Category Archives: Recipes

Memorial Day & Pre-Marathon Thoughts

Before I get into some deep thoughts about my upcoming marathon, here’s a few pictures from my Memorial Day extended weekend!

I’ll spare you repeat pictures of skydiving & Fish 101.

Sunday morning I was feeling a bit festive & made pancakes!

Memorial Day Yogurt Pancakes

adapted from Kath’s recipe.

  • 1 cup pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp regular salt
  • blueberries
  • bananas (sliced)
  • strawberries (sliced)

Combine all ingredients except for bananas & strawberries.  Pour about 1/2 cup of pancake batter into skillet & add banana and strawberry slices on top.  This made 5 pretty large pancakes!  Top with syrup or more fruit & enjoy!

After a tough yoga class and a lovely day at the beach on Monday, we spent our Memorial Day evening BBQing at the casa.  With Jesse’s help, we threw together some amazing burgers!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers  (makes 8 large burgers)

  • 4 lbs lean ground beef
  • blue cheese or gorgonzola
  • Laughing Cow cheese original (~4 triangles)
  • salt & pepper

Mix together equal amounts of laughing cow cheese wedges & blue cheese. Microwave for ~20 seconds or just enough time for cheeses to be mixable.

Form (16) 1/4 pound patties of ground beef (rolled out thin).

Spread about a tablespoon of cheese mixture onto half of patties.

Use remaining patties to cover & enclose cheese mixture pressing down edges to fully enclose.  You will now have 1/2 pound burgers with cheese inside.  They will shrink when cooking but will still be good-sized burgers!

Action shot!

We enjoyed our burgers with sweet potato fries, potato salad, pasta salad, & beans!  What a delicious meal!

Look at that cheese!!

What a great way to end this holiday weekend.  Great food & great friends! If only I would’ve taken photos of the ‘friends’ part!

Pre-Marathon Thoughts

In 5 days I will be celebrating the completion of my first marathon (crossing my fingers)!  After months of training, I know I am prepared for this!  Even still, my head is filled with thoughts: Good ones and bad ones.  I thought it’d be fun to document the thoughts that have gone on my head in the weeks before my marathon! I apologize in advance because I’m rambling.. that is how thoughts work.. at least mine anyways 🙂   Ok, here we go..

  • What if I do not enjoy running 26.2 miles? Is this distance not for me?  Will I be deterred from running anything more than a half marathon?  What would I do about the NWM & Ragnar coming up next October?
  • Ever since my 22 miler I have not wanted to run.  Is this bad?  Normal?  Every run I have had since then has been sluggish (heavy) & not necessarily enjoyable. I feel I am digressing.. Is this all part of the taper process?  I sure hope so..
  • Should I set a time goal or just run to complete it and have fun?  I initially thought I should try for 4 hours.. then changed that to maybe 4:15.. 4:30.. but now I’m thinking my goal should be to run the whole thing and try to enjoy myself.  It is my first marathon.. thoughts?
  • How fast do I start running? I’m afraid of my pace. I don’t want to crash hard because I started too fast.. but at the same time if I run a slower pace it’s harder for me to increase that pace later on. I am typically pretty good about negative splits (run slower in the beginning and get faster at the end) .. I just don’t want to mess this one up!
  • What food/fuel am I gonna want during the race?  I should be ready for this but unfortunately I am not..
  • What am I going to feel up for after the race? Celebrations? Sleep?  I will never know on this one.. we will see!

If you can’t tell, I’m excited but extremely nervous!  This waiting game is horrible.. tapering is not fun! Sunday will be here before I know it!  In the mean time, I will try to enjoy this time (and excessive carbs) as much as I can!

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Homemade Mamma Chia

At the Carlsbad Half Marathon Expo, I was introduced to Mamma Chia.  Mamma Chia is a juice drink filled with Chia seeds!

If you’ve read the book ‘Born to Run’, the Tarahumara are the ‘running people’ most of the book is based on.  They are a Mexican tribe of super athletes who run super long distances for fun!

A staple they used to fuel themselves through their runs is Chia.  Yes these seeds are the same seeds used to make Chia Pets from a long time ago.  Do they still exist?

Check out this site for many great nutritional benefits to the chia seed.

