Thursday, August 30, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Toasted Ravioli

When the weekend rolls around and I know I'm going to have a free night for dinner, I always want to try out a new recipe that I otherwise wouldn't tackle during the week after work. I saw this recipe and was excited to try out a new pasta dish (I love Italian food). I ended up combining two recipes (one called for frying the ravioli and the other baked it in the oven) and I bought two kinds of ravioli at Trader Joe's (spinach and cheese and a beef bolognese - the spinach was way better). This recipe was actually easier than expected, especially since Ryan and I prepped the ravioli together. It's always better to have four hands instead of two in the kitchen!

Toasted Ravioli
adapted from Tasty Kitchen


1 bag Cheese Ravioli (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 cups of Italian Breadcrumbs (I used panko and added Italian seasonings)
1/2 cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 egg


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cook ravioli until al dente. Allow to cool.
3. Dredge ravioli in egg, then into the breadcrumbs mixed with half of the parmesan cheese.
4. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese before serving.


I had to serve some sort of vegetable with the pasta, and pulled out a pretty simple recipe to try. Ryan and I always eat asparagus as our green vegetable (or a salad) so I wanted something different. When I asked Ryan if he liked green beans, he said, "Well, it's no asparagus, but it'll do." I also discovered he doesn't like the taste of vinegar. Oh well, he still cleaned his plate!

Green Beans with Walnuts and Balsamic

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound green beans, trimmed (about 8 cups)

1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring until the garlic is just barely showing signs of turning brown, 30 to 90 seconds. Immediately pour into a large mixing bowl to stop cooking.
2. Meanwhile, add 1 to 2 inches of water to a large pot fitted with a steamer attachment, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add green beans to steamer, and cook, covered until the beans are crisp tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the green beans to the bowl. Add walnuts, balsamic and salt and toss to coat.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 3 ~ Spinx Half 10.27.12

This week of training was extremely humbling. Sometimes you just have to get your butt kicked to realize how hard running and training for a half marathon can be. You have really crappy, hard runs where you can hardly put one foot in front of the other, and then you have an awesome run that makes you remember why you lace up your shoes everyday. This week had all of those elements rolled into one. Recap, shall we?

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 3 miles

I'm working in Clemson for the next 4 weeks, so my days are a little longer than usual. I leave for work about 7:45 am and don't get home until 6:15 pm. I must say that being back at my alma mater when classes are starting again has made me extremely nostalgic. Driving down the same roads I did as a student makes my heart swell with happiness every time. I'm just so extremely fortunate to have spent 5 of the best years of my life in such a gorgeous place.

Oh whoops, I was supposed to be talking about running...

Anyway, on my drive home, there were some threatening rain clouds, but seemed to be moving away from Greenville. I checked the weather map while I got dressed, and there didn't appear to be a storm in sight. So I set out for 3 easy miles. You know where this is going right? I ran the ENTIRE 3 miles in the pouring rain. It was liberating and fun and reminded me of running through sprinklers and the rain as a kid. I was absolutely soaked when I got back to apartment, but I pretty much loved it.

Wednesday - 3 miles, hills

One of the greatest things about working in Clemson? I can bring my running clothes with me and run my old route after work. One of the worst things about running my old route? It's really. freaking. hilly.

There's a 3 mile route around the "perimeter" of campus, and no matter which way you choose to run, you're going to face some killer hills. This entire first mile was straight uphill, and I immediately knew my planned 4 miler wasn't going to happen. I recovered slightly with the flat/downhill 2nd mile. But the sun was beating down on me and I was feeling pretty worn out. I shuffled along for the 3rd mile and crawled back in my car to make the drive home. This run left me pretty much exhausted.

Thursday - (Unplanned) rest

Work has been a little stressful this past week, so Ryan promised to cook me a steak dinner on Thursday. Any excuse not to run right? Honestly, Wednesday's run left my confidence a little shot, and I just wasn't feelin' it.

