Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random Mishmash

Normally, I like to do separate posts for each idea. I'm not good with flow and tying themes together. But I've been a bad blogger lately. I haven't blogged about much of anything as of late. This random mishmash of the things that have been rolling around in my head. Sorry, I know its long.

Race season is almost here! My first race is 10days out. The inaugural Louisiana Half.  I'm so excited. I love race day. The excitement, the comradery, the medal, the after party. A few of my friends are running this race too. Plus a bloggy meet up. I should have tons of fun.

This past Sunday, I "ran" my last long run of my training. I put ran in quotes because I didn't run it. Well, I ran 3 miles out of the 10.5mi and walked the rest. My hip/ITband is still bothering me. Running hurts. But walking is fine. The one advantage to being a slow runner is that my running isn't that much faster than walking. So it's not a big hit to my ego. My plan is to walk the first half marathon. Then maybe rest a bit, do all my stretches/strengthening and see if it will ease up. If not, I walk the second one at the end of the month too. I know that I should just rest and not race.  But I've signed up, paid, and told people I was racing. So I'm racing.

Weekend Fun
Now that its fall, festival season here in Southeast Louisiana has started again. Last weekend was the beginning of Oktoberfest at the Deutsches Haus. It was a fun way to introduce the girlies to the little bit of German heritage they have mixed in with the Cajun and Irish. What's not to love about this festival. Lots of pork, lots of beer, lots of people, and of course music.

The Big Man, MM, & Li enjoying the porky goodness

Li dancing with the Big Chicken to (of course) the Chicken Dance

MM being too terified of the Big Chicken to dance with him

MM with me and with her daddy. 
Yeah, that's a Road Id.  I make them wear them at festivals/Mardi Gras

The next day we went to the Alligator Festival in Luling. In reality, we went because it was close to the house. (This isn't a very exciting festival. More like a state fair.) Nothing is ever close to our house. We have to drive at least a half hour to get to the fun (which is fine). But since this was close, we took the girlies to the festival.  Of course, we ate lots of alligator food, alligator burgers, alligator sausage, alligator fritters, etc.  Then once we loaded up on food, we hit the rides.

I was trying really hard not to let my engineering self 
talk me out of letting my girlies ride these unsafe looking rides. I'm
not scared to ride them but putting my kids on them is a completely different story.

Of course, there was a baby alligator from a local farm to pet

Wedding Weekend
My Brother is finally getting married on Saturday. I'm so excited/happy for them. I love my new sister in law, Lindsay.  The girlies along with Lindsay's nieces are the bubble girls. I bought gorgeous white eyelet dresses from a seamstress on etsy.  Don't you just love etsy?!

We are going to spend a few extra days in Mississippi to make in a mini vaca. I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to share next week. 

Me with the Bride-to-be at her Shower

Although, I've been a bad blogger, I have been checking in on your blogs. I can do that without having to put together coherent thought. I'll try to stop by over the weekend but no guarantees.  
What do y'all have going on this weekend?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 09/26/2010

This morning I ran my last long run prior to race day. (My first half marathon of the season is two weeks away.) I knew I would want to be standing in the kitchen for a long time today. Everyone loves beef stew. Minimal chopping. And lots of veg. Meets all of my requirements. This recipe doubles easily and freezes beautifully.

Crock Pot Beef Stew
1 lg yellow onion
1 lg red onion
3 lbs beef brisket
2 garlic clove, minced
2 sweet potatoes
2 lbs potatoes
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp table salt 1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 can(s) beef broth

Slice beef into 1 inch cubes. Coarsely chop onion, garlic, sweet potatoes, potatoes.

Add meat and veg to slow cooker.

Combine lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, cinnamon and broth. Wisk well.

Pour over meat and veg. Mix well. Cook on low for 8hrs (or high for 4hrs.) Serve when meat is tender and pulls apart easily. Serve over rice, pasta, or as it is.

If you have any question/comments about this recipe, pls leave me a comment or email at megmehell at yahoo dot com.

I hope you enjoy this dinner as much as I did. What did y'all have for dinner? 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 09/19/2010

Whenever we go to the local farmer's market, I always buy a container of pastalaya (pasta jambalaya) for us to eat at lunch. (Pastalaya is a twist on the traditional Creole dish jambalaya made with pasta instead of rice.) While I'm not a huge fan of jambalaya, I LOVE pastalaya. All the meat, veg and sauce just work so well together. I used meats that are easily found in any NOLA supermarket. You can easily substitute whatever meat you like.

This dish doubles easily and freezes beautiful.You can make it as spicy as you like by how much cayenne or hot sauce you use.

Pastalaya Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups Creole pre chopped veg mix


½ cup onion, diced
1 cup bell pepper, diced
½ cup celery, diced

1 tbsp parsley
2 tbsps garlic, minced
½ tsp basil leaves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp black pepper
1.5 tsp salt
3 bay leaves
¼ cup green onion
2 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 (14oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (14oz) cans chicken stock

Heat oil in heavy sauce pot on med heat. Add Creole mix, parsley, garlic, basil, black peppers, cayenne, salt, and bay leaves.

