Cleveland Marathon Race Registration Winner!

Thanks to all of you that entered my Cleveland marathon race registration giveaway – there were more than 30 entries and I’m excited to announce the winner today!

The winner is …

Rachel from It’s a Hero! 

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Rachel will receive one race code for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 10K, Half-Marathon or Full Marathon events that will be on May 17, 2015.

If you didn’t win, don’t worry – a few of my other Cleveland Marathon Ambassador friends are giving away entries too! Check out their blogs, tweets, Instas, Facebooks, Snaps, etc.: http://www.clevelandmarathon.com/CLEmarathon_Ambassadors/.

AND don’t forget to register by April 14 – NEW this year, you’ll get your name on your bib!

Oh and here are some of the other ambassadors in photo – we met up last night for drinks, food and socializing! Everyone is so fabulous:

If only I were looking at the camera #storyofmylife (photo via Cleveland Marathon)

If only I were looking at the camera #storyofmylife (photo via Cleveland Marathon)

See you on May 17 – I’ll be running the half marathon and can’t wait to see you there!

Thanks to all who entered! I’m so excited that so many of you want to run this race. It’s going to be a GREAT year!

Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese’s cookies

One of my favorite dessert cookbooks is my Magnolia cookbook. There are so many good cookies, cakes, cupcakes, bars, and more – I need to seriously go through and start making more of the recipes! (hmm, a 2015 goal?)

Anyway, I was looking for a peanut butter chocolate recipe and came upon the recipe for peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips. I slightly modified it based on the ingredients I had (basically adding Reese’s and peanuts) and boom – this recipe was born. Seeking something chocolate and peanut buttery? Try it for yourself!

Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese's cookies

Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese’s cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped and chilled

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl or Kitchenaid mixer, beat butter and the peanut butter together until mixed well and smooth.
  3. Add sugars and beat until creamy.
  4. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add milk and vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix well.
  7. Stir in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and about half of Reese’s cups.
  8. Roll dough  and drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Using a fork or spatula, lightly push down on the cookies. Lightly press chopped Reese’s on top of cookies before baking.
  10. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until done! Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy! Serve with milk 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a favorite cookbook? What is it?
  • What is a good peanut butter recipe you enjoy? These Magnolia peanut butter cookies.
  • Have you ever been to Magnolia in NY? What’s your go-to order? Banana pudding! A rec. from my brother and so so good.

Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese's cookies-icrashedtheweb

Easter Weekend in San Fran!

How was your weekend? I know it’s a little late for a weekend update, but I’m still getting over a really great weekend in San Francisco with my family.

My little (but taller than me of course) brother moved out to San Fran last year and it’s pretty hard to be a whole coast away. So, when my parents mentioned they were thinking of going out to visit him for Easter, I jumped at the chance to join them, and B came along too!

Me and Greg <3

Me and Greg ❤

We got in early Friday so had the whole day to catch up with my brother, see one of my bffs who lives just outside the city and also get some work done. Oh, and the weather was sunny and in the 60s, so I really couldn’t complain!

cute cafe for work on Fri.

cute cafe for work on Fri.

And they had a garden!

And they had a garden!

Friday started out with a little work, some coffee and getting post-work drinks with Melgar and my brother. My parents didn’t get in until late, so we enjoyed a late dinner before all of us passed out – jet lag!

Melgar!

Melgar!

Saturday was a long but great day. B and I started it out early-ish with a 7.3-something mile run throughout the Presidio and Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge. Stopping to take photos on runs during my vacation is just what I needed. Note to self – there are a lot of hills in San Fran so don’t be discouraged if your “race-pace” run turns into more of interval running.

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We also went for a great hike with my parents. We started through the beautiful Golden Gate Park and then ended with a route through Lands End. My brother had planned the hike for us and it was a great way to see the outskirts of the city, the beach, and great views of the water and the bridge.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

Oh, and we got Umami Burger. I am in LOVE with their food now – their veggie burger and ahi tuna burger (my mom and I got both and split it) were so good, as were their sweet potato fries. And beet salad. #Stuffed

ahi tuna burger

ahi tuna burger

Sunday was a rest day, but rest we did not. After Easter Mass, we enjoyed some breakfast and then another walk throughout downtown! We started off where my brother lives in the Presidio and then walked to downtown until we got to the Ferry Building. We were meeting up with some of my extended family – my dad’s cousin and his wife – for dinner. Our Vietnamese family style 3-course meal at the Slanted Door was amazing – definitely not what I typically eat for Easter but SO SO good!

salad and spring rolls

salad and spring rolls

Some of my entrees

Some of my entrees

dessert!

dessert!

extended family

extended family

After dinner, we walked around downtown until it was time to meet up with my brother’s friend Phyllis for drinks. We grabbed lounge seats in a really cool place, The Original Joe’s, and enjoyed cocktails and wine. I loved my dark and stormy 🙂

drinks!

drinks!

