These are a tasty breakfast or snack treat! Before we even begin to make muffins… You’re going to want to make yourself some steel-cut oats. It’s super easy to make all you need is oats, skim milk, and water!
Steel cut oats:
I make extra. This way I can eat it for breakfast all week. It also makes a great healthy snack. We’re making it plain but when I eat it as a snack I like to add a hint of vanilla, walnuts, and dried cranberries. This will make you extra. You can downsize the portion if necessary and you may want to… I warn you this is a lot of oats!
2 cups uncooked oats
1/2 cup skim milk
medium sauce pan full of water
Fill Medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and add 2 cups of uncooked oats. Let simmer for 20 minutes while stirring on occasion. Add 1/2 cup milk and continue to stir and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. (You may need additional water depending on how quickly your oats are cooking, so in the middle you can add a bit more if you think you need it)
Boom Steel Cut Oats! And fun fact… they preserve well in the fridge in a sealed container.
Steel Cut Blueberry Muffins
Now onto the main event! This recipe makes 12 regular muffins and 12 mini muffins.
1 1/4 Cooked Oats (using above recipe)
1 1/2 Generous Cups of Flour (don’t level it off)
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 tbsp of Baking Powder
Dash of Salt
1 Cup of Milk
1/4 Cup of Canola Oil
1 1/2 Cups of Frozen Blueberries
1 tsp Agave Nectar
2 tsp of Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Mix Flour, Oats, Sugar, Baking Powder, & Salt together. It should form almost a paste, because the oats are slightly sticky.
Add the liquids. Mix in Milk, Oil, Egg & Agave Nectar. Gently mix together until well blended.
Add Cinnamon & Vanilla.
Fold in Frozen Blueberries.(Frozen helps them maintain their blueberry shape while cooking.) Do not heavily mix or it could destroy the Blueberries. So just gently blend by hand.
Grease/spray your tins. I use the Pillsbury baking Flour spray. It works well and you don’t need paper wrappers for your muffin tins. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3. They will expand in the oven, make sure to give them space!
Great muffins have a little topping. So mix a 2:1 Ratio of sugar to cinnamon. and lightly sprinkle on top.
Bake the mini muffins for 10 mins on 425 and the regular muffins for 15 mins on 425.
Don’t forget to let cool and Enjoy!
Holidays are the season of giving! I put together a list of things a potential runner or baker may want! I know that I’m the kind of person who makes a list. I’ve been this way my entire life. It’s probably because I am not good with surprises… like at all.
I’m also terrible at choosing gifts for people. Like really, I am. So I routinely give people what I would want or something I know for a fact that I like. This has worked in the past. I will continue to use this system, until it fails me, soo hopefully… forever.
1. Hydration Belt – I own this exact belt. I love it. Personally, I’ve tried the hand-held version and I can’t do it. Anything more than the tiny 10oz handheld and I want to throw things in the Potomac. This belt has been with me in 100 degree weather & on runs over 26 miles and I’ve never had an issue. It’s about $40-$50, depending on your color, size, and where you buy it.
2. Race Entries! – That’s right I usually have an entry to a race on my holiday wish list. This year Bake N’ Burn parents were nice enough to include entrance into the National Half Marathon as part of my gift! This also acts as great motivation. If someone else gifted you the race, I always feel compelled to do my best when I know it’s on someone else’s dime…
3. New Sneakers! – Every runner loves a new pair of sneakers! I just picked up these beauties last month. I went to Pacers in Clarendon, VA and got fitted. My old sneakers were giving me horrible blisters. Well turns out they were the wrong size!! But it can also be a fun experience to go with someone and pick out a fun new pair of shoes! (every girl and guy loves new sneakers!) P.S. You can always buy running shoes online, but I would recommend getting fitted by a professional first.