Friday - Rest

Oops. I was going to run the 4 miles originally scheduled for Wednesday when I got off work Friday. But Friday was a pretty crappy day, too (full disclosure: our office at work was broken into and so so many computers were stolen; luckily I had mine at home with me). When I finally got home from work, I just wanted to curl in a ball. My roommate's computer was stolen, so we sat by the pool and drank Skinnygirl margaritas and discussed at length how people could be so cruel. Thieves suck.

Saturday - 4 miles

When I woke up, it felt like fall weather outside. I knew before I even stepped outside that this was going to be a good run. (Side note: Does anyone else believe that running is almost completely mental??) (Second side note: I apparently have not mastered the pacing miracle that is "negative splits." Every mile slower than the one before it? Yeah, that's how I roll. <--- Don't be like me!)

I did so many things during this run that I've yet to accomplish so far in training. First, my beginning mile is always the exact same anytime I run outside. There's a huge hill immediately after mile 1, so  I always stop to catch my breath after I see "1.00" flash on my watch before I can tackle the hill. But Saturday? I powered right on through. Now granted, I stopped immediately after I got over the hill, but still, that was a huge step for me! 

The run just kept getting better. I wanted to make it a goal to stop as few times as I could, which I knew I could do if I slowed down my pace. The verdict? 3 stops!!! One between each mile and that was it! I just kept telling myself, "0.25 miles further and then you can stop and walk," but I powered through each time. 

Sometimes completing a run like this, where everything goes right, makes me want to cry with joy. The other thing that almost made me cry? This song came on my iPod when I had a quarter of a mile to go. Of course, there's a story behind this song, "Shine On" by Eric Bibb. One day during grad school when I was feeling especially overwhelmed with the CPA exam, Bobby texted me a link to this song. Now I listen to it anytime I need some motivation. Even when Bobby's dad was sick, and I ran every mile of my first half marathon for him, I had this song on repeat.

"Well, there's a will, there's always a way, keepin' your eyes on that mountain top, one step at a time. Don't ever, ever stop. Keep on when your mind says quit...Shine on."

Sunday - 5 miles, intervals

In hindsight? Back-to-back long runs probably weren't such a great idea. This run was rough. I actually didn't feel sore from Saturday's run, but I felt out of shape. It was about 15 degrees hotter Sunday than for my run on Saturday, and I definitely felt it. I ran a mile/walked .25 mile, and had planned to run 6 miles total. Because I felt really hot, I was refilling my water bottle a lot more than normal. Turns out, you can overhydrate during a run. All that water was sloshing around in my stomach every time I tried to run and I had several "oh crap, I'm going to throw up" moments. Ugh. I made it 5 miles running (1.25 miles walking) and knew I couldn't go any further. Sometimes you have to know when to quit, too. I'm so glad today is a rest day! I'm icing and foam rolling like a champ!

After feeling inspired by Anna's healthy link-up, I've decided to join in, too! Hopefully this weekly inspiration over at Don't Quote the Raven and All in My Twenties will keep me motivated!

All In My Twenties
For those of you who are new, I talked a little about my running journey here and chronicle my races/training here!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend Update ~ A Whole Lot of Nothin'

Do you ever have one of those weekends that's the perfect amount of productivity and total laziness?

That's exactly how mine went down and I kind of want to repeat it over and over again.

But that's definitely not happening since football season starts IN SIX DAYS. We're off to Atlanta next weekend to see our Tigers kickoff against Auburn in the Georgia Dome. Cannot. Wait.

I'm almost 100% positive  I'm going to wake up in December and have no idea where fall went. It's my favorite time of year and I cannot be happier that it's on its way.

Back to the weekend...

Friday night we had a United Way event in Greenville. It was a typical young professional's gathering: mingling, bbq, beer and wine, and a band. I was home and in bed by 11:30 pm. #PostGradProblems.

