Friday, October 30, 2009

Food Day Friday - pumpkin compound butter

Since I made the garlic Parmesan compound butter Husband has been brainstorming on new compound butter ideas. He came up with Pumpkin Compound butter and bought a huge can of pumpkin puree. greeeeeaaaaat.

Tuesday, I was trying a cream of asparagus soup recipe (it was great, btw) so I decided to bake a loaf of bread and try the pumpkin compound butter then.

Husband suggested I try two sticks of butter and half the can of puree. I had doubts that it would be any good and didn't want to waste more butter than necessary, so I decided to just use one stick.

I used
1 stick of (salted) butter (room temperature)
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
a couple of dashes of cinnamon.
(I thought about added a little clove too, but was too lazy to clean out the coffee grinder to grind the clove)

stirred until completely blended.

it really was so much better than I could ever have imagined. EVER.
it was great on the bread and Husband and I both agreed that it'd be great on hot muffins or even fresh biscuits.

if you're in a pumpkin mood this fall season, give it a try.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

running in the cold bbbbrrrrrrrrrr

I've never really fancied myself a sissy. I've always thought I'm pretty tough. mentally and physically. I'm also really healthy. I never get the flu and only have mild sinus issues twice a year when the weather changes. BUT, I've never really run for miles in the cold before.

My next 5k is less than a month away so I'm back to running every other day/night. no matter the weather. (I've come to like running in the rain) I've discovered I like running at night. just me and my headphones. nothing but my tattoo as identification if I'm abducted and murdered. (yes, I think about that a little every time I leave my house to run for a mile and a half and back at 10.30 at night)

well, with night comes cooler temperatures. my sinuses have been going crazy. for the past 2 weeks every time I run (every other day) my sinuses get congested and I feel horrible. while nasal irrigation and pressing on my sinuses, most of it is gone by the time of my next run. but seriously. it's taking its toll. I'm not big on taking lots of medicines, but even if I wanted too, I'm limited right now as to what I can actually take and it not mess with Son.

it's hurting me. I hear I will get used to it. I hear I'll love to run in the cold more than the hot, but that remains to be seen.

please.
please.
please.
let it be seen soon.

I'm hoping with the help of Mandy I'll have an improved time on this 5k and reach my goal of not having to walk.

I've also switched my training to Podrunner Intervals (can be found on iTunes). The sessions are a few minutes longer than what I was previously doing and I feel like that's helping with my pace and endurance.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the great pumpkin carve of 2009

In our house, everyone gets a pumpkin. but not everyone gets to cut into their pumpkin and pull its guts out. We have varying levels of decoration.

levels used this year
level 1: sharpie
level 2: mr. potato head like-facial features bought last year at 80% off that you stick in the pumpkin
level 3: knives and pens
level 4: knives, pens, mallets, screw drivers and expensive coat hangers


Husband's pumpkin, my pumpkin, Daughter's pumpkin and Son's pumpkin
This is the probably the first family photo we've taken since Son was born, almost 7 months ago. I love that Son and Daughter are holding hands. They do that a lot.



cutting the top off my pumpkin. (level 3)


Daughter decorating her pumpkin (level 2)


Daughter's finished pumpkin


Son and his finished pumpkin (level 1) when you're more concerned with playing with your feet than celebrating a family tradition, you're Level 1 by default.


my jack-o-lantern lit up. this is the most creative pumpkin I ever created. I free handed it from a pic a friend posted on her facebook. (Level 3) it turned out better than I ever imagined.


Husband's jack-o-lantern. (level 4) very creative.


Husband hanging his level 4 jack-o-lantern. in the dark it has the illusion of floating. Notice my sweet stray cat. if you remember the death pumpkin of 2007, you'll understand why I now fear for her life.


our pumpkin family.

Wordless Wednesday: Halloween 2006 - dead bride

(I bought a $10 wedding dress on ebay)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

food day friday -- homemade applesauce

I just made Son and Daughter the best apple sauce. I'm pretty big about making baby food. it's pretty easy and a lot cheaper than the jars and I KNOW exactly what every ingredient is. For our family, it's the right choice.

