Friday, February 21, 2014

Lemon Pepper Chicken

I'm always looking for new healthly-ish recipes for dinner for my family.  This Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe is a home run!  Both of my picky boys, they get that from me, love this dish as do me and my husband.  My 9 year old even requests that I make Lemon Pepper Chicken now.  I love when I find recipes that everyone enjoys.


Lemon Pepper Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning (I used McCormick)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Place each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound lightly until about 1/4 inch thick. Remove chicken from plastic wrap.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, and lemon pepper seasoning. Coat each chicken breast with flour mixture.
  3. In a large skillet, heat butter and coconut oil until very hot. Cook the chicken breasts over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on each side or until no longer pink.
  4. Drizzle 1 tbsp lemon juice over each chicken breasts. Cook about 2 minutes more or until pan juices are slightly reduced.

Recipe by Chrissy @ Loving Life

I modified this recipe from BHG.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

A1A Marathon 2014 Recap

Fort Lauderdale is the farthest from home that I've traveled for a race.  The A1A Marathon wasn't even a blip on my race radar until my friend Denise, who was already registered for the marathon, encouraged our Disney training group to register.  I considered just registering for the half but decided to go for the full marathon (my 4th) because I would be trained after running the Disney Marathon in January.

Before the A1A Marathon, I ran a total of 3 times in 2014....Disney Marathon, recovery run the next week and Best Damn Race.  That's it folks, no other training runs.  I also ran A1A in brand new shoes that I had never run in before.  These are examples of how NOT to train and run a marathon.  Even though I did everything wrong, I still had a great race.

I ran in new shoes because after getting HUGE blisters on my toes at the Disney Marathon, and I'm talking blisters that span 3 toes on one foot and two toes on the other foot,  I was not running in those old shoes again.  So I bought new shoes but didn't have a chance to run in them.

Denise and I arrived in Fort Lauderdale Saturday afternoon to pick up our race packets and enjoy the expo.  The expo was fantastic, second only to Gasparilla.  We received an abundance of samples and freebies to take home.  Then it was off to dinner and the hotel.

Denise and I started off the marathon at a nice pace to warm up.  Shortly after we started, we ran over one draw bridge.  Other than that, the course was nice and flat. At about mile 4 1/2 we entered Birch State Park.  It was a beautiful park on the water with shade trees and picnic benches.  As we passed the 6 mile mark in the park, I decided it was time for my one and only bathroom break. I spotted and used a nice park bathroom instead of a horrid port-o-potty.  Denise did not need to stop so we parted ways.  She set a time goal of under 5 hours and my only goal was finishing the race.

Photo by Denise

I felt great so far in the race so after my potty break I picked up my pace, hoping to eventually catch up with Denise.  I kept on running, only to stop for water and fuel.  My only race disappointment was the fuel on the course.  I only brought one gel and they only offered Fuel Strip Fuel Chews.  While the Fuel Chews did help to fuel my energy depleted body, I couldn't eat them and run at the same time.  Yes, that was a personal problem but the whole running-breathing-chewing-swallowing, choked me up.  I had to either walk while I chewed the chews or put one in my cheek to let it slowly dissolve.  It worked but wasn't ideal for me.

By mile 15, I had not caught up to Denise or seen her on the course.  The turn around took us through a residential area where we didn't pass runners going in the opposite direction so I thought I probably missed her there.

I am a competitive person.  At this point in the race, I realized if I kept up my current pace, I could finish under 5 hours and might even beat my Disney 4:57 time and PR.  With a goal set, I had to git-r-done!

My mile 19.  I wondered why I was running another marathon.  I also asked myself why I was trying to PR.  I was there to support my friend, I didn't need to PR!  AND, because of my park bathroom jaunt, my Garmin was .30 miles ahead so my watch rang the next mile before I was actually there on the was torture.

The last 6.2 miles where hot and agonizing but with a goal in mind, I wasn't stopping.  The last water stop was .75 miles from the finish and the volunteer was shocked that I didn't want water.  He even told me this was the last water until the finish line.  I thought to myself, Yes I know but it's less than a mile and I have a PR to make, I don't need your stinkin water!

I finished and PRed by 8 minutes!  My shoes did a superb job with no blisters!

Photo by Denise

Age Group: 27/44
Overall Place: 423/632
10K split: 1:08:31
Half split: 2:22:03
30K split: 3:26:14
Average Pace: 11:04 min/mile
Total Time: 4:49:57

I looked around for Denise but couldn't find her so I sat on the beach wall and waited to see if she was still out on the course.  About 10 minutes later, she crossed the finish line!  Denise had a new PR too.

