Monthly Archives: October 2011

ANOTHER Test Run

Preface: I know that some most of this is going to come off as if I don’t live on the same Planet Earth as the rest of the group.  Please believe me when I say that no one is more shocked by the latest turn of events than moi.

Recovery: Week 3 = Gone like the wind.

Today I thought I was going to tell you all about how last week went.  The love affair I’m having with my hot pack.

It may just be the Numero Uno Favorite Inanimate Object in my life right now.

How I upped my mileage, how I’ve been continuing with the power walking, how nice it is to run for an hour.

How excited I was to have my routine back.

It’s the spice of life.

Because I realized on Saturday morning, that last week was the closest to “normal” I’ve experienced in almost two months, as far as running is concerned.

How strange.

Except (and there’s always an except) when I stopped by Val’s to drop off a pan of enchiladas, she informed me that Aaron had a race bib for Halloween weekend with his my name on it.

I’m not sure where Buying A Bib ranks on the list of Things That Qualify You As A Crazy Runner relative to Buying Three Pairs Of The Same Shoes Because They’re Discontinuing That Version Of The Line And They’re Super-Cheap.

Not that I would know anything about that.

But after a night of soul-searching and an unplanned 10 mile test-run (I seem to be actioning those more often than not lately), I bit the bullet and decided that yes, a half-marathon is in the cards for my Saturday morning.

I really need to stop with this spur-of-the-moment race-thing.  On one hand, you really can’t get fussed about a race when you don’t know you’re meant to be preparing for it.

I would consider it The Ultimate in Zen Running.

On the other hand, it’s a major pain in the ass to try to figure out what pace you’re meant to be running when you have spent zero time in the last month thinking about your pace.

I hope I’m 20 seconds faster than I was on May 1st isn’t exactly based on specific facts.

Regardless, saying yes to that bib is the kind of thing that the Kat of two years ago couldn’t have ever imagined in her wildest dreams.  The Kat who couldn’t survive a 5k would be astonished that someday she would be able to decide to run a half-marathon on a whim and reasonably expect that her body would be able to keep up.

That’s pretty spectacular stuff.

Running Pack in The Sky: Do you have any fun Halloween runs planned?

I’m working on sourcing a tutu so that I can wear a costume for mine – I figure as long as I stick to costumes that aren’t heavy and won’t rub/fall down I should be safe, right?

About these ads

Au naturel

There are no tricks or gimmicks tonight, kittens.

Everything is exactly as it seems.

My mitts.  Au naturel.

I know.  I KNOW.

I’m as shocked as you are.

When I hopped off the plane in D.C., getting the terrifying remnants of that week’s manicure off of my mitts was one of my first orders of business.

Had I noticed the train wreck on my hands the night before, I would have dealt with it then.

Sometimes you just don’t…notice.

Once the polish was gone, I just never got around to addressing the situation.

I mean, maintaining a put-together pair of mitts is something I’ve attached a great deal of importance to for the past few years.   But I never gave my poor nails a chance to breathe.  So I figured if I gave them that, I probably wouldn’t be any worse for the wear.

Plus, you can’t exactly “chip” your nails when there isn’t any polish to mangle.

I originally thought that I would cave after a few days, so no one is more surprised than me that this charade has lasted as long as it has.

I like to think of it as discovering another dimension of inner-peace.

How often do you go polish-free?

I’m not at all bothered by the fact that my mitts are covering themselves in The Original Grey Suede at the moment.  On the other hand, when I see people with unpainted toes, I find the situation to be deeply unsettling.  I’m not sure why, specifically, but something about it just doesn’t seem…right.

Completely Random, Totally Unplanned

I didn’t take pictures of anything today.  So if you’d like to imagine me with more voluminous hair, that quilted Chanel bag I’ve always wanted, and an outfit straight out of the Anthropologie catalog, that would be just superb ;)

Today was a day of completely random, totally unplanned-adventuring.