4. UPDATE 2/21/2014- I did receive a Fitbit and while I did like it. It has been voluntarily recalled.
Fitbit – So this is on my list. (fingers crossed) According to the website the force has all the following features: “Tracks steps, distance, stairs climbed, calories burned and active minutes. View stats on your wrist with OLED display, including time of day (clock). Monitors your sleep and wakes you with a silent alarm. Wear all day and night. Sweat, rain and splash proof. Includes wristband (sizing guide), charging cable, and wireless sync dongle.” I personally want it to track my sleep and my daily movement. I have a desk job and would like to incorporate more movement throughout the day. Besides look how stylish this is… okay well maybe not.
5. Prep Bowls!! What baker doesn’t love prep bowls. They are great for everything! Mine are kitchenaid and I love them. No really… I do. These are the bowls I have. You can get them online, target, and even HomeGoods…. Best part: They’re super cheap!
6. Immersion Blender – This is a hand blender. It’s not exciting but if you want to make anything into a soup, humus, mashed… you get the picture. Now, be careful giving this to someone. I happen to love mine, and got it as a housewarming gift. This is a great friend or family member gift for someone you KNOW loves to cook. This is not a gift for a significant other. You’ve been warned!
7. Fun Cookie Cutters! Cookie cutters are easy and fun. I have all sorts at home. But some of my favorite are the ones below.
8. Shuffle – I love my iPod shuffle. You can even see it in my race pics! It’s light and clips right on to your clothes. It also makes it super easy to only have the music you’re into at the moment on there. I change my shuffle music all the time. Just plug it into computer and play around.Right now I’m loving Pitbull…
9. Fuel – No not a gas station gift card… but fuel. Like GU’s, Powerade, Nuun, or whatever your favorite/least objectionable is. These make a great stocking stuffer. You were going to purchase them anyway, so why not buy in bulk and potentially get a holiday discount. And in case you were wondering, I asked a product rep at the Marine Corps Marathon expo and it’s pronounced… Noon like the time of day. I still say it different every time, but at least I tried.
10. Anything by Nordicware! – As a baker I love my cookie sheets, muffin/cupcake tins, pie pans, bundt pans, and so much more. My favorite brand is Nordicware. It’s great quality and not super expensive. They also make everything and you can get it in most stores. To me the more creative the better.
Now, you should probably get a move on holiday shopping if you haven’t. I mean I can’t judge, I’m not done either. But there’s 7ish shopping days left before Christmas. So…. yeah… about that….
Usually I wouldn’t do a recap for a 10K but this was a truly fantastic race. So I had to share the details, or at least skim through them.
This race takes place in West Potomac Park, in Washington, DC. It’s an out and back, which I usually don’t like but when it’s this pretty I can work with it.
Also for $50 you did the 10K, got a pin and an amazing New Balance zip up. Yes, I have chosen my races based on premiums more than once.
This race took place one week before my marathon. It was a perfect short jog to keep me ready for OBX Marathon. My husband was terrified about me running after the disaster at the Seaside Heights Half Marathon 3 weeks before, so we biked over to the start together. He also followed me on his bike nearby most of the way. (I found a keeper)This race had a firm 12.56 min mile max. So long story short I was a tad concerned. We arrived about five minutes before the start, locked my bike to a tree and I got in the ready area. It was maybe 55 degrees and truly a beautiful day. I had only capris and a light long sleeve tech tee. But in my usual fashion I was HOT!
Boom Race Starts.
This is my first solo race in a long time. So I was going to use this as a test to see if I’m still capable of running fast-ish. Well turns out I am… I ran the first two miles at a 9:30 pace. Yeah that’s right… 9:30. I was shocked too. I assume I looked something like this.
The race was beautiful, well laid out, and a fun morning. They had 2 water stops one around 2 ish and one around 4-5 ish. It was an out and back so they were technically located in the same place.
My garmin put my time at 69 min. I’ll take it! Afterward they had water and bagels! This was a great local race and I can’t wait to do it next year again!
What was less pleasant was getting back on the bike and going home. But it was a great workout!
