Saturday, April 28, 2012

FINISHED & Keurig party

I was up at 0630 and ready to go.  I had my coffee, vaselined my feet and was out the door by 0710.  I was nervous, SO nervous.  I swear I was in the bathroom 4 times by 0830.  The gun went off and there I went.   I did a slow and steady pace through mile 4.  I slowed down about 30sec/mile then and it declined from there, but I am PROUD that I jogged the WHOLE thing.  The last mile I kicked whatever energy I had left in me and finished in 2:03.  This is a 12:20/mile pace.  I had SIRI text hubby every mile to keep my encouragement up.  I was pretty emotional at the finish.... bawling to him on the phone like a baby, not sure why... I was just overwhelmed. As I said before, I don't care how fast I go... just that I jog & finish.  I didn't come in last either!!!  About 1500 people came in before me... but I wasn't last.... HA!  Everything has its starting point.  Not sure how long I will do this.... but its definitely not over yet.  Onto the half marathon in 4 weeks!
Pre race
DONE & teary eyed

Love the tech shirt!

I came home to the ALMOST finished patio.  Monday they will do the fire pit, cement around the patio to hold it in place, add topsoil and seed and add a stone border around my flowerbed.  Phase 1 is ALMOST done!!!  Then its a bunco party here Saturday.  CANT WAIT!!!
my 'rug'
Another view


View of the walk

Laid out where the fire pit will be

'rug' design

When I got home I showered, dressed and prepped for my Keurig party.  It was fun.  We had coffee, cappuccino and food!  I made my pizza in a pot dip, cookies, fruit and a pinterest YUMMY banana toffee pie.  OMG so good!!!  The kiddos had fun while the mamas enjoyed some great coffee.  Good times for all!  The pie recipe is from here but here is the recipe:

I boiled the condensed milk a few days ago... and used a preformed Graham cracker crust......

3 bananas
1 tin of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whipping cream
1 package of digestive biscuits or graham crackers
1 stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 small bar of chocolate
Grind up digestive cookies/ graham crackers in food processor.
Melt stick of butter in microwave and pour into crumb mixture.
Blend until you have a moist mixture.
Smooth crumbs into pie plate to make a crust.
Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
 Remove the label on the condensed milk and submerge the unopened can in pot of water. Cover and boil for 2.5 hoursWarning: Be sure to keep the can covered by water at all times!!

To make whipped cream:
Whip cold cream and vanilla on high until whipped
Set aside to b
Now to put it together...Slice banana's and layer in the crust

Open toffee can, mix with knife until smooth, pour on bananas.
Spread whipped cream over the pie
Top with shaved chocolate
Banana toffee pie


Ready to eat!

ALl the Keurig stuff laid out!

Enjoying the party!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cuban Style Rice and Beans & Nervous!

Today was day 5 on the patio.  They are about a day away from completion.   We did change a few things as they went so unfortunately some things have to be redone.  Hubby decided to add some lighting and I added the fire pit and an additional design in the main patio.  Our landscaper is GREAT... he just rolls with the punches!  LOVE HIM!  Here are some new pics.
Patio getting there!

Getting done!

Pne of the changes... going to add some design to the center

The border

The walkway 

close up of the design (will look like a rug)

Where the fire pit is going

I also am starting a few new projects... yes, I know... HOW.  I decided that instead of putting a garden in the back acreage I would put it inside the fence.  This helps with watering and harvesting.  We get most things from my BIL but its nice to have some things close.  So I found a cedar prefab raised bed unit that I am going to go buy and assemble.  I am going to fill it with some organic sweet peat so it should be pretty easy.  Then I had a designer come to the house today.  I have been at a total stumbling block with our bedroom.  Its been 2.5 years and I still can't figure out what I want. The gal that came is a friend of a friend.  Im hoping that she has some great ideas on how I can make it more comfy.  Fingers are crossed!!!

Tonights meal was TO DIE FOR.  I was watching TV the other week (which NEVER happens) and caught myself watching 3 hours of cooking shows (this is WHY it NEVER happens!).  I was watching America's Test Kitchen and they were doing a Cuban theme.... So I decided to try it.  I CANT STOP EATING IT!!!  So very good!  Here's the recipe!!

Cuban Style Rice & Beans

  •  Table salt
  • 1cup dried black beans , rinsed and picked over
  • 2cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
  • 2cups water
  • 2large green bell peppers , halved and seeded
  • 1large onion , halved at equator and peeled, root end left intact
  • 1head garlic , 5 medium cloves removed and minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 teaspoons), remaining head halved at equator with skin left intact
  • 2bay leaves
  • 1 1/2cups long grain white rice
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 6ounces lean salt pork , cut into 1/4-inch dice (see note)
  • 1tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 4teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2medium scallions , sliced thin
  • 1lime , cut into 8 wedges
The mix

