A Great Weekend, A Great Run

I had a great weekend.  As much as I love the boy, there are times when it is nice to have a weekend all to myself to just indulge.  In my case, that doesn’t involve spa days or cheesecake.  My plans for my weekend of bachelorette-hood were pretty simple:  eat delicious foods that no one else likes but me, visit with friends, watch loads of movies and get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.

I am happy to report I did all of the above…and then some.

The weekend started at around 7 pm on Friday when I made myself a lovely root tagine. Comprised of parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots and roasted chickpeas over couscous, it was spectacularly delicious, particularly with a side of new Dance Moms, Law & Order: SVU and CSI.

Lemons are so pretty!

I also whipped up some homemade lemon curd to be used in the making of lemony frozen yogurt goodness later in the weekend.  I then attempted to make pita bread.  This did not go as well.  The yeast didn’t proof particularly well but still seemed moderately acceptable.  The dough, however, did not rise well and as a result my pitas did not puff.  In fact, they turned into rubbery flat bread Frisbees which ultimately landed in the trash.  First attempt at making pita bread from scratch:  Epic fail.

But the lemon curd?  OMG.  Delicious.  It took every ounce of willpower for me to not just eat it out of the jar before it had even cooled.  I also impressed myself by staying up well past my bed time.  Oooh, I am such a rebel!

I secretly hoped to indulge in the lost art of sleeping in but I have to admit I failed miserably.  The sun comes up and I come up with it.  I wasn’t actually awake enough to let’s say saunter over to the gym for some hot yoga, but I was awake enough to bury myself under a pile of blankets and terriers on the couch and watch one of my all time favorite flicks:  Back to the Future.

Eventually, I decided to set out for the grocery store to procure a few necessary ingredients for the remainder of the weekend’s cooking extravaganza.  Most notably, I needed a new container of yeast since the general Facebook consensus was that the Epic Pita Fail of 2012 was likely the result of faulty yeast.

Once I had the necessary ingredients, I set about making a batch of crusty french bread.  Making bread isn’t hard – particularly when one has a Kitchen-Aid with one of those fantastic dough hooks.  Pretty much I proofed the yeast (which looked infinitely better than the night before), combined ingredients loosely then let the Kitchen-Aid do the hard work.  In 20 minutes, I had a big elastic ball of bread dough in a covered bowl rising.

And then the fun of my weekend really began:  I went running.  I wanted to put in a nice solid 3-4 miles at a slow and easy pace of 13:30 or so.  Actually, I knew I wanted to run faster but I was trying to be realistic with myself that I would be or should be much slower after having to take a break with the Black Death.

The great news is that my run was completely uneventful and without any form of excitement whatsoever.  In fact, it was pretty darned perfect though not nearly as consistent as I am used to.  I did feel like my stride was a bit short at times but I never felt that I needed to stop and I never felt out of breath.  I did hack up a few lovely hairballs, but that is typical of any run for me so I am calling this a win.

In fact, this run became even more of a win on Sunday morning when I felt absolutely spectacular.  Sure, my quads were a little tight but my chest wasn’t and my throat wasn’t the least bit sore – something that had been happening the morning after runs deep in the throws of the Black Death.

Back to the bread:  crusty french bread turned out perfect.

I turned it into bruchetta to accompany my dinner (oricchiette pasta with roasted brussell sprouts and gorgonzola – SOOOO yummy).  It went well with chick flicks, wine and friends.

Round two of pita bread turned out perfect as well.  I let it cool then cut it into wedges, seasoned and baked again to make delicious pita chips.  Turns out the Facebook consensus was pretty much spot on this case.  Thanks, Facebookers!

Given the success of Saturday’s run and the absolutely gorgeous spring like weather on Sunday, I decided to take the dogs hiking.  I packed a lunch (including those delicious pita chips), grabbed the Garmin and off we went.  The weather was gorgeous which unfortunately meant the trail was packed with people.  Not just any people, mind you, a lot of people who could use some trail etiquette lessons.  For example, screaming “My dog is friendly” as it barrels down on me and my own dogs (one of whom is NOT friendly) is not a way to make a new friend.  Additionally, clipping me with your bike when I have moved ALL the way off a very wide trail to allow you to pass me is not nice.  Of course, I also learned that I need to do some additional training with Isabella, who apparently has a fetish for fast moving wheels.  I am happy to report, however, that she never once had the opportunity to exercise her desire to bite into rubber but we will be working on it.

The hike itself isn’t very scenic, though interesting at times.  Mostly, I just wanted to feel the sun on my face and hear the blissful sound of nothing for a few hours while the dogs sniffed and explored.  We had a nice lunch a nice lunch in an open field overlooking downtown and really just had a nice day.  I also burned a lot of calories (thanks HRM!) which is good because when I got home, I put that delicious lemon curd to good use by making frozen yogurt.  It was so delicious I ate two servings topped with white chocolate chips and whipped cream…and felt no guilt whatsoever.

Penelope, Corrigan and Isabella

Other things I accomplished?  I watched 8 or 9 movies, cleaned out the truck, got rid of the treadmill (let’s face it, I hate the treadmill and I wanted the room), did six loads of laundry, visited with loads of friends, mapped out the vegetable garden in the yard and packed a few more boxes for Good Will.

Overall, I am rating the weekend a 10 out of 10.  I woke up this morning feeling quite rested, relaxed and ready to take on the week – which will include a couple runs!  It feels so good to say that!

Issie looks so cute. Not so much if you are a tire.

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