Archive for the ‘Thursday Things’ Category
Happy Thursday! So I took a longer vacation from blogging than I’d hoped, but today I just had the itch to write. This summer has turned out 10 times busier than I thought it would be. Remember those carefree summer days from childhood? Yeah, what are those? :) Nearly every weekend we’ve had plans. Weekdays seem to be flying by with work, working out, being Oliver’s mom, freelancing and just generally running from here to there. So without further ado, here are some of my latest musings.
1) On Saturday I went to my friend and fellow blogger Sun’s house for a “My Favorite Things” party. In addition to our regular potluck-style spread, we each brought 4 of our favorite things under $5 (I’m guessing there were about 10 of us girls there). Since one of my favorite things is cooking, I brought some of my favorite spice blends from Penzy’s. In return, I got a bunch of cool gifts from other girls. One of Laura’s favorite things is Trader Joe’s Sweet and Spicy Pecans.
Since taking my first bite, I have been completely obsessed. I never (read NEVER) snack on nuts, but these are amazing. Along with my cookie butter and TJ’s sushi, I will always add these into my cart.
2. Farmers market season is here! I went to my first market of the season in Greendale (a suburb of Milwaukee) on Saturday and it was hopping. And no, I don’t care if I sound like a grandma using that word. Everyone and their dog was out and about. Brenton was out of town for a bachelor party, so I treated myself to lots of fresh veggies and lilies.
The best part? They were only $5!
3. I am beyond excited for Laurie’s wedding on Saturday! I’ve been hoping for good weather for her and James all week. Supposedly this heat wave is supposed to break, so that’s a blessing in itself! Either way, I know their wedding will be absolutely gorgeous. Her shower a few weeks ago even gave me an idea for my newspaper column.
This month’s Gatherings was all about hosting a bridal shower. The food and photos were some of the best that Brenton and I have done since starting Gatherings in June 2012. I got that aqua pitcher at our church rummage sale and I am in love with it. What it’s holding is even better, a fruit salad sangria. To. Die. For. I especially love the boozy fruit that sinks to the bottom when all the sangria is gone. I may or may not have had that for breakfast the next day.
Question: What are you looking forward to this weekend?
She’s alive! This week has flown by with work, running and everything in between. So without further ado, he’s what I’ve been up to lately.
1. I had no idea yesterday was National Running Day! It was pretty dreary around these parts, so I didn’t get to run outside. But every chance I get I’m hitting the trails with Oliver.
Laurie wrote a touching post about why she loves running, which made me think about my own running journey.
I love running because it gives me the chance to think. I have my BEST ideas when I’m either running or in the shower (TMI but who cares!). I have been known to completely lose myself in thought and suddenly I’ve gone another mile without even realizing it. 95% of the time I’m also running with Oliver.
Running bonds us like nothing else. There’s nothing Oliver loves more than scampering with the wind blowing through his floppy ears. I honestly think Brenton is missing out (he doesn’t run unless he’s being chased). Sometimes when I listen to music I say to myself, “Oliver would love this song” because it seems like his cadence is in perfect rhythm with whatever I’m listening to. If he could talk, I’m sure he’d say his favorite band is the Black Keys :)
Oddly enough, I hated running before I rescued Oliver. If I had to run, I much preferred a treadmil and running outside scared me. Now I’d glady exchange the treadmil for a run outside. Whenever we get back from a run, Oliver sticks to me like glue and follows me everywhere. Does anyone else experiences this?
2. My Gatherings column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was published on Sunday. It was all about going into uncharted territory in the kitchen. Although I can make a TON of complicated foods (like eggrolls, homemade pasta and cakes galore), I can’t make Minute rice to save my life. I kid you not. I don’t even buy rice because it tastes like crap whenever I do try to make it. It’s either burnt, too watery, gummy or just inedible. So for me, tacking risotto was quite a feat. Brenton helped me with the stirring part but I measured and cut everything. I was thankful for his help because putting on a spread like this isn’t easy. You have to time everything out perfectly, style each dish and take photos. Brenton took this picture and did a fabulous job. He’s so talented!
3. I’m so excited for the weekend! Brenton and I are watching “Life of Pi” tomorrow night, which I heard was really good. We have leftover homemade mac and cheese and pulled pork in the fridge for dinner, but I’m having a mad craving for Asian….again. On Saturday, my mom, my nephew Triddy (i.e. Tristan) and I are going antiquing in Lake Geneva, Wi. Bring on the bargains and vintage finds. Speaking of vintage, I posted a decrepit chair on here a month or so ago and I finally finished reupholstering it! It looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
Question: Any weekend plans? What do you love about running?
