Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween!

We are headed to my mom's in a bit to eat dinner and trick or treat. Hopefully, we'll be back in time for the Saints kick off.

I hope you are enjoying your Halloween with your little devils!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 10/23/2010

If you read this weekly post on a regular basis, you know my family is obsessed with tomatoes. I am always looking for new tomato based recipes. This recipe while not new is new to my family. Paul Prudhomme's version of chicken big mamou calls for a lot more butter and cayenne/hot sauce. I reduced the butter for health reasons and because my belly can't handle that much butter. If you don't have small children and/or like it spicy, double the cayenne. I decided to double the tomato sauce and seasonings and freeze it to have for a later date. I'm sure it will be tasty with any meat.

Chicken Big Mamou
Seasonings #1
2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp white pepper
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp basil

Seasonings #2
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp white pepper
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp basil

Other Ingredients
2 lbs boneless chicken, cubed
1 stick of butter
1 cup onion, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
4 whole garlic cloves
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp worcestershire
1 tsp hot sauce
2 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp of honey

Melt 1/2 the butter in a heavy bottomed pot. Sautee onions, peppers and garlic cloves for 5 minutes.

Mix seasonings #1 in a small bowl and set aside.

Add minced garlic, seasonings #1 stock and worcestershire, simmer for 8 minutes. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add hot sauce and honey.

Simmer for a min of 40 minutes.

Melt the other 1/2 of the butter. Mix seasonings #2 in a small bowl. Roll chicken cubes into seasonings #2 then add to the pan.

 Cook until done then add to the finished sauce.
Serve over rice.

The girlies still thought it was a little too spicy. But they've got to learn to build up their tolerance for hot and spicy Cajun foods.

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, October 17, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 10/17/2010

With so much going on this weekend, I didn't have the energy to decide what to cook. So I went with a quick and easy dish. Turkey Nachos! Everyone loves nachos. But the are unhealthy and fattening. But with a few easy substitutions nachos become a healthy and nutritious. With the black bean & corn salsa, you can add more veg. I promise, you don't notice that the sour cream is fat free or the cheese is low fat.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can rotel, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil

In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir well. Allow the flavors to mix for an hour before serving.

Turkey Nachos


1lb ground turkey
1 onion
1 bell pepper
1 tbsp taco seasoning
baked lays
1/2 shredded low-fat cheese
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
black bean & corn salsa

Slices the bell pepper and onions thinly. Brown in a pan until the veg get a little color. Brown the meat in a separate plan.

Layer the chips, meat, veg, and salsa.

Sprinkle with cheese and add sour cream.

Healthy nachos? Yep. Tasty tasty.

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? 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Big Man

Today is my six year anniversary with the Big Man.When I think back on the day I got married, what strikes me the most is the fact that I wasn't nervous. By the time we got married, we had been dating for nearly 4 years. But I had known six months in to our relationship that we would get married.

Please excuse the following sentimentality. It is not in my nature to express my feelings, with the exception of anger. But occasionally, I should try.

Like most married couples, the Big Man is my best friend. He gets me. He just does. He understands my quirky sense of humor and can make me laugh like no one else. I feel calm and safe when I am with him. When he is not with me, things are a little less fun.

Of course, our relationship is not perfect. I'll take most of the blame for that. But we work thru the obstacles and come out of the other side stronger.

Tonight we are celebrating by playing tourist in the French Quarter. The Big Man and I going to all the fancy bars we never get to visit because we have kids. I'm looking forward to enjoying rare my alone time with my husband.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

SUnday Dinner - 10/10/2010 (Pre-race Dinner Edition)

I'm going apologize up front this post. I'm very tired. This morning I ran the Louisiana Half this morning. I'm sooo sleepy. I'm not sure I can put together a coherent sentence. Today's Sunday Night Dinner post is really pre-race dinner post. The idea of a dinner a night before a reasonable amount of carbs, a lean protein, and fruits/veg. I normally choose my favorites, blackend white fish, potatoes, pasta with pesto, and salad.

Because of the girlies, I backed off the spice from the original recipe. I don't think the flavor suffered. It's still peppery, but not hot. But if you like it spicy, double the cayenne. Also, I think the original Paul Prudhomme recipe, while tasty, has too much butter.  The last think you want the night before a big race is a lot of butter in your belly.

Like most people, I'm obsessed with potatoes. Especially baked potatoes. After trial and error and some internet  research, I came up with the best (I think) way to bake a potato.

Baked Potatoes
1/2 potato per person
olive oil
course salt

Pre-heat oven to 400deg. Scrub the potatoes well. Massage the potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook in the oven for 45mins to an hour (depending on the size). Potatoes are done when a fork easily yields.

Blackend White Fish
6 fillets of white fish, tilapia, flounder, etc.  
2 sticks butter
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp white pepper
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

Heat a broiler pan in a 400deg oven for a min of 10mins. Melt the butter in a small pan.

Add the peppers, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano.

