Monday, August 30, 2010

How I Accidentally Completed My Planned Miles

In my previous post, I said that on Saturday I either wanted to run at night, or walk twice the amount of miles. I completed the latter, accidentally.

A friend of mine called, asking for help while she completed a scavenger hunt for a free weekend pass to the New York Comic Con this year. Of course I decided to help, and I became the Oracle to her Batman as the clues for different locations showed up. Then Clue 24 appeared.

The location for Clue 24 was also in Queens, and I knew the where it was. Since I had already changed, I laced up my sneakers and head out. (I ended up not looking hard enough where the pass was hidden - I was right. there.) I ended up covering at the very least 5.5 miles, roundtrip. I was fun to explore a new area, and I got both Panera Bread plus Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte on the way back. AND my friend found a pass. So, it was a good day.

This morning I was supposed to cover 2.5 miles. I ended up only doing 1.25, because my shins where absolutely killing me. I don't know what happened. I came back and iced them while watching the West Wing. Although I watched my favorite episode last night - "Noël" the episode that Bradley Whitford won the Emmy for, which deals with Josh's PTSD.

I begin classes today. I have two of the three today - an education course and an editor course (for the school newspaper). I've never taken courses of this nature before, so I'm quite excited and nervous. The last course (that I have on Fridays) is going to be fabulous. It's with a professor I've had two times before, in similar course. The first was on Rogers & Hammerstein, the second Stephen Sondheim (could've taught the entire class -- and did for 30 minutes for Sweeney Todd), and this is on Gershwin and Bernstein. I hope we look at Bernstein's Mass. I've seen it live at Carnegie Hall, and it's moving and epic. And Candide. Because I looooovvveee Candide. While the material itself may come easy to me, it still challenges me to write about the music. Though I think with I greatly improved writing about the melody and instrumentation itself, rather than overall moods, from my last course about symphonies and concertos.

I can't wait to get the syllabi. That's when I can truly begin to plan my last semester.

I even "did" my hair today - in that I let it air dry for the most part, blow dried it, then straightened. It's longer (and darker) than people remember.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Change of Plans

I was supposed to run 3 miles this morning. However I had to stay in case the super showed up. I didn't want him to come and wake my roommate up, who got back late last night.

Ah...last night.

Last night I entire the kitchen to find water leaking from the doorway of the bathroom and my roommate's room. Lovely. I call the super's number, only to find out that it is no longer in service. I put towels down, tie on sneakers, and head to the super's apartment. I leave a message with his lovely wife, get the new number, and head back up. I decided that rather than miss the super, in the off chance he showed up, I'll push my run to tonight or tomorrow morning. It's not a big deal; I just don't like running in the sun. It's only 69 degrees out now, but I'll wait.

I can either run later, around 6 or 7, or walk around midday and end up at Starbucks, drinking an iced skinny vanilla latte and reading a book. The latter plan might prevail. Besides, maybe I could map out a 6 mile route (roundtrip) to Starbucks. I'll call it cross-training.

Besides, I'm not doing anything tomorrow.

The other change of plans: I decided not to do the 4 miler in September. I'd rather slowly build up and condition my body, and maybe sign up for another 5k (cross-country) in mid or late October. Hopefully I'll have bought new shoes by then.

I also want to start drafting my "statement of purpose" for my grad school application. The program I really want to do is perfect for me: I can apply this fall, take online classes spring and summer (I still have the lease on this apartment until next September), and either continue to take online classes, or take classes on campus. Now I only need to get into the program. I also need to ask for recommendation letters. Luckily, I guess, I can ask the head of the department and the...assistant (or really other) head of the department.

I have lists of things to do concerning grad school, but the statement and letters are all that is worrying me.

And now, more West Wing. At least it's smart television.

Friday, August 27, 2010

So far, so...okay?

I wish I could've named this entry "So far, so good." However I wouldn't necessarily categorize training so far as "good." (Which reminds me, I need to sign up for that 4mi. race today.) Tomorrow I have three miles, but something is up with my shins. Either I need new shoes, or my legs just needed rest. We shall see.

I haven't figured out a cross-training activity that wouldn't cost money - which I don't have right now. I suppose I can fill those days with walking/more strength-training, but for this week I'm taking it easy. The weather tomorrow is probably going to be around 75 degrees and sunny when I run in the morning. Ah, fun.