Cook until the bell pepper turns onions start to become transparent. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and stock. Bring to a boil; then simmer for 45mins – 1hr, stir occasionally.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb andouille sausage (or any smoked sausage)
1 lb chicken breast meat
1 lb diced tasso (can eliminate/substitute w/ other sausage)
1 onion
1 bell pepper
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 cups sauce (below)
2 lbs pasta, cooked
1 cup provolone cheese
1 cup smoked gouda

Green onion slivers and crushed red pepper for garnish
Heat oil in large pan on med heat. Slice andouille, chicken and tasso thin. Add meat to oil until the chicken is just cooked.

Slice onion, bell pepper, and garlic thin. Add veg to meat in pan. Cook until garlic is done, about 5mins.

Add Creole sauce and bring to a boil.  Place pasta into a large bowl and cover with the (2 cups) sauce.

  Top the with the cheeses.

I love love love this. But I have made pastalaya in a long time. I'm so glad I made enough for leftovers. Hope y'all enjoy it too.

If you have any question/comments about this recipe, pls leave me a comment or email at megmehell at yahoo dot com.

I hope you enjoy this dinner as much as I did. What did y'all have for dinner? 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rusty Beauty

As y'all know, running is my first (sport) love. But a close second, is my bike. She fairly new and still shiny. I've only had her for 9mo. I love the feeling of flying I get when I'm out riding. She's light as a feather but sturdy enough to drag 80lbs of kid in a trailer. Here's a picture of my bike (Well, one like it).

I know that my road bike isn't "fancy" per se. But she is my first bike since I was a kid and I've never been that skilled on 2 wheels. When we were looking for a bike for me, I wanted something nice but not too expensive. I thought for sure I wouldn't be able to ride. That I'd fall off too many times and get freaked out. Nope. It really is like riding a bike. You just hop on and go.

Last month, I was bequeathed a work bike from a family friend. (Yes, the facility I work in is large enough that it warrants riding a bike places. Hell, if I were more important I'd have a scooter. It's that big. ) I was sooo happy to get the "new to me" bike. I've been logging lots of miles over the last 7yrs walking thru this factory. Plus, I'm often carrying heavy things place to place.

But  this work bike, Rusty Beauty, is not my road bike. First off, my Rusty Beauty spent most of her life outside. Hence, the name. Secondly, the brakes are nearly shot. I can fix that. Just haven't gotten around to it.  Third, Rusty Beauty weighs a ton. And all of the weight is in the front end.  My road bike probably weighs a svelte 20lbs.  I know better than to try to figure out how much Rusty Beauty weighs. I mean, that's just rude.  Because of these three things and my natural clumsiness, she and I have been in a few near misses in the past month. I try to stop on her like I would my road bike. Light brake tap and toes down. Doesn't work so well. I've got to get out of this habit or I'm going to have another run in with Safety.

Having said the above, I am so happy to have Rusty Beauty in my life. Makes my day a little easier. Plus, bike riding in a building is just plain fun.

Rusty Beauty

The cause of Rusty Beauty's weight problem

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's My Name....Winner

The winner of the Help Me Customize My Race Bib contest is....

Teamarica with Meg's Goin' Bayou! - Chosen because when MM wants to sit next to you on the sofa she says "sit bayou."

Congrats! She won my last CSN giveaway. So hopefully she's got something awesome in mind.

All of the entries were great. So everyone who suggested a name will get a pair of my favorite running socks Balega Hidden Comfort.

Zoe was super fast with her ideas:
Meg Kicks Cancer
LivingInLuling & Rockin' - a very close 2nd. In fact, I flipped a coin.
Hares Don't Scare Me 
AM gave me a new kick name which I love:
Gulf Coast'n Megou!

Stephanie's nickname makes me sound awesome! I may legally change to Megerator. Or at least get letterhead with it:
Megerator To The Finish

Megerator Rocks 13.1

Y'all be sure to send me your mailing address to megmehell at yahoo. I'll get your prizes out as soon as I can. Congrats! And thanks for helping me be less lame.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 09/12/2010

Today we spent the day with the Shuttle Sisters swimming and boating in Lake Pontchartrain. Consequently, we didn't eat a real dinner. Just a plate of food leftover from our pot luck lunch. My contribution to the party was the potato salad below. I like using red potatoes but you can use which ever potatoes rock your world.

Potato Salad
3lbs red potatoes, cut very small
½ cup red onion, diced
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup bell pepper, diced
¼ cup parsley, minced
¼ cup green onion, minced
¾ cup Greek non-fat yogurt
¾ cup low fat sour cream
2tbsp, Dijon mustard/Remoulade sauce
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water until soft, about 10min. Drain and set to the side.

Combine red onion, celery, bell pepper, parsley, and green onion. Stir in the Greek yogurt, sour cream, Dijon mustard/Remoulade sauce, salt and pepper.

When the potatoes are cool, mix into the bowl with the veg and dressing.
Served with Mel's pulled pork, chicken and pasta salad and Kristy's mac and cheese this potato salad was crunchy and zesty.

If you have any question/comments about this recipe, pls leave me a comment or email at megmehell at yahoo dot com.

