Dinner Tonight-Chicken Marsala

Meal Planning, Schmeal Planning!


So things didn’t go exactly according to plan this week.  I ended up sleeping at my P’s on Wednesday night, so Chicken Marsala got moved to Tuesday.  What’s crazy about this is that I work late on Tuesdays, so I needed a meal that could come together quickly.  Luckily, this recipe fit the bill!




I had a little help from the BOY prepping the chicken.




Then threw everything together, while I changed into my PJ’s and unpacked my stuff from work.  Yes, I come home from work and immediately put on my PJ’s.  Is this normal?  Don’t answer that!




A weeknight recipe doesn’t get any simpler than this!




Funny story…the first time, I made this recipe, I didn’t know what marsala wine was.  Well, I guess I still don’t know!  But last time, I used a white wine (and the recipe was still great), but this time at least I figured out that meant a red.  Ha ha!




Good news!  The leftovers were perfect for lunch this week too!


It was a beautiful morning this morning.  Much more suited for running than working.  So sad! I have taken the week off from exercise to unwind, de-stress and not mess up all the good work done to my ITband during my massage.  But I am hoping to wake up tomorrow morning and get in an easy run before heading off to class.  Which means that I am going to keep this post as quick as this recipe.  Hooray Weekend!  Oh wait, I’m spending Saturday and Sunday in class. 



Chicken Marsala

From Cooking Light



4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup pre-sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup Marsala wine (I just used a red)

1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley



Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound each piece to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour, turning to coat; shake off excess flour.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add mushrooms, wine, broth, and juice to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup. Return chicken to pan, turning to coat well. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with parsley.



What is your go-to weeknight dinner?

Baked Coconut Shrimp

The minute I saw this recipe in Clean Eating Magazine, I knew I wanted to make it soon!  My mouth was watering just checking out the pictures and it looked like a fresh idea to our meal rotation that wasn’t too complicated.  Perfect for a quiet night in after a long holiday weekend!


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Which means I made it Monday night.  I did skimp on the homemade dip though and just picked one up at the store.


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I was a huge fan of this recipe before I even put it into the oven.  Three bowls, four ingredients, and it all reminded me of a fun art project.


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Don’t these guys look tasty?  The whole time, I kept thinking about what else can I dip into coconut/panko and bake?




I would suggest baking them slightly longer than suggested to get your shrimp EXTRA crispy!




In less than 20 minutes, dinner was served!




And it was a really good dinner!






We will definitely be making these again soon and adding them to our meal planning rotation!




I am a huge fan of a quick, easy, healthy, and satisfying dinner!

And I think that you will enjoy this recipe too!



Baked Coconut Shrimp

From Clean Eating Magazine



Olive oil cooking spray

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

2 large eggs

6 tbsp panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

24 shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Place 3 wide, shallow bowls on work surface.  To first bowl, add flour; to second bowl, add eggs and beat lightly; to third bowl, add panko, coconut, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.

Pat shrimp dry with paper towels.  Holding 1 shrimp by the tail, dip in flour, shaking off excess.  Quickly dip in egg, then in coconut mixture, coating thoroughly.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining shrimp.  Bake for 11 minutes (or longer if needed), turning once, until shrimp are firm to the touch and browned.

PB&J Finale Take 2

So this recipe almost didn’t happen.  Which would have been so sad because how can I end Peanut Butter Month without a peanut butter recipe?!




To Start…

I found the perfect 4th recipe for a Vegetarian Peanut Soup.  But after looking through our meal plans for the week, I just didn’t think we needed another meal.  Not that I won’t be making this recipe soon, it just will have to wait until next month.  I knew that I didn’t want to make another super sweet dessert.  Since Thanksgiving, we’ve had more than enough sweets in the house, and I knew we didn’t need another one.  In the spirit of healthy holiday eating, I was inspired by this recipe on Nutrionella to make a peanut butter themed energy bar (with homemade peanut butter of course).




