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Newlywed Brunch

Remember when I used to share recipes on the blog?

Yeah me neither.

But believe it or not, I do still cook every once in a while. So what if I made these two months ago. Or that I’ve had the photos sitting on my camera ever since just reminding me how good they would probably taste if I had them again.

So I figured why not share the recipe with you so you can drool over them and likely bookmark the recipe to keep pushing off for when you actually find time to make brunch again, too.

oatmeal yogurt pancakes with blackberry crush, newlywed cookbook, blackberry, breakfast, pancakes, yogurt, brunch,

 

I’ve been loving The Newlywed Cookbook lately for its simplicity and fresh ideas. Let’s just say I tackle cooking like I tackle my wardrobe. I will re-wear the same 5 pieces of clothing over and over again before I make use of the hundreds of other items I have in my closet. And when I realized I had everything on hand to make this oat/yogurt/blackberry jam of a recipe, well, I put on my white t-shirt and jeans and made a morning out of it. (OK so it was yoga pants and a workout tank you get the point).

Warning: Rich flavors on the horizon.

 

oatmeal yogurt pancakes with blackberry crush, newlywed cookbook, blackberry, breakfast, pancakes, yogurt, brunch, Oatmeal-Yogurt Pancakes

  • 1 2/3 C all purpose flour
  • 2/3 C old fashioned oats (can sub rolled)
  • 2 TBL sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt (plus a little extra for garnish)
  • 1 C buttermilk (sub whole milk)
  • 4 TBL unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 large eggs

In a large mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Blend yogurt, buttermilk, melted butter and eggs in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until they are combined.

While your cast-iron skillet heats to medium, mash 2 cups of blackberries with 1/4 cup of sugar. Strain the juice into a small saucepan and set the berries aside. Heat the juice over medium heat until it thickens to a syrup-like consistency. Remove from heat and add a few teaspoons of pure maple syrup. Once it cools, pour over berries.

Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into your heated skillet and cook until bubbles form on top of pancake. If you’re anything like me it takes you 3-4 pancakes to really get your temperature right. But oh how #4 turns out!

Serve pancakes with berries and garnish with a little greek yogurt.

oatmeal yogurt pancakes with blackberry crush, newlywed cookbook, blackberry, breakfast, pancakes, yogurt, brunch,

Take a nap.

oatmeal yogurt pancakes with blackberry crush, newlywed cookbook, blackberry, breakfast, pancakes, yogurt, brunch,

 

Happy Daylight Savings Day!

Happy Daylight Savings Day! And good morning to those of you with small children.

Please know that Swiss Mountain Dogs with a precise feeding schedule share your child’s excitement for the 6:00 hour. May you be blessed with a short nap at some point today.

So how many Elsa’s did you count on Friday? I was going to attempt the Elsa-spotting drinking game but then I remembered I wasn’t in college and had to go back to work for the rest of the day. Regardless I had a count of 8.

8 Elsas. If that sounds low to you it’s because it is. My sister said Jake had 5 Elsas in his class alone. I even bought enough candy for 250 Elsas, but apparently living behind a gate and between two family-friendly streets only gets you a handful of trick-or-treaters. Either that or the cold really did bother them anyway.

I guess a low of 65 will do that to Floridians.

bears family, chicago bears costume, pet costume, football player, swiss mountain dog, swissy, greater swiss, Finn

Disclaimer: When the home team is playing far worse than the Bears in an off-year, no one will heckle you for your last-minute Halloween costume.

pet costume, halloween, swiss mountain dog, bernese mountain dog, football player, greater swiss, finn

But as Cubs fans say, there’s always next year. And next year when that little 4-year -old Luigi walks right past and tells us he’s already had enough candy for this year, I will chase him down, shove a king-size Snickers in his tiny plastic pumpkin and tell him there’s no such thing as too much Halloween candy. Never give up kid. Never give up.

But I digress.

