A Little Help From My Friends

As briefly mentioned before, last week kinda blew.

Not for one particular reason. Just a bunch of small ones that added up and made me quite hateful by 5:00 on Friday night.

Enter the weekend. My time to relax and recharge.

Friends help with this. They distract. They’re down to play. And they make me feel 10 times better with hardly any effort at all.

And sometimes they know when you just need an afternoon of throwing balls really really hard at things.And yes, I’m passive aggressive.

But at least I’m a passive aggressive bowler who dresses in high fashion. Naturally.

Mon and I have bowled before. It was after fits of rage a couple of years ago. So Mon had barely gotten the suggestion out of her mouth by the time I looked up deals in my area. One cheap Groupon deal later, we had secured a lane and were sippin’ on Bitch Ale.The ale was on draft. Almost like they saw me coming. Unwashed hair and all. I’m so classy.

And it came served in a goblet in a bowling alley! Because that’s the way us classy broads roll.

Mon threw a million strikes (who is she???). I got two. And that was with the assistance of the guys setting up the pins because they’d “accidentally knock them over” for me (yeah- old school bowling alley up in here… holla’).

The hour of bowling was therapuetic for us. And I like to think the hour of the Amy and Mon show we put on for everyone around us was entertainment for the masses.

What can I say? We’re givers.

I overheard a woman say “I think they’d be fun to go out on the weekends with”.Yes. Yes we are.

We strolled the neighborhood after that for a while before retreating back to my apartment to watch Comedy Central and feast on my latest kichen experiment.

Thanks to my farming roots, there was still a pork loin left over from the last time I visited my ‘rents back in Mid-MO.After googling how exactly to prepare it in the crock pot (I really don’t cook large cuts of meat often), I took my chances by throwing potatoes and carrots in with the loin, dumped veggie broth over all of it, closed my eyes and threw some spices in there, and just let it go.

The house didn’t burn down during our bowling excursion. That in itself was a win.

The fact that I successfully cooked the meat without any slip-ups?I’ll be smug about it the rest of the week.

And yes, I cut into it a million times to make sure it’s done. It doesn’t have to be pretty to taste good.

And because no meal is complete without dessert, we also walked to the nearest custard shop to inhale some sugar.

It’s been decided that no Sunday will ever be perfect again unless ice cream is involved.

My mood is decidedly much better. Tuesday and all.

Sure, it would have passed eventually (my bad moods/slumps normally do). But having friends who all text to see how I’m doing or just pick up on it and are willing to wear used sweaty shoes and buy you a beer?It helps.

I sort of love my girlfriends. They’re awesome.

Go enjoy the day. And if you don’t, go get some Bitch Ale. It’s like cough syrup for the soul.

Just a hint of hot sauce…

There’s one really really evil thing about the tradition in my house known as “Slowcook Sunday”.

The smell.

Elixir of the gods. And when I say a "hint", I really mean a full cup of it when you double the recipe. Weeeee!

It fills the entire house. So imagine my dismay when I arrived back home after a day of store returns (ahem… and more shopping) and I got smacked in the face with the wonderful smell of buffalo chicken soup. And there was still about 3 hours of waiting around until dinner time.

The longest part of assembling this recipe was cubing and cooking the chicken. There's a LOT of chicken involved. Yay for protein!

3 hours. That’s a LONG time when you’re hungry and the only thing you had for lunch was a gigantic cookie from Nordstrom’s Ebar.

Don’t judge me.

I'll admit- it's not the prettiest soup there is. But don't judge a book by its cover. Personality-wise, this soup is the sexiest thing to ever grace your plate. Muy caliente!

Anyway, this soup was SO good, guys. SO good. Probably one of my favorite things we’ve made lately. And that’s really saying something because the roomie and I are self-proclaimed cononisseurs of the crock pot.

Oh and it is high suggested you top it off with Trader Joe’s cheese and garlic croutons.