I hope you enjoy this dinner as much as I did. What did y'all have for dinner? 

Don't forget to help me choose my race name and enter to win a Giftcard to CSN. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

What's My Name...Giveaway

In a month from today, I'll be running my first half marathon of the fall race season. This is the part of my training when self-doubt and fear set in. Last month, I was excited about the training and ready to race. But this week, I realized I've only four weeks until the Louisiana Half and it started to freak me out. I do not know know why. I've done this 3 times before. And if the race was tomorrow, I could finish the race. But for some reason I can't seem to make my self  run more than 9miles.

But really am excited about this race. It's a new race and the course is in a part of the NOLA metro area I rarely run in. Joe Relaxo (the organizer) promises a rocking after party.

Plus each racer can personalize her bib.  I want some thing fun and jazzy. But I'm lame and the best I can come up with is Meg Rocks. Seriously. That's all I've got. I only have until the 15th to send in my "name" so no time to mull it over. That's where y'all come in. A few things  I'd maybe like to incorporate
1. my name (Meg/Megan
2. my blog (LivingInLuling)
3. DetermiNation (American Cancer Society)
4. team tortoise (my DetermiNation Team)
But by no means am I married to any of these

Leave your suggestion in a comment and the one I choose will win a $45 giftcard to CSN to spend as you choose. If there is one than one great one the 2nd runner up will win something fun too. (I'll figure what the prize will be. Probably, my fav running socks, body glide, etc.)

The Detes
How to Enter:
1. Be a follower and leave me a comment with your suggestion for my race name (one entry)
2. Post this contest on you blog, tweet about it, facebook it, post it on dailymile - leave me a comment for each way you spread the word (one entry each)
3. Follow me on twitter @LivingInLuling - leave acomment (one entry)

The contest will close at Noon on Sept 14th.

Thanks for helping me be less lame.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Saints are Coming...

This song has been running thru my head all day. Probably, because I've heard it ten times in the last week. They are! In a few hours, the Saints will be whippin' up on the Vikings. All of NOLA is giddy with anticipation. Living in the "City that Care Forgot" my whole life, I've never know every New Orleanian to feel the same way about one thing. I love the festival/party feeling in the air. Now that the humidity has broken and there's a hint of fall, it's a great time to be in NOLA.

Everyone is sporting their gear today. Every business gave their employees permission to wear black and gold. Even Li's school, that has super strict uniform policy, allowed them to wear a Saints shirt over their uniform.  Luckily, I bought her a new shirt for this season. But I didn't have any black and gold hair thingies. So I had to improvise. Not to shabby for one night's notice.

She giving me the peace sign or the British equivalent of the finger. Probably the latter. 

And of course, what ever sweet sister is doing MM has to too.

All of downtown is shutting down early. People started tailgating yesterday. Not exaggerating.  Even the main Post Office shut down early.

Who Dat!!! Who Dat!!! Who Dat!!!

Ladies Night at Southern Runner

NOLA Ladies come to Southern Runner tonight (5PM to 7PM) at 6112 Magazine Street, New Orleans
Bring your girlfriends to enjoy wine, light appetizers and snacks, while receiving great information on training for the Rock'n'Roll Mardi Gras Marathon and Half with DetermiNation! Win prizes from Moving Comfort! (The Best Running Bras EVER) Everyone is welcome to join the weekly Southern Runner Group Run immediately following in Audubon Park. For more information or to RSVP call 504.219.2294.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Annual LA Gold Mile - This Friday

Just a reminder...the Louisiana Gold Mile fun run this Friday night,
on Marconi Drive and Robert E. Lee Blvd. (near City Park).

The first Annual LA Gold Mile directly benefits our DetermiNation team!

The D-Nation will be offering FREE registration for the Rock'n'Roll Mardi Gras Marathon, including paid training with USA triathlete level coaches from Elmwood Fitness Center! There can't be a better way to kick-off your Labor Day weekend!

Online registration is active and recommended. The registration fee is $25 online, and includes a long sleeved Brook's technical running shirt, a goodie bag filled with items from our race sponsors, as well as entrance to the post-race party which includes music, cooking demonstrations and Abita Beer! The fee will increase to $40 on race day - so register early!

Show your Louisiana Pride and register for the Louisiana Gold Mile:

Please forward to your friends, family and volunteers. This is going to be a fun, family event for labor day weekend. Strollers are welcome on the course!

"This special event for walkers, joggers, and competitive runners supports our local DetermiNation Team for the American Cancer Society, and will take place on Marconi Drive near City Park in New Orleans, on Friday, September 3 from 6:30pm-8pm, with a party featuring food and entertainment directly afterwards. Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce is our title sponsor, anchoring our group of traditional Louisiana companies including Abita Beer, Hubig's Pies, Kentwood Water and many more. There will be a live cooking demonstration staffed by Louisiana Gold's chefs alongside locals, as well as music under the stars. Our sponsors have provided excellent awards for participants, as well as cash prizes for our fastest runners. Additionally, attendees will receive lagniappe in the form of a good bag stuffed with local flavor. The one mile Fun Run and Walk takes participants on a simple and smooth out-and-back loop from the Official Finish line and back."