It’s Time to Grill: Balsamic Barbecue Steak

This week’s recipe post comes to us from New York Post sports editor and self-professed foodie, Jarad Wilk, one of our newest contributors to MrFoodBlog.com. Now that it’s officially grilling season, you may be wanting to break out of the normal hamburger and hot dog routine. Jarad starts with a simple New York strip steak and adds his own secret weapon: homemade balsamic barbecue sauce! It makes for one sizzlin’ grill recipe!

Here’s a scene for you to imagine: The sun is out, children are playing a wide variety of sports in the backyard as Mom sits in a chair soaking in the rays peeking through the trees. The high-pitched screams of smiling kids battle with the chirping of the birds sitting high up in the trees surrounding the yard.

But, where’s Dad?

Well, he’s in the house marinating a few steaks and some chicken with a big smile on his face and wearing an apron that says, “King of the Grill,” or “You Kill It, I’ll Grill It,” or “The Grillfather.”

Yes, it’s time to grill. And while some may rush for the classic hamburgers and hot dogs to kick off the grilling season, I say we start with something a little bigger and bolder. You’ve been waiting all winter to pull the cover off that grill, why not start with something like grilled chicken, lamb chops, filet mignon or salmon? Maybe be a little further out-of-the-box and make grilled peaches, grilled romaine, grilled potatoes, grilled corn on the cob or grilled Turkey and pear kebobs.

The options are endless, but whatever you decide to grill, make it a meal that would rival your favorite steakhouse or barbecue joint and grill everything ­- sides included. Enjoy the nice weather. Enjoy standing out in the backyard in front of that grill. Make it an experience, not just something you’re doing because you have to eat. And, most important, pay attention to the food while it’s on the grill – it’s good to have char marks, not a charred meal.

I started my grilling season with a simple New York strip steak with asapargus and onion – all easily grilled. And instead of using a store-bought sauce, I made my own (and my favorite) balsamic barbecue sauce. Pair that with your favorite salad and you’re well on your way to a great meal.

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Here’s what you’ll need for this healthy grilled meal:

Ingredients for Balsamic BBQ Sauce

1 cup Balsamic Vinegar

3/4 cup Ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tspn. Salt

1/2 tspn. Black pepper

Combine all of the above ingredients into a saucepan and mix together. Once the sauce becomes smooth, let it simmer over medium heat and reduce by 1/3 for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Here’s the rest of what you’ll need:

2 1-inch thick New York Strip steaks

1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed

1 large Vidalia onion

Extra Virgin  Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Instructions:

1. After turning your grill on and letting it heat up, whether you have a coal or gas grill, always be sure to start by cleaning the grill with a brush to give yourself the cleanest surface to work on.

2. Take the Vidalia onion and slice it into 1/4-inch thick slices. Brush with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and any other seasoning you might like to use (I personally like to keep it simple with salt and pepper). Place the onions on the grill over medum heat. After about 2 minutes (or until char marks appear on the onion), flip the onion and repeat the process on the other side.

3. Raise the heat on your grill to high.

4. Season your trimmed asparagus spears with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. (Personally, I prefer asaparagus without pepper, but feel free to use pepper, too.) Grill the asparagus over high heat for about 2 or 3 minutes – or to desired tenderness. Rotate during the cooking process, but be sure not to let the spears fall through the grill.

5. Season your steaks with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder – this is something that should be done at least one hour before cooking, but can be done the night before. (You can also marinate the steaks in the Balsamic BBQ sauce or you can wait until cooking on the grill and brush it on.) Using tongs, place the steaks on the grill over high heat. Grill for 4 minutes on each side while brushing the barbecue sauce on the meat – even if you marinated the meat in the sauce. (Rotate after two minutes on each side if you’re a fan of grill marks on everything, but I suggest you just leave the meat alone).

6. Remove the steaks from the grill and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. They should be medium rare and ready to enjoy.

