Monthly Archives: June 2013

Friday Food Round-Up!

I am getting ready to head over to the airport soon so that we can start the first leg of our excellent European adventure in Reykjavik.

But before we pack off to the land of Lamb Hot Dogs, Whale Meat and sweaters, the Friday Food Round-Up!

Sunday – Zorbaz Taco Pizza with Guacamole


We had Emily over for dinner on Sunday night post book club, and when Emily and I get together, we tend to action this pizza.  Because it is so excellent.  Kind of like how when Jillian and I are together, we only eat shrimp and prosciutto.

As per the usual, we whipped up some guacamole as well because it just makes everything better.

Tuesday – Potato Frittata with Feta and Scallions from The Smitten Kitchen


I have no idea why I added this meal to our schedule this week since Marcus always has frisbee on Tuesdays, which leaves me to do my own thing.  But I think I really needed the routine of cooking this week to keep me sane, and I liked the idea that I might have an Actual Lunch instead of salad surprise.

Wednesday – Hoisin Chicken with Cucumber Salad, Rice and Roasted Broccoli


What’s funny about this dinner is that I think it is the very first dish we made out of this book and then we never made it again even though we really really liked it (and forgot to serve the cucumber salad alongside!).  So, shout-out to second chances, right?

This time, I served the cucumber salad.  More seriously, I reduced the marinade into a glaze to coat the chicken with after it came out of the oven (we definitely roasted on a rack instead of grilling because it has been SO HOT here lately).  This was a pretty good judgment call if I do say so myself.

Thursday – Tacos al Carbon Fajita-Style with Uncle Richard’s Hot Sauce from The Homesick Texan and Guacamole


This dish was inspired by the container of chopped up beef we rescued from my parents’ freezer after Day 1 of 3 with no power.  You know, law of the wild and all that.

And, as much as we cook out of The Homesick Texan, there are still a not-insignificant number of recipes we have not attempted yet, so this was a great chance to try out a new one.

The Uncle Richard’s Hot Sauce had been in the freezer since March, so I did us all a favor and pulled it out to defrost.  Plus, you know, we were out of salsa so it was pretty much Our Only Option.



1. I made it onto the Twin Cities in Motion blog last Wednesday- check it out here.  I was so tickled that they would post MY answers to their questions!  I have made some of my absolute favorite running memories (and some PR times) out on their courses.

2. I am not ashamed to admit that ever since it got warm out, I have been driving daily with my sunroof open and the country music blaring.  Sometimes with air conditioning as well, sometimes not.  It is So Centering.

3. We’re headed to Iceland tomorrow night, right?  Based on the timing, we will not be able to hop on a Golden Circle tour until the afternoon, which is actually for the best because it will give us more of a chance to explore more of Reykjavik instead of spending the entire day on a tour bus.

But that also left me scrambling to assemble an itinerary for our daytime adventures.

I’m sure you can imagine my amusement when I was looking at a map from The National Museum of Iceland and saw this.

Sword Map

I have yet to determine what the sword actually means.  Only in Iceland, right?

4. We are watching The Bull Runners of Pamplona right now which is a documentary about the Encierro.  I think my mother was hoping that by viewing it, Marcus and I would see it as a cautionary tale.  On the contrary, it has been nothing but Inspirational.  Pamplona, we are coming.

America, The Road Trip: Savannah and Jacksonville

Savannah and Jacksonville.  The end of our trip.  They’re combined together because we barely did anything while we were in Jacksonville, and Savannah was a bit of a whirlwind as well.  It was time for one more wedding and then a trip back to The North.

The Food.



The first night in Savannah, we struck out twice trying to find dinner before we landed at this place.  I’ll be honest, I have been more enthusiastic and more pleasant in my life than I was on this hunt (having dinner plans foiled is frustrating, y’all!) but once we sat down here, I was in a happy place again.

The prices were super-reasonable (I want to say our meals were something on the order of $10 each).

