Monthly Archives: June 2011

CSA Cooking Part 2

Hey there! How’s your week going? Mine is just okay. My old back injury is flaring up right now. I had to teach Zumba tonight and couldn’t find a sub. My boss at the Y (who is a total sweetie by the way) came to my class and taught a few classes so I could rest. Now I’m sitting on the couch with a heating pad feeling pretty crabby!

On Sunday afternoon I realized that I still had some CSA items left that needed tending to. I roasted the kohlrabi and the turnips together using this recipe. Here they are all roasty toasty!

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The kohlrabi tasted like a potato! I thought it would taste more like a vegetable. The turnips tasted like a potato and a radish combined!

Then it was time for the greens. I received a bunch of chard in the CSA box but I also used the greens from the tops of the kohlrabi and the turnips because the CSA newsletter said they were edible. I washed them and chopped them.

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On left we have the stems of the chard which needed to be cooked a little longer, I didn’t even know that part was edible! Then I followed this recipe which I found while looking for turnip recipes.

After boiling the greens I rinsed them to cool them down and topped them with the dressing which was absolutely delightful!

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Looks kind of gross I know but I thought it was very tasty! I really like the cooked chard. They say that it is a good source of iron. I felt so healthy after eating this!

The only thing I didn’t use from the CSA box was the fennel. I still have it in the fridge but I don’t know how long it will last. I would definitely buy kohlrabi again just for something different and probably the turnips too. I also think I’ll include chard as part of my diet more often. Very easy to make and so good for you!

That’s about all from me! Hope your week is bright and sunny!

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July Weddings Bring June Showers!

Hey friends hope you are having a good weekend! Mine has been pretty busy but very fun.

Yesterday I hosted my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower at my mom’s house. When I got married one of my friends had a Pampered Chef shower for me and it was so much fun. Plus I got so many amazing kitchen tools which I use all the time. I knew that some day when I had a sister-in-law I would want to host a shower for her too. We had tons of food but can you believe that I didn’t take any pictures of the food?! I made

Back on Track Wheat Berry Salad

Broccoli Pasta Salad (I used light mayo and whole wheat pasta so mine wasn’t vegan or gluten free)

A veggie tray with Curry Honey Hummus

Sunny White Sangria (this was SO easy and everybody loved it!)

My mom made fruit pizza, some delicious brownies, punch, and ice tea.

As part of the shower the Pampered Chef consultant had Raina demonstrate a recipe. She did a wonderful job! She could have her own cooking show!

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Doesn’t she look like a pro?!

The guests enjoying the shower.

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We played one game. I bought Raina an apron and attached a bunch of unique kitchen tools to it. Raina paraded around the room and the guests had to identify what each tool was.

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It was great fun!  So excited to welcome Raina into our family in just 4 weeks!

My aunt and cousin came from Steven’s Point and Wausau so after the shower I hung out with them and later met up with my cousin’s husband and little boys to watch some fireworks.

Today we had big party at church. Sadly the reason for our celebration was that our priest of 14 years (and my boss) is getting moved to another parish. My relatives were able to join us for that as well. Now I’m at home chilling with Brian.

I was looking at recent pictures I’ve taken and with all the business of the weekend I forgot to post a fantastic meal we had on Friday night!

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That my friends is a turkey bacon, lettuce (from our very own garden!) and tomato sandwich! So good! I put some of the garlic pesto sauce on mine and it was delicious!

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That’s all for now friends! Hope your weekend was a good one!

CSA Cooking Part 1

Hey there! How’s your Thursday going? It’s pretty cool, gloomy, and rainy here! Makes me want to stay in bed under the covers all day. But there are things to do! Like trying some new recipes with the delicious bounty from our first CSA box.

The first thing I made was Garlic Scape Pesto. This recipe was featured in the weekly newsletter that the CSA farm sends out. I have never really been a fan of pesto sauce. I think it is because traditional pesto sauce is made with pine nuts and the few times I’ve had it it was REALLY oily. But I did have all of the ingredients on hand and there were no pine nuts involved in this recipe.

This is a garlic scape.

