The Cooking Runner

To Run or Not to Run

Miles run this month: 47.3 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1965.7 miles

Yesterday I was able to run outside because all of our snow melted, the sidewalks were clear, and it was super warm. I thought it would be an amazing run. I had been faithfully riding bike, doing core strength. 2 miles into my 5 mile “easy” run, I had to walk. I can count on one hand how many times I have had to actually stop to walk because I felt horrible. I have stopped to walk multiple times due to  naughty puppies, though!

So when I got back home I felt defeated and so frustrated. The one day in January, in Michigan that the temp is above 50, and I can’t run more than 3 miles. TOTAL WASTE. So I showered, made myself tea, and turned to my favorite blogger to cheer me up.  SR posted this great link to The Running Hungry Girl Blog, (two of my fav bloggers) I totally wish I knew this stuff as a new runner, but it is a great reminder for a seasoned runner as well!!!  I am almost feeling better!!!happy-o-meter-300x180

I checked out to see what Sierra was doing, because, well, she is just awesome, and she lives in my hometown and I live vicariously through her 🙂 So between healthy eating/cooking using Trader Joe’s food and Flywheel reviews (which Mags, if you are reading, we are going to do this summer!) I feel like I am back in Chicago.

OK, I am feeling better now about my crappy run!

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Too Cool For School

Miles run this month: 47.3 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1965.7 miles


FINALLY a gorgeous day to run outside, in the mid 50’s!!! My shoes were soaked but that was ok!!! The puppies were oh so grateful! For breakfast I made my leftover burrito.. so good. I took all the meat and beans out of the tortilla. The tortilla was nasty and soggy, gross. So I sauteed the meat and beans then cooked an egg and mixed the two together! Heaven!!!IMG_0663[1]

Then I made some energy bites. I am going to try them as fuel for my longer runs. They taste like a cookie but no butter!

1 Cup oats

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup peanut butter

some dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup Flax seed

Mix all ingredients together and form dough into 1″ balls. Refrigerate for about an hour. You can store them in the fridge or out. Super Easy and Super Healthy!


I found an awesome pair of Aviators at TJ Maxx, I have been looking for a pair for SO LONG… I am now 10 times cooler than I was before.  Hence the fish face  🙂 Actually, if you look in Webster’s Dictionary under “Dork” this picture comes up…true storyIMG_0678[1]

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Friends day

Miles run this month: 43.6miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1969.4 miles

Had breakfast with Sara & K at Panera. Then, while walking into Target I looked down and found this on the ground!IMG_0661[1] Then had lunch with R&A at a “mom and pop” in Fremont. SO GOODIMG_0662[1]

At lunch Robin & A talked about colleges for A… She wants to go into Culinary Arts…so I am slightly jealous, but I am super excited that I get to go with to check out Le Cordon Bleu! Hmm… I wonder if they have a master’s program! 🙂

With the weather being totally crappy  I have been stuck with my bike on the trainer. So my mileage hasn’t changed, which is frustrating  but I am still working out so that is what matters! To change it up a little, I tried some turbo fire today in addition to my bike ride…yep I am going to be sore tomorrow!!! If you have never done it…check it out!!! There are a few short videos on youtube.

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Snow, $4 compression socks, and a veggie hash breakfast… January Photo Dump

Miles run this month: 43.6miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1969.4 miles

Finally... some snow!

Finally… some snow! 


TJ Maxx you never let me down... $4 compression socks

TJ Maxx you never let me down… $4 compression socks

The Motha of icicles

The Motha of icicles

This is why I married my husband...He comes up with the yummiest things

This is why I married my husband…He comes up with the yummiest things

Love Michigan!

Love Michigan!









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Date night and a bottle of wine…and some skiing too

Miles run this month: 43.6miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1969.4 miles

What a weekend!!! We went out on Saturday night to Leo’s in Grand Rapids. Wow!!! You walk in and they take your coat, show you to your table, and immediate attentiveness begins. Our waitress came to the table and greeted us, we were served water, and someone (management?) came to the table and asked us how we were doing. We could not decide on wine, so we ordered Escargot to begin… YUM!!! So just as we decided what we were going to have to drink, our waitress came to the table with a bottle of wine “from Leo”. It was AMAZING!!!! 2009 Paraduxx Z-blend. Our dinners and dessert were even more amazing. The BEST part of the meal? It is a tie between the rolls and the drawn butter for the lobster. The rolls were heavy, dense herbed yeast rolls. The butter, I do not even know what was in it. It was the purest form of butter. You can buy amazing butter from The Cheese Lady, I wonder if it is the same stuff…. Anyways back to Leo’s… It was nothing short of AMAZING all the way around. If you want a good seafood resturant…GO!!!!! Sorry no pictures!

