Thursday, March 21, 2013

Beers and Birthdays

This past Monday was my 38th birthday. Sometimes I really can't believe that I am that old (or young, whatever). I also can't believe I have 3 kids and I live on a farm in West Virginia. If you asked me where I would be in 20 years 20 years ago, this would definitely not be my answer. But, here I am, happy as can be.

When I turned 32 I started a little tradition. Some people run their age in miles on their birthday, but I am not an ultra runner (yet), so I opted to run 200 meters as fast as my age. That was probably the last time I ran a 32 for a 200, by the way. I realized that I couldn't make it to the track on my birthday, so I decided this year that I would go out and run 38:38, since I wasn't feeling great anyway. I know that I can run 38 for 200 because I did it in a workout a few weeks ago. I haven't been able to run a fast 200 in a couple of years, and here is why...

On my run I realized that the last two years I have not been able to run fast or drink a beer on my birthday. March 18, 2011 I was patiently awaiting the arrival of Eileen. She was born on March 28th. (ok, I had a couple of beers on that birthday because my sister said it would induce labor, it didn't!) March 18, 2012 I was almost 6 months pregnant with Tyler, he was born August 26th. So I made sure I enjoyed a couple of good beers and a good run this year. I also finally got myself a Shamrock Shake! If you know me you know that a couple of beers is a pretty big deal because I don't drink much or very often (my college roommate would tell you different, but that all stopped when I turned 21, go figure). I've also been on a Shamrock Shake mission since last year's birthday when I went to McD's and was told that the shake machine was being cleaned, during lunch hour! After I was disappointed there I went to Natty Cakes for a nice store bought cupcake and I was told that they wouldn't have cupcakes until April. I thought "well then, you are just Natty, since you have no cakes, Jeez". It's not nice to tease a pregnant lady!!

For my birthday I also like to make Corned Beef and Cabbage in the crock pot and some carrot cake. I used to go out to dinner on my birthday, but since I share the weekend with St.Patrick's day it can be a bit of a pain going out, and besides, I like my Corned Beef better than anything I've had in a restaurant.

This year I decided to try a crock pot carrot cake that I had pinned. The recipe said put your cake pan in the crock pot. I put it in, but it didn't fit inside the actual pot. The rim of the cake pan rested on top of the pot. I thought maybe this was how it was supposed to go, so I put some water in the bottom and let it go for the few hours that we were at a friends house. When I came home it still wasn't done. Turns out you need a cake pan insert for cooking cakes and breads in the crock pot, who knew. I plopped the somewhat cooked cake in the oven for 20 minutes and called it a night. The cake was good but a little bit more of a brownie consistency. Don loved it. I kind of liked it, but I made it from scratch and truth be told I just really like the store bought mix better. Oh well.

I also made Soda Bread again this year, which I make with cranberries instead of raisins. Corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread are pretty easy, I don't know why I don't make them more often. I'm pretty sure I said the same thing last year and I will say it again next year. Travis liked the Corned beef and potatoes, but he wouldn't even try the cabbage because he said it looked slimy. Eileen ate everything, because she's a little bottomless pit like I used to be.

My Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe is super easy. Throw it all into a crock pot with some apple cider and a bit of apple cider vinegar and let it cook away for 6 hours. YUMMY! Don't knock it till you try it. It is acceptable to put mustard on your corned beef, but not ketchup. I draw the line at ketchup!

I knocked this out really quickly while everyone is asleep. I will write more later!

Shamrock Shake

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