Celebrating Memorial Day

Memorial Day is right around the corner, so I thought this would be a perfect time to share a fun story about a unique place we recently taped some shows: the USS Ross, a Naval destroyer! That’s right – not all tapings happen here in the Mr. Food studio. We love taping on location, if you read my story about the Ireland webinar we did a few weeks back, you would know all about that!

MF Navy Ship Celebrating Memorial DaySo, back to the ship. That’s what the USS Ross is: a big, beautiful Navy ship. Did you know that I was in the Navy? I sure do miss those days. I was lucky enough to stay out of the fighting, and I truly enjoyed my time on the USS Oglethorpe. I met so many great people, and made some of the best memories of my life.

All of those memories came rushing back to me when we taped on the USS Ross. What a day we had! We rolled up our sleeves and served all of the sailors breakfast, and then just sat around and talked. What did the sailors miss most? Well, first of all their families, of course, but also the food! I remembered missing those very same things…

It was just so nice to spend time with all of these wonderful people who serve our country. Many of them thought I was from their own hometowns, since they remember me from their local news programs – I always get a kick out of that! They showed me all around the ship, even to the bridge of the ship (that’s Navy speak for cockpit) – it all brought back so many great memories.

One of my favorites was this one time we’d been out at sea for weeks without any fresh food. One of my buddies on the ship was a wizard in the galley – and his specialty was dessert! He whipped up the biggest vat of pudding I’d ever seen. Two of them headed down to a cooler below deck, and as one of them handed the giant bowl down, he let go a little too soon and down went the pudding! We didn’t let him live that one down for weeks!

You can have your own pudding party right at home – only please, don’t drop the bowl! – with one of my favorite recipes ever: this tasty banana version.

In memory of all of those who have served our country, both in the past and present, we here at the Mr. Food team salute you! May all of your days be filled with plenty of pudding, and plenty of… “OOH IT’S SO GOOD!!”

How do you plan to support or salute our troops this coming Monday? I’m hoping for at least 100 great ideas that I can share to honor those heroes, so please – do tell!

Let’s HIIT It

Good morning!!  Happy Tuesday!

Recently, my schedule at work changed slightly and now, on Tuesdays, I am either off or I start late around one o’clock.  Normally, I am an early riser and I enjoy getting my day started at the crack of dawn so I can be home in the early afternoon, however, I always welcome a little change to switch things up!  I absolutely love mornings and, because I’m usually at work before the sun comes up, I don’t get to relax and enjoy them as much as I like….but, now, with my new schedule, I know I’ll have at one morning a week to savor!

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We have been experiencing a cold front around here and actually experienced some snow flurries yesterday.  I know.  Doesn’t that sound just completely awful?  I love all the seasons but I am more than ready for summer to be here!  This morning was chilly but the sun was warm which made it bearable, but I decided to keep my workout inside with one of my favorites…

TURBOFIRE!

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I decided to do the HIIT 20 class.  I absolutely love the HIIT classes that are part of TurboFire…I am always short on time and they definitely always leave me short of breath!  After completing the workout, I did a 12-minute standing ab circuit that found on YouTube.  I wanted to get some core work in today and plan on doing another quick core workout when I get home tonight.  My abs are definitely a part of my body that I want to work on more and there’s no time like the present!

Shortly after my sweat fest, I had to decide what to eat and I rolled with a bowl of cereal today.  I thought about doing eggs and toast but, as I was searching through the cabinets, my Frosted Shredded Wheat called my name.

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I paired my cereal with a cup of French vanilla coffee and and prepped myself to do a job that I have a love/hate relationship with…balancing our checkbooks.

I love love love doing math and having the balances of my book and the bank match down to the penny!….However, I hate hate hate watching money leave the accounts, which is all that has been happening because of the wedding!  Oh well!  I guess such is the life of an adult!!

I have a few other little wedding things to take care of this morning and then I’ll be hitting the shower and getting ready for work.  Tonight, I’ll probably try to get in another quick workout and then unpack more of our shower gifts.  Lee’s aunt bought us the shower curtain that we registered for and I cannot wait to hang it!  Again…getting pumped over a shower curtain…such is the life of an adult!