Perfection. That is all.

With a beer on the side. If there’s any kind of soup that would be paired well with beer, this is it. (Can someone say “good super bowl recipe”?)

I couldn’t resist. I don’t expect you to, either.

So click HERE for the recipe link (this isn’t so much a suggestion, but a demand).

The only adaptions we had were the elimination of celery and the switching in cheddar cheese for the velveeta. Both (the celery and velveeta) gross me out and give me icky feelings on the inside.

Also, check out the rest of the blog where I found the recipe- this chick made something in her crock pot every day for an entire year.

Needless to say, the roomie and I will never run out of things to attempt for Slowcook Sunday. Ever.

Also, be sure to chug a glass of water before and after dining. Because this stuff as a serious kick. And may or may not have a weeeee bit more sodium in it than your normal eats. You’ve been warned. And advised. Chug-a-lug, kids.

We pigged out ate white watching the SAG Red Carpet Show. You’d think this would have slowed my eating down.

It didn’t.

However, the soup was also taken down for dinner last night.

The cauliflour was roasted. Not moldy. Promise.

It lead to me doing situps, pretending to do pushups, and planking my way through a good part of last night afterwards as I watched The SAG Awards Fashion Police. All after a 4-mile run (8:18 pace!).

Because I really need to focus on being red carpet ready. This should help for when, oh you know, Jason Segel and I start dating…

Can’t Resist

Sundays are meant to be enjoyed.

How you enjoy them are completely on you.

I tend to spend mine doing the things I do best.

A low key workout… Catching up with my dvr… Reading…

And consuming every single cookie in my sight.

After making another giant cookie for just myself, like I did last week, my friend Annie called to see if I wanted to go out and grab something of a sugar-infested nature.

Who am I to turn that opportunity down?My just “going along to grab some coffee” turned into picking up a small butter cookie and then helping Annie finish off a giant piece of carrot cake.

Never say no to dessert.

No really, I mean it.

That philosophy is also one of the reasons I spend so much time at the gym. But whatev.

Another philosophy of mine is to spend as little time in the kitchen on a Sunday as possible.

Enter more crock pot greatness.Funny how I just said I never eat steak and here it’s making a second appearance in less than a week.Straight from the farm. It’s how I like my beef but not my boys.

The cookbook was broken open once again- we used a steak dumpling recipe as a guideline for our own concoction.Minus the celery, of course. Because no one actually likes it. Fact. We also switched out the “dumpling” part for noodles. Because noodles look fun. We had them on hand. And the point is to be lazy. They won out by a landslide.

While I was out getting coffee and cookies, this bad boy did work. And I came home just in time for this:From what I’ve experienced, 4 hours seems to be the magic time for potatoes and onions to cook to perfection.

And yet again, a successful meal that required little more than throwing together a bunch of things from the refrigerator/pantry. A successful meal to be enjoyed while watching 4 football teams you could care less about.

Yeah. I said it. My focus has already switched to basketball. Go Bulls.

Happy Monday everyone! I’m especially happy because the snow is slowly disappearing and the temperatures don’t make me hate life. That single digit crap was really working my last nerve. As was seeing all the yellow snow in my dog friendly neighborhood.

Is it Spring yet?

A Pattern

It seems I’ve fallen into a bit of a pattern on the weekends.

This could be a good or bad thing. Depending on how you look at it, I guess.Brunch and basketball. It’s a beautiful thing.

You know me. So you know I baked the donuts myself. ;)

They were a recipe from Prevention RD. I’ve seen her make one fabulous donut after another, so when the ‘rents gave me a donut pan for Christmas, I stalked her blog. I hope she’s ok with me admitting that…

I went with the basic cake donut with chocolate glaze. However, this girl doesn’t have cake flour on hand and used all-purpose flour instead. They came out a little imperfect, but it’s ok- that just means they need to be better covered in chocolate glaze. And possibly that I need to practice by making more… Holla’.

