10.16.2009

movin' on up

Hey all, if you haven't switched your follow-feed or bookmark or whatever yet, please do!  I am officially at my new site, and would love to have you over there to read and comment and have fun!

10.12.2009

new site!

The new site is up!


Click here!

I decided on boygirlkitty because 1) it stayed with my picture/title and 2) it was more general, allowing for greater flexibility and evolution of topics in the future.

Please continue to read and comment and talk with me!  Blogging has been so much fun for me and I have loved talking with all of you on it!

weekend foods

The internet at our house is down while our landlords do some renovations, which has proved to be a bit of an inconvenience this past week as we came home from NC Monday, I went to Marion Tuesday, and then worked from Dave's church office Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.  Needless to say, I felt VERY behind in my housecleaning... and Mosie seemed very confused and sad that we weren't home very much.  Hopefully the internet will be back up Tuesday (fingers crossed!).  Karen (the wife) thought Tuesday... but Bill (the husband) thought this next weekend.  Oy.

In any case, it's been busy days in the kitchen for me recently.  Thursday night we had a staff dinner and I brought spaghetti squash soup, which tastes a lot like chicken noodle.  It was delicious and a big hit.  Friday I took Dave on a date to Jimmy John's, since he had talked about wanting to try it.  I got the veggie sub and thoroughly enjoyed the avocado spread!  Then we split a peanut butter perfection at Coldstone - SO GOOD.  Saturday night my parents came and we had refried black beans, spanish rice, and burritos - some with taco meat and cheese and some with sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, and plain yogurt.  We topped them with spinach, salsa, avocado, and tomatoes.  Sunday we had a church carry-in for lunch.  Mom and I worked together to make black bean and corn egg rolls (from this post and this recipe - even better with the actual egg roll wrappers!) and brown rice, peas, yellow peppers, and browned onions tossed together with a garlic/cumin/red wine vinegar dressing.  Both were great!  The egg rolls especially were a big hit, and I definitely want to try them again.  Then Sunday night I made two crockpots full of chili and 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies for an office lunch today.  (Sorry I don't have any pictures of any of these!)  Recipe plans for the week: hopping john, lentil soup, and a Mexican casserole!

Dave and I had a great time with my parents while they were in town - we antiqued a bit (saw quite a few gorgeous Hoosier cupboards that we have no place for) and played a new partners version of Sorry.  And watched football, talked, ate, and just hung out.  It was very relaxing!  And Mosie behaved herself fairly well with new occupants sleeping in the living room.  She did wake up my mom in the middle of the night because she had taken her glasses off the coffee table and was batting them around on the floor.  Other than that and a few random sprints across their mattress (in all fairness it was 6:30AM and she is used to us being up and moving at 6AM) she was very good.  Dave and I decided we talk WAY too much about our cat (we are "those" people) but we don't even care because we adore her and just love to watch her and play with her.

My first full week of October brought a running fail insofar as my goals are concerned.  I had hoped to do 45-50 miles a week and hit 38 this first week - mostly because I only ran 4 days instead of the normal 5.  Oh well!  Maybe this week I can hit it!  I did have my first run with gloves and pants... but most were in shorts and long sleeves.  I am desperately hoping to find good running tights for winter at Goodwill... even if they come in some lurid shade of purple or pink.

Happy Monday!!

10.08.2009

poll!

Okay... so as mentioned in my previous post, I am considering changing the URL from kimmierau.blogspot to something more general (and without my full name).  My hope is that this URL would be non-cliche (if possible), somewhat self-descriptive, and would be broad enough to cover my blog should its focus change or shift in the future.  So... here are some thoughts (much thanks to my sister, Kelly, who is good at brainstorming):

milesandmeals.blogspot
aboyagirlakitty.blogspot
boygirlkitty.blogspot
metabolize-kim.blogspot (go here for the definition of metabolize to fully understand the pertinence)
popcorngirl.blogspot (this might seem random... unless you know my undying, deep love for popcorn)

I'm not advanced enough to know how to make an actual poll in here... so vote in the comments!  And feel free to say no to all, or to suggest your own version!

Note: adding apple to the spinach smoothies is a bad idea.  Really bad idea.

Apparently while Dave and I were gone in NC Mosie got used to being a rebel kitty... she nonchalantly gets on the coffee table, the dresser, and the bathroom sink, then looks really surprised when we spray her with water.  We've got foil and tape traps set up to discourage her... let the training (and re-training) begin!

10.07.2009

here and there

A few pictures, to start off.


Dave, me, Bethany, Pat, and Kevin @ dinner before the DeArmonds headed back to Durham.


Dave and I in Coach K territory, outside Cameron Stadium, at Duke.

Had a good run today after 3 days off.  It was windy and cool and perfectly fall - even some light misting rain.  Hooray!  And I've signed up for the W.O.O.F. trail run in Bluffton, Indiana at the start of November.  I'm hoping to do a few more runs out at Oxbow Park this month to get my ankles a little better acclimated to softer surfaces.

And tonight is minestrone soup with kidney beans (and maybe added broccoli... because broccoli in minestrone just sounds really good to me) and fresh bread.  And now I need to get home to start making it!

I kind of want to change the URL for my blog to something more generic, rather than my name.  Then I'll import all of this to the new site.  I need name suggestions!  I thought about eatnrun4fun but it kind of seemed long and maybe too cliche.  What do you think?  Or should I just keep it all as is?

10.06.2009

vaca recap

Another post sans pictures - we mostly forgot to use our camera while away, and the one or two pictures I would put up are at home (I'm in Marion).  Look for photo evidence in later posts.

**skip this paragraph if you could really care less about what we did day-to-day while we were away... but click the link there in bold just so you can drool over the amazing pastries and breads**  We had a wonderful time taking a long weekend in NC.  The trip there was painfully long - 13 hours - and we rolled in to Durham about 11, tired tired tired.  Friday morning Dave and I went running, then met up with Pat and Bethany for lunch.  We walked around Duke some, then Bethany took Dave and I threw Chapel Hill, to Carrboro, and to Trader Joe's. Had a late dinner together - the boys wandered in Best Buy while Bethany and I sat outside the restaurant and talked.  Saturday we went running and then had an amazing breakfast at Guglhupf bakery - all made with local farm food.  SO GOOD.  Then Dave and I drove to Charlotte to meet up with Jim and Claudia, the couple that he lived with in Atlanta for 2 years.  We got lunch with them at Mama Ricotta's (I had super delicious wheat pasta with chunky homemade tomato sauce) and then took a tour of the Lowe's Motor Speedway, per Jim's request.  For $5 we got a van tour of the whole complex and grounds, including a drive around the speedway.  It was fun and interesting, and something easy to do while we hung out.  Afterwards we grabbed Starbucks and talked, then said goodbye and headed to Kevin's house.  Sunday we went to church - meeting up with Pat and Bethany - then had a hilarious lunch all together at a trendy Mexican place (Dave was crying laughing).  Sunday afternoon Bethany and I went to IKEA and left the boys to hang out together.  And Monday we began our drive home - 12 hours from Charlotte, rolling in at just about 10pm to a very noisy and purring Mosie.  We had missed her!!

