Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Roller Derby Workout DVD

After thinking of buying this several times and always forgetting or talking myself out of it, I finally ordered the Roller Derby Workout DVD.

In general, I don't love workout videos. I want to exercise with a group of people, and prefer playing sports because I get so caught up in the competition that I forget that I'm working out. Workout videos are kind of cheesy and just don't do it for me. My first experience trying the Roller Derby Workout was similar, but the cheese factor wasn't too bad.

Because this was new to me, I decided to do the first run-through off skates. Next time I'll wear my skates and see how it's different. What I do like is that the exercise moves are specific to derby. The Heart Attacks skaters that demonstrate the moves explain how they target body parts that are used in derby. And it's a good workout.

My favorite part is that I can see what I'm working toward the whole time I'm working out. Those Heart Attack girls are fit and toned and gorgeous. My body type may be different than theirs, but I can see my fitness goals in them because we play the same sport. There are days when I'm tired or the roads are crappy that I want to work out but don't want to leave the house. This video will be perfect for those times!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Mac 'n' Cheese

Mr. CookingOnSkates loves Kraft mac 'n' cheese. I can eat that, but strongly prefer any homemade version. Although I forgot to take photos until after friends and I had devoured this (truth: I ate about half by myself) this was tasty enough that I'd like to share the recipe as I prepared it.

The original, for reference: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/04/macaroni-cheese/

Pro tip: use one large pot for all steps to minimize dishes. If you've got one that can go in the oven, a bonus!

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (adapted from Pioneer Woman)
serves 4

1 box (3 cups) wheat pasta
1 egg, Beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cups milk
8 oz sharp white cheddar, grated
2 oz sharp cheddar, grated
Seasoned salt
Ground black pepper

1. Cook pasta in a large pot until al dente. Drain.
2. In a small bowl, beat egg.
3. In the large pot, melt butter. Then sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook for five minutes, whisking constantly.
4. Pour in milk and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
5. Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth. Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in white cheddar and stir to melt. Add seasoned salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour in drained, cooked pasta and stir to combine.
7. Top with extra cheddar and a sprinkle of seasoned salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Friday, January 27, 2012

If You Have a Wooden Floor...

This possibly ill-advised idea started because I needed to re-lace my skates. The laces I was using were too short and wouldn't tie up tight enough. Once the new laces were on, I wanted to see how they worked. The floor in my living room is wood already scratched up from my dog.

At this point on a Tuesday evening, I'd already tackled all of the items on my to-do list... except work out. So I decided to spend a little time on my skates rather than throw the whole work-out-so-I-lose-a-couple-pounds-and-become-an-awesome-jammer thing for the day.

If you have a wooden floor at home and a little space, you can work on getting more comfortable moving around and transitioning. A few of my league mates were introduced to this exercise at Beat Me Halfway, so I hope I'm replicating it properly. I've found it to be quite useful.

You can thank or blame Mr. CookingOnSkates for the funny effects on the video. I'm quite thankful that he agreed to help me out with this!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Healthy Breakfast Muffins

A coworker made these and brought me one, and I've had the recipe bookmarked to make ever since. Then I used all of my carrots in some coconut curry tofu and vegetables with brown rice. Oops.

These are so tasty that I wanted to encourage everyone else to try them as well. I'm not a huge fan of raisins and the health value will decline with the swap, but I think I'm going to substitute with a few white chocolate chips. Also, half wheat flour might be nice as well.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Star Wars Brownies

The only thing that makes these Star Wars brownies is the cute cupcake liners from Williams-Sonoma. Otherwise they're just this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-brownies/detail.aspx. I did ditch the frosting, which I later regretted because the Star Wars powdered sugar stencils I tried didn't work on a hard-topped dessert. Ultimately, half of the brownies were covered with canned vanilla frosting. Delicious, but not quite the homemade result I was going for.

Brownies (adapted slightly from All Recipes)
Makes 24 small servings

3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line two cupcake tins (12 each).
3. In a large saucepan, melt . Remove from hea, and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat in cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder.
4. Spoon batter into liners.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Death Star Cake

My Royal Pains teammate, Coldhearted Cupcake, also has her own business, Becky Sue's Cakes.

Check out this incredible cake she made for my hubby's and friend's joint birthday party.

Friday, January 20, 2012

TGIF. Now go eat.

As much as I do love Fridays, I'm always exhausted by the time this day rolls around each week. I don't want to go out or go to a party—if anything, that's what Saturdays are for. If I'm going to be convinced to do anything social at all, it's going to be go out to eat. One way or another, I need to eat. And I love food. It's not a real hard sell.

