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My friend Mer gave me her copy of Vegan Yum Yum for my belated birthday present.  Now, sometimes, someone giving you a used book is kind of an odd thing, but I was thrilled!  It might have something to do with the fact that I had “borrowed” it in the hopes that she would forget I “borrowed” it.  She didn’t forget, but now I get to keep it outright!  Thanks Mer!

So over the last week or two, I’ve been playing around with the recipes in there and have made several delicious dinners!

Dinner #1: Golden Chickpea and Artichoke Salad (recipe)

Umm… chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and nuts.  Three of my absolute favorite things thrown together in a bowl.  How can this not be a good idea???

The verdict: Super fast and easy to make.  Also, totally amazing.  We polished that whole thing off in minutes.  Don’t blink – you’ll miss it.

Dinner #2: Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Bake

No, it didn’t photograph well, but I swear it was DELICIOUS.  It was really easy to make, and is even better as leftovers because it has time to set up overnight.  It was also excellent cold!  Is there anything this dish can’t do?

Just a note: This is an excellent post-long-run meal.  Carrie and I devoured the leftovers after our 18 miler last weekend.

I can’t find a recipe to link to for this one – but I’ll put one up soon.

Dinner #3: Broccoli Almond Sweet-and-Sour Tofu (recipe)

Oh my, just looking at this picture makes me want to go in the kitchen and make this immediately. I would prefer to make this with brown rice, but all we had in the cupboard was leftover white rice that we’ve been trying to use up – and finally did.

Dinner #4: Hurry Up Alfredo (recipe)

This was delicious, but I felt like it was more mac-n-cheeze-y than alfredo-y.  Not complaining though!  We loved it.  My husband loved it so much he started drinking it out of his bowl.  Just a note, the first time I made it, it was a fairly thin sauce (hence the drinking).  The second time (pictured above), I threw in 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour to thicken it up just a bit.  It seemed to work.  It was still somewhat thin, but not as much as before.

I had my first produce victim/volunteer stop by last night.  This is why Mer is my best friend – I can always count on her!  🙂

I sent her home with some leftover anniversary smlove, creamy tomato basil pasta (from Vegan Yum Yum), a bag of cherry tomatoes, a bag of zucchini bread muffins (from Joy of Vegan Baking), some homemade pickles (from Big City Cooking), two big tomatoes, one crookneck squash, a couple cucumbers, and a whole mess of peppers and green beans.  Excellent!  I am making a dent!

I then spent the ENTIRE night (no lie – I was working on this until 5am) working my way through what I planned to keep…

Messy kitchen!  The sad part is that’s the WHOLE counter.  I can’t wait to get a house.  Siiiiiigh…

Four jars of homemade pickles (from Big City Cooking)!  My husband is already complaining that he has to wait TWO WHOLE DAYS before he can eat them.  Poor thing.

Zucchini bread (from the Joy of Vegan Baking)!  I made a triple batch – and the recipe is already a double batch, so that’s actually something like six batches.  Needless to say, I ended up with a LOT of muffins, plus an entire loaf.  And you know what?  It’s AWESOME.

Green beans – cooked, blanched, and ready for freezing.  It took forever, but I got through them all.  I ended up with two gallons.

Homemade marinara sauce (from Giada De Laurentiis).  I ended up with three and a half jars.  I haven’t tried it yet, but my husband kept coming by and stealing some and walking away going “that is soooooooooo gooooooooood!”  So I’m thinking it’s probably pretty good!

I ended up with quite a full kitchen!

And this is what was left after I gave a bunch of stuff to my friend!

The amazing thing is, I feel like I’ve barely made a dent.  I haven’t even touched the peppers or the cherry tomatoes yet.  Although I think my husband will just munch on the cherry tomatoes like they’re Skittles, so that might be easier than I thought.

Today’s plan… SALSA!

This week I am cat and garden sitting for a coworker friend of mine while he’s out of town.  My instructions were to pick as much as I possibly could because their garden is so productive that they can’t possibly keep up.  Things frequently end up rotting in place – and that’s after they give a bunch of it away!

So today I went over to check on everything – bags in tow.

And that’s not even the whole thing!

I LOOOOOOOVE green beans!  They’ve already picked and frozen enough that they can have some every single day until next summer.  And they’re still all over the place!

They’re HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE! (hehehe…)

Done picking the green beans!  (At least the ones I could reach!)  I went down that whole row.  That giant blue bag?  Yeah, it’s full of nothing but beans.

There’s a whole other side that I didn’t pick – waiting for me in a day or two.

