Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pork Enchiladas

Sorry for the lack of posting. I am officially moved out of my cottage in Eugene and back home with Mommy. Pretty awesome huh? Nearly Law School Grad moving back home. People are asking me what I'm getting my degree in. They are shocked when they find out I'm a professional/grad student. swell.

I finally received my new cycling shoes via Along with them I had to get clip-less pedals. After spending an entire day unpacking junk and moving it from Mommy's garage to my bedroom in Mommy's house, I thought it would be great to take a ride on my trainer with said shoes and pedals. Well, I go to remove my old pedals, pedal wrench and all, and I got the left pedal off not problem. Right pedal, Problem. I stripped the nut completely. Pissed and frustrated (sorry DB) I threw my bike in my car in hopes of making it to REI the next morning. At REI the next morning, the tech spent an hour trying different tricks to remove the stubborn pedal. No luck he finally told me that I would have to replace the crank set and even if I could get the pedal off, the crank got so torqued that it would be stripped anyways. Not what I wanted to hear. Especailly since I was not the one who origionally installed said pedal. That was courtesy of Tom from Eugene REI, who btw, lacks motivation and perhaps inhaled one too many herbal products in his day. My bike is under warranty and figuring that it is a relatively new bike and technically came with this problem I told REI tech man that I didn't want to pay for a new crankset and I didn't have time to wait a week since I have a triathlon in a week. I'm not typically a very demanding person, but I'm not going to fork out more money for something that has nothing to do with my error. Being the kind and patient gentleman that he apparently was, REI tech man swapped out my crankset with pedal with another one from the same bike they had in the store. He then brought to by knowledge that the pedal I had on there wasn't even the right pedal for my bike. (Thanks, Tom!)

After much thanks and the problem solved, I proceeded to venture to the local aquatic center to register for a pass and swim. It was wonderful (mostly). The pool here does not use chlorine, they use some sort of salt system. It's much gentler on skin, hair and swimsuit. Unlike the UO Rec Center, the pool had a completely empty lane and I had to share with one other person once things heated up, but the lanes are nice and wide so I didn't end up smacking my arm, finger, toes into the lane line. On top of the pool, the aquatic center also has a nice rec room and a bunch of drop in fitness classes. I probably won't take too much adwantage of this now but once winter rolls around and triathlon season rolls out, I will be very glad to have these amenities available to me and a very reasonable price.

Once I showered from the pool I thought it would be a great idea to try out my new pedals since I hadn't rode my bike outside for about a week. I did a few spins on my trainer to figure out what I needed to do to release by feet from the pedals. Off I went. First stop sign, I kind of forgot about the whole pedal thing and slowly proceeded to tip completely over landing on my elbow and hip. RIGHT in front of 2 cars with drivers half concerned half chuckling. I've never fell off a bike in my life except one time in the back yard when I was 6. Yes, I clearly remember this as I have always been a child of caution. With my ego bruised... better yet... destroyed, I got right back up and pedaled the hell out of that intersection. I origionally planned on doing 20 miles but I have yet to bike around Hillsboro much and since a lot of the area around I live is rural/agriculture, the roads are narrow and do not have shoulders. They also frequent large farm vehicles. Not wanting to rick anymore stop sign acrobatics or becoming a farm truck pancake, I did a 16 mile loop and called it good. Can I just pause for a moment, and have a minor FREAK OUT about how unprepared I am for next Sunday?!

I feel that I have had a productive week and I hope that if the weather cooperates, I might take the bike on another route, more suburia-esk with bike lanes. However, this might mean more stops and more tippage.

On to the recipe. While dropping off some furniture at DB's home, I decided to make Pork Enchiladas. From scratch people.... no canned sauce.

Pork Enchiladas *adapted from the Joy of Cooking*

2 large onions, chopped
4 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tbls finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup red pepper flakes
2 tsps ground cumin
Two 28-oz cans diced tomatoes, drained
Roughly 2 lbs of port terderloin
12 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese ( I mixed cheddar and Monterrey jack)

In a preheated oven, bake pork for roughly 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large skillet cook onions and jalapenos until tender (~ 7 min). Add in garlic, pepper flakes, and cumin.
Continue stiring for another minute and add in tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are combined and heated through, remove skillet from heat and cool. Meanwhile, shred up pork in a large bowl. Puree cooled sauce in a food processor. Combine about a 1/2 cup of the sauce with the pork. Place about another 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Fill each tortilla with the pork mixture, roll and stick seam side down in dish. Once done, cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 -15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Sorry folks, pictures are on DB's camera. You will have to wait. I suggest not using 1/4 of red pepper flakes because your mouth will feel like they are melting off. DB didn't think it was that spicy but I sure did. Maybe a tablespoon will suffice instead. I guess that is what happens then the Chinese girl from Oregon attempts Tex-Mex.

The dogs seem to be settling in just fine
(yup, that a dog in the upper left corner, not a pillow)

Pork Enchiladas on Foodista

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm a Free Bird

Finals are over and I am free. Strangely enough I have no idea what to do with myself. I will not be posting a recipe as I am in the process of moving and I have no food. However I have something food related to write about. *DISCLAIMER: this post may contain some TMI info.*

I have been eliminating refined sugar from my diet. it's been a roller coaster process but a relatively sucessful one... until.... finals. I ate a LOT of sugar filled products. Ice cream, cereal... etc etc. well guess what happened.... I got a a bodily infection, a bodily infection that can be triggered by stress and sugar intake. (I won't go into further detail) I was going to wait til I made an appointment this coming week but ended up going to Urgent Care first thing this morning because the symptoms got so unbearable. While at my appointment they saw an elevated level of white-blood cells which is typically caused by an infection in the body. However, the infection I had is not one to likely trigger this, unless it is very bad. I've had these wonderful expierences plenty of times before, yet never this bad. I'm pretty sure my body was in shock. I don't care if medically there is no evidence that sugar can cause this to happen but I know my body and I am convinced my increased sugar intake *plus stress* caused me to get this. Frankly, while i love sugar, it's not worth it. UC visits are not cheap *though my insurance took care of most if it.. I think, and the prescription isn't good for you as it kills off good bacteria and other naturally occuring processes in your GI tract. OTC treatments are even more expensive and don't always work. So there you go, another real life reason to limit your sugar intake.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

Finals are underway and that means: COOKIES. I swear everyone is eating, baking, giving out cookies.

I want in. :(

Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 can (15 oz) canned pumpkin
1/2 cup cooked millet (or any other cooked grain of your choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 teaspoons allspice
1 cup millet flout
1 cup rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
Almond meal for sprinkling

Combine all ingredients except flours. Once thoroughly combined, stir in flour until well blended.
Drop by the tablespoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle cookies with almond meal. Press each cookie with a fork to flatten. Bake at 375 for 14 minutes.

So... these came out more cake-like than anything else. I should have called these Pumpkin Cake-bites. They are also a little "gummy". Either way. They are delicious, sugar-free, diary-free, egg free, vegan (I'm 99% sure), and gluten free. YUM.