So that's the weekend wrap up.  I'm in Marion today, headed home tonight to meet a new baby!  Week goals include:
  • cleaning the house
  • making spaghetti squash soup (recipe to be posted!)
  • getting some good runs in
  • making sweet potato oven fries (this will be accomplished tonight)
Question of the day: church carry-in on Sunday.  What delicious dish (not dessert) should I make?  Vote now!

9.30.2009

sept. summary

My goal for September was 175.  I hit it with 175.5... I only needed to do 4 miles yesterday and since I was in Marion, it was right before dinner instead of in the morning, and it was pretty windy, I contented myself with doing the bare minimum.  To be honest, I later regretted not working my body a little harder, but I'm sure it's enjoying the rest.  Today is a rest day, so that is the final total!  My goal for October isn't a final number but a weekly sum - right now I'm running about 40 or 41 miles a week.  I'd like to hit between 45 and 50 weekly for October.  I hope the weather cooperates!

I picked up a different book on CD this week - The Best American Short Stories of 2001.  Great things about this: Barbara Kingsolver was the editor.  She also wrote and read the introduction, which was fabulous.  And she has a great reading voice.  One of the stories, while really well written and beautiful, was also slightly bizarre.  A woman kept finding baby parts - real ones - in her house.  Started with a hand, then a shoulder, a torso, a penis, etc.  She stitched them together when she had all the parts but the baby died.  It was... strange to say the least.  But also well written.

This morning I went to the dentist (I am one of those freaks that really loves going to the dentist - you get out of work, you watch tv, you leave with super clean teeth, and you get to talk with really nice, friendly people).  My hygenist informed me that she heard they're calling for a particularly rough winter.  So I checked the farmers almanac.  Read it yourself here, but essentially she's right.  UGH.  I quickly learned last winter that northern Indiana's iteration of winter is about ten times more horrible than anywhere else I've ever lived - the wind! the insane sub-zero temps! the snow!  I'm already dreading it...

Are any of you winter time runners?  What do you do to stay warm running outside when it gets really cold?

9.28.2009

soup's on!

Woke up to a very windy, very fall-like day. I was nervous about running in the wind (and my quads felt pretty tight after doing the mini and then running yesterday as well). But I was pleasantly surprised to find I had a great run! Once I started my legs felt loose as they moved, and the wind and cool air felt awesome! I knocked out a good number of miles and came home relaxed.

Since it is supposed to be windy and cool and rainy all day, I decided it was a vegetable soup day. We are having a late lunch of soup - in two different pots. Both of ours have corn, onions, tomatoes, and carrots. Dave's also has beef broth, beef, and potatoes. Mine has vegetable broth, yams, black beans, and broccoli. I found some delicious looking bread at the Kroger bakery that we'll have as well. Hooray for fall!!

At the FW half we got a promo flyer for a 15 mile run in Bluffton, Indiana in the beginning of November. I'm debating signing up... it's a trail run, which is why I'm hesitant. As an avid road runner (more because of what's available than an actual decision toward that), I'm unsure I should jump into a trail run without much practice. But I know the trails are pretty flat and clear... so maybe it would be easy. Any suggestions??

Off to stir the soup! What are your favorite foods for fall?

9.26.2009

race day!

I got my goal time! 1:58:23! That's a full sixteen minutes better than my time in May, which was fifteen minutes better than my previous best time! What a good running year!

The FW half was a great race - a decent run with lots of spots for spectators (Dave, Aunt Penny, and Uncle Lyn managed to see me five times before the finish), a run through a park, a neighborhood, and an awesome finish in the new baseball stadium downtown! I will definitely want to do this one again next year!

Richele and I, the morning of the race:


Aunt Penny had the great idea to give us multifunctional socks. 1) to keep your hands/forearms warm in the cool morning and 2) as hankies to blow your nose mid-run before you pitch them away. Great idea! They worked so well!

After the race Richele, Ben, Dave, and I, got treated to Powers burgers by Penny and Lyn. Powers burgers have a FW cult following - they're basically like homemade, glorified White Castle. Actually, Richele and I just stole bites off Dave's and Ben's... we didn't think we could stomach all the grease and onions (although they did smell amazing!).


I still need to get some miles in to make 175 for September... but right now it seems doable!

PS - With all the exclamation points in this post, can you tell that I'm still running on race endorphins?

Also, here's a quote from Born To Run that I reread this morning to keep me going.
Relax enough, and your body becomes so familiar with the cradle-rocking rhythm that you almost forget you're moving. And once you break through to that soft, half-levitating flow, that's when the moonlight and champagne show up: "You have to be in tune with your body, and know when you can push it and when to back off..." You have to listen closely to the sound of your own breathing; be aware of how much sweat is beading on your back; make sure to treat yourself to cool water and a salty snack and ask yourself, honestly and often, exactly how you feel. (Page 69)

I've also found smiling makes me more cheerful and energized during my run, whether I really feel like smiling or not. Today's run was, thankfully, very enjoyable and genuinely FUN. I'm excited to get back out again tomorrow morning.

9.25.2009

tgif

Down in Marion for my office's annual mini-golf tourney. Different departments set up holes in their offices and people dress up and play 7 holes. We also have a carry-in. One office did a really elaborate western theme - decorated cardboard to look like old saloons and general stores and put it over their cubicles, with cutout, swinging doors. It was awesome (and if I had remember my camera I could show you).

Had another green smoothie this morning, this time with spinach, flax, milk, a banana, half a peach, and four strawberries. It was very good... but also served to remind me to blend it really really well or sometimes I have spinach and peach peel chewables.

Last night we made mini pizzas using Sandwich Thins and homemade pizza sauce from my friend, Patty. Dave's was topped with browned onions, turkey bacon, and cheese. Mine had browned onions and black beans. They were delicious! ...And then I finished the rest of the beans with some extra onions. Yum!

We leave for Fort Wayne soon. The race starts at 7:30 tomorrow and the weather - cloudy, cool - sounds perfect! Fingers crossed for a great race!

What are your weekend plans?

9.23.2009

green monster

I stumbled upon another blog (thank you, Google Reader suggestion box) last week that talked about Green Monsters smoothies. I was intrigued and had to give it a try. This girl has done lots of variations, but the one I tried went as follows:

2-3 c. spinach
1T. ground flax
1T. peanut butter
1 banana, frozen
1c. skim milk

Note to self: peel the banana before freezing. I had to use a paring knife to get the peel off, much like peeling an apple. After a little googling I learned that I can peel the banana and freeze it without it going brown or getting gross.