Alright, friends, I hope you have a beautiful day!  Enjoy it with a smile!

With much Love and Laughter,
Kelly

Something to share:  Who handles the finances in your house?  You, your significant other, or do you work together?  I do the majority of the bill paying but always consult with Lee on other financial decisions. 

Fitness Friday

Hello hello everyone!  It’s Friday!  Thank goodness!

Today, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite workouts that I use
often.  I miss it right now because I am currently training for my half-marathon
with a lot of running (hmmm…imagine that!)!!!  This workout incorporates both
strength training and cardio and it includes some of my favorite strength
training moves.

{Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and all information is strictly from what I have learned through being an aerobics instructor and my own personal opinion about what works best for me.  Please consult a professional  before starting any new exercise program.}

Strength training is one of my favorites things to incorporate into my workouts.  I think it is critical for women to use strength training and take advantage of all of the wonderful benefits that it offers.  First, regular strength training has been shown to increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  For me, this benefit hits home because my mom has shown signs that she is experiencing the beginning stages of osteoporosis, specifically in her hips.  My mom is in her mid-50s and is a tiny lady, which is one reason why she is prone to show these signs.  My mom is very active and regularly walks and strength trains with weights.  She figures that anything that may prevent her osteoporosis from getting worse is worth a shot!  In addition to the positive effects strength training has on bone density, it also does wonders for muscles and tendons.  The stronger we are in these areas, the less likely we are to be injured.  This is especially important as we become older.


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When it comes to muscle, I know a lot of women out there are concerned about what they will look like if they start weight training.  They are afraid that they will bulk up and put on weight.  It’s important to remember that a woman’s body does not naturally bulk up and build muscle like a man’s does.  With proper training and the dedication it takes to become a body builder, it is possible, but the average woman participating in a strength training routine will not put on that much muscle.  Instead, the training builds lean muscle mass, which makes the body look more toned and lean, just like its name implies!

Finally, strength training helps to build a strong foundation and core and helps your body burn calories more efficiently.  Every pound of lean muscle mass burns calories.  The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn, making your workouts more effective!  It is a great way to train because virtually anyone can do it.  Expensive gym equipment is not needed as you can just use your own body as resistance in addition to using small equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, and kettle balls.  It is so easy to tailor strength training workouts according to your needs!


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This workout routine combines cardio with strength training and provides a way to work your entire body.  I use this routine often and it is one of my favorites!

Monday: Cardio
• 5 minute Warm up on treadmill
• 20 minute Jog on treadmill
• 10 minute Stationary Bike
• 10 minute Elliptical trainer
• 5 minute Cool down

Tuesday: Upper Body
• 8 minute Warm up on treadmill
• 3 sets Lat pulldowns
• 3 sets Dumbbell front raises
• 3 sets Bicep curls
• 3 sets Triceps pushdowns with rope
• 3 sets Dumbbell lateral raises
• 10 minute Cool down on treadmill

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Cardio
• 5 minute Warm up on treadmill
• 20 minute Jog on treadmill
• 10 minute Stationary Bike
• 10 minute Elliptical trainer
• 5 minute Cool down on treadmill

Friday:  Lower Body
• 10 minute Warm up on treadmill
• 3 sets Squats on Bosu ball (LOVE my Bosu!)
• 3 sets Dumbbell lunges
• 3 sets Seated Calf raises
• 3 sets Kneeling arm and alternating leg kicks
• 3 sets hamstring curl with ball
• 5 minute Cool down on treadmill

Saturday: Core
• 3 sets Plank on Stability ball
• 3 sets Kneeling rollout with ball
• 3 sets crunches on Stability ball
• 3 sets Plank with alternating legs
• 3 sets Reverse crunches
• 3 sets Back extensions

There ya have it!  If anyone has any questions about any of the moves and how to do them, please let me know!  It’s a killer routine and will hit every muscle you have!  Perfect!