Happy, happy day. Not only was I able to score a nice run with Oliver today (it’s finally in the 40s!), but our Florida vacay is coming up shortly (I won’t say exactly when for fear of stalkers, robbers, i.e. bad people), but I will make sure to post a recap when we get back.
Since we are going to the tropics (anything south of Tennessee sounds like the tropics at this point), I needed a swimsuit. Since I’ve been wearing the same suits since I was 17, I figured it was time to upgrade.
I ended up going to Kohl’s and choosing this colorblock suit from Chaps. I really wanted something strapless (i.e. no tan lines), and this suit spoke to me right away. I have a very classic style when it comes to clothes, partly so I can wear some of the same pieces for years and years. Here’s a pic of the model wearing it as a halter.
I’ve also been writing about food like it’s my job (which is why you haven’t seen too many recipes lately). Since I test all of the recipes I include in my articles, I haven’t had time (or enough meals in a day) to cook “me” food. Still, I’ve been making tons of delicious things. Check out this article I wrote on Passover and another I wrote on Egg Decorating. As part of the egg decorating article, I got to experiment with natural dyes and make these bedazzled eggs. Since you decorate them after they’re blown out, they last forever.
Not bad if I do say so myself!
Question: Do you decorate for Easer? Also, what’s the longest you’ve owned a piece of clothing?
I’m not ashamed to say that the jeans I’m wearing now are at least 9 years old. At least they still fit!
Happy Thursday! As we speak (or as I type, rather), I’m making my second Alpha Bakery Banana Bread of the week. We’re headed to Appleton for a funeral tonight, and Brenton’s family could use some comfort food (don’t we all?!). Unlike my healthified version from Monday, I don’t have any white whole wheat flour or cacao nibs. So I’m making this loaf exactly like my dad and I used to make it, complete with walnuts because every good banana bread needs nuts. Here’s what else I’ve been up to:
1. When it comes to comfort food, there’s nothing higher on my list than a casserole. After writing this article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, I discovered that you can make a casserole out of pretty much anything (baked mac and cheese, lasagna, even a breakfast strata).
One of the coolest things about researching and writing this article was that I got to interview Bobby Deen! (yes, that was an inaudible squeal) He was the epitome of southern charm and so down to Earth. He has a complete chapter on casseroles and one-dish meals in his new book, “From Mama’s Table to Mine.” I included a recipe for his Mexican Fiesta Casserole, which fed Brenton and I for days (the consequence of making any casserole in a two-person household).
2. I’ve been living in Zensah’s Seamless Power Running Jacket. The fabric is ultra breathable, soft and moisture wicking. You can tell this is a quality fabric as soon as you pick it up (I was introduced to Zensa when I first tried their compression socks). One thing I especially like about this jacket, besides the thumb holes, is the pocket in the back. Most people would use this for a key. I use it for poop bags. #TheLifeOfADogOwner
Thanks for everyone who entered the Dreamfarm giveaway. The winner is…
Congrats, Tara! Please send your address to Alysha@Shesontherun.com by Saturday, Feb. 23, so I can get your prize out to you asap! If I don’t hear from you by then, I will choose a new winner.
Of Possible Interest:
Restaurants Turn Camera Shy (The New York Times)
Question: What’s your favorite casserole recipe? (links welcome!)
Sorry I’ve been a little MIA since Monday’s delicious Ginger and Pear Butternut Squash Soup post. Truth be told, this week has not been great. I don’t know if it’s this Wisconsin winter that has no end or the fact that my hair is all about static these days (and don’t forget the pale, dry skin!), but this time of year has me dreaming of spring. So in Thursday Things format, here’s what I’ve been up to lately.
1. I’ve finally cleaned my coffeemaker!
Before you go all Martha on me, let me tell you what this machine has gone through. It’s almost 7 years old. It got Brenton and I though college and this cruddy old thing was how I got addicted to coffee. After all that, you’d think we could show it a little more love. But no. It hasn’t been cleaned this whole time until this week (ok, we have cleaned the pot but not the actual machine). I actually used this Capresso Cleaning Solution.
Basically it’s a powder that you dissolve in water and you run it through your coffee machine. This really helped get rid of the grime and anything that was left behind we whipped away with a paper towel. I’d have to say, I really think our coffee tastes better now that we’ve cleaned the machine.
2. Tuesday was a treat. The day started out with me checking my personal email (of course). Well I guess someone else had the same idea because my account was on lockdown due to their attempt to break into my account. After a solid 30 minute freak-out, I was able to get back into my account and change my password.
Well, later that same day I was driving down the interstate and a stone hit my windshield and it cracked! Thank goodness a repairman could drive to my house and fix it.