It did cool down ever so slightly this week so I decided to try out a new chili recipe. I was getting a few complaints from a certain someone who will now be my certain someone from this day forward that my go-to chili recipe didn’t have any meat in it so I experimented a little for this one. Fortunately it worked.

pumpkin steak chili, taste of home, chili recipes, fall recipes, dinner, dutch oven, quick chili recipe

I sort of loosely based it off of this recipe from Taste of Home but I’ve found that with chili you have a little more wiggle room on ingredients so don’t be afraid to try something new.

Pumpkin Steak Chili

 

  • 2 center-cut high-quality sirloins, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • chili sauce (garlic chili sauce and cholula)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 C canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder

In a dutch oven, saute onions until transparent. Add chopped steak and cook until browned. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add spices and chili sauce to taste and water to thin. Simmer for at least an hour. Add a bay leaf to bring up the flavor.

pumpkin steak chili, taste of home, chili recipes, fall recipes, dinner, dutch oven, quick chili recipeServe with chopped avocado, crackers or smoked shreddd gruyere cheese. Add more hot sauce.

Enjoy!

 

 

5 years later

It’s not often that I use the blog as a platform for love and mushiness but with our big announcement last week, I figured this was as good a time as any.

5 years ago today I went on a date with my best friend’s brother’s best friend from college. We watched the Illini get their butts kicked (shocker, I know) and drank beer on empty stomachs because neither of us were willing to admit we were starving. I called my sister afterwards and offered every lame excuse in the book as to why this probably wouldn’t amount to anything:

I don’t know he’s not that tall.

He lives in the suburbs. 

He seems a little shy.

He might be a little too muscular.

Yes. Believe it or not, I tried to justify being too muscular as a reason that this relationship would not work out.

This is probably one of the few times in my life where I will willingly admit the following:

I was wrong.

He stands taller than all 5’7″ of me, even in four-inch heels.

He drove back and forth from the suburbs for nearly 5 years so that we could spend time together in the city.

He may be an introvert to the masses, but he’s quite the talker if you get him around his family, friends or anything sports-related. 

And yes. He is very muscular.

He’s the calm to my storm, the focus to my inspiration and the decision to my waver.

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year_two year_three

year_four

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5 years down, a lifetime to go.

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Happy Anniversary!

The Power of 30

As I approached my 30th birthday this month, I started to think about how different it felt than I always assumed it would. Should I feel older? More mature? More motherly? Some schedule events or bucket list trips to celebrate the big milestone. Others brush it under the rug like it’s not happening at all, refusing to speak about it and the impending doom it seemingly will bring. I’ll be honest when I say I was surprised that I didn’t seem to fit in either of those groups.

But it’s a big event. I should do something to make it meaningful, I thought. 

Not that surprise parties and quality time spent with family and friends is not meaningful. I feel blessed to have celebrated for not one but two weekends around my birthday, but I was still left with this feeling of needing to do something more. A need to challenge myself in my thirtieth year. That or I just really need a new hobby. Who knows.

So I have decided to challenge myself in my year of thirty. Physically, mentally, spiritually and the like. I don’t know that I will devote posts to it entirely, but I’m sure it will come up as I expect to run across some successes, failures and probably a few funnies in the process. Like my current challenge that allowed me to experience what a wood burn feels like on the side of your face.

power of thirty challenge, turning 30, 30 challenges, yoga, crow pose,

And now I know.

Currently I’m working on one challenge per month. 30 days each. And since I like themes, I’ve been trying to relate each to the number 30 somehow. I even created a hashtag because, well, everything that’s cool today has a hashtag associated with it. #amIright?

I’ve been practicing yoga several times a week so this month I challenged myself to holding a crow pose for 30 seconds without tapping my feet, swaying back and forth or falling on my face. The key word is practice. I’ve found that like most things, the more you practice yoga, the easier the poses become. What started out as a 30 second crow pose has now transitioned into side crow, bird of paradise and other crazy poses I never even attempted before. I’ve also learned that mastering a pose one day does not mean you will get it the next. In fact, getting too confident or pushing yourself too much will lead to floor burn on your face.

