Bad Days=Good food

After a rough day, I just wanted to come home and spend some time in the kitchen.  I loafed around on the couch watching Tabath’a Salon Takeover for an hour pondering what to make. I knew I didn’t want to go to the grocery store, so anything with yeast or chocolate was out. Then hit me. Carbs. They always boost my mood!

And so, pasta it was.

In all my years of cooking, all my blogging, and the countless hours of FoodTV I have watched, I have never made pasta from scratch. I was certainly missing out. It was quick, it was easy, and for sure it was worth the effort.

Ingredients:

-2 cups flour
-2 eggs
-1/4 cup milk
-1 Tblsp oil
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp baking soda

Mix the wet ingredients together, and in a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

Im sure you could use the food proccesser for this part, but I am a big believer in using your hands and putting some love in it! Make a little valley in your flour and pour the wet ingredients in, then mix well. Knead well. Smoosh it all together until it forms a tacky, solid ball of doughy goodness. Then let it sit for a while (15 minutes).

Cut the ball dough into fourths and roll each quarter out. If youre like me, lack a rolling pin and are obsessed with cleanliness, roll your dough out on a baking sheet. With a Pam container. Because of the lack of rolling pin. Make sure to flour your surface and roller. Work it until its around 1/8 inch thick.

Then cut it into whatever shape you want, I picked fettucini. Let it dry for a couple of hours (I did 1.5 because I was hungry.

Cook like you would normal pasta. I tossed it in a pot of boiling water seasoned with olive oil and salt. While it was cooking I sauteed some breaded chicken and baked some garlic bread. (That bread is the best garlic bread by the way. It will probably give you a heart attack, but how can you go wrong with real garlic, butter, olive oil, and parmesan cheese? Ill post the recipe later!)

Couldnt decide whether I wanted:
-Red Sauce
-Good old fashioned butter
-Pesto

Such a decision! So I went with a trio. It’s not fair to pick between those three toppings!

It was delicious. However, there are some edits I would make to the recipe.
1) No baking soda. Totally unnecessary!
2) Use either a real rolling pin or a pasta machine. This pasta was really thick. I like mine al dente so I didnt mind, but PW likes his not so chewy :)

It was also really filling.  That recipe could easily feed four, I could only eat half of what was on my plate, and trust me: I can eat like nobody’s business!

QUESTION:

Is there anything youre afraid/hesitant to make?  Why?

I always through pasta was way more complex so I never tried it.  I am also a little sketched out about cooking seafood (anything other than salmon, really!)

How do you deal with a bad day?

I’ve always turned to the kitchen.  Stressed, procrastinating, disappointed, happy –>Results in me cooking!

The sum of my run today

Some pictures from my run today:

Long run for the week:

 

 

I drank this entire thing (I can’t believe I used to not hydrate while running?!)

 

 

The playlist I made just for this run

 

 

I spent like 10 straight minutes staring at this weather map wondering if the Pete Bouchard was playing a joke on me personally. Seriously?

 

 

Post run eats:

 

Unpictured:

-The Power Gel I ate 45 minutes in (strawberry-banana). Wish I had brought more!
-The egg and bagel sandwich I had before I ran
-That playlist ON MY IPOD! Forgot to put it on the iPod and was so bummed to find it MIA when I started running
-The cherries I ate on the side of that sandwich (SO YUM!)
-The looks I got my fellow gym go-ers for being the girl dancing on the ‘mill!

QUESTION:
Whats your favorite post-run snack (other than Endurox?)

-Ice cream. Just kidding (sort of). I like a full on meal after I run! preferably with bacon.

Whats the one thing you can’t run without?

-Mine is my Garmin. I feel naked without it!

First Annual Andrew Salmon 10k

PW had a 10k on his schedule today. There was one in Fitchburg at 1pm (what kind of race starts after lunch?) Or, his friend Andy would start a new Western Mass race series. This particular race started at 9:30am…at Andy’s house. It was exactly 6.2 miles. And it was scientific. As evident by the handicapped starting times on this piece of cardboard:

 

 

Everyone put in their estimated finish time, and thats the order in which they started, an attempt that they would all finish together.

