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Hungry Heart: December 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, HH Friends!

I have been very busy getting ready!

Last minute shopping, baking and wrapping are taking up lots of my time.
Not to mention holiday parties :)
I will be back to a regular blogging schedule after the holidays are over.

I hope everyone has a holiday full of friends, family, peace and love.

And may 2012 bring you all the joy you have ever hoped for!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!
I am one lucky girl.

I know this is going to sound cliche, but I really am lucky to be married to my best friend.

He is smart, funny, handsome, compassionate, and goofy.

And impossible not to have fun with!

Cheers to Jerry, who makes me smile every day.


Friday, December 16, 2011

More Cookies

My kitchen was over run with cookies last night!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Sugar Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Mom and I baked for about 3 hours last night.
Somehow we ended up making between 10-12 dozen peanut butter blossoms*
The batch accidentally got doubled when we added the peanut butter.

They will make great gifts for Jerry's co-workers.

Mom and I are tackling three more cookies this weekend.
Including my Christmas favorite, chocolate and pecan tarts!

Do you gift cookies at Christmas?

*The peanut butter cookie recipe can be found on the back of a bag of holiday Hershey Kisses. One bag is almost perfect for one batch of cookies.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cookie: Gingersnaps

As you may have read, our trip to Delaware was wonderful.
Thanks AP and UM!

The Farley crew outside Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats

Since we have have been it has all about Christmas shopping and baking.
And super fast dinners.

Strips of chicken covered in sauteed onions and pepper with melted cheese gives you a 30 minute 'Chicken Philly' sandwich.


Sauce, parsley, ricotta

Sauce, ricotta, leftover peppers and onions, lots of mozz

Store bought pizza dough means you have enough time to make a quick homemade sauce. We ate our pizza with a nice side salad.

But on to the more important stuff.

Christmas cookies!

I have felt like I am a little behind on my baking this year. So I made sure to start with one of Jerry's favorite cookies.

makes 4 dozen
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbls ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening or butter*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg and molasses.

Stir in dry ingredients (1-5).
Roll into 1 inch balls, then roll in sugar.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
8 minutes for a chewy gingersnap, 10 for crispy.

*If you use butter, the cookies will come out a little flat, but just as delicious :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

GUEST POST: The Last Race of 2011

Hi everyone! Erin and I have talked since I finished the NYC Marathon about the possibility of me being a guest blogger on EHH and recapping the marathon. A day turned into a week that turned into a month and before I knew it we were on our way down to Delaware for the Seashore Half Marathon and some outlet shopping this weekend. Where did the time go?! It seems that this past month has gone by faster than ever, helped in no small part by my unending love for everything Christmas; from carols that start on November 1st to lightning deal after lightning deal on Amazon, I have had the a Christmas fever for weeks!

But enough about Christmas. This blog is about the Seashore Half Marathon and perhaps a few events to recap the weekend (I'd post the link to the website, but it appears to be broken today, so here's a link to the results instead.)

For those that don't know, I am Erin's doting husband who does his best to make up for my vocal shortcomings I say is singing and annoying habits by habitually hounding her for any little thing I can do to make her smile when she is sad or laugh when she is mad. Of course, my attempts at getting her to turn those frowns upside-down usually result is a grimace of a frustrating smile that usually ends with her telling me to go for a run and get rid of my energy. This appears to have worked quite well this year; to date, I have 2003.7 miles logged in 2011 that does not include the hours I have spent on the elliptical or the 60-day session of Insanity during my Boston training earlier this spring. 2011 has been a great year for running and the Seashore Half ended the racing year on a high note for me.

