MarathonMaiden's Blog

January 11, 2011

This run brought to you by the letter A

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:44

for Alcohol. The rest of today is brought to you by the letter C. For coffee.

Not T for tempo.  Although this week’s went significantly better than last week’s. I think it had to do with the fact that yesterday at work I had a real craving for a flatbread-esque pizza.  Luckily the girl I share an office with (and who I’ve been, like living with lately!) agreed with me and we went to her place after work to make and eat pizza.  And I may or may have had my first sip of alcohol in the form of beer with the pizza.  Nothing beats the taste of a cold beer with a pizza.  Here’s a picture just so you don’t think that all I do is bake and eat cookies and pies.

It was really easy to make too.  We took tortilla wraps and toasted them in the oven for 5 minutes.  Then we added a spicy basil pasta sauce and some broccoli, spinach and tomatos that were seasoned with basil.  Then we sprinkled grated mozzarella cheese on top and placed back in the oven for 10 minutes or whenever the cheese had melted.  Since I love flatbread pizzas this was awesome.  The beer was good too,  I texted my friend who joined us too what kind of beer was a good pizza beer and he suggested I pick up Shock Top wheat.  It was delicious.  Dare I say that I may be becoming a beer person?

Before digging into the pizza, however, we did make a rum vanilla pudding pie.  Rather than be *completely* lazy we decided to make the graham cracker crust ourselves.  We also added a healthy dose of my good friend Morgan

and I just want to point out the bananas in the background. Picture of health.

So I was running on pizza, beer and vanilla rum pie this morning.  With a lack of sleep as I didn’t get back to my place until 0100. Oops. But it was worth it because we watched Salt.  Amazing! Total BAMF and I absolutely loved it.  Thanks to Lacey for writing about it and making me pause at the Redbox last night 🙂

Surprisingly the run didn’t go as bad as I would have thought and went a little something like this

  • Warmup
  • “Tempo”: 5.6 miles @ 7:36 pace (2.2 miles @ 7:52, 2.2 @ 7:26, 1.2 @ 7:26)
  • Warm down
  • 1.6 miles @ 8:26 pace

Overall I got in 15.2 miles at an 8:33 pace.  Not too shabby.  Again the tempo is in quotes because it really wasn’t an actual tempo.  But I’m getting there!

After seeing the first 2.2 miles be so slow I muttered some cuss words.  Like more than a few. So I decided to try and maintain the effort for the rest of my planned “tempo” route and then, because we’re supposed to be getting 12″+ of snow tonight and I don’t know what my LR will look like later this week, make it into a makeshift long run because I knew that my paces were NOT fast enough to be tempo.  Faster than last week (where my average for 4.4 miles was 7:44ish) but not the 6:50-7:05 that a tempo should target for me. So I think that the ebb and flow of pace today was good for a LR.

Of course those goal paces are based on my current marathon PR and I’m not sure I want to attack Boston as an overall PR race.  I say that right now and I’m not really feeling all gung-ho.  I’m pretty sure it’ll pass though. I definitely will commit to gunning for a course PR (and a sub3:30 because that’s what I was targeting last year) and the pace I was at today is below that MP and it was a bit hard of a pace but nothing dreadful.  It was actually a bit enjoyable by the end.  So I’m optimistic that Boston will be good to me.

In any case I had a really good hard LR this morning.  Just in time to go out and buy booze and ride out this “extreme storm” that we’re supposed to be getting tonight.  We’ve already been called out of work for Wednesday. Hizzzzoller.

December 9, 2010

Chilllllllllli

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:11

AKA it’s chilly outside. For real. With no intent of getting warmer.

Amy told me that I should do some baking.  And I have been and will be.  But first I wanted to share a real meal that I did considering the last “I made something” post was apple cinnamon muffins. I have some recipes that I want to try out so all in good time my pretty, all in good time. I have lots of goodies to share!

