Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The folks Behind the Curtain

Welcome back for more Party fun!

Here we go: Family Day (posted on Wednesday night because I had the time!)!

*That's my son on the left, who like his Mama and Dad, LOVES to run as fast and as far as his little legs will carry him!*

I'm honored to introduce you to the wonderful (and crazy, of course!) members of my family who so kindly took time out of their days and nights to visit this little shin dig. I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with repeated emails or subtle hints that if they didn't send photos, I'd gladly find some myself . . .

As usual, let's begin with the snacks. As you can tell by the way my daughter bathes herself in her food, my family enjoys some good eats (though we usually show more reserve than my little gal does)!
My mom and her little sister, my Aunt Siobhan, have been recipe swapping their entire adult lives (they used to be the decadent dessert ones, now the healthy breakfast ones, go figure). Here are the dishes they're bringing:

The photo is of Aunt Siobhan and her younger son, David, at the top of Saddle Rock in Wenatchee, WA - she's not a runner like her husband and sons, but she says, "Hiking is something we can do together as a family. It's a great time to enjoy our time together and appreciate the beauty around us. It's a great time to chat and catch up but also time for quiet reflection." She's a former Army Officer and PE teacher and says, "This is a great pre-workout meal and tastes great reheated the next day too."

Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal
(Serves One Hearty Breakfast Portion, Two smaller portions.)

2 tsp Non-Hydrogenated Vegan Margarine or butter if you are not Vegan
1/2 Cup Steel Cut Oats
1 1/2 Cups Hot water
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 Pinch Salt
1/2 Cooking Apple, diced
1/4 Cup Soy, Oat, Nut , or milk
1-2 tsp Brown Sugar (or regular sugar with a small drizzle of molasses)
1 Tiny Pinch Nutmeg, optional
Heat margarine in a small sauce pot that has a tight fitting lid. Add oats and toast them for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add cinnamon and salt, stir well. Stir in hot water and bring to a brisk boil. Cover and turn down heat. After 15 minutes, add apple, milk, and sugar and stir. Cook for another 5 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
If after 5 minutes you'd prefer your oatmeal to be thicker, cover and turn off heat and let sit for an additional 5-10 minutes. This gives the oats a chance to absorb more liquid without running the risk of burning the oatmeal. Also, the oatmeal at this point is approximately the temperature of magma, so you might as well let it cool down a bit before you dig in.
If you feel like dressing up your oatmeal, drizzle it with a small amount of molasses and a pinch of nutmeg, or sprinkle it with additional brown sugar, nuts, or add a fresh apple slice or two to the top.
My mom (that's her in the front of the kayak, with my husband steering in the back - I was pregnant and SICK, so they took a kayaking class together while I slept at home and my dad chased after my son) has this to share about her tasty treat:

"Last year we joined a local organic farm co-op and had a huge basket of fruit and veggies every week from June through October. I learned to grill fennel, and add rainbow chard to salsa for grilled chicken fahitas. My favorites must be the berries: rasberries, strawberries, blueberries and my favorite, the wild blackberries! (They are considered weeds in this area as they have taken over the sides of many roads and fields.) We picked lots of berries last summer, and filled our freezer with them for the rest of the year. In my quest to get 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, I start my day whipping up the following smoothie in the blender:

1/2 cup low fat or soy yogurt
1 small banana
1 orange (or 1/2 cup of orange juice)
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked oats
ground flax seed

The banana is important, as it keeps my muscles from getting cramps during yoga. I realize it's not a low calorie breakfast, but it's certainly healthy, and keeps me from even thinking about a snack before lunch. Our grandkids love having this the mornings after their sleepovers."
She's right - the kids come home from their sleepovers FULL (it is truly the one time all week I can say that) and singing the praises of "Oma's Smoothies".

My husband is a lover of all things chocolate. He's been known to head straight for the freezer for some frozen dark chocolate kisses as soon as he gets home from work. Here he is:

"In the picture I'm the one in the gray shirt and black visor. This is after the 2007 Duvall Days 10K. You will notice that the picture includes a bonus shot of Brianna (Brianna's comment: I finished the 5K a bit earlier. And, for those of you with a copy of the book, you may recognize the running gear to be the same as what the "coach" is wearing - that's no coincidence!).

As for a favorite recipe I know Brianna isn't surprised. While these are good post-workout, they are great pre-workout (Brianna's comment: also great for breakfast . . . ). Some of my best bike rides have been powered by these cookies (for sake of space, I'll just let you follow the link to them - REALLY, you should follow the link, but be forewarned that they will call to you in the night . . . and in the morning . . . and in the middle of the day!).

As to why he is a runner/cyclist/etc. . . . and why he managed to make a lover of running out of me (except he's much more analytical and number-oriented than I am):

"Running, biking, kayaking etc are great because they me break out of the slog and challenge myself in new (or old ways). I can focus on my pace, or not focus at all. I can watch my time or escape from deadlines. I can keep my heart rate in the proper range for my goals, or I can pedal until I'm spinning out and catching cars."
My cousins are BOYS who love to run. They took some time out of their finals studying to visit. Here they are:
Kevin and David have been running for as long as they could keep up with their dad, Al (Siobhan's hubby!). At first they rode his bike along side Uncle Al on his runs, but before we all knew it, they were running for their schools. That's Kevin on the left, getting his cleats ready to go.

Kevin's little brother, David (that's him, running his heart out!), says, "Running is gives you the chance to make your mind perfectly clear, to feel strong, to create your own independence, and it shows you exactly the person you are."

I couldn't agree more!

You know what . . . this party is getting BIGGER than I realized. You've probably had enough mingling for tonight. Go get yourself a drink, go for a run, do some stretching . . . and wander your way back again tomorrow for some more snacks and faces.

REMEMBER: Tomorrow is Celebrity Day . . . and you'll get to meet a few more of my family members, if you can handle it.


Shamrock said...

Nice party! Can't wait to try all the new recipes. What an interesting group of people you have invited! Glad I stopped by.

Jess said...

Great pics of the family!