Saturday included all the things great weekends are made of. A great run, cleaning, several loads of laundry, a patio lunch at the brewery downtown, a trip to Target and Trader Joe's, a pedicure, and a homemade dinner with a bottle of wine with my favorite person (Ryan, obviously).

Today, I made homemade bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches with my new egg poacher, spent hours on Pinterest, and took a nap while watching baseball. I'm heading out for my long run when it cools down a bit, and then Ryan and I are making pizza together!

See what I mean? This weekend made me happy.

I have a lot on the upcoming schedule, so it's easy to start wishing time away for things on the horizon.

I'm pretty sure I failed to mention that I'm going to Mexico in October with Ryan's family (3 days after we get back from Boston, eek)!!! While we were in Dallas, Ryan's mom asked us to go with the family to Cabo San Lucas. Who could pass up that trip? I've never been to Mexico, either! Cue excitement.

But I saw this on Pinterest today and I really loved it.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends and are taking advantage of every moment!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cooking Class with the Roomie

I briefly mentioned on my birthday over a month ago that Lauren had purchased a cooking class for us for my birthday. Well that class was a few weeks ago and I still haven't blogged about it!

This week has been such a whirlwind at work and honestly I've been lacking for some new material to write about, so now is the perfect time to share my pictures from the class!

I guess "cooking class" probably isn't the proper term; it was more of a cooking demonstration. We got to sit, watch, drink wine, and then eat everything the chef made. The chef is in charge of pastries at Soby's, one of the more popular and well-known restaurants in downtown Greenville. (Interesting fact: Not that I support him as a political candidate, but Mitt Romney just hosted a fundraiser there).

The theme was "Girls' Night Out" so the chef aimed to cook more tapas style dishes that you could serve to a group of your girlfriends. It was a four course meal, but they were all pretty small portions so you didn't feel overly full afterwards. We got to keep all the recipes so we can recreate them! I'm willing to try them all at some point, but maybe not all in the same night! I'll post the full recipe if I ever cook them myself (it's just too much to type them all here)!

I didn't get a picture of the first dish, but it was a Charred Eggplant on Country Bread with Goat Cheese and Romesco sauce. She just sautéed the vegetables, put a thick piece of cheese on the toasted bread, and piled the vegetables on top after stirring them with the sauce. The romesco sauce was homemade, but reminded me of vodka sauce you can buy at the store!

The second dish was our favorite. It was similar to ceviche, but had crab in it. It was a Crab and Avocado Salad Tostada. The flavors were light and fresh, perfect for summer. This would be the dish I'm most likely to make again and often!

The main course of Polenta Cakes with Grilled Beef was also delicious. It looked daunting on paper, but the chef made it look so easy! I'm sure I'd have to practice this one to get it just right, but it might just be worth the effort. 

And because we had to finish off the meal with something sweet, she made a fruit trifle, with layers of cubed angel food cake, summer berries, and fresh whipped cream. Yum!

I highly recommend trying out a cooking demonstration and/or class! You learn so much! It's like watching a show on the Food Network live! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Mini Maple Pancake Muffins

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. But unfortunately, I'm in too much of a hurry during the week to try out new recipes. The weekends are perfect for cooking breakfast at home.

I made these mini muffins for Holly's birthday weekend and they were a hit! I baked them the night before and we just reheated them in the morning. The 6 of us gobbled them up in one sitting. You expect them to be sweet, because they're muffins, but you have to remind yourself that it's pancake batter!

This would be perfect for company or an early morning football tailgate!

Mini Maple Pancake Muffins
from Six Sisters' Stuff

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used regular skim milk and they were fine!)
1 egg
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Generously grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan with non-stick spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together with a wire whisk.  In another bowl, stir buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combined.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Reserve a few chips to sprinkle on the tops.  Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Makes 24 mini pancake muffins.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 2 ~ Spinx Half 10.27.12

Training is going well! Some mornings I really don't want to get out of bed, so I mentally check my calendar to see if I can fit in a run after work. If not, I drag my butt out of bed. As long as the run happens at some point during the day, I guess it doesn't matter when!

