September 30, 2012

Training Week 9 and 10


I totally spaced last week and I didn't post what I would be doing this past week. So, I'm playing catch up. This is what I did last week, and what I plan to do this upcoming week.


I think Erica and I got ahead of our training program by about a mile - our Saturday run yesterday we ran 7 miles, but according to our program we should have been on 7 miles. I think we just got excited about rounding out 5 miles instead of 4.5 one Saturday and we've been cruising ever since.


For our 7 mile run, Erica was out of town, so we each had to run alone. Which, as it turns out is starting to suck. I'm enjoying running with someone instead of alone. For my 7 miler, I opted for the treadmill, I figured Netflix would keep me distracted enough to get it done and over with quickly. But, the reality is that the treadmill is now slow and boring to me. We are 27 days to race day and 10 miles no longer seems like that big of a deal. We.Got.This.

 
What are you doing this week??

September 26, 2012

Lemon Basil Orzo


Fall tv premieres are all this week, and I have to say that nothing made me happier than seeing my DVR fill up with some of my favorites! Confession time, ready? I think I am the only person on the planet that doesn't watch reality TV. *GASP* I know, right? What I'm saying is jersey shore, bachelor, housewives of any kind, dance moms, etc. don't do it for me. How I met your mother on the other hand? makes me SO happy. (thanks to my MIL for introducing me to it) I found this comparison on Pinterest of friends and HIMYM... and I died laughing, because truthfully I love friends too!! See the source here.



Fall tv just makes it easier to swallow the fact that it gets darker earlier and earlier at night. Which makes it harder and harder for me to procrastinate on my runs.


I digress - I have had an obsession lately with the lemon basil flavor combo lately. So, I figured I would whip up a side dish, and I haven't had orzo in for.ever. You can probably guess that since there was no meat in this, Mike wanted nothing to do with it. Oh well, more for me.

Ingredients:
6 ounces of orzo  - half a box
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1/4 cup of basil
2 lemon wedges
1/4 cup starchy pasta water
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup parmesan-reggiano cheese

  1. Boil water for the orzo in a medium pot and cook per the box instructions - I made only 1/2 box. Make sure to reserve 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water. When the orzo is done, drain and set aside.
  2. Slice your zucchini and your squash, add both to a skillet and heat on medium with a little salt and pepper. Cook until soft, set aside.
  3. Grate your cheese, mince your basil.
  4. Place your butter, milk, cheese, lemon juice and pasta water into the pot. Heat on medium and stir until the cheese has melted.
  5. Add the orzo, squash, zucchini, and basil and stir together until well combine.

 
What are your fall favorites!?

September 25, 2012

Roasted tomato basil soup


There has been a lot going on lately, so I haven't had much time for posts, but let's be honest - it's not like I haven't been cooking and taking pictures! Even work has been insane, so I have been making time for my runs and making time to read in order to ensure my sanity.


I blew through this book really quickly - it drags a little on the first couple of chapters, but stick with it and you won't be disappointed. It's about a lighthouse keeper, and I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just leave it at that. See the full reviews, etc. here. I was actually impressed when I found out this was the authors first book - it didn't seem like it at all.

I have been craving soup ever since the weather turned just a bit cooler. I swear I make a different version of this soup every year and each year the most recent version is my favorite. It's hard not to like tomato basil soup!

Ingredients:
10 large tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup of basil, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter - trust me
1 palmful of crushed red pepper flakes, optional - I like it spicy!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice up your tomatoes and lay flat on a baking sheet. Toss with a bit of olive oil and salt. (I instagramed it while I was prepping this soup!) Bake for about 45 minutes - they start to get a bit charred on the outside before you take them out.
  2. While those are cooking, pour another teaspoon or so of olive oil into a large pot and sautee the garlic for a few minutes. Pour in the can of dieced tomatoes and turn off the heat. At this point you can chop your basil as well.
  3. When the tomatoes are done pour them into the large pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender - blend the tomatoes together until you get the desired consistency. I leave mine on the chucky side.
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients and simmer on low for an hour.
  6. Serve with bread or crackers for dipping!


