The Cooking Runner

A cream puff and cheesecake will help you run awesome!

Miles run this month: 12.3 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 2000.7 miles

I had to do my long run today because my weekend was filled with military and happenings. Today was all about breaking PR’s and I didn’t even try. I use Nike running app on my iPhone, and it tracks everything.


These are not my fastest ever, but they are for this training season, so they stand to be broken. As I was finishing my 8 mile long run today, (it was actually 7.39…puppy issues) I was thinking what did I eat yesterday that made me so awesome today. I mean I am awesome everyday, but today I was double awesome.

Croissant, Bagel, Salad, lasagna  ravioli  cheesecake, and a cream puff…. Wow, yeah, I ate wonderful yesterday! It had to have been the cream puff and the cheesecake!

Not sure what it was but no cramping, not short of breath, no joint pain, and I ran an average 9:06 mile for almost 8 miles. I guess it just boils down to an amazing running day!! I am sure the wonderful sunshine helped too!!! I just know I need to bring my SIL and my Mom in Law with me when I run races so they can cook.

IMG_0488[1] I do not think Sasha was thrilled I made her stop to take a picture during our run. She broke her PR too today!!! She ran 6.78 miles…Yay Sasha!!! She is sleeping now  🙂 Sonny on the other hand was way to excited about all the squirrels. We turned around .85 miles into his leg of the run. His little sister has him beat on  mileage! 
I LOVE LAKE MICHIGAN… anytime of the year!


On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree…

Well once again, there are birds again, yep…. although turtle doves are gorgeous birds, I don’t have those either. BUT,  I have the recipe to the good ol’ Puppy Chow. While this is not MY recipe per se, I do tweak it, (would you expect anything else?!) The original recipe came from the Chex website.

Puppy Chow


9 cups rice Chex

1 bag Dark chocolate Hersey chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 stick cold butter

powder sugar

(Since our microwave decided to take a crapt, I had to make this on the stove.)

Measure out 9 cups Chex, (it is just about a large box) Put the Chex in a very large bowl.

Melt chocolate, PB, and butter (chopped into pieces) in a pot over low heat. Stir continuously to avoid burning.


Once melted, pour over Chex and mix until all are coated with chocolate.

Using a Tupperware-type container with a lid, pour some powdered sugar in the container, then add some chocolate Chex, and shake it up!

Repeat until all Chex are coated!


Speaking of puppies and all… If you are looking for a charity to support this holiday season, please think of AUCADO rescue in Michigan. An amazing rescue, for amazing dogs, run by amazing people!!! Check it out!

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Let’s get this party started!

Hello weekend…so happy to see you!!!

What a fabulous day!!!!    dogs walked…check!        laundry…check!    Christmas deco organized…check!   pantry…a half check!   Manicure for the busy weekend…check!   Workout…check!

Whew… What a day!!!

So while Sasha and I were on a walk, we came across these joyous carolers, they are made out of wood and don’t move or make sounds…I thought Sasha was going to have a heart attack. She went into attack mode!!! I laughed…really hard…IMG_0333[1]

I had to take Sonny to the vet for his vaccines. I have never seen a dog so excited to ride in the truck…IMG_0335[1] IMG_0337[1] Because I had faith that he would be a good boy, we stopped at our favorite place for a peanut butter shake, chocolate milk, egg nog, and cheese…yes it is a dairy…IMG_0339[1]

They make the BEST peanut butter shake on earth. So I drank the first half and Sonny got the second halfIMG_0340[1] IMG_0344[1]

So I am thinking about a juice detox… This awesome girl just finished it. Downfall is I have to make the juice myself since I don’t live in Chicago and juice rx only delivers local…Do I want to go through all that work? Is it going to be worth it? Is this a good way to kick start my official half marathon training that starts Monday? (18 weeks until Gazelle Girl Half) I want to run a sub 2… hmmm I will take the weekend to decide…


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On My Soap Box…

I had one of those crazy style days…which means I was pretty much a hot mess ALL DAY…well until I got to the AUCADO rescue where I volunteer. Then I had my rescue puppies run up to me and love on me… so happy to see me, and my day got better…

What is AUCADO?

It is an amazing rescue specifically for Australian Cattle dogs.

What is an Australian Cattle dog?

My two Aussies

I had the same question when ATS told me that was the dog we were getting. The Australian Cattle dog originated in Australia (imagine that) and were (and still are) used to drive cattle. This means that they have been bread to do a job. This means that they are one of the most brilliant dogs on Earth. This also means they have more energy than you will ever imagine. They are also known for the strong bond they form with their “Person” and will protect that person and their possessions (other family members) no matter the challenge. After learning what the cattle dog was about, and meeting Sonny and Sasha, I will have a cattle dog the rest of my life.