I’d love for you to join me on the challenge even if you’re not thirty. Ideas welcome. Hashtag free for your use as well.

Have a great day!

 

Gooooaaaallll

So I’ve got some bad news.

Jurgen Klinsmann did not select me for this years World Cup team. I know it’s hard to believe considering I’m 1) female and 2) retired as of 10 or so years from traveling teams whose international experience included little more than a random exchange student, but still. Those ESPN 30 for 30 episodes were really motivating. And like several of our UNMNT guys this year, I’m part German! But I’m not bitter. I don’t blame coach K. And unlike Landon Donovan, I’m not going I go all Kanye on you guys.

kanye west imma let you finish world up, brasil, landon donovan, jurgen klinsmann

Instead, I’m slide tackling straight into these World Cup games with my vuvuzela in hand and American flag wrap dress on.

I love World Cup years for many reasons:

  • I like soccer.
  • It’s the only time soccer is treated like a legit sport in America. Everywhere else it’s a religion, yet we’re still over here like hey it’s Saturday morning and my 6-year old is in charge of treats today. Not that there’s anything wrong with youth soccer and post-game treats. In fact, I wish that whole treat thing continued on through college. My personal favorite were fruit roll-ups and those foil-topped mystery juices followed closely by kudos bars andcapri suns.

  • I find it fascinating to see the support that international soccer fans have for their teams. Let’s get serious, they are on a completely different level than us and it’s awesome. Minus those beheadings. Beheadings are not awesome.

  • The World Cup gives us a chance to learn the difference between Balotelli, Batali and Bertolli. Key distinctions we need to make in order to not sound like idiots when talking to someone about the games.
    balotelli, bertolli, mario batali, world cup, soccer, why I love the world cup
  • It’s where, in 1994, my dad went to great lengths to allow his two daughters, ages 10 and 13, to experience the highest level of soccer. I still remember the size of the tickets. The time it took to for us to trek to the top of Soldier Field and nestle ourselves between the packs of Spain and Bolivia fans, increased only slightly by my sister’s crutches as she recovered from a soccer-induced knee injury. I probably wore my Give Blood, Play Soccer shirt and black Umbro shorts. My cousins in similar soccer swag. And while I remember little of the game itself, I can still recall the non-stop chants from the opposing sides as they willed their teams to win.

Dad’s dedication didn’t stop there. He was our soccer driver, advisor, non-emergency medical provider, weather reporter and shoe conditioner. He sacrificed his favorite sport so that we could play ours, something that may have gone unnoticed during our teenage years, but is that much more appreciated now that we are adults.

So it seems fitting that when discussing an event as significant as a World Cup, that I also celebrate the person responsible for giving me that love. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Stock up on sunblock because I’ve got a lead on 2022 tickets in Qatar!

U.S.A!

 

Workout Wednesday: How NOT to run outside in the winter

This workout Wednesday is being remotely broadcast from Antarctica!

workout wednesday, simply social blog, workout tips, exercises

OK not really. But it might as well be.

chicago versus antarctica weather comparison

In case you are confused, that would be Chicago weather on the left.

Irritated, annoyed and angry don’t even encompass the attitude of Chicagoans this week. We’re breaking records set back in the 1800’s and we’re not the least bit excited about it. There’s a frigid air of complete apathy.

It was a mix of apathy and willfulness that led me to do my long run outside on Saturday morning, despite the cold temps. As a result, I bring you a few tips on How NOT to run outside in the winter:

Break your own rules. Go ahead. Run outside when temps are far below your 30-degree temperature threshold. Don’t worry about the windchill and definitely overestimate the power of the sun this time of year. Who’s going to know the difference between windburn and a day at the beach anyway?

chicago riverwalk, winter running tips, how not to run in the winter, river path chicago river

Hit the Riverwalk. Literally, with your backside. And don’t give up when you see the first portion is icier than the cube at Sochi. You’ve already made it this far. Follow the frozen footprints that a much taller stranger left several days prior for the next half a mile. It’s just like doing lunges really.

winter running tips, how not to run in the winter, lake path chicago river, lake michigan

Stop frequently. It’s not like your body is accustomed to the treadmill and your lungs still getting used to cold air. Go ahead and stop frequently to avoid falling or to capture the moment. Crippling side stitches are kind of fun to revisit every few years.

