Dark Clouds, Blue Skies, and More Dark Clouds

We had our coldest summer weekend in Wisconsin to date!  We drove up to Green Lake, leaving around 1:30pm on Friday in the midst of rain storms, but when we arrived the sun was shining and the sky was blue.

 

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We able to have Happy Hour on the dock, but needed a few extra layers to stay warm in the wind.

 

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We had a stunning sunset, despite all of the clouds, just before dinner was ready on the grill.

 

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The next morning, the guys were up early with fishing poles on the dock.  I was in need of a 14 mile run.  My longest run of the season.  I didn’t know any local distances, nor do I have a GPS watch, so I decided that a two hour run would be sufficient.  With the hills and strong wind, I figured that might be closer to 13 miles.  Since the weather was chilly, I didn’t need to head out early for my run.  I was able to take a morning boat ride and enjoy my breakfast.  Around 10am, my parents and I got into the car.  They volunteered to be my athletic support and help me map out a course.

 

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When I read about the Pro Compression sale on Brittany and Megan’s website, I immediately bought a pair.  I took some major slack for the bright green color, but I joked that it meant they’d be able to see me from across the lake.

 

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Yes, my Mom and I have the same awesome purple running shoes!  She was walking while I was running.  We were able to scope out a great place to run, mostly around the lake with a few parts along the local highways.  I’m familiar with the route as I have biked it a few times before.  My parents dropped me off at the bottom of a HUGE hill and off I went.  I ran about 6 miles to the park where they were waiting to cheer me on and refill my water bottles.  In another hour, they came back to scoop me up.  Although my legs were tired and I wasn’t feeling fast, I did feel strong after 2 hours or running.  I’m sure the cool weather and amazing family support helped!

 

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I finished right around lunch time and returned back to the house to find everyone gathered around the table.  I dug right into my homemade hummus before making a salad with leftover salmon for lunch.  And sipping on a New Glarus beer.

 

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It’s the best part of running in Wisconsin!  After lunch we went back down to the docks for fishing round two.  My brother and the BOY (on separate docks below) tried their luck with the fish as dark clouds rolled through.  We sat under layers of towels for moral support and cheered them on.

 

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Throughout the day, the BOY caught three fish, but only one that I captured on camera!

 

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Due to the dark skies, we decided to move the day’s Happy Hour to the fire pit which was much warmer than the dock!

 

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There was no stunning sunset, but the thick clouds and sprinkles of rain rolling in and out throughout the evening caused quite a dramatic effect.

 

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We had another fantastic dinner and then made s’mores (with the giant mallows) by the fire.  When we woke up this morning, there was much of the same in terms of weather.  Dark clouds and chilly temps!  I was thrilled that I had not signed up for the triathlon again this year or I would have been fighting choppy water and heavy headwinds.  Should anyone really need this many layers to be outside on a July morning?!

 

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Since there wasn’t much interest in water sports, we took a boat ride into town to walk around before coming back and you guessed it, eating again : )

 

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We left around noon today and when we returned home, it was actually a gorgeous fall feeling day with the sun shining and clear blue skies!

I always feel unbelievable after a weekend in Wisconsin!  Luckily, the BOY and I are heading back up on Friday!  It was another fun week in marathon training, and I have picked up some tips from reading Hal Higdon’s book.

 

 

Total Weekly Mileage: 28 miles

I have to give a huge shout out to my BF Kelley and her Dad, for competing in Ironman Lake Placid today!  Way to go guys!!!

Thursday Thoughts and Dinner in the Crockpot

After a few busy weeks of training, it was almost hard to sleep in this week…almost!  I took Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off from working out.  One reason is because I have had a lot to do at work.  Another reason is because I still have EVERYTHING to do before I leave for Israel in less than one week!  Plus, it’s always just nice to catch up on some sleep.

 

I did figure out dinners for this week even though I didn’t blog about our Meal Plan earlier in the week.  Monday was dinner on the go because I had a late night meeting.  This Hidden Menu has made me fall back in love with Panera.  I’m slightly obsessed with the Hummus Chicken Bowl!  Don’t have a picture, but I do have one of the rainbow in the Target parking lot Monday night.

