Sunday, July 30, 2017

Parmesan Smashed Cauliflower recipe

If you love mashed potatoes, but don't want all the calories, then you should try this mashed cauliflower recipe. They are creamy, cheesy and pretty darn awesome. 

The version I make is about half the calories of mashed potatoes and just as tasty. Serve them alongside a nice grilled steak and you have a delicious dinner which will rival any steakhouse.

Parmesan Smashed Cauliflower
serves 4-6

1 large head of cauliflower
1/4 cup + 2 T Parmesan cheese
1 oz cream cheese
1/4 t. chicken base (Better Than Bouillon)
1 garlic clove minced
salt and pepper to taste

Set a pot of water to boil over high heat with a steamer basket in the pot. 

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 15 minutes, or until well done. Drain well. Leave cauliflower in hot pan and with the heat off stir it around in the pan. You want the cauliflower to be as dry as possible.

Use your immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower until almost smooth. Stir in the cream cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan, minced garlic, chicken base, salt and pepper. 

Pour mixture into an oven proof dish. Top with 2 T shredded Parmesan cheese and broil until golden brown.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Casa Chicken Recipe

From the Mulkey family recipe archives....

Do you love chicken and curry? Then you are going to love Casa Chicken. This recipe is super easy to make and is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Every family has their favorite recipes - those craveable flavors you can taste and smell in your mind. This recipe for Casa Chicken is a Mulkey family recipe that Don's mom used to make all the time. It has a great curry flavor, super moist chicken and tons of sauce to smother over rice. And the best part is all the ingredients for the sauce are pantry staples. So on those nights when you don't know what to make you know you can always whip together Casa Chicken in less than 30 minutes.

Casa Chicken
Serves 4-6

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 3 or 4 pieces
3/4 t. onion salt
3/4 t. black pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T prepared mustard
1/2 t. curry powder
2 1/4 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 T cornstarch
2 T water
3 T olive oil

Rinse and dry chicken. Sprinkle with onion salt and pepper. Brown in a large skillet with olive oil.
Sauce: Blend together ketchup, soy sauce, mustard, curry, 2 1/4 cups water and bay leaves. Pour over chicken. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender. Blend cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Stirring constantly, add mixture gradually to sauce and cook until thickened into gravy consistency. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli (or your favorite vegetable.)


Do you have a favorite family recipe? I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Getting Back in Shape

TRX at In-Shape Health Clubs
If I could give just one piece of advice to people in their 30's and 40's it would be to stay active, work out weekly and keep building muscle. Because as you get older it's really important to have muscle mass and getting back in shape is really hard. It hurts. A lot. My muscles hurt for days sometimes because the muscles are nonexistent. Had I been working out all this time this wouldn't be happening. But I didn't. So here I am.

I have also learned that all that hiking and walking I was doing is great. But it did nothing to build my core strength and upper body. It would have been much easier to have been doing some sort of strength training all along.

The good news is it's not too late to start. You can get back in shape at any age and it doesn't take that long with a little bit of focus.

Here are the things I'm doing to get back in shape.

Working out at the gym/club
Lucky for me I work for a chain of health clubs called In-Shape Health Clubs. I love the club because I like having a variety of things to do (strength, cardio, pool, tennis) and I like working out with people. I now work out in the club 2-3 times a week doing different things.

Working out with friends (aka, find your people)
I definitely prefer working out with friends. Because let's face it. Working out is hard. I need my friends to keep me from quitting. Because I really do want to quit. No one wants to do another round of planks. When you're with your friends you realize you can do it. Plus all the laughing adds another element of workout for your core.

Trying new things
I have found that I love strength training classes. I was always a cardio/dance kind of workout person. Now I really love a class called Les Mills BODYPUMP. And I love working out on TRX. This is what I'm doing in the picture below.

I know if my friends read this they will say "You don't love TRX, you hate TRX." because I'm always complaining. TRX is hard. It hurts. But it works. And I need results so I love it.

I am here (in the pink shirt) with Sara on the TRX.
Tobias (blue shirt) showing us the exercise.
Working out with a trainer once a week
A trainer will help you reach your goals and will show you how to use all the equipment in the gym. We have an amazing trainer at our Antioch club named Tobias Young. He works us hard. Puts up with all our chatter. And has the patience of a saint. Plus, he's the real deal. You can check out his website here. I may have to do a whole separate blog just about Tobias. He's kind of amazing.

You can work out with a trainer one-on-one or as a group. Our marketing team works with Tobias every Thursday as a group. We are all levels of fitness. Me being the oldest and weakest and most annoying because I complain all the time. The rest of the team is quite a bit younger and in much better shape. The great thing is we can all work out together because everyone uses different weights based on their strength. So we all get a great workout.

Set goals 
My goal over the next 6 months is to build more muscle and lose 10 pounds.

So there you have it. I would love to know what you're doing to stay in shape. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite exercise or tip to stay motivated!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Making wishes (on hay)

From the archives. This was originally posted in 2011.

Have you ever heard of making a wish on moving hay?

When I was a kid, anytime we saw a truck full of hay we would make a wish. You had to follow a few rules in order for your wish to come true.

1) lick the end of your thumb, hold it up, and let it dry as you made your wish
2) make the wish and don't look back until you're sure the truck is out of sight

I grew up with this crazy myth. I thought everyone did it. My mom was so enthusiastic about it I just assumed it was a natural method of making wishes. Kind of like carrying a rabbit's foot in your pocket. Or throwing a penny in a fountain.

But apparently that is not the case.

On Monday we saw two huge semi's full of hay rolling down the road in Napa. This was too good to resist so I made a wish. I can tell you what I wished because it already came true.

I wished that someone would call me about a job.

One hour later I got a call from a headhunter, then a Human Resources manager a few hours later. The next day I got two more calls. Then one more call yesterday.

So I tweeted about it. Cuz that's what I do when I get excited about something. I tell everyone. I can never keep my mouth shut.

One of my followers who grew up surrounded by farmland was bummed that she didn't know about this when she was little.

And then nine people un-followed me.

Holy cow. Really? Just because I wish on hay (and tweet about it.) Ouch.

I haven't had this much action in my job search since I started 3 months ago. So it was pretty exciting.

My brother says I got the calls because there's a full moon and yada yada. My husband just rolls his eyes. Elli believes in the magic of hay. I do too. She is also worried I'm going to jinx myself writing this story. Great.

It's just a myth. I sent my resume to all these people. It's just a coincidence they all decided to call me after I made my wish.

Oh, and just so you know, I Googled "make a wish on moving hay" and "wish on hay."  And I found nuthin. Not one thing. So guess what you'll find now if you Google it. That's right. Me. Ha.

So, I have to ask "Mom, where did you come up with this outrageous gag? It's time to spill the beans.

*Thank you Mike Lowrie Trucking and their Big Rig Video for the hay image.