Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Happy last day of September!  I hope you all finished out the month strong - bring it on October!

My wonderful friend Dan told me this afternoon that I had to stop posting breakfast pictures because they always made him hungry.

I am a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  I am loving the fact that I currently have the flexibility to enjoy a nice breakfast at home before heading off for the day.  Coffee is so much better out of a real mug than out of a travel mug. :)

I am also loving the fact that the weather has cooled off and I can eat on the porch.  It is blissful!

Have you ever perused Bisquick's recipe website?  They have tons of recipes on there that never end up on the box.  Yesterday I made a batch (well I cut it in half) of Applesauce Pancakes and that was on the menu this morning.  They were delicious and moist and amazing.  Definitely check out that recipe if you are looking for a fun twist on an old favorite.

So today was a little strange, weather wise.  Either the sun was shining or it was gray and raining.  It never really warmed up (I was shivering on the scooter) and it kind of reminded me of the calm before the storm - only I don't think there is going to be a storm.  Weird.

I took this picture when I was heading back into work after lunch.  Gray clouds and bright blue skies.  How bizarre.

Anyway, the weather was last thing on my mind today.

Because this girl was in town!

And this guy came up so we could all have dinner!  Actually, the two of them crashed a class at Candler this afternoon and then the three of us hung out before meeting Bruce and Sarah's husband Andrew for dinner.

(Sara, we missed you!)

Aww, they're cute. Sarah and I are pretty sure Andrew and Bruce were separated at birth. It's scary how much alike they are.

(p.s. Chili's is a great place to talk and catch up but the lighting is terrible. Terrible lighting = meh photographs. But you can see the love.)

Before we left for dinner Sarah and Dan and I caught up at my apartment over a game of scrabble. And I have to say ...

Only a group of seminary graduates would allow the word "div" to count in a game of scrabble.

Because we're cool like that.


Side note - I woke up this morning and my legs felt like absolute lead, so I decided to skip the run and do a pilates DVD instead to try to loosen up.  I know it is totally against my Type A make up to skip a run, but if my legs don't stay loose, all of that pressure lands on my knee.  And that's bad.  So I'm trying to listen to my body and see what it needs.

Have a good night!


"I talk a LOT.  So I've just learned to tune myself out."
Kelly, The Office

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Good morning!

I know I promised a week ago that a recipe for Sweet Potato Fries would be "coming right up", but to be quite honest, something wasn't quite right about the fries and I kept thinking that I could come up with a way to make them better.

So I thought.  A lot.  I had made fries last week with a Thanksgiving frame of mind - where yams are served with fluff or brown sugar.  So I topped my fries with brown sugar.

At some point over the weekend, I thought about Pretzel M&Ms and why they work so well - it's the dichotomy (wow I haven't used that word since grad school) between sweet and salty that makes my taste buds sing.

And that's when I realized ... sweet potatoes are already sweet.  I need the salty.

That was my very long way of saying I fine-tuned my recipe and made a new batch last night.  Did you hear the hallelujah chorus?  Because I think I heard it last night when these guys came out of the oven ...

Yum.  Let's begin.

Oh - by the way.  This is so easy I'm almost embarrassed to call it a "recipe".  But when I set out to make sweet potato fries I had no idea where to begin, so if you are in the same boat, I hope this helps!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Large Sweet Potatoes
Vegetable Oil
Sea Salt

Start by washing your potatoes ... 

Did you know that sweet potatoes are in season in Georgia in the fall?  I learned that at the Botanical Garden.  I don't know why I couldn't figure it out on my own (thanksgiving = yams), but it's nice to know I'm eating in season.


Carefully cut the sweet potatoes in half.  This is important because sweet potatoes are so dense that they are easier to work with if you cut them in half first.

Then cut the sweet potatoes into really thin fries.  

Because sweet potatoes need to be cooked so well, you want to make sure the pieces are small enough so they can cook through without burning.

