The Bright Side of Injured Reserve

I’m beginning to think my body hates me.

Somewhere along the course of my marathon paced long run on Saturday, my left calf/ankle decided it was just done. The “we’re-not-gonna-let-you-finish-this-run” kinda D-O-N-E done. No acute event brought this on – I didn’t step in a hole or roll my ankle. No, this incident was seemingly out-of-the-blue, precursed only by three days or so of mild calf tightness.

The verdict is still out on what exactly is going on but I’m out for a week or so…at least. PT appointments and biking (thank Sweet Baby Jesus that biking feels okay) shall be de rigueur.

on the bike

I’m on a boat bike…

So, I’m back on Injured Reserve. After almost two months of solid training and promising workouts, my body decided to rebel and force some rest. In my old age, I’m getting better at appreciating the fact that injury – current or impending – is my body’s way of telling me that it’s been neglected in some way, shape, or form. I’ve got to address an overuse issue, be mindful of staying on top of my PT exercises, clue in to a hitch in my gait, etc, etc. Far from the end of the world, injury is an excuse to get stronger, train smarter, to learn, and to grow. Of course, this doesn’t mean I WANT to be injured but approaching it positively makes it that much more bearable.

Not only that, but being forced to the sidelines this time around awarded me a few awesome experiences yesterday. I had originally intended to run the Amica Iron Horse 5k with Mom, which would have been awesome. Instead, something even more awesome happened: I was able to return a favor she has extended my way countless times over the past few years – I cheered for her. I saw her truckin’ towards that finish line and screamed my head off as she completed her second 5k (ever!) with a PR of over 30 seconds.

I was also able to serve as our McKirdy Trained team’s official photographer, capturing so many happy faces and phenomenal performances.

Not least, This Guy’s course PR.

20160605_081032(1)

I am shamelessly biased…

Were it not for Injured Reserved, I would have missed all of this. #truestory

Point is, in any situation, there is ALWAYS a positive. Something good to focus our attention on, some useful lesson, some beautiful sight we would not otherwise have seen. The bright side can occasionally be difficult to find…but it’s there, just waiting for discovery. And…wow…once you get good at finding it, my friends, it has the potential to change your life.

jesse owens

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Perspective

There’s this thing about training.

Having a goal, working towards it, and (hopefully) realizing it is one of the most rewarding things for an athlete. Of course, a focus on improvement and growth requires an attention to details. For us runners, these details are times and paces and distances and the minutia of covering said distances in particular times to practice particular paces. Even for distance runners, seconds mean a lot.

eliud-kipchoge-35

Being aware of these stats is necessary but it can also make us lose sight of the larger picture. This thing about training? The very details that help us to become better athletes can also get in our heads and be detrimental to improvement.

This is something I struggle with…a lot. Years of battling perfectionist tendencies mean that if I don’t hit the numbers I’m “supposed” to, I feel like a failure. Folks, failure is a strong word…and it’s a stronger feeling. Take my word for it, it is not a pleasant sensation.

Rationally, I know this isn’t the way to approach less than stellar workouts and races. There is almost always a reason for missed times – sickness, not enough sleep, allergies, not enough of the right fuel, weather, an “off” day, etc, etc – that has nothing to do with one’s true ability. Furthermore, there is always something positive in every. single. run. Even “bad” runs can teach us something good. Managing expectations, handling defeat, practicing humility – these are all valuable lessons to learn. This is something I tell my athletes all the time. I preach it…but I still struggle to practice it.

I am not perfect. I am a work in progress.

As I’ve grown as a runner, I’ve become better at identifying the good and constructive parts of my own rough workouts. However, I’m not proud to admit that I still tend to have an initial reaction (meltdown might be a better word for it) that my poor coach gets the honor of hearing. Just this morning, a text not worthy for public consumption was sent his way…bless his heart. Poor guy…

text

But, I digress…

Point is, five minutes after sending that text, I had already hopped on the Positivity Train. I was able to ascertain a couple of reasons why my times were off this morning and that made me feel better. Evaluating reasons, stepping back and seeing my workout as simply that – a workout – and not an indicator of my worth as a runner, put the past hour-and-a-half into perspective and dampened any residual disappointment. I stepped away from the details and put this morning’s intervals in their proper place – ONE workout amongst the MANY that will get me to my goal. A literal drop of sweat (or a few hundred drops – I sweat like a pig) in the bucket.