Surprisingly, this smoothie was really good. It made about 8-10oz. and basically tasted like a pb/banana smoothie. The texture was smooth, with only a little residual grittiness leftover from the flax and pb (and not enough to bother me). All in all, definitely worth a repeat. I ate this with half a cup of Kashi Wild Blueberry Clusters cereal and I was full for a good 4 hours. I can see it being a good afternoon snack as well. Any suggestions for other additions I could try? I have some chocolate protein powder I could throw in there I suppose... but it's old, I never really liked it, and I probably should just pitch it anyway (looks like I answered my own question there).

Dave and I also had gnocchi last night, which was fabulously delicious. I used some leftover homemade spaghetti sauce rather than the can of pre-cut tomatoes. Next time I'd like to use whole-wheat gnocchi, but I couldn't find any at the store this time around.

That's two posts for today. Be sure you scroll down to read Dave's report on playing with cats!

9.22.2009

guest blogger!

How to Play with Cats
A Guide For Humans
By David Mierau

There are a few key things every cat owner should know when it comes to playing with their furry feline. Allow me to list the essentials:

1. Cats want to hunt, not be hunted
I suppose that could be said for all of us (at least the latter part), but it is especially true for cats. Cats instinctively want to stalk and chase their "prey", be it a string, a toy, or some hapless baby chipmunk in the backyard. One of the classic mistakes cat owners make when playing with their pets is consistently moving the play object towards the cat rather than away from it. If a cat feels threatened or intimidated in any way, it will check out rather than engage. While it is understandable how an owner might want to move the play object toward the cat (come on lil guy, play!), this will typically only serve to reverse the cat's natural instincts of wanting to be on the offense rather than the defense. So, before beginning playtime, remember that it's your job to emulate the prey and your cat's job to be the hunter.

2. Engage your cat's senses
While the standard string is good, a string with something sparkly attached to the end of it and something that makes it create noise is even better. The more you can engage your cat's senses during playtime, the more active your cat will be.

3. Make the cat feel like the play toy is always on the verge of getting away
Dropping the string down in the middle of the floor in plain site of your cat may be novel at first, but your cat will quickly tire of having it's prey so easily available. In general, try not to show the whole object at once. Rather, give your cat fleeting glimpses of it's prey as it slowly moves out of sight. For example, with a string, your cat is generally going to be more intrigued by the last 10 % of the string that's slowly escaping behind the chair than the 90 % it's already seen.

4. Most of the time, the play toy SHOULD get away
You may need to practice this one in order to get good at it, especially if your cat happens to be an expert hunter. But in general, try not to let your cat "win" all the time. Like a truly competitive athlete, cats would rather lose giving it their best than win having an opponent go easy on them. The less your cat can get the play toy, the more your cat will want the play toy.

5. Leverage your cat's curiosity
Cats are instinctively curious. "No duh," you're thinking (yes, I threw out a 90's catchphrase). However, very few cat owners seem to leverage this knowledge productively during playtime. Rather than always letting your cat see the particular object it's hunting, regularly hide it behind something while simultaneously making it create noise. If your cat is like most cats, it will not be able to resist and will soon come pouncing into whichever particular hiding place you've chosen. Mix it up - your cat will thank you and you'll have more fun too.

6. Emulate captured prey
If you've ever seen a cat that's captured real prey, you know that the cat isn't usually interested in killing it off right away. Rather, it wants to toy with it for awhile. And usually, the captured prey will "play" right along by pretending to be dead and then making a break for it once the cat lets go (although I suppose it's not really "playing" when you've got cat fangs sunk into your flesh leading to a slow and miserable death). Your job is to be like that poor little mouse. Play dead, make a break for it, let the cat catch it (if it can), repeat.

7. Eliminate distractions
If there are a lot of new people in the house or loud sounds in the background, your cat will likely be too distracted or skittish to hunt at it's optimal level. Create a safe environment for your cat to play in and it will more likely be fully engaged.

8. Introduce new play toys regularly
Even the best play toys can get boring to your cat after awhile. If you can, mix it up everyone once in awhile. You don't have to spend a ton of time or money to create great play toys for your cat. Just be creative. Here's a recent example of how I did this with a string.

1. Normal string. Cat loved it at first...gradually became less intrigued by it.

2. Normal string with cellophane taped around the end of it. This created the element of sound in the chase and suddenly the cat could not only see the prey but hear it as well. Instant attention. But again, over time it became less intriguing.

3. Normal string with cellophane and a wild feather attached to the end of it. This introduced three new elements: the feather, the smell of the feather (new sense engaged), and the flight of the feather. Suddenly the string that used to be earthbound was now soaring through the air. Our cat couldn't resist...for awhile.

4. Normal string with a round, bunched up Walmart bag taped to the end of it. Oh boy. Watch out. This is the new "hot" toy for our cat. She will regularly start panting after just five minutes of play because she is going after it nonstop. Adding something on the end that she can sink her teeth into has been the killer add-on. Who's knows what the next evolution will be...

In Conclusion
So, there you have it. Some basic tips on how to play with your cat. As you can see, most of it involves playing on your cat's terms rather than your own. Your cat is a cat after all, not a dog, and perhaps that's one of the most important things to keep in mind during playtime. Happy playing!

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**Note from Kim** Hope you've enjoyed my first guest blogger (I'm kind of partial to him!). And for proof of Dave's prowess in our house at entertaining Mosie:

video

squashtastic?

Goal 1 was accomplished last night: cooking with squash. I had a... shoot. I forget the name. Butternut acorn? Could that be possible? Butternut dumpling? Anyhow, it said it was a sweeter squash. Thank goodness for Cutco knives, because dang that sucker was hard to get through. (I realize now I probably should have pierced it with a fork and microwaved it to soften it before attempting to cut it.) I cut the squash in quarters, drizzled it with olive oil, then applied liberal amounts of basil, oregano, garlic, and salt. Put it in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes. When it came out I sprinkled it with parmesan. We ate our squashes with spinach salads - peas and feta and red wine vinegar for me, taco meat and cheese for Dave. All in all, the squash was just okay. Not bad, not great. Does anyone have some squash wisdom to share - a particular kind I should buy? Different ways to eat it? Please help! I want to be a squash lover!


After dinner I had a frozen reese's pb cup and chocolate chip cookie (leftover from Saturday where Dave and I bought 30 different chocolate chip cookies from 30 different places for my sister-in-law's 30th birthday). Dave made himself a small but Coldstone-worthy sundae: chocolate peanut butter ice cream topped with peanut butter, magic shell, whipped cream, and chocolate chips. My boy knows how to do dessert right.


We watched a movie from the library last night - Another Cinderella Story - which we were expecting to be laughably bad, like most other Disney made for ABC family tv movies. This one was suprisingly decent... about on par with other predictable-but-still-fun-to-watch chick flicks. Having Jane Lynch definitely helped - she makes any movie awesome. And in all the squash preparation and movie watching I totally forgot about Monday night football with the COLTS! Good thing I have all season to make up for it.

