Thursday, March 15, 2012

Attack of the Cacti: On Running in the darkness

Do you ever run in the dark? How do you do with it? Are you comfortable, and just enjoy the peacefulness & anonymity? Or are you scared of the dark?

I try to be badass.

I try to be fearless.

I tell my husband "Pepper spray - schmepper spray" "alarm system? Sch-larm system" when he tells me to be aware of my surroundings.

But really? Let's be honest. This lady is scared of the dark.

Today I went for a run in my neighborhood for the 1st time ever in the dark. Usually when I work out before I go to work, it's still dark out. Therefore, I light weights in our "home gym" or I use a tredmill @ my gym.

(may I add we live in a ridiculously safe, mostly retired, community...)

But today I decided it's time to wear some reflective gear, wear my head-light, and carry some pepper spray & a cell phone.

Sounds like I was armed, right?

Didn't feel so. I was a nervous wreck. My first encounter was when I heard footsteps, and I started saying OUT LOUD "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God!!" (I thought for sure it was an attacker)

No, it was just a fellow runner.

Then I saw an tall being standing in the desert off my running trail. I got my pepper spray cap off, ready to aim in case he attacked me. I thought to my self, "WITHOUT DOUBT this is either a sex offender or a javelina"

A javelina is a wild pig which habitate in the Sonoran Desert. I don't know which is worse to get attacked by....

Then as I got close and ready to attack, I realized it was a cactus. And this is where I realized I'm hypervigilant and need to take a "chill pill"

I think the root of this issues is my community's lack of street lights. My community doesn't allow street lights so the citizens to see the beautiful stars and save on energy. Great concept....pain in the ass.

So how do you protect yourself while running, walking, biking, exploring out in the wild? Really, we should have ourselves "armed" in some manner. You never know what/who's out there!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce

I've started to get better about blogging on more of a regular basis (for the past week). And lately I've done a rant.....

I've done a blog on running (my Garmin)....

Now I think I'm due for a recipe, right?

(Hence the name of this blog)

So part of my New Year's Resolutions was to "Try a new recipe weekly".. I've done okay at sticking to this. Well, initially I started out by cooking a "step-by-step" legitamate recipe. But for the past few weeks it's been more of Abby's traditional "a little this", " a little that". "whalla!!"

However, this recipe I did a few weeks ago turned out delicious. It made our house smell like we were from India. It made me feel ethnic and cool.

I wish I had a different ethnicity, that I could cook foods of my culture. Being German is great. The beer is great. The sauerkraut is fabulous. Other than that? I'm not really crazy about German food. No Sauerbraten for me. this was my 1st Indian recipe. And, holy cow, it was amazing and has me hooked on all curries. I could live off this food, I'm pretty sure. The funny part is after cooking this meal...our house smelled like Curry for 2 days. I would wake up in the middle of the night, take a deep breath, and say "Hm...curry."

Here it goes! I seriously recommend this one to any foodies out there!

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce:
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • (I thew in some cayenne here too..but it's not in the recipe)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, sliced into chunks
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2 fresh jalepeno chile peppers, seeded & finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (the low fat version worked well. I love this ingred.)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp fresh snipped basil
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice (I used jasmine rice)
  1. In a bowl combine curry powder, black pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, & chili powder. Cut chicken into 1-inch pices and add to spice mixture. Toss to coat. Cover & chill for 1-2 hours to allow spices to penetrate the meat.
  2. Pour olive oil into a wok (or large skillet). Heat over med-heat. Add onion, jalapeno, & garlic. Cook for a few minutes until tender. Remove from wok and place in separte dish.
  3.  Add 1/2 of the chicken to the wok. Cook for 4-6 minutes. Remove and place in separate dish. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  4. Stir together coconut mlik, cornstarch, & 1/4 tsp salt until smooth in a separate bowl. Carefully add to the Wok. Cook & stir until thickened & bubbly.
  5. Return chickn & onion/pepper mixture to the wok. Stir in basil & ginger. Cook for about 2 minutes. Serve over hot rice.