Archive | October, 2010

A grilled what???

30 Oct

Today has been a great day, but definitely not the day I expected to have.  Todd had to work today, so the plan was to do an 8-mile run and then do a deep clean of the spare room, the bathroom and the kitchen.

Instead, I didn’t run (the plan is to run tomorrow, the weather is supposed to be much nicer) and there was no deep cleaning.  I did however, tidy my little heart out, so the house is now clean again and everything is in its’ respective homes.

I also finally finished my 2010 Detroit Free Press Half Marathon race recap – have you read it yet?  If not, you should! …If for no other reason than it took me FOREVER to write!  I’m talking, hours…and hours!

Tonight we’re going to visit my parents.  Gonna have some of Mom’s cooking and play some euchre.  I love that they only live a half hour away.  Up until last year at this time, they lived four hours from me and I’d lived the previous twelve years (dating myself…  :P) only seeing them a handful of times a year.  Now I can go visit for a couple hours on a random Wednesday if I want! 

I tweeted earlier, (if you don’t follow me on twitter, what are you waiting for?) that it’s interesting how your parents start to not just be parents, but friends and fun people to enjoy hanging out with as you get older.

If only my 15 year-old self could see me writing this :)

For lunch today, I made something that I don’t eat nearly enough.  I saw my Gala Applesauce sitting in the fridge and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to make a Grilled Applesauce Sandwich!

When I told Todd about this sandwich, he shook his head and wondered if he heard me right, but once he tried it… Yum.

You make a Grilled Applesauce Sandwich much in the same manner that you’d make a grilled cheese sandwich.

Grilled Applesauce Sandwich

Take two slices of your favourite bread and spread it liberally with butter (or your favourite butter replacement).

IMG_4133Take enough applesauce to give you at least 1/3 inch of thickness.  IMG_4137 I really like homemade applesauce for this, because you have some chunks and the actual sauce isn’t thin like some store bought sauces are.  As I mentioned, I used my Gala Applesauce.

IMG_4138Put it in a pan over medium heat.

IMG_4140Just like when you’re making a grilled cheese and don’t want the bread to grill before the cheese is melted, you don’t want the bread to be fully grilled until the applesauce inside is heated through.

IMG_4146mmmm, delicious looking!  But how can we make this better?  Ketchup?  Um…no.  That is where we veer from the grilled cheese sandwich…

IMG_4147Dust it with cinnamon and icing sugar!!!! 

IMG_4149 Notice the nice smattering on the plate – this is completely on purpose and used for “dipping.”

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Mmmm….I forgot just how good and satisfying this is, expect to see it again Very Soon.

Grilled Applesauce Sandwich

  • 2 slices of your favourite bread
  • 2 Tbsp butter (or equivalent)
  • ~1/2 cup of applesauce
  • Cinnamon for dusting
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Spread butter on one side of both pieces of bread.  Spread applesauce in a thick layer on one of the pieces of bread, on the opposite side from the butter.  Put sandwich, butter side down, in pan and grill at medium heat.  Flip when bread has browned, putting the butter side down on the second piece of bread.  When second side is grilled, dust with both icing sugar and cinnamon.  Enjoy!

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2010 Detroit Free Press (Half) Marathon Recap!!!

29 Oct

***This post is extremely long…  Get a glass of water, sit in a comfy chair, and prepare for a long one…

So nearly two weeks ago, I ran

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I actually ran the Half Marathon – 13.1 Miles baby!  Todd *was* registered for the full, but I’ll talk about that in a minute…

This race is incredible amazing, because as you might be able to discern from the logo, it goes from Detroit, Michigan and into Canada (my city, Windsor), and back into Detroit.

A race that actually crosses international border crossings?  Sign me up!

And I didn’t make a mistake there, you actually cross two different border crossings!  You start in downtown Detroit (which is Reeeeeally clean and not scary at all) and make your way to the Ambassador Bridge – which is the busiest border crossing in North America!

You run across the bridge (amaaaazing!) image

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and into Windsor,

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Running through customs – the only time the border guards actually cheer you on as you pass on through ;)

image Down Riverside Drive… thought that this pic was cute and absolutely hilarious!

