food, goals

Weekend wrap up

I’ll admit I needed a couple extra days off after the last few weeks of work.  But…I have a job, and for that I am thankful.  The much needed break called for me to take the day after Thanksgiving off, which I am SOOO glad I did.  I don’t have a lot of time saved up, but this added day left me extra time to decorate for Christmas, clean, and scrub areas of my house that were completely neglected lately.

Yet this can bring stress too…you know, the kind of stress where you feel there just isn’t enough time in the day.  I spent Thanksgiving with my family which was just wonderful, but the chores were calling my  name.  Saturday I got up and cleaned like a crazy women…I shopped for groceries for the week, and found myself TIRED.  But I got a text from a friend inviting me out for drinks Saturday night and I JUMPED at the chance.  It was a simple two hours of laughter and fun, but just what I needed to add extra charge to my batteries.  And I saw THIS as I was getting ready…God had his paintbrush out, for sure…

What a perfect sunset!
What a perfect sunset!

I was so recharged last night, I put myself out there in my running group on Facebook, requesting a partner in crime for a run this morning.  My goal was 4-6 miles, with no pace in mind.  Karen, from raised her hand, and I felt so very blessed she wanted to run with me.  So this morning we met up, and despite tummy issues I was able to get 5 miles in!  My farthest distance since the half marathon the beginning of this month.  It always amazes me the bond runners have.  I don’t know her well outside of running, but there she was to support my slow run.

Sole sisters and shoe twins!
Sole sisters and shoe twins!
We did it!
We did it!

I came home, showered, and promptly sat down on the couch to watch Football.  Who won?  Not sure…I was just happy to relax.  I even let myself take a cat nap on my recliner for an hour.  Sheer. And utter…BLISS.

But, it IS Sunday, so Sunday Supper needed to be prepared.  This has become so important to me as a busy working Mom, to make time at least ONE day per week to have a NICE sit down meal.  So tonight we had pork roast that was seasoned with my own homemade rub of rosemary, thyme, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.  I grinded all of the spices in my mill, and rubbed generously on the pork.  I seared the pork on all sides, then transferred to the oven to roast at 375 degrees for just over an hour.

To accompany the roast, I made my cranberry/red wine reduction sauce.  The recipe is simple.  One bag of fresh cranberries, poured into a sauce pot.  Add half a bottle of GOOD red wine, (I used a good Cab), brown sugar, one shallot, salt, pepper, and a couple sprigs of thyme.  Cook down by half, and puree with an emulsion blender. Strain, and add a pat of butter (the real stuff) and let simmer.

Our sides included Brussels spouts and shitake mushroom risotto.

For the Brussels sprouts I first cubed a 1/4 cup of pork belly and browned.  They are also known as lardons, and this was my first time making them.  My best tip is to make sure you brown them, and drain off all the grease.   Set aside, and add in 1/4 cup of shallots, one clove of garlic both finely chopped and sauté for just a few minutes.  Add in your Brussels sprouts, and cook for about 20 minutes.  Add in your drained lardons for the last couple minutes.  DELISH.


For the risotto, I wanted to highlight the mushrooms.  I  chopped 1/2 a cup of shitake mushrooms, one shallot, and 2 cloves of garlic.  In a separate sauce pan I had 4 cups of veggie stock with 2 bay leaves on low heat.  Take a wide sauce pan and drizzle with evoo and one pat of butter.  Add in your veggies, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add in one cup of good Arborio rice and stir for 2 minutes.  Slowly add in your chicken stock, one ladle at a time, cooking slowly.  Continue to add in the chicken stock until your rice is cooked al dente.  Garnish with parsley and Grana padono cheese.

I drizzled the final dish with black truffle oil.  YUM!
I drizzled the final dish with black truffle oil. YUM!

And so we plate….here is this week’s Sunday Supper.

Dinner, is, served!
Dinner, is, served!

With that, I leave you with a smile, a ready palate, and passion that is unending.  Keep Movin!

❤ Michelle



dedication, food, goals, moving forward

New kicks, and first double run today

Weekends always seem to fly by in my house. There is so much to get done in the short two days we call “the weekend.”

The hubby and I got new kicks this weekend for his upcoming half marathon training, and what will more than likely (unless I sign up for another before hand) my 10th half marathon this fall.
I got two pairs of shoes-both Saucony-the fast witch 7’s for shorter runs, and the Guide 6’s for distance. After shoe shopping we headed out to lunch as a family, saw the movie Godzilla (great movie!) and then came home to do a few hours of yard work. We live on an acre and a half lot, so while the hubby mowed, the girls and I trimmed hedges, planted seeds, and weeded the garden. I have an electric hedge trimmer, and I’ll admit my arms were on fire this morning after 2 hours of trimming, LOL! I am so glad we are finally seeing spring weather!
I was woken up by my hubby this morning after letting me sleep in until 9 am for our run. We had 5-6 miles on deck, and I am so beyond proud of my husband for logging 6 miles today. It wasn’t easy, but he didn’t give up. I had him try Sport beans for fuel at the four mile mark, which he quickly spit out, LOL. I guess we need to research fuel for him!!

6 miles, BOOYAH!
6 miles, BOOYAH!

For dinner, we had roasted chicken with a cucumber salad and Brussels sprouts.
Here is the recipe:
You’ll need:
8 skinless/boneless chicken thighs
The juice of 4 lemons
2 sprigs of Chinese celery chopped finely
4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

Whisk all the ingredients (minus the chicken) together, and pour over your chicken in a sealable container. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Roast at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes and let rest.

Brussels sprout recipe:
You’ll need:
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 strips of bacon, diced
salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
3-4 cups of Brussels sprouts cleaned, and halved
Sautee your onions, garlic, bacon, and red pepper flakes until crispy.
Add your Brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned

Cucumber salad recipe:
You’ll need:
8 mini cucumbers, halved and diced
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 of one small red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
dash of salt, pepper, oregano and basil
dash of white wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil
Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving

I needed a couple more miles to keep up with where I’ve been, so after dinner I laced up my new Guide 7’s with an added surprise of having my eldest ask if she could join me. We did an easy 2 miler, and although she struggled with her breathing I am so proud she decided to run with me tonight.


And, at the end of the day I find myself counting my blessings. I don’t have the picture perfect family with my kids getting uber grades or winning amazing awards in sports or music. They struggle with grades, school, social crap that I think we all struggle with in life. BUT…we struggle like champs…we don’t pretend to be something we’re not…we take the good with the bad, and we continue to hang on to each other which I believe has made us stronger.
BUT…we keep movin’ forward, and that is what counts, right?