Monday, January 18, 2010

Adventures in Texas with Lindy and the Pretzel!

I know Lindy gave you all/most of the details about last week's adventures in Austin/Round Rock/Pfluggerville, but for those of you who don't visit facebook (lin posted a bunch of these photos) or Picasa (Dunc's albums), here is a photo recap from my camera:

My first night there, we needed to watch the Rose Bowl (Longhorns!) so we headed to Sushi Mimi (I think...) and I took these lovely gems.

Then we came home and hung out with the animals:





Rick! loves Chris.

The next day after a Whole Foods visit, I cooked up some risotto and Chris worked his magic on some chicken:

And we made some mulled cider! It was real cold in Texas. (My fault?)

And then it was time for Baby Shower Day! Before the shower, Lauren (Lody) and I ran around Lady Bird Lake. It was totally awesome.

The red dotted lines show all the options there are around the lake. It was super awesome. Cold, but awesome.

To the shower!

Growing belly!

Lizard made this beautiful diaper cake.

Betsy (Henson, not me) made these delicious wraps.

Lizard's hand decorated cake and Lindy and I made cake balls!

Two headed pregnant lady!

Attempts at guessing Riley's name.

Cathy and Rhyan, too cute.

Baby Taylor loves her hands.

Belly string!

Lin with all the presents!

Confused over the Moby wrap thing.

This is why... many instructions...

Totally worth it. Baby wrap!

Little Lindy decided to tie up Lauren.

And here Lauren is teaching us how to cut a cake without ruining the frosting. Floss!!! AMAZING.

Of course, before I left, we had to go to Chuy's!

Oh Riley, your parents are so awesome.

Chuy's chips!

Lindy takes great pictures. Seriously.

Thanks Lindy and Chris (And Rick! and Jess and Phil) for hosting me Texas-style! I can't wait to come back and see the little Pretzel live and in person!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Revisiting the Polar Bear

You may recall that Duncan and I were planning to and did run a 5k on New Year's Day that ended with a dive into the freezing waters of Lake Washington. And it was COLD. It also was one of the harder races I've run in the last 12 months.

Still, it is hands down the best race of the year

I was a bit hungover (sorry parents!) from imbibing a bottle of champagne on NYE, but the movement of running felt great. Dunc and I started the race out together, but I knew we wouldn't stick it out for the whole race. Even with my longer distance training, Dunc still is stronger and faster in the short distances. 

I had aspirations of running sub-24, but the night's festivities were not going to allow it. At mile marker 1, I was running about an 8:30 mile and Dunc had about 400 meters on me. I kept the same pace up 'til mile 2 and then BAM: heavy legs, mind games, the WALL. I really wanted to walk, and people started passing me, but I just told myself: "Self, you will not be happy if you walk. AND you ran a half marathon. C'mon!!! This is a measly 3 miles!!! Get to the lake!!! NOW!!!!"

So I pushed through and started picking up the pace a little until finally I rounded the bend to the boat launch. I dove into the water head first. Now last year, the lake was actually much warmer than the air temperature, but this year, the lake was so much colder. After diving in, my breath was totally taken away and I slowly made my way around the turn to finally run out of the water and finish. Whew.

It didn't take long to find a soaking wet Duncan at the finish line, he had ended up coming in about 30 seconds ahead of me and after discussing our race had the same mile 2 wall, but his motivation was: "Betsy will be so disappointed if I walk..." Not true, but whatever keeps you running!!!

 After the dive in, I hadn't yet realized that diving head first in the water may result in the loss of glasses...

 Dunc clearly has also had the breath shocked out of him.

 And here he is totally warm and toasty at the finish.

The official results: 

And the Double Dip Team results:

11.   50:46 explosivo                                 (  25:23)
  1    25:05    487 Duncan Hauenstein        Seattle            WA 24  M
  2    25:41    486 Elizabeth Evans          Seattle            WA 25  F

We came in 11th as a team out of 46 teams... not too shabby! I was pleased with the improvement over last year and Duncan is officially hooked. Anyone else want to run into the lake???

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I love potatoes.

SWEET potatoes! And Molokai purple potatoes... and the purple potatoes we recently received in our CSA box... I really do love potatoes.

Why all the potato love? Because this evening, we cooked up a bunch more potatoes in the beauty of a cassoulet dish with some chicken, beets and red wine. DELISH!

