Monday, March 25, 2013

Becoming a Morning Runner and the Bearathon

I've become a morning runner. As in, I've run before 9am a couple times in the past week . This is coming from the girl who used to always work out around 3pm. The one who never wanted to switch her routine. The one who felt like death every time she tried to run in the morning.

And then two weeks ago, I decided to do an easy workout in the morning, because I had to stay at school later than normal. When I walked out of school at 5pm, it felt so good not to have a workout hanging over my head. And, I felt so much more alert and energized the whole day.

Ever since then, I've done all my workouts in the morning. :)

On Saturday I ran the Bearathon again. My longest training run was 10 miles, so the last 3.1 really hurt. :) But I finished in 2:25:04! The best part was Jocelyn meeting for the last half mile. I think I disappointed her by how slowly I was moving at that point. :)

This year's race was super cold. So when I got home, I promptly used the space heater as a hair dryer. Quite an efficient way to multi-task, if you ask me. :)

For dinner, I made a homemade chicken pot pie from my "New Best Recipe Cookbook." Nothing beats chicken pot pie after a race (except maybe pizza...).

I had to improvise a little with the crust because I didn't have enough butter. I'm still not exactly sure what went wrong, but clearly I need a little work there.

I also made a batch of homemade Cheez-its. Since you can't buy them gluten free, I figured I would try my hand at them. These actually turned out really well! I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy the recipe is. The most tedious part was cutting and spreading out the pieces once they are cut. I recommend cutting them on wax paper (or a silpat, if you're fancy), and then just dragging that onto the pan, rather than transferring them one-by-one. You can find the recipe at Better Homes and Gardens.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cooking Adventures

Guess what was waiting for me when I returned from spring break?

This cookbook. I think it's going to change my life.

Some days, I think I should have gone to culinary school. Maybe that's what my mid-life crisis will be. Can I start planning that now?

A couple weeks ago, a friend recommended America's Test Kitchen for bread recipes. I checked out the website, and promptly bought the cookbook. My first attempt at the bread turned out like this:

The texture of this bread is amazing. The only downside is that the recipe is pretty complicated - you have to soak the dough overnight and let it rise twice. After having to ask my roommate to bake the bread for me, I realized that trying to make this recipe in the middle of the week wasn't such a great idea. :)

My next recipe plan is to buy a whole chicken. For dinner #1, I will roast it. Then, I'll strip the meat off the bone and make chicken salad and chicken pot pie. I'll just have to pace myself so I don't burn out on  chicken before I'm through!

In addition to my cooking adventures, I started my "garden" this weekend. My basil plant survived the winter (it's quite a hardy plant!), and I added lettuce, orange bell pepper, and cilantro (cilantro-lime rice, here I come!). Now I'm watering them like crazy and sending, "Grow fast!" vibes. :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Rest of Break

Tuesday held a trip to Breckenridge:

Check out these views from our condo:

Wednesday we stopped at Red Rocks on our way back to Denver:

Thursday we visited Hammond's Candy Factory in Denver:

And the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Arsenal:

And now I'm home, sweet home - and waiting for the day when I move to Colorado! :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

I LOVE Skiing

I am going to fit so well in to the Colorado lifestyle. :) I am loving being back here. I love this place so much.

Today I went skiing for the first time in my life. It was AMAZING. I loved it so much. That is, until I got off the beginner slopes and onto the real ones. :) The first time down a real one (even though it was a green!) was kind of scary. Turns out I also took a wrong turn and went down a more advanced portion of the slope...sitting down both times. :)

It's also amazing to me that it's so much colder here, but it doesn't feel that cold. I must be made to live here. :)

Check out this view from our condo this morning. This photo is unedited - and doesn't do justice to the actual view.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Break!

I did a 6-mile run this morning in 1:01:46. I'm becoming a morning runner!!! (More on that later...)

And now...

The mountains are calling, and I must go. - John Muir

We're off to the mountains! ... and I'm going to scope out my future home state. :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sorry for the long hiatus - I meant to blog this weekend, and then time just got away from me. Here's what I've been up to over the last week and a half:

I made my first loaves of sourdough bread:

As you can see, I need to figure out the recipe a little better. The recipe I used said the bread needs to rise for 12-15 hours. Since I go to bed super early, I put it in on Sunday night before I went to sleep. Unfortunately, it didn't rise at all. Plus, it had a crust on the top of it because I had forgotten to oil the top. Oops.

I had read on one blog that if the bread doesn't rise enough and you have to leave before it's done, to put it in the fridge, which will keep it inactive for awhile. So I put it in the fridge and tried again Monday night. This time, I put it in the oven with the light on rather than just leaving it on the counter (it's a little warmer in there). Before I went to bed, I peeked on it, and it was rising!!

Unfortunately, there was a crust on it again Tuesday morning, though it had risen more. I think next time I need to put a towel over the top...and I think I won't let it rise quite so long. While the texture needs tweaking, the taste is pretty darn awesome.

On Saturday night, Jocelyn, AnnaGrace, and I went to a concert at Common Grounds. We found out last minute that Caleb Chapman was playing (Steven Curtis Chapman's son), and couldn't pass it up! It was a really great concert. Jillian Edwards Chapman was also there. You should check both artists out!