 

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I’ve been a bad blogger with pictures, but Tuesday the BOY made a Mesquite Pork Tenderloin on the grill (with a huge salad) and Wednesday we had Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp with grilled peppers.

 

For tonight, I am back on dinner duty.  And by me, I mean the Crockpot : )

 

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I may have stayed up late to watch the Hawk’s game last night (darn over times), so did not bound out of bed this morning. Recently I have been channeling my 101 year old grandpa who for dinner, throws everything (leftovers rice from my aunt, veggies) into his soup. I have been doing this for breakfast with my eggs.  Leftover salmon…yum!  Sweet potato…delish!  A veggie burger when there’s nothing else…somehow it still works

 

Yet this morning, I found myself out of eggs.  After some deep thought, I ended up throwing together a Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Smoothie. 

 

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With a pretty lazy start to my week, I was pondering some activity, but instead I dawdled on the computer and then had to run some errands before my trip.  I am hoping to have time over this three day weekend to actually get packed up, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t slightly stressed out (yet totally excited!) about my upcoming trip.  Ok…back to dinner…I discovered this Crockpot recipe over the weekend and immediately added it to this week’s meal plan.

 

Is it not crazy that at my new job where I have been working for less than 2 weeks, they already ask me what’s in the crockpot for dinner?  I think it’s because I was raving about these Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps on my first day!

 

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The tricky part of this recipe was that I needed to get everything set and then talk the BOY through the cornstarch portion since he gets home before me (and because this is my last day before Israel, I knew it’d be a later night).

 

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Good News…he was able to figure it out.

 

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Bad News…he misunderstood the timing and I got home a little late from work, so our dinner was slightly overcooked.  Still absolutely delicious but when we make this again, it will be on a non-work day.

 

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We served dinner over rice with a side of green beans and an ice cold Wisco beer.  I don’t think that the pictures due it justice because this dinner is fantastic!

 

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And so is this new New Glarus beer that I brought home from my camping trip.

 

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There have been plenty of dinner leftovers for lunch this week, which has been awesome.  One of the best things about my new schedule is that I have two work days where I am eating lunch at home.  It is great to prepare my meal, sit down, and enjoy a laid back lunch (as opposed to a stuff your face with food during a meeting in between patients kind of lunch).  Over the past two weeks, I have been making healthier decisions and mindlessly snacking less.  I’ve lost ~2 pounds and feel refreshed.  It’s pretty incredible to notice how much stress was impacting my life and my health!

 

Speaking of that…it’s time to chillax with my beer, the BOY , and our DVR!

Thanks for listening to my Thursday thoughts!

 

 

What are your Thursday thoughts?

Does anyone else like New Glarus beer?

 

 

 

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Smoothie

 

Place the following ingredients in blender and blend on high.

1 banana, sliced

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup oats

2 Tbsp cacao powder

1-2 Tbsp almond butter

2 handfuls of ice

 

 

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
Recipe From Chef In Training

*Note: this is the doubled recipe…I only made half (or one) portion for tonight!

 

Ingredients

2.5 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons diced onion
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

 

Directions
Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce.
Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.
Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

Starting Summer on LSD [Lake Shore Drive]

Memorial Day is the kick to for summer and despite the cold temperatures here in Chicago, that is exactly what we did!  For the second year in a row, I booked a back to back weekend with the Soldier Field 10 Miler and Bike the Drive.

 

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Saturday morning, the BOY and I were up super early (think 5am).  We loaded up the car and made a quick stop at Starbucks for some back tea before getting on the highway.

 

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Last year, I almost missed the race due to traffic, so we left a little earlier this year.  I was in the purple corral scheduled to close at 6:45am.  Since last year we came in from the south, this year we tried the north.  Again, we were met with massive amounts of traffic.  The good news is that we were able to map out our route for next year (we’ll come from the west) even though we didn’t arrive as early as I would have liked.

 

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It felt great to be back at Soldier Field!

 

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By the time we made it to the corrals, it was close to 6:45am, and I really needed to pee.  This year I stayed much calmer than last about the whole running late thing.  I had a close friend who I have been training with who was waiting in corral 12, so I was able to use the port-a-potties and meet up with her before the race.

