Grocery shopping at Sprouts yesterday was a panic attack waiting to happen. I didn’t go with a list or any comprehensive grocery acquiring plan. I was hungry and even worse, I was so tired I made my mom drive me back to our apartment in fear that I’d pass out or spontaneously combust at the wheel. All you need to know about this situation is that it was a shit show. If that still isn’t registering, recall that scene from My Girl where Vada is nonchalantly throwing random cans of food in the cart. That was me today- only more thoughtless and wandering around in circles looking for hummus for at least 12 minutes.
While I was shopping near the meat section, I came across cedar wraps. I asked a butcher if he had ever used them and he replied in a rather short, snappy tone , “No. But they keep things moist. Moist is good. *grunt*”. I may be making up the grunt part but the dude clearly wasn’t in the mood for polite conversation. I cheerfully annoyed him by saying, “Cool! I’ll totally have to try them!” in my best “I’m as dumb as I look” voice.
Side note: playing the overly enthusiastic blonde card is always a good idea when people are grumpy and you’re temped to be grumpy back. You end up feeling better and they feel more confused.
Moving right along…
By the time I made it home to put away the groceries and cook dinner, I had no idea what we actually had in the kitchen. I knew one thing- I was using that stinking cedar wrap no matter what.
After little deliberation, I decided I would marinate some chicken breasts in a marinade I frequently concoct for the grill, wrap those breasts in bacon, put some asparagus on top and wrap that whole shebang in cedar wraps. While it would have been way more delicious on a grill, this is spring training and I’m limited to a stove top and an oven- I just make it work.
The following is what I came up with on a few hours of sleep and with little brain power. You could stretch this recipe to the moon and back. Use prosciutto instead of bacon. Add some goat cheese. Maybe some brown sugar. Baby spice. Sporty Spice. Posh Spice. Get creative! Recipes aren’t meant to instruct, they’re meant to inspire. (Unless you really suck in the kitchen… In that case, read this post carefully and follow it like food paparazzi).
2 large Chicken breasts
6 strips Center cut bacon
12 stalks of asparagus
(Forgot to tell you.. Cedar wraps are usually near the meat department. If you don’t see them, ask the butcher & hope (s)he’s more friendly than Mr. Moist)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons mesquite seasoning
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or about 2 cloves)
1. Mix all ingredients for marinade
2. Rinse & trim fat from chicken breasts
3. Combine. Marinate chicken breasts for 30-60 mins
4. Soak cedar wraps and butcher string for 30 mins
(In order to keep the cedar wraps submerged, you may have to get as crafty as I did and put something on top of them. I marinated the chicken in a smaller Pyrex than the one I soaked the cedar wraps in so I stacked them. BOSS)
ALERT: DON’T FORGET TO PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 375!
5. Lay your cedar wraps out with the bacon on top. The following photo was my first idea… It was awful. If the chicken breasts I was working with hadn’t seen Dr. 90210, this might have worked.
This idea however… much better.
The bacon is laid so that it’s flush with the right edge, I put the breast on top, then I wrapped the bacon around.
NOTE: smaller breasts wont require 2 pieces of cedar wrap but these breasts did.
6. Add a bit of the marinade on top of the bacon.
7. Lay 6 asparagus spears on each bacon wrapped breast.
8. Add another cedar wrap on top and wrap it all around the meaty short stack.
9. Tie the butcher string to make it appear like a parcel of foodie goodness.
10. Put them in a Pyrex dish with about a cm of water at the bottom.
11. Bake your breasts according to size. Like I said, these were on Pam Anderson’s level so I put them in at 375 for an hour.
I left the bottom cedar wrap on the plate to make it seem like I did something fancy. To my knowledge, that tactic didn’t have much impact.
-Cedar wraps seem more suitable for grilling but does cool tricks in the oven too. Mat said the flavor was phenomenal and cooked all of the way through the meat.
-I should have put the breasts back in the oven for 5 minutes on broil to make the bacon a little more crispy but no one complained.
-I now have 49842 million ideas for cooking with cedar wraps. It was fun.
Let me know if you find yourself experimenting and I will do the same. I need a broader audience. My one picky eater is starting to stifle my creativity.
That’s all for now folks!
Peace, love and I miss bacon.