Dave and I have started a new nighttime ritual: reading time! Last week Dave suggested we start reading for half an hour together before bed. I was all too happy to oblige! We still had leftover gift card money from the wedding to Bed Bath and Beyond, so Sunday we bought two extra fluffy pillow so we can sit up in bed comfortably. I've been distracted from Kavalier and Clay of late because Dave surprised me with four old Runner's World magazines the library was selling for cheap. They've been hard to put down!

Today's run was much better, although it was summertime humid out there again, which slowed my time slightly. Still, way more of a fun run than Sunday's!

9.21.2009

goals

Goals for the week (in no particular order... and really only telling this because it's Monday and I'm stuck in a cubicle and it's kind of cold and boring):

1. Experiment cooking with squash.
2. Clean up my dead plants on the fire escape.
3. Try making this, minus the olives. And adding copious amounts of garlic.
4. Get 2 hours or less in the half marathon on Saturday.
5. Make some serious progress in Kavalier and Clay. I've been moving too slow through it.

I found this recipe and thought it sounded awesome... until I noticed it called for TWELVE TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER. Good grief. This will not be a goal for the week... unless my goal is to not eat 12T. of butter in one sitting, or even in the whole week.

Won't get to run today because I'll be coming back from Marion, but hoping tomorrow's will be less nauseating! Happy Monday (it's half over... at least the workday part!)!

9.20.2009

the worst run

I was pretty excited to run today - I didn't have a time crunch, it was cool and beautiful out, I had a rest day yesterday... all of these factors were promising a great time out on the road. I got up and had coffee and an apple with peanut butter, read for a bit while I woke up, then took off.

It was awful. Almost the whole time I felt like I might puke. My legs felt fine but the rest of me felt like it was falling apart. At mile 8 I took a brief moment to lay down in the grass. At mile 9 I knelt down because I was so certain I was going to be sick. I had originally intended to do 13 to 15 miles, but after 11 horrible, slow, exhausting miles I called it quits. Ugh.

9.17.2009

fall mornings

Mornings have been beautiful here lately - low 50s, bright and sunny, big blue skies. I've got just over a week until the half marathon - hoping for a similar morning then!

Headed to Mishawaka this afternoon to see Steph and to try on bridesmaid dresses for Bec's wedding in April. Since I'll be gone and since I need to grocery shop, dinner will be barbecue chicken in the crockpot (chicken breasts, bottle of barbecue sauce, little bit of apple juice), which we might shred up onto wheat buns. And a side of beans or corn or broccoli.

Good husband: Dave brought home for me a bouquet of beautiful purple flowers and baby's breath!

We took Mosie to the vet for her second (and final) round of vaccines yesterday. Also got her her second (and final... for now) round of flea treatment. We have one more worm pill we have to give her this weekend... always a treat. Dave holds her while I open her mouth, shove the pill in, and shout "Drop! Drop!" (Our vet told us that cats swallow when dropped.) Generally it takes several times - and some scratches - before we get it down. I don't really blame her - if someone held me down, wrenched open my mouth, shoved their hand and a nasty pill to the back of my throat, then dropped me... I would scratch a little, too.

One more Mosie story: recently she has taken to waking us up around 2:30 or 3, wanting to snuggle, and purring so insanely loud. But it's so stinkin cute that we don't even mind!

Lastly, we started watching some of the BBC Planet Earth series last night, on blu-ray. So incredibly beautiful! We definitely recommend it!

9.15.2009

dried basil 4 life

I've had my new basil plant... a week? 10 days? I've watered it here and there (neither too much or too little, I don't think). It's been in a sunny window. I haven't overplucked it. And yet:


Dead. Or close to it. I'm feeling pretty resigned to just using dried basil for the rest of my life.

Had a great weekend in Chicago. Being in Soldier Field was AWESOME. Dave and I enjoyed the four business men sitting in front of us who clearly where there because their corporation bought them tickets. Proof: the guy who asked "so are they supporting a new album or what?" He also sat with his arms crossed most of the time, surveying the crowd with a curious/slightly annoyed expression. We enjoyed that two super-exuberant fans sat in front of him, standing the entire time, dancing wildly, and singing along.

Monday we spent the day walking around Northerly Island, enjoying the sun. Then got in free to the Adler Planetarium and went to a really cool show about stars, constellations, astronomy. On the way home we stopped at Michigan City Outlets... but came away with only a shirt for Dave and a subway sandwich for our dinner.

I don't have any recipes planned yet for the week, or any cravings or ideas. So feel free to supply some! The only thing thus far is probably another batch of red pepper hummus, when we finish this one.

9.13.2009

the game. the deer.

Had a great time at the IU/W. Mich. game yesterday - and got our last bits of late summer sun! We were able to meet up with Chad for the game as well. And afterwards we all tailgated with cheeseburgers, hot dogs, my hummus and naan, grapes, brownies, veggies, chips, etc. It was a feast. We enjoyed being outside, hanging out with family, and getting to see Chad down in his new city (although regrettably we couldn't see his new apt.).

We had ridden down to Bloomington with my aunt and uncle - meeting up with them in FW. We got back to FW about 8 last night and passed a dead deer on Stellhorn Rd. - the police were just there trying to figure out what to do with it. About twenty minutes later Dave and I had left my aunt and uncle's and were back on Stellhorn headed for home. We passed the spot where the deer had been and all was quiet. I wondered aloud what they had done with the deer - dragged it off the side of the road, etc. Dave said he knew there were city departments to take care of that sort of thing. At that moment I looked up and in the lane next to us, just ahead, was a pickup truck with the bed open. And there was our deer friend, hanging out the back. We had quite a laugh about our few minute conversation, all the while the answer had been in the lane next to us.

We are church skippers today, as we hadn't been sure if we would be back Saturday night or Sunday morning. Instead we are having a slower morning. I'm about to give Dave a haircut, then heading out for a run. We have lunch with all of Dave's family, then we'll make out way to Chicago for the U2 concert. Still undecided what big fun will await us in Chicago on Monday, but we're excited to explore. Any suggestions? Submit them quick!

9.10.2009

thursday's kitchen... and other randomness

Quieter in the kitchen today - we're having dinner with friends, so I'm not planning any meals. We are bringing dessert, so I'll be making two lemonade pies. But considering it's just mixing sweetened condensed milk, lemonade concentrate, and cool-whip, dumping it in pre-made graham crusts, and sprinkling on chocolate chips, it hardly seems like cooking! (Hardly seems like cooking does not mean it is not still fabulously delicious!)

