A Spice for Life

I don’t work – well, I work, but not in the conventional way of thinking about “work”. I work at my house. I clean, I cook, I take care of kids, I paint and make sculptures… I keep the family going {that’s what my husband says, anyways}. With that being said, I am home – a LOT. I love doing what I do and being able to be there for school events, help with projects, watch the kids grow up, etc., but when the weekend comes I am READY to get out of the house. This has caused a teensy bit of an issue with husband – he’s out, driving all over Colorado all day, and when the weekend comes, he wants to stay home. All day.

No, thanks. I will take any opportunity to get out and enjoy the rest of civilization. The company Jason works for has many clients, and {thanks to my Dad} we were able to score some free tickets from one of the clients to the yearly Indian Powwow and Market at The Fort restaurant in Morrison, CO. Jason didn’t really want to go {really, he didn’t want to drive, which I don’t blame him – bless his heart}, but I coaxed him into it.

How many people do YOU know who have been to a real Indian Powwow? None? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’ve been to a few, but knowing that Jason had never been, I was determined to be there. It’s so important to savor all that life gives to you and to jump in to new experiences. Different cultures are so beautiful, and seeing the pride that these people have for their heritage makes me proud of my Argentinean heritage. I think everyone should embrace where they come from, and delve deeper into their history.

Here’s a few photos from Sunday’s shindigs:

This beautiful eagle is blind, so they rescued her because she can’t hunt – that’s why she has a mask over her head.

PS They had an Indian Taco stand at the market, and we didn’t get any, but they looked delish. I will try to find a recipe and post it later. Hope you enjoyed the pictures ūüôā

Hankering for Hamburgers

I have had a hankering for a hamburger for the past three days, and have indulged in one every single one of those days. After my second day of satiating my need for red meat, ironically enough, Husband found out that May is National Hamburger Month! How satirical. So, we decided that we were going to go on a hunt this weekend for the best burger in town {Denver-Metro Area}. If you have any suggestion, PLEASE let us know!

Meanwhile, as we wait for Saturday to come, I thought I’d try my own at making one with that good ol’ burger taste, but with a little something to make it stand out among the sea of gourmet patties that are so hot in the food scene these days. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

1 Tube of Lean Ground Beef, thawed

3 Cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp Serrano Chili’s, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp Red Onion, roughly Chopped

Cooking Spray

{All Spices to Taste}

Dash of Salt

Dash of Pepper

Dash of Paprika

In a food processor or blender, throw in the garlic, chili and onion, and blend until they are finely minced. With your hands, mix the vegetable blend with the meat, trying to not overwork the meat {it will start cooking with the heat of your hands, which you don’t want}. You can make two massive burgers, or four sliders. Divide whichever way you like, and gently roll them into a ball while flattening with your thumbs as you rotate the burger. Season the patties to your preference. On a grill or a grill skillet, set the heat on medium-high {between 7 and 8 on my stove}. When the skillet is hot, spray with cooking spray and place the patties on top.

To get juicy but still well done patties, cook on each side 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve in a lettuce bun with as many toppings as you like! Enjoy ūüôā

Stats per patty {based on the slider serving size}:

*Statistics are approximate and can be calculated on www.recipes.sparkpeople.com

Nutrition Facts
User Entered Recipe
  4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 307.7
  Total Fat 23.5 g
  Saturated Fat 9.4 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 10.2 g
  Cholesterol 85.1 mg
  Sodium 660.6 mg
  Potassium 334.2 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 1.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
  Sugars 0.1 g
  Protein 20.4 g
  Vitamin A 5.7 %
  Vitamin B-12 44.2 %
  Vitamin B-6 17.2 %
  Vitamin C 3.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 1.1 %
  Calcium 1.8 %
  Copper 5.2 %
  Folate 2.7 %
  Iron 13.0 %
  Magnesium 5.9 %
  Manganese 4.9 %
  Niacin 26.2 %
  Pantothenic Acid     4.5 %
  Phosphorus     16.2 %
  Riboflavin 14.9 %
  Selenium 26.0 %
  Thiamin 4.5 %
  Zinc 29.6 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Red Rocks and Red Wine

I have been challenging myself to make exercise more of a priority in my life – some say that a good body is %70 made in the kitchen, and %30 made in the gym. I would agree, and that was how I justified to myself that working out really wasn’t that significant, until I was talking with my sister about the subject and she said, “Well why wouldn’t you want to be %100?” Good point. It’s not just about your health and body now, but also the benefits for your later years. I don’t want to be that grandma that can’t chase her grand-kids in her garden because she needs a walker.

So, last Thursday, when my Mom called me up and asked me if I wanted to join her and a friend in running the Red Rocks stairs, I started making up all kinds of excuses – I didn’t have time, I had somewhere to be, I would get stinky… etc.

STOP

I told myself to shut up, and said, “Sure, see you in a half hour.”

