Cross Country Season Update

September 22, 2012 § 13 Comments

Hello everyone!  It’s been a while…

School, blah blah blah, 3 hours of homework a night, blah blah blah, cross country practice everyday after school, blah blah blah, friends, blah blah blah, chores, blah blah blah, cross country meets, blah blah blah, going away for Philip’s baseball tournaments on the weekends, blah blah blah.

I guess I’ve been kind of busy.  So busy that, aside from a cookie failure on Thursday, I haven’t had time to bake/cook in weeks.  WEEKS!

Don’t worry, though, this post isn’t going to be about how OMG BUSY I’ve been.  It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about running on here, so today I’m going to talk about the best sport ever…Cross Country! :-D

So far this season we’ve only had two meets and one pasta party and, in all honesty, I’m really proud of my performances in each of them.  Especially the pasta party!

Seriously though.

Meet #1:

The first race was at a park five minutes away from my house, so I was pretty familiar with the course.  However, since it was the first meet of the season, I was extremely nervous.  Prior to this, the last 5K I ran was in August and almost 4 whole minutes more than my PR, so I wasn’t too confident in my ability to run anywhere close to what I was running at the end of last season.  My goal for this meet was to get under 26:30.

Once the gun went off, I felt all of my nervousness go away and took off sprinting.  The first mile of the race was mainly on the road so, while I was feeling good, it felt like it took forever.  By the second mile, I caught up to a couple of girls I usually run with at practice and stuck with them.  Throughout the race, I felt good so, since there were no times given at the mile markers, I automatically assumed I was going too easy so I sped up and broke away from the group I had been pacing with during the last stretch before the finish.  I sprinted across the finish line and was surprised to learn the next day at school that my time was 25:09!  I was ecstatic and, while I didn’t PR, I couldn’t believe that I managed to start this season in a better place than I started last season.  It was awesome!

Meet #2:

My second meet was only four days after my first meet so my spirits were still high and I was ready to run.  [Well, aside from my usual pre-meet nit-picking.  I'm sore!  It's too early to run a race!  I'm tired!  My throat hurts!]  This race, unlike my first race, was a Catholic invitational so there were a lot more schools present.  I love big races, so that was good news for me.

In the beginning of this race I had a bit of catching up to do because I wasn’t really paying attention when the gun was shot, but I managed to stay strong and pass people the entire duration of the race.  I felt good and the race flew by! The course itself was three 1.1 mile loops meaning that the entire race was 3.3 miles total yet, somehow, I actually managed to finish in 25:06 and get a medal because I finished in the top 40!  But wait, there’s more!  My entire JV team ran so well that we actually placed third overall and got another medal!

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All-in-all, I’d say Cross Country season is off to an excellent start!  I hope you enjoyed reading this update as much as I enjoyed writing it!  For all of you foodies, expect a new recipe post up soon!

Until I get around to publishing the next running update, feel free to follow me on DailyMile for my almost-daily running musings.

Have a great weekend and happy Fall! :-D

Summer Tomato Galette

August 8, 2012 § 14 Comments

Ahhhhhh…sweet, sweet Summertime.  I cannot believe it’s already August!

One of my favorite things about Summer has always been the bounty of fresh fruit, berries, and veggies that it brings.  My family even has a little backyard garden where we grow zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and fresh herbs.  We’ve had the garden for years and, normally, by this time we would have so many tomatoes that we wouldn’t know what to do with all of them!  Normally.

This year our garden has been everything but normal.  Due to problems with rabbits eating flowers off of our zucchini plants and squirrels eating tomatoes off of our tomato plant, our garden harvest has reached a record low.   :-?

All I can say, is, thank goodness for Farmer’s Markets!  On this past week’s trip to the Farmer’s Market we stocked up on cherry tomatoes.  And, when I say stocked up, I mean we got several pounds of  tomatoes.  What can I say?  We really like tomatoes!

Immediately, upon bringing the tomatoes home, I knew I had to make something based off of the flavors in this pie.  I had made the pie last Summer and the entire family loved it.

