On a cold and windy day a few weeks back I did my first in person race in a little over 3 years. Prior to COVID I had planned on running my 5th full marathon in 2020. The world had other ideas and that race was moved virtually with the option to postpone it for the next few years. I had initially planned on running CIM 2022 but missed the deadline to use my voucher. Instead I thought I’d tackle a new race distance and challenge. Previously I had looked into the Clarksburg Country Run back when they had a 20 mile option. I looked and saw this year they had a 30K which is 18.6 miles. I figured this would still be a good distance to challenge myself (after having done tons of half marathons and knowing that distance).
Much of this year’s running has been done on the treadmill, a combination of not wanting to run in the heat but also just me not wanting to get outside like I used to. Nevertheless I created my own training guide and tried to follow it as closely as possible.
Packet pickup at the Fleet Feet Store was no frills and I picked up my bib and shirt the day before (no swag bag or other goodies and I didn’t feel like browsing the store). I was in and out in under a minute.
Race morning turned out to be quite cold but super windy. Temperature when I arrived was around 42F. I don’t particularly mind the cold but the wind is what turned out to be something to reckon with. Parking was about half a mile away at The Old Sugar Mill – which houses multiple wineries in one area. I had actually visited this many years back with my MIL and did wine tastings.
After the chilly walk to the start/finish area (a local high school), I visited the portapotties and then dropped off my sweatshirt/pants at the sweat check and waited for the start. I feel like at most races I’ve run, people start getting into the start area well before the start. This one seemed a little less urgent. The 30K was the first to kick off at 8 am and people were just milling about until about 5 minutes before race start. Finally we all gathered behind the timing mats but again people didn’t seem all that keen to be up near the front. There were only 148 of us doing the longest distance (other race distances were half marathon, 10K, and 5K) so I ended up pretty close to the start line (even though I knew I would probably be one of the slower participants).
I’ve done lasagna a handful of times now and everytime I do things a little bit differently. I’ve tried it with my homemade dough, traditional dried pasta as well as the oven ready (no boil) noodles. Overall I think I still like the traditional pasta that you boil first. This time I decided to jazz up the recipe a bit with some sauteed mushrooms along with italian sausage and I have enjoyed this one the best.
Ingredients for sauce
28 ounce Cento San Marzano peeled tomatoes
Dried oregano / Dried Basil
Rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Directions for sauce
Sauté dieced garlic in the olive oil in a pot
Add in the tomatoes (crush whole tomatoes with hands), tomato paste, oregano, basil, rind of parmigiano, bay leaf, salt.
Simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours.
Ingredients for lasagna
Sauce from above
1 box of traditional dried lasagna noodles
Whole milk mozzarella cheese
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (put in a food processor to make into crumbles for spreading – easier than trying to grate or slice).
Mild italian sausage (can also use ground beef, pork, chicken, etc)
Directions for lasagna
Sauté slice mushrooms until soft and tender, add salt for flavoring
Cook sausage (remove from casing and crumble) in some olive oil
Cook pasta (follow directions) and then lay out on a oiled cookie pan to prevent from sticking to one another
Add a layer of sauce to bottom of casserole dish to help prevent sticking
Add layer of pasta
Can create layers as desired – I did mushrooms with sauce and cheese (mozz/parmigiano/ricotta as dollops), then another layer of noodle, then a layer with sausage and sauce/cheese.
Repeat a few more times (depends on amount of pasta and sauce you have)
Top layer: Add sauce and then cheese layer
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 F for 30-40 minutes, then uncover and bake additional 15 minutes.
I’m terrible about posting. I realized that I do need to be more diligent about it because I use this as my reference for how to make stuff. I decided to make some enchiladas again. I couldn’t remember how I did it the last time because it had been so long ago. I like making the sauce because then I control the amount of sodium in it. I have used some of the store bought sauces and they are typically salt bombs. The sauce is actually quite easy to make. I’ve got both the sauce recipe as well as the actual enchilada recipe below. We like flour tortillas (I know traditionally it is corn) so for this one I made flour tortillas to go into it.