Take One…

I threw the ingredients into the food processor, pressed start, and an eruption occurred.  The mixture was way to thick and my food processor started dancing like it was standing on coals.  Checking back in with the recipe, it appeared that I used 2x as many nuts as I was supposed to. 




I made a few attempts to make things work, but my processor started to sound like ‘the little engine that could…so sad.  Then, I discovered that I had used dates with pits.  Yikes! Note to self (and fellow bloggers)…never put dates with pits in your food processor.  Nothing good will come of it!




I pulled everything out and started looking through the mush…there were definitely pits.  What to do???  The answer seemed obvious.  Start over!


Take Two…

When you don’t have enough dates left to remake bars you already messed up once, prunes sub in just fine!  I de-pitted my dates, threw in some prunes and ran the food processor.




Once they formed into a big ball, I added the correct amount of nuts.  Much better!  Everything looked fantastic, so I added in a few more peanuts and dried cranberries to drive home that Peanut Butter and Jelly taste.


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The last step was easy as I pushed the bars into the pan and sprinkled in a few more cherries.


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And of course had a taste test…it was pure PB&J love!  They bars taste just like everyone’s favorite sandwich!




Funny end to Take One…

I de-pitted the original dough, threw it back into the food processor with some extra dried fruit, gave the processor a break by drizzling in some agave and then threw the ball of dough into the bottom of a round tuperware and put it in the fridge before starting dinner.




When the BOY came home, he devoured dinner and went in search of dessert.  He asked what the bars were and when I said Peanut Butter and Jelly bars, he dug right in!  Surprisingly, he liked them!  Why is this a surprise, because there is just healthy ingredients like dried fruits and nuts which is not is usually snacking MO.  ‘But there’s Jelly’ he said to me after his first bite.  Not quite BOY, but I won’t tell him if you don’t!




Other Peanut Butter Month Recipes…

Reece’s Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut Butter M&M Blondies

Double Chip Peanut Butter Cookies with Pretzels



What is the best PB recipe you made/ate this month?


The End…

Why the foggy brain and messy kitchen? I blame my relaxing massage earlier in the day.  BTW, if you live in my area, I highly recommend this place.  I had one of the best massages of my life!  My ITband has never gotten such TLC and I felt so amazing that I slept for nearly 11 hours last night.  I am so refreshed and ready to head into the fun holiday season.





The Recipe…


PB&J Energy Bars

Inspired by Ella Bars on Nutrionella



8 ounces of PITTED dates

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used homemade)

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 cup walnuts or cashews

1/2 + 1/4 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup peanuts



Place dates in food processor and blend until combined.  A big ball will start to form.

Add in the peanut butter, nuts, and oats.  Blend well.

Add in 1/2 cup cherries and peanuts and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Place dough into a baking pan covered with parchment paper and press evenly into the bottom of the pan using your hands.

Sprinkle with the last 1/4 cup of cherries and place in fridge for about 2 hours.


Note: You can also shape the dough into balls or cut them with a cookie cutter.  These freeze well!

Cheating on Chili and I Owe You a Plank

So I owe you all a plank!  I didn’t forget about the plank challenge but I was so tired after Saturday’s race that I wanted to rest a day in order to give this 4 minute plank a fighting chance. 




My longest plank to date was 3:45 and it was brutally tough…everything hurt.  I knew there was no way I’d make it to 4 minutes with a tired body.  I wasn’t even sure if I could do it with a totally fresh body, but knew I needed to try.  So after dropping by aunt off at the airport this morning (so sad to see her go, but super excited to see her again in 3 weeks!), I came home for my last plank trial.




And…success!  Somehow, I just did a 4 minute plank. I think that day off of really helped!  And now I can call that my exercise for the day as I am off to get my full body massage and don’t plan on moving much after that : )


Yesterday, I tried to convince the BOY to go to the grocery store with me.  He was having none of it, and didn’t have much to add to this week’s meal planning.  When he headed off to the library, I took some time to flip through cookbooks, blogs, and my recipe binder to come up with some new ideas.  It’s no surprise that we make chili, like every fall weekend.  I was thinking it would be fun to try something different but just as warm and comforting.  I decided on Chicken Tortilla Soup, which is so thick and hearty it is a meal on its own.  This recipe had so many amazing spices that I knew it had to be awesome!