Put the fries in a bowl and toss with vegetable oil.

Then toss with sea salt.  McCormick makes a nice grinder that is super easy to use and you can choose from three different grinding sizes.  I chose the largest!

Sweet + Salty = Delicious.  Don't skimp on the salt, trust me!

Throw in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

About halfway through the baking time, pull them out to turn them so they don't stick to the pan.

Top with a little bit of additional salt (unless you have high cholesterol) before serving.  Yummmmmmm.

Bruce didn't understand the concept of sweet potato anything without something sugary added to it.  In fact, he put molasses on his!  But I really think the sea salt balanced out the sweetness and made for a fabulous side dish!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Running With Pepper Spray (Half Marathon Training 9/29/10)

Happy National Coffee Day!  I celebrated by drinking an extra cup this morning.

Or two.

Okay, maybe three.  It was all in the name of celebration, after all.

Anyway, I had a fabulous meeting with my pastor this afternoon and I came home around 5:00 totally energized and ready to head out for a 6 mile run.  I was feeling good about my legs, my energy and my life and I took off.

Heading out in PINK!

Sooooo ... the run was fine.  Sort of.  Well ... okay.  The first four miles were fine.  I wasn't feeling really fast, but I didn't really need to be because I was doing a longer run.  Then I hit mile 5.  And around mile 5, a man (who I'm guessing from my limited experience with homeless shelters and psychiatric medicine was living in homelessness and possibly slightly manic) decided he wanted to run with me.

Okay ... if I wanted to run with someone, I would have run with my husband!

All kidding aside, though, I was a little freaked out.  The good news is that I was on a busy street during rush hour and it was still very light out.  I decided to slow down to a walk (and he slowed down too) because I was two miles from home and knew I needed my energy to focus on getting myself out of the situation.  I was thinking about my experience with psych patients this summer and realized it was better just to not acknowledge him and (because he kept running ahead and then falling behind) at one point God parted the Red Seas (ie the traffic magically cleared on a four lane road in rush hour) and he was a few feet ahead of me so I darted across the street.  Apparently he lost interest because he kept walking and eventually walked out of sight.  Eventually I felt confident enough that he was gone that I started to run again.

So you can understand why my pace was a little slower than normal.  That being said - I was actually surprised that the walking didn't make a huge difference!  In the end I ran 6:00 miles in 1:09:35, averaging a 11:36 pace.  Because my run was a little bit wanky today (I think I walked almost a full mile), I thought I'd do a mile-by-mile breakdown ... 

Mile 1 - 10:18 
Mile 2 - 11:08
Mile 3 - 11:05
Mile 4 - 10:48
Mile 5 - 13:38 (insert creepy man and walking break)
Mile 6 - 12:36 (my walk extended into this mile as well)

Not terrible, all things considered.  It's good to know that even with a huuuuge walking break, I could still maintain a good pace.  I really need to keep that in mind when I go on these longer runs.  Even intentional short walking breaks won't kill me!

On a serious note, I came home and told Bruce what happened.  He was surprisingly calm about it, but did mention that I should start wearing the reflector belt he wears when we run at night.  He bought pepper spray to put in it and I'll be able to carry my phone with me as well.  We live in a really safe part of Atlanta, but you never know.

So be safe y'all!

To make myself feel better, I made another batch of sweet potato fries and paired it with some chicken grilled with italian dressing for dinner.

And now I am watching NCIS reruns on USA.  I love this show an unhealthy amount.



This probably ranks up there on the list of things I never thought I would share on my blog.

Someone needs to find a way to bottle up my one year old innocence.  I could use some of it in my twenties.

Have a great Wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apparently Lindsay Lohan Is My Inspiration

Alternatively Titled: On Wear a Dress Tuesday, Food and Running (Half Marathon Training 9/28/10).

This is the day that the Lord has made! It was 54 degrees when I left for work this morning! NCIS is on tonight! It's Wear a Dress Tuesday!

