Fresh Fork CSA Week Three And Tomato, Corn, Onion and Cilantro Salsa {Recipe}

Week Three of Fresh Fork was great! I’m so excited to be getting all of this fresh produce and meat each week and not have to plan meals. It’s so easy to just use what I have as opposed to making a trip to the grocery store to pick everything up. Yup, I’m drinking the Koolaid.

closeup of B's favorites - the cheese, corn chips ("crackers") and ground beef

closeup of B’s favorites – the cheese, corn chips (“crackers”) and ground beef

check it out! More strawberries, plus lettuce, RADISHES, cilantro and some more yum yums

check it out! More strawberries, plus lettuce, RADISHES, cilantro and some more yum yums

Can’t tell from the picture what we got? Week Three included:

  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 bag heirloom corn chips
  • 1 piece, 6 oz, aged sharp cheddar (called Hull’s Trace)
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 ct zucchini
  • 1 quart strawberries

So what did we make this week?

  • Corn chips: Were eaten with the sharp cheddar (B liked, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I prefer less sharp -softer?-cheese) and we also ate with the corn, onion, tomato and cilantro salsa.
  • Grassfed beef: B made some burgers on our grill over the weekend. I had turkey burgers, but had a bite of the grassfed beef and was pleased – it seemed pretty good!
  • Lettuce and radishes: used for salads and snacks. I LOVE radishes just cut up as a snack so those were gone immediately.
  • Swiss chard: I cooked it up and we had it for dinner one night with some chicken I marinated. B liked it a lot!
  • Zucchini: I roasted some to serve with the chard and chicken.
Chicken, zucchini, swiss chard and lentils

Chicken, zucchini, swiss chard and lentils

  •  Cilantro: This was a tough one because B is not a huge cilantro fan. So I put it on a few salads and added it to a few dishes that I was eating on my own. I did make a salsa to serve with our burgers and chips with some cilantro that was pretty good. That sorta/not-really-a-recipe is below.

tomato corn onion cilantro salsa

Tomato, Corn, Onion and Cilantro Salsa

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 ish Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp lemon or lime juice  (I bet lime would be great! I used lemon. Because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 15 oz can of corn (or if you want you can grill up some corn on the cob and use about 2 cobs worth of corn!)
  •  As much cilantro as your heart desires (if you’re like B, the answer is none. If you’re like me, it’s more like 2 bunches…only sorta kidding)

Here’s  what you do:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice and minced garlic.
  2. Finely chop onion and tomatoes. Taste the onion – if it’s too spicy (B thinks that red onions can be too spicy at times) soak it in ice water for a little while.
  3. Combine chopped onion, tomatoes, and corn. Mix with dressing.
  4. Add cilantro to taste.
  5.  You’re done – enjoy! It’s a nice refreshing salad that we served with our grilled burgers and corn chips.

Optional: Chop up 1-2 avocados and add those as well.

tomato corn onion cilantro salsa

For other Fresh Fork Recaps:

Wordless Wednesday – Infographic: 10 Rad Jobs of the Future

About a year ago I saw an article called 10 Job Disappearing from America. It was kind of a sad article, and I felt a little bad as I read about all the positions – copper workers, leather workers, sewing machine operators, postal service employees (poor Cliff Clavin:() and so on. That’s why when I saw this infographic this week, I had to share. Much more upbeat – take a look at all the jobs of the future. SO exciting! (and slightly silly. Memory Manipulator? hehe)

Scenes from a Fabulous Weekend in the CLE

Another fabulous weekend in Cleveland has come and gone. We ate. We drank. We sat outside. We grilled. And it was awesome. I am so in love with summers in the CLE that it’s not funny. I hope you all enjoyed your weekends!

We had drinks and dinner on the patio on East Fourth (I love this street at night)

We had drinks and dinner on the patio on East Fourth (I love this street at night)

We went to the West Side Market Saturday morning for a little grocery shopping to supplement the week’s Fresh Fork Finds.

B cooked us dinner on the patio. I will be eating turkey burgers for a few more days this week. Thanks again to my friend Debbie for the patio-safe grill 🙂 (Please don’t judge me by the plants on my patio … this includes you, Debbie)

B cooked us dinner on the patio. I will be eating turkey burgers for a few more days this week.