Onto the cucumbers!  There’s a TON that will be ready in a few days.

Zucchini!  I smell some zucchini bread baking tonight!

Biggest. Zucchini. Ever.  It’s longer than my entire forearm and hand combined.

Why do I think crookneck squash are adorable?

Tomatillos!  They’re not quite ready though.

I can not WAIT for the corn.  It’s supposed to be ready this week.  Didn’t look quite there yet.  Maybe on the next trip???

Cherry tomatoes!  My husband was eating these things like they were candy last time we were there.

There is a RIDICULOUS amount of cherry tomatoes.  This is just a small section.

And big old beefsteak tomatoes.

So many peppers the plants are falling over!

What 48 pounds of produce looks like.  Oy vey!  (Yeah, I weighed it.  I’m a nerd and I was curious.)

The final count:

  • 1 giganto bag of green beans
  • 1 huge salad serving bowl of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini that are longer than my arm
  • 4 crookneck squash
  • 10 giant beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes
  • 8 jalapenos
  • 36 bell and poblano peppers
  • 16 cucumbers

Now, my challenge for you, dear blog readers…

What are your favorite recipes for marinara sauces and salsas?

also

What the heck can I do with 16 cucumbers?

And for my local buddies…

Come over and get some dang produce!

“Hey mom, how about you go in the other room for a sec?  I promise I’ll be good…”

Today is our first wedding anniversary!  I guess this means we’re no longer newlyweds?

Sorry, I got a little carried away!  We had such an awesome photographer.  I love her.

It’s been a good year!  Like any marriage, we have our ups and downs, but one of my favorite things about our relationship is how we can talk about anything.  My husband is a great listener, and always makes me laugh.  He supports me in my (sometimes crazy) endeavors, and always keeps an open mind.  I’m also extremely fortunate that my “meat and potatoes” guy willingly eats anything I make – and absolutely loves vegan food.  Score!

Some highlights of our year…

Honeymoon in St. Lucia

The addition of our second dog – Rocket!

Jade’s first agility trial

Our favorite ropes course – with my husband’s new knee!

My new running partner – he’s still in the very early stages, but he’s signed up for a race with me on Halloween!

The Harry Potter park!  (Okay, I wasn’t with my husband, but it was still a highlight of the year.)

Completing the Buffalo Half Marathon – and all the support he gave me through my training!

Okay, enough with the trip down memory lane.  For our anniversary we had planned to pack a nice picnic and go somewhere pretty and enjoy being outside…

So much for that!

So instead we headed down to the mall and bought ourselves a joint anniversary present.

Calphalon cookware!  Yay!  (Oh man, I think this makes me old…)

The pots and pans we’ve been using are the ones I got at the dollar store when I got my first apartment in college.  They’re starting to come apart (no, really), and leak when they’re on the stove.  It was time for us to graduate to “adult” cookware.  It’s nice to use stuff that’s actually decent!  Especially considering the amount of time I spend in the kitchen now.

We got lunch while we were out and I ended up having an AMAZING salad with pears, dried cranberries, and pecans.  But we both were so full from lunch that we ended up scrapping our dinner plans and going straight to dessert.

Wedding cake!

Since our cake wasn’t vegan (I was only just starting to make my transition to vegetarian at that point), I wanted to have something that I could eat as well.  And what’s better for a first wedding anniversary than some Smlove?

The verdict: delicious as always.

Just a side note – I also love making smlove because you end up with lots of incredible candied pecans!

:: nom nom nom ::

Now it’s time to relax with the hubs and the puppies.  I hope you had a great weekend!

Victory!

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Today I had my 18 miler planned.  This was the longest distance I was able to run when training for the Buffalo marathon and it wasn’t pretty then.  The last six miles of that run were really quite horrible.  My knees were in a lot of pain, and I spent the last bit “running” slower than I could walk.  But I stuck it out and finished the 18 miles.  The week after that was my first 20 miler, which ended in disaster when I had to have my husband come pick me up on the side of the road with my knee in agony.  Since then I haven’t done another 18 mile run.  Until today!

I was fortunate enough to have my running-buddy-extraordinaire, Carrie, run with me today.  Carrie is running the same marathon as I am (in 5 weeks!), however this is her second.  She totally rocked the Lake Placid Marathon in June, and was only a few minutes shy of qualifying for Boston!  Needless to say, I was a little intimidated, but totally pumped to run with her.