Marcus and I ended up stopping by the Sonora Grill at the Midtown Global Market for lunch.  I’ve been meaning to try their Eggplant Bocadillo with Eggplant Fries for AGES now and once I saw them in MplsSt.Paul magazine, I knew we had to go before it totally jumped the shark.

I don’t mind eggplant but I don’t usually order it when I’m out…anywhere.  So to order it on a sandwich and as fries?  Utter madness.

As I tore in, we definitely had one of those Where Have You Been All My Life?-type moments.

Since we had to take Lake St. to get back to the freeway (there was some seriously bizarre stuff going on with traffic in the cities today), Marcus suggested an impromptu walk around Lake Calhoun.  Considering that today was one of those extremely rare late fall days, where people were lunching outside in tank tops, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

There was a serious absence of crunchy leaves to step on, but every time I looked at the lake, there was another pair of loons diving and paddling about.  Try to figure that one out.

Earlier in the day, Erica texted me to inform me that we were doing a ladies’ dinner at Barrio.  A night with sangria, small plates and corn chowder sent directly from heaven?  I’m always in.

So after a bit of casual napping, I threw on a wrap, a fresh coat of mascara and headed out.  It was so lovely (and relaxing) to wrap-up the day by catching up with some of my favorite ladies!

Where is your favorite place to visit for ladies’ night?

I just love going down to the 50th & France area.  There are so many cute shops and interesting places to eat!

Friday Food Round-Up!

This week was an epic testament to the power of all manner of leftovers.  Leftovers from parents.  Leftovers from places.  When I got home on Sunday, I had no energy or will to action any sort of meaningful dinner, and on Monday I worked the longest day in memory.

The key to making leftovers work?  Making sure the leftovers you have are delicious.  Which in our case (French Stew + Chicken Saltimbocca – thanks, Mom!  Spicy Chicken from Gion.) they definitely were.

Mediocrity just doesn’t reheat well.

Tuesday – Chicken Schnitzel with Mustard Sauce and Cauliflower Gratin from Great Easy Meals

I’ve had a bag of panko bread crumbs for the better part of a year now and I still can’t really remember what I originally purchased them for.  I mean, I know from the fact that they were open that we’ve used them before.  But beyond that?  I’ve got nothing.

This dish was a great excuse to use them.  Panko gave the schnitzel SUCH a light, crispy crust.

I was a little bit skeptical of the mustard sauce – which was merely a blend of greek yogurt, dijon and salt + pepper.  But it was creamy, rich, and not TOO strong.  If I was looking for an interesting way to spice up baked potatoes or needed a light sauce for vegetables again, I would make it again in a heartbeat.

re: The Cauliflower –  It’s really time for me to start using the suggested cheese and heavy cream when I’m making gratins, because 1% milk and shredded mozzarella are just not the same.  Fact.  Was it tasty?  Sure.  But did it taste anything like what the recipe writers intended?  I suspect not.

Thursday – Beef with Broccoli, Mushrooms and Peppers inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s Beef with Snow Peas

I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t just have snow peas lurking around my house.

What I do usually have hanging around in my fridge on a weekly basis?  Broccoli.  Mushrooms.  Bell Peppers.  Green Onions.

Since Ree already re-purposed this recipe once with peppers, I felt completely comfortable re-purposing it with the vegetables I had on-hand.  And, since we were planning on using a little less than a pound of beef, the vegetables REALLY bulked it up.

Our only modification (beyond the obvious vegetable additions?): Doubling the sauce so that it would coat everything adequately.

What is your favorite dish to eat as leftovers?

I’ve got to say, Indian food reheats EXTREMELY well.

What kind of bread crumbs are your go-to choice?  Panko?  Regular?  Italian?

Coming to Terms

This has been a real week of coming to terms with things.

Sunday evening, 6:00 PM – We turned on the heat.

Monday morning, 7:30 AM – I realize I can’t leave the house without a scarf anymore.

