Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best Meals of 2010

Here's my post on the best meals I made in 2010.  Notice how my pictures start to look better towards the middle?  I got a camera upgrade in April.  I made a ton of delicious food and it was really fun to look back.  Hope you enjoy! 

Mushroom Cakes with Guacomole and Red Pepper Coulis 
Baked Crab Rangoons
Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Warm Brussels Sprout Salad
 Quinoa Chili
Pizza Bites
Valentine's Day Dinner: Thai Style Mussels, Potato Risotto, Lobster and Creme Brulee
Crab Stuffed Filet Mignon with Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce 
 Cajun Seafood Casserole
Chicken Roasted Butternut Squash and Feta Lasagna with Kale Chips
 Mediterranean Fish Stew 
Baked Banana Oatmeal
Spinach Quinoa Quiche
Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls and Whole Roasted Chickens

 Tomato Mozzarella Tart with Basil Garlic Crust 
Bok Choy Salad
Salmon Avocado Stackers
Super Zuchinni Veggie Pizzas
Braised Short Ribs (making this tomorrow for New Years- so good)
Prosciutto Wrapped Cod on Asparagus Green Sauce 
 Poached Eggs with Arugula and Polenta Fingers 
Chicken Sausage Risotto 
Fruits de mer Fettucinne with bacon fresh bread crumbs 
  Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pesto Chicken, Kale, Chickpeas and Cheese (Pestos with Panache!)
 Pumpkin Chili  
 Flank Steak with Chimichurru Sauce
Noticeably absent from my favorite dishes- baked goods!  I got a Kitchen Aid Mixer for Chrismakkah so I hope to get better at baking in 2011.  Stay tuned tomorrow for my running and racing recap of 2010 and goals of 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Speed Tuesday - Mile Repeats!

I could not wait to get on the treadmill after being locked in my house for two days due to the snow.  And in those two days, I not only never changed out of my PJs but I also never put in my contacts.  In addition, I ate so much food I was in desparate need for a good workout.  On the agenda was Mile Repeats! I get my workouts from a local running club in which several members are training for Boston!

Scheduled Workout: 3-4 Mile Repeats with .25 or 400 meter rest starting at 8 min and going down to 7:30 minute miles.  

Actual Workout: 1 Mile Warmup at 6.0mph, 1.0 incline, 3X1 Mile (8:07, 7:57. 7:51) with 400 walk jog rest, 1.50 mile cooldown, 6 miles 60 minutes
As I mentioned in my last speed post, I calculate distance on the treadmill and time on my handy sports watch.  I got this beautiful blue watch at Target for $10.

So the paces I set for myself were a little ambitious.  I decided to push myself on this workout but not kill myself.  First mile I ran most at 7.2mph and then I went up a bit.  Ended up finishing in 8:07.
(I decided to take pics of my watch with my phone on the treadmill instead of jotting down my times...I swear no one could tell I was taking pictures so I didn't look that crazy...)
 Then I took 400 rest, I walked for the first 200 and jogged at 5.0mph the last 200 and then started Mile 2. I started at 7.3mph and went all the way up to 7.8mph.  Ended up finishing this mile at 7:57.
 I knew after this mile that there was no way I was going to be able to
a) run a 4th mile and
b) run a 7:30
So I just continued to plug along and I did my 3rd mile at 7:51. 
After that last mile, I jogged a mile and a quarter very slowly until I reached 6 miles.
This was a tough workout.  I hope in the weeks to come I can run closer to 7:30 by the end but for now, this kicked my but! Mile repeats were never my favorite in college and they still aren't my favorite, but I know it will help me reach my goals!

If you are training, what's your favorite speed workout? Mine is ladder workouts with mixes of 400s, 600s and 800s...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Restuarant Review: DuckFat

On Wednesday night, I drove up to Portland Maine to visit my old roommate from college who was home from Hawaii for the holidays. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty terrible but i decided to make the trek anyway.  It wasn't the safest drive, but seeing Lindsay made it all worth it!
After a late dinner on Wednesday in the snow, we woke up Thursday morning and headed to Old Port.  Old Port is such a cute area in Portland.  There are tons of really cute crafty stores with such affordable prices.  And they have my favorite store - Stonewall Kitchen.  I got tons of great last minute gifts there.  We also headed to  Coastal Maine Popcorn Co.  They had tons of awesome flavored popcorn.

You could get several flavors but sweet and savory.
And look you can make meals out of the popcorn! haha
 I ended up getting small bags of Maine Maple, Pumpkin Pie, Salt and Vinegar and Wasabi Soy.
After shopping for a few hours, we headed to DuckFat.  
 I had heard tons about this place on other blogs so I was excited to try it out.  It's a really small restaurant with shared tables so we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table.
  Once we sat down, we immediately ordered what they are famous for- FRIES!
 We ordered three dipping sauces- truffle ketchup, chipotle mayo and garlic aioli.
For the lunch, Linds and her mom ordered the special salad with pomegranates, feta cheese and apples.
And I got the BGT Panini- Bacon, Goat Cheese and Tomato.  It was awesome!
It was a delicious lunch but the best part was spending time with these two...
Oh... and we got some Mexican Hot Chocolate to go.. delicious!
Definitely go check out Duck Fat next time you are in Portland. It was great!!

I left Portland in the afternoon and met up with Dave to see The Fighter.  If you haven't seen it, you should.  First, Christian Bale is my favorite actor.  Always has been and his performance in this movie is remarkable.  It really is less about the actually fight and more about the interesting and dynamic relationship between tthe two brothers and the family.  I loved it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Long Run

On Christmas Eve Day and Night, before I ate this:
Christmas Eve Lasagna Lunch at the in-laws
 And this
Shrimp Cocktail
Spinach Dip
Stuffed Mushrooms
And this…
Meat Filled Calzones
I ran just short of 13 miles with three of my high school friends.  As I mentioned last week, Stephanie is training for Boston and the rest of us just wanted to do a long run before we ate and drank all weekend.  We met at 8am in the burbs and ran down the marathon route for awhile and then through lots of hills.  Pace didn’t matter to any of us, all that mattered was running with our friends.  This is one of Stephanie's furthest runs (she has done a few half marathons though) and I couldn’t be more proud. I'm also psyched that this didnt feel too hard for me.  Maybe I haven't lost that much since the marathon.
2:05, 12.75 miles, 9:49 pace
Mile 1: 8:57
Mile 2: 9:33
Mile 3: 9:38
Mile 4: 10:09
Mile 5: 9:57
Mile 6: 9:55
Mile 7: 9:39
Mile 8: 9:40
Mile 9: 10:01
Mile 10: 9:57
Mile 11: 9:57
Mile 12: 10:07
.75: 10:06
The best part of this run was that I convinced Nancy to sign up for the Hyannis Half.  I really think she is  my ticket to breaking 1:50.  Nance ran 3:55 in October and came through the half in 1:55.  My goal for this training period is to really hit all my speed and tempo runs.  I'm most likely going to do a lot of my long runs with Stephanie and won't worry too much about pace on those runs. But if I do tempo runs with faster than race pace, I think I'll be on target to run my fastest half.

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  I had a blast with my husbands family eating and drinking way too much.  And now a perfect detox... getting stuck in my house for the 14 inches of snow we are supposed to get (not).
Merry Chrismakkah!
Stay tuned for a recap of my trip to Portland, Maine with a special restaurant at Duck Fat!