Long run and short walk

But first, to last night. We went to Wagamamas for my bro’s b’day, and I must say-meh. It was alright- it was so crowded in there, we were squashed on benches between other people, and the food, well, not my style. I had something that claimed to be veggies (it listed loads like courgette, peppers, beansprouts, mange tout…) with wholewheat noodles, and fried tofu in a vegetable soup. What it actually was, was the most enourmous bowl ever, with vegetable water, noodles, hundreds of beansprouts and a few bits of veggies, plus some very soggy tofu. Anyway, it was a nice evening and my brother chose my carrot cakes over a dessert in the resturant so I was pleased!

Today it was long run day- YAY! Although yet again I had managed to not wash any of my running tops (well some I took out the machine this morning)- cue me drying my running clothes with the hairdryer!

My run was good, I took it nice and slow as I didn’t leave til nearly 11 and it was fairly hot out there. I did a few laps of the park, making myself go up some hills, and I averaged just over 10 minute miles. All in all it was 8ish miles listening to the marathon talk, and then some radio 4 podcasts. Good stuff. In the park I saw loads of mushrooms and so many fairy rings, even a few that were actually complete. Near our house there are a few but only horse-shoe shaped ones. It does show how autumnal the weather is when there are so many mushrooms growing already.

The marathon talk had an interview with a sports presenter (can’t remember her name) who used to run for her county, and they were discussing PE at school. It got me thinking about PE at my secondary school; the only thing I liked was hockey, because I was ok at it. All the other games (rounders/ netball= I can’t catch), athletics (no good at sprinting/ jumping/ throwing) I did not enjoy, and although I would never try to get out of a PE lesson (we had a load of girls who had notes from their “parents” each week) I did not enjoy them at all. I also hated swimming; my school had a swimming pool but we did it in the winter- wearing a swimming cossie was bad enough but then I would have sopping wet hair for the rest of the day- I have very thick hair- and wet hair on a cold day is not good. I was always active at home, but something about the obvious nature of finding something hard was really horrible. I am glad I have found activities I enjoy now, but I really do not have fond memories of school PE.  Anyone else enjoy/ dread school PE?

So, anyway, when I got home I was hungry so I had some nesquick and a chocolate chip clif bar. Ooooh that clif bar was goooooood. Massive chunks of chocolate, and the same chewyish texture as the other clif bars. Now if only we could combine the chocolate chip and the peanut one….

After a shower it was soup time- and this time delicious thick soup, not flavoured water (sorry but I don’t like that “broth” stuff).

Squash and carrots in a pan with some veg stock:

Plus I got a delivery from the flour bin (I have been waiting for ages but the folks were very good when I rang up – they were waiting for one item to come back into stock which they took off and then dispatched asap, so I am happy with the service)- I got some wheat gluten and chickpea flour for beanburgers and chickpea patties and things, and also some special french bread flour with a sourdough mix in it. MMmmm.

I didn’t have a recipe, so adapted one from the Dove’s farm book. Interestingly you had to put a bowl of water in the oven when you heated it up, and then bake the bread in the steamy oven. It seemed to work because lunch was delicious;

My boyfriend wanted to know where his bread was! (He was joking- We shared it- I am taking that as a compliment).

I have been in the garden for a bit- I peeled back some of the corn to see if it is ready, but it was still white so think I need to leave it for a little longer.

I have been watching some Man vs Food on the TV- anyone else love that show? It’s more like a travel show as he goes to different places in the USA< but he does find some crazy looking food (e.g. burgers the size of his head and so on!). I probably would not eat 95% of what he does, but I find it entertaining all the same!

Later in the afternoon it was time for some tea- this time Cinnamon Chai from whitards- I used loose leaf tea and it is lovely- basically a bag of cinnamon bark, cardamon pods, whole cloves and I think peppercorns. I have it with a normal tea bag in the pot too, and it is like extra special chai.

Plus a wholemeal scone with the plum jam. MMMM.

After the football finished (boyfriend was listening to it on the radio) we decided to have a walk. We took an umbrella, but then as we got around the corner we saw black sky in one direction, black sky in another, and we could see it was raining pretty hard in several places, so we decided to cut our losses and head home. So we only managed about 15 minutes, but about 5 mins after we got home it started pouring down, so I think we made the right decision!

I am looking forward to an evening in front of the TV now. Hope everyone else is enjoying their bank holiday weekend!

Pumpkin Envy!

Well you must know by now that I do love my little garden, and I have been having a bit of success this year with growing veg (mainly green and yellow courgettes). At the end of spring I bought a pumpkin plant and 2 butternut squash plants from a garden centre (it was some crazy offer like 5 plants for £4 so I didn’t think I had much to lose). The year before I tried to grow some from seed, and although the seeds germinated and grew into big plants, no fruit grew on any of them.

