Sunday, November 23, 2014

Racing through fall...

Cross-country is kind of a big deal here in the Sacramento area.  I mean, for heaven's sake, these are vendors (right corner) at the elementary district finals!

Children numbers #1, #3, and #4 ran cross-country this fall.  The eldest is in high school and the other two are in elementary.  Pity that #2 didn't want in on it--because that girl can run.  

#1 was plagued by shin splints towards the middle of the season, but kept coming to practices and hit the bike hard til they felt better.  She was well enough to run in sub-sectionals and did pretty well considering she was coming down with the flu the day of the race (boo). She is looking forward to next year's season.


#3 has turned out to be quite a speedy kid!  His races are only a mile and he consistently kept finishing around 6:40!  My best mile, ever recorded, was 6:05 when I was a junior in high school.  He'll have me beat soon! 

#4 ran because his older brother was doing it.  His races were always 3/4 a mile and he consistently placed in the top 30%.  I was pleasantly surprised when he told me that he wants to do it next year!

It was exciting to see the boys compete at the district level.  Each race (6 different races--3rd, 4th, and 5th grades--boys and girls raced separately as well!) had over 100 kids in it!

So--that's how we've been racing through fall!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Off the top of my head!

To save money--I cook dinner almost every night (except for date night!)  I've been cooking dinner for some 17-18 years.  I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on foods that go well together and am pretty good at making up recipes.  Some times I write them down so as not to forget.  Other times, I assume I'll remember them :).

So, I made this, on the fly, yesterday, and my family loved it.  The kids even asked to have the leftovers for today's lunch!

Chicken Sweet Potato Stew

2 large sweet potatoes (not yams), peeled and then chopped in 1" chunks
2-3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 small bell peppers (I used one red and one orange), diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 c. frozen carrot, broccoli, cauliflower mix (or the equivalent of fresh--make sure florets are small and carrots sliced thinly)
1-1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
5-6 c. chicken stock or broth
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. dried leaf thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Steam sweet potatoes until barely tender.  In large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Saute onion, peppers, and garlic, until tender.  Add chicken and cook until done.  Add broth and heat to boiling.  Turn down to a simmer and add paprika and thyme.  Let cook for a few minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes. Using a potato masher, gently smoosh down some of the sweet potatoes to thicken the broth.  In separate pot or container, steam or micro-cook carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower until tender.  Stir gently into the sweet potato mixture.  Let simmer a few more minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  ENJOY!