Category Archives: Recipes

Pool problems

Swimming. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but…okay, I don’t really enjoy it.

Especially at my gym’s pool, which seems to disproportionately attract weirdos in snorkel masks and floating band-aids and such.

But: today I swam, and…

…my goggles didn’t leak.

…I didn’t have to share a lane.

…my cap kept my hair dry. (Mostly.)

…there were no creepers lurking underwater.

…I didn’t brush up against any disgusting floating things.

It was almost fun. 

My shins are still stabby so I’ve been laying off running this week. I’ve been hitting the weight room, but felt like I could use a little cardio. So I hopped in the pool for 37 minutes and covered 1500 yards. Not exactly setting any speed records, but it was nice to get my heart rate up and stretch out my chest and shoulders, which were sore from lifting.

And so I’ll say to myself: Hey, that wasn’t so bad, you should get in the habit of swimming as cross-training on a regular basis!

But then I won’t until I’m hurt again.

Oh well.

On another note, I had the awesomest salad for lunch today.

I eat some sort of salad for lunch most days, but I never blog about it because that’s boring. Usually it’s leftover whatever-meat with some cheese and nuts and fruit. Today’s combination, however, was worthy of the internets.

I guess that is still just leftover meat and cheese and nuts and fruit, but this ribeye-chèvre-walnut-pear combo was delicious.

I seared the pears in the same pan I’d used to reheat the steak, which made them extra soft and sweet and delicious. And this dressing from Stonewall Kitchen is amazing:

…especially for a dressing that has no sugar.

Anyway. So I went swimming and didn’t totally hate it, and I ate a great salad.

Not a bad Wednesday.

But I’m hoping to be back to running tomorrow.

Home…for now

Monday was a long day, but I can’t complain too much. Everything went smoothly and the cats and I rolled out of Raleigh at 4 PM. After six hours of practicing the art of calculated lawbreaking (read: driving exactly 9.9 MPH over the speed limit), we arrived in Atlanta.

I guess I haven’t really explained our living situation here. As you may recall, my husband moved down in January and took up in a small furnished apartment. The hope was that by the time I joined him in March, we’d have the keys to our permanent digs and move right in.

Well, that didn’t happen. We’re currently in the process of buying a home (exciting!) but that’s a long process. So here we are in the little apartment for a few more weeks, and our stuff is in storage (in a Pod) until we’re ready for it.

Not complaining, though! It’s so nice to have our “family” all together again, even if we’re still in transit.

The cats are adjusting extremely well! They were really good through the whole moving ordeal. They didn’t destroy anything when I locked them in the bathroom for four hours when the movers were there. They didn’t howl or claw or pee or poop during their six-plus hours in the car. They didn’t freak out when unloaded in the new place.

Naturally, I take full credit for this, as if I raised them up so well or something. I guess we’re just lucky to have such easygoing and adaptable cats!

Fearless as ever, Emmy walked confidently out of her carrier and proceeded to inspect every horizontal surface of the apartment within her jumping range. And Parker, usually more cautious, only spent about five minutes under the bed before he was out and about with her.

Within an hour of our arrival, it was business as usual: everyone had eaten dinner and both cats were curled up on the couch with us. So proud, I tell ya.

(One thing that made the pet move less of a hassle: Amazon. A week ago, I ordered a new litter box, litter, a case of food, a new scratcher, a couple of toys and a Feliway diffuser to be delivered to the new apartment. Shipping was free. It was so much easier to have all of that stuff ready to go, rather than having to dig it out of the packed car or make a trip to the pet store.)

Anyway. I’m so glad that the move is over (this stage of it, anyway) and I’m looking forward to getting settled in a new job (soon, I hope!) and routine here. Starting with: NO MORE TAKEOUT.

I’ve pretty much been living on pizza, fast food, take out, and other garbage for the last week. I can’t even look at a Chick-Fil-A waffle fry right now…and for me, that’s saying a lot.

Making a real dinner was the highlight of my day yesterday. This is my favorite quick and easy way to prepare salmon: sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice, smother with dijon mustard, pat down with brown sugar, and bake in a foil-lined pan at 400* for 10-15 minutes.

And finally, last week’s running recap:

It’s not the 60-70 miles I should be running to get in marathon shape, but with packing and moving physically taxing my body, I feel like it was the best I could do last week.

