Monthly Archives: November 2010

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

This evening marks the 5th annual Thanksgiving dinner that Jax and I will be hosting for our friends. The meal is potluck style, which gives us all an opportunity to get in the kitchen and wow each other with our culinary skills. The food is always delicious. Incredible. Mouth-watering. Minus the cranberry sauce. We never really give the cranberry sauce much thought. Instead, somebody picks up a can of that cylindrical solid jelly as an afterthought, and we usually end up tossing it at the end of the meal. It never even has a fighting chance.

But those days are behind us. Rather than serve my loves that questionable gelatinous mass, I have decided to make homemade cranberry sauce this year. While I don’t expect it to be the hit of the feast (how could it be when it’s competing with green been casserole and pumpkin cheesecake??!), surely it will be a vast improvement over the pitiful excuse for cranberry sauce we usually serve.

So, please join me as I make cranberry-pomegranate sauce.

I started with 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, rinsed them in cold water, then tossed them into a saucepan. Next, just for fun, pour a 16 oz bottle of pomegranate juice over the cranberries. I went with blueberry pomegranate juice, not because the recipe called for it, but because I’m a rebel. And because that’s the kind my boyfriend got for me. To his credit, the blueberry variety is my favorite, which means I may or may not have stolen a sip or two.

Then comes the sugar. 3/4ths cups, give or take. Give it a good stir, bring to a boil over medium to medium low heat, then cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, all the while stirring occasionally. For those of you who are impatient, let me warn you that it takes a minute (or 12) before the mixture starts boiling. Once it does though, the fun really begins. The mixture thickens and turns into a mess of jelly goodness. It’s like magic!

Recipe and Photography by The Pioneer Woman

Recipe and Photography by The Pioneer Woman

Let cool to room temperature, somehow make room for it in the fridge, then bust it out when the turkey is ready!

Greatly looking forward to tonight’s feast! Yummm!


Ragnar Relay 2010

The first weekend of November, me and 11 of my buddies ran a 195 mile relay race from Chattanooga to Nashville. When I say this, people immediately think we have lost our marbles, and to be honest, about halfway through the race, we thought we had too. But now that we have had our fair share of hot showers and comfortable beds between then and now, the group has collectively agreed that we are up for facing the challenge again.

The race started in Chattanooga on a Friday morning, and we ran day and night, up and down hills across the most scenic terrain East Tennessee has to offer. Each team member ran 3 legs, each leg ranging between 3 to 8 miles and varying in difficulty.

And when I say each team member, I mean each team member except me. I went into the race with a foot injury that had left me benched the previous week, but I was determined to participate in this epic adventure. This was probably not a great decision, but we runners are a stubborn breed, so in my mind this was the only option. 

Van 1 was up first, so we represented our team at the starting line.

Allie ran first. At the exchange, she passed me the slap bracelet a.k.a baton, and I set out on my first leg, a 6.2 miler. Much to my shock, I was able to finish it. I may have run the last two miles on my toes to compensate for the agony in my feet, but I made it nonetheless.

But that’s all that I could muster. I foolishly considered running my next leg, which would have taken place around 5 am, but my crew convinced me that this was a horrible idea and valiantly picked up the slack. Total rockstars.  I adopted a new role as the official team cheerleader, and somewhere along the way, I developed a sore throat and cold and eventually lost my voice. Must have had something to do with the freezing conditions or the lack of sleep, take your pick.

Despite my injury and muteness, the race was a total blast. It was a cross between a slumber party, a camping trip, and a marathon sprinkled with a healthy dose of sleep deprivation. We leapfrogged across the state cheering for our runners and making sure they had plenty of water, snacks, and love. Our runners booked it up mountains in the rain, with sleet pelting them in the face, and in the depths of the night with nothing but the stars as their guide.

We finished the run in 30 hours, 43 minutes, and 28 seconds. Here we are with our medals!

The comaradarie was awesome, and the adventure was exhilerating. This was one of the absolute coolest running experiences I have ever been a part of. I’m so proud of all my RagnaRockers, and I can’t wait to run another race with our team – preferably this time in a warmer climate and without injury.


Health + Fitness Magazine

Several weeks ago, I was in contact with the editor of Memphis Health + Fitness Magazine, and she asked that I tell her a little about what being a St. Jude Hero is all about. I told her about my St. Jude Heroes team, Miles for Smiles, and described to her the honor of raising money for the hospital and the commitment my team is shooting for. She wanted to include a picture of us in an upcoming issue of the magazine, and she was true to her word, because we can be found by flipping to page 22 of the November issue.

Since you weren’t at our mini photo shoot, and I was, I thought I’d share with you some exclusive never-before-seen footage that didn’t make it to print. Our Heroes team is made up of a group of busy individuals with crazy schedules, so the only time we could coordinate a meet up was at 7:00am on a Tuesday morning.

We chatted.

We posed.

 And we jumped around.

Yes, that’s right, you saw it here first.


Marathon Training Hiatus

Roughly two weeks ago, I was finishing up an easy 5 miler around Patriot Lake, when I got the oddest sensation on the outside of my left foot. I ran the last quarter of a mile on it, and by the time I was finished, the pain had grown quite severe and left me unable to apply any sort of pressure. I iced it, rested, and woke up the next morning limping. For somebody who has dedicated the past 15 weeks to marathon training, this is a devastating development. I stayed off of it all week, had an unrevealing and inconclusive visit with an orthopedic, ran a painful 6 on Friday, and haven’t run since.

I understand that injuries come with the territory, and that if I am going to run the amount of mileage that I do, injuries are a natural side effect. Even so, I deplore them. I am concerned that my lack of training is destroying my marathon chances, but at the same time, attempting to run a marathon on an injured foot has got to be even more detrimental.

So, I wait.  And I continue raising money for those sweet souls at St. Jude. And I ask that you please oh please find it in your heart to contribute just $5 to the cause. ~~~>

I’ve purchased a new pair of running shoes, cushioned insoles, and a roll of athletic tape, and because I am impatient, I will be trying them out tonight on the treadmill. And if that goes well, then I will be a happy girl and feel like I can still salvage this month of training. And if it does not, then I guess I’ll just have to wait a little longer. The beautiful thing is, there are plenty of other marathons out there. If I don’t get to run St. Jude at the level I am hoping, there are always other opportunities, and for that I am thankful.