September 19, 2012

Dry Rub Chicken Tacos



I love that the weather is getting a bit cooler now - almost cold - my runs are far more enjoyable, and I love sweaters and boots more than I probably should. This past weekend I finally got around to cooking on Sunday - it usually doesn't take me that long! Mike was sleeping in after our night out on Saturday and he got out of bed, because the smell of this chicken had made it upstairs and he was dying to know what I was making. I told him to go back to bed for another 40 minutes, which he didn't argue with me over. I whipped these up, snapped a few pictures and called him down!

These aren't just any old tacos - they are Bobby Flay tacos. Which means they have guacamole, and poblano peppers and coleslaw on them. You guys know this, but my love for Bobby Flay runs deep. To the point where when my mom invited him and his wife to my wedding (and they actually RSVP'd) we spent the whole month dreaming about what we would do if he actually showed up, as if he has nothing better to do right!?

Anyway, this recipe is one of my favorites and it is of course a Bobby Flay recipe - see the full recipe here.

Ingredients for the chicken:
*adapted
3 large poblano peppers
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons chipotle powder, optional
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and measure out all of your spices, and place in a bowl - mix together with a fork. Rub the spice mixture over each chicken breast, making sure to coat both sides. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  2. While that is in the oven slice the poblano peppers thin and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Fry in a frying pan for about 10 minutes, or until they are just soft and a little charred around the edges.
Ingredients for the coleslaw:
*adapted
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
1 bag of coleslaw mix
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Salt and ground black pepper
  1. Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.
Ingredients for the guacamole:
*This piece is all my own - I recently tried it out on a group of people who loved it!
3 ripe avocados
1 tomato
2 jalapenos
1/2 red onion
1 handful of cilantro, minced
2 cloves of garlic, pressed/minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime wedge
  1. Scoop the inside of the avocados into a bowl, and mash with a fork.
  2. Mince the tomato, jalapenos, and red onion and add to the bowl with the garlic. Mince the cilantro and add it to the bowl. Mix together with the avocados further mashing them.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste and lime juice.
Pull the chicken out of the oven, and slice it. Build your tacos on flour tortillas - coleslaw, chicken, poblanos and guac. I topped mine with additional cilantro.




So. Stinking. Good.

September 18, 2012

Training Week 8

Last week of training was a HUGE success! My Saturday run ended up being my very first 10K! I ran the Nickle Dickle day 10k in Waconia! I am so stinking proud of myself! My confidence has gone through the roof when it comes to running - I'm pretty sure I could run a half marathon no problem now and I never thought I could say that. I'm excited for the 10 miler and I'm no longer nervous about it! Everyone told me that once you hit that 5 mile mark you really feel good about everything and they were totally right!


My husband is the greatest. On Saturday morning I got up around 6am for the race - he got up around 6:30. When we got in the car he was really quiet, I assumed he was just tired so I stayed relatively quiet too. Half way there he tells me that he ended up having to work until 2am - when you own your own company, things like this happen. Last minute he had to fill in and instead of waking me to tell me or telling me when I got him up to go to the race he waited. He knew I would have sent him back to bed, and he knew I wanted him to be at the race with me. On top of that - we were starting the race and they told us that there was only one hill - and it was at the very end. (mean right?) I figured at least I would be good and warmed up before I hit it.

4.5 miles in - I pass this house... seriously, there is a stuffed HORSE on the roof... you can see it on instagram here I laughed really hard and snapped a picture while I was running past. I flipped a quick text to Mike while I ran past it telling him I was at 4.5 so he knew where I was. I finally got to that hill and I made a point to look down, I didn't want to know how much farther the hill was going to last so I focused on the ground. When I looked up a few minutes later I see this guy leaning against a fence and my whole face lit up like Christmas morning - it was my husband! He grabbed my sweatshirt (now tied around my waist) and my empty water bottle and he ran with me to the top of the hill. I was so happy. I have awarded him as husband of the year. (Seriously, love him so much.)

