Sunday, May 9, 2010

Warrior Dash

On May 2, my husband and I ran the Warrior Dash in Forney, TX with some close friends. We have all been excited about this race for some time. During the week of the race, there were many issues that arose making it seem like Warrior Dash would not happen. First, a court case with Kaufman Co. stating the permits were not in order for the race to take place. Once that was all settled, Dallas Co. decided they needed a piece of the action as well. Let's all admit it. The week of the race was irresponsible on Warrior Dash's/Red Frog Events behalf.

BUT...The weekend finally came and Red Frog Events pulled it all off nicely. Actually, "nicely" is an understatement. The event was great and besides all the hoopla caused by County permits during the week, everything was just the way it should have been, maybe even better.

My group signed up for the 9:30am wave. It was unusually cold this morning due to the heavy rain we had the night before. Anything that wasn't wet and muddy on the course definitely was now. All 500 people who signed up for our wave were patiently waiting under the "START" sign. When two massive rows of flames blew up into the sky, we knew it was time to start!

The first of the 14 obstacles was a massive 10 foot fan that blew 100 mph winds. Every person who had to run past this fan was either running at a crazy slant or had shifted about 5 feet to the right as they ran. They called this, "Tornado Alley". The course was extremely slippery due to the rain the night before. Honestly, if I didn't practice yoga, I most likely would have busted my bottom. Note to self: regular running shoes are a NO-NO. Trail shoes area must! As we continued on our run, we came across a 20 foot embankment. The butt marks were already engraved into the muddy sides of the river wall. All we needed to do was plop down and slide down into a river bed. Do you get mud up your crack? You sure do! Thank God there's a river you're falling into so you can dunk your rear end a few times to get those extra Hersey Kisses out ;) The water is nice and cool and you run about another quarter mile up river to another 20 foot muddy embankment. This time, it's to crawl out of the river. People were slipping and sliding everywhere. Some people even decided to run this thing drunk. INSANE.

Lucas, my husband, had long passed me by this point. I had a nasty cramp under my right lung and decided to take it slow. No need to kill myself. I was just enjoying being able to get extremely dirty. I had never been this muddy in my life! After a couple of more muddy pits where many people lost their shoes due to the suction of the mud, we turned a corner to see many Warrior heads bobbing up and down in a pond. Our next obstacle! We dove right into the pond, which happened to be pretty deep. We had to swim 10 feet to a floating log, push the log down and roll over it to the other side. We then had to swim another 10 feet to the next log. All of us did this about five times until we reached the end. This is where Joy and I  took our very first Warrior Dash photo:

This is where things get blurry. I vaguely remember a hay mound we ran over that wasn't too hard. I also took on a spider web thing that I wished was a little more challenging. Joy and I jogged and walked the rest of the way through with our friend Eric. Our next obstacle was a big line of wooden spools. You know, the types of spools that holds threads that are the size of human arms? I picked the lowest one and hopped right over. The photographers got a pretty good pic of our friend, Mike Gary, at the spools as well as some pics of Warriors in their costumes:

The Spools were quick and entertaining. We continued on our way on the very last stretch of the race. This obstacle was, to me, the most intimidating one of them all. Two rows of 3 feet tall flames that licked at your @ss and heels as you ran and jumped over them. I could imagine some poor, drunk person making the mistake of falling back into the flames. (I actually heard that this happened and hope the woman who fell is well and on her way to a full recovery). The photographers managed to get a real sexy picture of my husband running this. Yes, I said "sexy". Go barf if you need to. He's MY husband, what do you expect?

The next and final obstacle was a muddy bog with barbed wire that ran across it. All Warriors flopped onto their bellies and crawled on hands and knees to the finish line. As Joy says, it was "outta control!!" I never had so much mud and dirty in my face, between my hands and fingers.

 It was really liberating actually. In a society where people expect you to shower every day and girls are expected to be clean and prissy, I thoroughly enjoying this chance to let my hair down and really not give a flying f*ck. It was awesome! Here's a picture of me frolicking over the finish line at the end:

All in all, Warrior Dash was an incredible race. My husband and I totally bonded over the experience. We're both really competitive so this was a nice chance for us to sling some mud around and push ourselves. Training for Warrior Dash together was a whole different experience all together. Running with my husband is something that I'll forever cherish. If you think you'd like to get the chance to get down and dirty, I encourage you to sign up for this race next year! Free beers, turkey legs, and warrior hats provided! Until next year...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Revamped My Blog!

Hello! It's been a minute, hasn't it? I've been busily living my life and bettering myself. I started a few other blogs here and there but I'd type in one entry and stop. Writer's Block. Maybe those blogs were just not meant to be. Lillian, a dear friend of mine, told me recently that I have too many blogs and that I should consolidate them all in one place. DUH! Why have I never thought of this before? Why did I think that each topic or major event that I was working on in my life deserved a whole new blog? Sitting back and thinking about it, I realized that was very egotistic of me. My life isn't THAT important. So, today I figured out how to stop using unnecessary space on the World Wide Web and deleted my other blogs. From now on, everything will be written on here. All my yoga experiences, ravings, rants, new recipes, gardening tips, good news, bad news, and daily experiences will all be in one section conveniently located on Blogspot. Since all these experiences led to me being the person I am today, I have renamed my blog to, "Daily Ananda".