And now on over to the Windsor Detroit Tunnel.  That’s right, tunnel!  This border crossing actually goes under the Detroit River and is almost exactly a mile, so you get an “underwater mile” time as well as your course time.

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No need to pay that toll!

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And while you’re in that tunnel, look at what you’ll see…



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Once you’re back in Detroit, you run around downtown, Mexican Town and Cork Town and before you know it – you’re crossing the finish line!

It really is the most amazing course.  The full actually goes over to Belle Isle – yes, an island(!) after doing the same course as the half.  It sounds like it would be pretty cool, but I’ve clearly never run it, so I don’t know!

Onto my own race now…

We got up at 3:40 (OMG – I don’t think I’ve ever gotten up that early and in fact, the people across the street were still partying…), I ate an egg puck on a piece of toast and were out of the house by 415.  The race started at 7, but I like to be settled way before it begins, so we always go to races *very* early.  We stopped for a coffee (obvi!), crossed the border (via the tunnel – and I couldn’t believe that I’d be running through it soon after) and had the car parked by 5.

We sat and chatted, sipping our coffees and me eating my second breakfast: tuna on a piece of whole grain.  Tuna?  I know, right?  Not a normal pre-race meal for most people.  However, for me it’s go-to on race day and I find that it really keeps me satiated, but not heavy feeling.

At 530 we went for a walk to check out the starting area and scope out port-a-potty locations.  I always feel better once I see the set up.  And as luck would have it, the convention centre was open, so no need for port-a-potties all day!!!

At quarter after 6, it was time to put on my running shoes and get race ready!

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Todd and I made our way to the starting area

IMG_3886 Me trying not to let my nerves get the best of me….

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We then made our way back to my corral.  Btw – EVERY race should have wave starts!  It’s nice running with other people at your pace and not having to try to maneuver around slower people (amazingly, there are slower people than me ;P).

We talked about where he’d be so that I would look for him.  It ended up that I’d see him around mile 9 and mile 12.

And before we knew it, it was time for the handcyclers to start!

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And one minute later, the race started!

It took about 20 minutes for me to reach the start line and amazingly enough, I actually saw Todd (and he saw me) as I was passing where he was standing (and I had no idea where he’d be).  The picture below kind of shows the enormity of this.  Oh ya, this race had nearly 20 000 participants!

IMG_3892 My plan for this race was to do the best that I could do on that day.  The summer and the ridiculous humidity really took its’ toll on me and my running is nowhere near where it was last April.  Then, I could run 11 miles before needing a walk break – now I needed walk breaks all the time (there was one morning in July when I went out and had to walk after .25 miles because of the humidity – and my asthma – and I actually started crying…).  So I decided that I’d walk whenever the heck I needed to.  There were water stations every 2 miles and I walked through all of those, and toward the last 3 miles, I probably walked every 4 or 5 minutes, with the last mile being more like run for a minute, walk for 15seconds, run for two minutes, walk for 15seconds – until the 13 mile marker where I turned it on.

But backing up a little…

When we were running on the approach for the bridge, there was a bottleneck and we actually had to stop and walk.  FAIL.  Sadly, this was because a runner was down (and I learned later that it was actually the Aunt of one of Todd’s friends, and she had a massive heart attack).  She was unconscious and gray looking.  It was sad to see, but there were  3 people helping her, so I continued on (it was especially tough to see, because last year 3 people died doing this half).  When we were climbing the bridge, there was another bottleneck, where I turned to the person beside me and laughingly said, “So much for a PR, I guess.”  This was because there was construction in one lane on the bridge.

It was awesome running back into Canada and I loved running through my city and knowing the lay of the land.  I saw one of my running friends cheering furiously on the sidelines and slapped so many hands of spectators that my hand was actually a little sore – lol!  Before I knew it, we were heading into the tunnel.

Todd told me that I had to take my earphones out because the sound of people running is absolutely amazing.  I did as I was told, and as I was hit by the still, very warm air (which Todd also prepared me for), I took my earphones out and listened.  Nothing.  It was loud with people laughing and talking, but people at my pace were running more for fun than an awesome time (like where Todd would be running) and we also weren’t packed together as they would have been with Todd’s pace.

Coming out of the tunnel, the crowd support was amazing!