I use Chia seeds pretty much daily.  Breakfast is typically ‘Overnight Oats’ containing about a tablespoon of chia seeds.  When mixed with liquid, the seeds ‘gel up’ which is awesome for bulking up oatmeal.  You feel fuller because you have more to eat!  Because they hold so much liquid, they are great for endurance athletes to help sustain them in long hours of physical activity.

I am not a nutritionist or a doctor.. so do your research!

Anyways back to Mamma Chia.  I loved this drink and thought how easy it would be to make it myself!

It took me until now to actually try it out! (Carlsbad Marathon was in January)

Most of the Mamma Chia flavors contain lemon and/or lime as well as some other fruit flavor.  The flavor above is Cherry Lime.  I decided to try Strawberry Lime since it is strawberry season!

I put a pint of strawberries in my magic bullet & blended until I got a strawberry paste.

I then added the juice of a lot of mini limes until I liked the flavor.

At this point I added maybe 3 scoops of Chia seeds to the strawberry lime concoction, then added water to thin it out.  Store in refrigerator overnight to get the ‘gel’ like consistency.  At this point you can add more Chia seeds if you want it thicker or add more water to thin it out.  You may want to add sweetener of some kind but I opted not to because I enjoy it a little tart.

Can you see the ‘gel’ like consistency?

Now for the comparison shots.

Looks pretty good right?  There are so many ways to experiment with this!

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Stuffed Mushrooms Two Ways

I bought mushrooms from Costco last week that were just calling to be stuffed!  They were huge! Stuffing them is just what we did.

Remove mushroom stems and chop.  Yes we are stuffing mushrooms with more mushrooms!

Chop some parsley & grate some parmesan or other hard cheese.  I would’ve liked walnuts for some reason but all I had were almonds.

I’m going to share my little trick for chopping nuts.  It’s probably not my trick, everyone probably does it.. but to me it’s cool and all mine.

Place nuts in Ziploc & hit against cutting board with meat tenderizer or something hard.  Be careful not to take too many aggressions out as the bag will break!  You will now have smashed chopped nuts that didn’t take hours to try to chop with a knife!

Mix nuts, cheese, parsley, mushrooms & bread crumbs in a bowl.  This will be the base of our mushroom filling.

Stuffed Mushroom Base Recipe

1.5 cups mushrooms caps chopped

1 cup parsley

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped almonds

I decided to try two recipes when making these.  Why? Because I wanted to use up the blue cheese & pesto in my fridge.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Add melted blue cheese to mixture above.  You can adjust the amount depending on your taste.  The more blue cheese the more blue cheese punch you will get.  Obviously.

All ready to go into mushrooms!

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Add pesto to base recipe above.  You can adjust the amount depending on your taste.

Get as much of the filling as you can in these mushrooms!  The recipe does make extra so you can either cut the amounts a little, stuff more mushrooms than I did or use it for something else.  Thinking a pasta bake or maybe stuffed zucchini to use up my extras!

Add some grated cheese to the tops for good measure.

Bake them at 350ish (don’t remember what temperature it was exactly) for about 15-20 minutes(ish).  The cooking time & temperature will vary depending on your oven.  Just watch them & once your cheese is melted and your mushrooms feel soft they should be just about good to go!

Don’t forget to eat all that cheese (burnt?) off the tin foil.  It’s soo good!

This recipe was simple to throw together and can be easily adapted with what’s in your fridge!

We enjoyed them with a salad made with some fresh CSA produce.

Another tip I have up my sleeve is to never buy bottled salad dressing.  They are expensive and a homemade dressing is pretty simple.

One of my favorites is to use some leftover hummus & mix it with water to dilute it.

There you have it! A simple & healthy salad dressing recipe!  Yum!

Tomorrow is Friday and I’m up WAY past my bedtime!

I did win Catan tonight so that’s my excuse. =)


Stay tuned.. I have some fun things up my sleeves..

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Running can be fun! I promise!

Ragnar So Cal Results!

First things first, results came out for Ragnar!

The Most Interesting Team In the World: 28:52:04 12th in division, 36th team overall (479 teams total)

Go Team!

Movin Shoes Fun Run!