24 days until Gansett. Yikes…

That hot pink looks good on me

Today’s post brought to you in list format, because I’m kind of all over the place tonight. Lazy blogging. It happens sometimes. Oh well…at least it’s not a list of things I’m LOVING right now, right?

1) I found a decent MSPAINT-like app for my new Mac! It’s called InstaPaint and it cost four bucks. What a deal.

All the same features, but with more colors! Look at that hot pink! Also, there’s a little bomb icon, which I was pretty excited about, but it was kind of a letdown: instead of doing something fun, it just reverts the entire canvas to blank white. Racist bomb.

2) I ran thirteen miles today. In two sessions. And it didn’t even feel like that much. I know this is probably common sense – or rather, common arithmetic – but doing doubles is really the only way I can keep my mileage up in the 60+/week range. A four and a nine is far less daunting than a single thirteen.

3) With increased mileage, I’m trying so very hard to be good about keeping up my paltry core work and stretching routine. But it’s difficult when I have to fight for space on my own yoga mat.

 Get your own mat, cat.

4) My finger was on the “Order” button today, ready to summon a cheese pizza and garlic breadsticks to my apartment. But then I resisted, and thought of all of the food in the pantry, and of the fact that, generally speaking, I probably should eat less cheese.

So instead of eating cheese-laden goodness made by Hungry Howie’s Pizza, I ate cheese-laden goodness made by me.

Mac and Cheese Balls, a la Megan. Although of course I didn’t have time for any of the chilling/ball forming business, so I just plopped them into my mini muffin tin. Quick, easy, and delightfully cheesy.

(That eating less cheese thing starts, um, tomorrow…)

5) Tonight’s beer was excellent.

SweetWater is the major craft brewery in my soon-to-be-hometown, so I’m sure I’ll have no shortage of opportunities to drink their beers in the near future. But this 15 Years of Heady Beers is a one-shot deal, and I didn’t want to risk missing it by waiting until the Atlanta move, so I snagged one when I saw it.

An American Strong Ale, this boozy beer poured a dark copper color with, appropriately, a big fluffy head. The first sip reminded me a little of zucchini bread: sweet and doughy, chewy and satisfying. Lots of fruit in this beer – ripe peaches and plums, a bit of banana – but it’s well balanced by that yeasty bread flavor, and a touch of hops as well. Very enjoyable and easy to drink, especially considering its 10% ABV.

Bottom line: Great beer, definitely worth trying! (Purchased at Bottle Revolution, $8/22oz)

6) Time for bed. I have a wild weekend ahead of me, so I’m trying to bank some sleep hours. Good night!

Mini muffin meatballs

I’m at that point in the moving process (ugh) where it’s dawned on me that my freezer contains a whole lot of food.  Food that will, if unconsumed, land with an unceremonious thunk in the bottom of a bag on moving day and be frantically ferried to the trash chute.

Of course, I don’t like wasting food. So I’m making it my mission to piece together as many meals as possible from this collection of random frozen crap.

Tonight, I took a turkey burger patty and made some teensy meatballs in my mini muffin pan. Surprisingly, they were delicious, and something I’d make again, even if I weren’t in freezer-clearing mode.

Basically, I just mashed together the thawed turkey patty, an egg, a small squirt of ketchup, a handful of shredded parm and about half a cup of panko, seasoned with garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper. I lined a few cups of my mini muffin pan with foil and brushed them with canola oil, then baked at 375* for 18 minutes, until the tops formed a light golden crust. They were perfect.

Atop some whole wheat penne with (jarred Costco) marinara sauce, it was a satisfying meal. I was a little worried that a whole egg would be too much for just one serving of meatballs, but it gave them this extra fluffy texture that was actually very good.

Now if only I can some up with something this easy and tasty to do with the rest of the freezer. Anyone want to come over for waffles and green beans with brisket and lobster stock?

(Don’t answer that, please.)

This week’s running mileage came out right about where I hoped it would:

That “not-long” long run this morning was a little bit of a struggle. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to tackle Umstead’s Turkey Creek bridle trail on my “easy” day. Turkey Creek is chock full of hills from hell; I have never had a good run on Turkey Creek. Yet somehow, I forget and think it won’t be that bad. Wrong…it is that bad. I slowed to a near walk on a few climbs and overall felt exhausted and frustrated. Oh well.

