Saturday, April 30, 2011

The hay is in the barn

Today is my last long run (11 miles) in prep for the Cap City Marathon. It's somewhat bittersweet as I love training for races more than the actual race.

Weird I know but it's like the week before Christmas or before your flowers are blooming. You see the future and can look forward to it. Anticipation is sometimes better than the actual.

Brandon is still feeling sick and has a pulled neck muscle so I am going running by myself. I haven't been on a long run of more than seven miles by myself this training round since we were running together. Brandon really pushes me and makes me more focused (really :) ).

Does any training right now really count?

Tapering helps a runner lessen their training so the can be fresh for race day. The old saying is "the hay is in the barn." Your past hard training is what you are going to pull from and anymore hard core training will only break down your muscles and fatigue you.

Hab. 3:19

I confirmed my bib number and registration.

Team NameRegistered For    Bib #   Corral 

Shmidt, Erin

NA Half Marathon      2885     C

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fresh Southwest Pasta Salad

Fresh Southwest Pasta Salad
I love to make this for a quick and easy lunch. Or to take to a potluck. You can make it a day ahead as well, just add a little more olive oil. And it has black beans, which are one of the best beans for you. At six grams per servings, beans are an awesome dose of fiber and help keep you full longer. Pipe Rigate pasta is large elbow macaroni that is pinched off at one end. It works really well for this cold salad because the little veggies and cheese get inside the pasta. 

I had to whisk the dressing for a little while to get the chili powder to dissolve. 

My favorite part is how the corn and beans get inside the pasta. Brandon's favorite part is the cheese. 

Fresh Southwest Pasta Salad

Pasta dressing
1 lime, juiced
2/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup of olive oil 
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin
4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped,

Salad ingredients
5 cups cooked pipe rigate pasta (found at Whole Foods)
1 2/3 cup, sharp sheddar, 1/2 inch cubes
1 can black beans,  no salt added, rinsed, drained. 
1 carrot, diced small or shredded
I cup frozen corn, organic -- makes all the difference. so good.
3 tablespoons of fresh cilantro on top after done
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup green onions, cut in half, diced
you could also add asparagus

In a large bowl add oils together. Whisk in lime juice and chili powder, salt, cumin, and cilantro. Taste to see if it's to salty or needs more spice. Keep dressing in bottom of bowl. 

Add to bowl pasta, cheese, rinsed black beans, carrots, corn, cilantro, tomatoes and green onions. 

Toss and season if it needs more salt or oil. The pasta salad will soak up all of the dressing so if there is lots just leave it. After an hour it should soak up lots more. If you have a pasta salad too dry, add more olive oil. 

Happy farmer's market weekend!

This weekend marks the start of the outdoor farmers market in Clintonville. Dublin's will start the first Wed. in May and Olde Worthington Summer Farmers Market begins May 7.  New Albany and Easton will also feature farmers markets.

I don't always get a chance to get to the markets, but it's nice to know the growing season has returned.

Things you might find this weekend

Spring onions

Have a happy shopping time. Here's more information at Columbus Underground.

Favorite yogurt

Liberte yogurt is so good. I love to add granola  to it and fruit. This stuff is so good, it's creamy and full fat so it will keep with you full for a long time. Whole Foods has it in their yogurt aisle. 

I kid, I kid

But really, I love this post from Peas and Thank You about her Easter holiday. Love. Did you visit our house on Easter or what?

Rain, Rain go away.

The sunrise was really pretty on Tuesday. I took this running in our neighborhood.

Brandon gelling it up before work. 

I really like getting my miles in before breakfast. Easy three mile run around our neighborhood. 

Sophia sitting with me before Brandon left for work. 

The girls and I visiting our park. 

The girls were outside with me while I stretched watching birds in the front. 

I wonder where she got the idea for this?

Ava doing some digging. 

Sophia loving the puddles. I don't have a picture but she proceeded to bend down and lick the water. MMM--a great way to get in much needed minerals. 

This might be totally off target, but I love our trash guys, or sanitation administrators, if that's the more pc term. If we can't get the trash out before 7 am, they will come around again and get it for you if you put it out. How nice is that? Is that usual?

The weather in Cbus has been straight up windy and rainy. It's about 50 today with a chilly wind. Last night Brandon and I were afraid we would get a midnight tornado because the winds were so fierce. There is sunshine today, however, which makes me really happy. 
And feeling like getting my cleaning on.
Sophia and Ava digging in the sandbox.

