enjoying the journey

I can’t even begin to tell you how frightened I was of this morning’s long run.

For starters, I was flying completely solo.  Dad had to go into work (therefore, running his mileage later in the day.)  And as much as I love running by myself, it scared me silly to think that I wouldn’t have our usual conversations to distract me when I needed it the most.  Somehow, talking to myself never feels quite the same. 😉

Secondly, I haven’t run 9.5 miles in over a year.  A year!  And the last time I did, I had some major knee issues.  Speaking of knee issues, my third reason for being scared out of my mind was that my knee has been acting up over this past week.  Needless to say, my inner runner’s confidence was feeling a little shaky.

It was morning.  It was 7:30.  It was now or never.  (Never was never an option.)  I grabbed my water, a clif shot (which I had picked up for free from last week’s 5k,) and began my fearful trot.

Mile one and two were the toughest.  But from that point on, I sort of just melded into this lovely groove.  “Settle down, Sarah.  You’re fine.  Relax.  One step at a time.  Enjoy this run.”

(See?  I do talk to myself. )

Once my mind quieted down, I found myself quite enjoying the sounds of crunchy sand beneath my feet.  I enjoyed the sounds of morning doves cooing to each other.  I enjoyed the smells of muffins and coffee whirling up to my nose as I passed by the local bakery.  I even enjoyed the raspberry clif shot and being scared half to death by one quite large, almost unrealistically over-sized goat.

Running wise, I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time.  Probably going back to my pre-injury days!  It was such a delicious feeling. 😀

As always, I immediately refueled (and rehydrated!) myself post-run.

Sweet and Salty Garden Salad
Serve with homemade bread ‘n’ butter, crackers with cheese, or whatever suits your fancy.

  • Mesculin Greens
  • Cucumber and tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Snap peas
  • Green bell pepper
  • Raisins
  • dressing: sprinkle of sea salt, olive oil and a drizzle of honey

There was a little more refueling later on after dad completed his 9.5 miles.  We both found ourselves in the mood for something cold, creamy and delicious.  The choice was Ben & Jerry’s.  Obviously.

Chunky Monkey = my favorite

Time to relax and unwind with a good book.  It’s been forever since I read last, and tonight it just feels like the right thing to do.  Hope you’re all having a happy Saturday! 😀

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! :D )

Week 7:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles (Feelin’ Good!!)

Week 9:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY

QUESTION: Favorite ice-cream flavor?

a handful of green

I’ve been a little MIA this past week, in more areas than one.

I haven’t so much as touched the book that I’ve chosen to read during the month of March.  Aside from wearing a green scarf, I completely forgot about St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve been living off of hummus and swiss cheese sandwiches for lunch, with raw veggies, fruit and almonds for snacks.

In other words, I’ve been kind of busy.  And I really miss my kitchen.  And I think my kitchen kind of misses me.

So as soon as the day was officially “complete,” as soon as it was over, I decided to stop off at Whole Foods and see what I could conjure up for dinner.  I felt the need for something…something…

…something green.

If you’ve ever seen a bunch of bright green garden cress at the supermarket, but you’ve  had no idea what it was or what you could do with it, you are not alone.  The flavors were a complete mystery to me until today.  I had no idea how I would use the little green leaves.  If I would use the little green leaves (!?!)

But the bright, cheery little bunch was a mere $1.00.  I’ll try anything for $1.00.  Especially if it’s bright and sunny and it makes me smile.

The sign at Whole Foods explained the leaves as being smooth, soft, bright, tangy and peppery.

“Perfect for sandwiches and soups and salads,” it said.

Perfect for tonight.

The cress bared a faint resemblance to arugula, without being over the top or in your face about it.  It’s a little more subtle.

Light and soft and elegant.

And it really does lend the most wonderful, rustic charm to a hot bowl of Mushroom Soup.  I simply chopped it up and sprinkle it on top for a deliciously healthy garnish.

