Thursday, June 24, 2010

How is training going?

I haven't been writing about my training, mostly because not much is going on.
I am training for my 6th, 31 mile race scheduled for August 21st at Hagg Lake, Forest grove, OR. It will be my 3rd race up there. This one is a little different as it isn't going to be a very big race as far as participants and it will be hot.
I am running 18 miles this weekend and am doing it solo. Last weekend, I ran 16 miles with a friend and I had gone from running 12 the prior weekend to 16. It was done with ease, but I could feel the pull in my legs. It was a nice run however, on the trails, my favorite spot to run.
Today, was the first day of heat training. I started at 5:11 PM and it was 79 outside. Not to bad. Where I live, Oregon, it's having difficulty accepting that it's supposed to be warm. But, we get what we get, right? The run was good, I didn't feel overly hot, but did kind of get the hot weather chills hear or there and I could tell my breathing was a little heavier. I also got a heat rash on my arms and my face was read when I went into my bathroom. I only came in 1 min slower compared to when I ran in the morning earlier in the week. I did bring a lot of water and sipped it throughout, drinking the whole thing by the time I got home.
Swimming is going good. I have got up to swimming around 2.65 miles and I felt like that was a lot. Earlier in the week, I swam 2.05 miles and I felt done, just finished and felt complete. Tomorrow, I am going to swim 1.42 miles I believe. I feel good in the pool, it comes easier for me then running and I really enjoy it. I normally swim one long swim 2.00 miles or above and a shorter swim at about 1.50 miles. Plus they replace 2 of my runs during the week. The kids are out of school now, so I am not sure how this is going to affect my swimming, they are too young to leave at home. I can go swimming at night, but doesn't appear, they will let me stay in for 2 hours to get my 2+ miles in. So, I'll cut back till the girls are in school again and then rebuild.
That's it for now.~

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Silly sleeping position

My husband sees my daughter sleeping like this when he gets up to go to work each morning.

Jacques's French Potato Salad

This is a great potato salad. I even had it for breakfast. My girls even enjoyed it.

Serving 4 to 6

2 pounds small waxy potatoes
1/2 cup or so olive oil
1/2 cup 1/4 inch slices of scallion, green and white parts
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, mashed and coarsely chopped 1 1/2 tsp
1/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon style mustard
2-3 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp basic, tarragon or parsley. (I used 1/2 tbsp basic and parsley and felt that it was enough)
1 tsp kosher salt + -
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 -2 hard boiled eggs, chopped. (optional) Tip (cover eggs, once boiling, put a lid on the pot and turn off stove, let sit for 10 min before taking off the lid)-Perfect eggs, every time.

Cover whole potatoes with water by 1/2 inch. Boil with lid on. They are done when you can pierce with knife. Drain, let cool slightly. Scrape skin off potatoes.
Heat oil in a pan, add scallions and onion, cook for 1 min over med-high heat. Add garlic, cook for just a few moments, remove from heat.
Slice potatoes while still warm in 1/2 inch sections. Put in mixing bowl, add wine and 3-4 tbsp oil and toss. Add vegetables, mustard, chives, herbs, salt and pepper and eggs if desired.
Serve warm.

Basic Pancake Mix

We don't buy pancake mix at the store anymore. It's loaded with stuff that your body doesn't need and it's cheaper to make yourself.

Here is the recipe;
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Just add it to a ziploc bag and shake, or better yet, use the store pancake bag.

When your ready to use, for 2 servings. Use 1 cup of the pre-made mix, mix with 3/4 cup water and stir or you can add these ingredients;
1 1/4 cup -1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I say optional)

and you have pancakes. Very easy, saves $$.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chicken Saute Provence style

I wasn't going to make a french dish, I was going to make Corn Flake Chicken, but couldn't resist. For tonight's meal, I decided upon Chicken Saute Provence Style or Saute de poulet a la provencale. I wasn't sure how the family or kids would like this meal and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. Probably because of all the onions and I don't like tomatoes. But I have to tell you, it was absolutely delicious.
Click on the recipe, if you are interested to see it enlarged.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

For dessert

Picture of me during the beginning stages.
The caramel sauce as I was stirring in the cream. I thought it was neat looking
Finished dessert and very yummy!!

