two skinny jenkins

090524 – Anadama – What not to do | BBA #1
090524, 10:50 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags:

Anadama gone flat

Here is what NOT to do with your extra Anadama Dough.  I knew there was no way that joseph and i were going to finish two loaves of the bread in time, before they went bad.  So, right before i shaped the dough last time (two weeks ago) i put half of the dough in a plastic bag in the freezer.  I moved it to the fridge from the freezer yesterday, and out of the fridge 4 hours before i planned to bake it this afternoon.  From there, i followed the directions by the book.

If i could do it all over again, i would have baked the bread all at once and just frozen a loaf.  As you can see it came out pretty dense this time.  I think it may have risen too much before i put it in the freezer.  I did have a sample slice, and it still tastes good.  The bread will still make great tasting toast and sandwiches!

090524 – Marathon Training for real
090524, 6:28 pm
Filed under: MULTISPORT

It is time to get serious about marathon training.  We are moving to Boston in August, and soon thereafter running the Bay State Marathon on October 18th in hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Here is a MAP of the Bay State race.  I am DETERMINED to qualify for the Boston marathon at the Bay State Marathon…  I ran my last marathon in 3:50 and it was pretty painful for the last 4 miles (i think about average pain, but painful nonetheless).  I need a 3:40 or under time to qualify, so I have quite a bit of time to shave off.  This means longer runs, faster runs, and probably loosing a few pounds.

I have gained about 5-8 lbs since college and am determined to loose 5.  Since it seems like we are always training for something (the triathlon this whole winter, and the Marine Corps Marathon before that) i have had the mentality that i can eat whatever i want, when i want it.  I do not have much self control when it comes to food, and have never really been on a diet.

I signed up for the Richmond Marathon last fall when we both expected to be attending UVA for graduate school.  Chances are, I will not have the money to fly down to Richmond from Boston for the race.  If i do get a buddy pass, there is also a good change that the flight will fill up.  In the event that i can get to Richmond on the 14th of November, I think i will try to run both marathons.

Hopefully all of our triathlon cross training has set me up well.  I definitely feel stronger than ever.  The traithlon training was a much bigger time commitment than i have ever made before, so maybe the marathon training will feel like a break!

Okay, here’s my training program (just distances):

And here are my speeds (given a 6:13 mile run):

My new training program (as of 090630) from the Boston Athletic Association:


090522 – lasagna(e) nite
090523, 7:22 am
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,


Joe’s family came to visit this weekend, and that makes 5 of us in our little apartment.  so instead of our usual pizza Friday, we opted for lasagna(e).

Joe found a very well rated recipe on and adapted it a bit to meet or taste.  Basically omitted the sausage, added some spinach, and tweaked the spices.  In the end, it is a very similar lasanga to my Uncle Tom’s recipe, but a better sauce.

  • 1 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 C minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 1 1/2 t dried basil leaves
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t fennel seeds
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 4 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed (or 4 C fresh spinach)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a Dutch oven, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices, then spinach. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over spinach, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

090521 – Mac n’ Cheese
090521, 9:50 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: ,

Cheese Please!

so… i was going to make plantain chips as an appetizer tonight, but when i went to peel one, it was NOT RIPE.  The middle felt ripe, and is turning color, but when i went to open it, it was just like a bright GREEN banana.

JOE ended up making mac n’cheese for dinner tonight, and it was perfect.  it is so satisfying and easy to make.  we had some yummy cabbot sharp cheddar to use up, too.

here’s the RECIPE.  ENJOY!

090520 – pasta fresca
090520, 8:39 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

Joe's Pasta

So now that Carolyn is working I’ve got to carry my own weight on the dinner front. Tonight I tried to copy my favorite thing from Noodles & Co., pasta fresca. Mine didn’t turn out quite as good as theirs, but it definitely has a lot less oil.

I found a few similar recipes on-line and mashed them together.

  • 2 cups pasta (farfalle works best, but I ran out so I mixed in some angel hair)
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 3 or 4 roma tomatoes
  • spinach
  • feta or parmesan cheese
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  1. To start, cook the pasta and set it aside.
  2. Mince garlic and red onion.
  3. Cube roma tomatoes.
  4. Once the pasta is done, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Mix in the pasta, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Cook together for about 2 minutes. Then add 4 or 5 handfuls of spinach, 2 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook together until the spinach just begins to wilt. Serve with parmesan or feta cheese.

It turned out reasonably well, it certainly didn’t taste just like pasta fresca, but it was pretty good. The balsamic was a bit too subtle, I think I’d probably use a couple extra tablespoons next time and a bit more olive oil as the pasta stuck to the pan a bit.

095019 – Quinoa + Tofu
090519, 9:10 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,


Carolyn's Quinoa

This is the first recipe i have made with tofu.  This is the second time i have made it.  Tonight was better than the first time, but i would still make a couple changes.  The quinoa, though a nice texture, is a little bland and should be cooked in veggie broth instead of water.  Secondly, i would add maybe 1/3 C feta to add a little more salt.  

