Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Ironman St. George 70.3

 I don't write race reports too often anymore, and if I don't write it immediately, it's not going to happen. So here is my race report for the 2015 St. George Ironman 70.3.


I feel llike I trained for this race. I always wish I trained more, but for the most part I trained well. I was lucky to have a great group of girls to train with. Amanda, Amber, Nicole and Michelle and I trained together often. Mondays and Fridays were our hard training days. We got in lots of bricks. We rode the whole course. We've been swiming in the lake since March. The Southern Utah Tri Club and Salt Lake Tri Club held a training camp 3 weeks out from the race. I felt strong and felt that after that intense weekend of training, my training was on. It also helped that I ran a marathon at the end of February. My endurance was up, my speed was pretty good, and everything on paper felt good with 5-7 hours a week of training. I'm not willing to sacrifice my family life for much more. 

Race Morning

Race morning went well. I got to transition on time (except they tried kicking us out 15 minutes early). T1 was easy to set up since I brought everything the night before. I just had to pull it out my bag, set it up, make sure my nutrition was set and get the wetsuit and go.

I taped Hammer Anti Fatigue and Endurolytes to my top tube. I froze one bottle of purple Gatorade and one bottle of water. I ate Quaker Oat Squares for Breakfast and a squeezable apple sauce right before the swim.  I forgot to grab my anti-fatigue and endurolyte from T1, but luckily amber had extra anti-fatigue.

Here we are as the volunteers are hollering for us to get out of transition 15 minutes early. 

Tri and Run girl (heather Jensen) and I pre race

We took lots of pictures and just hung out since we were the last wave of women to go and didn't go until 7:51. The pros took off at 6:55 so we had alot of time. 

Tom is the nicest husband in the world and drove us to T1 and hung out and made sure we were good. I love that guy!!

The main thing I fretted about was that my period started friday morning. But I just dealt with it and hoped for the best. Darn womanhood!

Swim - 1.2 miles - 41:45 - 2:09/100m

I was satisfied with my swim. I was hoping for closer to 40 minutes and even dreamt of a sub 40 swim. The start buoys were much closer this year. I was able to get in the water, dunk my head and get water in my wetsuit. I swam out the start buoys with fellow tri club member Trudy. We had done one open water swim together and were evenly matched so I was hoping to work together. We went to the outside of the left buoy to avoid the crowds.

The gun went off and off we went. I was not able to keep track of Trudy and pretty much just swam on my own. I tried to draft a bit, but never did find someone to just pull me in. I was comfortable and in a rhythm the whole time. I just swam and felt great.

I don't like the long straight stretch on the backside of the swim. It is neverending orange buoys. The 3 following waves of men didn't bother me too much. If they swam over me, I just made sure to hit or kick them back just as hard.

I did have to stop once to catch a glimpse of a buoy. My goggles had fogged a bit and the sun was bright. I couldn't quite see it and didn't trust just following the swimmers. I stoppped until I saw it and then carried on. I just tried to remind myself to rotate, reach, and keep my elbows high. I'm not a great swimmer, so anytime I finish in the middle of the pack, I'm happy.

I ended up finishing the swim in 53rd in age group and 304th women. Just about the middle. And my Garmin read 1.28 miles. My time was was 45 seconds faster than last year but 1.5 minutes slower than 2013.

T1 - 3:50
Compared to last year's 5:10, (2013 was 3:13) I was ectstatic. There is a run up out of the lake to wetsuit strippers. I selected a strong looking one. He worked on my left arm with my watch as I took off my right arm. We got them off and I sat down, and he just pulled off the wetsuit. I grabbed my stuff and ran the long way into transition and found my bike.

I dried my feet, put on socks and shoes, helmet and sunglasses, stuffed 2 monster cookies in my mouth and grabbed my bike off the rack. I think I had a crappy position in transition. I had a long way to run with my bike to the mount line, but just hustled through.

I just have to focus in transition. It's so easy to lose a lot of time just dilly dallying.

