Archive for November, 2010

Walk it out, yo.

This summer (back in the time I like to refer to as BFU–Before Flare Up) I accomplished a major goal of mine–running in a race. I signed up with my good friend, Runner Kelsey, and by “signed up” I mean, “was forced to register upon pain of death because she was sick of hearing my complaints about not doing anything exciting.” So, since Miss K was sick of hearing about my  boring life, she decided to give me a goal, run a 5k with her on Father’s Day.

We headed over to the race course (at a high school about 20 minutes away) and prepared ourselves for the burning heat. I was a little nervous before we got started, but not overwhelmingly so. It was a verry small race with a lot of kids and old folks (it was called the Run With Dad race–so yeah, there were some pretty old dads). Anyway, the important thing wasn’t my time (32:00) or the fact that it was entirely uphill and over 85 degrees outside, nope. The important thing was that I finished. And I felt damn good.

I'ma beast.

Sidenote: Look at how happy I was! A sigh of nostalgia for my tanned skin and toned arms. Now my arms are limp noodles and my skin is pallid with a tint of orange from all the carrots I eat (no seriously, I have orange hands, knees and toes).

Moving right along…I signed up for another race 3 weeks later, a 4th of July race in temperatures above 90 degrees. I felt like straight up passing out at the end and disregarded all of my training and just sat down afterward, in better shape than some fellow runners who barfed at the end. Ick. 29:23 was my time–I almost cried when I saw that I made it under 30 minutes. From then on decided that I was going to call myself a “runner” and train for a 10k–maybe even a 20k in September! I thought I could do it.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I’m running 5 miles on weekends and a couple shorter distances during the week, when–bam. I’m sidelined with the illness outlined here. I quite literally came to a screeching halt.

The point of this post isn’t to really talk about my sickness–that will come at another time. I just wanted to say that I went running again for the first time in months on Sunday…and frankly, it did not go well. I don’t know if you’ve ever just stopped doing all forms of physical exercise for a couple of months, but it’s damn near impossible to get started again. For approximately 1 minute I jogged along rocking out to some Gaga on my ipod and thought, “hey! This isn’t as bad as I thought it would be!”  And then another 30 seconds passed. My legs felt like they were about to fall off, my lungs were on fire, my stomach clenched up in protestation of the strain that was being placed on it, and I had to stop. I took a couple of deep breaths and just started walking. I don’t think that pipe-dream Turkey Trot 5k is going to happen–who am I kidding? I can barely run for 1 minute, let alone 1 mile.

Honestly, I’m trying to be okay with a mile-long walk with Rat Dog and my momma in the evenings. Like Miss SnackFace just wrote, why aren’t more people content with walking as a form of exercise? I’m going to rock out the walks for now, and maybe someday I’ll walk myself to a half-marathon 🙂

I know that there are lots of folks out there who have had to deal with physical and emotional setbacks after an injury (or disease, in my case)–how did you deal with it? How long did it take for you to get back into the swing of things?


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Ideas and Ideals

“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.” –Cobb, Inception

Have you ever been woken up suddenly, without warning, with an idea stuck in your head? Like it had been placed there by rogue thieves who snuck up on you in the middle of the night and implanted an idea so that it sticks–there’s no forgetting it once you wake up. Besides making for the plot of an amazing movie (seriously, Inception was one of my favorite movies of the summer), that is exactly what happened to me this morning. Last night I went to bed thinking about pizza and woke up this morning positively obsessed with the idea of cinnamon rolls. But not just any old cinnamon roll–I’m talking about cinnamon roll pancakes.

Mmm, who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls? You’d have to be insane not to love the little swirls of dough and buttery cinnamon-sugared goodness, all baked to oozy perfection. My Grandma DiMuzio was known for a lot of things in her day, but was positively famous for her cinnamon rolls. She would spend an entire day making dozens of batches of the gorgeous rolls so she could send out packages to each of her TEN children and their families. It was almost better than Christmas morning when we got one of Grandma’s boxes of cinnamon rolls in the mail–all of my sisters would fight over who got to open the box first.

