Festive Fare

Red Cabbage

Well it`s the time of the year for gifts. And I`m even happier when these gifts aren`t bought but are just thoroughly kind gestures.

So, first off, I want to thank Shaz from the bottom of my heart for posting up this recipe specially for me. I`m a pickle fiend. And I love my veggies too. So, when she mentioned she`d a red cabbage recipe that even passed her German mother-in-law`s high standards, I really wanted to try it. And Shaz posted the recipe just for me!

Well, today I made it. It`s super easy to do. And it`s delicious!

Run out and buy yourself a red cabbage now. You`ll need a cooking apple, onion, cider vinegar and brown sugar too. As you can see, it has all those pickling ingredients and so the end result is sweet, sour and scrumptious.

I managed to rescue half of it for the freezer, so one Christmas dinner veggie is done.Yay! It will add a lovely touch of colour to the Christmas dinner plates and is a change from brussel sprouts for those who are not inclined to opt for them.

And here`s that Red Cabbage recipe in Shaz`s blog.

My next recipe is from the Irish Times, via a thoughtful pal. I`d a taste of her cookies first and loved them.

I should have made these into gingerbread men but it seems all my men cutters are gone and I`m left with stars. Still, stars are a pretty good substitute for men, don`t you think?

Anyway, with a little dusting of icing sugar(only cos I was too dog lazy to whip out the icing bag…) these stars look perfectly festive too.

 Gingerbread Stars

Here`s the link to that Irish Times gingerbread recipe here. Their pic is very pretty with lots of proper gingerbread cutters and a piping bag that looks like it actually might work properly.

Dunno what it is about me and piping bags, but we never seem to get along.

Still, my sugar dusted stars were quickly gobbled up by the Teens and visitors. Infinitely simpler to make than fiddly mince pies, these stars added an easy Christmassy touch to the Chook House kitchen.

Finally, for those wondering about my Advent streak, I`ve overcome my little hiatus and am still running. Nothing spectacular, mind, just a maintenance pace, as time had pretty much got compressed in this crazy lead up to Christmas.

Actually, remind me not to sign up for Advent streak again. But maybe, to schedule a running holiday for Advent instead!

Anyway, we`re nearly there. Enjoy the last minute scramble to get things done!

Advent Streak Update

Christmas Baubles

My Advent running streak would have gone just fine if, well, Advent, hadn`t interfered with it.

Advent, that time of year for plays, parties and presents. That time when Christmas exam fever hits the Chook House and even a mediocre Mama Chook will have to hold the fort, calm the nerves and not be trotting off for her hour of running. That time, when the day job catches end-of-year frenzy with reviews, previews and projections.

That time, of too little time or no time at all.

So, yep, I`ve just missed running for three days in a row. I reckon that means my Advent running streak has morphed into an Advent running break.

Not to worry. There`s good news on the horizon. In the form of Christmas break. Yay! I`m off today, and so are the Teen Chooks, and, even though there`s a zillion things to sort between now and Christmas dinner, it will be so much easier to get the trainers on.

janathon1.jpg

And, peeking around the corner, I see Janathon is homing into view once again. Signing up for that means I`ll have to exercise and blog about it every day. I`m dithering on that one. It`s a brilliant incentive to kick 2014 off to a great running streak. But finding the time for it will be a challenge.

On the other hand, it`s a great way to catch up with jogger bloggers all over the globe and see how they`re overcoming more daunting challenges than my bagload of gripes.

Oh, and it`s not just for joggers. Janathon exercise can be anything. In fact, you`re encouraged to mix it all up-swim, walk or even, build a snowman!

Another plus is that January is very unlikely to present any of the challenges of Advent. If anything, I`ll be full of New Year resolution and vim. And also bored out of my skull for want of things to do, and money to do things with. So yes, that makes Janathon very tempting indeed.

Then there`s the thousand mile challenge. That`s a commitment some folk make to completing one thousand miles in one year through any form of training. I have a page on this blog showing how I bombed spectacularly to (a)keep a proper running log and (b) run enough miles to fulfil 1,000 running miles this year. Janathon would give me a head start on that one.

Dither, dither.

Let me know if you`re signing up for Janathon, please! It would be fun to have a gang of us my favourite bloggers doing it!

Oh, and please tell me Advent has interfered with your training too! Or have you a magic formula that works for you?

Streaking for Advent

Naked runners start race on beach watched by bathers

Wheeeee!!!! I`ve joined the Advent streak!

The Czech trip had left me feeling physically depleted.  Over worked and over there, I hadn`t eaten too well. And, since, promises to run while abroad were washed away in a tidal wave of Pilsner, I was thrilled, upon my return,to read the Guardian article on the latest health kick: streaking for Advent.

Alas, for mankind, I won`t be doing this streak in the nip. No. It`s far too cold for that. Instead, the streak involves just running every day right up til Christmas. Fully clothed.

So far, so good. (Well, it is only four days!) Teen girl enticed me out on Sunday for a short run. On Monday, I enjoyed a nice four miles along the promenade. Yesterday, I was content with a two mile trot around town. And this evening, a relaxing mile long trot sufficed.

Oh, there`ll be challenges ahead. I`ve a couple of full on days coming up. They will involve a work/fun combo with no space for streaking in between. Cue pre dawn run.

Now, I pride myself in my determination. Nay, my sheer grit. I ran a marathon after all.

But, in my book, there`s nothing as miserable as a pre dawn run. Except maybe running in wind and rain. And knowing my luck, I bet those pre dawn trots will feature both.

Oh, I can do lots of things before sunrise. I can read, eat breakfast, blog, even.

I`ll even actually crawl out of my bed and into the cold kitchen to the evening meal underway, or a cake baked, or a little housework done before dawn.

But, yes, all those pre dawn activities are all in the comfort of my own home.

A treadmill might be the answer for some but I`ve done enough gym stints to know treadmills and me are incompatible. I will simply have to brave the cold dark mornings.

So yes, a couple of challenges lie ahead with the Advent streak.

If I just remember now, not to accept any of my tired old excuses, and not to hit snooze on my alarm clock, I should be okay.

The above picture came from  The Guardian newspaper, by the way. It has a nifty little running blog which is worth checking out too.

And you don`t have started the running streak last Sunday. Join in any time. It doesn`t have to be a running streak, either. Why not chose an activity that you enjoy?

But, be good for goodness sake, and keep your clothes on! 😉

 

 

Credit:

Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images via The Guardian newspaper