Here’s to an awesome Friday!  I’ll see you all later today!  ;-)

Do you strength train?  If you do, how many times a week do you do it?  What are some of your favorite strength training moves?

Showering with Love

Hello Friends!

First, let me start by saying that I know we, as bloggers, should never apologize for not posting…but I feel like I have to!  We are now less than three weeks away from the wedding (when did that happen!?) and it has totally consumed my life!  I absolutely love it and wouldn’t have it any other way but, as I have noticed, if I’m not at work or teaching a Jazzercise class, I am making favors, making dinner tags, making programs, checking and rechecking my RSVP list, and all of that other fun stuff…all while trying to keep up with the house and keep my police officer happy with dinners every couple of nights.  Anyway…my goal is to have everything done in the next two weeks so I can just chill out the week of the wedding.  We shall see how that pans out!

Moving on…this Monday is particularly hard because I am coming off of a weekend that was full of love, friendship, family, laughter, and fun!!  This past Saturday was my wedding shower and I cannot thank my bridesmaids enough for putting together the cutest little get-together!  I tried to keep my shower small so it was not a big extravaganza but it included all of the people that mean the most to me and that is all that matters!  I started off my morning with coffee in a ‘Love’ mug to get in the spirit!

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The day was dark and rainy but that did not stop us from having a great time!  I did, however, show up in wool clogs and a hooded sweatshirt that I had thrown over my dress…I refused to look like a drowned rat after I spent the time to get ready!  Thankfully, I was there a couple of hours before the guests so I was able to make myself look presentable before they all arrived.  Six out of my seven bridesmaids were there…with my friend, Meredith, at home in Florida.  I always miss her terribly but she will be here in less than three weeks and I can’t wait to see her!

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(my bridesmaid, April, somehow got cut out of this picture)

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The shower really did not have a particular theme but it was pink and purple (my wedding colors…which sound hideous when you say them together…but I promise it will all work out!) and girly.  We had little finger foods and desserts that included mini pulled pork sliders, crescent roll antipasta bites, buffalo chicken dip, antipasta salad, and mini melon kabobs drizzled with warm honey and fresh mint.  In addition to the main bites, we had thumbprint cookies, mini fudge squares, and cupcakes.

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…we also had a sangria bar, which was the best part of my shower!  My MOH, Christa, made a “Pretty in Pink” sangria and had multiple choices of fresh fruit to add to it to customize the flavor.  I swear I was drinking it like water!  It was so delicious!…as I feel with every sangria!

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We started with lunch soon after the guests arrived and spent a little time socializing before I opened the gifts.  We did not play any games because I am not a ‘game at showers’ type of person.  I really hate them all.  Well, hate is strong word…let’s just say I’m not a fan.  I opened the amazing gifts from my family and friends and ended the shower with a visit from Lee…who had worked the entire night before and morning and made it down without complaint after only a couple hours of sleep…just one of the many things I love about him!

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(Lee looking particularly excited!)

When we were done, I expressed my deep gratitude to not only my guests but to my bridesmaids and their moms who made my shower possible.  I honestly do not know what I would do without the amazing women that I have in my life.  I feel very fortunate to have each and every one of them!  I could not have asked for a better day with better people.

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So…bridal shower down…wedding coming up next!  I can’t believe it’s almost here!

With much Love and Laughter,
Kelly

Something to share:  If you had a bridal shower, did it have a theme?  Do you like to play games at bridal or baby showers?

What’s Beautiful

Beauty.

They always say that it’s ‘in the eye of the beholder.’  What exactly does that mean?  To me, beauty can come in a number of ways…it can take any form, be any shape or size, and be either physical or emotional.  I can see a beautiful face, wake up to a beautiful sunrise, or wipe the sweat from my brow after a beautiful run.

Another important thing about beauty?