(note: to quickly get rid of a side-stitch or cramp, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and breathe through your nose)

winter running tips, how not to run in the winter, lake path chicago river, lake michigan

Forget about pace. Who needs it? You can no longer feel your arms and you want this run to be over as fast as humanly possible. Don’t worry about getting into a rhythm or over-stressing your sensitive legs. You’re in a solo race against frostbite and you’re barely in first-place.

If you haven’t gathered by now, these tips are all meant to be taken with extreme sarcasm. All things considered, I am glad I did my long run outside this weekend. Being out in the elements for an hour is better than being stuck on a treadmill for the equivalent any day. Except maybe today.

22 days until spring. 22 days until spring!

Have a great workout!

A Family Affair

I come from a large family. Not quite Duggar-sized but large nonetheless. My mom is the oldest of eight. I am one of 10 cousins on the Bosch side. And that doesn’t include in-laws. Needless to say our family functions are well-attended. Over the years I’ve become accustomed to record attendance. The more the merrier in my opinion. The year my parents decided to host a Murphy family Thanksgiving with only 5 of us, I nearly cried. I’m pretty sure we’ve had rotating Bosch family members ever since.

Photo credit-Julie O’Mahoney

It’s only fitting then that we celebrate birthdays the way we celebrate any other tailgate holiday– together. And since we have so many birthdays in August, we have taken to celebrating them all with a singular gathering each year rather than individually. A frenzy of celebration that someone coined…

(children please put on your earmuffs blindfolds)

Augasm.

try explaining that cake to the young ones

It was a short 9 years ago when family members gathered for a bar crawl to toast two of my cousins as they turned 21.

mike and molly's champaign illinois

So when their birthdays approached this year, we had little choice than to “take it back to the streets” to celebrate the big 3-0.

Now we don’t always celebrate Augasm with a bar crawl. That would be a little excessive. Some years we celebrate at a tailgate or at someone’s house. But regardless of location, you can count on:

mike and molly's esquire champaign illinois

Beer. Gardens. Beer Gardens.

barcrawl

Scary photos from 9 years ago when you had a soccer mom bob and wore way too much lipstick.

Half prom/half basketball photo shoots.

Enough family members to fill the aforementioned beer garden.

Sibling rivalry.

cup

ok so the photo on the right isn’t from Augasm, but who doesn’t love a little Jake with a wine bottle?

Lessons in moderation from the younger generation.

We interrupt this blog post for a musical break.

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But our neighbors might have

Finn and I were here just minding our own business watching Allen Craig crank a grand slam when we noticed an unusually large number of sirens sounding outside. I live near the medical district so it’s not uncommon to hear sirens multiple times per day. Finn is so used to noise that barks at the quiet when we go home for visits. City dog.

There were no alarms and I didn’t smell smoke, but when the sirens softened at a pretty close distance I figured it was time for Finn and I to go check things out. Finn can sit, shake, high five and stay but the poor kid has yet to master stop drop and roll.

We were greeted out front by some of Chicago’s finest firefighters. Literally. I had to do a double-take to make sure I didn’t spot Severide or Casey. Nope, these guys were the real deal.

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Fortunately the fire was small and contained to a balcony on the opposite side of the building. It was out within 20 minutes, but left just enough time for a crowd to gather to watch the guys do their thing.

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And so we’re back, but not before Finn tried to leave me to become a Firetruck Swissy. I swear that kid will jump into any type of vehicle. I must admit he did look pretty handsome next to that red truck.

Back to the regular scheduled programming.

This year’s Augasm didn’t disappoint. It may not have been as rowdy as 9 years ago, but it was just as memorable. And for those who don’t remember, we have a notebook filled with messages and photos and enough laughter to last until next year. Or at least until football season starts.

