Dancing for Food

Overcoming the ballet body image.


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The Husband’s Chicken Piccata

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have already seen what Mat made for dinner last night.

dinner

 

When we were first dating almost 5 years ago, Mat made me chicken piccata from scratch.  He says he made it once a year ago when we first moved in, but I don’t really remember it.  😦

It’s some amazing eats.  I’ll post the recipe later on!

We had some wine with it.

wine

 

While I washed dishes Mat ran to Ralph’s to get more ice cream.  We were almost out and naturally Saturday nights are better with ice cream.

We dug in the freezer for my leftover chocolate birthday cake to have for dessert.

dessert

 

We also watched The Hangover 2 from Netflix which neither of us had seen.  HILARIOUS.

It was definitely a lovely way to spend a Saturday night after a long run morning.

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20 Miles

I ran 20 miles today. This is something I never thought I would be able to do. The human body amazes me. With proper training, nutrition, and a whole lot of patience and determination, you can run a long distance. Ultramarathoners cover 50 miles at a time. I will never become that crazy, but it’s still an amazing feat.

I suppose it’s also amazing that the human body can do this too.

On your toes

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Side note: I need to do more ballet again. Post-marathon I hope this will happen.

I woke up at 6 to give myself time to a) wake up b) eat something, and c) use the bathroom at least twice. Runners, you know what I’m talking about!

My pre-run fuel was a piece of wheat bread with plenty of peanut butter.

Pre run snack

I left around 7 to meet my dad at 15th street on the boardwalk in Newport Beach by 7:30. He had gotten there an hour before to get 6 miles in before meeting me – he had 26 miles planned for the day! He had to have such an early start because I needed to be home by noon to get ready for a 2 pm hair appointment. He said it was all good training though because these races start early. So true.

We definitely took some walk breaks and paced ourselves pretty slow in general. He actually has been going a little slower than I generally have, but it was good for me to do that. When we were done, my knee wasn’t nearly as stiff as it had been last time. We kept just under a 10 minute mile when running. I had a Clif shot gel at miles 8 and 15, and drank a Gatorade/water mix that became less Gatorade and more water as the run went on.

We started at 15th street and ran to the wedge where I had taken this picture last week.

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Today was much more foggy and I didn’t a picture. You could hardly see the water.

From there we went back down the boardwalk and all the way to the Santa Ana River Basin. We crossed the bridge and knew that we had to go until my Garmin said 12.7 and then we would turn back. Here was the view in Huntington Beach at mile 12.7.

12.7 mile view

Daddy eating Gu, not getting tired at all. 🙂

Daddy at 12.7

Me at mile 12.7, also not getting tired at all.

Me at 12.7

Not sure what’s going on with the red skin.  Or my half-closed right eye.

We kept running, or as Daddy called it, trotting, stopping to walk when necessary. Eventually we made it back to the Santa Ana River Basin and were officially back in Newport Beach. The entire way back was much easier mentally because we were going toward the cars rather than away from them. The Garmin beeped 20 miles a couple of blocks ahead of where we thought it would, and we walked back to the cars. Daddy still wanted to cover about a mile more because he hadn’t quite done the full 6 before meeting up with me. I thought he was crazy, but I also totally understand wanting to finish what you set out to do.

When we hit 20.

20 miles done

Done!

I got home, foam rolled, and drank a protein shake made with chocolate protein powder and chocolate coconut milk. ‘Twas delicious. I didn’t snap a photo. Oops.

After my shower, lunch was a banana and overnight oats. With well-deserved milk and Hershey’s iced coffee.

Post run food

I’m SO proud of myself for this run. I was nervous, and it was tiring, but I did it. Running it with my daddy helped immensely. Perhaps we can do it again before the race. My longest run before the marathon will be 22 miles, but it won’t be for a few weeks. I’m running the Surf City Half next Sunday, and I plan to treat it like a training run and either take walk breaks or just run it nice and slow. No PR goals for this one.

And now it’s time for a relaxing evening at home. Chipotle and Yogurtland are on the menu tonight!

Oh, and here’s a picture of Oakley trying to steal more hair elastics. I moved the basket of them from the counter to under the sink so she wouldn’t get them, but she promptly figured out where they were and now every time I open the cupboard for something she comes looking.