It can be shared.  It can be projected outward and bring joy to others, which is truly what makes it great.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce that I, along with many of my Fitfluential beauties, will be participating with Under Armour for their “What’s Beautiful” campaign.

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Under Armour originally started this campaign to “redefine the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go.”

The concept of the campaign is simple….

1.  Set a goal.
2.  CRUSH IT!

You don’t have to be a blogger.  You don’t have to be a professional athlete.  You don’t even have to set a crazy fitness goal.  All you have to be is a woman who wants to prove she has what it takes to achieve a goal.  All you have to do is share the amazing journey that you take to get there.

My goal?

Complete my second half marathon in under two hours and use it as a stepping stone to complete my first half marathon this year.

You can check out my personal journey toward my goal here.

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Another wonderful thing about this campaign is the fact that we are able to work in teams and gain an amazing support system to help us all along the way!  There are groups dedicated to running a marathon, participating in a triathlon, working on strength training, being a fit mom, sharing fitness knowledge with others, and the list goes on and on.  There are so many teams and individuals out there and there is a niche for everyone…not to mention great prizes!  What could be better?

We invite all of you to answer the calling to show us what you’re made of!  Visit the Under Armour What’s Beautiful site and browse the profiles of the women who have chosen to take the challenge.  Set up your own profile and declare your own goal.  Find teams who have similar interests and dive it and take part!

The time is now to show off how much we can accomplish with hard work, dedication, and inspiration!!

With much Love and Laughter,
Kelly

Let’s Just Share Some Food

Hel-lo middle of the week!  How nice to see you!

Excuse me while I freak out for one second…

MAY 1 = ONE MONTH UNTIL WEDDING!!!! YIIIIIIIKES! 

Okay. I’m okay.  Things are good.  Things are coming along.  I am going to remain calm.

Anyway.  Today, I’m going to do a post that doesn’t require much thinking.  I’m just going to share some photos that made their way onto my phone but never actually made their way into a blog post.  I always take lots and lots of pictures but don’t always dedicate a post to them!  No need to worry, though…because they always tend to make their way into some type of recap post like the one we have here today!

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(lasagna at gram’s house)

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(hard-boiled eggs with beets)

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(breaded chicken, sweet potato, broccoli)

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(Kind bar.  I loved this which might have something to do with my pistachio obsession)

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(chips with salsa and corn guacamole)

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(Texas cheese fries)

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(ice cream cake)

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(ready to go salad – make your base of lettuce and veggies and add other toppings for dinner or lunch!)

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(pretzels – such a favorite snack of mine!)

Such randomness, I know!  Some good…some bad…all tasty!

I’ll see you all later with a ‘1 month to go’ wedding post!  I hope you have a marvelous day!

With much Love and Laughter,
Kelly

Something to share: Do you take a lot of photos with your phone?  I do…I haven’t have an actual camera in my hands in forever!! 

Things I’m Loving

Hello!  Welcome to Tuesday!

Every other Tuesday, I am able to go into work late and today is one of those Tuesdays.  Also, the sun is shining.  So far, I call the day a success.

I have not done a “What I’m Loving” post in awhile and today seemed like the perfect day to do so!  I feel like I’ve been loving a lot lately so let’s get to it!

…my new blue running tights.

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I bought these last Friday before my race on Saturday.  I knew I wanted to wear blue and yellow to run, so I stopped by TJMaxx on my way home from work.  I walked into the fitness apparel aisle and there they were.  One pair of blue pants.  In my size.  It was meant to be.  They had a front iPod pocket which actually held my phone without letting it bounce around too much…which is always important!

…later sunsets.

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I am definitely loving the longer days.  Brighter mornings and later nights?  Perfect!  I especially love the longer days because of Jazzercise.  I always teach evening classes and I feel so much more energized when I’m teaching with some sunshine instead of the dark 5pm classes that I have to teach in the winter!  I think the students seem to have more energy, too!

…my flower girl dress.