Chris is 39 years old and has been married to his wife Laurie for 15 years. They have three young children; Chase (8) and in the 2nd grade, Rickson (2) and Alani (infant) who was just adopted this past September right before Chris became sick. Chris has worked for the Cincinnati Reds the past 15 years and was recently diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a rare form of blood cancer. His only cure is a bone marrow transplant. Presently, no donors in the bone marrow registry match Chris. A match must be found to save his life. Without it, his wife and children will lose him to this battle.
Chris and others need a matching Tissue Type…not a blood type match.
MARROW DONOR REGISTRY DRIVE, AGES 18 TO 44
Friday, February 22nd
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Great American Ball Park
(Reds Hall of Fame Museum)
Event flyer: Bethematchdrivereds
Fill out a Registration form and have the inside of your cheek swabbed
to have your Tissue Type tested
Contact info: Dannie Terre Moore, Be The Match Recruiter email@example.com or Michael Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional drive: Pattison Elementary School, Milford
Saturday, February 23 from 9am – 3 pm
Event flyer: Bethematchdrivepattison
And if you don’t live in the Cincinnati area you can still register for the Bone Marrow Registry here:
www.bethematch.org Use promo code: REDS03MATCH
Getting a jersey signed by a player is awesome but not always an easy task. During baseball season, I often get requests on Twitter, complaints that people are having a hard time getting a hold of Mat for an autograph and even a few people asking me how to get an autograph because they don’t get to make it to the ballpark very often.
Mat and I were talking about this issue the other day and trying to come up with a way to make it easier for fans trying to get their jerseys signed. We have never done anything like this before so here is what we came up with in an attempt to be nice while avoiding potential abuse of the system….
In the spirit of the new year, anyone who purchases a Latos jersey between January 1st and February 28th, 2013 is eligible to get a personalized autograph on said jersey by following these directions:
Simply mail your jersey to Mat at the Spring Training complex (address below), make sure the package is insured and is trackable, include proof of purchase date, what you would like signed on the jersey (“To Joe”, etc), a return address and voila! Mat will sign it in as timely a manner as possible and I will be the mail fairy and get it back to you.
If you are on Twitter, you may want to include your Twitter handle so that I can contact you relatively easily in case we have any questions.
The Reds Team Shop is currently being renovated at the moment, so a good place to get your jersey is through Reds.com/shop. Please don’t ship the jersey directly to Goodyear from MLB or we will have trouble matching up who it belongs to and where it needs to go.
Disclaimer: The “personalized autograph” offer does not include things like, “I hate ____” or other inappropriate requests. Use your brain here. You’re more than welcome to ask him to write something silly but your jersey will be returned to you unsigned. If you are unsure, you’re more than welcome to run your idea by me on Twitter before sending your beloved jersey on a mini vacation.
Here is the address to send your jersey and information to:
Reds Spring Training Complex
3125 S Wood Blvd
Goodyear, AZ 85338
Happy spring training count down!
When I am asked the same question hundreds of times and I answer it at least 37 yet it continues to come my way on the Twitter, I often come to my handy dandy blog to get everyone down with the 411 in one clean sweep. This edition of “my final answer” is regarding Redsfest.
Because I am one slacker of a secretary at times, Mat’s name failed to make the early list of attendees for this year’s Redsfest. I failed to respond to the travel arrangement email in a timely manner and the rest is history.
In a panic, masses of concerned Reds fans swarmed to my Twitter asking why he wasn’t going as soon as the list was released. Could this be true? Why would Mat not go? How was life going to go on in Cincinnati without Mat getting all Redsfesty?! (this story is 99% fabricated for entertainment purposes only).
Don’t worry, loyal Reds fans, I am here to assure you that Mat and I will both be at Redsfest on December 7th and 8th. That’s right. The double whammy.
I am not entirely sure which event’s Mat will be participating in at this time but I am sure the media relations department will get those details to you in due time. In fact, I am not even really sure what happens at Redsfest but I expect it to be fully excellent.
I plan on doing some exploring but if you would like to say hi, I will be in a new area at Redsfest called the “Reds Connect Zone,” hanging out with some of the other bloggers including Jamie Ramsey, your main man at Better Off Red, and Mark Sheldon from MLB.com an Mark My Word. Plus, Reds players you follow on Twitter will be stopping by throughout the event for Q&A sessions, games, and more.
If I can answer any more questions regarding Redsfest, feel free to post them in the comments on this post.