Kitty thief

What did you do today? Run? Something else? Rest? Share with me!


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Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops (Without the Pops)

Today I made pumpkin spice cake pops. Without the pops. Basically they were cake pops just not on the lollipop stick. I randomly got the idea the other day to make these and this time actually put that idea into action!

I started with a box of yellow cake mix, a can of cream cheese frosting, a can of pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice.

We love all things Trader Joe’s. Which makes sense since Mat works there.

I made the batter using 1/2 cup of pumpkin instead of oil and added 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice.

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It went into a 9 x 13 pan and into the oven at 325 for 28 minutes.

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Once it was done, I let it cool completely. I even put it in the fridge for a while to make sure it cooled down all the way.

To make the frosting, I combined a little over half of the can of cream cheese frosting with about 1/3 cup of pumpkin.

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Then, all that gooey deliciousness got mixed with the cake. I mixed it all up with my hands to make sure the frosting got completely incorporated with the cake. I also added a little more pumpkin pie spice at this point because after taste testing Mat and I both determined it needed a little more spice to it.

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It was then time to form the cake/frosting mixture into balls. I tend to make mine on the bigger side, but you can do them any size you want.

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The cake balls went into the freezer to set for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I started making the candy coating. I used almond bark and red and yellow food coloring to make an orange coating. (The store didn’t have orange food coloring so I had to get creative). I followed what the box said and did 12 drops yellow with 4 drops red. I wasn’t satisfied with that orange, so I did 12 more yellow and 4 more red.

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Once the balls were set, I dipped them all in the orange coating. It was a bit time-consuming (this is the one time where I started to wish I’d done the pops version because you can hold them on the little stick) but it worked. The last few looked weird because the cake was starting to warm and the coating was not as runny, but we just ate those first. 🙂

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See the ones on the left? They’re all wonky. 🙂

Last but not least, I drizzled them all with melted chocolate.

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Halloween perfection!

Now go make these. Seriously. Do it.

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LONG-Awaited Date Night

Tonight Mat and I had our first date night since July.  Yes, July.  Unless you count going to Corner Bakery randomly on a Friday night a month ago, it really has been that long since we had a night to ourselves.  There have been weddings, wedding related activities, and birthdays every weekend for the past two months.  None of those things are bad, but it’s so important to have date nights every once and a while.  You don’t realize just how important they are until you finally get one.

It started with a trip to the pumpkin patch.  There’s a really awesome pumpkin patch just 10 minutes from home.  It’s almost like going to Riley’s Farm but cheaper and easier.  It was pretty hot (we’re having ANOTHER heat wave) so we didn’t stay long, but it was still fun. We even got a picture with one of the scarecrows.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t that sky gorgeous?  We picked out a nice big pumpkin to take home.  We’re thinking we’re going to be extra festive for Halloween and actually carve it!  Or it’s also possible we’ll be lazy and not carve it and just leave it out for decoration until Thanksgiving.  We’ll see. 🙂

Since it was so warm and we didn’t stay nearly as long as we might have had it been actually fall weather, we decided to drop the pumpkin at home.  I also wanted to get the coupon I had clipped for cake mix and frosting since I’m planning to make pumpkin cake pops tomorrow.  I have a bit of a busy morning, but I’m still hoping/planning to do a little experimenting in the kitchen.  Cross your fingers it goes well!  I’ll have a post up about it in the next day or two.

After our random Target run for cake mix and candy (shh…it’s Halloween time.  Candy is totally legal) it was dinnertime!

We had a 5:30 reservation at The Melting Pot.  We’ve been there once before and remembered that it takes quite a while to eat so we opted for an earlier dinner.  We’re total homebodies who fall asleep by 11 and we wanted to watch a movie at home.

If you’ve never been to The Melting Pot, GO!  It’s not cheap (we had a gift card from our wedding that covered a good chunk of it – thanks Sarah!) but it’s definitely worth it if you want a nice dinner out.  The best way to go, at least in our opinions, is to get the four course meal.  It’s priced per couple and includes cheese fondue, salad, entree, and chocolate fondue for dessert.  At $82 per couple, it’s actually not TOO bad when you consider what you get.