Lindsay asked me “what’s up with you being in the kitchen all the time? sheesh. tryin’ to find a boyfriend or something?”. Hahahah. Ummmm I work at a clinic with volunteer med students and volunteer doctors.  What do you think? 😉

Therefore I combined both a warm meal with trying to land a date with a doctor in one night.  Multi-tasking at it’s finest? In any case the chili recipe that follows is a made-up recipe.   I just kind of realized that A LOT of the cooking and baking stuff I do is recipe free.  I suppose it’s because, if I fail miserably, then I have a reason: I didn’t have any directions to follow hahah!

Chili ( to be eaten with tortilla chips. Duh. And rice, although I just used Minute white rice so no picture or recipe of that because I’m sure y’all can read a box hahah!) This is veggie friendly but if you wanted to add meat you totally could.

And eh picture while it was simmering

Ingredients:

  • 2 large peppers, one green and one red (*cough*christmasspirit*cough*) and one yellow because I needed more veggies
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 large celery stalks
  • 1 large can of stewed tomatoes ~30 oz
  • 2 cans of beans, one kidney and one black ~30 oz ( I threw out the can before I looked at the exact size and I used the jumbo sizes of cans to make up for the lack of meat and to balance out the large can of tomatoes)
  • jalapenos
  • brown sugar (unknown amount. I just threw it in until it tasted right)
  • salt and peper
  • water

Directions:

  • Chop up the onions, celery, peppers and jalapenos (I chopped them up not-so-finely so they were big pieces.  There’s apparently a technique or method to chop onions so you don’t cry.  While I knew this at the time I couldn’t for the life of me remember so I was crying.)
  • In a large pot add the stewed tomatoes and beans and water and bring to a boil

Large friggin pot

  • Add the veggies and beans after the pot is boiling
  • Add the brown sugar and salt and pepper and then turn the heat down to low or medium and let simmer for maybe 10-15 minutes
  • Transfer to a crock pot to keep warm until you’re ready to eat it or eat it straight up
  • ENJOY

I don’t actually know if this is really a chili because there’s no chili powder, although there is jalapeno in there.  I’m not a real foodie or anything so I don’t know if that counts.  And I know that picture doesn’t make it look too good. But it was. And it was hearty which is also good because I am still famished post-WR. That’s all that counts.

In terms of running / recovering I got a good 6 miler in.  I foam rolled the living bejeezus out of my legs last night after getting home from work (HELLO EARLY NIGHT!) and actually got to stretch as well.  And then lay in bed with a book in my hand but not reading because I was hungry (again) and didn’t want to get out from my warm covers to get something to eat.  I need a snack bag next to my bed.

The run itself was, well, cold but what else is new.  I’ve actually stopped looking at the predicted forecast because it’s just depressing. But I did check when I got back and it was 19* outside and it felt like 8*.  Needless to say I still was in shorts, as I keep resisting breaking out the winter gear because once I do that it’s really winter and I’m not cool with that. I did have on two tops, earmuffs and my snowplow gloves though. 

Jess, jokingly I think, suggested I go out for the Austin marathon in February and it’s very tempting to have another trip of getting out of here this winter.

But I digress.

Like I said the run was okay.  I’m keeping with my theme of basking in the glow and going easy. I got tired by the end but that’s sort of to be expected because today’s run was a bit overzealous! I tried to go further today because I woke up with NO SORENESS.  As soon as I tried to walk down the steps outside my quads let me know they were still there though. And all the mini downhills (I’m trying to stay on the flattest route I have) told me the same. As did the pace: slow and steady.  It was the exact same pace as the past two runs; nice because I increased my distance today.

I’m having some tightness in my right leg, right behind the kneecap (maybe my hammy? it’s the lower part of the kneecap though) that popped up during the last mile or so.  Likely from the cold but I’m going to have to stretch out all day today.