My question for you- What’s your favorite part about the Redsfest experience?
See you there.
p.s. Anyone who asks me whether we are going to Redsfest from this point forward is hereby subject to receiving the response, “BLOG” and is not allowed to be mad about it.
…and that’s my final answer.
First of all, thank you for all of your submissions to the first annual Latos costume contest. Inspired by those of you who failed to follow the rules, I can’t wait to hold a more organized contest here on “So I Married a Baseball Player” with expanded categories next Halloween!
This year’s winners and finalists were decided by a panel of judges.
The award for the best Latos family costume and winner of two tickets to a regular season home game in 2013 goes to @BThornberry23
Nice work guys!
Here’s where things get sticky… because some of you got so creative with your submissions, we have a hung jury in two categories. I am now turning this contest over to my readers and Twitter followers to vote for who will win and who will be named the runner-up for these awards. The winner will receive a signed baseball and the runner-up will receive a signed photo.
Please cast your votes by midnight tonight! (pacific standard time)
The first category is for the best female “Dallas Latos” costume:
#2 – @ennywithaG
The second category is the best male “Dallas Latos” costume:
#1 – @CincyRedsphreak
#2 – @ThisisSan_diego
If you haven’t been following me for long, some of the details may not make sense, but trust… these submissions are hilarious!
Alright- get to voting and thanks for playing along!
For some of us, the off-season began as the regular season ended and for others, it begins today. No matter when one’s off-season starts, it can be chaotic for the players and their families who don’t live in the cities they play in year-round (most don’t). I’m going to do my best to share this year’s postseason experience with you. And because it was so awesome, I almost had a nervous breakdown (you decide if I’m kidding or not).
We sat around our apartment ordering take-out for every meal in some sort of delirium or shock or disbelief for how the season ended for a few days while deciding where we should go from Cincinnati. When we finally decided to go back to San Diego, Mat couldn’t get out of there fast enough (not for any reason besides that it was high time to turn the page). I spent the weekend trying to figure out how I was going to make this work. On Sunday night, I realized that nothing was going to get done if I didn’t make it seem damn near impossible (I only work well under pressure) so I bit the bullet and booked our flights for early Wednesday morning. For those next 48 hours, I don’t care who you ask, I was superwoman.
This was my first at-bat in MLB wife life of figuring out how to move our lives across the country. It sounds simple, and maybe it is but it felt more like drowning in a sea of terrible timing and 6 million decisions to me. I found myself overwhelmed while scrambling to make arrangements for every fork, animal and sock we owned in Cincinnati. It was so frustrating that I yelled, “This is ridiculous! I’m only bringing 2 pairs of freaking shoes out here next year!” (If you know me, you know that this must have been a very dark period in my mental state because that is absolutely absurd).
First, I had to sort our belongings into destination piles. I was working with the following six: stay in Cincinnati until next season, ship to San Diego, pack in the car to ship to San Diego, put in suitcases to check on the plane, find a new owner and when the hell did I buy this slash why do we own a freaking fushigi? (google it and ask yourself how I was supposed to make a responsible, adult choice on that one).
In the meantime, I scheduled last minute doctor, dentist and vet appointments. I had to be sure I could get a health certificate for Cat to travel before booking his flight that had to be booked 24 hours in advance but also scheduled for the following day (what did I even just say?). Then there was the figuring out the perfect timing to be without a car for about a week while it’s picked up and shipped off. Did I have everything I needed at our apartment to effectively pack? What if we needed more boxes? What if I forgot packaging tape? What if I needed more bubble wrap? What if my head falls off?
They say don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things but getting all of those details in line and our things packed up really made me need a 24 hour massage. Do I sound like a whiner yet? If not, you should get your glasses checked and then read again. You may be an organized moving-master but I am not quite there yet. Sorry.
Anyway, by the time we made it back to San Diego, I felt like a zombie, had been traveling for 7 hours and it was 248942 degrees outside. The fun wasn’t over… we were going to just rent a SUV at the airport because we had checked four rather voluptuous suitcases. However, we failed to remember that renting vehicles at the San Diego airport is the biggest pain in the butt in the history of hypothetical butt pains and we just weren’t up for the challenge. We ended up sweating our way into two separate cabs because you have to know when to wave your white flag and we were done. Spent. Cashed. Exhausteous maximous (that’s not really a thing but it sounds right so just go with it).
