28 August 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

If you're a foodie like me and follow any number of food blogs, you've probably seen some Peanut Butter Pie mentions of late. If you haven't, you should read this and watch this. Go on...I'll wait for you right here.

If you're a little teary-eyed after both of those, I'll give you a minute to collect yourself.

Jennie from In Jennie's Kitchen lost her husband Mikey and she couldn't help but think of that Peanut Butter Pie she didn't get a chance to make for him. As she blogged about her grief, she shared the recipe and closed her post with these words:

For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there's no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.

Food plays such a huge role in our lives, beyond providing nutrition and sustenance, it also acts as a means for us to relate to other people, the people we love, cherish and appreciate, and celebrate the times we have together. Making special recipes can also act as a conduit for connecting to and processing all sorts of feelings, including grief. It took me a few days to gather the ingredients for this Creamy Peanut Butter Pie, but I thought of Jennie and her daughters often until I had the chance to make it last week. When I was done in the kitchen that night, I read her blog post again and tried posting a comment. Comments were no longer being accepted, so I'm posting it here:

"I don't remember how I originally saw this tribute for your obviously beloved, departed husband Mikey. Just know that my heart goes out to you and your girls. I've thought of you and your peanut butter pie often since I saw your post for the first time. I finally had the time to make the pie tonight. I have tears in my eyes for you, your family and those whom I love, but cannot share this pie with. Sending you peace, love and light from my kitchen in Michigan tonight and from now on every time I make your creamy peanut butter pie (for Mikey)."

I made the pie and shared it with my best girlfriends from high school on Tuesday night last week. I then brought in the leftovers for my crew at work. There are so many more people I would have loved to share this pie with. If you have even the slightest yen to make this pie for those you love, do it. You won't regret it.

22 August 2011

Weekend Running

I ran my favorite half marathon over the weekend. We call it the Fallsburg Half because you start and finish in Fallsburg Park in Lowell. The medal and shirt say "Old Fart's Half Marathon," no joke. It is run by the Old Fart's Running Club. So there you go.

This race is my favorite because it's a ridiculous challenge. This was my third year running it and the course has gotten progressively more difficult each year. The first year, my running buddy A and I knew very little about the race, thankfully! The course that year was about a 60/40 split of trail running vs. road running. Last year it was about 80% trail and 20% road. This year was probably 90% trail running.

When I say trail, you might have a picture in your head of a nice wide, clear hiking path. Oh, there are some stretches like that, but there's also trail that's barely wide enough for your own two feet and you're running single file with one runner on your heels and one directly in front of you if you're lucky enough to be running in a pack. Running in a pack is helpful so you don't feel like you're lost and alone running through the woods and it keeps you motivated to keep moving.

We traversed a few streams, gingerly stepping on rocks or a fallen tree to get across the water and up the slightly muddy bank. Under fallen trees, over fallen trees. Up some of the steepest hills and down them as well. They are so kind to put a rope "railing" on some of the descents. Probably because it helps keeps the body count down, lolz! They even named one descent Geronimo! Then there was "Little Chuck," a hill so steep to climb, the sign said something like "Bet it makes you walk. Haha!" I'd like to meet the person who ran most or all of the hills and would pay them to train me to be able to do the same! Tough stuff!

Another reason the race is my favorite is that people are super friendly and you end up chatting with people more than in any other race I've run. I think the fact that it's so difficult makes people just relax. I know I was out to enjoy the experience, not beat the clock, so maybe others were as well. We chatted with a guy from near Ann Arbor and a couple from England who were running the full marathon and then had another marathon to run on Sunday. True story!

Just under three miles into the race, only 10 or so more to go. All smiles!
(photo via the race's site)

I finished the half marathon in 3:02:04. Last year's time was 3:05:28, which I just looked up and am surprised! I actually improved! Ha! My personal best at Fallsburg is 2:26:43 in 2009 when there was more road and less trail! My PR for any half marathon is 2:16:37, my first half ever in 2008. Go figure!

Runners can talk running till the cows come home. It's a little odd sometimes to talk about races with non runners. It's probably like that talking about whatever your "deal" is with anyone who doesn't get what your deal is all about. When you've run a race like Fallsburg in the morning and someone asks, "what did you do today?" how can you not be jazzed to tell a little bit about what makes running a race like Fallsburg so much fun! People who don't run tend to think doing something like Fallsburg or any distance race for fun is ridiculous and crazy. People can think I'm ridiculous and crazy, but I don't care because I'm doing what I love to do and having fun.

