Archive for November 2009

Ruby Nouveau Release

November 30th, 2009 — 7:32pm

chili-party-0021Just over a week ago, I attended the Ruby Nouveau Tasting at Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. Ruby Nouveau is an estate-grown dry red made in the nouveau style of winemaker Philippe Coquard’s hometown in the Beaujolais region of France. The Nouveau is a “celebration of the new harvest,” made from the first grapes of the harvest, and released on the traditional nouveau day, the third Thursday of November. According to the winery, the 2009 vintage is a “bit bigger than a usual Ruby Nouveau because of the nature of this year’s growing season. It’s full of wild berry fruits reminiscent of blueberries, blackcaps, or bing cherries.” Ruby Nouveau is touted as the perfect holiday wine (pairing especially well with Thanksgiving turkey) and is best enjoyed young—within six months.

The release tasting fell on an absolutely gorgeous late-fall Saturday afternoon, so I knew the winery would be extra crowded. A friend and I made a day out of the excursion—lunch and shopping in Spring Green (the area’s pristine natural landscape most notably served as Frank Lloyd Wright’s muse), followed by a late-afternoon drive through countryside to the winery, which sits atop a scenic hillside overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley.11-21-09-0121

We arrived to the winery around 4pm. By then, crowds for the tasting were sparse. I made my way from table to table in the Vineyard room, sampling a variety of Wollersheim wines and specialty Wisconsin cheeses. The event also offered a special ruby nouveau tour. And because of the wonderfully mild weather, many people relaxed on the outside patio sipping from glasses of wine.11-21-09-007

Unlike the tasting room, the downstairs retail area was packed. There were dozens of cashiers ringing up cases and case of wine. I picked up two bottles of Ruby Nouveau and a small tub of Prairie Fume Cheddar Spread and made my way to the back of the line. I was willing to wait patiently for the chance to take home two bottles of the new harvest straight from the winery. As I waited in line, I caught a glimpse of winemaker Philippe Coquard signing autographs. I love Philippe. Seriously, how can you not love this man? The story behind the winery and its founding family is magical. What I would give to be Julie Coquard.

Over the weekend, as my family enjoyed our unique Thanksgiving dinner (bourbon soup—which I was taste testing for a friend who is planning to enter the recipe in a cooking contest at his local liquor store in Boston) we toasted with glasses of Ruby Nouveau held high. To life, to family, and the bounty of the new harvest. And may I someday find my own Philippe Coquard. Cheers.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese Quiche

November 24th, 2009 — 2:29pm


My second entry for tonight’s Iron Chef dinner is a Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese Quiche. I was inspired to make the recipe after I attended the Pie Palooza earlier this month. One of the “pies” that I tasted at that event was a Butternut Squash quiche from the School Woods Supper Club.  It was a pretty phenomenal piece of quiche. Definitely my favorite of those featured at the event. I left totally inspired to find the recipe and re-create the dish at home. And I also had an aha moment when I remembered that the “secret ingredient” for this month’s Iron Chef Challenge is squash. Perfect. Must. Find. Recipe.

After a little big of digging online, I was able to locate the recipe on the cooking blog of Deb Shapiro, the mastermind behind the School Woods Supper Club, a Madison-based, members-only dining club that serves monthly set-menu meals that feature seasonal, local, and organic foods. Thanks, Deb!

Last night I set to work on the recipe. Other than the crust, which I always seem to have a little trouble with, the recipe was pretty straightforward and easy. And luckily the recipe makes two quiches, which means one for the party, and one for me to freeze for later. While I haven’t yet tasted my creation, I have high hopes going into tonight’s challenge. Two very solid entries, I think!

For 2 quiches:
4 cups of peeled butternut squash, cut into 1 in. cubes
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 tbsp. fresh sage, julienned
about 1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup cream
1 cup half & half
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
about 3 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled

Crust (see mom’s pie crust, reduce sugar to 1 tbsp)

Preheat oven to 400°

Combine the squash, onion, and sage in a bowl, pour in olive oil, and toss to coat well. Spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake until the onions and the squash have caramelized edges.

Meanwhile roll out the crust and fit it into two 8 or 9 inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms.

Sprinkle half the Parmesan into each crust. Divide the squash mixture between the two pans. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top of the squash. Beat the eggs, egg yolks, cream and half & together and pour over. Place in the oven and turn down to 375°, bake for about 35 minutes until puffed and golden.

