The Cooking Runner

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

6 geese a-laying….well we are back to the birds again. The geese are prolly not a-laying in my neck of the woods. They are hunkered down in their nests, avoiding the winds. 30-40 mph sustained winds with gust up to 55?! Hello winter!

We are all ready for our Christmas getaway, had to run a couple errands this morning and the checkout girl said, “I hate the weather, it sucks.” My response… “you can’t complain until after Christmas” She said nothing and gave me a death stare. She didn’t even respond back when I told her “Merry Christmas” when the transaction was done…BAhhh humBUG chickie poo. Looks like you are on Santa naughty list this year! …now that is something that sucks!

Getting back to our Christmas getaway…packing for winter weather running…wow, the stuff you have to bring!!!IMG_0427[1]

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This is only half the gifts, (but the amount of glitter everywhere is enough for all the gifts) I took the rest of the gifts when I was in Chicago on Wednesday because we can not fit everything in our car…yeah, and we don’t even have kids!

Icebox Shortbread- Martha Stewart Original Recipe

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*I have to give dibs to Martha on this one…I didn’t change anything about this recipe except the oven temp. These cookies are AMAZING.

Ingredients

  • For The Shortbread

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • Flavor Variations (Optional Mix-Ins And Coatings)

    • Mix in grated zest of 2 oranges and 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • Mix in grated zest of 2 lemons; coat with 1/4 cup poppy seeds
    • Mix in grated zest of 2 limes; coat with 1/4 cup cornmeal
    • Mix in 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; coat with 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
    • Mix in 1/2 cup mini chocolate or peanut-butter chips
    • Mix in 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger; coat with 1/4 cup sesame seeds

Directions

  1. With an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. With mixer on low speed, add flour, mixing just until a dough forms. Stir in desired mix-ins.
  2. Divide dough in half; place each half on a piece of floured waxed or parchment paper. With floured hands, gently roll each into a 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. Dividing evenly, sprinkle logs with desired coating if using, rolling log (to help coating adhere) and pressing in gently. Wrap logs tightly in the paper, and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (To store longer, wrap log and paper tightly with plastic wrap.)
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap logs; with a serrated knife, slice dough 3/8 inch thick (if dough crumbles, leave at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes). Arrange slices, about 1 inch apart, on baking sheets.
  4. Bake until lightly golden around the edges, 12-15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*You may have to adjust the fllour amounts so the dough is dry enough otherwise your cookies will spread in the oven from the amount of butter in these cookies.

* My mix-ins were pistachios, cranberries, and Lemon zest.

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

FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!!!!  (yes those are shouty caps) Finally, we are done with the birds! On the fifth day of Christmas I went downtown Chi-town,IMG_0409[1]  got a Mimosas and Mani Pedi’s with mom and my sister  M. We went to Mani Pedi on Southport. GO THERE Mon-Wed, buy a pedicure get a mani FREE!!! Ask for Min Jin, SHE.IS.AWESOME.IMG_0410[1]Then M and I went shopping on Michigan Ave. My favorite store yesterday? By far Lululemon, I want everything in that store! We went to Watertower to eat and shop. This awesome Lego creation was between the escalators.

Made out of Legos!

Made out of Legos!

We found Foodease Resturant Market. One word YUM. They had a salad bar, $8.19 per pound. Which, yes, reading that it seems expensive. But I do not power load on the dressing. So my salad was $5.00 and it was HUGE. They also have select restaurants around Chicago come in and make food, pre-made sandwiches, bottles of wine, SUSHI!!!!, fruit, and even gluten free items! They also sell quite a few local ingredients as well… BONUS!!!!  recommend it!

pic from Foodease website

pic from Foodease website

Ok here is your cookie recipe!!!!