I decided to make a dessert tonight following the shepherds pie. I decided upon Iles Flottantes. When I started, I didn't realize that I was going to through with it and also make the Cream Anglaise. My original plan was to just make the caramel sauce. But I made it and it was very delicious. I can't believe however that I had to use 10 eggs for this treat. Everyone enjoyed it, even the kids.

Iles Flottantes ~ Floating Islands

serves 4

butter and flour to coat pan
6 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 325

Butter and lightly dust with flour a square cake pan
In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites with salt. Whisk for at least 5 minutes, until firm peaks form. Continue whisking gradually adding the sugar. Slowly add the lemon juice, whisking constantly. Pour the batter into the plan and bake for 5-10 min or utill the top is a very pale golden color. Remove from the oven; let cool in the mold. Once cool, cut into square or round shapes with a coolie cutter. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with Creme Anglaise and a drizzle of hot caramel.

Recipe taken from the book One Pot French

Crème Anglaise

You can substitute 2 tablespoons vanilla extract for the bean, but the flavor will suffer. You can find vanilla beans in your supermarket's spice section.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)

1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 (3-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/3 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks

Pour milk into a medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to milk. Cook over medium heat 6 minutes (do not boil); discard bean. Remove from heat.
Combine sugar and yolks in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Gradually add milk mixture to bowl, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat 6 minutes or until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly with a whisk. Immediately pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and chill (mixture will thicken as it cools).
Note: Crème Anglaise can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream

In 2 quart saucepan, heat corn syrup, brown sugar and butter to boiling over low heat, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in whipping cream; heat to boiling. Cool about 30 minutes. Serve warm. Store covered in refrigerator up to 2 months. Reheat slightly before serving if desired.

Love is pure and limitless

This is my command: Love each other. John 15:17

When a child looks up at you, their eyes are full of love. Children have a beauty that is like no other. The love of God shines through them. A child's love is an unconditional love. They love you no matter what.

My 2 girls are constantly fighting as most siblings do. And I do get upset with them and they get disciplined and I have lost my temper with them. But at the end of the day, they don't hold grudges against me for taking away their favorite toy or sending them to bed without a treat. They give me a big hug and kiss and they love me.

How can we love pure and limitless in a world that has so much hate? True loves definition comes to us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always remains strong. Love never ends.

We live in a world that is full of ugliness and harm and while the answer may not be easy, it isn't impossible. If we choose to focus on our Lord and savior first, never taking our eyes off of him, we are all capable of this kind of love. This kind of love is awesome and it comes from our Lord Jesus Christ.

So these three things continue forever; faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13


Maybe we have come to expect too much too soon in our lives. We microwave our meals, speed-dial our telephones, and zap the channels on our television sets. We've become accustomed to instantaneous results. But instant breakfast is one thing; I don't believe we can expect instant gratification and instant fulfillment in our lives. In spite of what they show you on television, there is no quick fix between commercial breaks. You must have patience and engage in persistent action toward making your dream become a reality.

In his book An Enemy Called Average, John L. Mason writes of a tree in Asia called the giant bamboo that has a particularly hard seed. It's so hard that to grown that you must water and fertilize that seed every day for four years before any portion of it breaks the soil. And then in the fifth year, the tree shows itself. But the remarkable thing-and consult your National Geographic if you don't believe me-is that once it breaks the surface, this bamboo plant, like many of the species is capable of growing at rates as fast as four feet a day to a height of ninety feet in less than a month! You can practically stand there and watch it grow!

Now the cosmic question here is, Did the bamboo tree grow ninety feet in under a month? Or did it grow over five years? Over five years, of course! Most people do not realize that if the grower had stopped watering or fertilizing that seed at any point, the tree would have died.

When they don't see instant results, many people become discouraged with their dreams and goals. They become impatient. And I believe many of them walk away from their dreams just as they are about to break through and flourish. You must have patience. Your time is going to come if you work diligently and meticulously. It doesn't matter if no one else recognizes that. It matters only that you see it and you have patience to wait for it.

Les Brown

Related Bible Tests: Psalm 38:2; Matthew 24:13; John 15:5; Galatians 6:9

Hachis Parmentier ~ Shepherd's pie

I debated on making this meal tonight or Friday night, but couldn't resist making it early. For tonight's meal, I made Hachis Parmentier. I am using the roast beef from last nights meal.

