Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Marathon Training: Week 1

Total mileage: 18



I've officially started marathon training. And, I officially started marathon training a couple weeks late. I had hoped to have a solid base of 7-10 miles, but I slacked off. A lot. I will have 16 weeks of training before the race. I'm pretty confident I can make up the mileage without overdoing it. That being said, my legs were TIRED this week. Tripling the mileage from the previous week was a bit of a shock for the old gams, but it was nothing more than weak, achy legs. 

Here's how the week went.

Monday- rest

Tuesday- 4 miles on the treddy and 15 minute ab work 

Wednesday- rest

Thursday- 
 
Friday- 

Saturday- rest

Sunday- Because my legs were so tired, I figured it was best to run my flat route which is an out and back. I knew I'd be slower, and this was the exact time I was wanting.

This song is one of the best on the album. I think I say that about half their songs, though.


This route isn't very pretty if it's not covered in snow. The deer carcass someone discarded wasn't very pretty either. Way to go, Jefferson County! 

I saw a family running that day. I thought it was very cute, but they annoyed me a bit. Part of the route is closed to traffic but a mile of it is on open road. The family ran three across on the RIGHT side of the road. Typically, people run on the left side on public streets and fall into a single line when cars come. They did not. I know. A silly gripe, but I don't want them giving area runners a bad name! :)

How was your week?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Absent

You may notice my weekly workout recap and menu plan are absent this week. Well, folks, this is because last week was pretty horrendous. Ok. Ok. Ok. Horrendous is a bit extreme. It was certainly a wild ride.

Mister started up traveling again. He really hasn't traveled much this year, but I knew we'd manage. Little did I know, the big kids had brought back a fantastic souvenir from their trip to Disney with their dad: a stomach bug. Womp. Womp. Womp.

Between catching up on work from the prior week, a work event, sick kiddos and laundry, my free time was nonexistent. What little time I did have, I just crashed. I know that I should have made more of an effort to exercise, but it just wasn't one of my top priorities.

With the kiddos being sick, they didn't have much of an appetite. They relied on a diet of crackers, toast and Ramen noodles. I just snacked on whatever. I'm very anxious to make my first ever batch of chicken stock this week! I'll share the recipe after we've sampled it.

This week will be better. The kids will not be sick. I will make the foods I intended to make last week. I will run a lot more miles than I did last week (3, by the way).

I can do this. Right??


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Tater!


Today is Tater Tot's 11th birthday! He is getting to the age where I can't call him my little man. He'd probably prefer Mr. T to Tater too. I say it with every birthday post because it is true: time moves too quickly.

T is a handsome, young man who tries not to let his feelings show. You never know if he's over the moon excited or down in the dumps. He'd make a great poker player!

He is a workhorse. T is always busy doing something and would spend 24 hours a day outside playing if I'd let him.

We are so proud of the young man you are becoming. Happy birthday, buddy!










The Donut Standings

Also titled, the last donut review you'll see for a while. Am I giving up on the yummy pastries?! Ha. Not a chance. I'm just running out of local places to review and ten weeks is a good time to end it. I plan on reviewing other shops when I come across them. I can't NOT try new donuts. It would be crime.

I had a lot of fun trying out all of these new to me places. A couple of things I've learned along the way:
Most shops are either really good at cake donuts or yeast donuts, but typically not both.
A lot of shops are still cash only.
There are a LOT of good donuts in St. Louis. I can never move from this area for this reason alone.

I took the top three scores from each group and did an overall score. Let's see who's the best!