2 comments » | Kristin's Kitchen

3rd Annual K&K Chili Party

November 24th, 2009 — 11:10am

chili-party-038Last Thursday marked the 3rd annual K&K Chili Party. Each year, preparations for the big event begin months in advance starting with the creation of elaborate invitations and culminating in the much-anticipated awards ceremony. This year, we received an overwhelming 28 RSVPs from co-workers and their loved ones (I think word has gotten around that K&K know how to throw a party!). As you may recall from the invite, attendees had the option of participating in the chili division, the co-rec cornbread division, or as a celebrity judge. Prizes were to be awarded for best tasting chili, best name, hottest chili, best presentation, and best cornbread.

Over the years, Karen and I have collected an impressive array of chili party decorations including plastic peppers, inflatable peppers, and stringed chili pepper lights. And thanks in big part to my mom, who found a chili apron for me at a garage sale this past summer (I already owned the matching chef’s hat), I also have the perfect costume for the event. A lot of effort also goes into finding just the right prizes. We tend to have luck at Hobby Lobby—they have all kinds of chili-themed items. This year’s prizes included a glass pepper, an assortment of chili-themed candy (e.g., red hots, Boston baked beans, hot tamales, etc.), a chili pepper picture frame, a hot sauce twin pack, and corn cob holders (for the best corn bread).  Obviously there was a lot at stake. Pride and prizes. chili-party-056chili-party-012chili-party-040


Now let’s talk about the chili. After a victory in the “best tasting chili” division in the 2007 inaugural event, followed by a disappointing showing in last year’s event, I was determined to come back from my sophomore slump and reclaim my title. But this year, the competition was fierce. I was up against eight chili division entrants and eight co-rec cornbread division entrants. And so, for weeks leading up to the event, I researched and tested various recipes. In the end, I decided to use a recipe for Jalapeno Jack Cheddar Cornbread from the Culinary Institute, and the same chili recipe I’ve used the past three years—Texas Bowl o’ Red from the Williams Sonoma Southwest Cookbook. chili-party-050I like it because the flavor is very unique and pretty sweet. Call me a creature of habit, but let’s be honest,  the recipe helped me clinch the title in 2007.

At 6pm last Thursday evening, competitors began to arrive in a steady stream with crock pots and cornbread in hand. Since most were veteran competitors this year, everyone seemed to know exactly where and how to set up. Crock pots in the living room. Cornbread in the kitchen. After everyone had arrived and set up (including lots of homemade signage), Karen and I passed out ballots and tasting cups. It was chili time!chili-party-061

This year’s entrants were outstanding. It was immediately apparent that the competition had reached an all new level. I tried all eight chili entrants and quickly narrowed down the field to my top three. From there, I continued to sample until I found my favorite. There were so many cornbread entrants that I wasn’t able to try all of them. But I did my best.chili-cookoff-111909-015

After everyone had filled their bellies with chili and cornbread and marked their ballots, we closed the vote. Emilie and I counted and tallied the ballots. After much suspense and a dramatic drum roll, we announced the winners and awarded prizes.

Best Tasting Chili: Alec and Rhenna’s Chicken Chile Chili
Best Cornbread: Erica’s Cheezy Bacon Cornbread
Best Name: Jessica and Zeke’s If Ya Like My Chili, Gotta Put A Ring In It
Hottest Chili: Emilie’s Habanero Fire Chili
Best Presentation: Tie: Matt’s Hooray for America Chili and Kim’s Award-Winning Sweet Potato Cornbread Muffins

It was a very successful chili party. Lots of fun and great eats. I’m attempting to gather a few of the winning recipes (and my personal favorites) to post later this week. Although my chili wasn’t a winner this time around, it did manage to earn second runner-up. And until next year, I’ll be plugging away trying to find the 2010 winning recipe.

1 comment » | Kristin's Kitchen

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette

November 23rd, 2009 — 11:23am

chili-party-031My friends Jill and Ryan are hosting this month’s Iron Chef dinner, which is set for tomorrow night. The “secret ingredient” is the very seasonably-appropriate squash. For the last several weeks, I’ve been researching and testing recipes, trying to find that perfect entry. I finally narrowed the field down to two recipes and have decided to make both for the party. Last night, I did a test run for one of the two recipes—Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette. The recipe is from Sue Erickson, the executive chef at  Minneapolis-based gourmet grocery chain Lunds and Byerly’s. The salad required quite a bit of prep work, but the results were pretty phenomenal. This is the quintessential fall salad. Great composition and balance of texture and flavor. I think I’ve got a winner on my hands with this one!


Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette

1/4 cup +2 tbsp. maple syrup, divided
1 1/2 tsp. Lunds and Byerly’s Apple Pie Spice, divided
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cups one inch cubes butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (5 oz.) packages mache blend or mixed baby lettuces
6 slices bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup roasted, salted pepitas

In mixing bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pie spice and cider vinegar. Slowly whisk in grapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. (Can be made two days in advance, covered and refrigerated.)

In small dish microwave ¼ cup maple syrup on high for 30 seconds; stir in cranberries, cover with plastic wrap; allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 475F. In large mixing bowl combine olive oil and remaining ½ teaspoon pie spice. Add butternut squash cubes; toss to coat. Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange squash in single layer; season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes; turn squash over; roast until tender (5-7 minutes longer). Cool to room temperature (can be made day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before assembling salad.).

In large mixing bowl toss greens with three-fourths of vinaigrette. Divide onto 6 serving plates. Arrange squash, bacon, red onion and pepitas over greens.

Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

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Race Report (Part Four: Run)

November 18th, 2009 — 5:06pm

2323232327ffp5368nu3264-9-45wsnrcg33588789-32nu0mrjThe run is always my favorite part of an Ironman Triathlon. I love nothing more than to shed my wetsuit and bike, and kick on my running shoes. Running hasn’t always come easy for me. In fact, during high school and college, I was plagued by multiple running injuries—you name it, I had it. But I was patient and persistent. I wanted to be a runner more than anything. And finally, a few years ago, things came together for me. I’ve been able to run consistently and injury-free ever since. As a result, I was able to drop more than one hour and thirty minutes from my Ironman marathon time, turning my weakest link into a strong one. Leading up to Ironman Hawaii, I thought a 3:50, maybe even a 3:45 marathon, was very possible (my previous Ironman best was a 3:54). Little did I know then what Madame Pele had in store for

I don’t remember much from the start of the run course (perhaps that can also be attributed to the fact that I’m writing this report more than a month later). But I do know that for the first time ever during an Ironman, I didn’t want to run. It was so hot that I felt like I was in an oven. It took everything I had just to start moving my body in a forward shuffle. The course looped around Kona for a bit, and it was a welcome change to see people again—both athletes and spectators. As I ran up Ali’i drive, there were several pros and fast age groupers coming back from the other direction. Some were walking. Others seemed to be in total agony. Most were determinedly trudging along. Seeing other athletes made me feel better—it was clear that everyone was struggling under the excruciating heat of the midday sun. I certainly wasn’ t out there alone.47958-438-018f

Still shaken from the cramps I experienced during the bike course, I was very cautious with my pace and religiously took down liquids, electrolytes, and/or Power shots at every aid station. I was worried that things could turn at any moment. I also doused myself with ice water and stuffed cold sponges in my jersey whenever possible. Still nothing seemed to alleviate the heat or cool my body core even a few degrees. I was sweating profusely. Although there was virtually no shade on Ali’i drive, I did enjoy the familiarity of the road I had lived on and traveled by all week. And running on Ali’i drive was certainly the most interesting part of the run course—lots of great spectators and beautiful ocean views (Ali’i drive runs parallel to the coast). And amazingly, as I neared the turnaround point on Ali’i drive (maybe 5 miles into the course), it suddenly started drizzling rain. It didn’t last long, but certainly provided some temporary relief from the heat.2323232327ffp5368nu3264-9-45wsnrcg3358878932nu0mrj

Just past our condo, we turned around and headed down Ali’i drive back to Kona. Both mentally and physically, I think this part of the course was toughest for me. I knew I had so many more miles to go, and felt like I had very little energy to get there. I was being passed far more often than I was passing others, and was just generally getting down on myself as I realized that my goal time was no longer within grasp.

When we arrived back in Kona, the course shot up a giant hill before turning onto the Queen K. I knew that I needed to bank as much energy as possible, so I decided to speed walk up the hill, which is the same strategy I use on Observatory hill during Ironman Wisconsin. Finally, I made my way onto Queen K, at which point the spectators quickly faded away, and the ocean views again gave way to barren lava fields. The remainder of the course would follow this straight, flat, and completely-exposed highway, which would take us out to the infamous energy lab, and eventually back to Kona for the finish line. But there were many miles still separating me from the elusive finish line.