4 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp truffle paste optional
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cups mashed potatoes
2 tbsp devon cream or 45% cream
1 1/4 lbs roast beef (leftover), ground or shredded
breadcrumbs for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Slice the mushrooms (leave the caps whole if forming the pie into individual ring molds). In a skillet over medium heat, saute the mushrooms in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add truffle past, if using. To the same pan, add 1/2 cup of the butter. Saute the shallots and onions until soft; do not allow to color.
In a bowl, combine the mashed potatoes and cream.
Spread the portion of the mushroom-onion mixture in the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish. Spread a layer of the beef and then another layer of the mushroom-onion mix, alternating until all has been used. Top with the potatoes. Sprinkles the breadcrumbs over the top, and dot with the remaining butter. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and the top is golden.

Note: I will be honest, I didn't use mushrooms as nobody in my family likes them. Plus, I couldn't bring myself to use that much butter. I love French people, but I think they use too much oil and butter at times. What I did use instead of mushrooms was diced up carrots and celery. Added a nice touch. Instead of using 1/2 cup of butter, I sprinkled maybe 1 tbsp over the top. My husband also noted that he thinks I should have added a layer of cheese under the potatoes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

French Cuisine #3

So for tonight's meal, I made Jacques's Pot Roast. I had to go to the store for 2 things, the roast and turnips. I actually have never tried a turnip and didn't know what I was looking for. But, I knew to find them in the vegetable department. As I got to the store, I stared at the shelf for a good 2 minutes, hoping I was reading the badly marked labels right and was choosing the right thing. Oh thank heavens I was right.

Here is the ingredient list and how I made this.

One 5-pound bottom round roast
Kosher Salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion, 1 inch pieces
1 large tomato, cored and chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme or 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups white wine
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 to 2 pounds white turnips, peeled, trimmed, and sliced into large wedges
1 pound small white onions, about 20 the size of ping-pong balls, blanched and peeled
1 pound baby carrots
1 1/2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen (I actually forget this now that I am writing this)
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley, far garnish
Yellow potatoes, cut up ( I added this to the recipe, and used 5) optional

Preheat over to 300 degrees
Season the roast, both sides with salt and pepper
Add 2 tbsp of oil to frying pan and set to high heat. When oil is hot, lay in the roast and sear for 3 minutes, turn over and sear that side for 3 minutes and keep turning and searing until the entire roast is browned.
Arrange the onion and tomato pieces, potatoes the bay leaves, and the thyme springs around the meat and pour in the wine and water. Bring the liquid to the boil, cover the casserole, and set in the oven for 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is tender.
Remove the dish from the oven. Add the turnips, onions and carrots around the roast and season with salt and pepper. Place back in the over for 1 1/2 hours. Last 1/2 hour, add the peas.

I made gravy with it. I put in about 2 tbsp of butter to a pot, once melted, I added 1/4 cup of flour and used the juice from the casserole and added that slowly to the pot.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

French Cuisine # 2

So for tonight's meal, I prepared Mama's Mayonnaise Biscuits with homemade mayonnaise, Jacques's rice pilaf with pepper, peas and asparagus and Julia's simple saute of chicken with herbs.

In preparation for the meal, I had almost all the ingredients. I did have to go to the store and buy some white wine, red pepper, scallions and asparagus.

I made the biscuits. It called for 3 tbsp of mayonnaise and I made it homemade. I have never made homemade mayonnaise before nor do I actually care for it. But it was easy and I didn't think it was all that bad. Last night, my husband informed me that he was not going to eat it as it has raw eggs. I made the biscuits and even tested one, am eating one as I am typing. Yummy!!!!

Cooking the chicken dish along with the rice pilaf was fairly time consuming. I took the recipes advice and cooked the chicken ahead of time, cut up the vegetables for the rice pilaf ahead of time. The sauce for the chicken was very good, which consisted of 1/4 of wine and 1 cup chicken broth and the herbs for the chicken made it really good.

I do think that I used a lot of oil and butter, better exercise more.

Everyone liked the dish, I did not dare give any vegetables to my youngest, except for a few peas. One of my daughters didn't care for the bread the first time we tested them, and didn't have another, even when jelly was offered.

Once again, a dish that I will make again.

Bon apetetite!

(click on recipes to enlarge)

Oh and I am yet to tell my husband about the raw eggs that were in the biscuits. Hey I cooked them.


My daughters softball team won the Sportsmanship award this year. Here is a photo. My daughter is in the middle behind the very large trophy. Her coaches name is Agostini.