When your friend from Coloradosays I want to come visit you and run a race with the girls you don’t say no. When she says she wants to run the Nike 1/2 Marathon in DC in April. You say sure. When you see the price. You hallucinate.
So we came up with a team name and entered the lottery. FYI… we’re team Blonde Nation. So we crossed our fingers and hoped. While hoping we started designing our coordinated t-shirts. (yeah we’re those people).
And just when we thought we weren’t going to get in…. out of 15,000 runners, we squeaked in! That’s right my bib is 14,909!
BTW my friend, Amy from Colorado is fast! The rest of us hope to keep up. Also jury is still out on those outfits….
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This race holds a special place in my heart for 2 reasons. The first being I grew up in this area of the Jersey Shore and the second this would be the race where I qualified for the Half Fanatics!! I was able to stay with family for this race and we made a weekend out of it.
Unfortunately, larger races have spoiled me. And I need my water, sports drink, and GU. In a nut shell, it was not a good day. It was the worst race I have ever run.
So let’s get right to it. This will be short. I have run enough races this year, to assume there would be frequent water stops. Wrong. At the beginning of the race it was windy and maybe 40 degrees. We picked up our bibs in the morning at Beachcomber on the water. If you didn’t know earlier that month Funtown Pier experienced a devastating fire, burning down where the race starts would have been, packet pick up, and the Sawmill. This was even more upsetting due to the fact that the area was finally recovering from Super Storm Sandy. It was a heartbreaking scene. Therefore I will not be too harsh. They did the best they could with the situation and resources.
During packet pick up with discovered that we had a 3 hour time limit. no pressure. I also was trying out new compression pants, that I thought I could wear when I ran a marathon the following month. Yes. I did that. I broke the number one rule of racing. Never try out something new on race day. Well these supposedly amazing pants were way too big. I wound up having to pull my pants up every hundred feet or so. It was wildly uncomfortable and painful in the end.
The first 1.5 miles are on the Boardwalk and the last 1.5 miles are on the Boardwalk. These miles were great. It was the rest that sucked. We ran on a road out for 4ish miles and back for 4ish miles. It was a road with trees. Nothing else. The 40 degree weather quickly turned to 65 degrees in direct sunlight.
I also learned during this race, that I don’t function without sports drink. Apparently, I lose salt very quickly. On this particular, day my hat and face were covered in salt crystals.There were maybe 4 water stops and they were giving out baby cups. Teeny tiny water cups. There was one sports drink stop at mile 6.5. (Much needed). Thinking that there would be more stops or sports drink, I didn’t wear my belt. Huge mistake.
Sadly, I don’t remember much of the end. Christine ran most of it next to me. worried I may fall over. She was right, it was stupid but, I was moments from passing out. I’m pretty sure I was hallucinating at points. I almost DNF’ed twice and looking back I should have. It was risky and reckless to keep going. We finally made it to the end. We were both having a terrible time and felt just awful.
We finally crossed the finish line at 2:59. My husband was so proud (and worried from my incoherent texts). But thankfully he finished first. I promptly crossed the finish line walked 20 steps to the left and fainted in the parking lot. I allegedly looked at him and said, “I’m going down,” which gave him enough time to catch my head.
Afterward, I sat for a while and re-hydrated because I refused to let an EMT come near me. I was feeling well enough to get out of there in about 20 min. So we headed out to get some good ole fashion Jersey Pizza at Pete & Elda’s. If you’ve never heard of it, do yourself a favor and go. Right Now. It’s amazing!
But this race taught me a few important lessons.
- Always test out gear before the race
- Check finish times
- Hydrate properly by bringing what I know I need
- & Don’t just make assumptions about race support
But we came, we saw, and we conquered! I’m now half fanatic #5176 and by hubby is #5177.
Baltimore is not far from DC. But after dropping off a friend last year, we knew that getting a hotel room would be a smart choice. At the 2012 Baltimore Running Festival we left DC at 5:45am and still did not get there in time to drop a friend off at the start. She had to run an additional mile to get to the marathon start and only just made it into the start as the gun went off.
