What a weekend we had. How about you? Fun? Exciting? Relaxed? Peeerrrrffect?!!!
This is how it started..
Friday night, Ted and I went to The Willows, a gourmet restaurant just minutes from our house. We have been there all of 3 times. The food is good the service slow and it proved no different Friday night.Â My splurge:Â 2 1/2 glasses of wine. With that much wine, it was a miracle I could stay awake to watch the DVD we rented
Good movie. Iâ€™m a Anne Hathaway fan.
After getting to bed at 11:45 pm, I did manage to sleep right through until 5:05 on Saturday morning. My mind seemed to justÂ Â POP awake suddenly and insisted that I get going on my mid range 13 mile run.Â Ted was going to do a short run with Shane so I could run on my own at a faster pace.Â
I was out the door at 5:35 and hot hoofinâ€™ it down the Parkway.Â The end result was 13.1 miles at a less than stellar 9:38 average pace.Â 1 minute slower than I had planned.Â I was discouraged but happy to get in the mid range miles. So that was two mid range runs this week (12 on Monday, 13 Saturday) plus a long run of 18 on Thursday.Â Wonâ€™t hit any 3:46 goals with that pace but heyâ€¦ I still have 4 weeks right?!Â
What REALLY made our weekend great was a visit from Tedâ€™s sister Debbie and hubster Eddie, PLUS Richard stopped in.Â They all ate dinner with us Saturday so I was able to spend some fun time in the kitchen creating and preparing a simple meal.Â My favorite past time.Â To top the night off, we had a visit from Angela, Steve and Nicholas (Tedâ€™s daughter and family).Â Nicholas will soon have a sister (95% sure) or brother within the next two weeks. That means that Ted will be a grandpa for the 2nd time!Â Very, VERY exciting!
The meat-eaters dinner that was served:Â Sausage and Polenta
The non meat-eaters dish AND the dish that included everyoneâ€™s veggies was a whole wheat spiral pasta with cherry tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, onions, spinach in a ricotta cheese(mixed with sliced black olives and sun dried tomatoes/broth sauce.Â Sorryâ€¦ I made up the recipe, didnâ€™t write it down or take any pics.Â I had 3 things going on and only documented two: the Sausage Polenta and the Chocolate cake (stay tuned for that one in this months â€œChocolate with Francoisâ€ recipe, March 31).Â
Basically, you cook the pasta al dente.Â Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large ceramic baking dish, pour vegetable broth to cover the bottom. SautÃ© the vegetables until tender (in 1 TBS olive oil, over medium high heat for about 8 â€“ 10 min â€“ onions, broccoli, peppers, tomatoesâ€¦add spinach last and just until wilted). Add fresh herbs such as oregano, basil and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.Â Add sautÃ©ed veg to the baking dish. Add the cooked pasta.Â Mix the sundried tomatoes and olives with the part skimmed ricotta cheese. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add about 1/4 cup veggie broth to the cheese mix and stir. Now mix EVERYTHING â€“ pasta, veg, cheese in that large baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.Â You can top with grated Parmesan (in addition to the Parm. mixed with the Ricotta) if you like.Â Â Sorry â€“ we ate it all. No pics. â€¦ * Donâ€™t you just HATE taking food photos when company are over?!
What REALLY took the cake this weekend was my Cinnamon Raisin Bread creation!Â Read on friendsâ€¦
Using my bread maker, I created a dreamy cinnamon and raisin bread.Â It was so hard to resist, in a fit of panic, I urged Ted to quickly cut it up and put it in the freezer for his breakfast bread.Â I was at a loss of any self control with that aroma sneaking back and forth across my nose.Â To make matters worse, I had to try a piece, fresh and hot, to make sure it was a worthy recipe for posting.Â The best raisin bread Iâ€™ve ever tastedâ€¦without a doubt.
Makes 1Â 2 lb loaf (Using a bread maker)
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBS Promise Healthy Heart Margarine
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour (use a DRY measure cup â€“ not the Pyrex liquid measure cups)
- 1/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
- 3 teaspoons Active Dry yeast
- 3/4 cups dried cranberries
- 1 cup raisins
Add all the ingredients to your bread maker basket as directed. *Mine happens to go in the order listed.Â
Set on â€œSweetâ€ cycle and a 2 lb loaf, medium crust color.
Eating the breadâ€¦
If your sneaky, you can put this bread on at night.Â Then early, early in the morning, creep on down into the kitchenâ€¦
with barely a light on so as not to wake anyone up, remove the warm loaf from the machine and set very carefully on your carving board.
Cut the end piece off for taste testing.Â But you wonâ€™t stop there so brace yourself.
After that 2nd HUGE chunk, youâ€™re ready for some morning exercise! Youâ€™ll feel completely empowered and not so guilty about eating all that bread.