Bike -56 miles - 2:53:49 - 19.33 mph

I like the bike. I feel I'm fairly strong on the bike. I'm a decent climber. I don't have a tri bike so I knew I'd lose a little to those with them on flats and descents. But the advanatge of being a middle of the pack swimmers in the final wave of women, means there are alot of women ahead of me to pass. So that's what I worked on. Just nice and steady on the bike and try to save some legs for the run

The bike starts off with a little climb and then a decent climb called nemesis. I tried to pass lots and not be passed. I think in the end, only 1 woman passed me and she was on a relay and qualified for Kona, so I'm ok with that. I was back and forth with 2 other women, but in the end, I think I stayed ahead of them.

Loved riding through my hometown. Saw my family and lots of friends. Love my town!!

The bike is just a lot of up and down. I just muscled up the climbs and tried to speed down the descents and aero through the flats.

I took extra water at mile 10, mile 25 and a gatorade at the base of snow canyon. I swigged and threw the bottles. I tried to remember to take an anti-fatigue and endurolyte about every 10-15 miles. I ate 2 honey stinger gels and ended up only getting one clif shot blok before I dropped them. I also took 3 ibuprofen when my left glute started hurting. I tried to drink from my bottles often, but just a sip at a time.

The hardest part of the ride comes at mile 40 - Snow Canyon. 4 miles of steep climbing on tired legs. And to make things harder, the course was changed (not for the better in my opinion). They added a trail section up snow canyon for about 1.5 miles, decending for 3/4 mile, making a u-turn and climbing all the way to the top. The trail was very congested which made it hard to pass and sketchy. I almost crashed/caused a number or crashes  Oops! The descent was equally congested. Once the climb began, it thinned out.

The climb is always tough, the climb on tired legs is tougher! But I just did my best to muscle up. My average to this point in the ride was right around 20.4 mph, the 5-mile section that included the trail and all but the last mile of the climb took me 22 minutes or 13.5 mph. Ouch! and that didn't even include the final and steepest mile of the canyon. The next 5 mile section that included the last mile of climbing and 4 miles of descent, I averaged 15.8.

Luckily the last 10 miles of the ride are downhill. Hallelujah!! I averaged over 19 for the last 13 (which included 2 miles of climbing). My fastest 5 miles split came at mile 50-55 and I had an average of 29.4 mph. And I got to see my family 1 mile from  T2. I sure love them!!  I was ready to be off the bike but didn't really want to think about running 13.1 miles next. ugh!!

My goal for the bike was 2:50, but I'm satisfied. I moved up from 53rd to 15th in my age group and from 304th women to 118th. I'll take it. My time was 3 minutes faster than last year, but 1 minute slower than 2013. Garmin read 55.94 miles.

T2 - 1:41
I'm happy with this. It could still be faster. I unbuckled my shoes on the bike, and was able to slip my feet out of them at the dismount line. I hustled in (again a less than ideal transition rack) to the 4th from last rack. Threw my bike on the rack and dumped my bag. I slipped on my shoes with Yankz, grabbed my nutrition and stuffed it in my back pocket,and  grabbed a tampon from my bike bag. BOO!!

I hustled out of transition and straight to the porta potty to take care of woman business. I opened the door on a man and went to another porta potty. I'm pretty sure the porta potties were officially part of the run not T1 but who knows.

Compared to 2014 and 2015, 1 minute faster but that may be just because the porta potties were after the timing mat.

Run - 13.1 miles - 1:55:46 - 8:50/miles

So with my swim being one of the last waves and it forcasted to be a hot day, I knew the run was going to be HOT! and it was. The run starts with 3 miles of uphill, 2 of gradual and 1 of very steep. My strategy was to just get through these 3 running and then work on speeding up, up on top and then laying the hammer down for the final 3 of downhill. Strategies don't always work out though.

I was able to run the first three miles minus the quick second I had to stop to tighten the Yankz. I did walk through many of the aid stations, but didn't walk any of the run otherwise. I saw my family again at mile 1. Love them! I grabbed coke and dumped ice in the bra and drank water at mile 1. I just mucscled through those first 3 miles and did pass quite a few. I was tempted to walk the 3rd mile up the hill but when I saw that I was passing the walkers, I decided to muscle through it even though I was moving at a snail's pace.

The aid stations were approximately every mile except when they didn't have one between mile 4 and mile 6.5. That was a hot stretch. I pretty much drank coke and red bull at every aid station and maybe a sip of water as well. I dumped water on the head often and ice in the bra.  I also ate 1 honey stinger gel and took 2 or 3 anti-fatigue and endurolytes. I probably could have had a few more calories or maybe I should have eaten more on the bike.

