Fall Cookbook Challenge – Week 4 (the Final Recap!)

Thanks for following along with JwJ’s Fall Cookbook Challenge!  This is my final check-in on the challenge, and I deviated a little from the plan this week.  I was planning on making something from 50 Shades of Chicken, but I forgot to buy pretty much all of the ingredients for Chicken Under the Covers AND I needed some cornbread to go with our chili tonight, so I turned to Olde Faithful of the Kitchen:

11.3 joy of cooking

My mom gave me this for Christmas a few years back, and this book has EVERYTHING- recipes for everything under the sun, along with sample holiday menus, cooking technique explanations, kitchen injury first aid, and a culinary glossary.  I should use it much more than I actually do, but I whipped it out looking for a corn bread recipe and was not disappointed.

11.3 cornbread

My husband wasn’t disappointed either.  Embarrassingly enough, this is all that’s left of an 8×8 square dish after only two people shared it. 

I don’t love corn bread that tastes more like bread or a muffin than corn; I like a strong cornmeal-to-flour ratio, and the recipe in The Joy of Cooking delivered.

That pretty pan of corny goodness brings us to the end of our Fall Cookbook Challenge! I hope I inspired at least a few fellow Joggers to dig into your cookbook libraries and experiment with something new.

Have a great night!



Weekly Training Update

We’re back at Sunday again already!  Before we go over our usual Sunday business of recapping the week’s workouts, we need to attend to some very serious business:


11.1.15 red cup

For those of you who are unfamiliar, today is the day that Starbucks breaks out their seasonal red cups and add their holiday coffee drinks to the menu.  I am a self-proclaimed Christmas FANATIC, so these beautiful red cups are the beginning of my most favorite time of year.  While I love Christmas with a passion, I am not one of those people who breaks out the Christmas tree and starts playing my holiday jams the day after Halloween (I wait impatiently until the day after Thanksgiving for that).  I AM one of those people who gets super excited about red cups and ordering my first Skinny Peppermint Mocha of the season.  Fun fact: Starbucks serves peppermint mochas year round.  However, I choose to deprive myself of them most of the year so they feel extra-special at Christmastime.

11.1 target mittens

I saw these cute little salt and pepper shakers in Target yesterday morning.  I was raving about all the cute holiday decorations to the Husband, but he wandered off like he couldn’t hear me (because he thinks I’m crazy?).

Moving on from my freakish obsession with the holiday season……..

My training was a little light this week.  I wasn’t feeling 100%, so I took it easy on the running.  I was supposed to do a practice 5k on Monday morning, but 30 seconds in I knew I would run it at a snail’s pace.  The good news is that the weather is supposed to be warm this week, so I won’t have to spend as much time indoors on the treadmill.  I did branch out a little bit and did some cross-training with weights this week, which is very unlike me.  Confession: weights intimidate me.  I love doing pilates and yoga as cross-training, but I typically stay away from the weights at the gym.  I’m hoping to change that though- now that the temps are starting to drop and I’m spending less time running outdoors, I’d like to get a little less uncomfortable using the weight room.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress!

Here’s what my workouts looked like this week:

Monday: 2.8 mile run on the treadmill + 60 minute yoga class

Friday: 2.3 mile run on the treadmill + pistol squats (SO HARD!), air squats, push-ups, bicep curls, and flys.

Sunday: a whole lotta housecleaning

Since it’s November 1, be sure to head over to RunEatRepeat to join the Pile on the Miles Challenge for 2015.  I’ve pledged to log 50 miles this month!  I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions, but this year one of my goals was to log 500 miles in 2015; I’m slightly behind schedule, and these 50 miles should put me back on track.  I’d like to run most of them, but am willing to count miles walked as well as miles logged on the elliptical.  Pile on the Miles is a GREAT way for me to counteract all the holiday goodies I plan on enjoying these next few months, and I encourage all you fellow Joggers to check it out.

Have a great week!


Fall Cookbook Challenge- Week 3 Recap

Welcome back Joggers!  It’s our second-to-last Fall Cookbook Challenge Recap.  This week, I decided to bake the Pumpkin Walnut Bread from Sur La Table’s Art and Soul of Baking, and it did NOT disappoint!

10.29.15 bread

Fresh from the oven goodness.

Confession: the walnuts were supposed to be mixed into the bread batter, but I forgot.  So I just slapped them on the top, and it turned out just fine (and maybe even a little extra photogenic!).

I know I said I was going to load up on the Cream Cheese Frosting included as a bonus recipe, but I decided to take the (moderately) more healthy route and just spread a little cream cheese on a toasted slice.  Still yummy with a little less guilt!

10.29.15 slice

The bread was AWESOME, super easy to make (I love a recipe that doesn’t involve the hand mixer!!), and was gone in a flash.  I actually baked a second loaf on Tuesday because the Husband was such a fan!

That brings us to the final week of the Fall Cookbook Challenge, and I thought the grand finale was the time to bust out this bad boy:

10.29.15 cookbook

My bridesmaids got this for me as part of my Bachelorette Party gift bag, and it’s HILARIOUS.  For example, recipes include: Dripping Thighs, Sticky Fingers, and Chicken with a Lardon.  I’ll be testing the “Chicken Under the Covers” recipe for a spin, aka Chicken Pot Pie.  I have an extra pie crust in the freezer that I’d like to use up, and such a hearty dish sounds like a good idea for the beginning of November.

I hope you’re enjoying my cookbook adventures!  Sound off below and let me know what you’re cookin’!