You could also let it wilt by throwing in a handful or two at the end of the soup’s cooking time.  It would also pair lovely with a hummus wrap and a slice of sharp cheddar.

It felt really nice to be back in the kitchen, tonight.  Chopping and dicing and stirring and eating.  Yes.  It felt good to unwind.

Have a happy Friday!

an overabundance of herbs

I used to be of the opinion that growing an herb garden was a massive waste of my time.

You can eat a tomato.  You can roast a couple of beets.  But, herbs?  Nobody makes a salad solely with parsley.

And then I found myself smack dab in the middle of summer with a large crop of basil and no idea what to do with it.  Bunches and bunches and bunches of aromatic, gorgeous basil.

Being the economical person that I am, I decided to use it in whichever ways that I could.  And so, beyond just freezing it, I added it to savory oats and pasta and pizza.  Sushi and hummus.

And eggs.

Tomatoes and eggs go together like peanut butter and jam.  Meant to be together. The addition of brightly flavored basil makes perfection.  The heat of the pan will inspire the basil to release its fragrant oils, contributing to the most wonderful smell on earth.

And the goat cheese?  The goat cheese is just because.

My overabundance of herbs—more specifically, basil—is quickly running out.  I can hardly wait until summer, when I’ll once again have a bunch of herbs that I have no idea what to do with.

Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Basil and Tomatoes

Serves 1

I love goat cheese with scrambled eggs, but fresh ricotta or mozzarella would be equally delicious.  Enjoy with a couple of whole wheat toasts and your favorite fruit for a complete meal. 😀

  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white
  • splash of milk
  • 1 roma tomato, deseeded
  • handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp. onions, chopped
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray.  Heat over medium, add onions and cook until soft but still firm.  Add deseeded tomatoes and basil, add just a splash of balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until vegetables are tender and liquid has evaporated.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt and pepper.
  3. With vegetables still in pan, spray with more cooking spray.  Add eggs, and scrape down sides with a spatula, letting the uncooked eggs run underneath.  Cook until eggs are no longer runny, chopping every now and then.  Transfer to plate and top with goat cheese.  Enjoy! 😀

QUESTION: Do you grow a garden in the summer?  What is one of your favorite things to grow?

We. Did. It!

WE. DID. IT!!!

My dad is my most favorite running partner.  Most of the time, I hate running with other people.  I usually feel guilty for slowing them down!

But my dad runs his own pace and he tells me to do the same.  He turns around when he gets too far ahead and sometimes he even lets me choose the pace.  AND, best of all, he’s just as crazy as I am when it comes to going out for an eight mile run in icy conditions. 😉

Because, it really was super icy.  It even began to ice rain at some points.  And we were chased by a silly yellow lab.  Legs began to ache.  BUT? We. Did. It!

Pre-eight mile run:

Post eight-mile run:

(don’t let that smile fool you…I was in PAIN!)

Overall, it was a really good run.  I felt strong for the first 4-5 miles or so.  I began to tire right after that, and my entire body began to ache on the last mile stretch towards home.

And then I came home and collapsed in the snow.

“Eating For Your Long Run”

There’s a lot of thought that goes into running long miles, especially when it comes to food.  I haven’t yet reached the point where I need to bring fuel on a run, but there is a lot of pre-run fuel and post-run fuel going on.  There’s no absolute, pure science behind all of my choices, but they work for me.  The secret, I think, is to experiment a little and see what works for you!

The Night Before

Eat a light snack the night before, if you plan on running in the morning.  Cereal is my personal snack of choice.  It’s light on the stomach and it helps me sleep better.  Don’t forget to stay hydrated too!

The Morning Of

This is one of those times when I throw variety out the window and stick with what I know will work.  For me, that happens to be either (a) a bowl of oatmeal or (b) a couple of whole wheat toasts smeared with almond butter, fruit and a glass of milk.

I also drink a small cup of coffee for the caffeine boost.

And, of course, water, water, water!

