Easy (like really easy) Pizza Pockets

I don’t like cooking. I always mess something up.  I’m not really sure if I mess up because I don’t like cooking or if I don’t like cooking because I mess up…it’s a chicken or egg sort of thing. I hate how it takes soooo long to make things and not nearly as long to eat them. And then there’s the dishes! It’s always the annoying sort of dishes too that don’t go in the dishwasher and are really awkward to fit in the sink.

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But you get the point, I don’t like cooking. Unfortunately, I really like eating, so sometimes cooking is unavoidable.

I have a few requirements when looking for recipes that I will make myself:

  1. They need to be easy/quick
  2. They need to make A LOT (or be easily doubled)
  3. They need to taste good

I am willing to do a harder recipe or one that doesn’t make a ton if something is especially good. I’m also willing to make something that is good, but not great, if it fulfills requirement 1 and 2.

Preparing for baby number two, Mr. Husband and I decided to make as many freezer meals as possible. He did the vast majority of cooking (doesn’t bother him), but I was responsible for a few things – pizza pockets being one of them!

I thought it would be nice to have some tasty handheld food for lunches, and pizza pockets couldn’t be THAT hard, could they?

I googled some recipes (mainly to figure out cooking times), and then bought refrigerated dough…making the dough isn’t too hard, but is time consuming. Unfortunately the dough I bought, while delicious, was just too annoying and time consuming to work with. So on my 3rd attempt I tried Pillsbury refrigerated dough (you know the one that comes in the can), and my friends…that is EASY. Not as delicious maybe, but worth the trade off in my book.


Easy Pizza Pockets – double recipe (makes 12)

  • 2 Cans pillsbury pizza dough
  • 1 jar of sauce (but you really only need a little of the sauce)
  • 1 bag of shredded mozzerella cheese (or 2 bags if you really like cheese)
  • Optional – additional fillings (I like mushrooms and black olives, but this takes longer)
  • Optional – pizza seasoning
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This is all you need to make these.

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Spray a baking sheet or two with Pam
  3. Open a can of dough and spread on the baking sheet, cut into 6 equal(ish) sized rectangles
  4. If using, sprinkle with seasoning
  5. Spread some sauce around on each pocket
  6. If using, toss on your additional toppings
  7. Add desired amount of cheese
  8. Fold each pocket closed (I did this super awkwardly) and press edges with a fork
  9. Bake for 15 min
  10. Repeat with second can of dough.
  11. If freezing, reheat by putting in the microwave for about a minute
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Four larger pockets is also an option.

There you have it…super easy, customizable, freezer pizza pockets. Enjoy!

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The Turkey Trot that Wasn’t

I assumed that my glorious return to running after having Miss Newborn would involve a Turkey Trot. I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to get in shape, and it would be a stretch if we were travelling to Buffalo, because that Turkey Trot is 8k (5 miles), but I figured I could get to the finish with walk breaks if I needed. What would have had to happen, though is for me to start running right when I got the green light, but I did not do that.

Meanwhile, we decided not to go to Buffalo for Thanksgiving even though it was a Buffalo year, and around the same time I started seeing signs pop up for a local Gobble Wobble that had a Family walk and a kids race. So that became the new plan: Walk 2 miles as a family and have Mr. Toddler run the kids race.

However, as I went to sign up days before the race, the forecast was calling for a high of 13 F. Brrrr  Although I would have run in this weather in years past, it was not the weather for walking with a newborn and a toddler who will strip off his gloves and hat no matter the weather. So for the first time since I started running, I didn’t do a turkey trot. An 11 year streak broken. What a BUMMER!

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Turkey Trot 2014

On the bright side, I wouldn’t have really wanted to run a 5k in a feels like temp of 2F, so I’m glad I had the excuse of the kiddos. 🙂

I’m not sure when I’m going to race again, but I’m already planning on running the 2019 Buffalo Turkey Trot.

Hello there, 2018!

Another year, another resolution to start blogging again. 🙂

Hiya!

