Archive | March, 2015

I’m a Triathlete Around Town!

24 Mar

So excited to say I’m an Events DC Nation’s Triathlon Ambassador– check out my first post on the Nation’s Blog for some tunes that will get you through the last few indoor training rides (here’s hoping, anyway!)

bike trainer cartoon

My Friday Night, in 2 GIFs

23 Mar

So excited to link up with Tara for a weekend update. Today’s kind of a sad debut, but I just got the clearance to start running again, so with a new training cycle + 24,286 wedding-related events this summer, I have a feeling they’ll get a bit more exciting soon.

My Friday Night, in 2 GIFs:

When I realized my pharm final was FINALLLLLY over and I can go back to my non-anxiety-induced eating and workout pattern and probably even been deemed fit for human interaction:

tumblr_mky580Wz8z1s4ip83o1_400When I realized I still had to work at 7AM the next day:


How’s that for a weekend update?

Opa Go Bragh– Irish Soda Bread, Greek Style

16 Mar

Today we’re traveling back in time to one of the only recipes that satisfies my Greek and Irish ancestors. A gluten free Irish Soda Bread with Greek yogurt–what could go wrong?


Irish Soda Bread


  • 4 c flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBS granulated sugar (I used coconut)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c golden raisins
  • 1.5 c whole milk
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt (FIBBYDY)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and raisins. In another bowl, whisk together milk and yogurt until fully combined. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir using a wooden spoon until you have a shaggy dough.
  3. Lightly flour your counter or a piece of wax paper, press the dough into a loose ball, and lightly knead the dough for a couple of minutes on your work surface. You want the dough to be pliable and not too sticky. Reform the dough into a ball and throw it on your prepared baking sheet. Cut an X into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
  4. Find a large mixing bowl that is twice the size of your dough ball and is OVEN PROOF  (I used my large Pyrex mixing bowl– you will know it is oven proof because it will say on the bottom) and place it on top of the dough to help keep dough moist and to avoid burning. Bake for 30 minutes with the bowl covering the dough. Remove the bowl and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool before slicing.

5 For Friday: A Day in the Life

13 Mar

Alrighty, Keftanis– this Friday finds us in a MUCH better position than last week, when DC was still a snowy mess. BEST OF LUCK to everyone running one of the RnR DC races this weekend–I truly hope the weather gods are with you!

So it’s Friday and I’m linking up with the DC Trifecta- Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney– for a fun “day in the life” post.

photo(1)1- The Alarm – My day usually starts pretty early– I’m either hurrying to not be late for the 7:00 start of a 12-hour shift (wooo nurses!), heading over to spend a fun day with the most wonderful baby in Arlington, or getting ready for an early work out. As you can see, sometimes I get up on the first try, and sometimes I need a couple extra Zzzs. I like to leave myself little reminders of things I have to do that day– and if you don’t know yet, November Project is an awesome group of people who provide, a tough, FREE workout (plus free hug high fives) every Mon/Wed/Fri in DC. #TheTribeIsStrong Not pictured: the 5 times in between my alarms that MrKef’s buzzer goes off, which wakes me up and not him.

2- The Breakfast– I have eaten a Cherry Pie Larabar for breakfast everyday for the past 2 years or so (…seriously, I even bring them to FERRAGOSTO). I do not even want to think about doing the math to know how much that cost me–but I love that something with only three ingredients can be so filling. Not pictured: the 2 cups of coffee I drink before considering myself fit for human interaction.


3. The Afternoon– Starting at about 2:30 when BabyKef gets out of school, I usually spend a very large portion of the afternoon talking to my family. The call log here is pretty illustrative–I no sooner get off the phone with one before I’m calling the other. We’re either figuring out details for one of the three (3!) weddings we have this year, getting the high school gossip from our mom (who rules the place with an iron fist), or entertaining one another as somebody walks somewhere and is bored. Not pictured: the 12 calls to and from BabyKef and GrandmaKef in the mix.

