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Races: The Good and the bad

April 22, 2010

I’ll try to spare you the sob story about my life being stressful, busy, etc., because it’s probably getting pretty old. It’s the end of the semester, which means I’m literally counting down the days (11 today! I actually just had to look at the calendar, apparently I’m not that great at counting down.) and also scrambling to finish a bunch of things in that short amount of time. Unfortunately, blogging is not very high on that list. My life would probably be a lot more fun if it was.

Since I last blogged I’ve run two 10Ks.  Pretty exciting, for me at least. The first one went really well. Christen and I travelled with a group of girls to Charleston to do the Cooper River Bridge Run. This was my first race ever (Unless you count track in high school, which I don’t because I wasn’t good, I loathed the meets, and only ran so I could hang out with my friends.) and it was FUN!!

All the girls 

We arrived at the start at 5:45 in the freezing cold. Seriously, it was ridiculous, and it was only made worse by my decision to forego a sweatshirt and just wear a t-shirt and capris. Bad idea. I may or may not have (but most likely did) driven Sarah crazy while we were waiting to start saying over and over, “why didn’t I wear a sweatshirt,” and “don’t let me forget long sleeves next year!!”

Julie and sarah

We had about two-and-a-half hours to wait and we were crazy ready to go!

Chris and Juji Crazy Chris Sarah Julie

Once we got moving, though I was a lot of fun. There were crazy people in crazy costumes everywhere, and it was hilarious watching them. I loved it. Sarah and I finished strong, and I honestly felt like I could have kept running for 2 more miles. It was great.


I’m not sure what is more amazing about this picture, our faces or the fact that we’re standing near some sort of machinery. With banana and orange peels in it.

I was really looking forward to our next race, which was the Spring Saunter held by The Summit (our church) to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. Really my only goal was to PR, since I had a time to beat. There was a huge difference for this race, though. It was at 2:30 in the afternoon. I hadn’t really thought much about it before the race and was actually just looking forward to being warmer this time around.


Things didn’t go so well. For some reason it didn’t occur to me that I needed to be really hydrated before the race, even more so than for the last race. I drank water but not nearly enough, and I get dehydrated super easily. I started feeling bad about half-way through the race. It wasn’t unbearably hot, but the sun was out in full force, so I was definitely feeling the heat. I had to really slow down right after the turn-around point and let Sarah and Christen go ahead, which was really disappointing. I ended up beating my previous time by several minutes, but I felt horrible at the end. And for the rest of the night. I was completely nauseas and freezing cold and exhausted. Corey was great and made me pancakes and bought me Gatorade and sat with me while I complained. The rest of the night and entire next day was spent drinking Gatorade cocktails (oh. yeah.)


like my life depended on it. I finally felt better on Tuesday, but I will never run an afternoon race in the south in the spring/summer again. My body just wasn’t meant to do it.

So there are the stories of my races. Hopefully it wasn’t too boring. Sorry for the lack of recipes lately. And just the lack of posting in general. I’ll be back with a good one, I promise!! 🙂



New Beginnings

April 1, 2010

So, maybe I’m bad at this blogging thing after all. I had such a good streak going there, too. I like to think I had a good excuse (or several good excuses) for such a long absence. School has been hectic. Apparently the only thing that takes up more time in your week than a 12 hour clinical day is two five hour clinical days. That’s right, I started my psych clinical. It is every bit as unglamorous as it seems, especially coming off of my pediatric rotation. Actually, it hasn’t been all bad. The days leading up to it were definitely more fraught with more anxiety than necessary, which may have been the worst part of it all. Oh, if only I’d learn that things generally work out better than I expect them to. So, my instructor is wonderful and I’ve met some really nice girls in my group. It’s just so different than what we’re all used to. Which is you know, actually doing medical stuff instead of just talking. Literally, we just talk to patients…it’s a bit confusing, even for us.

Ok, all that to say, I’m back again (I wonder how many “I’m Back” posts I’m going to have on this thing when it’s all said and done…), and I’m ready to blog!!

Enough complaining. While some things were anxiety-inducing, we did lots of fun stuff too.

Sarah and Lynn had a St. Patrick’s Day/Pre-10K party complete with rainbow cupcakes:

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(compliments of Lynn…beautiful AND delicious!)

Cute Scattergories partners:


Creepy hairstylists:


And some entertainment by Sarah:100_1455

Pretty much everything you need for a great party.

I also ran my very first 10K. It was awesome! I’ll share more about the weekend later, but here are some pictures from the race:

Julie and sarah Julie sarah chris

Things got a little crazy at 5:30 on a freezing cold morning. I’m pretty excited about the running, and now having a time to beat for the Summit 10K. Things may get interesting. 🙂

I’m looking forward to celebrating Easter weekend with the fam and will hopefully have more fun stories. There will definitely be more recipes too! I’m already working on a few. 🙂

Make your own pizza

March 12, 2010

On the agenda for Thursday night was Make-Your-Own Pizzas. We were having the guys over, and this type of dinner has worked well in the past with the ever-popular JimBob. 🙂


Last night we had pretty much every topping we could think of.

