Spring Salads, Songs, and Spirit Squads

Spring, I think you’re here. Finally. Why did you make us wait so long? You’re going to stick around for awhile to make it up to us, right? We’ll now be blessed with endless 70 degree days with light breezes and lots of sunshine.

Sweet relief from the cold means I’ve been celebrating in lots of ways. Running in shorts (miracle!) and with the Indy Runners group. I like having running companions to keep my mind of off the actual run some days. Yesterday I showed up for the Tuesday run at Hinkle Field House on Butler’s campus ready to do four, maybe five, miles. Thanks to the girl I ran with, I ended up going six miles!

 

May is Race Month in this fair city and the Mini-Marathon is the kick-off for a month of festivities leading up to the Indy 500. Biggest half marathon in the country, what what? I opted for the role of cheerleader this year instead of runner, which I thought would be very difficult. I’m a pretty competitive person, especially when it comes to races. But I remembered how much I appreciated the support of my friends along the race course last year, and I was excited to cheer extra loudly in the places where I remembered feeling the most tired. My friend Sam and I biked to around mile 9 and then maybe .25 mile before the finish line. Extra perk? En route we go to see the wheelchair racers and the insanely fast top finishers (can you imagine running 13.1 miles in just over an hour?!), a part of a race that I never get to see as a participant. The sheer athleticism of these men and women blew my mind.

 

Our posters (yes that’s Ryan Gosling and Bob Dylan) got plenty of head nods and smiles from random runners, but we cheered extra hard for our friend Marnie and her fiance Jannson and my two other friends that we happened to see run by. We even ran along the sidewalk for the last .25 miles with Marnie, screaming her name the whole way. I am beyond proud of these two!

Can we talk about driving with the windows open and music blaring? It’s one of my favorite warm weather pastimes. Right now I could listen to Patty Griffin’s new album American Kid all day. The first song feels like the perfect summertime folky anthem to me.

Back to running. It’s cool, it’ll lead to epic spring food. In starting to think about training for the marathon I’ve signed up for this fall, I’m considering my diet. I know that the more miles I log, the hungrier I’ll be, but I do not want to just stuff myself with tons of pasta, as amazingly appealing as that sounds. So I’m focusing on fueling with lots of fruits and veggies and healthful proteins like beans and lentils. To kick start this fresh new diet I did a really great three-day juice cleanse from Natural Born Juicers. If you live in Indianapolis I highly recommend checking them out. I’m now a few weeks out from having finished the cleanse and am back to my marathon fueling diet. I’m actually really missing my morning juices and how awake and strangely full they made me feel, so I’m thinking of going in on a juicer.

On top of that spring has brought the most magical produce to the farmers markets. Slowly at first, but surely. A few weeks ago radishes and pea sprouts started to show up, and so I rejoiced. This time of year is perfect for buying lettuce and any other awesome vegetables that catch your eye and making a huge salad.

I’d love to give you a recipe for this, but I feel like that would just be limiting, so here’s a basic guide.

Pile your plate with lettuce (mine, year round thanks to hydroponics in greenhouses, is almost always from Eden Farms). I like a mix of lettuces to give my salad a little more flavor and depth.

Chop up a variety of vegetables, whatever is pretty and bright and catches your eye at the store or market. I went with pretty pink and white radishes and sweet pea shoots from Harvestland Farms. Never had pea shoots? Me either until this salad! They taste like peas, not surprisingly, but before peas come around. Like a pea preview. Maybe add a squeeze of lemon over things now. Add some fresh herbs if you have them on hand.

Any good salad, or meal in my opinion, is topped with a soft yolk fried egg (my eggs always come from Schacht Farm, I love them, eggs and people, so much). Fry one up with a bit of salt and pepper, or poach it in olive oil like Oh Joy, which is what I tried out for this salad. I liked this cooking option, because it a nice amount of olive oil to drizzle over the salad as dressing.

Break open that egg and let the yolk get all cozy with the lettuce. Heck yes, spring!

Pie…uhm Food…Catch Up

I’ve decided on a new name for my bakery: Piebelly.

I’ve been baking like a crazy woman lately. It relieves stress, and there’s been plenty of stress in my work life lately. Chocolate chip and pecan-cranberry brown sugar cookies, strawberry rhubarb crisp, rum-soaked banana bread, hummingbird cupcakes, sugar cream pie, triple berry pie…

The triple berry pie I’m calling my best pie yet and so I’m sharing it after the jump. It’s the perfect summer berry pie: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, though I’m sure you could easily substitute raspberries in there. I usually use flour to juice up my filling, but my aunt mentioned tapioca, so I thought I’d give it a try. Must’ve worked well, since the pie was so damn good. I also made some vanilla whipped cream, just softly whipped, to plerp on top. Delicious dessert for a few days.

In a way, this pie was also a 717 pie (the 717 being the magical yellow house that we lived in, with a fourth roommate whom we no longer speak of, in Bloomington for two years). The pie bird, a little guy with a hole in his beak that you settle in the center of your filling and then place your top crust over, was a gift from Samantha. The cheerfully purple-dotted pie dish was a gift from Marnie. Maybe that’s why it was so good!

