Currently - March 2016

March is already over!  This month went by in a blink, and while my training schedule kept me pretty busy, I had a good time outside of tri-life, too.

 

Reading

I was on a memoir kick during March.  Specifically memoirs of people doing big outdoor adventures.

Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Carrot Quinn.   I am not a hiker and likely will never be one, but I love reading thru hiking stories.  This one by Carrot Quinn started off promising, and there was nothing wrong with it, per se, I think I just found her irritating.  She wants to hike the PCT because she feels she’s too plugged in, but she’s never without her phone, updates her blog, and uploads to Instagram the entire time?  I still finished the story, but found myself disliking her personality.

Pilgrim Wheels: Reflections of a Cyclist Crossing America by Neil Hanson.  Starting on the West Coast, Neil Hanson road across the US on his bike.  This book covers the first half of his journey, ending in Kansas.  At first I loved this book.  I liked the way he talked about each day, the scenery, his feelings as he set out.  Somewhere along the back third of the book, we somehow stopped talking about riding and started talking philosophy.  Not a surprise, considering the title of the book, but it was a bit slow going.  I barely finished this one.

All in all, I’m glad I found a few things to read in March, but wish I’d stumbled across something a little more special.  I’m over memoirs for a while, but I’m taking suggestions for some fluffy fiction.

 

Eating

I enjoyed a lot of time in the kitchen this past month, and I’m having a continuing love affair with Jamie Oliver’s recipes.  Three this month alone!  Sadly, he seems to be having some issues with his website right now, so these links may not be working.

Pesto Pasta with Chicken - This was amazing and I’ve made it twice already.  The beans and pasta cook up quickly, and we split one chicken breast across two servings.  I found that I needed less pasta water to loosen up the pesto compared to what the recipe called for.  Plenty of veggies, so it's great for a weeknight dinner.

Kale, fried chorizo & crusty croutons with a poached egg - I substituted out the kale for spinach so that J would eat this, but we both liked it.  This was my first time poaching eggs, and they were a teeny bit overcooked but still soft.  I’m looking forward to trying this again, and think it will be great with a fruit salad on the side.  Breakfast for dinner for the win!

Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce & courgette salad - Let’s call this #fritterfail and move on, shall we?  The only reason I’m bringing this recipe up is to say that a lot of the issues were likely user error, so if fritters are your thing, maybe you’ll have better luck than I did.  J enjoyed the courgette salad, so I will be making that again.  Love the spice!

Couscous Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries - I made batch lunches two weeks in a row and I still wasn’t tired of this.  I made this with both regular and pearl couscous, and both were nice.  This keeps so well in the fridge and kept me full for the entire afternoon at the office.

Joy of Baking Brownies - I made a batch of these for a friend and family get together, and then made a second batch for just J and I.  Except J isn’t a huge fan of brownies, so mostly me!  I make these brownies with bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate, raw cocoa, and milk chocolate chips.  It is almost impossible to eat just one.  This has been my go to brownie recipe for a couple years now.  The batter comes together in a single bowl in the time it takes for the oven to come to temperature.  Easy and delicious!

 

Watching

March has been good for television!

11.22.63 - a Hulu exclusive starring James Franco, produced by J.J. Abrams and Stephen King.  Based on the book by King (which I haven’t read yet) it follows a man who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of JFK.  It is an 8 part miniseries, and 7 episodes have been released so far.  I can’t wait for the last episode!  

Daredevil Season 2 was released on Netflix, and J and I watched the entire thing in a single weekend.  We loved the first season, and this season brought us Punisher and Elektra.  I quite liked the Punisher storyline.  I found myself getting annoyed with Karen...it's like she’s two different people, or was written by two different people.  One second she’s strong and confident, and in the next scene she’s a damsel in distress whining to her boyfriend about secrets?  She just seems disjointed.  I mean, it isn’t entirely unrealistic, but I just want better from her.  Still, a good series.

Halt & Catch Fire Season 2 came out on Netflix in March, although this AMC show aired last summer.  The series follows several people in the computer industry in the 1980s.  This is right up J’s alley, but I’m finding I like it quite a bit, too.  Very well acted, the characterization is on point, and the set design and costuming are great.

 

Listening

The West Wing Podcast is a few things.  First, I’ve never been a podcast listener, so for me it brought me into the present.  Second, it is an excellent excuse to rewatch the entire series, but forces you to NOT binge-watch so that you don’t get too far ahead of the podcast.  And finally, it's just good fun to revisit this classic with the funny hosts, one of which is Joshua Malina, who played Will Bailey.  Two episodes in, and I’m ready for the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.  If you get that reference, you should be listening to this.  If you don’t...give it a skip.

 

Celebrating

My brother is a March baby, so the family got together for a nice breakfast at Barrel & Bushel on a rather chilly weekend morning.  Breakfast is my favorite meal, and my brother is my favorite sibling.  I guess that’s cheating though, since there are only two of us!

 

And that’s March!  I’d like to pretend I’m an interesting person that has cool adventures, but obviously I really just train, eat, watch tv, and hang out with my family.  Not a bad thing, though.  I wonder what April will have in store for me?