It’s crazy to think that 6 years ago (yesterday) we lost such a great man. Ryan started off as a family friend and had quickly become much more than that. To this day, he inspires me to be a better person, to laugh more, to encourage others and be the best friend I can be. It is because of him that I wore #4. It is because of him that I wear yellow around my wrist every day. It is because of him that I am a better person. It is because of him that I remind myself often to keep my “head up and finish strong”. Yesterday I honored Ry the best way I could – I went for a run. A 4 mile run and every single step I thought about him. Our time together. The lessons I learned from him.

I may not have known you for as long as I’d like but our time together taught me so much. I hope I am making your proud Ry.


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My best friends wedding.

September 29th – the day my best friend got married. Crazy right?! Last year, Lisa asked me to be her Maid of Honor and it was an absolute blast. If all weddings are like this I am totally in! Lee was the easiest and most laid back bride I’ve ever been around. I only have the photos that other people took and shared with me — hopefully the professional photos come out soon so I can sneak a peek at them!! I am so unbelievably happy for Lisa and Rickey and I wish them nothing but the best. I love you both!












For those of you who asked, (more specifically my college friends who are curious) here was my MOH speech‚Ķ enjoy ūüôā

Hi everyone!
First of all I’d like to thank Lisa and Rickey for including me and everyone here on their special day; I could not be more thrilled to be here. Also, a special thanks to Al and Sara, Mr. and Mrs. Dojnik for making this all happen.

For those of you who may not know me, I’m Katie, Lisa’s maid of honor. I’d like to credit my mom, Sue and Lisa’s mom Sara for our friendship. Our moms are best friends and pretty much forced us to hang out when we were younger and we quickly became friends. Growing up with a best friend who didn’t live in your town was difficult but allowed for a special bond between the two of us that we still have to this day. I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when my best friend started to date someone who lived a quarter mile from my house. She was around way more, I’d like to think it was for me‚Ķ but we all know it was to be with Rickey.

Some of my favorite childhood memories with Lisa include crayfish hunting in murder creek, walking to Nick’s to get our candy cigarettes and 25 cent brown paper bags full of sour patch kids, Christmas tree hunting with our families, summer days at the a frame on Bradley Brooke, ice skating on the rink that Al made in the back yard and the time we were finally old enough to walk to the hollow to get ice cream by ourselves and we barely made it 300 yards before we saw a giant snapping turtle and ran home screaming. I swear, still to this day no one believes us.

But out of all the activities to choose from, one of Lisa’s favorite things to do when we were at her house was to pull out her multiple bins of Barbies behind Al’s brown recliner. We would play with Ken and Barbie for hours. For those of you who knew Lisa growing up, you know that this is no exaggeration. They were like her prized possessions. In fact, I bet that those bins of Barbies are safely stored away somewhere at the Bathory household.

It wasn’t until Lisa asked me to come to her final dress fitting a few weeks ago and she put on her veil and turned towards me as if to ask what I thought and I was speechless. Just this morning while getting dressed in Lisa’s childhood house – it brought me back to those Barbie doll days. Except we weren‚Äôt playing with the Barbies this time ‚Äď Lisa was marrying her real life Ken.

– Rickey, I’m sure it comes as no surprise but you make Lisa the happiest girl in the world. I hope you take care of her like she did her dolls‚Ķ.except please don’t keep her in a bin and store her away. I mean things like eat cheerios for dinner with her when she doesn’t want to cook anything, let her ‘accidentally’ bump you at 6am on a Saturday morning because she’s wide awake and bored, make sure she’s shut all of the doors after a night of drinking‚Ķ. but most of all‚Ķ. continue to love her like you have for the past 7 years.

I‚Äôd like to toast to the bride and groom – Lisa and Rickey, the new Mr. and Mrs. Dojnik or as I’d like to think of them‚Ķ Barbie and Ken 2.0

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The next step…

well we’ve taken the next step! after 7 years of dating, labor day weekend marc and I moved in together! We got our first apartment and I could not be happier about how everything worked out!

After a great weekend with Meg, we spent labor day moving and slightly unpacking. A HUGE thank you to my parents and to Marc’s parents for helping us move all of our stuff, clean the apartment and start to make the place feel like home.