I did make some roasted red pepper hummus today. Dave and I have been on the hunt since August, when we saw my sister and brother-in-law at Kelley's Island. They brought the most amazing red pepper hummus ever. You could just eat it by the spoonful plain! So today I tried my hand at making my own. I actually combined two recipes I found on allrecipes.com. One was for spicy red pepper hummus and used feta instead of tahini. The other was for more basic red pepper hummus. I ended up not being able to find tahini (we were at walmart... gag), so I used the feta from the spicy recipe and then followed the rest of the basic recipe. It's still not as good as Kel and Keegan's, but it's pretty great. We found this delicious naan Indian bread, which is perfect for dipping. I think we'll take this along, and some grapes, to the tailgate party on Saturday in Bloomington. Brats and hummus!

Brief movie review: Duplicity. Don't bother. It was pretty awful. Tried to be Ocean's Eleven and Mr. and Mrs. Smith and definitely missed the mark on both. It was confusing, not very clever, and didn't nearly use the potential of Julia Roberts or Clive Owen. Bleh.

Had a pretty blah 9miler this morning - mentally I just was not in it, and I knew it, and I still couldn't get in it. I did do the loop on the cross country course again, which helped to shake me up a bit since I had to focus more on the grass. I have new running shoes arriving today and I'm more than ready to give them a try. My legs have been feeling tight and kind of stale this week - I'm thinking it's the flat tread and starting-to-wear-through-the-sole shoes I've got. Born To Run recommends beat-down shoes with less support as better for running, and I agree. But since almost all my running is on the pavement, I think I need a bit more cushion. Luckily endless.com (my favorite shoe site) has free overnight shipping and comparable prices. So I ordered my new (blue and silver) Brooks yesterday and they'll be here today. Fantastic!

(Thanks for comments people have left! They make my day! If you ever try any recipes, please let me know how they go for you, or modifications you tried.)

9.09.2009

corn heaven


Had the above deliciousness for lunch yesterday: spinach topped with fresh corn off the cob and tomatoes. YUM. (Also pictured: corn off the cob. Because I think corn is just beautiful.) Today I made it even better by taking the same ingredients and rolling them up in a whole wheat tortilla with some roasted red pepper hummus. Amazing!!

Made the corn chowder tonight, with a few modifications. Namely olive oil instead of butter, chicken broth instead of just water. You puree half of the soup in the blender before you finish cooking it so I added a couple handfuls of spinach into the mix - figured it couldn't hurt taste or nutrition! I also added a bunch of garlic. The recipe didn't call for any (!!!) but I hardly know how to cook without it. And a little turkey bacon... because bacon is sooo good. Ta-da! The finished product.

The chowder tasted awesome - really flavorful and summery. Fantastic!


Here's the recipe, with my modifications:

Mollie Katzen's Fresh Corn Chowder

1 med. potato
2 1/2 c. water (chicken broth)
2-3 T. butter (olive oil)
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 t. salt (if you use broth maybe half this)
1 med. stalk celery, minced
1 sm. red pepper, minced
5c. corn
1/4 t. dried thyme (oregano)
1/2 t. dried basil (more, to taste)
pepper to taste
1c. milk (lowfat or soy ok), room temp.
(spinach)
(3 pieces turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled)
(3 cloves garlic)

Dice the potato. Place it in small saucepan with the water (broth). Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender but not mushy. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter (olive oil) in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and salt, and cook over med. lo heat, stirring. After about 5 minutes, add celery (and garlic) and keep cooking. About 5 minutes later, add the cooked potatoes with all their liquid, the red pepper, corn, pepper, and herbs. Stir well and cover. Reduce heat and let cook about 5 minutes more.

Use a blender or food processor to puree about half the soup, along with a few handfuls of spinach. Return this to the pot and let it rest until serving time.

Stir in the milk and turkey bacon about 10 minutes before serving. Heat the soup gently - don't cook it any further. Serve as soon as it's hot.

(Thanks to Abby for this awesome cookbook - it's the first recipe I've made from it, but with fall and winter coming up I'm sure many many more soups and chowders and chilis will be had!)

9.07.2009

Labor Day

Since we had the day off, Dave and I took a trip to Plymouth, Indiana, to the Blueberry Festival. While there we made some unfortunate food choices. Together we split:

a basket of spiral cut potato fries
texas_twister.JPG (257×193)

a cheeseburger
cheeseburger-1_sm.JPG (545×365)

a blueberry sundae
Candied-ginger-ice-cream-with-blueberry-lime-sauce-.jpg (580×580)

half a bag of kettle corn
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We came home and immediately took a nap (I actually started mine in the car on the drive home) while our bodies certainly labored to digest. Poor decision making on our part, with that lunch, for sure. Then we watched the movie Big Fish, which was creative and had beautiful colors and fantastic actors, but was a little disappointing in the overall theme and idea of the movie (your life isn't good enough as is - you have to color it up with stories?).

Now we're playing with Mosie. Dave has a meeting later and I'll go for a run. We're thinking a simple, healthy dinner of corn on the cob is in order. We've both been chugging water all day, too, trying to drain the fair food out of our system. Ugh. Nothing like carb and grease overload to drain you of all physical energy.

This is completely random, but I've been reading the book Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon. My friend Tyler surprised me earlier this year by shipping the book right to my door! It's only taken me this long to actually start reading it. It's so good!! Unique story, fantastic writing, well-developed characters... I'm not surprised at all that it won the Pulitzer. I'm not even close to halfway yet, but I'd already definitely recommend it.

Hoping to make corn chowder on Wednesday - expect a review!

9.04.2009

Friday favorites

The title is misleading because these are favorites for every day of the week, but I liked the alliteration. Here are a few things I'm all about right now:

Honey Nut Scooters. Every breakfast. I buy the 2lb. bag. And an article I just read said that grain cereal with milk is one of the best things you can eat after a run. Ta-da!

Pampered Chef Garlic Press. I use this almost daily. I'm not attached to Pampered Chef, but this garlic press works really well. Otherwise, I'm kind of too lazy to take the time to peel the garlic and slice it up. Plus, I really kind of suck at it. And getting the garlic peel out of here still leaves your fingers smelling like garlic. Bonus!
Janet Evanovich number murder mystery series. Seriously, I'm not sure how I would get through the 1 hour 45 minute weekly drive without these. As an english major I guess there's the chance I should feel some shame about this, since they're not the great literary classics. But I don't. They're well written enough, they're funny, and they keep me from falling asleep and driving off the road or into herds of deer. Winner in my book.
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Sweet corn. I could eat it everyday, in mass quantity. And after the farmer's market on Saturday I will have more. Hooray!
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My Brooks Adrenaline shoes. I think I'll need a new pair soon-ish, but these have been my faithful go-to for the last three pairs. They're amazing. And pink!
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Cardigans. I tend to wear one almost every day. They're light weight but warm. And they're comfortable.
old-navy-twin-set-in-malibu-blue,-26.50.jpg (260×345)
And my bamboo wooden cutting board. The sound of cutting is better, the feel is better, the look is better. Everything about wood cutting boards is better.
bamboo-cutting-board.jpg (280×280)
What are some of your favorite things?

