Thank you so much for the anniversary well wishes – and congrats on all your milestones too! Ahh, love.
Ben and I held hands over dinner at Django – a French restaurant "without the attitude" downtown.
Best meal we’ve had at a restaurant since Emeril’s NOLA in New Orleans last Spring, and certainly one of the best meals we’ve ever had in Des Moines. We started with Braised Pork Ravioli served with crispy prosciutto, butternut squash, leeks, mushrooms and prosciutto broth topped with parmesan cheese, then absolutely stuffed ourselves silly on our mouthwatering entrees.
Seared Sea Scallops with lobster-sweet corn mashed potatoes and red onion-sweet corn butter sauce for her…
Bouillabaisse, a French fisherman’s stew of scallops, mussels, halibut, shrimp and potatoes in a saffron scented seafood broth, for him.
We died. We literally died and went to French-cuisine Heaven. Things were said about the ultimate deliciousness that is lobster-sweet corn mashed potatoes that can’t be repeated on this blog. If you live in Des Moines, or within a 30 mile radius, get to Django…dnow!
I sopped up more butter with more rolls than I care to ever think about again, so I hit the trail after work today to knock out 4.5 miles on my trail. It is goooooorgeous outside right now! I think I even got a little tan line.
Now, copious amounts of butter, bread and potatoes the night before a 4.5 mile run is not an equation for success, and there were several times when I wanted to stop, park it on the nearest bench, and throw in the towel.
Whenever I feel like quitting in the middle of a run, though, I go through my book of How to Not Stop Mid-Run tricks:
1. Concentrate on your breathing: think about breathing deep and evenly. Concentrate on your breath instead of how bad your thighs are killing you. PS I used to get terrible migraines in college after running in PE, and my doctor finally deduced that they were coming on because I wasn’t BREATHING when I ran. I was concentrating more on not looking like I was dying on the mile run in front of cute college guys, than I was on, you know, my overall well being. Breathe when you run. Breathe hard. And loud even, if you want. You can certainly hear me coming now!
2. Think about fake arguments or complicated math problems in your head: Sounds ridiculous but honestly I completely lose myself in my head when thinking about what I should have said in this one situation or another, or when I’m trying to solve some crazy formula in my head. Such as, ok, if I left at 4:45, and it takes me 40 minutes to run 4.5 miles, what’s my average mph? See? There goes a good 5 minutes, at least!
3. Repeat after me: I often find repeating a little mantra or phrase over and over, and over and over, in my head gets me just a little bit farther. Something like pain is temporary, accomplishment is forever, or anybody can do anything for 5 more minutes!
4. Slow down: if concentrating on your breathing or thinking about something else doesn’t work, and you still feel like calling it quits – slow down! The only one who’s looking at how fast you’re running is you. Don’t be scared to slow down to a jog if you feel like you’re too tired to go. There’s nothing wrong with taking a walking break, but try slowing your run down a bit first!
Tonight, I nearly kissed my grill after I was done eating dinner. I used it to make Grilled Strawberry Chicken, that was out of this world!!!
I started by pounding two chicken breasts until they were even, then marinating them all day in Strawberry Vinaigrette. Simply whisk the following ingredients together!
2 Tablespoons Strawberry Preserves
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
Tonight I removed the chicken from the marinade and followed my formula for perfect grilled chicken: piping hot grill + 3 minutes on each side. That’s it!
The topping for my strawberry-kissed grilled chicken was this Dried Fruit Chutney from The Gracious Gourmet!
This chutney is kind of like chunky fruit preserves, but it has a touch of zing and zip from ginger and vinegar.
It. Is. Amazing. and has dried fruit like apricots, cherries, dates, cranberries and apples in it. It’s really good over soft cheeses, like brie or cream cheese…
Or draped over my grilled strawberry chicken!!!
Sweet – almost apple fruit-leather tasting – but again, not too sweet because of the ginger, vinegar and a touch of garlic in the mix.
So, so, so, so, SO amazing – and all-natural too! It totally enhanced the slightly sweet, caramelized flavor of the strawberry vinaigrette. Ben and I both wanted more when we were done!
On the side, I whipped up roasted brussels sprouts. It’s been ages!
Simply pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees, then cut the core off the end of the sprouts and slice in half. Discard any loose outer leaves. Place the halves on a non-stick sprayed, foil-lined baking sheet.
For a carton of sprouts, I drizzled on 2 teaspoons olive oil, and lots of garlic salt and pepper. LOTS!
Line ‘em up, then roast for 15 minutes.
Flip, then roast for 10-15 more minutes.
I just sigh in utter delight when I eat these.
roasted veggie. There, I said it.
The perfect feels-like-summer dinner.
That’s all I’ve got to say about that…
Oh! For dessert, I grilled up some mangoes!!!!
I just peeled a mango and sliced the two "cheeks" off.
Sprayed each side with non-stick spray, then grilled for about 2 minutes on each side.
Dotted with a little whip cream!
Ugh I am perfectly full and happy. That was just what I needed after such a heavy dinner last night.
I’m off to clean the house. Ben and I are going away this weekend and I always like to leave/come home to a spotless place!
Have a good night!
What are your tricks for distracting yourself while exercising?
What are your favorite things to grill?