6.28.2008

Rules of Running

I honestly don't know how many people are runners that read my blog - but these commandments are taped to the wall in my apartment. I just started running AGAIN this past Aprilish. It's a huge motivator to me that I'd like to share - if you're not a runner, that's ok. It's still motivating to achieve your goals!

PSH

The 53 Runner’s Commandments
by Joe Kelly

1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.
4. During group training runs, don’t let anyone run alone.
5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
6. When doing group runs, start on time no matter who’s missing.
7. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
8. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.
9. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.
11. Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won’t run.
12. For a change of pace, get driven out and then run back.
13. If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.
14. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
15. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.
16. A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.
17. Talk like a runner. “Singlets” are worn on warm days. “Tank tops” are worn to the beach.
18. Don’t talk about your running injuries. People don’t want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.
19. Don’t always run alone.
20. Don’t always run with people.
21. Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.
22. No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.
23. Keep in mind that the harder you run during training, the luckier you’ll get during racing.
24. Races aren’t just for those who can run fast.
25. There are no shortcuts to running excellence.
26. The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running.
27. Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
28. If you say, “Let’s run this race together,” then you must stay with that person no matter how slow.
29. Think twice before agreeing to run with someone during a race.
30. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.
31. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.32. Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.
33. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.
34. Don’t try to outrun dogs.
35. Don’t trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of share, or not feeling well. 36. Don’t wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won’t run very often.
37. When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started.
38. Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.
39. Without goals, training has no purpose.
40. During training runs, let the slowest runner in the group set the pace.
41. The first year in a new age group offers the best opportunity for trophies.
42. Go for broke, but be prepared to be broken.
43. Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.
44. Make progress in your training, but progress at your own rate.
45. “Winning” means different things to different people.
46. Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.
47. Runners who never fail are runners who never try anything great.
48. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn’t look good in tights.
49. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.
50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.
51. Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.
52. Running is simple. Don’t make it complicated.
53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.

McTatty's Microwave Is Dead

R.I.P. Frat House Microwave.

I will not miss you. I will NOT miss you.

Pictures & explanation to follow.

Target Boutique, here I come!

PSH

6.26.2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Parmesan Chicken

I tried to stay as true as possible to the recipe - and only cook for one! Barefoot Bloggers June recipes included one of my absolute favorites - Parmesan Chicken.
You really do have to pound your chicken to a certain width. Otherwise your crunch factor turns into "burned, crusty" parmesan chicken.
Seriously take your rolling pin or meat mallet to it. I sure did.

This is how I bread meat. I can only fit 2 plates on one side - and one on the other half hanging over the sink. Crazy, but somehow, it seriously works.
Use a 4 prong fork to beat your egg. I feel like with more prongs, more air gets into the egg which looks prettier. Not sure if that really helps the taste, but whatever.
Butter. Mmmmm.... Butter & olive oil. I think the butter really does make it taste better, you can actually use margarine if you want to - I don't have any problems!
Lemons... more pictures of them again...
Kosher salt. I've been meaning to make pretzels, but oh, well. Parmesan chicken is way better!
Another note: use kosher salt when making a viniagrette. It just tastes better.

You can kinda see the separation of the oil & lemon juice. It's important to emulsify with a whisk or a blender. Very important, I'll point out what happens later.
Starting to whisk...
Fully emulsifying the lovely fresh lemon viniagrette...
Ok - see - the separation of the oil & lemon? Yeah, that's what happens after your plates been sitting because your mother-in-law calls while you're drooling over your food. Yes, I was drooling.
Mm... Crispy, crunchy, goodness....
4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry
1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Yield: 6 servings

PSH

6.25.2008

Going Veg, Kind Of

Let's talk veggies for a minute. Now, in the background you'll see leftover pork chops (slathered with BBQ sauce). I think asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. Mmmm.... Oh yeah, and of course Leinie's Summer Shandy!