My only other thing of note: I watched all the episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I wish it was given a chance and not canceled, but I'm glad it existed. I love Matthew Perry, and I have a crush on Bradley Whitford. I had watched an episode while it aired, but never seemed to watch the rest of the series. As a musical theater person, it was interesting to see the parallels between Harriet/Matthew and Kristen Chenoweth/Aaron Sorkin (the whole 700 club thing and whatnot).

All of this made me want to watch West Wing (I have the entire series box set), and to finally see Sports Night - which my roommate has. Perhaps that will be next. :D

Oh, I miss the West Wing theme. It's so fantastic.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Pictures!

Picture time!

I thought the line of porta-potties (however you spell it) was amusing.
After the 5K started, the switched the sign for the Harlem Health Walk. As you can tell, I took this picture after I finished (note the time).

I was very happy!
This is where I spent some time pre and post race. THE GRASS!

Stephen Colbert thumbs up!

Results Board pre-race. The shadows are cool. :D

This Morning's Wet & Wild Run

I either did 2.5 miles in 30:30 or 2.75 miles in 30:30. (Or 29:30...)I can't remember if I moved my thumb - I move it in between each finger to count a lap, if I'm on the track. But I ran it all, I guess to make up for the walks on Saturday.

2.5 miles would put me at around 12:12 per mile. (or 11:48)
2.75 miles would put me at around 11:05 per miles. (or 10:44)

I'm more inclined to believe it was 2.5 in 29:30, because that pacing seems more like me. But it could be any of them (except for 2.75 in 29:30, that's a little fast for me). Regardless, it's going in my log as 2.5 miles, because that's what I set out to do this morning.

I think I should invest in a Garmin Forerunner. That way I won't have to think about it.

It was raining like crazy, but I wasn't going to give up a day to run when it's cool and 68 degrees out. I was soaked even before I started running. There were two other people (women!) out running in the downpour. Both left before I finished a mile. It was just me, the track, the rain, and the park rangers watching me. I felt quite intense. I felt like a REAL runner this morning. It was fab-u-lous.

I also realized I should get a proper hat -- I grabbed my black Pacific Life Open one for this morning, but I think I should get a running one. You know, in case it rains again!

Evidence of downpour:

I still don't know what kind of cross training I want to do. I don't really want to buy inline skates, and I don't really want to get a gym membership (to take classes and spinning) -- the gym near me is New York Sports Club, which is - apparently - notorious for screwing people over when they want to cancel their membership. Continuous charging and what not...I think a Planet Fitness is near me...perhaps I should check that out.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Movie Day

(Pictures from yesterday's race will be up tomorrow, as they won't be developed until tomorrow at 1PM.)

There were two things on my agenda today. The first was to stretch and strength train. The second was to watch movies I put on my instant queue.

After doing my normal morning thing - up at 7:30, breakfast, web-surfing, etc. - I made my lunch and began to watch the first movie on my list, Chariots of Fire. Having never seen it before, I was not prepared to be so inspired and moved. Hopefully this inspiration will last me for my run tomorrow.

I hate staying in my apartment all day, and I try to find any excuse to go out. In the end, I guess I can always just take a walk, but I like a reason. I wanted to get weights to train with. I had used my mother's while in CT, but ended up holding both 3lb in one hand. Since I also wanted another pair of running shorts and a top, I headed all the way to the Brooklyn target. I don't have to transfer for that one.

After picking up the clothing, I headed to the weights. They only had one 10lb -- of the kind I wanted. It's green. In retrospect, it's good that I got just one. First, because I only really need one. And second, it would be harder to carry 20lbs of weight around. I picked up a Venti Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks (I have a gift card) and trotted on back.

I did some training in my room and stretched. Either it's warm in my room or I worked hard, but I felt like I needed another shower (didn't take one). I made dinner and began to watch the next movie on my list: Wonder Boys. I'd seen it before, but was in the mood to re-watch it. Paused movie to make okra fries, clean the kitchen, and grab a yogurt.

And that has been my day. Thrilling, isn't it? I don't think I'll usually be writing "what I did today" posts. I just felt like it. Must have been the movie!

Perhaps tomorrow I'll finally watch Food, Inc. Either that, or Wall Street. First viewings for each though.

Now I am off to good cross training activities that don't require a gym membership. I'm almost certain that I'll be registering for another race, in September. I'll decide soon enough!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run, for the Children of Haiti

ACTUAL PHOTOS WILL COME! I just have to get the camera developed. Enjoy phone and computer photos.

