Drink & Dish: Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

So…apparently it’s football season? Or it’s about to be? To be honest, I have absolutely no idea. Sometimes people post things about it on facebook, and as soon as I even read the word football, I immediately think “Ewww” and scroll away.

Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

I went to school at the University of Idaho (yes….Idaho), and football was a BIG deal. We had some big rivalry with Boise State, but our football team was terrible, and I’m pretty sure we never won a single game.

Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’ve never been a sports person. Like, at all. I was always the un-athletic artsy kid, and even now that I have a tumultuous love affair with endurance sports, I have to admit that I still don’t really enjoy watching  any of them. I’ve always said the only reason I wanted to go to any sporting event was for the hot dogs. I’ve never had any problem getting excited about food.

Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

I knew I wanted to create a delicious hot dog for our tailgating episode of Drink & Dish, but I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to take it, until I had a little brainstorming sesh with one of my favorite foodies, and before I knew it, I was sold on these jalapeno popper dog. I mean, let’s get real here–it’s a hot dog wrapped in bacon topped with jalapeno cream cheese, then topped with more cheese and fresh jalapenos. It is every bit as delicious as it sounds–the flavors, the textures!–and shockingly light in the calorie department. I mean, it’s no green smoothie, but pair it with some veggies, and it is a delicious meal for any occasion.

The cream cheese mixture is easy to make ahead and take with you to your tailgating event, and the hot dogs come together in minutes! They pair perfectly with Nicole’s game day beer punch. Nicole and I both agreed that this episode of D&D has to be one of our favorites. Check it out!

Drink & Dish: Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 hot dogs*

Serving Size: 1 hot dog

Drink & Dish: Jalapeno Popper Hot Dogs

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt, nonfat or low-fat
  • 1/2 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed (+ extra for topping)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 low fat all beef hot dogs (or turkey dogs)
  • 2 slices center cut bacon
  • 2 hot dog buns, preferably whole grain (whole wheat, any whole grain gluten-free option, etc.),
  • Approx 2 tbsp freshly shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Place cream cheese, Greek yogurt, 1/2 jalapeno and garlic in food processor. Pulse until well combined.
  2. Wrap a bacon slice around each hot dog and grill over medium heat until hot dog is warmed and bacon is fully cooked, about 4-6 minutes.
  3. To serve, place cooked hot dog inside a hot dog bun (I always toast mine a little on the grill first). Top with cream cheese mixture, a pinch of cheddar cheese and a few jalapeno slices if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Depending on how much cream cheese mixture you like, you may have enough to top a 3rd hot dog if desired.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Big, tall, soft and fluffy blueberry buttermilk muffins topped with coarse sugar that will give those bakery muffins a run for their money!Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I am out of just about every food imaginable at my house. Yesterday I had frozen enchiladas for breakfast, and today I started a fire in my microwave trying to spice up my oatmeal. Maybe I should explain. I really like drippy peanut butter (or almond, or whatev) on my oatmeal, and I’m completely out of all butters except for a 1 tablespoon packet of almond butter. You know? The kind you have to knead first and it never really gets drippy like the stuff from a jar? So I thought it would be brilliant to put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. It was not the first time I’ve ever made that type of mistake, but it was the first time anything has actually caught on fire.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I stared at in in disbelief for a moment, then I blew the fire out. It was mildly scary, and also a little funny. You know, one of those times where you’re really glad no one else is at home and has to see how dumb you are, but then you tell the entire internet, and the whole idea of any discrepancy is completely lost.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

It’s funny. You go away for a weekend leaving the man in your house to his own devices, and you come home to find no new groceries, just lots of receipts from Chipotle. And somehow I can’t find the motivation to go grocery shop. Or make more muffins. Or get off the couch? Post adventure hangover is apparently still in play.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Basically, I wish these muffins had lasted more than 48 hours and magically withstood the 3 months that have now passed since I made them. I would eat the crap out of them, and I wouldn’t even have to burn the house down to do it.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I’d been eyeing my girl Sally’s blueberry muffins for a good long time, and been dyyyying to try to make some muffins as tall and beautiful as her’s, so one day I had some leftover blueberries in my fridge, and just decided they needed to happen already.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

The result was the tallest, most gorgeous muffins I have ever seen come out of my oven! Sally uses extra baking powder and starts with a high oven temp which is the secret to these perfect muffin tops. So much better than my usual muffin top (#whatisgoingonwithmymuffintop)<–Inside joke from Hood to Coast just for you, Laurel. ;)

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (preferably organic)
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Gently, fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Evenly divide batter between 12 standard muffin tins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a nice pinch of coarse sugar. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue to bake for an other 17-20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (with just a few crumbs).
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve or transfer to a wire rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

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Hood to Coast Race Recap

I <3 my team!

I <3 my team!