My plan was muscle through the first 3, try to run the next 7 at around 8:15 average and fly down the last 3 at sub 8. My goal time was 1:50. I was doing alright, but just not quite hitting those paces. I was giving it all I had and never bonked, but just didn't quite have the speed.

Splits were:
1 - 9:22 (included bathroom)
2 - 8:47
3 - 10:21 (killer hill)
4 - 8:49
5 - 7:48
6 - 8:02
7 - 9:16
8 - 8:53
9 - 10:10 (another hill - the opposite side of mile 5)
10 - 9:22
11 - 8:24
12 - 7:54
13 - 7:46
.1 - 6:12

I think only 2 maybe 3 girls passed me on the run. 1 girl was a girl I had ridden with at the SUTC/SLTC training camp, Keshia Sawyer. She was younger than me so I knew she had a 3 minute headstart on me. We were back and forth a bit between mile 3.5 and 6.5, but after the turn around she passed me for good. My goal was to keep her within 3 minutes me. There is an out and back at mile 7ish. I saw she wasn't too far ahead of me. In the end I did end up ahead of her for the whole race by 20 seconds. I'm glad I had a rabbit to chase. I need motivation like that.

It was nice to have alot of Southern Utah love out on the course. Booyah's to all the fellow SUTC racers and lots of love from the crowds and volunteers. We do have an absolute amazing community!

So I basically struggled through the rollers of mile 7-10. It was hot and my glute was definitely hurting. I gave it all I had but didn't quite have enough. I was able to pick up the pace on the last 3 like I wanted, but it just wasn't enough to hit my goal of 1:50 (or 5:30 overall). But I'm satisfied. I was 5 minutes slower than last year but the course was a little short last year.  Garmin said 13.10 miles on the dot this year. 

Total Time - 5:36:51
Good enough for 11th in age group, 92nd woman and 527th overall. I'll take it. I trained hard, raced hard, and left it all out there. I most definitely could not have done it without the support of my amazing hubby Tom and the kids. I also could not have doen it without my training partners. I love those girls so much!

Post Race
Amber farmer and I post race

Amanda Jocelyn and I post race 

After the race I enjoyed hanging out and talking to my peeps. My friend Ashley Paulsen took 2nd overall amateur and was crazy fast. And to think I was friends with her before she was quite so fast. She's always been a fast runner, but her bike is equally amazing now!!

We watched the pros receive their awards and even got a photo op with the  female champion Heather Wurtele. She's so down to earth and fast. I rubbed shoulders with her too back in 2011 when she lived here part time to train. I still remember the bbq we had and invited her and Trevor to and they came and were so awesome. 

Post post race
Super sore and super exhausted in Sunday. I don't think I've ever been this sore after a 70.3. And I broke out in a cold sore, so I definitely know I gave it all I had. 

What I Wore
I wore my Sugoi SUTC tri kit. Loved wearing the local gear but I did chafe a little under the arms. 

2XU V2 wetsuit. I love this wetsuit. Fits well and it's got to have a positive effect on my swimming because I can't swim nearly as fast in a pool. 

Aquasphere Kayenne goggles. Little fogging issue, but I did forget to spit in them. Super comfy on the eyes.  

I rode my Focus Izalco. It's my trusty steed. I use clip on aero bars. 

I rode in Sidi T2s. Nice but they did rub my left ankle a little bit. But once I pulled my sock up they were fine. 

I ran in Mizuno Sayonaras. Love them. They are my favorite race shoe right now. 

I used Yankz. 

I loved my Fits merino wool socks. Super comfy and even felt good with wet feet from dumping so much water. 

So there you go - more than you'd ever want to know about my St. George Ironman 70.3 experience. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Every once in a while, I make something I love enough to blog immediately. Which is a big deal considering how little I blog, or cook for that matter, lately. 

I needed a salad to take to the church camp out tonight and wanted something a little unique, not potato or green, and obviously delicious. I browsed Pinterest for pasta salad ideas and narrowed it down to a chicken Caesar pasta salad or a buffalo chicken pasta salad. Hubby voted buffalo chicken so I started here ( as always took lots of liberties and made it my own. 