Weekly Training Update

Hello hello!  I’m popping in for a quick training update- I’m finishing up lots of admin work around the casa this evening, but I don’t want to leave you guys hanging.  Here’s what my workouts looked like this week:

Monday: Magic Mile, plus 20 minutes on the elliptical and some planks

Tuesday: 20 minutes on the elliptical

Wednesday: 60 minute yoga class

Thursday: 35 minute jog, plus 45 minute pilates class

Friday: 10×400

This was a busy weekend with lots of fun social goings-on, so I’m looking forward to an early bedtime tonight.  I hope you all have a great week!

Happy Sunday,


Fall Cookbook Challenge – Week 2 Recap

Week 2 of our Fall Cookbook Challenge is in the books!  This week, I made Ellie Krieger’s New Classic Meatloaf from her Comfort Food Fix cookbook.  I was slightly hesitant for the following reasons:

  1. the sauce on top of the meatloaf was molasses-based, which scared me;
  2. there were a LOT of veggies hidden- mushrooms, carrots, and onions; and
  3. the recipe didn’t call for bread crumbs, but oatmeal to bind the loaf.

I honestly wasn’t sure I could pull off so many “alternative” ingredients in one recipe.  Turns out I was hesitant for no reason at all, because this meatloaf was THE BOMB.  The molasses gave the sauce a bold and slightly sweet flavor, the veggies blended in beautifully, and the oats blended wonderfully enough that I received no objections from the Husband.  I ended up LOVING this recipe and highly recommend it!  It does make a big loaf, so we had plenty of leftovers- I’ll be polishing them off for lunch tomorrow.

So what’s up next?  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but baking is my favorite.  I LOVE to bake and would do it all the time if I had any self control around cookies and cakes and breads and muffins.  With that said, my lovely and thoughtful cousin gave me this gem for Christmas last year:

10.22 cookbook

I’ve been looking for an excuse to dig in and use this bad boy, but with a wedding on the horizon (and a form-fitting dress) I ended up not getting around to it until now.  Since I’ve got some leftover pumpkin lying around, I decided to go with the Pumpkin Walnut Bread for this week’s recipe.

10.22 recipe

This cookbook has some pretty complex recipes, but this one looks manageable and delicious and not too horribly bad for me. I’ll be exercising the Cream Cheese Frosting option included in the recipe, that’s for sure!

Pumpkin Walnut Bread is what’s cookin’ for me this week- what cookbook recipe are you taking on?

Have a great weekend,


Weekly Training Update

This weekend was chock-full of all my favorite fall things EXCEPT running :/. We went apple picking yesterday and had a BLAST picking apples, drinking cider, and downing cider donuts.

10.18 sugar donut

We exhibited some serious self-control and did not order an extra half-dozen to take home with us. This time of year, NOTHING beats a good cider donut!

Then, this afternoon I turned part of our harvest into a delicious apple pie with crumb topping.

10.18 apples

Sliced apples coated in cinnamon and sugar. Don’t worry, I housed the slices that didn’t fit in the pie pan!

We’re waiting until after dinner to dive in and it’s TORTURE!!

10.18 pie

Fear not- there is farm-fresh vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer to go along with the pie!

I used this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. However, I cheated and bought premade crust. Confession time: I hate making pastry crusts; it’s just not my jam. I’ll make graham cracker crusts all day long, but old-school pastry pie crusts take time and patience that I just don’t have. So if we’re ever hanging out and I bring a homemade pie, please know that pie crust was from the freezer section. #sorrynotsorry.

I’m checking in with you lovely folks while our dinner is in the oven (we’re having Ellie’s New Classic Meatloaf, as part of my Cookbook Challenge) to bring you up to speed on my workouts this past week. Here’s what my week looked like:

Monday: 30 minute walk around the neighborhood

Wednesday: 40 minute jog and 60 minute yoga class

Thursday: 45 minute Pilates class

Friday: 8×400 on the treadmill

I was supposed to do a Magic Mile today, but I’ll do it tomorrow morning. Instead of running outside today, the Husband and I slept in waaaay later than usual and spent the day cooking for the week and cleaning up the house. We’re both fighting off a cold and needed a day at home.

So there you have it- my week in a nutshell. Enjoy your evening, Joggers!


Fall Cookbook Challenge – Week 1 Recap

Happy Tuesday evening!   Last week, I asked you all to join my fall cookbook challenge, where I’m challenging myself to pull out a cookbook from my cabinet each week in October and try a new-to-me recipe.  Last week, I baked Pumpkin Walnut Cookies with Brown Butter Icing from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook.  They came out DELISH, but unfortunately they didn’t last long enough for me to snap a decent pic (always a good sign of a successful recipe!)- as soon as they were done, we headed to a friend’s house for dinner and the cookies were a hit!  I’m glad I halved the recipe (it made about 4 dozen as written), because we would have had spares laying around that the Husband and I would have housed in no time and then felt really guilty about it.

The next cookbook on my hit list is:

10.13 ellie krieger

This week,  I’m going to take Ellie’s New Classic Meatloaf for a spin.  The Husband’s favorite meatloaf recipe has about a pound and a half of American cheese in it, so this may not be an easy sell.  I LOVE meatloaf, and it’s a great dish to hide veggies in.  This recipe calls for mushrooms, carrots, and onion, along with a few wild card ingredients- yellow mustard and molasses.  A little unorthodox, but I’m excited to give it a whirl and really excited for the leftovers!

If you’re playing along, sound off below on how your first week of fall cookbook cooking went- I’d love to hear what you’re whipping up!

Have a great week,