This upcoming week will be challenging as I have 3 after-work activities during the week, meaning I must run in the morning. I'll be looking at early bedtimes then!

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 3 miles

Nice run after work. The last mile was obviously the hardest. I just wanted to be done and couldn't will my legs to move faster.

Wednesday - 3 miles, pace

My goal is 10 minute mile pace for the half, and I am running most of my runs faster than that pace. I need to remind myself to slow down. No wonder I'm winded during and after my runs! I set the pace on the treadmill and stuck with it. It felt better to take this run a little slower.

Thursday - Rest

I was supposed to run 3 miles on Thursday, but when my alarm went off, I just couldn't wake up. I had even gone to bed decently early the night before. I listened to my body and slept for another hour. I had dinner plans with Ryan, so I just decided to move my run to Friday morning. Compromise!

Friday - 3 miles, .20 mile walk between each mile

I love running at the gym in Ryan's apartment, because there's a tv! I watched the morning news while getting my 3 miles in. I forgot to take water with me and was parched the whole time! My mouth gets so dry from breathing that I need water, even for short runs! That certainly won't happen again!

Saturday - Rest


Sunday - 5 miles

Oh, long runs. The weather was iffy all day Sunday. When I first woke up, it was raining, so I gave it some time to clear up. I charged my watch, got dressed, laced up my shoes, and when I walked out of my apartment, it was pouring again. Plan B. I went to Ryan's apartment to get on the treadmill (again, because of the tv). I wasn't about to spend an hour on a treadmill with nothing to keep me entertained!

This run kind of sucked. The first 3 miles flew by, and I only stopped to walk at 1.5 miles. When I started running again at mile 3, my hips started to hurt and then everything fell apart. I have notoriously bad hips, but I thought my new shoes (Brooks!) would help. This hip pain was on the outside though, so I probably just need to spend some quality time with my foam roller.

I actually cheated on this run and did the last mile on the elliptical. I know it's not the same as running, but I tried to keep the same pace and upped the resistance a bit. I was afraid if I kept going, my hips would really be hurting, so I decided to cut my losses and finish on the elliptical. Hopefully after some stretching and a day of rest, I'll feel better for Week 3!

Happy Running!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekend Update ~ The Lake & Birthdays!

While I really love all the traveling I've been doing lately, turns out, a relaxing weekend was just what I needed to recharge.

Saturday was the day for birthdays. We had 4 friends to celebrate, which made logistics a little difficult. Trent had asked us to come to his lake house to surprise Holly for her birthday, but it was also Ryan's roommate's birthday and two college friends' party (twins)! We decided to split up, that way everyone could attend at least one of the parties! 

I hadn't seen my parents since my birthday, so on Friday night, Ryan and I met them at Nami, our favorite sushi restaurant on the lake in Anderson. Lauren and Tyler picked me up after dinner and we headed to Trent's house, just across the Georgia border, and Ryan went back to Greenville.

Trent had taken Holly out on the boat so we could surprise her when she got back. I think she knew something was fishy, but I think she was excited to have us all there! We enjoyed a low-key night complete with Terrapin beer and a late-night cruise in the pontoon boat. 

Love these girls 
She's so small I have to pick her up for pictures!
Bundled up for the boat ride!
Two more of Holly's friends surprised her on Saturday morning, and our group was complete! We recovered over many mugs of coffee, mini pancake muffins I made (recipe coming soon), and egg and cheese sandwiches. It rained in the morning, but the sun came out for the rest of the day for us to enjoy the lake. 

Sunday will be spent doing nothing, minus my 5 mile long run. 

Hope everyone is ready to tackle another week! 

(Side note: 2 more weeks until college football. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Jalapeño Popper Chicken

Whenever I post I recipe, I'm usually singing its praises, saying "this was amazing!" "best dish I've ever made!" "so darn good and easy!" etc.