But I’m encouraged that I’m feeling on the way to recovered. So much so that I really want to think about what’s next hah! This is so weird because after my first two marathons I vowed “never again”

I also did pushups (20, 25, 15, 15, 26) and situps (30, 38, 23, 23, 40). If you noticed this is a step back from what I’ve done lately.  I decided to go back and re-do weeks 3 and 4 because, with the travel over the weekend, I didn’t get to finish week 4 and just felt like I needed an extra week of numero tres.  On Tuesday I did W3D1 and today was W3D2.

And SUAR posted this last night and I have to copy it because tears were steaming down my face while watching it.

It was 19* outside at 0800 and it felt like 8*.  Needless to say I still was in shorts as I keep resisting breaking out the winter gear because once I do that it’s really winter and I’m not cool with that. I did have on two tops, earmuffs and my snowplow gloves though.

December 1, 2010

Previously On MM….November 2010

I think when I wrote my October recap I ended the post saying “Let’s hope November is just as good, shall we?”.

Well it was. It truly was — anyone know that quote? It’s not really a memorable quote but whenever someone says that line, the scene from this movie pops into my head!

I kind of liked not breaking down the month week by week like I’ve done all year and doing a previously.  Like LOST and 24.  I consider myself as BAMF as the great men in my life 😉

And I have to only pick one LOST pic? UGHHHHHHHHH

Thanks google for both images

Anyway.  November was another great month.  While October brought about the firsts for lots of things (including baking as well as Dallas WR marathon training), November was really where the magic was made.  I put in LOTS of hard work and to go purely by the numbers, this was a colossal month.  Not as big as that crazy June I had but pretty darn big.

Since I liked the format I used last month, I’ll keep it the same.  For your sake as well as mine.

November

  • 454.1 miles
  • 61 hours 23  minutes 15 seconds
  • 8:54 average pace

Comparing 2009 to 2010

  • 2010: 454.1
  • 2009:  293.6
  • Percent Change:54.7 %

YTD (as of 30-November)

  • 2010:  3988
  • 2009: 2766
  • Percent Change: 44.2%

Races:

None here.  I was debating a Turkey Trot with my lil’ bro but opted out.  Oh well.  I’m sure that in a few days I can make it up to myself.  He did school me in an xbox dance off on Thanksgiving so I’m sure he’s over not running with me.

I did, however, get my official-in-the-mail acceptance to Boston which is hard to see past WR but it’s there. Waiting.

Not my image. Google images

Training:

Lots of good stuff here.  Last month I linked to all my quality workouts leading up for this WR cycle.  This month I’ve done 3 quality ones a week.  That’s a lot to link to.  So here are the memorable ones / highlights of what I was trying to accomplish (the links are mostly so I can go back and re-read if need be in the future):

I think the biggest thing of the training here was that it was all about learning. I’m slowly trying to wrap my head around how to train right.  That there are many types of workouts and each has their own place. That I’m a pretty decent runner if I put my head to it.  That I set expectation really high and can be disappointed because I expect so much from myself.

I think this month really is laying the foundation for how I approach running and training and RACING for the future.  It’s a bit weird to put it like that but I just feel like this month was special (or maybe it’s been there all fall and just now I’m starting to notice)

Oh man, sentimental much? Lots of other confidence building workouts in there this month but those above were the best of.  I also started the hundred pushups and two hundred situps challenges, of which I am in Week 4 of 6 on currently.  Plus some foam rolling.  Maybe I’m changing my bad-runner-habit ways?

I guess I can’t wait, then, for the first weekend in December.  I get to “run the rock

Preferably in that time too. Asking too much? 😉

Baking (ahem slash cooking):

  • Chocolate CheesecakeThe baking queen herself was impressed.  I’m not going to lie: the idea to do this (and to bring it to a Celtic’s game?!) was born after a glass or two of wine.  As all ideas are?
  • Sweet Potato Soup. I was a complete brat and emailed my mom (not even a phone call!) a week before Thanksgiving to request that she make this for me.  I did make it at the beginning of the month but still.  I am such a terrible daughter.

