Mooch

Last night the local country club hosted an event (that I shall not name because I don’t want local folks to find this blog by googling the event) for the Fourth of July.  I REALLY wanted to go, but I just wasn’t willing to pay the $50 per couple.  Yeah, it included fireworks (which I know are NOT cheap–especially on this level) and food, but it was all typical cookout-style foods–hamburgers, hot dogs… nothing I would eat anyway.

Hmmmmm…. so what’s a girl to do?

You load up the lawn chairs in the back of the truck and go park in a field behind the country club, that’s what!!!

That’s the thing about fireworks.  Until they figure out a way to do them in a dome, cheapskates like me will always find a way to mooch.  🙂  And from the looks of the field we were parked in, there are lots of moochers in this town!

Thanks for the free show, country club!  It was awesome!
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CSA Weeks 6 and 7

I’ve always enjoyed eating.  Sometimes too much.  USUALLY too much.  But never have I enjoyed cooking so much.  If anyone had told me I would enjoy this whole CSA experience this much, I’d have thought they were a total fruit loop.  Maybe it’s just because I feel more… I don’t know… involved?  Actually going to the farm to get the food and stuff.  Maybe it’s just because it’s so fresh and flavorful.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been eating 99% vegan so there’s no guilt.  Whatever it is, I’m loving it!
Week 6:  Potatoes, mint, yellow squash, patty pan squash, red and green tomatoes, turnips, cabbage (AGAIN), tomatillos, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, chard, and kale.
Tomatillos

I had heard of tomatillos, and maybe I’d even unknowingly eaten them before, but I certainly had never bought them or cooked with them.  I honestly had no idea what to do with them.  I googled, and just about every recipe that came up was some kind of salsa or verde sauce, but then a friend sent me the link to this recipe.  Sounded good to me!  I couldn’t find the chiles in adobo sauce at my regular grocery, so that gave me an excuse to go into that little Mexican grocery in town that I’d never been to.  I had been curious about it but never went in because from the street it looked pretty shady.  Yeah, it was no better on the inside, but they had what I needed so it was all good.

BEST CHILI EVER!!!

I still had beets from the previous week to use up, so I made this beet and berry smoothie again.  This time I added a little bit of agave nectar and it made all the difference in the world.  It was still kinda pulpy, so maybe if I ever make it again I’ll steam the beets first.  Maybe that’ll make them blend a little smoother…

If nothing else, at least it’s pretty!

The chili had a very close runner-up as my favorite meal this week.  Another friend sent me a link to this avocado sauce, and it sounded like it would pair perfectly with “zoodles” (zucchini noodles)!  The sauce was absolutely decadent.  I didn’t use the oil that the recipe called for, and it was a little bit thick, so I just added another splash of lemon juice.  PERFECTION.

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Week 7:  Yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, purple sweet peppers, blueberries, cabbage (yes… again… will this stuff ever go out of season???), okra, and jalapenos.  No greens!  😦  It has finally gotten too hot.
The biggest, fattest, juiciest heirloom tomato ever..
The only way to eat an heirloom–on whole wheat with Vegenaise and a slice of cabbage.  Everything comes with a side of cabbage these days.

I really wasn’t feeling very creative this week.  I actually made a lot of repeat stuff.  I had an eggplant/squash marinara again, the zoodles with avocado sauce again, baked potatoes, roasted veggies, salads… basically anything easy simple as I’ve been pretty distracted by life this week.  I did do one new thing this week though!  Mashed turnips!  Made just like mashed taters and OH SO GOOD!  And this isn’t anything new, but I did use some CSA ingredients in it.

Paella primavera:  Best enjoyed on the deck with a Heineken.
I’m 1/3 of the way through our 20 week program, and I’m already dreading it coming to an end!

Tuesday Tidbits

  • I just discovered these.  Move over, Fritos, there’s a new vegan junk food in town!
  • I realized today that I had the date wrong in my head for RnR St. Louis.  It is, in fact, 10-21, not 10-28 as I had been thinking.  Thank goodness I didn’t book a hotel for the wrong weekend!  (Note to self:  Book a hotel room.)
  • I’m determined to do something about my weak-ass arms.  But I don’t get it… I work them until I just can’t lift anymore and yet they’re never sore the next day.  I’m not doing something right.
  • I will not bitch about the weather.  I will not bitch about the weather.  I will not bitch about the weather.  I will not bitch about the weather.  I will not bitch about the weather.

Gettin’ My Nerd On

Hi, my name is Pam, and I am a former band nerd.  Okay, scratch that “former” part.  It’s still there.  I may not play anymore, but the love of music is still there.

On Wednesday, I found out that there was going to be a DCI competition at UTM the next day.  I immediately texted my band nerd sister to see if she wanted to go.  She did.

If you’re not familiar with them, the Drum Corps International is kinda like the Major League of marching band.  These musicians are simply amazing.