When we got there, it turned out to be the MOST gorgeous day, and even though there was a daunting task ahead of me {again, I’m really not a runner}, I was excited to complete the mission that lie ahead. I don’t know what it is, but I like a challenge, and there were plenty of people there whom (unbeknownst to them) I did just that. We started our run, and I would see someone doing the same thing and think to myself, “I could beat them,” and I would try my best to do just that. When I got to the bottom, I felt this cataclysmic sense of excitement and gratification, and I was actually PROUD of myself – a feeling that is fairly foreign to me.

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Yep, I definitely had a high, and this high is addictive – so much so, that bright and early on Saturday, I drug the hubs out there {kicking and screaming} and did it again.

But on a different note, we went to the Denver First Friday Art Walk (which Husband has never been to}, and picked up a bottle of wine to enjoy after. My Dad got me this bottle before for our engagement party, and let me tell you – it tickled me. It’s a red blend called Rebel Red by Middle Sisters Wine – I’d say fairly fitting to my personality. I definitely recommend you try it. Especially if you’re feeling adventurous.

Green Num Nums and Bike Rides for Kids

Wow, the weather is just amazingly beautiful right now, but you knew that already – not too hot, not too cold… perfect! With that being said, I think it’s about time we spent more of our hours outside. Now, if you know me, I HATE cardio, and I will find any excuse to avoid it at all costs {I’m more of a yogi, if you will}. One of my most famous excuses is that it’s difficult to do with children. Well, I no longer can use that to my convenience, because we have this thing for kids called “bikes.” Yes, bikes.

My husband started running a couple weeks ago, and that’s always motivation for me to work on my body and spend time together – double whammy. Well, we had the boys, so I had the glorious idea to break out the bikes and take them with us…

Not so glorious. As it turns out, Jacob can ride his bike… every 20 feet, then comes the inevitable fall. Jason was in charge of him, so I thought I was in the clear with AJ and his magnificent training wheels – that worked for about three minutes before the training wheels starting bending up and making him fall down.

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So, we failed. But I was determined, and the next morning Jacob was at school and I said, “AJ, we’re doing this.” So I pulled out the pliers and the gorilla glue, and – you guessed it – I glued those suckers on. For good.

It’s so important {especially this time of year} to be in the “wilderness”. We have to enjoy it while we can. They say Colorado has 300 days of sunshine, and I would acquiesce, but that doesn’t mean that we have 300 days of warm. And for someone who literally SHIVERS at the thought of 65 degree weather, that doesn’t really seduce me. So get out there while the sweat can still drip and the trees are still green.

And speaking of green trees, I have truly been inspired and mildly obsessed with brussel sprouts. I have even made them yummy enough for husband to SAVOR – not just eat – actually enjoy! That says a lot for someone who complained about it when he noticed what was for dinner. Here’s the recipe I used – it’s fairly simple, and the little green veggies are extremely forgiving. You can also mix and match veggies – it’s absolutely delish with asparagus, too:

2 Cups of Fresh Sprouts – or however many you want {I could eat a lot}, halved

2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped coarsely {I found the most GINORMOUS garlic ever, and only used about half a clove}

Olive Oil

Paprika

Salt

Pepper

Italian Seasoning

With a large stove top pan,  put it on a little higher than medium heat {the 6 notch on my stove}. When all of the sprouts have been halved, place them in a bowl and toss them in about a table spoon of olive oil {not a lot Рdepending on how many. Just use it to lightly coat for taste}. Add spices to taste, and toss them in the hot pan, and place a lid on top, stirring about every 3-5 minutes. Chop the garlic, and when the sprouts are about halfway cooked, throw the garlic in, too {because it cooks/burns faster}. Keep the 3-5 minute stirring going on until they have been on the stove for about 15-20 minutes, or until the middle is tender and the outside is a light brown and has a teeny bit of crunch Рnot too much.

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And how easy and HEALTHY is that? I suggest next time you go on a run with your kids and their bikes, serve this up after. Everyone will feel better.

Approximate Stats {serving size: 1 Cup of Sprouts}:

Nutrition Facts
User Entered Recipe
  2 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 107.7
  Total Fat 7.2 g
  Saturated Fat 1.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 2,930.2 mg
  Potassium 392.8 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 10.1 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
  Sugars 2.1 g
  Protein 3.4 g
  Vitamin A 24.4 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 13.8 %
  Vitamin C 127.8 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 8.1 %
  Calcium 5.1 %
  Copper 4.6 %
  Folate 13.7 %
  Iron 10.5 %
  Magnesium 6.3 %
  Manganese 21.1 %
  Niacin 4.2 %
  Pantothenic Acid     3.1 %
  Phosphorus     7.1 %
  Riboflavin 6.1 %
  Selenium 2.7 %
  Thiamin 9.1 %
  Zinc 3.2 %

*These statistics were found using Sparks Recipes Recipe Calculator: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp