2 Races, 1 Weekend

Phew, we’re back from a pretty busy/nonstop weekend. The past few days have included some good meals, some art, a comedy show, and two races (including one PR!). Here are some picture to give you an idea:

Our weekend “started” on Thursday with a night at the Cleveland Art Museum with B’s work. We were treated to a peek at their Van Gogh exhibit, appetizers, and drinks in the gorgeous Atrium.

Checking out the pretty awesome Van Gough exhibit at the Cleveland Art museum

Checking out the pretty awesome Van Gough exhibit at the Cleveland Art museum

Friday night included another Flaming Ice Cube meal AND another comedy show, this time we saw a “Mom-ic” (mom-comic) who was a lot funnier than I expected.

Saturday morning was an early one – we started with the Cleveland 10 Miler!

hermes 10 miler cleveland

B and I post Saturday’s 10 mile race. Feeling good! (and there’s a photobomber!)

Oh yeah, and B and I PRed in our Cleveland 10 miler time. It wasn’t our best pace ever (it wasn’t our half-marathon pace) but apparently the past few times we’ve done the 10 miler we were a lot slower. Check out the difference:

Past years:

Past few years' times

Past few years’ times

This year my finish time: 1:31:43. Yes, that’s more than a 10 minute PR. 

Rothschild Farms

post-run yumyums – my favorite salad at Rothschild Farms

That was just race #1 of the weekend. Saturday evening we headed down to Columbus and Sunday morning included Race #2: a 5k in Columbus to participate in a race B’s aunt was organizing that supported the local autism society.

the whole group of us at the race

the whole group of us at the race

Autism awareness 5k

Autism awareness 5k – me and my “cousin-in-law” Steph – check out her cool socks!

 

B's aunt took this photo of me crossing the finish - I took First Female!

B’s aunt took this photo of me crossing the finish – I took First Female!

after the race we enjoyed a nice light meal. KIDDING. My brunch was pretty delicious!

after the race we enjoyed a nice light meal. KIDDING. My brunch was pretty delicious! That may or may not be Irish coffee in the background …

That’s about it! How was your weekend? Some questions for you:

  • Have you run 2 races in one weekend? First time ever! And it wasn’t sooooo bad (though I may be in pain today …)
  • Favorite brunch food? I prefer eggs (over easy or sunny side up) to sweet breakfast items like pancakes or french toast. 
  • Favorite post-run food? I typically crave salads with tons of toppings and of course a hunk of bread. But eggs are nice too 🙂
  • Last art exhibit you went to?
  • May is THIS WEEK! What’s something fun you’re doing? Running the Cleveland half marathon; seeing my brother graduate; seeing my family in NY AND in Cleveland … so much fun stuff going on!

 

 

Eating like a hipster … Roasted butternut squash with kale, mushrooms, onions, roasted red pepper and goat cheese

The other day I came across a list of the most hipster foods there are. Hipster foods! And can you believe  that out of that list, B and I enjoy most of them on a regular basis? Like, a LOT of them? For example, here are just a few:

  • Cold brew coffee – B LOVES this, especially this time of year.
  • Anything from a food truck – Obviously. Who doesn’t like stuff from a food truck? Helllllo Walnut Wednesdays!
  • Pickles – Always have, always will love them.
  • Brussels sprouts – B’s not a fan but I’ve been eating them roasted for a while!
  • Bacon – you can’t tell me bacon is just for hipsters. We got some nitrate free bacon in our CSA last year and I can’t wait to get it again.
  • Cauliflower – Have you met me? I love cauliflower! Roasted, mashed, buttery… please, I’ve been eating cauliflower for years. My parents cook cauliflower. Does this make my parents hipsters?
  • Kale – SEE BELOW. Seriously, I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted.

butternut squash kale, mushrooms, onions, roasted red pepper and goat cheese

Roasted Butternut squash with Kale, Mushrooms, Onions, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese

Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into about 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large bunch kale, washed, and chopped (remove stem)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely diced
  • 1 c. chopped yellow onion
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1-3 tsp hot sauce, to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 red pepper, roasted
  • 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chopped up butternut squash onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until squash is just starting to brown.
  2. While squash is cooking, in a large saucepan, heat up about 2 Tbs olive oil on medium high heat. Add in garlic and sautee for 2 minutes or until it starts to smell yummy (yes, I LOVE the smell of garlic!). Add in diced onion and cook for 2-3 more minutes until onion starts to become translucent. Add in mushrooms and cook for another 3ish minutes. Add kale and cook until kale has wilted. You may need to add more olive oil at this time. If you like heat, here’s where you’ll add your hot sauce.
  3. When squash is done, add to mushroom/onion/kale/garlic pot. Saute squash just enough so that it starts to caramelize slightly.
  4. Almost finished! Pour onto a plate and top with goat cheese and roasted red pepper. Enjoy as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish. Enjoy!

butternut squash with kale, mushrooms, onions, roasted red pepper and goat cheese - i crashed the web

 

Some questions for you:

Are any of the hipster foods foods you enjoy regularly? See above. Apparently, yes.