We’ve been in the apartment for a month now and it truly feels like home to me. I found a new running path that I can go up to 8 miles on that is just right around the corner! We are living in clarence so we are only about 5-10 minutes from transit (for those of you who know what that is you know how exciting it can be to live so close to so many different restaurants/shops/stops/grocery stores/etc.)

While we have been there for a few weeks now we still aren’t completely settled in so I want to wait until a few more things are done before I start posting photos – for now you can enjoy my favorite to date. (Ps thank you meg for making us take this!)


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Meg’s trip to the 716

Labor day weekend, my college friend Meg came to visit for 4 entire days! We had a very full buffalo bucket list of things we wanted to do and successfully completed them all! Chicken wing festival, clarence center labor day fair, taffy from the fair, chivettas chicken, jim’s steakout, guys sub, walk around elmwood, run through akron falls park, time hortons, walked to canada to see the falls, ate at rainforest caf√©, perry’s ice cream, pizza from mazia’s, breakfast at crappy apple (candy apple). Basically our entire weekend (if you haven’t gathered already) was based around food. All things buffalo!

Here are a bunch of photos from our weekend…





We had a great visit together and at the end of the weekend Meg helped me make the next big step in my life…

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Michigan 2012



It’s been almost a month since I’ve been back and I have been completely slacking with my posts.¬† I’m not going to apologize though, I’ve been living life and making some pretty big strides since my return‚Ķ more on that later..




In short, Michigan was fantastic.¬† We didn’t spend too much time doing water sports, instead we spent a lot of time ‘off site’.¬† ¬†¬†Here are some recaps from our trips.

Sand Dunes – What’s the most beautiful place in the USA?¬† It’s sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore in Michigan, according to a vote in 2011 by viewers of good morning america.¬† I’ve seen family photos of the place for a while and I’ve been secretly wanting to go myself.¬† This was my year!¬† We headed west to the sleeping bear dunes and much to my surprise, it was even better than I was anticipating.¬† First up we went to a smaller dune overlooking Lake Leland.¬† This is where we took turns running up and down the dunes and capturing some pretty fantastic photos.

Next up was the main attraction.¬† The dune everyone was warning me about.¬† The dune that was my ‘workout’ for the day.¬† Let me tell you.¬† They were not joking.¬† It took me just about a minute to run, skip and maneuver my way down this thing.¬† Thankfully it had rained that morning and it had packed the sand a little.¬† Thank you weather for a not so crowded and easier to climb experience.


The climb was amazing, but what really took my breathe away was the views.  It was blue as far as the eye could see.  Absolutely stunning.

Oh, and I just want to throw it out there… yours truly made it up the dune the fastest.



Paint Ball – This was my first experience paint balling.¬† Holy balls is it super scary and incredibly exhilarating!¬† Our instructor told us ladies, you will know within the first couple of minutes if you love it‚Ķ or hate it.¬†¬† Despite being the first one out in our first game (I swear the horn wasn’t even done buzzing before I got hit) and getting hit in the neck while I was in ‘the safezone’ I had an absolute ball.¬† We broke up into teams and played 3 different scenarios two times each.¬† Once was in the smaller space with big black tubes to hide behind, a more realistic field with old vehicles, houses , tires, sand dunes and other random objects to hide behind and the final course was just in the woods.¬† If I learned anything about myself during paint ball it’s that I am definitely more of a ‘guarder’ then a ‘run to the flag and get shot at allot’ type of person.¬† Again, after being hit in the neck (somehow I managed to get hit in the 1/2 ” of space where my neck wasn’t guarded) I was first to volunteer to be a guard. youillstayhiddenbehindsomewood.¬† igotyoucovered.

group shot

garrison family shot


I’m not sure how or when the decision was to play family paint ball instead of our normal family put put, but I was a fan!

