First Race in over a year?!

The year is slowing down–the last class of this semester was tonight. Only 6 weeks of school left. What does this mean? WAY more time in my life. Too much time, in fact!

This, of course, means running and blog updating are more regular! The last two weeks have been awesome running wise. Two weeks ago was 25 miles with a long run of 65 minutes, last week was 20 miles with a long run of 75 minutes.

The beautiful weather is helpful. I mean, isnt 65 degrees and sunny the best running weather ever? Other than the premature tan I got!

Because the running is definitely increasing, I am “running a race” on Saturday. In quotation marks because 1) I havent run yet this week ( (;) ) and 2) I havent run a race since the Hyannis Half Marathon last February! You know what they say, races on the schedule is the most motivating factor! It is a 2.62 mile race in town on Saturday, and the $20 race fee all goes to the One Fund (a wonderful tribute!)

Other things going on?

A super fun junior prom chaperoning experience last week. On our way there:

 

 

First lawn mow of the season! Happiest dogs ever:

 

 

Teacher appreciation week means delicious oreo cupcake from a very sweet student! (These were unbelievable!)

 

And a proud momma bird moment: one of my students from last year that wasnt a math fan the first 3 years of high school told me today hes majoring in MATH next year in college. LOVE IT!!!!

 

 

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Bocado (My first Tapas experience!)

I am in love. I went to a restaurant that was new-to-me in downtown Worcester to celebrate my birthday with some friends. It is a tapas restaurant–a concept completely foreign to me–but how could I not be obsessed the idea with a bunch of small plates where you can taste way more things?

We went with the Bocado Experience, which allows you to try 4 items from the Charcuteria y Queso menu (meat and cheese), 8 items from the tapas menu, 1 huge pot of paella as a “main course”, and 2 desserts–flan and churros!

For our first course we chose the Lomo Embuchad (cured pork), Chorizo Leon Herradura (chorizo 🙂 ), fried goat cheese, and brie. It was served with a baguette and jelly to go with the brie!

 

 

This just whet our appetites…we seriously had no idea what we were getting into. Should have paced my self better!

Our tapas started coming out two at a time…

 

Ajillo Azotado con Espinacas y Queso (spinach, roasted garlic, and feta dip)

 

 

Albondigas de Cerdo (pork meatballs with red wine, figs, and bleu cheese):

 

 

Atun de Bocado (raw tuna with a super spicy chili avocado sauce):

 

 

One of the nights specials…duck confit with sweet potatoes (OMG):

 

 

Vieiras con Truffle y Tocina (bacon wrapped scallops with white truffle honey and red pepper flakes):

 

 

Hamburguesas de Kobe (mini Kobe sliders with basil dijon mayo)

 

 

Bola de Arroz Frito Con Mozarella (mozarella stuffed crispy rce balls with basil aioli–basically arincini!)

 

We had a shrimp plate too but I am not huge on shellfish so no picture 🙂

Our paella…the Paella de Carne…chicken, pork, veal, duck confit. NOM!

 

and dessert….

 

 

Churros and Flan! The flan had a candle in it and Feliz Cumpleanos was sung (did I spell that right?)

This dinner was unbelievable. The drink menu alone was worth the drive, but the food–the choices, the combinations, it was amazing.

I cannot wait to go back!

Tomorrow: Running update–last weeks workouts and my new shoes!

 

The Big 3-0 — a week of celebration!

Last week was my birthday–I spent the week celebrating another decade with my awesome friends and family. I have JUST recovered from the cake/food overload! Some snippets of 30th birthday cakes:

 

PW surprised me with this cake and a surprise gathering at the Shoe with all my favorite peeps! Best cake ever by the way–it was delicious and completely demolished by the time we left!

 

 

Joint celebration with P-Dubs family for my birthday and Scott's going to the midwest for school!

 

 

Dinner with my fam on my actual birthday–it wouldnt be a birthday without one of my mom's cakes!

 

 

Birthday pizookie from my homeroom

 

 

Strawberry birthday cake from my adorable freshman algebra class

(Dont I have the best students ever?? I am the luckiest!)

 

andddd birthday flan from dinner out with my girlfriends!

Pretty sure I gained 15 pounds–but the love and deliciousness was worth every bite!

Other than turning 30….I have been running a lot this week. Cramming in a lot of grad school work–2 more classes left in the semester! PW is at the tail end of his huge training weeks for Ironman Texas and his pro ironman debut, and tapering starts tomorrow-looking forward to seeing him again (haha).

I really am looking forward to posting about the dinner I had last Tuesday with some of peeps (that ended with that Birthday Flan!) at Bocado. It was amazing.

Things are a little crazy now with the end of the semester, the end of the school year, MCAS, etc but I love it! The weather is finally nice, I can run right after work or tutoring/meetings.

We are off to the christening of the cutest Stella Krops today–tune in tomorrow for details on the sweet potato hash with duck confit and fried goat cheese and paella…sigh!

 

The Big 3-0 — a week of celebration!