The dear hubby hates celery, so right off the bat I decided to omit the classic buffalo chicken veggie and I happened to replace it with green pepper because I had 4 giant ones sitting in my veggie drawer. Then I decided it needed more veggies and more color so I added more veggies based on what I had - tomatoes, olives, green onion, and of course the classic carrot. I also think it would be good with cucumber or basically any vegetable you like or have.  

I wanted the chicken to have more of a buffalo flavor so I soaked it in the buffalo sauce before putting it on the salad. I also used my home canned chicken because it's simple and handy. Leftover rotisserie, breaded or simply cooked chicken breast would be equally delicious. 

I also used ranch instead ofblue cheese dressing because I always have it on hand and decided lots of blue cheese crumbles would have a better effect. If I had blue cheese dressing I would just as well have used it. 

I opted for frank's red hot wing buffalo sauce. 

I had a jar of the classic franks red hot but wanted a true buffalo flavor. I don't actually know the difference and couldn't tell much when I tasted them side by side. The heat level can be controlled with the amount of buffalo sauce. I made mine on the medium side- too spicy for most of my kids and not spicy enough for Tom and I. Frank's also has a hot buffalo sauce. That might be the choice for spicy lovers without too much vinegar flavor. 

I'm super happy with how the salad turned out. Maybe it's because I'm super hungry right now. And the true test will be how it fares at the camp out tonight. 

Buffalo chicken pasta salad 

One box of pasta, cooked al dente
3/4-1 cup each -green onions, olives (1 can, halved), carrots, green pepper, tomatoes, blue cheese
2 cups of cooked chicken soaked in buffalo sauce (canned, breaded, breasts)
One Cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
1/4 plus cup buffalo sauce to taste
More blue cheese to top

Cook and cool the pasta. Prepare veggies and cheese crumbles and set aside. Mix chicken with buffalo sauce to taste. Start small and add more. Mix dressing with an additional 1/4 c or so buffalo sauce. Combine pasta with veggies, cheese and chicken. Mix in dressing. Top with more cheese. Serve nice and cold. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ironman 70.3 St. George 2014

I haven't written a race report in a long time, but decided I wanted a record of Saturday's race even though it wasn't a PR or even an extraordinarily strong race that I was prepared for.

The day before the race, Tom was able to take most of the day off. We enjoyed a tri club breakfast, picking up our packets and enjoying the expo with Millie. Great way to get ourselves psyched up for the race.

The morning of the race didn't quite run as smoothly. We thought we had worked out everything perfectly (sitter, ride to the start, and everything). We left in what we thought was plenty of time to get to the start without having to go all the way into St. George for the shuttle, but we failed to realize the traffic getting into Sand Hollow. In year's past, we've taken the back road in and had no problems, we all forgot this year and hit a major backup.  It took us over a half hour to get to the entrance to the park which is still almost a half mile from transition. Karrie, Tom and I booked it as fast as our legs would go up the hill to transition. Tom and I barely made it into transition before it closed.  Karrie did not make it and had to jump the fence and she was in the first wave of swimmers. I think she barely made it. We made it in plenty of time since our waves were 30 minutes after the first, but I didn't have time to go pee, forgot to take my salt pills and anti fatigue pills, and forgot to grab a bite to eat.

Swim, 1.2 miles, 42:12
The swim waves are 3 minutes apart. After the gun went off for the previous wave, I had 3 minutes to swim the 100-200 yards out to the start line. I didn't make it, and found out after, many people didn't make it. I figure that added at least 1 minute to my time. The water felt great and not cold. I was able to get in a groove quickly and never panicked. I was only mildly annoyed when I hit the first corner at the same time that the fast swimmers from the next wave did and was kicked and jostled a bit. Still didn't panic, just got annoyed. The swim was a 3 parts of a rectangle. After the first turn was a really long stretch that never seemed to end.  Every time I got to a buoy I prayed it was a red buoy indicating the final turn, but they kept being orange. My lower back started aching really bad about half way. I just kept going and did finally resort to less kicking after the last turn for a bit of relief (which is hard to do for me because most my momentum comes from my kick not my stroke). I was satisfied with my swim considering how little I swam this winter (maybe 10 times all winter with 2 times in the pool swimming 1.2 miles and 3 times in the lake swimming 1/2 mile - 1 mile). I was 2 minutes slower than last year and finished 304 out of 588 women.