 

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It was so fun to have a friend with me at the start of the race, and we were able to chat before we finally made our way to the starting line 45 minutes later.  We ran together south down Lake Shore Drive for the first 3 miles and then split up.  After mile 3, I sped ahead.  At the half way point, my time was right about 44 minutes.  When I turned back north towards the stadium, I felt strong and kept a steady pace.  I think that my slower first few miles allowed me to conserve some energy, so my last 7 miles averaged just above 8 minute/miles.  I’d say this was pretty good considering I have been sick and my nose was running for most of the race (note to self..bring Kleenex next time!).

 

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I finished slower than I had in years past, but it was well worth running with my friend!  Plus, this might be my first ever negative split race.  Now that is an accomplishment!  Of note, my new shoes were fantastic!  They were light and supportive, and handled their first long run without any issues.  I heart Brooks running shoes!

 

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I felt great when I was done (although pretty cold!), and I easily found the BOY waiting for me in the stands.  This race continues to be one of my favorites.  It is well run and organized perfectly!  The volunteers are friendly and fun, and you know I love getting a medal.  This year, we even got reusable bags with our post-race snacks.  I had to take my annual post run picture in the stands (you can see the other two in last year’s post) before heading to the post-race party for a beer.

 

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This is the first year that runners have earned a free beer, and I was super excited that it was 312!  As you can see, I was pretty sweaty and since the sun wasn’t shining, I started to get cold.  I sipped half of my beer alternating between that and coconut water for hydration.

 

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We didn’t stay at the post race party too long since I desperately needed a shower and really didn’t want to get more sick.  We drove up to my brother’s condo on the north side of the city.  I showered which really warmed me up, and then the BOY and I walked over to Wishbone to meet his grade school friend who is in town for the weekend.

 

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Wishbone has unique and incredible food, so it was the perfect post-race meal.  After lunch, I dragged the BOY over to Southport for a quick shopping trip to Lululemon and David’s Tea.  And then we crashed for an afternoon nap.  I was reluctant to wake up after an exhausting morning, but we had dinner plans with the BOY’s friend, his brother, and wife.  I enjoyed a cold beer and delicious food while catching up over dinner.  It was a super laid back and fun evening!

 

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After dinner, the BOY and I watched a little hockey before falling back into bed.

I had another early morning on Sunday!  Despite my family bailing on me this year, I was excited to head back to Lake Shore Drive for my 4th year of Bike the Drive!

 

Did you race this weekend?

How did it go?

 

 

Soldier Field 10 Miler Results

1:24:44

Age Group 204/1614

 

Mile 1: 9:46

Mile 2: 8:54

Mile 3: 8:56

Mile 4: 8:25

Mile 5: 8:01

Mile 6: 8:14

Mile 7: 8:18

Mile 8: 8:08

Mile 9: 8:08

Mile 10: 7:51

 

Average 8:44 min/miles

Last 7 mile Average 8:03 min/miles

Superb Sunday {And Saturday}

Happy Mother’s Day!  How’s your day going?

 

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I spent the most fantastic day with my parents.  We started with a long walk through the forest preserve following some paved and some off roading paths.  Then devoured a delicious lunch before stumbling into the GAP outlet.  We finished the afternoon with a grocery cart filling trip to Woodman’s.  With the sun shining and the conversation flowing, it really doesn’t get much better than this!

 

Unless of course you count yesterday’s fun family BBQ!

 

Sadly there are no pictures of the event but plenty of stories that will be circulating for months : )

 

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The day started off early and innocent enough with the first of two trips to Starbucks for tea (me) and a breakfast sandwich (the BOY).  Then I boarded the train for the city.

 

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When I arrived, I was nose deep in almost finishing this book.  When I exited the train station, I saw this spectacular view of boats cruising down the river. 

 

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It was amazing to see the passengers bundled up and sipping their morning coffee while we watched and waved from the bridge.

 

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A few blocks down, I spotted this colorful 2 wheeled three dimensional art work.

 

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I loved it!

 

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I continued walking towards Soldier Field enjoying the views along the way!

 

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And stopped for another warm beverage before arriving at my final destination.