Last week was my birthday–I spent the week celebrating another decade with my awesome friends and family. I have JUST recovered from the cake/food overload! Some snippets of 30th birthday cakes:

 

PW surprised me with this cake and a surprise gathering at the Shoe with all my favorite peeps! Best cake ever by the way–it was delicious and completely demolished by the time we left!

 

 

Joint celebration with P-Dubs family for my birthday and Scott's going to the midwest for school!

 

 

Dinner with my fam on my actual birthday–it wouldnt be a birthday without one of my mom's cakes!

 

 

Birthday pizookie from my homeroom

 

 

Strawberry birthday cake from my adorable freshman algebra class

(Dont I have the best students ever?? I am the luckiest!)

 

andddd birthday flan from dinner out with my girlfriends!

Pretty sure I gained 15 pounds–but the love and deliciousness was worth every bite!

Other than turning 30….I have been running a lot this week. Cramming in a lot of grad school work–2 more classes left in the semester! PW is at the tail end of his huge training weeks for Ironman Texas and his pro ironman debut, and tapering starts tomorrow-looking forward to seeing him again (haha).

I really am looking forward to posting about the dinner I had last Tuesday with some of peeps (that ended with that Birthday Flan!) at Bocado. It was amazing.

Things are a little crazy now with the end of the semester, the end of the school year, MCAS, etc but I love it! The weather is finally nice, I can run right after work or tutoring/meetings.

We are off to the christening of the cutest Stella Krops today–tune in tomorrow for details on the sweet potato hash with duck confit and fried goat cheese and paella…sigh!

 

Boston, you’re my home

I was unsure of what to write here. There are so many emotions, so many thoughts. When I posted to twitter, asking if anyone else was unable to put it into words, my friend Mario’s new wife said this:

@tsugold think that it’s ok to defer to others who can express our emotions exactly how we would state them. 🙂

And you know what? She’s right. So here is a post from Mario, a fellow marathon runner and Bostonian, transplanted to California:

http://running.competitor.com/2013/04/news/mario-fraioli-the-marathons-melting-pot-of-emotions_70332

Snow Day and Paleo Sheperd’s Pie

I was right–yesterday ended up being a snow day. Kind of bummer come the end of June, but for night now it was nice to sleep in and eat bacon and eggs for breakfast!

I took the snow day and did what any teacher would do – no work whatsoever. I watched bad tv. I went to the gym once the roads were clear and ran for 45 minutes. And then I decided to make what I thought was going to be an involved dinner.

I made this based this recipe. I sort of winged on the mashed cauliflower–I used some coconut milk, an egg, and an undetermined amount of chicken broth. I also used coconut flour instead of potato starch. Coconut flour is sort of amazing. So much fiber! And it thickens like white flour.

This dinner was kind of a big deal. It was dairy and gluten free (full-on Paleo, if you will). It was also my first time eating cauliflower. And parsnips. Like…ever. I am a potato fiend, so I was EXTREMELY happy with how this tasted. The cauliflower didn't have the exact texture, but the taste was spot on. It also heats up really easy for a quick dinner, which is key in my life!

Other things going on: currently obsessed with grape fruits. They are in season and so delicious right now. And I have a grapefruit spoon (which I just found), so eating them is way easier than they were last winter! I look forward to eating one every day.

 

CALL FOR GARMIN HELP!!!! DIRE TIMES!!!!!!

Came home from school today and went back to the gym for a quick run (30 minutes). My heart rate monitor is STILL messed up. It hasn't worked for months. I called Garmin once. They sent a replacement, it worked for about 2 months, then it was broken too. Am I too electrical or something?? My HR always reads in the mid 200's. It's such a bummer. Please let me know if you have any ideas!

 

Things I have tried to fix it:

Wetting it more

Wetting it less

Washing the strap

Wearing upside down

Wearing backwards (monitor on back)

Wearing it sideways (monitor on ribs)

 

Let me know!

Tomorrow is MCAS proctoring, teaching allllll day (no preps!), after school help, and then tutoring from 3-4. I don't have classes on Thursday anymore but I clearly like to stay busy!

 

Paleo Friendly Pizza

I have been Pinning Paleo recipes like crazy. Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse! One of the ones I recently pinned was a Coconut Flour based paleo pizza crust. Ive been on the hunt looking for Coconut Flour and some today (which is good because I have a suspicion tomorrow will be a snow day and Ill be snowed in and hungry).

This is the recipe I used…her website is awesome!

Started with the mix…note it is not doughy–more like pancake batter!

Baked it first for 25 minutes to get it a little more solid. Next time I will make it thinner when I put it on the pan.

Added my nutrient dense pizza sauce (PWs favorite! The version tonight includes a lot of kale, beets, and broccoli in addition to shown veggies!), some onions, and prosciutto.

Check out that fluffy crust!

It is NOT crispy like a pizza crust but you CAN pick it up and eat it like normal pizza. It totally fulfilled my craving. Coconut Flour is super high fiber so those two pieces seriously filled me up.

No cheese, of course, but still Yum-mo! Tomorrows menu, if I eat the rest of my pizza for lunch (obvs that will happen)–includes a Paleo Sheperds Pie with grass fed ground beef, parsnips, carrots, and cauliflower!

Heres hoping there is no snow day tomorrow but….if there is, more time for cooking!

