Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes

Do you like scary movies? I don’t really. I don’t like being scared. Sometimes after watching the TV series Sherlock I have to go on Instagram or watch Gossip Girl just so I can sleep without nightmares. Yup. I’m a baby. Which is why when we invited our friends Dave and Anson over for a scary movie night to celebrate the upcoming Halloween holiday, I was less than excited. Excited for the pizza from Crust we’d be eating? Yes. Excited for a scary movie? Not really. But I knew I’d suck it up and enjoy it – same as last year when I barely made it through Paranormal Activity. And if I didn’t? Well, at least I’d enjoy the baked goods!

I love peanut butter and chocolate. Especially during Halloween – who doesn’t like a good Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? (Ok, I know a few people who don’t) Which is why when I saw this recipe for White Chocolate Candy Corn Buckeyes, I knew I had to make some Halloween themed Buckeyes. Aren’t they cute? And if you haven’t guessed from my previous recipe (Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars), candy corn and peanut butter actually go well together. Who would’ve thought?

Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes - i crashed the web

Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes (an update to my traditional Buckeye recipe)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tspvanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup candy corn, about 3/4 of it chopped up
  • 1-12 oz. bag chocolate candy coating wafers (I use the Wilton Candy Melts)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix well (I use my KitchenAid) until it forms a stiff dough. Add in chopped candy corn.
  3. Shape dough into balls, about one inch or 2 tsp wide.
  4. Place on baking sheet and place peanut butter dough balls in refrigerator for 1 hour, or freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Melt chocolate coating wafers according to package directions. I usually nuke in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Stir occasionally until smooth.
  6. Time to coat the Buckeyes! Remove peanut butter balls from freezer. Insert a toothpick into a ball, and dip into the melted chocolate. Return to wax paper or aluminum foil chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. For eyeball-themed buckeye, add a Candy Corn M&M on the exposed peanut butter area. For the plain candy corn buckeyes, coat entire peanut butter ball and immediately after removing from chocolate add a whole candy corn to top of ball while chocolate dries. Repeat with remaining balls.
  7. Refrigerate Buckeyes for 30 min to 1 hour to set.
Spooky Eyeball Halloween Candy Corn Buckeyes - i crashed the web

Top with M&Ms to make spooky eyeballs

Or just top with candy corn and enjoy!

Or just top with candy corn and enjoy!

A few questions for you:

  • Do you like scary movies? Not really. But I really do enjoy reading the Wikipedia pages to get a snapshot of the plot for them!
  • What’s your favorite scary movie? Saw. It scares the heck out of me but is SO interesting! The rest of the Saws don’t seem as good. I haven’t actually seen them – but reading their Wikipedia plot brings me to that conclusion. I also like Scream. That counts right? I went through a phase in high school where I was obsessed with the names Sydney and Tatum for girls.
  • What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

How can you not like this?!

After watching that I need to go flip through Instagram again. Spooky!

Weekend Update: Boston Bachelorette

This weekend was a desperately needed girls and family weekend. From a girls night with my sisters-in-law to a quick stop in Albany to see my parents to a trip to Boston for one of my best friend’s bachelorette parties … it was nonstop but amazing.

It started early for me when last week my sister-in-law Katie was home for the week so Jenni, Mary, Katie and I decided to meet up for a drink after work. We tried out a place I hadn’t been to – the Fairmount – whose cozy tables and fireplace were the perfect setting as it started snowing (yes, snowing!) on the east side at night.

Spiced Cider

Spiced Cider

The next day I was off to spend the weekend in my old stomping grounds- Boston! I was luck enough to fit in a quick stop in Albany to see my parents and enjoy Albany Restaurant Week with them … and of course a photoshoot with my dog … before driving out to Boston with Melgar’s matron of honor.

My dog really is too cute. Isn’t she? Sometimes she blinks when her photos are taken, too!

Isn't she adorable?

Isn’t she adorable?

Dinner with my parents included TWO desserts. So lucky to have parents that enjoy food and desserts as much as I do!

dessert #2 at dinner - berry rhubarb pie!

Dessert #1 at dinner – berry rhubarb pie!