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Kind of looks like a curly green onion. I had never eaten a garlic scape before. It didn’t really smell like garlic until I chopped it up and then the smell was very fragrant.

This recipe was so simple! All you had to do was put all the ingredients into the food processor.

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I had to used powdered parmesan cheese because the fresh stuff I bought had the seal broken on it and was moldy! Sad smile

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Then just give it whirl! Instant pesto!

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I taste tested it on a piece of toast and I loved it! It is VERY VERY garlicky! It also had a little kick to it! For lunch a boiled some tri colored noodles and mixed some of the pesto sauce with it.

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So good! And so easy to make!

Next up perfect cilantro ice cubes for my green smoothies!

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Just kidding! I didn’t know what to do with all the cilantro since I don’t have any recipes planned using cilantro. My friend Jess (hi Jess!) suggested freezing it in ice cube trays with a little water. Then you can just use it when you need it! I thought it was a perfect idea!

Other than that not much new going on here. I taught cycling and later will teach Zumba.

Have you tried and new and unique recipes lately? Have a good day!

Eat Your Veggies!

Hey friends! Made to it the middle of the week, it’s all down hill from here! Not much new around here. I am enjoying the down time at my work and not working so many nights and weekends.

I am also loving the bounty of summer vegetables that are popping up. Today I made a salad to take to work with lettuce from my very own garden!!

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It was so fun to cut the lettuce right in my back yard, bring it in, wash it, and make a salad! The little red things are mini-pepperonis by the way.

Also our first CSA box came today!! Myself and three of my good friends decided to split a full share from Ridgeland Harvest. We are alternating splitting the CSA box between two of us. Every other week I pick up the box and split it with my friend Nicole and on the other weeks Becky and Polly split it up. Look at the bounty from this week!

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We have fennel, garlic scapes, cilantro, Swiss chard, baby turnips, lettuce, and 3 quarts of strawberries! And this is after I split the share up with my friend!

I found some pretty simple and great recipes to use most of the veggies but I have no idea what to do with the fennel or all that cilantro! Any ideas??

Not much else from me. Another relaxing night at home! Hope summer is treating you well!

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Big Chairs and Birthdays

Hey there! Hope you kicked off your week on the right foot!

I went for another run this morning and still had the same problems I did on Saturday. Not sure what that is all about. It was humid again, not quite as humid as Saturday but still pretty bad. I found that if I ran faster than a 9:30 mile it was harder to breathe so I kept it pretty slow. I did the same route that I kicked but on a few weeks ago but was 4 minutes slower! If this keeps up or if it doesn’t improve with the weather I might have to get that checked out.

Tonight we took my mother-in-law and father-in-law out to dinner for their birthdays. Duane’s birthday is today and Beth’s is Friday! Happy birthday to them! We took them to one of their favorite places Seven Bridges. I usually get the Herbed Salmon but tonight the Artichoke Scampi caught my eye. I wasn’t going to take out my camera but when my dish arrived it was just too pretty not to take a picture of.

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It was very good! You could have added chicken or shrimp for an additional cost and I think next time I would get the shrimp!

The birthday couple.

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After dinner we needed to stop at Menards (a home improvement store) to pick up some things. I found this HUGE camping chair and made Brian take a picture of me sitting in it.

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It was SUPER comfy!

That’s about all from me. Hope you had a great day!

Sucking Wind

Hey there! First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there especially my dad! Thanks for always being there for me and loving me so much! I always know I can go to my dad for advice. I love you dad!

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Little known fact about me, I’m adopted but when ever I tell people that they don’t believe me because they say I look just like my dad!

Yesterday Brian and I went on our long run for the week. Can you believe our 10K is just two weeks away? Our goal was to do 6.5miles. We stuck with our normal plan of running 10 minutes walking two minutes. After our first 10 minutes I was really struggling. Even Brian asked if I was okay. I am not sure what was up with me! It really wasn’t hot out but the humidity was at 100% so the air was really heavy. I just felt like I couldn’t get a good breath. This is really strange for me. I have excellent breath control. Another little known fact, I use to scuba dive with my family and when we would all come up from a dive I would have the most air left in my tank, even more than the dive master! Not sure if it was the humidity, if I was congested from allergies, or if the fact that I hadn’t run in a week affected me. It was kind of a bummer though. I actually thought about turning around after two miles but stuck with it. As we were nearing the 6 mile mark Brian says, “I think I’m going 7.” We were pretty close to our house so I decided that was it for me and I stopped running and headed home.  I guess I just haven’t had a bad run in awhile. Brian was awesome though! I think I’ve created a monster!