Marathon Season

This weekend was an early indication that marathon season is approaching here in Chicago. I’m not sure if it was the slight temperature increase (hello 39 degrees!) the sunshine, or the fact that it’s nearly April, a month where many, myself included, have to put feet to pavement for races. Whatever the case, there was legitimate activity this weekend on the lake path. I have a feeling it won’t be long until the path is filled with packs of running teams, tandem bike-riding tourists and stretchy band speedo guy. Yes, he does exist.

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This will be my 4th year running a half marathon in April. In past years, I did the majority of my training on a treadmill. This time around I’ve been fortunate to get nearly all of my runs in outside. In doing so I’ve realized how much more enjoyable running in the city can be. Yes, even in the winter.

chicago lake running path

Anytime I have to do anything over 5 miles, I typically head towards the lake. My 3-4 mile route is fine for mid-week runs but doesn’t provide as much motivation as the lake path. That, and my neighborhood route smells like food which makes me hungry. 4 miles hungry is ok. Anything above that is dangerous. Plus, once you’re on the path you can cover a lot of distance without stopping. I had to do 9 this weekend, so I figured I’d head over to the lake and see how many I could get in before I got too cold. And then I started to sweat. And I cursed myself for not taking the sun into account as I put my running gear on that morning. After all, I should know better.

Growing up, my dad was the go-to gear guy. He carried rolls of athletic tape in his golf bag and believed in its superiority over nearly everything but electric tape. I was the lucky girl who got her Copas mink-oiled after rainy soccer games. And it was not unusual to find the two of us browsing the local sporting goods store each time I signed up for a new sport.

My dad taught me the importance gear can play in being prepared for a sport. Don’t worry he taught me a lot more than that as well. I’m pretty sure my last pair of Copas even made it through a few kickball seasons post-college. But it wasn’t until I started running longer distances that I realized I wasn’t prepared. And as the mileage ticked up, my gear continuously ticked me off. I painfully learned:

  • A tiny plastic design element on the top of a running shoe can result in the slow loss of a toenail 
  • The viscosity of chewing gum can determine how quickly it disgustingly deteriorates in hot weather
  • That ‘locating satellites’ can take anywhere from 2 minutes to FOR-E-VER

Having the proper gear can literally make or break a run. And I layered a little too much this weekend. So in the spirit of do as I say not as I did, I’ve put together a list of the items I think are essential for a successful cold-weather run. I’m afraid you’re on your own when it comes to the lung capacity and leg strength. Just watch out for that March sun.

cold weather running gear

  • Reflective running vest-I got this for christmas and I love it. Perfect for keeping your core warm but arms cool and the reflective pieces are safer than the dark knight runner look I was apparently going for when I purchased these items. 
  • Lululemon tech long sleeve-I tried to avoid the Lulu trend but they make really nice stuff. This one is great because it has thumb holes and is thin enough to layer under a half-zip for those really cold days.
  • GPS watch-you could easily use the Map My Run app as well but I swore by my garmin watch when I was learning to pace myself early on.
  • YurBuds-these headphones stay put and have good sound quality. I have the pair with the microphone too just in case someone calls when your phone is in the back pocket of your running tights and you can’t seem to get it out without falling over.
  • Gum-I like to blow bubbles when I run. But it also helps keep me from getting cotton mouth and gives you something else to focus on.
  • Ear warmer/Running gloves-I recommend light fabric for both of these. Plus, the itouch gloves come in handy if you plan on using your phone at all.
  • iPhone/iPod-I used to strictly run with my iPod and I still do in actual races. I try to bring my phone if I run in the evening or a long distance by myself for safety purposes. And I may or may not love the ability to snap photos of random things I see along the way. Sue me.
  • FitRadio-Where have you been my whole life FitRadio? Download the app and thank me later.
  • Visor-guess who chose her ear warmer instead of her visor for a cold but SUNNY run on Saturday. This girl. I highly recommend wearing one anytime you are going to be in the sun for a long period of time. I use the crap out of mine.
  • Running tights-Nike makes a great version. The newest of which has zippers on the side of the ankles instead of the back. My ankles thank you, Nike.