The special seasoning. Seriously - and olive oil. That's it! Can you believe it? Yeah, not really...
Liberally season the asparagus - but not the corn. Fresh corn has its own flavor that is something for the senses. Seriously.
Season your corn not so liberally. I remember eating corn that was drowning in seasoning, I had to eat it but it just didn't taste the same.
Then just toss into your grill pan with some olive oil. I should've wrapped the corn, but I just wanted it right away.
You only need to cook asparagus about 3 minutes on each side - corn, turn a few times and cook 2 - 3 minutes per side so some of the kernels char black.
The asparagus. I ate the corn out of the pan. You can do that when your husband is doing an internship and there's no one else watching you eat.
Corn & Asparagus
1 ear fresh corn
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed
2 tsp Emeril's Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil - just a good drizzle
Let a grill pan heat to medium/medium high. Whatever temp you want as long as it's hotter than heck.
Season the asparagus, liberally, drizzle with EVOO. Lightly season corn (or just put salt on it). Toss into grill pan. Flip asparagus after 3 minutes, for a total of 6 minutes cooking time. Turn corn when you see char marks on the kernels, approximately 2 - 3 minutes per turn.
Turn off your smoke alarm. Open your windows.
And then when you pull the corn off the grill - try not to douse in too much butter, but give it a good pat of butter.
Then eat with your fingers (including the leftover pork chop) so you don't have many dishes.
PSH

I feel like this today...

cat

You know. A little tired. A little cat-like.

I'm running 4.5 miles tonight and then making Ina's Parmesan Chicken - watch out!

6.17.2008

Onion Goggles & Woodchoppers

Chopping onions is not always my favorite thing. In fact, every time I do, my poor Bimmer Man gives me a huge hug because he thinks that somethings wrong.

Half the time, I'm just bawling away hoping not to get salty tears into our food. (Take note: in over half the pics I take of food, there are tears somewhere on my cutting board.)

What is worse: These Onion Goggles

AND

They are $19.95

I think Bimmer Man would die laughing at me if I bought them. Sur La Table has pink ones and they're in stock. Hilarious.

But I actually want a pair. Seriously. For real.

I think I'd feel more like I was in the movie Fargo with a woodchopper than being in my own kitchen chopping onions. I don't think normal people wear goggles when not operating heavy machinery, saws, drywalling, 8th grade shop class, etc...

Eh, woodchoppers. Maybe they'd work for onions too.

PSH

6.16.2008

Julia's Lemon Loaf Cake

Mmm... Lemon cake. Yep, the people that I work with get spoiled!
I used half & half instead of heavy cream - no heavy cream at the grocery store either. The Kroger in Martinsville is still closed. Because of flooding.
I love the flavor of lemons - honestly I was about to make homemade lemonade instead (of course with vodka), but it was someone's birthday at work, so I had to go for the cake instead. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature.
When you start - don't crack the eggs right over the bowl like I did. I had to dig out a shell and egg shells are pretty frustrating to dig out. Do what Ina does - break into a different bowl first, then pour into your main mixing bowl. I learned my lesson.
Fold the melted, cooled butter in nicely. It takes a little work - but I love the butter in the end! Fold smoothly, it makes a difference!
Blake, of Blake Makes! mailed out Amano chocolate - I was lucky enough to get some, so of course, I had to make some frosting!
When you pull the cake out of the oven, make sure it cools evenly - then after cooled, cut all the browned edges off to make it look nice. And lovely. And beautiful for the people at work.
Yep, I know, my plate's too big but I don't really care! It's yummy!

Lemon Loaf Cake
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of 3 lemons (make lemonade for yourself with these)
1 3/4 cup cake flour (use Pillsbury, it's made in Minnesota)
1/2 teaspon baking powder
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half & half)
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled to room temperature
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees farenheit. Butter a 9x5 loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
Working in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt for just a moment until foamy and smoothly blended. Whisk in the grated zest.
Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter and sift about a third into the foamy egg mixture. Whisk the flour into the eggs - no need to beat. Sift the flour in two more additions and whisk only until incorporated. Whisk the heavy cream into the mixture. Switch to a spatula and gently, but quickly fold in the butter.
Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan - it will level itself out - bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until the center of the cake crowns and cracks and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes before unmolding. Serve cool or wait a day.
McTatty's Frosting:
Melt chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in microwave. Drizzle over cake to finish.
Enjoy!
PSH

