The Cooking Runner

Smooth running

I am starting fresh before the first of the year. ATS and I have a busy next couple months, a vacation,training, and a military ball… yep gotta look good in an evening gown!!! So I dressed for the weather and headed out the door. IMG_0455[1] I think we need better lighting in our house, currently not conducive to picture taking!

After my run, I made THE BEST SMOOTHIE EVER. My inspiration? Pinterest of course. I did not use a specific recipe but a mix of recipes.

Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie

IMG_0453[1]1 banana

1 single serving container vanilla yogurt

1/2c strawberries

1/2c blueberries

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup Gluten Free oats

Put all the ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth.

This smoothie is not only healthy, but it keeps you fuller longer. The oatmeal adds some extra yummy stuff!

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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 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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Date Night with Brie

Ran 5 miles with Sasha…

YAY for date night! We went to Hearthstone in Muskegon. It is one of those places that no matter when you go and what you have, it is guaranteed to be delicious. The dress is a Ralph Lauren, found it on super sale…It is awesome. IMG_0326[1]Predate started with a bottle of sparkling Traminette. It is called   “Sweet Nancie.” It is a sparkling Traminette, with flavors of peach, pineapple and lemon zest. It is a new wine this year introduced by St. Julian Winery. Pretty good.IMG_0327[1]When we arrived at the Hearthstone, there was a 45 minute wait. We decided to sit in the lounge and have appetizers with some wine. We had baked brie with salted caramel glaze and candied pecans. We got a bottle of french red. IMG_0323[1]For dinner I had steak and shrimp with a lobster cream sauce. It was so good. For dessert we have proliferates filled with peppermint ice cream,IMG_0324[1]IMG_0322[1]

Here is my recipe for Baked Brie

One round of Brie

Damson Plum jelly

Preheat the oven to 350*. Place the round of Brie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not pierce or crack the mold on the brie. This hold the melted cheese together. Smear the plum jam on top of the Brie. Bake in the over for about 10 minutes.

Serve warm with plain water crackers.

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Girls Weekend part Deux… Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!

Leelanau Penisula was not quite what I was expecting. The views we saw were a little run down, rude people, and less than mediocre wineries. All that aside, we had to try the new winery, Blustone

Once one the property, WOW! It was gorgeous. Rolling hills with grapes vines running all over, yeah…. When we finally got up to the tasting room, I thought another big wow…

The tasting room is gorgeous. When you walk in there is a modern gas fireplace and floor to ceiling windows all over looking out over the vineyards. I was wow’d… until they handed me the tasting glass. Not only was it dirty, but it was all scratched. You would think that a brand new winery would have brand new glasses. The last wine we tried was a cherry port… then the owner whipped out the dark chocolate…(the Hallelujah chorus)

It was really good. So then we went to L. Mawby…ehhh I perfer drinking their wines at the Signature Room in the John Hancock building as opposed to their tasting room (nothing to get excited about). I know their sparkling wine is good though. So after a mediocre let down on Leelanua, we serveyed our wine stash…and figured it was time to eat. We at North Peak, super yummy!!! We did some shopping downtown Traverse City, and then checked into out hotel room. We couldnt decide where we wanted to go for dinner. We were all that hungry and we noticed a Fro-yo shop when we were walking…SugarKissed

It is so bright and cheery in there…and the yogurt was AMAZING!!!! Way to go girls!!!


So after a fun filled day we hit the hay. The following day we did ore shopping and headed home…What a fabulous girls weekend!!!




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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


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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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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Alternative Fuel Parking Only

What better way to start a very early day by drinking this…., Then going here…, Then buying these  and then finding this post on Pinterest… (ignore the profanity please)…While sitting at the car dealership waiting for my car, I thought Starbucks, Target, shoes, and a man that wines and dines me….DAMN I am one lucky woman!