Are your parents hipsters? Ha, well since they eat cauliflower … and my dad likes craft beer and has been wearing Converse since the beginning of time. Maybe? Which makes me think of this great blog: Dads are the original hipster.

Are you a hipster? Trick question!  A hipster would never admit to being a hipster. GOTCHA!

What’s something vegetarian you enjoyed lately?

Friday Five: Coming Up …

April may be flying by but I’m pretty much enjoying every speedy minute of it. The end of the month means that I have some fabulous things to look forward to:

1. DAZZLE the District!

I am SO excited for this event – happening NEXT FRIDAY. The Dazzle the District celebration is a big party happening in my neighborhood that in honor of some new renovations – lights, video signage, elegant gateways, a humongous “retro” sign inspired by PlayhouseSquare’s 1920s-era roots and the world’s largest outdoor chandelier. Yes, I will be living near the world’s largest outdoor chandelier. Anyway, there’s going to be a big party with happy hours, Hot Chelle Rae Concert and a lighting ceremony. I CAN’T wait. You better bet I’ll be tweeting/Instagramming/etc. with the hashtag, #DazzleCLE.

I walk by here every day pretty much .. here's where the chandelier will be!

I walk by here every day pretty much .. here’s where the chandelier will be!

Love the new gateways - and they're lit up at night!

Love the new gateways – and they’re lit up at night!

New gateway in the area

New gateway in the area

2. Cleveland 10-Miler

The Cleveland 10-Miler is this weekend! It’s a race I’ve grown to love (yes, I said “love” about a 10 mile race) over the years. The crowds, the weather, the people running it, the after-party events, the medal, the Gu/water stops, the t-shirt and even the route. The last time I ran it I was training for a marathon and had already run 10 miles before the start (and had the last 10 miles of my 20 mile run be the race) so this weekend I’m happy to be “only” running these 10 miles.

3. Races for a Good Cause – A Better World for Autism 5K

The spring and summer are full of 5ks that support various causes. This weekend, B and I will be participating in a race that supports a cause that’s definitely close to us, autism awareness. B’s aunt is active in the organization hosting the race, so we’ll be driving down after our 10-miler to join their family in this event. Who knows if I’ll feel good enough to run in it, but I’m looking forward to being part of the event!

4. Summer Farmers Markets and CSAs! 

Now that summer is almost here, it means our CSA is about to begin! B and I signed up once again for Fresh Fork Market and I can’t wait to see what new meats, vegetables, cheese, pasta, etc. we receive this year. I had a blast trying out new recipes and cooking many new greens last year (check out some of my Fresh Fork wrap ups, including what we got and what we made). Some of my favorites included:

Kohlrabi Slaw … I’m so happy that Fresh Fork introduced me to Kohlrabi – now I’m hooked!

Fennel, tomato and avocado salad

BEER CAN CHICKEN

5. Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Next week will mark 3 years that B and I have been married. Wild, huh? It honestly feels like yesterday (cliche, I know) that we were just dating, not even engaged. Wow, times have changed. Please join me for a walk down memory lane (warning, cheesiness ahead)

OK, i know this is before we met, but I couldn't help myself. :)

OK, i know this is before we met, but I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

oldie

Dressed up for a formal, senior year of college.

 

race 2009

A Turkey Trot, circa 5 years ago. check it out – B IS WEARING A HERMES 10 MILER SHIRT! (yes, this post just went full circle)

Halloween. We were the robots from Flight of the Conchords.

Halloween. We were the robots from Flight of the Conchords.

And from this past year - us in Seattle

And from this past year – us in Seattle

 

A few questions for you:

  • What are a few things you’re looking forward to as April draws to an end?
  • So apparently the 3rd anniversary is your “leather” anniversary. Quick, what are a few leather gifts?
  • Any fun races coming up?
  • Clevelanders – will I see you at Dazzle the District?
  • Has a CSA or Farmers Market introduced you to any new foods? Yup, kohlrabi! I love it roasted and as a slaw but when I first saw it I thought it was an alien. No joke. It scared me.

Meatless Monday: Quinoa Hummus Patties

I may have a hummus problem. The other day I realized I’d eaten hummus, as part of a meal, 4 days in a row.  I know there are worse things to claim, but 4 days in a row? That’s nearly a week. Wonder if I can keep the streak going (I’ve also eaten chocolate about 40 days in a row) …

Anyway, I digress. The other night for dinner I was happy to have enough time to put together something vegetarian-friendly, flavorful and also that would serve as a side dish for B. I’d seem some recipes for hummus/quinoa tabbouleh and quinoa burgers and decided to combine both. They are somewhat crumbly but mine held together pretty well and were pretty flavorful without too many spices.

Warning – I took these pictures with my phone, per usual. They came out pretty gnarly (yes, worse than some of the other food pics I take) but the recipe was so delicious I had to post it. B asked I could make these again so I declare that a success 🙂

QUINOA HUMMUS PATTIES i crashed the web

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 c quinoa (cooked)
  • ½ c hummus
  • ½ c finely diced red pepper
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS flaxseed
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine quinoa, hummus, red pepper, garlic and green onions in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add in flaxseed to help bind the mixture. Add in crushed red pepper flakes (optional if you like heat).
  3. Form mixture into four to five even sized patties and place on a well-greased plate. Store in refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. (I put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes) This will help the patties harden.
  4. Heat a pan with olive oil over medium to medium-high heat and add olive oil once heated. Carefully add patties to pan and brown each side for about 4-6 minutes. Be careful when flipping – patties are crumbly and you may need to reshape them if they start to come apart.
  5. Enjoy!
  6. Serving suggestion: I had 2 as a main meal and served with spinach, roasted red pepper, more hummus, tomato, and hot sauce. They’d also be delicious with a garlic yogurt sauce. B had his as a side dish to some chicken with Greek spices. I’ll be doubling the recipe next time!
I swear it tastes better than it looks

I swear it tastes better than it looks

Some questions for you:

  • Are you on any food-eating streaks?
  • Are you a hummus fan? Yes! I also really love baba ghanoush, its smoky eggplant cousin. 
  • Do you make your own hummus? Actually, most of the time I find it easier and just as tasty to just buy it. If you find a brand you like – stick to it! The hummus from the recipe above was from a stand at the West Side Market and it was delicious.
  • Favorite veggie burger recipe? Come on, I’m looking for a new one!

Wordless Wednesday: Costa Rica Dreaming

It’s been a little over a week since I was in sunny Costa Rica, relaxing in the hot baths, sunning myself on the beach, ziplining and rappelling. So for today’s Wordless Wednesday, I’m reminiscing … and sharing some vacation photos. #SorryImNotSorry

B ziplining in Monteverde

B ziplining in Monteverde

Enjoying the Monteverde sunset

Enjoying the Monteverde sunset

We saw toucans!

We saw toucans!

Wayyy to excited to be hands free rappelling.

Wayyy too excited to be hands free rappelling.

 

Relaxing by the hot baths

Relaxing by the hot baths

boat ride to Arenal

boat ride to Arenal

Beautiful countryside

Beautiful countryside

Goats! (we later ate their cheese)

Goats! (we later ate their cheese)

Ready for the beach wedding

Ready for the beach wedding

My date for the wedding

My date for the wedding

That’s all for now. As they say in Costa Rica, Pura Vida!

Cookie Dough Easter Eggs

Holy cow, where has April gone? It seems like just last week B and I were going to Ash Wednesday Mass and I was preparing to give up meat yet again for Lent.

Anyway, the 40ish days have pretty much concluded – meaning, not only am I going to be eating meat again soon, but we also get to prepare Easter desserts!

This year, I’ll be making a few of my favorite cookie dough truffles or cookie balls – and shaping them like eggs so that they become … voila! Easter Egg Cookie Dough Balls. You can really make these with any of your favorite truffle recipes, so I choose the chocolate chip cookie recipe but dipped in white chocolate (you can do regular chocolate if you like too, they may be harder to decorate though):

cookie dough easter eggs - i crashed the webi

Cookie Dough Easter Eggs

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 oz bag of candy coating

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add milk and vanilla and mix on high speed with an electric mixer.
  2. Stir in flour on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  3. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour or overnight.
  4. When dough is firm enough to handle, form dough into 1″ round balls. Then shape into somewhat flattened egg shapes and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
  5. Place dough ball-filled sheet in freezer and let chill for  at least 30 minutes.
  6. After cookie dough balls have hardened in the freezer, it’s time to dip them in the melted chocolate! Melt chocolate candy coating in the microwave or according to package directions. Using a fork, dip eggs into melted milk chocolate and coat completely.
  7. Return chocolate-covered balls to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill until set.
  8. Enjoy! They’re pretty awesome.