Tomorrow’s an easy day…Tuesday, too…nothing tough on tap until speedwork on Wednesday. I hope a couple of recovery days will revive my tired legs.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Almost perfect Pad Thai

Ask me about the best thing I’ve eaten abroad, and I’ll tell you: it’s Pad Thai from a street cart at a night market in Bangkok. And I’m not even trying to be trendy with the whole food truck thing. This was ten-plus years ago.

The noodles were fresh. The flavors were simple yet amazing: briny shrimp and tart tamarind, lightly sweetened and caramelized together to make a brown sauce so delectable you wanted to lick every last egg bit from your plate. (But you restrained, because you were eating at a table full of locals and you didn’t want to give scrubby American backpackers a bad name.) The whole thing was served piping hot, cooled down with a squeeze of lime wedge so that it wouldn’t scorch your tongue.

Good Pad Thai isn’t easy to re-create at home. It’s the fresh-noodle factor. And the heat factor. (Well, maybe your kitchen has a big-ass open-flame burner large enough to accommodate an enormous wok, but I have a crappy electric range.)

But it’s one of my favorite foods, so I try.

I’ve been tweaking this recipe, derived from a booklet I received as a souvenir for taking a tourist cooking class in Chiang Mai, on and off for a few years now, and I think I’m finally getting there.

To make good Pad Thai, you have to use a very hot pan: this prevents the noodles from getting overcooked and sticky. And when using a very hot pan, things happen quickly. When making a dish like this, I always measure and lay out each and every ingredient before I put anything in the pan. Even little things like spices and water.

More dishes, less stress.

So you get your pan piping hot and then add all of the above things in succession, while stirring constantly. My favorite part is the egg; I like to make a little cradle in the middle of the pan and scramble it there, in it’s own little space, before mixing it in with the noodles.

So, anyway. Try it and let me know how it goes for you?

Until then, I’ll keep tweaking….

Almost Perfect Pad Thai [Adapted from the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School cookbook]

Serves 4.

1/2 lb dry flat rice noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp jarred crushed garlic (or 2-3 fresh cloves, minced)
1/2 block extra firm tofu, pressed and cut in to 1/2″ cubes
1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/2 C warm tap water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3-4 scallions, sliced
1/4 C dry roasted peanuts, chopped
2 limes, cut in to wedges
1 C mung bean sprouts

Sauce:
1/4 C fish sauce
1/4 C brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)

  • Soak noodles in warm water for 20-25 min, or prepare according to package directions for stir-fry.
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large high-sided pan or wok.
  • Whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • When pan is just smoking hot, add tofu and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
  • Add shrimp and stir until just barely opaque, about 45 seconds.
  • Add noodles and water and cook, stirring frequently, until water has absorbed, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add sauce and cook until absorbed, about 1 minute.
  • Push noodles and shrimp to the edges of the pan, creating a “cradle” in the center. Add egg and scramble. When egg is nearly cooked through, add half of scallions and combine with noodles. Toss thoroughly to distribute.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and top with bean sprouts and peanuts. Garnish with lime wedges. Serve immediately.

I had some Chardonnay with dinner:

This 14 Hands 2010 Chardonnay was a nice wine. Definitely on the fruitier side, but well-balanced by a hefty dose of vanilla and a very smooth apple-pie-like flavor.

Bottom line: A good value white, in my book! (Purchased at Harris Teeter, $12)

And that brings me to last week’s running recap:

I’m reasonably satisfied with my long-slow-distance (LSD) run and pretty happy that I got a track workout in, but I wish the overall mileage number were higher. I should be in the 50s. Perhaps I could have pushed today’s post-work run a bit to get there, but it just didn’t seem like it was worth it. My legs were tired from a long day at work, and really, I need to be logging that mileage in earlier in the week, not cramming it on on Sunday night on the heels of a long run.

I know I need to start doing doubles again, a couple of times a week, if I want to get my weekly number back up in to the fifties and sixties and beyond.

Let’s call that a goal for this coming week, eh?

The Frog

So I had my first marathon-related dream of this training cycle last night.

It was an out and back course. I felt great through the half. But the turnaround featured an hulk-sized toad, who was harassing the runners and even picking some of them off.