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I must have been caught up in all the action, because I forgot to take pictures of everything, but we had eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and tomato sauce. For the meat-eaters (boys) we had sausage and pepperoni. And of course there was a lot of grated cheese.

So basically earlier in the day I made a big batch of pizza dough and let it rise slowly in the fridge.


(Half) Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 5 tsp yeast

Dissolve yeast in water in the bowl of a stand mixer until bubbly and foamy (about 5 minutes)

  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups white bread flour
  • 1 T coarse sea salt

Add the rest of the ingredients to yeast and water mixture and with the dough hook attachment mix ingredients together, then knead for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup more flour as necessary to pull dough away from sides of bowl.

After kneading for 10 minutes, shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Allow to rise 1.5-2 hours in a warm spot or 6 hours to overnight in the refrigerator, until doubled in size.

Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal pieces. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes (about an hour if it was just taken from the fridge).

Roll dough out into 8 personal-sized pizzas. Top with desired toppings. And bake in a 425* oven for 20 minutes.


Some of the group working on their pizzas:

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So excited about pizza night!


Corey and me waiting to make our pizzas:



The finished products:

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As Billy so eloquently stated:

“My pizza was easily the best I’ve ever had…but i DID make it myself, so i should have expected nothing less than awesome…”


So humble… 😉


Spring break is coming to a close and it’s making me really sad. We’re trying to pack as much fun into the next several days as we possibly can. I think there’s a run on the agenda for today and perhaps some sushi and a birthday party tonight. Soon enough it will be back to the real world (or the semi-real world in my case…).

A day in the life of a spring-breaker

March 11, 2010

It was one of those vacation days where you don’t have to worry about doing anything but having fun. It started out something like this:


Relaxing with Bonbon and using the computer. In my sweats, true college student style. After a while I mustered up the energy to bake some treats. Mexican Double Chocolate Cookies:


Meanwhile, Bonnie made some corn muffins for dinner and they turned out beautiful!


For lunch we had a date with the other third of the trifecta at Toast in downtown Durham. (Yes, we made Bonnie go inside and get our drinks for us…the beauty of having a little sister!)


Chris has been raving about this place for weeks, and the combination of all three of us being available for lunch and the beautiful weather, it was the perfect afternoon to do it. We even got to sit outside and enjoy the gorgeous day.

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I got the tuscan kale, ricotta salata, and hot and sweet pickled peppers panini with a green salad on the side. It. was. amazing. Who knew you could put wilted kale on a sandwich and it would be delicious?! I sure didn’t, but you can bet I will be trying to re-create this! The bread really made the sandwich exceptional. It was just the right combination of chewy and crunchy, toasted to perfection.



Bonnie got the bruschetta with shrimp and radicchio.


And Christen got a spicy tuna panini. (Sorry I didn’t get a picture of you with your food, Chris!)


We each tried bites of each others’ sandwiches, and everything we got was delicious. I think we’ll definitely be putting Toast in the regular rotation!

After lunch Bonnie and I hit up another Durham original, Mad Hatter’s. We enjoyed coffee and split a peanut butter cookie while we studied. Ok, ok. Bonnie studied like the excellent student she is, and I read and started this blog post. Did I mention yet that it’s spring break?!

For dinner it was taco salad. I completely forgot to take pictures and such, so the “recipe” for it will have to wait until another post. 

Dessert however, was awesome! I made these mexican chocolate cookies to go with our mexican-themed dinner. My initial idea was to put cayenne pepper in them, but after realizing that we didn’t have any in the house I decided that since Mexican hot chocolate has cinnamon in it, it would be a good addition here as well.

Mexican Double Chocolate Cookies

Preheat oven to 375* and spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray.

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Whisk dry ingredients together in small mixing bowl. Set aside.

  • 1/4 Earth Balance spread, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T flax mixed with 3 T water (mix these together and allow to sit about 5 minutes to get thick and egg-like)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

In the bowl of a mixer combine Earth Balance, applesauce, brown and white sugars and vanilla. Cream mixture on medium speed, scraping down sides as needed. Add flax “egg” and beat well.

Add dry mixture in three parts, mixing well after each addition. After last addition, mix just until combined then add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.

Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375* for 12 minutes. Allow to cool on pans for 3-4 minutes, then remove to cooling racks.  

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These are best enjoyed with (or by) a cute boyfriend,

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crazy sisters,



or just a really great cup of coffee.