Dessert #1 at dinner - tiramisu

Dessert #2 at dinner – tiramisu

A little about Melgar and me. Melgar and I met during Junior High Locker Day – the day before the first day of school when all new 7th graders come in, try out their lockers, walk through their schedules, etc. We share the same first name, and her step-dad noticed it and introduced us. The rest is history! We were friends from junior high to high school and even through college, both going to (different) schools in Boston. Though we live quite far apart right now (she just moved all the way to California!) we’re still in touch through visits (I just saw her on my West Coast Trip), occasional Google Hangouts, phone calls and more. Melgar is actually my first good friend to get married and the first wedding that I’m in (besides my own). Thus this was actually my first bachelorette party (besides my own) and I was super excited to see her, my other best friend Jane (also from junior high) and go out in my old city of Boston.

Me, Melgar and Jane back in the day

Me, Melgar and Jane back in the day

The weekend included:

A few runs – including one in our hotel in Boston (yes, I was that girl who woke up early before the festivities to run … at least Fresh Prince of Bel Air was on!). Both were on treadmills which is SO not like me – could my love-hate treadmill relationship be on the love end right now?

Both of these runs were done on a treadmill ... not sure what's gotten into me!

Both of these runs were done on a treadmill … not sure what’s gotten into me!

Takeout from one of my old favorite eateries – Brown Sugar Thai:

Brown Sugar!

Brown Sugar!

Brunch downtown at Masa. Their fiesta brunch is pretty awesome and included Huevos Rancheros ON TOP OF A QUESADILLA.

Huevos Rancheros at Masa

Huevos Rancheros at Masa

Jenny, me and Allie

Jenny, me and Allie

Walking around Boston with the ladies and tea at the Four Seasons. Oh, and getting to hang out with some of Boston’s finest 🙂

boston public garden

Boston Public Garden

Busted! Melgar in a cop car.

Busted! Melgar in a cop car.

Oh and of course getting dressed up and going out and dancing our hearts away at one of our old college bars.

Jane and me, ready to go out!

Jane and me, ready to go out!

Sunday it was back to Albany for a great home-cooked meal (my parents know me too well – quinoa, salmon, broccoli, salad and leftover homemade pizza was on the menu) before flying back to CLE Monday morning.

salmon, quinoa salad, pizza, broccoli, salad

salmon, quinoa salad, pizza, broccoli, salad

It was a lovely weekend and I hope Melgar had a great time and felt all the love that can only be felt when surrounded by your favorite girl friends. I cannot wait to celebrate again with her when she gets married in just a few months!

The gorgeous bride-to-be

The gorgeous bride-to-be

Some questions for you:

  1. Do you still keep in touch with your old college friends? High school? Junior high? Yes there are a few lovely ladies that I keep in touch with and see every so often!
  2. Have you been to a bachelorette party? Been in a wedding? What’s the best part? TBD – these are all firsts for me!
  3. Ever been to Boston? Favorite part of the city? Least favorite? I lived there for 4ish years and loved it! I love how walkable everything is. And how manageable the T is. I also love the history! My least favorite part of the city is definitely their sports teams. Growing up in NY i pretty much hate the Red Sox, Patriots, etc. 

Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars

Got a sweet tooth? Love candy corn? Or do you just really like Halloween? Then these cookies are for you! They’re festive and perfect for this time of year. Even my husband, who typically is not a candy corn fan (and who has a “meat tooth, not a sweet tooth”), enjoyed these. Well he was able to eat one and enjoy it!

A note on the name. It’s just descriptive. Someone told me they’re also called Hello Dolly bars? Call them what you like – just bake them and enjoy!

Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars - I Crashed The Web

Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars 

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cups Rice Krispies crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups candy corn M&Ms (if you don’t have these on hand feel free to use regular m&ms or extra white chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare graham and Rice Krispies crumbs! Process both graham crackers and Rice Krispies into a food processor and grind until they make a smooth powder/crumb. You can probably use all graham crackers (or even better, a box of already made graham cracker crumbs) but I like using Rice Krispies to cut the sweetness. And then you can use leftover Krispies for Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats! But that’s a story for another day 🙂
  3. Mix crumbs with melted butter and combine until thoroughly moistened. Press crumb/butter mixture into bottom of pan.
  4. Sprinkle white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, candy corn M&Ms, peanut butter chips, peanuts, coconut, and candy corn over the top.
  5. Pour the can of condensed milk evenly over the top of the bars.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bars start to get darker brown at the corners.  Cool completely before cutting into bars. I popped mine in the fridge to harden first and speed up the process.
  7. Enjoy! You probably won’t be able to eat more than one because they’re pretty sweet. But perfect for this sweet holiday!
Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars - I Crashed The Web

Look at all that goodness that goes on bars! Peanuts, put butter chips, white chocolate chips, candy corn M&Ms … YUM!

