The Cooking Runner

The cooking runner pedicure lover

Miles run this month: 12.3 miles

Miles left to reach 2013 goal: 2000.7 miles

I think I might change my name to the one listed above!!!!!.

Met my SIL’s (yes I have a lot of SIL’s–3 soon to be 4, and yes I have seen them a lot in the past 60 days) for a pedicure this morning. We went to GL Nails in Grand Haven… um I will be returning. $25 and you get a massage chair, a pedicure, a leg rub that lasted FOREVER, and a paint job. Let me tell you how good a calf and foot rub feels after a long run…So the bad part? This is my second pedicure in less than a month… this can NOT become a habit…I will be broke.IMG_0520[1]

Since it was a rest day for me, well I will be riding bike later, so not a true rest day, but, any-who, I decided to cook. Get ready for picture city…

So I am going to call this…

Garlic chicken ravioli in a brown butter sauce

Basic Pasta Dough:

2 cups cake flour

4 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons EVOO

1/2 water

Blend all ingredients in electric mixer with dough hook. IMG_0504[1]You can do this by hand too. Keep blending until dough is smooth and elastic about 10 minutes. Add flour as needed. Once elastic, wrap dough in plastic and let it sit at room temp for an hour.    *** When you are cleaning up, wash everything in cold water to remove the dough, then in warm water as usual. The warm water activates the gluten in the dough and makes clean up a little more difficult.***

Ravioli filling

1 large chicken breast

2 medium shallots

1 clove garlic

1 tsp truffle salt

3 tablespoons truffle parmsean cheese ( you can use regular parmesean and add truffle oil to it)

1/4 c chardonnay

Cook the chicken in a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 cup Chardonnay. Once it is cook through chop it up and add it to the other ingredients in a large saute’ pan. Saute’ until the garlic and shallots are tender. (about 5 minutes) Remove from heat. IMG_0509[1]


Using a pasta machine, start at 1 and work your way to 5. 5 is the perfect thickness for ravioli dough. Assemble the ravioli with about 1 tablespoon of filling. Using a ravioli cutter, seal the edges. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all the dough is gone. IMG_0510[1]IMG_0511[1]

Bring a pot of water, with a little salt and olive oil, to a boil. Drop ravioli into pot and cook for about 3 minutes or until they float. If you do not properly seal the ravioli, all the ingredients will come out when you boil them.

Remove from water and place in a large saute’ pan. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and saute’ until the edges start to brown. IMG_0516[1]

Top with chopped basil and fresh parmeasan cheese and  pour yourself a glass of that Chardonnay you used earlier.

I used Hawthorn Chardonnay from Traverse City area. K and I visited this winery/tasting room a week after it opened. They were only tasting 3 wines at the time, but they have something good going on!!!

Not my picture :-)

Not my picture 🙂

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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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Oh Napa Valley….how I miss you

After two days of hard runs, I had to take today off. I woke up with super sore quads. So a 3 mile walk with the puppies was all I could do!

A year ago, my awesome SIL     and I went to a wine industry trade show in Napa Valley. We did a little wine tasting too! If you ever have the chance to go to Napa Valley….GO!!!! I personally liked Napa better than Sonoma, but fun was had by all!!! A couple suggestions are Micheal Mondavi Winery, Clif Family Winery, and Domaine Chandon. When we were at Domaine Chandon, we signed up for Club Chandon. They have all different types of shipments you can pick from. The winery itself has a wonderful gift shop. We found hand lotion, Olivina Fig, that is made by the gods…it smells like Napa Valley, or if Napa had a smell!!! It is a little pricey, but in my opinion well worth the splurge. Check it out! the scent comes in a candle too, my house smells of it right now! The Cliff Family Winery made me think of my husband. He races road and mountain bikes, crazy style (so do his buddies…Kerri, I found this and had to post it!). The entire tasting room is all about cycling. They have wine in a bag called the Climber Pouch… 2 bottles of wine that will maintain freshness if for some odd reason you do not finish them. That would mean you would have left over wine, I am not really sure what that is, but apparently it exists.

However, I have to be true to my school, Traverse City is in heavy competition with Napa Valley… Girls weekend in t minus 3 weeks and counting… I will let you know who wins…

If you are not making a trip out west anytime soon (I am not 😦 ) You can order all these yummy treats online off the winery websites!

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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?

Gourmet Italian Lunch in a mental hospital…

…and let me tell you, it is one of my favorite restaurants of all time!

Instead of waking up and running the dunes this morning, we spent the day in Traverse City. (which is a different kind of fun than running dunes!)  For those of you that do not know where Traverse City is, it is just east of the most beautiful place in the country! Yes, it was a year ago, but nothing has changed… we went there today too.

Getting back to TC…We found this wonderful jewelry maker, Becky Thatcher Designs. AMAZING work! We drove to her Glen Arbor location to chat with her. After our hour long chat, Adam was handed a pair of earrings to give to his wonderful wife…Thanks Becky!!! (yeah I felt the tears well up.  I am that girl… that cries about everything, even gorgeous earrings!)

We had lunch at our favorite spot, a mental hospital. Ok, ok, it is not a mental hospital anymore, but it used to be! The Traverse City State Hospital or Northern Michigan Asylum was built in 1885.

Before medicinal therapies were used, it was thought that you could use beauty as therapy.   The grounds of this building are GORGEOUS. Currently, the main hospital is 75% restored. The entire “village”  is one of the largest, historic preservation and adaptive reuse redevelopments in the country. It now houses restaurants, a day spa, boutiques, and condos. Not sure about the condos though…kinda creepy! We had lunch at Trattoria Stella…one word…yum. 

This is what ATS ate, but I had an amazing porcini cream soup. For dessert we had squash gelato and raspberry honey gelato. Squash gelto you ask? YES… it tasted like a sweet potato casserole in gelato form. It was so good. ( side note… I spilled an entire glass of ice water all over the table… yet again, I am that girl…that only needs one glass of wine to be a hot mess!)

Wines Tried: Talismon Brut, L.Mawby Winery

                           Late Harvest Riesling, Blustone Vineyards 

The perfect end to a perfect day!

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