Before I knew it, I was running toward mile 9 and toward Todd!
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I was soooo happy to see him, and not just because he gave me some gatorade ;)  …which turned out to be a really good thing because the next water station was out of water!!!  …all of the other stations were amply stocked though.

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Our plan was for Todd to then walk over to the mile 12 area (it was only a few blocks away from where he currently was) and I’d get to see him again.

I continued on through Mexican Town, Cork Town and back into downtown.  I had to stop a couple times and stretch out, my feet were cramping.  The miles continued to tick on by, and before I knew it I was nearing Mile 12!

Todd was at mile 12, and noticed these two girls with their Canadian flags.

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And I came by about 2 minutes later – with a huge smile on my face!

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This is me desperately wanting to walk, but not wanting to walk when I was getting my picture taken ;)

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Notice that girl behind me?  So many people were dressed as heavy as she was – and there I was in a tank top!  It was 14C before the sun came up, I couldn’t imagine running in a t-shirt, let alone 2 shirts!

Todd ran with me for a few seconds and assured me that I was doing really well, and I was pretty close to giving myself a PR.  Oh!  Did I mention..let me check…nope… At the start line I started my Garmin, then looked down about about 5 minutes later and noticed that it wasn’t actually started!!!  I was wearing gloves and hadn’t pushed the start button hard enough!  I figured out (by the mile markers) that I was out by .4 miles and around 5 minutes.  So my entire race I didn’t know what my actual time was (exactly).

Mile number 12 was tough for me and I felt like the final turn was never going to come!

Todd was standing near the finish line and you can see me to the left of the C….and if you look at the very left of this picture you’ll see the 13 mile marker.

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As I passed by Todd – he went crazy cheering and I was sooooo surprised to see him!  Right then I turned on the afterburners and sprinted to the finish!

And do you notice the two people that I’m passing?  Yup, I made up two minutes on them in the last mile!  …and I thought that that last mile was disastrous…

IMG_3911 After the race, I walked through the chute, got my medal, my bag of food, some gatorade and a water.  And I walked, and walked, and walked.  And walked some more.  And my feet hurt incredibly.  Every step was excruciating.  Just when I got to where the end of the chute was last year, I realized that I still couldn’t get out, and had another entire block to walk.  I almost cried.

And the worst part?  I was actually walking AWAY from where Todd and I had planned to meet up!  As for Todd, he actually ended up on the wrong side of the street so had to walk all the way down the outside of the chute in order to get to the right side of the street.  He actually came up the chute to try to meet me – but with a space blanket on, everyone looks the same – and we didn’t see each other.  I FINALLY got to our meeting spot (obviously I had no idea about Todd’s issues getting there), and Todd wasn’t there.  Once again, I wanted to cry.  All I wanted to do was sit down and I was afraid that if I sat down on the sidewalk that somehow Todd would miss me.   Luckily, within a minute Todd was there and my smile returned!

IMG_3915 What a fantastic race!  The minute I finished I started looking forward to next year’s race!

As we walked back to the car, we saw people who were finishing the marathon and I turned to Todd and exclaimed, “There is absolutely no way I can imagine doing another 13 miles.  No way.  It is absolutely inconceivable to me at this juncture.”

Maybe someday…

Notes:

– the pics that aren’t sourced (and aren’t from this years’ race) are from when we watched the race from Windsor in 2008, and absolutely became inspired to run.  Seriously, a defining moment in both of our lives.

– in 2009, Todd ran his first half and I longingly watched from the sidelines

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Tired Todd!!!!! 1:48:58!!!

– This year, I ran the half (my third) and Todd was signed up for his first full!  Unfortunately, during training, Todd was running and (looooong story short) hurt his knee.  :(  He was unable to train AT ALL for the 7 weeks leading up to the race.  He decided that he’d better drop down to the half.  He thought that he might still be able to do the half, and if nothing else, he’d run with me at my pace (Slowest Runner Eva!).  Unfortunately, he couldn’t even do this.  Not racing was one of the hardest decisions he’s ever made in his life, and I truly respect him so much for making it.  He saw his chiropractor several times and got some ultrasound therapy and saw his GP who said that he just needed to rest it (sprained medial collateral ligament).