Every Monday night, the Encinitas Movin Shoes store has a fun run.  Groups run either 3,4 or 6 miles of varying paces.  I have wanted to go try it out for a while now as I’m very interested in finding running groups in north county closer to me!

This last Monday was the night!  I showed up by myself and had no idea what to expect.  Turns out Monday was a Scavenger Hunt!  Maybe since it was the day after Easter?  The scavenger hunt was done in teams of 3 so I joined a pair who needed a third.

I couldn’t get a great picture of the list but that’s what happens when I try to use my archaic iphone for pictures!  We had to find and take pictures of as many items as we could in 60 minutes!

Scavenger Hunt List (as I remember it)

  • Blue Cars
  • Addresses with the number 8 (houses or businesses)
  • Lettered street signs
  • Classic Cars
  • Picture with a lifeguard
  • Picture with a random surfer
  • Picture with a park ranger
  • Do a ‘cheerleader’ pyramid with a random person
  • Large tiki
  • Swami’s Sign
  • Beaches that start with ‘B’ or ‘S’
  • Old-fashioned chocolate covered doughnut from local bakery
  • Cardiff Kook
  • Menu or business card from Bull Taco (San Elijo Campgrounds)

I got real lucky because the team I joined won two years ago.. so we’ll just say they knew what they were doing.  We came in second place with 174 points. (I think)  There were different point values assigned to each item & what helped us was getting 9 classic cars!  That was 54 points! We won a certificate for anything off the sale rack at Movin Shoes as well as some smaller goodies!  Score! I picked the right day to come.

We covered a little over 4 miles but these paces are all messed up as my watch was stopping and going when we stopped to take photos.  The run was actually 54 minutes not 39:52.  We should’ve used those extra 6 minutes! I’m sure we could’ve found some more classic cars.

Split
Time
Distance
Pace
Summary 00:39:52 4.11 09:41
1 00:09:38 1.00 09:38
2 00:10:22 1.00 10:22
3 00:09:44 1.00 09:44
4 00:08:57 1.00 08:57
5 00:01:10 0.11 10:28

Sometimes a change of scenery is an awesome way to make running fun if it’s become a chore.

After running, Todd and I used a coupon & went to The Counter!  I have heard so much about their veggie burger I had to try one out.  The Counter is really tough for me.. I am horrible at making decisions and there are way too many to be made!

I ordered a veggie burger on an english muffin with a kalamata olive spread, feta cheese, avocado, lettuce, cucumbers, sprouts & tomato.  It was delicious.  One thing that bugs me about the Counter is you have to pay $1 extra to get your burger on a salad instead of a bun.  Really?

We opted for pickle chips which were interesting but we will probably stick with sweet potato fries next time.


And a beer to wash it all down 🙂

Makeshift VAVI Run

Tuesday nights are typically my VAVI runs.  The run this week was at Roadrunner in Kearny Mesa.  Running around in circles in the business area is NOT a pretty run!  10 VAVI runners and I decided to boycott it & make our own run.  We started in PB and some of us ran up Soledad Mtn and back down while others drove cars to the top & ran down.  I joined the group driving to the top.  I think running to the top would’ve been better to even out my legs & get in more miles.  My shins & calves did not like the downhill.

This run was nice & short, but still fun!

Split
Time
Distance
Pace
Summary 00:33:40 3.84 08:46
1 00:08:51 1.00 08:51
2 00:08:41 1.00 08:41
3 00:08:42 1.00 08:42
4 00:07:25 0.84 08:52

Once we got down the mountain we ran to Hennesseys for their 2 for 1 burgers.  Just what I needed, another burger! I ordered the Burger Sampler that came with 4 sliders.  One with guacamole, one with mushrooms, one with cheddar & the last with bacon & BBQ sauce.  Delicious.. I’ve had my quota on burgers for a while!

After burgers we walked over to get some frozen yogurt!  I don’t think I left PB till 10pm.. fun times for a Tuesday night!

Thursday Server Down Run

My plan for Thursday was to run home from work.  My plans changed when our server at work was down all morning.  I decided to get my run in at lunch while the server was being repaired and hopefully it’d be up when I got back!

It was a beautiful day & the beaches were packed!  I was jealous & wanted to jump in.