Everyone seemed to ran in single-file lines on the Queen K—one line heading out to the energy lab, and the other heading back to Kona for the finish line. And almost all of the athletes appeared to be hanging on by a single thread. Lots of gaping mouths and blank stares. There were a few smiles and words of encouragement exchanged, but overall the atmosphere was much more austere than that which I’ve experienced during Ironman Wisconsin. I wasn’t sure whether to attribute that to the intensity of the athletes, or the severity of the pain being experienced. ironman09-058

After what felt like a very long time, I finally came upon the entrance to the infamous natural energy lab, which is a definitive point of the course where many of the most storied contests in the race’s rich history have been won or lost. We were at about mile 15 at that point. Many people claim it’s the toughest part of the course, but I thought it was the best—fun athletes, beautiful ocean views, and great volunteers. And I knew that as soon as I got through the energy lab, I was heading back to Kona for the finish line!

The course turned from the Queen K onto a road that lead straight to the ocean (the road almost seemed to disappear into the ocean). It was a beautiful sight as the sun was just beginning to set. There were also helicopters hovering above (I’m pretty sure they were zeroing in on on me for footage for the upcoming NBC coverage). I mistakenly thought that after we hit the ocean, we would turn around back to Kona. But I got a little ahead of myself, because we then turned right onto another road for about a mile. At the turnaround, I vividly remember Jimmy Buffett music, “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” actually, blasting from huge speakers. How appropriate, I thought. All of the volunteers at the turnaround were having a great time, and I joined in by singing along. By then, my spirits were obviously back up and I was having a great time. bs14

Shortly after the turnaround, we came to the tent where volunteers were distributing special needs bags. Granted, this was at mile 17. Luckily, I didn’t need much from my special needs bag other than extra Power Gels and electrolyte pills. But a little background and means for comparison, first. Usually, special needs bags are handed out at the half-way point of the bike and run course during an Ironman triathlon (meaning mile 13.1 for the run). Typically, you’re able to put anything you could possibly want in these bags—fluids, Power bars, candy, extra shoes, spare tires, etc. Then when you get to the half-way point of each discipline during the race, volunteers hand you your bag, and you take it or leave it.

For the world championships, however, we were only allowed to place food in our special needs bags. Furthermore, instead of the half-way point, the bags were distributed at mile 17 of the run. That might not seem like a big deal, but there’s a big difference between mile 13 and mile 17 of a marathon. I could tell shortly after we passed mile 13 that many athletes were getting anxious for their special needs bags. The Athlete Guide had specifically said the half-way point. And as I’m sure you can imagine, many athletes very much rely on the items they put in those bags, be it a Red Bull, jelly beans, or gel. Especially if they’re having a bad day. But anyhow, I grabbed my gels and electrolyte pills, and was on my way.

Coming out of the energy lab and back onto the Queen K was exhilarating. Only 9 more miles to go! With the heat and humidity subsiding, and my energy levels restored, I was feeling better than ever. It was as if the finish line had a strong magnetic force that was pulling me in. Suddenly, I was the one passing other runners. I was on fire—but this time, in a good way. Seriously, I would love to see some mile splits for the latter part of my run.47958-623-008f

By the time I reached Kona, the sun had set and it was dark. It had been several years since I had finished an Ironman triathlon after sunset. But it was kind of cool because it made everything a little more dramatic—like the finish line was this beacon lighting up the dark sky and pulling me in. Almost cruelly, the course looped around Kona for a bit before coming into the finish line. The whole time I could feel, see, and hear the finish line. I was so excited. My arms and legs were pumping as hard as they could.

Running down Ali’i drive to the finish line is an experience I’ll never forget. There were people everywhere, and lots of lights, cheering, and excitement. I smiled and took it all in. As I crossed the finish line, I raised my hands with pride. It was a long journey, and a long day. A four hour and 20 minute marathon.  Eleven hours and 44 minutes overall. I made it. Kristin Korevec, you are an Ironman!

2 comments » | Racing and Training

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes

November 12th, 2009 — 3:30pm

fall09-026In preparation for this month’s iron chef challenge, I have been experimenting with squash. Most recently, I chose another recipe from the October issue of Martha Stewart Living for Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes. The dish is so delicious and filling. I loved the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and pine nuts—which combined, perfectly capture the flavor of fall. And look at how nicely the whole dinner just fits inside the acorn squash shell (major presentation bonus points). This one’s definitely a keeper. Whether or not I’ll bring this one as my iron chef entry is still yet to be determined…but it’s certainly a front-runner. Thanks, Martha.