Side note: When I looked at this photo I realized that my hip is cocked in all of my WADT pictures. So I decided to take another one ...

Ha. Oh well - I tried.

Head over to Sara's blog for her WADT post. If anybody else posted about WADT, leave your blog URL in the comments section!


Bruce sent me an e-mail this morning that said we were going to tackle some HILLS in our run this afternoon. We were only scheduled for 2-3 miles, so it was a great time to push ourselves up some hills (Atlanta races are notorious for their horrifically placed hills). Around 5 p.m. he sent me another e-mail:

Subject: Fuel
Hey babe did you eat something? You need to get some fuel in your system in the next 15 to twenty minutes. Something with carbs and a little protein, even some sugar. Maybe go grab some peanut M&M's - they are good for quick energy - or maybe a PB&J would be a good high energy snack! Just get something in there soon.

I had eaten a late lunch ...

(I made another Pineapple Sandwich Thins Pizza! Hey, when there are only two people living in a house, you tend to see a lot of repeats until you eat all of the ingredients.)

... but I decided to make a bowl of oatmeal anyway. There was something about Bruce's e-mail that made think I was going to need a little something extra.

Oatmeal sprinkled with brown sugar and a walnut/pecan mix. Yum! I NEVER ate oatmeal as a kid - I thought the texture was gross.

When I was in college I started to eat the instant packets. But only the really flavored ones. Then I met my friend Marissa who buys oatmeal by the canister and mixes and matches all kinds of different toppings. She inspired me.

Yum. It's been too hot to really enjoy a bowl of oatmeal lately. Devouring a bowl of oatmeal on my porch on a beautiful fall day was the perfect prelude to my run.


How was my run? Thanks for asking! For starters, let's talk about one of my favorite topics: music. When I started to think about tackling hills today I knew I was going to need a kick butt playlist in order to push me to the top. I was watching E! True Hollywood Story on Lindsay Lohan (girlfriend's seen better days) while I was waiting for Bruce to get home and Lindsay actually inspired my new running playlist.

Running Playlist 9/28/10:
Ultimate (Lindsay Lohan)
Ever Ever After (Carrie Underwood)
Party In The U.S.A. (Miley Cyrus)
All These Things That I've Done (The Killers)
Autobiography (Ashlee Simpson)
Come On Over (Jessica Simpson)
Poker Face (Lady Gaga)
Love Story (Taylor Swift)
Live at P.J.'s (The Beastie Boys)
Livin' on a Prayer (Bon Jovi)
Mississippi Girl (Faith Hill)
Red High Heels (Kellie Pickler)

Somewhere in Connecticut my father is crying at the realization that his daughter has all of these female pop artists in her iTunes account. What can I say? I was in a mood. And it helped! We covered 3.25 miles in 33:50, averaging a 10:25 pace. Not bad considering we tackled these bad boys ...

That second-to-last hill was my idea. I suggested we take a side loop to "throw in an extra hill for fun".

For FUN?! Who am I?!


I'm off to stretch out my sore legs and head to bed. Goodnight!

Pineapple Sandwich Thins Pizza

Happy Wear a Dress Tuesday!

As promised, here is the super simple and quick recipe to the pizza I made for lunch yesterday.

I was roaming the bread isle at Publix on Sunday night and I came across these ...

... I was intrigued.  Into my basket they went.

We actually used them for burgers that night, but then yesterday (while I was basking in my day off) I was looking at them around lunchtime and had a flashback to my childhood and my English Muffin Pizza phase.  Did anybody else go through one of those phases?  Anyway - I looked in my fridge and saw that I had a way to put a modern-day-healthier-twist on one of my childhood favorites.

Pineapple Sandwich Thins Pizza
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza Sauce
Pineapple Pieces

My inspiration.

I had originally planned to bake these in the toaster oven so I started building it on that tray.