The guys all warmed up, and wore their finest racing clothes:

(Yes, that really happened!)

 

We walked down to the start line, and the guys finished their warm-ups/stretch outs/poking fun at eachother rituals while I tweeted (and took pictures):

 

 

The first competitors of the First Annual Andrew Salmon 10k.
From left to right: Charlie, Andy, Matt, Paul, PW, and Ryan.

What a crew, I know!  Half Cyclonauts, half QT2er’s. An epic battle in the making, for sure!

 

While they were punishing themselves with that insanely hilly race, I sat in my toasty warm car and played Words With Friends (want to play?! leave me your WWF name!).

FInally, they started to trickle in, only 10-20 seconds apart! Here are some ‘finish line’ pictures:





 

 

We then trekked back to Andy’s house for the awards ceremony, I was the sweep vehicle at the end:

 

 

Paul was first to cross the line, so he was awarded the check:

 

 

Proud podium winners.
Ryan- third place
Andy- second place
Paul- first place

I wish I had written down everyone’s finish times so that I could post them Cool Running style! (Not to be mistaken with Cool Runnings style.)

I have a race in 2 weeks, then our next one is Hyannis. I am doing the 10k, and PW (along with most of the team) is going the half-marathon.

I was thinking of putting together a Blogger Meet-Up after it…any interest? Send me an email/twitter/comment if so and I will keep you in the loop! I think we have about 4 bloggers so far…

A Run

I found my DSLR battery charger! I am now able to grace you with better quality pictures. Too bad I didnt find it this morning for waffle city!

I ran outside today. My first real run outside since this crazy weather started. The reason? It’s cold, sure. But more because the roads are SO dangerous. Narrow, slippery, you name it. I got my 50 minutes in but my heart rate was super high due to all my jumping out of the way of cars! Check out how high the snow was after Thursdays storm:

PW shoveling…

 

 

The five foot high snow pile on either side of our driveway, this is where we had to throw our “driveway snow” when shoveling!

 

 

Our cars are under there somewhere. This is my least favorite chore (cleaning off the snow cars!)

 

 

And lastly, heres a picture of me jumping off the front steps into a snow pile:

A Boston Food Bloggers event is Thursday night in the city. I think Rachel and I are going to go. Drinks/appetizers/a bunch of food bloggers? Sounds like the perfect night!

QUESTION:

Anyone else going to that event?

Have you ever been to a blogging event? (in Boston or elsewhere!)

This is a Waffle House

This is not a recipe to be taken lightly. It is the best recipe I have ever put on this blog. (Unfortunately not the best pictures though–this is my point and shoot camera :( ) I feel like I never need to cook again. The waffles, they were light and fluffy, crispy on the outside, and approximately 4 million times better than the boxed mix. I feel the need to finish the post and go back into the kitchen to make them again!

What you need:
-Waffle Maker
-Hand Mixer
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 eggs
-2 Tblsp flour
-1.5 tsp vanilla
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-4 tsp baking powder (or replacement, below)
-1.75 cups milk
-1/2 cup smart balance oil

Don’t have baking powder? (I didnt). Easy fix. For each teaspoon of baking powder required, use 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 teaspon cream of tartar. For the above recipe I used 1 teaspon baking soda and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar.

Use the mixer and beat until smooth. Cook like any other waffle on your lil griddle and check this out:

Results in a messy kitchen, but so worth it!

Don’t put too much mix in…because this happens and its unfortunate:

Wish the pictures could do this recipe justice!!

Now, back to my Saturday ritual of watching Thats So Raven and correcting papers before my run! Think I might actually do it outside today!

Snow Day…again

I feel like I could cut and paste the same entry once a week.  This is the fourth time I have awoken to a random snow day and then proceeded to spend the entire day on the couch snuggling with our 2 dogs, after shoveling of course.  This time however, I was perusing this site all day long. I had this sudden intense desire to get a third dog. Not sure where I am going with that, other than…we did not get another dog today. Need more time to think about it! There is one that I have my eye on though…

So…
Shoveling pushed me to the brink today. We live in the city, therefore there is LITERALLY no place to put the snow. When we shovel our driveway, we have to carry each shovelful of snow across the street and toss it on top of a 3 foot pile. Tedious! I would show you our 5 foot snow pile on each side of the driveway except my DSLR battery died after I took the pictures, and I cannot find the charger!