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach or other hearty green, finely chopped
  • 2 cups extra-firm tofu, browned in a skillet a bit
  • 1/3 cup spinach pesto (click for recipe)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • S + P to taste
  1. In a big skillet or pot heat the olive oil and salt over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and cook for a minute or two.
  2. Stir in the quinoa and corn and cook until hot and sizzling. Stir in the kale and then the tofu, cooking until tofu is heated through.
  3. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the pesto and pumpkin seeds. Mix well so the pesto is spread throughout. Turn everything out onto a platter and top with the cherry tomatoes.

095019 – Artos – Greek Celebration Bread | BBA #2
090519, 8:37 am
Filed under: BBA Challenge, BREAKFAST, DESSERT, SNACK | Tags: ,

Artos - Greek Celebration Bread

Mmm… this bread was SO good!  As i stated yesterday, i love bread with stuff in it, so i was predisposed to like this.  The texture is nice and soft, and not as dense as it appears in this photo.  With the honey glaze on top, it makes a great dessert.  It would also make a good snack.  Or REALLY good french toast for breakfast.  Oh, the possibilities!

Okay, I feel like i should issue a warning.  I have been on holiday for the past couple months and am returning to work TODAY.  We’ll see how this goes – balancing the blog and a job… Joe and i will now be sharing cooking duty, so there will be posts from both of us, which is exciting.  The really good news is that I will have off every friday for my BBA Challenge Baking!

You may find a portion of the recipe on googlebooks.

090518 – Greek Chicken Salad
090518, 9:05 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

Big Greek SaladWhat better to go with my new Christopsmosos loaf?  Plus, after a full day of bread baking, i am ready to take it easy with dinner.  Joe made the dressing and i marinated and cooked the chicken.  It would have been better grilled, but we don’t have access to one.


  • red lettuce
  • feta cheese
  • red onion
  • sliced sun dried tomato
  • kalamata olives


  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 T rosemary
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 t thyme
  • 1 t salt
  1. Marinate the chicken for 8 hours (i only got in 3 1/2 and it was still good).  Cook in a pan (scoop in some of the sliced garlic and rosemary as well) or on the grill for 15 minutes per side – or until golden brown.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  1. shake it all together in a carafe.

090518, 3:35 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags:

Golden Brown Christopsomos

Well, this serves me right.   In preparation to make this bread – the second assignment of the BREAD BAKER’S APPRENTICE CHALLENGE – I had looked at other participants bread photos online.  In comparison to the bread photographed in the book, i thought that the shape of the challenge members swirls were lacking.  I thought to myself ‘this is going to be EASY – I am going to have the most gorgeous loaf of all!’  Although i had a great time shaping the loaf, it is clear to see that it was not as easy as i anticipated.

I actually took this Artos – Greek Celebration Bread* one step further to create Christopsomos.  Don’t ask me to pronounce that.  It is basically Greek Celebration Bread with some golden raisins, dried cranberries, and toasted walnuts thrown in.  I love bread with lots of stuff in it, and i love dried fruit, so i couldn’t resist. In fact, i was so antsy to add the fruit that i didn’t fully read the recipe instructions and put it in a step to early.  I was supposed to kneed the dough for 8 full minutes before adding the goodies, but instead, i mixed it in before the dough was fully formed and kneaded it all together.  This could be part of the reason why my dough did not fully double in the 1:45 that i allowed it to proof (it was only supposed to take 90 minutes).

I am waiting for Joe to come home to cut it up, so i will post more photos later!

ALSO – check out my photos on flickr!

One more thing – if anyone is wondering what to get me for Christmas, or maybe a half-birthday gift – i have a suggestion!

*out of respect for this wonderful book and it’s copyright, i will not publish the recipes on my blog.  You may find the recipe (or at least part of it) on googlebooks.

090517 – black bean brownies
090517, 3:55 pm
Filed under: DESSERT, MULTISPORT | Tags: , ,

black bean browniesthese were a wonderful post race treat!  the food at the Columbia Triathlon was not good.  When i finished, all they had left was pasta salad, dried-out bagels, and puny bananas.  APPARENTLY there were cookies and cliff bars earlier on, but the racers families ate them up DURING THE RACE!  this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  I had not seen such moochers until i came to DC and ran the Army 10-miler.  my jaw dropped when i saw overweight race bystanders loading boxes with the racers food.

For brownies, these were pretty healthy.  They have a ‘B’ grade on

  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • 1 can black beans
  1. Preheat oven per box directions.
  2. rinse + drain the black beans, then return to their can and fill w/ enough water to cover. (about 1/2″ below the can rim)
  3. use an immersion blender to mix up the beans and water thoroughly.  I blended them for about 3 solid minutes.
  4. stir bean mixture into brownie mix.  spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, pour in batter and bake per box directions.


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