We have the opportunity on the daily to make a positive impact on the world around us.
Whether one goes through their day searching for good deeds to be done,
or simply takes advantage of random opportunities to spread love,
every action (or inaction) has a resounding impact.
The question is: Is your impact today going to be positive, negative, or indifferent?
I have been told that one person can't make a difference.
I affectionately call these people "dummies"...
Those who actively try to hold the rest of us down,
those who would rather watch you drown than help you soar, those who can't grasp the power of positivity to create change.
Whether it's a great recipe found, or an uplifting story to share, you can be sure to find it here.
Let's start a Positivity Revolution, and drown out the dumb!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

So Many Activities! (Also Titled, "Aren't Blogs Supposed to be Short?")

There's one day of the week that I tend to spring from my bed in the morning, guns blazin': and that day is Sundays. Sundays give me one last opportunity to cram all the stuff I didn't get to do into one last glorious day before the work week begins. The possibilities are endless, but if you were to guess that I spend most of this day in the kitchen, you'd be spot-on! It's noon-ish now, and I'm just getting to the gym, but I've had such a fulfilling morning already! (I think I must have cleaned the kitchen six times.)

First, we decided that for dinner, we wanted to smoke chicken, but only had boneless, skinless breasts. Typically, bone-in, skin-on breast is best for the smoker, because the bone provides juiciness, and the skin protects the breast from becoming a shoe. Since neither of us felt like running to the store, I did a quick Google and found that by marinating our breasts for a few hours, we could prevent any leathery chicken. So I marinated six breasts in homemade Italian dressing (I have a dried mix that I keep in my pantry, then all you add is oil, apple cider vinegar, and a little water to reach desired consistency) for about four hours, then rubbed them down with our homemade spicy BBQ rub (I promise to share these recipes on a future post!). As I headed out the door to the gym, my other half was prepping the smoker, those babies will cook for about 2-3 hours at a low, slow temp.

Sundays also happen to be my favorite day because they are our designated "Pizza Night". We used to eat pizza 3-4 times a week, and realizing that's not possibly sustainable, changed to once weekly. Sunday is the perfect day for all those carbs and cheese, because we know we won't be getting into bathing suits until the following weekend, and can spend the week at the gym (it may be a vain reason, but it works). Tonight, we will use our smoked chicken to create what I think will be the most delicious BBQ Chicken Pizza in the history of pizza (at least, in our house)!

I don't plan on hitting the grocery store at all today if I can help it (I went almost every day last week), but I needed to make pizza sauce and dough from scratch to make this happen. I've had several failed attempts at making pizza dough, but keep trying, anyways. One note: I despise kneading, and will do almost anything to avoid that sticky, terrible activity. To my delight, I found recipes on a wonderful blog, The Smitten Kitchen, for both my no-knead dough and pasta sauce. This was truly meant to be!

Seven Roma tomatoes that were leftover from a recipe last Friday were to become my base for the sauce. The recipe that SK raved about was the simplest pasta sauce you could ever think of, with simply tomatoes, salt, garlic, olive oil, basil, and crushed red pepper. Amazing! This produced the perfect amount of sauce for tonight's pie (unless we get crazy and decide to use BBQ sauce instead), and the instructions can be found here.

The no-knead dough was even simpler, especially since I could mix it with a large wooden spoon and not mess with my hand mixer (I haven't the counter space to lend to a dough mixer, so I make do with my muscles). I added to the suggested ingredients my garlic, basil, and red pepper leftovers from the sauce recipe, and will let the dough just sit and rise over the next six hours.
I can't wait for dinner, now on to breakfast... Along with trying to cut back on the pizza, we have been increasing our protein intake. The easiest way that we both love is boiling eggs and taking them to work for breakfast. Two eggs is only about 150 calories, but keeps you full for hours. We've had major issues with the boiling and peeling, though. I feel like I can cook well a lot of different things, but somehow, boiling an egg to peel correctly has mystified me for months! We threw away many demolished eggs before I found the best "recipe" from Ruhlman's cooking blog: Salt before, and an ice bath after. Heavily salt the water that your eggs lie in (fill the water up a couple of inches above the eggs), turn the temp to high, and as soon as the water begins to boil, cover the pot and turn your heat to low, keeping the water simmering for 15 minutes. Drain the water, drop the eggs into an ice bath, and when they've cooled, you can peel and refrigerate for up to five days. The trick that saves me a lot of heartache is gently tapping all sides of the boiled egg against the sink, rolling gently between my palms, and then gently pulling the shell off. This produces near-perfect results every time!

I finally exited the kitchen after cleaning it one last time, and collected an unused vase and some decorations I had bought ages ago...Time to tackle a different kind of project: a new bamboo arrangement for our living room! My sister is the greatest at flower arrangements, and has a knack for making everything beautiful. I don't possess her same talent, and so I tried to imagine what she would do with this collection of bamboo twists, hanging white and yellow flowers, and burgundy accents. Long story short, I had to get her on the phone and send her pictures in order to finish the design, but it now sits in the corner of our living room, looking pretty!

Ah, how I love this day!
What's your favorite thing to do on a Sunday?

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