The life and times of me. Also known as: My quest to become more awesome.

Author Archives: thighsonfire

IMG_0838.JPG

Makes 5 burritos

Ingredients
Filling
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of vegetable broth or water
1 bunch of kale, chopped small
1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
Dressing
The juice of two limes
2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
3-4 T extra virgin olive oil
A dollop of honey
Salt and pepper
Black bean spread
1 can black beans
1/2 red or yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, pressed or chopped
1 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Goat cheese
5 large tortillas

Instructions
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Start by rinsing your quinoa and putting in a medium pan. Add the two cups of broth or water and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce heat and cover. Cook it until all of the water has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.

While your quinoa is cooking, mix all of the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.

IMG_0840.JPG

Mix the chopped kale and cilantro in a large bowl and pour 2/3 of the dressing over it to marinate.

IMG_0841.JPG

Now put one tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet and add the diced onion and one clove of garlic. Cook until they are translucent, not browned. Drain the can of black beans but do not rinse. Pour them into a bowl and mash them with a potato masher. Add the cooked onion and garlic and mix. Season with salt and pepper and aside.

When the quinoa is done, pour it into the kale and cilantro mixture while it is still hot, add the remaining dressing, and mix. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_0842.JPG

Building your burritos
Start with a tortilla and spread the black bean mixture over about 2/3 of it (you don’t want to put it all over it because it will be a mess when you roll it up). Drop dollops of goat cheese on there to taste.

IMG_0844.JPG

Now put two decent sized scoops of the quinoa kale filling on.

IMG_0845.JPG

With the empty part of the tortilla on the top, fold in the sides of your burrito and roll it up ending with the empty part. Place in a baking dish. Do the same with the other four tortillas. When they’re all rolled up, brush them with some olive oil and bake them for 15 minutes or until they are slightly golden (this step is optional but I like the tortillas to get a little crispy). Serve with your favorite salsa and/or sour cream and guac.

IMG_0849.JPG

I’ve been trying to incorporate a couple of meat-free meals per week for JW and I and this one was a winner! It’s easily customizable too. If you like some heat, add some chopped jalapeño along with the onions and garlic (I didn’t do this because the salsa I had was really spicy). If you want it cheesier, add some shredded cheddar along with the goat cheese. If you want to add meat, these would be great with ground turkey or shredded chicken. The sky’s the limit! So get to cooking and let me know what you think!

**Oh yeah, hey strangers! It’s been a while! 😉


I love fall. It is by far my favorite season. The colors, the weather, the smells; I love everything about it. My favorite thing to make in the fall and winter is soup. I usually make a pot of it every Sunday so that I can take it for lunch all week long. Today, I made chipotle sweet potato soup.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup
adapted from Marin Mama Cooks

ingredients
2 tablespoons oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coarse salt
6-7 sprigs of cilantro, tied together with string
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, diced + a spoonful or two of the adobo sauce
3 decent sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups of vegetable broth

garnishes:
tortilla chips
lime wedges
avocado

instructions

Put the oil, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, and cilantro in a large pot and turn the heat to medium.

20131110-171810.jpg
Stir occasionally until the onion softens, but not browns. Add the sweet potatoes and chiles and stir to combine.

20131110-172056.jpg
Add your vegetable broth and turn the heats up to high, stirring occasionally. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and let it simmer until the potatoes are soft (test this by piercing them with a fork). When the potatoes are soft, remove them from the heat, remove the cilantro and discard it, and blend your soup until it is smooth. Taste it and add salt to you liking. I used my immersion blender (I LOVE that thing) but a regular blender will do just fine as well. If you use a regular blender, make sure you only ever fill it halfway. That soup will be HOT and the steam can force the top of your blender off if you’re not careful. Keep this warm until you are ready to serve.

I served this with tortilla strips (I had some corn tortillas that I needed to use up so I fried them up myself but store bought tortilla chips would be a much easier alternative), diced avocado, and lime wedges. I meant to put some chopped cilantro on there too but I forgot. It would be a delicious addition.

20131110-172832.jpg

This turned out really well. I’ll absolutely make it again. It had just the right combination of silky-sweetness from the potatoes and smokey heat from the chiles. Try it out and let me know what you think!


I know what you’re thinking. Two months and nothing. And now you just show up and think we can just start back up like you never disappeared?!

Well. It’s true; I disappeared from the blog for a while. Too long. I don’t have any good excuse except pure laziness. So kill me. It happens. But I’m back now! I can’t promise I’ll be posting nightly or anything but I am going to be making an attempt to post much more often than once every two months.

So. What is there to catch up on? Well, I finished my first marathon! My official time was 4:41.45. I’m so happy I did it. I didn’t walk right for four days afterwards but it was worth it. It’s such an awesome feeling of accomplishment.

So here’s how it went: I started off at a decent pace (just under 11 minute miles). I was chatting with a woman I met at the beginning of the race. She was running her first half. I stuck with her for the first couple of miles. Then we hit an incline and she slowed down and I didn’t want to so I went on my way. FORESHADOWING: I probably should have stayed with her a while longer. Anyway, I felt great. I ran the half course last year so it was all very familiar. I sort of slacked off in my training a year ago and then crashed and burned during the race (cockiness on my part) so every time I saw something I remembered from last year, I also remembered how rotten I felt from mile 8 on. And so I was so happy to feel as strong as I did this year in the same spots. I felt unstoppable at the halfway mark. Un. Stop. Able. That was not very long-lived. By the time I got to mile 15 I was starting to hurt. By mile 17, all I could think was “Oh my god. I still have to run 9 more miles. oh. my. god. What have I gotten myself into?! Motherf*#@&?.” And so on. When I rounded a corner somewhere around mile 18.5, I was in pain. And then I realized that I would be running head-first into the wind for the remainder of the race. For those of you keeping track, that meant 7.5+ miles straight into the wind that was coming off of the river. I’d rather run up and down hills all day long than endure wind like that. Wind is the devil. At least when running. Anyway, from then through mile 24 or 25 I had to stop and walk quite a bit. Even that started to become challenging though, as every time I stopped to walked, it was exponentially harder to start running again. Somewhere between miles 24 and 25 I just resolved to keep running no matter how slow I was going. This is because I was worried I’d be unable to start back up again. But hey. Then I saw mile market 25. And I thought to myself what I always say to my running partner towards the end of runs. “It’s just a mile. It’s nothing. You can run a mile with your eyes closed.” So I went. And then there was mile marker 26 (I lied to myself at mile 25. I had 1.2 miles left; not just one). And when you cross mile market 26, you can see the finish line. And suddenly you want to beat everyone you can see around you to that finish line. So you reach deep down into yourself and muster up any energy you have left. And you sprint. Or maybe in my case it wasn’t an all out sprint in the purest sense of the word but it was just about everything I had left. I almost cried. And then, just like that, I was a marathoner. Amazing.

As soon as it was over, I told JW that I wanted to stick with half marathons. I said I might like to do another full someday but that maybe I was better suited for the half distance. Now I’m two and a half weeks removed from it and I’m wondering when I’ll do my next one. I want to do better. I want to pace myself better (those miles between 3 and 14 – turns out when I was feeling so unstoppable I was going way too fast to sustain). I want to be able to finish without thoughts of how lovely it would be to lay down in the gravel on the side of the road. Also, training for a half now seems so short. I really loved the super long runs when I could listen to a podcast or music and just clear my mind and go.

It’s funny because I’ve been running for a little over two years now but I haven’t really ever thought of myself as a runner. I don’t know why. I guess I just thought of it as something I did; not something I was. But I was wrong. It is something I am. I am a marathoner. I am a runner.


…and I’ll take a mile. If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you may have noticed something about me: sometimes I have a little trouble with follow-through. See also: procrastination. See, the thing is that if I don’t have a rigid set of rules to follow then I might as well not have any rules at all. I started off with a goal of a blog post a day. Then I got burned out. And now I’ve posted twice in a month span. I do that in a lot of areas in my life. I get excited about something and pretty much obsess over it for a while until I’m over it. This isn’t some shit-on-myself blog post. I don’t think I’m alone on this stuff. A lot of people do this kind of thing. Sometimes way worse than I do. But I’ve pretty much come to terms with it about myself. And I have the ability to follow through when it counts.

I think that’s why running long distance races works so well for me. I have a clear goal in mind and a rigid training schedule (sometimes I switch the days that I run but I always get my miles in) to follow in order to achieve it. By the way, my training is going well. With the exception of some chafing issues, my runs have been feeling really good. I’m excited for this race.

So I’m willing to cut myself some slack if I don’t make it to the volunteer events that I’ve wanted to do. Or if I put my business plan on the back burner for a while. Or if I don’t post a blog as often as I would like. Or if I have a bad week with weight loss or eating. Because I do a lot of other stuff that is worthwhile too. I spend time with my friends and family whenever I can. I’ve been doing a whole lot better with keeping my house picked up and clean. I run 30 miles per week (ish). I bake a lot of cupcakes and cook a lot of dinners that are healthy. I’m planning my wedding. And I go to work every day. So I will most likely continue to pursue different interests and probably obsess over some of them and then ditch them. How the hell else am I supposed to figure out what I want out of this life?


I’m back!
Listen, I know I said that my goal was to write a post every day for a year. I did pretty well for a while but I was really struggling to come up with ideas sometimes and my writing really suffered. So I decided to take a little hiatus. It really helped. I’ve actually been meaning to write this post for several days now but I’ve just gotten busy. Until now.

So, the last time I wrote, I was actually en route to NYC for vacation. It was amazing and awesome and if I was 23 instead of 33 I’d probably quit my job and move there. Seriously. I really liked it. JW and I had so much fun and there is so much to do. We also decided to party like we were 23 again. As it turns out, I can party like I’m 23 all day and night long, however I cannot recover like I’m 23. It took me at least three days to feel like a normal human being again. It was rough. My running suffered that week as well as most other optional responsibilities I had. Oh well. I got it out of my system and I’m super focused on the shit that needs to be done now.

Speaking of running, my training is going great! I went for 12 miles this morning and it felt great. I’ve also started doing some weight training. And I’ve been serious about counting my weight watchers points again. Honestly, what I’ve figured out is that if I am running the amount that I am and I eat carefully throughout the week, I can have nearly anything I want on the weekend. I also got new running shoes today. I got the same ones I’ve been running in for two years now; the Brooks Adrenaline STS. These are the 13s. I wore my last pair for 360 miles! Here’s what 360 miles will do to a pair of running shoes:

20130818-195239.jpg The new ones are on the right. Obviously.

So, I’ve got lots more to update you all on but I’m saving some of it for future posts. I’ve made some awesome cupcakes, ordered my wedding dress (!), picked out exactly what decorations I’ll be making for the wedding, and lots more. I’m not promising I’ll write every single day anymore. But I think that now it will be much less forced and therefore more natural. And why would I do something I didn’t enjoy, anyway?


Here’s the other part of my order from this morning. Lemon Sunshine Pie!

20130802-220017.jpg
It’s a sweet and salty crust made from saltine crackers filled with a rich lemon filling and topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream. I finished it with a sprinkling of coarse salt. YUM.


So here is the first part of the order for tomorrow morning: Triple dark chocolate Jack Daniels cupcakes!

20130801-223947.jpg
These are dark chocolate fudge JD cake filled with dark chocolate JD ganache and topped with whipped dark chocolate JD buttercream. Man. I don’t even like whiskey (I took a sniff while I was making everything and it sent shivers down my spine) but these are good. The whiskey flavor is definitely there but it mixes really nicely with all of the dark chocolate. I hope my customers love them!