Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Pre-Race Mess

Kittens, it is race weekend.  Paige ran her half-marathon today and Kate runs hers tomorrow as well.

When I registered for the Lake Minnetonka Half-Marathon in March, I figured that it might be a bit chilly, but that we would make it work.

What I didn’t count on?  That the weather forecast for May 1st would involve snow and wind in the morning.  Since I’m planning on running around a lake (which is windy to begin with), this is obviously problematic since we all know that if there’s one thing I’m NOT, it’s a  winter weather runner.

So here’s the deal…

My race bag is packed, and my alarm is set.  But tomorrow?  It’s entirely possible that I’ll put on my bib, turn on the treadmill and run the first official (since I did it two weeks ago sans-bib…NOT official) Kat Hates The Weather Half-Marathon.

If I’m a nervous starter to begin with (those corrals are packed to the gills and the loneliest places on the planet…really), the fact that I’m entirely unsure as to what will be happening tomorrow morning has made me even more of a mess.

To that end, as per the usual, I ask for you to think of me and appeal to your deity of choice for the following:

  1. To calm my starting corral jitters.
  2. That I have a safe and healthy run.
  3. That I don’t have to go to the bathroom during the race.

Obviously I’ll probably do some sort of pre-race post tomorrow morning, but until then, sleep well!

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Friday Food Round-Up!

The cooking technique I’ve been vogueing this week: Grating garlic.  I LOVE fresh garlic.  It belongs in most of the dishes we make.  But this week I just had zero energy to go through the obviously epic effort of mincing it.  So, I peeled the cloves and rocked the finer-grade cheese grater (NOT our zester) with great results.  If you’re looking for a way to make garlic prep easier, I HIGHLY recommend this one.

Tuesday – Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs

I got a subscription to bon appetit as a part of my birthday gift last year, right?  And while I’ve saved every issue (I mean, some of the stuff going on in there looks delish!), the April issue was the first one where I had the overwhelming urge to MAKE THIS DISH NOW.  So as soon as we got home from Green Mill on Tuesday night, I set Marcus to mincing parsley with a vengeance and in 10 minutes, I had the issue of What To Eat For Lunch taken care of.

We didn’t have any fresh basil around, so that didn’t go in (though I could have chucked in a spoonful of pesto, you know?), but otherwise I basically just guesstimated on the ingredients (translation: did not use 1/3 cup of cheese…it was more like 3T) and made it happen.

The end product? Was like eating hummus…that you could shamelessly scoop up with a fork!

I’m sure you could have lots of fun using a different sort of cheese, zesting a lemon in addition to juicing it and all sorts of other merry-making, but in the meantime, PLEASE just make this now.

Wednesday – Chicken with Greek Herb Sauce from Nigella Kitchen

This week, it was really enough to survive grocery shopping on Easter weekend with our sanity intact.  Plus, when you’re in the middle of the Passover-haze, it’s really hard to try to envision what you could possibly make once the holiday is over.  Because otherwise, suddenly, the next few days look REALLY long.

So I had Marcus grab a couple of jalapenos and a bunch of parsley and cilantro at Cub, figuring that as they’re in basically everything we make lately, we’d be safe.

Obviously that was an inspired move as I’ve been craving the tzatziki-type sauce Nigella instructs you to make with dish this since the last time we made it.

So we listened to The Universe and went for it.

We were not disappointed.  The yogurt in the sauce was basically there to stick everything else together.  I mean, you could eat minced cilantro, jalapenos and garlic as a sort of salsa, but this is SO much better.

Friday – Olive Oil Cakes with Lemon and Thyme

Yes, this one was extra glaze-y because it was my “tester.”

…Once again, I probably shouldn’t have waited so long to make this recipe.  It was super-easy to make, looked adorable coming out of my mini-bundt pan and was absolutely delish.

Not that any of those things should have been surprising – when you mix olive oil, lemon and thyme, you kind of know you have it coming.  It’s all in the specifics, really.

Plus, they were absolutely the perfect size to be a part of our royal wedding extravaganza.