– Fast forward to now, about 9 weeks after his injury and he’s starting to feel better (*knock*knock*knock*).  However, we’re registered for the Rock and Roll Las Vegas Marathon in a mere 5 weeks [OMG! 5 weeks!].  Todd is once again registered for the full and me for the half.  Once again he is likely going to have to drop down – if for no other reason than a lack of training for a full now – although he could knock out a half with no training, if need be.  He’s said that he will at least finish the half, even if he has to drag his leg behind him.  I understand, but I PRAY that it doesn’t come to that.  I hope that he’ll try a couple runs in the next few days (he’s currently cross training only) and that the results are positive.

Oh! and my time was 2:55:42 – about a minute slower than my PR and 7 minutes slower than my goal – but given the circumstances, I was more than pleased!

How ’bout them apples???

28 Oct

Look at these beautiful apples!IMG_4085

Don’t they just look absolutely delicious?

IMG_4083Well, they’re not.  We go through A LOT of apples in this house and we have no place for apples that aren’t tasty.

So what do you do with 15-20 apples that taste rather meh?

You pulverize them!

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Introducing, Gala Applesauce!

Making applesauce is very easy and I wanted to show just how easy it really is.  You can turn the most boring tasting apples into something spicy and delicious.

Of course applesauce is something that is very individualized and to your own preferred taste.  However, the beauty of making it yourself, is that you get to determine the proportions!  So use this recipe as a jumping off place and season to your own delight!

Take 15-20 small/medium sized apples (which was all of the apples in the above picture and Royal Gala in my case), wash them, peel them, core them and slice them.

IMG_4088When you’re finished hopping, you should have about 9-10 cups of sliced apples

IMG_4092 IMG_4097Throw them in a large pot with 2 cups of water

IMG_4100Bring the pot to a boil

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Now’s the time to add in the spices!

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Cinnamon, Ground Cloves and Allspice are our spicy friends for today…

And speaking of spices… IMG_3943 My spice cupboard was such a disaster that last Sunday I completely gave it an overhaul.  It was so bad that I couldn’t even bring myself to take a before picture…

Back to the apples!

I add 1/8 tsp of ground cloves, 1/8 tsp allspice, 2 tsp cinnamon IMG_4106And for some sweetness (which clearly will depend on the sweetness of your apples), I added 3 Tbsp of honeyIMG_4108Next up, concentrated lemon juice – 2Tbsp, as well as a *pinch* of salt and stir all together.IMG_4109 Put a lid on the pot and turn your heat down to medium low.  Keep your apples cooking until they’re they’re tender and a fork easily goes through the flesh (about 12 minutes).

IMG_4111Now you’re ready to mash your apples!

Use a potato masher (an immersion blender takes away too many of the chunks), or as you can see, Todd just used the flipper that he used in lieu of a spoon when stirring for me.

IMG_4113 IMG_4118 IMG_4119And now is the time to take a taste to see if you’ve seasoned your sauce to compliment your apples.

IMG_4121I actually added another Tbsp of lemon juice and honey and as well as a couple of shakes of allspice and cinnamon.  Like I said, these apples were not all that.

IMG_4122But the applesauce is!

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Once cooked down, you end up with about 6-8 cups of applesauce.

Enjoy!

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I’ll be back with a post that incorporates this very yummy applesauce in an absolutely delicious (and something I never see in the blogosphere) way…but I need one more ingredient, so it might be  couple days ;)

Gala Applesauce

  • 15-20 small-medium peeled, cored and sliced apples
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground gloves
  • 2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp concentrated lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Bring apples and water to a boil.  Add spices, honey, lemon juice and salt.  Stir to incorporate everything, put a lid on the pot and turn heat to medium low.  When apples are very tender, mash with a potato masher to desired chunkiness.  Take a little taste, to determine if more spies or honey is needed to balance out the apples.  Enjoy!

It didn’t even make a dent!!!

27 Oct

Remember these?IMG_3918 and these?

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Well, I decided to take these garden delights and create a salsa recipe!  I used all of my remaining onions, some of my red tomatoes and just a smidge of those hundreds (seriously…) of green tomatoes.

And End of Summer Salsa was born!

End of Summer Salsa

To begin with, grab 15 – 20 medium sized tomatoes of varying degrees of ripeness (for the colour and different flavours).