Erin's Aunt Pam (AP) and Uncle Mike (UM) live in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and we do not get to see them as much as we would like throughout the year. Last year when deciding what marathon's were out there to run  I stumbled across the Seashore Half and Full and Erin and I decided it would be a great opportunity to visit AP and UM. Once that was decided, it was easy to do some Christmas-time tax-free shopping at the outlets! All that was left was to run the race.
2010 Seashore Half medal
I was slightly disappointed with my race last year and was anxious to head back down to see AP and UM and redeem myself. For those runners and fans out there, I am sure you can share in my one complaint about this race: the start time. The general rule of thumb... okay, there are countless "rules of thumb" out there, but follow me for this one. The general rule of thumb most races follow is to start earlier in the morning during the summer to beat the heat and later in the day in the late fall and winter to get as much heat from the day as possible. The Seashore breaks this unwritten rule starting at 7 AM on what has been historically a cold December morning so runners can run alongside the beach with the sun coming up. Of course, overcast skies don't really let you see the sun coming up, do they?!
Where's the sun?
Fortunately for those of us running and for the spectators that were out there (thanks Erin! thanks Erin's family!) it was a toasty 43 degrees at start time this Saturday - a veritable heatwave from the 28 degrees that we ran in last year and 21 degrees the year before! There was more wind this year which would usually put me into pre-race panic-mode trying to strategize exactly how I would race into the wind and pick out who I would pace behind to break the wind for me and how it would affect my splits and what clothes I would wear and... you get the picture. Since NYC I have been pretty relaxed with my training though: no track workouts, lower mileage weeks (around 35 mpw instead of the 60+ I was putting in before NYC), no real tempo workouts. I was just logging miles - I am already registered for Boston in April, I have the times needed to register for NYC if I decide to run it again next fall.

The Seashore Half was in the background for this weekend; the trip down was to visit AP and UM first, get some Dogfish time second, do some shopping third, and somewhere in their fit in a half marathon. Mission successful. I did a half-hearted warm-up that consisted of a mile and a half jog, some half-hearted dynamic stretching, and waiting in line for one of the 8 porta-potties for the 1500+ runners taking part in the half and full marathon (really race director, 8?!). I changed into my marathon flats and got my "good lucks" from Erin and EHH's mom and off I went to the start. Before I knew it the race was off and I settled in for the next 13.1 miles to enjoy a gray December morning wearing a bright orange singlet and white running hat.
The orange really stands out on gray mornings!
The race seemed to go by pretty quickly and before I knew it I was passing Erin's family at mile 8 and 10 (trail turnaround at mile 9). In to the finish with what I thought was a 4th place finish that turned into a 3rd place finish* and a new half marathon PR! For the first time I finished a half marathon with a time that started "1:18" - a 1:18:56 to be precise!
Tough to find a good finishing photo without a heel strike

A new PR with the early start, cold wind, patient pacing behind runners to break the wind, no sun, cooler than ideal temperatures and low mileage going in to the race?! What could I have ran if it was warmer and I raced harder earlier on? (probably a slower time because I would have gone out too fast, but I can dream until the 2012 racing season starts!). Of course, there is only proper one way to celebrate a new half-marathon PR in Rehoboth Beach, and that is at Dogfish Head with good company!
Try the Chic-Choc (Chicory Stout with a shot of Chocolate vodka)
I am not sure has time for a blog post in the morning before work - I started earlier than she normally does and am now finding myself running late for work! EHH is planning on letting me do another post in a couple weeks recapping my 2011 racing season (full of PR's!) so this will hopefully not be the last you see of me! ...let's hope the 2011 recap post materializes unlike the NYC recap. Have a great day everyone, I hope you liked the guest post - and thank you to EHH for always supporting me (PR or no PR).

How did you spend your weekend?

*Lesson to be learned: don't run with someone else's racing bib or you might get DQ'd; it's a big deal if something happens and race directors, along with the USATF, tend to frown upon it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Tradition

Its been pretty quiet around the Tylutki house.

Jerry and I are headed to Delaware to visit my Aunt Pam and Uncle Mike (AP and UM!) this afternoon.
Jerry is running a half marathon on Saturday, and we are going to do plenty of tax free outlet shopping for Christmas. We are also hoping to take a tour of the Dogfish Head Brewery.