The Australian Cattle Dog has been ranked one of the best dogs for active, outdoor-sy people. There is a reason. These dogs have to be moving. A tired cattle dog is a happy owner. They need to be run or hiked, or they need a specific job, such as a service dog or herding, or even chewing a chew. Anything as long as they are not bored. Before ATS deployed last year, unannounced to me, he had a “chat” with Sonny. He told Sonny to watch after me and not let me out of his sight. Well Sonny followed me EVERYWHERE, the basement, upstairs, to the bathroom…EVERYWHERE. I talked to ATS and told him about Sonny, that was when ATS said he had a little “chat” with him. I was Sonny’s job.

When you abandon a cattle dog, they are heart broken. They need “their person”. To look into the eyes of a cattle dog the first days at the rescue are horrible. You can see the pain, you can see the hurt they are going through. They are not full of energy, they are moping around with their head down wondering what they did wrong. It takes anywhere from a few days to a few months for them to realize that they will find a new person to love. This is where the rescue is so important. I walk, play, and smooch on the dogs when I have the chance. I feel it renews their spirit in knowing that there really are good people out there. The two women who run the Ohio and Michigan chapters of AUCADO are amazing women. They work with the dogs morning, noon, and night. They eat, breath, and sleep cattle dog.  The dogs at AUDACO are so spoiled, so loved, they are treated as if they are in their forever homes. Because of the awesomeness of these two ladies, and the spirit behind AUCADO, I will be helping out forever. With the holidays coming up, if you are looking for an amazing cause to support, think about AUCADO!!!! Check out the website!!!

Please do your research before deciding on a Australian Cattle Dog, or any dog for that matter. Yes, cattle dogs are so incredibly adorable and full of personality, but that is only one of the reasons to have one. DO YOUR RESEARCH ON THE BREED!!!!

Ok I am off my soap box 🙂 Time for a glass of wine and roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts for dinner!

Roasted Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts—Taken from my mom-in-law

1 head cauliflower

1 bag brussel sprouts

Olive oil

Seasoning Salt (recommendation Beyond the Shaker)

Cut up the Cauliflower into bite size pieces and put into a very large bowl.

Clean the Brussel Sprouts and mix with cauliflower pieces.

Drizzle olive oil and seasoning salt over veggies.

Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 375* for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower starts to brown and the brussel sprouts start to become tender.



The Wine is Phantom from Bogle Vineyards…super good

Source: Bogle Vineyards website

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Trick or Treat….give me a treat

My sweet little devil dog…                      

Yep, you guessed it, I am that girl, Who dresses their animal up for Halloween!!! So I made Sasha wear a costume when we went out on our run this morning.  She was none too happy with me. She even looked annoyed in the pictures! We went over to the neighbor’s to “trick or treat”, Sasha saw Maverick the Schnauzer  and you could tell she felt stupid. Poor Sasha…

I am counting the minutes down until the first trick or treater come to the door. We have one of the best streets in the neighborhood for trick or treaters. I have 275 pieces this year, I am thinking it will last about 30 minutes… I will let you know. Last year I was out of candy in 45, but I can’t remember how much we bought. When we first moved here, I gave out the good stuff, but I have learned that why waste the money? I am that house that gives out cheap candy… well tootsie rolls. We get the kids that tell me they need an extra one for their brother at home….yeah, Ok kid, here have another Tootsie Roll! bahahahahaha, Sucker.

Ok so it was a little slow this year, it took an hour to go through the 275 pieces. When I was out of candy, I walked over to my neighbors with my little devil dog only to find out her mini border collie was a devil dog too!!! Her costume was way cuter than Sasha’s though!

Tomorrow , NOV 1 starts a new training season for me. I have so  many races planned!! It is going to be a busy year! Starting with the “Whoville 5k” in Grand Rapids on Dec. 16!!!!

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The Grinch who stole my egg sandwich and meatballs…

If you live in the Grand Rapids area, are free Dec. 16, 2012, and want to support Wounded Warrior …. Come out and run or walk the Whoville 5k! Check out the website… . Best part about the race????? A LONG SLEEVE PATAGONIA TECH SHIRT!!

Sasha and I went for a run this morning, and Sasha got a compliment from a friendly police officer. That made her day!!! I think it made up for the fact I made her run 4 miles straight without a swimming break in the middle. I Have to say, there is just something super awesome about running in the fall… I love it!

After I got back from my run, I had my second breakfast…oh was it so good!!! Fogarelli’s Import Market in Traverse City has all these amazing Italian meats and The Cheese Lady, well, nothing short of amazing. So I have prosciutto,  aged provolone, and fresh farm eggs from Knot Yet Farms. The end result is a egg sandwich from heaven…

So I found this awesome jewelry box idea on Pinterest….um, yeah, it looked like a good idea! I went to Hobby Lobby and Home Depot, bought what I needed…. EPIC FAIL. The box is so bad I couldn’t even post it on here!!!

