Archive | June, 2014

Runner’s Low and Boozy Blueberry Banana Bread

30 Jun

Eventually, we’re gonna get to this:

photo 2(1)But first, I have some whining to get out of the way.

Coming off the runner’s high of the RnR Half and delving right into another intense training cycle for the NYC Tri may not have been my best idea. Actually–scratch that. Delving right into another intense training cycle while ignoring the basic tenets of training was definitely not my best idea.

Rest, stretch, listen to your body, they say. And what do I say? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don’t feel like resting, no time for stretching, and my body says another mile is a really great idea.

This training cycle has proven in exactly how many ways an attitude like that can (and will!) come back to bite me in my big ol’ butt. First there was an MPL sprain in early April. Next, more fueling issues in May. June brought some high temps, hydration woes that I can’t get into, and finally a nasty muscle pull in my lower leg that had me limping around. And then, because the triathlon Gods hate me, I woke up on Friday with a summer cold just as everything else was resolving. How cruel it is that people sitting on their couch eating bonbons have to wait 50 years for the error of their ways to catch up with them, while those of us trying to do something about the American obesity epidemic get rained on with instant ramifications. Granted I’d rather a pulled calf muscle than a CABG surgery–but the point remains.

I’ve had some really good training weeks, and I know that when push comes to shove I can complete the course and will have fun. I’m mostly frustrated by this up-and-down training experience, which pretty much leaves me feeling like this:

Gone_crazy

For awhile there I was riding the runner’s low, and that hole got pretty deep and dark. But I woke up this morning and decided to bump that, as a bad attitude isn’t going to get me across the finish line any faster.  For all of you who enjoyed the picture-perfect running weather this weekend, I’m gonna let yall enjoy it… but I’m still gonna pass you in the swim.

And with that, I present you this really amazing boozy blueberry banana bread that would fool any gluten and sugar lover. This recipe comes from the fancy folks at So Let’s Hang Out, and I cannot wait to make this bread again–perhaps I’ll even give someone else a slice next time!

PS: I’m looking for some guest bloggers! Check out the details here if you want to be part of the fun.

Boozy Banana Bread that Makes Up for a Bad Run

Ingredientsphoto 1(1)

  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TBS spiced rum
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Assembly

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a loaf pan (or two mini loaf pans) with parchment paper.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Combine wet ingredients (except blueberries) in a food processor until smooth.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Pour into loaf pan(s) and smooth with a spatula.

4a. Optional: combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of loaf.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on size of loaves), or until center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle.  Use the parchment paper to lift your loaf out and allow the bread to cool in the parchment paper for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Guestbloggers Wanted!

30 Jun

JetSet and I are embarking on our yearly pilgrimage to paradise in a couple weeks– but that doesn’t mean CuK has to go dark.

If you’ve got an awesome recipe, funny story, running tips, triathlon review, or really…well, anything that you’d like to share, send me a post with pictures, links, etc to cookingupkefi@gmail.com before July 15th.

Some guidelines:

  • Usually I write about food, how awesome it is to be Greek, running/triathlons, funny things my family does, or sort-of-healthy snacks I found at Whole Foods. Those are great–but if you have something you think would be interesting to all the Keftanis out there, I’d love to hear about it.
  • Posts should be 600-800 words or so, but I prefer quality over word count– this is not your high school research paper. Be funny, be specific, and be you!
  • Posts should be new and original, not just recycled material from your blog. Exceptions will be made for recycled material that has been awarded a Pulitzer, published in the New Yorker, or nominated for a Macarthur Grant. But that’s where I draw the line.
  • I reserve the right to edit your post, and I probably will.
  • Send your posts with any relevant pictures, links, whatever to cookingupkefi@gmail.com by July 15th.

Can’t wait to read ’em!

No Churn Pineapple Avocado Ice Cream

17 Jun

A few months ago I was all about the avocado ice cream and wound up with a mojito ice cream worth savoring. That’s all well and good, but I am not really into single-scoop-servings. So, I switched things up a bit and came up with this much-more-bingeable pineapple flavor. Enjoy!

I’m on night shift this week, and without natural light in the kitchen everything looks like mush– so in place of a picture please enjoy this avocado pig:

avocado_pig977

Ingredients

  • 2 medium avocados, cold
  • 16 oz frozen pineapple
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • cream of coconut milk from 1 can put a can in the fridge. Let it sit for 1-2 hours. Once nice and chilled, DO NOT SHAKE, open it up, and spoon out the solid cream from the top)
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • juice of 3-4 limes

Assembly

1. Put the avocado, lime juice, and pineapple in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until completely smooth and combined.

2. Put in a glass container (or a recycled ice cream container if you’re never more than 24-hours from your last pint, like me!) and freeze until frozen to desired texture. This will really freeze, so if you’re serving more than 5 hours or so after making it, thaw out of the freezer for at least 20 min before serving.

JetSet Kef’s Five for Friday Summer Edition

13 Jun

For those following along at home, JetSet Kef is my brother who interlopes as a guest blogger. Previously, he gallavanted around the Middle East and Asia, but a recent move back to New York has his current jet-setting limited to the New Silk Road (aka–the Lower East Side to Morris County, NJ), which he swears is what keeps him from visiting his little sister’s blog more often. Whatever.

ANYWAY– last week I shared five things I’ll be doing this summer; this Friday, we’ve got:

JetSet Kef’s Five for Friday: Five Signs It’s Almost Ferragosto!

