Tabata Sprint Playlist: Party Til You Puke!

On fateful day last year, Charlotte introduced me to Tabata sprints. What is tabata, you ask? Think 20 second bursts of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. For me, this is best done on the treadmill, as it has an easy-to-watch clock and the belt controls your speed. Traditionally, the torture lasts for 8 sprints, or 4 minutes.

My version of breathless. Numbers are blurry, just like my sprinting feet!

You will suck wind, wheeze, and wonder if you are at immediate risk of hear attack. If you are pale like me, your face will turn a shade of cherry that will have people asking if you’re in need of medical attention. BUT, you will feel like a rockstar when you finish. You’ll get crazy results in a hurry. You will run faster and get stronger. Worth it.

Last week, I saw Tina had posted an extended version of the classic tabata. I did this workout alone today and followed it exactly, adjusting the speeds to a level that challenged me most. Yes, I was red. Yes, Weight Warriors looked at me like I was on drugs. But I got a butt-kicking workout in 20 minutes.

Should you decide to try Tabata (Do it! Do it!) here’s a playlist to get you through. Giddy up.

Tabata Sprint Playlist: 

Slyde. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Ram Jam. Black Betty

Teddybears. CobraStyle

Gwen Stephanie. Wind it Up

Alien Ant Farm. Smooth Criminal

White Zombie. Thunderkiss 65* 

*Note: White Zombie is a freaky, dark, scary band. For what ever, this song makes me think I need to dig. Perhaps I’m running from what they are singing about?

Whatever works. 

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Bagel-smagle.

In the grocery last week, bagels caught my eye. We rarely buy them, and I thought it might make a fun breakfast. I picked them up for a quick ingredient check and…THE HORROR.

Ingredient #2 was high fructose corn syrup. No thank you.

Vore and I used The Breadbaker’s Apprentice to make an at home alternative. Darn if they weren’t delicious and super fun to make!

Ingredients in Lender’s Plain Refrigerated Bagels: 

Wheat Flour Enriched (Flour, Niacin, Iron Reduced,Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (Vitamin aB)), Water, Corn Syrup High Fructose, Yeast, Salt, Soybean(s) Oil, Wheat Gluten Vital, Preservative, Calcium Propionate Mono and Diglycerides, Dough Conditioner(s), (Calcium Sulphate (Sulfate),  L-Cysteine, Guar Gum, Enzyme(s), Corn Meal Yellow

Ingredients in VeggieVore Homemade Bagels: 

Flour, Yeast, Salt, Honey

Enough said. 

Butternut Squash Bisque

Don’t you just love a happy accident?

A few weeks ago, I tried a trend I’ve seen explode in the blog world: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. Perhaps it’s my Birmingham roots, but I trust the locals  when it comes to experimenting: You rarely go wrong with Southern Living and Cooking Light recipes. And so I made this lovely B-Mac-N-Cheese, which was incidentally delicious in its final, unadulterated form.

But as I made the sauce, I noticed that, pre-cheese, it would make a lovely soup, all on its own. And so on a lazy day, I brought out the recipe and set out on a brave attempt to feed Vore a vegetarian lunch. I’m pleased to announce a success.

Butternut Squash Bisque

12 oz (or approximately 2 1/2 cups) cubed butternut squash

1 cup skim milk

3 cups veggie broth (or 3 cups water and 1 bouillon cube)

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 medium shallot (approximately 2 tablespoons), minced

2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt

1 cup cooked canellini beans

In a saucepan, bring the veggie stock, milk and butternut to a low boil. Reduce heat, and simmer over medium low for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Meanwhile, saute the olive oil, garlic, ginger and shallot until the shallots are translucent and the garlic lightly browned.

Dump the cooked squash and it’s liquid, shallot mixture, sour cream and beans into a high speed blender or food processor. Blend and enjoy.

She Bakes Bread.

For Christmas 2010, my mom gave me The Breadbaker’s Apprentice.

For Christmas 2011, Vore gave me a Brotform, a mold used for bread’s rising.

Hint, hint, anyone?

Yesterday, while stuck at home, I got to work. Darn it if baking bread isn’t fun!

 

It’s not my first rodeo in the bread baking world, but this was my first time to try the pre-ferment method. Made in advance, these are said to improve the texture and structure of bread. There are three types mentioned in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Pate Fermentee, Poolish and Biga.

Italian bread calls for the Biga, so I used just that. The dough goes through 3 rise cycles. Once for the pre-ferment, once with the entire batch of dough and once after shaping. The image above shows the first two rises.

I divided the dough in half–one loaf and one set of rolls.

Aren’t they gorgeous? The faint lines on the loaf are from the Brotforman. (The big ones are my knife!) The crumb on this bread is delicious. Prepare to see more recipes from the book soon.

Musing: Bread, Butter and Jams

No sunshine. Soggy skies. It’s the kind of day that leaves one inside to work at the computer. And to think. Here’s what Veggie’s musing on:

1. Bread: Rainy days are perfect for baking.

There’s a loaf of Italian in Vore’s future. Stay tuned for a post on my doughy adventures.

2. Butter: Paula Deen confirmed she has been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes.

I can’t decide if this makes me mad (come on, Paula…what did you expect?) or sad. The woman built a career around…

Yep, butter.

Let’s not get too preachy about butter. The stick in the picture above came right out of my fridge. It has two friends in there. Vore and I use butter pretty much daily. But we use it sparingly.

3. Jams: The music kind.

I got to the gym today to find that I had no iPod. Gasp! I left it on the counter at home.

I seriously considered leaving. But I stuck it out and might have learned something. I’m far more attentive to my weightlifting form when there is nothing in my ears. Perhaps I should forget the Pod on purpose everyone in a while?

What are you musing on today? 

New Year’s Luck, Southern Style

Happy New Year! Today, we’re indulging in one last “Eating Holiday.”

HIS

HERS

On the menu:

Pork, because pigs root forward, whatever that means…Grilled porkchop for him.

Tofu, because it’s my “other white meat”…Crispy and pan-seared for her.

Greens,  for paper money….Kale, sautéed with walnut oil, onion, garlic salt and pepper.

Beans, for coins…Black-Eyed Peas with Smoked Paprika.

Cornbread, for gold…Super-Moist Cornbread.

Our lunch was enjoyed al fresco, as we are having an unseasonably warm Alabama winter day. Divine!

I ate A LOT of cornbread. Is there gold in my future?

Happy 2012, friends!