This year I chose to make a galette for several reasons.

  • I love galettes.
  • They’re virtually fail-proof.  (Although the pie I made last year tasted delicious, it was a mess to look at and my attempt at homemade pie crust was an epic fail.)
  • And, in the words of my dad, a galette has “less dough” which really allows the flavors of the tomatoes, bacon, and sharp cheddar to come through.

Summer Tomato Galette

Inspired by Michael Kiss’ Tomato Pie; crust adapted from Perry’s Plate

Flaky galette crust filled with fresh tomatoes, smoky bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese.  What’s not to like?”

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 5 tablespoons butter, cold
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten and divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour.)
  • 3 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons mayo (I used reduced-fat.)
  • 1 ¼ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Grate butter into a medium bowl with a coarse cheese grater.  Place grated butter in the freezer until ready to use.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the water and half of the beaten egg.  Add the flour and cheese to the bowl with the butter and, with your fingers, massage the butter into the flour until the butter is well combined.  Stir in egg mixture and knead until well combined.
  4. Flour your prep surface and roll out the galette dough until it resembles a circle, approximately 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  5. Spread mayo onto the circle of galette dough, leaving approximately 1-inch border around the edges.  Top with tomatoes and onions and fold the excess dough over. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano.  Brush dough with leftover beaten egg.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.  Add prepared bacon, cheddar cheese, and chives.  Bake 8-10 additional minutes and serve.  Best served warm and enjoyed the day it was prepared.

Yield:  4-6 appetizer or snack-sized servings

Phil and I each demolished half of this galette for lunch yesterday.  C’mon, when an 11-almost-12-year old boy enjoys a galette, you know it has to be good!

Mini Mushroom Feta Toasts

July 9, 2012 § 11 Comments

Not much blogging or baking was going on in my house this past week.

I know, I know.  I’m a bad blogger, but what can I say?  It was the best week of my Summer so far!

I went bike-riding through the park with my Dad and Phil, I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant, I went to the beach and managed to even out my running tan lines, (Speaking of running, I had the best week of running I’ve had in a while!) I went to a pool party, I saw the Avengers, I shopped ’til I dropped (almost), got an amazing deal on shorts, and got my report card and found out I didn’t do as badly on my Algebra II final as I thought.  Somehow I managed an 87%!

The. Entire. Week. Was. Fabulous! :-D

But wait, the fabulousness doesn’t stop there!  This week is also off to a great start thanks to a little treat inspired by my blog friend, Kaila’s, What I Ate Wednesday post from a few months ago.  The treat was Mushroom Feta Toast and, right when I saw it, I knew I just had to make it.  I mean, it took me a few months, but its better late than never, right?  Plus, the delicious taste was totally worth the wait.  It was the perfect mid-day snack and even Phil enjoyed it!  :-)

Mini Mushroom Feta Toasts

Inspired by /adapted from Kaila’s Mushroom Feta Toast

Ingredients:

  • ½ a loaf of French baguette or Italian stick bread (I used multigrain, but regular is also good!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (10 ounce) container portabella mushrooms, washed and diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1-2 medium leaves fresh basil, minced (or about ½ a teaspoon dried)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • extra basil leaves, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Using a sharp serrated knife or an electric knife, cut the baguette into ½-inch thick slices.  Place slices in a toaster or in a preheated oven and toast for 2-3 minutes, or until bread is golden and slightly crispy; set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil and mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are tender, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Drain excess liquid from skillet.
  3. Combine sautéed mushrooms, feta, and minced basil in a medium bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper, and mix well.
  4. Top each mini toast with a spoonful or two of the mushroom feta mixture.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes at 450 degrees Fahreneheit or serve as is.  Garnish with a basil leaf before serving.

Yield:  6-8 appetizer-sized portions  (depending on the number of slices of bread and your appetite)

And here’s to the start of another great week complete with LOTS of delicious eats! :-D

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