Friday, November 30, 2007

Lots Of Apples !

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Masterpiece!

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Cake, Pie and Crispies

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Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Apples, Apples and More Apples

On Wednesday Troy let me know that he had an assignment due on Friday in his Social Studies class. He had to create a project that the Minnesota Settlers would have created in the 1890's. It could be a food, a quilt, a project of some sort. Troy decided to bake an apple pie. What is more Americana than apple pie, and for a touch of Minnesota, us Honey Crisp apples. A great idea.

After working legs for an hour on Wednesday evening we went to the grocery store for a few items. We needed brown sugar and more apples.

On Thursday before going on my run at the trail, I showed Troy how to peel an apple without cutting himself and told him he could begin to peel the apples, that I would be home around 530 to help him with the pie.

Topaz and I had a nice run among the deer and returned home at 530. Troy was out jumping on the trampoline, I figured he probably peeled 3-4 apples and became bored with the task.

I walked into the kitchen and was shocked at the pile of peeled apples in the sink. The sink was full of apples!

I gave Troy a shout and called him into the house. I congratulated him on a job well done. I was thinking to myself 'my gosh, kid, you peeled 30 apples, what were you thinking?' but I did not say so! I never told him how many apples to peel. I just never imagined he'd peel them all.

Troy and I chopped and cored the apples. He measured out 20 freaking cups of apples. To this he added brown sugar, butter, oats and cinnamon. We had quite a batch! I showed Troy how to roll out one crust..he rolled out FIVE more. Yes, we had enough apples for 3 pies, an apple cake and apple waffles this morning. Apple-icious! I even brought in pie and a cake to my coworkers today. Troy received rave reviews and even obtained an A on his assignment.

This week I've had to wear two pair of pants, two shirts and double mittens while running. It's been single digits cold and super windy. Tomorrow they are forecasting 10-12" of snow for the area NW of Mpls/St Paul, bingo! I might be pulling out my snowshoes for a long run on Sunday. I'll cross my fingers.

I'm also crossing my fingers due to the lottery tomorrow. At 1100 MN time, the RD will be drawing names for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. I believe I have a 16% chance of being selected, but hey, for some reason I am feeling lucky! I feel like I'd be selected in the lottery and I'll then apply for the Grand Slam. Woohoo! Crossing my fingers..

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Leanness Lifestyle Elite Update

There is a difference, isn't there? I can see less saddlebags..thank goodness. I was going to flex my leg to show my quad muscle and inner thigh muscle; but it looked vulgar. It really did. This is vulgar enough. I was going to flex my biceps but I looked like I was showing off. I wasn't able to have Tyler take pictures of me at my start of Leanness Lifestyle Elite..I was 144 pounds and felt too unsightly to even have him take them. The top photos are at 138 pounds, the bottom two were taken taken today and 129.4

I had a trainer run my numbers today at the gym. I began at 18.9% body fat, today I am at 14.1. I don't know if she does a very good job with the calipers, she told me I lost .29 lb of muscle and 14.71 pounds of fat since I last had her test me. I figured I'd lose some muscle while losing this fat, at least it's been minimal. I've been eating plenty of lean protein. I haven't lost any strength. Today I lifted heavier than last week on biceps and shoulders. I can still ram out 200 push ups and 100 pull ups-pull ups are 4 sets of 25 each. Remember when I couldn't do one? I love doing push ups and pull ups. They are true progression markers.

My friend Nancy told me that I inspired her while we were in Vermont and I was running the 100, she was crew extraordinaire. I was doing push ups and told her I began with 5. We were in Vermont in July. Nancy couldn't do any push ups. Now she is doing setS of 20! She told me yesterday that I inspired her. That is awesome!! She'll be doing pull ups soon, I know it :) I'm so proud of her. She's lost 15 pounds too, congratulations Nancy!

So, Leanness Lifestyle is working for me. Well, I'm working it. I've been a member for a few years and have gone up and down. Just because you are a member of LL, it doesn't mean it will come easily. It doesn't. It's lifestyle changes. Making good decisions day in and day out.

Today Topaz and I hit the trail for 15 miles. He didn't get his run on yesterday, but did chase the boys around the trampoline all morning, and he played football with them. He was raring to go today. He practically lapped me during our last 5 mile loop. The longer we go, the faster he gets. Crazy Ultra Dog.

Have a great evening. I have tomorrow off :) Another couple hour run scheduled with my pup and a workout on legs at they gym. Good stuff.

Difference?

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Johns Gives Us a Quick Synopsis Of Run

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Even Props! Kevin and 'girlfriend'

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Picking Our Way Through the Trail

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Nice Climb

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Approaching "Chimney"

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Cheers! To John and Kevin! AS#2

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What a Crew!

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Home Sweet Home

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Come On Down!

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Beach Run

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Trying to Stay Dry

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Wet Crossing!