IMG_4034 All cored – I love how the colour inside the tomato can be quite different from the colour on the outside of the tomato…

IMG_4037 All chopped up and I’d say it was about 8 cups all chopped.

IMG_4041 Aren’t these gorgeous colours?

IMG_4042 Approximately 3-3.5 cups of green peppers and 1.5-2 cups of red peppers

IMG_4035 These remaining green peppers weren’t needed, but these 2 red peppers from the grocery store were.

IMG_4043 All chopped up,

IMG_4045 Once again, gorgeous colours!

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Next up, the onions!

IMG_4036 Aren’t they pretty with the skins and dirt removed :)

IMG_4047 This was approximately 1 1/2 cups

IMG_4048 1/2 cup of white vinegar

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1/4 cup of Apple cider vinegar

IMG_4051 2 Tbsp of concentrated lime juice

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Yup, from the bottle

IMG_4053 1 28 fl oz/796 mL can of Ground Plum Tomatoes

IMG_4055 1 Tbsp of salt

IMG_4056 Two Tbsp of sugar

IMG_4057 Yes, good old fashioned white cane sugar.

IMG_4060 Two tsp of minced garlic (approximately 4 cloves)

IMG_4063 Also 1 tsp of dried oregano…looks like I missed the pic though.

Stir everything up!

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Bring to a boil and keep it boiling for 20 minutes, to reduce the amount of liquid (and keep the flavour!).

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Check out that steam – I’d say it’s boiling quite well…

IMG_4067 Then put it down to your lowest setting and simmer for another 40 minutes

IMG_4070 Notice the difference in the consistency?

IMG_4071 And now the finished product!

IMG_4074 IMG_4076 This makes approximately 3 litres of deliciousness :)

IMG_4077 Look at those beautiful chunks and colours!

IMG_4079 Notice the second jar wasn’t full?

Well, can’t make salsa without having some to sample :)

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Hope you enjoy it as much as I am will!

End of Summer Salsa

  • 15-20 medium sized tomatoes of varying degrees of ripeness, cored and chopped
  • 3-3.5 cups of chopped green peppers
  • 1.5-2 cups of chopped red peppers
  • 1.5 cups of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp concentrated (bottled) lime juice
  • 28 fl oz/796 mL can of ground plum tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil and keep boiling for 20 minutes.  Simmer on low for 40 minutes.  Be sure to stir often throughout the entire process.  That’s it!

The one where I learned to write down the website…

26 Oct

So I found a fantastic recipe that Gracie made for Pumpkin Bread.  Unfortunately, I printed out the recipe and somehow forgot where I got the recipe.  For some reason (probably her tasty recipes), I thought that the recipe was Heather’s.  So after deconstructing my Google reader and utilizing everyone’s search function, I found the recipe that I was looking for!  Gracie’s Pumpkin Bread was absolutely easy and delicious!

First, the wettish ingredients,

IMG_3980 And the dry,

IMG_3988All mixed together and placed in a loaf pan.

The only change I made to the original recipe is that I added about 1/3 of a cup of chopped walnuts.  I put half in the batter, and half on top. I tapped the nuts down a little, to make sure that they’d adhere.

Notice the loaf of bread that’s beside the pumpkin bread?  Well, Todd was experimenting and came up with a FAIL.  Not to be discouraged, he’ll keep trying to get his bread to his standards and eventually I hope to have him *gasp* guest post.  Of course, he doesn’t know this yet…lol!

IMG_3990 IMG_3998 Fresh out of the oven!

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Look at those walnuts!!!  Mmmmm…

IMG_4020 IMG_4030A slice for me, and slice or Todd :)

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I totally felt that the walnuts made the bread – but I do loooooovvveeee walnuts baked in just about everything! I think that chopped pecans would be really good too.

I actually made this yesterday while I was having my inaugural adventure in yeast sitting, and I totally think that the flavours have married even better today.  I definitely recommend this recipe, and seeing as I still have a can of pumpkin, I may just be making it again soon :)

A few other recipes that I’ll be making/creating Very Soon…

  • Green Tomato Relish
  • Green Tomato Salsa
  • Green Tomato Bread
  • Healthier Fried Green Tomatoes

Now why so many Green Tomato recipes?