Once you’ve got the gear you are ready to run all day. Or at least for a few hours before something starts to chafe, bleed or ache.

Sometimes I wonder if I would run as much if I didn’t live in the city. Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of the new trail they put in down by my parents house, but one can only handle the excitement of smashed mystery berries and a zig-zagging chipmunk so much. And when I say excitement I mean it. Those chipmunks scare the crap out of me every time. I do enjoy a good country run every now and then though.

trail woods fall spring winter

Living in the city you get used to dodging tourists, delivery trucks and cyclists, but wildlife? Not really. Unless you count rats the size of opossums. That’ll motivate anyone to run.

So the next time you’re visiting somewhere new, pack your running shoes. As long as you have the right gear, running is a great way to explore. You never know what you’ll run into. Perhaps the filming of popular TV show Chicago Fire early Saturday morning in the loop?

chicago fire tv show

Here’s to a great week!

Resolutions

January is the month for resolutions, right?

After revisiting my Meyers Briggs personality profile over the holidays, I was reminded that in order to get anything done as an ENFP I need to set goals and deadlines.

“An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals.”

You don’t say?

Some might say that my fellow ENFPs and I tend to be ambitious with projects but our lack of deadlines creative spirit sometimes gets in the way. So here we are a year (or so) since my last blog post and I’m ready to give it another shot. As I reflected on the past year, I felt like a creative outlet was missing. I’m sure my personality profile has something to say about that too.

“You are always looking for a new environment…blah, blah, blah.”

Bottom line is I miss writing and while I don’t know how much others enjoy reading my blog, writing has and probably always will be my outlet. I guess you could say it’s in my genes. On second thought, I don’t guess. It is in my genes. Both of my parents are writers. I come from a family of communicators. It’s just what we do.

In the past, I’ve posted mostly about parties, food and crafts. And while that does take up a big chunk of my creative life, this year I’m going to open it up and share other stories as well. I like to run. I live in a pretty cool city. I have some fascinating friends and family. Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Facebook knows I am slightly obsessed with photos of my puppy. Don’t judge me. He’s cute and has a personality to make anyone giggle. And in the 4 months since I first laid eyes on him, I think I’ve observed enough dog-related social situations to write a sitcom. No doubt he and the rest of the dog-park world will be a topic for posts this year.

As for future content, I’m open to suggestions! One of my favorite things about social media is its ability to connect others in new and exciting ways. But I believe social media is only as successful as its contributors. And if I must circle back to that oh-so-spot on personality profile, I am nothing without my external environment. So bring on the comments.

I’ll wrap up my first and (hopefully not last) post of 2013 with a list of my resolutions. Hopefully the accountability and publishing factor will give me the incentive I need.

  • Blog Weekly
  • Volunteer once a month
  • Read more (must quantify goals, Sarah) Correction: Read 13 books in 2013
  • Capture more life in photos (not just with iPhone)
  • Complete a Triathlon

What are your goals for 2013?

>It’s Apple Season…

>

So I’m a little obsessed with apples. I don’t remember having such an affection for the fruit growing up, but I look forward to my 4:00 snack every day now in my adulthood. Yes, apparently I’ve reverted back to snack-time. Apples are just one of many reasons I love the fall season and after experiencing the best apple I’ve ever eaten on a trip to visit family in Minnesota last fall, I was hooked. 
Say hello to the Sweetango, a cross between the Honeycrisp and the Zestar apple developed by the University of Minnesota and filled with pure awesomeness. I went into a slight depression after I returned last fall and was forced to turn to the parent version since the fruit is only available in Minnesota, and even more depressed when Honeycrisps went out of season earlier this year. Well good news folks, they’re back! And because my aunt loves me (or pities me for my obsession), I was greeted with a package full of fresh Sweetangos from the mailman this weekend!! The only problem now is deciding which recipes are worthy enough to use a Sweetango in 🙂