Post Run

Milk has the perfect combination of protein and carbohydrates, making it the ideal way to refuel after a long run.  Drink up!  Preferably within 30 minutes of running.

Post Run

More refueling is in order if your long runs are beginning to exceed 5-6 miles.  A cup of milk won’t exactly cut it.

Today I was craving a big ol’ salad with lots of greens and flavah!  Today’s toppings:

  • kidney beans
  • goat cheese
  • salty sunflower seeds
  • avocado
  • snap peas
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

I am absolutely obsessed with these Terra Sweets and Beets chips.  They’re addicting!

A little while later, I broke out some yogurt with wheat germ and a whole wheat blueberry muffin.  I am a bottomless pit on the weekends after a long run; I’ve learned to just roll with it. 😉

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! 😀 )

Week 7:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles

Week 9:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY!

QUESTION: Does your appetite go up on the days that you exercise?  Or does it hit you like a ton of bricks later on? My appetite definitely skyrockets on the days that I exercise.  I listen up and eat when I’m hungry so that I’m back to normal by the next day. 😉

a lazy sunday afternoon.

You know what I love about lazy Sunday afternoons?

The fact that you can stay in your pj’s all day.

The fact that you can read or sleep or take a walk whenever you please.

The fact that there’s nothing on the to-do list except to “make a batch of whole wheat bagels.”

Okay.  If we’re being completely, 100% honest here, mom did most of the bagel work.

I really did, however, stay in my pj’s all day.  And I really did read and sleep and walk whenever I so pleased.

That’s what I love about a lazy Sunday afternoon.

(p.s. I promised Mom that I would help her taste test.  It’s tough work, but somebody has to do it.)

The bagels were beyond delicious.  And that’s the honest truth.

Whole Wheat Bagels–adapted from the original “Bernard Clayton’s Book of Breads” homemade bagel recipe, as seen on this website.

We made several variations in this recipe.  Cinnamon raisin, in which some of the dough was mixed with cinnamon and raisins before being dunked in the boiling water.  And poppyseed studded bagels.  My personal favorite, however, were the onion bagels.  They’re amazing and would make the perfect egg sandwich.

These are fun to make.  Even funner to eat.  I hope that you find yourself with some lazy Sunday afternoon so that you can stay home in your pj’s, do as you please, and have nothing on your to-do list but to “make a batch of bagels.”  Enjoy!

(p.s. Don’t let this long list of instructions scare you…bagels are quite simple to make and they’re not overly fussy.)

  • 3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 cups hot water
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white, beaten, mixed with 1 tsp water
  • Toppings of choice (raisins, poppyseed, garlic powder, dried onion flakes, etc.)
  1. Sprinkle a baking sheet with ground cornmeal.
  2. Into a mixing bowl, measure 3 cups whole wheat flour and stir in the dry ingredients.  Pour in the hot water and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.  Add the balance of the flour, a small portion at a time; stir by hand.  When the batter gets thick and heavy, lift from the bowl and place on the floured work surface.
  3. Knead for 10 minutes, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.  Dough should be firm and solid when pinched with the fingers.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in volume, about 1 hr.  During this period, bring the 3 qts of water to a boil in the large saucepan.  Add sugar.  Reduce heat and leave at a simmer.
  5. Turn dough onto a flour-dusted work surface and punch down with extended fingers.  Divide dough into 17 pieces.  Shape each into a ball.  Allow to relax for a few minutes before flattening with the palm of your hand.  With your thumb, press deep into the ceter of the bagel and tear the depression open with your fingers.  Place the bagels together on the work surface.
  6. Cover the bagels with wax paper and leave at room temp only until the dough is slightly raised, about 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400.
  8. The water should be simmering.  Gently lift one bagel at a time with a large skimmer and lower into the hot water, 2 or 3 at a time.  Simmer for 1 minute, turning once.  Lift out with the skimmer (or tongs), drain briefly on a towel, then place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with all bagels.
  9. Brush bagels lightly with the egg white-water glaze and sprinkle with favorite toppings.
  10. Place bagels on the baking sheet and bake on the middle oven shelf for 25-30 minutes.  When bagels are lightly brown, turn them over to complete baking.  Remove from oven when shiny and brown.
  11. Place on metal rack to cool.