To decorate:

  • Sprinkles: while melting chocolate is wet on the egg, sprinkle colored sugars or sprinkles over egg.
  • Drizzled chocolate: melt different colored melting chocolate according to package directions – or add food coloring to white chocolate – and use a fork to drizzle colored chocolate over the white chocolate base. If chocolate is too thick to drizzle, add some shortening to thin out chocolate a little. Do not add too much – and do not add water to chocolate! I just drizzled with my fork, but here is some more info on drizzling technique.

There are so many variations on this recipe – you could make them in so many different flavors including Birthday Cake Truffles, Cookies and Cream Truffles, Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles, Baileys Truffles and more! Just choose you favorite, shape them into eggs and you’re done.

 

raw cookie dough balls easter eggs - i crashed the web

Cookie dough is shaped and ready to chill

raw cookie dough balls easter eggs - i crashed the web

be careful – they’re addicting!

raw cookie dough balls easter eggs - i crashed the web

decorate with sprinkles or drizzle with chocolate

Enjoy! What are you baking for Easter? Do you have a favorite truffle recipe?

Weekend Update: It’s Been 5 Weeks …

It’s been FIVE whole weeks since I’ve spent a weekend in Cleveland. Oh boy! No wonder I was feeling super excited and almost giddy for a weekend of staying home and enjoying what looked like an amazing weather forecast:

costa rica weather

Okay, okay – you got me. That’s not Cleveland. But it was darn close – this weekend we saw sunny, 70 degree temps BOTH DAYS. For my friends in Southern California I know that’s not a big deal – but holy cow, it felt great here!

Some highlights from the weekend:

Friday night started with dinner at Flaming Ice Cube with a few other friends. Oh kalebouli hummus wrap – how I have missed thee!

Kalebouli humus wrap from the Flaming Ice Cube

Kalebouli humus wrap from the Flaming Ice Cube

And then a comedy show – Marc Maron was in town! B got me hooked on his stuff – his podcast and show are both pretty funny – and then of course I loved his act. I was crying of laughter at his last bit, where he talked about his Time Warner Cable customer service experience.

(not from the show i saw but from his TV show)

Saturday morning started with an 8 mile run – in a SHORT sleeved shirt and capris. Yes – it was finally warm enough to run without leggings, a jacket, gloves, etc. Hooray!

post-run sweaty pic

post-run unflattering sweaty pic

And then B and I hit the first Cleveland Flea of the year. It was super crowded – I guess word has caught on and combined with the good weather, it seems like everyone was there.

perfect day for the first Cleveland Flea.

perfect day for the first Cleveland Flea.

After the Flea we headed to the West Side Market to pick up groceries of the week. I still can’t believe it’s been five weeks since I’ve been there! Oh, and of course we had to stop for some lunch at the Souper Market.

awesome veggie lentil soup and amazing hunk of bread.

awesome veggie lentil soup and amazing hunk of bread.

No trip to Ohio City is complete without a stop at Rising Star

No trip to Ohio City is complete without a stop at Rising Star

Friday night we ended up hanging in, enjoying homemade pizza and wine and catching up on some episodes of Game of Thrones. No spoilers – we’re only on season 2!

one of too many slices :) homemade mushroom zaa!

one of too many slices 🙂 homemade mushroom zaa!

Sunday was another gorgeous day, so after Palm Sunday Mass, B and I decided to take a walk to the lake. I love living so close to water – there’s just something so relaxing about big bodies of water, isn’t there? (Lake Erie is huge – it feels like an ocean, it’s not like I can see Canada)

They've really revamped the Cleveland Theater District this year - coming soon ... a chandelier!

They’ve really revamped the Cleveland Theater District this year – coming soon … a chandelier!

view from the water

view from the water

We also enjoyed some of our favorite Lebanese food for lunch. Yes, I had hummus twice this weekend and I’m not ashamed. This time it was my favorite hummus, at my favorite Lebanese place (look at those pita pillows!), Taza.

my favorite hummus.

my favorite hummus.

And some baking. I don’t think a weekend would be complete without at least some baking – don’t you agree?

Here's what I ended up making - cookie dough easter eggs!

Here’s what I ended up making – cookie dough easter eggs! I’ll share the recipe tomorrow

Some questions for you:

Did you enjoy some good weather this weekend? Were you able to get outside? A run and outdoor market on Saturday, a long walk with B on Sunday. Simply marvelous!

What sort of things do you buy at flea markets? I’ve never bought anything for myself at the Flea (well besides fruits/veggies from local farm stands) – just gifts. What do you buy at flea markets?

Is it ever too warm for soup? I don’t think so! I love soup year round – even in the summer.

Do you like comedy shows?Are you a Marc Maron fan?