Split
Time
Distance
Pace
Summary 01:13:33 8.00 09:11
1 00:09:21 1.00 09:21
2 00:08:52 1.00 08:52
3 00:09:10 1.00 09:10
4 00:09:39 1.00 09:39
5 00:09:15 1.00 09:15
6 00:09:26 1.00 09:26
7 00:09:16 1.00 09:16
8 00:08:29 1.00 08:30

I got in 8 miles & got back to work to find the server still not working!  It actually never started working.  I got my run over with & came home to hang out with my mom.  She came over to hang out for the night!

No burgers tonight!  I made a ‘kitchen sink’ soup with leftover CSA veggies!  I don’t have a recipe and I don’t have any pictures (fail) but I thought I’d share anyways. 🙂

I threw together carrots, celery, swiss chard, zucchini, cabbage, canned diced tomatoes, canned black beans, chicken stock, oregano, italian seasoning, garlic & bay leaves.  I sautéed the veggies and then let everything simmer for an hour or so.  So fresh and so delicious.

Soups, stir fries or salads are great ways to use up those veggies! Don’t be afraid to throw everything in a pot!

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Joshua Tree National Park

April’s been a crazy month! From taking my Civil PE Surveying test to running in Ragnar So Cal, I’ve been busy busy!  When I realized I had a free weekend, we took advantage & got out of civilization!  Sometimes your body needs a break from the hustle & bustle & needs some solitude.

Friday night we headed to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s in the desert near Palm Springs.  When you think about it, it’s kind of a weird place.  There are these huge cacti trees (Joshua Trees) in odd shapes & huge piles of rocks everywhere.  How did this place form?

It fit the bill for our weekend trip.  We opted for backcountry camping because we didn’t need camping reservations & we knew we would not be near any loud boy scout troops!

In order to camp in the backcountry in Joshua Tree, you have to fill out a form at a backcountry board in the park giving your license plate information so if they come across your car they know it’s you.  When picking a place to camp, I think the rules say you are to be 1 mile from the road.  We never end up that far, as long as you are not seen from the road we think it is fine.   The negatives to backcountry camping are no fires & no bathrooms.  This means bringing a shovel & digging holes if need be..  The no fire rule is almost a deal breaker for me.  I think every camping trip should have a good campfire but for quiet & solitude, we had to sacrifice campfires.  There’s always another camping trip to come!

Spring was blossoming in Joshua Tree.  It was beautiful.

Saturday we decided to hike the hill you see in the picture below.  It is actually a dormant volcano!

It did get pretty steep at the top and required hands & feet to navigate!  You can kind of see the slope in the picture below with Leslie!

Todd decided it was a good idea to scale a steep face of rocks at the top.  It was fun but scary!

I don’t think these photos do it justice! The view from the top was pretty awesome. Those large piles of rocks don’t look so large anymore.

At the top was a message can hidden in the rocks.

We added our mark to the tablet inside the can.

Besides our hike the rest of our trip was spent playing hearts.. enjoying the scenery.. talking..eating some delicious food..

Kebobs from Dave & Leslie!

The marinade they used was soo good!  Love kebobs.

I made a Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with asparagus, almonds & goat cheese.  It was light & refreshing.  A  great side dish for this meal.  The original recipe site has some much more appetizing photos! Go check it out!

We also spent some time with good old Jack Daniels.  I opted to mix him with hot chocolate to kill two birds with one stone!  It kept me nice & toasty until the wind started picking up!  That wind was unpredictable..


Dessert was Ashley’s chocolate chewies. They were crunchy on the outside & chewy on the inside!  Soo good! I made the coconut version and though Todd’s not a huge coconut fan, he liked these cookies!  That’s a win in my book!  Go check out the recipe here: Ashley’s Chocolate Chewies.  There’s also a non-coconut version for those of you who would prefer no coconut!

All in all it was a great trip & perfect weekend getaway!

See you next time Joshua Trees!

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SUNday

I’ve taken a hiatus with running the past week.  I ran Monday and that was it. :/  I was afraid of my shin splints, time was an issue and I just didn’t run.  Not good for marathon training.   I need to keep up my weekly mileage as much as possible to keep my body ready to run!

This morning I was able to fit in my long run.  I missed my VAVI run yesterday since I was volunteering and I was left to run alone!  16 miles by myself..