I have been having some chicken issues lately.  I spoiled myself all summer by buying my chicken at Costco.  I spent a little more than at the grocery, but the quality was well worth it.  Recently, I haven’t been making it to Costco as often.  I picked up chicken at a local grocery store last week for my Chicken Parmesan and the BOY and I both noticed a difference.  For today’s soup, I purchased an organic brand at a different supermarket.  I liked it, but it just doesn’t compare to Costco.  Does this happen to anyone else?




Luckily, the vegetables in this soup are so fresh and delicious that the chicken is just a compliment.  Another easy compliment is home made tortilla strips.  You can buy corn tortillas for about 30 cents, and they are the perfect final touch to your meal.




I had some issues with lighting last night, so I’m not sure that the photos will do this soup any justice.




The BOY made a 3 layer bowl, complete with cheese, sour cream, scallions, and topped with tortilla strips.  He was moving so quickly, it was tough to get a clean shot!


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I poured myself a huge bowl for dinner to settle in and watch the Bear’s game.  In case you are concerned with my timing, we DVRed the noon game so the BOY could go to the library and watched it Sunday night.




It was a super exciting game, but nothing compared to this incredible soup!




I really enjoyed this recipe and wouldn’t change a thing EXCEPT, I might attempt to make it in the crockpot.  It would have been a little easier to shred up the chicken and taken less time in the kitchen.  I’m definitely adding Chicken Tortilla Soup into our weekend chili rotation.  This recipe earned a spot on the team!  Can you tell I’m in a good sporty mood after the Bear’s victory?!


Last week was so short (I worked a day and a half) so this week feels really long.  Here is a tentative plan for the week’s meals (although I stress the word tentative because I thin it’s already changed 3 times…ha ha!)


Sunday Night: Chicken Tortilla Soup (see recipe below)

For a similar vegetarian soup, I recommend this Taco Soup.


Monday Night: Coconut Shrimp


Tuesday Night: Leftovers


Wednesday Night: Chicken Marsala


Thursday Night: Pork Tenderloin


Friday Night: Surprise!  Which basically means it’s a game time decision : )



So I almost didn’t have room for last night’s dinner of Chicken Tortilla Soup because I totally chowed down on Maple Banana Bread.  This might be one of the tastiest versions of banana bread that I have made in awhile.  The maple syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor and the texture is divine.  I highly recommend trying this recipe.  It will make for wonderful holiday gifts!  And this morning, I turned it into French toast.  All I can say is…Yum!







Chicken Tortilla Soup

From Bake Your Day



1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. paprika

1 Tbs. olive oil, divided

1 large red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1 lime, juiced and zested

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (10-ounce) can green chiles

1 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup fresh corn

1Tbs. tomato paste

32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock

Salt & pepper to taste



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, kosher salt, oregano and paprika. Brush both sides of each chicken breast with a light coating of olive oil. Sprinkle a small amount of the spice mixture onto both sides of each chicken breast and transfer to a non-stick baking sheet. Roast the chicken in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool for about 10 minutes, and then shred.

While the chicken cooks, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic, along with a pinch of salt, and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onions are very fragrant and they begin to soften. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, lime juice and cilantro and stir well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Add the remaining spice mixture, black beans, green chiles, diced tomatoes and the corn and stir well. Cook for about 6 minutes until all of the vegetables are tender. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.

Slowly stir in the chicken stock and add the cooked & shredded chicken and bring the soup to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Sweet Potato Pie {Revisited}

I discovered sweet potato pie during my time living in Memphis, TN.  I even remember where I had my first taste.  I was skeptical at first but the BOY ordered it for dessert, so I picked up my plastic fork and took my first bite.  It was a party in my mouth from first taste.  Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of this amazing moment, but I do have tons of pictures of the BOY enjoying fried chicken in that same spot!