After that it was nap time. Then later we met up with some of our favorite people! Lindsey and I had plenty to celebrate - my first time running 6 miles and she is down to 2 more board exams before she is officially a chiropractor!

 
Erica my lovely running partner was also out!


This upcoming week's worth of training looks like this... I'm very curious to see where our 5.5 mile run takes us this weekend!


How was your weekend? How is your training going?

September 14, 2012

Friday Rambling

This is going to be a rambling mess of a post – you’ve been warned, and I apologize in advance.
I never thought I would get another tattoo after my first one. I have the word “faith” tattooed on my wrist. I got it as a freshman in college – I think it was one of the first things I did when I got to college. I absolutely love it. People always asked me if I was planning on getting another one and my answer was always no.
Three months ago I was on Pinterest and I came across an image of a whisk – a whisk tattoo behind someone’s ear. Instantly, I wanted a whisk. “Susie needs a whisk tattoo!” I told my husband. He loves me so much he just said “not behind your ear please – but if that’s what you really want, then go for it!” For my first tattoo I made myself stare at the image for at least 6 weeks before I decided I really wanted it. This time I did the same. I got lucky – one of my favorite people ever – college roomie Jenna is in town and just so happened to have a tattoo she would like to get as well.
                      {PS Jenna - completely unacceptable that my wedding is the most recent photo I have of us!}
Now, I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m weird. In my defense, my whole family is weird. We name things – you’re all thinking “so what we name our cars” no no – we name all kinds of things…. Christmas trees for example – the tree in the front yard… we then have full length discussions about said object using its first (and sometimes last) name. So, believe it or not – I named the whisk.
Meet Winston…
Told you I’m weird.

I’ve updated my 101 in 1,001 see the list here – I officially have 56 to go! I say only, but really some of the ones that are left are big ones! Getting a tattoo and actually taking my vitamins everyday for a month are two of the ones that were updated.
Since someone will probably ask what I take for vitamins here's the breakdown: everyday I take 6 fish oil, 1 calcium, 1 B-6, 1 D, and a multivitamin. Breakfast - 2 fish oil, multivitamin Lunch - 2 fish oil, calcium and B-6 Dinner - 2 fish oil and D. Fish oil is good for you - look it up. I take a lot, because it keeps my skin clear(er) and my hair soft and manageable. Calcium and B-6 have been my happy pills for years. B vitamins are awesome! D has been linked to everything from happiness to breast health to helping you absorb calcium.

Also, you know how everyone is talking about those boxes you receive on a monthly basis all themed – there’s birchbox for beauty products, wittlebee boxes for kids clothing, justfab for shoes!? Well, guess what foodies?? There’s one for food (I know, there is probably more than one!) But it’s called Petit Amuse. They have sample boxes for $10/month. I got one a few weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post about it!

There was sun dried tomato and parm popcown, there was a chocolate and chili powder shortbread cookie, a rosemary and sea salt shortbread cookie, a garunkabar and white wine jelly. I loved all of it! I like the idea of not knowing what is going to show up on the front step.
You can also just order off their website - find more information here. Did I mention they have BACON brittle??

Whew, rambling over. Any fun plans for the weekend?


September 12, 2012

Quinoa Spring Rolls


I am still laughing over my weekend – Saturday to be more specific. Two of our friends hosted an elementary school style field day. Complete with kick ball, potato sack races, bean bag toss, spoon/egg races, three legged races and of course beer pong and flippy cup. We even had tiny cheerleaders - Rory and TJ!
      {I had to include this picture of Rory - she already has the potential - as a 1 year old - to be funnier than her parents!}
My big mistake of the day was voicing the fact that I wanted nothing to do with being a team captain – which of course means I was immediately voted in. Turns out the white team consisting of 5 chicks and 2 dudes affectionately called “team estrogen” were the big winners that day.

