Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lemon-Rosemary Cupcakes

Yet another adaptation of the amazing Rosemary Olive Oil Cake.  The last adaptation I made was absolutely delicious and a big hit among the friends I shared it with (Olive Oil & Beer Cake).  Today's adaptation was very similar to that one, but I cut the recipe in half, used lemonade instead of beer, and made mini-cupcakes instead of cake.

Lemon-Rosemary Cupcakes
1/2 c lemonade
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c flour
1 tsp crushed rosemary

makes approx. 30 mini cupcakes

Bake at 350 for 15 min 

Delightfully light, airy, and refreshing.  

These cupcakes are coming with me to a birthday party for one of my friends. 

Helpful Nutrition Advice

Some articles I came across today.  I enjoy reading through things like this and seeing what I can take away from them.  Some of the articles I've read seem completely ridiculous, but others have some good advice.

An Athlete's Guide to the Immune System

8 Common Nutrition Mistakes

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Weight

What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger

This Week's Mileage : 38.4

This has been the coldest/harshest week of weather I think I have ever run in.  I've certainly run in cold and bad weather before, but not for an entire week!  If I didn't have a race in 2 weeks I probably would have wimped out on several of my runs this week.  But I'm glad I had the incentive to get out there and exercise because even if the run is rough, I still feel much better than if I just sit at home being lazy.

Wednesday : 5.56 / 40:41 / 7:19
-Worst run of the week.  It was 21 degrees out, so slightly warmer than Tuesday, but the wind was absolutely brutal.  No fun at all.

Thursday : 4.85 / 33:30 / 6:54
-Didn't get home from school until 5:30 so it was a race against time trying to get done running before full darkness and before it got any colder than it already was. (14 degrees).  It was a great run though, I felt good, and flew around town, getting more than the 4 miles I had planned on for the day.  First time in about a month that I hit a sub 7 min/mile pace.

Friday : 3 miles on the dreadmill, 15 min/2746 m on the rowing machine
-School was cancelled due to an impending snow storm, but I ended up too awake to go back to asleep, and had a friend at the med school gym offering to let me in, so I decided to attempt a run on the dreaded treadmill to give myself a day off from running in the cold.  It was not worth it.  I had planned on 5 miles for the day, but I started feeling like death about 2 miles in, and barely managed to complete the 3rd mile.  It was pure torture.  Sad to say, it is actually more enjoyable for me to run outside in 14 degrees than it is for me to run on the dreadmill.  I will not be repeating that experiment.

Saturday : 11.61 / 1:32:34 / 7:58
-The roads were still pretty snowy today from yesterday's snowstorm.  I had planned on running 11 miles either today or tomorrow, but wasn't sure I would be able to manage it with this weather.   I certainly could not do the mountain loop I had planned, it would have been much too treacherous.  Today I decided to just go for a run, and let the road conditions decide how far I would go.  I kept the pace slower than usual to help from slipping, but it really wasn't that slippery out, because it's so cold.  I felt pretty good, so I just kept running.  I wasn't wearing my GPS watch so I had to guess at mileage, but at some point I decided that I would run until an hour and a half had passed.  Time spent on my feet is more important to preparing for my race than distance is anyway.  When I got home and mapped the run, I was glad to see that it got me over 11 miles though.

I believe I have earned my day off for tomorrow...hopefully the weather will be slightly more cooperative next week!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Monday : 6.06 / 44:28 / 7:20

Run on the Greenbrier River Trail.  Took it nice and easy for the first 5 miles, ran hard for the last mile.  Or, as hard as I could...wanted to practice pushing the wall.  Used my GPS watch to make sure I actually got 6 miles in, since the mile markers are not very accurate.

Tuesday : 7.32 / 53:28 / 7:18
Week : 13.38

16 degrees.  Windy.  Yikes.
Lucky me, my new running gear came in the mail while I was at school today.   A thin pullover, and a WINDBREAKER.  Thank goodness.  I wore a tank top, a turtleneck, the pullover, and the windbreaker.  And my lungs/core stayed toasty warm.  My fingers, not so much, although they were fine til the last mile and a half or so.  I was wearing gloves, but I guess I needed 2 pairs.  Or longer sleeves.  That's the only downside to the windbreaker, the sleeves are sadly not long enough to cover my hands.  If it's this cold again tomorrow, I'll wear my normal winter running jacket under the wind breaker, it's got nice long sleeves to keep my hands warm.  (The pullover has long sleeves but it wasn't thick enough to help keep my hands warm)
I had hoped for 8 miles today.  But when I saw the temperature, I seriously considered cutting it down to 4.  Once I got out and started running however, I decided it wasn't really that bad, and figured I could get at least 6 or 7.  Mission accomplished.