On the road to greatness, we are all works in progress. We are all imperfect. BUT. That doesn’t mean that we can’t be great. Great athletes are not those that never fail. Great athletes are those that don’t let failure get the best of them. One workout, one long run, one race…in the grand scheme of things, each of those things doesn’t equate to much.

Putting our disappointments into perspective. Considering the larger picture and finding the positive in every run. That, my friends, is the key to success.

perspective

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The ONE Thing That Motivates Me

I run. It’s just what I do. There are myriad reasons why I decide to squash my chest into a sports bra (sorry, par for the course for us lady runners), pull on sometimes constrictive spandex clothing, and tie on a pair of running shoes nearly every single day. I run for fitness, I run to conquer distances, I run to feel the pavement under my feet, I run to chase that next PR, I run to think, I run to breathe, I run to sweat, I run to feel, I run because I am in love with the sport, I run because I can. The reasons don’t end with this list…in fact, my “whys” for running are infinite. Every day brings a new justification, a new explanation.

Reasons, though, are different than motivation. Reasons simply justify my behavior. Motivation, on the other hand, gets my tush in motion on days when I’m just not feelin’ it.

Shock-Awe

**Shock** **Awe***

Yes, folks, as much as I love The Run, there are days when I’m just not feelin’ it. Days when I need that little extra push to get out the door and put foot to pavement. Days when I want to quit a speed session halfway through because I’m not hitting my times or I’m feeling like hammered dog poop.

It’s these days that the “whys” won’t cut it. Nope. These occasions call for the big guns. I need to be provoked, I need a driving force, an impetus to action  -and you know what that is? Do you know what one thing motivates me? What inspires me more than anything?

YOU.

You, my friends. You, my runners. You, my fellow athletes, my comrades in running shoes. Nothing quite stokes my fire like YOU do.

The running community at large, competitors I’ve met at races, like-minded souls I follow on social media, runner friends, and those I coach. ALL of YOU have inspired me at one point or another. I remember the story of an acquaintance who ran her way through breast cancer, the instance of a talented runner who gave me a run for my money in the last 5 miles of a 50 mile race, the occasion when a client of mine shaved two minutes…and then two more minutes off her 5k time in three months, the wonder of my mother picking up running for the first time at 63-years-old and discovering passion for an activity she thought she was incapable of.

I recall these things and I am invigorated, I am reminded that running is the most spectacular gift and should never be sacrificed.*

So, my dears, when you’re feeling less than inspired, when your couch looks like Shangri-la, when you’re three reps into 8 x 200 and you feel like calling it quits, remember this…

Be-strong-you-never-know-who-you-are-inspiring

You never know. It may be ME.

*Brownie points if you know which iconic runner I’m referencing! 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Opposite Day

Whelp, it’s the end of the month which means it’s time for another Foodie Pen Pal Post!

Seeing as each month I thoroughly enjoy this program that Lindsay has so kindly put together, the wonderful people I meet, and the delicious goodies I receive, my reveal day posts are usually a mix of the same glowing comments and coinciding positive/appraising/feel-good words.

Well, in an effort to use some words that don’t commonly occupy my lexicon, I declare today Opposite Day (but just on my blog – somehow I don’t think Opposite Day would go over too well at the office: “No, Mr. Boss Man, I would acutally hate to run those reports for you.”).

So, without further ado…

**Just to clarify: everything below the starred line is opposite of what I mean to say.  Alison is a lovely and very generous person and I seriously lucked out in the Pen Pal department this month:).**

****************************************

I absoutely despised the junk that I received from Alison this month.  The package arrived in horrible timing for a post-Thanksgiving taste test with The Man.

We thought the flavored nuts and pumpkin chips were so awful that we were barely able to stomach a bite.  I mean, just look at how much was left over:

Oh, the carnage...

