Homemade Ketchup Fun & Nature’s Pride Bread

I’m a big ketchup fan. Especially when it’s homemade. I first made my own ketchup last spring (with Sagan’s recipe). But I haven’t made it since before I moved to New York (back in November) and I definitely miss it. I am tired of the HFCS-filled stuff that I eat in restaurants! Anyway, I am getting off topic. I used my homemade ketchup recipe this weekend (the only difference was that I added a few teaspoons of sugar this time) to make a yummy ketchup dip. (Click here for recipe!)

Okay I used way more than pictured. I used it first for omelettes. My omelette was 5 egg whites with a fresh chopped tomato and sauteed greens (in peanut oil) that my dad gave me this weekend. (We were down in NJ doing wedding plans Friday-Saturday.) I cooked the omelette in olive oil. Bobby’s omelette was 3 eggs with tomato and no greens (but lots of ketchup) cooked in olive oil. (Not pictured.)

Omelettes are so good.

The other thing I used the ketchup for was Bobby’s hot dog. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a bunch of Nature’s Pride rolls. So excited for these! I cooked up a nitrate/nitrite-free turkey dog for him and spread the roll with ketchup and mustard.

He loved it. I have been having these rolls for breakfast but I’ll share that later.

In other news, I’m still keeping up with my tv-exercise routine. I did this Kendell Hogan routine this morning. It’s a 30-minute dance routine from Exercise TV and it’s free! I used to do this one a lot back when we were in California. So fun. I highly recommend it.

Work has been busy and I can’t wait to plop down tonight with my book (finally going to finish Lipstick Jungle) and maybe a Bones episode (or 2 or 3). I also have a kabocha roasting in the oven. Sometimes it’s really nice to just *not* do anything productive at all. Anyone agree with me? What’s your favorite totally lazy thing to do?

Review: Substituting Ingredients

I was recently sent a complimentary copy of Becky Sue Epstein’s new book: Substituting Ingredients.

I’m always substituting ingredients myself, so I do know a lot of options already, but I’m always up for learning new things. (Speaking of learning new things, my linguistics class just ended and I am sad! It was really fun.) Becky’s book is a comprehensive reference book. It’s broken into a few parts:

  • Substituting Ingredients A to Z (the bulk of the book; it’s an alphabetical listing of ingredients and their possible substitutes)
  • Herbs and Spices (which definitely deserve their own section)
  • Measurement equivalents (useful!)
  • Remedies for common kitchen disasters (I can definitely see myself using this)
  • Household formulas (recipes for household cleaning supplies – all natural – like air freshener, bathroom cleaner, drain cleaner, mouthwash, and more)

The section of the book that I hope to get the most use out of is actually that last one – “Household Formulas“. I have never made my own cleaning supplies but have always wanted to. I really hate the fact that I claim to be environmentally friendly yet I pour chemicals all over my house! I can’t wait to try these out.

So I really like the book. It’s a shame it doesn’t come with her favorite recipes, but aside from that, it’s great. Thanks for the sneak peak, Becky! If you want to order it you can order Substituting Ingredients on Amazon.

***

I am off to watch Bones and then maybe read. I just finished Three Cups of Tea (Clare read this recently too) so I have to figure out what to read next. I have a few things on my shelf but none are jumping out at me. What are you reading right now?

Some Fun (Free) Exercise Routines (Videos)

My bachelorette weekend was great 🙂

I haven’t mentioned (or updated about) my whole “Operation Wedding” routine in a while, but I have been keeping up with it. I’ve definitely noticed changes in my body that I am happy with! Here are some exercise videos that will (quickly) get you lean and toned:

  • Bootcamp Calorie Burn (with Kendell Hogan – a dude). I know I’ve mentioned this one before. I just did it this morning. It’s 30 minutes and it’s a killer workout if you don’t have much time. All cardio, very sweaty, awesome encouraging instructor. Definitely check it out.
  • Crunch: Fat-Burning Pilates (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). This routine is about 40 minutes total. It has 2 parts – standing and mat work. I usually just do the standing bit (just under 30 minutes) which is basically cardio pilates. I am sweaty by the end, but not panting. Definitely good for getting the perfect body shape – long, lean muscles; sculpted tummy; lean arms, etc…
  • Crunch: Super Slimdown (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). Another Ellen Barrett! This is a mix of pilates and yoga; it’s very dynamic yoga (not many long holds). It’s around 40 minutes. I usually do the first part (more yoga-oriented and kind of cario-ish). I think this is my favorite of all the videos I’ve done recently.
  • Pick Your Level: Weight Loss Pilates (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). This is just over 30 minutes. If you’ve ever done a “pick your level” workout before, you’ll know they’re all similar. Ellen demonstrates each move at 3 different levels. I usually do level 3 to make it hard. This is another workout that’s great for toning – it’s a little bit of cardio, but not that much. Some is standing and some is mat work. I really like this because of Ellen Barrett – she is my new favorite instructor.

There are a few other Netflix videos that I’ve done, but these are the ones that are actually worth mentioning. I will recommend against 10-minutes solution: Kickbox Bootcamp – this will give you weirdly shaped muscles in all the wrong places.

My focus recently has been on a combo of cardio, pilates, and yoga. And not too much – I never do more than 45 minutes in a day and I don’t do them every day. I don’t know why this works so well for me! I also try to get in 1-2 miles of walking each day.

The other thing that’s helped me (a lot) is Bran Crispbread. I snack on them after dinner. They satisfy my urge to munch without compromising my waistline. They are definitely what I would call “diet food” (cardboard) but they are not that bad. They have just 12 calories a piece (they’re the size of a notecard).

I like them with guacamole or spreadable cheese. They’re also good topped with cream cheese and jam. And they have free shipping right now if you want to order some. They’re a little pricy but I am always down to try anything and I will probably even order more.

What’s your favorite workout video? Have you ever had bran crispbread?

Korean BBQ NYC… Seoul Garden.

On Bobby’s birthday we went out for an old favorite – Korean barbecue. Seoul Garden is on West 32nd Street right in K-town (Korea-town) across from H-Mart (one of my favorite places). I did not get bbq (Bobby did); instead I got cold bi-bim-bap, which is a salad-type-thing with a side of rice. (Bi-bim-bap literally means “mixed rice”.)

I forgot to snap a pic before I mixed it! This one came with lots of things: carrots, spinachy stuff, burdock, lettuce, an egg, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and I don’t even know what else. All (or most at least) of the veggies are cooked, sauteed, oiled, and seasoned, so you don’t need much dressing – I just add a bit of that special Korean red sauce.

What you get before the meal, though, is the best part…

Side dishes (banchan/panchan)! My favorites were the broccoli and cauliflower (we got seconds) and the bean sprouts. The fried tofu and potatoes are yummy too; they also gave us 2 kinds of kimchi, which I love (but not all do). That is a raw egg for Bobby’s soon dofu, a boiling hot spicy tofu soup. You crack the egg in when it gets to the table (broth still bubbling).

I’ve been busy with work, wedding planning, and classes, but I’ve managed to get in some good exercise, which I will update about soon – I have some great recs for all you Netflixers!

Do you like kimchi? I love it.

A Giveaway and Hot Sauce Discount

A while ago Nature Made recognized me as an inspirational health blogger and I got to be a part of their Healing Hearts Club. They sent me a great goodie bag: a yoga mat, a water bottle, and 6-month supplies of fish oil, Cholestoff, and CoQ10.

I have been loving the package – especially the yoga mat, which came with a handy carrying case.

Now Nature Made wants to give away the same package to one of you! You can win all of this:

  • yoga mat and carrying bag
  • aluminum water bottle
  • 6-month supply of fish oil
  • 6-month supply of Cholestoff
  • 6-month supply of CoQ10

This giveaway is now closed.

And now I have something else – Jason from Hot Sauce Planet noticed that I like hot sauce (who doesn’t?) and he wants to give all of my readers a discount. It looks like Hot Sauce Planet has just about every hot sauce you could ever want… (Biz, I’m thinking of you!). They have other sauces too, like BBQ (yum).

You all have 15% off until October 6th, 2010 at Hot Sauce Planet. So if you need some yummy spice, check it out. Use code “maggie” at the checkout.