Last night, I set two alarms on my phone. One for 6:00am, and another for 6:30. I got into bed around 10pm. I was so excited that it took me a while to fall asleep. And I of course woke up at 12:30 and 3:30. I woke up at 6, and grabbed two pieces of GF bread. The race wasn't until 8:30, but since I had no previous race experience, I just ate because I was hungry. It turned out alright in the end.

After eating, changing, and sitting on the computer, I left the apartment at 6:30 to begin my subway ride (and read Runner's World!), which was approximately an hour including a transfer. It was fun to see other runners on the C train, since we were all going to the same place. I got to the site (W135th & St. Nicholas Ave) and took some photos with the disposable camera I bought. I didn't want to bring my phone, lest it disappear. After walking around for 15 minutes or so, I put my bib and d-tag on, dropped my bag at baggage and went to sit on this grassy hill.

At 8:10, the asked for runners to get into corrals. I immediately went to the back. It was comfortable there. :)

At 8:20, they made announcements and sang National Anthems (US and I think Haiti? Something else was sung...), but I couldn't really hear. Slowly we inched up. At 8:30, we made our way and some time after the race began! I was incredible excited, and definitely started to well up.

The first part of mile 1 was flat, then there was a demon of a hill at 0.5 miles. From at least 0.5-1.5 miles was all uphill. And not a little hill. A big one. But I climbed it! I skipped the first water station, which I guess I should've stopped. After 1.5 miles, I took walking breaks. Must've been 3 in total? Of course, what comes up, must come down and I vowed to steady run down the hills.

It had to be around 2.5 miles that I was losing it. But the support from the volunteers was amazing. As I got closer to the 3 mile marker, I slowed to walk, because I thought I couldn't take it anymore. I heard some one say, "It's so close! What are you doing?!" And I thought..."What the hell am I doing!?!?" And began to run again. I crossed the 3 mile marker and felt my energy drop, until I saw the REAL finish. I saw two other runners ahead, and I just HAD to sprint. With every energy of my body, I ran forward, and heard the announcer say "Uh-oh what's she doing!" (In the light-hearted tone of "she's got something up her sleeve/look at her pace them!", not accusatory.) I past those people and crossed the finish. I felt like I was going to die, but I was so happy and proud of myself. I didn't pay too much attention to the clock, because I knew it was started when the leaders ran, and it wasn't very accurate for my time.

I kept walking, got a water and banana. I finished the cup and got another, and ate the banana as I walked along the route I just ran. I didn't have an post-its to write Operation Beautiful ( notes, so I just cheered people as they ran bye and yelled "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!" I hope my support helped them as much as the other's helped me.

I grabbed my bag, and began to walk around, talking pictures of signs, myself, and what not. I was going to leave, when I decided to see if the results were posted. They were only up to bib 1700 or so. I waited around for a while, but decided to go home. After eating a cube of cheese (and picking up a gluten-free recipe pamphlet!), and using up my camera, I hopped on the subway. I didn't take off my bib or d-tag, because I was so proud of myself. I continued to read the Sept. issue of Runner's World and beamed with happiness.

I definitely hope to run many, many, many, many more races in the future. :D


Place Overall (1844 runners)
Place Out of 873 Females
Place out of Female Age Group 20-24
Overall Time
Average Pace per mile

Age Graded Place, whatever that means
Age Graded, whatever that means

(I'm holding my shirt up with my hand, hence the slightly awkward pose)


My favorite photo.

And now I'm enjoying this bowl of self-serve frozen yogurt. A place nearby just started serving it! I got plain, strawberry, and chocolate, with some pineapple and strawberry bits. I began to eat before the picture, heh.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Night Before: First Race!

Better get to sleep -- because my very first race is tomorrow!

My first bib number is 3207. Woo-hoo! I'm so excited! Sleep now.

(I keep wanting to call it the "Percy Jackson Race," after the best, most amazing bad movie. I'll pretend they are after me, thinking I have the lightning bolt. Haha)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reunited, and it feels so good....

Yesterday, while I was picking up Turkey Hill decaf diet iced tea (there was only one half-gallon left!), I happened to spy....OKRA! Finally! Of course Whole Foods wouldn't have it (there it was locally grown!), but ShopRite would. Hopefully I can find a place near my apartment when I get back that has them regularly.

