Monday, April 28, 2008

My Plants

So sad.....can you see the other plan consoling basil, its little arm outstretched. Poor poor Basil!Here they are together, they got along so well.

So the other day I was at the market and they were selling fresh basil, root and all. So I bought one, it was so fresh and lively and yummy! It had instructions for keeping it alive short term and long term. I choose the long term because I felt that our lovely other plant needed a little brother (obviously it is a brother since his name is Basil). So I ran over to our local hardware store and purchased a pot. I tried to buy dirt too, but they wanted to sell this huge bag of dirt to me. No way do I want to keep a big bag a dirt in my apartment, so I decided to got and steal borrow dirt from the park. I went to the park with my pot and a hammer (I don't have a shovel) and started digging up dirt around a tree, but there was too much bark and crap in the dirt, you know for aesthetic reasons. So I snuck over to the planters by my apartment building and nonchalantly dug (don't worry, I stopped when ever anyone was around). I got back upstairs and inserted my lovely basil and the dirt and gave it some water. Well apparently I have been struck down for stealing dirt, because Basil is on deaths door step. What to do??? Maybe the sand content was too high, I just don't know. So now, plant will be an only again. (If anyone can tell me plants real name, I'll give you......a high five next time I see you.)
Here it is with some lovely flowers, at one point it had 4 flowers all on one stem.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Here are some pictures from out excellent trip to Boston, and we couldn't have asked for better weather! So in here you will see pictures from the Freedom Trail, the Marathon Expo, Paul Revere's house, our Harvardian friends - Christa and Rob, and Paige and Jeff (thanks for a great time!!), the inside of the LDS church we attended which was a broiler factory or something, the tall glass things are a Holocaust Memorial, yummy pastries (whoopie pie), pre race (thanks white cap for the shirt), heart break hill (my demise), post race, airport, and everything in between. Enjoy.

as for the race, well I finished! Last year I thought that the Newton hills were totally over rated, but this year, the Newton hill pretty much ended my race. I'm going to blame the flat land that I live in for this early demise. I was holding pace or close to it until about mile 16:) As for my marathon career, I'm getting a coach for my next marathon, case closed!!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Boston Marathon Champions

Dick & Rick Hoyt

Dick & Rick Hoyt

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong



Thursday, April 17, 2008

Good Food Friday

This week I took a page from the book from the Barefoot Contessa (who I hate), but she made a yummy sandwich, Croque Monsieur, as you can see, it is really naughty! Lots of lovely cheese. So here is her recipe.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

But then the Fab Five (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) made a version of this same sandwich. So I combined aspects of both recipes and here it is and way easier than BC. And maybe this isn't as French as the above recipe, but I thought it was pretty good.
You'll need:
Crusty bread
Dijon mustard

To Make:
spread Dijon mustard on one slice of bread, add a couple pieces of ham, throw on some tomato, add a heaping amount of Gruyere, and top with other slice of bread. Butter the tops for grilling and cut off the crusts (because nobody really likes crusts anyways) and voila.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Poll Analysis

It's the post you've all been waiting for. Sorry it has taken me so long, life is hard when you don't have to work- someone please pull me away from the t.v., I can't watch anymore food network, it makes me hungry. Oh, and might I also add, with less then a week to go, my allergies have kicked in, (perfect timing), but I'm still functioning, just sneezing.

Okay so the poll. Well let me ask, what do you think of the results? I don't know why I'm asking, half of you already vocalized your disgust with the post, but lets be honest, peeing in the shower is more prevalent than I, or any of you, probably realized. According to Bill I need to mention that the poll needs to be reworded. Since There are a couple of options in the poll that all suggest peeing in the shower at one point or another and only one option that says absolutely no peeing. The total comes to 16 people peeing in the shower in the past, present, and future, where as 7 said they never pee in the shower and/or pee only in the pool. So with my simple calculation:

I've concluded that 70% of people still pee in the shower. So next time you decide to take a bath in a shower/bath combo, at least put a wash cloth under your bum.......or just don't take a bath unless you are in your own home.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Running Update- The Final Countdown

It's the final countdown until Boston, 9 more days!!! So for this last week I've put in 37.7 miles, and maybe I should have cut down more, but oh well. This next week will be pretty easy with lots of rest.

My fun fact for this week is....the Boston marathon will be broadcast live on Versus at 10 AM ET. I think I've got my racing outfit picked out, so look for me in a red top and black shorts, weather permitting. Also, Nova is doing a segment on the Boston Marathon which airs on Tuesday at 8 PM CT or Sunday. Check it out.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Good Food Friday

For this week, I've got steak.