Candy Corn White Chocolate Peanutty Bars - I Crashed The Web


Shrimp and Baby Kale Fajita Salad

As you’ve probably figured out from past posts, I’m a fan of kale. Kale sauteed with some garlic and olive oil? Delicious. Cooked in some soup with sausage? Perfect for this season. Toasted with squash for a fall salad? Yum! Which is why when Organic Girl told me they had a new baby kale they were sharing with bloggers, I couldn’t wait to try it out.

What is baby kale? And how is it different from traditional kale? Well first, as you can probably guess from the name, baby kale is a smaller in size. According to the folks at Organic Girl, it’s “much more tender and tastes (we believe) better than mature kale. People often complain that kale is very tough and that it’s hard to chew – most people try to ‘massage’ it before they cook it or use it in a salad to make it less course. Baby kale is not like that at all, it is a tender leaf variety that has the same exact nutrient content of the matured variety.” Pretty awesome right? So of course I was pumped to try it out. And a few days later, some baby kale arrived at my door!

Here’s a fun, easy way to enjoy some baby kale with some amazing flavor. The best part? You feel like you’re eating something much more indulgent, almost like a meal from Chipotle – but it’s actually healthy! (Shh, don’t tell B)

Shrimp and baby kale fajita salad  i crashed the web

Shrimp and Baby Kale Fajita Salad

Serves 2

Here’s what you need:

  • 7-8 oz frozen peeled deveined shrimp – I used the pretty 31-40 shrimp size so ended up using 14 shrimp
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 anaheim peppers
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 cup baby kale (I used Organic Girl baby kale – they wash it 3x so you don’t have to)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Defrost the shrimp, according to package directions. For me, it meant running cool water over them for a while before removing their tails.
  2. While the shrimp is defrosting, heat olive oil on a large pan on medium low. Add diced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Finely chop peppers and onion and add to pan.
  3. Allow vegetables to cook for 10 minutes. As they start to soften, add chili powder, cayenne pepper and cumin. Allow to cook for about 15 more minutes.
  4. Add in shrimp and mix well. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened and shrimp has absorbed the spices of the mixture.
  5. While shrimp is heating up, prepare your “guacamole.” Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Mash the avocado well and add garlic powder and salt, to taste.  Just before serving, carefully fold in diced tomato.
  6. Prepare your salad! Place 2 cups of baby kale on a plate. Top with shrimp fajita mixture and then guacamole. Enjoy!

Optional additions:

Salad would also be great with black beans.

Want salad dressing? I thought the sauce from the fajita mixture was enough, but the salad would also be great with a chili lime vinaigrette (1 Tbs lime juice, 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil and a dash of cumin and chili powder – enough for two salads!).

Your ingredients. Except i got a little happy with tomato and avocado - only one of each are needed.

Your ingredients. Except i got a little happy with tomato and avocado – only one of each are needed.

Defrost the shrimp

Defrost the shrimp

Dice your veggies

Dice your veggies

sautee veggies in olive oil. add spices as veggies start to soften.

sautee veggies in olive oil. add spices as veggies start to soften.

add shrimp to the veggies

add shrimp to the veggies

Make your easy guacamole! Just avocado and garlic powder, salt and tomatoes.

Make your easy guacamole! Just avocado and garlic powder, salt and tomatoes.

Plate it up and enjoy!

Plate it up and enjoy!

Disclosure: As I mentioned above, Organic Girl provided me with a free sample of their baby kale. I was not compensated for this post. As always, all views are my own.

Another Wonderful Weekend in CLE

Another weekend has come and gone – and it was another fabulous fall one in the Midwest. Cooler weather, fall temps, gorgeous colors and of course some baking and running – what more could I ask for?