Oh and if you know me you know that I do NOT win things, so believe me when I tell you that I went home pretty freaking satisfied with myself. (Bonus: Mike was on the losing team J)Thank you to my lovely team mates: Nathan, Nicole, Drew, Ellen, Anne, and Erica! I’m already looking forward to next year!

Anyway – on to the recipe – I am on a Quinoa kick. Hubby and I went on a date shortly after our wedding to a new spot, which I of course cannot remember the name of. But, they had this spring roll on the menu with this peanut ginger sauce. Mike asked me repeatedly for spring rolls after that, and looked up the peanut ginger sauce to see if he could find one the same color/consistency as the one the restaurant had.

Then I started thinking about spring rolls and was already bored. So, knowing that I needed to put a different spin on it, Quinoa came to mind! Seriously, these were awesome - you have to try them!


 
Ingredients for the spring rolls:
1 cup of quinoa, cooked
½ cucumber, sliced thinly
½ red pepper, sliced thinly
1 handful of matchstick carrots
1 handful of greens – I used spinach and arugula
Cilantro – to taste – I added lots!
Rice paper wrappers – check the produce section!

  1.  Cook the quinoa on the stove top, per the package instructions and set aside.
  2. Then, slice all your veggies and leave them out on your cutting board so you can easily get to them.
  3. You will need a large pan filled with about an inch of water for the rice paper wrappers. Open the package and soak just one wrapper for about 30 seconds until it’s just soft. You will have to play with this process a little. The first one I soaked fell apart, so then you soak it not so long the next time, etc. Don’t get frustrated, it will take 2 or 3 tries.
  4. Once you have the proper consistency, lay the rice paper wrapper flat and stuff it full of your ingredients. Keep in mind that both sides need to be wrapped together so nothing falls out – so stuff the middle more than anything else.
  5. Fold together like a burrito at chipotle and cut in half.

Ingredients for the sauce:
*Recipe adapted from BS in the Kitchen
2 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoons sriracha sauce
Fresh lime juice – to taste
Raw cashews, for crunch, optional

  1. Mix together with an immersion blender – the peanut butter doesn’t mix in with just a spoon.
  2. Serve on the side, for dipping or in my case POURING over the spring rolls!




September 9, 2012

Training Week 7

Week SIX of my training program is complete and I can hardly believe how quickly it has gone by! I have gone from only being able to only run for 1 minute at a time to running another big milestone - 5 miles! Erica and I got a little ambitious and threw out our 4.5 mile run and opted for a 5 miler. I can't even begin to tell you how good it felt and how freaking PROUD I was of us! It was my first 5 mile run ever and Erica's first 5 mile run post baby. We had big smiles on our faces the rest of the day!


Next week, we have 11 miles to run!



Today I am going to enjoy my rest day - my back is hurting a bit. I'm also going to find a foam roller and a water bottle with a hand strap!

September 7, 2012

Fall Bucket List

Over labor day weekend I was talking to Becky and we decided that we should really start making a bucket list for each season! It is so hard to find time for things, and it seems like when you have extra time you simply opt for something you always do instead of something new.
Anyway, the next day I was still thinking about it and wondering what my list would look like if I had one, and wondering about a good way to keep track of everything. Well, then I typed it into google and it turns out this is totally a thing people already do! (of course it is… there are some seriously creative people out there!)
So, I whipped up my own printable… seriously cute, right? Ok, it's a little busy, but I was excited! I love fall!

Then I framed it in an 8x10 and I’m using dry erase markers to check each item off as I complete them! If I like it I am totally doing this for every season! Now I just have to find a place to put it...
What’s on your fall bucket list?

September 6, 2012

Breakfast Casserole

Today is already Thursday! I kind of like this whole starting a week on a Tuesday thing, but I will admit I was very confused yesterday as to what day it was.

Today I am also ridiculously sore from yesterday. I did my 3 mile run, abs and arms like usual, but on top of that someone decided to butt in on my work out and tell me to do these crazy kettle bell things. 3 sets of 15 - starting with a squat and ending with a lift to my chin. At the time it felt awesome, but my thighs are on fire today. Damnit thanks Mike! Oh and I am loving this weather cooling down just 10 degrees - running is so much more enjoyable!

