Canning Experiement 2014

1 Sep

I have always wanted to learn how to “can.” I like to make big batches of salsa and pasta sauce. I was obviously super na├»ve when I thought I would just be able to make a recipe, put it in a jar, and seal it up. I knew we needed to put it in a hot bath or a pressure cooker to really “seal” it up but I didn’t really know what it totally entailed!

I quickly found out we had to use a recipe for the salsa because the acidity needed to be at the right level. If the salsa doesn’t cook properly and have the right acidity the salsa could do bad. It may not be safe to eat things like that! I had no idea!!

Jamie is the pro-canner. She has dabbled in salsa but does a lot of pickles. Erica has helped Jamie a few times and made pickles. Tracy and I have zero canning experience!
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The plan was to make a salsa recipe that Jamie found, a salsa recipe that I got from an old co-worker, and some pickles. We started at 9am Saturday morning.

We got right to work. Jamie and I were on salsa duty. Tracy and Erica were cutting pickles and peeling garlic.

Addison (Jamie's almost 3 year old.)was a big helper all day.

Addison (Jamie’s almost 3 year old.)was a big helper all day.

It takes a lot of time to prep. You make the salsa. Boil it the right amount. When it is ready you have to wash the jars (while they are warm) you sterilize them. Once they are sterile you have to work fast at putting the salsa in the jar, wipe the jar, put the lid on and get them back in the hot water bath.
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After we took them out of the hot water bath we waited for the top to “pop.” At that point we knew they were sealed right!
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After we had 21 jars of salsa it was time to work on the pickles.

Same sort of process: We washed the jars, sterilized them, filled the jar with garlic, dill, onions, and cucumbers and filled with brine, and into the hot water bath they went.
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WE finally finished up at about 5pm. We were all still smiling!!
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We had 41 jars of salsa and pickles.
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Have you ever “canned”? What have you made?!

10 YOU Challenges: 5 Foods

29 Aug

Here is the next installment of the You challenge. Food this week. This is actually really hard. I love food. I love dessert. How do I narrow it down?? This is what I have come up with:

YOU

1. Lets state the obvious. ICE CREAM. I definitely go in waves with what treat I like to have. Years ago it was cupcakes. Cookies and brownies took over after that. Ice cream has been around for probably a year. Luckily enough Dan keeps a tight leash on the pints so I don’t go overboard. If I had my way I could put down a whole pint every night!
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2. PIZZA. I love pizza. I like homemade pizza the best. I can use whatever ingredients I like! I made a pizza last night (I almost took a picture but didn’t. Then it was gone before I knew it!) I always like trying different pizza in different places I visit.
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3. SALSA. You can use salsa with so many things. Of course I love it with Mexican food. I even put it on my sweet potatoes in lieu of sour cream. I like to make it homemade with fresh ingredients but TJ’s is my go-to for salsa!
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4. SALADS. Not really a traditional salad with lettuce and carrots. I like lots of stuff in my salad. Quinoa, garbonzos, sunflower seeds, lots of veggies, avocado, strawberries, beets. Not all at once but a variety. You get my point!! :)
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5. BREAKFAST. I am so lucky to live in Portland where there are a plethora of breakfast places that are fantastic. I don’t go out very often because I am typically training but sometimes I do. I love scrambles mostly with a biscuit!
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Those are some of my favorite!!!

What are some over your favorite foods??

Pints to Pasta 10k GIVEAWAY WINNER: Congrats Andrea! I will be in touch!!
andrea

Hood To Coast: 2014 edition

28 Aug

The last weekend of August has come and gone. Hood to Coast 2014 has come and gone. Just another blur to this summer. Besides the shitshow traffic back up at exchange 24 and the anti-climatic finish line. #HTC14 was another great one!!

I was in van 2 this year. Runner 10. I like van 1 better but I was a good sport when I was assigned to van 2 this year.
Pros for being in van 2 —>
Sleeping in on Friday
Not having to drive all the way to Hood.
Not being at the coast to early.
Cons—>
There is always more traffic for van 2.
It takes longer to get to Jewel(next major exchange after Mist(which is also very hard to get to)

Van 1 starting us out at 9am.
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Van 2 heading to Sandy.
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We got to Sandy and waited for the rest of 8 Ducks, 3 Bearcats, & 1 Lumberjack to show up.
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Leg 10. Hot. Very little shade. Flat. 5.12 miles. Average 9:59s.
I was actually really nervous to start. I knew there was no shade and it was already hot out. I forgot my salt tab. I always try to run the first leg conservatively.

Well executed hand-off!
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Amato handed off to me and I was moving!
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I felt relatively good. I just wanted to cruise along. A few people passed me at the beginning. I passed a few people who were walking and moving slow. I talked to a gal who said she had been trying to catch up to me. That was nice for a few minutes but she stopped to walk and I kept moving.