When I run by myself, I usually float between 10:00 and 11:00/mile.  Usually closer to 11:00.  Especially when I run hills.  I like to be comfortable and be able to breathe easy because I know I’m in it for the long haul.  I know I have the ability to go faster, but it’s a mental block.

So Carrie and I set out for our run this morning…

Carrie, sassing it up as usual.

Let’s do this!

We did an out-and-back route and ended up a couple towns over in the middle of one of the local tourist traps.  We needed to refill our water so my husband took his motorcycle out and met us at our turnaround point.

So nice of him!

This is where my sheer brilliance kicks in…

I am a biker.  I have my own motorcycle.  I ride.  I KNOW pipes get hot. (Can you see where this is going?)

However, I didn’t ride the bike up, so it didn’t register that the pipes were SUPER hot.  And I bumped into them.

OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!

I was not a happy camper.  There’s a lovely purple oval-shaped second degree burn on my leg just below my finger.

At this point (after some colorful language and a couple minutes of pouring water on it), I was worried about making it the 9 miles back to the car.  IT HURT.  BAD.

But I forced myself to keep going (didn’t have a choice really!) and Carrie and I headed back the way we came.

First things first, we had a gigantic 2 mile long uphill to tackle.  I had to stop and walk for a second when the skin on my burn was pretty painful, but other than that, it wasn’t bad.  After that, my leg sort of numbed out and the burn wasn’t too bad for most of the way back to the car.

We had a great time, chatting it up along the way.  I knew I was going faster than I would normally, but I wouldn’t let myself look at my pace on my Garmin.  I also wouldn’t let Carrie tell me what it was.  I knew it was good because she kept saying so, but I didn’t want to know the actual number.  For me, it’s completely mental.  If I knew how fast I was going, I would start to feel tired, and then I would slow down – even if I didn’t really need to.

Near the end I had to take a couple quick walk breaks (maybe .05 of a mile, two or three times) because I was getting dehydrated and needed to take a second to “re-center” myself.  I’ve learned that when I get chills down my arms, that’s the sign that I need to take a second, walk, take a couple big sips of water, breathe, and then keep on going.  I don’t like to walk, but I like that better than collapsing.

I won’t lie, the last 1.5 miles was hard.  I was getting tired, and that’s where the chills were happening.  But we finished the 18 miles and made it back to the car successfully!

As soon as I heard my Garmin beep at 18 miles I let myself look down at my average pace…

10:14/mile!!!  WOHOO!!!

Here’s the splits:

  • Distance – 18.00 miles
  • Time – 3:04:23
  • Pace – 10:14/mile (yay!)
  • Mile 1 – 10:06
  • Mile 2 – 10:17
  • Mile 3 – 10:23
  • Mile 4 – 9:56
  • Mile 5 – 10:33
  • Mile 6 – 10:30
  • Mile 7 – 10:21
  • Mile 8 – 9:31 (the start of the 2 mile long downhill)
  • Mile 9 – 9:20
  • Mile 10 – 11:01 (unfortunately now it’s the start of a 2 mile long UPHILL)
  • Mile 11 – 12:12 (ouch)
  • Mile 12 – 10:24
  • Mile 13 – 9:56
  • Mile 14 – 9:36
  • Mile 15 – 10:22
  • Mile 16 – 9:34
  • Mile 17 – 9:20 (wow!)
  • Mile 18 – 10:52 (a little dehydrated)

I NEVER go that fast on a long run.  I usually hover around 11:00/mile for my average pace.  Plus, this was an extremely hilly route that is very similar to what I’ll actually be running in the race.  This was awesome!

And you know what?  It felt great the whole way!  (Okay, except for that last little bit, but I could still do it!)

Aside from having a good time and running a great pace, the really great news is that I got through the entire 18 miles with no knee pain, no foot pain, and no chafing!

Victory!

Thanks for the great run, Carrie!

Today, I am 35 days away from my marathon! I believe around this time was when I started having knee problems when I was training for the Buffalo Marathon this past spring.  This time, so far, so good!  My knees are feeling good (some occasional stiffness/soreness, but not like before), and my heel is manageable.  It still gets a little sore some days, but it’s not going to truly go away until I can take a couple months completely off from running, which just isn’t going to happen right now.

My runs got a little shifted around this week because I spent the first couple days just recovering from the horrendous chafing incident from Sunday (yikes).  I was sore for probably about four days.  I’ve never had anything that bad before.  Horrible!