I just…have no idea. But it was a very real-feeling dream, and I remember finishing and hanging out for the awards ceremony which not only highlighted the overall and age-group winners but offered a Hunger Games-style tribute to those who had fallen to “The Toad.”

At least it’s better than the stale old “I’m trying to run but my legs won’t move!” or the standard “All of a sudden I had no idea where the course went!” race nightmares.

And I think the underlying fear is pretty clear: that something out of my control will eff with my game on race day. You know, like the weather. Or the flu. Or a hungry amphibian the size of a house.

Anyway. It was kind of an entertaining dream.  On to more important things…like foooooood.

It’s just the two of us for Thanksgiving this year, so I’m planning a very laid-back mini-feast. (No need for Critical Path Cooking this year…although I’m definitely going to try to get some prep done when I get home from work tonight.) Instead of ordering a full turkey, I went for a 5-lb bone-in breast. Never cooked one of those before, so no idea how it will turn out, but it seemed easier than dealing with a whole bird and having leftovers until Valentine’s Day.

Thanksgiving for Two Menu (which means I’m halving most of these recipes):

To start:

Sweet Potato Soup [via Food Network] with Roasted Marshmallows, Pistachios and Fried Sage. I made this last year and loved it. And since I’m not including any potatoes in the main course, it fits in perfectly!

Main course:

Bone-in, skin-on turkey breast roasted with butter and herbs

Drippings gravy (hopefully the leaner breast meat still gives off some good juice)

Cornbread Dressing with Pancetta, Mushrooms and Apples [via Food Network] Another favorite from last year, although I modified the original recipe quite a bit! So glad I have last year’s blog post to look back and see what I did….

Tart Cranberry-Onion Relish [via Epicurious]

Roasted French green beans with browned butter

Dessert:

Whatever looks good in the pastry case + vanilla ice cream. I don’t have time to deal with pie or tart making this year!

Drinks:

Hot spiked cider [Based upon my best recollection of my friend Meg’s awesome recipe, which has been a staple at many holiday gatherings of days past!]

Wine (of course!) TBD – I still need to get to the wine shop!

Happy almost-Thanksgiving! Happy traveling (if you’re on the road). Happy running (if you’re Turkey Trotting…we’ll be getting our 8K on before all of the eating and drinking begins!) And of course, happy eating!

Do not touch

I have the hardest time leaving my food alone while it’s cooking. Maybe it’s from watching too much Iron Chef.

For some reason, when I put something in a hot pan, I feel the urge to wave the pan around: a circular flourish, flames kissing the bottom of the skillet as I toss its beautifully-browned contents (exotic secret ingredients!) into the air and then effortlessly catch them again.

But of course, I’m no Iron Chef. And there are no flames leaping from my electric stove. And I don’t cook with exotic secret ingredients. And lord knows I cannot catch.

It’s kind of funny how the urge to stir and toss strikes when it’s exactly the opposite that’s needed. Tonight, as I hovered over a pan of cubed tofu, I had to constantly remind myself: Do not touch. Do not move that food. No spatula. No touch, no touch, no touchy touch touch.

The reward was well worth a little patience: perfectly browned cubes that had no problem standing up to a hearty curry sauce.

Recipe: Curry Noodles with Tofu [Adapted from a Food & Wine recipe for Vegetarian Red Curry Noodles, which I would argue is not actually vegetarian because it contains fish sauce…not that I really care, but DERP, F&W, get it right!]

Using pre-crushed garlic, ginger and lemongrass, this dish came together very quickly and was bursting with flavor: more like a spicy stir-fry than a traditional soupy curry.

A crisp white always goes well with spicy food:

This Cottesbrook 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was a good match. Tropical flavors dominated – pineapple, grapefruit, guava – which played nicely with my coconut-based dinner. Very much on the sweeter side of the scale, with a little hint of earthy gravel, and really none of the spicy green pepper that you often get from an SB.

Bottom line: If you don’t mind a sweeter/fruit-forward wine, then get it! (Purchased at Total Wine, $10)

Weather weirdness: today, it was eighty-something degrees. Tomorrow, it will be forty-something degrees.

HEY WEATHER, KNOCK IT OFF.  I don’t need to get sick two weeks before my marathon….

Big miles

Well. October got it done.

