Weekends Are Made For Livin

I love weekends. I know- you do too. Weekends are great – no (or at least only a little) working, no waking up early (okay, maybe sometimes), just time with friends, family, and you can do whatever you want!

What do I like to do on weekends? Eat … drink/go out … eat good food …. work out … cook … see family and friends … repeat!

And this weekend was pretty much ALL OF THAT.  So there. I won this weekend. And now onto a busy week and the beginning of May!

Friday night was super low key. We ordered some Flaming Ice Cube (RIP kalebouli :() and relaxed. We had to get up early on Saturday for our 10 mile race, so I was hoping to get to bed somewhat early.

Saturday morning started early – at least for a Saturday for me. We had the alarm set at 6 a.m. to get ready for and be at the race on time (side note – last year we got there late … which didn’t matter because it’s chip timed, but still not something we wanted to do every year). Started the day with my usual 1/4 bagel and PB2 and honey and off we went to the race!

It was a cold morning for this time of year – it was 40, cloudy and breezy and I had on a thick long sleeved shirt and vest and pants and gloves and was fine the whole time!

Feeling good post-race

Feeling good post-race

The race wasn’t easy. B pushed me – I’m still sore today! – and made me run harder than I likely would’ve liked, but it worked out! I ended up with a PR from last year too – 1:28:39.16 was my final time!

It was nice to be done with our run and ready for the day by 10:30 a.m. We decided to do our usual Saturday morning activities – hit up the West Side Market and get some tea and coffee in Hingetown.

Tea for me and coffee for B!

Tea for me and coffee for B!

In the afternoon, we hit up the driving range for the first time of the year. I don’t golf and I clearly wasn’t dressed properly, but it was fun to get in a few swings in the beautiful weather.

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Then – Gallucci’s! My favorite Italian grocer has limited hours and B and I made sure to get there early enough to pick up supplies for dinner. We had decided on homemade pizza – best decision ever.

This is Gallucci's. Yes, we also bought wine.

This is Gallucci’s. Yes, we also bought wine.

It was so nice out that we decided to go out and grab a few drinks before making dinner. Our typical go-to spot – Parnell’s.

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And then dinner! B made the best pepperoni pizza ever and we even experimented with limoncello drinks. I made limoncello a few months ago and wanted to try it with prosecco and a little cranberry juice – so good!

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Sunday my legs were sore so I decided to listen to my body and NOT work out. I did make B go for a walk with me – because, why not? It was a gorgeous day.

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We decided to walk to brunch. And surprise – I ended up getting lunch food. I enjoyed a black bean chorizo chili. I love chorizo and beans – it was perfect! B’s biscuits looked pretty good too – but for some reason I really don’t like biscuits and gravy. But his hash brown was amazing!

B's food ... that hash brown was great!

B’s food … that hash brown was great!

My chili

My chili

After a leisurely walk back we ran a few errands and then it was time for the Cavs game. Spoiler – they beat the Celtics and are on to the next round of playoffs! Woohoo!

Sunday afternoon ended with some baking – butterscotch brown sugar cookies from one of my favorite bloggers, Two Peas and their Pod. They came out so good – soft, chewy and sweet.

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And then Sunday dinner at B’s parents house. Another perfect ending to my weekend!

Only one question for you:

  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend? Besides those cookies and the pizza, probably the strawberry rhubarb crumble B’s mom made. Such a great Sunday dessert!

French Toast Casserole

I have a confession to make. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m not reallllly a brunch person. I’m picky about my breakfasts. I don’t really like pancakes. I’m not a huge french toast fan. Waffles? Could do without them. Eggs? Only if they’re very runny, or just the white. Granola? Love it – but I’m used to my mom’s homemade kind so it better be close. Orange juice? Ick. Cereal? Absolutely – as long as I can have 4 to 5 different kinds and can mix them together and eat it dry (without milk). I know – it’s like a crime for a girl in her late 20s to not be a fan of brunch. What can I say – I’m special?

Anyway, I know I’m in the minority. I know most people love brunch and wouldn’t rather be eating a salad, turkey chili  or chicken for breakfast so I compromise. So when B suggested we have some friends from out of town over for brunch I happily obliged. And as you do know, I LOVE baking. So of course I got excited at the prospect of baking for brunch – baking a French Toast Casserole!

This recipe turned out reallly realllly good. It was so easy to prepare (you do most of the work the night before) and made our apartment smell amazing. If you have brunch plans anytime soon, I highly recommend you make this. We served ours with champagne, a fruit salad, scrambled eggs and nitrate free bacon. Cheers!

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Overnight French Toast Casserole

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup or maple syrup

Here’s what you do:

  1. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the bread slices, layered, throughout the dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together eggs (beaten well), milk, half-and-half, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour liquid over bread and refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  3. The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is preheating, in a small pot over medium-high heat, combine butter, brown sugar and syrup. Stir well and heat until the mixture just starts to boil and bubble. Pour over bread and egg mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Enjoy warm. B topped his with syrup, I thought it was sweet enough without it.

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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!

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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!