Sand Bar РIf you were to ask me where I want to live, in a dream situation.. water would definitely be involved.  In fact, I may have changed my answer this summer and could just say Elk Lake Michigan.  Especially because we headed to Torch Lake this year (they are connected Рabout an hour boat ride to get there from the cottage) and hit up the sandbar.  So.Much.Fun.  We pulled our two boats up (yup, we had to get a second boat to fit everyone this year) and anchored right in the swing of things.  Booze, bathing suits, snacks and music.

sand bar, torch lake Michigan


What else could we possibly need? ¬†A floatie.. for Grandma.¬† Marc’s cousins and I went on a mission to find a tube or floatie for his grandma.¬† It was a bit wavy and she was uncomfortable with the water height and it was way too hot to stay up on the boat all day.¬† Mission accomplished.


Not too much after this happened‚Ķ we may have been out of adult beverages and on a mission.¬† again, after a few bizarre looks, a long walk, a few ‘mystery shots’ and almost selling me to some strangers‚Ķ mission accomplished.

I’d say we had a good time.

¬†House painting – The warner’s bought the cottage next door and we spent allot of our vacation helping scrape and paint everything.¬† We took turns so it went by fairly quickly.¬† Many hands make light work.¬† In the end, it looked like a brand new cottage.¬† Teamwork FTW!


Washer Game – Each time I visit I try to do something nice for the warner’s.¬† I mean, they are letting me stay with their family for the week, it’s the least I can do.¬† This year, my dad and I made our family favorite game and sent it up to them.¬† Let’s just say‚Ķ it was a hit.¬† I hope the game is used frequently and brings their family as many memories as it does my own.



Other Randoms¬†–



what a stud ūüėČ

paddle boating with Melissa and Tucker

just gotta throw it in there!



I realize this was a lot to read and if you’ve made it all the way to this point I am impressed and thankful.¬† A big thank you to the Garrison, Craig and Warner family for welcoming me into your lives and treating me as one of your own.¬† You truly have become family to me.¬† Looking forward to the years to come!!


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¬†things I’m looking forward to‚Ķ

  • the OLYMPICS!!!!
  • weekend in canastota
  • kate sleeping over next week
  • girls night with Brit and Britt
  • erie county fair
  • hitting up the antique sale again
  • meg swope’s highly anticipated arrival for a visit
  • labor day weekend
  • ‚Ķ.to be announced‚Ķ..

50 Day Challenge: Re-lived, Re-capped, Revived – guest post

You know how I am with my challenges‚Ķ and while I may have slacked off in my first attempt at the 50 day challenge, Krystina most defiantly DID NOT. I’ve asked her to write up a little something for me to share with all of you because of her great success. I am so proud of her and hope that the next challenge I partake in I’m strong willed like Krystina.


After reading my former roomie, and ICFH teammate, Meg’s guest post on Brownie’s blog, I was a combination of jealous, inspired and nostalgic. Jealous because I now want guest bloggers of my own, but more so inspired by the idea of having a friend speak for you–not necessarily about you, but for you, and about shared interests. Everyone has such a unique voice; it’s incredible the way a story can translate so differently for each person who tells it, and mean something so different to each one who hears it. And today my hope is that as you read this post, you find your own unique meaning in my message.

Boy I’m getting fluffy and deep. Borderline profound. Not meaning to. Naturally. As you can see, I can get carried away with my words. But I digress…

My Little Fudge Muffin (LFM) came to me–well, not literally. Let’s just say she arrived at my digital doorstep, if you will…passing over the Islands of Instagram, and through the trees of Twitter, all to ask me for a guest blog post while she journeys to the beautiful state of Michigan…which I simply associate with a mitten. Probably because of some elementary school geography lesson. (Sadly, that’s all I’ve retained since then, as far as geography goes). I mean, what else is there to do in Michigan? I ask this question, simply to give Brownie all the more reason to blog about her vacay when she returns. So subtle, my hypothetical question is. And now I’m becoming Yoda…

So get to the point, Krystina. Ok ok, I’m getting there.