What does Ananda mean? Ananda (a-nan-da), or संस्कृत in Sanskrit, means bliss or utter joy. This one word could not more accurately describe my life right now. Every day I wake up and every thing that I do, every breath that I take is to get closer to that place of complete happiness. How am I able to enjoy this bliss so much? Because I can and I choose to. I've seen how dark life can get so I choose to throughly enjoy every moment of these brighter days. One year ago at this exact point in time, was probably one of the darkest moments in my life. Many dark and evil forces tried to come together to bring my husband and I down right before we got married. The wedding almost never happened. I was going through a miscarriage as well and felt my life was in shambles. Luckily, I had God, my yoga practice, and true friends that supported me and kept me lifted. God was there to keep me strong spiritually and yoga was there to strengthen me and teach me not to be a door mat. It's taught me to love myself enough to stand up to those that do me harm. Also, it taught me to love my family enough to remove certain people and situations from our lives. The wedding happened and from the moment that we both said, "I do", I vowed to never let another situation like that damage my husband and myself ever again. 

Now, almost one full year later, we couldn't be happier. We are in a state of PURE Ananda. The Uglies from our lives have been long gone. My husband and I have spent the past year getting to know each other better and traveling alone as a couple. We've been signing up for physical events that require team work and strength. This past weekend we ran the Warrior Dash which was 3.51 miles of running outdoors in mud, river, fire, and wind. Highly recommend you guys try it out next year if you can! We had so much fun and it's a total bonding experience... Another thing that happened this year is that I decided that I do not want to have children. Maybe it's due to the miscarriage that I had but man, nothing scares you into realizing how much a baby can change your life than actually having to prepare for one. I can still physically have children, I just don't want to. I realized that I am not ready nor do I want to bring a child into this failing world. There's so much that I could offer this planet, a child would only hinder and take away from that. Plus, there are plenty of others out there having kids to repopulate the world. If anything, I'll just adopt one of them that are in need :) 

Alright, so in conclusion, I'm happy. I'm well. 1 Year Anniversary coming up. I love my husband. WARRIOR DASH WAS AWESOME! and No kids for me (until further notice).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Zesty Scallops topped on Pesto Linguine

Zesty Scallops Pesto Linguine

Hubby went away to play golf today so I decided to make me a yummy lunch... something easy, fast, and delicious. Once again, I looked around in the pantry to see what I had to work with. I noticed that I just had maybe a serving or two of linguine left and decided to put that to use. So here we go~

Here's what you'll need for the pasta:
2 servings of Linguine
Olive Oil

1. Boil Linguine as directed on package.

Here's what you'll need for the Scallops:

5 - 6 frozen scallops, thawed
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1/2 cup Medium chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine
Juice from half of lemon

1. While pasta is boiling, add olive oil into a pan with sides on Med High heat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until moisture leaves veggies.

2. Add scallops and white wine. Leave scallops still to cook and caramelize. Squeeze lemon juice evenly over all scallops. Remember to not let the scallops over cook. They tend to get tough when that happens.

3. When pasta is ready, drain and immediately add pesto to hot pasta and mix evenly.

4. When pasta is evenly mixed, add to pan and toss with scallop mix.

5. Squeeze more lemon juice over pasta if you like. Top with some cheese and serve!

Miso Ramen with Kimchi Dumplings

Miso Ramen with Kimchi Dumplings

Staying true to my Korean roots, I decided to make an all time Korean favorite~ RAMEN!! Making Miso Ramen takes a ton of time and effort so I'm going to show you an easier way to get the taste minus the time :) If you aren't as lucky as I am to have a Korean grandmother who makes dumplings from scratch, you can always go and purchase frozen ones at the Asian grocery store.

Here's What You'll Need:
1 Package Shin Ramen (Can be found in Asian store)
2 tablespoons Japanese Miso (also at the Asian store)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 Green onion, chopped
1 egg
2 - 3 frozen dumplings

1. Boil the amount of water specified on the ramen package.
2. Add garlic and miso. Stir until miso is dissolved. Add dumplings.
3. Leave dumplings to cook for 5 mins and then add dried ramen noodles with powder packages that are included.
4. Cook until noodles are tender. Add egg.
5. Before serving, top with chopped green onions.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Miso Glazed Orange Roughy w/ Vegetable Fried Rice

Miso Orange Roughy

When the husband is away... the wifey will~

cook herself an awesome dinner that he'll be jealous of when he gets home!

LOL Kidding. Partially.