T1, 5:10
I suck at transitions. I took my time making sure I had food since I didn't eat before the swim. Ate a waffle, put food in my pocket and bag (I should have had the food already in my bag, but was too rushed before the race to remember), and grabbed a drink. Stuffed everything in my gear bag and took off. I definitely need to improve on my transitions.

Bike, 56 miles, 2:55:26
I was 3 minutes slower than last year, but considering my lack of training again, I am completely satisfied. I hadn't ridden more than 40 miles since November. I did feel confident on Snow Canyon since both times I ridden it this spring, I did it twice in a row. The ride was a tad harder than last year with a little extra hill right out of the gate. Not sure if it really made a difference, but mentally it did to me. It was fun to see Alex and Cherie out on the course photographing. He's pretty amazing. I felt good up nemesis. 3 men passed me, but I passed 2 of them back before the top and no women passed me on the climb. Obviously, many men passed me on the bike as a whole, but only 1 woman passed me the entire ride. My goal was to not let Tom catch me until Snow Canyon at mile 40 (last year I held him off until mile 2 of the run, but I had a 6 minute head start and this year just had 3 minutes). He caught me on Snow Canyon Parkway a few miles before the climb. I was mad, but happy he was having a good day. I knew his swim had greatly improved. I kept him in my sights until the climb. Snow Canyon is always harder on race day than I expect. Tired legs, a little bit of dehydration, and the heat were all factors this year. I did  good job at taking salt pills and anti-fatigue, but only drank probably 24-30 oz total on the whole ride. Oops!  I ate the waffle at the start of the ride and one honey stinger gel. I probably should have consumed double the calories and fluid that I did. I just muscled through the climb and got through it thanks to the Booyah! Foundation. The Booyah! Foundation is a non-profit started in honor of fellow triathlete Braydon Nielson who was tragically killed less than a year ago while on a training ride. His attitude and smile were infectious and he always made every race better. He wasn't the fastest out there (in fact he didn't quite make the bike cut off in 2013) but he was definitely the most excited and determined one out there. He will be forever missed but never forgotten. The Booyah! Foundation made posters of Braydon with some of his inspirational quotes to help everyone up the climb. And they did. Seeing his smile and hearing his words encouraging me up the climb, did the trick. It may have reduced me to tears, but helped me muscle through the pain. My hamstring started hurting pretty bad on the ride and I was worried how it would feel on the run. Luckily, the back pain from the swim didn't bother me. I'm sure the 2 are related. At the end of the ride, I moved up to 139th women.

T2, 3:29
I had forgotten to pee in the lake and wasn't going to stop on the bike and I'm not quite hardcore enough to do it on the bike, so I really had to go now. I will attribute some of my slowness to the potty stop out of transition. I also forgot to grab my anti fatigue pills, but luckily had the 2 I forgot to take in the morning in my pocket. I at half a waffle on the way out. I'm glad I put my Yankz! in my shoes.

Run, 13.1 miles, 1:50:18
I knew the run was going to be hard. It was over 90 degrees, the course is super hilly and it just sucks. My goal was to keep it under 2 hours. I would need to maintain a 9 minute pace. So I knew I would have to sub 9 on the flats, way under 9 on the downs and just get through the climbs. The first 3 miles are uphill. A gradual climb for 2 followed by a steep climb for 1. I was tired, but was sub 9 for the first mile, right at 9 for the second and over 10 for the 3rd. but I was still on track. I didn't walk any climbs, but did walk all the aid stations. I got coke and perform and water at most and dumped ice down the bra. Took an anti-fatigue at the beginning and halfway. Took salt maybe 4 times thoughout. I knew once I got to mile 3, the hardest part was over.

There were still rollers throughout, but the big climb was done and the last 3 miles are downhill. The coolest part about the race was Booyah attitude. The Souhern Utah Tri Club was well represented and anytime we passed one another, we yelled Booyah! to eachother. It was so awesome and made an impact on the other runners. I had a guy tell me that was the coolest thing that we all encouraged each other the whole race. I don't even know half the tri club, but If I saw a jersey, I yelled. I was able to maintain about a 9 minute pace through out. I was a little faster on flats and downs and right around 9 on most climbs or a little over on big climbs. Once I hit the top of the last climb, I knew I had 3 miles of downhill and I just needed to give it all I had. I averaged 7:30 over the last 3 miles. I was happy and felt pretty good. Hamstring was hurting but holding out. Angel, Treasa, Shannon and other random people yelling my name really helped.