Since I’m not exactly the Queen of Baking, I’m more than happy to add these to my arsenal – especially since they’ll just be to die for as a summer dessert!  And they have a rather lovely look about them that would compliment any shower or potluck-type dessert tray.

Friday – German Breakfast Provisions

God, the eats we enjoyed this morning as a part of the royal wedding were absolutely wonderful.  I don’t think we could have had a more enjoyable go of it if we had tried.

In the mix: salami, brie, cheddar, pickles, olives, apples, water crackers, spinach dip, strawberries, lemon cakes, croissants, toast, raspberry fruit spread, cherry preserves, orange marmalade, Nutella.  Champagne.  Orange Juice.  Diet Coke.  Coffee.

Amen.

Did you eat/make anything special to celebrate the royal wedding?

What “crave” did you cook this week?

So much better than words.

It seems bizarre to post a food round-up without editorializing on today’s events, so let’s put that one on hold for now, yes?

Holing up in the basement with Sue and Mom (Marcus, true to form stayed in bed) for some girl time was an absolutely wonderful way to enjoy the royal wedding.  For the total lack of planning that we put into the affair, it turned out to be just lovely (how can you go wrong with champagne, cheese, cakes and croissants?).  It was the kind of perfect morning that everyone deserves to have.

That being said, I ended up not wearing the fascinator (though I was true to the rest of my super-sweet uniform).  At 2 AM when I pressed the brew button on the coffee pot, I couldn’t think of anything that held less appeal.

So, here are thoughts in pictures (and no, I didn’t take any of them myself)…

The trees? Were a wonderful idea (and I'm an 11/10 fan of the fact that the Duchess is a flowers-minimalist comme moi). But seriously? It kind of kills me that they'll be planting this grove of trees somewhere on an estate as a wedding day keepsake. I mean, I thought I was living on the edge wanting a sturdy pair of shoes for crying out loud.

Absolutely beautiful.

Pippa may not be the new Duchess of Cambridge, but her dress? Is the one that all of the dressmakers will copy. Homegirl knocked it out of the park in that dress.

This is probably one of the nicest arrangements I've ever seen Chelsy Davy in. She made some great choices for the wedding and I'm thinking that the press feedback will be extraordinarily positive. THIS is the kind of clobber that another future Princess of England would wear.

Fail-fail-fail-fail-fail. In what world do you wake up in the morning, think to yourself, "My cousin is getting married in front of 2 billion people and I will be sitting in the front row behind my grandmother, the Queen." and then proceed to put THAT on? Like, there's bad, "worst dressed" and all of that. But this? Was outright horrifying. YOU CAN'T UN-SEE THAT.

Oh God, the parade with the carriages and the horses and the sun bursting forth from the clouds? Straight up fairytale. Watching the footage, beyond the flashbulbs in the crowd, this parade looked just timeless.

What were Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie thinking?!

Do you think that Catherine’s dress or Pippa’s dress will catch on more quickly with dress makers?

I’ll be honest, when I saw Catherine get out of the car (so we could see her dress in full-view) I thought it was absolutely GORGEOUS (and am quite pleased I’m not the only one who was thinking Queen Elizabeth-Grace Kelly).  But Pippa’s dress?  That’s a dress I can see people actually wearing.

Twas the night before…

I know, I know.  For being an 11/10 fan of The Royal Family, I’ve kept awfully mum about the Royal Wedding.

But let’s get serious kittens, I have absolutely nothing to add to the conversation right now and quite honestly, it’s really been nice enough to just hang on for the ride.

On Sunday, I watched Lifetime’s William & Kate, which was simultaneously extremely bad and sort of endearing, all at once.  I take solace in the fact that Kirsten shamelessly embraced it as well.

I wouldn’t say it’s one you should race to the DVR for, but on the sliding scale of best/worst Lifetime movies I’ve ever seen, it’s definitely on the more positive side of things.

And today?  Has basically been all Night Before Christmas-y.  I’ve been on a wicked news jag (it might have been wilder than Election night…seriously) and when I got home, I set to getting the house arranged, cleaned and in-order for tomorrow.

