Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CSA- Week 1

As I mentioned, I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which is (according to my farm) "a collection of consumers that agree to purchase products from a local farm (or group of farms) throughout a season.  Members purchase a “share” of the farm and each week go to the farm to pick-up or, have the product delivered to their town.  It is a creative way to eat locally and reduce your carbon footing! For the duration of the growing season, you know the farmer that is providing your fruits and vegetables, and how they are being produced!"

My farm is Silverbrook Farm and they partner with 6 other farms. Silverbrook is in Dartmouth, MA.  Heres the list of the other 6.
•Allen's Neck Farm - Certified Organic  • Eva's Garden - Certified Organic  • Sylvan Nursery - Sustainably grown fruits and vegetables. (See home page for definition.)  • The King Farm - Sustainably grown vegetables  • Matte's Orchards - Conventional Fruits and Vegetables   • Hillside Farm - Conventional Corn Grower (Organically grown corn will have a worm on every cob.  Does not use GMO seed.)
So last Wednesday I walked over to City Hall and picked up my first share.  I got:
Shelling Peas
Sugar Snap Peas 
Saute' Greens
Salad Greens
Shy Brothers Cheese - Cloumage 
Sun Flowers in a pot

And so what was the first thing I did?  I looked up the Cloumage cheese website and got inspired. Shy Brothers Farm made this cheese and it was delicious.  Kind of like a mix between goat and cream cheese.  So when I got home Friday night- I followed their first recipe- Salad in a Glass.
Salsa, Cloumage, more salsa and Arugula.  Yum!
On Sunday, I spent a very long time cleaning (removing the strings) and then shelling the peas. Then I got to work on Pea and Cloumage Dumplings based loosely on Heidi's Plump Pea Dumplings she made on 101 Cookbooks.
First thing I did was shell the peas.  Then I boiled them for a few minutes in boiling water with salt. Like so.
Then I rinsed them and let them cool and dry.  Next, I threw them in a food processor with the cloumage cheese, a little sour cream and salt and pepper.  Whirl away.....
Then I took my wanton wrappers and put probably 2 tablespoons or so on each. And then wrapped them up according to package instructions (I'm not the best at this).
Then I (gasp) fried them.  Yep, I didn't feel like steaming them or baking them like Heidi recommends.  So I put about a half inch of veggie oil in a hot skillet and friend them for a few minutes on each side. 
Oh boy, were these delicious! So fresh!

Okay moving on...
Monday night I made Shrimp Rolls from Everyday Food (Martha Stewart).  Unfortunately, I can't find the original recipe online so I can't credit her! These were awesome and WICKED easy to make.  Sorry, I'm from Boston.
Shrimp Rolls
1 pound of shrimp bought devened, peeled and tails removed (I get these at Trader Joe's)
1 teaspoon of EVOO
1 teaspoon of garlic
Hot dog rolls, lightly toasted
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 cup horseradish (or more to taste)
1 stalk chopped celery
Mix together ketchup, horseradish and celery. Toast rolls and add some arugula. Cook shrimp in saute pan with EVOO, garlic and salt and pepper. Let cool slightly. Mix shrimp with cocktail sauce.  Add shrimp over top of the arugula.
This is seriously such a quick dish to make. Go make it! 
Alright, last night I made Strawberry Salad with Lemony Poppy Seed Dressing.  I saw this in some magazine but couldn't remember which one and in true Liz fashion, I couldn't find the recipe.  So I asked Google.  And I didn't find a dressing without mayonnaise until page 4.  But I found it!  So this recipe is basically the same as Gratinee (great blog by the way- go check it out!) only I used Greens from my CSA rather than spinach.
Strawberry Salad with Lemon Poppy seed Dressing
1/4 cup pecan pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups greens of your choice
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup red onions, sliced thinly
Set pecans, sugar, and water in a saucepan on medium heat. Simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and pecans are golden. Let cool completely. Whisk the lemon, Dijon, salt, and honey together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil. Toss the greens, strawberries, red onion and sugared pecans with the dressing and serve.
Light refreshing dinner using CSA Strawberries and Greens!  PS- I broke out my Salad Spinner and I washed these greens (no joke) 7X and I still think I could have cleaned them better!  Greens directly from the farm are DIIIRTTY.
Anyway, I am off to pick up Week 2 of my CSA.  Expect another post next week- or sooner if I ever get around to cooking!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Part 3 of 9: Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii & Naples

