| Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
The work stress has relented, but my legs haven't figured it out yet. They feel tired and creaky and worn out. My left Achilles has been bothering me a little, and my chronic right lower back issue has been flaring up. It's annoying. I'm not doing nearly as much mileage as I was in the early part of the year, so why am I having all these issues now? Ugh. Anyway, on Saturday the Snook and I went for a long, slow 9km run around Blackwattle Bay. Monday I was feeling too crappy to go to Spudds but I did manage to walk home from work. Tuesday I went for a lunchtime run in the rain. Wednesday I walked to work and then went to a Spudds class at lunchtime. And today I did an easy solo run in the Domain by myself.
Oct. 22: 9.08km
Oct. 24: 2.70km (walking)
Oct. 25: 4.40km
Oct. 26: 2.82km (walking)
Oct. 28: 5.27km
Total this week: 18.75km (11.7mi)
Total in 2011: 931.1km (581.9mi)
To meet my (adjusted) goal of running 1100km in 2011, I should be at 909.6km. Still on track!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
On Monday I was idly surfing Facebook when I saw a former colleague offering some free tickets to this event:
Prepare your senses for a culinary adventure of foams, froths and frozen treats as the father of molecular gastronomy, Professor Hervé This demonstrates the science behind famous molecular gastronomy techniques. Acclaimed Sydney chef Martin Benn of Sepia restaurant will showcase his expertise in blurring the boundaries of conventional cooking in order to create extraordinary new textures and surprising taste sensations.Hello? Science + Food = WE ARE SO THERE. Plus it was being held at Sydney Uni, which is like 5 minutes walk from our house. So I contacted Simon and he was happy for us to have the tickets. We met him Tuesday night at the Great Hall and settled in for the talk.
It was - well - underwhelming. I actually think the content was probably quite good. The problem was that the acoustics in the Hall were terrible, and Prof. This has a thick French accent. Basically, we couldn't understand 90% of what he was saying. He seemed charming though, and very excited. He played around with egg whites and microwaves and liquid nitrogen, and we occasionally chuckled when we could figure out his point. Adam Spencer was the host for the evening, and he gamely tried to "translate" for us whenever he could. My favorite part was Martin Benn's segment on the creation of his famous Japanese stones dessert. A video showed all the preparation for the fillings (which take two days to make!), and then he finished by actually making some of the stones live on stage. Then to our surprise, waiters started filing out into the hall to give us each our own stone to try! Mine had coconut filling, and it was lovely. It reminded me of an ice cream bar, but a lot fancier obviously. Prof. This continued to bop around the stage and expound in his charming, unintelligible way. He seemed to have hundreds of slides on the science of molecular gastronomy, but Adam was mostly able to get him to skip those (since we we were clearly not following much anyway). And then it was over! The main quad had been set up with several stands were you could see experiments and taste more wacky foods, but we were tired and hungry for our actual dinner so we headed home.
I'll definitely be wary of going to events in the Great Hall again!
My good friend (and Catholic priest) Fr. Stephen Koeth has written a lovely post in defense of celebrating Halloween. This time of year I often find myself defending Halloween too, mostly to people who see it as some sort of crass, commercial American export. Fr. Stephen strives to point out the symbolic meaning behind some of Halloween's trappings, and how - despite it's occasional excesses - the holiday isn't necessarily as shallow as some would think.
Now, to head home and start baking treats for all my friends!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
This was our 34th cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals. We'll be going on hiatus for a few weeks due to our annual Halloween party as well as a small trip I'm taking to Victoria. Also, this time of year is just insanely busy... which is why I'm only just now getting around to posting this meal, which we actually made last weekend. Whoops. Anyway, for this one we chose "Meatball Sandwich, Pickled Cabbage, Chopped Salad, and Banana Ice Cream." We chose it because we took a punt the week before and bought bananas, reckoning they'd ripen up in time to use. They did! I was on chef's duty for this one and - though I thought I was speeding along - I clocked in at a disappointing 40:46. It was tasty though.
Substitutions: I actually made a double-batch of the meatballs (simply because I accidentally thawed too much hamburger). Other than that, we followed the recipe pretty much exactly!
Quick verdict: Nothing too challenging or objectionable here! Just a nice simple meal, and probably one that would appeal to kids as well. The sandwich was hearty, but I thought the meatballs were a little bland. The red cabbage really perked up the sandwich though, especially with the chilli and mint. (The recipe makes more than double the slaw actually need. We were eating it all week.) The chopped salad was very good, with the avocado and feta giving it an almost creamy texture. The "ice cream" was a bit of a gimmick, and I'm not sure the coconut added much. We both rated it an 8 out of 10. A pretty good meal, but nothing that really stood out as amazing. You could feed this one to just about anybody though!
Read on for a photo essay of the preparation. [more...]
