Tag Archives: BBQ

Back to the Routine


Sunday night’s dinner was very… phallic…

Instead of our usual Sunday Steak Night, we decided to do bratwursts instead–mostly because we both had steak on Friday night and Michael had steak for breakfast. I was good with that; especially since Michael and Jeremy cooked dinner. :)

Michael boiled the brats before grilling them and Jeremy did his special trick for corn on the cob.

This time, Jeremy used butter and added chili pepper. It was a great addition!

Dinner turned out really good and not only that–it was COOKED FROM HOME! It was so nice to prepare our own food and eat normal portions.

I am grateful for the opportunity to go out to dinner with Michael’s family. I am also grateful for enjoying food prepared BY Michael. :) I skipped having a beer with dinner. It’s almost habit now. A habit I *really* don’t need! I drank water instead and decided my splurge would be dessert.

If you remember, I bought fudge from the beach this weekend.

I had half a glass of nonfat milk with a small piece of fudge (Chocolate Peanut Butter).

I also bought another treat for myself: Bondi Band! I’ve been wanting one for awhile now and I finally broke down and ordered one. I can’t wait to get it! I’ve been needing a new headband for running and I think I got a cute one.

QUESTION: Do you have a Bondi Band? Which one did you get?

For breakfast Monday morning, Michael created a half bagel sandwich. Half a bagel (130 calories) with a little light cream cheese, sliced turkey sausage and 1.5 scrambled eggs. It’s a little higher in calories than what I normally have for breakfast but it was tasty.

It’s also a good breakfast for days that I will run at lunch.

Sunday Steak Dinner for Three


Sunday was a busy day! I saw, I helped a friend unpack, and Michael and I went to our friends’ house to see their new baby! She was absolutely precious. Very very tiny and sweet.

When we got back to the house we started the steaks for our new Sunday ritual, but this time for the three of us. I made salads.

Our house guest, Jeremy, had an excellent idea for the corn on the cob. I think it’s my new favorite way to cook them!

First, Michael cleaned up the corn.

Then Jeremy liberally applied butter on each corn.

He seasoned the corn with salt and pepper and wrapped them individually in foil.

Michael took the New York Strip steaks outside and grilled them on the grill with the corn.

I think they cooked the corn for like 15-20 minutes.

I opened a nice bottle of Sangiovese to have with our steaks.

It was a really delicious red wine that went perfect with the steaks.

The steaks weren’t quite done yet when Michael first took them off the grill so he cooked them a few more minutes.

Dinner was good! The piece of meat I got was a little on the fatty-side for my liking but it was still tasty. The corn was REALLY the superstar of the meal. I like Jeremy’s “recipe” a lot.

And on another note, you may remember about a month ago Michael and I debated the “correct” way to eat corn on the cob. Jeremy eats his corn on the cob like me! Vindicated! As Jeremy put it, he eats it the “typewriter style” aka “The Correct Way” (his words). :)

If you are just checking up on weekend reading, here’s the recaps:

Oregon Brewfest

Girl’s Night Out

QUESTION: What’s your favorite way to prepare corn on the cob?

First Summer Camping


I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Mine was really busy–but very fun. Last I left all of you, Michael and I were planning on going for a bike ride. Our friends had already left our place and we were meeting them later for camping at Seaquest Park in Washington. We felt like we had some time to kill before we had to pack the car and head North.

The weather was gorgeous–like almost 80 degrees. Sunny, not a cloud in the sky. We wore our short sleeved cycling jerseys and did not need our tights! I slathered on the sunscreen and we climbed on the bikes. The plan was to just do an hour long loop through the neighborhood, basically Michael’s commute. We got to an intersection and Michael said, “Hey why don’t we try this other street instead?” I said sure. We turned right and then I saw the humongous hill! It was HUGE. I powered down and tried to make it up the mountain. I got about 3/4 of the way up the hill and had to give up. I got off the bike and walked up the rest of the way. It was killer. :(

We did about 35 more minutes of biking and I think I burned about 400 calories or so. I was disappointed with my performance on the huge hills but to be honest I haven’t been on the bike much lately. Hopefully that will change.

Time to pack the car!

Camping

We met Rachel and Jeep at the campsite.

The sight was nice and secluded. The only downside were the mosquitoes. Rachel and Jeep stayed with the campsite while Michael and I went for a short nature walk. We realized pretty quickly that we were tired from that morning’s bike ride and the packing, traveling, etc. We headed through the Yurt Village and back to the campsite.

We kicked back and read our books and chilled for a bit. We were starting to lose daylight so we put the books away and decided to have some adult beverages and play games.