So imagine my excitement when I got back from holiday and found that the pumpkin plant (as well as growing all over the garden!) has a pumpkin growing on it!

There is also a small and oddly shaped butternut squash. Today I put some straw under it as I am a bit worried about it going mouldy with all this damp weather.

Now I have pumpkin envy, as Toby from Gardener’s World is growing a plant from a seed from a prize-winning MASSIVE pumpkin. His are already the size of halloween ones. Anyway, I am hoping mine will be tasty. But, any veg growers out there who might know if this one will go orange? The trouble with buying it in a pot was that the only label said “pumpkin”, nothing else. I bought a Kabocha squash the other day (in the process of making some soup for Saturday lunch) and I was thinking that it seems suspiciously similar in colour and size to my apparent “pumpkin”. Now I know they are all the same family, but I am not sure if it will be ripe when it is still green. I do want to eat it so I don’t want it to get too massive.

Anyway, while I was out there I took a few other pictures too.

We are growing sweetcorn (am thinking we can pick it fairly soon):

There are some yellow courgettes coming along nicely:

The apple tree I was given for my birthday has lots of apples 🙂

(That is the blackcurrant bush from ribena that is now bigger than my mini apple tree!).

I have a few strawberry plants, one of which has produced loads of runners so I will have an even bigger patch next year.

My blueberry bush (a birthday present last year) goes a gorgeous hot pink at this time of year- so pretty I think you will agree 🙂

Flowers in the veg patch:

Anyway, if you are particularly green-fingered and have any idea about my pumpkin especially I would love to hear your thoughts on what it is and when to pick it.

Thanks guys

🙂

Another great clear out

Afternoon all! What a miserable day (yet again!)- honestly, it really feels like autumn right now.

After breakfast I was going to have a walk, but as I was about to leave it totally tipped it down, so I occupied myself with jobs and pottering instead. It brightened up at half 11, so I went out then. By the time I got home (and it rained on the way back so I was very soggy!) I was starving, so I prepared a big meal. I had some roasted beetroot, pepper and cherry tomatoes (drizzled with balsamic vinegar), a piece of rye bread with cream cheese, and lots of water (think I need to work on my photography skills a bit- there is 2 beetroots all sliced up but they blend into the purple bowl!).

I still fancied something else so in the blender went some frozen watermelon (need to use it up) a blob of plain yoghurt, and I topped that with fresh blackberries and bear granola cherry nibbles-mmmmm that stuff is so good! And it looked so pretty- it went a very pink colour!

Then I got on with the next job in hand; clearing out my wardrobe! It has been getting more and more untidy, and it is now a bit of a struggle to fit stuff in. So I was totally ruthless and ended up with a big bin-bag for the charity shop. Normally when I clear out I keep things just in case, but this time if it didn’t fit, I didn’t like it or it had gone tatty then out it went 🙂

It took a good hour and after that I fancied a cup of tea, so I used my new teabags (I got teabags as well as loose leaf tea for when I don’t want to use the tea pot). Good stuff.

Do you like my minnie mouse mug? I have a good collection of Disney mugs as I love them for a souvenir! I am sure it makes the tea taste better!

At the mo I am listening to an old podcast from radio 4- I like the food program and someone on WLR put a link to a show with Michael Pollan on it- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008yn17

I have read 2 of his books- In Defence of Food , and The Omnivore’s Dilemma , both of which I found very interesting and would highly reccommend.

It it body pump later (yay) so in a bit will be having some veggie+ pesto +spagetti = yum, and some kind of snack when I get back.

Experimenting in the kitchen

Hello all

First things first- I had planned a 5.5 mile run today, but due to the weather (it keeps on getting it wrong recently) predicting rain from about 9am, I decided to do the 3.7 mile run before breakfast instead. As I am not training for anything, and already had one run in the rain this week, it was what I fancied.

The run was good, 35 minutes (so only one min slower than last time, I think I have sped up a bit). I started off slow (10.33, then 10.14) but finished quick (8.48)-not sure what happened. I think I got hungry and decided the faster I got home the sooner I could eat! (IN fact I had forgotten to put the hot water on so I had to wait before my shower, so didn’t get breakfast for a while).

I have been out shopping (I seem to have done loads recently)- had to get a pressie for my brother, and decided to pop to the health food shop to get a couple more clif bars. Also, check out my haul from Morrisons the other day- I thought they had stopped doing Nak’d bars so imagine my excitement when I saw the best 2 flavours- gingerbread and cocoa orange! Plus some so crispy bites for when I fancy something salty after a long run.

When I got home I was hungry, so I decided to experiment with a smoothie- coconut water, frozen watermelon and a few blueberries. It was ok, (refreshing) but as soon as it came out the blender it started seperating and wasn’t very thick. I also had a peanut butter clif bar, which was delicious, but not as nice as the oatmeal raisin one.

