Seasonal Eats

Another week and I’ve been MIA. I know, I know. It was the last full week of class this week and finals are impending as I mentioned earlier this week.

4 exams, 1 35-page paper before December 16th. What was I thinking? I am way too easily swept up in the excitement of classes that sound interesting and/or are with great professors. The good news is that only 2 of my exams utilize “black letter law” which is good for this theory loving girl.

But for the record, I feel a bit like this right now:

Alert, anxious and rifling through paper.

So, as I mentioned it was a busy week but I did manage to cook a delicious dinner this week. Unfortunately, I did not come up with the recipe myself. Can’t win them all.

I made Pumpkin Mac and Cheese and it was everything I wanted and more. I love those dinners that you can make in a casserole dish and then eat out of for meals. Yes, this means I ate pumpkin mac and cheese three times this week. Don’t judge. I foresee this happening more than once in the next few weeks.

This was also my first time using pumpkin, rather than just laying on them. I KNOW, I KNOW. All healthy living bloggers, whatever that is, are OMGSOOBSESSED with pumpkin. I have decided that I like pumpkin in certain contexts. For example, I for sure like pumpkin topped with whipped cream or with carbs and cheese. I still have 3/4 of a can chilling in my fridge so I need to figure out what to do with that. If you have any suggestions for a 3/4 can of pumpkin let me know by dropping a comment!

In other news, Thanksgiving is next week and Kaitlin is hosting! I am so excited to have thanksgiving with Kaitlin. She’s a food blogger so I know it’s going to be good eating plus lots of wine and I’m clearly going to need a break at that point. I’ve decided to make Eat, Live, Run’s caramelized Brussels sprouts because, as we know, I love Brussels sprouts. I also plan to make my eggplant dip. Any by “my” I mean “my mother’s” and by “my mother’s” I really mean “Barefoot’s”. I’ve never blogged the recipe so you can look forward to that next week!

Finally, I have Tavern news!

My favorite restaurant has opened another outpost in Beverly Hills. I haven’t been yet since I live walking distance from the original but if you’re in that hood make sure to check it out!

Go get yourself a treat. You earned it.

Also, I found Suzanna Goin’s (the chef/owner of Tavern) Brussels sprouts recipe which is on the Tavern Thanksgiving menu: Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Balsamic, and Breadcrumbs. Oh yes. I debated making it for Thursday but there are going to be many veggies at Kaitlin’s thanksgiving and I want to be accommodating. I debated bastardizing the recipe by switching out the veal stock and pancetta but doing that just didn’t sit right with me.

But! I encourage you to make it and let’s face it. It has pancetta and Brussels sprouts so I will be making it eventually!

And finally, Congrats to everyone who passed the bar today! I cannot believe that a year from now I’ll be finding out my bar results.

So, since I have no free time to cook my own things, link me a great, easy, quick recipe for me to try.

Malibu International Half Marathon

Today has been an amazing day. If you had told me a year ago that on November 14th 2010 I would be running a very hilly half marathon I would have laughed in your face. But today I did what I never thought I would do… I ran a half marathon!

The morning started really early… like 5 am! I rolled out of bed. Waking up for races is like waking up to go to the airport. I just roll out of bed and am excited about what I get to go do.

This morning started like all race mornings… with peanut butter toast and coffee.

And a long drive out to Malibu. We stopped for gas where Sunset meets PCH and got a beautiful view of the sunrise.

The first of many beautiful views.

We got to the drop point. My Mom dropped me off (naturally she went to Starbucks) and I got on the bus for the drive to the start line. I got to the start line an hour and a half before the start and clearly had a photo shoot (and blogged!)

I saw dolphins, a sea lion, and a pelican!

Once Ela arrived at the start line we had a photo shoot!

We can all this “before”:

As you can tell… it was really sunny.

I was glad we got there super early. I went to the bathroom twice, drank a zico (official race sponsor!) and dropped my bag with minimal stress. We also ran into other law students! The wait didn’t seem as long as I thought it would be and before I knew it the gun went off and I started running. The first two miles felt great! After that things got a bit more challenging.