Then we went skiing….IMG_0616[1]

We went to Crystal Mountain, and it was cold. We wanted to get out before we went skiing out west. I know I know, Michigan skiing is not the same, you spend more time on the lift than you do skiing down the hill, but it was fully worth it! I brought my snowshoes and ran on the golf course… just barely enough snow. I wanted to try running 5k because I am doing a 5k snowshoe race out west… Fully aware the elevation difference and the snow depth difference, but I am going to do it. IMG_0620[1]

It is a bike day today, 1* outside, running is not happening today!

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Fat Tire + Chili= YUM

Miles run this month: 35.8 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1977.2 miles

UM YEAH!!! What could be better than this…IMG_0587[1]… oh…wait corn bread made with BUTTER maybe!!!!IMG_0589[1]

Like I said everything taste better with butter… That is my Q to go exercise!


  • 2 pounds ground venison, you can use beef too.
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 12 ounce bottle Fat tire, 1554 is good with this too
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 19-ounce cans white beans, I use northern beans
  • Cheddar Cheese
  1. Cook Venison, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides.
  2.  Add onions and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, paprika and oregano. Stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add beer and simmer, scraping up any browned bits, for about 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and bay leaves. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  4. Add beans; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chili has thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve in bowls and top with cheddar cheese.
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The best “sickie” drink ever

Miles run this month: 35.8 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1977.2 miles

Did a couple days of biking because I am a wimp and it is really cold outside. The puppies were suffering from two days of no walks so I did run outside eventually!

I am not sick…yet. But I know a lot of people are.

I was reading the Feb issue of InStyle…blog…and came across a little blurp on “Juicing’s hot new trend” New york’s Juice Generation came up with a flu concoction that sounds amazing. So I tried it out… WOW!!! It is something that I may make every morning!IMG_6360

The Cold Warrior– Juice Generation–New York City

1 mug of green tea, the juice of 1 orange, a 1 inch piece of ginger- grated, a drop of each echinacea, vitamin C and zinc. I used a mineolla instead of an orange, because they are in season and they are amazing. I also nixed the echinacea, vit C and zinc (I didn’t have them in the cupboard)

I can totally see how this juice beverage is even more amazing when you are sick!

You know what else could possibly cure the cold??!!! A birthday celebration mexican style!!! YUMMO!!!!IMG_0580[1]

Happy Birthday K!!!!

I am off to the Secretary of State…just where I want to be on my day off!!!

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Everything tastes better with butter

Miles run this month: 29.4 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1984.1 miles

I run so I can eat butter. I don’t care what anyone says, everything baked/cooked with butter is better! After I took a cross training day, rode the bike for 45mintues…

I thought I would channel my inner Julia Child. Using my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, looked up some chicken recipes… Fricasse De Poulet A L’Ancienne (Old Fashioned Chicken Fricasse with Wine-flavored Cream Sauce, Onions and Mushrooms) The recipe called for a cut up fryer chicken but I used chicken breasts.

WOW just what I needed…Thank you Julia

Fricasse De Poulet A L’Ancienne

4 tablespoons of butter
2 medium-sized carrots, diced finely
2 celery stalk, diced finely
1 medium white onion, diced finely
Salt & white pepper
3 tablespoon flour
3 cups of chicken stock, boiling hot
1 cup of dry white wine
Small herb bouquet: (2 parsley springs, 2 thyme sprigs, and 1 bay leaf – tied in a cheesecloth)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Dash of fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon of Italian parsley, chopped

Pat the chicken breast down with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Heat a large dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Place a few pieces of the seasoned chicken in the dutch oven skin side down, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.  Once the chicken pieces are nicely browned, remove them from the pot and set aside.

In the now empty dutch oven, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté the mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions) plus mushrooms over medium high heat and cook until tender. Once the mirepoix has softened, add the  flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Continue cooking for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to cook off the flour.