Setting the Scene…
Over 50 days ago, Katie proposed the idea of “The 50 Day Challenge” to me. I consider myself active, and I strive to eat clean. I’ve picked up running three out of my five workouts a week. (TIP: Never run two days in a row. It has changed my whole running game like you wouldn’t believe! #goodthing). I’ve raced several 5Ks, one 10K, and two half marathons at this point. So, call me a runner, if you’d like. I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself physically, and mentally…so was I up for something called 50 DAY CHALLENGE? Absolutely. Was there hesitation? Absolutely. But I knew all along that my LFM, one of my teammates who I looked up to for her “I run in a sports bra”-6-pack-abs-toned-figure, overall athleticism, fit mindset, and general foodie-ness, would never challenge me to do something that she didn’t believe I could do.

An LFM Aside…
That’s what I loved about playing with Brownie. Even through some of my highest ups and lowest downs playing college hockey, she always believed in me, supported me, and encouraged me. I looked up to her for who she was as a player (sICk stick skills, I tell ya) but also how she treated and led her teammates with such enthusiasm, determination and passion. She had that “love of the game.” Whether it was an individual or team goal, my muffin always stuck to it. To the very end. To use her words that have since stuck with me, “Head Up, Finish Strong.” Whether you’re friend, family or follower, I’ll be the first to say that Brownie embodies that mentality with dedication and ease. #livestrong <;;– Yup, she does just that.

Circling back to 50 Day Challenge…
I was up for it. Down for it. Whichever you wanna say. As I blogged about here, : ) peer pressure can be a positive and inspiring thing. We want to do what others are doing because of the sheer hype in numbers. That’s fact. Think about Silly Bandz. I know I’m not a seven year-old day camper anymore, but when a fellow ICFH alum was giving them away to us at our alumni game two years ago, you better believe I wanted what the cool kids already had. Dang yo-yo’s. That’s another expense that got me too.

After reviewing the rules of the challenge–and there really were only four–how hard could it be?

After 30 days, habits can be made or broken. I was banking on the former from the get-go. But what it ultimately came down to was one alarming realization: BACK OFF THE SWEETS, XTINA. So you mean absolutely NO DESSERTS? No. But everything you eat has to be <;;10g of sugar, with the exception of fruits, veggies, a weekly guilt-free dessert splurge, and a daily piece of dark chocolate–hey, it's good for your health! But nightly three-inch wide pieces of fresh-out-the-oven, rich, still slightly warm chocolate cake, coated and covered in thick, sweet buttercream frosting…adios, cya-later-alligator, right-out-the-window, say goodbye, Madonna.

Though there were harder days toward the beginning, as with any attempt at a lifestyle change, I'm happy to say I survived, and am here to blog about it! So let me re-cap my Top 10 Takeaways:

1. The Start is the Hardest Part – Being amped about the challenge from the start really helped. I tried to motivate my friends and co-workers to get involved. Again, that goes back to the "hype in numbers" theory I have. While people I talked to showed interest, no one was willing to actually commit. And truth be told, taking the first step is the hardest part. I wish I had a local friend to partake, yes. But from a distance, I had my LFM, which worked out wonderfully! One of the best things about this whole challenge was the fact that it brought some fudge back into my life. We talked a lot more, and like I said in my "aside" above, I realized again just how encouraging Brownie is, but more importantly, how much I love and miss having her around!

2. Sayonara "Stupid Calories" – The challenge challenged me to start eating "cleaner," which meant finding the source of what I'll call "Stupid Calories," adding them up and cutting them out. Mayo in tuna, ketchup on eggs, cream cheese on bagels, butter/sour cream/cheddar cheese and everything else that comprises the "loaded" adjective in a baked potato. Initially, this meant the inevitable–I had to count calories. I bring my breakfast and lunch to work every day; I strive to adhere to serving sizes (for once) and portion/ration out everything I eat. That all helped. And after a few days of calorie counting (which is something I NEVER want to become habit) I found the source and cut it off! Lights out to Stupid Calories.

3. Condiment Realization: I Love Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard – Eating more veggies and cutting out Stupid Calories, awakened my senses to a new love for Dijon Mustard. It's 15 calories for 1 tbsp. and has NO fat! Healthier than mayo, that's for sure. Here's a great marinade. I use it on a mixture of about 3-4 each zucchini and squash. Put this in your ziplock and shake it: 3 tbsp. Dijon Mustard, 1 tsp. (scant) Olive Oil, 1 pckg. Splenda (had to cut sugar!), juice of 1 lemon, lots of black pepper (to your liking). No salt! Let the flavors marry in the fridge for about 15 minutes before steaming in a covered aluminum pan on the grill. Also tastes great on asparagus and broccoli. Any veg will do!