I was just moving steadily forward and enjoying every second that there was a speck of shade. I stayed hydrated with Nuun. Every mile clipped by just a few seconds faster than the last and all of a sudden I could see J-Lee waiting.

Rough first hand-off but I took a Mulligan and tried again!
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First leg was done. I knew it would be the hardest because of the sun!

Leg 1 exchanges!!

Leg 1 exchanges!!

J-Lee and I dropped off Dan, Amato, and Kat at our place to shower/eat while we went to pick up J-Dub. Found Van 1:
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Showered, ate, and relaxed until it was midnight when we would be off to run our 2nd legs!

Leg 22. Perfect temp. Uphill to downhill. 6.81 miles. 9:40s.

My second leg is almost always my favorite leg. It is cool. I try to pick a runner (position) that the 2nd leg is the longest because it is my favorite. I like running in the dark too.

I got up the 1.6 mile steep climb that was hard but do-able. Started cruising down which was way more enjoyable. Passed a ton of people. There were a few baby rollers on this downhill stretch. This leg was fun!! So fun!! I saw a few sub 9s and thought I better slow my ass down but I went for it!! Finished strong and it was hard to believe it was 4 in the morning!

Exchange 24 happened. It happens every.single.year! Back up. Traffic back up that you can not even believe! There is no cell service out there so there is no talking to the other van! Period! Until you see there shining faces. This year was a little different. The back up started miles before the exchange and we weren’t even moving at a crawl. We were literally at a dead stop for 10-15-20 minutes at a time.

This is where I fell asleep for over an hour. I didn’t wake up the multiple times J-Lee opened the door and got in and out. I finally woke up at 7:30 as J-Lee and J-Dub were getting back in the van. I couldn’t believe it was so late. Hettie was right on time handing off from J-Dub but she was stuck standing there for an hour waiting for us to pull up. There was a massive amount of runners waiting for their van 1s to get there. It was a total shitshow and an even bigger one than usual!

We headed to Jewel for showers and food. Took us a long time to get there and than back on the road to the last major exchange. We took another hour or so nap and back on the road!!

Leg 34. Hot. No shade. Rolling hills. 3.4 miles. 10:02s.

This is my perfect leg of rolling hills except that it was hot. I didn’t want to carry any water with me but I did. I was happy to have it and continually poured water over my head. It made a huge difference. Again I passed lots of people on the death march.

I just wanted another steady run. I would have liked it to have been faster but it was good.

I am happy to report that a girl who looked much more like a runner then me passed me about 1/2 mile after the exchange. I didn’t let her out of my eye sight. She would walk up the hills and I would get that much closer. I finally passed her with a mile or so to go and never looked back! :)

We finally made it to Seaside!

Waiting for van 1 to show up and J-Dub to cross the finish line!

Waiting for van 1 to show up and J-Dub to cross the finish line!

I never got an “all-team” picture. (MFR got one but it has yet to surface) I was too tired to care. The finish line was again an even bigger shitshow than normal. We don’t know if it was from all the back up from exchange 24 that caused more teams to finish in our time frame or if it was just not organized! We finally “finished” and got our medals!!

Until next year. Hood To Coast 2014 in the books.

I like the colors this year.  This medal is the best of the 4 I have!

I like the colors this year. This medal is the best of the 4 I have!

Last chance at the Pints to Pasta 10K giveaway!

Pints To Pasta 10k + Giveaway

25 Aug

I have run Pints to Pasta 10k for the last 7 years. It is my favorite 10K. Honestly I don’t really “race” 10Ks. It always seems to be apart of a long run, after a race or big bike ride. I think that I was running faster at this time last year than I am this year. I was very close to a PR but I had done a sprint tri the day before. I am planning on taking a rest day the Saturday before the race this year. I will see what I can do!! :)

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Run with Paula used to put this race and many others in Portland on. Better Series bought the races at the beginning of this year. I have heard good things about the ways the races from been run since the buy out. Better Series is also the company who runs Hood To Coast. Obviously they know what they are doing!! :)

It is a fun course. We start at the Adidas headquarters. Head downhill past Widmer Brothers. Through downtown onto the waterfront. Finish at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

After the race we get a full spaghetti dinner breakfast and Widmer beer. Who doesn’t want spaghetti and beer at 9 in the morning?!!

For $49: you get a t-shirt, “breakfast”, beer, a medal(new this year), and raffle prizes. It is a steal of a deal! Lucky for you guys I get to giveaway an entry!! Prices go up on September 1st!

ENTER HERE —>>>> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am providing blog posts before and after the race in exchange for a comped entry. I am not being compensated in any way, and all opinions are my own.

