I hate paying high prices for bulk granola. Plus it’s pretty processed. So I found this granola recipe in “Baking Unplugged” by Nicole Rees. (This book is on my wish list because it’s awesome! Great recipe, good explanations,and easy to make treats. Hint, hint. I’d provide the ISBN number but that may going a little too far )
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg white
3 Tbs. oil
2 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups dried fruit
1 1/2 cups seeds
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a deep pan (I used my biggest glass baking dish). In large bowl whisk all ingredients except oats, dried fruit and seeds. Stir in oats making sure it all gets coated evenly. Spread on a pan and bake for 30 minutes. Take it out and stir it all up. Reduce heat to 250 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes, stir. Bake for another twenty minutes. Stir. Cool completely and then stir in nuts and seeds. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
*I wanted really crunchy granola so I baked mine for an additional fifteen minutes and then turned oven off allowing granola to slowly cool down.
Andy and I took advantage of a Groupon offer and went out to eat. A lady came up to us asking if she could take some photos. We said yes. We sat slightly uncomfortable for 20-30 minutes drinking beer and eating our appetizer: deep fried pickles. We set up several shots we thought were good (i.e. feeding eat other) but this is what was chosen:
photo by Beth Nakamura/Oregonian
Here is a link to the full article in the Oregonian
This morning I got out of bed really early due to the recent change of work out time. I go into the living room where Andy greets me with a smile and a cup of coffee. I grab Shem and gave him kisses on top of his head. I walked into the kitchen stopping at where out living room begins. I let Shem go before he started complaining of the attention and then something on the floor caught my eye.
On top of Andy’s mp3 player, was a small dead mouse. I repeat-there is a small dead mouse on my floor. I’m not going to go into the stupidity of that little mouse’s decision to come into a house with 3 cats and one hungry Ball Python. Andy was so excited that one of our cats had killed and left the mouse for him.
Immediately we started debating which cat it was. We discussed background and experience. We decided that it was most likely Tut who made the kill and Shem probably pulled it over on top of Andy’s mp3 player. I’m a little creeped out that there was a mouse in the apartment but happy that I have a cat to do my dirty work.
Our little killer-Tut
Yesterday I registered and paid the $100 for my participation in the Portland Marathon. I feel very confident about being able to run 26.2 miles. I am not confident that I will make good time. But I also have something like 234 days until the marathon. To aid in my recovery from shin splints and prevent injury, I am trying to cross train using the elliptical at the gym and my bike. My plan is that on days I don’t work out or run, I will bike to and from work. This will provide my legs and heart with a good work out. So far I’ve been consistent about my weight training.
I think my running (and overall fitness) will improve if I lose a bit more weight. However, you can see from previous posts that I love to bake and my middle name is Butter. I’m going to start focusing on baking and cooking healthier versions of my favorite sweet treats. Currently I consume a lot of carbohydrates especially in the evening. I’m pretty confident that if I cut down on my portion size & include more veggies, a ten to fifteen pound weight loss can be achieved before the marathon. So expect to see more posts on these topics in coming days.
Posted in Marathon training
Tagged biking, cross training, cycling, elliptical, legs, portion size, Portland Marathon, recover, shin splints, weight loss, work out
To wrap up Baking Extravaganza Winter 2010, I decided to make these:
Can you say 'yum?'
Here is the link to the recipe. The only thing I have to add about this recipe is to be careful making the caramel. I read through both recipes at least three times and made sure I had everything ready as I would need it. Working with hot sugar is dangerous so read through the recipe several times and get out everything you will need in advance. I honestly think this is the best cupcake I’ve ever had. The frosting is good! The rum really adds a nice spicy deliciousness to it too!
I’m really glad I was able to go out and run for over 2 and a half hours yesterday. Going forward, my middle name is Butter.
Now to let them cool down
Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Andy participated into a fencing tournament recently. For months, he has invited me to come participate in the PSU fencing practices on Tuesdays and Fridays. I have declined because honestly, I’m not interested in fencing. I’m glad he’s having a great time but its just not for me.