I had lunch with the lucky man in my life . I went to Marie Catrib’s in Grand Rapids. I ordered out and had to pick it up, WOW what a busy place on a Friday at noon! Who woulda thunk it?!  Best part of that whole experience… being able to drive past everyone waiting in line for a parking spot, only to be able to pull into the spot marked “Alternative Fuel Car Parking Only”…BOOM!!!!! Score 1 point Marie Catribe’s for having such awesome parking. So I waited for what seemed like an eternity until Marie came around with a plate of cookies….Chocolate, oatmeal, peanut butter Gluten Free heaven!!! Score 2 for Marie Catrib’s! So finally my two Shwarma gyros were ready but only when I had to ask the girl… “Um does that say Trina?”  Girl: “Yeah”  “I am Trina” Girl: “Oh right did you pay?”  Thought in my head “UM can’t you see the word that says P-A-I-D?” but actually said “yeah here is my receipt”  So after I left slightly down I remembered I still had a little bit of the cookie left… I held strong and saved it for the Lucky Man I was having lunch with.

The food was so so. There was a little meat and a lot of bread. I was slightly unsatisfied when Adam and I were done having lunch. Opinion? I would not avoid this place by any means. Marie is so sweet. I just would not go out of my way to go here.

I picked up my super awesome military wife friend Sara…and we hit the town like two wild women! We went shopping at Blue Boutique (awesome designer stuff for super cheap!!! , talked, got coffee (at Starbucks, yeah I love Starbucks… Christmas is coming you know…), talked, and walked a little, and talked some more about stuff  “only a military wife would understand”

So the hubs and I decided we are going canoeing tomorrow…high of 50* so I figured I needed to bundle up. I tried on hats and got a lot of laughs from the hubs….

It was pretty funny I laughed at myself. I could not decide which hat so it will be a last minute decision. I do have to say though, I have a sneaky suspicion that the last hat might make an appearance on a ski trip in the near future!!!!

Do you have items, places that make your day great?

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Lamb because of a screaming kid

The thought at the grocery store at 4pm, after work, ad-mist a screaming kid (not mine, my future children would never do that!) “God I need a glass of wine”…and then I saw lamb chops in the butcher case… Broiled herb lamb chops with tarragon smashed potatoes, and roasted maple glazed acorn squash…boom… dinner.

I am that good…

I just randomly think of amazing dinners, with a perplexed look on my face, while staring at raw lamb chops…(the butcher at Meijer better not blow my cover!)

Got home, poured the wine in the decanter, because a red has to breath to be good (or so I have been told)… and I needed a glass Then I put all the groceries away!

Herb Lamb Chops

Parsley, thyme rosemary and sage…Equal parts of all 4

4 lamb chops

Ground Pepper

Olive oil

In a shallow casserole dish, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Sprinkle all the herbs in equal amounts. Using a pepper grinder, grind three turns of pepper on to the herbs. Place the lamp chop in the herbs, then flip to coat both sides with herb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, place the lamb chops in a parchment paper lines baking dish. Broil on high for 3 minutes each side. This will give you med rare done-ness. If you want them done more add a minute or so to each side. Watch carefully!!!!

Smash Tarragon Potatoes

3 medium size baking potatoes

fresh tarragon

1 shallot

truffle salt

Microwave potatoes until mushy…( I hit the potato button 3 times since I have 3 potatoes…what has this world come to?), cut into pieces. Add a little Brummel and Brown (or butter)  and mash. Chop a tarrgon and shallots, and add to taste. Sprinkle a small amount of truffle salt.

Roasted Maple Glazed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash cut in half and cleaned.

1 tablespoon of Brummel and Brown or butter

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

Cut a small flat spot on the bottom of each half so the halves don’t roll around. Be careful not to cut into the squash, you want a “bowl”. Place the halves in a parchment lined baking dish.  Put a tablespoon of Brummel and Brown or butter into each half and 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup into each half. Place in a 350* oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, using a spoon, spoon the butter and syrup mixture over the top edges of the squash. cook another 15 minutes. Allow halves to cool a little before eating.

ATS sat down at the table and asked, “what’s the occasion?” My response “Because I love you and I am writing a food and running blog.” ATS, “<a small laugh> I love your Blog”. Me: “hahaha you are so not funny…”

After a rest day to recover from the dunes, I have a hill workout tomorrow…I will let you know how that goes because this Malbec is amazing!


2011 Trivento Reserve Malbec Argentina

Enjoy folks!!!

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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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