9.03.2009

fun run

Had the most fantastic run this morning - 9 miles that felt like 4, most of which I was literally smiling through because it felt so dang good. Goshen College had their cross country path marked out, so I did a mile on grass, which was new and really good for my hips, knees, and ankles (no injuries, either!). Wanted to keep going and going - 11, 12, 13, whatever! - but held back so I could still run tomorrow. Hooray!

Here is my new favorite morning activity: http://puzzles.usatoday.com/ I love doing the crosswords and word finds. So fun!

I think I might make corn chowder sometime soon. Doesn't that sound delicious right now, with the kind of fall-like weather and fresh sweet corn?

Our friends Mark and Lauren come tomorrow and we're so excited. I'll be making my mom's homemade mac and cheese - Dave's favorite. It's First Fridays in Goshen so we'll walk around downtown, listen to music, come back and hang out at the apartment. We can't wait for them to get here!

For lunch today I skillet-ized corn, black beans, garlic, and zuc with a lot of cumin. Put this over spinach and avacados and crisped tortillas that I made in the oven with olive oil and sea salt. Deliciousness. All I needed were tomatoes for a punch of color and juice... but alas. None.

8.30.2009

august round-up

I ran 140 in July, so I decided I wanted to hit 150 in August. My final total was 152 - just over. I really think the fruit has helped these past two days - my legs have felt much much better. Bananas are definitely proven to be great for runners, but I'm building my faith in all fruit for that.

It's incredible to me that what used to be a longer-ish runs for me are now my daily runs. Earlier I commented that the book Born to Run changed my attitude about running and really helped me get to the level of running I'm currently at. And I do believe that. If you like running at all (or just want to read a phenomenal story) get that book. It is so dang worth it. But something else I've learned as I've been running, especially in the past two months, is that the capabilities and desires have always been there, hidden or dormant or trapped. And the book maybe helped me see them, but it was God who really helped me release them. Running has been an incredible way for me to experience the strength of my own body, the possibilities I possess. I run now for positive reasons - its healthy, it feels good to be outside and moving, I like seeing how far I can push myself, pure enjoyment - instead of the old reasons - mainly ones tied to negative self-image and weight issues (neither of which really helped me enjoy running or go very far... and I always quit after a bit). Running has been a way for God to really break down some old lies that I believed about myself and to heal me. I am an incredibly different person mentally in regards to my body and my self-image at the end of these two months than I was at the beginning. Running was definitely the key, but God was the one turning the key. I didn't really want this entry to be a sermon, but I also felt strongly that I needed to give God the credit for what He had done, and not say it was just running or just a book. Both played a large part, but they weren't THE part. September's goal is 175, just to see if I can. I am thankful for new freedom and continued growth.

Egg roll update: couldn't find egg roll wrappers in the grocery store (new leads have suggested the produce section??) so used corn tortillas instead. The filling tasted really good but I thought the tortilla was a bit too much for the filling... so I still want to try it egg-roll style. If all else fails I might get phyllo dough and try it that way. Still, a good recipe. And the filling really was delicious. Would be excellent as a salsa-like dip for tortilla chips.

Also got a new basil plant from Meijer - a bigger one. Trying to grow it indoors and hoping it keeps. I probably need to get it a new pot this week. I should move my oregano now, while it's still alive, and before an early frost comes in (which seems likely considering it's AUGUST and 45 degrees this morning). Our friend Irene gave me a tiny hen and chicks plant. She said the chicks should start coming out in a week. I am very excited about this plant!!

Also. Random: Dave and I have watched the Bourne Trilogy this weekend and in the movies the killer/assassins are called "assets." We have taken to calling Mosie "The Asset" when she is in play mode since she loves to stalk and hunt.

8.29.2009

fruit and blisters

My last two runs have been ugly - feeling stiff, tired... just needing more willpower and effort to run than normal. I realized that we haven't had much fruit in the house this week because it's the end of the month and we're trying to stay in our budget... which means we really can't grocery shop til September 1. But I think not having fruit is affecting my legs... it could be completely mental, I know. But I bit the bullet today and got some bananas, grapes, and peaches. We'll see if tomorrow's run is better after a few doses of fruit.

And I have two new blisters - one on the inside side of my right foot, one in the space between the pad of my big toe and the ball of my foot on the right left foot. Strange, because I haven't had blisters in a long time - just calluses. Not sure if it's the extra humidity the past few days - sweatier feet - or maybe my gait is off since my legs have felt off. In any case, not bad enough by far to keep me from running, but annoying all the same.

8.28.2009

Friday!

Haven't posted this week... because not much new is going on. Haven't done any new cooking or gardening (my basil and oregano are still looking tenuous). Still running, and getting near the end of August so trying to get in mileage (to beat last month's 140) while not overdoing it so that I end up hating it.

Wednesday I got to go spend the day with Emily and meet her and Derek's new baby. So cute! He slept most of the time, as newborns do, and we hung out and went to lunch and caught up. And last night our small group got together and made plaster masks of our faces. Dorky, but totally fun. Rubbing vaseline all over your face is gross, but the actual plastering part feels kind of good - I fell asleep for a little bit.

Dave surprised me this morning with breakfast in bed - scrambled eggs, toast, coffee. Good husband and friend, that one.

A pretty empty weekend ahead, which I'm looking forward to. The house could use a good cleaning and I have a few errands to run, and Stephanie is coming over from Mishawaka to hang out for a bit, but other than that, not much. Maybe some reading and movies. Maybe I'll find a new recipe to try, too.

Maybe this one, from Rachel H.:

Spinach, Black Bean and Corn Egg Rolls

Adapted from Melanie Scott (Simple and Delicious)

Makes 20 egg rolls

Note: This was designed as a low-fat recipe, but if you’re looking for something closer to a restaurant-style Southwestern egg roll, double the amount of cheese from 1 cup to 2, and use a full-fat variety.

  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon.pepper
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 20 egg roll wrappers

1. In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers. Place 1/4 cup mixture in the center of one egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling. Fold sides toward center over filling. Moisten remaining corner with water; roll up tightly to seal. Repeat.

2. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spray tops of egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown. Turn them halfway through baking.

3. Serve warm with salsa and/or guacamole.

8.24.2009

winner weekend

Had a fantastic weekend with Rachel, Bec, and Peter. Spent lots of time reading, looking at some bridesmaid dresses, playing games, walking in the rain, and, of course, eating. The most delicious part was probably the ice cream Saturday night - reese's pb ice cream with mocha moaner cookie crumbles (made by Rachel). So good! And Sunday lunch we had a hot chicken couscous salad with zuc and onions and peppers in a red wine vinegar and cumin dressing. Really good!