Our CSA box provides us with an abundance of potatoes:

Les pommes de terre! (This is one of my favorite French words, literally, the apple of the earth. Ahhh, ze french. Sometimes they get it so right!)

As you can see, I cut them all up and threw them in the baking dish along with some onions, smashed garlic, salt, A LOT of pepper, and some of these beauties:
These are Full Circle Farm Chioggia beets and your standard red beet. I love beets too. I am a bit like Brick Tamland, I just look at things (read: food) and fall in love.

 Here all the veggies mixed up with a bit a lot of olive oil and ready for a hot oven!

Although this isn't really a new recipe (I didn't find it in one of my new cookbooks), I thought this could still qualify as meeting my once-a-week-new-recipe/food-blog resolution. Yeah?

Go now, put many delicious things into a pot and cook it. You will not be disappointed. And watch Anchorman, because Steve Carell will make you smile.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lucky New Year!

I would have titled it Gelukkig Nieuwjaar... except, Dunc already did that. I didn't want to be repetitive, so I translated! YAY!

It seems like a lot of people are posting resolutions around this blogosphere, so I thought I would join in with a few of my own. Granted I usually just make changes in my life when I think of them and want them to happen. - examples: Cash Diet (March 2009), Operation Save More Dollars (September 2009), Lose the Office 20 (2008-2009). But I have been thinking about doing a few things that just happen to coincide with the beginning of Twenty Ten!

Eat less sugar. 
Although I don't consume the daily americano and sugar dose that Dunc is planning to deal with, I do have a MASSIVE post-dinner sweet tooth. And I cannot turn down homemade baked goods (hence the need to lose the office 20). Recently, Rob said goodbye to desserts and hasn't looked back... mostly. He raves about more even energy levels and just generally feeling better. I would like that. I find sitting in front of my computer at work to be draining enough, I don't need to add in afternoon blood sugar variations. Over the last year or so, I have done a lot of experimenting with other sweeteners (Agave, honey and maple syrup) and we have mostly rid of refined sugars, but I still have my work cut out for me.

But I will never let go of the crombler!!!

Run a race EVERY MONTH!
I already have January covered with our race this morning. And I have a half marathon in March and a FULL (ahhhhhh) planned for June. So I have my work cut out in filling the rest of the year. I will take any and all suggestions (unless you offer ridiculous distances... I am sadly no Ultra marathoner). I am toying with the idea of running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Fran... and maaaybe the St. George Marathon... maybe.

Determined to race face!

Travel more!
This may not really be a resolution, but Dunc and I always talk about doing it and haven't really gotten out of the country since Europe 2006... seriously 2006? In order to ensure the commencement of traveling adventures, after we returned from our NYE celebrations at around 3am, I bought us round-trip tickies to the UK (with a 9 hour layover in Reykjavik for some quick exploring). Watch out England, Duncan and Betsy are going to take you by storm!!! WOOO! (Side note, I've been researching ticket prices to the UK for about a month, the purchase was not a crazy drunken escapade. I take my cheap ticket locating skills very seriously.)

Seriously, '06. We go!!!

Cook more. And more.
We received a lot of awesome kitchen gadgetry and literature this year (Thanks Momlette, Bob, Mamsie, Dad, Thonky and Nell!!!) and I do love spending time in the kitchen, so I resolve to try a new recipe every week and hopefully blog about it. Look at some of the pretty things I get to cook in!

A beauty of a stoneware cassoulet. The potatoes we cooked and served in it last night were SUPER delicious.

And yes, these are mini casserole dishes. It is okay to be jealous.

Improve photo skilllllz.
We also received a new lens and digital SLR photography books (Thanks Dad and Thonky!) and I really want to do the camera justice. So I will be reading and learning a lot more about photography this year, maybe even take a few classes.

Be green(er)!
We definitely need to offset our travel carbon footprint with more green efforts. Although in a rented home, we are limited... alas we cannot remove the house entirely from the grid or replace our old inefficient washer and dryer, but we can continue to reuse, reduce, recycle, compost, mulch, grow more of our own food, let the yellow mellow and look for more new ideas from Jody! We have saved ourselves money and reduced our space in the landfill with our efforts, we are down to the smallest trashcan the city provides, 5 gallons and we still don't fill it. We hate garbage.

Oh and learn to drive... a manual vehicle.
I think Dunc will soon be tired of having to drive me everywhere and I've only logged 15 minutes in the driver's seat. Only stalled once! WOO!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I hope 2010 will bring you everything you hoped and dreamed.

Betsy's shared items