Tomorrow is a banner day (and one that I hope my ankle survives with all the walking) - it's Wienerfest, which means that Jeff and I will be going and getting our fill of dachshunds and all their antics, including the always amusing wienerdog races. They even have "wanna-be-a-wiener" races, which I know Paco would win, but he's just not great around other dogs and I'm afraid instead of running to me, he'd try and take out his opponents. And yes, we are ashamed to have a sweet dog who sometimes turns into Cujo toward other dogs but short of sending him to live with Cesar's pack, we can't get him to stop this behavior.
After Wienerfest, we are going to the Armadillo Dash kick-off, where we will sign Jeff up for the half marathon for the bargain price of $32. That is just a ridiculously cheap price for the race! We literally could walk to the starting line from our house - it's at the same park where I did my outdoor yoga (and where the scary statues are). I'm going to sign up for the 5K on the assumption that by March 4th I will be more than ready to run 3.1 miles. Or actually might have run a few races by then(!).
I have a quick Fashion Friday for you - amazingly, I had reason to get dressed in something other than shorts and a t-shirt!
Note how I matched my lovely ankle boot with my regular boot - I think it worked!
It felt GREAT to put on real clothes. And why was I getting all dressed up? To go in for my "rehire" interview at James Avery - I'll be working there once again for the holiday season! Is it wrong to say that one of the reasons I'm happy to work again is to have a reason to wear my nicer clothes? Color me shallow, but I've missed my clothes - that was one of the things that I enjoyed as I lost weight - feeling good about what I was wearing (and of course, shopping for clothes that fit my smaller body). So this will be win-win - I'll make a little money, have fun helping people shop for jewelry, and get to dress up. Not sure when I'll be starting but hopefully my ankle will not protest my standing up for several hours at a time.
You cannot escape pumpkin this time of year, although I still get the giggles whenever I see the pumpkin-spiced drinks at Starbucks after a conversation with a certain blogger who questioned putting vegetables in coffee - she was all "what's next, zucchini?" Anyway I saw that Errign made some pumpkin granola, and then Biz took her recipe and tweaked it, and then Debby and I emailed about it, and I finally got some pumpkin in the house (had to wait for Jeff to come home and grocery shop for me) and made pumpkin granola. It's pretty subtle in flavoring - I might increase both the pumpkin and spice next time - and it's a bit chewier than my regular granola, but I like it. Recipe after the pictures, but I wanted to show you how I tried to combat the "brown sugar balls" (that came out wrong but I'm sure Biz is laughing right now) that happen when I normally mix the dry ingredients:
I tried measuring out the brown sugar and then pushing it through a mesh strainer - in the bottom left picture you can see the delicate brown sugar on top. It took forever, so I abandoned that idea, but somehow getting it all mushed up in the strainer seemed to eliminate the sugar balls. Bottom right is the finished product topping some Greek yogurt. YUM!
Oh, and in the continued spoiling by my mom, she sent me this awesome jelly roll pan for my granola making - it's actually called a "half-sheet" pan and is bigger than my current jelly roll pan:
The pan is also much heavier - to semi-quote Crocodile Dundee, "now THAT'S a pan!"
3 C oats
1 C chopped pecans
1/2 C pumpkin
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T canola oil
1/3 C honey
1 C dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture, toss. Spread on jelly roll pan (line with parchment paper if not nonstick). Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 30 minutes - you want it to be brown, but watch the nuts for burning. Remove from oven and let cool - granola will crisp up. Break up, toss with dried cranberries, and enjoy! Store in airtight container.
Have a great weekend!