Gala apples were on sale at Wal-mart, so I bought about 8. peeled them. sliced them. put them in a casserole dish with about an inch of water in the bottom for an hour on 350 degrees. (after 30 minutes I stirred them because the top slices will dry out if you don't). took them out to cool. put them in the new blender with a few table spoons of the baking water and puree.

seriously. these are great apples. really good with JUST the apples and a little water. but you could easily add cinnamon or nutmeg to the finished product for a more mature taste.

Son just tried a spoonful because he's just eating sweet potatoes right now. but Daughter just finished a big bowl.

I'm actually headed back to wal-mart to get more apples, sweet potatoes, pears and maybe butternut squash.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I survived my first 5k!

I survived. It was amazing.

ok. so I didn't meet my goal of not walking, but I did surpass my secret time goal. either way, it was a victory. Mandy and I started out together and would have probably finished together if I didn't stop to walk, because I thought I was going to throw up. [coffee 30 minutes before running a 5k = bad idea]

At the 2 minute mile mark, Mandy announced we were making great time. The first time I tried to walk, she encouraged me to keep going. It was so great to have an encourager right beside me pushing me to do my best and then I in turn trying not to let down. I think I'd like to run all my races with Mandy!

I finished at 38:58 ... which I thought was so amazing because my practice time on Tuesday was almost 43 minutes!

I woke up Saturday morning at 6am and said to myself, self I said, "why did I pay some one money for the privilege of running down the roads of my hometown at 8am?" but now I have the bug. I'm excited about doing more training tonight and I'm trying to decide on my next race!

Superstars: Mandy & Christy [I look a lot more tired than I am!]
I'm glad I decided to wear pink. it made it easier for Husband to find and photograph me in the crowd of navy and grey.

During the race, Daughter got her first balloon. She wore it around on her wrist for the next 12 hours.

And as always, Son enjoyed the race from the comfort of his infant seat.

with my Brother after the race. even with a pulled muscle he had a great time.
I think it's worth noting that the mayor of Hueytown ran in the 5k and beat our times. but in our defense, he's in great shape for a 56 year old man!
also noteworthy, Mandy's husband ran the race in just over 25 minutes and was 3rd in his age division.
I can't wait to race again.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Food Day Friday - roasted garlic and parmesan compund butter

If you watch The Food Network enough, you learn a thing or two about a thing or two. and I definitely watch The Food Network. Since I've been making THE Bread a couple of times a week, I've been mixing it up a little. lately, I've been sprinkling kosher salt and sicilian seasoning on the top before popping it in the over. fabulous.

I've also been mixing up the toppings.
bruscetta: amazing.
butter: still great.
garlic bread: yes.
nutella: oh, yea.

next try: compound butter. basically just adding things to butter. I decided to try a roasted garlic parmesan compound butter. I figured it'd take a few times to figure out how much of what it needed, but really, the first time was the charm.

what I did/used:

two sticks of butter, softened at room temperature. (I only had salted, so that's what I used.)

one head of garlic (roasted)

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. (I'm sure fresh grated would be infinitly better, but I used what I had)
and lastly, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt.

I combined the 4 ingredients using a potato masher.

Most of the methods I've seen suggest wrapping your compound butter in wax paper, but I didn't have any. I used a zip lock bag. and then wrapped it in foil and put in the freezer to set.

When I was ready to use it, I cut the butter out of the bag.

and then stored it in the fridge in the foil.

seriously, it was fabulous. I told Husband it would change his life. But all he would admit to was it changing his dinner and then lunch the next day ... but I know the truth. :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I have children and they have milestones

Daughter turned two years old last week. and for her birthday she got ponytail holders. it's true. until then she'd never had a bow, ribbon, clip or clasp of any kind in her hair. For the main reason, that she's only really been growing hair for the past 6 months.

Sometimes she'll forget the pony tail (or pig tails) are in her hair and won't pull it/them out for about 15 minutes, but usually I can only expect about 47 seconds of a pony tail or pig tails. I'll be glad when the novelty wears off and she will keep them in!

Son will be 6 months old next week. And he has two teeth already! Daughter's first two teeth didn't come in until she was about 8 months old. Today, I made his first batch of baby food (sweet potatoes). Daughter didn't start solid foods until she was 7 months old, but Son is a skinnier so we'll start a day or two after he turns 6 months.

[actually he's not skinnier, they weigh(ed) the same, he's just inches taller and thus exhibits none of the cute baby chub his sister sported until she began running around]
p.s. my 5k is SATURDAY