But this time, I really, really mean it. This dinner was amazing. I bought the jalapenõs last week before we went to Dallas, and I knew they were about to spoil. I asked Ryan if he wanted to come over for dinner, with this dish in mind. I don't like things too spicy, but this was just right. Let me tell you, make this now. Seriously, do it. It was extremely easy and the cleanup was basically nil. The chicken cooked perfectly in the oven (can you believe I've never baked chicken before?) in 30 minutes. Once you see that gooey, melty cheese inside the chicken covered with a crunchy crust, you'll die and proclaim it the best thing you've ever eaten. I promise.

Okay, okay, enough raving over this recipe. Without further ado:

Jalapeño Popper Chicken

1/2 cup panko
2 tsp. canola oil
1.5 – 2 tsp. taco seasoning
1 egg
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
2 chicken breasts
Preheat the oven to 375 and place an ovenproof rack onto a rimmed baking dish (I just used a regular baking sheet). Spray with cooking oil.
In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the panko with the canola oil. Cook, stirring often, until the panko is golden and crispy. Place in a shallow bowl or dish. To the panko, add the taco seasoning and stir to combine.
In another shallow bowl or dish, lightly beat an egg. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños.
Using a small utility knife, cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast, or horizontally slice the chicken through the center, until it is almost butterflied. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper, and then divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between each chicken breast’s pocket. Use toothpicks to secure, if necessary.
Dip the chicken pieces one at a time first into the egg, and then into the panko mixture, making sure to coat the chicken completely. Place the chicken on the prepared baking rack and cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I'm having a hard time facing the reality that I'm not in Texas anymore.

Ryan and I had a great, relaxing trip visiting with his family, seeing the city, and eating some great food, because it's always about the food. I should've taken more pictures, but don't worry, I'll share all the details!


Our plane left Greenville suuuuper early, before the sun came up. But that meant we got to Dallas at 8 am and had a whole day ahead of us! Ryan's mom made us breakfast (and now, I must have this egg poacher), we hung around the house for a bit, and then headed downtown Dallas to meet up with Tyler for lunch! We tried out Bowery's, a new hot dog joint and were pretty impressed. Tyler took us on a tour of his office (which had a pretty awesome view), then we headed back to the house.  A little afternoon shopping with Ryan's mom and brother, then it was time for margaritas at the country club! Ryan's stepsister Laurel, whom I got to meet in March, joined us for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Give this girl steak nachos and tequila shots and you know she's happy! A few of Ryan's high school friends came over to the house after dinner. We had been up since 3 am and I was fading real quick. I feel asleep on a lounge chair by the pool before midnight! Such a party pooper.


We woke up late morning and just had to have Whataburger (again). Unfortunately, Ryan's allergies showed up with a vengeance just in time for this trip, and he didn't feel so great. He took an all afternoon nap while I read by the pool. He recovered long enough for us to catch the Rangers game! His friend works in the ticket office and hooked us up with awesome seats! We met up with a friend from Clemson and another of Ryan's high school friends, and had a great time! The Rangers won with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 9th! We went out to a bar in Fort Worth afterwards. Ideal Saturday in my book!


This was a bit of a tourist-y day. We went to a diner that Ryan grew up eating in. It turned out that Sunday was their last day in that location, so some of the menu items were $1.68 - the original price the day the restaurant opened!! How cool is that? We then went to the Sixth Floor Musuem in the Texas School Book Depository where they found Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle when JFK was shot. I'm obsessed in love with the Kennedy family, so I was really glad Ryan took me to the museum, and he had never been either! Back at the house, I left for my four miler, then we had a cookout at the house! Ryan's grandmother, Laurel, Chris, and two nephews came over to hang out by the pool and have dinner. I had such a great time playing with the kids and it was such a relaxing evening. I love low-key family get-togethers, even other people's families!


