16 January 2011

5k Results

Photo credit: Melissa Hennrick

Remember when I said I had registered for a 5k? Well I ran it. It was back in October. I was hoping to finish it 35 minutes, but I managed 35:25, so I was happy with that. I'm not really a runner, so I was just proud to finish without walking. It was fun that the run took place the day before Halloween, because lots of people wore costumes. Taking part in the Tulsa Run really was an amazing experience, especially at the starting line. Hundreds (thousands?) of runners of all ages and abilities were lined up. When the gun went off the masses started moving, but it was more than a minute before I ever crossed the starting line. I started out about mid-pack and it was so neat when we'd be approaching a hill and I could see the hundreds of people running in front of me, knowing that there were just as many behind me. I was very proud to be a part of it; it was inspiring. One of the biggest highlights for me was the mariachi band playing on the corner at mile 1.

After the run, we went to a satellite viewing location for the Daily Show's Rally to Restore Sanity. It was a small crowd, but it was nice to be among some like-minded folks.

15 January 2011

Fall Fun

We are deep into Winter now, so it seems like as good of a time a time as any to do a recap of the Fall. Let's call it "reflection" not "laking in punctuality." The Fall in Oklahoma is lovely. It makes one forget that the summer weather was pretty miserable.

Here are some of the treasures we found while walking the pup in the park. The walk was cut short when Oliver decided to jump/fall/? (the jury's still out) into a creek. It was not quite warm enough to keep walking around with him being all wet.

Many of our Fall activities took place in the kitchen (as they should!) Below is a tasty ricotta skillet bread that the mister baked. The recipe called for fennel, but after the first loaf we realized that the only thing we disliked about it was the fennel. The next couple of times we made it we used rosemary instead. It was delicious and very moist!

I made a beet risotto that was BEAUTIFUL! The color was just amazing, and it was delicious to boot!

This is a yummy Spanish tortilla.

My mom had given us some pumpkins that she had grown. The two bigger ones became jack o'lanterns, two small ones became pies, and the rest were canned and have yet to become tasty treats. I made a pumpkin pie from a Paula Deen recipe. Honestly, Paula Deen scares me a little, but this recipe was amazing. It calls for cream cheese which gives the pie a special taste. It's somewhere between a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin cheese cake. The changes I made to the recipe were using fresh pumpkin and making my own crust.

Using fresh pumpkin can seem pretty intimidating at first, but it is SO EASY. All I did was:

1. Cut the pumpkin in half
2. Remove the stem, seeds, and pulp (I saved the seeds and roasted them later)
3. Place the two halves in a covered microwave-safe casserole dish
4. Add an inch or so of water and microwave for about 10 min
5. If pulp seems soft is easily spooned out, the pumpkin is ready, if not microwave a little longer
6. Scoop pumpkin away from skin with a ice cream scoop or spoon and use as directed by recipe

That's all! It's pretty simple, and a great way to impress your friends by saying you made the pie from a "real pumpkin."

When I was studying abroad in Switzerland I discovered Gl├╝hwein. It was served in all of the cafes, pubs, outdoor markets, and parades during the late Fall and Winter months. It's such a warm and comforting drink, like the winter version of a summer sangria. The best part is how it makes the house smell so festive.

My mother decided that Oliver needed a Halloween costume. He actually really liked it. He wore this collar around for days. There was a witch hat to go with it, but he wasn't really a fan.

The mister and Oliver show off our homegrown jack o'lanterns.

Look at our house; isn't it festive? Don't worry, that's not a ghost, it's just the mister.

I think that just about wraps up our Fall fun. Stay tuned to see the excitement of our winter.