2 medium acorn squashes (about 2 pounds), halved and seeded
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. ground chuck (95 percent lean)
Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg
2 tsp. course salt
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups water
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts

1. Preheat oven to 400. Place squashes, cut sides down in a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 4-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add ground beef, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer beef to a bowl or plate using a slotted spoon, keeping as much of the cooking liquid in the pot as possible.

3. Add onion, and cook until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining teaspoon salt and the bulgur, and stir to combine.  Add water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.  Take pot off the stove and let sit covered for 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork, and add reserved beef, the raisins, parsley and pine nuts.

4. Scrape out baked squashes, forming 1/4 inch thick bowls, and fold flesh into bulgur mixture. Divide among squash halves, and return to the oven. Bake until warmed through and tops are browned. 12 to 14 minutes.

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Pie Palooza!

November 11th, 2009 — 1:58pm

november-09-015I love pie. That’s why I was so excited to attend the REAP Food Group’s fifth annual Pie Palooza fundraiser at the Goodman Community Center last Sunday. REAP, which stands for “Research, Education, Action and Policy on Food Group” is dedicated to building a regional food system that is healthful, just, and economically sustainable. The group hosts several programs and events throughout the year, including “Farm to School,” “Burgers and Brew,” and the “Food for Thought Festival.” All aim to promote the inclusion of healthy, local, sustainably grown foods in schools, restaurants, food stores, and home kitchens.

november-09-0192The Pie Palooza is an annual fundraiser that takes place each fall. All proceeds from the event support REAP programs. Tickets are $16 in advance and $18 at the door. Admission  includes two slices of pie, a farm-fresh salad, and a beverage. The pies, which include both sweet and savory varieties, are baked by more than 20 different local restaurants—including Harvest Restaurant, Inka Heritage, L’Etoile, and Lombardino’s—using all local ingredients. november-09-022

My friend and I purchased advanced tickets for the 10:30am seating. We arrived to the east side Goodman Community Center plenty early. I had never been to the center, and was incredibly impressed by the facility. We killed time at the in-house Ironworks Cafe, which is a project that parteners with East High School’s alternative educational program and aims to enable youth with both basic job skills and real life business management experience. It’s a trendy cafe that offers a menu with local and seasonal ingredients that changes daily. I was instantly smitten by the baked goods and breakfast offerings, but knew I better save room for pie! I ordered an apple cider, and we hung out and read the sunday newspaper. Shortly after 10:30am, we headed to the pie room to eat. november-09-020

The event took place in an expansive community room, which was perfect for the event. We stood in line for a while, and eventually weaved our way to the pie serving tables. I was in heaven. There were four savory pies and  four sweet pies, which rotated throughout the day. I chose the “Roasted Squash Onion and Goat Cheese Quiche” from the School Woods Supper Club, and the “Peruvian Eggfruit Pie” from Inka Heritage. The quiche was phenomenal…I could have easily eaten another five pieces.  The eggfruit pie was a little too sweet for my tastes, but very interesting, nonetheless.

I loved my first Pie Palooza. It’s a fabulous event for a great cause. And certainly, it doesn’t take much convincing to get me to an event that is entirely dedicated to pie.

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Tyranena Beer Run

November 10th, 2009 — 8:11am

november-09-003This past Saturday I ran my first race since Ironman—the Tyranena Beer Run in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. I’ve found that I tend to gravitate towards races that incorporate beer into their name. But as I’ve said before, I think it really has less to do with beer, and more to do with my preference for races that are small, laid-back, affordable, fun, and have a certain local/grassroots sort of charm. I was very optimistic that the Tyranena Beer Run would be all of those things.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling to process my performance from Ironman Kona. I know that the heat and wind made for a particularly brutal day, but I’ve still had this sort of gnawing sense of disappointment in myself…that my body did not allow me to “leave it all out on the course” that day. And so in an effort to redeem myself (to nobody other than myself) I signed up for the Tyranena half-marathon (aptly named the 1/2 barrel route). My only goal was to run my heart out, and literally pour every ounce of energy into the race. That’s how I wanted to finish my race

It was a tough race—lot of hills, unseasonably warm temps (75 degrees in November), very little shade, and a shortage of water at the aid stations. But it was also a very beautiful and interesting course with great views of Lake Mills and a combination of road and trail running. There were also great spectators—especially my friend Miranda from Dailymile!

