Tuesday, September 25, 2012

nutella swirled peanut butter banana muffins

My sister and her friend Dora recently made these. They asked if I would post this on my blog. Quotes from them include "delicious" and "it smelled so good while baking." I happen to be obsessed with bananas and peanut butter these days, so maybe I will make some muffins this weekend!

Nutella Swirled Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter (may I suggest some Justin's Nut Butter...the Honey Peanut Butter flavor)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/5 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Reese's mini cups or 3/4 cup chopped regular sized Reese's
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3 heaping tablespoons Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put muffin cups into the muffin tins.

Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg, and sugars.

Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Batter will be very thick. Do not over mix. Fold in Reese's and chocolate chips. Pour batter into muffin tin.

Drop a small scoop of Nutella (or Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter...yes I am obsessed with Justin's) on top of each muffin. Swirl with a knife.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes clean.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

what do you eat pre and post run? + half marathon training: week 6

(the visitors center at Boston Common has a drinking fountain inside! and...the water is cold!)

By next Sunday, I will be HALF DONE with my half marathon training! It's scary because I feel like I'll never be ready to run 13.1 miles.

I went on my long run today and ran my longest distance yet...8.7 miles!!!! Granted, my legs got really really sore around mile 6.5 and by the time I got near my house, I think I was more limping then running.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 10:42
Mile 2: 12:23
Mile 3: 13:21
Mile 4: 11:57
Mile 5: 11:33
Mile 6: 11:53
Mile 7: 11:02
Mile 8: 13:08
Mile 8.7: 9:14
Total time: 1:45:10 (11:45 pace)

Normally I like to pause my watch while I am getting water (I tend to linger at the water fountains) or at a really really long intersection so I can get a more accurate picture of what pace I am actually running. However, today I decided to keep the watch running so I could see how long I was actually out there for. I don't think my total pace suffered too much, which means I think I am running faster...hopefully? I still run slow as shit, but that is not something I can change overnight.

I'm still trying to figure out what to eat before and after my runs. I have some weird eating habits for sure. This morning I had a Stonyfield Farm vanilla yogurt w/ granola, 1/2 a cup of coffee with soy milk, and some Trader Joes easy mac (please don't judge me). I feel like I was adequately fueled throughout my run, although eating mac and cheese in the morning probably isn't the best idea for most people...and certainly not the healthiest. It was just the easiest thing for me to deal with this morning.

I did just order some Justin's Nut Butter (the honey peanut butter flavor!) so I think I am going to start trying to eat peanut butter sandwiches along with a banana before pre-run.
After my run I had cream of wheat, a banana, 1/2 of a blue colored Powerade, and 13 pork and leek dumplings. I don't think this is an appropriate post-run meal (because my legs hurt a lot and my stomach hurt a little and it's a really weird lunch), BUT I am definitely too scared to try a protein shake.

What do you like to eat pre and post long runs?

In other news, the weather is getting SO GOOD for running outside! As of the weather report right now (and yes, I know this is New England and the weather can change in an instant), next Sunday it is supposed to be a high of 63 and partly cloudy.

Half Marathon Training Plan: Week 6 (Sept 24 - 30)
Monday (9/24): rest day or yoga at the gym?
Tuesday: track workout! 1200m @ 5K pace, 400m jogging. Repeat 3x for a total of 4 miles
Wednesday: 25 min easy run or cross train
Thursday: 20 min easy run or cross train
Friday: 55 min hilly run - 15 min easy pace, 20 min tempo pace, 20 min easy pace
Saturday: rest day!
Sunday: 1 hr 50 min easy run (long run)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

baked ziti with bacon and zucchini

So easy and I think it can feed me for the next four meals.

I haven't been eating very healthy lately (which is why there is bacon in this dish). I just crave junk food...and fat...all the time. (Note the pizza box that is under my dish). I don't even know how to get back on track with healthy eating. It probably also doesn't help that there is now a Popeyes and Uburger at school and all I want to do is eat chicken fingers everyday.

Baked Ziti with Bacon and Zucchini
Serves 4

1/2 a box of ziti (or penne or shells or whatever)
1 shredded zucchini
6 strips of bacon
Plenty of grated cheese (I used a combination of gouda and pecorino)
1/2 jar of tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste (+ other spices such as, italian seasoning, garlic powder, etc)

Boil water and cook pasta until just a bit harder than you normally like it (I just subtracted a minute from the normal boiling time).

In the meantime, cook bacon until crispy. Let cool and cut into small pieces.

Shred zucchini and your cheese. Leave about half your cheese in a separate container. Mix the rest of the cheese with the shredded zucchini, tomato sauce, bacon, and pasta. I also added salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and garlic powder.

Grease your baking pan with some leftover bacon fat (I used an 8 inch round pan). Pour mixture into pan and top with leftover shredded cheese.