Here are some highlights from the weekend:

Running the Midtown 10K Race with B, Mary and Dave – it was my first official 10K race! Pretty eventful – B beat both Mary and me, and I ran my best 10K time (52:01 – don’t get too excited). Oh and during the race B lost his wedding ring at around mile 4 … and found it after finishing. What a morning!

10k hermes

Feasting on Coq Au Vin (B cooked for me Sat. night)

B's Coq Au Vin, made with our CSA chicken. It was amazing. Tastes better than it looks I promise!

B’s Coq Au Vin, made with our CSA chicken. It was amazing. Tastes better than it looks I promise!

Baking up a storm – posts to come, but I baked some apple bars, candy corn bars and candy corn rice krispie treats!

candy corn bar prep

mixture for bars

candy corn magic bars - i crashed the web

candy corn bars!

Checking out Hingetown and their Sunday morning market

hingetwon urban orchid

urban orchid blooms

hingetown - pourover at rising star

waiting for my pourover at rising star

Going on a peaceful Sunday morning run by myself to clear my thoughts. No running buddy, no race, no music. Just me and the road = amazing.

sunda morning run

Enjoying the season’s finest – clam bake! For those of you that aren’t from Cleveland, a clam bake is an October/fall dinner tradition here. You eat a tons of clams, corn, chicken, potatoes, etc. For my east coast friends, it’s like a crab bake or lobster bake .. just with clams!

Clambake! Not pictured - chicken. And dessert!

Clambake! Not pictured – chicken. And dessert!

It's always a good thing when the kids approve of your desserts ..

It’s always a good thing when the kids approve of your desserts ..

How was your weekend?

Some questions for you:

Did you run this weekend? Any races? I did my first 10K but I loved following along everyone who ran Columbus or participated in the Runners World races this weekend!

Did you do something new?  I ran my first 10K and checked out the Hingetown Market.

Did the fall like temps inspire you to bake? Three bars in one day. Apple, candy corn and rice krispie! My sister in law also baked up a storm in her finnish kitchen. Must have been the time of year!

Triple Chip Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I think I have a pumpkin problem. From baking biscotti, to scones, to cookies, to granola – to just mixing it in plain yogurt and eating it with the pumpkin granola – I’m all over pumpkin this fall. But, the first step to recovery is recognizing you have a problem. And with that, here is my last pumpkin recipe for this season. And don’t worry, it’s a good one – similar to the last pumpkin cookies I made but with some oatmeal and white chips for added texture.

pumpkin triple chip oatmeal cookies - i crashed the web

Triple Chip Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup total three different types of chocolate chips – I actually broke this up into 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips – next time I’ll likely try some mini m&ms or even Candy Corn M&Ms!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, salt and oats – in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars. Mix well. Add in egg and mix thoroughly.
  4. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin puree with molasses and vanilla. Mix well until completely combined. Once the mixture is a uniform, dark brown color, add to wet ingredients in stand mixture. Note: Don’t want to dirty another bowl? You likely could add all these ingredients to the stand mixer one at a time, but I found it easier to have the molasses  and pumpkin mixed together first to ensure they get are thoroughly combined.
  5. Add in dry ingredients with a spatula and mix well, by hand. You may need to stir for 2-4 minutes before mixture is completely combined. Then, add in your your chocolate chips / chunks.
  6. Dough will be sticky! Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet topped with parchment paper.
  7. Cook for 12-14 minutes or until they start to brown.


pumpkin triple chip oatmeal cookies - icrashedtheweb

Weekend Update: Getting My Fill of Fall

I will start by saying I’m not one of those girls who says that her favorite season is fall. I’ve mentioned this before – but I do not look forward to wearing scarves, sweaters or the leaves falling. That being said – I do love spending a weekend outdoors in the CLE and fall just happens to be a pretty fabulous season to do so. Here are some highlights from our awesome weekend:

We started Friday with an Art Walk through Tremont. After a delicious dinner at Bac we scoped out some artwork (of course stopping at our favorite gallery, Paul Duda) before wine at Press with Dave and Anson.

Bac meal

Bac meal

We went all the way out to Burton, Ohio to ride on a trailer and enjoy the fall colors.


B on the trailer

While we were there we checked out the Apple Butter Festival!