The boys worked on building the fire.

Manly Men!

Rachel and I pulled out snacks. Ironically, we brought almost the exact same food! She brought carrots and hummus with crackers and green peppers. I picked up some hummus at Whole Foods and packed pretzels, Ak-Mok crackers (same as Rachel), and carrots.

I was REALLY disappointed in the hummus I brought! Whole Foods FAIL! It was supposed to be jalapeno and garlic hummus. It tasted strangely like a tomatoey-bean dip instead. Bumm-er. :(

The boys had the fire going and Jeep and Rachel (who ALSO brought bratwursts for dinner–talk about mind readers) grilled theirs on the fire.

Grilling

Michael has a grill/cooler combo and we used that to grill up our bratwursts.

Dinner was great. We ate the dogs with jalapeno chips and the veggies. It was awesome!

Camping Dinner

We played several rounds of Scattergories and Apples to Apples.

We had a great time and played until it was dark and we had to use our head lamps.

Then it was time for S’MORES!

Smores!

I had a few and called it good. We sat around the campfire talking for several hours. It was a lot of fun and much needed after the stressful few months I’ve had. I crawled into the tent and fell asleep almost immediately.

Sunday morning, Michael made scrambled eggs for breakfast and grilled the last bratwurst. I made tea and toast with laughing cow cheese on it. Michael and I split the last bratwurst.

Breakfast

We decided to play another round of Scattergories and then played Outburst. Then it was time to pack up the site!

Rachel and Jeep headed back to Seattle and we drove an hour or so back to Portland. If we had stayed another night, I would have wanted to go hiking up by Mount St. Helens. The campsite we were at was only about 30 minutes away from the mountain.

Michael and I got home and unpacked. I headed to the pool to get in my swim. It felt really good. I watched the clock and just swimming half-assed I swam 1/2 a mile in 20 minutes. That’s a pretty good time I think. The next time I swim, I’m going to NOT half-ass it and actually try to swim as fast as I can. I realized something recently about cross-training: IT WORKS. When I was training for Reach the Beach and riding all the time, I noticed that overnight my running abilities increased. I was suddenly faster, no longer sore the next day, and didn’t get tired while running. I attribute that change from cross-training. Now, with BOTH the cycling and running, I see that my swimming abilities have increased as well. I’m the fastest I’ve ever been. Now I wonder, is that going to help me with a triathlon?

QUESTION: How was your weekend?

How to BBQ Healthier


It’s almost summertime, which means the grilling season is here! BBQ’s, picnics, potlucks galore. There are simple ways you can avoid packing on the pounds during this fun season. For example, skip the cheeseburger and make a turkey burger or a veggie burger. Here are a few other tips:

1. Choose less fatty cuts of meat. If you are grilling chicken, take the skin off.

2. Try putting BBQ sauce on before you grill, not after. A lot of it will burn off but you’ll still have the flavor.

3. Go easy on the serving sizes.

4. But go NUTS on the veggies! Veggies are delicious when grilled. Try kebabs with sliced zucchini, carrots, peppers and onions. Check out this recipe at Food Network.

5. Watch the side dishes. I love grilling asparagus or zucchini as a side dish and I skip the potato salad or chips and dip.

6. If you must have dips, try hummus and carrots. Trader Joe’s has excellent hummus (I love the red pepper hummus).

7. Use a meat thermometer to make sure you are cooking the food correctly. Nothing ruins a good BBQ like food poisoning!

8. Try grilling fish instead of a steak or burger. Here are some tips for grilling Tuna.

9. Instead of cookies or cake for dessert, try grilling pineapple slices and eat them with frozen yogurt!

Condiments

Don’t forget that condiments can really add up.

From Last Night's Dinner

Choose lower calories options like mustard (which is almost always low in calories):

Mustard

I eat about 2-3 servings of mustard (which is really 15 calories, not 5). I skip the real mayo which is higher in calories and sometimes use a lighter version. Since I’m not a fan of mayo, I don’t miss it.

Ketchup is packed with sugar (no wonder I love it). 20 calories in 1 Tablespoon. How many tablespoons do you use for fries? I bet it’s not 1 serving!

Ketchup

Pickles are a great addition because they are tasty and very low in calories.

Pickles

Sweet relish goes great on hot dogs and burgers. I use it sparingly as well.

Relish

BBQ sauce can add a whopping 50-100+ calories to your meal as well.

The conclusion is that adding a lot of condiments to your meal can add up fast. Doing some quick math, eating all of  the above (several servings) can add 100-200 calories to your meal. While I’m not saying to cut them out, there are ways to season without gaining weight. Mustard, mustard, mustard! ;)

And don’t forget to exercise! Play basketball, badminton, frisbee, etc with friends before grilling.