It’s been so long that Mr. Baby is now Mr. Toddler. He’s walking and talking (a little), and being absolutely adorable and the best. I passed my Corporate Finance class and Microeconomics. I re-took my models for life contingencies exam in October and will finally be finding out whether I passed or not in two weeks. I almost finished painting the deck before all the studying sidelined me and the weather forced me to stop. DH and I kept up a semi regular weekly run until it got too cold to take Mr. Toddler out in the jogger. We ran a turkey trot that was hard and cold and awesome. And we enjoyed ourselves with friends and family all throughout November and December. Mr. Toddler had a rough patch with some illnesses, it was stressful and probably won’t be the last time, but we made it through.

Now, it’s 2018, and I’m going to be a better blogger. First though, I’m going to go fold some laundry and get some sleep.

Cheers!

 

Sharon Timlin 5k Race Recap

On Saturday I ran the 14th annual Sharon Timlin Memorial 5k Race to Cure ALS (well, that’s a mouthful!). It was my first 5k after having Mr. Baby, and only my second road race in that time. I didn’t technically train for this, but I haven’t ever done specific training for a 5k, so that’s nothing out of the norm.

The race was paid for through a program at my work, which is fantastic, but was a little weird this weekend. The last time I ran a race with the program, we all got matching t-shirts, and met up for a picture before the race. This time, there was no pre-race organizational email, and I didn’t end up seeing any other people from work at the race. I don’t actually mind not having a meet-up; I just felt like I had missed some communication.

Jeff stayed home to watch Mr. Baby and get the house together because we had plans to celebrate Father’s Day with his family at 11:30 (at our house). I’ve run races alone before (a lot actually), but I can probably count on one hand the number of races I’ve gone to alone, without Jeff or another friend or family member to spectate or run another distance. Honestly, it felt strange and was less fun this way. And it made waiting around for the race to start feel like FOREVER.

After getting my number, checking out the post race party area, and visiting the start line, I stopped back at my car to pin on my number and drop off my tshirt. I then took the long way back to the start line and lined up between the 9 and 10 minute per mile signs.  I really wasn’t expecting to go that fast, but directly behind the 10 minute sign was where the walkers and jogging strollers were lining up and I wanted NO part of that.

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I had gotten to the race pretty early, and was in the corral about 20 min before race time, so the corral slowly filled up around me. I eavesdropped on conversations and took a few pictures for groups of runners around me, and then FINALLY the race started! It was pretty much right on time, but I’d been lined up for quite a while.  It took a minute or two to cross the start line, and then we were off!

My plan was to run “comfortably hard”, an effort level where during the last mile I would be eager to reach the finish line, but I wouldn’t be desperate to stop until the last quarter mile or so. I had no time goal in mind, and I forgot to wear my Garmin so I checked the time on my watch as I crossed the start so I would have some reference point during the race.

The first mile was mostly downhill, so even though I kept the weaving to a minimum and tried to settle into an even pace, I still finished that first mile fairly quickly (about 10 min according to my watch time). Mile 2 had a few hills and some flatter stretches. I haven’t been running very long distances lately, so in addition to the hills I was feeling that first mile and I slowed myself on the flatter sections so I would have enough left in the tank for mile 3.  

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In the second half of Mile 2, I was getting tired and a bit cranky. People around me were starting to get on my nerves! There was a water stop where they were handing out water on both sides of the fairly narrow street, which made it difficult to run through the water station. There were jogging strollers catching up to the rest of the pack by this time and taking up a lot of space with their “wide loads”. Also, this point is where the many, many kids running the race were starting to poop out, and do things like abruptly stop in the middle of the street to take walk breaks. I also ran for a while near a lady who had external speakers playing music. I don’t care if you want to listen to music while you run, but why force everyone to listen to YOUR music? Ugh.

None of these things are out of the realm of what I’d expect for a race, but I was tired and OVER IT, so I was happy when I hit the next mile marker and only had a mile left to go. My watch said the second mile took about 11 minutes, which seemed spot on with the hills and other slow downs.  

The last mile of the race had a fair amount of twists and turns and some more downhills. I was feeling ready to be done for most of this last mile, so I really appreciated the downhills. With about a half mile to go I got a side stich which only made me more anxious to get to the finish line. When I turned the final corner and saw the finish line, I pushed myself to bring it in strong. I crossed with the timer reading 33 minutes, but forgot to check my own watch. I promptly got myself some water then headed to the after race party and grabbed a cookie and some yogurt before heading back to the car.