In Marion now after a fortunate skip week last week. Ugh. Started a new Janet Evanovich book on CD today - Four to Score. Jill introduced me to Janet E.'s series. Funny, entertaining murder mysteries. Not your great literary achievements, but decently written and can certainly hold your attention for a few hours early in the morning.

Random: decided this morning that instead of a pb breakfast sandwich (I eat on the road) I wanted a ham and red pepper hummus sandwich. It was delicious, if a bit odd to eat at 6:40AM.

So now that my gardening season is officially over (or at least has been relegated to desperately trying to keep my on-the-edge oregano and basil still alive) I need a new hobby or effort to try. Any ideas?

And lastly, a pic from the weekend, and another irresistible one of Mosie, sleeping belly-up.


8.19.2009

pics and frittatas


I told Kel I was making macaroni and cheese frittatas tonight and she asked for a picture. So here it is!


I got these from - who else? - Camilla. Aren't they cute? She intended them as a way to get her toddler to eat vegetables. I think when I make them again I'll "adult" them a bit - maybe add some onion, more garlic, some spices. They were pretty good though, and a really fun and different recipe to try! Dave is looking forward to having them for breakfast tomorrow.

And while I'm doing pictures, here is one of Amanda and I with Erin, our soon-due friend! And our first picture with the coming baby! Hooray!



8.18.2009

muffins and meatloaf

Tried some new muffins today, from Camilla - love them!!!

Dave requested meatloaf for dinner and I had some extra spinach I wanted to use before it spoiled, so I found a simple recipe on allrecipes.com. I made some additions of garlic, onion, and herbs to up the flavor, and it came out great!

Superfood Super Muffins
3c. wheat flour
4T. ground flaxseed
2t. baking powder
3t. ground ginger
2t. cinnamon
1t. salt
1/2c. sugar
2c. pumpkin
1 1/2c. vanilla yogurt (recipe called for plain but I only had vanilla so I used that and then halved the sugar. turned out really well!)
3/4c. oil (I didn't have applesauce but next time I'm trying it that way)
2 eggs
1/2c. dried fruit (the recipe called for 1c. but I only had 1/2, and this seemed to suffice. The batter is moist and delicious enough you only need the fruit to complement, not carry it.)

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet. Combine until just mixed. Drop in greased muffin tin. Bake 25 minutes at 350. Makes about 20. About 150 cals/muffin (will be less with applesauce sub)

Spinach Mozzarella Meatloaf
1.5lb. gr. beef
1 (10oz.) pkg. frozzen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I used fresh, wilted in the skillet with the onion)
1 1/2c. bread crumbs
1 1/2c. mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
onion, diced and slightly browned
garlic
basil (fresh)

Combine. Bake at 350 for an hour in a greased pan.

Stopped at the farmer's market today and got green beans, fingerling potatoes, and 2 dozen corn. We had some corn and potatoes with the meatloaf, and I just finished boiling the other 20 ears for freezing! Hooray!!

math

unexpected day at home with Dave
+ 1 hour afternoon nap
+ homemade popcorn
+ kitten licks
+ 10 mile run, partly in the rain
+ great thunderstorms
_________________
1 terrific Monday

8.16.2009

Humid run this morning, but felt good. Some words that came to mind while I ran:

Morning slips in on kitten paws, padding gray
and soft over pillows, hands still clasping
sheets, eyelashes tangled on cheeks.

8.15.2009

domestivity (domestic activity)

Got up early this morning and headed down to Bluffton, Indiana. Rachel and I first took a walk to the farmer's market where we picked up two dozen sweet corn. Walked home (stopped so Rachel's dog, Eme, could poop in the middle of a parking lot). We husked the corn and had some coffee, smoked and sharp cheddar, and apples, and started shredding zucchini. Lots of zucchini. Rachel's mom had grown a zuc as big around as my bicep and as long as my fingertip-to-elbow. Incredible. I had brought four rather large zucs as well. We shredded them, then started making bread. Abbie and Lacey soon joined us, too. We finished the bread, froze corn, had mexican dip and chips for lunch, did some crafts, and just hung out. At the end of the day Rachel and I each had four bags of corn to freeze, we had eight big loaves of zuc bread, two bags of leftover shredded zuc to freeze, and Rachel had two new doorstoppers. I finished my book on CD on the way home, then got some time tonight for dinner with Dave, to write thank you notes, do some bills, play with Mosie, and watch some gymnastics. All in all, a fantastic Saturday!

Also, something I'm still excited about: my best friend, Becca, got engaged at the end of July. She recently asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I am THRILLED and eagerly anticipating it. Bec and I have been best friends since second grade, eight years old, when we had matching bowl haircuts and had pencil races on our desks in Mrs. Fogle's classroom. Other than family, Bec has been my longest friend. I cannot wait to be with her on her wedding day!!! And next weekend Bec and Rachel - another longtime best friend - will be coming to visit me! Possibly with Bec's fiance, Peter! Dave and I are very excited for them to come!

(This post is dedicated to Dave, who begged for an update.)

8.13.2009

hodge podge

Aunt Penny and Uncle Lyn came up from Fort Wayne yesterday. We spent the afternoon in Shipshewana, then came to Goshen for dinner. Walked around downtown after we ate, then played Uno and Hand & Foot. Since we were gone all day I put boneless pork in the crockpot with apple juice. Then when we got home I drained the juice, shredded the pork (just using tongs - it fell right apart), then added a bottle of bbq sauce. Let it cook together for another hour, then had sandwiches! We tried to find fresh corn but didn't see any roadside stands - can you believe it??

Had my first "harvest" of home-growns this week. Even though it's only about 11 beans I'm still immensely happy. (Note: they're not that great tasting. I think the key to good produce - big zucs and delicious beans - must be room and space to actually grow. Novel concept.)


And Aunt Penny took our first "family" picture:


I'm not sure if this will work or not (I've never tried to post a video), but here is a video Dave took of Mosie playing:

video

We're having staff over for dinner tonight - eight or more people in our little apartment! I'm going to make a pasta throw-together - wheat pasta, marinara, ground turkey, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, sauteed zucchini and onions, goat cheese. Everyone is bringing a side to contribute as well! Hooray for good fun!

8.10.2009

weekend revelations top 10

1. Lake showers - even when the water temp makes you breath hard and you don't have conditioner so your hair is all knotty - are pure fun. And make you feel 7 again, with heavy wet-shoed feet, tight cold skin, and zebra mussels bits stuck to your toes. I asked Dave if I smelled clean and he said I smelled like outside and water. Even better.

2. Eggplant sliced super thin and sauteed to perfection in olive oil tastes kind of like a potato chip but 12 times better.

3. Runs in a light rain, especially along the coast with the waves rushing and the lake wind blowing and your sister beside you, are the best kind.