Since I was past the point of crazy, I just jumped in the snow. In my Danskos. If I was out there, I was going to have fun! PW happen to have his phone in his pocket. So, for your viewing pleasure, here is an adult crazylady playing in the snow…



To cope, I demanded PW take me to Brew City to get the veggie burger I was craving last week! It was all that I dreamed of, and made my quadricep feel slightly better (I think it pulled it somehow while pushing the snow around!). Hoping everything is back to normal tomorrow, because I could really use my 85 minute run!

Back tomorrow with less grainy, prettier snow pictures. Without the loopy woman in purple in them!

Perfect Blue Buildings

Today has been…hectic.  One of those days where I wonder how the heck women can work full-time, have kids, AND a hobby (especially if that hobby is running/triathlon!).  This post is also going to come cross complainy-pants, just so you know!  It ends with some sweet (pun intended) pictures though!

I went to work today, chaperoned the after school acitivity and was home by 4.  At which point I tidied up then hit the grocery store.  Unfortunately, in a typical ThatRunnerChick moment, I forgot my debit card and had to be that girl paring down my groceries to fit into the cash budget I had ($14.75).

I guess I didnt really need those tomatoes anyways.

Came home, fried up an egg to eat (my first time frying an egg, btw), grabbed the dogs and drove to the vet (Im so messed up I just typed drived instead of drove!!!)

I was supposed to run 85 minutes tonight, but after getting home at 7:15 and sitting in our 58 degree house for 6 minutes, that was the literally that last thing I wanted to do.  Most times I can push myself to run and once I start I really enjoy it.  Not tonight.  Too cold/cranky/tired.  So I gave up the ghost, and decided to do what any sane person would do when they ip a run (dont worry, I just moved it to later in the week): Bake cookies from scratch.


Dont fear though, I am no longer seemingly cranky (ie stressed).  Not having to do my run when I dont want to tends to do that.

And the fact I have an awesome husband, 2 adorable dogs, a warm house, and a fulfilling job that I look forward to every day. Just the usual.

Oh, and  the cookies helped too!  And coming at you with a 10 mile run under my belt to make up for todays slacking!!

QUESTION:

What does the phrase “give up the ghost” even mean?  I just wanted to use it and it sounded right in that sentence.  Did it make sense?!


New Nutrient Packed Lentil Soup

We were supposed to have dinner company tonight, so I made a new recipe for the requested lentil stew.  Unfortunately, they couldnt make it, so I enjoyed my creative stew with PW (yeah, he ate it!  A victory in itself!)

Nutrient Packed Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
-1.5 cups dried lentils
-1 russet potato
-1 yellow onion
-2 carrots
-fresh spinach
-3 cloves garlic
-precooked chicken
-1 can each of beef broth and chicken broth
-sun-dried tomato pesto (secret ingredient!)

Takes about 1.5 hours to prepare and cook.

First, chop up your garlic and onion, and saute in a pot with olive oil until translucent. While thats happening, rinse and clean your lentils (looking for rocks, etc). Chop up your potatoes and carrots:

(Look at the color on those carrots!)

This is what you should look like. Thats my work outfit:

(yes, we drink a lot of seltzer water!  And sneak peek into the dining room they are working on this weekend!)

To your onion/garlic mixture add your potato, carrots, lentils, chopped up chicken, 3 Tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste, both cans of broth, 4 cups water, and salt/pepper to taste. So basically, throw in everything except the spinach!

Bring to a boil then cover and allow to simmer for about an hour or until it thickens and lentils are soft.

Once you think its done, throw in some spinach. Remember it wilts a lot!

Give it a few minutes, and you are ready to eat! My lentil soup staple topping is parmesan cheese. It gives it a little je ne sais quoi.

While mine was simmering away, I hopped on the bike and banged out an hour while watching a Bad Girls Reunion show (with Perez Hilton). Notice a bike/tv watching pattern? Bravo all the way!