So using my Priceline Negotiator skills I scored a hotel in the inner harbor for a steal. Turns out it was the Hyatt Regency on Light Street, which is directly across the street from where the half corrals line up! So perfection!
We didn’t get to the expo at the convention center until 7pm on Friday. It wasn’t too crowded, but it was started to die down. We grabbed out bibs and gorgeous highlighter green Under Armour Long Sleeve Tech Tees. Michael wanted a fun Baltimore themed shirt to run in like Christine and I had… So he picked up an “I steamed the Crab” shirt (which is wears all the time now…)
After the expo we headed to noodles across from our hotel. This is wear Christine realized they handed her the wrong race shirt size and she ran back to the expo to straighten it out. At this point we were all exhausted. Traffic getting into Baltimore was a mess and a trip that should have only taken a little over an hour, took almost 3. So we settled in a the Hyatt and called it a night.
The half marathon started at 9:45am, so we didn’t get up till 8:30am. For a half marathon… that’s awesome. I am terrible at pre-race fueling. I’m either nauseous or dizzy. So for this race I tried some of the Powerade chomps/chews… eh something like that. And i nibbled on a whole wheat mini bagel which is the photo below it appears I’ve decided to wear as a ring.
So after the race began, Michael went on his merry way and Christine I are started. We bumped into our sorority sister Sabrina with her husband Michael at the start and ran for about 5 minutes with them before we lost them in the crowd. Since, I was sick (I would find out 2 days later that I had a sinus & upper respiratory infection) we decided to take it easy. We also discovered that Sabrina had bronchitis, so after they left we had a feeling we may bump into them at some point.
The atmosphere was electric. The half begins around the same time the marathon is hitting the half way mark. It’s extremely motivation knowing that the person next to you has run 15 miles and you’ve run 2! There is plenty of water, sports drink and a buffet around the lake. (yeah we’ll get to that)
There are a lot of hills during this race. So Christine and I came up with the plan early on to walk up and run down. Great Plan. At one point we actually shouted, “I love gravity” while running down a hill. Who cares if fellow runners look at you like you’ve escaped an asylum? Spectators were so friendly during the race. Since Christine and I coordinated our purple outfits, people assumed we were team Ravens. In Baltimore, that’s plus. We even had a little girl run with us for 2 blocks and tell her parents she was now part of team Raven. Christine did most of the talking. I’m terrified of stranger’s children… what do you say to them?
My other race buddy Justine, came out to support us during this race and supplied much need emotional and Advil support. She stayed with us in the hotel the evening before and we saw her at the beginning of the race. But my favorite is when she showed up in the middle of who knows where, inner city Baltimore, with her new friend Mondo. No really, to give us Advil & Nuun. Thank you!! Thank you!! Also I’m so happy Mondo didn’t chop you into little pieces and hide you in an alley.
We eventually ran back into Sabrina around mile 5ish. Turns out she was also walking up the hills and running down. At this point though we were being pretty liberal with what you’d consider uphill. We jogged and walked till we hit the lake with a buffet around mile 7.
Christine is a hungry runner, she fuels liberally. At mile 3 she was already hungry. Much to our surprise there was a full spread at the far end of the lake. There were potato chips, bananas, GU, and Power bars. I grabbed a potato chip, thinking the salt would help and immediately regretted my decision so I gave it to some spectators who were eyeing the food. They seemed happy about it. Time for my Espresso Love GU!! YUM!
Later that afternoon, I mentioned the lake was my the favorite part of the race. Christine remembered snacks and had no idea we even ran around a lake.
The rest of the race continued to be hilly and there was a misty rain. It made the weather just perfect. We ran until about Mile 11 with Sabrina and her husband then we lost each other again.
