Monday, January 30, 2012

Good weekend!

Last week was very hectic, but we had a very nice weekend to make up for it.

On Friday night I worked on a quilt, which looks fantastic so far, but I can't decide how to finish it.  I started to free motion stitch it, but it looked really bad so I picked it out.  Then I started trying to stitch around the blocks, but that looked bad as well so I picked it out.  I think I need more practice.  But if you know me, it has to be perfect! I also made this pumpkin/cream cheese bread I found on pinterest, but I did mine in muffin tins.  It was pretty good, but you could taste the Stevia pretty strongly and we don't love the aftertaste.  If you don't mind it, though, it's pretty decent health wise with the whole wheat flour, applesauce rather than oil, egg whites, etc.

Funniest thing that happened on Friday:  I'm sitting there sewing, and Sam turns around from the computer and exclaims, "you fed me TOFU!?".  He had just read the blog post about tofu manicotti, almost two weeks after I fed it to him.  Hehe :)

Saturday morning I headed up to the Provo temple.  It was a lovely session, and I felt a lot of peace and clarity :)

After the temple, I came home and made sweet potato and red chili ravioli.  I used my Grandma Frache's pasta dough recipe and rolled it out with one of my favourite Christmas presents ever-- a pasta machine.  I have used it to make noodles before, but this was my first time doing ravioli.  It's so easy, a lot of fun, and way better than store bought stuff.  It takes more work, sure, but I have such fond memories of making chicken noodle soup 100% from scratch with my grandma, so I am very thankful that I have the equipment and know-how to be able to make pasta with my own kiddos some day!  I'll post the recipe sometime :)

My new shoes, and the shirt that
 makes me look like I don't wear pants
(I have running shorts on, I promise!)
Next stop was the gym for a good 10 mile run.  I just bought a second pair of running shoes-- the same ones as the ones I have right now-- that I'm working on breaking in.  I'm going to alternate between the two pairs this time around for marathon training.  Just a tidbit of knowledge: if you have a high running mileage and you run every day, you should rotate between two pairs of shoes.  It takes 48 hours for your shoes to retain their form.  This helps reduce injury, allows you to rotate between shoe types (like if you have road shoes and trail shoes), and it increases the life span of your shoe.

When I got back from the gym, we ordered our dinner from a local deli.  They had come around earlier that week offering us a free meal as a promotion, which we definitely accepted with happy hearts.  It's called the Red Deli, and they're a pretty good price for pretty good food!  The fries were very good, and the bread is made in the store so it's super fresh!

Saturday evening was the adult session of stake conference.  It was fantastic.  It was one of those meetings where it felt like every talk was written specifically for you.  

We didn't get home from conference until 9:30, so we decided to hide out for the rest of the night watching a movie.  

Sunday was the general session of stake conference, which was also very good.  Sam picked up a massive bag of potatoes at the grocery store, so for lunch I did a lighter version of twice-baked potatoes with fat free sour cream, low fat cheddar, garlic, and onion.  Later we went up to Alpine to celebrate Chris and Jamie's birthdays, then headed back home to get ready for a new week!  I made "quinoa bites", another recipe I need to share!

It was a productive and uplifting weekend, and a great recharge for what lies ahead (a LOT) this week!

PS: I set my alarm to go running at 5am. LOL.  That didn't happen.  If I "had to" go running in the morning I would never go.  Work out when you work out best, people! If you can get up at 5am, that's great, but I almost always do it at night and that's just fine. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

St. George Half (pacing)

Don't I look soggy? And I'm pretty sure I was
squinting because I couldn't see through
the rain!
Last weekend I got the chance to head down to St. George to pace a half marathon.  Sam and I had booked a hotel in Springdale a few months ago in anticipation of going to enjoy the relative warmth and sunshine, compared to how Provo would probably feel mid-January.
Well, the joke was on us, because it was pouring rain on Saturday morning!  The race was still fun, though, and it rained heavily for only about half of it, with a mist for the other half.  It wasn't dreadfully cold, either, and there wasn't a ton of wind.  I paced the 2:20 group again.  Pacing that time is a bit weird, because it's not a super "common goal".  I feel like people would rather round it out to getting a 2:00, and anything slower it's kind of "whatever I get" sort of mentality.  My pace buddy and I were more or less alone until the last bit of the race, at which point people would usually see us coming, curse, and try to get farther ahead of us.
Unfortunately, with the rain it was hard to find much to do the rest of the day.  Sam and I had planned on going up to hike around in Zion, but a lot was closed off.  Now, the rest of the story isn't supposed to sound like complaining, because I really just found the whole thing funny.  You just have to laugh.  So here's how the rest of the trip went:
Back in Springdale, we went to eat at this diner (the only place open) that was so deserted and "rustic" that we felt like we had walked into someone's house uninvited.  It was totally silent and we could hear the one worker doing the dishes.  I felt like I should get up and help her.  The owner's grandkids came in to visit, and a lady from the ward came to tell the girl about what the choir director wanted them to do for the song the next day.  Also, we could hear them using the microwave to make our food.  I also caught a glimpse of the kitchen, and I don't think it would have passed a health inspection.  Back at the hotel, our key cards wouldn't work, and rather than fixing it the lady asked us if we could just not leave our room until we checked out. Later that evening I got hungry again, but everywhere was closed, so I went to the hotel vending machine where there were about 3 items left, and the thing I bought was 2 months expired.  Then later I tried to buy a drink, but the machine was broken.  So I wandered across the street to another hotel and creeped around until I found a vending machine, but alas, it would only take quarters and I had 1's. That's what you get for staying in a remote tourist town in the off-season.
Anyway... If you don't remember, I fractured my foot in December, so I have only been using the elliptical and cycling in January.  It has been torture.  You know you really miss running when one day you see all of these runners out and you start bawling in the truck.  Yep, I'm cool like that.  Anyway, considering that the only running I had done before the race was a 7 miler on the Thursday before, my body felt really good during and after.  Being diligent in letting my foot heal has paid off, because now it feels totally fine and I can resume running just in time to start official marathon training for my next race!

