Running and Eating My Way Through The Long Weekend

Last weekend was Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend, one of the much-needed long weekends we get every year. I feel like this year is flying by already, and I don’t know where the time has gone! Finding balance with writing, half-marathon training, and spending time with friends & family has been a challenge. The long weekend was JUST what I needed to get back on track.

I started Friday off baking these Valentine’s Day M&M/Chocolate Chip cookies

M&M Cookies

M&M Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thanks to an awesome recipe from Averie at Averie Cooks. She has some of the most delicious-looking food pics I have ever seen!! Packed up a couple to take to my amazing Pilates teacher, and I was off for my Pilates session at 3.

Ending the evening with a little bubbly and the yummy Champagne & Cheese Fondue that I posted last Monday.  

veuve-sm

 

 

Kicked off Saturday with a 4-mile run to prepare for Sunday’s long run

sweatshirt

and then headed down to Kula Sweet in Los Altos to visit with Courtney and do a little shopping 🙂

Image courtesy of Kula Sweet Boutique

Image courtesy of Kula Sweet Boutique

 

Planned to run 9 miles through & around Stanford campus. Weather was gorgeous and luckily we had Andy to weave us around the most interesting parts of campus and keep the run fun. BTW, no filters used on this pic – it was this clear & this blue!!!

stanford-campus-feb

 

After the run, we had a great and well-deserved brunch at the Coupa Cafe at the Stanford Golf Course (yep, still eating!) I was thinking about the French toast I was going to order during the ENTIRE run!!!  Gotta stay motivated, right?  LOL

Ended the day with a quick shop for dinner at home and a nice soak using the Aches & Pains relief bath salts that Village Naturals Therapy sent me.

Village Naturals Therapy Bath Salts

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to walk on Monday after the long run, but these soaks did the job! So happy that I wasn’t stiff the next day.

Monday, last day of the long weekend (sigh), but I guess it had to end … Took a MUCH NEEDED rest day from the past couple of days of training. Last big ticket item on the long weekend agenda was a drive up to San Francisco to meet Audra, Jonathan, and Parker for dinner! My first time meeting this little guy!!

Parker

He is a doll & hilarious! Definitely kept the waiter on his toes :-))))

All in all, it was a great weekend spending time with the hubs, laughing while catching up with friends, keeping up with half-marathon training, and of course eating along the way 🙂

What did you do over the long weekend?

Was it action-packed or did you take a much needed time-out?

 

 

 

Meatless Monday: Valentine’s Day Champagne Fondue

Champagne Fondue recipe

I don’t know about you guys, but after the last few years of going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day I am SOLD on “Valentine’s-Night-In.” Don’t get me wrong … I love going out for dinner … but there are only a handful of restaurants that I really enjoy and between the service & lack of parking on that particular night — OY!

One of my favorite cozy & romantic “date-night-in” things to eat is fondue.  And since it’s Valentine’s Day, why not add in a little bit of one of my other favorites — CHAMPAGNE!!!

I remember once that I was preparing a Martha Stewart recipe that called for red wine. One of Martha’s tips was to never use wine in a recipe that you wouldn’t otherwise drink. I have NEVER EVER forgotten this, and I think it has made a huge difference in the flavor of my food. In other words, don’t buy something super cheap to cook with just because you aren’t going to drink it. The flavor from the wine (and champagne in this case) will be infused into the food you are cooking. Makes sense, huh?

choose-a-wine-for-cooking.001

Let’s talk fondue pots… I personally use a stainless steel fondue pot, which I have been very happy with. It cleans up easy, and the cheese doesn’t stick as long as you don’t leave it unattended. You can also use one of the newer electric fondue sets (very practical!),  a clay fondue pot or a ceramic one — totally up to you!

You’ll also need a heat source. Some say that you can use a candle to melt your cheese. I say, unless you want to wait until NEXT Valentine’s Day to eat, opt for fondue fuel. The gel-based ones work perfectly!!

champagne fondue

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Emmentaler cheese
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup extra dry champagne
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • freshly ground pepper
  • bite-sized vegetables (I use baby carrots, broccoli, and red/yellow bell peppers)
  • a nice, crusty baguette cut into cube-sized chunks

How to prepare:

  1. Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the cut surface of the garlic clove.
  2. Coarsely grate the two cheeses and add them to the pot.
  3. Add champagne, lemon juice, and cornstarch and stir over medium heat until cheese melts.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon to keep the cheese from getting stringy.
  5. Stir in the pepper and cook a little longer, until the cheese is smooth and creamy.

To serve:

Spear veggies or bread onto fondue forks and dunk them into the cheese. Allow the fondue to continue to simmer during the entire meal.

Pour yourselves a glass of champagne and enjoy your delicious date-night-in!!  Cheers!