QUESTION: How do you keep BBQ’s healthy? Do you have a favorite recipe to share?

Grilling Season is Here


We went from this gorgeous weather on Saturday:

Waterfront Loop

To this rainy gloom on Sunday:

On Sunday, Michael and I had planned on taking my parents hiking after breakfast. We woke up Sunday to pouring rain, once again! The hike was canceled and we went out to breakfast and then to visit my aunt’s house out towards The Gorge. Their house is right on the river and they have amazing gardens. They’re currently working on a vegetable garden (I’m envious) and their landscaping is always topnotch. I wish I had the time to do something like that with our yard!

It was a nice weekend and after my parents headed home, I went to the pool to get in a swim. The pool was unpleasantly cold. :(

The rest of the afternoon was relaxing. I didn’t do much other than watch some Netflix shows and then Michael and I grilled up some bratwursts for dinner.

Brats are definitely a summer time staple for us. I prepared the asparagus as our side.

Dinner was great and really hit the spot.

I also drank one glass of Chardonnay. It was nice sitting on the back porch while Michael grilled and we listened to the rain. I sipped my drink and enjoyed the quiet.

I also splurged and had some dessert:

QUESTION: Do you eat dessert every day? What do you like?

UPDATE: Grilling tips coming later today!

Saturday Night Grilling


While my mom and I waited for the boys to get home, we sat on the back porch playing Scrabble and relaxing. It was a nice afternoon to just SIT. I go, go, go, go all the time. Every weekend is booked and planned with workouts, bike rides, hiking, stuff with friends. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice having a busy social life. But it wasn’t until I sat outside for an extended period of time on Saturday doing NOTHING that I realized how busy I really am.

We’d had a great time at the Markets. I did a lot of walking all day and my feet were tired. I wasn’t feeling any after-effects from Saturday morning’s Brick workout beyond my feet being tired, so that was a good sign!

Around dinner time, I prepped the food for the BBQ on Saturday night. When Michael and my dad got home, everything was ready to make!

Dinner Prep

Michael made Turkey Burgers and I grilled the asparagus. It was the first time I’d ever used the grill on my own and at first it was a tad scary but I think the asparagus turned out great.

My mom made the mushrooms. I did not pay attention to what she did with them because I HATE mushrooms! I think she used butter and lemon pepper seasoning.

Dinner turned out great. The turkey burgers are always a hit when we make them for guests.

Dinner

I had a slice of Havarti cheese on my burger. So tasty! We did not need fries or chips with dinner at all. The raw carrots and BBQ’ed asparagus were crunchy enough as a side.

Dessert was some organic, fresh cantaloupe that was the sweetest fruit I’ve tasted in a long time.

It was a really fun evening and my parents enjoyed the food, so that’s great. I showed them how to use the Foam Roller and explained what it does. I think my mom wants to get one now. ;) I crawled into bed at 10pm and I don’t remember falling asleep!

I somehow also ended the night with over 700 calories left! I had had a great day food-wise and with all the snacking I did at the Farmer’s Market, I didn’t feel like I was hungry at all during the day!

Memorial Weekend BBQ


Sunday night we had another couple over for dinner. The weather was sort of cooperating for a BBQ. Portland has been nothing by rain for awhile now (um, like over a month??) and this weekend has been no different. The good news on Sunday was that the rain was sporadic and it was actually pretty warm out. Michael made his awesome turkey burgers.

We were able to sit outside on the back porch since it’s covered. It started to drizzle a little but we didn’t mind it. I had a few glasses of wine last night and tried to take it easy on the drinking.

Instead of our usual Sandwich Thins, we picked up a package of “real” hamburger buns.

I sliced the fixins: tomato, pickle, lettuce. The burgers turned out pretty great. It’s the first time this season we’ve been able to use the outside BBQ. I had melted Havarti Cheese on my burger.

Dinner

Our friends, Erika and Charles, brought fruit for dessert.

We topped our Vanilla ice cream with the delicious fruit. I had melons, pineapple and blueberries in my ice cream. Great combo!

140 Calories/Serving

Dessert

We moved the party into the living room to play some games. Michael set up the DirectTV to a music station and we listened to HAIR GUITAR for a few hours. ;)

Butt Rock

Fun Games

UNO!

It was a really fun night! I love hosting Game Nights because it’s pretty casual, fun, I can control the food we make (as opposed to eating out) and who doesn’t love playing games??

QUESTION: What did you do for Memorial Weekend?