Hi? Are you there real life? It’s me, Ari. Just coming off of this little thing I’d like to call “adventure hangover”. So tired that I’m actually not even quite sure where to start with all of this. Let’s start with the running, then we’ll talk about the adventuring.

Jealous of my cute hair and how great I look on 15 minutes of sleep? I don’t blame you.

So I signed up for this whole shindig in the midst of marathon training and thought I wanted the leg with the most mileage. Silly, silly Ari. Many of my team had just started running specifically for this race, and I wanted to step up and be a leader. Not to mention, I love lots of mileage. Anyway, then I got injured and was out for 4 months, and basically had to rebuild from scratch, so for the first time in my almost 2 years of running, I found myself totally under trained for this race. I followed my plan to a T, but I knew going in that things weren’t ideal. My longest post-injury run had been 6 miles, and as runner 9, I was scheduled to run 7.7, 5, 7.7 for a total of over 20 miles. In hindsight, I should have switched legs before the race began.

Speedy Turtles 2

Leg 1: 7.7 miles

image (17)

Okay, I started writing this way too in depth and it would have taken a millions years to read. Here are the important facts.

  • First two miles were awesome!
  • Don’t drink too much water before you run or you will be grunting, keeling over, and walking no matter how great your legs feel.
  • Runners are so nice. Thanks to the lady who told me the breathing exercise to do that made the knife jabbing in my side lessen just a teeny bit.
  • Just when I was coming unglued, my team saved the day by being at the half way point to fill my water and cheer me on. I needed it then more than ever!
  • Even though I was in pain from mile 2 to the very end (and hours after…ugghhh), I stepped up my mental game and ran as strong as I could.
  • Around mile 6 I started to feel a twinge of weirdness in my knee that I decided was a fluke (spoiler alert: it wasn’t).
  • I finished strong and despite two horrible miles, ran a new post-injury PDR of 7.7 miles in 1:16.
  • I sprinted to the finish to find just two teammates and neither was the next runner. I had estimated I would be running 1o min miles to begin with, then told them it would be longer because of the side ache. Then I ran my estimated pace. Whoops.
  • In the last mile, garmin says my best pace was 5:56. That was a fun two seconds.

image (19)

Leg 2: 5 miles

  • Pitch black. Like, with my headlamp I could probably see 1 square foot in front of me.
  • 3am ish. No sleep. Perfect weather–something like 60 degrees! It felt like heaven!
  • Gravel road. Not like a few pebbles, like a legit gravel road with big rocks. Just ask the blister on my left foot.
  • Did I mention it was pitch black? I fell off the road once, and I was totally disoriented. I didn’t know which way was front or if I’d ever make it back to the van. I started to figure getting eaten by a wild animal in the woods while running a relay wouldn’t be the worst way to die.
  • I felt surprisingly good energy-wise, but my knee hurt. The entire time. It hurt like it did at the beginning of the marathon, and I figured I should probably stop running, but then I figured if it hurt now, I probably wouldn’t be able to run my 3rd leg, and my first leg wasn’t great, so I wanted to have one strong run this weekend.
  • I did run strong. Despite not being able to see anything, and the challenging terrain, I ran my 5 miles at a 9:30 pace which is pretty good for me right now.
  • When I finished, it hurt (just a little) to walk, and I knew I was out.

So I never ran my third leg. Rockstar Mark picked it up and Prescott took Mark’s 3 miler. My team was awesome and totally understanding. I shed some tears, and had a moment about it all, but to be honest I know I made the right choice. I actually learned my lesson and I stopped before the pain got debilitating. I think I’m looking at 1-2 weeks off from running instead of 3-4 months which is enough to keep me positive. Plus, this experience is about so much more than just running. I had the time of my life with some of my best friends and some new best friends. There were tons of inside jokes, so much silliness, and I laughed so hard I almost peed.

Silliest way to get to the Oregon coast ever, but totally worth every single minute.

More importantly, as I said earlier, most of my team started training for this race. Many of them had never run. My friend Liane invited me to be a part of this team she was putting together with her family. Her dad has been a runner all his life, but no one else in her family had ever showed any interest in it. So Liane put together this team with her dad, and got both her siblings on board. I don’t know if they knew it would change their lives, but her brother lost 70 lbs, and her sister used running to find herself again after some huge life changes. And now they’re all hooked.