And so I made okra fries with my dinner! I also had some yellow squash, zucchini, onion, and feta cheese for part one of my dinner. Part two consisted of a salad and a slice of bread.

People either have no idea what okra is, or they think it's slimy and disgusting. Obviously they have never made okra fries! I bought enough for two different meals.

I should also point out that I have a slight obsession with squash. It's just soooo good! I tend to put a lot of pepper on it, but this time I waited to put some on after I cooked it, because my mom doesn't an epic amount of pepper on hers. Though she says she's getting used to having me home to cook meals. Surprisingly she's never sauteed squash before! I told her it's the easiest thing -- but she may miss my omlete-making more. :)

My cat decided to join my laptop on my make-shift desk//tray, conveniently placed in the living room. I also caught him drinking out of my glass of water this morning! Silly thing! Luckily after 11 years, my dog no longer tries to steal food...except for the pieces of lettuce that dropped on the floor yesterday. Though he wouldn't eat the red lettuce. He left that on the living room floor.

I bought a small green container, with a fold-up spoon/fork - not a spork - that I can't wait to use to bring my lunch/snack in between classes.

In other news, last week I went to work with my mom, and helped stuff 844 envelopes with schedules and introduction letters to the parents of 5th and 6th graders. My mom moved from an elementary school to the brand new 5th/6th grade school. It's so new that it's still a construction site -- I'm one of the lucky ones to get one of the first looks inside! For about 3 hours, I was stuffing on my own. I thought that it was silly for the secretaries to spend hours stuffing envelopes while they had other work to do. The envelopes had to be sent out that day. After a while, they came to help me. I stuffed over 350 of them myself. I was doing this completely voluntarily - but yesterday my mom came home with an envelope from the principle. She was so grateful for my help that she gave me a thank you card and gift cards! Seeing them, I though it would be for $10/$15 dollars -- but she gave me a Starbucks card for $25(!!) and one for Panera Bread ($30!!!). I feel like I should write her a thank you card for the thank you card!

Today I plan to do some outlines/planning, in preparation for the last semester and grad school applications. Fun fun!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Week Later...

Another week has gone by and I'm still relaxing in CT, watching Friends. We had started from the 7th season, finished the series, so now I've started from the beginning. Funny enough, as I'm typing this, I'm watching the episode in season 2, in which Monica acts as Chandler's personal trainer. One of the many, many things I love about this series is how they have episodes where they actually show that they work out to maintain their bodies. Like the episode where Rachel and Pheobe run together. I feel like eventually I'll run into a horse, like Rachel.

One major thing is that I actually have a good idea of what I want to do with my life! From out of no where, really, it dawned on me how perfect a career in communications would be. It combines what I love about theater, my work with a non-profit organization, and my personality all in one! I was researching a master of arts in communication degree, and it was the first time that all of the classes seemed interesting! For my college career, especially this last semester, there was barely any classes that I was interested in. I can actually see myself doing this! So, I've been researching different masters programs. It's been really exciting!

My mom, younger sister, and I are planning on seeing Eat, Pray, Love later today. And more importantly, we are going to Whole Foods after! I love, love, love going to Whole Foods.

My 5K race is in a week. I'm excited and nervous! If I have to walk, I'm not going to beat myself up. I just can't believe it's in a week! Ahh!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday with the Food Network

Today's Stats:

Distance: 2.55 mi.
Time: 28:30
Average Pace: 11:20

(And now there's internet evidence on how slow I am - last time I was 20 seconds slower)

It was supposed to be 3 miles, but my body just wasn't up to it. I had to take a break after 1.15 miles, a walking break, then stopped after 2 miles to run on the track. Today was the first time I ran off the track. It's hard not to get too down on myself, especially after reading that people ran 8 miles after a month of training (it's been about a month now), but I keep trying to remind myself that 2.55 is a lot! I mean, it's a lot more than other people are running -- and running some is better than not running at all!

I've just now started following a training plan that I read at the back of Bart Yasso's book. It's less running per week than I was doing, but I think that's a good thing. Since I've started strength training, I have more I can do the other days.

Other than eating, I've been spending the day as I have been: reading blogs and watching movie/TV. The Food Network has been on for the past couple of hours.

But I will be going out tonight! A friend of mine has a small going away party that I'll be going to. I don't know why it's on a Sunday night -- not that the day of the week matters much to me.