4. New Habit Formed: 4+ Servings of Veggies Per Day Required – This rule is now a part my diet. With my daily intake of veggies about 1-2 servings up from usual, I was actually able to cut more carbs out of my diet. I already don't eat bread as it is (and if so, it's rare and low-cal), so focusing on raw/steamed vegetables as a healthy alternative, caused me to eliminate starchy, high-carb sides like rice and white potatoes. Now, since my routine is work, work out, eat dinner, I do need to replenish some of the carbs/energy I've burned. So for dinner, I'll stick to a leaner protein and two servings of veggies–one of which might be a small, or half of a large sweet potato. So out of this new habit, came an even greater one: cautious carb control.

5. What's in this treat? WOW that's SWEET! – After cutting down on sugars for 50 days, things have since become "too sweet." I never thought I'd be the one to say it–as a baker and dessert lover, myself–but it's true. My mom made brownies a few days ago, and I actually haven't even touched the leftovers. I pinched off a small piece admittedly, but I just don't have a taste for them. Ok, I realize this sounds like a stretch of a statement. Maybe she just put too much vanilla in them because make no mistake–my mom makes the BEST brownies. Seriously. I just didn't find this batch chocolatey enough or something. Or maybe I'm now more selective about my sweets? At the end of the day, I just want cake batter froyo, yellow or chocolate cake, a Zaro's black & white cookie, or a straight-up sugar cookie of any sort (be it a Magnolia Bakery Whoopie Cookie, or one of those mushy, half-raw ones from the cafeteria at work). Still trying to figure this one out. But I can tell you this. I've cut the Splenda in my morning coffee from two packets to one. So something has changed.

6. If It's Really Sweet, You'll Binge Overeat – When you do have sweets or sugars after going from weekly desserts, to one or none a week, BE CAREFUL. Froyo for me is a danger zone now. Post-challenge and I want something sweet, it's time for my one a week (still habit) and I go for it. And then after I'm done, I want chocolate…I'm sorry, NEED chocolate…immediately. In a sheer act of desperation I almost went to Grand Central just to get a black & white cookie and then come home. Or thought about going to the A&P for one huge cookie and leaving. Then I thought about how ridiculous that would be. I'm not going to confess what I actually did in lieu of following through on these options, but I will tell you it was bad. So exercise sweets with caution from now on.

7. Guilty, or Not Guilty? – One thing that's nice about livin' the post-50DC life, is that while you know you can have sweets, you're still empowered with the choice to act (or not act) on the craving. Whether it's your weekly or nightly splurge, the challenge is over. You can have it. But do you want it? Better yet, do you really need it? If you go for it, that's ok. But moderation. Portion control. All of these factors play a role. And it's nice sometimes to feel that guilt. Allow yourself to indulge yes, but if you're going to splurge, I abide by Bob Harper's Skinny Rules, in that your splurge for the week should be planned…or else it can be quite costly. Calorically, that is. Case and point. Me. Number 6.

8. Simple Truth: Your Love of Sweets Never Goes Away – As Gavin Rossdale said it, “love remains the same.” Granted, he wasn’t talking about sweets. Leave that to me. Meaning, you can expect 50DC to result in a change in habits and lifestyle, to a degree, but don’t expect that limiting your intake of sweets/sugars so drastically will completely dissolve your appetite, love, and or craving for them. If you think you’re the exception to the rule, walk out the door, Gloria Gaynor. Go on now, go.