Best Glazed
1. Old Town Florissant- 5 stars
1. Donut Stop- 5 stars
3. Donut Cafe-4.5 stars

Best Custard
1. Eddie's Southtown Donuts- 5 stars
2. Donut Stop- 4.5 stars
2. Old Town Florissant- 4.5 stars

Best Vanilla Iced Cake
1. Donut Stop- 5 stars
2. Eddie's Southtown Donuts- 4.5 stars
3. Olde Towne Fenton- 4 stars

Best Fritter
1. Donut Stop- 5 stars
1. Eddie's Southtown- 5 stars
1. Old Town Florissant- 5 stars

Overall Rankings
1. Donut Stop
2. Eddie's Southtown
3. Old Town Florissant
4. Wentzville Donut Cafe
5. Harter Bakery
5. Ex-cop Donut Shop
5. Olde Towne in Fenton
8. Donut Drive-In
9. World's Fair Donuts
10. Tony's Donuts


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Week 10 Donut Review: World's Fair Donuts

World's Fair Donuts is a small little shop located at 1904 Vandeventer in St. Louis, MO. A husband and wife team have been running the place since 1976. A couple of things to note if you're making the trip to World's Fair: their parking lot is minuscule and they are cash only. Their cash register looks to be a century old and adds to the charm of the place.


This glazed donut is a beast. It's sooooooo tall and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.
My score 3 stars out of 5:  The glazed donut at World's Fair is tasty. The glaze coverage is perfect, and it's not too sweet. The dough has a very good flavor and is a little dense.


I was a little bummed World's Fair didn't have any coconut when I visited, but I was still anxious to give this cake donut a try.
My score 3.5 stars out of 5:  The icing coverage on this donut is very good. The icing itself isn't too sweet and has a great flavor. The cake portion has a slight crunch to it which I LOVE. The cake has a good flavor and is the perfect consistency.


Now, it's time for the apple fritter!
His score 2 stars out of 5:  The fritter is a good size, but is lacking the bubbly texture we look for in a good fritter. The glaze coverage was very good and not too sweet. Mister would have preferred more apple.It was a little on the light side. The dough on this was different than all of the fritters we've tried. It was cinnamon. Typically, fritters have swirls of cinnamon throughout. Mind=blown.


Holy mackerel. I thought the glazed was big. The custard is just massive!
My score 2.5 stars out of 5: The icing coverage was perfect on this donut. The icing wasn't super sweet, which I like. The dough on the custard was dense also. I would have liked a bit more custard filling. It took several bites before I was able to taste it. The custard had a different taste I haven't had at any of the other shops. At first, I thought it was more of a vanilla pudding, but I realized the custard had a hint of coconut to it.

World's Fair Donuts is a very popular place with the locals and it's easy to see why. They crank out donuts on a daily basis for a very reasonable price. These four donuts only set me back a cool $2.50! The next time we make a trip to the zoo, I think we will be stopping by World's Fair again!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Mister is flying to Houston this week. The days that you see leftovers are the days the big kids will be at their house. D3 and I will just munch on whatever. I know. Lazy. I like to think of it as efficient. I'm saving time AND money. :)

I'm going to make my own chicken stock on Tuesday, and I'm unreasonably excited about that.

What are you having for dinner this week?? Seriously. Please, share. I'm in quite a rut.







Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weekly Workout Review

It would appear I caught a case of lazy butt-itis. Whoops. I honest to goodness thought I had done more this week. Clearly, my brain is a million places at once. I need to get on track. 

I started Jilian Michael's 6 week Six Pack Abs. Now, I really don't think I'll have a six pack besides of beer. I think it'll be a fun little challenge. I've been doing ab work 3 times a week for the last couple of moths, and it's paying off. I took a comparison photo, and I've definitely lost some inches. Nice to see the progress when you aren't really feeling it. It's also nice because I haven't exactly been watching what I eat. 

What did you do to sweat it out last week?? 

                                         

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Menu Plan Monday


What are you having for dinner?

Week 9 Donut Review: Olde Towne Donuts in Fenton

Fenton, Missouri is home to the next shop in donut series. Olde Towne Donuts has been open for business for nearly ten years. They keep it simple here: donuts and pastries with seasonal Christmas cookies. The staff is incredibly friendly and is certainly part of the reason patrons make return visits.