Add the wine to the pot and stir, picking up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then add the chicken stock. The liquid should start to thicken a bit.

Add the herb bouquet and chicken back to the pot, nestled on top of the vegetables. Make sure the liquid covers the chicken and add additional chicken stock or water if needed. Taste for seasoning. Cover the dutch oven and cook at a low simmer for 30-35 minutes.
Uncover the dutch oven and increase heat to high. Let the sauce reduce and thicken. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the egg yolks and heavy cream and whisk to combine. Carefully add a few spoonfuls of sauce from the dutch oven to the egg and cream mixture, while continually whisking. Be careful to not let the eggs scramble. Continue to add the sauce to the egg and cream mixture until it becomes warm to the touch. At that point, add the egg liquid mixture into the dutch oven. Mix well and the sauce should be a beautiful golden liquid.


Bring the dutch oven to a boil and taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Then ATS suggested that we keep the extra sauce, grill sourdough, fry some eggs and pour the sauce on top…um…OK!

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Let’s get loud

Miles run this month: 29.4 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1984.1 miles


The wind strikes again! 30 mph on my long run Saturday. I forced myself to go because it was 54* outside in the middle of January… and a little old school J.Lo… “awwwee Let’s get loud, let’s get loud, turn the music up to hear that sound”…. you know the song. 🙂 I ran a 9:42 average mile. Not my greatest by far, and that time is not going to get me the sub two half I am shooting for, but that is what long training runs are for… to build mental stamina and to test the waters to see what works and what doesn’t. I would rather have a horrible training run than a horrible half!

My joints hurt during the last couple miles so an ice bath was in order after my run. Never had done one before so I thought it is as good of time as any! I always thought ice baths were for those runners (high maintenance)… Yeah so I am now one of those runners. WOW… yes I was freezing to the core, but my joints felt so good all day.  There have been so many studies done to test the true effects of ice baths.  Some say it enhances performance both psychologically and physically. I am not sure about the mind games with ice baths, sounds off, but I am certain about the physical effects. For me, the ice kept the inflammation down in my ankles, knees, hips… and that is what matters. I will be doing an ice bath again. has some interesting articles on ice baths.

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Fresh fruit in the winter in Michigan?…um sure….

Miles run this month: 20.8 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 1992.7 miles

I did another 4 miler, without the wind!!!! I did however, sweat like a man. With 80% humidity, apparently it doesn’t matter how cold (37*) it is outside… Humidity makes me sweat.

Last night the hubs and I were having a conversation about our food origin and how healthy the fresh foods really are. I looked in our fridge to see where our food came from.

 Blueberries were from Chili… very large and plump but slightly bland…looked amazing

Strawberries were from Florida… average size, bright red and to die for sweetness… looked amazing

Mineolas only had a USA sticker on them… super juicy and you could smell the goodness from the outside before peeling them

Granny Smith apples only had a USA sticker on them… juicy, tart, as if they were picked right from the tree

Grapefruit were from Texas… horrible- this fruit is suppose to be “in season” they are half green, small, and do not smell citrus at all. BUT they pack them in a red tinted plastic bad to make them look amazing… I was fooled when I bought them. They also have a white powder on them…not sure what that is. My FIL, a fruit grower said it was most likely pesticides.

All of our vegetables are from the USA, reason #53,467 why I love Meijer. The cilantro and avocados are from Mexico.

Of course I start to worry about fresh food in the winter, in Michigan, when the growing season is a few month out yet! So I did some research. I am aware that the produce is picked well before it is ripe. They do this to prevent over ripening and loosing product en route. A lot of produce just doesn’t ripen off the tree or plant.

How do you tell if produce is ripe when purchasing?

1. Color can say “I am ripe” but not always… bananas, apples, tomatoes, red berries, cherries—color change is an excellent indication of ripeness.

2. Smell the fruit. If you can smell it through the skin, it is a good thing!!!…Sniff the blossom end of the fruit (the end opposite the stem) and only select fruit that has a full, fruity aroma.

3. Feel the fruit… Avocados are a great example. You do not want to buy a soft avocado! You should pick fruit that are on the firm side but not too firm…squeeze stone fruit, pears, kiwis, and avocados. This doesn’t work well with melons or pineapples, but even with these rough-coated fruits, a little give is a good sign.

The chart below was created by by food writer Jeffrey Steingartenfc028co22-01_med

*some information taken from

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