The ones with sprinkles were the first to go. Either the boys don’t like coconut/nuts on their donuts, or they happen to love sprinkles just as much as I do…

By the end of our Saturday shenanigans, they were all gone. As was the champagne.Someone didn’t get the memo about it being an Andre kind of party.

I must say, it really is an enjoyable pattern. We have champagne brunch. We watch Mizzou win. We celebrate. We eat pizza. And we’re still home at a decent hour which makes Sunday morning that much more bearable.

One thing done differently this week from last week is the workout happened on Saturday instead of getting pushed to Sunday. This was definitely a better decision on my part. 6 miles today would have been rough.

It was actually a little rough yesterday anyway. To be completely honest.

Not since the Hot Chocolate 15k have I gone that long. 6 miles is in the plan for next week’s long run, too, so this week was just a matter of getting the distance in and not worrying about pace. Pace comes next week. So I kept it at 8:41 the entire time.

Now my butt is sore. I swear it’s getting bigger and feel like this just confirms it. Totally fine. It makes up for the lack of curve elsewhere. Just as long as I don’t have to buy new pants. It’s not in the budget.

And now that we’ve covered a wide array of topics, it’s time to stop talking about myself so you can actually go and enjoy your Sunday. And it’s time for me to go browse recipes for Slowcooker Sunday.

It’s another part of the pattern that we don’t plan on changing around here.

Keeping the Streak Alive

Oh good! You’re back!

Making sure I actually ended up running that 5 miles I put off all weekend, huh?

Well no worries- totally did. Not the fastest- an 8:36 pace, which is a few (or 10) seconds slower than normal. But after a night of crappy sleep and a long Saturday of college basketball, football, friends, and a pyramid of beer cans, I’ll take what I can get.

5 miles is still 5 miles. And I still celebrated accordingly.

Maybe a little too much. A cookie craving occurred and it was so convenient that Picky Palate’s giant chocolate chip cookie she made around the holidays popped into my head.Quite easy to make (not a good thing) and probably equal to 2-3 regular-sized cookies, but at least you don’t end up with 2 dozen more just like it…

Oh and she states it’s “one serving for Santa”.

Um. It’s also one serving for Amy.

Let’s not comment on that.

We call it Sunday Funday for a reason. Mine includes cookies.

And lots of beer.Juuuuusssssstttttt kidding.

Well, not about the cookies. But about the beer. I didn’t drink it so much as throw it in the chili being made. Even though the roomie was out of town, the streak of Slowcooker Sunday was kept alive. She’s not a fan of chili, but it’s one of my favorite things, so it made sense to make it in her absence.

Pretty sure it’s been mentioned before, but I don’t often cook with recipes. So my chili comes out somewhat different each time. This round involved adding sweet potatoes.That’s why the beer came into play. It was fun in last week’s beer cheese soup. And I needed more liquid. Why not?

There’s a good chance I’ll never make chili without beer again. Who knew a lil’ 312 would add so much flavor? And since I make my chili ridiculously spicy (see entire packet of taco seasoning and more than a few jalepeno slices in attempts to completely burn a hole in my stomach), the sweet potato brought a nice balance to it all.chili with sweet potatoesPlus, the sweet potato just makes it that much more healthy, right?

Right.

Sadly, the slow cooker did its thing, but I was too late to enjoy it while enjoying watching the Packers lose. However, it was ready just in time for the Golden Globes Red Carpet. Nothing makes me crave the hearty comfort food more than watching ridiculously beautiful, toned, and tanned people prance around gracefully in gowns and jewelry that cost more than the house I live in.

Sigh.

More tan in a bottle is now on the shopping list.

At least I’m working on the “toned” part today. My friend Annie knows my issues with strength training (and how bored I get), so she not so much invited me, but insisted I go with her to a new class at her gym. It’s called “RIPPED”.

If you don’t here from me tomorrow, you know what happened.

That is all.

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