This custard donut looks almost too perfect to eat. I said ALMOST. Besides, it would be a crime to not eat the donut.
My score 2.5 stars out of 5: The chocolate icing is pretty good. It's not very rich, but it's not super sugary. It's a nice happy medium. The dough is also right in the middle. It wasn't too dense or too light with a very good taste. The custard filling was decent, but a little on the skimpy side.


Oh. My. Goodness. I might have fallen in love with this cake donut.
My score 4 stars out of 5: The icing was perfect. It wasn't super sweet and had a great vanilla taste. There was a TON of coconut which I just loved. The cake itself was very moist with a hint of nutmeg. A very interesting flavor. I didn't hate it, but didn't think it meshed well with the coconut. Still, this was a very tasty treat.


Look at the golden plate of goodness. 
My score 3.5 stars out of 5: This glazed donut was covered perfectly. The glaze had a great taste. The dough was on the denser side and not too sweet.

The apple fritter is last, but not least.
His score 2 stars out of 5: The glaze was very good. The dough was a bit dense and we couldn't really taste any apple in the fritter. It wasn't that this didn't taste good. It was more like a donut than a fritter. It was very yummy though!

If you find yourself doing some shopping in the Fenton, be sure to drop in to Olde Towne Donuts and try a nibble. They are open from 8pm until 1:30pm the next day! They are ready for you whenever a craving should strike you.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Work outs for week of 11/24/2013

Lungs are feeling much better. Looking forward to going faster and farther this week. 


                                      

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 8 Donut Review: Wentzville Donut Cafe

Wentzville Donut Cafe is family owned and operated donut shop located on Pearce Blvd in Wentzville, Missouri. Wentzville donut cafe offers not only donuts but a breakfast menu and baked items including cookies and cupcakes.

On to the good stuff!


This fritter? This fritter! It's a thing of beauty. 
Mister's score 4 stars out of 5: The apple fritter is huge, thick and bubbly. When I say big, I mean it. This fritter was nearly two inches tall. Definitely the biggest we've reviewed. The fritter was cooked very well with a slight crispness to the outer shell. There were perfect amounts of cinnamon and apple throughout. The fritter had a very good glaze coverage and the glazed tasted very good.



The custard was another beast of a donut. I'm not a small girl and appreciate a big donut.
My score 4 stars out of 5: This donut was very large, but a little thin in relation to the diameter. This had me a bit concerned, but that subsided after my first bite. The dough was a great consistency, not too dense. Not too airy. The icing was rich and delicious. The custard was very tasty. I would have preferred a bit more custard in my donut, but I know that filling donuts isn't an exact science and that no two have the same amount of filling.


The white cake donut looks great. The icing is is thick and the color is very good.
My score 3.5 stars out of 5: The cake donut was very yummy. It was a softer variety with good flavor and very moist. The icing was very sweet, but didn't tasty grainy or sugary like some.

I'm not going to lie. I was pretty excited to sink my teeth into this glazed donut. I love the look and like the other yeast donuts, it's ginormous.
My score 4.5 stars out of 5: Mmmmmmmm. The glaze was a little thicker than I prefer on a glazed donut, but it really didn't over power it at all. The dough was the same medium consistency as the custard and it had that delicious buttery taste that really makes a great glazed donut.

The Wentzville Donut Cafe, while still a young business, is cranking out a very delicious product. With such delectable delights, Wentzville Donut Cafe will be around for quite some time.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Workouts for Week of 11/17/2013

Total mileage for the week: If my math isn't failing me, I believe my total was just around.....zero....

Yeah. I came down with a cold that settled in my chest. When I started to feel better, I developed a migraine. That subsided. Then, ridiculous stomach pains from something I ate, I'm assuming. The week was a complete joke. I miss running and working out. I know that it was better to rest than try to over do it, but still.....waaaaaaaah.

How were your workouts last week?



                                 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 7 Donut Review: Old Town Donuts in Florissant

Old Town Donuts first opened the doors to their shop in Florissant in 1968. Since then, a new owner has taken over (the brother-in-law of the original owner), and they've opened up another shop in Cottleville. 