The lineup included the Crossmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Cavaliers, Carolina Crown, and Cadets, and the show absolutely did not disappoint.  It was hot and muggy, but I kept goosebumps almost all night. Music just does that to me…



Any other band nerds out there?  Ever been to a DCI performance?

The Return of Track Tuesday

Okay, I’ve been dicking around long enough.  I haven’t been to the track since March.  While I have still been running, most of those runs have been at an easy pace, with my only goal being to keep moving during summer.  Well, I’ve decided that one track workout a week won’t kill me.  Hopefully.

I didn’t really plan on incorporating any speed work until I officially started a training plan for the marathon, but after looking over the first few weeks of that crazyass Smart Coach plan, I wasn’t too intimidated by the suggested paces and felt they would be a good way to at least keep a little bit of pep in my step through the dog days.

Planned Workout:  Four miles.  One mile warm-up then 1600 x 2 @ 9:21 with 800 recovery jogs.
Actual:  Four miles.  One mile warm-up @ 10:59, 1600 @ 9:16, 800 @ 10:54, 1600 @ 9:07, 800 @ 11:05

Success!  And it really didn’t suck all that bad!  That TOTALLY means I can run a 4:19:22 marathon, right?

HA!

Just Call Me Flash

I had a wardrobe malfunction on my long run Saturday morning.  (Which turned out not to be a long run because of said malfunction.)

I mentioned here that I had bought some compression shorts to wear underneath a Runningingskirts skirt I had bought, so I thought I’d wear that.  It was totally cute!  I was feeling cute and confident when I left the house.

That lasted all of about ooooohhhhh 15 seconds.  With every step I took, that &$@* skirt crept just a tiny bit higher.  Not the waistband.  That stayed put.  I’m talking about over the hips so that my ass was hanging out the back.

The entire run was step, step, step, pull skirt down, step step step, pull skirt down/shout obscenities.  Okay, not the ENTIRE run.  Part of it was on some country back roads with no one around except the cows to see my spandex-clad ass, so I just let it shine in all its glory there.

At mile 5 I was within a quarter-mile of the house.  I had planned to run 7-8, but I was over it.  I quit at 5.2.

Need a visual?  I thought you might.

This is what it started out looking like:

And this is what it looked like after a few strides:

The skirt will be on eBay tonight.

CSA: Weeks 4 and 5

There’s been a whole lot of raw and single-ingredient eating going on over here lately, and there just really isn’t a lot to say about that.  Although I CAN say I am continually amazed at the difference in taste between fresh, local organics and grocery organics.

Week 4:  Eggplant, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, carrots, red and green tomatoes, broccoli, kale, chard, cabbage, spring mix, and a sprig of mint.)

Those were the absolute best grape tomatoes and carrots I have ever had.  I ate every one of those tomatoes on the night of pickup while I was standing in the kitchen washing and putting away the rest of the produce.

And I was almost giddy to find the green tomatoes in my basket.  They made this southern girl’s belly very happy.  🙂

Roasted turnips and fried green tomatoes
This recipe was easily veganized using Ener-G egg replacer, Morningstar Farms “beef” crumbles, and almond milk, and now I have a new favorite slow-cooker meal — cabbage rolls!
Trust me.  It tastes MUCH better than it looks.

Other items of note from week 4:

  • I ate a baked sweet potato for breakfast on my way to work one morning.  Who does that????  Someone who was too full to have it at supper the night before and someone who doesn’t waste food, that’s who.
  • I’ve been underestimating my cheapo blender.  Turns out most of the problem is me.  I’ve figured out that my smoothies are much more smooth if I just let them blend longer.  I learned that I can even get broccoli into a green smoothie if I blend for a few minutes with a couple of pauses to stir things around
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Week 5:  Cabbage, beets, turnips, new potatoes, okra, jalapenos, broccoli, bell pepper, patty pan squash, red and green tomatoes, kale, collard greens, zucchini, blueberries, thyme, mint, and fennel.
Fennel.  This was a new one to me.

Okay, I have a confession to make.  I AM SICK OF CABBAGE.  I’ve made coleslaw, stir fries and spring rolls a couple of times each to use the Chinese cabbage, cabbage rolls, boiled it, eaten it raw…  I’m kind of starting to feel like Bubba with his shrimp.  I want to try to make sauerkraut, but I’m really not sure I’m patient enough to commit to a four-week recipe!

This is really just one of those “throw everything together and hope it tastes okay” concoctions that I so enjoy doing.  I sauteed onions, bell peppers, and okra; breaded eggplant and squash; mixed in some whole wheat penne pasta, marinara, and fresh ground basil (that a customer brought me at work!); and topped it with Daiya nondairy cheese.  This was the first time I had used Daiya.  It didn’t exactly melt like I expected, but it was really gooey and stringy (think mozzarella sticks!) and tasted fantastic!