Last night, I marinated 3 Orange Roughy fillets. Once again, you can substitute O.R. with whatever white fish you would like :).(Sorry guys, I know there's been a lot of O.R. on my menu and I promise you that these are the last 3 fillets that we have. So you're safe until our next Costco trip if you're not a fish lover :)Please keep in mind that these fillets need to be marinated overnight to up to 24 hours. I made the mistake of not making the marinate and had to come up with something on whim last night (See Chicken Cordon Bleu).

This recipe is a mixture of TWO miso glaze recipes that I have. One I found online for the Miso glazed cod they serve at Nobu~ the other from my best friend, Heather. I put the two together to come up with this. ENJOY!

Here's what you'll need for the marinate:
1/4 cup sake (I used Korean soju)
1/4 cup mirin (can be found at any Asian store)
4 tablespoons of Japanese Miso paste
3 tablespoons of brown sugar

1. Mix all marinated ingredients into a measuring cup with fork.

2. Spread all over fish in baking dish that has a lid. Make sure fillet is completely covered. Place lid on top and set in fridge over night or up to 24 hours.

3. Put remaining miso reserve in measuring cup in the fridge. You'll need it when its time to prepare the fish.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. At the same time turn on indoor grill.

5. When you're ready to prepare the fish, wipe off all excess miso from fillet gently with your fingers. Place on grill and light brown on both side. Place into a clean baking pan.

6. Bake fish 10-15 mins. Drizzle a little bit of the left over miso marinate on the fish while it is still hot.

What you'll need for the Vegetable Fried Rice:

3 cups of steamed white rice
1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
3 tablespoons butter
Soy Sauce

1. Melt butter in a large pan. When hot, throw in frozen vegetables stirring often.

2. Once vegetables look unfrozen and are starting to cook, throw in the steamed rice.

3. Soy sauce to taste. Make sure to stir evenly throughout the rice.

4. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2 (with plenty of left over rice for tomorrow!)

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Last night, it took me a while to get dinner ready. Completely my fault for not reading the directions thoroughly before making the dish. So lesson learned! Since what I was originally making needed to be marinated over night, I decided to cook something quick and fast to make up for lost time....

After a quick peek in the fridge to see what I had to work with, I saw that I had already thawed out a small Ziplock of chicken breasts. I was going to use them for my husband's lunch the next day but decided to use them for dinner instead. Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my all time favorites. Who can say "NO" to the tender, baked chicken breast filled with melted cheese and thinly sliced salted meat? Okay... maybe someone who is a vegetarian and lactose intolerant... yeah, them peeps are weird.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 slices of proscuitto or cooked ham
2 slices of Kraft Swiss singles(each cut in half to make 4 pieces)
1 tablespoon of butter
Optional: White rice & grilled vegetables

1. Put each chicken breast half between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound the chicken until it reaches about 1/8 of an inch thickness. Remove wrap and throw away.

2. Place slice of proscuitto and slice of cheese in the middle of each chicken breast. Fold up the sides and then roll the chicken breast from top to bottom, securing it with wooden toothpicks.

3. In a medium skillet cook rolls in hot butter over MEDIUM LOW heat for 20 - 25 mins or until they are no longer pink. Turn a quarter turn every 5 minutes or so, so that chicken is browned evenly.

Serves 2

Tell me what you think!

Now, on the menu for tonight *drum roll please* Miso Glazed Orange Roughy!! I'll be back tomorrow with pics and descriptions (:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Citrus-Parmesan Orange Roughy

Citrus-Parmesan Orange Roughy

Hello All!

Here I am to share another yummy dish with everyone. Although I don't recommend eating orange roughy OFTEN due to the fact that it is a deep water fish that is heavily impacted on over fishing and is even listed on Australia's endangered species list. This is because orange roughies have a very long lifespan (up to 149 years!) and do not reproduce often (they do not reach sexual maturity til they reach 20 years old). They are prized for their light, white meat that people love.

You can substitute the orange roughy with whatever white meat fish you'd like but every now and then, I think it's ok to enjoy a fillet or two :)

This dish has a citrus tang to it with a sweet & salty backdrop from the Parmesan cheese. Topped on top of white rice, it makes a wonderful light lunch or dinner! Like my husband said, "It looks funny... but it tastes REALLY good!". Hopefully you'll like it too!

Here's What You'll Need:
2 orange roughy fillets (1.5 lbs.)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp chopped green onions
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of Pepper
Dash of Paprika
2 servings of white rice

1. Turn on the broiler on your oven and let it pre-heat while prepping the fillets and making the cheese sauce.

2. Butter a baking dish. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze juice over fillets and let sit for 10 - 15 mins.

3. In small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients.

4. Broil fillets 3 - 4 inches under the broiler for 5 - 6 minutes. Remove fish and drain excess liquid. Spoon cheese mixture evenly & spread over fish and return to broiler for another 2 - 3 minutes. Watch closely so the cheese doesn't burn.

5. Remove with spatula and top over white rice. Spoon remaining sauce in bake pan over fish and rice.

Serves 2