Monday, June 14, 2010

French Cooking

The other night I watched the film Julie and Julia.

If you haven't seen the film, here is a quick review;
Review by Perry Seibert "Everybody needs inspiration. Julie Powell wanted to be a writer, but not until she challenged herself to make every recipe in Julia Child's culinary bible Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year -- and blogged about it -- did she find her voice. Her memoir about that year, Julie & Julia, comes to the big screen thanks to writer/director Nora Ephron, a filmmaker who was in dire need of some inspiration.The movie stars a pair of formidably talented actresses: Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. Adams plays Powell, an English lit grad who struggles through her stressful government job fielding phone calls from people who are having medical problems because of 9/11. Cooking provides her with her only form of anxiety relief aside from her devoted husband (Chris Messina), who suggests she combine her love of preparing food with her desire to write. He sets her up with a blog, and she begins her quest to perfect beef bourguignon, poached eggs, and aspic -- and to share her journey with the world. As she learns more and more about Julia Child (Streep), a former government employee herself, the beloved chef becomes Julie's personal hero.Ephron shifts back and forth between Julie's story, and a biopic of Julia Child during the time she and her devoted husband (Stanley Tucci) lived in Paris. During that period, she learned to cook, met her future co-authors, and created the book that would save Julie four decades later."

After watching the film, I decided that I was a little bored with my dinner recipes and I was going to change them up. So I decided that I was going to take a stab at making french food.
In the morning, I got on the libraries site and requested a few books on French cooking and also went down to the library. I picked up a few books and brought them home.
My first initial thoughts were, I'm not going to kill a lobster and oh no, we can't eat ham. I thumbed through a few of the books desperate to find the one meal that I could eat and wouldn't get my children of 9 and 7 years old to put their noses up in the air.
For my first night, I was going to make Cabillaud En Papillote or Black cod in parchment with Pistou De Pousses De Basilic Vert or Baby green basil pesto, Pommes Savoyarde or Scalloped pototoes in chicken broth with cheese.
I drove to 6 different stores trying desperately hard to locate the ingredients, boy was it not easy and it really left me in disgust once again over the American diet. Americans in general eat like complete crap and the store shelves show it.
I prepared the meal according to the directions, taking a few sneaky bites of the cheese and placed the potatoes in the oven 1st, 15 minutes later, I stuck the fish in and noticed the potatoes were no where near being ready, so I covered them. 15 minutes later, when the fish were supposed to be done, I noticed that they were still raw. So I turned the oven temperature up. Out come the girls. "What is that yucky smell?" one of them said. I think, oh great they already don't like it.
We all sit down to dinner about 1 hour after it was supposed to be done. But, it looks and smells fantastic. My husband and I both enjoy everything. My oldest didn't like the fish, but likes the potatoes as well as my youngest.
All in all a good french meal. One that I will be making again.

Bon apetetite!

(Click on recipes to make larger)

The Story of Ferdinand

The story of Ferdinand is a wonderful story that I just read to my children.

It is a story written over 50 years ago. It tells the story of a Ferdinand, a bull that prefers peace and is content with sitting under a cork tree while all the other bulls prefer jumping around and butting heads with the other bulls. As Ferdinand grows, 5 men come from Madrid to find the "biggest, fastest and roughest" bull for bullfighting. They mistakenly choose Ferdinand because he was stung by a bee and it caused him to appear big, rough and fierce. But as he is placed in the arena in a stadium full of viewers, he does what he does best, he sits and he smells the flowers in the ladies hair. They try to make him mad, but it doesn't work and they take him home to sit under the cork tree.

It is a happy and very peaceful story. It speaks to the readers heart.

It is a wonderful blessing to discover someone who is content and at peace. I do know a few and I cherish them. It is wonderful to sit and visit them.

I wish we could all have the temperament of Ferdinand the bull.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My heroes

Today at the pool, I met a woman who was in her 80's. She told me she swims 4 days a week, a mile each time. And, you know what? She was fast.

A man I met 2 yeas ago is from my husbands hometown, Crescent City, CA. Mr. Ralph Hirt, a year ago when he was 71 runs 100 mile races.

When I grow up, I want to be like them. Those people are my heroes, people I look up to.

I think they are awesome.

Hirt completes another 100-mile marathon at 71

Plans to take part in another ultra run this weekend in Ore.