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Afton Fat Ass Fun Run

5 years ago, Scott Wagner, RD for the Afton Trail Races began a tradition. He bushwhacked a trail for 10-15 of us to enjoy as a fat ass run, usually the Friday or Saturday following Thanksgiving. We've always enjoyed it very, very much. We run on deer trail, or Scott trail, through drain pipes, along the river, up and down rock cliffs. Following the hike we have a fabulous social time with pot luck. It's always been a ton of fun.

This year Scott wasn't up to putting together the FA run. We were all very very fortunate that John Storkamp and Kevin Martin followed Scott's tradition and put on a FA for all of us to enjoy.

It was marvelous. Truly, one of the best ever. Kevin and John spent 25 hours creating and carving out a 3.5 hour run for us. We are so lucky. There was a record number of participants this year. It seems that we are experiencing a bit of growth in the interest of trail running lately. There were quite a few new faces at this FA, it was fun to meet some new people. We had roughly 30 people out on the trails!

I enjoyed the later start, 9:00. I didn't have to leave home until 7, was able to see Mom and Dad off to Texas at 415 AM and even was able to cook Troy his Coco Wheats before I headed off.

I packed up a tray of 5 dozen Christmas Cookies, 2 pounds of fudge and 3 Dozen Biscotti. I came home with 2 cookies and 4 pieces of biscotti! I guess it was a hit.

Anyhow, the Visitor's Center was reserved. Luckily there are two wonderful fireplaces outside with picnic tables, so we set up house outside. It was a 35 degree day, not to shabby.

John gave a quick synopsis of our run, we mingled and met, and headed on out upon the deer trail. It was so wonderful, rough, rugged, lots of hiking, climbing, running and smiles and laughing everywhere.

We ran along the deer trail, through crevasses, gorges, up cliffs and down steep hills. We even ran a beach run, along the St. Croix River. We had a crossing and many became wet. Lucky for us, John and Kevin set this up 2 miles from the finish so those that were wet and cold didn't have to put up with it for long.

We had two aid stations set along the course. Cheese, crackers, cookies, grapes, sparkling cider, oranges; we were treated well.

After 3.5 hours on the trail, those who had strapped GPS to their wrists told us we had covered just over 10 miles. What a great workout! It was fabulous. How many can say it takes 3.5 hours to cover 10 miles?

When we arrived to the visitor center the two outdoor fireplaces were stoked, food was plenty, there were warm bathrooms to change into, hot coffee and cider was ready. Great company and conversation was abundant.

Thank you, John and Kevin, for just a wonderful Fat Ass at Afton. It is one that we will never forget.

Baked Twice and Dunked :)

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Baked Once, Serrated, Ready to Bake Again

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Ready to Bake First Time

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Ball of Dough and Log

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Biscotti

Biscotti means 'twice baked' in Italian. I've tried many biscotti recipies and this is the one i have decided is the best. I bring this everywhere, much like the Oreo Crunch Brownies. Everyone loves them.

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 C cinnamon
3 eggs
3 C flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
2 Cups chopped pecans
32 oz bag of Milk Chocolate Chocolate Chips

OK, I double the above recipe to get about 50 big biscotti. I realize not everyone wants mega sized, tons of biscotti. I can't imagine why! Above is the recipe for normal people. I guess.

Heat oven to 325. Grease two baking sheets. Cream butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Mix in flour, baking powder and soda. Fold in 2 cups chocolate chips and nuts. Mix gently, only until well blended. Shape the dough into a long log or make two logs. Flour surface well. Place logs onto well greased pan. Bake 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into slices. Place them cut side own on another greased cookie sheet and bake for 50 minutes at 275. When cool dunk into melted chocolate. Yum. Warning: 357 calories per biscotti (my size biscotti-4")

Ready for the Oven

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Recipies

Before I post my Afton Fat Ass fun run I will post the recipies that were heavily requested. This is the never fail pie crust for the never fail pecan pie. Both recipies are from my Great Grandmother that have followed on down the line to me. I don't imagine my boys will continue the tradition!

Never Fail Pie Crust:
2 1/2 C flour
1 C shortening
Crumble with hands
Mix 3/4 C milk with 1 egg.

Mix together and add to flour mixture, slowly. When you can form a ball stop mixing. Roll onto flour surface. Ball will be quite wet; I usually add 1/2 c additional flour while rolling out. Even if your ball sticks to the counter and you make a mess of it, you can rebundle into a ball and roll out again. You can't ruin it. Really! This makes TWO crusts.

For my Pecan Pie:
Heat oven to 350 degrees
1 1/2 C corn syrup
1 1/2 C dark brown sugar
5 eggs
1/3 C butter, melted
1/2 t Salt
2 t vanilla
2 C pecans

Mix well. I double and make one very full 4" deep pie. This recipe makes a nice full 9" pie for normal people. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust, pour 2 C pecans over. Bake AT LEAST 60 minutes. I usually have to cook my whopper 2 hours.



Pour filling into

Never Fail Pie Crust

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