The Lady and Sons

Lady and Sons

Before that whole Paula Deen Is A Racist-thing came to light, I was going to tell y’all about how we really did have a wonderful meal here.  How excited we were to visit and what a great thing it was that they now take reservations and we made ours about six weeks out.

But, I cannot in good conscience, tell you to patronize that establishment ever, so there’s that.

World of Beer

World of Beer

World of Beer is apparently, a chain.  This was shocking to me as most establishments with tap lines this numerous and such a wide bottle selection are local-sort of places.

Apparently their size is what allows them to have the extensive tap variety that they do, or so it seems.  We were able to drink from the West Coast to the East, from Tyranena in Lake Mills, WI to local Georgia breweries.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that Savannah allows open containers, so we grabbed more than one “Go Cup” during our visits here.

The Things.

We did a lot of walking in Savannah.  Down by the waterfront, through the squares.  The reason we were in the city is for a wedding, so we really only had about six or seven hours to see the city on Saturday.

Savannah Savannah 2

The Forrest Gump Bench

Chippewa Square

Apparently Forrest Gump was filmed in Savannah.  You know those bits where he is sitting on the bench for the entire film?

That was in Chippewa Square.

The bench is actually in a museum in Savannah now, which baffles me, because I feel like the effect of having it or a replica in that place would be much better than that of flowers.  But you make do with what you have.

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

Girl Scouts

If you are a Girl Scout (like me) or like old houses, this is an excellent place to visit.  I dismissed the men and Michelle for this visit because I knew that for them it would probably be more tortuous than anything else and I didn’t want to take this tour with prisoners.

What I didn’t know before my visit is that this home has the largest collection of original furniture in the Southeast.  Meaning: The only things not original to the home are the drapes and the carpet.  Having seen enough historic homes filled with replicas or lacking any furniture at whatsoever in places, this was a real treat.

Kingsley Plantation

Plantation Plantation 2

Even though we knew we had to drive down to Jacksonville in order to get to the airport and get home, we had no idea what we were going to do when we got there.  Thank God for Trip Advisor.  Really.

After driving through a forest that more closely resembled the set for a jungle-themed Lifetime movie, we found ourselves in the middle of an honest-to-God riverfront plantation.  It was exotically and tropically beautiful.  It was just a perfectly sunny day and I would have done anything to trade places with one of the people boating down the river!

One of the NPS Rangers was giving a tour while we were visiting, so we joined on for about 20 minutes or so before we had to be on our way again to the airport.

Hansons Marathon Method: Week 3

Weekly Mileage: 21 miles

Total Mileage: 49 miles

Remember how I told y’all last week that I was going to make early morning runs happen?

Well, not 15 minutes into my Thursday morning run, I almost ran over a giant Snapping Turtle.  Look.

Snapping Turtle

So blurry, I know.

I actually love all turtles, but generally speaking, unless you are engaging in Turtle Search & Rescue on the open road, it’s best to keep a distance in my opinion.

In case you thought that was where All Of The Drama ended, think again.  We had a beast of a storm on Friday evening that left my running trail looking like this.

Tree 3 Tree 1 Tree 2

Part of it is still obstructed by a downed power line (which also means that there are a lot of people nearby without power!), so that keeps things exciting, no?

All of that aside, I’ve really been enjoying the opportunity to run before work rather than after – the chance to enjoy the sunrise has been a wonderful gift.  And I’ve been able to do yoga out on the deck in the afternoons as a result.  This is not a bad trade-off.

I’m continuing to really make time for yoga and foam rolling so that I can keep my feet (the right one especially) in-shape to run.

One thing that I learned during last year’s Festival Of Physical Therapy is that I am a toe runner.  Or as my PT more accurately described it, when I ran this way I was essentially jumping from toe to toe instead of really striking at all.  The transition from that “form” of running to a midfoot strike has been a challenging one over the past year.  I have had to spend so much time learning to run properly upright (apparently I looked vaguely reminiscent of a hunchback) and have had to build enough muscle in my glutes to actually have glutes to “use.”

