Carnitas & Haricot Verts

January 12, 2016

This is one of my most favorite meals and it’s all because of fat and flavor. I make a big pan of my favorite pork carnitas and each time, I find more ways to use them. I was late coming home last night and needed something quick. I already had the carnitas in the fridge. All I had to do is warm them up, melt some cheese, and saute the green beans. This was filling, quick, and it meets the lower carb guidelines for Altshift.

carnitas haricot verts

To make the green beans, I simply added some frozen beans to the same pan I used to heat up the pork. I added some Garlic and Herb Kerrygold butter and sautéed them until they were done. Salt and pepper as needed. Haricot Verts are just young, skinny green beans. I love these stir fried so they are still crunchy and not mushy.

herb green beans


Running Recap Jan 9

January 9, 2016

Guess what I’ve been doing? Taking a wagon-load of sinus infection medicine. I just love winter sickness. It makes running on fresh legs a foregone memory. Training for Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans is rough. I’m hitting a wall this week so I cut back on most days. I got a total of 10 miles this week which is NOT anywhere near what it should be. I chose to cut back and get some basic running and more walking miles when the coughing got too bad. I can’t risk another broken rib. I’ve been there and it hurts like hell. Holding out hope that next week is going to be better.

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Stuffed Jalapeño Dip

January 3, 2016

One of the best tailgating recipes I make is my stuffed jalapeños. These are extremely good but they take a lot of prep time. Scraping the jalapeño peppers, cooking the sausage stuffing, stuffing the peppers and then wrapping in bacon are steps that cannot be left out. I love these for fall Football games. The first game of the hot fall season has the same tailgating recipes. I make stuffed peppers and game day nachos. For the Semifinal game last week, I decided to try something new. I used the same ingredients to make an oven hot dip for chips. Same ingredients, minimal prep, maximum results. We both decided this recipe is a keeper. While the sausage is cooking, I cut the jalapeño peppers, sprayed my pan, cubed the cream cheese, and grated the Swiss cheese. Instead of taking 45 […]

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Running Recap Jan 2

January 2, 2016

That’s the honest-to-goodness truth. These days, I need a LOT of both. Training for Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans is moving along. I’m more tired this week, but mileage is getting higher and I am basically starting all over again with running fitness so I’m making sure I do this the smart way. I do not have room for injuries. I got a total of 18 miles this week. If you had asked me two months ago if I would be running 18 miles a week by the first weekend in January, I would have laughed. But here, I am! I hope next week is as good or better than this week. School starts back up and so do the stresses. But running is the ultimate stress-reliever. Happy Running and happy new year!!

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Running Recap HNY 2016!!!

January 1, 2016

This is going to be my Rock ‘n’ Roll Year!!!! First day of the new year is here and I ran some awesome miles on a beautiful day. I can already tell this is going to be my epic comeback year. In fact, this might be my return with another marathon year. I am ready to wipe away 2015’s struggles and failures. Let’s get right to this. GOALS that I WILL accomplish in 2016 1. PR in Half-marathon 2. PR in 5K 3. Highest mileage year—as close to 2,000 as I can get. 4. Another marathon Race schedule: Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans in February Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville in April Tuscaloosa Half Marathon in March Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Full marathon St. Jude Marathon in December (If not ready for Savannah full) This list does not include local 5Ks […]

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It’s a very merry Running Christmas!!

December 26, 2015
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Santa must have heard about my list! Now as soon as the flood waters recede, I’ll take these outside for a spin. I’ve been doing a lot of treadmill miles lately so I’m looking forward to getting back to the trails and streets.                     THIS is exciting. It is a year-long visual calendar for keeping track of the days I run. I ordered it from I<3 to Run ( I’m still trying to decide where to put this. I have prime wall space in the running/photography room so that is probably where it will go. I keep my training planner and my blogging planner in there so it makes sense to keep it there. Then again, sticking it at eye-level of my bed so I see it every morning when I […]

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Christmas Eve Shenanigans

December 24, 2015
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I have 8 hours to get stuff done. We are leaving later tonight to spend the evening with Stephen’s family and have a big Christmas breakfast in the morning. Today, I’m on critical Christmas watch. I have stuff to do and no elves to help. Stephen is working and Frankie doesn’t have thumbs. But first..a bright spirit. This is Snowball hot chocolate. In a crock pot, mix milk, heavy cream, vanilla, a dash of Cake Batter spice, and White chocolate chips. Let it cook on low 2 hours. Pour in a cup. Drink liquid heaven. Add some Bailey’s for a kick. Now it’s time to clean the house so I can turn around and mess it all up again. Time to wrap some presents. Yes, those are zip ties. Try out my last piece of the Kitchen Trifecta. (Mixer, Blender, […]