On Tuesday June 1st, we ported in Naples, Italy.  When we got there, we immediately got on a boat and went to Capri.  Capri is absolutely breathtaking. Capri is a tourist destination for both Italians and foreigners. In the 1950s, Capri became a popular destination. Once we got to Capri, we took the funicular up to the top. And at the top the views looked like this:
Words really can't explain how beautiful this island was.  You could also tell how ritzy it was.  Tons of very high end stores and amazing boutique hotels.  
While in Capri, we decided to have some early morning Gelato- why not right?
And before lunch, it was time to board another ferry to go to Sorrento.  When we got to Sorrento, we walked around before making our way to Mayflower for lunch.
Now I wish I could say I took pictures of our three course lunch meal with wine, but after the first course, I forgot.  However, I will say the first course was the best!  
It was like a cannoli filled with Spinach! Yum! The second course was veal and the third was tirmusu!
Next up, we took a bus to Pompeii, Italy.  Do you guys know about Pompeii? I didn't know too much before going on an extensive tour. Here's what you need to know (according to Wikipedia) :
Pompeii is a ruined and partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. The eruption buried Pompeii under 5 to 6 meters of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1,600 years before its accidental rediscovery around 1592. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.
We spent a good 2-3 hours exploring this amazing city before boarding the bus back to Naples.  Once we got to Naples, we rushed to Sophie's (a popular pizza joint) before catching the boat.  Naples is known for creating the Margarita Pizza so we knew we had to try it.

Unfortunately, it was kind of disappointing.  I've definitely had better food.  But June 1st was an amazing day and we saw sooooo much in such a short period of time!


"People can't understand why a man runs. They don't see any sport in it. Argue it lacks the sight and thrill of body contact. Yet, the conflict is there, more raw and challenging than any man versus man competition. For in running it is man against himself, the cruelest of opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability, with brain and heart to master himself and his emotions. "

Glenn Cunningham - American runner, Olympic Games medalist

I love this quote.  Fighting against your brain can be such a challenge.  I'm not in great shape right now, but I'm trying!

Saturday I woke up late and missed my morning run with Nancy.  So plan B was to hit the treadmill.  I ran 9 painful miles with Nancy last week so I knew I wanted to do more than 9.  So the goal was 10.  Well the good news is I did it.  The bad news is it was really really hard.  I started off running at 6.2MPH which is 9:34pace.  I hung out around that pace for a long long time.  I ended up doing 6.5 miles in 62 minutes which is when I had to restart the treadmill.  When the treadmill stopped me, I got off, refilled my water bottle and then kept trucking on.  3.5 miles left.  I ended up finishing the 3.5 miles in just under 32 minutes so I ran 10 miles in 1:31ish. It was a good run.  I watched track on TV while running along!

This morning I ran 5 miles with my friend Meg.  I was nervous for this run.  Meg is a friend from work who is super tall and has super long legs.  I had a feeling she would leave me in the dust.....
We met at 7:15ish and it was already 80 degrees out.  We started off heading to the Charles River and our first mile was at 8:11. I was like ohhhh boy. I slowed down the pace for mile 2-4 and then we picked it up for mile 5 at 8:28.  5 Miles in 43:06 for 8:37 pace.  I have a feeling Meg is going to help me get faster!  I need runs like this to get out of the mindset of just running over 9 minute pace. 

On another note- I finally finished my training plan for the NY Marathon! Check it out if you'd like.  Its still a work in progress but basically my plan is to run 4 days a week.  Long run on Saturdays, Short recovery runs on Monday, Speed on Tuesday (or Wednesday), Temp or Slow Run Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays off.  Wednesday either Physical Therapy or lifting. I also want to do 2 20 milers and 1 22 miler.  In addition, I would love to do a half and some fast 5Ks,10Ks and 5 milers.  I haven't built that into the schedule yet though!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Update- Weekend Fun, Company Party, Running!

Lets go back, shall we?  Saturday night, we had our friends Michelle and Ethan over for Lobster.  I loooove making lobster at home.  It's so fun!  First we had the lobsters race....
They were not too enthusiastic about that.  Then we played with them-
And then finally we said by bye little guys...
The feast included this bean dip and this potato risotto.  Along with corn on the cob and a salad.
How can you eat lobster without butter, right?  PS- We still don't have lobster tools, so we used wrenches.  Pretty funny!!!!

Sunday, we had a BBQ in New Hampshire and then I left to go help set up for my company's summer Anniversary Party at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA.  This is also where I got married so I love LOVE this place.
Thats the gazebo I got married in... remember?
Sooo... the back to the deets on the party.  Before we partied, we first had an agency meeting.  Thats what I helped with- the presentation.  Our meeting was in the main ballroom where I had my reception.
On Monday Gretchen and I rocked it behind the scenes.  Gretchen was in charge of the slides and I was in charge of the videos.  Don't we look legit with our headsets?
The meeting went great and then it was time to parrrrrty outside.  Only problem was it was 93 degrees out.  SO HOT!  Here's a shot of some people in my department.
And the food!  It was BBQ so I had a Veggie Burger, Caesar Salad, Chicken and Yummy Tomatoes with Feta, Balsamic and Basil. 
Overall, it was a great party!  And I'm so happy my company used Danversport because I love it up there!