Fortunately, I’m all healed (at least enough that I can run without pain again) and was able to get my runs in this week.  I had 16 miles to get in before my long run (another 16 miles) this weekend.  With having to take a couple days off in the beginning, my shorter runs got squeezed together into one shorter run (5 miles) and one medium length run (11 miles).  But hey, I got the miles in and that’s good.

Here’s the splits:

  • Distance: 11 miles
  • Time: 1:58:47
  • Pace: 10:47/mile
  • Mile 1 – 10:40
  • Mile 2 – 10:44
  • Mile 3 – 10:42
  • Mile 4 – 10:44
  • Mile 5 – 11:11
  • Mile 6 – 11:04
  • Mile 7 – 10:56
  • Mile 8 – 10:20
  • Mile 9 – 10:51
  • Mile 10 – 10:38
  • Mile 11 – 10:52

One thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve had a really awful time getting motivated to go out for my shorter runs lately.  I finally figured out why!

We live on a very, very busy 55 mph road.  This severely limits where I can run if I’m going to leave from our house.  Yes, I could run on that road, but we know too many people who have been hit by cars, and in the time that we have lived here, there was someone who was hit and killed less than one mile down from our place.  So I’m always hesitant to lace up and head out on our road.  People just don’t pay attention like they should.

So I’m limited to the two neighborhoods that I can get to with minimal running on our road (500-ish feet or less).  Too bad I am completely sick of running in those two places.  They’re not big neighborhoods, so even a 2.5 mile route is a stretch.  I am so bored with running through there that I don’t even want to go out for my short runs.  I actually kind of dread them a little.  Okay, a lot.

So for my 11 miler I switched it up a little bit.  I drove into downtown, parked, and then ran all over town.  There’s so many more options for places to go – not to mention things to look at!  It was refreshing to run somewhere different.  I’ll have to make an effort to switch up my scenery often from now on.  The only problem with running downtown is all the tourists.  Tourist dodging could be it’s own sport!  But it definitely kept me on my toes.

In other news…

My mom is heading back to Florida in a week, so we’ve been trying to squeeze in all the things that we usually love to do before she heads back down south.  This week it was time for our annual visit to the Bromley Mountain Alpine Slides!  We’ve gone here every year since I was somewhere around the age of two.  And I love them every single time.

If you’re in the general vicinity of Manchester, Vermont and it’s not winter, you need to check these out.  They’re essentially water slides with no water, down the side of a mountain (a ski resort), and you slide down them on a sled with wheels.

AWESOME.

View from the chairlift

Mom looks happy!

We also made a pit stop in Manchester at the Northshire Bookstore

Four shelves worth of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks.  EXCELLENT.

Today we made another outing to a ropes course that my husband and I LOVE.  My mom was nervous, but her desire to do a zipline won and she went along for the ride (as did my friend Ashley).  She (and Ashley) did great!

Unfortunately, you can’t really carry your camera with you on the course, but my friend Carrie (hi!) was about halfway through the course when we got there, so I got a picture of her!

Go Carrie!

My mom ended up doing the first two courses (there are five – they get progressively harder as you go on) and part of the third.  She was completely out of her comfort zone and did awesome!  She then played the role of photographer from the ground.

Me and the hubs

The courses weave back and forth, so there’s people and obstacles all over the place!

Lots of fun!  If you have something like this by you, I highly recommend that you check it out!

The only problem is that now my heel is hurting up a storm.  Fortunately, I’m on summer vacation, so I can get my long run in tomorrow morning.  I have to be careful not to irritate my foot too much.  It’s manageable, but I need to know when to rest and stretch.  And tonight is one of those times.  It was poor planning on my part.  But I suppose that happens.  It’s been tough fitting everything in with mom in town, but we want to spend some time with her before she heads back to Florida because then we probably won’t see her or dad until at least Thanksgiving.  So we might as well enjoy it while she’s here!  I still get my miles in.  It’s just not ideal.  But that’s life.  Part of training is finding the time to fit it in.  It’s a challenge.  Sometimes you have to be flexible.

As a random aside – how gorgeous are these raspberries we got from our crop share this week?

Yeah… they didn’t even last a day.  I DEVOURED those.

Today has been an eventful day.

First, this morning I set out for my run.  I needed to get at least 10 miles in today to reach my mileage goal for the week.  I was aiming for 15 because that’s what my long run was supposed to be, but 10 was my minimum.

Until recently, I was never confident enough to run in just my sports bra.  I always envied women who did, and wished that I could.  But I always felt like things were jiggling on me that shouldn’t be jiggling, and I just didn’t feel comfortable.  But I overcame that fear!  I realized that nothing jiggles on me, and even if it did, it didn’t matter.  What mattered was that I was out there, busting my butt every day to make myself healthier and stronger.  And if I was getting overheated in my shirt, then darn it, I wasn’t going to keep it on.