Mister was actually referred to Old Town Donuts by the folks over at Eddie's Southtown Donuts. They said a lot of people compare them to Old Town. Well, if a donut shop makes a reference to another shop, you kind of HAVE to try it.

We are going to change the order up a bit this week. How's that for rocking your donut world??


Look. At. That. I have no words. The fritter looks fantastic and is huge.
His Score 5 stars out of 5: I believe Mister's words were somewhere along the lines of "This fritter makes me question all the other scores I've given." The texture was perfect. The apple and cinnamon combination was excellent and not lacking in amount. The glaze was on the sweeter side, but it really worked for this fritter.

A couple of the donuts aren't very pretty, but that's no fault of Old Town's. They had a long, apparently bouncy ride from Florissant to Arnold.
I had high hopes for this guy after having such a great experience with the fritter.
My score 2.5 stars out of 5:  The cake donut was very tasty, but didn't blow me away. The icing was decent but  pretty thin. The cake was a spongy type. It didn't have a lot of depth to it flavor wise. It was a little boring for me, but don't mistake that for a bad product.


This poor donut. It looks like Mister straight up man handled it.
My score 4.5 stars out of 5:   Whoa. This custard donut did not disappoint. The dough is light and not overly sweet. There was a good amount of custard filling and it was TASTY. The icing wasn't the rich type I fond of, but it was not the super sweet kind either. It was mid range.



For some reason, I have a fondness for donuts that aren't perfectly uniform, and I LOVE the looks of this glazed. Great color and great size to boot.
My score 5 stars out of 5:  The dough is almost buttery and wonderfully light. The glaze tasted amazing and wasn't thick. Excellent. 

I was pretty excited to try these tasty treats after Mister sent me a text. "Whoa.....these donuts look amazing." He told me he wasn't even hungry when he went in, but was dying to gobble them up after he arrive. 

Another donut they have that bears mentioning is their Old Fashion or Sour Cream. Holy. Heck. It's delicious. It took me back to the days of working in a donut shop. I haven't had one quite as tasty until now. 

If you're in Florissant or Cottleville, be sure and stop by Old Town Donuts. I have a feeling you won't be disappointed by anything you chose.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Workouts for Week of 11/10/2013

Total mileage: 17.33 miles.

Sunday my legs were heavy. I mean HEAVY. I didn't hit a good groove until after the fourth mile. The first four miles were all above nine minute miles. Ick. Not just ick, but I struggled to pound those out. Miles five and six felt a lot better. I wanted to tack on more, but Tater had asked to run with me so I figured I would hold off.

Tuesday's run was on the treadmill. It was windy and cold. I didn't want any of that.

Thursday I was crunched for time. I got out of work late and forgot my sports bra at home. Meh. I had to pick D3 from school so I was faced with two choices: cut my run short or run faster. I went for speed. My legs felt good and I really didn't have to put a lot of effort into the run.

Saturday I was short on time again. I really wanted to get 8 in, but I wouldn't have time before soccer thanks to a later start. Run short or run fast? Again, I went with speed. My legs felt amazing. My knee was a bit sore at first, but then I was booking it.

I was really hoping to up the miles this week, but my knee said, "Pft. Not a chance, Sister." I'm learning to listen to my body. It's a hard thing to do because my brain is often louder than my body. Here's to a better week this week.





Menu Plan Monday

 You'll probably notice this week's menu is pretty identical to last week's. Mister brought home leftovers one day from work so we had those. Another night, I was lazy and didn't feel like cooking. We moved my birthday dinner to Friday night since the big kids would be going back to their dad's on my birthday. We are really going to stick to the menu this week. I feel better physically when I don't eat fast foods or processed foods. Who doesn't?

Saturday's meal is not my choice. The small boy picked this place because it's his favorite and that's what he wanted for his birthday meal. I'll be sticking to the salads. Goodness knows I need to.



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Small Boy Turns 6

If ever I've dreaded writing a post, it's this one. Well, to be honest, any birthday post for my kiddos makes me incredibly sad.