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I was not exactly sure what kind of dress I wanted for my flower girl, but I knew I did not want a white one that looked like the bride’s.  My mom and I went on a search last weekend and, after making a final decision on about three different dresses, I rounded the corner of the store and saw the perfect one.  It blew every other one out of the water!  I’m so excited to see her in it…she is going to look so adorable!!

…Gingerade Kombucha.

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I have seen this flavor plastered all over Instagram, Twitter, and blogs.  Everyone raved about it and said it was ‘one of their favorites,’ so, of course, that meant that I had to run out and try it.  The verdict?  I love it!  It’s now one of my favorites!

…Mango-Chile Chicken.

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Lee and I went to Chili’s for dinner to celebrate his birthday and, when I’m there, I always get the chicken fajitas (without the onions!).  However, I was feeling adventurous and decided to branch out and get something different.  I chose the Mango-Chile Chicken, which was amazing!  The chicken was spicy with a killer bite, but the mango salsa was sweet and the avocados were cool and the balance was simply perfect!  I will definitely be trying to recreate this recipe at home!

…Maybelline EyeStudio gel eyeliner.

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If there is one thing that you must know about me, it’s that I love eyeliner.  I don’t like to leave the house without it on my eyes.  I am all about going au natural sometimes but I just feel like life gets better with black eyeliner.  i really don’t discriminate and will use pencil, liquid, gels, etc.  I recently bought this new liner and absolutely love it!  It goes on smoother than any liner I’ve tried and does not smudge throughout the day!  Two important qualities!

…Pumpkin Flax granola.

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I found this at one of our local grocery stores and decided to give it a whirl.  I tried some on top of my yogurt for breakfast and it was great!  The crunch added a nice texture and I could really taste the pumpkin seeds!  No doubt that I will be snacking on it by the handfuls!

Alright, friends!  There you have it!  The things I’m loving!  Now, get on board and share yours!!

With much Love and Laughter,
Kelly

Something to share:  What is something you are loving lately?

Trooper Ken Iwaniec Memorial 5K/10K

Hello, hello friends! Happy Monday to you!

This past weekend was pretty busy but everything I did was fun (yes, even the 4 hours of yard work!) and the days just flew by as they normally do. Friday evening was spent with my mom working on wedding favors and when I finally headed home, I got prepared for my first race of this season! I decided to jump right in and start with a 10K!

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The Trooper Ken Iwaniec Memorial race is held every year at Saint Vincent College, which is my alma mater. Trooper Iwaniec was also an alumnus and, shortly after graduating from there and the Pennsylvania State Police academy, was killed by a drunk driver coming home from one of his shifts. Since the tragic accident, Trooper Iwaniec’s family has been crusading against drunk driving and holding this race every year is one part of their campaign. You can read all about the memorial foundation here.

I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and was pleasantly surprised to see that the sun was already starting to light up the sky at 5:45am! I got myself ready, took care of the pups, and left to go pick up Lee from work. He is a saint and agreed to run the race with me after working a 12-hour shift overnight. We left the station around 7:15am, when his shift was over, and drove down to the college. The turnout was fantastic! It was crowded and there were a ton of people there, which I was happy to see! My former boss was working one of the pledge stations so, after registering and a picking up our packets, we headed over to chat with her and get ready for the race.

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I don’t know how you all feel before races, but I am a total basket case. I always feel so nervous…and it stems from the notion that I’m going to do terrible and finish last. I’m not sure why I think that and I really need to stop psyching myself out like that!

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Anyway, after hanging around for about an hour, we finally headed to the start line. The course is set up as a 5K distance and the 10K runners just do it twice. We started off at the main entrance to the campus and followed a big loop which took us past the gristmill (where monks still make bread!), past the Saint Vincent Wetlands project (where I spent much time as a bio major!), around the cemetery (the college is also a seminary and parish), and around the back of the dorms on the running trail back to the start/finish line. I loved the route and it brought back many memories as I ran which gave me something else to think about other than the hills!