I started the race at a fast pace, and desperately tried to hold on. Pretty early on, I developed some persistent side stitches. Not sure where those came from. I never get side cramps. I tried to work through the cramps by focusing on my breathing and exhaling deeply. Eventually the pain would go away, only to come back a few minutes later. Ugh.november-09-0042

I was lucky to connect with two other runners around mile eight. It was just at that point that my energy and confidence were starting to slip. The three of us struck up a conversation, and  suddenly the miles began to fly by. We were holding a great pace, but somehow, it all became much easier…I didn’t have to think about it, I just sort of floated along with the group.

In the end, I finished 2nd in my age group, and the 9th overall female with a time of 1:39:58. I was very proud. I have no idea how that compares to other half marathons I’ve run, but I know that I truly gave it everything I had. And that was all that mattered.

After the race, I enjoyed the post race party with my friends Emily and Karen. All participants received a huge piece of lasagna and two complimentary Tyranena Brewery beers. Sadly, I couldn’t stomach more than a bite of lasagna and a sip of root beer. Weak, I know. But my stomach was in knots. By the time the awards ceremony started, I had no idea that I placed in my age group. My friends had to pull me out of the Porta Potty to tell me that I had, and also that my name was about to be called any moment. Nice save. That’s what friends are for. november-09-011

Later that afternoon, I drove to Milwaukee to meet my parents for dinner. I felt nauseous during the entire ride. And as soon as I arrived, I barely said two words to my parents before I ran to the bathroom to puke. The next few hours were tough, but luckily I was finally able to stomach food by the time dinner rolled around.

There’s no doubt I gave it my all and left it all out on the course this time. Sad that I have to run myself to the point of puking to actually be proud of myself. But now I feel like I can truly go into the off season with pride.

3 comments » | Racing and Training

Blogging for UW

November 5th, 2009 — 6:39pm

kristinHi. I’m Kristin. And I’m proud to be among a small group of bloggers piloting a new recruitment tool for the Office of Admissions at UW-Madison. As of now, there are five of us—four incredibly bright and articulate current students, and me, the lone admissions counselor.

And so therefore, as if one weren’t enough, I’m now devoting my time to writing two blogs—one personal, and one for work. Sometimes it can feel like a lot of pressure trying to keep readers engaged with fresh and interesting content.

But I love to write. And so I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the project. My directive is to write from the perspective of an admissions counselor. And thus my goal is to shed light on the seemingly mysterious process of college admissions, and to provide timely advice to applicants. Easy enough, right?

I have nearly five years of professional admissions experience; But yet, I was really nervous about many aspects of the project…like, what would I write about? And how would my posts be perceived? More than anything, I worried about the fact that I would be the “boring” blogger among the group—that the student bloggers would have the opportunity to cover all of these incredibly rich academic and student life experiences, and I would be stuck writing about boring admission deadlines.

But I was also super excited. There was so much potential. Certainly, connecting with prospective students through social media avenues is becoming increasingly important in college recruitment. And there was so much room for creativity— especially since I was the first counselor blogger, and had been given free reign to write un-edited content on whichever topics I chose. I also felt like, having gone through the college admissions process not so long ago myself, I could genuinely help prospective students navigate the process.

The blog, titled “Wisconsin Blogs,” officially launched in mid-October. I was actually in Hawaii at the time, but had pre-written my first blog for the launch. So far, the blog has been very well received by applicants and the university community alike. If you have the chance, check it out and let me know what you think. Hopefully I’m not as boring as I originally feared.

1 comment » | Uncategorized

Pumpkin Bread

November 5th, 2009 — 5:40pm

100_1985Last year, my friend Emily generously shared with me her family’s recipe for pumpkin bread. It’s always been one of Emily’s trademark potluck contributions. The bread is superbly moist and flavorful. And the recipe is very simple—and best of all, makes three loaves! This past weekend, that was enough for me, a friend, and one in the freezer for later. All week, I’ve enjoyed a slice with my morning coffee. It’s the perfect fall breakfast. Enjoy!

4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup salad oil
2/3 cup water
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Beat together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, and water. Then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Grease and flour three medium-sized bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for about one hour.

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