Well, tis the season and Todd broke down what was left of the garden before it got hit by the first frost, which is absolutely inevitable.

My sad looking garden      IMG_3925 IMG_3930 Just some Rainbow Swiss Chard left, IMG_3933 IMG_3934

And some scary looking leeks.  Ok, they’re not scary looking, but Todd said that they were definitely scary smelling – to the composter they go!

IMG_3936But back to the Green Tomatoes.  We had more tomatoes this year than we’ve had in the past 5 years combined!  This also meant that at the end of the season we had a lot of tomatoes that weren’t ripe.

Gorgeous, no?

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And I’ve got a lot of them.

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No, seriously…. A LOT.

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There were also a bunch of randoms left for harvesting:  tomatoes of various degrees of ripeness, green peppers, and onions.

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So expect a bunch of recipes incorporating these ingredients in the very near future  :)

To everyone who has the space for a garden – you should have one!  It really takes up minimal space and as long as you keep it up, minimal time.  The rewards far outweigh the work involved and the money involved in buying the produce you could produce (lol – gotta love the english language :P)

As I mourn the end of summer and embrace the beginning of fall, I can’t help that Moxie Pie is also morning her sun filled naps and sun filled leisurely lays in the sun.

IMG_3937 Good thing that the leaves have fallen, because this little girl is a huge fan and it just might make up for the lack of sun.

Now, on to research green tomatoes…

Laters!

Adventures in Yeast Sitting…

25 Oct

Trouble was a-brewing in the house today.

Wait, not trouble, YEAST!  I had my first adventure using yeast today and it went really well!

Today was Municipal Election day and before I hopped out the door to do my civic duty, I wanted to make something that wasn’t too involved, but still hearty and delicious.

So what fit the bill?  Pizza!

I love me some homemade pizza, but until today I’ve never made my own crust from scratch.

I used this recipe and was quite pleased!

All of the necessary ingredients:

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All Purpose and Whole Wheat Flour together

IMG_3955 Here comes the yeast (never having used it before, I was a little nervous!)

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After mixing everything together, I shaped it into a ball (and finally exhaled)

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I had to knead the dough for 4-6 minutes and as I was doing it, I realized that I didn’t actually *know* how to knead dough.  So I did what you do when there’s something you don’t know…I googled it and watched an instructional video ;)

IMG_3960 After the kneading, back into another ball

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And then all covered up to allow it to rise

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And while the dough was rising, I got some toppings chopped up.  Leftover pork tenderloin, mushrooms and red peppers (the fridge was kind of lacking in the topping department).

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And 10 minutes later, back to the towel…  Um, I do think that it’s bigger!

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It is!  It is!

IMG_3986 All rolled out on my pizza stone.

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Now if your powers of deduction are in working order, you’ll notice that the element at the top of the oven is on, and the one at the bottom of the oven is not.  That, my friends, means that the broiler was on and I wasn’t actually baking my pizza crust.

FAIL!

Or was it?

I didn’t get a picture, but basically, the bottom was cooked a little bit and the top was quite… well, broiled.  It was very firm and a little dark (think whole wheat pita colour), but seemed to be no worse for wear!

So what did I do?  I flipped it over, making the top now the bottom, and leaving me with a perfectly crisp crust.

I then topped it up and threw it back in the oven (this time on bake…) and crossed my fingers.

It turned out perfect!!!

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IMG_4001 mmmm…oooey gooey…

And check out that crust!

IMG_4005 IMG_4007 IMG_4014I’m not thinking that there’ll be any Domino’s drivers coming to my house anytime soon (not like there was before…lol!).  And now I know that there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to yeast!

Stay tuned for a pumpkin bread recipe (tomorrow I hope…) and of course, I still have my Detroit Freep Marathon recap to do (*still* riding that runners’ high!).

Take a picture, it lasts longer…

22 Oct

This week there has been a definite changing of the seasons.  Areas to the north of me had snow yesterday.  However, since I live in the ‘Banana Belt,’ it was 18 degrees Celsius here.

With a change in the weather, I’ve noticed that there’s been a change in my food too:

Breakfast did look like as cool as this…

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But now breakfast comes in a different vessel and leaves me warm instead of icy…

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And from heavily veggie-centric meals,

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To heavily veggie-centric meals in a different way…

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Mmmmm…  I love all of the different seasons and I love how what ends up on my plate changes with them.

