Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Guns, Gazpacho and Gossip

I think I've started a bit of a tradition with a few of my best girl friends. After work on Wednesday, I head to the gym for my weekly dose of Body Pump, the only non-yoga class I consider myself a regular at. If you'vs never heard of or been to a body pump class before you're missing out! It's 60 minutes of weight lifting. The instructor leads you through a routine. Each muscle group gets two to five minutes of attention and the reps are set to the tempo of top 40 hits. I've always liked lifting (mostly because it's not running) but body pump takes the fun to a whole new level. I always leave knowing I gave my back, quads, shoulders, triceps, biceps, chest, core and glutes a solid talking to! I've been going to this class for a while and earlier this year, I finally convinced two of my best friends to join my favorite gym of all time. Now, the three of us are regulars at 6:30 Body Pump on Wednesday nights. But that's not the tradition.

Dinner at my place after class is the tradition! I try to prep ahead or think of a fast and easy recipe... when I'm just cooking for me, I don't mind spending a couple hours in the kitchen, but when I've got two sweaty 20-somethings to feed, I don't have the luxury of debating recipes!  Last week, the cucumber salad and pasta with arugula pesto and roasted tomatoes went over well.  But it's been really tough to think of new ways to eat all the tomatoes coming out of the garden, so tonight... I stopped thinking and started blending!


To make the delicious Gazpacho pictured above, I simply chopped up a 2 medium cucumbers and 4 medium tomatoes and threw them in the blender with a clove of garlic, a pepper from the garden, a few tablespoons each of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and chopped red onion, and a few fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, chives) from the front steps.  Then we popped the whole blender in the freezer so the flavors could meld while the soup chilled a bit.  Impatient and hungry, we munched on some 6 Grain and Pumpkin Seed Bread from local bakery When Pigs Fly (widely available at grocers and farmers markets throughout New England and everywhere else for that matter - they ship!) smothered with Robiola cheese and wild blueberry and black currant jams (and drizzled with raw local honey for good measure).  I highly recommend this combination of cheese, bread, and preserves (or something very similar).  It's like cream cheese and jelly for pretentious grown-ups.  :-P

While the cheese and bread held us over, we were eager to devour the Gazpacho.  We let it sit in the freezer for about ten minutes and then had a bowl each.  We topped it with some thick Greek yogurt (Fage 2%), diced cucumbers and red onions, and sprinkled it all with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  While we filled our bellies with raw goodness, we chatted boyfriends and newly engaged couples and skimmed a few of my recent cookbook purchases for inspiration for next week!