Every visit to Gus’s since then, whether with the BOY, my friends or family, sweet potato pie was ordered.  Often, multiple slices!  Whenever I make my way back to the mid south, there are a few restaurants that I HAVE to visit and sweet potato pie at Gus’s is always top of my list!  I actually had never made a pie when I attempted my first Sweet Potato Pie as a new blogger for New Years Eve 2010-2011.  It turned out incredible!  Can you believe that I haven’t made one since?  It was the first thing that I suggested when I knew we’d be home at my parents for Thanksgiving this year.  Since I had to work Tuesday and Wednesday, I got started a little early with the sweet potatoes.




The recipe suggests running your potatoes through a fine mesh sieve.  After 1/2 of a potato, I had some serious carpel tunnel and a centimeter of sweet potato.  I figured that there had to be a better way of doing this, so I pulled out my immersion wand, which worked out so much better. I highly recommend going that route first.


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I had plenty of sweet potato puree that I packaged up and sent home to my parents.  Thursday afternoon, I was ready to make my pie.  I bought a premade frozen crust from Trader Joe’s.  The only problem is that when I tried to thaw it out, it broke apart.




I was able to push everything back together to form it into a crust.


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The pie crust baked up just fine.  It didn’t look real fancy, but it tasted really good!  Meanwhile I got to work on the filling by mixing together the sweet potatoes with plenty of spices!




I had some help pulling everything together since the majority of us where in the kitchen working on dinner by this point.




The pie went into the oven just as we sat down for dinner.




40 minutes later, the pie was ready.  It looked beautiful and went straight from the oven to our table.




Along with a pecan pie and baked apple cobbler and of course Cool Whip as a topping!




The sweet potato pie was fantastic!  It is one of my all time favorite pies, and I was so happy to share it with my family!




After dinner, we all retreated to the living room to watch some football and work on a puzzle.  My brother made a fire, which was perfect since the weather had really cooled down.




The puzzle making was intense as we all battled to be Puzzle Master and find that key piece.  We did have to take one dessert break, which became BYOF (bring your own fork) with no plates required…ha ha!


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We had our puzzle finished before heading off to bed with full tummies and happy hearts!

And I even had leftover pie for dessert the rest of the weekend!



Sweet Potato Pie

From The Food Network



1 recipe Sweet Pie Crust*

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy cream

4 large eggs



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch deep pie pan and ease the pastry into the bottom and sides of the pan. Press the dough into the shell and crimp the edges in a decorative pattern. Using the tines of a fork, lightly dock the base of the shell. Place the shell into the oven and bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the bottom with the egg white. Set aside until ready to use.

Rub the sweet potatoes with the vegetable oil and roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until very tender. Remove and set aside to cool. Peel the potatoes and pass the flesh through a fine mesh sieve using a rubber spatula. (Or use your immersion blender…so much easier and faster!)  You should have about 1 1/2 cups of smooth sweet potato puree.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato puree with the sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the heavy cream with the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the cream and egg mixture to the sweet potato mixture and stir to blend. Pour the batter into the prepared pie shell and place the pie on a sheet pan.  Bake until the center is set and the tart is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.



*I used a premade TJ’s piecrust, but here is the recipe for homemade pie crust from The Food Network

Day Off

Sunday, Sunday!

Oh, how I love waking up with no alarm to a full day ahead of me.  Truth is, I purposely made NO plans for today. I knew that Wednesday through Saturday were going to be pretty busy, and I wasn’t sure how sore I would be after yesterday’s half marathon.  I wanted to a day to chill out, get a few things done around the house, and hang with the BOY before I lose him to finals prep.  I’m adding in a few shopping stops, but mostly, I just wanted a lazy day off!  Can you blame me?




Yes, this was last night’s big event laying around in my PJ’s and compression socks, eating my favorite snack (popcorn with olive oil), and drinking a little bubbly out of my congratulations glass.  Only fitting after yesterday’s race!