IMG_0406[1]Spritz Cookies

1 C softened butter

1 C powedered Sugar

1 Egg

1 1/2 tsp Cpt Morgan spiced rum

2 1/2 C flour

In a blender, m ix butter and sugar. Add egg and run, beat until combined. Add flour. Mix until just combined. If the dough is too sticky, add alittle more flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for about 15 minutes. Using a cookie press, press out different shapes. Bake cookies at 375* for 6 minutes. These cookies will burn super fast.

 

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

4 calling birds, 3 french hens two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree… Or I could just give you a recap of one fun as hell races I ran this weekend!!!

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via whoville Facebook page

It was a 5k fun run, it was not timed. The race supported a great cause, Wounded Warrior, and the shirts were long sleeve Patagonia tech t-shirts…AMAZING!!!!!  My new race running buddy (she just doesn’t know it yet) ran with me for the first time!!! K- I am compiling a list of 5k’s…

27888_3450570842544_1031094536_n32365_4958421959836_363621966_nApparently I need to soak my vest in some Bright White, it is lookin a little dingy next to good ole’Santa!

Oh Yeah…Can’t forget Whoville Gangnam style!!!!

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taken by Rudy Malmquist of Mindutopia

Once again not my picture, but check out the video! and check out more pictures from the race here!

Packet pickup was so convenient. Parking was a breeze. Starbucks coffee and hot chocolate. Lots and Lots of Christmas goodies…

These people need to write a manual about putting on a race. There were a lot of people running and you would have never known it. It was FANTASTIC…way to go WHOVILLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE ARE DOING THIS NEXT YEAR…AND YOU SHOULD TOO!!!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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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On the first day of Christmas, My true love gave to me…

A partridge in a pear tree…

Ummm………….Well,

I don’t have a partridge, (birds are really messy in the house) or a pear tree…(I live in Michigan=too cold). BUT, I do have the recipe to the yummy cookies I made with my neighbor!!!  Here you go mom  🙂

Best Ever Christmas CookiesIMG_0380[1]

Dough:

4C Flour

1lb Large curd Cottage Cheese

1lb Butter

*Drain Cottage Cheese. Mix all ingredients together and store overnight in Refrigerator.

Nut mixture:

1 1/2 c brown sugar

1c crushed pecans and walnuts

2TBS cinnamon

Divide gough into 8 pieces. Roll one piece out at a time to mimic a pie crust in shape. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle nut mixture over the butter. Leave about 1/2 inch edge clean around entire circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 16 pieces. Roll each triangle into a crescent shape cookies. Place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Watch the cookies the last two minutes, they burn fast.

Coffee Drizzle:

1c powdered sugar

1TBS butter

Enough coffee to make a liquid glaze.

Dash of cinnamon.

Mix all the ingredients together. Once the cookies are cool, drizzle coffee glaze over the cookies. Allow glaze to set up. Store cookies in an air tight container. Cookies will only last about two days (well in my house anyways) They will last about 2 weeks.

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Are you reading Santa?

Did my 3 uneventful, miles this morning, stopped by the Cheese Lady and got some yummies for the plane ride (She is having her holiday open house… go sample some amazing goodies!!!)went to work, and made a fabulous dinner…whew what a day…

 Just had to add a picture of my new hat, which I love…totally random.

Lately I have been experiencing way too much lactic acid build up in my legs. Can’t figure out why so I have been keeping track of what i have been eating/drinking in my nifty dollar store journal only a buck… no, it does not have the motivational sayings and the totally awesome layout of this one from Believe(which I hoping Santa will bring it for me…hint hint Santa) but, hey, the dollar store one was only $1 so no complaining here. So ATS told me I need to lay off the coffee…well that is not going to happen since I am totally addicted. So I thought I would give it a shot anyways. Instead of a pot of coffee this morning (I told you I was addicted, I have a problem… it just taste so good) I only had one cup before my run (I had the rest afterwards…HA) and I had two pieces of toast before I headed out the door… (magical chimes)  It worked…something worked!!!! No lactic acid build up on today’s run! Let’s see if tomorrow’s run proves the same.