And yes, my husband, who has never eaten a soup in his life (ever) ate this.  Maybe it was due to my tweet about holding him down and making him try it, but either way it was consumed:

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am really impressed with this dinner.  it is by far the most flavorful lentil dish I have ever made (and there was no wine in the recipe!).  I think it is in large part due to the sun-dried tomato pesto!

QUESTION:

Do you like lentils?

It is -10 here, any tips on staying warm?  Other than turning the heat up above 59 :)

A Weeks Worth of Workouts (WWW!) Jan 17th-Jan 23rd

Today marks the end of the first build week in this block. It is my last “easy month” of having weekly mileage in the high 30’s, low 40’s. Starting next month it is at 45 miles/week from there on out to race season!  Coincidentally, anti-social season also begins!
So without further ado:

Monday: 1 hour bike
Tuesday: 80 minute run (treadmill)
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 75 minute run (treadmill)
Friday: 46 minute run (treadmill), and a 1 hour bike
Saturday: 25 minute recovery run (outside)
Sunday: 98 minute run (treadmill)

Total: Right around 36 miles. Treadmill mileage is hard to commit to, because they are never calibrated the same (if at all)

And you read that right, New Years Resolution spot on–2 bike rides a week!

Yes, I did get outside…for 25 minutes. It was exceptionally snowy this week. Not that it stopped my husband from running outside, but I am so clumsy. I have fallen running in the middle of the summer (more than once), so add ice into the equation and bad things happen!

I just got home from my long run, where because of my earlier dedication, I was able to listen to Alkaline Trio’s entire album “Goddamnit” (Matt Skiba, I will forever love you) and Bright Eyes’ “Fever and Mirrors” which I havent listened to as a whole since 2002! It was swell and those CD’s made my run fly by!

Now, I am sitting here in my running clothes, eating the last of the beef stew I made and enjoying a glass of cabernet.  And basking in my clean house!

Question:

Whats your favorite CD of all time? Whats your favorite kind of music to run to?

Do you have a love or hate relationship with the treadmill?


Trying to keep things interesting

With a 98 minute run on the treadmill looming before me this afternoon, I knew I had to do something to keep myself into it.  So I decided to go upstairs into the attic and retrieve my enormous CD collection (yes, I still own CD’s.  Yes, I am secretly 100 years old.)  Pretty much all the music I have from high school are either indie music, or oldies.  Or the Counting Crows (I own everything they have ever released, I think!  Fan girl for life.) Here is a sampling of the CD’s I am uploading now…I feel like its a pretty good personality insight!  To my teenage/college self at least.

I am only embarrassed about the Dashboard Confessional CD.

Look into my past:

I was minorly obsessed with him (Dashboard Confessional) in High School.  My friend Patrice and I would go see him at the Worcester Palladium as often as possible (Palladium=throwback!).  Well, I thought I was so hip and scene, that when he “sold out” I wore the t-shirts from his concerts with a huge silver duct tape X over the band name.  Looking back, I cannot believe I was that nerdy!!  Or that my friends let me be seen with them!

Also in the above pile:

-Joni Mitchell
-Alkaline Trio
-Counting Crows
-A mix CD that PW made me while we were dating (aww!)
-Blink 182 (I know, I know)
-Bright Eyes
-Tori Amos
-Weezer

I have a stack with about 15 total to transfer to iTunes, I feel like its going to take me the rest of the day!

I am hoping for NO SNOW DAYS this week despite the forecast for another 1-2 feet of snow!  AHH!  The rest of week includes having Ethan over for dinner (Lentil stew–new recipe, coming tomorrow! It involves chicken!), taking the pupinators to the vet for some shots, a million meetings at work, 39 miles of running, andddd hopefully some naps.

I have a serious nap problem.  I just love them.  It will not be happening today though.  I don’t know if you can tell by this SPAZZY blog entry, but I had my first cup of coffee in WEEKS this morning.  I am currently feeling super-energized and hoping that lasts for the run!

Weekly mileage post (and maybe the playlist I put together with my “newtome” music) coming tonight–

after my deadmill bonding time!!