Friday, November 27, 2009

Loving Thanks

Thanksgiving Day had an early start - Davenport Death Run 16 miles: Mel and Mike, Paul and I, Luisa, Tom, and William. It was an incredible route, and I look forward to challenging myself with it again. Then it was off to finish prep!

There is no better way to show your thanks than to create a lovely meal. And, that is just what I did!
On the Menu:
- Herb Roasted Turkey Breast (made two bone-in breasts vs. whole turkeys to avoid being stuck with dark meat)
- Sweet Potatoes with unsweetened dried cranberries and infused with orange juice
- Roasted Beets in reduced balsamic vinegar
- steamed string beans
- Rosemary Sage Stuffing
- Cranberry Relish with mandarin oranges
- Spinach salad with pears and fall vegetables
- And for my non-turkey eaters Grilled Salmon seasoned with herbs de Provence and grilled lemons

For Dessert:
- Cakeballs
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream and sprinkled with cinnamon
- Pumpkin Pie
- 1 single Vegan Brownie for my father's birthday :)

Sharing this special meal with family and friends made me truly thankful for all the gifts in my life. This year has been filled with just so much, and this was an incredible moment to take to show my true appreciation for all the gifts I am given.

And if the above wasn't enough, there is no better way to complete the evening than to take the bones and from the turkey breast and create a turkey and vegetable soup. So not only are we left with incredibly healthy leftovers, but the treat of warm soup for weeks to come! As with all the meals and foods I create, there is nothing more special than sharing the if you want a container of soup, just let me know! (I have it in the freezer! Next week looks like it is going to be a PERFECT soup week in Texas).

Ahhh, to melt into the couch with Paul and the UT game (hook'em) after such a wonderful day and hard work. All was sooo worth it!

Have a blessed holiday weekend!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running and Baking

What a day! If you would have asked me at 4:30 this morning how the day I was looking, I would have had a very different response than what I have at 10pm.

At 4:30 this morning, I was crawling out of my slumber after a brief 4 hours of sleep. One of the things of truly appreciating running and training is the gift of getting to release any negativity that might be brewing inside. For me that is what is a run is for. It is not an escape from reality, but a true moment of appreciation and blessing...and who the heck wouldn't feel positive after taking advantage of those feelings. Of course, it does help that I run with some of the most fun people! I am so very fortunate to be surrounded by such a phenomenal community of healthy people who think a 5:30 run is the best place to be.

I showed up for the run with the cold front blowing in. Right as we get started, Amy comes running up from behind totally giddy. She tells me that Dorie posted on her blog. Two pieces have to be mentioned here: Amy's blog is INCREDIBLE (see the first blog favorite of mine). She touches my foodie passion with each of her posts and creations. Second, she recognized that only another foodie would be almost skipping to the thought that Dorie Greenspan commented on her bundt cake entry. If you don't know who she is, look her up and BAKE! Amy just brightened my morning. I promised her that I would have pics of my creations today (they are coming in a moment). I love having that connection with someone...the passion of wonderful food.

The run was really great, everything about it: the route; the company; even the cold front coming was just the magical miles that my body needed to be renewed for the day to come! Although, I will admit that I am looking forward to partaking in the full glory of Testosterone (Estrogen if you ask Asia) Tuesday next week!!

After the run, it was time to get in a full workday as well as a full prep day. As I went through the day in a perfect symmetry of time balance I came to realize what a joy it all is. There is truly nothing more wonderful than creating food for others. I enjoy nothing more than sharing my creations of healthy foods and treats with those who I care about. In good food: the preparation, the serving, the's the entire act that gets to come from pure raw ingredients to effort of your hands and skill to final product...well, that end result is just like a great run. The gift of food to another person creates that same moment of joy and renewal. I came to realize in my food prep today, I LOVE sharing that. I love bringing a smile to someone's face with the food I prepare. It is such a great gift!
With that level of joy, I created some very requested cakeballs (red signature...and Boston Cream Pie, my sweet husband's request), prepped vegetables, and roasted sweet potatoes (they just need the addition of fresh cranberries and orange juice) in the midst of my workday. As promised this morning, Amy - here are the pics! If you go back on my blog you will note that I have stepped up the artistry on them. It's about time that these little wonders look as beautiful as they taste...but no tastes for me. Seriously!!

What a wonderfully full day! So many gifts and "little blessings" to be thankful for and prep to share with those I love!

I am so very fortunate!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's time to get back!

John P said first thing this morning when I showed up to Rogue for my first run with the crew in quite sometime, "What happened to Sunshine Makes me Happy? I miss the blog posts." Well, John, I must say that you made my morning :) It is with your nudge that I come out of the thought process and back!

Then I opened my blog page and saw a note from Kelly. Kelly - miss you too, and it is time for me to get back on it. I hope to see you so soon and am thrilled to know that you are healthy and back running.

Journeys, life, trails...all have many options and many final destinations. Sometimes we take the right path, sometimes we take what we think is the right path, and sometimes we downright take the wrong one. The gift that God has blessed me with is that no matter what path I head down: the love, compassion, and non-judged support I have from everyone in my world can return me to my core.

I am so very grateful for all the gifts in my life. I am speechless by the love and support that holds me up, and reminds me of the person I truly am. I am in awe of my husband who can sit at a table and listen to me with levels of compassion that are greater than that of a Saint. I will never be able to truly verbalize how fortunate I am to be married to such a good good man. (But, let's be honest in that EVERYONE who has ever met him already knows that about him) When there is so much love at the core of two people for eachother, I now truly believe, you can conquer ANYTHING that comes your way.

As with each race I run, these past few months of life have also taught me lessons that I will not soon forget...Fortunately, my "team" remains stronger than ever and intact, and we can move forward together, forever changed...

Thanks to each of you for your patience for my return! I'll be sure to make each post worth the wait :)