We kept a consistent light jog for the last 1.5 miles and just really tried to enjoy the crowd. Christine and I crossed the finish line 3:08:10. There is not group race photo because I literally ran out of my pants. The leg was ripping, so I had to run to the merchandise tent and grab pants before our post race brunch with my in-laws, the girls, hubby, and brother-in-law with his fiance!
But I did take this before I realized there was a pants problem!
This race was run at the request of my mother. Yes, she saw this and thought it would be fun mother-daughter bonding. Well, she was right. Of the 3 themed 5K’s I did in 2013, this was by far my favorite. It was actually geared towards women and their strength!
The race was in Frederick, MD, out in farm country. The scenery was very pretty and the race volunteers were very helpful. It was a chilly September day and we had a fantastic time! It’s perfect for all fitness levels. It’s also important to note that this is a trail race.
As far as race organization, they gave participants the option to either mail their bib/shirt for a small fee or pick up race day. I had mine mailed and my mother picked hers up. Both processes went smoothly. Our race started on time and there were 2 water stops. They had staff at each obstacles to help with different fitness levels and they had options depending on whether you wanted the difficult or easier option.
For a race put on by a magazine, so I was hugely surprised! We’ll be back again next year!
Ridiculous Obstacle Course Race…. Yeah! I’m going to have to try that. The ROC Race rolled into DC in August 2013. After watching years of game shows, I figured it was about time to see if had what it takes to be a contestant on GUTS, American Gladiator, or even American Ninja Warrior. Turns out I do not have what it takes, like at all… not even close. This race kicked my butt!
Our time was at 3:30pm. HUGE MISTAKE! I have a friend who ran it at 11am and loved every second. It wasn’t hot, there were no lines and lots of water. What a difference 4.5 hrs makes?!? We didn’t actually start till 4:30pm. For those of you familiar with August in DC it’s like walking on the face of the sun. They also had no water for us at the start :(. Usually that’s okay but for a race in DC in August when you know you’re running late… poor show!
So we finally started! The obstacles were largely meant for those with upper body strength but I did all except 2! I passed on the gorilla bars due to my lack of strength and freakishly small hands (no really it’s embarrassing). And I passed on the wall that should be scaled, I really just got up to the top and chickened out.
But overall, it was unbearably hot! My only critique of this race would be more, cold water! But the obstacles were great! And it was definitely out of my comfort zone in a good way!
AND… Congrats Juliet on YOUR FIRST EVER 5K! I’m still so proud of you!
Like the rest of America, I’m into the whole zombie thing. So when I saw a zombie race was going to be a few miles away I jumped at the chance. So we did Race for Your Lives. It was in April…or May… of 2013 in Hialeah, FL.
Now let me make this fast. It should have been fun and it was for a while. For only $35 you can be the zombie. (which is what I thought would be more fun) The company has an assembly line that will rip up your clothes, put on your makeup, and then throw fake blood on you. We were stoked! You are assigned a zone with other zombies, some can run, others just kind of walk around.
I’m assuming it was a bit less organized because it was their first time in Miami. But we (zombies) were severely outnumbered in our zone. And that’s okay. But what not okay is when people think it’s okay to body check you because they “think” you’re a zombie. This is not the fault of the race organizers. But I have a serious problem when people think it’s alright treat us like actual zombies… like shouting obscenities and body checking.
I like to think I was fair. We were in section 4 out of 12 or 15… I can’t remember. But the point is, people have 3 flags like the flags in flag football. Each flag can be taken by someone in each zone. We were the second flag/zone 2. But we were also given the ability to take all or none if we wanted. So when people with 3 flags came through we targeted them and when people with 1 flag came through we generally let them go… unless they were rude.
In short, I will never do another zombie race again. While on the course I saw runners behaving poorly and we heard over walkie talkies from the race volunteers about zombies behaving poorly. The race organizers did a fine job, but in a scenario based race there’s just too much out of control. Now if the set up changed to where actors portrayed the zombies, I would totally try that out!