Monday was a road trip day! After a 5 mile run and breakfast, we were on a mini road trip.

scenes from our Monday morning run

scenes from our Monday morning run

breakfast at a cute coffee shop

breakfast at a cute coffee shop

We took a car and headed to Pescadero and then Capatola. We enjoyed lunch (fresh fish and pie!) and a short walk while taking in the sights and beautiful water and beaches.

Love the scenery!

Love the scenery!

Brian and Melissa in Capitola

Capitola – colorful in the background!

 

It was a great end to our trip – we got in some walks, some beaches, a lot of great food and quality family time. Even with taking a long weekend, it went by waaay too fast! I can’t wait to do it again.

Some questions for you:

  • How was your weekend?
  • Have you been to SF? Any favorite places?

Training Tuesday: Week 6 (Some San Francisco Runs!)

Reminder: Don’t forget to enter my Cleveland marathon race entry giveaway! There are still a few more days to enter, here.

Let me start by saying that week 6 of half marathon training did NOT go as planned. And I’m onto week 7 and know that this isn’t going as planned either. Whoops.

Don’t worry – it’s not for lack of trying! Week 6 (halfway point!!) I got in a few extra runs and Week 7 is starting the opposite way. It’s mostly because I got in some fun and travel with B and my family to see my brother in San Francisco for 4 days and welp, running fell somewhat by the wayside.

My runs for this week:

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Monday: On the schedule – 4 miles.

Actual run: 5 miles outdoors. It was seasonably cool and windy, but definitely manageable. I had a four mile loop planned, but I ended up taking the long way back because I felt so good. Oh, and I stopped and took a photo about halfway through because it was so pretty outside:

(shared on my instagram - @koskim)

(shared on my instagram – @koskim)

Tuesday: On the schedule – 40 minute tempo run.

Actual run: 40 minutes tempo run. I started with a 30 minute buildup, gradually increasing my pace to 3 minutes at 7.0-7.3, then cool down at 6.5 mph. Total distance about 4.25 miles.

Wednesday: On the schedule –  3 miles.

Actual run: 6.93 miles at just under 9 min/mile pace. I know, I was just supposed to do an easy 3 but my running buddies weren’t able to join me and it felt so good outside (mid 30s! finally!) and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do a 10K on vacation, so I decided to try to do 6.3 miles, fast. The only issue? I had no idea how fast I was going OR my total mileage. as my Nike + AGAIN stopped working. So, I just decided to run for 60-63 minutes and then map it later and HOPE I made my 10K distance and hope I was going a little faster than usual. I was grateful with the pace (ended up about 8:58) but it was definitely not “race” worthy.

Thursday: Rest.

Actual run: 4.55 miles. I know, it was supposed to be a rest day but I was also supposed to meet up with a friend and run so I figured, why not go out and get in a few miles before my weekend vacation. I got to her place and she never showed up (she overslept) and I was already out AND wearing capris (it was finally seasonable!) so I decided to continue with the route we were going to do anyway.

Snapped a photo of the Terminal Tower, lit up blue, while waiting for my running buddy

Snapped a photo of the Terminal Tower, lit up blue, while waiting for my running buddy

Friday: Rest.

Actual run: 1 mile warmup on the treadmill and 35 minutes on the elliptical before an early flight. I woke up at 3:50 a.m. just to do this – I hate long flights without having any activity in my days!

Saturday: 10K race.

Actual run: 7.3ish miles, running some hills, etc. throughout San Francisco. Not sure what my actual pace was, but it definitely wasn’t 10k pace, but it also definitely was faster/harder than a typical run. It was fun and hard – we stopped and took some photos throughout the run (because that’s what B and I do on vacation runs) but we also ended up doing a few big hills along the way so it was rough – and so good!

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Sunday: Off day.

Actual run: No run at all! Just walked around San Francisco with my family. Got in about 22,000+ steps so it was definitely a somewhat active off day, but no running for me.

on one of our many walks in SF

on one of our many walks in SF

Some questions for you:

  • How do you stay on track when traveling? Are you forgiving?
  • Is it hilly where you are? Notsomuch … and my legs are definitely not used to running so much hills! I’m in pain from those San Francisco hills! It hurts so good though.