We relaxed on our private patio. I love Bud Light Lime in the summer!

We relaxed on our private patio. I love Bud Light Lime in the summer!

We finally broke open the Mangria. I highly recommend you serve it on ice.

We finally broke open the mangria.

B and I went for a run. Yes he went for a run with me looking like this. Bless his soul – it was hot out and I was wearing waaay too much pink. I need to get some new sneakers (I’m at 400+miles anyway) if I want to continue wearing these amazing ProCompression socks that I won from this awesome blogger’s giveaway.

B and I went for a run. Yes he went for a run with me looking like this. Bless his soul - it was hot out and I was wearing waaay too much pink.

And we pulled out the slip and slide at B’s parents house. I did not use it … but the kids had fun!

How was your weekend? Some thoughts to ponder:

  • What’s your favorite summer weekend activity? I just love being outside!  Whether it’s at the beach, on my porch or on a patio somewhere, summer is all about soaking in the Vitamin D!
  • Does your drinking preference change during the summer? Sometimes. I love any lime flavored beer in the summer – Miller Chill, Bud Light Lime, Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus – you name it. In the winter I tend to stick to a glass of red wine.
  • Do you have any ridiculous running outfits? See above. You decide. Just be happy I was wearing my white hat as opposed to my pink headband! 

Fresh Fork CSA Week Two And Kohlrabi Slaw {Recipe}

B and I picked up our third week of our Fresh Fork Market CSA goodies last night and have already started to enjoy some of the new goodies. But you’ll have to wait to hear about that – because this post is to share with you what we did with week two.  (Week one, plus my roast chicken recipe is here)

fresh fork week 2

Stuff at the Fresh Fork pick up (Week 2)

So, what did we get last week? Week Two included:

  • 1 package pork chops
  • 1 bulb kohlrabi (yes, it’s a thing that you eat, not an alien like it sounds or looks like as I will prove to you below despite what B thinks)
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1.5 lb. bag organic rolled oats
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 quart strawberries

Let me show you:

Fresh Fork Week 2

So what did we make this week?

  • Strawberries – we just ate those. B actually ate them exactly a week after we picked them up – he likes strawberries when they get a little overdone and start to taste like they have champagne or something in them. It’s gross. Don’t get me wrong – the idea of strawberries soaked in champagne is awesome (and I know it’s been done) but the idea of strawberries a little overripe? Ick. But that means I can eat them when they’re fresh, B can eat the ones I don’t finish when they’re ripe. We make a good team like that.
  • Spinach – I sauteed it as soon as I got it and ate it for breakfast the next morning with my usual eggs and lentils for breakfast.
  • Collard greens – I made B some oven “fried” chicken, with collard greens and mashed white beans for dinner one night. I sauteed them with some leftover chicken stock from last week’s chicken, plus some oil and garlic. Not too bad!

oven fried chicken white beans collard greens

fresh fork pork, mustard greens and garlic scapes

  • Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi slaw! Yup. Kohlrabi slaw. The newest best refreshing unique side dish to bring to your summer bbq. Or just to lunch. See below.
This is a picture of Kohlrabi from Wikipedia. The entry "alien" also directs there. (kidding)

This is a picture of Kohlrabi from Wikipedia. The entry “alien” also directs there. (kidding)

Kohlrabi – the alien vegetable. What do you do with it? How do you cook it? How do you know it’s not an alien? B doesn’t think it looks like an alien but take a look at the side by side comparison I’ve shared with you, below.

You tell me. Kohlrabi? Or alien?

You tell me. Kohlrabi? Or alien?

Apparently it is a vegetable (B is always right but don’t tell him I said that) and you can roast it (which I did … it was delish!) or make a slaw (which I also did, that B liked). The slaw was super easy and required practically no ingredients, so I’m sharing it with you!

