Ran Like a Mother, Ate Like a Dad

On Mother’s Day, my wife, youngest daughter, and I all participated in a charity 5K run called “Run Like a Mother”. It was the first 5K for all of us. My wife wanted to do it both for the charity Kelly’s Angels (which supports children who have lost their mothers), and also as part of her health and fitness journey. I did it for the charity (my mom died when my sister was only 7) and to support my wife.

The day started pretty early for a weekend. We had to be there at 7:30 in the morning and it takes a half hour to get there. I hadn’t preregistered, so I did so when we arrived. Then we each got our number. I was 602. I’m sure there were more people that registered after me.

The run started at 9:00 and we were a good ways towards the back of the crowd. My wife and I weren’t planning on running fast so we didn’t want to get in the way of others. Since we were so far back, it started as more of a walk until things opened up a little. Kate took off running at this point while I stayed with Linda. Shortly afterwards, Linda started jogging. We jogged a bit then walked a bit throughout the entire hilly course. Generally we walked uphill and jogged down. Around 51 minutes later we arrived at the finish line with Kate cheering us on. Apparently the numbers we wore were tagged in some way. Shortly after we finished, they posted the standings. Kate came in 218th. I was 444 and Linda was 445. According to the web page with the stats, there were 566 runners so we beat over 100 people. Not bad for our first 5K.

When we got back into town, we stopped in for breakfast at a local cafe. The coffee wasn’t great, but my Challah French Toast pretty good. After breakfast we went home and chilled out most of the day. Later on, I went to the store to pick up some steaks. Earlier in the week, I had seen a new seasoning I want to try at BJ’s Wholesale Club, but I didn’t want to spend $7 on a huge container of it. Well, as luck would have it Hannaford had a small packet.

Brown Sugar Bourbon MarinadeI don’t drink bourbon, but I do like brown sugar so I wanted to give it a try. I seasoned Linda’s steak with the usual garlic powder, onion powder, and Nature’s Seasons, but I used the new marinade on mine. As it cooked, it appeared that some of the marinade may have come off. The steak looked great, but I didn’t think the flavor was very strong. It was good, so I am definitely going to use the rest of the packet on my next steak.

Brown Sugar Bourbon SteakOverall, we had a great Mother’s Day. We ran our first 5K and had some great steaks.  I ran like a mother and ate like a dad. Who could ask for more?

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

My wife Linda recently picked up a package of whole wheat flour and has had great fun making dinner rolls and waffles. This time she made something a little more traditional – chocolate chip cookies. We weren’t quite sure if they would taste as good as “normal” chocolate chip cookies due to the wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Cookies - Mixing

 

Linda mixed up the ingredients, but our brown sugar had been sitting around for a while. On word of advice: If your brown sugar is all packed together in clumps, break it up BEFORE you add it to the rest of the ingredients. I cannot stress this enough. It was almost comical watching us try to break up the clumps in the mix. At least we didn’t have the chips in yet. Eventually, we ended up using a mashed potato strainer to break them up. It was quite a sight watching us scoop cookie batter into the strainer. It was oddly effective though.

Whole Wheat Cookies Out of the Oven

After we got everything all mixed up properly, the rest went flawlessly. They cooked up really well and smelled great cooking. I’m not sure, but I’d swear Linda used more chips than called for in the recipe. The cookies were loaded with them. Not that I’m complaining or anything. I love chocolate chips.

Whole Wheat Cookies Plated

Linda found the recipe on the Betty Crocker site, but here is is below for easy reference.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).
  7. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

via Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Candied Yams Recipe

My wife has been making these for the holidays for as long as I can remember. She always thought I had tried them and disliked them, but for some unknown reason, I never did. Well, the reason isn’t really unknown. It’s because I thought I wouldn’t like them because of the yams. In any case, this year I went ahead and tried them. I can’t believe I went this long without trying them. Here is the recipe if you’d like to give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of yams
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pour yams into a 9×9 baking dish
  3. Cut up butter into small pieces and distribute evenly
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the yams
  5. Cover with marshmallows
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until marshmallows become golden brown

If your fussy eater has a sweet tooth, then there is a pretty good likelihood they will enjoy these. I actually went back for seconds and then had more the next day as well. I’m already looking forward to the next time Linda makes them.

Acorn Squash Recipe

Recently, my wife and I picked up an acorn squash to try. We’ve never had one before so we looked around for a recipe that looked like something we might like. She came up with one that seemed kind of similar to the butternut squash recipe that we didn’t like. (Cue dark, foreboding music).

Ingredients:

  • Acorn Squash
  • 2 tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Butter

Directions:

  1. Cut the acorn squash down the middle – Use a large knife as this is not easy.
  2. Remove the seeds.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees in a pan with the cut side down.
  4. Remove from oven and turn over.
  5. Add butter to each half.
  6. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to each half.
  7. Return to the oven to cook another 30-45 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and scoop out the squash to serve.

As soon as we started, I had a bad feeling. The acorn squash looked a lot like the butternut squash except it is more round. It has that same orange color. It also has a similar smell. They both remind me of pumpkin. I guess that makes sense since the pumpkin is a kind of squash too. All three are considered “winter squash”.