Easy Homemade Limoncello

Have I told you that I’m part Italian? I must have by now … or at least some of cooking and recipe favorites may have given it away? It’s on my Italian heritage that I blame my love for bread, pasta, anything with homemade tomato sauce, homemade pizza, a good (note the word “GOOD”) Italian dressing, cannoli, cassata cake, oh, and of course Italian drinks. So that’s why, when a group of girls I get together with decided to make limoncello one weekend, I knew I was in.

NOT homemade limoncello - rather the limoncello my parents brought me back from their trip to Europe

NOT homemade limoncello – rather the limoncello (and glasses!) my parents brought me back from their trip to Europe

We used a recipe from Gizmodo, and after a few minor tweaks, I’m happy to share it with you!  Please note – even though it’s easy, it does take some patience. You need to let it sit for about a month before you can finish it and serve!

Easy Homemade Limoncello-icrashedtheweb

Easy Homemade Limoncello

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bottle plain vodka (750 ml) – I believe I used Absolut
  • 2 lemons, rinsed (ideally organic, Meyer lemons)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Twine
  • 2/3 cups simple syrup
  • Zest of one OTHER large lemon (again, ideally organic)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pour vodka into a large glass jar.
  2. Wrap two rinsed lemons in cheesecloth and suspend over vodka. I tied them in the cheesecloth and then used twin to secure them, tying one end of the twine to the cheesecloth and one end to the clasp on the jar I had.
  3. Seal the jar tightly, and let sit in a cool, dark place for about 4-6 weeks. Don’t disturb – be patient!
  4. After about a month (I let mine sit for closer to 6 weeks), open the jar and toss the cheesecloth-wrapped lemons. Add simple syrup and the fresh zest of the other large organic lemon.
  5. Let sit for at least 30 minutes (I had mine sit overnight) and then strain the mixture through a new cheesecloth so that the rind is removed from the drink.

Enjoy!

What it looks like before you let it sit for a month

What it looks like before you let it sit for a month

Easy homemade limoncello

After about 6 weeks, I added homemade simple syrup (50/50 mixture of water and sugar, boiled then simmered) and lemon rind. 

Easy Homemade Limoncello-icrashedtheweb

remove the rind with a cheesecloth and serve! Our pour into a jar and share 🙂

 

GIVEAWAY: Cleveland Marathon (or half … 10k … etc.) Registration!

You guys – guess what?! I’m so excited to be doing a giveaway for one of my favorite events coming up – the Cleveland Marathon!

As a Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been sharing my training schedule and how my weeks have gone. One of the perks I get from being an ambassador is that I also get to give away a race entry to one of you! You could receive one complimentary race code for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 10K, Half-Marathon or Full Marathon events that will be on May 17, 2015.

Last year, starting line with Mary and me!

But first, why do I think you should register?

  • I like the course! I’ve only run the half but in my opinion, it’s a good view. Cleveland is a city of many neighborhoods and running the race (half, full and 10K) allows you to get a glimpse at some of these. The course is great – while there are some hills (including one near the end … ugh), it’s relatively flat and offers a variety of scenes. Whether you’re downtown or by the lake or in the nearby Ohio City neighborhood or near westside suburban areas of Lakewood and Rocky River, there are different things to see so you don’t get bored.
  • The spectators! The spectators are great. Just as our neighborhoods are diverse, so are the spectators – but they’re all cheering you on, excited to see you, holding signs, water, snacks and even beer for the runners. I remember local high school bands playing for us along the route – that was also something great.
  • The history: The Cleveland Marathon is one of the 50 oldest marathons in the country – while I’m sure the course (and scenery) has changed throughout the years, it’s great to run in a race that you know has so much history.

Did I persuade you to run? If you haven’t registered, you can win registration. 

Here’s how to enter – these are all worthy of separate entries so – please leave a separate comment for each way you choose to participate!

  1. Leave a comment on this post. You can explain why you want to run the race OR if you’ve run before, your favorite part of the race. OR just tell me your favorite running mantra. What keeps you going?
  2. Follow @koskim (me!) on Twitter and leave comment telling me you did.
  3. Follow @koskim (me!) on Instagram and leave a comment telling me you did.
  4. Follow @clevemarathon on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you did
  5. Tweet the following: “I want to run the @clevemarathon with @koskim!  http://bit.ly/1y5y1mS #runcle #clemarathon” and leave a comment telling me you did. You can do this once a day for the entire contest time, just remember to leave comments for each time you do it!