Place the fish on a very hot broiler pan. Pour the seasoning-butter mixture over the fish. Coat fish well. Cook for 20 mins. Turn the oven to broil at 400deg. Broil for 5 additional mins.

Carefully, remove the pan. And serve immediately.

I served the fish with a half of a baked potato, pasta with pesto, fruit salad with yogurt and veg salad. This was a hearty, filling meal that is low(ish) in calories.

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? What do you eat the night before a long run? 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Race Ready

My alarm is set to go off at 3:50AM tomorrow for me to get ready for the Louisiana Half. Of course, I'm super excited. I love race day. So as not to wake the entire house or forget anything, I like to layout all of my gear. That way my brain does not have to immediately jump into action.

I think I've got everything, except my garmin, who is charging. Hold on...let me go add that to my pile. Ok.
Let's see. I have all my favorite gear:
  • thriv tank
  • brooks skirt
  • balega socks
  • brooks shoes
  • chocolate GU
  • water bottle (in the freezer) 
  • bodyglide
  • my backup bodyglide
  • personalized race bib
  • morning meds
  • advil, just in cases
  • running sunglasses
  • headband
  • Mardi Gras half hat
  • ipod (fully charged)
  • zensha compression leg sleeves for after
  • change of clothes
  • cash & ID

I'm pretty sure I've got it all but my morning peanut butter sandwich. But I just realized I don't have any sunscreen or lip balm. As soon as, I'm done with this post I'm going to pre-set my coffee maker then go to bed early.

Did I miss anything else?

Good luck, to everyone else who is racing. Check back tomorrow for a quick race status and to see what I eat the night before a race.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pre-race Tradition

Warning, this maybe TMI for some people. So if feet gross you out, stop reading here. 

I used to have a pair of very cute, well cared for feet (except for that one wonky toe but that genetic.) Toes always polished and never callused heals. But like most runners, my feet suffer for my sport; half missing toenail, blisters, calluses, scars. I have it all. Running more than, say, 8miles makes my big toenails feel bruised. No matter what I do, the wonky toe gives the one next to it a blister.I seriously doubt my shoes are at fault. Multiple running shoe professionals have sized me and outfitted with many different brands.  I used to think because I was heavier than I should be my feet took more of a beating. But I'm less than 10lbs from a "normal" weight for someone my height. Maybe my form needs improvement.

Because of the sad state my feet after half marathon training, I like a pre-race pedicure. There is no way I'd ask an aesthetian to deal with my terrible tootsies. So I do it my self. I do the whole shebang. Remove the polish. Soak in Epsom salt. Trim my nails as short as possible. Trim my cuticles. Buff the dead skin and calluses away. But I don't repolish. Just don't see the point.

My formally pretty feet are reduced to the mangled specimens you see below.

before the pedicure - long nails and calluses and all

my tools of choice

after the pedicure - not going to win any contests but they feel better

Hmm...I just realized running has changed how I feel about my feet. They are no longer accessories to make shoes look cuter. But as utilitarian parts of my body. They get me where I need to go. Like 13.1 miles. I wonder if that's how men always think about their feet.

And speaking of feet, last week I read about phantom foot pains during tapering on two separate blogs. This is a new one on me. Then yesterday the ball of my right foot started hurting. Like I stepped on a rock barefoot. I did wear heals yesterday but they were comfy boots not stilettos. Not like I did a lot of walking yesterday. So strange. Apparently, my feet a hypochondriacs. Phantom foot pains! How silly!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What a difference a year makes

This time last year, I was about to run my very first half marathon. (My race recap from last year)  The race was at the end of October and I started getting jittery on October 1st. The week before I barely slept. I stopped drinking alcohol two weeks before and downing water every chance I got to be sure I was sufficiently hydrated. I ran every mile of my training plan. I made a list of all the paraphernalia I needed to bring. Tested my race outfit on two long runs. My playlist was full.  Every scenario I could think of, I practiced; without music, on an empty stomach, on a full stomach, tired legs, etc. I knew my goal time and my splits. When I'm nervous, I over-prepare.

As of today, my first half of the fall season is 5 days out. I'm not nearly as prepared as I would like to be.  It's not like I slacked on my training. I just cut back to let my ITBand rest. But I got in a few decent length runs. Still, I may have to walk this one. My garmin and ipod have not made it to the charger yet. But I have Gu and my water bottle is in the freezer. Not sure what I'm wearing yet or if 60deg weather warrants a jacket. All this lack of preparation and I'm not freaking out. And, I'm sleeping just fine.

The  difference is that I know what to expect. Racing is old hat now. The Louisiana Half on Sunday will be my 4th half. I know I can do it. I know my legs can get me to the end. I know I can push self-doubt into a small corner into my mind and ignore it. And above all, I know I will finish. Plus, there's bling waiting for me.

I guess the difference is that I'm excited not nervous.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 10/03/10

Sunday dinner is in hiatus this week. We are still in Mississippi having a short family vacation and enjoying the gorgeous weather.