Oh, the carnage…

I have no idea what I’m going to do with these almost full bags of disgusting nuts – it’s a real dilemma.

Their life was short...but savory.

Their life was short…but savory.

And those pumpkin chips!  Don’t even get me started!  I really can’t stand when ingredients lists are so flippin’ long!

Spaaaaaa...hmmm?

Spaaaaaa…hmmm?

These Somersaults are so stomach-turning that I can’t possibly imagine finishing the bag.  They’d probably make the worst accompaniment to this hideous looking wine.

Aaaarrrr, Mi Matey!

Aaaarrrr, Mi Matey!

Yeah, I’ll put off trying that combination for a loooong time.

All in all, a simply dreadful package, right?  I was so incredibly disappointed!

If you want to participate in this horrendous program – and I can’t believe that you would –  here are the deets:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

Categories: Foodie Pen Pals | 2 Comments

The Houseguest

I have a houseguest, my dears.

I didn’t even know this was a movie until I googled.

No, my houseguest is not Sinbad – nor anyone resembling Sinbad, for that matter. 

My houseguest is a lady.  A powerful workhorse who does not shy away from intense physical labor yet who also accomplishes such labor with a certain grace and efficient facility.  While a bit hefty, she’s beautiful in her own way – sleek and stately, she is not given to frills but radiates a simple, handsome femininity. 

Would you like to meet her?  Of course you would.  So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my new friend, Vitamix.

Isn’t she lovely?

I call her Vi.

She is on loan from my very generous Auntie.  I have agreed to offer shelter to Vi for a fortnight but, given how amazing our relationship has been thus far,  I’m already thinking that I may prefer her as a permanent roommate.  I cannot be certain with whom Vi’s loyalties lie, but I have already begun working on the ransom note in anticipation of her departure.

You see, Vi has already catered to many of my whims and desires.  She has made me delightful nut butter in less time than it takes to say “I love nut butter.”  If Vi lived with me, I would never need to purchase nut butters again – sorry Justin.  She has also aided in my making Chocolate Covered Katie’s de-freakin’-licious Deep Dish Cookie Pie and I plan to use her services to help create various Thanksgiving concoctions.  All of this and Vi has been my houseguest for just a couple of days.  I have only scraped the surface of Vi’s potential – we have a world of possibilities to explore together.  Our time with each other has been short but I’m already thinking, “Vi, whatever will I do without you?”

Stay tuned, my friends, Vi and I have much to show you. 

Have you ever had the pleasure of owning/using a Vitamix?

What are your favorite Vitamix recipes?  And will you share them with me?

Categories: Culinary Experiments, Kitchen Gadgets, Nut Butter | 2 Comments

Halloween Remix

So, much as Alfred did twelve  months ago, Sandy threw a kink in the works this year in terms of Trick-o-Treating.  Because of power outages and general destruction, annual Let’s-Mooch-Free-Candy-Off-The-Neighbors celebrations were postponed in many towns in the Northeast – one such being my parents’. 

In Mom and Dad’s small hamlet in Northwest CT, the town mandated that Trick-o-Treating occur on the Saturday after Halloween.  Well, this caused a bit of a stressful situation for mi madre as she and Dad had already planned to be away that evening.  She called me in a bit of a panic: “Would you and The Man come and hand out candy to the Trick-o-Treaters on Saturday…you know, so no one eggs our house or anything?”

I LOVE Halloween.  I LOVE Trick-o-Treating.  I LOVE handing out candy to those celebrating this fantastic tradition.  As such, my response was a no-brainer:

“Um, well, yeah!  Totes McGoats, mamacita!”  **I don’t call my Mom “mamacita”…like ever…don’t know where that came from, but it just sounded right in this instance, no?**

So, on said Saturday, The Man and I packed up ingredients for dinner, made a quick pit stop at the liquor store,  and headed over to my parents’ for some Trick-o-Treating fun!

Yeah, we got 13 Trick-o-Treaters.  13.

Needless to say there was a lot of left-over candy…which The Man and I took as “payment” for our good deed. :)

Well, I found out the next morning that The Man had alterior motives for taking that gallon-size baggie of snack-size Snickers.  His plan?