I only heard about Frocktober right at the start of October. It's basically a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. I figured, what the hell! I'll see how many days I can wear skirts or dresses this month. So I sent in a donation to the campaign and started gettin' mah legs out. Folks, I have worn a skirt FIFTEEN days so far this month! And I've only been wearing each item once, so that's how many skirts and dresses I have in my closet. (There are only a couple left.) WHO KNEW? Those of you on Facebook and Twitter have been seeing the photos each day, but I'll be doing a roundup at the end of the week of all the outfits. This is definitely something I think I'll be officially doing next year, along with some proper fundraising. In the meantime, go donate!
Work's been stressful the past couple of weeks. I've got some new responsibilities, and I've been trying to get a big project off the ground. This has meant some late nights and working lunches. It's made fitting in my workouts more difficult - but boy, have I needed them. On Sunday, the Snook and I did our longest speed workout yet: TEN 400m intervals at race pace with 250m walking recovery. I was dreading it, but we pretty much kicked its ass! Monday I walked to work. Tuesday I went for a 4:1 run/walk at lunchtime and then walked home in the evening. Wednesday I had my first Spudds class in weeks, and it was pretty tough! And Friday I went for a run at lunch with Kunaal and Raj, and I SWEAR TO GOD WE RAN RIGHT PAST RUSSELL CROWE. (But nobody else believes me.) Good week! Sunny weather runs make life worth living.
Oct. 16: 6.81km
Oct. 17: 2.65km (walking)
Oct. 18: 5.17km
Oct. 18: 2.59km (walking)
Oct. 21: 4.66km
Total this week: 16.64km (10.4mi)
Total in 2011: 912.35km (570.2mi)
To meet my original goal of running 1100km in 2011, I should be at 888.5km. Still on track there! But I think the 1200km goal is well and truly gone at this point.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Update: Cancel that, Santa. I just ordered them off Amazon. :)
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Up and down and up again! On Saturday we got up early and headed to Sydney Park. I had heard from a friend on dailymile that some guys are starting up a Parkrun event in Sydney. It's basically a free, weekly, timed 5K run at a set location. It won't officially start til next year, but we joined Paul and Aaron on a test run of the course. The guys were must faster than me but they were great about letting me set the pace. I think we'll definitely be taking part in this one next year!
After the run we walked home (another 4km). I also walked home from Surry Hills that afternoon from my Knitters Guild meeting. We didn't have a long run this week, just a one-mile time trial. I did that on Monday at lunchtime, but I didn't feel very well. I ended up staying home Tuesday with some sort of virus. Wednesday I walked to and from work but skipped the Spudds session as I was still woozy. I wasn't sure if I was up to running on Thursday, but then my new shoes arrived! I had to break them in. They felt SO GREAT. I was such an idiot for not replacing my old ones sooner. I wore them again to walk to work this morning.
Oct. 8: 5km
Oct. 8: 5.69km (walking)
Oct. 10: 2.72km (with 9:48 Magic Mile)
Oct. 12: 5.61km (walking)
Oct. 13: 4.37km
Oct. 14: 2.50km (walking)
Total this week: 12.09km (7.5mi)
Total in 2011: 895.71km (560mi)
To meet my original goal of running 1100km in 2011, I should be at 867km. So I'm still ahead on that one. But my revised goal of running 1200km? I'd need to be at 946km. Yep, still slipping away from me. HOWEVER - last night I mapped out a training schedule for the 2012 Gold Coast Marathon. Training starts December 1st. There's always another goal!
Sidenote: BEST OF LUCK to my Mom and Step-Dad who are running their first half-marathon this weekend! You guys are gonna be AWESOME.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
This was our 33rd cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals. (ARE WE DONE YET? Sheesh.) For this one we chose "Stuffed Cypriot Chicken, Pan-Fried Asparagus & Vine Tomatoes, Cabbage Salad, St. Clement's Drink, and Vanilla Ice Cream Float." We chose it because we had the episode recorded, and it didn't use anything we couldn't get this time of year. HOWEVER - we realised quickly that the book version is very different from the one on the show! It has an extra dish (the "Ice Cream Float") and some of the instructions were different. Very sneaky, that Mr. Oliver! The Snook was on chef's duty and managed it in a respectable 35:43.
Substitutions: We only did a half-recipe of the chicken, and we left out the rosemary sprigs. We also only did 2 flatbreads. We didn't bother with mint for the drink, and we used espresso rather than instant coffee for the dessert. Other than that, everything was as written in the recipe.
Quick verdict: Pretty good! Nothing to complain about here. The chicken did take a bit longer to cook than we expected, but it's visually impressive when you slice it apart. The flavours were all nicely complementary. The cabbage salad was better than I expected, with the onion giving it a welcome bit of bite. The flatbreads fluffed up without catching fire, which was a bonus. (We always seem to have trouble with his "damp greaseproof paper" instructions.) Tomatoes and asparagus are always good, and the drink was fine (if a bit unnecessary). The dessert was basically an affogato, so we both liked that. We both rated it an 8.5 out of 10. It was a nice, tasty meal, but it didn't really have any stand out elements. It sure looks pretty though!