Oh yeah, that apple butter was great!

And I tried to keep my cool as we walked around and saw SO many Amish people.


Look! Amish family!

apple butter festival

Making some apple butter

Checking out the fall foliage and checking out the farmland out east.

Butler Ohio

Farms! Fall Colors!

We also stumbled upon Oxtoberfest! Meaning we shared a roasted ox sandwich. (sorry, not pictured)


And it was Oxtoberfest!

Log cabin!

We stopped by Patterson’s Fruit Farm to check out the pumpkins and fall baked goods.

We also found pumpkins.

And go for a nice fall hike.

Perfect weather for a hike!

And pick some apples!

didn’t realize B was taking a picture here

pattersons apple

There were still some apples left!

We made it back to Cleveland in time to enjoy a few Guiness and Pumpkings at our favorite bar, Parnell’s Pub, and watch the BC game (they lost against Clemson). Then it was time for patio drinks and a nice dinner.

It's mid October and everyone's out on the patio. SO amazing!

It’s mid October and everyone’s out on the patio. SO amazing!

patio drinks


The only picture of my meal. Halibut at Lola!

Oh yeah, and my legs are feeling great after last weekend’s half marathon (recap, here) so I enjoyed three runs this weekend – 2 outside and 1 inside while watching the Pilot of Gossip Girl! Three runs in three days makes me a happy girl 🙂



Hopefully you had an awesome fall weekend as well!

Some questions for you: (answer in the comments!)

  • Where you like, when does patio season typically end? Or is it year-round?
  • Have you ever tried ox?
  • Have you ever seen Amish people?
  • Do you have a favorite local bar near you?
  • If you like pumpkin beer, what’s your favorite? Pumpking by far!
  • If you run, do you prefer outdoor or indoor running?

Pumpkin Biscotti

Confession: I bought more canned pumpkin. I know, I know – after the cookies, granola and scones you think I’d be done. But I’m only just beginning! I’ve got to fuel my pumpkin addiction.

When I told B I had more pumpkin he literally groaned. When I told him I was thinking of making some pumpkin sheet cake or a pumpkin roll and he seemed less than enthusiastic, I knew I had to stray from my traditional baked goods. And when he asked, “Can you just make something not too sweet that I can have with my morning coffee?” I knew that a pumpkin bundt with cream cheese filling was probably out of the question.

Enter – pumpkin biscotti. I knew they’d be perfect – not just for B (he loved the chocolate pistachio biscotti I made), but also for my parents who would be in town visiting.

And they were. Crunchy but not too hard (pumpkin makes everything somewhat soft), sweet but not too sweet – they were just what the pumpkin doctor ordered … now what to do with the rest of that pumpkin ? 🙂

breakfast - pumpkin biscotti - i crashed the web

Pumpkin Biscotti (modified from here)

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger until thoroughly combined and somewhat thicker. I used my KitchenAid and let it all mix for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add four mixture into pumpkin/egg bowl and mix on low speed until evenly distributed.
  5. Using a spatula or large spoon, add in almonds and white chocolate chips.
  6. Now it’s time to make your logs! Divide dough into quarters. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, shape portions into logs, about 8-10 inches by 2-3 inches.
  7. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or mostly hard. Remove logs to a cooling rack and cool for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Keep the oven on! After the logs are cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and cut each log into 1/2 inch slices on a diagonal.
  9. Bake the dough again! Take the slices and place with the cut side face down on baking sheet. Bake for 5-8 minutes on each side until hardened. I took mine out after about 15 minutes total (7ish min on each side) because I like my biscotti a little softer.

Enjoy! They make a great breakfast addition or snack. Or dessert before your half marathon (yes I had 1-2 before our half marathon last week).

pumpkin white chip biscotti | i crashed the web

Race Recap: Cleveland Rock N Roll Half Marathon

cleveland rock n roll half

This past weekend B and I participated in the Inaugural Cleveland Rock N Roll Half Marathon! It was our 3rd half marathon we’ve run together – and right in our little city of Cleveland. We didn’t quite make our goal (under 2 hours …) due to the more-humid-than-we-would’ve-liked weather and hills (and me twisting my ankle at around mile 5 … woops) but I would say it was a FUN RACE.

at the pre-race expo!

at the pre-race expo!

