Monthly Archives: April 2012

Windy city

I cannot believe how windy it has been here the past few days. I thought it was windy while we were biking, but that was nothing. The last couple of days it has been impossible to run on the beach (or walk or stand really) without getting pelted by blowing sand.

We took a trip to the Hatteras Lighthouse, but weren’t able to climb to the top. The balcony wasn’t open because of, you guessed it, high winds. We walked around and took some photos at least.

The whole group:

And the ladies:

After the lighthouse we stopped for a beverage at Dirty Dick’s Crab House.

The souvenir cups say “I got my crabs from Dirty Dick’s Crab House.” Classy.

On Wednesday night Steve and I made pizzas for dinner for the whole group. For dessert, we carried over the pizza theme and made a giant cookie “pizza.”

We sliced that baby up and made cookie sundaes with chocolate pretzel covered ice cream (!!!) and whipped cream. Best decision of the week.

I have consumed so much sugar this week that I had a headache all day yesterday. I’m pretty sure it was worth it though.

The trip would not have been complete without the girls buying matching outfits and having a photo session on the beach.

We let the guys in for a few photos as well.

My favorite:

Today we plan to get packed up, go out to breakfast, and hit the road for the long drive home. Bye bye beach!


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Filed under Dessert, Family, Food, Fun, Travel

Scenes from vacation

This is the best way to wake up while on vacation.

Coffee, ocean, sunshine, book.

We did another 4 mile beach run on Tuesday after I ran 6.5 miles on the roads.

I also had fun playing with the fish eye setting on my camera.

We have been eating dinner every night at the house. Tuesday night everyone had tenderloin and I had seared tuna steak. Perfection.

Steve and I bought beer bottle koozies to use on the boat this summer.

Many games of pool have been played.

On Tuesday night I may or may not have done one too many shots that resulted in a dance party on top of the pool table.

Ok, I guess that did happen, pool cue and all.

On Wednesday Steve and I went biking. We rode 18 miles south of Avon to Hatteras in search of ice cream. It was so windy on the way down that I swore off biking forever. At one point we were going 12.5 mph. On a pancake flat road. We finally got into town and couldn’t find the ice cream shop that I wanted to go to. Luckily for everyone involved, I did find an ice cream cone. It could have gotten ugly.

On the bright side, we absolutely flew on the way back. There was one stretch of brand new blacktop road, and I looked down to see we were cruising along at 27 mph. We ended up with 37.2 miles in 2:08, or around a 17.5 mph average. Not bad for my second ride of the year. You better believe my sit bones are feeling it today.

On the agenda for today is climbing the tallest lighthouse in North America.


Sigh, why does vacation always go by so quickly?

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Filed under Food, Fun, The bike, The run, Travel

Barefoot on the beach

This is the house we are staying in right now.

Too bad it is such a shack. It has five bedrooms and an elevator, no big deal.

I had to attend a conference call for work on Monday morning that finished up around noon, so I felt like I kind of wasted the morning. After I was done, Steve and I went for a run on the beach. Barefoot running on the beach was probably the one thing I was looking forward to most on this trip.

We ran two miles down the beach and two miles back. My favorite was running right in the surf.

Awesome, right? We are planning to go again today. After our run we walked along the beach and found some shells, though there aren’t many around here at all. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, hot-tubbing, and eating, three of my favorite things.

This morning I looked out the window and was greeted with a beautiful view.

I could get used to this.