“I think it’d be good if you made some cookies with those.  Ya know, to use them up…”

Riiiiiiight :)

But, baker that I am, I was thinking along the same lines.  And these, my friends, are the result:

Double Chocolate Coco-Loco Snickers Candy Cookies

MMM…

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/8 cup light brown sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 egg

1 tablespoon seltzer water

8 snack size Snickers, roughly chopped

Whisk flours, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl.  In a larger bowl, beat sugars and butter together until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir until well combined.  Gently stir in the seltzer.  Stir in Snickers pieces.  Roll into balls (I used a 2 tablespoon-sized scoop) and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Alright, you all know I’m avoiding sugar AND many of you know that chocolate and coconut are not my most favorite things in the world BUT a baker must taste-test her creations before she serves them to other people.  Right?

Wow, these are pretty darn good. 

That bite was all me. Doubters, believe it.

Hot outta the oven, they are crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside.  When they’ve cooled off, the crispness disappears and leaves behind a pillow-y softness that just melts in your mouth.  Good thing the flavors in these cookies are not my thing cause I might have had to eat the whole batch.

Ooo baby, baby. Ooo baby, baby…

Sugar Abstinent Baker tested.  The Man approved.

Well?  What are you waiting for?  Go wrastle up that left-over Halloween candy of yours and get to work. :)

What’s your favorite way to use up left-over Halloween candy?

How many Trick-o-Treaters did you get this year?

Categories: Candy, Cookies | 4 Comments

Run Happy?

Why yes, I will.  Why?  Because I lucked out last night, my friends.

All day at work I had been looking forward to quittin’ time when I could hop in my vehicle and haul tushie over to Fleet Feet to pick up a new pair of running shoes.  I noticed that my joints and feet took a pounding on my long run last week – I woke up the next morning more/differently sore than usual – so even though I had just gotten shoes in June, I was overdue for a new pair.  Seemed kinda soon to me but those babies were shot.

Anywho, when I arrived at the shop, old shoes in hand (to donate, of course, cause the last thing I need lying around my small-ish apartment is a stinky old pair of running shoes…and it’s for a good cause) I was greeted by a sea of runners decked out in flourescent clothing.  What, pray tell, was this?

Turns out I had happened by the store during the “Switch on Your Run – Brooks Fashion Show, Contest, and Run.” What?!?!?!?  Oh, yeah, baby!

You see, Brooks is my brand.  I have some screwed up foot issues that in turn affect my knees and hips and can sometimes make running a bit tricky for this chickie.  Brooks Ravenna are the only shoes that correct this issue which allows me to hoof it for 15-20 miles at a time.

If not for Brooks, I wouldn’t be able to be the runner I am.  Yeah, I owe ’em a lot.

After slingin’ my old Ravennas into the donation box and gettin’ fitted for my new pair (I don’t know why I even bother with a fitting anymore – Brooks Ravenna, size 9.5, please), I walked on over to the Brooks demo table to talk to the friendly rep and impress upon him my devotion to his brand.  Well, I must have been pretty convincing – or he was just sick of hearing me talk – cause half-way through my Ode to Ravennas he stopped me to ask, “Hey, have you gotten one of these?”  “One of these” was a neon green dry-wick shirt that everyone who showed up for the aforementioned “Switch on Your Run” received for participation. 

I love neon.

Well, friends, it took all my willpower not to jump across the table and give this man a great big smooch!  I hadn’t made it in time for the event – all the runners left while I was tryin’ on my new shoes – but he still gifted me the shirt!  The only thing I love more than free schwag is free neon green schwag:).

Folks, things just got better after that.  Every Brooks item in the store was 20% off.  Yes.  I do not lie…but I did buy…this:

My love of neon is such that it is no surprise my formative years occurred during the 80s.

Yay for new running gear!!!  I was so excited to try all this stuff out that I headed directly home, laced up my new shoes…

Nothing makes a run feel easier than new kicks.

…pulled on my new shirt…

AH!!! Hurts my eyes!!! But, hey, I’m visible.