As we transition from early to late fall, I look forward to mixing different flavours together and experimenting with with some new ones.  In fact, I took a look at the herbs and spices that I regularly use, and I can break it down to 5 mere ingredients:

  • garlic
  • oregano
  • basil
  • dill
  • red pepper

Um, ya.  Bad food blogger.  Time to broaden my flavour boosters… (Ok, I do use other spices, but those are my go-to’s BY FAR…can you say rut?)

Wow, just talking about flavour combinations makes me want to experiment in the kitchen.  Actually, earlier this week I tweeted (hey, you should follow me on twitter) that I need to start remembering to take my camera into the kitchen with me.  It’s one thing to take a pic of the finished product, but it’s another to try to take pictures of the process.

My style of cooking generally entails determining a few of the ingredients that I’d like to use, and using this as a jumping off point.  From here, who knows.  I generally work feverishly and figure it out as I go along.

This recipe creation process definitely needs to be documented more often here (and then my recipe page wouldn’t be so sparse), rather than just seeing a pic of the finished product.

Now I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine, put on Entourage (just discovered the greatness!) and decompress from the week.

…btw, I’m working on my recap post of the Detroit Free Press [Half] Marathon from last weekend – it was sooo much fun!

You’ll see what I want you to see…

6 Oct

Oh, what a day…

But at least it was sunny! (…don’t be judging my dirty floor…)

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If you follow me on twitter, then you already saw that I made a wee mistake at work today.  I lost 2 pieces of paper that are very important to our fiscal year end.  To fix this mistake, it’s going to take me twice as much time to redo this work as it originally took.

Now I could look at this as causing extra work in an already hectic day, or I can look at this as a learning opportunity.  I have chosen the perspective of the latter.

I have been finding myself very distracted at work, going from one project to the next and not necessarily finishing one task before I start the next one.  Now I can sometimes be my most productive in this manner, but it can also cause a little bit of stress.  It can feel stressful just having all of the unfinished projects, papers and piles on my desk. 

These piles, full of paperclips and staples, have been known to collect a page or two that weren’t intentionally attached.  I think that this is where my missing papers went…

So instead of dwelling on the fact that I messed up, I’m going to take this opportunity to clean up my working style and concentrate on finishing (and cleaning up…) one project before I start the next. 

Choosing to take a beneficial perspective, a positive outlook or an optimistic view can be difficult, because you have to make a conscious decision to see things differently. 

Conversely, it’s important to see the whole picture and not just what someone else wants you to see.

For instance, have I shown you my gorgeous pansies that I have on my front porch?

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I’ve cared for these all summer and they’ve definitely brightened up my mood on days like today :)

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And if that was all I showed you, you’d think that my flowers were still abundant and healthy.  When in actuality, they look more like this:

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And if the whole story is told – they really look like this:

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Dead as a doornail, with a small phoenix rising from the ashes.

When you’re only given a small snippet of the picture/story/situation, you can’t assume that you know everything, or that you’re not just being given what the author/photographer wants you to see.

Everything in life, and (especially?) in the media, is through the eyes of the person telling the story.  Just because the story is being told, it doesn’t mean that it’s complete, accurate, or even educated.  Being a participant in life, a consumer of the media and most appropriate to this situation, a reader of blogs, the onus is on you to view everything with your own critical eye.  You must determine whether the view/story/picture seems correct to you, matches your morals and ideals, or if its’ message will have an effect on you at all.

I’ve been wanting to do a post on perspective for a while, but with the Marie Claire* article about the supposed “Big 6” that came out this week, this seems even more relevant now.  Just because someone publishes something, it doesn’t mean that it’s thorough, accurate, or without preconceived notions.  You’re simply seeing the small bit of the story that the author wants you to see.  Think Titanic and the iceberg.    

And now for the worst transition ever….

Todd made dinner tonight (yeehaw!).  He took cod fillets and dredged them in a simple milk, egg and whole wheat bread crumb mixture.   

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So simple, yet soooo delicious.

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We had it served with leftover butternut squash, peas, jasmine rice and pickles!

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And a piece of delicious 9-grain bread from the bakery, with a liberal coating of butter.  Yum.