We both started with a glass of wine.  Mat had a pinot noir and I had a white wine blend that I can’t remember the name of.  It was slightly sweet with a dry finish.

 

We chose the traditional Swiss cheese fondue as our first course.  It had a couple different cheeses in it along with white wine, garlic, lemon, nutmeg, and some sort of alcohol that was drizzled around the edge.  It came with bread, apple, and veggies for dipping.

 

 

For the second course, we both chose the house salad.  Mine was with the house dressing (kind of a honey mustard but without the mustard) and Mat had the peppercorn ranch.

 

For our entree, we had salmon, mahi mahi, regular shrimp, cajun shrimp, and potstickers along with vegetables.  We cooked it ourselves in a Caribbean inspired broth with orange and lime juices.  Delicious!

 

 

There were 5 different dipping sauces: teriyaki, something similar to sweet and sour, yogurt-based curry, bleu cheese, and The Melting Pot’s own green goddess dip – a blend of sour cream, cream cheese, chives, parsley, and I think something else that I can’t remember.  Whatever it was, it was yummy!

 

And of course, you can’t forget the chocolate fondue.  We chose the cookies and cream marshmallow one.  It was dark chocolate with flambeed marshmallow cream and crushed Oreos on top.  It came with all sorts of goodies to dip.  I licked the bowl clean finished the last few bites with the spoon and promptly was over the top full.  But oh so happy.

 

 

And at that point, I definitely had to roll out.  As I was waiting for the pictures to upload, I was browsing Pinterest and saw this:

 

It was captioned “too full to stand up – I know the feeling.”  And yes, I know the feeling.

Date night is continuing at home with this that we bought on our random Target run:

 

I’ve been wanting to watch this for a while now and have been wanting to get it too.  I love these kind of animated movies on blu-ray, and I also just love the “IT’S SO FLUFFY!!!!” part.  But don’t we all?

This was the perfect date night.  It’s a lovely combination of going out and staying in.  I hope we can do it again soon – at least sooner than three months!

How was your Saturday night?


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Hello, 27

I never got around to doing a birthday post yesterday  – by the time we actually got around to eating dinner it was 8:30 and we still had dessert to eat and I needed to get to bed early.

People were asking today if I had a good birthday.  Honest answer?  Sort of.

The day started off lovely.  We slept in til 8  – we were pretty pooped after Kelly’s awesome wedding.  We got ready and then headed out.  Where to, you ask?

Sprinkles!  Check out this NON-line:

 

AND, this EMPTY (ish) lot!

 

That’s our car there.  Parked easily right in front of the store.  THIS NEVER HAPPENS.

Ok I’ll calm down now.  There wasn’t really an earth-shattering reason for the non-line and empty lot.  We just got there right when they opened.  🙂

 

I got the chocolate coconut and Mat got the peanut butter chip.

 

We then went off to Starbucks.  I used my free birthday drink to get a venti (when it’s free you get the big one, duh) java chip frappuccino.  I got everything light and sugar free, but I did get whipped cream since it was my birthday.

 

I really wanted a salted caramel mocha frappuccino, but they were out of the toffee nut syrup that usual goes in it.  So, I went back to an old favorite with the java chip.

You can tell from the picture that we went to the beach.  Corona del Mar is my favorite beach.  It has calm waves and isn’t very big.  It’s the beach we always went to when I was a kid.  There’s also lots of benches to sit on and grassy areas up above the water.  That’s exactly what we did.

Check out that view!

 

 

This is why I could never leave SoCal.  Gas prices may suck, the economy may suck harder, and houses might be damn expensive, but holy cow is it gorgeous.  And this is only a 10-15 minute drive from our apartment.  One of our criteria for buying a house is that it be just as short of a drive to the beach.  It’s a requirement.

We love the beach!

When Mat suggested going to the beach in the morning, it took zero convincing.  Starbucks and cupcakes for breakfast?  Sure, why not?

The afternoon was spent blogging and uploading pictures from Kelly’s wedding to Facebook.  Mat made me a cake while I vegged out.

Then the day went blah.  I think the tiredness of Friday and then being at a wedding on Saturday night caught up with me.  I had a breakdown.