So a couple runs ago I peeled off the shirt and was surprised how confident and comfortable I felt (mentally and physically).

Unfortunately, there are some unforeseen ramifications of my newfound sports bra running…

On my long runs, I wear a Camelbak so I can carry my water with me.  I LOVE my Camelbak and don’t want to or like using anything else.  Handheld water bottles annoy me (I like having my hands free), and hydration belts bounce around and feel really awkward.  Sure, the Camelbak moves around a little bit, but it’s never bothered me.  And I like that I can carry 1.5 liters of water with me for my run.

However, my Camelbak and running in a sports bra are not the best match.

I ended up having to cut my run short at just 8 miles today due to the CRAZY INSANE CHAFING on my lower back.  The combination of bare skin, a pack shifting around and salty sweat is a very, very bad one.

I want to be able to continue running sans-shirt and with my Camelbak, so I’ve got to find a solution that will work in that scenario.  I know I can use the Bodyglide that I use in other spots, but I’m concerned that it will rub off too quickly to really help solve the problem.  The other idea I’ve had is covering my lower back in duct tape.  Weird, I know, but it’s not all that uncommon actually.  If you have any other suggestions, I’m all ears.

After I got home and showered (very painfully, I might add), I headed out to go hiking with my friend Jenn.  She hasn’t hiked much recently, so we decided to do a fairly easy trail that’s extremely popular with tourists in this area.  I brought my garmin with me out of curiosity and was surprised to find out that the trail is actually only about 1.25 miles long, top to bottom.  Funny, it always feels longer.

We made it!  (We started in the village in the background)

One reason this place is pretty popular with the tourists is that it’s one of the only (perhaps the only) mountain in the area that you can drive to the top of.  So at the top there’s a picnic area with some roads and walkways and whatnot.  But the trail definitely has it’s rocky and steep places.  It might be short, but it’s tiring!

On our way back down.

Now that I’m home I will be spending the night laying on my stomach and flipping out at anyone who comes near me – man or dog.

I hope you had a great weekend!

The other night when we went to my coworker’s house for dinner, he gave us a little charcoal grill to take home.  Apparently he has about four different grills, and they never used this one.  But we’d take it!  Our old grill didn’t survive the winter of 2008-2009 when it was hit by a plow and piled up in the snowbank outside our old apartment.  When it finally melted out of the snow in April, it was a mangled mess beyond repair.

But now we have a Buffalo Bills tailgating grill!

Now, before you go making any Bills cracks…  My husband is from Buffalo.  I went to school there for five years.  Half of my family is from Buffalo.  It’s genetic.  We like the Bills.  So pffffffft.

And if you’re a Dallas fan, I don’t want to know.  🙂 (Or Patriots, but that has nothing to do with me being a Bills fan.)

Anyway!  So I prepped all the food and my husband was the grillmaster.

It’s a tough job…

Annnnnd voila!

Roasted veggies with rosemary and Vegan Dad’s Tequila BBQ Tofu (yum!)  Ive been making that fairly frequently lately because when I made the first batch I ended up with a bunch of extra BBQ sauce, so we’ve been using it up.  It’s all gone now though.

Scrumptious!

Moving on to today!

Today was farmers’ market day.  I always have a great time at the market, and today was no exception.

Live music every week.

Lots to look at!  Four big pavilions and a bunch of booths on the sidewalk too.

Isn’t summer produce wonderful?

I ended up picking up our weekly crop share, plus a couple other things.  I made a visit to my (pre-vegan days) cheese guy to say hi.  He said he hadn’t seen me in a while (probably a couple months at this point) and I explained that I had made the step from vegetarian to vegan.

But I could still get some of his delicious raspberry sorbet!

SO good.

I was thrilled with how much produce I ended up coming home with.  One half share and $14 goes a long way at the market!

Carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, three ears of corn, 1 pepper, eggplant, watermelon, tiger melon, and a super chili plant!

(Ignore the spaghetti squash.  That’s been sitting there since the fall.  I really should use that…)

While at the farmers’ market I also ran into my friend Serena and got to chat for a bit.  (Hi Serena!)  I love bumping into people there.  Everybody’s always in such a great mood.