Bake for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until the cheese on top is browned and bubbly.

Eat with tabasco sauce for a kick.

Monday, September 17, 2012

half marathon training: week 5

I just finished up week 4 of half marathon training, which means I'm 1/3 of my way through my Philly training plan! 2 more months to go. Eek! I ran 8 miles today and spent the rest of the day laying in my bed "recovering." I have no idea how I am supposed to run 5 more miles after that. By mile 7, I thought my legs were going to fall off.

Here's this week's plan (note: there is a long run scheduled for Monday. This was last week's long run that I failed to accomplish last weekend).

Half Marathon Training Plan: Week 5 (Sept 17 - 23)
Monday (9/17): 1 hr 30 min run (long run)
Tuesday: Track workout! 800m strong, 400m easy. Repeat 3x. (this might need to be rescheduled if it rains)
Wednesday: 20 min easy run or cross train (I am thinking about going to thighs, butts, and guts at the gym)
Thursday: 45 min hilly run - 15 min easy, 15 min tempo, 15 min easy
Friday: rest day!
Saturday or Sunday: 1 hr 35 min hilly run. End w/ 4x100m striders (long run)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

vermont = pies

My sister used to go to Williams College in Williamstown, MA. It's in the corner of MA, 3 hours away from Boston and just a few miles from New York state and a few miles from Vermont.

When my sister was applying to colleges, my mom made 1 rule and only 1 rule - she had to go to a school that was close to an airport that had direct flights to San Francisco. You see, I had gone to Colby College in Waterville, ME, which was not near an airport and not near an airport that had direct flights to SF. During my time at Colby, I had gotten stranded multiple times. Once I even had to stay overnight in DC because I missed my connection!

My sister broke that rule by going to school in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, it's near a delicious pie store! Just a few minutes from my Williams College, I would go get a delicious pie every time I went out and visited her.

I present to you...The Apple Barn in Bennington, VT

Pretty Vermont...

And a delicious pie! (Blueberry...obviously)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

half marathon training: week 4

Just a short post today. I ran a 10K yesterday and now I'm itching to do it again...but faster. Full race recap coming soon.

Here's this week's plan: 

Half Marathon Training Plan: Week 4 (Sept 10 - 16)
Monday (9/10): 40 min easy run. End w/ 4x100m striders
Tuesday: rest day! (maybe a yoga or weight training class at the gym)
Wednesday: rest day!
Thursday: 40 min hilly run
Friday: 20 min easy run or cross train
Saturday or Sunday: 1 hr 30 min run (long run)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

crockpot beer chicken

I went through a phase where I really wanted a crockpot. I finally got one...and never used it. It just required too much planning ahead. The first thing I made with my crockpot (2 years after I got it) was black beans. It involved soaking the beans for 8 hours and then cooking the beans for another 8 hours. I am not organized enough to think 16 hours in advance that I may want some black beans.

Well, I tried again with my crockpot. I will admit, cooking with a crockpot is easy. You set it and forget it. It literally took me about 10 seconds to throw these things together (and faithful blog readers, instead of randomly dumping in spices, I measured them...just for you). I'm warming up to this whole crockpot idea, so perhaps there will be more crockpot recipes in the future.

Weird note: I'm also too nervous to leave my crockpot on at home while I am not there, so I foresee my future crockpot cooking to be a weekend only affair.

Crockpot Beer Chicken
Chicken breasts - I used a 1.25 pound package, but you can use whatever you want
1 bottle Old Brown Dog Ale by Smuttynose Brewing Company (Again, use whatever you want. I used this particular beer because I found it in my fridge)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon italian seasoning

Put all ingredients into crockpot. Cook on either high or low. The timing will change depending on your crockpot. The original recipe called for either 3-4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. I ended up cooking it for 2 hours on high and 2 hours on low.

Note: you can also sear the chicken in a frying pan before putting it in the crockpot. (but it's more work...and more pans to wash)

Also, I saved the leftover beer chicken broth. I plan on making gravy with it...and making mashed potatoes to go along with it!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

campbell farmers market + half marathon training: week 3

Scenes from the Campbell, CA Farmers Market

Produce is so much better in California

So is fruit

Heirloom tomatoes...so ugly...so delicious 

Sauerkraut barrels!

Half Marathon Training Plan: Week 3 (Sept 3 - 9)
Monday (9/3): rest day!
Tuesday: 45 min easy run
Wednesday: rest day!
Thursday: 30 min run on a hilly course
Friday: 30 min easy run. End w/ 4x100m striders
Saturday: Run to the Rock 10K
Sunday: 20 min easy run or cross train

I might have to switch around some of the workouts. I am still getting used to my new school schedule and figuring out the best days for me to run.