So here’s a recipe for you to enjoy the next time you find yourself with this funny little alien vegetable.

easy kohlrabi slaw  {i crashed the web}

Easy Kohlrabi Slaw

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 4 carrots
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and mustard.
  2. Peel kohlrabi and carrots. I used a carrot peeler for the carrots but a knife for the kohlrabi to make sure I removed the entire outer hard shell.
  3. Grate the kohlrabi and the carrots into the salad bowl. Mix well until the carrot and kohlrabi are well coated with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. You’re done – enjoy! It’s a nice refreshing slaw that goes well with burgers, chicken, or even on its own!
kohlrabi carrot slaw

kohlrabi carrot slaw

Baking with Sofia: Confetti m&m Sugar Cookies

As you may remember, B and I recently babysat our niece and nephew. They spent the night at our downtown apartment and were in awe of everything downtown – from the trolley to the lake – which made for a fun sleepover.

What else made for a fun sleepover? I had a baking buddy! That’s right, Sofia and I baked cookies together. She was an awesome helper – helping sort through m&ms  (to find the non-crushed ones for me), helping pour sugar, and also even helping to shape the dough! Oliver tried to help – but he ended up just eating lots of m&ms. Oh well, there’s still time for him to learn!

We ended up making some fun colored m&m sugar cookies. Sofia and I decided that with the crushed up AND full candies they looked like confetti  – and confetti m&m sugar cookies were born! Here you go. I highly recommend you bake them with your favorite niece/nephew or baking buddy!

confetti m&m sugar cookies | I Crashed The Web

Confetti m&m Sugar Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • ½ c butter
  • ½ c shortening
  • ½ c  granulated sugar
  • ½ c powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 ½ c m&ms (1 c crushed, ½ c whole)
  • ½ c white chocolate chips
  • ½ c any of your other favorite candy (crushed, optional)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets or spray with a nonstick spray like butter flavored Pam!
  2. Take about 1 c. of M&Ms and crush them. I tried using my blender but that didn’t work so I put them in a bag and smashed them with a meat mallet. Very good way to beat the stress! Set aside the ½ c remaining M&Ms and keep whole.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar together in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter, shortening, white sugar and confectioners’ sugar together until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
  6.  Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and blend.
  7.  Add in crushed m&ms, whole m&ms, white chocolate chips and your other favorite candy. I know, it’s hard to choose just one. I crushed a few Butterfinger bars (this time in the blender) for my other candy.
  8. Shape dough into rounded tablespoon-sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  9.  Bake at 375 degrees F  for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, then enjoy!
Posing before pouring the sugar for the cookies

Posing before pouring the sugar for the cookies

Sofia pours the sugar

Sofia pours the sugar

carefully shaping the dough into balls

carefully shaping the dough into balls

"Aunt Melissa, is this right? Can you do the rest?"

“Aunt Melissa, is this right? Can you do the rest?”

confetti m&m sugar cookies | I Crashed The Web

All done! Ready to enjoy some cookies.

Celebrating Dad in the CLE

It was a beautiful weekend in Cleveland. Sunny skies (most of the time), warm but not too warm weather, AND my dad even came to visit – that’s right my dad (and mom) drove 16 hours to see me for Father’s Day weekend!

Some of the weekend’s highlights:

Me and my dad - check out his new shirt! (Father's Day gift)

Me and my dad – check out his new shirt! (Father’s Day gift)

We started with a sushi dinner.


Followed by some delicious dessert (my dad and I shared that ice cream) at The Chocolate Bar.

parents visit ice cream

Saturday we took a walk and checked out the new Cleveland Convention Center.

Dad getting an autograph from former pitcher Doug Jones

Dad getting an autograph from former pitcher Doug Jones

My dad got to try out the Indian’s pitching booth. He hasn’t lost his touch – he got three strikes! (Check out the video here:

3 strikes

Then we went to the Rolling Stones exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Yes, you can now take photos at the Rock Hall!

Yes, you can now take photos at the Rock Hall!

Allman brothers exhibit

Allman Brothers – appropriate Father’s Day post (I was named after my dad’s fave song – Sweet Melissa)

And after an early dinner of burgers and beer (my dad’s request), saw the Indians game.

Yes, i got these New Yorkers to wear Cleveland shirts!

Yes, I got these New Yorkers to wear Cleveland shirts!

mom and me at game

After the rain! (I believe after this was taken, my mom said “Are you going to put this picture on your blog?”)