I was glad we had an extra day to decompress and wind down before hopping on a plane again. We had lunch (Texas BBQ) with Ryan's mom and stepdad, and then Ryan took me on a tour of Coppell where he grew up! It was so much fun to drive around..we saw his old houses, his elementary, middle, and high schools, where he played ball growing up, etc. I loved taking a trip down memory lane with him, since that was way before we met! He also drove me around SMU, where his dad and stepsisters went to college. 

Unfortunately, it was time for the trip to end. Surprisingly, Ryan's dad and stepmom happened to be in Dallas for work, so we got to have dinner with them before we went to the airport. We had dinner at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, and I swear to you, it was the most amazing steak I've ever had. It just melted in your mouth. The lettuce wedge and lobster mac and cheese didn't hurt either. I would walk back to Dallas to eat here again. 

Goodbye Dallas! Don't worry, I'll definitely be back!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Week 1 ~ Spinx Half 10.27.12

Week 1 of training is in the books and went off without a hitch! I had to do several of my runs on the treadmill, which isn't ideal. The heat was just too much in Texas for a mid-day 4 miler and I woke up one morning to lace up my shoes to find it pouring. I am thankful that my apartment building has a small gym, so I can still get my run in without having to leave the building!

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 3 miles, .15 mile walk between each mile

Because of my endurance level, walk breaks are a little necessary in the beginning for me. I just built walk breaks into this run to make it easier on me. I still ran the full 3 miles, but the treadmill helped me track my distance.

Wednesday - 3 miles

I took off for this run after work, not really expecting to be anything special since it was still pretty hot outside. But this turned out to be my best run of the week, and fast, too! 

Thursday - 3 miles, .15 mile walk between each mile

This run was pretty identical to Tuesday's run, except I had the company of "How I Met Your Mother" on Netflix.

Friday - Cross Train

I failed at Friday's cross training, unless you count wheeling and lifting my suitcase through the GSP and DFW airports as "weight lifting."

Saturday - Rest

Done and done. Saturday involved a Whataburger trip, a nap by the pool, and beers at the Rangers' ballpark.

Sunday - 4 miles, .20 mile walk between each mile

I procrastinated all day on this run. I hated to miss time with Ryan's family because I had to hop on the treadmill for almost an hour. But a window of opportunity opened up right before dinner, so I hit the fitness center across from Ryan's house. Around mile 3, I really started to regret all the rich and unhealthy food we had been eating all weekend. But hey, I was on vacation and it's all about balance right?!

At least this treadmill had a nice view!

Happy Running!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

{Recipe} ~ Tomato Pie

Nothing says summer to me like home-grown tomatoes. Growing up, I used to eat sliced tomatoes with salt for lunch. I'd even eat peanut butter and tomato sandwiches! I know, it sounds disgusting, but I promise it's delicious and I would never lie to you.

My mom and I are always trying new tomato pie recipes. She has combined several recipes over the years, most recently using this one from Southern Living. I've never attempted one myself, but wanted to try something a little different. I, like all resourceful cooks, took to Pinterest. (Seriously though, how did people ever cook, decorate, or plan a wedding, without Pinterest?? Those must have been some dark times). The recipe I found was really simple and I had it baking in the oven about 20 minutes after I got home from work. I've changed the recipe a bit (it was originally suggested to serve it cold - I thought that was weird). I do suggest adding some fresh herbs (chives, parsley, basil, etc.) to give the pie a little extra. But the addition of the bacon and panko is really what makes this dish.

Tomato Pie
adapted from Vanilla Sugar

1 (9") deep dish pie shell, frozen
4-5 large tomatoes, thickly cut
Freshly cracked sea salt & black pepper
A light sprinkling of sugar
1 c. good quality mayonnaise
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tbsp. fresh herbs (chives would be delicious in this)
½ - ¾ cup of panko crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice up the tomatoes in rather thick slices and place them on paper towels to absorb some of the excess moisture. Also place paper towels on the top.
2. Get pie crust from freezer, place sliced tomatoes over crust; do a double layer of sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with a very light layer of sugar, a little bit of salt, then freshly cracker black pepper.
3. In a bowl combine mayonnaise with shredded cheddar cheese, and the chopped up bacon. Spoon over tomatoes; try to get it spread evenly over the tomatoes, but don’t push down.
4. Then sprinkle on the panko crumbs just before baking, push them down a bit into the topping.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, based on preference for crust.