Since we are going on vacation, we have zero food, so I threw something together that I thought would sound good…well it tasted even better! I am not sure what to call it so we will call it the awesome mushroom bean concoction. To top off the awesomeness, I found a bottle of wine in the wine rack that was the perfect accompliment…  (Holy Yellow Photo Batman…Kim, I need your help!)

Awesome Mushroom Bean concoction

1 medium shallot

2 cloves of garlic

1 c chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup white wine, I used Traminette

1 can navy beans

1 cup chopped chicken

olive oil

Tuscan seasoning from Penzy’s

Salt

Sautee the garlic and shallots in olive oil until tender. Add the mushrooms, white wine, Tuscan seasoning, a dash of salt, and a little more olive oil. Sautee until the mushrooms are tender. You may need to add more white wine. After rinsing the navy bean in cool water, add them to the mixture.

In a separate pan, add the chicken, tuscan sunset seasoning and a little live oil. Cook chicken until done.

Add chicken to mushroom mixture and simmer for 10  minutes, stirring constantly.

Yum… enjoy folks!!

Do you ever get lactic acid build up when you run?

What are your tips and tricks?

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A little Pinot, A little Christmas music, yeah I am THAT girl…

So the day was uneventful until grocery shopping. A great big THANK YOU to the lady in the Lexus SUV that cut me off to get a close spot… YOU ROCK!!!  An especially big “YOU ROCK” because you were in front of me in the check out lane carrying your Fabulous Coach purse and your kid was wearing designer duds, but you paid with your WIC card (for those of you who are not in Michigan, that is food stamps)… WTH???

On the bright side I have to give a serious “YOU ROCK” to the check out girl at the grocery store. I was buying wine to cook dinner and my driver’s license fell out of my purse. So when the time came and she said “Can I see your ID” I gladly…oh damn I don’t have it. She said “I can’t sell this to you” I said, “Do I really look like I am under 21?” The wonderful, classy, super awesome check out girl said, “No you don’t look 40… I can’t sell to anyone under 40 without an ID.” THANK YOU CHICA!!!!!

SO had to stop at the party store on the way home because my driver’s license was sitting on my front seat.

Dinner tonight was Curried Venison Pot Pie….so good… and I found a white wine that I actually like!!!! You can substitute beef or lamb for the venison.

Curried Venison Adapted from Food and Wine magazine, (I changed a couple things.)

  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 cubed venison
  3. Salt
  4. Freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 medium onion, chopped
  6. 2 teaspoons curry powder
  7. 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  8. 1 cup dry white wine (I used Pino Grigio)
  9. 1 cup chicken stock
  10. 2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice (10 ounces)
  11. 2 cups chopped Tuscan kale
  12. 1 medium carrot, chopped
  13. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  14. 1 large egg lightly beaten
  15. Puff Pastry
  1. MAKE THE CURRY In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season the venison with salt and pepper and add half to the casserole. Cook over high heat until browned on 2 sides, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the venison to a bowl; repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the remaining venison. Pour off the oil in the casserole.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the venison to the casserole. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the wine until smooth. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened, 1 minute. Cover and simmer over low heat until the venison is very tender, 1 hour.
  3. Add the squash, kale, and carrot to the casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are tender, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and let cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spoon the curry into a buttered 8-by-11-inch baking dish. Brush the dish rim with beaten egg. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. Fold the pastry in half, unfold it over the curry, and gently press onto the edge of the dish. Brush with beaten egg; cut 4 small steam vents in the top.
  5. Bake for about 40  minutes or until pastry puff is a warm gold brown. 

The wine I used were

Chatueau Grand Traverse Pinto Grigio

Bogle Vineyards Phantom

While I was cooking… yeah I am that girl who is already listening to Christmas music. Hey, it puts me in a better mood!!! Then my sister told me she is listening to it too… I am not the only one!!!!

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