Stay tuned for more great spring-breakness! 🙂

PB & J Oatmeal

March 9, 2010

One of the ways Bonnie and I are similar is that we go to bed every night thinking about what we’re going to have for breakfast the next morning. We know it’s weird, we’ve seen the looks we get when we say it. However, I maintain that there are far worse addictions than one to healthy breakfasts.


We’ve been planning the breakfast we had this morning for several days now. On the menu was peanut butter and jelly oatmeal. Also, there was banana thrown in there because, well, they just make everything taste even better!

I used to only make my oatmeal in the microwave, but a couple of years ago (after one too many oatmeal explosions) switched to making them on the stove. It’s really no more time-consuming than microwave cooking, and the perk is that you don’t have to plant yourself directly in front of the microwave to make sure the oatmeal doesn’t overflow. The one drawback is the extra pot to clean. But then, I’d rather throw another dish in the dishwasher than clean out the microwave any day….

Back to the actual breakfast. Here’s the recipe for one bowl of oatmeal:


PB & J Oatmeal

  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Pinch of salt

Put these in a pan and allow to just come to a boil. Then turn the heat down and allow to cook for about 5 minutes

  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Slice the banana into the pot with the oatmeal. Sprinkle in cinnamon. Stir and keep cooking until the banana is warmed through.


  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp jelly

Pour the oats into a bowl. Top with peanut butter (we used White Chocolate Wonderful…it. was. awesome.) and jelly. Devour.


I put a little banana butter (from the Durham Farmer’s Market) on mine as well. Mostly because it’s Spring Break and what good is a break from school if you don’t go a little crazy?? (This may be a little like using white flour in pancakes ;).)

Also, if you’re really awesome, you eat your oats out of a bowl that says “oats.” (Did I just blow your mind?!)


And with a pretty fantastic sister (whilst sending the other fantastic sister off to work… :()





March 8, 2010

So, the little sis is here to visit!


Which of course completes what we like to call the trifecta (thanks to Corey for the inspiration on that :))


We’ve been having lots of fun so far. There’s been a run at Duke:



Post-run Whole Foods pizza/salad bar:




Super Charge Me Cookies:

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And game night with friends:

Getting a little help during halftime of the Duke/UNC game:


Our lists:



Shamsham got a little warm. Amy used her cold hands to cool her down.


Chris and Bonnie confer for answers:



Amy and I wish we would have won. We may or may not have taken the game seriously enough 😉


The losers had to do push-ups. Chris showing us how it’s done:


Bonbon and I had green smoothies for breakfast this morning and now we’re getting ready to meet a nursing school friend for lunch at Brixx. I’m perfecting another pancake recipe, and I’m sure we’ll be doing lots more cooking this week, so stay tuned for some  more recipes and fun with the trifecta!

Good Friends and Good Food

March 4, 2010

Last night we had a dinner night with two of our good friends, Heather and Laura.


We try to get together with Heather every couple of weeks for dinner and last time we had dinner at her house. She cooked us a wonderful green and red lasagna and black forest cake that actually ended up being a white forest cake. 🙂 This time it was our turn to cook. Laura was able to join us, which was such a fun addition to our little party!

I was a little pressed for time because I planned on studying for an upcoming test all day. I debated whether I should just buy frozen pizzas and ice cream and call it a night or actually put forth the effort to make something. Thankfully Christen got out of work early and volunteered to go grocery shopping for things we needed which saved me a lot of time. What I finally settled on was fajita soup.


This is another one of those recipes where ingredients can be added or taken out or exchanged for other things. I made it vegan, but it would totally work with beef or chicken. I basically thought of anything that would go in a fajita and added it to the soup. It turned out really good!

Fajita Soup

1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp cumin

2 Tbsp chili powder

Sprinkle red pepper flakes

1 container button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 can black beans

1 can diced tomatoes

1 32 oz box vegetable stock

Jarred sliced jalapeños

Sautee bell pepper, onion and garlic with some salt and pepper in a pot until softened. Add chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes.

100_1298Add mushrooms and cook until browned.

Add corn and allow to heat through

Drain and rinse black beans and add to pot with vegetables.


Add can of tomatoes without draining, then pour vegetable stock over everything.


Add jalapeños. I like this soup spicy, so I probably added 10-15 slices. Add more or less depending on the amount of heat you want.

Allow the soup to come to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. This lets all the flavors develop and come together.


While the soup simmers prepare small bowls of grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped avocado, chopped scallions (white and green parts). We also set out lime chips and salsa to go with the meal.



I think it’s easiest to have someone do the hard work fun stuff (like grating cheese) for you! 🙂

Dish out soup and let everyone garnish their own however they like.


This makes for a really fun dinner party.



And it is so easy to make! I really think it would not have been any easier to pop those frozen pizzas in the oven! I even had time left over to make brownies for dessert. Try this the next time you’re pressed for time. I promise you’ll be surprised how fast you can pull together a fun dinner!