All suited up for my frigid run.  I love that I can stay "warm" without having to wear any bulky layers. 
And I didn't even wear my fleece-lined running shirt today!  (best purchase ever)
I'll wear it if it's this cold again tomorrow though, instead of the turtleneck and pullover.
Also, it should be noted that this is the first time this season that I've broken down and worn a hat that covers my ears.  I've hardly even worn a ball cap, although I have a few times...when it was raining...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Crockpot Herb Chicken

Rinse and trim fat off 3 b/s chicken breasts.
Rub with olive oil, garlic powder, mustard powder, oregano, and basil.
Place in the bottom of the crockpot.
Pour 1/2 c veggie stock over chicken. 
Cook on low for 6 hours.

Chicken should fall apart when you retrieve it from the crockpot.  

The chicken went great with the Pumpkin Lasagna I made today.  Like this one, but I added some extra-special ingredients this time and made it even better. 

I mixed about 1 c mashed potatoes into the pumpkin/ricotta mixture, and I added 1/4 c marinara sauce to the water/alfredo mixture. Also, I forgot to add any seasonings, but it came out delicious anyway!

In other news, I had haggis for dinner last night.  It was edible.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Watch malfunction?

Today : 4.82 / 34:16 / 7:06
Week : 23.35

It was almost 40 degrees out today, and sunny.  Gorgeous, actually.  And it felt pretty warm after the some of the frigid-ness we've been experiencing.  I felt good, wasn't just jogging, but wasn't really pushing the pace either.  So I came home, mapped the run, and dailymile told me I ran a 7:06 pace.  SAY WHAT? Usually that pace means I'm pushing really hard, and I feel like I'm flying around town.  While I did feel great, I did not feel like I was going particularly fast.  Which begs the questions...did I really go that fast and  feel that good?  Or did my watch malfunction and I actually ran longer than 34:16?  I'll probably never know...

Anyway, wrapping up the week...Only 23 miles this week, but 39 last week and 32 the week before, so I'm fine with that.  23 is not bad, especially after 2 higher mileage weeks.  Plus my calves needed an easier week.  I am excited to get back to high mileage starting tomorrow though.  I sincerely hope that the weather cooperates!

I'm getting excited for the 1/2 coming up.  I've had quite a few training runs in the last few weeks that were under a 7:15 pace.  I'm thinking that bodes well for a good finishing time!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Recovery Jog

Today : 4.7 / 36:09 / 7:41
Week : 18.53

Thursday evening I had my legs massaged to release the tension.  So painful, but so worth it.  I took yesterday off to let them rest, and went for an easy jog today.  Pain free, hooray!  Wore my newest mizunos and didn't have any shin splints or calf cramps, so that was really nice.  There's still some ice on the roads from Thursday's snowstorm so that helped keep my pace slow as well.  It felt good to get outside, breathe the fresh air, and stretch my legs.  I've been mostly hiding out inside since I'm not such a fan of cold weather. (Yesterday I had to scrape 5 inches of snow off my car in order to go to school for a few hours and catch up on work.  Yuck. I should have gone to school to get the work before the snow fell...)

I'm hoping for another easy jog tomorrow.  I'm letting this be a low mileage week but Monday I plan to start 2 weeks of high mileage to prepare for the half marathon coming up 3 weeks from today.  Should be a lot more enjoyable now that my legs don't hurt.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Carrot-Pumpkin Soup

Snow Day today!  The forecast was so bad, school was called off before anything started falling from the sky.  But there was ice raining down by 10, and the snow started sometime after 1 and accumulated very, very fast.  I decided the weather called for a batch of soup.  

Carrot-Pumpkin Soup
8 medium carrots
1/4 small onion
1 inch ginger root
1/4 c pumpkin
5 small cloves garlic
vegetable stock
mustard powder
sage powder
3 tbsp butter
olive oil

Chop the carrots, grate the ginger, and put them in a large soup pot with the butter and a little bit of water.  Cover and steam.  Add some veggie stock when the carrots are almost done.  
Remove from heat when done.  
In a separate pan, saute the onion (chopped) and the garlic (minced) in olive oil.  

Put the carrots in a food processor and blend til smooth.  Set aside.  Put the onions/garlic into the large soup pot with c 2 cups of veggie stock and 1 1/2 c water.  Add the mustard powder, sage powder, and pumpkin.  Stir well.  When the soup is simmering, add the carrots.  Stir well, bring to a boil, let simmer for awhile. 

Goes well with Cider Rolls.  I added about 2 tsp of cinnamon to the recipe today.  
So delicious. 