As with the butternut squash, I was really hoping that the brown sugar would make it taste good. Well, brown sugar let me down again. Even with brown sugar and cinnamon, I didn’t like it. Neither did Linda. We have concluded that we just aren’t winter squash people. However, Linda says that she thinks I might like pumpkin pie. She might make one later this year for me to try.

From what I’m hearing from people, if you don’t like butternut squash or acorn squash prepared with brown sugar, chances are you just don’t like the squash and no recipe will change that. I think we will likely continue our efforts with summer squash when they are in season again.

Candied Butternut Squash with Cinnamon and Honey Recipe

My wife bought a butternut squash at least a couple of weeks ago and we’ve been putting off using it till we could figure out what to do with it. Well, the other day she found a recipe that looked like something I might actually like that has honey and cinnamon in it. Cinnamon is one of my favorite ingredients after all. I’ve modified the original recipe to include brown sugar and nutmeg based on some of the comments on the site.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Scoop seeds out of butternut squash.
  2. Arrange butternut squash pieces, cut-side down, in a large baking dish.
  3. Pour hot water in the baking dish to a depth of about 1/4-inch.
  4. Bake butternut squash at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Cool squash; peel.
  6. Cut squash into 1/2-inch squares and place in a 9x13x2-inch baking dish.
  7. Pour butter and honey over squash, then sprinkle with pecans and cinnamon.
  8. Return to oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until butternut squash is glazed and hot.

Unlike regular squash, butternut squash is kind of hard. It was not easy to slice it open to get the seeds out. Once I had it cut open, it kind of resembled pumpkin. It was orange inside and had seeds that looked a bit like pumpkin seeds as well. Because it is such a hard vegetable to cut, I’d suggest using a rather large chef knife or something similar.

I wasn’t quite sure how the recipe called for them to be quartered lengthwise, so I just made another long cut which left them kind of looking like giant spoons of some sort.

While I let them bake in the oven to soften, I chopped up the pecans and mixed the other ingredients. I did things a little differently than called for in the original recipe. They mentioned pouring the butter and honey over the squash and then sprinkling with pecan and cinnamon. I decided it would be better to mix them all together and pour the whole thing over them.

I added the butter and honey to the pecans with the other ingredients and mixed them thoroughly before pouring them over the squash. I put it back in the over for about 20 minutes and went on to prepare the tilapia we were having. The butternut squash looked great when it came out of the oven.

We fixed up out plate with tilapia, butternut squash, and peas. As we headed out into the other room to eat, I was hopeful that the cinnamon, brown sugar, and honey had made the butternut squash sweet and delicious.

Well, that didn’t quite go like I planned. The initial taste of cinnamon, brown sugar and honey was OK, but there was an awful aftertaste that I didn’t care for at all. I haven’t had pecans before so I wasn’t sure if it was them or the butternut squash at first. I’m pretty sure it was the squash since it kind of tasted a little like the squash smelled when I first cut it open.

Linda didn’t care for it either. At first maybe I thought I had messed up or the squash wasn’t ripe or maybe over ripe. However, Linda took it in to Gold’s Gym the next day and some of the people there loved it.

All in all, I’d have to say this probably won’t go over well with a fussy eater, but it may be quite a treat for those with a less picky palate.

via Butternut Squash Recipe – Candied Butternut Squash with Cinnamon and Honey.

Here is Linda’s take on the butternut squash. http://www.getmotivatedgetmovinggethealthy.com/2012/09/29/butternut-squash-oy-vey/

Grilled Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Last night we decided to grill up a few burgers and enjoy some time by the pool. Usually we would make up the more traditional french fries to go with them. Instead we opted to make some sweet potato fries. We’d done them before in the oven, but since it was rather hot, we figured it would be nice not to have to fire up anything in the kitchen. Based on the results, my wife and I agreed this will probably be the new standard side to our burgers. You’ll notice two piles of fries. Each was done a little differently so I could try some experimenting, which is kind of my thing.

On the left you’ll see the ones made with the basic recipe for the oven fries we made before. Here is the recipe.

  • Cut sweet potatoes into relatively small wedges (they cook quicker)
  • Toss potatoes into a Zip-Lock bag with a small amount of olive oil
  • Add chili powder
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Shake bag around until all potatoes are evenly covered
  • Place them on the grill and turn every few minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how thick they are cut and how hot your grill is

We didn’t leave them on the grill quite long enough for how thick some of the fries were so a few of them weren’t as soft as they should be. Other than that, they were delicious as we expected. They probably could have used a little more chili powder – Now there’s a sentence I never that I’d be using!

The few fries you see on the left were a little more interesting. I was going to cook them in maple syrup as suggested in the comments of my Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots Recipe. When I mentioned that to my wife Linda, she said she had heard they were good with brown sugar and then dipped in maple syrup. I never did dip them, but here’s the recipe for them anyway.

  • Cut sweet potatoes into relatively small wedges (they cook quicker)
  • Toss potatoes into a Zip-Lock bag with a small amount of olive oil
  • Add light brown sugar
  • Shake bag around until all potatoes are evenly covered
  • Place them on the grill and turn every few minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how thick they are cut and how hot your grill is

These fries didn’t quite come out as flavorful as the others. Perhaps I should have gone back in the kitchen for the maple syrup. Maybe they needed some additional seasoning like salt and pepper. I’m not sure. I’ll have to try them again and see.

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