I'm also quite tired today. I tried taking a nap earlier, but that didn't work. Perhaps I'll try again, so I don't fall asleep after I get to the gathering.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

In Search For Okra

Since I have August off from work, my days have been very...lazy. I'm trying to stay in Astoria as much as possible, because I don't want to buy an unlimited metro card, or any metro card for that matter. My days have consisted of some form of exercise, going to the grocery store, and sitting on my ass.

Today I got up around 7:30am, which is the latest I get up. I turn on the TV and realize that it's not a weekday, so Live! with Regis and Kelly wouldn't be on. I turned it to NBC while I ate my traditional corn Chex + Chiobani yogurt breakfast. I read some blogs and ended up doing 20 minutes of yoga and some resistance training. I continued to watch TV and web-surf until a little after lunch.

While I could do my grocery shopping in Astoria, I had one main reason to leave: okra, or rather whole okra. See, I have just discovered the wonder that is okra fries, but they don't have them at my grocery store! I knew that they had them at Whole Foods (at least the one in Chelsea, when they aren't sold out), so I decided to wander around.

Whole Foods is a place I can endlessly wander. I'm not sure of the reason, other than its awesomeness.

After finding out that they didn't carry it at Columbus Circle (which is sad), I pick up some other things I regularly eat, and I decided to pick up one special treat: gluten-free cheesecake.

I love cheesecake. I remember my first time having cheesecake, back in 9th grade. It was a wonderful love affair. Sadly, it had to end, once I discovered my gluten-intolerance. I had seen this little container of cheesecake in one of the gluten-free sections and I waited until now to try it. I didn't want to be disappointed, and so I waited until I had an intense yearning for it (it must have been that one Friends episode, with the cheesecake Chandler and Rachel steal and eat).

Side note, Friends is my favorite show of all time. I can not remember a time where I couldn't quote Friends.

Back to the cheesecake:

(I should note that this was AFTER I ate the cheesecake, so there's plastic wrappers inside the container)

I picked up the "New York Style" and decided to spend some time eating it in Whole Foods. Let me tell was so creamy, so rich, so amazing. Apparently you can order 7" and 9" cakes on the website -- but they don't have the "New York Style," unless that's just plain? Regardless, it was so delicious that I know that I'll have to refrain from buying it each time I go. I can always remind myself that while insanely delicious, it's not worth shelling out $4.29 each time I go to the store. However, if there's any special occasion coming up... :D

I know I'll have to go to Manhattan tomorrow, but hopefully I can refrain the rest of the week. I mean, I'd totally walk if there was an easy way! That's something I'll have to look up.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Hello out there!

After spending the past few months reading amazing blogs, I - like many others - decided to create my own. I had previously had a private livejournal, however I wanted a public blog to connect with others like me! Since I have a lot of time on my hands, I had no excuse NOT to do something productive.

I'll be posting about events in my life, health, exercise, and probably a lot of nerdy things. It's what I enjoy reading on other people's blogs, so why not on my own!

Feel free to browse and comment as you like!