Oh, and by the way, I guess that even with the rain we had way better weather than further north!  Check this out!  It gets craaaazy a bit into it. Yeesh!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tofu Manicotti

I felt very, very sneaky making this manicotti.  It's one of those dishes that you don't tell your family what is actually in it-- or at least not until after they try it and say that it's good.  It is good.  You really can't tell that it's tofu.  Trust me!  But don't worry-- I'll post the "normal" recipe in the near future if that's more your style :)

Manicotti shells:
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. water
Beat eggs with an electric mixer.  Slowly add flour and water.  Batter will be thin.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.  Pour a small amount of batter into pan and tilt to spread thin.  Cook both sides until spongy.

  • 1/2 lb tofu, drained and crumbled to resemble ricotta
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 lb chopped, cooked spinach
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
Combine all ingredients.

Tofu Manicotti
  • Cooked manicotti shells
  • Prepared filling
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • Additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
Pour 1 cup of sauce into a 9x9'' glass baking dish.  Take each manicotti shell, put in a few spoonfuls of filling, and wrap up like a burrito.  Place them in the dish with the seam on the bottom to hold together.  Pour remaining sauce on top, and sprinkle additional cheese on top. Bake at 325F for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted. 

Christmas Catch-up

I finally found my camera charger!  I have been waiting to get my pictures from Christmas before doing a post about it.  I didn't take very many because my battery died, which makes me sad, and they didn't turn out great because the settings are broken so it's stuck on a crappy ISO, but here they are anyway!

Driving to Canada was terrifying.  We had borrowed Sam's brother's car, which hasn't been on really icy roads since he bought it.  So when when we got to northern Utah with blowing, icy snow, we started fishtailing-- badly.  We slowed down to about 25-35mph, but we were still fishtailing like nobody's business.  It was terrifying.  Everyone on the road was going slower, but nobody was fishtailing as badly as us.  We decided that we needed to get some chains or something, or we were probably going to die on the road.  We finally made it to a Walmart, and went into the tire shop.  The back tire treads were completely gone. That explained a lot.  So we waited for a few hours while we got some new tires put on, and set out again.  For a while the roads were decent, but then the icy, blowing, drifting snow came back.  And the constant fishtailing started again.  And we spent the next several hours praying that we wouldn't die.  After a total of 15 hours of travelling (with almost constant fishtailing and barely any visibility), white knuckles, seeing flipped trucks and crashed semis, we finally made it to my parents' house alive.

Anyway, we got to stay in Canada for a week of Christmas break.  It was so fantastic to be home for all of the familiar traditions, places, an feelings.  I got to go to the gym with my parents, spend time at Grandma Frache's house, go shopping with my mom and sister, snuggle with my nieces and nephew, have dinner with my great aunts, uncles, and cousins, and spend time with my high school friends.  It was so emotional recharging to be home.

Where Sam and Kaden could usually be found
Maggie helping with the last-minute quilt project for Dad

Sam is now fully equipped to be Canadian
...and then my poor camera died :(

Anyway, it was a great Christmas!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Running update

Due to the high volume of running, I have fractured my foot :( I did an 18 mile run last week and since then my foot has been pinching and cramping really badly. I went to the doctor today, and he says no running for two weeks because it's fractured. What am I going to do with myself!?  It's really dumb to me, because I haven't been running more than usual and I've been fine up until now.
Although, I fractured my foot in high school as well, and that time I had to use a cane for a month. So I guess I'm getting off easy! I also should be back and good to go before the next half I'm pacing at the end of the month, thank goodness, and then in February the official training for the next marathon begins!  Fingers crossed for an effective recovery!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Recap

  • I begin my semester of 18 credit hours and 20 hours working. And that's about all I did that month.
  • I turned 21! We had an early birthday celebration (at The Roof, which was awesome) because I was writing an American Heritage test until 9:30pm on my actual birthday.  
  • Rugby season!  Yeah!!
  • My life got a lot easier with a block class ending.
  • I got my travel visa in the nick of time to go to Canada!

  • Some sort of chemical imbalance led me to sign up for 4 half marathons and a full marathon.  So the training begins.
  • I get to take the White fam up to Canada for Easter.
  • I get my green card, thanks to a last minute miracle!
  • We go on a mini-vacation with my parents to St. George for my gorgeous cousin Meagan's wedding!
  • Sam got an internship!
  • I am a VERY VERY happy camper with a slightly less intense class load. 
  • I run my first and second half marathons!
  • Went camping in southern Utah
  • ...and ran some more.
  • Bear lake!
  • Another half marathon
  • Roadtrip to Canada!
  • Nearly got eaten by a pig (but it was awesome)
  • Almost got caught in a thunderstorm on a mountaintop (but it was awesome)
  • Another half marathon :)

  • Free work vacation to Park City!
  • Went through a furniture painting phase, and even sold some stuff I did!

  • St. George Marathon!
  • Parents and grandma came down to watch the marathon and go to GC!
  • Moved from our first apartment to our new fancy one
  • Paced my first half marathon!
  • Sam and I dressed up like the characters from Up for Halloween

  • Persevered through school
  • Thanksgiving pies!
  • Fulfilled my carollamaing dreams
  • Totally owned my classes this semester.
  • Got to go to Canada for Christmas! Blog post to come :)