4. The Evening Workout– I used to sneak in a  swim before work, but would get flustered because the pool 5831695848_d3036f8ba1_zdoesn’t open til 6 (and I have to be at work at 7), so I didn’t have time to be even a couple minutes late. Now I swim after work (unless it’s Wednesday when I go to the very best Yoga District class) and it’s amazing how much more I enjoy my swim workouts when they are not a mad dash to clock in on time! Not pictured: me with goggle rings around my eyes trying to convince people that they should let me take care of their newborn!


5-Catching Up With MrKef– After the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s so reassuring to know I’m coming home to my two loves, pictured here: MrKef and Oliver Tambo. Sometimes MrKef and I cook something together, other times he just watches Oliver play around with the laser pointer while I cook us something (okay… most time that is what happens). We both work with the “general public,” as he likes to call it, so we almost always have some stories to tell about the crazy things people said or did during the day. Usually, he’s drinks a Hot Toddy and I eat blueberries until I am blue in the face (har har) as we catch each other up on what went down that day. Not pictured: the video I have of him giggling like a schoolboy as he plays with Oliver and the laser pointer–but trust and believe, it will make for excellent material at his retirement party one day.

Caramelized Garlic Tart

12 Mar

What is even the point of the preamble? Today, we have every kind of dairy product (including TWO kinds of goat cheese) mixed with caramelized garlic and poured into a delicious gluten-free (or not) crust. Mhhhm. Of course, you already know this is an Ottolenghi creation, but I’m gonna tell you any way because it’s really bad kitchen karma to plagiarize genius.

photo 2Caramelized Garlic Tart


  • crust (pre bought or, for gluten free, make this one)
  • 4 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c water
  • ¾ TBS sugar (I used palm)
  • 1-3 tsp fresh rosemary (i most definitely used 3)
  • 1-2 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few whole sprigs for garnish
  • 4 ¼ oz, creamy goat’s cheese
  • 4 ¼ oz hard, mature goat’s cheese (I used goat gouda–it wasn’t too hard to find in the cheese section at Giant)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup crème fraîche (I used full fat Fage but don’t tell JetSet because I guilted him into his first piece by telling him I bought crème fraîche especially for him… but I take no credit for the three pieces he ate thereafter).
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste


1. Preheat your oven to 350F (or 340F if you used Cup4Cup). Roll your crust into a pie or tart pan. Poke the bottom all over with a fork, line with parchment paper, and fill it with dried rice or beans. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven.

2. Meanwhile, cover the cloves of garlic with water in a small pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 3 minutes. Drain the garlic well, then return it to the dried pot with olive oil and fry over high heat for 2 minutes. Finally, add balsamic vinegar and 1 cup of water to the cloves, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Combine the rosemary, thyme, sugar, and salt. Add to the garlic/balsamic mixture. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic is covered in a thick, brown syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Sprinkle the two kinds of goat cheese throughout the mostly-cooled crust. Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese. Optional: take a moment to appreciate the fact that you are pouring caramelized garlic into a crust full of goat cheese.

5. In a jug, (I used a large mason jar– you use anything you have that gives you control over where you are pouring) whisk together the eggs, crème fraîche/yogurt, cream, and black pepper. Carefully pour this over the tart so that you can still see the garlic cloves.

6. Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes (or 40-50 minutes 340F for Cup4Cup). It’s done when the top is golden brown and center is set. Serve warm.

Strange But True: Stuffed Onions

9 Mar

I have been worshiping at the altar of Ottolenghi for the past week–so get prepared for some amazing “I-didn’t-know-veggies-could-do-that” dishes this week. Prior to reading this recipe, I had no idea onions could be stuffed–turns out that they can and they absolutely should be. This recipe rates high on all the important metrics: it’s easy, doesn’t require any special equipment, and is quick to clean up. Plus, it’s friggin’ delicious. Mr. Ottolenghi’s looked better than mine, but if there’s one truism in the world, it’s this: anything I can do Yotam can do better.

photo 2(1)For more Ottolenghi love, check out:

Stuffed Onions


  • 2.25 c veggie stock
  • 1.5 c white wine
  • 4 large white onions
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 2.6 c fresh bread crumbs (I used a mixture of cornmeal and almond meal because that’s what I had handy)
  • 3.25 oz feta
  • 1.3 c parsley, finely chopped and loosely packed
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • tomato sauce (optional)
  • additional 1/3 c feta (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease or butter a deep baking dish (I used one pyrex and one cake pan and it didn’t seem to matter whether it was glass or metal).