 

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Since I was early, I had an extra fifteen minutes to sip and read (this time really almost finishing my book).  I ended up reading the last 15 pages this morning.  This dark, twisted, thriller is a good read, so definitely add it to your summer list!

 

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A few weeks ago, my brother and some friends and I decided to volunteer for St. Jude at the American Beer Fest.  As my brother said, ‘this is combing two things that I like…beer and volunteering!’  It really was a win-win!

 

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We arrived at 10:30am, so the venue was still pretty quiet. 

 

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Well into the afternoon, the sun came out from behind the clouds and the stadium was packed with beer drinkers.  Our job was to promote St. Jude while having fun, playing games, and handing out prizes.

 

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I spent most of my day at the football toss.  I couldn’t figure out why I woke up so sore this morning.  I don’t think it was spending 4 hours of my feet, but squatting repeatedly to retrieve the footballs from the floor.  I probably did hundreds of squats yesterday! 

 

When we were done volunteering, we had time to actually check out the beer fest before heading up to Lakeview for a pre Mother’s Day BBQ with our families and friends.  The entire evening was a blur of eating, drinking, talking, sharing stories, catching up, and just enjoying being together!  It was a BLAST!

 

This weekend was an awesome way to quick off the summer season.  Luckily, I have tomorrow to recuperate : )

 

 

What was the best part of your weekend?

Day Drinking

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I thought about calling this post ‘My Weekend in Pictures’ but Day Drinking just seemed WAY more accurate!

 

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Saturday began in downtown St. Louis at 8am with Pints and Pancakes…

 

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No explanation necessary…

 

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We started with some Guinness (I mixed mine with cider) before moving on to more beers and Mimosas!

 

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Initially, the bar was pretty empty but after the St. Patrick’s Day race ended, the bar became more crowded with runners seeking beer.

 

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The weather was cool, so around noon we ditched the parade for the casino and some basketball games.

 

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Massive quantities of food followed…

 

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Day drinking requires a certain amount of energy!  After the basketball game, we left the city and may or may not have crashed a 5th birthday party at the bowling alley. 

 

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Ok, our friends are related to said 5 year old, but the BOY and I were crashers.  Around 6:00pm, we finally made our way back to our friend’s house after a long day of food, beer, and fun!

 

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The BOY headed straight for the deer jerky while the rest of us dug into the White Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  I also made a cup of tea.

 

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It felt amazing to put up my feet!  We relaxed for the next hour before ending our day with dinner and a rerun of the latest Justin Timberlake Saturday Night Live.  By 10:00pm, the four of us were all in bed.  When you’re over 30, it’s tough to transition day drinking into night drinking.  Luckily, we packed more than enough excitement into our day!  The BOY and I were sad to say good bye to our friends this morning, but we already made have plans to see each other again this summer!

 

 

How was your St. Patty’s Day?

Are you a day drinker?

Dealing with Dreary

The weather might be dark and dreary, but that didn’t keep the BOY and I indoors.  Sunday Funday was SUPER fun yesterday because we went into the city to hang with my family!

 

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And had lunch at Revolution Brewery, where the BOY and I have never been, and my Mom has now declared her favorite place to go.

 

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Historically, spring day light savings can be rough, but not this year.  This could be because after losing 3 hours coming home from Las Vegas last year, one hour doesn’t seem so bad.  The good food, brew, and company didn’t hurt either.

 

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We had an awesome day and I was in bed early Sunday night with my book after an eventful weekend.  I had no difficulty falling asleep and only woke up this morning when my alarm started beeping 10 hours later.  This morning’s breakfast was a variation of this recipe smothered in almond butter before CrossFit.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this morning’s workout, but the Harlem shake picture definitely had me laughing.  And I was excited to wear the new headband that I picked up at Athleta yesterday!

 

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This morning’s workout was 7 reps max weight of snatches with rest in between.  We started off by breaking down the motion and then practicing on some light bars.  I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I would be able to do, but I ended up in a group of three girls lifting weight, giving feedback on form, and working together to safely add more weight. I was able to lift 55-65-75-75-75-75-75.  Not to shabby for my first attempt at snatches.