I am also done with 30 rock on Netflix. Seriously, I am SAD. I absolutely love that show - it is so funny! I'm trying to determine what's next and I'm torn between roughly 7 different options! I am so looking forward to fall shows starting!

I digress - the recipe I'm offering up today is easy and it turns out every single time.


Ingredients:
1 package of crescent rolls
1/2 pound of ground hot sausage
5 eggs
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of milk
4 scallions, sliced thinly
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste and optional
Minced chives for garnish
Cracked pepper for garnish

Spray pam in a 13x9 pan, and roll out the crescent rolls across the bottom. Preheat your oven per the instructions on the crescent rolls. (400 degrees). Brown your sausage in a frying pan and spread it across the pan. Beat your eggs in a bowl and pour over the sausage, repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

*recipe adapted from Bran Appetit



September 5, 2012

Dijon Mustard Chicken Thighs

Yea... that first day back at work after a four day weekend wasn't fun. I got home and Mike showed me the funniest youtube video I have ever seen. It's from the ellen show and the guest is Kristen Bell (I love her) but apparently she is madly in love with Sloths, yes, the animal. Her husband surprised her for her birthday and brought one to their house so it could hang out with her at her party - seriously, just watch it here. I cry every.single.time I see it, I laugh so hard!! Anyway, it totally made my day and I've watched it five times since then.

On to the recipe - 5 ingredient recipes make me so happy. They are easy to pull together and they usually don't take much time to cook. This one made Mike particularly happy, because he loves dijon mustard! I added brown sugar to take some of the bite out of it. Odds are you have these ingredients and you only need to pick up chicken thighs! I used bone in, but you don't have to!


Ingredients:
1 lb. chicken thighs - bone in or bone out, whichever you prefer
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Parsley for garnish, optional
Rice, optional

Mix everything in a bowl and pour over the chicken in a 9x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. It's that easy. I served over rice and I sprinkled parsley for garnish both are totally optional.

*Recipe adapted from the I love trader joe's cookbook {and seriously, who doesn't like trader joes!?}




September 4, 2012

Crafty

Over the long weekend I got a few crafts done, cleaned the house, went through my closet and gave away a ton of clothing, and organized everything I could get my hands on! I was itching to be productive apparently. Oh and I updated my 101 in 1,001 goals - check it out here.

I made a new wreath for fall... yay for front door decorations!


Then I decided to fix our calendar problem... I have this one from pottery barn - which I love. But, the problem I always have with whiteboards is that without much use they are stained - see!?


I bought a giant corkboard and covered it in grey and white fabric - no colors are allowed in Mike's office! I decorated it with a few details - flowers and an "O". See the full tutorial here.


Then I added a calendar for September, a birthday chart so I don't forget them all, my 101 in 1,001 list, a cleaning list and an adorable printable called "house rules"! 


Has anyone else been crafty lately?? Or is it just me who got the bug?

September 2, 2012

Training Week 6

Last week was a milestone for me - I ran 4 miles straight!


The lap pace was insanely slow at the end... I had to walk the last .10 of a mile... my metabolism was going a little nuts if you catch my drift!

Erica and I finished our run on Saturday and were insanely proud of ourselves! It feels better and better each time we run. I am actually looking forward to 5 miles - seriously, never thought I would say that! Erica and I had her soon to be ONE year old with us, running with a stroller actually forced us to run slower, which is what Saturday runs are supposed to be, so I think the pressure was off to really push ourselves.



On cross training days last week I went for a long walk and did a yoga DVD! No pinterest work-out last week! Here's what we've got going on this week - I'm looking forward to running on a Monday morning instead of a Monday afternoon!



I'm wondering if I need to start actually mapping my runs - currently I am just running a little over half way, turn around and run home.

Does anyone have a good app for mapping runs? or even a good website?
 
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