I’m writing this from a plane back from a long-weekend jaunt in Mexico, so now that I’m feeling JetSet again (ChefKefi, RN note: JetSet’s got his groove back), let’s talk about what’s happening to indicate that it’s time for me and ChefKef to take a non-romantic honeymoon together very soon:

1. The iTunes is set to Michalis Hatzigiannis on repeat all-day every day at work (yes, even the Christmas album)

2. I start planning the Ferragosto Facebook album. The album has to have a clever name, and only three kinds of pictures are allowed:

The No-Really-This-Isn’t-Our-Honeymoon Picture

321097_828234199875_1449900_nThe Here-We-Are-in-X-Awesome-Place-Enjoying-Really-Good-Food Semi-Selfie

226376_10100177387605625_569192093_nAnd for reasons better left unexplored, The Sea-kayaking Action Shot

559168_10100177444107395_2041971046_n

3. When I make excel errors at work, the first thing I do is check to see if I made the same excel error I made pre-Mozambique Ferragosto (instead of typing =SUM, I put in =SUMMER).

4. Spinach pie has become the default late-night (and early morning and mid-afternoon) snack.  Except when I want a cheese pie (and in those cases, two snacks never really hurt anyone, right?)

5.  I start investigating options to replace the drivers license I lost for 4 months ago in case we need to drive a Toyotaki somewhere and my sweet sister continues to refuse to drive in the developing world (unless they drive on the left side of the road, then she’ll take the wheel. I don’t pretend to understand, either.).
268306_811637065665_6349258_n

Only 1 month, 6 days to go!

Link

Guest Post at EatPrayRunDC

12 Jun

Guest Post at EatPrayRunDC

While Courtney at EatPrayRunDC is off getting hitched, I’m THRILLED to step into her awesome running shoes for one day to talk about why I love Local Running Stores– and why you should, too! Stop by over there and say hi.

Green Apple Truffle Slaw

11 Jun

A few weekends ago when I was in NY for Mother’s Day, I took two awesome classes with ZenCombatKef (aka the AMAZING Violet Zaki— seriously NYC people, seek her out!).  A few weekends after THAT JetSet and I met up with her and some friends in Central Park for a pot luck picnic and ZenCombat Kef brought this amazing Green Apple Truffle Slaw. Y’all already know I love a slaw, so I have not stopped thinking about this delicious side dish perfect for any summer meal. The people at the Food Network are my new favorites for coming up with this salad.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a picture I love:

12_funny+pictures

Green Apple Truffle Slaw

Ingredients

  • 4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 c grapeseed oil
  • 5 Granny Smith apples, chopped as fine as you can (or julienned)
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 4 c)
  • 1/3 c walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 3 TBS chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 TBS black truffle oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place the garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap up. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then squeeze the garlic from its skin.

2. Combine 2 teaspoons water, the roasted garlic, lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste in a blender or mini food processor. With the motor running, slowly pour in 1/4 cup each olive and grapeseed oils through the feed tube, blending until emulsified.

3. Toss the apples, cabbage, walnuts, parsley and truffle oil in a medium bowl. Add the dressing and toss; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the slaw until chilled, about 45 minutes.

Running with Thighs

9 Jun

For years I sweated through summer in capris because I thought I would never find running shorts that stayed in place, provided adequate coverage without looking like Bermuda shorts, and did not cause the dreaded thigh rub. A few training cycles through DC’s stank summer heat later and I had had enough—I love that my thighs are more like Serena Williams’ than Shalane Flanagan’s, and I knew there had to be shorts out there somewhere that could stick with me through a long run. So I ordered about every pair of shorts with an inseam between 4 and 7-inches out there, and waited for my long-awaited Summer of the Shorts to begin.

It looked bleak for awhile—I tried on a LOT of duds—but I am THRILLED to report that I am now the proud owner of TWO different pairs of workout shorts: the Oiselle Long Roga and the Athleta 7” Presto 2. I’m not paid by or representing either company—I’m just so excited to have finally found functional shorts that I had to share.

longrongaThe Long Roga is a great pair of gym shorts—long enough to cover during squats and leg lifts but I never felt like I was wearing my boyfriend’s basketball shorts. They’re super light and breathable, plus they have a thick waistband that makes me feel like my stomach is as flat as the model in the picture. All the reviews swore that they “don’t ride up at all,” but I found that to be a little bit of an oversell—they stayed in place well, but I probably wouldn’t wear these on a long run. If you like your shorts a little looser and don’t mind a centimeter of ride up here and there, then head over to one of my new favorite brands, Oiselle, and scoop up a pair of Long Rogas!

 

4d89b6de4e44d515d9310fe1d5ded608

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Athleta for a few seasons now—the catalog shows up in my mailbox and I want EVERYTHING, but when I get to the store nothing quite fits how I’d like. That curse has been broken, my friends. The Presto 2 shorts are so amazing I already know I’ll have a few chilly runs come fall when I just can’t bear to put them away until spring. I was skeptical of the 7-inch inseam—I worked HARD for these thighs and want to show them off!—but that length turned out to be perfect. In addition to a no-roll-down waistband, they have a small ring of elastic around the leg opening that keep these guys exactly where I want them, no matter how far I’m running. They have a back pocket big enough for an ID and two side pockets I’ve used for keys, mp3 player, etc. They also come in 4-inch and 10-inch lengths, so I imagine there’s just-right fit for
everyone.

Do you guys wear shorts? What are your faves? Have any tips for keeping shorts in place?

%d bloggers like this: