How much are you ADORING the extra hour of sunlight?!

I had time to zip home after work, tackle a run in the sunshine, shower, cook dinner AND photograph the whole thing (ok not the whole thing, just dinner ;) ) before the sun even began to set!

It was my first time back on the old running trail since last Fall and omg did 4.5 miles in the middle of nature feel good. But omg was it FREAKING brutal!

My friends and I were talking this weekend about why running never seems to get any easier. I’ve been running pretty consistently for 6 years, but sometimes I feel like it’s only been 6 days. Obviously my stamina has gotten better, going from barely being able to run 1 mile, to completing a half marathon, but some days it’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other.

We decided the biggest factors for whether we’re going to have a good run or not are:

 MY OTHER RECIPES


1. Temperature (too hot or too cold outside)

2. Fresh Legs

3. Hydration (gasping for air AND water at the same time is no bueno)

4. Nutrition

Nutrition was definitely my downfall today. The temperature was a perfect 56 degrees, my legs had been resting since last Thursday, and I’ve been guzzling water for the past two days.

Perhaps it was the Larabar, Ruffles AND Girl Scout Cookies I devoured last night after dinner that did me in. Sigh. It’s true. I was a ravenous beast whose appetite knew no bounds, and I totally felt it today.

My energy was lower than my current stash of Thin Mints and my legs felt like logs. But gosh darnit I was GOING to finish that stinking run. And I did. And I ate much better today, and made the BEST DINNER EVER!

And, and, and… ;)

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions & Balsamic Drizzle! I would legit eat this every single night!

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Girl (finally) met grill to make the chicken that topped the plate.

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It’s been months since it’s been nice enough to grill!

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I marinated two Smart Chicken breasts in balsamic vinaigrette all day, then grilled them up for about 4 minutes a side. Clearly I’m a little out of practice, and one of the breasts was a tad charred – but they were still moist and delish. :)

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While the chicken was on the grill, I turned my attention to the stove.

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In corner 1, we’ve got the Bruschetta Sauce.

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This is from Trader Joe’s, although you could totally make your own.

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It’s SO fresh tasting, and all I did was heat it up in a skillet on low.

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In corner 2 was the balsamic drizzle.

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Just balsamic vinegar boiled over med-high heat until it’s the consistency of maple syrup.

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Thick and SWEET. I LOVE this stuff!

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In corner 3, 1lb of cooked penne rigate that I tossed with the warm bruschetta sauce when it was cooked and drained.

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Everybody piled onto the plate,

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and topped with unGodly amounts of caramelized onions!!!

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If you don’t like onions, I beg you, give these a try. They taste like candy!

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“If I hate onions, why would I want onion candy?” You may be asking yourself.

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Because this onion candy is not oniony at all. It’s sweet and caramelized and complex and the most wonderful thing in the world. I like to put them on top of salads, pasta, pizzas, sandwiches – anything, really!

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Right?!

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Sweet, smoky and filling. I would seriously make this dish every single week.

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It’s so quick to prepare and all the flavors are just. so. good!

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Ben decided to ditch his plate in favor of a loaf of bread.

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Homeboy made a Chicken Bruschetta Po’ Boy!

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HA!

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He said my plate looked like a culinary crime scene (what you don’t eat on top of your mail?) from all the grizzly looking balsamic vinegar. I just see delicious. ;)

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Off to enjoy my night! See you!