The giveaway will run through midnight Eastern Time on Thursday, April 9 – I’ll announce a winner Friday, April 10.

Post-race brunch last year with Erica and Nicole – my lovely lady running buddies!

Playhouse Square’s 2015-16 Broadway Season!

Those of you that know me know that I’ve grown to love and embrace my new (is it still new if I’ve been here 7 years?) city, Cleveland. I’m always celebrating Cleveland and telling friends and family who are not from here how great it is and what the city has to offer.

One of the things I love about this city is our amazing theaters and performances that I’m lucky enough to attend and are literally a walk away from my apartment. As you may know, Playhouse Square is the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City. This week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the 2015-2016Broadway Series Launch Party AND I got to go with my sister-in-law Mary for a lovely girls night!

Some highlights from the event:

Trying out a selfie stick thanks to the Playhouse Square crew (including a former intern of mine!)

maryandme

Wearing a media pass! (and being at a non-work related event and doing so)

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Playing around at the Playhouse Square photo booth!unnamed

AND for what you’ve all been waiting for – at the party, I got to hear what shows are coming to Cleveland next season. Here’s what’s coming to town!

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What am I most excited about? If I had to choose only 3:

  1. I’m SO excited for some of these shows, especially Matilda. I LOVED the book growing up and then the movie and am so ready to see the show brought to life on stage!

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2. If/Then looks really interesting and good. I love the plot line (a 30-something year old woman trying to determine her future, find herself, etc.) AND I’ve heard it’s MADE for RENT fans (ahem – me!)

3. Phantom. Okay, so I’ll admit I’m not the typical theatre junkie and obsessed with Phantom of the Opera, but B likes it and I want to give it another try. And in all honesty, the sat time I saw it we were behind a family that talked the whole time so hopefully this time with better seats I can enjoy it more.

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Bonus: Beautiful. We got to hear several performances from this musical and they were incredible. I don’t know much about Carole King, or her music, but the show looks great and I’d love to learn more!

Interested in seeing any of these shows? Become a Season Ticket holder to secure your seats now!

Some questions for you:

  • Okay, have you seen any of these shows? Any recommendations?
  • Do you have a favorite musical or one you’ve seen over and over again? Wicked and RENT and Newsies. Can I have more than one?
  • Have you used a selfie stick?

Disclosure: I was given two complimentary tickets to Playhouse Square’s Broadway launch party, as well as access to the post-party media event. All views on this post are my own.

WIAW: Sunday! (Cake for Breakfast)

I decided to switch it up a little bit this week – I’m sharing with you a day of Sunday eats! I typically share a weekday post but guess what – I remembered to take food pics on Sunday!

I woke up fully intending to have a great breakfast of eggs and beans – and B was ready to make it of me! – but somehow ran out of time and only had 15 minutes for breakfast before my Sunday morning plans, meeting Nicole for a walk and tea. Oh well. That meant breakfast was quick – but still delicious! I had made lemon cake Saturday so it sounded perfect for Sunday breakfast. IMG_20150329_164012 Then it was time to meet Nicole. We took a nice walk and enjoyed a pot of tea while we caught up. She just got back from Australia so it was awesome to hear some of her stories. That’s my favorite from Cleveland Tea Revival – ginger turmeric.

a whole pot of ginger turmeric for me!

a whole pot of ginger turmeric for me!

I got home about 1 p.m. and was starving. Guess lemon cake doesn’t fill you up? I luckily had some leftovers from Friday night waiting for me. Note – I forgot to take a photo of it on Sunday, but here’s the photo of my veggie burger on Friday. I had about half leftover.

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And with the veggie burger I had some more veggies! I did some meal prep and ate some of the veggies I was preparing – spinach, brussels sprouts and some additional frozen veggies. Oh and this new flavor (for me) of La Croix. Pretty yummy!

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Sunday dinners are typically with B’s family, but I had to work and we had tickets to see a final movie at the Cleveland International Film Festival, so we had a quick dinner planned. Below – my concoction from the Heinen’s salad bar. I assure you it was really good and about 1.3 lb. of food. #notashamed

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Some questions for you:

  • Do you have standing Sunday night dinner plans? We typically go to B’s parents house for dinner and I love it!
  • Dessert for breakfast – anyone else guilty?
  • Favorite salad bar toppings? Quinoa salads, edamame, hummus, beans and the Heinen’s roasted red pepper tofu (in the photo above on the bottom) – so good! Oh and I also love some good Krab (fake crab). I don’t know why – but it’s something I enjoy!