Memorial Weekend, the MURPH Challenge and some Yummies!

Grimmy’s Tuesday feels:

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The good ol’ Midwest went from freezing to blazing in 5 seconds flat!  And that meant Memorial weekend had a lot of this…

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And this…

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Friday of Memorial Day I got to spend time with my girl, Claire.  And by time spent, I mean packing up her SHIT so she could move.  I have seen Claire through I don’t even know how many moves, and I swear that girl has enough clothes to last a year without laundering, and hangers to fill even the Kardashian’s closets.  Girl…. You’re lucky I love your butt.   We worked our tails off from mid-Friday afternoon until well after 9pm before we decided a Jeep ride, dinner and beers were in desperate need.

Saturday was 1.5 million degrees.  What the heck even was that?  I don’t know.  I don’t care either.  I spent it shopping, cleaning, donating, cooking and baking.  It’s called staycation vibes and I was loving it.

Key Lime Pie Recipe Link

Cosmic Brownies Recipe Link |   Guys.  This recipe.  The chocolate ganache frosting.  This was the treat of the week at Walkup Wood Products.  Sinful.  Gooey.  Magic.

Drool.

Sunday, Clint and I cruised out to Catfish Lake Restaurant for some beers and grub.  What an adorable little craphole with amazing food.  Clint ordered escargot as an appetizer.  After digging through the cheese and gallon of butter I was able to find that cute little bite and enjoy it.  Clint, on the other hand, ate it, as served, in its full glory.   Cheese and garlic butter have its place… apparently, this restaurant believes it is in your arteries.

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Bellies full, we motored on…

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… And found ourselves at Heron Bay to close out the night with some friends and their buddies.   I will take beers on the river any day.

Let’s talk the Memorial Day MURPH.

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You can read about the origination, purpose, and goal of the MURPH here.

The MURPH workout in its true form (in sequence):

1 Mile Run

100 Pull-ups

200 Push-Ups

300 Squats

1 Mile Run

While wearing a 20lb vest or body armor

Variations of the MURPH include removal of the vest, splitting the movements into sets, dropping to knees on push-ups, splitting the workout into partners etc.

I wanted to challenge myself to the max, so chose to do it on my own, with a few variations.

  1. I did not wear a vest (I think there were only 3 who did out of the 75+ who completed it at my gym)
  2. I ran the first mile at an even pace, preparing myself mentally for what was to come.
  3. Split the middle into 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, 30 squats | 10 times through.
  4. Used a band for assisted pull-ups to help remove some weight, but still maintained a strict hand grip and only progressed to heavier bands as the reps increased
  5. I only did 30 of my 200 push-ups on my knees.  I have a thing about completing full range motion push-ups.  I get pissy when I drop.  Real pissy.
  6. Finished with the mile.

That last mile.  Woah.  Legs were jello for a minute before I got my pace settled back in.

Guys, it was effing awesome.   I cannot wait to do it again, and I will for sure be watching my time this go-round.  I am a little competitive in non-competitive events.

Organized sports for me = gross. 

Gym organized events that equal camaraderie and support and all-in-it-together mentality?  YES! 

My competitiveness is within just me and that is what I am loving about this new gym I call home.  It’s made me so happy.  That’s another post, for another day, but know… it’s one of those things that makes you want to talk all day every day about, but don’t, because you don’t want to be that annoying guy, so you go on loving it and kicking its ass every day with other people who love it and kick its ass everyday too.

Yep.  That kind.

Here’s looking at you, Edge

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The rest of Memorial Day Monday was spent soaking up the sun, AC and ice cold beverages at the Sejhaur’s with a little side of washers.

 

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Cheers to you, Summer 2018 and your happiness… and random 2pm middle of week texts from one of your bestest to meet up at “your” bar.

Summer (and this guy) are looking mighty fine.

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CHEERS!!!!

Weekend Highlights and a Snickers Crunch Bar Recipe

Wait, hold up.  You say something about a Snickers?   

…I’ll get to that, kitten. 

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I hope you are coming out of a happy weekend spent doing what you wanted to do!  We had a graduation party for our friend Tracy’s son on Friday evening.  Check out her cupcakes for the party.  Fits her (and her kids) humor, 100%.

Post-graduation party led to an impromptu late dinner and cocktails with our friends Jess, Luke, Tyree & Cole in the Old Market.  Lot’s of laughter was had at that back corner table.  Saturday brought some work out at the shop.  Clint always works Saturday’s but I am hit and miss on when I go out since most of the paperwork I handle is done in my home office.  This weekend I spent over three hours cleaning out the office at the shop.  It. Was. Hideous!  Clint ended up working from 6:30am – 11pm that day, so the homemade enchiladas I had waiting for him at home ended up in the fridge.  I’ve gone from snow widow to a mulch widow, y’all.  That’s ok though.   He is dedicated, focused and determined!  He makes me want to do more and be better, that’s for sure.  And just when I was starting to back off of the billion things I do/did!  😉

Mother’s day we went our separate ways for the day, but not before I took an obligatory mom’s day photo with my kittos!