So, keeping the recent awesomeness of the homemade Larabar experiment in mind, I wandered over to the natural foods store that is just down the road from the market to pick up a TON of dates and other random mix-ins.  It was a success!  I ended up with 1 1/2 pounds of dates (score!), dried bananas, almonds, and cacaco nibs.  It took everything I had not to bust into those on the way home.

After the farmers’ market, it was time for my run.  I was attempting to get my 15 miles in today.  I had a 5 mile run planned with my friend Meghan (who is running the half at the same time as my full).  So I intended on doing 5 miles by myself right before the got there, and another 5 after she was done.

The first 5 miles were GREAT!  There was something very different about mentally breaking it up into three 5 mile runs instead of one 15 miler.  I busted my butt (while still maintaining a pace I could sustain for the whole 15 miles) for the first 5 and ended up being very proud of the result!

  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Time: 49:09
  • Pace: 9:50/mile
  • Mile 1 – 10:05
  • Mile 2 – 9:48
  • Mile 3 – 9:43
  • Mile 4 – 9:23
  • Mile 5 – 10:10 <– going up the big (and long) uphill

I definitely felt like I could sustain that pace for a while, so I’m feeling much better about my 4:30:00 goal for my marathon!  To do that, I need to run slightly slower than a 10:00 mile.  Definitely do-able!

But this is where the grand plan went a little downhill.

The timing for finishing the first 5 miles and meeting up with my friend would have been perfect, but she had a minor contact mishap at home and ended up running a little late.  So I essentially cooled down in between.

She’s just starting her training so we went nice and slow with some walk breaks.  She wasn’t having a good run day and it was tough for her, but I’m proud that she stuck it out!  There were moments where I thought she might smack me for making her start running again, but she did it!  This was her first time trying to run 5 miles, and I’m proud of her!

When we finished our run together we went inside for a minute.  But the dogs were being cute and entertaining and we ended up staying inside longer than I had anticipated and my legs started to stiffen up (calves in particular).  I decided to stop there rather than run with tight calves and aggravate my recent Plantar Fasciitis flare up.  I had 5 miles planned for tomorrow, so instead I’ll do another 10 miles (or maybe 15 if I feel good since I wasn’t really pushing on that last 5).  As long as it all adds up, it’s good!  It’s not a big deal to break up your long run once or twice.  But you definitely can’t make a habit of it.  Besides, I really like my long runs.  It’s relaxing!

After I finished running for the day, it was time to make more Larabars!  I decided to make more of the cranberry and the cookie dough.  Plus I wanted to try making a banana nut one as well.

Banana Nut Larabar (directions here)

  • 1/3 cup dates (very coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup banana chips

Turned out I didn’t have enough nuts to make the cookie dough ones, but I ended up with 8 cranberry and 8 banana nut!  And they are sensational!

Into the fridge you go, my pretties!

That’s all for me.  I’m off to stretch and relax before bed.  Have a great weekend!

Oh.my.goodness.

The other day, after poking around and finding some inspiration (here, here, and here), I decided to try my hand at making homemade Larabars.

I made two types:  Chocolate chip cookie dough (inspired by Angela’s) and Cranberry (my own creation because I’m obsessed with dried cranberries).

For directions, follow Angela’s steps, which you’ll find here.

Chocolate chip cookie dough:

  • 1/3 cup dates (very coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 ounce dark chocolate (coarsely chopped)
  • Dash cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Cranberry:

  • 1/3 cup dates (very coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Front: Cranberry; Back: Cookie dough

I wrapped them up in some parchment paper and popped them in the fridge for later.

DE-licious! (cranberry)

I feel the need to go to the grocery store IMMEDIATELY to buy more dates.  DROOL…

Good evening!

Last night I revisited Angela’s In a Jiffy Veggie Burgers and they were absolutely fantastic!  That recipe is what made me start begging for a food processor and it made a WORLD of difference!

Load it up…

So easy!  WHY on Earth did I try to make these in a blender???

Mine didn’t look like much (I’m not really one for toppings), but it tasted delicious!

For my topping, I quickly whipped up some homemade hummus in the food processor (how much am I in love with that thing?)

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • dash paprika
  • dash cumin
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

(measurements are estimates)

Tonight for my run I ended up on the treadmill because there were thunderstorms rolling through all night.  So instead of my planned 5 miles, I decided to do a couple Yasso 800s for the first time.  I did a 1 mile warm up and then ran 2 Yasso’s at a 4:15 pace.  It felt good!  Then I finished off with a cool down to get to a total of 3 miles.  I definitely enjoyed the Yasso’s and will be doing them again.

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geonerdette at gmail dot com

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