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On a whim on Sunday afternoon I decided to try my hand at zucchini bread.  I found this recipe, which has 3,570 excellent reviews.  So I guess that means the fact that it didn’t turn out right is more a problem with the cook than the recipe!  It said to bake for 40-60 minutes, but after that plus ANOTHER HOUR in the oven it was still super gooey.  I really don’t know what I did wrong.  I did substitute applesauce for the oil and used Ener-G instead of eggs, but that’s stuff I always do without a problem.  The only thing I can think of is maybe I messed up on the Ener-G.  I halved the recipe, but looking back at it now after the fact, I’m wondering if I halved that.  It seems like I had “three eggs” in my head when I was mixing stuff, which is what the full recipe called for.  Oh well.  It still tastes fine.  It’s just the completely wrong texture!  I’ll eat it anyway!

Zucchini bread: 1    Pam: 0

Sweet potato tacos have become one of my favorite meals.  This recipe, like so many others I’ve mentioned here, comes from Color Me Vegan.  It’s so, so, so super easy and is so very flavorful.  Steam your sweet potatoes and smoosh them, saute some onions and bell pepper, add spices and herbs and wrap it all in a tortilla.  YUM.  I like to top mine with salsa and Tofutti.  🙂

I know, horrible picture.  But the battery on my phone was dying and the camera wouldn’t flash.  I had to make do with a sun beam.
And finally,even though nothing on this came from the CSA I still had to share it because I was just that proud of it.  

BEST PIZZA EVER.  I did cheat and buy a premade whole wheat pizza crust, and then I topped it with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and Daiya (and I seriously contemplated putting cabbage on it) and it was soooooo good.  After I had it in the oven I remembered that I had black olives, and that would have just made it even better.  Oh well, next time.  The crust came in a two-pack so I’ve still got one in the freezer just begging me to do this again next weekend!

Please tell me something else to do with this cabbage!  (Besides soup.  Yuck.)

Wanna Hear Something Funny?

Runner’s World Smart Coach says I should be able to run a marathon in 4:19:22.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

I know I’m still a long ways away from race day, but just for giggles last weekend I punched in my four-miler race time from April (I actually used the 5K split because 4M wasn’t an option) and the 12/2 race date, and it spit out a 26-week training plan leading up to a 4:19:22 finish.  This plan included SEVEN 20-mile training runs.

That Smart Coach… he’s a real hoot.

I’ll do this again in about six more weeks and see if he wants to be serious yet.

Three Things Thursday – Media Edition

1.   My sister and I saw Prometheus last weekend.  I’m not a sci-fi fan, but her birthday, her rules, so she picked the movie.  I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars.  That’s actually quite good considering it’s coming from a person whose idea of a good sci-fi movie is Spaceballs.

2.   I love me some raunchy humor.  I’m reading “Are You There, Vodka?  It’s Me, Chelsea.” by Chelsea Handler, and I cannot stop laughing.  Seriously.  Physically impossible.  It’s hilarious.  Go read it.  Now.

3.   I hate Adele.  She may have been okay once upon a time, but our local Top 40 radio station (the only station I’ve ever been able to pick up inside my office) has played her to the point that I have to fight the urge to slit my wrists every time I hear her.  (This is exactly why I have satellite radio in my car!)  My employees always laugh at me because I will always stop what I’m doing to walk to the radio and turn it off any time one of her songs come on.  Well, I had enough this week.  I have now moved the radio.  I’ve taken it into the back of the work area and carefully balanced it on the edge of one of the work tables, run the wire antenna up the wall and tied it to a metal rod over the window.  Yes, it looks like crap and it may very well end up getting knocked off the table and broken, but for now I can listen to classic rock, so it’s totally worth the risk.

How Soon is Too Soon…

… to put together a race outfit?  Four months?  A little bit overkill?  Maybe.  Even for me.

I was in Dicks Saturday with my sister, and I knew I had some money left on a gift card that I got last Christmas.  It was burning a hole in my pocket.

My next scheduled race isn’t until October 28th in St. Louis.  Being the Cards fan that I am, I knew I wanted to play that up on race day.  Okay, so I haven’t got the WHOLE outfit planned yet, but at least I now have the main component.

Who would have thought that a solid red shirt would have been so hard to find!  I already have four St. Louis Cardinals shirts in my wardrobe, but of course they’re all cotton, and that ain’t happening on race day.  We looked all over the women’s department for a solid red shirt of any style or brand and came up empty-handed.  After I had given up, we were walking past the little boy’s department and red caught my eye.  I took a shot and tried on a youth XL and TAH-DAH!  We have the beginnings of a race outfit!

(I also bought those shorts in the picture, but they’re not part of the planned outfit. I got them to wear underneath this skirt I bought a couple months ago that doesn’t have any built-in shorts underneath.)