Tuesday morning, 6:00 AM – I acknowledge the fact that hot coffee in the morning is the only thing that will get me out of the house until the trees have leaves again.

Wednesday afternoon, 4:00 PM – I notice that none of my sweatshirts really feel Warm Enough.

Thursday evening, 5:50 PM – The big guns come out.

Legwarmers strike.

I don’t know how I blacked out this Essential Apparel from my memories of fall/winter/early spring, but truly, I did.

And the moment I put them on, just like the last time I had this revelation, the shivers disappeared.

It’s going to be a long five months.

Legwarmers: Are you a believer?

A Piece of The Hive

A few weeks ago, I won a giveaway on Julie’s blog.

Right?  How is that even possible?  I spent the entirety of 2010 not winning ANY giveaways and suddenly in the last month I won two.

I suppose we could write it off as one of those When It Rains It Pours-type things.

The sweet swag?

A jar of honey.

But not just ANY jar of honey.

Y’all should know that this particular jar of honey falls square in the category of Things That Make My Heart Explode like Megan’s Blackberry Grand Marnier Jam.

Which is now the one and only thing I have in common with Ree Drummond and Alton Brown.

But back to the honey.

Julie went big this year and became a beekeeper.  She researched the whole affair, built a hive and…kept it.  For real.  With the suit.  With the smoker.  With the honeycombs.  The whole nine yards.

If you can imagine what beekeepers do, she was doing it.

So it’s pretty special, because it’s the first honey from the hive.

But it’s also pretty special because I know just how hard she worked and how far she has come since she ordered her beekeeper’s suit in March.

When she announced she was going to give some of it away?  My jaw literally dropped.

That stuff is liquid gold.

So, now I’m left with the dilemma of what to do with it.  Most certainly some of it will end up on my oatmeal.  Drizzled on bread with butter.  Blended into butter and served with cornbread.  Licked off of a spoon.  Painted on roasted meat as a glaze.

But I kind of want to action some baking with it as well.  I just have a sense that some sort of bread/cookie/cake could be just an epically fantastic (and quite possibly extremely forgiving) mode of honey consumption.

Plus, it will keep the party going just a little bit longer.

What do you typically use honey in?

Have you ever won a blog giveaway?  Was it a fantastic prize or did you end up receiving really bizarre stuff?

A Bit of Pumpkin Spice

Let’s talk Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Also known as Part Dos of the Fall Five.

On Thursday morning, the opportunity to get coffee at the airport instead of embracing thrift and making my own presented itself.

Truth: I actually really enjoy the experience of brewing and drinking coffee in my kitchen in the morning.

Did I mention that Starbucks’ Perfect Oatmeal is actually pretty legit?  Because there’s that too.

But that’s me getting off-topic.  Oatmeal is neither here nor there.  Lattes, on the other hand, are center stage.

I thought I loved them.

It’s great if you still do.

I ordered a tall, skim latte – no whip.  I felt like if anything, this would make the pumpkin flavor a little bit bolder and the sweet and creamy factor a little bit less…prominent.

Important question: How necessary is the whip in a latte?  Because I’ve never really gotten the point.

But let’s get serious.  I grabbed my cup from the counter, walked off and started sipping.

My verdict?  I had…a latte.  And a kind of mediocre one at that – it didn’t taste even remotely reminiscent of pumpkin.  In fact, it didn’t even really taste spice-y.

Yes, I realize it would be more appropriate to write “spicy,” but I think we can all agree that’s not what I was going for right there.

After settling down at the gate, I took my show on the road and workshopped the issue for a bit with Stephanie and Sarah who both also agreed that the best way to describe these foam-laden heralds of fall would be…Disappointing.

So that leaves me crossing my fingers and toes that they they don’t mangle my Eggnog Lattes this winter.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes – love or hate?  Do you actually think they taste like pumpkin?


What is your favorite coffee drink?