My weekend will be filled with rhubarb thanks to Smitten Kitchen. Moist and sweet rhubarb coffee cake and little rhubarb tarts. This has most definitely been the spring of rhubarb.

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Pig in Boots

Hello Spring!
If rainy spring days mean piggies in boots, then I’ll take them all with a smile.
Eggs. Have we discussed my love of runny-yolk eggs? There’s just something about the buttery texture of an egg yolk. Poached eggs, over easy eggs, soft-boiled eggs. As long as I can cut into the middle, watch the yellow center flow, and dip my toast in it, I’ll take it. When we were little, my mom used to make us soft-boiled eggs. She’d put them in these little egg cups (only ours stood on two little feet wearing shoes and striped socks instead of a pedestal), crack off the top like a little hat, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the yolk-y inside. We’d eat them with these little plastic reusable spoons. 

                                             

I thought this was a normal egg dish until one Sunday morning I asked Adam if he wanted one and he looked at me like I was crazy. We have some different family food traditions (sugar cream pie, potato chip cookies, chocolate sprinkles on toast), and I figured this was just another one. Though I guess I should’ve been clued in by the fact that all of my family food traditions are different because they’re European. 
So today I’m browsing this site I’ve found called Domestic Sluttery, and I see that they’ve posted something about egg cups and eggy soldiers (see the egg cups link above). Intrigued, I googled “what is an eggy soldier” and came up with this recipe. So in England (and probably Holland), my thing for soft-boiled eggs wouldn’t be weird. 
Eggy Soldiers are super easy to make. Bring a pot of water (enough to cover an egg) to a boil. Gently slide in your egg. Let it cook for about four minutes. Turn off the stove, and, using a spoon, take the egg out of the water. Set it in an egg cup. Now the egg is really hot, so be careful on this next part. Using a butter knife, tap the egg about one inch from the top of the narrow end. When the egg shell cracks, continue to cut through the entire top of the egg. You’ll end up cutting off a little hat. Salt and pepper the inside of the egg and enjoy with a slice of buttered toast, maybe toasted in a teapot toaster.

                                               

Soon I am going to bake my eggs in tomato sauce.

I Lurrrve You

A list of my Right Now Loves

  • Conan O’Brien’s tweets, particularly “I just learned that retweets of my Bieber tweet mentioning Bieber actually help Bieber. Bieber, you’re a worthy foe. Bieber.” I also love Conan’s new beard. Oh what the hell, I LOVE CONAN O’BRIEN!
  • Spoon’s SXSW show (
  • Lady rocker Rachel Flotard and her band called Visqueen. Please take a moment to enjoy “Hand Me Down.” 
  • Spring having sprung! Warm weather is here, though who knows if she’ll stay. Windows are open, Mira is sunbathing in any and every sunny spot she can find, long walks are being taken, bike will be fixed up.
  • Six days until our Raleigh visit! I can hardly believe that two and a half years have passed since I moved from Raleigh back to Indy. This visit is long overdue. Hilary, Bette, and I will be reunited. Adam will enjoy North Carolina so much that we will not come home. (At least that’s how it goes in my mind…) I don’t have a whole lot of places to revisit or things I very much want to do. I just really want to see my friends, eat some Cookout, and go to a few choice bars. The fun I remember having the year I lived there really comes from just having really awesome friends.
  • Molasses chip cookies, which I would like to morph into cherry molasses chip cookies. (recipe to follow after jump.)
  • Plans to run the Race for the Cure this year instead of walking with the girls.

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reasons not to rent from signature communities

Things that have broken in my apartment recently

  • the radiator, three times to be exact, which leaks water all over the floor of my living room/dining area/entry area (they’re pretty much all one and the same)
  • the bathtub, which no longer drains properly.  After 20 minutes of plunging this morning I was left with a 1/2 inch of water plus all sorts of gross shit floating in it in the tub.  Washed my hair in the sink.
  • the kitchen sink, which provides me with a nice background of drip drop plip plop leaky faucet.
I am sick and tired of this piece of crap apartment and the landlords who do not know how to fix shit.  Two visits ago, the maintenance guy said he didn’t know much about radiator heat so couldn’t fix the leak in mine.  On the last visit he said he’d be there at 9AM.  9:30 rolled around, I had to leave, had told him I might be gone.  He showed up sometime later that day I assume, only he COULDN’T GET IN though he assured me he had a key to do just that in the instance that I was not there.  
Moving next weekend.  Thank goodness.
At least spring is almost here.  If you consider 16 degree weather almost spring.  I found the perfect dress for warm weather.  This week peas are available in my Farm Fresh Delivery.  I can smell warm weather, horseback riding, and camping.  Oh and golf.  But oddly enough I am not dreading golf season.  I don’t mind when Adam turns on the golf channel on Sunday mornings.  I actually watch.  What’s happening to me?!
And then all was ok in the world because there were doughnuts in the break room.  I scarfed down a custard-filled chocolate frosted one in about 1 minute.  It’s going straight to my cellulite-y booty and thighs.