9. Lifestyle…Changed! – Doing the 50 Day Challenge became more than just a challenge lasting 50 days. It became a lifestyle change, just as much as eating cleaner became a part of my routine. And with that being said…

10. Post 50 Day Weight, Worth the Wait – It was all worth it!! Since the challenge–and now half-way into my 8th week of dieting–I’ve lost a little over 10 pounds, 2.5 inches off of my lower waist, and 1 inch off of my high waist. I’m noticing more tone in my arms too (watch out Jennifer Aniston). And I couldn’t be happier. ūüôā

My realistic hope is to lose another 15 pounds–and see where I’m at then. But with achieving that goal, comes sacrifice. I’lll need to make some additional changes to my diet–within reason, of course, considering my weekly hours spent running outside, cross training indoors, and lifting at the gym. I have to make sure my body gets the calories, proteins and nutrients it needs. Because my health is something I can’t sacrifice. The changes will entail cutting down my calories slightly more, managing my dessert and sweet splurges, defeating the battle against my late-night snacking (i.e., my addiction to 1 tbsp. peanut butter, 1/2 bag of 94% fat free butter popcorn, rice cakes and pretzel rods), perhaps getting a food scale of some sort to better portion my servings of protein (i.e., meat/beef, fish, chicken), and focusing more on consuming leaner meats.

Losing weight isn’t easy. We all say we want to, over and over again, but it takes that first step of commitment to turn the thought of dieting into an action plan. This is about the only scenario where I’ll outright say, I LOVE TO LOSE, ha. You look good, and when you’re dieting a healthy way, and forming “cleaner” habits, you feel good too! Physically, mentally, emotionally, that’s where I’m at right now–I’m in a good place. Call me Content Connie. Happy Hannah? Whatever you’d like.

I have a long way to go. There will be “off” days, great days, “splurge” days, and sacrifices, but most of all, I have to remember this:
Katie and the 50 Day Challenge taught me that I can do it. In impossible, I only see possibility. Let that mindset be my motivation.

And for Dessert…
I’ll Leave You on a Sweet Note.

To Brownie: I can’t thank you enough for getting me to do the challenge. I honestly couldn’t have done it without you–I wouldn’t have lost this weight, I wouldn’t have strived to eat clean, I wouldn’t have wanted the fit lifestyle to the point that I do now. Thank you for the encouragement and support–from field hockey, to the 50 Day Challenge, and all throughout our friendship in between. You are the absolute best I love you LFM!!!

And that’s the way my cookie crumbles. I hope you “enjoyed each small bite.” ūüôā

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Vegan Tuna Salad

guess who’s back?! Rachael!! As I’m on my way home from Michigan (BOOOO!) I figured I would give you guys another guest post to look forward to. She did me a huge favor and wrote up another guest post for me ūüôā

Hello there, The Little Spoon Blog readers! I’m Rachael, I blog at Ready to Get Sweaty, and I’m so excited to post here today while Katie is relaxing and soaking up the sun.
For today‚Äôs post Katie told me I could write whatever I wanted, so that means you are getting one of my new favorite recipes, Vegan Tuna Salad. When I made the decision to become a vegetarian 4 years ago I knew I‚Äôd miss chicken salad, egg salad and more recently tuna salad (I recently added fish to the list of things I don‚Äôt eat). Until a few months ago I haven‚Äôt been able to find anything that resembles the tasty ‚Äúsalad‚ÄĚ sandwiches I used to crave. So whether you are a vegetarian, vegan or hearty meat eater, I hope you give this yummy recipe a try.
Vegan Tuna Salad
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
2 celery stalks
2 T relish (I like the one with mustard and relish ‚Äď it adds a little something extra)
2 t nutritional yeast
1 T soy sauce
2 T vegan mayo (you can most certainly use regular mayo)
1 T spicy mustard (optional)
Black pepper (to taste)
  1. Pulse chickpeas in a food processor a few times, but be careful to not puree them, just slightly mashed.
  2. Chop celery and combine in bowl with chickpeas.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
  4. Add black pepper to taste, stir, and ENJOY!
Another option is to omit the relish and substitute fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley or even a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. I’ve even added in chopped carrots for some extra crunch. Use in sandwiches, roll-ups, lettuce cups, or serve as an appetizer spread for crackers.

Trust me, you will love this recipe!
Xo ‚Äď Rachael

Looks like I’ve got a new recipe to try out.. maybe Meg (insert link) would be interested in tackling this recipe for her next healthy cooking attempt‚Ķ

I hope everyone had a great week – I’ll be back in Buffalo soon and you can expect a new post from me in the next couple of days! Tomorrow is all about getting back to work and getting back into the swing of things.