The rest of our day was spent getting ready for a Father’s Day dinner at my parent’s house. We headed over there early in the evening and cooked them venison Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. I also brought  salad, fruit, and dessert. Sadly, even thought I brought my camera, I didn’t take any pictures. I guess I wasn’t in blogger mode!

Today we are celebrating Father’s Day with my father-in-law. Other than that, not much new going on here! Hope you are having a great weekend!

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An Adventure to Remember

Hey there! I am back from my little adventure. I had such a WONDERFUL time. Despite a day of crumby weather the time spent bicycling, eating, talking, playing games, and just plain hanging out was really fun. Made me wish I would have stayed the full 4 days.

I got to Lanesboro about 3:30 on Monday afternoon. I assumed that the friends I would be riding with would still be out on the trail. So I set up camp!

My humble abode!

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The view from my front door.

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Lanesboro has this cute city park that lets you camp for $15 a night. There is a main camping area but you can also pitch your tent away from the hubbub of it all and closer to town (and the hotel your other friends are staying at that you can’t afford). My friend Jackie from Eau Claire has camped here almost every bike trip and she was happy for the company. She also brought tons of food and is quite the experienced camper so I was glad she was my camping buddy!

Here she is at breakfast one morning.

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After I got settled I headed over to the Brewster’s Red Hotel to meet up with the gang. The tradition of going to Lanesboro started back in 2004 when two people I met in Eau Claire Dan (who I worked with) and Nancy (his wife) ended up at Brewster’s and road every mile of the Root River Trail. Anyone Dan and Nancy met who like to bike they told about their Lanesboro trip and invited them to join the fun. I’ve gone to Lanesboro 4 times and every time I meet someone new. Sadly, Dan and Nancy moved to South Carolina last year and weren’t able to make it to Minnesota to ride with us. Fortunately some of us are still keeping the tradition alive!

We enjoyed a lovely cook out on the patio at the hotel. The rest of the group was pretty tired as they had ridden to Fountain which is about 22miles with a HUGE hill at the end. Plus we had a long day ahead of us on Tuesday so it was early to bed for the whole group!

I spent a somewhat pleasant night in the tent except for my “neighbors” who kept me awake with their quaking!

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Jackie and I ate breakfast at camp and then headed into town for a little walk and to meet up with the rest of the group.

Lanesboro and the area around it is so picturesque!

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We met up with the rest of the group who were eating breakfast at the local bakery.

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Starting on the left and heading around the half circle: Jackie, Mark (own of Brewster’s) Frank, Lori, Jim, Noelle, Lynette, and Renee.

After breakfast it was time to saddle up for the long ride to harmony. We stopped about halfway at Preston and with some creative use of the self timer got a group shot!

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Left to right: Me, Jackie, Jim, Lori, Donna, Frank, Lynette, Noelle, and Renee.

After Preston the ride got BRUTAL. For about 10 miles you are literally headed uphill AND we faced an incredibly strong head wind the entire time. We finally got to the top. You can tell how challenging the ride was by this picture.

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It felt so good to lie down! The reward for making that brutal climb was PIE!

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Last year I lamented the fact that there was no pie when I got to Harmony reason being these little restaurants make homemade pie but only so many so by the time we got there last year there were no good flavors left! This there was plenty to chose from and I got the Raspberry Cheesecake. It was TO DIE FOR!

Before leaving  Harmony we had to stop and take pictures of the goofy statues just outside of town.

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The ride home was much more pleasant as we were headed downhill and had the wind to our back most of the time. I did pretty well for not having gone very far by bike this year. I’m not saying 45 miles was easy but I didn’t feel too awful afterwards. I definitely wanted a cold beer and shower though!

We cooked out again but our party was cut short because it started to rain! We gathered under the porch at the hotel and hung out for awhile. Fortunately Jackie brought her rain hat.