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I’m classy, so I eat my fish with lemon juice and ketchup.  Uh-huh, ketchup.

Todd likes to identify with the mother country and loves malt vinegar on any fish or fish and chip combo.

Myself, I can’t stand the smell of the stuff.  In fact, if there is malt vinegar in any sort of sauce, I know on first whiff – no need to even taste it.  No thank you.

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Such a nice picture for a yucky item (mmm-hmmm, I said yucky…).

Before I noticed my pansies on the front porch (clearly after some time of neglect) , I thought about showing this series of pictures as a demonstration of seeing the whole picture…

The other night the moon was really gorgeous and close, so I wanted to get a picture,

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Close?  Ya, not so much…  Turns out that my zoom works pretty darn good :)

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And so does my flash!  Hello, back yard!

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Hello overgrown basil, purple basil and dill!

K, that was a lot of post…. night!

*I could easily link to the magazine here, but why would I?  I would never have read their magazine before, I’ll certainly never read it now and I don’t want to send any potential traffic their way. If you’ve been absent from the blogosphere and don’t know what article I’m talking about (or want to know *exactly* how I feel about it), feel free to email me, becky at flybynyght @ gmail . com

My definition, my definition is this…

5 Oct

Hey all! 

I feel as though I’m still trying to find my sea legs… errr rather, blog fingers(?!?).  After 8+ years of blogging (holla!), you have to go through phases of redfining yourself, or at least what you’d like to say.  I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but I think that it’s work re-hashing.

When I started blogging, I wrote mainly to escape my horrible worklife and to vent about said horror.  In the process I found the part of me that really missed writing and expressing myself through words.  I wrote the blog anonymously and found great thrill in feeling like I could say whatever I wanted.  Until the day that someone I knew stumbled upon my blog.  I felt violated.  I felt as though this person had entered my secret world where I could tell the absolute truth about everything all the time and I wasn’t ready to share a spot in that world.

Thankfully, that person wasn’t my boss.  In fact, it was someone that I was happy to share my frustrations and hopes with.  It really caused me to re-evaluate why I was blogging and what it was that I wanted to say.  I decided to stop dwelling on how bad work was and to change my perspective.  Instead of venting, I decided to not have work and negativity be the focus of my blog.  I also decided to tell my closest friends about the blog (Todd always knew about the blog, but decided that it was my place and he didn’t want to enter it – but knew that he was always welcome).

Losing my anonymity was freeing.  It was so freeing that I decided to leave the blog that I was at and start with a fresh blog at Blogger.  I told all of my friends and family about the blog.

Mistake.  I felt completely stifled.  Stifled creatively, stifled by Blogger and stifled because I was writing to my audience instead of writing for myself.  I’ve always taken blogging breaks (hence the name…) and have found it necessary for sanity, for freshness and just for re-grouping my message.  At this time, I felt that I needed more than just a break.  I took a leap and decided to leave Blogger – it was never a good fit.

I’ve been at WordPress since April of 2007 and I truly feel that it is my home.  Like any home, sometimes you have to move the furniture around and sometimes you need to change the wallpaper – but no matter the changes, it’s still home.

Since I’ve been at WordPress, I’ve gone from being a blogger that talked about the day-to-day quirks of life to being a food journaler to now being something in between.  I have found that documenting every morsel of food that goes into my mouth is not for me (although the accountability was great…) and that I *need* to talk about navigating through my day-to-day life.

So…having made these decisions, I feel as though I’m ready to start updating regularly again.

I have quite a few topics that I wan to talk about in the next couple of weeks:

– Running and it’s role on *my* self confidence

– Alcohol and its’ role in the(this) healthy blogger’s life

– How your perspective on a situation can mean everything

– The Biggest Loser – friend or foe?

– Comparing yourself to other bloggers

– Cost vs ethics (wow, that one sounds ominous…)

– How I *enjoy* a happy marriage

– The Marie Claire article about the supposed “Big Six”

Whew – I have lots that I want to say!  Although I guess that that’s a good thing!  lol!

Tonight I shall leave you with some pics of some delicious food (btw, I think my pics have been getting mmmmuuuch better)…

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Ok, trying to keep up with Biggest Loser and #fitblog on twitter!  Until tomorrow!