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Soon after our first mile, Lee stopped to grab a cup of water and use his inhaler. He has asthma and when he runs races, he is never sure how is body is going to react. I looked over at him and he gave the signal to “keep going without me” so I took off and continued. I felt great during the first loop and as I started the second but then I started to feel myself slow down about mile 4.5. I think it’s a mental block that I get right in the middle of a race…I feel like I’ve come far but that I also have quite a way to go! Unfortunately, mile 4.5 came right at the steepest hill in the race as well. I just put my head down, thought about anything but that hill, and, finally, reached the top! I knew I had one relatively flat loop around the cemetery, a completely flat run on the trail, and a downhill slope to the finish line left so I told myself to perk up and just finish!

Can I just tell you how much I love downhill finishes!?

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My goal was to beat my last 10K time which was 55:40. As I crossed over the 5K finish line, half way through my race, my time was 27:17 so I knew I had pick it up or at least keep my pace steady to beat 55 minutes. As I approached the finish line I saw ‘53’ and I was pumped! My official end time was 53:25, finishing fifth in my age group. Success!!

Lee was waiting for me at the finish, obviously, since he snapped a picture, but I didn’t see him until a few minutes after I crossed. He made his way over to me and handed me a bottle of water. I was glad to see him! We recapped our runs with each other, chatted with my friend, Cindy, and her dog, Zieke (who is the cutest!), and headed inside to grab some fuel!

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Smiley cookies for the win!

We hung around for an about an hour after the race and then headed home so Lee could finally get some sleep. He was such a trooper for staying up and running with me. Just one of the many reasons that I love him and he’s such a keeper!

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Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day and the weather was absolutely perfect for running! I couldn’t have asked for a nicer way to start of my race season!

Have a wonderful Monday!

With much Love and Laughter,
Kelly

Something to share: Have you had a favorite race this year so far or is there a particular one you are looking forward to running?

Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes with Blueberry Orange Syrup

Remember what happened two weekends ago?

Well, last night on our way home from a date with our BFFs, Lee asked me if I was thinking about making pancakes in the morning.  I said that I would, knowing that would depend on what time he decided to roll out of bed.

This morning we went through our same conversation:

Me: I’m getting up.  Do you want me to make pancakes?
Lee: (gurgled mumbling)
Me: Okay, well I’m getting up.  I’m making pancakes.  I will yell when they are done.  It’s in
your hands after that.
Lee: (gurgled mumbling)

I opened the refrigerator and there was a carton of blueberries staring right at me…so I went with it.

I decided on blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup.  Clearly, I felt like I needed to use ALL of the blueberries.

While I had the syrup simmering, I was working on the pancakes.  I had to make some plain ones because I never know how Lee is going to feel about eating things that aren’t part of the basic man food groups – chicken, steak, potatoes, beer.

I get bored really quickly.  Like really fast.  The whole 3 minutes it was taking my pancakes to finish!?  It was just unbearable!!  To pass the time, I figured I would sample my syrup.  It started out as just sampling a piece of a pancake.  It then turned into two.  Two pancakes, not two pieces.  I just couldn’t help it.

Just a little stack of heaven.

Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes with Blueberry Orange Syrup

Vanilla Pancakes:

1-1/2 cups all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1-1/4 cups low-fat or skim milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, oil and vanilla.  Whisk together and mix until smooth.

Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium-high heat.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour batter onto griddle or pan, using about 1/4 cup for each pancake.  Cook on one side until bubbles on top start to pop.  Add blueberries on batter, if desired.  Flip and brown other side, approximately 2 minutes.

Blueberry Orange Syrup:

1 cup fresh blueberries

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

Add blueberries, sugar and orange juice to small pot heated to medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, constantly stirring and crushing the blueberries.  Let boil for 3-5 minutes, or until thickened.  Once thickened, reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve over pancakes.

Thankfully, you don’t have to decide what to make for breakfast tomorrow!  I decided for you!

Have a wonderful Saturday!!!