Running down the homestretch was awesome. I just gunned it and yelled Booyah! a million times to get the crowd going. Plus T was there and mom and sister. I ended up 110th women by the end of the day and 17 in my division. My run split was 2 minutes faster, but the course was a little short so I was probably about the same.

The finish line was great and seeing all my peeps was great. Everyone did amazing and I am so happy to be part of such an amazing community.

Heather did the 70.3 after being diagnosed with strep and a sinus infection on Thursday and still killed it. Super proud of this girl.

Monica biked a relay after a tough couple of years with back issues. Proud of her and can't wait to do Lotoja with her next year.
Amber is amazing as always. Hurt her back a few months ago so couldn't do the whole thing as planned, but found a relay and killed the run and looked dang hot!
And of course, I couldn't imagine doing this with anyone else other than the most amazing man in the world. He is my rock and I love him to bits! I love training with him and having his encouragement and I love the he is amazing! He PR'd on this course by 8 minutes. He improved his swim by 3 minutes, his run by 5 for a finish time of 5:12:06

Ironman 70.3 St. George, 5:36:35, 110th women, 17th division.
I was less than 2 minutes slower than last year and considering everything I am completely satisfied. As always, next year I will train more ;) 5 extra pounds didn't help. Nor did slight dehydration and being under-trained.

Next up Zermatt Ultra and a 3:18 at the St. George Marathon. Dedicated training starts NOW!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pear Crisp for the "Clean" Eater

I've been making a real effort to eat a lot cleaner. I am trying to cut most processed food in general. I'm trying to eat almost no white flour. And I'm doing my best to cut out processed sugar. It's all hard, but we take baby steps as a family. 

I am making a real effort to just not buy the junky processed food at the store. Very few boxes, frozen dinners, and canned food make it in the house these days.  We've switched to Annie's organic Mac and cheese. I skip the frozen dinner aisle at Costco. I make my own spaghetti sauce. I only buy bread with basic ingredients (luckily Costco carries a great whole wheat bread without all the junk for only $3 a loaf). And I actually try to make my own bread more often than buying it. Daisy sour cream (truly just cultured cream) instead of western family with its unpronounceable ingredient list. Plain yogurt that we sweeten at home with fruit and honey. It costs a little more but I know it's the best choice for my family. 

And I'm far from perfect. I still splurge on Lin Lin potstickers, the occasional frozen pizza for the kids, and I have a hard time giving up cold cereal (I do only buy cereal where the first ingredient is whole grain and not corn). I know I have a long way to go, but like I said baby steps. 

Eating whole grains is fairly easy for us. The kids do get excited if they get to eat a sandwich on white bread. And I do love white flour tortillas. And if I'm making Kalua pig and panipopo, you better believe I'm making those rolls with all white flour.  But for the most part, whole grains are the easy part for us. 

Sugar on the other hand, not so easy. I'm kind of torn on this subject. If I'm making a delicious dessert and splurging, why not just use good old a fashioned processed white sugar? I bought the organic raw sugar and tried it, but really it's still sugar, its still processed and it still has zero nutritional value so why waste my money? We've omitted fake maple syrup from our diet. I use honey to sweeten many things. So in general we eat less sugar, but I'm still not all on the no sugar train. 

But I'm still looking for ways to cut back but still be able to satisfy my many many sweet teeth I have. So tonight I had a fridge full of ripe pears that needed using, and I thought I would try a naturally sweetened pear crisp with all clean ingredients. And I think the result turned out fabulously. 

The pears were so naturally sweet and juicy, the crisp was exactly what a good crisp is supposed to be - crispy, lightly sweet and a perfect compliment to the hot, juicy pears. I think this recipe is a definite keeper. But I'd love to hear what you think. 

Pear Crisp the Clean Way

6 c peeled ripe sliced pears (home canned would also work as long as they were canned in juice or super super light syrup. I make mine with a 10% sugar solution and I figure that would be ok, but fresh is obviously better).

