Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Carbs: Whole Wheat Bread

Carbaholic. Yes, that is me. Spaghetti or lasagna served without french bread is like Siegfried without Roy, Seinfeld without Kramer, cutting onions without crying... ok I think that was going down hill quickly. There is only one thing better than finding your favorite bread on sale at the store, and that is baking your own FRESH bread! I absolutely love to have a slice of piping hot bread with honey on it. That is seriously dessert to me...Alright, you caught me! I would still have a scoop of nutella on the side :)

I have been baking many more loaves of my precious bread lately. I always bake two loaves; one to eat on the spot, and one to place in the freezer so we can enjoy the home baked goodness later. It works out perfectly, and thank goodness it thaws quickly too! If you love homemade bread, try this recipe it is QUICK (only has 1 rise) and is scrumptious!

The title of this recipe is "The Best Homemade Bread Ever"
I am not sure I can say it is the BEST, I still have many recipes to try before I can claim that. So I will name it this:

Really Yummy Whole Wheat Bread

yields 2 loaves

2 1/2 cups Warm water (almost hot)
2 TBSP Butter in slices
Put in bowl and let butter melt a little in the water. Then Add:
1 1/2 TBSP Yeast
1/3 cup Sugar
Let sit until foamy. While you wait you can get everything else out. Then add:
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Oil
Mix a little. Then add:
1/2 cup Gluten Flour
Add half of the flour (the whole wheat half) as well and let it mix for a few minutes
5-6 cups Flour (half whole wheat, all purpose/ bread flour)
Add your flour 1-2 cups at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the mixer and is not sticky to the touch. Form 2 loaves and place them into greased pans. Cover and let rise 30 minutes - 1 hour, or until it is about 2 inches above the top of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Your house is going to smell amazing by this point, so get your bread knife out and prepare to start slicing!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What is this blog?

Was my last post really on Thursday? I have been totally slacking on my blogging lately. It is not about forgetting about this blog. I have thought about it daily...several times a day in fact. A lot of what I have been thinking about is simply, "What is this blog about?"
When I started it at the beginning of January, I thought I knew exactly what it would be about. But I feel like it is changing the focus a little. I think it is a blog for everything I am passionate about! When I named it, I did have that in mind; PLAY {my family} EAT {cooking and baking} RUN {my new love for running}. I am still trying to figure out exactly where this blog is going. So please bear with me as I am exploring what direction I want to take the blog. After all, this blog was made to be an outlet for me. I am excited to keep updating this blog and allowing it to go wherever it may. Thanks for reading!

** as for running, I have been taking a break for a number of reasons, but at the top is to simply take time to FULLY heal my knee and calf. I want to get back to 100% so I can fully enjoy it again! I am still running just not logging nearly the miles I was. I am considering posting the other reasons I am cooling down my miles. -- but we will see

**I have been hanging out with my Turbo Jam DVD and although it doesn't work my body the same, it still feels good to be moving! I have been going crazy on the days where a workout just can't be squeezed in. Those days are hard for me...

I will be back tomorrow with a delicious whole wheat bread recipe! Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I set the alarm to get up and work out this morning. But the alarm was promptly turned off when the buzzer sounded. It was a late night, and I just couldn't get my buns out of bed! I didn't work out today, and I always feel so grungy when I don't work out. I wanted to make up my workout later in the day, but it was BIZ--AY with all sorts of St. Patrick's day goodness.
At the top of that list were these little cuties.

I have always wanted to make rainbow cupcakes, and today was the day! Maister was excited to help out, and Gator was happy to eat the frosting.

The inside. They turned out pastel colors, so I guess I need to add more coloring next time. I wanted them to be a bold red, yellow, green, blue and purple.

All ready to go deliver some holiday goodies to friends. Maister chose who we delivered them too, and she was excited to see her little friends! -- Man, I really need to start doing stuff with my maybe curl it or style it in some way. I don't think the blow dryer is considered styling it anymore...--

St. Patty's isn't my favorite holiday, but this year it was so much more fun than usual! I love that my kiddos are getting old enough to enjoy green milk, and having permission to pinch those not wearing green :)

This holiday is quickly moving its way up my favorites list. It was FUN day :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

From the Kitchen: Healthy Barbecue Chicken Burgers

I wish I had some picture to share today, but we scarfed down our dinner too quickly to take any pictures! I suppose that is a complement from the family. I threw together a little something for dinner tonight and wanted to share it with you! Plus, I need to write it down before I forget :)

Healthy Barbecue Chicken Burgers
Serves 4

2 chicken breasts
2/3 cup barbecue sauce (plus a little more for drizzling) --we used Kinders - DELISH!
3 TBSP red onion, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
4 pineapple rings, or some pineapple tidbits
4 whole wheat burger buns

Place chicken breasts in greased slow cooker. In a bowl mix barbecue sauce, onion, and carrot together. Pour over the chicken and set cooker to low. Let cook for 4-5 hours
A little over half way through cooking, shred the chicken and allow it to continue cooking and marinating in the sauce.
To serve, place some shredded chicken on a toasted bun. Place 1 pineapple ring on of the chicken and then drizzle a little barbecue sauce over top. Place top bun on, and take a big bite!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Half Marathon - CHECK!

There are many things on my bucket list, like:
Travel out of the country -- CHECK
Go on a Hawaiian vacation -- CHECK
Stay a blonde (even if its fake!) -- CHECK
Become a mother -- CHECK
Eat Nutella everyday -- CHECK

Run a half marathon -- CHECK!!

I went to bed early the Friday night before the big race and felt rested (this never happens!) when I woke up in the morning. I debated what to wear, but decided on BYU BLUE as we were in Vegas so Jay could watch our team play some basketball. (GO JIMMER!)

