Monday, June 10, 2013

For The Love Of Friends and Family

So Saturday was the Paige's Butterfly run in Syracuse, our second race where we attempted to coral our friends to run or walk.  Like November's Jingle Bell run, we did pretty well I'd say.  This time of year it gets a little tricky because the kids all have sports and what not (we skipped a few things to do this but it was worth it).  I think its really great to get out there with your friends and family that you usually gather around food and drinks with to do something healthy together.  I was having fun with the photo editing so I thought I'd share a few pictures from the day.
This is my sister Ouije and I.  You've seen her before.  She's really a trooper when it comes to this stuff.  It wasn't all that long ago that she could be quoted saying things like "Running is bad for you!" an so on.  In the past couple of years she's decided that as an "older " parent (became a mom at 40) that it's time to get her butt in gear to live a nice long healthy life for her boy Chase.  We always take a pre-race photo.  In case one of us doesn't make it I suppose.  Just kidding.
This is Phoebe and her friend MacKenzie.  This was their second 5k in two weeks!  These little girls are impressive indeed.
These three cuties where geared up to run their first 3k.  Chase, Hayden and Sammi.
Here's me nearing the finish line.  I was working hard to beat last year's time, but also very focused on beating this guy.  Sometimes I just need to set my sights on someone and go for it.
Check it out, neck and neck with that guy.
Honestly, I'm not sure how its panned out but I'm pretty sure I'm beating him.
Here we have Rob, MacKenzie and Phoebe bringing it on home!  Phoebe's looking good, beat her time from Memorial day by 1 second (what are the odds?).
Here comes Ouije! Busting out the high fives for everyone.  She's such a celebrity.  Unfortunately there is no picture of Heather coming in because she was 5 seconds behind me and Melanie (who was taking pictures) had no clue where she was!  Next time Mrs. B!
Woot Woot! Here's PJ finishing his first 5k! This is a big accomplishment, especially when he had to overcome stress fractures before being able to really train for it. 
Here's MacKenzie's mom, Amy.  How does she keep her hair so cute after 3 sweaty, muggy miles?  I always have an Afro when I'm done.
I've been friends with PJ since about 5th grade.  We've never done anything healthy together until this year.  Sorry, I'm cracking myself up. Look how happy he is!
Ouije and I like to take an "after" picture too.  Just to prove we survived it.  After the 5k was the 3k walk/run.  Everybody participated in that one (except Ouije and Phoebe who were on photo duty).
Here's Haydo busting it out at the end of his 3k!
He and Nels had a pretty tight race to the finish! (Yes, Nelsy ran two races, one with each kid.)
Run Chase RUN!!!!!! I love this picture.  I'm pretty sure I need to blow it up and get it printed.
Talk about impressive.  Mike is practically a paraplegic, OK, I'm exaggerating but he has a really bad back and some days are pretty terrible.  He was supposed to walk the 3k but got caught up in all the excitement and decided to try and run.  And run he did.  Here H is meeting him for a high 5 as he nears the finish line (eating Chase's dust).
We all look pretty psyched in this picture.  Jenny's pumping her fist back there, Melanie looks pretty excited, I look like an orangutan.  Not sure what all that was...
One more for the road.  Jenny, Heather, Zoe and Sam.  Nice looking bunch!  Not sure what our next group event is, but I'm sure it will be fun and I'm sure we'll be glad we did it.  Now what are you waiting for? Go make a plan with your crew!
Aack! I almost forgot the Dance Party! Pretty funny stuff.  Gangnam Style.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sans Meat Saturday?

Are you a vegetarian?  If not, do you make it a point to have meatless meals throughout the week?  I notice different groups on social media and elsewhere promote the idea of meatless Mondays to encourage people to reduce their consumption of meat and saturated fats.  Personally, I don't like being tied down to a certain day to eat a certain food (my kids thought it was cool that the neighbors have Taco Tuesdays but I say, what if I feel like spaghetti on Tuesday eh?).  We typically have at least one meatless dinner per week but it's not something we consciously plan out.  It just sort of happens that way.  Yesterday however, was a true meatless Monday (because I forgot to thaw the chicken).  I looked at a couple of different recipes and created my own Springy Pasta with Herbs.
I started with some frozen corn, a few zucchinis a couple of tomatoes, an onion and some garlic (always).
I heated a little olive oil and cooked the onion for a few minutes, then added the corn.
Once the corn was heated through I added the zucchini and cooked a few minutes more.
While the veggies were cooking and pasta was boiling I chopped up a variety of herbs.  Here I have a combo of thyme, parsley, oregano and basil for a total of about 3 tablespoons chopped.
Next I added the herbs, garlic and a couple of chopped tomatoes and a splash of the pasta water to the pan and cooked until the tomatoes broke down a little and zucchini was soft.
While that was working I whisked together a cup of part-skim ricotta, 1/4 cup skim milk and 1/4 cup pasta water.
I added the pasta right into my new fabulous pan that holds a ton!
Pour the cheese right on top and mix well.  I also stirred in a 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
In the end we had a nice creamy, veggie pasta dinner that everybody loved!  I love it when the experiments pay off.

Springy Pasta with Herbs

12 oz farfalle pasta cooked according to package (al dente)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
3 med zucchini, chopped
1 3/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 med tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbs chopped fresh herbs (any combination of thyme, basil, oregano, parsley)
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
kosher salt

Cook pasta according to directions to al dente in salted water.  Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet.  Cook onions until soft about 5 min.  Add corn kernels and cook about 3 min until corn is heated through.  Add chopped zucchini and cook stirring occasionally 3 min.  When zucchini has softened, add tomatoes, garlic and herbs, cook until tomatoes start to break down slightly.  Add a splash of cooking water if needed.

Meanwhile, whisk ricotta, milk and 1/4 cup pasta water in a small bowl.  Add pasta and then cheese mixture to the skillet stirring to coat veggies and pasta.  Stir in Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with a sprinkle of parm if desired.

Hayden loved this so much that he took some to school today and ate it cold for lunch.  Sounds better than a PBJ to me.