When I got to this point in the pizza-making process, Bruce walked into the kitchen and decided he wanted some too ... 

So I turned on the big oven and moved everything to a cookie sheet.

Then Bruce put bacon bits on his.  Apparently he's not interested in the "healthier twist" part of lunch.

Mmm, pineapple pizza.  A great way to sneak a serving of fruit into a meal.

Pop them into the oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

And pretend you're a kid again!

Enjoy.  Yum!

Monday, September 27, 2010

USER ERROR (Half Marathon Training 9/27/10)

I think I posted on twitter at least twelve times today that I LOVE HAVING DAYS OFF.  Ahhh ... I feel so refreshed!  Do you know how long it's been since I had coffee in a real mug (not a travel mug) and I ate breakfast off of a plate and not wrapped in a napkin?

It was glorious.

I'm almost ashamed to admit that after I finished my waffle, I topped off this mug and crawled back into bed to watch the end of the Today Show.

It was amazing.

Well, it was for me.  My poor husband, other the other hand, was subject to an entire hour of Kathie Lee Gifford.

I think he is still recovering.

Anyway, it was so nice to just lounge around with no place to go.  We watched last week's episode of NCIS, did some cleaning and I actually made a hot lunch.

(Super simple easy recipe to come tomorrow!)

While I was cleaning I noticed that the flowers that Bruce bought me last week had opened up, so I brought them out on the porch for a photo shoot in some natural light ...


Does anyone know how I can make these pretty things last longer?

Love them.  Love him.

I even snuck in a run before dinner!

So ... I don't really have stats today.  Here's the thing.  For the past week I've been having issues with the auto focus on my camera.  I thought it was just my 18-58mm lens, but I put my 55mm on and it was doing the same thing.  I started to get frustrated, but then I realized that I am more than capable of focusing myself and have had my camera on manual focus all week.

When I was at church yesterday, I was bemoaning my focus problem to my friend Angel (who has advised me on most of my photographic purchases) and she picked up my camera to see if she could figure out what was wrong.

It worked just fine.

She looked at me, laughed and said, "User error?"

Perhaps I just need to slow down.

What does this have to do with my run?  Well yesterday I plugged my garmin into my computer to upload my stats and noticed that it said the battery was low.  I assumed it wasn't really serious - sort of like when your gas light comes on in your car and you still have 60 miles to go?  So I didn't put it on its charger.  When I turned it on today it said low battery, but I figured that since I was only running 2-3 miles, I would still be in good shape.


0.49 miles in, my screen went blank.

Lesson learned - charge your watch when it says it has a low battery!

User Error (x) 2

But up until that point I was totally rocking it and running at a 9:30 pace!  Let's just say for the sake of this recap that I ran 2.5-ish miles in 25:00-ish, averaging a 10:00-ish mile pace.  Honestly, user error aside, it was a great run.  I genuinely enjoyed myself, kept a great pace and even tackled a hill without whining through it!

That being said ...

Dear Sarah,
Prevent User Error.  Slow down and remember to charge your electronics.

Have a great night!  Tomorrow is Wear a Dress Tuesday!

CSN Winner

Good Monday morning!

Bruce and I both have today off, so we are going to try to spend the day unwinding from our insane and completely opposite schedules and actually spend some time together!

I realized during the blackout on Friday night (I took this picture during it) that even when we are home, we are both soooo distracted by technology.  Some of it is necessary in work and life, but I think today I am going to try to reel it in a little bit.

Look at me using a fishing metaphor when talking about my marriage!

Before I do that, I thought I'd announce the winner of the $20 CSN Gift Certificate Giveaway.  I had so much fun reading through y'alls comments - there is so much fun stuff to buy on CSN that I almost don't know where to start!  Anyway, congratulations to Tim!  He was looking into some farberware cookware.

(His wife also just finished a 3 Day walk for breast cancer.  AWESOME.)

Have a wonderful day everyone!
Related Posts with Thumbnails