Question: What do you usually do on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

baked haddock with crumbs

I don’t think this is quite normal, but as a kid I can remember always looking forward to eating a dinner of smelts at my grandparents’ house on Sunday night.  Memere would be fussing in the kitchen, standing watch over a pan of tiny fish that had been coated in white flour and then fried into thin, buttery bites.  If we were lucky, she’d pan fry some potatoes and onions on the side, too.

I was in love with the fish.  Or maybe I was in love with being served dinner by Memere on some Sunday evening.  Whatever the reason, I still find myself looking forward to any dinner that involves fish.  Be it trout, cod, tilapia, salmon or sardines.

I love fish.

Did you know that the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least 8 oz. of fish a week?  This can come easily, in the form of a tuna fish sandwich.  Or, if you’re brave, a chopped sardine salad (it really is delicious, by the way.)

Of course, considering how quick and simple it is to make most fish in general anyways, you may find it to be the perfect weeknight dinner.

Baked Haddock with Crumbs + Steamed Asparagus with Lemon + Brown Rice

=

A Healthy 30 Minute Dinner

This is one of my most favorite weeknight meals.  It’s not always easy to find simple dinners that are both healthy and delicious.  This one fits the bill just fine.

I love fish.

Baked Haddock with Crumbs

For the breadcrumbs, I usually just make my own with a loaf of Ezekiel sandwich bread.  About one medium slice of bread equals 1/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs, so this recipe would require you to pull out 4 slices.  Simply chop into small bits, toss on a baking sheet, and heat in a 350 degree oven.  Check it every 3 minutes or so, cooking until dry but not overdone.  Grind in a blender or food processor to the consistency of breadcrumbs (optional: add italian seasoning and freshly grated Parmesan.)

I highly recommend squeezing some fresh lemon juice on top of the fillets right before serving, as this really does enhance all the flavors.  ENJOY! 😀

  • 2 lb. haddock fillets
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. sage or italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix bread crumbs and spices in a bowls.  Beat egg in small bowl; add milk in another small bowl.  Spray a square casserole dish well.
  3. Dip each piece of fish in milk, then egg, then coat well with bread crumbs.  Place breaded fish pieces in casserole dish; sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter if desired.  Bake 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily.  ENJOY! 😀

Question: Fish…yay or nay?  And what kinds do you prefer?  How do you usually prepare it?

a list of to-do’s

The Ever-Growing To-Do List
  1. Finish major clinical case study and put together presentation.
  2. Finish three mini clinical case studies.
  3. Finish budget case study and present it to the panel.
  4. Finish abstract and present at the upcoming MDA conference.
  5. Finish poster for the hospital’s cafeteria.

Tell me this.  Is there any better feeling than crossing off an item from a to-do list?  Sigh.

The Dietitian that I’m working with during my clinical rotation part of the internship asked me to put together a poster for the upcoming National Nutrition Month (March!)  The theme this year is “Color Your Plate,” so I—of course—focused on including lots and lots of color.

I tried to keep it simple by focusing mostly on a few flavorful, healthy options that anyone and everyone can add to their basic, daily routines.

It was fun to put together (although it really did leave me feeling kind of hungry. 😉 )

By the time I finished the project, it was already 4 o’clock, and I realized that I had barely had any fresh air all day.

Time to stretch the legs with a brisk walk before dinner!

The sun was absolutely glowing, transforming everything within its path into a bright, fluorescent orange.  So beautiful.

And despite the 15 degrees, I actually felt warm.  The sun felt so, so, so nice on my face.

What a deliciously invigorating walk.

