April 29, 2010

numbers, data, numbers

Some numbers for you:

22 (anticipated)/30 days I've either run, biked or dance partied in April
3.51 miles for the longest distance
255 minutes on a bike
30.68 miles run (plus another ~2.8 tomorrow)
6 weeks until the Bellin 10k
3rd month I've kept a training long (is it a routine yet?)

1/10 kids on target in picture naming in the fall
6/11 kids on target in picture naming in the spring*
5/11 kids near target in picture naming in the spring
0/11 kids far from target in picture naming in the spring

1/10 kids on target in rhyming in the fall
5/11 kids on target in rhyming in the spring
4/11 kids near target in rhyming in the spring
2/11 kids far from target in rhyming in the spring

2/10 kids on target in alliteration in the fall
4/11 kids on target in alliteration in the spring
3/11 kids near target in alliteration in the spring
3/11 kids far from target in alliteration in the spring

*Not all the same kids from fall to spring, but mostly the same. Some kids have left, some new kids started and some 3 year olds have moved up to the 4 year old room recently meaning there's nearly an 18 month age range in the room.

We've made gains in some areas and not in others (the ratios in letter naming remain the same from fall to spring but everyone has gone up at least a little). Some of the kid's scores have been predictable but some have been really suprisingly good. The kid that scored 12, 10, 11, 8 in monthly progress monitoring in picture naming went in and knocked out a 27 (26 is target). I think he just didn't like the controlled aspect of being timed, personally. I knew he could do it and it was irritating that the scores would have been off (used for indication of program's success). But they're not! We're almost done with testing so I should finish up today or tomorrow.

I'm also thinking of half-marathoning it in the fall. Good? Bad? I may want to see how the 10k training goes.

April 19, 2010

window box to fork

Well, I don't have pictures of food for you today but something a little better... Food to be! Kari and I repotted some plants last weekend and picked up some seeds and bulbs/roots for planting.

First, my FAVORITE vegetable of all time:


Kari got a package of asparagus roots that we planted in two different pots. They started out really small as just buds and already these are getting pretty big! They've only been planted for a week so that's huge growth. The package said not to eat the stalks the first season, so I'll get to enjoy some delicious homegrown asparagus next year, if all goes well.

I saw a squirrel checking out the asparagus yesterday and I'm not sure if squirrels eat asparagus, so I yelled "Oy!" to get it to move. I don't know if we'll have to cover the stalks at all to prevent munchers. EDIT: I just saw a squirrel jump down off the roof onto the balcony by the asparagus. The squirrel was eating a cookie, so I think the asparagus will be ok...

Next, our seed box:


And my favorite seasoning of all time...

Cilantro! Grow little cilantro seed, grow! I want to eat you!

I'd love some more outside growing space, but we'll just have to wait to see what type of apartment into which I move. Lease is up at the end of May, so it'll be soon.

April 9, 2010


We run because it makes us feel like winners, no matter how slow or how fast we go.
-Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc, Running for Dummies

FloJo says I'm a winner. Woohoo! Yesterday during my run I tried to haul ass and go a faster pace for the last few laps, but my Nike+ says I was running slower than usual. I took an unusal break in the middle, so maybe that was it. I don't know. It was really frustrating because I kept trying to go faster and the Nike+ felt like it was off. I average about a 10:45 mile, including going faster and slower, but not by much. I'm usually between 10:30 and 11:15. Yesterday at one point, I had a 12:00 pace. What? For actually trying to run faster, it didn't recognize that at all.

I'm faster than I used to be a year ago, which is great. I've realized that running faster means I can cover a larger distance in the same amount of time. Logically makes sense, but it's nice to know I can bang out a two mile run in a bit over 20 minutes.

Here's my workout schedule from this week:
4/5 - run 20 minutes, weights
4/6 - run 27 minutes (2.55 miles)
4/7 - bike 30 minutes
4/8 - run 23 minutes (2.07 miles), weights, DDPP 80 minutes
4/9 - probably bike 30 minutes today

On Saturday, the suggested training has a 2 mile run, but I think I might try to do a 5k distance just to see what kind of time I'd get.

Um.... the end.

April 7, 2010

penne with asparagus and peppers

So... the penne with asparagus and peppers was DELICIOUS. So good. I don't even think it was because I was more hungry than usual, just that it was, in fact, incredibly tasty.

Here's the recipe. I only added one red and one yellow pepper and I think two might be a pepper overhaul. Also, I sauteed them instead of charring, but I think I'm going to try charring next time. Just to see the variety in taste. We also didn't peel the asparagus, but c'est la vie. I substituted wheat penne as well, just because I like wheat penne.

Penne with Asparagus and Peppers
servings: 6
1 lb medium asparagus, peeled, tough ends removed and cut into 2" pieces
2 yellow bell peppers, charred, peeled and diced
2 red bell peppers, charred, peeled and diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp kosher salt plus 1 tsp
3/4 lb penne
1 1/2 tbps minced fresh thyme (couldn't find fresh so used dried)
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 tbps butter
1/8 tsp grounded black pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, boil asparagus in lightly salted water until it begins to soften, about one minute after the water boils. Drain. Add the peppers and garlic to the skillet and toss one minute. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and set aside. Bring six cups of water to a boil in a pot and add one tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta, cook to just before it reaches al dente, and drain. Return to the skillet to medium heat and add the cooked penne and fresh thyme. Stir and simmer five to seven minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Mix in half the cheese plus the butter, and remaining salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

via Bicycling May 2010

Mmm, so good. I also did a decent job of portions and making sure I payed attention to when I was getting full. I picked up Mindless Eating from the library today and it looks interesting. I feel like I've been eating way too fast lately, partially as a result of eating with 3-5 year olds for lunch. Between getting kids to taste the food they don't like and dodging sneezes that fling fish sticks in my face (for real - last week. So disgusted), I feel like I just wolf everything down so I'm ready when they're ready. It's nice to remember what it's like to eat with grown-ups.

I also opened up a bag of French Roast coffee from Alterra today and the beans are so shiny and delicious smelling... it's going to be a good morning tomorrow. Is tomorrow Thursday already? Maybe it's just today, but I'm ready for it to be the weekend again.

April 3, 2010

adventures in cooking: cherry pie

I made cherry pie today. I haven't used the recipe before and I'm bringing it to Andrew's family's house for Easter dinner tomorrow. Let's hope it's as good as it looks and smells.

The recipe called for shortening, which I picked up at the store before realizing that shortening is just replacing the butter in a pie crust recipe. I've read Michael Pollen's books and think he makes lots of good points... but I haven't gone off the localvore deep end by any means. I have incorporated the "stay out of the middle of the grocery store" mantra to some extent and think that if you can eat Food A with a long list of unpronounceable ingredients in favor of eating Food B with less ingredients that are actually food, then eat Food B. So unfortunately for the Crisco I just bought, it probably won't be used again in lieu of butter. So apple pie crust recipe, you are my go-to pie crust recipe from now on. FYI.

This week: penne with asparagus and peppers ala Biking magazine. Is anyone else excited that it's asparagus season? <3