Recipe Post: Artichoke Lasagna

  • cooking spray
  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles (I have gluten-free ones, so all's good there.)
  • 1 onion, chopped (Check.)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (There's some kind of garlic somewhere.)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth (Broth...I should have some in my bag from Florida)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (First snag, no rosemary. But I'll just use thyme instead.)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (Got the artichoke!)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry (No spinach....but that's not something to cry over. Haha)
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce (There happens to be homemade sauce in the fridge....score!)
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (There's mozzarella cheese, as well as some other kind)
  • 1 (4 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
So I had an ingredient list that is almost like the original. Everything is good so far.
The directions, as on the website.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp. Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce.
  4. Spread 1/4 of the artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; top with 3 cooked noodles. Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles. Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top.
  5. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
I started by filling up a pot with water and sprinkling salt in it. I put it on the back burner on high. Easy enough. I then thought that since this would take a little bit on time, I could start sauteing the onions and garlic. So, I sprayed the pan and began heating it up while I cut the onion. Everything is going according to plan. I looked in the drawer and saw only half a clove of garlic. Hmph. No biggy, I had some garlic powder. I estimated. I figured that it was more concentrated. I throw them all in the pan. While that began to cook, I went to take out the broth to measure. I see that instead of broth, I have stock. I don't know what the exact difference is, other than the statement about the lesser amount of sodium on the cartoon. I measure out the 14/15 ounces and begin to chop the artichoke hearts, while stirring the onion and garlic mixture. I added the stock and thyme,
brought it to a boil and dumped the artichoke hearts in, and turn the heat down and cover. I then realized that I didn't turn on the oven, so I do so. Meanwhile, the pot has finally come to a boil so I threw the noodles in.
I look to see what is next on the list. "Stir in pasta sauce." Shit, I think. I forgot to defrost it. I take 4 8oz Tupperware containers of sauce out of the freezer and through them in the microwave, while setting the time on the oven to 5 minutes (the amount of time the skillet has to simmer). During the little time I have, I take the cheese out and notice that one container is past its "use by" date. No problem, I just used cheddar cheese instead. At this time, the 5 minute simmer is up. I open the microwave. The sauce is not completely defrosted. I went to take them out, and I end up spilling some in the microwave. Wonderful. I'll clean that up after. I threw them in the skillet anyway, and hoped
that the mixture will melt the rest of the sauce. I re-cover the skillet, hoping to defrost the rest.
I drained the noodles in the meantime, and after seeing how hot they are, I rinsed them with water. Of course, there is no room to put anything, so I kept throwing things into the sink and garbage to make room. The sauce has defrosted and so I put a layer at the bottom. Of course, I can't figure out how much I should put, so I poured enough to cover the bottom and then some. Put 3 noodles down, covered with a handful of cheese. Another layer of mixture, noodles cheese. Not much mixture left, so I put most of the rest of the sauce on, noodles, and a good amount of cheese and sprinkled the rest of the mixture on top.
I covered it with foil and put it in the oven. Set for 40 minutes.
I'm not eating it until tomorrow, but it should taste good. I mean, it's mostly tomato sauce, noodles, cheese, with some artichokes.
Out of the oven:

Recipe Post: Gluten-Free Meatloaf and Spinach & Feta Pasta

While the majority of the recipes will be vegetarian (but always gluten-free), I though it'd be helpful to include a non-vegetarian recipe:

First up is gluten-free meatloaf:

2lbs of ground meat (beef, turkey, any kind)
1.5 cups of either rice, potato flakes, or a combination (I used rice)
4 oz of BBQ sauce
2 eggs

Mix meat, rice/flakes, BBQ sauce, and eggs all together. Put mixture in a loaf pan. I like to put a layer of BBQ sauce and ketchup on the top. Cook for 1.5-2 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Spinach & Feta Gluten-Free Pasta

  • 1 (8 ounce) package penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, packed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic, and cook until golden brown. Mix in tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes more, until tomatoes are heated through and spinach is wilted. Reduce heat to medium, stir in pasta and feta cheese, and cook until heated through.
While the water was boiling, I chopped the onion and put it in a huge measuring cu
p with the chopped garlic (I estimated the size of the clove). After the water boiled, I put the pasta. While the pasta was cooking, I cooked the onions and the garlic. I wanted everything to be done at the same time. Amazingly I didn't have to wait for the pasta to finish while the skillet mixture was cooking!
I began to chop the tomato, going back and forth between stirring the pasta and stirring the onion and garlic. How I was able to do this, I don't know. It's quite a workout!
I put the tomatoes in the measuring cup, along with the mushrooms.
I put the tomato, mushroom, and spinach leaves in the skillet (which was JUST big enough) and drained the pasta. There was no way that I would be ab
le to get the pasta in the skillet, so I instead put in the mixture in the pot with the pasta, with the cheese/
And here's everthing all done! After I put the skillet mixture in the pot, the dip was done!. From left to right, it's the pasta, the dip and the meatloaf all the way in the corner!
I don't know how I manage to time everything perfectly, but it worked out!


I hope you all enjoyed these recipes. One more to come today!

Recipe Post: Artichoke Heart Dip

I got this recipe from my wonderful (second?) cousin. Because I was making this for a number of people, back for an Academy Awards party, I double the recipe.

1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Can Quartered Artichoke hearts, drained and chipped.
1 Cup Mayonnaise (I use light mayo)
Cayenne Pepper, to season

I first mix the cheese and mayo together, because it's easier to get a thorough mixture of all the ingredients. Just mix in the chopped artichoke hearts, sprinkle cayenne pepper on top and cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Eat with Tostitos or chip of your choice!  Simple!