What we’ll be up to tomorrow (or in approximately four hours)…

Mom will come over at 2 AM.  Sue will come over at 3 AM.  We will descend to the man cave where we’ll watch the festivities take place on BBC.  Originally I was having a CNN-NBC debate, but once I discovered that BBC was a part of our cracked-out cable package, it was a no-brainer.

I know I really shouldn’t be surprised about this anymore but, really I’m completely clueless as far as the TV is concerned. 

Last night I pulled out the real-sized coffee maker we got at the last bridal shower (yes that means I finally tossed the dirty little two-cupper I’ve had since Freshman year of college) and we’ll brew prolific amounts of coffee.  If at any point we are so inclined to switch to tea, fear not.  There’s always a giant crock of that too.

Mom will bring strawberries and croissants along with a number of other culinary delights found in a proper German breakfast.  Sue will have sourced a bottle of champagne (she is always One Step Ahead of me), and I actioned some Olive Oil Cakes with Lemon and Thyme.  Yes, I’ll tell you all about them during the food round-up.

What all of this really means?

Expect Marmalade.

Insofar as apparel is concerned, I plan on wearing a pair of leggings and some sort of top involving a crew neck.  But if I’m feeling especially kicky, I might add a fascinator-type arrangement.  It was my grandmother’s  and it has been sitting on my side of the vanity in the bathroom probably since Thanksgiving.  If there was ever a time to make it happen, it is now.

Yes, this is the part of the show where you’re meant to be closing your eyes and trying to imagine me kitted out in my finest Go To Hell clothes with a shitty pony, last night’s makeup and a fascinator.

Oh, and maybe a cocktail ring.

More is more.

And if there’s a particularly dull moment in the commentary (we do, after all have three hours to kill before the ceremony even begins), I plan on addressing my mitts and paws.  It will be Soothing and it needs to be done prior to my next bridal shower on Saturday morning anyway.

That, is multi-tasking at its finest.

Will you get up to watch the royal wedding?  What are your plans?  More importantly, what will YOU wear?

p.s. Kittens who blog via Blogger, right now I’m getting an error message from everyone’s blogs when I’m trying to comment.  I’m not sure what that’s all about, but just know that I was checking in on you today 🙂

Wedding Wednesday

The best news of the week?  No snafus!  Unless, I’m totally blacking some incident or another out.  In which case you’ll be fully apprised of the situation next week.

In the here and now, we just Give Thanks.

What else is new?

The Gifts

So we registered for just a ton of board games, right?

Which is really great.  Except for the fact that our cumulative board game experience in the last four years has included one game of Catan that I quit outright and a healthy handful of games of Battleship.

Opening Scrabble?  Was pure magic.  Considering the fact that Marcus is definitely a numbers person and not-so-much a words person, the first thought that flashed through my mind was…Is this how people end up making those magnets for their refrigerators?  This was followed by the revelation that the only dictionaries we have in the house are French and Hebrew.

FIGURE THAT ONE OUT.

The Veil

Here’s the deal: Veils are a non-optional part of the Jewish Wedding ceremony.  Every bride wears one.

In my dream-wedding world, I wouldn’t be wearing a veil.  They don’t speak to me, I’ve never imagined myself walking down the aisle with one on.

So in all honesty, depending on what Kate Middleton wears down the aisle on Friday morning, I may attempt to channel something similar.  Given that we’re style soulmates, (I’ve seen absolutely NOTHING I’ve liked as far as veils are concerned) if she manages to pull out a win for the team in that department, I will be all over it.

The Shoes

Kittens, y’all gave me all of the validation I needed to order a pair of shoes I’ve been SO wanting for the wedding.

Apparently the Universe and I were working As One on this endeavor, because I almost bought them on Monday, and didn’t.  My reward?  The appearance of a Saks Fifth Avenue Friends + Family deal (the code is FRIEND3) for 20% off on Tuesday.

Amen.

They’re going to look lovely going down the aisle and on deck, yes?

The Diet

So let’s talk about this one for a moment.

The Big Day is like…what, a month and a half away?

As per the wedding blogs I’ve drifted to and from over the past few years, as well as conversations with other family and friends, it seems as if I’m imminently near the part of the show where I’m meant to be cutting all refined carbs, desserts, meat and booze from my diet.