2 T lemon juice
2 T apple juice concentrate (basically sugar, but I figure its better than just putting in table sugar)

1 1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 cube cold butter, cut in cubes
1/4-1/2 c honey
1 t cinnamon 
1/2 c unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
1/2 c pecans 

Combine filling ingredients in a bowl and pour into a 2 qt baking dish. 

For topping combine oats, flour, cinnamon and butter in food processor or mix with pastry cutter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add in honey and combine until clumpy but not too sticky. Mix in pecans and coconut if desired. Mixture should be moist but not like a batter. This is where you need to watch the honey. Drop over filling to cover but don't press down. 

Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Pears should be bubbly and crisp should be brown and crispy. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lime Basil Chicken Salad

I had an abundance of fresh basil growing in my garden and was in the mood for a fast, fresh meal. The Lime Basil Chicken Salad hit the spot. 

I found the recipe for the chicken on Pinterest and was deciding how to serve it. When I looked in my fridge and noticed all the garden fresh produce, I knew a salad would compliment it perfectly. 

I marinated the chicken for a few hours, grilled it, sliced it, mixed it with the basil dressing And put on top a bed of fresh greens, cucumber and tomato (avocado would have been splendid addition). I topped the whole thing with a roasted tomatillo ranch dressing (which in itself was divine).

Lime Basil Chicken Salad

  • 3 Limes (juice and zest) Divided
  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 T Dijon Mustard
  • 3 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 T Soy Sauce
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced, Divided
  • 3 T Chopped Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 lbs Chicken Breasts

  1. Combine the zest and juice of 2 limes, Olive Oil, Mustard, Worcestershire, Soy, 2 garlic cloves salt and pepper in a gallon ziplock. 
  2. Cut chicken into even cutlets and place in a gallon sized baggie.
  3. Mix marinade and chicken, squeeze out all air and seal. Let marinate 1-8 hours. 
  4. Preheat grill.
  5. Place chicken on grill and grill for 7 minutes.
  6. Then flip and cook until internal temp reaches 165.
  7. Remove from grill and let meat rest.
  8. Meanwhile combine juice and zest of one lime with extra virgin olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, basil.
  9. Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces and pour sauce over top.
  10. Serve atop a fresh bed of greens and other garden veggies for the world's greatest summer salad. 

Roasted Tomatillo Ranch
2 parts Daisy sour cream, 
2 parts buttermilk,
1 part mayonnaise, 
2 tablespoons of my homemade ranch mix ( parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper) 
2 roasted tomatillos. 

Combine everything in a small food chopper and blend until smooth. 

The chicken was simply awesome-moist and flavorful. The fresh salad was crunchy and great. And the creamy dressing just put it all together.  I will definitely be making this again and again.

Original recipe for the chicken can be found at

Friday, June 14, 2013

Crispy Pinto Bean Tacos

It's been a long time since I've blogged and even longer since I've posted a recipe. Other modes of social media are so much easier, but tonight's dinner is worth the effort. 

I pinned a similar recipe and adapted to fit my needs. It was a hit with the family. Simple to make, easy to adapt and utterly delicious. 

Crispy Pinto Bean Tacos

2 cans pinto beans (or black beans)
2 t ground cumin
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 T chopped cilantro
Grated cheese of choice
1 dozen corn tortillas (costco's uncooked tortillas are awesome)
Lettuce, avocado, salsa, sour cream and limes

Combine beans, spices, onion and cilantro. Smash beans a bit but leave many beans whole. Cook tortillas on dry skillet if using uncooked tortillas. Heat cast iron skillet with 2 T oil. Place cooked tortilla on pan, flip. Fill with a scoop of bean mixture and a bit of cheese. Fold in half and flatten with spatula. Cook on each side for a couple minutes until tortilla is crispy and golden. Depending on size of pan, cook 2-4 tacos at a time. 

Serve with lettuce, avocado, salsa, sour cream and fresh lime. This recipe is a definite keeper. 

Original recipe can be found at

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring Headbands

I'm offering a Spring special on my no-slip headbands. I've got some great unique prints to help you run cute.

Click here to check out what I have to offer.

Just a sample of my new prints