I actually also made Apple Cinnamon muffins but just haven’t yet shared the recipe.  Here’s a sneak peak? (because I’m sure y’all are tired of seeing pictures that I’ve already posted)

Trust me: better pics in the actual post. I'll try to get it up this weekend 🙂

Life

Despite working 40+ hours a week, running 454.1 miles this month (including marathon training runs!) I maintained a really good social life as well.  The highlights include:

  • I celebrated a birthday.
  • Had the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.
  • Drank the most tequila I’ve ever had in one night.

All in all a very good month. I mean, we did get the first snowfall at the beginning of the month but I got a tiara.  Who can argue with that?

November 24, 2010

I Cook! Again!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:14

Okay so it’s been awhile. I know.  But last weekend I decided to stray again into being domesticated.  And I’ve decided to share.  Mostly because I remembered to take pictures and partly because Thanksgiving is on Thursday and I’ve decided to bless my family with only my beautiful face.

AKA I will not have any sort of Thanksgiving dish to share with you post-Thanksgiving.  Or at least anything that I’ve created.  So goes the plan although I will lay out the disclaimer that I could get roped into something.  After all I’m typing this out on Sunday night (who knows when I’ll post it though!) and plans can change.  Fingers crossed all I have to do is show up for the meal 😉

I have no idea where this recipe is from, as I got it from a co-worker. But it’s really good.  Considering that I HATE pasta (oops I’m a runner?) I think that it means the recipe is good.

Greek Vegetable Pasta (this is vegetarian for all you veggie lovers out there)

Oops for far away picture. Close up at the end.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz bowtie pasta
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter (or margarine 😉 )
  • 1 lb zuccini and/or yellow squash (I used a mix of the two) halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices (Orrrrrrrr I just chopped up ~4 cups worth of the stuff and didn’t worry about presentation)
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can (~15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz feta cheese (roughly 1 cup) (I kept this on the side to add in as people wanted)

Directions

  • Cook pasta and drain reserving ~1/2 cup of the cooking water
  • Grate 1 tsp. zest and squeeze 2 tbs. lemon juice from the lemon, reserve separately
  • In a large nonstick skillet pan, melt butter over medium high heat
  • Add zucchini and squash, onion, garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper
  • Cook and stir occasionally until the vegetables softened (this took ~5-7 minutes)
  • Add chickpeas, capers, pasta, lemon juice and pasta water.  Cook this until heated and then remove from the heat
  • Stir in the mint and the zest
  • Sprinkle with cheese if desired
  • ENJOY

_______________________________________________________________

As far as running went today, well it didn’t. These allergies / this cold (I’m not sure which) is bothering me again. I think it’s allergies as I couldn’t sleep last night due to post-nasal drip and ONE sinus being congested.  And I have a cough that isn’t dry but I can’t seem to cough anything up.  Ah well.  I’m sure y’all really wanted to know all my sickly woes. Although when my alarm went off at 5am I (audibly I think) said “EFF THIS” and slept for a little more. Even if this isn’t a cold the few extra hours of sleep won’t be a bad thing especially after I got as close to a tempo/GMP run as ever yesterday

But my miles are going to have to come after work (if at all. I’m not too worried because it’s taper time).  It was such a lovely morning (albeit a bit windy) that I’m kind of kicking myself for not getting out there earlier.  But hopefully it’s still nice out when I get out there late.   Since it’s the day before Thanksgiving I’m hoping that I can get out of the office early to run The boss just called and said we all had to leave here at 1300.  Yippee! before seeing “A Christmas Carol” tonight which I’m really excited about.

Busy day (complete with tiara again) but fingers crossed I get a short recovery run in there!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Good luck to all in Turkey Trots and whatever else people call them.  My brother asked to run one with me and I told him “There is no way I’m getting embarrassed on Thanksgiving by my younger brother” (he’s 14).  So my game plan is to do the 13-15 mile “long run” (golly gee how 15 miles seems soooo not like a long run!) and then head over to my mom’s house for some good eats.  And, like I mentioned above, not prepared by me.