Pouring Ice

Today : 2 hr nap
Week : 13.83

Today was the first time in about 3 years that I was already out of bed and dressed when the Snow Day call came.  I was supposed to meet a student at school early for extra help today.  Since I was already up, I had breakfast and then settled on the couch.  And took a nap from 8:30 til 10:30.  It was glorious.  When I woke up I was itching to run, but that was about when ice started falling from the sky.  I had originally planned to take the day off to let my calves rest up, but sitting home all day makes me restless.  However, I decided to let the pouring ice deter me from running.  If I get super restless later perhaps I'll do a TRX workout.  I rigged my own straps a year or so ago and hung them from my pull-up bar.  So far I haven't ripped the doorframe off the wall.

Food for Thought from today's Runner's World email:

Is Beer Good for Runners

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More Rain

Today : 5.56 / 41:28 / 7:27
Week : 13.83

Three days in a row of running in the rain is not my ideal running week.  Plus the toxic build-up in my calves is not making running so fun right now.  Probably gonna take a day or two off and have a friend massage the nastiness out of my muscles so I can start training hard on Monday.  Cedars Frostbite 1/2 is 3 weeks from Saturday, so I want to get 2 good hard weeks of training in.  It would probably be helpful if I could start remembering to stretch a bit before my run, instead of just stretching after.  I got out of the habit of pre-run stretching because my calves haven't bothered me in a long time.

In other news, crazy day at school.  So I'm making myself some "comfort food" for dinner -- baked mac n cheese and sloppy joes. Yum.  Should be a good source of protein after today's run too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rain Running

Today : 4.7 / 34:58 / 7:26
Week : 8.27

Cold and rainy today.  Rain was steady throughout the whole run.   Thankfully it wasn't heavy enough to completely drench my clothing, although I certainly wasn't dry either.  I am in awe of the fact that I can actually enjoy a run in this weather.  It used to be that I would take a day off if it was raining, snowing, icing, or below freezing.  Now, I run no matter what the weather.  The hardest part is getting out the door.  Once I'm out and running, it's never as bad as I thought it would be.  (This is not to say that I particularly enjoy freezing to death while running...but it always ends up feeling better than not running.)

I wore my Mizuno Wave Nirvana 8s today.  I got them at the beginning of November.  I have been wearing them on and off.  First, the tongue bruised the top of my foot, and I had to switch them out for awhile.  Then they bruised the bottom of my heel.  Most days I run in them without trouble, but the fact that they have hurt me in 2 different ways when most shoes don't hurt me at all worries me.  So, I bought new shoes recently.  But after getting shin splints yesterday, I decided to switch back and see if that helped.  I suspect the shin splints were a combination of tight calves and me not tying my laces tight enough yesterday.  But I need more than one day to know for sure.

It makes me angry that every time I find the perfect shoe, it is discontinued so that I can never buy another pair just like it.  Then I end up going through 3 or 4 pairs that are ok, but not great.  For the amount of miles I put in, I'd really like to ALWAYS love the shoes on my feet!  And I would like to do that without having to spend hundreds of dollars stocking up on multiple pairs of shoes at once when I find an amazing pair...

Recent Runs

On Saturday it was an absolutely glorious 70+ degrees out.  I wanted nothing more than to run, but I had just run 8 days in a row for the first time in...more than 6 I forced myself to take a day off.

This is how I spent 2 hours of my afternoon.  Happiness.

Sunday it was 60+ so I headed out for a 5 or 6 mile run.  I was trying out my newest pair of running shoes (Mizuno Wave Creation 14).  They felt good, the weather was perfect, and I ran...10.6 miles. In 1:17.  It felt so good to be out running in warm weather, I just didn't want to stop!

Monday I had school til 3:30, a mtng at 4, and another mtng at 7:30.  I got home from the 1st meeting at 5:20, and somehow in the 5 minutes it took me to throw on running clothes, it started raining.  Of course I ran anyway...I powered through a  3.57 mile run.  I love how much faster I run in the rain... I developed shin splints about 2 miles in, but hopefully it was only because I didn't tie my shoes tightly enough.  I suppose I'll find out when I run this afternoon.  I'm afraid that the new shoes aren't supporting my arches well enough...but hoping hoping hoping that that is not the case.

It's about time...

I have a cooking blog, and sometimes only cook a few times a week.  I have not had a running blog, but I almost always run 6 times a week.  That math doesn't make any sense.  If I run more than I cook, the running blog should have come first!