They may have lost, but we caught “one of the best fireworks shows” according to my mom.

beautiful sky at indians game


And then Sunday morning before they got back on the road, FaceTimed with my brother. Then I got in a great workout and enjoyed some Chipotle for lunch.

Barbacoa bol B and I shared

Barbacoa bol B and I shared

And then I cooked B (NOT a dad, just to clarify) some oven fried chicken, mashed white beans and collard greens (from our CSA).

Found a use for our CSA (Fresh Fork) collard greens!

Found a use for our CSA (Fresh Fork) collard greens!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

obligatory dad/daughter wedding photo. Love it :)

obligatory dad/daughter wedding photo. Love it 🙂

A Recipe Remake – Crock Pot (Slow Cooker) Jambalaya!

It’s been a while since I last made my crock pot jambalaya, one of the most popular recipes on this blog for some reason. Last time it was good – but it wasn’t perfect. The shrimp wasn’t cooked right, and it was too soup-like for me. Well, this time, it was perfect! Seriously. I loved this recipe, as did B. So maybe it’s not real jambalaya like you’d get down south, but I’ve never been south so I’ll settle for this recipe. I served it over lentils for a quick, easy and healthy dinner (one heaping bowl is 300ish calories with nearly 40 g of protein!). Enjoy!

slow cooker - crock pot - jambalaya ~ I crashed the web

Healthyish Crock Pot Jambalaya

Serving: 3 heaping bowls – about 6 cups (but I didn’t really measure)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 package of smoked chicken sausage, sliced (I used the whole package of Bilinski Cajun Andouille Sausage (5 links in the package)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 c. chicken broth (I use a low-sodium version)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp cayenne powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ lb. pre-cooked shrimp

Here’s what you do:

  1. In your crockpot, combine the chicken sausage, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped garlic, chopped vegetables (pepper, celery and onion), and broth. Add seasonings – oregano, parsley, onion powder, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, basil and cayenne pepper. Do NOT add the shrimp yet!
  2. Cover, and cook in your slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Add the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  3. Enjoy! I served mine with some lentils  – but feel free to serve over rice if that’s your thing.
slow cooker - crock pot - jambalaya ~ I crashed the web

Put everything but the shrimp in the crock pot .. and wait!

serve over rice ... or lentils if you're like me!

serve over rice … or lentils if you’re like me!

S’mores Cookie Bars!

S’mores always make me think of summer and the movie The Sandlot. Remember that awesome movie? And the great scene where Smalls is introduced to s’mores?

I’ll recite it for you in case you’re unfamiliar. “You’re killing me, Smalls! These are s’mores stuff. Now pay attention. First you take the graham. You put the chocolate on the graham. Then, you roast the mallow. When the mallow’s flaming, you stick it on the chocolate. Then you cover it with the other end. Then, you scarf. Kind of messy, but good!”

Anyway, I digress. But with the official start of summer is just around the corner and a coworker’s birthday just this past weekend, to celebrate, I decided to make some S’mores cookies. I combined the three ingredients – the graham, the “mallow” and the chocolate to make a cookie bar reminiscent of this camp out favorite. Now you can bring a cookie version of s’mores to your next potluck!

smore bookie bars

Here’s what you need:

For the Graham Cookie Crust:

  • 15 graham crackers, made into graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick  butter, melted
  • ¼ c granulated sugar

For the Blondies:

  • 1 ¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 ½  cups butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4.4 oz Hershey candy bars (the big size!), broken up into chunks
  • ½ c mini chocolate chips
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows (1 c to sprinkle on top, the other to add in batter)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor.  Combine with sugar and melted butter and press into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
  3. Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and butter.  Add in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and gently stir in one of the Hershey candy bars (broken into chunks), mini chocolate chips and 1 c. mini marshmallows.
  6. Carefully add the batter to the top of the graham cracker crust. I found it easiest to add big chunks in the corner of the pan and then carefully push the batter down with my hands so it is even. Be gentle – you don’t want to pull the crust apart.
  7. Press remaining candy bar on top of the bars. Sprinkle remaining marshmallows on top of the bars.
  8. Bake for 28 – 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least two hours before cutting into them. Or if you get antsy, once a little cool you can put in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
  9. Enjoy!
s'more bondies

Doesn’t that look good? Mixing up my blondie batter with some Hershey bars and marshmallow

s'more cookie bars

ready to go in the oven

s'more cookie bars

halfway there

s'more cookie bars

done! fresh out of the oven

smore cookie bars


smores blondies cookie bars

try not to eat them all at once 🙂

First Week of our First CSA and my First Roast Chicken

As you can tell by the title of this post, it was a week of firsts! This week B and I picked up our first CSA pickup. I’m excited that we finally signed up for the small share of Fresh Fork and the pick up is just down the street from where we live. It really is perfect!