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Cauliflower Crust – Guest Post

Where do I even begin?¬† Meg Malone, anyone that knows her..¬†loves her. ¬†We first met as freshmeat.. I mean freshmen at our field hockey physicals.¬† We’ve remained friends ever since.

meg is the brunette to the left of me

flash back!

being silly with the other freshmeat.. I mean freshmen.

Meg recently started a blog and I get so excited every time it pops up on my Google reader.  We share allot of similarities (the most important ones in my mind) we like ice cream, play field hockey, are way more motivated when we have a goal we are working towards and typically mess up our recipes the first time around…

Hi, this is Meg! While Katie is out soaking up the sun, I am basking in the stifling city¬†air of NYC! What an equivalent level of fun ‚ÄĒ but in all seriousness, I do love it here. ¬†As I am right now between jobs, I have a lot of free time to explore, which I like to do¬†by doing the completely free activity of running.

Now, if you visit my blog, you will know that I love to eat¬†dessert. Yes, I am training for a marathon and my ice cream rewards help motivate¬†me (and remind me of my beloved Vermont), but what you don‚Äôt see written is the¬†large amount of junk I consume in between runs as part of my regular food eating. ¬†It‚Äôs not that I don‚Äôt like eating healthy ‚ÄĒ I do! It‚Äôs just that my cooking skills are so¬†paltry it is truly embarrassing.

Katie and I both played field hockey together in college, and I fully credit Katie’s athleticism with my ability to do the time mile each year under the required 7- minutes. If I wasn’t pacing myself with her, I probably would have just laid on the track. So, when Katie was looking for some guest blogs I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to rise to the level of healthiness that I associate Katie with, this time on the food end.

In a moment of extreme bravery, I requested a healthy recipe from Katie to tackle¬†for this guest blog. She sent me this recipe¬†and I knew I was in trouble when I saw¬†the words ‚Äúriced cauliflower‚ÄĚ on the ingredient list. What the‚Ķ To make matters¬†worse, as I began cooking I actually did a search online for ‚ÄúWhat do a cauliflower¬†florets look like?‚ÄĚ which led me here. I was just making sure I was right (and¬†I think the forest analogy to explain florets by user ‚ÄúAricka‚ÄĚ in this Yahoo Answers¬†discussion thread is awesome).

Earlier at the grocery store today, I literally had no idea what makes a good cauliflower. I guess I could have asked, but I also feel like my attempts to buy produce in the city have often been spotty. I actually think I may have picked a bad cauliflower because it didn’t all look the right color once I actually got it home, so I just kind of chopped off parts and threw the rest in the food processor.

I hope this turned out correctly, and even if it didn‚Äôt, let‚Äôs pretend¬†it did because I also somehow managed to burn the cauliflower while cooking it in¬†the microwave. Yikes, Meg ‚ÄĒ it‚Äôs a MICROWAVE. Alas,¬†even that proves too challenging for me.

I also saw this recipe called for garlic salt. I checked to see if we had any (unlike¬†me, my roommate is a very good cook) and we did not, but we had garlic powder. ¬†I consulted the Internet again, directed to the Yahoo! Answers discussion thread¬†conveniently titled ‚ÄúGarlic Powder vs. Garlic Salt?‚ÄĚ ¬†‚ÄĒ and the question was¬†actually asked by a user named ‚ÄúMegz‚ÄĚ so it was basically reading my mind. Based¬†on what I gleaned from the voted-upon ‚ÄúBest Answer‚ÄĚ from user ‚ÄúOld Punk Dad‚ÄĚ (no¬†picture provided), it seemed okay to pour half salt and half garlic powder into the¬†spoon and voila, garlic salt (garlic salt?.JPG)