The route was two out-n-backs. The first one was all paved and was relatively flat.
This is about the half way point. Right on my way "back" from the first out-n-back.

The second half was on a "packed" trail. I did not know that would be the case. And as soon as my feet hit the trail I felt like a total wuss! Props to all the trail runners out there! It was way more difficult than the pavement. The second half had some hilly spots, and I was feeling pretty tired. I almost biffed it going around the corner to a downhill spot...I felt so dumb...
I had GU Chomps in my butt pocket and they seemed to help quite a bit. I also really took advantage of all the water stations and took a couple of sips and poured the rest on my head. It felt soo good in the heat! Unfortunately, after a few hills, I was feeling pretty tanked. I was watching for the last water station and was dying to get that cup in my hand. The guy handing me the cup said something but I couldn't hear him through my headphones. So I just took the cup and took a sip. It was HEED not water... grr! I was so bummed. I really wanted some water! I ran my last 2 miles at a much slower pace, but was thrilled when I got to this point:
WAHOO! I finished. I didn't make the time I was hoping (less than 1:50), but I was still happy that I finished! Considering I was coming off my injury and hadn't run much the week and a half prior I was very happy! Now I have a PR to base some new goals off of. My official time was 1:55:03. 8:47 pace
I came in 8th in my age division! Posing in front of Lake Mead. There was a beautiful view of the lake for the entire run. They had sliced oranges, watermelon, donuts, bananas, oreos and water for the post race food. I loaded up on watermelon, oranges and water. The fruit had never tasted so good!

Showing off the muscles I made during training :)

Posing with my little Gator bug. Maister stayed behind at Jay's uncles home so Jay wouldn't have to chase both kiddos around the trails.
So glad I have my first half behind me! I am not sure where I will go from here, but I am thinking about what is best to do next. First I just want the blister under my toe nail to heal, and then I will go from there. YUCK!


Sorry I was missing this past week. I didn't get on my email ONE TIME while we were on vacation -- this is a big deal people!-- WONDERFUL I can honestly say it was one of the best trips we have had in a while.

I have much to post and catch up on. But in the mean time, just wanted you to know that:

I SURVIVED my FIRST half marathon!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Say it Ain't So

Here is a quick training update:

Saturday: 10.6 miles 8:19 pace

Tuesday: 6.04 miles 8:12 pace

Thursday: 6.16 miles 8:07 pace

Now, to the bad news.
Tuesday I left early in the morning to venture out on my run. I was tired, and not too thrilled to be up running! But I enjoyed the cool air. As I was running, I felt like my legs were on FIRE. While running, I was thinking of what the proper description would be for how my calves were feeling. INFERNO was the best word I could come up with. I wasn't sure why my calves were feeling so crummy. So I got home and iced a little, but thought it would pass, and that they just need to stretch out a little.

Fast forward to Thursday. Got up early again, and as I took my first 2 or 3 strides my right leg was in big pain. I even limped those strides. But right after those steps I was no longer limping and was able to go on with my run with relative ease. That is until I got a 1/4 mile from home and had to stop and start up again at a stop light. Once again, my right leg felt like it could fall off (exaggeration: yes :) ) Looking back, I wish I just would have stopped after the first stride and crawled back in to recover and not do more damage! but I didn't know...

SO - I don't know what is wrong! All I know is that both my right and left legs are dying right now! It is mostly my right calf, and a little in left knee (no surprise as I have babied it for the past 8 years since my ACL repair).

Ice, heat, REPEAT! That is all that is going through my head right now. That, and the fear of not being able to run next week.

I am so nervous about that whole situation. I am supposed to run 8miles on Saturday, 5 monday, 4 wednesday and 2 friday. I am confident that 8 miles will not be happening on Saturday. As of right now, I am planning on resting until Monday in the hopes that things will work themselves out, and then try for 4 or 5 Monday morning.

I believe God answers prayers, and I have been praying all day that I will be able to complete my half marathon next Saturday. This is what I have been working towards since last fall. Then I will rest for longer than a few days. I have some other hopes for right after my half.

If you made it all the way through this novel, THANK YOU!

Anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to have a speedy recovery???? What could be going on in my calf?

Chicken Salsa Tacos

As promised, here is yummy, simple, recipe #1 for the week. This is one of my "go to," always have ingredients on hand, recipes. It is quick, flavorful, and healthy!

Chicken Salsa Tacos
1 chicken breast
1/2 cup salsa (I prefer mango)
Put chicken breast in 2 qt. crockpot (I use a smaller crockpot when I do just one breast to prevent burning), and pour salsa over the top. Cook on low for about 4 hours. About an hour before you want to serve, shred the chicken and allow it to really soak up the juices.
We serve in a tortilla with rice, pinto beans, little cheese and more salsa!
I even like to add some of the leftover chicken into my lunch time veggie wraps. Adds great taste!
Hope you like it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I haven't posted my weekly menu for 2 weeks, but there really wasn't anything exciting, and since it was the last of the month we tried to eat all our leftovers and meals I had previously frozen in the freezer. Here is what we will be enjoying this week. The bolded things are NEW recipes. I will be posting some new recipes to share soon!
Monday - Chicken Salsa Tacos - recipe it come!
Tuesday - WagonWheel Chili
Wednesday - Tuna Pasta Bake
Thursday - Baked Turkey Burritos
Friday - Sweet n Sour Chicken Pizza
Saturday - still deciding - possibly eating out - possibly cooking for 6 adults and 4 kids! But I
won't know until at least Friday.
Sunday - Mexican Fiesta! Birthday dinner for the sister in-law. Including, enchiladas, taquitos,
and more! Plus a MILE HIGH DEVIL's FOOD CAKE!
Obviously I am trying a lot of new recipes this week. So far so good. I am really excited about the sweet n sour chicken pizza.
What are you eating this week?