Like can we have a rational conversation about this for 10 seconds?

Because it just isn’t happening for me.  The very thought of trying to cut something out of my diet sounds like an absolute joke at best.

A world without wine and Easter candy  cheese  gelato  chocolate is a dark, dark place that I want no part of.

To put it in perspective: Once my half-marathon training ends on Sunday, my marathon training begins.  And you want me to eat…less?

Not-not-not.  Happening.

Are you a veil person?  What’s your favorite style?

When is the last time you “cut back” or changed your eating habits in preparation for an event?

If You Give a Kat a Bunny…

Mother Nature and I are in a battle of the ages right now.  We got one gorgeous day on Sunday, one mediocre day yesterday and today, it poured.  All day long.

SPRING IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN WINTER!

That’s what I keep chanting to myself, anyway.

With the setting of the sun that we couldn’t actually see because of the unusually heavy cloud cover (I’m sure there were three stars out there somewhere), Passover ended.

I took part in my favorite breaking-Passover activity, chomping the ears off of the bunny from my Easter basket.

Some people go the bread-route, but this?  This is SO much more vindicating.

Especially since that baguette of yours?  Probably doesn’t look so good with a bow tie.

Catharsis.

He didn’t even stand a chance.

I also had the joy of sampling some homemade chocolate-covered marshmallows that my sorority sister-turned-co-worker, Bri made.   I was ready to play paparazzi and make some snaps happen, but somehow on the car ride home, I managed to squash the decorations beyond all recognition.

Oops.  My B.

How long does it take you to devour a chocolate bunny?

Truth be told, I only made it through about half of this one tonight before leaving it behind at the Green Mill.  Reality happens.

Do you ever make homemade versions of store-bought treats during the holidays?

Honest-to-God, the whole Peanut Butter Egg thing was my first foray into that dark, delicious world.

Taking a break from holidays…for awhile.

Happy Monday, kittens!

It was so much fun to read about your Easter-capades 🙂  And, thank you all for the sweet words about my outfits!  I’m definitely planning on posting pictures more regularly, just not on a daily basis.  What I wear to work is deadly-boring at worst and lazy at best.

So, the good news?  We are FINALLY over the holiday hump, with the exception of breaking Passover tomorrow night.

Yes, that means all of the Easter-feasting Marcus and I did was Kosher for Passover.  Thank God for amazing parents, right?

I have to say, I’m thankful.  I can take one day of holiday feasting in stride.  Two days?  Means a little bit more vigilance on the treadmill.

But four days of feasting?  I basically need to detox.

Or, more logically, I could just take a break from holidays for a while 😉

As per the usual, le jardin continues to FLOURISH.  And yet, it continues to monopolize my window seat.

Apparently we might be getting another spot of snow late-night on Wednesday or something horrifying like that.

So we continue to mimic a greenhouse as best we can.

After seeing a clip of Ina Garten’s tomato plants on The Barefoot Contessa, I realized that perhaps, I should have investigated how large tomato plants can become when they’re full-grown.  You know, SINCE I PLANTED 12 OF THEM.

Apparently at full-size, they’re not exactly petite.  Or manageable, really.

Translation: The tomato section of Ina’s garden?  Was a freaking JUNGLE.

Thankfully, Sue is willing to take our flock of tomato plants when they get too rowdy to deal anymore, and will incorporate them into her garden.  Because they have a yard…and space…and stuff.

All I’m thinking is OH THANK GOD.

On a totally unrelated note, if you have the time for some “fun” reading, or you’re just in the mood…All you ever wanted to know about Rahs.  I didn’t realize I was reading it wearing a paisley pashmina until I was about halfway down.  It was historic.

How do you get back to life-as-usual following a holiday?

I usually stick to unprocessed foods and tea, so nothing particularly innovative, really.

Have you ever planted something without having ANY idea of what the actual finished product is meant to turn out like?

I’ll be honest, beyond the actual tomatoes you get at the store, I’ve never spent any real time inspecting tomato plants in their natural state.