Motherhood has taught me one very important thing: time is very slow but very fast at the same time. I treasure every day with my munchkins and am thankful for all of the photos to remind me of things I may forget.

My how you've grown, little man. From Baby Danny, to Little Danny, to just D and occasionally Daniel Charles when you're in serious trouble.

You are the biggest ham. You try so hard to make everyone laugh and smile. You hate to disappoint anyone or feel like you've let them down. You're personality is the perfect combination of your father and me. Stubborn, sensitive, funny, loving. The last six years have been amazing, and I don't know what we would do if we didn't have you in our lives. Thank you for your big heart and infectious smile, son of mine. Happy sixth birthday!

One year old

                                      
Two years old 

 Three years old

 
Four years old

Five years old


Six years old






Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ok. So, paired with my awful photography skills, this soup doesn't appear to be very photogenic. What it lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor. Even Mister gave it a thumbs up, which is HUGE. He's not a soup person. I knew it couldn't be too bad if he couldn't hate it.
This isn't a typical "homemade" soup in that I didn't make the base or broth, but it definitely hits the spot and you can't argue with that if it's ready to eat in 30 minutes or less.


Ingredients
one can cream of chicken soup
8 oz chicken breast tenders
3 cups of water
half a bag baby carrots
one bag Uncle Ben's Brown and Wild Rice ready rice
6 tablespoons of margarine
one can of skim milk
one medium onion, diced
dash of salt
dash of pepper

1. Place the water, chicken, onions, carrots, salt and pepper in a stock pot. Bring to boil. Boil until chicken is cooked.
2. Remove chicken from pot. Dice and return to pot. 
3. Add remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook another 5-10 minutes.

**If I were preparing this for just myself I would add more carrots and add celery. I'll caution you to use salt sparingly when it comes to seasoning your chicken. The margarine and condensed soup are both very salty, in my opinion.** 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Menu Plan Monday, Tuesday Edition

I'm not sure why this did not post yesterday, but here you go any way!

The meals this week aren't elaborate. I had to scale back because we ran out of a lot of staple items at the same time. Budgets stink.

Next week, I will be sure to include the actual list. I decided to upload the menu this way because it's prettier, and I was too lazy to copy my list.

What are you having for dinner this week?






Week 6 Donut Review: Eddie's Southtown Donuts

South St. Louis city is teeming with tasty donut shops, and Eddie's Southtown Donuts is just one of those places.
I'd like to apologize for the awful cell phone photos. Mister brought these to me while I was working. Obviously, I couldn't wait until I got home to sample the goodies, so the cell phone photos would have to suffice.

Coconut cake!!! The coconut cake from Eddie's looked pretty delish. They didn't skimp on the size or the toppings.
My score 4.5 stars out of 5: The cake had a slightly crunchy exterior which I absolutely love. It still managed to be moist on the inside. The vanilla icing tasted fantastic and wasn't overpowering.


Chocolate Custard. Dark icing!!! Who says you can't judge a book by its cover?? This donut was also a reasonable size and as you can see, the icing is done to perfection.
My Score 5 stars out of 5: The icing was the delicious, rich variety I'm in love with. I thought the donut felt a little light, so I was concerned they had skimped with the custard. Not true! One bit in, and I'd struck gold. There was just enough of the custard and it was a good quality to boot. The dough had a great taste and consistency.


Glazed Donut. This photo didn't do this poor donut justice. The glazed donut is another decently sized confection and looked great.
My score 3.5 stars out of 5:  Talk about tasty. The glaze on this donut was darn near close to perfect in taste and coverage. The dough felt to be a tad bit denser than the custard, but had a spectacular taste.


Apple Fritter. Would you get a look at that beauty?
His score 5 stars out of 5:  Wow. Mister's first word. The glaze was perfect. The fritter was cooked to perfection and had that awesome bubbly appearance we love. The fritter had the perfect blend of apple and cinnamon.