It took a few days, a few bubble baths, a few good friends and a few glasses of wine but I am happy to report that I can breathe again, Mat is back to being a happy goofball and Cat is obsessed with running up and down the stairs and teasing the dogs.
I have never been more stressed in my life as I have been over the past ten months but I have made a promise to myself and the promise is to knock that crap off. Since the trade, I have faced countless challenges that I didn’t think I could possibly handle but did. From figuring out transition logistics to the mere lonely feeling of being so far away from my loved ones, I eventually saw that I was letting the stress and anxiety of my lifestyle win for well over half of the season. It shouldn’t take finding yourself feeling like absolutely everything is out of your control to learn that it’s okay if it is but that’s what it took me. Through it all, I found a new appreciation for keeping myself humble, my priorities in order and my life simple (or as simple as possible).
Enough of the sappy nonsense.
Happy off-season to all of you.
…but don’t think you’re getting rid of me until spring training.
May our obsession with MLB trade rumors begin!
What started as joke on Twitter is now a very real and serious Halloween costume contest.
Mat and I would like to invite you to submit photos of your best Latos halloween costume for a chance to win some awesome prizes. You can dress up as me, Mat or if you’re really adventurous, find a friend and make it a couples costume. Get creative!
Keep in mind that we both have a ridiculous sense of humor and encourage you to get a good laugh out of this.
Photos can be submitted to: DallasLatos@Reds.com and must be received by 5 pm EST on November 1st. Please include your Twitter handle if you have one.
I will post the winners and their photos on my blog on Friday, November 2nd.
Prizes include autographed balls, signed photos and tickets to regular season 2013 Reds games (if the winner’s location permits).
Get to work!
Official Rules for SO I MARRIED A BASEBALL PLAYER… Giveaways: Employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents of any MLB entity and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries & affiliated companies and their immediate families and those living in their same household, whether or not related, are not eligible for any So I Married A Baseball Player (dallaslatos.mlblogs.com) giveaway. So I Married A Baseball Player (dallaslatos.mlblogs.com) will determine giveaway recipients in its sole and absolute discretion. If you have received a So I Married A Baseball Player (dallaslatos.mlblogs.com) giveaway in the last 30 days, you’re not eligible. If you live more than 100 miles from the ballpark where a game for which tickets are being given away will be played, you are not eligible for that ticket giveaway. If a giveaway recipient is determined to be ineligible, So I Married A Baseball Player (dallaslatos.mlblogs.com) may, in its sole and absolute discretion, not give away the goods or ticket(s) or may give the goods or ticket(s) to the next eligible follower. You will be required to privately (through Twitter direct message or email) provide your name and address if you are selected as a giveaway recipient. So I Married A Baseball Player (dallaslatos.mlblogs.com) will not keep or store your information or use it for any purpose other than sending your giveaway item(s) or providing you information on receiving the item(s). Giveaways are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules or regulations.
During the course of the first round of playoffs, Mat and I are teaming up with ESPN to create a behind the scenes video blog of our first playoff experience. Since we’re doing this for you, I want to hear what you all might like to see…
Fire your ideas my way and I’ll see what we can do!
As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of exercising. Whether it’s hitting the weights, a boot camp class, going on a bike ride or hiking, you can almost always count me in to get active. Aside from the obvious health benefits, I just like to feel good- physically and mentally. One of my favorite full body and mind work outs is practicing Bikram yoga. In a word, it is amazing. Whether you enjoy working out but have never considered it or you absolutely hate exercising, I encourage everyone to give it a shot at least once or five times. Whether you’re in shape, out of shape, no matter your age or gender, the benefits of the practice know no bounds.
There are many more credible information sources out there if you’re looking to know what to expect in a Bikram yoga class, but the fact is: if you’re looking for information, you probably aren’t an expert. From one Bikram amateur to another, here is my version of what to expect, how to prepare yourself and why Bikram is awesome.
If you stumbled upon my blog without knowing the first thing about Bikram, it’s 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises that last 90 minutes and are performed in a 105 degree room. If you don’t care, you are now free to roam about the internet.
I first heard about Bikram from a friend who had always been a gymnast with a rather bulky, muscle-y build and was suddenly flaunting the most awesome slender looking body I had ever seen her with. Like most females would do, I asked her how she transformed her body so quickly. As she described it to me, I thought to myself, “That sounds MISERABLE… I hate the heat… Yoga in a sauna? Ew, sweat? This girl is insane. However, her ass looks AWESOME. Ok, I’m in”.
