Archive for the ‘recipe’ Category

  • How to open a coconut, throw it out, and burn it

    Date: 2011.02.01 | Category: fitness, recipe, running | Response: View Comments

    Today I stayed at home due to the weather conditions.  If you’re in the Midwest, you probably know what I’m talking about: sleet, ice, snow, blizzard warnings, state emergencies being declared, National Guard being called, power outages being feared.  It’s safe to say we’ve worked ourselves into a panic.  It has been sleeting all day in St. Louis and there is a sheet of ice covering everything.

    With a little time on my hands, I decided to open a coconut.


    There are a million different ways to open one.  I decided to go the simple route and take the back end of a knife (the non-blade end) and whack it in an imaginary line around the middle, turning the coconut.


    I got lucky and one of my hits made the shell come off.


    There was some coconut water in the center, but I think that stuff is vile so I didn’t bother to save it.  Then, using a sharp paring knife, I cut the meat into sections and took them out little by little.  Soon, I had a real mess on my hands.


    The brown bits on the coconut meat above still needed to be removed and cleaned so I went about that.  It was during this time when I realized there was something off about the coconut.  I finished the process anyway.


    Then I googled, “How do you know if a coconut is bad?” and the answer was “Taste it.”

    So I did.  And it was not good.

    At this point I wanted lunch.  With coconut in it.  I had my belly set on something like this (Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Soup).

    Thank heavens for coconut in the can.


    Also, God Bless Trader Joes for being the only place where I can find canned butternut squash.  I love the taste of roasted vegetables as much as anyone, but when I’m just going to throw it all in a soup, canned is so much more convenient.

    I started making the soup by adding diced onion, ginger and garlic to a dutch oven with oil in it.


    Then I added red curry paste – I had this on hand thanks to the Real Simple cookthrough I did last fall.  I bought a lot of spices in that period and it makes me happy when I can use the more uncommon ones again!


    This soup was done in no time at all.  For garnish, I toasted some shredded coconut (yes I also have some already in a bag.  I’m crazy).  I completely burned it to a crisp the first time. 

    Mark doesn’t know I’m cooking until the smoke alarms go off.


    The soup was good.  I added a lot more curry paste than the recipe called for, but it was still subtle.


    Next time, I think I would reduce the broth – perhaps nix it entirely – and increase the milk.  I like my soup a little bit creamier.


    And a salad on the side.

    This morning I did my first training run for my 2011 race season.  I have signed up for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April, and the Lincoln Half Marathon in May.  I also have my sights set on a triathlon in June.  I just need to get more confident about my swimming.

    Anyway – that was a tangent – my run was great.  I did four 400 meter repeats at 7:05 pace, followed with some easier running for a total of 5.5 miles.  I’m following the FIRST plan once again because I’ve had so much success with it in the past, and because I have triathlons on the brain.

    Tomorrow I’m going to explain how to run faster. Smile

  • Adventures in dog sitting

    Date: 2011.01.30 | Category: recipe | Response: View Comments

    This weekend I dog sat for my friends. Our house was full of activity when she was here.


    They were two peas in a pod.


    Running all over the backyard



    Until they couldn’t take it anymore.


    Two tired pups


    Since you may or may not come here for pictures of dogs, I thought I would also share some food pics.  Earlier last week I was craving a steak and blue cheese salad.  So I made one. ;)  Taking tips from the Smitten Kitchen, I assembled my salad and grilled my steak.

    I didn’t have red onions on hand, so I just used regular white – but they were just not the same – red onions just have that special flavor and I missed it.  I also added avocado and green pepper.  I topped it all with a “steakhouse mustard vinaigrette” as suggested in the recipe above.  This was a great dressing and I definitely would use it again and again!




    Later this week I have a post scheduled all about my career.  Or rather, the career I left behind.  Stay tuned!

  • Growing up Satchmo

    Date: 2011.01.11 | Category: miscellaneous, recipe | Response: View Comments

    I can now say that I am an author of a cookbook that has been printed and bound.

    It was hard keeping my mouth shut about it on the blog, but I managed to stay quiet.

    Maybe my printing press is smaller than Caitlin’s or Mama Peas’, and maybe I had to pay to get mine printed.  But it was fun to make and it made a good Christmas present Smile

    Ok, so here’s what actually happened – I designed and printed a “St. Germain family” recipe book to give to my side of the family for Christmas.  It’s a collection of recipes and pictures of my family’s recipes and pictures of us kids.


    That’s my dad.


    The title of the book is a reference to the St. Germain nickname, “Satchmo.”  I’m not sure where it came from.

    Beneath the dedication, I included a quote from Charles Pierre Monsele: “Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.”


    My dad was a food blogger in his day.  He captured a picture of almost every major occasion family meal.  He teaches dentistry and likes to put pictures of food (and us kids) in the slides he shows his students.  I never had such a cool teacher at law school!  Anyway, I got some of those pictures and scanned them and added them to the book.  I used to make the book.


    I liked’s site, but it definitely could be improved in many ways.  (One example is that the Table of Contents was completely manual.  I think it could be automated pretty easily.)  Still, I consider myself to be pretty well oriented with the site so if anyone has questions let me know!

    I started the process of gathering photos and recipes in July for this Christmas present.  This year we did Christmas early on Thanksgiving so it took me 4 months of work to make the book.  I had my mom help me compile recipes and edit the book.  Thanks, Mom!


    This is my favorite part of the book.  I yanked the top photo of my brother from his Facebook account.  The photo below is my dad posing the exact same way with a lobster claw about 20 years earlier.