2. Combine stock and wine in a medium saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer. While you’re waiting, trim the top and bottom of the onion, peel them, and cut them in half once. Gently remove the core so you have the outermost three or four layers intact but the middle hollowed out. Carefully separate the layers from each other and cook in the simmering stock for 3-4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain well and cool slightly. Keep the stock.

3. Grate the tomatoes with a cheese grater or big zester, and discard the tomato skin. COmbine in a large bowl the tomatoes, breadcrumbs (or whatever meal you’re using), feta, parsley, olive oil, garlic, green onions, salt, and pepper.

4. Fill each onion layer with stuffing-you will probably use about one heaping TBS or so for each). Roll the onion together so the result looks like a big fat cigar. Place the onions seam-side down in the pre-greased dish and pour just enough stock in the dish so that the bottom is covered–1/3 of a cup or so. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until onions are soft and lightly browned, adding more stock if it dries up before cooking completes. If desired, pour a thin layer of the tomato sauce of your choice and sprinkle feta over the onions when they have about 5 minutes to go. Serve warm. These are even better warmed the next day!

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Dijon Butterbean Salad & 5 Random Favorites

6 Mar

salmon and butterbean salad

Welcome back from what was definitely the last snow day of the year. It’s Friday and that means I’m linking up with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney. Today’s a pretty open prompt, so I’m gonna make it just as random as can be, and then read on for the insanely easy salmon recipe I’ve got for you today.

Five Favorites Apropos of Nothing

1. Robin Wright’s stylists on House of Cards. Just when I think they have exhausted the world’s supply of natural-waisted, solid shift dresses with asymmetrical necklines, they go and find another one that I wish I had in my closet. Well done, friends.

2. Garmin Customer Support. My trusty Forerunner 610 was never the same after a wet and grimy NYC Triathlon and these real, live, lovely people helped me troubleshoot and repair it.

3. Arlington Free Clinic. I volunteer here and they do amazing work I am just so proud to be a small part of.

4. The fact that Trader Joe’s sells frozen figs. I don’t know what to do with them yet–they’re frozen with the skin on but this lady says I can blend ’em right up that way, so it seems VERY favorite-worthy!

5. People who are kind, supportive, and inclusive will always be my favorite. Here’s a little shoutout to Jamie Brewer, who became the first person with Down Syndrome to rock the runway at New York Fashion Week.

Actress Jamie Brewer walks in the Carrie Hammer show at New York Fashion Week.

Alrighty then–on to the salmon. MrKef and I tried out Hello Fresh, which is one of those weekly meals-all-but-cooked delivery services. This was our first meal and we were both pretty wowed at how delicious the result was, but I can’t say that I found it any easier to cook just because the teaspoon of coriander was portioned out for me. It’s a fun idea and I think we’ll do it again sometime, but I can’t see us making this a weekly subscription. This salmon, on the other hand–well, it could become a nightly thing.

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Dijon Butterbean Salad


  • 2 salmon fillets (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12 (or so) sugar snap peas
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 TBS stock concentrate
  • 1 small red onion
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1 TBS + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 TBS butter
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 c water


1. Drain and rinse the butter beans. Finely dice the red onion and garlic. Chop the zucchini into 1/2-inch cubes.

2. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until tender and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add the snap peas and zucchini until peas are just a little tender and zucchini has softened (another 3-4 minutes). Pour into a bowl and set aside. Do not wash the pan.

3. In the same pan, add another 2 tsp of olive oil. Season both sides of the salmon with the salt and pepper, then add to pan skin-side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add butter and lemon juice, then spoon sauce over the salmon. Remove the fish from the pan and cover with foil. Still don’t wash the pan.

4. In the same pan, add the mustard and coriander to the lemon/butter sauce (mine wasn’t the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, but it tasted great). Cook for 30 seconds, then add the beans, onion, zucchini, and snap peas. Toss for 1-2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper if you’d like.

5. Add stock concentrate and 1/4 c water. Simmer for about 3 minutes, until broth is slightly thickened.

6. Serve salmon over salad and enjoy.

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