When in doubt, let there be FOOD!!!

As many of you know, I have a love for food, wine, and most of all COOKING whenever time permits.  Although work, school, and the house and kids often keep from REALLY creating I try to find as much time as possible to COOK, even the smallest of meals.
With age I have come to despise fast food (ME?  Yes, scary eh!!!), and even dining out at every day restaurants.  Why?  Because I feel between my cooking, and my husband’s grilling we can make BETTER food, that is better for us and our family’s health.

Today was an off day for running, so the girls and I went to their annual appointments, ran a couple errands, and came home to quietly relax and watch “Tangled.”  This is one of our family favorites so we snuggled in quickly.

Sometimes, normally I fall asleep while lying on the couch.  We joking call it the “couch of death” because it sucks the life out of you in a matter of minutes.  Yet I didn’t fall asleep this time…and found myself missing my hubby quite terrible when the Lantern scene came on…

As sappy as it sounds, well, this is how I feel about my husband.  He’s truly opened my eyes up to so many things in life I once kept my eyes and heart closed off to see. 

So with teary eyes and a heavy heart I climbed the stairs to my kitchen to COOK, because cooking makes everything better…

The girls requested quesadilla’s, so I got the chicken and steak marinating, and started prepping the garlic, mushrooms, and onions.  Of course my girls all requested different ingredients, but I didn’t mind…cooking is my other release besides running. 

I heated up two pans, one non-stick and one stainless steel.

To the stainless steel pan I added my garlic, onions, and mushrooms and let saute’ until the onions were translucent…

make sure not to salt until the mushrooms start to brown!

Did I mention it already smelled amazing in my house at this point?  YUM!!!  I added salt, pepper, and cilantro flakes and let simmer.

Ready!!

After the chicken/steak is done marinating (I added cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper and cilantro with some hot sauce) cook one at a time in the non-stick pan. Mind you, this can be done as the same time as the veggies. 

After you cook off the chicken, remove from the pan but DON’T wash it out.  Simple reheat it and add in the steak!  Made for an amazing flavor!!!!

Cook until your desired temperature.  I am a medium rare fan, so cooked it just a few minutes longer than the picture until the outside was brown, and inside was still tender.  YUM!

Next it’s time to start assembling and cooking your quesadillas.  Clean out your non-stick pan unless you have 2!
Spray the pan with light cooking spray, and add just a touch of extra virgin olive oil  and place one flour tortilla in the pan.  Add desired ingredients!  Flip once, when light golden brown and wait another 5 minutes or so before removing from the pan.

I made one cheese and veggie quesadilla for Sophia-

cheese and veg

Jordyn wanted one with chicken and cheese-

And I of course had everything in mine!  They were all delicious!

Many thanks to my wonderful helpers…

My Sophia, in her favorite hat
My Jordyn, pretty and full of attitude!!!

And dinner thankfully, was a great success…

FULL!

Hope you all had a blessed Saturday.  Hoping to get in some core exercises tonight!  Tomorrow I’ll be ready to run!!!

Moving forward on this Monday…

I wanted to be lazy today…revel in the fact that I only have 4 days left with my husband.  I wanted to just curl up on the recliner and have a nice conversation with my best friend.  Yet I walked in the door, and upon asking him what we were doing for dinner, he reminded me I needed to go to the gym.  I needed to stay motivated, and he supports me 100%.  I held my head in brief guilt, and knew he was right.  I stole a couple bites of food of my daughter’s plate, took my daily meds, and swiftly went upstairs to change into my work out clothes. 

He was right.

I can’t just wallow in the fact that he’s leaving and I’ll be on my own for a bit.  I can’t be sad that I don’t have his voice in the evening and hugs in the morning.  I need to pick myself up; stay motivated my last 4 weeks of class until I achieve my MBA, and KEEP RUNNING. 

I will work through the aches, strains, and quirks that my aging legs are giving me.  Because my parents taught me well.  Never quit.  Finish what you start.  And always, keep, going.  I have been through far too much in life to give up now.   I have goals, aspirations, and a passion that drives me to the bitter end.  I can’t stop now.

So this weekend we had our last HORAAH, and spent the weekend enjoying good food, our family, and even got things done around the house.  We were treated by our neighbors for a home cooked meal Sunday, wishing Brian well on his travels and schooling.  We truly are blessed.  Trials, tribulations, and the like set aside. 
I look a bit old here, but am happy..

So, tonight I went to the gym a bit begrudgingly.  But it was something I needed to do to release all the work stress, home, kids, BAH….I needed release.  I don’t have many friends near, and the close friends I do have are busy with their own lives so talking isn’t an option.  RUNNING is my release.  And so, I ran…only 3 miles, but with passion, heart, and driven desire that makes me want to be better person. 

And,

I surpassed my goal of 2 miles, with a happy 3 passionate miles.  Done on my own accord, and with strength I didn’t think lived within me anymore. 

Only 23 miles to go.  

Only ran twice this week…

I was only able to get in 2 runs this week, but managed to work in IT Band stretches 3 days, as well as some Wii work outs.  It’s a start right?
Been a rather rough week, knowing my husband leaves on Friday, but I’ve tried to channel my emotions with writing, school, and my workouts as in-frequent as they still are right now.  I know I’ll “get there” and I will get my issues worked out, but right now I am doing what I can to hang on to each moment with my husband before leaves.  I am trying to give him his space to play his computer games and wind down before he has so much stress put on his shoulders.  But I do find myself hugging him more often, wishing he was near, more often. 
With this added stress I too am trying to build bonds with my daughters as both are Daddy’s girls which adds to my weight while he is gone.  They “want” and “need” Daddy…so far I am just an afterthought and disciplinarian.  I hope to find a common balance while he is gone.

My little Sophia loves to go to the gym with me, so I look forward to giving her big sister some quiet time while we work out a few times a week.  Once spring hits in a couple months I will be back to running outside. 

I have four weeks left of school.  FOUR.  Four weeks and counting until I finish my Graduate degree, obtaining an MBA in Health care Management.  I started this schooling journey back when my eldest daughter was merely one years old…and I will finish it in her 12th year of life.  It has been a long and tiresome journey, but another I needed to complete no matter how many hours of sleep I lacked.  Once this journey is finished I will venture to my next which is training for this marathon.

My current goals are to get in shape and eat better before my “real” marathon journey begins in a few months.  I want to be able to run more than 3 miles without having to stop and walk, and I want to rid myself of aches and pains so that I can run with peace and joy.  That is my goal.  For today…

Why does a runner, run?

Sheer bliss found in the scenes of nature
Trees tower over head as if to wrap their branches
And arms around me
to push me forward
Feet rhythmically hit the road
With patterned breaths just so
Counting breaths
Knowing steps
Yet amongst this calculation comes peace
A rhythm so calming
It is as if a new born baby is being soothed
On their mother’s chest
Feeling
The pounding
The blood flowing with each given breath
Each taken step
Every muscle pulsed
THIS
Is running
Not for speed
Not for a medal
But for the sheer bliss of escape
although the world traveled to
Is known
Beloved
And cherished…
For as the sounds of my feet hit the ground
I find my heart beating in sync.
Because my heart knows I am not running away
But TO
A dream I’ve always envisioned.
Finishing…
Crossing that line
Breaking that barrier
No one can stop me now.
Battered legs, shattered knees
But wings that allow me
To flea
I will arrive at a destination only I can encompass
And I will always know the direction I must turn
Because this is my race
The reason, and
The season
In which I run.
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