Feeling tangy tonight?

I’m sure this won’t shock anyone, but I really like to experiment with food. A few years ago this was a really frightening thing, because I knew nothing about the spices in my cupboard, or main ingredients for that matter, so some of my experiments weren’t even suitable for pets. Now, however, I know a teensy bit more about my herbs and my experiments only suck sometimes. This weeks didn’t, so I think I’ll share it. Teriyaki Meatballs with soy and ginger asparagus.

The meatballs were easy, just your typical meat, egg, crumbs and seasonings type of thing but I added some fresh grated ginger to them and it gave them some serious flair. Also I prefer to grate my onions for this so there are no hunks of onion to bite into unexpectedly. Then I made a simple teriyaki sauce while they were baking and realized I’d have to double it for my family which is when I realized I was out of pineapple juice so substituted OJ for the second batch of sauce and it was super tasty (thank goodness, that totally could have gone either way). The asparagus was much saltier than I’d imagined, so I’d change that a bit next time, but see what you think and truly, I welcome your comments!

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
1 clove fresh garlic
grated onion
mix together then add:
parmesan cheese and bread crumbs til the consistency seems right 😉
brown them or bake them at 350 for 15 min.

Teriyaki sauce:
1 15 oz. can pineapple tidbits in juice
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white vinegar
2T. cornstarch
2T. soy or teriyaki sauce (I used Soy Vay’s Very Very Teriyaki)

drain pineapple, reserving juice. In small saucepan combine juice, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and soy or teriyaki sauce. Bring to a boil- cook til thickened (about a minute) stirring constantly.

When meatballs are cooked add them to the sauce and serve with rice and veggies

Ginger Asparagus:
1/2 C. or so of Soy Sauce (I used Braggs Liquid Aminos which was SALTY!)
1/4 c. Brown sugar
Ginger (powdered or grated fresh)
1-2 T. butter

Combine and bake for about 15 mins at 350. Sorry this is so approximate. Next time I think I’d add less soy sauce and more sugar and more ginger for sure. Butter was about right. Enjoy!


The Dread Mill

Oh man, I hate winter. I hate the cold, I hate ice, and mostly I hate my treadmill. First of all, why is it so much harder? I know the outdoors and all its diversions is obviously preferable to the singular view of my Rocky movie poster on the wall, but why is it SO much harder to motivate myself on the thing? When I’m outside, the run takes about 5 minutes before I feel like I’m in my groove and loving my run. On the machine I feel like I’m counting down the entire time! I try all kinds of distracting methods to pass the time. I’ve tried watching only action movies while I run, I’ve tried only kids shows (not my best idea), Care Bears the movie did not help in the slightest to take my mind off the clock. Not even Punky Brewster took my eyes off the clock for more than a few minutes and I love that girl and her crazy shenanigans. I’ve tried music, I’ve tried captions to read, etc. etc., yet it still feels like a chore from start to finish!

This winter I’ve been running trails on sunny, dry days, and the dreadmill on the gloomy wet days. Let me tell you the difference is astounding. Thursday I had to treadmill it. I literally had to pep talk my way onto the thing. I let my kids watch “The perils of Punky” from season 2 because I thought that would help me get through my 6 mile trek. Nope. 2 miles in (which is where I’d be almost giddy outside) I had to slow my pace. 4 miles in I thought I’d never make it, and at 5 miles (I swear that machine lies) I finally called it quits with nothing but guilt and the Punky theme song on my mind. Where was my natural endorphin high? My sense of accomplishment? Clearly I have issues with the machine.

Today I went for a typical 6 mile jaunt with my dad out in what we lovingly refer to as the gulley. I ran the mile from my house to the trail head on the road, and met up with pops for the rest. I don’t love the road like I love the trails, but it’s not hard to stay there. I don’t constantly check my watch to see how long I’ve been out or how far I’ve gone, I just keep going til I get there, smiling even. Once pops is with me it becomes downright delightful. Sometimes we talk politics, sometimes family drama, and sometimes our inner nerd comes out and we talk the entire hour about the Lewis and Clark expedition. I always feel so uplifted and energized. This week he told me he’d been timing the onset of darkness and it’s been getting darker later and later by almost 2 minutes per night. DO YOU REALIZE WHAT THIS MEANS?!? It means spring is on its way and I’ll have that much more daylight and I won’t have to resort to the dreadmill much longer at all. Maybe that’s what I’ll think about next time I’m on the blasted thing. A few more weeks……a few more weeks……..cue Punky Theme Song.

The comfort of zucchini bread

One food that brings me more comfort from the simple smell of it than almost any other is Zucchini bread. It was a bit of a specialty of my mom’s. We grew our own zucchini every year, and being made into zucchini bread was, in my opinion, the only worthwhile endeavor for a zucchini. Man I loved that stuff.

