View of downtown Boston from the Hatch Shell Greenway

I covered a lot of ground today – 17.3 miles to be exact! It was a glorious day in Boston, with gorgeous clear skies, 60 degree temperature, perfect for outdoor activities. I started my day off with a 5+ mile run down the Minute Man Bike Path to Spy Pond. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy my exercise cravings, so the bf and I pedaled our way 12.5 miles from Somerville to the Charles River and back via Harvard Square home.

Me, photobombing my own shot

I have a new bike coming (!!!), so it was time to dig out Trek mountain bike/commuter (with road tires) to get some practice rides in. With temps headed to the high 60’s and even 70’s this week, I will likely be riding to work a few days!

Inevitable bike grease tattoo

While I love biking, I DESPISE running for a number of reasons:

1. I don’t think I know what I am doing most of the time – in terms of form, pacing, choosing a route, breathing (shouldn’t be complicated right?)

2. I have trouble breathing (see above). What is a normal, everyday function of life, doesn’t seem to give me problems at the gym, biking, hiking or doing anything else strenuous; however, I have always had trouble breathing consistently while running. I quit soccer after playing for 10+ years because I was getting lapped by literally, everyone. I recently got an inhaler and I am hoping this will help (it has already!) because…

I JUST SIGNED UP FOR A RACE! Annnnnd, I am freaking out a little bit. I will be running with my bro and his wife but they are giants with long legs and I refuse to let them keep (slow) pace with me, so I have been trying to amp up my (pathetic) mileage and working on speed at the gym on the dreadmill all winter long. Like, running in 30 degrees, twice a week, and really forcing myself to become a better runner. I have actually run a few short races before (some 5K’s and the long-leg relay-portion of the Vermont City Marathon & Relay) but this is the first race I want to take seriously and I guess I still need to nail down some specific goals (other than finishing!). I think I would like to run the entire race, run a steady 10 min./mi pace, and enjoy myself enough that I will want to sign up for another race. Initially, I wanted to run a half-marathon but…not so sure anymore. A former knee injury and some strange yoga toe injuries (?) recently are causing me to pause and reconsider. We will see. 6-miles at a time, right? One foot in front of the other, and then keep going…and going…and going?

After burning through about 1700 calories, I was so hungry and psyched to be making one of my favorite seafood dishes for a light, spicy dinner –Mussels fra Diavlo! First I started off by preparing some pita chips as a substitute for ‘french bread’. I sliced a whole wheat pita in half and opened each side and cut into triangles. On a baking sheet, I sprinkled them with a little EVOO, s&p, and shredded parmesan cheese, then let them crisp up at 350 for about 12 minutes.  

I followed Jasper White’s (founder of Summer Shack) foodnetwork.com recipe for Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce with a few modifications of course ;). I sauteed three cloves of garlic and two tsp. of red pepper flakes in a large pot with EVOO, over medium heat, for about one minute. Then add your ‘sauce’ – I diverted from Jasper here, using vegetable stock over white wine and using roasted red pepper and tomato spread from Trader Joe’s vs. tomato sauce/paste – and crank the heat up to high and let it come to a boil. I also added a tbsp. of butter and tbsp. of whole wheat white flour to thicken up the sauce and give it some body.

Next rinse your mussels in a strainer. Aren’t they butes?

Once the sauce has thickened, 

toss those little guys in the pot and give the sauce a quick stir. Cover and cook on medium-high for about 4-6 minutes.

Arrange in a large bowl and place a second bowl beside to toss the shells (I made quick work of removing most of the mussels from the shells before plating, as a restaurant sometimes does, just leaving a few shells for decoration and then poured the sauce over the top so it came out like a stew almost). I shaved a few pieces of parmesan on top too because I like to pretend I live/work in a restaurant, every day.

Devour! Actually, I made too much (this bowl is larger than my head, easily), so leftovers for me! It was so delicious and the pita crisps worked great for dipping into the luxurious, spicy sauce. I have made this a few times by winging it (my M.O.) but this was my best attempt yet. For dessert I munched on some fresh pineapple. As a kid, my bro and I would fight to the death for pineapple juice in those little cans (remember those?!) as well as the canned variety. So refreshing after a spicy meal.

In other exciting kitchen news, I found this awesome bamboo cutting board, which I was randomly on the hunt for, at Target for only $20! They are typically much more expensive because of how the press the wood together to make a heavy board, and the bamboo wood grain is highly resistant to staining and knife marks. Yippee! BTW – how do I know all this about bamboo cutting boards, you ask? Well, I was watching America’s Test Kitchen the other day, because I am wicked cool, and the middle segment of each show usually reviews certain kitchen products and they found that the bamboo boards were top-rated by chefs and ‘regular’ people alike. Score, me.

Have a great start to the week!

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