Over the past nearly year of Cooking on Skates, I've written about several of my favorite Kansas City area vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Check out my list: http://www.cookingonskates.com/search/label/Restaurants And in the meantime, please share your go-to veggie spots! Undoubtedly I've missed some, and I always want new places to try out.

I'm still adjusting to my new job while focusing on my upcoming roller derby debut next month. After a birthday party for Mr. CookingOnSkates this weekend, I should have some cute party foods to share with you next week. Until then, happy eating and skating!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do You Have Your Tickets?

Dead Girl Derby's first game of the season is coming up soon on Sunday, February 12. After nearly two years of skating, breaking, rehabbing, reffing and working my tushy off, I finally get to make my debut as a real roller girl.

Tickets are available online with no extra fees, so there's no excuse: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/25359

I can also get you presale tickets cheaper if you ask me nicely. Come check out the derby love!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Love Your Feet in Skates

I've probably said this before, but it's still true: I have wimpy feet. My calves can handle walking in super-high heels, but my toes object to being smashed down into the front of shoes. It takes weeks to break my feet into a new pair of flip-flops in the spring. I try on dozens of running shoes before deciding on a pair that doesn't rub funny on my toes or heels and yet offers support for my slightly-higher-than-average arches.

My first pair of skates (Sure-Grip Rebels) were pretty easy to manage. It took about a month to break them in, and I threw in an old pair of insoles. When those insoles wore out, I put in a new pair of the same crappy insoles. No problem.

While I can tell an improvement in my skating and agility on my Riedell 265s, they still hurt my feet after a few months. The insoles that came in them hurt, the old ones I had hurt, a new pair of gel insoles I bought only worked okay and broke down really quickly.

Finally, I gave in and spent $45 or so on insoles from a running shop with the promise to myself that I'd return them if they weren't perfect.

These are not getting returned. Ever.

Part of the discomfort was due to improper lacing, so I've toyed with it a bit. Right now the toes on my left skate are a little too tight, but otherwise I'm liking using two sets of shorter laces rather than one long pair. This allows me to control the top and bottom halves separately, rather than just pulling really tight and hoping that it distributes reasonably.

This started because I bought cute skull laces that turned out too short, but morphed into a solution I'm quite happy with for the time being.

These insoles rock so much. If you don't have high arches, they're going to hurt out of the box. The cool thing is that they're heat-moldable to whatever your foot type is.

The Etsy DerbyVixen toe covers I got for Christmas were rubbing on the wheels from time to time, so I've trimmed them down twice. Now I think they'll finally stay off my wheels. Wheel rubbing means slowing down. Obviously I don't want that!

What are your skate tricks?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Waldo Pizza: Vegan Heaven

Have you been to Waldo Pizza? If not, why not? This place has my favorite pizza (we picked it up for my birthday party at my house last year) and tons of great drinks on tap. It's the best for vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free foods, but diners who are none of those will be happy with their standard fare of pizza and sandwiches.

When Mr. CookingOnSkates and I stopped by on Saturday, we decided to try out their sandwiches for the first time. I ordered this off the vegan menu: green/black/Kalamata olive sandwich with vegan cheese and baked sweet potato tots. The Schlafly chocolate creme stout in the background may or may not be mine as well...

This is olive heaven. The menu is set up so that you pick whatever three toppings you want. I always want olives. This was my first time trying vegan mozzarella, and I was pleased with the taste and texture. The only immediate downside was that it didn't melt quite like real cheese. (The eventual downside is that I didn't remember my body's aversion to soy, and my hubby threatened to not sleep in the same bed as me later that night. Oops.)

This is one of my and my hubby's favorite restaurants, so we'll keep going here again and again, but I'll remember to stick with regular cheeses. Several of our friends enjoy the food here as well, but I must warn that the place is quite busy and noisy on Friday and Saturday evenings.

A weirdo side note: isn't this the coolest bathroom? It's the one on the adjacent Tap Room side, but has a nifty sink and cool framed old magazine covers.

A great experience, start to--um--finish.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tasty Thai is No Lie

For several years now, whenever I would drive to KCI for any reason, I would see the sign for Tasty Thai and go, "Ooh, I want to eat there!" Because my hubby is not food adventurous, that never happened. The last couple days I was at a workshop up that way for work, so I finally checked it out.

Tasty Thai is exactly what it says it is: tasty and Thai food. What's even better is that it's cheap and veggie-friendly!

The real kicker was this framed photo collage hanging in the bathroom. I had to immediately snap a shot with my camera and send the photo via Facebook to Izzy NoNo to basically ask the question: "WTF?"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How To Do Tomahawk Stops (Video!)