Monday, August 6, 2012

And We're Off...

Half marathon training starts today! Here's my 12 week training schedule for those of you who are curious!

My fitness level isn't exactly where I'd like it to be and the recent stomach issues are causing a bit of a problem, but I'm determined to make it through this training cycle injury-free and having fun! I plan on posting a weekly recap each Monday (mainly for my own benefit) about how the previous week's training went.

But since Mondays are rest days, I'm hydrating, eating foods I can easily digest, and heading to bed super early to catch up on the hours I've been missing lately! But I couldn't let the first day of training go by without commemorating it somehow...

I present to you: my favorite running products!

Running started out as a relative cheap hobby. Sure, running shoes can be a little pricey, but otherwise, you can just grab your iPod and head out the door. But after my first half marathon, I realized I needed a little more than just running shoes and some pump-up jams. All these products below get frequent use and I highly recommend all of them. If you have any questions, just ask!

Garmin Forerunner 210

I bought this watch for myself as a present when I passed the CPA exam last fall. It was definitely a splurge, but I so wish I had it when I trained for my first half. The information it provides can be extremely helpful when analyzing your runs (too fast? too slow? how far?) I wear this watch every time I run outside and haven't had any trouble with it. Some people claim it takes awhile to find a signal, but I usually just stand outside and stretch while I'm waiting, so that doesn't bother me. The only complaint I have is that the battery dies pretty quickly. I sometimes think I can go several days without charging, and then find the battery beeping at me within the first quarter mile. It even has a lap function, handy for interval runs.

I used to always run and workout in the classic Tempo short, every sorority girl's uniform. I have at least 8 pairs, if not more. And then I discovered these babies. It's everything you love about the classic tempo short, with compression shorts underneath (and an extra zipper pocket)! When running in this summer's humidity (i.e. lots of sweat), I noticed that my shorts were clinging to me like trash bags. I headed online to see what I could find, knowing that spandex compression shorts were not an option. These shorts are the best of both worlds! I don't feel like I'm on display in tight spandex, while still having the look of a tempo short. Since they're pricey, I only have one pair, but they've quickly become I favorite! I even wash them in between runs so I can wear them as much as possible.

I just bought this water bottle a few weeks ago and am kicking myself for not buying it sooner. It's so handy (ha, yes, pun intended)! It holds just enough water for my shorter runs and I don't have to worry about finding a working water fountain in Cleveland Park. The little pouch is nice for holding extras, too!

I'm obsessed with these socks. When I was at a local running store picking out shoes, the salesperson suggested these to me. I was skeptical, thinking they probably wouldn't make more of a difference than the cheap ankle socks I usually wore. Boy, was I wrong. The cushioned seam at the heel keeps blisters away and they keep your feet dry. I scoop up as many pairs as I can when they go on sale.

I've tried running with and without music, and I'm still undecided about which I prefer. Sometimes, quiet runs allow you to think and have time alone. Other times, I just want to blast some tunes and zone out. Either way, this little guy gets the job done.

Foam rollers are great for muscle recovery. I know spending 5 minutes on my muscles after my long runs is going to make a big difference in soreness the next day. 

One thing you'll notice is missing is running shoes. I still haven't found a pair that I'm in love with. My last two pairs have been Asics, but I'm not sure they were the best for me. I have a neutral foot strike so there a lot of options out there. I had a weird foot injury and hip injury with the first half, and I'm not entirely convinced it wasn't because of my shoes. I'm heading out this week to hopefully find a pair I'll love! 

Are there any running products you swear by that I just have to try? I'd love to hear about them!

Happy running y'all!