closer to the house, I started getting more and more excited.  It is a super precious house on a super precious lane (not road. Lane) with super precious children frolicking about.  As we walked up to the house, I noticed that there were chickens next to the house just wandering around in a chickeny way.  The lady took us to the apartment, which is in the basement with a separate entrance, and I liked what I saw! I tried to turn on the charm, flashed some ankle (thanks to a suggestion from Sean), and we talked with the couple for a while, just getting to know each other.  I asked (a little too excitedly) if the chickens were theirs. They were, indeed!  Then the husband started telling me about how they had been raising emus for years and this past year they had finally hatched their own chicks. This is probably what my face looked like:
fyi, I'm on campus and some girl is sitting across from me at the table probably judging me.
Anyway, we really liked the apartment, the people, and the location so we gave them our references and headed on our merry way.
(Sidenote: We went and saw The Avengers that night, which was FANTASTIC. We also went bowling, and Sam did better without bumpers than I did with them.)
Finally, we got the call saying that they would like for us to rent from them! Woohoo!! Then later that day I had somebody scheduled to come see our apartment, and after the tour they said that they want the place, and were wanting to move in around the same time we were leaving. Perfect.
We're very grateful that we were able to find a great place to live, as well as sell our contract!
And that is my very long story about finding an apartment that could have been told in two sentences.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Frankenstein's monster.

And by "Frankenstein's monster", I mean that I had to get hooked up to an electric current to "come alive" today.  Is that a weak connection? Maybe.
I had another chiropractor appointment today.  First he destroyed me with his hands.  Then he stabbed with some needles.  Then he stabbed with more needles, and hooked up an electric current to them.  I don't think I have a very accurate concept of pain due to all those years of slamming my head body into other people and various other activities, because I guess he turned it up waaaay high before I considered it a "strong" pain feeling. Then he turned it down a tad, and left me there for 15 minutes.  Let's just say that electroacupuncture isn't the best feeling.  At first it was okay, but then it got a whole lot worse (probably because I kept tensing up).  Finally the nurse came in and took it off, wiped off some blood, and sent me on my merry way.  Unfortunately Sam had the truck today, so I had to ride my bike home, which didn't help much either!  It's going to be sore for a while!
I'm very glad to have such a good chiropractor, though.  He thinks that I'll be able to start working my lower body in maybe two more visits, and that might even include running.  My fingers are crossed.  Sometimes I'm not a huge fan of going on a run, to be honest, but now that I don't have it anymore I sure miss it!
Anyway, that's the update.   Next time he's going to look at my knee some more, which has been messed up since early high school.

Oh, and I get to wear this dealio for a while too:
Fancy pedicure toe-thinger?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A very sad tale.

I've been having some problems with my hip the past few weeks.  It pops when I walk, and is extremely painful when I walk more than half a mile, or run at all.  That doesn't mesh well with marathon training.  On Friday I went to a chiropractor who specialized in sports injuries.  Long story short, I'm out for running for at least a month and can't do any sort exercise involving my lower body for at least two weeks.  What does this mean?  Well, I'll be doing a lot of upper body and core work for the next month.  It also means that I have to sell my marathon race bib.  Even if my hip was ok to run by then (which it probably wouldn't be), I wouldn't have sufficient training to not likely jack myself up more.  It also means I might not be able to do the Ragnar that was supposed to be the week after the marathon, or pace the half marathon the week after that.  Let's just say that I'm not a happy camper.  When I've been putting in 50+ miles of running a week to be ready for an event, only to get injured a month before and not be able to do it, it's really disappointing.  The half I was going to race in July is going to suffer too.  I was expecting a PR on that course.  I was also expecting a PR on this marathon course.  My little secret is that I have been training to qualify for Boston this year (you have to run a certain time-- 3:35 in my case-- on a qualified marathon course to even be able to register).  I would have been able to pull off a 3:45 or 3:40 at this race if all went well, and then hopefully the 3:35 in my September marathon.  With missing this much "conditioning" to start training for the September marathon, I can't see that attempt safely succeeding.
The shoes I ordered pre-injury that are coming tomorrow, but I now can't wear for a while :(
Anyway, I'm really sad and angry that I'm missing my marathon and pacing the half, as well as possibly missing Ragnar, a half PR, and qualifying for Boston.  The plus side is that with proper treatment I will some day be back to where I was-- just not as quickly as I wish.
Anyway, there's my explanation for why there won't be as many race recaps this year.  I guess I'll just have to make up for it next year.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

All grown up and taking on the world.

Well that's it for now, folks-- Sam is graduated, and I'll be done in June!  On the one hand, it feels like I've been in university for forever, but it also feels like time just flew by. 

Right before my freshman year
first day of life?
What does the future hold?  We've got big plans, but for now Sam is working and I'm finishing up my last two classes (and fighting the senioritis that has grown exponentially since I have already done the cap and gown deal and even if I barely pass my last two classes my GPA won't change.  I should still do some more learnin' though, eh?).