Filed under The run, Travel

Ocean breeze

What a week! In short, I ran my highest mileage ever including a 34 mile trail run, worked, prepared to go on vacation, and drove for 20 hours to the Outer Banks in NC, which will be our home for the next seven days. Here is our back yard:

Let’s back up. Saturday morning there was a group build up training run for the Ice Age 50. It was slated to start at 7:30, but I opted to meet up with three other guys bright and early at 6am to hit the trail. I figured the earlier I got done running, the earlier I was on vacation. I ended up running 34 miles and felt fantastic. We took it slow, and I made sure to eat a ton of food as an experiment for race day. Things I ate during the six hour run include 2 PB Gu’s, 1 Tangerine PowerGel, 1 apple pie Larabar, peanut butter pretzel nuggets, pretzel M&M’s, and roasted potatoes. I never thought I would be able to stomach all of that while running, but I did it with no problems and never bonked at all. That run brought my total to just shy of 90 miles in 7 days. I am feeling confident for the 50 mile race in three weeks, especially because Saturday’s run was on the race course.

Right after the run I came home, showered, finished packing, and Steve and I were on the road. We drove straight through to North Carolina in about 20 hours to meet his family. It was raining when we got in and we couldn’t check into our house yet, so we stopped for lunch. I thought it appropriate to kick off vacation right with a big glass of sangria.

Now we are relaxing on the couch enjoying the ocean breeze and the sounds of the surf.

And later tonight…hot tub!

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Filed under Fun, Nature, The run, Travel

Trails and donuts

Saturday morning started as all Saturdays should, with a great trail run. I met up with my friends Lori and Sandee for 15 miles.

It was great to have the company, and the weather was gorgeous.

It’s amazing how fast the miles flew by with good conversation.

When I got home, Steve and I worked on some things around the house. Very exciting stuff like finishing flooring, painting moldings, etc, etc. I love it when I feel productive.

I also wanted to bake something for my mom. On Friday afternoon I received the following email from her:

Hi Laura,

I delivered your bananas and rakes, and raked up a bag of leaves. Since it’s supposed to rain, I cut your grass.



Yep, she is pretty much the best ever. I whipped up some coconut carrot cake donuts based on this recipe. Instead of the coconut milk, I used Coconut Cream Concentrate from Tropical Traditions, which worked great.

For the glaze, I mixed about a cup of powdered sugar, 1TB coconut cream concentrate, and 2TB almond coconut milk. So good.

This morning’s 18 miler with Team in Training brought me to 68 miles for the week, 44 of which were on trails. I will continue to ramp into this week, which will culminate in a 35 mile trail run on Saturday. Then it’s vacation time!

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Food, Friends, The run

Costco Ice Cream Bar

Back in February my mom and Joe embarked on a three week trip to Hawaii. I talked to her several times while she was off aloha-ing and luau-ing around the islands. Perhaps the most exciting discovery of their trip was the Costco Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bar. Yes, they frequented Costco while on vacation, as some of the places they stayed had a kitchen where they could eat some of their meals. As she described the bar in luscious detail over the phone, I excitedly wondered if said ice cream bar existed at our very own Costco here in Wisconsin. As excited as I was, I was also baffled that I was not aware of the existence of this mother of all ice cream bars. I drooled as she mentioned the vanilla ice cream, the thick layer of hand-dipped chocolate, and…wait for it…the thick coating of chopped almonds. Add the fact that the treat rings up for $1.50 and it seemed too good to be true.

Fast forward to after their trip. I got a call from my mom that she went to Costco and they did indeed have the ice cream bar. Oh joyous day! We made plans to meet there on a Friday after work, but our plans were foiled by a rogue snow storm. Before we had a chance to reschedule our outing, my mom went and did something very silly. She Googled the ice cream bar and found out that it clocks in at a whopping 870 calories. Eighthundredandseventycalories. Oh my. Could an ice cream treat possibly be worth half of a day’s worth of calories? I tried to put it out of my mind.

Fast forward to yesterday. After completing some yard work at our house, my mom and I headed out to do some shopping at Costco. We consumed a fair amount of samples, as we had not eaten a proper lunch. After we checked out, I suggested possibly ordering a frozen yogurt. As we debated the Very Berry Sundae or the simple Twist cup, my mom didn’t seem to thrilled. She finally declared that we should get the ice cream bar to share. Who am I to argue with my mom? I watched from afar as our bar was dipped in rich luscious chocolate and generously rolled in chopped almonds. My mouth watered as my mom placed the bar on the table and handed me a spoon.