Steak Ciabatta with Hummus and Salad
Serves 4
3 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with enough salt to season steaks
30 ml/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 sirloin steaks
2 romaine lettuce hearts
4 small ciabatta breads
salt and ground black pepper

For dressing:
10ml/2 tsp Dijon mustard
5ml/1 tsp cider or white wine vinegar
15ml/1 tbsp olive oil

For hummus:
400g/14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
45ml/3 tbsp tahini
2 garlic cloves, crushed
juice of 1 lemon
30ml/2 tbsp water

1. To make hummus, place the chickpeas in a large bowl and mash to a paste. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in the water. Mash together well.
2. Make dressing by mixing the mustard and vinegar in a jar. Add the oil and seas to taste. Shake well.
3. Mix garlic and oil in a dish. Add the steaks and rub the mixture into both surfaces.
4. Preheat the grill (broiler). Cook the steaks on a rack in a grill pan. For rare meat, allow 2 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the second side. For medium steaks, allow 4 min on each side. Transfer to a plate, cover and rest for 2 minutes.
5. Dress the lettuce. Split each ciabatta and heat on the grill rack for a minute. Fill with hummus, the steaks and leaves. Cut each in half and serve immediately, just as they are.

My other really tasty steak recipe (Steak and Blue Cheese on Ciabatta) goes like this:

1 part-baked ciabatta bread
2 ribeye steaks, about 7 oz each
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz Gorgonzola cheese, sliced
Salt and ground pepper

So tasty, and boy do I love Gorgonzola!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My little Chelsea is a Mom

This is Chelsea, I've talked about her before. She is my running buddy and probably the only person that I would be happy for if she beat me (which she almost always does). She is very dedicated to running and is super fast. Sometimes she enters races under the name S. Fast, like K. Swtizer (first woman to run the Boston marathon), because she is super fast and doesn't want there to be any confusion on who it is that is going to win the race (be it male or female). Anyway, a funny thing happened this last summer, we ran the Freedom Festival 5k and I beat her. I thought "this is unusual, Chelsea can always keep up or beat me". Well the reason I beat her, unbeknownst to me (and her) was that she was pregnant. So now turn your head to see the picture below, Chelsea and the cause of her slowness, little baby Emmy - who is adorable and so tiny (I got to hold her, and it made me very happy)! They say that after you have a baby, your race times drop because you know how to handle pain and exhaustion.Chelsea has signed up for the Chicago marathon this fall, and I'll be there to watch her break the 3 hour mark, (she can now that she has given birth, it's a right of passage). I love ya Chels, maybe we can start training together soon, or maybe I'll just hold Emmy while you run because I need a break, or better yet, we can do Boston '09 together. Think about it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Running Update

For my last week of hard workouts, I did 50.1 miles. I'm only taking a two week taper since my mileage never went above 60. This last week was bitter sweet. It was sweet because I've got the last of my really hard workouts out of the way, and bitter because Boston is only 2 weeks away and then it will be over before you know it. Then I will have to find another race to train for. I think I will do some half marathons next. No I haven't signed up for Chicago, I'm not a big fan of doing multiple marathons per year, it is just too much stress and strain, especially for someone who can't just have fun during a race. I have to race a race.
Anyway, my fun fact for this week is......well I'm not sure I have one. I did get to do my long run outside yesterday!!! 15.6 miles and it was marvelously warm and sunny, and my freckles have made their grand entrance for the season. Oh here is my fun fact (this might only be fun for me). Treadmills are bull crap. People say that running on a treadmill is way easier than outside. I think that is false. Aside from there being no wind (except for the built in fan), treadmills are way harder than running outside. My pace decreases by like a minute when I'm in the great outdoors. So from here on out, I will be in my home away from out, the great outdoors, doing my last 12 runs before the big day! Oh and here is my other fun fact, Lance Armstrong will be running Boston and so will Kristen Armstrong, his ex-wife who is also a writer at Runner's World. So I'm going to try to get pictures with both of them to add to my collection of superstars.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Good Food Friday

This soup has just broken into one of my top 5 of soups- in no order: tomato basil, portabello mushroom, beef stew, taco, and..........................potato leek soup.

This was so tasty and fresh (can you tell I'm really into fresh and light right now).

Here are the ingredients:
the white and pale green part of 2 large leeks, split lengthwise, washed well, and chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound boiling, potatoes
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

In a large heavy saucepan cook the leeks in the butter with salt and pepper to taste, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are softened but not browned. Add the water, the broth, and the potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. In a blender purée 1 cup of the soup, stir the puré into the remaining soup with the parsley, and season the soup with salt and pepper.

*And don't forget to take my poll, see side bar and post below*

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Bathtub

So, this might be kind of personal, and gross, so brace yourselves.

As I have mentioned, after a long run, I like to take a nice ice cold bath. But sometimes I am inhibited from taking a bath because I can't bring myself to sit my bare bum in a dirty bathtub. Thus the only times I can take a bath is right after I've cleaned the tub, or I'm really really desperate. Who knows how dirty it really is, but lets be honest, sometimes people pee in the shower. Now I will admit, I have been guilty in the past, but I have since repented. And, you hotel goers can answer this for me, how often to hotels really clean their showers. I would like to believe that they clean them (scrub them) with each new guest, but I am skeptical. My friend Jo, who worked in Jackson for a summer cleaned hotel rooms, said that they used the same cleanser for everything, which is why I now question the cleanliness of hotel bath tubs. Anyway, because of my new bathtub phobia, I would just like to know, who here has peed in the shower? So please take the quiz to the side (your secret is safe with me, but I just want to know - and you will remain anonymous, so be honest).