3. To cheer myself up, and anyone else who’s having an off week, here are some cutie-pie pics of Oliver. Enjoy!
What a good sport :)
Question: Have you been having an off-week too? What happened? Feel free to vent/complain. This is a judgment-free zone!
I have Christmas on the brain, which means my thoughts today are completely scattered and random. Here’s what I am doing/craving/thinking about:
1. I think Oliver is conditioned to sleep during the day. I worked from home today in light of the major storm hitting the Midwest (Snowpocalypse maybe?). I think because we’re usually at work during the day, he reserves his energy for when we get home — which includes him flying around the living room and whining to go outside. But from 8 am – 4 pm, he’s pretty much a vegetable.
2. With only a few weeks until the Icebreaker Marathon Relay, I’m getting more serious about training. For the past few weeks, I’ll jump on the treadmill and run a comfortable 9 minute mile pace. Then I’ll crank up the speed to 8:27 or 8:00 and try to maintain that for a mile. Then I’ll go back go jogging and repeat 2 or 3 times. I’d love to know how my teammate Laurie is tackling this :) Our goal for this race is to have fun, but I still want a good time.
3. I am reading the most amazing book. It’s called “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” It’s about a woman from the 1950s who dies of cervical cancer. Her doctor took samples of her tumor which multiplied to be the first immortal human cells, which are still alive today. They’ve been used to create the polio vaccine as well as other medical advancements. I’m less than halfway through, but I am completely transfixed. I love how this novels interweaves science with the story of Henrietta’s actual life.
4. Enstrom Candy Giveaway!
I’ve been munching on the Almond Toffee from Enstrom Candies for the past week. As someone who LOVES candy and often makes her own (I’ve tried my hand at English Toffee and Lollipops), I consider myself an connoisseur.
Enstrom’s toffee is buttery and rich. With chunks of almonds and a milk chocolate coating sprinkled with crushed almonds, this candy is is as gourmet as it comes.
Now here’s where you come in: Enstrom has offered to send one lucky She’s on the Run reader a 1-pound box of Milk Chocolate Almond Toffee! I’ll leave the giveaway open until January 2, 2013. To Enter (Mandatory): Like Enstrom Candies on Facebook AND leave a comment here telling me what you favorite candy is.
And don’t forget! You still have until Christmas to enter my giveaway for a set of William Bounds Salt and Pepper Mills (an $80 value!).
Disclaimer: Enstrom Candies has given me this product to review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.
It’s been way too long since my last Thursday Things post. I have a ton of good post and reviews to share, but today I just need to rant (in a good way!).
What I’m eating for dinner:
Laurie posted this recipe for Spaghetti Squash and Sautéed Vegetables a few days ago, and with a ton of squash on our hands, I couldn’t wait to make this. Like most of my cooking, I used her recipe as a guide and made it my own using what I had on hand. I made more of an Italian version that features olives, Italian spices and Parmesan cheese.
Italian Spaghetti Squash and Sautéed Vegetables
Inspired by Laurie
1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 zucchini, sliced
1 10-ounce bag frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
1 large tomato, diced
1/3 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 -2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, and put in a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, and continue boiling the spaghetti squash for 15 minutes. While the squash is boiling, add the olive oil and zucchini to a large pot and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until lightly brown. Add the diced tomatoes, spinach, olives and spices and continue cooking. Remove the spaghetti squash from the water (tongs work well for this), and with a fork, scrape the sides of the squash into the skillet with the other vegetables. Finally, add the cheese, and mix until all the ingredients are combined and heated through.
What I’m eating for breakfast:
Chobani is, by far, my favorite brand of Greek yogurt so I’ll try pretty much anything they make. However, as someone who despises anything pineapple flavored (I LOVE fresh pineapple though), I was skeptical to try their 2% Pineapple yogurt. I have to say though, this is my favorite of their line. It’s so fresh and fruity without tasting artificial at all. YUM!
What I’m coveting:
This blouse…and just about anything from The Limited. This is my favorite clothing store and about 50% of my closet is from here. But whatever they’re showing on their website now is especially calling to me. The tunics…the sheath dresses…the coats. Swoon.
What new gadget I just love:
As someone who brings lunch to work 90% of the time, I know how hard it is to cart salad dressing. Either you bring a full bottle or make a mess trying to fit it into a small Pyrex container. So I was thrilled when I saw this Dressing-2-Go Container from Stonewall Kitchen. At only $4.95, I know I’ll be getting a lot use out of this. Now if I only I had fresh veggies in the house to make a salad :)
Question: Tell me, what’s your favorite clothing store? Chobani flavor? Gadget?