I hope every single one of you who read this blog has something you love to do, no matter what it is and you do it regularly purely because it makes you happy. That's what life is all about!

18 August 2011


Bon Iver's Holocene. No other words needed. Just watch and listen.

16 August 2011

Currently: Me

Currently drinking: Soda water, two ice cubes and the juice of half a lime. Delicious and fizzy!

Currently avoiding: Gathering the trash for trash night.

Currently wearing: Grey tissue T, gray and white striped maxi skirt and silver gladiator sandals. It feels like I'm in my jammies, but it's what I wore to work today. Comfy, yet put together!

Looking forward to: Running one of my favorite races (I actually love all the races I run, but this one is special!) this weekend - the Fallsburg half marathon. Tons of hills, tons of trail running and tons of fun. No, really!

Current Web-session: StyleMePretty.com aka "The Ultimate Wedding Blog." I added this to my google reader a few weeks ago after someone in my twitter feed shared it with me. I've been to two weddings so far this summer and have one more on the schedule. My good friend A and her man, B are getting hitched! My interest/fascination with this site is purely a spectator sport at this point, but you can bet I'm tucking ideas away for my "someday" wedding to my "someday" man. This was at one of my favorite locations so far: the Ace Hotel:Palm Springs, CA.

Current favorite song: "Raindrops" by Basement Jaxx. I love it when this song comes up on my ipod! I usually listen to it a couple times. And now that I've seen the video...even more fun!

Current food favorite: I call it Avocado Toast. If you make something more than once, it deserves a name! So it's super simple: Ezekiel 4:9(R) bread, toasted and "buttered" with Earth Balance soy butter. 1/4 mashed avocado with a little guacamole season mix stirred in. Then top it all off with a slice of smoked provolone flavor soy cheese. Unless you're vegetarian like me or vegan, this probably sounds terrible, but listen to me now and believe me later when you make it yourself (or your own version!) It's sooo good!
Current house annoyance: My bathroom faucet has started dripping, which of course means I can't just get a new faucet. It means I'll have to get a new sink to put the new faucet in. And if I'm going to rip out the current sink, I'll have to rip out the tile and put in new tile. Then I'll at least have to paint since the floor will be ripped up. Yeah, all over a little drip!

Currently grateful for: My kitchen away from home, Marie Catrib's and all the folks there who I see on the regular. Love that place! Oh, and I'm also grateful that I currently do not have a headache. I've had one on and off since Saturday night. I hope it stays away.

Currently listening to: the cicadas through the open windows and the faint conversation of my neighbor who must be in his yard chatting with someone. Now, sirens wailing through the neighborhood.

11 August 2011

Sweet Snack Secret

This is a story about something so simple, yet so delicious.

It's a little sweet snack secret that I'll share with you because I like you and I want you to be able to partake in this tasty goodness whenever you like. If you're anything at all like me, that will be on the regular.

It's been proven that I like to bake. It's also been proven that I can, at times, use a little help getting beyond my sweet-teeth (I don't just have one). There are times when I'm in dire need of a sweet and I have absolutely no business baking something that will result in a large pan or batch of anything sitting around my kitchen. This so simple, yet so delicious sweet snack was born out of one of those instances.


Three simple ingredients: Two graham crackers. Peanut Butter. A handful of chocolate chips (melted). Prep: break each graham in half. Smear peanut butter on each square. Then top with melted chocolate.

What? You say, it's not a big deal. You make this all the time or your kid does and they make a mess. Well, my friend, that's where you are sadly mistaken, because if you look closely at the photo, you may be able to decipher the secret to this so simple, yet so delicious snack. Once assembled, you pop everything in the freezer and wait at least a half hour so everything is firm and the chocolate has a frozen snap to it. That time spent in the freezer turns this so called pre-school snack into something akin to snack salvation. I dare you to try it and not get at least a little hooked and make them a couple days in a row. Go on...you know you want to!

07 August 2011

Point Plank

So you're all down with planking, right? I know it's so last month already. Owling too. I guess leisure diving is the new thing, but it's not as user friendly because you have to have access to a body of water or a pool! I prefer planking. My nephew K is down with owling. We had fun taking a few pics during our recent family vacation.

Planking in at the Lower Harbor in Marquette, MI

Owling at the Lower Habor in Marquette, MI

More owling!

More planking!