Fellow skaters frequently ask me how I do tomahawk stops, also known as reverse toe stops or 180 stops. I must give proper credit to Dead Girl Derby's Sunny Dee, as I admired her such stops from the moment I met her and have strived to replicate them ever since. Also, Sailor Jack, who referees for the San Diego Derby Dolls, gave me some very useful pointers a while back.

Because I can't explain this very well, my hubby took some video!

I cannot promise that this is the right way to do tomahawk stops or that you should do it. But I hope you enjoyed our first video attempt here at Cooking on Skates!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jammer Apple Cobbler

News flash: I want to be a derby jammer.

Oh, that's not a news flash. That's not even old news. It's just kind of common knowledge by now. What's slightly new is my renewed resolve to get back down to 160ish pounds in the name of derby. Thanks to the holidays, remembering how delicious a beer with dinner can be, a little added muscle and far too many excuses, I was hanging around over 170.

This is not okay.

My solution: get back to more fruits and veggies, lean protein, limited whole grains. Keep not drinking soda. But more importantly, stop with all the delicious cookies, ice cream, brownies... You get the idea (that is also making me hungry). Also, that beer with dinner needs to be less than once a week, not every other day. Curses...

Fortunately, I've lost 4 of the 12 targeted pounds already! Going to a party and replacing my beer with a homemade latte was surprisingly easy, although I did find that I wanted to leave a little sooner than usual. There wasn't any handy dessert food in my house that I really liked at the time of this resolution-of-sorts, so that helped. I did decide last night to make up a no-sugar-other-than-what-naturally-occurs-in-the-apples cobbler. My hope was to let the apples and cinnamon provide most of the flavor, with just enough butter, wheat flour and oats to hold it together and make it dessert-like.

Before the cobbler even finished cooking, I told myself that I would portion out the leftovers so as to make sure not to overconsume if it came out delicious.

Sadly, it did not come out of the oven incredibly delicious, but only okay. So I drizzled about half a teaspoon of honey over it and it's much better now! CalorieCount's recipe analyzer puts this at about 280 calories per serving with the honey, so it's certainly a dessert and not a healthy snack. But unlike a single large high-calorie chocolate chip cookie, I felt satisfied after portion of this.

Jammer Apple Cobbler
(makes four servings)

5 Granny Smith apples, diced
2 tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole oats
2 tsp honey

1. Combine all ingredients except honey in a 9x9 baking dish.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
3. Drizzle with honey and eat warm.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Roller Derby in VFW magazine

If you haven't read "Female Vets Give All On the Track" yet, please do: http://digitaledition.qwinc.com/publication/?i=92046&p=38

Until last Friday, I wrote for VFW magazine. Working there was a fabulous 4.5 years, but it was time for me to move on. But I'm particularly proud of this article that just came out in the January 2012 issue, so please check it out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Roasted Butternut Soup with Apples and Veggie Bacon

I just happened to have a butternut squash on hand when I came across this: http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2012/01/recipe-rosted-butternut-chowder-with.html

I roasted a diced butternut squash, a dice half-onion and two diced apples. For the record, I peeled the squash and apples and I hate peeling things, but it was worth it. They're coated with olive oil, Italian seasoning and garlic from a jar.

I had vegetarian bacon left over from the pancakes, so I cut some up and cooked it in a pan.

Quickly I realized that if not using a non-stick pan, I needed a little olive oil.

When the veggies were done, I added them to the bacon pan. Obviously you could use real bacon if you'd like.

The original recipe called for six cups of broth, but I figured I could stick to the box of prepared veggie broth I already had on hand and end up with a thicker soup. It worked!

Cook it until the veggies start to break up a little. This doesn't look that good, but I was amazed at how delicious the end result was. And I'm glad I didn't just leave out the veggie bacon because it added a great element of flavor!

I tried to eat a small bowl ("If you want to be a small person, use a small bowl" or something like that), but it was so good I got another half-bowl.

I like that this doesn't have any flour or sugar or than the natural sugar of the apples. You could eat this with some bread, but I thought it was hearty enough for a healthy stand-alone lunch.

Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon
(serves 4)
Adapted from Eats Well With Others

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut
1/2 onion, chopped
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 vegetarian bacon slices, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 box vegetable broth

1. Heat the oven to 400. Spread the squash, onion, apples, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Coat with olive oil and cover in Italian seasoning.
2.  Roast, stirring every now and then, until the squash, onion, and apples are tender and browned, about 45 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven.
3. Chop bacon and heat in a little oil in a pan on the stove. Transfer contents of the baking sheet to the pan and leave on medium heat. Add the stock, salt and pepper and cook until the squash, onion, and apples break apart and thicken and flavor the broth, about 25 minutes.