I also had to do some work (boring) and did a great job of distracting myself on the internet. I did however get it done.

Now, onto dinner. I fancied another experiment, so am having a sort of concoction of 3 different dishes. On no meat athelete I saw a pineapple, beans and rice dish, and in my Veganomicon book there is a quinoa pineapple cashew stir fry, and also baked tempeh. So from that I have already boiled the tempeh and marinated it in a little oil, along with almond butter (not cashew), some paprika and ginger. Then I am going to make some quinoa with spinach, and serve it with some grilled (or maybe baked) pineapple. Sounds a bit hotch potch but I am hoping it will be sort of tropical with the pineapple, and the nuttiness of the quinoa and the almondish tempeh.

EDIT- Here is my dinner. It was quite nice, the pineapple and quinoa were lovely, think I need to practise my marinading skills!

We shall see!

Gosh this weather is horrible, I had a cup of tea and even contemplated putting the heating on! Imagine! In August! (But I didn’t).

I watched some of the great british bake-off and I must say I really would love one of those KitchenAid mixers. I have seen a cream one which is so pretty. But I only have a little kitchen, plus it is a lot of money to spend on one thing. So I will make do with my bowls and utensils at the moment!

So, any hotch-potch meals that you love?

And any “treat” things that you would love?

🙂

Where is the rain?

I am not complaining, but rain was forecast for today. So I had lined up a queue of rainy day activities. It was a rest day for me anyway after my long run yesterday, and I was feeling quite stiff.

After breakfast it still wasn’t raining so I went out on a nice hour long walk, you know, making the most of the nice weather.

Then I had some jobs to do (pop to opticians to get glasses adjusted, pop to shops to get a few bits, get some jam jars) so I got on and did those bits. Still wasn’t raining!

My boyfriend went into the garden to mow the lawn (you know the saying “mow the lawn while the sun shines” or something like that!) and I popped out too- got another courgette, a few potatoes, tomatoes and a lonely blueberry. My blueberry bush didn’t do so well this year and it turns out I should have pruned it in the winter time. I will know next time. Its leaves go a beautiful pinky red colour now so it still looks fab.

Anyway, then I made some jam! Poppy47 on WLR sent me a recipe for plum and cinnamon jam, as I was given a massive bag of plums and could not decide what to do with them. I have never made jam before (well not since I was little and my Mum did, and that doesn’t really count!), but I followed the recipe and used a sugar thermometer; it smells so good with the cinnamon and it is in the jars now. Scones have been requested so will have to make some in the next couple of days. (Still not raining either! Not that I am complaining but have to go to the airport to pick some people up at midnight and I imagine it is going to pour just as I am driving).

While the football was on I spent some time looking back over blogs from the past few days, and I saw that the lovely Alison from http://runningfromrunningto.blogspot.com/ has nominated my blog as one that she reads. To join in with this I need to

  • Thank the person who gave you the award
  • Share seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate fifteen newly discovered blogs.
  • Let your nominees know about the award.
  • So, thanks Alison for reading (and your comments!).

    Here are seven things about me:

    1- I have been a vegetarian since I was around 15. I just never liked meat, and I really dont like the idea of dead things.

    2- I didn’t learn to drive until I was 21 as I was totally terrified of it. Now I don’t mind driving at all, but I do not like parking on steep roads.

    3-I am totally terrified of big black hairy spiders, and I do not like going up high buildings or steep things. 

    4- I am on the waiting list for an allottment but at the moment am making do in a little corner of my garden.

    5-I have been with my boyfriend since I was 17 (and now I am 29), gosh where does the time go?

    6-I bake every week for my boyfriend’s family as we usually go there for Sunday dinner.

    7- I was never christened and was raised in a non-religious household.

    Gosh nominating 15 blogs is tricky because I am not sure I even follow 15 blogs!

    Below are the ones I read pretty regularly:

    http://carrotsncake.com/

    http://britchickruns.wordpress.com/

    http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

    http://happyherbivore.com/blog/

    http://www.jagsfitnessblog.com/

    http://jaimeruns.com/

    http://meganerdruns.com/

    http://www.nomeatathlete.com/

    http://ohsheglows.com/

    http://doasyourdadsays.blogspot.com/

    http://runningfromrunningto.blogspot.com/

    http://www.runnerskitchen.com/

    I also quite like

    http://iheartkatiecakes.blogspot.com/

    http://www.mueslilover.com/

    http://www.thegoodmoodfoodblog.com/

    Phew, 15 in all!

    So there you go- I will pop some links on comments pages, and if you haven’t already been nominated then here you go- I nominate you 🙂

    Now off for a bean burger, salad and sweet potato dinner, yum.