 

After CrossFit, I picked up the BOY for this week’s grocery store run and meal planning.  I was starving and actually craving some protein with lunch on the brain.  Let me tell you…if you are ever shopping at Mariano’s and hungry for lunch, swing by the meat counter and have them grill you up a chicken breast.  I finished my shopping and on the way to check out, scooped up my lunch.  The BOY did the same with a white arugula pizza.

 

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On the way home, I remembered that I had leftover salad from Saturday night (that my friend made and sent home with me).  You can’t see it in the picture, but this salad also has goat cheese, cranberries, pine nuts, and I added chopped chicken and avocado.

 

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The BOY was right when he said that this is a restaurant quality lunch.  I totally agree!  Thanks to Mariano’s and Dana this is one of the best salads I’ve had in awhile!  I only had a short amount of time to eat lunch before it was time to leave again.  Although I didn’t know when I made the appointment that today would be rainy, a massage really is the BEST thing to do on a day like today.  I had a $20 off coupon to use before the end of the month, and I basked in the 60 minutes of relaxation while hands firmly worked out the tension and knots in my back and neck.  It was pure bliss and only afterwards did I return home to camp out indoors for the rest of the day.  With such a busy weekend, I had a lot to do.

 

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Some of which included getting my food prepared for the week ahead.  Nothing says rainy days like chili.  One of the things that I love about this new slow cooker book is that it has separate chapters on soup, stew, and chili.  They are plenty of recipes to choose from!

 

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I used the Mushroom Chili recipe but added in some eggplant since the beautiful purple veggies was on sale.  I ended up with a thick batch of chili, so I decided to stir in a cup of vegetable broth before cooking.

 

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I’m looking forward to digging into this thick and hearty chili soon!

 

 

This Week’s Meal Plan…

 

Monday: Breakfast for Dinner (the BOY’s request)

Featuring Challah French Toast, Eggs, and Potatoes

 

Tuesday: BBQ Turkey Meatballs

 

Wednesday: Chicken or Salmon with Veggies

 

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Friday: Trip to St. Louis!!!

 

Lunch: Portobello and Eggplant Chili (recipe below)

 

 

 

Portobello and Eggplant Chili

Adapted from The Big Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

 

Ingredients

3 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned well and cubed

1 small eggplant, cubed

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 28 ounce and 1 15 ounce canned tomatoes, drained lightly (or you can use chopped fresh tomatoes)

1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and minced

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup low sodium vegetable broth

 

Directions

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray.

Stir well and cook on low for 8 hours.

 

 

How do you deal with dreary?

Me? I dream of SPRING!

 

Home for 24 Hours

After a week, I have bid farewell to my puppy friends for about 24 hours at home before I am on to my next adventure.

 

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The BOY was happy to greet me at the door to discuss our plans for the day.  A gorgeous 60 degree Sunday with no Bears game left endless possibilities.  If you’re a frequent reader of the blog, then you won’t be surprised by our decision.  We made a quick stop at the farmer’s market, then on to Mariano’s, and home for an afternoon out back.

 

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I made us a colorful salad.

 

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We cracked open some beers.  Check out the Midwest brew support!

 

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The BOY made himself a burger with this fresh pretzel bun and made me some grilled garlic chicken.

 

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We set up out back for lunch al fresco, but after a few bites of food, the bees were swarming and we were pushed indoors to finish our lunch.

 

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I can’t get over how warm and sunny it is today!  I’m so happy to be home and hanging out with the BOY.  But I am even more excited for tomorrow. 

 

Can you guess where I’ll be tomorrow night???

 

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Really GOOD Chili

So I wasn’t planning on sharing this non-recipe chili, but it turned out SO DARN GOOD that I had to.  After a fun day of marathon spectating by bike, I had worked up quite an appetite.  The BOY and I swung by the grocery store to pick up some chili ingredients to throw into the crockpot.  He wanted beef, I was in the mood for turkey, so we settled on chicken.  I’ve never made a chicken chili before.  I think typically they are a white chili, but we decided to try making a red chili.