The beans after being cooked the 1st time
  • 1. Dissolve 1½ tablespoons salt in 2 quarts cold water in large bowl or container. Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
  • 2. In large Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid, stir together drained beans, broth, water, 1 pepper half, 1 onion half (with root end), halved garlic head, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until beans are just soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Using tongs, remove and discard pepper, onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Drain beans in colander set over large bowl, reserving 2½ cups bean cooking liquid. (If you don’t have enough bean cooking liquid, add water to equal 2½ cups.) Do not wash out Dutch oven.
  • 3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1½ minutes. Shake strainer vigorously to remove all excess water; set rice aside. Cut remaining peppers and onion into 2-inch pieces and process in food processor until broken into rough ¼-inch pieces, about eight 1-second pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary; set vegetables aside.
  • 4. In now-empty Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil and salt pork over medium-low heat; cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and rendered, 15 to 20 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon oil, chopped peppers and onion, oregano, and cumin. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.
  • 5. Stir in beans, reserved bean cooking liquid, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Fluff with fork and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes. Serve, passing scallion and lime wedges separately.

    Tonight I am signing out early as I have to get up at the ass crack of dawn.  Tomorrow is the 10 miler.  I am VERY nervous but excited to move another challenge to my "done" list.  I will post pics after the race.  I am NOT concerned with time... my only goals are to jog the whole thing and to have fun.  I don't care if I'm LAST... I really don't.  Got my gear ready and fingers crossed!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Step #2 & Crockpot Jambalaya

Today was day 3 of the patio build. They guys are here by 8:05am (LOVE that they are here one time and ready to work... no kidding!!)  I greeted them with my barely awake wave.  Immediately D1 & D2 start entertaining them.  They bang on the sliding glass doors.... smile.... show off etc.  The funny thing is that the guys do it back... its like entertainment!!!

Well today they finished the second set of steps.  We are ELATED.  They look amazing.  They will probably have at least 2-3 more days before they are done.  The still have the walkway, the patio and the flowerbed edging to do.  Wanted to post a few more photos!

Working on the second set of steps

Laying the wire


The finished steps with lights... NEXT, the PATIO!

LOVE the lights!!
Tonight I made a friends recipe.....  I used turkey Sausage and I added over 3 cups of rice for a heartier meal that was less soupy.  It was AWESOME.  We just had to add salt (I didn't use any for the recipe) to taste.  Its definitely on 'the list' and SO easy!

Crockpot Jambalaya!

1 pack italian sausage, thawed  
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
14oz can chicken broth
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp thyme
2 cups rice, cooked
All the ingredients added to the crockpot

About 7 hours later! Mmmmmmm!  

Put all ingredients in crockpot 6-7 hours on low.  Remove, slice and replace sausage.  Add 2 cups cooked rice and continue cooking 45 mins.

Late night & Cleaning

I woke up today after the rest of the pack.. Thanks Hubby!  D1 woke up at like 5:30 because she had to pee and hubby fielded that one.  Instead of putting her back to be, he decided to let her sleep with us.  That lasted about 30 mins.  He did it, why should I suffer.  Then ask D1 was excited to get the green light to go downstairs to start her day... she woke up D2.... ouch, double whammy daddy!!    HA!!  Daddy-0, kids-2.  Mommy wins.  I slept until 8.

Today was art class.  The BIL has his farming action in overdrive so hubby offered to go with the MIL.  Problem is that they only too D1.  I was planning to clean all day so things took twice as long with D2 around.  I would out her down in one room and she was crawl to the next... so I would move her again... it was quite frustrating.  Hubby got home by 2 so both girls could go to nap.. somehow I was STILL cleaning. 

At some point I decided it was a great time to break out the touchup paint.  Really?!?!?  Cleaning 10:30 am until 4pm and then, why not.. a fresh coat of paint. How do I do this to myself.

During all of this I keep thinking that I am running a 10 mile race on Saturday!!!  10 WHOLE MILES.  I have run since Saturday so I bet get hopping... so during nap I got a quick 2 miles in.  Now it was meeting time.

Had a nice board meeting with the club girls.  We discuss everything from business to kids and husbands. Its just really nice to be around women who 'get it'.  They are in the trenches with me and understand and offer hope & light.  I always feel so good when I leave. THANKS GIRLS!

I wanted to pass on last nights recipe...  apparently its from a 300 cal *and under) cookbook.  It was a bit spicy for me so I will cot the pepper paste next time but it was VERY good!!

Scallop Pad Thai

Scallop Pad Thai - From the under 300 calorie cookbook!! 
1 package (7oz) rice stick noodles
3 tbsps packed brown sugar
3 tbsps fish sauce
3 tbsps rice vinegar
1 tbsps soy sauce
1 tbsps chili puree with garlic
1 tsps paprika
1 lb bay scallops or shrimp or 1/2 lbs both
2 tsps canola oil
1/2 cup green onions
8 oz fresh bean sprouts
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsps dry roasted peanuts crushed
limes wedges

1) Fill 3 quart microwaveable bowl half full with water; add noodles. Microwave uncovered on High 3 to 5 mins. Let stand 5 mins and drain
2) Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix brown sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, chili puree and paprika; set aside. Pat scallops or shrimp dry with paper towels. I added a little extra of all ingredients to the sauce to make a little more sauce, but its just whatever you like.
3) In 12 inch skillet or wok, heat oil over medium high. Add scallops and onions; cook about 4 mins, stirring frequently, until scallops are white and opaque. Stir in bean sprouts; cook 1 minute.
4) Stir fish sauce mixture and noodles into scallop mixture. Cook about 2 mins or until thoroughly heated and sprouts are no longer crisp.
5) Remove from heat. Toss scallop mixture with carrots and cilantro. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve with lime