…and headed out for a quick – not to mention safe (who could miss me in that shirt?) – run.

When I got home, I had a mini fashion shoot…

Always so happy after a run.

…to nerdily document…

I heart thumb holes.

…my hot, new gear.

Pockets are da bomb. Diggity.

So, thank you Brooks rep whose name I don’t know!  And thank you Fleet Feet for catering to all of my running gear needs!

Do you have a favorite brand of shoes and/or athletic clothing?

Categories: Runner's High, Running | 4 Comments

Spreading the Foodie Love

October Foodie Pen Pals was doubly fun for my blog this month because not only did I get to post about the fantastic goodies that Jessie sent me, I also get to share with you this guest post from Lovely Leah (I just gave her that name cause she is lovely – just look at the below pic :)) to whom I sent a Foodie package!

Here she (along with her equally lovely family) is…

“Ok. My foodie penpal this month is Michelle Kurnik, from Conneticut:) happy. I really enjoyed all the yummy goodies that she sent and my boys really enjoyed making that pumpkin bread, those pumpkin seeds gave it just the right touch (sweet & salty *yum*). I am grateful to be a part of this penpal program, it give us members an opportunity to experience places, through food and friendship. A great combination in my book.
Michelle, I truly hope that you keep in contact and should you ever want to try anything from New Mexico, please let me know.”
Categories: Foodie Pen Pals | Leave a comment

Frankenpost: A Halloween Hybrid

I think Sandy started a trend.

Much as she combined tropical storm with nor’easter with hurricane with general sh*t storm, today’s post is a bit of a hybrid.  Not only is it WIAW but today also happens to be October Foodie Pen Pals Reveal Day.  Oh yeah, and it’s Halloween to boot.

There is some crazy a** sh*t goin’ on.  So, without further ado…

What I Ate Wednesday

…meet Foodie Pen Pals.

Let’s hear if for What I Ate Wednesday Foodie Pen Pals!

While it’s a little scary – though fitting – that this Frankenpost should occur on Halloween, the treats that I received from Jessie were anything but.  Jessie is a super cute, self-described “fitness nut” who blogs over at jessielovestorun.  She’s living in Kuwait right now with her husband which means that I lucked out in the Foodie Pen Pal department!  Just look at all the fantastic goodies she sent me. :)

Jessie didn’t send the pumpkin, it’s just photo-bombing this pic.

In her initial email to me, Jessie asked if I’d like to try some of the super spicy products ubiquitous to her local shops.  Um…yes, please!  And folks, I was SO not disappointed!

First to go – and to go so quickly that the bag didn’t even make the above photo – were these:

Beans, beans the magical fruit…well, you know the rest…

I served these delightfully spicy, “crispy-licious” bean chips with hummus at a get-together I had a couple of weekends ago.  Well, it wasn’t long before the four adults at this get-together were fighting over the crumbs left in the bottom of the bag.  In our gotta-get-more-Beanfields zeal, we may have even embarrassed ourselves in front of the 1-year-old that also attended our shin-dig.  Hey, maturity goes out the window when delicious food is involved.  Am I right or am I right? :)

I nearly peed my pants when I was opening Jessie’s package and discovered these lurking at the bottom:

I think they were scared of their impending demise because they were hiding in the depths of the Priority Mail Box.

OMG!  How did she know?!?!  I blow through about 10 packets of Justin’s peanut and almond butter every week.  Following the Beanfields, these pouches were next to bite the proverbial bullet.

I sent the Hot & Spicy Pringles with The Man to his weekly Sunday-Guys-Watching-Football-Afternoon but not before sampling a few myself.

Arabic is so pretty.

Whoa, boy!  Them chips is spicy!  But insanely delicious:).

I can’t wait to try the sesame rice cakes, curry sauce, and Very Hot Cajun Sauce – the latter of which I think would be amazing drizzled on a Roasted Vegetable Pizza that happens to be chillaxing in my freezer as we speak – tonight’s dinner, perhaps?

The foodie surprises that Jessie so kindly sent my way are all amazing but my favorite parts of her package were the cute little notes she put on each item:

She also has insanely neat handwriting, wouldn’t ya say?