 

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We just mixed the following into the crockpot:

Ground chicken, browned on the stove

1 chopped onion

1 chopped red pepper

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 8 oz can diced mild green chilies

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

 

 

Then added in the following spices:

Garlic

Chili powder (a lot!)

Sea salt

Oregano

Crushed red pepper

 

 

The problem is that the BOY and I were working together to get the chili going quickly before the Bear’s game (which is not a problem, and was actually super fun) so we didn’t measure the spices.  When I asked how much crushed red pepper he put in (because the chili had the perfect amount of spiciness, so I wanted to remember) he answered that he just shook the container like this (in which he demonstrated the motion) HERE, HERE, and HERE (in which he started making a circular motion imagining the rim of the crockpot). How can you measure that?!  I don’t even know how to write it into a recipe ha ha!

 

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I served my chili over spaghetti squash with a sprinkle of cheese and a few crushed up crackers.

 

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I must say, if you don’t mind me bragging, that this might be our best chili EVER!!!

 

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We also sampled two of the new Wisconsin beers that I brought back from Door County.  The Central Waters, which came highly recommended, was AWESOME!  But not as good as our Red Chicken Chili!

 

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If you’re in the mood for soups and chilies this fall, take a look at my Recipe Page.  It is loaded with recipes!

 

I am also in search of a good White Chicken Chili recipe.  Any suggestions???

Please link to your Really GOOD Chili recipes in the comments!

Washington Island

Washington Island is one of the few places in Door County that I have never visited, so when my Mom suggested spending the day there, I was psyched!

 

Source

This approximately 25 square mile island is located just north of the peninsula and is accessible by pedestrian or car ferry.  I had no idea what to expect going onto Washington Island, but I have to say that even though we had an incredible Sunday, spending Monday on Washington Island was my favorite day of our trip!

 

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We had some help planning our trip as my Mom has a friend who owns a home on the island.  There are ~700 year round residents on the island and that number can swell to 1500 during the summer. 

 

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The best way, we discovered, to explore the island is by bike!

 

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We boarded the ped ferry (bikes are free!) located right behind Charlie’s Smokehouse in Gill’s Rock, climbed up to the top deck and took the scenic 30 minute ride out to Washington Island.

 

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We arrived at the peer and studied our map and headed out towards town!

 

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Our first stop…Red Cup Coffee House for power bars.

 

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The café was adorable, but as it turns out, the power bars were actually at the Island Bread Company right next door!

 

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We had a fun chat with the owner of the bakery, who happens to be a biker.  She suggested an alternative and more scenic route around the island as opposed to our planned out and back.  My mom and I noshed on a bar (which was awesome) before heading out on our bike ride.

 

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The first portion of our ride was through the wooded southwest corner of the island.  It was a beautiful day to be out on a bike and we kept catching glimpses of the water.

 

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We also passed the Island Wheat barn where the wheat for Capital Brewery is grown.  I’m a huge fan of their beer!!!

 

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Towards the middle of the island, we discovered Mountain tower.

 

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There are 150 stairs leading up the mountain to the actual tower.

 

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From the top of the tower, you can see the north and east sides of the island.  The colors were spectacular, especially in contrast to the water and deep blue sky.

 

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Our next stop was northeast to the Jackson Harbor.

 

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From here you can see Rock Cut state park, which is a rustic island with no cars or bikes that you can only access from Washington Island…it’s pretty remote!

 

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By this point, we were pretty tired, but we biked west past the fine arts center in search of a late lunch. Fiddler’s Green was sadly closed, so we continued on.

 

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We found ourselves at School Beach.

 

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This limestone beach was really neat and beautiful on this crisp fall day!

 

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But don’t try to take a rock home for souvenir!  It is a $250 fine per rock!

 

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It was just a few more miles past a couple of barns and an ostrich farm before we finally made it into the tiny downtown.  Per recommendation, we swung into Nelsen’s Hall for a beer and lunch.

 

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After riding for 20 miles, we were pretty hungry and ready for a break.  Luckily, the bar had a few other friendly customers to swap stories with while we sipped on cold beer…Spotted Cow for Mom and Washington Island Wheat for me. 

 

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When in Rome Wisconsin!