Read on for a photo essay of the preparation. [more...]
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
This was a better week. I really needed that long weekend. We got a lot of stuff done around the house, and I felt more relaxed and ready to tackle the week. On Sunday we did our strength workout with weights at home. (Spudds is on vacation all this week so no classes.) On Monday we went for our four mile "long run" around Glebe and Sydney Uni. Tuesday I walked to and from work, and then I convinced the Snook to go for a run with me that night. Thursday I walked home from work. Today Snookums and I did our speed interval workout before work, and then I walked in to the office.
Oct. 3: 6.72km
Oct. 4: 5.32km (walking)
Oct. 4: 4.2km
Oct. 6: 3.23km (walking)
Oct. 7: 5.84km
Oct. 7: 2.65km (walking)
Total this week: 16.75km (10.5mi)
Total in 2011: 883.62km (552.2mi)
To meet my original goal of running 1100km in 2011, I should be at 846km. So I'm still ahead on that one. But my revised goal of running 1200km? I'd need to be at 923km. I think that one's slipping away from me...
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Such a fantastic couple of days. On Friday I was stressed and zonked out, but now I feel refreshed and invigorated. And we got so much done! Mountains of laundry, shopping (both the normal and Costco), cleaning (including my office, which was chaos), exercising (a run and a weights workout), cooking, selling (Buy our BBQ! Buy my wool!), Halloween planning and inviting, and even filing our taxes! Phew. Nothing makes me feel as relaxed as getting stuff done.
Invitations are being sent out by email. (I hate Facebook events.) So if you expected to get one and you didn't, check your spam folder and let me know.
This was our 32nd cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals. (HA! I just noticed that on the Amazon.com page, it's actually called "Meals in Minutes" in the USA. I guess they've given up on the whole 30 minute aspect over there!) For this one, we chose "Tomato Soup with Chunky Croutons, Crunchy Veg and Guacamole, and Sticky Prune Sponge Puddings." We actually picked this one simply so we could justify buying a fresh ciabatta loaf and using the excess to make French toast. Lucky for us, it turned out to be one of the best meals in the book! I was on chef's duty, and I finished this one in a blistering 28:27. (I should clarify for my fellow Americans that "pudding" in this case doesn't refer to a custard like we tend to think. This is an English "pudding," which is more like a sweet, steamed cake.)
Substitutions: We did half-recipes of the entire meal to avoid leftovers. We used "mini-Roma" tomatoes rather than cherry tomatoes on the vine. We had fresh green beans instead of fennel and left out the breadsticks. Instead of pitted prunes, we had dried ones that we rehydrated in syrup. We used yoghurt instead of creme fraiche. Other than that, everything was as written in the recipe.
Quick verdict: I fully expected this one to boring. I mean, tomato soup? Veggie sticks and dip? Microwave puddings?? And instead it totally blew me away. The soup was way better than anything from a can, and it was very simple to make. The Snook liked that he could taste the flavour of the red chilli without having the heat. The guacamole was so good I went back to the greengrocer to get another avocado to make more today. And the prune puddings were terrific! We both rated it a 9 out of 10. This would be an excellent dinner to make for your vegetarian friends.
Read on for a photo essay of the preparation. [more...]
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
I felt weird this week. I had bad sleep, but I'm not sure if that's a cause or a symptom. Maybe it was the crappy weather and the changing daylight. Maybe it was some added stress at work. Maybe it was just the inevitable comedown after a goal race. At any rate, it was hard to get motivated. On Sunday the Snook and I did our three mile "long run" through Newtown at night. Monday night I went to Spudds where I became the FIRST GIRL EVER to score three back-to-back 100m+/20s on the rower! I did a short walk afterwards to cool down. Tuesday I walked to and from work. Wednesday I did my scheduled 25 minute run and then walked to work afterwards. And on Friday I did speed intervals at lunchtime with my friend Raj.
Sep. 25: 4.85km
Sep. 26: 1.07km (walking)
Sep. 27: 5.01km (walking)
Sep. 28: 3.82km
Sep. 28: 2.51km (walking)
Sep. 30: 4.89km
Total this week: 13.57km (8.5mi)
Total in 2011: 866.86km (541.8mi)
My Galloway class is going well and we've now completed the first two weeks. I was a little worried about my ability to do the speed workout this week: SIX 400m repeats at race pace with 250m walk breaks in between. (We only had to do four last week.) It was difficult, but I made it! I keep trying to focus on running more smoothly and efficiently in these intervals rather than making it an all-out sprint. I think it's working. I can't wait to do a time trial and test my progress...
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