I couldn’t decide on any one dinner tonight.  Which is why I didn’t.  Because every once in a while, a hodgepodge collection of random things is exactly what satisfies me the most.

A little of this.  A little of that.  Different flavors, textures, and moods.  I like to think that it’s a little like eating a three course entree. 😉

(1) Spinach and Egg Scramble

(2) Homemade Baked Beans, pulled from the freezer

(3) Zucchini and Summer Squash, sauteed with diced tomatoes, garlic, italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar

(this tasted like summer!)

One item crossed off my to do list.  Poster complete!

One refreshing pre-dinner walk.

Three course meal.  Not at all fancy.  Completely delicious.

Two hours left to read and relax before bed.

Spinach and Egg Scramble

Serves 1

This scramble pairs particularly well with feta, goat or even (especially?) ricotta cheese.  If you have extra veggies on hand, you could also throw in some tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, etc.

There’s nothing at all fancy about this scramble.  In fact, it practically screams simple. But that’s what makes it so appealing after a long, hard day at work or school.  Enjoy with a slice of toasted whole wheat bread and your favorite side veggie for a quick, satisfying meal. 😀

  • A few large handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 an onion, chopped fine
  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white
  • splash of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coat a medium, nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until tender but firm.  Add spinach and continue cooking until spinach has wilted and onions are tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour on top of spinach mixture.  Occasionally scrape down the eggs from the side, letting the runny part run underneath.
  3. Once the eggs have come together, chop the eggs and spinach a little with the spatula and cook until done.  Transfer to plate and ENJOY! 😀

Question: Do you keep daily/weekly/yearly to-do lists?  Are you usually pretty good about checking things off? I keep monthly to-do lists, and they’re usually complicated things that take forever to actually check off.  Which is why I usually throw in some simple, easy things as well, just to give me the pleasure of crossing an item off. 😉

The Smile List.

 

Eight Things That Made Me Smile This Week

1. Almond butter slathered on toasted homemade bread, and served with bright, summery strawberries and some extra crunchy veggies.

A simple, rainy day lunch.

 

 

2. Eating breakfast with a view.

I love you, Paris.

 

 

3. Revving up the nerve to buy (and sautee!) a bunch of baby artichokes.

(We all *loved* them, despite the amount of work it took to eat the hearts. 😉 )

 

 

4. Looking through old drawings and paintings that I did as a kid.

I want to know why I found the need to draw a can of Chef Boyardee’s spaghetti and meatballs??? :mrgreen:

 

 

5. Making winter feel like summer.

Enjoying smoothies for breakfast.

Driving home with the car windows open (50 degrees makes this totally okay.)

Making (and eating!) summery lobster rolls, served in a toasty bun.

 

 

6. Sampling my way through 4 new chobani flavors.  Yes.  Four. New. Flavors.  The kind people over at Chobani sent me a sample of their newest releases.  It was tough work, eating my way through all of those goodies, let me tell you. 😉

Lemon. Mango. Berry and Honey-nana (made for kids!)

Honestly, I loved all of them, but my heart belongs to the Honey-nana.  The banana wasn’t too overpowering, and neither was the honey; they blended perfectly together.  I plan on stocking up.

 

 

7. My newest $5 H&M find.

This will be perfect for toting all of my big books and binders around.  And once it gets too beat up to bring out into public (because this is guarenteed to happen, whenever you mix Sarah with white colored things), it will make the perfect bag for summer’s produce markets. 😀

 

 

8. Twinings Cranberry Green Tea.

The “sweet berry aroma” is what won me over.  It almost makes me want to be up at 5 am in the morning.  Almost.

 

 

Question: What made you smile this week?

Happy Friday!

Memere’s Busy Kitchen.

 

There are many, many, many memories to be found in Memere’s kitchen.

I was 7 years old, wearing my pajamas, being twirled around and around by Memere, with country music playing in the background.