6.11.2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Pasta, Pesto & Peas

Mmmm... this was great! The only thing - I'm not a mayo lover, so I substituted ricotta cheese. This is from Ina Garten's Recipe from the Barefoot Blogger's group. This was easy - but beware, it makes enough food for about 8 people! Or more! I'll be bringing this to work for the next potluck - it'd be good hot or cold or room temp. Just beware of the mayo (I subbed ricotta).
You'll need lemon juice of course. Living in a county that is a federal disaster area right now is hard to find fresh produce. Seriously - there've been no deliveries to the grocery stores in the area since last week, so there's been slim pickins'.
Tonight it's Pinot Grigio. 3 Blind Moose is pretty cheap. Not too bad - better than beer tonight! Plus I'm only cooking for one - so I'm only making approximately half of what the recipe calls for, mainly because I can't eat a pound of pasta on my own.

Defrost and then drain your frozen spinach while the pasta cooks. Easy enough.

Open the pesto and dump into your food processor. Or just make pesto yourself. I wasn't in the mood to make any more dishes dirty. There's even more recipes on the inside lid of the Buitoni packaging. Hmmm...
How I drain spinach: Defrost in the microwave, then get a big bunch of towels, wrap up in your hands and squeeze thoroughly. No green dishtowels!
My incredibly messy countertop. Eh, it's small what the heck am I supposed to do? You want to dump the lemon juice, pesto and spinach into the food processor. Pulse a few times and then add either your mayo or your sub for it. Process a few times more.
My favorite picture to take - lemons or limes squeezed & zested!
The end product! Voila!
Pasta, Pesto & Peas
From Ina Garten
3/4 pound fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Pesto:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

Yield: 4 cups
Enjoy!
PSH

6.10.2008

10 More Confessions - for Nichole

1. I hate mayo. Egg whites & oil just don't sound good together.
2. Slow internet connections annoy me.

3. I kill indoor plants, but in an outside garden I can grow anything.

4. Black licorice, anise, etc... makes me puke. Not sure why, but it always has.

5. I have a secret addiction to The Sims (well, not so secret anymore).

6. I've been doing Logic puzzles lately and I love them, but not when I've been drinking.

7. I've been an AT&T cell phone customer for over 5 years. Love 'em. Free phones are fabulous!

8. I accessorize on the weekends. But I wear red shoes only to work.

9. Cooking is a passion. So is baking, but I don't always have the patience.

10. I don't watch movies more than once. Unless it's on t.v.

11. Random humor is hilarious to me. Like the hot sauce in the picture. Don't know why, but hot sauce always makes me laugh.

PSH

7

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

Ha! That's all I have to say...

PSH

6.04.2008

Lightening & Flash Flooding

Brings me back to childhood. I remember, I must've been 15. The whole entire city of Bloomington, Minnesota got hit by something. A tornado, straight line winds, I don't know. But I remember we were without power for 4 days. And, stupid me & my mom, we drove to the East side of Bloomington looking for ice! They didn't have any ice either!
In any case I was at work, just got out of a meeting, had to bring a paper to the CFO on the third floor.

A huge crash.

Lightening.

And then the fire alarms started going off.

Being the fabulous assistant that I am, I'm all worried about getting the dang piece of paper to Pete (and don't worry Nicole, I'll take care of you tomorrow!). So I bring the paper to the third floor and watch everyone rush from their desk to go down to the first floor.

Whatever. I'm pretty easy-going. For pete's sake, it's just a storm! Nope, we were struck by lightening and I got to hang out with Nicole & Nichole in the lobby. It smelled bad - like smoke & sulfer. Gross.

Then the streets were flooded getting home, normally 7 minutes, took me 35! Here's some pics of after the water went down on Kirkwood. Normally I'd say enjoy, but I can't help looking at the cars in wonder - I hope they have comprehensive on their car insurance, the poor people.


The fire department is to the left. Yes, they flooded too. The post office is on the right.
Mr. Logan Davis talking on his cell phone. His car is the red one. I offered to take photos for insurance.





PSH