Three Things Thursday, a la Morgan
1) Hard taco shells, well done
I made black bean & sweet potato tacos last night, inspired by Alyssa’s recipe on Inspired Rd. Tacos never disappoint, and they are among many of my favorite dishes that allow for personal taste additions. For instance, want green without the lettuce? Add avocado! (Not exactly a nutrient/calorie substitution, but that’s not something to concern yourself with when you have fresh avocados to use up) One taco thing I have not yet mastered? The corn tortillas.
I’ve baked them, which warms up the round corn-made disc enough for bending without breaking. But I’ve overbaked them, underbaked them, and I’ve opened a fresh package only to find mold.
Corn tortillas: 3, Heather: 0.
Alyssa had a great tip for creating that taco “shell”, one I had never considered. Simplicity always works!
Use your already heated pan (low heat); plop the tortilla on there, and flip it like a pancake. Give it a minute or two on each side, remove from heat when it’s floppy and slightly cooked (see picture). Set it on your plate and fold in half.
No, it does not fold in on itself! I know, I thought it would, too.
Instead, it forms the perfect taco! Fold gently, and fill it up, and you have that inside space to work with, without the cracking, tearing or general “I’m too soft for this”-rolling.
I’m still amazed by how easy this is, and by the fact that I am just discovering it. Hard taco perfection? Now I get it.
The fillings: sliced onions & diced (peeled) sweet potatoes, saute in 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1/4 c vegetable broth, until soft & cooked through. Stir in black beans until mixture is heated through. Slice fresh avocado, layer with bean & potato mixture.
2) Running Fast, without thinking
Remember when Kate ran a 68 minute 10-mile race, and we all agreed she is magic (along with a skilled runner, a machine, a tough gal – all of the above!)? Muscles do know better than mind; see below.
Last night we had a Tempo Run date scheduled. I got off work later than expected; it was raining, and I’d put motivation around level 3, of 10.
We rescheduled for this morning, and I knew it may not be the run I had anticipated. Tempo paces at 5:45? Eh, we’ll see. Instead I mapped a route*, without speed plans.
Taper? Hi, it’s nice to see you. Carefree & just getting through these runs!
I took my warm-up to our meeting spot easy, as usual. Once we started, we got to talking and the miles flew by, literally. I looked down at the second split and was surprised to see “7:33” – well okay then. Let’s do this.
5.4 miles later, we have clocked our first sub-8-average run, and if it weren’t for a stopwatch, I would have never guessed we were going any faster than usual.
Pushing the pace, and realizing you can go faster than you expect?
Now I get it. I’m remembering how this works.
Edited to add: I also met up with Anne P this morning – we were spoiled by the C&O canal, and I got in a few more miles with her on the trail. Pictures don’t do it justice; if you’re in the area, GO to this trail. Right now.
3) *Massachusetts Avenue always wins
The route I mapped out included a one mile Massachusetts Avenue adventure. We were running further north than usual, and I thought we were safe. I drive on this road to get to work sometimes, and yet I still screwed this up.
Note to self: never trust Mass Ave – yes, I get that now.
It will always win. Case in point:
No matter where you go, that street will slap you in the face with a hill. But it will also give you a good run.
Any recent epiphanies you’d like to share? We want to get it, too!