Then they did finish the stairs on the right yesterday... Today was a mowing day so no one came... but they will be back bright and early in the AM.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New patio & Mowing

So the landscaper found some extra time and started our patio tonight.  I am ELATED.  Can. not. wait.  I'll post some pics as we go for all my distance family.  They will take a few days off to do their regular mowing jobs but it should only take a week.  Then its BUNCO night!!!  More pics come.  They also delivered and spread the mulch.  I LOVE this time of year!

I spent 2.5 hours mowing today.  I was frustrated with the kids and hubby worked late and slept in (as he should) so once he got up and motivated I did the hand off.  It was just my cub cadet, my iPod and the land.... AHhhhhhhhh.  Usually i divide it out over 3-4 days and mow a bit each day but I did it ALL.... so relaxing!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pushing babies & Spaghetti squash

Last week I registered for a bunch of races to keep my momentum going.  I was a bit irritated because I thought the Cleveland 10 miler was just like all of Hermes other races and you could sign up anytime... so I took my time.  Not so much.  It's just like a half marathon sign up where the price goes up the later you wait.  DAMN.  Oh well.  I signed up for the Fleet Feet 5K which was today and the 10 miler which is next Saturday.  I registered without looking at the calendar, and of course Hubby worked today.  At 10pm last night I was deliberating whether I would run with both kids, which was my only option.  I laid my running clothes out just in case and tried to make a wake up/get kids dressed plan.  Wasn't sure if I would execute or not but at least I had a plan.

This morning came.  I was up at 6:30, dressed and coffee in hand.  The weather wasn't as bad as I feared.  I just bought D2 a new winter toddler bundleme stroller bunting so I figured 'why not' and packed the car.  D2 woke up first (surprise, surprise) and I got her dressed.  We went in and woke up D1.  I asked her if she wanted to run a race with mommy and she perked right up and was ready to go!  I packed lunches/snacks and got my gear ready and we were out the door.  I was still in the mood of 'if we can get there and ready on time then I will run'.  We got 3/4 there and hit a huge patch of stand still traffic.  I thought we were done. These races do NOT wait on people.  We finally got there and it was a low key 250 people group.  I got the stroller put together, buntings in place and kiddos strapped in with hats and we were ready.  All this with 25 minutes to spare. I got in, got my number and we were on the starting line.  I swear that 25 people congratulated me.  I was the ONLY person with a stroller and therefore the ONLY person with a double jogger.  I think I should have won SOMETHING :)

I never post pics of the girls, but I was so proud today!
We were at the starting line and the Hermes mascot asked to take our picture.  I've been stalking their Facebook page all day to see it!  Grrrr. Nothing has been posted yet.  This nice old man starts talking to me and apologizes that I have a flat tire.  WTF.  No kidding.  It wasn't completely flat but it was looking bad.  It was 2 minutes to the start so I basically said... oh well.. I'll do the best I can.  I have always said with this running thing that I am doing it for my kids first and myself second.  My goal is always to run the whole thing but I don't shame myself if I walk some.  Time doesn't matter to me.  I do it for exercise.  How great is it that my kids can participate???  I drug ass the last mile but we finished, flat tire and all.  The kids were great.  D1 waved at all of the lane/corner judges which was cute.  I think she is really enjoying them.  This was her fourth race and D2's first.  D2 was good until about 2.5 miles.  I think she was getting hungry so I ripped open a pack of dehydrated apples and D1 fed them to her.  Worked out great.  We finished.  Between the stroller and the kids its about 70 pounds extra... but we were done.  You would have thought I won the race when hearing the cheers.  I got SO many compliments.  People were taking our picture... it was pretty funny.

We then stopped at Whole Foods.  Love that place.  We got some necessities and I got one of my favorite things ever.  Its a 'chicken' tofu.  OMG.  The texture is EXACTLY that of chicken.  If you have a whole foods.... you HAVE To try it.  Its heavenly and you would NEVER EVER know it wasn't chicken.  SO good.  I had to take a pic.

Then I made spaghetti squash spaghetti.  Was SO yummy.  The best part is that its sooooo low fat & calorie.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

2 spaghetti squashes
Jar of spaghetti sauce
Ground meat (I used bison)
toppings... I used black olives & parmesan cheese

Cut squash lenthwise in half.  scoop out seeds.  drizzle with EVOO and place face down on foiled pan.  Cook at 400 for 35 minutes.  Brown meat, store in spaghetti sauce and add any 'extras'.  Remove squash from oven when done and let cool for 10 minutes.  Fork squash into 'noodles' but leave in shell.  Top with meat/sauce mixture.  Top with parmesan and bake for additional 10 minutes.  ENJOY!

I paired this with a spinach, caper, and tomato salad.  Yum!!!