When I grew up and had a garden of my own, I of course planted zucchini in the hopes that one day I could fill up my house with the intoxicating aroma of cinnamon, vanilla and baking bread with the hint of health: a vegetable baked in. Today I felt like I wanted some comfort, so I baked mom’s recipe with a two tiny twists: chocolate chips and a mini muffin tin. I made one mini loaf for the purist within, one mini muffin tin for the wild child within, and a regular muffin tin because I still had some dough left. I had to make some adjustments for the muffins, I baked them at 350 for approximately 16 minutes, the mini loaf for approximately 25 minutes. I say approximately because I really wasn’t paying attention, just bake them until the toothpick comes out clean as they say. Hours later, I can still smell that baked cinnamon. Sigh.

Grammie’s Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 C. oil
2C. sugar
3t. vanilla
stir in 2 cups grated zucchini (with or without skin)
3 C. flour
3t. cinnamon
1t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1t. soda
(optional: nuts or chocolate chips)

2 greased loaf pans (or 1 mini loaf pan, 1 mini muffin tin, and 1 regular muffin tin, however you prefer)

325 for 1hr and 15 mins

Beginnings: Running

I’ve been running off and on for most of my adult life. As a younger adult I did it out of guilt and a sense of obligation. It seemed the best way to lose or maintain weight, but my heart was never in it, it was too hard. Sometime later I learned to love being outside and getting exercise, but I wasn’t super loyal to running as the one exercise for me. It wasn’t until I discovered I had two very distressing hormonal disorders, “conditions” they call them, that make it virtually imperative that I exercise on a regular basis that I truly began to love running.

PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)and Adrenal Hyperplasia became all the motivation I needed to get my body back in order after my first 3 children because they cause some of the worst symptoms a woman can imagine. They cause things like male pattern baldness, facial hair, and an unsightly spare tire around my middle that no amount of dessert deprivation and dieting could touch. The worst symptom? Menstrual irregularity and difficulty with conception. In short, I was turning into a man. Shudder. My real man and I wanted another baby and it was really messing with our plans, so I went in search of a cure. No luck, except that in my research I discovered that PCOS is connected with insulin resistance and so in theory, changing my diet and exercise routine could help tremendously. I began to run.

I worked my way to doing a 5k run 3 times a week, then 4 miles, then 5, and finally a 10k run 3 times a week. I kept myself on a very strict insulin resistance diet and I lost 18 lbs in 90 days. I felt great and I LOVED to run. I hated the treadmill, but I’d endure it for the endorphin kick at the end, and my greatest love was road running. I ran 18-20 miles a week and I felt great, I even kept running a few weeks into my 4th pregnancy because it seemed my cunning plan worked and we were able to conceive again despite my man-ness. That was in 2009.

I quit running at about 10 weeks pregnant and didn’t start again until January of 2011 when my baby was almost 6 months old. I started with what I thought to be a reasonable mileage at a reasonable pace, but BAM! I was down within weeks of beginning with an injury I can only describe as the devil chewing on your heels and the bottom of your feet: Plantar Fasciitis. It hurt. Bad. While I impatiently waited for the appropriate recovery time, I did the proper amount of stretching and read a very inspiring little running book, perhaps you’ve heard of it: Born To Run. In it I discovered I was probably going about this whole running thing wrong. I changed to minimalistic shoes, I changed my form (or so I thought) and began again after almost 6 weeks letting the damn things heal. BAM! again within a week I was barely walking and suffering from my old nemesis, an inflamed plantar fasciitis. For years I had been blissfully unaware of that part of my body until that fateful year and then had 2 run ins with it in 7 weeks. Lame.

So I waited. I did more research. I read more books, I went to a running seminar/clinic with the guy who wrote Born To Run. I polled every runner there, I polled runners wherever I saw them about the key to running without injury, and so many said the same thing: Vibram 5 fingers, and good running form. The problem was, no one could define for me exactly what ‘good running form’ was and I couldn’t get the 5 fingers on my blasted hobbit feet. There was a couple people I met at the running clinic though, that suggested buying a pair of some new minimalistic shoes called Altras, and taking a class from this short, stocky old man named Tom Miller. ‘Tough Sh*#’, they called him, apparently that’s his real nickname. Who am I to judge? I signed up for his class the next week. It was a 4 week course on form and technique. He was wearing Altras. In short (and I’m happy to give anyone the long version of these events that wants them), I discovered the right shoes for me and endured the excruciating experience of watching a video of myself running in order to improve my form and I’m now the happy, well-adjusted runner you see today 🙂 Oh, and I quit the road for the rugged terrain of trails, but that my friends, is a whole other story.

Two Loves Collide?

Running and eating, my most beloved hobbies. These two elements of my life bring me a sense of joy second only to my family, so I thought, why not share them? Ever had anyone say, “This is so good you have to try it?” Well, this is me saying just that to you right now. Here I will share my love of food in the form of recipes, pictures and experiences. And here I will post my running adventures that are fueled by the said fare. Please, partake with me. Bon Appetit and Happy trails!