The first week included some strawberries, red kale, broccoli, black turtle beans, lettuce, eggs and a whole 5+ lb chicken. That’s right, I got a 5+ lb organic pasture-raised chicken to use!

fresh fork csa

our first week’s CSA goodies

what we've done so far with our 1st week of Fresh Fork

what we’ve done so far with our 1st week of Fresh Fork (ignore the shadow of my hand taking the photo)

We have of course been eating the lettuce for salads, eggs for breakfast, strawberries for snacking and I immediately made the beans to enjoy as part of nearly every meal. The chicken? I had to call / email my mom for her thought – and she suggested I roast it. I figured she was right – she IS my mom, and roasting a chicken is one of the easiest things you can do – plus I’d never done it before!

How did it go? It ended up tasting delicious and we’re halfway through the leftovers. But it wasn’t as easy as it looked. Sure, seasoning it and cooking it? A piece of cake. But cleaning it out? Finding the so-called giblets (pronounced with a soft G, not like I was saying – glib-lets)? I still have no idea if I found them. I had to call my mom and ask her what they looked like and how to take them out. I even took a picture of the inside of the chicken just to share with her so she could tell me where  I may find them and how to get them out. Here’s how our conversation kinda went.

Me: I just sent you a picture.

My mom: Of what?

Me: The chicken.

Mom: Is it done?

Me: No, I can’t find the gliblets.

Mom: Giblets? They’re in a bag.

Me: No, this chicken doesn’t have a bag inside it. It’s a REAL chicken. No bags. It’s natural.

Mom: Oh I just got the picture. Eeew! That’s gross. I’m deleting it.

Me: No! Wait! Where are they?

Mom: I see them! See that white thing? Just down the back past them!

Me: Where? I don’t see them!

Mom: Eew, clean it out better, some parts are still red.

Me:  Again? I just want to find the giblets!

Mom: They’re right there!

Me: They should have them come painted green or something so you know to take them out. And can find them.

Mom: Then it’s not natural if it’s painted?

That’s pretty much it. Word for word. I know now you’re probably wondering what recipe I used to roast the chicken, right? Because your mouth is watering after hearing that whole conversation? Well, here you go. It’s below. It’s a combination of  my mom and Ina Garten’s recipe – and it’s delicious!

my first roasted chicken
My First Roasted Chicken

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 5-6 lb whole chicken, ready to be roasted
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tbs parsley
  • 4 tbs thyme
  • 2 tbs (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 3 tbs paprika, mixed with water so it’s turned into a paste
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 stalks of celery, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 c of chicken broth

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken’s neck and giblets. I’m told that if you buy a roasting chicken at the store it will come in a baggy or something … if not, call your mom for help.
  • Thoroughly rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat the outside VERY dry.
  • Liberally add salt and pepper and 2 tbs (approx) of thyme the inside of the chicken. Stuff the chicken with the garlic and lemon quarters.
  • Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and the paprika paste. Sprinkle again with salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and remaining 2 tbs (approx) of thyme.
  • This is where Ina and my mom suggest that you tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. I didn’t have kitchen string and since I’ve seen Bridget Jones Diary I know better than to use any old string. So I didn’t — and it turned out alright!
  • Place the onions, carrots, and celery in a roasting pan. Pour chicken broth over vegetables. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Put it back/but side down and belly side up!
  • Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh, or the thickest part of the leg/thigh is 160ish degrees with a meat thermometer. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.
  • Slice the chicken and serve it with the vegetables.
Ready to go in the oven ..  sorta! I texted the photo to my mom and she called to tell me it was upside down. Whoops! And that it should "go on its back not its belly" which is what Ina's recipe should've said in the first place

Ready to go in the oven .. sorta! I texted the photo to my mom and she called to tell me it was upside down. Whoops! And that it should “go on its back not its belly” which is what Ina’s recipe should’ve said in the first place

almost done!

almost done!