 

Don’t Call It A Comeback

It has been a crazy couple of months. There is so much to catch up on that I dont think it's possible to do in one blog post!

A couple of pretty important life events do come to mind though.

I finished my first Master's Degree last week–I earned a Masters of Secondary Education in Mathematics–it was a long two years! I also started my second Masters Degree-in Teaching English as a Second Language. There was a semester of overlap in those two programs–not coincidentaly, it occured during the three months when this blog went radio silent!!

PW also went pro at the beginning of this year. Kind of a big deal in this household! He culminated the season with an 8:55 Ironman in Arizona and it was time to do it. Feel free to drop him some love on his website!

My thirtieth birthday is in a little over a month (omg to say the least). I decided to cut off an donate 12 inches of hair to Locks of Love. I had been thinking about doing it for a while–it was such a pain to deal with while running! Good-bye foot of hair!

What prompted this blog return? Well…one, I finished a Masters and suddenly have a few more free hours a week – I might go crazy with all the free time (ha ha ha). Also, we went to a dinner last night that seriously made me miss this whole scene. It was up there in best dinners of all time. We went down to East Greenwich, Rhode Island to meet up with a man PW coaches and his wife–they picked the place and I am glad they did!

His wife, Anna, is from Italy and raved about it so we knew it would be good!

The highlight of dinner was the appetizer. Fred and I both ordered the special.

It was a cow's milk cheese infused with white truffle and coated with ash on the outside. Served with the above. The crostini tasted like something that fell from heaven. Pair that with candied walnuts and this cheese and I thought I was in heaven! My mouth is watering just looking at the picture below (which doesnt come close to giving it justice. It was a quick pictyre so I could get back to eating it!)

 

For the main course, I ordered something a little out of my comfort zone. I almost never order pasta dishes at restaurants. And–I am trained well–cannot remember the last time I ordered a dish without a protein. This just sounded too good to resist though!

 

It was worth every bite of carby deliciousness!!!

At this point, dessert was a must. The food was delicious, the company was great, so high hopes for the dessert! When in an italian restaurant you cannot go wrong with this. And it did not disappoint!

I left dinner thinking I could never have a meal that compares. Thanks to Fred and Anna for the invitation!

Another update tomorrow with some more insight on some Paleo recipes. I bought the most gigantic head of cauliflower I have ever seen–and Ive never tried it before. I have at least 2 recipes that include it though — so I am sure it will be enough!

If you are still reading my blog, I appreciate it! Promise I am back on the reg with the updates 🙂

 

My Last Brooks Review of the Year!

So, some of you might remember (from my excited blog entries) that I was part of the Brooks I.D. Team that year.  I did get free clothes but was under no requirement to blog about them.  I just decided to do because I am in love with their clothes and shoes and wanted to spread the good word.

My last installation of this review series is for my favorite article of clothing – their Epiphany Stretch Short II.  I am EXTREMELY hard to please in the short department, and I am also EXTREMELY obsessed with these shorts.

Image

They are perfect:

Short enough that they dont get caught between your legs, but long enough youre not giving a show to the world as youre out for a run.

They have a wide waistband that sits on the lower abdomen, which in my world, should be a running short requirement.

They come in approximately 18 different colors (3 of which are on sale right now) – they can match (or MISMATCH) anything you want!  Like the bright green pair of Adrenaline’s I just bought and cannot wait to wear.

When they get wet they aren’t as thin as “regular” running shorts – meaning you don’t have the plastered look.

They fit pretty true to size.

These are my go to running shorts.  I currently have 4 pairs – in all different colors – and I will probably end up with more next year.

They also go really well with the matching Epiphany Shirt, if youre looking for one (also my go to shirt).

I just did my annual end of year stock-up: More shoes and more shirts!!!  I like to do it at the end of the year because then it is almost like Christmas again when they show up!

And since this is a Brooks focused post…here is an oldie but goodie video of us at the New England Ragnar Relay…Team 5 Guys 1 Girl & 140 Characters by @BrooksRunning

We did Ragnar as an Ultra team (6 people instead of 12)…we had met for the first time AT THE RACE, and we had way. too. much. fun!

Heres the YouTube Link!

Our New Kitchen Appliances

Started this morning with one of my favorite treats- a hot Starbucks Passion Tea. It's a treat because I COULD make it at home, but somehow their extra hot water and red cups make it test better! Love how tart is.

 

On to the point of this entry: our new appliances! I wrote yesterday how over-the-top in love I am with this stove. Now you can see why:

 

Yes. Griddle OR burner in the middle. Super fast boiling with 17,000 btu up front. Convection. Self-cleaning. Basically it's the perfect oven. I am more excited to get this installed than I am for Christmas. Which makes sense because this kitchen has to be our Christmas presents this year!

Also, a new fridge. Ours has some temperature issues. It will freeze things on the top shelf. Even after manually changing the temp. The freezer puts frost on EVERYTHING. So, to match the oven :

They are bought and paid for….just need to rip down some cabinets and install some flooring before I can cook (and refrigerate) my little heart out!

 

Alright, I have postponed my grad school papers due this week long enough!