First of all, can I just say, "HOORAY, spring has sprung"! Winter in Maine is generally a harsh season, but this past winter seemed worse than usual. Today it actually felt like spring; warm breeze, upper 50s, and sunny! The gorgeous weather has put a spring in my step, too (pun COMPLETELY intended). I woke up at 6 am and the whole family (Andy, Lucy, and myself) went for a 7 mile walk along the KRRT (that's Kennebec River Rail Trail to those of you from 'away'). After a quick breakfast of my favorite breakfast sundae, I got the grocery shopping done. I won't go into details about the groceries, that's for Thursday's Project: Food Budget post. Now that the snow is melted I can no longer hide the hideousness of my yard, so after a light lunch, I headed outside to rake some leaves (yes, I know I should have done this in the fall, lesson learned). The crocuses and tulips are coming up as well as some other unidentified spring bulbs (snowdrops, maybe)? The front yard is at least presentable now... the back yard is another story; I'll be tackling that project on my long weekend next weekend.
So part of Project: Food Budget requires a bit of preparation on my part in the form of menu planning which is something I've been doing forever. This winter I was very good about making a big batch of homemade soup or stew on Sundays to bring to work for lunches during the week. This was not only economical (frozen entrees are expensive), but much better(frozen dinners are full of weird stuff, and let's face it, they aren't that good or filling). The last few weeks I've not been very good about prepping my lunches, resulting in going out to lunch or grabbing some frozen weirdness. So today, buoyed by the spring energy, I am making curried chickpeas with rutabaga and collard greens which I'll have over brown basmati rice. This was a great option since it's done in a crock pot (I went out and raked leaves while it was cooking). And because I STILL had so much energy (and have an insane sweet tooth) I also made black bean brownies.
Yep, you read that right, BLACK BEAN brownies. Don't make that face! They are AMAZING! I made a few substitutions to the recipe linked above: I substituted chopped almonds for the hazelnuts (because that is what I had on hand), and I added some shredded coconut (because I love coconut). These coconut almond mocha brownies may be the very best brownies EVAH! And I'm not just saying that because they are healthy; they truly taste better than any brownie I've ever had. I'll definitely need to restrain myself from eating the entire pan in one sitting.
So other than my awesome culinary adventures this weekend I also hit a running milestone; I ran 7 miles on Saturday. This is the longest consecutive run I have completed thus far. It is also the end of the first stage of my marathon training. Next week I'll drop the mileage for my long run back for one week before building it up again in stage two. It's amazing to think that just last September I was barely able to run a half mile.
So that is about it for now. I have my second exam of the semester on Wednesday, I'll be studying like a madwoman for the next couple days. Wish me luck:)