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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mark Sisson is coming, Mark Sisson is coming!

Aloha and greetings from Hawaii! I am here enjoying a week with my sister's family, my family and my mom. It's been a very long time since all of us have been together under one roof (well, three condos really). We are having some great laughs by the pool, eating lots of yummy primal dishes and CrossFitting our hearts out at our friend Kimo's Place, CrossFit Hawaii. It's the greatest thing in the world to have my family by my side when we are doing a WOD. Even my little guys get into it. One of my twins can do overhead squats and burpees. Have you ever watched a toddler squat? It's a beautiful, flexible and fluid motion. And how they can hold it at the bottom endlessly with a perfectly straight back?... wow.

Anyway, shifting gears, my purpose for this quick note to you is to announce that Justin Flynn, owner of Orange Coast CrossFit, located in Costa Mesa, CA, is having Mark Sisson, of Mark's Daily Apple come on down and impart all of his wisdom in a talk held on Wednesday, August 18, at 6:00 pm. There are only 75 spots and it's about a third full within 24 hours of the announcement. One of the best things is it's affordable at $20.00 a head.

I am an avid follower of Mark Sisson. His advice is sound, he is steeped in the primal ways and at 50 plus years old, it is obvious that he practices what he preaches. His book, "The Primal Blueprint" is a wealth of information, easy to read and very entertaining while getting the point across. He also has a new cookbook out that I'm anxious to check out.

If you are anywhere in the area and you can get to this seminar, I highly recommend it. So come on down to Orange Coast CrossFit, say hi to me and soak up all the info that Mark Sisson has to offer. You will leave enlightened!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chicken with sun dried tomato and onion relish

Many of my recipes are accidentally on purpose. Now you're thinking... "What exactly does that mean?" Well, what it means is that I haven't grocery shopped in more than a week and the ratio of food to laundry in my house is way out of proportion. If only the fridge were as full as the laundry basket we'd be in recipe makin' heaven! But alas, that is not the case... not even close.

I've managed to actually defrost some chicken so that's a start. I open my refrigerator to find the usual... A tumble weed rolling by, an old cow skull, the theme song from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly plays in my head as I stare down the last onion. (Gosh I love Clint Eastwood). Fortunately this time around it's a blessing to be limited on time and ingredients in the kitchen.

I pull out my trusty jar of sun dried tomatoes, a lonely purple onion, some olive oil and a smattering of pine nuts that I've found in the depths of my freezer. Good enough for me! Let's make some chicken.

What you'll need:

All of the above ingredients, plus boneless chicken breasts, garlic powder and pepper

What you do:

Start of by marveling at the lack of ingredients in this dish. Remember that feeling as you take you first bite and are shocked by the wonderful flavor. It can't be this good and this easy... can it?

Slice your raw chicken breasts in half horizontally and pound the thicker side down a bit so the chicken breast is an even thickness. Give it a sprinkle of garlic powder and ground black pepper on both sides. Get a pan nice and hot with a swirl of oil and lay the chicken breasts (two at a time... don't crowd the pan or the temperature will drop and you will have "steamed chicken"...ewww). Cook for about 3 - 4 minutes per side and remove to a plate. While the chicken cooks dice up the onion and cut about 7 large pieces of sun dried tomato into strips. You'll also need about 1/4 cup of pine nuts. Tent the chicken with foil to keep warm.

In the same pan, add a little more oil and drop in your onion. Saute it until its nice and soft. Add in the tomato and give it a stir for a minute. Lastly, stir in the pine nuts, lower the heat and keep stirring until the pine nuts brown. You can go from brown to burnt really fast here so pay attention!

Place the chicken on a plate and top with the sun dried tomato and onion relish. It looks very gourmet when you are done so don't let our little secret out!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Emergency Dinner - Broccoli Chicken

Most of you know already that I am an extremely busy, overtaxed, slightly neurotic mother of four. Two grown daughters, and twin boys that are now 2 1/2. My oldest daughter is turning 21 in a couple of weeks, my youngest daughter just graduated from high school and my boys... Well, my boys continue to try to snuff the life out of me on a daily basis. I think they may be succeeding. Sometimes I take a step back, look at myself in the mirror and laugh hysterically. What in the world was I thinking having more children at 40? I am really starting to think that women have a built in "forget" mechanism that blocks out our children's ages at 18 months - 4 years and ages 13 -17. We have to. Otherwise there would be no children on this earth. So I'm smack dab in the middle of the 18 months - 4 years category. But this time around I have been blessed with two "full steam ahead" maniacs at once. Those of you that have boys are nodding in agreement right about now.

Between the screaming and the throwing of objects, the constant protests, the refusals to nap even when their eyes are practically rolling back in their heads; the demands for "more juice!" (it's 90% water... don't get all freaky on me), the eating of rocks, prying my son's mouth open only to find "wings and legs" and the obligatory wail for having a toy snatched out of tiny hands followed by the retaliation bite and conquer, I guess I'm right where I should be... staring down the double barrel of toddlerhood at point blank range... and I think I'm out matched. Don't get me wrong. I love my kids. (when they're sleeping). :) So with my flack jacket, my toddler mace, my helmet and an occasional glass of wine, I spurn on.

I think you can actually hear the theme song from Barnum and Bailey's Circus when you walk through the front door of my house. It is a literal circus combined with a zoo and a war zone most days. Not only are the kids at a tough age but the dishes in the sink are having little dish babies right before my eyes and the laundry looks like the blob oozing out the top and spilling over the side of the basket. Seriously! We only have four people living in this house and two of them are under three feet tall. How can there be so much laundry?

So in between my usual duties: nurse maid, referee, diaper changer, taxi, nurturer, boo boo fixer, good cop/bad cop, facilitator, house keeper and physical education coordinator (not to mention jungle gym and pillow) I also have to find time to cook. Well, lately I haven't had any. So today I am happy to bring you my latest emergency dinner.

What you'll need:

A rotisserie chicken

broccoli florets

olive oil or oil of your choice

for the sauce:

5T wheat free soy sauce (I apologize to the paleo gods, but I'm not giving it up)

2tsp sesame oil

2T rice wine vinegar, no sugar, no salt version

1tsp garlic powder

1tsp ginger

1tsp honey, optional

black sesame seeds for garnish

nuts: almonds or cashews... or which ever you like

What you do:

Start by whisking up the sauce. If you are using more than half of the chicken or if you like a stronger flavor (like me), double the sauce recipe. Debone and cube up the rotisserie chicken and put it in a bowl. Poor the sauce over the chicken and let it take a little swim. Take out a large pan and get it nice and hot with your oil. Next place the raw broccoli in the pan and stir-fry it for about 3 minutes. It won't be cooked through so here's what you do next. Take a 1/3 cup of water (or chicken broth if you want to get all fancy) and poor it in. BEFORE YOU START: Have the lid to the pan in the other hand. Quickly poor in the water and cover the broccoli with the lid. Now you are steaming the broccoli but it will still have a "pan fried" taste. Take the lid off when all the water is absorbed. Stir in the chicken and heat it through.

Plate this beauty and sprinkle with black sesame seeds and a palm full of chopped nuts.