Photo by Denise

I really liked this race!  Other than the one draw bridge, the course was very flat.  The expo had lots of venders and goodies.  The finisher medals rocked!  I would definitely do this race again.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole

I love Sweet Potato Casserole at Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday meal.  The crunchy top layer of pecans and warm brown sugar pair perfectly with the sweet creamy potatoes below.  Sweet Potato Casserole is a family favorite at holiday gatherings and goes well with turkey or ham.  I even love this dish as a leftover!

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp butter, diced
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  1. Put cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and mash.  Allow to cool slightly before continuing
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, eggs, white sugar, salt, milk, 3 Tbsp melted butter, and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined (I used an electric hand mixer).  
  4. Place mixture in an 8x8 baking dish.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, and chopped pecans.  Add remaining 3 Tbsp butter and rub into mixture until only small pieces remain.  Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until nicely browned on top.

Recipe by Chrissy @ Loving Life
Original recipe found here.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Best Damn Race Recap 2014

This was my first time running The Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor, FL on Feb 1.  I ran the half marathon, my 9th half.  The half distance is usually my favorite distance.  I got this race done but it definitely wasn't MY best damn race.

Originally, I wanted this to be the race I finished in under 2 hours.  After my PR at the Space Coast half of 2:06, I thought this was a reasonable goal.  But come to find out, if I don't run regularly, the half marathon distance of 13.1 miles really SUCKS.  Hmm, who would have thought?!

I only ran once since the Disney Marathon back on January 12.  It was hot and humid on race morning.  I'm used to running on flat trails and the BDR course was anything but flat.  Yes the max elevation was only 82 ft. but the multiple little inclines were killers for me with my lack of training.

Because I registered for BDR early, I got free race photos! I thought it was only one race photo but it was ALL of my race photos.  How cool is that!  Thanks BDR and J Ryan Photography.

Thumbs up and still smiling for the camera but certainly not feeling this race.

I surrender!  Can someone carry me to the finish line?

This looks more like a shuffle than a run.  I was near the finish line and probably at about mile 11.

And this face about sums up how I felt at the end of BDR.

I earned a cool sailboat medal with a spinning sail, ate a Jimmy John's sub as part of the post-race food and hung out with friends.  Awesome!  My friend Mica even PRed with a time under 2:30.

Age Group Place: 59/117
Gender Place: 368/736
Overall Place: 705/1190
Chip Time: 2:19:49.8
Average Pace: 10:40/M

Starting this week I'm back to a regular running and workout schedule.  I can't run half marathons without proper training....well I can, but I hate it the whole time.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Preview

Mike and I are very excited for the upcoming Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival happening at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa, FL on Saturday, February 22, 2014.  They will have 60 beers, 40 bourbons and lots of bbq.  How could you go wrong with that spread!  Beer, Bourbon & BBQ will also have live music and entertaining contests.

There are three different ticket options:

VIP Bacon & Whole Hog Session from noon - 6:00pm for $75 (advance sale only).  This includes 2 extra hours at the festival, exclusive VIP tent and bathrooms, gourmet bacon from 10+ tasting stations and whole hog sampling.

Regular Session from 2:00pm - 6:00pm for $35 advance/$40 on site.

Designated Driver for $25.  We all need to be responsible and get home safely!

Everyone enjoys.......
  • Souvenir Glass For Tastings
  • Unlimited Beer and Bourbon Tastings as you stroll from table to table and tent to tent. There are 40 Bourbons and 60 Beers on Tap. Enjoy, but please drink responsibly.
  • BBQ Galore! Enjoy the great barbeque selection – pulled pork from whole hogs, ribs, brisket, chickens, sausages and any fixin’ you could imagine. We’ll keep the portions heavy and the prices low.
  • Enjoy Seminars in the Tasting Theater with Master Distillers, Brewmasters, and Pit Masters From the Deep South
  • Listen To Live Rock & Blues Music and great Bluegrass on The Main Stage
  • Enjoy the Great Contests on the Main Stage: Tampa's Best Beer Belly Competition and the Daisy Dukes & Boots Contest
  • Browse Cool Exhibits of Brewerania, Hot sauces, bbq accessories, and even a cigar tent for all guests.
  • Meet The Daisy Dukes & Boots Models and More

Who wants to join us for a fantastic Saturday afternoon?

Buy tickets here and use TBB for a 10% discount.

For full details, check out their Facebook page, website or follow them on Twitter.

*Disclaimer: I received 2 VIP tickets in exchange for promotion and review.  All opinions are my own.