Happy National Running Day!

Warning – this is a blog post about running. If you prefer to read my blog when I only post about food or fun stuff like that (hi mom!), please stop reading. For those that are interested … Happy National Running Day! In honor of the holiday – you get TWO blog posts from me today! (One about Buffalo chicken dip, and one about running) Because really – this is a holiday that I can celebrate. When I heard that there was going to be a lunchtime run downtown to celebrate, I wasn’t sure if I could make it. But I still wanted to get in on the festivities – and make my own – so my coworker Cari (who just moved downtown!) and I decided to finally go for a run together – before work – to celebrate! I ran a little over a mile route to get to her house, then we did 3 together and then I ran the little over a mile home. My Nike+ (yes I’m back on that bandwagon) said I did about 5.4, which keeps me right target for my weekly goal. AND considering last year at this time I was stuck in an aircast / walking boot and couldn’t celebrate at all I’m SO GRATEFUL that I could run this morning.

We were going to run around Browns Stadium but they were filming Captain America and I guess they didn't want any extras running in the background.

We were going to run around Browns Stadium but they were filming Captain America and I guess they didn’t want any extras running in the background.

There were balloons, streamers, noisemakers, party hats, and even fireworks to celebrate. Kidding!!! But wouldn’t that be awesome just the same? Instead we saw:

  • Security guards and the Captain America filming set
  • A man sitting on the side of the road who was missing some teeth. He told us to run fast and keep running far far away from Cleveland. Which was interesting.
  • Some guy run toward a moving car, which stopped and opened the door. As he was running, he dropped his shoe. Another runner picked up the shoe and ran after the guy – who ignored him the whole time. The runner finally dropped the shoe next to the car and left. WEIRD!
This was supposed to be an image of Cari at the beginning of our run - but who wants a pre-run 630 am photo of them online?

This was supposed to be an image of Cari at the beginning of our run – but who wants a pre-run 630 am photo of them online? So instead you get a photo of my current sneakers.

To celebrate, I’m sharing with you 5 things I LOVE about running:

  1. Stress Relief! It clears my head and makes me feel a little less stressed out, etc. in this crazy world.
  2. It’s a social, yet independent, sport. You can run with friends (like I did this morning) or run by yourself. You can run with or without music. You can join a running group or just lace up alone on the treadmill. It’s really what you make of it. I’ve sorta played group sports before (crew in high school and softball when I was a wee little girl) and as much as those are fun, it’s nice to not have anyone else reallllly relying on you. Most times – you are your own team. Can you tell I’m not a super competitive person?
  3. It feels good! Yes, there are bad runs and runs where you don’t PR and don’t want to keep going – but for every bad run you have you will have 5 amazing runs. Yup – it’s math, trust me.
  4. It’s good FOR me. I know the pounding of the pavement can take its toll – and it has before (remember those stress fractures?) – but running is a form of exercise and if I weren’t addicted to running I probably wouldn’t exercise!
  5. I can run anywhere. Running doesn’t require any special equipment – really, you just need some sneakers and running clothes and you’re ready to go. Yes, a running headband, GPS watch, and so on are nice – but what other sports do you really not need any equipment or anyone else? I’ve gotten so much better about just bringing my sneakers and one set of running clothes with me when I travel – and find that even if I’m not somewhere with a gym, I can almost ALWAYS find somewhere to run.
seen on tumblr

seen on tumblr

So HAPPY NATIONAL RUNNING DAY! Hope it’s a fabulous one. Hope you get in an awesome run and eat lots of cookies to celebrate (Because what’s the point of a run without a cookie afterword?)

Some questions for you:

  • Did you run today? Plan to run? Did you join in a group run to celebrate?
  • Why do you like running?
  • What’s your favorite type of cookie? hard to decide … but i really do like white chocolate macadamia cookies!
  • Favorite post-run snack? most of the time it’s breakfast – egg whites, lentils and green beans.