I woke up starving and although I really wanted something rich and sweet like pancakes, I had the perfect leftovers to make a flavorful Breakfast Stirfry.




It was exactly what I needed to get my day started.  Although the first half of my day involved sitting on the couch, looking for recipes, and watching Law&Order (I swear if there was an L&O Anonymous, I would be a founding member).  Around my 3rd episode, I was actually starting to feel hungry.  Usually this happens to me the day after an intense workout, all I want to do is eat all day. I was snacking on an apple with almond butter when the BOY mentioned heading out for lunch.  I convinced him to take me to Which Wich? since I was totally craving a veggie sandwich with pesto and hummus!


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This is seriously the BEST sandwich place EVER!  If you have one in your neighborhood, I highly recommend checking it out.  Afterwards, I made a quick longer than expected stop at Michael’s.  I still haven’t framed my Marathon poster, and for the past year, I have been wanting to hang it in the office.  Who knows…there may be more to follow!




With the BOY at the library, I finally had a few quiet hours at home.  I threw some banana bread in the oven and FINALLY sat down to watch last week’s Grey’s Anatomy.  What can I say…I’m still hooked on this show!




The house started to smell incredible, which the banana bread gets credit for.  I had some over ripe bananas and wanted to try something new and fall-tastic. 




This isn’t easy considering all of the banana bread recipes I’ve made, but after a few minutes searching online, I came across this recipe for Maple Banana Bead on Baker By Nature.  She used oat flour, so I just subbed in white flour.  And because the only Greek yogurt I have is pumpkin flavor, I used that too.  It goes with the fall-tastic theme!




I debated whether or not to add in some nuts for crunch, but in the end placed a few pecans along the top of the bread.


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Taste Test?  Of course!




The batter was tasty, but not as maple flavored as I expected BUT my house is overflowing with sweet maple aroma.




I can’t wait try it.  Because let’s be honest…along with some wine in a Congrats glass, banana bread is perfect for recovering from a race on your Day Off.


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Now I just have to wait for the BOY to come home from the library to watch the DVRed Bear’s game!



What do you like to do the day after a race?


Because this week was so crazy, I loved laying low today. 

But…tomorrow I have a 90 minute full body massage.  Hooray!



Maple Banana Bread

From Baker By Nature



2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup maple syrup

2 eggs, room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

4 very ripe bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Spray the bottom and sides the loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat maple syrup and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add melted butter. Add mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, and vanilla. Gently mix in dry ingredients. Pour batter into the lined loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour.

Cool before cutting.

Enjoy Every Mile

You guys leave me the best comments

Seriously, I don’t know what I would do without you!

Based on your suggestions, I think it’s possible to rename this post ‘How to Have a Stress Free Turkey Trot’!




You start by getting a good night’s sleep, eating a filling breakfast, sipping on black tea, checking the weather (25 degrees…yikes!), bundling up for the day ahead, and putting a smile on your face.




Do I look warm and toasty?  I only felt warm until I got out of the car.  At which point, the BOY and I had 45 minutes to walk around, use the bathrooms, and prep for my race.




He pointed out that the end of November was a little too cold for a race.  Ya think?  It really didn’t feel too cold until this morning since my last few runs have been unseasonably warm and delightful.  I was even wearing short sleeves for my 12 miler!  About 15 minutes before the race, the BOY and I made our way to the start line. 


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Now, I know I don’t look warm in this picture.  The race began and I found my way to a friendly group of runners.  I had no idea what to expect so I just put one foot in front of the other.  One of my favorite things to tell new runners before their first race is to ‘Enjoy Every Mile’.  Feeling bitter cold through my fingers and toes, I decided to focus on this saying throughout my race.  During a run, every mile brings new views, new people, and new experiences.  I look forward to each mile…sometimes it is excitement and other miles offer new friendships and scenery.  I can’t stop window shopping cute jackets and shoes on the other runners, and there are always a few running patterns to observe (I call this an occupational hazard…ha ha!). 