The after party seemed like a good one, but I didn’t stick around long since we were having guests. They were also holding a color run for kids that hadn’t started yet, but seemed like it was going to be a big hit.

All in all, I had a pretty good time at the race, and I would definitely do it again. But with other people. I don’t think I’m a solo 5k runner, at least not unless I have a specific goal.

In the end, my race time was posted as 32:59 which is a good time, but a little disappointing. This was the time on the clock when I crossed the finish line, but I definitely did not cross the starting line until at least a minute or two after the gun went off. I’ll take it, since it’s official, but I know I’m faster ☺

Tell me: Do you like to run races alone? Do other racers ever get on your nerves? And, what’s your favorite snack for them to give out post race? I took the yogurt for later, but the cookies were perfect!

Last Week Running: 1st Edition

In an effort to make my “week in review” posts a little more timely, I’m going to try something new by switching up the order! It seems like most running blogs I read have a standard formula of posting a workout review on Monday and some kind of brain dump on Friday. While I know this isn’t mandatory, it is nice to have some kind of schedule/direction, and Monday certainly feels like a good “recap” day.

Unfortunately, I just can’t maintain this schedule. Actually, I can’t really seem to maintain any type of blogging schedule. All I know is that I WANT to blog, the what/when/how isn’t really quite as clear. I also think it would be nice if I wasn’t posting weekly recaps that are more than a month old, but that might be setting the bar too high.

I’m hoping that by freeing myself from the idea of “mandatory Monday”, I’ll have an easier time. Now, with no further ado…The 1st Edition of “Last Week Running”

Saturday – I ran a 5k! (Recap coming soon!) It was my first road race in a while, and it was a pretty good time. After the race, we had my in-laws over for lunch to celebrate Father’s day.  That was also a pretty good time with some delicious bagels and Buffalo Wing Doritos. These were the last “events” in a very busy month, and after our guests left I was pretty happy to have the rest of the weekend to relax.

Sunday – We woke up with no plans and no guests, so since the weather was nice, we went for a family run. My legs were pretty sore so we took plenty of walk breaks! We ran to the playground at the local elementary school and took Mr. Baby out of the jogger to play for a bit. The playground is a bit old for him, but he enjoyed a “controlled” ride down the slide and some swinging on my lap. It was a great way to break up the run, but we should have brought water or gatorade…next time!

Monday – I decided to skip my run because my legs were still sore from Saturday. Originally, I was going to push the run to Tuesday, but then I just skipped it. 

Thursday – Speed Work, Week 2! I increased to 5x400m (well, .25 mi). My plan (that I made up) is to increase to 8 intervals and then start over at 4, at a faster speed. Right now my speed is 10 min/mile. This is much slower than I’ve ever run intervals before, but my other runs are all at the 11 – 12 min/mile range, so I don’t think it’s an unreasonable place to start.


Step Goal Progress: My goal is currently 8,000 steps and I’m increasing by 1,000 every time I manage to hit my goal every day for a full week.  As I write this on Friday night, it’s the last day I need to hit 8,000 before moving up!

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Bunny seen on my walk

Study Goals: I’m on a 3 week studying “break” and it NEEDS to end.

Around the House: After living here for 2 years, I’ve finally set up the record player! We organized the basement which included setting up our old video game systems and the record player. I also set up a puzzle at the card table. It’s a fun place to hang out these days.

Fun Fact: A lot of people work from home on Fridays in my office, so each Friday my team tries to guess how many people that work in our area will show up. I have gotten it exactly right two weeks in a row! 🙂


Now this week:

  1. Running: Easy Run, 5 mile long run, Stroller run, 6x400s
  2. Studying: GET IT TOGETHER!
  3. Around the House: Organize my clothes
  4. Step Goals: Move it up to 9000
  5. Food Stuff: Don’t eat like crap, make banana muffins  and bbq chicken chili

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I have a plan (sort of)

Last Monday I was finally able to get my act together and go for a run during the week. At this point, I’ve built up the trouble I’ve had with weekday running so much that it’s like slaying a mythical beast (the bad kind though, not like a unicorn…I would never slay a unicorn…all that business about having a “cursed life”, no thanks!)

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I squeezed it into a free half hour I had between Mr. Baby’s bedtime and my standing Monday skype call with my friend.  I managed slightly over 2 miles. I essentially felt like a superhero for getting this done, and I’m thrilled to add this to my regular routine.

