Turkey Trottin’ and Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa

Hi friends! How are you all doing?! I spent my whole vacation on cloud 9 –  I spent 2 straight days with my family, enjoyed the latter half  of my break in Atlanta with Derek’s family.

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving that began with the Turkey Trot 5K that I mentioned earlier in the week. After waking up in the 6 o’clock hour and enjoying a pre-race cup of coffee, my dad, Derek and I ventured out into the 37 degree Florida weather for our Turkey Trot in Fishhawk, a neighborhood near our home.

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We went back and forth on whether or not we should keep our jackets on while we ran. That’s how I know it’s really cold – when Derek and my dad run in long sleeves. In the end, we all decided to be wimps and run with the layers. The run never seemed to warm me up so I’m sure glad I kept my jacket on.

We ran with my dad for about 1.5 miles , and then all met up at the finish line. I didn’t pay much attention to my Garmin, and instead just enjoyed running with Derek and my dad beside me. We are all usually focused on trying to do well in our age group, so this was a nice change to run together.

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We ran mile 1 in 8:48, mile 2 in 8:07 and the last 1.1 mile in 7:54.

It was such a fun race and the turnout was great –  I’d guess about 2,000+ came out! I love seeing races grow from year to year!

After our run, we made our traditional Starbucks stop, and I realized it was my first Starbucks red cup of the holiday season. I’m pretty sure this is pitiful, since this means I haven’t had Starbucks in about a month. What was I thinking???!!!

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We rounded out the morning by decorating the Christmas tree, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, preparing my contribution for Thanksgiving dinner, and attempting to take a successful Christmas card photo.

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My family always celebrates Thanksgiving at my Aunt Suzanne and Tio Frankie’s home, and since they have the Thanksgiving meal perfected, I was asked to bring just an appetizer. I knew I wanted it to be something in the spirit of Thanksgiving, but couldn’t think of a dish for the life of me. That’s where Martha Stewart and Real Simple came into play. I found this recipe on their list of easy Thanksgiving appetizers, and it was definitely a hit at the get together (as much of a hit as an appetizer can be – we all know what we were really there for!)

Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa

1.5 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small

1 large red onion, diced

1 ½ tbsp. olive oil

2 tomatoes, diced

2 avocados, diced

3 tbsp chopped cilantro

Lime juice from 1 lime

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 . Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray, and roast diced sweet and onions tossed in olive oil for 20-25 minutes, or until sweet potato is lightly browned. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.

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Once roasted veggies have cooled, add in tomatoes, avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve with pita chips or toasted baguette.

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I hope you all had as lovely as a Thanksgiving break as I did, and I hope your week is just as great!

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Halfway There!

Ooooh we’re half way there! Ooooh livin’ on a prayer! Obviously Bon Jovi was talking about Wednesdays when he wrote that song. Happy hump day everyone and congratulations on being halfway to the weekend. I’ve got quite the busy day ahead of me so I know it will go by super fast!

On Tuesday I began my day with a Barre class at a Tampa pilates studio. My friend Sara did the class with me (Sara introduced me to barre class several months ago), as did her sweet mom and friend of her mom.

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The pic isn’t blurry, that’s just how we naturally look.

After the class, I tended to the sweet dog clients I’m sitting,photo-81

and went to Starbucks to get some fuel for the day

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Mallor-ey. Close enough.

I won’t bore you with the details of work,  so let’s skip to the evening meal!

I knew I’d be eating dinner with my dad and nephews, so I needed to make a kid/man friendly meal and excessive veggies were out of the question. I made some greek-inspired chicken kebabs with tomato, onion, and zucchini (and just as I suspected, my nephews were successful in avoiding the zucchini). I served the skewers with homemade hummus (will share the recipe ASAP) a large salad, and a cheesy potato concoction my dad cooked on the grill.

Ingredients

1 zucchini, sliced

1/2 of large onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

cherry or grape tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb. large chicken breasts

2 T oregano

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 T olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Wooden Skewers, soaked in water for 15-20 min

Directions

Cut your chicken breasts into small cubes and place in a large freezer bag. Add 1/2 clove of minced garlic, 1 1/2 T oregano, 1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice, 1/2 T olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste to the bag. Seal and shake and let marinate. In another large bag, add sliced zucchini, onion, and tomatoes. Add remaining lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and seasoning. Seal and shake.  Thread your chicken and vegetables onto the skewers in whatever order you like. Grill until completely cooked (took me about 3 minutes per side).

image-146Whoo hoo using my new grill-pad from a LivingSocial impulse buy!