Moving on! The dough was now made and I spread it out on the pan.¬†¬†It said to cook the dough 15 minutes, but after about 8 it already looked¬†like it was burning, so I made the executive (chef) decision to take it out to put¬†on toppings. Now, I don‚Äôt cook any meat-based meals ever because I don‚Äôt trust¬†my ability to thoroughly cook them, so sadly I didn‚Äôt have any grilled chicken for¬†my pizza. Instead, I went the veggie route, with some sliced green peppers, sliced¬†tomatoes and some extra chopped garlic. It kind of started cooking on top of the¬†stove from the heat, but I still popped it back in the broiler while I finished doing¬†dishes (reason 21394 I don‚Äôt cook food‚Ķ So. Many. Dishes!). When I took it out, at¬†about 6:46 p.m., the inevitable happened ‚ÄĒ BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. Yes, my smoke alarm¬†went off. Please witness this chat exchange with my boyfriend:

me:  hahaha the smoke alarm finally went off
 Zachary:  well that was bound to happen

Nobody has any faith in me (though clearly I have none in myself either). Also¬†maybe I shouldn‚Äôt have been carrying on online conversations while I am cooking¬†‚ÄĒ I know I don‚Äôt see that happening on Top Chef. Anyway, the smoke alarm had¬†gone off because of me as recently as last week when I was attempting to broil some¬†squash, so I was ready to address the situation promptly. With the smoke alarm¬†issue was resolved and this is what was left to cool on top of my stove.

On to the eating! The thing I am best at! The food itself was actually quite good –¬†probably not really in thanks to my individual preparation of it, but it was an¬†interesting take on dough, and all said and done, it wasn‚Äôt nearly as burnt as I¬†thought. I ate the entire thing and in retrospect, I hope serving-wise it was actually¬†meant to be eaten by one person.

All in all, I must say my foray into healthy cooking wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I thought, plus who doesn’t love a few obstacles along the way for storytelling purposes? As I keep following Katie’s healthy exploits on her blog, I will continue to be inspired and maybe, just maybe, I will cook for her sometime when she comes back from vacation (get excited!!!!!).

Seriously, how great is this girl?¬† If there is ever a blog you need to follow, this witty girl is perfect for you.¬† Besides, who doesn’t like to talk about ice cream?!

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Another Half Marathon…

Well, it’s pretty much official.¬† My sister and the rest of my ‘Chix’ teammates have pretty much convinced me to do the Lewiston Half Marathon on September 22nd.¬† Just ONE WEEK before my best friend’s wedding.¬† YIKES!¬† I looked it up and it’s a beautiful and very scenic course.¬† I know that if I have a few friends that will be there I am more likely to be pushed harder and take training more seriously.¬† I took a look at Hal Higden’s Novice 2 – 12 week program and I’ve tweaked it a bit to fit my needs more.

SAT: Because the race is on Saturday, I plan on keeping my distance days on Saturday. I try to keep these runs a little more flat, but most times hills are involved – it’s hard to run around town and not face hills.
SUN: Sundays are for some sort of cross training – doesn’t matter if it’s swimming, rollerblading, tennis, biking, water skiing, anything that keeps my body in motion and not just sitting on my ass ‘”recovering”.
MON: Monday’s I will take full advantage of being lazy and instead of an off day, I want to use my foam roller or just get a good stretch in. Probably a leisurely walk at night too.
TUES: I will most likely be doing this workout at the track. I’m going to try to incorporate 12 laps with 12 different total body movements that mimic a lift at the gym (pushups, chair dips, lunges, stairs, squats, etc.)
WED: I’ll head out for a run, most likely through the park to get in some hills.
THURS: Just like Tuesday, I will most likely be doing this workout at the track. I’m going to try to incorporate 12 laps with 12 different total body movements that mimic a lift at the gym (pushups, chair dips, stairs, squats, etc.)
FRI: Again, like Monday this is supposed to be more of an off day, so I’m thinking I will do a light form of yoga that is allot of stretching and prepping for Saturday’s longer run. Besides, never have I ever wanted to work out on a Friday. Ever.
REPEAT x 11.

The last (and only) time I ran a half marathon was in Rochester with one of my great roommates from college, Mel.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day..

early morning, pre race jitters

so proud of ourselves!

with my favorite cheering squad. dad, mom and marc!


Here’s to starting at day 1 all over again!

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