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Sunday, November 14, 2010


But first...Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. O.M.G. - so.freaking.good! I am with Jaime though, and prefer cream cheese icing over the brown sugar icing the recipe calls for. Mrs. Hines helped out with that! Next time though, I'm going to make even more of the center stuff, so that the rolls are that much goo-ee-er. I do luvs me a good sticky bun!

Had a few too many last night (this made 2 trays) and found out that they just don't make good pre-run fuel. Oh, they're not just need to eat stuff from the other food groups as well!!! But so hard to resist!

I got up and met up with some running peeps down at Eau Claire this morning, but just could not wrap my head around doing a 7km long, slow run this morning. I guess after finishing 42.2, 7 just seems...short. So I decided to head out and do the Long Zoo route, after reading that the City was finally finished the River Walkway. Granted, they failed to mention that the 4 blocks between Centre Street and Langevin Bridge were still ripped to pieces and you had to run on either the narrow sidewalk or the road, but the rest of it is quite lovely, I will admit. There are wide sidewalks for runners/walkers and a separate path for those on wheels. It's brightly lit, there's benches, lounge chairs, promenades, decks overlooking the river. The only complaint I can think of is the recycled, broken glass in the walkway, while pretty, may prove to be very slippery with ice and snow. Guess we'll see what happens when it actually snows. Yes, it is November 14th in Calgary and we honestly haven't had the first snowfall of winter yet. It is scary late...

Sorry...gag moment...dude who has just spent the last 6 weeks of Amazing Race screaming at, belittling and basically calling his girlfriend stupid just proposed and the dumb bunny said yes. SERIOUSLY?!?! Some women make me shake my head.

Anyway, back to the program at hand. I treated today's run like a steady, just wanting to hit a good pace and maintaining it, so I ran it alone. I hadn't decided if I wanted to just do 7 or 10 or whatever, but I figured when I got tired, I'd stop. I ended up running a nice 7:37/km pace and came back over Prince's Island and finishing, oddly enough after 7.37 km. Funny. Had coffee with K. and G., after cheering on the two D's running the Last Chance Half. It is the last race of the season, other than the odd 10km fun runs, so a lot of Calgary runners partake. I think it sells out quite early. The Marathon Quest 250 dude was there as well...he has committed to running 250 marathons in 2010, to raise money for Right to Play. Amazing man, and outstanding cause.
After coffee and breakfast, I stopped at work to pick up and bring home my 10 year service award. I swear it's bigger than my sports car! I pushed it through the halls and downstairs at work (it only weighs 40 lbs, but it is the most awkward shape and no handles) and managed to get it into the car. The hike up the 3 flights up stairs was a treat, but Daddy didn't raise no girly-girl!! I will unpack and set it up later.

After loading the stereo into my house, I changed, grabbed a tray of cinnamon rolls and headed back down to Mom's. Turns out my cousins, who I haven't seen in about 20 years for one and 5-6 for the other, were in town and wanted to visit with Mom. Since Mom's memory isn't the best, both my brother and I thought it best if we were there too. Had a nice visit, shared my rolls (grudgingly...hehehe), and after cleaning up and running a load of dishes for Mom, came back home to start on my Moussaka, finally.
I sliced 3 eggplants, put some oil, S&P on them and roasted them in the oven, to help with the flavour base. I also roasted off about 4 little zucchinis too. Boiled the potatoes and once cool, sliced them off. In a pot, mixed onion, garlic, ground lamb, ground pork, crushed tomatoes, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, red wine, bay leaf and some more S&P. After letting it meld together, I did add a shot of w. sauce (so don't know how to spell it!) for depth. It was perfect. Lastly, I made the cheese sauce to go on top...a basic white sauce (butter, flour, cream) with a touch of nutmeg and a handful of shredded Kasseri (Greek sheep's milk cheese - YUM!) and Parmesan stirred in. Finally, mix in two egg yolks to help bind it all together and I am ready to put my Moussaka together.
Moussaka production line:
First layer: eggplant

Next layer of zucchini, meat sauce and then potatoes.

Finish with the last of the eggplant and then top with the cheese sauce.

Bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes, or till the top is nice and golden. Let it sit for about 20 minutes to set up.

In a word...PERFECTION!!! Teamed with a simple Greek salad of feta, olives, cucumbers, green peppers and cherry tomatoes, evoo, lemon juice, spices and red wine vinegar.
I have a very happy, very full belly right now.

I've already packed up 6 foil containers with moussaka and they are in the freezer, waiting to be eaten another day. I have one piece for lunch tomorrow and one last piece for dinner tomorrow night.
I am a good cooker!
With that, I'm signing off. I have to get to work even earlier tomorrow so that I can leave at 2. I have to get my car, drive to Mom's (yes, again) and then back downtown to the doctors, to get her prescription refilled and a new referral to the Seniors Centre ("just call us back", my ass) and then take Mom home so I can return downtown. I had better make sure my gas tank is full!
Hope everyone had a great weekend.

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