And, of course, I want to watch the Pats (duh) while catching some of the Macy’s parade and Charlie Brown.  Hey, when you live without cable (or actual television at all) then you binge at your mom’s house. Duh.

I was going to put a serious Charlie Brown picture up buttttt obviously this was cooler to me. I do ❤ Charlie though.

Check out the giveaways from Julie (Hot Legs Runner) and Lesley (Racing It Off) and Tricia (Endurance isn’t only Physical)

November 5, 2010

Icky Run but There’s Soup!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:17

Like Wednesday, the day after my tempo quality workout, today brought about not dead/sore/awful legs.  My quads and hips felt the effort of going for 20+ miles, and the last few really fast!, but moving about still feels fine today.  I guess my body is quick to adapt.

Still my recovery run was slooooooooooooooow.  I didn’t get much sleep last night as I think I picked up a bug from a friend. My stomach had been acting up during clinic last night but I just thought it  was being finicky after my long run yesterday (it tends to do that) and I figured I also hadn’t eaten enough.   I tried to eat some saltines and drink some ginger ale but I think it was too little too late.  I’m not going to say I was up all night as I’m pretty sure that I got some sleep but it wasn’t pretty.

That said, since I was awake when my alarm was supposed to go off I did get in my aforementioned recovery run. I actually got pretty far into it until my stomach started giving me problems again.  I still ended up with 10 as I don’t feel sickly or anything.

Anyway.  I’m sure I could on and on about my stomach woes but that wouldn’t be a fun read.  So I’m going to talk about a soup a friend and I made on Wednesday after a long day at work.  Not cookies? Maybe I’m becoming a real adult…scary.

Oh, because I can’t go a post without mentioning the weather: it was almost 60* at 0445 this morning! Mother Nature needs to make up her mind, one way or the other. I’d prefer the warm temps though 🙂

That said, today is a day where the temp is supposed to plummet all day so this soup might be making a repeat appearance tonight or over the weekend.

Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced thin (this equaled about 1.5 cups)
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (The recipe called for 2 lbs of potatoes so we guesstimated with the 3)
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (you can add more if you want a thinner soup)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 15.5 oz can of low sodium white beans OR cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • .5 cups chopped pecans (optional. We left this on the side for the people to put on if they wanted)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a kettle over medium high heat
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and salt & pepper to the oil and allow the mixture to cook until the vegetables are softened.  Stir frequently
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, broth, cinnamon stick, bean and water.  Cover the mixture and allow to simmer, allowing to cook until the potatoes are tender (this was about 15 minutes or so)
  4. At the same time you can toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat.  (We didn’t because we just placed them in a bowl. Laziness)
  5. Remove and throw out the cinnamon stick and puree the mixture in a blender until smooth.  Transfer to a saucepan (or a pot) and add more broth to thin.  Season with salt and pepper
  6. Ladle into bowls and ENJOY

 

From google images because I didn't have my camera or my phone on me! But this is EXACTLY what it looked it. I promise 🙂

August 21, 2010

Guest Post: Mary and Christina’s Portabella Burgers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:07

Hey all! Currently I’m trying to work on some applications and stuff (I’m going to be a brat and keep the schools I’m applying hush-hush.  It’s awesome you guys are interested but it’s a bit too personal for me to share here!).  But it’s sooooo nice in New England that I’m really just sitting out on my deck pretending to work.  Hence the blogging 🙂

But I’m not going to try and bore you with my run from Friday.  It was, duh, the standard 8.2 that I’ve been doing all week.  And it was slooooooooooooooow.  I’m totally still using the whole “I’m getting used to a new routine so my running sucks” excuse.  For real.  One of the little children (like legit 5 or 6 year old because I do have an annoying tendency to call anyone younger than me a child.  Oops.) I passed though told his mom “Wow she’s running fast”.  It was a cute kid and he won over my heart.  Too bad he’s probably in kindergarten age. If only those shirtless boys would say something similar 😉

My weekend really started on Thursday.  YAY.  I think my work schedule will let me take 3 day weekends a lot so I’m happy about that.  Even so I’m getting to taste my first real weekend on my own and in a city.  Despite going to cities to party before I’ve never lived in one.  So this is exciting.  My roomies and I didn’t go crazy last night but it was fun to walk about and explore some nightlife being “real adults”.  Or maybe I’m just the only real adult as they’re still pursuing graduate studies haha. As much as I thought I’d miss being a student (and thus be jealous of them) I think I like my arrangement right now!