~ 1 lb tomatillos
1 medium yellow onion
1 anaheim pepper
2 jalapeno peppers
Cumin (~1 Tbsp)
Mexican oregano (~2 tsp)
Salt (~ 1 tsp)
Black pepper (~ 1 tsp)
Handful of cilantro (I forgot this when I made it)
Peel and wash the tomatillos and cut the onion into quarters and simmered in water for 10-15 minutes.
Toasted the anaheim pepper on stove flame
Add tomatillos, onion, and ~3/4 cup of water to blender
Add remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until desired thickness/consistency
It’s been awhile. That’s kind of the theme for this place, not that anyone is really paying attention. In the end I like having this as a record of my baking/cooking and traveling adventures and to look back on for recipes that have worked (don’t usually publish things that don’t work because why keep that). The other night I decided to try my hand at some brownies. Aside from cookies and banana bread, I don’t do much in the way of sweets baking. D isn’t a huge cake person so haven’t really had a desire to do that. I am not opposed to pies though just haven’t got around to attempting anything. So brownies it was. I looked up a few different recipes and of course looked to Ina Garten since she has some good recipes (especially booze ones). I then kind of modified it to my own. D wanted to incorporate some peanut butter into it. I was initially going to do a PB swirl type thing but then elected to just use the peanut butter chips I had.
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
3.5 ounce dark chocolate (had a bar of some random Russian chocolate)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
~1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/4 AP flour
1 packet (~ 1 Tbsp?) of instant coffee
Using a bain marie (I did a makeshift one with a small pot with simmering water and a metal bowl on top), I melted the chocolate and the dark chocolate bar.
I then mixed in the cocoa powder (probably could have added more as the final product didn’t come out as chocolatey as I was hoping).
In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, vanilla, eggs and instant coffee
In 3rd bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder
After letting the chocolate mixture cool some, mix into the sugar/vanilla/egg mixture.
Coat some peanut butter and chocolate chips in flour
Fold in the flour mixture to the wet mixture from step #5. Then add in the chips.
Poured the final mixture onto parchment paper in a 8 by 8 pyrex pan
Baked at 350 F for about 30-35 minutes (until a toothpick came out clean)
Let sit on rack for 30 minutes and wait until cooled to cut.
Overall it came out pretty good. A bit more cake like than fudge like. As stated above, could use more cocoa powder. Overall a pretty simple recipe.
So I decided to try a new pizza dough recipe. This was made mostly out of necessity since I hadn’t made the dough the night ahead. I have been using the overnight slow no-knead method for years and it produces a night sour-like dough that D likes. I also haven’t used my new stand mixer for pizza dough and figured this would be a good time to try it out. I tweaked the original recipe a little. I had seen this recipe on one of my FB groups and it looked good – it’s a Martha Stewart recipe (https://www.marthastewart.com/332275/basic-pizza-dough).
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
(eyeballed) 1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
4 cups AP flour
1.5 cups of warm water
In the bowl I added the warm water with the sugar and yeast and let it bloom for about 5 minutes.
To the bowl I then added the AP flour, salt and olive oil.
Using my stand mixer, I mixed the dough for ~10 minutes (on the low or #2 setting)
This produced a cohesive smooth dough that I placed in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled (~1.5-2 hours) – this was a very active dough that more than doubled
I punched the dough down and then divided it into 4 equal pieces and formed 2 into balls for the pizza (I saved the other half to make bread another day).
After about 2-3 hours I formed the pizza into a large disc for baking.
What I liked about this recipe is that it provided for a dough with good strength to it when working it. The one I had been making was a little more delicate and harder to stretch into a nice round shape like the above. Overall I thought it was a little light on salt and didn’t create the same depth of flavor as the overnight dough but it works if you have less time.