Author Archives: Maria

Creative in the Kitchen

In my last post, I mentioned how I have recently had a bit of a cooking renaissance. I had been in bit of an imaginative funk and didn’t realize it. Some days, cooking dinner seemed like such a daunting task! And baking? I saw it more of a chore than a much loved hobby.

Thankfully, I’m over it and slowly waking up my culinary senses! What helped me dust off the cobwebs is a food delivery service called Blue Apron. Our friends so graciously gifted us 2 4 person meals for Christmas. In a package, you receive all the perfectly portioned out ingredients for two gourmet meals. All you have to do is prep and cook. First up was a traditional Japanese ramen:


Aside from my sad looking soft boiled egg, that soup was legit! I had never made anything like it before. Was definitely a new cooking adventure that I was happy to make and consume.

The second meal was a blood orange salmon with Israeli couscous:

IMG_3224Again, something I had never attempted before but I can’t wait to make again if only just for the presentation factor alone! After making such a fun and pretty meals, I’ve kinda rethought my meal planning! Nowadays, I might buy extra ingredients I usually wouldn’t bother with like fresh herbs or green onions, just to add that extra oomph and pizzaz to my dishes. Heck I’ve even stepped up my dessert game! Whereas before I never thought too hard on dessert and would fix myself the occasional bowl of ice cream, I now find myself thinking of fun, fancier ways to make the ordinary extraordinary. Like for instance, instead of just ice cream, I made peanut butter cookie vanilla ice cream sandwiches rolled in chocolate sprinkles: IMG_3255And not to be outdone, after tonight’s dinner, I made little individual chocolate cakes in ramekins garnished with sliced strawberries. Clearly I’m on a mission to not lose any more baby weight. So much for fit mom, haha! She’ll appreciate my culinary ventures more later on than my athletic abilities any way, right? Let’s hope so!

Flexing My Creative Muscles

I recently helped my sister bring to life an idea she had for a friend’s gift. She wanted to make him a wooden bottle cap opener complete with cap collector. We have one we received as a present when Ale was in our friends’ wedding. We use it all the time (read: we’re big beer drinkers)!

Image from

While my sis liked the original cap catcher, she wanted something a little more fun and personal and she enlisted my help since I’m the more crafty one (i.e. I studied humanities and she was a science major). After some brainstorming and Pinterest perusing, we came up with a Maryland themed bottle opener:

Old Bay for the win! And our state flag isn't too shabby either.

Old Bay for the win! And our state flag isn’t too shabby either.

Man, do I miss creating and designing things! It’s been entirely too long and I didn’t realize how much I enjoy it! I recently dusted off my ancient relic of a laptop (see also: my wrists hurt from only using my phone to access the internet) and started making more use of it. You’d be surprised at what you can do on old school software like Word and Powerpoint! I’d love to show you what I’ve managed to do with those bad boys but again, that’s another post for another day. Until then, peace out girl scouts!


2015 Resolutions

Notice “improve penmanship” is not on the list. Believe me when I say there’s an R in “work” for #2 and that I’m not going to “wok” on my temper.” Sigh.

#1: In my last three races (of various distances and elevations), I’ve run the same consistent pace. It’s not particularly fast, it’s not incredibly slow,  it’s comfortable. In 2015, I want to push myself to new PRs.

#2: I am too quick to anger.Rather than be hot-headed and fired up at the drop of a hat (which leads to a lot of apologizing later), I’m going to try and take a chill pill and think before I speak or act. This may be my hardest goal of the three, ha.

#3: Now that I’ve read Understanding Exposure and have finally established a decent understanding of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, I want to my apply my newly acquired knowledge and take on a 365 day photo project. I’m going to use the prompts in the BethADilly Challenge. While I plan to use my DSLR for most of the project, on some days an iPhone pic will have to do (i.e. the photo that preluded this post).

What are you going to work on?