Mister and I didn't know what to expect from Eddie's because we hadn't heard a lot about them, but man, oh, man did they come to the table prepared. On top of having a stupendous product, Mister noted how friendly the workers were. They chatted a bit about my blog, and he even suggested another shop for us to try. If you are remotely close to the St. Louis area, do yourself a favor and stop by Eddie's Southtown Donuts. Thank me later.




Sunday, November 10, 2013

Workouts for Week of 11/03/2013

Total mileage: 16.7

I've got to stop racing during training runs and just run.

The wind on Sunday was ridiculous. I actually love running hills, but running them with wind? I'd rather stab myself in the eyeball. Turns out, there was a lot of wind for all of my outdoor runs last week. Lame.



Friday, November 8, 2013

Salsa Chicken with Brown Rice

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite low fat dishes. I love the versatility of the recipe and it's very simple to throw together.



Ingredients
1 cup brown rice cooked according to directions
1 chicken breast cooked and diced, seasoned to your liking (can substitute canned chicken)
1 can of seasoned black beans (I did not drain the beans and regular would work also.)
1 can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained (Regular works too, but these taste great.)
Cilantro to taste
salsa to taste (We had ghost pepper salsa. A little went a really long way.)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a pan until warmed thoroughly. I ate mine with a few tortilla chips. I forgot to pick up a lime at the store. A squeeze of lime juice in this dish gives it that little extra punch. Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 5 Donut Review: Donut Drive-In

I can't believe I'm already five weeks in to this tasty challenge! I don't want to even THINK about all of the calories I've consumed during this quest. More donuts means more miles though! Whatever motivates you to work out, I say.

Donut Drive-In is located in south St. Louis city and is another popular local spot that I've heard nothing but great things about from friends. I was very excited when Mister said he'd swing by and pick some up for me. Please note: Donut Drive-In is a cash only business. Make sure you swing by the ATM before you stop by.



I was a little disappointed Donut Drive-In didn't have any coconut cake donuts, but I won't let that play any part in my final score. This donut looked pretty promising. It's always a good sign when the donut is properly iced. I like a hefty cake donut and this was a great size. The cake donut was very spongy and not crumbly at all even though it wasn't a particularly moist cake.
My Score 2.5 stars out of 5: The cake donut was yummy but didn't knock my socks off. The cake and the icing didn't have a lot of flavor like some of the others I've tried. Still, a good showing, I think.



I was very excited about this custard donut. It has the dark, rich icing I LOVE and was a very good size donut.
My Score 2.5 Stars out of 5: As I thought, the icing was fantastic and they didn't skimp when they covered it. I wish I could say the same about the custard. I didn't hit the payload until about three bites in to the donut. The custard was good, but there wasn't a lot of it. The yeast dough is a bit denser than I prefer, but has great flavor and isn't too sweet.


The glazed donut from Donut Drive-In looked awesome. The glaze doesn't appear to be too thick and the color is perfect. Along with the other two, the size on this one was pretty good.
My Score 3.5 Stars out of 5: This was by far the best donut I had from Donut Drive-In. As with the custard, the dough was on the dense side, but definitely not a hockey puck. The taste was great and worked well with the glaze. The glaze was a bit sweet, but it really worked well for this donut.


Last, but certainly not least, the apple fritter. The glaze looks to be on the thicker side. The fritter has a great color, but doesn't have as many "bubbles" as the Mister and I would like. (Although, really, bubbles, don't play into the taste. It's just a preference.) 
His Score 2.5 Stars out of 5: The fritter had a great texture and was cooked perfectly. There was just the right amount of cinnamon. The thicker glaze was on the sweet side, but didn't distract from the fritter. Mister only gave the fritter 2.5 stars because there wasn't a lot of apple flavor. If it had more apple, he would have ranked it a four easily.

I was pleasantly surprised by the morsels from Donut Drive-In. I stress the size of the donuts because many times I'll run across smaller items and they leave me feeling bitter. A) I want more. B) I feel like I'm getting ripped off. This is not the case at the Donut Drive-In. If you find yourself in the south city area, be sure to stop in and give them a try. Make sure to get a regular glazed!