Today I let myself SLEEP IN.  Aka 0821.  For most of my peers that’s waking up early but I know you guys get it.  I slept like a rock too.  For the most part.  I woke up at 0441 (isn’t it weird how we remember that stuff?) because of a really terrible dream.  But the next few hours I think I had a good dream because I woke up with another smile.  Twice in one week?! Que suerte indeed.

I’m actually about to head out for my “long run” of the week.  It’ll likely only be 10 miles (maybe 10.8 depending on how I choose to run it) but it’ll be nice to actually run some of the routes I’ve been eyeing during my weekly runs.  I guess because it’s the weekend and NOT 0500 I feel safer running through less familiar paths.  Although sending some suerte my way that I don’t get lost would be nice.  There are so many side streets that I probably won’t end up following the route I have mapped out because I will get lost.  But it’s okay because, with so many side streets, everything will lead me back.  Well that’s the theory.

Hopefully I’ll be back safe and sound so that tomorrow I can put up a post about my exploratory run 😉

But because my word count is ridiculously low for me right now (heh) here’s another guest post from Mary and Christina from Sisters Running the Kitchen.  They did a guest post on some awesome pizza while I was away in TX earlier this month and sent me another recipe to try! They’re pretty awesome so check them out.  I don’t do enough cooking on my own to feel like I can post recipes I use (because my idea of cooking is opening a bag or can!) so I’m sooooo glad they have some great ones to share 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far and is hopefully having some nice weather to boot!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mary’s boyfriend works at a Mushroom company called ToJo mushrooms out in Avondale, Pa. We both have been wanting to make Portabella burgers for quite some time now and Todd was SUPPOSED to bring them to us this weekend but Mary forgot to remind him and thus Todd forgot them! No big deal, though…we just went to the store and picked up some nice portabella caps ourselves!

We found this recipe from Rachael Ray. It received five stars and sounded delicious so we decided to give it a try for ourselves. This recipe lived up to everything we were hoping for. The portabellas really made such a wonderful and succulent juice and the roasted pepper paste and smoked mozzarella (smoked really makes a difference by the way) gave these burgers even more of a rich and delicious taste to them. We also bought good quality brioche buns from a local bakery, which we both agree made a HUGE difference. The only change we would make to this recipe for next time would be to slice the smoked mozzarella a little thinner to give the cheese a chance to melt more. And if you are a little nervous to eat a burger with a mushroom as its base or if you think you do not like mushrooms…have no fear…this recipe will not let you down!

Along with the roasted pepper paste and smoked mozzarella, we served these burgers with red onions and tomatoes. You can also try baby spinach leaves. We thought that caramelizing the onions would make this burger even better…we’ll have to give it a shot the next time we make these portabella burgers.

IMG_0242-1.jpg picture by mtponzio

Ingredients for the Portabella Burgers:

  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns of the bottle in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup (3 splashes) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (preferred brand: McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning) or 1 teaspoon combined coarse salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound fresh smoked mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 large crusty rolls, split
  • roasted red pepper paste (recipe below)

Directions

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in the bottom of a large food storage bag.
  2. Add mushroom caps, seal bag and shake bag to coat caps, then let the mushrooms marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Grill mushrooms on indoor or outdoor grill, starting with caps down, turning to caps up, 6 minutes on each side. Alternatively, you may pan-fry the mushrooms in large nonstick skillet for same amount of time.
  4. Season caps while they cook on each side with grill seasoning or a little salt and pepper. Melt the smoked cheese over mushroom caps in the last minute of grill time.
  5. To serve, place the grilled mushroom caps topped with melted cheese on the bun bottoms. Top with spinach and onion. Spread bun tops with roasted pepper paste (recipe below).