Well, part way through the weekend, Liane told me that I was the reason she started running. She said she was reading this little ol’ blog, and it inspired her to start. I immediately started crying, and it was only after everything was said and done that I realized how much this all means to me. My friend Laurel started running for this race as well. She had done C25K, but she started seriously training to be a part of this team. I pretended to actually know what I was doing as I gave her training plans, and tried to regurgitate all the brilliance that Coach Susan gives to me. In the end, she ran almost 17 miles and pushed beyond anything she ever felt like she was capable of. I looked at my team and realized that whether or not I was able to finish, I had made a real impact on the people on it. Then as I was sitting at the airport, I looked at my husband’s facebook page to see that he had completed the last run of his C25K program, and I started to cry,

I never dreamed that my life and my journey would be big enough to inspire anyone, but I look at the tornado effect we all have by simply making the choice to go out and run, and all the people who see it and make that choice themselves, and it amazes me. I am beyond grateful to be at this place in my life, and that my journey has meant something to the people around me. I hope you guys (my team, and everyone who takes the time to read what I have to say) know how much you inspire me too. You guys inspire me to keep going, and because of you, I look back on this weekend, and I can’t even be a little bit sad about how the running portion ended. There is just way too much happiness.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Hello from Oregon! I know, I know, I just got back from Oregon like 3 weeks ago, but I can’t stay away. I actually contemplated staying the 3 weeks in between for a hot minute, but I came right back to starting a new job and there was no way I could just take the first 3 weeks off, so I sucked it up, spent the last 3 weeks hating everything about Phoenix in the summer, and bought a plane ticket back to my favorite place.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

I’ve actually been pretty quiet about the fact that I am running Hood to Coast. Mostly because I had no idea how my training would go. I started running again in May beginning with literally 1 mile at a time. Actually, that’s a lie. I was allowed to run (shuffle) for 10 minutes, and I was so out of running shape that I believe my first time I only got to .87. It’s been a very slow build up in mileage from there with plenty of obstacles along the way, but it is happening. This weekend I will run/walk/crawl my total of *gulp* 20 miles over 3 legs from the top of Mount Hood to the gorgeous Oregon coast. I can’t think of a more beautiful location to run. Not to mention I get to be with an amazing group of people.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Okay, so let’s talk about chicken. We eat a lot of chicken in my house. My husband is definitely a “meat guy”. When I try to tell him a portobello mushroom can be a burger, he raises an eyebrow in judgement. He likes his dinners to be meat with a side of meat, and since chicken is an easy, healthy option, we eat a lot of it.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

I actually, can’t even really take credit for this recipe. While I was gone in Oregon the last time, I’m pretty sure Steve lived off grilled chicken, pork chops and Chipotle. When he came up to visit at the end of my time in Portland, we were grilling with friends, and he couldn’t wait to share his latest marinade secret.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Ummm, it was AWESOME. Way to show up my cooking skills. Thanks, Steve. But really, it was. It’s so simple with only 3 ingredients, but it just works, and it creates the most flavorful, juicy chicken you will ever taste. We didn’t do a thing with the chicken in these photos other than grill and marinate, and they were absolute perfection. Dinner doesn’t get much easier than tossing some chicken on the grill and cooking up some veggies to go along side. You will love how this simple marinade transforms chicken from a boring dinner to something you will want to make again and again!

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1 6-8oz chicken breast

Spicy BBQ Chicken Marinade

Ingredients

  • 2 6-8 oz chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups low sugar barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Sriracha (use less if you don't like a lot of spice)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag. Seal and lightly shake to coat.Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  2. Grill chicken over medium heat until cooked throughout, about 3-4 minutes per side.
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Pesto Pizza {with roasted red pepper, tomato and roasted corn}

Pesto Pizza with roasted red pepper, tomato and roasted corn

If I had to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life and cilantro didn’t count, I would probably choose pizza. Goat cheese is right up there too, but I would just put the goat cheese ON the pizza. In fact, I kind of can’t believe I didn’t put it on this pizza. You could though. It would be delicious.

Pesto Pizza with roasted red pepper, tomato and roasted corn

I mean, you really can’t go wrong with carbs and cheese. My two favorite food groups. Add in some homemade ricotta pesto, and you’ve got yourself a ridiculously easy and impressive homemade pizza for any day of the week!

Pesto Pizza with roasted red pepper, tomato and roasted corn

The pesto and the corn are without a doubt my favorite part. I loved the pesto on it’s own, and on a pizza it got EVEN BETTER. Plus, I looooove roasted corn, especially in the summer. I seek it out on menus when I go out to eat, and put it in almost everything I make at home. Sweet and crisp–it takes almost any dish to the next level!

Pesto Pizza with roasted red pepper, tomato and roasted corn

Pesto Pizza {with roasted red pepper, tomato and roasted corn}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

Pesto Pizza {with roasted red pepper, tomato and roasted corn}

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole wheat pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's brand), at room temperature
  • 1-2 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 batch ricotta pesto
  • 6-8oz freshly shredded part skim mozzarella
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
  • kernels from 1 ear roasted corn
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • heavy pinch oregano
  • pinch pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. If using a pizza stone, leave it in the oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle cornmeal over a sheet of parchment paper. Place dough on parchment paper and roll into desired shape. Alternately, use your hands to stretch it out into desired shape, then place on parchment paper.Transfer to pizza stone or baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and evenly spread pesto over the pizza. Top with cheese, corn and sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle oregano and pepper on top.
  3. Bake until crust is cooked throughout and cheese is bubbling, about an other 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
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