I generally have 2-3 breakdowns per school year, and unfortunately breakdown number 1 decided to rear its ugly head on my birthday.  Talk about not fair!  This is why my answer to “was my birthday good”  is “sort of.”

Eventually I calmed down and we were able to enjoy dinner.  Mat made me this baked pumpkin fettuccine that had appeared in my inbox a few days earlier (If you don’t read How Sweet It Is, you have to.  Her recipes are A-MAZ-ING).  Except we used whole wheat penne because Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry whole wheat fettuccine.

It.  Was.  Amazing.

 

Even though it’s technically not summer anymore, it’s felt like summer again around here so we made a salad with strawberries, red onion, feta cheese, and craisins dressed with raspberry vinaigrette.  Yum!

Then it was time for dessert!  Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting/filling and Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream.

 

This cake was supposed to have four layers, but as we were assembling it the top layer decided to crack apart.  So now we have a random bowl of cake with frosting in the fridge in addition to the (now) three layer cake.  Oh well.  It still tasted delicious.

Oh yeah!  What did Mat get me?

These!!

 

Ah, I love them!  He actually gave them to me before we went to the beach, but I couldn’t wear them because I have a blister on my toe from the shoes I wore to the wedding and the open toe portion of the wedges hits in the exact spot.  Sadness.  😦

During dessert we watched some Boy Meets World and then hit the hay.  Don’t you hate how fast your birthday goes by once you’re an adult?  At least I still have family birthday dinner this Saturday!


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Serendipity 3

Tonight for dinner we went to Serendipity 3. There are only 2 such restaurants, here in Vegas and in New York City. I’ve always wanted to go there, despite the hefty calories and price tag.

One of the really cool things was that when you put your name in to get seated, they used an iPad to record it. Then they send you a text when your table is ready. The only bad thing was that we were told 25-30 minutes so we walked over to the shops at Caesar’s Palace across the street. Then they texted us a good 10 minutes early and the text said our table would be held for 3 minutes. So, we high-tailed it back to the restaurant, praying they hadn’t given our table away. They hadn’t. 🙂

For dinner, Mat ordered a pesto pizza and I had the triple decker grilled cheese with tomato soup.

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I didn’t finish it, which was good because we also ordered a dessert each.

Mine:

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His:

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Mat loves his cookies. 🙂

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I did pretty well, don’t you think?

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In other news, I wrote an article for the website getmethroughtheweek.com. As soon as I have a link I’ll post it!

Tomorrow we leave Vegas and go back to reality. This time I REALLY go back to reality-first day back to work is Thursday. But for now, it’s movie time. 🙂 We downloaded The Hangover on the iPad. Perfect Vegas movie!

P.S. I’ve noticed the alignment of pictures and such has been strange because I’ve been using the iPad/iPhone. I messed with it tonight, but I haven’t figured it out yet. I’ll be back to normal soon!


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Mini Desserts

What do you get when you combine these,

 

 

 

and then you combine these?

 

These!

 

I got the mini dessert set for a shower gift back in April but had never had a chance to use it.  Since we had company last night, I decided to bust it out.  The little martini glasses are strawberry cheesecake desserts, and the shot glasses are chocolate butterscotch desserts.  I’m sure I took inspiration from Pinterest at some point, but I basically made it up myself.

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

1/2 pound strawberries, chopped small, reserve 4 small berries

1 box instant cheesecake pudding, prepared according to box instructions

2-3 graham crackers, crushed plus 4 small pieces for topping

Directions:

  1. Spoon approximately 1 tsp graham cracker crumbs in bottom of each mini martini glass.  Top with a spoonful of cheesecake pudding and chopped strawberries.  Repeat once.
  2. Top each with a reserved strawberry and graham cracker pieces.

Mini Chocolate Butterscotch Shots

Ingredients:

crumbled brownies, store-bought or homemade plus 4 bite-sized pieces

1 box instant chocolate fudge pudding, prepared according to box instructions

butterscotch chips

Directions:

  1. Spoon approximately 1 tsp crumbled brownies in bottom of each shot glass.  Top with a spoonful of chocolate fudge pudding and butterscotch chips.  Repeat once.
  2. Top each with additional pudding and bite-sized brownies