This race was truly the most beautiful thing ever. Monica ran it too and she took some great pictures so you should read HER post as well. There were sweeping views of the coast line and it was breath taking. It was also very sunny and warmer than expected. When I finished it was around 80 degrees which is much warmed than I like to run in. The first 8 miles of so had very little shade so the sun was beating down. The people who brought hats were smart!

There also weren’t many mile markers which was good. I just ran and didn’t think about timing and I tried not to think about how far I had left to go. I looked at the view, enjoyed my music and kept running. I didn’t really think about anything but I had thoughts going through my head. I thought about other bloggers, people that inspired me to run (ahem miss Carolyn), running mantras, and how awesome the human body is. I tried not to think about how hot I was or the imposing hills.

Around mile 6 the killer hills started. Ela had warned me that they were going to be hard and I had seen the elevation map so I thought I knew what I was in for but MAN were they intense. Around mile 8 there was a hill, barely any down hill and then it kept going uphill! It is intimidating to be running towards a huge uphill.

I stopped at every aid station, which were placed every two miles. I also had two shot bloks. I intended to have more but the second one stuck to my teeth and it wasn’t very comfortable. After that I couldn’t get them back in my shorts and I actually ditched them at an aid station around mile 10. Because the race was so hot I was very thirsty and my lips were chapped. I also have to say, next race, I am running with my own running bottle! Lesson learned: always listen to your Aunt Caroline.

Half way through mile 10 we started to reach the top of the hills. There was only one small uphill after that which was nice. Best to end on a flat to downhill! We were running by bushes which were shading the view and they had butterflies! So pretty. Around mile 10 I was getting excited because I knew it was almost over. Between mile 10 and 13 I took about three short walk breaks to re energize myself for the final sprint.

Crossing the finish line felt amazing. This is a goal that I’ve had for a while and to finally have completed it… there are no words. Shortly after Ela crossed the finish line. We downed SEVERAL Zico’s and had a photo shoot!

The finishers medals were great! Very heavy. The novelty of medals hasn’t worn off. The finishers also got beach towels which we immediately utilized. I’ve never wanted to go into the freezing cold ocean so badly!

So cold! My feet needed it. I have some serious battle scars. I won’t go into it. It’s gross.

Then we continued the photo shoot.

And now a nice one…

After the foot ice bath that was the ocean we went to check our times. There was no clock at the end and I knew I was close to my super secret time goal which I didn’t tell many people because I didn’t want to jinx it… well good news…

I did it! 2 hours 11 mins. Average pace: 10:04!

Also, notice that I am carrying an armload of FREEBIES! Best part of races.

We said goodbye to Ela and her family and went straight to The Larder at Tavern for an insane post race meal. Emily and Catie joined us for a long meal and delicious meal. I started with smoked fish on rye toast with goat cheese.

I’ve never had anything bad at Tavern. I firmly believe that the entire menu is fantastic. This continues to affirm my beliefs. I love the idea of goat cheese instead of cream cheese and the homemade toast was incredible.

Speaking of incredible… these potatoes. Of course I ordered potatoes. Breakfast potatoes are the best ever!

Seriously… thyme, rosemary, the best I’ve ever had.

Then it was time for dessert. I turned to Catie and said “is it piggish to order 10 macaroons for us?” and she responded, “it’s your race day”. Well, you don’t have to tell me twice.

The spread: pumpkin and salted caramel macaroons, ginger molasses cookie, gingerbread with eggnog icing, chocolate covered honey comb, homemade snickers, chocolate sante cookie, and thin mints. Phew. Oh and I forgot to mention the Monkey bread we split while we waited! What? I was calorie debited!

Overall this has been an amazing day. Definitely more distance running in my future. I’m going to give myself some recovery time and then I will plan another distance race soon! Thanks for all the tweets, texts and comments in support. It really motivated me and made me feel the love! Off to watch the Housewives and sleep. Hope you had a good weekend!