Super thoughtful and adds that little something extra.  I might be stealing this idea for future Foodie Pen Pal packages of my own. :)

More of Jessie’s insanely neat handwriting. I may be able to steal her ideas but my chicken scratch will never be this visually appealing.

Jessie, thank you so much for all of the wonderful goodies – they were the perfect subjects for this What I Ate Wednesday Foodie Pen Pals Frankenpost!

Here’s the Foodie Pen Pal info if you want to jump on the bandwagon and be sure to check out WIAW too!

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

If you’re interested in participating for November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on November 5th!

Categories: Foodie Pen Pals, Nut Butter, What I Ate Wednesday | 15 Comments

Bananarama

I didn’t have to work yesterday.  No, it wasn’t a holiday.  No, I wasn’t sick.  No, I didn’t take a vacation or personal day.  Rather, The Bride of Frankenstorm decided to visit the state so work was cancelled (yes, I just used the British spelling of the word – Hey, I went to grad school in the U.K. and some things just stuck).  We sorta had the Hurricane Sandy version of a Snow Day.  We had a San-Day, if you will.

It was a Cruel, Cruel, Cruel San-Day…

They hold the Guiness World Record as having the most chart enteries of any all-female group in the world. Who woulda thought?

…and I feel for the thousands living on Long Island Sound who just got whalloped.  We were pretty okay in inland CT, though – and I am not nearly as scared of hurricanes as I am of thunderstorms – so I hunkered down, stayed in my jammies…

Please take a mome to appreciate my oh-so-fashionable Halloween socks.

…and thought of some creative ways to use up the ripe bananas that were languishing in my fruit bowl.

First up…

Banana Beer Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 large banana, mashed

1 tablespoon honey

12 oz. beer

Hmmm…

Mix together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.  In a separate bowl, mash the banana and stir in the honey.

Asante sana squash banana!

Create a “well” in the flour mixture.  Pour in the banana-honey mixture and the beer – super gently, you don’t want a lot of “head” goin’ on.  Stir it all together just until combined.  Do not overstir!  You’ll end up with stiff, dense bread and that would be ick.  Unless, of course, you like stiff, dense bread – in which case, stir away.  Pour the batter in a 9×5 loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

During the baking process a delightful aroma will fill your house.  So delighful, in fact, that you’ll think you’re burning a banana/beer scented Yankee Candle.  You’re tummy will start to grumble in anticipation of this wonderous delight and before you know it you’ll pull this outta the oven:

Cue the singing angels.

I didn’t wait one minute before diving in – I might have burned myself on the loaf pan in the process – it smelled that good.  It tasted pretty good too – a nice mix of savory and sweet.  The yeastiness of the beer complimented the sweetness of the banana while the cinnamon added some spicey warmth.  I didn’t really taste the cayenne which was mildly disappointing – I’ll probably add more next time.

Seeing as I still had a couple of bananas left, I continued the banana-fest with:

Banana Roasted Chicken

1/2 chicken breast

1/2 small vidalia onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large ripe banana, roughly chopped

olive oil, salt, pepper, and bouquet garni to taste

Put everything in a baking dish and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes to a half hour depending on the size of your chicken.  I was cooking for one, but this recipe could easily be doubled or tripled or exponentially multiplied to feed an army.

The chicken is in there, it’s just hiding under all those glorious onions, bananas, and herbs.

Whoa, baby!  Was this delish!  The chicken was tender, the bananas were roasted to sweet perfection, and the onions and gralic added the perfect savory finish.  I am definitely making this recipe a staple in my repertoire.

Ready for its close-up.

Today, the sun is shining and hurricane-force winds are but a memory.  In her aftermath Sandy has left flooded homes, downed trees, thousands of people without power…and 1 1/2 bananas still chilaxing in my fruit bowl.  Sandy may be over but I have a feeling Bananarama is just getting started…

What are your favorite ways to spend a Snow Day San-Day?

How do you use up your ripe bananas?

Categories: Culinary Experiments, Thunderstorms | 2 Comments

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