I don’t ordinarily consider myself to be someone who struggles with patience, but this (year-long) season has really tested that.  This week I am thankful for the miles spent running into the sun.

Bake Sale for Beka

Today marks the beginning of the 2013 Bake Sale for Beka!


What to say…

…Simply put, Our Girl Beka suffers from Crohn’s Disease.  And basically it is The Worst.  She is running her first half-marathon and is raising money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

So 30 odd bloggers got together to throw a virtual bake sale to help her raise money to research and fight this awful plight.

While we all know that I have somewhat patchy-abilities when it comes to baking, I am definitely a crouton maker of epic proportions.

So I donated a batch of these beauties to the sale.


While I can’t say that they’ll clean your house for you, I can tell you that Marcus eats them as a snack because he loves them so, and they transform All Salads into something far better than what you started with.

Also: You will never be able to eat regular croutons from the store ever again.  Sorry I am not sorry about this.

So I hope you’ll click on over and bid!  The sale runs from 7:00 AM PST on June 22 until 8 PM PST on June 23!

Friday Food Round-Up!

This week, a meal on the grill and a meal in the house.  A dinner outdoors on a wonderful summer evening, another dinner spent indoors hiding from the humidity.

Life is all about balance.

Monday – Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken, Spicy Oven Fries and Simple Corn Tomato-Basil Salad from Dinner: A Love Story


This dinner was a blend of the old and the new.  We have marinated chicken using yogurt before, but not this recipe.  We have actioned corn and tomato salads before, but not using this recipe.

The oven fries?  We have made these before.  Using this recipe.  And the spice blend is superb.

Since we are still working our way through the el cheapo chicken thighs, I just pulled the skin off of these before I popped them into the marinade (so: thaw-remove skin-marinade).  Otherwise, the recipe directs you to action this mess using chicken breasts.  Also fine, but we work with what we’ve got.

The corn salad did not call for mint, but for some reason I felt compelled to add it to our grocery list again this week, so we tossed a handful of that into the salad to give it some depth.

Thursday – Ground Turkey Yakitori from Real Food with Brown Rice and Roasted Broccoli


There is one more recipe from this tear-out that is some manner of campfire chili, so for all practical purposes, we’ve made it to the last of the Recession-era recipes from my 2009 Real Food adventure.  To their credit, these recipes have been inexpensive, fairly easy to make and delicious.

This meatball-mix turned out vastly better than our last foray, likely because of the cornstarch and the egg.  So I think it’s safe to say that this feast was at least partially educational.

Marcus was a major fan of the soy-lemon-ginger glaze that we coated the patties in once they were cooked and I’ll be second in line to say that it was to die for.



As I was looking over the posts on The Blog for the past few months, I’ve noticed that almost all of them are thematic.  They have to do with travel recaps or running or Birchboxes or what we’ve had for dinner.

I think y’all know that those things are very obviously important to me (especially the travel-running-cooking), but I also think that if I’m focusing all of my energies on packaging up my life into “themes” then there is a lot that gets…lost in the shuffle.  I mean, yes, the person that you read about and the things that I am showing you?  Those are very very real.  This blog is an unedited version of the life I live.

So I guess, what I’m really saying is that once a week, I just want to create a space where I can chat.  With myself.  With you.

And because The Universe has a sense of irony, we’re workshopping travel today.  Because in case you have not noticed, this year it is unending.  Perpetual.  Constant.

Next weekend we are hopping on a plane for a 17 day-backpacking around the continent extravaganza.  We will be visiting Reykjavik, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Pamplona, Bilbao and Madrid.

The reason for all of this is that Marcus’ life dream is to join in the Encierro, or as well all know it, The Running of the Bulls.  We’ll be meeting up with a pair of friends in Pamplona for a few days in the middle of our trip to participate in the Festival of San Fermin and to run.  We can discuss the sensibilities of all of this later (answer: there are none).

In there here and now, I need your help with the following:

Uno: If you have been to any of these places before, what would you see/do and where would you eat?

Dos: If you have backpacked through Europe before, what would you pack?