Archive for May 2012

Herbed Flatbread

I love making any type of curry, especially if there is peanut butter involved. 
My coconut curry has peanut butter and peanuts as a base and was a yummy accident that
I've now made several times. But what makes any kind of curry so much more enjoyable is the 
bread to scoop it up with! Bread, good bread that is, is hard to make...but I was pleased with 
the simplicity of this recipe and the results that followed. 

Herbed Flatbread
5 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
3 tbsp Basil
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Oregano
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups Water

1.). Preheat oven to 425 degrees & well oil a baking sheet
2.) Sift flour & baking powder in a bowl, adding fresh herbs and salt
3.) Slowly add oil and water
4.) When all liquid is absorbed, begin mixing with hands. Knead for 2 minutes or until the 
consistency is elastic. Add more water if needed to attain this
5.) Roll out to desired thickness using a rolling pin or your hands
6.) Place on baking sheet and put in oven to bake until golden brown, about 18 minutes

You can also add some other yummy ingredients to this bread: roasted garlic, minced sun dried tomatoes, and a variety of other herbs! What would you put on your flatbread? 

Did everyone enjoy their Memorial Day Weekend? I didn't want it to end! We spent Saturday with some amazing folks, had a killer lady date, picked out more flowers for our backyard, saw the Avengers, and ran my legs to death! 
See more thru my eyes by following me on Instagram

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Weekend Adventures // At Home

To stay at home all weekend long is a rarity for us as of late. This past weekend we vowed to 
have some quality "couple time" and just work on the backyard projects... which turned out to 
be one of the most rewarding undertaking. Once more grass is seeded, plants bought, and 
dirt removed - I'll have to share the finished result. As for now, a glimpse into our weekend.
Green sun tea with fresh mint & lemons + Lemon sorbet = the best things to enjoy on a hot day! 
This weekend also marked the start of our ultra marathon training... Lots of running braids will be 
happening this summer. It's the only way I can handle having such long hair on sweltering days like 
this past Sunday! Makes me scared to see how hot August will be if it's already been in the 90's! 
Digging out our old, crumbling retaining wall to replace it with the above gem was the major project we 
accomplished this weekend. It took way longer than I expected, but turned out perfectly. A bonus
touch, Zach put together the arbor he had built for our wedding and placed it on the pathway to 
the lower level of our yard. Such a lovely reminder of a perfect day. 
Hope everyone has a killer week. Any fun plans coming up? 
Enjoy the sunshine and the feeling of spring bliss! 

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Run Away

There is something exhilarating about running amongst 20,000 people. The energy, restlessness, and pure passion all in downtown Grand Rapids sends me into running heaven. The Fifth Third Riverbank Run is the largest 25k road race in the country and is a phenomenal run to witness. I've done the 25k four years in a row and cherish running it every year...despite how I feel afterwards. Since I work for Gazelle Sports, one of the races sponsors, I made sure to sport my embroidered D'lite Micro Mesh tank, my racing Brooks HVAC Shorts, and my favorite Mizuno Wave Riders
This was the first year that I've actually enjoyed the festivities after the race. We congratulated friends 
and co-workers who raced, grabbed a free beer, and enjoyed the views from Downtown Grand Rapids. 
Definitely my favorite year thus far - to share it was dear friends and to feel proud about my race - you can't beat that. Here is to training for Riverbank Run 2013! 

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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

It's not every day that I get an urge to bake, but when I do, I usually want something quick and rich! 
After having some stellar cupcakes at Bartertown, I had been itching to try my hand at vegan cupcakes. 

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes - adapted from Oh She Glows
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
handful of mini vegan chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp coconut or soymilk

Line cupcake pan with liners. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
In a mixer, beat: milk, sugar, oil, vinegar, and extract till blended. 
Mix all your dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, soda, and salt in a separate bowl. 
Once mixed, add to wet ingredients and mix well. Toss a handful of mini chocolate chips 
in the batter for added chocolate goodness! Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling just a little over 
half. Bake for 20 minutes. Use a toothpick or knife to check if centered is baked. 
Once done, take out of pan and let cool before adding frosting. 

In the mixer, add all the frosting ingredients and mix well. If frosting is too thick, add more 
milk in until it is at your desired consistency. Add to the tops of your cupcakes and enjoy! 

These turned out really well and am anxious to bake them again this weekend for our 
Mother's Day lunch we are hosting. 

What is your favorite type of cupcake? I think I might be baking a lot more!!!

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Sportswear as Everyday Wear

On the weekends, I pretty much live in my Lole Essential Jacket. It is such a versatile piece - looking
stellar with jeans, as a cover up to and from the gym, or even out on the town with a fancy basic layer. 
With the nights turning chilly, it is just the right weight to keep me from freezing! 
Especially during the winter, I swear by Buff Bands. Cloudy days + humidity have made this girl lazy, 
so headbands are my escape from doing my hair all pretty. They come in so many fun colors that can
go with any sportswear or everyday wear. 
The Vibram Five Fingers. If you haven't heard about these guys yet... get out of your hole and google them.
A barefoot shoe that can be used for a variety of activities, my Komosports LS are used just for 
trekking or for water activities. I love pairing them with all kinds of pants or shorts. They are 
unexpected in everyday wear...making me love them even more. 

With the Riverbank 25K Run coming up this weekend, there won't be a shortage of sportswear being
donned. After racing, that's pretty much all I want to wear until my legs feel like normal again. 
Come on, ya'll know you love sweatpants and baggy t-shirts! :)

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Run Away

Trail running merely started out as another way for me to push my body. It allowed me to trick myself into running a hill workout or an avenue to strengthen parts of the body the road just tore up. I never thought trail running as a daily way to run, it seemed like too much work. It wasn't until I signed up for my first marathon, which happened to be a trail race, that trail running got a hold of me and hasn't let go. Being so close to numerous trail systems has only increased my love for the rough terrain and wooden lands. The days we get to escape out into the woods and kick some dirt in the air are treasured. It's different and that's why I like it. 

Egypt Valley is hands down my favorite trail in run around the Grand Rapids area that I've been on. Well groomed trails, beautiful streams, rolling hills, and tall trees - Egypt Valley let's me get into that rhythm where my mind can wonder and not worry about the ground beneath my feet. It makes 15 miles go by with ease. There are so many benefits of trail running, that I believe most folks dismiss. They assume they need special gear to run out on trails, making it confusing and not worth their while, but you truly don't. All you need is some running shoes and a good trail. 

Here are just a few reasons to test out the dirt: 

1. Enhances proprioception - meaning you will have better balance and sense of the ground beneath you.
2. Less toll on your body - trails create less shock than asphalt does, making you less sore the next day.
3. Strengthens your body - especially your ankles and knees! Think of all the hills you'll do! 
5. Challenging and exciting - it's hard to get bored on trails, unlike the same routes you run about in town. 
4. Cleaner for your body - all that fresh air you'll be taking in on the trails.
5. You get to run with nature. Enough said. 

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