    Here is the back of the book:


    Four by Four

    Maria at Oh Healthy Day tagged me in a survey of four things about myself.

    Four TV Shows I Watch

    1. Big Love

    2. Jerseylicious

    3. Everything on Cook TV

    4. The Daily Show

    Four Words/Phrases I Use Too Much

    1. I know I would! (Harry Caray)

    2. TWSS

    3. I’m cold

    4. I have to pee

    Four Things I’ve Learned From the Past

    1. The cookie sounds better than it tastes.

    2. Be careful when hitting Reply All or Reply

    3. 99% of political debates are not worth having

    4. Being kind is always worth it

    Four Things I’m Looking Forward To

    1. Spring

    2. Skiing in Colorado this year – in March!

    3. Friday

    4. I don’t know…

    Four Things I Love About Winter

    1. Wearing a scarf all the time

    2. My heated blanket

    3. The holidays and seeing my family

    4. The first snow

    Four Newest Blogs Added to my Reader

    1. The Happiness Project

    2.  Eat, Drink, Run

    3.  Runs on Books

    4.  Hollaback Health

    Four Bloggers I’m Passing This Along To

    1.  Betsy at Straight Up With Olives

    2.  Katie at Legally Fit

    3. Kim at A Photo A Day

    4.  Jasmine at Eat Move Write

  • Swim & stew

    Date: 2011.01.06 | Category: fitness, recipe | Response: View Comments

    I made a colossal mess making this recipe.  I am not really sure why, but my kitchen was scary for about an hour.  So what did I make?

    Ground turkey and bean stew from Kayln’s Kitchen.  I substituted 2 jalapeño peppers for the Anaheim green chiles that the recipe calls for, but in retrospect I could have added more – it definitely wasn’t hot. 


    The stew does have a really strong flavor – citrusy, bright, but hearty.  The strong flavors come from the jalapenos,  lime juice, cilantro, and the earthy refried beans.


    I couldn’t resist but add some chili pepper at the end… Mark and I like a kick.


    On the side, I made Mexican slaw, also from Kayln’s kitchen.  This was my first time ever making slaw.  I couldn’t find whole cabbage at Trader Joe’s (their produce section kind of stinks) but I did find green cabbage in a bag.  Now I’m kicking myself for complaining about that because it made this side dish a few steps faster!


    For my hot sauce in the dressing, I used good old-fashioned Tabasco sauce.  The lime in the dressing makes this slaw really bright and tart, but like I said earlier – Mark likes strong flavors.  And I like easy dishes. Smile


    And now… a product review.  For Christmas, my mother in law got me a lap counter for swimming.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to keep accurate count of my laps!  This lap counter is TINY.  I didn’t even know they made them this small!


    The strap fits around one finger.


    Every time I swam a lap, I hit the large button with my thumb.


    I was curious to see if it would slip or fall off, but it didn’t at all.  The only thing I have to remember now is to hit the button when I finish a lap!

    So yes, I did 21 laps and I’m not even going to say how long that took me.  I had to stop after each lap to catch my breath.  I think it’s just kind of like running where I need to find my pace and relax.  It will probably take a few more trips to the pool but I’m hoping I’ll get to the point where I can swim without stopping.

    If you have swimming tips, throw them my way!

  • Personal chef

    Date: 2011.01.02 | Category: eating, recipe | Response: View Comments

    Yesterday Mike and Mark and I went skating at Steinberg park, an outdoor skating rink in Forest Park.  The rink was a little dicey since it was about 60 degrees yesterday and we had rain and tornadoes, but we still had a good time.

    Then we went and had lunch at Whole Foods and got some ingredients for dinner.  Mike is a chef so he came up with the menu: Togarashi encrusted beef tenderloin,  edamame puree, braised sesame collard greens and a roasted red pepper coulis.

    Um, what?  Ok, here’s what we did:


    Chopped the collard greens


    Stuck them in a pot with heated oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then turned the pot down from medium high to low and covered the pot.  At the end (about 30 minutes), sesame seeds were tossed in.


    Shelled the edamame


    Then processed with a little oil, salt and pepper


    The blogger and the chef!



    Roasted the pepper on an open flame


    Removed the roasted skin, and took out the stem and seeds.  I got in trouble with the chef for washing off the char and learned an easier way – gently brush a chef’s knife backwards across the pepper.



    Process and season with salt


    Mike got beef tenderloin that apparently was rang up wrong – we got a 50% discount. 


    We had to go to an specialty store to find this Japanese chili.  It was smelled really spicy – next time I use it I would definitely recommend covering the pan or roasting this in the oven – the particles filled the air and were making our noses run and making us cough!  I was worried at this point that this exotic hot stuff was going to kill us when we ate it but it wasn’t that hot, it’s just ground chili.  I think it’s such a fine grade that it gets in the air easily.






    The meal was a success.  The beef was really tender and perfectly cooked.  I really liked the pepper and the edamame puree – I thought that was a clever way to add some color and vegetables to the plate.  Mike is going home today – no more personal chef for us.  Sad smile  Now I have a bunch of roasted red pepper – I think some roasted red pepper hummus is in my future. Thumbs up

    I don’t really know what we are doing today other than being kinda lazy.  We’ve been hanging out in front of the tv all morning.  I think we might brave the mall, although the mall has been scaring me lately – it’s always crazy crowded! 

    Hope you’re having a good year so far Winking smile

About Me

My name is Michelle and I like to write about running, food, and fitness in general. Check out my About Michelle section for more!




I Write About