My first Bikram experience was not as awesome as I had hoped it would be, yet also as terrible as I imagined. I felt light-headed, maybe a little like I couldn’t breathe, my clothes were dripping in sweat, and I sucked at it. Although I felt famished and exhausted afterward, I knew I had done my body and mind a huge service, so I went back. I kept hearing people rant and rave about how much better they felt after they had been practicing regularly for a few weeks and I wanted a piece of that. As they promised, I quickly learned how to stay hydrated properly, was able to stretch deeper into the postures and my general stress level had taken a nose dive to almost being nonexistent.
(side note: I have spent more than half of my life dealing with different sorts of anxiety ranging from social anxiety to panic attacks… I have never met a more effective doctor or medication than the hot room.)
If you’re like most people, Bikram sounds a little intimidating. Here are my non-professional, amateur tips to beginners:
1. Hydrate. There is nothing worse than being dehydrated before you get to a Bikram practice. If you know you don’t drink enough water, increase your water intake a few days before and have an electrolyte beverage a few hours before class. If you arrive to class dehydrated, you’re too late. Although Bikram experts will say not to drink water during class as it only fills your stomach and they also encourage you to develop the discipline to abstain from water until class is over, I always bring water. I am fully aware that this is nothing more than giving into a mental weakness but I will overcome it when I feel ready. Point: do what makes you feel comfortable but try your best to stay focused on your practice.
2. Dress appropriately. There is no formula for this, ideal apparel will vary based on personal preference. My primary advice is that you are comfortable in what you are wearing and wont feel inclined to adjust your clothes between every posture. Your ultimate goal is to engage your mind and body in nothing but your practice. While most people prefer to wear the least amount of clothes possible, I prefer to wear yoga pants because I get seriously distracted by sweat dripping down my legs. I am in the minority on this topic.
3. Don’t even bother feeling self-conscious. Perhaps my favorite part about practicing Bikram is that everyone in class goes at their own pace and no one has time to make you feel like you’re being judged. If you like to try new workouts as much as I do, you’ve probably walked into a class or two and felt intimidated by “regulars” who already know what they’re doing. I have been to over 10 Bikram studios in different cities and have yet to feel that way. It’s a very welcoming environment where people are simply focusing on their own performance. I love that.
4. Arrive early. When I haven’t practiced in a while, I like to get to class at least 15 minutes early. First off, I like to have options for where I’ll lay my yoga mat in the studio (sometimes I just need the darkest corner of the room). Secondly, it’s helpful to go into the room a few minutes before class starts, meditate or stretch and let your body adjust to the temperature.
5. Know your limits. If you start feeling dizzy or light-headed, don’t feel bad about taking a knee or laying in Savasna (corpse pose). Most instructors will tell you that your only goal is to stay in the room for your first few classes- listen to them. Even if you spend the majority of your first practice learning how to breathe and survive in the heated room, you will have accomplished more than you would have if you didn’t show up. Everything takes time and the changes you will experience in your body will be worth it. Trust.
6. Have an open mind. This theory applies for all things in life but don’t dismiss it when practicing Bikram. If your first experience isn’t awesome, or you need motivation to try again, check out this post that outlines the many benefits:
You might also want to cruise over to Cincinnati Bikram’s blog and see what they have to say.
With obesity being such a huge epidemic, health “professionals”, trainers and nutritionists are thriving off of publishing information from their perspective about what is the best method for optimal health- usually with some sort of self-interest in mind. Here’s my free advice and it will probably be the best you ever hear: stick to whatever method of health maintenance that works for you and makes you feel the best. You know your own body better than anyone. Furthermore, recognize a salesman when you see one.
If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them in the comments of this post. I’m not an expert but I’ve been around the fitness block and done my share of personal research.
Namaste. (that’s what we say after we kick our own butts.)
We have spectacular fishing plans for the upcoming off-day in Miami and I am so excited, I decided to share photos of our last trip there with you. (I don’t mean to brag but I’m kind of obsessed with this place).
p.s. Yes, my barracuda is bigger than the catch Mat is photographed with but I didn’t get many fish pictures because we were busy having way too much fun. I’ll work on that this time around.