Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Highlights.

1. I noticed today that the trees are starting to come back to life. Buds! Those are buds! That means that beautiful green leaves are on their way. I'm not surprised the baby leaves are still hiding...I mean, we did have a few snow flurries on Saturday....and again right now...oye.

2. I ran my first 15k race this weekend. For all you mathematicians out there, that is 9.3 miles. I'm pretty sure my leg is broken and my hamstrings are torn, but it was awesome! I'll give you the full report tomorrow.

3. We spent Saturday evening hanging out around the fire pit at our friend's house and I consumed mass quantities of some much-deserved wine to help the Birthday Girl celebrate. Why, why didn't I take photos???

4. Another week of school and homework is done. One more week to go and spring semester will cease to exist. Hallelujah!

5. Next weekend I'm introducing my Canadian friends to the American tradition of Cinco de Mayo. Except, we're celebrating on Friday so I've renamed it Cuatro de Mayo. Clever, no?

I contemplated the menu today and it is a work in progress: margaritas, sangria, cheese dip, guacamole, salsa, taco dip, sombrero shaped cookies, Mexican flag cupcakes. Plus sombreros and mustaches for everyone. Any other simple suggestions?

How was your weekend?


Friday Workout: rest day

Satruday Workout: 9.3 mile run, per training plan

Sunday Workout: Nothing, I ran out of time and energy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Back Yard Project.

Guess what happens when you combine a long snowy winter and two big hairy dogs?

I'll tell you what - a dirt pit instead of a luscious, green back yard. 

This past weekend The Canadian finally decided to take matters into his own hands.

Well, with Serge's help. 

And by Serge, I mean his tractor.

So, Serge drove his tractor across town and then proceeded to completely and utterly dig up and level our back yard.

You know what he found? Dinosaur footprints! Or possibly Sasquatch footprints. I'm not really sure.

I'm not kidding. Apparently the walking path that has been buried under dirt for the past decade wasn't just your run of the mill square stones. Who knew?

The Canadian did a lot of this....

And some of this...

And then some more of this.

I didn't go near a rake because I was busy sneaking pictures from the second story and re-lacing all my tennis shoes.

I'm a busy woman and can't be bothered with such trivial things.

Once all the tools were put away and it was safe to come out, I came down to say hello and admire all their hard work.

Then I promptly jumped in the driver seat and made Serge take my photo so I would have photographic evidence that I contributed to the back yard project.

And by contribute, I mean take 5,452 photos of myself in the rearview mirror. It's an art that I must master.

 Vroom! Watch out world. I'm gonna learn to drive heavy duty farm machinery.

I imagine I'll have masted the art of tractor driving right about when the grass actually grows. 

That should be...well...about a quarter 'til never.


Wednesday Workout: Cardio - 5 mile run, per training plan; Weights - shoulders, biceps, abs

Thursday Workout: Cardio - 2 mile run, per training plan; Class - Body Pump, 60 minutes

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chocolate Pie.

For our dinner party on Saturday night I volunteered to bring dessert. I have a fabulous new cookbook that was calling my name. I looked at every recipe in the book and every single one of them involved at least one cup of milk, heavy cream, sour cream or cream cheese. Any other time I would take that as a good sign but last weekend I was baking for a diabetic and a milk-allergy. 

It's nearly impossible to make something delicious without sugar or milk, so I finally gave up and settled on a delicious recipe (from a different cook book) that only called for one tablespoon of milk. Not much I could do about the whole sugar thing, except tell Tyler to bring an extra gallon of insulin.

No lie, this pie took just under 15 minutes to make, involved ingredients that are probably in your pantry already (except maybe the unsweetened chocolate) and is absolutely amazing. 

So, here we go. Listen carefully, because I'd hate for you to miss out on this deliciousness.

First beat two eggs in a bowl.

Then add a cup of brown sugar...

And a half cup of regular sugar.

Then toss in a teaspoon of all-purpose flour.

Also measure in a teaspoon of vanilla.

Plus, a tablespoon of milk. Now mix it all up.

See? Pretty basic stuff so far.

Next coarsely chop up 1 1/2 blocks (1.5 oz) of unsweetened baking chocolate. Pour it in a small saucepan with a stick of butter and melt the two over low heat.

Once the chocolate and butter are melted, slowly pour it into the egg and sugar mix. Be sure to stir the whole time!

Oh, yeah. At some point you'll need to prepare your pie crust. You could make your own OR you could by a Pillsbury one and hope no one will ask about it. 

Don't forget to add a pinch of flour to the pan before placing the crust down - its the secret to keeping the pie from sticking.

Now pop that bad boy in the over for around 45 minutes at 325.

Enjoy! Serve it with a drop of whipped-cream and savor every bite.


Copy and Pasteable:

Chocolate Chess Pie
(super easy and delicious!)