 

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With rested legs, we were ready to ride the last few miles back to the port.  However, we made one last stop…

 

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The Danish Mill for dessert!

 

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The Oatmeal Cherry cookie was unreal!  We caught the last ferry off the island at 4pm returning to Charlie’s right before it closed to pick up some smoked fish to take home with us.

 

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It was such an awesome day exploring the island, meeting the locals, and even more special spending it with my Mom.  We made our way back to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner.  We walked over to the BOY and my favorite restaurant, Wild Tomato and then found a pub to cheer on the Bear’s during Monday night football.  It was risky to be out in Green Bay territory, but we made some friends in blue and orange who happened to be camping in Peninsula State Park and were able to help me convince my Mom to go hiking one more time along the Eagle Trail.  For the second day in a row, we crashed into bed for a long night’s sleep!

 

If you are looking for more information about Washington Island, check out the Washington Island Visitors Guide or shoot me an email!  I definitely recommend visiting and TAKE YOUR BIKE!

Candy Corn Success

I have 2 successes to share and both involve my favorite fall treat…Candy Corn!

 

First…I received this bag of candy corn from a cute little patient yesterday morning at 7:45am.  She knows me well!  I am pleased to say that I did eat a few candy corns (and shared some), but by Saturday afternoon, the majority of the bag is still here.

 

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HUGE Success!  There are candy corn people and there are not.  I, as most of you know, am a Candy Corn girl!  But in an attempt to stick with my Healthy Habits, I have only snacked on a few, saving the rest for a fun baking treat.

 

Number Two…Look what I found at Target today?!

 

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They do exist!  At first, it wasn’t looking good…

 

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Can you believe how many new types of Oreos they make?

 

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It wasn’t until I made my way up front to pay that I spotted the Candy Corn Oreos on the end cap by the register.  Success!

 

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I wasn’t able to get a picture of where I found them because a worker was arranging the display, but I picked up 3 boxes and took a picture in the parking lot.  It took all of my will power not to dig right in, but I had a few stops to make before going home.

 

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Once at home, I opened up the cookies immediately.

 

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They are sweet and delicious!  I don’t know if I’ve ever had a golden Oreo, but I think I could be in love.  These cookies (slightly warm from the car) tasted wonderful!

 

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Before I even found the Oreos, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them…Cake Batter Fudge!

 

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I used the original Cake Batter Fudge recipe for inspiration adding in some chopped Oreos. 

 

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I sprinkled a few more cookies over the top of the fudge.

 

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And then pressed in some candy corn pieces for decoration and flair.

 

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Waiting while the fudge cooled was the hardest part.  But, the BOY grilled us up some dinner, and I made a salad using my funky new bowl.

 

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And we had some cool Wisco beers to sip on.

 

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By the time the BOY and I ate dinner, cleaned everything up, and sat out back enjoying the gorgeous evening, the fudge was ready to be sliced.  I was surprised that the cookies mixed into the batter so well, and I loved the light orange hue of the fudge…very festive!

 

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The cookie crumble on the top is a must!  I would consider this recipe success Number Three!

 

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I can’t wait to figure out what to do with the other 2 boxes!

 

 

Candy Corn Oreo Cake Batter Fudge

Adapted from Cake Batter Fudge

 

Ingredients

2 cups white cake mix (yellow could work too)

2 cups powdered sugar

1 stick butter

1/4 cup milk

1 container of Candy Corn Oreos, crushed into big pieces

A few pieces of candy corn

 

Directions

Place cake mix and powdered sugar in a large bowl and combine. Pour in the milk, top with stick of butter, and microwave for 2 and a half minutes. Immediately begin mixing everything together – the butter may not be fully melted but will as you continue mixing. Stir in the majority of the cookie pieces, then pour fudge into a greased 8×8 cake pan covered with foil. Sprinkle remaining cookies and candy corn over the top, pressing everything in with the back of a spatula.  Chill for at least 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.

 

 

Do you like Candy Corn?  Have you tried the Candy Corn Oreos yet?

What recipe would you make with them?

 

 

One other fudge recipe worth sharing is this Peppermint Oreo Fudge

Without the Peppermint, I bet it would be perfect with these Oreos.