Running is always an individual thing, I know. I’m sure for some people, 232 miles in a month is peanuts, but for me, it’s a lot!

I think having a December marathon on the agenda lit a little fire under my ass last month. No more impromptu lazy days. No more skipping workouts in favor of pajama pants and TV. No more drinking one too many beers and feeling like crap the next day and using that as an excuse to lay around and eat potato chips. (Oh, the sacrifices.)

Anyway. For all I know, Kara Goucher’s toddler is running circles around me, mileage-wise, but I feel pretty good about last month. It was a solid month.

351 miles to go until 2011 in 2011!

Tonight’s dinner was completely fashioned out of things already laying around in my refrigerator and it happened to be delicious:

Baked double-dipped chicken fingers. Dipped in buttermilk and rolled in crushed Ritz crackers and shredded Parm. Twice.

The result was a delightfully thick breading that readily soaked up the honey mustard sauce I whisked together for dipping. I realize that this chicken is basically a low-rent version of Shake ‘n Bake, but that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s just food.

I selected a brew from my home state to go with dinner:

This Gale Force IPA, from Scuttlebutt Brewing Company in Everett, WAwas ever so slightly…soapy. And, um…soapy is generally not a quality that I look for in a beer.

Seriously though…I thought I was going crazy until I looked the thing up online and saw that I wasn’t the only one who got a little hint of Irish Spring in this bottle. It didn’t ruin the beer entirely for me, as there were some other more pleasant sensations rolling around in there too: good carbonation, a little tart granny smith apple, just a hint of pine… and OH HEY a really cool label featuring a tarty mermaid….

But overall I have to give this one a pass. Whether or not I need to wash my mouth out with soap is a legitimate point of debate, but I don’t need my beer to do it for me.

Bottom line: Skip it. (Purchased at Total Wine, $1.75/12 oz)

Well, it’s past my bedtime, so I’m out. At least Scuttlebutt took care of mouth cleansing for me tonight; I don’t even need to brush my teeth!

Good night!

Does that make this a toddler blog?

Today, it occurred to me that this blog is now in its third year. Actually, its official birthday was Sunday.

Two years old. Wow. Um…I guess it’s time to potty train? 

One of the best things about having a blog is that your inane thoughts are recorded on the internet forever. So I can look back two years ago today and see that I penned a detailed description of my cat…for my, like, three readers. (Good lord, those old posts are embarrassing.)

A year ago was a little better. I was still pretty fresh off of the Chicago Marathon Shitshow 2010 and was trying to do mile repeats and was frustrated that my legs were still all manky. (Also, I made something that looks delicious with shrimp and wonton wrappers.)

I guess some things never change. A year later I’m still complaining about my workouts and going out too fast in races.

As illustrated by the lovely photographs from last Saturday’s American Tobacco Trail Ten Miler.

That first girl in all black? That’s my friend Erin, who won the race and finished approximately fifteen minutes before me. She is probably running an appropriate pace here. The second girl in black is me. Going out way too fast.

And about an hour later, we have a picture of pain.

It’s entirely possible that the guy behind me was actually walking. I’m a dumbass.

(And thank you, Carolina Snapshot, for taking these and I’m sorry for stealing them. Truly. When, one of these days, I have a race that I actually want to remember in all of its glory, I promise I’ll fork over for the rights.)

Anyway. Since it was MY BLOG BIRTHDAY (ish) and all, I decided to make some cupcakes.

Oh okay…no, I didn’t. I had planned to make cupcakes anyway. I’ve been helping to coach a walk-to-run program for the last few weeks and tonight was their last practice of the session. They have improved so much and I am ridiculously proud of them. So naturally, we celebrated with a giant potluck of junk food.

Potlucks are always such a funny thing. Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I tend to be a bit of a competitive person, but…you’ve gotta bring your A game to a potluck. Because who wants to be the dish that no one eats? No, you wanna be the dish that everyone is whispering about: Who brought these? They’re delicious!

It worked, because these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Brown Butter Buttercream (via Food Network) were a big hit.

Somehow I came across these while poking around on the ‘nets and I figured that they had to be good  if it had the word “butter” twice in the recipe title.

I pretty much love anything made with brown butter. The cake part came out well (light and airy; well-spiced but not cloying) but it was definitely the buttercream that was the star here. Although very sweet, it added a slightly savory element to the cupcakes that was unusual and fun.