About 3 miles into this morning’s race, I was starting to warm up and keeping an impressive pace.  The only problem…I really had to pee.  You can ask how this happens after using the bathroom multiple times before the race, but I can only blame it on the shivering cold and possibly a nervous bladder.  I decided to make a quick (only 1 minute) bathroom stop in the middle of the race for fear that my stomach would become upset.  The hardest thing about the cold was the frigid air streaming in and out of my lungs.  I was really looking forward to making my way to mile 10 where I knew that my Dad, Aunt, and the BOY were waiting to cheer me on.




My family came at the perfect time since I was starting to lose some steam.  My Aunt lives in Florida, so she was all bundled up, which of course made me smile!  At this point, I was only checking my mile splits and had no idea what my overall time was. 


The last 3 miles were an out and back, so I knew the family would be waiting for me again. I started getting some pain in my right foot, but kept on moving. I also saw the funniest sign that said ‘Chafe Now, Brag Later’…so true!  And another one that read ‘A half marathon because you’re only half crazy!’ It was a challenging last mile, but I powered through checking my watch just as I crossed the finish line.  It said 1:50:36 (Hooray!), and I was awarded an awesome medal for my efforts : )




I grabbed 2 glasses of hot apple cider and some pretzels while constantly walking to prevent my legs from starting to cramp up.  I was so super excited to have finished such a speedy race (especially with the cold weather and the nontraditional race prep).  I thought that my previous record was around 1:51, but when I got home, I double checked.  My PR in a 2008 half marathon was 1:50:24….so close today!  But, I did stop for a potty break.  So I’m calling this one a tie.  That’s ok….right?  Next year, I will break 1:50…mark my words.  But today, I am thrilled with my accomplishment and my ability to ENJOY EVERY MILE (even the cold ones)!




Plus spending the rest of the day with my family was great!  Especially digging into this mushroom and spinach cheese-less pizza!


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Perfect post race fuel!  After which, I came home to collapse on the couch in my compression stockings and rest my tired legs.  I am pretty stiff, but proud of today’s effort!  Thankfully, I have already scheduled a Monday morning massage.  I am so lucky to have the most amazing support system and love sharing my races with them!  Thanks guys for standing out in the cold just to watch this half crazy girl finish another half marathon!


2012 Schaumburg Half Marathon Turkey Trot
Saturday, November 24, 2012




Bib #

Overall Place

Age Group Place
23 F 30-34

Chip Time



It is with this post that I officially end the 2012 Race Season!  But I am already planning ahead to next year. 


Did anyone else run a turkey trot?

What do you have scheduled for next year?


Mile Splits

Mile 1 8.01

Mile 2 8:12

Mile 3 8:18

Mile 4 7:23*

Mile 5 9:33*

Mile 6 8:27 (with a bathroom break)

Mile 7 8:20

Mile 8 8:22

Mile 9 8:26

Mile 10 8:54

Mile 11 8:22

Mile 12 8:43

Mile 13.1 9: 26

Total: 1:50:35

*I think this mile marker was a little off because I wasn’t running this fast nor was mile 5 that slow!

How Not to Prepare for a Half Marathon

Number 1

Spend Wednesday night out drinking for your brother’s birthday, and stay up way too late waking up totally dehydrated and in desperate need of caffeine!




Number 2

Inhale massive amounts of processed sugars and carbs!


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Number 3

Continue to drink from the world’s largest bottle of prosecco.




Number 4

Schedule your last 3 mile run for Thanksgiving day, which is nearly impossible to accomplish due to Numbers 1-3.


Number 5

Spend the day before your race (aka Black Friday) on your feet shopping and waiting in hour long lines for really cute clothes!





Number 6

Spend 48 straight hours talking non stop so that you have a scratchy throat and hoarse voice.


Number 7

The night before the race, fill up on sweet potato pie by the forkful.




Number 8

Then proceed onto a random-thrown-together dinner of leftovers including sleep-inducing turkey.