I broke the run up into 4 mile segments to try to make it seem less daunting.  I think it worked out great as I was counting down the miles from 4 instead of 16!  It was also good because I don’t have a water belt so I needed to get water at some point.  I ran 4 miles in both directions from my house.  At the first turn around (4 miles) I stopped to get Advil and coconut water at 7-11.  I felt I was going to need that Advil later on.  Mile 8 I was back at my house for some water and a Clif gel.  I continued the other direction for 4 miles and then turned around and came back.  The second half was rough because I had no fuel or water for 8 miles.  That was not a good idea.. next time I’ll have to find a better plan going that direction.  I inhaled 2 more coconut waters once I got home as I sat on my porch sidewalk and didn’t want to move.

Split
Time
Distance
Pace
Summary 02:31:25 16.00 09:27
1 00:09:35 1.00 09:35
2 00:09:23 1.00 09:23
3 00:09:08 1.00 09:08
4 00:09:09 1.00 09:09
5 00:09:21 1.00 09:21
6 00:09:14 1.00 09:14
7 00:09:14 1.00 09:14
8 00:09:12 1.00 09:12
9 00:09:37 1.00 09:37
10 00:09:25 1.00 09:25
11 00:09:29 1.00 09:29
12 00:09:39 1.00 09:39
13 00:09:38 1.00 09:38
14 00:09:38 1.00 09:38
15 00:09:54 1.00 09:54
16 00:09:42 1.00 09:44

 

What a run.. all completed by 10am on a beautiful sunny day in San Diego.

After showering, we went to the beach! We picked up some breakfast/lunch on the way.  I got an Acai Bowl from Mozy Cafe.. soo refreshing =)  I studied while burning myself :/  Oops.. it was amazing!

Can’t wait for summer!

Remember the 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies I posted awhile back? Well in the comments of that post Courtney recommended this peanut butter that was on sale at Henry’s.

I picked up two jars & have only half of one left! It is really good and not too sweet at all which I love.  I decided to make those same cookies with this peanut butter instead of regular.

What a great idea this was.

First combine 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar & 1 egg.

I also added a handful of chocolate chips for fun.

Using a fork press down into cookie form.

Bake until cooked and ready to be eaten!

Try out this peanut butter and then make these cookies!

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Change Can Be Fun

Some of you may know and others may not but the company I work for recently merged with one of our competitors.  To keep a long story short, changes are happening.  Lots of people lost jobs and my health benefits changed not for the better.  The good news is my office is not moving to Riverside, we are getting a few more people in our office & I still have a job!  We may move offices to a new spot in the same area but that could be a fun change though it’d require some work.  I heard today the people moving to my office work from 6-3 and that the president said he’s open to the hours we want as long as we’re they include the standard business hours of 9-3 & that we keep it consistent.  6am is really early but I have been at work by 7am the last week anyways and I LOVE the idea of getting off at 3pm!  Change can be a great thing sometimes!

Tomorrow all the ‘big wigs’ as well as new additions are coming to our office.  (Big wigs meaning presidents, vice presidents etc etc.)  We are going out for a company dinner tomorrow night, it should be interesting!

RUNNING

Anyways, today after work I went for a run & my shins hurt! I’m pretty sure I have shin splints.. it sucks.. I will be icing often to make this go away!  The start of my run felt like my last run on Saturday but without the alcohol.  It was tough but eventually I fell into a groove all except for my shins.

Split
Time
Distance
Pace
Summary 00:47:13 5.00 09:26
1 00:09:21 1.00 09:21
2 00:09:33 1.00 09:33
3 00:09:25 1.00 09:25
4 00:09:38 1.00 09:38
5 00:09:14 1.00 09:15

I am off to study, the countdown is here but first I will leave you with some healthy dessert inspiration!

HEALTHY DESSERT/SNACK

One CSA box a week or two ago I had a plethora of strawberries and basil.

I decided to make popsicles!  I blended just strawberries & basil & put them in popsicle molds.

I also had some extra and used the ice cube trays.. but remember, the trays will break!

Wait till frozen & enjoy!

No added sugar, just strawberries & basil.  Delicious!  Now you have two healthy desserts, banana soft serve & popsicles.

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