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We also celebrated the tradition of passing on the Yellow Jersey. Renee got it for on Tuesday since it was her inaugural ride to Harmony and she survived! You can also see Mark wearing it in the bakery photo, he got it on Monday for being such and excellent host all years the group has stayed at his hotel.

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Sadly the rain did not let up…at all! It rained all night and I even had a few puddles in my tent the next morning! Nothing to worry about though, I survived! The next morning it was STILL raining! We decided to try and wait out the rain with hopes that things would clear and we would still get a good ride in on Wednesday. To bide the time we played cards. Perfect way to spend a rainy day if you ask me!

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A rainy day in Lanesboro.

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Sadly the rain did not let up until much later in the day and there would be no bike riding on Wednesday. I had to head home since I taught classes at the Y this morning. I decided to stay for an early dinner at the Mexican restaurant in Fountain but I had already packed my camera!

I bid my friends both old and new goodbye with promises of staying the whole 4 days next year! It was such a wonderful time, such great people and good fun! It also got me more excited about biking! I definitely want to get out and ride more! It was a perfect mini vacation!

At the corner of Mark and Hamlin

Hey there! Hope day two of your weekend is going well! I spent the better part of the morning at the corner of Mark and Hamlin streets in West Salem cheering on the triathletes participating in the YMCA’s Got Energy? Triathlon.

 

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I almost titled this post, “The Port A Potty that Saved My Life….Again!” since I had to use the same port a potty I used last year when I raced in the triathlon. I seriously have a problem! Smile 

I was super early in order to make it to the site in time.

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And brrrrrrrrrr! It was cold!

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And foggy!

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Luckily the coffee fairy came in the middle of the night and I had a nice travel mug all ready to go!

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Does anyone else LOVE the automatic feature on their coffee maker? I don’t use it very often but when I do I feel like it’s magic! I also packed some healthy snacks since I wasn’t really hungry when I woke up and had no idea where I would be on the course or how long things would take.

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An apple, granola bar, and half a sunflower butter and banana sandwich. Driving out to West Salem I felt so much more relaxed than if I was going to race. Except for it was REALLY foggy which mage me kind of nervous. We had to meet at the high school at 6am to find out where we would be stationed and what we had to do. I was lucky to be stationed near to the high school so I walked on over and chilled for awhile….a LONG while. The race was suppose to start at 7am but they had  to delay it an hour because of the fog. Once the race got going though it didn’t take long for the elite athletes to finish the swim and come zooming passed me on the bikes. I didn’t get any pictures at the race as I was too busy doing my job which was VERY important. I had to tell the racers where to turn a the intersection. As we saw from my race experience last weekend that is VERY important. I also had to cheer very loudly and encourage the athletes.  Since the bike route loops through town I got to see the athletes twice once on the way out and once on the way back. So many of the athletes thanked me for being out there which was so nice. I also saw a lot people I know from the Y which is always fun.

After the last biker came by my intersection I headed over to the finish area to cheer on the last few runners and to grab a bite to eat. I really enjoyed volunteering at the triathlon I thought I would feel bummed that I wasn’t participating but it was just as fun cheering for other people and definitely less stressful. Plus I don’t feel so exhausted that I need to take a nap….well, maybe a nap would be nice I am pretty tired!

After the race I headed home to continue getting ready for my adventure this week. Tomorrow I’m leaving for  Minnesota to do some bike riding on the Root River Trail. Remember last year I did a 45 mile ride just three days after the triathlon! This year I decided to stay and ride for a few days. I’ll ride the trail to Harmony again and then I think another long ride, about 35 miles, to Rushford.  Not really sure how this will go. I am taking my commuter bike since I actually haven’t ridden my road bike yet this year. I figure that my commuter bike is a little more upright and my back/body just won’t be use to the low position of my road bike. My legs should be pretty good as I’ve been teaching cycling twice a week for 9 months BUT I haven’t really spent a loooooooong time on the bike so I am worried about my back and my butt! I totally think it will be worth the pain. The folks I’ll be riding with aren’t hard core cyclist, it’s more about having fun and being social! I’m really looking forward to it!