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I was feeding my nephews snacks all before dinner, and I, too, engaged in some hardcore snackage (anyone surprised?). Since I was so proud of my hummus, I went to town on that also. And who could turn down ice cream sundaes with a Wright’s chocolate cake at the bottom? Not this girl. Anywho, I’d imagine my food baby is weighing in at about 6 lb 5 oz.

In other exciting news, my dad and I finally finished Homeland Season 2 last night. If you’ve read the blog for a bit, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about how much I love this show. Derek and I started watching it last fall with my nephew Fuller, and once I completed both seasons, I KNEW my dad would love it too, and I HAD to watch it all the way through with him (in case he had any pressing questions, of course). My dad uttered the words, “please don’t let it be Sal”, several times last night. I agree dad, please don’t let it be Sal!

Snacks on Snacks on Snacks

Sometimes you just have to excite yourself with the little things to get through a case of the Mondays. I started my Monday morning off on the right foot with a delicious breakfast and some Starbucks for good measure.

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I knew it was going to be an extra long day – 10.5 hours total with work and class back to back – so I got my caffeine kick with an extra shot of espresso in my cup o’ joe. I also always get a couple shots of a sugar free syrup, usually hazelnut or cinnamon dolce (anyone else have this delicious 50 cent habit?)

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I got in the following 4-ish mile run on the treadmill…

super sweaty interval run

…and convinced myself doing weights was a bad idea in case I got too sore for my Barre class today (what an excuse-maker)

I’m back on a schedule where it’s necessary to live on snacks all day, and its tragic what I packed for myself

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Had myself some sweet potato chips, almonds, greek yogurt, red pepper slices, jello, an apple, and turkey and cheese roll ups. I got hungry before I thought to snap this pic and chowed down on a banana as well. I know y’all are so jealous of my food.

LUCKILY, Derek had a sweet surprise waiting for me after class

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This ice cream sandwich, ice cream and cool whip mess hit the spot. And then I had no other choice but remain in a horizontal position with these sweet pups the rest of the night

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I’m about to head out the door for a Barre class with my friend Sara. I haven’t been in a few weeks so I’m pretty excited for some tush tightenin’ (did I just say that out loud)?

Friday Friday Gotta Get Down on Friday

So Friday morning began with a power outage (oh, at this point, the rain had stopped and it was sunny out). As I cannot begin my morning without a cup of coffee, I immediately threw on some clothes and went to the nearest Starbucks. Normal protocol for any emergency situation. Since it was so early in the am, other stores were not yet open, so I waited at Starbucks until 8 when Target opened. And thus began my morning errands. After checking off my last task of the day (secure final bridesmaid:check!), I headed home…

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… And spent a couple of hours doing school work. This made me antsy. So I did what any normal person would do – I ran. I laced up my sneaks and went for a 6 miler. I didn’t intend for Friday to be a long run day, but once I got to 4 miles I thought, “Why not make it 5?”.. And then once I got to 5, it was “Well might as well go 6.”.. And when I got to 6, “This must end immediately”. So that’s how my 6 mile run came about.

In the end, I’m pretty pleased at the 6 miler I logged, as I had absolutely no reservations in devouring 4 huge pieces of cake in the wedding cake tasting that Derek and I went to. This is by far my favorite aspect of wedding planning, and I think any sane human with half a sweet-tooth would agree. We had some chocolate cake, some vanilla, some marble cake, with different combinations of hazelnut, mocha cream cheese, hummingbird and almond filling. TALK. ABOUT. MOUTH WATERING.

At dinner time, a group of 8 of us got together and went to Bonefish – I had myself some salmon and we finished the evening with none other than…. YOGURTOLOGY!!! For those of you who haven’t had Yogurtology, I apologize sincerely and advise for you to get to Arizona or Florida immediately and eat some. Yogurtology is famous for their Oatmeal Cookie flavor frozen yogurt, and I’ve yet to find a better tasting ice cream or froyo flavor ANYWHERE. I added some German Chocolate Cake flavor froyo along with a thousand toppings in mine – go big or go home.

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For some extra weekend reading on running, check out this article from FitSugar.. It highlights common running mistakes and how to go about fixing them.. Enjoy your day!