Roasted Red Pepper Paste

Ingredients for the Roasted Pepper Paste

  • 1 (14-ounce) jar roasted peppers, drained
  • A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic, cracked away from skin
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine the roasted red peppers, oil, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in food processor and pulse into thick sauce.

IMG_0203.jpg picture by mtponzio

We served the portobello burgers with Bobby Flay’s Grilled Lime and Cilantro Sweet Potatoes! This is by far our favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes…everything about this recipe is amazing…from the sweet flavor added from the lime, to the saltiness from the Kosher salt, to the fresh taste from the cilantro, to the thickness of the potatoes to the beautiful grill marks- this recipe is always a hit at the dinner table!

cimg1838-1.jpg picture by mtponzio

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • canola oil- not much just enough to brush
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until fork-tender; let cool. Make sure you do not cook the potatoes too much because then they will fall apart when you slice & grill them. Slice each potato lengthwise into eighths. Preheat a grill to medium or place a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Mix ~ 1/2 tablespoon salt, the lime zest and cayenne in a small bowl. Brush the potato wedges with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown on all sides (including the skin) and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter; immediately season with the salt mixture and sprinkle with cilantro. **Helpful tip: keep the sweet potato slices on the thicker side…this way they wont break apart on the grill!

August 6, 2010

Guest Post: Mary and Christina’s Pizza

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:00

(First check out the giveaways from Shelby and Marcia)

Hello again from afar! As I’m writing this before I go I can’t really say 100% that I’m having fun but I’m going to anyway because I know I will be:  I’M HAVING SO MUCH FUN. Vacation is something I need to do more often. Yay

Anyway I have another guest post for you.  From the lovely ladies at Sisters Running the Kitchen: Mary and Christina.  They’re such awesome cooks, chefs, runners, bloggers and just good people 🙂 So check them out.  And I’m so glad they agreed to do a post for me because, as the title of their blog suggests, they do a lot of cooking.  I keep saying I’m going to but I never do.  It’s very exciting that I get to feature them!

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Pizza night at our house is always a big hit. Instead of ordering pizza, our family likes to make our own. Ever since we can remember our parents have always enjoyed making pizza at home. More recently, we have made a few changes to the way we prepare our pizza and we are coming very close to perfecting it. When we make it at home, we make a variety of kinds to satisfy everyones taste buds. They typically include Plain, Veggie (Broccoli, Spinach, Mushrooms), Sausage, and Pepperoni. Our most recent experimentation included something a bit different this time. We created a pizza with Fig, Caramelized Onion, Ricotta and Gorgonzola with a Balsamic Reduction. This combination turned out so delicious. We found that the various layers of flavors complemented each other very well. This recipe will definitely be in the rotation for our next pizza night.

Ingredients

  • Red Onion, caramelized
  • Dried or Fresh Figs, sliced
  • Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Balsamic Reduction (directions below)
  • Pizza Dough

Directions

  • Prepare the pizza dough and shape and roll out to desired thickness.
  • Spread the Ricotta Cheese on the top of the dough.
  • Add the sliced Figs and Caramelized Onions. Click here for directions on how to caramelize onions.
  • Add a hefty drizzle of the Balsamic Reduction on top of the pizza.
  • Place pizza on preheated pizza stone on the highest temperature possible on grill or in oven.
  • About half way to three quarters of the way through cooking, add the crumbled gorgonzola cheese to top of pizza.
  • Cook until crust is browned on top and bottom of pizza.

**To make Balsamic Reduction, simply place about a 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a pot. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer on medium heat until liquid is significantly reduced and becoming thicker. Add a pinch of brown sugar. Liquid will thicken up after taken off heat and allowed to cool.

Prior to going on grill.

Do you make any unique pizza combinations or do you have any good ideas for pizza toppings?

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