We gobbled up the entire bar, that as evidenced in the above photo, was as big as my mom’s head. It was spectacular. Once the bar was gone, the stray almonds picked off of the foil, and the stick licked clean, my mom looked at me and said,

“It was worth it.”

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Food

Make it Count

First of all, watch this video. Very cool!

Make it Count


Second, I’m sure many of you have seen the Food List Challenge on Facebook. It is a list of 100 foods to try before you die, and you are supposed to see how many you have actually tried. I love a good list, so I decided to copy it here and highlight the things I have tried in pink. Some of them I had to Google to find out what it even was. Turns out I have tried 60/100. There were a few things that I would try, but many that I can confidently say will never pass by these lips. Like sweetbreads, haggis, and Spam. Oh and carp. Seriously? Gag me now. Here’s the list:

1. Abalone

 2. Absinthe

 3. Alligator

 4. Baba Ghanoush

 5. Bagel and Lox

 6. Baklava

 7. Barbecue Ribs

 8. Bellini

9. Bird’s Nest Soup (had to google this one: A few species of swift, the cave swifts, are renowned for building the saliva nests used to produce the unique texture of this soup.) Uh, no thanks.

 10. Biscuits and Gravy

11. Black Pudding

 12. Black Truffle

13. Borscht

 14. Calamari

15. Carp

 16. Caviar

 17. Cheese Fondue

18. Chicken and Waffles

19. Chicken Tikka Masala

 20. Chile Relleno

21. Chitlins

 22. Churros

 23. Clam Chowder

 24. Cognac

 25. Crab Cakes

26. Crickets

27. Currywurst

28. Dandelion Wine

29. Dulce De Leche

30. Durian

 31. Eel

 32. Eggs Benedict

 33. Fish Tacos

34. Foie Gras

 35. Fresh Spring Rolls

 36. Fried Catfish

 37. Fried Green Tomatoes

 38. Fried Plantain

39. Frito Pie

 40. Frogs’ Legs

41. Fugu (Pufferfish)

 42. Funnel Cake

 43. Gazpacho

44. Goat

45. Goat’s Milk

 46. Goulash

 47. Gumbo

48. Haggis

49. Head Cheese

 50. Heirloom Tomatoes

51. Honeycomb

 52. Hostess Fruit Pie

 53. Huevos Rancheros

 54. Jerk Chicken

55. Kangaroo

 56. Key Lime Pie

 57. Kobe Beef

 58. Lassi

 59. Lobster

 60. Mimosa

61. MoonPie

 62. Morel Mushrooms

63. Nettle Tea

 64. Octopus

65. Oxtail Soup

 66. Paella

 67. Paneer

 68. Pastrami on Rye

69. Pavlova (haven’t tried this but it looks delicious)

70. Phaal

71. Philly Cheese Steak

72. Pho

 73. Pineapple and Cottage Cheese

 74. Pistachio Ice Cream

 75. Po’ Boy

76. Pocky

 77. Polenta

78. Prickly Pear

79. Rabbit Stew

 80. Raw Oysters

 81. Root Beer Float

 82. S’mores

 83. Sauerkraut

 84. Sea Urchin (one of the most disgusting things I have ever had in my mouth)

 85. Shark

 86. Snail

87. Snake

 88. Soft Shell Crab

89. Som Tam

 90. Spaetzle

 91. Spam (I honestly don’t think Spam has ever crossed these lips)

 92. Squirrel

 93. Steak Tartare

 94. Sweet Potato Fries

95. Sweetbreads

96. Tom Yum

97. Umeboshi

 98. Venison

 99. Wasabi Peas

100. Zucchini Flowers

How many things on the list have you tried? Anything you want to try or would never try?

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Filed under Food, Miscellany