Soph was looking at an ant. 

The pear tree is flowering. Ava asked if it had snow on it. 

These are my great-grandmother's irises that I replanted from my mom's garden. The cool thing is that they come up every year around Mother's Day. 

My dad built this bird feeder for us when we moved here. I love the suet packs on each side and going with the girls to Wild Birds to see Walter the cat. Walter isn't always interested in seeing the girls though. 

Ava asked for pigtails today. She said she had to do something with her hair. 

Easter fun

My sweet neighbor called us up to invite us to her Easter egg hunt, baskets included! What a great time. 

Ava counting her haul. 

Really, she had fun. Can't you tell? Sophia was fun to watch because she took twice as long to pick up eggs as Ava. I kept on having to hurry her up. 

Landyn, Bryant, Ava and Sophia after their egg hunting. 

Ava with her Tangled coloring book. I simply love the no-mess coloring books. My furniture is safe from Sophia's little hands. 

The girls after finding their Easter baskets on Easter morning. They love to ask for a candy-filled egg each day. Brandon and I stuffed them the night before with Brandon stuffing them as full as he could. 

Serious model face Ava. 

Easter parade. 

Brandon after church getting ready to go to Aunt Rita's house for our ham feast. What a cutie....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Get your bikes ready!

May 7 is the Market to Market bike ride. Click here for more information!

Supporting local foods, local merchants, Ohio purveyors and Ohio farmers is the mission at the heart of two Columbus markets, North Market and The Hills Market. The markets aligned to create the Market to Market ride in October of 2009 and have since sent more than 1,000 cyclists peddling up and down the Olentangy River Greenway. On Saturday, May 7th they will host the fourth Market to Market ride. With the coming of Spring, the markets are using the May ride to celebrate the start of the biking season and “being green in Columbus.”

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. For me, this day always has a somberness to it. I wanted the girls to realize the importance of this day. 

And although they are young, they had fun coloring Easter pictures and hanging them up in their art show. They loved the art show and the butterflies around the cross was a concept they got.  

Taping up the pictures to the window was a big hit. What's up with kids and tape? They love to unroll my tape. 

We also decorated Easter eggs. Usually, I blank out on this and forget until late Saturday night. I tried to get the ball rolling and do it before the absolute last minute. I was really puzzled about dying brown eggs, but they turned out really pretty. Our favorites were the robin blue and the red eggs. Soph's fav was drinking the water. 

Isaiah 53:5
I love the two crosses here. 

Ava dying eggs. 

Sophia busy trying to get a spoonful of water to drink. 

Kind've in love with the chalkboard paint. I have to admit. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Boiling the perfect egg

I talked to my sister Becca yesterday. Becca and I share a common love of Chef Boyardee Pizza (mmm) and buffalo wings. Usually her calls are asking how to make buffalo wings.

But we talked eggs. And the perfect way to hard boil an egg.

I know there are lots of schools of though on this topic. In fact, it's almost as sacred as saying pop in the North and Coke in the South, so I won't say one way is better than another. I will say that the below method usually works really well.

Here is Martha's recipe

Despite its name, a boiled egg shouldn't be boiled (which will yield rubbery results) but rather immediately removed from the heat once the cooking water comes to a boil. Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Fill pan with cold water, covering eggs by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand 90 seconds to 2 minutes for soft-boiled eggs, 1 minute 45 seconds to 2 minutes 15 seconds for medium-boiled, and 11 to 12 minutes for hard-boiled. Once the hard-boiled egg is cooked, transfer it to a bowl of ice water (this will prevent discoloration and facilitate peeling); let stand 2 minutes, then crack by gently pressing egg against a hard surface. Peel under cold, running water.

Read more at Boiled Egg 101 - Martha Stewart Recipes 

Add 1 inch of water above eggs. Brown eggs will take color and the shells are a little harder, nice for little 2, 4 year olds. 

Bring to a boil and then cover and remove from heat. 

I waited about 11 minutes for the eggs. 

Add eggs to ice water. 

Have your kids try on weird hats while waiting. 

Add more ice if the water turns warm and let sit for two minutes. I  let them sit a little longer. No cracks though! 

And Hounds in the Kitchen had a great post on dying eggs with natural dyes if you are in the crafty mood.

Happy Easter!!