Here are some highlights:

What Could’ve Been Better: (don’t worry I’ll end with the good stuff)

  • Long lines before the race: I know this isn’t unique to this race but porta-potty lines WERE SUPER LONG that morning. We waited about 45 min before getting to use them (what can I say, pre-race hydration routines and jitters make me have to pee! TMI?) and then missed our corral and the pace team we were going to follow. So instead of following the 2 hour pace team in Corral 3 we started with Corral 5.
  • The hills: Yes, we ran the hills a few times in training and yes we ran in San Fran and the even hillier it seemed Seattle a few weeks ago, but I was definitely not feeling good about the hills. The hill around St. Malachi (before mile 5) killed me – I didn’t recover until about mile 7. And the Tremont Hills? I felt fine through those, but they nearly killed B who was already dying in the humidity. Could the route have been flatter? Yes. I mean really, it’s Cleveland – we have 3 hills and the race included all of them PLUS one I didn’t even know existed.
  • The humidity: The rain thankfully held off – but the humidity did not. The weather was in the 70s (not too bad) but humidity was in the 80-90 percentages the whole time!

course elevation map

An action shot my parents took

An action shot my parents took – B is behind me in green, and Mary in orange!

What Was Awesome 

  • The cheering: I cannot thank my parents enough for coming all the way out from NY to cheer us on. It was SO GREAT to hear them cheering our names, seeing them at our planned cheering spots and surprising me at the finish line. Seriously, the best part of the race.
  • The music: Music at nearly every mile? Yes, please! It was SO awesome to see and hear all the bands and so motivating! Can every race have different bands along the way?
  • The crowds: I love running in races that have a lot of people – IF it’s managed properly. And in my experience, it was. The timed starts with the different corrals ensured the race wasn’t too crowded at any time. And the crowds gathered to watch the runners? Even better. There’s nothing like seeing people cheer you on – and spaced out pretty evenly throughout the whole route.
  • The post-race party: Free beer, a Gavin DeGraw concert for the public and more? This was awesome. Way to go Cleveland for hosting an awesome inaugural race!
B and me post race

B and me post race

My parents cheered us on!!!!!

My parents cheered us on!!!!!

b and me at finish kiss

I may just have to buy this photo 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • What was the last race you ran? Did you have a goal? Did you meet it?
  • What’s your perfect running weather?
  • Have you done any Rock N Roll races? How did they go?

Pumpkin Granola! [yes, this happened]

As you may know, I looooove granola. I grew up eating my mom’s homemade granola and have been looking for an excuse to make a new version.

Well, I was talking with my brother recently and he mentioned that if I wanted to send him a package (which I do on occasion – usually with baked goods), to send him granola. Challenge accepted! And of course, since pumpkin season is here (as if you haven’t realized that from my plethora of pumpkin recipes), I decided to try to make some pumpkin granola to send him.

Warning – this stuff is really good if you like granola. And pumpkin. So good that my brother only got a small baggie (sorry, Greg, I promise you more if you visit!). But it’s also SO easy that you can make it and share it with friends! And really, this recipe is not much different from the original granola recipe – just has some more  spices and of course, pumpkin!

pumpkin granola - i crashed the web

Pumpkin Granola

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats, or organic oats (I used the amazing oats we got in our CSA)
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed
  • 1 cup your favorite dried fruit (you can use any combination of dried fruit – as usual, I used dried blueberries, dried cranberries and dried cherries)
  • 1 cup your favorite nut, loosely chopped (I used almonds and cashews – but I imagine pumpkin seeds would work really well this time!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 – 1 cup maple syrup (I used about 1 c. of what we had on hand which was pure maple syrup from Canada!)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, flaxseed, nuts, dried fruit in a large boil.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup and pumpkin. Combine until well mixed.
  4. Add brown sugar-pumpkin mixture to oat mixture. Mix well until oats, nuts, etc. are well and evenly coated.
  5. Pour out onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes, checking and stirring at about 15-20 minutes and again at 30ish minutes. Careful not to let it burn!
  7. Let cool and enjoy!
Nuts and dried fruit. Yum!

Nuts and dried fruit. Yum!

pumpkin granola - i crashed the web