Local resident Ralph Hirt, 71, poses for a photo during the Rocky  Raccoon ultramarathon in Texas, which is a 100-mile race. Submitted   photo
Local resident Ralph Hirt, 71, poses for a photo during the Rocky Raccoon ultramarathon in Texas, which is a 100-mile race. Submitted photo

At 71 years young, local resident Ralph Hirt recently completed the 100-mile Rocky Raccoon ultramarathon in Texas.
Hirt finished the race in 25 hours and 48 minutes on Feb. 7, besting his 27-hour, 32-minute time at Rocky Raccoon last year.

“It feels good,” Hirt said. “I think I was a little bit disappointed by my performance last year. I thought I could do better than that.”

Hirt finished first in his age division, although he was the only one in his age group taking part. In November, he placed first out of three runners in his age division at an ultramarathon race in Arizona.

Overall, he finished 96th out of 239 people who started the Rocky Raccoon race, although only 162 finished the grueling 100-mile marathon.

“I thought I ran well and I did not have trouble with blisters,” Hirt said. Last year, Hirt was troubled by blisters at Rocky Raccoon, which slowed him down.

For several years, Hirt has taken part in ultramarathons, which are races longer than 26 miles.

Hirt is active in the racing community in Crescent City and has been race director of the Redwood Wild River Run and the Fourth of July Run.

Hirt takes part in a number of ultra races each year and plans to compete in another ultramarathon race in Forest Grove, Ore., this weekend.

For Hirt, ultra racing is a passion. “That’s what I do,” he said.

He plans to race in another 100-mile race in June at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, which goes from Squaw Valley to Auburn.

“It’s the Super Bowl of 100- mile marathons,” Hirt said.

For more information on ultra racing go to

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hagg Lake

This first photo is of me trying to walk my way through extremely heavy mud that lasted oh about 1/4 of a mile. It's take your shoe off mud.
Very muddy, although, I am trying to run through it.

I am reposting this because I finally bought the pictures from the race.

Hagg Lake

I have been having a hard time finding the words to describe my experience running my 5th Ultra marathon at Hagg Lake in Forest Grove, Or.
I am thinking it is because I have been having a hard time recouping from my experience. I was nauseas after the race and the day after.
But here goes~
Hagg was hard this year and muddier than it was in 2008, when I ran it last. I came in at 6:57:59, in 2008 I came in at 6:56:50.
I was really nervous going into the run, woke up at 4am, couldn't go back to sleep. I'd think about the race and my heart would start racing.
The course was to do a out and back for 3 miles on the road and then head out onto the trail around the lake, two times.
The first 4 miles, I was shaky, nervous and my nose was bothering me. I was breathing pretty hard around the first loop. It took me about 3 hours and 15 min to go around the first time and I eventually calmed down. But I got really grumpy before the end of the first loop, seriously wanted to quit. I told myself to just change my shoes and socks, which helped and stop at the aid station.
But the last 4 miles before the start/finish was the muddiest. It was take your shoe off and maybe your foot off as well. Plus, it was long section of it. The final last mile was the worst mud, maybe longer than 1/8 of a mile or more. It was horrible. I didn't want to run through it, it may have taken my shoe!
My toe would start throbbing in pain throughout the 2nd loop. I'm glad that first aid station during the 2nd loop didn't treat me like a baby when I was griping, cause I would have quit. I told this other runner, a man to not follow me because I'm grumpy. Poor guy. He was running his first ultra, longest he had ran was 13 miles. He came in about 20 or so min after me.
One part of the race, was like going through a kid pool, clear water, but a lot of it. The 2nd time around, I just darted through it, but then missed my turn off, realized it fairly quickly and turned around. I wasn't eating well on the run, drinking a lot and I kept taking their salt/electrolyte tabs at every aid station, never did get a leg cramp. I mostly ate gummy bears, pretzels, oranges. I brought a sandwich, but only ate 1/2 of a 1/2. I would try to speed up during the 2nd loop, but my legs would want to cramp, so I couldn't. I was nauseated the night after and yesterday. I would just eat whatever sounded good, asparagus, sprite, applesauce.
Oh, I would kind of feel bad about being so slow, but I just can't speed up. I need to just be happy that I finished my 5th ultra.
I'm glad its over.
Today, 2 days later. I am feeling okay. Slept good last night, went to bed at 9PM with a sleeping pill. Legs hurt a little, ate spaghetti for breakfast, tired. I'll get through this and will be off running again in no time.