Tuesday I woke up early for a Speed Workout.  Here is the workout:
3X200, 200 Rest, 2X400, 400 Rest, 3X200, 200 Rest
All at pretty much as fast as you can.  I did this on the treadmill so clearly, it was a little difficult measuring 200s, but I think I did an okay job.
 Workout Completed:
1 mile warmup 6.0MPH 1.0 Incline
200: 48 Seconds
200 at 5.0MPH
200: 44 Seconds
200 at 5.0MPH 
200: 43 Seconds
200 at 5.0MPH 
400 at 1:39 
400 at 5.0MPH
400 at 1:40
400 at 5.0MPH
200 at 40 Seconds
200 at 5.0MPH
200 at 37 Seconds
200 at 5.0 MPH
200 at 38 Seconds
400 Walk
1 Mile Cooldown 6.0
5 Miles 49 min
I did my last couple 200s at 11.5MPH on the treadmill which is around 5:20pace!  Wahoo!! PS- Did you know that your pace is MUCH more accurate to outside if you increase your treadmill incline to 1.0? Just an FYI!
I cooked some this week but nothing too exciting and nothing that I added my own spin too.. so I will just skip ahead to last night- the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. If you want to know more about this awesome race, check out my friend Anne's I mean Salad's blog.  (PS- I also stole the last two photos from her- hope you don't mind Anne!) Last year I ran 27:25 and I knew I wasn't nearly as fast as I was last year or in as good of shape (hello two week European vacation I just went on) so I just wanted to do it in a faster than 8:30min/mile clip and enjoy it with my friend Carissa. And thats exactly what we did.  But first, the before pictures.... the team!
And me and Carissa-
I crossed the finish line in 29:34 which 8:26 pace.  I was pretty happy with that.  After the race, a crew of us headed over to The Littlest Bar for some grub!  And not healthy grub either.
Nothing like wearing spandex to a bar.  Who can beat that?

I don't have a crazy weekend plan- just lots of family time.  I also want to sit down and really plan out my Marathon Training which officially begins next week!  I did receive my first CSA package, so expect a post on the goods. For those of you who don't know- a CSA is Community-supported Agriculture which means: A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. CSAs usually consist of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit sometimes including dairy products and meat. (Thanks Wikipedia) More on this later.  Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Part 2 of 9: Monte Carlo, Monaco & Cannes, France

On May 30th we arrived in Monaco.  We got off the boat and took a tender (one of those small boats on a large cruise ship) over to shore.  When we got there, we boarded a bus to drive up to Cannes.
When we got to Cannes, we strolled the  Promenade de la Croissette, the elegant walkway that separates the city proper from its parkland and beaches. Along there we stopped for lunch.  We ate one of my favorite meals here- crepes and mussels!
 Smoked Salmon Crepe with fries and a salad.  Dave enjoyed Mussels in a bucket.
After lunch we viewed the Film Festival Palace, home to the legendary Cannes Film Festival and visited Star Alley, where visiting film stars have left their palm prints in cement. I'm famous!
We hung out by the beach and then decided to get dessert.  Any by dessert, I mean the single most amazing thing I ate on this trip- Nutella Crepe!  We picked it up at this little shop:
Dave is patiently waiting four our crepe.  And the wait was worth it! Check out this beauty:

Soooo amazing... look at how happy I am:
I'm thinking... leave me alone and let me eat my nutella crepe.  Nutella=heaven.

We then boarded the bus back down to Monte Carlo where our walking tour began at Fisherman Park below Palace Square. We travelsx by elevator up the Rock of Monaco and continued past the Oceanographic Museum to St. Nicholas Cathedral where Princess Grace and Prince Rainier are buried. We then went to the Prince's Palace, ancestral seat of the Grimaldis. We also visited St. Nicholas Cathedral - which was consecrated in 1875, the current cathedral is the final resting place of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier. A cathedral has occupied the site in Monaco Ville since 1241. 

After the tour, Dave and I walked around and saw the lifestyles of the rich and famous in Monaco's Old Town - as well as the gorgeous yachts and views.
All in all, Monte Carlo and Cannes were beautiful and it was so nice to view such amazing scenery where so many famous people hang out!