4. Grandmothers may need to be reminded ten times about what boat you are leaving on but they will always remember to smack your butt when they hug you.

5. Sunday night dinners of popcorn, cheese, turkey sausage, apples, and peanut butter are the very best kind. Especially combined with a movie, a husband, and a sleepy kitty.

6. Blissful: napping with Mosie, both of us asleep, with her paws in my hair.

7. Surprises from Dave: a full gas tank to get to Marion, reese's pb snack cups, and a big yellow daisy flower. Best boy.

8. Kitties get bored at 3am.

9. Little nieces at 16 months get giddy and run into walls. They are conveniently resilient. And wonderfully adorable, busy, and open-mouth-kisses-sweet.

10. Mondays should be replaced by more weekends.

8.06.2009

pizza pizza

We tried this pizza crust recipe last night and it was soooo good! We topped ours with fresh marinara, basil, oregano, carmelized onions, yellow peppers, turkey sausage, sundried tomatoes, and cheese. YUM. The crust was kind of biscuity, not too dense, and very delicious. I used only wheat flour and it still came out great.

Off to Kelley's Island this weekend!

And I have beans growing! I think I can harvest a few today!

8.04.2009

Mosie

The new addition to our house: Mosie (Moe-zee)!!



7.31.2009

July challenge

The July 100 Challenge is over, and I rocked in 140 miles! It's mostly exciting because I'm not sure I've ever had that much mileage, and really enjoyed all the miles while doing them!

And last night I noticed that I do indeed have the start of little beans growing off the stalks. Finally! Hopefully they'll make it to full growth and not be ravaged by the squirrels.

We're off to Chicago this weekend for Mark and Lauren's wedding. Will maybe post a picture or two next week!

7.30.2009

squirrels

I've discovered a little bit more about why my zucchini plant has not been faring well: squirrels. I came out the door this morning and found a squirrel sitting in the pot. Of late the plant has been looking like it's being uprooted... and now I think I know why. Dang squirrels are digging in there.

I have yet to produce beans, and they're looking a little bit like the squirrels have been frolicking around in there, too. Oh well. At least my herbs are staying strong.

Tomorrow is the final day of Kelly and I's 100 mile July challenge. I'm over 100 as of right now, and excited to see what my total will be tomorrow after I run.

Tried a sundried tomato and white wine risotto in the crockpot last night... for how awesome it sounds like it would be (you can't go wrong with any of those ingredients) it was mostly just average. I want to keep trying other recipes with risotto though. It's got such a delicious texture.

Off to enjoy my favorite breakfast: honey nut scooters. :)

7.23.2009

donkey exercises

Found these exercises the other day:


I did part 1 today after my run (I didn't find part 2 til later, with some help from my sister). Most of them felt pretty easy, but I could feel it stretching or working my muscles. The donkey whips were pretty difficult. I also love that there are exercises called donkey whips. It makes me want to do them even more.

I think I'm finding that I have my best runs first thing in the morning. I'll get up and have some coffee and read for a bit, then hit the road. Yesterday I dawdled around, had coffee, read, read some more, emailed with my sister, etc. When I finally ran it was a good run, but felt kind of stiff and uncoordinated. Today I had coffee and read and then got out there, and it felt better. I feel like if I wait too long my body gets settled in a different mode, a slower one, and runs feel more forced and awkward. But if I go before my body has really set itself for the day, it falls into a pace more naturally, and the run is often much smoother and flowing.

And a recipe from Dave, that I happened upon him eating when I came home from the store:

Do It Yourself Reese's:

One small bowl peanut butter
Chocolate chips

Stir and enjoy.


7.21.2009

black bean spinach burgers

I recently found the blog www.enlightenedcooking.blogspot.com, by Camilla Saulsbury, and have really liked looking through it for recipe ideas. I saw black bean burgers in there and remembered how much I liked them, so decided to try them tonight. I also decided to read the recipe, but then kind of wing it in the kitchen. With somewhat mixed results...

I had some spinach in the fridge and thought it sounded good paired with the beans, so I decided to use it in the burgers, despite them not being in Camilla's recipe. I threw spinach and a few red pepper slices (instead of carrot, like Camilla) in the food processor, along with salt, red pepper flakes, and worcestershire. Once that was blended I added a can of black beans, drained and rinsed. I pulled the goop from the processor and mixed it together with bread crumbs until it held, then formed patties. Fried them up in olive oil along with some veggies - onion, peppers. Then served them on wheat buns with salsa (and cheese for Dave). I overprocessed after adding the beans and the mixture got too smooth (almost like hummus), so they didn't stay as firm as I would have liked, but still ended up being delicious. I think I'd like them even more without a bun, just cut up with other veggies, like a stir fry almost. I loved the black bean flavor. And the onions were delicious with a little salt, just getting sweet and caramelized... yum!

Camilla's burgers were an estimated 250 calories, and I would place these about the same, considering I didn't change much except add spinach and not use as many spices. We used the Arnold whole wheat sandwich thin buns - which are delicious! Try them!

intro

I've been thoroughly enjoying trying some new things this summer - gardening on the fire escape with pots of zucchini, green beans, oregano, basil, and parsley - an increase in running with the addition of sprints, pushups, and crunches in the regimen - and trying new recipes, or seeing how well I do at making recipes up. As in all things, sometimes I win and sometimes I fail.

The garden is doing moderately well - the zucchini clearly needs more space, which I don't have to give. So far it has only produced 3-4 inch long zucs. The beans are tall but have yet to grow actual beans. The herbs, which admittedly I bought and just replanted in a box, are doing rather well, as far as I can tell. I've loved adding them to sauces, making pesto, throwing them in the crockpot.

Recipes sometimes turn out great - generally anything with olive oil and garlic is off to a great start - and sometimes are clearly missing the magic. But I'm gaining confidence in the kitchen and learning more about tastes and complimentary flavors... and also more about how much I enjoy the tangible, sensual (as in sense-filled) experience of the kitchen.

And running has been awesome this summer, happily. Recently I read Born To Run, by Christopher McDougall, and it was pretty big in changing my thoughts about running. I've always enjoyed running, but this book somehow brought that joy alive, or maybe just showed me what it looks like in others more dedicated to the sport than I. In any case, I've really been focusing more on running - not for any other reason other than the enjoyment. Sometimes I run to be fast, sometimes I run an easy, open run, just to hear my feet and breath. Sometimes I run to see how far I can go, how tired I can get. Sometimes I go because I need the energy. In any case, it's really helped me connect with my body, in a mysteriously healing sort of way. And adding in sprints (I'm by no means fast) has helped increase my pace on regular runs. I'm really loving pushing myself and seeing new results, not for competition or personal gain, but just in a kind of marvel at my body and what it's capable of, what it's created for.

So this blog is an exploration of some of those things, and more, I'm certain. Less of a day to day, maybe, and more of the little things I find along the way.