Also, can I just say that the cheapo pastry bag + tips set that I picked up at Target a few weeks ago has been a fantastic investment? Frosting is so much more fun when it’s all pretty and swirly.

And cupcakes are more fun when consumed with beer.

I also picked up a sixpack of Magic Hat’s winter seasonal – Howl Black (as Night) Lager – to bring to the feast. A new one to me.

And, yes, I realize that it is not winter. In fact, it was 75* here today. But you know what? If I am going to deal with hearing CHRISTMAS MUSIC on the radio (seriously!) in October, then I surely am going to enjoy the benefits of my favorite beer season a couple of months early, too.

Anyway. I’ll admit that I know next to nothing about the so-called “Schwarzbier” genre. Beer Advocate says this:

Schwarzbier (“shvahrts-beer”), is simply German for black beer. It doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily heavy or light in body, although they tend to lean towards light. Unlike other dark beers, like porters or stouts, they are not overly bitter with burnt and roasted malt characteristics that the others tend to depend on. Instead, hops are used for a good portion of the bitterness. Very refreshing and soul lifting beers, they also make a great alternative for the Winter. Especially when you are looking for a lighter beer, but one with depth of colour and taste.

I don’t know about “soul lifting,” but I enjoyed this beer. It poured a dark, but slightly translucent, mahogany.  Flavor-wise, it brought many of the elements that I enjoy in stouts and porters (coffee, chocolate, a kint of smoke) but, like, toned down a little. There were some light but noticeable hops, too, and a pleasant thirst-quenching quality that the heavier winter beers tend to lack.  Overall, a fun and easy beer to drink. 4.6% ABV.

Bottom line: I’d definitely buy it again. Although the BA folks seem to think that there are better representations of this style out there, and I’m excited to try those, too. (Purchased at Fresh Market, $9/six)

So if you’re one of the six people that have been with eating, drinking and running with me since the beginning (hi, mom…and dad…) let’s raise a glass and celebrate two full years of these shenanigans. And, I hope, many more to come.

Fauxreos

I love homemade food.  But there are some processed, mass-produced foods that will always be better than their artisan counterparts. (I’m looking at you, yellow-bag Lay’s potato chips.)

My husband claims that Oreo Cookies are one such food. I respectfully disagree.

Because everyone knows that Oreos are all about the filling. Those hard, dry, brown things on either side of it? They are just delivery vehicles for the good stuff. How, I ask, can this cookie be so perfect if two-thirds of it is essentially edible packaging?

But make your Oreos – er, Fauxreos – at home, and you can have a wafer that actually adds something to the cookie experience, rather than simply becoming soggy in your milk and covering your fingers in a fine brown dust.

Recipe: Fauxreos [adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Homemade Oreos]

This recipe is super simple. The wafers come together in one bowl and bake in just a few minutes. And the filling is three ingredients (and potentially a little food coloring to make them festive, as in the attempted nod to Halloween seen above).

I actually made these Fauxeros twice. The first time, I made my cookies way too big and they looked more like whoopie pies. Delicious, but a little challenging, as I had planned to send them to my Blogger Sweet Swap partner, Jenny over at Love Eat Run. I feared that the large cookies wouldn’t ship well.

So I brought them to work (where they were enthusiastically devoured) and tried again, tweaking the recipe a little to make them true-to-Oreo size. Because they needed to be small enough in diameter to fit in a glass of milk, of course.

Much better.

I was sad to see them go, but I got a pretty great batch of cookies in return! Jenny sent me Late Night Snack Cookies, embedded with chocolate and pretzels and popcorn:

I’m a sucker for anything salty, so popcorn inside cookies is pretty brilliant as far as I’m concerned. Thanks, Jenny! And thanks to Amy and Jess for setting this whole swapper thing up.

And on an unrelated note, before I forget, here is last week’s running log. Because I know you’re all dying to know.

In spite of my lackluster performance at Saturday’s race, it wasn’t a bad week. I had a good track session and the race served as a good workout too – the first 10K of it, anyway. I did exactly what I’d planned to do in terms of mileage, cutting back a little before turning it up again this week and tackling another 20+ miler.

1,589 for the year. 422 to go!