I was 19 years old—sweaty and tired—drinking lemonade and eating shrimp sandwiches with Pepere, after painting the shed.

 

 

I was 21  years old, pushing holes into flat rounds of doughnut dough, watching them puff and pillow as they touched the hot grease.

Memere cared about cooking.  She cared about her recipes.  Her pride and her love came through and from kitchen.

I relive every single memory whenever I’m cooking one of Memere’s recipes.  Whenever I’m cooking for Pepere, whisking and stirring and sauteeing.  Whenever I smell flour and yeast and warm puffy breads.

 

 

Memere’s kitchen continues to be busy, busy, busy to this day.  Filled to the absolute brim with drama, style, excitement and smells.

Yes.  All of this continues on, each and every time that mom, dad and I prepare dinner for ourselves and for Pepere.

In Memere’s Kitchen.

This makes everything feel so right.

 

Tonight, with four hungry appetites and one inviting kitchen, we mutually decided to make Apple Glazed Pork Chops.

 

 

I don’t normally combine sweet fruit with savory things.  It just doesn’t feel right to me.

 

 

I do make one exception.  Because I’m pretty sure that pork chops were made to be combined with fruit.  Or maybe fruit was made to be combined with pork chops. 

Whichever way you look at it, the combination just works.

 

 

Tonight, Memere’s kitchen was filled with smiles and laughs and memories.  Lots of eating and sharing.  And cooking.

I think Memere would be proud.

Apple Glazed Pork Chops—modifed from the original version as seen in Taste of Home Magazine

Serves 4

This warm and comforting meal is best served hot, with garlicy mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetables.  Leftover chops are delicious when ch0pped and combined with rice, garlic and vegetables.  Enjoy!

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp cold water
  • 2 large tarte apples, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  1. In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil.  Add the juice, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, salt to taste, rosemary, and thyme.  Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes or until meat juices run clear. 
  2. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the skillet.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, in another skillet, cook the apples, onion, butter and remaining brown sugar over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until apples are softened.  Serve over pork chops.  ENJOY! 😀

Question: What are your favorite “kitchen memories”?

a “heart”y breakfast

 

Speaking of Valentines Day, I’m kind of obsessed.

Obsessed with strawberries and bananas and coconut, all dipped and dunked in chocolatey things.

 

 

Obsessed with eating chocolate for breakfast.

How indulgent.  And healthy.  Indulgently healthy. 

(Those two words, I think, should always coexist.)

 

A ‘Heart’y Breakfast

Dark chocolate’s antioxidants, walnut’s omega 3 fatty acids, and oatmeal’s cholesterol lowering fiber—all coming together in one deliciously, heart healthy bowl.  Who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast?

I’ve been following the microwave procedures for making oatmeal lately, since busy mornings require it.  I also kind of like the way that the overnight sit lets the banana sweeten up the oats.  However, you could just as easily make this the morning of, if you prefer.  Enjoy! 😀

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed flax (optional)
  • 1 cup milk
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 5 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 very ripe banana, sliced
  • toppings: coconut, dark chocolate chips, sliced strawberry, and walnuts
  1. In a large, microwaveable bowl, combine the oats, flax, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, strawberries and banana.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning, add 1/4 c. of water to the bowl, stir well, remove plastic wrap and microwave for 3-5 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Pour into bowl, cover with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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You know how when you’re a kid, running and playing in a new pair of sneakers makes you instantly feel like an athlete?

 

 

Yeah.  Well.  Some things never change. 

I swear I ran faster today. :mrgreen:  Best of all, no knee pain.  There is definitely some truth to replacing those running sneakers at least every 500 miles.

 

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles

Week 7: 
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8:  Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles

Week 9: 
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10:  Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11:  Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12:  Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13:  Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14:  Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15:  Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16:  Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY!!

 

Question: Have you ever trained for a race/walk before?  What were some of your toughest obstacles?

…OR…

If you haven’t yet trained for a race/walk, what do you think would be your toughest obstacles to overcome?