Not sure if I’ll post tomorrow and definitely will be unplugging well on my bike trip so if you are wondering where I am that’s where I’ll be!

Healthy Weekend

Hey there friends! How’s your Saturday going? Mine has been SUPER productive! That’s because it started VERY early!

Brian and I got up 6am to run 8 MILES!! This was the farthest Brian has run. We did our usual run 10 minutes walk 2 minutes and finished the whole thing in 1:26. I check back over my stats from previous runs. The last time I ran 8 miles it was in the DEAD of winter I ran the whole way and it took me 1:25 so I think we did pretty good today! I don’t think Brian really liked running that far. He said the last mile was pretty tough. I have to keep reminding myself that I have been running long distances since last year and I guess I’m just use to them. I actually really LOVE running 8 miles, I call it my “sweet distance” far enough to be challenging but not enough to wipe me out (although I will admit I’m a little tired right now). To read about my other 8 mile runs check out these posts

An O.K. 8

A Great 8!

AWESOME 8

Super 8

2011 The Year of the Mouse

After we stretched and showered Brian cooked me an EPIC breakfast! Homemade egg sandwiches!

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Both our sandwiches were on toast with a slice of cheese, an egg and venison sausage. We both had avocado and Brian got real wild and crazy and added pepperoncini! Very delicious and filling!

Other than our long run I’ve been busy getting ready for a little adventure I’m going on next week. More on that later. Tomorrow I’m volunteering at the Got Energy? Triathlon. The same one I did last year! Can’t wait to cheer on all the participants.

Hope you’re having a good weekend!

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Chasing the Invisible Rabbit

Hi there friends! Hope you are having a FANTASTIC Thursday! Mine has been VERY productive so far and I am loving it!

In my June Dairy Days Race Recap I mentioned how chasing a “rabbit” help me to step up my pace and overall have a VERY fast race. I realized I didn’t really explain the term “rabbit” and in fact I probably used it incorrectly. ABC-of running.com defines the term “rabbit” as; A runner who pushes the field to a better time then drops out of the race before the final laps. This is referring to professional races. I think I have also used that term used by armature runners to describe how they would pick another runner out during a race and their goal would be to pass them at some point during the race which is exactly what I did last Saturday. Maybe I’m wrong but I’m just going to go with it!

That brings me to today. Today’s morning temperatures were gloriously in the 50’s, a whole 25 degrees cooler than they were earlier this week. Brian once again got up before 5am to run with his cousin Bill. Bill had called the other night and said he heard that Brian had started running and wanted to run with him some time. Bill wouldn’t disclose how he found out Brian had started running but I’m pretty sure he reads my blog (hi Bill!). Anyway, Bill is MUCH taller than Brian and has served in the military so he is in pretty good shape. I was a little worried that Brian, being a newbie runner, would have a hard time keeping up. But, Brian returned to the house breathless but excited that he had run is regular 4 mile route in 37 minutes! I guess Bill really helped him to keep the pace going!

Now I had a challenge set before me. I had planned to run the same 4 mile route just not so freakishly early. I had intended to take it nice and easy since I was feeling a little sore and I have to teach Cycling this afternoon. But, once I heard how fast “the boys” had run it I couldn’t possibly let them beat me.  I got outside realized how cool it was and let it rip. I was running hard and fast! I finished the first mile at a 9:33 pace and it only got better from there. The third mile was 8:48 and I thought there was no way I could keep pushing that hard but I did!

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4 Miles in 36:05 with an average mile of 9:01! I could hardly believe it!

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After my awesome race time on Saturday I wondered if I would ever be able to run 9 minute miles and today I almost did, most of my miles were under 9:00! Here are my splits.

  • Mile 1 9:33
  • Mile 2 8:55 <—–I’ve never done my second mile under 9:00
  • Mile 3 8:48 <—– Thought there was no way I was going to be able to maintain that pace!
  • Mile 4 8:46 <—– Did it!

It was so fun and challenging chasing the “invisible rabbit”!

Not much else planned for today except for teaching Cycling at the YMCA. I should practice some Zumba moves but I am pretty tired already! Hope you have a great Thursday!

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