2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla
1 t. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. milk
1/2 c. butter
1.5 ounces unsweetened bakers chocolate
9 in. uncooked pie crust
whipped cream, if you please

Preheat oven to 325. Combine sugar, flour, milk, vanilla, eggs in a medium bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt chopped chocolate and butter over low heat. Slowly add chocolate mixture to egg mixture, stir continuously. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cool before serving. 


Workout: Cardio - 2 mile run (per training plan); Class - 2 spin classes back-to-back, 100 minutes

Weigh-In: -3 pounds

Total Lost: - 6 pounds

Monday, April 23, 2012

Awesome Sunglasses and a Recipe For Health.

I spent all day laying on the couch, completely drained of energy.

In the epic battle of Kate vs. Cold, I lost today. But, tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow, I'll wake up and be cured of the evil cold.

It's especially important that I get better because tonight I registered to run the Grande-Digue 15k race this coming Saturday! How perfect that there happens to be a 15k race on the exact day that my training plan calls for a 9 mile run? It'll be my longest run yet and I want to be congestion-free.

People just don't appreciate it when I cough and sneeze all over them, despite the fact that I look awesome in my purple plastic glasses.

Anyway, I decided to take a long, hot shower tonight in an effort to feel human again.

When I got out of the shower a bright red gift bag had materialized on the kitchen counter.

Who could possibly love me that much?

Inside the bag was a perfectly creative set of goodies.

A Recipe For Health:

~ Tummy Gummy Worms
~ Cliff Diving Energy
~ Stuffy Nose Soothers
~ Coolers of the Throat
~ Soup for the Soul

Thanks, Laura!! The gummy worms were gone before I made it back to the couch. And how did you know that I was out of tissues?


Workout: laying on the couch - that doesn't count, does it?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Great Dinner Party: Raclette!

I spent all of last week excited for our weekend dinner plans. 

Saturday night The Canadian and I had dinner with some of our favorite people in the world. Typically we get together every month or so to have dinner and drinks.

Our dinner parties are always delicious and a ton of fun, but this weekend was even more fantastic than usual. Christina brought out the big guns.

Want to know the secret of having the greatest dinner party of all time? 


A Swiss tradition, raclette is a what can only be described as an interactive dinner.

Raclette is basically an electric grill placed in the middle of the table. 

Preparation is super easy too because there is no cooking involved...just chopping and cutting.

Our menu included plenty of meat: shrimp, scallops, chicken and beef.

Lots of veggies: broccoli, green peppers, red peppers, orange peppers and potatoes (that's totally a veggie).

Also important are butter, oils and spreads, like pesto and bruscetta.

An array of cheese is also a necessity. We had mozzarella, havarti, parmesan, gouda and brie.

And of course, enough sliced baguettes to feed an army.

So here's how this goes down.

Each person has one or two 'trays' to manage for their meal. The goal is to keep each tray loaded with food in a constant rotation.

First, you choose several meats and veggies and place them on the grill to cook.

While their cooking, you take a slice of bread and start melting some butter and cheese by placing it under the grill.

By the time your cheese has melted, the meat and veggies are done grilling too. 

You pile your tray with whatever combination of food sounds good to you and then heat it again so it all melts together. I started with chicken, potato, havarti and peppers on a baguette.

While you're waiting for the first tray to cool a bit, you get your second monstrosity started on the grill. 

But maybe this time you try a different combo, like brie and shrimp and pesto. That, by the way, was my favorite of the evening. 

While that cooks, you eat your first creation. This way you eat lots of mini meals throughout dinner.

Are you following me? You eat one or two baguettes at a time while you're next one is cooking. It's a process. An interactive process. Everyone makes their own trays and eats whatever they want each time, at their own pace.

You then repeat the process five or six or ten more times until you're so full that you just might explode.

By the time dinner is over everyone will need to be rolled off their chair and into the living room.

Mission accomplished.

I mentioned before that this is a fairly low prep meal. There is no recipe involved, no oven, no stove. Just a cutting board. The best part is that it is an easy menu to divide up so the hostess isn't stuck providing all the food. If each person brings a meat, a veggie and a cheese then you're in business. You can even cut up everything while chatting over wine and munching on appetizers. Really, it's brilliant.

I warn you of one thing: buy more bread than you think you will possibly need. Six of us destroyed about five feet worth of baguettes. We're animals.

Next time you can't think of gift ideas for your birthday or Christmas ask for a raclette! 

You won't regret it and everyone will be begging you to host dinner.

We had such a great time! Thanks to Mike and Christina for having us...and for owning a raclette!


Friday Workout: Rest. Much needed and deserved.

Saturday Workout: 8 mile run. Boom! The furthest I've ever run in my life. Felt good, too.

Sunday Workout: Cardio - 45 minutes, bike and elliptical; Weights - biceps, shoulders, abs