Friday, March 25, 2011

Peanut Butter, New Opportunities and Unorthodox Goals

I mentioned a recipe for a Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce/Dressing in my last post and promised to post the recipe later.  Well, here it is!

3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 1/3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons Asian chili paste
1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
6 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped green onions

The recipe calls for all ingredients to be whisked together in a bowl, but I actually just put everything in the food processor.  You can leave this thick to use as a sauce** for noodles or fish or as a dip for veggies or you can thin it out with another 2 tablespoons of water to use as a salad dressing.  Either way, the flavors are delicious!!

**My sister-in-law made a Thai Chicken Salad for dinner one night during their visit with us last week.  It was AWESOME and it's what inspired me to try to make my own homemade sauce.  The salad was mixed field greens with chopped bell pepper, chopped tomato, sliced cucumber, and shredded carrots.  Then she baked some boneless/skinless chicken breasts, chopped them and tossed them with a similar sauce in a sautee pan to warm the mixture.  Than you spoon some of the warm chicken and peanut sauce mixture over each individual salad.  Hmmm, yeah, pretty good.

So, peanut butter.  I'm not such a fan of it that I like to dip my fingers into the peanut butter jar like Janae.  But, I do love the flavor of it and love it in stuff.  Another one of my favorite peanut butter recipes is a smoothie.  My kids LOVE this one...

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

4 oz. milk
1/3 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
one peeled banana (as if I need to say peeled...but, you never know)
1 tablespoon honey
5-6 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!  I like this as a post-run drink.  And, if I want to make it extra "treat-y" for the kids, I use chocolate soy milk instead of regular milk and leave out the honey.

I've been starting to feel a bit anxious about the next school year.  My little guy will be going to kindergarten, which will rock my world in more than one way.  But, one thing is for sure: I'll need to work more once my kiddos are both in school full-time next year.  It's been amazing to be able to be home with my kids for the last (almost) eight years, but I've been looking for a way to transition myself back into the world of making money.  I've been working as a teacher's assistant a few days a week at my son's preschool this year.  I love it and have been hoping I could stay on in a more expanded capacity next year (read: more hours and more money).

This week, the director asked if I'd like to attend a
'Teaching Kids Yoga' training workshop
 and become our preschool's yoga teacher!! 
I don't think I could say 'yes' fast enough!! 

I'm not sure I could've thought up a more perfect scenario for next year.  (Well, I guess something with a $75k salary would be tempting...)  Some of you are probably wondering if I even do yoga.  Currently, no.  But, I used to do Ashtanga yoga before I had kids and I loved  it.  Getting back to yoga has always been in the back of my mind, and I'm taking this as a sign that now is the time for that to happen.  That's right--it's time for a yoga revival!  I'll keep you posted...

I'm starting to realize that my running goals may never be like that of a lot of other runners.  I think I touched on this when I wrote about being a "casual" runner vs. a "serious" runner.  If you haven't noticed yet, I'm not training for anything!  And, I'm not exactly clamoring to sign up for any races either.  I've never been a very competitive person.  I like to do things that make me feel proud and feel good about myself, and running is definitely one of those things.  But I don't feel particularly compelled to compete against others in running.  I do have running goals though.  This week, I'm planning on running more than 20 total miles for the first time.  I'm already at 18 for the week and my friend Karen called this evening to see if I wanted to run in the morning.  That should do it!  I'm also toying with the idea of running a total of 26.2 miles each week this summer (a marathon every week!).  Maybe racing and setting PR's will be goals of mine in the future but, for now, I'm happy with my "unorthodox" running goals.

What's your favorite way to eat peanut butter?

Do you do yoga?

What are your current running goals? (unorthodox or otherwise)


  1. I Love Yoga and did prenatal yoga and started kids yoga with Rita when she was 2. I am a public library nut and have checked out and reserved my fair share of yoga dvds. We've also participated in group kids yoga and i've dabbled here and there and hope to commit in furthering. my training soon...hence the core strengthening challenge!

    I'm currently hooked on the dark chocolate peanut butter and i've always loved pairing dark chocolate and peanut butter!

    and my running goals is just to keep running in my weekly routine!