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Weekend Holiday Fun

December 22, 2015
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                          The days are FLYING by and this was another weekend of checking things off the list. First up, my Crate&Barrel box. I missed out last year because honestly, I wasn’t a fan of the Christmas designs. This year, they got their act together and designed stuff that I liked. One thing that surprises me about C&B is their prices on dishes and small kitchen items. Very reasonable. I have a thing for snowmen. Fine, I have a thing for most Christmasy things except nutcrackers. They are way too close to the clown family and that’s just not an option. Snowmen are definitely an option. For some reason, the design on these reminded me of Switzerland which reminded me of March 1994 which reminded me of snow and […]

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Christmas Afloat 2015

December 19, 2015

This year marked the return of Christmas Afloat in Tuscaloosa. This is a boat parade down the Black Warrior River. Teams decorate boats and participate in a river parade. This annual event came to a screeching halt in 2011 after the April tornadoes destroyed the marina, thereby destroying most of the boats that participated each year. This year, they brought it back and I was honored to be asked to participate. My Sister-out-law (We are like peas and carrots but we call ourselves the Outlaws…) has a cousin who owns a boat. This is the same boat Stephen has been helping with. Stephen was originally scheduled off work so we both jumped at the chance to help decorate and then participate. He was called into work so it was just me and Mona and let’s just say, we had a […]

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Holiday School Snacks and Ornaments

December 17, 2015
snowman fingerprint ornament

For the last week of school before the Christmas holidays, the Kindergarten teachers plan a week of theme days. We dress up, make ornaments, eat snacks, read stories, make crafts, and watch movies and we set each theme from a children’s book or movie. We have a santa day, rudolph, Grinch, Charlie Brown, and Polar Express. Our snacks are easy-to-make and so much fun. I have been helping students make these for many years. Every year that I think about skipping this one, I get comments from parents of previous students about putting this on on the tree and thinking about how small their handprints were that year. This year, I have 4..FOUR students that are younger siblings of previous students so I knew I had to do this one for them, as well. Gingerbread ornaments. These smell so good! […]

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Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

December 15, 2015

I love anything described as red velvet. Red velvet cakes are as Southern as sweet tea and magnolias. I use an old family recipe for a traditional red velvet so I thought these cookies might have half a chance of success if I went with tradition. My last attempt at backing cookies was GREAT! I think I’m getting the hang of this. I have been cooking and backing since I was a kid, but somehow, I never learned to make good cookies. We are a family of cakes, pies, candy, and bars. And now, I can add cookies to the list! The key to these looking so pretty is making sure to LIBERALLY cover them in confectioners’ sugar. Also, make sure the sugar is fresh. Do the smell and taste test. Confectioners’ sugar will take on a very bitter rancid […]

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Dashing around

December 13, 2015
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  Where did my weekend go?? Between running errands, running, wrapping (okay…THINKING about wrapping), baking and a nap somewhere, the days disappeared FAST. I finally got some time to sit down tonight and work on my planner for this week. Planning with paper planners is very relaxing, almost like coloring. Adult coloring books are rising in popularity because people are figuring out how relaxing and meditative it can be. Paper planning is the same for me. First, I made a nice warm drink. Then, I light a candle, pull out my stickers and pens, and plan away. I organize home, school, blogging, workouts, and food. I keep up with Stephen’s various schedules and my after-school tutoring schedules. This is a great way to wind down the day before heading back to work tomorrow. Feliz’ Navidad.

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Running Recap Dec 12

December 12, 2015

  The weather is NOT winter around here. We are in the middle of the warmest December on record. But, this isn’t exactly talking about the weather winter but the calendar winter. No matter what the weather, I should be working on training for the New Orleans half with Rock ‘n’ Roll. Monday: 3.4 miles Tuesday: 3.3 miles Thursday: 4 miles Sunday: 4 miles Have a great weekend!

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Frosted Ginger Cookies

December 11, 2015
Frosted Orange Ginger Cookies

Let’s bake some cookies! Last year, I learned that I’m terrible at cookies. I don’t bake much during the spring and summer, but I love fall and winter baking. I love baking bars, cakes, candy, pies. I have never tried many cookies until last year and it was colossal flop. So I’m trying again this year. I think I got it right this time. I have to use a gluten-free flour and I tried a new blend this year. This Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 flour is pretty good! It gives a lighter texture than my old standby. Making the batter was easy. Rolling in the sugar was the most time-consuming and that took maybe 8-10 minutes. These were light, flavorful, and easy. Frosted Ginger Cookies   Print Prep time 30 mins Cook time 10 mins Total time 40 mins   […]

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Ice Skating in Alabama

December 10, 2015

A couple of years ago, Tuscaloosa decided that we needed an ice skating rink. And that was a great idea. Last year, I think it down by our River Market farmer’s market area. This year, they moved it to the floor of the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater and that was a good move. I teach an after-school tutoring program on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We took them ice skating one afternoon. It was AMAZING!! I wish I could show all the great pictures I was fortunate to capture. Our unique little school is 30% Hispanic. Can you image the reactions from these students when they encountered an ice skating rink? It was precious and priceless. I cannot say enough great things about the staff at Holidays on the River. We were a group of about 60, including adults. The staff dealt with […]

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