After that run, I didn’t run again for the rest of the week. (oops!) But I filled my time with doing things around the house, so I don’t feel too bad. I still want to work my way up to 10 miles so I can earn my medal for the virtual 10 miler I signed up for, so I’ll have to dial it back a bit on the DIY projects.

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My medal is in that package…I just have to earn it!

I’ve been hoping to make an easy stroller run a regular weekly thing, but so far the weather hasn’t been agreeable. I’m sure things will turn around soon enough, and the price per run of my stroller won’t be so astronomical. (With only two runs under its belt it’s a pretty expensive ride..haha)


For months, I’ve been thinking I need a training plan to keep myself on track, but I’m starting to think I just need a weekly plan. Both for running, and other things I want to get done. Just a little something to keep me on track.

So far, here’s what I have:

Monday: squeeze in quick run before my Skype date

Wednesday/Thursdsay: Get in another run! JUST DO IT!

Saturday: Long(er) run

Sunday: Stroller run

The Wednesday/Thursday run I think will be the toughest to get done, and Sunday is weather dependent, so we’ll see on that one, but I think this will be a pretty good start.  I plan to come up with some build up for the long run so I can get to that 10 miles, but other than that I’m keeping it pretty open.


Now, before I wrap up this post: I registered for a 5k on June 17th!

It’ll be my first 5k since November 2015, and only my second road race since then. Know what that means? It’ll be a post baby PR! Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing. 🙂

The Race That Wasn’t

As you may not know, since I apparently haven’t blogged much about running on my running blog, I had a race on the schedule for this weekend1.  A five miler that I originally hoped could be a PR race. I say “originally hoped” because I have not done one iota of training that would make me any faster.  I even hesitate to use the term “training” at all. I’ve been running, but it’s been sporadic and disordered. No purpose or structure to any of my runs. I HAVE run the distance, so I have that going for me, but that’s about it.

I haven’t been running outside. While I’m a firm believer that you can train for even a hilly race on a treadmill, I’ve been leaving the incline at zero, which leaves me with no question that hills would be an issue. (Not that I even bothered to figure out if this is a hilly course). I also question whether I am physically prepared for running in current temperatures. When I signed up, I envisioned March 18th being a nice spring day. I’ve lived in the same climate my whole life, so who knows where that silly idea came from.

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Training run

So, this week I’ve been going into the race with thoughts like, “Hmm..March 18th, already, huh?” and “Gee..looks like it’ll be a cold one?”, and as of Thursday afternoon I hadn’t even figured out the time or start location yet. Then I got a text that the race was cancelled. And then the official email. I’m left feeling pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. A little bummed because races are always fun, but I don’t really feel like I have any skin in the game.  (My entry fee was paid through work, even). I DO feel quite bad for all the runners who have made this their goal race (there is also a half), particularly because it’s not the time of year where it’ll be easy to find a “replacement” race.

The interesting part about the whole thing, to me at least, is that in lieu of a refund or even an entry for next year, they are deferring everyone’s entries to a race in October. A race that is a half marathon, without a 5 mile option. I emailed the race director to ask if that deferral included the 5 mile racers, and was confirmed that it does.  SO, GUESS I’M SIGNED UP FOR A HALF!

I’ve got quite a while before that race rolls around, so it’s not really on my radar right now, but in terms of what’s next, I’m thinking I’ll find a training plan (not sure what distance) and start following it. I think I could use a little structure, even if there’s not a race at the end.  Also, I’m signed up for a virtual 10K through the Hogwarts Running Club that I’ll be doing in the next week or two. My training for that has been, “Well, If I can run 5 miles, I’m sure I can run 6.2”. I should probably be a coach.

80-20 Schedule

I used to make crazy schedules like this.

I think I can safely say that I’ve gotten back into running. Now, it’s time to step up my game a little.

1 Technically I’m scheduled to run a race this morning since this post will go up Saturday even though I’m writing it on Friday — Does this bother anyone else? I hate the thought that my posts are inexact when I write “today”, “tomorrow”, or “yesterday”. How do you handle it when writing in advance? Do you just ignore it or do you correct it so it sounds like it was written the day it was posted?