  2. 1. On a spoon from the jar.
    2. Tried it ONCE with my life.
    3. Too many running goals to count. When I'm not training for something, I have trouble getting out there and running. Especially when it's cold.

  3. Skippy Natural Super Chunk pb on a chocolate rice cake for a snack...everyday.. Without it, I get a little crazy!

  4. 1. I love Adams peanut butter on anything - toast, tortilla, banana, my finger.

    2. I've only gone to an organized yoga class once. I fell asleep at the end, but woke up before too many people noticed (I think).

    3. My goal right now is to stay injury free!!

  5. I love pb on banana! YUM! I taught yoga in college...loved it, haven't really done it since :( GOod luck with that. Since I started staying at home two years ago, I often think about if I'll return to teaching P.E. and when?! Hm, a job at my son's preschool would be AWESOME, like teaching the preschool kids p.e. and health...they sure could use it! Afterall, they do have music class, why not exerice too?!

    Hmmm, NO WAY am I a serious runner, I am running to lose weight, stay fit and take a new fitness journey. I had done aerobics, ellipticals, bootcamps for SOOO many years, I'm ready to try something new and to get better at it too!!!

  6. Congrats on the yoga job! How absolutely wonderful to combine working with kids and yoga!!
    I don't do enough yoga any more. I used to be great about it and I did lost of pre-natal yoga when I was pregnant. Then my little guy and I went to post-natal together and it was great. Now I'm not motivated to do it by myself at home and my gym doesn't offer it...
    I love PB on waffles ;)

  7. That sounds like an AMAZING job! Heck-I'd do it for free!!! (But the money helps, right?) I've been using pb in my smoothies for the kids too! PB + banana sandwich is my favorite! I'm training for a 20k but I'm still not in a hardcore mindframe with training. School, kids, work and other things are just as important. Good for you for recognizing where you're at with it and what it means to YOU!

  8. I love to dip a spoon in to the peanut butter jar. Add a few chocolate chips and you have yourself a poor man's Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

    LOVE yoga. That job sounds fantastic for you. Congratulations. Contrary to what a lot of people think, yoga is hard. I sweat a lot in yoga class but I feel amazing afterwards.

    Current running goals: I am training for a 25K in May and I want to run it under a 9:30 pace. Toying with the idea of a marathon in October but it is so time consuming.

  9. Thanks, Kila, totally forgot about my old favorite of indulging in dark chocolate with a dab of peanut butter...yum. I'm going to have to try that one. Usually for me it's PB w/J - something the English do NOT get and thinks sounds pretty gross.

    Did yoga and always enjoyed it! That job sounds like lots of fun. Recently though as you already know, it's Pilates in my life. Have to say I enjoy the workout a bit better than yoga and I've seen better results.

    My running goal - thanks to YOU - is my first and perhaps last half marahton in October. I agree totally with your views, I have never been interested much in races or training for a specific thing with my running. My goal is to always get out there 2-3 times a week, if I can accomplish that I'm thrilled. With my half marathon coming up I am having to work a bit harder and do what I normally hate...running for longer periods of time. But so far I'm enjoying it and if I build up slowly I think it'll be a good experience and maybe even enjoyable!

  10. I love peanut butter on toast - with a cup of coffee - yum!

    I have done Yoga - I'm doing hot Yoga tomorrow with a friend of mine at the Zen Zone.

    My running goals are to just keep running injury free.

    Congrats on the job opportunity - that is really, really awesome!

    I think you need to do what works for you with this running thing. I'm not competitive either, but I do love race day - it's just filled with so much buzz and energy. I love getting to experience that.

  11. I LOVE peanut butter! Thanks for sharing the recipes - YUM!!

  12. Preschool yoga sounds SO fun!!! I taught kindergarten cheerleading during basketball season and it was a blast! Little kids are too fun!

  13. that smoothie sounds really really good. damn it! now i am going to have to go make it! ;-)

  14. I love the "marathon every week" idea! That sounds like a great running goal to me. And especially impressive during those hot summer months :)

  15. not much for yoga but I cant resist anything with P and B