Grimmy just wanted treats and wouldn’t sit still.  Harley was traumatized I was holding her, per usual.  Lil Princess and Lil Devil.   They are the best!

I spent the day in Clarinda with my mom, grams, Gabe and Dave.  The boys grilled burgers and they were amazing!  An afternoon of great conversations and I headed out around 3, with a brief pitstop at the daddio’s.  Clint spent the afternoon at his mom’s with his siblings and we both found ourselves back at home together around 8!

So, about those Snickers Crunch Bars.

It has become an official tradition to have a “Sweet of the Week” at Walkup Wood Products.  The crew, customers, and contractors appreciate the gesture and everyone deserves a sweet treat, especially those hard laborers!  And so, each week, new treat’s are created and served!  This week I picked out Snickers Crunch Bars from Mom On TimeOut.  The only additions I made were an extra cup of Krispies for the bottom layer and an extra half bag of caramels for the caramel layer.  Otherwise, I kept it as is!

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They are sinful!  And heavenly!   The best of both worlds. 😉

Pop on over to her website (click here) to recreate them for yourselves!  The recipe is lengthy and I am JUST lazy enough to not copy and paste it over.  I’m sure she’d enjoy the extra traffic to her webpage anyway.

Cheers!

 

 

Summertime Kale and Cauliflower Salad

Hey friends!  I hope you are all finalizing your calendars and gearing up for an epic Summer 2017.  With the way mine looks, it’s bound to be a memorable one as always!   Summer means bbq’s, friends, bikes, beers, sun and tons of fun, which is why I thought now would be a good time to share with you my summertime twist to the Cauliflower and Kale Detox salad so you have something new and fresh to take to your patio parties.

 

I changed a few things to give it more of a summery-citrus vibe by adding more lemon, some balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.  It’s addicting and oh so good.

The Salad

  • 1 Head (or bag) of Cauliflower crumbles
  • 2ish cups kale, chopped
  • 1 bunch sliced green onions
  • 2 oz. bag slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

The Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
    • Note: the balsamic vinegar will turn the cauliflower brown, so if that weirds you out, you can omit and replace with more lemon juice.

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Cheers!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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While they aren’t exactly appealing to the eye, they most definitely appeal to the belly.   These cabbage rolls are stuffed full of heartiness that screams fall with ground beef, black beans, mushrooms and corn.   Add this recipe to your cool weather lineup.  It’s bound to be a hit.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 medium head green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 package fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup feta cheese (any flavor that floats your boat)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (16 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet, add chopped onions to tenderize.   Add ground beef and cook through.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a knife, cut in a circle all around the stem of the cabbage and remove the core. Place the cabbage in the boiling water. After about 2 minutes an outside leaf will come loose–pull it off and out of the water using tongs and place on a clean dish towel to soak up the water.  Repeat until you have 8 to 10 leaves.  Cut out the thick part of the rib from the bottom of each leaf, but don’t cut too much.
  3. Back in your pan with the ground beef and onion add black beans, mushrooms, corn, feta, chicken broth, tomato sauce and paprika.   Allow to simmer.    Reserve a little bit of the liquid for later.
  4. Begin stuffing and rolling the cabbage leaves into a lightly greased 9×13 pan.  Pour reserved liquid over the top, cover in foil and bake for one hour at 350.

Enjoy!

 

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Apple Pie Bars with Salted Caramel Drizzle

Say hello to these little slices of Heaven, recipe compliments of Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Apple Pie Bars

Buttery shortbread base underneath a juicy layer of cinnamon coated apples topped with a struesel topping is enough to have you singing…

and then you gotta go and add a SALTED CARAMEL topping?

I’ve Died.

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Oh me, oh my.  Come to mama.

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The list looks a little daunting.  Don’t be scared.  It really was no big deal to whip up three batches of these beauties.

Wait, what?  

THREE?

I sent one over to our neighbor, Carol, who fell and broke her leg a few weeks back.   I sent another one over to neighbor Harold, who if you read my blog last night, you know is one of the coolest old cats you could meet.

The other one got snacked on by myself and the hubs before disappearing from my work break room this AM.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Ingredients:

SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (I used salted, but my disclaimer is to leave out the 1/4 tsp, salt below if you do)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt (only if you used unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

APPLE FILLING

  • 2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I used fresh picked apples, which were fairly small.  Make sure to double up in size)
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

STREUSEL

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

HOMEMADE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 1 cup  granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, cut up into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt (careful to not overdo it)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300. Grease an 8-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. Crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.
  3. Apple filling: Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
  4. Streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust.  Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.
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  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature
  7. Caramel topping:
    1. Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula.
    2. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown liquid as you continue to stir. Stir, stir, stir!  Do not burn!
    3. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Watch out! The caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
    4. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
    5. Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Again, watch out!
    6. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
    7. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
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  8. Once bars are cool, cut to desired size, pour cooled salted caramel sauce on top. These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or even cold.

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ENJOY!

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