This morning, I wanted to do some justice to Grandma D’s memory by making some cinnamon rolls, but damn it, I’m lazy. Do I want to wait for 4 hours to let some yeast rise? Uh, no. I want to have my cinnamon rolls delicious, but quick. I hope Grammie doesn’t think any less of me. For some reason, I think she’d actually be quite proud of the emergence of this idea…

Behold, the Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Pancake

In order to achieve the taste of yeasted dough, I mixed together a batch of sourdough pancakes. I happen to be one of those people who keeps a jar of sourdough starter in my refrigerator, just in case I feel the need to knead. I also happen to make awesome puns. Anyway, here’s the recipe as I created it this morning. Typically, you’re supposed to create a sourdough sponge and let it sit out the night  before making your pancakes, but as I said before, this idea came to me in sleep. I just had to roll with it.

1 cup sourdough starter, divided between 2 bowls

[the rest of the ingredients are per bowl]

1/2 cup flour (I use King Arthur All Purpose)
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 flax egg (1 tbsp. flax mixed with 3 tbsp. water, microwaved for 30 seconds until gloopy)
A little bit of vanilla

Bowl 1:
Mix together all ingredients and let it sit there while you prepare the cinnamon swirl mix.

Bowl 2:
2 tsp.  cinnamon (maybe more? I just added some until I felt like there was enough)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. Earth Balance, melted
1/4 tsp. cocoa powder (this is mostly just to make the dough a little darker in color)

Mix together (not too much!)

Then the real fun begins! Well, it’s only fun if you consider attempting to do a swirl in a hot griddle/pan with two different kinds of batter “fun.” I just call it “making a mess” but whatever. Try to swirl the two batters together. This is really just trial and error here, my methods were erratic and I mostly just ended up with pancakes that looked like yin-yangs. Which is totally fine.

Pancakes of Peace

Makes a whole stack-o-cakes

While your pancakes are cooking away on your pan, prepare the topping. This topping is essential to the flavor and authenticity of the cinnamon swirl pancakes.

1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. Earth Balance, melted
1 tbsp. flax seeds
1 tbsp. maple syrup
crushed walnuts

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. When you’re ready to eat, top off your gorgeous (or not) cinnamon swirls pancakes with the brown sugar topping. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Money shot

Wipe that drool of yo' keyboard. It isn't sanitary.

And here’s one more money shot, just for posterity’s sake.

How bad can that be?

Somehow, I managed to save a couple of cakes for my parents. My mother declared, “Ihop would have a field day with this!” and I had to concur. Ihop, do you see these? Call them Ruth Cakes or something to that effect–just make sure they’re vegan.

My dad’s reaction was…interesting. As Grammie D was his mother, he is a more than a little uncomfortable with the idea of taking one of her most beloved recipes and changing it. He got over that trepidation quite quickly when he took a bite of these pancakes, though. “Close to Nirvana,” he stated. I smiled knowing that I had managed to achieve something close to culinary greatness.

“I want sausage!” was my dad’s next statement. Sorry, pop. Can’t help ya there.

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Lots of crazy things have happened in the last couple of months. Well, mostly just one thing–a little disease I like to call Ulcerative Colitis (also known as UC//also known as ULTRA CRAP) which once again reared its ugly head. I’ve been down for the count literally since my last post. I’m fairly certain that the antibiotics I took for strep (and, as it turns out, bronchitis) caused me to flare up and–long story short–I ended up in the hospital. Finally things are starting to look up. Taken long enough, I say. I’ll provide more details about my sob story later….because I’m considering resurrecting this ol’ neglected blog, but it might take a while for me to get into a good habit.

I am working on an epic post of epic proportions, hopefully to be published tomorrow evening sometime after I get home from work. Check back! It’ll be worth the wait (or maybe not, but at least give it a shot!).


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