Friday, June 24, 2011

Trail Run & Geocaching

On Wednesday, I participated in my very first fun run on a trail! It was a complete blast, and harder than any run I have ever done. I usually run a mile, and then walk run the second mile. This time however, I only ran about a half a mile and walk ran the second half. Cannot wait to do it again. The "simple" act of lifting my feet higher over roots, moving laterally to avoid roots and puddles, the cush of the grass through the field, the slipperyness of the pineneedles, all made my muscles work differently and so much harder. This is the type of running I could really get into.
Due to rain, volleyball was out for me last night. I didn't feel like getting stuck in the rain waiting for Jeremy to come pick me up if things ended early and my step brother wasn't there to bum a lift from.
This weekend J has to work. This leaves me home and carless. I am ok with this. I am going to check out a new to me activity of geocaching! I have heard about it in the past, but never thought it was something so "easily" doable. There are 7 caches that are located within walking/biking distance of my apartment, and oodles more within driving and hiking distance. Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.  If anyone is around and wants to join me in Randolph for some fun, I would love the company!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not enough water and I can feel the difference!

Last week I posted a question about drinking too much water on the message boards. The general consensus was that you can drink too much water, but that it appeared the amount I was drinking was not too much, especially since it wasn't due to extreme thirst. 
To catch you up, I am finding that I am drinking roughly 104-130 ounces a day. The low end on the days I don't work out, the high end on days I do work out. I make sure to include something like gatorade or coconut water on the day I work out as well to help replenish the electrolytes in my body. 
This past week, Friday included, I was not even drinking half that in water! While less than 50 ounces a day in water for some is not that big of a deal, before I started drinking 104+ ounces on a daily basis, I was still drinking at least 64+ ounces in a day. I could really tell the difference this weekend not having enough water. Not only was I not peeing as often (the only positive), I had a very mild headache for much of the time and felt a bit more sluggish. Overall, it was not so great. This was also compounded by drinking coffee and alcohol. 
I didn't have the water bottle with me, which is what made getting my water difficult. So much easier when the bottle is with me! I am pretty easy going with water and have no problems with tap water (especially since that is typically what is in many bottled waters). 
Today I am back to getting my water, without even thinking about it, since the bottle is with me. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two Days of Relaxation

Monday, back to work. Dark clouds, off and on rain.  Not the best of days. When is the sun going to come back?
Monday night is a very lowkey night on the couch. A much needed lowkey night! My nights and weekends get so filled up that when I am presented with the opportunity to put my feet up and hunker down in, I take full advantage.
With the lowkey night, dinner was also low key, bagels and eggs. Simple and filling. Getting caught up on Supernatural Season 6 and to bed early.
Tuesday, another day. The weather was still cool, but the sun decided to show itself for a little bit. Still feeling like I am recovering from the cold, rainy, rush pack up from camping last weekend. Another night of couch time, a bit more Supernatural!  Dinner was thrown together from the pantry and freezer and turned out amazing.
Beefy Pasta Sauce
1 package beef - cut into small cubes (I used sirloin tips that had been in the freezer a while)
2 TBS olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can diced tomatos
1 TBS onion powder - eyeballed
1 TBS poultry seasoning - eyeballed
1 TBS chile powder - eyeballed
salt and pepper
With the heat on medium high, sear the beef in the olive oil, add the seasonings and stir. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes, add the diced tomatoes and stir. Bring to a simmer and reudce heat. Cook for 45 minutes, serve over whole wheat pasta!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ricker Pond Rain Out & Broccoli Salad

Ricker Pond was camping trip number 2. We have three more!

Friday was beautiful. We were all packed up and checked into our sites by 2pm.  The weather was beautiful and  we had our sites set up in no time. Too bad the weather turned to rain and we headed home a day early. It was exhausting to pack up so quickly and while drenched.

The eats were fantastic!  Burgers for dinner, with a packet of garlic and herb salad dressing mixed into the meat. Served with Swiss cheese and sauteed onions and mushrooms. Killer burgers for camping, no plain Jane when you camp with me!  On the side, broccoli salad.  Rave reviews, and we all ate ourselves sick.  Breakfast was my Sausage Gray & Biscuits.  Jeremy's parents, who were camping with us, had never had sausage gravy and biscuits and fell in love with them.

We had more wood than we knew what to do with, and had the most fantastic fires Friday night and Saturday morning. With those fantastic fires came a really hot ring, that I accidentally touched with the back of my calf. OUCH!

All in all, despite the rain, it was SO much fun. I cannot wait for the next camping trip and my fingers are crossed the weather will be better.

Broccoli Salad
3 large crowns of broccoli - cut into florets
1 red onion - finely diced (optional)
1.5 lbs raw bacon - cooked and crumbled
1.5 cups mayo
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vingear
Salt & Pepper

Mix everything together, chill and serve.

I need to tweak this, I think it needed a bit more sugar, so feel free to play with the measurements and let me know how you tweaked it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Quiche, YUMMO!

One of my favorite ways to eat an egg is in a quiche. The rich and flaky crust, fluffy and moist eggs, and the add-ins that are limitless, all coming together in a rich filling wedge.
I love the versatility of a quiche, it can be a side dish with a small wedge, a meal with a large wedge. It can be served hot or cold or warm, and it can be enjoyed anytime of the day.

I always start with my grandmothers pie crust recipe, which is called the 100 year old pie crust.  It is by far the best crust I have ever eaten, light and flaky, but holds together when served.
The fillings are endless, these are just two of my favorites.

100 Year Old Pie Crust
Yields 2 crusts

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1/4 cup milk
1 TBS vinegar

Mix the milk and vinegar together and set aside.
Sift the flour and salt together, and cut in the shortening. It is mixed when there are pea sized balls or smaller.
Mix the milk into the flour and turn out onto a floured surface. Shape into two balls, and flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before use. Overnight is better.

Egg Filling
Yields one quiche

8 eggs
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper
Any dried spices you desire.

Whisk ingredients together.

Filling Options
Spinach and Tomato with Cheese
- Spinach
- 1 Tomato Sliced
- 4-6 ounces cheese, shredded

Caramelized Onion and Ham (or Bacon) with Cheese
- 1-2 pounds onions caramelized**
- 3/4 pound diced ham
- 4-6 ounces cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350degrees.

To assemble your quiche, roll out crust on a floured surface until it is about a quarter inch thick and is larger than your pie plate.  Place crust in plate and trim edges, tucking a little bit under to form a thicker top crust.
Spinach and Tomato with Cheese
Place enough spinach in the bottom to just reach the top of the crust or a little bit more. Its ok if it is high, it will shrink. Cover with cheese, and lightly press on the top to compress the spinach. Add the tomato slices and pour the egg mixture over. 
Caramelized Onion and Ham with Cheese
Layer the diced ham on the bottom, cover with the caramelized onions, and top with cheese. Pour on the egg mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until center is firm and no longer jiggly.

To caramelize onions, slice 1-2 pounds onions and place in large pot with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 4 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper, and thyme.  Place lid on and turn heat to medium. Once onions are soft, remove lid and lower head to medium-low and cook for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally. If it seems to get brown to quickly, lower heat