Since I failed at arts and crafts, I started to cook… and let me tell you… I DID NOT fail at that!!!

Meatballs and Red Sauce

2 pounds ground venison

2 pounds ground beef

1 clove garlic

1 medium shallot

1 c mini bella mushrooms

1 c shitake mushrooms

1/4 c Penzy’s Tuscan Sunset Seasoning

1/4 c Pensy’s sweey basil

1/4 c grated Parmesean cheese

a couple shakes of red pepper flakes

a couple shakes of truffle salt

1/2 c Italian bread crumbs

1. In a food processor combine mushrooms, garlic and shallots.

2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients, including the mixture in the food processor. Mix with hands until it is well blended.

3. Form into 1″ balls and place on a parchment lined, rimmed cookie sheet.

4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, check for pink meat. If it is pink bake for another 5 minutes.

Use homemade or store bought red sauce and enjoy!

* you can substitute pork for venison in this recipe.


What is your favorite season? 
Have you tried to make anything off Pinterest?

A Sunrise Dune Run Fritatta

I woke up thinking that it was in the 40’s this morning…I was way wrong…31 degrees-that was it. I dragged Sasha out of bed….she is completely not a morning dog, but as soon as she saw the running shoes and the leash…game on! So we ran and ran and then ran up the dunes. I thought since we had so much rain lately, the sand would be wet and it would be so easy to run up them….WRONG. Sand dries really fast!!! I felt the burn!!!  So 2.5 miles and 2 runs up the dune and 2 runs down…I was dying…Sasha was pulling to keep going… How much more beautiful could a sunrise be?

We ran on the beach for a distance and Sasha went for a swim, it was still  in the 30’s! We ran back home admiring the leaves and hoping that little miss polar bear club would dry off before I walked in the house. I walked in the door to find ATS in the kitchen, towel over his shoulder making this…It was the best post run breakfast ever!!!

Red pepper and Mushroom Fritatta- Servings:4

1/2c chopped shitake mushrooms

1 bunch of green onions

1 medium shallot

1 clove garlic

2 medium piquillo peppers (they are a little spicy)

10 eggs separated

1/2 sour cream

1/2c aged provolone

1. Saute’ the vegetables in olive oil and a little sea salt.

2. Separate the eggs… the final mixture needs to have 5 whole eggs and 5 egg whites.

3 Add the sour cream to the egg mixture.

4. In a cast iron skillet, warm a little olive oil over medium heat.

5. Pour the egg mixture into cast iron skillet and then add the sauteed vegetables, then add the cheese on top.

6. Do not stir the eggs but let them cook for 5-10 minutes or until the eggs start to solidify.

7. Place the skillet in the oven under the Broiler, set on High.

8. Be sure to watch the skillet it will cook fast from this point and will burn very easy.

9. Once the fritatta starts to expand and brown remove from oven, check for done-ness, and enjoy!!!

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A little rain, a little sun, and some really good muffins

Miles today: Rest Day

Rain and cool autumn temperatures means snuggled up puppies, hot coffee & tea, and a great day for baking!!! We have this AMAZING coffee shop/roastery in the area, Magnum Coffee…one word YUMMM!!!! 

My splurge for tea is Tea Forte. I was introduced to Tea Forte at The Delmonte Spa, at the Delmonte Lodge in Pittsford, NY. (I highly recommend the massage and facial) My mom, sister, and I went last year. Anyways…Tea Forte…They have a cocktail line of teas…tea infuses in cold vodka…fabulous concept, fabulous cocktail too! But, on a cold day, the Lavender Citrus is amazing with hot water. It is so soothing, kinda makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over.

I had some bananas that were starting to brown so I decided to make Gluten Free Trail Mix Muffins. I used the recipe from the Detoxinista’s peanut butter banana muffins as a base and then tweaked it from there.

Gluten Free Trail Mix Muffins- 350* for 15-17 minutes, makes 18 muffins

1 cup reduced fat Jif peanut butter           1/4 cup honey

3 very ripe bananas, mashed                      1/2 c gluten free oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda                                 3 tablespoons flax seed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract                           3 tablespoons roasted salted sunflower seeds

3 whole eggs                                                      1/2-3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Golden Berry blend

1/2 Dark Chocolate chips

1. Peel and mash the bananas

2. Add the peanut butter, eggs, baking soda, vanilla, honey and gf oatmeal. Mix well

3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.

4. Line 18 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Using a tablespoon measuring spoon put two heaping spoonfuls into each muffin hole.

5. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown.

Remove muffins from tin immediately and cool on a wire rack.


A military side note on Marriott hotels… Marriott gives a very substantial military discount on hotel stays. The Delmonte Lodge in Pittsford was 50% off when we stayed last December!!! THANK YOU MARRIOTT!!!!

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