I would encourage you not to follow my lead with the worst race prep ever (goodbye PR), but feel free to borrow my prerace positive attitude knowing that I had an awesome 3 days (and got some really good Black Friday deals) and that no matter what happens tomorrow, I am so happy and thankful to be running 13.1 miles.  Until then, I will be rehydrating and sipping tea with my legs up thinking warm thoughts before I wake up to the coldest day since last winter!  Brrr!



Thanksgiving in Pictures

Oh, Happy Day after Thanksgiving!

Are you recovering from your food coma? Or resting up after a chaotic morning of shopping?

All of the above is a possible answer!  In love


No matter, how you feel today, I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by family and friends engaged in conversation and grateful for this special day together.  I spent Wednesday downtown with my brother and along with his girlfriend, we started our Thanksgiving day with a much needed coffee from Starbucks before making our way to my parents house for brunch.  We spent the rest of the day there hanging out, eating, laughing, napping, drinking, baking, and just being together.


It was the perfect way to spend the holiday!






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I am grateful for all of the love and joy in my life and forever thankful to my friends and family!

Fudge Bites

It is no secret that I have been having tons of fun with my food processor making energy bars and chocolately treats.  I had some leftover dates in the fridge, so I was excited to try out some new RAW recipes.  I started off simple making Chocolate Covered Katie’s famous Fudge Babies, but instead of cocoa powder, I subbed in this tasty superfood.




I also used a walnut/cashew mix for the nuts.




Wow, these guys made quite a mess in my kitchen.




But it was totally worth it.  I must admit, I wasn’t sure if this dough would come together.  I checked it out after a few minutes in the food processor, and it was still really crumbly.  I considered adding in some agave, but instead scraped the sides down and turned the processor back on.  A few minutes later, I had what I was looking for.  A thick, rich, sticky dough.




That I could roll into dessert bites.




You’ll notice that these balls are super shiny.  I’m not sure what happened there.  It may be because I kept them in the food processor too long.




But not to worry, I don’t think it impacted their taste.  I placed the balls immediately in the freezer, and I look forward to snacking on them throughout the week. 



Even after this recipe, I had a few dates left.  I was feeling adventurous and thinking about the amazing Gingersnap Larabar I had last weekend when I spotted this recipe on Katie’s site.  I know that I am not creative enough to make these adorable little gingerbread people, but I can roll a mean energy bite.  I decided to throw in a little pumpkin too.




Sadly, things just didn’t blend together like I would have hoped, but with all of the incredible spices, it tasted sooo good.  I tried adding a few sticky additions to help pull this into a dough, but no such luck.  I couldn’t abandon it completely.  Not because I don’t like failure (it happens quite a bit in the kitchen) but because it tasted like the kind of bar you want to be eating.  I was about to dig out a pan when I spotted this adorable pumpkin.




With nothing to lose, I threw the mixture into the fridge.  Who knows? I could end up with the perfect pumpkin shaped power bar!




No such luck!  Just a pile of good tasting mush!


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I’ll keep working on this recipe and get back to you!  Feel free to link me any other fun energy bite recipes too!

I also wanted to follow up after this morning’s Home Workout.  I had so much energy all day and was seriously in the best mood. I think this was a good lesson about how 15 minutes of exercise in the morning is worth getting up a few minutes early.  And, my pecs are definitely sore from the burpees and pushups.  Hooray!  Speaking of hooray, I have just a few hours left of work before Thanksgiving.  Can you tell that I am psyched?!  Hip, hip hooray!




Fudge Babies

From Chocolate Covered Katie


1 c walnuts (120 grams)

1 and 1/3 cups pitted dates (220 grams)

1 tsp vanilla extract

optional: 1/8 plus 1/16 tsp salt

3-4 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used 3 T Cacao)


Blend all the ingredients, using a food processor.  Be patient and wait for everything to start sticking together.  Roll into little balls. (Use plastic wrap if you wish, or smush it all together in a plastic bag so it’ll stay together better.) Or, if you want true brownies, shape the dough into bars!  You can also use this as a pie crust.