Because we are going to be away all weekend, I didn't do any grocery shopping this week. Jer and I have been eating random leftovers and odds and ends from the fridge all week.

On Tuesday I had leftover spaghetti with a blob of ricotta cheese on top. I steamed some asparagus that had seen better days, and Mom brought over a delicious kale-red cabbage-tofu salad seasoned with sesame and soy.
My dinner Wednesday was identical, but eaten out of individual tupperware containers.

I wish I had taken a picture of my lunch this week. For three days I have been eating avocado and tomato on 12 grain bread. Delicious sandwich!
Since I've been a little short on protein this week, I have been making sure to eat Chobani Greek yogurt or a glass of milk with each meal.

Jerry has been eating the even more random leftovers in the fridge.
The questionable turkey burgers from last week. What looked like Thanksgiving leftovers from his mother, mixed with leftovers from a holiday dinner we had with his colleagues on Sunday.
What goes better together than stuffing and chicken riggies?
I actually felt relieved when he came home with 2 slices of pizza for dinner last night.

I'm so excited to see AP and UM this weekend. We used to spend lots of holidays at their house when they lived here. Christmas Eve was my favorite.
Unfortunately my brother Craig and sister Kate have to work. But Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Brett will be there this weekend, too. 

I know as we get older, sometimes holiday traditions change (especially when you get married and have two families).
I am so happy that a December trip to Delaware is becoming a new tradition.
There is nothing better than spending time with family at the holidays.

Cheers to Christmas traditions, both new and old!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One More Sleep

I'm in a bit of a food funk.

For some reason I am craving nothing but warm, heavy meals filled with carbohydrates.
I haven't had the urge to grocery shop or cook anything 'fancy'.

Cue last night's dinner of roasted acorn squash and angel hair pasta with jarred sauce.

Simple, but it was just what I wanted.
Besides, we needed the energy to decorate the Christmas tree!

I must say, Jerry picked out a great tree.
And it was so nice waking up on Sunday morning, walking downstairs, and being hit with a whiff of pine.
I'm not sure anything smells better than a Christmas tree.

While we decorated, Jerry and I watched A Muppet Christmas Carol.
I think this might be my favorite holiday movie.
Is there anything better than listening to Kermit sing One More Sleep Til Christmas? 

So far this holiday season Jerry and I have watched:
  • Love Actually
  • Home Alone
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • The Santa Clause
  • A Muppet Christmas Carol
What is your favorite holiday movie?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Childhood Favorite

I'm in love with my new cast iron skillet.

Last night's salmon came out perfect.

I seared it on the stove top for 4 minutes on Med/High, flesh side down.
Then I flipped it over and put it in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Perfectly crisp on the outside and juicy in the middle.

(This was a pretty thick piece of fish. Reduce cooking time depending on thickness). 

It paired nicely with some leftover from this week.

A potato cake and a side of vegetable soup.

Yesterday when I got home from work I found myself craving chocolate.
I got the urge to make a treat from my childhood.

On The Stove Cookies, No Bake Cookies. Whatever you call them, they were one of my favorite cookies as a kid. 

And so easy to make. No baking required.
Boil ingredients on the stove, stir in peanut butter and tons of oatmeal.

You have yourself a cookie in 15 minutes.
The rough part is waiting another 15 for them to cool.
The best part is 'cleaning' the pan with a spoon :)

On Top of The Stove Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
Boil ingredients together in a large pot. Once the liquid boils, stir for one minute.
Remove pan from heat.
Add 1/2 cup peanut butter and 3 cups oatmeal, and stir.
While the mixture is still hot, drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper.

I realize these cookies have tons of sugar.
A few years ago I tried to reduce the amount. Not a good idea.
It threw off the texture of the cookie, and they never set correctly.
Sometimes you just can't make a cookie 'healthy'. And I'm ok with that. 

I love these with a glass of milk. Or for breakfast.

I'm off to go eat my cookie breakfast.

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