10 You Challenges: 6 Places

22 Aug

Here is the next installment of the YOU challenge! This was a fun one to write because I love travelling!!
YOU

6 Places I want to visit!

South America! I have been wanting to go for a while. I want to go for a significant amount of time. I need to save up money and time but these are places within South America I want to visit:
Machu Picchu
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Galapagos Islands
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Patagonia
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Barcelona: I have been to Europe once when I was just out of high school. I didn’t get to Spain. I saw an article on an Ironman that is in Barcelona. If I were to do an international IM this is the one I would do!! (If I ever wanted to do another IM) ;) More than likely I would get there on vacation before the IM anyway!!
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Abel Tasman: Loved New Zealand! Really want to go back. We missed this spot but I have heard it is awesome!! Just another reason to go back!!
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Whitsunday Islands: The blue water is gorgeous. These islands are bordering the Great Barrier Reef which is somewhere I would love to go.
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Banff National Park: is beautiful. I would love to go on a road trip up there and go camping.
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Croatia: A friend of a friend went on a “swimming” adventure here. They swam and swam all day.
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These are just a few of the places that I want to travel to! Where are some places you would like to visit?

Ironman Recovery + What Is Next

19 Aug

Wow! It has been a long time since I have posted! I would have to blame Orange Is The New Black. I have been dying to watch it for a long time. Thank goodness we didn’t start to watch it until after Ironman. We stayed up too late too many times in the last 3 weeks. We finished both seasons and it was soooooooooooooooooooo gooooooooooooooooooooooood!! I am already counting down the days until season 3 comes out!

Other fun stuff since the race:
Dan, my mom, and aunt hung out in Whistler on Monday after the race. We rode the gondola up to Whistler summit to catch the Peak To Peak gondola.
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When we got to the Whistler summit we actually had not gotten to the top yet. We took a little hike down to a lift that took us all the way to the top!
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We rode the Peak to Peak gondola.
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We had the entire cabin to ourselves!

We had the entire cabin to ourselves!

We made our way over to the summit of Blackcomb Mountain.
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We joked about seeing bears all day. “Where’s the bears?” It was mainly me saying it but it became quite the joke. I am pretty sure this is what I looked like when I saw that bear back in June!! :)
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Dan and I headed to San Juan Island for vacation the next day. We had so much fun!! A couple highlights:

Found the “locals” hang out: Eagle Cove!
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We went on a whale watching tour.
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These are from the boat photographer. They were better than mine. :) I would totally recommend San Juan Excursions. They took a ton of pictures for us. Gave them to us for free too! Hello!
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We kayaked!
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Dialog with our tour guide right off the bat:
Me: Do you think we will see whales?
Chris: Probably not. They are up north right now.
Me: That is ok because we saw some yesterday!

(hour later)
Chris (points up north): See all the boats. That is where all the whales are. (As we head south.)
Me: OOOOhhhhh man!

(another hour or 2 later)
Chris: I am pretty sure we are going to see some whales soon. Look behind you!
Everyone: (whips their heads around) Holy SHIT!!!!

All the boats are right behind us.
Chris: lets pull into this cove and watch them go by!

It was so amazing and fun! This guy was about 30 yards from us:
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This was the BEST picture I got. Not great but ok. We had so much fun. It was a 5 hour tour. I thought it was a little long and Dan thought we should do the 3 hour tour. I thought we would get more bang for our buck going with the 5 hour tour. WE sure did!!
We also saw a bunch of wildlife:
Moon Jelly
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Harbor Seal–We saw lots of these guys!
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We had a super awesome time up north and then we had to come home. Back to reality. But we are no longer on a structured schedule. :)

UNTIL….

What is next up for me:
My 4th Hood To Coast —> This weekend!

New York City Marathon —> November 2nd!! I am really excited about this. I have been waiting a really long time to do this.

Are you watching Orange is The New Black?

What do you like to do after recovering from a big race?

10 Day YOU Challenges: 7 Wants

6 Aug

Next up on the YOU challenge is 7 wants. I am kind of torn with what I want. I have plenty of “things” that I want: race wheels, a new bike, world peace, a brownie edge pan…etc. I tried to make these more realistic!! :)

YOU

1. Can I want the greatest for my family and friends?

2. Run faster. I would love to do a sub 4:30 marathon in the next couple of years.
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Maybe just maybe in New York this year!

3. Change careers! Honestly I need to do some soul searching and researching. Now that Ironman is over I really need to get on this!

4. I want to travel around the world. My first stop is South America.

5. Dream BIG and challenge myself. I dream big but not always challenge myself. I am a work in progress.
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6. Stay injury free. I want to be able to train and race as I am able and willing!!

7. I want a garage so I can finally hang up all of my race posters!

The newest poster to my collection!

The newest poster to my collection!

What are some of your wants?!

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