Archive for ‘Travel’

February 27, 2012

The Princess Half Marathon

I can’t believe I actually did it. Considering everything that has happened since signing up for the race in October, I’m still slightly unsure that was me crossing the finish line.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I, the non-athlete, have had a few spurts of dedicated exercise throughout the past year. Some were specifically dedicated to running, but life took some serious turns in December and I was never able to complete my training as planned. I found myself working two jobs and struggling to find time to eat breakfast and dinner, let alone run or write. Everything was going to calm down soon, but the time when everything would shift gears coincided with the weekend of a race for which I’d already registered.

I seriously considered bailing. When I told people why I was headed to Florida in a few short days, friends and family fell into two camps. Some said, “There’s no way you can do this. You haven’t trained, you’re going to hurt yourself. You just aren’t capable of completing 13+ miles.” Others said, “Eh, you’ll be fine. You’ll be surprised what you’re capable of if you don’t give up. Just do it, you’ll really be okay.” Most of the people who thought I’d be okay never saw me run. Trust me, it isn’t pretty.

Until I got to Florida, I didn’t have time to weigh my options. I accepted everyone’s opinions (usually with a smile), stored them in a little piece of my brain, and carried on. There were more immediate issues at hand that needed my attention than $150+ in non-refundable fees.

And then it was here: Race Weekend.

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January 8, 2012

Memory Lane: Chard and Beans

I’m back home in my cozy New York apartment after six hours in a cramped airplane middle seat with no TV.  So much for choosing the airline with personal TVs that puts “You Above All.”  On the bright side, the lack of DirecTV gave me some time to take a few naps, do some puzzles, and clean up my computer’s hard drive. Wow, that sounds super cool. Really though, it needed to be done. I haven’t organized anything on my computer in years. I found pictures of old dishes I considered writing about, task lists I wrote on some of my busiest of days, screenshots from various research endeavors, old papers from school, and snapshots from special occasions. It turned out to be a fun trip down memory lane, looking back in the kitchen of my old apartment and visits to places around the world.  After a weekend full of sharing old stories with my family out in California, and now again simply looking at some old computer files, I’m reminded that stories don’t always have to be shiny and new to be exciting.

So, for a series of ten posts, I’m going to take a step back into 2010 and 2011.  Whether it’s from trips I’ve taken, restaurants we’ve tried, or some food we cooked up in the kitchen, I’ll share some of my fondest food memories not-yet-shared from the past year and a half. To kick it off, I’m starting with my absolute top go-to recipe.  One that I almost can’t believe has never made it’s way on here, but I sort of can because, after all, this is not purely a recipe blog.

Memory Lane #1: A Recipe  – Chard and Beans

The photos below are from my first week in the new apartment.  If you look in the background you’ll see our entryway mirror still on the ground, not yet hung up on the wall.  I’m sure I made this dish because between our repainting, rearranging, and redecorating, it was so easy to whip up and the beans make it a really satisfying meal.

My first attempt at this recipe happened when we got Swiss chard in our CSA pickups last winter.   I found a recipe online, and modified it a bit because (1) I’m personally not a great fan of garbanzo beans and (2) I didn’t have any green onions at the time.  The aromatic lemony sauce that forms from wilted greens, shallots, tomatoes, and lemons is one that I adore, and I can easily eat this dish every week.

First up, put a couple of drops of olive oil in a pan with a diced shallot or two and some halved little tomatoes.  I only use 2 or 3 grams of oil, but you can use more if you like. I’ve used a whole tomato and diced that instead of the little ones too – either way works.

Let that cook for five minutes or so until it becomes fragrant and the shallots are turning translucent.

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November 16, 2011

Chocolate Show 2011

The New York Chocolate Show, as its tagline states, is “the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate.” …Or to many, heaven on earth. …And for me, the cause of a three-day chocolate high. As I admit in my “about” section, as healthy as I may attempt to be, chocolate will always be a part of my life. I choose to believe the studies that say chocolate is good for you. You know, antioxidants and all. I currently limit my cocoa intake, but sometimes you just have to let loose.

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November 4, 2011

Bed and Breakfasts

One of my favorite things about bed and breakfasts, is of course, the breakfast.

Last spring, Mike surprised tried to surprise me with a weekend getaway. He told me to keep a particular weekend free because he had something planned, but I’m just awful with surprises. Now if I didn’t know there was something coming, I would be pleasantly shocked when the unexpected revealed itself.  But if I know there is a surprise, I want to know what it is. I’m like a six-year old in that regard. We spent hours debating how he could have actually surprised me, and I think it comes down to a fake plan and lying, which is probably not the best solution.

Anyhow, things at work were six-days-a-week busy to the point that on Sundays all that we did was laundry, necessary errands, and watch movies. Mike wanted to do something fun, so he booked us a stay at the top-ranked B&B up in Mystic Connecticut where we could visit the Aquarium and explore the town on bikes. He picked this one because of the rave reviews for their breakfasts. (I think the boy might know me pretty well…) Little did Mike realize, March in Mystic is in the realm of freezing temperatures.  No bike riding for us, but bundled up in winter gear with gloves, we did visit the aquarium and penguins.

  I spent an inordinate amount of time petting rays and sharks for a person in their mid-twenties…

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October 14, 2011

Apple Season

My family and I went apple picking last weekend. Let’s just say that will be the last time I go apple picking for at least five years. Without little kids, it just isn’t worth walking through a dusty, winding orchard and stepping on rotting apples to grab a bunch of fruit that I could have gotten for half the price at the farmer’s market.  It just plain feels like work.  That we paid for.

At least they are some darned good apples! Pictured here, with some caramel I had been trying to hunt down.

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