But now is as good a time as ever to start.  I just came off of about 4 months of recovering from burn-out and fighting exhaustion.  4 months of 15 mile weeks and I am finally back up around 30.  (39 this past week, and 32 the week before)  I expect it will be a bit less this week, but I'm hoping for at least 25.  Last week I got ambitious and signed up for a half marathon for Feb. 9.  Finally being back in a good running schedule made me itch to race!   And I need to get my 2013 race schedule started.  2012 was an absolutely fabulous racing year for me, and I can't wait to see what this year brings.  (Hopefully a half marathon PR and my 2nd marathon)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Arugula-Mushroom Rolls

It's been a fabulous weekend!  Yesterday the temp got up above 70 and I got to spend some quality bonding time with my horse.  Today, it was in the mid-60s and I had a really great 10.6 mile run.  I intended to run 5 or 6, but it was so nice outside, and I felt good, so I just kept on going.  It feels great to be back to a good running schedule.  I'm at 2 weeks above 30 miles each now.  
A run like today's needs a good carb & protein loaded dinner, and this one hit the spot.

For the dough:
3 scant tsp yeast
6 oz hot water
1/2 tsp salt
garlic powder
onion powder
crushed rosemary
1/2 c wheat flour
1 1/2 c flour

Let rise in a warm place.

Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured surface and use your fingers to spread it into a large rectangle.  Flip is over occasionally so that both sides get some flour on them.  Spread some pesto on the flattened dough, then grate some cheese on top.  Cover with sliced mushrooms, add some more cheese, cover with handfuls of arugula. Add more cheese.  Roll it up and place on a greased baking pan. 
Grate some cheese on top.

Bake at 450 for 20 min.

Makes a wonderful meal with some home-made meatballs.

Top with avocado if you're addicted like I am.

Here's a link to my first attempt at Arugula Rolls.

Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread Pudding

Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread Pudding

10 slices dried bread
1 egg
1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c milk
1/2 c pumpkin
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/4 c cranberries

Mix together everything but the bread and cranberries.  
Break the bread into small pieces and mix them into the other ingredients.  Once the bread has soaked up the gooey goodness, press it into a greased 9x9 pan, or into cupcake wrappers.  Press the cranberries into the top.  

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

I think I will eat these for breakfast this week with some scrambled eggs and fried potatoes...just thinking about it is making me hungry. 

Inspiration for this came from this recipe at Our Lady of Second Helpings.

I saw her post and it sounded good.  I did not refer back to her post when I actually made mine...I just made up my own recipe as I went along.  Cause that's where all the fun is.

Olive Oil & Beer Cake

A few months ago I made a Rosemary Olive Oil Cake.  It was yummy, but way too sweet for my tastes.  Tonight, I was itching to bake something, but couldn't decide what, so I organized my recipe box while I was thinking about it.  I came across the recipe for the Olive Oil Cake and decided it was time to try it again.  However, the original recipe called for white wine, and I don't have any right now.  But I did have a bottle of beer that I didn't particularly want to drink.  So I decided to substitute beer for wine.  I also changed the flour and sugar types/amounts from the original recipe.

ingredients listed in the order that I added them to the mixing bowl
1 c Shock-Top Raspberry Wheat Beer 
1 c olive oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1+ tbs crushed rosemary
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1/2 c wheat flour
2 c white flour

pour batter into a 9x9 pan
bake at 350 for 50 min

I had to cut the cake into 4 pieces in order to remove it from the pan
 For my taste-test...I ate the pieces that stuck to the pan


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stuffed & Bacon-wrapped Chicken

Pre-heat oven to 375.
Finely chop a little bit of onion and celery.  Brown the onion in olive oil, add 1 clove minced garlic and 1 tsp minced ginger, cook for another minute or two.  Add the onion/garlic/ginger to a bowl with the celery.  Tear up 4 pieces of dried bread and add them to the bowl.  Mix with veggie stock until moist.  

Butterfly 3 b/s chicken breasts.  Spread some stuffing on top of each one, then roll them up.  Wrap each chicken roll with a slice or two of bacon. Place the rolls in an oven dish.  

Bake for 1 hr. 


You're welcome.

Cider-Whiskey Pot Roast

2 large gold potatoes, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 c chopped cabbage
1/2 c mushrooms
2.5 lb pot roast
1/2 c Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 c apple cider
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

Spread the potatoes on the bottom of a crock pot.  Layer the carrots on top, then the cabbage, then the ginger.  Coat the roast with flour and cinnamon, then place it on top of the vegetables.  Scatter the mushrooms around the roast.  Mix the cider and whiskey and pour it over the roast.  
Cook on high for 7 hours.

When done, shred the roast to be used in various dishes throughout the week. 
I think it will make a nice pulled-beef sandwich.  
I think I will also use some of it for home-made lo mein later this week.

Here's tomorrow's lunch.