There was a lot that I didn’t (and still don’t know about fencing). It’s an activity that is literally steeped in tradition. For example, when you shake hands, you shake the one that doesn’t have a glove which is somewhat awkward as it goes against everything my mom taught me about shaking hands. It’s more like holding hands. Anyway. You can cheer a participant on but its looked down when you give them specific advice. It’s called coaching from the strip. Turn the flash off on your camera. Otherwise you get told to turn it off and its kinds embarrassing.
There are 3 types of weapons: foil, sabre, and epee. Andy fences with a foil. They use an electric system that alerts the judges when a hit has happened. So at this tournament, I was amused at all kids hanging out with electrical cords hanging down their arms and back. They looked like so type of deranged robots. At the lower levels of competition, men and women compete against each other.
men vs. women
Fencers get really sweaty. I mean you would be amazed at the sheer amount of sweat. Easily comparable with running. A fencing tournament rarely starts on time. Another spectator told me this. A fencing tournament lasts all day. I mean from 10am to 6pm. For a spectator, you just sit around. There are bursts of activity but I think fencing is probably more interesting if you are participating.
Andy taking a break.
Although Andy did not win (but then again, he didn’t think he would), he did quite well and surprised a lot of people with his performance. Here are photos of Andy in action:
Andy is on the right.
Andy on left
Andy on the left
I took tomorrow (Friday) and Monday off from work. I have some stuff I need to take care of: check engine light on the car, taxes, etc. Plus my work doesn’t believe in sick days. They just give you paid time off. So I’m gonna sleep in, make myself breakfast, take care of some stuff, bake and enjoy myself for four days. Four days off…I think I’m gonna make some donuts. Maybe a pie. Hmmmmmm pie.
I love pot pies. Who doesn’t? But I’ve never had one that doesn’t have chicken. I wanted to make one that was flavorful and rich with a variety of vegetables. So using the power of Google, I looked up ‘vegetarian pot pie recipes’. I used a few I found as a guide to create my own awesome recipe. I purchased Pillsbury ready made pie crust as I wanted to focus on the filling and now the crust.
I diced onions and leeks and sauteed them in a small knob of butter. I let them cook down for about ten minutes. I added parsnips, potatoes, and carrots to the mix. I lowered the temperature and added two tablespoons of flour creating an Aleta roux. I added a can of cream of mushroom soup and a cup of milk to the mixture stirring thoroughly. Salt, pepper, and cayenne were added to taste. I let this mixture bubble away while I unrolled the pie crust. One thing about the pie crust. If freeze it, give it ample time to defrost. After the potatoes had bubbled away for 15 minutes, I put the mixture on the pie crust and unrolled the top crust.
I let it bake for 20 minutes and upon taking it out of the oven, let it cool down.
After two months, two new pairs of shoes, endless research on the Internet, and hours of whining; I still have shin splints. I was doing really good until last week. On Wednesday I decided to do a short fast run on the treadmill. They shins started burning about ten minutes into the run. I thought it was tight calves and attempted to stretch it out. I took a few days off and did a long run on Sunday. My legs felt great. Yes, I was tired from the 13 miles but not the usual pain in my shin.
I took Monday and Tuesday off and ran on Wednesday. The first 3 miles were some of the most uncomfortable miles of my entire life. I didn’t feel like I could breathe, my legs felt slow, and my shin hurt for the first 3 miles. Then they stopped hurting. I ran 6 miles. The next day my right shin felt hot so I took some Ibuprofen and iced it down at work. I did the elliptical for 50 minutes and ran a slow mile. Today my right shin has a pack of ice on it as I am desperately hoping to run today. Feeling a little down about the whole running thing.
It’s weird how my shin doesn’t hurt when I run outside. I wonder if this is because I run faster on the treadmill, my strike is different, etc. I don’t know. I have a general doctors appointment next week. I’m going to ask the doc for some help on getting this issue figured out. Now that the weather is getting nicer, maybe the running outside is the key. I’m trying to keep stretching and lifting weights to help build up extra muscle in my legs. Hopefully something will help.